Category Archives: Spirituality
I just wanted to share this clip packed with wisdom with you 🙂
I barely had a summer vacation period, but my year – really, next two years – of creative work (film, art, writing, poetry, etc) and service official starts tomorrow. Spending this evening getting spiritually centred, and this is my mantra:
I have the blessing of the Divine. Feeling tremendously grateful.
Last year, this was my simple resolution, set out in the post ‘New Year Resolution: Pure Connection‘:
After several years of trauma and clinically healing from it in 2015, in 2016 I needed to practice remembering I am never alone and that everyone and everything I need (and that is for me), I am connected to; I just needed to let go and align with presence.
This resolution was successful 🙂
So I am doing it again in 2017, with this addendum:
I will love and cultivate my body, without conditions.
Starting today with a BIG healthy breakfast, yoga posture exercises, cardio + strength workout session, and afro hair pampering session.
Other than that I’m going to work on being responsible and stable, pursuing my dream career, and loving the Divine.
Here’s to pursuing and living the life of my dreams in this disabled, scarred, resilient, beautiful body. May it be so.
And here’s to all healthy resolutions you set for yourself this year!
Wishing you success and wellbeing in 2017.
Saw this on twitter; a reminder that this season is hard for so many:
And here are some articles for those who do find themselves alone during the holidays. VOLUNTEERING is a suggestion that comes up in many of these kinds of advice articles, and it is a great suggestion in general for those who feel disconnected in some way; even if you are not physically alone.
This may be a little woo woo for some, but as an intuitive empath I desperately needed the message in this video – every word of it.
I am still learning to set energetic boundaries; but there is plenty of wisdom in this that I will be implementing these holidays, to clear myself for the wonderful new year ahead 🙂
This is a summary of what the brother says in the video, with some additions – his 5 tips for deflecting other people’s energy, setting healthy boundaries (and attracting YOUR people into your life):
1) STAY 100% TRUE TO YOURSELF, LOVE YOURSELF, AND ACCEPT YOURSELF COMPLETELY. This authenticity should be your foundation. Everyone is here for a different reason; some will resonate with you and others will not. Some will resonate with you at one point then disappear from your sphere. Do not worry about this; as Will Smith said, “Don’t chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people – the ones who really belong in your life – will come to you. And stay.” Your authentic vibe will attract your authentic tribe, essentially.
2) REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN CHOOSE WHO GETS UNDER YOUR SKIN AND INTO YOUR INNER TEMPLE… and who doesn’t. This is the one I really need to work on; remembering what my needs are, and giving access only to the one who meets those needs.
3) ANYONE THAT PAYS YOU ATTENTION IS A POTENTIAL ‘ENERGY VAMPIRE’; YOU’LL KNOW THEY ARE ONE (OR HAVE BECOME ONE) IF THE THOUGHT OF THEM CAUSES YOU HARM. If this is happening, it is time to shift your attention away from them, to return to inner balance (focusing on number 1 is key). This doesn’t mean they will always be a ‘vampire’; it may just mean that the dynamic has become unhealthy and some space is needed to reset the relationship, find those healthy boundaries again.
4) BREATHE, AND MOVE, AND PHYSICALLY SHIFT THAT ENERGY; MIND YOUR POSTURE TOO.
5) TAKE 100% RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN ENERGY; YOU ARE EXPERIENCING IT, WHICH MEANS YOU ARE CO-CREATING IT. We co-create it through the thoughts that create the negative emotions; so we need to cease those thoughts and replace them with nourishing ones. Pay attention to Self affirming things. Then detach from those folks that are co-creating that energy for you by LOVING YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF with affirming environments (basically, work on number 1!)
Additionally, I have learned that it is important for intuitive empaths to remember that we don’t need to (and mustn’t) shut people out in order to “protect” ourselves from the energy of others; all we need to do is LOVE AND NURTURE OUR OWN AUTHENTIC SELVES.
Fill our own cups to the brim, so that we can be present for others without absorbing them.
A gifted holistic counsellor and energy healer I have been seeing this year warned me that for a long time (since the beginning of my teens, actually) I have operated in the world with a deep seated belief that “I am not worthy”… specifically of food. Anyone who has met me will have noticed I am quite slender. During my teens, I developed an eating disorder (whilst I was being treated for a tumour… the worst time to develop such an issue). It had nothing to do with thinking I was fat (although I did have dysmorphia); it was instead a form of self harm, self punishment and control. Though my (non)eating habits were most severe during that period of my life, I have essentially been under-eating for years because of this deep seated belief. This belief has been blocking abundance, creative expression, and even love from other people my whole life; counsellor made it clear that I need to “heal my relationship with your body and food”, in order to break this self imposed curse, and completely unleash the creative power I have within me.
