Friday, July 25, 2014

V is for Vipassana

God and Vipassana...
The struggle is wether my attendance to a second Vipassana course will lead me astray from God now that I have found a stronger conviction in Him since my first course, and since arriving to Australia. As I reflect on my first course...and how I arrived to Hawaii two days after I finished the course...I remember what I felt as I got off the plane, and looked upon my old homeland...the question in my mind that had been burning there for a decade: "Is there a God?" was answered for me....I touched down in Hawaii right after my 10 days of silence...and I said "Surely there is a God!"

 But still I struggled afterwards...I now knew there was a God but the relationship was no where near where it is today, (Thanks be to God, to my friends and the family I have made here)...

It was the other day that the thought popped into my head...I was getting out of the shower when all of a sudden just out of NO WHERE...I got it in my head that I should take up 10 days of noble silence when I get to New Zealand, before saying goodbye to Australia and heading back home to America. I wrapped my towel 'round my body, grabbed my clothes, and rushed to my room. I open my computer, and I started pray: "Please God! Let there be an open course!!" In my experience, they get booked quickly, but sure enough, in New Zealand, there were open courses with dates that fit into my travels perfectly. Never ONCE did I ever think that this would be displeasing to God. I feel like meditation, and noble silence is obviously not speaking, but rather, listening. And that's a good thing I'd say. Most people would find it difficult to get through the day with out saying something, much less get through a day or for some folks, a conversation without looking at their phone or computer. We are in a place of constant stimulation and interaction. What better place to listen to God than a place that offers, FOR FREE, a haven to observe noble silence, and learn the technique of focusing on the present....and learning to quiet the mind, and meditate. I understand that this is a practice of Siddhartha, now referred to as "Buddha." And I think with a lot of Christians...they hear a name of another religion, and I feel a lot of the time, anything associated with that, one must stay away from. I have a hard time believing that God has created us so uniquely, so differently, for us to stay in our own boxes that we have built for ourselves.

That is not the God I know. I believe we are meant to explore...and as long as we stay steadfast in our faith in Him...we wont be wavered...we will learn what we learn...and we will apply it to the relationship.

Anyway, I was praying about wether I should attend this Vipassana course again (which I've just got accepted into)....asking for an answer...I mean genuinely, with everything, asking for an answer. I just needed to know if He would really be displeased...

And this is how it works (as I've observed it) : I pray and God answers. I don't think Time is at all to God what it is to us...so He answers it in His time. His timing on this thing I was praying about...was pretty much right away for me. And He just answered me in this form....through the one man that truly feel in my heart....the holy spirit lives within. Cos if that man don't have God....then I just don't know what...
Mr. Stevie Wonder.

I know that sounds ridiculous but I feel God will speak in the language we understand best to get across what it is He wants to. And by way of Music, sure enough, I felt a peace about the answer I prayed for...

I started to look up why it's conflicting, to love God and practice Vipassana. I didn't even get through the whole message that this one person wrote...I just saw the words "Transcendental Meditation" (which is, I'd say, is a shallower form of meditation than Vipassana). At those words I stopped and turned on Stevie Wonder's "Jesus Children of America" <--- [go head and listen to it while you continue reading] <3

In his 3rd verse he says
"Transcendental Meditation,
Speaks of inner preservation...
Transcendental Meditation
Gives you peace of mind..."


Let me just say that when I made the decision to walk away from God, it was because I attended a school that told me Stevie Wonder was not acceptable music to listen to...and I thought: "But that man is LOVE....how can you tell me this is not pleasing to God..?"

This man that sings of Love, of GOD, and of life...and with those gifts!?  Composing, and writing his songs...and with that Voice!! Not to mention his talent at playing pretty much every instrument.....and he's BLIND! I'm sorry but those are gifts from God...and Stevie knows it...and we all know it.

And here God set Stevie Wonders (Gods funny that way ;) ) song right in front of me...I think this was Gods way of telling me...you go to that retreat....you challenge yourself....you quiet yourself...and I'll be right here...speaking to you in the silence.

I think people think this is something I am skipping and hopping toward. No.
No.

Do not be mistaken...this course is the hardest thing I think I have ever accomplished in my life. And I have no doubt the second time around will be JUST as hard....except that I will have the knowledge this time that YES ...it will be over soon haha! But this isn't something that is easy...that is fun...it's hard...it's flippin hard...and it hurts...and it's challenging....but as with most things that are hard and difficult and challenging...it is rewarding.

So with that...I will be attending this course next month.
Cheers.



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fathers Day Reflection




How I see my Father?

Well, for starters, I don’t know anyone who I agree and disagree with so much. For the most part, my father is right. I have said it before and I will say it again...a great majority of things my father has told me, most of which I heard but did not heed, was all true. But paths had to be chosen, and ultimately I was the only one who could choose them.  

I may not always enjoy his political views, or some views in general...I think it has much to do with his brash deliveries. That all aside, it is the innate and absolute honest ethic I see from that man, through his actions, and through his life, that I could not agree and aspire to be more like. The only “more” that I could give that feat, is to actually act/be like that. 

It’s a work in progress..
I learn too quick,
I apply too slow. 

