President of the United States

why i marched and what was it all about

#KeepPortlandWeird gets thrown around a lot around here, and this might be considered an example but for me it is an example of the greatness that is my hometown. Full of Whimsy and Bite. This photo was from an Instagram account that tagged themself at the event. The user name for the account was CarynRochelle and she even has her own blog    http://imnotevenmakingthisstuffup.blogspot.com/    her last post was all about cyber bullying, worth checking out.

#KeepPortlandWeird gets thrown around a lot around here, and this might be considered an example but for me it is an example of the greatness that is my hometown. Full of Whimsy and Bite. This photo was from an Instagram account that tagged themself at the event. The user name for the account was CarynRochelle and she even has her own blog http://imnotevenmakingthisstuffup.blogspot.com/ her last post was all about cyber bullying, worth checking out.

Like many men and women in this country I marched this weekend.

I marched on Saturday because I believe I was called to do so. When I found my purpose in life it was clear to me that it was not just to speak to hear my own voice but to speak up and our for those who cant. It was to use my voice to help other people find their own, especially women. For too long, women have had to quiet their voices. For too long we have been relegated to roles an ideals that limited us to objects. I marched because it is time that we are the subject. It is time that we are the force for change that will lead us all to a better place.

When I decided to march I did so without thought or consideration. I just knew it was something I had to do. I didn't think about who might join me. I didn't think about whether or not it was safe to march alone. I just knew I wouldn't be okay watching from a distance.

When  I decided that I wanted to write about the event, I knew I couldn't do it right away. I needed to sit with what had just happened. I needed to take it all in and sit in the emotion.

Because I sat with it, I experienced some of the aftermath that comes with expressing your views in the modern social media world we now live in. The Saturday that I had just experienced in elation turned in to a Sunday of sadness and confusion. 

let me explain...

Saturday, I woke up early, turned on C-SPAN and got ready while sitting on my living room floor. I wanted to see what was happening at the Women's March on Washington, DC and hear what all of these wonderful women had to say. With each speaker, tears fell from my face, none more than with the young 6 year-old Sophie Cruz stood with her family on stage.

She spoke with an eloquence and grace that most adults fail to muster and spoke out of her dreams and led a chant of "Si Se Puede" in front of the swelling crowd. In one instant I fell in awe and lost all sense of composure I had, not to mention every stitch of makeup I had just so carefully applied.  Between this young girls composure and spirit and the fact that we got to see in real time a mother become overwhelmed with pride for her young child, I was a goner. How in the world was I going to get through this day without succumbing to the weight of emotions that was sure to come?

i was humbled.

I know the language on my sign is strong. But I was just using the words that the President elect used when he objectified women and verbalized the value he saw in them. I chose the language on purpose. The goal of my sign was not to offend but rather to say that if we are to be strong women with a voice and view point we must exercise. Exercise our right to use our voice and have an opinion and speak up for it. (photo is mine)

I know the language on my sign is strong. But I was just using the words that the President elect used when he objectified women and verbalized the value he saw in them. I chose the language on purpose. The goal of my sign was not to offend but rather to say that if we are to be strong women with a voice and view point we must exercise. Exercise our right to use our voice and have an opinion and speak up for it. (photo is mine)

It was in this moment that sister-in-law and co-workers showed up at my door. It was also at this time that the skies opened up and rain fell by the bucketloads. We pulled out our umbrellas and walked to the Max Train (Portland Tri-Met's lightrail system).  The train was FULL of women in pink hats, positive message tee's and an unexpected amount of men and children standing by their side. The mood was jubilant, hopeful and contagious. It was there, that I decided to make my sign for the event. I knew that what I was writing might not be well received by all but the response from the people on the bus of all ages was that of joy and acceptance. 

for the second time that day i was humbled.

The train was packed, the windows were fogged up.It was because of this that de-boarding the train was so monumental. As we walked off the train into downtown Portland the sheer amount of people was overwhelming. Everywhere I looked I saw pink hats, signs of protest and positive energy.  We met more friends and co-workers. We made more signs. We walked to the rally stage.

Woah can we just talk about all of the people? They were truly everywhere.

