food, Health, Sacred Space, Uncategorized

Health, Love and Money….

My grandfather always used to say that him and his wife had figured out the success to a happy life and a happy marriage: “Health, love, and money, in that order” he says.

This blog today is to talk about HEALTH, the bases for heaving good love, and good wealth, really, because without a strong sense of health and strength, what good are the other two, anyway?

​I have spent years trying to figure out how to be “healthy”? It seems to be a mysterious far away, lofty ideal that no one has truly mastered.  Some know more than others, but it does come down to truly knowing your own body and lifestyle.

After blowing out my adrenals in college, and burning the candle at both ends, it has taken me at least ten years to catch up on sleep… and to teach myself how to eat PROPERLY and not give into temptation every time cheesecake comes calling.

Something else I’ve realized they don’t teach you in grade school (let alone college) is how and when to take your vitamins.  Now, I do NOT proclaim to be a nutritionist; rather this is simply an example of a regiment that, coupled with proper diet and exercise, can lead to a better you.  At the very least, it’s something to think about.

One really could drive themselves crazy over-thinking when and what to eat with what other food combinations in order to promote the best longevity.  Of course, you have to take into account the fact that some people eat meat, others don’t, some fish only, some vegans, etc…. which some would say might be attributed to blood type. (If you do some research, one will find that type 0 blood type is suggested to eat more meat than others…)

Do what you want with your food life, as long as it works for you.  All of that aside, after suffering some extreme fatigue, I came to discover that I have been prone to bacterial overgrowth that has been destroying all of my nutrients!  These guys, that live in your intestines, eat all of your food before the vitamins can hit the blood stream!  They got out of control because of SURPRISE: Antibiotics!  And it’s been a lot of hard work getting ahead of it, and the proper bacteria back in place via pro-biotics and other vitamins.As I became increasingly aware of what nutrients I was getting, when and from what, and slowly surely, the fatigue cloud is lifting.  Cutting out carbohydrates and glutton helped a lot, along with this powdered herbs I discovered (https://theinterstellarplan.com Discount Code: sg151) which I take daily.  But yes, I have become a slave to my vitamin regiment. When I saw my grandfather’s pill containers as a little girl, I never thought that would be me!  But alas, I have even discovered these tiny Macaron shaped pill containers for travel, that are a stitch.

In the end, it’s not what you carry them with, but it’s what you put into your body that matters, and WHEN!  They don’t tell you in school is that magnesium when taken with other nutrients can prevent them from going into your body, and other tips like this.

I have developed a list below of vitamins, supplements and minerals that I take and at what time.  This is simply based off of some simple google searches and what I determined was best for me.  If you’re serious about your health, then take an hour to look up what vitamins and minerals you are taking and when to take them.

Pro-biotic first thing in the morning along with my maca and interstellar herb tea
METHYL B12 morning under the tongue
Multivitamin Morning pre-meal
B5 with calcium morning meal (three times a day!)
Mineral supplement morning meal (made of dried alfalfa juice and kelp)

Vitamin C twice a day morning meal

Folic Acid morning meal
Fiber mid afternoon (usually in a shake)
B5 with calcium Lunch meal
Dandelion root mid afternoon (sometimes, not always)
Vitamin D evening meal
Vitamin E evening meal
Vitamin C evening meal
B5 with calcium evening meal

After dinner Activated Charcoal (if tummy hurts)

 L-tryosine evening (sometimes)

Zinc before bedtime
Iron before bedtime
Primrose before bedtime
Collagen at Bedtime
Magnesium RIGHT before bed

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On top of the regular self-care supplements I ritualize, then there’s what happens when you get sick.  Many people have posted lately about the flu and colds, and what to do when you fall ill.  Here is my protocol-

Three times a day add in:
Lysine
Echinacea

Golden seal

Turmeric tea with raw honey, hot pepper and lemon

Roasted garlic eat EIGHT cloves straight (delicious on bread) OR cut up raw garlic and swallow two cloves minced whole.

Elderberry Syrup 

Osha Root Tincture

Epsom salt bath with tea tree oil and eucalyptus
Ravansara essential oil under the toes at night before bead

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Again, I will say that I am NOT a trained professional, and what is right for me may not be right for you at all depending on your genes, your history and your body type.  Do the research for what is right for you, and always be learning and growing.  It doesn’t hurt to ask.  Feel free to ask away in the comment sections, and together we can find the right resources for any question you might have, or ailment that may be affecting you.  Chances are, there is a natural herb remedy for any symptom that might be afflicting you.  If you ARE going to go the antibiotic way (and certainly there is good use for these types of treatments) BE CAREFUL.  Do the research on how to properly adapt your body into healthy homeostasis before it’s too late.

Remember, that in order to change the world, you first have to change yourself.

MissConcious

 

Uncategorized

Me Too, Me Too

In light of the recent #metoo phenomenon across the Internet, where woman and men of all kinds are coming forward with their stories on sexual assault and harassment, I thought I would try and tackle this delicate subject, from a warrior perspective.

I’ve heard a lot of stories of how they people have been hurt and taken advantage of; it has taken much of bravery and compassion, to voice these stories, and also to hear these stories.  To validate them, is equally as necessary as telling them.

What I haven’t heard much talk of, is the “NOW WHAT?”.  How do we address and maybe change these cultural norms we have created?

In recent conversations about consent and male/female relations, someone spoke of a situation in a festival environment when a male attendee was being too aggressive with females at the event (tale old as time).  The way the event staff handled the situation, was as such: they took the identified males and the identified females into separate rooms as groups, and had a conversation.  For the men, they spoke of the issue itself, while not calling any individual out, and the conversation concerned how they, as males, can retain their masculinity without alienating the women; without using force to feel heard.  They men didn’t WANT to come off that way, generally, and it was learning experience for most.

