Archives for posts with tag: love

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What a week! What a month! It's like my nervous system, and those of everyone I know, are on constant high alert, waiting for the next twitter bomb, threat, shock, and proverbial shoe to drop.  I'd love to blame the eclipses, which we are in the middle of right now, but science and nature are getting enough flack lately, so I'll just blame us.

As I listened to our President threaten North Korea, I found myself thinking, hmm, this makes my already sparse earthquake survival kit seem even more lacking than it already is.  The Army Surplus store around the corner from my apartment advertises Survival Supplies, be they for an Earthquake, Burning Man, or Nuclear Attack and, curious to see what they had, I popped in. Food in sealed pouches guaranteed to last for a decade. Bullets. Gas masks. The list goes on and on. No, thank you. This is not the kind of stuff I want to buy or worry about. Nor is it the kind of world I care to live in or survive should the unthinkable come to pass.  I left the store without buying anything.

When I walked outside, it was a quintessential gorgeous LA day, 75 degrees and sunny.  A tree nearby was literally raining down purple blossoms.  Wow, I thought, this could all vanish with the push of a button.

Later that night, as I was laying in bed, I happened to feel one of my breasts through my T shirt and was startled to feel a strange bump. "WTF is that?" I thought. After finding a doctor who could see me quickly and getting my first mammogram, it turned out to be nothing serious, but for the second time that week I thought how quickly the lives we all take for granted can change forever. I also thought about how fortunate I am to have great health insurance and how unfair it is that so many in this country don't and that this will cost lives.

We take for granted that we will wake up in the morning and, still sleepy from the night before, drink our coffee and head to the jobs where that one guy will make us laugh and that other one will annoy us and then we will sit in traffic and eat dinner and not think twice about any of it.  We take for granted that Nazis are bad and that the President of the United States will have no problem saying so.  We take for granted that everyone wants to live and that in a war of mutually assured destruction, there will be no winners. We take all of this for granted because it is logical, fair, makes sense, known, etc.  But, then we remember that we are living in the era of alternative facts and this turns everything as we know it upside down. And the reality of the perilous tightrope walk we call life becomes more obvious than is comfortable to admit.

So, what to do? Radiate love in the face of fear and hate.  Value your health and take care of yourself in any way possible.  Help take care of your community.  Savor the beauty of being alive and create more of it.  Show up, speak up, stand up, and stop taking any of it (the fact that we are alive, on this planet, with each other, at this time) for granted.

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img_4751-1This very moment is the perfect teacher.

-Pema Chödrön

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

They go low, we go high. 

-Michelle Obama 

Over the past seven days (has it really only been one week?!) I have been reminded that you just never know who your teachers will be, how they will appear in your life, or the lessons they will bring. I never thought The Donald would be one of mine and yet, here we are and here he is.  I have spent the week examining my own fears, complacency, bubbles, reactions, thoughts and was horrified to realize that I was exhibiting some of the same traits I was denouncing in others.

Others. Them.  Those People.  Over there.  Unknown.  Scary.  Strange.  Different.

Right after the election, I found myself guessing for whom people I encountered throughout the day had voted and, based on a number of arbitrary judgments I made up in my mind,  I decided which “side” they were on. I reacted to fear with fear, viewed the country as red and blue, retreated further into my bubble, and failed to remember the very things I espouse here repeatedly.

It is the belief that we are separate from that “other”, whether that be people or the planet, that has led us to this point and it is only through its untangling that we have any chance at change, progress, and, more dramatically, survival. How can I listen without judging? How can I act rather than react? How can I stay true to my convictions without remaining rigid? How can I come from a place of love when my first reaction is fear, which manifests as hate?  How can I help and be of service?  How can I accept where we are and creatively and proactively move forward?

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions.  But, what I do know is that I have been given an opportunity to walk my talk, get involved, listen, speak up, investigate, and to repeatedly choose love, which always, always, always trumps hate in the end.

 

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Election Day 2016

 

What to say when someone you love can’t find the way out of their own darkness? What to write when each news story is more tragic than the last and there are no answers. That is where I’ve been lately and why I haven’t written. Instead, I prayed. 

Please help us to find the light in our lives, in others, and most especially to see that it exists in those we think we have absolutely nothing in common with. Please help us to love fiercely even when that means opening ourselves up to pain.  Please help us trust ourselves and therefor others.  Please help us to see the bigger picture. Please help us know what to say when words seem useless. Please continue to guide us. Please help us to be brave. Please help us to find beauty in the little things that make up our lives. Please remind us that we are all spinning together on a beautiful, colorful, loud, chaotic, crowded, awesome planet, that no one knows what is going on, and that love always wins. 

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Ever’thing there is but lovin’ leaves a rust on yo’ soul. 

-Langston Hughes

  
On Friday, I was driving from the desert to the Rocky Mountains when I heard the news that the Supreme Court had just legalized same sex marriage in all 50 states. I listened to story after story as the thermometer dropped and eventually the static took over. Love and Equality had triumphed  on a beautiful morning in June. 

Arriving in Silverton, Colorado, I could hear my relatives voices from the rooftop balcony of the restaurant where I was supposed to meet them.  The night before the wedding. My cousin was marrying the girl of his dreams and this is a man who knows how to dream. Standing on the roof as the sun set, laughing with cousins, drinking some delicious mojito inspired drink, the day’s theme of love continued and was lovely. 

The next morning, we took the chairlift from the base of Silverton Mountain to its peak at 12,500′ to watch two people who love, respect, adore, and trust each other exchange vows. As I watched and listened, I felt the same giddiness I’d felt the day before, listening to the radio.

Love won and, I believe, always will. 

May your day be filled with love, in all of its forms! And magic.

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Waking at my mom’s house, I find myself filled with gratitude. Gratitude for the downs that help the ups be up, for friends to laugh about it all with, for great food, and for all of the little clues that continue to lead me, daily reminders that it is truly all about the journey, not the destination.

What better way to remain present than to roll out a pie crust, chop potatoes, and notice the great combination of smells coming from the kitchen?

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving, filled with gratitude and joy!

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