I Love finding New Awesome People

Anyone interested in one, or all of the following:

1.  Sobriety

2.  Being Vegan/Vegetarian

3.  Lesbian/Gay Lifestyle

Should check out this new blog.  This woman is awesome!  I hope you will check it out and show some support by following and sharing.

www.soberveganlesbian.com

thank you my fellow blogging community!

How Do I Feel This Good Sober?

On July 11, 2013 I turned 2 years old, in sober years.  That is 730 consistent days of drug free blood running through my veins.  Wow.  Let me say that again….WOW!  For this alcoholic, that is nothing short of a miracle.  On the day of, I failed to recognize my real gratitude for this miracle, and my life.

I was not in the best of moods on the 11th of July, just 7 short days ago.  Although I should have been glowing with gratitude, I was instead sitting in self pity, resentment, and irritability.  My surroundings were awkward and unfamiliar, as I was out of town for uncontrollable reasons, away from the two places I call home…New York & Los Angeles.  However, life was good, and I couldn’t see that at the time.  Why?  Because I was wallowing in self-indulgent sorrow.  Which then led to sparks of fiery resentments to surface.  Then that moment came, where suddenly life felt unmanageable, too difficult, boring, and unworthy of my efforts to express love, compassion, and service towards others.  My emotional sobriety quickly went dark.

That is what the spinning wheel of this alcoholics mind looks like when it latches onto that familiar feeling of “poor me.”  Normally, at this stage of my sobriety, I can recognize these negative feelings and terrorizing thoughts creeping in, and am able to poison them quickly with my AA tools for survival.  Remembering that most, if not all,  of what I am thinking and feeling is not real, and quickly asking for guidance from my higher power, and the willingness to shift my perception of the life and/or circumstances in front of me.  But on this particular day, I chose to ignore those useful tools that keep me sane.  And so I spun.  and I continued to spin, for the next 6 days.  I created laundry lists of why the life I am currently living is not right.  I developed resentments against those closest to me.  I beat myself to a pulp, telling myself that my life is about to fail, and the decisions I have made in the past two years have been way off the rail.  My rather pleasant immediate world shifted to misery and it became hard for me to crack a smile.  So I simply didn’t try, because if I was feeling miserable, you were going to know it by my simple passive aggressive silence.

By the evening of day 6, I had ranted to a couple of friends about the circumstances of my “so-called” life.  I spewed about my unhappiness and circumstantial qualms.  I was also called out on my passive aggressive behavior.   Ouch.  By the end of it all, I felt better in some ways, because the thoughts were no longer festering in my head, solo.  They had been let loose.  That does bring relief to some degree.  However, I didn’t feel great about myself.  I  felt emotionally hung over.  I started to see my recent behavior for what it really was.  Certainly not the attitude and actions of a well-balanced sober woman.  Some-what immature behavior.  And very unsatisfying.

Cut to today.  7 days after my 2 year sobriety birthday.  7 days from the start of my dark spin-out.  I woke up this morning and felt much like a different person.  My perception had  shifted.   Although I still may have the same concerns I was so deeply obsessing over for the past 6 days, they somehow look different today.  More like, just part of  my life’s path & adventure.  My concerns are my journey and experiences.  This morning my faith had returned, somehow. It must have followed suit with my perception.  My “so-called life” is not exactly as I may have mapped out in my mind, but it is my life and it is my choice to view it for what it is.  It is beautiful.  It is a gift.  It is filled with gratitude and grace when my head doesn’t get in the way.

Now that I’ve escaped the grips of my alcoholic mind, I will be celebrating my 2 years of sobriety this weekend.

Hello, my name is Donna and I am an alcoholic.

Now for some random entertainment…

Pink’s song “sober” seems to be interpreted differently by many.  Is the song about addiction?  You tell me your thoughts…click on the link below

634 days equals…

1 year.  8 months.  25 days.

That is how long I have been clean and sober, today.  One day at a time.  One feeling/emotion at a time.  One life event at a time.  One solution at a time.

