On Being “Half Alive” Part Three: Brainstorm

In the first two parts of “On Being ‘Half Alive,'” I wrote about the monotony of capitalist society, how we’re not hard-wired to live in it, and how your negative thinking should be held at a critical distance.

Now that I’ve addressed societal conditioning, I’m going to address how to get out of it. But I mean, really…

How do you get out of it?

Every single day we get up and work because we have to eat, pay rent (or mortgage), pay bills, provide for our children (two and four-legged), etc. We do it out of necessity and often out of love. I’m not telling you to quit your day job. Don’t walk into the office (or wherever you work) tomorrow and say, “Hey, this lady told me to quit because this job is killing my soul. So, I quit.” If you do that, then I will hit you over the head with a cast iron skillet (metaphorically speaking).

The first thing you’ve done is to acknowledge that you need to make a change. If you’re currently in a soul fulfilling job and don’t aspire to get ahead or obtain future goals, then stop reading. Congrats. The rest of us have some work to do.

It’s time to brainstorm. 

Ask yourself what you want. Not what other people have told you to do. Your mother, father, mentor, teacher, etc. may have told you to get a job and be happy. Okay, cool. They gave you advice from their frame of reference, and they probably did it because they care about you. But, make no mistake, only you know what is best for yourself. So, without any limitations whatsoever…

What do you want?

I asked myself this question not long ago. The result was astounding. I’ve spent my entire life building up a career as a writer and a college professor. It’s what I’ve always “wanted.” But reality has set in, and now I can safely say that I do want to teach, but I want more than that. What I have to teach goes beyond English Literature, and nothing is keeping me from expanding my horizons.

best 25+ make it happen ideas on pinterest | visualization on Only You Can Stop Yourself Quotes

The sky is the limit, people. Think of anything; it doesn’t matter how outlandish or crazy it sounds. Then visualize it. I’m sorry to go all The Secret on your ass, but being able to visualize what your life would look like is essential. You have to associate what you want with good feelings. Is the visualization making you feel awesome? Accomplished? At peace? Hold onto that.

Every single day you have to visualize your dreams and feel the emotions that come with them. You have to remind yourself on a daily basis what it is that you want without hesitation. If the negative, “That’s not possible,” thoughts start to pop up, be patient. Maybe tell them to fuck off. Maybe try again later when you’re not grumpy.

The planning part is next, but for now just be with your happy thoughts. Some people make vision boards. Others write goals down and pin them on the fridge or mirror. You might want to tell Alexa to remind you every morning, or set an alarm for visualization.

Whatever you do, don’t let yourself forget. We get so caught up in our day jobs and lives that we put things on the back burner. If you do that forever, you’ll end up with ashes. We want a Pheonix here, not a funeral pyre.

So, go forth and visualize. Have fun.


On Being “Half Alive” Part Two: Actions & Thought

Last week I talked about breaking the self-defeating cycle of the monotonous life. But, now it’s time to start doing the work. Remember everyone, lip service means nothing without assertive action.

negative committee

“How am I supposed to un-zonk myself when society wants me to do a certain thing and be a certain way?” is perhaps the question you’re asking yourself. 

I am right there with you. I have a lot of great friends who have channeled their lives in a positive way, and all of them will tell you that this begins with one thing: positive thought. Are you rolling your eyes? Yeah, I am too. The power of positive thinking is undeniably powerful, but seriously–no one is perfect. I also think that completely ignoring negative talk–especially negative self-talk–is detrimental to our development as human beings.

Why? Because denying yourself of any emotion, or any self-ingrained thought, without thinking about it thoroughly is to ignore yourself. 

We go through a lot in our lives. All of us have a history and traumas–small or monstrous in size. Often negative and defeating self-talk comes from these traumas. So, I’ve devised a way to handle negative thoughts as they come. This does not require that you spend all of your time analyzing your thoughts, but when you do notice yourself being a self-defeatist, here is what to do:

