What's Good??? 5.27.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…(though I want you to do that too) put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

My Daily Life.
The Unknown.
Nutmeg.
ALoveFest Committee.
Vacation.

Focus on what you appreciate, what you are grateful for and your life will change. It is a guarantee. You cannot see the good in the world without the world becoming a better place as a result. Having a gratitude practice is one of the most powerful ways you can shift your reality. Try it.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food For Thought:

When you have a birthday you have an opportunity to look back and look forward from a really clear and defined moment. You are given a chance to push reset. Birthdays are holidays bestowed to each one of us and it is up to us to define how we will use our birthdays to bring us to life.

When I was a teenager I moved in with my father. It was then that I recognized his ritual of never being in NYC on his birthday; he was on some tropical island or another each year. My first instinct was to ask him to take me on a trip for my birthday because I longed to travel. His response was to tell me to take myself on a trip when I was able to. So there was no tropical vacation for me in the near future, or at least as far as I could tell. As I grew up I had a variety of ideas about my birthday and spent it with friends or partners-of-the-moment. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I began to realize the gravity of my birthday (and everyone else’s).

Up until that time my mother would call me at 5:30am every year on my birthday. I was born at 5:30am on 5/30/74. She would call and wish me happy birthday; sometimes recalling my birth story. When I was little she would wake me up and tell me that I was born at this time ‘however' many years ago (depending on how old I was turning). That changed one year after no particular reason. There had been years that she missed doing it but for some reason this last time was the pivotal moment for me. I called her shortly after my 5:30 birth time and, devastated, asked her why she hadn’t called. She hadn’t any idea why I was being so dramatic and, after getting off of the phone, I sat on my stairs and sobbed. I realized at that moment that I had to change the entire situation. I promised myself I would never spend my birthday waiting for someone else to do something for me. I remembered my father’s unwavering practice of traveling on his birthday, so consistent is his birthday travel that none of his kids have seen him on his birthday for decades.

From that point forward I have spent my birthday doing exactly as I feel. I let everyone in my life know that my birthday is not about what they can do for me, it is about me spending time going over what has been and creating a plan for what will be. It is a time for me to celebrate myself and enjoy whatever I feel like enjoying. Some years I run and relax, other years I travel to visit family. Either way I never compromise my desires to please anyone in any way. It is my birthday and I do what I want. So this year I am starting a tradition. ALoveFest is the new fundraising event in Seattle that will help make dreams come true. June 15th is the day of the big event. I am looking forward to seeing you there. Before that, however, on that special day, at 5:30am, I will be doing whatever I want… which just so happens to be enjoying life from a tropical location; like father, like daughter.

xo
a

Get your ALoveFest Tickets Here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/682412

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What's Good??? 5.20.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…(though I want you to do that too) put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Water.
Poetry.
Risk.
Rejection.
Acceptance.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food For Thought:

I spend most of my time counseling others to live fearlessly… not in the jump out of an airplane way, but in a “what do you have to lose” way. Which is different. I am not into being reckless and careless, I am into being authentic and genuine. Owning your truths and creating your reality is the fundamental philosophy of Coach Aina. The part that makes all of my teachings work is that I also live this way so I am speaking from experience, past and present. I am never sitting on the sidelines watching the world go by, staying safe and sound in my bubble. I do have a bubble, but I only retreat to it after I have run naked through throngs of people. I risk and I retreat. It keeps me feeling balanced and stable enough to do it again.

Stagnation is worth than death. If I feel like things are just going along as they always do, I know it is time for me to do something new. Comfort is lovely and I love it in the area of my home life. I want to come home and feel familiarity… however, in my work, in my spirituality, in my personal growth I want to feel changes, advancement, progress. The only evidence for life is growth… and I love to live. So I am doing risky things regularly and sometimes I don’t know just how risky something is until I do it. It is the way of the world. You cannot always tell what impact a choice will have until you make the choice and commit to it. What you thought was just hard is actually HUGE and triggers deep rooted emotions. That is the beauty of risk. That is the beauty of growth, it is painful and healing, it is subtle and shocking, it is necessary and rewarding.

From the time we are born we are pushing our limits, we are going to the edge and seeing what happens. Everyone’s edges are different but everyone has them. My plan is to keep making the ground beneath my feet expand as I race towards my edges. It is amazing to find out that the places you thought you knew were only a small corner of a small part of your truth. Keep on risking, keep on attempting the big new things. Keep on seeing where your edges are and watch your world grow to meet your steps. And yes, it is ok to be afraid, just don’t stop pushing.

xo
a

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What's Good??? 5.13.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…(though I want you to do that too) put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

Invites for ALoveFest Gala are online!! Click HERE

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Dried Fruit.
Water.
Learning.
Comcast ONDEMAND.
Choices.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food For Thought:

How long have you been doing what you do? Days, weeks, months, years? What are your habits? How long did it take you to practice writing before you were able to write without thinking? How long did it take you to use a fork before you were a master at it? How long did it take you to do the job that you do before you felt like you could do it in your sleep (if you ever feel that way)? How long has it taken you to learn how to be in a relationship and where did you learn it from? How long did it take you to create your way of eating, your method of coping? How long do you think it would take for you to actually change any of the habits or skills you have gained over the years? How much time do you need to make changes in your life that become ‘your way’ like all of the other things you do?

