food, Health, Sacred Space

Candida – What?

“I’d like to think these hard times are just instilling us with the lessons we will need to be successful later” 

Are you taking notes?  I sure have been. Many years ago a young lady told me about her issues with Candida, which is when there is an unbalance of yeast overgrowth in the body.  What she spoke of was fascinating, but I was skeptical.  It sounded “new-agey” and like a lot of hokey-pokey snake oil, but I did some research and the more I learn about the human body and my own system, the more I believe from understanding my friend’s own journey and lessons from ten years ago (Thanks Leigh).  

Taking care of oneself is a full time job.  I wish someone had explained this when I was younger in school. What DID they teach us anyway?  They told us a lot about the “drugs” we were not supposed to take, the scares, the horrors of using “bad drugs” and how it would fuck up your life, but I don’t exactly remember them saying “why”.  And then we were taught some about the “good” drugs (aka antibiotics and other man-made chemical formulas) that we were supposed to take to make us well, but they didn’t warn us about the dangers of taking them.  You see, when you take an antibiotic, you have to be incredibly careful to make sure to take probiotics with and immediately after. For some this is common knowledge, but  I cannot tell you how many times doctors have prescribed me an antibiotic and never said a word about the health of my gut.  When you don’t follow the correct protocol, you risk your small intestine over-growing with bad bacteria.  These bad gut bacterium in turn eat your nutrients, so that your body doesn’t get them, even when you’re eating a super clean diet.    

When I tell you I’ve been sick for over a month, realistically it’s probably been more like a year or two, or 10, that I’ve been dealing with this type of mysterious illness that manifests as chronicle fatigue, not to mention bloating and gas (YAY for my boyfriend, right?) and other GI issues.  Yes, I messed up my gut years ago unknowingly, and now I am paying the price.    Doctor after doctor has run tests and tell me that “everything looks good”, so I had to start taking matters into my own hands.  

What does that look like? Overall I feel okay, I feel “fine”, but I don’t feel GOOD.  I’ve been one one of those scary medical googling binges and asking my doctor constantly about this or that; I’m sure he thinks I’m paranoid and crazy, but I stopped caring about that, I just want to feel BETTER.  

So I’ve been taking all of the research and knowledge that I have learned on the sidelines over the years about staying healthy, and pulling it together in a full embodied plan for living life, and yes indeed it is a full time job.  Many of you have heard me talk about the Whole30, which I am still a huge proponent of, and that sugar/carbs/dairy elimination diet has been the foundation for cleaning out my gut.  Healing truly can and has to be done with food… it’s not just a recipe, it’s a lifestyle.  It takes time and money… all the money I’m saving by NOT doing drugs, I’m spending on food and supplements, but hey, at least I’m taking care of myself.  

Healing is truly a feel time job.  Today I took off work because I woke up feeling absolutely exhausted and knowing what I needed to do today would involve not being at work, so I sucked it up and set about continuing on my health cleanse.  

This morning, I woke up, took my morning meds which included two tinctures, several multi vitamins, ashwaganda, lysine, and reshi (all spread out by about 20 minutes to give each molecule some alone time to process. I also take aloe with probiotics along with my meal, a mud shot (yes, real MUD to clean the pipes), along with several other oils balms and remedies to try and keep myself on track.  This morning, I ran myself an apple cider vinegar bath, while freezing some coconut oil and tea tree suppositories, I also used the mud on my face for a mask, made a hot tea with 40+ medicinal herbs, did some stretches, and this is all on top of the colonic hydro-thearpthy session I had yesterday (now you can understand why I needed to stay home from work!)…. The list goes on. In fact, I CREATED my own “self-care” daily reminder list that goes a little something like this:

NO SUGAR FOR ME THANK YOU!!
Food Prep Weekly
Supplement twice a day
Tinctures twice a week
Probiotics every day – Take aloe with probiotic
Coconut oil pulling
Mud Mask once a week – or mud drink!
Frankincense and tea tree for anti fungal on floor of shower
Coconut Oil Moisturize!
Bath: Epsom salt, sea salt, ginger, baking soda and activated charcoal
Sleep with lavender on my pillow at night
Take magnesium before bed
Ravansara under my toes
Bergamot in the morning on my temples
Iron Ferrus Sulfate 1 pill three times a week
And on occasional colonic 😉
Why do I need a list? Because forming habits is hard, and I need constant reminders of staying on track.  

It’s almost 2:00 p.m. and I still have major food prep to do.  I’m day 18 on this Candida food cleanse, and I honestly don’t even know what I would do if I didn’t have sick-days to take off work to focus on my health right now.  Being and staying healthy is truly the most important and more difficult part of our lives….one bite at a time.   

It’s also much easier when it’s a GROUP EFFORT. As always, feel free to post your recipes and ideas for staying healthy or treating Candida in the comments section below.  I learn from you, and we learn from each other, that’s how this works.

MissNutrician,

14671360_10104023497146429_8268592327330139839_n

www.themissconception.com

Art, Evolution, Poetry

MissConceptions of a Modern Day Mash-Up

I laugh at myself (as artists often do) almost every time I practice my newfound art of DJing.  I laugh because I never thought at age 33 this is what I’d be geeking out over, but also I laugh because as a poet at heart, my DJ flow is an extension of my poetry.  Whether I am spinning hoops, weaving words or mixing tracks, I find poetry and laughter in each art form. As a DJ, the poetry flows from my own consciousness as well as from blending other people’s cherished words together (more often than not, the words accompanied by music in the background) to put together a unique and experimental set.  Call it hip hop, call it vocals, or poetry, whatever; I have fallen in love with the art of blending the sounds of other people’s words in a way that takes the listener on a new and mystical journey, and it totally cheeses me out.  And now here I am BLOGGING about my LOVE of DJing WORDS as a POET… the irony layers upon layers of “WHAT THE FUCK IS SHE DOING” seems to spin me around saying boldly that in this wild world of art, I have, and will again, come full cipher.

