Showing posts from 2018

Your Vote Reveals Your Values

There's a cliche that keeps ringing through my head. "Actions speak louder than words." Let's be more specific. Votes speak louder than words. And, have a much longer lasting impact.

I keep thinking about how many times - I've lost count - someone has told me emphatically "You know I'm not racist." or something equivalent  in the course of a somewhat political conversation. But do I? How can I?

When people vote for a racist who is going to implement racist policies, how can I not conclude they support those racist policies? Particularly if they continue to vote for avowed racists. And, if they support those racists and their racist policies, that sure looks like racism.

I vote my values. I assume other people do as well. Otherwise, what's the point of voting? Why would someone vote for someone whose values don't align with theirs? So when someone says "You know I'm not a racist." after voting for someone who is and who supports en…

Words are Powerful - Dona Nobis Pacem

Words are powerful...

Words hold the power to heal or to hurt.

Words can unite or divide.

Yet, how often do we say words without considering their impact?

Denying the words said doesn't erase them. Taking them back doesn't undo their damage.

I can remember so many times when words cut me to my core, words that the speaker probably doesn't even remember saying yet they stuck in the recesses of my heart and mind and spill out when I'm feeling particularly vulnerable either as a way to erode my self-esteem when I feel confident or to feed whatever insecurity has risen to my thoughts.

When we spew words of hate, hate spreads. When we spew words of violence, violence spreads. When we spew words of chaos, chaos spreads. When we spew words of cruelty, cruelty spreads. When we spew words of divisiveness, divisiveness spreads.

So it would stand to reason, that words of love spread love. Words of peace spread peace. Words of encouragement spread encouragement. Words of compassion sprea…

Not Taking No For An Answer

But he says he didn't do it...

Somehow his word whoever he happens to be is more credible than hers to some people no matter what the situation, no matter what the evidence, no matter how credible her account or how much his lacks credibility. For some reason, for some people that's enough. 

It's as if they expect criminals to be honest... Really? 

And for some reason they always doubt women... Really?

What do you expect him to say, seriously? To admit it is confessing to a crime, even if the statute of limitations has run out.

I've been raped on three different occasions by two different men. Yet, I'm fairly certain neither of those men would admit assaulting me because they see nothing wrong with their behavior. (other posts on sexual assault.)

I confronted the two men, let's call them M and W, who raped me. Each readily admitted he proceeded even after I said no and made it clear I didn't want to have sex.

M even bragged about "not taking no for an answer&…

When We All Vote, We All Have a Voice

When we all vote... When we all vote... When we all vote...

What happens when we all vote?

When we all vote, we send a message to those who lead us. When we all vote, we lead those who serve us. When we all vote, we proclaim our values. When we all vote, we whisper our concerns. When we all vote, we expand the conversation.

At least, that's what I believe on my best days.

On my worst days... well, let's not go there. Let's keep this positive.

So, today, on Voter Registration Day, let me talk a bit about voting.

When I turned 18, my Dad made sure I registered to vote. Yet, I didn't exercise that right. That first year, my birthday was so close to Election Day, I didn't think I had time to get an absentee ballot and I couldn't miss class to make the approximately 2-hour drive to vote and back again. It would've meant missing a test and therefore failing it. Besides I didn't feel knowledgeable enough to vote, or so I told myself. My Dad was sorely disappointed, …

Balance: Keeping One's Footing Even When Wobbling

Balance... There's that word... We all say it all the time. We strive to create balance in our lives. We seek work-life balance. If only we could balance... 

Balance... It's easy to see balance as some kind of Holy Grail that will magically make life perfect... But if you're anything like me, the word balance has become one that has you either grinding your teeth or rolling your eyes or both...

Recently, I did a meditation on Insight Timer called Balance Meditation. As the guide instructed me to breathe in to a count of four 1-2-3-4 and out counting backwards from four 4-3-2-1, I felt a slight resistance I couldn't quite explain. Yet, I often do this kind of breath work in my yoga practice without feeling a resistance. Finally, I settled into the breath pattern... and felt my body sway slightly before centering back into my starting position.

After I finished the meditation, I wrote in my meditation journal as I do every day. As I wrote about balance and about breathing a…

Everchanging Forest of Friendship

Friendship... Yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever... or not... 

I recently read I Know How You Feel: The Joy and Heartbreak of Friendship in Women's Lives by F. Diane Barth. It struck a few nerves, well, more than a few. As I read about other women's experiences with friendship I couldn't help but remember friendships throughout my life - friendships with similar circumstances to those discussed in the book and ones that didn't come close to matching those circumstances.  I started thinking about friendships that last and those that are fleeting as I discussed in a previous blog post,Friendship: Forever or For Today?

