Tuesday, November 24, 2015

That Moment When Youtube Freezes

Am I the only one who thoroughly dislikes singing in my car to Roar and just as Katy Perry is about to hit a truly magical pitch, the internet freezes?  Or that moment when you just want to get to your favorite video and there is, of course, an advertisement standing between you and fun?  Or maybe it's that moment when your breakfast needs to cook for two minutes in the microwave and you are already late that irks you the most?

Whatever the case, we all tend to hit that "moment" that, innocent of itself, tempts us to turn into fire breathing dragons, swearing that the powers that be in charge of Youtube did that on purpose just to be irritating.  Inwardly, we know it's not the case, but within that minute it feels as though life was just frustratingly and unnecessarily put on hold.  

I use such moments to remember the yogi in me.  This is just an exercise of patience that a loving God gave me because He wants what is best for me, I tell myself.  Breathe and enjoy the breath.  This is a gift in the middle of the day to come back to being, to give myself a moment to enjoy the silence (because we always mute the commercials) and think about having peace.  We can use this moment to plan out our day.  We can use this moment to be grateful for our breath, our heartbeat, and all those little blessings we tend to take for granted.  So the next time we come to a red light of any kind, but especially those little, annoying ones that seriously have no meaning and were placed there by the authors of Google just to make life difficult, we can choose to smile, look up, thank God for that moment to ourselves, and enjoy the breath.  

Wishing one and all a calm and peaceful Thanksgiving and December. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

How I Overcame Depression

I used to share this quite frequently when I first began blogging but it seems to have fallen through the cracks and as we enter the holiday season it seems appropriate for many reasons.  I recognize that many suffer from this ailment during this cheerful time of year and also in light of Thanksgiving, it seemed that sharing this remedy once again seems timely.

I grew up continually in a darkness and a low level misery, feeling rejected and abandoned in many directions.  Being somewhat a solitary person I did not end up seeing a psychologist and thus had to strive through finding a solution on my own.  Yes, I was suicidal at times and in hindsight I am exceptionally grateful to have been so because I have been able to help others facing the same kind of trouble.

I pass over the initial part of my healing, which began first with the very difficult decision to want to be happy.  This can prove frightening when depression is all you have known, but I promise you that you will not lose the strength you have found in yourself.  You will gain a greater one. Secondly, prayer in droves pushed me a little upward.  I recall spending hours one afternoon in prayer, tear streaked, and repeating the same few words again and again out in the mountains behind my home. 

But the main thing that kept me sustained in a generally happy state proved to be a practice I still often employ today, not because I am depressed, because I am not anymore, just but because I find no reason not to do so.  I began bringing a notebook to church and jotting down positive things I saw in others.  It may have been as frivolous as a cute outfit or it might have been a great comment in Sunday School, or what have you.  May it was just that a person over there looked depressed herself and needed reminding that she was a daughter of God.  I would come home with this list and leave it on my dresser.  Later, when depressive episodes hit in full fury, I would retrieve my list and also a stack of beautiful greeting cards I kept always in stock for that purpose and  begin to write.  I would express appreciation for each of these people.  I would tell them how I was touched by their thoughts, by how God loved all His children, which certainly included them, or how I absolutely loved the shoes they wore this last Sunday.  Sometimes the pain would continue and I would end up with a massive stack somewhere around midnight before I finally felt able to breathe and collapse into bed.  The next morning my mailbox would be filled to capacity with outgoing cheerfulness and gratitude.

Was it easy?  No.  Did it take years to stabilize the bouts of misery and sadness.  Absolutely.  But I haven't the faintest trace of it now.  Appreciating people has become part of my blood and it courses through my veins at all times. 

