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.

 

 

 

A musician’s soul

A musician’s soul couldn’t be more sensitive. To be in tune with the deepest emotions experienced by a human being, a musician must be extremely sensitive. With that comes potential for great pain, suffering and being misunderstood, which is the trade off. I was listening to Chet Baker this morning and relating to his song, “I fall in love too easily,” as well as the song, “Everytime we say goodbye.”

Musicians/artists like him and maybe even me, want to love deeply. We are intense. Something definitely cracked within me as a child that made me always seek to close up my gap. I think people who live with pain have to do things to ease their pain like play music, write, create in any way/shape/form. It might seem like a curse/burden/certain degree of suffering, but I think it’s what comes with the territory of being a creator.

There’s something beautiful that came out of Chet Baker’s ability to express the feeling he experienced when he wanted to love a person with all his heart and maybe they didn’t return the feeling. How could normal people ever return the feelings of a deep, intuitive artist?

Lately, I’ve been playing guitar again. Regaining the dead skin on the tips of my left hand fingers, watching my veins protrude more and more every day on my hand. I am in love with music. It’s the thing that I can do every day that doesn’t feel like work, that never gets old. There’s always a new place to go, something new to learn, and it feels damn great.

When other things have grown confusing in my life, sitting with the guitar pressed against my body feels grounding, like I’m connecting to a greater source of love every time I play a new tune.

I get inspired when I hear songs. I don’t feel alone in my deep feelings.

 

Missing my Piano

Went for a walk tonight and listened to John Mayer live which led to a night of being serenaded by the smooth sounds of Chet Baker.  I started thinking about music and how much I love it, how that’s all I wanted to do growing up. Then I got one rejection from a performing arts high school that I really wanted to go to and I took it as a sign that I wasn’t meant to do music.

It’s funny. As an adult, I’ve received so much rejection but I’ve learned to take my rejection in stride. If something is hard then it has to be worth fighting for. I sometimes wonder if I need to look at music like that again because I love it, more than most things. You know how people always say things like, if you could do one thing that you’ve always wanted to do, what would that be?

For me, it’s play in a rock band and travel.

I’m in a groovy mood tonight, thinking about music, old loves,  and my first love–the piano. From age four until sixteen, I sat at that thing for hours, nothing else mattered. I’d be sad or happy and I’d sit there caressing the keys, letting melodies come to me. When I don’t strum an instrument or get my fill of music every day, I get sad. Life isn’t worth living without music. That’s how I know I love it so.

I have a vision for my life that includes my own space with a piano present. At this time in my life I think that’s about all I need.

 

 

 

My Spiritual Writing Cleanse Day 14: Rewriting Pages 60-75

Breaking a script into chunks is a more viable way to approach a 120-page screenplay. I am a Cardinal sign, so I am all for beginnings, starting new things. I always am really good at my first act. I usually don’t start a script unless I have my ending in mind as well, but the middle….where all the changes and struggles happen…

That’s where I tend to get all mushy like old bananas.

I’m very straightforward and I like to just get things done without all the waiting, the ups and downs. I will be honest in saying that in my past I haven’t always trusted in the process of life. I have often skipped the present moment and want to get to the end.

One thing that’s helped me with this problem is gardening. I’ve been seriously gardening since August of last year. I’ve seen plants come and go and really laid witness to what it takes to make something grow. It takes time, process, there is an actual formula for growth, any growth.

For me, planting the seed is the Act I. Watering, pulling weeds, waiting for the plant to push out of the ground is Act II, and actually seeing the fruits bloom is Act III. I guess eating the fruits would be like getting paid or selling a script, huh?

Anyway, I’ve learned to respect the Act II process. Just because I can’t see what’s going on underground, doesn’t mean work isn’t actually happening, work that is really necessary for the creation to be beautiful, edible, sellable.

Anyway, Day 14 involves rewriting pages 60-75. The character breaks through obstacles using the skills she’s learned, things get realized, things are learned at this point. King says to write for eight minutes about what you learned about the story from writing this script and then to underline whatever jumps out at you. That will be the essence of what the character realizes.

I will be honest. I didn’t write for 8 minutes. I knew what I had realized and it was about self confidence, about consistency, about being in solitude, alone, getting things done. My characters are very pro-active, getting over hurtful relationships and family drama. They are totally me and my way to deal with letting go of false realities.

