Thursday, May 29, 2014

Guys and Gals

I follow some pretty feminist-y tumblrs and they often post things on women's issues on a regular basis. I also see what's been going on in the media with #YesAllWomen and #BringBackOurGirls. And then there was the pregnant woman who was stoned to death in Sudan for marrying a Christian man. And all the other gender-related acts of violence against women that arise on a continuing ongoing basis -like the 16 year old girl that was recently discovered as having been raped since she was 6 by her all 5 of her brothers for 10 years. 

Then there's the posts on Facebook assessing the media itself and its over-sexification of women in magazines, ads, movies, videos, and every other outlet known to man.

I've attempted to make commentary from time to time and repost things but I either get complaints from people who then call me a "feminist" / "over exaggerating" or nobody reads/cares. But I saw a post today that I really wanted to comment on. It was a repost of a blog article someone made on why some men don't realize that they are aggressively approaching women.

In the article, the writer mentioned watching a female fri3nd being hit on by a man and the woman say, "No thanks, I'm actually married and he's here." When the friend talked with the woman watching her response the woman stated, "I thought he was creepy. My husband being around wasn't actually the main reason I wasn't interested in him, but it seemed instinctually safer to mention him than just say I wasn't interested."

With the recent stabbings from guys who "snapped because women kept turning them down for sex", it is kind of a safer assumption (as the article points out) that a woman defer to another strong male to defend her right to decline another man's advances than it is to simply state her own autonomy and preference.

This clicked with me because shortly after I had a flashback to a similar situation I had when I was 23. I befriended a 50-something year old man (most of my friends are older than me -men included -for some reason). The man asked me out to the movies and I was a little apprehensive because I thought he might consider it a date and I REAAALLLLLLYYYYY wanted to make sure things stayed in the friend zone. I was not interested in him in any way and I also was afraid to be alone with him. I was mostly trying to be a supportive friend over the phone from a distance and occasionally in person in public spaces.

When we were at the movie theater waiting for the movie to start I remember he asked me, "So do you have a boyfriend?" In the moment I remember think, Well I'm very interested in another guy that might be interested in me, but we're not dating. But what I told him was, "Yah I have a new boyfriend. We haven't been dating very long but we've been friends for a while." I was afraid that if I was single he might then ask me out or express interest in that way and I wouldn't know what to do and I didn't want to hurt his feelings by telling him I wasn't interested in him that way.

I'm generally very skeptical of guys who want to hangout with me one-on-one "as friends". At least initially until I get the vibe of familiarity and know the guy isn't "a risk". I actually told a guy I became friends with that when he first asked me to go hiking with him out in the woods in a place I'd never been before I invited my sister to come along because I was afraid he might be a serial killer or something and I wanted to be on the safe side. I told him that in a joking way -but it was actually pretty true. I've seen may too many episodes of CSI... and Hannibal... and Unsolved Mysteries... and the news.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Admirable Homework Assignment

So Lynn my new speaking group coach also gave us homework last night. We are to choose 5 people who we admire and write down 5 qualities they have that we admire most. Then we're supposed to consolidate the list of qualities into 5 so we can see which matter most to us.

Here's my list of Favorite People I Admire (basically Aquarius and Aries):

1. First and Foremost: John Rzeznik 


2. Keith Urban


3. Abraham Lincoln 


4. Ellen Degeneres 

-Honest/ Genuine 

5. My Friend Katie 


Consolidated List of Top 5 Qualities =

1. Honest/Genuine/Real
2. Spiritual/Religious
4. Committed/Conviction 
5. Assured/Leader

A quick look at past "Top Virtues" reveals I was a genius and categorized the qualities/ideals/virtues in 3 aspects based on Self, Soul, and Relationships with Others.

Comparing Hearts

In mid February I attended an introductory class for a small speaking group led by a brilliant woman named Lynn. I wasn't able to attend her official month-long class at the time due to scheduling, but now I am! The class is different from Toastmasters (the public speaking group I have attended for the past 3 years). 

When it comes to public speaking -Toastmasters focuses on 3 main things: 

1. Helping you achieve competent speaking ability by giving you 10 manual speech guidelines to work through over the course of about a year -each new speech building off the basic fundamentals of the last one. 