My life is so good today.  And it is changing daily.  So many experiences have manifested since I chose to show up for my life.  1 year, 8 months, and 25 days ago I was emotionally and spiritually bankrupt.  I was sick.  Hung-over.  Ashamed of my behavior and my life.  I was angry and scared.  I was tired…exhausted.  I had no love for myself, and I certainly didn’t know how to love you.  I wanted to just vanish.

I am no longer that person.  I am not ashamed of who I am and the life I live and am no longer a puppet for the fear and anxiety that barely strung me along.

Life presents itself in so many forms, and today I embrace it, even if it is scary.  Even if I am unsure.  Even if I feel incapable of succeeding.  Where my thinking can destroy me, my perception can save me.  And with that truth I can trudge through anything. My world has changed dramatically since sobriety became my number one focus.  I recently left my job, after over a decade of working there.  I love the company I worked for.  I love the friendships I have made there.  However, it was time for me to move on.  To extend my creative playing field a bit more.  I needed a change.  And I went for it.  If I was not sober…if I had not worked this program during the past year and 8 months, I would never have followed through with my desire to grow in my career, and thus leave my job.  I would never have had the courage to do it.  Fear would have continued to consume me and I would likely have stayed where I was… comfortable, and therefore “safe.”  Today I see that as nice as it is to feel safe, there comes a time when risks need to be taken in order for growth to occur.

I am constantly growing.

Becoming a vegan has been a beautiful transformation for me in sobriety.  I realized the true definition of compassion.  After becoming sober, I became more present and aware of the horrible ways our human race treat animals that are slaughtered for food consumption. I could no longer be a consumer of meat and dairy after I witnessed the truth behind factory farming….because for me, it was not a compassionate, loving way to live any longer.  Sobriety brings many truths and many gifts.  Becoming vegan was one of them for me.

And more is constantly revealed.

I am in a committed, loving relationship with a truly beautiful, sober woman.  I get the opportunity to live a bi-coastal life, bouncing between New York and Los Angeles, living in the two best cities in the country, in my opinion.  Sobriety has given me this gift.  The confidence to be myself in my relationship.  Genuine and authentic.  Sobriety has taught me that with truth and honesty, grows intimacy.  And with intimacy, grows love.  Sobriety has taught me that my character defects do not define me, and I am lovable even with my faults.   My confidence and self-worth has blossomed, naturally.  I have learned the importance of loving without expectation.

Serenity is always near, should I want it.

I have sobriety to thank for that.  I wasn’t expecting to grow so much and have such awesome experiences in such a short period of time.  But it has happened, and if I continue to do the work, I suspect more gifts from life will appear, and growth will continue.

There are key tools for living that help make it easier….I have a couple go to suggestions that help me along the way…

The best tools for my life are:  Understanding and accepting that I am not in control.  Knowing and believing that most of my thinking and fears are not reality.  Realizing that if I just do the next indicated thing, and stay out of the results, life will work itself out.   It is all very simple, really.  And if I continue to live by these simple rules, I can say to myself:

dont worry

and for that, i am grateful!

Till next time…

Our planet is pissed.

We hear it all the time.  our planet and all its sentient beings, are in danger.  Well, it is the truth.  And we need to open our eyes and become aware of what the hell is going on!  Climate change/global warming is not a hoax people.  Look at the stats.  Look at our climate patterns in the recent years.  Change is occurring, and it is fierce.  Most people feel the problem is too big.  We are in way over our heads.  Nothing can be done, etc.  I use to be one of those ignorant, non educated, fearful of the truth, cover thy eyes & ears kind of person.  Not anymore.  Today I choose to do what i can to be part of the solution, not the growing problem.  I’m not perfect, but I at least put forth an effort!

Check out this amazing video:

First of all…what is the cause of global warming?  There are several greenhouse gases responsible for global warming.  Human beings contribute to their production in many ways..the burning of fossil fuels in cars, factories, and electricity production.  Carbon Dioxide  is the number one contributor to global warming.  Methane is another gas which is released at an alarming rate…a large percentage coming from the digestive systems of grazing farm animals, from landfills, and other agricultural sources.  Nitrous oxide is another big contributor, produced largely from fertilizers.  The decrease in forests is a problem, since trees store CO2, the main culprit of global warming.  This is just a small summary to give an idea of where the problem comes from.

