Left-Handed Journeys

Jimanekia Eborn on the spiritual practice of a bath

March 30, 2022 Jera Brown Season 1 Episode 11
Left-Handed Journeys
Jimanekia Eborn on the spiritual practice of a bath
Show Notes Transcript

We all get to define what spirituality is for us. Jimanekia Eborn, also known as the Trauma Queen, has done this for herself. One of her spiritual practices is a bath with different oils—something that connects her to her body. And on this episode of the podcast, she encourages listeners to figure out what unique spiritual practices work for them.

We talk about relationships and trauma, femmes and the unhealthy expectation to trust quickly, and building self-trust.

More about my guest:
Jimanekia Eborn is a Queer Media Consultant, Comprehensive Sex Educator, and Sexual Assault & Trauma Expert. With a Master's in Health Psychology, she has worked in mental health for the past 13 years in sex education and sexual trauma support. Jimanekia is the host of Trauma Queen —a podcast for survivors of assault and our allies, and the Founder of Tending the Garden, a non-profit for sexual assault survivors of different marginalized identities. In 2020, Jimanekia co-founded Centaury Co., bringing increased representation to the field of Intimacy Coordination in the film industry.

Learn more at traumaqueen.love or follow Jimanekia on Instagram @Jimanekia
Follow Jera on Twitter: @thejerabrown or Instagram: @thejerabrown
Email: jera@jerabrown.com

Jimanekia Eborn:

I sat my grandmother down I was like, I'm just gonna rip off this band aid. I am queer. I am non-monogamous. I am kinky. She was so tired of me after that hour.

Jera Brown:

Oh my gosh.

Jimanekia Eborn:

But we got it out and then you know, I allowed her to ask questions

Jera Brown:

Jimanekia Eborn is a queer trauma media consultant, comprehensive sex educator and sexual assault and trauma expert. She is the host of trauma queen, a podcast miniseries for survivors of assault and our allies. The podcast focuses on uplifting voices in all communities and exploring our collective journey to healing. Jimanekia is the founder of tending the garden, a nonprofit in service of sexual assault survivors who have been marginalized, offering retreats, online summits community and education. She's also the co founder of Centauri CO, bringing increased representation to the field of intimacy coordination in the film industry. In 2021 Jimanekia, joined Lenora Claire Consulting as a SA and trauma expert for film and television productions. Jimanekia, thank you so much for joining me.

Jimanekia Eborn:

Thank you for having me. I'm excited.

Jera Brown:

I'm super excited to hear your journey, as well as I mean, just be able to talk about all of the different services that you offer as the trauma queen. I normally start this podcast by like asking someone about their spiritual roots. But knowing just a little bit about your story, can you just start by talking about like, your, the beginning of life and and your mother and being grounded in in the history of trauma? Because I think that's important.

Jimanekia Eborn:

Yeah, absolutely. So I always like to preface it with I'm gonna say a few hard things, just to give time that for people to take that second that beat. I've been identifying as a child of trauma. And people go, wait, what? and I'm like, well, just you buckle up, honey. And so, of course, I don't remember all the youth, right? No one remembers everything. But I do know that my mother was murdered in front of me when I was one years old, by my sperm donor. And so for me, I do go back and forth with the things that I think I remember, do I actually remember that? Or have I created a journey in my head? Because there are points where I'm like, oh, no, I remember a cabinet or something like that. And so from that her parents ended up raising me which I'm so thankful for. Because glad I didn't have to go into the system, because it's kind of trash. And so they have always allowed me to explore and navigate who I was, and who I am, I learned how to read at like, four. So I was reading everything I could touch. And then again, I was raised by older people who thought they were done with kids. So it's like a whole new process. It's a whole new generation. Don't don't get my grandma started on talking about all this shit that I bring to her. But, but for me, it has, my life has always been very exploratory. in figuring out who I was, and having the space to do so it was always been very beautiful and scary. Because I'm also like, well, let me see how it goes. And then I'm like, Well, that was, I should have stop there. And if we're talking about like, my whole journey, right, so that is the start of my trauma. And I always like to preface with, I have been raped once, but I've been sexually assaulted more times than I can account for. And I feel like people, they hear this they go, Oh, right. Like, there's the thing of people always in our spaces, putting their hands on us, and we can talk about that. But for me, the spiritual aspect of, you know, my mother's death, the spiritual aspect of my rape, I was raped at 21 and didn't share that with anyone in until I was 28 When I was like, I'm gonna get into sex ed, my family's like, here we go. But for me, most people go, Oh, you were raped? Why didn't you tell all these people. And when we're talking about spirituality, I was holding so much. And my spirit was so damaged, that I didn't want to put that upon those that I loved around me. Like I needed them to be who they were and to be strong and not look at me differently. So I could figure out what I needed. And people go, Well, you know, here go to therapy, do this and do these things. And I was like, Yeah, okay, cool. I went the spiritual route. So for me, I didn't go straight to therapy. Did I go later? Absolutely. I also went to school to be a therapist. So they force you to go to therapy, that which is great. But for me, I went spiritual. I felt like I didn't know what it actually truly meant to be in my body. Like I was just moving through the things and doing the thing. Sex was great. Sex was fun, but it was in that moment, and then after that, I didn't know where I was, or who I was. So I went spiritual to figure out how to get into my body, I learned how to meditate. I had a spiritual guide that connected me with my ancestors, I used, you know, herbal medicines, to be able to, to really kind of get rid of the barricades that society has supported me in building with myself. And so it's it's a continued journey. And I'm thankful that I get to do it. And for me, the journey will never be done. When people talk about well, like, Oh, my God, I want to be healed and healed and healing. I'm like, shut up. What I want to tell people is like, there is no one way to do it. There is no like, pinnacle of like, I've done it, I'm here, versus how am I navigating it? Because every day is going to be different. This is what I do now is I check on my friends, and I'm like, how's your heart? How's your spirit? You know, how's your brain. And it also, when I do that, my friends go, whew, here this bitch goes, but also they go, it forces them to actually check in with themselves, because as society, we stay so busy and so active that we don't have to. So I hope that I just kept talking, but I hope that answered your question.

