Reiki Life Adjustments, and the Beautiful Face

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Last month I started going to Reiki meetups in Ventura. For those of you who don’t know what Reiki is, it’s a type of spiritual cleansing that is done through the guidance of people who are trained in Reiki. They are taught to re-align any misaligned chakras and energy channels running through your spiritual body to help center yourself. I know to some this sounds like a load of crap, but I keep an open mind, given that yoga sometimes mingles with Reiki.

At the same time, this Reiki class has let me mingle with a person I like to call S. In the middle of my charity campaign last month, I was drawn to this meetup.com group in Ventura. I thought that they, at the very least, knew some who would be interested in a yoga charity event. Although I wasn’t planning on staying the entire three hour Reiki session, something grabbed at me and there I was on top of a bolster, eyes closed, while complete strangers hovered around me with their hands almost touching me, some chanting or humming. I had experienced Reiki before, while living in San Diego, but this was intense. It was like my core was blossoming open, and waves of light gushed out and swirled around me, lifting me up and letting me hover. InSaNe.

During a short ten-minute break, I was sipping on water while reading a community bulletin board, and a beautiful face met mine. “Wait, you’re [my name],” he pointed out, as he stuck is hand out to shake mine. “Yessss…. I’m sorry, do I know you?” I replied. Apparently Mr. Beautiful had added me to his facebook a couple days prior, and perhaps while distracted with my project, I added him without giving him a second thought. INTERESTING. We both talked and marveled at how strange the universe was to have put us in the same room like that even though we had never known eachother before.

This is why I love the universe, and where I live. As large as it may seem, we are all interconnected in some way or another. I wonder, does this happen to many people? Or are most people so unaware of their surroundings that they miss the possible amazing relationships that can build? S and I are currently friends, although I toy with the idea of dating. Meh, too soon. But for now, I’ll revel in our Reiki meetups…

The Socalette

Superbowl, Standards, and Self-Absorbed Students, All in LA

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As I write this, Im at school. On Superbowl Sunday. Yea. I win. *not*

Anyway, as far as Im concerned, many Angelenos are wondering when we are going to get a football team of our own. Many speculate that it’s because of the potential rise in traffic if there were a team/field out here. Personally, I think we haven’t because we already dominate in things like basketball, college football, pro hockey (besides Canadians), awesomeness, foodtrucks and weather. What else would the rest of the nation then have? Curling?

Anyway, while some of my friends are watching the game and gorging on fried food, I decided to take my school break up to the rooftops of the Standard hotel just a block away. This place never ceases to amaze- the ever-changing modern art fixtures, the biergarten, the infinity pool, and the giant mural of Obama playing ping pong that greets people coming in to play black light ping pong in the new pong room. I made my way up to the rooftop lounge for some lunch and reading, and ended up falling asleep on their cushy couches under the heat lamps. Los Angeles doesn’t age up here, it gets cloudy, misty, cool, and sometimes rainy, but it always clears up and stays beautiful.

I needed this time away from campus, and away from the cohort I share space with. They’re cool for the most part, but I’ve quickly figured out who is who and who doesn’t get along with who. Some of them act like they have a silver pen in their hands. What they don’t realize is that we are all paying the SAME price for our units. If me being me doesn’t settle with some, it’s not a personal attack on them, I am just fully aware that they don’t pay my loans.

With that thought, I sipped on my St. Germaine on the rocks, enjoyed my spinach and goat cheese panini, and continued lounging under the sunlit clouds. For the moment, it was just me, my book, and that hot guy pedaling away in the rooftop gym in the high-rise across from me. Life is good in LA, even if some people at school do give socal a bad wrap. Meh, what can you do?

The Socalette

The Art of New Life that Only FB Can Paint

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As we all know, you have no access to my Facebook, unless you know me personally. But chances are, you have a Facebook of  your own. One where you develop and re-develop yourself over and over as the California breeze repeats itself. I’ve become convinced that life is meant to be lived dynamically, therefore, to embrace change is to learn the art of life.