The real learning however, came with the females, who spoke instead of the problem, of the solution.  They discussed how they could as a group band together and not allow this kind of behavior to continue, let alone affect them negatively, any longer.  They rallied as warriors. They worked on EMPOWERMENT.  They discussed specific language to use to nip that degrading behavior in the bud before it could become a problem, moving forward.  They took an interesting, and some would say risky approach to an ever-evolving issue, and their methods worked.  The women became incredibly empowered throughout the rest of the weekend, and there were no more issues with either gender taking advantage of power or sex.

(These conversations become even more convoluted with the pronoun discussion.  Not everyone identifies as male or female, and no one should HAVE to identify as anything.  All in all, in your community, we MUST become more aware and respectful of these cultural evolutions. You don’t have to understand it, but you do need to respect that people are pressing the envelope when it comes to sexuality and identity.  These conversations are important.)

I conceptualized this article because, though I have some slight experienced an unwanted advantages – a pat on the ass at a drunken bar, and cat calls on the street –  I have come out mostly unscathed.

My whole life, my family has stressed:  “carry your mace”, “don’t want down the street alone at night,” “be careful when you go to your car,” and always the questions over “how do you feel safe at night when you’re leaving the bar alone” etc.

I was raised to believe that “attitude is everything”.  They say that aggressors prey on the meek.  The weak.

I have intuitively always approached these seemingly “scary” situations as opportunities… to be brave, to be strong and to teach others subconsciously HOW to walk down a dark street alone at night and NOT GET FUCKED WITH.

First of all, YOU LOOK PEOPLE IN THE EYE.  I eye mug every single person on any given block I’m on, constantly.  Not in a paranoid way, but in an inquisitive and slightly magical way that says “hey, I see you, I get it, and it’s great to meet you here on this earth”.  I look people in the eye, with meaning, with a smile and with a maybe slightly crazy approach… maybe, just maybe, I’m just as bat shit crazy as they are?  Nobody fucks with bat shit.

I say hello, and when I am responded to with comments like “oh, baby are you married”. I boldly and loudly go “Nope, but my boyfriend might propose any day now” or some other quick-witted response.   Always with a smile.  Sometimes with a laugh or a genuine “Hey man, you have a great day.  Love those shoes” .

I am aggressive. I am abrasive. I do not shy away.  And I also do not look back.

When someone cat calls me, I smile nod, look them in the eye and KEEP WALKING.  No attention given what-so-ever to the cat call.

Now some of you might argue that I’m not teaching a lesson to the predator in that situation, but safety first, my friends.  The lesson can come in obvious time.  If every victimized or approached person was able to be brave, maybe just maybe some of these predators might get the message.  That is NOT how you speak to a lady, or a gentleman.

I hesitated to touch on this, because, no, I have not had any severely threatening experiences. It hasn’t happened to me, whether that be good luck or my unabashed attitude.

My unafraid, and perhaps somewhat idealistic approach, is not backed up without logistics. I still cary my mace.  I still keep my keys between my fingers like a weapon.  I still look around like a crazy person every single step, to make sure I am not being followed or taken off-guard.  I am present.

Most importantly, I AM NOT AFRAID.  Getting out of my car, sometimes the only alone female person in a rough neighborhood in the inner-city, headed to a hip hop concert, I take a deep breath, I look everyone in the eye I pass on the street, LIKE THEY MATTER, and I try and envision a bubble of safety around me in moments where I might feel particularly threatened.

As I often tell myself on road trips, you must see yourself making it safely to your destination, to have any chance of making it safely to begin with.

Keep being brave out there with your stories.  Keep telling them honestly, and letting it be known that WE as HUMANS (not as males, or females) will NOT STAND FOR INJUSTICE ANY LONGER.  We will speak out. We will say #metoo until the message is heard and until absuse is no longer tolerated.  And we WILL continue to talk openly about how to break down these cultural ‘normals’.

What do you do to protect yourself from unwanted attention?

What do you to stay brave in a situation that encounters fear?

How are you actively changing the paradigm?
Love, all ways,
MissConviction.

Uncategorized

Cliche Blog Post

Never a dull moment in a day in the life of… any of us really.  I thought it due time for a little update on my status quo.  So here ya go:

It’s official… I have moved to California to live at a naturist community and am selling granola.  Go figure.

Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you could certainly look at it that way, with a cliche spin.

I have found myself in the Bay Area, living part time at the Lupin Lodge, working for a company who makes high-end crunchy almond snacks, and yes, it is just as glamorous as everyone thinks. And expensive.  But totally doable.  (I’m still working out the kinks.)

Speaking of kinks, just last night I, for the first time in my life, made a skunk spray.  Luckily it wasn’t anywhere near me, but it’s always been a life goal, to see a skunk spray his stuff, and wow, was he just as surprised as I was!  If the skunks weren’t so damn cute, I don’t think it would be as exciting.  (Photos coming soon!)

Between the skunks, the deer, the bees, and all of the exciting naturist wildlife, there are also the fires.  The smell of smoke is often in the air, mixed with the smog, it’s hard to tell the two apart.  And while I know there is great sadness, loss and destruction, with the fires also come rebirth.

I’ve learned recently, that in heavily forested areas, the Natives (before we took their land away of course) used to do controlled burns regularly, to clear out the heavy underbrush, so that when lightening or fire embers struck, there was nothing to burn.  A tree would get singed and that was it.  No kindling.