2. Feedback from the group you speak in front of as a whole, the person specifically assigned to evaluate your speech that day based on the criteria in the manual, and the individual roled people like the AH Counter that counts how many times you say "uh", "eh", "ummmm..."

3. Attempting to teach you leadership skills by having you facilitate meetings, lead portions of the meetings, and possibly join the Officer Team for the club.

What Lynn's group focuses on, which Toastmasters doesn't, is focusing far more on the individual -making more of an impact in a short amount of time by: 

1. Having the group mention only the GOOD qualities they see in you as a person when you speak (aka your natural talents/energy)

2. Supporting you to open up about deeper thoughts and feelings you wouldn't normally share publicly -thus encouraging you to open up more in a safe space

3. A few select techniques about how to Connect To The Audience and make them connect to you.

To build rapport within this new group of Lynn and 4 women she's guiding, there are opening exercises we do to better connect to the people in the group. 

We did the eye staring thing again. I find it's hard to stare at a person for longer than 2 minutes because the whole time I try to smile, but at some point realize the person in front of me is also faking a smile and it becomes uncomfortable for me because I want to stop smiling but I also don't want the person to know I was "fake smiling" and that I'm not really that happy because then they might judge me or think less of me. You really open up to people when you stare at them and you can really "see into them" as well. 

Then there's a guided meditation for about 10 minutes which is awesome. The meditation I'm used to is based (like this one was) on the Chakaras. My normal meditation focuses on the heart chakara and the upper -head chakaras. There is also a lot of emphasis on "grounding". Lynn's meditation consists only of the heart chakara and grounding. She says the "womb" space is where creative energy comes from and is deeply needed for women to fully express themselves and succeed.

Lynn argued that everything we've been taught as women has kind of screwed us over. Women stand feet close together and kind of turned inward while men are more open-stance take control. Women are also taught to suppress their sexuality, which then puts them in a male frame -but not the empowering ones like open-stance but the negative ones like being stern/mentally-oriented/and robotic. 

I realized after her thoughts were shared on men v. women, it really comes down to a Race to Grace. The best leaders are those who can find a balance between yin and yang and hold spiritual grace in their actions. Women currently stand a better chance of actually achieving and excelling at this than men do right now. Women start off with YIN inherently, and since women suffer far more and there for are far more motivated to become empowered/strong in a male-dominated world they will achieve YANG far more easily and have a balance between the 2. Men on the other hand would have to come down the step latter from YANG and embrace peace/grace/sincerity with YIN -which is far less likely to happen. 

I think Men are better leaders than women when they have Yin/Yang balance than women with Yin/Yang balance -but those men are fewer are far between. 

Anyways, so I spoke first in front of the group and actually discussed my other meditation experiences and how it empowered me to connect to what I call "God" but also called to the group a "higher power" because some people are stupid and still haven't come to terms with the fact God exists and instead call Him the "universe". Then I listened to the other women speak. Then there was a final 3 minute round of speaking where we talked about what inspires me to live life to the fullest. 

After the 3rd speech like we'd done the first time I met Lynn, each person listed 1-2 positive things that they got from who you are. 

My first listed was:

-Pure Soul

My second list from last night was:

-Great Energy 

I think if I do enough of these I can maybe see some repeating trends and get a better sense of how I'm perceived by people and what qualities stand out the most. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

DBV 5/27/14

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. – 1 John 4:10 (NIV)

Thoughts: John does make a good point. It's easy for children of God who realize the magnitude of His presence and spirit to feel an overwhelming amount of love for Him. God is everything. But I often see people struggle with accepting/embracing/receiving the other side of the same coin: That God loves them back. It seems like too much grace to bear that the being that created all this life would love each individual person as much if not more than Himself. And to give as much as He has and continue to share His life in patience with people who constantly mess theirs up is the most remarkable gift people could ever receive in this life. 

Self Assessment

My old life coach told me I should do a weekly (or daily) check-in with myself to assess my emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. I actually did that for a while and noticed tiny things that didn't seem to amount to much relevance. Some days my back would hurt -other days my eyes. Some days I was happy, most days I was frustrated or mopey... Either way doesn't seem to make much difference now. 

