Music Monday: Tyrone

The past few Mondays I have explored the Yamas and how I am integrating them into my life, both on and off the mat. I hosted an extremely, soulful Intro to the Chakras workshop over the weekend and made some amazing connections with other yogis on a journey through the rainbow bridge. I visited a new yoga studio over the weekend. I moved, meditated and sat in stillness through a dharma talk.

I love exploring my spiritual side and sometimes, that includes some soul. Sometimes, that means drawing boundaries and telling some fools to move on, but with soul.

No one knows how to do that better than my girl Badu. Enjoy one of my favorite karaoke jams.

Music Monday: Theme Song of 2016

I like to start off my year by picking a theme song. Along with setting my intentions for the year, I like to choose a song as a personal ballad to play through my head as I move towards my intentions.

This year, I intend to move towards more intensity in various areas of my life. I have treated myself with a lot of care, softness and healing in the past year, because I needed it. I still reserve my right to use these methods when I need to, but I feel ready to move on and turn up the heat in my life.

In 2016, I want to sing more in my car.

I want to push myself more in my workouts.

I want to go to more hot yoga classes.

I want to say yes more, but still assert my right to say no.

I want to make the most out of my time alone in the mornings.

I want to read both for fun and for knowledge.

I want to become a better yoga teacher.

I want to infuse passion into my career.

I want to strengthen my personal relationships and move them past the point of shallow conversations. I want less pleasantries and more honesty. I want to decrease any conversations based on toxicity or negativity.

I want to stop relying on negative coping mechanisms and be brave enough to cope honestly with my issues and stress.

As I reflected back on my favorite books of 2015, I realized I was gravitating towards women who garnered their strength from vulnerability and honesty. I spent the past few years opening up, finding peace with my own vulnerability and decreasing my shame in my own perceived “weaknesses.” I feel ready to now emerge into the strength and embody the lessons I have learned from the hurtful moments of my life.

The song that will rally me along is Fleetwood Mac’s “Golddust Woman.” Partly because I want to picture myself as Stevie Nicks wearing this super fun hat:

super fun hat But mostly, because I interpret this song about a woman who is not to be messed with, a woman who will not be stopped or driven off her path. A woman who rocks on and does not fall in line to anyone’s limitations of her.

Rock on, gold dust woman will be pumping through my veins when I do not want to go to the gym, when I would rather sleep in or when I want to hide from myself. I am ready to embrace my strength and be brave.

What is your song for 2016?

Music Monday: The Holiday Edition

The only thing I dislike more than Christmas is Christmas music.

I hold a special, dark place in my heart for the disdain that I hold towards everything Christmas has come to represent; guilt, obligation, consumption, greed, shopping, waste and gluttony.

And the music….well, I can see the appeal to some of traditional songs, but I detest more than anything when the latest pop star has released their holiday album with ruined versions of previous favorites.

I worked my way through college in a retail setting and was subjected to long shifts filled with certain CDs of torture set to repeat. It only increased my distaste.

But, there is one, and only one song, that I love.

The small, dark place in my heart that hates Christmas is eclipsed by a day glow bright place saved just for George Michael.

I have always loved Georgics Panayiotou. His music is simultaneously silly and brilliant. I have tried to sing “Careless Whisper” at karaoke and it only increased my respect for his talent. I completely ruined the song, in case you were wondering.

I worried about him through all the falling asleep behind the wheel and ensuing arrest madness. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when he entered rehab. I hope he emerges healthy and refreshed and will tour again. I must see him live one day.

Wham!’s “Last Christmas” depicts a holiday I could stand behind. If the holiday was truly about feathered hair mullets, laughing sweatered friends, snowball fights, sparklers on cakes and sparkling flower broaches, then maybe I would like it.

I love all the drama packed into this song. The stolen awkward glances and forlorn longing make it even better. The best part is probably seeing a man who is clearly not interested in women, pretend to be upset about losing one.

