Sunday, December 21, 2008

What does it mean to be Friends in this millennium? Happy Solstice!

I'm starting to understand what it must have been like for my parents when they started diatribes that began with, "when I was your age..." because the changing times now seem to be even quicker than it was when they were my (current) age (39).

Through my formative years, I saw the advent of push button phones, home computers, answer machines, cable TV, microwaves, walk mans, disc mans, video games and yes, MTV. I can't possibly imagine my life without these technologies and what they later birthed -- thinking about an iPhone and the fact that I can carry around color video on my phone when in my youth having a color TV was a big deal is mind boggling when I consider it sometimes.

Along with all this technology, interpersonal relating has also changed -- how could it not? We all carry interpersonal communication devices with us day in and day out. So many of us have multiple devices of some sort -- a phone and a computer or two phones (land line at home or work and a cell phone) or multiple email addresses or being on multiple social media sites.

What I'm realizing is that all these ways of communicating have really changed what relating with other people is like. Friendships aren't what they used to be. Being close to someone doesn't mean what it might have years ago.

Think about it. 150 years ago the standard way that most of you would read this message was via US postal service. When was the last time you mailed a friend anything of importance about your personal life via US Mail?

Even if you think back to a mere 40 years ago and the climate of this world, we weren't necessarily looking to connect as the cold war was in full force and the "evil" of the other side was so prevalent in people's minds. So while people could use phones, 40 years ago it was pay by the phone call and wait in line if you had a big family.

Today, I have a group of "friends" on facebook that is simply more people than I could ever interact with using a phone -- which, in it's own right, is amazing technology. Through this tool especially (not to belittle other social media sites, but facebook is dialed in, integrated, and pretty kick ass in how it works) is that we have the unique opportunity to create relating as human kind has never known it before. In a minutes time I can have a personal interaction with several people by typing a message and posting it to someone wall. I can have an interaction with hundreds of my friends by simply changing my status and it will move through someone else's feed.

And if you type quickly -- a skill, these days, more valuable than good penmanship was 50 years ago -- a regular person can interact with even more people in less time and more depth than you could possibly accomplish before in human history.

I got a message from an old (long-standing, not aged) friend this morning... someone who knew me before I founded Temple of Poi. She was reaching out and sending me love. It really touched me because while the message was short, it communicated a lot and had me remember that these social media tools allow us to show up in the world and impact people in ways we may not even be aware of.

I hear a lot about technology and the woes of it... but truly, I find it to be a gift... A gift that allows us all to redefine what friendship means by a standard that is appropriate for today's means of interpersonal communication. A gift that allows us to still have those people we see on a regular basis while also allowing us to reach out to more people and stay in connection, in love, in the light together, and in a Flow of Being as one on this earth that has never before been available to us.

I feel a transformation upon us right now -- not just because we elected the first black president in US history; not just because we celebrate the winter solstice today; but also because this time in human history is truly epic and it is right here and right now where we get to define what we create through these tools and what we choose to do with them.

I for one and grateful to take full advantage of being able to connect with hundreds of people in moments and I appreciate that connection for what it is... grateful to have every one of you in my life at whatever level we choose to create interaction.

So thank you for being, thank you for creating a possibility for interconnectedness that is unprecedented in human history and thank you so much for sharing this life with me.

Welcome back into the light. May it fill you with all the positive things you most truly desire.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

12 Days of Christmas: Meaning Revealed

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were
not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone
during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.
It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning
plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each
element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality
which the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Flip Mino Camcorder

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Looking to increase everyone's joy this holiday season? Yeah, me too.

Nearly 9 years ago I was lucky enough to stumble upon poi.
Nearly 7 years ago I was driven enough to establish Temple of Poi.

4 years ago I was serendipitously granted the first of a series of opportunities to bring poi fire dancing to a credible stage, namely, Union Square. This was a donation of our time and money to be a part of the San Francisco Food Bank's (SFFB) Canned Food Drive. Each year, the SFFB hosts an annual event to help raise awareness and increase donations for people who are less fortunate and unable to feed themselves. Throughout the day, they have artists perform -- this year's performances include our beloved Shamanic Cheerleaders who will be performing earlier in the day Monday.

Temple of Poi's first performance in 2004 was such a success, they invited back. Again. And Again. And Again. This year, we are lucky enough to contribute once more as we present the finale of the day's events with a 40 minute fire show performed by students, alumni and friends of the school (as well as the closing performance by me).

In these times where things seem darker, I invite you share your light and be part of the solution. Here's how you can participate:

- Buy a holiday gift for yourself or friends: Temple of Poi is committed to raising funds for the food bank by offering 50% of our proceeds from sales of our Temple of Poi 2006 Fire Dancing Expo DVD to the food bank. Purchase a copy in person from us at Temple of Poi for $20 or buy your own copy to be shipped to you.

- Stop by on Monday and donate a canned good item

- Spread the word about the SFFB's mission by sending this message far and wide

- And joining us for:

WHAT: The San Francisco Food Bank's Canned Food Drive
WHEN: Monday, December 8, 2008
WHERE: Union Square, San Francisco
WHO: Temple of Poi Fire Dancers (4:40 pm), Shamanic Cheerleaders (3:05) and more

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Energy Drinks: Large quantities for Low cost

$5.50 per case SmartPower Smart Energy Drinks - by the pallet

We are the manufacturers of SmartPower Smart Energy Drink - The best FEELING energy drink on the planet. SmartPower has special ingredients that change the way your brain processes caffeine, enhancing the positive effects (Energy, Good Feelings, Clarity) while virtually eliminating the negative ones (The Jitters and the Crash. Smart Power Drinks for videos that explain how it works.

We have decided to liquidate our stock of SmartPower and Nuclear Waste Antidote Smart Energy Drinks. Normally, a can of SmartPower sells for $2.49 in store, or $50 for a case of 24 16oz SmartPower Smart Energy Drinks with free shipping. Now, we want to move pallets, not cases. So, we are selling it at 90% off our normal retail. Buy more pallets to save more! :-)

The deal is as follows. Bring a one ton truck that can handle a pallet of 70 cases (24 16oz cans per case, 40"x48"x48") to our storage in Castro Valley in the East Bay (near Hayward/San Leandro).

pallets_________ 1 ________________ 2 ________________ 4 _________________ 8

cases_________ 70 _______________ 140 ______________ 280 _______________ 560

per case______ $5.50 ____________ $4.17 ____________ $3.50 ______________ $2.85

16oz cans_____ 1,680 ____________ 3,360 ____________ 6,720 ______________ 13,440

per can_______ $0.23 ____________ $0.17 ____________ $0.15 ______________ $0.13


drink price_____ $385 _____________ $584 ____________ $983 ______________ $1596

tax___________ $32 ______________ $48 _____________ $81 _______________ $132

CRV________ _ $84 _____________ $168 _____________ $336 ______________ $672


Total Price_____ $500 ____________ $800 _____________ $1400 ______________ $2400

savings________ 89% _____________ 92% ______________ 93% _______________ 94%

The official expiration date of these drinks is June 2009, but we expect them to be excellent tasting and safe through till mid 2010.

SEE-Inc. A Beautiful Future Now!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Temple of Poi Student Profile: Jeff Starr

This is the first in a series of student video profile pieces I've been working on about some of my boot camp students. Enjoy this piece on Jeff Starr...

Thursday, November 06, 2008


what a privilege, honor, pleasure to share the gift of playing this extraordinary game designed to create deeper, more authentic relating. last night when i connected with Decker, Mark and Bryan it was a beautiful thing to feel myself pulled back into the Truth of the game -- knowing the safety of the space, the commitment to Truth, the depth of love. Being seen. Seeing. Loving. I'm honored to have shared this game with you all these years my sweet friends.

and to those who have yet to play, it starts with two basic ideas: tell the truth; hear the truth. i still believe a deep, life affirming commitment to these two precepts will save us all.

the game is based on Mark's work in RelationDancing. I highly recommend the book, but only if you want to have more fulfilling, rewarding and deeply intimate relations with others...

when we played hardcore years ago it was 6 rules: i will do what i want to do and i will not ask permission; i will not do what i do not want to do and i will not ask forgiveness; i will be culpable for my actions and will make amends for my transgressions (if i do things i say i won't or don't do things i say i will); there is no hiding my truth -- especially in those places when i want to withhold myself, i will open and share the truth because that's what creates intimacy; i will presuppose positive relating -- meaning i will assume your intention is positive toward me (if we have an explicit game); and finally, no shaming (subtle or otherwise) people for being who they are and where they are.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Love's Threshing-Floor

"When love beckons to you, follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you, yield to him, though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste to the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.

Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure, then is is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor, into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears."
~ Kahlil Gibran from _The Prophet_

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Loss v. What is

For what reason was I so focused on what I thought I would lose if I/we didn't "do it a certain way" rather than focused on what I/we have and what it makes possible?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Political Cartoon

caption: "I keep thinking we should include something in the Constitution in case the people elect a fucking moron."

Friday, October 10, 2008


how do we transcend our current level of development and evolve
in a way that is most wholesome for the most number of people
while ALSO including all the elements of tradition that help
define who we are?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Humor: Investment Advice

With all the turmoil in the market today and the collapse of Lehman Bros and acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America this might be some good advice. For all of you with any money left, be aware of the next expected mergers so that you can get in on the ground floor and make some big bucks.

Watch for these consolidations in later this year:
1.) Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W R. Grace Co. Will merge and become:
Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace.

2.) Polygram Records, Warner Bros., and Zesta Crackers join forces and become:
Poly, Warner Cracker.

3.) 3M will merge with Goodyear and become:

4. Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco, and Dakota Mining will merge and become:
ZipAudiDoDa .

5. FedEx is expected to join its competitor, UPS, and become:

6. Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will become:
Fairwell Honeychild.

7. Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become:

8. Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women will become:
Knott NOW!

And finally...

9. Victoria's Secret and Smith &Wesson will merge under the new name:
Titty Titty Bang Bang.

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Political joke you can enjoy no matter who you prefer!

Montana Cowboy
A Montana cowboy was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him. The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the cowboy, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?"

The cowboy looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, "Sure, Why not?"

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite navigation system to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany. Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with e-mail on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and finally turns to the cowboy and says, "You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves."

"That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves," says the

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then the cowboy says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?"

The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why
not? You're a Congressman for the U.S. Government," says the cowboy.

"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"

"No guessing required," answered the cowboy. "You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You tried to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don't know a thing about cows, this is a herd of sheep.

"Now give me back my dog."

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The real difference between liberals and conservatives: Jonathan Haidt on

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the five moral values that form the basis of our political choices, whether we're left, right or center. In this eye-opening talk, he pinpoints the moral values that liberals and conservatives tend to honor most. And he challenges all of us to step outside of our moral Matrix and pledge to work toward a more civil, productive political process. (Recorded February 2008 in Monterey, California. Duration: 18:42.)

The real difference between liberals and conservatives: Jonathan Haidt on

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Life and Death

I saw a friend in the hospital yesterday who went to the emergency room around noon and was in ICU for a good portion of the afternoon.

It brought up some things for me about life and death.

I have noticed that I'm most comfortable with my own death -- witnessing the loss of another... Egads, that just is much rougher for me. I have come the point in my life and literally had moments walking down the street or in my home thinking, "I would be completely at peace if I died." At least at peace in terms of who I am, what I have done and what I have created and how I have impacted the planet.

When I'm not at peace with my own death, I notice what I fear most is leaving this planet without having left people knowing how much they have changed my life and world. We're all connected and I think about what that connection does for me/you/us and I felt compelled to say this here:

Thanks for all the ways in which you have shown up in my life and in this world. I have become a better, wiser, stronger, more centered being because of the conversations with you over the years and being reflected by you as we all evolve.

I thank you for your sharing too. To witness you (to whatever degree you allow) in your process also fosters my faith in Tribes, community and supporting each other in this life and has me ease into the idea of my own death with much more grace.

Sending you all the healthiest blessings and wishing this moment is better than the last and each moment moving forward holds the same fate.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Do you know what caused current US economic issues?

Watch this highly informative video that traced the cause of our current crisis that had its roots planted 12 years ago. There's lots of text so you might need to press pause a few times! :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dealing with v. Being with

A few weeks ago, I was in some conflict with my beautiful partner and I was really frustrated. To make myself feel better, I said, “I guess this is what partnership is about — dealing with your partner when they aren’t who you think they are/wish they were/want them to be.” I was full of impatience and frustration, feeling “at odds” with the situation and the partnership.

This week, as we worked through some things, I had a huge shift and said, “this is what partnership is about — figuring out how to be with your partner when they aren’t who you they are/wish they were/want them to be.” This time, I was full of joy, feeling like I was in it with my partner in a co-creation process rather than in opposition.

This is tremendous shift in thinking about how relating operates — one is about “dealing with” as if it is something to be separated from with a sense of hopelessness and lack of solution; the other is about “being with” by surrendering into the partnership from a place of faith in the union that you can and will figure out how to be with the differences.

Ah, how grateful I am. :)

A Prayer for You

A Prayer for You

I'm happy to announce that this a perfect moment. It's a perfect
moment for many reasons, but especially because I have been
inspired to say gigantic prayer for all of you. I've been roused
to unleash a divinely greedy, apocalyptically healing prayer for
each and every one of you -- even those of you who don't believe
in the power of prayer.

And so I am starting to pray right now to the God of Gods... the
God beyond all Gods... the Girlfriend of God... the Teacher of
God... the Goddess who invented God.

Dear Goddess, You who never kill but only change:

I pray that my exuberant, suave and accidental words will move you
to shower ferocious blessing down on everyone who reads this

I pray that you will give them what they don't even know they want
-- not just the boons they think they need but everything they've
always been afraid to even imagine or ask for.

Dear Goddess, You wealthy anarchist burning heaven to the ground:

Many of the divine chameleons out there don't even know that their
souls will live forever. So please use your blinding magic to help
them see that they are all wildly creative geniuses too big for
their own personalities.

Guide them to realize that they are all completely different from
what they think they are and more exciting than they can possibly

Make it illegal, immoral, irrelevant, unpatriotic and totally
tasteless for them to be in love with anyone or anything that's no
good for them.

O Goddess, You who give us so much love and pain mixed together
that our morality is always on the verge of collapsing:

I beg you to cast a boisterous love spell that will nullify all
the dumb ideas, bad decisions and nasty conditioning that have
ever cursed the wise and sexy virtuosos out there.

Remove, banish, annihilate and laugh into oblivion any jinx that
has clung to them, no matter how long they've suffered from it,
and even if they've become accustomed or addicted to its ugly

And please conjure an aura of protection around them so that they
will receive an early warning if they are ever about to act in
such a way as to bring another hex or plague or voodoo into their
lives in the future.

Dear Goddess, sweet Goddess, You sly universal virus with no
fucking opinion:

I pray that you will help all the personal growth addicts out
there become disciplined enough to go crazy in the name of
creation, not destruction.

I pray that you will help all the personal growth addicts out
there become disciplined enough to go crazy in the name of
creation, not destruction.

I pray that you will teach them the difference between oppressive
self-control and liberating self-control, awaken in them the power
to do the half-right thin when it is impossible to do the totally
right thing.

Arouse the Wild Woman within them -- even if they're men.

And please give them bigger, better, more original sings and
wilder, wetter, more interesting problems.

Dear Goddess, You pregnant slut who scorns all mediocre longing:

I pray that you will inspire all the compassionate rascals
communing with this prayer to love their enemies just in case
their friends turn out to be jerks.

Provoke them to throw away or give away all the things they own
that encourage them to be3lieve that they are better than anyone

Show them how much fun it is to brag about what they cannot do and
do not have.
Most of all, Goddess, brainwash them with your freedom so that
they never love their own pain more than anyone else's pain.

Dear Goddess, You psychedelic mushroom cloud at the center of all
our brains:

The curiously diving human beings reading this prayer deserve
everything they are yearning for and much, much more.

So please bless them with lucid dreams while they are wide awake
and solar-energy-operated sex toys that work even in the dark and
vacuum cleaners for their magic carpets and a knack for avoiding
other people's hells and their very own 900 number so that
everyone has to pay to talk to them and a secret admirer who is
not a psychotic stalker.

Dear Goddess, You fiercely tender, hauntingly reassuring,
orgiastically sacred feeling that is even now running through all
of our soft, warm animal bodies:

I pray that you provide everyone out there with a license to bend
and even break all rules, laws and traditions that keep them apart
from the things they love.

Show them how to purge the wishy-washy wishes that distract them
from their daring, dramatic, divine desires.

And teach them that they can have anything they want if they'll
only ask for it in an unselfish way.

And now dear God of Gods, God beyond all Gods, Girlfriend of God,
Teacher of God, Goddess who invented God, I bring this prayer to a
close, trusting that in these mysterious moments you have begun to
change everyone out there in the exact way they've needed to
change in order to express their soul's code.

