Art, Burn, Evolution, Happenings, Sacred Space

Naked and poly in the Santa Cruz Mountains

If you had told me a year ago I’d be living at a nudist community and dating multiple incredible humans, I would not have believed you. I mean it sounds PLAUSIBLE that I might wind up there someday, but I definitely didn’t think it would be…. easy.  You see, I finally gave in to loving myself, I succumbed to the flow of my life, and it quickly became more fruitful than I could have ever dreamed. Come on in, take off your shoes, and let me tell you about this sacred space before you think about paying me a visit.

110313205_581326945753468_5844242409602763294_n

The Lupin Lodge has quickly become one of my favorite places on earth. There is a vibrancy here, a deep-seeded elemental nature of healing and nurturing, that I have been seeking for 15+ years! Tucked in the Santa Cruz mountains outside of Los Gatos (Translation: The Cats!) are a sea of redwoods and rivers and all kinds of landscapes filled with all sorts of creatures, in their natural habitat, humans and animals and plants that co-habitate in peace. It’s true, even conservatives and liberals alike can be found out here, and for the most part, the dialogue seems healthy.  Radical openness and acceptance is a lifestyle.

I first moved to the Lupin Lodge September of 2017 for a brief stint, when I was hired to produce an event called Earthdance. I was just coming off of the 2017 Burning Man event, and I felt relatively comfortable showing up at a nudist community and being naked, mostly because of my experiences at Burning Man (see Carcus wash and other stories here).  Lupin immediately felt like a home. I don’t know how or why, but I trusted it, and although I did not stay at Lupin right away, it has become a place of extreme comfort and joy in my life.

Finding comfort and joy starts with loving yourself ultimately and Lupin is an excellent place to work on loving yourself. When beginning to learn to love your own body and get comfortable in your own skin, the work starts to shift into how can you possibly AVOID loving yourself when there is nothing left to hide behind? If you’ve never been comfortable in your own skin, then you may not even know how good it can feel to stop giving any fucks about what people think. Getting over the hump of uncomfortability is kind of like jumping into cold water. You just gotta do it, get the shock over with, and then enjoy the swim! #whimhoff #worthit #workitout

Well I’ve been swimming all over, meeting all kinds of fish, and let me tell ya, the water is super fine in the Santa Cruz Redwood mountains. I do believe I have found my magic again, my edge, and once you fall in love with your own life, the real work can begin; because then can you begin to heal the world with love.  At least that’s always been the plan.

So almost three years later after my initial run in with Lupin, I found myself once again, at the Lupin Lodge this summer, this time for six weeks during a Pandemic.  I am living in a tent nonetheless, and I have been pleasantly surprised to say that it has gotten nothing but more interesting and comfortable as time goes by.   Every morning I wake up in the forrest feeling like a fairy.   I am SO blessed to be working from this property, on several projects, jobs and initiatives, all of which are near and dear to my heart.  I get to be creative and sing every day and play with some of the most talented people I’ve ever met. My worlds are all aligning in a divine fashion, and all I can think to say to anybody who is unhappy with their life is: “well, then you just need to move here”.

Seriously, right now.  Drop everything.  Sell your house.  Downsize your shit.  Pack your car, come to me and let’s get to work.  There is so much great work to do, and it’s ideal to not do it alone!  We can build from here. This place that I have come to call Lupin is special, sacred; it’s safe and prime for creativity, growth and community.  It’s near enough the ocean and nature and the most incredible city in the world to accomplish ANY of your wildest dreams. What are you waiting for?  Start calling it in.  I’m inviting you.  Consider this, your invocation.

Now, I know it’s not that easy to just pick up and move your life at first. But if you start to think about detachment, I mean what really is keeping you anywhere, anyway? The world could end tomorrow. All we have is today, this month, this season, and that is what we are learning, many of us, painfully in lesson. Covid has created a hole; what did you fill it with?

Our lives have been diminished to asking basic questions: where is our next meal and paycheck coming from and do we have resources secured for food and shelter beyond that? Once those basic needs are met, a place to lay where your head can rest, then what else do you need to be happy?  Honestly, I invite you to look at your life and consider, what WOULD make you ecstatic? And then, ask for it.  Don’t wait another second before you start calling that shit in. Say it out loud, to yourself, multiple times a day. Chant it like a mantra. Let your life become YOU.  Stagnation is not a part of this journey, but you bust take action in order to move mountains.

110284204_204622094303956_3044291330401550952_n

“If you aren’t happy in your own little bubble you have created for yourself, then change your bubble”.

