Comments

ashes

ashes

432 notes”

95 notes &

lgbtqblogs:

Documentary explores what it’s like to be Mormon and trans

A short video has been released exploring issues faced by someone who is Mormon, and brought up in the Mormon Church.

The 15 minute short documentary follows the story of Eri, a Mormon trans woman through to her transition and coming out as transgender.

From coming out initially as gay, to her relationship with her sister, Eri describes in detail what it was like to go to a Mormon private school, live in Utah and grow up surrounded by the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

On the fact that she may never be able to have a temple wedding, Eri says: “Why try if you’re going to fail”.

Whilst supporting Eri’s transition, her father explains that, as she is straight, she should still be able to fit into the Mormon definition of marriage as between “one man and one woman”.

He says he wants her to be able to practice her faith without hindrance or judgement.

95 notes”

379 notes &

10 Ways to Show Love to Someone With Depression - The Darling Bakers

guyatree MT: input missing links, minor reformatting

 

mysocalled-gay-life:

Do You Love Someone With Depression?

If you have a partner or are close to someone who struggles with depression, you may not always know how to show them you love them. One day they may seem fine, and the next they are sad, distant and may push you away. It is important that you know that as a person who is close to them and trusted by them, you can help your friend or partner have shorter, less severe bouts of depression. Mental illness is as real as physical illness (it is physical actually, read more about that here) and your partner needs you as much as they would need to be cared for if they had the flu.

Your relationship may seem one-sided during these times, but by helping your partner through a very difficult and painful affliction, you are strengthening your relationship and their mental health in the long term.

1. Help them keep clutter at bay.

When a person begins spiraling into depression, they may feel like they are slowing down while the world around them speeds up. The mail may end up in stacks, dishes can pile up in the sink, laundry may go undone as the depressed person begins to feel more and more overwhelmed by their daily routine and unable to keep up. By giving your partner some extra help sorting mail, washing dishes or using paper plates and keeping chaos in check in general, you’ll be giving them (and yourself) the gift of a calm environment. 

 (I’m a fan of the minimalist movement because of this, you can read more about that here.)

2. Fix them a healthy meal.

Your partner may do one of two things when they are in a depressed state. They may eat very little, or they may overeat. In either case, they may find that driving through a fast food restaurant or ordering a pizza online is just easier than fixing a meal. Eating like this, or neglecting to eat will only degrade your partner’s health, causing her to go deeper into her depression. Help your loved one keep her body healthy, and her mind will follow. This is a great article that talks about the “Brain Diet” which can help the symptoms of depression, and this article talks about how our modern diet could contribute to the recent rise in depression. Here is a recipe for a trail mix that is quick to make and has mood-boosting properties.

3.Get them outside.

The benefits of getting outside for a depressed person are huge. And it is possibly the last thing on earth your partner will want to do. Take them to be somewhere in nature. Pack a picnic and lie in the sun, take a leisurely hike (exercise is an effective mood booster!) or plant a garden. Being barefoot in the dirt, or “earthing” helps ground the body and reverse the effects of living in a world of emf’s, and digging in soil can actually act as an antidepressant, as a strain of bacterium in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, triggers the release of serotonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety. Sunshine increases Vitamin D production which can help alleviate depression. My friend Elizabeth wrote an excellent post about Vitamin D and its link to depression here. For more information about other sources of Vitamin D, this is a great post as well as this.

4. Ask them to help you understand what they’re feeling.

If your partner is able to articulate what they are going through, it will help them and you better understand what you are dealing with, and may give insight into a plan of action for helping your partner. Also, feeling alone is common for a depressed person and anything that combats that feeling will help alleviate the severity and length of the depression.

5. Encourage them to focus on self-care.

Depressed people often stop taking care of themselves. Showering, getting haircuts, going to the doctor or dentist, it’s all just too hard, and they don’t deserve to be well taken care of anyway in their minds. This can snowball quickly into greater feelings of worthlessness since “Now I’m such a mess, no one could ever love me”. Help your loved one by being proactive. Tell them “I’m going to do the dishes, why don’t you go enjoy a bubble bath?” can give them the permission they won’t give themselves to do something normal, healthy and self-loving.

6. Hug them.

Studies show that a sincere hug that lasts longer than 20 seconds can release feel-good chemicals in the brain and elevate the mood of the giver and receiver. Depressed people often don’t want to be touched, but a sincere hug with no expectation of anything further can give your partner a lift.

7. Laugh with them.

Telling a silly joke, watching a comedy or seeing a stand up comedian will encourage your partner to laugh in spite of herself. Laughing releases endorphins and studies show can actually counteract symptoms of depression and anxiety.