But it is important to check in every month or so and see where you're at more so in life than "present state of being". Right now I feel like there's a shift. Like I'm pushing away the things in life that I was getting bogged down by and am really taking control and trying to move forward. My goal is to enjoy life more, make better connections with people (especially good friends I don't get to see often), and exercise/get healthier. Towards the end of this I also want to gain a greater amount of spirituality/connection to God. 

It's amazing how selfdom and how often I reflect on life. I have done it so frequently throughout the years that it's hard for me to register when I'm actually doing it or how frequently. But it seems like these days I'm more bored, I don't have as many "epiphany's" and insights, and am generally less interested in the world. Hopefully this new shift in my life will be like taking a dive in the deep end of the pool and I'll take in more of the life around me.

Escalating Activity

Things have been pretty quiet on the ghost front. Then last night things got intense. Around 2am I feel the presence of the ghost being projected at me to a greater extent than I've ever felt before. I don't know how to describe it. It feels like a huge energy surge and then you hear snapping sounds on the wall and your ears start to ring. At one point I heard what sounded like an electrical fuse going off. Then I felt what seemed like multiple hands touching along my back and legs and I had enough and got out of bed and started trying to connect to God and bring His presence into the room.

I also decided to do the meditation exercise Agatha had taught me. I forget how to do most of it, so I pretty much just sat on the edge of my bed and focused on connecting to God and saying these things repeatedly:

"I choose to connect to God.
I choose to connect to the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.
I ask for God to uplift my soul and help it follow the Holy Spirit within me.
I ask the Holy Spirit to take over and guide me. 
I ask that my guardian angels come down and make their presence felt here. 
I ask that God help this foreign entity cross over and find peace. 
I ask the Holy Spirit within me to help this entity find peace and leave this place.
This entity will no longer enter my room and it will leave me alone at night. 
I pray this entity find peace and cross over to wherever it belongs."

For the first 10 minutes I just experienced energy and  light and towards the end of the 10 minutes I actually felt a reassured sense of peace like nothing could bother me.

Then something definitely came into the room. There was a "shadow-like" being that stood in front of me. I felt fingers touching my leg and I tried to stay calm and just keep repeating the words in my head. I kept praying for the entity to experience peace and cross over into heaven. I kept hearing the snapping sounds on the walls. After about 5 minutes I felt the entity kind of dissipate and, feeling very tired, decided to call it a night and get back in bed. 

Then after about 30 minutes the entity started making noises by my bedroom door. It honestly felt like there was a "force field" of energy blocking it from coming in. I felt entirely incubated and safe. Then after another 10 minutes it did come in the room and I felt fingers on my back again. I gave up and just tried to fall back to sleep. It kept waking me up about every hour after that. I'd awake to this strong sense of energy coming at me and the snapping sounds on the walls. I hate this ghost. I hate so much. I just want it to freaking go away.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Patron Saints

My friend gave me a heart-shaped necklace with a picture of a saint in the center, but I'm not sure which one it is. Then again, I'm not sure who any of them are. So I decided to look them up and get the basics for who the main saints are -expecting there to be about 20 main ones. There are 100s... 

Saints are like species of animals -many different ones with their own properties. Saints break down into 3 categories: Places, Occupation, Illnesses/External Struggles. 

So for example there's a Saint for South America, Ireland, France... Sailors, Accountants, Bakers... Blindness, Wounded, Plagues... 

It's easier to pick a saint based on what area of concern you need support with than actually knowing all the saints themselves. And saints vary in detail from those who have a long, well-mapped out past and story to those people know little to nothing about. I've found a list of the most "popular" saints and will be making a future post about the top ones. Archangels are also included as "saints" sometimes for some reason like St. Michael the Archangel, although I personally choose to distinguish between Disciples/Those who met Christ in-person, Saints/Those who have performed miracles or furthered Christians in some way, and Angels.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ghost Issues Cont... As Usual

It's interesting that the unusual has become usual. The routine has shifted a little, but it's still the same old bull.  The ghost is polite enough not to wake me up when I'm asleep, but before bed and when I do wake up it's physicality has gotten pretty imposing. 

It's frightening to me how tangible it has gotten. It's moved from vague sense of someone being around to an invisible man. It is literally an invisible person. They may as well have a body that I'm just not able to see. The hands and fingers are felt as clearly as any living person's would. I'm still not entirely certain what its motives/plan/intentions are towards me -but it can definitely make its presence felt easily now.