So let me back-track and set the scene a bit for you: The Lupin Lodge is yes, a nudist community (!) that was established in 1935, off of Highway 17 near the Lexington reservoir in the South Bay.  This sloping property is now owned and run by artist and entrepreneur Lori Kay Stout, who has since the 80’s helped to shift and shape the course of this interesting microcosm we call Lupin.  Lori and her two daughters and team of staff and volunteers steward this sacred land that it is also open to the public for visiting and camping.  The landscape is delightful… if you can imagine, little pathways and rocks and statues and pinwheels,  waterfalls all adorning the property, with just the right amount of personality. The office is welcoming and the yurts and cabins on site are charming as can be.  There is an extensive network of platforms build into the side of the hill for tenting and residing adds a unique element, but the PEOPLE here are what truly make it special.

The lodge itself consists of a family room and restaurant lodge that isn’t open right now due to Covid, however food is still being served in one of several outdoor communal spaces. There are residents that live here, along with guests and campers that come for shorter stays. There is an incredible growing community here.  There are a plethora of regular activities that happen at Lupin, which make it a world of it’s own. We have yoga classes (yes you can be naked), a restaurant on site, a hot tub (closed for Covid), hiking, bonfire pit, tennis, bocce ball, movie showings, frisbee golf, and so much comedy, all of the time. One group of friends reads Shakespeare regularly under the main tree on the lawn. There is poetry and laughter and kindness and music. With a house band, musical jams and melodies fill the air on Saturdays.  Sometimes we do a Karaoke session or maybe a DJ dance party with lasers and costumes (yes, we wear clothes too)!  Sundays are more relaxing. There’s an on-site garden, multiple sculptures and artistic flare all around the grounds, while the fairy lights twinkle at night. And two baby peacocks just arrived on property.  Did I mention there is a family of dear that eat from the plum trees every morning? Even the skunks are cute as fuck. I’m sorry, I’m gushing, I know… If it wasn’t for getting groceries or seeing the ocean occasionally, one need not ever leave ever, especially during a pandemic.  All you need is good WiFI and company (which we have both) and you’re set.  (The pool doesn’t hurt either.)   Just last week we did a full moon water ceremony with a pool full of giggling naked humans laughing so hard we cried, I said ” for the first time in a long time, I feel fully alive.”

116161291_720523542101524_3719984843885511650_n

For the record, never once as I go about my day do I think “man I sure wish I had to wear clothes right now.” or “wow, I sure miss my “old life” or whatever it is I used to be doing.  Three months ago I was more unhappy than I’e ever been, and it didn’t feel natural.  I desire to make a change.  I prayed for a change, I took steps to actively alter my situation, and this is where it led me.  If I can do it, I believe that you can do it too.

Speaking of natural, it’s fairly common to bare it all here at Lupin on a regular basis. We bare our souls regularly, in ceremony around the fire and around the dinner table. We bare our chests and bottoms at the pool (and wherever else it makes sense according to the weather and given activity). And here, many of us wear our hearts on our sleeves, usually when it comes to expression. Bottom line when you live in a community of people You HAVE to keep it REAL. This means No lies. No bullshit. No drama. No deception. ETHICS are the forefront of our environment, and it is a communal, learned art.

Now since moving to California, I’ve been fortune enough to have the pleasure of being able to explore the benefits of living a polyamorous lifestyle, which means having multiple lovers.   This is always something I desired, but it requires just the right ingredients to work in a healthy fashion.  Now I want to be clear, that while nudity and polyamory do not necessarily go hand in hand,  I do welcome them both in my life here in the South Bay, and I am finding much overlap in the intrinsic values of being comfortable naked and comfortable leading a polyamorous lifestyle.  At 34 years old, I am an open book, and I’d love to lay it all out for you a little more closely:

I want to start off by saying that I have so much love and respect for the people/partners that I choose to spend my time with, and I feel nothing but intense love and respect back from each of them. Having multiple partners isn’t about having sex all the time, but for me it’s about emotional intimacy and security. I get my cup filled up in a variety of ways, and without all of that pressure being put directly on one person. I recognize that I personally like a lot of attention, and spreading that out isn’t a bad thing it turns out. I also had to learn to fill up my cup MYSELF, without a partner present, in order to be able to share in such delights to begin with.

Currently I have a few partners who I see regularly and cherish intensely. Dating in the time of Covid, now, not only do you have to get an STD test, you have to get Covid test, too, coupled with lots of conversations.  Having this kind of open dialogue has never been easier because now it’s NOT OPTIONAL … it’s almost as if everyone is “poly” now, because to even be in the same room with someone you have to know EVERYTHING. “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN WHO HAVE YOU BEEN WITH AND HOW LONG WERE YOU THERE?”. But this time, these questions are being asked for different reasons. Not because you should ask… but because you have to.

