Mom

Mom
Mom

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Art
Art

Yoga

Yoga
Yoga

Me

Me
Me.....being grateful for every thing, every breath, every day of this life

Friday, December 24, 2010

kicks and tricks

I finally am feeling the kicks!!! It seemed to take forever. I am now 20 weeks on the day of Christmas eve.

So thankful for this soon-to-be baby and for my first Christmas where my 3 year old actually understands Santa and holiday love-ness. So we just stocked up the tree with Santa's goodies, Barbie skates, bikes, books, buzz light years, toys and tricks. The first year where magic returns to my home. And I love it.

I miss my parent's home.

But sending many hugs, many smiles, much cheer to all from many miles.

Love, Bec
CHRISTmas in Japan....again....2010

~much to be thankful for this year and prayers to all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We Found God In Primavera

I had to share this one.

Now I have NEVER been into food, or cooking or spending more than five minutes in the kitchen. But between educating myself of the JUNK that is put in so many packaged foods and even non-organic produce and having children, I started becoming very interested in food, the kitchen, new utensils and living to the fullest through nutrition.

We eat 3 meals a day and several snacks (if you are like me). And while, the earth's soil is depleted to where nutrients are hard to get into the bod, I still care about the quality of the food I make for my kids, soldier husband and my pregnant self. So when I find a meal that is easy, super duper yummy (and that DUPER is no joke, it HAS to be gooood) AND healthy, I simply MUST pass it on.

So I found this recipe off the side of a whole wheat pasta box!!! I tweaked it a little and changed it for myself and fam and have named it:

Rebecca's Pre-Madonna Primavera
(I am most certainly boasting at being a beginner "cook")

Ingredients
1 box of any spaghetti
2 Tbsp. of olive oil
2 small or 1 large Zucchini, thinly sliced
1 Red or Yellow Bell Pepper, cut into Julienne strips
1 Green Bell Pepper, cut into Julienne strips
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 cup low fat Milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Mozzerella or Provolone cheese
1 tsp fresh Basil (or I buy the jarred basil sold next to the garlic/olive oil in the jar)
1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp. fresh cracked Pepper

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, when that is boiling, in a large skillet, heat oil and saute zucchini, bell peppers, and garlic until the veggies are JUST tender. Stir in milk, then 1/4 cup of parm, all of mozz and seasonings until all blended evenly. Heat through until slightly thickened, being careful not to boil!!! Toss hot, cooked spaghetti with sauteed vegetable mixture. Serve sprinkled with remaining cheese. Serves 6.

(or I just kept the pasta seperate and spooned the sauce over the plated portions of pasta...either way)

Very QUICK, HEALTHY, SUPER YUMMY And SOOOOOO EASY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Enjoy and Kanpai!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Remembered My Most Peaceful Moment Today


When I was around the age of 15, I had yet to study Yoga or meditation. That started around the age of 18, thank God. But one fine summer day somewhere in my 15th year came a gift, a blessing. I was on a visit to my big sister Megan's college at Indiana University, Indiana and we went about 30 minutes away on a day trip to a rock quarry swimming area in the wilderness. Megan and her friend were chatting and I swam off. The sun was shining, kissing this magical water. I did not feel the least bit lonely. I found a rock. A perfect giant cube of my own. I climbed up onto it with ease. It had about one inch of water above the perfectly flat top of it. I laid down on the on the rock, my face up toward the sun. The water made a perimeter outline all around my body. The sun warmed me. The shallow water atop this rock cooled me back down. And back and forth. I closed my eyes and rested there in Savasana style pose for I have no idea how long. It was one of my very first moments in life of pure, clean, natural relaxation and perfect bliss. How badly I must have needed that being in high school! It was an extreme gift of a moment for me.

Today, I was practicing prenatal Yoga, led by the amazing Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du2LOQ_fDuw ) and I was taken right back to my moment on the rock. As life goes along, whenever I find myself feeling really good in the present, about all my current choices, I tend to always remember really special long ago experiences, the ones that are really deep, tucked away memories not thought of for some time. I felt this quarry memory as it came back to me in a moving meditation today. And all I can say is Wahhh!!!....and thank you Gurmukh.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Heartfelt Standing Ovation to Mrs. Andreadis



She was my art teacher in elementary school. I had two different art teachers throughout my seven years at Ayer Elementary. Both incredible women. Ms. Bellamy (she had to go by mizz) was truly rockin' as well, owning super unique fashion, simply profound advice, great art projects, a laid back ever-present smile and oodles of creativity. Ms. Bellamy was also so gorgeous, it was like watching an ocean sunset to see her lay down a giraffe shape on construction paper with a Crayola and then color it in perfectly with gradients as though she were using fine, professional artist's tools costing way more than that simple box of 24. Everyone loved Ms. Bellamy. But it was something that Mrs. Andreadis said to me that truly stuck in my brain, my psyche and it has been coming back and back to me over the recent days, years and in different snippets throughout my life.

Right now I find myself trying to be a good parent. I found myself being a Mom long before I ever planned it. It seemed to be my destiny, and I embraced it. I am sure most people are not 100% square with themselves and living within the perfect ego balance, esteem and spirituality (wait, is anyone ever this way other than the Buddha or Jesus?) before becoming a parent. But I wished I had conquered some of those demons and learned some of those lessons before embarking on screwing up yet another young soul. Alas, Mirabelle is here and she has no choice but to learn about life right along with me, mistakes, tantrums and all (referring to my own tantrums, of course).

As I go through my (seemingly) never ending library of self-help books and enlightenment goal oriented guided meditations, I learn over and over that who we are as adults is very much created upon the way we were/are spoken to as children. I try to remember this when I am flashing a glare and some intelligent words like "are you insane!!??" at the fragile little three year old who just snatched and flattened out my new, $20, perfectly fine tipped paint brush. And I constantly compare how I am with my daughter to experiences I had growing up. It turns out, it is not all our parent's fault, says Geneen Roth in her latest awesome book, Women Food and God. It is every adult that has ever spoken to us before the age of about four and a few years following, who contributes in, molds and determines our internal dialogue with ourselves as adults, also sometimes known as the ego, conscience or self esteem. And in reading about this, I think of experiences that stand out to me, ways I was spoken to both positively and negatively at a young age that stand out and I can actually recall in detail.

One time in first grade, I had a teacher bug her eyes out of their sockets and tell me that my opinion was horrific and terribly wrong! She was teaching us about famous people who had gotten assassinated (deep subject for 1st graders, I know!). Well, not understanding what assassination even meant, I asked "why would the people with guns just not shoot the victims in the leg or arm or somewhere they could not be killed?" And then her reaction came forth. I will never forget it. She was appalled I even suggested they be shot at all. I didn't understand any of it. And all I knew was that I was standing up, speaking out, trying to understand it all and she made me feel awful, embarrassed, dirty, evil, singled out and scared (ok, I am a little hyper sensitive, but I got that from my Mom). As all adults do, they try to teach us right from wrong and with force and serious feeling so we do not ever forget. I do not hold any hate for that teacher, she didn't know she was negatively effecting a 6 year old and ruining her self confidence completely. But also, I do not recall anything lovely happening in her class either. It really makes me think about the way in which I correct and rear my daughter now that I know these things.

One moment that sparkled for me in my mind's bank of stand out events from childhood, was one statement and really more, a certain smile that felt like a warm hug that I had been waiting on for my entire life that came from Mrs. Andreadis. I have no idea how old I was when she taught my art class. I would guess somewhere between the 3rd and 5th grades. She was not as flashy as Ms. Bellamy. She was much more reserved and quiet. I didn't understand her way of being as well as my other art teacher. Mrs. Andreadis dressed like she was going to be working in a wood shop all day...but with a vest on, that looked like it belonged to a 3 piece men's suit. She was interesting and tame and much more reserved than my other teachers. She was not scary or the least bit cross, but not totally approachable either. In her class one day, we all were on our own doing an art project. I thought nothing of this project. I didn't hate it, I didn't love it. I just did it. Just like all my other school work, I usually failed at or did average with, I approached art the same. I just went through the motions with no passion or excitement. And when I stood up to show the teacher I was done and on my way to sit the wet project to dry somewhere at the other end of the classroom, she stopped me in my tracks. She looked over the news paper mache-type, yellow duck I had constructed and brightly painted with a nice, neat orange beak. She smiled at the duck and then at me. She was in no hurry. She looked at me, taking her time and said with the warmest smile, "you like to do art, don't you?" I smiled and nodded to her and she sent me on to set it down. As I said, I didn't necessarily like art any more than boring Social Studies or annoying Arithmetic. But I told her I did because I thought that was what she wanted me to say in that moment.

