The truth is, you can choose your own bindings. You have the power to choose only the connections that are the most freeing to you.
* A meditative message from an Egyptian Cat Queen
I need you to stay still - Blink once Blink twice But don't avert your eyes. I need you to sense what's coming - Hear the sirens Just beneath your feet. Tremors and smoke; A thousand falling ashes. You've waited for this - You deserve this. Brace yourself For that which is arriving - It's Her you've always known; Welcome. Welcome yourself back to life. daena de guzman | 2017
My mind is pinked. It’s all about pink. I’m preoccupied with bedroom decor ideas. I want to keep organizing my stuff. I’m thinking of new ways I can use my existing organization boxes and such.
Why am I in this phase? Maybe it’s a part of regrouping, creating my reality. It’s calming, actually. I’m not thinking of anything else. This is my full time job for now.
The events that have happened recently feel so long ago now. I’ve been ruminating them a lot before, and they all felt so near and real. Now they’ve faded out as if they’ve happened a decade ago.
I guess time naturally blurs out what’s unnecessary once we fully let ourselves go with the flow, which means to stay present.
All that remains is my crazy mind. I still create the same crazy monsters in neon colors. I’m glad they haven’t left me.
I have a weird collection of plushies, which I’ve only started collecting about a year ago – I’m 30. My room is pink. I have an impulse of drawing eyes with stiff, separate lashes and veiny eyeballs on anything. I call it originality. I read tarot cards, all three decks to myself. I only stare at my phone when it rings, then, wait for a follow-up text if the person is persistent. But I don’t text back. I prefer emails. People should know that. When I go out I look normal, nobody knows all the weirdo that I really am. I leave them at home, well, most of them, but not all.
I prefer to keep my personal style minimalist, normal, average. ‘Cause I prefer that much space for my crazy inside my mind alone, which only bleeds to my art and writing. I can’t be crazy in all aspects of my life. I need some stability and refuge, too.
I have no thoughts. Which means I am not currently anxious about anything in particular. This is a weird thing but a good kind of weird. This must be how dumb people feel all the time, lol. I’m evil. Still evil. That’s a good thing. Given that I’ve lost so much these recent weeks. I’ve lost about 3 kilos since I got sick, much emphasis on my muscles. It makes me feel sad. I love my muscles, especially those in my arms. I’m back to my longest-standing weight of 45 kilos. Where did all my weight go? Probably those were all just made of energy that I no longer needed. So I had to shed them off.
That’s funny. Maybe half of who we are is just energy, then water. So even though we work out and keep our calories low we can’t still trim down or lose weight. We’re weird. Maybe we need to lose excess energy baggage instead.
I actually believe I’ve lost about 1/4 of my shadow. Nobody else can understand that. But that’s an accurate description for me. That 1/4 looked like Mr. No Face from Spirited Away. I imagine it’s something cool. Floating in the ether, looking for a new prey.
I think I’m starting to like myself. I think I like myself now. My army of pimples don’t bother me anymore. I’ve gotten used to being betrayed by my own face. I no longer take it personally. I’m starting to accept the natural thickness and roughness of my hair. I recently discovered that I have, in fact, nicely-shaped lips, they kinda make me look more bratty than I really am (or maybe I am more bratty for real). I wear the same outfits, in the same colors, and cuts. I prefer to be invisible most of the time, like a fly on the wall. I wanna look good when I see myself in the mirror or on my phone. But I feel conscious when others look at me, especially when I feel it’s because they think I’m pretty. I get a lot of favors when it happens. But I also feel that many women want to murder me. With an ax or something, or maybe they wanna scrape my scalp off. Why do I have such morbid thoughts. What would Freud say.
Why do I feel weird when I’m having a smokey eye on. I love it on other women, but when I have it on I just think I look wasted and 10 years older, which screams I have a sad life and dead, practically non-existent sex life. I’m judgmental.
But really, I’m doing my best to step up my personal style game. But I still like the old me, how I naturally look like. Maybe because it’s familiar with me.
The truth is I’m lazy. I can never be like those women who put on their full body suit as women. I just want to remain low maintenance like I’ve been all my life, let my leg hair grow, sip ginger-lemon tea and take naps.
I want a female cat inside my room. A non-presence but a presence, still. Like a plant, but just curious and can blurt out epic punchlines (cats can do that, right?). I imagine we will communicate telepathically, cursing each other and calling each other bitch. But we’ll paint each other’s fingernails and every night we’ll cuddle in bed like codependent sorority girls. We’ll pray the rosary when the world ends.
