Hair In A Bun Day Friday: Split Personality or Split Ends?

“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.” Aristotle Onassis

This was a short week due to the Veteran’s Day Holiday and to be honest, it couldn’t have come at a better time.  Angelina and I had “daaaays” off this week which allowed us to refresh our tired minds and bodies.  People often say that teachers get way too many breaks but truthfully teaching and counseling are very draining emotionally, spiritually as well as physically.  We spend most of the work day acting like another person it’s enough to believe in the idea of having a split personality.

We decided to get our feet done and drink a couple of Sangrias at our favorite nail place. Smile!

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When I was younger I remember my mom would come home Friday afternoon, after a long work week and tell us kids, “don’t even ask me to go anywhere because all I’m going to do this weekend is stay in my pajamas and read.”

Today, I completely get what my mom was feeling.

One of the hard parts about time off is having to go back to work. I’m sure all of us enjoy some aspect of our job but by Friday, all I want to do is take out the imaginary pencil from my loosely fitted bun and sit on the sofa like J. Lo in On the 6.

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When I come home from work, I take a shower, put on a pair of loosely fitted shorts and T shirt and imagine myself as Jennifer.  Since Friday is usually a no shampoo hair day, I run my fingers through it as I massage my scalp.  Then I slowly brush it to the side of my shoulder and work my fingers to the end; I clip the ends with my fingers only to find that I have split ends.

It’s not something I want to deal with at the moment so I go into my room and shut the door.  Reality can wait until Saturday when I’m free as a bird.

Peace,

Ed

Youthful Decisions and the No Clue Blues: Part 2

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none. William Shakespeare

When I was eighteen, and a recent graduate from high school, I had no clue about life. Not even the color green could justify my naivete.  I’ve often compared myself to a zygote just beginning the process of gestation.  The one thing I did have right was my religiosity.  I, as well as all the other clueless virgins in our young adult group thought we had it all figured out since our life reflected biblical virtues.  It’s no wonder that by the age of twenty – eight with my virginity still intact – at least with women – I got romantically involved with a priest.

One of the things I’ve learned about myself along the way is that I live life in extremes; if I’m going to take on a new project, I’ll suck the life out of it until there is nothing left over except the shell of its former self.  I can see why I was so extreme in my faith at such a young age, as well the choices I made while exploring the gay lifestyle.

By twenty – eight I was tired of hiding my sexuality and decided to live life the exact opposite way.  My life with the priest was exciting, filled with trips to Europe, Hawaii and other previously unexplored locations.  Although we had a great time together, I still carried that gnawing guilt associated with our forbidden relationship.  If anyone were to find out, I was certain to lose all the close friendships I had made in my former life.

But could I count my “Christian” friends as real friends?  At the time, was I really presenting my true self?  The answer is no, I wasn’t.  I had to do what I did in order to shed an old mentality that could have fooled me into believing that God could make me straight.

Peace,
Ed

In Part 1, we discussed how we thought we had the world figured out when we were 18 and were ready to conquer it. Like many new adults, I thought I knew it all and was ready to finally be on my own and live the life I wanted.

As I look back, I realize that I spent most of my 20s trying to fulfill expectations. These were mostly expectations I had put upon myself or expectations of others that I was interpreting, perhaps correctly, maybe incorrectly, but either way, I wanted to do everything just right and do what I was “supposed” to.

“Supposed” to and “have to” are two verbs that can really sum up my 20s. I spent most of the time out of touch with my true desires, thoughts and goals and more effort was put into what I thought I “should” be doing. Although I used to like to boast that I did not care what others thought of me, I realize that I did in fact care very much and based most of my decision making upon this.

The need for good appearances really manifested itself in how much make-up I used to wear. As I was looking back on old pictures, I was shocked to remember how much time I used to take to get ready and how much gunk I had caked upon my face.

3166058210_3aca2291a1_o I spent my early 20s working hard on my education. My 21, I had my Bachelors degree, by 23, I had my Masters and my counseling credential when I was 24. I plowed through it with such tenacity because this was after all, what you were “supposed” to do. I hardly stopped to think if this was truly what I wanted. Was I studying the correct topics? Was I applying to the right schools? Was I headed towards the right career?

