Foundations of Sandcastles: My Takeaways from Losing My Father

[Also available on The Vibrate Higher Podcast, available everywhere you go for your listening pleasures]

My dad left us a legacy of love. A business of compassion and loyalty. My dad left us an empire not built on money, but an empire that fed our family so we never went without food. An empire that provided safety for all the kindred souls who couldn’t find that sovereignty in their own homes. He provided guidance to broken spirits and rehab for their broken wings. He supported the underdogs, and he always rolled with the little guys. He built an empire on integrity and soul. He built it on thumb tacks and number two pencils. He built everything by hand, one day at a time. He nurtured with humor and mentored with compassion. He built a legacy of perfect harmony. A perfect balance of healed masculine and divine feminine. A true hu(man).


I built a successful sandcastle out of my wounded masculine. I didn’t know it was wounded because I perfectly portrayed the version of a “Boss Bitch” the patriarchy required of me.  They don’t tell you that it’s wounded, because they don’t know. They are they patriarchy. They too are a reflection of wounded masculine. They don’t know what they don’t know. I have sympathy for them, because they don’t know.

That’s the thing about not knowing.. we will do everything in our power to silence the nudges, the warnings, the discomfort. We drink. We use. We fuck. We eat. We numb. We numb the fire of our soul that is SCREAMING at us to open our eyes. We develop anxiety, depression, dis-ease. We numb harder. Like there is a badge of honor stating, “I numb so hard that no one will ever know I’m dying inside because I’m projecting this patriarchal reflection of all the required behaviors for success! I am successful because I am numbing so hard!” That is what the badge of honor for the patriarchal participation trophy will wear.

The thing about the successful sandcastles is they are built completely out of hopes + dreams, glued together by pride and ego. On the surface these sandcastles look strong, well manicured, safely surrounded by their moats. Every new addition to the sandcastle costs a portion of your soul. Your soul is ground into pride and ego and shoved between thousands of little grains of sand, molded and formed into the newest wing of your shiny castle.

The goal of successful sandcastles is more. More towers. More danger placed within the moat. More things. More stuff. More. More. More.

Some sandcastle builders get so addicted to more that they are still added more before they even realized they are completely out of pieces of their soul to sell! This however, does not stop the case of the mores. This then initiates the second phase of sandcastle ownership.. skilled negotiation. We begin to drip small droplets of honey in front of the line of ants down the road. We give them a little taste of our honey and slowly back towards our sandcastle, leaving little droplets of this sweet nectar along our path. They follow. They love this nectar. This is the sweetest honey they have ever tasted.

We explain we have more honey for them. The little ants rejoice in their good fortune! We cross back into our sandcastles and invite the seduced ants across our drawbridge, over the moat of fire breathing gators and into the safely of our castle walls. Looking at us with beaming eyes, the ants ask for more honey. We drip one drop. They scurry to share but a lick.

The ants find themselves trampling over each other only to find the honey gone before the dust settles before them. They look to us. We assure them there is more honey. At this moment, all ants stand at attention.

But there is just one little thing, we speak gingerly to the ants. Just one little thing I need you to do before I can give you more honey. Anything! They scurry willingly to our feet.

You see, we say, there is a new wing of my sandcastle that must be completed before dusk arrives with the evening rain. The ants delight with this request, as they are skilled laborers together. We can complete your sandcastle in exchange for more honey! No problem! The ants scurry off into formation. No soul sold in exchange for the new addition to our sandcastle. This nectar of the gods taste so good when watching our castle be built by the hand of another. 

The ants did not have to sell their soul to build the new wing of the sandcastle. The ants played willingly in much anticipation of reward. This is the business model of our prized patriarchy. We, the owners of the sandcastle, will eat the promised honey, while watching the eager ants build  into days end. This is a projection of wounded masculine. This is the foundation of our successful sandcastles.

I had a beautiful sandcastle. My family was proud. Society told me I was successful. Others peered enviously at how shiny my sandcastle was. I liked my sandcastle. I liked the taste of the sweet nectar. I really liked the case of the mores. More was fun! More was sexy!

I would wake each morning and draw the curtains from my tower. I would dress for the day and walk to my favorite baker. I would collect my bread and my brewed courage. In the 25 yards from the tower to my baker I was beginning to feel heat rising inside my chest. I would light a menthol to soothe the burn. There’s a utopia of pleasure that happens in those first sips of courage and that menthol. Ecstasy. Power. Sex. ...standby I have to gag in the bushes.. mmm yes. The satisfaction of that morning courage and that drag of sex down the back of my throat.

This. This moment right here. This moment before even arriving to other humans, I have a choice to make in sandcastleship..

Option A) Acknowledge the physical repulsion that my body just displayed or Option B) take another drag of morning sex. 

I wash it down with steamy hot courage and continue down my path. This moment. This decision right here. This decision is what winners are made of. This is what the patriarchy tells us. That bitch has balls. That bitch is on a mission. That bitch is in control. Unbenounced to me, I get to wear the “I numb so hard that no one will ever know I’m dying inside because I’m projecting this patriarchal reflection of all the required behaviors for success! I am successful because I am numbing so hard” badge of honor for the rest of the day! I. AM. FUCKING. WINNING.