I’ve realised since that session with the counsellor that my lack of nourishment/care of my body is also responsible for my tendency to be completely overpowered by pain energies – both my own and others. I have a tendency to attract people to me that need both healing and awakening; being an intuitive empath, I naturally want to help those that come to me; it is part of my purpose to do so. But without a strong foundation (my body), I find myself drowning in the energies of the other; and my physical condition actually worsens. This has happened to me every year for the last 8 years. It has happened again this year. Weight loss, and related physical abnormalities. Every professional who works with my body has noticed. And I have received sign after sign that this is the vital work I need to do right now: love and nurture my body, and heal my relationship with it.
So I guess I have my number one resolution for 2017 sorted! 2016 was all about ‘Pure Connection‘; this has been a miraculous year for such connections and healing the misperception of aloneness that followed the intense trauma of my previous abusive relationship.
Now that I truly know I am not alone, 2017 will be all about working on my foundation – my body – feeding her, nourishing her, enjoying her – to allow the abundance, the love, and the creative expression that has been dying to come out for years to flow through me.
This graphic is from my 2012 post, ‘The Healer‘.
It is the theme for my weekend. Hope you’re having a blessed one.
This is a post about spirituality and connecting to ones indigenous cultural roots (which to me, are one and the same).
I recently came across the below video and experienced these wonderful goosebumps of recognition… the ones I get when I read something, see something or hear something that confirms an intuition I have already had about the path I am travelling on.
The interview clip is called ‘Decolonizing as a Spiritual Path – Leny Strobel, Center of Babaylan Studies’.
Below the youtube video is this statement:
“If decolonization has taught us anything, it’s this: part of our own healing is to no longer be the willing receptacle of these projections from the colonizer. What then becomes of us when we are emptied of colonial projections? I was reminded by a very wise woman mentor from India that my colonized self is only a sliver in the totality of my Filipino self. Yet, temporarily, it was necessary for the process of decolonization to take up time and space in the psyche in order to purge these projections so that I can come home full circle to the largeness of my own indigenous self.
“I use the term indigenous to refer to the self that has found its place, its home in the world. Emptied of projections of “inferiority,’ “third world,” “undeveloped,” “uncivilized,” “exotic and primitive,” and “modernizing,” it is the self capable of conjuring one’s place and growing roots through the work of imagination, re-framing history, and re-telling the Filipino story that centers our history of resistance, survival, and re-generation.” (A Book of Her Own, 182).
This decolonization process is in part what I wanted to capture in my piece ‘Blak on Both Sides‘. In that, I describe how I had to really struggle to fend off the projections of the colonizer+racists+colorists and accept both my indigenous “Black on Both Sides” Melanesian body and my inherited indigenous intuitive abilities. Today, I fully embrace my indigenous identity and my connection to my cultural roots – which I connect to through my intuition… my holistic connection with my ancestors and guides.
So now I have a new vocabulary for my spiritual life: the path is one of decolonization 🙂 Pretty neat!!!
“Become an alchemist. Transmute base metal into gold, suffering into consciousness, disaster into enlightenment.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
Rupi Kaur speaks my soul with such brevity, over and over again…
BELOW is the first piece I wrote then “performed” at ‘Fifty Shades of Blak: Performance Night’, inside Blak Dot Gallery last night. It was an intimate, energising evening of performances from a beautiful, powerful and diverse group of women of colour, and I am really lucky to have been invited to be amongst them.
‘Fifty Shades of Blak’ was an art exhibition held as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival this year – and it just took out the Best Visual Art Show Award!!! Curated by force of nature and Blak Dot visionary Kimba Thompson, ‘Fifty Shades of Blak’ highlighted the voices of fifty visual and performing female artists, each addressing issues of stereotyping, colour coding, racism, identity and societal perceptions of First Nations women and women of colour. It was the first exhibition in the gallery’s fantastic new location at 33 Saxon Street, Brunswick. Support Blak Dot!!! Pay them a visit in person and follow them on Facebook here.
Congratulations to the ‘Fifty Shades’ visual artists: Atong Atem | Cora-Allan Wickliffe | Dulcie Stewart | Frances Tapueluelu | Georgia MacGuire | Gina Ropiha | Ira Fernandez | Jasmine Togo-Brisby | Julie O’Toole | Katie West | Katherine Gailer | Kirsten Lyttle | Lily Laita | Lisa Hilli | Maree Clarke | Megan Van Den Berg | Paola Balla | Sarah Hudson | Shona Tawhiao | Tania Remana | Texta Queen | Treahna Hamm | Vicki Couzens | Ying Huang.
