Sunday, August 30, 2015

instant life

I had a discussion with B on our last trip to Lake Calderwood about the things my generation understands that will one day be lost. As we turned the curves of the Dragon, B told me a story about getting an email asking for "sum information." He chalked it up to a misspelling, and it probably was, but it made me think about how shortened internet language is becoming accepted. I will not be surprised if the next generation sends out resume letters like this because at some time the people who shorten everything down to internet slang will be in charge. So, it won't be a big deal but it will be just another way we shortcut our way through life.

I think this may be the reason for the rise of people who prefer to listen to their music on vinyl. You have to get up, go pick an album, walk to your turntable and start the album and then later get up to turn it to the other side. It's a way to slow things down.

I remember watching Now and Then with Sky years ago and how amazed he was that the girls in the movie stayed out all day and went anywhere they wanted to on their bikes.  I know what that is like. We pretty much did whatever we wanted growing up as long as we got in at a reasonable time.

Our children won't know what it is like to have to wait until they can think of something. They can go straight to Google and look it up at a moments notice. We recently watched While We're Young and it blew me away when Adam Driver's character said, "Let's just not know." I think that is why our brains are always just one question away from not knowing the answer we would have known if the question had never been asked. We are so used to being able to look up anything in a second we forget how to remember.

There was a time if we wanted to record sound we had to go find the cassette player or for visual we had to have a video recorder and a VCR to play it on. If we wanted to make a call we had to go find a phone. If we wanted to turn on the TV we had to get up and cross the room. If there was something we didn't know we had to find it in the encyclopedia or the library. If we wanted to take a photo we had to have a camera with us. If we wanted to play a game we'd gather with our friends around a board. If we needed to buy something we had to go to the store. If we needed directions we'd have to have a map or atlas. Now all of these problems are solved by having one smart phone and a signal.

We are living an instant life. Our next generation will not know what it is like to have to anticipate anything. Is that a bad thing? I don't know. I do know that a little delayed gratification can sure make you appreciate things a little more. When I think about this I think about missing innocence and the calm of being a little more separated from having the world in the palm of my hand, I say this as person typing on my PC and one who in minutes will hit publish and bring this to you instantly. It's both beautiful and not, all at the same time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Kundalini Yoga

I don't think I've read much of anything lately that did not bring up Kundalini Yoga. It seems so many people are feeling the benefits so they just have to share. I don't know why I waited so long to try it. I just stuck it back there in the back of my mind on a shelf with all the things I plan on doing later. Well, it's off the shelf now.

I turned to youtube to get started. This was the first video I tried and it has me hooked. Next I checked out Amazon and I found more free videos on Prime and also one I bought. Remember I'm a very much a beginner so I don't know enough info yet to charm you with all of my Kundalini wisdom but like those before me I couldn't wait to share.

Every time I finish a session I feel like it's the first day of my life. I am not kidding you. B is not as impressed by it as I am but he is enjoying it too. Kundalini Yoga: Energy and the Physical Body with Haridass Kaur is one of the videos I bought from amazon. It is a set up for the ways it can enrich your life. One of the things it speaks of is taking a cold shower. I've only tried it twice but I'm really like that as well. I can't just jump in the cold. I start with lukewarm and then work my way back down to cold. My skin feels smoother and I also feel much more refreshed once I'm out. I started watching the video and realized that I need to take notes. I'm going to get to that quickly but for now I just wanted to sing the praises. I am feeling so new and revived from what I've tried so far. 

Don't be like me and put this on that mind shelf of things for later. Do it now. I promise you will feel the benefits almost immediately. 

Kundalini Yoga YAY!

Edit: I had some insights this morning while in my yoga session. It occurred to me how we always exercise our bodies to be healthy physically on the outside. I feel like Kundalini is a way to exercise our body for our inside health by preforming exercise that stimulates our organs. Our bodies will feel the outside rewards as well so that's just an added bonus. The other thing that occurred to me is how a prolonged set that also challenges us mentally also prepares us for paying attention and being in the moment. I could not be happier with the results I'm feeling so early on in this process. You have got to try this.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Oh summer I have been so smitten with you. I've baked to near melting in your heat but it never stopped me from smiling to your sun god whenever she was present. You waltzed in on the scene, taking me to the beach to watch my precious two little nieces play, giggle and take in the sound of the waves in your waters and also from shells pressed to their eager ears. You've taken me down streams of varying degrees of flow while I watch our Tennessee (and North Carolina) scenery pass me by, always saving bits of it to take home like souvenirs. I rode a bike in my happy little place, coasting the hill, standing up like a child full of wonder and you gave me the perfect day for it.  I left you thank-you notes in the form of mandalas and cairns all along the way. I hope you have liked these gifts.  Summer, I do wish you could stay. I warn you now that I do intend to grasp what is left of you and wring that bitch out. Thank you summer. You could not have been better. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

What The Coyote Says

This past week was a lesson week for me. I love when life just hands you a lesson. If you are awake enough you can see them when they come and sometimes they are around every corner.