When looking to shift your life you have to recognize that your life is pretty firm. You have ways of being, ways of doing that are ingrained in your cellular structure. You aren’t as malleable as you would like to be… reworking your reality takes effort until it is easy. I will repeat. It takes effort to change until the change is easy. Then it is on to the next.

Starting isn’t the hard part. Starting is the easy part. It is maintaining when the going gets tough that is the hard part. When you realize that you are changing and not trying something different, you panic, you get uncomfortable, you get scared. Ultimately you lose everything that is familiar to go towards the unknown and many times you turn back and head home. Even when home is obesity, disease, sadness, abuse, or fear, it can be more comforting than the possibility of your life being what you want it to be.

So give it a year. Whatever you are trying to change, give it a YEAR. A full fucking year. Seriously. Stop saying you tried when you spent two months doing something, or a week, or a few days. Unless you started smoking yesterday and decided to stop today, you need a year to break a habit. Screw 30 days or whatever. After a year you are pretty much set with how you do something. We are always looking for the easy way out. There isn’t one. The easy way is doing the hard work so it becomes easy at some point. Grow up and get it done.

xo
a

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What's Good??? 5.6.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…(though I want you to do that too) put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

Invites for ALoveFest Gala are being sent this week!!!!

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Dreams.
Juicing.
ALoveFest Committee Members.
VHI Soul.
Being GREAT.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food For Thought:

Extreme. It is a word used against people by people who feel pressure to look at their lives critically. "You are being so extreme” or “don’t go to extremes” and even better, “everything in moderation.” Balance is a word we hear often as well as in “work/life balance.” We want to have a balanced approach to things. We don’t want to be fanatical. After all fanatics flew planes into the twin towers. Fanatics are scary and try to save non-christians. Being extreme means being too far on one side, it means commitment to something. Wait… commitment? Isn’t that what marriage is? Isn’t it extreme to say you will love someone forever and ever and ever and ever and only want to touch their body and sleep with them and eat with them and be with them and share intimacy with them? Isn’t being extreme buying a house and spending more money than you can comprehend on a structure a bit extreme? Isn’t it extreme to eat like shit for most of your life? Isn’t it extreme to round up animals, breed them to be killed and then sell them to the masses in the most damaging way to the environment, the animals and our health a bit extreme?

Before you tell someone they are extreme, think about what you would die for? Your lover, your child, your god? Think about what you don’t want to live without, cheese? Milk? Sex? Think about where you are extreme? See your own choices and relate to someone instead of distancing yourself. We all feel strongly about the things that are important to us, we all want what we want and disregarding another’s passion is you disregarding the fact that you have your own and actually understand what is going on for them. Being extreme, in reality, isn’t that extreme at all. It is a normal thing when we have a belief and aren’t afraid or ashamed to own it; Or it is common and we are just going along with the social norm.

Which brings me to my main point… going along with what everyone else is doing as the way of life, not rocking the boat. Those who do are the extremists, the fanatics. Without them we would have slavery, women wouldn’t vote, children would work in mines. Without the ones who refuse to accept the status quo we would be in the dark ages. In order to make a difference you have to go out on a limb. In order to get shit done you have to care more about advancement and less about popularity. You have to desire the change more than the present circumstance. You must understand greatness is not mediocrity and mediocrity is what we are taught to be. So, this is for all of those extremists out there… keep pushing, keep inciting, keep on agitating… keep on keeping on, a change is gonna come.

 

xo
a

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What's Good??? 4.29.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…(though I want you to do that too) put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Tummy Temple.
Caring.
ALoveFest.
New Projects.
Warm Weather.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food For Thought:

What is stressing you out at this moment? What are you chewing on to the point where all flavor and color is lost from it? Is there something that you simply cannot see working out positively for you, so you play the potential awful outcome over and over? If you were to take all of the thoughts you have about these stresses in your life, how much time would you say you spend on the idea that things won’t work out; an hour, two, half the day??? If you were to look back at your life, who taught you how to think? Who in your life worried about what was going to happen? Who in your life supports your worrying now?

Let’s break it down. What happens when you look ahead and worry? First imagine what you are doing when you worry? Are you driving, eating, working, talking to someone or sitting in an empty room worrying? What is going on around you when you are worrying about something that isn’t happening right now? Most often I hear people say that worry helps them prepare to not be surprised. I say no matter what, you aren’t going to be able to accurately predict what is going to happen perfectly so preparing for the unknown is like burying yourself alive in preparation to die. Death is certain. Everything else is up in the air.

Worry is like going to the deep end and holding yourself under water. It puts more stress into your life and paralyzes you with fear. Worry robs each moment of joy and love. It keeps you feeling like you are a failure which then becomes a vicious cycle. Worrying is one of the best ways to ensure unhappiness in life.

To end your worrying trend you can start by asking yourself what is the good that can come from what is happening? Then stop there. Only reply to asking what is the good that can befall me or the world by me doing what I am doing. If you are sitting on your ass watching TV, the good may be, relaxation, time away from work. If you are answering emails, it could be, not having as many emails and giving people answers to questions they have. Look for the benefits, the good, the love, the yummy and low and behold you will find it (in spades!).

 

xo
a

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What's Good??? 4.22.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Growing Up.
Support.
Taking Care of Myself.
New Ventures.
Stretching.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food For Thought:

There comes a time in your life, if you are lucky, where you stop taking shit. You stop taking shit from other people and you stop taking shit from yourself. There are so many ways that we accept mediocre crap. At some point in our lives we wake up, something does it, a death, a birth, an ending, a beginning. We get to the point where what we have and where we are no longer serves us and we are ready to admit it. We get to the point where we care more about reaching our dreams than living our past over and over.

