Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15

I'm 25 today.

Even with all the random excitement and sometimes rather lavish opportunities I have been afforded, I figure I need a new lease on life. I know that I need to adopt a more zen attitude toward life and the events , specifically excitements and disappointments it hurls our way. I have been for some time, thinking about the concept of "zen" and how to apply it to my daily life. Today I read this blog post by a Buddhist blogger with the Houston Chronicle.

It came at the most synchronistic time, as epiphanies often do. Still, in the past I have found myself having these epic realizations then ignoring, rejecting and slipping back to the "status quo." What I am searching for now is a way, perhaps a dose of conviction to stand by something that is neither assured nor completely clear. I suppose the word is faith. Not faith in the traditional sense though, faith that life's experiences will inherently lead me through a compassionate and thoughtful existence.

As a child (even adult) my passions, goals and directions have regularly changed. Somehow, I am fundamentally the same. There are parts of me that should remain static, but I am seeking change. I want to adopt a zen sort of attitude, taking the data plots of my life and connecting them in a pattern that I will one day recognize as beautiful, righteous and contributory.

Do you have a question that needs answering? Try the I-Ching. Put considerable thought into your question and you will be surprised at the relevance of the answer.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hidden Truth

In the past few months, I have abandoned completely my old conventions, media sources, talk radio programs and routine thought. I'm going through my notions, beliefs and bias with a fine tooth comb, which has cause somewhat of a political identity crisis. But I must, however uncomfortable it makes me, search for the truth. Especially when life presents us with potentially generation changing events.

I'm tired of the platitudes presented in our media, both as it relates to politics and entertainment. I have zero affinity for what is rousing, comfortable or sensational to believe. I am simply truth searching. In saying that, I enjoy reading The New Zealand Herald. New Zealand, a pioneer country like the U.S. in many ways has a unique and much more objective scope and world view. They don't have the same levels of bias, pandering and far throws of the spectrum leaning absurdity seen by American and other media outlets.

What is so unique about New Zealand? What puts them in their rare position as a first world, innovative and information savvy society? It's difficult to say for sure, but I believe it has a good deal to do with their independent spirit, founding principles, economy and tax structure .

New Zealand's history parallels that of America. Disputes with natives, trade, power struggles between Britain and France. After the great depression, radical socialist reform sprouted with the rise of "The Labor Party" to a full pendulum swing by the 1980's to free market economics, touting a deregulated financial market and removal of controls over foreign exchange. Wikipedia mentions: "Subsidies to many industries, notably agriculture, were removed or significantly reduced, as was tariff protection. The marginal tax rate was halved over a number of years from 66% to 33%; this was paid for by the introduction of a tax on goods and services (GST) initially at 10%, later 12.5%, and a surtax on superannuation, which had been made universal from age 60 by the previous government."

These changes propelled New Zealand to a seat in the global economy. However, with the massive deregulation, a shift occurred from an industrially driven economy to a financially driven driven economy which caused job loss and a strong divide between haves and havenots. The country has made a shift in the past 15 years. Having an economy driven by a heavy and powerful service sector grossing 68.8% of the GDP.

New Zealand has lighter taxes, more economic freedom and is considered one of the most free market capitalist economies on earth. New Zealanders enjoy a high level of life satisfaction (the highest as rated in 2007) and it has gone from the lowest per capita income of a developed country in 1982 to one comparable to countries in Southern Europe in 2009.

Enough of all this for now, my real reason for writing this blog is to feature this article. An example I consider to be an informative and reliable look at Obama's "rules of engagement" as well as directly connecting the dots of what can only be called RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM to people who should rightly be called TERRORISTS.

I have found that truth is so muddled here in the U.S. that there are few truly objective voices/sources judging each action and event individually. (Of course that is difficult to do in the throes of political passion) Many of us develop our biases and adjust our thoughts and actions to align with those without ever playing devils advocate with ourselves. The Kiwis (New Zealanders) seem to somehow posses the ability to report and think objectively more so than other media sources.

The point of all this is; if you are not afraid to challenge yourself and possibly shake your own notions... then fact check, seek alternative sources and seriously contemplate issues. You will be much closer to the truth of a matter. I'm positive noone ever gets the whole truth all the time, but you get much less following one thoughtless path.

The truth, often lies somewhere in the scattered bits of the foggy middle ground. Saying that, I'd like to clarify that I am not using "middle ground" in the conventional "compromising" sense. There is effort and thought required to find truth. Amidst shock jocks, liberal journalist Obama worshipers, over enthusiastic Palin promoting Fox anchors, our plastic faced aloof congress and angry hordes of citizens on both sides we witness mostly stupefied puppets, scooting around like pawns maneuvered by forces and motives none have objectively examined. Forces which have little real interest in those whom they manipulate.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Goals

Ok, so if I want to take my training up a notch... I have realized that I will have to take up contortion. The problem is, the mere sight of photos of the stuff grosses me out! I know it's possible to take the art just as far as I am comfortable with but it seems the only limit to human bendyness.. is our own skeletal system. So once you cross one threshold, it would be difficult to say "meh I'm good here." It's kind of a strange endeavor to want to pursue something that impresses and disgusts you. Ha, I think that applies to other aspects of my life as well, but we won't go into that.

My aerial instructor, Amy, asked me to start putting together a hoop class for this summer. For too long I have been idle in skill level , so I'm not very satisfied with myself in the hooping realm right now. To be fair, I have been majorly focusing on aerial work instead. But honestly, once you are able to spin the hoop on everything from your chest, legs, knees to tips of your toes... the only place left to go is contortion.. or add 12 more hoops... I think I'll go with contortion first.

Throughout my life as a dancer, I have grown accustomed to 30 minute or perhaps one hour of stretching time per day. From what I am reading about contortion, it requires a minimum of 3 hours of stretching per day, a completely different breathing pattern, elimination of indulgence in alcohol and a generally more masochistic attitude than most consider healthy. I'll take your well wishes, warnings, pleads and prayers now. Thanks.