The Selfish Reason for Keeping Your Friends and Family Alive

I am working on starting my own business as a writer. Like really doing it. Really writing and really putting myself out there – my name and my truth. For it to be received without freaking out about how it’s going to be received. And without even knowing yet exactly how I’m going to do it, but trusting in divine guidance and inspiration.

So I am taking an awesome business course for entrepreneurs, (B-School!) and it’s really awesome – I get more amazed every day by Marie and how I aligned I am with her and her content. Like I feel like she was made for me and that this was totally meant to be.

And as I’m going through one of the lessons, she mentions some things that the course will not be covering and which I would need an accountant and attorney for. And I briefly paused to imagine that for a moment. Me, hire these people? Who would I hire? And instantly my mind jumped to Heather, my attorney friend. I’d hire her in a heartbeat.

Except I can’t, because she killed herself five years ago.

I think about her a lot, maybe seemingly disproportionately for what a brief moment she was in my life. I spent about 10 days with her in St. Croix, when I couchsurfed at her seaside studio. I had not ever met her prior to that, and after that we hung out only a handful of times more. Eventually I left the island and we kept in touch only occasionally through email and Facebook.

I wish I had done so much more. She had done so much for me – not just hosting me on Couchsurfing. The fact that she had even shown up – she was a new member on the site. I was on St. Croix with nowhere to go, and we made arrangements through the website for her to pick me up from the grocery store and take me back to her place. And that’s exactly what she did. She arrived in her silver Cavalier, my knight in shining armor. I stayed there for ten days, and we poured our hearts out to each other over dinner and wine under the stars. We went hiking, she lent me her snorkeling gear for days when she was at work. She also introduced me to my next adventure, interning at a local organic farm, which totally changed my life. Seriously, she was an angel.

But she was also deeply troubled, some of which she revealed during our long talks, but it became more apparent over the next while. One day I received a voice message from her that was terrifying. She was heavily drugged and I could just barely make out she was in the hospital. It was agonizing to wait for someone who would take me to her.

It was then I learned that she was suicidal, and had been for some time. She had taken pills and crashed her car into a tree – on purpose. At the hospital she asked me to get some razors for her.

It was distressing. The worst part was that I felt completely helpless. I wanted to save her and yet it was also like she was a mirror for me (I was also suicidal, just in denial about it), and I just sat there dumbly, or said some glib positive thing. I could not give her “me”, the horrible honesty.

Later I talked it over with a good friend, asking advice if there was anything I could do. He said there were short-term things, sure, but what he had learned is that if someone is intent on doing it, they end up doing it.

And that’s just what happened.

But I just don’t think it had to happen.

I don’t know really. It’s not for me to say what another’s journey of the soul is. And there are times I have thought maybe suicide is a better option than living a horrible life — that the negative karma of that would set you back more than just cutting your losses and bailing now.

But what I do know is that, I still need her. If she were here, she could be my attorney.

But I wasn’t there for her. I didn’t do enough to keep her alive. I didn’t reach out to her those times when it would occur to me so inconveniently, right before I was about to fall asleep.

Maybe it wouldn’t be worth it to her – stay alive to be my attorney some day? Please. How egotistical can I be?

But maybe there are others who needed her too.

That’s why, ultimately, I am an advocate of staying alive until the moment God calls you back, and not a moment sooner. Don’t do it at your own hand, because you don’t know enough.

Like, what if you did it, and when you got to the other side, in your after life review you were shown some amazing thing that would have happened if you had just stayed around a little longer? Maybe made some other choice?

Life is a game of choices, always unfolding.

Don’t be in a hurry to end it. Maybe instead, end the choices you have been making that got you to that point. And make a new, better choice — something that will lead to a life you want to live. Make that choice every day.

I miss my friend. I wish I had done much more for her. She helped me so much, and I know if she were still alive, she still would be helping me.

We all need each other. We all have a piece of the puzzle, and together, we make up the big picture. Don’t take yourself out of it, and don’t let your friends and family take themselves out either. They need us, and we need them.

Life depends on it.



The Giving of Pleasure and the Pleasure of Giving

There is a real customer service problem in this culture. Service workers hate the customers they are serving, and as a result, give them terrible service. Rude attitudes, poor communication, inattention to detail and delivery of inferior product make it clear that the person who is supposed to be helping you is not interested in helping you at all. They are only there for the paycheck, and to get a paycheck they just have to show up and clock in and be a body. But where is the spirit of service?

Last night I went to what used to be my favorite grocery store, for the last time, after the third negative experience with them within a month. The first time I brought home a packaged salad greens mix which turned out to be slimy. The second time I brought home a package of raw cashews, supposedly good for another six months – when I opened them they were rancid.

These are minor items, but they are also a quality control issue, and unfortunately they are not the only instances I’ve experienced there. It’s actually happened quite a lot over the years – the berries turn out to be moldy or the peaches shrivel and never ripen.

In the past I was willing to just let it go, thinking it’s probably too much for their staff to keep tabs on it all. Then I started bringing the spoiled food back, thinking it would at least help them to know about it, so they could pull it from their shelves and prevent other people from buying it. I also really hated to waste money on spoiled produce, which is really too expensive to just write off. It was $8.51 for that box of rancid cashews. Am I just supposed to lose that?

Sometimes it does feel like that. For all I know, they don’t pull the spoiled product from their shelves – maybe they *want* people to keep buying it, knowing that most people aren’t going to bother returning it. If the store doesn’t sell it, then the store loses, so better to push those losses onto the customer, right?

Where is the spirit of service?

Last night was the last straw. I went to happy hour at the store’s tavern, a pint of craft brew and an artisan slice for $6. Maybe I shouldn’t have been doing that in the first place, it’s not in line with my health goals, which are necessary to achieve my life goals, but sometimes I still like to think I can do normal things, just have a pizza and beer while I am composing my grocery list. It seemed like a nice idea.

Apparently that really isn’t allowed though, because I felt sick all night after. Or maybe I felt sick because of the bad vibes from the service worker, from the moment I arrived at the counter. He delayed acknowledging me, even though he wasn’t doing anything else. He seemed like he didn’t know what I was talking about when I mentioned happy hour. When I told him what I wanted, he brought a sample of it instead of a pint, and then proceeded to wait on the next person in line – who was also an employee. He had to be reminded to ring up the employee discount for that guy (yes, it was another employee that was cutting me off, why am i not surprised). I waited through that, then when it was finally my turn again, I too had to coach him how to ring up the items correctly.

First he rang up just the pint at full price. I mentioned the happy hour thing, so he took a dollar off. I asked if that included the pizza (which is what the happy hour thing is – a pint and a slice), oh no, then rang up a slice at full price. I asked why the total was so high, it’s supposed to be $6 for both, he then said it was tax! Even though I could see how he rang up the items on the screen. I am slow at math, but I knew it wasn’t “tax”, unless it’s a stupidity tax. Finally he got a woman who may have been a manager to ring it up instead, correctly, though she looked just as annoyed. He also motioned to throw away my receipt, which I had to further correct him by taking it from him – I would need something on my side in case the next employee, who would be getting my pizza, turned out to be just as uncooperative. Indeed he was almost as rude as the beer guy, and i finally rushed away to find a seat.

