Part 2. Crossing Paths: Meeting at the Intersections

i find myself standing at the intersections
At the cross roads of my heart and mind
Their eyes meet mine
and I search to see myself in them
but the light coming from their heart is too strong
Resiliency, courage, strength and beauty meet me
and invite me to play and laugh on their land
they dare me to think about who I am on this earth
what do I stand for
and who do I want to be
for them on this journey
They prompt me to question my very existence
my own humanity
Their eyes meet mine
and I cant promise nothing but the moment
This is just another assignment on my own journey
a spiritual interaction on this human earth
Angels crossing paths without borders

crossing paths

Today, I breathed and released, let go, gave up and breathed some more, inhaling into my heart trying to understand with out judgment what it is that I am being called to do in this moment, in this lifetime, with these young people and children, in this particular part of their journey.

As I rap my head around what I am witnessing I realized that the work being done with the children crossing the borders is so out of context of these children lives and where these children are coming from politically. And of course because they have crossed over into the United States the institutions treating and serving them are using US based, mainstream models of psychotherapy, mental health, social work, psychology and education for a group of beautiful indigenous children who speak in their native tongue and are in tribes and cultures native to their lands. Do these models do more harm than good? The answer has always been yes, whether in conversation of immigrants or migrants and native people to this own land and people of color in general in the US.

Any US mainstream model in any field, sexual assault, reproductive health, prison industrial complex and now immigrant unaccompanied minors that is used to facilitate an understanding of the oppression of people of color and its impact automatically stereotypes, diagnoses, discriminates, creates prejudice and therefore violence against the very people it claims to have its best interest in mind, leaving them vulnerable to imposed evaluations and diagnosis that have no relevance to what they may be going through, who they are and what they want to do in the next phase of their lives.

What we may consider trauma here maybe a normal state of being for them. Where educational systems do not exist in “normal educational institutions”, education in tribes looks very different. They pass down stories, do rituals and connect to the earth. What we consider child labor, for other countries everyone in the family being workers for the land connected to the earth is part of their culture and their education is the crops they farm. If they don’t look at you, they are not traumatized, in their culture that might not be acceptable. If they are not speaking they do not have a speech problem they don’t understand your Spanish or English cause they talk but only in their native tongue and not our imposed language. Yes, they are 12, 13 and 14 and don’t “look” their age but by whose standards? Many don’t have food or when they do eat, they do not eat over processed, hormone/pesticide infested food that has been cloned with no nutrients. Not all of them are in gangs, stop listening to the news, its creating a generalization of these children, where they came from and why? This is not a one size fits all situation.

Check your privilege at the door. This is not a power struggle between you and academia where you want to show off your clinical degree or master of diagnosis. These are real people and the disservice that we do when we create yet another invisible stop on their journey where they are dehumanized and not seen, is more devastating than the journey they have already gone through.

Please , Please Please, seek out support and training! If you are an advocate, service provider, teacher, youth worker, supervisor, clinician, volunteer or any other body doing direct services or on the front lines of working with immigrant children crossing the borders. CHECK, CHECK, CHECK yourself! Take a cultural awareness and cultural humility training. Do your own research about this population, look for alternative news to inform yourself about what is not being said, look for another side, another way to think and be. Commit and take responsibility for being open to learning and giving up what you think you already know, for deep personal transformation and healing for yourself and the child, for critically thinking and creating a mind that has no borders.

Self Healing Tips: Take care of yourself in the process.
1. Thank yourself everyday for being on the front lines of this work?
2. Choose to not take the story home instead take a mental picture of the smile in their eyes.
3. Create a group of people who will support you in debriefing your days, crying and releasing, healing and understanding why you?
4. Write, write, down your rage, your sadness, your excitement, your thoughts, whats coming up for you?
5. Celebrate, Affirm and forgive yourself and your family. Hug them tight and go to bed saying I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me and thank you!

From direct service to community organizing?: Questions to think about.

1. Make a map of the journey? From what country to what other country, to the border?
2. Walking, bus, train, crossing rivers, deserts and mountains? How did they get here?
3. What languages do they speak? Become knowledgeable
4. What tribes and cultures may they be coming from? What is their way of life?
6. What is the social, political and economic climate of their countries?
7. What is their education?
8. What is their work?