This photo is the talent of local photographer Sara Ladu. What a great shot of the crowds i the rain. Check her out at  http://ladusphotos.tumblr.com/

This photo is the talent of local photographer Sara Ladu. What a great shot of the crowds i the rain. Check her out at  http://ladusphotos.tumblr.com/

Trudging through mud and rain we joined thousands of people under the Morrison bridge to listen. Well...we tried to listen but sadly couldn't hear much. The crowds were ready to march and you could hear the chants of "let us march" fill Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Finally after more than an hour, with soaking wet clothes and frozen muddy toes from the rain, the crowds started to move and with female led music we all started moving.  We were cheering, laughing and dancing. 

This photo is my own and was taken as we made our way from the muddy waterfront to the streets of Portland. Loved the sign.

This photo is my own and was taken as we made our way from the muddy waterfront to the streets of Portland. Loved the sign.

This is my own photo that someone in my group helped to capture. Here I am marching with like minded people. A moment I will forever be proud and humbled by. This is what democracy looks like

This is my own photo that someone in my group helped to capture. Here I am marching with like minded people. A moment I will forever be proud and humbled by. This is what democracy looks like

we were marching.

I am not sure how to explain the crowds or the emotions. There were so many. The best I can do is say that I was proud of my city and the people that make it a community. There were babies and kids, men and women, young and old and the energy was all love. The Portland Police were out, many of them donning their own pink hats and symbols of support. I personally thanked a few as we walked by for keeping us safe and heard the same sentiments coming from people throughout the march route.

Never have I experienced such an outpouring of love and support all directed at the female gender. Walking it felt like anything was possible. It felt that there was a reason to be hopeful and that love was bound to win. 

This is an image that    KGW New s   posted to show just a small sampling of the crowds. Reports had estimated 37k people had RSVP'd via Facebook while the final tally's estimated closer to 100k showed up. WOW!

This is an image that KGW News posted to show just a small sampling of the crowds. Reports had estimated 37k people had RSVP'd via Facebook while the final tally's estimated closer to 100k showed up. WOW!

again i was humbled

This photo is one of my own. As we were walking to the shuttle, I saw this kid outside of Pioneer Square holding his sign for all to see. I asked him if I could take his picture and his grace, eloquence and manners were beyond measure. He thanked me for wanting to take this picture. This is what the future should look like. Loved this kid and was so blessed to have just 15 seconds with him as he made his voice heard.

This photo is one of my own. As we were walking to the shuttle, I saw this kid outside of Pioneer Square holding his sign for all to see. I asked him if I could take his picture and his grace, eloquence and manners were beyond measure. He thanked me for wanting to take this picture. This is what the future should look like. Loved this kid and was so blessed to have just 15 seconds with him as he made his voice heard.

We made our way home on shuttles and the lightrail (Kudos to Tri-Met for a very well organized approach to the day). The faces of our fellow passengers  showed signs of cold, exhaustion and a weariness but there were also a signs of knowing and kinship. We were family. You could see, that like me, they were trying to reconcile the amazingness that we just experienced with what we were marching in response to. How do you reconcile such a huge outpouring of love exercising our rights with what had happened the day before? Was this day a fluke? If this many people felt this strongly how did we end up where we are politically?

A lot of these questions came across my social media feed that night and into Sunday. Some of these questions are fair, and some are short-sided. The one I heard the most was...

Why didn't all of these people vote?

They did.

Let us not forget that the other candidate won the popular vote. She won not by a small fraction of a percent but an overwhelming landscape of votes that some have calculated at 2.9Million. Let us not forget that most of these events were in the large cities that voted overwhelmingly for something different. These marches were a reflection of the fact that they did vote. 

Let's not get distracted with blame and shame. That is not what Saturday was all about.

As I looked through images of the march and even shared some of my own, I was struck by two things. 

ANGER.