The things tasted good, but at that point, enjoyment was gone. It was not a happy hour (or ten minutes) at all.

I briefly considered sending a message to management about what I experienced, but something these “I want to talk to the manager” people don’t realize is that the manager is just as bad. It’s one place where the playing field is level, and manager and employee are equals – they all talk shit about the customers. The manager hates the customer just as much as the counter service person does. Attitudes are contagious in a culture. This is a company culture problem, and its epidemic in corporate America.

I don’t know why it’s allowed. Even though they are a local, family owned grocer, business has really boomed in the past ten years. They’ve expanded the store with many additional more, including the tavern. So maybe they are just too big. Maybe they are just hiring whoever will show up, whoever needs the paycheck, regardless of whether they actually earn it by providing good service. Or maybe the company doesn’t treat employees any better than the customers. Maybe they have lost sight of the customers as people, and now just see them as a sea of faces (and dollar signs). Maybe they don’t notice losing one or two.

Because they have lost me. I don’t know how much money I have spent there over the years, certainly thousands, and I was happy to. It’s such a quirky cute store – colorful painted murals on the walls, a greenhouse full of flowers when you first walk in. Mexican stockboys who sang “you are so beautiful” once when I was drifting through the produce aisles late one night. It’s close to my house, too. I didn’t mind if all that meant sometimes I also had to wait ten minutes at the chocolate counter before someone showed up to help me. It was just one slightly annoying quirk of an otherwise delightfully quirky store.

But seriously, that guy was an asshole, and there’s no accountability for it. The manager only bothered enough to ring up the transaction correctly, but she wasn’t any nicer about it than he was.

And you know what, I get it. It’s Monday at 5, and they’re still at work. They don’t want to be there, it’s no one’s dream job, it’s not even an ideal job. They are there because it’s what they have to do to make money, to get by, but their heart isn’t in it. In that way, the economic system is a disservice to them, so no wonder they pass on the disservice to those on the other side of the counter.


We are all service workers in some capacity, whether we are serving customers in the public or private business clients – whoever we interact with and exchange with, we are providing a service to them, for which we are paid. That is part of the system we live in. The challenge is to really embody the spirit of service – to be treated the way you would like to be treated – not only because your life depends on it, but also your LIFE.  We are all customers too; the customer is *you*.

This world is all about give and take, finding balance between the opposite polarities. The yin-yang – but they are mirrors of each other, and together they are one whole cycle. And even though it may seem like the customer has the power, “the customer is always right”, because they have the money, in reality the service worker has the power, too.

Oftentimes the reason a customer is irate is because the service is poor. The customer feels uncared for, or worse yet, ripped off. This is usually due to a simple miscommunication, but it really can be true that the service worker just doesn’t care and has let the ball drop. At that point, some motivation for caring has to be infused into the service worker, before it turns into a vicious cycle, where the customer reports on the bad service, fueling the employee’s hatred of the customer and giving even worse service in response.

The bigger a company gets, the greater the chance of this happening, as the people working with customers are now employees who are not personally invested. The company I work at now started very small and personal, and had a personal connection to everyone they did business with. That’s why people liked them, and the company grew.

But then, the personal connection was dropped. In fact the company just changed its name to something generic, losing the personal name that was part of whay attracted people in the first place. There are now many employees, and not everyone shares the same values. But those values are key. They are what built the business in the first place. A business is not in business without customers. Making your customer’s day better is going to make your day better too.

I work the phones in customer service, and people are always remarking how good I am at it, and I always joke in my head, “it’s because I have phone sex with them.” No really though, i become one with them. When they call, they know they have someone here who’s on their side. I’m listening to them – sometimes for very lengthy diatribes, though not often. But I will listen. I also respond in a way that inspires confidence. I speak with an authoritative, yet bright and friendly voice. They know they are going to be taken care of. I can feel their energy shift, when they start out angry and ready to launch an attack, and I’ve effectively disarmed them just with the right words and tone. I can hear their smile by the time we hang up, and they can go on with their day, and hopefully it’s a bit better. That ripples out into the world.

That is what I enjoy, that is the pleasure of giving good service.

And what a pleasure it is to receive, too.

For example, I also got pizza for lunch today, opting to walk around the corner instead of driving home like i usually do. With another polar vortex obliterating the roads and a mild hangover, it wasn’t a hard sell. Especially when i walked in to Russo’s and it was staffed by a guy who has always been friendly to me. A chat about the roads, and i had to correct him too on my order (this must be a test for me to speak up) but it was nbd. When i was leaving he called me “honey”.

I loved it. And i loved every bite of that pizza. I felt good again. I was more than just another customer to him. He definitely didn’t hate me.

I wondered if maybe the rude worker last night was secretly doing a service to me, by scaring me away so that I never return, because pizza and beer are not in alignment with my life goals. Maybe. That’s how I’m taking it anyway, to get to the next level.

I’ve decided to start going to Harvest Health for all my groceries from now on instead. It’s more expensive, but it’s also all organic. It’s still local and small, and I’ve just moved into a house that’s closer to it.

Best of all, there’s a cashier there that is always laughing at me. I think it’s because the first time he saw me is when I tripped walking through the door. He hasn’t stopped laughing since. But you know what… it makes me laugh too. Last time i asked him what’s so funny and he said he’s just smiling. That’s good, i smiled too.

I’ll pay extra for that. ❤

What can Be Done about adult children with addiction issues?

Addiction is an illness. And when a family member is ill, it is the family’s responsibility to support that person back to wellness. That is a real family value. But what happens in the case of addiction, where that family is the cause of the illness?

Denial and blame-shifting are the new family values. “Nothing can be done”, because nothing was done for the child in the first place. Lazy, neglectful, selfish and violent parents “did the best we could” to look like good parents, but this delusion was, like everything else they did, really about serving them only. The child’s formative years were lost to his parent’s own forays into la-la lands of their own addictions, to infidelity, alcohol, shopping, junk food, and trying to put out a public image of being good people while being terrible behind closed doors. What else could we possibly expect out of them?

We can expect lots of gaslighting and gossip, and in that case it would indeed be better to do nothing. What could be more maddening than a parent who set you up for a lifetime of slavery, now telling you to get over it and “be happy”? Oh, they want you to invite them over to your new house too, no doubt so they can make lots of subtle disparaging statements about how they can’t believe you turned out like this and why don’t you get married and have children for god’s sake?

The only reason I haven’t disappeared from their lives completely is because of my nephew. It is so much easier to build someone up from childhood than to try to rebuild them after their downward spiral, especially since the family is intent on doing nothing but watching and commentating and occasionally trying to get them back under their control, and failing.