“How did I get here?” I often ask myself that question.  At first glance it might appear that my white girl entitlement woke up one day and thought “hey, I think I’ll be a rapper”. On a deep level, where one must look honestly at ones privileges and entitlement,  I can admit that there is an element of truth to that; however in all honesty the evolution of MissConception has really has been so much more.  Allow me to spin a tale of truth, take you back to my youth, and share why I dare be so bold as to tread instead on this blazen path of creativity.  See, I was born wanting to defy any and every stereotype imaginable, but I wasn’t always so brave.  When I look back, there are a few crucial moments in my life when I distinctly remember thinking “I am going to be an artist, blow some minds, and have a fuck-ton fun doing it”.   I didn’t realize it was going to be so hard, despite everyone’s warnings.  (Sometimes when you’re not even trying things come easiest, and then you start working at it and the challenges show face).

Safe to say, I pretty much came out of the womb dancing.  My grandmother Carol used to tell me about how she would take me to brunch on top of the Alameda hotel and I would sing and dance and put on a show for all the guests with the piano player on deck.  I choreographed and performed my own dance in 2nd grade for a talent show.  I wanted to be Aretha Franklin at age 10.  (My parents put me in singing lessons when they heard that.)  I remember my whole childhood full of adults telling me I shouldn’t sing because I was, plainly, annoying.  Nobody used that word, but I could tell they didn’t want to hear it.  I often wanted to put on shows that nobody wanted to watch.  Time and again I participated in ecstatic plays where nobody cared to hear me out.  Entire lifecycles I role played out in my head, alone.  Though my parents did offer dance lessons and school play auditions, which I readily appreciated, I couldn’t help but feeling stifled in hindsight.  I wanted to bring joy, but I was told to hush, like many children.  “Don’t be so silly,” they warned.   I distantly remember a time in 5th or 6th grade when even though I knew deep down in my heart that I was an “artist” of mystical meanderings, that the power of the universe was within me and I had all the knowledge I needed to make the world a better place, admist along all of that confusion, I decided I would put it all away, as to not bother anybody. The sadness in not feeling welcome to be ones self, I know it well.

Yes, I put it all away alright; through high school in dance team I opted to be in the back row every time. I didn’t try out for parts that had singing auditions, which were almost every part.  I didn’t want to call attention, for fear that I would be told I wasn’t good enough.  All of those things we are told as women, as children, as adults that we “aren’t pretty enough, aren’t smart enough, didn’t make the cut” echoed through my head constantly.  After all, wouldn’t we rather do nothing at all than fail?  “If you don’t do anything you can’t fail,” I thought.  (All this coming from a straight A student…). I never really felt like I fit in, or had a purpose, and it was very confusing for a child who was asked constantly “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Until I found the misfits…

I signed up for a poetry writing class at KU, mostly to avoid British Literature, and I remember my classmates seeing my love of creativity and word-smithing, encouraging me to go to poetry readings and let my words be heard.  I didn’t believe them at first; THEY thought I was worth OTHER people’s time??   As I began going to readings and putting myself out there slowly people started asking me to do it more.  The local jam band asked me to come sit in and flow during their Monday night jam sessions.  I started calling poetry circles in the park, where strangers would come to just hear words exchanged in the moonlight.  People BOOKED me!  I started attending secret midnight readings, hosting events and finding serious poetry slams, with jazz bands and professional poets encouraging me to “work harder to find the right word,” which is what a professor taught me once.  An endless cycle, nonetheless, I was hooked.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t poetry that dragged me surely out of my sh-ell (sheltered-hell), but rather, it was a hoop.  I was in college and my friends started learning how to hula hoop, this oldschool-made-new fitness craze; but these girls were learning tricks, dancing and meditating with the hoops.  Dancing, having always been a vertical expression of a horizontal desire (said Rita Dove), became an immersive experience. I had always been a lover of play and movement, so I followed right along in stride with the other hoopers, learning how to work with one, two, and up to six hula hoops at a time.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but later I would light them up, and set them on fire!

 

“The irony spins in hoops yearning to endear our ears to truth” – Stella Dreamwalker

It was using these plastic rings with a “give-no-fuck” attitude that gave me the courage to really bless the mic the way a mic should be blessed.  Well, the hoops, and many poets and artist that I encountered who each inspired me to the stars and back.  A little bit of self-confidence was the ignition I needed.  Fueled with my words of love, I combusted and in 2009 I made a decision to start taking myself seriously, as an artist.

Over the years, I’ve casted many nets and caught a lot of fish, some very lucky minnows and some sharks. I knew carving out a niche as an artist was going to be difficult. It was going to be full of disappointment, misunderstandings and with plenty of people telling me I couldn’t/shouldn’t/wouldn’t be successful. I knew I was fishing in waters deeper than I had fished before. I also knew that there was no other option for me but to try. I was a guppy who wanted to move mountains with art. So first learned to walk on lands and then I learned to fly… and then, mountain hunting I went.

I remember the night it dawned on me that if I was going to do this, which is when I started diving deeper into hip-hop.  I realized I had been embodying many of the elements of this loved art form without even knowing it… DoJing and emceeing, art (graffiti/stenciling), bboy dancing, and the consciousness of it, all touched my heart; the pain and the sadness right along with the badass gladness.   “My Main MissConception” was the first spoken word performance piece I wrote and my roommate deemed me the name MissConception.  #miccheck

Special thanks to Alex Chase for recording and mastering my first track.

