Bring the Inside Out

I just watched this fascinating video on why “today’s music” sucks. The gist of the video was that almost all the biggest pop hits are written by the same 2 dudes. Each popular song has an entire marketing machine behind it, and in truth, they all follow the same formula for success. Admittedly, I do like a good amount of pop songs, but now I’m wondering how much my enjoyment is mine and how much has been shoved down my throat by the marketing machine. The video was pointing out how these songs play everywhere constantly, so after awhile, it grows on you.

I’m eclectic – I will listen to anything but country, and there are even a couple country songs I can tolerate. My first loves, however, are metal and rock. Right now, I’m on a HELLYEAH kick because I’ve been so sad about Vinnie Paul dying. For the last few days, though, it’s been weighing on my mind how metal is ostracized by the majority while pop is so embraced by the majority. I listen to the magic these musicians create, and I’m overwhelmed by the talent, feelings, and places this music can take me. I don’t mean to sound like a curmudgeon, but I struggle to understand how a drum machine is more popular than the incredible beauty Vinnie Paul created, or the raw, beautiful power of Chad’s voice vs the autotuned crap on constant rotation. There is so much talent kind of ignored.

Then I wonder, though, if that is actually an industry tactic, to make metal fans believe we’re rebellious outsiders while being fed the same type of formula. Maybe that sounds tinfoil hat mentality though. It just confuses me how a two chord song can outshine the deep complexities of melody, harmony, and a full band experience. In order to hear my favorite music, I have to go to YouTube or Spotify, because it’s never on the radio.

Pop music works for me if I’m in a good mood, bored, or if I’m trying to ignore my problems for a bit. Metal, on the other hand, makes me feel the shit I don’t want to feel. Ponder realities I shy away from. Admittedly, there are metal songs that are just heavier pop, feeding that mentality of fuck ’em all, etc. Despite my eclectic ways, I am picky about vocals and lyrics. Rap, Rock, Metal, Pop all can fall into repetitive traps of “let’s get fucked up and party” I prefer shit that makes me think and feel. The music industry now tells us what we like and plays repeated hits to the point of nausea. Anytime I turn on the radio, I hear the same songs from 3 or more years ago. There’s been no change, save 1-2 “monster hits of the summer” or whatever. 

I love to disassociate from reality. I spent many years feeling like a caged up bird looking in this world. I can still shut myself down effectively to the point I am numb. When that happens, I have no personality whatsoever. The only way I can help myself snap out of it is listening to music. I’ll find the song that sings my feelings until my feelings come back. I love songs that make me sob or make me feel less alone. I don’t often get that depth from Pop music, though. Pop lets me stay in a disassociated state, because it has no emotional resonance for me. My life has been very fucked up for a long time, so fucked up people are who I love to hear. I think everyone is fucked up to varying degrees, but not many like to admit it. Yet, our scars are what make us unique, precious beings in this world. Why do we try so hard to be the same, when not even our fingerprints match another person. This is how creativity changes lives: we tap into what makes us feel like ourselves. The more I can express myself here in writing, I am even more expressive in life. The very things I tried to hide away before are the things people like to read or hear about. Because we all feel less alone when it can be related to.

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My idols have all taken their demons and painted beauty. In Jungian terms, their creative self expression brought light to the darkness, and released them from the past. Every time I create something – hell it can be a good dinner – I feel better. Even then, I fight myself and fight my creativity. I get scared to write, because I don’t know what I want to write about. I feel like an imposter attempting to follow a dream half-assedly. I doubt myself because I can come up with things to write about so easily, and create it in 15 minutes. That makes me believe I suck, it shouldn’t be this easy. But what if that is the essence of our gifts? With practice and expression, it falls out of us like water poured out of a pitcher. What if we all lie to ourselves about our gifts, keeping them pent up inside, leaving us feeling hollow and lost?

I learned awhile ago that the only way I can heal myself is to express myself. Talk about what is actually on my mind, write what is actually on my heart. No masks, no social media perfection, just who and what I am at the time of writing. I’ve grown up admiring band after band, author after author, yet always telling myself I cannot possibly be like them. The proof of my self-delusion is constant: every band I love takes pain and transforms it to something beyond themselves. It’s alchemy, it’s transformation, it is the power of creativity and self expression.

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I’m going to go on a limb here and wonder if the rising rates of mental illness and deaths by suicide is correlated with an inability to express ourselves. Doesn’t anxiety often feel as though you have a million things caged up inside you? Doesn’t depression often feel as though you have no purpose in this life, so why go on?

Isn’t this a war most of us have? Jekyll and Hyde? Yin and Yang? I feel as though I have two diametrically opposed me’s in my life. I feel crazy admitting that, but it’s the truth. There’s one who digs the shit out of life, and the other one that likes to tell me how much everything sucks. Music is the only middle ground for me. Music takes analytical precision (left brain) with infinite creativity and connection (right brain). I suspect most of us suffer from being too left brained, leaving our very notion of creativity up for analysis and speculation.

The ego – the talking voice in our heads – will never let us feel sufficient. The ego was formed to protect us, keep us alive, and analyze the environment for threats. The ego is our problem solver, so when we stay stuck in ego-based thought circles, we lose connection to our intuition and inspiration. The ego can’t trust that, because there is no past data to support it. If anything, ego compares others to make us feel defeated before we began.

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I’ve been reading a lot on hemispheres. The right brain cannot speak in words, but can recognize faces, images, and so forth. The left brain can communicate and problem solving. The problem stems from the fact most of us don’t understand the ego is your conscious attention. It analyzes everything for potential threats. So then, the ego attacks our creativity in the same way the music industry is attacking music. The ego wants predictable and safe. If they are investing 500k to 3million dollars in marketing, they want a guaranteed hit. The problem is, they just repeat everything. Lyrics, backing tracks, personas, etc. The only way we can truly express our creativity IS to take a leap of faith. That’s not something the ego is capable of doing, but every artist, actor, musician, author, business owner, inventor, etc. had to take a leap of faith to get to the other side.

What the music industry is doing to music is what the left brain attempts to control our lives. Analyzing the past to predict the future outcomes. This makes us completely batshit crazy, because we have no sense of reality. We live in two states: past or future, with no eyes on the present. I’m not surprised that music is this way anymore, because we are all choosing to ignore the present moment in order to feel safe. Life and music have the same purpose: experience. Music has no purpose beyond listening and enjoying. Great music makes you think bigger than your problems. Great lyrics can make you think and feel that you are not alone. Music quiets the perpetual argument of left and right brain, which is what I suspect is the constant chatter going on in my head. Ego doesn’t want us to express our feelings and truth, because that transcends the idea that we are weak and in need of protection.