Here’s how you build up a child: love him. Make sure he always knows he matters. Encourage his interests and development of his abilities. Accept his unique spirit and love him for it. Spend one on one time with him. Be real with him. Fill his life with positive things. Let him feel safe being honest with you. Let him know you’ll catch him when he falls.

That is good parenting. Those are the patterns that will set him up to succeed in life. A child can only go so far by their own spirit when the world around him is trying to devour that spirit. A good support system MUST be put into place. It is only the future of the world we are talking about here. Do not abandon them and let drugs become the most attractive option in their life, or the devil will waltz right in and turn the future into hell.

Make no mistake, it is a spiritual war we are fighting (or I am fighting, rather). I was put on the spot last night and asked what I have done that’s positive for the adult child with addiction. Here’s what I have done:

I left Puerto Rico where I was living and lived at his house for 3 weeks. Partly because I didn’t have housing for myself yet (and god knows the upstanding parents wouldn’t help with this) and partly because it gave me an in to be that close to him. One major card I had to play was food. I made him breakfast lunch and dinner, healthy, real food with protein, not the cheap carbs that he’d been subsisting on all his life. I put spells for healing into the food. I also made him take high quality vitamins. He told me he had never felt so good.

Unfortunately I had to cede some territory to the devil, and I moved out, but just a few blocks away in the ghetto. I tried to resume cooking for him, but it slowed down a bit. I had to cede even more territory to the devil, as a crackwhore (honest description) showed up shortly after I moved in. I moved out the day after she told me she was evicted from her last place for assaulting her roommate, “even though I didn’t even knock the glasses off her FACE” (I was wearing glasses at the time).

I forget who said it, but i was very inspired by one of those elites who said “control the food and you control the people.” Of course they meant it for nefarious purposes, but the same principle applies to healing. If you want him to heal, you have to feed him right. My parents don’t know a thing about nutrition and my mom thinks not cooking is a funny joke. So of course, to them, “there’s nothing you can do.”

Ideally we’d get him on a juicing protocol, where his body is getting flooded with the freshest nutrients possible, which would detox his body and rebuild it.

We also need to get him out of the ghetto, which will require some honest self-reflection of how he got there in the first place. Kicking him out of the house at midnight and telling him to “never came back” because he didn’t want to help you with your new TV just sent him right into the open, welcoming arms of the devil. You made the devil look good. Congratulations, well done parenting.

Housing is increasingly expensive and even the poor are being priced out of the ghetto. I recently helped him get a job at the company I work at, I don’t know if it was the right thing to do or not because the job is beneath his abilities and he is not happy about it — and spends most of his money on alcohol to deal with it. He says he has a goal of getting a house, I don’t know that he knows how to make that happen (he does know how to build one though).

Housing, food. These things are so basic, and yes, no longer the legal obligations of the parents to provide. But legality and the right thing are not always the same thing. Of course, no one can live under my parent’s roof either, because, it’s their roof. They have to be in control of everything that takes place under it, even though they’ve proven themselves inept. The best thing would be if they surrender their stubborn pride and ask, “what can I do?”

I have heard two people who are basically good-hearted, but lost their brothers to addiction, say “nothing can be done”. I’m not listening to that for the same reason I’m not reading Hillary Clinton’s book: I don’t take advice from losers.

Because if you are saying “nothing can be done” and pretending you are a great parent while watching your offspring spiral into destruction, and you cannot see the pain and sadness in their eyes, and it’s only their problem (or worse, you try to make yourself out to be the victim here), you deserve to lose them.

My take on Dairy and Meat

Is dairy “good” or “bad”? It’s a complex issue. Not as simple as saying yes or no. And sometimes my feelings and opinions change with experience, or as new information comes in. One way today doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be the opposite way tomorrow.

There’s no dispute that mother’s milk is the primary and best food for babies. Then where and why does milk become such a problem?

First — all milk is not equal. In fact, most of it is not really milk anymore — it’s been corrupted by modern mass manufacturing processes to the point where it really shouldn’t be called milk. It doesn’t function like milk in the body, not in the sense of how we all think of it naturally from infancy, and that is to grow our bodies, and even heal them. There is an innate trust in the goodness of milk, which is what makes the mass deception even more disgusting. What is being sold in stores and called “milk” and that we are told is good for the body, in fact does the opposite – it causes and contributes to a disease state in the body.

This has been established in alternative health circles for decades now, and the response has been a renaissance in local small farms, who produce real milk available to anyone who wants to come to the farm and get it. You can’t find it in stores or restaurants, except in a handful of states in the US.

Ten years ago I tried an experiment with real milk, I bought a cow-share and went to a farm every week to pick it up, I learned how to make butter and yogurt. I used soured milk for skin care. I also tried again about three years ago, with approximately the same results. Even though the milk was absolutely delicious, and safe, my body still rejected it. I still had inflammation, acne, excess mucus, and gut dysbiosis. My body was not digesting it, and I had to give it up.

The key is understanding my body, how it responds and making choices that are best for it. There is no one diet that fits all. For others, and maybe myself if I had started drinking it in early childhood, this kind of milk could indeed be the answer. Milk (real milk) is a superfuel, it will grow what you put it into. Put it into a healthy body and it will grow a healthy body. Put it into a body with dysbiosis and poor digestion, and it will feed the infection. Unfortunately I was in the latter category.

Recently I have experimented with store-bought yogurt and butter and ghee, as these are recommended as the most healing dairy foods. The mainstream has wised up to some of the deception, and you can now find grass-fed, organic dairy in some stores (it has still been pasteurized and homogenized — denatured —  though). My body is still reacting to these like they are allergens, so instead I am getting probiotics from raw sauerkraut, fermented vege juice shots, and I am going to try my hand at making raw cashew yogurt. For oil, I find olive oil to be good ol’ reliable.

Trendy and nwo-catchphrase as it is, it seems eating plant-based is best for me at this point. I’ve been drinking fresh celery juice every morning, and the detox process is well underway. I try to eat one meal a day, maybe two, and keep it as simple as possible. I experimented a month ago with eating rare steaks, but digestion still was not going well. To be honest, and this is way TMI, I prefer food to move fairly quickly through my body, and I prefer the type of stool my body makes when I eat mostly salads and vegetables. It moves quickly through my body, the stool is in model form, and releasing it is a sensual pleasure. That alone is enough to make me stay on track with my diet, and make me rethink if I really want to eat a food that might taste good but is going to make my body bloated, constipated, and deprive me of the pleasure of a really good shit. And a pat on the back for a job well done.

I don’t know if I’ll go back to eating dairy again once my body is in balance. (Obviously commercial dairy is out of the question for the rest of my life). I might experiment with making yogurt and butter. But here’s the thing. When I went to the farm three years ago, I came up close to a cow there, and she didn’t seem happy. But at the other farm previously, well I don’t really remember now. It may be again on a case by case basis. But the question I ask myself — are we wrongly enslaving these animals? Has their time on Earth come to a close? Or is this a symbiotic relationship somehow, maybe in ways that aren’t fully disclosed, in which cows benefit from giving as we do from receiving? Provided they are well cared for, of course, and not just being used for a profit by a middleman who doesn’t care about the cows or the people consuming their products.

