Monday, March 31, 2014

Holy Poo I'm Tired

I have this haunting fatigue that is making every part of my body feel like it weighs a million pounds. Standing is a problem.
Holding my head up is a victory.
Typing is a something.
Thinking of words is hard.


I had such a lovely weekend. Why do I feel like I spent two days pounding tequila??

Friday night, I worked out for 90 minutes. I felt completely trashed afterwards. I called my good friend Nancy and promptly enjoyed a lot of unhealthy food at a diner. It was glorious.

Junk food for the win!!

Saturday, I gave exercise another chance. 45 minutes. Heartpounding. 160 beats per minute.

I felt great!

Sang for 3 hours at rehearsal for the oratorio.

My brother Matt and I went shopping for clothes and he bought me a large Kale smoothie.

It was tasty!

Healthy Food wins!
Exercise wins!

I stayed in Saturday night and went over all the songs for the gospel music event last night.

Loooooootttts of singing.

Sing sing sing.

Sunday morning--I woke up and made a big breakfast with eggs and an english muffin. I sang in the ward choir for 45 minutes. Then I joined the rest of the gospel choir-Soulful Praise--and we sang for our church congregation. It was so exhilarating. Lotsa stress. Lotsa joy.

Driving in show. Going to Bountiful to get set up for the concert.

Singing, more singing. Singing again.

Trying to release stress. Trying to be happy. Trying to be positive.

I began resonate a few simple objectives. Sing with faith. Share with love. Be present.

When the other choir got up to sing, we were supposed to stand off stage and wait for them to finish and then join them for the final two numbers. This choice didn't resonate with my objectives. So I went off script. I walked back into the audience and cheered the other choir as loudly as I could--with as much love as I could muster.

After the concert, I joined my family at Village Inn where we did what we do best--we ate (food win!) and we talked about auric fields, spirituality, etc. We all completely suck at small talk.

I came home and gabbed on the phone for a while with my friend Travis. Good times...

I woke up today and I feel like I've been run over by a truck.

By a large, heavy, truck.

I can't... So much tiredidity. That is my new word for tiredness. Tiredidity.

I am going to leave work in 30 minutes and I'm going to go the gym. I am going to crawl on the treadmill and roll over a few times on the yoga mats.

Me for the win!

Oh good grief someone please make this pounding stop.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Singing Gospel Music

Sometimes I miss Washington, DC.

But it's not the things you might expect.

I miss my students.

I miss their unadulterated and unashamed faith.

It seems that certain cultures... (white people mainly) are rather reserved when it comes to matters of faith. We have mastered the art of separation of church and state.

But in maintaining this separation, we lose some of our passion in faith.

My students were unabashed in their faith. They understood something about the power of emotion in their religion.

Mormons are super at logical faith. We witness with all the passion of a lecturer. Our tools for conversion are conversation and explanation. And we're very good at it. But we've almost gone too far down the path of logical explanation. And as a result--it's just as easy to undo someone's faith with any old strategic conversation.

Faith in Jesus Christ, while it is appealing to discuss the principles and merits in a detached manner--is based on miraculous, unexplainable phenomena. It requires emotion, passion, and an ability to let yourself jump off of a proverbial cliff in your mind and float in a sort of cosmos of magic and miracles. In order to be a Christian--you must allow that there are facets to your beliefs that simply cannot be explained. They must be experienced. Words fail.

But music comes close.

Sunday night, I'll be singing with a Gospel Choir. We are made up of a few faiths, including one Jewish woman.

We won't be preaching any sort of complicated doctrines. Just one song after another bearing witness to the miracle of Jesus Christ.

I enjoy singing, but this experience singing with this choir has been other worldly for me.

I can't explain it. I can only sing it.

If you have ever wanted to better understand some of the unexplainable parts of Christianity--come see this concert.

Sunday, March 30th at the Bountiful Regional Center at 7pm. It's free. Everyone is welcome.

