Smile and Wave

I can remember when I was a little kid, riding around town in the car with my mom. I would smile and wave to people as they passed by in their cars. I, also, remember the disappointment I felt when they didn’t wave back and I would turn to my mom and give her a tiny little pout, followed by a confused proclamation, “They didn’t wave back”.

My mom always told me, “They must not have seen you. How else could you explain someone not waving to my beautiful baby girl”. I remember feeling somewhat comforted by the fact that it could be possible they might not have not seen me. Did it stop me from smiling and waving? Not a chance. 

I still smile and wave from my car as I am driving. I see people wave back with a confused look on their face, like, Do I know you? BUT what I see first is a smile and a wave back. When they realize they don’t really know me they get a little confused, but this is the way I see it, it’s better to have acknowledged another human being with kindness and bring a smile to their face, even  if only for a moment, rather than pass them by and miss the opportunity to brighten their day.     

     

We Live, Happily, Together

One of my best friends shared a link on FB this last week and I liked it so much I thought I’d share it here in my blog.

Apozitude is about living with a positive attitude and a big part of that is learning, expanding awareness and acceptance. So, making an effort to understand people who are different than ourselves can move us all forward in an attempt to treat each other with compassion and respect.

I’ll share the link here, How to Understand Introverted People, besides the reasons I’ve already mentioned, I think it’s also important to share the reason it means so much to me.

When my friend shared this link, we launched into a thread of comments, like most friends do and in one of those comments, my friend said she thought of me when she was reading the link because I am one of the most extroverted people she knows. I wasn’t at all surprised to read this comment, in fact I responded that I was probably one of the most extroverted people that many people knew.

The other piece to this important point is that my wife is an introverted person. Before I go any further, I’d like to clarify that neither personality type is viewed as a negative. These are just facts based on our personal preferences. However, when these personal preferences are not understood, the differences in how we deal with life can create challenges and misunderstandings.  

I’m very grateful my friend shared this link on FB because not only does it raise awareness for how to understand introverted people, it also allows permission for both personality types to simply be the way they are and provides guidance on how to manage the differences.Thank you Mary. 

Yes, I’m an extrovert and Keri is an introvert. We have come along way in our relationship. We have put a great deal of effort into understanding each others needs and we’ve come to terms with the fact that some of our individual needs are met in doing things separately. We are very lucky to have each other and we both know it.    

It’s Island Time, Hang Loose

Our last visit down to Poipu beach this last trip to Kauai, I think we were really starting to get the island feel and look about us. We were sitting at a picnic bench. I was sitting on top with my feet on the bench that Keri was sitting on. We were watching the beach birds hop around, the waves rolling, hypnotically, in and out and all the early risers hitting the sand and waves. 

A group of 3 women walked up to the picnic table about 15 feet away. They appeared to be looking for someone. I wondered the way they kept looking at us, if they had reserved the picnic table we were sitting on.  

One of the women approached us, “Are you our snorkel instructors? We are supposed to meet here at 8am”. We all kinda chuckled as the woman was realizing that we were not instructors and Keri asked for the time. The woman said, “It’s 8o’clock”. Keri politely replied, “Well they’re kinda fast and loose with the time around here. Ya’ know, island time?”

The woman clarified this was her daughter and granddaughter’s first time on the island and they were excited about their activities. We completely understand. We reassured them if they were instructed to meet at Poipu Beach that they were in the right place. The woman acknowledged and as she was walking back towards her daughter and granddaughter she said, “Ya, hang loose” accompanied with the appropriate hand gesture. She seemed to be soothe a bit and we returned to our wave hypnosis. 

See you later Poipu Beach. We will be back! 

Connection

The drive up to the Monastery was amazing. The Monastery was amazing. You definitely have a feeling of awe in the presence of something majestic.

The really cool thing about Hinduism is that their idea of majestic is not limited to their Monastery or their temple. It is  a Hindu belief that, “God Siva is everywhere. There is no place where Siva is not. He is in you. He is in the temple. He is in the trees. He is in the sky, in the clouds, in the planets. he is in the galaxies, too. He is the universe. his cosmic dance of creation, preservation and dissolution is happening this very moment in every atom of the universe.” Taken from a booklet provided at the monastery. This seems very in line with my beliefs of my Ultimate Creative Source.     

While at the Monastery, we visited their library and visitor center. The volunteer in the visitor center asked me, “How did you hear about the Monastery?” I told her the truth, “we were in a bar at happy hour and someone noticed my Ganesha tattoo,…” as I revealed my tat the woman seemingly bowed in reverence to the image of Ganesha on my right shin and smiled as she welcomed us to their center.