Amen. Awomen. And glory halle-fucking-lujah.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The Tibetan word for confidence is ziji. Zi means "shine" or "glitter", and ji means "splendor”, or "dignity", and sometimes also has the sense of "monolithic". So ziji expresses shining out, rejoicing while remaining dignified.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

5 Tips for Improving Your (Poi Fire Dancing) Flow

If you've been struggling with finding your fluidity, we have the answer for you! Check out the new article outlining 5 must have techniques you can use to add more flow to your practice - 5 Tips for Improving Your (Poi Fire Dancing) Flow

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Just Dyed my hair again...

Never dyed it darker before. This was an interesting suggestion on Atreyu's part and I'm glad I went black. I then added the fuschia to soften it up a bit.

10 Concerns about Obama...

10 concerns about Obama is an interesting little piece...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

My political compass today

Economic Left/Right: 3.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

i'm fascinated that about 2 years ago the economic line was more like -2.5 or something in there, so i've had more movement in the direction of neo liberalism. Interesting.

If you haven't done so, you too can take the Political Compass Test.

2008 Primaries Political Compass

Fascinating look at the spectrum of politics offered in the 2008 US Primaries.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cosmic Lovers Get Handfasted 45 second video

Friends, Family, Fans and :

As you probably know, my love Atreyu and I got handfasted (a 1 year and a
day commitment) on Beltane (May 1, 2008). The ceremony was attended by the
four witnesses and us, so only 6 were present. At it, we read stuff, signed
stuff, agreed to stuff, laughed, cried, got tied up, took pictures and then
everyone left.

For those who are curious, follow the attached link to a 45 second video of
still shots one of the witnesses (Mark) took with my iPhone (except the last
3 which we took while we were tied up. Ha, that was fun and challenging!).
It is reminiscent of a Charlie Chaplin movie... Because it's just photos
slipping by.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A fun Game from my niece Lexi...

Rules of the game:
- Choose a singer/band/group
- Answer using ONLY titles of songs by that singer/band/group
- Tag 10 more people
I don't feel like tagging people.

Billy Joel

1. Are you male or female?
"She's always a woman to me..."

2. Describe yourself.
"Shameless" "Modern Woman"

3. How do people feel when they're around you?
"I Go To Extremes"

4. Describe your previous relationships.
"A Matter of Trust"

5. Describe your current relationship
"All About Soul"

6. Something you want to say to your significant other?
"Keeping the Faith" "Until the Night"

7. How do you feel about love?
"Everybody Has a Dream"

8. What's your life like?
"Running on Ice"

9. What would you ask for if you had only one wish?
"Easy Money"

10. Say something wise.
"You're Only Human"

Monday, August 18, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008

A German's View on Islam

I am Unable to find affirmation nor denial of the validity of the letter in It is, however, a perspective worth noting, even if there is only some truth in it.

The author of this email is purported to be Dr. Emanuel Tanay, a well known and well respected psychiatrist.

A German's View on Islam

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. "Very few people were true Nazis," he said, "but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories."

We are told again and again by "experts" and "talking heads" that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectra of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the "silent majority," is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about
20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.

China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

And, who can forget Rwanda , which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were "peace loving"?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans,Japanese,Chinese,Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on, is contributing to the passivity that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands, world wide, read this and think about it, and send it on - before it's too late.

Emanuel Tanay, M.D.
2980 Provincial St. Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A prayer for our troops

The average age of the military man is 19 years.
He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who ,
under normal circumstances is considered by
society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind
the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old
enough to die for his country. He never really
cared much for work and he would rather wax
his own car than wash his father's, but he has
never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably
an average student, pursued some form of sport
activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a
steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when
he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from
half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hiphop
or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer.
He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he
was at home because he is working or fighting
from before dawn to well after dusk. He has
trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him,
but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and
reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite
to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade
launcher and use either one effectively if he must.
He digs foxholes and latrines and can
apply first aid like a professional.
He can march until he is told to stop,
or stop until he is told to march.
He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation,
but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.
He is self-sufficient.

He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears
the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry..
He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never
to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend
his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.
If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you
are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition
with you in the midst of battle when you run low.
He has learned to use his hands like weapons
and weapons like they were his hands.
He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.
He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all.

He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.
He has wept in public and in private, for friends
who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.
He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate
through his body while at rigid attention, while
tempering the burning desire to 'square-away ' those
around him who haven't bothered to stand,
remove their hat, or even stop talking.
In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from
home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.
Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-
grandfather, he is paying the price for our
freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy.
He is the American Fighting Man that has
kept this country free for over 200 years.

He has asked nothing in return, except
our friendship and understanding.
Remember him, always, for he has earned our
respect and admiration with his blood.
And now we even have women over there in
danger, doing their part in this tradition of going
to War when our nation calls us to do so.
As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot. . .
A short lull, a little shade and a picture of
loved ones in their helmets.

Prayer wheel for our military... please don't
break it. Please send this on after a short prayer.
Prayer Wheel

'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.
Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts
they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.'
When you receive this, please stop for a moment
and say a prayer for our ground troops in
Afghanistan , sailors on ships, and airmen
in the air, and for those in Iraq .
There is nothing attached...
This can be very powerful...
Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Coastguardsman, Marine, or Airman, prayer is the very best one.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Dead Leaves...

Do not think of your faults, still less of others' faults; look for what is
good and strong, and try to imitate it. Your faults will drop off, like dead
leaves, when their time comes.

~ John Ruskin ~

It really resonated with me because I've been going through changes that
have been working exactly like that -- focusing on improving the best in me.
And in the process, the less than best aspects of myself have been shed like
dead skin.

Happy Freedom day -- may you enjoy the rich gifts our freedom affords us.
How cool is it we can live in a country where we can bash our leaders and
each other and not have to worry about a bomb going off in our living room.
For this, and much more, I am grateful.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Got 4 minutes b4 5 on July 2 to help me win Best of the Bay again in 2008?

To all you fabulous friends, fans, students and general supporters, I have a request:

If you have 4 minutes, can you please go to:

Go to page 3 and vote for
"Temple of Poi"

Under "4. Best Dance Studio"

And, if you feel extra inspired and have an extra few minutes, your voice can be heard on page 8 where you can write a blurb about Temple of Poi or GlitterGirl.

Thanks for your support!


Monday, June 30, 2008

death, fear and life

i sent an email to a friend of mine today who was feeling somewhat
challenged by confronting death through supporting a friend who
recently transitioned due to breast cancer. it reminded me of this
experience i had a few weeks ago on the AIDS ride...

when i was on the AIDS ride i had this moment of really letting go
of my life and surrendering into the inevitability of my eventual
death. If it is my time to go, it is my time to go. I was riding
on 101 south and really scared i would get hit by an 18 wheeler or
something. Intense. i tell you. so as i was riding along, i
noticed my entire body was tightened and it really just hurt. I
think i was just so afraid i contracted in my entire being. when i
noticed how tense i was, i started telling myself to relax... and
then i imagined my own death. and then in fully embracing that
possibility, i was able to let go of my life even while fully
embracing it. It was simply about confronting the fear, breathing
into it, and allowing the truth of that possibility to really pass
into me, live, and pass out of me. my life is, best as i
understand it, in this body, finite. the more i embrace that
reality, the more i can be in right now, right here... because in
any moment i can die. it just go so real while riding the bike on
the side of the highway because of the naked vulnerability of a
lone bicyclist riding for 20 miles beside big cars and trucks...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The joy of overcoming obstacles : )

I think part of what makes joy so tremendous is often the
overcoming of obstacles -- the human spirit in triumph. For me,
the Aids ride being complete and the joy of the experience
wouldn't be so profound if i hadn't gone through so much struggle
and adversity to get there.

my thought is that the struggle itself (often the pain) often
defines the context/character of the joy through the contrast
between them.

all that said, i wanted to thank you all for your support -- in
whatever little or big ways you might have offered it -- around
the ride. it was an incredible, challenging, difficult, intense
and rewarding experience. i rode 306 of the 539 miles after
injuring myself 32 miles into the ride on the first day. it
challenged me in every way i wanted and a billion ways i didn't
imagine possible. little and big things people have said
really impacted me... one that comes to mind was a thread
someone wrote some months ago about her experience when she was
looking for a lost item and found herself running. I found my
inner athlete on this trip and that was a beautiful Becoming for

and, because it really must be said: we raised 12+ million dollars
on this ride. while a lot of this goes to research into meds
(which isn't necessarily a place people want to see this money
going (i've gotten feedback to that extent)), it is also used for
education and prevention -- seeing as these days transmission of
HIV is pretty much avoidable. some of it is being used globally as
well through Pangea, a sub-company of the SF Aids foundation.

