The possibility of an easier pregnancy

I am seven months pregnant with my first baby. This is the first time I’ve been pregnant and I’ll be 34 when I have this kid. I’m happy to be older having a baby because I’ve had a chance to do many things and grow stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. I think these things have an influence on how my pregnancy has gone so far as I would say I haven’t had a super hard time in my pregnancy so far and I’m almost at the end. I didn’t get the crazy morning sickness, no swelling, no excessive weight gain or gestational diabetes and I’m planning on a natural birth. I tried thinking of the reasons my pregnancy has been so easy compared to other experiences, and I can’t help but think it’s been due to a few key reasons that I’ll list below.

Here are my tips for an easier pregnancy:

1. Do Yoga & Exercise
If you are pregnant, start doing it and even better yet, if you aren’t pregnant, start doing it. Yoga is one of the best tools you can equip yourself with. You will learn postures to alleviate pain, calm your mind, and prepare your body for all the changes it will go through during pregnancy, from back pain, stretching ligaments, or just plain calming that monkey mind. Yoga is key! You have to do it and start it as early as possible. If you don’t do yoga, then walk. Everyday. 30 minutes. Go on Youtube and do a prenatal workout or yoga. You don’t have to go to the gym. You could stay right in your home. Know that if you exercise, you keep energy flowing and condition your body to stay strong. You are going to need to be strong for your childbirth. Don’t be afraid to move your ass. You don’t have to run a marathon but you can’t blob out on the couch everyday. Baby needs oxygen and endorphins too. I would say just chill in the first  trimester though as the baby is implanting still and you probably won’t feel so hot because you might be nauseous and tired all the time, but once your little one is firmly secured in your womb and you are feeling better, you are good to go with the moves.

2. Eat plant based and drink a fuck ton of water
I know you have heard this a lot. Eat right. But really. Eating right is going to help you have an easier time in pregnancy because if you eat the right stuff, your body is going to function optimally. It is essential to get your vitamins from green plants. Kale, spinach, collards, all have essential vitamins and minerals and protein. There are so many things that they test you for in pregnancy via your blood and piss. They are looking for high sugar levels and gestational diabetes, protein in your urine, utis, you name it. Eating plant based and drinking tons of water is going to help you avoid bloating, heartburn, preeclampsia, swollen limbs, and give the baby optimal nutrients.
Yea, you need extra protein but you can get protein from sources other than meat because if you eat too much meat, you will probably be filled with salt and fat and this could make you bloat and swell. Eat the plants first. Have a bit of meat and dairy if you need it and avoid processed sugar. Have some control. This is a chance to strengthen your mind muscles that you are going to need in labor and as a parent in general. You don’t have to give in to cravings and if you have cravings, it probably means something is out of balance in your body. Yea, drink a fuck ton of water. The baby needs it. You need it. Don’t play with your water intake. Drink at least 3 liters a day. This helps with hydration of course but also peeing a lot means that you are keeping your urinary tract clean and you will get less cramping and Braxton hicks if you are well hydrated.

3. Talk about it
You are going to have tons of emotions and thoughts as a pregnant person. Sometimes people don’t always want to hear you and your long list of worries because they don’t have time. It’s important to express yourself even if you don’t always have someone to talk to and you can do this in a number of ways–a personal pregnancy journal or vlog, or join a mom online group like “Momlife” or an actual support group where you can meet other mommies to be. Prenatal yoga or exercise classes are a great place to meet new mamas. You will also meet them in your prenatal birth classes and such. It’s also very important to make time to talk with your partner about everything under the sun. You guys need to get on the same page about this pregnancy and squash as much drama as you can to get closer. Believe me, my partner and I are not perfection, but we take the time to talk about our concerns and issues. It’ll bring you closer. Don’t be afraid to open up, otherwise it’ll be another thing you are holding onto that could make your pregnancy and birth tough. Let it go. Talk it out.

