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5 days in California and I've already started a new adventure

The Spring Equinox brings about a New Year. A true feeling of spring and rebirth whirls around me and I am in the middle of the greatest transformation of my life since I started college. I had just made it home to California after the sweetest South America trip with my not-so-little (23 years old) yet still little (she's the shortest in the fam) sister.

To say I am blessed is an understatement. To get to sit with myself and attempt to rewire my brain once more after ending up broke for the umpteenth time; reminds me of the joy of becoming abundant. you know, the feeling that only future-you knows how to live in, 24/7, without getting phased? Well, I'm learning to become that person now, through the discomfort of having my bank account in negatives, I am prolonging the time that my emotional state ripples calm and financial confidence throughout my body. Telling my body to be still, that it's okay to be still. And rewiring the beautiful baby brain that has for years been a bit curious and chaotic in the ways it stumbles through the same patterns and behaviors, jajajaja... ahhhhh.

It's funny how the same acknowledgment that used to keep these words locked up in an unforeseen draft, has me confident in my ability to retrain myself through this uncertainty. I now know that I'm preparing for financial abundance but what that really should mean is that I am about to embark on becoming abundant. letting go of the emotional weight of the life I have lived and making a commitment to myself to make space to affirm my body and lower the volume on the negative emotions and begin to prioritize the emotions that will metabolize my body into this new chapter. This chapter is where my solid/static sense of self not only becomes reimagined but alchemically shifts from being fixed/unchangeable matter to being energy in the process of change. This is the becoming I've been waiting for. And now I feel prepared to actively unfold it. To trust that the universe had this planned for me all along and forgive my shameful younger self who didn't understand they were allowed to enjoy the process.

My elbows rise in tension and fall with a sigh as I write this. This is what I'm talking about. This is the change. Listening and observing my body in motion and allowing it to come home to itself without judging the tension or unhealthy behaviors. Simply tweaking them gradually and trusting them to align, and realign as many times as it needs until I am living my best life 24/7. For now, I just laugh at this beautiful messy journey that somehow brought me to a rural town to follow my calling in mindful media (mindfulness X media literacy). The idea in my head for the past five years is finally breathing; its heart has a steady heartbeat, and the best thing I can do as its mom, is to keep my heart calm. Model for it and myself, the process of calming myself down over and over. Until my body breathes abundances onto the bay of my bed.

Beyond my past, this is my present: I am living my future.

Home is an active exercise of reminding myself I have arrived. After 5 days in San Bernardino, of which I spent 24 hours in LA, I already packed my car and drove off to my next destination. New Cuyama. Along the way, I arrived at home about 13 times before I made it to New Cuyama. It took me five to seven hours-ish after parking my car to finally arrive home at the blank page and not only commit to writing to you but to commit to writing for me.

So welcome home, to this new me you have not met. I know this because him and her just getting to know each other, really know each other: and I love them. I love me.

"New Poem from the PLANE" with mp3

I'll be focusing this month on submitting a final set of videos to a freelance client: can't wait for you to see them. In the meantime, here's the latest video series I produced. You do not have to watch but if your curious about what kind of video work I've been preparing for school settings, there's three of them in the series focusing on the perspective of frontline workers:

Beyond video production, I am committed to building a community, making beautiful mistakes, and developing a bilingual mindful media menu that I hope to tour the US with next month. Next year. Next Decade. You let me know when you'd like a taste or when you'd like to gather loved ones for a mindful meal, and together we can reimagine the way we feel around ourselves, our technology, and the media narratives that heighten our stress and raise our blood pressure. I am ready to regulate, limit, and set intentions with those doses so that I can take back my attention, my time, and my love. I am ready to allow myself to walk toward a calmer and more confident way of life. Beyond my past, this is my present: I am living my future. One breath at a time.

P.S. if you'd like to know about South America please let me know what about it you would like to know. The history, the present, the land, the homies, finding home abroad, or the beauty I witnessed in myself and my sister?

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It's complicated. Love 'em, or not, family functions after 2 years of quarantine is difficult. Some of us come from unhealthy, dysfunctional or misunderstanding families. Add in the rise of Omicron and the thought of warm and cozy connection evaporates.

Just as I was cozying up to my lonely life in Los Angeles, the midwest calls. I am grateful and blessed that my family loves me enough to fly me home for the holidays... yay!!!(?)