I found this photo on the Women's March on Portland Facebook Site, submitted by a Daniel H. Maher and couldn't NOT share it. This is the kind of expression of anger that can only make you smile. Love that this kid is standing #withher and that the her in the situation is his Grandma. LOVE

I found this photo on the Women's March on Portland Facebook Site, submitted by a Daniel H. Maher and couldn't NOT share it. This is the kind of expression of anger that can only make you smile. Love that this kid is standing #withher and that the her in the situation is his Grandma. LOVE

People get brave when they can hide behind a computer. They say cruel and hurtful things. They become people that we rarely see in person. They criticize and make accusations, they post and report unfounded news that has no factual basis and therefore isn't actually news. They have quick trigger fingers when it comes to insults and to opinions that they express oftentimes in hurtful ways. Social media has become a weapon of sorts and nobody is immune. This happens on both sides of the political spectrum. So many people are upset that they choose to react rather than act with careful thought and consideration and because this is happening at such a fast pace it tends to get out of control.

And that really sucks but there is another way. The second thing that struck me was this.

LOVE.

One of my favorite things about the Women's March on Portland were the Kids. So many parents exposing their kids to standing up for what they believe in. It was beautiful and none more so than this kid and his sign shared on the Women's March on Portland Facebook Page by Alex Stamsos

One of my favorite things about the Women's March on Portland were the Kids. So many parents exposing their kids to standing up for what they believe in. It was beautiful and none more so than this kid and his sign shared on the Women's March on Portland Facebook Page by Alex Stamsos

There is a lot of love in this world. Those people that I marched alongside on Saturday were not a fluke. They were real and they were the personification of love.

We forget that living in this world is hard. We forget that we aren't the only ones who have it hard. Everyone has a story, a past that is full of both good and bad things. These things shape who we are as people. Some get shaped into people that are angry, bitter and ignorant while others get shaped into people who want more and use their experiences to work for more, to promote something better. The old saying of "don't judge someone until you have walked in their shoes" rings true.

I have decided to focus on the love.

I have decided that by doing this I will stand FOR SOMETHING, not against. When I marched on Saturday, I marched FOR SOMETHING. I put my anger and confusion aside and decided not to dwell in that negativity. I marched to instead focus on using my voice to speak up for something more. It would be easy for all of us to focus on the things that make us angry but the thing is...

This is my photo and the sign says it all. 

This is my photo and the sign says it all. 

anger and ignorance doesn't change hearts

Yes, at times these things can change minds of people, but it doesn't change hearts. When I think of the things that the new President represents I see a lot of bad things; racism, homophobia, disrespect for women, xenophobia and a general lack of understanding of what the majority of Americans go through my first thought is anger.

I can admit that. But that anger turns to sadness very quickly. That sadness gets compounded when I see that there are people who chose someone that represents those ideals. I get even sadder when I hear people say nothing at all and remain absent from the conversation. We all have our reason for what we do and how we choose to respond but this country was built on the backs of people who stood up for what was right and that is a tradition people on both sides seem to be proud of. Our country is not perfect, neither is its people but it is when brave men and women stand up and speak out against these imperfections that progress has occurred.

I choose this legacy. .  

While I was hurt today by some of what I heard around me and some of what I heard directed at me and I cried today more times than I would like to admit. It will not break me. I am ok.

I choose to stand up

I choose to stand out

I choose to speak up

I choose to speak out

I will not be silenced

I will not be complacent

I will fight for what is right

I will fight for love

I will be for something

i will lift up

i will be me

and i will use my gifts to make the world a better place that we can all be proud of 

Love, peace, equality and intelligence to all of you beautiful people out there. Thank you to all of the people around this country and beyond who organized, supported, watched over and had any involvement whatsoever on the beautiful example of democracy that happened on Saturday across the globe. To my friends, family and co-workers who marched alongside me, thank you isn't enough. I chose not to share a picture of us as there wasn't one of the whole group and I respect your privacy but please know that it was an honor to stand next to you and veryone who made their voices heard on this historic day.

i am humbled

It doesn't end here. Marching and protesting is one thing but like anything good we have to work to elicit change. not sure what to do? That's okay, the march organizers have given us some help. 10 Things in 100 Days. Click on the picture below to find out what you can do next.