When I weighed the joy my friendships brought me against the heartbreak my friendships have brought me, there was more heartbreak than I expected. I've lost far more friends than I've kept over the years, which I suppose also means I've had more friendships than I initially realized. Some of those friends and I drifted apart as circumstances to…

My Latest Endeavor Combines Cooking and Writing

My latest endeavor, Vegan Cooking with TLC, combines my love of writing with my love of cooking. I love going into the kitchen, taking a recipe or two as inspiration and creating my own version of it. I love to look in the pantry and the refrigerator and pull out some ingredients and combine them to come up with something new.

When I adopted an oil-free, plant-based, whole food diet a few years ago, I suddenly faced an opportunity to really play with recipes as I adapted old recipes to meet a plant-based diet as well as adapting vegan recipes to meet an oil-free diet.

As I shared my recipes with other people, many of my meat eating friends were surprised my recipes were vegan. Some even asked for the recipes. Over time as I shared more and more of the recipes I developed, I began to think about starting a recipe blog. I started by seeing if I could come up with year's worth of recipes. Once I did that, I decided it was time to share my recipes as well as my journey to a plant-based …

Forgotten Influences

Recently, while making my annual donation to a scholarship fund in honor of the scholarship I received that allowed me to attend Eastern Kentucky University, The Dr. James W. Fox Student Research Award jumped out at me. I didn't remember seeing it on the list before. I wondered if it was a fund honoring my former adviser and professor, Dr. James Fox. I did a quick Google search. I found his obituary which included a request for people to donate to the award fund in lieu of flowers. As I read about his 2008 death, I felt a tear slide down my cheek and a sense of sadness combined with gratitude and joy well up in my heart. I smiled. 

My instructors, particularly my Corrections instructors, were an interesting group of people, but Dr. Fox was a special man. His obituary refers to his dedication to "his calling as an educator" and the way he "inspired commitment in his students." I can attest to both. Part of the way he inspired that commitment was by modeling it in…

Hiatus from Facebook

A few weeks ago I decided to take a week off from Facebook to concentrate on getting my taxes done and make some progress on a couple of other projects. Once the taxes were filed, I hovered my finger over the little icon on my phone to open the Facebook app, but I couldn't do it. I felt an overwhelming sense of anxiety, so I decided to give it another few days which turned into another full week. At the end of that week, I still wasn't ready to reengage.

So here I am three weeks later and I still haven't logged on, not looked at my newsfeed, not checked in on my friends' activities, and I'm still not quite ready to log back on.

I've posted a few things I could post without actually logging on, so I haven't been completely disengaged; however, I haven't wasted time scrolling through a bunch of posts filled with half-truths and biased half-informed, or worse uninformed, opinions. I haven't been disappointed by learning someone I once respected is more i…

Favorites.... Shmavorites....

A few years ago I bought Creative Knowing: 50 Self-Reflection Questions for Women by Christina Katz, a digital book filled with exercises for getting in touch with one's creativity because I thought it might be nice to use as writing prompts when I felt uninspired or had a lull in my writing. I recently printed Creative Knowing to use as short daily writing exercises while I'm editing my forthcoming book, The Gift of Gratitude: Lessons in Life, Love, and Loss. I find that sometimes when I'm editing a book, it helps if I have some type of shortdaily writing activity even if I'm writing something that I'll never publish like the exercises in Creative Knowing.

As I started working through the questions, I kept coming up against one of those things I don't do well with... Favorites. It sounds like such a simple question regardless of what it refers to...
What is your favorite color?What is your favorite book?Who is your favorite actor?Who is your favorite singer?What…

Decluttering... Yet Again

For the last six weeks or so, I've been watching a slew of YouTube videos about minimalism and decluttering for inspiration. I know how to declutter. I even know how to keep clutter from accumulating, but... Knowing and practicing are two different things.

Today, as I was looking through some previous blog posts I've written, I came across this one, The Complications of Simplicity from 2012. That was probably the last time I did a major purge to declutter the house. It started with my office and moved outward. Since then I've done smaller purges of areas of the house, but I haven't done a major purge. Yet, as I read the blog post, I realized I still have some of those same feelings about how things have accumulated again. I also realized I only recently, like less than a month ago, finished the shredding that I mentioned in that post. Shredding the last sheet of paper from that box felt like such a liberation even though I knew that part of the reason I hadn't finis…