To sacrifice the coziness of solitude and enter an environment that's been shaped and informed by so many different fountains of anxiety, trauma, and some fake news. It's a lot and for many of us, it's out of our control. However, after the incredible loss experienced the past few years, I gladly give up the security of living unbothered to embrace the presence of family; no matter how different we may all be——— or maybe it’s me, I’m the only different one.☺️

One thing many of us have learned over generations, on this (stolen) land of freedom and opportunity, is that we are multicultural beings. Yes, the United States has a dominant culture we all learn to accommodate; Yes, some of us also belong to the dominant cultures that our ancestors survived. And if we're lucky, we inherit rags of ancestral knowledge that have survived colonization and have a unique privilege of cloaking ourselves like royalty– knowing that every story preserved is a pen invaluable treasure. To be multicultural is to embrace all of the cultures that shape us instead of hiding parts of ourselves to please the dominant cultures around us. Our existence is not an accident but a culmination of the people, villages, and cultures before us and beyond us that continue to guide us On The Way Home.

#OTWayHome is an acknowledgement of home as a sacred space we cultivate within; sometimes with family or chosen family, and other times on our own but it comes with a great sense of being whole. Who or what is home 4 you?

Those who know how gushy I can be, know that I love love. Yet, I know as well as anyone how hard it can be to gather 'round in harmony when we don't always have the language to acknowledge what's really in the way of our communion.

SO, I wanted to offer some language/tools that have been helpful for me in the more tense moments of dialogue. Having phrases that can help everyone in the room nod their head in agreement is the best way to restore the conversation and transition away from ideological differences.

Not Us VS Them, it is Us VS The Problem

Think about a virus as the problem: we can get mad at our insensitive relatives who reject public health recommendations and ridicule them for expressing concern about government control or another irrational fear (which might feel very real to them). OR, we can bring folks together (on the same team) and identify simple actions and routines we can all implement to stop the spread of the real problem.

When a disagreement or misalignment of perspectives erupts it can feel like one is deadlocked in a confrontation where only you or your relative can come out alive. Congrats, you have identified the biggest lie of our present social media culture:: you are not your ideology; you are not your ideas, thoughts, or beliefs. You are you :) They are them, and I am. If I get upset with a Dehumanizing belief you shared, I can refrain from attacking you and specify that we have to do better to remove that language from our collective vocabulary.

Truth is, most of our media sources benefit from feeding (us) their audiences, fear-based oversimplifications of the world around them in the shape of "us vs them."

The best thing we can do is attempt to paraphrase the concern or anxiety that our relative is speaking to so that they can see us as part of their us. We can overcome any problem.

On The Way, In The Way, Out The Way

Us VS The Problem ✅ heres another way to think about it.

In agreeing that we are all on the same team, on the way to a better future for all the people we love, we must identify The Problem as it gets in the way of our collective flourishing. The problem as a virus that has taken host or infected one of our own (like when your uncle Frank be telling a racist joke without any clue of the dehumanization he is normalizing in between laughs), if we confuse our loved one for the problem, the two become one... and you are now accusing your ignorant but scared uncle of being racist. INSTEAD, you can find the words to let him know that what he said supports White Supremacy (therefore racist): putting others down for a laugh is in the way and it's time to get that language out the way so we can keep moving forward, OTWay.

According to Harvard Health, phobias are a persistent, excessive, unrealistic fear that develops as a type of anxiety disorder: unrealistic fears get in the way of us flowing on the way. Homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia are societally/culturally in the way of us coming together: be easy on your misinformed, ignorant, or naive family members, don't be easy on the bigotry (get that sh*t out of the way). On the way, everyone is capable of growth and change, so don't limit someone's potential for transformation by implying they're set in their ways (even if you and I both know they are, they might not be today… or tomorrow).

Some say we hold those we love accountable by calling them in, instead of calling them out.

I like to say:

"fI you're not on the way with everyone else,

you might be in the way. So, get out the way &

✨ join us when you're ready ✨

everyone is welcome #OTWay."

*This should go without saying but LISTEN*

If ya'll ask a question, you better control your worst ADHD impulses and give this complex bag of emotions you're talking with TIME to respond. They might need to say, "I don't know" three times before they allow themselves to listen to what they do know.