10 Things in 100 Days, let's continue to make history and speak up and out to make our voices heard.

10 Things in 100 Days, let's continue to make history and speak up and out to make our voices heard.

P.S. I didn't even get to talk about all of the great signs that were out there. This one was definitely one of my favorites for the pure cleverness alone so I had to share. Hopefully it puts the same smile on your face that it did on mine.

I shared as a screen shot because I just liked the whole post. It was from an Instagram user named Jon Friedman and it is just great all around.

I shared as a screen shot because I just liked the whole post. It was from an Instagram user named Jon Friedman and it is just great all around.

Did you march? In Portland, DC, LA, anywhere else? Tell me why you marched. Let's start a dialog together.

 

glamour, the president and feminism for the 21st century

click through for source

click through for source

As I was deciding what to post today, I came across and article written by our President for Glamour Magazine. As I read it, tears hit my eyes and a swell of pride hit my chest. This is my President. He gets it. So rather than give you my commentary, I decided to just insert his words. Thank you Mr. President and Thank you Glamour Magazine.

You can read it below or online at Glamour Magazine where the article originated. Glamour Exclusive: President Barack Obama Says, "This Is What a Feminist Looks Like."

"There are a lot of tough aspects to being President. But there are some perks too. Meeting extraordinary people across the country. Holding an office where you get to make a difference in the life of our nation. Air Force One.

But perhaps the greatest unexpected gift of this job has been living above the store. For many years my life was consumed by long commutes­—from my home in Chicago to Springfield, Illinois, as a state senator, and then to Washington, D.C., as a United States senator. It’s often meant I had to work even harder to be the kind of husband and father I want to be.

But for the past seven and a half years, that commute has been reduced to 45 seconds—the time it takes to walk from my living room to the Oval Office. As a result, I’ve been able to spend a lot more time watching my daughters grow up into smart, funny, kind, wonderful young women.

That isn’t always easy, either—watching them prepare to leave the nest. But one thing that makes me optimistic for them is that this is an extraordinary time to be a woman. The progress we’ve made in the past 100 years, 50 years, and, yes, even the past eight years has made life significantly better for my daughters than it was for my grandmothers. And I say that not just as President but also as a feminist.

In my lifetime we’ve gone from a job market that basically confined women to a handful of often poorly paid positions to a moment when women not only make up roughly half the workforce but are leading in every sector, from sports to space, from Hollywood to the Supreme Court. I’ve witnessed how women have won the freedom to make your own choices about how you’ll live your lives—about your bodies, your educations, your careers, your finances. Gone are the days when you needed a husband to get a credit card. In fact, more women than ever, married or single, are financially independent.

So we shouldn’t downplay how far we’ve come. That would do a disservice to all those who spent their lives fighting for justice. At the same time, there’s still a lot of work we need to do to improve the prospects of women and girls here and around the world. And while I’ll keep working on good policies—from equal pay for equal work to protecting reproductive rights—there are some changes that have nothing to do with passing new laws.

In fact, the most important change may be the toughest of all—and that’s changing ourselves.

This is something I spoke about at length in June at the first-ever White House Summit on the United State of Women. As far as we’ve come, all too often we are still boxed in by stereotypes about how men and women should behave. One of my heroines is Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, who was the first African American to run for a major party’s presidential nomination. She once said, “The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, ‘It’s a girl.’ ” We know that these stereotypes affect how girls see themselves starting at a very young age, making them feel that if they don’t look or act a certain way, they are somehow less worthy. In fact, gender stereotypes affect all of us, regardless of our gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Now, the most important people in my life have always been women. I was raised by a single mom, who spent much of her career working to empower women in developing countries. I watched as my grandmother, who helped raise me, worked her way up at a bank only to hit a glass ceiling. I’ve seen how Michelle has balanced the demands of a busy career and raising a family. Like many working mothers, she worried about the expectations and judgments of how she should handle the trade-offs, knowing that few people would question my choices. And the reality was that when our girls were young, I was often away from home serving in the state legislature, while also juggling my teaching responsibilities as a law professor. I can look back now and see that, while I helped out, it was usually on my schedule and on my terms. The burden disproportionately and unfairly fell on Michelle.