You have goals that you have had for years that you don’t seem any closer at reaching than you did years ago. You have ideas that you haven’t put into action and keep using the same “reasons” why they won’t work. You have issues that are still your issues and no way of clearing them out, so you think. You see patterns if you dare look at your life and begin to get dizzy at the circles you keep going around and around. You feel like you have been running a marathon that has lasted decades but you haven’t gotten much farther away than the block you are on.

Or maybe one day you just realize you aren’t where you want to be… and that you actually WANT to be somewhere and you aren’t afraid to own that. Whatever the case may be, we all, if we are lucky, wake up one day and decide to DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Often that different is accepting the status quo. It isn’t something you can force and it isn’t something that, once you get there, you need to feel bad about not getting to sooner. All those moments where you seemingly did nothing and stayed put were you prepping for the big jump, the big awakening. We all have a gestation period outside of the womb… call this life we are in our embryonic stage and that we are prepping for a great birth (or rebirth if you will). Don’t fret if you haven’t gotten there yet, you will. Sooner or later we all stop taking what is given and begin creating what we deserve.

xo
a

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What's Good??? 4.15.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Crazy Dreams.
Positive Feedback.
Dinners With Wonderful People.
Bananas.
Me Off of Sugar.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food For Thought:

We all want to be close. We all want to feel yummy. Whatever our behavior we are all wanting for the same things. Love, connection, intimacy. Some of us create so much distance between us and those around us that being connected to others seems farthest from our goals, desires. Some of us seem like we have it all figured out and balanced yet yearn for understanding in a deeper way. Others cry out loud and clear for their longing to be paid attention, focused on. Regardless of what we demonstrate externally, being in body, being separate (whether you see it as illusion or reality) means that we must find connection at some point in our lives; we have to discover, or uncover as it may well be, the truth about intimacy.

Intimacy is connection, intimacy is honesty, intimacy is vulnerability; in essence intimacy with another or others is the reflection of your connection, you honesty, your love with yourself. When you have a relationship where your feelings are supported, valued, honored and validated you feel connected, loved and strong. Imagine if you were in a relationship where you felt like you could say anything and it would be heard and reflected back in a loving way, so you would be better able to negotiate your true feelings, needs and desires to make great decisions on your behalf? What if you were reminded daily of your worth, of your greatness? What if you felt understood, deeply… and that you were always allowed to change your mind if you felt it was necessary? I imagine you would feel intimately connected to this person and you would in turn feel much more grounded and centered as you went out into the world. I also know that you would feel better equipped to manage other relationships having your primary one be strengthened through intimacy.

The primary relationship that everyone is seeking by either pushing others away, pulling them in or numbing out is found within. There is no other relationship in your life that will teach you true intimacy besides the one you have with yourself. Yes, you can be intimate with others, but your relationships will always have a bit of a block unless you let down your walls inside yourself that halt your own relationship with you. Whatever you are missing, whatever you are seeking, wherever you are looking, if you aren’t starting with yourself, you will miss it. in this moment of gratitude, which can be every moment of everyday, appreciate your having you… You wouldn’t have you any other way.

xo
a

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What's Good??? 4.8.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Sleeping.
Amazing Energy.
Juice.
Pens.
Sparkly Things.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food For Thought:

What if you stopped doing things that hurt you? Well, before you do that you will need to look at your life and list off all of the thing you do that hurt you. To do this you will have to first recognize what you need to be happy because you generally hurt when you are not in line with happiness. I imagine we can all agree that our health is number one when it comes to our being happy. If you are sick not much will make you happy outside of your health being restored. After that there are a lot of things that you feel are necessary for you happiness which, when you break them down, all boil down to love. Without love you will not have joy. Love is the fundamental ingredient for happiness, joy, contentment… all the yummy stuff. Love is a lot of things and many of these things are difficult for many of us to grasp. We tend to stay pretty surface when we discuss love and that lack of understanding is where we are in the world, and where the world is with us.

There is so much more to love than feeling good… there is so much more to stopping the hurt than what we understand. Sometimes what we need to do for there to be more love is to feel pain… and sometimes that pain is actually us ending chronic abuse, ending what is comforting, what we have substituted for love. We live in a world that substitutes this for that and that for this. We give medicine for symptoms without ever considering the cause. We eat when we feel bad, or happy, or sad, instead of just feeling happy, bad or sad. So many of us are running from love thinking we are taking the hurt away.

What makes you happy on a global scale? When you think about the world (if you think about the world) what dims your shine? When you think about your country, your state or provence, your city or town, your neighborhood, your friends, family, what do you feel…happiness or anger, sadness, joy, rage, nothingness, excitement or what? When you think about your life, your job, your quiet moments, what feelings come up? I am not suggesting that you are failing if you feel other things besides happiness, I am telling you that all of the feelings are information and when you are not happy that is information that you are doing something that is hurting you which in turn effects all of the things that you are connected to. So, what if you stopped doing things that hurt you?

