S: Trenton, the Emerald Tree.

Like a lot of black people during the pandemic, I’ve become a self-proclaimed plant mom. I’ve been falling in love with house plants of all kinds, and rekindling my affinity for gardening and caring for my friends that are green.

Most recently I went on a hunt for a gift for a coworker at Trader Joe’s, and realized they had beautiful ‘tropical plants’ of all kinds. I couldn’t help shopping for myself, as they were cost effective! I have been running out of space for all of my plants, so I didn’t want to get too many. I limited myself to two and found it hard to choose. There was one small plant, very lively and beautiful. I was going back and forth between that one and another, and something kicked me to get this small tree. For some reason, it didn’t have a tag for what kind of plant it was, just a ‘tropical plant care’ tag. I figured it needed a good home and I loved it. So it came home with me. I sat it in my favorite pot and it looked gorgeous. It has been there for almost a week now. Just thriving.

Today, Sunday, is my weekly plant time to check the soil, water, and sing to all my babies. I came across an article on Medium about how house plants aren’t just a trend for black women, but a means to a spiritual passage. I felt that deep in my soul, as I find myself praying for and over the plants that come into my home… naming them and feeling close to them.

I haven’t paid too much attention to this new tree until today, realizing it needed a name – and that it gave me male vibes. I couldn’t come up with a name immediately, so I asked Q – who loves naming our future children, if he would name him. Needless to say, he was HONORED and was so excited. We always get into discussions of names and that they mean and how they’re presented.

‘What about Trent?,’ he wrote to me. ‘Trenton.’ No doubt in my mind, I loved it. Trent, it is. A little bit later, I dubbed him Trenton.

Q wanted to know what kind of tree he was. I told him I didn’t know and that I wanted to find out. Now, I had done some previous searching and was unable to find any trace of what with tree was, so I gave up. Anxious, because Q wanted to know as well, I downloaded one of those plant identifier apps that allows you to take a picture to determine its type. I signed up for the free trial and everything.

The result came quickly, and took my breath away.

It’s an Emerald tree.

Immediately I started to feel emotion in the pit of my stomach, my chest, my throat, my face. I started to bawl uncontrollably. Tears running down my eyes and sobs roaring from the depths of my chest.

Emeralds have always been a topic of discussion when it comes to Q and I. Not only is green my favorite color of all time, all shades, but Q and I have had many discussions about me having an emerald engagement ring. About what the color means and what the stone itself means…

“St. Hildegard of Bingen, the noted lithologist, declared, “All the green of nature is concentrated within the Emerald.” [Megemont, 80-81] Representing youth in the age of man, the power of this lush crystal stirs the soul like the heart of spring, symbolizing hope and the future, renewal and growth. It is a Seeker of Love and a Revealer of Truth, inspiring an ongoing search for meaning, justice, compassion and harmony.

Called the “Stone of Successful Love,” Emerald opens and nurtures the heart and the Heart Chakra. Its soothing energy provides healing to all levels of the being, bringing freshness and vitality to the spirit. A stone of inspiration and infinite patience, it embodies unity, compassion and unconditional love. Emerald promotes friendship, balance between partners, and is particularly known for providing domestic bliss, contentment and loyalty. It was dedicated in the ancient world to the goddess Venus for its ability to insure security in love.”

It’s love… unconditional, young, pure, and free. Nature, harmony, the universe… God.

This tree undoubtedly is a representation of our force. Representation of our growth and constant strive for the balance of love and life. Representation of our ability to be one. A reminder to lead by heart and breathe life into every day by working together to achieve harmony.

I’m grateful for the moment, through my tears. I feel lighter this morning, releasing the emotions from my body and into life. Grateful for this physical manifestation of our love, as granted by the universe.

– S

Q: Our Force

A lot has changed within the year of S and I’s recoupling. Not with us and our interaction – more the world around us, what resides outside the bubble. A pandemic, protests, and all the chaotic conditions that accompany great change…

Yet amongst the all the volatility, S and I have found great solace in our being together, even when miles apart…

With a limited physical aspect in our relationship, S and I focus more on building on the spiritual body of us. Meditation and prayer are a major underpin we share to help strengthen us internally to be able to withstand the great need for touch…

This year has been very trying. S has undergone a lot of added pressures with the changes of her routine and having to working from home. Plus, the halting of visitation had put heavy strain on our relationship… we’ve bickered more than ever, HA! At a time earlier in our relationship, I was actually worried that we wouldn’t bicker and probably wouldn’t know how to handle it when the time came… boy was I wrong! We are both pretty opinionated, but rarely share it with people. But as with most difficulties in communication, our wanting to understand each other is very powerful – we find ourselves overcoming and becoming stronger for it.