Since I was little I had always loved rhyming.  Shell Silverstein and Dr Seuss were heavy influences as a child , and in middle school I memorized all the words to a Jurassic 5 song and then the rap at the end of TLC’s Waterfalls.  I was obsessed with cadence and delivery.  After flaming hoops unleashed my inner confidence, I took to the stage saying the thing that nobody at least nobody who lied like me) wanted to say.  Passion and truth flowed naturally like water from my lips.  Largely, I wasn’t the most popular act in town, especially in the thick of the spoken word and rap scenes, despite my emphasis on social inequality, the environment and gender equality.  I wanted to change the world, and again it seemed nobody wanted to listen. Eventually a local producer, DWILL, offered to make beats for me and record my first album.  In  2008 he helped me to debut my dream, Self Titled: MissConception; I was ecstatic.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be making a hip-hop album. He believed in me, and that is sometimes still hard to believe.

Since then, I’ve performed on hundreds of stages, hosted showcases, self-produced several more albums (Ostentation, Saraswati, Saratonin, Serendipty EP, and my new release coming in 2020 titled: Saramony); I’ve worked with some very talented producers, and I even had the opportunity to release my first chap-book of poetry in 2016 entitled: Class Action (because who really wants to go to law school anyone when you can be a poet). #poppoetry #12poetsin12months.  (I still have a very limited amount of 2nd edition signed copies left #classaction)

Yes, it all looks so pretty on a website, and yes I have wanted to give up over and over.   The truth is for an artist, it is a constant internal battle of your mind as to whether or not to keep going or give up, and an external battle with everyone else.  Almost every day I doubt myself.  And almost every day I have someone reach out to me telling me that my words changed their life.  “Have you considered getting an agent?” is the most grateful and yet painful question; lord I wish I could find an agent who would understand this hot mess of an artist.  But just knowing that so many people now believe in me; what a blessing. On the other side of the same token, I receive more messages than I’d care to admit that my work is trash, founded in ignorance, and  I have no business as a white woman in hip-hop, or that I’m chasing a dream that no longer serves me or my lifestyle.  One thing these hoops and ciphers have taught me is that each of us has our own fires to burn and our own lessons to learn.

I learned long ago to not chase the dream.  Follow it. Show up for it.  Be ready for it when it comes knocking, but don’t chase it.  Desparation is a heavy stench. The thing I keep coming back to as an artist is that it doesn’t matter who likes or doesn’t like my art. The art is made FOR ME, by me, because of me, and through me.  It’s there if you want, take it or leave it.  You don’t have to understand it to appreciate it.  Sometimes the parts of creativity that we MISunderstand are actually the POINT of making the art.  The more healthy discussions that spark from these dreams come alive the more fuel for the art.

More often than not I wake up lyrics in my head from a dream and scribble them down before I forget.   I am not necessarily a writer, dare I say that I am a channel? I always tell people that although I may write down the songs, they don’t exactly come from me, they come through me.  I didn’t plan for this. I didn’t ask for this.  I just simply cannot help myself; and thus another misconception was born.

Saramony Album Art 2020
Album Artwork painting done by Wieteke Waterborg, 2008
Ceremony | Saramony Release Day January 1, 2020
– A projection of desire and reflection of the fire –

In preparing for my new album release, Saramony | Ceremony in 2020, I collaborated with a group out of the Twin Cities called the Gypse Freq Circus for one track; several of the tracks were written by a producer named Eisenhauer, and a few parodies in the mix that just fell out as well.  (Parodies are my favorite!)  Recorded and mastered by Jonathan Larson of the Tenderloin Studios in San Francisco, this is some of my darkest and most conscious work yet dare I say?  It is set to release on January 1, 2020. #2020vision

I’ve always said that there are two rules of ‘Show Business’: 1. Shock Value –  and 2. Always leave them wanting more.  Say the thing that they don’t expect you to say and then leave them hanging on the edge of their seat baby so they come to your next show. These 8 tracks I am hoping will tug on your heart strings just enough to help me fuel the next round of creativity, whatever that may be.  I’m always paying attention and ready when the universe calls.

Another professor once taught me that “Poetry is the art of paying attention” and he could not be more right.  Paying attention in a century where attention-spans are the length of twitter tweets is a nearly impossible feat.  It’s asking a lot of people these days to cut through the clutter and really give your mind to one train of thought for more than five or ten minutes.  How about, just one song even?   Listening may or may not save your life per say, but it’s CERTAINLY saving mine.  Here is a sneak peak of the title track off my new album, entitled: Gypsy Freq Circus

Gypsy Freq Circus 

Being an artist and performing original work to an audience that appreciates said art is truly the greatest give in the world; the highest of highs abound.  It has become my mental health lifeline.  Booking an artist is somewhat akin to saving their life in a sense… it’s our purpose, striving art. It’s what we live for.

“Art is why I get up in the morning,” said Ani Difranco, “but my definition ends there you know it doesn’t seem fair that I’m living for something I can barely define…and there you are right there in the meantime”.  Art is the process of defining what there is to get up in the morning for.  Whether it pisses you off or inspires you, at least it’s doing something!

 

❤ Thanks for the love during the last decade ❤

If I’ve realized anything about the beauty of performance art, it’s that it’s an incredibly hard sell, almost especially so when your tool-kit is full of a variety of tricks; often people don’t know what to do with me as an artist.  I’ve been told, “I’m too spiritual for the hip-hop heads and too hip-hop for the yoga teachers.”  I don’t write my own “music”, I write the  words.  I take other people’s music and words that flow through and mash em up often serenditiously.  When they ask about my work style I tell people, “If you put Ani Difranco and Jurassic 5 together, you get one hell of a MissConception”.  And I suppose I’d have it no other way; after all, my name is MissConception; the element of mystery and elusivity is part of the practice.  You’re supposed to interpret art, not be told what it is.   “Just what is she trying to do?”  Truth is the magic is in the mystery.