I definitely do not regret finishing my education early in life, but I do wish I had been more methodical in my choices and allowed myself more time to grow as an adult, before diving into a career.

I had the same boyfriend most of the way through college and when I was 22, he proposed. I definitely did not want to break up and he was a nice enough guy, so I said yes. I already had my Bachelors degree and was half-way done with my Masters. I decided to finish my Masters degree then marry him. It made sense in the natural progression of my life and fit in with what I thought was “supposed” to happen. It made sense that this would be the next step in my progression towards the American dream.

Here I am with tons of make-up on, the morning of my wedding. I don’t even recognize that person anymore.

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What a huuuuuge lesson that turned into. I try not to dwell on regret or things I cannot change. But, this was undoubtedly a big mistake. I was not mature enough to make such a big decision, nor was he. He was definitely not the right person for me and just a few months into our marriage, I realized it had been a big mistake and things were going horribly wrong. I tried. Man, did I try. I tried to be someone I wasn’t. I tried to ignore those thoughts and feelings that my life was making no sense anymore. I tried to make it work. But, three years in, we both realized it was time to move on.

At 26, I found myself headed for divorce. I was embarrassed, shattered, broken and vulnerable. But, I at last felt authentic. I never wanted to be a divorcee and there is still a part of me that is very embarrassed by this, but it also showed the world that I was not perfect and I was done living up to anyone else’s expectations. It gave me the freedom to begin to cultivate my true essence and make peace with my flaws. It let me face my imperfect self and embrace my bad decisions.

From here, I was able to grow. I have worked hard these past few years to know the real me and make decisions that have been for myself and my true identity. I feel now that I live more authentically and have a deeper connection to my soul, the earth, my fellow beings and God.

I am sure when I am 40, I will look back at 30 and realize I had noooooo clue, but I am at peace with that. I am at peace with knowing I have not arrived anywhere. I am content to realize how little I know about anything and I am excited about all there is to learn.

Most days, the only thing I wear on my face is my nose ring. I face the world bare, vulnerable and open to new experiences.

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In love and openness,

~Ang

Music Monday: The Country Edition

Ed & I have a new anthem. Kacey Musgrave’s “Follow Your Arrow.” This song has become our new theme and a way to ask ourselves if we are being authentically true to our hearts, or going through the motions? We have some DEEP posts planned for this week, and as we begin to dig into our pasts, we discovered moments in our histories when we were being completely unauthentic and lost in a world of meeting others expectations or trying to be something we really were not. This left us feeling drained and unhappy. We have noticed, as I am sure many of you have, that when we have been authentic, honest and raw, although feeling vulnerable, we also feel happier and more fulfilled. I feel happiest when I am not always trying to be “the strong one” and allow myself moments of weakness. I feel fulfilled when I doing good things for others and myself. I feel most energized when I am eating healthy and doing yoga. I feel restored when I speak up and say “no” to invitation when I really just need a nap instead. I feel most creative when I have allowed myself to have the time to read, write and meditate. This is how I follow my arrow and keep on the spiritual path. What way is your arrow pointing this week?

In love and Sisterhood,

Ang

Hair In A Bun Day Friday: God As Platform

Psalm 118: 22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

In the life of a spiritual bahana, there are many details to consider when shopping for the right platform.  Some of those details, such as: height, stability and strength are necessary in order to feel confident when walking around town.

In the great platform of life, friends, partners and careers can also give us that extra boost of confidence we might need in order to feel successful.  Eventually, when the newness of it all starts to wear off, we’re left with what is and the cycle to find the perfect platform continues.

In my journey to find the Creator, my career was the last fit I tried on before I took a tumble on the great catwalk of life.