There are moments when I'm afraid. There are moments when I'm annoyed. There are moments when I'm angry and frustrated. There are moments when I'm patient and quite. There are moments when I'm confident and I'm assured. None of these moments seem to make much of difference when it comes to changing the situation. I feel better when I'm confident and assured, but it doesn't stop the activity. There isn't much you can do.

I'm going to try communicating with it tonight. I'll do a version of meditation and calmly tell it I acknowledge its existence -again -but I want it to leave. It won't leave because I've been as direct, strong, and resilient as humanly possible and it hasn't phased it -but I'll say it anyway. What else can you do?

Lost Again

Every 4 years or so you get "lost". You kind of go through a mid-life crisis in which you try to figure out why things don't feel right and what needs to shift so you can progress onward. I experienced this when I was 23 and didn't quite know what to do with my life. What career to take what to do to fulfill my soul. I've hit that point again. 

For 2 years -with moments of wanting to quit in between -I've been supporting my friend's vision of creating a women's group that helps women who own their own businesses get the support from others and the guidance to promote their businesses and gain success.

In the past month I've had this unyielding desire to quit. To recap on the reasons I want to quit (which have been rolling around in my head incessantly):

1. The inconsistent, ever changing nature of my friend's "Vision". The goal has staid pretty much the same, but everything else has shifted. For an entire year we were doing networking events. Then 6 months trying to create a chapter. Now we're just focusing on a mentoring program. Months worth of work gets tossed aside and piles of documents and data become useless. I can't invest my time into things I know will at some point have a 90% of amounting to nothing. 

2. The way the non-profit and health-side of the "vision" was tossed aside in just a day. We set a goal (which I was mostly put in charge of achieving) to raise $2100 for 2 causes. Then in one swoop that "division" was cast aside and she said, "Oh I'll just write out a check to them at the end of the year or something let's just scrap that portion of things." She even debated getting rid of promoting non-profit causes on Fridays on our social media site as we have done for the past 2 years.  The same went for the women's health-focused division.

3. The "let's throw darts at the wall and see what sticks" way of planning things has gotten old. It's not a plan. And because of that we don't plan ahead -we're always reactive. Which is another issue: Scheduling events and then waiting until the day before and/or the day of to actually format and plan what will happen during the event itself. Nightmare.

4. Not trusting people and hoarding higher positions.

My friend: "I want you, me, and this other person who's been around a while in these 3 top positions in the group." 

Me: "But there's 2 other top positions that need to be filled."

Her: "Ok so then I'll take on another one of those positions and so will you." 

Me: "Why don't we find other people within the group to fill the 2 positions?"

Her: "They aren't really leader-material yet. We don't just want to hand them over a top-tier position like that."

5. "Creating Leaders" by asking someone: "Hey what do you like to do/ What are you interested in?" 

Someone responding, "Well I like speaking..." 

Then her saying: "Ok then you can be in charge of the Speaking division of our group. You are now in charge of scheduling speakers each month and making sure they're debriefed on the format and ready to go..." 

It hit me the other day: She's acting like a CEO. As anti-corporate as she is, she is really acting the way a CEO would. It's NOT creating leaders to obligate someone to fill a position you then use to delegate work onto. It's called "manipulative-version of highering someone for a position they did not apply for and then not paying that person because technically we're still not profitable." It is not leadership. Real leadership is working with someone one-on-one to challenge them and bring out their best qualities by giving them opportunities to step up on their own and take on responsibilities and accomplishments. 

6. I'm not a leader. Despite being given titles like Manager and Director -I am NOT a leader in this organization. I don't lead anything. Instead I meet with my friend and she gives me an endless list of tasks to do. "I need to to create a flyer for this event -make it no more than 2 pages and also create a soft copy that's social media friendly so we can spread the word. I also need you to send out emails to everyone about the event. You also need to talk to the woman hosting the event -she should be featured next week on social media. And then I need you to..." This does not a leader make. 

