Hair In A Bun Day Friday: God and Mommy Dearest

“I think the most important thing a woman can have – next to talent of course – is her hair dresser. ” Joan Crawford

In the daily life of the sisterhood, the work week, coworkers and life itself can often times demand perfectionism.  We get so caught up in the daily drama we actually think there is such a thing and we end up working our tails off to achieve it.

mommie_dearest_faye_dunaway0031When we eventually come to the realization that life itself is a kaleidoscope of mistakes and failures, we can all take a step back and stop the regular routine of shouting, “NO WIRE HANGERS!”

Mommie-Dearest

As well as stop from demanding that life itself be perfect.  Picture 1I remember there was a time when religion taught me to believe that God demanded the very best and that if I couldn’t keep up – there was something wrong with me.  I’m all for high expectations, but the most important thing to do after a long work week is look back and say to the Mother of all things Dearest, “I tried my best.”

Hope all our sisters remember over the weekend that there’s nothing wrong with a little wire in your hanger.

Love,

Ed

 

 

Field Trip: Lecture on Compassion

Field Trip is a new monthly blog post Angelina and I have created as we venture out from our normal Christian roots to a more diverse understanding of the Divine.  We have many trips planned for the future which include visits to other faiths, beliefs and cultures. As we move forward into the unknown, we plan on sharing the information and experiences here with all of our sisters.

Ang & Ed

A few weeks ago, we went to a lecture on compassion, given by Lama Jigme Gyatso at Viva La Vegan.

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Much of the lecture was geared towards extending compassion to our diets and adapting a plant-based, animal free diet. I have been a vegan for over two years now and a vegetarian for over eight years. I feel that I have done a decent job in making the connection between human compassion, empathy and suffering of that with my animal friends.

However,  I can personally still work on the compassion I extend out into the universe

Shortly before this school year started, I had a great conversation at my book club, about how it is that we lead….I thought about that question for almost a week afterwards, how do I lead? I have been blessed to be in a leadership position in my career, and even more privileged to be in the position where I am leading the future generation through working with high schoolers, but how is  it that I am leading them?

When I really gave it some thought, I realized that what attracted me to my career was the opportunity to help others. However, through the course of my career, I have sometimes lost this and lead through the need to be productive, efficient, responsible and useful. Often times, my focus was more on the quantity of my work and not quality. And while I most definitely still want to put out a productive amount of work, letting that alone be my motivation would leave me drained and unhappy, and potentially not giving the best of myself to my students (one of my greatest fears).

I set the intention this school year, to lead through compassion and love. I have been intending to still be efficient in my work, but let compassion, kindness and love always be the motivation behind my intentions. I have tried to reframe situations that I may not exactly like, to be done with love and be completely present with what I am doing, and the reason I am doing it.

Attempting to live compassionately has helped me find more joy in more work and hopefully, that transcends into what is best for my students.

In love & sisterhood,

~Ang

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I was really excited when Angelina and I decided that our first field trip would be a lecture from Lama Jigme .  His message on compassion and suffering had a similar theme which I’ve often heard in Catholic circles but never fully quite understood.  In the Catholic tradition, suffering is viewed as necessary to expiate sin and immorality; it is also viewed as a means to win souls for God.  If a person offers their daily cross to the Lord, many souls are released from purgatory.

Lama Jigme’s message on the other hand explored true compassion.  He viewed suffering as part of the human experience. For example, if I were to lose a close relative in a car accident, I would unite my pain with the rest of the world and suffer along with those who are experiencing the same tragedy.  In this way I’m not excluding myself from my brothers and sisters but instead I’m becoming part of the one body.

I started to practice his message the very next day.  My regular morning routine is to wake up at 4:30 and hit the shower; right before I get in, as I wait for the water to heat up, I sit on the toilet seat with my head buried in my hands thinking – “how am I ever going to make it past the first hour of work?!”  At that moment, I decided to unite my pain with the rest of the human family as they readied for work.  I felt a bit of the sting start to wear off as my thoughts surrendered the lonely feeling; I was no longer alone in my pain but united with my fellow brothers and sisters who hate getting out of bed as much as I do.

It’s not a life altering example by any means, but it gave me a jumping off point for the future.

Thank you Lama Jigme for helping me see that I am not separate from the human family.

Love,
Ed

 

Music Monday: Shake it Off Edition

Last week draaaaaaged. Ed & I both had a few situations to deal with where we needed to tap into our coping mechanisms, to find our way through.

Sometimes those coping mechanisms were healthy:

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online yoga class and diffusing essential oils

Aaaaand, sometimes they were less than healthy:

gorging on bean pupusas after work

gorging on bean pupusas after work

We definitely needed to shake some things off.