I probably did not think about that moment again for the rest of elementary or High School. But where am I now? How did it effect me? I am currently working as a professional, custom Fine Artist and Designer. I realized, as a 31 year old adult, that that was the first really, really, feel good, authentic, I-had-a-deep-connection-with-compliment that I was ever given. And I have never forgotten that moment, like most of my elementary school experience which I have seemed to have blocked out or have buried very deep away. She saw something in my work. And it unconsciously effected me so dramatically, that I moved deeper into the arts in junior and high school. I then chose and knew in my 17 year old bones that art was all I ever really saw myself doing until I got old and then chose a fancy art college to attend and graduate from.

Somehow in the world of a major arts school community, I got to believing that art was never going to sustain me financially and really that I was just one of a million or not good enough of an artist to ever thrive with it professionally. I have yet to uncover where that idea originated, but I don't need to dig up all wounds now do I? Nevertheless, I believed it and at graduation I left art behind like a bad habit and dove into job after meaningless job of "good" benefits, 40+ hours a week, semi-sustainable pay, a ladder to climb and oddly enough, no college degree required...in ANY of the jobs I got and took on. It only took about ten years of aimless wandering, falling into this or that, getting fired or quitting and feeling my soul dry up and crackle more than the Mojave to push me into a deep space of hurt, anguish, soul-searching and meditation.

After many years of trying, trying and trying at different jobs, careers, titles (some of them even good-hearted and decent ones) what emerged without me even knowing it was, my art. Talent. What I enjoy. The only thing I ever enjoyed without trying, just being, and Mrs. Andreadis saw it in me, at a very young age. Her kind spirit was like an oracle in my early life defining the future I never knew was coming.

I have been with life coaches, done hypno-therapy, Yoga out the yin yang, worked with therapists, done meditation and karmic healings-a-plenty, and when I felt at the brink of all this inner work, out came art work, without even my choosing it and after almost a ten year break of not doing anything creative or artistic. I was studying the details of The Secret, a book on CD I bought and listened to about 500 times over the past 5 years. It taught me to focus on; not the journey so much, but the destination. Don't watch the agonizing step by step of the stair case, just believe, KNOW and focus on the fact that you will find your way to the top. You are a worthy body of substance. And I started to have true gratitude for everything and anything, focus on my goals of being a fortuned stay-at-home Mom who made an amazing income and successfully if not fully supported her family. And I had a business plan in mind, a good one, with action steps going forth, underway. And all those plans started to fall away when I met one lady who asked me if I could donate something artsy or crafty to her shop and from there, then another woman who needed an art project done for a loved one, then another, then another, then a man who needed a special painting for an anniversary gift, then a stranger, then another who started requesting and commissioning my artwork knowledge and skills.

Out of the infinite darkness, against all odds, a way was made, but not at all in the field I expected. It was the deepest part of me. My art, my first real compliment in life, that ignited my cellular makeup. And it is rooted in me as my most sacred childhood memory. And it has, without me ever knowing it until now, molded my entire life's legacy. My elementary school art teacher, Mrs. Andredis, you gave me something to have authentic confidence in that shaped the deepest parts of my brain, thoughts and heart. Mrs. Andreadis, you recognized a glimmer of light in a very dark little girl. And for that, I stand up and applaud you for your teaching, your talents, your time you took with me, your quiet smile, your life-altering kindness toward me and all children, and the compliment you gave to me that one day over a lumpy, yellow, flimsy duck. I also humbly get down on my knees and bow to you for all of this. Your kindness to me was the seed that has sprouted my life's tree of abundance while living this recognized joyful, happy, heartfelt path. And I cannot thank you enough.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Experience in Japan Land



This blog is long over due. But really, it is perfect timing. I just passed my one year mark living in a foreign country!!! I feel so lucky. Almost every single night I fight the urge to write (yet again) in my gratitude journal about how lucky I feel to be living in Okinawa, Japan, on a remote sub tropical island, and to be surrounded by all this palm tree bliss. The people are kind, polite, warm and generous. The American military is diverse here, many branches reside here and I dig that. This sure isn't no country, dried up Army base town. It is a thriving metropolis island with Air Force, Navy, Marines and Army! I think that is great. I love having friends in every unit. Okinawa is a completely different culture from anything Westerners are used to or accustomed to...I mean totally different and I love learning about things that are not natural to me. I feel like I have found myself here and this really, really surprises me! I know who I am. I know what I want. I know where I want to go. I realize my goals and visions. I have rediscovered old hobbies that had long collected dust and have found some new ones. I think it is safe to say, I needed Japan -desperately.

A couple stories about the kindness of the locals here. Now, I am solely speaking about the Okinawan locals. I actually have spent no more time on the mainland island of Japan than for two separate lay overs. One thing I do know that the Okinawans share with the mainlanders, however, is there love for and the way they dearly revere children. It was A DREAM flying through Tokyo as a single Mom. My daughter, Mirabelle could do NO wrong. They pushed us to the head of every line and gave her whatever she wanted or needed to be peaceful after long flights and too many airplanes for a 2 year old. The Okinawans (pronounced Ah-kee-nah-wons) revere children until the age of about 3, they believe until this time they are like literal angels here on earth and should be treated as royalty and can do no wrong. Everywhere we go, they say Kawaii (or, cute)!!! They honor nursing Mothers and give plenty of private rooms and places for that need in public. It is lovely living here with children. Even some of the public bathrooms have potty training toilet seats added to their public toilets for little bums. They really make it nice to have a crazy 2 year old. She never bothers any of them and I love that. Just the other day I was eating at a restaurant with all American clientèle and got at least two very, very dirty looks for daring to bring my loud child to this breakfast joint. Living here sometimes makes me loathe America and sometimes makes me miss it.

My first trip to Japanese McDonald's was hilarious. They offered me sesame tea with fresh lemon juice and handed me my food as though they were handing me an ancient artifact as they bowed humbly. There are no rude, over weight, greasy, disgusting employees of the Micky D's over here. They are clean, respect themselves and others and make you feel really good about eating food that is not at all healthy. Once I thought I had paid them with a $50 bill (in yen) and they gave me change for a $10. So I mentioned it, they hurried and got an English translator and corrected the transaction apologizing all over the place about 100 times. I wasn't even sure if I had made a mistake or not, just asked them to verify the change and without even looking they handed me 40-some dollars and sent me on my way. Would that ever happen in the US? Not in the Augusta, Georgia back woods McDonald's, you might be shot there and forget about finding foreign language translators, you better speak English in the US or else don't step foot there!!!!

Weather it is genuine or not their politeness is so refreshing. They are humble, quiet, subtle, gentle, demure, loving, kind and helpful. Sure, there are businesses who do not welcome Americans but for the most part, they adore our business we bring them and are very kind about dealing with the extreme language barrier and helping us however they can. I try to be as humble and kind right back to them. I honor that piece of their society. On the road, I have never heard a horn honk, seen very few car wrecks and if someone cuts another person off there is no raising of middle fingers or screaming out the windows, no. They ignore a lot of emotions that we feel in the west. If someone cuts you off or does something rude on the road, they ignore it and drive on. They do not even bat an eye. Why should anyone loose their temper over a car that will be out of their vision within seconds? This demeanor is so awesome and I have learned a lot from this. Their temper is virtually as strong as steel. I wonder how they can be so mellow? It is not as though they bottle up all these emotions and temper tantrums, they seem to just not have them at all. I don't think I have seen one, single obese Japanese person and I KNOW I have never seen one raise their voice since I have been here. Not one. It is quite a lovely culture in this way. Healthiest in the world. I totally appreciate this fact endlessly, and love living among it.

Now how is the culture weird? "What's up with that??" Now that statement sure does come out of our American mouths all the time!!! First, they love their umbrellas. They never want sun on their skin. Why any of the Japanese have chosen to stay in Okinawa is beyond me, due to the fact that the average temperature all year is like 85 degrees. It must be due to the fact that it rains more than Seattle here. Which would lead you, logically, to all the umbrella usage? Not so, they mostly use their parasols when the sun is out. Just like many Eastern cultures fair skin is definitely important to the women. The whiter, the better. Paris Hilton would NOT fit in here.

