Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday Verse: Excerpt from The Lost Son: "5. It was beginning winter"

2/21/2017
  
5. IT WAS BEGINNING WINTER 
It was beginning winter,
An in-between time,
The landscape still partly brown:
The bones of words kept swinging in the wind,
Above the blue snow, 
It was beginning winter,
The light moved slowly over the frozen field,
Over the dry seed-crowns,
The beautiful surviving bones
Swinging in the wind. 
Light traveled over the wide field;
Stayed.
The weeds stopped swinging.
The mind moved, not alone,
Through the clear air, in the silence. 
Was it light?
Was it light within?
Was it light within light?
Stillness becoming alive,
Yet still? 
A lively understandable spirit
Once entertained you.
It will come again.
Be still.
Wait.

                                          - Theodore Roethke 

Friday, June 23, 2017

June Mix: Brashy Rashy

6/22/2017


Back to running in the morning = back to finding and listening to music. Hope you like the results:

1. Progress (feat. Tracyanne Campbell) - Public Service Broadcasting



2. Some Are Lakes - Land Of Talk



3. Glitter - Charly Bliss



4. Moonage Daydream - David Bowie



5. Steppin' Out - Joe Jackson



6. Overdrawn - White Sea




7. Sam Jones - Andy Shauf



8. Paul - Big Thief



9. Dirty Rain - Andrew Combs



10. Mad (feat. Lil Wayne) - Solange



11. Don't Get Me Wrong - The Pretenders



12. Nakamarra - Hiatus Kaiyote



13. All That You Have Is Your Soul - Emmylou Harris



14. No Hard Feelings - The Avett Brothers




NOTES:

1. Thanks NPR
4. His songs still make me cry every time even though they're not supposed to
8. Meet me
10. Here too
12. Thanks to KRCL for introducing me to Haitus Kaiyote and also WHAT
14. Bonus:





Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday Verse: "After a great pain, a formal feeling comes - " - Emily Dickinson

3/25/2017

AFTER A GREAT PAIN, A FORMAL FEELING COMES 
After a great pain, a formal feeling comes -
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs -
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before? 
The Feet mechanical go round -
Of Ground, or Air or Ought -
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone -  
This is the Hour of Lead -
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the snow -
First - Chill - then Stupor - then the letting go - 

                                                                          - Emily Dickinson 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday Verse: "Perfection Wasted" - John Updike

3-24-2017


PERFECTION WASTED

And another regrettable thing about death
is the ceasing of your own brand of magic,
which took a whole life to develop and market -
the quips, the witticisms, the slant
adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest
the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched
in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,
their tears confused with their diamond earrings,
their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat,
their response and your performance twinned.
The jokes over the phone. The memories packed
in the rapid-access file. The whole act.
Who will do it again? That's it: no one;
imitators and descendants aren't the same.

                                               - John Updike

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday Verse: "When Death Comes" - Mary Oliver

2/5/1987



WHEN DEATH COMES 
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse 
to buy me, snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox 
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades, 
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility, 
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,  
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence, 
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to earth. 
When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. 
When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real 
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument. 
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world. 

                                                                           - Mary Oliver 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday Verse: Nikki Giovanni - "Mothers"



MOTHERS 
the last time i was home
to see my mother we kissed
exchanged pleasantries
and unpleasantries pulled a warm
comforting silence around
us and read separate books 
i remember the first time
i consciously saw her
we were living in a three room
apartment on burns avenue 
mommy alway sat in the dark
i don't know how I knew that but she did 
that night i stumbled into the kitchen
maybe because i've always been
a night person or perhaps because I had wet
the bed
she was sitting on a chair
the room was bathed in moonlight diffused through tiny window panes
she may have been smoking but maybe not
her hair was three-quarters her height
which made me a strong believer in the samson myth
and very black 
i'm sure i just hung there by the door
i remember thinking: what a beautiful lady 
she was very deliberately waiting
perhaps for my father to come home
from his night job or maybe for a dream
that had promised to come by
"come here" she said "i'll teach you
a poem: I see the moon
              the moon sees me
              god bless the moon
              and god bless me

i taught that to my son
who recited it for her
just to say we must learn
to bear the pleasures
as we have born the pains

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Saturday Verse: "The Bean Eaters" - Gwendolyn Brooks

3/12/2017


THE BEAN EATERS 
They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair.
Dinner is a casual affair.
Plain chipware on a plain and creaking wood,
Tin flatware.  
Two who are Mostly Good.
Two who have lived their day,
But keep on putting on their clothes
and putting things away. 
And remembering...
Remembering, with twinklings and twinges,
As they lean over the beans in their rented back room that
is full of beads and receipts and dolls and cloths.
tobacco crumbs, vases and fringes. 

