eat good food people!!

amazing talk by jamie oliver - i just have to say i AM IN LOVEEEEE with people who speak with such passion and emanate such conviction. that is what stimulates me in life. a person could talk to me about anything, if they are speaking passionately, they are sure to have an engaged listener in me. sighhh...

Jamie Oliver's TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food | Video on TED.com

what is your favorite part of this TED talk??

oh by the way - CAN WE JUST TAKE A MOMENT A & SAY THAT TED TALKS ARE THE BEST EVER?!?!?! give me a job, TED. NOW.


yours truly on SD Public Broadcasting

My dear friend & colleague of mine were featured on "Dakota Midday" today, with the opportunity to speak out about the race relations and work that we do here in sodak. tune in HERE.

it was really moving and empowering to be able to speak out on these issues that we feel so strongly and passionately about. word 'em up and mad props to (SD) public broadcasting!! it was really moving and empowering to be able to speak out on these issues that we feel so strongly and passionately about. word 'em up and mad props to (SD) public broadcasting!! | taken @ one of our Campaign to Unite a Community gatherings |


healing beyond hate.

some of you may already know that i run another blog for my work called "healing beyond hate" the purpose of the blog is to provide a space for Native Americans to "write in" and tell us their story of discrimination, to get the word out more, about how hard and challenging it is for the Native people here in South Dakota. you honestly wouldn't believe the atrocities that happen here on a daily basis. its like living in the South in 50 years ago.

anyway, i am trying to use that blog as a space for sharing the stories that happen here, the cases we are involved with and the pain my community suffers.

do check it out, and subscribe to it, if you feel so inclined. it is just one small way we can help get the word out nationally - internationally about the situation here. as it is so hard for any national press to ever get wind of any of these stories. thank you for reading and giving a $hit.




dear jake gyllenhaal, you are the worst prince of persia ever.

is there only ONE REAL iranian in that movie??!?

man, sometimes hollywood totally sucks.

white people to white people: "hey! let's dress up like aladdin & princess jasmine

and act persian! they're persian, right? this is soooooo fun!!":

and while i'm on the topic

of hollywood sometimes being super lame, when will THIS end?!??!



polas from this past weekend.

we had some great visitors this weekend and we did a lot of great things. here are some great polaroids that documented part of our great time.


Everyone should have a sacred place. when i move to a new city, that is my first priority. i have to find it and until i do, i don't cease the driving around, with my window rolled down, real slow, to discover my place. this place for me in south dakota is the badlands and this particular field. i was talking to my dad about this place the other day and he said that it is a Holy place. i am so thrilled that he feels that way too. every time i go here, i immediately feel at peace and feel i am really able to connect with myself and also with nature in a deeply spiritual way. its almost effortless... to me, that is when all of the world, all of the shit and the hopelessness, all of the laughter and the tears, all of the storms and calms, all of the anger and the hate, all of the healing and peace, all of the joy and tranquility, that is when it all makes sense. then the wind comes and purifies...

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” -john muir

| i love john muir so so so much, i'm kinda obsessed with him. but don't worry, this blog isn't turning into one of those blogs that just posts other people's quotes. but sometimes quotes are just the best way to tie your feelings up and share them with others. |

"you must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this."

Henry David Thoreau

p.s. it is freakin' snowing today. don't ask me how i feel about that, cos i'm trying to be full of gratitude.


do something liberating today.

Today i am grateful for my lady friends. it is serendipitous that i came across these three women today. i was feeling kind of down, apathetic and yucky. i happened to come across a blog post, a facebook status & a wonderful conversation, all in the matter of one hour. sometimes i think that our hearts don't want to feel down, so there is always things around us, if we look, that are able to lift us up and enlighten us and our situation. Recalling that five years ago, my friend Grace chopped off all her hair, today she challenged us to "do something liberating today". this got me thinking...

“Anybody can be happy in the state of comfort, ease, health, success, pleasure and joy; but if one will be happy and contented in the time of trouble, hardship and prevailing disease, it is the proof of nobility.” ~Abdu'l-Baha

I was speaking with a friend of mine a couple weeks ago and we were talking about the relationship between unhappiness and ungratefulness. We were talking about how people (including ourselves) can get so addicted to finding something that isn't going right, that isn't going exactly the way we want it to. She said something really poignant - "every time i feel upset, or down, i take a moment and always, always think of something i am grateful for." There is such power in doing this and making it a habit. i will admit, sometimes its freakin' hard to do, especially when you have to get up early for work and the shower isn't warm enough or long enough and the forecast calls for SNOW in MAY (WTF?!??!)...BUT if we are able to do this, we are able to slowly transcend these negative patterns that keep us stagnating in our own mental filth (hah!).
It is so important to always be appreciative of the blessings we DO have, not the things we DON'T have. i think if we are able to do this, we are able to flip the switch on bad patterns of behavior. focus on being appreciative!
I have another very inspiring, amazing friend (i am so lucky to have so many amazing, inspiring people in my life!) who has a blog on her counseling site - her office located in vancouver, check her out here. if you live in vancouver, you should definitely call her up! she has amazing quotes and thoughts for improving happiness and self-esteem. here are some quotes that i snagged from her page, to share with all of you. (thank you Tabasom!):

  • “We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers -- but never blame yourself. It's never your fault. But it's always your fault, because if you wanted to change you're the one who has got to change.” ~ Katherine Hepburn

  • “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

  • “Our dependency makes slaves out of us, especially if this dependency is a dependency of our self-esteem. If you need encouragement, praise, pats on the back from everybody, then you make everybody your judge.” ~ Fritz Perls

My father and i were talking about all of this as well, and he reminded me of this passage (below). And as always, my Faith brings me out of any terrible time by offering a fresh perspective to keep me on track. Abdu'l-Baha, son of Baha'u'llah, Prophet of the Baha'i Faith speaks about "the prison of self" and his days spent unjustly imprisoned:

"Freedom is not a matter of place. It is a condition...Unless one accepts dire vicissitudes he will not attain. To me prison is freedom; troubles rest me; incarceration is an open court; death is life and to be despised is honor. Therefore, I was happy all that time in prison. When one is released from the prison of self, that is indeed freedom, for self is the greater prison. When this release takes place, one can never be imprisoned. They used to put my feet in stocks so," and he put out his feet before him to illustrate and laughed as though it were a joke he enjoyed.

"I would say to the guard 'You cannot imprison me, for here I have light and air and bread and water. There will come a time when my body will be in the ground and I shall have neither light nor air nor food nor water, but even then I shall not be imprisoned.' The afflictions which come to humanity sometimes tend to center the consciousness upon the limitations. This is a veritable prison. Release comes by making of the will a door through which the confirmations of the spirit come."

more from this beautiful passage here.

On a side note, below you will see physical/photographic representations depicting my commitment to continue to kick my bad patterns and negative self talk in the a$$:

    what do you do??