In closing, I just want to say a seriously great big thank you to anybody and everybody who has ever supported MissConception, myself, or any other artist that inspires you on any level.  Thank you for also sharing your art with me. Special thank you to my dear friend and editor,  Stella Dreamwalker, for believing in me and writing with me along the way.   I will be forever grateful for your love, and I will continue to offer my creativity and love to any and all who wish to share.  The only way out is in-word, and we are all in this wordy world together, spinning circles.  Let’s keep rockin’ into the twenties!

THANK YOU 

Love,
MissComeOn

Miss Concept Ion

www.themissconception.com

food

Something Spaghetti Like

When I was young, my mom used to make spaghetti for dinner often… I liked it, but it wasn’t anything terribly special.  White noodles.  Ragu name brand sauce.  Ground beef.  Yum.

Coincidentally, my family used to always love to go to this Italian restaurant called Cascones, a family-owned joint, that I personally didn’t care for too much.  We used to go there once a week, and I hated it!  I was sick of spaghetti, I already ate it enough, the atmosphere was kinda cheesy and the food wasn’t great. Overtime I tried everything on the menu, EXCEPT their spaghetti, and none of it was very appealing.

I also grew up at my Grandmother’s gift store; that was my day-care.  “Carol’s Cards and Gifts and A-to-Z Office Supplies was the world in which I learned the ins and outs of retail and customer service.

One day, Grandma Carol ordered take out from Cascones, unbeknownst to me.  She ordered us spaghetti. “UGH, not again” I thought, but upon the delivery of the spaghetti, I quickly realized, that this was the MOST delicious spaghetti I had EVER had!

“What is this Grandma,” I asked?

“It’s Cascones!” she replied.  I couldn’t believe it!  I’ve loved going to Cascones ever since, and even took Michael my fiancé when we were back home.

Since then, I’ve tried to make Spaghetti at home for years, attempting different recipes, and approaches.  Chicken bolognese, meat balls, vegetable, gluten free, all kinds of noodles… and I still have to say, that when I make spaghetti at home, none of it taste as good as mom’s did, or Cascones.

This year at Burning Man, I actually met a man who goes by the name Spaghetti.  He drove a Spaghetti Bowl, and what a ride that was!  To top it all off, the best meal that I ate at Burning Man was arguably spaghetti out of a MRE bag.  Imagine that.

There is very little point to this blog post, other than Spaghetti has become something very dear to my heart.  You never know where the best spaghetti is going to come from, but usually, it’s from the home and the heart.

I’ll leave you this with, a song I wrote in 2006 called Something Spaghetti, off my album Ostentation.  New album in 2020 coming soon titled: Saramony | Ceremony

Loving all things Spaghetti-Like,

MissSpaghetti

Art, Burn, Evolution, Music Festivals

Burning Mannerisms Part II – The Declaration of Interdependence

The funny thing about Burning Man, is that you can plan and plan and plan, and you still have very little idea of what really you’re getting into.  I consider myself to be a regular burner, on top of being fairly organized typeA personality… a Capricorn always prepared for the unexpected. I tend to spend a LOT of time pre-event and actually on playa during the event organizing my STUFF, so that on a whim, when someone needs a light-up corkscrew, I’ve got you covered. BOOM.  #whatimmediacy?

That being said, every regular burner also knows that expectations are pretty much the worst thing you can bring with you to burn the man, because with them, come disappointments. #letitride

This year, the burn was tough for me. Hardest one yet, dare I say. Incredibly challenging personally, and several times I had to remind myself. “This is why we go”, to push ourselves and to go beyond the rational all the way to extreme… because what’s left is pure magnificence.  (Usually.)

This was my fifth official Flaming Guy, though I have been “burning at heart” since 2004, and this burn was actually the 6th time driving to BRC and back again, being that I went twice this year and got to attend the Early Burn ritual that DPW and many of the departments celebrate as their own city celebration before the main event. Quite the spectacle:

70707281_2431732340196408_6260433167753150464_n
DPW Early Burn 8.17.2019

At the same time, I also was over the moon and fantastically fortunate to have had my fiancé-in-shine, Michael Ngarimu, affectionally known on and off-playa as Kiwi from Man Base, PROPOSE, to ME! Underneath the Man pavilion where the man stood, roughly 60’7”  tall and growing, he asked if I would and I said, “I do”.

  Or, at least I will soon!

70119036_643902196104962_4403684063701893120_n.png

Thanks for the engagement shot John Curly!
Damn that man never looked so good!

So why the rough time, you ask?  Despite all of my pre-planning making plans to try NOT plan on this “vacation”, between my actual on-playa commitments, my work obligations, and my heart strings being tugged in different directions by old friends and new, I can easily say I had one of my most difficult experience of my life pushing my endurance physically, emotionally and radically. I heard myself saying several times to myself “I am never doing this again… not like this”.  Truthfully, most things worth doing aren’t easy, and I always did like learning the hard way. 

The thing about the playa, no matter how many times you go, it’s always going to teach you something…. Just when you think you know what to expect, it’s going to throw you a curve ball, whenever it’s you future self throwing your present self a curve ball, or perhaps the universe unexpectedly barreling bowl.   Undoubtedly, if you’re paying attention, the playa is here to push you to your limit.  For better or worse.

“Burning Man… where things to go die” was what I kept thinking.  From my bike, to my lights, to cars, clothes, tent zippers… it’s all there to DIE; and yet at the same time, it’s very much keeping our spirit alive.  From the moment I got there, to the moment I left, I almost couldn’t wait to get back to my “real” life (which my good friend pointed out to me is a lot like burning man all the time because let’s face it, cacophony is my middle name).  It’s not that I didn’t have moments of fun; but the effort far outweighed the pay-offs initially.  (In hindsight… I’m still not sure).  Fucking expectations.

