Respect

For a long time I believed that respect was earned – its value is simply too high to just hand out, I thought. But over the years I’ve changed my tune. Why suddenly such a shift? Well…it wasn’t really sudden at all…

I grew up believing that doing unto others is the appropriate way to behave – I certainly have my moments of deviation, but they are – by a long shot – the exception and not the rule. I’ve always, therefore, subscribed to the notion that what we give out comes back to us, multifold – Karmic law, Law of Three, whatever you want to call it…I’ve seen it far too many times to have any doubt at all. Add some painful and challenging experiences – and don’t we all have our stories? – my subscription to the idea that “rising above” is the right way to be has multiplied exponentially.

Hate is a good example. I don’t sincerely “hate” anything – in my mind it is a wasted emotion, and it gives far too much power to something I really don’t like (people, places, OR things.) Hate takes as much – or more! – energy than love. . .so if I’m giving that kind of attention to a “dislike,” I’m wasting precious resources, time included!

It took some time to understand that, though. As children we love to say, “UGH! I HATE HOMEWORK!” or “I hate so-and-so!” “Hate” just falls into the two categories of #1, a word, and #2, a negative. Over the years, however, I learned that it was an extreme expression, that it carried too much of a negative vibe to carry around, and that the act of hating in and of itself reflects poorly in my own conduct.

As with hate, respect is something I am putting out – it is part of my conduct and behavior.  It occurred to me, then, that believing that respect was something other people had to earn was a really narrow-minded view. I can go around being a tyrant but that reflects on me only. I could also go around being a sycophant or victim-worthy subservient…but that too reflects on me (not to mention gets me into trouble.) 

Treating others with respect doesn’t mean I have to give out free passes or put people on pedestals, let’s be clear. What it means – to me – is that I treat others with decency and kindness.

Now…let me also say… I live in a tough city. Even MY buttons are pushed at times, and that says a lot! But I am constantly checking back in with myself when feeling irrational, upset, frustrated etc… If I can’t be respectful (and in certain moments, I don’t feel I can live up to it) I simply do not engage. Easy as that. The only person accountable for what I put out is me, and if I put out something negative…it’s going to get me into trouble in one way or another.

As my behavior is my own, how other people behave is their business.  In the modern world (and in a tough city), people might argue that others “don’t deserve respect.” Conducting myself in as positive a way as I can doesn’t mean I don’t see the poor behavior of others, that I dismiss it, that I allow it, or that I’m saying “go ahead and continue acting that way.” It just means that I am putting a positive energetic spin on myself. 

When dealing with someone I see often, simply rising above allows me to move forward through my day without the burden of taking on his or her attitude, and neither the weight of being a nasty person (which I don’t want to be.)  If, however, it’s someone I’ll likely never see again, I still can move forward knowing that I’ve been upstanding in spite of someone else’s conduct.

Do I do this perfectly? Hell NO!  I’ve learned that I’ve got plenty of limits, and that I’m just as subject to bad moods, grumpiness, and don’t-play-well-with-others as some serious offenders. BUT…I know that, deep down, I don’t want any part of drama or negativity. That fact in and of itself means that I can do a lot to avoid it – namely, work on my on attitude, and approach interactions with respect. How others respond to that is totally on them (and the great news there? TONS of freedom not having to take that on!)

It is always up to us how we want to feel, what we associate with, what we allow… Acting disrespectfully reflects negatively in every possible way, and speaks volumes about one’s character. To show respect even when it doesn’t feel warranted, however, also says rather a ton about a person. I aim to be the latter, if for no other reason than to me it is a noble pursuit energetically, as in terms of self development. I have a ways to go too but you can be sure I try to check myself. Often. 

 

Dark Magic – More Macabre From Illamasqua

I love companies that embrace the 31st (of October, not that you needed to ask) – it isn’t that I feel validated so much as it’s more eye candy for me!

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Illamasqua.com

If you aren’t sure who will carry the products you need to create your Hallows badassery, look no further – Illamasqua has you covered!  

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Illamasqua.com

Seriously, forget the low-end stuff you can get at a pop-up Halloween store, or Party City – you don’t really want to use that stuff on  your skin (not to mention, the color payoff is often splotchy or generally inconsistent.)  

