like, seriously?

From ACMTC’s BATTLE CRY:

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This is laughable. Like, seriously? They just make things up, right off the top of their heads. Jamie Bridgewater begs Josh Green to marry her? I advise two defecting women to call the police? And I’m famous and have made a fortune from lying and slandering the Greens?

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being positive

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forsaken by God, my crazy story

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Available for purchase ($1.99-$2.99) from Amazon PrimeVuduiTunes, and YouTube.

As said earlier, it’s not altogether accurate, but it’s spot on for creating the essence of my experience. The Director—Russell Eatough—totally got it. He knew how to dig down to get the essence. What I most appreciate about this filming experience over some of the others is that no one rushed me, and I always felt valued.

Anyhow, this blog pretty much materialized out of 2014, the year of making this film, the year I harnessed my mind to dig into my past—to reflect, to remember, to feel, to write, to share.

Angelina, me and Rachel

Photo-on-4-18-15-at-4.43-PM1Angelina, me, and Rachel. Just girls having fun. And get this—Rachel lives 6 blocks down the street from me—we’re neighbors, friends again!

These beautiful ladies gave 20 years of their lives to AMCTC. Twenty years! And you think I have stories—I hope they tell theirs!

Rachel was excommunicated to the shed shortly after I. We went through a lot together. “It was like a nightmare,” she says. But in the end, she wasn’t kicked out on the street like I was.  God let her back in. So she gave antoher 15 years of her life serving Lila and Jim Green’s god, and then one day she breaks, and decides she’s had enough. Finally she leaves for good, she wakes up.

We were so unaware—all of us. We were naive, dependent, and as Rachel puts it,  “stupid.” But our intentions were never to join some crazy cult. We were seekers looking for purpose in life, for significance, looking for someplace to belong, for something greater than ourselves to live and to die for.

We thought we were in it for God.

IMG_4820Abe, my daughter Rebekah, Angelina, and Rachel. 1987. They’re all out of there now!

my Lilly’s birthday

Today’s Lilly’s birthday. Steve would be real proud of her if he only knew of her strength, creativity and beauty. I don’t regret marrying the man—he did father unique, beautiful children, and I can’t imagine my life without them.

If there are winners and losers, then he’s the one who has lost here. My children and my grandchildren are my greatest treasures.

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10251952_1068697313157366_2151266930089556678_n-2Grandson. Eric, Lilly’s oldest

for a dose of cuteness

IMG_6505Oldest son Nate and baby Ella

why bother?

images-26I ask myself again, why am I doing this? Then I give it some time, and I remember.

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my take on Buddhism

I don’t call myself a Buddhist, however I do embrace the essence of Buddhist teachings—I want help waking up, becoming aware, being mindful, empathetic, compassionate, kind and so-on and so-on. Buddhism to me is more a study of the mind and a way of training the mind.

Reasoning, analysis, contemplation, meditation—just some tools to help wake us up, to see life outside of Plato’s dream cave world, outside the box, outside our usual sphere of influence: our culture, our race, family, friends, relationships, gender, job, roles, age,  geographical location, neighborhood, education, beliefs, DNA—all those things that inherently settle down inside of us and make us who we are and that can create a mountain of biases.

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Meditation is about seeing clearly the body that we have, the mind that we have, the domestic situation that we have, the job that we have, and the people who are in our lives. It’s about seeing how we react to all these things. It’s seeing our emotions and thoughts just as they are right now, in this very moment, in this very room, on this very seat. It’s about not trying to make them go away, not trying to become better than we are, but just seeing clearly with precision and gentleness… . [We] work with cultivating gentleness, innate precision, and the ability to let go of small-mindedness, learning how to be open to our thoughts and emotions, to all the people we meet in our world, how to open our minds and hearts.”

Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape

authenticity/ Brené Brown

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I love listening to Brené Brown, researcher on vulnerability and shame. She’s shared her research at Ted Talks, she’s written books, and produced audibles. She’s a great speaker—funny, humble, down to earth, insightful and clear. I’ve listened to her audible The Power of Vulnerability at least three times. From her work I find clarity and healing.

Plato’s dream cave world/ Jon Kabat-Zinn

Another of my favorite teachers is Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

His teachings on mindfulness ring true with me. Mindfulness more than anything else scooped me out of a very foggy place and gently placed me on higher, clearer ground. I believe it’s a solution to a lot of our problems. The quote below is worth every second of the read—Jon Kabat-Zinn paints a clear visual using very few words, and I totally get it, because I once lived inside of Plato’s dream cave world.

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Jon Kabat-Zinn, Adventures in Mindfulness