So now I leave a challenge for you, whether depressed or no.  We often think of sending Christmas cards but between now and Thursday I challenge thee, gentle reader, to send out 25 emails, texts, cards, or what you will to different people that begin with the words, "I appreciate you because...."  This may seem a bit strange and the like, especially for men, but you have my permission to change it about a little and send a text like, "Dude, I saw how nice you were to that wayward kid.  Good job, man."  But you get the idea.  And may all of us have a pleasant and truly cheerful Thanksgiving and December this year.  Okay.  Ready?  Three, two, one - go! 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Man of the House

Let us review the mindsets we have adopted throughout history. First, nature urged humans to marry and breed to continue the species. Women became naturally attracted to strong men and masculinity craved to stand at the head of his tribe. This might have worked out perfectly well except for the fact that men and women prove quite imperfect. Men often employed their authority wrongfully, to abuse and degrade. Women became dissatisfied and eventually of necessity created the movement of women's rights. 

But then a horrible thing happened. Gender roles became confused. Women in their anger and frustration chose to prove that they could become more manly than men. Men were taught to become effeminate and more frequently gave up their duties as patriarch. Women felt they no longer needed men. Men felt worthless and stripped of the dominance they naturally craved. Before we knew it, men decided to marry homosexually and women did the same until the world spiraled into sheer madness. 

I know of a lady whose heart had been continually broken by romance and in her despair she felt led by God to focus on becoming powerfully feminine and to push away from relationships. Eventually she met a man who ached to marry her. He wanted to be her anchor, her stability and her strength but she was such a powerful, God fearing woman that spiritually at least he could not prove stronger than her. Some men might have given up. Others might have tried to abuse her and make her less than she was that they might be the macho, dominating man. He didn't. He prayed. He turned to God and through the power of the Lord became so powerful in his masculinity that she literally did not have power enough to turn him down. He proved able to be her big, strong protector because through God he attained enough strength to do so. Their relationship stands as a masterpiece of God's creation. Their physical relationship, for example, proves jaw droppingly amazing. He had to spend some time in prayer and meditation learning how God wanted him to treat His daughter and he had to break some bad habits but now he can have whatever he wants from her whenever he wants it. He trained his heart to only want that which was right. And he became so exquisitely...talented...that her favorite remedy for a headache is to get in bed with her man. She has no reason to turn him down because he makes it feel so amazing for her. He learned to balance male dominance with respect for femininity so brilliantly that there is absolutely no reason he should have her whenever he wants. Both of them take their own progression as a man and woman as a sacred duty. She has repeatedly made it clear that if he does not do what God wants his authority is over in a finger snap, and he, understanding that fact, works like a slave to be a good man. 

Is there a way to clarify gender roles in this wild, wicked world? Absolutely. But it won't come while women try to be men and men shirk their responsibilities. It will come when women love being feminine and men step up to the plate. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

You Aren't Grateful Until...

Some weeks ago I happened upon a delightful conversation with a lady who casually mentioned in passing that she enjoys this blog immensely.  I told her, as I have often had occasion to tell others, that I was touched by that and that I only know the number of hits on my posts.  I do not know who my readers are unless they tell me.  She looked taken aback with an expression that clearly read "She didn't know I was a fan?!?!?  How could she not have known that?!?!"

I have known situations in which a husband took his wife's sacrifices so much for granted that he engaged in abuse and infidelity in droves.  When finally she said that she was praying about divorce, he seemed shocked, dropped his bad habits and pleaded with the phrase "I don't want divorce!"  It was too late.  

I once had a relative who treated me horrendously thinking that I would always be as close to them and take their garbage as long as they decided to fling it at me.  They took no thought of expressing any kind of gratitude for the many favors I had bestowed, and as I try to be Christlike I took their behavior with grace.  Finally things necessarily came to a head and as I walked away, they turned panic stricken and spat out "I love you!" I turned and looked at this person with some pity and then said the only thing left to me.  "I don't believe you."  They might have tried to prove the truth of their statement and for a while I wished they would at least make the attempt but they never really did.  Things haven't been the same since.  