Another thing is the shock that can arise from coming face to face with death. I remember during the farm tour the farmer mentioned that one of the cows was going to go into the freezer soon. She said it so casually, and why not? It’s a fact of every day life for them, they are used to it. I remember when I was very young I lived on a farm, and one day I saw something that seared an image into my consciousness that remains to this day: one of our cows was hanging upside down in the driveway near the barn, sliced down the middle and blood draining out of it. It was a very harsh reality. Why was I shown that?

I know death is a fact, we all die, this world is temporary, life moves in cycles and death is just another one of them. But still — there was something about it that was so unsavory. It was somber and messy. It was, quite frankly, not normal. As an adult I realize just how unusual it is for a child to see something like this. The vast majority of people are buying food from stores and restaurants — not that that’s necessarily a good thing, but still. Does that automatically mean the old ways are better? Does what worked in the past apply to these changing times?

For me, I just feel better about eating plants — even though they are sentient too, it’s different. Maybe it really is evolution. We are moving away from enslaving animals and using and killing them for food, which may be a mirror for humanity itself, and hopefully finding the way to an ethical, sustainable future.






Confessions of a modern day economic slave

Sometimes I don’t think I can stand another minute of it. But at least I’m not actually standing – the exhaustion of this job is purely mental and emotional, the dampering of my spirit as I take on this “role” instead of a real life.

I applied for this job, a year ago now, and though I look back in regret for the past year wasted in soullessness, dysfunction and monotony, I also don’t know what else I could have done. What else will pay the bills? Is having your own apartment that isn’t a slum so much to ask?

My parents, during the rare occasions we talk, ask me how my job is. It’s small talk, they don’t really care, so they don’t know it’s dreadful. They don’t know me at all, they never knew how to care for me. All they know is I’m expected to get in line, just like they did, in the order of the ages. And if I don’t – there’s something wrong with me, and it’s out to the curb with me, just like the rest of the trash.

I am in the spin cycle of the machine. And I don’t know how to get out. I don’t know if I want to – I don’t want to live in the wilderness, exposed and vulnerable to the elements. I also don’t want to be under someone else’s roof, under their rules, where they feel at liberty to treat me as awful as they are.

I don’t expect anyone to rescue me. I know no one is coming, and if they did I would only be suspicious. I’ve learned my lesson. People are here only to take, even when they give it’s so they can get something in return. Greed is the name of the game, everyone is obsessed with money, power, sex, and having more and more and more of it.

But it will all be over soon – the world as we know it is ending, and that knowledge, the hope it gives me, is the only thing that keeps me going.

The Spiritual Practice of Solo Travel

I can’t believe I’m in Vegas. AGAIN. How and why did this happen?

First, some back story. I’ve managed to hold a corporate job for the past year, including 13 days of PTO. I had written previously about using my remaing time for a stay-cation health retreat, but I really wasn’t that excited about it. Especially since my previous travel plans had fallen through earlier in the year, using my last few precious moments of freedom to sit at home all week because it’s too cold to go out felt unbearably depressing.

This is traditionally a difficult time of year for me. The darkness seems interminable when it starts so early in the evening. During spring, summer, and early autumn, when i get out of work i can go outside and pretend i have a life. I can ride my bike, walk, see the world, until around 10pm.

And it’s warm, I can just walk right out without thinking about socks, boots, layers, hat and gloves, if my hair is dry enough or if i am going to catch pneumonia.

Escapism (especially to a warm place) is one of my favorite past times, and I am regularly browsing plane tickets. I noticed a while ago that flights to Arizona had low fares, and kept it in the back of my mind. I also was aware of a breathwork training workshop in AZ mentioned by our facilitator, but that was like $7,000, so I promptly forgot about it until just now when I was recalling syncs that led to this.

Then one day while treasure-hunting at a thrift shop (another favorite past time), really suffering and seeking escape, I found what I didn’t know I was looking for: a book on Sedona Hiking. I also found a day pack (in unused condition) with embroidered owls (my darlings) on it, and a light water bottle (also new with tags).

Right then and there, my journey had begun. This trip was inspired from the start.

I went home and booked a flight to Phoenix. Remember in mythology – that’s the winged being that rises from the ashes. It is a symbol of rebirth. It is also a being of fire – a symbol of Lucifer (the light bearer).

The roundtrip ticket total was $141.40. I mention that not only because it’s a shockingly low price, actually making travel accessible, but also because it’s a double number. One forty one forty. I am always noticing numbers and their meanings. (That will come up again later too).

The next day I began searching Airbnb for accommodations. The way to use this site is to not overthink it – go with your gut feeling. (This is true about anyone really). I set my parameters and the right place was returned in search results, and I booked without hesitation. The number 140 came up again – and again in double form – two payments of $140 each paid for the room (with ensuite bathroom) in a lovely home in the mountains, hosted by a lovely woman that I felt a soul group connection with (and which was later validated when we met – more on that later too).

This was two weeks before the trip, which didn’t give me much time to plan, but I wanted a flexible itinerary anyway. I read the book and took notes on the hikes that felt best for me. I researched a few forums and added activities like an outer space observatory. I added a trip to the Grand Canyon and researched a few mysteries within it. One of those is the discovery of Egyptian artifacts in a cave which has since been suppressed — but my curiosity was definitely piqued so I wrote “Grand Canyon/Egyptian stuff” in for Monday, which actually turned out to be exactly what happened — more on that later too.

First I want to address something — the remarkable fact that I am a female traveling solo. You know, I really don’t watch much YouTube but shortly after booking this trip a video was recommended to me about thousands of people who disappear in national parks. I knew I should not watch it but I ended up spending all morning watching and reading about this fascinating, terrifying subject. I have my own theories about what’s going on, but ultimately the reason I didn’t let it stop me from going on my own is this: being with other people did not prevent people from disappearing. In fact, that’s how they were reported missing: the other people in their family or group just noticed they were suddenly gone. So being with people did not make a difference in these cases.

The next thing to address is that I am never really alone. No one is, whether aware of it or not. I am just aware, in fact my consciousness is tapped into several different areas beyond the mundane reality of every day life. One example is I belong to a community of hundreds of thousands of solo female travelers, and I see and interact with their posts on Facebook every day. They have the most gorgeous pictures, most interesting stories, most valuable information, most resilient and supportive attitudes, and they flood my home page with it. Unless I adjust my settings, I am inundated with posts from people like me, all day every day. It’s solo female travel, but I am definitely not the only female doing this.