I— his daughter, at my core, operate of Love. A sibling to six. A Writer, a Lyricist, a Feeler, a Thinker, a Musician. A Creative. A woman of two names, of sound and words, food and flavour. Dichotomy. Community. Of Laughter, of Joy. Touch and Senses. Vibration. Variety. Viscosity.  A Worker with Wanderlust, and a natural born Chiller. Cultured. Volatile. Empathetic. Hind-sighted. Hardly decided. Spontaneous. Stubborn and Resistant.

But my Father is a man of action. I believe at his core, my father operates with Care: it's dressed in work clothes and smoothed out with sandpaper. Tough. A Father of Five. A Farmer, a Sailor, a Carpenter, a Builder. A Sports-man. A Speaker of several Languages. Traveler. Diligent, Dedicated, Determined. Smart. Sensible. Focused. Funny. William, a Worker, Weathered, and Wholesome. Vigorous. Tasks are completed. Always ready, always prepared. Forward thinking. Decided. Calculated. Stubborn and Persistent. 

To be born of such a seed, I say Amen!
For of it came NEW life. Change. Differences. Conflict. 
But at the core remains Blood, Roots, and Resolution. Love. 

To my Father: William Velasco, 
You are both a good man, and a good father. 

I love you, 
Happy Fathers Day. 

Lex



Saturday, April 5, 2014

That Moment When You Nearly Drown To Death...


Today I went to grab a cuppa at the beach with a man called Peter, who I met a few days ago after the Monday Nite Jam, and after coffee we made our way to the beach, chatted for a good hour before deciding to take a bit of a swim. 

Now the last time I was at this beach, famous Bondi Beach, where they have a show called "Bondi Rescue" after this beach, someone on their surfboard swimming pass me said: “Are you okay?” and I remember thinking that was so weird… like yeah, I’m just swimming. Granted, the tide is pretty strong, but I got this dude. I remember coming to shore and telling my girlfriend Serena that I had a bit of a rough time getting to shore…but it didn’t really phase me. 

This time Peter and I jumped in, and as usual, I dived right in and swam and swam around. …we had a nice time swimming around for a second and then I noticed I had drifted quite far from him….but I didn’t really mind…I was there to swim in the ocean, and we’d meet back up on shore. The waves were pretty big and the current really strong but…nothing I haven’t seen before, I thought . . .

I was very...very wrong.
I floated on my back for a little bit after I drifted from Peter, and a man came by on his surfboard and asked “Are you okay?” …I thought to myself “That’s weird, that happened last time too..” I started to wonder if I look like I’m drowning when I swim. How come every time I come here to swim a surfer asks me that. Do I look helpless? I take a bit of pride in how well I can swim…the last person I challenged in swimming (and won) is a 6’3’’, very fit young man. How a semi-overweight 5’5’’ young girl could beat that? Yeah, only growing up in the ocean will do that I reckon. I’ve never been worried in the ocean except for when a rip curl takes me under, or for possible sharks. But as for swimming around in it…naaaah….but never again will I ever take her power for granted. I thought I had a pretty healthy respect for it….and now I know I do. 


Right after that gentlemen paddled on, after I told him I was just fine, within seconds, I looked out for Peter and saw him on the shore. He looked very very small….it was one of those head tilt moments...those..."Wait huh?" -- and I realised I was VERY far out from shore. Then, the wave before me lied flat as it reached the shore…and I saw just how much water lay between me and safety. I thought to myself “Wow, I’d better swim back in” ….So I began to swim…and swim…and swim….and swim…and swim... and I looked up again only to see that Peter did not appear any closer, and that I had not made any progress. This went on for a while. . . because I was caught in a full on rip-current. 



Imagine a little human just stuck in that. No thanks. 


Because I did not see the designated flags where people should swim, and did not know enough about surfing...it didn't at all seem odd to me that I was the only one swimming around freely where only surfers with board were paddling out. This is why two surfers swam by asking if I was alright, because it was a zone where no one should be swimming without a floatation device.

Now, I know that you're meant to move parallel but...I just felt like the whole rip was HUGE...it felt like no matter where I went I was being drawn out by the current. I started to have a little bit of a panic attack. I've never been caught in a rip current before...and I know that many swimmers that do get caught in them, they drown. My feet keep shooting down to reach for sand, only to be met with water to work with. I am now in this realisation that I am so very very far from shore, and not at all sure if anyone even realises I’m out here. I begin to swim again, and fiercely now because all that is on my mind is getting to a place where I can at least get my feet in the sand. As sore as my body is, I am giving it everything, but of course, to no avail…and helplessness sets in. I had just completed a very long work out not 24 hours prior, and my body was a bit sore from it…and now I'm trying to fight the ocean. Yeah, okay. You can't even do that as an olympic swimmer...basically you cannot ever beat or out swim a rip current. A statistic states: "A Strong rip current moves at 3 feet per second, which is as fast as an Olympic Swimmer in a 50 metre sprint"

At this point, I start to really really panic now as I realise that if I don’t get to shore soon, there were two fates that lay ahead. I will either drift out very far...which meant out to where Sharks are...and that I would have to swim the equivalent of a dozen or so olympic sized pools to get back...where sharks kick it. No.