Thanksgiving is upcoming.  That is well, and I hope many will express then their appreciation of those around them.  Hopefully we will all express gratitude one to another.  But why do it only once a year, if at all?  Why don't we take opportunities to tell people that we love them and that we appreciate them?  What does it cost?  What would it hurt?  One wise LDS prophet said that feeling grateful to someone and not thanking them was like wrapping a beautiful present but not delivering it.  Are we really grateful if we do not take the trouble to tell the person of our gratitude?  I promise that rarely will an expression of gratitude injure a relationship (I have known of mentally ill people who took offense to expressions of gratitude).  And even more rarely will a relationship flourish and strengthen without it.  I would plead with you to express your love, your appreciation, your tender feelings now, before it becomes everlastingly too late.

Accidentally Sexy

Oops. I'm sorry - was that hot? 

We see great multitudes of women today desperately attempting to discover how little they can wear in public or how immodest they can behave everywhere they go in order to catch someone's attention.  We see women throwing away their self esteem, their natural femininity and their inner goddesses in order to chase after men and keep up with the continual sludge and filth of demoralizing pornography.  They end up with multiple broken relationships, low self esteems and in places no happy person would ever choose. 

All this misery, when the answer lies in two little words - accidentally sexy.

I have of late renewed my wardrobe.  Thrift stores can be magical places and I don 't believe in breaking my wallet in order to feed my creative genius.  Fate and God decided I should lean a bit toward the idea of a wardrobe rather sexier than my closet provided erstwhile involving (faux) furs, dangerously smooth and delicious blouses and the absolutely almighty pencil skirt.  All these clothes are things a good, upstanding Mormon lady can wear.  The blouses have sleeves with modest necklines, and the skirts touch my knees.  Beyond that, I make no promises.  My favorite shirt at present is of the sweet, light pink, touchable, silk little baby doll persuasion and I invested in a few leather, booty grabby, knee length pencil skirts.  They are form fitting; they feel delicious; they feed natural femininity, and are perfectly modest.  They give the impression of a woman who, instead of chasing after men in hysterical and frustrated desperation, can sit down quite comfortably with a good book while men murder each other for the chance to kneel at her feet.  It lends to the idea of "Yes, I am totally open to a great relationship, but catch me if you can, boy.  I'm not about to give away all this steamy sensuality to just anyone."  (Somehow, I just caught the vibe of several masculine mouths beginning to water - strange.) 

We have a bizarre conception that a morally upstanding girl has to be shy on the dance floor, personally unattractive, and talented only in baking cookies and bearing children.  Not so.  Don't get me wrong, my children are paramount in my life and I make a mean chocolate chip cookie.  But women of faith can also be downright sexy.  Not sexy in the typical worldly sense but in the sense that we are daughters of God and are perfectly at ease in being adored by men in general as we naturally go about our daily lives.  No chasing, no frustration, and no defeats.  Dressing in this sexy modest manner leaves the woman free to do whatever she feels like doing, whether it be professional, philanthropic, familial or what have you and when she glances around and finds men drooling unconscionably behind her pencil skirted back (as I have often found myself of late) she can look completely innocent as if to say, "Oh, I'm sorry.  I was just being myself.  I didn't mean to make you fall all over yourself and worship the ground on which I tread."  And smiling she turns back to her activity of choice and inwardly adds, "Yes, I did." 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Mormonism and Homosexuality

It seems like a firestorm unleashed in social media pertaining to the idea of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints refusing to allow membership for children of homosexual couples.  I have not yet heard anyone on Facebook discuss this from the perspective of a faithful LDS member, so at least within my own circle I am honored to prove the first. 

I have long wondered and worried about the laws passed in this country regarding gay marriage and also the extreme narrow minded bigotry among many people who argue that we all must support and applaud homosexual marriage in a perfectly unanimous ovation.  We who support traditional marriage have been demonized continually for our religious beliefs and I at least have proven quite concerned about the country attempting to force me to accept homosexuals being sealed in holy temples.  Mormonism cannot allow this, or even come close and it has nothing to do whatsoever with hatred against gays.

