Donald Glover looking very JW like

Did you know Donald Glover (best known for playing “Troy” on NBC’s Community) was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness?  Here’s a little bit about what it was like for him growing up JW during Christmas:,,20443784,00.html

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

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01 Oct 2011

Has it really been this long since I’ve posted?!  I’m sooo sorry.  I have issues…writing issues to be specific.  I have A LOT of issues but for the purpose of this post I’m sticking to the writing issues.

First of all, the possibility of an active Jehovah’s Witness reading my blog and making it their mission to make sure that the organization is kept “clean” from apostate influence (like myself) scares the shit out of me.  Sounds paranoid you say?  It is, unfortunately, oh so true.  They really do pride themselves in keeping things “pure” in their community.  If you have been baptized in the organization and don’t walk the walk and talk the talk there is no room for you among the JW’s and you are indeed labeled as evil (further info on “The Big C” post).  So there’s that.

Then there is the whole childhood/angst teen trauma.  I used to write…a lot.  I wrote my first poem at age 4.  It was about my cat.  From then on, I wrote all the time.  Poems, greeting cards, short-stories, and even started a novel at age 13 (romance/mystery about 2 journalist-what did I know).  And then it happened.  I wrote something brilliant, beautiful, wonderful and, according to my hyper-religious family, absolutely demonic!   I was in 8th grade and had been reading Edgar Allan Poe.  I was absolutely inspired and wrote this 2 part poem about a dead person decomposing and having complete consciousness as it happened.  *GASP!* I know gruesome, but beautiful in a way.   At the time I thought it was the best thing I had ever written.  Because I had such a great response from my schoolmates, I decided to share it with my family, my mom specifically.  My aunt and uncle, whom I thought were totally cool because they were younger than my parents and didn’t have kids (devout JW’s themselves), were visiting from out of town.  They read it too.  They. Were. Horrified.  When I tried to explain about the Poe influence, my uncle quickly retorted that Poe was an opium addict and was heavily influenced by demons (according to JW belief anybody that uses drugs opens themselves to demons and their influences including possession).  Evil. Wicked. Ungodly.  Just some of the adjectives used to describe what I had written.  So basically at 13/14 I was told that the best thing I had ever written was a work of Satan and Jehovah God, my heavenly father and creator, hated it and it was a horrible thing I had done.  And just to drive the point home, and make sure I wasn’t inviting Satan and his demons into our household, my mom burned the original copy, the only copy I had, right there in the kitchen, in front of everyone.  It took me 3 years before I attempted any sort of creative writing again, 5 years before I tried writing another poem.  My writing never sounded the same again.

Now I stress and panic when I write.  Even writing a simple thank you or email makes my heart palpitate.  Twitter completely freaks me out and puts a kink in my colon.  But I’m determined to get over this.  I will not let religulous beliefs take away my passion away forever!…Even if it takes me 8 months between posts and gives me digestive issues.

Here’s my commitment:  From this day forward, till the death of this blog, I promise to write and post something at least every 2 weeks.  If you read this and you come back in 2 weeks and I haven’t posted (within a day or two since I do have a toddler running around), feel free to kick my ass!  Thank you.

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My Birthday

19 Feb 2011

Today is my birthday.  I am 36 years old and I have never celebrated my birthday, not one childhood party, not one special dinner, not one night out for drinks with friends, not even a birthday call from my parents.  If one of my parents happened to call on my birthday it was a moot point unless I said something and which would be replied with a quick, “oh is that today”.  That would be the extent of that subject.

Growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness it’s just one more thing that is/was taboo.  JW’s don’t celebrate birthdays because, just like most other celebrations and holidays, it has its origins in pagan traditions.  In fact early Christians didn’t celebrate Jesus’ birthday or any birthdays for that matter because it was a ritual only followed by pagans.  Even the birthday cake has its beginnings in non-Christian beliefs.  And of course there was always the explanation all good JW boys and girls will spout if questioned; you should only bring glory and honor to God and not yourself and the only time the Bible mentions birthday celebrations was in reference to pagans celebrating it.  The first mention is of a Pharaoh in Genesis 40:20 and the other was King Herod in Matthew 14:6-13.  In both instances people were murdered as part of the celebration, including John the Baptist who was beheaded and then had his head served on a platter.  Repeating this little tidbit of biblical information did wonders for my popularity in grade school.

I remember when I had recently moved schools during third grade and my new school “friend” (I say “friend” because Witnesses aren’t really suppose to have close friends outside the faith but that’s a whole other post) had handed me an invitation to her birthday party.  I quickly and valiantly spewed out my biblical and moral standing on the matter, proudly proclaiming my faith, making sure that everyone within a five foot radius could would hear every detail, especially the part where the very man that baptized Jesus had his head cut off and served up on a silver platter.  Her 8 year old eyes stared back at me in slight shock and quietly informed me that they most definitely wouldn’t be murdering anyone at her party.

Yes, this scene played out a couple more times but it didn’t take long before everyone in school knew that I was that weird Jehovah’s Witness kid that doesn’t celebrate anything.  I never did get another invitation after that.

