Addiction explained by YouTube Videos

weight of the world picAddiction hurts families. It doesn’t matter if you are a user or bystander, drug addiction hurts everyone. I know it can be hard to bridge the gap. Users and the ones that love them have trouble understanding each other’s feelings and struggles. Someone without drug experience can’t fathom the appeal. While, someone trying to get clean can’t explain the overpowering feelings of withdraw. Drugs change people. Heavy drug use changes your brain chemistry. Many people will have lasting effects to their cognitive, emotional, and psychological processes. Drug induced psychosis is just one of many dangers like heart attack and stroke.



Phase one: Initiation

Mike Posner- I took a pill in Ibiza (Seeb Remix)

Phase two: Denial

Amy Winehouse – Rehab (featuring Jay-Z)

Phase three: Acceptance

Macklemore x Ryan Lewis Other Side

Phase 4: Regret
It’s been a while stain

Phase 5: Recovery
Pink Just like Fire

Salt and Light

church windowLife is nothing more than an endless cycle of blessing and trials. A walk with God is not for the faint of heart. Many times, your life actually gets harder before it gets better. We are blessed to have overcome misfortune and turmoil. Grittiness is actually the biggest predictor of success. The difference between success and failure is if you get up after getting knocked down. The bible calls believers to be salt and light, but what does that mean?

Matthew 5:13-16

Verse 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

Verse 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Let’s break that down into two concepts: salt and light.

Salt is a spice that is unique because it enhances other flavors. Added to stew it can be savory. Sprinkled on fruit it makes the fruit’s natural flavor sweeter. Added to coffee it makes it smoother and counteracts the bitterness. To be “the salt of the earth” means you should be enhancing others. It doesn’t matter if you are a CEO developing a management team, or a stay at home mom (the backbone of the family). To really thrive in whatever God has called you to do, you should have someone you admire that you can go to for advice and also be pouring into someone else you can help because of your unique experiences.

To be the light of the world is a hefty commandment. Jesus basically asks us to be influential in our social circles and community. This is something that we can only accomplish if we are serious. Does it say “push our religion down your unsuspecting friend’s throats”? Does it say to “act holier than thou and make people feel subservient to your new found insight”? Does it ask you to only associate with other Christians? No. No. And no. This commandment can really only be fulfilled if you are walking with God. I heard a wonderful sermon once that asked a very simple question, “Can you stand in the lime light and reflect the image of God within you?” This is hard for a lot of people. Human nature causes us to chase accolades not the image of the meek that shall inherit the earth.

I Will Follow Even When I Can’t See

mother teresaJesus taught us how to pray in Mat 6:10 “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” A prayer that easier to say than to live. In life, I’ve had my share of disappointment. So many times I feel as though I am walking in the dark and all I want is for God to let me in on his plans for me. I know that nothing that’s great is ever easy. At the same time, some hardships are God’s way of trying to get us to change course. It’s only in our ability to look back and see what we were spared from, by him.

I look at my life as a series of seemingly meaningless events that in all, brought me to where I am now. It’s only in the after that we can look at the conglomerate of experiences and be grateful for what we have and where we are now. Life brings with it, its fair share of heartache and storms that shape us into the people we are meant to become. In the midst, it’s easy to feel alone and disappointed, to blame God for our misfortune and feel a bit forsaken. I know I’ve been there and I’m sure it’s a universal experience. It’s through a tempering process that Iron becomes steel. It’s the same in our lives. The people with the greatest testimonies have faced circumstances no one wants to experience. Faith is built from hardship.

I am reminded today as I have dinner with my husband of just how lucky I am to be right where I am. I’m not sure how it will all work out, only that it will. When I pray I tell God, “it’s not my life but your plan”. I long to hear his voice in the silence. To hear him divulge to me the purpose of it all. In the end, I see the bigger picture which is to bring light to those around me that suffer in the darkness. To share his message of hope and relationship to those who are the farthest from him. I know it’s how I live my life that I will inspire others; my calm in the storm that confirms my faith. I don’t think I’ll ever do anything particularly great, heroic, or noteworthy. All I can do in this life, is to help others as best as I can.