(Take the 2600 South Exit in Bountiful. Go East--or right if you're coming from the south. Turn Right at the very next light--400 East--before the Village Inn restaurant. Follow the road for a couple of blocks. Very soon you'll see a giant white dome on the right side of the road. That is the Regional Center.  It is in North Salt Lake technically. Finding it on a map is difficult.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Finding Balance-A Follow Up to the Previous Post

I've been thinking about the idea of "ordinances of the flesh" and balance for the past week.

The soul is the spirit and the body.

I feel unbalanced as a person. I excel in things of the spirit. I love to contemplate spiritual things and I feel I dedicate myself to spiritual joy.

But I haven't prioritized things of the flesh. I live this crazy unbalanced life where I completely ignore my body, in favor of my mind.

After writing about need for ying and yang, men and women, spirit and flesh--I realize that I need a more balanced set of priorities in my life. Taking care of the body isn't about vanity--it's about balance. I guess I've always seen taking care of my body as a more worldly pursuit. And that's wrong!

On Saturday, I got a pass to the gym. I know it's springtime and I should just go for a walk outside--but I don't. I always think I will--and I never do. Or I go three times and then get a sunburn and stop. I went over to Planet Fitness and signed up for the $10/a month plan. That's about what I pay for Netflix. I think it's worth it!

On Saturday, I got on the treadmill and walked for 20 minutes, then worked my pecs. That was all I did. It was a short work out. But it was a good start!

I skipped Sunday. I had planned to go--but instead I had a couple of dear friends over for dinner. It was a rich Sunday evening.

Monday was the clincher. Yesterday was such a good day! I worked ten hours then went to the gym.

I walked 24 minutes--at a pace that kept my heart rate between 140-150. Then I did reps on the ab machine, one of the leg machines, the bench press machine, and one of the weights that works your biceps and your lower back. After the weights--I went back onto the treadmill and did another 20 minutes. It felt great!

I came home, threw some food into the crock pot, did the dishes, and just enjoyed the sense of accomplishment!

Unfortunately, the exercise made falling asleep difficult. I really wish I was a morning person.

Today, I have rehearsal for Soulful Praise (click here for a link to the Facebook event)  tonight from 7-10. I work until 6. There's no way I can make it to the gym before 11pm. I'm trying to figure out what to do there. I have my shoes in the trunk--so I think I'm going to try and go for a 20 minute walk here at work during the day. I just want to develop every day habits. And maybe I'll go tonight anyway!

I am trying to practice what I preach. If I say that men and women are equal and represent the two sides to the self--and I place a higher priority on spiritual things over physical things--then through my actions, I am saying that I think men are better than women--or the spirit is better than the flesh. And despite the fact that I don't feel that way at all--my soul feels neglected. It feels out of balance. So little by little, I am going to love myself into a more balanced person.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Why I Haven't Written About "Ordain Women" Until Now

Women and the Priesthood.

I've been thinking about this all week. I have had several conversations with women I really respect about this topic. And they've come down on either side of the issue, for very good reasons. And so I percolate. I have been listening, praying, reading, listening, and formulating thoughts. And I'm not done percolating honestly. I'm still learning.

Here are three of the good things about the Ordain Women movement--whether you agree with their agenda or not:
1) The conversations are rolling. Women are sitting with other women discussing the power that women have. We are talking about our gifts, our spiritual experiences, our personal revelations. We are talking about Adam and Eve. We are sharing our testimonies and edifying one another through these conversations.
2) I am asking questions I wouldn't have thought to ask and receiving answers that overwhelm my spirit. Answers that bring so many other things into perspective.
3) Misconceptions about the powers that women have are coming to light and ignorance is being addressed. 

So here are my beliefs as they stand on this Friday evening. And I'm open to new wisdom and eager to learn more. But here are some of the things that I feel I have learned as I have prayed and pondered these things this week.