Music can unite people – how many friends have you made because you both like the same band? I met my husband at Ozzfest. Our relationship started with music, and fell apart when we stopped listening to music. We both were so miserable, we disassociated from our primary coping skill. Music can unite your left and right hemispheres, because both are needed to enjoy the experience. It’s theorized music existed before verbal communication. I personally think life should be like music, a perfect balance between analysis and logic from the left brain, and creativity and expression through the right. “A perfect union of contrary things” is what Pythagoras defined music as. It is math and creativity brought together in harmony. I also think that’s a metaphor for all our lives, but most of us eschew creativity for the safety of logical analysis, which will all tell us creativity is not part of survival, of what needs to be done, etc. The left brain limits self expression because it lacks emotional resonance and looks for sure bets.

How many of us stay in jobs we hate, because we don’t know what to do with our lives? How many of us have something they’ve always wanted to do but told ourselves they couldn’t? I listen to so many metal lyrics telling all of us, essentially, you can do this too. Anyone can do this. The biggest hurdle is the fear of the unknown and the fear of failure. Yet failure is a guaranteed outcome if we don’t express ourselves, if we don’t allow our unique gifts come to light.

I don’t have any answers on how to change the music industry from cookie cutter manufacturing personas, lyrics, and beats. I do, however, believe very strongly everyone needs to take their creativity back. As focus and attention span are being undermined, it is harder and harder to find the courage to just be yourself and express yourself however is fitting. Hell, look at the formulas so many of us are trying to follow with blogging. Keeping word counts in certain ranges so people will pay attention. Fuck that, I’m done pandering. I’m just writing what my fingers want to write, and if someone enjoys it, cool. If someone doesn’t, cool. My measurement of success is achieved every time I push “publish”

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I think a lot of us get defeated by measuring ourselves to the end goal. No one picks up a pen and becomes Stephen King or the lead singer of ___. Everything about transforming life, focus, and mental health is a process that is ripe with ups and downs. Life progresses like music. The low notes offset high notes, the progression of chords, lyrics, and beats flow together, just like our lives.

I believe each of us has a gift, and it is our duty to ourselves and happiness to express that gift, whatever it is. I believe anxiety is often unexpressed creativity. If any of this makes sense or resonates, then go back to childhood, pick the thing you loved then, and start there. The best way to not make a dream come true is to say “I wish I had just ____” Look at how the world has changed now, anyone can create an account on WordPress and be able to write. Anyone can create a YouTube channel and put their songs, thoughts, animations, whatever up. There is no barrier into the creative world. If anything, the only barrier to creativity is the belief we can’t do it. The more I express myself authentically, I am getting healthier. I don’t care what happens with my writing, all I care about is that when I write, I have peace. Buddhism taught me to have no attachment to outcomes, and no expectation of outcomes. So I write whatever I feel like writing, because at least I have honored my gift.

What lies are you telling yourself about your dreams? What limiting belief can you let go of to start working towards a dream? What small act can you do today that may influence a better tomorrow? What part of you are you disconnecting from reality? How often do you listen to the opinions of others versus yourself? No one broke through by playing it safe and predictable.

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Pay Attention

Do you know what your greatest gift, asset, tool, etc. is? Do you know the most powerful part of you? Do you know the one part of you, that if you use it wisely, it will change your life?

It is your focus.

Focus is something most of us struggle with immensely. The climbing rates of ADHD diagnosis in adults and children are testament to our struggles with the power of focus. Most of us pride ourselves on our abilities to multitask, but the reality is multitasking, over-committing, and generally being too busy is one of the biggest reasons we are miserable. (No shit Sherlock). The reason, though, isn’t because we are tired or stressed. It’s because we are maligning our greatest and most powerful gift.

Take a moment and think of people you deem wildly successful, the people you wonder how they did it, or what their secret is. There’s a common denominator: focus. Take a musician: they focused on their gift and passion until it became their reality. They don’t just work in music, they live music. They tour, write, perform, and embody music. How did they get there? “I never gave up, I never stopped believing in myself, I practiced every day…”

Most of us dismiss them as “lucky” or how we can’t possibly do that because “here in the real world…” However, we overlook the simple trick they use that can change everything for us: focus.

Do you fixate on things? Do you ever wonder why sometimes you just want to do the same thing, and other weeks it barely crosses your mind? Do you have interests that you want to incorporate in your life, but you can never seem to find the time?

These fixations are your inner compass, and they are a blessing, a gift, and guidance. Call it God, your higher self, intuition, the Holy Spirit, or channeling divinity. I don’t care. What your fixation or focus is trying to help you with is what you need to do to help yourself to be happy and fulfilled.

When we multitask and overwhelm ourselves, we erode our powerful focus, and like a muscle, lack of use creates weakness and lack of results. Our society loves to erode our focus. How many times do we check Facebook or even just our phones in a day? How many times can you say, “I just did one thing for like an hour.” When you go to work, how many things are you doing at once to be productive. Are you actually productive? How is your energy?

Have you ever watched a kid actually playing? Not video games, I’m talking driving a car on a floor, building a puzzle, or taking Barbie on a date with Ken? The outside world doesn’t exist to these kids. As a matter of fact, the kid doesn’t exist to the kid. There’s no mental observer, “I am making Barbie perfect, but up next I really must see about my muffins in the oven and good God that laundry!” It just doesn’t happen. They’re focused and immersed, which means they, and all their problems (kids have problems too) don’t exist.

What happens then? They’re happier! Have you ever dealt with an overstimulated kid? It’s fucking hell! My kids are constantly overstimulated, then they overstimulate me, and I want to go weep under a blanket for a month, pondering how to simultaneously be a great mom and hermit in a mountain, and if there’s a wawa located in any mountains.

Why wouldn’t we realize if kids can get overstimulated and turn into dickbags, most of the dickbags you encounter in your life (especially yourself!) are also overstimulated, unfocused, and outta their damn mind. We’re all chocolated-up toddlers demanding nap time 24/7!

We lack focus. Without focus, we’re generally ships without a compass lost in a world of circular thinking, rumination, habitual confused behavior, escapism, and in need of that nap.

Or, perhaps, more accurately: our focus is squandered in the wrong place. When you have that rare five minutes of quiet time, what do you focus on? Your blessings, or your problems? If you’re a resident of this planet, I bet problems are the more likely answer, although you’d try to caveat it with, but I’m really happy with my life, it’s just….

Focusing on something is transformative. In that, your focus takes you away from your idea of yourself, or your ego. We all have imaginary worlds we live in, where expectations run the show and expectation and reality are perpetually two ships passing in the night. When expectation and reality don’t align, frustration is a constant. When you focus on something and come away from your chattering monkey brain, suddenly shit makes more sense. Why? Because our brains can’t actually solve problems. Our ego, our idea of ourself, doesn’t do anything but take past data and attempt to answer a question. This just puts us in circles. This is what we all do when we have a problem, and it never actually solves our problems.