7. Assigning people roles and positions when you are not clear what those roles and positions consist of. How can you run an organization by saying: "Hey I want you to sign up for this leadership position for a year. It's called Brand Executive Director and we have some of the things you'll do mapped out, but it's going to change along the way and anytime you feel like telling us what you think the role should consist of let us know and we'll plop in anything that sounds good for the role." You can't lead people by saying, "Let's kind of head off in this direction but if you guys feel like there's a better way let us know and we'll trek down that way for a while and see what happens..." 

I can't take this crap anymore. All the things I loved about our group have disappeared. The connections I made during events with big-hearted women and creating graphics and brainstorming new ideas has all disappeared. And then when I tried to make it clear to my friend that I would have less time to devote to this group and wanted some time to myself, she manipulated the situation and assigned me a year-long position in the mentoring program. 

I said, "I'll be the Marketing Manager and continue to do what I already do for this group. But I don't want to lead other people and I don't have time to meet up weekly with a "marketing team". I just want to do the basics not take anything more on." 

She said, "But I need you in a higher up position so you can manage these 2 other people who are taking over PR and network promotion for our group. I'm erasing the "Marketing Manager" position and just calling it "Marketing Director" and you'll be in charge of the whole division." 

I'm done. I don't have the patience or the band-width for this anymore. I don't care about it anymore. I resent being involved with it now. I wanted to help my friend achieve her vision but she's still too scattered and unclear on what that is exactly. I want a life of my own. I give 7:30-4pm to my day job and the time between 4:30pm-9pm is my precious time for self-fulfilling goals. I can't afford to waste anymore of my life on things that don't fulfill me. How can I help someone else achieve their vision and fulfill their soul if I neglect my own?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Life in Order

It's amazing how important to get your life in order if you want to add something you really want to it. For instance -my apartment is a mess. It's become a scattered storage facility for my crap. It's pre-hoarder conditions and I've been avoiding cleaning it for the past year or so. But if I want to practice yoga in what little space I have available in my apartment -I need to clean it. I also need to get rid of things that are cluttering it. 

And yoga/exercise is expensive so now I have to start cutting the fat out of things I don't need -starting with my AT&T account. I've been paying for internet and TV for the past year. I haven't turned on my TV in 2 years. I've just been putting off calling them. Because of this my bill for essentially using just internet is $120 a month. :(

In my attempt to be healthy I've also run into other issues: like eating right and getting check ups. I haven't seen the dentist or my "lady" doctor yet this year. I also can't really afford to be putting bad things in my body anymore so hasta luego junk food.

If you really want your life to run smoothly you need to make sure everything is in alignment.

Yoga and Chakaras

Went to the message woman yesterday. I was clear there would be no more Swedish, deep-tissue massages for me. She agreed since she recently threw out her back trying to dig into a concrete like body of a client. The massage was still pretty in-depth: especially around the neck area. Part of me thought: Maybe I should find a massage therapist who does the strait forward, gentle, relaxing kind of massage. But I like this massage therapist as a person so much. And it also occurred to me: Maybe this is the kind of massage I NEED, not that I want.

The whole point of yoga is to treat the body like dough to be kneaded out and stretched -increasing circulation and flexibility. Your body idealistically consists of bones, organs, blood, and muscle all confined under skin. But in reality there's also the lymphatic system of mess and pulp that ends up really determining how much blood circulation your body gets (aka how much oxygen and nutrients are spread around your body). This system directly corresponds to fending off infection and ensuring the system is running smoothly. 

Yoga (and exercise in general) moves the lymph system of otherwise stagnant mass of pulp around. Massage ideally has the capacity to do the same. That's what deep-tissue massage is for: increasing this circulation. So maybe it's a good thing that I have a massage therapist that doesn't just lightly touch the top of the skin, but goes deeper so this stuff gets kneaded and moved around throughout the body. 

I also talked with my friend Heather to figure out which yoga classes are Beginner in case I want to take more. The last time I was at the class I also took some pictures they had of yoga poses and the chakara system. 

It's interesting -when I was doing the 20 minute guided meditation with Agatha, she would go chakara to chakara trying to make us see how how they were functioning and setting them to function right. When we got to the third chakara (from the bottom) I actually saw a yellowish-orange color. And the she said, "This chakara is usually seen as a yellow or orange color." It was awesome. :) 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Think Cool Thoughts

It's so hot out now. Summer isn't subtle. 

I've also noticed that I've been getting kind of heated and testy lately. I was told long ago that anger is just an external expression of inner tension.