Jera Brown:

Oh, that's a that's a great, I'm gonna lose the word like, overview of everything, I think. So ground us in time when you started exploring meditation, and the rest of these different spiritual tactics, I guess, was that after? Was that post 28 When you came out about your rape experience, or?

Jimanekia Eborn:

No, it was actually more. So it... around 26 I was like, I'm tired. Because everyone's coping skills are different for me. And it's not even like a coping skill. It was more of like a grasping of trying to find things. I as many do, I numbed myself in drink a lot. To the point where I was carrying like, a bar in my trunk, I had mixers. I had cups, the only thing I didn't have was ice. And I was just tired. And I call my grandmother, my mom, I call my grandfather, my dad, like, those are my parents. And it took for her to one day to be like, I don't know you anymore. And I was like Well, you never... And then I was like, wait, I also don't know me. Right? Like, sometimes it takes the people outside us to go. Psst..what's up? like, I'm noticing things because you're so in it. And so I was like, You know what, there was a like a psychic place, we all have them in our towns. And it had been there on that same corner my whole life. And one day, I was like, I'm going to go get a card reading. I'm going to get, you know, my palm read. And it turned into so much more of just like, that was cool. And that was an intro for me to trust this person and work with them to truly help me navigate and show me the ways to like sit down and understand like, oh, that's panic in my body. Or there's this. And it doesn't have to be bad things. But it also allowed me to go, oh, there's probably more things that I can do.

Jera Brown:

That makes sense. That was a wake up call at 26. And then you started it sounds like you started exploring in a new way. Like if you've always been an exploratory person, I feel like there's what I want to say I don't want to shame anybody's exploration. Like I think any way that you explore is is your own business. But for you like did you were you finding healthier ways to explore? Like, was that one of those turning points?

Jimanekia Eborn:

You know what, I think I was navigating the shame upon that was put upon me, I'd always been a sexual person before my rape. And then it made me look inward, and like, Oh, my God, well, no, I didn't tell people because I didn't know they would believe me. Right. And I feel like that's the thing that a lot of survivors deal with no matter your gender, your identity. Its believability. Because it's so hard to share this violation of self. And yeah, I think it definitely started of, Oh, I like the way this feels like the understanding of myself. And it's, it took a long time to also learn how to teach other people how to support me, right. And I feel like that's something that we're missing in. Like, I understand myself now. Why don't you get it? And it's like, well, you just got here. Let's take a beat. Let's take a breath. And also we have to give each other grace in... We're doing a lot of unlearning. Right? Like even in the church, right? I also grew up in the church, the black Baptist Church, honey, it's a journey. So I grew up in the church, and I also grew up questioning the church. Right like, why are we trying to get a jet fund? Why a jet? Do we all get to go on the jet? Where's the building fund? What are we building? I've always had a lot of questions. But I also questioned myself. And so yeah, it opened up so much more to being like, Okay, I was coping this way and it wasn't serving me, it didn't feel good. There have to be other ways that I can do it. That can feel good, where I don't wake up feeling hungover. Literally, literally, and don't feel sick in the morning. But then you would still get emotional hangovers, which I don't think people talk about enough.

