I’ve rarely encountered someone who carries as much positivity and wisdom with them as Crystel. A traumatic event in her youth didn’t defeat her. Instead, it transformed her into the shining light of her own life. It comes as no surprise then, that I Am Light by India.Arie is her personal anthem…
Crystel Poetiraij (33) is a speech therapist, vocal coach, and certified Access Consciousness Facilitator from Amsterdam. Access Consciousness is a method through which you can easily release thoughts, feelings, and emotions that don’t work for you. This is accomplished through a ‘bar session’, during which 32 pressure points are touched on the head. ‘When you have tons of tabs open on your computer, it slows to a crawl. How many are open on a daily basis in your head, making you less functional? During a bar session you delete the ‘hard files’ on your computer, as it were. Sometimes you even put a new hard drive in.’ She also gives transformational ‘Right Voice For You’ workshops.
Crystel grew up with music. Her parents’ living room has a piano, drum kit, keyboard, and more. She loves writing music and is also a fanatic Lindy Hop dancer. She listens to a lot of jazz (Ella Fitzgerald), covers by groups like Thirdstory on YouTube, 90’s R&B (TLC), and soul (India.Arie, Erykah Badu). India. Arie wrote a song that is particularly meaningful to her..
Why is I Am Light by India.Arie your ‘Soultune’?
Crystel: ‘This song fits me so perfectly, I recognise myself in it completely’. The most important line from the chorus pretty much sums up how I look at life.
I am light, I am light
I live according to the principles of Access Consciousness. These state that anything that is light for you is true. Anything that is heavy is not true. Either that, or there is another way of looking at it.
The first verse makes me think of a time in my youth.
I am not the things my family did
I am not the voices in my head
I am not the pieces of the brokenness inside
I am light, I am light
This feels very true to me. Between the ages of 9 and 11, I was sexually abused by my uncle, and if there’s anything I’m not, it’s the things my family did. I buried these feelings deeply, but in 2010, everything came out during an argument with my ex. He accused me of all kinds of things, to which I replied ‘if only you knew’. Then I let it all go. I really thought ‘Oh, what am I saying?’ But there was no turning back.”
‘My mother went to my uncle, who confessed everything. She replied to him: ‘Crystel is coming home soon, and I want you to come and apologise to her. I think that you owe that to her.’
I could’ve killed her at that moment! Being confronted with the man himself was the absolute last thing I wanted then. But it turned out to be a fantastic move, because it helped me win my lawsuit against him. He confessed everything in front of my mother, stepfather, and ex. It was a confession which was impossible to recant.’
How did it help you?
‘I often compare problems to tigers. What if the problem was a tiger? You can turn your back on it, but believe me: you can feel that it’s still there behind you. People often say ‘you should push through’, but if it were a tiger, I’d think twice before walking past it. Sometimes you can walk around it or walk the other way. Be smart about it.
Using traditional psychology, people often research trauma and all of the limitations that come as a result. It’s a huge burden. I would rather look at what I’ve taken from it. People often think that it’s impossible to find positivity in something as horrible as sexual abuse. But I’ve discovered that it is possible.
I’m not the mistakes that I have made
Or any of the things that caused me pain
I am not the pieces of the dream I left behind
I am light, I am light
People often say, ‘But Crys, surely there can’t be anything positive about sexual abuse?’ It is what it is, and I refuse to feel like a victim any longer. This happened back when I was 9 f*cking years old, I’m 33 now. What are we even talking about? If I keep holding onto this burden, am I being good to myself? No, not really. By holding onto the role of the victim, you’re letting someone else have power over you.
How did you regain the control?
‘If people hurt you, it’s actually always your choice. We think it’s not, but it always has to do with the value that we place on their actions. If you get hurt, you can react by thinking ‘Oh, I feel miserable’, but then you don’t give yourself a choice! Even though you DO have a choice. It’s often just subconscious.
You can also say ‘Ok, this hurts, it wasn’t a nice thing you did to me, but I’ll get better’. You hear that in this song.
I am divinity defined
I am the God on the inside
I am a star, a piece of it all
I am light
I Am Light – India.Arie
I recently spoke to my class about this. I asked them: Are you ready to be the star of your life? Do you know that video in which Beyonce gets stuck in a fan? She just keeps singing! And her timing is still spot on, it’s totally in tune, she’s amazing! Then I just think, ‘Wow, what if you live your life like that?’ (You can find a link to the video of Beyonce at the bottom of this article).
Is there anyone specifically who should really listen to this song?
‘I’d like to say the whole world, haha. But mostly people who are going through a tough, dark period. What if you could be NOT your past, but rather just look at what you’re doing today? Or think about who you want to be in the future and which steps you can take to get there?
The only thing people seem to talk a lot about is their problems. I always ask those following my course, “if you didn’t have any problems, what kinds of conversations would you have? Where are you subconsciously creating problems so that you can stay connected with people?” People sometimes get addicted to problems because they don’t know how to exist without them. They function based on the idea that you learn from your mistakes. In order to prove to themselves that they’re learning, they keep on subconsciously making mistakes. In fact, they often make the same choices, or even worse versions of the same choice. Even when they have other options open to them.
This song is for anyone who’s having a hard time, for anyone who thinks they’re f*cked up. Everyone who thinks that they’re a black hole. You’re not a black hole, you’re the sun’.
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