She guided us to this and that and spoke briefly about the grounds. She welcomed us to join the worship that was taking place and was very pleasant. She was respectful of our space and allowed us our own time to be curious. 

I find the rituals very soothing. I love the meditation and focus upon simple. I’m not so sure why I’m so drawn to these cultures and religions so rich with ritual, although, I’m aware there are other religions rich with ritual that I’m not so fancy upon. 

I guess it has a great deal to do with the absence of evil and eternal damnation taught in Hinduism and other similar religions vs the more commonly known religions of the US. When the volunteer spoke about the worship and meditation, I expressed my enthusiasm in a very (in my opinion) lame manner by saying, “Cool” and she responded, “Magical”.

I clarified quickly that I didn’t mean to minimize their worship and cool as a cucumber she replied, “I didn’t take it that way at all” I am in constant awe of connectedness. So grateful for my experiences.

I’d like to clarify that the knowledge I have regarding Hinduism is but the tip of a iceberg, but the knowing I have about the connection I felt while I was there is undeniable. Thank you Linda and Bartholomew for making a connection with me. Thank you Siva. Thank you Ultimate Creative Source.         

      

Keoki’s Paradise

This last week when we were in Kauai, Keri and I found a little place we liked to go for happy hour, Keoki’s Paradise. The atmosphere was casual. All the outer edges of the establishment were open allowing a panoramic view of the beautiful landscape and a light breeze to flow through. 

As one might expect, there were lots of palm trees, big colorful flowers, bamboo and plants with huge leaves. I’m not kidding even a little bit. The leaves on some of these plants were bigger than my head. I know, I know. Roll on with the jokes about the size of my head. 

Anyway, one day while we were sitting at the bar enjoying the view and our tropical beverages, I noticed in my survey of my surroundings, an older man and woman sitting at a table near by. I say older because they both had white hair and they were, well,… older than me. 

I was busy chatting with Keri, sipping my pineapple Mojito (YUM) and turning on my bar stool to get the full 360 degree view of the place. I hadn’t really considered this before, but now I realize in my turning to see everyone and everything around me, I also provided the opportunity for others to get a full view of me. The reason I realized this was because the woman of the older couple mentioned my Ganesha tattoo on my right shin. 

“I couldn’t help but notice you have Ganesha tattooed on your leg. Have you been up to the Hindu Monastery?” It was kinda loud in there, so I got up from my bar stool and sat at their table. These two were very passionate about the monastery and were trying to tell me as many details as they could. They were adorable. We connected almost instantly. They highly recommended us making the trip, if our time on the island allowed for it.

The woman told me she tells her children all the time, “Everything happens for a reason”. I told her I had the same belief and asked them for their names. The woman replied, “My name is Linda”. I turned to her companion and he replied, “I’m Bartholomew, you don’t find many of them around anymore”. I said, “Well, my name is Angel and I thank you kindly for your recommendation. We’ll, certainly, check it out.” and returned to my perch and my beverage. 

Once seated, Bartholomew approached me, handed me a coin in a sealed plastic wrapper with a tag stapled to it and said, “Since you believe everything happens for a reason I wanted to share with you that I carry this Angel coin with me at all times. It protects me and keeps me from harm. The police in NYC carry these Angel coins”. I thought it was really cool that he had a coin in his wallet with my name on it. 

I thanked him for sharing with me, gave him his coin back and handed them one of my Apozitude cards. I told them how much I enjoyed connecting with them and I was very much looking forward to visiting the Hindu Monastery. I hugged them both as they were leaving. It was amazing. Who knew the paradise we would find at Keoki’s? 

More about the Hindu Monastery, later. 

How Do You Identify?

I’m really excited about a shift I’ve been noticing in society recently. My excitement is related to feelings of hope because I’m seeing expansion and acceptance.  

Growing up gay in Oklahoma during the 70’s and 80’s was challenging and confusing for me. I understand growing up at any time with differences of any kind can be challenging. I also understand, everybody is weird to somebody because none of us are exactly the same. Growing up and trying to figure out where we begin and our parents end is a challenge for everyone. 

I have given and continue to give what I feel is the very best I am able to give my son. Looking back, are there things I would change? Sure. I’m certainly not perfect and I’ve grown quite a bit over the years, but I still stand firm on my belief that I’ve always done the best I could. 

