Speak Memory | A Visual Poem

There are many times when words fail to express the totality of the human experience. The truest, deepest emotions often occur in spaces where language cannot go. My abuser wanted me to die. I live and I’m telling. This is just the beginning.

On Finding Inspiration In Dark times

Hello Artist, welcome to the second week of finding your mojo, your inspiration, your passion for your thing again. Last week’s insight was about changing what media you’re consuming to replace it with the kind of thing you want to do more of. How’d it go? Mine was rocky. Mid-week turned into a horror show. I didn’t fair well after that.

Let’s pick up the pieces.

When I talk about inspiration, I’m not talking an inspiring sunset or movie or book. Those are great and helpful, but if you haven’t created the space within for inspiration to take root then those things fall on arid ground and never last for more than a moment. I’m talking about creating a fountain of inspiration within that you can tap into regularly. Wanting to be inspired, in my experience, means something within you needs to shift.

That usually means changing behaviors, creating routines, utilizing discipline to do so. I hate all that stuff. Wild horses couldn’t get me to do “discipline.” I die inside at the thought of it. That said, it’s really more about routines, or habits. We all have them and if we haven’t thought much about our habits, then more than likely we have many that aren’t good for creating inspiration.

With the right habits, Inspiration comes from within and can be a fount of magic you can always access.

On Tuesday I stayed up late watching the Georgia run-off and woke up in a great mood ready to create. Then the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol occurred and by 11:30 pm on Thursday I was weeping on the floor overwhelmed with despair at the fruitlessness of it all. Friday I had to watch 12 hours of Buffy The Vampire Slayer to stop the suicidal ideation.

All my life I’ve been subject to the winds of mania — deep depressive episodes followed by manic bursts of destructive behavior. More recently that manic behavior has manifested in shopping sprees. And I’m tired of it. I’ve done this for the better part of two decades. Saturday it occurred to me that I could do something else. I could go for a walk.

It cleared out the muck and lightened my load. I no longer felt the need to die or shop to feel better. Changing something simple like walking instead of shopping, broke the pattern, at least for the day and one day is all I can hope to change right now. With any luck, one day can lead to others.

And after the walk something extraordinary happened. I found the courage to approach an old project with new hope. I sat down to write the next scene of a book I’ve been trying to write for six years now. I just never believed in myself enough to keep going.

So, that’s the assignment for the week; change one bad habit and replace it with something good, something relatively easy, but also something that will lead to other good habits: iron, make the bed, dust. You never know, any one of those things could lead you to a seismic internal shift.

If this is helpful to you, follow, subscribe on YouTube and let me know in the comments what keeps you inspired. We need each other right now.

Getting and Staying Inspired in 2021

Last week, New York Times bestselling author, and one half of YouTube’s beloved Vlog Brothers, Hank Green, uploaded a video called, “How To Change What You Want.” In it he talks about how the media we consume shapes what we want and what we value. As a writer and artist I consume a lot of media, but have never thought about what it might be doing to my output. 2020 brought so much confusion, I found myself completely stymied for most of it and ended up watching a lot of political YouTube. It shaped the direction of my content for my channel. While I’ve enjoyed making videos about social and political issues, I must find a way back to my first love, creative writing. Hank’s video helped me see a way forward. If you’re an artist, even if you’re not, I hope you’ll subscribe for this new series, “Hello Artist,” on getting and staying inspired in 2021. Each week I upload a new video to help myself and anyone else who needs it, create more creatively.

Why Are Cats?

In this new series with Cat Behaviorist Mirian Hasani, we’ll be unraveling many cat mysteries and addressing the most common mistakes we as cat guardians make, often without even realizing it. Mirian has been rescuing both cats and their people for six years. She is certified as a Cat Behaviorist and is currently pursuing additional certification in cat psychology.

In episode one Mirian and I discuss cat introductions and she reveals her secret weapon in speeding up the time it takes for cats to get used to and accept one another.

Why Are Cats? Sneak Peak at a new podcast with Cat Behaviorist, Mirian Hasani

Ever wonder why cats do what they do? Every day? Yes, then you’re my people and you may enjoy this podcast with cat behaviorist and cat psychologist Mirian Hasani. Here’s a sneak peek where she tells us about Basil the blind cat who was rescued out of a very dark and dangerous shelter. Basil had been abandoned, blind, dumped on the street. The owner of a no-kill rescue took her to save her from certain euthanasia. A whole year passed and she couldn’t get near Basil for fear of being attacked. Finally, she found Mirian and reached out to her for help. What follows is the story of how this lonely little kitty finally opened up to love.

4 Ways To Destress Your Cat

On Today’s episode of LotusLand Cat TV, Ollie and I share how we destress in these stressful times.

I actually share five ways to destress in the video. Well, four-and-a-half. The last one may not be one you’ve prioritized, but it is very helpful.

  1. Music: Calming music played quietly throughout the day works wonders for you and for them.
  2. Hidey-Holes: Create places to hide that are not under the bed or furniture. When they hide under furniture they retreat from the world and from us. They can’t self-soothe, they need our help. Providing tubes or even clean carriers with fresh bedding keeps them integrated and allows you to check on them and stay connected. Also, you want to keep an eye out that they’re not hiding too long as it can indicate illness.
  3. Routine: A fixed routine is as important for them as it is for you. Limit the free-feeding to a little in the afternoon, if that’s a thing in your household. Set meal times in the morning and evening. It helps you structure your day and it helps them feel more grounded and less anxious.
  4. Self-Care: Finally, you need to prioritize your own self-care. It’s like on an airplane when they tell you to place the air mask on your own face before your child’s. If you’re not happy, they won’t be happy. Whatever you have to do to feel better, feel good, feel relaxed, make it a priority. It can be 10 minutes of gardening, meditating, journalling–all of the above. Please, right now, don’t forget to take care of you while you’re taking care of everyone else.
  5. 15-Minute Play Session: This last one is a bonus and it’s not in the video. I’ve found that throwing a 15 minute play session in with your kitty will help them exhaust anxious energy and strengthens your bond.