June the 14th, was our ten month anniversary and marks a very important day, I believe. It started off with a newly found tradition of anniversary video visits, which was amazing because we haven’t seen each other in quite a while and I think that has taken its toll on us in very specific ways. But I digress. We followed that up with an hour long wholesome conversation…

But the highlight of the day was actually late at night. S and I had spoken to each other about meditations, trying to set our intentions. I meditated on the destiny of our love and all the coincidences that lead up to us sharing this time onto forever we share.

I visualize The Force that moved everything into place for us… I, myself am a believer in God, as the dispenser of cause, destiny, and justice, related that same source that has placed us together is the same source that placed the stars in the sky and throughout existence… I shared that with S and was so happy when she told me she gathered a lot out of that idea… Once again, being the big romantics we are, we found a path to some greater truth and built spiritual strength from examining the happenstance of our love…

Hopefully… knowingly, there is a lot more to come from our great respect and love for each other. We grow higher and closer everyday… I know what they mean when they say God is Love… I’m still praying and living to experience a deeper, fuller, more divine love, and with S by my side, I know its all possible…

-Q, 6/16/20

Joint Meditation: “If you and I are possible, anything is possible.”

Celebrating our 10th month together, Q and I spent some time meditating yesterday and building our spiritual force.

“My meditation was good. It focused on the nature of God. My focal point was the force that brought us together… It’s the same force that sets everything in motion… the Force, babe… all the destiny involved in our chanced love. It was all set in motion by a force. This force guides all things to their purpose and position. We can become more familiar with this force by trying to feel its influence in our entire relationship… God is Love. Seek the nature of love, you’ll find the nature of God… Feel the force that pushes us together and feel how that force is enveloping the whole universe. That’s God…”

– Q, Note to S, 6/14/20

He continues to teach me so much about my own spiritual power and faith, aiding me on my spiritual journey. I’m so grateful. With his guidance, I had my own exploration.

I focused on what you’ve called the force. What was cool about it was it was easy to weave in and out of what was going through me. I kept getting flashes of us and how we are just straight up POSSIBLE. If you and I are possible, anything is possible.

-S, Note to Q, 6/15/20

After my meditation and prayer on the subject, I grabbed our notebook which was nearby, and started to write. A reflection, I guess you can call it. Here’s a little bit of it.

“The nature of God… the force… destiny. I could see us. Day 1 until now, the future. Thinking of all the things that brought us together, even though odds were low. We overcame them one by one. We were supposed to know eachother.

I saw colors… blue and orange mixed together, like a sunset. The sky. I saw us, harnessing our power. I feel we are going to change the world. I think you hold the blue, and me the orange – together, we make a big energy that’s pinkish purpleish. It’s beautiful. I could see it.”

– S, 6/14/20, Notebook

From now on, Q and I are going to try and have a meditation each month on the 14th, focusing on our power. Our force.

Q: Love, is a puzzle.

I was sitting around reading some of Q’s old (JPay) letters we shared when we first reconnected a couple years ago. We were going back and forth about whether or not what we shared back then was love or lust. We went back and forth a bit and he shared something with me that I read now and realize that he has always been TRUE. That his motives and his feelings and his… I don’t know! He was literally sweeping me off my feet and I didn’t even know it.

A Quick Synopsis of Love:
To best describe love, I would use the analogy of a puzzle… at first, the picture is created as a whole, then it is cut into individual pieces with unique shapes that entail exactly where they belong, and what other pieces they belong with in order to complete the entire picture…

“If you love someone, then you got to let them go…” Truly, if you loved someone, then you never really possessed them in the first place. People make the fatal mistake of believing they control everything; and to a degree, they are correct. But love is a force of nature and beyond one’s control. Our shapes were determined by the creator of the puzzle.
You should not question yourself about it: “Am I in love?.”

I used to try and force thoughts out of you, and feelings out. Mostly, I was successful… but I could never eliminate you from my heart, and therefore my mind… I figured we belong. That’s without question. To me, that force of nature is not something to fight against, but something to fight for…

– QMP, 5/17/2018

I just… my heart. Everything he said, is exactly what we have now. It’s really magical.

