Launching February 14th

Happy To Announce:

 

On February 14th Live Your Life Inspired will launch two new projects:

  1. Health & Wellness Coaching:

    For a limited time, three Free health and wellness coaching sessions with a Mayo Clinic trained Wellness Coach. The three sessions include one consultation and two follow up sessions. The coach can assist you in clarifying your Health & Wellness Goals, Establishing Priorities, and Identifying Strategies for Success. For more information or to participate, email info@liveyourlifeinspired.org.

  2. Basic Vegan:

    This will not be a traditional food blog: 1) It won’t be filled with pretty, well orchestrated pictures, to be honest I don’t have the time to create “food porn.” The pictures will be simple, honest, and if I have a minute I may throw a filter on it. 2) I’m going to be honest, always, even when whatever I just cooked tastes disgusting (that will happen) and when I miss my goals (which will also happen). 3) This will be a journey of self-love. If I, an omnivore who uses overeating as an ineffective method of coping with overwhelming stress and pain, can transition to herbivore…so can you. There is nothing that I will do that can’t be done be someone else. There is no magic nor manipulation. This is just my honest attempt to live a healthier, fuller vegan life.

 

For additional information on these projects, submit the contact form below:

A white mom’s plea ‘to the white parents of my black son’s friends’ ~ Lonnae O’Neal


(Renee Welstead)

The night after a grand jury declined to indict the white police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice at a park in Cleveland, Maralee Bradley, a white mother of six, including a 9-year-old black son, slept fitfully in Lincoln, Neb.

She and a friend had been talking about Tamir, and the friend asked: “What can we do? How can we help?” Bradley kept waking up, thinking about different pieces of the question.

Thinking about Josh, her adopted Liberian son, hanging out with white friends at a park, about him being the only child of color at another child’s birthday party. “What do I need those parents to be aware of?” she asked herself. “What might feel unsafe to me that they might not know about?”

“I was just thinking we need a level of awareness for everybody involved with my child,” Bradley says.

A Cleveland grand jury on Monday, Dec. 28, declined to bring charges against two police officers in the shooting death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African-American boy. Here is what you need to know about the grand jury’s decision. (Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)

The next morning, she wrote an essay, “To the White Parents of My Black Son’s Friends,” on her parenting blog. It was heartfelt, unsparing and spelled out things she wanted a small group of people — her son’s teachers, the people who had him in their homes — to understand.

“I’ve been wrestling with talking to you about some things I think you need to know. I’ve wrestled with it because I feel my own sense of shame — shame that I didn’t know or understand these issues before they touched my family. . . . I’ve been concerned that you won’t believe me and then I’ll feel more angry than if I hadn’t said anything. But my son is getting older and as he transitions from an adorable black boy to a strong black man, I know the assumptions about him will change. And I need your help in keeping him safe,” she began.

She wrote of the “bizarre balance” of things she and her husband had to tell Josh about the police, how to wear hoodies, and about not sneaking through a neighbor’s back yard during hide-and-seek. Then she asked other parents to do some things.

“As the parents of the white friend of my black son, I need you to be talking to your child about racism. I need you to be talking about the assumptions other people might make about my son. I need you to talk to your child about what they would do if they saw injustice happening.”

If you hear someone call him racist names, say something. Don’t speak black slang around him, trying to be funny. Don’t rub his head because you want to know how his hair feels. Being with Josh “is not time to try out any new risky behaviors.” And if the police approach you, don’t run, don’t leave him alone.

“Literally, I needed 50 people to know this information,” Bradley told me. “But it obviously touched a nerve with a lot more people than that.”

A good post for her usually reaches 15,000 people. By Tuesday, 600,000 people had clicked and hundreds had commented.

In the essay, she urges white parents not to be colorblind, which struck many white people as counterintuitive and wrong. But she sees colorblindness as a loss and a teaching that doesn’t serve her son.

“We see our kids’ colors, and we value them,” Bradley said. In addition to Josh, she has two biological sons, a Native American son, a Mexican American daughter and a biracial daughter (African American and white). “The reality is the world sees color. . . . When our kids are treated differently based on race, we all have to be aware of that.”

It’s something Bradley’s friends have begun coming to terms with. Stephanie Westburg and Bradley often attend church activities together. Josh and Westburg’s daughter, Sophie, 9, have been friends since first grade. Westburg doesn’t follow the news. She knew little of Tamir Rice until Bradley wrote the essay.

She told her daughter: “I want to talk to you about the latest post that Maralee wrote. And it’s about Josh.” His skin color is different, she explained, and that means different things to different people. Westburg imagined how people might react if they saw Sophie and a white friend from around the corner playing “Star Wars” — and how they might react to Sophie and Josh playing, especially as Josh gets taller. She talked about people calling Josh names and what Sophie should do if a police officer questioned them. “I told her, ‘Stand up for him and stay with him,’ which are things I’d never thought to instruct my child to do for any other kid.”

Sophie listened quietly. And when Westburg asked how she felt, she cried. “She said, ‘I’m so sad, and I’m so angry,’ ” Westburg said.

Bradley calls 2015 a year of reading about race and listening to other people’s stories.

In 2016, she told me, she hopes that “white families become aware that black families are having to have these kinds of conversations” and realize “we need to be better advocates for those families and those kids. I have an awareness of how much white families do not talk about race. . . . We need to develop a new awareness that this is impacting our brothers and our sisters. This is impacting people that we love. We’re choosing to be unaware, and we can’t keep making that choice.”

For more by O’Neal, visit wapo.st/lonnae.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/a-white-moms-plea-to-the-white-parents-of-my-black-sons-friends/2016/01/06/a32441a0-b47e-11e5-a842-0feb51d1d124_story.html?tid=sm_fb

How to ask for a raise: 7 ways to negotiate more money in the new year ~ Scott Stump

If you’ve never summoned the will to ask for a raise, you’re definitely not alone.

Fifty-six percent of people have never asked for a raise, and 49 percent of new employees accept the first offer they’re given without negotiating, according to CareerBuilder.com.

If you’re one of those people, TODAY financial editor Jean Chatzky has tips on how ask for that raise, negotiate to get what you’re worth and earn more money as part of the #StartToday series helping you begin 2016 with resolutions for your home, body and wallet.

Whether it’s fear of rejection, fear of being fired, or a feeling of not being good enough, many people shy away from negotiating higher pay.

“The reason they haven’t asked is because they are afraid,” Chatzky told Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Thursday. “(Salary.com) also asked employers the question, what percent of employers said they fired for people for asking for a raise – zero. You’re not going to get fired. Don’t worried about it. Step up and ask, because if you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

There is a right and wrong way and time to ask for a raise, and Chatzky offered some pointers on how to best get those extra dollars.

1. Know your value. Sites like Glassdoor.com can help you figure out what employers are paying people who have similar credentials to yours.

2. Prove your value. Whether you’ve boosted sales, increased the company’s social media presence or identified a new market, document how you’ve added to your company’s bottom line.

3. Timing is everything. Make your request for a raise at the time of year when your employer evaluates its employees and their pay.

4. Have other asks ready. If your company is struggling financially, identify things like extra vacation or more flexibility that you could ask for instead of more money.

Chatzky also offered other potential avenues for increasing your income.

5. Switch jobs. Leaving typically gives you a salary bump of 10 to 20 percent, compared to an average raise of 3 percent, according to business management consultants Towers Watson. To maximize your talent, it’s best to switch jobs every three to four years if possible.

6. Get another offer. You have to be willing to switch jobs if your current employer doesn’t want to match a competing job offer, and you usually can only use that tactic once per employer.

7. Find a side hustle. One-third of Americans work multiple jobs, so whether it’s selling your free time by running errands or babysitting, or renting out your car, bike, tools, etc., when you’re not using them, there are numerous online companies to help you make some cash on the side.

As you go for those extra dollars this year, Chatzky stressed three key points: knowing your worth and asking for it, exploring other options, and thinking about what you enjoy if you are looking to make money on the side.

 

http://www.today.com/series/starttoday/how-ask-raise-7-ways-negotiate-more-money-new-year-t65561

The 8 Traits Of Successful People ~ Lorraine C. Ladish

In order to turn small achievements into a solid foundation on which to build your life you need to develop the qualities of a successful person.

Many people say they want to write a book or run a marathon and some even try. But when faced with the first difficulty — writer’s block, a rejection, an injury, or interference from a toxic person or sheer laziness — they give up.