A dear friend introduced the idea to me that in Hebrew--man and spirit can be used synonymously in some scriptures, and woman and body also seem to be interchangeable. I've thought about this idea a lot in thinking about the roles of men and women in the priesthood.

I believe that when a man and a woman receive their temple endowment, they are "endowed with power".  Whether I am ordained or not, as an endowed woman, I have the priesthood. If you doubt it, go to the temple and listen closely. For this reason, I don't feel the need to ask for it.

But I want to know what my priesthood responsibilities are as a woman of God. I want to know how I may serve the Lord.

I believe that the men have authority over matters of the spirit. They administer in spiritual ordinances like baptism, giving the gift of the Holy Ghost, the administering of the sacrament, and all other spiritual ordinances because as a man--that is their calling.

Man=Spirit. Woman=Flesh.

What does this mean? And in our post Nicene Creed Christian world, how do I teach myself that duties related to the Flesh are equal in importance to duties of the Spirit? And what are these duties?

I was thinking about what these might be and I remembered a talk my mission president's wife, Judy Morgan gave to all the missionaries about how Christ's choice to appear to Mary Magdalene immediately following his resurrection was not a coincidence, but that as a woman, it was her right to be the first to see the resurrected Lord.

I believe that women have power and authority over these "ordinances of the flesh". Birth, death, resurrection, sex, healing, nurturing, feeding, clothing, and other things I haven't yet thought of.

All spiritual acts can become pedestrian without the right attitude. And these acts of the flesh can become every day to us as well. But as we reverence ourselves and the powers that we have--we will enrich these acts of the flesh, which will in turn help both men and women to become exalted. Just as ordinances of the spirit help men and women to become exalted.

The soul is made up of the spirit and the body. The spirit and the body are required for exaltation.  The man and the woman together are required for exaltation.

While I am not opposed to ordaining women--I believe the first priority is to more openly teach and discuss the powers that women already possess. I want men and women to understand and respect their power to lift one another.

Just as exaltation requires a partnership, so does leadership. I believe one of the first things the church will do is more fully acknowledge the partnerships in the church leadership.

For those of you who aren't LDS and are now completely bored by this blog, I apologize. For those of you who think I'm too moderate, I apologize. For those of you think I'm too extreme, I apologize.

More than anything, I feel so enriched! I feel like I have disrespected things of the flesh to my spiritual detriment and I need to be a better steward to myself. Lots to do! Lots to learn!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lotsa Music

Ever since I can remember, there's been music.

I can't live without it. It is everything.

And I don't even think I'm that good at it. I chose theatre over music. There were a lot of reasons why, but I think it came down to wanting music to be my own private joy.

Right now I'm feeling intimidated and overwhelmed with music. The joy is still there--but I'm working on two separate performance projects--and I haven't quite clicked with either project yet. I mean I love them both--but it's not easy yet. We're still at the "must super focus--must use every ounce of brain power to get this to work-" point. Once it clicks, you can kind of relax and actually enjoy the art of the art. But right now, I'm in super focus mode.

But today is Wednesday. Sweet delicious Wednesday.

On Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday--I listen to and study the music we're singing for 'Soulful Praise'-An Inter-Faith Musical Celebration of Priase through Gospel Music. I'm singing the alto line. Most of the songs are three parts and the alto line sits in the middle of the chord--so it's sometimes difficult to pick out. The biggest thing is making sure you over articulate the words and just get into it. It's gospel music! Of course, you can't hold your music. The words and the notes need to be memorized so you can really sink your teeth into the feel of the song. So for those three days, I focus on gospel music.

On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday--I listen to Monty Python's He's Not The Messiah--(he's a very naughty boy). This is an oratorio of the Life of Brian--sung in a style reminiscent of The Messiah with trills and frills. It requires a heady classical placement--but I'm supposed to also throw in a cockney accent as well. I'm the mezzo soloist--THANK HEAVEN--(yelled to the heavens because the soprano part is crazy high.)  It's complicated and incredible. The music has a hundred different styles including gospel, country, folk, calypso, and everything else you'd expect. It's a joy to sing--and we get to hold our music!! Although, I really wish I could memorize it.