In my life, there are no ‘shoulds’ anymore. Nobody should get to tell me what to do or who to see.  Nobody should dominate my entire time and attention, nor should I need anyone’s entire time or attention either. In turn, I also allow my partners the same freedoms with a whole lot of trust and dialogue.  It feels safe and healthy, because of the emotional maturity of the partners I have chosen to send my time with. While I will admit, this is somewhat new territory for me, it feels as natural and comfortable as ever. I am fortunate to have had good teachers and examples over the years, of what healthy polyamorous relationships can (and shouldn’t) look like, which helps a lot. It is not always easy, no, but stepping into that uncomfortableness allows you to experience SO much more freedom in the long run!

When you learn to love yourself enough to let go of the absolute need to control anybody or anything else around you, you set yourself free. I no longer am afraid of being exposed; of anyone knowing my darkest secrets, or afraid of being alone.  So what, I am naked?  So what that I am open and a creature of sexuality and expression?  So what if I do not lead a traditional lifestyle of idleness; I am an artist, and my life is fantastic, and wild, and challenging and beautiful, and every day is a gift I cherish. My life IS art, and I am still learning to master this craft.

115956257_1482107081996325_897573207947337221_n

“I am a God damn cheeta” – Glenon Doyle, Becoming Untamed 

I would never have felt this way if I had not stepped the unknown.  If I had not leapt from my comfort zone into a foreign safety net and prayed to Goddess that something caught me, I would never have stood a chance at being this ecstatic.  I caught myself in actually, in the act, and as I continue to move towards what looks like love, and step away from that which does not serve me, I only feel more powerful and confident that in all actuality there just might be some magic to this life to discover after all.  Some sort of utopian society may or may not be possible, but I am sure going to give it my all to have a shot at my wildest dreams might actually coming true.  It’s all about the players and our mindsets, which we work on daily here at Lupin. “Love, like bread must be made everyday, made new”, and this includes self love above all. (Eat your heart out)

Ultimately, letting go of the need to control everyone and everything around me has opened up so many avenues and opportunities. Going with the flow has major benefits, because sometimes, it allows you to actually find your own flow. When you can become comfortable being uncomfortable, you can master any situation.  I am learning how to balance navigate this foreign territory real time, by being authentic in what I say and how I treat people. Full disclosure (coupled with a lot of kindness and empathy) is key, which involves a healthy dose of tough love and an emphasis on self-love all at once.

Bottom line: If you’re going to be in ANY relationship, you have go to get yourself in such a good place, that even if that partner person walked away, you’d still be having the time of your life, because YOUR life is AWESOME.  My partners make my life more interesting and beautiful and pleasurable, and I would never want to demand anything of them that isn’t supporting their happiness and desires.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t challenging when I hear about another love interest, but I trust that they will make good decisions, and that even if they meet someone else who is attractive or interesting, that it will be OKAY. (“Please, introduce me to them” I say, “I bet they are awesome and I want to love who you life!”.)

Learning to love without attachment is the ultimate life challenge. Why not do it in good company? I learn so much from each of my partners (who are mostly just super close friends who sometimes have benefits. ; )  And I get to teach what I have learned at the same time; which is such a blessing. This is not a dress rehearsal!  This is the real deal baby.  All systems go.  Are you in?

And yes, I am still looking for my senario-typical twin-flame type soulmate partner in style, and I feel closer than ever to that energy. Maybe I will discover that partner, and maybe I will continue to walk this journey as a free agent?    Either way, I am having a blast, no regrets.

“We must be as in love with the divine yes, as the divine no”. 

I am amazed everyday at how much I continue to be able open up my heart (after being so hurt in the past) and to learn about communication, about myself, and about the human spirit. Unpacking trauma and facing your fears is some deep seeded work, that nobody should have to do alone.  I am so grateful for this safety net of a community who has opened their arms to each other as a united front in the interest of sharing resources and helping unpack our wounds.  Every day that I step outside of myself, bare, naked and free, I feel more and more empowered. I am surrounded by people who love and accept me, no matter how ugly or uncomfortable things get, and that is the key to happiness.

I still sometimes catch the reflection of my body in the glass window and think wow, I really can be THAT damaged AND that beautiful in my total primal state. No make-up. No clothes. No walls.  Just love.

And plenty of love to go around.

