Performative Activism is not the only Activism; or: healer, heal thyself

Today’s a day of sharing, so I’m going to share: I have been angry and scared and tired because of the state of our country for many years. I don’t remember a time where I thought about the USA and could say “I’m proud” or “I love it” or “We are the best country in the world.”

I’m queer. People like me have been murdered in this country and around the world BECAUSE they were queer for longer than I have been alive. I’m tired. I am angry. I am afraid.

I’m a woman. People like me have been murdered in this country and around the world BECAUSE they are women for longer than I have been alive. I’m tired. I’m angry. I am afraid.

I’m white. People UNLIKE me have been murdered in this country and around the world because they were NOT WHITE for longer than I have been alive. I am so, so tired. But my voice and experience is only important in this matter to make sure that I use my privilege and platforms to get those voices heard. My anger is nothing compared to the people impacted. My fear is nothing compared to the fear of people of color.

I have remained quiet even though I am full of anger and sorrow and grief about the state of the world. I have to prioritize myself right now because I am in no position to help others. My health and safety needs to be my priority, and mental illness has a way of making ‘health and safety’ immensely more complicated to achieve. Once I am safe, I will return to fight alongside you. No less angry, no less tired, but infinitely stronger because I took care of myself first.

Place the oxygen mask on your own face before you begin assisting others. You cannot safe people from drowning while your own ship is sinking.

Healer, heal thyself. First. Then, when you’re stronger, you can reach out and start doing REAL, lasting good.

For now, just do what you can, when you can, in any way that you can. Remember that not all activism happens on social media, nor does it need to be documented or reported to “count” in some way.

01 – Magician

01 – The Magician

Everything you need is already within you
You have the power
You are the power
Holding hands with your desire and action
You are breathing new life into thoughts
Take the world by storm
It has been waiting for you

Reversed

You are trying
So hard
But the result is never what you intended
A mismatch
Working hard but hardly working
Wheels spinning but never moving
All talk and no action
Is this what you meant to do?

0 – Fool

0 – The Fool

You are a fresh page
Blank and empty
Overwhelming possibilities
Endless potential
They tell you to look where you leap
But you go blindly
Knowing
Even falling is part of the journey
Within every hurt
There is a lesson
And you reach for the honey
Uncaring of the sting
Knowing
Your enthusiasm is limitless
Welcoming the light of a new day
This, too, is part of living
Reversed

The sting made you falter
The wrong decision
An adventure gone bad
You are paralyzed
Too many decisions
Too few limits
Which one is best?
How can only one person decide?
The thrill is acid in your throat
Turning into fear
It’s holding you back
Where once you would leap
Blindly
Now you hesitate
Uncertain
There is no moving forward from here
You bind yourself in your indecision

Poem: A Slow Alarm

A Slow Alarm
by Britnie Campbell

I feel hopeless and alone today
and in my bottle
the carbonation build up
ready to explode
a slow leaking the only salvation
it hisses softly, never ending
barely making a difference
it leaves me drained but
the pressure still rises
fills me up and pushes me outwards
how much can the glass walls of my body contain
until it shatters and I
implode
explode
the weight of your expectations
crushing me
the shattered glass ground to dust under your foot
my soul aches
the hissing so loud that it has become
background noise
unheard by human ears
there is no fire escape
no safety exit
the walls of my home held together only
by the sheer force of my will
tension high
muscles tight
I try to rebuild my sinking ship
the hissing of the leak
a fire alarm that nobody noticed
my siren calling for help
the car alarm in the city neighborhood
in the dead of night
while my car is broken into
and everyone hears but
nobody checks to find out if it was truly
a false alarm.
my heart, broken and aching,
holding hands with my will to survive
and knowing
that I will get through this
because I always do
bruised and bleeding
hope that has been wrung dry.
the question
barely a whisper
but still asking:
what will survival cost me this time?

 

if you liked this poem or any of my posts please consider buying me a coffee!
5/11/2020 update: corrected a typo

19 for 2019 wrap up

Hello everyone, and happy New Year’s Eve!! This is my favorite holiday (barring my birthday) and it gives me an excuse to do some serious introspection. Since most of this year has been nothing but introspection and massive action triggered by such, I’m going to take it a bit lighter and not demonize myself for straying from my solitary tradition.

