It’s that time again! This will be third round of Energy Body Mastery for Eagle Therapies. After this, we will be switching to offering this incredible class through Restore Forward. Already know you want to sign up? Save a scroll to the bottom and click here.
What is Energy Body Mastery?
It is a 7-week course designed to help you navigate the challenges of living in our everyday contemporary lives. The first 4 weeks are all about gathering the tools and learning the components of the system, and weeks 5-7 are about putting the pieces together to explore our inner landscape. Most people are aware of some of these tools, like grounding and boundaries, but the application of these tools can fall short of us living our life’s purpose. Most often people settle for “just enough” in our Western, contemporary, life. But what if we could have our energy body flow in a way that supports our unique genius in the world? This is a class that builds on a basic foundation in a common language that we can share/understand and start applying these techniques that grows our mastery of these skills. These teachings come from the Last Mask Center and if you would like a further explanation you can feel free to read this in depth course material page.
Let’s take boundaries as an example
Almost everyone knows they need better boundaries but few people know how to actually, energetically create them. You can learn the language and mindset and you also need to actually energetically take daily steps to create them.
The problem with a purely psychological approach is that it’s mental. We learn rationally what we’re supposed to do to create healthy boundaries in our relationships, but the underlying stories and energetic patterns are still unaddressed.
And unaddressed, the oldest story wins. We tend to feel either boundaryless and at the mercy of others’ emotions and moods or stuck in rigid hard inflexible boundaries that keep us feeling isolated and brittle.
We need to address the energetic patterns at the root of our choices if we want to sustainably and consistently make new choices. We need to:
- cultivate the energy that healthy, flexible, boundaries need.
- learn what intelligent, nuanced boundaries look like.
- craft and transform the boundaries we have into the boundaries we need.
- discern what new choices we need to make in our life to support these boundaries.
- Imagine enjoying boundaries that allow you to truly be open to whatever life brings you throughout your day.
Here are some questions that can start opening up your own exploration of your boundaries:
- Do you feel you have a right to take up space and be big regardless of your environment and the people you are with?
- Is it easy for you to say a strong yes and strong no?
- Are you able to ask for what you need clearly and proactively in any given situation?
- Do you generally feel safe and protected?
- Do you feel you can trust your instincts?
- Are you comfortable standing in conflict compassionately, whether the conflict is internal or external with others?
Come join us!
This event will be scheduled for an hour and a half with a short amount of time for question and answer. They will be on Tuesdays, starting at 3pm Pacific/6pm Eastern time. You can feel free to join us live on zoom (it tends to be better that way), or you can watch the recordings and send in email check ins. The schedule is as follows:
Week 1: Grounding – April 11th
Week 2: Truth Cord – April 18th
Week 3: Boundaries – April 25th
Week 4: Inner Landscape – May 2nd
Week 5: Sovereignty – May 16th
Week 6: Basic Clearing – May 23rd
Week 7: Embracing our authenticity – May 30th
Payment and Sign Up
In the spirit of Eagle Therapies, this course will be offered in the sliding scale model. It can be all at once or broken up into payments to honor the economic needs of different social groups. When the class is offered through Last Mask Center, the ticket price is $300. The suggested donation price is $100, but if you are still interested then please email email@example.com for accommodations. If you identify as BIPOC or another marginalized group, feel free to adjust your price accordingly based off of what feels right in your heart. If you are white presenting, able bodied, or have more access to monetary funds, consider giving on the higher end of the scale.
There will be an introductory webinar that will be hosted on zoom on April 10th to go into more detail about what this course is all about. If you are interested, you can either sign up through meetup, eventbrite, or with this sign up form.
