In The Community
Last Thursday, I received a text from a good friend. It read, ‘I’m pregnant!’ and I smiled. I was happy for her. I know this was the next step in her life and it was a season of joy. It left me feeling excited for her and yet it also made me wonder where I am in life. I’d be turning 30 in less than 20 days and yet found myself with no desire for children. In fact, the next day I was going in for an appointment to get an Intrauterine Device (IUD) inserted. I was nervous but felt a sense of relief that I’d have one of the safest forms of birth control to prevent a pregnancy for the next six years.
The next day I arrived at the appointment right on time to avoid having to sit in the waiting room and think about the intense pain I might be in in the next 30 minutes. Instead, I arrived 2 minutes before the appointment and was called in five minutes after I checked in. I was still nervous and dreading it for many reasons that didn’t include the physical pain of inserting a foreign object into my cervix.
For starters, I’d consider myself a typical Mexican daughter who grew up in a very Catholic and religious home. Not only does the Catholic church not allow birth control, but it also prohibits cohabitation with a partner before marriage and I was already breaking two rules under a religion that was so persistently shoved in my face as a kid and young adult. Although I’ve wrestled with those demons and would consider it a won fight, I still find myself feeling shameful in these types of situations. The Catholic guilt is still there, along with the idea that I might be doing something wrong is still there.
Yet, when I was laying back, inhaling and exhaling deeply as I felt tightness and severe pressure in my pelvis, I felt a continued sense of relief. A few moments of pain to avoid an unplanned pregnancy reminded me that it was all worth it.
What a dichotomy. The idea that I can feel so liberated by the choice to plan my life, yet feel trapped by the beliefs I was raised with. Now mind you, I am very open with my mother and our relationship has shifted, but even then, I feel a weird hesitation to share with my mom that I have an IUD. I still feel the echoes of advice around staying away from boys and not getting pregnant at a young age. I am thirty years old. Why are these echoes still so loud?
I find myself wondering if this is why I also feel so unready and quite frankly, uninterested in bearing a child. I wonder if years of repeated messaging that a child would end my dreams and goals still carries weight in a time in my life when I’m well positioned to do as I please. I can’t help but wonder if my brain has been wired to fear a baby and the responsibility of a child because it correlates it to the end of my aspirations and goals.
I can’t help but wonder if years of trying to deliver the highest results of who I am to my parents has engraved in me a fear of ruining the fruits of my labor.
And yet here I am, almost 30, wondering what is next and when I’ll get over this hump. Wondering if my realization of not wanting kids soon (or maybe ever) will help me start the process of healing all the trauma of the things I was told as a young teen. I am reminded that this is yet another hurdle that immigrants and first-generation children go through. That this is just another experience in many of our lives - the ongoing guilt and shame of needing to make my parents’ efforts worth it all. The pressure to ensure that I was not to end up a statistic.
I left my appointment on Friday feeling relief and a mix of heaviness wondering if 15-year-old me would have imagined this life. A life of choosing what comes next and a life of unlearning what made me who I am.
For now, I sit with my emotions thinking they are okay, no matter what I feel. Fear, joy, relief, happiness or even resentment - all things that I felt in that moment. One thing I do know from my lived experiences is that the culture I love so much won’t look the same for the hypothetical children I might decide to have. I know that it will be a much more understanding culture that honors their natural feelings of sexual curiosity and knowledge.
Skin is the largest organ in the human body so taking care of it isn’t just about vanity. What better way to give your skin the amor it needs than with some amazing Latina-owned brands? Don't worry, we did the work for you.
When you’re facing the mirror and processing how you’ll start your day or reflect on how your day went, it’s also the perfect time to reflect and honor all of your feelings, uninterrupted. As you’re renewing your skin, it’s also a time to reset your thoughts and give yourself a chance to get a clean slate (pun intended).
Here are some Latina-owned brands that will help add some rejuvenation to your skin and your life!
It’s easy to be obsessed with a brand like Brujita Skincare. Their conscious skincare brand celebrates natural products while celebrating misfits who enjoy beauty products that are as unique as they are. Brujita's branding, authenticity, and community involvement make them a brand you’ll religiously use.