 It was either that, or I was going to drown. I am so exhausted at this point, I can’t swim any harder than I already am, and I’m breathing heavy. I am breathing heavy not from only fighting an exhausting and futile fight, but also that I'm sort of full on panicking at this point. They say that is what kills most swimmers, is that they go into panic mode and breathing just becomes really really hard. As this realisation sets in, I again try my damnedest to at least get my feet to hit some sand, moving right, left, forward, but this rip current was pretty big. I was after all swimming in the surf. I’m swimming and kicking and I am at this point just at my end here, I can barely breathe, my mind is boggled, and just as I begin to vocalise to myself my panic (by repeating “holy shit, holy shit!!”), a huge wave dumps on me and curls me under, hard. 

It’s all slow motion. The impossible has just happened. I was barely making it above water…taking in tiny little bits of air, and now I am under it all, and curling in. Immediately I open my eyes and for what felt like forever…all I can see is water…is current…I think I was feeling that if I was to die right then, I was not going to shut my eyes to the reality of the last moments of my life. 

When I went under,  I just thought to myself I need to stay calm enough until I stop curling in, to then make my move up to the surface because I NEED AIR NOW!

My second thought was "Dear God, please not today!"

My other thought through out all of this: You smoke too much-- if you make it out, you really need to reevaluate your addiction to tobacco. I could feel the weight of every single cigarette I've ever smoked as I was swimming for my life out there, completely out of breath. 

I pleaded in my heart that He would keep me, because I felt surely I was about to die. 
And just as I thought that, with every last bit of energy, I flapped my arms and kicked my legs to the surface…with my hair plastered over my face, I arise GASPING …hair getting sucked into my open mouth. But what little air did get through that curtain of thick wet hair, was all I needed. 

Just then, I saw a man on his board a bit a ways from me…I looked at him but couldn’t say anything. I just kept trying to keep myself up over the waves and going toward the shore…I kept saying “holy shit!” out loud as I paddled. I know. Not the best way to go out if I am to go out, but it was sort of like a “This can’t be real! Is this real? Are you serious?” I just couldn’t think of anything but the fact that, even though I was dead-set on NOT dying…there was this huge part of me that sort of told myself “Well, it JUST might happen…so just be prepared” It was like half denial and half acceptance…and such a moment of my life. 

I kept looking over at this guy, but I couldn’t bring myself to say or holler anything to him. I didn’t know if he was going to swim past me or not, and for the life of me (literally) I could not bring myself to say anything. I just kept looking and looking back at the ocean in front of me, trying not to collapse. I knew I needed to stay calm but when you're at the mercy at something SO powerful...It was like being in the jaws of a lion...and just knowing that at any moment....it could be your last. I should have continued to swim parallel or at least just tried to drift out but the fact was, I was caught in such a strong current, and really far out. Even if I did let myself drift...I'd still have to kick my feet against this current under me, to keep myself afloat. 


So no I am in full on panic-mode (Which is NOT at all a trait of mine…I don’t hyperventilate and do all that), on top of the fact that I had been fighting this current for a while, I am at the absolute end of my rope and I am just needing something to hold on to— I swear, just then this surfer is close enough where he can pus his board toward me. He does so and tells me to “Grab the board”...it was the moment of my life, my God..I just remember saying “Oh my GOD, Thank You!"

Another man on a paddle board came out to meet us and and told me to get on it, as I was getting on he asked me “What are you doing swimming out here?” …I told him “Sir, I don’t know!”…I had nothing to say for myself…. We soon got close enough where I could put my feet in the sand; I found this out after he told me to lie down, and as I went to do so, I fell off the board hahaha….Peter told me later they all had a bit of a giggle over it on shore. Which made me laugh too!

But yeah, then he just told me to walk directly to the right and head out to shore. 
As I got on shore, the other lifeguard said “Miss, you need to swim only between the flags— did you not see that sign there? No one can swim here!” He points to  sign near by which…was not at all near where I started swimming. All I could do was say I'm sorry and I'm grateful!

Never have I ever thought I was going to die, the way I did in that moment…the last time I felt anything close to this was when I went FA-LYING over my handle bars in the middle of a street, on a blind turn. I could not breathe when I made impact with the concrete, and I just kept thinking…if I don’t move out of the middle of the street, some car could come zooming around this corner and run me over….I knew it at the moment, and I was a little scared, as I couldn’t move for lack of breathing for nearly a minute…but in the back of my mind, I knew I would be okay…At least a car could maybe hit the breaks quick enough or something. I was at least on solid ground...

What happened today….there was no, "once I collect my breath, I can make it to safety." Even with all the breath I had in me….I could not get out from the water. God bless that Surfer man! Peter told me he had never seen the tide turn so quick before…

In all my years playing in the ocean…My God, neither have I. 

But then again, I don't usually swim where I'm surrounded by only surfers. Sometimes I don't think too good man...


Australia, the country…is INCREDIBLE. The raw earth here is ….wow. A reckoning force man. 

