inner turmoil as training ground

i did a tarot pull while holding the question, “how can i grow my relationship with cannabis?”

i drew the hermit + five of wands:

(they were both reversed, which depending on my mood, carries significance. my general sense of reversal is that it indicates tension — blocks around the energy the card is speaking to)


i often struggle with my relationship around cannabis — constantly coming back to a desire to be intentional with my practice, making sure it’s sacred instead of compulsive, numbing or escaping.

cannabis has been in my life for over 10 years at this point, and so we’ve grown a lot together. and i, inevitably, worry about falling back into old habits, ones that don’t serve me.

and to be honest, i’m not sure how much i’ve grown externally with my practice of cannabis. i think in a lot of the ways, i practice her similarly, with some adjustments. it’s almost as though the way it’s the way i relate to her that has really changed. i see her more as a sacred sacrament than a “drug.”

generally, the cards are letting me know that this turning inwards about it, this internal conflict over it, isn’t inherently a bad thing. together, they’re reminding me that this is often the place of growth – intentional contemplation and allowing for/moving through contradictions, the parts of ourselves that seem in opposition.

the other side of the five of wands, of these people sparring with each other, is that it’s a training ground; conflict is how we grow, how we get stronger. in turning inwards and holding these many parts of ourselves as they combat each other, we learn that it’s less about one winning/claiming domination over the others, and more so about learning how to create space for all of them. how do we let the contradictory parts of ourselves coexist? how do we nurture a sense of belonging for all of them?

there’s a part of me that truly believes cannabis is one of the kindest practices i’ve integrated into my life. and another part feels like it’s often be a crutch or distraction, something that’s more compulsive than anything else. part of me believes that cannabis is a sacrament, not a “drug,” and yet i find myself partaking in her in ways that treat her more like “substance.”

i can’t remember the exact wording, but it makes me think of ashe phoenix referring to a “conscious practice of cannabis” — the reality is that cannabis is in and of itself neutral. or maybe it would be more apt to say that as a spiritual sacrament, she’ll bring the medicine, but it’s up to you what you do with it.

this also makes me think of something else ashe said in relation to cannabis justice:

all cannabis use is medicinal.”

ya, so it’s tricky.. cause even when i’m using cannabis to escape, to distract, to comfort.. can this still be reaching for medicine? i guess that’s why they call it self-medicating. it makes me think of how all behavior, even the most destructive and shameful, is serving a purpose a purpose — we wouldn’t reach for it if it wasn’t.

i do have such deep reverence for cannabis. and that’s one of the main reasons i want to make sure i’m aligned in my relationship with her. i want to always treat her with care and respect and appreciation.

the work of the hermit and the five of wands is to surrender to the internal conflict, to let it be, to show up for it. to understand that going through this turmoil leads me to the other side of clarity. the grappling with is an integral part of the learning/growing process.

and yet internal conflict can feel so wrong when it’s happening… waking up this morning, having slept a lot (like 10+ hours), i was wondering if it was because i smoked too much last night.. and showing up for that consideration honestly can be hard, because it’s triggers insecurity and shame — makes me feel like a “loser” or “failure.”

like, “again, Becki, again? you still haven’t figured this shit out?”

and there’s another layer to this as well — i often use weed as a scapegoat. if something in my life isn’t going right, if my energy is low, i blame it on cannabis. and so i both blame her and reach for her. this makes me think of my friend Katie describing people’s toxic relationship with money, like “i need you but i hate you.”

i don’t want to blame cannabis for my problems, because she’s always been kind to me.

holding consistent turmoil, such as my conflicted feelings towards my cannabis practice, is exhausting. i understand why people reach for binaries, all or nothing thinking. it’s the irony of the middle way, one of moderation, often being the hardest option. it requires consistent check-ins with self to make sure we’re moving in alignment.

it’s the hard work of daily dedication to a path.

i tell myself that if there’s a time i need to walk away from cannabis (again), that knowing will arise in me without forcing. but it’s important to note that in order to be able to hear that call (or any call for that matter) requires a practice of honest listening, one without judgment or restrictions.

before i did this tarot pull, i thought to myself, “i hope the cards don’t tell me i need to stop/take a break from smoking…” these are the revelations i need to be rigorously honest about — my deep attachment to smoking, at how often i reach for her, and the fear that arises in her absence. i guess you could refer to this as dependency.

and admitting that brings up feelings of shame, of failure. because i feel like i can either admit that and stop or not admit it and keep going. as opposed to admitting it and not stopping, which then just feels like self-aware dysfunction.

my trauma therapist, when i told her about my cannabis use, said it makes sense. and that she wouldn’t just ask me to stop out of the blue, because it’s obviously serving me in some way. there’s a sense of irresponsibility to taking something away without having an offering in its place.

i don’t really have clarity around my relationship with cannabis, because it’s many things. it does not fit neatly into a box of “good” or “bad.”

