Feel, observe and build from the wreckage

Things fall apart so better things can be built from the wreckage.
Sadness must be experienced for happiness to be acknowledged.
Because if you numb yourself to one feeling, you’ll begin to numb yourself to all of them.
Because if you reach outside yourself to your favorite drug– whether it be food, alcohol, cocaine, narcotics, (bad) relationships– to avoid feeling bad, you’ll begin a never ending chase to feel good.
Turn inward.
FEEL.
Feel what’s going on inside you. Observe it.
Feel what it’s like when you’re down to your last dollar and can’t put food on the table or pay your rent.
Feel what it feels like when someone close to you has a pending sentence looming over his or her head.
Feel what it’s like when things feel like they’re falling apart.
Observe how your body reacts. Observe your how you feel. Breathe into the feeling.
Sometimes “bad” things happen so change can occur.
Sometimes we are taken into darkness to cast off all that we were in order to be who we are meant to be once we emerge through the other side.
We are spiritual beings on a human journey which comes with its ups and downs. Shit will happen. It’ll probably mess with your head at times. But if we numb ourselves to the bad we won’t be able to heal from those experiences.

Sometimes we just can’t find the reason why it’s happening.
But becoming numb to it all is never the answer.

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The Dark Side to Clean Eating

What exactly is clean eating?

Does it mean simply cutting out junk food? Or does it also mean cutting out gluten? Perhaps it means going Paleo, or maybe going vegan? What about going on a raw food diet?

I’m pretty sure that if you were to ask several different people what clean eating means, you will get several different answers, including some of the ones I have already mentioned and anywhere in between. There is no single standard to the term as everyone will have their own interpretations of what it means to them.

But as we dig a little further on this term, you will start to see that things are being placed into two categories: clean and not clean. And though that is fine for some people, it can become a psychological disaster for others.

An obsession can begin with clean eating, creating an unhealthy relationship between some people and the food they eat. It no longer becomes something enjoyable. It becomes something they are thinking about all the time, eliminating things out of fear and having enormous guilt when they eat something that is deemed unclean on their list.

Their attempts at clean eating have now turned into anxiety at meal times, leaving some people refusing to eat if it’s not up to their clean standards. Some people may even push away family and friends as the obsession grows.

I’m not saying that clean eating is wrong. Everyone should strive to improve their health through good, nutritious food in the manner that serves them best. But if clean eating has turned into something that creates such a panic-driven lifestyle, it’s time to stop and reconsider what is really happening and to reestablish a healthier relationship food.

Food is fuel. Food provides the nutrients you need to do the things you love.

Meal time shouldn’t be about filled with anxiety. If clean eating is creating a mess of your internal state, perhaps there is something more going on to be addressed that you are using food to mask and control.

Spend some time alone, in meditation and journaling, to begin uncovering what is really going on. Talk to someone you trust about what’s going on.

Because clean eating shouldn’t be a way to control your life. That will only create more issues as you push away or bottle up what’s really going on. Our relationship with food and with ourselves is what will carry us either positively or negatively throughout our lives. Think about it: they are the greatest lifelong relationships in our lives. They are the relationship we need to nurture in a healthy manner if we want to feel like we are thriving rather than merely surviving.

So in the words of Tara Stiles, “Eat like you love yourself.” Whatever clean eating means to you, do it because you love yourself and want to be the best version of yourself that you can be. And if you find yourself starting to head down a path that just doesn’t feel right, I hope that you can find the strength to stop and reevaluate the issue at hand.

xo
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Create The Conditions and Allow Yourself to Bloom: The Birth of a Flower

Geez… inhale.. Yeah… exhale… I need to go to the hospital.create the conditions and bloom the birth of a flower summer perez

NOW.

I had just finished throwing up so violently that I had no idea how I did not smash my face on the porcelein.

Now there I was, lying on the cold stone bathroom floor, 34 weeks pregnant. The last time I threw up like that I gave birth a few minutes later. 

My sister’s car broke down. Oz is at work 30 minutes away. Taxi please.

The cab driver asked if I was going to visit someone or to work at the hospital.

“No, I think I’m having a baby.”