I am absolutely over the moon and happy to announce that I landed myself a dream job position at a non-profit! Several weeks ago, I was invited to go to Mexico to participate in some podcast recordings by the beach. One thing led to another and here I am, hired as Special Programs Faculty at Restore Forward! So much deep gratitude to Farah Tanis for the introduction and happy to do my part to elevate the work of Black Women’s Blueprint
This couldn’t come at a more perfect time, because I’ll be able to do remote work, get paid to travel, and prepare myself for moving across the country! I’m quickly re-discovering my passion is supporting the Cycle Teachings at the Last Mask Center because they are central to my foundations, and I’ve witnessed so many people engage with these classes and be transformed. I relocate in June after the end of Sweet Potato season at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, to live in the Pacific Northwest! I found a good farming community a short distance away from Portland, so things are definitely coming together <3
So here’s to organizing classes on permaculture, organic farming, seed keeping, and teaching classes on earth based practices that help us restore broken ecosystems. Both spiritual and physical
There are two major classes that I would like to announce. One is Energy Body Mastery that I will be starting on April 11th, and the second one is the Intentional Communities Primer course that was originally starting on the same day, but we decided to postpone it until May 2023.
More details soon to come! For now, enjoy the ocean!
I’ve been behind the ball with announcing this, but I managed to post about it on social media! Life has been very busy, but I’m blessed to take a moment to shamelessly self-promote this sing-along album that is now available on Spotify, Amazon Music, and Bandcamp.
This album was a humble offering that isn’t meant to be anything flashy, it was born out of a place where I wanted to play certain songs in playlists for dance parties but they weren’t recorded yet. The original album I put up on Bandcamp, and I was able to separate out the songs from the stories that introduced the song. I love the songs, but I feel it gives a different quality of depth to also express the stories behind the songs.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to keep that same level of integrity when moving to the other platforms. My recording label advised it was best to separate out the albums, so that’s why there’s a Songs and Stories album, and a plain album with just the songs by themselves. The CD cover you see above is the one for just the songs, and the Songs and Stories album has some grass below the buffalo with the subtitle “Songs and Stories Album”. Each song on the Stories album has the track name with a – Story label so that you can tell the difference between the two songs. My favorite two stories are the Irritable Owl Syndrome story and the Crazy Woman cupcake story.
As an additional note, I fully expect that I will not become super popular on Spotify because this really is a niche in repetitive, altered state of consciousness chanting kind of music that’s meant to be sung along to. And let’s be realistic, Spotify pays artists $0.001 per play, so in order for me to even make $1, the songs would need to be played at least 1000 times. If you do love this album, or find yourself singing the songs, consider buying a song from Bandcamp because that’s where the money really goes into the artists hands. Please consider this for all of your musical friends, and support artists when you can. Thankfully I have other jobs so I’m not stressing about making this a primary form of income, but think about it for the artist friends that you know. Let’s keep meaningful heart filled expressions of art in the world.
Some have already asked, “Why didn’t you include the story about how you got hit by lightning?!” And my answer is because Buffalo is already on this album, and this album is dedicated to him, and the rest of the buffalo nation. One near death experience per album. The lightning will be for the next album, haha!
So until then, you have this album to enjoy! Thank you all for your support!
It has been quite the refreshing season the past few weeks! As some may know, my work with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange has kept me busy during our fall shipping season. Now that it is winding down, I have successfully reached out to many networks and have saved many rootlets of both goldenseal and ginseng from going to the compost. If you happen to be viewing this blog post in time, that will be the topic of tomorrow’s journey group!
I just wanted to post a brief little schedule since it’s been a while since I sent out a newsletter. Things have been moving so fast paced that I completely forgot to update my list serve that two of my favorite people and I are starting a feminine centered group for women presenting, gender fluid, and non-binary people called the Moon Water Collective. You can find out more information here. It will be taking up the empty slot between the bi-weekly journey groups.
Without further ado, here is the schedule for the remainder of November and December in Eastern Standard Time:
- Wednesday, Nov 16th at 7pm – Shamanic Journey Group
- Wednesday, Nov 23 at 7pm – Moon Water Collective
- Wednesday, Dec 7th – Shamanic Journey Group
- Sunday, Dec 11th at 4pm – Shamanic Journey Group Workshop for beginners and with journey group after for all experience levels
- Wednesday, Dec 21 at 7pm – Shamanic Journey Group
- Sunday, Jan 1 at 4pm – New Years Journey Event
All events are accessible via Zoom, but if you would like to attend in person, just message!
