Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Growth Mindset in Uncertainty & Grief

I am not sure how to accurately describe the past few weeks, on a mental, physical and spiritual level. However it has been one of the most challenging patches of my 38 year old life. It is hard for me to grasp on the outside exactly what is normal, with the definition being constantly demanding of shift with the COVID 19 crisis. Piled on top of that was the loss of my beloved best feline friend, Neefah Pandya. She passed of kidney disease in my arms, naturally. She was 16 and one of the gentlest spirits I have ever known. The grief I am going through is real, raw, though I am without fear that I am forever with her, as she is in my heart. An eternal love.

For an empath like myself, I can certainly pick up on all the restless spirits, anxiety and fear. This with playing nurse for N for the last 2 weeks and 24/7 the last 3 days. I had to find a way to ground myself, find courage rather than discouraged.

Every person is reacting exactly as they need too, in order to be taught the lessons they need to receive, during this powerful global event that is asking us to pause. I sincerely believe that this is a reset from the universe, the source, energy, karma, Spirit, Goddess, God, whatever you wanna call it.

The truth is that we are being asked to slow down, look, reflect and change, as a human race. Reassess what really is necessary and important, how we value or ignore each other. How do we share with each other, how can we convey compassion for our neighbours, friends. How we take great Mother Earth for granted, how our arrogance makes us believe that we are the centre of the universe, but really we are dust in the wind.

I guess in some way I would describe myself as someone who has always been searching. Sometimes for perspective of growth or learning, at other times for a way, help, support, health. Now without sounding cliche, age really does convey perspective and I am happy that I have sought myself, now that I meet myself today; mentally, physically and spiritually. The more you explore the more you know, plain and simple. The more practice you take in the vehicle of your existence, the more resilient you are when situations arise that challenge you.

Suffering is a realm I am familiar with, I am very emotionally in-tune. In realness it was only in my 30s that I learned the idea of laying boundaries and emotional intelligence. This was pivotal towards awakening me towards that just like any gift you possess, you must learn how to apply it, use it, feel it, be with it.

We spend so many hours, days and minutes trying to do, to please, we often forget to be. I don't think Neefah left me without choice, or as my Mom told me so eloquently through her Hindu faith, we had repaid each other what we owed each other, in exchange. Our transaction was completed. While I find peace in her words, I can't help but know that though she is physically gone, she motivates me even more somehow.

We are much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. We are capable of learning to be more compassionate, if only we listen and open our hearts. I ask myself and implore you to stay present, take deep breaths, find stillness among the chaos. Everything you need resides inside.

Saturday, February 29, 2020


The greatest way to impact the world is to connect with it. Know the people, the stories.
Connect with the places, life forms, art and sensations that tantalize your senses, even when given the slightest consideration within your systems. The things you are drawn to, what ignites you. What you are feeling and you can't explain. The lovers that make you stay up at night with a pounding heart and sweaty palms, even 10 years on. The gentle purr of your cats next to your pillow at night, and the inevitable calls of hunger every damn morning, like its been that long!

Walking down the street, catching the glimpse of a stranger at the traffic light and exchanging a smile, the electricity that grabs your heart. Getting your morning coffee, seeing the most beautiful woman with curly hair when you look up, stumbling with change in your wallet. You are frozen, perhaps a slight stumble. You fantasize for just a split moment, then your cheeks J Lo glow and you are silent, you turn to see as she walks away. 

Connection by Violeta Noy.

Those connections made watching a beautiful sunset at 4:47pm, on a rare non-grey winters day, the glare of light bouncing off the snow, powdered panoramoically. Remembering once again the seasons will turn. Summer will come and the prettiest trees will again line the DVP: yellow, orange, red, green, brown and blue. Magnificent colours, so many people all different and unique, full of quality. 

The tension that arises when the connection is not right, you just can't see eye to eye. There is lack of compassion. Deep down, or perhaps right on top you know this is not what good feels like. Communication just doesn't work right, the deflection of energy is impossible. 

We are all looking for a reason to believe in that it's all worth it in the end, it's not a lonely road. That secrets are not only whispers that fade in time, that the connections are beautiful.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Carbon Copy

Love is full of mystery. I don't claim to have an absolute understanding of much, but I can't help the love that is in my heart.

