I do my best to be apolitical, although I LOVE the quote above. Even though the author is a political columnist I don't think the quote is particularly political. I think it is just good, common sense.
It's not that I don't care about what is going on in politics today (AND A LOT IS GOING ON!!).
I DO care.
I DON'T care to get into the arguments that happen lately if you and another person don't agree on politics. Or don't support the same people.
I don't believe everything I hear or read.
I like empirical evidence.
I would like to think that I'm a critical, INDEPENDENT thinker.
I have my biases, as does anyone else!
If I do get political I typically write it, sit on it for a little while, and delete it. Perhaps I write it just to get it out of my head.
All in all, in the end, it's not worth it.
I believe in agree to disagree, dialogue and discussion.
I don’t think everyone has to see eye to eye.
That’s what makes life interesting.
I teach you, you teach me, and every once in a while, when we don’t gel, we come to the conclusion that it’s not worth an episode from the WWE.
However, there are some folks who want to fight to the death and be right at all costs.
I prefer not to engage if a situation comes to that.
I'm content to wish you love and happiness, and exit stage left.
I’m not getting particularly political here. I just have a little story to tell.
I wrote this a few months ago and decided to tweak it and republish it.
I was shopping at the Marine Corps Exchange Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia (near D.C.).
The White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and I happened to be in the same department.
I saw him and his gargantuan Secret Service escort a few aisles away.
Kelly is unmistakable. Quite tall, impeccably dressed and stiff.
Yes, I said stiff. (I think pretty much anyone would be stiff in the White House today. Yes, that was a little political.)
His eyes stayed forward. He walked with a determined and purposeful gait. He did not interact with anyone.
I wouldn't expect any less of a retired four-star general and a presidential appointee.
When my husband, who was in a different aisle, saw him he saw red, but then again he is much more into politics and political personalities.
What I DO know is that I am not in alignment with Kelly's hardline policies on certain important issues.
I was walking down the main aisle and texting my son about the sighting.
My son had a few choice words to say that I won't share. (I will say they were SO funny!)
While I was texting my son Kelly and his imposing Secret Service escort whisked by me.
Right by me.
Kelly and I were shoulder to shoulder.
My husband (who saw the encounter) said that from his vantage point it appeared I hadn’t seen Kelly.
HOWEVER, he said the moment after Kelly and his escort passed by me I nonchalantly lifted my head and rolled my eyes.
He said he wished he had gotten it on video.
Mind you, I knew he was there all the time.
I chose not to look up.
A friend told me that by doing that I threw “shade” at Kelly.
(Honestly, I'm still trying to figure out what "shade" actually is.)
I guess since I can’t say that I’m a fan, maybe I did "throw shade".
The provocative thing is that the air was electric with his presence.
He did not go unnoticed... by anyone.
Being a sensory driven person, I could hear the creak of his expensive, polished, black leather shoes as he breezed by me. (My head was down so I got a glimpse of them.)
I could smell a faint whiff of cologne or aftershave (or maybe it was his deodorant. As I mentioned he got pretty close to me).
He walked like someone who knew he was important.
A man with a purpose.
If I had half a mind I would have stopped him and asked him a few pointed questions.
But, I have more than half a mind and I decided it wasn’t worth it.
that I didn’t want to end up on the 6 o’clock news.
You see, apolitical, critical, independent thinker, with a filter on my knee-jerk reactions. (At least this time...)
As always, thanks for reading.
See you next week.
I am posting early this week because on Sunday I will be floating somewhere off the coast of Alaska without internet!!
I rededicated myself to being vegan over a year ago after a few detours.
The detours were good. They gave me perspective.
I learned my lesson.
I feel better and my digestion is better.
My first attempts began in 1982 when the only real vegan choices I had were salad and oil and vinegar dressing.
As the years have gone by, a pregnancy, nursing a baby )when I crave rare steak and chicken wings), the unhealthy packaged food vegan stage and NOW (Tah Dah!), vegan options are just about everywhere.
I had no problem last year in Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Montenegro or Croatia.
This year I had an easy time of it in Copenhagen, Denmark, There were three vegan restaurants within walking distance of each other.
I had no issues in Sweden, Estonia, or Finland. Russia was interesting and I must say they did their best to accommodate me!
For me, it’s not a fad or a new diet. It's my lifestyle.
It's what works for me.
If it works for anyone else, that’s great. If it doesn’t, that’s great, too. I’m not Draconian about it.
I'm not going to lecture you, .quote statistics, show you horrible pics of tortured and slaughtered animals or force you to watch "What the Health?"
I live my life the way I choose and you need to do the same..
I keep vegan as much as possible. When I can't, then I choose vegetarian. (To tell the truth, if a restaurant can offer me vegetarian food, it only takes a slight tweak to make it vegan.)