We had the privilege of visiting Antelope canyons during our road trip this summer. It taught me so much, and I am grateful to be able to share the gifts of what it taught me. Antelope canyon is on the Diné reservation in Arizona, and it brought me such peace that most of the tour companies are native owned.
Our guide explained how the sandstone formed, and even did the magic trick of making a sandstone formation with water and sand. I was amazed at the process, but it reminded me of the power of small simple steps. And how powerful it can be to continue layer by layer of action. If you zoom in to see the layers of sandstone on the pictures, each layer is what happens when sand blows around, then is solidified in place by water when it rains. It’s the constant baking of sediment runoff, then more layers every time it rains. Over time, it compounds and the pressure of all that sand eventually turns it into sandstone.
How powerful to realize that our actions can mimic that of nature. A whole lifetime of choices could produce such beauty that layer upon layer of events happening to us as individuals create such works of art that others could benefit from years after we die. This is the legacy I want to leave, and the sandstone reminds me that it’s a step at a time, a commitment at a time, and a choice at a time.
Many people have made the comment to me that it looks like I live a very magical life. To be honest, I’ve lowered my bills, live in community, share resources, and I’m able to save up enough money to go on these excursions. It also helps to camp at free campsites, which involves a lot of planning for a road trip. There are many variables you can control, while a lot that you can’t. When I try to explain to people the joy of connecting with the land, I have had some peoples’ eyes gloss over when I start talking about composting toilets or getting their hands dirty by weeding. Their automatic response feels like a pulling away energetically in conversation when they go, “It’s not for me”. Then there’s this barrier I feel, like standing on the other side of the slot canyon. I can see the other side, but it can be hard to reach or connect.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to know what your limits and boundaries are in terms of what makes you happy and comfortable in life. I share my passion openly about wanting to live off grid, to be able to grow my own food, and share this “burden” with a group of people who have the same values. I notice that sometimes when I share this passion, I see the disconnect that it creates when I engage with some people. They mark me with various labels so they can categorize me in the “that’s nice” category, filing me under “tree hugger” “hippy” or “granola”. I see my lifestyle as nothing more than a fantasy to them. Something that’s full of hard work, roughing it, and sacrificing a lot.
Yes, I admit that when I get used to air conditioning, it’s hard to go back outside when it’s so hot out. But when I live without, I just use fans and choose the temporary discomfort of the outdoors to prioritize my connection to nature. Yes. It’s that important to me, because I find the value of nature and being in relationship with it means a lot to me. There are so many ways that we as humans could live in harmony with nature, but it starts with baby steps. Just like the layers that it takes to build sandstone. And just as Mother Nature creates, she also destroys. The things that are parts of the old lifestyle that need to die will be washed away like the walkable paths of the slot canyons. So many people talk about the economy collapsing, but I’m not as worried because I’ve got grass roots connections where I’ll be okay if the supply chain conditions worsen and grocery stores aren’t carrying as much food.
My life isn’t a fantasy. It’s real. I’m living dreams I never dared to dream over a decade ago. I’ve met so many amazing people in my travels that I no longer feel lonely about living “more green”. Instead, I’m inspired by the people I visit, places I stay, and the thing deepest to my heart – the land that speaks to me in whispering sand, echoes of wind, and fire trapped in stone. But yet to many, it’s unachievable. So I stand in the slot canyons, inspired in awe at the beauty of the natural world, while many people drift by with their eyes glued to their phone. Because from above, a slot canyon can just look like a crack in the ground.
I ask how I can bridge this gap and connect? The answer I feel in my bones is knowing what is mine to do. I’m not meant to connect to everyone, and no one human is meant to do it all. I’ll connect with those in the slot canyon that wish to appreciate beauty for what it is. I choose connection in the other people looking up in awe.
I’m just here sharing the threads of my life, and the foundation that builds me just as much as I allow myself to be built. Layer by layer, and one step at a time. Thanks for listening.