Unfortunately, controlled burns are illegal now, thanks to the “save the trees” movement, I am told, nobody is allowed to preserve the land on a large level by sacrificing the small plants.  Ironic how that goes. We take the land away, then it gets taken away from us.

“The land doesn’t belong to us, we belong to the land.”

“Home is where the heart is.”

And yes, I’ve clearly drank the cool-aid and am ready to put a flower in my hair and call it a day.  Welcome to the West coast.

One thing to note about California living… it’s ELECTRIC.  The energy in the air, in the people, in the music, in the food.  Everything about it is energizing and educational. I am learning SO MUCH.  I am changing SO MUCH.  And I am giving back as MUCH AS I possibly can.

It’s still a struggle every day, but when isn’t life. I am grateful to be learning the lessons the hard way, and to be sharing my gifts with a new community.  That is a true blessings, to be able to be MYSELF and not feel judged one bit.  WHAT A RELEIF.

I love you all, and hope this update has been anything but typical, despite all the cliches.

Sincerely,

MissCliche.
www.themissconception.com

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Lost and Found #earthdance

Every day there seems to be a new version of ourselves, reinventing old habits into new rituals.  Transmuting old energy that doesn’t serve us anymore.  Adopting new protocols for feeling whole.

I’ve been around the block enough to know what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, and I’m still here to share my fleeting bits of wisdom, should you want to listen. No pressure, as ever.  But I’m here. To hear or share.  Bottom line: no one should have to walk down this road alone.  #groupeffort

Speaking of alone, isn’t it amazing how alone you can feel in a roomful of people?

I’ve been ‘alone’ for a while now, on many levels; and while of course it has been lonely, it’s also been refreshing.  To have the time and space to truly connect with your soul and your purpose.  To feel out all the directions and then pick one and go boldly into it, all alone, is a transformative experience.  I don’t even know how it’s all happened really, and I question if I’m moving in the ‘right’ direction sometimes?  Still, I figure, I’ve come this far, why turn back now? Surely it’s just getting interesting.

When I began this journey, I remember three very distinct moments of my life, right around 2006.

One moment, was when my college roommate informed me that I really had to ‘become’ MissConception on stage in order for the delivery to be affective.  “Sara” couldn’t relay the ‘message’ correctly, but MissConception could spray it loud and clear.

Second moment of rapture, at a Galactic show at Wakarusa and then again at Liberty Hall in Lawrence, KS, I heard a voice in the universe INSISTING that I had to go ‘hip-hop’.  Whatever that meant.  It wasn’t an option. It was a life style.  And I was to make it my own and inject it with all the love and compassion and wisdom and wit I could muster, so that this beautiful art form could once again be seen for the awe-powerful and spiritual commune that it was.  Storytelling and sharing is what our tribal communities were built on.  And we must take that power back and use it to heal.  Challenge accepted.

Third pivotal moment of life-force hit me at the once-in-a-lifetime conscious festival event called Coalescence.  I cannot even begin to tell you all the details, because you frankly don’t have time for such minutia, but between Alex and Allyson Gray, Daniel Pinchbeck, Govinda, Damien Marley, Rabbit in the Moon, The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, the magical forest, Professor Nightlife Jones and then my crew of friends that took a chance on something unknown, it became apparently obvious that I was on a path.  A meaningful path collecting wisdom and bits of experiences that would be carried out in all directions and forms across this universe and one day would lead me to my life’s calling (which I still DOUBT, even with ALL THE CLARITY).

Why is it so hard to trust YOURSELF?  

This last weekend I had the privilege of stepping synchronistically into a roll  as producer of an international Prayer for Peace festival called Earthdance.  Tucked away in the South Bay redwoods, a group of charming individuals came together in celebration, ecstatic dance and prayer.   They took a chance on this experience.

Here, at the Lupin Lodge, together we learned about the power of connection and interaction.  We meditated. We danced! We studied the implications of community on conflict and how to mange that, and people explored the values of consent.  We asked the hard questions and had the difficult conversations.


It was amazing to actually SEE consciousness EVOLVING real time.  And it reminded me of that first event Coalescence, where we were a small group, but with great power and intention.

Point being, for the first time, in a long time, after feeling very lost, I found myself in the EXACT place I was supposed to be.  I was doing my life’s work, which filled up my soul and allowed me to serve others with that same energy.

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WHAT A RELEIF!

To actually feel in tune with the ebbs and flows of this powerful and chaotic energetic ocean of life.  It’s taken a lot of trust, and a lot of failure to keep moving forward.

Someone told me just yesterday that a ‘master’ is someone who has made ALL THE MISTAKES.  Bring. It. On.

Ok, just kidding, I’m really rather done with making mistakes.  I still welcome the lessons and value the teachings.

“So what exactly IS IT that I am doing with my life” (…my mother is asking.  Hi Mom!)

It’s what I’ve always done, which is to bring the people I love and cherish together and enable them to commune.  With an intention.  Maybe in prayer or dance?  Maybe just to share a meal?  But clearly, I am a planner, above all else.  Maybe an herbalist?  Certainly a dancer and poet.  Artist, dare I say?

And the plan is to keep chipping away at all of these functions that fill my heart and soul, hopefully making the world an ever so slightly better place.  And I’m going to work towards holding my own space for you all to come and visit someday.

In the meantime, if you need me, hopefully you know where to find me.

Love,
Serendipity

PS You can cop my new EP for just a dollar (or more if you like) on bandcamp by clicking here! Thanks for all your support!