4.  Hole Up

This is a tip about getting close to your partner and establishing your family unit. Sure, you are part of a bigger family, but really you are starting your own colony here. You and your partner. That’s it. That means that you don’t have to do things the way others did or listen to other people who think they know what’s best for you. Only you and your partner know what’s best for you. Getting solid with your partner is key. Sometimes staying away from others and their opinions and energies is the best way to do this. It doesn’t have to be lonely because not all solitude need be lonely. You and your partner need to hole up and get close. If not now then when? Eventually you will come out of this hole and be joined with family and friends and this little baby who will always be a part of you two. So, it’s important to be alone, love the quiet, get close, be a team. Remember the sacred act of lovemaking that created this life. Only you and another made this happen. Not his/her mom or his/her friends. Just you two.

5. Be Positive

There is a lot of fear mongering around pregnancy and childbirth. People love to tell you all sorts of shit that goes wrong or complications people have and what you need to do. Honestly, all you need to do is have a plan in your mind and heart for what you want, and hold strong to that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tuned out people when they start talking about things that aren’t completely positive and uplifting. You don’t need to listen to people who tell you “how it is” and assume that’s how it’s going to be for you. They don’t know. Chances are what your mind is thinking of will happen. If you mind is worried about this or that always, chances are that thing you fear the most is going to happen. Don’t let outside forces control your pregnancy and birth outcome. Hold strong to what it is you want. You want to feel good in your pregnancy? Tell yourself that you are strong and born for this. You want to believe that everything is fine and well in your world? It is. Hold the positive thoughts and forget about everything else. This is a part of controlling your own experience. People can say what they want. You can too.

6. Get Educated

You just have to. Otherwise you will be at the mercy of people’s past experiences and the over culture’s. Just because your mom and grandma had gestational diabetes and medicated births doesn’t mean you have to!! Education is one way to eliminate fear in pregnancy and childbirth. Read everything that interests you. It’ll help keep your mind from going down the worried paths and help inform you about options for labor, healthy pregnancy, and know that this is something people have been doing for centuries without medical aid and intervention.

Well, I hope this was informative, thought-provoking, helpful, any or all of the above. I am overjoyed to share my experiences with anyone who is going through pregnancy or just wants to come along for the ride. It doesn’t have to be hard. I think being healthy and doing alternative things has a lot to do with how your pregnancy will turn out. I’m not perfect. I’m just a person who likes doing things differently because I don’t agree with societal norms. There are instances where this pays off and in pregnancy, it seems to be one of them.

Books and resources I recommend:

The Business of Being Born

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

Husband-Coached Childbirth (Fifth Edition): The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth

Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care, 10th edition


How to get what you want by not being an asshole

I know a girl who is really pretty and smart but not very happy. She spends so much time on social media and compares her life to the ones around her and feels so awful about herself that she gets depressed and feels like her life is crap.

Social media is great but it really has the potential to make people feel like shit, only if the source of your happiness comes from having things outside yourself and not being grateful for what you have.

That’s why not being an asshole is the key to happiness and getting what you want.

This girl is like many, who doesn’t really live for others. She isn’t very giving yet expects the world to fall at her feet.

If we are selfish and unkind assholes and don’t care about others, the universe will respond accordingly and make life a living hell because all you had to give was nothing! So you will get nothing but more lack. If you put out complaints about lack, you will continue to experience lack because the universe thinks you like to lack!

However, the solution is simple: STOP BEING AN ASSHOLE!

Look outside yourself at the world that needs you to stop complaining and lacking when it really needs you to be giving and receiving love!

Here are a few steps to transition out of being an asshole:

1. Stop criticizing others 

A.k.a letting things go. Whether you like it or not, whatever you give your energy to, will grow, just like the sun shines down on unwanted weeds just as evenly as it does to the plants you wish to grow. Criticizing excessively is like a disease. It is perfectionism. It stops people from being comfortable with just being themselves. It is like whining constantly on a long road trip. It creates insecurity and annoyance. Bottom line: everyone is different and will do things in their own time, how they do them. Learn to love and accept people just the way they are. Accept situations just the way they are unless they are intensely harmful, and you have to learn that you can’t change people, you can simply move away from the energy that brings you down. You don’t have to criticize the entire way. You can let go, let flow.