My second, "what's up with that?" would be given to the nail art. Holy Jesus (I am sorry for taking your name in vain, but for real) this is a culture in itself. I would not be surprised at this point if I saw women coming out of the nail salon with a helicopter spinning with sparkley, rainbow spray paint all over them coming out of each and every one of their finger and toe nails. So after I lived here for about 8 months I got tired of seeing my boring pale pink toes and started to pick some nail art...but just for my toes...I have not succumb to the finger claw designs as of yet. These toes pics are about as far as I reach....but we do have two more years here....




My third "wussupitdat??" is the bathroom toilet paper dispensers. I don't usually use the term OMG, but O-M-G, why oh why do they feel the need to have these toilet paper covers?



They are in every single bathroom, public, private, gas station, restaurant and residence. I am a bit of a germ-a-phobe as is, why do they feel the need to add yet another surface we need to touch when doing our business? Does it protect the glorious tissue paper-feeling toilet paper they use from collecting dust before you wipe your hind quarters with it? Well, whatever the purpose, you inevitably HAVE to touch the paper lid-cover-thing to get your toilet paper as the person before you ripped the paper to the edge of the cover's line....too much touching of things in bathrooms for my taste, says I. In the US, I succeeded to learn to get into and out of a public restroom without having to touch not one single thing. Here, not so much. Ew. The bathrooms here are wack for many reasons and I won't go off about it any longer. Potty humor is really not humor at all, me thinks. No, I have no clue where my inner-pirate came from.

My fourth "WTF??" is (you loyal MomArtYogaBabe readers have heard me talk about this before) what is up with the curtains in the automobiles?????? The bigger and nastier the vehicle, the daintier and lace-ier the curtain. It makes NO sense to me. Why have car curtains? A. they obstruct your view even when folded back. B. they cannot possibly make your car feel any cooler in this 99 flippin degree heat index and humidity. C. they make all rides look like a Hearse and straight up freak me out. D. yet another thing to collect dust and germs that is simply NOT needed. It irritates me, all the curtain-age. But to each his own I suppose :)



The next weird thing is the gelatinous type foods. If you have been to China, Korea or Japan, you know what I speak of here. From tofu to coffee, they make a gelatinous mutation out of it. They like their jelly-textured foods and this aint just in OKI, apparently it is an all over Asia sort of passion. Ew. Me no likey.



I could go on and on about how they pull over in the middle of the road to take a phone call so as to not be driving while talking, but end up causing a near fatal pile up while screeching over the the "side" of the road to get that call, but I will not go on and on, they expect one another to do those things and it just takes some getting used to. Be like the locals and with no expression, just swerve around them and assume it is critical that person ahead of you has taken that call and drive on NOT causing yourself a heart attack :) So my final "supwitdat?" is the napkins. Now ALL you military living in Oki all know what I am talking about. When one goes to a public place or restaurant in Okinawa one must use about 400 of these dainty, thin, microscopic napkins in order to get any job done. I mean, why even put these stupid things on the tables?? The napkins at every, single restaurant here are about the size of the palm of my hand and are the texture and feel of literally: TISSUE PAPER. Not bathroom tissue, tissue like that goes into a gift bag, tissue. They do NOT clean your face and hands and certainly are not enough for families with children at food establishments. It makes NO sense.



Then one day I went to buy cheap-blowing-your-nose tissues to have have in my car for my daughter. And these, now these have designs of hello kitty, cute doggies and other various Japanese art and when taken out of the travel-size packages are about the size of queen bed blanket!! Can we have someone who is bi-lingual please explain to the paper manufacturers here in Japan that we really need this to be the other way around!!?? No, I don't need to clothe my daughter with your tissues I just need to wipe her 2 year old nose. And no, I do not need your 1 cent napkin to clean her face at a restaurant, what I really need is that facial tissue blanket in my car! Thanks.

This is not weird it is cool. The pears here are about the size of a 12 month old's head and are the yummiest, juiciest things you have ever sunk your teeth into. The pears here are to die for! Filled with fiber and quite delicious. Love me some Japanese pear.



My favorite part about living here is the FOOOOOD!!!!! I am a food junkie and the food here is right up my ally. But not for everyone. My husband says it all tastes bland and boring. Well, I think that is because he is used to eating too much butter, sodium and sugar as all Americans are. Here, the fried things are lightly fried and low fat. The sweets are not very sweet, just lightly sugared. And the restaurant food is made to be either VERY spicy or seasoned with soy sauce which is quite salty. So you have to adjust the foods to your taste. And they expect you to. At most restaurants there is a jar of chili juice or spicy sauce to be added to most anything. I adore sushi, but it is so much more than that here. Yes, lots of rice. Lots of fish. Not so much red meat. They l-o-v-e their swine in Okinawa. This is my only complaint. I just don't dig on swine, but they find this fatty pork product (found in everything) to be a delicacy here. Not for me. What is for me is this:



These noodles are called "zarusoba." They are buckwheat noodles and a Korean friend of mine, here, introduced them to me. They are offered everywhere from fine restaurants to convenient stores. The sauce that you make with them is like a light soy sauce but you add fresh ginger, green onions and wasabi to it. Then with each bite, you dip the noodles in. It is lovely, filling and healthy. I have fallen in the love with the noodles here. Yakisoba is like a stir fry noodle dish. Then the regular ramen-fresh made-noodle-soup is just plain old Soba. I am not a huge fan of Udon, which are BIG, fat noodles. But the Soba I love!!!! Love, love, love. Eat it regularly. I adore Japanese food. I always have for years before moving here, and still do.

I had an interesting exchange and conversation one day with a fluent English-speaking Japanese sushi chef. I was hoping to buy a knife from him at his kiosk, but then found that they cost over $175 and thought, I might not be that great of a sushi roller to reallllly need this. But as we spoke and he told me where these were made and how the history of the knife factory dates back to the original samurai sword makers from centuries ago with the same craftsmanship, etc. etc. And so I asked him, what knife do you use when making your sushi? And he retorts, to my huge surprise and laughter, "I got my knives from factories in Chicago and New York City." Haha! What? Then what was all this about tradition, the quality and what about the samurai? He laughed and said, "my dear, the way of the Japanese and tradition is going, going, almost gone. All Japanese want American quality in their products. Japanese are used to having a history that dates back thousands of years, it is of no meaning to them. Americans do not know what a history this old feels like for a country, so they seek it elsewhere." So he marketed these traditionally made, artisan, craftsman hand made quality knives to Americans and Canadians only. He said no Japanese on mainland or Okinawa would ever be interested in buying these knives. They all buy US brands and want US quality. They disregard tradition and only look for quality. This conversation sat with me for days, weeks even! How could they deny this amazing heritage (as he told me)!!??

As I drive and walk around here I often see the elderly locals and wander, what does this woman or that man think of Americans? And the answer is basic. I think some, perhaps most, have a fabulous view of us. They were told before WWII that we tortured and mutilated any Japanese we came across. When we won our battle with Japan and Okinawa, and they quickly saw how humane we were and actually helpful in trying to get families who had gotten split up due to the war, back home and reunited with one another, we didn't just up and leave them or throw them into torturing camps. Then there are those who appreciate our humane ways of being in wars but wish we would turn their land back over to them 100%, treaty or no. I was driving one day and caught eyes with an old Okinawan man. He smiled at me so kindly. I thought, he must be at least 85 years old and MUST remember and have his own experience with or have family who had battle memories from the battle of Okinawa with the US in 1945. The battle the Americans won and how the Japanese referred to Americans as, tetsu no bōfū ("violent wind of steel"). And yet, as we passed one another and locked eyes, he smiled at me. And in Okinawa, smiling at passers by is not common. It is common to ignore or keep a straight face when you walk past a person or people. It is thought to be insane to smile at a stranger. But this man was not insane. I knew from his head nod and our quick exchange that he obviously knew I was American and accustomed to smiles from strangers. He knew I was unsure about occupying his land and his nod and grin seemed to say, "it's ok, young one. Have a nice day, friend."

That very quick exchange with the old man made me realize, he honored me by not judging me and thinking he knew what kind of person I was. And I honored him by not judging his opinions before smiling his way either. It reminded me to always remember that you never know the steps someone has walked in. Perhaps an American was nice to him or helped him at some point. Perhaps he had had a good experience with us somehow as a community. I immediately think the Okinawans are going to be mean to us or just simply not kind, wanting us gone and out of their way. I let that idea go this particular afternoon and just smiled at this man and got a big, kind smile in return. It made my day.

