Discover more from Kickin’ It with Mao
Kickin' it with Mao
Adventure, optimistism, and expansion, oh my!
The strawberry full moon in Sagittarius is not playing this cycle. She’s giving us the confidence and sass we need to be more direct and decisive when it comes to working with others, instead of just going along with the flow for the sake of everyone getting along. She is pushing communication and honesty with others AND ourselves. Maybe there’s something you’ve been avoiding or pretending you’re okay with because you didn’t want to make a scene or because you simply have been unsure until now. This full moon calls you to state your truth!
Radical Self-Care Reflection
I found practicing and embodying yoga principles to be foundational to strengthening my self-compassion muscle. I know you’re wondering, “Which yoga sequence or pose, bestie?” Actually, it doesn’t involve any positions or poses! I have been practicing one of the limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, Yama (ethical principle), specifically ahimsa.
Practicing Ahimsa requires conscious awareness and mindfulness in our thoughts, intentions, and actions. It does not mean being passive or avoiding necessary actions, but rather finding peaceful and non-harmful alternatives whenever possible. This is vital when that “You don’t have it that bad or it could be worse” monster creeps in.
Guam was steamrolled by an almost Super Typhoon but definitely CAT 4 on May 24, 2023. The destruction of the island is vast but I will spare you the details. What I do want to reflect on is how motherfucking humbling Mother Nature is. “Oh, you like electricity and running water? Sike... Here are some downed power lines and non-potable water for you.”
It is easy for me as a child of war survivors and displace migrants to default to “It could have been worse or my parents had it way worse” and not allow myself to experience what was happening to me… to us which were 155 miles per hour winds and flooding water trying to come into our condo full fucking speed. Listen, it could ALWAYS be worse. Some will ALWAYS have it shittier than you but don’t let that invalidate your truth and your experience. You deserve compassion too. If you “positive think” it away, the stress response that kicked in will not be able to metabolize and work its way through the body. We NEED that to happen to return to baseline.
This is also a not-so-gentle reminder that yoga is WAY more than poses and leggings. Peep the description and image I made for you below:)
The traditional system of Yoga consists of eight limbs, which are known as Ashtanga Yoga. These eight limbs provide a comprehensive framework for the practice and understanding of Yoga. Here are the eight limbs of Yoga:
Yama (Ethical principles): Yama refers to moral and ethical guidelines that govern one's behavior and relationship with others. It includes five principles: Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy or moderation), and Aparigraha (non-possessiveness).
Niyama (Self-discipline): Niyama focuses on personal observances and self-discipline. It consists of five principles: Saucha (cleanliness), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (austerity and self-discipline), Svadhyaya (self-study and self-reflection), and Ishvara pranidhana (surrender to a higher power or divine).
Asana (Physical postures): Asanas refer to the physical postures practiced in Yoga. They help develop strength, flexibility, and balance in the body, as well as cultivate concentration and mindfulness.
Pranayama (Breath control): Pranayama involves the control and regulation of breath. Through specific breathing techniques, practitioners learn to control the vital energy (prana) within the body, promoting physical and mental well-being.
Pratyahara (Sense withdrawal): Pratyahara is the practice of withdrawing the senses from external distractions and turning inward. It involves detaching from sensory experiences and developing inner awareness.
Dharana (Concentration): Dharana refers to the cultivation of focused concentration. Practitioners learn to concentrate their attention on a single object, such as the breath or a specific point of focus, to still the mind and enhance mental clarity.
Dhyana (Meditation): Dhyana is the state of sustained meditation or contemplation. It is a continuous flow of awareness directed toward the object of meditation, resulting in a deep state of absorption and inner tranquility.
Samadhi (Union): Samadhi is the ultimate goal of Yoga, often described as a state of self-realization or enlightenment. It is a state of profound bliss and union with the divine, where the practitioner transcends the individual self and experiences a sense of oneness with the universe.
Music is Medicine
This song felt like the epitome of my healing journey because it’s funky as helllll, you know I’m trying my best. I see that you are too… Go on, bestie.
Books I have no business starting since last full moon because I have 10 unfinished books on the shelf judging me.
An Indigenous environmental scientist breaks down why western conservationism isn’t working–and offers Indigenous models informed by case studies, personal stories, and family histories that center the voices of Latin American women and land protectors (goodreads.org)
Inspired by Octavia Butler's explorations of our human relationship to change, Emergent Strategy is radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help designed to shape the futures we want to live. Change is constant. The world is in a continual state of flux. It is a stream of ever-mutating, emergent patterns. Rather than steel ourselves against such change, this book invites us to feel, map, assess, and learn from the swirling patterns around us in order to better understand and influence them as they happen. This is a resolutely materialist “spirituality” based equally on science and science fiction, a visionary incantation to transform that which ultimately transforms us (goodreads.org)
Gems I Have To Share
The Unlearning Collective Podcast: We’re not like regular therapists, we’re cool therapists.
My business besties and fellow co-founders of The Unlearning Collective started a fun podcast! If you want to hear the tea and get therapist’s thoughts, this show is for you. Do you often find yourself saying out loud, “that person needs a therapist” when watching movies and television? Well, they probably do. Join us every month as we break down reality tv and pop cultural phenomena with a therapeutic lens.
This new beautiful, oracle deck I use with clients
Ancient traditions, ancestral guidance, healing rituals, moon phases, animal spirits, and plant allies come alive in this vividly illustrated 56-card oracle deck and guidebook from Indigenous Medicine Woman and author of You Are the Medicine, Asha Frost.
Asha Frost (she/her) is an Indigenous Medicine Woman and member of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation. As an energy healer, homeopath, and mentor, Asha has guided thousands of people through profound and lasting transformation with her ceremonies, teachings, and speaking events. She is the international best-selling author of You Are the Medicine.
Radical Mental Health First Aid Workshop with Oumou Sylla
I highly recommend this workshop with Oumou about radical mental health first aid. It is becoming widely known that current “crisis management” services are carceral and unhelpful in response. Her workshops offer you context on the impact of oppression and social injustice on the body-mind and teach you de-escalation and consent skills. She goes over the RMHFA Action Plan and safety planning in depth. She provides recordings of these workshops if you can’t catch them live! Check it out here!
Shameless plug for my solo podcast
Make sure to subscribe and follow so you don’t miss my next episode, “Hold up, my boundaries are actually a form of avoidance and escapism?” releasing on the next new moon, June 17, 2023 EST.