Originally Posted July 5th, 2022
In early 2017, I had an anaphylactic reaction that almost cost me my life. I collapsed on the floor of a Walgreens while I was trying to get Benadryl. While the paramedics were trying to resuscitate me, I had a visit with a bull buffalo spirit and he offered the option to stay or to come with him. Since that moment, when I chose life, buffalo had a deep meaning for me.
My relationship with buffalo has challenged and stretched me in so many ways, that I always try to give back whenever possible. When buffalo asked for me to visit Yellowstone as I planned this summer road trip, I knew it was going to be a big visit.
After doing research, I found out that Yellowstone was one of the first established National Parks. One of the reasons (that’s not talked about in history books) is because they continued the “starve the Indian” movement until there were only two dozen Buffalo left in the United States. Once they realized that they had almost exterminated a key species that helped shape the geography of North America, government officials realized they needed to do something to preserve that land mass. They were herded at Pelican Valley, and Yellowstone became their sanctuary.
Dreams of buffalo graced my nights as the time got closer, until I was in the park. As most may know, Yellowstone was flooded due to the huge amounts of rain (which is a good thing because for several years there had been a drought). The day we arrived at the park, it was the same day that the southern loop re-opened. Since we had reservations we were kept “in the know” as soon as the park flooded (links of the helicopter footage showcasing destroyed roads in the comments). When we finally settled into our first night in the park, I dreamt of the land being so angry at humans. The land showed up as the big buffalo bull that visited me in 2017. I asked the buffalo, “But what about me? I’m a human.” The bull snuffled and stomped his foot, making me look down and I realized I was a calf. From there the bull turned away from me to face the tourists that were still gawking, and that’s what the bull/land was really upset at. I was suddenly swarmed and protected by the momma buffalo, pushed into the center. I felt loved, safe, and tender as I woke up with a start.
That morning when I drove, I saw herds of momma buffalo with their calves. The one that came up and out of the fog looked at me after I stopped the camera, and I felt the message of, “We will take care of you, little calf”.
In that, I grow to learn that these elders are my teachers. The land speaks to me in ways that breaks my heart open and I cry rivers of tears. The land has known huge loss, but also unimaginable abundance. I will always be the little sister of creation. Humans are not the center of the world, as we make ourselves out to be.
We, as humans, are not doing our “job” to tend these sacred places. It was originally the First Nations people of this land (and I only speak for North America) who tended that relationship with the land from the perspective of being a steward. They cared for and allowed the earth to not be touched in certain places – because it was only for the wild. They only went where they were invited. We have lost that because humans only view the land as something to be owned, tamed and dominated. But as we can see, the anger of the land can be felt in natural disasters. Yellowstone was tired of people just gawking at the features without taking in WHY to preserve these things. We need to be pushed out of this consumerist mindset of visiting these places of wilderness and nature.
Admittedly, the parks system did not do a good job with tending this land in the beginning. There’s an article linked in the comments of things they have pulled out of some of the thermal features, including socks, bath towels, 76 handkerchiefs, $86.27 in pennies, and $8.10 in other coins. They used to use Old Faithful as a laundromat, and threw freshly caught fish into geysers to have them be cooked by the volcanic features. However, preservation has become more of a priority. Within the past few decades, they’ve started to honor the fumaroles whenever they pop up. They now reroute walkways and roads (due to the washouts and creation of new thermal features) when nature decides to reclaim property that was hers to begin with. Nature has been patient with the little brothers and sisters of creation, but if we don’t start listening there will be more upheaval. If you thought the pandemic was a mere “inconvenience”, then you’re obviously not listening to the signs that nature is trying to show us that she is not happy. I didn’t die and then come back to life just to sit by and say nothing. I was given the opportunity to live, and now I speak on behalf of life.
The way of life we are living in this modern day era is not sustainable. Now that the pandemic is over, I see people acting as if it didn’t happen. They are so glad to go back to “normal”. The reason why the pandemic came was because that semblance of “normal” was not healthy to begin with. We need to wake up and see how our actions are affecting the wider world. If we don’t listen to the land, the land will force us to listen one way or another.