Sure, I have felt the wrath of being a minority for the first time. I have felt not wanted here or there, out and about in Okinawa or even in Hawaii. Once, when I was vacationing in Hawaii, I recognized some tourists speaking Japanese and I told them I was from Okinawa and they snickered, then glared at me and turned their backs. Our children were playing together on a play ground and I thought they would appreciate my small amount of Japanese speaking and for recognizing theirs while on US soil. But no, they said with their eyes, "you get off our Okinawan island, whitey." I have seen and heard protesters every single day since we have moved here, telling us to leave with their signs, sirens and motorcycles revving at 3am outside our bedroom windows. But they have recently faded off into the far away distance of my attentions. What I see mostly is the love toward my daughter, the bow at McDonald's, the sincere kindness of the restaurant owners across the street from my home and the love of the idea of world peace from the Japanese high school girls toward the Americans. And these are the only things I wish to focus on and remember about my time in Japan.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Indulging My Inner Adult

So I just finished reading two really good blogs, so I decided tonight to....blog. But wait! Don't leave! This one is not a boring, life-transforming, healing, profound brain things experience of mine...not even about typical things like weight loss or health food or Yoga....well, maybe a little Yoga shall be thrown in here. But nope, tonight I just write.

When I started this blog, I was a lonely, stay-at-home Mom who was pouting in her fancy new role as "military wife" (still don't feel 100% cumfy with that title as of yet...but I am slowly embracing it girls, ....yes, that's you my military wifey friends) and living far away from her chosen city. I loved living in Savannah, GA. It was the town I left and moved back to 3 times, I think? Maybe 4. It was ridiculous. Savannah was, to me, a city like an old boyfriend I could not stop drunk dialing after a night on the town with the single ladies....going on all night about glorious independence, supporting ones self, who needs men anyways and then as soon as I hit my bed, I grab the phone and call and text and blah blah blah. Savannah was my guilty pleasure and I indulged. I partied hard. I played hard. I beached hard. I loved hard. I worked hard, real hard. I sang loud in my sports car, with my windows down. I loved the sun. I loved the rain. I loved the beach. I loved the bars. I loved the galleries. I loved the coffee shops. I loved the soul food. I loved the Yoga studios. I loved my tiny, Whitemarsh Island home which was 12 miles to the beach, 10 minutes to the hoppin' downtown. I loved the river, the tourists and even the bums played music just for me. I felt part of a community. I felt unhealthy, yes. But my happiness was so great in this mystical place, that my bad habits seemed like no big deal and my body and mind were joyous most of the time. Enter in......Army life. Blhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh. Thanks, husband! Off we go to Disgusta, Georgia where if you don't watch the Masters golf tournament, then you have absolutely NO reason to ever care that this dirt bag city ever existed on a map. I got food poisoning from the Wild Wings there, which consequently is the most interesting restaurant Augusta has. Well, not really. I am being dramatic. Shit, Tiger has to have a better place to eat when he comes in once a year, so I know there are some things Augusta offers, but let me tell you, it ain't much. I did find a health food store that trumped any store, from any town I have ever lived in (which are many at this point)so I DID find positives, but I missed my family, friends and town soooooo much. And so I started my blog to keep in touch with my long away folks.

And the blog has come a long way!! And so have I.

The blogs I read tonight, are of my awesome friend Rachel's http://bloggrasslc.blogspot.com/ who happens to be HILARIOUS and I highly recommend you stop by any time you feel you need a pick me up. She is a Mom with a tude who is as funny as all get out. We all need a Rachel-friend in our lives to keep things mellow, fun and colorful. And her blog led me to another blog, dooce.com, which I had never heard of before but apparently the writer is rather famous (I tend to lean toward Rachel's blog, but you decide for yourself). The famous blogg-her spoke about how she started her blog and how far she has come, which made me marvel about my blog and what winding road I have come down.

It has been a year since I moved to Okinawa, and I have a totally awesome blog coming about all the amazing Japanese things I have learned (coming soon) including, how nail art is NOT trashy....over here :) I feel like I have grown about ten years in the last one. I have been coddling my inner child for about 9 months now. I went on a health kick in January saying no to this unhealthy thing and yes to that tasteless thing, doing more meditation and reading a TON. Life is at this very second.....sweet! I disclose with no embarrassment that my husband and I have been seeing a marriage counselor and I do not feel like I am breaching any therapist secrets when I say, it really was just to gain tools to make life easier with two ornery, bull-headed adults who play house together. We are doing great. I personally think every single couple in the world should have mandatory marriage counseling. Maybe the divorce rate would be lower? And thank you Uncle Sam (and American tax payers), our therapy is totally free. A big Army bonus is you don't have to pay a THING.....it is nice, but for all you libs out there....socialized living 'aint all it's cracked up to be. The health care is a total crap shoot (you literally NEVER know what you are going to get and you literally NEVER get to choose your own MDs) and I don't get to choose what my house looks like...this is a problem for me, but I deal, cuz it's free. That's right, no utility bills, no Doctor bills, no home maintenance fees, no paying for paint for my house's walls, no yard work, no nothing. Free. Choice? None. Fancy? NOPE! Never paying a bill.....ever? Yes please and thank you. OK, the Army is not sooooooo bad. Where was I? Oh yea, counseling. So I took the Army up on this one perk. And it was like the therapist didn't even have to BE AS AMAZING AS SHE WAS (literally I could NOT have created a cooler woman if I had the clay to sculpt her, I loved her), no, all she had to do was sit there. Just walking in the door and sitting down and knowing that we love one another so much that we are willing to sit with one another and listen to guidance, words, emotions, opinions, feeling open minds and warmth...it made our daily life like music. We think more about the other before ourselves now, which is a LOVELY way to co-exist. And it has been really nice to feel that reconnection that tends to get lost within screaming-child-puke-nights-temper-tantrums-in-public-who-is-going-to-potty-train-diapers-puke-poop-screaming....you get the gist. Parenthood.

But it has been parenthood, itself, that has led me to my higher self. BECAUSE of my daughter, I have wanted to clean up my health and wellness and BE someone she might want to somewhat emulate. It is because of my daughter that my husband joined the military. It is because of parenthood that my marriage has been so strong. So for me, I do NOT complain one bit about parenthood. Yes, it is frickin' hard. YES, I need a vacation more than North Korea needs a new government. But...I have found myself within this screwed up marriage and within that baby girl's scream fits.

She taught me how I don't want to parent. She taught me to look at myself, take a goooood, hard look at myself and lose weight (the right way), take care of myself, deal with my anger, deal with my fears, MAKE my career work and money problems vanish....all because of her. And my marriage followed suit. Because of my daughter and my marriage, I have been improving my entire self.

I read now....too many books! (I barely ever used to read, I'd rather grab a beer and watch reality TV or a dumb movie.) I never cared about finding the source of my anger, temper, fear, self doubt, the list goes on....until I saw it effecting my marriage, relationships and body. I am currently reading a book called The Women Who Run With The Wolves, The Gate to Women's Country and Women Food and God.....I just realized that all of these have the word "women" in the titles. Wow. Go girl power. Didn't realize that was a part of my life right now, lady-power, hoo-ah! Is it that where this power is coming from, my woman-hood-ness? Is it turning 31? Art has been flying out of my hands. Meditations have been my only motivation lately. Teachers and business-growth opportunities have been jumping out of the woodwork. Gratitude journal every night. Bliss in every day. Love expanding with my developing child. Amazement taking over my vibrating mind.

I am practicing Kundalini Yoga again for the first time since about 2003 and THAT was long, long, long over due. It is not for everyone, any time....it is for the serious student who seeks a much, much higher consciousness and experience with their Yoga practice and body. I thought to myself today while practicing, this is the first time I am content with NOT jumping to go teach something that touches me deeply...this I just want to sit with quietly for a while.

My 3 year old is potty trained!!!!!!!!!!!! That took FOREVERRRRRRRRRRRRRR. Why does no one tell me the way????? I just had to follow my gut and get a little pushy with her. But now....we go to the store and tell each other how proud we are of one another for peeing in the public potty and NOT having an accident in the shopping cart or on the restaurant chair (yes, Mirabelle goes and then I pee after her and the whole time I am peeing she says "Mommy, I am so proud of you, good job!!!!" it makes the person in the stall next to me laugh each and every time).

I am preparing for my first, ever art show. I am more than thrilled. I am working so hard on this, I have no time to eat my nightly ice cream sundae or drink my far-too-occasional wine. And so I indulge myself when I have a project almost done, deserve a treat and it feels so much more balanced this way!