I’ve always wanted him to know my love is unconditional. I wanted him to have a strong sense of himself. I taught him first and foremost, yes, even before he is my son, he’s his own person. There would lots of things in our lives that we would disagree on, but one thing would never waiver and that is my love for him. I was able to provide this for him because this is what I learned growing up. My mom’s love for me has never wavered.   

We’re lucky. Some people are shunned from their families and I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to manage the challenges of life when your own family casts you aside. It breaks my heart and that is exactly why I am so excited for the expansion and acceptance I’m seeing in the world around me. 

In a society where children are discouraged from a freedom of expression as simple as changing the color of their hair, because “You’re just fine the way God made you”, can you imagine feeling you were born the wrong gender? I felt this way for years. I thought everything would be so much easier if I was a boy, but then I realized, I was just fine the way “God” made me, a lesbian. This is just my story though.

There are lots of people who disagree with the gender assignment they were given, but if anyone is foolish enough to think that a being greater than myself would cast a person aside simply because they have a different opinion than their creator regarding gender assignment is, well,… foolish. 

I don’t understand the complexities of feeling I was born the wrong gender any more than a straight person understands the complexities of being born gay, but what I do understand is the feeling of being excluded or looked upon as strange. I have felt the eyes of others in the past trying to make sense of what they were seeing. I have been looked straight in the eyes and was alerted by a woman in the restroom I was walking in to, “This is the women’s”. 

I was offended. I grabbed my boobs right in front of her, stated, “I know! I’m a woman” and kept on walking. I understand, now, that wasn’t intended to be a personal attack, but I think it’s a good example of perception and misunderstanding. 

My wife snapped these pictures in a church in downtown Portland, Oregon to share with me because she knew I would be excited to see signs of expansion and acceptance. She was right! Thank you Keri.



This is exactly why I am so excited to see signs popping up confirming that change is happening. Society is broadening it’s spectrum. I’m happy to live in a time that’s growing more accepting and compassionate. There’s plenty of room and plenty of love for everyone to live they way we all were intended to live, Happy. I identify as happy. 

April 16, 1970

The day the course of my life began to change. I didn’t even know what what happening. I was only 18 weeks old, but a little bundle of joy was born and our paths toward each other began as well. 

Keri was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and she lived there until she went to college. I was born in Oceanside, California and was raised in Oklahoma City. We didn’t actually meet each other until 1994 when we both worked at the Oklahoma Tax Commission, but we were in the same building with each other as early as 1984.

Keri’s parents agreed to take Keri and one of her friends to OKC to the Myriad Convention Center to see a concert. The band was Van Halen and it just so happened that I was at that very same concert with my mom and my cousin Laura. 

It really was sort of remarkable that we both were there because Van Halen was known for being a rock band. Keri loved them long before I was even aware of them. You see Keri is a classic rock fan, although I would be remiss if I failed to mention that her musical taste goes far beyond classic rock. She likes all kinds of music.

I have always been more of a pop and dance music fan. I, too, like all kinds of music, but I’m still learning about classic rock. I just watched a documentary about Kansas and discovered I love them and have for a long time. I just didn’t know it. 

The reason we both were at that rock concert was because Van Halen was crossing over from mainly rock into the pop genre. The 1984 album was the beginning of the end for Keri with Van Halen, but it was the very beginning of the beginning for Keri with me. 

No, we didn’t actually meet each other or even see each other that either of us knows of because we didn’t know each other, but divine timing was at work. It only took 10 years for our paths to cross again. I think that’s pretty amazing since we didn’t even meet the first time. 

In 1994 when Keri walked into the office I was working in, it was like time stopped for a few minutes because I can remember with great detail every single thing about the very first time I saw her.

Her hair was just above her shoulders and she had bangs, parted on one side and brushed over. She was wearing a green V-neck sweater with a yellow band following the V, corduroy pants, and green suede drmartens. 

I knew in that moment that there was something between us and here we are getting ready to celebrate her birthday 20 years later. I love you baby! Happy Birthday!!! I am so happy to share our lives together.   

              

Secrets Revealed

That’s right folks, the title says it all. I am about to share with you one of my secrets. It’s really pretty simple, but here it is. The secret to a successful mess less consumption of a PB&J sammie. 

The secret is not, as some may think, in the method of consuming the sammie. No! Very methodical bites may still result in an unfortunate sweet sticky mess known as the jelly explosion, which some may not mind. 