2. Be grateful

This might sound redundant or like something you’ve heard way too much at Thanksgiving time, but it’s just truly power. This is actually key to stopping critical thoughts in their tracks. This is how you learn to love your life by appreciating what you have. If you always wish you had something else, the cycle will simply not end and there will be always something that makes you feel lacking. You already have so much. Open your eyes, breathe that air in your lungs, hug someone in your life who has given you something. It is a small start, but still a beginning.

3. Do something for someone else/volunteer

Understanding other people is the best way to humanize yourself again and break the asshole shell. Nobody is asking you to go out and join the Peacecorps or change an elderly person’s diaper here. It could be as simple as making your loved one a cup of tea, taking the time to listen to someone who just wants to vent (without judging), or bagging your own groceries in the store (because the cashier looks tired and you can definitely do this on your own). Giving to others spreads good karma that will return to you one day.

4. Get your head out of the clouds

Know that what people post online is their best foot forward. Most people have spent hours upon hours editing their content and social media is not necessarily representative of a person’s ugly truth. Social media is all about marketing and selling, so next time you see someone’s personal social media account that isn’t selling a specific product, what are they trying to sell to you? They are selling you happiness. If you want to constantly buy into other people’s idea of happiness without making your own, then you are screwed. Make your own happiness, so that you don’t have to buy into someone elses’ idea of happiness. When you view other people’s products next time, they won’t look so awful to you.

5. Check yourself

     Before you wreck yo’self. You are a friggin human being just like everyone else. Even if you were a ruler, you’d want people to treat you with adoration that you earned, don’t you? Otherwise it’s cheating and fake. The best rulers were adored because they showed people they actually cared and could get on their level. If you have a need to place yourself on a pedestal and belittle those around you, where did that come from? Do you not feel respected in your own life? If not, then start respecting others to get respect. Humanize yourself! before you wreck yourself.

Mourning fries to help with loss of loved one

A few months ago, a dear friend of mine passed away. The heartbreak is still very real. This was the first person I lost whom I loved deeply outside of my blood family. He was my chosen family, my heart, my soul.

The night I found out, I had just got out of work. I cried nonstop the entire night and knew I needed something to heal me temporarily. I needed something….

So I came up with this recipe.

I call it “Rickey’s mourning fries.”

The act of chopping took my mind off him. Frying transformed a basic potato into edible goodness.

Carbs are a source of comfort and the potato isn’t so evil like people think. People go out and do so much worse to cope with loss like take drugs, drink, or take it out on others. In eating a potato, you may be ingesting extra carbs, but know that you just have to go outside and walk for an extra 30 minutes and walking can be meditative and healing so no harm no foul. Besides, eating a potato is not the end of the world, especially when you feel like you’ve lost the world a.k.a your best friend. 

This recipe includes a few potatoes, a little salt and a pepper, a little coconut oil. That’s it. Basic. Like Rickey. 


Potatoes (2-3 large russet)

1 tbs coconut oil

sea salt

black pepper


Chop the potatoes into wedges. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet. Toss potatoes in the pan and make sure they get coated in the coconut oil. Let it sit for a bit and then toss again, making sure the potatoes don’t stick to the pan too much. 

Cover potatoes and let the steam help them cook. Toss periodically until all sides of the potatoes have been browned. 

Place potatoes onto a plate and season with salt and pepper.

I like mine with a little veganaise because deep down I must be European. 

Enjoy the comfort of homemade fries and if you feel guilty for eating carbs, go out and walk for 35-40 minutes and use the time to meditate, pray, unite with the universe’s goodness. We may lose people we love but it’s only from this plane. Somewhere they are serving as angels. The abrupt departure only means they were urgently needed elsewhere. 

Ingesting a little carbs for comfort is grounding.  Avoiding emotions by taking pills is not. Gorging on food is not recommended either. This is about wading through our toughest moments, knowing that we will get through it, with a lot of love, a lot of forgiveness and understanding, and a little plate of fries. 

What we can learn from Leos

I love Leos.  I would probably take a bullet for one of my Leo friends because I know they would do the same for me. They have been the greatest friends to me and recently I had an epiphany about why I love Leos so much and what I can learn from them. 