Yes, Let it Out! OR Should we make space for this later?

I recently heard an artist say define grief as unexpressed love; suddenly there's a new appreciation for this heavy feeling I'd been carrying over the past few years. Let it out!

When these big feelings come up, it can be really scary to open up and release them. Sometimes we cry out a big pain like a novice flutist trying to emote through a trumpet 😖. It ain't always pretty to sit through but with verbal and nonverbal cues (nodding, mhmmm, "that must have been hard") we can help relieve our loved ones of the isolating feeling of experiencing pain alone. Don't let anyone walk away without feeling heard, or they just vomited emotions all over the room and still feel like they're no one understands what they're going through.

If "how'd that make you feel?" is too on the nose for your emotionally-dense loved ones, look for other questions that might draw more out of them: "how long have you been carrying this?" "Why does this hurt/bug/affect you as much as it does?" "I've heard you bring this up before, this must really sting, huh? If you've heard this shpeel beore, consider that there might be a sentence or two at the end you've never heard, can you help them put their finger on what they really need to say?

If now ain't the time for THAT deep of a conversation, or it's been going on a little too long... you can say that! Your words, your questions, can offer you and others respect: when you draw boundaries you actively shape the bonds you have with the people around you. Everyone has a spiral 🌀inside they need to voice, some can say it in six words; some couldn't fit it on 6 pages if they tried. The point is to learn to see that 🌀 in everyone and respect that sometimes we need to put a pin on it. "Homie, I hear and I feel this truth you're speaking to but I don't think I can digest all this without eating more food first." (physically let them know you're present: look them in the eyes, hold hands, or set down whatever was in your hands) "Auntie, I see you and I'm here for your growth and healing. Period. But I'm also not in the headspace to really listen and hold space for this at the moment."

And in case YOU ever find yourself on a long-winded 🌀, remember to...

Breathe & Proceed

Finally, my personal favorite: a reminder for myself, and anyone like me who sometimes talks in circles. Sometimes you start talking towards a point you want to make and then anxiety sneaks into your thoughts mid-speech -—-you lose direction or control of your speech and minutes pass! You'd be lucky to have someone on the other who is still listening. Either way, take a deep breath. Smile. and proceed to wrap up your thought and redirect the conversation. Proceed? But where do I go next?

What do you want to make space for next? Your words have the power to carve that space: with a question, a phrase, or a bathroom break. Maybe you'd like to talk one-on-one with your favorite cousin, ask “can we make time to talk alone, when you’re free?” You need to get a fresh of breath air, “Imma step outside."

Make space for yourself always. Only then will you actually have meaningful space to offer others. Before, after, during. Take a moment to breathe, and ground: in gratitude, in the present moment, or through the emotions that flow through your body. The way I'm writing this love letter to prepare for my holidays, you can also take time to feel out what you need to release; then, pick out the most important highlights of your 🌀 and share it with someone who you want to return some love to.

Feel free to add your own spice and flavor to any of this, or share your own tools. I would love to hear your family success (or not) stories; if you have any to share this season, the comment section will be waiting for you.

But actually, though, I want to know what is H🌀ME for you this holiday season and how are you sharing it with those you love (Beyond the holidays?)




How am I sharing with those I love? Great question! Most importantly, presence; I plan when and how I can but once I'm with family presence is the greatest gift I can offer– I hope to still say that after I make my first million. Aside from being grounded in the familial web of life and death, I'm putting together a little gift from my heart and mind for the people I care about. The time has come to put fear and anxiety in its place and protect the time we bask in the presence of love. I'm excited to announce that the first Family Package offered on OTWay.Media is coming January 2022 🤍

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Updated: Dec 18, 2021

To those I didn't say Happy Thanksgiving to, I'm inviting you on something more wholesome than settler colonial genocide paraded as the one day Americans remember to give thanks– some of you already know but gratitude as a daily practice (not just 1x a year) is life changing.

This Holiday Season, I'm grateful to be sharing a taste of my life's work with you. I might not be fully polished but I am capable and worthy of serving my community, the way I know how. with a b r e a t h e.

I'm committed to offering a family-friendly service built right here on my website. Not only do you get an exclusive first-go at the OTWay HOME (at home) experience, I'll be around once a week-ish to respond to questions or feedback.

