Sacred Reciprocity Part II: How to cultivate a sacred notion of give and take in our everyday life?
Step one Intentionality: Intentionality is a walk towards humility and grace
The practice of offering (i.e. Sacred Reciprocity) is intended to counteract our natural tendency to feel entitled to our blessings. Especially in these times, we have taken so much for granted, for certain, more than we like to admit or even understand. There are so many nuances to this. This is a great blog to sit with or journal about. Remembering what’s important is one of the key things to help you get closer to how you want to be a better participant of the solution to better this Earth. We’re all walking each other home, after all.
Some of us have made it a practice to bless our food, some may even thank the plants and animals that have sacrificed their life for our nourishment. Some may actually remember the farmers workers who have tended these sources of food. As we delve deeper into the rabbit hole… how often do we pause to give gratitude for the earth that nourishes the food or the oxygen these plants give us to breathe? How often do we spend time thankfulness for a breath of clean air? The beauty of nature all around us? The minerals our earth makes available for our technology? The oil we use to drive our cars or power our homes? We don’t tend to spend much time feeling grateful for such things because we feel entitled to them, as if we are owed them. The few indigenous cultures who have been preserved do not take such things for granted. Nature exists in a dynamic balance of interconnected relationships and exchanges. When more is taken than returned, the results are depletion, imbalance and system collapse. Our walk on this Earth is a bit confusing especially as you start to work in intentionality and grace. Walking in intentionality is a deliberate and slowly paced mantra of humility and grace.
“Humble, doesn’t get the bills paid” I overheard a co-worker once say. “You have to ask for your worth otherwise you’ll never get it.” That made sense to me at the time for more reasons than one. Coming from poverty into the working class after busting my chops getting through school and working minimum wage paying jobs, and a life's problems, I couldn’t help but wonder why some people earned what they earned. The hustling in today’s world to overcome poverty is unrealistic and when the other boot finally drops and you learn that your worth is never met even after jumping hoops to do so makes reality a bit grim. Disproportionately wealth is kept for the 1% of the U.S population and those who seek to keep it are in the power seats. Alas, what can we actually do about it?
This is actually an internal problem that requires an internal solution.
One product sold in capitalism is the underlying problem is that there isn't “enough” and yet, we consume more and more of everything everyday. Binge watching shows, social media intake, a 40 hour work week with “overtime”- our time, our energy, our personal resources and space are being bargained for and at a low rate. If your time was broken down day to day, what are you really doing and how much is actually in connection with the Earth? That answer is actually how you learn to give back to yourself and the things that most matter. Now let me remind you, this answer, although personal, has a ripple effect and in collective effort makes an even bigger impact. Stay with me… If you sit with this long enough, it’s actually mind boggling how much of you stretches out and where your energy goes. It isn’t entirely for your benefit but someone else’s. If you are alive and breathing right now, obviously you made it through a lot of societal wounds not including generational trauma (no matter who you are). But let’s not exclude, life is a mess and a huge heaping pile of dog doo do because of this warped construct we call capitalism.
As you become more attuned, you learn quickly what matters… How do we work within a system to help others attune to that truth as well? How do we divest? The answer is actually quite simple. Connection. True, beautiful, meaningful connection; With ourselves, others and of course mother earth. We have lived through some cyclone wars in what we some folk realize as the Initiation Of The Collapse of the Capitalist Patriarchy. Things are changing and rapidly. The world is not as we know it and the beast is rearing its ugly head in violence, hate, fear mongering and the judgement of the collapsing paradigm. Fear keeps people in perpetual colonial violence. How this manifests for each person is different. For white folk, it's holding on to power, holding on to wealth and remaining quiet and unempathetic. For BIPOC is surrendering and giving up power. This doesn’t even begin to cover the fact that our precious resources, animals, water and other important aspects of our planet are equal or more valuable than human life itself. We are a rare breed and we are selfish. Humans are a very fragile species, fear runs deep here.