8. Reassure them that you can handle their feelings.

Your partner may be feeling worthless, angry and even guilty while they are depressed. They may be afraid that they will end up alone because no one will put up with their episodes forever. Reassure them that you are in the relationship for the long haul and they won’t scare you away because they have an illness.

9. Challenge their destructive thoughts.

A depressed person’s mind can be a never-ending loop of painful, destructive thoughts. “I’m unlovable, I’m a failure, I’m ugly, I’m stupid”. Challenge these untruths with the truth. “You’re not unlovable, I love you. You aren’t a failure, here are all the things you’ve accomplished.”

10.Remind them why you love them.

Look at pictures of happy times you’ve had together. Tell them your favorite things about them. Reminisce about your relationship and all the positive things that have happened, and remind your partner that you love them and they will get through this.

My friend Julie who blogs at Real Fit Mama has a great post about more things you can do to help with depression. Go have a look here! She also wrote a post about finding true happiness here.

This list is in no way exhaustive. I’d love for this to start a conversation, please leave the ways you have found to love someone with depression in the comments.

Pruned-Book-Cover

 

Filed under depression

379 notes”

0 notes &

Calibrating Signal To Noise

"Last Sunday the assigned Gospel lesson was Jesus telling his disciples what to do if a sister or brother ‘sinned again you.’ Not surprisingly, his first advice was to go directly to that person in private and speak to them. This is the first thing we are to do, and all of us know it. So why don’t we do it?

“Direct dealing is hard, even for those of us who have been commanded to do it by Jesus. When we are hurt or angry we feel vulnerable and don’t fully trust our emotions. As a result, we talk to others who are not involved in the situation or who we know will take our side. We don’t really mean to gossip or triangulate, but the effect is the same and so is the damage.

“When we talk about the situation with someone not involved before we talk to the person who has hurt or angered us, we bring a third person into the emotion of the situation. We may eventually work it out and get over it. The offending person may apologize or explain. We may have misunderstood or, most likely, we were partially responsible. At any rate, by dealing directly with the person, we are able to get some resolution and healing. Our relationship with the offender might even be stronger after our reconciliation.

“The problem with talking to a third party first is that person never has a chance for healing or reconciliation. It is like sharing our poison with them but never sharing the antidote. We have damaged their relationship with the offender, but they have no opportunity for healing that rift.

“It may make us feel better to talk it out with someone else when we are hurt or angry, but it also can be an incredibly selfish thing to do. If you need to, find a professional who is trained to handle the toxins without internalizing them. When we “share” our anger with someone who can’t do anything with it we may feel better, but that is only because we have injected our toxins into the life of an innocent person who may seem all too willing to take the poison but are not made better by it.

™Before you talk to others, go to the person who has offended you and channel the late Joan Rivers by saying, ‘Can we talk?’

“Blessings,

“Rev. Michael Piazza
“The Center for Progressive Renewal”

Filed under 140910 gossip courage discipleship fierce grace

374 notes &

thekimonogallery:

A hanging scroll by the well-known artist Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831-89). The painting depicts the Hell Courtesan (Jigoku dayū), a Takasu prostitute who is said to have attained enlightenment with the help of the Rinzai Zen priest and poet Ikkyū (1394-1481), who was well-known not only for his fondness for engaging both devotees and sceptics in dialogues about Buddhist philosophy, but also for his liking for alcohol and brothels. Ikkyū is shown dancing on top of the head of a seated skeleton, kicking his leg out as he waves his arms about in the air, obviously enjoying himself a great deal. Beneath him, the skeleton sits playing a shamisen whilst smaller skeletons dance to the tune it is playing. The Hell Courtesan, standing beside a screen decorated with autumn grasses beneath a golden moon, is dressed in a robe and obi that are adorned with images of the Gods of Good Fortune.

thekimonogallery:

A hanging scroll by the well-known artist Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831-89). The painting depicts the Hell Courtesan (Jigoku dayū), a Takasu prostitute who is said to have attained enlightenment with the help of the Rinzai Zen priest and poet Ikkyū (1394-1481), who was well-known not only for his fondness for engaging both devotees and sceptics in dialogues about Buddhist philosophy, but also for his liking for alcohol and brothels. Ikkyū is shown dancing on top of the head of a seated skeleton, kicking his leg out as he waves his arms about in the air, obviously enjoying himself a great deal. Beneath him, the skeleton sits playing a shamisen whilst smaller skeletons dance to the tune it is playing. The Hell Courtesan, standing beside a screen decorated with autumn grasses beneath a golden moon, is dressed in a robe and obi that are adorned with images of the Gods of Good Fortune.