It was a powerful experience to ride through small towns, raising
awareness, having people see hundreds -- thousands -- of riders
making a statement about prevention and this cause. imagine 2500
riders dotting the hillside all dressed in red --- forming the
illusion of the ribbon. a powerful experience at the very least.

my favorite story of how we made a difference: we were riding
through the farm lands where strawberries are picked. a woman
drives up to one of the organizers in her old run down pinto and
asks in broken english what we're about. the organizer explains.
the woman drives off. she comes back a short time later with a
collection she had taken up from her co-workers -- these are
people who are picking strawberries and making very little money,
i'm pretty sure. she brought back $3.62. While it may seem like a
small contribution, that we were able to touch these people and
have them be moved enough to donate that is, in itself, super

That all said, you can still donate if you're so moved or simply
read about my experience if you're interested in the details -- i
have put it up on the blog:

Saturday, June 07, 2008

the finish

Most of my life i have been at the front of the pack in everything i do. what a radically different experience to be at the end of the pack... perhaps the 20th rider to the end. pulling into the VA center in LA i screamed with joy like i never have before... high fives to riders as i passed them and they congratulated me... tears of joy, relief, pride... pain... release... so much emotion.

i did not think i could do it. that's a rare experience for me. so glad to have done what i did and gotten where i did.

i sat under a tree and cried for a while... glad to be done. too wiped out to deal with closing ceremonies, i simply wanted to be in Atreyu's arms. we finally connected... a beautiful reunion. so grateful to have him in my life and by my side.

slipping away as the riders went into closing ceremonies, i found myself grateful to leave when i did.

pretty much the only place on my body not sore were my ears and elbows. my face was wind chapped and sunburned. my eyes burning -- from the sun, the sunblock, the crying. my legs, ass, arms, back, and stomach muscles worn out and used. my crotch and ass chaffed beyond belief.

and, i'd do it again.

day 7: will over skill indeed!

at 65 miles, todays ride seems... in a surprising shift in perspective, short. i am, however, struggling to get out of bed again because we have to be out even earlier today as everything closes earlier.

once again, the caboose is chasing me. i'm struggling at the beginning of the ride... the first 4 miles i'm sluggish, at best. i move along, doing my best... and then suddenly i catch up to a pack of folks who are stopped at a light. slowing down enough to catch the light without having to stop, i whiz out and then i just try to keep up. for a few miles i'm riding 18-20 MPH with the pack, but i realize with my quad being where it is at, i need to take a breather. 10 miles left on the 20 mile leg... i get back on the bike and ride hard. my shifter is still not working right... i need to tech my bike at the rest stop, so i pull in and go straight to the techs. they spend 20 minutes trying to adjust it... i ride out, caboose still right behind me. I ride a good ways, stopping... the shifter finally seems to be mostly working (except the obnoxious sound it makes)... but my quad it not.

i'm hot. i'm tired. i look down and see i've put in 31 miles and i think about how lame that is. ha! i came into this riding having only done *one* ride over 30 miles and now i think only 30 miles is lame. what a perspective shift. but i realize if i sweep to lunch i can ice, roll, rest and then finish the last 18 mile leg. i mean, it is only 18 miles. so i sweep.

i call Atreyu who is only miles from me... i want to see him ... and he encourages me to ride on and finish. there are hills this afternoon... i'm not sure i can do them. really. i already feel beyond my capabilities. i wait until nearly the last minute, resting, icing, relaxing and rolling my leg as much as possible before heading out. And i give it all i have to give.

then we have to get off the bike and carry it down a stairs through a tunnel and back up. egads, i didn't know how much you used your quad when walking down a stair. wow. how painful...

it's all up hill on the other side. i ride as hard as i can manage... because anything less seems to not get me up the hills. i pull over a few times and walk the bike. there's only one big hill left. other riders are encouraging me -- they can see the wear and tear on my body, being, soul... the tears in my eyes... it is only a few miles, but oh how far that seems after all this work.

i take a rest under a tree... i slug another energy goo... knowing it's only 3.5 miles to the end. i ride out... hit a small downhill and i use it to my advantage... pedal at hard as a i can and pass riders on the uphill. as i'm yelling, "on your left, on your left, on your left..." the riders yell back at me, "Take it girl!" and "go for it..." encouraging me.

and finally, the last hill... i'm passing, and i'm about 4 car lengths from the top and as i downshift, my chain drops again. my god, what a crappy time for that to happen. A beautiful woman who 15 minutes ago encouraged me stops to help. another woman drops her chain... we make it up the 4 car lengths of hill and there it is... the finish in site.

Friday, June 06, 2008

day 6: i'm too tired to get up.

Liz is sick, i'm not feeling too well and getting out of bed simply seems impossible. i send Liz off -- since she is sick and will SAG out for the day -- telling her i will deal with the tent and everything. I try to fall back to sleep, but really, after tossing and turning, can't manage it. I slowly work my way out of the tent... stretching, putting in my ipod, and deal with my resistance to getting up.

I had made a deal with myself -- i would just get on the bike and ride each day, even if i stopped. after having put in three 40+ mile rides back to back, i wondered what i could possibly do today. downing two carb boom's before breakfast -- with mostly sugar and 2 cups of coffee worth of caffeine, i finally get myself out of camp at about 8:05. Ug. it's a relatively short day, at 85.5 miles to ventura. As is often the case, the day starts with a climb.

The caboose is chasing me again and i'm 4 miles out from rest stop 1. while i'm riding it all and it's all uphill, i am pretty slow and stopping frequently. a sweep vehicle tells me they can sweep me in, which, undoubtedly, will help me get caught up. so... i get into the sweep vehicle, determined to finish a second day on this ride.

Out of rest stop one it's all up hill for a short bit. i top the peak and hit the downhill, which soon finds me on 101. egads! this 101 stuff is scary. i mean, it's a highway and while i'm on the shoulder of the road, when trucks go by the vacuum created really does impact the car. combine that with cross winds and it is a crazy experience. At one point, i have the dubious honor of experiencing both the cross wind and an 18 wheeler. oh boy.

After about 20 miles of highway, i find myself finally getting used to it. alas, though, we exit. i barely make it into lunch where i roll out on the rollers (these are foam rollers which is like giving yourself a massage, only a lot more painful and a lot less specific) and stuff my lunch in my backpack. I haven't eaten enough as i start out on this leg and the heat is finally impacting me so that i, for the first time while riding, take off my long sleeves and strip down to sleeveless. my bike is still giving me problems when i shift, which keeps causing pain in my quad. After the 3rd dropped chain (chain coming off the gears) and 50% shifts where the gear won't drop to the lowest (easiest) granny wheel, i get in a sweep vehicle to go to the Techs at rest stop three. I pull in and get them to look at it (again -- the derailer's been checked a bunch before now and still it isn't working right) and then ride out. it's seems better on the down shift -- so much so that now it drops from the highest wheel (hardest) to the lowest wheel (easiest) and skips the middle. I guess that's better than not ever getting into the lowest.

paradise island -- the ice cream stop. yum. so glad b/c lunch was yukky and i'm low fuel.

oh wow. i broke 50 miles... i think i might do my longest ride ever today!

but again, the caboose is on my ass. the water stop... pass it but it's closed... another 15 miles to camp and i've already put on 57 miles. i have to try to break my record...

i ride on... making it to rest stop 4. yeah! first time to rest stop 4; first time breaking 60 miles; longest ride ever so far at 65 miles -- before the adjustments for the incorrect odometer. yeeeehaw!

inspired, i ride on. but boy was that last stretch the longest ever. i'm tired. even though it's pretty much all flat, i am beyond what i thought i was capable of, pedaling truly, will won out over skill.

pulling into the beach, the route was probably already closed. there were maybe 3 riders behind me... but i made it in... my longest ride at ~73 miles. i'm spent. smelly. hungry. in pain.

i head to sports med -- they are closed. shit. not good. but Cha -- goddess and healer that she is -- takes me anyway. she retapes me. then tells me to eat. i eat and it's dark before i head to the showers. shower time, then sleep. so tired. last day tomorrow.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Day 5: Red Dress Day Pix

Me, my amazing tent mate Liz, and some wonderful friends we shared time with
on the ride. :)

day 5: red dress day

Undoubtedly, this is the easiest day of the ride from the perspective of duration. at 42.5 miles, the route closes at 3 (unlike most other days when it closes at 7) and ends in Lompoc where people can take the bus into town.

on this day, everyone is encouraged to wear red so that when the switch backs get hit about half way through the ride, the riders dotting the edge of the road look like the AIDS ribbon on a mountain. to say it is a beautiful sight belies the glory of it, in truth...

i walked a good bit of the steeper part of the incline, still favoring the quad which, while better and taped in a way that really is helping, still is not 100%. That said, I rode all the way today.

