Showing posts from November, 2015

The power of passion...#RCTID

Let's just start this out with the fact that I love it. Although I didn't play as a youth, I began playing as an adult and totally found a niche. Although I don't play anymore, I love to watch it. Today, the Portland Timbers won the Western Conference and are on to the MLS Cup. This is the big one, the one for all the bragging rights. Next Sunday, they fly to Columbus, Ohio and win their first championship. There have been many times during the season where this did not seem possible...many times when we were barely at the redline or above the redline, but then something happened. Maybe it was the third kits, the retro green and gold that I fell in love with the first time I saw them, maybe it was the Timbers Army, the fan base that is so incredible in Portland that people talk about them around the world, or maybe it was that the Timbers are just a second half of the season team, but I believe that it is more than's passion and desire. Whe

Three gates...

This last few weeks I have really been focusing on saying what I feel and what I believe. I have been working to be more open and honest with myself and my friends. My hope is that a time will come when openness and honesty will be available in all areas of my life. Part of this is being able to regulate not only my thoughts but what comes out of my mouth. Sometimes this can be a challenge. The last few days memories of my childhood have been brought to the surface. There were some rough times, times that I believe, helped to form the person I am, good, bad, and otherwise. Growing up the idea of the three gates was rarely considered. I often wonder if my mother had thought about the three gates how different things may have been. Kindness and gentleness was never a consideration, but power and control was. When I am under stress, my sharp tongue comes out. My ability to regulate it is sometimes compromised. I think that this happens to many of us. Stress can be the things that sets

Unbecoming what's not you...

As I am working to write each day, I am looking at it as a process of changing and adapting the person I am with the person I want to be. I am trying to meld together two beings, which should say to others, that regardless of your age and experience in this life, there is always room to grow and change and, maybe in this case, discovering who you are and unbecoming who you are not. The journey to become who you are is ever changing, ever evolving. It's the beauty of being a human, you can grow and change over and over. There is a not a limit to changing, nor should there be...the evolution of the human spirit should be one that molds and adapts rather than being stagnant. So, along this journey of yours, the challenge is to whittle away at the parts that aren't you...the real you, and find the elements of your being that are the person you were always meant to be. This is when you will find joy and happiness and finally be content. It takes bravely and strength, but so wort

Thankfulness or appreciative?

So many times over this last eight months, I have struggled to find joy, be thankful and yet here we are, on Thanksgiving when I am supposed to reflect back upon what I am thankful for. Isn't that what we are supposed to do? Be reflective? I am trying to find cheer, find gratitude. One some days, I'll be honest, it can be difficult. So today, this day of thankfulness, I am going to focus on those things that I can unequivocally say that I am thankful for. I am thankful for my family. There have been ups and downs and, even through the rough times, they have stood by me. I am thankful for my children...all in all they are good people and I am proud to have been a part of their journey and continue to be. I am thankful for Javad's spirit that, despite everything, he continues to approach life with a smile. He has all the rights to be angry, be sad, be frustrated and he still smiles. I am thankful that on that fateful day last March, his fighting spirit came through...beca


Yesterday's blog, "Teach Peace" spoke of how we should be approaching the world with peace and love rather than hate and fear. It seems that our world just can't listen and needs to be pushing against the good. At a #BlackLivesMatter rally in Minneapolis, a small group of White Supremacists came and shot five people protesting. This, my friends, is equivalent to domestic terrorism, if we want to throw the word around, the kind of hatred and fear that is causing lives to be lost. We must stop and reconsider what we are doing. It is time to rise up, humans together, shoulder to shoulder and say that we have had enough. We want the human race to move forward, in peace and harmony. If you are white, as I am, stand with those around us that are being persecuted. We live in the "Land of the Free" and shouldn't we AL L feel free? This continues to be a concern. In the 1940's, we had a war that cause massive loss of lives. The Holocaust, driven by hate,

Teach Peace

This is from my @houseofmashinchi Instagram account with an update for my blog... I know that there are many who do not agree with my stance in welcoming refugees from Syria and other nations into the US and Oregon but I will continue to stand in the place where fear of the unknown does not rule my life. The reality is that since 9/11 we have become a country ruled by fear...fear that is reinforced and encouraged by the media. We are teaching our children to fear.  At some point we must rise above and NOT assume the worst about every single person we meet that is different because that's what it boils down to...difference. We must become a nation of learners...a nation that is curious about the sameness of those around us rather than the difference. Tolerance and peace should be prevalent not hatred and fear. Consider where your feelings come from and examine them. It's ok to have fear...not ok to be ruled by fear. Consider the message you are sending to our children. I

7 rules in life...