I’d love to hear how you destress. Anything we can do to help each other right now is a welcomed change from all of the forced isolation and social strife.

#LotusLandTV

#LotusLandCatTV

LotusLand TV: Help Vivian Find a home.

Vivian is a 7-year-old, healthy, sweet Lynx Point Siamese who has so much love to give.

In September 2020 she will be surrendered, for a second time, to the Southern California Siamese Rescue. Why you ask? No fault of her own.

Cats, particularly Siamese, are very sensitive and form strong emotional attachments to their owners. They get hurt and confused when abandoned. The flip side of that is that once they’re in a forever home, they are forever grateful. Vivian will follow you from room to room, sleep with you and stay by your side. She needs a human who will be there for her as she’s been let down too many times for someone who deserves so much better.

The first time she was surrendered she was the victim of bullying. She’d been viciously attacked by the dog and the resident cat–for five years. The owners stuck her out on their porch, where she stayed by the screen just to be near them. Now, she’ll be abandoned again because her owner, of just 9 months, is now going into assisted living.

The mission of LotusLand TV is to spread the word about cats in need and right now, Vivian needs help. She’s facing a second abandonment of someone she’s grown very fond of and she won’t know why. Vivian needs a special person who will cherish her and love her for the rest of her life and in return they will receive more love than they imagine. Please help us find her a home before she’s surrendered. It is challenging to find a forever home for a cat who “must be only.” Most people who love cats, already have at least one. Additionally, at 7, people can be ageist–just like they can be about us.

Here is the link to the Southern California Siamese Rescue. Vivian is featured right now!

https://cs.siameserescue.org/webbuild.php

LotusLand TV: Cats Helping Cats Save Lives

Lena, Ollie, Greta and Charlie, all former fosters have gotten together and created a YouTube Channel to tell their awesome stories and help other babies find their forever homes too.

Lena here, I’m running the show!!!! Hahaha! (Mom left her computer because Greta was being bad.) Watch our new video. I helped edit and write, though I gave all the credit to Charlie. He needed to feel important. Hope you all like it! Just watching it helps, but if you want to share it, maybe more people will love cats and then more cats can be saved! Oh, mom’s back. I have to post this right now before she erases it.

You Tube Influencers Have Keen Eye for Racism, But Fall Hard on Sexism

 

Aba and Preach are comedians with a keen eye for racial inequality. However, their unwillingness to use that same insight to understand the gender imbalance in male/female relationships and society more largely, presents a glaring inconsistency. They complain about double standards that, in their opinion, favor women, presenting their personal and anecdotal perspective as evidence, without ever examining the historical and systemic privileges that favor men and shut out women. Why does this matter? Because they perpetuate a toxic masculinity that, however palatable to most, is the very subtext that feeds the misogyny running in the background of our culture. Unexamined, this perspective drives the narratives that result in discrediting women and marginalizing their opinions and voices. Lauryn Moses and I cannot stay silent about it. This video is the first in a series to call them out and is a response to their first video on the recent revelations regarding Chris D’elia and the barely legal girls he routinely objectified and sought to use.

 

IG: @misslaurynmoses @punt_on_point_media Twitter: @amypunt

Remember Charleston Root Out Racism

 

Five years ago a young man walked into historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina and joined a small group of parishioners for Bible Study. Everyone bowed their heads to pray and closed their eyes. He pulled out an automatic weapon and opened fire, killing nine people. He intended to start a race war. Sitting in prison, now on death row, he does not regret his actions. A race war did not ensue. His ignorance and cowardice, fueled by an online community of racist, violent, white supremacists, reveal where true evil in our society resides. Most notably, it is a close cousin to the police violence we see leveled at black bodies with alarming regularity. The Emanuel AME community is still reeling from this shooting and for many, the loss feels as acute as it did July 17, 2015. They don’t close their eyes during prayer at Emanuel AME anymore and family members struggle to forgive. We mustn’t forget their loss or ever lose sight of their pain. We must remember if we’re ever going to root out this evil. Today I speak with Documentary Filmmaker Moriah Hall whose film, No Sanctuary journeys through the aftermath of the shooting and explores why we forget and why empathy seems so elusive. What can you do about it? Below are links to the actions you can take to send the message to governments, corporations and your community that you remember all of those lost to senseless violence fueled by racism. Sign a Petition: https://www.change.org/t/justice-for-… https://www.justiceforall2030.org/pet… https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/j… https://blacklivesmatter.com/petitions/ https://www.purewow.com/news/petition… http://chng.it/qCznBzVgtL Donate: https://www.joincampaignzero.org/solu… https://civilrights.org https://action.justiceforbreonna.org/… https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_… ActBlue is a platform for people to contribute to Democratic campaigns and other causes like Black Lives Matter. It passes along donations to organizations that use its fundraising platform — it doesn’t pocket the money itself. Support black owned shops online: https://www.etsy.com/featured/blackow… https://webuyblack.com More info on that: https://nymag.com/strategist/article/…

#blacklivesmatter #racialjustice #freedom #racism #education