So the lesson learnt here is if there are flags on the beach...SWIM there....and if you every ever ever get gripped by a rip tide . . . swim parallel if you can. If you can't, don't fight it....just drift because you WILL exhaust yourself and if there is no silver surfer or anyone around..you'll lose man. And dude, if you notice there are heaps of surfers around, and they keep asking if you're okay, take a hint man. I was so blinded by the fact that I was such a "Great swimmer" that it didn't even occur to me there is probably a strong current here which is why all the surfers are out, and NO swimmers are. Ridiculous.

Friday, March 21, 2014

::Pornography/Meaningless Sex: Why I Think It's Harmful::










I understand well that Pornography is a humongous market, in which (I believe), the majority of our population has ventured into, or actively remain in. It is natural to grow up in a culture that promotes, and distributes it so freely, to become curious as to what it is about.

I was 5 years old the first time I witnessed a pornographic image. Before witnessing this, I was already aware of sex and at a young age, discovered my sexuality-- but that certainly expedited things. To this day, I am a very sexual being. That isn't to say I have sex with a lot of people, on the contrary...but I am aware of myself, my body, and my sexuality. I have been told by several people throughout my life that I exude it at times. I learned at a very young age how to speak without speaking. And when as a preteen, I grew into a woman body, a task I was not meant to take on for many years...I ease of speaking silently came all the quicker.


When I became a teenager, I began to look at porn, and though it was not often-- it was often enough.


By the age of 19, and for a few years after that until I met the latest love of my life, I associated sexual promiscuity with empowerment. I eroticised complete submissiveness with being sexy. I bought into the idea that women were objects during sex and that every nasty awful action or word was to be taken in stride, and in fact, encouraged. I think many young girls have found that as well.

A young girl actually posted had this photo taken, and posted it somewhere....
and it is now forever on the internet...this breaks my heart


Mid way through my nearly 5 year on and off relationship with a man I will love and support until my dying day, I made a promise I would never have meaningless sex again. I had discovered what true love in sex was....I had discovered what sexual activity with a man I so deeply connected with...to the CORE of my soul, felt like...and what it meant to me in every aspect of myself. One day, during the "off season", I struggled with myself and my value as a sexual being, and called up an old hook-up. My relationship with this man was NOTHING but sex. We didn't really speak, nor did we really care about one another. I never asked him how things were or the like, and he never asked me.

I called him up that day; I was, and permitted myself, my being, and my body, to be objectified in the most insensitive and unsensual manner. Almost immediately after we began, I regretted it, but felt responsible to finish the deed, or rather, have the deed finished. I had not learnt at that point to say "No."  Now I know, at 25, when I decide to engage in sexual activity...it will be because I have thought about it long and hard (pun intended). But seriously...it will have been well thought out before I accept the act of allowing another human to enter my body. Just because I am sexual, does not mean I have to manifest that through sex. One can be absolutely sexy and sexual while abstaining from random or meaningless sex...You're not a winner or conquerer or some sort of vixen if you get him into bed...he wants to go there already. 

I walked out of his house, down the street and later that week, cried and became disgusted with my self for weeks to follow. I had become out of touch with my body, and my senses. I felt I had been violated-- and the worse part...was that I had done it to my own damn self.

Since then, I renewed my vow to myself to never ever ever have meaningless sex again. Never ever engage in any sexual conduct with someone I did not have a connection to aside from primitive attraction. If I could not deeply connect with the person, intellectually, spiritually, humour-wise, etc--I would not allow myself to go there. And since then, I never have, despite the many men and many chances that have been brought to my table of sexuality.

I have also vowed to never sleep with a man with whom I would never be okay procreating with. Contraceptives aside, the possible byproduct of having sex, is pregnancy. And God forbid I:

1.) carry a mans child with whom I do not intend to spend my life with (marriage or otherwise).
2.) Abort a child who I knew was a possibility for the actions I took. If ever I become pregnant through consensual sex, it is my responsibility to own up to that. (This is not a narrative on abortion-- I have no qualms with those who DO choose that route. This is for me personally). 


I found that through watching porn...I could not properly fantasise as I used to before I had viewed an array of it-- and I have a VERY wonderful, explicit imagination!! But I found myself bombarded with these images...entering my conscience, and telling me what was sexual. Most of it involved submissiveness and objectification.

I found that through porn, men have an expectation of how sex should go...or what I should look like or how I should behave...and what is okay for them to do (and not do i.e. be sensual, touch, kiss, laugh, feel connected).

I think that porn has a very very very shameful affect on society. I feel it inspires a level of aggression that should not be alongside sex. And I think it perpetuates our misogynistic, and rape culture.











I don't find masturbation a problem, whatsoever...I think it is completely natural...but porn is not at all necessary in facilitating that. If ones imagination cannot extend so far that they cannot properly find relief without pornography...then it's time they go outside, or read a book, or paint a picture. If one cannot perform such a natural act without the aid of a video or image that is so very very degrading to women...or glorifying of men and their cocks, they need help. They need a real relationship...they need laughter and comfort, they need sensuality, they need a real lovers touch.