As I am making movements in my life toward change (whatever that means)...I am always surprised when things pop up on my social media that I am pretty sure are there for me. I realize I am not the only one on the planet who is struggling, but it is nice to feel that there are secret messages being given out by the universe just for me. Today this popped up...the Seven Cardinal Rules for Life. So much wisdom much that I need to take to heart. I think that number 5 and 6 are so prevalent in my life right now...I need to quit thinking so brain is on overtime all.the.time. I need to breathe and give myself some space. I don't need to know the outcome of everything...I just need to give myself the space to think. I also need to remember that no one is in charge of my happiness except for me. This is a rough one believe it or not...If I am in charge of my happiness that means I need to make conscious choices and decisions toward that happiness. That is both empow

One day at a time...

This has been a busy week...Friday snuck up on me. I participated in Challenge Day on Wednesday and mostly just reeled from all the hatred that has been spewed this week. I think that I need to focus on the good that is happening around rather than focusing on the negative. On Thursday, I had a student come into my room and hug me...random student who happened to be in the same Challenge Day. My heart soared a bit when  she was walking out of my room. I want my room to be a place where students feel safe...this small gesture made me feel that I was making inroads in a school that at times needs havens. I am going to try to look at the positive...look at the good that is happening...that is the only way to keep my head on straight.


ref·u·gee ˌrefyo͝oˈjē/ noun a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. Our country is having a bit of a crisis. People are up in arms as to whether or not to accept refugees from war torn Syria into the US. Last Friday, after the bombing in Paris, many in the US moved into panic mode, worried that those who are participating in terrorist activities will move into the US using the refugee line as a method in.  The general response has been so sad, in my opinion. Countries far smaller than the US are welcoming Syrians into their country with offers of food and shelter. These are men, women, and children who have been uprooted from their homes and their land and have had to flee to safety. Flee...let's think about that for a moment. How would you feel if you literally had to run for your life? So many of us have never experienced this kind of horror and yet, many are talking of turning a

Change from fear to hope...

"You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons or the wind, but you can change yourself." ~Jim Rohn Today I participated in Challenge Day at my school. I have written about this's an amazing experience where students and adults alike get to see themselves are part of a greater community rather than separate from others. I teach at a school that has become a minority majority. I have been told that about 65% of our students are minorities. In this time...since Friday, it is even a more pressing statistic. Many of my students are Muslim, many of my students are immigrants, may of my students are refugees. Our school has almost three thousand students and is a mix of cultures and ethnicities. The world is a place filled with fear and hate. So many decisions and comments are being made from a place of fear and hate...I have students that are being called "Terrorists" but students who walked next to them,

One hundred percent...

I have challenged myself to start writing again...regularly so it begins that I am participating in the House of Mashinchi 30 Day Writing Challenge for Change. This is about personal change, emotional change, finding strength. I am challenging you to participate...whether you are a blogger, a diary writer, a writer on napkins for yourself, do it. Respond to the insanity of the world right now, yell at the mountain top about who you are, make it so! For thirty days, commit to a few words about you and the power you have to bring! On that note, remember that life is a journey not a sprint.  Remember that it takes time to muddle through all that is in your way. Healing can't take place may take days, months, years. As I am struggling though my own healing, I am reminded that patience is a virtue. I am not notoriously patient...I want the, but I am trying to recognize that the world does not work in this way. Part of my journey it to recognize that I

Lessons Learned...a view from the bottom of the pool

This has been one of the strangest falls I have had in years. So much has gone through my mind in the last months but I have been unable to write consistently mostly because writing is like opening the wound. Twenty years ago I experienced many of these feelings...trying to stay afloat. I am finally on a path where I feel that I am starting to find my footing, beginning to feel human again. Only looking back on the past few months do I see how far I have come. A wise friend told me earlier this fall that I have always kept myself busy as a way to cope, but now that business just seems overwhelming. It has been true. Somewhat like turning a Rubik's cube, hoping to put the same colors together, I have been slowly turning the dial, hoping that things connect. Sometimes the loneliness can be unbearable...something I have not experienced in a long time. It is amazing how one can be fully surrounded by others and yet be so alone. It's a process. Somehow it doesn't make it e