“Pro-life” means all life.

I have a confession to make that will upset many of you, but surprise few, I suspect… I feel it needs to be said. While I am very much pro-life…in the debate the term is generally used in, I am most definitely Pro-Choice. Make no mistake, I was not raised this way. However; in debating with others, I actually listened and came to the conclusion that they were right. Here’s the thing…it’s not “for” abortion. Pro-choice isn’t about “killing babies.” Being pro-choice is simply against back alley abortions and this sort of nonsense: http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/09/22/320323339/why-a-teenage-mom-was-jailed-in-el-salvador-for-a-miscarriage

I am very much confused by those who claim they are “Pro-life, ” yet fight against providing sex-ed and birth control, against gun control, against benefits for those who have the babies they can’t care for…for the death penalty.

I feel the need to share this because I keep seeing comments from people who vote against their own best interests because they are told their selected party is “pro-life.” Who could argue with that? I am pro-life…I believe every life matters. I wouldn’t even dream of using one of the companions God gave us as a food source, but there are a few problems with what is going on there…
1. Even if it were the right thing to do, no elected official will ever actually make abortion illegal. Can you seriously keep ignoring what is actually done with your vote?
2. You can’t be Pro-Life, but against sex-ed,  providing birth control, pro gun, against health insurance and against supporting not only the families who can’t/won’t support these little blessings;  but also against others taking them in as their own!

If you aren’t rich and are voting Republican, you’ve been fooled.

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Yoga during “that time of the month.”

*Warning…this is a little crass*
A friend and I go to a yoga class at the community center once a week. It’s wonderful three-quarters of the month and, after, I feel good about doing a little exercise for a change…even when we go for food and a beer after. It’s wonderful for stress, too…an hour of focusing on breathing and relaxation, but one week of the month, it’s a bit trickier. I know all women have a unique experience of menstruation. Me, I get bloated…my boobs swell…and I get gassy.
The boobs present a unique obstacle to some poses I can generally manage pretty well. They get in the way a bit. But the gas is what really throws off my practice. An additional wrench in the cogs last night was the fact that the room was really, really warm.
Generally, as I focus on my breathing, I like to add a little meditation…”inhale love…exhale gratitude.” Once a month, however, particularly as we are doing downward dog,  my only thought is, “please don’t fart, please don’t fart.” Given the temperature last night, I added a twist…”this bra is definitely going into the wash, please don’t fart, my forehead is dripping, please don’t fart.”
After, my friend said she was so focused on her breathing that she hadn’t noticed the temperature until the instructor apologized and turned on the air. Yes, that’s the way it should be…me, I was clenching my bum and planning laundry…

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My life is my prayer…

Whenever I feel alone in the world, I step outside. The breeze, a tree, a squirrel staring me down…a bee… It is contrary to my upbringing,  but I feel connected. ..to nature, humanity…the Universe. It sounds pathetic, I know.  However,  it makes sense. The trees, the rain, the sun, the breeze…we can’t live without them. They are our constant companions. We make the world, but the world also makes us. None of us are ever alone. Just as I am a part of my surroundings, I am a part of you. You are a part of me. Our energy and purpose is the same. You are never alone.  I love you.

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Feeling Connected. ..thoughts on suicide and being vegan

Lately I’ve known more people who’ve died by suicide than by any other means.  It’s an incomparable tragedy and keeps my mind racing…what can we (I) do? How is it that so many feel so disconnected and alone that they would end their lives in this way?

While I understand this may seem silly and may be completely wrong, but I wonder…could the disconnect be related to our disconnect with other animals? If you’re religious and believe in the Bible at all, God gave us animals as companions. And what amazing companions they are! My cats “love me, love me not,” unless I’m upset…then they are all over me. They know…and they help. A recent tragedy caused me to feel a great deal of despair. Buddy, who usually wouldn’t go for this, let me lie on him and listen to his purrs for half an hour. I was revived. If everyone had a connection with an animal willing to be there no matter what, could we prevent suicide? 

We have denied the purpose of our most basic companions. We’ve said we are the top of the food chain, so they aren’t companions, but food. Maybe you wouldn’t eat your cat, but eating animals is against our nature and causes a rift in our humanity. Thich Nhat Hahn speaks of consuming anger
by way of consuming tortured animals raised for food, but maybe this basic denial of their purpose in our lives is the cause of this great disconnect with humanity as well…

Connect.
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The kindness of strangers. ..

I’ve just gotta say…there are some darn (sorry,  mom…) good people out there! I mean, I know there is good in everyone, but not everyone would go out of their way to help a stranger and I was touched by the kindness I witnessed today.

First stop: Branch…a young man was limping down the side of the road with no shade nearby. Then, this man, Bill, stopped to offer cold water and arranged for the young man to get to the next gas station to rest.

A little further down the road, a woman on the opposite side of the road was sitting in her car, with the hood up. I’m ashamed to say, I reasoned that she had probably already called someone and, after all…what do I know about cars? It wasn’t long before I noticed the same man was turning around and, while I can’t be sure…I suspect it wasn’t because he had forgotten something,  but went back to offer assistance yet again.

I found this inspiring and just had to share!

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Whatsoever you do….

Every time I hear this verse:
Matthew 25:40 New International Version (NIV)

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

I hear these lyrics from the Broadway Rock Opera, Rent, in my head…

MAUREEN
To me

MARK
To me

COLLINS & ANGEL
To me

ALL
To you, and you and you, you and you
To people living with, living with, living with
Not dying from disease
Let he among us without sin
Be the first to condemn
La vie Boheme

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Equality v Politics

Let’s be clear about one thing right now: being against marriage equality in no way strengthens or defends any marriage (no matter how you wish to define it).

It was recently brought to my attention that a state senator from my home state is actively trying to fight against marriage equality in a very verbal and hurtful way. My first response was to gently let him know my feelings by email. This was the original response (you can see my msg below)…he kept sending messages until almost midnight about how I am uneducated and, well, not a Christian:

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I went on to post an audio recording of him reciting this ignorance:

A post shared by R1nG0 (@r1ng0_st4r) on

Upon doing so, I was called out for posting a “personal e-mail” (an attachment of the fist photo was included in comments) in a public forum…apparently I was being “unjust.”

Here’s the thing…where there is injustice,  we should all speak out, that is absolutely true. I emailed this politician not by some personal email address I happened to have, but in an official capacity. We should all be doing this. And if a politician is being absurd or in any way unjust, we all have the right to know about it!

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Please…speak up, speak out and do all you can every day to fight injustice!

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