I got angry at my friend yesterday. Things just kept escalating and she ended up saying kind of jokingly, "You're kind of in a bad mood right now aren't you?" I just stared at her. She said, "Ok then... let's take care of some other things..." 

I have a new rule. If I'm going to go to a social function after work that involves more than 2 people -I need at least an hour to myself to detox from the day and get back into my own skin. Yesterday I worked from 7:30am to 4pm. During that work day my friend told me that on top of bringing the cashbox to our networking event for our women's group that night from 6pm - 9pm I also needed to come up with a Promotional Marketing Tip. And her car broke down so she also text me to drive her to the event. And then I met up with her at 4:30pm strait after work and a trip to the gas station to go over our plans for the night. One of the plans I was told was to get on the floor and write out questions on a big paper flip chart. 

I just felt kind of used and taken for granted. Then on the way over she was asking me what position I wanted to be in in the mentoring program we developed for women entrepreneurs. We scrapped the idea of having a chapter with ongoing networking events -last night was our last night. Now some of the leadership chapter roles are being transferred to the mentoring program (which we're thinking of making a non-profit). 

The positions I'm "nominated" for are Operations Director (in charge of the Marketing person and Sales team). But then she was asking what the Marketing person would do since I (with my graphic design and marketing background) would be in the Operations position. I told her we could template all the things that were duplicatable and I would keep doing all the things that were "higher up" or unique to the business end of things.

Someone complimented me on the logo for our women's group last night. I told them, "Yah she's thinking about changing it." Apparently 5 women told her it wasn't as professional as it should be. She actually told me it was too "youthful" in some ways and needed to be more "boring". Great. Nothing more exciting for a graphic designer to hear than, "Hey make your work overly simplified and dull so boring business people will feel less distracted by the logo they otherwise wouldn't notice."

I'm looking back out the Dropbox folder we've been working in for the past 2 years. 80% of the folders are now inapplicable. Most have to do with "Chapter" things that are no longer around. I understand that Chapter wasn't working, but at some point after 2 years you do start to notice a pattern where like a sled dog pulling the reins in a snow storm -we are mushing forward but blindly in only the direction we feel in the moment is the right one.

I tried to remind myself: It's not about you, it's about you helping your friend achieve her dream/vision. But what is the ultimate goal? Besides getting rich -which she reminds me is her goal every time we strategize about anything.

I've spent the past 2 years working on this group/mentoring/thing/business and it's really starting to drain me financially, mentally, and time-wise. I've reached a point where I just kind of want to focus on being out int he world, exercising more to get my long-neglected body fit and healthy, and focus on getting really spiritually in touch with life.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A New Yogi

I brought my sister in with me to yoga class last night -and she decided to join afterwards! 

Class wasn't as tough as Heather warned it might be. The instructor definitely focused a lot more on breathing. It's like, "Yah you're in a really uncomfortable pose and you look like an idiot, but what is your breathe doing right now and how can you better control it?" The instructor was also very body conscious so when I was doing a pose she actually gave me a bolster (comfy cushion seat) and told me to sit on it so I could better stretch. I thought the bolster would make things more comfortable until her true motives were revealed and I realized it just helped me get that much further into the painful pose.

I did realize some "zen" thoughts during the session though. 

First thought, "When your really focus in on your breathe you become very much aware that it comes in and then leaves you. Breathe and air are things that you borrow and then return."

Second thought, "Every time I'm in a stretch 'breathing into the pained areas' helps alleviate the pain and right as I'm about to sink into it further like adjusting to the temperature of an ice cold pool we're told to leave the pose and try a new one."

Third thought, "I hate this teacher."

Fourth thought, "Here comes Hell. Or I guess because I'm supposed to be in a positive space, 'Heaven'. Either way I'm about to die." 

Fifth thought, "Why this pose? Of all the poses -why this one??? PAIN!!!"

Sixth thought, "The body is like dough. It needs to be kneaded and stretched out so it can become sturdy, composed, and flexible."

Seventh thought, "If I keep at this at some point in time I will 'graduate' from this beginner's class and carry on to even harder yoga poses I never imagined I'd be capable of achieving. Just got to keep working on things."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Update: Ghost and Yoga

Met with the physic Agatha this past weekend. Experienced very little this past week and nothing Saturday night at my mom's house. I'm entering a new phase in my life. I'm calling it the "Not interested in you being in my life anymore" phase where I kick out ghosts/negative people/negative situations.

