Light

As the blueness of the sky disappears into night

I’m reminded of your warm touch

These nights feel nostalgic

The air is cold, and the dock is windy

The water is freezing, and we are frozen in time

I thank God for that night

You continue to light my life like you warmed me that night

You make mornings shine 

Your light is true and within you

Thank you for sharing it with me

Always and forever

What is your calling?

I actually drafted this a few weeks ago and never posted it. Within that time I was apart of a large layoff group at my job. It’s funny that this manifestation blog draft was just waiting for me. I’ve waited for the dust to settle and now I’m ready to see what the power of manifestation can do for me. This is very personal for me, but I want to be able to share my experiences with you all. How will you contribute on a local and global scale? How do you turn small moments into times that will define you? These are some of the things I’m eager to discuss.

How will I know what to look for?

I’ll tell you that you need to be looking for things that make you feel passionate, and that is the first step of your manifestation process. There are some things that literally put the fire of life in your bellies. You’ll feel pulled towards things you want to learn about, and then maybe you’ll feel compelled pass along that knowledge to others. You may feel passionate about a lot of things, and in that case you may have many callings throughout this life that you will fulfill. Ultimately, what you’re doing when you think about what the future holds for you and where your goals actually lie, you’re actually manifesting these things for yourself.

(wo)manifestation

Manifestation is putting your deepest desires out into the universe, then acting on those desires by seeing what the universe returns to you. If it seems difficult to grasp, I would consider it adjacent to praying to your creator of choice. Your calling is fueled by your passions and the roads that have led you there. When you take the time to really think about what you want for yourself and what impact you can have on other people, it can become something that makes you feel more focused and goal driven. Your calling can make you feel powerful, and once you have manifested your success it makes it easier to see the signs pointing you in the direction of your future. 

Supportive Sisters !!!

These things do not magically happen for ourselves, it also takes a lot of hard work and dedication in order to make our dreams come to fruition and our goals to be met. Clarity is very important as well in order for manifestation to happen. There is also strength in your numbers so make sure you tell your support group where your head and heart is at. Surround yourselves with peers that will support your aspirations and find out how you can be an ally to each other. 

Why do we need outside support? We are independent and we don’t need anyone else. Well I think that you cannot become an asset to anyone else with your passions if you are not willing to accept what role you will need to play in other’s lives in order to achieve those things. 

I’ve figured out that the petty things I held towards other women were ultimately holding me back. I feel stronger and more supported when I know that I have equally enthusiastic and powerful women that have come before me. In truth, it’s hard to build a network of women who you can have true relationships with. It takes work, time and effort in order to build each other up the way we want to be built up. You need this because within the past few years I’ve learned we are truly each other’s allies in this life and if we can’t support each other then why would we deserve the same?

When I first started manifesting what I wanted for myself, it took a lot of time with myself to figure out what I wanted my future to look like. Where do I want to live? I knew Seattle, but how. Where do I start my career? I want to help women discover their own empowerment, support local businesses, be a role model. What kind of role model do I want to be for my children, since someday they will be my age and seeking the same wisdom I sought after? I want to be brave, and strong, and kind. What kind of man do I want to marry and be the father to my children? These are a few of the things I held on to, and focused on. This life you’re living is about you. Live it to the fullest, love your neighbor and manifest your goals in order to reach for higher ones. You may be surprised with that the universe has in-store for you, in the best way possible. 

Thanks for reading ya’ll! Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever tried practicing manifestation!

 

 

Home

A short essay

Home

The first morning I woke up in Washington alone, it felt surreal. It legitimately didn’t feel real. Many mornings I woke up and thought I would be waking up in my bed at home in Texas. There were moments I would wake up from a dream where I was with friends in Texas then woke up feeling empty and alone. This feeling continued for many months after moving to Seattle. Maybe this feeling meant I was supposed to go back to Texas, this felt like the safest option. A part of me felt like this time in my life is just a chapter of my life to live and learn. Then I met Denis. Life felt gray for a very long time and then he put the color back into my world. He has this passion that I had never been around before. His energy was intoxicating to me. Which was of course confusing for me..

On one hand it felt like “finally, after living here for 6 months I finally felt like I had come to the moment that we had been leading up to. That true love moment we all wait for”, but it also felt like I was cheating on my new found independence although it felt lonely. This time I spent alone before Denis was incremental for me. I feel lucky to have been able to struggle and as strange as that sounds it was important to for me figure out what I wanted out of this adventure. Prior to making the big move, there was this force within me that told me this was time for me to discover myself.