Love,
MissConnection

110316688_652398902288118_5741891482416512043_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

Art, Evolution, Health, Poetry

Healing Feelings

“Creating all this drama while running from our trauma” Professor Nightlife Jones

“Despite all my rage, Im still just a rat in a cage!” – Jai Love

I’ve come to love the sound of the recycling jingling in and out of cans outside my bedroom window on the street below…. not because of the environmental implications, I mean, but because it sounds like home. My home, now. Life on Clement. 94118. I chose this very place, of all the towns and cities in the United States, I picked here. The Inner Richmond. Why?  Many reasons. Fate. Chance.  Coupled with my proximity to work in Tiburon at the synagogue, and for a variety of other factors involving landscape, environment, proximity and creativity, this is my home of choice.  My sanctuary. My center. The eye of my storm.   

That’s not to say I don’t doubt myself everyday. Did I make the right choice? Pick the right city? The right job? The right part of town.   I KNOW that I picked the right partner, thank goodness, and I am grateful everyday for that clarity. So why have I been so…. disillusioned?  So unhappy.  What more could I want?

Yes, I do miss my family. But I like it here. I like who I have become.  I’m not as sweet as I used to be, but much kinder and smarter, I’d like to think.  Rougher.  More careful with my energy and time and space. Protective. A mamma bear.  I work out now, sort of.  I actively DON’T eat cheese at every meal.  I don’t smoke… near as much as I used to.  I don’t weigh myself down with unnecessary bullshit and small talk with people I don’t care about.  So where are these giant waves of sadness coming from? Are they a part of me? Or maybe much bigger than me? Generations larger than I can possibly comprehend, it seems.

And I am open to it.  I asked to understand, the human condition. I remember at six-years-old asking for answers of the universe.  I read Conversations with God and the Four Agreements at an early age, and lots of other spirituality self help type books that seemed reasonably informative.   I remember adults protecting me from the truth, for the same damn reasons we protect our own hearts and tune out our own minds when it’s convenient, which is more often than not these days.  Every night we feel the need to turn the volume up or down, it seems.  To alter our current state, because reality is not pretty. 

And sure, we can blame it on mercury in retrograde, or the solar storms, or claim we are just products of our environment, and that’s nice, to put a name on it. A blame. “Survival of the fittest”, gone wrong.  Of course, I am not niave enough to think it is all outside consequences no, I am open to it being all my fault. By no means is my life perfection; though I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  The amount of beauty and joy I have been shown far outweighs and exceeds the haunting of mistakes and misdeeds, that me and those who came before have scored. Everything we know is constantly in a stage of flux and transition; growing, changing, building, maintaining.  Disruption. Creation. On repeat. New twist.  Developed plots thicken. We grow sicker. We discover a cure.  It is true, that I have grown sicker, weaker, sadder. And it has been very hard for me to admit that to myself, because once you give it power, then it changes, right? 

Upon reflecting of my past, my relationships gone wrong, friendships failed, I have grown discouraged. Though admitting your mistakes is the first step to changing the future.  Please know that if I haven’t followed through or reached out to you lately, and I was supposed to, please forgive me. Life has been like a god damn tornado. I  lived my whole life in Kansas thinking I’d never seen a tornado, until I got to San Francisco and realized that the tornado was all around me. I was the calm. 

Somehow, I’ve thrown myself out of orbit. What was once an eye is now a limb, a gust, an upheaval of old foundation crumbled to new. As I continue to stumble down this dumbfounded road, seeing new walks of life, some pristine and some soot, I recognize my own depression is a result of years of neglect and emotional instability, from my own actions but also from the gusts of wind from other storms, other atmospheres, colliding.  Exhausted.  Worn. 

The storm comes and goes, and so does my vulnerability.  As I continue to try and be as present and available to others all the while taking care of my own sanity.  I want to do more. I aim to do more.  I will not give up on doing more, for myself and for my community. 

Sometimes it is as simple as switching your medication.    

Sometimes, it’s as simple as saying something.  Speaking up. 

Saying I’m sorry if you have to.  

Admitting your truth and finding your next step. 

Sourcing the pain, so you can work on healing the wound. 

My friend taught me a learning recently. She said “Sara, you’ve been so open, you’re forgetting to protect yourself”. And then she taught me to clear.  After years of being an empath, I now am aware of the consequences of neglecting that power. 

“Thank you (insert higher being here)
for clearing all draining and negative energy chords
in all directions of time. “

» three deep breaths – then follow with «

“Thank you (insert higher being)
for shielding me with 1000 feet of silver light
in all directions of time. And so it is”


-From April King_

Ripples that we make go everywhere, in all directions. We make them constantly- some microscopic and some so big we can’t even see that it’s a wave.

