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Monique Gonzalez, Psy.D.


Being with the Sacred Messy

Feb 18, 2021

[ID: Dr. Mo with slight smile outside with puffy jacket and headband. Standing in green field at the edge of a bay (of water) with the moon overhead looking like a bright light/orb in the purple-blue-pink sky]

Hi. I’m Dr. Mo -- a clinical psychologist, a chronic illness / PMDD sibling, and a human being on the path of learning how to be with the
sacred messy.

What do I mean by that -- ‘sacred messy’? If you are following along the Instagram journey, you may have seen this before in my Bio.

When I reflect on the word ‘sacred’, I think of that which is honored...genuinely, deeply, wholly. That which holds space for the light and the dark. There is an inherent sense of expanding possibility, imagination, and beauty in the sacred. It has an essence that is valued, respected, venerated. Sometimes it’s not tangibly touched, yet it's felt on a visceral level. There are differences there, I think.

Historically, ‘sacred’ has often been associated with religion. Sacred is much more far reaching, and it is not necessary to be religious to access the sacred. It is present both in the mundane day to day and in the spiritual. It can sprinkle its way through our daily morning ritual, the vivacious laughter shared between us and a friend, that ‘aha’ moment we have on our nature walk, the food we mindfully nourish our bodies with, the quiet journaling, those tears that flow in a therapy session, the boundary we uphold with someone, the meditation that calls on an ancestor, the street protest we participate in to demand rights for marginalized lives, the flow we access in a sport or dance, the cozy space we inhabit in our home, or the sense of being our true authentic self.   

What would it be like to hold our moments as sacred? Sacred weaves throughout this being human. It is present in little moments -- like those tiny, unassuming orbs of light that pop up sometimes in photographs. They remind us how big this universe is and how deeply connected we all are. Sacred lies in the potential for transformative growth that may be hidden and uncovered in our daily moments. When we slow down just enough to notice, we create space for more sacred.

[ID: Dr. Mo outside with puffy jacket and headband, with eyes closed, in state of peace, standing in green field at the edge of a bay (of water) with the moon overhead looking like a bright light/orb in the purple-blue-pink sky. It reflects against the water.]

Messy. Oh, the messy.
These days it’s hard to not catch ourselves in the messy. We are humans collectively living in a time of global pandemic, climate crisis, and racial injustice; we are doing so much to try to sustain ourselves and uphold our mental health. Everything feels a bit all over the place. If we are feeling like the loop-de-loops of a rollercoaster, it makes complete sense. There are days that may feel painfully low, or we get caught by surprise by a nauseating dip, heart dropping to stomach. Then there are the days where we rise with more clarity and stamina -- able to move with more ease and determination. We think to ourselves: 'I can do hard things. Climb climb climb. I got this.' The cycle reminds us that we move through these moments, and they pass, and then a new one presents itself.

When I think of ‘messy’ I don’t necessarily associate it with ‘bad’ or ‘good’. As you’ll see, I try not to fall too deep into binary thinking. The word ‘messy’ conjures up...well...being human. If there is anything we humans have in common it’s navigating a thing called ‘life’. And this ‘life thing’ is really complex, and never comes with a manual or set of directions. There are many things in this lifetime that are out of our control. There’s also so many nuanced layers to being human. In addition, despite what the capitalist, colonial, white supremacist, patriarchal models want us to believe, there is no such thing as perfection. If there is -- that means someone has to define that. Who gets to do that? Let’s agree that myth is no longer helpful to us.

[ID: The full moon on the horizon looking like a bright light/orb in the purple-blue-pink sky, being reflected against the water of the Bay below. Light pinks and blues mirror their way across the water, sky, and rocks.]

So much of this being human is creating meaning amongst the messy.
I’ll repeat that again because I do believe it’s pretty important. We humans attempt to make meaning every day. We are given this existence in this big ol universe, and we try to make sense of so many things we may not have answers to. That does NOT make us ‘lost’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘unworthy’ or ‘unhealthy’. Messy means multilayered, complex, uncertain, all over the place -- in the sense that at any given moment we are navigating many multifaceted components while making the meaning the best we can with the resources we have. Does that make sense? Ha. I’s messy.

Now, connecting these two together -- SACRED MESSY. We deeply honor that we are human in all our beautiful spectacular evolving messy. We can hold ourselves and our journey as magic. We can appreciate that we are growing -- amidst all that is -- in every little moment. Most of us cannot predict the next move on the rollercoaster, but we can certainly learn to hold our being with more acknowledgement and empathy as we ride it. In the SACRED MESSY, we move towards acceptance that there will be things that feel a bit disorienting or uncertain or evolving or complicated, and none of this takes away from our inherent goodness.

Over time, we learn how to more mindfully ‘be with’ our unique, divinely sacred messy, and to show up for it with compassion and reverence.

I invite you to the following reflection prompts to support in further exploration of the sacred messy on your journey. Ask yourself...

What thoughts, feelings, and body sensations arise for me as I hear this message?
How may I be more curious about my sacred messy?
What can I do to acknowledge my sacred messy?
How might I speak to myself to honor my sacred messy?

Flowing and dancing with you in this sacred messy journey,

💃🏻Dr. Mo   

Are you interested in learning more about flowing with the waves that come with the sacred messy? Or ways to nurture that self-compassion and inner magic wisdom? Please do join me on Instagram @drmopsyd where I often share wellness + mindfulness strategies. If anything from this blog resonates with you, feel free to share your nuggets of reflection and wisdom on Instagram and tag me if you do! I also invite you to sign up for my newsletter ✨HERE✨. Hope we can stay connected. I believe there is much empowerment and healing in community. 


Dr. Mo is a clinical psychologist living and creating on ancestral, unceded Ohlone land (San Francisco Bay Area). She has a disability known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). Dr. Mo offers mindfulness-based approaches to support others in flowing with the ‘chronic waves’. Feel free to connect with her for any inquiries.


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