Those who succeed in publishing a book or running the marathon are the ones who embark on the journey knowing that they need to be committed to the goal, that it won’t always be easy and that they need to do whatever it takes to make it.

A failure, just like a success, is circumstantial. Some people accumulate many failures but they use them as stepping-stones to achievements that lead to one huge success. For instance, Thomas Edison failed numerous times before he invented the light bulb.

Other people pile on achievements but can’t manage to make them lasting or profitable and they soon find themselves again engulfed by failure. For example, someone who lands good jobs but can’t manage to keep any of them.

So far I’ve overcome an eating disorder, faced unemployment, reinvented myself professionally, survived poverty, published a number of books, and come out on top. That does not prevent any of these challenges from happening again, it just makes me feel better prepared to deal with them, should they arise.

2016-01-03-1451834552-5938353-CayesJacmelLorraineCLadish.jpg

                           Taking the plunge in Haiti © Lorraine C. Ladish

Some of the qualities of successful people:

1. Patience — Don’t expect to see results immediately. If you are a writer and submit your manuscript, get used to waiting weeks, months or even years to see your work published.

2. Perseverance — Be ready to work “in the dark,” without knowing if what you are doing is taking you where you need to go. Trust your instincts, trust yourself and keep on going, no matter what.

3. Resilience — Develop the ability to bounce back from failure, from poverty, unemployment, divorce, bankruptcy, a death in the family, illness — everyone goes through rough patches in life. If you are resilient, you will thrive.

4. Creativity — Be creative in finding solutions to life’s problems. Creativity is not restricted to the arts. Think beyond the “normal” ways of doing things.

5. Adaptability — Be open to change, always. Life is change. It may sound trite, but you need to embrace this. If you hang on to old ways of doing things, you will not be able to go forward.

6. Joy — Of course there will be times in which you will feel sad or depressed. But, exercise the muscle of joy, and you will become a joyful person, even in the direst circumstances.

7. Compassion — Put yourself in other people’s shoes, often. Look at things from their perspective. It will prevent you from blaming and complaining and you will feel empowered.

8. Productivity — Talent is a good thing to have, but if you don’t produce, nothing will happen. Don’t wait for things to happen: make them happen.

[This post originally ran on Viva Fifty!}

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lorraine-c-ladish/traits-of-successful-people_b_8907288.html

15 Foods For A Happier Stomach ~ Emma Haak

 

 

  • 3. Raspberries
    Olha_Afanasieva/Thinkstock
    The Fiber: 4 grams in 1/2 cup

    Try These: Sprinkle over Greek yogurt, or treat yourself to a raspberry buckle for dessert

 

 

 

 

 

  • 8. Chickpeas
    VeselovaElena
    The Fiber: 6.2 grams in ½ cup

    Try This: Quick and easy roasted garbanzo beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fiber-rich-foods_us_568c2061e4b0b958f65d398b

Axe Wants To Shed Its Douchey Reputation And Empower Men ~ James Cave

Axe, the brand that wants to make all men everywhere completely, utterly, irresistibly f*ckable, has cleaned up its act.

Gone are the days of spraying Axe and having women’s shirts fly off, or having buxom models throw themselves at you in a stampede of passion — this week Axe, which you might be surprised to learn is 30 years old, rebranded itself with a new ad campaign that encourages guys to “find their magic.”

“Who needs a six pack, when you’ve got the nose,” the commercial asks, rotating through a group of guys with distinct features: full beard, big nose, good dance moves, high heels.

That’s right — new Axe wants to highlight all that makes the individual special: high heels, affection for kittens. It’s a far leap from its earlier reputation as the secret potion for finding naked women.

Matthew McCarthy, senior director for Axe and men’s grooming at Unilever, told The Huffington Post that the move was a reaction to a larger cultural shift.

“In the past, a guy’s self-confidence was determined a lot by whether or not girls found him attractive,” he said. Now, “guys certainly want to be attractive but they want to feel attractive … how they get there is changing.”

Guys no longer want to be defined by society’s idea of masculinity, he said, and the new campaign, designed by the agency 72andSunny Amsterdam, focuses on finding your confidence in whatever makes you unique.

“Guys today are basically calling bullshit on many of the outdated stereotypes and archetypes of masculinity, which are linked to feeling confident and feeling attractive. Now they’re saying, ‘I want to decide how I’m going to express my masculinity.'”

Axe’s rebranding coincides with the launch of a new line of pomades, hair gel, antiperspirants and deodorants, called the Axe Advanced Collection, which is available in most drug and grocery stores in North America.

“The campaign isn’t about, ‘Hey guys, have more confidence,'” McCarthy said. “It’s about your individuality and what makes you special. That’s what matters. Go work on it. Find your magic.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/axe-rebranding_56993fe6e4b0ce496424590c

Travel Around the World in 46 Cookies (Cheaper than Airfare) ~ Food52

There are bar crawls and taco crawls and even cupcake crawls, so why not cookie crawls? Why not cookie crawls around the world?

We’ve taken that sugar-drunk fantasy and made it a reality. We’ve rounded of 46 Cookies of the World that feature the kooky, classic, and addictive recipes from our staff, friends, and community members just so you can country hop, cookie-style.

1. Nanaimo Bars (Nanaimo, Canada)

Another reason to consider moving to Canada. (Photo: Lillie Auld/Food52)

2. Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas Cookies (Pennsylvania, U.S.)

This straight-laced cookie is brightened by currants and a bit of lemon juice and zest, and a lashing of sweet glaze. (Photo: James Ransom/Food52)

3. Rainbow Cookies (New York, U.S.)

What’s better than a technicolor platter of classic Italian bakery cookies? (Photo: Nina Caldas/Food52)

4. Potato Chip Cookies (Saratoga Springs, U.S.)

 

This recipe proves that with some arm work and a not-so-secret ingredient, you can make the best cookies you’ll ever taste.(Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

5. Benne Wafers (South Carolina, U.S.)

These wafer-thin, sesame-seed studded cookies are lacey, crunchy, and caramel-colored, a.k.a. the perfect holiday treat. (Photo: James Ransom/Food52)

6. Prune & Chocolate Rugelach (New York, U.S.)

This classic Jewish cookie meets American, Hungarian, Serbian, and Israeli influences. (Photo: Bobbi Lin/Food52)

7. Black & White Cookies (New York, U.S.)

Bring New York to You (with Mini Black and White Cookies). (Photo: Yossy Arefi/Food52)

8. Bizcochitos (New Mexico, U.S.)

Made with lard, these cookies improve with age—so plan ahead! (Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

9. Mexican Wedding Cakes (Mexico)

This is a cookie recipe with a controversial past. (Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

10. Brigadeiros (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Brazilians grow up eating Brigadeiro, which are at every birthday party and pretty much any kind of celebration. (Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

11. Alfajores (Argentina)

The only thing that Argentineans love more than hefty pieces of steak and strong coffee is alfajores. (Photo: Sophia Real/Food52)

12. Serinakaker (Norway)

A classic Norwegian butter cookie perfect for ski trips, snowshoeing, and Christmas cookie tins. (Photo: Emily Vikre/Food52)

13. Swedish Rye Cookies (Sweden)

This is a classic Christmas cut-out cookie with rye flour and cream cheese dough (and a lot more personality). (Photo: Heidi Swanson/Food52)

14. Polish Apricot-Filled Cookies (Poland)

A family cookie recipe that the editors of “Gourmet” deemed the best of 2004. (Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

15. Pfeffernuse (Germany)

An updated, but true to form, take on a vintage German spice cookie. (Photo: James Ransom/Food52)

16. Austrian Vanilla Crescents (Vanillekipferl) (Austria)

Vanilla crescents appear unspectacular—just little sugar-coated biscuits among all the colorful Christmas biscuits—but their flavor and texture will win you over. (Photo: James Ransom/Food52)

17. Vanilice (Serbia)

This cookie was voted Your Best Holiday Cookie from Anywhere in the World! (Photo: James Ransom/Food52)

18. Koulourakia (Greek Sesame Twist Cookies) (Greece)

A not-too-sweet cookie recipe passed from one new immigrant family to another. (Photo: James Ransom/Food52)

19. Pain d’Amande (France)

A cookie for all your gifting, swapping, and impressing needs this holiday season. (Photo: James Ransom/Food52)

20. Brandy Snaps (U.K.)

Sometimes it’s the recipes, more than the memories, that show you about your ancestors. (Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

21. Maltese Lemon Christmas Cookies (Malta)

In Malta, it’s the smell of lemon—not chocolate or peppermint or cinnamon—that means Christmas. (Photo: Meikie Peters/Food52)