Not that Burning Man isn’t great and all that it’s cracked up to be… it’s, quite frankly, my favorite place on earth.  I love it almost too much.  It’s like an unhealthy one-sided relationship where you put in all the effort but still go home alone.  Yet, I can’t get enough of it, and this teaser we get for a week of paradise, isn’t cutting it frankly.  It’s exhausting.  The preparation, the time crunching at work and after so I can afford to be away for ten days… the drive… the food prep… the set up, the clean up…volunteering, biking, trying to make art, be art, all of it.  IT’S. EXHAUSTING.

Bringing my first art piece titled baby “Grace” proved to be an additional layer of interest and responsablity, only in that I was struggling to find time to bring her out to be enjoyed by folks.  She did make it to Crimson’s El Diablo lighting ceremony, and the walked out to the Inner Sun for a sundown lighting on Monday.  Grace is the tiny fire pit baby carriage:

71015321_526825794755762_9058825994294525952_n

Grace, made by TJ Lee, at The Inner Sun Installation, made by Nathan Altman, 2019

“Here, take everything of value to you, drag it out to the dessert where the dust that coats everything has essentially the consistency of drain cleaner,” my friend Brita nicely explained as we were communing in the heat one afternoon, “bring it all to a place that we CALL home, but can’t actually create anything of sustenance that will survive in it, and let’s like, see what shakes out, right?”

Wrong.  I’m tired. I’m tired, and I want more from my community, more from the “investors”, from the artists, and more from this “non-Profit” organization.  Personally, I want more from my time and my investment in a community.  

“But what about immediacy, and the radical self evolution,” half of you will chirp… And I don’t want to discredit that need for the temporary and the immediate, but I do want those forces to be working for us, and not against us.   I ask you, what kind of church or neighborhood, or community doesn’t invest in it’s infrastructure, in it’s future, and in itself?

One of my favorite installations this year was the “Free Wifi” signs around playa.  I only hit one, but word spread fast that the hoax was really a cacauphonous effort to get citizens off their phones.   Instead of wifi, you got a never-ending  scrolling terms and conditions that read a little something like this:

 

While I absolutely find great humor in this type of art, and encourage it, I myself am the first to jump on the pro BRC Wifi Train.  What do we want? WIFI! And when do we want it? NOW.”  We’re exhausting ourselves trying to work, navigate and track people down in a city that is as arguably the most high tech city in the world one might argue, and yet we still don’t have a good way to communicate with each other on-site?   This is just one way to make things slightly easier in such a harsh environment for many BRC citizens (and yes, I recognize this is highly debatable).

be45addc247f4bcd8ecaad0164797ce6

My old ass doesn’t have time to wait around for playa magic to provide, especially if you want my participation at peak levels.   And when one of my shows was cancelled, it would have been really awesome if I could have saved some of my friends the trip during dinner time across the sea to a me that wasn’t there.  <<insert snarky comment here to appease nay-sayers>>.  I know it’s a big ask; I know it’s a big and somewhat unpopular change.  And if you don’t like it, you don’t have to use it.  I am asking, please, let’s make this city work for US.

WE HAVE GOT TO START CONSERVING RESOURCES FOLKS IF WE WANT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY

70174221_373030940308057_1685760150985506816_n.png
I’m not the only one that feels this way, and I know our community is divided in some sense.  I’m writing this Burning Mannierism Declaration to give voice to the other side of immediacy, because If I am going to continue to participate as a citizen, not only do I value many voices having an active roll in shaping this scene, but I want to know our voices are being USED, let alone heard, and that this is a group effort towards enlightenment.  Evolution is one not one-sided.  #freeWIFIcentercamp2020 #somuchmore

Hard sell… maybe.  But wait, there’s more:

I’d like to radically propose to open Black Rock City for not just a week or two, but for a month or two, during the summer, culminating in the man-burn phenomenon we all still do religiously, without a whole lot of intention or reaction, but rather unguided passion.  Let’s us continue to commune, while opening our doors to the masses.   I’m serious… we all gather around for this ridiculously awesome ritual that gets more and more insane by the year, and we love it!  We all want more! Everyone wants more.  Let’s face it, nobody hardly batted an eye when the man pavilion fell away to a cross this year, and frankly nobody needed no.  This is cacophony. This wasn’t a maliciously planned act to feed the god of christ’s ego, and everybody who could see it had a chuckle.  You cannot plan this shit… at least not all of it. It’s okay to be offended a bit , it’s good for us.  And it’s okay to spread our wings.  (Of course a BLM permit is a whole other topic, and a whole other blog article).

70710444_1316206951894290_5485476456005894144_n.jpg

Yes, I want to see Burning Man establish itself as a still temporary, yet real and functional city during the summer months leading up it’s surmise/demise.  Allow artists and people to come from all over the world and make the pilgrimage accessible.  This need not be an exclusive event just for Instagram models, but radically, make it all INCLUSIVE for all walks of life.  Have a family week.  Have a sex positive themed week.  Show case different artists and burns all summer long.  Let different pieces burn that mean different things to hundreds of thousands.  Harness that money and put it back into the art and into Burners Without Borders projects.  If we aren’t going to commit to some property and radically change the way we are living full time, at the least, let’s OPEN THIS THING UP and try to let even more cathartic healing come through.

69814333_376854259647817_3559091423686950912_n
The Temple of Direction, 2019

While I’ve got your year, we also want better street signs…these flimsy crappy wooden ones that nobody can see are not cutting it.  Also I think at $400-1000+ a ticket we can afford the comfort of cloth wrist bands if we are going to wrist band folks.  Also better Center Camp flags and lighting from a distance, and I’d like to see designated frontage streets to that people can easily navigate the outer roads without having to be bombarded by RVs that add no value to the community.  You want the city to grow?  We must grow conceptuality too.  Let the cacophony work for us, and let the artists solve real problems that needs attention (like how BWB is bringing compostable toilets to deep playa, THANK YOU!)

