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A Social Wellness Wisdom Movement

Well would you look at that, we're one toe into 2024! For me, this year's been introducing big life transitions. I can remember a time when the mere thought of major life changes would emotionally paralyze me, the fear of not feeling safe and secure would render me powerless. The concern of not being in control of the outcome was terrifying. I'd worry, complain and quickly fall into self-sabotage mode. Truth is, overthinking in the face of new experiences was really a form of avoidance. I'd wallow in fear, which would prevent me from busting a move and if I did take a small step, I wouldn't follow up or follow through with any real progress. I'd present as if everything was ok, not ask for help and privately feel a deep sense of disappointment. Eventually, I'd convince myself that no one cared to help me and that my situations were hopeless.

With some serious self-discovery work, I realized that all of these draining antics ultimately boiled down to not believing in myself. I lacked confidence in my ability to achieve a positive outcome, focusing on what or who could go wrong until experiencing intense bouts of anxiety. It was nearly impossible to fathom the idea that I could trust myself enough to push through...maybe even create an amazingly positive experience.

It's taken a lot of mental and emotional reprogramming to shift my internal default reactions from negative thinking to positive exploration. I attribute this to extensive self-healing work, which included trauma awareness, accountability and owning up to overthrow negative habits. Once removing toxic people, places and habits from my life, I had to explore new activities to occupy my mind, heart and body in positive ways.

The self-discovery journey is different for everyone, there's no one-size-fits all approach. The start to my journey included a lot of body work which served as entry points for mental, emotional and spiritual healing. Planting fruits, vegetables and herbs allowed me to tap into the healing power of working with the earth, I discovered this to be extremely energizing. Time in nature to hike, feel the breeze or nap in the sun created space for deep breathing, movement and stillness. Deep tissue massages helped to move stagnant energy and release tension, almost instantly. Attending healing centers for sound therapy, meditation and water work (may it be floating, cold plunging, dry or steam saunas) gave me positive activities to look forward to. These modalities became spiritual practices that continue to feed my soul and sustain my overall vitality.

Another big part of building my confidence is rooted in the sacred ritual of sitting at the feet of elders, who pour rich perspective and wise counsel into me. These elders are nurturing women, usually referred to as "Big Mama" or "Auntie", powerful elders who care for my well being. I've got wonderful "Big Uncles" too. They provide perspectives that keep me safe, affirmed and vigilant. These precious elders move from a space that the world often refers to as life coaches. They've come into my life through community groups, rites of passage programs and spiritual collectives.

For countless generations, I've had honorable elders guide, advise and love me intentionally. For this, I'm beyond eternally grateful, these gentle giants, who are interested in me, my evolution and my well being. Their profound observations, analysis and humor has provided some of the most impactful moments of my life. The mental, emotional and spiritual data they've downloaded into me is invaluable. Their passion and presence has been monumental for my human growth and development.

As I mature, I've begun to realize that I'm now an"Auntie" to many who value the way I pour into them just the same. This auntie energy isn't solely contingent on biological connections or age differences, it's based on earned respect, wisdom and most of all is a safe person who inflicts no harm. One of my recent big life transitions has been my shift from one-on-one personal and professional development coaching into more public speaking, teaching and training facilitations abroad. I've accepted the level up of this mission, as it's an integral part of the social wellness work I'm assigned to do.

With this life change, I've decided to create a video response series, "Ask Auntie", a social wellness wisdom movement, to give counsel and care to those who may not have access to elder magic or life coach empowerment that resonates. I may not be with everyone physically upon demand but I have no problem with using the positive power of technology to assist with a simple virtual click. Should you seek down-to-earth wisdom to advance your personal or professional development, Ask Auntie!

Send your questions through the "contact me" form on the website and look out for a @missmarianna365 video responses on Instagram, TikTok and Youtube.

This is my offering, to provide a direct line for those who seek the quick auntie-love pep talks needed as you navigate important life changes... cause Mari cares... if don't nobody else care.


Auntie Mari

Miss Marianna, launches #AskAuntie: A Social Wellness Wisdom Movement

For the most part, it’s easy to stand in the light. Folks are delighted to bask in our bright likeness, our deeds and the goodness that we are. In this, we gain a sense of value, admiration and validation. However, just as we experience life in the light, there is also darkness. When we’ve been hurt, abused or neglected, most times it’s easy to identify the outer source of our suffering. We can point out the people, places and things that caused us harm. This can lead to where we learn to hate and despise anyone or anything that reminds us of our trauma and pain. As much as we may want to seek vengeance, there is no guarantee that it will happen. Wishing another harm or setting out to punish them may feel good and justifiable, but it doesn't heal us. We can, however, address our pain and choose to begin to heal from the damage that has impacted us. When we decide to become more aware of our full self, the parts of ourselves that we hide in darkness, shadow work begins. This is going beyond who or what traumatized us and requires us to deal with and heal who and what we have become as a result of it. When doing shadow work, we are facing the inner parts of us where fear, uncertainty, inadequacy, anger, disappointment, resentment, guilt and shame dwell. It can feel embarrassing and overwhelming the closer we look at our choices, behaviors and reactions rooted in our shadow. Sometimes it’s difficult to hear, see and know the real from the unreal while facing our dark side. These are often places we didn’t know existed— navigating and finding our way through it can be terrifying. To protect ourselves from experiencing pain again, we may feel worried and regress to what is familiar. Rage, confusion and impulsiveness can lead us to return to frantic old behaviors that don’t serve us well. When this occurs our ability to communicate and function may be limited. We may become paranoid, defensive or shut down altogether to protect ourselves from what we perceive as a threat or wrongdoing. Oftentimes we react out of the urgency of fear and before we know it— valuable opportunities that can help us learn how to bring darkness to light can be contorted into a debilitating battle that leaves us seething in worry and pain. When doing shadow work, just like intense physical workouts, there are aches and pains beyond belief. If we want the results we must learn the difference between the pain of trauma and the pain of healing and growth. There’s always room to meditate and pray. To recollect our senses, rebalance and reconsider our perspective. There is space to change our hearts and minds, to see that the universe awaits us and presents us with opportunities to learn and grow with a new perspective. These opportunities may not always feel the best, but with forgiving ourselves, open-mindedness and honesty- we can push past our fears and overcome them with bravery. The idea is to learn how to dismiss operating out of fear, to fully know who we are and to see that our triggers don’t have to be a reason to fling into fight or flight. The goal is to tap into our higher self and navigate through difficulty with mental and emotional intelligence for the best outcome. This can help us to problem solve in the face of personal adversity. When doing this work our safety and protection come from standing in truth, justice and righteousness. It’s impossible to expect others to make us feel safe 100% of the time, that’s a lot of power to give other people. We can, however, do the best we can to use safety awareness and crisis prevention, when it comes to the people, places and things we engage. Some circumstances are out of our control and it’s great to have a hero save or avenge for us but in general, safeguarding is our personal responsibility. Any healing required after experiencing trauma is ultimately an inside job. When we do our shadow work, we no longer need outside validation or approval, as we discover a pure sense of clarity and dignity for ourselves along the journey. The introspective process of shadow work requires a lot of patience, honesty and the ability to shift from an experience of victimhood onto a journey towards victory. This is where we gain the ability to embrace our full self with a level of mental, emotional and spiritual ascension. This is where we begin to trust ourselves and our ability to overcome challenges with a divine sense of direction, peace and self-love. When we honestly know, heal and honor our full self, there is no space for worry, guilt or shame— because we are in full alignment with the truth, and this, sets us free.

...and remember, we talk about this SHIT, because we've got Some Healing In There.

-Miss Marianna #ownyourshit

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