But today is Wednesday. Today, I am listening to Radiohead, Neko Case, Fitz and the Tantrums, and whatever other band suits my fancy. Today I shall sing along with the radio! Or listen to NPR and NOT sing!

I love music--but going back and forth between an oratorio and straight up gospel music is hurting my brain. It's also exhilarating and absolutely divine.

I'll post more info on both events soon--but in case you're wondering now--
Soulful Praise--one night only--March 30th at 7pm at the Bountiful Regional Center--Free.
Not The Messiah--one weekend only--April 3-5th at 7:30pm at The Grand Theatre. Visit for tickets!

Monday, March 17, 2014


This video speaks for itself.

I want to talk about my own particular sins with regards to objectification.

I know that good hygiene and proper care for oneself invites success, but I have this ingrained notion that I cannot be successful if I don't look the part of a successful woman. I must have perfect hair, flawless skin, a bright smile. I must be fit and wearing tailored clothes that show off my body. I must wear the perfect amount of make up and be ready to take on any project with a smile. I also imagine myself with long manicured fingernails.

Outside of this look, I am less than. I am unfinished. I FEEL unable to take on the tasks of the day and unworthy to compare myself with other women.

I watched this video Thursday morning at about 7 am.

I spent the day thinking of ways I hold myself back when I don't feel I fit this mold in my mind. I don't like visiting friends when I feel fat and ugly. I don't like trying new things. I am afraid of auditioning for things.

Thursday night, I visited with four different women, each successful in their own right. Each happy. Each striving. When I went to see these friends, I didn't bother with make up. I wore something comfortable and reasonably stylish, but nothing tailored. My nails were short. My skin was mostly clear except for an odd zit near my ear. My hair was tangled and thrown up in a bun. At first, I was concerned how I would feel compared to the women I was going to be meeting up with.

The first woman came from work. She was dressed conservatively, but she didn't appear to have any make up on. This didn't stop us from enjoying a nice conversation and doing what we needed to do. I enjoyed getting to know her and hearing about her joys.

The second woman was just returning from the gym. She smiled brightly and we had a nice talk about work and spiritual things. She was in her gym clothes, no make up, hair in a pony tail--but it didn't curtail her radiance.

The third woman wore no make up, and her hair was thrown up as messily as mine. She was comfortable and we jabbered about life, work, ambitions, and love.

The fourth woman was also in her workout clothes, no make up. Again, we talked about the business at hand, life, friendships, and neither her appearance nor mine kept us from having a successful meeting.

Four women, all successful. Four meetings, all successful. But none of us looked like the picture of success I have in my mind.

I believe I'm late to the party here. I believe I've fallen prey to Hollywood's idea of what a successful, happy woman should look like. I believe the world when they tell me that I should never be satisfied with how I look--or worse--that who I am right now isn't quite enough to demand personal happiness.

Beauty comes from within. Beauty is a light that shines unfettered by wardrobe or make up. It is found in confidence, laughter, thoughtfulness, and grace.

I don't know what men are looking for anymore than men know what they're looking for. I believe sexual attraction is important in a relationship, but last I heard sex generally happens in the dark. Successful sexual endeavors require trust, care, thoughfulness, laughter, confidence, and a little bit of grace I imagine. I don't think it's required that I wear high heels and a corset, although that might contribute to some of the laughter.

I look forward to love and lovemaking, but I will not present myself like an object ready to be bought in order to find love. I will enjoy my successes and take every opportunity to find and share joy. I hope that in this way, I will meet someone I can grow in love with.

My efforts to stop objectification must begin with my relationship with myself.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Catching Up. Where I Talk About A Lot of Things.