Growing up as a JW you just don’t know any different and are brought up to really wear those beliefs like a badge of honor.  If anyone ridicules you or says anything in opposition about it, you just take it as an affirmation of being persecuted for following and honoring the only true God, knowing you will finally be compensated in the end with everlasting life in paradise.

Then one day you turn 36 or 33 or 18 or whatever age it is that you find yourself on a different path, questioning all that you’ve been taught to believe to be the absolute truth.  You wonder, humm, shouldn’t all life be celebrated?  Doesn’t everyone deserve to feel special for at least one day out of the year? If there is a god out there whose supremacy seriously feels threatened by my observation and jubilation of the day I was born, then I think he’s a total douchebag!

So even if there is no one else to sing it for me…“Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me…”

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The Big “C”

29 Jan 2011

Okay… so in looking back I have realized something disturbing… I have not blogged about what I said I was going to blog about!  There hasn’t been any real sharing about the challenges in my spiritual transformation, no drama, not much vomiting really.  So it’s time to get serious, let go of the fear (more on this later).

So here is something semi juicy or at least something that could cause major havoc if it all comes out:

I celebrated CHRISTMAS for the first time EVER!  I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal.  I mean what’s the big whoop.  Just about everybody in North America that grew up even somewhat Christian celebrates Christmas.  For GODS-SAKE  even Atheists celebrate Christmas!  Well not if you grew up in my religion.  A person is considered apostate if you are even remotely associated with celebrating it.  It is absolute blasphemy and completely forbidden!  It is an absolute kicking out offense meaning anyone who is part of the religious organization is not allowed to talk to you… ever… not even to greet you or acknowledge you… no one … not even your own mother or father!  Unfortunately, my whole family, at least the ones that we were close too (this is due to the fact that our religion discourages close association with non-members even family members), are all part of the organization.  All the close friends I’ve ever had are or have been part of the organization- except for one friend and, believe it or not, my really, really awesome current husband.  I say current because, due to the fact you “shouldn’t” marry outside the religion, I married twice before within this faith.

To be honest, I have partaken in a bit of festivities since my husband’s family is not part of this organization.  In fact it was one of the few things he asked of me when we married … that I go with him to his parent’s during Christmas.  The first few years I would go with my now 14 yr old in tow, whom I was determined to raise in the faith.  My in-laws would be so respectful and kind.  They wouldn’t go without getting him a gift but would always wrap it in non-holiday paper.  What’s funny is that my husband’s family is so non-festive, like no singing or wacky traditions.  So if it wasn’t for the Christmas tree, wrapped presents, and the occasional “Merry Christmas” said among themselves you couldn’t even tell there were Christmas celebrations going on.  It was just everybody hanging out and eating.  So after a couple of years I didn’t feel so guilty and awkward or leaving the room when they gathered around the tree to open presents.  Then I even started helping my dear husband pick out presents but we would again use non-holiday gift wrap.  Who was I kidding?!  I was part of it… I was celebrating!  It was just these little things I would do to not be fully participating to soothe my guilty conscience and make it somewhat safe and less blasphemous.

The really bad part though was that I was constantly afraid.  When my shopping  cart would be full of toys and non-holiday wrapping paper I was terrified of running into one of the church members during the holidays.  I could just see it, they would see me at the store and give me a nice warm greeting and huge hug and then their eyes would drift down to the cart as their expression would change to confusion and then the questions would start… So who are you shopping for? Doing some “Christmas” shopping *insert uncomfortable laugh*?… which would be followed by my look of terror and own uncomfortable laughter and then the lying my ass off would start.  It never happened, thankfully, but I was constantly stretching the truth with my family about what we were up to during the holiday season.

Since we moved this past year to a different city where I haven’t made contact with another congregation I didn’t have to look over my shoulder as much as I stacked the toys up high in my cart and had official holiday wrapping paper, including Christmas cards.  I bought holiday themed pajamas for my DH and two boys and tried to start some of our own traditions.  I even let my DH hang up one strand of Christmas lights around one of our apartment windows.  No tree though.  I wouldn’t of minded doing more decorating with tree and lights but I was afraid of the possibility of my family or a friend randomly coming in from out of town and catching us in the the act with mayhem ensuing.  One strand of lights, easy, fast tear-down in a pinch.

So yes, I officially celebrated the big “C” amidst the fear and my own internal conflict still, maneuvering through what I was willing to do or how far I was willing to go.  It was scary and confusing and fun and exhilarating… and sad because it is soo hard to let go of everything I knew even if it doesn’t serve me anymore.

"self portrait with Christmas lights" by Ryan Schultz 2008

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We are…

11 Sep 2010

full of power, light, and love.  No one can take that away from us except ourselves.  Even if we believe it to the core that some one else is taking these gifts from us, ultimately it is only a perception, a hologram reflecting back what we are doing.  We are truly the most powerful and the most special.  Believe it, know it, own it.

