Reignited by running – Passion for life…focusing on what can be, rather than what is not

Diva Half Marathon - Dec. 8th, 2013

Diva Half Marathon – Dec. 8th, 2013

Race Results 12_8_2013

Race Results 12_8_2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today I tackled one mile at a time until I reached 13.1. However, half-marathons, marathons, and any other road race doesn’t simply end at the finish line. The goal setting and persistence it takes to run and finish a race is something that remains with me in my everyday life. I’ve have a greater sense of clarity and trust myself because I run.

JoyceBeforetherace1

Before the race

MeandMyBabyGirlBeforetherace

Me and my baby girl before the race

At one point after mile 10 during today’s half marathon I was suddenly overcome with emotion. All that I have gone through and accomplished these last couple of months finally hit me – I am surviving because I am strong, I am kind, I am grateful, I am Diné and I have the blood of my ancestors running through my veins. The same mental characteristics needed to run and not give up are the same characteristics needed in life. I’ve learned life is like running – you get out of it what you put into it. I had filled my life with fear. I had flooded my life with doubt. As a result that is exactly what I was getting back – fear and doubt. Being honest about my fears then facing them down, acknowledging then divorcing my doubts  has reignited my toughness, my creativity, and my generosity. I have reignited faith in myself and the ability to dream on a grander scale.

AtTheFinish_12_08_2013

At the finish and feeling great! 12-08-2013

All smiles after the race 12-08-2013

All smiles after the race 12-08-2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I run, I will myself to be the best I can be. The courage and endurance that it takes to get through a long run has seeped into my life in every way. I am able to motivate myself when I am down. I am able to endure difficult times with resiliency, and kindness. I have learned to take the measure of myself, and no longer allow others to define who I am.

I am Diné…and will always be Diné!

I am a daughter…and will always be a daughter!

I am a grandaughter…and will always be a granddaughter!

I am a niece…and will always be a niece!

I am a mama…and will always be a mama!

I am a sister…and will always be a sister!

I am an auntie…and will always be an auntie!

I am a friend…and will always be a friend!

I am a student…and will always be a student!

I am a teacher…and will always be a teacher!

I am a runner…and will always be a runner!

Wishing you all love with all of my being,

-J

Love and light 12-8-2013

Love and light 12-8-2013

Listening and Yearning for My Homeland

A dear friend sent this to me today. Little do they know just how much I needed it.

A dear friend sent this picture of Tse’ Bit’ ai’ (Shiprock) to me today. A picture snapped to capture the beauty of my home right after the rain. Little did they know just how much I needed it.

Farming, herding, walking, running through the valleys and mountains of the Navajo Nation, one can smell, hear, feel, and see the life and endless possibility of Dinétah. The wind, the life breath of the land that lies between the four sacred mountains maintains the connection between the Navajo people, no matter where we reside and our ancestral home.

Dinétah has always been a source of strength and pride during my struggle with violence in the form of rape, physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, reproductive control, murder, and the trauma of history. As a Diné woman I am surround by countless Diné women who have their own stories of colonial cruelties and internalized abuse. Each of these women’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual survival in spite of severe trauma is testament to the courage, power and inner strength of us all. It is from the struggles of my ancestors that I learn the importance of going back to the beginning in order to go forward in a healthy way. There will always be a time when you HAVE to “GO BACK.”  The acknowledgement of past trauma and heartache is integral to my personal and collective recovery. It allows me the opportunity to lay the foundation for a healthy future by learning from my personal traumas of the past and from the history of trauma suffered by my ancestors. It is my responsibility as a Diné woman to understand the historic and systemic nature of my wounds. I have to learn how to think for myself and not rely on others to think for me. I have to hold tight to who I am. Who I am is – Diné, Navajo ceremony, land, what I write, the words I speak, the kindness I carry in my heart, the love I give, the way in which I care for my children, the way in which I honor my community, the way in which I honor my family, and the everyday acts that allow me to be able to maintain hózhó.

I allowed my hardships to disconnect me from my true self. I allowed my hardships to disconnect me from my ancestors. I have to “go back” to go forward. I have to “go back” to RECLAIM my traditions. I have to “go back” to RESTORE  & REBUILD my RELATIONSHIPS. I have to “go back” to REBUILD who I am. I have to “go back” to have the strength to RESIST. I have to “go back” to RESURGE to LIVE and ACT! There is no other way to heal but to un-become what I am as a result of denial, avoidance, repression, and the impact of colonialism. My RECOVERY is painful and will continue to be for some time BUT it is healing, it is my RESTORATION.

With love and deep respect,

– J