Thoughts about home

One of the reasons being in New York still feels like home home is because it’s the only place in the world I ever feel like I am 100% accepted for the real me. I feel more comfortable in my skin here. I feel like I fit in.

Whenever I’m here I think how easily I could live here again. The roots of who I am are here. The sights, the smells, the sounds and most of all the people. They make up the kaleidoscope of my world view and my view of myself. I’ve never experienced that anywhere else. I’ve never been able to replace that with anything or anyplace else.

Maybe be that’s why I seem to keep moving farther and farther away from all the things, people and places that New York is not? And  at the same time equally as far from what it is? Perhaps it’s an ideological fantasy in my head about where I belong. Perhaps I need to look inward to find that instead of always seeking it elsewhere and being happy nowhere.

As as of late I’ve envisioned myself in a little cottage on a big piece of land in the middle of vast wide open space. I’m comfortable with that idea. But just as uncomfortable with it.

It’s funny how I can at the same time feel comfortable at both ends of the spectrum and also feel like somewhat of an imposter in either, having been stuck in the middle of those extremes for most of my life.

To TV or not to TV, there is no question.

I was sitting in bed reading a story this morning about a woman and her husband who decided over time to get rid of their tv. I’ve thought about it a couple of times but was content with the decision I’d made long ago to not have cable and just use my AppleTV to watch shows via Netflix or other channel apps like PBS on occasion.

As I was reading this morning though, I sort of thought, I don’t need and moreso don’t even want my tv. And in that moment knew that I was 100% ok with my TV and my AppleTV heading out the door.

On Craigslist, the both of you!

Lightening the load a little more each day.

My favorite fall oatmeal

This oatmeal recipe is my cooler temp breakfast go to. In warmer months I eat fruit for breakfast. (and lunch. and often dinner) In the cooler months however, I can’t get myself to eat anything cold or rarely even room temperature, it has to be warm.

An added benefit is that this recipe has some anti-inflammatory properties…properties I’m trying to employ more and more of in the valiant effort to get my asthma under control again and hopefully to ‘ne’er to raise it’s ugly head again’ status.

I’ll preface this by stating that I am one to use recipes more as guides than as hard and fast rules. That also applies to my “recipe” writing. That said, here goes.

1/2c rolled oats
1/2tsp dried tumeric
1/4tsp dried ginger
1/4+tsp ground cinnamon
1c+ H2O

Mix the first four ingredients in a small saucepan, add about 1c of the water and stir over medium high heat. Rolled oats tend to cook and stick to the bottom of the pan fast (aka burned all my oatmeal soooo many times), so keep stirring, it won’t be long.

As it starts to thicken after about 2-3 minutes, add a bit more water, maybe 1/4c or perhaps more until you reach your desired oatmeal thick/thin-ness.

Optional toppings/additions:
Maple syrup/coconut sugar/honey
Nuts
Dried cranberries, sliced banana or chopped apple
You could add some sort of sweetener in while cooking, I don’t. I prefer not so sweet oats. The turmeric will make it a lovely gold color, all the more fall inspired. Enjoy!

This film breaks my heart.

I came across this video today for the first time. I’m obviously late to the party in that respect given how many views, subsequent response videos, tv interviews, etc have transpired since it was originally posted.

I watched this video and just became so angry and feel heartbroken. I’m having a hard time even finding the words. There is a lot of good in this world, no doubt. However, there is more than our fair share of ignorance, hate, stupidity, cruelty and the like….every day, in every thing.

The more conscious I become, the more I realize how off track humanity is. I hope will all my being that love, compassion and kindness take over as the driving forces in this world before we completely destroy everything around us, each other, ourselves.

peace + love

Southwest quinoa & kale salad

IMG_1007Salad:
1 bunch kale de-stemmed and chopped
1 can black beans rinsed (or 2 cups cooked)
1 can corn niblets (or corn from 2 cobs)
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (or 2 tomatoes finely chopped)
2T chopped red onion
2.5-3 cups cooked quinoa (about 1 cup uncooked)

Creamy cilantro lime dressing/sauce:
Juice of 2 limes
1 small or 2/3 medium zucchini diced
1/4 large or 1/3 small avocado
2-3T cilantro

Toss all salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend on high for approx 1 minute. Add salt/pepper and additional cilantro to taste.

Water=Life

Water is THE single most important nutrient for our bodies. You can live up to 3 weeks without food but only 3 days without water. That probably doesn’t seem real because many people don’t drink any water at all. They are getting barely enough via their other beverages and their food and they are likely super dehydrated.

Dehydration only scratches the surface of the ills our bodies face without adequate water. Water makes up 70-75% of total body weight and 90% of our blood. As with anything else, it’s not just as simple as just drinking whatever water. Again, humans have ruined and destroyed even the most precious thing required for our survival. I’ve had some seriously bad water before (Columbus, OH…ahem) and water that tasted like pure life itself (thank you British Columbia!)