Cliff Notes of Ayurveda

medical picWhat is the Ayurveda? It’s a lifestyle, a holistic approach to medicine, and ancient wisdom. The Ayurveda is from India and actually the oldest form of medicine that is still in practice. At its very root it categorizes people into three types: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. I’m not an expert by any means and I don’t necessarily believe all of it but if you’re interested I can at least summarize the book I read on it.


These are high energy people. They tend to be slim naturally and sleep very little. These people have an overactive metabolism. They may suffer from ADD/ADHD. When people reach retirement age this dosha (group characteristic trait) becomes dominate.


These people also have high energy but tend to have a medium build and are prone to acne. These are high functioning people that are very productive. These people have a normal metabolism. This dosha is dominant in the 20’s and 30’s


These people are more relaxed. They tend to have a stocky build and sleep a lot. They may be prone to depression. These people have an underactive metabolism. This dosha is dominant in childhood and teenage years.

The Ayurveda believes that all illness is psychosomatic (ie. heart problems come from a lack of love). I’m not sure if I believe heart problems are caused by lack of love so much as excess of fast food, but I can see what they are getting at. There are some illnesses, like allergies, that are caused by lack of exposure to the natural environment with a psychosomatic element. There are also illness like psychogenic seizures and fibromyalgia which are, by definition, psychosomatic.

Followers of the Ayurveda believe in practicing yoga, being mostly vegetarian, good hygiene and limiting sleep and sex. They also use all herbal treatments including, but not limited to, cannabis and opium. To be fair, those were and still are, forms of medicine today. They also believe that food enhances certain doshas and that through diet you can have all three doshas in harmony and be perfectly balanced. For more information on Ayurveda follow the links below.


More info:

Healthy Living and the rule of 3s

food pic 1

Some of you may know that I have a chronic health condition and with pills comes side effects. I’ve dealt with all sorts of things from neck pain to fainting. I became a Beach Body coach a few months ago and I worked really hard and lost 10 pounds.

I was proud of the way my body changed. I went through a med change about a month ago and it wreaked havoc on my body. I was prescribed a med just to deal with the side effects. Well, like I said in the opening, with pills come side effects and boy do I have them. The first week I was on them felt like Suicide Tuesday. I also gained those ten pounds back. I know 10 pounds doesn’t sound like a lot but to a person who’s weighted 230 and 125 pounds from side effects of pharmaceuticals, it matters.

blog pic

I know a lot about nutrition from being around Beach Body and looking at eating food as a chemical process in the body. I feel like I’m forced to know these things to navigate the world of pharmaceuticals. I forced myself to deal with my unhealthy eating habits and in one day I turned it all around. No coffee, no processed sugars, and no oils except olive oil and peanut oil, and 10,000 steps a day.

I know that sounds crazy but I was watching a PBS special by Mark Hyman, author of “Eat Fat, Get Thin.” I don’t have to will power to limit myself to 60 grams of carbs a day but I did take his lecture to heart. It made me think about food differently. The premise of the book is that fat isn’t the enemy –  it’s carbs. This is the same science that Atkins is based on. While I can’t give up bread, I did listen to the fact that not all carbs are equal. Brown rice, potatoes, and whole grains (like oatmeal) are good carbs; they digest slowly. Bad carbs have a low glycemic index which means your body turns them to sugar as you digest them. Flour and corn are some of the worst.

