1. Moving from Rochester to NYC.
Foundation is very important to me. I'm a homebody, a double Capricorn, and a real hostess. When planing gatherings or work sessions, I tend to always insist that I host them. When my foundation gets shook, everything else becomes more difficult to focus on. I went from a temporary home to couch surfing, and in the midst of that there is so much I've had to and still need to accomplish: completing online English courses, finishing up final projects and papers for my grad program (including my end-of-year portfolio, which is still in progress), applying for food stamps, medicaid, and a second B.A. in Art, helping my mom find work and stable housing, and looking for work, for examples. So all of these things add to the foundation-shaking factor, especially with my life locked in a u-haul storage box.
But what has been interesting and confusing about this shift is that its the first time in 7 years that NYC is technically my home. I'm a drastically different human today compared to 7 years ago, and gentrification has done a lot to change my "home" in those 7 years as well. My first moments here have been a mixed process of mourning, reflection, and celebration: mourning those aspects of the city I created memories in that are no longer there; reflecting on who I was 7 years ago and why I left NYC and how my current relationship to this city is, and will be different- a process of facing my past and healing, a process of constructing a new self.
Something automatically shifted in all this foundation-shaking that allowed me to stay focused. There was a shift from being rooted in my physical space to being rooted in faith. I remembered what life had taught me in my 6 years in the Bay Area, and that's that intuition is the voice of Most High within us, and that when we are on the path that She has set before us the Universe will provide - always. So my intuition has been my closest companion in all of this, and even in the midst of all these challenges I've been feeling like the most blessed person on earth!
2. Shifting from University Student mode to Educating Artist / Family Member / Friend mode.
This is going to be a process of unlearning. There are so many hidden emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual habits I've acquired as a University Student. As an unhealthy workaholic, I've let myself neglect my own humanity. A lot of my creative energy has been stifled; for the most part, my relationships with others, including family, have been put into the back-burner; my physical well-being has gone down significantly in the past 7 years; and although I know I've been walking down the right path, I've been consciously in and out of touch with my connection to Most High - I've been so focused on cultivating my intellectual growth that at times I've neglected the rest of me. That's gonna change.
Balance is going to be significant in my continuing process of self-actualization. I have to remember or learn what it means to be a complete human being. Working for social justice has to include developing healthy and holistic selves, there is no movement without a people. It has to be a part of what I'm working towards, what I'm building (not just trying to take down and destruct). And I can't guide others in doing the same if I'm not there myself. A "movement" of people who neglect their own humanity is a dehumanizing movement. And although I can't say I've neglected all other parts of myself all the time, I know I can do better at strengthening my consciousness of all aspects that make me a complete spiritual and human being.
Goals and Blessings.
I have a commitment to stay true to my vision and my path in this life. I've been recently blessed with the opportunity to teach at the James Baldwin School. It was at the top of the list of schools to teach in. I didn't get the position right away. My commitment to my vision was tested and strengthened by Most High, and in that work She provided the perfect opportunity. As far as I've studied and witnessed, this school will support, respond to, and value my work and my vision.
My emotional, spiritual, and intellectual well-being depends on my growth as an artist, at least partly. I'm going to be working towards a second B.A. in Art at City College of NY. This way I'll be present and attentive to this process, while working towards getting credentialed as an Art Teacher in addition to my English credential. I don't see this as "extra work" but as necessary work for my own spiritual existence. I also plan to cultivate my work as a fiction and non-fiction writer.
I have faith that the harder I focus on and walk down my chosen and spiritually inspired journey, the more the blessings will continue to come.