THE BEGINNING...Retha and I sat down for our first “interview” and she first set our intention in the beginning of the session, as to what my goals and hers were for our time together. She told me that a lot of the questions asked I may not necessarily know the answer to, or we may think of something or more later in the session and we could go back. I sat there naively thinking that it would be that I would think of the color purple was actually my favorite and not blue. But, in actuality this was a much deeper conversation of whether people judged the way I looked, or if I had ever had a traumatizing event in my life and more. I answered honestly that I hadn’t, I grew up in a very loving home that if I acted a certain way I never got in trouble – I was always accepted. The problem is that I am judged by my family now and my childhood in itself was a pretty traumatizing. Discovering this with Retha in my living room, I know that I will look back for years to come and know that this was the beginning of my transformation.
I was brought up in a very conservative religious childhood, where as long as no questions were asked and no boundaries were crossed life was good. Those boundaries were not cutting my hair, wearing skirts and not ever having a choice in the matter, in clothes or in my life – we lived the way we lived because it was right. Turning eighteen my young heart knew that I couldn’t survive in the chains that had been put around me any longer. I left the church and the family that I adored, to stand up for myself which in itself created many new issues – I didn’t even know who I was. I was chastised and excommunicated from the people that I had grown up with and forced to live with new boundaries that had been created with my family. We were no longer able to spend holidays together or even have family dinner at the home at which I grew up in and had felt secure in. I do have to say that they did these things in blind love, they felt that if they created a gap large enough in my life – that I would have to come back. I cut my hair, and began to choose clothes that I thought would make me feel better – and yet without even knowing it I kept a lot of the old thoughts and dogmas even in my new life. I kept to a pretty bland palette so as to hide in the world instead of expressing myself through my clothes. It was over ten years since leaving that life that I knew, and yet I still fought within myself as to who I was and what I wanted in life. I had a good job and a cute family (which I focused all of my efforts on because as we all know it is so much easier to focus on someone else and their well being rather than spending time on yourself.)
I picked up a copy of the Catalyst a couple of months ago, a magazine that I had maybe picked up once before. There in lay an article that would speak to my soul. It was by Auretha Callison, self-proclaimed fashion maven. She told a story of a client that she had worked with, who, when they got to the point of clearing and making space in their jewelry, of opening Pandora’s box. I realized that I wanted to cleanse the old energies out of my closet and my little jewelry box and begin to wear things that “make you feel good” (Auretha’s article). I have barely begun my journey with Retha and yet I know that deep down I am changing my life – one day at a time.