Another place my consciousness has been tapped into for several years now is a spiritual community that openly discusses topics like spirit guides/angels, mediumship, psychic intuition, manifestation, ritual craft magic, dream work (such as lucid dreaming and dream journaling), energy work (such as moving earth energy through your body), tarot, numerology, astrology, past life regression, and a lot more. Not only the sense of community but the deep knowledge I have remembered about the truth of this world (from a spiritual perspective) and using spiritual tools to navigate it, plus understanding the soul and Source and connection to it, and its connection to all of life, means I am literally never alone. I am tuned into my cosmic connection, and the abundance of assistance available for the asking, and here’s how it plays out on Earth, in addition to the above –

  • The family that i found in 2012 who saved me from homelessness is helping me again by catsitting during this trip.
  • The day of departure i was working and the company owner closed up early, at 2:30 in the afternoon – giving extra hours to not only finish packing but also get my house in beautiful shape so i can return to rest, not stress.
  • I also had time to make juice and a stir fry with the last of the food in my fridge and do a protection ritual with The Morrigan – using an old Tektite i was guided to (and which was originally given to me be a soul group member).
  • I waited in no lines at the airport, and at security i noticed a number on my bin – 658. 6:58 is my birth time.
  • The license plate on my rental car has 93 on it. 9/3 is my birth date.
  • More numerology – the exit to my Airbnb is 333 and address is 444. These are consciousness vortexes in themselves.
  • A hiker I passed on the trail in Sedona gave me an invaluable tip where to go (climbing off trail) to reach a very special place, which was so rewarding.
  • It’s so rare i find someone i can talk to – but my Airbnb host and i had a three hour conversation about highly personal stuff that i don’t even share with people i have known for years. We also have been going through the same ‘stuff’ and have the same values, which is also pretty rare and validation of our soul group connection. We felt immediately comfortable with each other and she gave me such a good hug. She also gave me a free pass to the Grand Canyon which was expired after today (the day I had originally written it down for).

Which brings me to my next point. Honestly i did not really like the vibe of the Grand Canyon. I never felt a desire to go there, but being so close it seemed the thing to do. But i felt creeped out there. I do not think it is a *natural* wonder though i don’t have access to my memories of it right now. I am sure it was an ancient mining operation. It has been mined in recent history too, and don’t we know history always repeats…

So onto the Egyptian stuff. While researching Cactus folklore i found a blog post about a priestess who wants to plant more cactus where she lives at the Temple of Sekhmet. Which it turned out is just around the corner.

Okay, it was a 300 mile detour (each way), but this is why it’s such a blessing to travel alone – you just decide to do it. But of course I’m not really alone, when i was having second thoughts about whether i should go, a girl walked in front of me wearing a hat that had Las Vegas printed on it, and she was talking about going. Ohhhkayyyyy ^-^

Driving through Las Vegas was scary, but not scarier than climbing rocks in Sedona yesterday. I have really remembered my strength on this trip. Not just physical strength, but spiritual.

Validation – i got to my Airbnb and there’s Egyptian art all over the walls.

And it’s only Monday 🙂 a very different kind of Monday 🙂

Black, White, and Rainbow

Black/white, either/or, one way or another.

It seems this is the main filter most people have for thinking and interacting with the world, and I am noticing it everywhere lately.

Elections are coming up, and my general position is this: Voting is one scam I will not be participating in. They may be able to force me to pay taxes (my money being allocated against my will to programs that are against my individual values), pay an astronomical rate for car insurance that I don’t ever actually make a claim on (thousands of dollars just disappearing into the void), pay $100 for a new colored sticker for my car’s license plate every year (happy birthday), and they may be able to block me from doing what actually is in alignment with my individual values, such as growing industrial hemp (could anything be more disrespectful than using a tree to wipe your ass? Disrespectful to the trees, which is in turn disrespectful to us, because our survival depends on them), but one thing they cannot force me to do is go and stand in line and pretend like I have a choice in this.

None of that is my choice. The only freedom is in my mind, so that is where I put my energy. And in my mind, I ask myself — is my position on voting too rigid? Too black and white? Could I loosen up and make way for miracles?

Voting is indeed a powerful thing. There is a reason there is such a push in mainstream media to get everyone to go out and vote. And if you associate in any social circles, people are talking about it (which is one of many reasons I like to hermit). I personally am very creeped out by the push to vote, especially by artists and celebrities. I really don’t like it when anyone gets political. Politics are not intrinsic to who we are — it is a mind implant. People become unreal when they talk about politics and voting. It’s a meme that has taken them over. They are not about their music or art or whatever passion anymore. Now they are parroting the same program as everyone else. UGH.

This is why I am not a proponent of democracy at all. Not that we have a democracy. We have a republic (in the United States). But #democracy seems to be the buzzword, and since it’s clear people don’t know what it really means, that makes it all the more easier for them to be victimized by it.

Democracy sounds simple if you take it at face value — everyone gets a say, and majority rules. Most people will be satisfied. But here’s the thing: with democracy, you can say goodbye to the individual, because it’s now about the collective. But I have always been an individual. I rarely align with what everyone else is thinking and doing. And I don’t want to. I like the way I think and do things, it’s usually better and far ahead of most people (the “majority”). I am not giving that up. Why would I surrender the excellent for the average? In that sense, democracy is idiocy. The best minds are rare; they should not be snuffed out by the majority, which is always just average.

The next level problem with democracy is when you consider how many people are so easily brainwashed and manipulated by a few in power and control. Conglomerates control most of the media and food most people are consuming on a daily basis. Almost everywhere you go, everyone is the same. You can travel three thousand miles and find the exact same chain restaurant you left behind. So when masses of people are not actually individuals, but are conforming to behavioral patterns set forth by their corporate controllers — what does that say about their vote?

It’s dangerous. It’s an illusion — a small few elite making themselves look bigger by controlling the minds of the masses to get their numbers. By deceiving them into believing this is the land of the free. “Vote, or you can’t complain!” How many NPCs have you heard spouting that crap?

But a good song lyric just came into my mind:

“Strength doesn’t lie in numbers – strength doesn’t lie in wealth. Strength lies in nights of peaceful slumbers, when you wake up, WAKE UP! It’s healthy!”

So I don’t worry about this voting thing too much. Certainly not for national politics. States rights is a bit more relevant — and local, like hyper local — your city, neighborhood, your house — YOUR MIND — is where you can really be effective. That is where I put my energy.

The house thing is coming up for me now. I went on and clicked “Buy”, and it showed me listings from Detroit to Chicago — the full range, from $7,000 for a cottage in Detroit to an eye-popping $50,000,000 for an estate in Chicago (yes, I double checked that number — apparently “no expense was spared”). I looked through some of those estate listings, out of curiosity, and decided opulence is just not for me. Those homes had no sense of life in them, I felt miserable looking at those pictures and imagining the people who had “lived” there.

