Our mission:

Read about A Voice of One's Own, where it came from, where it's going, and how you can join its chorus of love here!!

Also, feel free to contact us at voiceofonesown@gmail.com. Guest posting and new writers are not only welcomed, but encouraged, so please feel invited to send us a little taste of your voice :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

El Salvador.

Hello, my loves,

I am leaving for El Salvador in less than 12 hours and will not be back until June 3rd. I cannot wait to share my experiences with you.

First, though, there is something I want to share as well as a question I want to ask. Three years ago, after facing an intense depression, I gave up all faith in religion or in the god I had once so fervently believed in. For these past three years I have been missing this part of my life. I don't want to go back to who I was because that would be dishonest in light of the transformations I have experienced since that depression, but I do want this lack within me filled. I am going to El Salvador filled with a hope for rejuvenation and for opening a new door to a new faith, one that honors who I am and where I am today. This all being said, I ask that, if you wouldn't mind too much, you send a warm wish in my direction over the course of the next eleven days in hopes that I am refreshed and am able to more fully serve my purpose on earth and to give more fully the love that I so wish to share with the world.

In immense hope, love and gratitude,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Near Life Experience

First, I want to thank mt for allowing me to write for this wonderful blog.

A few days ago on a particularly gloomy and rainy day, my car fishtailed while I exited off a highway. For a few tense moments I literally saw my life flash before my eyes. Thankfully, I’m fine. I regained control of my car after my ABS (anti-lock braking system) kicked in, thanks Honda! After recovering from the initial shock of almost skidding my car into oncoming traffic and possibly dying or really hurting myself, I realized how SACRED my life actually is. It was like the universe shaking me up and telling me to LIVE.

I graduate in a few days and I’ve been running on emotional autopilot. My almost accident reminded me that life’s too short to not be present in every second of our time on earth. In the words of the beloved St. Iggy, “Go forth and set the world on fire.” LIVE & LOVE.

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly."



Monday, May 16, 2011

nature and motherhood.

I have this weird habit of not talking about some of the things that are most important to me. Once someone asked me if I want to be a mother, and I was so startled by the question. I so badly want to be a mother! In fact, I get giddy when I talk about my future babies that I cannot wait to meet and love and adore and dote on. Who will they be? I don’t know, but I get uber excited to find out!!! I can’t wait to get to know them and have the opportunity to watch them grow into the people they were born to be. What a gift.

The other thing I don’t talk about, but cherish very much indeed, is nature. Just take a peep out the nearest window. IT IS SO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL OUT THERE! I swear the color green has a power over me; seeing it--really seeing it--causes a pulse inside me, intensifies my heart beat, deepens my breathing, sparks the very life force within my spirit that keeps me going day after day.

I get confused when humanity, or maybe I should say society, exists apart from nature. I get confused because… well, we are nature. We can pretend to separate ourselves from it as much as we want, but we are one with it just as we are one with each other. Sometimes I wonder what society might be like if we existed in these two realizations. I could be very wrong, but it seems to me that love might reign.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


OUR FIRST GUEST POST--get excited!! I am honored to welcome Jas as she celebrates and shares a voice of her own:

After a very untimely “wardrobe malfunction,” a friend asked me why I had such a hard time with people being naked. Said friend was trying on various outfits when the malfunction happened and I, in my infiniteness awkwardness, stared directly at my laptop in an effort to avoid as much eye contact as humanly possible.
I come from a small family and for most of my life I have lived only with three other people in the house; my older brother and my parents. I never grew up around women despite the fact that my mother had 3 sisters and a number of nieces. I suppose the lack of an estrogen bath when I was younger can explain some of my discomfort with my own body.
When I was 8, my parents decided to move our family to the Philippines. If you don’t know anything about this beautiful island nation, Google it! The Philippines is a sub-tropical island located in southeast Asia, it’s close to the equator so the weather is typically hot. While there, I attended a conservative Catholic school in a neighboring town that had very strict dress code. We had the typical plaid skirt and white blouse uniform from Monday-Thursday but on Fridays the girls were forced to wear the most God-forsaken outfit ever. Since Fridays were “gym” days (we didn’t have anything close to a gymnasium), girls’ uniforms were white cotton sweatpants and a white cotton t-shirt. Sweat much?
I became accustomed to this very conservative style of dress. Administrators (aka Priests, one of whom fathered a high school senior’s child at our sister school) were trying to maintain decency with the young women at our school at a time when salaciously dressed teenyboppers like Britney Spears and the Spice Girls were infiltrating Filipino culture.
So what’s all this have to do with me hating nakedness? I never knew how to appreciate and love my body. I was taught at a very young age to hide. Hide everything! Hide the precious jewel that is my body! Even after moving to the States, I carried this mantra with me. You best believe I wore jeans in the scorching heat because I didn’t want to be “indecent.” To this day, I do not have a mirror in my room at home because I’d just rather not see my body but I’ve slowly but surely come to embrace nakedness. For a very long time, I found it very difficult to change in front of my roommates but I’ve been more intentional about doing this lately.
I was 20 years old when I first wore a 2-piece bathing suit. (Despite being a tropical island, it is common practice for women in the provinces to wear shorts and a t-shirt while at the beach or swimming pool in the Philippines.) I can’t tell you how insanely liberating that day was, feeling the wind and sand on my skin instead of a sopping wet t-shirt made me feel deep gratitude for a side of Mother Nature I had never experienced. Last summer, while on a road trip with my mother, we stopped at a beach. My fashion-forward mother had never seen me in a 2-piece bathing suit before and she was amazed when I nonchalantly took off my shirt and revealed myself to the rest of the beach. Roughly translated, my mother said, “You’ve got balls.” I responded, “I can’t have fun if I keep hiding.”