I am sure what we explore will become familiar, frequent. I have never been one to tame myself or reduce my voice, though I recognize when to step back into myself, when space is not mine to take and I am diligent about dealing with my own head, heart and body at my best, in that moment.

The inherent value of seeking your own love is that it allows you to access part of your heart that make you vulnerable, human and magical. The moments, people, places, sights, sounds, smells, tastes and the feels that make you smile, pray, meditate, feel powerful.

A companionship that stands the test of life can only survive if you recognize someones queerness, uniqueness and beauty.  Celebrate it, shake it, make it with appreciation. Make a choice to be together as two.

The same goes for the way we hold ourselves in the mirror, in many different worlds and times. Love starts from within and you share it with those who make you glow, those who want to know you for who you are.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Face to Face with Self-Care

The balance of health is so delicate. Life leaves very little space for recovery, the hustle is perhaps the most unnatural way to lead life. Traumas embed themselves like DNA in our minds and bodies and they're difficult to expel, as they come back and repel.

I wish I knew the formula, but me, just like so many out there face the reality of mental health as being a very real source of attention and caution. So why is it that so many of us feel the way we do? I tell myself when I am in extreme anxiety, it is simply a way of feeling, a feeling, being overtaken. But therein the problem is: being overtaken.

Over the past 5 years I have had to make serious commitment to my wellness, and trying to keep even keel with remaining motivated in my life, careers and as an artist; trying to balance with taking the time to just rest, be, breathe and process. Some days I am convinced that there is nothing natural at all about how we lead our outward lives. The concept of 9-5, capitalism, injustice, privilege and oppression, sexism, racism, homophobia, greed, that people starve and do not have clean water to drink, or a place to call home. That we just can't get along. Things are simply so out of whack.

I have learned to know myself very intimately and believe me, some days I drive myself nuts being the emo crabby beautiful spirit that I am. Trust me, I wonder if I was more an asshole and derived greater pleasure from selfish-foolishness, I may be more stable, less prone to anxiety and  even bouts of depression (usually as a result of a toxic potion of anxiety, insomnia, worry and processing some sort of bullshit).

The stakes are to stacked in many of our odds simply because of experiences, so how do we conjure empathy for others with experiences we don't relate to, live or care to acknowledge? When our own wings are broken, how do we learn to soar above the pain of inflictions? How do we both remember and forget?

I have taught my heart to sing many times, even when she fills with hesitation. I will never let fear get the best of me. I knew I could not stay that way, I won't let myself slip away.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

On Racism

Racism is everywhere. There's no denying it exists in and for people to access and deny power. Control. 
Racism informs government and police to base judgements and priority to your life being of importance, worth a call, an investigation, an incarceration. Law and justice, how they claim to protect and serves us is linked to how we look, where we come from and our sexual orientation. Communities of colour are predominantly abused, mistreated, under protected, neglected and misunderstood and exploited by every single man-made social, economic and political system. 
Policing is an unjust way of imposing justice. Lives are taken and taken by police, hard times are fallen on, mental health issues fall through systems and systems, but there is little real help to lift health to better. No real improvement from oppressions that happen so inconsequentially, every damn day. The police are as much gangs and terrorists as the gang and terrorists they claim to pursue. 
Who the hell is policing the police? They hella got an ego problem that's way out of proportion, and clearly the law protects them from fair persecution. How many times can we see cops abuse power, take lives and leave families and friends, communities broken and get away with it? How many times will they murder, lock-up and forget us?
Racism is actually more prevalent than compassion for our fellow human beings on the day to day. Everyone sees, experiences and is controlled by their racial profile. White dominance seems to demand systemic enslavement and crippling disadvantage to people of colour everywhere, around the world. Home, work, walking in the streets with our hands up, on the ground begging we can't breath. 
Absolute systemic disadvantage for those who are the best equipped to evoke change, in hopes to keep to keep desire for change silent, unequipped, indifferent, quiet, down. 