What am I truly made of? I came to the realization that I was my own home. Whatever I was searching for was within me. Bravery, compassion, kindness, adventure. When I met Denis, the combination of him and I made it feel like a new home. He once told me “we could live under a bridge and still feel like home as long as we have each other”. I remember rolling my eyes at him because I know that we both craved success and it felt like a cop out. But he was right, he’s home to me now. Just as I am home to myself. These two homes are different but equally important to me. Adventures are the best thing in this life, even if they take you away from home, I hope you find home in yourself. Now I wake up next to him, and instead of waking up to the silence of loneliness he whispers “good morning beautiful”.

Transitions

As the leaves change around me

I can feel that their short lived lives have come to an end

Then wind and rain tear the leaves from their limbs

And here we start again

 

The trees anticipate the swaying back and forth

Awaiting to shed this foliage and become anew

I stand in solidarity with those trees

And shed my past along with them

 

The changes awaiting us are cyclical

And yet, we know nothing about what the future will bring

While we wait for the time to pass

Let us reflect on the light and love we have brought to those around us

 

-AA

 

 

 

 

Me, too.

img_20171016_1010462137380319.png Feminist.. A word that many are afraid to associate with themselves, I welcome it. I’m here for equality, I’m here for the respect we are asking of our communities. I didn’t feel like I had anything worthy to write about last week so I didn’t. This will be an homage to the #metoo trend and a recount of some of my experiences relating to this hashtag. This started as a facebook post and turned into a blog post. This post could contain some triggers. *Trigger warning*

** I kept asking myself why.

Last year in September I went out of town for a work conference. It was during my boyfriend’s birthday but it was mandatory training I had to attend. My co-workers attending with me were all male. I was the only woman and the youngest by far. On the first night we arrived, I remember a man staring at me while I rode the elevator to my floor. The rooms were set up around the elevators so you could see everything including the bar on the 1st floor. As I rode the elevator up to my room there was a man slowly undressing in his room with the windows open. He was staring at me as he did this. Firstly, I thought how weird of him, then I felt uncomfortable. He looked at me like a piece of meat and without any reservations. So I went to my room, and thought about how strange he had made me feel in my own skin. Like it wasn’t mine anymore and it was for him. At least I was in my room and ready for bed. My co-workers had stayed at the bar and talked further about their days and business. I finally felt safe, I was closing my eyes and reluctantly kept picturing this small man.

I got a call from a co-worker downstairs, he had given me something to hold for him earlier in the day and it was still in my purse. It was cologne or after shave and he had asked me to bring it down to him. I put some clothes back on, a bra and green dress that was form fitting (It was actually a maternity dress that I really liked.. even though I’ve never been pregnant that has never stopped me from buying something I liked) I brought him his cologne and made it back up to my floor without seeing the man again. Then he appears on the floor below me (where he was staying) first he walks towards me from his room, then turns around and starts walking parallel to me on the floor below so that he can see me from a safe distance and he knows I can see him. He then proceeds to flash me his pale, white butt and look over his shoulder to see how I react. He was enjoying watching me. It took me a few seconds to comprehend what he was actually doing. I was shocked initially and then proceeded to yell “What the hell do you think you’re doing!? What are you trying to accomplish here?! You’re disgusting!” He proceeded to cover up and run back into his room. I called my co-workers to make sure he was still in his room. He wasn’t. He was riding the elevator and then went to the gym. Because I know that when I violate someone’s safe space I like to run it out on the treadmill. I reported him to our hotel and they advised me if I would want to call the cops. I did. The cops showed up and proceeded to tell me first they would need to find him, but he would have to admit to the allegations in order for him to be removed from the hotel. I was outraged by this. They felt him only showing his behind to me was barely enough to even call them. Mooning someone isn’t technically breaking the law, but his intentions were grotesque. He knew I was alone, he knew I was young and he assumed I wouldn’t say anything to anyone and it would get swept under the table like the other times he has done this to young women. Now I’ll admit although it seemed juvenile because it was, it also damaged me and made me feel unsafe and doesn’t necessarily promote trust in the community with these officers I encountered. Ultimately, he did admit his actions after I had to identify him and he was removed from the premises and I was moved rooms. He was not charged and only escorted off the property and asked not to return.

This happened on Denis’ birthday, I called him afterwards crying and wishing the only man I felt safe around could hold me. I didn’t sleep well for two nights although the hotel management had moved me to a suite to try to compensate for the incident. I thought many things to myself including how I had spurred him on. I still have to remind myself it had nothing to do with me, and that I’m thankful it was me instead of someone else. I spoke up. I yelled. Even though it was just him and I, I made myself clear that what he was doing was wrong and wouldn’t be stood for. I shamed him. He picked the wrong girl to moon his pasty ass at.

The reason I tell this story is because it’s one of MANY I have encountered as a young woman in my 20s. As a woman, it doesn’t matter what your size is. It can be fetishized no matter what. Your skin color, your hands, your feet can all be fetishized in order to make men feel like they have some authority over YOUR body. Somehow, they twist it in their mind and suddenly it’s never been your body, it’s been theirs for the taking. I’ve had men grab me in public places without saying a word or acknowledging me in any other way.

