el quetzal and 8 lessons

the story goes that if the quetzal bird is caged it dies.  in other words if this brightly colored bird is ever imprisoned its soul dies.

lately i have spent much time around my liberation psychology mentors, h and b. they both speak of heart guided work, work that helps to liberate us and others, while shaking up traditional hierarchies and structures of oppression. this “heart work” requires us to follow ethics and morals that nurture conscientiousness building, reflection, and action-oriented life styles. it means we do not take the role of a bystander because we know that our personal liberation is tightly connected to the liberation of other human beings and the universe as a whole.

to seek liberation causes us to move from being an object to an active subject in our lives. we ask more questions than have answers to, and live in the process of inquiry so that we avoid dichomoty’s or simplification of oppression, of who the “oppressors” are and who the “oppressed” are. liberatory work reminds us of the need to break down and disect assumptions of ourselves and others. i am not promoting an oversimplication of this process. on the contrary, to face oneself and critically and lovingly ask the “hard questions” of ourselves is not simple at all.

i find myself in this exact process now. tomorrow i turn 28 and with the new year i have many lessons i’d like to carry over all the while, making room for new lessons to be fostered.

8 (of many more) lessons i plan to carry over:

1. self-care has to be included in my daily “to-do” list. this can include a yoga class,  a walk alone or accompanied along the beach, pleasure reading and/or writing, playing with paper mache, paints, or other art based materials.

2. prioritize relationship to self. after 28 years of contemplating this one, i finally get that if i do not have a solid, healthy relationship with self, it will be extremely challenging to be foster solid, healthy relationships with others.

3. choose my battles wisely.

4. keep positive energy around me. this includes friendships, other relationships, and activities that bring me joy, laughter, and make life a  little “lighter”.

5. turn off the cell phone and limit my time on the computer. don’t want carpal tunnel.

6. my home is my sacred space to chill, feel safe, and nurture love.

7. dance more often. this one is a challenge, i am tired by 9pm, and find it hard to leave my house when i’m tired. but when i do dance (at home, in the shower, or on a sweaty dance floor) my heart and body feel so much more alive!

8. stay in my process, embrace slowness.

*my birthday approaches and i welcome you to post your lessons in the comment section as a way to make this a collective effort. offer your lesson(s) as a gift to me and those who support my writing by reading She Began to Fly.


2 thoughts on “el quetzal and 8 lessons

  1. Fabiola

    feliz cumple!

    y de tu lista, que puedo decir, es una inspiracion ver y seguir “viendo” crecer internamente a una amiga … en el tiempo que nos hemos conocido guau, que no ha pasado.

    tu amiga que se encuentra “creciendo” …

    may you have many beautiful milestones in this year … y que yo tenga la fortuna de “veer” y sentir nuestra amistad crecer.

    tu amiga que te quiere mucho,

  2. Maybe this is less of a lesson…
    And is more of a written meditation on my own experiences of liberation…
    I feel liberated when I have opportunities to actively and fully participate in decisions based on my deepest values, while simultaneously not having any attachments to anticipated outcomes.
    Furthermore, I feel truly alive…
    When my experiences of liberation seem to be of value to others in my community.

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