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www.themissconception.com

 

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Burning Man Global Leadership Conference: Sparking a New Citizenship

For many of us, when we think about the muse that is Burning Man, it is already an awe-empowering radical way of life.  On the contrary, maybe for some, the idea of Burning Man is a huge turn-off, due to the seemingly irrelevant time-wasting that takes place once a year at Black Rock City.  Whatever your opinion of this culture and this movement may be, I believe that nothing could begin to encapsulate the magic that took place at the Burning Man Global Leadership Conference in April, 2017, Oakland, CA.  Every doubt in my mind I had about this organization was nipped. Every concern I had about this community was addressed.  And every excitement I conjured up about this mission was accelerated.  Let’s review:

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As a huge proponent and supporter of Burning Man, Burners Without Borders, and the regional Burning network, nothing could have prepared me for the extent of what the Burning community is up to concerning social justice, activism and environmentalism.

Many of us saw the #StandingRock popular opinion of Burning Man, painting Burners as festival maggots who were just showing up to party… but few people saw the infrastructure and composting toilets in the news that Burners Without Borders brought to the table. Everyone sees the party, but who is actively looking for the epic goodness?  Epic goodness is what the GLC had to offer…  Imagine 600 of the world’s most creative, smart, hard working and sincerely kind people all together in one room for a weekend, exchanging ideas and educating each other.  Here are some themes that came out of it, for me personally:

If it’s not fun it’s not sustainable!
Have radical hope
Be in the ‘WE’ mindset
Have clear transparency
Better documentation
Allow for multiple entities to participate in the conversation (whatever the topic may be)

When I first walked into the conference, the activity at hand aside from registration, was packing lost-n-found backpacks with donated personal care items for the homeless.  Participants were encouraged to take the back packs out on the streets and be prepared to merely offer what’s in them to anyone who looks like they might be in need. What a point of contact with the community, and an excellent foot to start off on.

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The conference was then set up like most conferences are, with speakers and break-out sessions.  To give you an understanding of the depth of these sessions, a few of the stand out topics of the
GLC break-out sessions were:

•Operation Acculturation: Project Citizenship
•Radical Transformation in Reactionary Times
•Making in the Service of Art, Innovation and Social Good
•Environmental Sustainability and “the Man”
•Defending Decommodification: Intellectual Property Basics
•Scaling Sustainability: from the Playa to the Planet
•Compassionate Response to Community in Bereavent
•Government and Organizational Evolution
•Participation or Politics: How Burner Citizens Handle Communal Effort in a Partisan World
•Supporting Conflict Resolution From Start to Finish
•Design Thinking: Transform Ideas into Action
•Co-Creating Socially Conscious Real Estate Development
•Consent Culture and Community: How are you building it?

My very first (and favorite) session I attended presented by Kostume Jim (Jim Glaser, founder of Kostume Kult) was entitled: Activism! Organize and Mobilize.   The focus was on bringing the burn to the rest of the world with an activist approach, using cacophony society tactics such as enticing/scaring congressmen into doing what’s right using via theatrical gorilla performances (i.e.: Billionaires for Bush Performance Artists collective).  The Occupy movement came out of this sort of work.  Jim emphasized that burner activists are not alone, that this is a place where sociology meets art and that this is an artistic messaging movement start to get the word out.   If you have never heard of the cacophony society, read up!

SO, how do we bring about more activism with ease? Ground rules:

1 With efficiency and flexibility
2 Speech first, discussion after
3 Make it a community project
4 Non-Partisan- establishment types (Bernie types vs anarchists)
5 Non-argumentative
6 NO political correctness
7 Keep it ethical

A tangible example of an event/activity Jim is trying to head up is assisting inner city people IDs so they can vote.  It’s unconstitutional to have a voters tax, and by making people have Drivers License’s to vote we are violating that freedom.  Another idea: create a Fare Force…  “an activist hive mind project where we conceptualize media stunts, act them out and then try to make them go viral. Cacophony for causes,” Jim says. We are talking about mixing cacophony society and experimental marketing, and then taking that content from those events and showing the world via video and social media.  What crazy and interesting messages can we do at bigger protests?  “Focus on millenials and counter fake news,” Jim says.  Jim and his team are also working on a cause-connectivity app, sort of a tinder of social causes.   And they are always looking for leaders/volunteers to move this movement.

In another talk, Cory Mervis who used to work for Donald Trump spoke about how to reach people just like him. It was a powerful conversation about radical inclusion, a principle we all cherish.  Harley k Dubois, the Chief transition officer talked about what “it” is, the magical thing we all are here to “get” and transformational experiences, which we are all here to create.  We have quite a network, and quite a mission, and how we have quite the task of spreading this goodness.

There are over 286 regional burner sanctioned events arounds the world, but burning is not just limited to Burning Man.  The 10 principles are a way of life, a participation in creating our own world.  And according to Harley, “We are the adults in the room… we aren’t the hipster stoners in the green room, we are the producers of the world.  Burning Man has become mainstream, and grown, we haven’t sold out, we have arrived, and we are here to own that space.”

We heard from Christopher Breedlove many times throughout the weekend about BWB: Burners Without Borders, a community driven non-profit group of self-etsbalished burners who saw a need and wanted to do something about that need in their local communities in the name of burning.  As I mentioned before, BWB showed up at Standing Rock and built compostable toilets in a time of great need.  BWB is also working with international refugees to design solar powered lighting systems that lead refugees where they need to go upon arrival to foreign countries. Another exciting project, turning shipping containers into tool libraries in third world countries where underprivileged communities can rent the tools they need to fix their homes/cities and civic issues.  This is a program designed to empower these communities to be radically self-reliant, and the shipping containers are a huge hit.