So I’d like to think that I’ve been pretty aware of the unique challenges women face—it’s what has shaped my own feminism. But I also have to admit that when you’re the father of two daughters, you become even more aware of how gender stereotypes pervade our society. You see the subtle and not-so-subtle social cues transmitted through culture. You feel the enormous pressure girls are under to look and behave and even think a certain way.

life became a lot easier when I simply started being myself.

And those same stereotypes affected my own consciousness as a young man. Growing up without a dad, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who I was, how the world perceived me, and what kind of man I wanted to be. It’s easy to absorb all kinds of messages from society about masculinity and come to believe that there’s a right way and a wrong way to be a man. But as I got older, I realized that my ideas about being a tough guy or cool guy just weren’t me. They were a manifestation of my youth and insecurity. Life became a lot easier when I simply started being myself.

So we need to break through these limitations. We need to keep changing the attitude that raises our girls to be demure and our boys to be assertive, that criticizes our daughters for speaking out and our sons for shedding a tear. We need to keep changing the attitude that punishes women for their sexuality and rewards men for theirs.

We need to keep changing the attitude that permits the routine harassment of women, whether they’re walking down the street or daring to go online. We need to keep changing the attitude that teaches men to feel threatened by the presence and success of women.

We need to keep changing the attitude that congratulates men for changing a diaper, stigmatizes full-time dads, and penalizes working mothers. We need to keep changing the attitude that values being confident, competitive, and ambitious in the workplace—unless you’re a woman. Then you’re being too bossy, and suddenly the very qualities you thought were necessary for success end up holding you back.

We need to keep changing a culture that shines a particularly unforgiving light on women and girls of color. Michelle has often spoken about this. Even after achieving success in her own right, she still held doubts; she had to worry about whether she looked the right way or was acting the right way—whether she was being too assertive or too “angry.”

As a parent, helping your kids to rise above these constraints is a constant learning process. Michelle and I have raised our daughters to speak up when they see a double standard or feel unfairly judged based on their gender or race—or when they notice that happening to someone else. It’s important for them to see role models out in the world who climb to the highest levels of whatever field they choose. And yes, it’s important that their dad is a feminist, because now that’s what they expect of all men.

It is absolutely men’s responsibility to fight sexism too.

It is absolutely men’s responsibility to fight sexism too. And as spouses and partners and boyfriends, we need to work hard and be deliberate about creating truly equal relationships.

The good news is that everywhere I go across the country, and around the world, I see people pushing back against dated assumptions about gender roles. From the young men who’ve joined our It’s On Us campaign to end campus sexual assault, to the young women who became the first female Army Rangers in our nation’s history, your generation refuses to be bound by old ways of thinking. And you’re helping all of us understand that forcing people to adhere to outmoded, rigid notions of identity isn’t good for anybody—men, women, gay, straight, transgender, or otherwise. These stereotypes limit our ability to simply be ourselves.

This fall we enter a historic election. Two hundred and forty years after our nation’s founding, and almost a century after women finally won the right to vote, for the first time ever, a woman is a major political party’s presidential nominee. No matter your political views, this is a historic moment for America. And it’s just one more example of how far women have come on the long journey toward equality.

I want all of our daughters and sons to see that this, too is their inheritance. I want them to know that it's never just about the Benjamin's; i'ts about the Tubmans too. And I want them to help do their part the ensure that America is a place where every single child can make of her life what she will.. 

That's what twenty-first century feminism is about, the idea that when everybody is equal, we are all more free." 

boom. microphone drop.

What a great way to get inspired before the weekend. 

weight of a moment - why #imwithher matters

When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.”
— Hillary Clinton

Last week, our nation experienced a historic moment. Much has been said about this moment, both positive and negative. Me being me, I would like to focus on the positive. The positive is simple.