When I spoke before about the land being “angry”, that is a human personification of the land. It doesn’t have human emotions, but that’s the closest I can come to describing how the land feels to me. The land cares about function, and it’s ability to do said function. Places like Yellowstone are not for our pleasure, they are here to serve as a reminder of nature’s ability to heal itself without much human interference. When people take selfies with the fluffy cows or use the volcanic geysers to do their laundry, I’m not surprised that the Yellowstone river flooded its banks and washed out roads, or at the rock slides, fallen trees or bridges destroyed.
So what does this mean for us in our everyday lives? Look at the places in your life where you are not living your function. The places where you have fallen into complacency, burn out, or numbness. How connected are you to nature? If the power in the grid goes out, how will you live? Do you know what the potato plant looks like (you know, the thing that eventually turns into french fries)? Is your life’s purpose connected to mindlessly scrolling through Facebook for entertainment or watching TV on your couch all evening? Start simply by doing small things to connect to nature. I’m not trying to shame anyone. We’re all trying to do the best we can. Look up what different food crops look like or take a tour through a community garden. Take care of a house plant or start a garden if you have the space. We need to do something about bridging this gap where we have created a separation between humans and nature. Nature is not just a spectacle to enjoy on our time off. It represents life, and all life is sacred. So how do we slowly start bringing the sacred into our everyday lives?
I am not a guru or some self help person that’s trying to help fix you or feed you false hope of spiritual bypass. I’m simply a person whose heart breaks whenever I see the impact of human ignorance on natural land features with broken ecosystems. I’m not “in it” for myself, but because I care about the world my grandchildren are going to inherit. And I also want to be nice to the super volcano in the middle of North America.
The world is ready for your medicine. But are you living it?
Originally posted on June 22nd, 2022
I came with the assumption that I needed to heal the land because it was one of my gifts. I again got my ass handed to me by the land, because they showed me they didn’t need the gifts of one human to show up and start paying attention. How grandiose was my thinking that I, as a single person, could heal a big, beautiful land spirit as resilient as the Black Hills of South Dakota.
The land speaks to people in dreams, ideas, and inspirations. When I spoke to the land, I saw how it helped animate the people who lived there. Time and time again, I have seen people who don’t do any shamanic practices at all, follow the will of the land just by paying attention to their dreams.
I originally made a plan to travel through this region to meet up with someone very dear to me. We’ve known each other for many years, and I choose to keep in contact because they have become (and still are) a great teacher for me. They are very fundamentalist, and it can be hard to connect on many levels without moving into judgment myself. I saw how they are in living in such disharmonious ways with the earth, and how their practices of fear keep them stuck in some of these mental loops. The question was not how can I change them, but the real question was: How can I love them just the way they are and still be present in this relationship while still honoring my boundaries?
Thus I felt called to get an AirBnB instead of staying with them. I depart from their place to land here at a lovely home where I get to rent out the basement (my son and I both have food allergies, so it’s difficult to travel. We prefer having our own kitchen, especially since he is injured and on crutches at the moment) of a lovely couple. The husband in the relationship is an army veteran. I have a soft spot in my heart for veterans because my dad is one.
I felt so motivated by how this original person was living in such disharmonious ways with the earth, that I wanted to offer some healing to this land in apology, on behalf of humanity. The land shoved it back in my face, saying it didn’t need to be healed “in that way”. But I was called to this particular plot of land for a reason. I was shown how the land owner here has been such a good steward of this property, that the land has gotten to know his heart. Even though this man uses grasses that aren’t native to this area, trees brought in from different countries/regions, etc. The land loved him anyway because he tended the land and the garden here so well. No, it wasn’t perfect, but the man listened to his heart and dreams.
In that process of the land getting to know his heart through his actions of tending, the land noticed that something was missing. This is common for veterans who come back from war and get diagnosed with PTSD. They are missing vital parts of their essence that don’t get returned to them because of the trauma they experience while in service to our country.