22. Spanish Butter Wafers (Spain)

The best friend your tea (or wine) will have this holiday season. (Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

23. Tehina Shortbread (Israel)

Traditional shortbread—with an Israeli twist. (Photo: Michael Persico/Food52)

24. Samsa (Almond-Orange Triangles) (Northern Africa (Morocco, Tunisia & Algeria)

A cousin to baklava, samsa get fried instead of baked. (Yum!) (Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

25. Chin Chin (Nigeria)

Meet Chin Chin: the cutest Christmas cookie on the planet. (Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

26. Nigerian Coconut Cookie Crisps (Nigeria)

A cracker-like coconut cookie with serious nostalgia power. (Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

27. Halawa (Halva) Truffles (Egypt)

These Middle Eastern and African cookies are bite-sized and ideal for dipping in tea. (Photo: Jonathan Gregson/Food52)

28. Mbatata (Sweet Potato Cookies) (Malawi)

Sweet potato cookies to commemorate the Malawian people. (Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

29. Chocolate Pepper Cookies (South Africa)

Spice things up: Add black pepper to your next batch of chocolate cookies. (Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

30. Basler Leckerli (Waldshut-Tiengen, Southern Germany)

The German boyfriend came and went, but this spice cookie recipe is still kicking it. (Photo: James Ransom/Food52)

31. Elisenlebkuchen (Nuremberg, Germany)

Of all the German gingerbread out there, here’s the one that will be your new favorite. (Photo: Sophia Real/Food52)

32. Buccellati (Sicilian Christmas Cookies) (Sicily, Italy)

Festive fig cookies that taste of a Sicilian Christmas. (Photo: Emiko Davies/Food52)

33. Ukrainian Curd Cheese Cookies (Ukraine)

Who’s to say that cheese doesn’t belong in a cookie? (Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

34. Rice Cookies with Cardamom and Rose Water (Kermanshah, Iran)

Gluten-free cookies with subtle floral kick. (Photo: Bobbi Lin/Food52)

35. Springerles (Germany)

Springerles, a biscotti-like biscuit with an odd-ball technique. (Photo: Food52)

36. Dorie Greenspan’s Stained Glass Cookies (Paris, France)

To make these elegant French sugar cookies, bien sûr! (Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

37. Struffoli (Italian Honey Ball Cookies) (Southern Italy)

Make a batch of these southern Italian cookies this holiday season and they’ll become a tradition for years to come. (Photo: Angela Brown/Food52)

38. Alice Medrich’s Buckwheat Thumbprint Cookies with Cherry Preserves (Russia)

A flavorful upgrade to the classic Russian Tea Cake. (Photo: Mark Weinberg/Food52)

39. Chickpea Flour (Besan) Laddu (India)

If you’ve never heard of laddus, just think of them as balls of sweet goodness. (Photo: Nik Sharma/Food52)

40. Coconut Milk Fudge (India)

An ancient Gujarati sweet—with a time-saving update. (Photo: David Loftus/Food52)

41. Chinese Peanut Cookies (China)

Buttery, nutty cookies to make this holiday. (Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

42. Matcha Butter Cookies (Japan)

The Japanese love flavoring desserts with the distinct, bitter flavor of matcha tea, and these cookies are no exception. (Photo: Emiko Davies/Food52)

43. Polvorón (Philippines)

These polvorónes—traditional Filipino cookies—do everything the cookies on that holiday platter you got this year don’t do. (Photo: Linda Xiao/Food52)

44. Tangerine Pies “Kuey Tarts” (Singapore)

These whimsically filled cookies have a deceptive name. (Photo: Pate Eng/Food52)

45. Mint Slices (Australia)

Sorry Girl Scouts, but these Australian Mint Slices might just give your Thin Mints a run for their money. (Photo: Sarah Coates/Food52)

46. Mango Melting Moments (Australia)

A classic Australian cookie with a “locally sourced” filling. (Photo: Emiko Davies/Food52)

https://www.yahoo.com/food/food-travel-around-the-world-in-46-cookies-173649532.html

This Photographer Turns Vintage Photos Into Surreal Works Of Art ~ Brian Galindo

Jane Long is a Brisbane-based fine art photographer and artist, who is the mind behind the wildly imaginative Dancing with Costică series. According to Long, she was looking for photos to test her retouching skills on, when she stumbled upon the Flickr account of Costică Acsinte, a Romanian photographer who took the original photos throughout the 1930s and ’40s. 

After seeing them she felt the need not only to reimagine them, but also create a story for them. “I will probably never know the real stories of these people but in my mind they became characters in tales of my own invention,” Long said of her thought process in creating the surreal images,”Star crossed lovers, a girl waiting for her lover to come home, boys sharing a fantasy, innocent children with a little hint of something dark.” The results are these series of images that take on an otherworldly dreamlike look.

“Underneath”

"Underneath"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

“Singalong”

"Singalong"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

“Gun Shy”

"Gun Shy"

Courtsey of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

“The Juggling Act”

"The Juggling Act"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

“A Fond Farewell”

"A Fond Farewell"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

“Innocence”

"Innocence"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

“Beacon”

"Beacon"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

“Sweetheart”

"Sweetheart"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

“Burn it Down”

"Burn it Down"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

“The Idea Farm”

"The Idea Farm"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

“Musica”

"Musica"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

“The Whimsy Brothers”

"The Whimsy Brothers"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

“Fresh Jane Long”

"Fresh Jane Long"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via colectiacosticaacsinte.eu

“Corvo”

"Corvo"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

Tall Poppies

Tall Poppies

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

“Flock”

"Flock"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

“All Hands on Deck”

"All Hands on Deck"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

“Neptune’s Bride”

"Neptune's Bride"

Courtesy of Jane Long / Via Flickr: costicaacsinte

You can see more of Jane Long’s work on her official website or Facebook. Also, you can check out the Costică Ascinte Archive here.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/briangalindo/this-photographer-turns-vintage-photos-into-surreal-works-of#.otmwzWoRDO

I Tried It…Being White ~ Sharline Chiang

Sharline Chiang is a Berkeley-based journalist who has written for the New York Daily News, Los Angeles Daily News and Mutha Magazine. She’s a longtime member of VONA, a national community of writers of color.

I permed my hair.

Bleached it. 

Saved up for eyelid surgery, breast implants. I wanted blue contacts, badly. I only had white friends. I listened to Bon Jovi.

None of it made me white.

I remember being 8 years old and wishing Santa would make me white. I woke up Christmas day to find the same me in the mirror: same small eyes, sallow skin, straight black hair. Same ugly, Chinese-looking me. Somewhere inside, I was saying, “Fuck you, Santa! Thanks for nothing!” I grew up in suburban New Jersey in the ’70s and ’80s. At school there were a few black kids and a couple of Latinos and Asians, but we were scattered, like dim stars along the Milky Way. 

I wanted to be white.

White was not being asked questions like you were a foreigner even though you were born in New York City (“Where are you really from?” “How is your English so good?”). It meant not having Jeff, the boy you had a crush on, place tacks on your chair and shout, “I GOT THE CHINK!” It meant not having kids set your trees on fire two Mischief Nights in a row.

I wanted to be blonde. Blonde Barbie ruled. Farrah ruled. Chrissy was hot. Janet was not.

When I was little and played with my favorite Honey Hill Bunch dolls, guess who all the boys tried to get with? Darlin’ — the sweet blonde who carried a pink purse, whose motto on her packaging was “I’m so pretty, don’t you agree?” No one wanted the girl with a high IQ. There was an Asian doll literally named “I.Q.” She wore glasses on her head and carried a book. Her motto was (I shit you not) “I always get straight As in school!”

being white

The author at 14.

Source: Sharline Chiang

When I was 14 my mother wouldn’t let me bleach my hair, but she did consent to my getting a Mohawk. A girl I admired showed up at school with one. My hair could not do perfect Farrah wings, but I was pretty sure I could rock spikes. Except, my mother said I had to get a perm first. She had a thing about perms, said they were the only things that made our “lifeless” hair look good. Here’s what happened:

My mother to hairdresser: “Give her a perm. And a ma-huck.”

Hairdresser: “A what?”

Mom: “A ma-huck. Long on back, short on top.”

Here’s what I got: a tight perm — and a mullet.

Do you know how long it takes to grow out a mullet? About the same time it takes to graduate from junior high. That year, I tried out for several school plays and finally got a role.

My father: “How could you be cast as the daughter of an American family? Won’t the audience be confused?”