9. What are the issues that they may be facing in their countries outside of what the news is saying? Health, drugs?, disease(if any?), violence against women, role of men, lgbt? etc
10. What resiliency are they already coming with?

Take care of you,
Dayanara Marte

Queens Igniting Fires to End Violence Against Women in the Virgin Islands!

Video taken at an amazing presentation with Umi Hankins Co-Executive Director, Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC) in St, Criox during the US Territory Summit on Violence Against Women “Our Communities,Our Islands, One Voice” presented by The National Organization of Sisters of Color  Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA).  

” Queen Mary, oh where you gon’ go burn?
Queen Mary oh where you gon’ go burn?
Don’t ask me nothin’ at all. Just give me the match and oil.
Bassin Jailhouse, ah there the money there.
Don’t ask me nothin’ at all. Just give me the match and trash.
We gon’ burn Bassin come down,
And when we reach the factory, we’ll burn am level down. “

This year my work has taken me around the world taking the pulse from women leading social justice movements in their respective countries from Camaroon, breast ironing to Puerto Rico, Queens  are ending sexual assault .i celebrated the return of the sun, the summer solstice in Puerto Rico and the USVI and I  spent last week in the Island of St. Criox where I got to present at the US Territory Summit on Violence Against Women and have come back truly honored and humbled to share this earth with such amazing women eradicating violence in this lifetime.

I have learned many things in the past two weeks but nothing as important as the two things I want to share in this blog post. 1. A  Global love letter to sisterhood and 2. What the song above ” Queen Mary” did for me this summer 2014. When the women sang it during one of the workshops it sparked a revolutionary flame in me that I thought had burned out along time ago.  What way to re-ignite the return of the flames of the sun in me. We are everywhere, women rising up, Queens in position of leadership given or chosen creating another sisterhood, giving out crowns to share royalty at a time when there is a war on women’s bodies, minds and spirits.

The song was an example of how women have fought back against colonization and oppression generations in the making. It made me think about the direct correlations between violence against women and colonization. The personal and collective stories that I heard from women living in America Samoa, Siapan, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands of personal trauma contextualized in historical violence mirrors and reflect how violence is a learned behavior of torturing, invading, raping, killing and colonizing not just countries but women’s bodies as well. In addition, the legacy of how women fought back during those times speaks to not just their role culturally but how they fight today.

“In 1878 four women on St. Croix, traditionally called “Queens” in Crucian tradition, organized a revolt known as “Fireburn” to demand all plantations pay better and repeal the Labor Act of 1849 that kept workers unequal with their counterparts on other Caribbean islands. These V.I. heroines were: Queen Mary Thomas, Queen Mathilde Macbean, Susanna “Bottom Belly” Abrahamson and Axeline “Queen Agnes” Salomon. For five days, much of the West End of the island burned. Women made up the majority of Crucian workers and were largely called “Queens” because of their ability to articulate the needs of the agricultural sugarcane workers on the plantations. The women were young. Queen Mathilda was in her mid to late teens at the time. The four queens were imprisoned in Denmark. But the labor laws were quickly reformed”.

There is a Queen Mary in all of us, a revolutionist, womanist, warrior spirit and goddess and I dedicate this love letter to my sisters on the frontlines rising up, uprising and burning down mountains crossing oceans and uniting us by song.

I see you, you are my sister!

I see you. I chose you. I choose you. We are scarred in similar ways. We are beautiful in unique ways. We are tied together by elastic golden threads that weave supportive cases around our hearts. We move far and wide with great gaps of time between our last goodbyes. But when we see each other the laughter that so naturally flows between us fills any space that time created.
Shared experience breeds all kinds of comedy, connection and re-lived trauma. Our histories are complex, our connection no less so. We carry the burden of every system we step in and out of. And yet we find our way into those sacred conversations that bleed into the wee hours of the night. We gather around kitchen, boardroom and cafeteria tables or any other commons we encounter. We scheme, we team, we inspire, we reignite and we see how starved we were for reflection. We revel in the comfort of friends.
I take the time to show my love to you through the time I dedicate to simply listening to the woes, the flows all the while witnessing your greatness. I am honored to be the audience to your show. I applaud, support, challenge and grow along side you. I am dedicated to those that share the same set of principles and I am dedicated to those in my community that might need a little extra.
I give what I have to give when I can give it. What I get in return is the opportunity to see the astonishing power that we have when we find common ground to stand on. Together we have the power to do anything. I wake up to this power. I build bridges to those who love me. I open the door to those that I love.
Taken from http://www.chaninicholas.com/new-moon-affirmations-horoscopes-week-june-23/#sthash.ejtxKMgb.dpuf

Trauma Healing Expert Dayanara Marte on Living with Fullness!

