New Experiment: Teeth Whitening

So, I’m really enjoying my latest experiment. I can’t remember which celebrity in which gossip magazine suggested this, but she’s a winner. Basically, the idea is to keep your teeth white/stain-free by brushing them with a dry toothbrush 3-5 times/day. I’ve always yellower-than-average teeth and have resisted any type of whitening to this point, so figure this is worth a go first.

I had to figure out a practical way to work this into my life, seeing as I’ve only always brushed my teeth exactly once per day, in the evening before bed (I hate the taste of toothpaste right after a nice meal). SO, I decided to lump it with using the restroom. Ideally, I should be using the restroom about 5 times a day so this seems like perfect timing. Plus, a sink nearby with water. Yep.

I’ve been doing this 3 days now and already I think that my teeth are getting whiter. And they feel much more “clean”. Kind of smooth-feeling.

My first day I did cut up my gums quite a bit. Had to get used to the dry brush bristles. But big deal, wounds in the mouth heal 7 times faster anyway. They were perfectly fine the next day.

Side benefits: It’s making me more aware of how many times a day I’m using the restroom. I actually look forward to brushing my teeth often.

Took a picture today on day 3 and will take another picture at day 30 to see how good the improvement is. I feel like they are already 30% whiter than before I started doing this, especially the front teeth!


Side notes: I realized recently how disciplined I was as a child. I never missed a day of brushing my teeth, that I can recall, until I was in my late twenties. I also started this thing when I was probably 8 years old where I would time myself to see how long I would brush my teeth. I had heard that the average person brushes less that 30 seconds and my super-competitive nature felt challenged to brush for at least 2 minutes, so that I could be “above average” at that too :-) That habit has persisted to this day.

The Inbetween

I wonder how valuable all this blog stuff is. There are so many good books written by people who took their whole lives to synthesize, sort, and filter their experience, and distilled it into nuggets. I realize that my blog posts are more like the thoughts you have on the way to a conclusion. These could potentially be helpful to someone, as they are more relate-able perhaps, but they are really just noise with hints at wisdom.

There’s some kind of transition in the air toward reserve, discretion. This is really challenging for me. I’ve never liked the don’t give the pearls to the pigs approach. I guess because it assumes a disparity in spiritual growth that cannot be bridged immediately. And I am realizing how immediate my demands are in general. I hate waiting. When I receive information, I want to immediately spray it around my universe with a fire hose.

What an amazing opportunity we have been given to explore life through a very specific lens. My lens being that of a human woman, with unique experiences and tendencies. It’s hard to reconcile this experience with the innate memory of being one with the entire universe in omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. The contrast of that oneness with the human experience feels extremely limiting sometimes. I’m coming to a place of knowing what my highest qualities could be, and yet also knowing exactly how big that gap is in my practical application. It’s daunting, and brings back the “God is a cruel game-maker” analogy. All the more reason to be kind and loving toward each person you meet. If you go through what i go through in terms of mental anguish sometimes, you could use a lot of support and compassion too.

On the other side of pain

My whole body smiles
Who knew it could be like this?
Thank you Kaya
I entered solo
Into a world of white
Radiant blinding bliss
They gave the dragon wings
Cause they wanted him to fly
I have the tools now
I never once imagined
Out of pain for a small eternity
Flying from cloud nine to cloud nine
With every loving stroke

One life

They get you with the golden handcuffs

You like going out to the restaurants

You have a nice little house

You’re the man when you go to the bar

Buy everyone a round of drinks

It eats at you though

The fact that you can only put about 20%

Of your passion into your work

Another head hits the pillow

Heavy with the knowing

You’re only living

About 20% of your life

365 Days, No Shampoo, No Conditioner

I did it!!! Following up a year of writing a poem a day, I have successfully completed 365 days of no shampoo/no conditioner! Thanks to the renegade Paul Makepeace for the inspiration. I might add, much to the skepticsm of almost every person I mentioned it to who has never tried this, and the chagrin of new lovers who suspect I must be some kind of dirty hippie but can’t find the physical evidence.