So I reached out to the land, compelled by my compassion to heal the land for how heartbroken I was to see humans living out of relationship with the earth. And instead the land asked a favor of me to help heal the man whose property I happen to be staying on. I felt how deeply the land cared for this man, and how honest the ask was to help because it couldn’t understand the human complexities of war and PTSD. So I did a soul retrieval for this man. Instead of giving the soul parts back to the human (which is what I get paid for and what I do for my clients, but I had no consent from the human in this case), I gave it to the land as a custodian. The land agreed this would be the best fit, for as he tended the land, the land could slowly gift him back his soul parts as he was ready.
This whole interaction reminded me of this excerpt from a book I’m listening to with my son as we travel across country together. The book is, “Neither Wolf Nor Dog” by Kent Nerburn, in which he writes a book based off of his relationship with a Dakota elder who asks for his help to write a book. To protect his identity, in the book, he refers to him as Dan.
Dan thus writes, “Hello, my friends. I am going to speak to you now. I have thought about this for many years. I have always tried to follow the ways of my grandfathers. In my ears I have heard the words of Sitting Bull, telling me that white people are not to be trusted. But I have also heard the words of Black Kettle, who told us to reach out a hand of peace. I have carried them both in my heart. Now that I am old I have decided to speak. There are many of my people who would have me keep silent. They feel we must continue to hide ourselves from the white man. They say that every time we have offered our hand we have been destroyed. But there is no more place to hide. The white man controls the air we breathe and the water we drink. He comes among us for good and for ill. Our numbers are small, but we are strong in heart. The Creator did not put our people here to be destroyed and forgotten…The voice of our people needs to be heard. If I remain silent, our voice is silenced by one. So I choose to speak. If at times my words seem angry, you must forgive me. In my mind, there is great anger. No one who has seen the suffering of our children and the tears of our grandmothers can not be angry. But in my heart I struggle to forgive, because the land is my teacher, and the land says to forgive. If the mountain can forgive the scarring and the mining, and can cover over her gashes with the fresh grasses of summer, should I not, too, be able to cover over the gashes with the fresh grasses of kindness and understanding? If the forest can survive the murder of all her children, and rise again once more in beauty, should I not, too, be able to survive the murder of my people and once again raise my heart toward the sun? It is not easy for a man to be as great as a mountain or a forest. But that is why the Creator gave them to us as teachers. Now that I am old I look once more toward them for lessons, instead of trying to understand the ways of men. They tell me to be patient. They tell me I cannot change what is, I can only hope to change what will become. Let the grasses grow over our scars, they say, and let the flowers bloom over our wounds. If I have spoken too much, or spoken wrongly, may others speak out to make it right. If I have spoken truly, may others hear the words and take them to their hearts. I am only a man. I was not given a seat at the head of my people and I was not raised up to speak for them. I say these things because I believe they must be said. Others may come who can say them better. When they do, I will stand aside. But I am old, and I cannot wait. I have chosen to speak. I will be silent no more.”
How fitting that quote comes from a man who has generations rooted in this very land that I stand on right now.
The land taught me a lesson that I needed to hear. It knocked me down a few pegs, and I am filled with gratitude at how life is already working, we just need to get on board and be in the flow of healing. I am here for it. I am grateful for the opportunity to sit and listen to what is needed at the moment. And I’m also happy to step out of the way.
Did you know that Thailand still honors its old animist roots? I’ve visited temples (called Wats) where they do their best to work with the existing nature and history to still update it and make it more accessible for travelers to visit. Absolutely love how they cut holes to make their decks go around trees instead of chopping them down. They also refresh the blessings and re-adorn statues according to some of the Thai holidays or moon cycles (that’s what the yellow cloth is). This is part Buddhist in influence, to minimize the harm done to others, including other-then-humans.
Often when exploring Thailand, you will see a shrine like this one (I actually took that picture at a gas station). These are shrines dedicated to the spirits of the land, and some are to honor ancestors or other beings. The English translation is something like “Spirit house”. These tend to be refreshed daily in the morning. I’ve seen them everywhere, including on a shelf in a shop within an airport. I’ve witnessed a shrine like this in the middle of a busy traffic circle and people rushing through traffic with armfuls of offerings in order to pray! The theory is, that if you have a nice place for wandering spirits to visit, they will not bother to haunt a house because they will have everything they need at this little outdoor house. I found it to be a lovely place to give offerings or meditate.
