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The Spirit Of Things

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Warning: Before you continue reading, it’s important I point out that this whole piece is about a personal spiritual perspective and thus will touch on themes and sensitive subject matter about mental health, self-harm, and other possibly triggering life experiences. I must stress that I am not a therapist, psychologist, and/or trained advisor.  I present myself here as a friend sharing some of the things that are important to me. Continue if this kind of content is something you would like to explore, otherwise, please seek the best support. 

In loving memory

of my Daddy GesLani Cruz
beloved friend Noel Pardinas

In gratitude for the ones that held my hand
to be here.

“How do we react when life feels unfair?  How can our choices and reaction to the difficult and challenging things that come our way make the difference between a life of pain and that of a life of joy?”

Ultralight Beam cover by Beth Celeste, @b3ttybugg

It’s Denuo’s 8th year now and it’s 8 months, almost exactly, since my last entry for this Sustaining Intimacy column. What developed in this timeframe is a story; a new narrative that banged its way in, terrifying every fibre of my being and has now manifested itself in seemingly infinite soulful forms. Today, I share this chapter that reveals my life’s darkest moments that led to who I am today and how I show up for this brand, the people around me and the life I’ve begun anew.
 


Shadow

When I describe the feeling of having a rug pulled up from under me figuratively, it sounds like a watered-down joke – one that leaves you with a nasty aftertaste…for months. Right now, looking back, it plays like a vintage View-Master with haunting souvenirs of inner demons on a reel, I tug and on and on they go — a mirage that transfixed my vision in times of tumultuous change­­ as a suffering victim that succumbed to a state of fear-based living. 

I’m trying to paint a picture. 2020 was a whirlwind of data and threatening emotions that brought up shadowed memories of my expectations, betrayals, losses, and confusion (amoungst others). By the time 2021 rolled in, like untended spring onion butts you leave in half of cup of stagnant water for far too long, all hopeful footing I thought I had rooted dissolved into a slimy aftershock of everything from the past (in its entirety) pushed to the forefront of my life.  I faced deep-seated traumatic grief, fear, anger, shame, loneliness, powerlessness, and pain. I couldn’t reconcile myself. I didn’t know who I was anymore.

I believed life was unjust, perpetuated it and internally declared it so. My mental state, experienced in structuring genuine healing of manic-depressive and post-traumatic disorders for many years, still was ill-equipped to manage the challenges of 2020. I was winded, resisting my reality on unrealistic markers only, in the worst of ways, to realize I had relinquished my dignity; I would self-harm many times over — first mentally, then emotionally, spiritually, and ultimately, physically. I could not serve anyone.


The Heart of All

I would imagine it’s similar to what a fetus might feel in the womb, why the birds sing at dawn, the way film photographs capture, flowers at a grave, why laughter is contagious, the telling of stories and a safe ride home… dancing on daddy’s feet… golden hour as I write, the thought of a hug, a smell, a sense— the seemingly small ways light pierces; transcending, transforming, and diffusing the shadow with love. These and many more experiences are the subtle whisps of light; like whispers of loved ones and the spirits of things.

There isn’t a clear-cut path or an over-night solution to life’s journey so really, what I’ve opened myself up enough to it’s an intentional experiment of the possibilities of:

  • The core of what life on earth is about is spiritual development
  • Realistic is: I cannot control my experiences but I can control my reaction and spirit
  • Pain is also an opportunity to expand potential and meaning of life
  • The only important choice is between believing in a kind and compassionate life
    or believing in an unfair, unjust world and moving on from this
  • Integrity is an alignment of all the aspects of my being
  • Authentic power is an experience of opportunity and a respond to choose to create anew
  • Empowerment is to empower others
  • Opening myself up to what life is unfolding for me rather than what I want from life (I am) 


Responsibility

As I sit and write this, I only wish you could sense the genuine vastness of what I feel. I have never known myself more than I do today. Never have I both been in such pain and at the same time, parallel a state of such self-love. In this lifetime, I have never been more knowing of myself and more capable of balancing the light and the shadow and amidst all the parts, feel most whole.

I can say this; I choose every day to control my narrative and if I can, I plant this seed of potential in you too. From choosing to evolve from a deeper place and not an external attachment, to understanding that what I put out in the world is what I would like to receive in return — Love. There is a reverence now for the relationship I have with myself and a resounding Calling.