                                                                - Gwendolyn Brooks

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saturday Verse: "Verses from My Room" - Susanna Tomalin

3/27/2017


VERSES FROM MY ROOM 
When you come looking for me I'll be gone.
Time is laid waste where waiting has been done.
Though you might find forever and to spare
And bring it to me, I will not be there.  
I heard you call me once, so calm and clear,
As children call each other by their names.
Adults avoid such touching, telling games
And only say what everyone may hear.  
Listening is lonely only in the dark;
People and business and the day obscure
Persistent shadows, if they cannot cure
Creases where thought and word have left their mark. 
Flatten your nose against the window-pane.
Knock at the door, then open it with care.
You'll find a book left open on a chair,
Thrown on the bed my coat still wet with rain, 
Some shoes piled in the corner, and a pen,
Dropped from a pocket, lying on the floor.
Maybe a photo in an open drawer
Will catch you eye, and make you smile, and then 
Perhaps you'll speak, although it is absurd
To ask a question of such emptiness,
You'll make your invitation and address
A place as pointless as a voiceless word. 
When you come looking I'll be far away.
Will you be puzzled? What, I wonder, say
In your bewilderment? Will you know why
I went and didn't wait to say goodbye?

                                                             - Susana Tomalin 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Music for Your Midweek: "Keep on Loving You" - Cigarettes After Sex


4-15-2017



NI ce nice nie Nice niCe:


And the original OMG. At least just watch the first 20 seconds:

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Something for Sunday: "The Whole Gamut of Human Endeavor"

4-23-2017

One year while I was at BYU, I made a goal to attend every BYU devotional. They were held on Tuesday mornings, and during that block of time, there were no classes and practically no campus resources, so that helped my goal. I don't remember too much about those devotionals, but I do remember them as a weekly time set apart where I could think, or listen, or just let my mind wander. It was a welcome thing.

This evening as a drove toward Memory Grove, I caught a snippet of this talk on the radio and loved it. It's for everyone, really. Have a listen:



She mentions this blog post by Ariel Suzich, and this this talk by President Gordon B. Hinckley. I especially loved the following quote:
"Study your options. Pray to the Lord earnestly for direction. Then pursue your course with resolution.The whole gamut of human endeavor is now open to women. There is not anything that you cannot do if you will set your mind to it... 
For you, my dear friends, the sky is the limit. You can be excellent in every way. You can be first class. There is no need for you to be a scrub. Respect yourself. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Do not dwell on unkind things others may say about you... Polish and refine whatever talents the Lord has given you. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart." 
Give is a listen to feel extra inspired:



All good counsel

Happy Sunday

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday Verse: "The Song of Wandering Aegnus" - W.B. Yeats

3/24/2017


THE SONG OF WANDERING AEGNUS 
I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout. 
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air. 
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
               
                                                         - W.B. Yeats 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Music for your Midweek: Kacey Musgraves - "Biscuits"


4-15-2017

Let's lighten things up, shall we? I should have gone to Kacey Musgraves concert when she came to Salt Lake last summer, but maybe I can make up for it this year?

A fave:


Bonus! Another fave from her Tiny Desk concert:

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday Verse: "To a Fat Lady Seen from the Train" - Frances Cornford

3/24/2017


TO A FAT LADY SEEN FROM THE TRAIN 
O why do you walk through the fields in gloves,
         Missing so much and so much?
O fat white woman whom nobody loves,
         Why do you walk through the fields in gloves,
When the grass is soft as the breast of doves
         And shivering-sweet to the touch?
O why do you walk through the fields in gloves,
         Missing so much and so much?

