When I first realized I was gay I was 17 years old and terrified. Although I was sexually attracted to other men, I was frightened to become a part of the stereotype I saw on television and magazines. Of course times were different and what you saw on television was exactly that, a stereotype. As I began to meet other gay people I realized we were a diverse crowd of Blacks, Whites, Asians, Hispanics and any other ethnic category you could find on a college application. We celebrated our diversity because we needed to, our sites were set on fighting the AIDS epidemic, acceptance and equal rights. I quickly realized the scary images I saw in my youth were no where near the Gays and Lesbians I had come to know.
Each day, consumers are offered more and more ways to make better choices and eat healthier, which will hopefully lead to a longer life with less visits to the doctor. Organic versions of our favorite foods are increasingly popular and available, even foods that you didn’t even think could be organic are showing up on supermarket shelves. While walking through the beautiful pristine isles of Target recently, I spotted an organic version of Capri Sun fruit drink. Yes, the sugar and chemical mix of yesteryear is now organic. But is it any better for you? Healthy labels may sound great, but more choices actually means more research for the person trying to do the right thing. As it’s often noted, food has a story and you should know the characters involved and the journey its made, before it ends up in your stomach.
It’s a rainy day and you’re sitting comfortably on your couch, wrapped up in a snugly blanket you bought from an ad on your Facebook feed… a nice cup of chai tea latte is right by your side. All is well in your world. Suddenly and without warning, your eyes magnetically focus and zoom in on the horrible video displaying on your screen, your heart begins to palpitate as you rush to un-follow or block the person that posted this gruesome message regarding animal abuse in a land far far away. They have succeeded in not only invading your cozy little space and destroying your perfect zen moment, but they have also damaged you temporarily as you struggle to get these images out of your head. Their reasoning? You should sign on an online petition and stop what you just witnessed! Yes! How dare you take one more sip of that chai tea latte, while animals suffer needlessly, before your thumbs do all the work of filling out that digital roll call of those with moral and just values. Jumping into action might also help erase what you just saw, and you can return to your kindle, tea, and life of ignorance…yes this thought actually crosses your mind. But did you ever realize what’s actually occurring behind the scenes of these online petitions? Do you think someone actually manages servers and technical infrastructure for free? Of course not. Hang onto your chai tea latte because online petitions are actually a multi-million dollar business and those ugly videos are helping people to make some serious money.
When’s the last time you had a vacation? Before you start describing your most recent trip to a far off place dotted with palm trees or ancient buildings, let me be more specific… when’s the last time you vacationed from FaceBook? You know, that wonderful destination you hold in your hand that you escape to while on the train, laying on the couch or even dare I say in the bathroom? When’s the last time you dared to disconnect from all the noise, the pictures of friends enjoying dinner without you, the cat videos, the ads for things you’ll never use, the secret data miners collecting analytics designed as clever surveys, and the people you didn’t realize were Trump supporters? Have you ever even thought of it?
Being a Pisces can be a bitch. Plain and simple. As I get older it seems it just gets harder and harder to deal with the outside world and all of the horrors available to us through social media and news outlets. Pisces are idealistic lovers, we quite literally love love. We love everything about love and everything about being in love. We love people we don’t even know and we can smother those we do with so much love that they run away. And it doesn’t stop there. Since we love to spread love so much we become paranoid when we may have not spread the love inadvertently. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost sleep thinking I said or did something to someone that hurt their feelings or pissed them off. The idea of intentionally hurting someone, or stepping outside of the “love” zone really turns our world upside down.
Living in the United States can and will make you pretty spoiled. You become accustomed to life as you know it, and take everyday occurrences completely for granted. Many of us here in Miami are reminded of our abundance as a nation when we share the experience of someone that recently immigrated from Cuba, and see their reactions to to a well stocked produce section at the local grocery store. It’s an all out emotional meltdown at times, something neither person is prepared for. While economic prosperity is something that’s relatively easy to appreciate and witness, individual freedoms are not. Most people vacation in areas of the world where they are welcomed with open arms, but even in the most beautiful and serene locations, the gay tourist has to be mindful of their destination in a different capacity… their personal safety. There are many parts of the world where being homosexual is against the law, and I’m not referring to some distant land on the other side of the planet, I’m talking about enjoying the beauty and splendor of the Caribbean. It was there that my partner Eric and I became very appreciative of the security and liberties we now enjoy in the United States.
I’m a huge lover of Italian Food and the man in my life recently gave me an Instant Pot pressure cooker for my birthday. So I figured what could taste better than spaghetti infused with its own sauce? Turns out nothing much, it’s freaking delicious. I searched online for some recipes, and found one, but I tweaked it so much I decided to create my own version and publish it on my blog. So here it is, the most delicious and fast Instant Pot Spaghetti recipe in the world. It feeds four easily (even more if you portion like a human) and will run you about $50 if you follow recipe exactly.
Many of us that identify as lightworkers often feel as though they are tasked with a very important mission in life. This mission, sometimes still not understood or realized fully, is at the core of their being and perhaps even led them to the discovery that they are lightworkers themselves. The term lightworker, usually refers to someone that’s of high vibration, uplifting, and has a desire to spread this sense of well being around the globe. What happens though when a lightworker’s mission in life contradicts with this practice of spreading light, and literally does the opposite? What if in the process of activism, a lightworker brings “to light” acts of humans which are disturbing to others, in effect, lowering their vibration? Can a lightworker successfully fulfill their destiny and at the same time make others feel a sense of love and worthiness? I often struggle with these questions myself and present them to you for your feedback and point of view. Perhaps we can both learn a thing or two and help each other out at the same time.
Spiritual journeys can take you more places than American Airlines, that’s probably why they’re called “journeys.” They can transport you from a small church with a white steeple in the deep South, to mega-structures and re-purposed stadiums that accommodate tens of thousands of people in a single Sunday service. The can bring you inwards, to take a deeper look into what makes you you, or they can take you outwards, quite literally, to the great outdoors where the Pagans celebrate the gifts and cycles that nature affords them. Or they can take you to Orlando Florida to meet a lady that channels a group of ancient non-physical conscious beings that she refers to as “Abraham.” The last reference, while sounding more science fiction than spirituality, is actually something Oprah Winfrey and I have in common… we both got to speak with Abraham Hicks and learn about the “Law Of Attraction.” Not intended to replace your religious beliefs or spiritual practice, the concept of Law Of Attraction is a way of looking at the events in your life, how you react to them, and how you “attract” positive and negative experiences alike.
This article was originally a post I wrote within a spiritual based online group called “The Lightworkers Lab.”
Sometimes really bad things happen to us in life and we don’t understand why. We beat ourselves up, we’re angry at God, we ask “why?” in complete agony over what just occurred. People will say “everything happens for a reason” and we want to scream because the pain is unbearable. The answers aren’t always immediate and sometimes it takes years or even decades to see the light behind the darkest times in our lives.