Presenting Dayanara Marte!
Dayanara’s lesson is: “In Bold ReBirth: Living Your Fullness No Matter What.” Marte is a speaker at Sacred Bombshell Academy and a renowned activist speaker, workshop leader, healer, and empowerment maven in healing trauma and abuse. The founder of In Bold ReBirth will be speaking on living with fullness no matter what you’ve been through, the 6th principle and chapter in “The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love.” I met Dayanara years ago at Casa Attabex Ache, her safe space for women in the Bronx. I was honored to present a workshop in her space. Ms. D is a force of nature!
Dayanara Marte
JUNE 22, 2014 • ADVICE, AFFIRMATIONS, EVENTS, HOT TOPICS, INTERVIEWS, LIFESTYLE, SACRED BOMBSHELL HANDBOOK, SELF-LOVE, SINGLE WOMEN, SPIRITUALITY, VIDEO, WEB SERIES • VIEWS: 259

Dayanara Marte is a speaker at Sacred Bombshell Academy and a renowned activist speaker, workshop leader, healer, and empowerment maven in healing trauma and abuse. The founder of In Bold ReBirth will be speaking on living with fullness no matter what you’ve been through, the 6th principle and chapter in “The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love.” I met Dayanara years ago at Casa Attabex Ache, her safe space for women in the Bronx. I was honored to present a workshop in her space. Ms. D is a force of nature!

Presenting Dayanara Marte!
Dayanara’s lesson is: “In Bold ReBirth: Living Your Fullness No Matter What.”

This session on Living Fullness No Matter What may be for you if:
You feel stuck in your life and unable to move on;
You have experienced traumas that you haven’t healed from;
You wonder how other people can be so happy;
No one really understands the pain you feel;
You feel broken or like something is wrong with you;
You feel paralyzed by past mistakes or perceived failure;
Feeling joy is rare for you;
You stay in your comfort zone to feel safe;
You would love to experience a bold rebirth;Questions posed on the topic:

(We’ll see what Dayanara has to say!)

How can I begin to process what has happened to me?
What if shame and blame are holding me back?
Is joy possible for everyone?
What’s the best way to go through tough times?
What is happiness?
What does it really mean to live life to the fullest?
What do you do when you feel sad or anxious?
Why are their still so many stigmas around dealing with trauma?
How can I love myself if I have been through terrible things?
What’s something I can do today to feel passion, pleasure, joy, fun, and/or happiness?

Buy Abiola’s new guide, The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love, Book release date Wednesday June 25th. http://www.abiolatv.com/bombshell-handbook-feminine-power-womanly-wisdom-radical-self-love/

Sacred Bombshell DAYANARA MARTE is a teacher at next week’s ONLINE SACRED BOMBSHELL ACADEMY book launch! WATCH HER LIVE Sunday, June 22nd at 8pm EST on YouTube.com/PlanetAbiola via Google Hangout. In “Bold Rebirth,” Dayanara creates and facilitates healing around #trauma and women’s safe spaces with an emphasis on #socialjustice. If your life traumas keep you stuck, this warrior woman has lessons on living with fullness. Questions for Dayanara?

Sacred Bombshell DAYANARA MARTE is a teacher at next week’s ONLINE SACRED BOMBSHELL ACADEMY book launch! WATCH HER LIVE Sunday, June 22nd at 8pm EST on YouTube.com/PlanetAbiola via Google Hangout. In “Bold Rebirth,” Dayanara creates and facilitates healing around #trauma and women’s safe spaces with an emphasis on #socialjustice. If your life traumas keep you stuck, this warrior woman has lessons on living with fullness. Questions for Dayanara?

Self Love in Violence?: Unprocessed Personal Trauma breeds Organizational Trauma

Self Love in Violence?: Unprocessed Personal Trauma breeds Organizational Trauma

In the days following up to the transition of winter to spring here in New York city, the day of the spring equinox and I find myself hearing my internal dialogue operating at a million. I’m not good enough and … Continue reading