That brings me to the misallocation of water- the water conservers and fighters (boy, do I Honor them). If you don’t know water is being removed or polluted from vulnerable communities. How disproportionately BIPOC’s are getting hit the hardest! Flint Michigan, the pipelines. Yeah, those issues are not gone! No coincidences here! When you remove the indigenous people, you remove the indigenous knowledge and sacredness of the land. BUT WE WILL NOT STOP!
If I were to pull a card on the Earth it would be the Wheel of Fortune (i.e Pluto return is a mess, girl) and the destiny of the planet is at stake, the hand on the wheel can honestly land anywhere and it could be a not so happy ending. We must act now! As a society we are going through it. On a smaller, more personal scale, we are going through it. So that’s all the more reason why this conversation needs to be had. Take this in for a moment.
Reflect. (Journaling would be highly recommended during this time.)
When was the last time you connected with mother earth?
What are you taking for granted?
Where are you giving freely without any expectation of getting anything in return?
How much time, energy, and effort are you investing in healthy relationships? Toxic ones?
What is your relationship to yourself?
Where are you living in excess?
Where do you feel depleted?
Where can you give back- to yourself, others, and mother earth?
Eeek, I know those are deep reflections. I have been there and sometimes fall prey to this moment in time. Divesting is not easy when we are programmed kind of like robots to make more and take more. The 8am-3pm school system taught us we are formidable and need to walk a narrow path, otherwise you aren’t a part of the cool kids club. If you need a moment, take the time now and come back later to read the rest. Assurance is given at this time to let you know that even though you are human and fall prey to unbalanced cycles of give and take, you are still chosen to do the work to bring back balance to the force. It takes a lot of remembering and reminders to aid this process. It is continual. I believe you are worthy of a happy, healthy and balanced life.
Remember the toilet paper incident of 2020? Let me preface this topic with a short story: Once upon a time, I used to be thankful for small things like toilet paper and would post it on social media like I was cute. OMG! I look back now and I can't help but think that I was doing the most! I was young and really learning how to be grateful that I could afford TP on the regular. Makes me wonder if we are all in fact worried about running out of TP or just grew up in the struggle. Anywho, if you must know, I wasn’t a hoarder during the 2020 incident. I learned a long time ago about supply and demand. I learned that there will be more, because we live in the U.S. where we have a surplus of sh*t we don’t need it and it multiplies fast and a CEO waiting to exploit for riches. This isn’t entirely one’s fault. It actually is a more complex role we play in the programming of the capitalist patriarchy. Now this topic is a bit heavy as we don’t often know how we may collude with this system consciously and sometimes we do. This affects the planet at large. It is a layered process. As you become more aware of yourself the more you can divest yourself. Not everything is going to be perfect. It's a process but I need you to first get a gist of how you are colluding so we can move forward. Ya dig?
Your relationship with yourself matters. Your relationship and how you engage with others matters. How you engage with your neighbor matters. How you engage in your community matters. This is your imprint. What you are doing right now is an imprint of the world at large and how you are moving within that, matters. I was taught at an early age to be very humble and not ask for much, or anything at all really. It’s a double sided thing but the good that comes from it is that it comes naturally for me to revert to understanding that I am one person and the people, places, and things that I love, just need my love, tenderness, affection and my reciprocity. A reciprocal act of humility (an understanding that you are a fragment of a larger truth in love). My mother, bless her heart, got humility down pretty good in that way. That takes me to the final aspect of sacred reciprocity.
Step two: How to work with me personally and others in sacred reciprocity.