Porn not only allows men to look at women differently, but it develops a complex with their penis. Porn not only allows women to look at themselves differently, but develops a complex with men and their penis'. It's not just the size or the motion of the ocean...it's the connection. It's the human interaction that we have, by way of pornography, taken out of the equation. It has corrupted and perverted our minds, and our reality on one of the most real, mindful, emotional acts a human can take...especially a woman. A woman who is to be penetrated...a woman who lays down and allows this sex to be put inside of her.



The pen is mightier than the sword...

Women are already internal creatures, both emotionally and physically. I think it is sad when women go out and sleep with random men because they think they will find comfort, or because it's "fun" or because they find it empowering to capture a man with her body, rather than her mind....her intellect, her talents, her goals.... (Like this role model, Malala Yousafzai)



It allows men to become disconnected with a woman in that way too. She is there now to make sandwiches and lay down on command...

The argument is that a little porn is harmless. But everything we consume, be it through our mouths, our ears or our eyes....every little bit has an affect. You can't tell someone who is on a strict diet that a little piece of chocolate cake is harmless...sure, if you're willing to work out for 2 hours to erase the affect.

Imagine what more it will take to erase the affect that watching 10 minutes of porn a week, a month, a year. Something so in your face, and that solicits such a reaction...is not piece of cake to be worked off in 2 hours.

If you do watch it...ask yourself why? Ask yourself how it has affected your fantasies...Sure it's created new ones, and you've probably grown accustomed to them. Isn't it a challenge to be without? Don't you feel more connected to be without? If that sort of thing is not important to you..then there is not much I can say other than I hope you find another way.


Sex is so intimate and such a passionate act...that I prefer solitude than sex with someone I barely know. Even if it is someone I am deeply connected to, I do not wish to make that a focus. Sex complicates things. It changes the dynamics...and I for one would like to know what it is like when sex is not on the table. I for one would like to keep someone around because of the person I am, and not because of what sexual satisfaction I can provide. I think fasting is a beautiful idea, and fasting from sex for a year...should provide so much more than sex with someone who is not to be my partner forever, could do.

I challenge you to reevaluate how you look/view sex...as a human, as someone who respects themselves, as a person with dignity...what does it mean to you?

Please, feel free to share your thoughts on the subject matter!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Here is the truth, so now you can hate me."

"Here is the truth, so now you can hate me.” One of my favourite lines from the movie Closer...

Lately I've been going through another growths-spurt, bowing in humility of all the things I did or said in pride...learning through experience that I don't know if people understand me who I am sometimes. Usually these clarifications are done in an effort to clear the air, to shed positive light about oneself, to make certain you are being understood in the manner in which you would like to be...

This is not that post. This is rather, a post about certain truths about me you may not know, or may not know that I know...and they're some of them ugly. Among the many discriptions put upon me in my life as an entertainer and a natural extrovert (which somehow always opens the floodgates to judgement-- good and bad), these are the top 8 words used to describe my personality:

Wise
Positive
Funny
Confident
Stubborn
Talented
Lovely
Open Minded


These are mostly wonderful words, they are not words I chose that I think people think of me...these are words of many people I have come across in my time here on earth..

And the truth is...these are all traits I aspire to be...and the other truth is, I do not always live up to these. I accept these wonderful words, and despite my reception, I continue to fall short of them, while still letting those flags wave...

I feel like a lot of the time, I would like people to see those traits in me, raised at half-mast...because it sets me up to leave no room for error. Except for being stubborn!

Here are some truths I will give to you, that may dispel my wisdom, my positivity, my humour, my confidence, my talent, my loveliness, and my open-mindedness; and I’m okay with that.



:: I speak up before I really should. I think I have all the information, and know of what I speak...but I don't a lot of the time. I jump the gun and make bad judgement calls.

:: I'm actually a snarky bitch. My love for reason, logic, and respect becomes clouded sometimes with that little hood part of me in the back of my mind, saying something to the extent of: "dis biiiiiiitch...."

:: Speaking of dis bitch....you know the term "No she didn't!"....yes....yes I did. #iwentthere

:: I will suggest one behave a certain way, because that is the way *I* would. Now...my intentions are good...because these are ways that I have found work for me. When I hear someone complaining about the littlest thing, I tell them something like "just don't react, it'll pass-- in the grand scheme, it's not a big deal" and while that is constructive feedback, sometimes people don't want that. I am not one to not speak what I feel is right...but I know sometimes people just need to get it out...and I have to let that go. 

:: I struggle with people who cheat on their partners. Despite the reasoning...I have a hard time with it and it's not for me to have a hard time with.

:: The flip side is, is that when I FIRST started dating Tim, we were just getting to know one another...but we were very much "together" (It sort of just happened from the moment we met) 
About a month or so into it, an old love of mine...I mean, I had a FIRE for this man-- anyway, he invited me out after work, and I ended up kissing him. We laid together in the same bed that nite, but we just snuggled, being the boy he is, he pushed for something further and while I had always desired that with him...I could not bring myself to do anything but kiss him, and he was very respectful of that.  In the morning I told him I just couldn't...that for years I wanted him, but now I found a man that was falling madly in love with, and that I thought my budding relationship with him deserved a chance (best decision I've ever made).  That was the very first and last time I have ever done something anywhere near cheating. While I don't suffer any regret, as it was a relationship that I already had a bit of comfort in, having known this other man for years now; I do suffer a bit of guilt...even though it solidified just how much I really believed in my relationship with Tim, I hate that I let myself taint my record, over the boy who was the reason I actually met Tim. (He stood me up, and so I decided to go to a house party with a friend...and boom: TIM!)