Majority of the water I’ve consumed in my life has been tap water…I did a lot of bottled water the last several years but around 40% of bottled water is actually just tap water… I think it’s likely much higher than 40%. But even good tasting tap water is usually chock full of all kinds of chemicals and pollutants and is basically like drinking toxic soup.

I want to give my body the best chance at working to prevent disease and detoxify itself from the toxins we come into contact with daily, I certainly don’t want to be adding to that with the one thing that our bodies need more than anything else. Quality water is so important and the purest sources are wells (artesian or dug), spring water and mineral water.

For 16 years I lived within 5 miles (at one point less than a mile) to one of very few artesian wells in the world and did I ever get water there? Nope. I was not yet awake to all of these important things sadly. I’m going to get several carboys (large, 5-6 gal glass or plastic bottles/containers) glass of course and start either getting water from my folks’ well up in Sandpoint or from a well I found directly east of Spokane in Mullin, ID. To me it’s worth a 3-4 hour round trip every couple of weeks to get pure water. I’ve done the filter thing but prefer to go straight to the source and get water in it’s purest form and completely free to boot!

Bottoms up!

Everyone is not your adversary, a note to activists.

It’s easy when we feel passionate about something, say a belief or a cause, to become so invested in upholding that cause that we feel like we have reached some sort of moral higher ground. I don’t think it’s intentional in most cases and I don’t think we want to become adversarial but that is what often happens.  And our interactions can become adversarial vs engaging and educating.

That passion and fire for something we believe so strongly in can develop into frustration and in turn anger when we feel we aren’t being heard or that our cause is not being understood or we are facing some kind of opposition.

Being someone that has turned into somewhat of an activist myself, I have gone through the range of emotions and feel like my evolution is underway when it comes to what being an activist means for me and how I represent that, and how to support what I feel so strongly about and ultimately how I engage with others about things.

What I keep telling myself is to meet people where they are, and to remind myself that I am where I am as a result of a journey, that I didn’t start off understanding what I know today and I in fact partook in and unknowingly supported the practices that I now despise and work to put and end to.

No one wants to be initially confronted with judgement or accusations of wrong doing, that most often results in immediate defensiveness and in our culture, all out conflict. And instead of helping educate and broadening someone’s perspective, the opposite results and you basically solidify that person’s opposition or rejection of your cause/belief before they even had a chance to consider the options. In many cases, that person may have been open to a positive interaction and a new perspective on the topic had the approach come from a place of love and understanding.

This is what I see happening day in and day out on twitter. Activists of all sorts basically challenging and creating conflict where there was none. Taking things out of context and pitting themselves against people that actually had good intentions of trying to understand, engage and participate in peaceful progress. When this happens, the activists have hurt their own cause.

Our culture seems to breed a need for being adversarial. We are groomed to pit ourselves against one another on just about everything from politics to what we eat to race issues to what sports teams we side with. Always picking sides, always choosing to be against someone or something vs standing together and reaching out in understanding. Like my baseball team is better than yours I fucking hate you and your stupid team!!! How about we all love the game of baseball first? How about we start of by working to find common ground instead of the default being reacting to every single thing by finding how we can put someone on the “wrong” side.

I saw people posting negatively about Common’s comments on Jon Stewart where he basically said, instead of the approach being “your ancestors did this to my ancestors,” try reaching out a hand to the ones you wish would understand, engage them from a place of love and folks were upset about that, choosing to take a position and an approach of an adversary vs that of an engager. And I get it, there is a level of ignorance and injustice happening sometime that is beyond reason and understanding but if we choose to engage in that, to react to it, to get distracted by it, we lose focus and take energy and power away from driving the change that we want.

Another example is like a hardcore vegan hating on a new vegan for still wearing leather shoes. That approach does nothing to help that person further their understanding and their perspective, instead they will feel judged and defensive and not want to participate, instead of furthering the cause, someone gets pushed away from it.

To me, by continuing to pit ourselves against something, anything as our first approach, we end up being sheep to a system that wants us to be fighting amongst ourselves so that we can be distracted from what’s really going on and therefore not gather enough support and union to drive real change. I see it in so many different parts of our society, culture, etc.

There is something to be said for fighting the good fight, fighting for our rights, fighting for justice, fighting for better. But if we only know how to do this by fighting AGAINST something else vs fighting TOGETHER FOR something, we won’t make any progress.

Everyone is on a different journey, everyone’s eyes are opened to things and their perspectives grown in different ways. We can either be an agent for change or end up getting in the way of that which we desire. It is our choice, we can choose HOW we engage. Let’s start from a place of what unites us vs what divides us. Together is the only way we can drive real meaningful change.