Archive for January, 2014

Red is my color

Friday, January 31st, 2014

A friend taught me a Qigong movement, which beautifully places your energy in the now while releasing negative vibes. Another friend who has been receiving the Prosperity Affirmation with me every morning has been having serious financial difficulty and she confessed today she’s worried about losing her house – she’s going to be 68 years old this coming Monday.

I have been turning down the knob of the voice in my head that wants to hit the panic button, and I must confess myself – getting through January has been like going through the hall of whirring blades – read: a lot of blood in the catchall troughs.

So here’s the itemized list of what I have held in abeyance – keep in mind that my mantra for January was to not live on my credit card anymore and that hasn’t happened:

1) a client cancelled on me because her budget had been cut
2) property tax bill rolled in on the 3rd – due before the 31st.
3) ADP sent me a note that there was some IRS issue and so they debited my account for $397.
4) New Orleans witnessed the coldest winter possibly on record – my energy bill doubled two months in a row.
5) camera ticket = $110.
6) Tin’s current school raised the amount they need by almost double to hold his spot – it is nonrefundable.
7) I got a flat tire in Baton Rouge traveling to Tin’s friend’s birthday party.

I have remained in the moment, being grateful for food on our table, the bare minimum heat we could scrape up during the cold snaps, and thankful for our health and happiness in general.

I’ve also tried to see how my thoughts manifest this state of lack – debt – fear. I acknowledge I am attached to my house and to financial security. I am attached to money coming in and not having to worry about paying my bills. I am attached to getting my ducks in the row. I do fear losing my financial security. I do fear being in debt, having no money, having no options. I do fear the wrecking ball coming in and whacking my ducks out of alignment.

And so I’m centered in my happiness. I know those seven items would have taken me down a couple of years ago, but now all seven are not making a dent in my peace of mind. That’s not to say they are not real boogeymen and that they are not annoying. It’s to say that in concentrating on where my bounty lies I have gained what I had not asked for:

1) a gift of a mani pedi gift certificate
2) news that a dear friend is coming for Jazz Fest then free tickets to Jazz Fest
3) it appears Tin will get in the new school (digits still crossed)
4) my real estate agent has taken over the negotiation to get my heater situation fixed or squared
5) a man changed my flat tire for free
6) my gratitude jar is almost stuffed full and it’s only January
7) a friend taught me a qigong movement that frees your energy and opens your path

My cup runneth over even while the sharks circle for the blood letting – I thank my lucky stars that I’ve always looked good in red.


Debunking the Rational Mind

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

I’ve spent a lifetime coming here – here being the place where I’m learning to separate my thoughts from myself and choose happiness over suffering. It’s taken time, it’s taken hard knocks, it’s taken learning. And none of these things will get me to graduation day because now that I know, I have to keep knowing minute by minute and day by day.

Today when ADP issued two payrolls thereby wrecking havoc across two different bank accounts as well as my property tax check that I’m putting in the mail today, I just told the woman, nothing you are doing is helping me so just go on and do what you need to do. She was reciting policies about how they had voided the first one but then it went through anyway and it would take five days to reroute and then I would have to send in a statement for the NSF that this would create with the other bank account and they would reimburse when they received it. I was like wow – and this is helping me today how? So I left her to it and I called my bank and told them what was going on and now I’m back in the saddle. See there are always circumstances vying for your happiness. But if you choose happy, they come and they go.

Like most things in life.

A friend who is in the midst of splitting with her partner is seeking clarity – she is reading The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer and I picked up a copy and am almost done with it. Singer’s premise is that we can separate ourselves from our thoughts and come to peace knowing we are born and then we die and that’s really all there is to it. Everything else is a mental construct that we have built and caged ourselves in and is truly what makes most people miserable.

Even my trying to understand why I spent so many years with people who were more about being rational than emotional beings is me trying to reconstruct or reframe or understand the cage wire by wire instead of just letting it go. Just saying, that was then, this is now, and moving on.

And so this is how I came to find peace, happiness and contentment in my new life – by divorcing my thoughts from my self. My replacing the negative energy that caused me so much suffering with positive and loving light. Everyone comes to their own enlightenment in different ways – I would not encourage anyone to follow my path, but I would gladly tell them where I am is worth traveling to.


What has nature wrought?