“No,” I said. “They can put makeup on me. I could look, you know, French.”

My mother winced. “Sharline, you will never look French. You will always look Chinese.”

In ninth grade, when I wasn’t busy dressing up like Madonna or Cyndi Lauper, I focused on becoming popular. I tried out for cheerleading; didn’t make it. Signed up for field hockey; sat on the bench. In a desperate move I joined the marching band. I couldn’t play an instrument, so I “played” the cymbals.

Being white

The author today.

Source: Sharline Chiang

Over the next two decades I went on to date a lot of white guys (eventually I married a white guy). Still, I wasn’t white. I made my first non-white friend, a black woman in LA, when I was 28. To this, she said: “Are you shitting me?”

Somewhere in my 30s I stopped trying to be white. Living in California and making friends with proud African-Americans, Latinos, Middle Eastern Americans and Asian-Americans, my world opened. My old self-hatred slowly dissipated, replaced by a new appreciation for myself, of how I had spent my life internalizing racism and perpetuating the notion of white supremacy.

As writer Junot Díaz put it: “White supremacy is the great silence of our world … white supremacy would not fucking operate without people of color to run it. It’s not that white people don’t contribute to it. They do. But it couldn’t continue to exist without people of color. White supremacy is inside all of us. And that’s why it’s so malign and difficult to confront.”

I try to confront it by talking about it. I read works by writers like Maxine Hong Kingston and Toni Morrison. They remind me to feel proud to be Chinese-American and a woman of color. They remind me of my ancestors’ resilience and the courage of people of color in this country. I read books featuring kids of different races to my daughter — a hapa toddler with eyes like mine but curly auburn hair — in hopes that this will help her love herself even though she looks “different.” I send her to a Mandarin preschool; she takes pride in being able to speak Chinese. I take a moment to celebrate the show Fresh Off the Boat, because it matters that for the first time in 20 years, I can see an Asian-American family on TV (hey, we exist!). 

And these days, I just leave my hair the fuck alone. It’s not revolutionary, but it’s a start.

http://www.ozy.com/true-story/i-tried-it-being-white/38961

The Healthy Recipes Needed To Recoup From All Those Holiday Cookies ~ Julie R. Thomson

The weeks leading up to Christmas are overflowing with sugar. Between the cookies, the fudge, the cookies, the truffles, the cookies and all the desserts, it begins to feel like the blood in our veins has been replaced with sugar. (And it probably has.)

Most people continue the feast until New Year’s Eve — what with all the leftover sweets and the big NYE party to come — making resolutions to eat healthier once the year has come to an end. We have another idea: eat healthy now and feel great on New Year’s Eve. 

We have 15 healthy dishes to help you do just that. Trust us, this is a good idea.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/healthy-recipes-easy-quick_567aa612e4b0b958f658c0c3?cps=gravity_5059_279410200757629061

Best Vegetarian Sources of Complete Protein ~ Eat This Not That

By Dana Leigh Smith

With the ever-growing popularity of protein shakes and half-pound burgers, there’s no denying that our culture is obsessed with consuming protein. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that vegans and vegetarians are constantly questioned about going meat-free—despite the fact that neither diet by definition is low-protein.

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you know exactly what we’re talking about — and you’re tired of getting asked questions about the sources and quantity of your protein intake. Here’s what you need to know: Incomplete proteins — like whole grains, nuts and produce — can join together and produce a complete protein, packed with all nine essential amino acids the body cannot produce on its own, so as long as you consume various sources of them throughout the day they. 

Even so, the easiest way to ward off protein deficiency is to eat complete sources of the nutrient and, thankfully, there are plenty of vegan- and vegetarian-friendly options. To help you stay healthy and strong, we’ve compiled a list of the best complete proteins for weight loss below. Incorporating them into your diet will ward off symptoms of protein deficiency—like low blood sugar and weakness—and fuel that flat belly fire!

1. Chia Seedschia seeds

Protein, per tablespoon: 2.5 grams

Though chia seeds don’t contain that much protein, they do contain all nine essential amino acids. Thanks to the seeds’ blood-sugar stabilizing ratio of satiating protein, fats and fiber, they’re the perfect hunger-busting addition to your diet, and can help you lose inches. But that’s not all: ALAs, the specific type of omega-3s found in chia seeds, can decrease the risk of heart disease, according to a Pennsylvania State University study. 

Eat This! Add chia seeds to yogurt or a homemade vegan smoothie to keep your energy levels up all morning long.

2. Soybeans& Soy Products

edamame

Protein, per ½ cup: 2-21 grams

So many ways to eat soybeans, so little time! To get the most bang for your buck, make tempeh, a traditional Indonesian fermented soy product, part of your weekly lineup. A mere half-cup of the stuff packs in 21 grams of protein. Another solid bet: dry roasted soybeans. With a half-cup serving up a whopping 18 grams of protein, it’s one of the best high-protein snacks around. Steamed soybeans (4 g protein/0.5 cup), tofu (10 g protein/0.5 cup) and soymilk (2 g protein/0.5 cup) also provide a solid hit of complete proteins and magnesium, a mineral that’s essential to muscle development, energy production and carb metabolism.

Eat This! Eat roasted soybeans solo as an on-the-go snack, or add them to homemade trail mixes. Slice and pan-fry tempeh and use it in lieu of meat on a sandwich, order edamame (steamed soybeans) as an appetizer next time you’re at a Japanese restaurant, or add soymilk to your overnight oats.

3. Hemp Seed

hemp seeds

Protein, per tablespoon: 3.3 grams

The hemp seed — marijuana’s edible, non-intoxicating cousin — is gaining recognition as a nutritional rock star—and for good reason. Studies suggest that hemp seeds can fight heart disease, obesity and metabolic syndrome, likely because they’re rich in fiber and omega-3s.

Eat This! Simply sprinkle the hemp seeds into salads and cereals, or add hemp protein powder to your post-workout shake. Protein bars packed with the seed have recently hit supermarkets, so you might want to give those a try, too.

4. Quinoa

quinoa

Protein, per ½ cup: 4 grams

With more than 1,400 quinoa products currently on the market, it’s safe to say that the ancient grain is here to stay. Quinoa is higher in protein than most other grains, packs a hefty dose of heart-healthy unsaturated fats and is also a great source of fiber, a nutrient that can help you feel fuller, longer. It gets better: The mild-tasting grain is also a good source of the amino acid L-arginine, which has been shown to promote muscle over fat gain in animal studies, explains Gina Consalvo, RD, LDN, Eat Well with Gina. Though we can’t be sure findings will hold true in people, it can’t hurt to add more of this healthy grain to your plate.

Eat This! Pair quinoa with veggies beans to create a well-balanced meal, use the grain to make a veggie burger or up the flavor and nutrient-content of a green salad with a scoop.

5. Ezekiel Bread

sprouted bread

Protein, per slice: 4 grams

“Made with sprouted grains, wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, Ezekiel Bread contains 18 amino acids — including all of the nine essential amino acids,” says Consalvo. That’s something most other bread products can’t claim. Making this your go-to sandwich base ensures you get at least 8 grams of complete proteins every time you sit down to lunch.

Eat This! Use Ezekiel Bread any way you’d use traditional bread; it’s extremely versatile. (That’s just one of the reasons why we named it one of our favorite healthy breads.)

6. Amaranth

amaranth

Protein, per ½ cup: 4.67 grams

Quinoa isn’t the only “ancient grain” that comes loaded with health perks. Amaranth, a naturally gluten-free seed, is a good source of digestion-aiding fiber, as well as calcium and bicep-building iron.

Eat This! Amaranth takes on a porridge-like texture when cooked, making it a great alternative breakfast option. Whip up a batch and be sure to top off your bowl with some tasty, nutrient-packed oatmeal toppings—they work well in all types of hot cereals, including porridge.

7. Eggs

eggs

Protein, per egg: 6 grams

With 6 grams of protein a pop, eggs are an ideal food for vegetarians and omnivores alike who want to stay swimsuit-ready all year round. Their protein fuels your muscles, boosts metabolismand keeps hunger under control, aiding weight loss. Eggs are also one of the most nutrient-filled vegetarian protein sources around. “Eggs contain a host of health-promoting and flat-belly nutrients including choline, a major fat-burning nutrient that also plays an important role in brain health,” says Consalvo.

Eat This! Eggs can anchor a breakfast, slide into a sandwich at lunch, beef up a dinnertime salad, or even serve as a protein-filled snack on their own. 