And yes, most of you will say, where is my radical self-reliance?  Where is my immediacy?  For that, I say, it’s right here, and it radically self-reliantly speaking up for what my immediate needs are.  There are interesting dialogues to have in the interest of evolution and succession, and at the least, I hope we can do it with laugh, hence, the cacophony.

Burning Man.  We love you.  We want you.  No matter how much you argue radical self-reliance, I think it’s fair to admit that we have built a fairly codependence relationship that is flourishing while treading water; now we have to foster it if we want to keep it alive.  We’ve built this incredible community, with the art, with the organization, with each other, and now I think it’s fair to say that most of us want want more.   I’m talking serious relationship level investing. Fly Ranch can be our retreat, but we need land, we need it near the/a city(ies), and it we will require a lot of collaboration and mutation.   Metamorphosizing is just the beginning.  It’s time to jump. 

It’s safe to say this this level of changes comes with great difficulties and challenges, and the dialogue between opposing sides is just the beginning… our differences are to be over-come in time and strength in numbers.  We’ve got the smartest, most creative people in the world listening, and we are hungry.  We’ve all already bitten off way more than we can collectively chew… it’s time, to eat the whole damn thing.  Des(s)art and all.
#arewethereyet #iwanttogohome #forreal

MissConcflicted

I FUCKING LOVE YOU BURNING MAN 

69952322_653211131755165_3550698288791420928_n

Opulent Chill Set Friday Burning Man 2019

Burn, Evolution, Health, Sacred Space

Tisha B’Av – The Day of Mourning

First we have to forgive each other. 

And then, we must forgive ourselves.

As someone who although was raised Jew-ish, always felt spiritually connected to all faiths, you might be surprised to know that while I do many Jewish things, I am not all that religious.  I was raised reform, some of my family is orthodox, much of my work is in a conservative Jewish context, my prayerful nature is certainly Jewish, but I have always been a rail rider…  a paradox.  How can I be Jewish, and also be…. performing burlesque, singing Kiran to Hindu gods, or, god forbid, eating bacon?  I don’t belong fully to any of the laws, and yet I am still a summation of all that I have learned and come to known as comforting in the realm of prayer and spirit. I consider myself to be pretty attuned to all the ways the spirit works, nondenominationally, as far as being human is concerned.

So when a few weeks ago I had this sense of dread come over me… I was baffled by this unexplainable heavily grieving of loss. Nothing showed overtly obvious as a reason…My love and work has been steady, I’m not PSMing, Mercury isn’t still in retrograde if you consider that important…  granted, we live in an age where I fail to see how it’s possible for anybody not to be constantly depressed about this morbid state of the union… affairs… our planet…all that we have created. It’s a boat-load of good and bad. That aside… I checked in with myself, and though I felt balanced and healthy within,  still, there was great sadness.

As people come and go in and out of our lives, is to be expected, and we ourselves undergo new phases of ourselves – old parts dying off, new parts growing –  some things forever stay relevant, perhaps like faith, spirit, creativity.  The real reality and secret is that EVERYTHING is temporary; we are always learning the process and when we master the process, then it changes.  If you haven’t yet noticed, it has become clear to many that attachment is where  pain grows. Specifically, unhealthy attachment.

I mentioned I currently work at a conservative synagogue in the Bay Area, and last week a man came in grappling with his mortality. With tears in his eyes he said he has two-four months to live and just wants to make it easy on his family. My tears began to flow with him and we hugged and talked…grief is a process, not a destination or something to avoid. And even when it’s not your own grief, it is still overt and demands attention; always better not to be done alone.

Then, in a staff meeting on Thursday, my Rabbi did a short teaching, and it hit me like lightening… he explained that this weekend is Tisha B’Av! The Jewish day of mourning. What is that about?

For those that aren’t familiar, on this day in 2019, Saturday, August 10, at sundown marked the Jewish day known as Tisha B’av. Known as the 9th of the Jewish month of Av, and it has a reputation of being the saddest day of the year.  It usually occurs in July or August, and the Gregorian date switches around, it marks the culmination of a three week period of mourning.   Twenty-four hours dedicated to the communal mourning of disastrous events that have all occurred on this day throughout history.  I thought I would name a few, the first one written in the Bible, our oldest rendering of time, states:

 …On the ninth of Av it was decreed that our fathers should not enter the Promised Land”.  –Mishnah Ta’anit 4:6

…And it was decided the Jews had to wonder the dessert for 40 more years (or something of that nature, I didn’t go to synagogue tonight, because clearly I am not the best Jew. I like to keep my options open… but I instead, worked on this blog post, and dug deeper)

Tisha B’Av commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem, both of which were destroyed on the ninth of Av (the first by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E.; the second by the Romans in 70 C.E.). On this day the many other tragedies occurred, notably the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and from England in 1290. Some connect the day to Kristallnacht, which began on the 9th of November, or to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Perhaps a stretch, but worth noting.  Some other dates include:

  • The First Crusade officially commenced on August 15, 1096 (Av 24, AM 4856)
  • The Jews were expelled from England on July 18, 1290
  • The Jews were expelled from France on July 22, 1306
  • The Jews were expelled from Spain on July 31, 1492
  • Germany entered World War I on August 1–2, 1914
  • On August 2, 1941, SS commander Heinrich Himmler received approval from the Nazi Party for “The Final Solution.” As a result, the Holocaust began.