S: His Quarantine Birthday

Today is his 32nd birthday. Unfortunately, things have gotten harder as of last Thursday, when Q’s building had to go on a 14-day extensive quarantine. This means that on top of not visiting yesterday, we cannot talk today, nor can we have our planned video visitation.

Needless to say I’m a little devastated, and have been crying this morning. But an inkling inside of me continues to keep me calm. I know for a fact that it’s him… his spirit. Reminding me that we are in each others hearts on this day, no matter what we go through. That our love is always shining.

I thought I’d celebrate here by posting the poem I wrote for his birthday card the other day, and sharing this video screenshot of us dancing 13 years ago, today.

To The Man That I Love.

On the 27th of April,
a special moment of the year,
A sweet baby was born –
QMP is here!
And even if the world is falling,
From the sky above,
I’m screaming happy birthday,
To the man that I love.

To the man that I trust,
To the man that I lust,
The man that makes me smile,
Even when we start to fuss.
Cheers for a trip around the sun
We have to celebrate –
Happy birthdays are in order,
For the man that I appreciate.

For the man that I respect,
the man that I honor,
To the man that I stand for,
For whom I only grow fonder.
Feeling happy as I’ve ever been.
Although times may be rough –
I’m singing happy birthday,
To the man that I love.

-S, 4/22/20

S: Pandemic Woes

Well. Q and I have faced some tough times these last 8 months, but none as tough as what’s been going on for the last month and a half. A whole pandemic.

Not only are we facing the global implications of this, but locally, he’s on modified lockdown, which means they can barely leave the pod. His JPay JP5 player is on the fritz/broken, so we can’t communicate like we used to with writing emails. Our phone time is strenuous, because I’m working from home and everyone in the pod has unlimited clicks and free phone calls on Thursdays. OH, and a little thing called – we can’t see each-other, as all facilities ended visitation as of March 12th.

Luckily his positive attitude and my ability to make light of situations, make us a perfect match. We keep eachother grounded in many ways.

We spent some time tonight talking about our spiritual connection and not taking anything for granted. Seeing eachother often and going through the hustle and bustle of life allowed us to slack a little when it came to building in that category. Our wavelengths have never been off, but they could definitely use adjustments.

He was talked about how his meditation and prayer the night before made way for a memory that put a smile on his face.

We took the moment to note the contemplation of the week: ‘Focus on what you can control.’ We both get so wrapped up with the fact that we’re not together, that we sometimes forget the present. We are together and we are growing everyday. Learning and experiencing and continuing to fall in love every single day. That is a relationship I want to have.

S

S: I Didn’t Know My Anxiety Was This Bad.

Here’s my story, and a few things you can do if you didn’t know either.

With COVID-19 spreading uncontrollably by the hour, I’ve found myself in a constant battle with none other than: my brain. Sure, I’ve struggled with anxiety in my adult life, like everyone else. Let’s talk about it.

I’m a multitasking maniac, suffering from FOMO and cases of imposter syndrome. I’ve had a panic attack before, and can tell if I might be on the verge of one. I hate change and I’m very cautious about most adventurous things. I’m a semi-hoarder/clutter-lover, and I have mild issues of letting go. Trouble falling asleep due to racing thoughts of the day. I’ve seen the same therapist occasionally for the past couple years. The works.

On the contrary, I’m an extroverted, karaoke-singing, open-minded, outspoken, natural-haired, fun-loving woman with a constant smile on my face. These days though, it’s been easy to lose her.

My anxiety has gotten so bad, that it has not only affected me emotionally, it’s affected my physical well-being. There are points in time during the day where my chest feels like someone’s trying to rip it out. Where I sleep for only 4 hours after tossing and turning. When I’m too tired to think about meditating. When I realize I’m out of frozen meat and my knees buckle because I have to go to the store… All of the above.

As a black woman, I’m no stranger to worry. It runs in my family. My grandmother and my mother worry constantly about most things, which is something that I learned at an early age and carried with me. As a kid even, I always seemed to think in a worst case scenario mindset, which allowed me to make changes to my wardrobe and hair, all the way to the major I chose in college, to the experiences I have as an adult.

I also have a 2nd grader. He’s at home for the next two weeks, and trying to keep him educationally entertained is no easy task by far. Luckily, he’s a straight A student and loves math. However, he’s also impatient by nature and very distracted.