If anything, what if we create the outcome we don’t want? If you have a situation, and you’re focusing on the thing you don’t want to happen, how often does the thing you don’t want to happen come to fruition? When it does, do you feel a sick satisfaction that, although you’re miserable, at least you were prepared for it?

What if you made it happen though?

Your focus isn’t just what you’re doing, it’s what you’re creating in your life. Focus on peace, you will find peace. Focus on not wanting to fight about the dirty dishes, how many times did you end up fighting about dirty dishes? Focus on too much, and you end up confused and tired.

If you think about driving: if you focus on not hitting a pedestrian, you’ll find yourself inevitably steering away from the pedestrian you are somehow drifting towards. Where you set your focus is where you go, and focus doesn’t understand not. You’re staring at the pedestrian saying, “I don’t want to hit this 90 year old gentleman carrying his groceries”. Your focus says, “oh you wanna go to that guy? Got it!” Next thing you know, you’re jerking the wheel after startling someone’s grandpa. Google target fixation motorcycles and you can see this concept repeated in thousands of articles.

I think everyone has ADHD to varying degrees. ADHD is not a lack of focus, it is a lack of focusing on what someone else wants you to focus on. This is why school age children have these letters. The little bastards just don’t want to sit in a chair for 8 hours listening to someone talk about shit they’re not interested in. I don’t know any adults who struggle like that 🙄 Hell, this is a longer post: how well are you getting through it? Are you still reading? We all try to write less to keep our readers’ attentions because none of us have any!

ADHD, when framed properly, is a superpower, and we all have access to it. How many artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs have either ADHD or bipolar? How many stories have you heard where some wildly successful person sucked at school? Why is this? Their focus didn’t give a shit about anything but their focus, and they listened to it. An incredible musician can’t be incredible if they don’t play their instrument constantly. That’s great, because that was their focus. An inventor doesn’t give a shit about anything but making an iPhone. That’s great, because that was their focus.

We all have this to varying degrees because no brain is the same. Your focus could be as simple as wanting to drink a cup of tea and write in your journal. You put it off because your busy, and you end up grumpier than usual, because you didn’t do what you wanted to do. That urge did not come from your brain, either. We all know there’s a place in us that we can’t quite put into words, and when we don’t listen to it, it becomes a “man, I wish I had just….”

Focus is key. Our egos love to plan, dictate, tell us or shortcomings and problems. When we listen, we find lots more shortcomings and problems, and we create more of the same. Why? That’s where the power of our focus was squandered. If you do sit and journal with your tea, you may just find the answer to the question that’s been bugging you. If you go to that class you said you didn’t have time for, go to the gym, write the blog, etc: epiphanies can happen. You didn’t think of it, no amount of rumination did it. It wasn’t until you used your focus to not focus on creating problems did you, in fact, see through the problem.

Once I tapped into focusing on what I want versus what I didn’t want, life got better. Don’t get trapped by instant gratification. I didn’t practice yoga once and I am a billionaire with no cares in the world. My problems are exactly the same, I just see them differently. For me, focus and fixation come in approximately 1-2 week bursts. This week, my fixation has been practicing yoga nidra. This is something I had practiced when I started meditating, but didn’t know what it was called. It just made sense to lay down, close my eyes, and chill the fuck out. The week before was yoga. I pick one focus – whatever is pulling me the most – and I let that dictate my week. I’m busy, and I’m a mom. I don’t have tons of time. I keep my practices simple, I don’t let them become a guilt factor or burden. I just let it be my focus. Everything still gets done, but I redirect and focus on the fixation of the week when I start ruminating. Some weeks it’s cleaning my house, or writing, or journaling. I call my week whatever fixation I have, and it is my compass. I cut back on the shit I don’t need to make time for the shit I do. I can’t and won’t do everything I want or should do, so I pick one and I let my day focus on that. If it’s a yoga week, I plan my schedule around getting to yoga. If it’s a writing week, I wake up and write before I get distracted, etc.

What have you been wanting to do? What do you keep putting off? Where is your focus being squandered? If you had more time, what would you be doing? Start focusing on these questions, and I’ll bet things begin shifting. Keep focusing on the things you don’t want, and don’t be surprised when you told yourself so. Your focus will create your reality. Start using it to your benefit. What can you focus on today? Hit me up in the comments, this is my current fixation, and I want to talk more!

Up next, I’ll give you some more personal examples of my focus and fixation, a couple steps I took to get my focus back, and what changes I’ve observed since. Thanks for reading, and share the love if this was enjoyable, relevant, or semi coherent.

Music Monday – Nothing More

I live a weird life. I’ve realized over the past few months that I tend to fixate in things. On a weekly or more basis there’s one major focus and a few minor minor focuses. One week it could be cleaning, yoga, meditation, whatever. It makes the importance of not clinging to things – not even past minutes seem so much more important.

That is of course, unless it’s music. Music of every kind is so essential to everything. Not only that, but I tend to fixate on bands or songs. This sucks if you’re around me and prefer doing things like not listening to an album 12 times on repeat or for a month straight. Maybe, in fact, you would prefer to talk about things other than Maynard James Keenan, or Alan Watts, or….

The band that I fucking found that fucking combines Alan Fucking Watts with METAL!!!!!!!!!

Aaaah omg are you kidding me!!!! Shut up!!!! (Fangirling intensifies)

Anyway, yes: my life of fixation has its challenges and I’ve apparently ruined TOOL for my live-in Baby Daddy, but I’m super cute and I have awesome taste in music. (Fart sniffing commences)

Anyway, Nothing More is incredible. I have listened to all their albums on repeat for probably over a month now. Now, breaks were taken. (A Perfect Circle did release Eat the Elephant on 4/20)

The best ways of finding music are by coincidence. Nothing feels better than stumbling on heaven in a YouTube rabbit hole, or album radios on Spotify, or in this case: my obsession with Alan Watts prompting (read: also causing this man to slip to mild comas) Evan to direct me to a Pierre Robert interview (WMMR radio station in Philly) with Nothing More where they talk about them incorporating Watts’ lectures into their music.

It took me approximately 5 seconds to get these guys up on Spotify. I listened to The Stories We Tell Ourselves first. Wow. I feel like for all the babbling I am doing in this post, I can’t give justification to how much this album skullfucked me with joy. There. That’s the best I got. (If the band somehow reads this and wants this as a direct quote, I freely give permission)

If you don’t like Alan Watts (then you don’t like me!) or you just don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ve already stopped reading. Watts interspersed with these lyrics though? The lyrics and his speeches resonate so beautifully together it’s like a trip into reality. It’s a place where everything is beyond our words, because there’s no time to use these words.

Music has that effect on so many of us. It keeps us present, even if our past or future surges. Your mind can go so many places but the music has you anchored here. It has the power to heal you, or help you tap into a place you couldn’t go to otherwise.