  1. Acknowledge the thought. You just said that you were a lazy fat-ass, which isn’t very nice. But, don’t beat yourself up over it. You’re human, remember? This thought is a result of the template for a “perfect person” that you and society have brewed up.
  2. Ask yourself, “Why did I say this about myself?” Maybe you called yourself a lazy fat-ass because there is a project you are neglecting, because your living space is messy, or because you weigh more than you want to. It’s okay that you said this, but all you did was say it. Are you taking action?
  3. Then, ask yourself, “If I think about this rationally and logically, is this horribly negative thing I just said true?” This is the really difficult question. If you can, make a list of the evidence you have to back this negative statement up. If there isn’t any evidence, then well–quit being mean to yourself. If there is a lot of evidence to prove that you’re a lazy fat-ass, then things get complicated.
  4. In your list, you said, “I’m not doing the things I really want to do. I’m stuck in a rut that I can’t get out of. I weigh more than I should…” the list goes on. Okay, okay, you’ve managed to rack up a lot of negative self-talk. Stop making the list once you realize how many horrible things you’ve said. That’s step four: STOP writing before you go down a hole if indeed you are standing on the precipice.
  5. Make a plan. What is the project you want to work on? Make a schedule so that you can actually do it or, better yet, start right now. Is your house/apartment messy? Tackle a different room each day, or maybe a corner each day. Do you feel fat? Oh, be careful here, please. You–I mean this–are fucking beautiful. Your body is amazing and it’s a temple, so treat it as such. Find the exercise you like. Eat what makes you feel good (not what makes you feel gross).

This is a lot, I know. But, if you start taking action on the things that are nagging in the back of your mind, the next time you call yourself a lazy fat-ass you will have so much evidence to the contrary. See what happened?

The goal here is to re-wire your brain not with just thoughts, but with solid affirmative action. We currently have an epidemic of inaction. To prove this, I can tell you what shows on Netflix I’m currently binge-watching if you’re interested. I can tell you that I have a Fit Bit because I need to move more. None of these things should be normal, but they are.

So this is the first step. What horrible thing do you say to yourself? How can you actively begin to eradicate this language? Start with the steps, see what happens.


On Being “Half Alive”


This is a difficult post. It’s not just about other people, it’s about myself as well. On the horizon, I witness many people who have managed to break free from the doldrums of everyday life. They live, work, and play on their own terms. I see them as being “Fully Alive.” Maybe those people would disagree with me, but my impression of people like Bizzie Gold, Elizabeth DiAlto, and Michelle Tam is that they have found their passion and pursue it without fear. I want to be these women. I think most of us do.

Why aren’t we all bold enough to make a living like this?

Imagine growing up in a cave. You are told that the cave is the entire universe. From birth, that is all you know. So, you believe the cave is the entire universe; you live within the confines of the cave because you are simply not aware that there is more to life. Well, I don’t think that our society, as a whole, is far off from this. My parents, the Baby Boomer Generation, had a holding pattern: go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, excel at whatever job you hold, go to that job every single day, come home from that job and have a dinner, have a few drinks, sleep, go to work, repeat. This process, this loop, is the cave. It’s what our parents knew, it’s what they taught me. I didn’t know any different. I guess for some people office life and homogenous marriage is the American Dream. It’s not for me.

For me, this monotony is what I refer to as being “Half Alive.”

Call it “Zombie Mode,” call it, “Corporate American Malaise,” whatever you wish–I had to come to the realization that it does not work for me. Not only that, but I had to fight my parents (tooth & nail) to make them understand this doesn’t work for me. If it doesn’t work for you, it’s time to stop being ashamed of it. In order to survive wholistically, physically, emotionally, and psychically, we must choose a path that feeds us.

It can look like whatever you want it to. Now we’re out of the cave and the light is pretty blinding. What else can you expect when you’ve been raised in the dark? We’re living in a time when the sky is literally the limit (not the damn cave ceiling).

So I think it’s time that you, and I, stop living like cave monsters.


Mercury in Retrograde, Stigma.

“Spiritual millennial hippie woo-woo” is somewhat becoming mainstream nowadays. For the most part, it’s a good thing, although there are cultural appropriative set-backs that I could go into…I won’t.

I hear the phrase quite often, and the number of times that it’s murmured and cursed at is starting to get excessive: “Is Mercury in Retrograde? ‘Cause everything is a mess.”


To be clear, yes–Mercury is in Retrograde. Something is always in retrograde.

Wiccans, Buddhists, Hindus, and others believe that everything happens in cycles. It’s a hands-on, practical observation. The seasons, the years, waves crashing, and–yes, life: all are cyclical. So if you’re looking for an out or feel like hiding under some throw blankets during MiR, you should reconsider.

No one ever accomplished anything by hiding under the covers anyway.