and ultimately, cannabis is loving. i’ve thought numerous times, if i needed to walk away from cannabis, i’m confident she’d understand. i don’t feel as though she‘s manipulating me, holding me back.

i also don’t feel as though she is truly the problem in my life. but i do have a lot of discomfort around the compulsivity that can arise in me with her. that’s the part that really irks me, that makes me feel “bad” or “weak.”

anyways y’all, i worry i might just start going in circles at this point.

i guess like many things in life, to be continued…

i’ll keep y’all in the loop with as much honesty and courage as i can muster.

much love and good luck out there ❤ ❤ ❤

¿why is stepping into our truths so f***ing scary?

this is the question stirring my soul as i sit with The World in reverse.

The World is the final card of the major arcana of the tarot. it is the place you end up at the end of a long journey that begins with you as a fool, naive to all that the world is gonna throw you way.

as you emerge from this journey, you re-enter the world, better off for it: more whole, more mature, more aware, and wiser.

pulling this card reversed indicates there is tension at play, resistance to stepping into the world as a truer version of ourselves.

the journey of the major arcana from The Fool to The World is one we’ll make many times in life. it is a cycle that ultimately brings us closer and closer to ourselves, to a more concentrated sense of purpose during our time here.

the calling of this card, to take what i’ve learned and apply it to my external experiences, scares the shit out of me.

there are many things i can write about with confidence to strangers that i fail to articulate to some of the closest people in my life, such as being poly, queer, a cannabis lover and advocate, a writer, a poet, a dreamer, a romantic.

i learned early on in life to protect myself from the judgment of others through learning how to adapt my external-presenting identity to whoever’s company i was in.. i could be the cool girl, the good girl, the smart girl, the funny girl, the articulate girl — whatever the situation called for, i’d put on my mask and perform away.

allowing my truth to shine outwards means coming to terms with people’s discomfort and resistance to it, because people are often off-put by someone bringing their full humanity into a situation.. i know, because i’ve often been on the other side of this — sooo threatened by the person who doesn’t shy away from who showing up fully.

grappling with this, i’m reminded of a phrase offered to me by a woman in a 12-step program, “it doesn’t all need to happen today.”

i take solace in knowing that authenticity is a process. it can be incremental, done in small doses so as to not overwhelm, to not terrify my inner child who feels like being more honest around others could destroy us..
there are lots of small choices that make up this big experience of life, and it is in these small moments that i’m being called to move the dial..

i am learning and i am open, and i am leaning on my spiritual allies to guide and hold me through it… i’m sure i have many queer ancestors who did not have the ability to live their truth, to reveal the fullness of themselves, and so i move forward with a sense of redemption and reclamation in their honor.

“may you be a force of resistance and revolution where you go,” is a phrase that evolved from a comment made by ashe phoenix about how if we want to live in a queer-friendly, weed-friendly world, we need to bring that energy with us everywhere we go. because in-turn, we give others permission and inspiration to do the same.

so ya, being authentic in a world that does not want me to be is freaking terrifying. i’ve avoided it for so long, convinced it may kill me. because let’s be real, it could. being a threat to the status quo is inherently a threatening place to be..

but the thing about The World card is it’s not about just showing up alone in your truth — it’s allowing this to be a catalyst and a compass to help us better find our people, our community.
resistance is not a simply solo experience — it’s about the ways our internal revolution translates externally…

so that’s what i got for now.

as far as a public offering, this is what i’m practicing today:
– may i be present in moments when i am being called to show up more fully as myself.
– may i recognize that no moment is too small to be a truer version of me.
– may i remember this will not happen in a day, but that every day is an opportunity to practice.
– maybe i also honor the truths of others — that in creating more space for myself, i can in-turn create more space for others to show up fully, honestly, and authentically.

much love, happy monday, and good luck 🙂

❤ ❤ ❤

embodiment is a reclamation practice

i am continuing to learn how to show up for myself. to a better friend, a better lover, a better parent to me.

i am learning to show myself love, which continues to evolve my understanding of the numerous forms love can take.
i am learning how to integrate routine into my concept of love. because so often i’ve used routine to feed my perfectionism, and in-turn my sense of never being good enough.

i am learning how to forgive myself and how to trust myself.

i am walking the path of unlearning so many harmful narratives that have been infused in me, and the more i remove, the more i realize how immensely weighed down i am by them. such as what a “real adult” looks/acts like.

my therapist has offered me a new practice for when i’m falling into shame or feeling “bad” (my inner child experience of it). she asks:
who decided that? who decided that *insert behavior* was bad?”
recently, this has been related to my desires for casual sex and my practices around cannabis, which i’m expanding to treat the plant more and more like the medicine it is.

there are so many things, cannabis and sex to name a couple, that, as i become more aligned with myself, i realize are actually sacred practices for me.
which is ironic, because both of these practices have been historically villainized and denigrated in my life. so i am working to reclaim them as spiritual in nature.
(i refer to myself as a “recovering christian” these days, lol.)