:: Sometimes I like to get ready to Iggy Azaleas "Murda Bizness" . . . because I'm an alpha female.

::I believe in God, I love the Bible...but I will probably always listen to some rap songs that are pretty ridiculous (like Murda Bizness) ....and I like to swear. And I enjoy the ganja. (which isn't necessarily against the Bibles teachings at all, but it just doesn't seem to be popular in the Christian community).

:: I believe the Bible is an amazing book-- but I have a hard time taking it literally. God, who created this infinite world of possibilities, who created us each with all this unique expression, wants us to take ONE book literally. He wants us all to believe exactly the same way. Not when this book can be sold in stores by man. And not when I see it constantly used as a place of power and not faith. I will always live in my relationship with God....and not by the rules he may or may not have inspired for another generation of people. I will always allow the Bible to guide me though. It is my self-help and guidance book.
::I'm not literally "racist" as I don't believe that some races are superior to others, but I guess I'm a culturalist...that is to say there are some cultures I don't really like and, frankly, could name a few that I think are better. If I can be honest here.
:: Among my brown and "tan" friends, I use the term "White People Shit." ...this isn't toward white people as a race....as a skin colour...when we say white, we mean the behaviour. I understand that if white people said "that's brown people shit" ...well..we'd be okay with that I think...but I understand that if white people said "That's black people shit" ....you'd probably get shanked.

::Yes, I do double standards

::Yes, I think that a healthy lifestyle, self reflection,  acceptance, and having God can heal depression. I feel this personally because my way of dealing with that was taking a sharp point to my skin and cutting it open, feeling the pain, and watching myself bleed. I never been so sad in my life and I never intend to go back ever again.

:: Yes, I can shop at goodwill/bargain hunt better than you

:: I can't date a dude who loves heavy metal the way I love soul, jazz, funk, or hip hop. 

::In that same vain, I can’t date a man who is Godless. 


:: If soul music  doesn't do anything for you, chances are I won't trust you. I will base my whole judgement on wether you are trustworthy, if you don't like or enjoy soul music. #sorrynotsorry

:: Yes, I believe a woman should know how to cook and clean...not that if you don't, you're not a woman...but I think that something we should be able to accomplish (Men as well honestly).

:: Yes I think a GOOD woman cooks and cleans, and doesn't give lip to her man. That's not to say that if a man was talking shit, she should just keep quiet. But a Good woman would know to pick a GOOD strong man.

:: Reverse wise, I think a GOOD man doesn't talk down to his woman ever. He holds her when she needs comforting and puts his foot down when she is out of line. Most of all, I think he RESPECTS and ADMIRES her.

:: I feel that if you are convicted, WITH PROOF (DNA, Confession...) of raping someone, you get wiped out.

:: I feel that if you molest or rape a child, you should get wiped out.  

:: Yes, I think that being on unemployment for 2 years is bullshit. I know many people who have done it and I've loved it for them, but I don't think it is what should be allowed in our country.

:: Yes, I think that welfare should be granted for 6 months (with exceptions to extentions), and in that time, you get your shit together and find a job.

:: If you don't WANT to work for the man, you don't just get 2 years unemployment to do whatever you want. That is for YOU to fund. You find a job or you become an entrepreneur. 

:: The truth is, I believe women and men were NOT created equally. I am all for equal respect and to be all treated fairly but when it comes down to it...at the tangible level, men are a different beast from women. Women are internally what men are externally.

:: Yes I believe that weed is a far better substance than Alcohol and should be decriminalised

:: I believe that how you view the world and other people in general, it is a reflection of self.

:: I personally, for me, would like some brown babies
:: Yes, I believe the majority of History as we know it, is bullshit. #HISstory

:: Yes, I believe that evolution exist. And I think you can believe that and God simultaneously.
:: Among all my huge and wildest dreams, being a mother, a wife and a family woman is at the top.



And these are some of my truths.
Cheers xx

Sunday, January 26, 2014

He took her by the hand and said: "Talitha, cumi!" (Little girl, arise!)

"Be not afraid, only believe"
Mark 5:36

As a young child, I was given a King James Version Bible for Easter of 1996...it was huge, it was well made and sturdy, and it had thumb tabs like a legitimate library-dictionary does. The parchment was so thin and fragile but held so strong...I didn't know too much about God except that if you do bad things, you're pretty much going to Hell.

No one pushed these beliefs on us...we were influenced by my step father but he never made us go to church or the like...but I found myself searching on my own...I wanted to know more about God...and who is this dude Jesus his Son? What about Him?

I started going to church on my own and of course my parents made no objections to me going but they never did join me and I was fine with that. He was like my friend that I went to hang out with every Sunday...with whom I drank free church coffee with...yes, at age 8 hahaha.