Changing our daily lives by incorporating more renewable energy sources is important…replacing lightbulbs with more energy-efficient ones.  Driving less or perhaps investing in a hybrid car.  Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.  Unplug appliances you aren’t using. etc. are all good ways to take part in reducing energy use. .  But let me share with you one HUGE step you can take to have an immediate impact on our environment and it’s future well-being.  Stop eating meat.  The following information is knowledge everyone should have.  It is vital to the well being of our planet.

the following article by contributor Michelle Maisto, published on April 28, 2012 by Forbes explains very clearly the issues with meat production and it’s effect on global warming:

Shifting the world’s reliance on fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is important, certainly. But the world’s best chance for achieving timely, disaster-averting climate change may actually be a vegetarian diet eating less meat, according to a recent report in World Watch Magazine. (While I’d happily nudge the world toward a vegetarian diet, the report authors are more measured and simply suggest diets containing less meat.)

“The entire goal of today’s international climate objectives can be achieved by replacing just one-fourth of today’s least eco-friendly food products with better alternatives,” co-author Robert Goodland, a former World Bank Group environmental advisor wrote in an April 18 blog post on the report.

A widely cited 2006 report estimated that 18% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions were attributable to cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, camels, pigs and poultry. However, analysis performed by Goodland, with co-writer Jeff Anhang, an environmental specialist at the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, found that figure to now more accurately be 51%.

Consequently, state the pair, replacing livestock products with meat alternatives would “have far more rapid effects on greenhouse gas emissions and their atmospheric concentrations — and thus on the rate the climate is warming — than actions to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.”

The pair describe several areas related to anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gases that have been overlooked or underestimated. For example, livestock breathing. They explain:

[L]ivestock (like automobiles) are a human invention and convenience, not part of pre-human times, and a molecule of CO2 exhaled by livestock is no more natural than one from an auto tailpipe. Moreover, while over time an equilibrium of CO2 may exist between the amount respired by animals and the amount photosynthesized by plants, that equilibrium has never been static. Today, tens of billions more livestock are exhaling CO2 than in preindustrial days, while Earth’s photosynthetic capacity (its capacity to keep carbon out of the atmosphere by absorbing it in plant mass) has declined sharply as forest has been cleared. (Meanwhile, of course, we add more carbon to the air by burning fossil fuels, further overwhelming the carbon-absorption system.)

The human population is expected to grow by 35% between 2006 and 2050, while livestock numbers are expected to double during the same period.

“This would make the amount of livestock-related emissions even more unacceptable than today’s perilous levels,” states the report. “It also means that an effective strategy must involved replacing livestock products with better alternatives, rather than substituting one meat product with another that has a somewhat lower carbon footprint.”

Food companies, Goodland and Anhang believe, have at least three incentives to respond to current risks in their industry. The first is that companies already suffer from disruptive climate events — floods, hurricanes, etc. — and so it’s in their best interests to not worsen the situation.

Second, they expect the demand for oil to rise to point of collapsing “many parts of today’s economy.” One way in which this will be particularly troublesome for livestock producers will be that crops grown for feed will be refocused on biofuel sources.

A third incentive is to offer “alternatives to livestock products that taste similar but are easier to cook, less expensive and healthier, and so are better than livestock products.”

Sales of just soy “analogs,” or alternatives to livestock products — such as ice cream, milk and cheese — totaled $1.9 billion in 2007. That same year, sales of U.S. meat and poultry products totaled $100 billion — which they optimistically suggest means there’s much room for growth.

“Worldwide, the market for meat and dairy analogs is potentially almost as big as the market for livestock products,” they write.

Still further motivation, they note: “Meat and dairy analog projects will not only slow climate change but also help ease the global food crisis, as it takes a much smaller quantity of crops to produce any given number of calories in the form of an analog than a livestock product.”

