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 ūüôā . 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.

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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.

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My writing spiritual cleanse Day 5: Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose

Five days ago I had no pages of my script, but today I am at page 70. I was supposed to be at 75 today, but I had some MAJOR catching up to do so that’s where I left off. Pretty good, huh?

Today has been totally, completely awesome. I went to yoga in the morning and came home and got cracking on the writing. I actually had a bit of a challenging time sitting down and getting started, but once I did, the pages flowed like water.

I had some really encouraging things happen today as well. In the beginning of this year I reunited with an old friend, probably one of the oldest friends I have that I’ve known since I was 13 who is now a successful actor with connections. So we are planning to work on a project together soon. This is great news. I feel like I cleared out my past and enriched my soil so I could plant something new. Everything is coming together. My wildest, craziest dreams are coming into existence all because I listened to my heart, my gut. I knew my life needed to always be in this place where I thrive creatively. When I think of writing, I become full, giddy like a school girl in love with some silly boy.

But no. I’m in love with the world I am creating. This morning, I couldn’t wait to sit down to write. My characters were waiting to be fleshed out. I couldn’t ignore their voices.

I want to share something revelational with you right now. When you lie to yourself, you attract a world of lies. When you are afraid, you attract a world full of fearful people that are so separated from truth, from God.

But if you are truly brave and living your truth, your purpose, MAGIC HAPPENS QUICKLY. I continue to write every day with a truthful heart and clear mind. I was doing so much weird crap for so long, working in a restaurant, a casino, with kids, in a call center. Not being truthful to who I was. To who I am. That’s over now.

As a great friend of mine¬†often quotes to me: Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

It’s simple but it works and it’s essential for writing.

A hummingbird also flew into our house this afternoon. An omen, a good sign indicative of new beginnings.

My Writing spiritual cleanse Days 2-4: Catch up

Having a deadline is working well for me. I’ve noticed that I have my project on my mind a great majority of the day and it forces me to carve out time for the work even if there are other demands/distractions.

Over the past 3 days, I’ve had to flake on a few friends in order to work on my writing. I was talking to my best friend about this and he reminded me of something Kobe Bryant said about how in order to be great and the best, you have to make sacrifices¬†at the expense of friends, family, and¬†any other obligations. In the end, I felt good knowing I carved out time for myself and my work because at the end of the day, I will be a happier person for putting myself first.

Today I had a nice revelation. I planted strawberries, spinach, and tomatoes in our garden. I hadn’t really been tending to the weeds so much lately, so I had to clear them out and put some miracle grow and enriched soil before I put in the new stuff. Totally symbolic for exactly what’s going on in my life right now. Sometimes you really need to enrich your own soil before you plant anything new. If nothing is growing there, then it gives weeds a chance to flourish and overpower your life. Nobody wants that. I’m planting new stuff right now and getting rid of old thoughts, people, and learned habits. Planting new things in good soil is exactly what I need right now.

Okay, as far as the actual writing goes, I’m playing catch up. I had to work all day yesterday so by the time I got home, I was fried, so I didn’t actually write anything. I¬†am playing catch up today and carving out my time.

I find that during this cleanse I am not thinking so much when I write and when I think too much, I actually stop, so it’s best not to think. Just do.

 

My Writing Spiritual Cleanse Day 1

Okay, I’m¬†trying something different. Something I’ve never done before, blogged about before, or attempted fully. I’ve done the Master Cleanse, Raw food detox cleanses, workout regimens, yoga challenges, but never have I ever attempted a writing cleanse.

There is a book I have used to kick start my writing process. I’ve used it many times before but mostly to push out a first draft of a screenplay. That book is called “How to write a movie in 21 days” by Viki King. Ten years ago when I first started writing, I attended a screenwriting workshop at Josefina Lopez’s Casa 0101 studio taught by Josefina herself. In that class I received a wealth of information including a bootleg copy of Final Draft for $5 and Josefina’s recommended reading list. As a new writer, I devoured everything on her list but was mostly drawn to the Viki King book because it emphasized using your heart to write rather than your head.

Writers live in their heads because that’s our canvass. Sometimes we don’t get things done because we think too much. I can definitely testify to this truth because I often overthink things so much and give every possible avenue a chance to fight for its right to be in my story, that I just don’t push stories forward. Viki King’s book will help you cut out all the bullshit from your writing process and just get the sucker done.

So anyway, today, on a whim, I decided to push one of my screenplay outlines¬†into existence and all of the sudden I’m 10 pages in!

This screenplay is all about healing. Probably one of the only stories I’ve ever written with a yoga theme. I’m all about that yoga, especially these days, going every day.

Day 1 of the book asks you to write for two hours or until you have 10 pages. It took me about two hours to do 10 pages. King says that if you haven’t written 10 pages in 2 hours, then you are already breaking the rules by thinking too much!