Facebook, of all things, gives us this new-age platform to do such a thing. It supplies the publicity we need to garner the steady support to drive us to the next personality we can become.  We can have an idea and within an hour, have 30 fans to make the idea a credible goal. Some may even comment! So while some are “too good” for FB, they’re overlooking an important concept: we all change, it can be a struggle or an art. With the support through FB, it can be a delightful evolution.  This is just a hint of my recent FB posts; they touch on the changes we go through in life. I know I’m not alone on this, so I hope you feel a sense of belonging upon reading them…

1/8/14: Woooossssaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh (must play nice in the sandbox, nice in the sand box, nice in the sandbox)…..

1/15/14: I love it when people at my house leave their alarm on after they’ve left and locked their bedroom door, said NO ONE EVER.

1/17/14: The way of the world is like water: if you flow with it, you’re safe; if you fight it, you could drown.

1/22/14: Listening to Inside Out by Eve 6 (throwback right?!) and realizing that this ENTIRE song is about me…#heartinablender

1/24/14: What the heck do I want?!

1/24/14: Today’s theme is balance…-balanced the mind by taking care of some business stuff finally,-balanced the soul with yoga and yoga business,-balanced the body with a pedicure…How do you practice balance?#1stepyogi

1/26/14: To all guys out there who have dated me, have tried dating me or are trying to date me now, it’s a D*Bag move to show interest and then not text/call me back when I actually find free time to hang.
I’m busy, and chances are you aren’t important enough for me to chase. Deuces.

1/26/14: Women are like the painting by Gustave Courbet (“The Origin of the World”, 1866); they are pure, sometimes obscene, often misunderstood, yet highly powerful and resilient.
They deserve close observation and demand skilled attention. Try it sometime- it’s invigorating what you might learn.

1/26/14: From my life in the dating world, almost everything reminds me of a guy in my past lives. Now, I’m on the search to find something that doesn’t give me a flashback to a face.
Something purely my own.

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As you can probably tell, there is a shift going on in my head. I liken it to my own renaissance, or renewal. A ton of crap has happened in the last couple years, but now I see it’s paying off. Hope you get to see that shift as well, even if it is manifested on Social Media.

The Socalette

6 Things that New Years Means in Southern California

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Around the world, New Years eve is celebrated with fireworks, parties, food, prayers, and wishes. But what does it mean for us here in SoCal? I’ve compiled a short list of what it means for us here:

1. 2014 means getting back into a shape. A new diet fad, juice cleanse, workout routine, and self-help mantra that will have a shelf-life for about 90 days. Equinox and our local barre method studio will have fabulous sign-up discounts to help rid us of our holiday party flab and get us back down to the size “0” that Ke$ha all wanted us to be. We may even attempt a new yoga pose or two. But really, we are already thinking about the summer beach body. This is California after all~

2. 2014 means another chance at love. Whether it’s chatting up the girl at The Coffee Bean you see who is always reading Chopra, or finally committing to a date with a longtime friend, the slate is clean to start drawing on again. It’s like we are all born-again at The Standard Rooftop in LA. Although outsiders may think we have no hearts that aren’t from Tiffany’s, ours are definitely real. How else do you think we could have such love for Balboa Park, Blake Griffin, and even bacon-wrapped hot dogs? Now we just need to find the person to share these things with… by Valentines Day.

3.  2014 means doing something you missed out on in 2013. I missed out on going to Santa Barbara’s Solstice festival last June, but Vishnu knows I’ll be there in all my coconut bra glory this year. Whether it’s not getting that tan  we promised ourselves, or not having the money to rent out a bar-hopping bike in Venice or Hermosa beach,  here are 12 more months to check some things off the bucket list. Camping in Avalon? Sure why not!

