Skip to main content

it's not because we are broken

In fact, it's quite the opposite.

Life is intricate, imperfect, complex and compelling, tender and raw in some places yet brilliant and beautiful in others.  There isn't one way to categorize our everyday experiences or any predictable way to measure the future.  There is only Me, in each moment, stretching and swirling and changing constantly trying to expand and flow with what each new day brings.  

And so healing doesn't happen because we are broken, it's more like a revelation, a deep necessary reminder that we stumble upon when given the chance, that we are perfect just as we are.  It happens when we are simply able to arrive as ourselves in any given moment - joyful, hurting, alive, overwhelmed, nervous, hopeful - and be received and accepted with fierce love and wild kindness

This is what these retreats are for.

Walking into my own vulnerability to offer who I am to a circle of other awe-inspiring, dynamic, and whole-hearted women, and being seen mends me every time.  It stitches together the fragmented view I have of my own existence and shows me how I am not broken at all.  I'm able to see my wholeness more clearly and my gifts mirrored in their joy.   Then, I also get to watch their lights shine brightly as well and bear witness to their own quiet revelations of truth and love created by gatherings such as these.  This is the gift of my work.  So many tiny miracles happen for us all.

So I could tell you about the girl who came at the very last minute because she needed something to help sooth her grieving spirit having just lost her father, and who's brave intentions and bright soul lit everyone else up instead...

I could tell you about the mom and daughter who came, really needing this time to reconnect, and how they fought to carve out this day despite the overflow of life and were able to celebrate not only each other but the their beautiful new book that they just put out into the world, together...

I could tell you about woman who gave this day as a gift to herself, after having just moved and so much unsettled time, who's laughter was infectious and who gained an entire group of new friends and memories to ground her in this new place in her life...

I could tell about you how my friend's mom, while watching the film in the flickering candlelight, reached out to put her arm around her daughter sitting beside her, with a gentle rub and leaning in, and how so many of us felt that tiny moment of her saying "I understand now.  I see you, and I am so proud of you." without saying any words at all...

I could tell you about unforgettable, fierce hugs of gratitude, and the smiles of deep recognition in one another, the excitement of togetherness, the touching story of party dresses and confetti, and the smell of freshly popped popcorn and happy smears of paint...

...but I would never be able to fully capture what that experience was really like and how it transformed each of us in little ways.  It was the alchemy of all those things, and magic that was created in its wake.

I feel utterly honored to be able to hold space for moments like these and for the woman who dare to show up to fling their arms open wide waiting to be seen and embraced, and I am utterly changed by their graciousness and beauty every single time.

I have so much gratitude and love for all.



Popular posts from this blog

Inner Alchemy Cards: Build A New World Deck

Our next make-your-own card adventure is finally here! Inner Alchemy Collage: Build A New World Deck (online) is an artful exploration of language, learning, inspiration, and collaboration, that delves into important ideas around activism and systems of oppression. This is a way for us to examine and disrupt harmful dominant narratives, tell new stories, and inspire one another to use our creativity and personal power to help build the collective world we all want to live in! In the end you will have a beautiful and meaningful handmade deck of 35 oracle cards to use as unique a tool for guidance and reflection whenever you need it.  I'm your host,  Mindy Tsonas Choi , an artist, organizer, radical belonging activist, and the founder of the Be Seen Project - a grassroots initiative resourcing BIPOC artist and makers working in activism. Join me along with other stellar artists, makers and co-creators who have also been exploring social justice and activism as part of their creativ

The Cost of Selling Belonging

As someone who use to sell belonging and believed I was creating something universally magical , I now have fresh eyes on the harm that I once caused. I understand what can (and was) incredibly healing and impactful for some, was at the same time excluding, marginalizing and undervaluing others. First, to anyone who ever felt like they did not belong to anything I created because they were unable to afford it or felt like they did not have the social capitol to join -  I am sincerely sorry for not seeing you sooner .   To our entire creative community as a whole, I urge us all to think about belonging in new and equitable ways, and to do the work of dismantling these hierarchical structures that leave so many people out of the circle. We all deserve to have access to creativity and belonging, and I'd go so far as to say both are fundamental basic human needs and rights. Selling belonging can look like... Creating spaces and experiences that can only be accessed by buying in at one,

what's in a name?

It’s May 14, 2020 and I’m on a transnational call with a social worker and translator of the SOS Children’s Village offices in South Korea. It’s 7pm my time and 9am the next day in Korea, which adds to the surreal quality of the moment. It is my first long distance call following my inquiry with the organization documented to be my first place of entry into the system, found in my Korean records (the acquisition of which is an incredible story in and of itself). It was July 21, 1972 and I was 5 months old. It’s a small miracle the organization still exists, and an even bigger blessing that they took such time and care in searching for information and to talk it all through with me in person. I try not to cry as the call connects. What I learn is a lot of small details about that fateful evening which amount to nothing traceable, but still feel like huge missing pieces of my life. I was left near the entrance around 7pm under a small tree, wrapped in a blanket with only a name scribble