Transparent

I had this idea that I would be able to drop this on the Capricorn Full Moon, but moving to a new home said nah. Between moving to a new borough and stepping into a new month, something that has helped me tremendously is being able to move. Movement as a healing modality is something I’ve offered before, and I’ll probably write about it again. But these first two weeks in Brooklyn have allowed me to move in a way that I never did in Harlem. Seven cycles Uptown have grounded me and prepared me in ways that I couldn’t have even imagined, especially while I was dragging my feet across the Triborough, feeling small and wanting to stay in the comfortable narrative that I had designed in Harlemworld.

But in these past two weeks, particularly after that Full Moon, I realized how much of a disservice I would be doing to myself if I didn’t let go of that feeling of wanting to play small. As if my time settling into Brooklyn has been an extended shaking meditation. It’s something I navigate all the time, somewhere tip toeing around being humble but then not really naming all that I am and all that I will be. Because I’m too much. Too vast. Too powerful. Too blessed. Shedding these narratives that no longer served me allowed me to focus on how to respond. How to be responsible with my communities and with myself. How to respond to my needs first so that I can be in my full self. And only after that has been processed, how to respond in a consistent and transparent way.

Being consistently visible requires that we’re consistently vulnerable. Not everyone can do that. Not everyone can do it all the time. Some people can’t do it at all. This is okay. But I think it’s more about the practice and intention of sharing that part of us with ourselves and others that makes the difference. So how can we be more transparent with ourselves? Because we definitely can’t be about intentional communities if we aren’t doing that work for ourselves, by ourselves. Or conversely, we can be about it on the shallow end, totally avoid doing the work we need to do be our best self, but let ego and self-doubt get in the way, somehow gaslighting the very people we’re allegedly trying to support.

How to love that’s not from a place from lack and also how to navigate living in New York City that feels as if it was designed to remind you that you constantly lack something. Some material good, some possession, some idea, or even worse - some idea of who you are supposed to be. That space that does not allow you to be full and abundant. It’s a crushing space that has forced so many of my people into confined spaces of anguish, wondering how they will survive, how they’re going to pay their bills, how are they going to eat. Not how are they going to nourish themselves, how are they going to prioritize their healing, or how are they going to show up for others.

Somewhere in this space in time it's become clear to me that my people are DIY-ing to survive but also my people are also dying. Working to live and living to work. The irony is that the majority of these folks are the folks that have felt the weight of the transparent institutional isms and phobias (racism, cissexism, transphobia, Islamophobia, etc) but have chosen to respond. To respond to the failures of our health care system by learning how to be in community with the land. To respond to our truest desires and leave jobs that no longer serve us, inspiring those of us who aren't able to do the same. To respond to the lack of QTPOC, WOC therapists by holding support groups and circles.

There’s levels to this shit. And not everyone is going to have the same access and privileges that you do. To know your cycles and your needs is a privilege. There’s some days where I don’t have access to the power that I need to create and birth what I want for my projects and my tribe. But I’ve gotten to the level of standing under my fears being an impostor to knowing when I need to step back and recharge. Of knowing who can have (un)limited access to me at any given moment, and to the point where I don’t think folks need access to me at all and I turn off my phone. As a dark-skinned Black woman, folks that look like me historically didn’t have access to their own agency and to choose their own healing over that of Whiteness in all of its forms of oppression.  To respond to their needs. To respond to their wildest thoughts. To respond to their people. To tap into their deepest dreams of liberation.

It is from this legacy that I choose to continue to respond by navigating this named contradiction of wanting to respond and be there for all my people, tribes, communities and families - but knowing full well that it is also a blessing to be able to not respond and trust in these same communities. To trust that others can and will respond in my absence. That we truly indeed got us and will continue to embody that DIY culture while critiquing the systems that set it up this way. To access knowledge and lineages that have been transparent, just lying behind the surface, or just out of reach. But to also carry this weight and lift so the next seven to come after me do not have to carry as much. It takes reminders from my folks, usually my roommate who reminded me last week that not everyone can consistently step up and lead the way that I do. But it is because of the work that I’m moving, sweating, bleeding and crying through that I can carry that weight.

To keep this bottled up and veiled doesn’t allow me to see when and how to refill my own cup. Nevermind everyone else’s, with love. Bearing witness to these prayers is my version of alchemy.

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