I Invite you, to be careful what you put in motion, as it may not turn out like you thought. You may not even be thinking about it consciously at all. Luck is chance and fate is a game. Back and forth. Sometimes you win sometimes you loose and you don’t have to play. You choose to feel it all or feel nothing. Both have consequence. Balance is only possible with out attachment and then constant upkeep of the body soul and mind / space we occupy. None of it matters and it all matters we all could argue reasoning for both. We are that enlightened. And yet we are our own enemy. We hold each other back. We fight the way of nature. We protect what we have know we hold onto tradition and the sacred for dear life maybe for a good reason maybe not. Sometimes both. The complexities of chance and fate and intentions at work here are astronomical unpredictable. The equation is long and the ripples are strong. Waves so big you may not even notice it.

In this day of age we are all ripe and raw.  We are BOTH sides of the coin and the paradox. We are all misconceptions. We could all argue both sides of the fence. So be careful what you say and always tell the truth. If you have the facts and integrity and kindness you will come out ahead and if for no one else but yourself. Be your own karma. Don’t forget to breath through it all. I love you. I’m working it out just as you are.  Maybe you’ve learned something and have something to teach me.  Don’t hold back; please, we need your voice.

“It’s about planting a seed, letting it grow
Nourish it, flourish is, give it grow, flow,
Water it down until the roots take hold
from the leaves on the trees to our breaks get old
Cultivate relationship millions of years,
Keep it strong, erase thereof fears.
Don’t you let no producer tell you that you can’t,
Just make sure you’re careful which seeds you plant” 

-MissConception, 2009, Plantin’ a Seed-

Art, Evolution, Poetry

A Shortcut to Love

I used to think falling in love was the key to happiness… you think you learn every thing you need to know as a little girl… “he’ll be on a horse, just before midnight;  I’ll be wearing white, and it will be happily ever after”.  Right?

And then… you grow up.

Reality smacks you in the face, and if you’re paying attention, you realize that if you really want to fall in love in a HEALTHY way, you must find that happiness and love within yourself first. Quintessential, yes, just as the love itself is.  A perfect mix of idealism and reality.   There are no shortcuts.  There’s no magic pill or perfect weight that suddenly grants you the divine agape soulmate twin flame type of love you read about in the romance novels.  You do the work for you; you get to that place where you are SO ecstatic to NOT be in a shitty to relationship, to be FREE, and that’s when true love finally has the opportunity to open itself to you.  Even then, it’s not a guarantee.

In the meantime, while it’s incredibly difficult to wait it out and trust yourself in this divine plane,  in all actuality, if you are not madly in love with yourself, then you have no business trying to love or support another human, a partner, let alone a child.  Even if it NEVER happens in this lifetime, don’t you still want to be THAT happy, that it doesn’t even matter?   I do.  And every day is an effort to meet myself in that place.

So many people are miserable in relationships, and also miserable alone. Loneliness is a slow death that will kill anyone’s spirit faster than it will kill a body; but what good is a body without a spirit alive? Falling in love with yourself, all the while letting go of attachment to things and places and ideas that will in theory ‘make you happy’ requires a good dose of proactivism; meaning, you’re going to have to go out and get it.  You can’t sit passively and wait for love to find you.  FIND yourself.   I dare you.

We look at couples who have been together for years and think, “Why them? How come they get to be so happy together and in their relations?  Why do they deserve it?”

First of all, if you are still thinking like that, then you’re not there, or ready.  You still have work to do within loving yourself.  Once you’re there, you won’t CARE who has what relationship or why they deserve it more than you.

Also, what we often fail to see are the sacrifices, or choices, one makes to be in love, truly. It requires a selfless that comes from selfishly loving yourself first; then that selfishness turns INTO selflessness for others. Loving another means not always doing exactly what you want because you’re putting someone else’s needs right up there with yours, which can look like a chore, but one that shouldn’t ever bring resentment.   This applies to familiar love, and the same goes for romantic love; there comes a point when someone else’s happiness becomes just as necessary for your happiness, though not dependent on it.  The second you depend on another to fill up your cup, that is the moment your cup will drain, and continue to drain, unless you re-learn to fill it up yourself.  This happens on a micro and macro scale.

