By Jesse James

I was camping this weekend and ended up daydreaming whilst staring into the roaring flames of our campfire.

I began making contracts and promises with the dancing flames and immediately knew I had to write them to myself. Typing furiously into my phone, I prayed that they would not escape me. I feel that doing so around the flames cemented them as my process.

Forging a commitment with ash, smoke and flame seems to carry so much more weight for these truths.

Doing so, I walked away feeling capable and empowered. For the fire had graciously given me the symbols and structure for strength. This is my emergence. My process forged within flame, and it is from here that I will continue to build and grow my foundation.

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I emerged from fire and flame as the Phoenix being born amongst many seeds of choice; that which had been burrowed amidst the ashes. Like a pomegranate, my many paths were fruitful in the possibility of fertile truth; but only that which I chose could be walked into fruition.

I choose to walk the path of strength and of power. I choose to be a survivor and successor of my own legacy. There is no longer room to bear the penalty of my trauma, for I have grown beyond the casings of violence that scarred and haunted my past.

I release them into the world now, because it is necessary. They remain at my surface because they no longer belong with me. These stories, they demand to be told.

For no more are they pieces that I must cling to in order to know who I am and to center myself. Because while for too long I only knew who that was in relation to pain and abuse, no longer will that be my steadfast nor my familiar.

My true north identity does not reside within ghosts of violence, and thus their ethereal cords have been cut and or loosened from their holdings. I refuse to return to those spaces as someone vulnerable again. Instead I do so on my own terms; I have chosen to take back my stories from within a place of grounded strength. To continue to tell the truth, but to not let that truth harm me.

My goal is no longer to simply survive, but to thrive; to knowingly love and enjoy.

I am the catalyst; broken free of the crystallized cocoon. The cacophony of spirit sounds that beseeched my soul to remain roaming in that space are torn; delighted in the newness and freedom of a shift unknown, but broken up and stirred in their familiarity of mental torture and entrapment that they have resided in for so long.

No more. I refuse to be a prisoner in my own mind. Breaking these shackles and mental labyrinths take time, but already I am that one step closer to freedom.


Jesse JamesJesse James is a storyteller & creatrix of many things — an equal blend of mystical, myth & science. Owner of Artemisian Artes and a member/founder of The Creating Conscious Arts Collective, they use their voice to promote holistic wellness & inclusive activism/advocacy for the many pieces of life they care about: poverty, disability, full-spectrum equity, anti-oppression movements, trans issues, environmentalism, as well as the violence/politics of Birth (to name a few). A lover of nature and of people; of adventure, and of raw reality — passionate about life and love itself. They adore working with herbs in making natural remedies, and concocting delicious kitchen alchemy is a second nature after breath. They worship the earth, thrive on art, and on forming meaningful connections with others. Their mission is to make that around them more beautiful, or at the very least, to help others see things that already were, in that way. You can find them on Facebook.


Photo: (source)

Editor: Alicia Wozniak