Some things that I did today, in no particular order:

  • greet the crows
  • tarot reading with my Crow Tarot deck: “What do the crows want me to know” because they have been very chatty lately
  • review my 19 for 2019 list (see below)
  • self-care tarot reading with Shadowscapes Tarot deck
  • sweep and mop the floors, disinfect the doorknobs, handles, and light switches in the house, burn incense and play loud music – my own version of a “cleansing”
  • prepare for a gathering tonight
  • write 300+ words of my novel, The White Queen, and dedicate myself to taking some risks with it
  • lay in bed until 12:00pm doing nothing productive
  • “super pout, super pout, I’m super pout-y”
  • brush my cat until she got sick of it and attacked my poor hand

19 for 2019

A concept I adopted from Gretchen Rubin; I also made an 18 for 2018 list. The idea is to make a list of goals – big and small, easy and difficult – to complete in the coming year, and then do your best to finish it. Instead of having one huge, over-arching “resolution” for the coming year, this makes it more flexible…. and I have to admit, checking off these items is super rewarding.

I have not compiled my 20 for 2020 list yet, but it is something that I plan to do.

I also picked a “word of the year” to focus on in 2019 – “self” which then became “alignment” … as in, alignment of self.

My 19 for 2019 List and progress:

  1. Pass JPLT – level 5
  2. 2019 Budget Set
  3. Pay off SLSC student loan in full
  4. Go to NYC
  5. Read 12 books
  6. CPR class
  7. Participate in NaNoWriMo
  8. Volunteer with at least 1 organization
  9. Get a professional massage
  10. Bring my lunch to work for 1 consecutive month
  11. 30 days of massive action
  12. Set a bedtime alarm
  13. Donate blood
  14. Try a new physical activity
  15. Learn how to iron
  16. Increase proficiency with Microsoft Excel
  17. Get my passport
  18. Beat a videogame
  19. Start my autobiography

Wow!! 14 items complete out of 19! That’s a DEFINITE win. Some of these were unlikely items (donating blood is difficult to me because of fluctuating weight but also iron levels, for example) while others were super easy to complete (bedtime alarm).

In fact, my book goal was more than doubled – I read 50 new books in 2019. Not bad for someone who hasn’t been able to sit down and actually read (and complete!) books in years.

Not only did I participate in NaNoWriMo this year, but I won! I also finished the novel I was working on. My first ever completed novel, and my second NaNoWriMo win.

I paid off a student loan.

Some big things that weren’t listed on my 19 for 2019:

  • left the country for the first time
  • first cruise (honeymoon!)
  • visited the Bahamas
  • swam in the ocean
  • first craft fair selling candles
  • called an element while casting a group circle
  • started my path towards pagan clergywork
  • improved my tarot knowledge
  • read tarot for other people
  • re-started therapy
  • quit a job that was toxic
  • joined my husband’s company
  • went snowshoeing for the first time
  • deepened friendships with multiple people

Some bigger things that couldn’t have been planned:

  • celebrated a friend’s pregnancy… mourned the miscarriage… and celebrated the second pregnancy. women become a village for other women. we support each other through times of great cheer and times of great sorrow.
  • encourage a friend to pursue soul-fulfilling work as a performance artist, then watched her grow and thrive and come back into herself as a human
  • hold space for a friend who is coming out of an abusive relationship and pursuing divorce. become part of the village that supports her.
  • hold my newborn nephew. change his diaper without prompting. give mommy a break. love him. love her. love his older sister.
  • love. fiercely. deeply. unreservedly.
  • talk a friend down from suicide. then again.
  • choose myself.
  • tell a dear friend i could not help them out of their depression right now because i can’t even hold space for myself. apologize, but still choose me. text her the moment i felt more myself and had space for someone other than me. know that i did the right thing, and love her for understanding.
  • spent most of the year ill and in a deep depression
  • have the best spring i have ever had in my life. happy. healthy. glowing.
  • life-affirming, soul-healing conversations in the kitchen
  • say “farewell” to a friendship that began in 2001. realize there were no more tears to cry because i had already cried them all. ache when i realized that it was a weight that i had been carrying that was holding me down, holding me back. mourn the loss of my muse, my oldest friend, my sister from another mister.
  • continue to choose me.
  • fall in love with writing again
  • start learning how to thrive

It’s been a very, very busy year.

The Un-Binding: Samhain 2019

So, I’m a little late sharing this, but November 2nd was the day that I attended a Samhain ritual. It was everything I needed it to be, and then some, as they tend to be. This is the first time I’ve been able to sit down and write about it because I’ve been focusing on NaNoWriMo for the duration of November. So, let us talk about Samhain.

Last year I wrote a little bit about Samhain, specifically about the ancestors. This year, we also worked with our ancestors. With the “veil” being thin during Samhain and Beltane, it makes sense that we would be working with Other so much during this time.

