Skip to main content

i see

When I was a teenager, my friends used to come by the house to chat with my mom about life and love and relationship woes. She had a trifecta of superpowers at her disposal, maternal instinct, clinical skills, and social nuance that drew people in to the alter of our kitchen stove. It was a place to see and be seen, share stories that made you laugh or cry or sometimes both at the same time. There were cigarettes and real talk, and my mom would always give it to you straight. At least that's how I remember it. That is how it is even now, minus the Virginia Slims and hum of the stovetop air vent.

Though if you asked her directly, she might disagree, I see my mom as a healer. A healer of broken hearts, broken families, broken spirits. She has the gift of seeing you clearly, and that is what has alway served her kind of magic out in the world, though her approach is much more pragmatic. I know this more by hearing it from others than by witnessing it myself as I see her mostly as Mom, though for a short period in my twenties I got to work with her in a clinical setting and saw her in action. As much as she helped the kids and families she worked with, she was also a grounding force of comfort and wisdom within the greater system. The counselors of the house looked to her the same way my friends always had, though this time is wasn't the kitchen stove we huddled around, it was inside the small back porch. She simply has a way about her that draws people in to ask for advice and direction.  

This morning I was thinking about this, and my mom, and these through lines in my own healing work - we are so different, yet so similar. My kids are more likely to call me an artist or occasionally an alchemist (which I love), but I'm a sort of healer too. I may not have a clinical degree like my mom, or any piece of paper that speaks to certain skills of this or that, but people come to me looking for advice and direction just the same. Maybe being a healer is more an instinct and way of being than a certain set of skills. It's a calling to use truth and empowerment to help others see and change their lives for the better.

Whether it's delivered on the couch, in the kitchen, or around a sacred fire of cigarette or sage, the message is equally as important and powerful. I'm grateful for this legacy of healing and the ways my mom taught me to see and hold space others.


  1. Replies
    1. so grateful for you, and adore you too! xo

  2. The greatest healer is love and you exude love :)

    1. thank you for that. takes a lover to know a lover ;) xo


Post a Comment

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