This morning I read a similar story of a girl I grew up with who was stalked on the way to school. I’ve had the same thing happen to me, when I was in middle school. A friend and I had to hide from a white truck that kept driving past us very slowly.

A few months ago, I was leaving a friends birthday dinner with another good friend of mine. We are both married. We were approached by a young man, probably late 20s. He first walked past us and then it was like a lightbulb went off in his head and he turned to start walking toward us. I smiled nicely at him as we got into my car as quickly as we could. After we got in I immediately locked the doors. He still came up to the car and tapped on the window for our attention and asked to ‘chill’. I showed him my wedding ring and he paused, then acknowledging that I was already someone else’s property and he didn’t want to overstep another man’s boundaries that had been set.

In some cases, it feels like a dream. I’ve tried to detach myself from these moments but they are real and they keep happening to women around the world. 

Every. Single. Day.

If you haven’t had these things happen to you, I share with you this insight: If it hasn’t already happened to you, it has happened to women you do know. Always be safe. Always know your surroundings. Always speak up because it could mean life and death one day. This is the reality of a woman living in this world. A white woman still makes 60 cents to the dollar of a white man and there is an even bigger difference in minority women. In 2017, our bodies are still not our own in many eyes. In the eyes of Congress and in the eyes of our President who has admitted to “Grabbing her by the p***y”. We are still second class citizens to men, and this is why. This is why I speak up, this is why I’ll keep fighting for women’s rights. This is why I call myself a feminist, because even though many have tried to make it a dirty word, it still means equality for our sexes and with equality comes respect. That’s all we’ve been waiting for.

-AA

Versus.

 

She takes steps with elegance at every turn

Meticulously portraying exactly how she feels

I’m not quite sure how she does it

When I take steps they feel misplaced and foreign

 

Comparisons feel arbitrary, and yet here we are

They surround us and divide us

She has this

He has that

I want it all, but how

 

Behold, I have it all within myself

Discovering new peaks and valleys within the folds of my soft skin

Have they been here developing just waiting to be found by me this entire time?

Yes and unbeknown to me

I am whole.

I am whole.

I am whole.

 

-AA

 

How to stay on the path of self-love

Hi friends, thanks for stopping by!

Let’s talk about our feelings today! Men- I know this may be something you pass on by but you will benefit from surrounding yourself with strong women. This week’s blog post will be a very personal topic for me and something I have been a strong advocate of. Mental health issues and integrating a positive self-love platform somehow go hand in hand for me. I hope to share an introspective insight as to what my depression, anxiety and low self-worth has looked like throughout time and I hope inspires anyone in anyway to keep showing yourself the love you deserve and continue to take on the world ~ one breakdown at a time.

FEELS. I have all the feels.

I assume because I have been told on many occasions that I have always been considered a happy girl. In middle school my nickname was “Sunshine” when I worked in the front office. I’ve considered myself a positive person for the most part while growing up. Then you turn 12 and these little nuggets of hormones start to flood your body and your mind. Strangers like depression and anxiety become neighbors, then friends over time. I denied these things to myself for a very long time because I plain just didn’t know what was wrong with me or I just didn’t want to admit it. It started for me when I was about 15 and it continues to be eternally confusing. As a young girl struggling with depression all the feels feel intensified. You inevitably go through heartbreak then add in depression + teenage hormones = literally feeling like the end of the world. At 17 it looked like not wanting to get out of your bed, don’t want to go out with friends and you think 3-4 hour naps are normal when really you’re just trying to escape reality for some reason. My mental health isn’t something to be ashamed about, but it is something that has affected me and I want to be open with you about it. I want you to know that life isn’t rainbows and filters for your perfect selfies. It isn’t pretty and unless you can be honest with yourself about your struggles, you’ll continue to struggle. I’ve learned that if we all share our insecurities they can become powerful qualities that can empower others to take the steps they need to.

17_iceberg_80518979

For many of you, your depression can look and feel very different from mine and for some it can even be very scary at times. Depression can be small and momentary. It can also look like cutting your skin to relieve the invisible pressure building and committing suicide to escape your demons eternally. There was a point this last year where I considered suicide and the only person I told was Denis. Up to this point, I had been depressed but either ignored it (and tried to “be normal”) or it consumed me. It was especially difficult for me since people have certain expectations to stay bubbly and happy, but there was so much more going on underneath. Most days I felt fake, like I had to wear a mask throughout the day and come home and it would be overwhelming. It was a very brief moment and it was the first time my intrusive thoughts had seriously taken that option into consideration. This moment was when he was the most supportive of me and we decided for my own health’s best interest it was best to start trying meds again and seeing a therapist. I had tried meds before that hadn’t worked and it felt hopeless at one point. The special thing about depression is the inner dialogue that silently slips into your head when things are quiet. Below are a list of things I’ve told myself this past year for you to see an example..