There is nothing not to love about this song, except the shameful covers by pop princess Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande. When I heard those versions, I wanted to pat them on the forehead and say, that was cute, but STOP!

Please enjoy the one true version of this song and do yourself a favor by watching the whole video!

Music Monday: Heal the World

I venture to say most of you have heard about the tragic massacre in San Bernardino that occurred last week.

I am pretty gutted by this one, especially because I have to refer to it as “this one,” to distinguish it from so many other mass shootings that have occurred in the United States.

I live in San Bernardino. My house is not far from where the shooting occurred. It has not hit too close to home. It has hit home. It felt so surreal to see my city all over news outlets, with familiar streets and sites.

The sadness and outrage I feel in no way compares to that of friends and families of the victims, the injured and those who were present, in fear of their own lives.

I cannot believe this happened again, but, of course I can, it’s an issue that is still not being addressed. I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that it happened in my city, but why should we be exempt? UGH. I HATE (and I do not use that word freely) how common this has become. I HATE that it has hurt my community. I HATE that more families are hurting, scared and shaken.

I do not want to rant about my personal political views, desires for policy change, speculation for motives or personal feelings about implications and aftermath. There is enough of that going around and I feel drained.

What I need to process through in this space and maybe along with you, is HURT and HEALING. When I feel like my head will explode if I ask myself one more “WHY?” question, I have to look back on my own personal experiences of hurt and healing for support.

These tragedies of course strike up personal chords. I can empathize with what it feels like to lose someone to gun violence. Certainly not in this magnitude, and I will not pretend to understand the pain of these loved ones, but I I can sympathize somewhat. A violent loss is different from other loses. I still deal with the loss of my father to gun violence and crime. I still enter court rooms and sit feet away from the accused. There was fear, anger, nightmares and profound sadness that followed and emotions that I still, and always will, encounter.

At the simplest level, I think it comes down to “hurt people hurt people.” This phrase has helped me not hate. This phrase has helped me let go of valid anger. This phrase helped me not be scared anymore. Most importantly, this phrase helps me be mindful of the way I treat each and every entity on this planet.

I know I am an idealist. I know I have far-out-head-in-the-clouds-hippie ideals, with bleeding heart liberal values and can be too idealistic. But maybe, if we all treated one another a bit kinder, or at the very least, not go out of our way to hurt one another, well, maybe we would stop giving others the motivation to want to hurt us.

I am not saying the shooters did this because someone called them names. But, I cannot help but wonder what level of hurt they experienced in their own lives, to motivate them to so viciously hurt others.

If I had it my way, everyone would have enough to eat and their food would be affordable without additives, preservatives or dyes. Every animal would have a peaceful, happy life and every child that wanted a puppy would get one. Everyone would do yoga and practice preventative medicine. No one would liter. We would all have open and peaceful communication and solve our issues through conflict management practices. No one would own or need a gun. Hunting would be thought of as a past barbaric practice and protection would be unnecessary because no one would not want to hurt each other.

I know this will never happen, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder…

At the very least, can we just stop being so mean to each other? Can we not go out of our way to say an unnecessary comment, post a spiteful reply, give a dirty look or let our FEAR take over?

I feel that fear is the true motivating force behind those types of mean behaviors and I feel that it is running completely rampant right now. I sure do not blame anyone for feeling fearful, but it bums me out to see how pervasive and dangerous it is becoming.

Can we make the conscious effort to not be afraid?

It’s hard. Really hard.

My dad was shot and killed in March of 2012. An arrest was not made until July 2012. The first fews weeks, I was fearfully obsessed that “the shooter was out there.”

I remember suspiciously looking at people. I remember creating stereotypes in mind of who this person must be that pulled that trigger and when I saw someone that fit that description, I would look them in the eye and think, “was it you?” I remember feeling my intestines quiver. I remember constantly feeling anxious and fearful. I had a hard time sleeping and woke up multiple times per night from nightmares.

Somewhere in my grieving brain, logic kicked in and said, “you have to stop!” I accredited this to my yoga and the awareness that I had been starting to practice on my mat.

