One Up!: Three Things I’ve Learned from My First Year of Marriage

Last year, I wrote the article Why I Celebrate My Marriage Monthly to express the importance I felt in taking notice of the joy in my relationship for more than just once a year. As of April 2019, I have officially reached an entire year of legal matrimony and have collected a few valuable nuggets of wisdom along the way. It’s amazing how much a couple can be put through the test over the course of 365 days (give or take). Every day is a blend of challenge, celebration, and the downright mundane. However, even as humdrum as some days seems to be, there is always a take away.

Here are some things I’ve taken so far:

  • Nothing Prepares You For Marriage

Before saying, “I Do”, I did some homework. I wanted to know what to expect while being committed to someone for the rest of my life. I read articles, spoke to married couples and even chatted with divorcees for tips on what to avoid. I did my best to keep a positive attitude about everything and to immediately address any conflict head on as means of balance and resolution. My husband and I lived together for years before becoming engaged so I thought I had all the experience I needed to be prepared. I was wrong.

It did not matter how many years we were together prior to our marriage, things changed after the ceremony. There was a mental shift that took place when we realized that were proclaiming our union to everyone in such an official way. This turned up the heat when conflicts occurred and elevated our expectation for one another. Nothing prepared me for the life-threatening scares and hospital visits, the deeply heated debates, or the overwhelming joy I feel when he looks into my eyes and calls me “wife” with a big smile. So although it doesn’t hurt to do your research, just know that you’ll never really know how things will change.

  • There is No Such Thing as Equal

Fairness has always been a priority for me. I grew up in various environments – sometimes in a house full of family or just with my mother. Being an only child, I valued my space and belongings and respected that of others. When Marko and I moved in together, I made great efforts to make sure there was a “his and hers”. As a middle child, he was more indifferent which would infuriate me! He’d say, “There is no such thing as fair, babe. Things aren’t equal ” (while eating the last piece of my dessert portion). It took me forever to understand where he was coming from but I finally did.

It is no mystery that relationships thrive when there is give and take. The misconception, however, is that this exchange is split down the middle. The truth is that there is always sacrifice happening and usually someone is sacrificing more than the other at some point. Ideally, both parties will have their chance to be on the receiving end of this but the way it looks is likely to be very different than what you may expect and from what others are doing. While I was concerned about my husband drinking 90% of the juice in the fridge, he was also the main breadwinner at the time working overtime to pay the majority of the bills (so what I only get a cup of juice sometimes, water has less carbs anyway). To be clear, this has nothing to do with gender roles as our relationship dynamic is pretty unconventional in some ways. The point is that as life goes on together, priorities flex and sweating the small stuff only makes things more challenging. We tend to get more out of partnerships when we enjoy exchanging thoughtfully and wholeheartedly and focus less on quantity.L

  • Tune Out the Third Parties

Almost immediately after our wedding, Marko and I were bombarded with questions about when we were having children. Thankfully, he and I were on the same page of keeping that conversation and decision between him and me but it can be tough to block out, especially when the mean-well inquirers are family. We quickly realized that we would not allow ourselves to be pressured into choices that we were not ready for and would also be mindful about how much we share when we were going through things.

Advice from a select few can be insightful but it is important to have clear boundaries. You never fully know what others’ intentions are and what they are capable of with too much personal information about another’s relationship. This pretty much can be applied across the board, even for non-married couples.

Like any other transition, marriage takes willingness and adaptability. Although individual authenticity is greatly important, so is cooperation and compromise. So tell me, what is the biggest lesson you learned or challenge you faced in your first year of marriage?

Surpasses

In the eye of a whirlwind is where I am home

with breezes attempting to burst through my body.

Unmoved and yet changed.

Absorbing the scatter and digesting the matter

Osmosis composes me.

I am grateful for the upheaval the cosmos caused

for I would not have found this in the calm.

Yet, we meet beyond understanding.

Springing Into Change: Spring Equinox and the Libra Full Worm Moon

2019 has proven to be pretty eventful astrologically and the excitement is only just beginning. We are currently on the tail end of our first Mercury retrograde of the year as we transition into a new zodiacal year accompanied by a super full moon.

