sisterhood

BE VIGILANT WITH YOUR VIBRATION

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Be Vigilant with Your Vibration 🙏🏽.


The latest pearl of wisdom 🐚 that Soul Sister, Goddess, and Guide, SheShe 💃🏽 shared with me, “You must be vigilant with your vibration”. As women we are taught to “be nice” and “play well with others” and while generally I am and I do, I also believe in setting clear boundaries. It’s something I’ve needed to learn over time and I’m still learning.

The more aware I become, the more I see the lack of consent in our culture. Not just when it gets physical #metoo but as women and human beings we often allow too many things to happen that we didn’t ask for or consent to.

I’m all about learning to let go and not sweat the small stuff but that small stuff adds up. Hurt people hurt people and blessed people bless people. Now we’ve all been hurt and have received blessings too. It’s neither fixed nor a label, but we need to be radically responsible for ourselves, our bodies, our emotions, our needs, and our energy.

We also need practical tools for healing. My practice is forgiveness work. I’ve been doing it for 10 years. It’s a universal tool that works wonders and I’ll be using it the rest of my life. Forgiveness work isn’t just for someone else, it’s for you to clean house & clear internally. That followed by blessings and gratitude turns a contraction into a gift and hurt into healing 💞. Full circle. Alchemy.

People often think I’m so positive and happy but yo I’m hella sensitive and I have my fair share of negativity to work through. Sometimes this inner work feels like sucking poison out of your heart or womb...like pricking your finger with a rose thorn. It hurts 🥀.

So as Shereen shared, be vigilant with your vibration. Do the work to take care of you. And when all else fails, rather than be hard, be soft on yourself. Be kind. Be true.

Love & blessings to all beings ✨.

With gratitude,

Lotus

#heroinesjourney #soulwisdom#sisterhood 👯‍♀️ #vigilance #vibration #forgiveness #selfcare #selflove#hurt #healing #blessings #boundaries#womyn #consent #gratitude#yearofdivinelove 🌹

SHAKTI EMBODIMENT SHIP

There is peaceful. There is wild. I am both at the same time. 
— sum

I had doubts, resistance, and endless excuses for not joining the Shamanic Shakti & Tantrika Arts Retreat with Anna Maria and Mira Dakini in Bali. The timing, the price, the work I needed to do, this, that, and the other. 

When I shared my concerns, Anna Maria listened to each one so patiently.

Rather than spend time addressing each, she took a deep inhale and said “I hear you.” Then she asked, “what is your intention, what is desire?”

“My desire is to reconnect with my body, my energy, and my spirit. To come into a State of Grace. To recover and reawaken the SHAKTI (Divine Feminine) within me.”

And then I added, “I have never been on a women’s retreat.”

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She smiled radiantly and with her all knowing mystic eyes, she peered into the ancient moonlit caves of mine. In that moment, it was as if she read my soul’s story containing the answers to my future. Then she replied, and I can’t remember if it was words or without but I felt it, “When you’re ready, I’ll be there.”

A few weeks out and I still hadn’t committed. My mind, like usual, was running the various scenarios over and over again, unable to come to a decision. 

Then in a dream, a vision came to me.

I saw Anna Maria aboard a massive wooden ship with white sails headed towards an uncharted island. Like a sorceress, she wielded a staff of pure white light. Like a goddess, her white dress billowed as the wind blew fiercely. Like a warrior, her eyes unbreakable, determined, full speed ahead. 

Then like magic, a dozen other women in all white appeared. I heard the soothing sounds of the Harmonium begin, followed by the embodied voices of these Shakti’s at sea. And then, and then! Just on the other side of Anna Maria, I saw her. I saw a woman that looked familiar but who I had never seen before. I saw a woman who was centered, clear, and true. I felt a spirit that was ready for anything. I heard the heartbeat of a whole, pure, indestructible...ME. 

It became crystal clear, “You’re going.”

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WELCOME TO THE SHIP!

What unfolded on this collective Goddessey is sacred and far more than I could ever express in words. Photos will only scratch the surface but I do want to honor, celebrate and show the world what these women are made of. 

The Shakti Embodiment Ship went full force into the wild darkness of the collective womb. 

Together...WE SANG, WE DANCE, WE SHOOK.

WE SCREAMED, WE LAUGHED, WE CRIED.

SHAKTI-TEARS

WE STORMED. WE BATTLED. WE CAME ALIVE.