If you want the world to change, change your world.

xo
a

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What's Good 4.1.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Sleeping Animals.
Vegan Cookbooks that ROCK.
Making My Own Rules.
New Music and Old Music and Great Music and Bad Music.
Passion.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

What will it take to get people to recognize when they are being lied to? The thing about programming is that it is done early on, before one can recall what has happened later on. We are indoctrinated with “the way things are” and despite the fact that “the way things are” is and always will be changing, we feel certain that there is no other “way” things could be. We believe this so much so that we are willing to die for the truth of the moment (told to us by sponsors of various companies).

What if everything you knew was wrong? What if you could fly? What if aliens did exist? What if we weren’t supposed to use our power to subdue and harm other creatures? What if we were made to believe that we were supposed to follow arbitrary rules to live mediocre lives and stay busy so we would never learn the true nature of our souls. What if we were all just projections of someone’s mind? What if the big bang never happened? What if there was no beginning and no end? What if you stopped believing what you have been told and started deleting the programming little by little?

One way to become free is to challenge what you are directed to believe. Challenge anything that limits you. Challenge the notion that things are the way they are because there is nothing better. Remember, our nature is to improve, so why would we continue on with systems that are outdated, ideas that are archaic and barbaric and practices that are evil? Galileo was jailed for saying the world was round…seriously. Going beyond what is taught as the gospel is the only way to continue to advance. You cannot keep doing the same thing and expect improvement.

Everyday dig deeper, dream bigger, fly higher and don’t believe the hype.

xo
a

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What's Good??? 3.25.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

My Smoothie Making Abilities.
Bobo’s Oat Bars.
Resonance.
My Spirit.
My Wonderful Beautiful Friends.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

“The world is my perception of it. I see and hear only through the filter of my story.” ~Byron Katie

It is hard for most of us to comprehend but we see things the way we see things. If you want the world to change you will have to do the changing. If you want the world to be a place where there is peace, accountability, love, respect, generosity and positivity, you will need to be all of that. It isn’t about waiting for others to change, it is about being all that you desire others to be. It is about creating your desired universe within yourself moment by moment, bit by bit.

So many of us want there to be kindness as a way of life or for people to do good as a default. Many of us want awareness to be common and love to reign supreme, yet we have not yet reached any of these goals as our personal starting point. It is impossible to get the world to change without being the change the world can move towards. We wait for Jesus to walk again instead of recognizing that we are all Jesus-like, or at least could be. We have to take our power seriously and stop being lazy. We aren’t recognizing that to change the world we have to focus solely on ourselves; never backing down from the challenge that is growth. We are so used to being half-assed and putting perfection on a never-able-to-be-reached pedestal so that we don’t actually have to try. If no one can ever ascend lets all just lie around in the muck and say fuck it.

Nothing will change if you do not. No thing will be different if you stay the same. Change is a private matter, internal, personal. When you realize this, I mean truly recognize the truth of this, you will stop meddling, stop judging, stop harming yourself and others, stop concerning yourself with the welfare of others (in the ways that we do now) and begin to become your utmost priority. When we all focus on being what we want to feel, being what we want to see, being what we want to be, utopia will be our reality.

xo
a

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What's Good??? 3.18.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Quiet Mornings.
A Walk-In Closet.
My Memory.
My Health.
My Creativity.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Relationships are the motivation for life… we cannot live without one another. Babies die without touch. Love and connection truly are all that matter. So when our relationships are broken, abusive or not what we want them to be it takes over our lives. Any struggle we have in our relationships shape our world completely, the same with any joy. The quality of our lives is determined by how we relate to one another and ourselves. When our relationships aren’t supportive of a healthy, happy, loving life we are charged to make some important changes in order to find peace and fulfillment.

The purpose, the benefit, and the pain or joy of all relationships is to teach you about you. Relationships are necessary for growth; and all growth is evidence of life. When your relationships are less amazing than you desire them to be, you have been given information. When your relationships are fulfilling you have been given information. How you interpret that information is really the secret; So many of us never figure out the why of relationships and those who do often don’t know how to change what is needed to change in order to stop repeating the kinds of relationships that hurt them. Learning is tedious, arduous and often seemingly impossible for many. Never fear, however, it isn’t truly that deep yet it permeates all levels of existence which has no bottom and no top.

Compassion. Love. Acceptance. Connectedness. As above, so below. All things done in the heavens are done on land. All things done to another soul are done to yours. All relationships are a part of you, are you, reflect you. When you are dumped by an asshole and want to vilify her behavior remember that you allowed a lot of things to be acceptable and more than likely you were giving way more than you were comfortable giving (with no reciprocation). When you are in a job where you are giving and not receiving, you are doing the same in your personal life and ego is most often the real issue; wanting praise, wanting martyrdom. When you find yourself in relationships where you aren’t being supported, where are you not supporting yourself or others? In order to stop the patterns of abuse, of neglect in your relationships, you have to become an advocate for yourself.

We don’t get handed a manual when we are born, “A Guide To Being a Soul with a Body” though I am tempted to write one. If we did the first thing I would want you to know is that all of what you see is an illusion. You are not separate from another. You aren’t an individual. You are a part of a collective, you are a part of one broken into many and continuing to fraction off… fractals with no beginning and no ending, regardless of the Big Bang idea. You bring about other things, other begins whether or not you can put your finger on each and every affected person, place or thing. It is this oneness that makes relationships simple, ultimately. Be loving, be kind always. First to yourself and the rest will follow.

xo
a

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What's Good??? 3.11.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

My Fundraiser (details to come).
Growing Up.
Morning Smoothies.
My Athleticism.
Gratitude.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

I was talking with one of my clients recently about her dreams. She informed me that she was feeling bored and unexcited about her current day to day but was bouncing around various projects that could possibly inject some joy where things have become bland. She told me that one of her ideas had, however, been shot down by some friends in two separate conversations. This was a familiar conversation for me. Listening to someone tell me how the people around them limit, slam the brakes, and defeat their ideas all in the name of support when ultimately it is projection, fear and ignorance that is being thrown out carelessly.