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

We have been in the 30s dipping a point below and a point above in some fluctuating stream of ridiculous cold that none of us are prepared to deal with – none of us. I don’t care if you are one of those Yankee types who LOVE the cold and HATE the heat – if you live in New Orleans this is a crisis. My house temperature has hovered at 56 degrees for two days running. That’s after spending $500 to make sure the brand new heater was working correctly.

Instead I have arctic jet streams shooting up through the floorboards and windows that feel like the freezer door is open. My electricity bill for last month was double its norm.

A friend said he likes cold but the truth is we live in the equivalent of grass huts here and that’s definitely what it feels like but more importantly here is what is interesting about this entire fiasco – my mind does not work in the cold. I can’t clean my house, I can’t write, I can’t work, and I certainly find it hard to be loving and kind.

John Battelle recently wrote his Media predictions for this year and number one was:

1. 2014 is the year climate change goes from a political debate to a global force for unification and immediate action. It will be seen as the year the Internet adopted the planet as its cause.

If this winter is any indication of global warming, we all better start thinking about it. We can endure floods, hurricanes, and hell on earth heat, but cold, no we can’t do cold. We would need to be in houses built out of brick and cinder block but then they would not withstand floods and squalls and humid heat – so we would all have to move somewhere else and there is – really – no where else to go.

I tried to get to the grocery in Metairie today and the I-10 was blocked off with patrol cars – bridges are closed – we are shut in and shut down.

So my musings after being confined to my house for two days with an almost five year old who has been bouncing off the very cold paper thin walls is that I know why bears hibernate – I know why people just tune out and stay in and don’t venture out in the winter – I know now that this is no way to live.

Cold is for polar bears and penguins but not for real people.


You’re Gay

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

The other day, Tin said to me, “You’re gay,” and I said, “Actually I’m bisexual.”

He said, “You’re gay, Mommy,” and I said, “You know it’s not nice to say that because it’s none of your business what anyone’s sexuality is.” I reminded him his friend’s parents are gay and how would they feel if they heard him saying something that might hurt their feelings.

I’m not sure where he heard “you’re gay” or even to say it in that tone, but I can bet at school and it’s interesting that someone said it to him, a boy with two mothers, and he doesn’t even know what gay means. But I’m sure the way it was intended was not as a statement but rather as a slight.

Today, an organization ran an ad in the New York Times that was on point. We both read it to him, even though, he doesn’t really get what gay actually means now, but he will one day and he will recognize that telling someone they’re gay in that tone is heterosexism at its dumbest.


Carnival 2014

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

The Krewe of Endymion is going to roll spitting distance from my front door the weekend before Fat Tuesday and I couldn’t be happier – it’s one of the super parades that march right before Mardi Gras day. It’s also the Krewe my brother decided to join even though they used to not let in Blacks or Jews.

This afternoon, I ran into my neighbors as we purchased our Mardi Gras decorations. We both fondled the $65 masks and ogled the giant flags then turned down the aisle where the cheaper decorations lurked. I chose the jester with the bindi, of course. Money or no money, it is Carnival time and already I am grooving most afternoons with Warren Easton’s marching band practicing across the street.

Oh, I love a parade.

Drum roll please…

I got the Mardi Gras costume box down, one of two large ones, and dusted off my masks and my tutu and the purple, green and gold panty hose.

Laissez les bons temps rouler! And Roll And Roll And Roll. I called a friend in California and said let’s catch up now because it was the holidays but now it’s the lull before Carnival and then there’s Jazz Fest and you know how it is, time just seems to fly, when you’re …



Mojo Rising

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

My horoscope today:
Jan 21, 2014

Taurus 4/20-5/20 (change)
Someone is courting you — it could be romantic, professional or just someone who wants to be friends. Your amazing energy makes you even more attractive than usual, so don’t be too surprised.

A friend of mine is want to say “more will be revealed” and I’ve never felt the truth of that statement more than I have than in the last few weeks where what I perceived the first week of January has been kicked to the curb and a sudden breath of fresh air has blown in. I was at the Blush Ball – the Pussyfooters’ fundraiser – the other night and it was an event I didn’t really feel like going to but after deciding on what to wear I was out the door and there and it turned out to be an incredibly fun night.

Fortuna’s Wheel keeps spinning and what I’ve seen in the last couple of weeks is that I’m up. Here and there I’m meeting people and here and there my friends are gathering and here and there work is presenting itself and so more than anything in life I’ve come to know the weight of the words, more will be revealed.

