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choose Love

Choose Love

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When you can look into a computer screen and type words of hate, you are a part of the problem.

When you can typecast an entire population by the acts of a few, you are a part of the problem.

When you can refuse to look at your own history, or that of your ancestors, you are a part of the problem.

When you can justify the genocide of a race, you are a part of the problem.

When you can only post news of corrupt officers, ignoring the many just and good, then you are a part of the problem.

When you can call a woman a murderer without attempt to understand a situation, you are a part of the problem.

When you can label another a sinner, with no regard to its underlying message of evil and unworthy, you are a part of the problem.

When you can tell another they are wrong in their beliefs and you are right, with zero acknowledgement that if there is one God and He loves all His children and maybe, just maybe, he gave them what they needed to believe, then you are a part of the problem.

When you can turn away from a story of a family risking everything, including each other, to flee from a place of torture and unmeasurable lows, to slam the door because you have enough of your own issues, you are a part of the problem.

When you can see love that is not your love, that may not subscribe to the same ideas you do and you can say it is less than, it is wrong, it is abnormal, you are a part of the problem.

When you stop listening and only hear, when your opinion is set before a person speaks, you are a part of the problem.

When you can see life in black and white and ignore the vibrant, loud, neon and sometimes dull colors and refuse to acknowledge that the blends can create a messy, complicated portrait, you are a part of the problem.

When you stay silent because it does not affect you, when you chose to not get involved, you are a part of the problem.

When you ignore the need for intervention and assume someone else will act, allowing your focus to be elsewhere on more pleasant sights, you are a part of the problem.

When you chose to not give to help fund programs to change the opportunities for the underprivileged, you are a part of the problem.

I can no longer be a part of the problem.

“Faith, Hope and Love – and the greatest of these is LOVE.”

“Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy; it does not boast. It is not proud. It does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered; it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preservers. Love never fails.”

LOVE. Love is NOT a feeling. LOVE is an ACTION.

When did our country, we did WE, stop following this? It seems there is a score – a big score – being kept. There is a major US VERSUS THEM issue. There is a damning amount of unkind words, actions. There is no seeking of truth, only of justification for why a person is right.

A dear friend wrote me, “I applaud you and your family for embracing people as they are and not by their skin color.”

This is NOT applaudable. This is being HUMAN. We have come to a point where my not judging you has become applaudable…where my NOT judging you based on the color of flesh, my not judging you if you prefer to date a man or a woman, my not judging you based on your profession of being a police officer or otherwise, my not judging you if you have taken Plan B, birth control or had an abortion, my not judging you if you are Jewish or Christian, Hindu or Muslim, atheist or agnostic, or otherwise… that my not judging you it is applaudable.

NO – IT IS BEING A HUMAN. IT IS LOVING YOU. IT IS SEEKING TRUTH.

It is okay if you do not think like me, but I will not DISHONOR you for not. I am sure if you are still reading, you either agree or are angry at me… “what about the corrupt, what about ISIL, what about our jobs, what about those with no voice, what about…”

And the greatest of these is LOVE.

Do not confuse my words; not judging is not the same as not caring.

I CARE that my kids have friends who will be looked at with judgement because of their ancestry.

I CARE that our friends who wear a badge have to worry they are targeted because they wanted to keep people safe.

I CARE that my friends have to work three times as hard because their skin wasn’t the right shade.

I CARE that despite she is brilliant, my daughter may never reach as high and someone will tell her it is okay because others have it worse.

I CARE about my friends who have had to make heart wrenching, life altering choices that left scars forever to be ripped open with every careless, thoughtless post painted with words of murderer.

I CARE that my Christian friends have to bear the brands the extremist place on them. I CARE my Jewish/Hindu friends have to feel ostracized when people continuously post that this is a Christian country. I CARE when my Native America friends have to be reminded, yet again, that no, it wasn’t such until so much brutality happened and they are forgotten, again.

I CARE when my friends who came here for a better life have to listen to others say they do not belong.

I CARE when my friends who love a person of the same gender have to worry that if the wrong person observes them, they will be beat or killed.

So, so, so many issues….so, so, so many judgments…but stop – are you LOVING that person. Are WE loving that person or each other… or are we judging. Are we seeking truth and understanding or are we seeking to prove our point?

A long time ago someone said to me, “you cannot be logical with the illogical…you cannot rationalize the insane.”

The majority of those who are receiving this are neither insane or illogical. They are your friends, it is you, it is me, it is our neighbor, it is our family….and this lack of grace, lack of truth seeking, lack of understanding, lack of empathy, lack of putting aside deep beliefs to truly listen, lack of care, lack of LOVE, this allows seeds of hate.