1. Pride/Self Esteem

Some people might look at a Leo and say, that guy/girl is cocky as hell. Well, I think anyone who thinks that about another person hasn’t allowed their own selves to be the magnificent, unique, beautiful creature that they are, so they feel the need to criticize others who don’t have a problem being exactly themselves. Leos do not have a problem with being their own magnificent, unique, beautiful selves because they love to shine. They love being different, the center of attention. I don’t know about you, but I love to see a person being their wild, crazy, different, inspirational self. I love difference. I love boldness. We can learn a lot from bold Leos. Yea, they have a lot of pride, but that’s another word for self esteem, a necessary tool we all need to have under our belt. Having pride/self esteem means we believe in ourselves and we are great just as we are.

Having pride/self esteem also means we don’t accept crap from others. We know how great we are and anyone who treats us less than that can hit the damn road.

2. On your own time

So if you have more than one Leo in your life, you many know that they are notorious for being late! Well, they usually like getting gussied up even if it’s just to go out for a coffee or movie. This means that they are often spending more time getting ready than most. Annoying yea, but that means that they value their appearance and you must make an appointment with them. You can’t just show up unannounced or expect them to drop everything for you. They value their time, as we all should. We have priorities. They are great at being selfish and doing things on their own time. This can be perceived as negative by many and it is a bit, but it’s great to also value your own time, knowing that what you are doing is important and if anyone wants a piece of your time, they need to set a date/time, well in advance. Nobody needs to expect that anyone drop their lives for another person. Now, that’s selfish and disrespectful. Watch a Leo. They will not drop anything for you. They’ll fit you in when they can and when you can. No walk-ins here. Not for their services!

3. Loyalty/Respect


My two best friends are Leos. One I have been friends with since I was in high school. The other used to be my boyfriend but we decided to stay friends because we really love each other, just not being in a relationship with one another. Point is, they are ride or die friends that I can count on for anything. They are incredibly loyal, a fixed sign, so that means they are definitely more stable as they concentrate energy and solidify ideas.

Aside from loyalty, there is respect. Because a Leo values his/her time so much, if they are going to spend their time with you, you better believe that they are going to make it special, meaningful. Placing value on people means showing them respect and dignity. When you treat others that way, it just makes them want to show you the same.


4. Positive

A Leo is a very positive person. They have energy for days and are always looking on the bright side of things. They like success and want to see others succeed as well. Being positive means attracting more positivity into your life.

5. Passionate

Leos really do value their time, so if they are going to spend time with anyone or doing anything in particular, you better believe they are going to make it worthwhile. So that means that anything they do is done with passion,  Anyone they love, they love with passion. They bring a certain excitement, vigor, with a clear set goal in mind. This is a great way to live your life. With this mindset and value system, anything you want to accomplish will get done and done well.

I love Leos, as you can see, because they have taught me so much about how to be a good, kind person, to defend their friends, lovers, and families. A lion or lioness can be intimidating to some, but it’s like having a ferocious, wild animal as your friend or lover, holding you in highest regard, protecting you from predators in this jungle we live in. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty dang awesome and I have learned to be more bold and loyal from my Leo friends more than any of my others.


5 ways to Compost emotions

In the spirit of cleansing out/cleaning for the new year, I went through my internet favorites bar, deciding what I was still interested in, had done or already read, and I came across this article “How to grieve, rage, and move on,” by Dr. Christiane Northrup about healing from our drama from the past. We always hear that phrase, let it go, move on, but we all know it’s much easier said than done. Well, this article was very informative. It actually provided some steps to moving on and dealing with our emotions.

What I mainly took away from this article was that everyone has crap they have to deal with in life, but you can choose to use your crap for good and help new things grow/develop. That’s the basic gist of composting. You take scraps and old food that you aren’t going to use and put it in a big bin/container with water, dried up leaves or paper, and air flow. Months later, you have fresh, enriched soil that you can use in your garden to make your new plants grow. It hadn’t occurred to me until today that this idea of composting can totally be applied to our emotions/ideas as well.

I’m a huge fan of recycling/composting. I think it’s great to be able to use our trash. What an amazing thing to be able to  apply the composting process with our old crappy memories, emotions, ideas!