4. 2014 means not repeating mistakes of 2013. Maybe instead of trying to date 3 guys at once, let’s dumb it down to 1 or 2 and save the sanity. Sometimes us Californians get way in over our heads when we get passionate about things (we did elect a celeb governor one time). This is a new year that we get to take it down a notch, weigh the pros and cons first, and then act. Will we actually be successful at this one? Probably not. Will we at least try? Maybe after a grey goose martini with 3 bleu-cheese stuffed olives. But no guarantees.

5. 2014 means new memories with our friends. I have some friends who are in some rad bands, but rarely do I get to go see them due to my schedule. But this year, Im aiming to set aside 1 day a month to see one rockin gig of their. House of Blues, make some space. Also, now is the time to find some new hiking trails, play some Cards Against Humanity, take careless pictures, and do things my momma wouldn’t like. All with the people who hold me up when I’m too tipsy to stand. Cheers to friends and future friends.

6. Finally, 2014 means The Mu’Fuggin Rose Parade/Rose Bowl! Nevermind the fact that Oregon has its own Rose Festival and parade every year, and that it’s about as old as Pasadena’s, or that we still think Stanford is better because it’s a Californian school (even though Michigan did kick ass), but EVERYONE loves a parade. I used to camp out on those streets during NYE just to get great viewing spots for the next day and the memories that resulted in those shenanigans are priceless. From meeting Japanese tourists to feeding cops from my BBQ pit to throwing marshmallows at cars, those were the nights. The next day I’d marvel in the beauty of this floral tradition of grand-scale exhibitionism. 

The Comedy & Tragedy that was My 2013

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A couple days ago the hazy winter sunlight woke me up to a realization that we have less than a week left in 2013. What was a year of chaos and excitement is now a dream.
It took me about 4 hours to re-read and reminisce through all of my Facebook updates of 2013. It’s amazing how many ups and downs one person can endure: From celebrating the new 2013 year on a ship, to make-ups and break-ups, to new jobs and school, to new friends and cut-ties, to holding my breath and re-learning how to breathe, I think I’ve put a roller coaster to shame. There’s no possible way to list everything that happened but here’s a short list of key events, decisions, and realizations in 2013 that have quite possibly changed my life forever. While reading this, maybe ask yourself some questions: What would your list look like? Who would you thank? What would you do differently? My list is in no particular order…

1. The decision to brave the entirety of my 2nd contract on the ship. And then return for a 3rd. This meant another block of 5 months (140 straight days) of work without a day off, away from my family, away from my boyfriend, away. But had I not been away, who knows how long I would’ve been with the sociopath that is my ex.

2. The times I flexed my forgiveness muscles more than ever. It’s one thing to take back a person who stabbed you in the heart. It’s another to do it 3x. Maybe I was forgiving, maybe I was just blind and dumb. Maybe a combo of the three.

3. The adventures in San Diego in Spring and Summer: gay bros, new life in yoga, finding my grounds. August 3rd, which Ive written about in a previous post, was the first time I cried openly about what I had been through. On my mat, in a studio, surrounded by love and forgiveness, I finally broke the ties that had bonded me to someone I now realize I don’t even know.

4. The start of grad school and going back to the world of behavior analysis and books.

5. Surrendering at last- aug. 3rd taught me that no matter how hard you try, some people will never change; and nov. 3rd taught me that no matter how hard you try not to, sometimes you end up liking someone you thought you couldn’t have the capacity to- younger guys? who knew~

7. The time I was severely hungover at The Getty Museum on a late summer day. Also, Hungover at church. Also, Hungover while working. All these situations proved not only how resilient I’ve become, but how much I needed to check on my coping skills.

8. My cousin’s wedding (June 28, 2013). Made me realize that although she got the ring I had always wanted (a Tacori limited), my life was far from over. I was genuinely happy for her, and in feeling that, I became empowered to simply put more effort into loving others’ awesomeness as my own.

9. February 23, my birthday. Although I was still abroad and had broken up with my ex for the first time, I was still paying our joint phone account. As a birthday present to myself, AT&T and I had a nice chat that day. Imagine the fun when he exploded when finding out his party chat lines with other girls was destroyed. I realized I should never let a guy piggy back off my earnings if he has done me wrong.