This music is a philosophical ballet. There is so much emotion, wisdom, beauty, pain, and resonance. Everything on this album is inspired and provoking. The music is so incredible and the way they have Watts’ speeches lead you into the songs, the titles bring concepts of non-duality into focus.

I haven’t been able to stop listening for long. They’ve been helping me just stop kicking my own ass so much. Just living a little longer in the space between my thoughts. Remembering that I’m part of everything. Forgetting to tell myself stories more often.

There’s a raw beauty in their music. The philosophy in their lyrics is simple and relatable, which is what makes Watts such an incredible inspiration. His speeches and music go together in such a special way. For me, this is like a crack and peanut butter sandwich.

Metal is my first love, and although I’m a slutty music lover, she’s always been my first. Watts is, as I call him, my dead husband – which should disturb me that I’m so weird, but I’m just saying, he is the man.

Check these guys out. Their albums are amazing. And if the band ever reads this, thank you, from the bottom of my soul for this. You seriously have made a curly haired freak in PA a happy girl ❤️

These are from their second self-titled album

These are from The Stories We Tell Ourselves

The bass is sick:

https://youtu.be/T3E6AKDbI2Y

The Game of Life

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This work is copyrighted, created, and owned by me. I give no permission for it to be duplicated, but I welcome sharing with credit if you enjoyed it! Thank you for reading.

Music Monday – Widetrack III

Probably 2 years ago now, Ron Tippin – the lead singer of Widetrack, reached out to me on Twitter and asked me to check them out. I fell in love immediately. The music had such a profound emotional impact on me. It was an incredibly cool synchronicity – the lyrics helped me heal exactly what had been bothering me at that moment. I bought both albums right away and became a huge fan of this independent band from Michigan. I’ve been looking forward to hearing Widetrack III since, and it is being released on May 18th!

The cool thing is, I got to hear it before the release, and I wanted to gush about it a bit.

Ron’s voice has taken on an entirely new level of emotion in this album. You can feel how much growth he has undergone to create this album. As you listen to the lyrics of each song, I think anyone can relate to the journey in this album. Whether it’s a relationship, addiction (in some cases those two are the same, right?), or something else – this album hits you deep in the heart. Ron’s voice is the gate to this emotion, bringing you inward with his painful peace, as the instrumentation goad you further. I’m listening now and finding it difficult to type because I keep wanting to close my eyes and feel it.

Right now, the second track “Zero Hour” is playing. “What is enough to break yourself of this?” is part of the chorus. I’m loathe to give too much away or imprint my own experience on this, but holy shit – isn’t that the question we ask ourselves when we really get with ourselves? That’s it, isn’t it? Our zero hour? We come to this point of realizing something has to give, and that giving is usually our own bullshit.

The album builds from song to song. The questions and answers in each song make you feel deeply your own questions and answers. Widetrack has drawn you in with this album, by being a beautiful, musical mirror. Even if you listen casually, not analytically like I tend to do, you will be taken away. Each song builds to a crescendo. It’s as if the band decided to jump in a car and hit the gas until there was no car left. The album will not let go – I wanted to hear the next song immediately. Each song feeds into each other emotionally and musically with Ron’s voice just pulling you around like a puppet as he shows you the stage of his own insanity.

I cannot pick a favorite song, because each seems to have its own chord within my heart being plucked. I’m not even trying to be pretty or metaphorical on this, I’m just that into it. After I finished the album the first time, I could see my own path, my own confusion, and my own bullshit clearly. I have said to Ron a few times, “Dude, it’s like you took a walk around my broken heart and jotted notes.” I used to think my painful journeys were so unique and dear to me, but I’ve realized that we all carry invisible scars and I am unique like everyone else. When you connect with music like this, there is a realization that you are not alone. This album is WHY I love music as much as I do. It is my therapy, it is my muse, it is my everything. It’s transcendental. That is the best word I can use to describe this album.

These lyrics tell the tale of transcendence, growth, beauty, pain, and the journey through it. The album itself is a journey. I hear a man tortured in his own heart, creating pain in the world around him, to come to a realization he is the source of it all. In all of this, I see the woman who has done the same to herself. An album made me feel not alone, and in that, there is so much peace and healing, to the point of feeling carried away by song.

While the band may or may not have drawn from their own lives to create this, it is relatable from song to song, note to note. I am always heavy on vocals, so forgive me if I tend to focus too much on songs and lyrics, because the guitars and drums truly push you into another place. The synergy of each song and the album as a whole is incredible.

I hope you check these guys out. They’re talented, to say the least, but they are a very different kind of band. Ron’s son, Zach, is the bassist. He is 14 years old and his presence in the band has changed them profoundly. There is a new rawness and depth to everything. How cool is it to play music with your son? It’s like hearing a dream come true. I find all of their music so easily relatable, and the band is so approachable and interactive. I think connecting with Widetrack’s music is like connecting with best friends you did not know you have. You can check them out on their WebsiteFacebookYouTubeTwitter, and Spotify. If you sign up for their newsletter, you can check out some songs for free, too.

 

Frantic is the New Calm

Everything is chaotic and frantic. Busy-ness is held in esteem and stillness is viewed as laziness. For over a year, I have not worked because I am on disability and every day, I give myself a mental barrage of why I suck for how little I am doing. I am not accustomed to life like this. I am accustomed to jam-packed schedules. Frankly, I feel best when I am racing around like a lunatic because I feel “productive”.

Yet, I’m not productive. I’m running around like a lunatic. Sure, I’m accomplishing things, but I’m not producing. Sure, I’m doing things, but I’m not living. To live is to experience. How much do any of us actually experience on a given day? How often do we look around and experience our lives versus doing our lives?

I tend to think in terms of my obituary. Will any of the stuff I frenetically do even remotely go into the paragraph that sums my life? My job most likely won’t even be mentioned. What accomplishments will I even have? Happily, I think on how all these problems that I think are so huge and need so much fixing will also die with me, so I stop stressing about them. My life will be represented by a date – date. What fills the dash?Realistically, the people I am surrounded by will go into my obituary. I will be a “loving mother, beloved daughter, and loving wife (maybe)” But will have actually lived those words? Will you?

How often do we even experience the people around us? Do we experience life and love with them? Do any of us actually understand the meaning of love? We all say it a lot, but do we live it?

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Aren’t life and love synonyms? Our grammar has limited our understanding of both because they have both been filed as nouns, not verbs. Both life and love are experience and action. Yet, how do our actions contribute to either? As we jam pack our schedules, do we create space and time for life or love?

For most of us, we believe love is the opposite of hate. I disagree. Apathy is the opposite of love. Apathy is how most of us exist. How do you feel when you hear birds singing? How do you feel when your children are talking to you when you are trying to check Facebook? How do you feel when you are eating dinner quickly to get to the next thing? Apathy pervades our consciousness more than any other emotion.