8. Hummus

hummus

Protein, per tablespoon: 1.1 grams

“Garbanzo beans are high in lysine, and tahini is a rich source of the amino acid methionine. Individually these foods are incomplete proteins, but when you combine the two together to make hummus, they create a complete protein,” explains Consalvo. Just be aware that not all store-bought hummus brands contain tahini. One that does:  Pacific Foods Organic Classic Hummus. It’s not only tahini-infused, but also shelf-stable, making it ideal for on-the-go snacking.

Eat This! Spread hummus onto sandwiches in lieu of mustard, mayo and other spreads, or use it as a dip for raw veggies. 

9. Buckwheat

buckwheat

Protein, per ½ cup, cooked: 3 grams

Every half-cup serving of this gluten-free seed packs three grams of protein, two grams of belly-flattening fiber (which is more than you’ll find in oatmeal) and half the day’s magnesium, a mineral that’s essential to muscle development and carb metabolism. What’s more, a 2013 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that higher magnesium intake was associated with lower levels of fasting glucose and insulin, markers related to fat and weight gain. Fill up your plate with the nutritional powerhouse to maintain your flat stomach.

Eat This! Add buckwheat-based Japanese soba noodles to stir-fries or whip up these savory buckwheat pancakes—the tomato avocado salsa with which it’s paired is overflowing with flavors you’re sure to love.

10. Spinach

Protein Payout: 1 cup (cooked), 41 calories, 5 grams of protein One cup of spinach has almost as much protein as a hard-boiled egg—for half the calories! Maximize its nutrition by steaming spinach instead of eating it raw: That helps retain vitamins and facilitate absorption of calcium. Believe it or not, spinach is one of the 10 greens healthier for you than kale.

11. Sun-Dried Tomatoes

best high protein foods for weight loss - sun dried tomatoes

Protein Payout: 1 cup, 139 calories, 6 g protein Tomatoes are brimming with lycopene, an antioxidant which studies show can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, and reduce your chances of developing coronary artery disease. They’re also rich in fiber and contain ¾ of your RDA of potassium, which is essential for heart health and tissue repair. 

12. Guava

best high protein foods for weight loss - guava

Protein Payout: 1 cup, 112 calories, 4.2 g protein The tropical highest-protein fruit, guava packs more than 4 grams per cup, along with 9 grams of fiber and only 112 calories. With 600% of your DV of Vitamin C per cup — the equivalent of more than seven medium oranges! — it should merengue its way into your shopping cart ASAP. And while you’re at the store, be sure to pick up some of these other surprising high-protein foods.

13. Artichokes

best high protein foods for weight loss - artichokes

Protein Payout: 1 medium vegetable, 60 calories, 4.2 g protein Eating foods high in protein and fiber are key to turning off your body’s hunger hormones. The artichoke is a double winner: It has almost twice as much fiber as kale (10.3 g per medium artichoke, or 40% of the daily fiber the average woman needs) and one of the highest protein counts among vegetables. 

14. Peas

best high protein foods for weight loss - peas

Protein Payout: 1 cup, 118 calories, 8 g protein

It’s enough to make Popeye do a spit take: Peas might seem wimpy, but one cup contains eight times the protein of a cup of spinach. And with almost 100% of your daily value of vitamin C in a single cup, they’ll help keep your immune system in tip-top shape.

15. Beans

Protein Payout: 1/2 cup, 109-148 calories, 7-10 grams of protein Not only are beans rich in protein and nutrients that benefit your heart, brain and muscles, they digest slowly, helping you feel fuller longer. They’re a weight-loss superfood you should eat daily.

16. Lentils

Protein Payout: 1 cup, 230 calories, 18 g protein If you’re an anti-meathead, you should warm up to lentils ASAP. One cup has the protein of three eggs, with less than one gram of fat! Their high fiber content makes them extremely satiating, and studies have shown that they speed fat loss: Spanish researchers found that people whose diets included four weekly servings of legumes lost more weight and improved their cholesterol more than people who didn’t. 

17. Peanut Butter

Protein Payout: 2 tablespoons, 191 calories, 7 grams of protein Although eating too much peanut butter can widen your waist, a standard two-tablespoon serving provides a solid dose of muscle-building protein and healthy fats. According to a 2014 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming peanuts can prevent both cardiovascular and coronary artery disease — the most common type of heart condition. Look for the unsalted, no sugar added varieties without hydrogenated oils to reap the most benefits.

18. Sprouted Whole Grain Bread

Protein payout: Two slices, 138-220 calories, 8-12 g protein
Not all breads are carb bombs waiting to shatter your weight-loss goals. This nutrient-dense bread is loaded with folate-filled lentils, protein and good-for-you grains and seeds like barley and millet.

19. Teff

Protein Payout: 1/4 cup, 180 calories, 7 grams of protein This obscure grain is ready for its close-up, and it’ll help your beach body get there too. It’s rich in essential amino acids, calcium and vitamin C — a nutrient not typically found in grains. To reap the benefits, trade your morning oatmeal in for a protein-packed teff porridge, or cook it up as a side dish anytime you’d usually go for quinoa or rice.

20. Gruyére Cheese

Protein Payout: 1 oz, 117 calories, 8 g protein Here’s an excuse for a wine-and-cheese hour: The schmancy Swiss cheese (don’t forget the accented ‘e’) contains 30% more protein than an egg in one slice, plus one-third of your RDA of vitamin A. If you’re looking to indulge, keep your serving to the size of four dice, and moderate your vino to one glass for women, two glasses for men, to get the bad-cholesterol-lowering benefits of the antioxidant resveratrol. And better yet, stick to the #1 wine for rapid weight loss.

21. 2% Greek Yogurt

Protein Payout: 7 oz, 150 calories, 20 g protein If you’re looking to lose weight and/or build muscle, yogurt should be a staple in your diet. A study printed in the Journal of Nutrition found that probiotics like the ones found in yogurt helped obese women lose nearly twice the weight compared to those who did not consume probiotics. Choose wisely: Skip over low-fat and fat-free — they’re skimmed of nutrients and satiating power — and flavored yogurts, which can contain almost as much sugar as a dessert. Choose a brand from our exclusive guide to the best brand name yogurts for weight loss.

22. 1% Organic, Grass-Fed Milk

Protein Payout: 8 oz, 110 calories, 8 g protein
Milk is one of the foods you should always buy organic. Organically raised cows aren’t given the same hormones and antibiotics that conventional cows are, and grass-fed cows have been shown to have higher levels of good omega-3 fatty acids and two to five times more lean-muscle building CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) than their corn- and grain-fed counterparts. Although skim milk is low-cal, many vitamins are fat-soluble, which means you’re cheating yourself out of their benefits unless you opt for at least 1%.

23. Shelled Pumpkin Seeds

Protein Payout: 1 oz, 158 calories, 9 g protein If you only think of pumpkin seeds as gourd guts, you’re in for a literal treat. They contain energy-boosting magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. Throw them into salads and rice dishes or eat them raw. Want more delectable ways to eat pumpkin? Check out these 8 amazing ways to eat pumpkin!

24. Almonds

best high protein foods for weight loss - almonds

Protein Payout: 1 oz, 164 calories, 6 g protein Think of almonds as a natural weight-loss pill. A study of overweight and obese adults found that, combined with a calorie-restricted diet, consuming a little more than a quarter-cup of the nuts can decrease weight more effectively than a snack of complex carbohydrates and safflower oil—after just two weeks! (And after 24 weeks, those who ate the nuts experienced a 62% greater reduction in weight and BMI!) Eat your daily serving before you hit the gym: Beause they’re rich in the amino acid L-arginine, almonds can help you burn more fat and carbs during workouts, according to a study printed in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

25. Cashews

Protein Payout: 1 oz, 157 calories, 5 g protein You probably know that almonds are a great go-to snack, but you should mix cashews into the rotation. They’re a good source of magnesium — which helps your body relieve constipation, boosts the immune system and supports cognitive function — and biotin, which helps keep your hair and nails healthy.

26. Banza Pasta

Protein payout: 14 grams per serving This delicious pasta, made with chickpeas, has double the protein and half the carbs of traditional noodles. It also has 8 grams of fiber and 30% of your iron RDA per serving.

27. Tempeh

Protein payout: 16 grams per ½ cup In your quest for a muscle-building vegetarian entree, you don’t have to swap meat for man boobs. Tofu contains soy milk, which can lead to increased estrogen levels and the need for an over-the-shoulder boulder holder. But tempeh is made from soy beans, making it close to a whole food. It also keeps more of its protein—about 50% more than tofu.