For the second time in under a month I had a meal with people who engaged in conversation that could be perceived as racist and also in this instance, transphobic. I had prolonged moments of a hardened heart, a wrenching gut and such tightness in my chest from trying to hold in all I wanted to say but couldn't given the situation.

It wasn't lost on me that this had happened twice and that both times were over food. What are the chances, really? I started to think about how these things had repeated and in practically the same way. I knew that there must be a lesson in there I wasn't seeing.

You know what else happened to me twice this month? I saw a coyote. I saw one cross the road on the way to the creek. At another time I saw one laying dead along the side of the road. Both these times B was with me but he didn't see the live one. I told him we should look this up to see what the significance of spotting this elusive animal meant. I finally did my search and here is what I found:

If the coyote spirit animal crosses your way, you may be encouraged to not take things too seriously. Perhaps you need to lighten up or change your perspective about an issue or matter that has been on your mind for a while.

I get it universe. You can stop putting me in these situations. I can see now that what other people say or believe is not a challenge for me to help them. It's a challenge for me to help myself. If I can sit through these things unaffected then I've gained something that I want everyone to have. That thing is acceptance. It's a lesson I've learned many times over in my life and each time I hope it's the last time. I am not here to teach lessons, I'm here to learn them. All other souls are here for their own purpose. They are learning what they are here to learn and are healing what they need to heal and I don't get to be the judge of that. When we can all see this clearly we will be on the meeting grounds of brotherhood, where the sun shines down love and the sky radiates with compassion. This will usher in the next Golden Age.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Thanks Asshole

So last Tuesday was not the best day for me and it started out not so great. I was on my way to the Lafayette office and I got behind a car that wasn't maintaining a steady speed nor going the speed limit. I decided to pass him when I could so that I wouldn't have to continue to apply my brakes every time he slowed by 5 to 7 miles. I guess he didn't want to be passed. Though he was going about 52 when I started to pass him, my speed reached 85 before I was able to get around him. This used to not be a thing. There once was a time that people would even tap their brakes for you to get around them easier. Now, people speed up and try to kill you if you try to pass them.

Well, the story didn't end there. Not only was I dealing with a crazy person, I became crazy. When the road became 2 lanes he passed me and started to slow then speed up again. I was tired of dealing with this so I decided to pass him. The road was about to merge up ahead. He again didn't want me passing him so we fought for ground until the lanes merged and he had to give up. He laid on his horn and rode on my bumper until the road split back into two lanes. Then he started around me and once he was dead even with me he proceeded to drive right beside of me for about a mile. I could see from the corner of my eye that he was trying to engage me but I'm wasn't having any of that so I never looked over. Just as I was about to turn into the office he pulled passed and finally went on.

I never engage these people. Never. When I'm with someone and this happens I always encourage people to let it go. It's not worth ruining your day because someone else is trying to control you. If they need that so badly in their life, let them have it. How big of a fool would I have been if this had been how I died?

When I got to the office I was still fuming at the idea of this man trying to control me. Just when I thought I was about to calm down. Phil from State Farm called. He said he was sorry to inform me that due to a ticket I got in 2012 (the only ticket I've had since I've known B) and the 2 times I've backed into something because I cannot see out the back of my Rogue, State Farm had decided they didn't want to insure me any longer. Then he told me I could keep my insurance if I agreed to higher coverage that would cost me $30 more a month.

Okay, universe. I get it. Well, not that day. But I get it. Thanks to Tuesday Asshole I realize that since I've been managing 2 offices I've been in a rush trying to get it all in. I will not do this going forward. I will be stopping to smell the roses. I will not rush, I will not be passing people who set my pace unless it is clear that there is no danger or risk of having to speed. I will let what comes my way dictate my path. I will relish every moment in calm, listening to my audio books and rad ass music. I'll leave the stress of trying to get somewhere fast and only gaining a minute to those other people who are in a hurry. Me, I'll be kicked back on my lumbar pillow, smiling at the butterflies drifting across my path as I proceed.

Thanks Asshole. You've taught me well. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

things I do to heal

chillin in the hammock on DHL
riding a bike down the Virginia Creeper Trail
kayaking the Obey
finding fossils and rocks on the creeks.
riding back roads
camping on the lake.
listening to Old Crow Medicine Show in concert.
seeing this guy out my backdoor
being at Romp with two of my favorite people covered in sweat with dirty feet
watching movies I love
hiking Big South Fork and sitting on the porch of Charit Creek Lodge
I realize more everyday that finding peace in everyday experiences is a way we heal what ails us. When you do the things that sooth your soul it helps lift the harm that stress inflicts on your body. It calms the mind and feeds your positive energy. It renews your whole being.

These photos are just a few photos I picked from moments I connected to the kind of peace that heals. I hope you have a collection of these moments too. PeAcE

Lake Calderwood Trip

 Here's one awesome Sunday on the waters of North Carolina.

Friday, August 7, 2015

recycled racism

So most people who know me know that my son Lance is half Filipino. For that reason we have a lot at stake in winning the war on hate.

There are people we know that do not think his being bi-racial counts in the problem with racism because he is not black. Believe me it counts.