I have been thinking a lot about worldliness lately. I recently read Donald Trump’s book, How to Think Big and Kick Ass, which was pretty eye-opening and even shocking in some ways. He is the living definition of a worldly man, and it was a challenge for me to even imagine his every day life, which is obviously quite normal to him. I don’t have a desire for such worldliness, but I think his attitude can be applied to anyone who just wants to achieve a goal, especially a big goal. So I found the book fascinating and helpful in many respects.

Worldliness — fame and fortune, living in opulence — this is a goal for a lot of people and their definition of success. It really isn’t mine. Honestly, I have already had it in other lives. Sometimes it still shows up for expression in this life. But what I feel much more in tune with is Earthiness. Again, the duality — we have two worlds going on here, “the world” that is civilization, the inorganic system, the machine. And then Earth — the organic, the planet, nature. I feel much more Earthy than Wordly. But could there be room for them both? Can “coexist” be more than just a meme?

The only reason I work for money is because I have to. Money is the reality of this world. But it’s not the reality of Earth. Money does not exist anywhere in nature. But I don’t exist solely in nature, either.  I have a corporate 8-5 job and an apartment. So really, I have one foot in each world. And I am getting the “urge to merge”.

I realized that opulence is just the way people have been doing it. It’s just their taste — it’s not the definition of money itself. Conspicuous consumption and materialism is just the meme of the masses — money is just an expression of their greed. It isn’t money itself.

So I am going to start playing with some bigger numbers. I probably shouldn’t put this online, but I applied for a house — a very modest house. It needs some work, but it has a ton of possibilities. I could play out a lot of dreams there — not of opulence, but of MATTER. It would be using money to create things my way. I could run a guest house with a health retreat. I could have a garden and orchard. There’s a huge garage my brother could use as a workshop. I can easily imagine it all coming together. Honestly, it’s perfect. It’s fantastic!

But then I broke down and cried — at work, I guess that’s still a thing for me. Some days are harder than others. It really is just riding waves of energy, and I am extremely sensitive and deeply thinking and feeling.

Anyway, it would be mine. It would be my own little piece of freedom, my own little center of creativity. It would be a foundation to build my life on.

Or who knows, maybe it won’t happen. Sometimes things go the opposite way of my intention — sometimes surrendering releases resistance and collapses the outcome. The past few Fridays I have been pressured at work to participate in “Flannel Friday”, when everyone wears flannel. Of course, I’m a rebel so I didn’t. But at the thrift shop last night, a Christian store (they all are) playing Grateful Dead music, I decided to collapse this myself — I picked up a flannel shirt. I am wearing it today. No one has said a word. They will probably cancel Flannel Friday going forward. Sometimes it really is better to blend in.




How to Conduct a Health Retreat at Home

Well here’s a conundrum I wasn’t expecting to have: I don’t know how to use my remaining vacation time left for the year.

Part of the problem is money — of course, that’s why I’m in this situation in the first place. If I had enough money, there wouldn’t be a question of where to go on vacation, because I wouldn’t even have a job. My life would be lived on my own terms, I would go wherever, whenever.

But at the time of this writing, money is obviously an obstacle. Something I have been wanting to do for a long time is a Panchakarma (Ayurveda) health retreat. But that involves several thousands of dollars, including a flight somewhere exotic (even within the United States). The closest I’m going to be able to come to that is to imagine what it feels like as I’m reading about it online.

I probably could have made it happen if I had made different financial decisions over the past year. One thing I realized is that I have put a lot of money and energy into making my home the way I like it to be (which is one major advantage over going to a health retreat — I don’t know how the accommodations are going to be there, and I am particular.) I love being at home in my own space. I love having my own things, having my energy infused into everything and radiating into my space. I’m not going to get that same effect at some other place — and instead, I’d be exposing myself to other people’s energies. Not that that’s always a bad thing. Sometimes it can be the right thing. But what I have noticed about the right thing, it often easily presents itself. During my search for a health retreat, I was doing a lot of digging, and nothing was turning up. It began to feel stressful, which is the opposite of what the intended purpose is for. So I let it go.

I realized – I pay a thousand dollars in rent for my own apartment every month. I have invested in a wonderful latex mattress and pillow with a silk pillowcase. I have a glass enema bucket with silicone tubing. I have a plush oversized robe and furry slippers. I have two black cats. I have an Omega masticating juicer. I have a water distiller. I have a chlorine shower filter. I have an electric tea kettle and loose leaf teas. I have DIY beeswax candles. I have a piano. I have canvases and paints and brushes. I have a set of vintage Pyrex glass cookware. I have access to organic and locally grown produce within steps of my house.

What exactly do these health retreats have that I don’t?! 😀

Okay, they have professionals. If I went there, I could talk with, like, a certified doctor. I could get massaged by two people (that’s four hands!) at the same time. I could get a thin stream of hot oil poured continuously on my forehead for an hour.

It’s true, Ayurvedic body work is awesome, and the fact that it isn’t available in my town makes me wonder if it’s a possible future career path for me. Someone has to do it!

But we do have our share of spas. I can still get massages and facials, and maybe even some other fun stuff, who knows, the holistic health field is always coming up with new goodies. =)

So that’s the idea. I’m going to take a week off of work and devote it to a health retreat at home. The entire week is going to be focused on my health and building up myself and my life. This will be the general itinerary:


Wake up.


Don’t do yoga.

Go out for a brisk walk.

Drink Rejuvelac with lemon (made/fermented in advance).

Make and drink green juice.

Health appointment, e.g. massage, facial, sauna, etc.

Lunch – raw salad – or possible just another juice, no solid foods during week


Reading and Nap.

Artistic activity, such as painting, playing piano.

Practice for upcoming musical audition.

Study subjects of interest.

If weather is decent – go on hiking or exploratory trips, even around city. Art museum?

Dinner, if eating. I really am going to try not to eat. Now that I know I can go so long without it and still feel fine, I am realizing food is a scam — it’s what keeps us plugged into the matrix. Food fuels us so we can fuel the matrix. Not easy to give up though.


Listen to music. Waltz around apartment.

Write in Journal.

Shower, dry brushing before and body oils after.

Go to bed early, like 9 pm.

Never check work email. Keep Facebook account deactivated (for some reason, having an active Facebook account makes me wake up in the middle of the night, and deactivating it allows me to sleep all the way through. I have tested this many times).

Oh my god. This is going to be the best health retreat ever. It really true what they say — if you want a thing done right, you have to do it your Self 😀 ^_^

The Spiritual Healing of Breathwork

Some things really are meant to be, and one thing that finally happened for me is a breathwork session. I remember reading about this back in 2014, and I was interested, but also afraid, mainly because there were no practitioners in my area and I didn’t feel strong enough to do it on my own.

Fast forward to last weekend – just a few days before I had received an email newsletter from The Wellness Collective, with its newest workshop offerings, and I felt a strong pull like there was something in there I needed to see. Sure enough – a breathwork workshop. It sounded amazing, but I was bracing myself to see a $195 participant fee – what a relief when I saw it was only $60. That was doable. I sent a message to count me in.