Which seeds will you chose to spread?

We have come to a time when a single thought can cause a fight and that fight can lead to hate… where is the Love?

We love our family; we love our friends; we love….?

Do we love those unlike us? Do we seek to understand what we don’t? This is so layered, we must start somewhere and expect it will leave us breathless.

Take the soldier who must shoot the child who carries a bomb because they have been taught that the recipient is pure evil. All forever scarred. Forever hate. New seeds are spread. Where do we start? How do we begin to repair what we did not start centuries before? Each in their own mind had just cause – but do we ignore all sides and pick one or do we seek to understand truth to change the future?

Take the child who has been underprivileged since birth, beat up, reprimanded for making a go at education and bettering herself to be raped, pregnant and now condemned for a life as a 14 year old mother with no money or family to help and no outside resources because “she should be able to figure it out” and “no one gave me a handout” and she has no reproductive choices because we took them away. Now, she is left scuffed at and judged when she uses WIC in the store. Or she did have a choice and went on to become an active member of society but bears a scarlet letter. What seeds are spread in both?

Take the beautiful child born to a white mother and Mexican father who is showing promise in sports and education. Because of recent news, she is now being openly told to go back to her country and her father, who works until midnight for his family (legally), is branded as a rapist and a druggie. The child is young and goes home sobbing to a mother who has to try to explain. OR this never happens but the mother is reading the comments on Facebook and in social media and fears for her child. What seeds are spread in both?

Is there pure evil? I believe, yes, there are people who are just awful and have given in to being hateful, but mostly there are good people who had to make terribly difficult, hearth wrenching choices. There are good cops; there are bad. There are good cops who had to react and will forever regret. There are good people who get caught up in crowd-mentality. There are people who have been fed an idea so long they never considered another. But how we react now matters; how we react helps to determine what seeds are sown.

Where is our social obligation? Where is our moral obligation? Are we really loving each other as a VERB….do we Love them when we brand them?

It is difficult to Love another when your own ego is involved. It becomes harder to Love when the person you are trying to Love demonstrates hate or judgement. How do you open your heart when the person in front of you is holding a pitchfork.

I’m sorry….
I’m sorry to every person who has or has children who will be treated poorly due to their skin. Your soul and mine have no color and I am sorry that people seem to feel that if it did, it would matter.

I’m sorry to every person who has had to carry the unbearable weight of a secret of who they love, terrified truth would bring retaliation and hatred.

I am sorry to every person who entered an occupation with the most honest and commendable intents only to be targeted for attempting to uphold safety.

I am sorry to every person who has to read keyboard crusaders’ comments and has been led to spend a night alone crying against a bathroom door.

We must change – all of us.

I am choosing Love.

Cooking, Uncategorized

Unicorn Drink, remix

I am not judging you if you went to Starbucks and quickly snagged the Unicorn drink. Mad props to them for an awesome marketing idea.  That said, sugar and my child do not exactly blend well (see what I did there.. frap.. blend…).

A few inspiring posts later from some health-coach friends and here is the result!

unicorn drink

This was super easy, as are most smoothies, because you literally just throw things in a blender and go.

Tips:

Add the frozen fruit on top – if you put it all in the bottom your blender will get jammed up (this was a live and learn thing – it had been awhile since I made a smoothie).

blender

If you add the sprinkles to a small amount of yogurt and then let it warm up, it will be drippy.  If you want it to hold a bit firmer, stir it right before you use it (think how ice cream would melt).  I “painted” mine right after stirring them together.

sprinkles

Definitely call it “the Unicorn Drink” when you give it to kids.  This is half the magic.  Wrap them up and make them feel like this is a complete treat.  Both of my kids were freezing today so I put them in the bathtub with this drink.

One full glass later, my son was asking for another and wanted to have the “Unicorn Drink” in his lunch this week.  This is kind of a miracle because my son doesn’t love to eat and clearly, the drink was as tall as his head.

jace unicorn drink

This was a win for our family – two kids with very different tastes (none of which include spinach), sprinkles, asking for more, easy bath time and nutrition for a snack.  Yes, yes, yes.

Those Starbucks marketing gurus – thank you for the inspiration.  If my kids didn’t go absolutely bonkers on sugar, we may never have found this new family favorite!

Feel free to post your versions of this drink in the comments below.

Uncategorized

Essential Oils Quick Tip – Air Filters

Ready for about the fastest essential oil tip ever?

Take an air filter, add some drops of your essential oil of choice and bam – instant house fragrance without the use of candles or synthetic sprays/plug ins/etc.

drops

Reapply as the scent fades and depending on the oils you use, less is often more.

We are a huge peppermint and lavender house but to each their own.