                                                          - Frances Cornford


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Make America Create Again


"Someday... 

I ain't wasting no more time"


03/31/2017

I've been reading some books on creativity (that a church friend has generously let me borrow for far too long), and they have been striking a chord. Here's Steven Pressfield talking about fundamentalism in his book, The War of Art:

"The artist and the fundamentalist both confront the same issue, the mystery of their existence as individuals. Each asks the same questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of my life?
     ...The artist is grounded in freedom. He is not afraid of it. He is lucky. He was born in the right place. He has a core of self-confidence, of hope for the future. He believes in progress and evolution. His faith is that humankind is advancing, however haltingly and imperfectly toward a better world.
     The fundamentalist entertains no such notion. In his view, humanity has fallen from a higher state. The truth is not out there awaiting revelation; it has already been revealed. The word of God has been spoken and recorded by His prophet, be he Jesus, Muhammad, or Karl Marx.
     To combat the call of sin... the fundamentalist plunges either into action or into the study of sacred texts. He loses himself in these, much as the artist does in the process of creation. The difference is that while the one looks forward, hoping to create a better world, the other looks backward, seeking to return to a purer world from which he and all have fallen.
      ...The humanist believes that humankind, as individuals, is called upon to co-create the world with God. This is why he values human life so highly. In his view, things do progress, life does evolve; each individual has value, at least potentially, in advancing this cause. The fundamentalist cannot conceive of this. In his society, dissent is not just crime but apostate; it is heresy, transgression against God Himself." 
- Steven Pressfield, The Art of War, pg. 33-37
                               
Cultivating creativity in my life has also strengthened me spiritually, despite that fact that we are often taught to believe it would have the opposite effect. In reality, it is fundamentalism that is a corruption of true faith, stripping it of it's hope and agency. As I've been watching the new Trump administration, I've seen how fundamentalist and fear-based thinking seems to be legitimized in every other executive order. What values are we endorsing? What views are we validating




I think Woody Guthrie got it right. We can use our god-given gifts of creativity to combat poisonous thinking. It's important, for reals. Especially in the face of thisDeanna Haggag, who was recently profiled in Vogue, has something to say about art in times of political strife:

"Why put any skills or efforts into protecting this thing when there are a million other fights? When millions of Americans could potentially die if certain things are repealed and cut? ...The reason the federal government wants to defund arts is that the arts have the power to make people think for themselves, and in every moment when there’s been a fascist society they try to remove the arts because they know that a painting can wage war. 
...We, the community of artists in the world, that’s our job: to bring nuance to light, to open up different ways of looking and seeing. And so part of the job of supporting artists is supporting that, too. The arts, the national parks, public broadcast: We’re just all part of a team; we have to be on the defense all the time so that things like housing and nutrition can be on the offense."

If you're a writer, write. If you're a dancer, dance. If you're afraid to call yourself a doer of the thing you want to do, take a crazy leap and start including it in your personal introductions. We all have an art to share, and there really isn't any time to waste.







Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017

A micro Lesson from a girl who misses school

Clearing out all my old bookmarked videos, and look what I find! Thanks to TED talks for preventinf all of my brain cells from turning into mush:

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Something for Sunday: Run or Wrestle

4/9/2017


I began writing this post back in August of 2015. At the time was jumping between temp jobs my professional self as much in the air and my personal, spiritual self. I remember typing and searching while staffing the front desk at and in-between feeling good and feeling bad and in-between trying to figure everything out at once. Things had reached such a conflicted state, I was considering removing my name from the records of the church. It was tiring struggling to balance the things I believed were true and important, with the things I was supposed to believe. Much of this centered around the LDS temple and ceremonies, though it encompassed everything from gender and racial equality, to my place as Young(ish) Single Adult. At the time, I was working the front desk of a fancy design firm close to downtown, trying to hide any signs of tears when customers walked through the door.

Like so many of my real life issues, I kept this post in the "drafts" folder, hoping that continued diligence would eventually lead me to a place of peace and certainty. That didn't happen.