I’m excited to see how this endeavor goes.

Being Tolerant of Others/Ourselves

My mom was staying at my grandma’s house and it was challenging to say the least. Ever since I moved out of my house as a teen¬†I have constantly been trying to minimalize my things. I guess because I wasn’t sure where I was going to be living and I told myself I wouldn’t collect too much stuff until I settled down. Since I haven’t settled down yet, I haven’t collected much, except for essential books, video/media equipment, cooking tools. Louse Hay’s words ring in my ears that if you haven’t used something for more than six months, get rid of it/let it go.

So I’m a minimalist. I don’t like to collect things. I like to get rid of things, especially if they aren’t being used. And in my grandma’s house, there were so many things that weren’t being used because my uncle was a hoarder/artist who collected scraps for art’s sake. With his passing, nobody understood his mess. So we started getting rid of things.

But you know, hoarders run in the family and my mom was one too. Maybe it wasn’t being a hoarder, but rather a person who has many hobbies/passions, so you try to do them all and collect things so that one day you will be equipped to carry out your creative endeavors. One thing I’ve learned¬†from my experience here, cleaning up after my late artist uncle’s mess,¬†is that all you really need to create¬†is time, will, and discipline, otherwise you collect crap and¬†end up with a house full of shit that nobody understands but you. Sure, it’s cool when you live alone, but when you are in someone else’s house, that just ain’t cool.

For the past ten months I’ve been a guest in my grandma’s house. I have my hobbies/passions but I don’t leave them everywhere unlike my mom who left all her stuff everywhere, all the time.

Now that my mom is back in Arizona, I see the stuff she left behind and somehow I understand her. I even appreciate who she is more¬†because¬†I see her mess as hope, as substance, nourishing elements like books, sewing patterns, scraps of material, workout equipment, all these things that give us life and provide an interesting way to live. I’m different. I live but I do it in a contained way. I turned into that person over time when I once was very like my mother, but even worse with walls plastered with photos and costumes/props/instruments laying around. And somehow I was more creative. Because creative often means your mind is going in so many places, coloring outside the lines. You really can’t be neat all the time.

It’s great how different we all are as human beings. It’s what makes life special. If we all were the same, it would be boring as hell. We have so much to learn from each other’s differences.

Again, I am reminded to be tolerant of those around¬†me because they are merely reflections of myself. If we can’t tolerate others, then we can’t tolerate ourselves.

On Not having kids before you’re 30

Societal pressures can kiss my ass. There were so many people I came across in my late twenties who¬†often looked at me like the freak that didn’t have any kids or wasn’t married but here’s what I have to say to that: I’m alive and happy, successful and perfectly fine just working on myself, getting mentally, spiritually, emotionally¬†and economically prepared to have a kid. You know I’m a hopeless romantic and I’ve always wanted to marry someone I was madly in love with. I just hadn’t found the right partner in my twenties and I wasn’t going to just hook up with someone and marry them just because society kept pushing me to.

Now that I’m 30 I don’t feel pressure. It’s like a new day and I feel free. In ending my past relationship, it’s like I said F*** you to society. I’m not going to stay in a relationship and conform to standards that aren’t my own. I only live by love’s rules and if the love isn’t there, then it’s time to move on.

I have thought often about why people push so hard for others to settle down young. Think about that phrase: settle down. Settling down doesn’t just mean hanging up your heels and getting a normal job. It can mean much more, like settling for less than our wildest dreams and why would society push for that? Um….to control us better. People who are single or unmarried in your thirties with no kids are like a dangerous breed.¬†We are¬†free and nobody can stop¬†us or tie us¬†down. We can stay out as long as we want, spend money on ourselves, take random trips, reboot our careers any time, quit jobs, and just have time to think and dream without the sound of wailing children or dissatisfied spouses.

I have mad respect for my fellow friends who have children at my age, but I sure as hell don’t feel bad about my situation any longer.

Turning thirty¬†is like the ticking time bomb that people use to scare you into mediocrity. Oh, I better do that before I’m 30, have kids, get married before I’m 30. It’s like, what do you think is going to happen to you when you turn 30? You’re going to expire? Disappear? Explode?

I’m telling you that I feel like something has exploded within me and it’s the feeling of freedom. No more societal pressure somehow. I’m 30 and I didn’t die because I didn’t have kids. I’m taking my time. I have faith that the universe has led me exactly where I’m supposed to be. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’m cool with that. Faith stands for :Finally, Allowing, It, To, Happen. That’s my motto these days.
If anyone ever tries to make you feel bad about not settling down in your twenties, that person is close-minded and doesn’t understand that there is more to life. There’s nothing wrong with any of us in any situation we are in. We are perfectly beautiful every day, in every moment.