These are the pictures of the shampoo/conditioner bottles that are still sitting on my shower ledge, bought in September 2010. My last day of shampooing was December 6th, 2010.

So, what are the results, you might ask? Mixed, for now.

Judging from this very recent picture of me, I’d say my hair is doing just fine! A little heavy at the roots, but healthy all the way through to the ends, and looks perfectly grease-less/dry whenever it’s curled or blow-dried.

Just in the past couple of months, however, I have noticed a bit of buildup on my scalp that comes off waxy on the hairbrush and starts to make my scalp itch. My hypothesis is that this is what happens when the hair is not brushed/scrubbed/rinsed with hot water every single day. When I skip a day, the buildup is noticable. It didn’t seem to be as much of an issue when my hair was even 2-3 inches shorter. Or, maybe it’s because it’s been colder and I’ve been wearing more hats lately.

Not only have I not been chemically stripping my hair, but I’ve been growing it out in the past year. I have a TON of hair, so I suppose it makes sense that the longer it gets, the more work it will be to distribute the oils all the way through and prevent yucky buildup.

Me in December 2010, one year ago, with brown hair:

Not sure how much longer I will continue this. My friend Kali Brothers has a great home recipe for a lavendar vinegar shampoo that I might just turn to if I can’t seem to religiously keep my scalp clear over the next couple of months.

It’s no wonder I find myself experimenting on my hair again. It’s a trait of a Leo rising astrological chart to have hair be of high importance to an individual. And by importance, I mean obsession. I am embarassed to admit that both my award-winning sixth grade science fair project (“How Strong is Your Hair?”) and literal last-minute copout high school science fair project (“How Strong is Your Hairspray?”, remember that Beth Lodahl? You should be ashamed too! Wait, aren’t you a hairstylist now?) were hair-centered. My 8th grade shop and history teacher unoffically nominated me for “best hair” for the yearbook, and during college almost-strangers remarked how my ever-changing hairstyles have bettered their lives. If that wasn’t a sign I was hair-obsessed perhaps the small patch of missing hair at the center of my scalp in the 8th grade should have been a sign, well at least it was to me! A trich was born. Friends tried throwing things at me to get me to stop picking at it (hard candy doesn’t work, Gunner!), strangers on airplanes give me unapproving head shakes, it’s a  bad habit.

I kept my hair short, pixie-short mostly, over the past 10 years. Pretty much for 2 factors: I am more efficient when I’m not obsessing over my hair. I can actually get stuff done and don’t spend hours picking at my hair for split ends or styling it, etc. Plus, my forever boyfriend liked my hair short. Thought it suited my face better or whatever. I think he might have secretly wanted me to look like a boy so he could own me, but, whatever. I’m not bitter or anything.

But, to signify an end of that relationship/era, and a return to my more feminine, longer locks, and to please a certain loverboy I fell hard for (ref. paragraph 1), I decided to grow, grow, grow my hair as l0ng as I can stand it. Mom is thrilled, so am I. I had recurring dreams of having beautiful, long, flowing hair when my hair was pixie short, guess that was a clue I really missed my long hair. It was just easier to manage short.

’nuff said for now. Will give another update in a couple of months!

Watch out

Apparently I like to go off on rants when I’m deathly ill, so, here we go…

The world sucks right now. The word “career” is quite possibly my least favorite word. When someone asks me how my “career” is going I have a gag reflex.

How is it that I made it all the way through college, through my first “career”, before I ever was encouraged by ANYONE to follow my own dreams? Yes, I was told I was smart, and talented, and could do anything I put my mind to. I was a promise, I was a possibility, I was a promise with a capital “P”, I was a great big bundle of potentiality. But I was really fucking limited  by the minds around me while I was trying to figure out what I was meant to be doing. I would give anything now to be able to go back in time with the knowledge that I have now and encourage myself with all boldness to follow the paths that excited me the most. I wanted to be a writer. I was interested in the law. I wanted to be a business person. So now I’ve taken a hugely circumvented path to those things, wasting 8.5 years studying and applying something I cared nothing about except philosophically. I’m angry, because now I’m 31 years old, still cleaning off the fears and safety nets that people around me vomited onto me.