With that knowledge I follow the rule of 3s. I use a small plate and divide it into thirds. I eat 1/3 meat, 1/3 vegetable and one third good carb. I use a 4 ounce crème brulee cup. I’ve only been on my new diet 2 days and I can tell a difference. The first day was the hardest between no coffee, no refined sugar, and no fast food with lots of trans-fat I… honestly stayed up all night. It was the scariest thing. I actually went to see my doctor to try to score some sleeping pills. She said no, of course, because she’s a good doctor. This ended up being a good thing because I did a new oat meal recipe that night which put me to sleep naturally.

oat meal

I’m obviously not a doctor but I believe in toxins affecting health. I also bought 2 cast iron skillets, a ceramic nonstick sauce pan, and a stainless steel stock pot to cook in. By cutting all the junk I feel a lot better. I’m not giving medical advice but I have been able to counter the side effects I have. I believe medicine is a good thing but every action has a reaction and I can at least help navigate the reaction part.

Everyone Sins Differently

life and deathReligion teaches conformity, while having a relationship with God teaches people to follow a path of self-improvement. Some people will become Christians and believe that since they stopped doing things traditionally identified as sinful (premarital sex, drinking, cursing) that they are saved and somehow better than someone who is still doing those things. What if I told you the majority of people Christian or not is in inherently sinful. Mankind, by nature, is selfish, self-centered and makes mistakes. The bible is clear it states that all people have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23. Just a few pages after that verse is Romans 8:1 there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

So what does that mean? It means it means at the time that you except Christ into your life you may have big problems like addiction, or more socially acceptable problems like gossiping. But regardless of what your sinful tendency is we all missed the mark and need a savior; someone (Christ) to seek after and try to become a better person for the sake of our relationship with him.

You can look at amazing people that have very solid relationships with God and they still struggle with something sinful. It could be a pray warrior who is in their 80’s and has been in church their entire life and never strayed from their faith. Who knows what they struggle with but I’m guessing at one time or another one of their relationships became an idol. They may have put their children before their marriage and put their marriage before their walk with God.

You could look at an accomplished pastor. Someone who has reach thousands for God. Maybe they lean more toward pride or wrath. You could look at a successful business person. Are they motivated by greed? Have they made their career an idol? Look at a young person who is consumed with fear 2Timothy 1:17 the spirit of fear is not of God.

I’m not saying that anyone of these previous examples is a bad person. I’m just illustrating that the bible is true. I don’t think the pray warrior, pastor, business person, or child is in any danger of hell if they seek God. I’m just warning Christians not to be too comfortable in our own abilities and not offer the same grace to others that God allows us. Instead of looking at people in terms of good people and bad, look at people as a work in progress. We should acknowledge our own imperfections and inspire people to be like us instead of condemning people for not living up to our standards.

Relationship Over Religion

free-inspired-light-of-heaven-hd-wallpapers-400x484Christianity is the only religion that teaches grace. Some religions like Taoism, Buddhism, etc. are based on self actualization and introspective growth. Other religions like Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam are based on works. As far as I know, Christianity is unique in that it teaches people to have a personal relationship with God through the profit/messiah Jesus Christ. It’s not my place to say who is right, who is wrong, who is saved and who is damned. All I can say is that I found healing through my faith. I took a religious studies course in college and I briefly sampled the major religions out there. Christianity is unique, not every church is right for everyone, not every bible translation speaks to the reader the same. I’m not here to say there is a right way to experience God. After all, Jews, Christians, and Muslims all consider Adam to be the first man and trace their lineage back to Abraham. The bible says God made a promise to Abraham to make him the father of many nations. All I know is that I was taught by my church and the Bible that I read that Christianity looks at spirituality as a marriage.

Many religions focus on God as a father figure archetype. Christianity is unique in that Jesus is referred to as the Bridegroom and the Church is the bride. This suggests an egalitarian partnership, rather than an authoritarian discipline. Legalism teaches rules, grace teaches forgiveness. I look at salvation as a relationship. You know if you’re interested in someone, you know if you’re dating, engaged, married, separated or divorced. Anyone who’s ever been in a relationship knows they will never be perfect; they can only try to become a better person for the sake of their partner. Expecting perfection is impossible. People are selfish and sinful by nature. We will never be good enough on our own. We are justified just as Ephesians 2:8 explains, “It’s by grace that you were saved. It is a gift from God not based on works that no one may boast.”