When he first started to school some of the children in his class chastised him for being brown, to the point, this child who always loved school, did not want to go. We worked through these issues in our home and came out on the other side of this. This mostly happened when Lance did the work inside his own little mind to figure out that what people said about him in ignorance could never change who he was. He has done the work on this and he wins at it everyday. He is a champion.

When he was grown and started to drive he was pulled over almost every time he went to Cookeville somewhere around Algood and for no good reason, his car would be searched. This never happened to Skyler or his friends.

When I was married to his father I can remember elderly men turning all the way around to watch us long after we passed them when we were in public. You don't need to be black to experience racism.

All of this gives me reason to want to see racism end but it's not even that. No mother should have to worry about her child just because their skin is not white. So, when I hear people say racist things I can only help but wonder if those words passed between two people, who probably won't harm my son, encourage someone else with the less constraint, to someday hurt my child, my baby. Can you, uncles and cousins, promise me that your words will never rally people to hurt my baby?

You never know how well you know someone until they start a Facebook account. I've started to notice something since joining Facebook and seeing where people put their energy everyday. I've noticed that racism is a lazy thing. There is nothing original about it. Everything I see there is just recycled shit. It's like racists ancestors passed down a pair of shoes they used to walk through shit and the generation that took them up and put them on were too lazy to wipe the shit off. They told us that waving the rebel flag was about heritage and no one took the time to research and see what the people who waved it thought it was about. You can't just say heritage because someone told you that. It doesn't make it true. You can't think that all black people are the same anymore than you can think that all white people are the same just because someone told you that. You can't think that the DHS office is filled with "Mexican's" if you've never been there to see for yourself that there are a lot of able bodied white youth there instead. When people tell you that, that's what they see because that is what they look for. Instead of thinking the Hispanic community is taking all of our jobs apply for a job where you see someone Hispanic working and see if you get turned down. The people who apply for jobs are generally the ones who get them. Because people say a thing does not make it true.

As a society, we need to stop being lazy with our ideas. We need to study, open our eyes and stop recycling ideas that should have died long ago. They do not serve anyone. The internet is the greatest device ever made to distribute information. Stop looking for evidence to support hate and look for evidence to support love. If you make up your mind that in this instance you'll stop judging the circumstances of those people around you and just love all people no matter, the fog of hate would lift and we'd become brand new. All the hate in this world is inanimate. It is not real. When we see this and just erase it from our minds we won't have to have a gun on our hip and a lock on our door. When you put your fear out into the world you contribute to the thing you hope to eradicate with your locks and guns. PeAcE

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

you don't know when to shut your damn mouth

Did the title of this post startle you? Apparently this is what you say to someone when your argument about racial slurs falls flat. I never make post like this and I probably won't leave this one up but just for now I have a few words for someone I'll not embarrass by naming. I usually go easy on people and try to win them with kindness and I am a full on all about turning the other cheek. When something stays with me like this did I know I'm probably suppose to bring it to light so I'm speaking out this time. I just know that there are other people who feel just like I feel about these things, right Paige?

Tell me who you know in this crazy world today that refers to white people as Honky? That was the excuse I got when I said it wasn't okay to use racial slurs, "Well, they call us Honkies." Who calls you that? Who is "they"? Are you saying every black person calls you that. I don't know a single white person who even knows what Honky means or why it is offensive. You just know it because you heard it on Sanford and Son & The Jefferson's.

When you say that you were  victimized by black people in your youth, who were they? I remember the incident where you, along with cousins, yelled the "N" word at some very small children as they walked back home from buying candy at the store. How you became the victim in that scenario I don't know. A very smart person said in response to your claim to your mother about being the victim in this story, "you remember Tonya when black people sold us in the town square, beat us to make us work and called us Honkies?" If you want to make this your claim to victimization then what about the white people who have made fun of you or picked on you? Did that make you hate all white people? Your logic is bullshit. Yelling "you don't know when to shut your damn mouth" at someone in the middle of a restaurant at your mother's birthday breakfast because you fear having a conversation you cannot win, is also bullshit. You are an adult. Act like one.

I don't have to shut my damn mouth. If you can't have a conversation without yelling at someone then maybe you should shut your damn mouth. I've held my tongue with you ever since you said to me, "I hate your guts you damn bitch." I don't have to hold my tongue. You may win at shutting me up in a public place but this is my space and I'll say what I want.  Your honky ass should be elbow to elbow fighting along with these people you hate. The system isn't made to support you either. You are not a corporate billionaire. Educate yourself man. Maybe start with this.

Now that I have spoken to you in the only way you understand I'll say things my way. I know your goal in life is to not be weak. It does not make you weak to care for other people and to let go of grudges. I know people didn't tell you they love you growing up but that doesn't make it okay for you to hold so much hate in your heart. You can let things go. That is what a strong person does. It's easier to be a victim and to hate in the face of pain. Loving and overcoming takes much more strength. Being able to say I'm sorry and I forgive you is what strong people do. Your life is the mirror of your thoughts. If you want to see something better in your mirror you have to start with your thoughts. The world will not mirror beauty back to you if all you can see is ugly.