Being fully YOU now

This time of year, with holidays and celebration approaching, is supposed to be a time of great joy and connection, yet for many it is also stressful.  Over the past eighteen months plus, we dealt with social distancing, and distancing ourselves from extended family. Perhaps we were locked down with our immediate family, or on our own.    Through this break from people, we forgot how we react around certain people. 

Sometimes people take us back to who we were in the past, causing us to react from that space. Some of us may have the desire to get everything perfect for the people who are joining us.  Being around certain people can also bring up old issues we thought we had dealt with.

We can choose to rediscover our joy and let go of the stress.  We can consciously Santa 5choose to be who we are right now in every interaction.  The person that we were a few months ago, has changed through our experiences.  We have evolved and grown into a new version of us.

Wherever you are at this time of year, find the fun, joy and celebration that these next few weeks can bring by asking yourself:

  • What do you want from next few weeks? What is your deeper desire – not the perfect dinner or gathering – rather, do you wish for connection?  Do you hunger for laughter around the table?  What do you want the people who join you to experience?  Could you find joy if everything did not go according to your plan?  When you know the deeper reason for your gathering, you are able to release the expectation of perfection and instead, remind yourself of the most important reason for your gathering.  Your peace becomes infectious and those around you feel happier because you are happier.

When you know you are going to be around people that bring out a version of you that doesn’t make you happy, you can choose to:

  • Walk away from the interaction without engaging.
  • Ask yourself what you hope will happen from talking with them. If what you want is not possible, do you really want to continue? 
  • Instead of going down the same path as usual, can you come from a different place in your words while listening to where the other person is coming from?
  • Ask yourself if their opinion matters, and if so, why.  
  • If they are not someone who has been good for you, walk away, avoid them or do whatever you need to remove yourself from the toxic space. You don’t need to be around anyone you don’t want to. Choose who you want to spend this time with and remind yourself that you do not have to be around anyone who makes you feel like less.
  • You don’t need to explain yourself and your decisions to anyone else. If you have made these decisions because they are right for you, you don’t have to justify them to anyone.

Create a list of experiences or even objects that take you to your happy place; add things you are grateful for and the reasons for your gratitude.  Use this to remind yourself of the joy you deserve to have.  

What experience, object or memory never fails to make you smile and feel joy? Share in the comments

Many Blessings,

Santa

 

 

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RUNNING THROUGH DARKNESS
MEMOIR OF A SPIRITUAL WARRIOR

BY SANTA MOLINA-MARSHALL ‧ RELEASE DATE: MAY 3, 2022

This debut memoir chronicles a woman’s spiritual exploration and growth as she overcame a disturbing childhood and helped others heal.

Brought to America from the Dominican Republic as a youngster, Molina-Marshall should have led a happy life. Her father was a diligent worker, and his large family wanted for nothing. But the author recounts that her dad had a drinking problem and was a serial philanderer. Molina-Marshall’s long-suffering mother left him for a woman. Then it was all downhill for the bright, 12-year-old girl, who was shuttled between foster care and relatives. According to the author, she was sexually abused by the husband of one of her siblings. This resulted in Molina-Marshall becoming alienated and moody. By 15, she simply tried to survive. In her favor were grit and a restless intelligence. She quit school, rented a room, and found a factory job. Time went by, and for a while she was happily married. Yet when her husband left her, her life truly began. She turned to religion for answers but decided that blaming God for her woes was a cop-out. 

In this absorbing and moving memoir, Molina-Marshall’s vivid storytelling is fearless. She frankly discusses the truths she discovered and the indignities she suffered. These admissions are disclosed with a touch of resignation and plenty of bite. However painful, everything she experienced was a lesson, and she bravely realized that she was part of the problem: “The fear of being hurt, rejected, or abused often led to me feeling lonely and misunderstood. No one knew the agonizing pain I felt being trapped in my thoughts and anger. I was becoming my biggest threat.” 

The author skillfully recounts her intricate spiritual journey. To deal with her psychic wounds, she searched for an inspirational system. Her open-mindedness led her to the interfaith concept—cherry-picking from various religions and spiritual movements, yoga, and Indigenous beliefs as a way of finding peace. Along with her female partner, she built a therapy practice, making use of every spiritual element that aided her and others. The road was bumpy, and she found that women of color in same-sex relationships were not welcomed everywhere. To do good works—and finally live on her own terms—she effectively overcame bigotry.

An engrossing, cathartic account of empathy and success through determination and confidence.

Pub Date: May 3, 2022   |    ISBN: 978-0-578-38315-6  |   Page Count: 264    | Publisher: From Trauma to Triumph  |   Review Posted Online: June 13, 2022