To the Ones Who Hate to See Me Smile

Look mofo, I don’t think I’m better than you nor do I want to be better than you. There is no single person on this planet who is better than anyone. For fuck sake, I fucking love you. In all realness, I love you. And you don’t have to love me back for me to love you. It doesn’t matter to me whether you hate me or not, I can’t help but love you. I see you. I see you in there. And I know you’re a beautiful person no matter what “bad” things you have done. I am not trying to take anything from you. All I want is you to open your eyes so that you can see that. So that you can recognize when a person loves you.  I want happiness for you. I want you to smile. I want you to laugh. I want you to do the things you love. I want you be who you are.

Why can’t you smile when I smile?

I simply want peace in this world. I want people to stop killing each other. I want people to love one another. I want world acceptance. And I know love is the answer. Self love first and the rest falls into place.

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Why I Hate Selfie Sticks

I totally get it. You’re feeling yourself. You looking good. Damn good. And you want the world to know god damn it. This kind of good is post worthy. Hell I am completely guilty of it too. But here’s my problem…

It doesn’t just end at the selfie. Most of us don’t take a quick snap and say “Hey world, I’m feeling good about myself, here I am.”

Nah, nah, nah. Chances are, we have taken over 10 photos(and that’s being nice). Scrolled through all them. Hated every single one. Delete. Delete. Delete. And then finally we come across one that might due once we’ve put a filter on that bitch. Once we are satisfied and have possibly asked friends/family which filter is best(and lets be real, they don’t give a shit), we post. We might post something inspirational if we know we are pushing our limits on the amount of selfies we’ve posted this week. (That Albert Einstein quote has nothing to do with your duck lips). We post and wait. We wait for likes. And when they start coming in, damn do we feel good. My problem?

People are validating themselves through the amount of likes they receive on social media. Where’s the self love yo? You just talked so much shit about how “ew” you looked in all those photos.  And then after making it “postable,” you waited to see what others had to say. You just based your self worth outside of yourself.

Look ya’ll, I am no angel when it comes to selfies. I have taken my fair share and I have waited my damn self for others to tell me how pretty I am. But let’s be real. That shit doesn’t matter. Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many god damn likes I get or how many people comment. The only person’s opinion that matters is mine. I have to love myself to believe I’m beautiful. To love myself, I have to accept and validate myself through myself. People telling me I look good is a band aid. It makes me feel good for the moment, but at the end of the day, I have to face myself. The cure to vanity is inside of me.

This past summer, I was sitting at the beach watching people take photos with selfie sticks. I watched one couple literally spend about 20 minutes taking selfie after selfie on this stick in front of the ocean. They would take selfies, delete, and then take some more. My motha fuckin problem is, they weren’t enjoying the actual beach. Now as a beach lover, this shit was bothering me! The waves, the water, the breeze, the sun, the sand, the laughter surrounding us, the warmth of the air. I thought, “did they come to the beach to take selfies?” Hmm. Maybe it wasn’t their intention, but it sure as hell was what they did. Did you know that more people died this year from taking  selfies than from sharks?

Are we taking photos to capture memories or capture likes?

And I don’t want to hear, “selfie sticks are a convenient way to get a photo when you don’t know anyone who can take it.” Couldn’t you just, I don’t know, talk to someone and ask them to take your photo?? Ya know, connect with someone. Jesus. We are all literally going to be walking around like robots one day if we keep depending on devices and machines to do things for us. This world is fucking small, you’d be amazed at the connections you can make by simply talking to a stranger. Instead, people walk around afraid to talk to each other. And that isn’t cool.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with taking a selfie every once in awhile and even posting it for others to see. There is nothing wrong with feeling yourself. But folks, moderation is key. How many selfies are in your phone gallery right now?

I hate selfie sticks because they encourage self absorption, which we have enough of on this planet.

Not to mention, they look ridiculous.

Do you.

I have been on my journey to awakenedness for some years now and though it hasn’t always been easy, it has been COMPLETELY worth it. Awakenedness simply means being in tune with your mind and body, living your life fully and happily rather than in autopilot. Autopilot, meaning settling for what is the “norm” while suppressing who we really are and what we really want. Settling. I am growing and changing everyday through my practice which includes having gratitude for everything and loving myself and all things as we are all connected. Society has made us believe that we are all disconnected, different; which couldn’t be further from the truth. We all want love. We all want connection. We all want to smile. We all want freedom. We all want happiness. And though I am practising every day, I’m still faced with challenges, but I have learned to embrace these challenges and changes; through that comes strength. Strength is growth. Life is about experiencing beauty, and let me tell you, there is so much beauty in this world. So much.

We all have our own story, and some are fucking fucked up, but I am here to tell you that you CAN choose happiness and be your ENTIRE self. You can let go. Your past or situation does not have to rule your life. You are in control. You are truly strong and powerful if you allow yourself to be. People are growing older and sicker rather than older and wiser. And I am sad about this because I see it in the people I love the most. I am here to speak for them and for you. I am no longer afraid of speaking my truth. I base all of my knowledge on what love has done for me, the proof is INSIDE of me and though I am the only one who can feel what is true for me, I hope that in some way, I can help guide you to your truth. The great news is that, your truth is there and always has been, and will continue to always be.

By truth, I mean, the REAL you, the BEST you, the LOVING you, the passionate you, the fearless you. The you, that doesn’t give a fuck what people think. The you, that always puts YOU first so that you can be the best for the people around you. The you that can and will take risks.