Jera Brown:

Yeah, interesting. Talk about it.

Jimanekia Eborn:

So like, even when you so I work with clients, one to one, I only work with five clients at a time because it's intense, like trauma work. And it's not just sexual trauma, it's, you know, emotional, spiritual, physical, it is focused around sexual but whatever. And I always make sure that my clients have a plan. Because even when you think you're like, I'm doing all the things, and I've said everything aloud, and I'm a badass. Yes. And that can be true. And your body can also be like, What did you just do? Because you are moving around trauma that maybe you've stored in your body, and your body's like, we've been holding on to that we're releasing it? It might feel like an actual hangover, you might feel sick, you might get a cold, right? Like, our body. And I know everyone knows about Bessel. The Body Keeps The Score. We get it. But it's true. I went back to school for my master's in health psychology, because I understand that we are holistic people. I can't just be like, here's your medical things, here's your brain, I don't believe that we can work on navigating our trauma if we're continuously separating them. Because the things do show up. And I also started working on noting where my body would feel tighten, tighten stress, after therapy, or after just like having a hard... after writing an article. I'm like, oh, that brought up things. And I don't think people talk about that enough is when you're doing the work. And you can't see me but quote unquote, the work. It's not fun. Like I need people to stop acting like it's just so fun. Like I'm doing the work like, yeah, that shit hard. It's not fun. Is it worth it? Yes. But is it draining emotionally, physically, spiritually? Also yes.

Jera Brown:

I wanna talk about goals, because I feel like oftentimes when I'm encouraging folks through my writing, especially to do the work, like sometimes it feels like a false promise that you're going to feel better. Or you're going to get to a place where you're going to have stable relation, more stable relationships, or whatever it is like, because it's always in progress. And it's not like we ever reached this utopia. So how do you help your clients set reasonable goals?

Jimanekia Eborn:

I think oftentimes, people get into like, the bigger aspects like, Well, where do I want to be in two years? I'm like, where do want to be in two days? Like, I like to focus on smaller aspects as they do feel, and can be more obtainable. Versus you get overwhelmed when people are like, what's your five year plan? I'm like, can I get through this month honey? Like, I don't know. I like to work with them and bring it back to like the grounding of reality of like, yes, we can get there. But like, how do we just get through this month? The things that are in front of us now? And being honest, right? If you come and work with me, I'm never like, here's the way that we can heal everything. Because that's not true. Here's the way that we can I build up a toolbox for you. If it does come back again, right? Because feelings, feelings evolve. Trauma comes up in different ways within our bodies, and maybe in ways that we didn't understand. So if you have the understanding of like, I know what this feels like, the prep of like, Oh, I'm about to have an anxiety attack my hand, my right hand is sweating. That might be for you a cue to understand. Here's the things I know what I can do for myself. But honestly, being honest, I find that a lot of people create unreachable, unobtainable big goals, and it excites people because this is hard. And they're like, yes, I want that. I want to spend all this money to do this thing. And then they're like, but I don't feel like I have anything and I feel like this is you told me in three weeks, I was going to be here. I don't lie and say in three weeks, you're gonna be anywhere. I say, here's what we'll work on. And let's keep checking in as we can adjust what your needs are. Because I don't believe when I work with clients. I don't have like a docket of like, here's month one. Here's the goals. Here's goals two, and this is also I said, I don't call myself a coach. People. There's a lot of coaches especially in southern California, you do you, I call myself a trauma companion Because I want to walk next to people, I'm not leading you, who the hell am I to lead you to anything, I'm not a cult leader. That's weird. But I want to support you while you navigate the things. And also for me, it reaffirms that you do know things about yourself, that you can trust yourself. Because we forget that or we lose it.

Jera Brown:

So shout out to Bonnie Violet, who I talked to on this podcast, and who's also a personal friend, who calls herself an identity doula. And I love that through, especially for queer folks. But a lot of us like have these moments where it feels like a death of identity, you know, and having somebody that can walk beside us in that death and rebirth process. That's what it reminds me of,

Jimanekia Eborn:

yeah, it's less scary too I'm not like, go do this thing. You're like, I don't know how to do like No, for, I don't want to add stress to what you're already going through. That's rude.