96 years ago on August 18th the 19th amendment was ratified. This amendment gave women their unalienable right to vote in the United States of America.1

California delegates hold up signs as they cheer for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Thursday, July 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)   THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SOURCE:  http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2016-07-28/ap-explains-long-history-of-women-running-for-president

California delegates hold up signs as they cheer for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Thursday, July 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SOURCE: http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2016-07-28/ap-explains-long-history-of-women-running-for-president

Less than 100 years ago, women like myself were unable to take a stand and vote in this, our progressive country that promises equality for all. Now, anyone who has a television, computer, phone or is just reading the good old fashioned newspaper knows that this country hasn’t exactly lived up to its “equality for all” promise. Those same media outlets I mentioned about will probably offer varying opinions on the validity of my statement and I am not here to start an argument or debate with any one.

I am here to say that many women have used their voice, intelligence and strength of character to get us to this moment. The excitement of the first women receiving the honor of being a major political party nominee for the office of the President of the United States is just that, exciting.

I realized the other day, however that the weight of this moment might not fully be understood by everyone because for some reason, the concept of representation isn't understood. 

representation matters

It matters because despite having faith, too often in a culture that has at your fingertips accessibility to just about everything, seeing is believing.

For much of the last two centuries, every sitting United States President has represented one basic group. Caucasian and privilege. While this does not automatically mean that they do not have the good of the people in mind as they enact laws and regulations for this country, it certainly does provide some distance from some of our countries most glaring problems and inconsistencies. 

When Barack Obama used the slogan "Yes We Can" as part of his platform for election, it resonated because it involved inclusion and an understanding of the plight of people beyond just the status quo.  Millions of citizens who had been denied the right to vote based on their race were able to not visualize change for themselves. They could see someone "just like them" rise to the highest office in this country. That means something. 

We have seen and heard it time and time again in the world of media, where people saw someone that looked like them and realized that there was possibility out there. So, why not in politics?

Well, that same concept was realized last week as Hillary Clinton accepted a major parties nomination to be their candidate for the United States of America. Young girls and women were able to see for the first time something amazing...

possibility

The possibility that change can indeed happen, even at the highest levels of bureaucracy.  This change is not without its challenges. Just look at the questions and media attention that surround this female candidate opposed to her male counterparts thought the entire run thus far. Look at the amount of free air time given to her opponent (understandably, this is for soundbites, just as much as gender bias). So much free air time in fact that her opponent, has needed to do little to know actual campaign ads, in contrast with record spending for Hillary to get her message out to the people.

But, as with any trailblazers, you get burned quite a bit setting a new path. With each ditch, burn and road block, you get up, you start again. Because of her, other women have this possibility. Because of women before Hillary, like Victoria WoodHull (1872), Gracie Allen (1940), Shirley Chisholm (1972), Linda Jenness (1972) and Jill Stein (2012) who all ran for president to varying degrees of success, Hillary saw the possibility. 

These images came from various sources on line and are not my own. For an article detailing the ladies who fought before this election, checkout this great article from    Time Magazine: 5 Other Women Who Ran For President  or checkout each of their names above to be redirected to some background info on each one of them

These images came from various sources on line and are not my own. For an article detailing the ladies who fought before this election, checkout this great article from Time Magazine: 5 Other Women Who Ran For President or checkout each of their names above to be redirected to some background info on each one of them

These were not the only women to blaze a trail towards the most coveted office of the land. Here is a list of others who also ran for the office of President of the United States and put a crack or two into the ceiling. (SOURCE:)

cracks in the ceiling

Victoria Woodhull (1872)

Belva Lockwood (1884, 1888)

Laura Clay (1920) 

Gracie Allen (1940) 

Margaret Chase Smith (1964)

Charlene Mitchell (1968)

Shirley Chisholm (1972)

Linda Jenness (1972)

Patsy Takemoto Mink (1972)

Evelyn Reed (1972)

Ellen McCormack (1976, 1980)

Margaret Wright (1976)

Deidre Griswold (1980)

Sonia Johnson (1984)

Gabrielle Holmes (1984)

Isabelle Masters (1984, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004)

Patricia Schroeder (1988)

Lenora Fulani (1988, 1992)

Willa Kenoyer (1988)

Gloria E. LaRiva (1992)

Susan Block (1992)

Helen Halyard (1992)

Millie Howard (1992, 1996)

Monica Moorehead (1996, 2000)