(Source: ginacolliasuzuki.com)

374 notes”

615 notes &

In Buddhism there is no place for using effort. Just be ordinary and nothing special. Eat your food, move your bowels, pass water, and when you’re tired go and lie down. The ignorant will laugh at me, but the wise will understand.
Lin Chi (via lazyyogi)
615 notes” 1 note” 14 notes” 2 notes”

13 notes &

The addicts hang around addicts and abstainers with the abstainers.
The gamblers mix up with gamblers and scoundrels with scoundrels.
The Love abounds among the thieves and the cheats get together, decieve the country.
Jesters meet jesters enthusiastically, and so do the backbiters.
Swimmers meet similar persons and by meeting, there swimmers go and get across.
The afflicted meet the afflicted ones and share their sufferings.
Likewise, the Sikhs of the Guru feel pleasure in the Holy Congregation.(4)

amalee rachan amaleeaa sofee sofee mael kara(n)dhae||
jooaaree jooaareeaa vaekaramee vaekaram racha(n)dhae||
choraa choraa pireharree t(h)ag t(h)ag mil dhaes t(h)aga(n)dhae||
masakariaa mil masakarae chugalaa chugal oumaahi mila(n)dhae||
manathaaroo manathaarooaa thaaroo thaaroo thaar thara(n)dhae||
dhukhiaarae dhukhiaariaaa(n) mil mil apanae dhukh ruva(n)dhae||
saadhhasa(n)gath gurasikh vasa(n)dhae ||4||

Bhai Gurdaas Ji (via lifeofasikh)
13 notes”

1,232 notes &

No one is more worried by the actual physical manifestation of a god than his priests; it’s like having the auditors in unexpectedly.
Terry Pratchett, Pyramids (via discworldquotes)
1,232 notes”

101 notes &

lastrealindians:

The Red Power Mixtape: Che Christ & Indigenous Hip Hop
The Red Power Mixtape is a whirlwind of resistance music. Che Christ is no stranger to backlash, since he is named after white icons and raps in Lakota, Spanish, and English. Before judging Che Christ, consider that sometimes icons must be destroyed for ideologies to survive. “You’re the great white hype, but Eye believe in the Wakan,” Che Christ self-reflectively raps in “New Spirit (Peace & Harmony)”.
Che Christ was born in the desert lands of his Pipá and Quechan (Colorado River Tribes) ancestors. Raised on traditional teachings, bird songs, a high respect for the land, and a steady diet of underground hip-hop, Che Christ maneuvered the inner-city streets of Phoenix, using his words to combat the oppression around him. His ancestors demanded traditional knowledge be kept a secret, so Che Christ is challenged to find a way to share the lessons he grew up with.
READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/the-red-power-mixtape-che-christ-indigenous-hip-hop/

lastrealindians:

The Red Power Mixtape: Che Christ & Indigenous Hip Hop

The Red Power Mixtape is a whirlwind of resistance music. Che Christ is no stranger to backlash, since he is named after white icons and raps in Lakota, Spanish, and English. Before judging Che Christ, consider that sometimes icons must be destroyed for ideologies to survive. “You’re the great white hype, but Eye believe in the Wakan,” Che Christ self-reflectively raps in “New Spirit (Peace & Harmony)”.

Che Christ was born in the desert lands of his Pipá and Quechan (Colorado River Tribes) ancestors. Raised on traditional teachings, bird songs, a high respect for the land, and a steady diet of underground hip-hop, Che Christ maneuvered the inner-city streets of Phoenix, using his words to combat the oppression around him. His ancestors demanded traditional knowledge be kept a secret, so Che Christ is challenged to find a way to share the lessons he grew up with.

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/the-red-power-mixtape-che-christ-indigenous-hip-hop/

101 notes” 898 notes”

444 notes &

The revert story of brother Daniel:

poeticislam:

poeticislam:

We are publishing this in order for people to benefit and hopefully encourage others, with permission from the brother. *Note*: This is not the same Daniel that I posted the video of. Also, this brother is actually on tumblr! Follow him insha’Allah: 

http://beardsandankles.tumblr.com/

"Bismillah (In the name of God)

To understand how I came to Islam, we must start from the beginning. I was brought up in a non-religious household, funnily enough, my parents often said to me that they would let me grow up and choose my religion once I was old enough. However I always had a belief in God. Due to living in Britain and because of the influence of my Spanish side of the family, I saw myself as a Christian, I was never christened or baptised, but it was almost as if being a Christian was an extension of my nationality.