Before my daily round up meeting to start the day I feel nauseous again. I light up another tube of sex and inhale it deep down the back of my throat. Ah. Much Better. Now where’s my steamy mug of courage??

This last a couple of hours and the nudges begin to tap. The fire in the pits of my soul begins to rumble. I better make a move! I hope on my broom and check on all the ants. This is important to show my importance, so they know their progress determines the arrival of their honey that we’ve already eaten. They don’t know this. They don’t know what they don’t know.

There are some ants that will stop what they are doing to honor me as I fly by. Sweet gestures and tokens of their affection, and I am off again. I feel the fire extinguish and my sexy sandcastleness return.

We indulge in lavish tastings to satisfy our hard work and endless supply of honeypots. No one else can see inside the honeypots. They don’t know what they don’t know.

I sit upon the porch of my tower digesting the day, taking down a few more sex sticks as I sit in stillness. The sex sticks bring stillness. I am proud of my sandcastle. I’m willing to auction off the souls of the ants another day in order to continue building my sandcastle.

They don’t know what they don’t know.

It takes another few sex sticks to gather my thoughts. I shower and bed. What’s more than a successful sandcastle? I have new ideas for additional sandcastles. If we build more sandcastles next to this sandcastle then we have an empire. The goal of ever sandcastle owner is to rule an empire. Under the rain of clarity, creative juices pump through my blood. Strokes of genius for empire building are emerging. Tomorrow we will build more.

I am good at building sandcastles. The patriarchy taught me how to behave in order to play in the sandbox with the big boys. I don’t know what I don’t know.

What I do know is that I am impeccably skilled at numbing. “I numb so hard that no one will ever know I’m dying inside because I’m projecting this patriarchal reflection of all the required behaviors for success! I am successful because I am numbing so hard!”

What I do know is that I am impeccably skilled at projecting.

What I do know is that I am impeccably skilled at choosing having a successful sandcastle over having any connection to the raging beasts trying to grow inside of me.

I am impeccably skilled at winning in patriarchy. I don’t know what I don’t know.


Years after multiple sandcastles, helping others build sandcastles, big shiny life of wearing my badge of honor that I can numb so hard, I received a phone call from my father.

My dad is the epitome of all things. Nothing to me mattered if he wasn’t proud of me. Heaven forbid I disappoint him! My dad was very proud of the sandcastles I’d built. My dad was even more proud when I burned it all to the ground to honor the tiny little light inside me struggling to flicker another day.

My dad was more proud of me when I began to accept my mental health.

My dad even more proud when I ventured down the path of personal development.

My dad was even more proud when I walked away from unworthy toxic relations.

My dad was even more proud when I spent the last dime I owned to choose joy.

My dad was even more proud when I started to exercise my voice.

My dad was even more proud when I started to be of service to other women.

My dad was even more proud when I worked up the courage to break old patterns.

My dad was most proud when I decided to say fuck the patriarchy and follow the path that most lights me up.

My dad watched me hand over the directors chair to a power greater than myself, who swiftly washed away the sandcastles.

Poof. Gone. 

My ego likes the theatrics, but to my dismay the shifts are glacial and silent most days.

Souls you can’t live without. Poof. Gone.

Man of your dreams. Poof. Rose colored glasses, Gone.

Sitting alone in my brand new apartment, my phone rings. I just moved in two months ago, with the man I was ready to marry.

In illusions of grandeur, there is a tiny little light inside me struggling to flicker one more day. I won’t numb it. Not this time.

This time I choose to honor you, little tiny light inside me. Poof. Man Gone.

My dad is so proud of me.

My phone rings. It’s Spiderman. His voice is different. His voice is always a certain way. Light, funny, proud. Today my dad is different. He tells me he has cancer.

My heart sank into my couch. I already knew. I felt it two days ago in our energy healing session together. It was angry. It did not like me in there playing with it. It did not want to loosen it’s grip on his spine. It wouldn’t so much as budge, no matter how much I tried. It was very angry. 

Multiple Myeloma, he says. A rare cancer in my blood. It’s attacking my spine, he says. I could die. This is not possible. He will obviously be fine. He is the epitome of all things. He will obviously be fine.

He calls me the next morning. I can hear the terror and the tears down his face. He says come be with me. Come help me get things in order. Please just come be with me.

I’m on the highway out of town in mere moments.

Thirty days later, poof. gone.

My dad built a legacy on love. He built an empire on integrity and soul.

Never again will I strive for the sandcastles of the patriarchy. With my heart shattered + snot streaming down my face, I will forever honor your legacy. I will never settle for anything less than integrity and love, for these are what unbreakable foundations are made of. And as the sandcastles of the patriarchy are washed away by the shore, I will never forget all of those mornings my body would dramatically try to get my attention. I had it in me all along, but spoiler alert.. the light is rising + the patriarchy isn’t victorious this time.


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