Marsha Feinland (1996)

Mary Cal Hollis (1996)

Heather Anne Harder (`1996)

Elvena E. Lloyd-Deffie (1996)

Gerogina H. Doerschuck (1996)

Susan Gail Ducey (1996)

Ann Jennings (1996)

Diane Beall Templin (1996)

Joanne Jorgensen (1996)

Elizabeth Dole (2000)

Cathy Gordon Brown (2000)

Carol Moseley Braun (2004)

Hillary Rodham Clinton (2008, 2016)

Cynthia McKinney (2008)

Michelle Bachmann (2012)

Peta Lindsay (2012)

Jill Stein (2012)

Roseanne Barr (2012)

Carly Forinia (2016)


As I was researching items for this post and watching the Democratic National Convention I noticed an awesome hashtag #centenariansforclinton. It was awesome, because it was mainly being promoted by women over the age of 100. This mean that these women, born when it was illegal for them to vote can potential see the possibility of a woman in office before the end of their life. I dare anyone to tell these women that representation doesn't matter.

SOURCE: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/meet-jerry-emmett-arizonas-102-year-old-honorary-delegate-to-the-democratic-national-convention-8472872

SOURCE: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/meet-jerry-emmett-arizonas-102-year-old-honorary-delegate-to-the-democratic-national-convention-8472872

I surely didn’t plan to live past 100 years old,” she says. “When I did, and I saw all these things that were happening, it was like I had a shot in the arm.” She became even more enthusiastic about getting Democrats elected.
— Jerry Emmett, 102 year old Arizona Delegate
Ruline Steininger, 103 might have given my favorite quote (seen below)   I MAGE SOURCE: 

Ruline Steininger, 103 might have given my favorite quote (seen below) IMAGE SOURCE: 

After giving this problem much serious thought and consideration, I have come to the decision that I must live to do my part November 2016, I can die later!”
— Ruline Steininger, 103 years old

As for me, I am recognizing the moment and reflecting on the possibility. 

waiting is for chumps & i don't know about you, but i ain't no chump

The bad news: there is no key to the universe. The good news: it was never locked...
— Author Unknown
my quest for experiences often means doing things that terrify me beyond any explanation. Proof of that is this Indoor Skydiving adventure with    I  Fly Seattle.

my quest for experiences often means doing things that terrify me beyond any explanation. Proof of that is this Indoor Skydiving adventure with I Fly Seattle.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I want to have a life of experiences.  I'm talking about big, scare the crap out of you, never regret missing out experiences. I do my best to do the things I have always wished I could do. Here’s the thing though, I let life get in the way sometimes.  I don’t know why, but I guess I just let fear and anxiety get in my way.  I suppose I’m not alone in this.  There’s a multi-million dollar book industry out there called “self help” to prove that I’m not alone.  We really are our worst enemy sometimes, or at the very least our biggest obstacle.

But why?

Why do we block our blessings when they are so obviously heading straight for us like a freight train? What are we so afraid of?  Better yet, how do we move past this type of thinking?  How do we move from fantasizing about the life we want and start living the life we want?

Yes, I do realize that the    Denver Airport    was not in fact trying to inspire me to take action with this sign. They really just wanted me to drive in circles until my person had arrived but inspiration comes in places you would least expect

Yes, I do realize that the Denver Airport was not in fact trying to inspire me to take action with this sign. They really just wanted me to drive in circles until my person had arrived but inspiration comes in places you would least expect

I saw this sign at the Denver airport that said “no waiting” and it suddenly clicked.  I now knew the answer to everything.  I took my picture which you can see below and went on my way.  For weeks afterward I sat myself down to reflect on what appeared so simple at the airport.  Only it didn’t seem so simple anymore.  “No Waiting”.  The phrase and the picture (a photographic gem if I do say so myself.  Thanks Hipstamatic) speak to me.  I just can’t seem to fully hear what the words are really saying.  It’s almost as if it is a whisper or worse, a riddle that I have to figure out.  It can’t really be that easy, can it?  Stop waiting? 

Or can it?