Riding into camp for the first time i found a spot in the shade and called Atreyu and cried and shared my joy and relief. another ride over 40 miles. Wow. shocked i did that.

but it took more out of me than i thought it would, and even though i was in early and Liz had set up the tent, i was tired and wanted to rest. it was, however, talent show night and i was scheduled to go on at what turned out to be 9:30. Egads, that is very late when you have to be up at 5 am and you're tired and can't sleep well. My toes were frozen for it, but it was a fun set all the same... i rather enjoyed the experience... before crawling into bed and trying to sleep.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

day 4: the agony of defeat, the thrill of victory

after getting rubbed out on day two and taped up on day 3 and riding 42 miles the day before, i thought i'd be okay today. but not so much. after about 4 miles of very shallow up hill, my left quad was in agony. beyond belief. on a pain scale it was probably a solid 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, so i found myself on the side of the road crying in pain, waiting for the sweep vehicle to come by and pick me up and take me to the next rest stop, or rather, the first rest stop.

another rider, clearly not okay with leaving me alone on the side of the road crying, stayed with me until the truck came. Pulling into the rest stop 20 minutes later, i iced myself up, put on the biofreeze and considered what to do. with "the evil twins" ahead followed by mostly flats along the cost, in the afternoon, i wanted to go on. Plus, the twins represented the half way point in the ride -- and it seemed that would be good for my mind at least. but there were 23 miles between this rest stop and the next and only 2 hours to make it with those two nasty climbs. the decent off the second twin, i was told, was something like the decent coming over 92 on the first day which was a 7% grade and kind of scary. and this one i was told had more cross winds. But i really wanted to enjoy the second half of the day... so... i pulled it together and headed out of the rest stop with only 2 riders behind me and the caboose (this is the vehicle that follows the last rider to make sure everyone pulls into camp at night) hot on my trail.

I walked the first climb, talking to Jo (yet another wonderful woman who really made the experience seem so much easier) who got out of the caboose to keep me company. we shared stories... i told her almost immediately about why i was riding... for my friend who was diagnosed HIV+ and then 20 days later in the hospital on what we thought might be her death bed. Jo shared her nightmare -- one i've also had -- of waking up one day to find myself infected. It was clear that this ride, as much of a personal challenge as it may be, really creates so much more in the numbers of people who see us out there and the education that arises from it.

as i went and when i hit the peak, Jo encouraged me to ride it, and ride it hard i did, going as far as i could before my quad gave out. i passed a few riders, so i was no longer last, but then i hit the second twin and they passed me right up. as i was nearing the peak, i figured i'd ride over the top... Just as i was gaining momentum, up ahead i saw one of the most beautiful sights of the ride. this woman, who was struggling to ride, was being pushed on either side of her by two other riders on the Midnight Ridazz team. it was so beautiful i didn't even try to pass, thinking if i did i would break their momentum. i knew i could start again, but i really wasn't sure if she could... so i got off my bike, walked and waited till they past the peak before getting on again.

And then the big downhill. wow! intense. beautiful. 6% grade, scary stuff at 30 MPH... again confronting my fears of the downhill as well as the cliffs on the sides... and cross wind gusts picking up here and there... geez... what a scary thing. I continued along, going through a few rollers and then i hit the flat at the bottom where there was a cross wind so intense i actually kept getting blow into the lane. with the caboose hot on my ass, i got off the bike and got swept up into the next rest stop. it was closing. quick pee and water refill plus a super fast snack and boom, on the road again for one of the most beautiful legs of the trip along the coast.

I was surprised i'd made it this far, and with only 6.1 miles to rest stop three, i decided to try and meet up with Jim and Frankie again.

My first scary moment of the day was with the cross winds, but that pales in comparison to the treachery of the car who mistakenly got in the on ramp lane to our right and wanted into our lane, somehow not really seeing a string of bicyclists i guess. There were probably about 18 of us in the pack... all but 4 of us pulled out in a line, but the person 4 up from me didn't pull out with confidence and the BMW just started going. I was glad i had extra space between me and the rider in front of me because it was everyone stopping quickly with no time to call out.

I met up with the riders at rest stop 3 and assured them it wasn't their fault -- i'd seen it all well since i was at the back of the pack. the drive just wasn't yielding the right of way to us as s/he should have.

having broken yesterday's record for the 2nd longest ride i'd done, pulling in a cool 47 miles, i decided to head in on the SAG bus and give the quad a break. with three more days of riding, i wanted to save up for day 5 and actually complete a day, since it was the shortest ride of the trip. Pulling into camp, i went back to see Cha and got more taping, then met up with the Mills (former students from years ago) and had a great conversation with them as we rolled ourselves out. shower, conversation with Atreyu and bed... ready for red dress day!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

day 3: quad buster: The best of my ability in this moment

Today started out strong. i became a bicyclist in the first leg of the day, for the first time really feeling the cadence of the pedals and understanding a rhythm. i passed a lot of people on the ride to the first rest stop and rode out really strong. it felt good after two days of riding so little. the first 8 miles was great. but alas, the next leg was the actual quad buster... a long steep hill that just seems to be endless.

No worries... i rode out from the first rest stop and headed up the hill. too steep for me with my pained quad, i decided to simply walk what i needed to. they call those of us walking up the hill "cross trainers" -- and really, it's good because there's a lot more use of the hamstring walking the bike up the hill than the overuse of the quad riding up the hill.

I stopped along the way, under a tree and had one of my coolest moments of the ride. sipping some water, a rider was pulling up with literally hundreds more behind... I called out to the rider -- "good job! you can do it!" and the rider, while exerting a lot of effort, gave me a half smile. so i cheered on another rider... and that rider responded, and suddenly i found myself in this feedback loop where i was cheering riders on -- hundreds of them, literally -- and they were grateful for it. I started saying anything i could think of to inspire them... "yes you can!" and "Good job!" and "looking strong" and "you can do it" and then, before i knew it, i was yelling to them, saying, "you are doing an amazing thing right now! thank you for inspiring me!" and i found myself tearfully cheering them on.

they returned the favor as i was cross training up the hill, passing me and encouraging me back.

One of the Schwab team members -- this is a group of people who rode the hill 5 times to inspire others each time as they went up -- had passed me a few times. and as he was going by, i said, "go rider! you are doing it!" and he turned to me and said, "so are you!" and i said, "to the best of my ability in this moment" and he said, "that is all you can ever do..."

That moment was one of the most inspiring moments of my life and reminded me of what life is really about: the best of my ability in each moment.


the downhill was pretty sweet. i think the sweetest of the ride, actually. zipping down without winds at 30+ MPH passing people, feeling good and finally getting some miles on my legs, i felt good pulling into the second rest stop. next it was rest stop three. I hadn't made it there yet... that morning, Jim/Sparky had sent me a text message telling me it was within reach that day... and, well, i found myself finally making it to rest stop 3, i got to see Sparky and Frankie for the first time on the route. I hung out with them way too long though and was soon finding the rest stop closing and again, the caboose on my ass. So i rode on... my quad still in pain. Rode on 101 for the first time, for just a short mile or so... and then I rode into bradley where i completed my second longest ride and allowed myself to get taken in for the day on the SAG bus. 42 miles of riding... on a bad quad. good feeling about that, for sure.

Bradley is a small town of about 500, at least i think that is what the sign said. Each year, they do a BBQ and host the ALC riders where the funds they raise from what we pay for food -- optionally of course -- is used to fund the kids of their community going to college and on excursions to enrich their lives. hard not to be touched by the experience.

at lunch i went to sports medicine where they said i should see Cha, a kinesio taper, who would tape my leg to assist in supporting the muscles that needed help. with that in mind, i got on the SAG bus where i met Bobby, a man who served in the military in the early 90's. When he came back from overseas, he was later diagnosed with a brain tumor -- chemical warfare poisoning is the though. The man has a lemon size tumor in his head and is on 26 different medications and is riding the ALC. It is impossible to not be inspired by that dedication. We had a great conversation and wonderful connection and i have to say, that simply led to perspective shift.