Here's what I was thinking about then:

*********************************************************************************
While struggling to find my place around here I studied the story of Jacob. Like most of the Old Testament, the story of Jacob leaves me feeling a bit unsettled. He is a "perfect man" with a shadily acquired birthright. I simply do not understand. But I feel for him, especially in his pleadings for deliverance and his wrestle with the angel. He fought, both literally and figuratively, so that he could obtain the blessings that were promised to him. The same is expected of us:  
"Men and women in every dispensation have had to wrestle at some point in their lives for desired blessings, greater truth, and light from God... President Brigham Young said that all of us are situated "upon the same ground," in that we must 'struggle, wrestle and strive until the Lord bursts the vail [sic] and suffers [allows] us to behold his glory, or a portion of it." And so it was with Jacob on that lonely night near the river Jabbok, when he began to wrestle with a divine visitor for a blessing — a blessing that would burst the veil and shower down on him greater light and glory from God" - "Jacob: Keeper of Covenants," March 1998
It's a subjection of will, from whom, to who... I don't know. 
But isn't there an end to any wrestle? Tired and sweaty and sore, there is a winner and a loser. Even in enduring, it is not forever, but till the "end". Eventually someone's body has to give out, and I'm afraid it's going to be mine. 
We're not alone in these struggles. We need to find each other. 
Over the past few weeks, I've kept trying to remind myself that even if I want to, I can't leave the church. I am the church, part of the body of Christ. We all are.

*********************************************************************************

And back to the now.

I spoke with my bishop at the time about some of my concerns and he was sympathetic and kind. A couple weeks later, news of the church policy changes came to light and the world dropped out from under me. Went to the temple the following Saturday and knew it might be the last time. Trudged through a failed temple recommend interview, attempts at therapy, regular meetings with the bishop, and the Book of Mormon. I stopped trying to read when I started relating with the wrong people.

It was a rough year.

I'm not sure I've reached a much different place. Still in Salt Lake at 30 years old with career prospects as plentiful as my dating prospects. (Translation: grim). But I have a temple recommend after over a year without one. Even that feels more like a concession than a victory. I'm too chicken to actually go to the temple, but if fire and brimstone comes sooner rather than later, maybe that little card will save me from some 3rd degree burns? Who knows.

Being a member of the LDS faith requires a life time of wrestling, and right now, I'm just looking for any excuse to stay in the ring. Still here, but I sure could use a time out.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Saturday Verse: "Isn't That Something" - Rumi



3/17/2017


ISN'T THAT SOMETHING 
like when
the music happens like this: 
Something in His eye grabs hold of a
tambourine in
me, 
then I turn and lift a violin in someone else,
and they turn, and this turning
continues; 
it has
reached you now. Isn't that 
something?
                                                                                                     - Rumi 

Friday, April 7, 2017

April Mix: Cruel Repetition



3/25/2017


Had to skip March cause it's a bad luck month, don't you think?

1. First Rain (w/ S. Carey) - Teen Daze



2. Cost of the Cold - Joan Shelley



3. I Think I Knew (feat. Perfume Genius) - Cate Le Bon



4. Tears Dry On Their Own - Amy Winehouse



5. Jungle Waters - Sam Gellaitry



6. Everything Is Everything - Gabriel Garzón-Montano



7. Heaven's Ladder - Beck



8. 123 - Girlpool



9. Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales - Car Seat Headrest



10. Go Honey - LUWTEN



11. Dancing On My Own - Robyn



12. Lack of Emotion - Skott



13. Stone Men - Dappled Cities



14. Quarry Hymns - Land Of Talk



15. If I Knew - Bruno Mars



16. Orange Moon - Erykah Badu



NOTES:
1. A little doc if you're interested:

3. Favorite boy featured on this one. He's going to be back at it soon!


15. The moment I fell in love with Bruno Mars even though he is a little (literally) perv (skip to 9:08)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Music for your Midweek: Procol Harum - "Whiter Shade of Pale"

3-12-2017
Learning this on the guitar this week, and it makes me cry every time. Every year I get older, I'm more and more of a baby:


And the version I grew up with:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Feeling Spent for Lent