I did have anxiety about the workshop, and the night before I even had a dream that they canceled me out of it. But awake, driving there, there was no way I wasn’t going to go. I still felt the pull. I knew this would be it for me.

And it was. First, the practitioner and his assistant were brilliant, and I felt so much gratitude and love for them. Not romantic love, but a deeper love, the love from one soul to another for its divine presence, its divine work. What we did together that day is so important and I felt it ripple out into time-space to change the course and the outcome for truly all of the cosmos. There is a special place in my heart for healers.

There also, not surprisingly, was a predator there. Unsurprising because I’ve seen it so many times now, whenever you have souls doing great work there is opposition present. Especially within new age communities. It was a sexual predator, and it may have actually not been him but a demon working through him, as he reported being unconscious during the session, which is not supposed to happen. A lot of other things happened that weren’t supposed to happen, either.

He seemed to have confused breathwork for kundalini yoga. Throughout the session, he was breathing heavily, rapidly, and loudly, and it sounded as if he were having sex. After the session he admitted he actually brought himself to orgasm – several times. During the session he also removed all of his clothing and was touching himself. He also kept moving closer and closer to me. All of this made it extremely difficult for me to focus on my own process and surrender to it, which is what the entire thing is about. I finally had to get up and move to another corner of the room, and only then could I really start to get into my own being.

To be clear, there is absolutely nothing sexual or sexy about breathwork. That guy was not doing it right at all, and I had to really work at not being annoyed at him for imposing his deviance on everyone else, and seemingly me in particular. I know why he was doing it – it was to subvert our own healing experience and to harvest sexual energy/attention out of us. I think the facilitators should have been a little less “there are no rules” and “no judgment” and instead put their foot down on what was clearly abuse. I would have done so if I had been in that position of authority.

On second thought, fuck that. If I ever see anything like that again, I will march right on over there and remind him of his mother.

That is what has to be done, you see. That is what the process was about for me. That is specifically the healing I went there for: not being afraid to speak from my heart, and to stand up for myself, and to put predators in their place.

So that’s why I’m not really mad at that guy, because I can see that was all part of my learning and healing. That is the point I arrived at during my session, which was quite profound.

It was a three hour workshop. The first half hour or so was an introduction and EDM dancing (which was actually great). The next part was an active meditation, three rounds of breathing through the chakras. This was a powerful experience for me as I was seeing colors and getting a lot of things moving in preparation for the main event. And then there it was. We got into it.

For those who don’t know, holotropic breathwork (this session was called Biodynamic Breathwork and Trauma Release – same thing at the core) is about using a series of connected breaths to achieve an altered mind-body state, so that spirit and consciousness can come to front and center. A connected breath just means inhale-exhale and then immediately repeat, with no break in between exhale and the next inhale. They are deep, full breaths with a wide open, relaxed mouth (my technique had to be corrected a few times). After a few minutes, this creates the most amazing sensations within the body that really have to be felt to be known. I will just say that I have never felt energy moving in my body like that ever before; the closest would be during an acupuncture session several years ago I could feel energy moving in my leg. This time, my entire body was tingling and pulsating, from my toes to my lips and nose. My hands and arms seemed to be able to lift on their own, light as a feather. I wondered if I could even levitate like this.

All just from a breathing technique. Being in this state, this total surrender and relaxation, allows the spirit and consciousness to focus totally on healing. What comes up, comes up, and you aren’t necessarily conscious of it. What came up for me was my intense fear of intimacy and abandonment. That is at the heart of all my problems. I have been afraid to be myself and to speak from my heart, and so of course, that fear is exactly what I have manifested. So during this time I was presented with a way to clear that and heal from the trauma caused throughout my life due to this, especially within my karmic (blood) family. I was envisioning looking them in the eye, speaking from my heart, being my true self, and then, letting it go. Suddenly I wasn’t really concerned anymore whether they loved me or not. From the space I was in, I felt such a strong divine, infinite, spiritual love which overpowered that. I just didn’t feel so limited by these earthly situations anymore. I also saw my parents from the standpoint of their own suffering – how they have been hurt by their own parents, even as adults. How their lives have not turned out how they wanted them to be either. How they have not been able to be who they wanted to be, who they really are inside.

I cried at that point, which is why it was nice to not be alone – the wonderful men leading the workshop came and put their hands on my heart, my solar plex, my forehead. They draped a blanket over me. They said soothing words and looked into my eyes with a depth of all the universe. I knew it was going to be okay. It was just a matter of letting extremely powerful, felt energy move through me.

Eventually it did all settle down and I felt normal in my body again – but I was also transformed. My anxiety had melted away, and I was relaxed. I felt connected with heaven, with a place of no problems, with the divine love that creates miracles. There was a sense that something profound had taken place there. I felt gratitude and joy at the wonder of it all.

That was my healing. I was aware of problems with my throat chakra and that it was closed – however I didn’t realize until these past few days that my throat was physically closed too. I have been so stressed out for so long and carrying so much tension and fear in my body, that the back of my tongue has been permanently pressed against my throat. There has been no air flow – the perfect breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria. That was the condition that was causing bad breath. (There were a few other factors too, like post nasal drip and a rogue wisdom tooth that was trapping food and causing a compost situation in my mouth – which I had removed this summer).

I remember hearing many times that stress can be the cause of disease, but I wasn’t aware of what that actually meant – for me, it was simply in how I was holding my body. Don’t think I didn’t suffer and don[‘t think it didn’t ruin my life and opportunities and don’t think I didn’t try everything and drive myself crazy trying to cure it – and amazing, all I had to do was relax!

I also had to look at how this disease was serving me. Funny, this weekend I also came into contact with two animals who are infamous for bad smells – a skunk and a stink bug. They use odor as protection from predators. Nature is full of important lessons for us, and I am paying attention. The truth is, being smelly makes it very easy to not be bothered, especially since I have been an otherwise easy target. I am going to have to put a lot of energy into realizing a few things:

  1. I am special, which is why people come after me. I need to value myself and protect myself and keep myself out of harm’s way and out of situations where I could be vulnerable.
  2. My intuition/gut feeling is honest, and to be trusted when people/appearances aren’t.
  3. It’s okay to say no.
  4. It’s good to assert myself confidently and boldly. People respect me and need me.
  5. My words can change the course of my life and the world.

I have shrank from all of these things, and that just can’t happen anymore. And it won’t. The night after the session (last night), I had a powerful dream that validated this – I had an IV in my arm for ozone therapy (one of the many things I tried) and the doctor told me I am not going to be coming back for any further treatments. I asked him why, is it not working? He said, “No. You have done the work.”


Sure enough – the back of my tongue has been laying flat, I have tested it and it’s clear. I even tested it with ice cream – real ice cream with dairy and sugar, the kind that would have sent those bugs into a feeding frenzy.

Still clear.

I also was tested this morning when I received a message with a black magic meme in it, telling women to turn their profile picture black to show men what a world without women would look like.