Silence.

He started to drive a little faster. I can’t imagine a cab driver who wants someone’s water bursting in their back seat.

 Thirty minutes later, I’m going through registration. Really? C’mon. There’s got to be a faster way. 

See, I don’t feel the pain of the contractions as badly as others. I zen out throughout the process. I can make it to the pushing without extreme pains. I just feel uncomfortable tightening. 

I got up to the maternity triage and changed my clothes in the bathroom. A cattleya flower greets me there. A sign that she’s coming? Cataleya was to be her name.

The nurse says I’m 3 centimeters dialated, 80% effaced and baby’s head is at the -1 position, meaning she’s super low. The monitors say I’m contracting intensely (how am I not in extreme pain?). Contractions are 1-3 minutes apart. This baby wants to come out tonight.

But she can’t. She’s too small. She needs to bake for a few more weeks. Ideally 6 more weeks.

They inject me with medication to help stop the contractions. Doesn’t work very well. I’m still contracting hard even though it is starting to pace out. I’m pumped with so much saline fluid that I’m going to the bathroom every few minutes. I want it to just stop. I want to have it all stop.

In time, things slowed down and two days later I was released. My doctor said if I made it to 36 weeks to throw a party. Heck, if we made it to that Friday to throw a party. It was only Monday.

Wow, I’m having a baby. And soon.

bw 34 weeks pregnant

Where did the time go?

I wasn’t ready for her to come right now.

Up to that point, more often than not, I didn’t feel pregnant. Most of the time was spent responding to other people’s needs. I was in such a stressful living situation that I felt as though I was not permitted to just BE. It didn’t sink in that I was actually pregnant and another baby is coming until I was in the hospital. I thought I had more time.

And I needed time on my side. From then on, I committed to living in the moment as much as possible. Every day that passed was a celebration. No need to wait until Friday. We were celebrating now.

jayden summer perez curls valentines

I was soaking up as much time as I could with my son before his sister arrives. Wasn’t I doing this before? I thought I was. But I quickly realized I missed out on things when I allowed myself to be overtaken by other people’s negative dispositions. Being an empath, I can get lost in the energy of those around me if I don’t make a conscious effort to emit and protect my own. No wonder Cataleya wanted out. Or at least wanted to let me know to get my shit together.

Thank you for that wake up call, baby girl.

I found peace in the days that followed, and I felt her love more than ever. And it felt like magic.

Kisses
Kisses from the womb

On the morning of her birth, she gently woke me up to let me know it’s time we met. I basked in serenity knowing I was going to be face to face with my angel.

It was with the strength I found in serenity that allowed me to have a mostly painless labor and birth. No screaming, no crying, no medications. Just peace. Ok, and maybe a tight grip on Oz’s hand here and there. 

But the moment the doctor handed me her tiny little 36 week body to hold, there was an overwhelming sense of completeness. 

This is it. 

She’s here.

cataleyabirth babypreemie

And she’s perfectEven down to her name. 

The cattleya orchid can live in harsh environments, but given the right conditions it blooms to reveal one of the world’s most beautiful flowers. 

My little Cataleya did just that. And as she continues to bloom, she teach me to do the same. 

Create the conditions and allow yourself to bloom.

 

create the conditions catalpa bloom

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Dance With Me

My body interprets and brings to life the language of my soul
Writing poems with my every breath
With my every movementSummerPerezdancewithme
With my every stillness
But sometimes that poetry forms words
And my hands flow with the words of my tears that I won’t allow my eyes to shed
The energetic buzz of my soul’s love trying to be heard
Written prayers of gratitude and admiration for the beauty of this life
And at times of pain and suffering
But as I express I can feel I am never alone

I can feel it with my poetry
My movement
My stillness
My breath
My tears
My joy
My laughter
My love
My soul feels yours no matter the distance and revels in your poetry
Your movement
Your stillness
Your breath
Your tears
Your joy
Your laughter
Your love
In a poetic dance of souls too beautiful for eyes to see alone
A poetic dance that comes into full view
When we open our hearts and let our light shine
Illuminating the darkness with a flame that can never be put out

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