Affirmation: Clarity, Peace, Serenity

I know it’s cheesy, but this affirmation comes from a Fergie song, “Big Girls don’t cry.” There is a part of the song where Fergie talks about leaving her partner to go home and get some “clarity, peace, serenity.” I think that’s great because it’s what we all need even if we are in relationships. Last night I was having a hard time sleeping and I just wasn’t feeling good. As I laid down to try to sleep, I started thinking of what I wanted in my life and it was peace and serenity. I kept hearing Fergie’s voice in my head, calmly singing, “Clarity, peace, serenity,” and I fell asleep, not to awaken for many hours later.

And this morning, I have just been busy getting things done like gardening, walking with my grandma, and cleaning the house. It has been super productive. For a few seconds, I got that feeling back again, that ugly, fear, and I had to bring myself back to my present moment. The present is a gift. I am here only aiming to have clarity, peace, and serenity. Seriously just saying it out loud feels good and my head immediately is conjoined with my body and I remember all that I am here to accomplish in this life.

I just wanted to share how this affirmation has worked for me on this beautiful day. We are a gift to the world and achieve heaven when we are peaceful. That’s all I want for myself and for everyone alive out there these days.

Hands in the Garden: DIY Composting

I am typing with dirt all over my fingers and hands in this very moment because I started my very first compost!Yesterday was my first day interning in a school garden. I will be working there every Wednesday until April. I decided to get involved with a program called Enrich LA to learn more about gardening and get involved in my community. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while and it feels really amazing to learn about gardening and teach it to children. Honestly, I didn’t feel like getting up yesterday morning. It sort of feels like when I go to yoga. Sometimes I don’t want to go, but once I get there I have no regrets and am always refreshed afterward.

When I got to the garden, the kids were in awe over some green caterpillars that were just chillin on a plant. I assisted the Garden Ranger with a bunch of things like passing out squiggly worms to all the kids, guiding them in the garden, and answering questions. The kids sang Happy Birthday to seeds they planted and got to taste a Sorrel plant. Being in the garden feels like magic. There is always something to learn, plant, pull, water, understand. It’s a beautiful mystery and I love every moment, especially with children because you get to teach them these mysteries and wonders and they are just so excited about everything. I didn’t grow up understanding much about gardening, but once I became the one in charge of the garden in my house, I feel grateful to have this time to understand and appreciate all gardening has to offer about life, love, and patience.

So next week, the kids are going to be learning about composting and since I hadn’t known much about it before, I decided to jump in and make my own. I wish my camera was working so I could show you. I basically raked up a bunch of leaves, pulled out some unruly grass and weeds, added soil and water, and I think that’s it for now. I’ll be learning more as I go. There’s nothing like just jumping in and doing it and getting my hands dirty. The garden relaxes me and reminds me that life goes on, the world keeps spinning, no matter what you have going on in your own mind/world. There is just so much to do, see, learn, and grow from. No time for worry or sorrow. Just love, work, and growth.

What the Garden taught me

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Today my grandma and I sat down and began the process of harvesting pomegranate seeds for juicing and dehydrating. I really need to show you the amazing tree she has growing in her front yard. The pomegranates started falling from the tree about a month ago, so we started taking them down. We filled up an entire barrel with pomegranates.

I have to say that I am way more connected with the earth these days, and maybe that’s why I am where I am. Since my grandma is too old to bend down and take care of her garden, I’ve taken on the responsibility and it’s been absoultely amazing and I am grateful for every moment I get to spend tending to the kale, mint, basil, orange, lemon, and avocado trees. We are actually planning on planting some new leafy greens for the upcoming winter season. This would be my first time ever planting something in 30 years. Oh, yea. I turned 30 this past weekend, so I’m a freaking adult now. My trial and error phase is over and I’m really glad for some reason. I don’t feel like a kid anymore. I haven’t felt like a kid for the past three years or so, but now it’s official. I’m not a young adult anymore. Couldn’t have happened at a better time that I get into gardening because I’ve learned so much about how to live and what caring for life means.

Gardening really is life teaching. It’s funny because for the longest time I was watering weeds in my grandma’s garden. I wasn’t actually sure what I was doing. I knew it was summer and the plants and veggies needed watering often, so I would go out there everyday and water, but I didn’t know how to decipher weeds from plants until I asked my grandma to show me what was what. She laid it down and told me. We both laughed as I told her I had been watering weeds all summer. But it was okay, I pulled them out and started tending to the soil underneath that wasn’t getting watered as much due to the weeds.