Just as being good stewards on this Earth requires us to know the stories behind our food, clothing, fuel and devices, we also have a calling to ask deeper questions about spirituality. Who we learn from, how we interact with those sources (especially indigenous teachings) needs a huge revolution of gratitude behind it. Coming back to humanity requires old medicine and evocative acts of gratitude. It’s an art in connection and sort of a science in another. I note art, since I feel that it can be one of the things that you create and build as you go and there’s almost no one way. Once you have the tools you get to tailor the process to your offering preference. I feel its a science as well as its a notion where there’s an undeniable
We all have different needs and those needs are based on who we are. The more we practice having good relationship and become conscious stewards of kindness and generosity we become more attuned to the needs of ourselves and others. Setting appropriate boundaries and living in attunement with your needs adds sacredness to the walk back to yourself. There is no need to have this down pact to understand that progress is valuable.
This work is stemmed in indigenous practices. So let’s begin there, sacred reciprocity is an indigenous way. Are you aware of how precious and sacred the land we live on holds us? How the indigenous people who still exist have prayed, taken measures to keep the Spirit alive, and ultimately continue to sacrifice so much of themselves (let alone robbed of) to keep the practices alive for humanity to return to Mother (Earth)? Giving thanks is the bare minimum for indigenous folk.
Side note that's equally important- amerikkka was built on the slave labor of the black community. We are kinda a package deal. We are awakening to a collective to include all BIPOC. To honor black folk is just as important as honoring the indigenous folk because they are also returning to themselves in their indigenous ways. We who have been removed through colonization live in diaspora but it is not illegitimate to have a sacred experience as we are awakening to remembering.
In order for me to explain this next part I would like to use myself as an example and homage to Spirit and the people who lead me to this point in my journey…
To Goddess, the Creator, Mother Earth, the Sun, the Moon and Stars, I thank you eternally. Thank you for leading me back to you time and time again.
I give thanks to my parents. They have survived so much and with what limited knowledge they had yet, they were still able to give me hope to continue to pursue my dreams. They come from a significant amount of generational trauma. I now do work to heal myself and others to keep these generational wounds from spreading. My parents have been my teachers, my accomplices and my nurturing and understanding of the world. There are so many feelings coming up for me as I write this. I feel so humbly human. The nature of who I am and how I move forward comes from them and my ancestors that came from lineages before me. My Maternal Grandmother was so delicate and sweet and her love lives with me. She was so strong willed. She is survived by all her children to this day. Her presence in Spirit is with me and she is definitely guiding my path. I can’t express how I love my family. My sister, my first keeper of secrets, my best friend, I am thankful for. My brother and best mate for life I love eternally. My niece, nephews and of course my beautiful boy.
Let’s move on to my spiritual teacher Doctora Rocio Rosales Meza. While I have been on my Spiritual journey since I was a child. Learning from my mother and grandmother, I still felt I needed more. Something more in alignment that would lead me to more on my path. This is especially important because when I felt deep shifts I felt so alone for a while. Dra. Rocio was put on my path on instagram. Might seem a bit strange since it’s social media, but my soul was able to discern the truth. I could see myself in her eyes.
Dra. I write this with so much gratitude. Thank you for holding space for me for the things I never even talk about. Thank you for always reminding me of my power and truth. Thank you for being the embodiment of good and compassion you hold. You remind me of my kindergarten teacher, and let me tell you Mrs. Nunez was an amazing teacher. She had the patience of a saint, the heart of an angel and the strength to remind me when I needed to reflect to act in integrity. If I can be half the woman you are, I made it. Thank you for sharing this much of your sacredness, I am so humbled to walk this path with you in it. There just aren’t enough words. I love you in every lifetime!
Who am I as a result?
I am a student of life. I am embodying the teacher when needed to help others along the way. I am a free eternal spirit who vibrates high on love and compassion. I am learning to continuously give in sacred reciprocity. I am a believer in the Cosmos and Mother Earth. I am an intellectual being who discerns truths from the heart. I am humbly human.
My spiritual journey started the day I landed on Earth. This part is layered so bare with me as I share some of my layers with you...