Jera Brown:

So something you brought up about how we don't know how to, how to ask our partners for help. And I know what you're saying, I know, you're not saying like, it's hard to use those words. But I feel like I interview a lot of therapists about this question. Like, I just interviewed a therapist about complex PTSD. And like, how to have better talks dialogue around like when triggers come up unexpectedly. And she gave a great answer. But like, I'm always looking for more because it, it's such a, I feel like we're in these we're in these partnerships. And for anybody that has trauma, like trauma is going to be a huge part of what you navigate in these partnerships. And yet, it's so hard to find grounding tactics for what to do with it. So I don't know what what's your, what do you think people don't talk about enough? When we talk about how to bring our partners into these conversations?

Jimanekia Eborn:

Um, I don't think people talk about enough how hard it is to talk about it enough.Right?

Jera Brown:

Okay

Jimanekia Eborn:

Cause we're like let's go talk like, No. And when I work with people, and I am I have some clients now, where I'm like, where do you normally have these conversations? People are like, Oh, well, I do it this way. And I'm like, Okay, are you doing... are you planning it? Or is it just a random like, I'm gonna fit this in? Are you giving your partner like a preface of like, I would love to have this time with you? Right. I think when we both come to the table, not blindsiding each other, we're able to let our guards down. And with couples or if you're partnered, I'm, I'm polyamorous. So I'm, we talk a lot. We just talk talk talk. But you know, just being like, hey, can we have a check in? I love a check in like, Hey, can you check in? Like, what's going on with you? Like, how are you like, where are you feeling? Maybe I can support you more in our relationship, you know, where am I giving you enough? And I think, even if you have trauma, or you don't have trauma, we all have trauma. You can continuously check in because your partner might also be going through some things, right? Because most of us have trauma. Our traumas might also be interacting, that's what I don't think we're talking about enough

Jera Brown:

Yeah,

Jimanekia Eborn:

is how you might be active. I'm not going to say triggering, I feel like everyone's thrown around the T word, but like activating or making uncomfortable your partner. And maybe they don't know how to navigate that space. So for me, I'm also like, have your partner your partner has to do their own work. Like they and when I say work, it's they have to figure out, you know, how they receive information, how they get information, communication is so important. But also you have to figure out what your needs are. Right? So even just sitting down and doing like a little inventory of like, in my relationship, here's the things that I would like. As a trauma survivor, maybe you're doing different catalogs, right. As a trauma survivor. This is what makes me feel seen, supported and heard. And even if we go in the sexy times doing a yes, no maybe list of being like, here's the things I like in bed, because it gives your partner a little bit of a head start. We're trying to help them. Right. If you're going to the doctor's do a little note card of like, here's my traumas, I don't really want to get into it. But here's some information on how people can show up for you. So there's a lot of different ways that we can go about doing it but having the conversations outside of the bedroom, prepping your partner. It doesn't have to be a three day conversation. Just be like a little check in. And the more that you get comfortable doing it, the more you will do it and giving them even so. I'm also like you can give your partner's information Like, this is why I teach an ally to an accomplice class or have like a q&a for it is because you can't do all the work as a survivor to partner, right? It's a partnership, no one should be in charge of doing all the things.

Jera Brown:

Right, right. I noticed last summer I was pursuing somebody. And we were we were activating each other's trauma. And we recognized that but didn't know how to get around it. And I finally realized that like, I was doing all the work, and that I kept blaming myself for things going wrong like that. I wasn't like that there was something I was doing wrong. And it just hit me like, No, it's because they're not meeting me halfway. They're not doing the work to meet me.

Jimanekia Eborn:

Yeah.

Jera Brown:

Yeah. It was like, Revelation. Yeah, that that's what a partnership has to look like. I wonder just how many times like so many of us, like, who are doing the work and feel wounded or damaged in some way, continue to feel wounded or damaged, because somebody is not meeting us? You know?

Jimanekia Eborn:

Yeah and it can feel very invalidating, you're like, Listen, honey, I have been in therapy for X amount of years, I have done some EMDR. I did a silent meditation retreat, like, what are my doing? And I think we normalize it's not always on you. And it's not always your fault. It doesn't have to be anyone's fault, right? Like, I think if we're taking items off the table, I look at it sometimes as like my desk, and I'm like, Well, I got too much shit on my desk right now. Right? Like, how do I start taking things off the table so I can actually see the foundation again. So then you start to build in the ways that you need to build for your partnership.