BUT if I go to someone’s home and they work hard to prepare me a meal and it has meat in it, I'll eat it. Most people know that I’m vegan or they ask. I find that incredibly thoughtful. However, I won’t turn down food kindly prepared for me even if it contains meat..
A friend remarked how that was very Buddhist of me. I guess you could say that. I just think it's the compassionate thing to do.
There are great health benefits to being vegan.
AND YES, I get PLENTY of protein.
My husband and son are not vegan but they DO eat vegan for their health at least 4 days a week.
All the saturated fat from animal protein is NOT good for the health.
Well, you might ask, what about coconut oil and the saturated fats from it?
I don't use it anymore and mostly because it has a CRAZY amount of calories in just ONE tablespoon. I want to benefit from the calories I eat and a tablespoon of anything is not satisfying, or filling.
Here's my little anecdote:
Recently, I was in the Houston airport.
That airport is like a GIGANTIC mall. I hadn't been in it in years and I didn't recognize it.
There are restaurants for just about anyone.
I found a healthy restaurant with bowls, smoothies, juices and soups.
I asked if the “Buddha Bowl” on the menu was vegan? She said she didn’t know and she would check.
After consulting a chart, she confirmed it was vegan.
While she was ringing up my order she asked ”do you want meat with that?”
I couldn't help but chuckle and think that, honestly, you can’t make this stuff up.
Maybe it was an automatic question, like "do you want fries with that" or "do you want to make that a combo?"
OR there are people who say they are “vegetarian” and actually eat fish or chicken. (I'm not sure I get that but to each his or her own.)
I had to give her the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe the tofu on the menu was classified as a meat add-on along with the beef, chicken and shrimp.
Nevertheless, it still felt like someone was going to pop around the corner and say: “LIVE FROM HOUSTON, IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT!"
If being vegan is for you, good for you. If you are curious about veganism, contact me with any questions.
If you eat animal protein - to each his or her own.
That being said, give vegan a try even if for only one day a week.
Get your necessary fruits and veggies and give your digestive tract a little vacation.
AND if you make a face and say " I HATE KALE!" even though it's a "SUPERFOOD", that's ok.
I hate Kale, too!
As always, thanks for reading.
See you next week.
This is my response to the article "The Curse of Always Being Happy” by Qigong and Kung Fu master John Munro.
This is a subject that I have personally been thinking about a lot lately.
For me, there is no light without dark. No up without down. No Yin without Yang, hot/cold, day/night, right/left, male/female (In general. Exceptions acknowledged and honored).
It is when we are stuck in our emotions that it becomes a great challenge.
When the pendulum swings wildly one way, it will swing wildly in another.
We talk incessantly about being happy, and looking for happiness.
What about the ease of being content? A very mild, pleasant sensation. Much like the theory of neutral talked about in the article.
Have you ever noticed how feeling ecstatic can make your heart race and make your actions very amplified?
Have you also noticed how anxiety, too, can make your heart race, make you frenetic, or active in an entirely different way?
These are both still very heightened states of emotional or physical response.
Being more “neutral” helps us remain more unattached in differing situations.
I look at it as going with the flow.
As teachers it is crucial that we go with the flow. No two classes are the same, no students are the same, no responses to the material are the same.
Remaining flexible in these environments makes for better classes and better teachers. If we are constantly in states of heightened emotions it is not good for us or our students.
“Put on a happy face” or “Don’t worry, be happy” may not always be the best course of action.
We have all known someone who just puts on a happy face all the time. They are exhausted putting up a happy front BUT they are not truly happy inside. Do they feel they need to maintain the facade because that is what they feel is expected of them? (That is classic people pleasing behavior.)
Everyone has a less than perfect day. All the teachers we look up to: Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Martin Luther King, Jr. etc. expressed and express themselves sometimes with passion and sometimes with dismay. However, there is still a calm running parallel to that expression. There may be anger, frustration, pain, elation, jubilation and ecstasy but the way it is expressed is gently, lovingly, firmly with reserve and self-control.
Additionally, as teachers in the healing arts, we can put so much pressure on ourselves to be a perfect example. OR our students and critics put a lot of pressure on us to be perfect. Granted, that is more about them than it is about the teacher, but the pressure is there nonetheless. It takes a strong, confident, self-aware teacher to remain unaffected by this external pressure. Why put immeasurable pressure on ourselves to be other’s idea of perfection and adopt that as our idea of perfection?
To walk, talk, live and breath as what we feel or have been pressured to feel is as the perfect master, guru (or whatever you choose to label or not label) is completely unnecessary and counterproductive. It’s a tough role to play in today’s world.
When we develop our emotions to be expressed in a more serene, calm and composed manner, our existence will follow suit.