How this looks for a small independent brand like Denuo is by stepping into full authority of our space — we cannot advocate fashion sustainability, mindfulness and social responsibility without cultivating conversations that nurture the spirit. We move forward to better structures and systems only out of the genuine pool of values we’ve centred together.

As the head caretaker of this holy trinity of partners, I am honoured to share these experiences and ongoing learnings.  We want to further develop Denuo into as the safe space it's always meant to be; where our choice of womanhood and our way of fashion business can not only thrive but serve a meaningful avenue for our intimate circle, our Denuo community.


Power

In my own practice, I’ve adapted existing rituals and give them as an offering now to help purify an inner space. The practices are not at all the solution but rather parts of many important means of which I use to cultivate what is — love, most especially, self-love. You may use them as a guide in your own practices and help uncover a sense power and joy of your own.

Invocation (adaptation of Full Moon Rituals)
I release…what is not me
I release…the roots of fear; what limits, what doubts, what blocks my path
I release…the forces which can be destructive with my energy field
I release…what does not reflect my highest self
I release…attachment to external validation
I release…all that pulls me away from aligning myself to who I truly am

Exercise (adaptation of 7 scorpion Power Ritual Oracle)
Lay down and close your eyes in comfort. Create an inner space that’s safe. Be still here as you set intentions to identify and spiritually release what no longer serves.

  • When you’re ready, visualize the base of your spine and perceive a shadow there. Say, “With love and gratitude I name you _______________ (ex. fear, anger, pain) and I release you in all your forms and effects, beloved. Thank you for the learning. Now you must leave my being and not return.”

  • When you’re ready, visualize the sacral area of your hips, pelvis and belly and perceive a shadow there. Say, “With love and gratitude I name you _______________ (ex, guilt, jealousy, belittlement) and I release you in all your forms and effects, beloved. Thank you for the learning. Now you must leave my being and not return.”

  • When you’re ready, visualize the stomach and digestive area and perceive shadow there. Say, “With love and gratitude I name you _______________ (ex. shame, blame, unworthiness) and I release you in all your forms and effects, beloved. Thank you for the learning. Now you must leave my being and not return.”

  • When you’re ready, visualize the heart and the center of your chest and perceive a shadow there. Say, “With love and gratitude I name you _______________ (ex. grief, doubt, emptiness) and I release you in all your forms and effects, beloved. Thank you for the learning. Now you must leave my being and not return.”

  • When you’re ready, visualize the base of your throat and neck and perceive a shadow there. Say, “With love and gratitude I name you _______________ (ex. lies, manipulation) and I release you in all your forms and effects, beloved. Thank you for the learning. Now you must leave my being and not return.”

  • When you’re ready, visualize the forehead, just above the eyebrows and in the center and with neutral-ness perceive a shadow there. Say, “With love and gratitude I name you _______________ (ex. illusion, manipulation) and I release you in all your forms and effects, beloved. Thank you for the learning. Now you must leave my being and not return.”

  • When you’re ready, visualize the top of your head and perceive a shadow there. Say, “With love and gratitude I name you _______________ (ex. attachment, longing) and I release you in all your forms and effects, beloved. Thank you for the learning. Now you must leave my being and not return.”

Breathe in deeply and out through all the parts of your body.
See, sense, feel or intend the transformation into light and love. It may be an actual form or shape, or simply a purple light. It may change into a feeling or sensation in the body.
Say aloud, “Beloved, thank you for this healing Divine, your love and protection is ours, to serve in love and peace. So be it.”
When you are ready, just open your eyes.

After these practices I like to do things I love most and balance out the serious work with serious fun! It’s these kinds of full moments that makes a world of a difference nowadays and I’m happy to say, finding moments of joy in these challenging times is one of the most powerful tools I can cultivate for myself and those around me.

“…understanding that you are powerful, that you are meaningful, that you are worthy,
that your experiences are worthy of you and you are worthy of them,
and moving forward from there in the best way that you can.

It takes courage, it takes clarity…your pain is exquisitely suited to you…it is your avenue to your spiritual growth.” Gary Zukav

 

Thank you