28. Vegan Protein Powder

Protein payout: 15 to 20 grams per scoop Eating veggies—and supplementing with vegan protein powder shakes—is one of the best ways to burn fat. A study in Nutrition Journal found that “plant protein intakes may play a role in preventing obesity.” We love Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Shake, Vega Sport Performance Protein, and Sunwarrior Warrior Blend.

29. Triticale

Protein Payout: 1/4 cup, 161 calories, 6 grams of protein While you may have never heard of this hearty whole grain before, it may become your new favorite. This wheat-rye hybrid packs 12 grams of protein per half cup, and is also rich in brain-boosting iron, bloat-busting potassium, magnesium and heart-healthy fiber. Use triticale berries in place of rice and mix it with soy sauce, fresh ginger, cloves, shiitake mushrooms and edamame to make a healthy, Asian-inspired dish. If you prefer to firing up the oven to using the stove, use triticale flour in place of traditional flour in your baking.

30. Peanuts

Protein payout: 9 grams per ¼ cup
Sometimes you feel like a nut — and even if you don’t, this protein powerhouse should be part of any plant-based diet. Peanuts have more protein than pecans (2.5 grams), cashews (5 grams) and even almonds (8 grams). They’re also rich in folate, which is great for your mood, heart and colon.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/best-vegetarian-sources-complete-protein-181612127.html#

The Multifaceted Character Creations Of 2D/3D Visual Artist Sozomaika ~ Alexander Aplerku

Check out the creations of SOZOMAIKA (aka Maika Sozo) – a visual artist whose stunning work consists of both 2D and 3D pieces. She states, “My vision encompasses multifaceted character creation that ranges from conception to fully articulated models.” Explore those breathtaking characters below.

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor

.

http://sozomaika.deviantart.com/
https://www.artstation.com/artist/sozomaika
https://www.facebook.com/SOZOMAIKA

 

http://www.afropunk.com/profiles/blogs/feature-the-multifaceted-character-creations-of-2d-3d-artist

The Dukkha of Racism: Racial Inclusion and Justice in American Convert Buddhism ~ Justin Whitaker

Smiling Buddha

On July 1 2015, a website titled “Buddhists for Racial Justice” started circulating across Buddhist social media. It included an open letter that spoke of the deep sadness at the murders of the nine members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, Carolina on June 17, 2015. These murders were not only the result of an individual deluded by racial hatred and a desire to start a race war, it stated, but also reflexive of the legacy of slavery and white supremacy that persisted in the American collective consciousness and institutional structures. As Buddhists, it continued, we are obliged to realize the interconnectedness of experience, to recognize the causes and conditions that perpetuate this collective suffering, and to respond compassionately by uniting the precept of non-harm to tangible actions. Alongside this open letter, were two “Calls to Engage” one for white practitioners to awaken to white privilege, and one for members of color to “investigate their own unconscious patterning that perpetuates the suffering of racism.” By the next day over 500 people from a wide variety of Buddhist lineages had endorsed this letter and two weeks later that number had risen to 1400.

The immediate origins for “Buddhists for Racial Justice” can be traced to May 14th when a delegation of 125 Buddhists from a variety of lineages gathered for the first “White House-U.S. Buddhist Leadership Conference.” Here they presented two letters: one on climate change and one titled “Buddhist Statement on Racial Justice.” The latter opened with the declaration that as Buddhist teachers they were distressed by the killings of unarmed African Americans brought to attention by the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in NYC. As with the open call letter, it intertwined the language of Buddhism—suffering, interdependence, non-harm and compassion— with racial justice.

The impetus for this letter was attributed to the courage of the people of Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement, which had brought urgency to what the Buddhist Peace Fellowship has dubbed as “Buddhism in America After Ferguson.” However, both letters should be seen as products of work to challenge white privilege in American Buddhist convert communities spanning over nearly two decades. Many of the themes expressed on them, for instance, are articulated in Making the Invisible Visible: Healing Racism in Our Buddhist Communities a booklet compiled by a small group of Buddhist practitioners of color and distributed to the Buddhist Teachers in the West conference at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, in June 2000. It declared that for many years the Euro-American middle-class sangha had been resistant to the efforts of people of color and their white allies to raise awareness of the reproduction of oppressive racial and socioeconomic within Western Buddhist sanghas and unless this was addressed the dharma risked becoming “irrelevant to vast parts of our society.” Interweaving personal experiences of racism with Buddhist teachings and critical race theory, this collection offers a number of resources to combat racism in Western sanghas ranging from institutional diversity trainings to addressing racism in dharma talks.

For much of this time, such efforts have been marginalized, ignored and even actively opposed. For example, there is no mention of diversity work in the Shambhala Sun 2009 edition “Celebrating 30 years of Buddhism in America” and a number of American Buddhists have accused such work as being divisive and against core Buddhist teachings such as interdependence and anatta. Due to a combination of a small but extremely committed loose network of American Buddhist People of Color (POC) teacher and practitioners and their white allies, and the wider cultural critical mass around racial justice, however, such work is slowly coming to the forefront of American Buddhist convert communities. Communities such as the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) in Oakland, California, (INY), Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW), and the Brooklyn Zen Center (BZC) have put racial inclusion and justice work at the center of their work and racial justice issues are getting increased coverage in Buddhist media.

My current book project on contemporary developments in American convent Buddhism devotes a chapter to the history of this racial inclusion and justice work. Here I will offer just one snapshot of this important and multilayered project: the ways in which participants from the Insight Meditation community understand racial inclusion and justice work as an expression and extension of core Buddhist principles. Most fundamental is the presentation of racism as a form of dukkha. As La Sarmiento, a POC teacher at Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW) put it:

I just want to be able to notice suffering when I see it and not perpetuate it and alleviate it, if I can. It’s all about suffering for me. Doing this diversity work is actually addressing suffering, addressing it in the ways that some people perpetuate it and some people have to live it. So when some people say to me, “What does this have to do with our practice?” It’s like “This is the practice. If you don’t get that, well I don’t know.”

The dukkha of racism manifests both on an individual and collective level. As the letter for racial justice puts it: “The historic and continued suffering of people of color in this country is our collective suffering.” Once racial injustice has been established as a form of dukkha, the next move, following the Four Noble Truths, is to inquire into the causes and conditions of that suffering. Tara Brach teaches that at the root of racism is the existential tendency to create a false sense of self and “an unreal other” that we respond to with aversion and fear. In essence, therefore, racism is a cultural manifestation of this existential illusion of separateness. Waking up to the reality of interdependence requires an investigation of both the individual and collective conditioning around race that keeps one ensnared in separateness. Certain practices of Buddhism such as mindfulness offer potent tools to inquire into and become free of this conditioning.

Ruth King, a senior teacher at IMCW, has developed a training called Mindful of Race, which combines mindfulness practice with diversity awareness training. White Awakeoffers race awareness training in the wider context of mindfulness practice and notes that “the development of racial awareness is not only an important piece of our spiritual practice, it is a spiritual practice in and of itself.”

Larry Yang, an Insight teacher and pioneer of Buddhist diversity work, has also grounded such work in Buddhist canonical texts. He draws on Bhikkhu Analayo’s (2004) commentary on the Satipatthana sutta in which Analayo discusses the refrain on internal and external mindfulness within the sutta, noting that the presence of the latter has been put aside in modern translations After considering different interpretations, Analayo concludes that external mindfulness means being mindful of other people and discusses several ways to practice this. Following Analayo, Yang argues that whilst the Insight community has historically exclusively focused on mindfulness in the internal realm of the meditator, diversity awareness is the application of mindfulness to the external or collective realm.

In conclusion, the shift in focus from the individual to the collective is crucial to understanding what makes racial diversity and justice work Buddhist. This shift manifests in two main ways: First, one characteristic of first-generation American Buddhist teachers has been to focus on using Buddhist teachings and tools to address individual psychological suffering. With teachings on the “dukkha of racism,” Buddhist principles and practices are now being applied to the socio-cultural dimensions of that individual self and the collective suffering of racial injustice in the United States. Second, a foundational part of racial inclusion and justice work is the recovery of the third jewel of Buddhism, the sangha, which has been historically neglected in American convert communities, which have emphasized individual meditation practice rather than building community. Racial inclusion and justice work is concerned with building sanghas that are inclusive and welcoming for all. As the Insight Meditation Society puts it, unless they create a “multicultural refuge” that “reflects the diversity of our society, our world,” IMS cannot be “a true spiritual refuge.” In this way, racial inclusion and justice work should be seen as both a corrective to earlier Euro-American Buddhist trends and also a continuation of the application of Buddhist teachings to contemporary Western forms of suffering.