I have an incarcerated significant other, which you already knew, and that’s a whole bag of uncertainty. While visitation is cancelled until further notice, that’s not the only impact. They live in close quarters, where almost every surface in the pods are being touched by the minute. The employees are in and out of the facility, going who knows where and bringing who knows what back in there.

OH. And I’m also in the advertising and media business, which is completely overrun by my clients’ worries of keeping their employees employed, wasting money on ads, and saying the right things due to heightened sensitivity with everything going on in the world. I’m dealing with working from home with video conferences and multiple bosses and people to manage. On top of that, sitting in my kitchen for HOURS.

Knowing all of this, and adding COVID-19 to the mix, I’ve done everything in my power to allow my mind to calm. However, it seems like every news article and conspiracy theory causes me to lose any progress I make; and I start over.

I’m learning each day that I cannot control everything, and that there are active steps I can take on the road to overcoming. Now, there’s no magic way to do it overnight, but here’s some things you can do RIGHT NOW, to begin a path of inner recovery.

  1. You have to take care of yourself. Yes, eating well is going to be hard while we’re sitting in the house, but try reaching for a healthier option if it’s available. Meditate when you can. Go on a run or do an exercise video. Sleep a little longer than you normally do. Mental well-being will have a hard time working for you if you aren’t ATTEMPTING to do a little on the physical side. Your brain will thank you.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for some time off work. If you cannot deal with news and/or work loads, tell your supervisors. Take an hour away from your computer per day if you have to. Leave at 5. Take a day off to focus on you. It’ll be there when you get back, and you’ll be 10x better when you do.
  3. Delete Facebook. Okay, not your entire profile, but the app has GOT TO GO. With a constant stream of news and commentary, conspiracy theories, and irrelevant opinions from irrelevant people. Check it on desktop when you must, but having that app at a thumbs reach is destroying your ability to focus.
  4. Stretch. Yes, stretch. Believe it or not, certain stretches can help you. Child’s pose. Breathing in and out while placing your hands on your head. Sitting on the floor and slowly reaching for your toes. Doing some cat/cows. All of which releases pent up energy in your body that you likely need to let out in some form or fashion.
  5. Pick up an old hobby. Mine is crocheting. It calms me and is something I can do with my hands.
  6. Drink water. A lot of it. While it may seem easy, consciously drinking 8 or more glasses of water a day can help your oxygen flow, skin cells, digestive system, magic, you name it. It can also make your body feel less tense, even if you didn’t notice it was.
  7. Listen to music. Any music really. Music is a mood shifter and can take you to time and places without effort.
  8. Rewatch your favorite sitcom. Sitcoms are light enough but involved enough to get your mind in a place of peace, but not too far off. Also, laughing releases endorphins.
  9. Think about the things that make you happy. Easier said than done right now huh? But really, time yourself. Take 5 minutes and just sit there, and think about what makes you happy.

Happy thinking. And breathe.

Q+S: March 9 Contemplation of the Week

Q and I started a new thing for 2020, Contemplation of the Week. It’s a quote or thought we find during the week, that we can document, write down, think about, and implement into our lives.

“Do not fear. Be responsible with your power of creation.”

– Q

S:

“In the midst of the hysteria going on today with people watching their germs and trying not to get this global sickness, I’ve found myself full of anxiety on a daily basis. Worry in the back of my mind causing a rift in focus…

But I control my reaction to my thoughts. In fact, I create these thoughts. Being aware and understanding of my own creations… is imperative. Staying mindful of how to prevent, and not reactive, will protect my inner peace. Which is also my creation. Deep breathing and positive energy will alleviate my fear and bring love into the dark places in my mind. But only if I allow it.”

Q:

“The mind is the maker… when we set it upon a serious thought, maybe a dream we hope to attain, we began to shift the tides of the universe towards our desire. We can gather strength and energy to accomplish this desired reality. whether conscious or otherwise, we are constantly provoking a pattern that plays out in existence and alter realities… as so for positive aspirations, so too for negativity and its respects…

Fear, negativity, and worry these are not different from the thought that comprise our dreams. they manifest with the same swiftness. So it is wise for the creators, possessors of mind, to guard against negative thoughts and fears, because given the proper amount of attention they will come to fruition… be responsible with your power of creation…”

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