And of course, research oils before use.

Interested in essential oils and unsure where to start?  Message me and I would be happy to get you more information.

air filter essential oils

Uncategorized

Dear Depressed Friend; I see you

My Dear Friend… I see you.  I hear you.  I read your words.

And because I have been there, I understand you wake up to an all consuming battle and it takes more strength and self determination than anyone knows to simply get up and do the everyday. There are times you don’t have the energy to actually take any of the suggestions you know would help you.  And sometimes, your mind convinces you that you are not worth it.

THAT IS A LIE.  That voice is trying to kill you.  That voice is full of manipulative bullshit that wants to overcome you.  But I get it – those who haven’t been there will say “don’t listen to it,” but IT IS YOUR MIND.  How do you not hear your own mind?

I recall putting a name to the critical voice that replayed over and over again.  It was easier to feel it, name it and separate that from my purpose.  No, it didn’t cure me … but it helped to recognize it as untruth. Once, prior to re-vamping my bedroom, my mom and I painted words of strength (and anger) at this voice.  I clearly remember writing “fuck you, ed” on my wall.

You are not the convincing lies of that voice.

You are a kind-hearted person.  You post pictures of helping animals and getting to know others who are not like you – to spread acceptance and love.  You share beautiful art, dance, music.  You inspire with stories about seeing beyond the surface.  And you do more than that…

You tell your story.

Do you know how much courage that takes?  You let the world in and say, “if you can’t accept me in my worst position, you are not worthy of my friendship.” You invested in yourself.

There are people out there struggling silently. You said, “I will be your voice.  I will let you know you are not alone. I will love you regardless if you are made up and smiling or not and if you are smiling, I will not assume your eyes are also.  I will search for your hidden truth and I will let you know I am safe to talk to if you are not as you appear.”

My friend, I want you to know I see you.  I see your heart.  I see your fight.  I see you trying.  I see you expose your hard days and reach out.  I see the courage it takes to expose the vulnerability.  That is extremely brave – it is so much easier to hide it and let it gobble you up.  I see you stepping beyond that.

And my friend, I want you to know I hear you.  I hear your cries and your pain.  I hear your voice and it is beautiful and real.  I hear your care and it touches all types. I hear your frustration. I hear you picking yourself back up off the ground.  I hear your work.

Above all of this… there is one thing I really, really want you to know.

YOU ARE WORTH IT.

You are worth this fight.  You are worth the battle.  You are worth overcoming the critical voice in your head.  You are worth the tears.  You are worth the frustration.  You are worth the mess.

Life sucks sometimes.  Life can be overwhelming and feel like quicksand, engulfing, suffocating and pulling you under.  And life can be beautiful.  Life can be mesmerizing and inspiring and supply a depth beyond the encasing of the body and world.

In the drowning parts, try to remember it can be impossible to see through a storm but that doesn’t mean it won’t end.  Just as we wouldn’t judge a person who happens to live in an area an earthquake hit, your storm doesn’t make you less than or unworthy.  It means that for this moment, it sucks beyond a level that can give any justice in words.

It also means there is a side after the storm.  As we see time and time again, there are people who will hold out their hands and through the clean up, a stronger, more unified and connected bond develops. This is true for you also. Yet, I know, the after-matter doesn’t help to make the pain less of living in that moment…

Get it out of you, put it on paper, meditate, create, run, do anything to let it out.  Acknowledge it.  Tell the fucker in your head “not today.  I got your number.  I hear you trying to kill me and not today – jackass, not today.

And every time you brush yourself off, every time you reach out, every time you recognize it – allow yourself that victory.

Your mind will tell you you failed because you slipped.. please, let me repeat – THAT IS A LIE. That is the voice..that is the one that hates you.  You wouldn’t tell your child who fell learning to ride his bike that he failed.  You are that child. Every time you get on the bike, despite if you fall or not, you are learning and succeeding and growing in mind and body.  Allow yourself that humanity.

And know we are here.  We are here even when we don’t know how to help.  I had to decide a million times over again I was worth the fight; no one else could convince me that I was – I had to decide it.  When I read your words, even when they are just saying “depression sucks,” I see you making a choice to call this out as what it is.  This is Depression.  This is not You.

You are beautiful.
You are worth it.
You are strong.
You are loved.
You are needed.
You are important.
You are helping others by shining light on the dark.
You are inspiring.
You are generous.
You are caring.
You are supportive.
You are open.
You are a safety net for others.
You are kind.
You are true.

I am thankful for your words.
I am here if you need to just talk.

;

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And because she is one who seems to get this message…

 

 

Crisis Text Line

Mayo Clinic – Depression

Suicide Prevention Hotline