We love people who have homosexual tendencies.  We appreciate them and we consider them children of God.  The Brethren in Salt Lake have said this from the pulpit repeatedly.  But Mormon doctrine stands thoroughly rooted in heterosexuality and much of what we believe of ourselves, of God, of our eternal destiny and within the temple pertains to the spiritual and eternal connection of man and woman in marriage.  The highest blessings we believe God can and will bestow is an eternal family, and man and woman creating a child is the greatest joy and responsibility of our eternal lives.  We believe that men are glorious in their masculinity and women are exquisitely crafted in their femininity.  We believe that a union between man and woman is sacred and what God intended for our progression and greatest happiness.  It would destroy the very foundations of what Mormonism is and what we believe to allow homosexual couples to be sealed together forever in temples.  Other religions may allow that, but by definition we simply cannot.  That does not mean we demonize gay people, but in order to enter a temple of God there are several moral requirements one must reach.  One cannot drink alcohol or even coffee and still enter the temple.  The bar is high and it will remain high in order to preserve the sacred nature of that holy edifice.   I cannot speak for the Brethren or for God in His clear inspiration to them but I can say that it makes me breathe more easily to know that the sanctity of marriage between man and woman will be more protected and held sacred within my faith.  We may experience hatred, threats, dislike and bigotry but that proves far better than sacrificing our consciences before God or casting away God's commands as we understand them in order to accommodate a very confused and sin ridden world. 

As I have read the many posts of friends pertaining to this idea I have noticed that the people lashing out against the Church are generally those who already had a grudge against it.  Most of these are people who were once LDS and have since wandered into other paths.  My heart goes out to these people.  I cannot help feeling sorry for someone who, once having left an organization, spends much of his or her time in seeking out things they would consider negative and heralding their extreme disgust.  Many of them are obsessed with destroying the Church.  I would ask, if the Church is so worthless and completely untrue, why spend energy in dwelling upon it?  And yet some I know simply cannot leave it alone.  Personally, if I do not like an organization I fling it aside and spend my time in things I love.  Life is too short for an intelligent person to voluntarily emerge him or herself in hatred like so many demons from hell.  In choosing to spend time appreciating beauty in the world one is happier.  And if the Church is so false what difference do new rules make anyway?  

Many supporters of traditional marriage seem worried that Satan is winning in the world today.  We Mormons will clearly be taking the brunt of whatever attacks may come and by our wounds will your rights to religion be more protected.  We are heading up this fight to support what we believe.  We are tough, we are unafraid and we are united.  And when this world falls into chaos and the devil seems rampant there will still be a haven of clarity within the walls of a Mormon temple.   

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Where Have All the Good Women Gone?

"Women today have become demonic.... They have no standards."
"A single woman who is attractive and also morally upstanding is almost impossible to find."
"These women at church were hitting on me too much.  I mean, they're GORGEOUS but all they want is my body."
"Women only want to have sex with me and then they ditch me."
"Secretly, men really want a woman they have to work hard to win over.  It makes them feel like they have won a prize.  I mean, women aren't a prize to be won, don't get me wrong, but..."
These statements were made to me in private conversations respectively by a philosopher, a psychiatrist, a super intelligent martial artist, a doctor, and an absolutely brilliant and very handsome businessman.  All are single men and all are having trouble finding a decent woman who has standards and behaves like a lady.  My heart aches for men in this situation and it is for their sakes primarily that I publicly extend these thoughts today.
Sisters, the time has clearly past when wearing a mini skirt will attract the man we want.  Indeed, most women strut down the street half naked and clamor loudly about their rights to walk about wearing precious little, declaring that whilst they do so men prove villains if they look upon scantily clad females as sex objects.  Quit lying to yourself, my dear women.  I am a woman too and a female sauntering down the street with underwear length shorts, spaghetti strap, midriff exposing half shirt and a push up bra does not dress that way in order to avoid masculine attention.  They may get some hoots and hollers, but at what cost?
Want to make yourself unforgettable?  Embrace high moral standards. 
You want to be that woman that stands above the rest and makes him want to chase you. You want to be the woman who inspires men to slay dragons for her.  You want to be the one that men remember years after she turns him down.  I have had some relationships with men in my younger years and though it did not work out, those to whom I was closest still tripped over their tongues when speaking to me years later, though two were married with kids and one had become a literary superstar, distinguishing himself from coast to coast.  They all wanted to go physically further with me than morality permitted and for that transgression I kicked them to the curb.  Such behavior, I believe, was what made me linger so much in their minds. 
Be different ladies.  Be better than average.  Stand your moral ground and stick to your guns in making a man say "I do" before he can get his hands all over you.  Other women may come and go in his mind, but you will be the image that continually haunts his desire ridden dreams. 


