Letter from the Editor: January

So here we are, 2018. In the last few days of last year, I reflected most on duality and the two sides to all things - darkness and light, calm and chaos, love and hate - and am struck by how intertwined the two sides of all things are; how one cannot exist without its mirror, how the presence of one brings power and meaning to the other. Maybe I'm reaching new levs of consciousness (or maybe I just been watching too much Star Wars) but I feel like I'm understanding more deeply than ever that in life we are constantly straddling the edge of a blade. How quickly a switch can be flipped. With a word, passionate love can turn to bitter hatred; with the tightening of a restraint, moans of pleasure turn into gasps of pain. I've always loved power plays and exploring the subtleties within the intersections - and no, not just in sex, but in all human interactions (although sex can serve as a powerful analogy for understanding who people really are when we let our demons come out to play).

2017 was a series of trials by fire and now that it's over, I'm reminded of the power that can be found in pain. How it can strip us down to raw emotions, can rip us apart to help us understand who we are at our core, and how it shows us to truly let go and harbor no attachments to what we think we desire. How rejection from another can lead to more full acceptance of self. How getting your trust broken can let you trust yourself more deeply. That there is strength in vulnerability, no matter how terrifying it might feel.

True to form, 2017 ended with some extra last minute mega wack shit for me tbvh. But I truly believe that messages come to us when we're meant to hear them, and the right words been flowing to me like salt water on open wounds - shit hella stings but it heals with the same gentle wave. To quote a poignant IG post from rapper Rocky Rivera that particularly spoke to me: "There is nothing more whole than a broken heart. I am that cracked vessel, gilded in my faults and more beautiful than before." In pain, in loss, there is hope. There is the power of regeneration. Sometimes people and situations that destroy parts of ourselves are simply catalysts to help us remember who the fuck we are. They are not the teachers we asked for, but they are the teachers we needed.

Here's to starting this new year as a blank canvas, an empty vessel waiting to be filled with energy of the divine. To rebirth, to freedom, to charting the unknown. To embracing the darkness and light in all of our experiences. I wish that you all turn your trials into chances to remember your own power and to be really, truly unbothered in all that you do. Let's get this shit on and poppin 2018!!

<3 Steph

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