When have you told someone that their idea was a bad one? When have you thought of someone going after something they wanted stupid? When have you killed a dream before it was able to be held, all the while spouting reason and prudence? Do you do it to yourself or someone else… or both. Are you the “logical” one or do you call yourself a “realist?” Realism is another word for dream killer, fear monger, fear pusher, limiter, scaredy cat, stick in the mud and boring person with no hope of ever truly living. Why in the hell would you want to be a realist when the reality is sooooo ass backwards?

Anyone who has ever succeeded at realizing their dreams is going to have to endure the naysayers and learn who to talk to about their ideas in the first place. When discussing your embryos you are going to need to be picky and choosy. Not everyone is equipped with the skill it takes to support the work that is creating what hasn’t been created, what is yet to exist. We live in a world of projections that just so happen to be what most people project. So when one or a small number see something else, a possibility, they are up against all of the people who continue to see what they have always seen. It is what it is but you aren’t what it is, so keep being different, keep dreaming, doing; and most of all, shut your mouth, stop asking for others for approval and support… you may not get it. You are the only one who needs to give you that support. Go for broke and tell everyone else to get out of your way if they cannot help put wind in your sails.

xo
a

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What's Good 3.4.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

My Jackson Purring.
Coconut Oil.
My Hair.
My Work.
Writing.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

I remember being looked at like I had three heads when I told my friends that I was going to coach rowing after graduating from college; they were concerned about my future. More than a few of them would become lawyers, doctors and analysts while I struggled to make ends meet with a salary of $5300 the first year as a coach. I pushed on making $5700 the next year then making $16000 the next year and, ever year, increasing what I made in some way or another, doing what I loved. I coached rowing for over a decade along with supplemental gigs (cutting down trees, FedEx Driver, Creative Resource Manager at an ad agency, etc) and never once worried that I wasn’t heading in the direction I was supposed to go… nor did I concern myself with “making it big” one day. If I am meant to be “big” one day then the day to day is where I will grow that possibility until it is full grown and my “bigness” is a reality.

I have had the pleasure of loving many and learning so much from each relationship, whether I was connected intimately or not. I have been engaged a few times and married once. I have had whirlwind romances that span continents and short-lived flings that were really just about sticking and moving. They have all been great in their own way. During all of the different relationships I was in, I worked to bring the one I was with to the present moment instead of dreaming of some unknown and uncertain future. It is hard to have a wonderful relationship rooted in the moment when everyone is looking a year or 5 ahead. Even when engaged my focus was on my present moments, which for most isn’t the way most folks lives are lived. So often people are concerned with what will happen and not what is happening. I have seen, more often than not, arguments spiral because the moment, the issue, is overlooked due to the larger picture of strife in one’s life or a mistake made again.

Now I am all for planning ahead and wanting the big “thing” at the “end” whether it be in work or relationships. I know that you cannot ignore feelings that tell you shit isn’t working out. I believe you can see patterns and larger issues or benefits when you take a step back. I also believe to make anything work you have to work. It is a daily thing. You also need to focus on the minutiae to build the massive universe that is your life. When you focus on the details of your world, doing only what (and who) you love, what you want (happiness, wealth, all the good stuff) will come to you because it was always with you. When you focus on loving what is, you have more to love. When you deal with what is in front of you your worries and concerns about the future dissipate. Future issues cannot take root if you never spend time lamenting things that have not happened.

You are exactly where you need to be to get to the next place/person you need to go or get to. You are learning what you need to learn in order to move your soul in the direction it so desires. You are here, now, so be here now. Take it all in. The alternative is never being satisfied, always wanting to be where you are not and believing that somehow life is unfair to you. If you want to be happy for the rest of your life choose to make your life happy each moment you have. Enjoy the journey and trust that you are just fine.

xo
a

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What's Good??? 2.25.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Creating Something New.
My Friends.
Purring.
Fit Bodies.
Breakthroughs.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

I am not a party girl. Never was. In college I rowed. Rowing takes a LOT of time. Practice, for me, was in the afternoons at 4 so I didn’t have the early morning wake ups that many rowers experience (until I began coaching directly after graduating) but I worked 3 jobs so sleep wasn’t happening regardless. I have always been someone who enjoyed gatherings at my place of residence. I enjoy sober, intelligent, connected interaction. I also like to shoot the shit, but it just is more appealing when I am not talking over music and the effect of alcohol on the brain. I am someone who prefers quality over quantity, so when it comes to really hanging out, I want it small and purposeful.

I never feel pressured to do what I do not want to these days because I have been there and done that. When I was younger I would say yes to various invites because the person I was dating at the time really wanted me to go or because the host(s) wanted me to go. I would then proceed to either have a miserable time or an ok time… I would say there may have been one or two times that I went to a party that I wasn’t interested in going initially that ended up making me thankful for forcing myself to go. I came to realize that if I didn’t want to go I would be happier not going. I am a much better friend and lover when I am supporting myself in these, what others may consider, small ways. The trick to doing that for yourself is simple, in theory.