I was able to stay silent for about 20 minutes. But I just could not let it go. It was wrong on so many levels. So I responded very simply.

This meme is black magic and I advise against participating in it or any other mass movements like this, such as the “Me Too” movement (which the person who sent this message also participated in) which was started by Asia Argento who was found out to be a child sex abuser herself. Ask who creates these memes and what purpose do they serve? We do not need to traumatize men like this or make all men pay for the crimes of a few. Not all men are abusers. And not all women are victims. Many men and women are loving. And women can be abusers too. Abuse and victimhood, and love, are not owned by one sex or the other. And do not under any circumstances imagine a world without women, unless that is what you want to happen.

It is very clear to me that the creator of this meme is social engineering for a very dark purpose, and of course the brainwashed feminists jump on board. One immediately responded to my message with:

“I proudly posted this to my wall, because women are not going to be silent!” (Clearly not seeing the irony in that I am a female and the intent in her rebuttal was to shut me up). The original sender of the meme also sent a message that she agrees with this feminist.

I blocked her. Imagine a world without women? There you go. You got it.

These types of things are extremely dangerous and I’m not sitting back and watching anymore. If these idiotic women can say something, then surely a wise woman can, and here is what it is, in addition to above:

Men are wonderful. It was men who hosted the breathwork workshop.

When my car fell apart at work last week, who do you think it was that came to my assistance? Men. It was also men who gave me this job in the first place.

A man rang up my groceries and asked me “how are you”. Like, not small talk, but genuine presence.

There are many men who are loving and good. To paint them all with the same brush is a huge mistake. Same as painting all women with the same brush – I am most certainly not one of these women who believes they are oppressed and the way to stand up to oppression is to make a histrionic post on Facebook about it and turn your profile picture black.

In case it isn’t obvious: the way to deal with a bully is head on. Scary, I know. But falling into this mental trap of imagining a world without you is playing right into their hands. You have hexed yourselves.

It’s time to be brave.

Artistic Creativity = Freedom

I decided some time ago that I wanted to be an artist, because it’s the only thing that allows you to be who you are. As a creator of art, you are pretty much off the hook, in terms of expectations of normalcy and fitting into a box. Suddenly, it’s the other way around – people expect you to be different, and it’s weird for you to be or look normal. You can have whatever opinion you have, you can dress in whatever way you please, you can keep whatever odd hours that your own internal rhythm dictates, and that’s perfectly acceptable, because you’re an artist. You’ve risen above the ranks of being told what to do, and you call the shots in your life. You are bringing forth some great work from your heart, soul and mind, into the physical world; you are a magician.

People respect you.

I believe that everyone with a soul is an artist, and “becoming an artist” is just a question of how much time and energy you put into your work. I also have a very broad definition of art – it’s not just drawing, painting, and sculpture, what we might automatically think of when we meet an artist. Art is also music, dance, theater. It’s writing and photographing. And even broader, it’s gardening, it’s cooking. It’s in how you arrange your house. It’s in how you live your life.

Anything done for the purpose of the soul, for its fulfillment, its expression, its exhilaration, is an act of art. Anything to bring people from the outer world into your inner world, to see your vision, to feel your emotion, is an act of art.

And that is where we are truly free. In our inner world, in the imagination, there are no rules, no limits. It’s you and whatever you can dream up. And you realize that’s where you’re true power is. Being an artist is not only liberating, it’s empowering.

And it’s vital to your survival. You find that you cannot function for long without it. Whether it’s making art, or taking in art, you become infused with energy in the process. How many times has music been the lift you needed after a long day? When have you ever felt such a burst of pride as you have when you have created some beautiful painting? When have you ever received heartfelt gratitude from another soul who read the words, your words, that were exactly what they needed to hear?

Even if you are creatively blocked, you still keep coming back to it, it never lets you stay away for long. And while you are away, you’re thinking about it obsessively anyway….

I tried to go to art school, and also music school, but these never got off the ground. I realized I’m not really a school kind of person (though I do love learning). Honestly, I haven’t had the focus or discipline or commitment for it either. I have seen the works of many trained artists who have spent years in school and at work, and it shows. I don’t hope to compare with that. Which is also why for a long time I felt unworthy of regarding myself as an artist. Yet, I couldn’t deny what was inside me.

I remember seeing some career advice that said you should do what you loved to do when you were 12. Well! When I was 12 – I was drawing, I was making greeting cards and a little shop for them in the basement room under the stairs (before Harry Potter even), I was writing satire newsletters and TV scripts and short stories, I was performing in plays and musicals, I was singing and dancing, I was scrapbooking, sewing and crocheting, all kinds of stuff. What happened???

It’s a long story we don’t need to get into right now. But I have been trying very hard to get it back, and it has ramped up since 2011-2012 (a time of major shifting and activations for me), approx. age 25-26, I have been at various times painting and sketching, gardening, making collages and vision boards, learning new culinary skills, making flower arrangements, decorating my home, teaching myself piano, singing, and most importantly, writing. That is what I’ve worked hardest to unblock, as it is what I am most gifted in and what has been the most wrapped up.

It’s funny, in school they will teach you grammar and spelling and syntax, they will teach you how to write an essay, but they won’t ever teach you how to find your voice. They won’t teach you how to communicate something worth saying. I don’t think it works to give students writing assignments, because then they are writing something just for the sake of getting it done and moving on, because they were told to. It’s not really coming from them, it’s not going to be authentic. I feel sorry for the teachers who have to read all that crap, and for the students who are taught that this is writing.

If I were going to be a teacher (except I’m not a school person), what I wish they would have taught me, is how to know what you really have to say. How to get your inner voice out on paper. My inner voice is always chattering on – except when I sit down in front of a blank screen. Well, after years of working at it now, I actually can get into a stream of consciousness in front of a screen, or in a notebook. Or even better, I can pull up a notebook during a stream of consciousness and actually remember what it was and be able to jot it down. That’s when it’s really good. When it’s flowing, not forced.

I wish they would have taught me the power of creative writing – what it really means. It means using your words to create your actual reality. Have you ever experienced this? I have. When I was at that crazy place in Puerto Rico, where I went specifically to give birth to my creativity, I was writing something, and as soon as I finished writing it, it happened. (Well, actually the exact opposite happened. I clearly did something wrong. But still). It was amazing to witness the power of that. Are kids made aware of the power they have in their writing?

I wish teachers would have taught me that I matter. That I am someone worth caring about, and what I have to say is worth saying (or writing in this case). Writing is really not about how stylistically you can turn a phrase, or what flowery descriptions and clever intellectual bravado you try to impress people with. (I often end my sentences with prepositions just to piss those types of people off). Because it shows them up for what they are, and the mainstream is full of it, and it’s extremely boring.

Give me real, give me someone who has something to say. Give me, me. That is why I write. I love to see my soul in the world. It’s quite a responsibility too…