Life started me off early, yet I did not bloom until later.
As a child, my sleepwalking episodes led me to know things the adults around me couldn’t explain. It was the same sense of “knowing” that led me around the world, untethered, unrestricted and unleashed.
I discovered things about myself I could have never known had I not left the US. Outside of its colonized confines, a woman was revealed. The Black woman from within came to life in ways that were inconceivable, my mind & body conditioned to believe only in the limits.
In Ukraine, I was exotic.
In Spain, I was American.
In Mexico, I am Tonya Renee.
Becoming myself outside of the place I was born made me feel untethered to it. At 44, after living in Madrid, Miami, Marbella and now Mexico, I knew I wanted a bigger, brighter and bolder life.
Growing up in sweet home Chicago, the place my “passing” great grandmother and Mexican great grandfather made over over 90 years ago left an imprint yet it didn’t feel home. I have only one picture of them with very little details about their lives before, his lack of English and her wickedly witty tongue made them easily, my favorites but with no history, this lineage has disappeared. I treasured visiting their house on the hill, where she taught me to play croquet on her well manicured grass and he served me Menudo.
The ties I have to the sacred land of Mexico goes deeper than them, it goes to the darkest part of the sea, the Middle Passage.
Through visions, dreams and Regressions, I have been able to see myself drown in more than one past life, I can recall about 7-8. It is the energy of the mountains, oceans, sunshine and so many shades of brown skin that have reawakened the past lifetimes.
What I remember is sliding my weakened wrists from the heavy metal, fearfully making my way up to the deck. The Moon light so bright it burned my eyes like it was the Sun, but all I could make out was dark, deep water surrounding me, ready to swallow us all. I knew this was my only moment to escape to freedom. Hot tears burned down my cheeks as I inched closer to the edge, knowing my fate could change instantly. The prayer was still stuck in my throat, when booted footsteps began coming my way and I jumped overboard. The salted water burned my skin as the cold darkness pulled me under.
“The bubbles are chasing me!” is what I would wake up screaming, running from death as a sleepwalking child.
Had I not followed my intuition to quit my job as a School Librarian, I may have never known this side of myself, done this work, lived around the world or committed to Spirituality as lifestyle, not only a practice.
They say the body regenerates itself every seven years and cats have 9 lives. When I left the US, I also left the me that used to drink, the me that used to take risks because I didn’t believe or trust myself, the me that was slowly killing me.
In return, I have learned, failed, discovered, destroyed and healed. The journey to joy has not been easy, but worth it.
I invite you to discover more you through these stories, may these words inspire & ignite your intuition.