It is not intentional; it is worse: it is a byproduct of our refusal to experience life. In our incessant need to get to the future, we lose the here and now. Everything is a building block to some eventual reality where happiness will be. Everything is a means of escaping whatever reality we do not like. Apathy is a relief from misery, which is the more common reality for most of us. Misery is so commonplace now, it feels like happiness. Is it really happy to not hear birds singing? Is it really happy to not have conversations with people where you hear what they say and respond? Is it really happy to be doing as many things as possible at once?

A computer runs multiple processes, and we have created ourselves into the best damn computers in the world. We are more robotic than human. We go from one prompt or command to the other, with no experience of either. It is a fear of idleness that pushes us to constant extremes. We have to have something to show for our lives. We have to do something. We have to be something.

What if the purpose of life is to learn how to live? What if the purpose of life is to learn how to love? If we honestly look at our lives to this point, do either hold true? Are we beloved and loving nouns, or are we dynamic verbs of experience with ourselves and those we say we love?

Until a year or so ago, I operated under the belief I would die and go to heaven and THEN it would all make sense and be better. Then, I came to wonder if earth is heaven. The Buddha sat under a mangrove tree and achieved enlightenment/nirvana, which was right here on earth. Jesus did not say we had to die to get to heaven, he said we had to become like children to know heaven. The Hindi view of life is that we are all gods playing life. No one is pointing up in these explanations. Each is pointing in.

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Each is pointing us to love and innocence, yet even our kids are overwhelmed schedule-wise. They are smaller versions of adults now and not in a good way. Yet, when you watch a child play, you can see the wisdom of aeons. There is no tomorrow or yesterday as they drive a car and smash it into whatever imaginary villain they’ve created. Their imagination is unfettered, and so too, are they. The only fetters that exist for our children are the ones we “wise” adults place on them. All that we have in this life came from imagination. Every tangible object in our existence came from someone’s mind and imagination. The very screens most of us are addicted to lived in Steve Jobs’ mind.

When was the last time we sat and imagined? When was the last time we were productive in the sense of producing/creating? When was the last time we indulged a dream as more than “childish crap”, ignoring the fact that the very man many kill, fight, argue, and hate in His name told us to do the childish “crap”? It’s kind of funny, isn’t it?

We all think of ourselves as wise because we are grown-ups, because we have more years than kids, yet what do we have to show for those years? Anything I created outside of this blog was to make someone else richer or make someone else’s dreams come true. It certainly didn’t make a lick of mine come true.  But my dream of being a writer was silly and unrealistic. We ask kids what they want to be when they grow up, and smile somewhat condescendingly because we all know the truth is we’re going to ruin these kids dreams just like we ruined our own.

It’s not our fault, look how busy life is. How can any of us have time to dream? We have to live! We have bills to pay! We have to make money to survive! We have to work 40+ hours a week to (most of us) exist in an asston of debt, rarely have fun, and rinse and repeat daily. We may go to church and hope for a better reality after we die, or attempt to live as Christians or Buddhists or whatever now, while we miss loving and living. We follow the rules, not understanding they were given to us as guides to help us find life and love at the exact moment of now. Not a minute from now, or years from now, or after our death, it is wherever you are reading this as you read it.

The painful truth we all know deep in the back of our minds, as we race around avoiding it is that it IS our faults. We each created the life we live, because consciously or unconsciously, we create our lives. It is through living our dreams that we can consciously create happiness, but most of us ignore that and blame everything else for our own created misery and imbalance.

It is difficult to realize how imbalanced we are because it is rare for us to be balanced. If we knew what it felt to be balanced, we would not want to feel any other way. The Pythagorean definition of music is “A Perfect Union of Contrary Things”. The creativity and flow of music are balanced by the harmonic precision of each note, adhering to a time and beat, that was created by years of discipline and practice (or autotune). We have two sides of our brains: Logic centered left, and creative centered right. In order to be balanced, both must be utilized, but most of us exist solely in left analysis with all right creativity dismissed as childish crap.

Is there anything more beautiful than a good song at the right moment? Is there anything more beautiful than the spontaneity of a laugh? How often do we allow that experience to permeate our being? The opposite of action would be inaction, and the opposite of busy would be idle. When do we bring these opposites in our reality? Why do we view these opposites with scorn and dismay? Vacations must be earned. Downtime must be earned. We teach this to our children now, and then we wonder why mental illness and diagnoses on the autistic spectrum are rising at alarming rates. How many kids do we know with ADHD? We have to medicate our kids to get them to conform to this sick reality we have all created for ourselves. Can any of us sit still for 8 hours straight? Most of us can’t even do one task at a time anymore, and we are lauded for our multitasking abilities.

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How can we experience anything when we are so busy doing everything? How can we experience balance when being imbalanced is required to survive?

It is time for all of us to make serious changes, and it involves doing less and being more. As Lao Tzu said,

“You should meditate 20 minutes a day, unless you are too busy. In that case, meditate 1 hour.”

It is time for the opposite of frantic to come back into our lives, and it is time to live and love life the way we were intended to, as grown-up children. Fully capable of experiencing and appreciating the gift we have in every moment.

 

First World Problems

With this Nor’easter supposedly coming through, I’m really excited to get gardening. I love the site of fresh green shoots of hyacinths bedazzled with old snow. All this talk of freezing rain and heavy snow has me thinking of getting my hands muddy.

There is a dark cloud looming over these picturesque visions. I am completely out of eggs and almost out of milk. This is a Pennsylvanian’s worst nightmare. A French toast-less blizzard.

For me, I’m generally irritated because I WILL go buy milk and eggs before a storm because my coffee don’t get drank without milk, and snow doesn’t fall without baking cookies. These are priorities!

I’m a really bizarre baker – in that I only bake in inclement weather. Is it your birthday? Enjoy this delicious store bought cake. Is it a polite and classy gesture required event? Entemann’s raspberry crumb danish twist thing may not say much, but it tastes of what I’d imagine the nectar of the gods to be. Is hurricane Sandy destroying the East Coast? Well you better believe Zucchini Bread, Pumpkin Zucchini Bread, Banana bread and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are coming out of my kitchen! This storm has a 100% chance of sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies if I can survive the dairy aisle gauntlet unscathed.

It’s inevitable. I cannot explain the compulsion, nor do I mind stuffing my face with chocolate chip cookies while I get snowed in. It’s genius, if you ask me. It’s terrible, if you ask my pants. (That’s a lie, my pajamas love me no matter how many cookies I eat)

Now, I did make a box batch of brownies for my dad’s birthday on Friday and I attempted to get classy and make ganache. I screwed up by not allowing enough time to chill the ganache, and by attempting to be classy on a sunny day. (I only make completely homemade brownies during blizzards, duh) I was also in the middle of making corned beef with cabbage and potatoes as well as sauerkraut in another pot. I wanted my dad to have a Reuben or corned beef and cabbage for his birthday.