I identify as a woman with a deep culture and roots that have been brought from a long lineage that has been lost. I am an indigenous woman in diaspora. That’s why my features are pale skinned and yet the highest cheekbones and full hair of my indigenous ancestors. I come from a lineage that has a lot of generational trauma behind it; and as my brother said “you are a dandelion, you will bloom wherever you are placed and thrive”. I have inherited resilience. Oh my God, how I love my family. They have shaped me and been so patient with me as I continue to learn. I have gained a lot in this life and have also lost and sacrificed a lot trying to figure it out.
Let’s talk about magic for a moment: Magic is the ability to believe, transform and understand that there is more than the physical world around us and that we are all capable of connecting to it, through it, and from it. It’s a term that I use because I think it's cute and well, magical. I am a kid at heart after all. Magic comes in many names and forms i.e. faith, connection to Source/Light, Universe, Goddess/God, higher self, and whatever other deity you adore, cherish or worship. It is intent and vibration. The reason I bring this up is because I would like to start with how I knew I was a child of the Divine.
Quite simple: My mother told me so.
As a child, I was always very curious about where I came from, who I belonged to and all the different last names that still had relation to who I was. I would ask my mother questions like, what was my grandmother’s last name before she married tata? Is that my last name too? Why can’t I add it on? Why does Abuelita live in Mexico? What were you like as a kid? These led to conversations where my mom would whip out albums of photos and point out different people from eras that seemed so far away. She went on to point out a baby picture (polaroids) of me where a light would come from the top of my head or the light was just washing me out and tell me that I was absolutely Divine. This seemed a bit far fetched but I could dig it. I was born a twin who did not make earthside.. I often told my mother that I felt I was missing someone but I could not explain who, both my mother and I felt there was an understanding there that couldn’t be resolved with words.
Despite growing up in a Catholic run home with long boring Sundays in church and my mother always saying “te esta mirando Dios” (God is watching), to keep us in line, I didn’t feel fearful. I was inquisitive and asked my mother, “Why does God exist? Where is He? How come I can’t see Him?” She was pretty impressed that at such an early age (maybe 5) I had deep questions that would leave her dumbfounded. Soon entered a story that would change my outlook. Every December my mother would hold vigil for the Virgencita De Guadalupe. It felt so magical. The room would fill with hope, excitement, I sensed peace and so much reverence. It was palpable. The story goes that Juan Diego (not his actual name by the way) was visited by the Virgen and she gave him a mantle that now is displayed in the Basilica in Mexico through a series of crazy events. There was proof there was an Empress and Goddess and I could definitely sense her presence. At that point, I knew there was a God...Goddess.
When I was scared at night, I would call on Her and I felt more peaceful. When I was curious and wanted answers, she would listen and eventually I had answers. When I felt sick I felt her cozy love comforting me. When I asked her for a bike, IT SHOWED UP THE NEXT DAY! That one- I thought was for sure a miracle. More than this, my mother listened to my prayers. She listened and showed me all the love she knew how to give me to the best of her ability. Her nurturing and comfort is incomparable. Mexican mothers have a touch that is just too sacred when they are healing. My mother would give me sobadas for my empachos when my stomach hurt from eating too much dairy or buttered tortillas. Her healing hands were out right mighty. This wasn’t easy on her as she also raised my siblings and adhered to a mexican home traditional upbringing i.e. where mother stays home and does everything that also includes emotional labor that no one talks about. Her strength is unparalleled. The Goddess existed in my home and I felt Her love and nurturing in my mother. You see, the people of Tepeyac (where the story of The Virgen started), believed that they would allow the indigenous Goddess Tonantzin (Honored Grandmother) to never cease to exist in our minds, thoughts, or prayers and they did well. Ingenious! The ultimate Trojan story.