 

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/americanbuddhist/2016/01/the-dukkha-of-racism-racial-inclusion-and-justice-in-american-convert-buddhism.html

How to Parent on a Night Like This ~ Carvell Wallace

FERGUSON SEASONS

My son is home from school. He stays in bed while I take his little sister to her fourth grade class. He watches about eight hours of television. I have to work. We watch Skyfall together in the morning. The violence is a little beyond what I would normally allow, but something about a father and son watching a spy thriller together… I can’t resist. A Final Showdown at the Scottish Manor. Helicopters and explosions. Cars with semi-automatics in the headlights. Sawed-off shotguns.

I pick my daughter up at 3:30 while he stays at home. I take her to the grocery. We talk about persimmons and how to tell if they’re ripe. She asks me how I decide which chicken to buy. I explain about air-chilled, and free-range, and grain fed, and hormone free. I realize that I don’t actually understand “air chilled.” I send her clear across the store to go find peanut oil. She does. I am impressed.

In the car, she asks about her brother. I tell her he’s home alone. She is quiet for a few more minutes. Then she tells a story of the time her mother went to the store and left them home alone. And they heard a sound. An explosion of a kind. And her older brother started panicking, telling her it was gunshots, telling her to close the blinds and hide on the floor. And how she became terrified and FaceTimed Mommy from her iPad. And Mommy tried to calm her down, but eventually came right home, leaving a cart filled with groceries in the aisle.

Helicopters are already circling downtown.

She tells me that she now knows that they were overreacting. That it was probably fireworks. It didn’t sound like real gunshots. She’s heard real gunshots. They happened one afternoon while she was playing in the schoolyard. The teachers told them to run inside and they didn’t even have to line up. That’s how she knew it was serious.

We come back home and the kids are reunited. Rare is the day that one has school and the other doesn’t. They are so used to being together in the same cars on the same schedule, even at different schools, that when they see each other, there is awkwardness. They want to check in. If they were adults, they might say “how was your day?” and “I missed you!” But they are not adults. So they argue about who is the worst teacher at the elementary school, and then reminisce about funny episodes of sitcoms that they’ve watched. She quizzes him on his menu, keen to make sure that he didn’t get an ice cream or a cookie on his day off. She’s always keeping track of things like this. Everything must be even.

Grand Jury Decision is expected to be read at 8 p.m. CST.

She begins her homework. He watches vaguely racist and sexist YouTube videos.

I make her a snack of plain yogurt and granola.

Rumors are starting to spread that there will be no indictment.

I already know there will be no indictment. I’ve been a black man in America for a long time.

The house is quiet, everyone engrossed in their screens. I am agitated. Scrolling social media, lead in the pit of my stomach.

We’ve been here before. As a family.

We are black people in Oakland. We talk about race a lot. We talk about gender a lot. We discuss transphobia and homophobia a lot. We discuss capitalism and civil rights a lot. We’ve heard helicopters and chants and seen the streets burn. We’ve been to protests. We’ve held signs and played drums. We’ve had our car broken into and our heart-covered backpack and pink size 3 trench coat stolen from the front seat on the first night of Occupy. We’ve driven past armies of cops in riot gear in our minivan. We’ve been here before. We are black people in Oakland.

I send them to the corner store, so they can get outside and I can have some quiet. $3 each. I wonder if they’ll be attacked walking down the street. Black people sometimes get attacked when white people are scared of the reality of race.

Darren Wilson is not charged, and it makes me wonder if someone is going to attack my black children.

I decide to make tacos al pastor. I’m keeping it simple this week because Thanksgiving is a few days away and there’s going to be a shitload of cooking for that. I already have some frozen pork that I made months ago. I heat up the meat and tortillas. I am not very woo woo at all, but the one thing I know is that when I cook while agitated the food does not taste good. I try to calm down but I can’t. I brought my phone and Twitter feed into the kitchen. Scrolling with my pinky, leaving cumin residue on my screen.

They return with Rollos and 7up.

People are now live tweeting the speech. Apparently it’s taking forever. “what’s next, an interpretive dance?” a particularly funny tweet asks. The tortillas burn. I throw them out. Start again.

I consider playing the press conference on the living room TV. But my daughter warned me about that. She warned me when she told me how frightened she was of the firecracker that may have been a gun. What will the TV show my 9-year-old before she goes to sleep? I decided to let them stay lost in Netflix.

The food is… meh. Pork is overcooked. Salad dressing too vinegar-y. Beans underdone. But the rice turns out great. When all else fails I can always make amazing Spanish rice. Nevertheless, they finish every last bite and ask for more.

I retire upstairs while they do the post dinner chores.

I want to put my phone down but I can’t. Every moment without it feels terrifying. I read more on Twitter. Protesters have taken to the street. They’ve closed down 580. The freeway. I’m happy for them. Friends are uploading videos. I’ve been to enough protests in Oakland. I know this will be relatively harmless. A few white kids with masks will try and break shit. The police will not be stupid and everyone will go home relatively unscathed. It just has that feel.

It’s hard to continue. I wish it was my kids’ bedtime. I wish the dishes were done. I wish the house was clean. I wish America wasn’t racist. I wish Mike Brown was in police custody. I wish Darren Wilson admitted guilt. I wish America admitted guilt.

I post on Facebook “How do you parent on a night like this?” People respond with advice about how to talk to kids about race. Well-meaning, but missing the point. I don’t mean what do you say. I mean how do you go on.

How do you go on.

How do you make lunch for tomorrow and sweep and handle bath time?

How do you parent with a permanently broken heart?

I text their mother. “Hi” I say. She responds. But I stop. She is white. I don’t actually want to talk to any white people right now. I love her though. She is an exceedingly kind, strong and loving person. And I make a note to tell her the next time I see her.

My son is being a dick.

He keeps messing with his sister. He keeps not following directions. He keeps jumping around the house like a… well, like an 11-year-old boy. My patience is wearing thin. I want to yell at him. Will you calm the fuck down?! Do you know what the fuck is happening out there?! But I don’t. Because he will know way sooner than I want.

Mike Brown kept messing with people.

Mike Brown kept jumping around.

Mike Brown kept not following directions.

But when I tell him to brush his teeth and he bullshits for another 10 minutes, I finally lose it.

“Hey!” I yell. The room grows intensely quiet. “Get your shit together.”

I can see behind his eyes as he calculates how to respond. Another joke? An angry backlash? He does neither. He looks hurt. He fixes me with a sad stare, milking it just a bit, and then mopes upstairs. When he is five steps away, I call him back. He makes a joke of not wanting to get closer to me. “Come here” I say. He moves an inch. “No HERE.” He moves another. “HERE!” We do our little routine a few times more. We watch a lot of comedy together.

When he is close enough to touch, I reach out and hold him to me like I’ve maybe never held anyone to me in my entire life. I feel his warmth. The narrowness of his bones. The quick beat of his little heart. I bury my face awkwardly in the back of his neck. I choke back tears. I don’t want tears now.

“Dad. Are you alright?” He knows this is the next funny thing to say.

“I love you,” is all I can manage.

I stop before it gets any weirder for him. “I love you too, Dad. You’re a great dad.” And I can tell he means it.

Later they are both in my bed, in jammies, wet and clean from showers, blankets pulled to their chins. I read them two chapters from E.L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. They are fixated. They laugh hysterically at parts. They sit quietly rapt at others. Good food, good hugs, and good writing. For a second, I think I may have solved all the world’s problems.

She falls asleep after a time, curled like a conch shell in the vastness of my bed. He, as per usual, won’t quit. He begs me to continue. I tell him that it’s not fair to her. He is disappointed but understanding. He turns off the lamp next to my bed, and nestles himself in my blankets, not even pretending that he’s going to his own room, not even pretending that it matters where I sleep.

I read Darren Wilson’s grand jury testimony by the light of my phone.

Two hours later, I’m prepared to try and face the darkness and quiet of night.

I look at them both lying in my bed. They are unbelievably gorgeous children.

The thing about sleeping kids is that, in that moment, you can express your love for them in its complete fullness. I stare at them for a long time and memorize their faces. I allow these faces to be etched into my soul for all of eternity. I do this because I’m afraid I will lose them. I do this because I know I will lose them.

I may have even said “I hope you don’t ever grow up.”