Why did I accept all that in the first place? I knew I was an individual capable of anything. My 6th grade classmates mirrored that back to me when I moved away, writing sentiments to me like “see you when you’re President”, etc. I was voted most likely to succeed in high school, and ended up valedictorian and class president. I figured out the game of school and I was really good at it.

So somehow it feels like I’m starting all over again. Maybe that’s what your Saturn return is all about. It starts you over from scratch, gives you a second chance to re-live your childhood in your 30’s and plot a different next 30 years with your gained information.

I liked this clip I saw from Steve Jobs today (via Paul Makepeace):

“When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and you’re life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money.

That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

So, I’m tempted now to lay out all the problems I see with the world, and attempt one-by-one to change it, influence it, and build a reality that fits with my vision. Because I do trust my vision. I’m relearning to do that. I wasn’t the smartest leader as a kid or in high school. There was a lot I would do differently. But I took the reins. I was somewhat effective. And I can birth my visions into the world.

I’m sitting here, 4.5  years living with a very interesting San Francisco family, 1.5 years unattached to any particular partner, and feeling like “where the hell am I going now?”, because this certainly isn’t a satisfying life either. The only things I’ve held onto are my coaching job, my cat, and my house/housemates in San Francisco. With everything else up in the air, now feels like the perfect time to re-ask myself how it is my perfect world is being manifested, and what I’m doing to make that happen. I regret that the best thing I could come up with in college was to become a chemical engineer and make the “big bucks”. That’s because no one my family knew of was a real mover/shaker, a real game-changer. We idolized the white-collar workers who could live a more “comfortable” life making say 50,000+/year. And I can’t believe I actually followed a dead dream of doing something I saw absolutely no value in in exchange for enough money to feel comfortable. It was only a matter of time before that little sailboat totally lost wind.


I guess I just needed to get that off my chest, again.

I’m really interested in turning this ship around. I’m really interested in helping others figure out where they can best start to work to manifest our common dreams together into the world. Because what else is there? There are dreams, dreamers, and reality (dreams manifested). When somebody tells me they are a realist, that also makes me want to gag. What the fuck does that mean? They believe in other people’s already manifested, dead dreams? Yuck.

No thanks, I want more. Let’s create more together. I believe that’s what we are here on this planet to do. Life, as a force, is about constant betterment and adaptation. It’s built into our DNA. We feel it every time a child is born or every time a kid graduates from school. Moving on to something better, yay. Not something worse, or something real. We all need to keep dreaming, and keep acting in the direction of those dreams. Why can’t we all have the world we dream of? That’s why I feel so strongly about what Gibran said, that “the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, then walks grinning in the funeral.”

I’m barely comfortable right now. In fact, I’m pretty uncomfortable financially, materially, relationship/partnership-wise, my perceived impact on the world around me, it all sucks right now. It’s all less than what I desire. But I can dream, and I can act in the direction of those dreams, and I’ll be damned if I don’t spend the rest of my life trying to do that. I’ve been avoiding and ditching comfort traps for the past 5 years, and I’m getting close to busting out into life like a geyser. Watch out world, this girl’s about to set herself on fire.