Plus, meat alternatives  would help to alleviate the global water crisis, since livestock production uses a tremendous amount of water; it could have health and nutritional benefits; and, given that meat alternatives are more labor intensive, they would create both more jobs and more skilled jobs — while workers in the livestock industry could be retrained for jobs in meat-alternative industries.

“The case for change is no longer only a public policy or an ethical case, but is now also a business case,” write Goodland and Anhang. “We believe it is the best available business case among all industries to reverse climate change quickly.”

   Forbes, Michelle Maisto, contributor.

After reading the above article, I felt even better about my choice to become a vegan  a year and some months ago.  I’m not only saving the lives of animals, but I am also decreasing my carbon footprint in a very big way by not eating meat/dairy.

If you don’t already live by a vegetarian or vegan diet, I urge you to consider eliminating, or at least decreasing your meat consumption.  The facts are there and you do have the power to contribute towards a better, healthier, happier, and less destructive future for yourself and those to follow.

thanks for stopping by.

#CMO2012 National Coming Out Day

while trolling facebook early this morning, i was made aware that today is national coming out day.  In reading that, i became overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude.  gratitude for being “out.”  for being loved by those in my life for exactly who and what i am.  not everyone agrees with my sexuality, but most people in my life seem to accept it.  and for that, i am grateful.

i remember when i realized i was gay.  that feeling of uncertainty.  excitement.  a new energy that illuminated. i had just been intimate with a woman for the first time.  my body spoke to me.  and so did hers.  it was a feeling i had never experienced before.  i was 24 years old.  and my life was about to change.

i never quite felt right with men.  i was always “one of the guys.”  i had boyfriends and experiences with men throughout my younger life, but i never really felt intimately connected to them.  They were buddies, not really boyfriends.  i tried, but was unsuccessful at playing the heterosexual.  even when i thought i was heterosexual!

at 24, i was handed a gift.  and since then, i have found passion.  intimacy.  love.  expression.  with women.  i began to live with a deeper sense of authenticity.

my “coming out” experience was fairly organic.  one day, i was gay.  and from that day on, i have been gay and will forever be, from what i can tell.   life just naturally progressed in that direction for me.  i told my closest friends, who claimed to know i was gay before i did.  i slowly came out to my family.  that was the scariest and toughest part of outing myself.  like i said, not everyone agrees with my sexuality, but most seem to accept it.

i feel blessed to have the ability to live without fear of my sexuality.  i believe in expression of who i am. and being gay is a huge part of that expression.  it does not define me, but it is a permanent glowing impression on my blueprint.

happy #nationalcomingoutday to all. #cmo2012 #countmeout

 

 

 

 

a little change goes a long way.

i was very different in the recent past.  one major change…compassion.

i always say how “time flies.”  and it does.  when i was twenty, i never thought i would be 30.  or 35.  or 36 (next month).  it just never crossed my mind.  i figured i’d be in my twenties forever.  i never looked into the future with truthful eyes.  i was going to be young for the duration of my life.  i went about my business as if nothing could harm me or touch me or kill me.  I lived behind a very thick smoke screen.  i ignored the sadness i recognize today in the world.  i paid no attention to the inconceivable.  if it didn’t affect me first hand, i didn’t care. and i didn’t care cause i refused to acknowledge anything that my heart couldn’t tolerate with ease.  im not proud of that, but it is the truth.  and today i speak the truth.  sadly, i know now that i was living my life with very little compassion.  for myself or for any other living being or species on earth.  i didn’t understand that at the time.

my eyes really started to open just over a year ago.  it started with getting sober.  eliminating the heavy drinking from my life.  forcing me to face reality head on.  all of it. 35 years of dirty build up had to be taken on.  challenged.  dissected.  acknowledged.  and dealt with.  it took a lot of forgiveness towards myself, and others.  it took, and will continue to take, many amends and apologies for my past behavior. and that is okay. it’s all part of the process.  and through this process i have found compassion.

compassion.  a small word with a massive impact on life.