As the brownies weren’t coming out right, I was simultaneously convinced my corned beef was tough and my brownies were burnt. I was so irritated with myself, and felt like a completely useless asshat. BUT, then I reminded myself it is actually the thought that counts and maybe I should chill along with the ganache. (Literally my new favorite word)

Once I chilled out (unlike my ganache), I went to my parents and my dad told me my corned beef was awesome. The next day, I ate a brownie and it was the best ganache I have ever had. I literally concocted two abysmal failures in my brain. Neither actually happened or existed. Aww, look how metaphorical cooking can be!

I stopped the drama by making myself laugh at myself. My mom and I tried to bake a cake for my dad forever ago. It was this hamburger cake. It was the most depressing impersonation of a hamburger. I’m talking worse than McDonald’s. It tasted like sugar died. I was ranting to my mom about my illusory failed meals saying my dad choked down our hamburger cake he can choke down my corned beef. It was enough of a chuckle to make me stop the stories.

As the first day of spring approaches, with the traditional raging nor’easter, I’ll hear the chirping birds of wind, see the green tufts of snow, feel the warm kiss of freezing rain, and I will be celebrating new beginnings. New beginnings always start at the end. Now that winter is ending, I’ll hopefully not lose power and bake those cookies. Hell, I’ve gotten better at baking thanks to Pennsylvania’s bizarre weather and my compulsively storm infused sweet tooth. I’ve also gotten better at laughing through the storms – literal or metaphorical.

I had always thought my problems were menial in the face of others, but then I realized my first world problems would have been third world problems to Siddhartha Gautama, a former prince turned Buddha. A man who was waited on hand and foot taught of suffering, because suffering is a gift we all give each other regardless of demographic or storm baking proclivities

So….I just cannot believe I have to go to the store tomorrow. But I appreciate that I can. #blessed

Lies Are Rarely Intentional

Words are so powerful and paradoxically completely worthless. We give all of the power to the words but fail to see if we give them power, we can take them away. In truth, almost every word we share with ourselves and each other is a lie. I’d like to play a game, shall we?

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About 2 years ago, I climbed a mountain for the first time. There are two important facts you should know: I am terrified, and I mean out of my mind terrified, of heights. I was also wearing heeled boots. I was not expecting to climb a mountain. My boyfriend at the time and his friends decided to climb a mountain, and I tagged along. In my boots with the heels, not fur. I was out of my mind terrified. Visions of sprained/broken ankles danced through my head. I could feel my lungs tightening as a panic attack started creeping on me – both because I was short of breath (I’m a heavy smoker) and because I was going up high (I have literally had a panic attack going up a slip and slide at a carnival. Ask me about the time I climbed the Brigantine Lighthouse!) I focused on my feet with Tetris-like precision. Every rock formation and my foot were precious combinations I was not going to screw up. When I got to the top of the mountain, the scene was breathtaking. The sky was a combination of pink, and blue, and orange. I’ve never seen or felt anything like it. I had never hiked before, either. My enjoyment was only marred by my fear of going back down the mountain and breaking my ankle. I forced myself to sit on the rocks and quietly take in the scene. My purpose in climbing the mountain, if I’m honest, was trying to impress my boyfriend. I remember him looking back at me as we climbed, and saying, “She can do it, she’s a fucking bad ass.” I remember the smile on his face and for the first time in a long time, a rush of feeling like someone believed in me. I think his words had helped me climb higher than my fear. Looking back now, I climbed higher than my fear.

Sounds great, right? I write well, I think.

Let’s try this:

I climbed a mountain in heeled boots. I thought I was going to break my ankle, and I could not believe how stupid and irresponsible I was. The entire time I climbed, all I could see was 2 dudes carrying me down a mountain with a broken ankle. Visions of all the other times I’ve sprained my ankle by the sheer act of walking were flashing through my head. Strangely, all I could see was Samuel L. Jackson as Mr. Glass with my face on his body. My boyfriend was being a dickhead that day. He had been giving me attitude all day, and even after we climbed, he bought all of his friends a banana but me. I don’t know why that bothered me, its’ a 33 cent banana, but it really kind of hurt me. He had told me before I met his friends not to “be weird” so that told me to just “be quiet”. He finally acknowledged that a) I existed and b) I was climbing not too shabbily for a woman wearing heeled boots. When I got up to the top of the mountain, my brain went silent because it was so beautiful. I was still scared to climb down especially because I knew the sun was setting, and darkness with heeled boots felt more like suicide in fancy footwear. As I went down the mountain, I felt confused. I couldn’t understand why my boyfriend was the way he was, why I put up with how he was, and so on. Fortunately, I was so terrified of breaking my ankles, I forced myself to focus on my footing, and in doing that, I experienced quiet mind for the first time.

Or this:

I am equally an idiot and a jackass who climbed a mountain in heeled boots. Looking back, it was one of the craziest and coolest things I ever did. It started a love for hiking that I never had, and it was too beautiful to describe.

We put so much weight into the noise of words and emotion, but the reality & truth is this:

All of these stories are lies of omission because I cannot give you the full story. My memories and words are being placed to align (intentionally or unintentionally) with the emotion. This is how we all communicate. None of my words adequately convey how beautiful it was up there. None of my words even adequately convey how I felt. If I close my eyes, I can see it and feel it as clearly as if I was there.

If we live purely in the realm of our thoughts and words, we omit reality. I don’t think anything can be more harmful than missing our reality. It does not mean coming up with better words to describe a situation. It means being fully present to experience it. Your focus (awareness/consciousness) dictates your reality. When we experience the world, we do not need words for it. Anything that is put into words is inherently a lie of omission.

Try this for yourself. If you think back on something you did that was hard/challenging/sucked, depending on how you speak to yourself or others about it, will determine your emotions on it. From paragraph to paragraph, the same experience changes with the emotion we express. If you focus on any positive in a memory, the memory will have a pleasant association, just like a word. Look at how different my ex-boyfriend and I seem? Yet both are equally true, only what I shared and how I shared it changed.

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Definitions, connotations, and context will always change depending on who is hearing it. Context and connotation mean something different to every person, regardless of what Websters tells us. People who are “literally dying” are a great example. We don’t even use words according to their definitions anymore.

download (2)My favorite definition of a metaphor is “a beautiful lie” (hmm…feels like I used that somewhere) Literally every word you use is a metaphor for your existence. You are using metaphors with every syllable. The key to being happiness is not to confuse metaphors with the point.

In either way, a metaphor and words are grammatical and literary devices. We confuse our reality with grammatical and literary devices, making ourselves hapless victims of an unseen author instead of being our own authors.

Actions and experience are all we have in this life. By choosing our words and memories, we can turn any experience into a lesson or an opportunity for growth. By seeing how powerless words and memories are, we can see nothing in this life is actually bad. That is an illusion of our thoughts.