Top teen model Lindsey Wixson takes a tumble at Versace and in those shoes, could anyone blame her 1

First, I tried religion as platform, but that only left my soul feeling bound and suppressed:

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Next, I tried cultivating a false lifestyle, but that only left me feeling separate and alone :

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Then I tried a more intellectual platform to stand on; it fit, but it left me feeling anxious and stressed:

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Finally, I decided to wear nothing and let my feet enjoy a more natural platform:

z-bare_feet_in_grassIt wasn’t until then I realized that all along I’d been standing on the one true platform that holds all things together.

Hope all our sisters remember that no matter what platform you find yourself standing on today – just thank God you’re standing!

Peace,
Ed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Youthful Decisions and the No Clue Blues: Part 1

“You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated.” Maya Angelou

Angelina and I have a ten year age difference between the both of us but one of the things we share in common is the understanding that we both didn’t have a clue about life when we were eighteen.  Although we both reached legal status at separate times, we agree that our decision making abilities were very limited.

In those vulnerable teenage years, life’s hopes and dreams are as big and innocent as Ariana Grande’s budding music career:

Nickelodeon's 27th Annual Kids' Choice Awards - Arrivals

But if the wrong decisions are made, either by ourselves or others, we can find that life will eventually have the last laugh:

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In the next couple of blogs, Angelina and I are going to discuss both the good and the bad decisions we’ve made in the past and how they’ve shaped us today.

Peace,

Ed

Last month, I attended a conference held at the university I attended from the ages of 17-21. I walked onto the campus as a 30 year old, and no longer a student, but a high school counselor, present for professional purposes.

As I walked around the campus and looked at familiar spots with different eyes, I realized at that time, I had NO CLUE.

I remember texting Ed that day and telling him how weird it was to be back there and remember how smart I thought I was, at the time. I thought I had life allllll figured out and planned. I thought I had finally arrived. I was finally out of provincial high school and in a university surrounded by others who actually wanted to be there. I knew I wanted to get my degree, get into graduate school, get married, start a career and start a family.

I thought because I had planned so well and worked so hard that life would work out exactly how I wanted. I thought because I had done what I was “supposed to” I would be rewarded, because this is after all, America.

Looking back now, I am glad my life did not go the way I thought I had wanted. I had some BIG, no HUUUUUGE lessons to learn along the way and I am quite content to know that I still have so much to learn.

I started off my 20s like this:

HTRA208 VV054 And ended more like this:

britney-confused Please check back for our NO CLUE series, to read about some of the ups and downs we have had on this crazy road!

In love and sisterhood,

~Ang

What were some of your impressions of the world at 18?

Music Monday: The International Version

This week’s Music Monday is heading south of the border and highlighting one of my childhood idols: Selena.

When I was younger, music in Spanish was mostly sung by men and listened to by my dad and uncles when they drank. Selena came on the scene and broke through the male dominant barriers of Tejano music. Finally, us girls had someone we could relate with! She was brown, spoke our language and danced to our beat. I was immediately a fan and crushed when she was murdered.

I have stayed a loyal Selena fan and still listen to her music. Her songs are upbeat, fun and  always get me moving. They are a wonderful balance of cumbia flare and girlish fun.

Selena is exactly what I need to get me moving on a Monday morning. Bidi bidi bom bom means…well, nothing! FUN! You decide what you need it to mean to get your through this and dance around to it. Make sure to do the washing machine!

What song gets you moving on a Monday morning?

Deepak Chopra & Oprah’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge

It’s time for one of Deepak Chopra & Oprah’s 21 Day Meditation Experiences!

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I have done two of their Meditation Experiences before and have loved them! You can sign up for free and each day, you will receive an email with a link to that day’s guided meditation. Oprah generally gives an intro into the day’s theme and Deepak guides you through the meditation, with his soothing voice and pearls of wisdom.

These 21 day experiences are a great way to establish a meditation practice and a great introduction to meditation, for those who may be intimidated by how to even get started. Each meditation is about 20 minutes long and can be done at anytime throughout the day.

I will be starting on November 3rd and would love if you joined me! You can sign up by clicking here.

I think it is such a beautiful thing to have beings meditating all around the world and raising the collective consciousness for love, peace and wisdom. Please let me know if you have any questions and I hope you joint me on the meditation cushion!

 

In love and sisterhood,

~Ang