I wanna go back to Europe. Only those introverted parts of Europe. Where I’d be left alone and safe walking in the streets, tunnels, forests and mountain tops. I’d go to a cafe and order a caramel-ish coffee in the local language. I don’t like caramel-ish coffee. I’d look at the slender and tall women as if they’re peacocks. I’d pretend I don’t speak English. I’d be grateful for my temporary invisibility.
I’m craving for some Jack n Jill Knick Knacks, those tiny biscuits wrapped in something sweet and artificial. I want mine in milk choco or strawberry. I’ve been living off junk lately. No guilt.
I never get bored when I’m on my own and my mind is busy and creative. It’s, in fact, my default happy state. Only adulting drives me mad. I don’t wanna think about those things.
I wanna sniff on something fresh and powdery.
I’ve had a particularly healing dream last night. I was my old self, in my early 20’s clinging to a guy who was not fully into the relationship as I was. Like some of us, women, I, too, have been in a series of toxic relationships with unavailable men (rather, boys), who were on the surface in varying types and degrees of unavailability but who were all just the same emotionally unavailable on the inside.
In my dream I initiated a conversation with my guy (who was faceless and nameless, more of an archetype than an actual person), “Won’t you be more present with me and more interested with me and our life together?”
He simply gave me this pained look, followed by a shrug that was all too familiar to me. He didn’t have the will to dump me ’cause having me was still convenient for him. But he was not with me either. You know how it usually goes with these guys and the situations us, ladies go through with them.
What happened next was something I wasn’t able to do in most of my relationships during those years, for I didn’t have the guts to draw the line then most of the time (therefore the same kind of relationship kept manifesting in my life), I said,
“If you don’t know what you really want, but it’s not me or not with me, if you can’t commit completely into this relationship like I can, then I don’t need you. I deserve someone who knows what he wants and who will stand for it the way I do.”
I walked out, leaving him having the same pained, teenage-boy-confused look. I didn’t look back.
I’ve long been able to transform myself and my relationships, including the one with my significant other of almost four years. But before the relationship materialized, I actually had to draw the line first, and tell him what I wanted out of our relationship. I told him he could either take it or leave it, but I wouldn’t compromise. I knew what I wanted with him, I knew what I wanted out of a relationship and if he turned out not to be up for it then he’s not the one for me.
I think The Universe and my Higher Self wanted me to share this story with others. It has come full circle for me now, I guess. That part of my life was completely over. The wound has been healed.
If you’ve been having a similar struggle in the relationship department, I am 100% sure you’ll find healing and resolution in your own empowerment, too. You deserve someone who knows and appreciates your light. We are all rooting for you.
One night, as I was video-chatting with my SO, again (we love talking about such stuff), about the differences between heterosexual men and women, I casually told him, “Women hold hands all the time and hug each other, even out in public and it’s fine – why don’t men do it?” To my surprise, he gave me a passionate and straightforward response, “Because you’re weird.”
I think men, in general, find it peculiar that women’s friendships are usually intimate. We can talk for hours, we can spill the juiciest, tiniest details about our personal stories, we have a tendency to keep each other updated about practically almost anything. We can be so tight with each other that we can literally create our own world.
There was a phase in my twenties when I couldn’t even make sense of my own thoughts and I couldn’t come into terms with my own decisions without talking first to a close girlfriend. I usually had one at a time who knew how I worked inside-out.
Female friendships, I would like to argue, are complex, even more complex than men’s. We sense this subtle tie that binds us across generations, nationalities, religions – and so on. It’s like we are part of a secret society and we know the password to enter the gates of our sacred sanctuary. Our Spirits nod at each other when we come across each other on the streets. We magnet each other; we are fascinated by each other. We inspire each other; we make each other laugh. We feel each other’s burdens, ’cause we all share one major struggle. We have, indeed, our own world, though it feels more like an underground world at this point in time (which only makes us bond more to a certain extent). There is a strong pull to merge and experience each other to the core.
On the other hand, we compete against each other. We criticize and pull each other down. We betray each other. In female friendships, there is a tendency to lose one’s identity as well, to lose the capacity to think on our own and to make decisions for ourselves. We are prone to expecting that our sisters, our daughters, our mothers will be just like us – or else, they’re not one of us. Those who dare to stand out and own her identity can sometimes be seen as a nuisance, a disgrace – a traitor. We tend to expect that each member of the sisterhood will always and forevermore disclose her most private feelings and thoughts – that her story will always be owned by the tribe.