Samhain tends to be a solitary ritual, though it is a group of people that meets up for the holiday every year. Last year was much the same. I did not share the details of the ritual on this blog, though I think I talked about it, and my findings. I plan to write about it in my end of the year reflection though – there was a lot that I learned, and a lot of growing that I did that can be tracked to that one ritual and the message I received. Anyway.

blaze bonfire campfire dark
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This year, the ritual was in three parts. From the very beginning until the very end, it was silent, you were not to drink or eat anything (water being the only exception), and you were not to touch anyone. It was you and your ancestors.
1. Enter into the first ritual space, waiting by the fire with your offering and waiting your turn.
2. Be lead to the second ritual space by a representation of Death, where you would be cleansed and enter to meet with your ancestors, giving up your offering to them.
3. Meet the representation of Life, who will lead you into the home where you would don a blank mask and wait for further instruction. The instructions were thus: decorate the mask as the ancestors told you to.

Continue reading “The Un-Binding: Samhain 2019”

Mother Wound Series: a Tarot Spread Analysis

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The Mother Wound Tarot Spread

Benebell Wen’s “Mother Wound” Tarot Spread was the first deep dive into this “Mother Wound” and “Negative Mother Complex” that I wanted to tackle. I was going to do it yesterday, but my courage and energy had dried up by the time I was physically ready to do it.

I want to preface by saying that I wrote very little in the way of lead-in, and some of the things I mention could be a bit triggering with anyone who has a history of domestic abuse, drug or alcohol abuse. Unlikely, but possible.

I’d also like to note that I am no longer involved in a toxic or abusive family situation, and that I do not need to take legal action at this point. My situation growing up was less than ideal; many people have it worse than I did, and many people have it better. I am also seeing a professional.

I have reached a point in my healing where a lot of things in my past can be discussed as “fact” and I am not looking for pity or even sympathy. Rather, a reaction like “oh, that happened,” and moving on – a neutral reaction – is best for me at this point, as reactions that are full of sorrowful emotion, pity, sympathy, etc tend to make me feel uncomfortable and like I should have hidden or minimized the situation.

Also, if anybody feels the need to tell me “this didn’t happen the way you’re portraying it” I would like to tell you the following: this is the way that I remember it, and this is the way that I am reacting to it emotionally. We may remember it differently. Your comment does nothing to heal any emotional or mental traumas that I have experienced, and actually makes the situation worse. Memories do not stay perfect, complete, or unchanged in the brain and actually mutate slightly over time. Again, this is how I remember it, and it may be different than how you remember it, and neither of us needs to be wrong or right.

I think I have covered all of the bases, so let’s hop into my first intentional engagement with my festering mother wound, wherein lies much trauma.

Note: this post has been updated since it’s original posting.

Continue reading “Mother Wound Series: a Tarot Spread Analysis”

Shadow Work October: Part 2

Welcome to another session of #ShadowWorkOctober where your host, Britnie, delves into her subconscious and tries to figure out 1. WHAT the fuck, 2. HOW the fuck, and 3. WHY the fuck she is how she is. This will be followed with the process of acceptance and integration of these thoughts and ideas. You may not get to see all of that, though.

Please note that I am regularly seeing a psychologist and am working through my mental health matters on my own time, as well as delving into the tool called “Tarot” for a different lens. Also note that I have been reading tarot for about a year and still have some learning to do… in addition to that, I read from a place of bias and a somewhat distorted self-view. As always, if you have questions, comments, or an addition to make please meet me in the comments section 🙂

Also, worth mentioning, is the fact that I am currently ill and have a fever. Please excuse my rambles in advance, and let me know if anything doesn’t quite make sense.

Continue reading “Shadow Work October: Part 2”

Shadow Work: Hero’s Journey Tarot

Today I did a bit of card throwing, and decided it was a good day to do the “Hero’s Journey” spread for myself. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of the “Hero’s Journey” in literature, see the spread details below for each step. If you’re unsure what is meant by “Shadow” in this context, I will suggest that you check out this page. This is simply part one in my shadow work for specifically October but ultimately the end of 2019. You can check these pages out for previews as I intend to follow this process at the moment.

Aspects of the Hero’s Journey

  1. The Hero

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    Hero’s Journey Tarot Spread (c) Xiao Rong
  2. The Quest
  3. Refusal of the Call
  4. The Guide
  5. Road of Trials
  6. The Dragon
  7. Death
  8. New Knowledge
  9. Boon
  10. The Hero Returned

Continue reading for not only the breakdown of what this all looks like in the world of this tarot spread, but also the breakdown of me trying desperately to make these cards work together. It’s bound to get personal, folks. Let’s have a good time.

Continue reading “Shadow Work: Hero’s Journey Tarot”

Soul Scripting Exercise

Hi, it’s me again. I hope you’re well.

Today, I picked up the book Evolution of Goddess: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Activating Your Feminine Superpowers by Emma Mildon. There’s exercises throughout the book, and I quite honestly need a place to record my answers. I’m thinking they may be helpful for others, too. And, hey, this blog is really about my journey towards enlightenment, right? (Right.) This is part of my journey. Please join me.

Continue reading “Soul Scripting Exercise”