Pulling into the Mid State fair grounds, it was lovely weather. Off to sports med where i went to see Cha, an amazing healer from Austin, Tx. it turns out i had just met her daughter at Sparky's rest stop. small world. The taping relieved the pain. off to the showers, some poi in the line, cool conversations, stretching, dinner, sleep... preparation for the next day. Ah, the evil twins on a long day. egads...

I also discovered today that my odometer is off by about .5 miles per 10 miles of travel... meaning if it said i travelled 10, i actually travelled 10.5. that means i've done more miles than i think. i'll adjust that at the end.

day 3 rideout

leg feels betterish. With only 43 miles total on my bike I'm ready to try the infamous quadbusters hill. Up early, out just after 7. We shall see. Today I want to make rest stop 3 where jim and frank and franks mom are. It is only 31 miles out but after the 1000 foot assent...

day 2 part 2

jeremey and I drop into deep conversation and I finally feel a sense of belonging in thisassive moving city. Intense. We go to dinner and I take my first mead with friends. I meet other friends of his and hear Moks story - hit by a car ilona a training ride two weeks earner. What?!? And you walked away? And your here?

See Boston. Hugs. Announcements. Stories. Tears. How we are making a difference. $500 from a coffee shop in route. $3.42 donated by a group of strawberry pickers. Touching. More tears. And then I see frankie and jim and spend. Embracing Jim and sobbing in his arms I realize why he does this and I hold him with so Manu emotions within me. Joy, understanding, compassion, gratitude, love, and a sense of family from one of my dearest friends. After giving him the week off for 4 years to do this, I can no longer see it as a scheduling inconvenience; it is so much more than I could ever understand before being here.

Mark said it to me years ago that nothing binds people together like the shared experience of an ordeal. So true.

day 2 part 2

Jeremey and I drop into deep conversation and I finally feel a sense of belonging in thisassive moving city. Intense. We go to dinner and I take my first mead with friends. I meet other friends of his and hear Moks story - hit by a car ilona a training ride two weeks earner. What?!? And you walked away? And your here?

See Boston. Hugs. Announcements. Stories. Tears. How we are making a difference. $500 from a coffee shop in route. $3.42 donated by a group of strawberry pickers. Touching. More tears. And then I see frankie and jim and spend. Embracing Jim and sobbing in his arms I realize why he does this and I hold him with so Manu emotions within me. Joy, understanding, compassion, gratitude, love, and a sense of family from one of my dearest friends. After giving him the week off for 4 years to do this, I can no longer see it as a scheduling inconvenience; it is so much more than I could ever understand before being here.

Mark said it to me years ago that nothing binds people together like the shared experience of an ordeal. So true.

Monday, June 02, 2008

day 2 part 1

left quad a mess; so tight after only 20 miles of relatively easy. Sweep to rest stop 1 where medical says to stop for the day, that my IT bandis screwed up. I guess they figures I didnt know the difference between my quad and IT band. They SAG (support and gear) (the folks that take u back to camp not the sweep people who take u to the next rest area) me first to lunch. My second encounter representing the antithesis of the event where I get judges harshly by some (what can best be decribed as) "queeny" guy ad his friends who were bitching shot how big the ride was before they turned their judgement to me.

Annoyed and befuddled, I return to the SAG bus where I proceed to have a series of amazing experiences - laughter, shared stories, meeting cheryl (a police seargent from Florida whose spirit moved me), and countless interactions with people that reminded me of the greater good of the experence. Beutiful people all touched by the spread of the completely preventable disease. People committed to prevention and education. People willing to rode so thousands, 10's of thousands, if not millions after all the press, hear about the disease so they can talk about it before it spreads. This is a preventable situation and silence is the enemy.

Getting into camp it is really clear to me the reap heroes are the roadies who work their asses off to serve the riders so the riders can make a visual statement in their profound numbers riding these 545 miles. Sports medicine treats me where Jo, the captain of the team, clearly a leader, holds space, works on me, multitasks, and leads with clear competence I can actually relax. I don't often feel like I can relax when I am paying for regular services so what a treat that is. I walk out with a leg which is finally less contracted and a bit bruised and sore. But better.

opening ceremonies, night 1, morning day 2

11 hours of sleep in the cold, wet outdoors really helped! Condensation inside and out of our tent. Wet wet wet. Water dripping on me in the middle of the night. And waking feeling so much better, stronger in mind and body. Getting ready in camp, reminded at the pain I felt when the crowd boo'd at opening ceremonies for when the talked about even repulicans riding: how is that judgement any different than the stigma toward hiv+ people? Painful. Sooo grateful to have Ayreyu there to love me up and see me off. A powerful partner through whom I find more power. I think back to his words before I left. I told him this was a vision quest. He wished me a safe journey, hoping it illuminated things for me. Remembering the moment I saw the light, I was renewed leaving camp.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

day 1

first, no Internet in camp, so glad for my iPhone and this will be brief to save battery.

Biggest hill I could imagine. I am not sure I have hiked something that steep going on 92 to highway 1... Walked a lot of the hill; first water stop 30 minutes before close; next stop leaving only 2 minutes before close; next stop I pull in after clocking my second longest ride to date at about 31 miles. My left quad tighter than I can believe. Need rest. 9 minutes to decide- ride or take the bus. Mom's voice rang clear - rest when you need to. Took the bus.

Rather emotional with too little sleep and the both emotional and physical ups and downs of the day. Crying up the hill at mile 11; most amazing high I can describe hitting 30+ mph a few miles later; the head game of the ego as people pass; dealing with me fear of heights on the parts of the terrain with gulches/cliffs; supportive words as I pass others and others me; literally seeing the light coming around a turn to a most amazing view if nature as I had an all too fleeting moment of clarity: this is why I'm here to be on the challenge of the journey. Beautiful. Fleeting. ;)

Out of resources, tired and run down. Bed at 6:30 pm. Sore left quad but my ass feels fine!

holy toxin release batman!

at least i slept last night. and, i'm still fighting some cold... sweating in my sleep and waking up to visit the toilet a lot. I hope that's all just a good sign! at least i feel strong... so glad this is starting.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

check-in. 4.5 hours...

...lots of lines... wrist bands... tags... and unfortunate inefficiencies that really triggered me! LOL. a very receptive staff, open to feedback on how to improve. grateful for that.

getting home to finish packing... up most of the night sick last night. my body knows the change is coming. so coming. upon me. 2.5 hours of sleep. want to be in bed by 6 pm tonight so i can get up early... have to be at the cow palace at 5 am. yikes.

and then the love. such beautiful messages of support from my friends and family. reflections of me that i never knew were how people saw me. Mark... geez... i can't even possibly describe how beautiful your message was... not to diminish all the other messages... simply that his was, in a sense, most shocking. I cried. it was beautiful. thank you for that gift my dear friend.

i feel blessed. challenged. on a vision quest. and, completely uncomfortable in my skin. this too shall pass... right Adam?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Liz Rocks!

Liz and I had such a great conversation today. i know it will be really great to have her as my tent mate. I'm glad to have someone so positive that i can relate to. it felt good to know my nightmare won't come true!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

It's all Mom's fault

Mom sent me the coolest email today. i cried when i read it -- spontaneously bursting into tears because in all my 39 years, i have never felt so supported by my Mom as i did in that moment. Her email was so beautiful, including all the things you'd want your mom to say to you, especially the perfect reminders of exactly what i needed to read:

Just a note to wish you well on your AIDS/Lifecycle ride. I’m sure you have trained as hard as you could given your busy schedule. You have undertaken a worthwhile challenge, and, as you always do with a challenge, I am sure you will give it your best.

Now for the expected “mommyisms”: don’t forget your sunscreen, drink plenty of water, rest when you are to tired to go on, and “put on a sweater because I’m cold”. Our love and thoughts will be with you on the ride and we’ll check out the website starting on June 2.

So, the reason I put this stuff up in the blog was so that Mom would have something to read when she got here on June 2. Thanks for reminding me that even though I am choosing to do this on my own with a group of strangers, i really am not alone and my family and friends are with me, if not in person, in thought, as i make this journey.

I love you Mom.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Reconnecting, take II

Boston gave me some great support this morning. I'm glad he's also doing the ride.