Humans are constantly being detoxified: spiritually, scientifically, digestively, and at a cellular level. You are decaying matter and regeneration simultaneously. Pretty cool, huh? So why hide from something just because it is seemingly wreaking havoc on your life? Odds are, it’s just an upheaval of all the BS.

I don’t normally feel tested by MiR, although I’ll admit this past week was one of the most frustrating ones I’ve had in months. It seemed like every day presented a series of patience-trying obstacles I had to hurl myself through in order to find myself at home, safe. It’s okay, though, I managed.

Take a deep breath. Life is showing you what you’re made of, how to deal, and how to be scrappy; it is asking you to calm your temper, slow your heartbeat, and do some metaphorical (or literal) push-ups.

MiR is good for us. Blaming the universe for crappy days is like blaming the sun for your headache. Do you think the sun going to listen to you? Is it going to go away just to fix your pain? No, it just does what it does.

So do what you do best: regenerate.

It Affects Us All

Grief, it affects us all.


It is the losses we expect that are manageable, although they cause damage just like any other loss. But the losses that we don’t expect–those are the ones that creep up on us; they steal our foundation when we least see it coming.

Can we grieve for things we never had? Yes. Most certainly, yes. 

Just because we have lost something, does not mean that we physically had it to begin with. Perhaps we had an image of how our life would be, a child who never was born, or love that we never received–these are all things to grieve. In fact, treating these losses as one would treat the loss of anything/one else is imperative to moving forward.

There is no one chakra that is responsible for grief; all seven major chakras are damaged from loss. Tend to them. Tend to yourself. It’s the little traumas that add up if we do not see to them properly.

Tree Magik

Nature always finds a way.

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Taken on Morgan Creek Trail: Chapel Hill, NC

Did you know that trees protect defenseless close-by saplings or stumps by growing foliage over their neighbors? Or, that trees cannot grow or live very well on their own?No wonder all those landscapers have a hard time making a single tree thrive!

Much like human beings, who require a support system to bloom, trees require a deep and intricate root system in order to survive. They are “pack” vegetation, if you will.

Salix Alba

this is what aspirin was formulated to imitate. 

if you’ve never tried willow bark for those aches and pains, i suggest you give it a go! It doesn’t tear your gut up the way that most pain killers do.

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Internal Universe 

You have a mysterious, marvelous, & magnificent world inside of you. Each being is endowed with a wealth of intuitive knowledge. “Listen to your heart,” “Feel it in your gut,” or, “Know it in your bones.”

What is your body telling you?

Handling Seasonal Allergies, The Natural Way

Let’s talk about seasonal allergies.


I know I have them! Personally, mine are icky enough that I do buy over the counter stuff (Allegra), but I know plenty of people who prefer to use natural remedies. I’ve done this too, and it is completely manageable.

Here are some of the things that actually work:

  1. Bee Pollen. Some people recommend that you eat local honey. This has never worked for me. What has worked is a daily dose of Bee Pollen. Don’t buy the capsule stuff; go to Whole Foods or your local co-op and find the refrigerated vitamins & supplements–buy that stuff. Eat it raw, put it in your cereal, sprinkle it on your yogurt.
  2. Quercetin. Quercetin is a flavonoid antioxidant that is in lots of leafy green veggies. It fights free radical damage, inflammation, and (here’s the kicker) it’s a great decongestant. You can buy it as a supplement, and it will be effective. It’s not the cheapest option, but it definitely gets the job done.
  3. Chrysanthemum Tea. You can find dried chrysanthemum usually at your local Asian supermarket, or you can buy it online. If you want to, you can place it in boiling water to make herbal tea. Or, you can go ahead and buy it in tea form. It doesn’t always taste great, but if you drink enough of it, it will kick that hay fever in the butt. It also promotes heart health, serves as a nerve relaxant, and will boost your immune system.
  4. There are a few herbal brands you can find at your local co-op or Whole Foods that pack a punch. Some of the top brands are: Boiron, Source Naturals, Native Remedies (usually found online), or Rainbow Light.
  5. The last option isn’t exactly a last minute one, but the Nettie Pot is excellent for preventative care. It clears nasal passages, and gives relief to many. Despite what many people may tell you, DO NOT wait until you are suffering to use it. The Nettie Pot is meant to keep things from getting guncky; it’s not a de-guncker. Instead of getting the Saline Nasal Spray, get the actual pot to use with the salt formula (please don’t just use table salt) and warm water.