So while I did not go to church, I would sometimes pray to god, usually when I wanted something, but it was prayer nonetheless. Despite seeing myself as a Christian, I never understood the concept of praying to Jesus, I always felt as if I was praying directly to God as opposed to praying to Jesus.

Another concept that I had been brought up with that was apparent in Islam, was the idea that we are responsible for everything we do. I could never agree with the idea that Jesus died for our sins, because something my parents had always instilled in me was that you are responsible for all of your actions, and ultimately on the Day of Judgement we will have to answer for them.

In 2000, my father was in hospital for 11 months, after these 11 months he passed away. They often say that tragedy can bring you closer or take you away from faith, for me, it did not make me lose any faith, I still believed that there was a God, and that the death of my father was just fate.

My life went along, as I left primary school, then on to secondary school, then sixth form. I still had a belief in God, but it was never manifested into anything other than the occasional prayer, once again usually when I wanted something. I wasn’t particularly searching for anything, but I was open to other ideas. In fact one day, representatives from a local church knocked on my door asking me about my beliefs, they even conducted some sort of prayer for me. However I did not feel any sort of spiritual connection when they were doing this, I just kind of stood there. They promised to come back and speak to me the week after, so the week after I just never answered the door.

Another thing that I felt has to be mentioned is an anxiety that I had to death before I found Islam. I had this feeling that I could die at any moment, but I did not know what would come after, it really affected me with certain things and certain choices I made, and would leave me very worried sometimes.

I find it very hard to pinpoint when I began to consider Islam. Despite the medias attempts to paint Islam in a negative light, I never bought into it, while they attempted to put the blame on certain people for the events of 9/11 and 7/7, I’ve always had the belief that you can’t judge a whole group of people by the actions of one, and even more importantly I understood that you can not judge a religion based on the actions on its members. In fact I sometimes even defended Islam, though my argument was horrible, one time I said “Ice Cube is a Muslim, and you wouldn’t say that to him,” alhamdulilah my knowledge is a little bit better than that now.

I think the first time Islam entered my consciousness was one night in 2007, I was in bed, and as you do, was skipping through TV for something to watch. On ITV there was a show which was on the different religions interpretations of Jesus, focusing on Christianity and Islam. Here for the first time was something that made sense to me, I could never understand the idea of Jesus being the son of God/God on earth, however Islam saying that Jesus was a prophet just seemed to make perfect sense to me. Other topics on the show which intrigued me was the coming of Dajjal, the Mahdi and the return of Isa (Jesus). The next day I spoke to a friend of mine, a Muslim, who had also seen the show, and we began to discuss it a little bit.

Another thing that made me look into Islam was this book that I had that was about Muhammad Ali. The book was made up of the narrative and then quotes from the man himself and pretty much everyone involved in his life. They would discuss some of the acts of charity he would perform, and he would talk about how it was because of Islam. The fact that Muslim’s are encouraged to give in charity, was something I admired, as charity was something that my parents had always encouraged me to take part in

After this I began to speak to friends of mine about Islam. A particular friend of mine, called Noor, who I admired due to his manners, became my main source for information on Islam. As I began to speak to him, I realised that the reason that he was so well mannered was because of Islam which piqued my interest even more. I also would speak to one of my teachers, an R.E. teacher, who after telling him of my interest in Islam, encouraged me to look into it further and further, I even remember him showing me off at a Record of Achievement night, telling some people that I was becoming muslim.

During A-Level revision in around March/April 2008, I would go to a local library to revise. This library is situated in a well known Jewish area, so there selection of Islamic books was very small, however there was one book called the complete Idiots guide to Islam. So while I was meant to be revising, I would either A) finish my revision as quickly as I could or B) abandon revision all together to read this book. The more I read of this book the more I started to believe that Islam was the right religion for me, and was the right path to Jannah (Heaven). I would read about Jannah, in vivid descriptions, and realised this was where I wanted to be. I would read about the importance of prayer, and the dedication showed by Muslims to the prayer and I would marvel at it. I would read about Allah and my heart would fill more and more with faith. I would read about how Islam was more than just a religion, how it was a way of life, how there were hadiths for everything we did in life, we had been given the guide on how to get to jannah. However I still would not take my shahadah (testimony of faith).

The more I researched online, the more my faith grew. When I heard the Athan (call to prayer) on Youtube, it was one of the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard. I even researched how to take the shahadah, but I still did not take it. I bought a copy of the Qur’an that I took with me on holiday to Spain, and this just increased my faith even more. But still I did not take my shahadah.