And, it was great to see Decker today. more reflection from someone who has known me for 7.5 years, having seen me through some of the most massive of changes i've made in my life... my name change, leaving my corporate job... and, as i told him about my new perspective and my willingness to be picked up and almost a resigned state of thinking i just was barely going to ride, he suggested (so brilliantly), that I allow myself to be surprised. I think for the first time since the 58 mile ride i saw it as possible that i might actually be able to do most of the ride.

ah, hope returns.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I first found the Burning Man community through my old tribe, the Illuminaughty. I went to a party last night where i got to spend a lot of time with that group of people. it was interesting. i felt at home. it was good to see so many of my friends.. especially Dom who has known me 10 years -- longer than anyone in California. i think about the dozens of people i know and it was interesting to have them reflect me and my transformation. I had some interesting conversations with Geoff and Jim and Amy and Lisa and Jeff (not to mention dress up with Shana, Rikki and the other girls at Shana's place), and some great connection with Shannon. A lot of the conversation had me see how they have seen me grow.

There's nothing like going back to your roots to see where you've been to help you realize how far you've come. It was an extraordinary experience and really reminded me that this journey is perfect, just as it is.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

finally picked up the bike

and did a short ride. 3 miles. at least i was on the bike.

Jim and Frankie

Jim is the person who told me about the ride first -- he had to take time off from the Temple to go on the Ride. His partner Frankie's birthday was this weekend. I got to speak to Frankie today and it was really interesting to hear how certain he is i can do the ride. He was so supportive. i love that about him.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I don't want to do this!

resistance. wow. i spent the day crying, avoiding picking up the bike.

at some point though, i relaxed into the experience and changed my perspective. instead of wanting to ride a certain amount, i decided the entire exploration was really about being with and in my body, giving myself 1 full week of time to simply focus on being on an exploration with total strangers and no computer to rely on so i could step into the unknown and face the demons of my inner self.

my new goal is to not have a goal in terms of miles (even though i had said after the 58 miles last week that i would be happy with 250 miles) and just be in my body, be okay with being picked up by the support van, and just listening to the communication from my body while compassionately loving myself through the process. wow. a big shift for me and something i've never done.

that said, i'm clear that endurance training and weight loss, given my current knowledge about nutrition, is not compatible for me. So, i have a new goal. on June 11 when i'm back from the ride i am going to start the Body for Life challenge. my outrageous goal is to lose 40 pounds... my realistic and still incredibly challenging goal is to lose 30 pounds and 15% body fat. i think those numbers can win. i could use the prize money!

Atreyu is away... i hope he'll support me.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008


3:30 am. can't sleep. watch a movie. still can't sleep. 5:45, i decide to go for a ride. Bay to Breakers is today... No problem, i can ride past the mess of traffic and ride around it.

I'm geared up with my warmest stuff... 53 degrees outside and foggy and overcast. a typical pre-sunrise moment in SF to be sure. Yippie! i get on the bike and whoo hoo! i feel good. i'm so glad i'm riding. maybe i'll do 30 miles today. i can try. it's early. i can still get back in time to go out dancing with Atreyu. I'll take the hard route in the beginning -- doing a few hills, including 2 the map indicates as 10-18%. 5 miles in and i'm feeling good, on the straightaway of the Embarcaderro. I love this part of the ride.

up on the sidewalk... woah! what's going on...? Oh NO! i have a flat! Hmmm... I've never changed a flat before.

digging in my bag under my seat, i pull out the requisite tools... remembering my father fixing the flats in our tires as a child and thinking back to how he did things as best i could -- grateful for my super detailed memory of things -- 45 minutes later, the tube had been replaced. pumping 120 pounds with the little hand pump was simply not happening, so... i went back home. at 9 am, i'm.

well, at least i put in 6+ miles and now i know how to change a flat!

another ride?!? 2 in one day?

Yes! i'm using the bike as a commute vehicle again. To Sioux's place and back, with a little extra. wow! i put in 13 miles again today. that wasn't much work at all. :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008


...still avoiding the bike...

Friday, May 16, 2008

I'm avoiding the bike

I don't want to get on the bike. I need to, i know... i simply don't want to.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

yeah! i commuted with my bike

Sadly, the commuting represents my 3rd longest ride to date... but the good news is i put on 13.4 miles doing my things around town. wow! today was the first day i did a night ride -- back from the Temple to my home after helping Kendra light fire for the first time.

The accomplishment is profound though -- i actually achieved my goal of using my bike for commuting. it was hard to get through the blocks, but i did it. i went to meet Sioux, back home, then to the Temple, then to ASF, then back to the Temple and then back home. I had no idea it would be so many miles. the riding was easy. So glad i did that 58 mile ride. it changed my relationship to my bike!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Okay, it's just a numbers game

It's okay. i just need to get on the bike. Today is a 23.4 mile ride through the presidio and golden gate park. it wasn't so bad really... not nearly so bad as the 58 miles i did the other day...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The hardest thing i have ever done, physically, to date

Mikey is leaving today. I'm up early, Mike and Atreyu went out dancing last night so they are both lagging since they came home at 4:30 am and we're supposed to leave for the airport at 6:45. Realizing i was risking missing the ride, i decided to catch the BART from SF to the east bay rather than have Atreyu drop me off on his way back from dropping Mike at the airport. Not the way i wanted to see Mike off... and still, the training had to happen.

getting on the bike, on a cool spring morning at 7:30 am, i rode down to the bart station, excited about the adventure of the day. Definitely nervous. I mean, my longest ride was only 12.2 miles at that point. i barely understood how to shift my gears and i'd dropped my chain just a few days earlier on a hill while riding.

not to worry. i meditated on the train, thinking of Adam C. and all the ways he and his practice have encouraged me in my journey. I thought of the funds people gave me. I thought of the fact that this was the reason i was doing the ride -- for the challenge.

pulling into the pittsburgh/baypoint stop at the end of the line, i got off the train and looked at all the other riders around me. "wow... am i a biker?" clueless and unsure, i found my way to the pack where i was greeted by Dan and his brother in law Paul, two great guys that actually made it easy on me. Dan was the ride leader and his brother-in-law was so friendly and supportive, i immediately felt like i could do it and things would be great.

safety lecture, comments... a quick show of hands about experience and a joking question, "anyone's first training ride?" lots of scoffs from the group and me timidly raising my hand to say, "yeah..." people looking at me funny as if i was joking... me saying, "yeah, i'm serious."

off we go. riding through the streets. it's really different in a pack of 25. we head off... we're zipping along. 17 MPH... 22... OMG,i'm going 27 MPH... holy geez... i'm over 30 MPH. i didn't think that was possible, but with these little rolling hills, suddenly i am in a different place. the pack has definitely separated out. I'm at the end of the front of the pack.

i realize quickly stopping is the enemy and less efficient. i value efficiency -- so i slow down rather than coming to complete halts. uncertain of how long it takes to stop, i slow early and, as a result, find myself losing the lead pack. we're on main roads. What did Dan say about where we were supposed to turn? Hmmm... i have a feeling i just missed the turn. stop, check the cue sheet... yup, i'm a half mile off... turn around, go back, catch up... yeah... nice work. i pull in and everyone's super supportive. Especially Liz. Wow -- another beautiful being on a journey of body discovery. Our stories are similar.

we leave the 18 mile rest stop, i'm feeling good. off we go to the half way point at the dam. up and down... rollers they call them... short little hills that aren't really that steep, but there's lots of them in a row. i realize how important conserving momentum is and shifting. Damn, my thumbs hurt. geez... when will i feel more comfortable on the hills? Make mental note: get brakes on the straight part of the handle bar.

finally make it in to the half way point. lots of conversation, support. talk about electrolytes. What? electrolytes? i just drank a gallon of water, what are you talking about? Oh... salt? sugar? hmmm... okay, if you say so. Wow, i'm so glad they said so. i already clocked 29 miles of riding for the day... my longest ride ever. wow. i feel great. i'm tired. i'm happy. i'm realizing my whole idea about training is absolutely nuts and i need to rethink my strategy. I need more rides and miles than i thought. no problem, i can do it.

we head out, going back to the starbucks. I'm slower than everyone else, but i get there, and still, surprisingly, after 44 miles, feeling pretty good. we start off again. lots of start and stop on the main road. i'm grateful for it. my quads are starting to get super sore. woah. only 48 miles. keep pushing. wow. small hills. only 50 miles? how am i ever going to do this? what am i thinking? 51 miles? stopping. have to breath. my god i didn't know my legs could be this sore from such a simple thing.