WE HELD. WE RECEIVED. WE SURRENDERED.

WE RELEASED. WE MANIFESTED. WE TRANSFORMED.

WE CELEBRATED. WE HEALED. WE REMEMBERED.

WE CAME HOME TO OUR BODIES. 

WE CAME HOME TO SISTERHOOD.

WE CAME HOME TO MAMMA EARTH.

WE CAME HOME TO SPIRIT.

This experience made me feel Activated. Liberated. Reborn.

I had never gone this deep with all women before. 

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I hadn’t realized how much of the time I am “performing”
I hadn’t realized how much work it is to “keep it together” 
I hadn’t realized how little I was breathing until I could finally Exhale

I found peaceful
I found wild
I found parts of me I had lost years and maybe lifetimes ago

And while this wasn’t the end all be all and there will always be more to discover, the Shakti Embodiment Ship was “MAHA MASSIVE” as Anna Maria likes to say.

So thank you to all the YINspiring Shakti’s aboard this epic voyage of rediscovery and thank you to our brave leaders and their infinite hearts guiding the way, Anna Maria and Mira Dakini. We thank you, we love you, we are free!

AHEY SISTERS!

With gratitude & grace,
Lotus

SEE COMPLETE PHOTO ALBUM captured by Shivani Ma, Caitlin Beaver, and Raphaella Caflers.

DISCOVER UPCOMING EVENTS from Anna Maria and Mira Dakini:

::ESSENCE OF SHAKTI:: Sweden, August 14th-19th 

 ::EARTH PRIESTESS TRAINING:: Bali, Indonesia, November 17th-30th

P.S. be sure to check out Mira's Shakti Temple Yoga - yoga designed for honoring women's bodies - one of my favorite daily rituals of the whole retreat! 

FROM QUEEN OF THE SAHARA TO QUEEN OF BALI

Karmay's long awaited homecoming to Bali, Indonesia

Karmay's long awaited homecoming to Bali, Indonesia

Karmay Queen of the Sahara Gorley (Yes, that is her real legal name, I like to call her Koko, Koqueen, Karmen, and QOTS!) will go down in my herstory book as my first true friend.

Koko & KLC at Tucson High Magnet School, AZ

Koko & KLC at Tucson High Magnet School, AZ

We met at 14 years-old at Tucson High Magnet School in Arizona. The way she tells the story is this, "I remember when KLC and I first met freshman year in English class. You were so popular and already had so many friends. I asked you to show me where our next class was and that was pretty much the start of a beautiful journey." 

High School days, Tucson, AZ

High School days, Tucson, AZ

It felt easy and natural to befriend Karmay. She was warm, kind, and curious about the world around her. There were two lunch periods and most of our friends had the other period so Karmay and I would have lunch by ourselves by the tennis courts.

And as Karmay shared, that was the start of something beautiful.

Somewhere in Mexico

Somewhere in Mexico

From there, Jake Michael came into our lives. Another Leo and fearless leader at our school. Jake was Class President every year including Student Body President our Senior year. This exposed Karmay and I to a new way of being, the privilege of being involved, being of service and doing close to whatever the hell we wanted.

Somewhere in Mexico 

Somewhere in Mexico 

We became the "Tres Amigos" and throughout high school went on adventure after adventure. Whether it was across the border to Mexico for a weekend trip or across the street to get Eegee's or Taco Bell, it didn't matter what we did, as long as we were together.

After high school we went our separate ways, Karmay to Westiminster College in Utah, me to Arizona State University in Phoenix and Jake stayed in Tucson to attend University of Arizona.

Jake & Kels' Palm Pad, Phoenix, AZ

Jake & Kels' Palm Pad, Phoenix, AZ

Leaving our Tres Amigos friendship bubble felt like extreme culture shock for me. We had endless inside jokes spoken in all of these accents, I was in it so deep, to the point where I didn't know what my actual voice sounded like.

Eventually, we all adapted and made new friends but remained close. Every winter or summer break we'd reconnect in Tucson. Jake later moved to Phoenix and he and I lived together for three years. It took us close to five years but eventually we even visited Karmay in Utah!

Visiting Koko in Salt Lake City, Utah 

Visiting Koko in Salt Lake City, Utah 

After college, Karmay took a leap of faith and moved to the bright lights, big city of New York. What a brave, fearless, and strong woman I thought. Seeing Karmay fly gave me the courage to take my own leap of faith and move to my dream city, San Francisco.