So, how do we will up our cups?  One bite at a time. With a daily dose of self love and self care.  Eventually, when you start giving yourself SO much self love, you will begin to expect it.  You deserve it.   You already know all the ways; don’t let it overwhelm you.  Remember your worth; stop giving your power  away to other people – that is never true love.  YOU live in your power and in your own divine agape love.  Once you’re there, then we can talk matchmaking. 

Anything you would give a partner, give to yourself.  Anything you would WANT from another, choose to be that.  Too many people are sitting around waiting for love to find them, wondering why it isn’t happening. When was the last time you went to the gym, or got yourself a pedicure?  “Money’s tight,” you say?  Work out a work-trade for your local gym membership, or take up a part time job with all the free time you have not dating somebody and start saving those pennies for a well earned vacation and spa retreat.  Take yourself somewhere exotic.  Push yourself to harness your creativity and freedom to make the most of this trip around the sun, even if it’s alone.  We are born alone.  We die alone.  And in the meantime, we have all of these fabulous souls to get to know and experience on a daily basis!  Start inside.  Work your way out by walking your talk.  The only thing you’ll have to regret, is your own disappointment.  Start now before it’s too late, and remember, it’s never too late to love yourself! 

And Happy Valentines Day,

MissConsumed

 

IMG_1734

www.themissconception.com

Art, Evolution, Poetry


Do you have change for a button sir? 



Imagine there’s this red shiny button, with no label on it… do you push it? Or not? Even if you don’t know what it does. 


See lately, I’ve found myself pushing buttons. Lots of buttons. All the buttons that we must push…

Including but limited to, my own and yours. For example:
I get up, and hit the alarm, first thing, snooze is on, twice or three times AT LEAST I’m gone back to sleep, to push that button again maybe catch another wink. Flip the lights. Then push a series of buttons and knobs, facets, electronics and different kinds of tabs, showered, dressed and ready to brave the street. I unlock the car with a button chirp, jump in the seat, ignition switch and hit the sun roof, then radio, then gps, then reverse, lights, mirror angle, gas action, and we’re down the highway bend.


Across a bridge, pusha button to pay the toll, my mother calls, do I answer the phone? Or click ignore?


Push the button to the gate at work; a code to enter, buttons to remember, systems of order and cognition, passwords to recall, and change as one forgets, don’t we all? Tapping the keys all day, buttons and letters and numbers all in array, combing through pages and emails online, I hit the send button, often to soon, I’ll admit it. I’m hot on the buttons, pulling the trigger out of impulse, and release.


Turn on the fan


Turn down the music, turn it back up again.

Microwave your lunch and then the copy machine parades it’s multiverse of button wizardry all afternoon.



Hit the lock button on the bathroom door, which sometimes I forget, yeah that’s happened before. You want more buttons, we got more in storage…



I am so tired, of fucking pushing buttons, and of people pushing mine – will we ever just chill the fuck out, let the buttons rest for a time?




Yes, maybe, just maybe I’ll let you push my buttons a little, on purpose, if you’re nice, but don’t rush it, until I trust it, otherwise you won’t be pushing it twice. 


Pushing buttons…
Clock out.
Wrap it up.
Take it home, I’m done,

But not before
I reset the buttons back for tomorrow’s pushing some more.

<3,
MissCompissed

Art, Poetry, Sacred Space

Mountain Earth

I study the mountains
like I study the curve of a woman

Like the way I stare deep into your eyes
looking to lift the disguise from your gaze

Like how we listen to old stories the
the mountains tell it…

Every rock and groove a lifetime of moves and slip.

Each hill a gift to the present.

Every dry river bed has a past documenting the history of lifetimes,
and oh, how I’ve missed you.

<3,

Miss Constance

img_3739

www.themissconception.com

Art, Happenings, Poetry, social justice

Poetry as Personal Power

What helps you get through tough times in your life?

Poetry for Personal Power is a Midwest based non-profit organization designed to do the virtually unheard of.  Poetry for Personal Power, or P3 for short, provides health care messaging via community prevention info that manifest through paid gigs for sponsored artists.  Essentially, P3 has been allowing artists to use poetry and music to address mental health and wellness in the community, in order to improve the community at large… and it’s working!

Specifically focusing on  youth audiences and underprivileged communities, P3 hosts workshops, poetry readings, performances, and events of all shorts to get young people talking about mental health and wellness and what it means for them to deal with the struggles and complications of life.  Also known as peer support, P3 strives for a 70% hospital reduction rate, while intimating health care advocacy and research.