The dark period of winter is finally floating away as we enter the new season. Spring Equinox falls on March 20th, 2019 during which there will be equal parts day and night. For those who have had their foot in shadow work recently may easily see the message of integration – to embrace the light and dark aspects of ourselves fully. However, I’m sure most of us will appreciate the psychophysiological benefits of increased sunshine coming our way.

The Mercury retrograde in Pisces may have caused some emotional upheaval in the areas of communication but the Libra full moon will encourage us to start cleaning some things up. Libra, ruled by Venus, is all about harmonious relationships and the appreciation of all things beautiful. This is a great time to learn how to clearly and effectively express our feelings, listen more, and set proper boundaries with our associates and loved ones if necessary.

Also, we can learn a thing or two from the earthworm for which this full worm moon is named for. The spiritual essence of this creature is hardworking and diligent, able and willing to go to the necessary depths that many others may not,or cannot, in order to get things done. For those who follow moon cycles as a spiritual practice, full moons are a perfect for implementing release rituals. These rituals help us move beyond old thinking and behaviors that no longer serve us. The Libra full moon is ideal for letting go of the toxic thoughts and behaviors that have hindered us in relationships with others and ourselves. In addition to a release ritual, I also find it helpful to do a card reading for what to expect up until the following new moon.

Spring Equinox Tarot Reading by Brittney Shawnee’

Aries being the first sign of the zodiac, we can expect new beginnings as we tend to in the spring season. Flowers are beginning to bloom and the life forms that took rest during the cold months are coming alive again. We could use this time to start a new garden, plan a new outdoor workout routine or view this as a new chapter (or proverbial season) in our spiritual journey after having survived the darkest hours. There are no limits.

Tap into your inner desires and get creative! Namaste.

The Benefits of Being a Highly Sensitive Person

All my life I’ve felt out of place, even if only a little. In my family, I was the abnormally picky child with an unusually heightened level of physical and emotional sensibilities, comparatively.

Even in my group of friends and associates, I’ve always felt way more aware of the energy in a room or the look on someones face when they were offended (which only multiplied the discomfort when I was the inadvertent offender). Thankfully, these observations came in handy in making a pretty decent mediator during conflict.

On my own, I couldn’t help but notice that movies and songs made me more emotional than the average girl. I related to the content so personally regardless of lack of actual experience. Even music without words had a way of affecting my moods, for better or worse.

It wasn’t until a couple of months ago, at age 29, that I learned about the term Highly Sensitive Persons and what it meant to be one. Much to my relief, there was a name for it and I was not the only one!

You see, the unfortunate thing about being an HSP is that, even though it’s not new, it isn’t exactly a well-known or a widely accepted psychological concept. Not to mention, as an 80s baby and member of the stigmatized millennial generation, heightened sensitivity is still considered a major flaw to many; one that needs correction if there is any hope to surviving our dog-eat-dog world.

Well, it turns out that being an HSP is an innate trait in which the nervous system is genetically hardwired to pick up on subtle changes and stimuli. This means we are born this way and it is not something we need to “fix” or be ashamed of! Much like any other category of personalities, High Sensitive Persons have their own set of tendencies that, while it may make for some aspects of living more challenging, also has it benefits. Here are 7 of them:

1. They can smell danger!

Due to the unique wiring of their nervous system, Highly Sensitive People have heightened senses, including smell. If ever to walk into a space with subtle notes of gas or something burning in the air, an HSP is likely the first to notice and therefore the first to know if it’s time to flee or stop immediately.

2. They are likely more organized.

Clutter can be annoying to the average fellow but disorder can be particularly disturbing to Highly Sensitive Persons. A poorly organized and dysfunctional environment can cause an overwhelming amount of stress so they tend to keep their homes and work spaces neat and conducive to functionality.