First you need to figure out what your motivation is, what you really want. In all honesty, that is the secret to everything. Then you have to recognize that there is no such thing as scarcity except in thought. If you turn down offers to hang out or to party there WILL be more. You aren’t going to run out of opportunities, contrary to popular belief. Finally, you have to be honest. If you do not feel like going somewhere, don’t. If you don’t want to spend time with people or in a place that doesn’t make you feel yummy, don’t. There is nothing better than taking care of yourself on all levels. At some point you will recognize that your responsibility is not to manage other people’s feelings. When you are lovingly honest with yourself and others, you allow honesty to flow in loving way back to you.

xo
a

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What's Good 2.18.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Mercury in Retrograde.
History.
Body Camp on Maui (happening THIS YEAR!).
A Clean Home.
Rhythm.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

We are a curious species. We believe we are the only beings on the planet that can think, reason, and be conscious. We believe that we have rights that nothing else has. We believe that given the proper paperwork we can do whatever we want to anyone else (and more often than not we don’t need the paperwork ahead of time). We believe that if something doesn’t do things the way we do they are backwards, inept, not equal and certainly not regarded as divine. We believe that we are superior in every way to everything else. We are run by our perspective, our filters, our ego. We are run by the eyeballs and processes in our big ass brains (that we only use a small portion of). We believe the theory of science is valid and discount what we “know” because we cannot “touch” it with our bodies. By the way, science is a theory…

We believe that what they did in the past is wrong if we don’t want to do it anymore, but if it is something we refuse to evolve out of, we use history as the reason we should do it. We don’t look at anything critically unless we are told to. We tend to follow and fear change even if it means something improves. We get attached to ideas and imaginary things. We fight to the death for causes we don’t believe in and/or do not understand. We want a peaceful world yet we are horrible to all living creatures. We won’t tell our brothers and sisters to stop hurting something because we don’t want to hurt their feelings or have to look at the ways in which we are hurting ourselves and others as well. We like to separate out things we don’t want to see so we can see and feel what we want. We prefer the story to the reality because the reality requires work. Reality requires design and that design is up to us, so instead of creating a new reality moment by moment on purpose we retell the same shit stories and then bitch about being stuck.

We have such potential. We could, at any given moment change all things at once. We could. The biggest hurdle is belief. We don’t believe that all it takes is for us to stop all the things we complain about, to stop making excuses (that it is too hard, that it wouldn’t work, that no one ELSE is going to do it) and get it done. We want to live in a world where there is no murder… so STOP KILLING. You cannot sanction killing and then condone it in the same breath. You want a peaceful environment? Do not sanction or support war EVER. It is like training a puppy, you have to be consistent. You cannot tell your child that you cannot rape children while raping them. You will create conflict beyond what you can fathom… or rather, you will create the world we live in.

How about living your life without excuses. Choose your highest self every time. Meditate on being kind, loving and peaceful and then act that way. Call others out when they aren’t being loving, in a loving way. Stop doing, saying or being anything that doesn’t make you feel like your most amazing self.

I dare you to truly live. As above, so below.

xo
a

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What's Good??? 2.11.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Apple Genius Bar.
Butter Rum Life Savers.
Crazy Dreams.
Kim Russo the Psychic Medium.
Sweat and Helping Others Sweat.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

"There is no substitute for hard work…except harder work." ~Unknown (by me)

There is nothing that will get you where you want to go better than hard work… honestly. There is no way to understand the discipline that comes with getting things done until you simply get things done, especially when it comes to your soul, your mind, your body. You can think about it, you can talk about it, you can philosophize on it but until you actually put in the day in, day out work it takes to do something great you cannot know what it takes. To tell you the truth, it is worth every single moment to practice, to focus, to be determined and to not give up. You learn so much about you, the world and your filters when you go for it. You also get some amazing side effects from working hard that just support and enhance whatever skill(s) you have perfected.

The best thing about focusing on your health or well being is that you have a solid grip on your health and well being. The next best thing is more like the next best things. There are so many positive side effects to putting an unrelenting focus on your mind, body and soul such as, confidence, energy, happiness, emotional health, balance, perspective, coping skills, positive self talk abilities, strength, pride, problem solving abilities, hope and more. When you constantly go farther than what you did the day before you begin to recognize that you are limitless. When you have a consistent demonstration of your ability to improve you feel pretty hopeful on a regular basis. I am not saying you cannot feel all of these things without the riggers of dedicating yourself to a practice, I am saying that the level you feel these things will be different. It is the difference between being in your body when you are sick and thinking that it is the norm until one day you are healthy and having that comparison. There are so many more opportunities in your life when you are vibrating on a higher level than your present state. No amount of wanting it will give it to you… the realization is in the doing.