Unfortunately last night the ghost made it clear that it is still around -though still kind of distant compared to the way it was before.

Meanwhile in Yogaland, I'm going to go to yoga tonight and I'm hoping my sister will come with me. I want someone to come with me. I don't want to be alone in the class now that my friend Heather who was teaching it is leaving and a new teacher is coming in. 

Speaking of Yoga, I was looking for other classes to take other than the breathing/basic poses/meditation class for beginners that I have been taking. There has to be more basic/beginner classes available to take. The problem is I don't know what all 30 different classes they off actually entail and how intense they are. 

They need to make a better orientation/explanation chart of classes for beginners, intermediates, and experts. Maybe I'll make one as I go along...

Yoga is still a struggle at this point. Child's pose is my favorite. My legs were shaking like crazy last time, but Heather reminded the class that it was a good thing and meant that pent-up energy was finally being released. I'm cool with looking like an idiot as long as: 

1. It's the way it's supposed to be, and 

2. Everyone else looks like an idiot with me.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Teens Debate Drugs

So the at-risk youth program I'm mentoring in had another community meeting last night. The theme was Debating About Drug Use. The room of 40 teens was divided in half: Half were Pro and Half were Con. Then questions were asked, debated on each side, and 5 representative teens from each were chosen to go up and persuade others to believe their points. 

3 judges (2 mentors and 1 teen) were then chosen from each side (total = 6 judges) to then decide which side won each debated question. I was a judge from the Con side.

Question 1: Should alcoholic parents be allowed to keep their children?

Pro Side's Arguments: 

-If you "punish" parents by taking their kids away it teaches their children that you ARE your mistakes and encourages a lack of forgiveness/compassion/understanding from society. 
-It can make kids and their parents just as depressed and unhappy to be separated as it would be to stay together.
-People can get support and overcome their alcohol addiction.
-Just because they abuse alcohol does not necessarily mean they are bad or dangerous parents.
-Where would the kids go? Foster care system? Would it really be better?

Con Side's Arguments:

-Abuse of alcohol will lead to an abuse of their children 
-Alcohol impairs people's judgement and activities and can lead to reckless endangerment of children
-It creates an environment that becomes "normal" to kids and then they repeat that cycle in their own lives

Winner: Pro Side

Question 2: Should people who commit crimes under the influence of drugs or alcohol be given 3 times the normal sentence.

Pro's Argument: 

-Crime of Abusing Drug (possibly an illegal one) + Crime Itself = More Time/ Punishment 
-If you soberly choose to do drugs you are also choosing/acknowledging that negative consequences will likely arise because of it and therefore are just as responsible -if not more so -for the crimes you then commit
-It is likely that criminals who committed crimes under the influence are more likely to continue doing drugs which will inevitably lead them to continuing to do crime. Therefore more punishment/time should be given. 
-The crime is usually escalated when drugs/alcohol are involved 

Con's Argument: 

-Sober criminals are worse and should be punished 3 times as much because they completely knew what they were doing when they were doing and their judgement wasn't impaired at all 
-Mentally ill people can accidentally abuse their perscriptions and commit crimes 
-Impaired judgement leads to negative activities that others can "sober up from" afterwards and change their ways 

Winner: Pro Side

Question 3: Should marijuana be legalized in California for recreational use? 

-This one was interesting for me because I remember the day we had this debate in my English class in high school senior year. The "Pro" side (two teen boys who were normally the ones disrupting the class by making stupid jokes) came in dressed in professional business suites and presented a very well thought out argument in favor of legalization. I was expecting (especially since these were at-risk youth who were pretty open about admitting they liked to get high) that these teens would win the Pro side hands down. 