3. They have the necessary insight for being a good mediator.

As I mentioned before, HSP are blessed with having intuitive insight. Although tense situations can cause anxiety for an HSP, their ability to understand and empathize with people can make them more aware of the nuances in a conflict and, therefore, more compassionate as well as better equipped for helping reach an agreeable resolve.

4. They understand deep concepts more easily.

HSPs are more reflective and introspective which allows them to see the depth of people, concepts and situations. This is valuable for personal development. However, they must be mindful not to become too obsessive about these thoughts as it will create more anxiety.

5. They are more aware of when their bodies are in need.

HSP are more likely to notice changes in their inner environment just as much if not more than their outer. Due to this, HSPs experience intensified discomfort when they are hungry, thirsty or have other cravings. Although, this can have a negative impact on their mood, they are not as likely to neglect themselves when sustenance is necessary.

6. They experience art and beauty more deeply.

Films, music, good food, art work and pleasant aromas have a more profound affect on HSPs, sometimes even to the point of a physical reaction such as happy crying or other outbursts of excitement. This may be perceived as strange to many, but when in the company of other HSPs, it can be quite the euphoric experience. This is why we tend to see artists (a group usually considered to be more emotional) gravitate towards other artists.

7. They are in their element when being creative.

Speaking of artists, HSPs are very in tune with their inner world which makes being creative very important for them. It’s necessary to have an outlet as HSPs can be withdrawn to avoid over-stimulation. Activities such as drawing, singing, painting, dancing and even formulating strategies can be good outlets for HSPs as hobbies if not careers.

In spite of all the “symptomatic” characteristics that come with being a Highly Sensitive Person, we perceive the world on what, sometimes, seems to be on another dimension from what others do. Although it may sometimes feel lonely, it can also be pretty wonderful; alone or not.

Embrace the Anomaly

Sometimes I feel like a bit of an anomaly and this would stir up loads of anxiety for me. I do not have any one way of being. In my purest authenticity, I am many ways of being. Without the complexity of schizophrenia, I do feel as though I am a variety of personalities in one body; however, how could such a busy body (see what I did there?) find it’s place in world obsessed with categorizing?

Where could I possibly fit it?

I can be just as aggressive as I am passive. At any time, while in a group setting, I can be the wallflower/observer but also contribute to conversation and festivities (although I am likely to be more conservative around people that I don’t know all that well).

I am quite capable of being compassionate all the while very vindictive. I can care for individuals very deeply and yet, am happy to know when karma has taught its hard lessons to whom I believe may be deserving.

I am a lover and fighter; a giver and receiver; a disciplinarian and a comforter. And, although these labels describe me, none fully define me. No one, not even myself, could place me into a box I would truly fit in. But who needs a container.

Over time, I’ve realized that, regardless of my characteristics, I need only to define myself for myself. As long as I am content with who my Self is, there is no other necessity.

2019 Blood Wolf Moon Aftermath

Sunday, January 20th, brought us our first full moon of the year and it came with embellishments. Luna in Leo, was a beautiful blood red and relatively close in proximity to the earth making it a super moon at that.

Luna encouraged the lion in all of us to roar in one way or another. For some, that might have been troublesome depending on what’s going in our lives right now and how we chose to be expressive. The stars are positioning themselves in a way to push us to seek healing in the deepest places of our being so we can transcend beyond the places in which we have been stuck all this time.

I pulled a tarot with the intention of having these recent occurrences explained and gaining clarity on how to move forward. Watch the video below for to see the reading:

What challenges have you faced or are you facing since the Blood Moon?

Do You Realize?

Awareness is so intriguing to me. How we perceive the world and ourselves is crucial in how we interact with one another.

Do we project onto others?

Do we see them as separate from ourselves?

What do we realize about our individual journeys so far and how do we use that to be better in the roles we play to each other?

Noticing and implementing, sometimes, are seemingly acts of the radical. It’s quite fascinating when someone changes their worldview in spite of what they did not know or thought they knew. It can create space for healing and change.


How interesting is it that our realizations, or lack thereof, co-create the experience of every other bit of consciousness we encounter?

When all is considered, we gained a widened view of the power our minds posses and what manifests when we put it to use.