You can't just decide to STOP WAITING. You have to put some action into it. Here is part of my action...goal setting each year with intention. This is no joke, it's a long process and not done alone, you need accountbility when you stop waiting and we are not the best at doing that for ourselves.

You can't just decide to STOP WAITING. You have to put some action into it. Here is part of my action...goal setting each year with intention. This is no joke, it's a long process and not done alone, you need accountbility when you stop waiting and we are not the best at doing that for ourselves.

What happens if we stop waiting?  Well…I suppose we stop waiting!  But what are we waiting for anyways?  Someone to tell us it’s okay to be happy, successful, content, delighted, loved?  Come on, we are grown ass men & women here (excuse my language).  We know our worth, right?  We know that we deserve all of those things I listed and much more, right? We tell our friends and loved ones all the time, that they deserve better than what they are accepting, don’t we believe the same for ourselves?


I think we do.  I KNOW I do.

The day I decided to stop waiting on top of a hike in New Mexico at    Ojo Caliente    New Years 2013

The day I decided to stop waiting on top of a hike in New Mexico at Ojo Caliente New Years 2013

So, after a lot of time trying to complicate the matter I have decided to follow the direction of the sign, as I am convinced that it was just that, a sign.  I am not going to wait.  I’m gonna stop waiting for life to happen. I’m gonna stop waiting for someone to tell me what I think I want to hear.  I’m gonna stop waiting for something easy to come along.

Here is where I buried all my excuses. In the middle of the hike I found a spot. Took out a piece of paper and wrote all of the negative thoughts and things that were making me wait to live. I buried them in the sand, said a little prayer and left them there in the middle of that cold New Mexican Desert. And guess what?  Things started happening...

Here is where I buried all my excuses. In the middle of the hike I found a spot. Took out a piece of paper and wrote all of the negative thoughts and things that were making me wait to live. I buried them in the sand, said a little prayer and left them there in the middle of that cold New Mexican Desert. And guess what?  Things started happening...

Now I’ve heard it all before, “you have to be patient” but I believe that there is a difference between patience and ambivalence.  I think people live lives of ambivalence a lot of the time, waiting for someone, anyone to tell them it’s okay to LIVE and enjoy life, to experience it in all of its glory. So I will exercise patience when it is needed, but I will no longer wait for the sake of waiting.

I’m going after the life I want.  I’m taking every opportunity to grab every piece of happiness, love, pure unadulterated joy, success and delight that I can and I’m bringing you with me, because…well why not?


Before I leave, I thought I would share a few quotes about waiting from some people who know/knew what they were talking about.

So, my question for all of today is...

what are WE waiting for?

we have to be better...

Yesterday The President of the United States joined Twitter. His goal is to continue with more transparency with the public. 

Upon tweeting for the first time, a number of people decided to greet him with what can only be described as hate. Using derogatory and racist language.

As you know my goal here is to focus on positive content that lifts up other people. So I am not going to post these tweets here or even give any more attention to them than the sentence above.


So, why am I mentioning it at all? It is simple really, I believe in speaking out and speaking up. I am NOT here to argue politics.  I AM here to spread love and positivity. We should all be here to do that. 

We have to BE BETTER.

Regardless of how you feel politically, regardless if it is the President of the United States or your neighbor down the street, we are supposed to love each other. We are supposed to support each other, lift each other up and wish for only good things to happen

People that use their voice to spread negativity do nothing except create more negativity.

SO again, why am I writing this? I realize my thoughts are slightly scattered and for that I apologize but when I saw this on the news I cried, literally cried out loud. How is it that people can be so cruel? How can they hide behind a social media handle? How can this type of negative, racist thinking still exist? Who teaches hate?  


I am writing this to remind people that 

WE ALL HAVE A VOICE!

What we do with that voice is a huge responsibility. You get to decide if you use it to change the world for the better or contribute to negativity and hate.

If you never read another word I write, disconnect me from social media, do me one favor.

use your voice for something better.

how will you use your voice?

I will continue to use mine to be a positive voice online and beyond that lifts people up through storytelling and experiences. I will return to normal posting Friday but had to get this off of my mind. Thank you for understanding.