Sunday, March 16, 2008

What I've learned about doubt

When we fall into self doubt

We allow ourselves to be victims

Of others words (faults) and actions

But when we believe in ourselves wholeheartedly

We are able to lead ourselves in the highest forms of self

Without falling into blame

And trying to find cause

Because doubt can be an endless pool of discovery without beginning and end

Getting us nowhere but under

constant reflections

Of what we never were

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Idols no more

I don't idolize anyone
because if you're up on a pedestal
then how can you see
the god in me?

Don't get me wrong,
You are truly wonderful
but not enough to worship
because if I keep doing that
when am I going to see myself
as I truly am?

we are all gods

no more, no less

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Vehicle Sex

I’m listening to a song where a woman is being related to as Africa reminding me that countries, at least in English, are referred to as women. If men were referred to as countries, would we be trying to dominate them? Let me rephrase – would men be trying to conquer them? Why did countries become female? Or if they always were – when did we learn not to respect them? And determined that they had to be dominated and controlled? Nations are not women, nor ships, nor cars for that matter. Vehicles are not she – not in my case, my vehicle is a he, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Maybe calling a ship “she” back in the day was in respect as a mother carries us in her womb – to safety. So has the meaning become corrupted? If cars were truly female, how should they behave? Do they always start up when you need them to or do you have to give them special things to get them going? Are flowers and candy the car oil to get it to go? And if cars are female, shouldn’t just women be working on them? Isn’t going to a male mechanic like going to a male gynecologist? If it’s female parts, only females own the direction manuals. If that’s not the case, then cars must be male. Should we then be feeding them pizza and beer?

Maybe how we see cars is how we see our life partners. There are the men who polish and buff their cars – some even have cars with giant “bras”. Are the women in their lives as high-maintenance as their cars? Perhaps that’s what they like – someone to dote over. I don’t own a high-maintenance car. I don’t want a lot of fuss. I don’t baby it. I give it the maintenance it needs. It’s efficient and practical. It has rust and dents but it works and gets me where I need to go. I don’t need it all the time but when I want it to run, I want it to run. It’s the longest lasting relationship I’ve had. We’ve been going on 20 years.

As for countries - I wonder, if countries have the personification of “she” like vehicles, then are countries, at least in the English language mind, vehicles themselves? Is the constitution the driving manual and the citizens the driver? And what kind of drivers are we? Does the sex of our vehicle matter? If our country is still a she, maybe she’s the mother who birthed us after our founding fathers had their way with her. And if she is, what stage of life is she in. Is J.F.K.’s speech 40 years ago, “it’s not what your country can do for you but what can you do for your country” an indicator of our country’s age? She sounds like she passed middle age back then – that time frame where the kids should be acting like adults and not running to mommy for everything. Is our country post-menopause? (Pun intended) Are we taking care of our mother in her later years after all she’s done for us? Is she wondering why we don’t call more often? Considering voter participation in the past, maybe we aren't calling enough. Has the Senate and the House become the county’s nursing home? If so, maybe we should be looking in on them more often instead of just reading the progress reports.

If we truly considered our countries, ships, and vehicles female, why isn’t she putting up more of a fuss? Guess it depends on the kind of female. However, in this gender neutral world, can’t we choose whatever sex we want? I think Lady Liberty would agree.

Holistic Hair

I’ve been wanting to go back to hennaing my hair and return to my natural ways that I’d abandoned when I moved to L.A. A year and a half ago, I stopped dying my hair with permanent color. These past months, I’ve been living with the gray. Odd to use that expression “living” as if the gray isn’t a natural part of my being as I age. Actually, gray first appeared in my twenties and the dying to hide it began in my late twenties. Over a decade later, as more gray takes over, I’ve been living in fear of it. Age obsessed L.A. hasn’t helped. Even worse, I used to work in Entertainment where the greatest sin is aging. Not working in the entertainment industry any more, I don’t feel that pressure of looking/acting young. I had fun with my tri-colored hair. Then it became a must to do. So I decided to become one with my grays, this is, until I found chestnut color henna at Whole Foods. I can deal with my vanity better when beauty products are more environmentally friendly.

The best part of getting a salon hair color is that someone else does it and cleans up the mess. It’s worth the extra cash as old dye stains on my shower curtain can attest. My hair dresser was open to doing the henna application for me. However, after reading the henna instructions – having to do a strand test to figure out how long to put it on for, using only distilled water that’s boiled, having to use a Pyrex bowl and a non-metal spoon - I decided to do my granola practice in the sanctity of my own home. I couldn’t imagine schelping the henna, bowl, wooden spoon and nutmeg to my salon located near the media district of Burbank. This is a world of fluff and poof, not a holistic hair practice.

So off I went to mix my henna recipe. I followed directions, so I thought. The mixture came out to the color and consistency of wet cat liter. Putting it on didn’t dispel that description. It also doesn’t smell that pretty. (You can add spices to enhance the color (and smell). I chose nutmeg to make the color more chestnut.) The instructions said to part the hair and put it on. Oh, I wish I really paid attention to that instead of starting on top. Unlike the liquid products that soak into your hair, you’re plastering this stuff on so I already created this stiff slop on top without knowing how to get it through the rest of my hair. I learned from a past non-henna dying experience that combing it through your hair is not ideal. I didn't count on the projectile of the dye landing on my white linen shower curtain. So combing was out. The paste seemed too stiff so I decided to add more water. This meant going to the kitchen to get some more distilled, boiled water so I bundled up my hair and went to the kitchen (note to future self, have extra distilled, boiled water in bathroom)… After watering it down, it became a little easier to use. Then I ran out. So I wrapped up my head again and headed out to the kitchen. Originally, I used what the instructions said for shorter hair – 1 – 2 ounces. I didn’t account for my hair’s thickness. So I mixed two more. That was too much. Three ounces is just right. (With this mishap, you’d think I was going for Goldilocks).

Having encased my head with henna, I fully intended to sit under my heat lamp and read a magazine like I would at the hairdressers. But then I got involved in writing this blog and 40 minutes passed. I don’t know the total amount I had the henna on – could be thirty, could be forty minutes. Being a natural product I wasn’t that worried until I saw the red blotches on my neck. Although natural, it is made from a plant. Oops. Well I was ready to was it out anyway. Henna is gritty – possibly compounded by the nutmeg and it takes awhile to wash out – and wash out. Combing it out helped, as did washing it twice. Although it wasn’t perfect gray coverage, it did work. At least my hair matches my eyebrows now. It isn’t such a salt and pepper mish mash but mostly chestnut. And the henna smell will probably fade in a few days…. At least the red patches faded.


After reflecting on the thought that happiness is a choice, this poem appeared in my mind...

Happiness is not an act
you put on.
It's more than a choice to be happy.
It's understanding that it's up to
you to make choices
based on what you want
to create in the life that you want.
We all have the power
to live as we want
and be who we are
without falseness.
But one needs a commitment to oneself.
There's a lot of emphasis on becoming
but in all essence
we are already made.
It's allowing it to come forth
through acceptance and compassion.
Let go and allow
and be free.
You'll be amazed that once you accept who you are
you have no choice but to be happy.
Happiness just is.