Jera Brown:

So I want to take this back to the spiritual aspect. And spirituality can be fucking anything like I think I use the term super loosely. But I believe, at least folks listening to this podcast, my assumption is that it's those of us that are striving for some sort of spiritual identity or spiritual roots, spiritual traditions, were to you does that fit into trauma work? Especially when spirituality is tied to trauma? Like it is for so many of us?

Jimanekia Eborn:

I think it's wrapped up in everything. And like you said, it's very loose, like people like Well, I'm not... I always say I'm more in this age of almost 35. I was like, I'm not I'm not super religious, but I'm very spiritual. Right? Like, yeah, I I don't hate church. I get it. Do I believe everyone that's leading the church should be. Absolutley not. But for me, I think there's the spirituality of just like, connecting with yourself. Right? Like, we don't even need to look outside. Let's take care of our star player. I always call ourselves like you're your own star player. How are you making yourself get to where you need to be? How are you starting out the game of life every day. And I think there's a lot of us that feel like after we've been harmed, that we lose some of that, because people it's the shame that's connected to the spirituality that makes us discount it within ourselves. And then shames good girlfriend, good cousin is guilt. And so it's just like a screwed up cycle. But I think there is a lot to it. And I like to work with people around. Where are you? Like, what do you need? How is your heart? How does your body feel? Do you? What do you believe it? You don't have to believe in a higher power. But what do you believe in you believe in every day, you want to do this because it makes you feel good. Maybe that's your spirituality. If you like to meditate a certain thing, if you have an altar with candles and things, if you have have a teddy bear that that keeps you feeling safe. And that allows you to like exhale to get through the day. Maybe that's your spirituality path. Right? Like there is no one right or wrong way to do it. And I think there's also... oh it's gonna get messy. I think there is a lot of danger and those that are on social media pushing all the ways to do spirituality. I feel like there's a lot of shame around I've seen things and I'm like, I'm not doing that because you were just rude to me, it was passive aggressive, right? Like, there is no one way to do it and stop forcing people to think like, well, if you're not meditating three hours a day, you're not spiritual. If you don't light all those candles and drink that thing, and do hot yoga, like, get the fuck out of here.

Jera Brown:

I saw a meme on Facebook the other day that said like the people who are able to meditate for an hour a day are privileged to be able to meditate an hour a day.

Jimanekia Eborn:

So when we're when we're when you're talking like asking me about like my spirituality. I have done two 10 Day Vipassana silent retreats. Hard, hardest thing. I was like, I want to get spiritual and I was like, Bitch, why would you do this to yourself? Day two. Yeah. How do I get out of here? Because I was forced to really sit with myself. And I think there's an aspect of spirituality when you actually sit with yourself and listen to your brain, because we're so busy. We're avoiding it. And if we sat down, maybe our bodies could be like, Hey, can you just like, put me in some water and stretch me out a little bit, and I'll help you. Like, our bodies will talk to us if we let them do do it. And I think that's a part of my spiritual aspect of being like, I have chronic pain, I wake up my bodies, I check in with my body everyday before I get out of bed. Some days, my body's like, good luck, girl, we're making it through... another's, like, let's go out, let's do things. But for me how I start my day, my spiritual practice is taking a bath with different oils, that the essence connects with me with different salts that allow my body to feel softened so I can connect with it, and understand it a little more, right? So your spiritual practice can be you, starting your day slow, so you can actually listen to it, or you rush out the door, then your body's like psst... me too Hello. But I would invite people to figure out what it looks like for them. All my friends are like, I can't believe you have done two 10 day silent retreats. And I'm like, Yeah, I say that every time I do it, too. I don't know how I do it. But I come out of it feeling a different connection with myself every time. Is it forced? Yes. Did I opt into it? Also Yes.

Jera Brown:

I tried to summarize something that's going around in my brain. First of all, I love you brought up the idea of what's serving you. And like that being sort of a litmus test for the different practices or beliefs that we hold. Is it still serving us? And I think that there's this, this tension or a paradigm that it feels like we can hold with our beliefs that first of all, whatever we believe thats serving us, like, we have to learn to be confident in it, that it's our choice, what we choose to believe in, we get to choose that and build up that confidence that it's not somebody else telling us what to believe. But then also challenging it and making it like, is it still serving us? Is there something we're missing? I think this is the work is like, when do you let yourself rest? Versus when do you push yourself? There's so much of... I call it self self care is, is working that balance. Does that seem right?