BWB has 22 active chapters, 81 working projects and 22 partner organizations. In 2016 there were 2,186 volunteers, 14,322 hours, over 47k raised.  Three types of projects: 1 Homeless outreach, 2 Food collection and distribution , 3 Intentional park beach cleanup. Any one can start a working group in any city and add to this movement.  BWB is cultural sensitive, while also pushing the envelope when it comes to the Burner world.  BWB is that container of those who want to do the work. Corpus christy picked up 16,000 lbs of trash. Chicago’s Chididorod raised $15,000 for BWB projects.  You can join the Heartland BWB chapter here.  Or look on Facebook for your local chapter.

Another speaker, Ryan Wisling gave a talk on the Permaculture action network, Permaculture action days and their involvement with artists who are interweaving their art and social action concerning the environment, artists like The Polish Ambassador, The Elephant Revival and Rising Appalachia, pairing carbon farming and sustainability with their musical events.  He also told us about the approved Tiny home village initiative  in Denver, Co for the homeless.

Saturday’s sessions began with a presentation about Catharsis on the Mall, a DC Burner event in November on the National Mall, full of healing and education.  Check out this video about what amazing work they are doing:

The same group of gentleman presenting Catharsis on the Mall were all wearing red hats, FREEDOM HATS, which community member Halcyon describes here:

Katalunda Dee gave a break-out session about Respect 101: Defining and Understanding the Language of Race and Privilege and the US, asking the difficult questions such as why is burning man so homogenous?  “Privilege is invisible if you have it.”  We are a word-of-mouth community, and we tend to bring people we are comfortable with people who are like us and share our values and our comfort levels.  We learned about the Empathy gap: distance between something bad and how much you care about it.  As a group we talked about micro-aggression: low level statements made from place of privilege that we may see as innocent but can be offensive. The presentation stressed that freedom of speech means you’re free to say what you like but you are not free from consequences.  The goal was to heighten our cultural awareness just by having the discussion, and the emphasis we took away was education!  Our mission should be educating outside communities who may not be familiar with the burner concept and lifestyle, but who may still be able to benefit from our goals and mission.  Outside reading suggestions included:
Kimberlee Crenshaw- Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics and Violence Against Women of Color.
Also: Racial bias in perceptions of others pain by Sophie Trawler, Kelly M Hoffman, Adam Waltz.
Lastly, the well known: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy Macintosh

Maryanne Goodell, Founding Board Member and Chief Engagement Officer of the Burning Man Project, spoke about her goals to take burner principles out into the world.   “We are the connective tissue,” she says.  “We are a platform for social change”.  She said it is important to make eye contact when talking with anybody, in or outside the burner community and empathize.  She also announced that the 2015 annual report is now available online: http://annualreport2015.burningman.org #transparency

Mark Hammond, a burner who Ran for Utah legislator in 2016 shared his story on coming from Mormonism to Burnerism to Political activism. Barry Ivan Silber’s intro cued us to his remixing thinking a tool: Toloposogo.  That means when looking at an issue, use the Tolosposogo to analyze any situation: Where are we going TO, LOoking where we are, POssibility actions we can take, SOlutions, GO take steps to action, O=obstacles analysis.

These were just a few of the sessions I happened to attend that moved me.  There was SO much more happening. Post convention, Mia Quaflirello published this article about several women leaders from the GLC we should all know. We were surrounded by brilliance, and I personally was blown away.

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Something I learned during the convention, is that the word “Radical” means forming the root.  It is our mission as Burners to change the root.  To nurture the root.  To always be pushing the envelope, pushing ourselves and our societies to be better and more humane.  Thank you GLC for the opportunity to learn and grow as a human and as a burner.  We’re off to a great start!

Sincerely,
MissConnection

PS, if you want more, check out this guy’s video recap here:

 

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Global Leadership Conference 2017
www.burningman.org

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Citizen Lobbyist Training

I attended a Citizen Lobbyist Training in Topeka, Kansas on Tuesday, March 14th, and walked away with several skills I felt useful to share with you here.  This particular training was a precursor to a Mental Health Advocacy Day at the Capital.  

The goals for the day were to:
• To learn specific tools about preparing for a meeting and communicating with these legislators on advocacy day.
• To establish a relationship with KS Representatives and Senators and maintain communications with them in the future.
• To receive action alerts on key legislative issues
• Organizing and participating in local meetings with elected officials to address these specific mental health issues

The training started off with an emphasis on developing our stories.  The theory is that real stories change hearts and minds, and that there is hope in telling a story of recovery or change.  Emphasis was put on not overwhelming anyone with too much information, and to always ASK at the end for the legislators support. A ‘story’ consists of an introduction, what happened, what helped, how you are different today, what is the need or problem, what will help others, and the ASK.

We were given examples of emails to send legislators when setting up the initial meeting, which exhibited: a subject line, a salutation, stating the issue and position, making it personal (optional), adding story or talking points (optional), making the ASK (either on the specific support, or asking for a meeting), a thank you and a closing.

Example:

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We developed our 30 second elector speeches, which again included the introduction, issue and position, why it’s personal, the need or problem, what will help others, and the ASK. A similar model of a phone call was also demonstrated.

Example:

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When preparing for the actual meeting of the legislator, we first developed our tool preps for the meeting, which included a briefing sheet, stating the issue, the ASK, the need and talking points plus solution, and committee members and sponsors to references. The backgrounder on the particular legislator that you are meeting with is also key in making sure you are knowledgeable about the work.  Lastly, we developed meeting scrips as a jump off point for practicing how the meeting might go beforehand, which helped tremendously with confidence levels.

By the end of the training, I felt confident enough to reach out to my legislator, Representative Abe Rafie, district 48, and I set up a meeting.  We sat down for 15 minutes the following afternoon and had a wonderful conversation about health care and his intentions to represent his community moving forward.  Why I did not stick with the script verbatim, the practice and preparation gave me the language and knowledge to draw upon during the meeting.