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

vision. hope. driving force.

"In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world.

"This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud. And i suppose my happiness could have taken the form in the words: "Thank God, thank God that I am like other men, that I am only a man among others.

"I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.

"If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed...I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other.

"If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed - but hate these things in yourself, not in another."
-Thomas Merton

Monday, May 9, 2011


I’ve realized that I am much better at extremes than I am at balance. If you want something done big, I’m your girl, but otherwise, not so much... I need to work on this. I think it’s about time that my mantra shifts from consistency to balance. I don’t really know that I have achieved consistency, but, similarly, I don’t really know that consistency is something one can achieve per se. I suppose consistency, like so many other concepts I value, such as love and forgiveness, lies in the choices and decisions one makes time and time again, day in and day out. Time passes and I’ll just wake up one day and say: oh, man I’ve gotten pretty good at this whole consistency thing!

In other news, my newest addictions (speaking of my extreme personality) are: green tea, Ani DiFranco, desert boots, fruit pizza (see picture), Kashi cereal, Adele, chunky bracelets, painting my nails, and writing. Here is “Both Hands” by Ani DiFranco:

I am walking out in the rain

And I am listening to the low moan of the dial tone again

And I am getting nowhere with you

And I can’t let it go and I can’t get through…

And the old woman behind pink curtains

And the closed door on the first floor

She’s listening through the airshaft

To see how long our swan song can last

And both hands, now use both hands

Oh, no don’t close your eyes

I am writing graffiti on your body

I am drawing the story of how hard we tried, how hard we tried

I am watching your chest rise and fall

Like the tides of my life and the rest of it all

And your bones have been my bed frame

And your flesh has been my pillow

And I am waiting for sleep to offer up the deep with both hands

And in each other’s shadows we grew less and less tall

And eventually our theories couldn’t explain it all

And I’m recording our history now on the bedroom wall

And when we leave the landlord will come and pain over it all

And I am walking out in the rain

And I am listening to the low moan of the dial tone again

And I am getting nowhere with you

And I can’t let it go and I can’t get through

So now use hands, please use both hands

Oh, no don’t close your eyes

I am writing graffiti on your body

I am drawing the story of how hard we tried

How hard we tried, how hard we tried.

I would really suggest giving her a listen. I added her to my yoga mix, which is really saying something. Y'all know how I feel about yoga ;)

Monday, May 2, 2011

in honor of humanity.

A couple recent events, one personal and one global, have stirred something in me. I feel the need say some things….

First, I believe in the dignity of each and every single human life. I believe in the value of life. I believe in the deservingness of love that lies within each and every human spirit. I worry that we, as human beings, think that peace can be achieved at the hands of destruction, at the hands of murder, at the hands of hatred, of cruelty, and at the hands of disrespecting and degrading a human life. I don’t know that peace, or justice for that matter, can be achieved this way and therefore I fear retaliation. I believe justice lies in realizing the value in human life not in punishment, retribution or even murder. I am worried about our nation. I am worried about the world I might one day welcome my children into. I am worried about humanity. I am worried about us all.

I am not into creating controversy, but I am into creating space for love, questioning, contemplation, reflection, and growth. I do not have the desire to force these thoughts or beliefs onto anyone, but I do feel the calling to express them for myself and for anyone who may feel similarly but may also feel silenced for whatever reason. When I am worried about the world, as I am today, I feel called to discuss and then to act.

Second, I have endless hope in healing. The human spirit is resilient. It amazes me how much we can endure, but it amazes me more the magnitude of joy and love we can experience in our endurance. I have mentioned before my own darkness, I have told you about my descent into depression and about the ways in which I slowly but surely climbed out. I have told you, too, about my joy. I have been thinking back to my darkness quite frequently in the last 5 or 6 months and here is how I feel about it:

Grateful. I am so grateful that I had the support to help me climb out of depression, grateful for all the days I have lived since then, grateful for all that I have experienced since then, grateful for all the love I have know, grateful for each time I have laughed, for each hug I have received, for each sky I have witnessed. I am grateful for my life and everything in it.

Youthful. I feel young. I am much more aware of the power that time has to heal the human spirit, and therefore am much more aware that no matter how dark night seems, the sun will rise again in the morning.

Excited. I cannot wait to continue healing, processing, growing, loving, laughing, and living. I look forward to falling more deeply in love with myself and everything around me while growing into the woman I was born to be. I look forward to honoring my resilient spirit for the rest of my beautiful life.