I walked along the streetcar tracks to Canal Place yesterday and went to see August: Osage County with a friend. Powerful movie that unearthed the tenets of more will be revealed – here everyone thinks they are in control of the truth and yet, more is revealed at every turn, and there it is in all its glory: life unfolding.

My friend and I spoke about how you have to let the waters wash over you – the one where you are on the bottom of Fortuna’s Wheel, or the one where you perceive everyone but you at the top of it. And everything takes time – it takes time to mourn a relationship, to grieve for its lost potential; it takes time to change gears, and redirect yourself on a new path; it takes time to get to know yourself and then to let all you know go. These things take time.

As I walked along the streetcar tracks a man circled a few times and then pulled in front of me – “Can I give you a lift? You don’t have to walk here by yourself.” I smiled, he was the embodiment of a metaphor. “I’m good,” I told him. In a few minute exchange I heard the beginning of his story – Antoine Jerome – Creole? – AJ – single – not gay – would buy me a drink and pay for it – and he had to work tonight but couldn’t help notice me.

I’m good, I repeated, smiling.

My friend and I spoke about how this grand experiment called life is constantly changing, which requires us to constantly show up. And if I have learned anything in my years it is being present. It’s not something that comes easily to me, I have directed my entire living to a future-oriented goal, and so to be still, to be here, to be now, is not something that comes easily. I thank Alex, who first gave me The Power of Now, and I thank Susie who told me she listens to Ram Dass for inspiration, I thank Linda who has been reading an affirmation with me every day so far this year, and I thank my parents who taught me about faith – my father’s oft-repeated mantra: it’s the darkest hour just before dawn.

I’ve come to know life through these cycles where sometimes it seems the rotation of Fortuna’s Wheel is a slow and drawn out symphony and sometimes the wheel is spinning so fast it looks headed for a train wreck.

And still I rise.


Gay today, Big tomorrow

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Today Tin said to me, “You’re gay.” And I said, “Actually, I’m bisexual.” But I asked him where he had heard that and he wouldn’t say but I speculated school. I said we don’t say that because it isn’t nice. Later he was looking at my Facebook page and he said who is that big girl and I said, we don’t say that because it isn’t nice. And he said why not?

Because it’s not nice to call attention to someone and say, “You’re big because it implies bigger than other people which then means others are normal and the big girl is not.”

And saying you’re gay is calling someone out for their sexual preference, which has nothing to do with you, so it’s rude. How would you friend feel whose fathers are gay if you said something that hurt his dads’ feelings?

When I grow up, I want to be …

Thursday, January 16th, 2014


My jar runneth over

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

I started my 2014 Gratitude Jar and already it’s packed – what goes on? A friend who is a spiritual teacher in California and I are doing a Prosperity Affirmation every day for 30 days by phone. I also have started saying an Abundance Prayer in lieu of my other mantras. And more than anything I’ve started noticing how much rocking gratitude I have in my life.

Little things like I haven’t had a manicure/pedicure in a long, long time and someone gave me a gift certificate today – out of the blue! Or that my heater problem went from a $200 to a $400 and was climbing to a $1450 problem, but right now I’m sitting in my heated house courtesy of my agent Andrew at Tommy Crane’s office who is trying to sort it out for me.

Tonight, I went to give my first of the year workshop to foster to adoptive parents under my Transracial Parenting company. Yay! I am stepping into my new career. And yet, I’m still able to pay the bills with my old career as I transition by virtue of getting new work last October that is sustaining me.

I’m definitely grooving on some good vibes here – so let me just say this about that – I’ve noticed (it happened today) that when workmen have come through my house, a few of them have stopped and copied down the quote I have on my wall:

Hardship prepares ordinary people for extraordinary lives. C.S. Lewis

I think about these men and what makes them stop and read this quote and what makes them go so far as to copy it down – I find this unusual behavior for men – but something in this quote says something to them as it did to me.

We all go through our own hardships and we all make our lives out of chaos and clarity.

I think about how our lives are fabricated from our thoughts and how if you think you are losing, you’ve already lost, and when you think you are winning, bingo, you are a winner. The first few days of the New Year, I was hard pressed to write anything for my gratitude jar and now I’ve put a cap on three grateful notes a day.