And then, a little further research thanks to my friend Moxie proved to show that :

  • 1871 – Chicago Fire 370 dead
  • 1989 – San Francisco Earthquake
  • 1992 – Hurricane Andrew
  • 1972 – NYC heat wave – 891 dead

And the beat goes on. Really, no matter which way you look at it, people are constantly in a cycle of grieving.  It’s unavoidable.  And yet, here we are, continuing to walk forward in our lives as if nothing is wrong.

Luckily, traditions have developed observations in which to help people deal with these emotions.  The jews sit shiva for seven days when someone dies.  Many custums have particular rituals with which to honor the dead.  #DayoftheDead

Central to the observance of this Tisha B’Av period is fasting. I also found it interesting that during this three week period of mourning preceding the 9th of Av, weddings and other parties are not permitted, and people refrain from cutting their hair or having sexual relations.  From the first to the ninth of Av, it is customary to refrain from eating meat or drinking wine and from wearing new clothing.  All of these actions are considered a luxury and inappropriate for a time of mourning.  Visiting cemeteries is highly encouraged to tighten the sadness.  Uniquely on Tisha B’Av, Torah study, meant to be joyful, is not permitted. Some parts of the Bible or Talmud are allowed, like Job or Jeremiah.

Bottom line, the community grieves together.

Now, whatever your ritual or history or beliefs may be…  we all feel pain.  And we all crave to be understood. Which begs the question: 

What DO we do with all this pain?  More and more comes every day. 

I’ve learned that first, you have to process it and acknowledge it. And then you forgive it.  You forgive BOTH sides of the story… you forgive others, and then you forgive yourself.

It’s not easy to admit the truth, especially when some of it has been blocked out potentially. And sometimes, we need a little help doing that.  Usually this is easier said than done, and that’s why we developed these communal places to grieve and morn, where it is done in a group setting, facilitated even sometimes.  In our communities.

That is exactly what the Temple at Burning Man is designed to do. Organically. No religion. No priest. Just community.
40969500_10106007908530109_5644309998788935680_n
Temple 2018

This year, I’m ramping up for my fifth Burning Man, and my mother who recently was told about the Temple at Burnin Man, informed me that she is ready to make the pilgrimage.. NEXT YEAR.  “Wow, I thought… just when I was thinking maybe I should do something else with my time…”.  And yet, why did she want to go all of a sudden?  

To my surprise, because someone explained to her the grieving process that happens at Burning Man, at many of the various temples in fact.  It’s such an important piece of the journey that is so often overlooked, and something I am greatly looking forward to spending some time at this year.  And someday, maybe I can even bring my momma to this sacred place, one that is different every year. 

It’s worth mentioning that “the” temple isn’t the only temple at burning man; in fact there are several. I’m honored to be working with this team a bit this year on the playa called Bee Divine .  This honey-combed shape temple at Burning Man will guide people into embodying the Divine Feminine through ritual and holding space.  “The art piece developed into a large-scale interactive temple that would hold interactive ritual theater,” said creator, Elizabeth Huebner. ” I wanted to create a beautiful temple, but I also wanted to explore how we can choose to create sacred experiences through the use of our own will and imagination.” 

In an effort to create sacred space and hold myself accountable for something meaninful, I’ll be working a shift at the Bee Divine and leading my Israeli-inspired Lotus Flower Forgiveness Movement Meditation Ritual at this hive at 7:00 am on Friday morning at Sunrise (location TBA).  In the meantime, no #FOMO, If you have something you need to let go of, no time like the present to metamorphosize! #beedivine #callitin #justaskhow

In the name of letting go, I am also really excited to be bringing my first piece of true art this year to the burn, introducing: GRACE …. the cutest baby fire you’ve always wanted! Come, help me feed her, keep her warm, keep her dry, and burn bright all week long. Participants will be invited to help keep the baby alive throughout the week by feeding her wood chips and ascribing an intention to each bite they deliver to her furnace.

You can come find Grace mostly around Center Camp and Pandora’s Bike and Fix it Shoppe at Rod’s Road and 4:30 …. Also we will be at the EL Diablo lighting ceremony Monday Sundown at Center Camp that Crimson Rose leads and possibly even at the main Man Burn  event, if the baby can hang!  Remember… doing sacred should also be silly… that’s the key to working your way through challenging times. Make it special.

Screen Shot 2019-08-10 at 10.07.34 PM

“GRACE”

I want to say a special thank you to my lovely friend and playmate TJ Lee for taking my idea and helping make it a reality! Also want to thank Dan Brown for suggesting I make my “fire on wheels” idea into a baby carriage when we were watching the man burn last year …. the world works in mysterious ways! Sometimes you watch it burn from the front row, sometimes you watch it burn from the back row, but it’s all about who you’re standing with that matters.  

If I’ve learned one thing about the art of attachment (or lack there of), it is that the more you love, the more you will grieve, it is that simple.  Budda knew it. The more you want something, the more it will hurt when it’s gone.  And so we make choices based on how much we are willing to risk our hearts.  Keep this in mind as you move forward day to day; how much of yourself you give away and in exchange for what. 

I encourage you to not shy away from that which you love, but rather, love with a healthy intention and with compassion.  You never know when someone is grieving, and THEY themselves might not even know it either.  But love and grief are real, it is physical, it’s emotional, and it’s going to happen.  

It’s time to start dealing with it.  And please know, that you are never alone.  Reach out anytime, I always make myself available when it’s important. 

Love,

MissConviction

44088729_10106108572174359_2982579539797868544_n

www.themissconception.com

New Album called Sermony | Ceremony Coming Soon in 2020!

Burn, Evolution, Sacred Space, Uncategorized

Burning Manners

When someone asks you “what’s your favorite city”, you can bet your bottom dollar that anybody who has ever been to Burning Man undoubtedly will come out with “Black Rock City, is my favorite city”.   Anyone who disagrees, I’m guessing that it USED to be their favorite city, and then the cultural direction shifted.  Now what? 

