What's Your Story?

Football Sunday lovely people of the Universe! If football is playing on every TV in every room of your house, raise your hand now! And if you know like I know, you better not touch that tv or that remote on any Sunday from August to February of every single year, for the rest of your life! I love sports, live ones that is. Mostly the ones where I am wearing my team mom jersey and cheering obnoxiously for 8 and 9 year olds. NFL football isn't really my thing until playoffs.

So today was a pretty freaking amazing day. While the boys were at home watching football, eating baked beans and franks, (because I guess without me there to cook, it was the struggle lunch) I was at a one day Emerge Spiritual Retreat, hosted by the angelic Colleen from Angelwisdom. Can I sayyyyyy AMAZEBALLS. The location was Camp Ockanickon in the breathtaking South Jersey woods. The weather was a chilly fall day, nonetheless extremely beautiful. The colorful leaves all over the ground. We did letters to God, releasing those things we want God to take control of by burning them in a fire. Then we spent half of our day juggling bonfire side and lakeside meditation, while the other part of the day was spent making intention candles, doing archery and appreciating the rustling of the leaves beneath our boots during the nature walks. Being in nature with 50 plus like minded individuals, God, and all that is was completely blissful.

It's interesting how the universe aligns you with the people assigned to your path, yea pretty much effortlessly. During the 30 minutes of registration, I was already cozy with my selected seat toward the front of the room, near the fire place. I sat at this table partly  because I wanted to be near the blazing fire, as it was still 50-ish degrees and chilly, but also I had been attracted to the fresh flowers in a mason jar center piece which was coined with the label "Live". As the registrants came in, they sat at various tables, in various places throughout the room. Thus far, no one had bothered to sit with me, and honestly I was ok with that, as I was waiting on my mom anyhow. One less awkward moment to have sitting next to a complete stranger.

I was sipping my warm tea when I made eye contact with a woman who then spoke with a soft but friendly voice, "Hey, do you mind if I sit here?" or with you. Not quite remembering which word play she used but you get the drift! Why certainly she could! I invited her to join me with my smile. After all, I was excited that someone wanted to be near me. At least at that point, I knew I didn't stink and that my breath was fresh enough not to ward off any complete strangers. lol

I could go on and on about how this woman's spirit was familiar. She was genuine and kind. Honestly, I have no idea how we ended up being so transparent, spending most of the day swapping stories, herself, my mom and I. We talked about things that normal people (not that we aren't normal or anything) wouldn't usually divulge in their first meeting. At one point, we even learned that some of her co-workers are friends of my moms and that her husband went to high school with my sister.

I enjoyed myself and I am so thankful to the universe for sending inspiration daily. At times, the content of our conversation was a bit heavy, as we shared a glimpse of the most difficult times of life we'd experienced.  And Out of all of the things I could've said (at times I am sure I talked her ear full), walking away from today, I realize there was one thing that I left unsaid. First I'd apologize if ever detailing our exchange touched the heaviest parts of our hearts, yet I'd also say, "The context of our exchange has inspired me and offered healing in ways I can't explain. Thank you for being who you are."

We are all spirit having a human experience. Strangers and acquaintances, connected and disconnected, we are all one in the same. We each are traveling a journey, we each have a story, and collectively, our stories intertwine in some synchronism or odd way. When we are brave enough to share these stories, we consciously send love, awareness, and healing out into the world. Our courage to share our intimate pains of life open up doorways, sending a message of infinite hope and endless compassion. 

If meeting a new a person was always as healing and inspiring as meeting who I met today, I would wish to meet a new soul every single day! And I almost feel confident enough to start off the conversation with, "Hi, my name is Shina. What's your story?"

Love & light,

Shina

PS, I will be adding a few photos once I receive them. :)

Ruh Roh!

"Be quiet and listen, will ya?"

It's been a long week and a half since I shared my last love tool.  I have been in a super quiet space, almost too quiet.  I found myself lying awake at night, all alone, in my cold bed thinking about why a square won't fit into a circle, why most people like cheddar cheese in their baked macaroni (personally I think it taste better mixed with mozzarella), wondering who thought ketchup, mustard, & relish would taste good as condiments on a hotdog?.... Actually, I wasn't alone or cold. My heat works just find and my husband was laying on my left side, somewhere off in sleep land snoring away. haha. Just kidding about the whole square, circle and macaroni thing! But seriously, I always seem to wonder about the hot dog condiments. I can't be the only one?

