Meet me at the depths – Heidi Lopez


2016 was a year of growth the likes of which I’ve never experienced. I’ve done a bad job documenting it. 25 was a year of beginnings and endings. I started to develop my spiritual practices, and dug deep in my core to understand what I needed to excavate in order to plant new roots. I wrote publicly about the deepest trauma I’ve lived through, and continued to ground myself the best that I could. I completely switched careers, and started to learn how to navigate being a teacher and a student at the same time. It was one of the biggest leaps I’ve made to date, and I know that I’m all the better for it.

It was a reminder that fear of the unknown, or dwelling on the worst possible outcome, can paralyze people. A while before I took that leap, the thought of a new beginning was on my mind for some time. Then when an opportunity presented itself, I could of been afraid of the conventions and ideas other people had for my life. My career. My happiness. My path. My depths. My heights. The dualities and challenges around who I was and who I was becoming were always at the surface of 25. The simultaneous call to arms and the cease fire. The lull of radical stillness and the rush of constant movement.

The biggest polarity I was tasked with navigating in the second half of 2016 was to move from being fearful to fearing less. Not fearless, because I believe that we need all emotions in order to navigate the world in all of it’s complexities. Fearing less so that I was able to continue to move just enough to be in a space filled with 31 children who love me unconditionally. To be taught over and over by them when it comes to my perceptions of love has saved me in ways I don’t think I’ll ever be able to full capture with words. But I can try.

With the ending of 25, I’m learning a lot about what the themes of 26 will be for me. It’s happening at a pace that I didn’t anticipate at all. I don’t think that my hashtag is coming on the heels of the one year anniversary of this essay on self-care and grieving. After attending a vision board party with the Brujas of Brooklyn and Fearless Leon, I’m finally on the other side of realizing the power in my name, and am working towards that level of reverence for the rest of my beings/selves. My vision board has the feel of the depths I'm wading in, the faith that I have in myself, and the affirmations that I need to be my true self. With #TrueImage2017, created with my vision board, I’ve been pushing myself to share parts of my journey on Instagram. Sometimes it’s a poet’s words with my interpretation, eventually there will be my own spells and prayers in the mix. Either way, the hashtag and these essays, a part of the 52 Essays in 2017 Challenge, are a glimpse into my rituals and the core of who I am. That core and my rituals, thus far, haven’t changed in spite of the shifts and curve balls I’ve been thrown.

There’s definitely something to be said about lessons staying with you until you’ve completely, wholeheartedly over and understood what you needed to learn. Those curve balls reminded me of that real quick. Since I didn’t get all of the lesson, I went back to those rituals I found at the start of various transformations in my life. I played capoeira for the first time in seven months with a new group and fell in love all over again with the practice. I painted for the first time in nearly fifteen years. I intentionally sing to myself. I craft playlists and have become a low key DJ (you can catch my Spirit playlist here). In this past week alone I’ve been reminded of the resilience of my muscle memory. That I am blessed in that I can pick up practices and teachings, and no matter how far I stray, I can come back and continue to grow. To give thanks for all that I am and what I will become. To dig even deeper. To love that much harder. To reach that much higher. To believe in being believed in. Because the time is now.

This piece is a part of the #52Essays2017 challenge conjured by Vanessa Martir. Check out the intention here.

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