(Side note: In 2012, another Blak Dot Gallery show I co-curated with Leuli Eshraghi took out the Melbourne Fringe Festival Best Visual Art Show Award that year; I feel lucky to have even a peripheral association with the second winning show haha!)
BLAK ON BOTH SIDES
(© 2016 Pauline Vetuna, All Rights Reserved.)
Many years ago, I made a little film called ‘Coconut’.
The uncomfortable coconut in question, was myself. It was something I was called as a young person many times. But the larger question I sought to explore through the film, was this:
“If there is such a thing as being Black on the outside and white on the inside, what does it mean to be Black on the inside?”
This is the question that plagued my entire adolescence and young adulthood; when I was tortuously straightening out my beautiful big natural afro, that both my Tolai father and my Tolai mother blessed me with, and wishing I didn’t have all the thoroughly Melanesian features I am proud to have today.
It is the question that rang in my ears as I would deliberately stay out of the sun, because the ever present hum of non-Black racists, and Black colorists, all around me, let me know pretty unambiguously that my Blackness was too Black. That my Blackness needed to be watered down with whiteness both in colour of skin and in content of character.
It is the question that lingered in the background when I was being affirmed by friendly, kindly white racist “friends” for not being like the only other Black girl in the schoolyard (who by the way was my best friend) for being more Martin Luther King to her Malcolm X, for quietly integrating and assimilating before I even knew what that was or that assimilating meant erasing… starving… myself.
It is the question that pained me, deep inside, when white people would say “you’re a different kind of Black girl”, and mean ‘coconut’, and think it was a compliment. When Black people would say “you’re a different kind of Black girl”, and mean ‘coconut’, and know it was an insult.
It is the question that represented the void within me that used to exist. The void left by the absence of a home, language and culture that can haunt Black immigrant kids growing up disconnected from a motherland long left, with indigenous immigrant parents also feeling the pain of that disconnection, and living in a colonial illegal settlement that will only accept you if you reject an identity you are strongly yet subtly encouraged at every turn to never fully develop… to instead stay cocooned and never become the butterfly.
I used to think that not developing those wings of identity would serve me well, somehow; at least allow me to live and pursue my watered down dreams in this white colony to some degree, accepting a second class reality of never feeling at home in my surroundings let alone my own skin and features. A wingless existence. In some kind of spiritual way I felt like turning myself into colourless WATER would allow me to flow into any space and become anything I needed to be to survive in that time and place.
That is true, to some degree. And I know now that this was lesson PART A in the wisdom syllabus that my Tolai Melanesian Black ancestors passed to me as I grew, through a vital and alive INTUITIVE GIFT that only in the last few years I have realised is my genetic family legacy… the gift of being indigenous, the inherited gift of my Black genetic lines on both sides. Guidance from my ancestors.
In the midst of a “rational “white supremacist culture it took me years of honing that intuition to even trust it, let alone to recognise its true origin being my indigenous cultural roots.
But now, I know. And that is my birthright identity. I claim it now, every single day.
Some years ago, a friend sent me a short story she found about the necessity of struggle as a precursor to wholeness. Sadly I don’t know who wrote it, but there is this passage in it that talks about how a restricting cocoon and the struggle that the emerging butterfly has to go through to break free of it, are the Life Force’s way of forcing fluid, WATER, from its body and into it’s wings, so that the butterfly can be as strong as it can be… and be able to fly.
In other words, the WATER came before the flight. So, today I like to think of my coconutty struggle through the confusing wasteland of whiteness and pervasive colorism that I went through, as having empowered me to be as strong as I am today. That struggle, ironically, gave me wings.
Because my ancestors whispers to me were right. Water is LIFE. Water is powerful, and forceful, it animates us and fills us and although colourless it reflects every colour we can see. It is a shape shifter, an adapter. It is an important element to understand, and master, and in some cases become… in order to survive. But once it is mastered and contained it must be directed back to the roots, to our cultural roots, to feed and nourish them,WATER them, so the life of our people can continue. In the person, the water must be forced into the wings, so that they, the butterfly, can fly.
I live so far from the land where my ancestors bodies returned to the soil yet I see with such clarity now that they have reached through time and space every day my whole life to give me guidance, even when I didn’t yet know their names. This is the gift that I say with embarrassment now that I almost forfeited to be accepted into a world that lacks the wisdom that my ancestors – my people – embodied. The gift of being Black on both sides.
Why would I ever want to be anything else?