We don’t keep trash in our houses, so why do we hang onto old emotions  in our mind’s house?  Just like trash, old emotions probably smell like hardcore shit and are rotting inside of us unnecessarily. What loves shit? Flies, bugs, that create worms, maggots, disgusting creatures that love to feed off of our old crappy emotions/ideas/baggage/pain, you name it from the past.

This became one of my goals for the new year, to compost my old ideas/emotions and get them out of my house/body/mind and put them in a place where they can be re-used rather than stored in my body or mind’s house.

What are ways we can compost our old ideas?

  1. Create.  I’ve done this a few times to deal with pain. I put traumatic experiences in my stories. I’ve had some crazy things happen to me, so what better way to re-purpose this than to put the drama into a fiction story. Hey, it has another life now and it’s no longer just part of my secret dramatic history. It can serve as entertainment or even a lesson for someone else to learn from my mistakes. Point is, it no longer just lives in me. It’s somewhere else.
  2. Exercise. Ever feel like punching/kicking something because you’re mad? Well, take up kickboxing or invest in a punching bag. This rage can help you get into shape. Don’t let it stay in your body.
  3. Give/Help. Don’t know what to do? Think about other people who have way less than you do. If you aren’t on the street, you have a lot. There’s nothing more humbling than volunteering your time to give/help someone who needs it by buying someone a meal, helping ESL learners learn to read, volunteering at a soup kitchen or even just donating your old stuff to Goodwill or letting someone crash on your couch. Giving is never unnoticed by the universe. We never lose anything we give away for free. It’ll come back to us in another way whether it means we’ve learned to let go or gave someone much needed warmth in the form of a coat or pair of shoes.
  4. Gratitude. Easy way to put you in your place and ground you. There are so many things we take for granted like the ability to breathe, have a roof over our heads, shoes on our feet, all our limbs, a job, a family, 20/20 vision, education, you name it. Make a list of five things you are grateful for every morning before you get out of bed. It’ll definitely change your perspective.
  5. Learn something new/be better. We aren’t defined by our past. We can definitely choose to be better. To learn alternative methods to healing and living a better life than maybe our parents did or those around us. We can always pull out old, rotting ideas that don’t serve us. Learning does this. We replace old ideas with new ones that are better, that feed us and others. This concept we learn easily in gardening. Maybe you choose to learn about composting. What could be greater and more symbolic than to actually understand the traditional idea of composting? You can literally see the process happening with old food and leaves/grass from your house. If you don’t have room for that in your own living space, it’s definitely beneficial to learn how to do this somewhere else such as volunteering in a community garden or even just researching online. Gardening is a gift. It shows us so much about the cycle of life and how anything in nature grows. It’s the same for us. We aren’t some mysterious being that is above nature. We require nearly the same things plants need to grow/thrive. Understanding this is life changing. I invite you to make the time for this.




Love is making sweet harmony

This above photo is everything I know love is. The guy sits with his back pressed against this girl, so close, just enough to get the job done and that’s play a guitar together. To teach, to learn, requires openness, working together for growth, for one common goal and that’s to make sweet harmony. When you have found such a thing, a person to make music with, you may never want to let them go.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be with someone all the time. Key word is wanting. There is no freedom without boundaries, especially in love. Not being with your special person all the time is essential but that doesn’t mean you can’t long for their presence.

When you find yourself maybe not really caring or wanting to be with that person all the time, then maybe it’s really not love.

Love is loving to look into your special person’s eyes. Not wanting to turn away ever.  Love is knowing that they find you to be the most special person in the world. Love is accepting the imperfections of another. Not needing to fix them but accepting them and finding perfection in their imperfection. Love is always wanting to support their dreams, providing distance when necessary but always an incessant, burning devotion. Openness. Complete dedication to that which is special, the thing that pulls people to each other in the middle of the night. Sharing honesty. Not wanting to be away. Not needing to be drunk. Not needing to hug others, kiss others, sleep with others. No one comes close. No one gets it like you two do.

