She Bop!

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In the early 1980’s a vocalist wrestled her way to the top of the charts. She was unique. She was outspoken. She opened up herself and sang songs like “Boy Blue” and “True Colors” bringing a raw unfiltered experience to a world that was grappling with the onset of the new epidemic AIDS.

Cyndi Lauper has never ending strength with her support for those in need. Those underserved. Those at risk. Those marginalized. And she has never thought once about not being that advocate. It is her true heart.

“What’s going on”? Is an anthem, a remake of a Marvin Gaye song, that sang a new truth into the words that “Only Love can Conquer Hate”.

I want to thank Cyndi for all her support to those of us who have needed and are still in need.

If you would like to show your support, I invite you to support her True Colors Fund https://truecolorsfund.org/

 

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Humanity’s Touch

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For a few years now I have been blogging “It’s Not Random, It’s Personal”. The words here are a catharsis for me as I am one of the weakest and most flawed of all humans. It is through my words that I can express the sadness I feel from my Bipolar depression, the amazement I have in science for keeping me alive though I have a virus in my body, HIV, that does not die, and my hope that somehow my words will be affect others in a positive way.

It is with this post that I want to honour someone who I admire, who has inspired me with hope and who’s love and advocacy has personally touched me through her words and works.

Alyssa Milano, you are my number one.  I wanted to reach out and thank you for being a loving human. I wanted to thank you for being an early advocate for those living with HIV through showing your support to Ryan White. I cried when I watched the Phil Donahue show as I now cry with more understanding of just how important your kiss was.

I wanted to thank you for your advocacy for children through UNICEF, for years of being an ambassador and positively influencing countless lives of children around the world.  If it had not been for your pregnancy, I wouldn’t have know what “Project Runway” was, or how beautiful you are when sharing your life by carrying another one inside.

I wanted to thank you for sharing your love of humanity throughout your journey of life. Most recently I wanted to thank you for marching with other Angelenos showing support of the American values of Love over Hate, and Freedom over Oppression.

I hope the love you illuminate always reflects back upon you and those you cherish.

Mark Hamlett

Center Within Your Path

There was a quiet moment in my day, a thing that seems rare, but in reality is quite often available. I had passed by a labyrinth on the campus of the Veterans Administration in Los Angeles and found myself drawn back to explore it.

As I read the plaque explaining a labyrinths history and function a group of people were walking it together. There was a certain awkwardness to their walk, trying to match each others pace, adapt to the turns and adjust to the closeness when passing by one another. When they reached the center, one by one, waiting for the complete group to arrive, there was finally a calmness in each one until as whole they smiled one at another.

I then walked the path on my own. As I walked, the first thing that caught my attention was the tightness, it took discipline to keep my feet with the lines and to place them properly to make a turn without becoming unbalanced.

The second thing I noticed about the labyrinth was that it took me close to center winding me back and forth continually varying my distance and taking me farther from  the center as I reached the half way point. Then as I continued it brought me again closer and closer until I reached the center.

It was a very calming experience. What I took from it is in my quote that follows:

Keep your eye on the center.
Keep your eye on the center.

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Take a look inside…

“Know Thyself” is an ancient Greek aphorism, most typically associated with Socrates, but a definitive origin is unknown. What does it mean to know thyself? It’s an infinite question, because our minds are constantly expanding as new knowledge is assimilated.

Do you know who you are? Who you see yourself as? Who others see you as? Who you think others see you as? Perspective varieties the perception of the self.

To truly know yourself is a lifelong journey that requires your observation in the moment. It requires an honest, authentic and neutral introspection. It is an awareness that takes practice.

Through meditation you can learn to sense who you are. Meditation can relieve you of outside stress and stimuli and allow your mind be still and just be you. Once you have achieved this baseline of discovering your self in this quiet place, in the moment, you can begin to understand who you are.

Understanding who you, here, in this moment will open your mind to see where you have been and to the paths that can be travelled from this point.

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Stop and Listen to the Music

Have you ever gone to a place away from civilization? Places like the woods, desert, ocean or mountains are places where you hear the music of nature. As you listen, you will also begin to hear the music inside your body and understand you are a part of nature and the universe.

Coming to that place your mind can be clear and you will distinguish your part in the universe, though infinitesimally small.

From this place of calm, you can harmonize with nature. You can also experiment altering your part, slowing/increasing heart rate, breathing or tensing/relaxing areas of your body. And, you will notice that you drift a bit from your place in the whole.

A practice of relaxation/meditation will allow a discipline to develop within you. It will allow you to connect and stay connected even when there are distractions in life.

This practice also allows you to see others around you more clearly, allowing to connect with others  more deeply. You will begin to understand the subtle effects that you create as you affect others with a smile/frown, a comment/criticism, a rush/patience.

You will see that in this infinite symphony your solo part is powerful and by training it you become what you want to be.

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What are you?

We are all the same, yet infinitely different. Unique copies of an ancient code that is constantly mutating. What we are is much more than our physical make up. You can break down the human body into its organs and elements and value it at about $45 million currently. That may be shocking to some of you, yet we are each priceless because we can not be replaced or remade.

Get in touch with every cell in your body and realize the value that your body has and the uniqueness of you.

Get in touch with yourself. What are you, in this moment?

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Where are you?

Take a moment to contemplate where you are. This comes from be present, letting go of external distraction and listening to your body and quieting your mind. When there is nothing but you, remember your past, accept it without judgment. Think of the future you looking back and seeing where you are in this moment. Humble yourself and see you as clearly as you can, and have hope that as you reach each moment forward you will live it in peace, charity and joy.

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