For us to come together, we need to know what's been getting in between us. Let's Get Lit(erate) doesn't just apply to media literacy, cultural literacy, and the (Paulo) Freirian notion of "reading words/images to read the world around us." Emotional literacy is just as important in this Home 4 the Holidays toolkit and while $24.44 doesn't come with an actor's emotional range, it offers very simple tools to Notice, Acknowledge, Release, Recenter & Meditate.

It was best broken down (for me) in the book How To Talk to Kids So Will Listen, we have to release negative emotions if we want to make space for new ones to come in. So how do we let it out?

N A R R M is one simple way to offer folks the language to express and release what's bugging them.

Allow me to demonstrate: I notice this inner tension between enjoying time with those I love and co-existing with different versions of the truth (especially when we gather to celebrate a myth about pilgrims and Indians breaking bread that ignores the violent history that takes place in the decades & centuries after the Pilgrims 1st Harvest). I acknowledge this tension makes me feel anxious and insecure about being my whole self around people that "just want to have a good time–damn Josué, stop making everything political." I release the power this angst has over me and recenter on the way that love and hope manifest amongst my family and friends– my home. I meditate on the feelings of home I want to nourish; if I get distracted, I start from the top –NAARM– until i find my way back home.

HOME – "is here, in the moment" and whoever you choose to share this divine presence with 4for; 4 seasons; 4 elements; 4 directions The Holy Days – days fixed by law or custom on which daily work is suspended in commemoration of some event.

Water Protectors gather with allies to ask Gov. Walz to #StopLine3
Protect The Sacred: we are not alone in the fight to protect the future #StopLine3
Wamponaog Tribe (who made the Pilgrim's first Harvest possible) gets greeted with a dotted red line underneath: it is not in this computer's dictionary until we add it
BTS screenshot: This is what erasure looks like

What do we deem Holy in our society? At the end of November we came together on a federal holiday to collectively look-the-other-way from the Indigenous genocide this country was built on. Before the word genocide was a word we could look up in the dictionary, the United States was providing historical examples. The mythologies/stories of imperialism have us celebrating gratitude once a year while the Wamponaog Tribe (as well as many others) consider Thanksgiving a day of mourning. The path forward might feel a bit uncomfortable but to Make America Great we all need truth & reconciliation. The contradictions in how we remember history is rooted in an unchecked White Supremacist culture and how it miseducates the masses simply because some want the freedom to impose their truth onto others. Let's untangle the lies and ease into a shared present. It's gonna be okay...

b r e a t h e .

Your Liberty To Swing Your Fist Ends Just Where My Nose Begins

It's time to collectively unlearn bigotry, the rotten & shallow kumbaya, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and all the other dehumanizing lies that embolden fear. The dominant culture is losing power in the United States... and we can defeat fear by fortifying our relationships with love. we have to be ready to face our own shadows or risk tech and media companies feeding us fears about change to maintain law & order– I mean, the status quo! We accept our shadows so we learn to recognize when a storyteller is manipulating us with our own insecurities.

STUDYING CULTURE 101: Who is Telling our Story?

We are surrounded by media productions (books, billboards, movies, music, TV, graphic tees, everything you scroll past your newsfeed, and more) and recognizing the multicultural world we belong to gives us the upper hand. Multiculturalism decentralizes the story and humbles us; we cannot keep hyper-focusing on our point of view as if it were the only truth on Earth.

Every piece of media was made by someone(s), it represents, challenges, or upholds a culture through storytelling (most likely shaped by the stakeholders/corporations with the most $$$ to invest in shaping culture). One of the big media literacy questions that helps here is, "whom does this text advantage and/or disadvantage?" Some might cry, "but it's a children's movie, don't take it so seriously." Well, corporations are not just shaping the imagination of our youth but how they seriously see the world. Let's expand our view of the world... read the whole spectrum of experiences and learn to accept ☯️ and co-exist – so we can co-cre8 our future.

I know you like to hide but we don't have to worry 'bout what we'll find inside: it's either not yours or it's God.

The future isn't clear cut and I don't have the map laid out for you but I'm offering a simple package to make sure you that even if you get lost, you can find your way home.

Subscribe and be the first to know when OTWay's HOME 4 the Holidays package goes live (scroll all the way down to the footer to subscribe:)

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