It had to be an extremely conscious decision to not be afraid anymore. I had to take deep breaths when I went out in public and be completely at peace with the knowledge that the person who killed my dad was somewhere free. I had to separate the justice and legal process from my healing process and VERY consciously re-focus on my health, sleep and heart.

Can we all make that commitment to consciously practice awareness of our fear? Can we try not to stereotype, blame, argue and fight? Can we agree that maybe we disagree about many things, but be OK with not changing minds and proving ourselves “right”?

Can we just for a moment, stop pushing our personal agendas and speculations and just support one another? Seriously, can we just give one another a hug? We really need it.

I have been listening to this song. MJ has comforted me through many times and helped me make sense of some pretty trying situations. I know it seems like a childish notion to simply be nice and loving, but maybe that simplicity is what we need to return to. Be nice. Treat others how they want to be treated. Be OK with being wrong. Don’t let fear win.

I wish I had better answers. I wish I knew what to do to stop the hurt. But maybe, can we start with healing and letting go of fear?

There Are Ways
To Get There
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
Make A Better Place…

Music Monday-The Birthday Edition

Today is my 32nd birthday. My theme for the year is INTENSITY. I posted all about intensity and my intentions for this year on my personal blog.

I wanted to capture what that meant in a song and when I think of intensity, I think of one of my energetic muses, Beyonce.

queen b This mix of her song “Flawless” never fails to get me moving and energized. I feel ready to tackle a run, intense workout or crazy workday.

I hope this song helps you through your Monday and gets you motivated. Crank it up, drink some lemon water, put on some lipstick and get going.

Although I may not always physically wake up like this, I hope in my 32nd year I can metaphorically wake up in roller skates, bright tights, super fun make up and my high side-pony tail!

32

Music Monday-The Shoop Edition

Music Monday really needed to make a re-appearnace this week. On Saturday, Ed gave me the best early birthday present and took me to The Freestyle Explosion Concert. He knew I would love the line-up of old school artists that reminded me of the bad ass I thought I was in high school. I put on my dark lipstick, hoop earrings and got ready to dance!

chola

We danced down memory lane to Young MC and Rob Base. We were slightly disturbed by Tone Loc (can he please stop pretending that “Funky Cold Medina” is acceptable?!) but were extremely amused by the audience members who came on stage to dance “Wild Thing.” We sang along to Expose, The Jets and Jodi Watley.

I completely fan-girled out over Salt N Pepa! They were one of my favorite groups in high school. I loved the fact that they were female rappers talking about risqué topics that were previously unacceptable for women to talk, much less rap about!

For my theater class (which I took all four years of high school), we had a lip synching assignment. My group choose Salt N Pepa’s “Shoop” and made up a pretty funky dance to go along with it.

Ed & I rapped along because we still knew every word and danced to “Let’s Talk About Sex” and “Whatta Man.” We had a super fun time and realized some things from high school still have not changed.

cholas Tell us: what was your favorite song from high school?

 

Music Monday: The “We Just Need to Dance” Version

Hollaaaaa to all my sistas out there! Ed & I have missed you all. We are both wrapping up our respective school years and have been overwhelmed with end of the year craziness. We are DEFINITELY looking forward to our summer breaks and ready to travel, relax, renew and re-charge.

Ed & I had some much needed sister time this weekend. We considered for about five minutes going out dancing and staying up late, but we both said, naaaaah…we preferred to wrap ourselves in our blankets, sip vodka, watch Sex and the City and fall asleep on my couch by 11. It was everything we needed and more.

To re-charge ourselves through this last week of work, we need a short dance party. Crank  up the volume on this one and dance your Monday blues away.

This song, from The Blues Brothers movie, is a long time favorite. My dad would play this movie over and over again when I was younger and I remember him dancing like a complete dork to this song. It is a joyful memory and I would love to share the moment with you all.

Please play this song, through inhibitions aside and dance with me!

Happy Monday!