I learned that we need our elders to show us the way and sometimes we can be caring and giving attention to things that go out of control and won’t give us any sustenance, like weeds. I’ll be honest. I have cared for weeds for a long time like ugly thoughts or negative people and they had gone out of control. But what’s cool is that you can always start over. You can pull out the weeds, air out the soil, and start again. It’s never too late. All we need is a little help and a wise voice from an experienced gardener to help us tend to our own soil. Sometimes weeds have DEEP roots, but you can always pull them out with a strong hand and make sure that every day, every week, we tend to the garden or it will die or get out of control.

That’s life right there. Simple. I couldn’t be more grateful to be here with my grandma, harvesting pomegranate seeds and making plans to keep the garden alive and prosperous. Sometimes we don’t always know what we are doing on the earth but all of the sudden something clicks. The garden helped me sort through weeds in my life and gave me hope and reassurance that I’m in the right place because I needed to learn how to garden.

Fibromyalgia quest calling

My heart breaks when I come to visit my grandmother in Los Angeles. I had a conversation with her about food and health over the weekend. She suffers from chronic leg cramps and pain. She’s so upset that doctors prescribe her pills to deal with the problems she faces. The pills only provide a temporary solution that only lasts an hour in her case, but they in no way provide the solution.

My grandmother is one of the most important people to me in my life. She asked me to research fibromyalgia symptoms and solutions. Her doctors aren’t helping her. They are giving her pills but not providing solutions. Why haven’t they told her that she has fibromyalgia? Are they trying to keep her medicated so they can continue to make money from her pain?

I was very impressed to hear her knowledge about food and health. She seems to know a lot about food and what good nutrition can do to heal the body. I just wonder why she is still the way she is? Why does she continue to eat things that aren’t improving her health?

I think when people are in situations that don’t make them happy, such as the one she is in where she lives in an unfavorable situation, people get sick and stay sick until they get happy again. How do we become happy? When we take control of our lives and our health and stop being victims?

Well, in doing research I was able to find this resource, a study that proves that fibromyalgia symptoms were improved by using a mostly raw vegetarian diet.

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/1/7

I am completely committed to helping my grandmother improve her life and health. I love her with all my heart. She asked me for help. It’s not like I came into her home and said, hey grandma, I hear you have leg cramps and fibromyalgia, let’s get you on the raw food diet. No. She asked for help. There is a difference. People have to ask for it. You can’t make them do anything. But you can help them when they ask for it.

So this is another task at hand–to find recipes and a plan that can help my grandmother combat Fibromyalgia and chronic leg pain. I saw the light in her eyes this weekend. I saw love working its magic and I know she will get better with a little help from raw food and affirmations. I learned from Bikram Choudhury who once said:  “It’s never too late, it’s never too bad, you’re never too old, you’re never too sick to start from scratch once again, to be born once again.”

On Keeping Dreams Alive in the Everyday World

Since I had car trouble yesterday, I had to skip work today to get it fixed and oh, on my days off, I am free to do what makes me happy and that is dream. On my days off I am pensive, passionate, and quiet enough to see and feel my other self, the one that has wild thoughts.

I understand the world that breeds people to be zombies. I understand it because I live in that world, I was raised in it. But there is a doorway to another world and in this one we are free to dream. In our dreams we are uncensored, unmonitored. In that world, the impulses reign, true desire grows into a beastlike creature we never thought would be born from us, but all it does is protect the dreams that are sensitive in the light of the everyday world. The beast knows that without protection, baby dreams are eaten alive by television commercials, 9-5 jobs, limited beliefs, and negative thoughts.

Today I stay awake in the dream world. I let the beast protect my baby dreams by being creative, being pensive, meditating, feeding my body with nourishment and positivity. I understand many of us choose to live in the ordinary world in order to survive. I still haven’t figured out how to live in the everyday world without working a regular job, but one day I will. As of now, I won’t let the regular world kill my dreams.

There is no “right” way to do anything . There is nothing we “should” be doing. Louise Hay has said that the word “should” must be eliminated from the English language. There is no use for it. Become aware of who says “should” even if you say it. It does nothing but dictate expectation for how a life is meant to be lived and who knows that other than God, other than you? This is one way we can keep our dreams alive, by having our “crazy” thoughts and not letting anyone, even ourselves rip them apart. You were given that thought for a reason. And to find out if it’s really brain diarrhea or not, just do a free write and see if you still have that pure thought. If it’s still there, then it’s not brain diarrhea. It’s a baby dream trying to grow.