Got extra ambitious with Lent this year, and decided to go vegan. No consuming animal products. No meat, fish, chicken, dairy, eggs, pork, cheese, honey, ice cream... basically everything good. Day one started with all optimism, but ended with this for dinner:


It was even sadder than it looks. Ramen without the spices (whats the point?), olive oil, lemon juice, and avocado. Not exactly the pinnacle of health, but that's what happens when laziness and good intentions meet. Why am I subjecting myself to this? It can be summed up in a few tired bullet points that I kept re-iterating to friends and and coworkers but seemed less important by the minute GIVE ME SOME CHEESE:

  • Abstaining from animal products has been part of many Lenten traditions, specifically Eastern Orthodox, so there is a bit of a precedent
  • Going vegan does not only have potentially help your health, but benefits the environment as a whole ( a guy on Bumble told me that we have all these restrictions on pollution but we practically have no restrictions limiting how much we use animals for farming/food and they are one of our biggest polluters! Guys on Bumble say a lot of things though, so take that with a grain of salt)
  • It's a good practice in self-control (which I have had NONE of over the past year). I've been far too permissive, and challenges like this always encourage me to be more mindful.
  • Lent is meant to be a time of fasting, abstinence and sacrifice to help sanctify us. I'm basically giving up a lot of favorite things, and some unhealthy coping mechanisms along with it. It can really only be for my good, right?
  • I gained back 25 pounds I had previously lost since I started my new job last year, so it's time for some DRASTIC measures. See? It's not all holy.


Here's another article if you're like me and love getting swept up in these archaic rules. I'll be checking in daily (hopefully) to help keep me on track, so here goes!

ALSO

on Wednesdays, I used to post a song I've been thinking about. I thought this ol' thing fit the bill just fine for today:





Friday, February 10, 2017

February Mix: Heart Broke

So far, 30 feels great. I'm embracing all the growing pains and listen to this song on repeat so I can get through the Trump news cycles. It works! Still had time to make a v. special mix for your Valentines Day. For all the lover, former lovers, and future lovers out there. Get it.

1. Slow Motion - PHOX


2. Santa Fe - Beirut


3. Drug Money - Avante Black



4. Human Performance - Parquet Courts



5. There Is Nothing Left - The Drums



6. War is Over - Lowland Hum



7. Too Small For Eyes - Mothers



8. Soaker (Bonus Track) - Alex G



9. When I Am Alone - Natalie Prass & Among Savages



10. Ludivine - M83


11. Redbone - Childish Gambino


12. Your Love - Middle Kids


13. The Story - Brandi Carlile


14. Two Little Clouds - Andy Shauf


15. Cuccuruccu Paloma - Caetano Veloso



NOTES:
1. Thanks to Julia for this one.
2. I blame the inclusion of this track on the fact that I've been watching a lot of GIRLS the past couple weeks. It's embarrassing. Sorry I'm a bad feminist.
3. See above.
6. For all #resist activists who like some biblical allegories in their songs
8. Doesn't take much to make the saddest song
13. i got to see Brandi Carlile during the Sundance Film Festival while she played to a room of too-rich people and I cried during this song. Also I took a snapchat of her and she winked at me and I didn't even know!
14. Found Andy Shauf too late to see him at Sundance, but now too late to see him when he come back to Salt Lake in March. Hope I don't get tired of listening to this song 10 times every day before I go to the show.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday Verse: "Exceptions and Melancholies" - Ralph Angel

The Banquet, Rene Magritte 

EXCEPTIONS AND MELANCHOLIES 
Never before
had we been so thin and so clear
and arranged always
and in the same way going and listening
over the rooftops
to tin cans of flowers and strange
music. For an hour or more
I turned the same corner
and felt like a criminal farther and farther out to sea
among the racks of shoes and old clothes
but now looking
back I should never have
unpacked. A street
crowned with chestnut trees
ends at the sewer. You go to a theatre
and find yourself a house
outside the city
and walk the shore
forever. I don't have much
talent for poetry. When I see a wrecking ball
dangling from a crane I mean it
literally. I mean
I don't mean the world's fallen apart
or that the wrecking ball
symbolizes the eye my world-weary sister
couldn't know to turn away
from. The hospital's
exhausted. the little church is boarded up.
We leaned against the limestone
and liked the fact that tea
sweetens gradually
and the wildflowers
beneath the shad of trees gone shivering
have really livened up the cemetery
and that the tall grass and the garbage
and especially the piled-up
newspapers and the rooftop pool
fit right in among
these windowless buildings
having gathered
as we are in the flesh again
and leading another life
altogether.