Uses of Sexual Frustration

We established in the previous post that frustrated energy can transform into blissful power when handled properly but once we have found that power, what do we do with it? All frustration can be put to excellent use but I like the use of sexual energy best because of its depth and dynamics. But in order to use that tension to one's advantage we first have to ponder the following question:

What is sexual feeling?

It seems simple but in this rushed, frantic world we seldom stop to consider the spiritual and complete definition.  Sex is, at its best, the most godly physical act of which the human being is capable. It combines the highest love with the awesome power of creation. Nothing else can match it. It is the most tremendous expression of divine eternity known to man in the universe. That said, we also must understand who we are. We are beings of light with a destiny that blows the imagination. So when this channel is staunched and we successfully convert the pain of captivity into energy, what do we do with it?

Create beauty.

We are meant to create living offspring. No other creation can come close but we can certainly turn that energy outward and create beauty in little ways within every aspect of life. We will find that when we employ said power in that way, turning outward and engaging in creative beauty our pain turns to greater power and we find within ourselves light, energy, intelligence and overwhelming joy. Remember that this energy is ours and wants to be of use. So use it. Learn to paint. Organize some chaos. Take up photography.  Our creative prowess will become so powerful that we will not be able to contain it and we will find ourselves giving relentlessly to others which in turn will induce karma to strew our lives with grace.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Blessings of Sexual Frustration

I have actually wanted to write this for years and I find that now is the time and I feel at peace committing these pondering a and discoveries to print. We live in an age that continually encourages easy sex and exploring without censure the recesses of foul and sinful living. We all know why people fall prey to the sin of casual sex. It feels good at the moment. But is there anything gained through abstinence?

More than most people know.

As my gentle reader knows, I love meditation. In meditation one can turn difficulties into positive energy and glorious personal triumphs. This is true with any kind of difficulty or frustration but it proves remarkably powerful in dealing with that most beautiful of God's gifts to man - the sacred power of procreation.

Imagine a moment in which you may feel sexually frustrated. Often people act badly or lash out, but there is a magnificent trick that will turn this frustration into power. Stop for a moment. Close your eyes and breathe deeply through the nose. Recognize that you are frustrated. Recognize that your eternal soul that was divinely designed to procreate is surrounded by barriers. Your spirit feels tight and uncomfortable. Now breathe into that frustration. Recognize that your personal divinity wants to be unleashed. Imagine that tightness loosening and spreading throughout your body. Breathe and recognize that all that pent up femininity or masculinity can be put to good use right now. Let that sensuality flow out through your pores and surround you with an aura of righteous glory. You are divine. Release that divinity through your fingertips and the palms of your hands. Trust the direction your spirit offers. It will lead you to, all day every day, become more intensely a man or woman. Your spiritual power will increase in leaps and bounds. Your thought and behavior in every respect will become more manly or womanly. You will recognize your worth better. You will recognize your divine potential and soon you will learn to value yourself so much that nothing except an eternal relationship with a soul mate will be able to satisfy or interest you. And when we find ourselves there, we are in exactly the right position for God to introduce us into a mind blowing, earth shattering happily ever after.