Oh, how we let our cities define us.  The culture we create is directly and deeply interwoven with each city’s unique personality, as in any culture or group of people.  We used to have our culture and communities be the focal point from which to dictate our whole lives and interactions.  Ceremonies and celebrations were timed by the moon and nature’s seasonal flow.  Our communities WERE our education systems, our entertainment forms, and the workforce.  WE were the ECONOMY… the economy didn’t define us.  

Fast forward to 2019, we couldn’t be further away from that model of life.  They say that a tribe usually consists of about 256 people.  That’s how many people one person actively keep track of, sincerely.   5,000 is the friends limit on Facebook, and to be honest I don’t know who most of you are anyway.  Staying in touch has become so impersonal, we tend to fill up our cups with meaningless banter and scroll-past memes mores than genuine human interaction, whereas at Burning Man, it’s quite the opposite.  The emphasis is on the human interaction and not so much on their credibility (who you are and where you’re from).  The truly ironic thing about living in the Bay Area, which so happens to be the headquarters of the Burning Man office and social climate, is that we’re surrounded by all this culture, but there’s very little real community.  There’s no village, no hub, no center camp for which to commune.  And that’s making it really difficult for millennials (and everyone else dare I say) to make friends and have a life outside of work, let alone raise children.

I want my “Cheers” damnit.  I want my village.  My vibe tribe. I want my center camp at which to commune twice a day.  I want to build a new city, and one that doesn’t have to go away after ten days. 

Co-creating, the ultimate mission, is our lot in life.  At Burning Man, everything is in a constant state of creation; of evolution.  Art, is how you create culture and evolve it.  Inventing new concepts and revisiting the old.  Rewriting the rules as we see fit.  Why not? If gravity changed, wouldn’t you adjust as best you could?  One could say that the same thing is happening with evolution itself…it’s moving faster than we can document or understand, and possibly moving us back towards old ways of life. That is hard to suppress or make sense of for some of us.  Sure, some people would prefer to stay ignorant and “asleep”, while the rest of us, are slowly waking you up.   Which life are you living? 

It’s no secret, Burning Man is on the forefront of creating and defining culture, in a new sense. Like a quantum particle, always changing, always desecrating and then recreating itself different and better; we have continued to ebb and flow with the changing dynamic that is human existence.  Now, our mission is to change the culture. 

So what exactly does it mean to change the culture?  To push the envelope of precipice?  To actively seek out the new and refine it, while still relating to the old…. It’s quite a lot to carry, that’s for sure.  Especially when met with so much resistance.  

The Ten Principles of Burning Man have helped us understand what it means to be a part of a culture and to change it.  That can look like simply participating, actively or showing up, even for the messy part. It can mean being self-reliant and self-expressive, even at the expense of being misunderstood .  It means taking chances where no one said it was possible; isn’t that what we are all here to do?  

Speaking of the impossible, in the Bay Area community, many reflect upon the somewhat recently shattered communities: Ghost Ship and Paradise Fire.  Here we saw very vibrant cohabitation brought down to nothing but ash.  The community took action.  A few months later, FEMA “stepped in” to ASK some of the active Burners Without Borders leaders and for advice. “What do we do?” they asked. With no money and no resources. “Help.”  There’s more to that story I don’t know all the details, but it sets the stage for our collective power and wisdom that could be the change many of us are seeking, if we are brave enough to face it.  When there is a task to do, Burners can figure it out and get it done; and then light it on fire if need be.  

It’s a delicate place to be. Abiding by our principles, we have to be careful not to exclude anybody or anything.  Where does that leave us when people mess up or disagree?   Perhaps it’s possible to shift what change looks like:

Let’s take the Tenderloin district in San Francisco’s downtown. Some say the Tenderloin got it’s name because street dwellers and slingers used to bribe the San Francisco police department with steaks and other cuts of meat in order for them to keep their mouths shut and turn a blind eye.  (How do you even fact check this? I didn’t; it’s too funny)

Today, walking through the Tenderloin is like walking through the worst horror movie ever written.  It’s a living nightmare.  I was driving through the streets a few weeks ago and I saw a lively dark skinned man shaking a paint can vigorously with a large group around him.  I looked closer, expecting to see him huffing paint, but as the moment passed I could see he was indeed spray painting on the wall behind him, telling stories to go with the motions.  People gathered round and listened with interest and desire for human interaction written on their faces and I thought to myself,  “THAT is how you change the culture.  With art. You rewrite the stories with new lessons, and the art is what allows people to HEAR those messages”  

So what if Burning Man is holding the spray can, or the paint brush?  What if it’s our turn to rewrite this story of love and kindness and truth?  What if we could teach the world how to live together in peace in tribes? How to share and learn from each other and live with art and fun as our focus instead of fear and anger. 

Burning Man is no stranger to art.  But how do we harness the art? What ARE we trying to say?  Personally, what are the conversations we need to have in our lives to deal with our criticisms and understand the other side?  We cannot keep going down this anti-global-warming rabbit hole for a second longer.  

If I have learned a few things about my time with Burning Man and developing my own leadership skills around community organizing, I can say this: Don’t start the fight if you’re not willing to be the bigger person.  Don’t let the need to be right over shadow the desire to get along.

“Being offended should always be the beginning of a conversation, not the end of it,” Said Jamie Dewolf of Tourettes Without Regrets, the legendary variety show in Oakland, CA.

And I am here, to piss you off.  To challenge you. In order to push the envelope, we must first open it!

My grandfather always told me, “we’re not arguing, we are brainstorming”.  

So, let the brainstorms begin.  And the action to follow.  Tell me, what are you purveying?

MissConiption

F6730789-29EC-41BB-ADB9-05B86EBD2783