Example of a script with  Legislator Abraham Rafie: Welcome

Lead:  Hello, I’m Sara Glass and I’m a constituent from Overland Park .  I am a representative of Poetry for Personal Power, a non profit organization dedicated to health care advocacy, messaging and peer support.

Legislator: Pleasure to have you here…

Lead:  First of all, thank you for your time. I greatly appreciate the work you have done concerning abortion regulations and crisis intervention. I’m glad to see that means a lot to you.

Legislator: Appreciate your comments… why are you here?

Lead:  I’m here because I want to ask you to protect mental health services and increase the mental health budget.  Expanding Medicaid kancare, mental health 20/20 restoring the $20 million cut in grant funding.

More families than ever are seeking help from mental health centers. But with budget cuts, people can’t get the mental health services they need.  9% of Kansans are uninsured and 53% of individuals served by community based mental health coalition are uninsured. That is a terrifying thing to be uninsured.

Specifically when children can’t get help for mental health conditions, they often fall behind in school and families struggle. When adults can’t get treatment, costs shift to jails, emergency rooms and hospitals.  More than 1/10 youth and 1/17 adults live with a serious mental illness.  You and I both know that mental health care is an investment in our future health and productivity.

Legislator: I’ve always  been in support of mental health, but it’s going to be a tight budget this year and there are serious revenue shortfalls.  We’ve got to get spending under control.

Lead:  Statistics say you will actually save money in the long run as far as keeping people healthy if you put preventative healthcare in the forefront of the healthcare system, priority wise.  We can keep people out of the emergency room and hospitals if we address these critical mental health issues NOW rather than wait until they are an even bigger problem.

Your support would mean a lot to me and my family. Many of us have been victims of addiction and depression.  Having a safe place to go and someone to talk to about these issues would have made all of our lives much easier when I reflect back on the trauma I have seen… elaboration on story here…..

Legislator: Thank you for sharing your story. It is stories like yours that help illustrate the need for mental health care.

Lead:  Preserving mental funding will mean that mental health services are there when people need them and it is an investment in health and productivity.

The people of our state need your vote to protect mental health care.  Can we count on your support in expanding Medicare and Mental health 20/20 legislative ?

Legislator: You’ve made some excellent points today and I’ll keep them in mind as we’re working on the budget. I know how important mental health services are.

Lead:  Thank you so much representative. I appreciate you taking the time to hear about these issues.

Legislator: It was a pleasure to meet with you.

Lead: We’d like to leave you wth this fact sheet of your files.

 

END SCRIPT

I have since then followed up with a thank you note and followed Rep. Rafie on social media, as to keep up with what he is doing in the future.

The training was followed by actual practice at the Mental Health Advocacy Day at the capital, and this was a great experience for my first real attempt at political advocacy.  Poetry for Personal Power had a table and passed out information, and we learned about other organizations as well all working to better the mental health situation in Kansas.

I was asked to perform a spoken word piece at the rally during the day, which you can watch below:

I want to give a big thank you to the Kansas Mental Health Coalition and everyone involved with the training and advocacy day.  I cannot stress enough how empowering this training was.  If you would like information on future trainings, email me directly at Sara.serendip@gmail.com, and keep your eyes on the KS Mental Health Coalition website.  (There are also trainings in Missouri too, just let me know if you want more information)!

-MissComposed

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The Face of Brutality

This piece of writing is dedicated to any man or woman who has undergone a traumatic and possibly abusive relationship.  Maybe you didn’t have anyone to talk to?  Maybe you said too much… either way, we all must relish in the strength of knowing that we are not alone.  People make mistakes, missed judgements and snap decisions can lead to unhealthy behaviors; we are all human.  This is a compilation of an ongoing story of so many, and the stigma that we must keep quiet has got to end.  Here’s to being honest, finding true love in your self, and learning to let go. 

It’s supposed to hurt, that’s how know it meant something” -Peter Pan   

The first time I saw your face,
I looked into your eyes and felt safe.
You were strong.  Stronger than me.
You could protect me.  Keep me safe.

So I took my heart and my head and I placed them in your arms, because frankly I was so tired of carrying all this weight alone.  I wasn’t afraid.  I was confident… wide open. I was secure in your abilities and in my judgement.  Brutally honest.

I looked into your face, and I felt…. comfortable… and while yes there were scars of track marks from relationships come and gone, I never thought I’d be the one cut so deep.  Cut off.  Cut out.  Cut up.  Upper cutted.  Under cut.  Cut. Down.

One day.  Your face changed.  It started taking on different shapes.  At the beginning there was the way you looked at me with love, and what I took to be kindness. And then the kindness turned to tension. Jealousy. Distrust.  Skepticism. You started looking at me with rage. Brutal. Sheer. Mad. Unjustified.  Anger.  Not reasonable.  Not comprehendible.  Not fair. Not mine to own. And I still thought I had to face you. My brutal best friend.

Your lips that were once soft as silk ran sharp.  Your ears stopped listening. Every story I told was meddled and warped into your own version of this illusion.  You lied.  So many times…

I stopped looking you in the eyes.  They were unreal, though they still hid your spark deep down, your mouth spoke otherwise.  Your actions told differently.  I could see it in your eyes.  How blinded by your own scars you were.  How even you couldn’t hear how terribly you treated me. And I reacted just as poorly. I pushed just as hard. I yelled just as loud. I fell just as far.

I stopped looking you in the eyes and started looking at your hands.  The hands that grabbed me and held me, down, against my will.  The hands that scribed message after message of impurity and manipulation. disgusting.  The same hands that once held me so safe  became the face of your brutality.  Your hands shattered what was left of any chance we had in love.