I’m leaving notes for myself to remind me of what I know to be true:

As I build my new company:
I helped build a $40 million company.

As I see other relationships flailing and struggling:
I have been in a profoundly loving and long-term marriage.

As I’ve spent moments by myself when I would have preferred not to:
I have been a good and sometimes great friend.

As I’ve missed my parents and grandparents:
I was a loving daughter and granddaughter.

As I have regretted deferring my dreams:
I became Tin’s mother at 50.

As I have learned to accept the loss of my hair:
I have fallen utterly in love with being bald!

I’m putting a cap on these because I could continue to list the hardships that have brought me grace, joy, and grit. Yes, indeed.

#Tinism Rodeo

Monday, January 13th, 2014

This is a round up of all the #Tinism’s I have posted on Twitter – going back through some of these makes me realize how special my son has been from the get go.

@RachelDanger 6 Jan
#Tinism: “I did NOT hit my funny bone, Mom. This is a sad bone.”

@RachelDanger 21 Dec
Does not bode well – #Tinism: “Mommy, there is a huge mess in your room.”

@RachelDanger 18 Dec
#Tinism: Mom, your butt’s too big to be by my train tracks.

@RachelDanger 23 Nov
#Tinism: Why does my butt move when I hear music?

@RachelDanger 23 Oct
#Tinism: It wasn’t me! I don’t drive the car usually.

@RachelDanger 20 Oct
#Tinism: There it is, that’s all folks!

@RachelDanger 18 Sep
#Tinism “Bad guys don’t have mothers.”

@RachelDanger 17 Jul
#Tinism: I’m not going to the meeting! I’m not a grown up anymore-remember? Do they have donuts?

@RachelDanger 14 Jun
#Tinism: “Hey look at the duckies, and there’s a mama and mommy duck too!”

@RachelDanger 12 May
#Tinism: “I love you Mommy!” #bestmothersdaypresentever.

@RachelDanger 11 May
#Tinism: This mosquito really knew what he was doing. Look at this bite.

@RachelDanger 3 Apr
#Tinism: Mom: “Turn off the light, it’s bedtime!” Tin: “But I need atmosphere.”

@RachelDanger 5 Mar
#Tinism: Is that girl rapper really on fire?

@RachelDanger 4 Mar
#Tinism: Mom: “I am master of my own destiny.” Tin: “Uh oh.”

@RachelDanger 28 Feb
#Tinism: Mom: You’re getting too heavy to carry. Tin: One day I’ll be carrying you.

@RachelDanger 22 Feb
#Tinism: “Mommy, please invite @frank_ocean to our house and cook something good.”

@RachelDanger 9 Feb
#tinism: Where’s the pussyfooters?

@RachelDanger 7 Feb
#tinism: I am a Queen not a King! (How appropriate for Muses)

@RachelDanger 24 Dec 12
#Tinism: I’m going to hit you in the face. No? Then will you hold my hand? [#hormones]

@RachelDanger 17 Dec 12
#Tinism: Ms. Karla, when I grow up, I want to be a teacher like you.

@RachelDanger 15 Dec 12
#Tinism: “I’m moving to New York. You are allowed to visit.”

@RachelDanger 15 Dec 12
#Tinism: [at Rouse’s] Wow, she must have got that booty at the butt store!

@RachelDanger 2 Dec 12
#Tinism: I celebrate myself.

@RachelDanger 20 Nov 12
#Tinism Mom drop me off at the airport, I’m going to New York to do art.

@RachelDanger 15 Nov 12
#Tinism: When I was young I had a band, but Louis said, hey little man, want to join mine?

@RachelDanger 6 Nov 12
#Tinism: I am at the train station of love.

@RachelDanger 29 Sep 12
#Tinism: I need a grand piano!

@RachelDanger 19 Sep 12
#Tinism: “Mommy, I want you to always be here.”

@RachelDanger 17 Sep 12
#Tinism: “Oh Ruby, you know you’re my girl and I love you.”

@RachelDanger 19 Aug 12
#Tinism: “I live in a dark city but I call it Music Wide Open.”

@RachelDanger 30 Jul 12
#Tinism: It is not ALLOWED to rain in Spain!

@RachelDanger 24 Jul 12
#Tinism: “I’m going up in a blimp to see my other mommies – Evan and Nina.”