10. The moment I discovered Alt-J while sitting in traffic during a beautiful autumn dusk. I realized how much I love California for what it is, not what people think it is.

11. In November, Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. Because of my family out there, I decided to produce a project that raises money for the Team Rubicon organization. While this org was sending out our veterans to help, I was left here crying while watching the Filipino news channels. As a person who works with children, watching these young parents talk about their young daughters’ deaths was tragic enough to compel me to sacrifice what little money Ive saved to produce the Breath & Blessings Project. It’s not til January but the rush I get from asking for donations and designing this is indescribable. My only wish is that I’ve had some impact on the aftermath, and that I’ve inspired others to help the world around them.

12. In December I learned that sometimes, friends will not act like friends and withhold info from you even if they meant well. When I found out that J had come back to Cali to visit for a little bit, instead of telling me, she decided to hang out with an ex of mine. The new Yogic me is doing a pretty good job at not making assumptions, but the regular ol me has decided I don’t even give a damn. A damn about what? Everything.

13. When I found out what Cielito Lindo looks like in Santa Barbara. It’s like a Grand Canyon in my backyard.

14. The day I decided to open an OKCupid account for shits and giggles. Turned out to be a mess of diarrhea and bubbles. Just not my style really~

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What have you done? What will you do now? Happy New Years Yo. Love, Socalette

Culver City Street Art, Los Angeles Brewing Company, Dessert by Candlelight and a South Pasadena Stroll

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The weather in December in Southern California is fickle. I woke up to about 76 degrees of sunlight and fresh air and decided to take a day off from my work and projects. At the same time, my good friend DK decided to do the same. He called me up early in the morning (by early, I mean 10am) to see what I had planned for the day. Nothing, I told him. He suggested on meeting up for some urban exploration or hiking, but I didn’t want him to drive clear across the 405/101 to meet me, so I decided we meet at the Culver Metro station. There, there are some gorgeous pieces of street art, that had honored that area for years. He and I both appreciate that kind of thing so I knew he’d jump at the chance.

When we arrived, it was a sad scene. Demolition had started on these abandoned buildings and already half of the murals had come down. Parts were boarded-up, surrounded by fence, and painted over. We did our best to climb over the fences, hop the walls, but my sandals and my hand suffered a couple casualties. We analyzed and discussed what once was, recreating the images in our minds.

Despite the dust, blood, and broken sandals, we wandered around the streets and alleys in CC, only to find some amazing walls down abandoned corridors in Helm’s Bakery District. Around there we debated on eating lunch or waiting til we got into Los Angeles. In the end, we opted for LA Brewing Company (I heard they make this beer-flavored cheese), since DK knew that place and its history. From the Expo line to downtown, we walked to LABC. There, we ate a huge plate of chicken & waffles and nachos with their beer cheese, along with tall glasses of this rich apricot ale (which I can’t remember the name of~), and talked about the parallels of our universes. He’s a talented business owner, and a deeply conscientious being. He is someone I learn from everyday, and has become my business & life mentor of sorts too. Earlier in the month, he made me realize that my time with C was good for growth, but that it left me longing in the end, as DK knows that I thrive with clear communication.

After eating, we soaked in the downtown dusk, meandering through the alleys and shops in LA. Eventually, we stumbled across a beautiful French bakery/restaurant called Figaro. Between the chocolate yule log, the Champagne, the AMAZING single-malt scotch (courtesy of the bartender), the real candles, and the modern French ambience, I was in LA heaven. It took some helping off my stool after the bubbly, and I braced myself for the long walk back.

Then we found ourselves on the Gold line to Pasadena. We wandered the Christmas lighted streets, perused through a rad video shop (got myself an Ai WeiWei doc!), and headed back to Pershing Square. Here at our last stop before home, we flowed through the crowd that gathered for outdoor ice skating, tamale-eating, picnic-ing, and star-gazing. Life felt grand here next the Grand avenue, and I credit having such great friends in a lovely city.