I was sent then, at the age of 10 to my first private school and it surely lit a fire in me...I was learning more and more....then I moved to another private school where a different flame was ignited...and I was so caught up in the rules, the religion, and boy-- the guilt. This school was not exactly hell fire and brimstone...but it was certainly not a nurturing one either. It was a rather condemning school for an establishment set up to instil a sense of the Love of God inside these individuals. It left me so torn and by the end of the journey...it left me so jaded.

By the time I moved to Japan, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were just on their way out as far as my faith, my mind, and my heart were concerned. I attended the Mormon church as I made a great friend of a Mormon girl...I didn't stay too long...and I read about other religions and I kept trying to go back to church...and everywhere I went, my questions as to who God was...and what he meant by this and why that and why this, were not met with understanding...the understanding of a young girl in search of this God she clearly knows a thing or two about but lost grip of. I was not met with a very welcoming way to the path...but rather pretty assertive and sometimes aggressive rules and ideas and guidelines that one had to follow and never mind your silly questions young lady!

By the time I hit Highschool...God came in and out of my life and by College and after I left my studies at 19...I was the one condemning....condemning God and his believers. I did a complete turn around. I studied it and found it was made up...like all the other religions. I had been through a range of emotions...having moved from one family to another then back and then back to the other one again, and then on my own ...I was convinced that this imaginary dude and the beliefs behind it were just bullshit. They were a reason to fight...a reason to judge others....it was all fake and only people who don't know any better need a God. But not me...I didn't need anyone and you couldn't tell me NOTHIN!

Then when I was 23, I went back home to Maui after being away for five plus years....
And as I walked off the plane and into the open passage way...I looked upon my homeland...and I was hit with a sense of God....I just was dumbfounded. I said to myself "Surely this is Gods country..."

I spent almost a month there, and during that time, God revealed himself to me more and more each day....and I left knowing once again, that He existed.

FAST FORWARD to when I was accepted to work at Attunga, a Youth Ministry camp in Canyonleigh, Australia...cooking for the interns who are there to study the Bible (a book I have always loved even when I stopped believing in it), and for the camps that come in.

I decided that no matter what, I know my God, I know my relationship with him, I am excited to see these folks who are excited about God, but we're not talking about Jesus. I am comfortable with God...but Jesus is just a character...super tight and all that but he's not real. PLEASE don't try to tell me anything cos I KNOW what I know and again, you can't tell me nothin'!!

And LORD was I wrong. I did NOT know. In fact, I did not WANT to know...but through out my time on this camp, with the most AMAZING, uplifting and encouraging people, I witness unbelievable miracles....little ones...big ones...and still I would not accept Jesus.

One nite I had this dream that I was on this slope ("we on a slope!")...and the ocean was raging below me...and this person I was with kept saying Jesus this and Jesus that and somehow it became understood that Jesus was the Ocean..and if I just wanted Him, I just need to go in and swim. And the waves started reaching up and lapping at my feet...and I vigorously tried to climb this slope...but slowly I started to slide down it toward the water and I am, with both feet, putting an absolute stop to it, I'm climbing up, I am putting my heels into the slope and saying "No, I WILL NOT go in!"

And I woke up from that in a daze...it hit me hard. I went into the coffee shop where the interns gather to do their devotionals...and we ended up talking about it and about God and Jesus and what I was afraid of and what I needed. Then Chris asked me if they could pray for me...and with tears streaming down my face I said "Please.." ...he asked what for and I told them "..conviction."

I needed conviction because when I would pray, I would always throw in a "Lord Jesus" in there, this one I did not believe in....I needed convinction because the Bible STILL moved me, still stirred my soul...I needed conviction because everytime I went to church, I cried during worship, and I cried during sermons, and I cried when the man at the stage asked whomever needed Jesus, to come down and receive him. And for years I'd been to church in and out, praying I would one day feel convicted to do so..to truly believe...and every time I heard those words...I said "not today."

I needed conviction because no matter how close or far I put God....He ALWAYS chased me, He ALWAYS stayed faithful...and I KNEW it...but I still wouldn't believe. I was so afraid. Living my life for me and doing whatever the eff I wanted was working out great for me....but yet, in the years of rebuking God, I was depressed at times...and when I really needed Him, I called out to the one I severely denied; and still He answered.

I was not going to go to church this evening, I was just going to go home, but I ended up being able to stay at Attunga (I came back to visit) for another nite, so I went to church since I was going to be riding back with them.

So....The speaker is from Seattle...and he speaks that slang I talk...and I am LOVING it. He opens up with asking something like "Do you know what you're doing, where are you going?" something along the lines like "Do you need direction?" And I said out loud "Lord TELL me!" as a proclamation one may make is a gospel church. Although the delivery of his sermon was funny and light hearted, it was the message that just struck me.

He shared the story of the woman who was bleeding for 12 years...TWELVE years...and not only did she exhaust all her finances on physicians and doctors, she was getting worse and worse...

She saw Jesus with his people walking through the town, and knew that if she just touched this mans clothes, she would be healed. She made her way through the crowd and reached and grabbed the hem of his garment. Jesus stopped and asked "Who touched my clothes?"

His disciple replied that they were walking through a crowd of people, it could have been anyone. And yet Jesus asked who touched him? This woman fell to His feet and told him the truth. He replied by telling her it was her faith which healed her, and to go in peace...