It doesn’t matter how I describe it because climbing a mountain in heels made me see I can climb mountains on my couch with a laptop. I can climb anything anywhere, but in the future, I will be more mindful of my footwear. I hope this game shows you a deeper understanding of the game of life and the games we play with ourselves. Don’t confuse reality with metaphors, and just climb.

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Related:

TMI is never TMI (unless your word count is too high)

So, one of my favorite bloggers – JokersWild – here on this pressing word site told me to answer some questions. Seeing as I am a cup of joe in on a lazy Sunday morning, let’s see how many giggles I can give myself. (If you laugh too, that’s great, but really, I’m here for me :P) Here are his responses 

And now, here are mine:

What are you currently wearing?

  • So, I fell asleep in my clothes last night. You can call me lazy, slightly intoxicated, or overly exhausted mom. All apply. I’m currently wearing a thick cable knit black sweater with black leggings. I also am rocking a mild afro, because my curls can’t be tamed by any product known to man…All of my ensemble is now wrinkly and slept in, but damn is it cozy
  • Upon further reflection, I didn’t have to admit I fell asleep in my clothes…but the cat is out of the bag. 

Have you ever been in love? 🤔

  • I have been in love more times than I can count. Yet, if I might get a little on the deep side: in the past, I have erroneously viewed love as something tangible…transaction like even. “I love you” should merit “I love you too” But…isn’t that idiotic of all of us? Regardless of religious or spiritual beliefs, we all inately seem to hold a notion that we are beings made in the image of god, stardust, energy, love, whatever. My point is: If I am love, then I am always “in” love, or more accurately “Of” love. Like a wave is of or in the ocean, the words are relatively irrelevant.
  • This paragraph is a result of years of introspection, research, and “what the actual fucker-y” as related to my “love” life, which sucks more than a Dyson. It sucked because I did not understand love – for myself or another. So, my love became dependent and needy, in the sense I looked to another for happiness. I confused being “in love” with being “happy” which is another gross mistake. So, I am currently of love, in love with me and anyone who comes into my path. If some of those loves tend to walk beside me, I am grateful for the companionship. I look forward to connecting with someone who gets it, because I am very very tired of being a possessed noun.
  • See all those words? That’s a REALLY eloquent way of saying: I am as single as a one dolla bill hahahahahahaahahahahaha

Ever had a terrible break up?

  • Oh man, have I.  My marriage ended in a fist fight, so there’s that. Yet, amazingly, my ex husband is (as he’s always been) my best friend because the past is an illusion we cling to to avoid the present and happiness. 
  • After my husband, I became “in love” with a dude who I became obsessed with and kind of became a stalker and totally made an ass of myself, hence the realization of the above. 
  • So grateful for all my bad/good relationships, how else would I have figured out I gotta love me first 😀 My ex’s have all been wonderful gurus to help me find the best damn guru on this blue and green orb – ME!

How old are you?

  • I am 35 going on 80

How tall are you?

  • I am 5’5″ which means I am tall enough to trip over my pants, but petite clothes are too short, and the top shelves of cabinets are a mysterious land to which I will never lay my eyes on…

How much do you weigh?

  • I’m going to guess somewhere in the 230’s presently. Thanks to 20+ years of eating disorders, I avoid scales because if I measure myself in numbers, I’ll go crazy(ier)… I have gained so much weight in the last year with stress/emotional eating, that I woke up and realized I had to get my ass back to yoga and stop eating everything or I will put myself right back in old self-destructive cycles. 
  • I could be all sad about the weight gain, but now I have a butt. I never had a butt before, more like a vague suggestion of a butt, or perhaps the bottom of my back got into a fight and decided it was time to go their separate ways… Now, I have a butt. It’s there, I can feel it, and I admire it a lot.
  • This was supposed to be TMI, so I’m going there. Seriously, I look at my butt in the mirror all the time, I say hello…I got a thing for butts – my old blog was “MahButtItches” and my self fulfilling prophecy 2 years ago was “The Butt will Grow” I should have been more specific that “the rest of me will not” 

Do you have any piercings?

  • Yep – I have 6 on one ear and 5 on the other. I also have a nose ring. Until it eroded my gums, I had a tongue ring as well. I am currently itching to pierce my tongue again as well as snake bites, but I doubt I’ll do it. Because I want more tattoos. Also, I can’t shake the notion I’m kind of old for impulse piercings…impulse tattoos on the other hand….

What’s your favourite drink?

  • When I’m being “healthy”, water with lemon or oranges or cucumber or strawberries or whatever. Produce water.
  • In the realm of alcohol, I am an avid IPA nut (which according to research, makes me a psychopath, so watch yourself), I love mojitos too, and margaritas…I tend to avoid liquor now because I end up drunk, naked, and occasionally howling at the moon on a roof…or puking in a car, or puking anywhere…LOOOTS of puking. Actually, I just stay away from Vodka…it’s just bad news bears. 
  • So…hot.

What’s you favourite song?

What’s your zodiac sign?

  • Libra

How long does it take you to shower?

  • If I’m running late, as usual – 5-10 minutes
  • If I have time, I can be in there 45 minutes…well, probably more bath that way, I love baths. I dump all sorts of good smelly shit in there (shit being of the colloquial sense, I do not bathe in feces) and I soak my troubles away

What’s your favourite show?

  • I finished Sons of Anarchy not that long ago, and I am still in love with Jax Teller… #whyIAmSingle – I am in fictional relationships with fictional characters OR vocalists of assorted bands…Just call me Mrs. Maynard James Keenan, if you will…

What’s your favourite band?

  • You know…this has made me realize how useless the word favourite is…”too many to count” would really suggest I do not have a favorite, in that there are so many I love equally? I don’t know, just seems a useless word. Or at least, for me. I guess I do not have a favorite, but here’s an insane amount of bands:
  • TOOL, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, Stone Sour, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Mudvayne, Portishead/Beth Gibbons, Coheed & Cambria, Notorious B.I.G, WuTang Clan, Eminem, Katy Perry, Machinehead, Trivium, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, King 810, holy fuck I sound nuts hahahahahahahahaha
  • Independent Artists (making this separate because I really want to emphasize artists changing the paradigm of music…although Puscifer is the same, but I’m babbling): Widetrack L.A.W (Love All Ways)Leo Moracchioli – Frog Leap Studios
  • how about this: I love everything music except country. Hard, hard pass on country. I just can’t even.

Where do you go when you’re sad?

  • I go to my therapist, her name is music. I play songs that echo my emotions so I can feel, accept, and release. Then, like my mind, I change the track and move on. 
  • Sometimes, if things are really tough, I go to my other therapist, my car. I play music and I drive for hours to nowhere. As the scenes change before my eyes, I can let the scenes change inside as well. 
  • Shanteel Yoga Sanctuary where my breath and movement can cultivate my true nature: calm in the storm. 
  • My Journal or blog to give voice to whatever needs a voice.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

  • Ha, how presumptive, you think I get ready in the morning…
  • Seeing as I tend to wander the earth in my pajams (unless I sleep in my clothes), there is never really “getting ready”. You could call this lazy, I would call it perpetually prepared. 
  • That’s a lie, I call it lazy too. AND might I add, comfortable 😉

Have you ever been in a physical fight?