                                       - Ralph Angel 



Friday, January 6, 2017

January Mix: Wrong Side Up-Right

12-31-2016



I've used up all my 2017 tears, and we're only 6 days in.

Uf.

At least this mix isn't too bad. Filled with some new friends, but mostly old friends because I'm really lazy and need them more than ever.


1. Talkin' Like You (Two Tall Mountains) - Connie Converse



2. Blue Boss - Sampa the Great



3. The Moon and the Stars - John Mark Nelson



4. Spinning Away - Brian Eno & John Cale



5. The Bird - Anderson .Paak



6. Meet You In The Maze - James Blake



7. Better Man Than He - Sivu



8. Postdoc Blues - John K. Samson



9. Days of Lavender - Promises Ltd.



10. Bad Ideas - Saintseneca



11. Vamala - Champs



12. Ballad of Big Nothing - Julien Baker



13. Generation Why - Weyes Blood



14. Elegia - Jacazek



15. Reflecting Light - Sam Phillips




Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Music for your Midweek: Connie Converse - "Talkin' Like You (Two Tall Mountains)"

12/29/2016

I was introduced to Connie Converse by Robin Banks, and what a great find! She is a real gem. Connie is of the same ilk of those special artists that have always hold a place in my heart. I can't wait to learn more about her. Sometimes I think disappearing at 50 doesn't sound like such a bad idea either. Here is my fave track by Connie, and the first one I heard:



Monday, January 2, 2017

Resolutions: Young and Sweet, Only (20)17


12/31/2016
Last photo of the old year


I'm celebrating 2017 by having my first cold in years. It is a good omen. You know, purging all the mucus and muck of the last year out of my system by forcing myself to take a breather (despite the inversion plagued atmosphere). I struggled coming up with some solid new years resolutions and my friends were hesitant to just pick a resolution for me.  But I finally settled on some pretty good ones to start out the year:

1. Eat what I want, whenever I want



A little over a year ago, I began eating this way, and I was the most healthy and happy with my body I had ever been. Eating this way turned food back into food, and not a punishment or a reward or a solace or anything other than food. Ice cream was just ice cream. Only eating when I wanted to also meant I made choices NOT to eat things just because they were placed before me, or  because I was feeling bad, sad, happy...whatever. It was wonderful. I felt free. For the first time, I was happy with my body and in tune with my needs. 

BUT, surprise stressors popped up in my life,  and I slipped back into my own old ways of thinking (and eating). I'm anxious to get back into that way of living. Holla to Geneen Roth and her book "Women, Food and God" for teaching me how to do it. 

2. No phone in my bed

For real, Sarah Andersen


For too long, I have begun and ended my day with social media check-ins. I'm not into making phones into the scape goat, and villainizing social media, but I do need to be more conscious about how I spend my time. This video about the unique challenges millennials face helped put my phone addiction into perspective. I'm guilty of leaving my phone on the table, scrolling through while I'm talking through friends, you name it. Having at least one space as a "no phone zone" will hopefully put me in a better headspace. Worst comes to worst, I can use Miranda July's technique to avoid distraction: 


3. Let a smile be my default



I think being mentally, emotionally and spiritually open has to start something. If the only thing you can muster in the face of awkward social situations is a smile, that's better than nothing. I've always hated that cheesy way of thinking, but it it works, I'll take it. This past Sunday, I put that my facial expressions to the test, and it made a HUGE difference. I have to admit, it also felt unnatural and weird (I'm an RBF kind of girl), but I'm certain it will get better with practice. Yoga was helpful in helping me realize that the way we hold our face can affect our whole mood. It's a real thing, you guys. 

Here's to a happier, healthier, and more present year for all of us. Cheers.

1/1/2017
First photo of the new year