“What helps you through adversity? We are now in our seventh year with over 150 events per year, 75 sponsored artists and advocates in 7 regions, and research and peer support programs in full pilot trial modes! We are building a national replication process to share health care messaging, promote resilience in nonprofits, and increase the number of peer support programs. We are becoming an evidence based resilience messaging campaign with sponsored artists. We are also increasing Wellbeing Impact in host organizations with sponsored advocates.” -Poetry for Personal Power Website

So how can you get involved?

In 2017, the Kansas Mental Health coalition (KMHC) has a $120K grant to teach artists how to become citizen lobbyists. They are looking to pay stipends to people to learn to use arts and advocacy together to support social justice. Poetry for Personal Power and KMHC are doing a free one day training on March 14 for artists and advocates. P3 would like to invite anyone to attend, especially youth or young adult advocates. You can apply here to attend that training: http://kansasmentalhealthcoalition.onefireplace.com/event-2168073

Also, Poetry for Personal Power has a $5,000 grant to support youth and young adult artists from Kansas who want to become tobacco prevention advocates.

You can apply here: http://poetryforpersonalpower.com/artist-entrepreneur-supports/event-replication-application/

If you are interested in the Poetry for Personal Power initiative, you can always email corinna@poetryforpersonalpower.com for more info, or text 816-392-6074.

One of the best parts about Poetry for Personal Power is that the organization is actually paying artists to facilitate these actions and events.  You can check out artist profiles on the website here.  Get involved.  Get excited. And get ready, because P3 is about to revolutionize the way we look at healthcare, via ART!

Always,

MissCompassion

Art, Poetry

Concept of Insanity

Hello.

I would like to introduce you to myself … and all of my friends.

You know, the ones there living up inside my head, and they would tell you that they do believe that…

I have gone mad.

Started talking to myself imagine that imagining the cracks in my head are crumbling past corruption, mass destruction in-between my earlobes.  What’s if, my story goes untold?  If the path doesn’t unfold?  WHAT IF…. my brain starts to erode before it ever takes hold?

What if I am nuts?

The future so unclear.  I was always taught not to live in fear.
Keep it sweetly sincere and yes, I know, I am I am fucking WEIRD.

I mean look at me

I’m almost 32

and have what to show for myself?

Except an abundance of these memorized narcissistically sized ramblings considered a hobby. Who really cares?

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and doing the same thing over again and doing the same thing over again and expecting it to end differently, and I would say that true insanity doest ever end at all.  It just keeps going on and on and going on and on and going on like a black hole stuck

Overwhelmed and brainsick with what I COULD be, what society thinks I should be, what my degree said I would turn out to be… well sorry ma, but confined lines just won’t do this time around. I’m through feeling crazy because I’m too racy to do it the same old way you say.  Same old sing-song… ding dong ding bat, I’ve defiantly gone mad.

Dementedly disturbed by all of these nouns and words and verbs I’ve yet to compose formally, the message is intensely clear so maybe immensely sheer when most of the time I can’t remember what I just said, I am an idiot at best, densely depressed but at the same time, the intensity suggested of my highly demented state has got me smitten with my own fate.

Maybe the best of them are crazy by default…

and a lot in life can be a lot of life that doesn’t have to make sense.  When you press two opposites together they are often more interesting than the present tense….

My digressional defense mechanism have become so unusually chatty, daftly unsound.

I like to think, that when a screw goes loose inside the mind, does it matter if anybody is really around to witness such maniacal madness.  Because if you don’t see it, you can pretend like it’s not happening.  Ignorance still torn between the two sides of my split person, personally, what a buggy fucking mess.

Call it art!

Asinine and insane as all nonsensical hell erupts.

I’ve got a one-up on the unusual. Shining on like a crazy diamond.  Allowing the delusional to override on auto pilot down the rabbit hole on a crazy train.  yes, my screws are loose.  Might as well let em all hang out together….

And though I don’t remember exactly which crazy night when or where or why I went mad in the first place, now that this crazy bitch is gone… there’s no looking back.

_MissConfused_

Art, Burn

Split Hairs – the Lessons of Burning the Man

Next year we’re going to have to start calling it by a different name because at this point, everyone whom was not there is sick of hearing about it and everyone whom was there can’t stop talking about it..  It was epic.  It was introspective.  It was dusty.  It was definitely expensive. It was… a way of life.

When you’re dealing with a wild animal, it’s usually best not to look it directly in the eyes… Some storms you just have to wait out.  Some parties too epic for pictures.

Burning Man.

Yes, I made the pilgrimage this year.  And, yes, it was worth every ridiculous trade-off.