Visiting Boss Lady Karmay in New York City 

Visiting Boss Lady Karmay in New York City 

Many bicoastal visits later we've taken our biggest leap yet. I've expanded to Southeast Asia and Karmay is my first friend to fly 9,000 miles (as she keeps reminding me) from New York City to Bali, Indonesia.

And this is where the next chapter begins...

Queen of the Sahara visits Lotus in Bali

Queen of the Sahara visits Lotus in Bali

Traveling with friends or anyone for that matter no matter how close you are can be challenging.

We decided to do some pre-work before our trip together to clear the energy and set the space for an adventure of a lifetime. Our intention was to start from zero and to meet the new women we've grown into.

Tirta Empul , Holy Spring Water Temple for Lotus' 28th (Re)birthday!

Tirta Empul, Holy Spring Water Temple for Lotus' 28th (Re)birthday!

We had three calls before our trip where we used conscious relating tools like: Desires, Fears, Needs and Full Presence Listening to see and hear one another fully. We also had a really important conversation about shared expenses and our relationship with money that stemmed from childhood and how our parents managed money. 

These conversations may sound intense and excessive but true friendships require an energetic and emotional investment. And honestly, this stuff works. 

Virgin Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Virgin Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Karmay and I have maintained a close friendship that keeps growing and expanding over the last 14 years because we are willing to have courageous conversations like these. I truly believe that the willingness to work through what matters, together, makes all the difference in the world. 

Naturally, we still triggered each other a few times on our trip but we worked through these conflicts patiently from a foundation of trust, self-awareness, and love. 

This deeper understanding allowed us to experience all things BALI:

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Agus Palm Reader's Home - highly recommend a visit with Agus!

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Tirta Empul, Holy Spring Water Temple for Lotus' 28th (Re)birthday!

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Warrior Women at Virgin Beach

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Treasure-hunting at Live to Love on Hanoman Street  

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Alam Sari Kopi Luwak coffee & tea time - Luwak coffee (only made in Bali) and Ginseng coffee - AMAZING!

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Tegalalang Rice Terrace Mamma Earth loving

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Becoming Miss America at Elephant Safari Park

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Riding all over Bali for five days with our new best friend and the best taxi driver in town, Bagus! If you need a trusted driver in Bali, Bagus is your man (+62 821-4470-2030). Tell him Lotus' and Karmay sent you!

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Beyond the sights, what has brought me the most delight on this trip is witnessing the beautiful evolution of this woman right before my eyes. From the shy curious 14-year-old I met in the sunny Tucson desert to  the smart young woman I met in Utah. To the fierce boss lady I met in New York and now to the gracious Queen of Bali.

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Why Queen of Bali?

Well I was originally calling Karmay "Miss America" because of the way this queen walks in the streets. Waving warmly and saying hello to everyone she meets. Kissing every baby, cuddling every puppy, and connecting with every shop owner and hotel receptionist along the way.

Karmay embraced the Balinese people like they were her own. You could see the radiant energy beaming from her. Here she was able to shed the exhausting armor of being a black woman in America and simply be herself, a human who's just trying to live her best life like everyone else. 

Tirta Empul , Holy Spring Water Temple

Tirta Empul, Holy Spring Water Temple

Later she reflected to me she felt a sense of wholeness and acceptance here like she had come home. What further confirmed this feeling was the Palm Reader, Agus who shared that Karmay is an old soul. 900 years to be exact with roots originating in Asia. 

The Queen of Bali had finally come home. 

Queen of Bali at  Virgin Beach

Queen of Bali at Virgin Beach

Endless gratitude to this Heroine for making the 9,000 mile trip, biting the $1400 plane ticket, and taking 12 days off to come visit me. 

Words can hardly express my love and appreciation for you. From learning how to take care of oneself, to going to sleep early, to trusting one's inner voice, you have taught me so much in our time together. 

Tirta Empul, Holy Spring Water Temple

Tirta Empul, Holy Spring Water Temple

So many blessings to you as you make your voyage safely home.

I thank you, I love you, I celebrate you, I honor you. I treasure you. You are free!

SUKSEME (Thank you), 

Kelsey aka KLC aka K.WO. aka Lotus 

P.S. for a Master List of Bali / Ubud Tips, see shared Google Doc with contributions. Thank you, Troy Swanson and Teresa Yung for spreading the love!