I’ve taken a step back from female friendships (including the one with my own mother) for quite some time now, and that’s how I developed my own voice. There is value in thinking for oneself and in not sharing one’s thoughts, emotions and struggles with anybody. It makes our Spirit more mature – faster. It makes us sharper in identifying which identity, energy, opinions and decisions are truly ours.
During this phase of detachment, I had the opportunity to observe and reflect more on female friendships as well. This force that pulls us together can either strengthen or destroy us.
We share one major struggle, and therefore, it’s only right for us to harness the power of this force to create a united front – to stand by and stand for each other in life and in death, in success and in failure, in joy and in misery.
We should use the tie that binds us together in pulling each other up, and in empowering each other to be ourselves in all our unique glory.
We should never silence each other in the name of Loyalty to tradition and stereotypes. Rather, we should be the source of each other’s courage to speak up, stand out and shine.
By having the freedom and support to bloom into our full authenticity can we only harness this force, this power of our Sisterhood.
It all started in Hong Kong – after a week of stay, upon hiking one of its peaks. It must be the extreme July heat, the fabric of the cap I was wearing all day, everyday and the waterfall of sweat irritating my pores. It started with one, then two – then after a couple or more days I had a load shit of cystic acne creepin’ on my forehead. They were itchy, painful and angry red. Unfortunately my forehead was not enough, they’ve decided to climb down my nose, my cheeks and chin as well. The next thing I knew my face felt and looked like a jack fruit had fallen on it while I was mindlessly staring at the sky.
At the same time, I mysteriously had insect bites on my legs, which were itchy as fuck and left me with ugly, dark marks (and it didn’t help the fact that I had sunburn). My mom was traumatized when I got back home and she saw me again – she swore to my face she’s never gonna go to HK if it meant she’s gonna be ugly like me, too.
I thought things were gonna get normal again as soon as I got home and my skin problems would disappear on their own.
My face kept on breakin’ out even after two weeks of being at home and for the first time in a long time I had to gather all my bag of acne treatment tricks. I mean, I’m used to having pimples – I’ve had them since I had my period at 11. But cystic acne’s all new to me. They’re monstrous, itchy and painful.
I was wondering what could have possibly caused it. I’ve read articles saying that acne breakout due to traveling was quite usual. Some say it’s the water, it’s the food, it’s the air, it’s the stress, it’s the humidity, yada yada yada. I was thinking it could possibly because I started eating meat again after 3 weeks of eating only plant-based food. Maybe it’s also because I started taking contraceptive pills again.
It was hell for quite some time – until it wasn’t anymore. I just let go of my worries. I said fuck it, I was having acne for some reasons which will never be clear to me. My face wanted to break out and throw a tantrum. She’s having her moment. Let her be. I still went on with my acne treatment routine (which consisted of the gang – salicylic acid, apple cider vinegar, exfoliating soap and all kinds of Korean facial masks) but threw my worries out the window. The same thing applied to my sunburn and the nasty marks on my legs.
But whatever – at least I was fit enough to travel and to do the outdoor activities that I liked even if it meant I would have girly problems eventually.
It’s been six weeks now since the breakout began – and I still keep on having new cystic pimples coming out. It’s not so bad anymore, though. My skin is finally responding to the treatment. I’m working out everyday as well and I’m back to my healthy diet. I have survived the worst of it, to hell and back again. I joke myself about it ’cause I know it may sound petty but it’s true and I know some people can relate – I’ve survived my worst acne breakout, my self-esteem can survive anything.
I can be at my ugliest and still chill and strut my stuff like business as usual. I think that’s a reason to celebrate.
Little milestones. *winks
I was doing a visualization meditation on letting go. Even before the guide told me to visualize a library on top of the stairs, I already knew it was a library. It was an old library made with dark mahogany wood. I sat in a chair made of dark brown leather. I picked up an old book. I went inside the book then I found myself in a forest similar to where I met my panther animal guide. The owl I recently met was there, too, in one of the trees.
I heard the sound of a waterfall then suddenly saw myself sitting in a lotus position in between waterfalls. I wasn’t wet. I was sitting in a rock. In front of me was another waterfall. The water was so clear and stable that I could clearly see my reflection. I saw myself there sitting. My eyes were closed.
Suddenly behind me, a bird appeared. It had a small head, it was sitting/floating behind me and it’s wings were spread out like an eagle. At first it’s feathers were dark brown. Slowly they turned into dark blue. Some crown-like feathers or tendrils appeared at the top of its small head like a crown. I also saw the beak in close up and little diamonds appeared. It sort of looked like a peacock but not really. Its wings were slowly adorned with little glittery things like gems.