I have nothing in common with anyone who I live near here or have gotten to be friends with....and that is cool. I am loving meeting new people and learning THEIR way of thinking and doing. I am constantly trying to be a better listener. I am constantly trying to be a better Mom. I am constantly learning about business and how to grow my own, for my family. I am constantly reading, reading, reading. I am in love with the Internet and all of it's amazing abilities.

I am drowning in gratitude and have SUCH wonderful teachers helping me right now. I am so excited about what tomorrow will bring. I am taking a break from my 40 day meditation thingy...I needed it. My inner child can wait...that gawky, messed up girl, will always be in there...I can love on her some more after I am done feeling so drunk-happy from all the work I have so far done....and the way it has paid off. OK, so maybe this did turn into a bit of a boring, self-help, fluff, blahg...but I don't care. It is the brain drain I wanted to share this night with alla y'all.

More to come....as always....and people, don't be so serious all the time that you forget to stop and enjoy your goodness, for goodness sake...Becca/Peace OUT.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 16~Possible Is Anything


I have yet to begin my 'hypno-meditation' as I have come to call it, for day 16. But this is the path I have taken so far and up until today....

I should be at about day 20 or more, that is, if I were going without ever having to miss a day. But what with parenting and being devotional to my family before 100% MYSELF, it stands that 4-6 days have gone by here and there without a daily listen to "Installing Inner Game" behavioral soft wear by Devon White. If you are just tuning in, read the previous posts to catch up on my journey.

So in the spirit of the fact that it takes about 30 days of doing something, anything over and over, that it becomes a habit, I have gotten almost half way through my 40 day goal of listening to this program.

What has happened so far:
- Some days feel great, spiraling, spinning, meditative alpha state and feeling great afterward from anywhere from 10 minutes after to 20 hours after, I have maintained the blissful feeling I was seeking and felt this guidance/program created.

- Some days I feel nauseous listening to the program. It brings up feelings of irritability where I either, force myself to finish the program or I simply cannot stomach laying there one more second so I don't (the latter has happened only 1 time so far).

- Some days I feel a nice, mild relaxation and get a trembling all over me and deep within my muscles.

- Some days I totally fall asleep and I let myself.

- I feel a heightened sense of consciousness because of this practice, so therefore, I suspect that my irritability that comes is the same as always, I just feel it more NOW than I did before. So I must conclude that the practice is not making me a basket case, I am simply just re-learning a way, my new way, a better way to be in the world and this cannot happen over night.

- I have had teachers, well-fitting practitioners and therapists just POP up lately. The ones who fulfill exactly what I need help with right now. It is almost as though I am getting closer to my Source and to my spirit self and the helpers that I might need on the way, or, with the things that come up that I cannot figure out on my own, are coming with teachers who simply and seemingly magically appear for me. OUT OF THIN AIR. "When it seems impossible, a way will be made." -Micheal Bernard Beckwith

My patience with this goal of mine is lovely. I told myself I would do it. 40 days (as many in a row as possible, but easy on myself if I miss one or two here and there) of listening to a guided behavioral soft wear. Sometimes I forget why I am doing it. Sometimes I feel it is doing nothing for me. Sometimes I feel it is totally transforming my psyche into a beautiful ball of light who never had a bad experience in it's life and handles every obstacle that comes up-perfectly. It all is in my control no matter what. But I do feel this re-birthing experience happening. I am reworking the "bad" emotions I have poisoned myself with thus far in life. I am accepting and healing the "bad" experiences or hurt I have experienced and carried with me. I am listening to the soft wear tell me things like:
-you are "deeply satisfied and behaviorally awesome"
-"...back to the biological source with expressed intentions..."
-feeling the "magnificence of life and your part in it.."
-"...just below and bigger than your awareness..."
-"anything is possible-possible is anything"
-"...the perfect unfolding of a life worth living."

But it is all in my control. I am coming to IT with MY intentions. With MY gratitude. With MY goals in mind. So it is not: mind-controlling. The re-structuring of my DNA and my body and mind who previously made poor choices, practiced "self serving behavior," did not listen to others well, failed at careers, failed at weight and health management, hurt people, lost important things, forgot important appointments, failed tests, didn't study, couldn't concentrate, made poor diet decisions, had a huge temper, lots of tears, tons of anger, repressed memories, no patience, and the list goes on and on....all these things are where I was. Where I am going is my choice and I am structuring the guidance in my own way. It is my control, my intentions, my dreams, my passions and my mission that I am on. I am so grateful for this and all the gifts that have come my way. Some days I don't get it....but I am nevertheless continuing. And I really feel like something bubbling just below the surface is coming...and it is.....


AMAZING

more to come kiddos....

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Awaken With Me

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfxkFMKVAz8&feature=player_embedded

Deep Work


I am taking some time to be quiet.

Deep, deep inner-work is going on within my body's household. The dwelling of my body temple is in a shift. And I want to say that I am so grateful for it. I feel so many people, things and places guiding me and I have so much gratitude for it.

I had to express this. Right now, all I know and am soaking in is gratitude.

I am
resting
digging
healing
shedding
rejoicing
remembering
handling
following
caring
breathing
accepting
loving
receiving
appreciating
holding
feeling
forgiving
acknowledging
understanding
unlocking
moving
sitting
learning
exploring
shivering
trembling
realizing
moving
evolving
allowing
changing

Humbly, Bec

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Genes That Fit Perfectly

I am fitting into my new genes y'all!!! You know all those blah-gs I have written about weight loss??? Well, I am no longer needing to worry about my weight(just kidding those of you who are interested about that/care, I will never let go of writing about what WORKS in health and wellness)!!! Instead though for now, I am focusing on and turning my energy toward my genealogy. I have a new set of genes!!! And they fit like amazingly!!!!!

The work I have recently devoted my current 40 days to (if you are just tuning in, see the 3 posts below this one) seems to be working on a gene/DNA/cellular/neurological level. Now I realize that they say that this is what we are doing in the description and the soft wear I am currently using, but- I don't believe anything until I feel it, see it and know it for myself. Well, I'll be doggarned if it ain't workin' like magic. I cannot even describe to you....I feel like my body is actually changing from the inside out. From my core to my skin. From my brain to my muscles. From my organs to my chakras. Saddle up y'all, Becca is a whole new person....so far and I am currently only on about day 9 (or so) of my 40 day cattle drive.

So using "Installing Inner Game" I have been doing my research only after starting in on it...yeah, I do everything back asswards. So I am reading the blog dedicated to the soft wear,

http://blog.installinginnergame.com

and I am seeing that everything is happening just as it should, or as is normal for most people. That brings relief for sure. Some days when I do (I am just calling it a hypno-meditation of sorts for my own description) the meditation, I feel like I have just been baptized into a new, rejuvenating religion with Jesus by my side. And other days, I feel uncomfortable, irritable, cannot find a good position, my earphones won't sit right and keep getting in my way (you have to wear head phones to properly experience the guided recording), this that and the other. So I was so glad to see that this was normal here:

http://blog.installinginnergame.com/how-often-should-i-be-installing/

But then there is this shaking. I am not sure, the creator, Devon White, might have blogged about this at some point but I have not seen it yet. There, for me, is this jerking feeling. It is almost animal-like, like how you would see a dog or a duck shake water off of themselves, or how those animals would shake their entire skin after perhaps, getting into a squabble with another animal, then simply walk away and shake it off. That is the best way I can describe what it feels like! Ever since, oh day 5 or 6 I have been feeling this ever present feeling off all of my muscles firing at once. And when you listen to the meditation, it says, you will feel the work, the goodness, the cellular changes "pressing out into your muscles." I just cannot believe that it is actually working. I feel my very energetic makeup.........................................changing! Evolving. Improving. Healing. Strengthening. But best, BALANCING. All I ever intend on when I get or give Reiki is really for Balance. Sure, it is good to have intentions of peace, hapiness, good health, etc. But how do we sum all that up into one luscious word? I would say, balance. I am getting balance. Emotional balance. Physical balance. Nervous system balance, all systems from lymph to circulatory. How do I know? I can FEEL IT! And I cannot even believe it.

Now, I know I sound like a negative skeptic. And I have done stuff that HAS worked somewhat before, but it has never been sustainable. Why, one time, I straight-up felt like the Buddha, himself, finding enlightenment on a mountain top forest, when I was in an early-morning meditation one day during my Yoga certification. I was colors that were glowing! I was floating! I had reached God! But it never stuck with me. In fact, until this recent experience, I have had a hard time actually repeating practices on a daily basis EVER, my entire life, even (and especially) the things that I know have indeed worked well, like Yoga, Reiki, Meditation, anything! I have been on a spiritual journey for oh say, 13 years now. Ever since about the age of 18 when I felt completely dried up and completely empty of any spirit or direction whatsoever. And it has taken me this long, and I am still working, on finding true peace in my life. Health, wellness, happiness, you guessed it: balance. Perfect balance.