If we can have the self-discipline to enjoy the middle ground, instead of the tumultuous highs and lows, imagine how much more peaceful our lives can be.
The old story of the monk facing every situation by saying “We shall see” may be one of the best examples for a content life.
So "don't worry, be content."
As always, thanks for reading.
See you again next week.
If you would like to read Master John's article here it is:
.I'm sure you can't tell from the title of this article that it's an end of life story.
The poignant thing is that THIS part of the story is really wonderfully funny.
At least I think so.
You can judge for yourself.
I have a family member who is near the end of her life.
More than being an anecdote, this story is a tribute to her, because she's the proverbial spit-fire...
The somber note is that Alzheimer's is slowly altering her memory, and her behavior and shortening her life.
For ANYONE out there with a family member or a friend suffering from Alzheimer's, my heart goes out to you! Educate yourself. Be patient and loving with YOURSELF AND your loved one. Times like this show us what we're made of.
For the sake of the article I am going to call her Ms. T, both for her privacy and for ease of writing
Ms. T has lived a wonderful life full of family, friends, events, travel, parties, rubbing elbows with notables, golf games and real estate.
She was a whiz at selling real estate AND she was a great golfer. She played with some heavy hitters. In her prime real estate and golf went together extremely well. I imagine they still go together today - BIG deals being made on the 9th hole.
To this very day, in her late 80's, she is a classy woman - always well-dressed, always putting her best foot forward.
She has a closet that every woman with taste and style wants to raid...
...and a smile that lights up a room. A big, broad smile.
Ms. T wears a specific color of Revlon lipstick. Revlon, not L'Oreal, or MAC or Urban Decay, but Revlon.
One day she noticed she was running out of her lipstick and asked her daughter to pick up another tube.
I’ll also add that Ms. T has a taste for good vodka. She loves her evening cocktail hour. Who can begrudge an 87 year-old woman her cocktail hour???
In addition to her favorite lipstick she also requested her favorite vodka in the convenient gallon economy size.
Her daughter, being the loving daughter she is, bought her mother TWO tubes of lipstick.
Ladies, we all know how this goes - eventually every cosmetic company stops making our favorite shade of lipstick and we have to find a new color that never quite matches or looks as good as the old color.
Two tubes is an assurance of continuing to have the right color.
The vodka, well, if you drink vodka you know what works.
(I personally don't drink vodka because it makes me mean. I don't really drink much at all. I can't hold my liquor now. I can hear a friend, whom I’ve known since college, saying: "YOU NEVER COULD DRINK, but you frequently field tested it”. It was college, what can I say?)
Later in the day loving daughter delivered the two tubes of lipstick and the bottle of vodka.
Ms. T asked why she bought her two tubes of lipstick?
In her daughter's mind it was for the aforementioned reasons. They make sense to me.
Ms. T said she may not live long enough to finish the two tubes of lipstick.
"Then why did I get you such a big bottle of vodka if you think you might not be around much longer?"
"Oh, I'll be around long enough to drink the vodka!"
That reminds me of a quote from The Godfather "Leave the gun, take the cannoli!"
"Forget the lipstick, get the vodka!"
As always, thanks for reading.
See you again next week.
For help for you, a family member or friend with Alzheimer’s:
KaZ has been in many facets of entertainment, plus the co-owner of two restaurants, a fitness center, a television production company and the owner of a cinema. She did a stint in politics (she won't be doing that again anytime soon), and in veterinary medicine, She now focuses on writing.
In addition to the above, KaZ is an award-winning vocalist, a former dancer, stunt actor, circus artist, & professional water skier. She has worked as a theater artistic director & writer.
KaZ has been a published writer in magazines & books since the age of 15. She has written plays that have been produced in New York, Florida & New Orleans. She has a featured chapter in the book How To Survive A Move. (Up-to-date she has moved 45 times!) KaZ wrote an article for Organic Wine Journal, and also an article featured at the Ground Zero Memorial.
KaZ co-wrote 2 television informational series & 3 television pilots.
One of the pilots, a sit-com, was produced as a reality pilot. KaZ has revisited it and it's now a one season cable series.
“(And ) Then This Happened.” is based on life, love, and everything in between in the mid-life years. Loosely based on her life and the life of two of her best girlfriends.
KaZ's many high pressure pursuits led her to meditation.
She began studying meditation in '91. Her initial training focused on Kundalini Yoga with Yogi Bhajan and his teachers. She is a certified Master Meditation and Qigong Instructor.
Most recently KaZ taught in a juvenile justice facility, and lectured on mental health in juvenile justice.
With writing being her first love, look for KaZ's upcoming children's books
from the mind of two grandmothers.
Plus, a play based on letters from her two great uncles during WWII.