In the Kingdom of God, Mother Theresa and the thief that hung on the cross next to Jesus are equal in the kingdom. Paul the murderer and Peter “the Rock” are both equal and justified by a free gift. In any relationship, people grow together. Don’t expect to say the sinner’s prayer and spontaneously become a perfect, sin-free person. Jesus only expects people to seek him and grow. John 15:5 “He is the vine and we are the branches.” We must maintain a relationship just as we maintain relationships with friends, family and partners. People know the health of their relationships at any given moment based on the effort they are putting into it. God doesn’t want perfect people, just effective effort.

Feel the Bern

ht_bernie_baby_lb_151016_16x9_992 (1)Bernie Sanders is running on a Quasi-Socialist platform. He wants to provide all people with Medicare and free education. This may sound like a scary idea to some people. A lot of people say we can’t afford it and it would ruin our country. I disagree that these things would hurt us. I actually believe that our country desperately needs reform in these areas.

Our country would look a lot like our military. As a daughter-in-law of a career serviceman, I have first hand experience of the freedom the military provides. Both my mother-in-law and father-in-law have Tri-Care for life. They can get free treatment on a military base, (both the doctor visit and medication). If they need to be seen at a private hospital their co-pay is only $25 flat no matter the extent of the treatment. My father-in-law can also go to school for free until the day he dies under the GI Bill. He served 20 years and is a Gulf War veteran.

The military provides free healthcare for life by being pretty much self sufficient. They use aptitude testing to train service people in a trade. Depending on how someone scores when they join they could be a doctor, mechanic, pilot, medic, etc. If America followed the principals of the military we could educate and provide medical care for everyone. As it is right now Medicare is paid for by a tax on our income (Social Security). People only pay this tax on the first $100,000 they earn. Bernie isn’t proposing class warfare; Robin Hood style, take from the rich to give to the poor. He’s simply trying to level the playing field. Just so you know, the poverty line of New York City is $90,000. By having people pay Social Security Tax on all of their income, we could pay for single payer Medicare for all. The only problem is that drug companies, hospitals, and doctor networks will have to be converted to non-profits. Fo- profit medicine is disgusting anyway. People shouldn’t have to file bankruptcy to pay for chemo.

Education will also have to be reformed. As it stands right now, for-profit schools are out of control. GCU pays a staff to cold call leads to raise enrollment numbers. They have, at one time not so long ago, lost both their Christian accreditation, as well as their academic accreditation. If this happens again, GCU students who largely rely on loans, will be in the same position as the Corinthian College students were just last year. I believe, in order to level the playing field and give every student the ability to earn a living wage, for profit institutions will have to go; this includes big time national offenders like University of Phoenix. We must also include aptitude testing for competitive programs (not just ability to pay).

Employers must stop asking for 4 year degrees in Liberal Arts as a requirement to review an application. A lot of certifications will need to be handled at the community college level and students should either live at home or be offered a work studies program to pay for cost of living associated with out of state schools (not rely on loans). Degree programs should be restructured to provide career readiness and degrees should be extensive enough to gain entry to employment. There is no reason people can’t work in the psychology field unless they pursue a masters. Also, I believe that degree programs should be directly transferable to the career you want. Programs in History and English should be provided out of a teaching program. Social Science programs should be divided into teaching tracks or research tracks and programs should actually prepare people for the jobs that they want. Nursing, therapy (psych), physical therapy, medical doctor, dental, and surgical programs should all be taught out of a medical school. All of these degree programs should come with both a theoretical curriculum as well as a work studies portion to prepare students for career readiness. If someone wants to go to a religious institution they should be studying theology and that should be paid for by an organization that wants them to pursue a degree in that denomination with an agreement of employment. A lot of pastors quit ministry in the first five years because they don’t know what they are getting themselves into. College and medical coverage for all is not only a big idea, it’s a feasible one too.