The reason I did not take my shahadah, was due to a stupid fear that I seemed to have. I had this idea that I would be somehow interrogated by the people at the masjid, with them expecting me to know everything. I also had this idea that I may be viewed as an outsider, not looked down upon, but maybe not taken seriously as a Muslim, how wrong I was.

In January 2009, I had just finished my January exams and something took over me, I decided to take my shahadah. It was late at night, and for some reason I can remember the moon being quite bright through my window. I found an online clip of someone reciting the shahadah, and copied what they said. I immediately felt different spiritually, like a burden had been lifted, my heart felt open. But the changes did not come over night. I only told Noor, and the next day when I saw him he gave me a big hug.

For a while, while I had taken my shahadah, I was kind of stuck in the middle. I wanted to learn how to pray, but did not know how to go about, I gave up pork which wasn’t too hard anyway. I had never drunk alcohol or been involved with girls in that way so that was never a fitna (trial/test) for me. I wanted to know and learn more about Islam, but I just didn’t know who to turn to. I still had this fear of going to a mosque. I also had a paranoia of what some people would say including my mother. At the time my mother was seeing a Christian guy, who was speaking to her about trying to become a Christian. She was raised a Roman Catholic, but after my father died, she pretty much lost faith. I had no problem with this, however one time I was watching Ali, a film which I watched a stupid amount of times, and he came in. He then said he thought it was stupid when Muhammad Ali became muslim. This of course cast doubts on how my mum would receive the news.

However despite all this I still had the intention to learn things such as how to pray etc, but due to my fear of going to the Mosque I never got around to it. Then on August 10th I was at a friends house playing FIFA, when my friend got a call that was for me. It was from Noor, who said that he wanted to take me to the mosque to teach me how to pray. He was with another friend of mine who I had not seen in a while, in the time that I had not seen him, he had got onto the deen (way of life i.e. Islam) stronger than he was before alhamdulilah. So a group of us set off to Regents Park Mosque. There, one of my friends took me to speak to another guy, who began to ask me about why I was interested in Islam, why I wanted to take my shahadah, then he went to go speak to the Imam. I performed Maghrib salat (one of the five daily prayers) in jammat (congregation), following the movements of everyone around me, then the imam called me up.

He also asked me some questions, then I took my shahadah again. Subhan’Allah (Glory be to God), any fears I had of people being hostile in the masjid were completely wiped away, for about 15-20 minutes I stood there receiving hugs and kisses, gifts from the brothers, I was given a book on how to pray, I was given some cake, I was given some attar, but I did not know what it was for like 10 minutes, the brother gave it to me while he was shaking my hand, and I did not have time to look at my hand to see what it was, I just felt something round, I had this idea it was a battery for some reason. This outgoing show of affection was very overwhelming. As the crowd began to disperse, I received my certificate from the Imam, then got some food, because obviously things like this can make you hungry. We stayed in the masjid for a bit, talking with the brothers who were interested in why I came to Islam, and then made our way back to my friends house, where his family were also very happy to hear I became Muslim and I received congratulations and gifts from them aswell.

This reaction was the complete opposite of what I was expecting. I was expecting hostility, but what I felt was love.

The journey was not over, as I still had to tell my mum. The day after, I did not pluck up the courage to tell her. However I had heard how my mum had seen my friends auntie, so I began to wonder if my mum had found out the news from her. So the next day after that, as soon as I woke up I thought I have to go and speak to her about this. I picked up my certificate and walked into her room, shaking. I told her I had something to tell her, and handed her the certificate, she read, it, got up and hugged me. Now the two things that I was worried about, going to the mosque and telling my mum had been quashed within a matter of a couple of days. Me and my mum discussed a few things, how Islam would change things for me, how I was still the same person etc. My mum knew that as a person I would not change, and even told me she was proud of me.

A few days later my first Ramadan (the holiest month in the Islamic Calender) started, something which I looked forward to and kind of dreaded in equal amounts. However any worries about Ramadan were gone when I began to feel the sense of brotherhood. The mosques were packed, everyone was together it was beautiful. I also used Ramadan as a way to boost my iman a lot. I started from scratch with the basics, learning salah etc. I started off praying with the book in front of me and began to memorise more and more.

Ever since that Ramadan, it has been one big learning experience, we as Muslims are always encouraged to gain knowledge which is something I love about this deen. We are always striving to increase our iman (faith). Sometimes I think about where I would have been had I not accepted Islam, and it is scary to think, as you can see from what I have written, I wasn’t a particularly bad child or teenager, however spiritually I would still be lost, with no sense of purpose in life. Alhamdulilah (Praise be to God) I was guided to Islam and Alhamdulilah for everything since then.”

444 notes” 202 notes”