What does this mean? Well, it means get your ass in gear and commit. Do something that will push you farther and do it daily. Stop letting mediocrity be your mantra, stop saying that half-assed is better than no-assed. Stop talking about what could happen if you did blah blah blah and just quietly get moving, get going and get doing. It means you can just save the excuses for those who aren't in support of your dedication when you cancel plans with them instead of the other way around. It means that you can breathe into your becoming and your being knowing that putting effort into both reaps the most rewards for you and those you love. It means that anything is possible if you just get it done.

xo
a

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What's Good??? 2.4.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Breakfast.
Coconut Water Delivered to my Door.
Opportunities.
Not Concerning Myself With Things That Don't Concern Me.
My Life.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

It is Black History Month! Yay! I am excited because I am Black and feel like really living it up this month… you know, being REALLY black! Why not? Isn't that the point? No, it isn't about me being black? It isn't about me at all…it is about us, our history, our story, the part that is shunned and shamed. We don't talk about Black History in the United States and most people get quiet when I do, or don't know how to feel or what to say. I should mention that the people who get quiet aren't black folks. This is understandable. We have NO idea how to discuss race relations, we have no examples of how to really talk about the open sores that this country still has. We have trouble dealing with our shit because we are still covered in it and we want to look the other way. Well, we can't because we are still covered in it.

Think about this: If slavery was happening in England and was centuries old (let's say 400 years of it) and we, America, flew in and bombed the hell out of the UK and then freed all the slaves we would discuss it, dontcha think? I believe we not only would discuss slavery and it's intricacies, we would bow our heads whenever someone who had survived or a family member of a survivor, spoke of it. We would have love and reverence and compassion for the generations of people lost. We would understand if black people set up communities to support one another, we would treat these people with respect and consideration. We would never wonder why they wanted to be around one another and have things that just belonged to them. We would respect their desire to maintain their culture and wouldn't be insulted if they kept things to themselves. Alas, slavery happened here and a majority of us are the products of slave masters and/or slaves which makes it personal. When something is personal, well, we respond irrationally sometimes. Slavery is that for Americans: a personal assault on our idea that our country is GREAT. Well, can something that has been so awful and horrendous be great? If we own up to what we REALLY do will that mean we have to look at ourselves differently? Is this too hard?

When the history of your family is rife with rape, murder, abuse, slavery and hatred it is understandable to not want to bring it up…. to want to sweep it under the rug. The problem is we are still dealing with so much of the leftovers of our history that our lack of wanting to face our upbringing is making it too easy for the problems of our past to persist and infect our present. We cannot continue to run around acting as if shit is ok… Think about your family and your ability to discuss or not discuss an issue. How many times does just not talking about it make it go away, really? That is how it is with slavery, or rape, or murder or anything where we have disregarded the divine grace of another soul. Love is profound and can heal, but first you need to direct it. If you never admit where attention is needed you won't be able to solve the issue, you may not even realize how deep the cut is.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." ~ George Santayana

 

xo
a

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What's Good??? 1.28.14

Happy Tuesday!!! Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Art, all forms.
Difficult Conversations.
Progress.
Hypnosis.
Sunshine.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

Do you have something happening in your life that requires a ton of attention?  Most of us do.  Most of us are struggling or challenged around something that we just cannot seem to shake, shift or move away from.  Life requires us to live; sometimes we are clean and clear on our choices during this life and can see the beginning to the now of a situation.  Other times we are jumbled and rushed and the beginnings of where we are now can get lost in the details, the years, the moments long gone.  So often we try to blame things that are pretty recent in our lives for where we are presently; sometimes we blame the distant past.  We are always (if we are blaming something) wrong going in that direction and most likely will end up exactly where we are hoping to get away from, at a later date.  When we refuse to see gratitude in where we are, even the shitty spots, and recognize that nothing is separate and all things lead up to this now, this moment we might stop resisting where we are long enough to move on from it.

When you find yourself saying the same things, over and over and over... or your friends reflect back to you that you have been struggling with the same question and they are no closer to a solution for you than you seem to be it may be time to do something new, something you haven't done.  Wait.  Wait until something comes to you.  Make no decisions until you feel like you can.  Stop bitching, complaining, discussing, lamenting... wait and be still.  See how that shakes something new out of you.  Meditate, breathe, go deeper within yourself... change your focus.  See how that plays out; and it will play out.  Something will happen.  You cannot be here for any amount of time and NOT experience growth, change, transformation.  Sometimes we push so hard for an answer and we fail to understand that all things come in their own time and we are not in control of when that is.

When you choose patience with the knowledge and belief that you will get what you need, that your answers will come to you a lot speedier than when you push, manipulate, bitch and moan.  You will get to where you are going (wherever that is) with less turbulence when you embrace where you are and breathe into it, with the understanding that it is going to change.  Let go of regret (waste of time, like the biggest), let go of imagining that you did the wrong thing and that you won't ever struggle or hate a moment in your life again.  You are human, you are learning, you are ready for what is next whether you think so or not.  The more you open yourself to being ready ( and prepping for it by being in each moment; staying present) the more you handle all things with ease and grace and the less attention your "struggles" will require of you.

Cheers,
a

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What's Good??? 1.21.14

Good Afternoon/Evening!!! Tuesday Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Warmth.
Green Juice.
Smoothies.
Discussing Racial Tension.
Language.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

Yesterday was MLK Day and the day after the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC Championship and Richard Sherman's epic interview. If you haven't heard about it or been awake for a couple of days you can just type in Sherman epic interview and a video will pop up no problem. Along with that video you will also see article upon article published yesterday about the interview and the man. This isn't another article about Sherman specifically, just a commentary on why I believe we need more explosive situations that bring up the yuck that we would love to ignore about ourselves and our country. Being a black woman in the Unites States of America is a journey that I continue to appreciate the longer I am on it. Being the daughter of two revolutionaries is also something that I continue to gain deeper and deeper gratitude for. I know a lot of the history of our country, more than most, and am not shocked by the behavior of my fellow Americans. What is troubling to me is how shocked others are that we are who we are. The amount of disbelief that comes when some Americans behave "historically" like many Americans have behaved tells me that we have a lot of waking up to do for real change to happen.