5.4 mph riding? what is my problem?

only one rider behind me... except the other ride leader John. I think i can make it... there's only a few more miles to get to the BART station... we take a rest. Dan comes back... saying he'll get his van to pick up the other rider and John. He and I take off. small hill -- i can do it... geez... only 53 miles? I stop at the next hill, realizing i am literally out of energy. oh geez. thanks Liz for those shot blocks (pure carbs)... i had just hit my wall. i walk the bike up the hill. a small hill. i climbed bigger ones that day, but it was really too much for me in that moment. we're only 2 miles from the BART Dan says. he's encouraging me, telling me how good a job i did, reminding me that every thing i ride now is a personal record for me.

renewed will... i get on the bike for the final push... lord, i wonder if i can make it... pumping an average of 6.5 MPH, crying as i do it, i finally make it over the hill... i'm shaking. wow. what did i just do?

Dan gives me carbs... Paul congratulates me... Liz yells to me from the car, let's be tentmates -- yeah! i'm so glad i found her!

I BART home... crying most of the way. text page Mikey, still stuck in DC on his way home... i'm glad he gave me the pep talk he did. i wonder... how am i ever going to do this? absolutely the hardest thing i've ever done physically... so far. I get off the bart, feeling a little better... and get back on the bike to ride it home. so glad that last bit of the miles i put on today are basically downhill. My ass is sore.

so glad to be in Atreyu's arms... holding me as i describe the whole thing, crying, shaking, sunburned, worn, raw... and proud of an unbelievable accomplishment i would never have though i could do 10 years ago... hell, 10 days ago.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Training for the AIDS ride

When I first conceived of doing this ride, apart from the obvious community
service aspects, it was for the following reasons on a personal level:

get in shape, dramatically changing the shape of my body change my relationship to my body get comfortable on a bike so i could use it as a transportation vehicle in SF that was in September when i got back from japan. cross training began. I was pretty dedicated until new year's -- holidays and then the impending launch of PoiGeek as well as the Temple of PoiGeek 2008 Fire Dancing Expo and i found myself not just avoiding the bike, but avoiding training like i had been in the fall. in the fall i had maintained a workout schedule averaging 8 25+ minute aerobic workouts a week for about 12 weeks, then took a dip down to an average of 4-6 a week. come 2008, i was maintaining about 3-6, but as march and then april approached, i simply wasn't working out.

At some point in there, Sean, my business partner, assuaged some of my concerns about the training, suggesting to a naive me that i could train after the launch of the company (April 26) and I'd have a solid month to do it. Well, Atreyu came back from Bali (early March), my birthday happened (march 23), we discussed getting into partnership (end of march/early april), he asked me to hand fast with him and moved in (2nd week of April), Mikey Icon came to stay with us (April 12), we worked on Mikey's DVD for PoiGeek (mid april), did a gig with Mikey that was a complete cluster f%*#k (april 19), prepared for the fire dancing expo and launch (April 26), had a national dance week event (april 27), prepared for the handfasting ceremony which then happened (may 1), went to FireDrums (first weekend of may) and then finally took a day or two off around may 7. Hmmm... with the ride less than a month away, I pretty much freaked out.

Looking over the training rides, i found one that was a category 3 ride (12-15 MPH avg speed) on really easy terrain (level 1 (of 4)) and thought -- this is a good idea. So, there i was, may 8, riding around SF, doing 9 milerides, prepping for the ride on may 10 which was 56 miles.

Decision Making Time

on or about the 9th of may, i realized i had to reach my financial goals by the 16th of may if i didn't want to have to stand in line during orientation. with $770 to raise, the question became, how dedicated to this was I? I realized immediately i was not willing to fund it all out of my own pocket, so i needed to raise money. In just a few short days, friends and family alike poured support into my world and i had reached over $2600 in funds raised by the 16th, exceeding the required $2500 to participate.

Because i raised over $500 in less than 48 hours, i knew going into the weekend i was likely to meet my goals, which gave me hope as i began the 56 mile trek in the east bay.


I had a horrible dream that i couldn't find a tent mate... then i got stuck with a stranger. the stranger had an air mattress that they used, full queen size thing. it filled most of the tent. so there i was in the tent squished on my side between the air mattress and the side of the tent... then i woke up in a cold sweat. geez... is this going to be my fate? I need to find a tent mate...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I'm doing the AIDS Lifecycle Ride

when i first conceived of doing this ride, apart from the obvious community service aspects, it was for the following reasons on a personal level:

* get in shape, dramatically changing the shape of my body
* change my relationship to my body
* get comfortable on a bike so i could use it as a transportation vehicle in SF

that was in September when i got back from japan. cross training began. i was pretty dedicated until new year's -- holidays and then the impending launch of PoiGeek as well as the Temple of PoiGeek 2008 Fire Dancing Expo and i found myself not just avoiding the bike, but avoiding training like i had been in the fall. in the fall i had maintained a workout schedule averaging 8 25+ minute aerobic workouts a week for about 12 weeks, then took a dip down to an average of 4-6 a week. come 2008, i was maintaining about 3-6, but as march and then april approached, i simply wasn't working out.

At some point in there, Sean, my business partner, assuaged some of my concerns about the training, suggesting to a naive me that i could train after the launch of the company (April 26) and I'd have a solid month to do it. Well, Atreyu came back from Bali (early March), my birthday happened (march 23), we discussed getting into partnership (end of march/early april), he asked me to hand fast with him and moved in (2nd week of April), Mikey Icon came to stay with us (April 12), we worked on Mikey's DVD for PoiGeek (mid april), did a gig with Mikey that was a complete cluster f%*#k (april 19), prepared for the fire dancing expo and launch (April 26), had a national dance week event (april 27), prepared for the handfasting ceremony which then happened (may 1), went to FireDrums (first weekend of may) and then finally took a day or two off around may 7. Hmmm... with the ride less than a month away, I pretty much freaked out.

Looking over the training rides, i found one that was a category 3 ride (12-15 MPH avg speed) on really easy terrain (level 1 (of 4)) and thought -- this is a good idea. So, there i was, may 8, riding around SF, doing 9 mile rides, prepping for the ride on may 10 which was 56 miles.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Cosmic Lovers enjoying the bliss...

I got handfasted on Thursday. Wow! What an amazing experience. My amazing partner, Atreyu, and I wrote a 20 page covenant outlining what we are creating for ourselves and with each other. These are pictures from Fire Drums taken by a wonderfully sensitive photographer and flow artist there.

...and more bliss at Fire Drums

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hole in the Bucket

Benefits of Tea

I was surprised to read all these benefits to drinking tea today in a great
little marketing pamphlet from octavia tea ( -- so I thought
I'd share in case it was useful to others. The brochure claims,

"According to Scientific Studies, a daily cup of tea:

- Reduces physical signs of aging (time magazine)
- Slow age-related decline in brain function (american journal of clinical
- reduces abdominal fat deposits (nutrition and cancer)
- lowers risk of cancer and kills cancer cells (consumer reports)
- combats arthritis & imrpves bone density (health magazine)
- lowers bad LDL cholesterol by up to 11% (us dept. of agriculture/msnbc)
- aids weight-loss & burns fat (american journal of clinical nutrition)
- improves immune system functioning (prevention)
- reduces the risk of heart attack by 44% (harvard study)
- fights bad breath and allergies (web md)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

You are an Island...

A dear friend who is also on a weight loss journey wrote this to me today: "I feel very supported hearing my experiences and feelings echoed. Makes me feel like I'm not an island."

I wrote this in response... I rather enjoyed it and thought it might be inspirational for everyone on their journey of growth.

I was sharing to help you see that while you are an island -- it is your journey and yours alone -- it is more like we're a string of islands really close together rather than with an ocean between us and just a stones throw away rather than a 6 hour plane ride. I can't walk your walk for you... I can't choose your path for you... but I can send up fire works as I understand things to arise that hopefully will lighten the load and brighten your day.

(Change, any change, and in this context especially...) Weight loss isn't about overnight change, but about lifelong change. So it is about how you deal with it through time, not in any one moment. If you graphed your feelings of control v. out of control through time, how did you do overall?

Keep focus on the trend, not any one point in the graph -- any high can be just as disillusioning as any low. They are just moments to be cherished and learned from rather than clung to like a life preserver.

Your committment and certainty will have you return to the path every time you wander off, even if you it take more than a minute, or hour, or day, or week or even month.

You know what you want. Hold fast to that and all else will follow. Of this i am certain.

You have great power within you... and i know you know this. I merely hold up the glass in the moments when you're too tired to pick it up for yourself. ;)