Jimanekia Eborn:

I think there's the self care and the self soothing aspect, right? Because they are two different things. And we need both of them. Right? The self care is like are taking your medicine? Are you feeding yourself? The things that we need. And sometimes a self soothing is, this feels good right now. And this is what I need. My baths are both right, cuz I gotta bathe. But it's also very soothing. watching wrestling because I'm a professional wrestling fan. That is soothing for me. People are like what I'm like, It's my soothing get out of here. And but I think it is true that we have to figure out the things that do serve us and the things just because you see someone else doing it. I want to normalize this, just because you see something working for someone else. You don't have to force it to work for you.

Jera Brown:

Yeah, yeah. And there's nothing wrong with you if it doesn't.

Jimanekia Eborn:

No. Not at all. My friends are like, I like to run five miles and I was like, That is gross. I'm like, I love that for you. I'm not... is someone after me that I'm running these five miles?No. cool. Like, that doesn't feel good for me. But, you know, getting elevated with some cannabis and laying on my floor for 20 minutes and stretching. That feels good for me.

Jera Brown:

Okay, um, I'm gonna switch us a little bit. For me, like spirituality and sexuality are basically the same thing just with a different word. But, um, so for trauma for for trauma survivors, which as you pointed out is all of us in one way or another. There's a lot of misconceptions about what a robust and liberated sexual life can be. And I guess this goes back to goals again, like in your work, what kind of misconceptions do people have about the type of liberated sexual identity or sexual life that they can have?

Jimanekia Eborn:

They find it really hard. And also, like I said, we're unlearning the societal norms which is so weird because you know one of the oldest centuries is sex work but everyone's so against it. I'm like what what come on, we all got here because someone fornicated

Jera Brown:

right.

Jimanekia Eborn:

I don't know unless a stork came and dropped y'all off. And for me, I think there is the just learning about it. Like you don't even have to be in practice about sex. And when I say in practice, you don't have to have to physically be doing it. But most of us never got the information. And I think information is so powerful, right? And, and I want to give that to like people I work with, and people that are listening to this, do some research, Google is your best friend, she's free, hang out with her. There are sex educators that literally just walk you through and give you information. Because a lot of us don't even have the information to know what's out there. But also, when you get the information, what do you do with it? So I think there's just a lack of information and understanding. And then we all have our own things of unpacking. Is it religion that you're unpacking? Is it your family? Because family is a lot of our shit starts at home. And is it the shame from both of those that are stopping you? Is it the guilt that you have allowed to seep in and not allowed... like you just opened it and were like, come on in. But like it follows through, right. Like I said, they're good girlfriends, good cousins, and they're just connected that way. And when we're navigating all those things, there are tools. Like I said, one of the websites that I like to tell people no matter how old you are, is Scarlett teen. Yes, teen is in the website. But you know what that means that it's at a level that we can all understand.

Jera Brown:

Yeah,

Jimanekia Eborn:

Scarlett teen is really great. And then taking it back to yes, no, maybe, lists. So you can actually understand what is out there. You're like, Oh, my God, I've heard of this. Oh, I didn't know, this was an option. And for me, it's, it allows you to opt into different ways to explore. We, you and I talked briefly about like coming out, quote, unquote, whatever that means for you. I sat my grandmother down, I was like, I'm gonna rip off this band aid. I am queer. I am non monogamous. I am kinky. She was so tired of me after that out.

Jera Brown:

Oh, my gosh.

Jimanekia Eborn:

But we got it out. And then you know, it allowed her to ask questions, and allowed her to understand and her to be like, Oh, I did this thing one time. But there was no title for it, there was no label. And so for survivors, I think there's the explorative just understanding it doesn't mean you have to be in practice. But like having verbage, having knowledge will allow you to figure out what you want to opt into and opt out of.

Jera Brown:

Okay, and the last thing that I that I really wanted to talk to you about, which is a bigger conversation is is how trust fits into all of this. Like there's trust in our partners trust in ourselves, which I think I think trust is

Jimanekia Eborn:

Hard

Jera Brown:

self trust is at the core. It is it's so fucking hard. There's so many layers to it. And I feel like it's at the core of like, of our spiritual identity. It's at the core of like, sexual freedom. So I don't know, where do we even start with that? Like,

Jimanekia Eborn:

I mean, I think you like you start at church, you're taught, if you are deep into church, you're taught that the Lord will lead you, you have to trust in your faith, it will lead you places. And you're like, Okay, but how do I? put your faith? You tell me, I can't do any of the things that I'm feeling so I can't even explore it. And then when you try to do it, you get the shame of like, well, I just broke the trust with my spirituality, I broke the trust with my God, or whoever. I think it's fucked. If we're just being honest. I think it's a little fucked

Jera Brown:

Yeah, yeah

Jimanekia Eborn:

in different areas. And I do believe that trust is so important. With any relationship. And relationships are expansive. I think the most important relationship for myself is my relationship with myself.