Your face still looks safe… an illusion that causes me to doubt my own self so hard that I refused to face reality.  Your hands feel safe in the way a mother screaming at her child to stop crying feels like comfort.  Safe in the way that’s the only safe I’d ever really known.  But it was an illusion.  And I finally caught  glimpse of reality, before it was too late.

It took at least two years of redefining my self worth to see that there are other faces.  Other eyes to see and ears to listen.  Other hands to hold, other arms to feel safe. That my OWN security had to come from within me, and not within your arms or Fæsbök.

And from this day forward, I will more than eagerly walk towards my future with gratitude, knowing that because I met you, I now understand what the face of brutality looks like; and I will never again look away in love.


MissConflict

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Are we there yet?

What happened to the age of Aquarius? 2012 dang came and went…
and there was just an eclipse last week.
It’s almost a full moon, and we’re clearly on an upswing
in this new age of accomplishment.  Have we leveled up?
Straightened the hellbent?

Certainly in many ways, sometimes everyday, sometimes not for months,
either way…
I thought we were on a path to enlightenment, a group effort towards heaven-sent.

G-d comes from within I was told.
So why is this new age babble getting so old

People keep giving me all these crystals
I still feel like, at times, they are worthless.
Other times, I hold them and pray, sure of it.
That’s why I started writing poetry
to figure out what in G-d’s name is really going on!

It feels like something is in retrograde all of the time,
sometimes I have control of this power of manifestation,
other times I’m totally dazed and confused in relation
to my cycle and how it syncs up with the moon and
how certain people can read my mind at times you might call it lunacy.

I call it divine intervention.

I do look at my horoscope when it’s conveniently in front of my face,
like in a newspaper, even when it’s out of date, it usually makes sense.
WHAT CAN IT MEAN?

I’ve got ten minutes to meditate, trying not to think of all the things I should be doing instead of sitting still.  I’m lucky if i can find 10 minutes a day to clear my chi will
the meditation still work if I have a hula hoop in my hand, and that’s kinda like meditation right?  Does that qualify? A moving mediation, music my alibi.

I think it’s kinda fun to OM.  Let’s try it?  All together, collectively, online…

Did you feel that, did our collective vibration just rise?

Or just drop by a slight percent since the screen is glaring on my eyes?

And this water turned into wine, I’ve been drinking nightly for quite some time, is it lowering my mastery or healing my soul-shine?

Is whisky a sin? according to the bible – where exactly does that come in?

Spirits are fine, even Maryjane makes an appearance in the oldest book of time and now pharmaceuticals are a dozen for a dime not mentioned in the original lines we wrote…

I wonder if every word is the word of god spoken and we were just obsessing over the first one we made, because it was so new and brave, then broken. An attempt to translate this reality for yours and my sakes’ so we could all get on the same page
and though we are different races maybe we could all remain believers in our own faith?

I just don’t know anymore… which way to look.  Which book to read. What tale to spin.

So the only place left to go…
is within.

_The Immaculate MissConception_

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Missed Complexion

Almost every day I wake up and wonder “what do I look like today?” #facepalm

I’ll admit it.  It might sound silly, but it’s true.  New zits, veins and curves pop up on the daily, and I wonder more often than not, how can this be me?

Body image; it’s truly a MIND FUCK.  Engrained so tightly in our society, it’s become a sickness.  Young girls barely old enough to ride rollercoasters wearing more make up than I own.  Workout regimes and communities so overwrought with judgement it’s hard to muster up the courage to go to the gym.  Magazine covers and late night TV ads selling the next ‘cure’ for this ‘disease’.  The culture we have born and bread is oozing pressure, and I really have had a hard time wrapping my brain around where I stand on the sliding scale of beauty, as most women do, even when I’m the judge.

Sometime I catch a glimpse of myself and wonder, “where the hell did those thighs come from?”  Other times, my psyche is more gentle and I’m almost shocked thinking, “wow, you still got it, for 30”.  I definitely catch myself comparing what I’m working with to others bodies, and then quickly slapping myself on the wrist thinking “come on Sara, you’re better than this!”

I know there are plenty of women my age and older who still look STUNNING…  I STILL look stunning, right?  It shouldn’t matter, right?  But it does.  Please, save the overly eager rhetorics, this is not a plea for compliments, and I do have a point to make.

I asked my boyfriend today if I was getting too ‘old’ to wear a swimsuit.  When I said old, I really meant ‘fat’ and he knew that.  He kindly said, “if you feel good about it, rock the shit out of it until you don’t”.  So I put on my bikini and muttered “you’ll still tell me, when it’s too much, right?”

Right.  I see women every day, of all sizes confused about their image. I see petite women hiding in shame and bigger boned statues flaunting like they just don’t care, which is inspiring. I want to not care.  I used to not care…

Every since I can remember I was ‘skinny’.  In recent years, I’ve committed to being ‘skinny fat’.  I just don’t want to give up cheese, is what it really comes down to.  I don’t want to get up at 5 am and go running.  I kind of like having the munchies.  I don’t want to be miserable.  I don’t want to be afraid of a scale.  I want to be HEALTHY.

A few months ago, I was in Colorado, feeling FABULOUS.  I was wearing this shorter white jean skirt that I love and a black top (from It’s a Beautiful Day) that dips low in the back, kinda sexy.  I had done my yoga, put on make up,  dolled up my hair, and walking down the street to dinner some guy yells out of his car “put some clothes on”.  It stopped me in my tracks.