Bernie VS. Hillary

democtratic partuWho is the stronger candidate for the party? The democratic primaries are currently underway. So far, the front runners are almost even. Before, candidates were chosen based on their ability to appeal to the base then pivot to the middle and attract the swing vote. In 2008, Obama proved elections can be won by inspiring people who usually don’t vote to come out in favor of a cause. He won the presidency twice on the promise that “Yes, we can _______”. He ended the dark days of the term ‘un-insurable’ and pushed through lots of reforms.

Bernie Sanders has the same ability Obama had to inspire people who don’t normally vote, to come out and have their voice heard. Clinton is more moderate and has never once been called a socialist. With the rise of the Tea Party, we see that politics in this country have shifted. People are scared. Politics are polarized. America has changed. If you’ve ever taken a poly-sci course you know Republicans win when turnout is low and Democrats win when the turnout is high. I personally want to stay out of politics for the most part (it causes me to lose friends sometimes).

It’s an interesting conundrum though; on one hand you have a woman who, 4 years ago, beat every other republican in Gallup Polls. On the other, you have a man who seems to have an energy that can actually bring people to the polls. Given that the election is 9 months away, it seems that this could be the year of the outsiders. On the right, you have Trump; people didn’t take him seriously when his campaign started. With the election in just a few months, he has held on to his spot at the forefront. Similarly, Bernie was also not seen as a serious candidate. He held office in Vermont as an Independent and is a self proclaimed quasi-socialist.

The election of 2016 will be the election of the outsider if Sanders and Trump get the nominations to represent their parties. It would be a historic election that would make Citizens United essentially irrelevant. Both Sanders and Trump claim to fund their campaigns honestly. Sanders claims to have no super pac and Trump claims to be self funded. Both of these men have the same charisma that Obama had to inspire the people to feel as though they have a voice again. In 2008, Obama’s campaign was largely funded by individual donations ranging from $5.00-$100.00. Political parties in this country have changed. This isn’t a new thing. In the early years of America we saw the rise and fall of the Federalist Party, Democratic-Republican Party, and even a short lived Anti-Masonic Party. The rise and fall of political parties is nothing new. It’s just a sign that ideas, attitudes and political appeal is a fluid thing, constantly in flux.

The 5 “S’s” of Lyrical Themes

another_silver_treble_clefSome people say all music sounds the same. I’m not so quick to make sweeping generalizations but I would say there are very few themes to music. As a faithful connoisseur with varying tastes, I can say that I love all music. Both of my brothers were teenagers when I was born and they’ve been professional DJ’s most of my life. I’ve been listening to music since birth, in large part thanks to my family. I don’t like everything I hear but I’ve been exposed to everything from Insane Clown Posse to Christian Hymns; Bach to Beatles to Backstreet Boys. I feel confident saying that lyrics fall into only five themes, even across generations. Let me explain below and feel free to challenge me to a spritely debate. Let’s take a look at the five “S’s” of lyrical themes that I have identified

1. Street Credibility

They are club songs or party music. These songs maybe have sex appeal or showcase lifestyle (*negative lifestyle such as drugs and gang life also fall into this category).

Elvis Presley “You Ain’t Nothing but a Hound Dog”

Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk”

2. Showing Affection

These are songs about the people you love. It can be familial love, romantic love, or lost love.

2Pac “Dear Mama”

Adel “Hello”

3. Self-Actualization

These are songs that make people think and are based on life experience. Many great songs fall into this category.

Harry Chapin “Cats in the Cradle”

The Beatles “Let it Be”


Black-Eyed Peas “Where is the Love”


4. Spirituality

These songs have a religious/spiritual nature.

Allison Krauss on The Voice singing “Down to the River” from the ‘Oh Brother Where Art Thou?’ Soundtrack


“Adi Shakti” von Sada Sat Kaur

*Meditation Music


5. Systematic Political Discourse

These songs challenge the government to change course.

Buffalo Springfield “For What it’s Worth”

Written in response to the Vietnam War

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert “Same Love”

Written before SCOTUS Legalized Gay Marriage Nationally