Short parable: Going into Burning Man I decided to braid my hair,  you know, like every other long haired chica on the playa; to keep it from knotting up, naturally. After two weeks of looking ‘fly’, not showering, and spending ten days in the dust, I’ve never combed out such a mess of knots.  Ironically, I felt the burn and, just like my hair, I felt that the knots tied in the fabric of our unique burn culture needed a conditioning treatment of their own.

I debated posting this blog because I am somewhat ashamed of some of the things I have witnessed online and on the playa.  If you’ve been keeping up with the burn word on the street, then you are aware there was plenty of drama to go around this year.  I’ve watch what I’ve grown to call ‘my community’ appear to fall apart over some very specific issues.  This has created a sense of self-doubt in my own choices, let alone in my faith in this community.

I spent much of this year at various burns weighing the two sides… Is the stress worth the comb-out?  Does the carbon foot print outweigh the time, money and energy spent? Are the principles worth the autonomy we give up?    Does radical inclusion justify the split in our community?  Lastly, is deciding to shop at Wal-Mart over-ridden by the notion that we get to party seamlessly for a week in the middle of no where kicking dust?

The biggest question is are you proud to be a part of this scene?

I say, sheepishly, it was worth it.  Every dollar, scrape, burn and bruise, missed deadline and job quit because of Burning Man was worth the epic nature of this event and I can’t get it out of my head!  That moment when I looked around at the vast expanse and see nothing but art and smiles for miles, I KNEW in my heart it was worth it.  No one can shut up about it, and the question at hand becomes “what’s next?”

We’ve certainly outgrown our roots at this point, and now the Burning Man Organization is expanding!  How “fly” of them; it’s about time!  I feel like I’ve been ready for this since before I knew what even was a burn.  Now that the org has purchased a permanent location, Fly Ranch, what should be done with it?

I wonder just how many of us would quit our jobs at the drop of a top hat, depart the default world to arrive in Gerlach ready to colonize #forreal. To Settle. Prepared to work. Ready to practice what we preach.  Ready to surrender.  Ready to stand up for what we believe in.  Ready to chop the dead ends and grow fresh roots.  The land is there. The ten principles are in place. Are we ready to uphold them? Isn’t this what we all want – to live the burner life fully and permanently?  Or perhaps it is just the ideal with which we are in love?  Alas, the conundrum that comes with all serious relationships, “are we ready to commit?”

So far the org has not said much in terms of what Fly Ranch is supposed to be, and the word on the street is that they are open to the community’s vision (you can insert your own thoughts here).

I want to think that this community is one I can be proud to represent, and realistically, be okay loosing my hair over on a regular basis.

So….

Should we quit our jobs yet?

Maybe volunteer with Burners without Burners?  Burners without Borders is a grassroots, volunteer-driven, community leadership organization whose goal is to unlock the creativity of local communities to solve problems.  (Which, I will add, I am headed to volunteer for a week in New Orleans next month).

What I desire most, is that I could head back to Black Rock City, TODAY, with all of the other die-hard sick-of-this-default-shit burner radicals and get settled on Fly Ranch as my heart imagines our community could be living.  If we gave it a real effort to colonize and revolutionize the way we envision our lives, image what we could do for ourselves, and as a model for the world?  I am unsure if it is time for that, yet, but I do know that I am ready.  Are you?  Should we?  This is a group decision, not just for one or two people.

If it’s too soon for you personally that’s okay. The task at hand is clearly upon us; to spread what I believe is a common love and respect all around the world, including within our own community, but specifically outside of our inner circle, and to be proud of this energy.

We are a hefty network.  Think of the global mouthpiece we could amplify should we chose to deliver an intentional message.  What message is worth delivering, and how shall we say it? Perhaps we speak softly, with grace, radical inclusion and exquisite creativity; definitely not with exclusivity.  Let us find the voice of the radical burner spirit that drew us all together in the first place.

I challenge us to a  radical international game that Americans know by the name of telephone.  Allow me to whisper something into your ear, and you into the ear of your neighbors, and so forth.

May we whisper words of creative kindness into our consciousness, let it permeate our lives and the lives of our community and remind us of our roots.  May every action be an opportunity to spread some burner light with others.  Let every grocery store encounter set the stage for intent and radical expressive interaction.  Everyday put something moopy back in its place. :et civic responsibility realign the burner attitude we once sought with pride and inclusion.

Please continue to spread the magical dust on every level and know that our utopia is not as far away as we think, if we want it to be.  The questions are, what role do you play,  and how do we fully practice the art of burning?   #loveyourburn #spreadit #missconcepttour

Sincerely,
MissConception

 

img_8048

Burning Man 2016