But now, one day later, I’m not sure if I did.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carvell-wallace/how-to-parent-on-a-night-like-this_b_6225132.html

Love Across Barriers: In A New Book, David Richards Explores The Connection Between Our Abilities To Love And To Resist Injustice ~

David Richards, Edwin D. Webb Professor of Law, has long studied the interaction between patriarchy, structural injustice, and resistance movements. In his 20th book, Why Love Leads to Justice: Love Across the Boundaries, Richards examines the private lives and public voices of groundbreaking 20th-century artists and thinkers, and traces the connection between boundary-breaking love and the ability to resist injustice.

David Richards

David Richards 

Richards tells the stories of relationships that broke the so-called Love Laws, which he defines as the laws that “condemn precisely the loving relationships across the barriers that patriarchy imposes and violently enforces.” In the case of George Eliot (née Marion Evans), Richards writes, she faced the barrier of traditional Victorian marriage. Her extramarital relationship with George Henry Lewes, he argues, led her to write her masterpiece, Middlemarch, a novel that dissects two disastrous Victorian marriages.

The obstacles that composer Benjamin Britten, singer Peter Pears, novelist Christopher Isherwood, and poet W.H. Auden faced as gay men, Richards writes, led them to developing forms of artistic voice that resisted homophobia. “That resisting voice, the voice of people traditionally silenced and marginalized by deep prejudice, only arises in the context of new forms of intimate life which challenge the Love Laws afflicting them,” Richards says.

“These people laid the foundations of the most important resistance movements, of which we are now garnering the benefits,” Richards says. “We should understand where it came from! It’s not an airless invention of intellectuals—although intelligence is a very important part of the story. But it comes from these remarkable stories of their love lives, and their astonishing struggles.”

Civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and anthropologist Margaret Mead are among the figures whose stories Richards tells. But Richards points to James Baldwin’s life and work as the most dramatic example of how a boundary-breaking relationship can lead to the development of a resisting voice. After a series of disastrous affairs in New York—some with women, but mostly with men, many of whom were abusive to him—Baldwin moved to Paris. There, he met Lucien Happersberger, a white man from Switzerland whom he described as the “love of [his] life.”

Baldwin’s relationship with Happersberger did not last—Happersberger would go on to marry three times—but Richards argues that the experience opened Baldwin’s eyes to the possibility of love as a gay man. “Baldwin broke the Love Laws with a man and a man who was white and from a different culture, but in a way that Baldwin had never experienced before because he had never fallen in love and been loved in this way,” Richards writes. 

The revelatory experience of this relationship, Richards argues, led Baldwin to develop the strong ethical voice in his essay, Notes of a Native Son, as well as his artistic voice in his first three novels, Go Tell It on the Mountain, Giovanni’s Room and Another Country. “The thing about Baldwin, which to me is so profound, is that he resists both racism and eventually homophobia together,” Richards says. “It’s key to that astonishing voice of his. [Through Happersberger,] he comes to see things he hadn’t seen before, and this amazing, ethical literary voice emerges.”

Richards credits his work with his long-time collaborator, Affiliated University Professor Carol Gilligan as the inspiration for this book. “I do think feminist voice is a very important part of the gay rights story. And I didn’t really understand it until I met Carol,” Richards says. “This book is really a development of ideas that were first suggested to me by her, and were really worked through in relationship to her.”

As for what lawyers, in particular, can take away from his research, Richards says, “They should have many more friendships and loves across these barriers. It doesn’t have to be sexual. To the extent that there is still self-segregation, that is a tragedy for everybody.” 

 

http://www.law.nyu.edu/news/ideas/David-Richards-love-justice

13 Basic Cooking Techniques Everyone Should Know ~ Natalie Brown

Amy Sefton / BuzzFeed

1. Chopping an onion:

The trick is: Slicing it into a little grid with a sharp knife. It still takes practice, but this method is ~super~ easy once you get the hang of it. Watch the full video here.

2. Frying an egg:

The trick is: Not flipping until the whites are firm enough. And, if you’re not feelin’ fancy, using a spatula to do the flipping. Watch the full video here.

3. Slicing a tomato (without getting juice everywhere):

13 Basic Cooking Techniques Everyone Should Know

The trick is: Using a serrated knife (like a tomato knife), and slicing gently using sawing motions. Watch the video here.

4. Cooking a pot of pasta:

13 Basic Cooking Techniques Everyone Should Know

Fill a pot with water. Boil (and make sure it’s srsly BOILING). Add a bunch of salt so your water is nice and ~briny~. Add pasta. Check after about 8 minutes of cooking: taste the pasta to make sure it’s as firm or mushy as you like it. 

You don’t have to use a giant pot like this one, but make sure you use one that’s big enough for the pasta to move around in the water. Otherwise, it might stick to itself. Watch the full video here, and learn how to measure out the perfect portions of spaghetti here.

5. Creaming butter and sugar:

The trick is: Using room temperature butter, and occasionally scraping down the sides. Watch the whole video here, and read more about why this is an important step here.

6. Leveling off flour for baking:

Leveling off flour for baking:

The trick is: Scooping more flour than you need into your measuring cup (or spoon). Read more about it here.

7. Cooking an onion until it’s translucent:

Raw, before they’re cooked.

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After 7 minutes or so of cooking.

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The trick is: Mostly leaving them alone, stirring only every minute or two! You’ll know they’re done when they’re slightly translucent, like in the photo above. Watch the full video here.

8. Chopping a clove of garlic:

The trick is: Using the heel of your hand to smash the clove beneath a wide, flat knife, so the papery skin comes off easily. Watch the full video here.

9. Browning ground beef:

13 Basic Cooking Techniques Everyone Should Know

The trick is: Thawing your meat completely before you start cooking it. Otherwise, some parts of the meat will cook more quickly than others, and in the end be overdone. Watch the whole video here.

10. Chopping romaine lettuce for a salad:

 

The trick is: cutting out the core, then cutting it into a grid shape (using a knife. Tearing it with your hands takes much longer). Watch the full video here.

11. Peeling a carrot:

13 Basic Cooking Techniques Everyone Should Know

The trick is: Running a vegetable peeler ~up and down~ the length of the carrot, gently turning the carrot as you go. Watch the full video here.

12. Pounding chicken breasts to an even thickness:

The trick is: Laying plastic wrap over the chicken, then pounding it with a meat mallet. Watch the video here here

Pro tip: Make sure to do it on a cutting board, to prevent cross-contamination.

13. Cooking a steak:

Cooking a steak:

The trick is: Seasoning it, searing it, basting it with butter, and being PATIENT. Get the full directions here.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/nataliebrown/13-basic-cooking-techniques-everyone-should-know#.dfkJYjy3OP

Ding-dong: The delivery scam that’s coming to your front door ~ Jeanine Skowronski

Ding-Dong: The Delivery Scam That's Coming to Your Front Door

Beware of strangers bearing gifts — according to the Better Business Bureau, scammers are putting a new and brazen spin on the skimming scheme this season.

In this scam, targets receive a call from a delivery company saying a package is on the way. Right on cue, a delivery man arrives with a gift basket sans card. (Some make an excuse, saying the card is being delivered separately.) Before the delivery man leaves, he asks the target to pay a nominal “verification fee” in order to receive the basket. Alternately, she’ll need to provide a debit or credit card in order to verify she’s of legal drinking age, as there’s wine in the basket. The delivery man plugs the info into a handheld scanner and — ta-da! — the scam is complete.

Consumers should know: These requests are just an excuse to “skim” the card’s account number, PIN and security code. Once the thief has this information, he can use the card to rack up fraudulent purchases or steal your identity.

Don’t Let It Happen to You

The BBB says to be suspicious of packages from an unrecognized delivery service and not to give credit card or debit card info to anyone at your door. Credit cards aren’t used to verify age, though a delivery man may ask for identification to prove you’re of legal drinking age if a parcel contains alcohol.

Remember, many scams crop up during the holidays. Watch out for phishing emails promoting great deals, fake retail websites, phony charities and pyramid schemes masquerading as social media gift exchanges. Verify any request for payment info, refrain from clicking on links in suspicious and unsolicited emails, shop only on trusted, encrypted sites and monitor your creditcard and debit card statements for signs of fraud.

Also monitor your credit if you have reason to believe your personal information has been compromised. You can pull your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com or view your credit scores for free each month on Credit.com. Signs your identity was stolen include mysterious addresses, unexplained dips in your scores and new accounts you never signed up for.

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ding-dong-delivery-scam-thats-140051956.html