       :sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.

if someone says something unkind to me or is inconsiderate, etc. i am better at not taking it personally than i was before.  in the past, i would obsess over what they did or said for hours or days on end.  today i can accept, usually, that whatever they did or said to me most likely doesn’t have anything to do with me personally…but rather it is something born from their own issue/s.  maybe they are having a bad day.  or maybe someone said something that hurt their ego and they are taking it out on me.  whatever it might be, i try hard to not take it personally today.  instead i’ll have compassion for them and whatever they might be going through.  and then i let it go.  theoretically.  like i said, i am no saint.  but most of the time i can act with compassion today.

if someone is hurting.  i have compassion.  if i am hurting, i have compassion.  i try to be kind.  to you, and to all living species on earth.  i feel now.  and it is best to feel good about myself, then to feel bad.  and i feel good when i live in compassion.

compassionate living is something i now strive for.  i’ve taken it further than with just humans and human contact.  i want to live compassionately towards all living species on earth.  as i mentioned earlier in this post, back in my younger years i lived in a thick fog.  i refused to recognize the inconceivable that is around me.  and there is a lot of it in our world.  this includes the cruelty and lack of compassion that is thrown upon the animals on our planet.  i chose to bear witness to the truth nearly a year ago, and by doing so, i had no choice but to change my ways.  my heart wouldn’t allow me to turn away any longer.  and so i became a vegan.  i refuse to be a consumer of meat and dairy products, knowing what i know today.  this also includes non-food products that are tested on animals.  i can no longer take part in any of that.  i simply can’t do it.  it’s compassion.  and i have it today.  i suppose i always had it, i just didn’t know to what degree.  with the choice of becoming vegan and showing compassion towards all animals, i’ve gotten to know a side of myself that was once hidden.  and i like this side a lot.  it just feels…right.

no, im not perfect at the game of life, but i am certainly better at it today then i was last year and the years prior.  i still have many faults.  and insecurities.  and i make huge mistakes.  i still have a dark side i can fall into.  i can loose my compassionate side at times. i can take things personally.   if i didn’t then i wouldn’t be able to call myself human.  but i now recognize these characteristics when they present themselves.  i can move past those barriers faster.  continuing to better myself in the process.  it’s progress not perfection.

i’ve visited my darkest demons through this journey.   and continue to.  and let me tell you, my skin has thickened in the process.  my heart has grown.  my voice has been found.  and my personality has escaped its own personal jail… and continues to make itself known.  i am present.  finally.

sobriety and my truth has brought me far.

far from what i once was, but not yet what i am going to be.

what a journey.

incase you are interested, below are websites that have helped open my eyes and helped me make my choice to become a vegan:

http://www.peta.org/ 

http://www.farmsanctuary.org/

http://www.mercyforanimals.org/

random act of kindness #9

yesterday i was so busy with work and feeling stressed about a few things in my world.  at the same time i was thinking of my friends and missing them.  i wasn’t able to pick up the phone and chat with all of them at that moment.  i was in a time crunch.  but i could easily send a quick text message letting them know i was thinking about them.  i know that when i get a random text from someone in my life, it makes me smile.  makes me happy if i was otherwise bummed out.  a simple text says so much and many people don’t realize that.

in today’s world of technology, it is easy to get away from one on one conversation and hide from any real face to face or voice to voice  interaction with other humans.  for the introverted type like myself, that can be dangerous.  for anyone really, it can be dangerous.  texts, social media, emails…can all act as a shield from society.

but there is a flip side….

this same technology can act as a bridge for connecting people as well.  when life is busy or has its own plans for me…it prevents me from having the time to call everyone on my list or to check in with those i love.  that’s when the beauty of texting comes in to play.  i can say “hello”…”thinking of you”  in a matter of seconds.  and the receiver is sure to appreciate the act (generally) and will then know i am thinking of them and they are still on my radar, even though im not present or able to pick up the phone.  texting is a way to stay connected to those i love.  and i am grateful for that.

so random act of kindness #9 was texting a few friends that were on my mind…just to let them know i was thinking of them.  it’s that simple.  and it generally has  a big (positive) impact on the receiving end.

use our technological world in a positive way to stay connected.  it works.

IT’S SO SIMPLE AND THE KINDNESS IS APPRECIATED….