Love is wanting your special person to be better and healthy so you two can stay alive long together to make creations, children, be grandparents, supporters of future generations, the backbone of a family. A sacred tree that is strong and special when two creatures in nature cross-pollinate.

Cross-pollination is love. Alone, we can’t achieve such miracles. When you know you can cross-pollinate with another, you simply must have to. You simply must defend this ability given by the universe. It’s your duty to defend this love.

Love is never letting go when it’s hard, only when necessary for growth. Love is knowing when you are wrong and sometimes letting the other person be right when they are not just to humor them for a few hours.

That’s the kind of love I used to believe in but let selfish people convince me wasn’t right. They were wrong.



Re-growing food from scraps

I am obsessed with gardening.

If you would have told me this was going to happen a year ago, I would have thought you were crazy, but now I’m a freaking gardener and loving every minute. My hands are always dirty, I find my heart skipping a beat every time I see a Home Depot or nursery, and I’m always thinking about my gardens, my kids, and what I can grow next.

Since I now have four gardens I work in,  I have to plan lessons each week and find myself buying plants regularly. I do have a stipend to buy supplies, but I think it’s even cooler to be able to use already existing plants and scraps to re-grow things.

A few weeks ago I planted garlic in one of my gardens and it’s been growing nicely.


I was blown away that I could plant garlic from one clove. I have been doing research on what can be re-grown and I’m currently experimenting with ginger, celery, basil, and onions. All you really have to do is stick the roots in water or back in the ground and they will grow right back up! Amazing shit and what’s even cooler is that these veggies are staples that are beneficial to health and if eaten regularly, can prevent sickness.

This is the season when everyone is getting sick because of weather changes. Immune systems go haywire. I know mine did. I was getting sick but decided to drug myself with ginger and garlic. I didn’t get full-on sick. I stopped it in its tracks and feel so much better for doing so. I see people around me using drugs like Claritin and Nyquil and it’s just not helpful. Not only will these drugs make you tired, they will also delay the recovery process.

So think twice before you douse yourself with these medicines. The real medicine is the food we eat that’s loaded with natural vitamins essential to our health.

Times are changing and we may just need to know how to feed ourselves when we have no markets or restaurants. We will need to know how to grow our own food, utilizing every source of energy, making natural living a sustainable, viable way of life. This is the direction that truly saves, inspires, re-energizes.

Gardening can teach you this. I was the least likely person to garden, but learning gardening re-enforces sustainable living, a sense of union with the community and kindness and peace within. It can heal. That’s what’s fascinating about using old food scraps. You can grow something out of an organism that we would normally throw away. Everything operates in a cycle. Life, death, rebirth. It’s amazing so think of everything in this way.

Another metaphoric lesson in gardening: preventing abusive environments

So I was driving home from one of the school gardens I work in, deep in thought about “Figaro,” a certain Fig tree we transplanted last week (The kids gave him that name). I’m often deep in thought after leaving this particular garden because it needs so much work. Since I only visit it once a week, I hate to leave because it’s like my child that I can’t see every day. I can only hope the children and teachers are treating it right in my absence.

When I came to this garden a little over a month ago, I was super overwhelmed by the overgrown grass, weeds, and dead plants. When we started removing the plants and checking out the soil to plant new things, we discovered root maggots! It has definitely been a challenge working with these bugs, to say the least.

I started thinking about soil, how it’s the most important element for all life forms to grow in. Everything starts in the soil and if it’s infected with harmful pests, it can really stunt growth.

I thought of Figaro and wondered if he was experiencing root shock because he came from a very nice garden and the Garden Ranger there only pulled him out to make room for new stuff to grow since they already had two large fig trees growing. Instead of throwing him away, I decided to re-plant him in this particular garden of mine that’s in much need of anything to grow in it.

I imagined Figaro’s tiny roots in new soil and hoped that he wasn’t too scared in this environment. I hoped that I removed enough of the root maggots in previous weeks so that they wouldn’t hurt him. I imagined him like an orphan or foster kid who might get placed in a new home with possibly strange, maggot-like parents/forces that might eat away at his roots/essence.

I began to wonder how many children are born or placed into infested soil and what effect this has on their development.