Dearest Readers,

I apologize profusely for not writing lately.

As a result of not keeping up, there are several topics I'd like to explore.

1) I like kissing. I haven't kissed anyone since December and I don't foresee kissing anyone for a while. This is discouraging to me as I feel I have a great talent.

Videos about strangers kissing don't help.

2) Gospel music is wonderful. Seriously. I am singing with a choir on March 30th and I was listening to one of the songs--and it was just overwhelming. It's transcendent.


I love it. It's uncomplicated. It's soulful. It's breathing in and out and sighing your sweetest desires without any fear.

3) Raising Hope is hilarious.

Favorite lines from recent episodes:

Burt after eating lots of sugar: My skin is electric!

Burt's wife--(can't remember her name--blond--) to Mama: Marijuana is a gateway drug. It leads to harder things.

Mama: Hubert has a little blue pill that leads to harder things.

4) Golfing is hard.

I have a complaint about my family. Growing up, whenever my Nana and Popop were around, the adults would go golfing and the kids couldn't go. I would always ask, but I wasn't allowed. As everyone grew up, my brothers ended up joining them--but I had to go mini golfing with all the other much younger girl cousins. This past week, I was in AZ at Nana and Popop's. I was the youngest person there. They were talking about calling for a tee time, and I begged to be able to go with them. Again, I was told I couldn't go. I almost cried. I was so mad! I'm 36 for the love of pete!

But on Friday, my dad and my uncle took me to the driving range to practice driving and then to the green to practice chip shots. After an hour, I was so sore! My driving sucks and I never once got the damn ball into the hole.

Thank you Nana. I can only imagine the hell 18 holes would have been!

That said, because I've inherited a mean competitive spirit from my Nana, I am bound and determined to become an awesome golfer this summer.  Maybe then she'll let me play with the adults!

5) Getting a dog.

I am transferring to another storage facility in a couple of months. I will be moving there. I'm going to wait until after the move to figure out what dog would be happiest living there. So, we wait. I am determined though. I need a dog. I am good at doing things for others, but frankly, I suck at taking care of myself. I could go to therapy and try to figure out why I'm the last person on my list of people to take care of--and how this is going to kill me. But honestly, I think getting a dog is easier.

6) Paying Bills.

I've stopped ignoring my credit card bills. I've made a couple of phone calls about my student loan bills that will eventually turn into progress. I purchased health and dental insurance. Perhaps this year, I will start acting like an adult and get my credit score up to 250! (I'm joking... sort of.)

7) I am the second counselor in the Relief Society. I am in charge of the additional relief society meetings that we hold once a month. Well, I'm kind of an overseer. There is a much more competent woman in charge of the actual meetings. I sometimes conduct meetings. But really, and this is the part that you don't really think about when you imagine this calling--I spend time with the women at church. Last week, I spent the night at the hospital while a sister slept so she wouldn't feel alone. Tomorrow, Karen and I are going to stop by some of the women's homes and just leave them a St. Patrick's Day treat. More than this--I get to see the other women doing the same all around me. The Relief Society really is about charity and sharing love and service. I really love being a part of this organization.

8) My dear step-dad Brent was in the hospital for about 10 days after his surgery went horribly wrong. He is home and he sounds great! But he's lost about 60 pounds. This does NOT make me want to have my guts butchered so that I can experience this kind of quick weight loss. Please keep him in your prayers.

9) My Nana and Popop are incredibly active and very cute. We spent every night playing cards around the kitchen table. It was so much fun! My favorite moment was when my Uncle Doug, nursing a tasty alcoholic beverage, started singing "Send in the Clowns". Every night was a riot.

10) I really like laying out next to the pool and floating in circles in the water. My favorite thing to do is to make myself spin like a little tornado in the water. I don't think it counts as any form of exercise. It's just really fun.

Thank you for reading. Have a great day!