@RachelDanger 14 Jul 12
#Tinism: “Mom, can we ride a whale for my birthday?”

@RachelDanger 14 Jul 12
#Tinism: “Mom, do musicians nap?”

@RachelDanger 9 Jul 12
#Tinism: How much is money?

@RachelDanger 3 Jul 12
#Tinism: “Mom, my new band name is Combo-sation. You got it?”

@RachelDanger 1 Jul 12
#Tinism: Tin: “Guantanamera is a Puerto Rican song.” Mom: “No, it’s Cuban.” Tin: “You don’t know, Mommy.”

@RachelDanger 1 Jul 12
#Tinism: Spain needs air conditioning, Mommy.

@RachelDanger 16 Jun 12
#Tinism: Mom get my pocket trumpet cuz I need to blow.

@RachelDanger 22 May 12
#Tinism: Tin: “I’m having a baby, Mommy.” Mom: “Boy or girl?” Tin: “Boy, I’ll call him LoveYouSo.”

@RachelDanger 11 May 12
#Tinism: Mom: The ambulance is taking someone sick to the emergency hospital. Tin: Yeah, I had the hiccups once.

@RachelDanger 3 May 12
#Tinism: I live by the water because I’m a Pisces. It’s about fish.

@RachelDanger 24 Apr 12
#Tinism: Mom: Why aren’t you napping? Tin: I have a gig, it’s funky, did you hear it?

@RachelDanger 23 Apr 12
#Tinism – Mom, are you ready for music – are you ready for Jazz Fest?

@RachelDanger 15 Apr 12
#Tinism: Mom, I think Louis Armstrong doesn’t know me.

@RachelDanger 14 Apr 12
#Tinism: “Yay we’re going to a slip n slide!” PAUSE “Mom, what’s a slip n slide?”

@RachelDanger 10 Apr 12
#Tinism: I’m a doctor I can better him.

@RachelDanger 5 Apr 12
#Tinism: Mom: Why weren’t you good at school? Tin: Because. Mom: Why didn’t you listen to Ms. Karla? Tin: Because I didn’t.

@RachelDanger 31 Mar 12
#Tinism: I want to change my caca diaper before I go to Zumba.

@RachelDanger 24 Mar 12
#Tinism: Mommy, there are too many dead butterflies today.

@RachelDanger 22 Mar 12
#Tinism: Can little boys wear a tuba?

@RachelDanger 22 Mar 12
Tinism: A butterfly died in front of my house.

@RachelDanger 10 Mar 12
Tinism: Do you eat with gusto?

@RachelDanger 8 Mar 12
Tinism: Mom: Musicians don’t leave their trumpet on the floor – Tin: I am not a musician.

@RachelDanger 22 Feb 12
Tinism: Mardi Gras is over and now it’s Jazz Fest time. I’m super tired.

@RachelDanger 11 Feb 12
Tinism: Ben (Schenk) plays the clarinet good.

@RachelDanger 9 Feb 12
Tinism: Mom: Adults go to work and kids go to school. Tin: I’m getting a band for work.

@RachelDanger 9 Feb 12
Tinism: What happened with the cow and your hair? (in response to mom’s bedhead)

@RachelDanger 4 Feb 12
Tinism: I like cake better than caca.

@RachelDanger 20 Jan 12
Tinism: When I was a little girl my daddy took me to the French Quarter.

@RachelDanger 18 Jan 12
Tinism: I get up in the morning have my coffee do my caca and go to work.

@RachelDanger 16 Jan 12
Tinism: I was stuck naked on a bus.

@RachelDanger 11 Jan 12
#Tinism: Did Mommy make the red beans? (Yes) I’ll have to thank her when she gets home.

@RachelDanger 2 Jan 12
#Tinism Mom: Do you want to go to Children’s Museum or Zoo? Tin: French Quarter

@RachelDanger 2 Jan 12
#Tinism Mommy do you remember when I used to laugh and call you names?

@RachelDanger 2 Jan 12
Tinism: My horse will go to work and the gym for me.

@RachelDanger 15 Dec 11
#Tinism – Redlight stop, green go, yellow slow and blue light stop in the middle of the street.

@RachelDanger 10 Dec 11
#Tinism – I don’t like alligators because they eat unicorns.

@RachelDanger 3 Aug 11
The Tao of Tin: “Mommy, I want to go back to the beach.”