However, if you enjoy the occasional PB&J sammie, but find yourself opting out of the deliciousness for fear of the dreaded jelly explosion, the secret is in the construction of said deliciousness.

To unveil this secret to your future mess less consumption, I will ask for the assistance of technology. Technology? You may ask. How can technology assist in the unveiling. I love a curious mind!!! Good question, grasshopper. The answer, you see, is this. I have already constructed the perfect PB&J sammie and for the purposes of sharing, snapped a picture with my iPhone. Yay!!! Technology!!!! 

You’ll notice a perfect amount of peanut butter is spread out to completely cover one piece of bread, even out to the very edge. The other piece of bread has a narrow rim of peanut butter along the outer edge creating a reservoir for the jelly. The outer edge of PB on the second piece of bread has two purposes. It provides a space for the perfect ratio of jelly to PB, enhancing the joy of consumption AND once the two pieces of bread are placed together the peanut butter creates a seal prohibiting the ever feared jelly explosion, once again enhancing the joy of consumption by eliminating the fear factor. 

Yes! You’re welcome! Now get out there and enjoy your next PB&J without fear of the dreaded jelly explosion and without disappointment of an unsatisfactory ratio.     

PS. Fritos are the perfect side to this perfectly constructed PB&J.     

Plugging In

You know what’s really cool? Well, lots of things are really cool but, what I’m beginning to notice is it doesn’t really matter what I write about or what I talk about because when I feel inspired, I’m finding the right message is being received by the right person at the right time.

The reason I am noticing this is because of divine timing. I have divine timing in my life because I intend to have divine timing in my life. I set the scene. I create my reality and I do this with my morning routine. I call it getting plugged in. 

There are many aspects to my routine that continue through the day. The most important being a practice of caring about the way that I feel and keeping my focus on the things in my life that make me feel good. 

I get my day started by spending time with myself. I meditate. I intentionally listen to inspiring talks, inspiring and passionate music. The “getting plugged in” portion of my morning may seem a bit strange to some, but I really am ok with being “one of those weird people”. 

The plugging in begins in the shower when I am washing my hair. I believe this is when it begins because when I am lathering up the shampoo in my hair, my body simulates the feeling of being really excited. My shoulders lift up towards my ears, my heels lift up off the shower floor and my hands and arms are feverishly moving back and forth to lather up the shampoo. I feel so excited and when I plug in to that feeling, I suddenly begin speaking aloud every single thing in my life that provides me with gratitude. 

This process of speaking aloud everything I appreciate was introduced to me by Abraham-Hicks. They call it a rampage of appreciation. If you’re not familiar with this process, I’ll include an excellent example here. Tap the link to see Jessica’s Daily Affirmation.    

No, I don’t stand on my bathroom counter. I’m not that weird, Geez!!! However, as I am speaking aloud my rampage of appreciation I am continuing to get ready for the day, meaning I am fixing my hair, covering my skin with melted coconut oil and I admit there are quite a few power stances in the mix. I do ninja poses, super hero poses and my all time fave is the pose that coined the name plugging in. 

This is exactly what happens. I look up towards the ceiling, tilting my head back and raising both my arms above my head, fully extended. I pretend my hands are the two prongs of a plug and I “PLUG IN” to the Ultimate Creative Source. I express appreciation for the knowing I have that UCS is always there and paying specific attention to my requests as I maintain the vibrational frequency that keeps me aligned.

What does that mean? Maintain the vibrational frequency that keeps me aligned? That means paying attention to my feelings. If my attention is diverted from things that make me feel good, I pay attention to that and I align thoughts, my focus and my attention to other things that create better feelings. 

It’s very simple. Think about what you want to bring about. Plug in, let it go and watch it all fall perfectly into place.            

Good Morning Kauai!!!!

As I begin constructing this very blog, it is the very first morning of my vacation. I woke up at 2:49am. I’m so 

excited to be in Kauai again. I did manage to convince myself to go back to sleep and I slept in until about 4:45am, but I am W I D E awake now. 

I opened up all the screened doors surrounding the open living and kitchen area. The air is so fresh, mildly sweet and cool. I feel like I am getting some sort of spa treatment just sitting here in the Hawaiian air.

As I write and sip my coffee, I hear the rustling of the palm leaves, there’s a bubbling water feature on the front porch and all the birds, wild roosters included are waking up. Although, I seem to remember from previous trips the roosters are waking up all through the day and night. It’s not really a first of the morning thing. I don’t care. I love it here. 



I’ll be sending for my things. Ready to move.