Pro's Argument:

-Legalization would mean less people in jail and less "crime"
-It would help with eleviating pain and pain management 
-People already use it -why criminalize it? 
-Marijuana is equal to alcohol 
-People should have the freedom to choose whether they want to use it or not 

Con's Argument: 

-The Gateway Drug Argument
-It would lead to addiction
-People don't need drugs, they can find other things to make them happy 
-Drugs do not guarantee happiness or increased wellbeing 
-It leads to depression and laziness 
-It negatively impacts and impairs brain function over time 

Winner: Con Side (mostly because of how passionately they spoke)

Question 4: Methanfetamines are in certain medications and medicine (one kind given to young kids with ADHD and the other for extreme weight loss). Should these medications be taken off the market? 

Pro's Argument: 

-These medications have meth in them and can lead to addiction
-It has negative side effects 
-It can lead to the use of actual meth (Gateway Drug Argument) 
-Long-term side effects are not known and are possibly damaging 

Con's Argument: 

-Why should good people who need the drugs be punished and have their medication taken away? 
-Mental disorders and other medical issues need to be managed 
-The "ingredient" is needed in the medication and is in small doses 
-The parents and patients have given informed consent to taking the medication 
-It's the patient's choice to take it 
-A necessary evil possibly, but one that should be given 

Winner: Con Side

It was great to see the teens working on their public speaking and getting passionate about subjects they normally wouldn't have considered thinking about at all. 

What was kind of troubling at the end of it for me was this notion of a commonality I found in all 4 questions: 

How should people who behave well and do "good" handle those in society who do "bad" things? It's a hard debate because there are always going to be conflicting view points and desired outcomes:

-Punishment, justice, retribution, and accountability 
-Change, an end to a negative cycle, understanding, proactive prevention 
-Forgiveness, rehabilitation, reformation, acceptance 

You want to make the distinction between a person "being bad" and a person "doing something bad" but simultaneously you want to stop the bad thing from happening again. It's not an easy problem to solve.

Monday, May 5, 2014

More Ghost Activity

I was laying in bed with my eyes shut. At one point I saw this vague ball of light like an orb come towards my face. It was weird because my eyes were shut and I could just see the shade of the light/darkness in the room behind my eyelids. 

All of this happened in a matter of seconds -just ball of light like a water balloon coming at me then... Splat! I got this plop on my forehead where the ball of light landed. I immediately opened my eyes and looked around like... That was weird.

And I hate the ghost. It keeps lying in bed with me. When it isn't poking my legs and arms it's covering my bed as if it's spooning me or laying over me. And it's getting more physical so it really really feels like someone is literally lying next to me. It's creepy and I don't like it.

Yoga is Expensive

So I went on a quest this past weekend to buy yoga gear -which sounds simple enough. 

First was the yoga mat. I didn't want a plain old boring one-colored yoga mat so I got one with a floral design. Turquoise blue. $20. 

Then you need the carrying case for the yoga mat. They had one that was black with the embroidered symbols of the Chakaras and their related colors. $20. 

Then you need yoga pants. The store I was in had them for $60 and up. I was like, REALLY????! $60 for some sweat pant gear? Screw this I'm going to Ross where clothes are cheaper... 

Yoga pants at Ross... $40 each. There was no getting around that one I guess. I got 2.

Yoga shirt... They have those bikini-top/sports bra looking shirts that bare your mid section. Yah no. Not going there. I want an actual SHIRT. Specifically I cami-top spaghetti strap shirt. Found a one-size-fits-all top for $5. Got 4 of those. $20. 

Went to take the informational lecture on yoga. That class was cancelled. Just went ahead and signed up for basic yoga classes. $20 covers the next 2 one-night-a-week sessions. 

This weekend's total for yoga:


Yah. Yoga is expensive...

Friday, May 2, 2014

DBV 5-2-14

"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus." – Romans 6:11 (NIV)

Thoughts: This is interesting since I was just thinking: It's good that the world has bad in it. The negative aspects of the world make us hold tighter to the good and try to bring about more good and strive to maintain good. It also forces us to make peace with hard parts of life out of necessity. And then the good itself is always nice to enjoy. 

I also find that when I'm closer/more connected to God "sin" doesn't really effect me. It's weird because you mentally tell yourself it will, but there's a deep lack of interest in it and lack of influence from it when you're close to God. 

I also came up with this phrase that hit me this morning at around 5am: "Live by the soul, die by the soul." I thought it was clever because it took the phrase "live by the sword" -which is a well known warning that violence begets violence - and turned it into a phrase that implies: You Are Born and Die a Soul so You Should Live as One.