“You’re not good enough for him”

“He’s not good enough for you”

“Your body looks so lumpy, you should take some scissors to it”

“You need to eat all of this food because maybe it will make you feel better”

“You don’t need to eat that, you’re getting gross again”

“They haven’t talked to you because they think you’re annoying”

“Why do you even keep trying?”

You may think to yourself “wow, I never would have thought Alyssa was like that“, well SURPRISE because that’s exactly what I have wanted you all to think for so long. It has worked for a very long time, but those closest to me have seen me at my worst. I want you all to know that this is what a snippet of severe depression looks like and it is quiet and sneaky and dangerous. Depression is a guilt-ridden disease. It makes you feel like you’re not doing enough, like you’re taking up too much space. Especially if you feel blessed in your life, it’s hard to understand why you feel so upset and unsatisfied with yourself and your accomplishments. It’s an battle you struggle with constantly and you have good days and bad days. It can affect those around you, I know Denis has felt helpless on many occasions. He asks how to help and my response is always “I don’t know”. That “I don’t know” is linked to so much more. I don’t know why I feel like I’m being punished. I don’t know why I’m not feeling gratitude and grateful for the sacrifices of others made for me and the ones I’ve made for myself. I don’t know why I just don’t feel like I’m enough. I don’t know why these chemicals in my brain seem to make me feel so internally imbalanced but they do. well World, I’m happy to say I’ve found the cure. It’s love.

What does a journey to from depression to self-love look like?

This journey to complete self-love is a self-indulgent one. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, then you have probably been putting others before yourself all too often. A lot of the time I find myself serving and thinking about others when my mental health is in the pooper. While serving others is very admirable, it serves no one to pour from an empty cup.

To love someone else, you should first learn how to love yourself. Some of us learn this lesson out of order or not at all but it is still an important one. To be honest with you all, I wouldn’t be here today without the incredible women who have paved the way for the conversations to be made. It seems like there are all of these sub-sections when it comes to self-love. Different ingredients needed to bake the self-love cake if you will.

love5.png

Recipe for Self-Love

2 cups of new-found confidence

3 tablespoons of body acceptance (For yourself and others around you)

2 cups of positive inner dialogue

5 tablespoons of self-pampering

4 cups of divine femininity

1 white and green pill (in some cases)

Endless support system from within

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together until you have found the perfect mix that makes you your most illuminous and divine self. Bake at 350 for however long it takes. Learn to love yourself through your failures. Once you love yourself, spread that love to others and teach them how to bake the cake of self-love and self-worth. Practice makes perfect.

I continue to not have together 100% of the time and THAT IS OKAY.

Failures are something to be relished in the moment and then let go of forever. You cant move forward with the extra luggage overflowed with negativity as much as we like to hoard these things. Let me say this part loud and clear: You deserve to be loved by yourself. There are some things we can’t change, like our genetics for example. But you can honor yourself be celebrating you when you need it the most.

I’m so thankful for the network of women I have been following over the past year that have brought this concept to light. They make me feel like I’m not the only one, that my husband isn’t the only one that struggles to stay positive while trying to support me. They make me feel like we all need support and to support each other. And I hope to keep building a female driven network of my own throughout this blog. If you’re interested in joining a support group led by me, please reach out. In the end, we are here to support each other and to learn from one another regardless of sex, dress size, social status and conventional beauty. I’ll post some insta handles to inspirational women below so you can see what this honesty and testimony sounds like coming from so many other women. They may not realize it, but this new generation of empowered women is going to be nothing like we’ve seen before. Thank you all for reading this post! Let me know if you learned something new or planning on baking that cake. I’d love to hear how your recipes turn out!!!

All my gratitude,

AA

Instagram handles to follow! *just a few I follow, but some of my favs*

Bodyposipanda- Just finished her first book on body positivity and acceptance

NolaTrees- Badass woman warrior, yoga instructor and is CONSISTENTLY breaking the glass ceiling on so many constructs of what women “should be”

TheAshleyGraham- First plus-sized SUPER MODEL, Author, Body Activist

DaisyNatives- Austin based woman owned clothing company known for it’s original “Girls Support Girls” design that I’m sporting in my profile

BethennyFrankel- Instrumental in providing relief to Puerto Rico, Real Housewife, providing direct relief to women in crisis. You can also donate to her cause HERE

ScarredNotScared- Body activist, Michelle shares her stories about multiple surgeries and what cherishing out bodies looks like

Francis_cannon- One of my favorite artists right now! Her art is honest and beautiful!