Those words have rung through my head repeatedly since… not obsessively, but just enough that they still echo occasionally.  He could have not even been talking to me.  He could have been angry he doesn’t have a woman.  He could have been right.

It’s not all the time that I worry about what I look like, but it amazes me how fast my own perception can change.  One minute I’m composed, passionate, entertaining on a stage and confident, smiling and getting bad looks from other women’s husbands for just being in the room. Then I get home, wash my face, catching a glimpse of myself as I climb into bed thinking “how can that be the same person?” and “What is wrong with me?”

I do know that I am a ferociously strong, beautiful and smart competent women, and that if I can have these thoughts, by Goddess I must not be alone.  

So I decided to say something about it, instead of hiding in shame; to admit it, to myself, if not to anyone else… Because it’s OKAY to feel discouraged.  It’s OKAY to feel deflated or bloated.  And it’s OKAY to be honest about what’s going on in our heads, let alone in our society.  If we can’t talk openly about what’s causing shame or doubt in our own methodology, we can’t be expected to be competent in fixing our political and social economics.

So here I am, my own walking MissConception, naked, on a page, for you to look at, or turn away from as you like.  Just know that if you’ve ever woken up and not known what you look like, at 15, even at 30, or 60, that’s OKAY.  Every day is a chance to make yourself over again, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  It really is inside that matters, I keep reminding myself, and self-care is the best path I’ve found to connect the inside with the outside image.  Loving yourself unconditionally, whether that means mud masks and wine, or a once a month pedicure. #ladiesnight

I’ve taken an oath that since the Trump rein has descended, this is an opportunity to better my own life.   November 8, 2016, we awoke from a bad dream that wasn’t really a dream. Our waters and food are poisoned. Our air is unfit to breath. Hatred and bigotry and misunderstandings abound. The government is corrupt. No one trusts anyone, let alone the leadership. Information is to be weary of. Even prayer feels dead. It’s truly a nightmare. You know the story.

I figure, the only thing I can do is better ME. So I am making a pact. To do one thing everyday for myself that betters me, like streching most importantly, or exercise or other self care. And a pact to do one thing everyday that helps spread kindness/awarness to those around me that this world CAN be a good place, and we will NOT settle for this state of the union. Everyone seems to want to make America great again. Let’s start with individually, one by one, being the change. Give our ancestors and grandchildren someting to be proud of. I don’t pretend any of this is easy, or that there is only one right answer.  I just know that we must ‘eat the elephant one bite as a time’ as Papa Sidney would say, and press forward step by step. #wwsd #nodapl

WE MUST also EMPOWER each other, let alone ourselves ourselves, be it physically or emotionally, so that we can get through this time with as much grace and dignity that we can muster.  When someone looks lovely, TELL THEM.  When someone does something kind, THANK THEM. Go out of your way to let any objectified person know that paying attention to detail matters, and that you appreciate their strength, or light, or whatever you want to deem it.   This isn’t about complimenting materials, it’s about cultivating confidence.

Do you know how much easier it is to save the world when you know you look healthy doing it?  

This article might appear self-centered and vain, but it’s what women and some men deal with every single day.  We are not alone in this internal conflict.  And we all play a part in allowing each other to feel comfortable in our own skins, so that we may continue to make ourselves and the world a better place.  I believe in you.

Stay beautiful and stay honest,

MissComplexion

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www.themissconception.com

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Burning Woman

To know who you are and still be wide open to change is a terrifying and beautiful thing…

I sit here on the eve of embarking on a most playful, joyful yet daring experience of my life, and I cannot be anything but simply exploding with gratitude.  How is it that there is so much chaos and turmoil in this world, and I of all people, am lucky enough to buy this ticket?  To take this ride…. To be able to take the time and bask in this creativity… To celebrate the fullness and richness of life?  I do know how lucky I am.

And perhaps, how selfish it can seem, to choose to spend my time in such way, I wonder?  I suppose I might have chose to stay grounded and make money back home?  One could choose to spend time at Standing Rock, supporting our environment and planet.  Or wrapping myself up in politics, maybe that would have given more meaning to my actions?

I try not to second guess myself anymore, but rather look at the assets of the present situation.  70,000 of the most creative problem solvers on this planet are about to convene in the middle of nowhere, in costume non-the-less, it is a divine intervention.  There are  many critical issues today on our planet, perhaps creativity is the quickest pathway to solving many of these challenges?  I do not pretend to know solid answers, but I do know my own worth as a participant in a community of artists and thinkers… so let the brainstorms begin.  I must honor the path that has been set before me, and be grateful for this experience, that is at the forefront of my mind.

As I leave an old world behind and step into a new one, it is with no fear and strong intentions that I humble myself, and allow for change to manifest.

I write this to, you, my friends and family, as though it were my last words coming from the Sara Nicole you think you might know, because after this next week, I am grateful that everything about who I am will be different.  Really every moment is a chance to shed your skin and become a new person, sometimes it’s just easier in a place so open and loving as Black Rock City.  I could not be more excited about this next phase of evolution.

My prayer?  Please, open my eyes.  Grow my heart.  Pull me closer and set me free.  USE ME, Universe, how I was meant to be.

Lastly, may you all know how you each have helped propel me and shape me into the proud artist and poet I have become, and know that I am forever grateful for your patience, encouragement as well as for your own openness and bravery.  YES YOU!  If you are reading this, know that you have impacted my life in a positive way, and we will continue to make positive changes in this chaotic world, one word, one connection at a time.   Look at us… we are an interconnected network of creativity and resources.  I truly look forward to coming back from this experience with more clarity and insight on what move to make next, as an individual and as a part of a community, with complete confidence and competence.   I am home.

Until we meet again,

MissComplete

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