Just before this, a synagogue leader, a wealthy man who for once cannot use his status or money to fix the situation he finds himself in (which is that his daughter is dying), he too falls at the feet of Jesus and begs him to heal his daughter. And just like that, Jesus followed the man to his home. Sure enough, the daughter is healed.

And his message was that faith without works is dead...and that it took falling to the feet of Jesus and saying "Heal me!" and Jesus did. But if that woman had just prayed and prayed and stood in the crowd hoping she'd be healed well...it's just not how it went....She believed if she touched his garments, she would be healed, and so she made an action..she went through the crowd and reached out for the cloak of Christ...and by that faith alone, she was healed.

I realised I had just been standing in the crowd just saying "Okay Jesus, if you're real just show me..I'm ready"

But it doesn't really work like that...especially not with me I don't think...He had shown me his powers so many times and I still stood there, with half faith and no work.

So as I've heard so many times "just raise your hands if you need Jesus...and I'll pray for you"
I was so moved but..I was pretty sure this was going to be like every other time...but God, I needed that prayer...

And then he asked those who needed Jesus to raise their hands...and I didn't...and then he asked those who lost Jesus, who once had and have strayed and need him again, and who want him to pray for them...to lift their hands...I didn't know who was watching, I was with so many people from the camp who already had Jesus...but I needed that prayer so badly. So I raised my hands and kept my eyes closed.

Then he said that if you wanted that prayer, to come down to the stage right in front of him, and receive it. And I slowly gathered my things still nearly convinced I may not go although I needed it, and Haydee asked me if I wanted her to go with me...Yes, please, yes! She grabbed my hand, then Lissy and Leana followed behind me as I made my way through the crowd to reach my hand out and fall at the feet of Jesus. I reached out and put that faith to work... and put that work into my faith!

I guess what I am saying is...I was given the conviction that myself and so many others had been praying and praying and PRAYING for. I knew Him once, and now I know Him again-- and it's so nice as an adult to know him, but to understand him with that child like faith I once had as a child.

So my friends, please, continue to pray for me on this journey, on this step I have taken...I ask that you all hold me accountable to my testimony today.

In Jesus' name,
Amen.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Fears--Conquered!!

"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears" -- Nelson Mandela
*****

In my 25 years...I have definitely conquered fears...I have definitely got into situations that instilled fear...and I feel I overcame them...but it was a matter of necessity.

I remember when I was 5 years old...maybe 6...when I was horrified at the thought of going on any thing at the fair that exceeded the scare-level of the swinging boat-- at least that didn't even get close to going upside down.

Myself and my sister Camile.
Circa 1991
 I'll never forget...my beloved sister Camile...I idolised her, anything she said, it went!Despite being scared to all hell; She convinced me to get on her favourite ride: The Highflyer. I'll never forget the look or the name of that thing...Basiclly you're in a cage and it flies up high and around...basically you go upside down. I remember being strapped in and those safety bars coming over my shoulders, and the reality of it all set it. I had a full on panick attack. Camile laughed and laughed and told me to take it easy. The ride started and the understanding of my non-existent escape came upon me and you know what? I LOVED it. But I did not go on my own accord...I was game...I overcame the fear until the moment of truth and I completely freaked out. Had I not been strapped in-- I would have walked away at the last second. 



 A week and a half ago, within the span of 48 hours, I conquered two fears. The first being jumping off a ledge into a pool of water I could not see more than 2 feet beneath. Before I moved to Australia, my friend Jessica took me to Lake Washington to jump off the diving boards...I barely managed to dive off the kiddy dive board...I have a healthy fear of not jumping into literal pools or caves or anything of which I am unawares of what lies beneath. Quite the opposite for figuratively speaking...


I told Foreste if she jumped, I'd jump...
About 15 minutes later...I finally did
Pretty sure I was damn near crying...I was so happy!




Another thing that happened right before I moved to Australia was my opportunity to hold a snake... a really small one....it was a pet of Tims roommate...and I stepped up...just as I had to that ride 20 years before...and right at the last minute...luckily for me I was not trapped into holding this snake haha...I did what I would have done back then, decide at the last minute I just couldn't.

Not this time...about 48 hours after jumping off that ledge near that humongous waterfall, I was holding a python around my neck!! I backed up because I knew the guy giving us the reptile show, was producing a python...but as he was holding it... I felt drawn to this diamond back python...I walked up slowly and put my hand out to the snakes head...and let it slowly slither on to me...

and just like that...


Allowing my irrational fear to disappear...



....aaaand gone. 


I've decided from now on, my choices will reflect things I hope for...not the things I fear. I've always wanted to overcome these fears..and so my action..my choices reflected that hope-- and I am so happy I did it.

My prayer for us all, is that we ALL will do thus. And my message is that you CAN!! That if you hope for it...but are afraid to take the steps...know that you CAN take those steps...you just actually have to do it...and you will see the things you've hoped for...are absolutely within your grasp.

I promise you...the more and more you say yes to hope and no to fear...the more and more you make those difficult leaps, bounds, even baby steps...the easier they are to make. Gotta start somewhere...

You're incredible...no go forth and conquer!! :)