Each morning, I found myself listening to this song more than I care to admit, for motivation and silliness. When I first heard it, I thought it was insanely ridiculous with absurd lyrics. Although I still think that, I have accepted it for what it is and surrendered to the playful attitude and super fun beats.

I get what Taylor Swift is saying. We spend most of our adult lives trying to problem solve, care for others and be responsible. With all of that going on, who has time for the small stuff? Those are the things I want to be better about shaking off and not allowing to get to me upset or stressed.

I am hoping this week I can shake those things off easier and focus more on the important things.

Happy Shaking!

Hair In A Bun Day Friday: God As Accessory

“Accessories are a girl’s best friend.” Author Unknown

Sometimes during the work week, I get a little too confident with all the successes I’ve had and by Friday I take the imaginary scrunchie out of my hair and use it as a accessory on my wrist.

SJP

By the end of the work week, I’m so spent after all the giving, I’m left depleted.  That’s when I realize I have to reset myself by closing up shop, canceling some appointments, and allowing myself to reconnect with the one true scrunchie that holds all things together.

My sister Angelina and I both agree on waking up really early Saturday morning, taking time for ourselves in prayer or meditation, and then having the wonderful option of going back to bed: no early morning traffic, no deadlines – just the bed and silence.

Hoping all our sisters take time this weekend to regroup.

Ed

Religious Roots: Part 3

We have been delving into our religious past and where we are presently, in the previous posts of The Religious Roots series. In this last post of the series, we are exploring where spirituality will fit into our future lives.

I have decided that spirituality, not religion will now be what navigates my path to God, morality, decision making and soul searching. What does spirituality mean? I have given this a lot of thought and I am not sure I have one, succinct, confident answer. But, what I think it means to me now, is still looking to connect with God and live on that path of connecting, but not finding it through any one church or set of rules. As I talked about in our previous post, I am currently finding God most in nature and through yoga.

My current work is showing God’s love through compassion and kindness. It has taken me years to try to understand what that all means, and I still will not pretend that I have it all figured out. When I think of God, the first thing I think of is love, however, that is absolutely NOT the first adjective that comes to mind, when I think of church. I need to work to continue to find and exhibit God’s love.

My hope for the future is to keep myself open to any path that leads me closer to God. I am still continuing to explore other teachings and modalities that explain God in a way that makes sense to me. I will continue to try to live love, peace and compassion and hopefully, have a positive impact on the world around me.

In love and sisterhood,

~Angelina

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“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.  God is the friend of silence.  See how nature – trees, flowers, grass grows in the silence; see the stars the moon and the sun how they move in the silence…we need silence to be able to touch souls.” -Mother Teresa

I use to believe that Jesus was two dimensional:SacredHeartJesus3

This was the picture that greeted our family at the door whenever we entered the house.

Today, I experience the Creator in third dimension.  I feel the Creator closest when I’m at the beach.  The magnitude of the water; the smell of the ocean air; it’s all a reminder that I’m not here by accident – someone or something had to have created such a beautiful place.

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I’m at peace with my relationship to the Divine.  Although I still use traditional methods for connecting with the Spirit, I’ve learned that God is more than four walls and a funeral.

Peace sisters,

Ed

Music Monday: The High School Edition

The past week was tough.

I work as a high school counselor, and our school lost one of our students in a car accident, during the middle of the week.

This is any educators worst nightmare. Working with kids, you grow to love them as your own and cannot even begin to process losing one of them, so soon. I also acknowledge, that no matter how difficult this may be for our staff, it is nothing compared to what her family is going through.

I did non-stop crisis counseling for two days and felt spent by the time my weekend arrived.

I needed support to get me through, so I called on my Spiritual Sister. I text Ed and asked him for prayer throughout the week. He text me to check on me throughout the day and let me vent when I needed.

One of the positive things to come out of such a negative event was seeing how the students rose up to support one another and begin to move each other through the healing process. It was absolutely gut wrenching to see them experiencing such a deep loss, so early in their lives, but it was beautiful to see them support one another through it all.

In one of the most tight knit classes, one of the student’s friends asked if they could watch High School Musical, because it was one of her favorite movies. It was a very sweet way to honor her and even though the movie is a little cheesy and silly, it was exactly what the kids (and even myself) needed after days of shock, tears, anger and heavy, deep grief.

This song reminds me that even in those insane situations that life throws at us, it is possible to get through them, if you have the right support system. I was able to witness that this week along with my Spiritual Sister and I was fortunate enough to see it with the younger generation.

I have often wished that life could just transpire as neatly and bubbly as a Disney movie does and that all problems can simply be sung away. Although that wish may not always come true, as I prepare for this Monday and whatever this week may through at me, there is comfort in knowing that we really are all in this together.

In love and sisterhood,

~Angelina