Colonization is a friend of racism. Colonization is an extension of racism, using political and economic control over geography to control coloured communities by imposing organizational, technological superiority over the native population. Overpopulation, economic distress, social unrest and religious persecution can be the reasons why colonizers came in the first place. The destruction they impose upon arrival, keeping the cyclical power of colonization alive. 
My parents were expelled from their home. I was a child born in Britain, under the protection of one of the most brutal land rapists in history. It's as complicated as you imagine human feelings to be. 
Colonization by nature subdues and assimilates indigenous population to the culture of the colonists; most of the time what I call: small white dick male power. Racism is societal cancer. Cut it out like our survival depends on it, because it does. 
White privilege is largely addicted to being exploitative of us quite literally and physically. White and European people spread colonization everywhere and wanna take what's not theirs, and not necessarily ours. Every land belongs to Indigenous people, they are the original settlers. 
Often there is no regard taken towards caring for our communities, as people of colour. Incarceration of minds and bodies at a pace and percentage which reflects just how deep the hatred is against us. 
I am sick of it all but not so sick that I can't say ENOUGH. Speak up now, if you have a mouth, say NO to this BS.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Those who promote conflict benefit from it. Not those who are privy to it, saturated in it. It's more sexy for cowards to tower over power, than realize healing must take place for generations of pain, for so many and provide tools and patience for positive change.

For the criticism of history and the challenge of its recollection through a selection of voices of narrow on change, women, people of colour. Yet disengaged from modifying systems to be put in place to create opportunities for every person to thrive, feel alive. 

How simple it could all seem in a dream, when an inhale of breath into the breast free from the weight of systemic oppressions, anxieties, depressions. Trauma. 

They want to distort us to shift focus from empowering youth, saying that black lives matter and brown lives are important. Bury the image that skin other than white can achieve success, and sustain from being swallowed into dilution that keeps power gleefully fucking privilege. 

Yet it is the poets, the protesters, the journalists, the musicians, the painters, the creators words and expressions that provoked generations. Wealth sunk 6 feet under and enjoyed no life after death, no possibility to resonate with future generations. 

The power is in the people, emerge the issues we need to address, the ideas we see rise in our communities as valuable affirmations. What sort of a world would it be if the rich were poor and the poor rich equally? What would the cost of freedom be away from systemic slavery? 

The essence of human potential is cooperatively an achievable reality. Each child needs to be told they are beautiful, each woman given encouragement and access to elevate intellectual confidence into desired change. This reality sticks with me. 

It was all a dream.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

My Resistance of Canada 150: 7 Reasons

I appreciate that I am a Canadian. I recognize the privileges I have, as well as the freedoms. However I will not be celebrating #canada150 for these reasons:

1) Indigenous people have suffered greatly over the past 150 years because of the pass system, residential schools and the Sixties Scoop.
2) The annihilation of Indigenous cultures. The lack of opportunity to reclaim what they lost during colonization. 
3) Implemting with urgency the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report recommendations detailing the heart-wrenching testimonies of thousands of residential school survivors, their parents and many others.
4) Decriminalizing systemic and everyday attitudes towards Indigenous people. 
5) Urgently providing adequate water, food, shelter and social services in ALL indigenous communities. 
6) Honouring Dish with One Spoon Treaty. Here we agreed to share, replenish and protect the lands we are now inhibiting. 
7) Although Indigenous women and girls make up only 3% of the female population in Canada, they represent 10% of all female homicides in Canada. Indigenous women in Canada face many risk factors, compared to non-Indigenous women. There are nearly 1,200 murdered and missing indigenous women and girls in Canada, possibly more. We need answers, their families need answers and to have their grief taken seriously. 

The Scream, on the cover, The Subjugation of Truth, by Kent Monkman.

My own parents were expelled from their homeland by Ugandan military dictator, Idi Amin. Displacement, rejection and struggle was met by courage, and they have survived - but the recognition of the rapes, death, tortures and brutalization still remains sparse. 

While many of us are out celebrating, please remember the impact of colonization in all our lives and the obligation to tell the truth, and honour the first peoples of the land. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

I Use to Know

Radical Brownies, illustrated. Image by Julio Salgado

I am driven by a hunger I do not understand
The flow of the moon reflects little specs of creativity my belly

I am not afraid to be alone
I yearn for love
I am Queer as fuck
        yet I yearn for one love
Peace after the bombs

Inspiration is the only place I have found
Expression, voice
    releasing the truth
 alternative truths
Refugees taking over
White man running

Mamma told me to always be myself
I am not sorry
Will my love away
                    When I was one.

Visit Julio Salgado's page