After asking some questions of the locals, I was amazed to find out that Thai people would NEVER consider bulldozing over a cemetery. Even though the younger generations don’t believe as much, I have heard of some still tending the shrine on land they inherit. Not because they believe, but more out of, “Well… what if it’s true?” I’m part of the younger generation trying to learn the old ways, and I’m proud to see this country being proud of their animist roots, where it’s normalized to give offerings daily. Please be respectful if you happen to see one, and if you feel called, give a little Wai (Thai greeting of respect) or some small snacks from your bag.
Here is yet another post that I’m backlogged in updating on the website.
Going back to Thailand to take care of family business also got my mind to researching some more about Thailand and it’s history. I grew up in the United States and never really bothered to research it or look back at it. I suspect that some of the reason why was because of the traumatic upbringing that being raised by a mentally unstable parent can create. I felt a lot of unresolved ancestral baggage, and a lot of my personal work has been able to prepare me for learning about Thailand’s history and not see it through the lens of my own trauma. I’m grateful I took the years to process my own personal work so I could learn the history in an unbiased way.
One of the things that I absolutely love about Thailand is that it was one of the only countries in South East Asia to maintain its sovereignty against the colonizing forces of England, Portugal, and France. The Thai people are very proud of their history and culture, and have managed to mostly keep out practices they didn’t agree with, and yet integrated those that fit their perspective of how they view life. My favorite mindset they have is “Sabai Sabai”, which is very similar to taking your time and not rushing. I love the very Buddhist centered teaching of being in the moment and enjoying.
Thailand is very much known as the “land of smiles”, and I feel like the “Sabai sabai” mentality is part of that. If you really do take the time to be expansive in the moment and feel grateful for what you have, it is easy to have a positive mindset, even in the face of adversity.
Originally posted May 4th, 2022
I wish to share something very dear to my heart. As I have been close to many that have struggles with gender identity, I absolutely love the fact that Thailand as a whole is very accepting of gender fluidity. When I dressed as a man the first few days I was here (mostly because my mom wanted me to cover up my tattoos), I was addressed as a male, no questions. At first I was upset because I strongly identified as a woman, but then I was able to play with it. The more I soaked in the acceptance I felt, the more I was able to find it within myself.
People can change how they want to be addressed on a daily basis based off of how they dress and how they use the Thai speech (there are different endings for politeness in male speech vs. female speech). If a man wanted to dress as a woman and identify as a woman that day, everyone addressed her as her (at least from what I have witnessed).
In fact, many foreigners come to Thailand for gender reaffirming surgeries, because unfortunately where they live it’s either not accepted or too expensive. Thailand has a good reputation for medical procedures (especially in Bangkok), but of course it can be a gamble.
One thing that Thailand has taught me is to be comfortable in my own skin, and embrace how I show up in the world by just having confidence in how I want to be seen. Dress politely around temples, but then if I want to dress like a man, that’s okay too (although I’m really loving these Thai skirts). As long as I’m polite to others, that’s what matters.
May we all find the strength to embrace the ways we show up in the world that bring us happiness, joy, and inner peace. Because Gods know that the outer world needs peace with all that is happening right now. But peace comes from within ourselves first.
As an addendum to this post, my most recent trip in August of this year has highlighted that not everywhere in Thailand is as welcoming. I guess this is the same for any country, but it tends to be more progressive in the cities, while more conservative in the outskirts. I feel that since I was blessed with an ability to stay there longer then the average tourist, some of the glamour also faded. It was humbling to realize that we all deal with the same issues, more or less – it’s just that the surface tension of how those issues present are different across different cultures. I still say that Thailand as a whole is very welcoming and open, accepting of who a person is, but I have also encountered some friction. Most likely it’s due to western, colonial ideas being integrated into the current frame of mind, but that’s just my suspicion.
Thank you for reading <3