It’s not their fault. A root maggot didn’t ask to be born, same way as an abuser didn’t ask to be born into a poor home environment.  Everything starts in the soil/home, and if the home is jacked up, can you really expect something healthy to grow?

I began to think of the ways in which we can prevent abusive homes a.k.a. infested/damaging soil so that damaging pests and creatures do not grow and harm our future growing youth. This is what I really stand for, what I really aim to accomplish in my life here on this planet. I want to created places for all living things to grow in healthy, nourishing soil.

It was clear to me today that the solution is in prevention when possible. If the soil is not healthy, we must fix it. It’s never too late. The best way is to prevent conditions in which pests can be born. After doing some research on how to deal with root maggots, it is recommended /suggested that we remove dead plants and rotate them in and out with every changing season. I think this idea of constantly creating/constantly recycling every season, planting certain things like Marigolds and onions that discourage the growth of these pests, is the best way to go.

Pesticide and harmful chemicals is the easy way to deal with problems, much like what this country has done to many of its perpetrators by throwing people in jail or sending them to the electric chair. It doesn’t solve the underlying problem, doesn’t begin to get to the root cause. That’s what our society really needs.

Nobody had been in my garden for many many months and so many things were dead and not growing. When things don’t grow and are not removed, that’s when the flies come and lay their eggs and create the ugly pests that make sure no life can ever grow.

Neglect, lack of knowledge, create these problems. Same things in abusive homes.

Gardening has always shown me so much. Lessons that I need to learn exactly when I need to learn them.

I was a basic gardener early this year, but now that I’m a Garden Ranger, I am the one in charge, the one who decides what we do with our gardens, what we teach our children. I’m the one who has to fix the problems and bring the solutions, rallying the children, teachers, and the community to make this group effort sustainable, flourishing, beautiful. It’s a learning/teaching experience for us all.

The key is to never stop creating, never stop growing. To always keep the cycle of life flowing, we must spend every day caring because who else will?  It’s not a simple solution that can be fixed with one operation, one pill, one treatment of pesticide, with a jail sentence.

Our society needs to care. It’s just as simple as that. This is what we need to be teaching children. This is what children respond to.

What we do with our hands

So the other day I was looking at my instagram and saw this post by one of my favorite people, Julien Kang, an inspirational mma fighter/actor/model who also happens to be very handsome 🙂 . He listed the hashtag, “realman” so I checked it out and saw all these cool posts about what some people think it means to be a “real man.” I really like this one…

“If your boyfriend’s hands don’t look like this, you’ve got a girlfriend.”

I know it was sexist and grammatically incorrect (if you look at the link),but it really got me to think about hands and the different ways each of us uses them.


I work in community gardens, so most of the time, my hands are dirty. I often think about prehistoric times, how we used to spend our time gardening and getting/growing our food, then eating it. We were way more physical then. Growing/gathering food was our work. We didn’t spend our time thinking about exercise or trying to fit it into our day because our day consisted of laborious activities all around survival and eating food was the reward, the end game. Now, we don’t do that because most of us don’t have to grow our own food or kill wild animals and even prepare our own food. This very simple fact has changed the way we use our hands.

So many of us now sit at desks and type away at computers and phones, pads, whatever. I was super resistant to this change in society for so long because I didn’t like that people are now so dependent on technology for everything and it has contributed to so many health problems all stemming from the fact that we just aren’t as active as we used to be and need to be. After starting a social media internship with a very cool, hip, young lady, I’m coming out of the prehistoric ages and have realized just how essential it is to roll with the times. Still, we must be aware of how we use or don’t use our hands.

Are we really aware of how we use our hands every day?

I have always loved to work with my hands. I started playing music at a young age and continued until I was about 18, but still play every now and then. I was into dark room photography, film, writing, scrap-booking, cooking. Mostly my hands have been used for artistic endeavors. It’s where I feel the most productive.

Lately, I’ve been using my hands for gardening, for learning, for planning. It’s a different time. A phase right now where I haven’t been as creative like I used to, but still getting work done nonetheless.