Suddenly I found myself inside the spirit of the bird. It’s like I went inside her and saw the world through her eyes, although her consciousness was inside her at the same time.
We went inside the waterfall in front of us. Inside it was like a deep cave with some light inside. The little patches of light came from the fire stored inside troughs. Inside the troughs are precious gemstones, too. The bird went near a trough and inside it was a ball of fire. We didn’t stay long.
During that time inside the cave I was asking her if it was her home. She said yes. She also said that those were gemstones. She said that she didn’t get them anywhere. They just appeared on their own. I asked her if she was wealthy having so many gemstones and even
diamonds in her beak and feathers. She said yes, she’s wealthy. I asked her what she was exactly. She told me she didn’t know. She didn’t even know where she came from or how she came into being. She just told me she slowly materialized and that it felt natural for her to be with me. She said she was like my light, my energy, my aura.
I went back to the library, downstairs and out of the door, back to where I was really sitting while doing the meditation. The magical bird went out the door with me. She’s still here with me somewhere perched on my shoulders or floating behind me or flying beside me.
She told me that if I wanted to know more about her I should probably ask the alchemists who made her. Maybe I should ask the waterfall or the mountains where the waterfall is. Maybe only they can tell me the answers to my questions.
She also told me that maybe her practical use for me is to guide me with regards to managing my energy. Maybe I gotta observe her. If she turned brown again or plain or ugly, maybe it meant I was having those kinds of frequencies in me as well.
She had this very innocent energy like a child or a pet. She’s neither dependent nor needy. She’s actually worry-free. She told me she didn’t know the answers to my questions because that was the truth. She really didn’t know. And she didn’t mind that she didn’t know.
This is so magical! I have been attracting animal spirit guides lately. First was the male, mature black panther, then the curious owl with a boy scout spirit, then this magical, flamboyant peacock-like bird with an innocent spirit, too. This is so so cool! I am so thrilled and grateful for all of them and the Universe for sending them to me!
I like this metaphor of a heart that sings. I haven’t always known its meaning. Perhaps, it has a totally different meaning to others. I came up with my own understanding of it because of my mom.
My mom has a heart that sings. No one would imagine the heartaches and struggles she’s been through because she’s just always so loving and happy. People flock towards her. She has this warm and abundant energy like a real empress.
While other people become bitter and evil once they go through hardships and betrayals, my mother belongs to the other group – those who only become more compassionate and humble because of them.
The heartaches she’s been through have only taught her about her own worth and the importance of loving herself. These experiences were a catalyst to her own realizations as well of what truly mattered to her.
My mom has taught me the importance of being present in the Now. She has taught me how to choose to appreciate every chance that we are given to live again. She knows that these chances are opportunities for us to love, be loved and have fun. We can either choose to get stuck in the bitterness of what was or embrace the chance to start again.
This is why she has a heart that sings. She lives in the Now. When we are present in each and every moment, it just becomes inevitable for the bitterness of the past to fade away. When things have been resolved and we have finally reached the calm shore, the Universe only asks us of one thing – to open our hearts for a new beginning.
To be an artist is to create and recreate. To create and recreate is to be vulnerable. To be an artist is to be exposed, criticized, broken down, blown up in unimaginable proportions, taken out of context, diluted, wrapped in cheap plastic bags, vandalized or simply ignored and erased from memory.
As an artist, you would continuously find yourself caught up in same type of crossroads – Be authentic and please yourself OR bend over backwards just to please others.
Your feelings can range from a simple existential discomfort to soul-tearing agony. It basically depends on how daring you are in stepping up your game. The more you choose to embrace authenticity, the more you’ll get better at it, the less difficult feelings you’ll harbor in return.
To be an artist and a woman is another thing. Combining the two suddenly makes it more complex and intense. Suddenly, others (including fellow ladies) become more critical, too. Layers of standards and prejudices pile up all.
It’s not easy for the people around the artist and the woman as well. Sometimes, things disclosed and exposed can get way beyond their reality and understanding.
To love an artist and a woman needs a certain amount of self esteem, unconditional strength and love.You have to be adventurous enough to not only tolerate, but to enjoy and appreciate all the honesty, contractions, contradictions and ecstasy of living a life of sensitivity and self scrutiny.
Creation, exhibition, humiliation, resurrection – these are all important parts of the journey to self, universal knowing and unconditional love. Embrace the life of your own creation, suck in your temporary fears and march out in the open. It’s all meaningful. Believe that it’s all worth it. It is.