This leads me to my second point. I was a weird kid. I often struggled to make and keep friends. I often talked to the kids who were also super shy, and grew timid when the popular or more verbal kids would want to engage with me. I feel I can compare myself to Mary Catherine Gallager from Superstar, remember the movie with Molly Shannon from SNL? I often talked to myself (I was talking to Spirit by the way) and yes, I talked and did weird things with trees. Why, I don’t know? But talk about connection with nature, ey! In the same notion, I built some deep memorable connections all at once. I eventually learned that connection is an art. And art is fun! I feel I was definitely attracting kids who were different like me. Brief little snippets of deep connection of children who desired to laugh, create joy and really just vibe. When I was able to step out of my shell about middle school, I was able to connect with all the girls and have funny conversations on growth, sexuality, curiosity of magic and spells (On a funny note, most of my childhood friends are now magic people with a deep relation to Source and the Universe).
Life has kinda been like middle school for me at this point. I feel deep connections all the while blooming into the full being I am constantly becoming. So that leads me to the traits that have deepened my magic over the years. Leaving the corporate world a few years ago was life changing. I invested a lot into that version of myself and things were not at all how I believed they were. That lesson is one of many women and men of color who cannot get ahead despite proven capacity to do so. Which leads me to my next point.
Vulnerability is at the top of all my strengths. You see, vulnerability in its truest form is something so sacred. It allows people to see beyond the magic mirrors at the person you are as a whole. Where the magic really lies. Another beautiful trait is the ability to hold compassion for people. I do this by being a listener and allow people to feel the love through a sacred container. It’s by far more felt than anything, there aren’t a lot of words of this. I believe we are all doing our best. Another super strength comes from calling out the b.s. I haven’t always thought this was a superpower because at different points in my path this looked different. Learning that some things cannot be called out and that silence is survival is the truth for a lot of women of color. Over time this has changed. Truth given in compassion always sets you free. I do not believe all truth has to be brutal either- tact is a tool when you are a teacher. Life has taught me that for sure. Lastly, my sense of humor, bringing joy and laughter back to myself and others is just true medicine.
One way to honor me and my path is to share my work and the work of my teacher Dra. Rocio. Every like, share and conversation holds space and room for the work to bloom. I am putting my heart out there. Yes, in the thick of this world. You can probably imagine what that's like, no? As you engage you are showing reciprocal love and attention and supporting indigenous medicine! Every time you get something from my work it is important to follow up in the right relation so that you can feel it amplify in your life and the life of others. Intentionally, show others compassion, walk humbly, tell them who showed you, tell people your story, tell people it's possible to be a better person through your eyes, tell people they are worthy of love, tell people that it's possible to believe, nurse yourself in healing, believe you are worthy of all the love and healing that life has to offer and show up to be the best version of love, kindness, openness, forgiveness. I hold myself in this truth.
Finally, and this is an awkward one for me that I have to break though… support my work monetarily. I have accrued a lot of debt being this intelligent and going after a few degrees. I am a mother who works pretty hard navigating a world that wasn’t built for my excellence. That’s a struggle I hope to release soon so I am able to be of service fully. I really wish I didn’t have to charge for my work, I promise. The nature of this work is heavy and to be in the right relationship it helps to support this work in a way that manifests as ease for me. And ultimately returns to Mother! That is reciprocal. You see when you remember the healing and carry that you can remember to give strength to my work. Right relationship doesn’t end at the end of payment. Make sense? Otherwise, you work in extraction, the world we live in does enough of that. That’s not good for anyone. If you do walk away (which you can at any point) it should be an honored goodbye and conversation, leaving room for others to join. One thing I’ve learned along the way is that in order to receive the magic of my work and for it to work long term, is to create the habit of being open to the magic. I have learned this from my teachings too. Everyone is responsible for being aware of any blocks you may be feeling, any resistance you may be feeling to understand the medicine work at large is a self healing practice that was guided by a healer. Embodying this work is setting an example of what that looks like. It's not easy, and the Universe has a way of bringing up these lessons over time to really move into the work. So to end this, I would like to invite you to look within. I would like for you to feel my love and compassion sent out from the virtual space. Know that you are divinely guided and loved.
Thank you for reading. I hope you’ve learned a lot. There will be more.
Sending you angel hugs and warmth,
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