Jera Brown:

Right.

Jimanekia Eborn:

Because at the end of the day, I came in with me, I'm leaving with me, if there's another life, I'm taking me with me, like, there is that trust, and you have to figure out, and it's not easy some for some of us, most of us what that even means. And if that's understanding your body cues, if that's understanding how you want to be touched or not touched, it's understanding what type of verbage stimulates you or suppresses you. Right? So there's all these things, and I feel like people try to do this within relationships, which I'm not saying you shouldn't. But I think you have to figure out your own relationship your own trust before you let someone else try try to get into the situation with you and you're all, now there's three of you, their relationship, their relationship with themselves and your relationship with yourself. That's a lot now you're in a non monogamous, polyamorous situation honey you don't even know.

Jera Brown:

Funny

Jimanekia Eborn:

But it's, it is rough. And again, I think this brings up the point of, we have to all continuously be aware and like doing the thing. I was was actually talking to my friend about this yesterday. And I was like, there's a lot of people that are like, well, I trust until, and I'm like, absolutely the fuck not. I don't trust you until you earn my trust. And he was like you did say that I was like I sure did. Because I need to trust that I can be in space with you for myself, and then give you the opportunity for me to build trust and connection with someone else. And as people like that... I'm like, well, that's just how I do it. I'm not saying it's perfect. It's been working for me, though. Am I standoffish? Yes. But I'm also taking care of myself, because of other times where I was like, I'm everyone's so great, and you can trust people. And that is for me, how I was harmed because I was so open and trusting. And then now that I'm like, let me sit here for a minute, let me fill it out. And then you earn my trust. And I don't think it's a bad thing when we say like, people have to earn our trust, or people have to, I mean, it's a different word, because you earn someone's love, but you understand their love you adapt to their love, or, I don't know I'm gonna keep saying earn. I'm gonna work on that. But, but I think you have to earn people's trust. And you also have to earn your own trust, especially after a trauma happens, and you start discounting yourself.

Jera Brown:

Mm hmm. Yeah, the, the word that comes to mind is deconstructing, which is, you know, like, popular for folks that grew up in a church that are learning the damage caused to them by the church, but it's deconstructing what we've put trust in and learning what are better sources of trust, which, but But it feels like it that also goes into societal scripts of like, do you feel like it's a societal script that we're supposed to trust early? Or is that only for certain people? Like, is that only for femmes, for instance, that are supposed to trust earlier?

Jimanekia Eborn:

Ooh, wow, you're getting spicy? Yeah, we're supposed to follow right isn't that in the Bible, too. So I do believe that femmes are, you know, secure, not secured. What's the word conditioned to trust and follow the lead of their fathers, their male counterparts. But where does that leave queer folks? Who are we trusting? Who's leading us? I don't know. Um, and I do think that there's, there's that aspect. But also, if we think about if we're going even further, we have to trust our parents. To take care of us. We have to trust if you if you were you have siblings, you have to trust that you can take care of each other. And when those possible people let you down? Does that ruin things for your future for some of us? The answer is yes. Don't ever think about it guys, the answer is yes. Because a lot of times, most times, all times our relationships start at home. And so that is the first basis of how we are learning how to navigate the world. And if trust is broken there, it's already starting us out with little cracks in our foundation, can they be filled? Absolutely, you can get a cement truck, keep it at your house fill that shit in all the time. But that is the basis of things. And I do believe that it's even looking at the church, like who's normally in charge, who's who's running the bake sales and who's trying to make money and do all these things. We're doing a lot of the labor, but we're not getting a lot of the support.

Jera Brown:

And so I'm working on a project, sacred and subversive, which is an anthology of queer people's perspectives of faith and religion. And this is a bit of a tangent, but hopefully it's related. So, when I started this project, I started alone, now I have a co editor Jenn Deerinwater, who is the founder of crushing colonialism, which everybody should check out. But I had this thing in mind where I was like, I wanted to make sure that I had more voices for marginalized faith identities and marginalized sexual identities than I had you know, like Christian background. And what I what I failed to, to understand is that because of colonization, like so many people have a background in the church and that are, you know, like indigenous or come from a background of slaves and like that the church has sort of been forced on so many people that it was a hard thing to do. But um, Jen Deerinwather's essay, which hopefully everybody will get to read when we get our book deal, the book proposals out on submission right now. Talked about how Like talks about how two spirited individuals have lost their, their spiritual place in a lot of tribal communities because of colonization, it is no longer... or like it stopped being an important part in in, like the spiritual traditions of the tribes. And so when I'm when you're talking about like the impact of the church, I think what I started to think about was the fact that like, learning to trust in one's two spiritedness and the sacredness of it, or like, it's so much bigger than just Christianity too

Jimanekia Eborn:

Oh, yeah,

Jera Brown:

yeah.