Our hands are direct communicators with our hearts and minds. I have asked myself in the past, if I was happy with what my hands were doing. When I feel like I can say yes, then I know I’m on the right track.

Are you using your hands for good? Service? Love? Or are you using your hands for hate? Abuse? Out of fear?

Are you using your hands to be productive? Or non-productive?

Lately, I’ve been spread really, really thin, juggling multiple jobs/dreams/people.

I find myself having to think about every action I do. Does it bring me joy? Is it useful? Is it productive?

Look at your hands. It’s an easy way to bring you back into the present moment, if maybe for a second or a few minutes, you are feeling out of sorts. Look at your hands. What are they doing? Are they active in a positive, loving way that serves? Or are they idle and destructive?

I know I want to go out of this world with my hands dirty because I worked hard to help others. I want to know that I used my hands well and people were able to get something out of my hands’ hard-working efforts. That’s who I am. Anyone who truly knows me knows that I am a productive, positive person who may at times pile many things onto my plate, but will always live a life of service, a life of love and gratitude. I have way too much to LIVE for.

I find that when we have idle hands, evil breeds. Keep your hands busy doing something that serves, that provides love, nourishment, comfort, growth. You will immediately feel uplifted even more.

Hands are powerful tools. Make the right choice and use them wisely.

Meditation & lunch in a Koreantown church

Today I started a new job with Aids Project Los Angeles, located in the heart of Koreatown. I had been in a weird head space for a full 24-hours due to a recent breakup with an old love I tried making a relationship with. Even after meditating, I still felt weird. So I hadn’t really been eating and it was lunch time and I couldn’t imagine putting food into my body, so I kinda just sat there with my feelings, in a business courtyard right alongside Wilshire Boulevard. I looked around, debated calling my best friend, but decided to just sit down and feel what I was feeling. I started thinking about food and eating natural.

I just couldn’t imagine putting heavy food into my body like carbs because I knew that if I ate carbs, they would make my pain go away and I might miss this feeling that I have and not learn anything from it. Food has always been something that has helped ease my pain. Growing up I ate because I was sad. I dated because I was sad, but yesterday I decided that I wasn’t going to use food to feel better after my breakup. I was going to feel exactly what I was feeling and if I got hungry, I was going to eat something healthy and nourishing to my body. I had dinner with my best friend yesterday at our favorite Korean restaurant, but I only ate the vegetables, light broth, and tofu. It was so funny. He almost spoon-fed me because I couldn’t bring myself to eat, but eventually I was able to and I felt better.

So today at the APLA office, I began thinking about my late uncle Paul, who had HIV and kept himself alive for so long because he ate healthy and meditated. I knew that the universe was speaking to me, saying, that this was a way to deal with my pain and trauma. So after a while, I snapped out of it and began thinking of what I could eat that would be healthy. That’s when I saw a lady selling fresh fruit. Perfect. I got in line and began rehearsing in my head what I would order in Spanish. My Spanish isn’t so great but everyone thinks I speak Spanish because I look Hispanic (And I am), but I’m very Americanized.

So I managed to order a large plate of fresh fruit, topped with lime, chili, and a little salt. It was perfect, all I needed. I thought about where I wanted to eat this and saw a Catholic church across the street. I sat on the steps in the shade and slowly savored the fresh fruit, thinking about what nutrients each piece had and how I was actually getting protein from the coconut. After I got full, I decided to go into the church. I sat down in the back and closed my eyes, and began to meditate. I began to say to myself, “Heal. Release. I am loved. I am guided. I am safe.”

Since I’ve been meditating, I’ve become more in tune with my deep rooted pain from childhood, you know, the kind of pain that we all carry our whole lives and may not really realize affects us still, but does. I can almost see my pain and trauma and it’s rooted in my stomach, deep in my gut and lower back. Every day I grow closer to healing that pain. Meditating is like the lifeline to God, and I know and feel that the more I meditate, the more I can trust myself and be true to what I’m meant to do here. All I know is that it has something to do with giving back to the community, to being intuitive and empathetic, connected, because that’s who I am. That’s what I have to give.

I must feel what I feel right now to break through and create some real shifts in my life. I give myself permission to feel and know that I am safe.