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Something healing

22 Aug 2010

It came up for me to color a mandala today to help me shift some old patterns and retain some really good ones regarding some big transitions my family and I are going through.  I found some mandalas to print and color here.  Scroll down when you get to that page to find over a hundred of them.  Thought I’d share.  As I colored the many geometric shapes within, it really brought me peace.   I focused on all the positive thoughts and visualizations drifting in and out of my consciousness of things to come for my family.  May you find them as useful and healing as I did.

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03 Jun 2010

It’s raining. The glow of lightning dances on my walls darkened by the clouded night’s sky. Even though all the windows are shut I can still smell the rain permeating the air… or is it just a memory being triggered by my other senses?  Can you smell it’s sweetness?

I watched A Single Man tonight. It’s brilliance aroused and triggered many senses and emotion. I am not a gay man but the experience of loving and losing someone so passionately, so completely,  feels so universal.  Even if you have yet to love you still have a sense, that yearning, that burning for the one still to come.   You can just close your eyes and absolutely feel their soft touch on your lips.  If you are in the middle of loving still, the pure idea of what it would feel like to have them ripped from your life is absolutely gut-wrenching and all consuming. The mere possibility of such an event is almost too much, in and of itself, to bear.  This film managed to transport me through all those feelings, with sprinklings of hope and jus de vie, whether or not it was already my own experience, my own memory… my own bittersweet summer rain.

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09 May 2010

I was born on an island and spent the first part of my childhood there. I was surrounded by beautiful beaches, lush green mountains, gorgeous expressions of nature, and lots of family and friends. It was a more simple, yet vibrant, life. Once we moved to the states, we would visit extended amounts of time every couple of years until I became an adult and was living on my own.

Today when I stepped into the shower I caught a slight smell that instantly thrust-ed me back to my homeland. The scent of the water, the feel of the moisture in the air, on my skin, I was home all over again and it made me ponder. What if my dad had not been transferred to the states when I was eight? How would’ve my life unfolded? Who would I be married to now… would I have children…how many? Would I have kept my figure and stayed more active instead of becoming slothful and fat? Would my skin be delightfully kissed by the sun therefore showing more of my heritage? Would I have continued in the religion that has been so heavily imprinted in my family lineage? Would I be/feel happy?  All these possibilities left in an abandoned past.

So then the question arises, is it a complete waste of time and energy, being eternally ungrateful in the present to think about the what ifs, or is it just truly a fascinating exercise, a glimpsing into, in the fashion of Hugh Everett, an alternate universe? It amuses me to think about the possibility of an alternate me in an alternate reality that is living that alternate life back on the island. Has  she eventually also made her way to the states or has she found her success and destiny there?  Does she feel beautiful, powerful, complete?  Has her life unfolded the way she visualized it so long ago?  Or is she wistfully pondering about me?

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May Day

03 May 2010

Here it is, another month beginning as we transition from the sweet coolness of spring air and already delving into the perspiration inducing heat that is a southern summer. I find myself still in limbo between true satisfaction of knowing my true north and where my life path surely is leading me to and the constant pull holding me back in the grips of severe depression, old patterns, and beliefs that no longer serve my purpose.

It is a very lonely place when you are going through chaos and discomfort, especially in the form of severe depression and dis-ease, when you are a practitioner of healing arts and your clients come to you for healing in those very same areas. I feel like I should have it all together if I truly am a professional in such a field. My specialty is clearing away old patterns that hold people back from reaching their highest potential and they look to me for guidance, clarity, and example.  I am good at what I do.  People have discernible, visible, positive results when they come and see me.  Would they still see my value and the value of what I do if I tell the truth, if I come out and  say, “hey I’m sorry I didn’t call you back for a long, inappropriate for a consummate professional, length of time.  I’ve been so depressed that I’m lucky to be able to get out of bed and take care of my kids. Motherhood is really kicking my ass this time and my child who already turned  a year old still wakes up 10 times a night.  I’ve tried working on myself but  I can’t seem to have a break thru using my therapy and tools.  I haven’t been able to go to someone else to work on me either because, oh yeah, btw, I haven’t been able to clear my money and success issues, so I’m really broke.”   I’m sure if I said all that they would be coming to me in droves.

Colbert Life Coach- perfect Simpsons depiction of what I'm talking about if you're a fan

So here I sit in solitude between the brink of despair and one day a possible break through that sticks; hoping for and easy transition between the two like two seasons blending into each other; hoping for cool summer breezes to bring relief and balance to the forging heat of the summer months ahead.  Rise phoenix rise!

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20 Feb 2010

Yesterday was my birthday.  I turned 35.  I cried.  I cried because I wanted to pray and I had no one to pray to, or at least I couldn’t figure out who or how to pray and what would be the point.  You see I have lost my God or the perception I had of who and what God is.  I am in the middle of a transition and transformation and the beliefs I was raised with and wholeheartedly, with every stitch of my being, believed in just don’t make sense anymore.  That road can no longer be the path I must travel.  Right now as my tower of faith and all I believed in crumbles I am left in limbo.  My vision is obscured for the moment by the fog of dust left behind yet to settle and I thus far cannot see the other side.  I must learn patience and faith in that the source of which all is created is pure light and pure love, the source of where all of us come from, until my phoenix rises from the ashes once again.

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