I’m back! Be sure to vote!

Now that I am writing a murder mystery, I had better practice my writing more frequently. On the eve of the presidential election, I encourage all registered voters to follow their conscience and vote for the individuals that they believe will truly embrace and honor the diversity of positions and will be committed to collaborating and communicating to find real solutions. Vacuous political comments benefit no one, and politicians who think people owe them a career have no place in my reality. Be sure to vote!

Love,

Joy

Reflections on the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011

As the year 2010 comes to an end, I am taking some time to reflect on my progress and growth as a human being over the last 12 months. Part of my process to do this is to read, study and interact with Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. I was raised my a mother who believed in positive affirmations and posted some that nurtured her on mirrors about the house. This book reminds me of the importance of going within and responding to those self-destructive beliefs with positivity, action and commitment. I want to live a life of authenticity, creativity, self-knowledge, service and love.

Rejuvenation

Each day is a new opportunity to grow, to learn, to begin again–rejuvenation!Awesome God Michael Smith rendition

another celebrity couple breaks up

Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo just broke up . . . again. The celebrity blogs are going crazy as they analyze this most recent split between two well-known figures.  Ms. Simpson talks about being caught up in her new reality show even as Mr. Romo prepares for the beginning of the new football season.
But underlying their relationship, or lack of relationship I should say, is no commitment. A relationship cannot be sustained without a commitment that transcends or underlies physical attraction, sexual attraction, or “cute personality” attraction. Relationships need far more fundamental building blocks to outlast separations, disagreements, etc. They need an underlying spiritual commitment, a willingness to pray together, to seek together, and to deeply talk together . . .  a relationship is like an ice berg, most of it lies outside of the public eye.
Celebrities and many other ordinary people seem to jump into bed all to often, discarding any concern for the permanence marriage requires and any concern for life beyond tomorrow.
It’s time to reflect as a culture on the importance of marital commitment before sex, before short turn tie-ups, and to consider what a true relationship is all about. For the saying is true: love is not a noun, it’s a verb, and it’s a choice that must be re-committed to on a daily basis.

On paying for health care

President Obama is quite rightly calling for Congress to address health care.  The availability of health care for all at reasonable and affordable prices is essential to the physical, mental, and spiritual health of our citizens. However, we must address the cost of this tremendous undertaking. Otherwise, if we keep financing America by borrowing from other countries, we will eventually be owned by China–not a good prospect from my point of view, but undoubtedly intriguing from the Chinese point of view! If we tax the average middle class citizen, other difficulties present themselves, as these middle class citizens–including myself–are already struggling to cover their financial needs.

As a teacher in Pasadena, CA, I paid under $200 per month towards my family health care benefits. As a teacher in Albuquerque, I pay well over $300 for health care benefits that require greater out of pocket co-pays than in Cali. Additionally, my salary will decrease next year due to greater payments into my retirement benefits. When U.S. senators airily talk about taxing employer provided health benefits, I cringe at the thought of having to possibly curb basic health care expenses my family currently incurs. Cancer follow-up CT scan? Will I be able to pay for it? Chiropractic for my son who needs therapy following a broken foot injury? Co-pays of $25 per visit or hospital co-pays of $250 for colonoscopies add up extremely quickly. Wisdom teeth extaction? Root canal for an aching to What kind of health care benefits do U.S. senators have, anyway?

My family cannot afford to purchase a house on our current salaries, and is preparing to finance a son’s college education. We fall into the middle class category of  having too much money to qualify for aid for low-income families, but not enough money to easily finance basic items such as a house or education–most importantly, essential health care even with our current level of benefits is challenging.

Even as I consider ways to suggest for improving health care for all, I call on our elected officials to seriously grapple with this issue of just how the government can pay for health care without overloading the averag citizen.

On Female News Anchors showing their breasts

Why are more and more anchorwomen showing their breasts on TV? In years past, anchor women wore business suits and came across as serious commentators. Tonight on KABC the woman doing the news looked like she was going to hit pool party after she completed her stint before the cameras. She did not look like she could cross the street into the boardroom.

Why am I concerned? There is a trend to sexualize women in business–bank tellers, nursing home administrators–people that used to dress in a fairly conservative style are barely covering their chests. The message this sends to young women is that you should expose yourselves. I don’t like this, and I think it trivializes the role of women in public life.

Cover up, ladies!

Welcome to the Far West!

I’ve made a full circle. I was born in Los Angeles (Long Beach to be exact), and at the age of 18 left for the north, then the east, then the far east, and then the far west, otherwise known as Asia. Directions are a matter of perspective–just as my west is your east, my view of the elephant is different than your view. What beauty and wisdom have graced my life through the people I have met all over the United States and the world–people  who have mentored me, who have shared their lives with me, who have enriched my life.

My full circle led me first back to Los Angles, the capital of the Pacific Rim, and now back to New Mexico, where the trek to Los Angeles began. As a daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, educator, writer, healer and businesswoman, I want to pass on the tremendous gifts that have been entrusted to me. I hope that some of my gleanings will inspire you to achieve greatness and breakthroughs  in your life.

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