I think what Devon's soft wear, guided hypno-meditaion is doing here, with me is breaking my framework down...but then using that same wood and re-building the house of my body and my mind into a much more sturdy and clean dwelling. Together, my mind and body are working. Yoga (as an instructor and a student) for me, has (I will admit) been mostly a physical practice. I never thought so before, but I am sure seeing that now. Even my meditations have been really a physical band-aid, or physical sensation. I feel good and fluffy for an hour or two and then -bam! I go straight back to my molded, rotting foundation of a body and mind. Well my body temple is being rebuilt. Right now, one day at a time as I do this 40 day adventure to bliss I am actually re-birthing myself. Devon White and his research and recorded words are guiding me, but I made the choice to do the inner work, the mental work, the physical work and the energetic work and sit (well, lay, really) each day, at the same time and heal.

My favorite quote (of my own, toot toot):

'HEAL is the root word of Health. In order to obtain inner and outer perfect health, we must find out what needs to be healed within.'

Peace, HEALth and Balance y'all.
Love, Becca

(I am 1/4th the way through my journey now...stay tuned and come on back and check in!!!!!)

How Installing Inner Game Works

How Installing Inner Game Works


Holy Buh-jeezus this stuff works!!!! Next blog to come will be expressing my experience.....

Monday, July 12, 2010

Disgruntled Me

It is ok. That is what I am telling myself. My 40 day meditation journey just passed the week 1 mark. I am doing my own thing here, so I have no teacher directing me or telling me what to expect. But I have to believe the junk that I am feeling now must be normal for this kind of inner work.

I have had some discomforts and major sadness creep up on me, and I cannot even tell the source, it is just taking me over. But I am ok with it. I really do feel in my gut that it is junk from my past that I never dealt with, or ignored, or just the years of abuse to my body while ignoring ultimate health all coming up and (fingers crossed) moving on out.

I am sticking with it, but cannot believe I still have 32 more days of sitting through this information overload of a journey called "Inner Game." I loved it at first, not sure I fully feel the impact just yet. But I did commit myself to this experiment. I hope fruits of my meditations will peek through the darkness and discomfort. More to come.

If you are interested in learning more about Devon White's "Inner Game," they have changed the information site and download space, you can find it all here, it is VERY interesting to say the least:

Free download:
http://gogratitude.org/innergame

Devon's new site:
http://reality-bender.com

Peace and clarity y'all, more to come!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Adventure To Bliss


A month or two ago, I joined a group where we committed to do an anger-releasing meditation every day for 40 days. Some say 30, some say 40 and some say 60 days are the appropriate amount of days to do something, anything in a row in order to completely change a habit or transform the body in some way that is lasting. I like the 40 number. It is longer than a month, shorter than two months and seems like a bit of a challenge for me, but not too big. So what happened with the anger? I could not commit to the daily practice. I have no idea why. Maybe due to my anger-related issues that lie very deep within? Haha. It was quite an active meditation, Kundalini Yoga, in style. While I have loved and adored what Kundalinini I have practiced in my life, I just know that right now I needed something more restful. So I left that practice on my virtual shelf and shall return to it at a later date, dust it off and try again. I have been advised lately to do a lot of breath work and sitting still. So I have listened to my advice from multiple sources.

So there is this auditory meditation-download-thing I was notified about recently. About 2-3 months ago I received an e-mail from a group I joined years ago called the Go-Gratitude Experiment. It was a free, non-harassing regular e-mail I received about enlightening gratitude into your daily life. It is quite a lovely group. And rarely, but sometimes the group will promote an artist or jewelry maker at the end of their e-mails and with no offense to anyone's taste, I simply never followed the links provided. I felt I barely had the time to read my gratitude e-mails! So this one day they were promoting an "Audio Technology" promising if you listen to the download it can help you to easily and quickly:
"Awaken Your Inner Genious
Tap Into an Inexhaustible Supply of Energy
Reset to Your Authentic Power Source
Accelerate Your Conscious Awareness
Revive Your Body's Cells and Senses
Forge a Deep Connection with Self and Others
Release Your Inspiration and Passion
Realize a Profound Sense of Purpose
Be at Your Natural Best at All Times
Activate the "Flow" State Regularly and At Will"

Sounds too good to be true? Well, they offered a free version of the download here:

http://www.gogratitude.org/devon/

And so I downloaded. You can choose to donate what you want. And since one thing I am in the process of manifesting is financial abundance, I opted for the free choice, of course fully intending on going back later to donate the suggested retail amount of around $200.00, if I felt it was worth it. And so I explored. I listed to this 72 minute auditory roller coaster for the first time the next day and I loved it! I experienced a deeper meditation than I had in quite some time, many moons, and for that, I was deeply grateful for the gratitude group for telling me about this! I even let my non-meditating husband listen to it one night simply because all you have to do is put head phones on and relax in a comfortable seat. Truly anyone can do it. He liked it too! Great. Yay. But nothing major happened in my life. Yet.

So as the creator, Devon White, suggests, I listened to it more often. Maybe once a week or so. And over the past few months I would say I have listened to it 5 or 6 times. I mean, who has 72 minutes on a regular basis with a 2 year old and a business to run? But then this past weekend happened. And everything changed.

Rewind to my life toward the end of college, I was placed in an emergency room at least 2-3 times and sent to endless specialists for stomach and pains I had gotten that would throw me doubled over on the floor, unable to walk, unable to talk and screaming in tears. I had tests, I had question-ares, I had weekly poop samples taken(NOT fun), I had an arsenal of medications given to me, this one for pain, this one for the nausea the pain one created, this one for the sleepiness that the nausea one causes so you can get to work still, this, that, carted all over town to different Docs, blah, blah, blah. And no one could tell me what was wrong with my poor belly. Symptoms came and went. Perfectly fine one month, doubled over in pain the next, 6 months straight no pain, then bam it would slam back into me. And then I got my whits about me and realized, no one has ever asked me about my stress levels? Hmmmm. And with that realization, I went to go see a massage therapist (which I was always told was a luxury, not to do other than on special occasions), the best one in the city. Though, at the time I didn't have the $90.00 per session she charged, I still went in for the longest, deepest, healing-est treatment she could deliver and told her my issue and worried about rent later. I realized when I worried most about money, what happens after graduation, my boyfriend, etc. is when my stomach pain would flare up. She told me to put my problems on the shelf outside the massage room door and let her do her work and try to relax. She did a combination of a massage and Reiki treatment with some beautiful stones and high quality, light scented, incense billowing around the ceiling. I walked in that room feeling almost unable to talk with pain and tears streaming. I walked out of the room feeling like I was just given a brand new body, a head that felt gloriously empty and clear and felt as light as a pillow of whipped cream.

Later, I had realized that with self-Reiki work plus some closed eyes and deep breathing, these stomach pains could be controlled by me, myself and I. Also, having a regular Yoga practice and occasional massage or body work kept them away completely for years. After talking with a naturopathic Doctor at one point, I was made sure what I have is the early stages of a very serious ulcer problem. I would hate to feel the later stages because those pain spasms I felt were worse than the labor pains before giving birth. And to my crazy surprise, these pains after about 8-9 years of them being completely out of sight, out of mind, out of my body, came back to me with a vengeance this past weekend.

So I thought, my Yoga practice has been pathetic lately (there are no studios around my current Okinawan home)....I really only like to practice in a professional studio, I am a Yoga snob I fully admit it, I am crappy at my solitary, at-home practice.....I have not been bad to my body lately, but.....I have not been REALLY good to it, either. So surprised at my belly aching return, I decided to meditate. THAT I can do every day, schedule a time, not just do it here and there. So, I ran to Devon White's meditation I downloaded called "Installing Inner Game." You can read more about this download here on his blog:

http://blog.installinginnergame.com/

What I did this first day (yesterday) with my listening journey, was to not TRY to meditate. The first handful of times, I used this download as a guided meditation, which it very well may be classified as, but I had listened a bit and then really sort of tuned it out and just sat within my own peace, my own meditation, my own thoughts of not thinking and let the words that were spoken go into my ear, but I didn't really pay much attention. But this time, instead, I stayed alert, I listened carefully to the long, winding, information over-load, with it's abstract and very interesting music and dialog. What happened this recent time was a natural alpha state for me. A meditation simply emerged. I was not trying to meditate and the gorgeous meditation just came to me-not me to it, but it was one where I was fully aware the entire time. Yet, I felt I was in an out of body space, shedding past garbage from this life and possibly from many lives before. 'Bad' stuff came up out of my subconscious -statements and feelings like; I hate you and I hate myself, rage and anger, but I did not cling on to it, it did not freak me out, I KNEW for sure and with no doubt these feelings were not there or coming up to bring me down but they were actually leaving me, I saw them as they were on their way out. Leaving me was my pain from childhood bullies, past relationships and heart breaks, hurt, ache, self loathing, negativity stacked up from a lifetime....... gone. I felt like the whipped cream once again, right afterward.

