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new note from amel: i always say

I always say,there's not much I know for sure. But I know this: go with your gut cuz its ALL you got. The only other thing I know for sure is death is a guarantee. Wealth,fame and material possessions don't get anyone a pass. Its coming and most of us don't even know when. I believe this is why its so important not to be afraid of death. There's no amount of wealth,technology or intelligence that can trick a car accident or a deadly cancer out of happening. I remember so vividly my first introduction to a wildly fear of death that has been hard to shake. I was in the second grade. Sitting at one of those pint sized tables for pint sized people;drawing with my peers during "quiet free time" or something. A boy whom I remember to be quite cunning and crass for a seven year old had sketched something that looked intriguing to me from my vantage point,upside down,across the table. Keep Reading >>

new note from amel: gift

i hope this time of year finds you healthy and centered. why did she choose "centered"?, you may be asking yourself. well, these man made holidays render our "selves" BANANAS. i'm not referring to the cherished time with loved ones which, for some, is the only window of opportunity to see said peeps. i am speaking of the holiday that leads us into a frenzy of buy,buy,buy; the time of year parents struggle to outdo last year whether or not their purse permits it; when everyone is busting their butt trying to figure out what to give that will prove to the receiver ," i care about you", or-in many cases- "i spent good money on you". do we really NEED anything more? sure: i need a good knife sharpener. wait: i WANT a knife sharpener. little marie in port-au-prince NEEDS a cholera kit and enough hot meals to sustain her life. our lil' family began a tradition of giving each other a bit less of the material gifts in order to give more to those that really NEED the gift. my dear mother began this when i was young, and i have found my own outlets for this kind of giving in my adult years. i am very excited to be able to share some of them with yall. the choices are plentiful: you can give the gift of something tangible like a goat for milking or medicine for a sick person, or a general donation to a cause that is close to your heart and this will be written in a card, in the name of the person you are giving it for, kinda like, in their honor. from personal experience, this specific gifting can be done with seva, the heifer project and doctors without borders. you can also purchase fair trade gifts-often handmade art- the proceeds of which go directly to the "third world" artisan creators. additionally, you can purchase gifts that directly benefit a group in need, which almost always come with some festive literature to explain "where" and "how" and "to whom" type of info. i will include these links at the end of this post. me or someone i trust has either contributed to or volunteered with these organizations, however, i encourage yall NOT to just take my word, but actually check them out. one in particular has a photo gallery of rwandan orphans in need of sponsors that has me wishin' i was a gazillionaire so i could sponsor every, last, beautifully innocent one...............Keep Reading >>

new note from amel: clearly not

This is a phrase I don't think I've ever used. Today, it kinda just fell out of my brain. On the rare occasion I allow myself to write in a free form flow, I end up with some stuff that seems like my subconscious self trying to tell me something. Clearly not doesn't seem relative to my life or thought process at all. I'm less inclined to think in a one sided manor. As I grow, I'm much more open to the possibility things won't normally be "clear". That's another way of saying, there's not just one answer to a question. Or maybe, I'm channeling that question oprah likes to ask celebrities about what they know for sure? I did just watch her interview with j.k. Rollins... I don't know much for sure besides I gave birth to my kids and married my husband and came from my mothers womb and love them all. Beyond that, I really don't know. And this may be where the phrase becomes relevant: I am a student of meditation and it is truly about learning to be ok with the blurriness, the unknown, in order to be present. Being present hasn't got conditions. I didn't know this before I began a meditation practice. Its a real trip, not being able to control your thoughts and not freaking out about it. When you have to be good with letting it be. Pema chodrin has said that meditation is not about making yourself better but rather embracing yourself the way you are, in the now. This is HARD for me. I'm so used to the idea of improvement, which is still a valuable trait to have. Doing this simultaneously with a self acceptance meditation is trippy. My brain is pulling in two directions hear this is the whole point: its not about a goal but rather practice. Isn't this so anti everything we've been taught? Goal upon goal til ones forgotten what it is to enjoy being. Of course, there's a fine line between being a lazy-ass and slowing down to embrace the moment. However, as many spiritual teachers would say, lazy is not a flaw as it is just a state of being and all states of being are to simply be processed. I appreciate this very different sentiment as I am one to border on self hate practices. Keep Reading >>

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