After suffering from acne for years, the founder of Reina Skincare created her own brand that includes serums, oils, toners, exfoliators, and more. As an Afro-Latina, the founder was inspired by the tropics and created a brand that will transport you into a tropical paradise.
As a proud holistic brand, XiCali products only use ingredients that come from Mother Earth. Their natural cleansers, facial toners, and many other products encourage a holistic approach to skincare. Beyond skincare they offer a multitude of other wellness products to have you feeling 100%.
We’ve highlighted SunKiss Organics before as an Afro-Latina brand you should be supporting. Not only do we love them for showing up as an empowering brand, we know their products are amazing! Between their facials, toners, and body balms, you’ll be feeling renewed after each use.
BelaDoce is all about the glow and we are not mad about it! In fact, we’re asking for more glow that is reflective of a healthy, happy skincare routine. Created by a seasoned skincare professional, BelaDoce brings beautiful products that work, to your everyday skincare needs.
Nopalera is a skincare brand that was founded to celebrate Latino culture. Inspired by the ancient symbol of Mexican culture, The Nopal Cactus, nopalera is exactly what you need to take your skincare to the next level. With ingredients that are rare to find in other brands, Nopalera is the way to go to take care of your skin.
This year has barely started and we have already gone through a few spiritual portals. The most recent one 2/22/22 was a day packed with undeniable energy and it has left us wanting to create a deeper connection with our spirits. During the last year many of you might have gotten in touch with your inner bruja in uncertain times, reading up on your horoscope or googling why the number 1111 keeps showing up.
However, we know that spirituality is much more than a quick internet search. As astrology gains popularity, we are reminded that the Latinx community has always had strong spiritual and wellness practices. Oftentimes these are passed on from our indigenous and African ancestral lines, making them a ritual that feels more like coming home than a new practice.
For these reasons and more, we’re giving you a list of 6 Latinx spiritual and wellness mujeres to follow.
Astrology plays a large role in some spiritual practices, so if you’re looking for an expert that is serving real knowledge on the stars and numerology, Jasmine Alejandrez-Prasad (known as Esoteric Esa on social) is your go-to. From providing knowledge about astrological cycles to better understand your life, to numerology resources, Esa is a great practitioner to help you uncover your best self.
Brujas of Brooklyn
Dr. Miguelina Rodriguez and Dr. Griselda Rodriguez-Solomon are some of the most well-known names in the Latinx spiritual community as they strive to educate and heal women using indigenous techniques. Known as the Brujas of Brooklyn, these Afro-Latinas are kicking down spiritual barriers to empower you to release your inner bruja.
Looking for a spiritual guide that also focuses on social change? Melanie Santos is your girl. From focusing on intentional living to drive social change to educating her followers on how to empower themselves using ancient and modern practices, she does it all. This is a definite follow if you’re looking for ways to utilize self-care to rebuild your spiritual foundation.
Panquetzani is the name of Indigemama, a jack of all trades when it comes to feminine health. Working as a holistic womb counselor and wellness coach, Panquetzani serves to educate women on seeing their womb as a sacred passageway that connects the divine and Earth through it. Ancestral healing is at the core of her teachings to achieve balance between yourself, the Earth, and your family.
tarot meditation \u2022 death \n\n\u2022 deck: @blackmedusatarot\n\n\u2022 like, share & comment on your resonance below \n\n#tatiannatarot\n#tarotmeditationpic.twitter.com/NrL6YfFCAy— TatiannaTarot.com (@TatiannaTarot.com) 1645731726
If you’re searching for someone to guide you through the art of all that is tarot, look no further than Tatianna Morales. A Puerto Rican tarot master, Tatianna works to help you understand the value of reading your own tarot cards and using that knowledge to inspire you.
Gen Kahlo Tarot
And to bring you some more tarot goodness, you have to check out Gen Kahlo. She is an amazing intuitive tarot guide, who is also part of the Luz membership community! Check out her 2/22/22 for a reading on how you can keep using the energy of the 2/22/22 portal!