Change my Mind

I love to change my mind about something.  There are times to stand firm on your beliefs, and times when rigidity hinders growth.  I always disliked Sara Bareilles’s songs.  I can’t tell you why.  I know she has talent.  But I just did not enjoy them.  Then came ‘Brave’.  It’s catchy.  I loved singing along with it.  I still wasn’t sold on Sara though.

This morning I heard Ms. Bareillis play live on XM radio.  She was talking about her songs and what they meant to her.  9 out of 10 times this will convert me.  First off her singing was so clear it sounded pre-recorded (I’m still not convinced it wasn’t).  Plus, she explicitly stated that she does not like going to concerts where the artist simply plays the album.  This is my philosophy.  If I buy a ticket to a show, I want a little flair.  I want to see that this person is a true artist.

So I changed my mind.  I like Sara Bareillis now.  No one else could have convinced me of her value to the music world.  I had to discover it myself.  Like always.  And I’m glad I did.

 

Are you cooking in the bathroom?

These are a few items from the kitchen that you will find in my bathroom.  Included are some of my favorite recipes.

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The association between yoga and hippies is not an accident.  As yoga starts to seep off your mat into your life you start to look for ways to do the least harm to the environment.  There are many practical, natural products that can be used for skin and hair care.  Here are just a few.

1.  Coconut oil.  I use this for everything from skin to hair.  I rub it on my face, drop it in the bathtub and use it as a deep conditioner*.

2.  Sea Salt.  I use sea salt as a hair product.  I make a great beachy hair spray for pennies to the dollar of those found in stores.**

3.  Baking Soda makes a great face scrub or on the fly toothpaste.  Mix it with a little water and scrub away.

4.  Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).  ACV is my new hair conditioner.  I wash my hair with an all natural bar soap from Jonathan’s Organics.  Every other time I wash I rinse with ACV.  I fill a small bottle halfway with the ACV and mix with warm water and pour.  Make sure to rinse out thoroughly as the smell can linger.

*Coconut Hair Mask:
– Soften the Coconut oil by rubbing it between your palms. (If it is really tough to get out of the jar run it under hot water)
-Saturate the hair with coconut oil (About 2 Tbsp)
-Wrap the head in plastic wrap or a shower cap.
-Leave for an hour or so.
– To rinse out: shampoo and condition as usual (you might need a few shampoos) OR pour Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) over the hair to take off oil.

**Beachy Hair Spray:
– tsp of sea salt
– ¼ tsp of coconut oil
– warm water
-small spray bottle

Mix all ingredients into the spray bottle. Shake until salt is dissolved and the oil is dispersed. (You may need to run the bottle under warm water to melt the oil each time you use it.)

Just Around the Riverbend [repost]

This was first posted on my blog The Real World as I prepared to leave Namibia.  I have included some of the thoughts I had on the future just a year earlier.

“What I love most about rivers is you can’t step in the same
river twice.
The water’s always changing, always flowing
But people I guess can’t live like that
They all must pay a price
To be safe we lose our chance of ever knowing
What’s around the river bend”

Like the river that is flowing by, every moment is new. We all know this. It’s common sense. Every minute things change. People are born and die. People leave, fall in love, decide to follow God. We know this.

Even though things are changing on us every minute we cling to the illusion that we have control over each outcome, each change. We plan. We worry. We replan and recheck. We resist.

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The only thing that trying to control everything does is make it harder to admit we don’t have control over everything. In fact we have control of very little, mainly our reaction to change.

Resistance creates a dam in our river. The water backs up and becomes mucky, full of snails that carry disease or twigs that snag our thoughts, pulling us down. Resistance keeps us from moving forward.

I experienced this when I first decided to return to the States. I built a damn of resistance in my head. I filled my water with negativity. Everything from “I have no money” to “It is too cold.” I swam around with them for a while. Until I couldn’t anymore.

I took down my dam. I let the negativity come out to be pushed to the shore. I swam down my river, cleaning it of all the things that scared me and started to see all the beautiful things about going home. My family and friends, free time, new opportunities, my car.

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It is difficult to describe the feeling of rigid flexibility you need to get along in this world. You need to be able to plan, but when they fall through you need to be able to see the adventure that an unplanned span of time can bring us. When some volunteers and I were on our big road trip last year, we made a plan and it fell to pieces. Still each unplanned step brought things we would have never experienced on our own terms.

Let your plans fall apart. Don’t worry too much what is coming around the river bend. You’ll get there when you get there and when you do, it’s usually more fantastic than you ever planned for yourself anyway.

Tomorrow I face the next bend in my river. I leave Namibia at peace and excited for the things ahead. Back out into the World! What a Real World it is!!

Summer Nights

There’s just something about a summer night.  The sun drops slowly, and the air starts to cool, just a little.  The chorus of crickets begins to sing, orchestrated by the stars as they appear overhead.  A breeze brushes past and your skin buzzes.  Possibility fills the air.  Anything could happen.  You sit and watch dusk turn to dark and let all your secrets out.

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To me summer was always camp.  Going to camp, working at camp.  It was all the same.  A bunch of people who saw each other once a year, or maybe met once and never again, come together and share experiences that bring them together like nothing else can.  It was the place I shared things that only my journal got to hear the other 46 weeks out of the year.

This summer I did not work at camp.  I longed for just one “summer night”.  Just one night where I let my guard down and let the magic of summer envelop me and the person I was with.  I’ve had a lot of great nights this summer, dancing and laughing and having fun.  But something was missing.

This past weekend I went to visit my friend in Brooklyn.  We walked to the park and drank smoothies.  We laughed as all the owners let their dogs run free and hump one another.  We talked.  Deep.  Frustrated.  Angry.  Loving.  And when we had finished we climbed up onto her roof.  We meditated, right on the edge, floating above all the twinkling city lights.  We were filled with possibility.  Anything can happen.

It was the perfect summer night.

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Beginner’s Mind [playlist]

A playlist full of covers, giving a new perspective to some very popular songs.  Some of the covers are different than the ones that I included on my list so I captured the itunes list.  Some of the songs were things I grabbed years ago from various sources, so I am not sure where they can be found today.  Some were just not available on Spotify.  Scroll down to listen.

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