Lost in Thought

I seem to be experiencing a strange mix of emotions. If everyone goes through the same existential crap that I go through it truly is humbling how much joy and stability exists in the world. I am typing this from the mountains of eastern New Mexico, where the air is possibly thin enough that I’m just enough oxygen-deprived to be experiencing my emotions through a slightly more negative lens. I’m reflecting on my life to date, my education, jobs and relationships, and trying to make sense of it all. I feel like I’ve truly been through so much as a person: A rocky childhood spotted with hunger, cold, poverty, violence, transience, and religious absolutes. Leaning heavily on my academic and athletic achievements as a means to a better life. The pursuit of an education for the purposes of material prosperity and intellectual stimulation.  The striving and exhausting of my body to achieve physical feats beyond my capacity. The relationships:  the ambitious, materialistic, mama’s boy jocks; the aloof, unavailable, intellectually fascinating targets of seduction, the passionate one-night stands with perfect god-like archetypes, intense loyalties destroyed by mistrust or financial inequalities. The failure to plan for long-term happiness in career. The physical readiness to be married with kids at age 18, the agonizing delay of that gratification for over a decade.

A manifesto on the meaning of life:

A disillusionment that every conception is holy. To ask, what frees my heart? What makes me feel free? What is my bliss? To engage in a partnership and yet have the option at any minute to pull the plug and run away, knowing that you are perfectly capable, if not miserable, on your own.  What do I dream of? How do I bring others into that dream?


I needed to do some research at this point, and found this great list worthy of my meditation for today:


“For our purposes, I will define spiritual health as a condition evidenced by the presence of several of these characteristics:


1. sense of inner peace

2. finding comfort and/or strength in one’s spiritual beliefs and values

3. a belief in divine or perpetual goodness

4. a belief in one’s own worth and/or goodness

5. ability to receive and offer love and care

6. strong connection to people

7. sense of place or purpose in the world

8. ability to forgive self and others

9. hopefulness in the future

10. sense of some control over one’s own life


And conversely, a lack of spiritual health may be evidenced by the presence of several of these



1. persistent fear

2. excessive guilt

3. addictions

4. inner turmoil

5. sense of hopelessness

6. frequent conflict with others

7. victimization of self and/or others

8. judgmental, punishing, and/or harsh behavior toward self and/or others

9. needing constant approval from outside one’s self

10. excessive anger

11. sense of worthlessness

12. rigidity

13. And perhaps most significantly, the tendency to justify any of the above negative behaviors with religious teaching or value”

To spiritual health…

Still Waking Up

The longest two days of my life. A million questions. No good answers. Facing hopes, disappointments, dreams, disillusionments. A conscious, non-impulsive choice. The kind I hate to make. Content to abandon all my other foolish choices for a chance at intimacy. Feeling connected. For the hope that my love was not in waste.

If I keep meeting half-opened hearts, what does that say about mine? I thought I had laid it out bare, beating nakedly and irrhythmically for all to see. How could I love any greater? How can I be any wealthier? What more can I give?

My wheels won’t stop spinning. Something is missing. Can’t tell if love and peace or action will save me this time. Still too many irons in my raging little fire. Some have been sitting there too long.

Cleaning out my spaces. Clearing out the clutter. Could life be so simple and free? The what-if game is noisy, I just want some peace. Some rest, some wisdom, some focused fucking effort. A sense of knowing when to say when.

Plan A crumpled and tossed.

I don’t trust myself yet to take care of me and I feel like I bought all their lies.

Having Trouble Adapting

Is it like the time I bought a ticket to Hawaii?

And he said “I wanted to be the one to take you to Hawaii”

“I promise to take you there, just put the ticket on hold.”

Or is it like the time I woke up in San Francisco?

31 years old

Children scattered all over

Dead and alive and frozen

Pining for my years in Africa

When I was a mother most of my life

Valued for my love and beauty

And the teacher


Planned parenthood symbolizes everything I hate about modern life

Its complexity

Its hard decisions

Its sterile hospitals

Its science and arrogance

Its planning and waiting

And waiting

And chemicals

Its detachment from living things, their imperfections, their organic timing

Its conflicting messages


Lucky to have been born free

In a country and a time where anything is possible

Where HOPE is possible

But hard to live inside a fabulous

Life-giving machine

When everyone keeps making rules for what to do with it

Then throwing monkey wrenches into it

Stalling it

Harvesting it

Manipulating it

I don’t appreciate the tinkering

I don’t know where this is going