And what this installation is to do for us, is to bring our brain, our body's very cellular makeup to a place where we feel like this amazing whipped cream ALL THE TIME. No feeling like bliss only at the Yoga studio or right after a great massage or long vacation at the spa, no. ALL. THE. TIME. And I got it. I finally listened. I, for once in my life, did not try to do something half-assed. None of this: having an interest in a guided meditation and then go listen to it without really listening, try without really trying, do without REALLY doing. Nope. This time, I actively tuned in and took part. I made an effort, but it was easy. I lightly put the pieces together and they made sense. And I feel like a million bucks all while my tummy junk is floating away, away into the sky and dissolving into beautiful wind that empties itself into the vast ocean only to flow back as a wave and healing source for us all.

And so I left my meditation, after the 7th or so time of listening to it, and I actually took it with me, the peace, the confidence, the love. It stayed with me. I was more patient with my daughter and I was more open to the crazy-idiot ways of my husband (just kidding, ....well not really, he can be an idiot ;). And that was just day one! I felt the after effects starting to fade this morning (but only after an AMAZING night of rest that I so needed and deserved).

I just finished day 2 of my meditation journey and I am eager to see what happens over my next 24 hours and 38 days. More to come, angels. Stay tuned! And join me on my adventure to bliss, won't you?

Love, Becca

Monday, June 14, 2010

DONATE to good causes, it makes life so rich and yummy!

I just wanted to share my two favorite causes to donate to.

I like to focus on giving to the causes that promote well being and advancing humanity brightly toward the future.

If you feel so compelled, add these to your tithing list, and if not these, let this blog entry be a reminder to how GOOD it is to donate.

Tithing expands love in your heart and brings money back to YOU. But it is not just about the good feeling of giving, or the money. This is about spreading the knowledge of great service.

My favorite group to donate to is called Living Yoga started by Sarahjoy Marsh.



http://www.living-yoga.org/

"Living Yoga is a non-profit outreach program teaching yoga as a tool for personal change in prisons, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, transitional facilities, and to populations who would otherwise not have access to it."
AMAZING in a word. Go peace.

And this new foundation added to my list is called the Pens and Paper for Peace, the Matthew Freeman Project.



http://www.freemanproject.org/

There is so much to say regarding this one. I cannot even begin. There is tons of love wrapped around passing this particular message on. To put it simply, my husband had a friend from high school who was shot and killed in Afghanistan. Before he died, this was his message to his Mom to start a donation project:
"...the kids would rather have pens and paper than food and water."
Please visit the web page and learn the simple details of promoting peace through education for the future in the middle east and within our world of tomorrow.

Love, Peace, Donate
Rebecca

My Show, Humanity's Show

"The sweetest Thai girl" ~photo by/from, Kim Terry



So, the idea to place an audition video to have my own show on Oprah's web site for her new network called OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), really started out as a joke in my mind! How many times have you seen a television show where they ask you to publicly share or enter your information or your SELF in one way or another? And of course each time, you just hit the next channel on the remote control. Well for some reason this video of me was recorded and placed on that web site. I felt a drive, a pull. In my video audition, I really just blabbed about what came to my head and what I am currently excited about while serving the world and humanity and I hit the record button. Though, I DO feel I can make a positive and dramatic difference in this world, would anybody ever really listen, is this audition good enough? And after many days of my video being posted on the O.W.N. audition web site, I have not re-viewed it. So I watched it again today. And though, I am constantly excited about all the many ways I want to help the world, I realized in my video, I really just seemed to speak about myself, my interests and how I think other people would agree/could benefit from the things that I have found healing and fascinating. So I am taking this blog to go more in-depth and explain a bit more about my vision in regards to OTHER people's benefit.

Votes are slowly rolling in for my video! And while I do not have 8 million votes like some other auditions on the web site, I still do feel as though I may have a shot at at least being interviewed or probed about my idea. So the silliness has dropped away from my imagination. Now, more than ever, I would LOVE a shot at this endeavor!

My idea for a show, is not much different than my idea for my life. I want to serve and help Unify the world, or humanity to see ourselves as one single race.

I plan to take the travels I already go on and expand on these. I want to learn about, bring, teach and spread peace everywhere I go. I want to talk with others who do the same and swell this mission. I want to meet different cultures and educate folks about other types of people who they might not otherwise ever have learned about. Unity is the goal here. I have learned that people are yes, very different from place to place. For example, just today I saw an old, huge, beat up Okinawan dump truck driving down the highway with (drumroll)....dainty black lace curtains in the side windows of the vehicle. This confused me. You do not see this odd frill and delicate feature on the garbage trucks of the United States! They are different here in many ways and not just with their automobile curtains. I want to know more about the Japanese. And aside from the rather misplaced black, lace curtains, when you go deeper and learn about people or cultures, you find so many surprising similarities within humanity. We are all the same. We all wake up in the morning and scratch our butts and stretch our toes from solemn monks on a mountain top temple, to scrappy kids running through a third world slum. When we learn about one another in detail, we find our Unity. I plan to take this idea further. Everywhere I go in my life, I want to learn about what WORKS for people. How did you find your health, your cure, your peace, your fortune, your religion, your happiness, your connection or calm within your feuding family or politics, your balance? When I learn what works for people, I will pass it along. Either through this blog, my Yoga classes, Reiki sessions, my artwork or through my very own talk show on Oprah's new network!

I am eager to showcase historical shrines around the world, ashrams, peace parks, meditation gardens and places of earthly majesty. I like to spread anything positive or peaceful. I love history. History explains in detail why we are where we are this day. But more, I love to place an enlightened spin on where we are headed, as the human race. Contrary to popular belief, I think we are going in an amazing direction. I see a revolution coming. I see adventure, peace, beauty, rising awareness, expanding consciousness and this is what I plan to document.

Whether on this blog, or with Oprah's network by my side, I am eager to interview forward thinking medical practitioners, wellness centers and hospitals, women who have had progressive child birthing, people who have had amazing healing of cancers or dis-eases, studies in genealogy, documenting the law of attraction in action, companies large and small who have ground breaking GREEN technology, artists who think outside of the box, healers who work with new and ancient ideas and finally people who know about how to teach us things like feng shui, nutrition, meditation or Yoga, ways to help us all make our lives more balanced or just a little better without spending a dime-things we can start to change about our lives today for the very BEST.

I am interested in promoting the good, the positive, the facts. We are living in a society that seems to dwell on the negative, the train wrecks of the news. As they say in The Secret, it is important to be informed, sure, but not INUNDATED. However, I intend to share and inundate people with the positive, the magic, the love, the miracle that is this life....in one format or many! Why, less than 8 months ago I started a facebook group called: "Artists, Writers and Creative Thinkers" to help promote and network all of my very, very talented artist, writer and musician friends. This group flew up to over 400 members world wide in this short time, with almost zero promotion:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=120122024765&ref=ts
This shows me how hungry people are for honest beauty and aesthetics, just feeling good! ~...feeling creative and I love the root word to that one, create. Anyone can be creative if they just let themselves. Join me, wont you? Let us believe in Divine beauty and celebrate it together.

If you wish to vote one time or ten for my future OWN show, see the link below and I deeply thank you for voting, for reading, for spending your time on this blog page and with me. I am humbled by the readers. I love each of you!!! Know that.
Peace to you,
Praise and blessings to you,
Rebecca

Friday, June 4, 2010

Shouting From the Highest Mountain I Have (my blog), I Love My Husband!

Just after our second anniversary, I feel better than ever about marriage. I think, in this day and age, we need a slightly new, or revised if you will, definition of what marriage is.

Can any two people be placed in the exact same point on the line of human evolution?

Can any two people be placed in the exact same point in their own, personal evolutions?