  • Yes..I used to be pretty violent. My walls lost a lot. 

What turns you on?

  • People who can introduce new perspectives, HUMOR (that should be first, oh well, we’re not deleting here), people who aren’t afraid or ashamed of their scars/bullshit/crazy/whatever, authenticity
  • Neck kisses/bites
  • RESPECT
  • Did I say funny? Funny people. Funny people are the best. I wish I was funny 😛

What turns you off?

  • Idiots, Stupidity, Ignorance, SMALL TALK (EW), disrespect… actually take everything I said above and make it opposite. there you go.

Qualities you look for in a partner?

  • Hmm…seeing as necrophilia is wholly frowned upon, I will go with a pulse and respiration. 

Loud or soft music?

  • Loud baby, if it’s too loud, you’re too old…unless it gets too loud, in which case, I’d prefer soft. It really just depends on how I am using the music. If I’m driving? Sunny day? Windows down and blast that good shit.

Favourite quote?

  • “No one is more dangerously insane then one who is sane all of the time” ~Alan Watts (AKA my dead philosopher husband…#WhyIAmSingle)

Favourite actor?

  • If you followed my blog MahButtItches, you will know this answer very clearly would be Jeff Goldblum. 
  • Also: Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jonny Depp, Mike Myers, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Omg, whatever, all of them…

Do you have any fears?

  • My only fear is not having lived before I die. Seeing as I am dying every moment I’m living, I suppose I am deathly afraid of spiders, and weird creepy crawly things, and small rodents and whatnot. I just don’t need to be surprised by something in my mouth or bed or whatever that I wasn’t expecting.
  • That sounds SO dirty. No delete. Also accurate. I don’t think I’d appreciate waking up with a random penis in my mouth either. Buy me dinner first, sheesh.

What’s the last thing that made you cry?

  • I just finished reading The Book of Joy, and reading the Tibetan children describing leaving their families behind to journey to India…I’m going to start crying now. There was this one little boy talking about saying goodbye to his Mother…these kids are 5…his father brought him to India and said he would be right back and he never saw him again.  Can you imagine? 
  • I also weirdly teared up during Thor: Ragnarok last night when Thor was talking to Sir Anthony Hopkins as Odin and he was saying how Thor is stronger than him…
  • If you think that’s weird, I sobbed, and I mean SOBBED when King Kong died..
  • I’m vewwwy speshul

Last time you said you loved someone?

  • 5 minutes ago when I said goodbye to my friend
  • Then I kissed my wee man and told him I love him too. 
  • Aww fuck it, whoever you are reading this: I love you too

Last book you read?

  • The Book of Joy – Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams

The book you’re currently reading?

  • Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris
  • The Yamas & Niyamas – Deborah Adele
  • The Bhagavad Gita – (actually just bought Ram Dass’ version because I wanted to see his thoughts on this…previously I’ve been reading a passage at a time and letting it marinate, but his is called Paths to God Living the Bhagavad Gita)
  • The Dhammapada (kind of same as Bhagavad Gita, I’m reading a passage every so often and letting it marinate
  • A Course in Miracles

Last show you watched?

  • I guess Sons of Anarchy, oh and Last Week Tonight – it’s like the only show I actually watch with regularity until Westworld FINALLY comes back and of course Game of Thrones

Last place you were?

  • I was at this super awesome adorable wonderful cafe – Down To Earth Cafe – all local/organic food, amazing coffee, it’s just so cool. I have a Sunday Breakfast/Brunch date there with my soul sistah who is going to be joining me on this writing journey as an author on this here blog, so woot! That’s what we were nomming and talking over today.

Last sport you played?

  • Does yoga count as a sport? If not, I have no frigging clue. Probably mini golf. Is that a sport? 

Who’s the last person you talked to?
My wee man – which I mean, my youngest son, not some sort of dirty double entendre or anything. 

The last song I sang?

  • I was just belting out “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes, but covered by Leo Moracchioli. Prior to that was I’m Too Sexy…

Favorite chat up line?

  • WTF is a chat up line? I talk to people on Facebook Messenger and text a lot. I have snapchat, I use it randomly.

Do you have a crush?

  • Uhh…. I would love to have an Orange Crush right about now. 

The relationship between you and the person you last texted?

  • My soul Sistah!

Favourite food?

  • See again with the favorite thing. All the foods. Except the foods I don’t like.
  • Italian especially
  • Although I can’t forget Sushi
  • Omg and Indian – ALL THE KORMAS
  • I’m hungry now

Place you want to visit?

  • It would probably be easier to say where I do not want to visit and that would be an uncleaned port-a-potty. Ugh.

What’s the last time you kissed someone?

  • I kiss my children on the daily, yo
  • I think this was meant to be more scintillating, and in that case, I don’t know, probably a couple weeks ago? Maybe? 

Last time you were insulted?

  • Uhh…probably same timeline as above. We are all shittalkers, yo. Some of us are more honest/verbal….

Favorite sweets?

  • All of the sweets – except cake. I’m not much of a cake person, I don’t know why. Unless it’s rum cake, because that is delicious.

What instruments do you play?

  • I am an avid skin flutist
  • I’m just kidding

Favourite piece of jewellery?

  • I wear a mala pretty frequently, when I don’t forget to put it on. 

Last time you hung out with anyone?

  • This morning, cause i’m super popular and cool and whatnot
  • Who should answer these questions?
    Your Mom.

Women’s Day (Part 3 – Tips)

Do you need some tips to get started? 

  • Do it.
  • If you are not sure how to do it, ask someone who does it
  • Make time to do it, and do not negotiate with yourself
  • If you negotiate with yourself, you will lose
  • Do not be attached to an outcome.
  • Success is not measured in money
  • Success is measured in your smile
  • The act of doing it makes it – if you want to write, write. Viola, you are a writer
  • Your self-talk is your gateway to success
  • If you tell yourself a failure, hopeless, etc. you WILL ALWAYS PROVE YOURSELF RIGHT
  • You will always prove yourself right
  • You will always prove yourself right
  • Everything you think and say become self-fulfilling prophecies
  • “If I only had the time” will merit you always wishing you had the time
  • “If I had more money” will merit you always wishing you had the money
  • The Universe can answer questions; no one can answer a statement
  • People can answer questions; no one can answer a statement
  • Nothing is more powerful than a question
  • People who answer their own questions are geniuses
  • Genius is the ability to create what does not exist in this world
  • Anything you create is an expression of your genius
  • Nothing beyond doing is required to be a genius

Part 1

Part 2