We are a country (like many) that was built on the genocide of one group of people and the enslavement on another. The system of slavery in the United States rivals other atrocities brought against a group of people in length and brutality. The repercussions are still felt, seen and unfolding. There is so much shame, on all sides, that real discussion of our past is often difficult, if discussed at all.

Because of the desire to forget about our history and make excuses for our present conditions we are trained with some of the following being an underlying and unspoken truth:
1) We have been told that what happened doesn't matter.
2) It was so long ago that it doesn't have any effect now.
3) Black People are racist too.
4) Black People aren't as smart, worthy, nice or capable.
5) Black People are lazy and never take responsibility.
6) Black people are criminals and want handouts.

When I say 'we' I mean we. Black folks believe the same shit about themselves that others do. There is so much reinforcement for those aforementioned ideas to be seen as truth that it would take days upon days to spotlight them all. So I will spotlight this. Yesterday a lot of conversations, arguments, tweets, articles and posts were about whether or not the reactions to Richard Sherman's post game interview were racially charged/biased. I will tell you that it is a hard to grow up in this country and not have some racial bias one direction or another. I hope you aren't covering your mouth and shaking your head in denial, but we are living in bubbles if we think that racism is dead. It is like saying crime is dead, or homelessness. We haven't actually spent any time focusing on the root cause of any of this sh*t to announce its death. What we have done it taught people to believe in right and wrong and that has proven to never work on a deep level. It works to cause guilt, stress, depression, denial and shame, lots and lots of shame. And we have all of that plus as our normal in the US.

Instead of just hoping for the end of racism or the death of bigotry we can see where it is hiding, we can give space for those who are angry and confused and hurt and the rest and start figuring out what is missing, what we need in order to actually see the connection that exists between all of us. If we stop denying where we are (on every level) and start being open about what we want, feel and are afraid of we may just make some real progress. When we stop abusing ourselves, our land, our animal brothers and sisters, love reigning supreme will be a no-brainer and an epic interview given by an amazing sports start will be just that, not something to either condemn or condone. We have a lot of feelings that we aren't even clued in to and can never clue in to if we refuse to believe it is possible for us to feel those things. In order to get where we can be we have to really acknowledge where we are starting from. In this moment, in this day, we have to own up to our feelings, beliefs and programming and not judge ourselves. You cannot change what you refuse to look at. You cannot deny that someone who doesn't curse, who boasts about being the best (when he is) and is super excited about his achievements (and super pissed about someone being nasty towards him) getting the amount of backlash that he has gotten hasn't anything to do with the fact that he is a black man talking to/at a white woman. If that idea is offensive to you you have some stuff to deal with. We worry about what the images of Photoshop do to young women and we stop recognizing that we have the same images about race and joy and love and sex shown to us millions of times daily. Being aware will bring change, lasting, amazing and awesome.

xo
a

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Off of The Chain Gang 1.17.14

Hey Hey!

Maybe it will take more than what has happened in your life to finally get you to take some chances and make some lasting changes.  We are very stubborn when it comes to doing things differently than what we have been doing.  It is at the point where we are so absolute in our ways that we would rather die than go against what has been drilled into us.  How does the world change if we are adamant about staying the same?  How do we move the world forward when we keep looking to the past so we know what the steps to the old ass tired dance is?  At some point you will be exhausted with spinning your wheels, or you won't... and that is the day that it will all either stay the same or completely change, for good.  The nice thing about spinning your wheels is that it is by choice; even if you don't fully recognize that choice as yours, it still is, and you can stop when you choose to.

So why do we forget that everything that we used to know is no longer true (blacks being not fully human; the world being flat; women not being able to run long distances; most drugs for most things being safe). Why are we so sure that what we are spoon-fed is safe to eat, think, hear or take as the gospel?  Where do we get off forgetting that training isn't the same as educating.  Most of us are trained to behave, speak, think a certain ways, only do what we are told we are meant to do and never question.  Well, I am suspicious of anything and anyone that tells me to follow blindly... my knowing is way more accurate than what I see on the news.  My gut will let you know about things that I have no direct experience with.  So much for needing to be told what is what. What would happen if we were trained to listen to ourselves and tune into the natural rhythms of our soul, of our existence?  What would happen if we stopped relying on the outside to tell us about the inside?

We are waking up to ourselves more and more each moment.  We are recognizing that we have moved so far away from what and who we are and with that disconnection we have suffered greatly, and we have learned greatly as well.  We are also, slowly for some and quickly for others, letting go of what we knew to discover what we know.  The old paradigm supports ignorance and violence.  The ways in which we support "how it has been done" will have to be addressed because history isn't a reason to repeat something.  The question that has to be asked every step of the way, on every level that we are aware and awake, is "is it working?"  Is what we have been doing bringing life, love and joy in abundance?  Are we contributing to the development of our souls or destroying them?  Are we vibrating on the level of love?

When you can answer yes to that last question every time you ask it then I feel you are creating the world where we aren't training people to do what was done, we aren't walking blindly into the past and calling it the future.  When we are co-creating each moment purposefully we won't rely on anyone else to let us know how to be.  Until then, shake off habits, create new experiences and open up to what wasn't "possible" before.

 

 

xo
a

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