Can any two people be perfect partners, almost as one body and mind, with the same exact goals, being productive team members to society?

I really think not. I say "no" to all three of the questions above. It is impossible. There is no possible way 2 creatures can have the same, exact karmic journey at the same exact time, or purpose on this earth, in my opinion. So what does a good couple make? That question fumbled my groove in the past and along my path more than once! I think there always is a masculine energy and feminine influence within each person, each couple, each decision, each agreement and within each thought we have. And in the couple realm, is the balance always going to be there? For some, yes. For others, not so much, sometimes, or hardly ever.

What brings us, as romantic couples, together? What makes us LAST? What gives us the spark to keep trying and trying throughout generations? What gives people the motivation to continually be grateful for their partner and to treat them fairly at least, if not completely like a treasure?

I am not sure what it might be for others and I am quite sure it is different for everyone. But I will tell you what it is with me and my feelings for my husband;

A gut instinct that keeps me fighting for him and supporting him and our union. Nothing more, nothing less. There is a huge GUT instinctual feeling that I feel always present that says: "I am supposed to support him, help him, love him, laugh with him, talk to him and be near him for always." There is no other reason.

Against all odds we found one another. Against all odds we stayed together! And there are no words to explain that little piece of gut instinct intuition that keeps me trying, trying, trying and never (fully) giving up.

I will be honest, when times got hard, I have worked on this marriage because of our daughter alone, forget me or him!!! Even though I know children are NOT a good soul reason to stay together. And even when I have considered leaving through hardships, regardless of my daughter's amazing love for her Daddy, I have always stayed and pushed on to try for "forever," for "us."

Right now, no matter what happens with arguments or disagreements on BIG issues like jobs, location, future, money, babies...oh all the good stuff, I know now for sure; I would never leave this man. I would never hurt this man. I would never cheat this man. I would never manipulate this man. I would never lie to this man. I would never walk away from this man. I would never speak poorly about this man. I would never abandon this man. I would never harm this man. I would never insult this man. I would never leave this man. There is something bigger than me that keeps me with him, more than vows. There is something smarter than me that makes me try for him. There is something stronger than me that makes me work hard for him. There is something tougher than me that makes me know like I know like I know, he is my partner and I will be by his side and we will be great together, fight for one another and for ourselves and for peace in this world.

He is US soldier. The security he has provided his family is enormous. The security he has provided his country is selfless, brave and overflowing with honor. I have only recently completely absorbed what it means to be a military wife. It came as a slow learning curve to know what it means to be an officer's wife. I do not like to be told what to do and how to feel, I like to learn it for myself in my own way. And I now wear that label proud, "officer's wife." No, he is not in Afghanistan, not actively fighting in a war currently. But he is doing a job that most could not. He wakes before 95% of the people in the world wake. He is never "off duty." He follows every rule to the perfect point. He is solid. He is punctual. He is a phenomenal father. He is serious. He is intelligent. He is artistic. He is funny. He is my man.

We find our balance between the most opposite nature of us, this Yogini and military man duo. I look forward to many more years of learning and building together.

I love you, babe.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cast A Vote!!!


Please vote here, it only takes a second:

My goal is to reach the audience of the world. Topics? Natural parenting, Yoga, Fitness, Travel, Food, Organics, Recylcling/Re-Using, Reiki, Nutrition, Meditation, Health, Wellness, Living Abundantly, Education, Art, Feng Shui, Decorating Your Sacred Space, Reaching out to those otherwise would never have been touched by magic and just loving life and expanding on that!!!! Wanna join me? Vote here!

Love, Peace and Zennnnnnnnnnnnnnn
Becca!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Way To Perfect Healing


I am writing this with the title "The Way To Perfect Healing" rather than 'The Way To Perfect Health,' which was my first thought of a title. I realized while picking a title, we should not focus on the destination and I should not be so pompous as to say "I am teaching everybody everything that I KNOW for sure" as some sort of perceived master or something. Rather, we should focus on the beautiful process. We should not focus on the ideal, but the ideal way of being. Healing, in stead of Health. Being, going through life, how we will gently work through, instead of "BE" and end result or "goal." I am not discussing enlightenment here, or perfect wellness. I am discussing the path to peace, to wellness or perhaps the path to enlightenment. We ALL have things to work through. Let us feel joyful and in good company that we ALL have things to work on.

I am located, by the huge force of the Universe, in Okinawa, Japan. Hysterically, to me, my sister loaned me a book some many years ago, I would say oh 5-6 years ago (which I have yet to give back), entitled The Okinawa Program-HOW THE WORLD'S LONGEST-LIVED PEOPLE ACHIEVE EVERLASTING HEALTH-AND HOW YOU CAN TOO (based on the LANDMARK 25 year study). I have loved this book, taken very good care of it, picked a career based on its ideals. Ummmm, odd that I am now living here by no choice of my own, no? We are placed, us two art students my husband and I, now considered active duty military, on the remote island in the Pacific of Okinawa, Japan. Not only have I loved this book and its huge health and wellness theory, but I have for also about 6-7 years studied a form of Japanese energy healing massage therapy called Reiki. I have adored this culture and studied it for years and then I end up here, out of all the Army bases in the world and completely out of my hands. We were placed here. It was a weird station assignment for my husband's particular career. I am learning each and every day how this station and placement of little old me within the world, is really and truly kismet. More centenarians (people who live to be at least 100 years of age) live here than any other place in the world. Many think it is due to their diet alone. But when studying my Okinawa Program book, we see that yes, they have fabulous diet programs but that also it is much, much more than that. I am on this beautiful and educational journey now, with out much effort on my part, I should say! The journey to learning the life of perfect healing.

I have always been into health and wellness. I have come and gone from the healing arts throughout the last 12 years. I dove into Yoga, meditation and different holistic and naturopathic therapies here and there. But, since moving to Okinawa, I have not really tried hard to dive into the wellness realm. I have actually, surprisingly, not looked at my Okinawa Program book at all or tried to research any of that stuff here since we moved here 9 months ago. Sure, I have eaten my way through all the surrounding towns out of my love and romance with food. But the language barrier and the difficulty in learning Japanese has stalled my projected process of diving into this culture more. The culture here is literally like being on another planet. The differences between the Western and Asian cultures are so vast and so, so, so different I think most people (even ME) have pretty much steered away from one another while mingling together over here.

But the motion of humanity is smarter than that. The internal drive I have, lets call it gut, primal instinct....or let's compare it to the way grass still eventually grows through pavement or budding after a massive forest fire, or sea turtles find their way in the dark of night to their mothers somewhere in the vast, black foreign ocean....intuition, nature and our soul's drive toward the light; FIND A WAY. Lately (like, this past week), I have met a bi-lingual Japanese Reiki practitioner and healer, just by accident (turns out they are way harder to find here in Japan than in the US these days). And my husband (like, this past week) met a man, who is in town from Hawaii for work within my husband's field, who he escorted for 2 days. Within these two days he found out that this man is good friends with the famous authors (who are brothers) and doctors who wrote the book The Okinawa Program.

I have so much more exciting news and pearls of wisdom to share with you about the eternal process of being in a great state of learning and living at our optimal best, but I will leave you with this quote from my Okinawa Program Book book to sum up what more future posting on this matter will cover. This excerpt represents and summarizes EVERYTHING magical that I am currently addressing and working on from weight loss, to anger management, to finding HUGE amounts of happiness, success and peace, to children's behavioral issues and parenting, to money struggles and more, the secret to life:


'CHAPTER SEVEN
HEALING SPIRITS
Isha-hanbun, Yuta-hanbun.
One should rely half on the doctor and half on the shaman.
Okinawan saying
In Okinawa we often hear the expression "Isha-hanbun, Yuta-hanbun." It literally translates to "half doctor, half shaman," and is commonly used to refer to the necessity of consulting both a shaman (yuta) and a modern physician (isha) in order to fully comprehend an affliction. Many Okinawans believe that while the medical doctor, with his powerful repertoire of modern drugs and technology, is essential for the treatment of physical symptoms, the shaman is also needed to address the spiritual imbalance that is often the root cause of illness.'

~from
The Okinawa Program
features the 4-week turnaround plan
by, Bradly J. Willcox, M.D., D. Craig Willcox, Ph.D. & Makoto Suzuki, M.D.
FOREWARD BY Andrew Weil, M.D.

Stayed tuned y'all, life is unfolding within all it's glory, we just need not miss it and pay close attention!
Peace, Love and Kismet,
Becs