in that same conversation, she later asked me,
“do you feel like you can trust yourself?”
which was a rather poignant question considering so much of my reclamation work revolves around believing i can trust myself, that it’s safe to trust myself, even necessary.

i am learning how to practice rigorous self-honesty, so that even when i’m doing a behavior that i associate with “bad,” i can stay present for it, engage with why i’m doing it, what i’m gaining from it, and what i might be compromising.

the practice of abandonment, of detaching from our bodies, feels so common these days, i wonder how many of us really recognize when we’re doing it. i can feel fired up in empowerment when i’m home alone, and then once i step into the world, i find myself falling into autopilot around the same defenses i’ve been using for decades.

and of course, this isn’t all bad — it’s appropriate to move from a place of self-protection in a world that is not inherently safe, especially the more marginalized your identity.
but i wonder what would happen if i learned to reach for a more expansive form of protection, if i could practice being open without being recklessly vulnerable…

i’m going to write a Medium piece on somatics soon, because i truly believe healing comes through the body.
to paraphrase Prentis Hemphill, “when you feel better, that is happening in your body.” so if our desire is to shift how we feel and relate to the world, it ultimately necessitates an embodied experience.

anyways, y’all, speaking of bodies, mine is asking me to eat something. so i’m going to cut it off here.

much love, happy friday.

the mantra sticking with me today comes via Ram Dass: “i am loving awareness.” may we speak it into our hearts and see what blooms in its place.

❤ ❤ ❤

lessons > failure ; sometimes you only make it a week

i set a goal to not smoke for 3 weeks. and i made it a week.. this lands heavily as a failure for me. i woke up around 2:45 last night and couldn’t get back to sleep for hoursss.

i started shame spiraling about smoking, feeling “weak” and like a loser and generally “bad.” i reminded myself of cultural practices like lent, in which people give up something for 40 days, and used that fact against myself, as proof of my incompetence.

i thought of others i know who consistently give things up for long periods of time, measuring myself against them to prove how weak i am.

i struggle with mainstream narratives of addiction, not because i think they’re inaccurate, but because i don’t feel like they tell the full story for me.

leading up to smoking, i was feeling pretty awful, physically and emotionally, struggling to hold space for feeling both physically sick and deeply saddened by how fucked up the world can be.

once i got home from a shockingly exhausting day in the city, i smoked. and it definitely helped, especially with my mood.

and although i knew i’d have to grapple with my decision, i didn’t feel guilt or regret. i don’t really feel regret over smoking even now, more so shame at thinking i could “make it” so long without it. i feel like a failure, a loser.

i’m trying really hard to focus on learning over criticizing, so that i can become more aligned with what works and what doesn’t.

one thing i came to a place of clarity around is quitting smoking tobacco (i smoke spliffs with both tobacco and cannabis mixed).
one reason is so i have a better idea of which withdrawal symptoms are related to which plant.
another is my heart health — i already have low blood pressure, and it doesn’t take much to get my heart racing. so i generally have this idea that tobacco weakens my heart (which, i imagine, is validated by science).

i’m trying to learn how to set myself up for success, trying different approaches and methods. one of the more confusing elements of all of this is, i’ve been able to quit smoking for a month at a time on numerous occasions without much struggle.

but since i broke my long-term sobriety, i’ve found taking longer breaks consistently challenging.
the longest break i’ve taken recently was back in the fall/winter, which lasted for a couple of months, and wasn’t hard.
i simply didn’t really have the desire to smoke, so i didn’t.

i’m trying to parse out why it’s so hard at times and yet so easeful at others. i imagine it has something to do with alignment and intention.

nonetheless, i figure re-focusing my attention on cutting out tobacco is a good place to start. and to then go from there.

i really have no idea what i’m doing, and i feel self-conscious in it. self-conscious in the start and stop, the back and forth… trying to parse out the ways i use cannabis in a medicinal way, to treat anxiety and depression, and the ways it might be working against me. and reminding myself that dependence is typical with medicine, and that the need to “wean off” is common.

to paraphrase from a cannabis break guide i was reading: is it helping, or is it hurting? likely both.

in order to have the space to truly work out my relationship with cannabis and to reframe it in ways that better serve me, i need to be honest with myself about its impact on my life. which means not letting the shame take the wheel and becoming blinded by the idea of being “bad.”

well, i think that’s all i have for now.

i named a new-ish practice of mine today the “remember” practice. it’s essentially a prayer that revolves around remembering:
may i remember my truest nature as a divine being. may i remember the goddesses, the Love of the ancestors, the spirit guides, my connection to Source, my service to this Earth.

may i remember Love, if nothing else. may i remember i am here to serve. may i remember grace begins with myself.

❤ ❤ ❤