The only thing holding you back is fear. Fear of change. Fear of moving away from what is comfortable. Fear of how you might affect others. Fear of being different. Fear of what people will think. I am here to tell you that fear is not real. 95 percent of the things we are afraid of don’t exist. Think about it, all the things we worry about are all in our head. WHAT IF this or that happens? Well fuck that, what is happening NOW? Live. Here. Now. Living in the present moment is the only real way to live in a way that is free of illusion. If shit is fucked up right now, focus on what you are grateful for and make a change. Baby yourself and speak words of love to yourself. When you are going through tough times, visualize the child version of yourself and speak to them with loving words. Everything will be ok. You will get past this and things WILL get better.

Fear stems from thoughts of the ego. The ego is the person you think people want to see. The ego is the “cleaned” up version of yourself. The ego is the person who isn’t real. The ego sacrifices your true being.

Who is the person thinking about thinking? Engage with your inner self my love.

Do what makes you happy.

I love you.

Jury Duty

My jury duty experience? Ok. So I received a summons a couple months ago. I claimed financial hardship, because, let’s be real, I’m an actress in Los Angeles. Yea I know, you’d think, but no. Denied. So I am forced to show up at 9:30 am on a Monday morning where I could potentially be picked for a trial that can last up to ninety days. They originally scheduled me for 7:30 am but lucky for me, I’m “tech savvy” and I did my orientation online, so they changed it to 9:30 am. They at least pay for parking. But other than parking, you receive a whopping $15 for an 8 hour day NOT including the first day served.

I get there. There are a lot of people. The guy tells me I will be doing a lot of waiting around for the majority of the day. Hmm ok. I am finally called at 2:15pm. For the past 5 hours, I have been sitting in a big ass depressing ass conference room with about 50 unhappy as fuck people, doing absolutely nothing. I’m requested to serve as a juror on the 10th floor. I proceed to the court room thinking “hell no, that can’t make me.” I had a full speech ready, about what I had to say about the justice system and how I don’t approve of being forced against my will to waste an entire day of my life for something I’m not even sure I believe in. They stressed to all of us that we must not be bias as a juror.

So we walk in, literally, I am watching both attorneys and the accused look every single one of us up and down immediately judging and seeing who they want to pick to be in the jury. Wait? What? The lawyers pick who they want in the jury? This isn’t bias? The young man who was accused of a violent crime was a young black man. The way the lawyers looked at us was very similar to the way the slaves were looked at in the movie “12 Years a Slave”, ya know the part where they separate the mother from her kids and the guy parades around showing off his “product.” It was quite eerie. It was like being introduced to another world that I knew existed, but to actually see it was something else. What could they be thinking? Probably something along the lines of, “Ok, that man there is a black man, lets pick him, he will sympathize with the accused.” A guess I had. And then I started thinking, they force all of us to come in, miss work, inconvenience ourselves, stop our lives for FREE because it is our “civic duty”? I don’t remember signing any agreement. I thought this was a free country. I’m confused. And why aren’t they thoroughly testing people’s biasness? Some people are good at separating their biasness from work. Some are not. But everyone is capable of giving a simple yes or no answer when being asked whether or not they will be bias during the trial, whether it is the truth or not. To be asked to PROVE your ability to separate your biasness would be much more truth revealing, after all they hardly know shit about any of us.

Don’t get me wrong, I think jury duty could be a positive experience, but for those who actually want to be there. Perhaps, allowing people to sign up for it and offering a little more incentive for “serving our country” than $15 a day. I mean shit, at least buy us lunch. Damn.

So after they looked at all of us like tools, the judge asked if anyone had trouble speaking English. One guy raises his hand. After a little English test in front of 50 other jurors, the judge, the two lawyers, the secretary, bailiff, and the accused…he’s excused. Then the judge gives a speech about how we should be honored to be jurors and how he needs us to help him do his job. I’m thinking, well shit, I need you to help me do MY job. After his speech, he asks if anyone will not be able to pay their rent if they have to come “serve” for the next week. I raise my hand. I understood what he was saying and where he was coming from, his speech was aight, but now just wasn’t a good time for me. Plus, I will be bias. I’m not one of those people who can separate my biasness from work. I am too passionate about people being human beings that if I thought they were a good person or had mental illness or an effed up childhood, I might not vote to put them away. It’s just the way I am. Not to mention all the poor black men being killed by our police lately…yea I definitely would have been bias. Not to mention, I think our justice system is old and outdated.

“Will anyone here suffer a great financial loss due to serving on this trial?” I raise my hand. The judge proceeds to have me explain myself in front of 50 other jurors, himself, the two lawyers, the secretary, the bailiff and the accused. I had to disclose how much I made in a month and how much I paid for rent. Now even as an actress who is used to performing in front of a live audience, this was a bit nerve racking and quite intimidating actually. This alone could keep people from speaking up about their own financial hardship. After all that, I was excused. I was a little sad I didn’t get to perform my Oscar worthy speech on my thoughts about the justice system, but happy to get the hell out of there.

*I do not believe people should be forced to do jury duty. I especially believe this after my experience. Fear keeps us from standing up for what we believe in. Fear makes us the throw our hands up in the air and do things we don’t want to do. You don’t HAVE to do shit you don’t want to, despite what “they”may tell you.*