If haunting happens to be a favorite activity of yours (or you gravitate towards dark and mysterious on an every day basis), celebrate with a splurge. Or a few.  You definitely won’t be disappointed!

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Illamasqua.com

 

Illamasqua.com

Illamasqua.com

 

More Halloween Fun..

Gothiness – Can I Live Here?!

I didn’t care for the acting in Sleepy Hollow – I have to get that out of the way.  But I don’t watch Tim Burton movies for the acting.  His decadently dreary visuals simply light my heart aglow, especially when they lean Autumnal (to my gothic heart, it seems his lenses are so seasonally tinted – perpetually, much to my joy!)  

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His eerie, throw-back town, cloaked in lowly fog and Samhain-style mise-en-scene is so my speed it’s ridiculous.  The average human being, I daresay, seems to possess such desires as going to the beach, baking beneath a blindingly hot ball of fire. . . They like pop stars and malls and large gatherings of people…  And there I sit – and always HAVE sat – with a heart yearning for the deep.  For the drumming of the earth, the black of the night, the impossibly-incandescent burn of the moon and stars.

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I’m scarcely morbid, and find myself often mistaken for a social butterfly.  No.  Nooo.  I’m more like the little black bat flitting around at Dusk.  The Morticia in the corner, carefully contemplating, and reveling in the shadows. While not so evident at this stage in my life, at least I’m not accused of loving pink – ah yes, at least that is obvious enough!

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Tim Burton’s quirky characters, singularly macabre and always intriguing, enchanted me from the get-go – Each one more peculiar than the next, and ever placed in spectacularly vampish settings.

I don’t want to live in a City, my feet falling on hard concrete and my gaze stifled by towering man-made constructions.  I don’t need to be in the center of things, encompassed by busy streets and bustling storefronts.  Sure, I enjoy not being completely isolated – it’s nice to have some manner of life around!  But I’d much prefer those ghostly streets, with their spectral, smokey vapor and stormy skies… A  few lit Jack-O-Lanterns would be enough to brighten the mood for me. . .

 

Humor – OMG. I’m Snowball!

Every once in a while in Life I’ve seen a cartoon character to whom I can – perhaps alarmingly – relate.  Yes, well…the other evening I went to Target to pick up some batteries and as I passed by the toy section I found myself audibly gasping out loud and saying “oh my god, its ME!”

There it was. . .a disgruntled, angry-looking bunny toy, ears slightly askew, who (despite his obvious displeasure) made me laugh.  Seems unfair to associate with something that sounds incredibly negative-leaning, no?  Nah.  I’m one of the happiest people I know – I love to laugh, and prefer to see the good int he World.  I’m aware of the not-so-stellar, but let’s say that I’d rather air on focusing on what’s right, lest I drive my Empathetic self into the doldrums! No rosy-colored glasses, just the deliberate aim to keep my spirits lifted. So why, then, Snowball?  It isn’t just the wedding planning, rest assured. . .!

I look all sweet an innocent when I think I might be able to go train, or get in extra credits for Marital Arts.  I make the same face when you say “I have steamed chicken and vegggiiiess…”  “YOU DO!?” *wide eyes and lashes batting*

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When I understand that you might have protein around, or I can get extra Martial Arts in. “Weapons week?!” 🙂

This is when you actually show me that you have protein. . .When you say we get to train weapons this week, OR I get to the gym and no one else is there. . . YOU know the feeling!

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When I someone gives me a plate of steamed chicken, vegetables and Himalayan pink salt!

But when I do go to lift, or to the Dojo, and there are a shit-ton of people, then I get a little ugly and try to figure out how to clear them out.  

There.

Must.

Be.

A.

Way!

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I prefer animals to people. Is that wrong?!

By the time I get through most of my morning, I’m pretty ravenous.  This really does sum it up. . .

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STARVING!

After nine Martial Art Classes a week – Gracie Combatives Jiu-Jitsu, Reflex Development, and Ninjutsu, plus lifting and cardio?  I’m BEAT!

After a long week of Jiu-Jitsu, Ninjutsu, lifting, cardio, living...

After a long week of Jiu-Jitsu, Ninjutsu, lifting, cardio, living…

PS…did I mention my mother calls me “Bunny”?  Yes, probably for 37 of my 38 years.  I guess you could say there’s a resemblance. 😉 

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