Jimanekia Eborn:

It's I think it's just like a whole. No, I think I think that does bring up a good idea of the ways that the world has changed has also hurt us.

Jera Brown:

Yeah, yeah.

Jimanekia Eborn:

Right. And this is why I say I've been in school for a long time, why I one of the things I went to school for was alternative medicine. Because I think that there's so much in the earth, that connects us back to the little glue that connects us back to Mother Earth, that our own spirituality, our own spiritual practices that we can create, but also how those that came before us did things right? And it may connect us to our ancestors in that way. So I think there's, there's a lot that goes into the idea of it all right? Like we, I like to say we're doing a lot of unlearning. Even in schools, they're like half assed teaching us things. By choice, you know, choices. I think there's spiritual practices that are being half assed taught, maybe by choice, or just because of lack of understanding.

Jera Brown:

Well, and our communities are so often homogenous, like how are we supposed to learn these various different ways?

Jimanekia Eborn:

And a lot of us have to go away, right, like have to go into that explorative space and being like, where do I actually come from? I did a 23andme. And I was like, Oh, that's not what I had thought. That was not it. That's Wow, um, I had like a high percentage of Irish in me. And I said, who das? I'm like, guys, should I start having conversations now, with my Irish brethren, right, but I think it's all information that a lot of us don't get. And I think there's the spiritual practice of like our ancestors, that could actually help us because we are genetically connected to them. That's a whole nother real deep. But like, there's the genetics also, that I feel like people are overlooking, because we're just all in this weird mesh pot of fuckery. And we're all just trying to make sense of it.

Jera Brown:

Totally. Yeah, I did that after I did my my own, like ancestry.com DNA test after both, like really digging into what it means to find spiritual traditions without being appropriative. First of all, it's like, well, where are my roots to figure out like, what I'm allowed to claim. And then also reading Alex Iantaffi's book about gender trauma. Like being able to claim like, this is weird as a non binary person, but I guess like, but still wanting to claim like the matristic roots. And see, like, honor those, the people that had come before me. Yeah, she talks about they, they talk a lot about that, too. But I'm beginning of my journey. It's, it's, it's very new.

Jimanekia Eborn:

Yeah, but you and you know, your spirituality, you have to give yourself permission to allow it to fluctuate, right? Like, yeah, every day, I'm like, I don't know about today. Let's see how it goes, like, what do I need? And I think something we can do is check in with ourselves. Which you mentioned earlier, that, you know, being able to sit for an hour and meditate is a privilege, because we all don't have an hour... people like, everyone has an hour and I'm like, Listen, do we? one of... Kim Kardashian actually just posted like, the problem is the reason people aren't getting things done because they're lazy and don't work. And we're like, No, ma'am. Everyone don't have the same 24 hours as you. You're starting out with a head start. You're starting out rich, honey, I'm starting out. Can I pay bills this month?

Jera Brown:

Yeah,

Jimanekia Eborn:

So even giving yourself grace to understand that you were at a different point than someone else. But we all had to start somewhere.

Jera Brown:

I love it. I think it's a good point to end on. Is there is there anything else that you want to say about like finding a sex positive spirituality? Especially I love what you're saying that the spirit your your spirituality can be grounded in yourself. I guess then what the question really is, it's just like, Do you have any last thoughts on how to become a more... Nah, fuck it, I feel like none of my... I'm not enjoying any of my questions. Do you have any last thoughts?

Jimanekia Eborn:

Find your people.

Jera Brown:

Yes.

Jimanekia Eborn:

Find your people. Find your fellow queerdos, queer weirdos, we all exist. It also is helpful to be able to talk things out with people that are also struggling, right, like having people that are like, Yeah, I'm I'm also here, you're like, okay, cool. Like there's just a different connection with having community. Yes, finding things within yourself is important. But also we're not meant to be on this earth by ourselves. Yeah. So I think acknowledging like having community having friends, having chosen family is so important when you're just navigating life.

Jera Brown:

Love it. Alright, well, thank you again for joining me. This has been great.

Jimanekia Eborn:

Thanks that was fun.