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forgive yourself

This new year, as I have for the last several, I set an intention: Radical Self Care. For me, this means putting my own well being, health, safety, happiness, and life as a whole first. This probably sounds like a selfish stance to take considering the chaos we find ourselves in politically across the globe, but I know full well that when I am not taking care of myself, I am no good to anyone else. More and more, I’ve realized that the only real control we have as individuals is how we manifest ourselves in the world. That starts within, by being our own best friend, our own cheerleader, and our own biggest fan. When we are run down, coping, holding on, and not thriving due to lack of maintenance and care, our personal and professional lives suffer, our relationships feel like burdens rather than gifts, and we often use being tired, busy, and stressed as an excuse not to be fully present and participate in our own lives at the levels we would like. Radical self care means making sure I do all the things I need to do for myself to be as awesome as possible. But before I even got to the actions of care I would need to take, I had to unpack some lingering perfectionist self criticism that has been weighing on me. I started meditating regularly in January, and became very aware of a stream of negative and hurtful self talk that was…

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the lion and the lotus

The last couple of months have been a complete and utter hurricane. There are guidelines about all the major life things you shouldn’t do while decompressing within the first few weeks of returning from Burning Man. Don’t quit your job. Don’t get married. Don’t get divorced. Don’t move cities. Don’t end relationships. Don’t start new ones based on the intense loved-up feelings you have raging inside your tiny human heart. Don’t think you’ve found your soulmate. Or at least wait until you actually land to be sure. Don’t keep trying to be at Burning Man by pretending you’re still at a 24/7 party. Don’t walk around naked in public. Try to be normal. Return to your old life. Press pause. Regroup. Process. Deal. Move forward, slowly and carefully, with deliberate intention, and try to gracefully integrate HOME into the everyday default world. So, what did I do? I base jumped off a cliff without a parachute, of course. I ripped open the wound of my father’s death and had to let it heal for real this time. I grieved. I released. I walked out of a job that was making me emotionally, mentally, and physically ill. I ignored reality, while simultaneously having to take deep dives into it at a large, intense, successive handful of desperate doctor’s appointments so I could treat the cause of my severe anemia, anxiety, and depression before I lost my insurance. I was biopsied for cervical cancer. I lost my insurance. I got into a massive, weeks…

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what happened at burning pan part 3 – taking dad to the temple

The featured photo in this post is my favorite photo of the temple. It was taken by Andrew Jorgensen for The Confluence. He has an amazing gallery of brilliant images that you should look at.    My father and I always had a contentious relationship, probably because of our similarities, and how much I just wanted to have him around and he just wasn’t. My earliest memory in life is of the one time my father spanked me when I was three because I was being a stubborn brat and made a mess and wouldn’t clean it up. My first memory of being alive is one of anger toward me from a man. The man who was supposed to love me the most. It’s not an accident how I am now, because that’s how it started. I’m not blaming him, he did the best he could, but that shit sticks. He would blow into our lives and do literal magic tricks and take us on fancy vacations and be big and intense and I thought that was how men were. He was majestic, surprising, fun, loving, funny, fun, and weird. One year, he showed up with a fully decorated golden Christmas tree and just brought the whole thing through the front door like it was no big deal. I can’t count the number of evenings he would roll up in a new sports car (When I was 8, dude had a Delorean. Like the Back to the Future for real kind….

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what happened at burning man – part 1

I was never a person that was like "I have to go to Burning Man because it's on my like Bucket List of life." I'm not a bucket list person because I believe that life brings us the experiences and people and places that we need when it is time, and that happens to me every single day. To say Burning Man is on your bucket list is insulting to the organic magic of the city and the people who work so hard to build and survive and love together and make it happen, and to treat it as anything other than a magical, beautiful gift in your life negates the true open experience of being there. Burning Man is not a thing that you should do because it's on some checklist. Burning Man is a place that calls you home when it's time. When you go to Burning Man you better fucking mean it, because that shit will try to kill you again and again and again. Burning Man is not a thing you do once to say you've gone. It is a life changing, heart ripping open, otherworldly space trip to another galaxy that will blow your entire life apart if you let it in. Burning Man gets in your lungs and your blood and your skin and your heart and your soul and tears you apart and shows you that anything is possible forever. That there is nothing you can't do. That there is nothing unloveable or broken...Read more
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shark week

Two things: 1. This post is about periods. If you’re someone who can’t deal with talking about lady bleeding, probably go lie down and have a cookie and then and come back and learn something that might help you help a woman you love. 2. I am okay. Everything is being managed at an Olivia Pope level of handling. Shit is under control. I will tell you if you need to worry. I promise. As with most human biological processes, we all have our differences when it comes to our bodies and how they work and what is normal. Due to the whole DO NOT GET ACCIDENTALLY PREGNANT fear most of us are hardwired with the day we bleed for the first time, most women pay close attention to our menstrual cycles. We know when shit is going down in the uterine palace, sometimes to the exact moment. Lots of us have been doing this for longer than you’ve not been a virgin, so we are good at knowing what our bodies do and how it’s supposed to be and when something is wrong. Also because we are goddesses who are cosmically linked to the oceans and the moon and the planets, but you know, women. Of course some variations are expected, and there’s nothing to write home about if you have an extra period or miss one here or there, even though you’re not pregnant. And like, everyone has extra periods when they are under massive amounts of stress. Like it’s totally normal if that’s…