Now that I've got your attention due to my lame attempt to make up a fictitious story to poetically describe the space I'm in, let me get into it! I would like to think of this blog post as a journal entry, a great listening ear for whats been plaguing me in the past few days. Hear goes! Hi my name is Rashina and I have a confession to make. Beautiful people of the universe, I'm feeling a little stuck. Well not stuck, but "on pause" like Colleen St. Michaels likes to call it. Yep. Pause as in still frame, as in slowed down to almost a trance like stop, as if I am literally on pause watching the world move around me.

I am usually pretty good at honing in on things that try to challenge my positive self space. I acknowledge the not so positive things, but try not to waste too much of my precious time focusing on them. Usually those negative feelings are fleeting and I am right back on my planet of spiritual bliss. The past 8 or 9 days have been different though. I have been feeling a little vibrationally challenged. 

I've done a few practices that typically bring me back in, such as reading, positive self-talk, and recharging & trying to balance my NRG, but it felt like nothing was working. I was feeling like my zest was missing, my seasoning that makes me a little spicy was suddenly gone. It kind of felt like someone had sucked the enthusiasm right out of my chest and I say chest because my usual movements are ruled by my heart, as I try to do everything out of love and compassion. I mean, man, I was feeling like I hit a brick walll! Everything was as quiet as a lake on a windless day. Which is kind of a good thing because hitting a brick wall was an immensely needed abrupt wake up call.

"Shina, what in the hell are you talking about?" Listen loves, I mean continue reading to get this gem! Often times, as human beings, we allow quiet spaces to discourage us. It's like if we have a moment of  un-busyness (nope not a word), our mind starts on this path of "Ruh roh! What if I'm failing?" (although busy doesn't always mean productive, funny we equate it that way) We start occupying our minds with menial worry, consumed with 'what if things don't play out the way I planned them in my head' thoughts. We start talking ourselves into these dark holes surrounded by a bunch of negations that ultimately try to talk us out of our passions! If we would instead, appreciate the stillness, we might realize that just maybe God is sending us divine messages, just maybe God is speaking if we would be willing to listen! We would understand that he uses these moments to tell us the next move we should make because he knows that when there is no noise, that's the only time we can hear him clearly enough to follow his lead.

Gem right here: Learn to "Trust the silence". There is a special wisdom to be found in being still. A wise person once said, "Make time for the quiet moments because God whispers and the world is loud." Stillness isn't negative, it's neutral so don't get discouraged during the quiet moments of stillness. Sweetheart, stillness does not mean you are failing, it means God is trying to tell you something important!

Oh and if you were wondering, I hear God loud and clear! He has me exactly where I needed to be to hear this message!

Love and light to all!

Xo,

Shina




Walking Away from my Funeral Alive

October is also Domestic Violence Awareness month and I would be remised if I didn’t use my voice to speak up for the women who continue to remain vocally crippled from speaking out against DV and physically paralyzed from exiting dangerously abusive situations.

I would like to take this moment to be transparent. I was once that woman with no voice; my vocal ability had been impeded by two hands wrapped around my neck, literally. I have been choked, I’ve had my head slammed on floors, on walls, I’ve had my hair pulled out, I’ve had heavy objects thrown at me, I’ve been scratched, pushed and over powered. I’ve had that same wrist I shared about a month back, twisted to the point where my abuser said he was trying to break it. I use to have bruises so bad that I had to wear long sleeves and high necked shirts in 80 degree weather. I feared for my life. But fearing for my life wasn’t enough. I remember telling one of my best male friends “If I come up missing, please tell my parents who did this”, as if having those conversations weren’t enough.

I remember my last encounter very vividly. It was roughly 3 am, I was pushed so hard in an open field that I fell to the ground, as he told me he was going to catch a charge for "killing a bitch tonight”. I believed him and I knew with certainty he was capable of doing it. Those words pierced my inner most being. It was then that reality crystalized for me and I knew in that very moment, if I couldn’t find the courage and strength to leave this situation for good, my parents would be eulogizing my funeral, closing their 25 year old daughter in a casket. 

I am the face of Domestic Violence and I share my story to open minds from judgment, to show that Domestic Violence has no face or educational background. Most sincerely, I share my story in hopes to inspire those who are silently suffering, to show them that there are beautiful new beginnings awaiting those who seek escape. Please I beg of you, find the courage to use your voice.

If you or someone you know are a victim of Domestic Violence, please call National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you don’t have the tools to plan a safe exit, they can help you. 1−800−799−SAFE(7233)