Man Enough to Cry

An eight hour drive from Los Angeles to my native digs will generally include many an interesting conversation among the inmates of a vehicle and in making this trek I certainly enjoyed much discussion with my son and father. One of these historic exchanges was the question of whether or not it is permissible for a man to cry.

I loved throwing out some ideas and since neither male contradicted my logic I thought I would extend them to the general public. I noted that while many of my guy associates determine that men prove weak when they cry all those who argue this are of themselves weak minded fellows and generally also weak in body. The biggest, strongest men I know have absolutely no problem weeping in public. I have two cousins who are both body builders, one on each side of my family. They are made of iron and both quite willingly sniffle in public when occasion requires. My brother-in-law generally sets the standard of what is macho, masculine, and tough in my family. He is the physically strongest man in the family by far. When touched by the Lord's Spirit he sobs worse than I do. My children learn martial arts at the direction of a massive, muscle clad black belt who teaches lesser men the meaning of masculinity. I recall him telling the class that his students gave him a gift when he tested for his sixth black belt. Matter-of-factly he added that when they did so he cried like a baby. I don't know of anyone who dares question his manhood.  In Mormonism we have fifteen male leaders who stand as spiritual giants to the rest of the world. They are all, to a man, crybabies. And isn't the shortest scripture in the Bible "Jesus wept"?

Brethren may pose various arguments on this point but I can't help feeling that a man's attitude regarding this topic serves more of an indication of their own masculine confidence than a definitive answer for all situations. Naturally I don't condone anyone, man or woman, crying or throwing a childish fit when they don't get their way or to control others. That is also weakness in the sense that such a person loses self control when things don't go according to their desires. But in terms of experiencing joy, sadness, love, spiritual blessings or the like a real men isn't afraid to tear up. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Oceanside Anytime

I settle into my bed in Tucson waiting for my Dead Sea mask to dry and take a moment to bring to blissful recollection those few lovely moments I recently enjoyed by the sea. I often wish to be there and though my native Arizona offers plenty of hot sand it just isn't the same. And yet as I focus my heart and spirit toward the beach I can relive and expand peace in memory.

We forget sometime that God gave us five senses and meant for us to enjoy all of them. I consider the sunlight kissing my body, the water caressing my skin, the smell of salt air energizing my breath and always the panoramic beauty of this massive creation of God that boggles human understanding. The rushing, crashing waves lull and soothe me, wooing my thoughts outward into their powerful embrace.  

Beauty exists all around us, in every climate, in every hour and in every task before us. Find the beauty, bask in it and let it envelope you. We are children of God, exquisite in our creation and meant for paradisical enjoyment. We are beings of light, crafted with individual divinity with a destiny of joy and righteous pleasure. Accept who you are, be grateful for the little things and surrender to the good things of life.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Dark Heroine

Masquerading can prove difficult for me as I possess a rather annoying habit of wanting to be strictly honest with people and attempting to represent my true sentiments without compromise, but God has handed me interesting ideas for Halloween last and this year. My idea came not as a thunderclap this time but like a sunrise slowly impressed itself upon my mind, rendering more questions than answers.
It came to be a darkened heroine, which role I suppose I have often played since it came quite naturally.

Dark heroine combines epic adventures like Dante's Divine Comedy and Bunyon's Pilgrim's Progress. It is a woman who, being devoted to God seeks to go to the deepest reaches of the inferno to rescue and lead upward those souls she finds. The way is perilous and the dangers many but no one ever said the work of a superhero was easy.

I have often heard my dear friends tell me to give up on certain difficult people because we may get hurt. Yes, we may emotionally suffer from such ministry. We may endure ridicule and spiritual broken limbs and bruises. But when our purpose is certain it seems but a small injury and great honor to suffer something to bring our Father's children nearer Him. And though we may find ourselves at times enveloped by darkness God's light can ever be with us as we strive to bring about His purposes.