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authenticity

Authenticity is quickly becoming one of those buzzwordy concepts that’s getting thrown around in women’s magazines and on daytime talk shows because everyone is suddenly over it with mindfulness and meditation talk and wants something new. We just love new ideas that promise to solve our problems overnight if we just buy the right product or do the right workout or drink the right green juice. We are addicted to an endless barrage of half-baked ideas and advertising that assures us we are one tiny, effortless step away from the answers to everything we dislike about our lives. If we just buy this book, or download this app. Just read this one TLDR article and you won’t really actually have to do anything of substance. We want a solution to our deepening fatigue, our exhaustion, our loneliness, our sadness, our quiet desperation, and our ill health, and we want it to be magical and immediate and permanent and take two minutes or less. Authenticity, however lauded by the happiness-in-a-can set, is not a gimmick. Whatever Don Draper-in-a-hoodie-and-shorts Buzzfeed intern decided this was the next big thing was right. Except…Well, it’s always been there, just like our trusty friends mindfulness and meditation. If you want to get real deep into the rabbit hole of existential authenticity in philosophy, by all means, but the gist is this: Authenticity is “the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures.” It’s no wonder, in an age of ever increasing force in every facet of modern life, that we are desperate to move inward,…

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vision quest: further future

On my way in every way Be my guide or be my ghost There are no two ways about it You’re my guide or you’re my ghost… Five hours of Donato Dozzy, Neel, and Voices from the Lake. Caribou. Rival Consoles. Andy Stott. Nicholas Jaar. Leftfield. HVOB. Playing all together in one place, in one weekend. The electronic artist motherlode. This is how I ended up lugging two suitcases full of camping gear and elaborate outfits onto a plane and flying to Las Vegas, getting on a bus, and heading out into the Moapa Valley desert to camp out at a music festival alone. This is how I found myself in the Further Future, sitting in a cabana with a clan of magical German night vampires dressed all in white, drinking their morning champagne at 11pm “Berlin is a city of love. You are one of us, everyone here is one. This world is about love and we are the same. You are with us. Come to Berlin.”   So, first, let’s talk about anxiety. When your brain starts getting barraged by fear and worry and angst from the moment you wake up and you can’t turn it off, life starts to feel pretty scary. My anxiety is a symptom of something being amiss. In this case, everything in my being has been screaming at me to move forward. To change careers, to open my heart and my life up to the endless possibilities before me, to be ready for a drastic metamorphosis, to…

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ride the wave

One of the not awesome things my brain does to me when I’m stressed out is give me paralyzing, terrifying, cold sweat, hallucinatory night terrors. Tornadoes. Losing all my teeth. Being stalked by a vaguely French floating demon while the Eiffel Tower burns to the ground. Horrific car crashes. Aliens. Roaches and spiders. Something evil living deep in space. John Lennon’s ghost. End of days level civilization destruction type shit. Sometimes I wake up and can’t move, but I can see and feel the shadow of the force that’s determined to end me. I’ve been known to have conversations with the art on my walls. I’m dreaming, but even when I wake up, I don’t really know I’m dreaming right away. Three days ago, I was awake for five minutes before I was lucid enough to understand I didn’t need to call the emergency room because I HAD NO FUCKING TEETH AND I WAS BLEEDING TO DEATH FROM THE MOUTH. I have had vivid nightmares and nighttime hallucinations as long as I can remember. When I was a little kid, I used to sleepwalk. I would wake up in the dark hallway of our house, heart pounding, not knowing why I was out of bed, scared out of my fucking mind. Pure terror. When I was six, I had this recurring dream about the earth from space. I’d think very intently, as six-year-olds do, about that serene blue image we all imagine when we think of “Planet Earth,” our collective stock photo memory. I started…

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kintsugi

金継ぎ kintsugi – “golden joinery”      To repair with gold; The art of repairing metal with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. I am sitting alone in Central Park, in the grass on a rich plum colored scarf on the Saturday afternoon before Easter. It is a beautiful, serene, Lou Reed Perfect Day. I’ve got hot coffee and have just finished a gooey, warm chocolate chip cookie. I’m not wearing shoes and wish I were wearing pants instead of this miniskirt and tights because my Texas skin shivers slightly when the sun goes behind the clouds. I am exactly where I want to be.  Late March is always a peculiar time of year, filled with a mixture of relief and despair that all the fun is over forever. SXSW ends, and by some miracle, downtown Austin is pristine and put back together like nothing ever happened. Like thousands of people weren’t tearing across her streets in droves looking for inspiration and hope and oblivion and love and new beginnings. The thing about doing big, epic, fun things is that you really crash after they’re over and everyone goes home. I tried for a softer landing this year and left town immediately, which was wise. It is Spring in New York City and I can feel the golden powder flowing into the bits that got shattered this time and sealing up the cracks. There is no sadness that walking the streets of New York City…

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