I marched for myself and my clients

self esteem

I braved the crowds in Los Angeles yesterday. It was beautiful to see an endless stream of people continuing to show up in waves of trains, buses, Lyfts, and bicycles. Naively I thought I could hop on a Metro bus to the subway, but even though it was 7:30 in the morning and I was at the third stop of the line, it was clear there was no getting to the march on time using the Orange Line.

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Despite the overwhelming crowds, people, on the whole, remained polite, calm, and respectful of one another. There were babies, toddlers, children, teens, adults, parents, and grand parents. There were small children in strollers, there were men and women pushing bicycles, and there were parents and grand parents being pushed in wheelchairs. We came. We all came (and it was beautiful).

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Most of us are concerned about rights we fought hard for and won suddenly being taken away from us. We worry about the loss of the Affordable Care Act, (which some Trump supporters still do not understand is the same thing as “ObamaCare”.  We worry about the sudden rise in hate crimes. We worry about the loss and dismantling of MediCare and Social Security.

We are also angry that we have to keep fighting for basic human rights and basic human dignity for all. FOR ALL. We are all people and we all deserve the same civil rights regardless of gender, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious preference, age, mental ability, or physical ability.

Human rights should never be taken away because of something so insignificant as what genitals are (or are not) between a person’s legs or what skin tone they happen to be blessed with.

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As a mental health professional I am horrified that the homeless rate is so high for the LGBTQ* community. I am horrified at the rate of sexual assault against our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters.

It saddens me that so many people are rejected by friends or family for owning and living their true self. It disappoints me that people, beautiful people, feel shame over who they are. It distresses me even more that there are those among us who would shame and belittle others for not being like them. We are all different and that is okay.

Diversity truly does make us stronger. We all have different strengths and different passions and when we come together, we create a beautiful tapestry of life. We are stronger together and I hope we do not lose the momentum that we have right now. I hope we do not let this movement fade.

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Regardless of your age, your class, your kink, your orientation, your ethnicity, or your gender, I care about you. Do not give up, and lets not ever stop fighting for what is right.

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100 days of happiness

self esteem

The 100 days of happiness challenge really did make me happy.

So, two years ago, or so, I did the 100 days of happiness challenge. The gist of it is to take a photo a day, each day, of something that made you happy for 100 days.

Each day I would wake up wondering what picture I would take each day. I have dogs who I really love hanging out with and doing stuff with, but I knew I didn’t want 100 pictures of my dogs. photo

So, more than just being 100 pictures of things that made me happy, it became a quest for adventure to ensure that no two pictures were the same. I approached my happiness as a project and I put work and effort into and it all paid off.

I had to actually look for stuff I wanted to do. I couldn’t just sit at home and binge-watch Netflix or HBO Go. Not that anything is wrong with watching tv… but I wanted more out of life.

So, I decided to re-visit this challenge on New Year’s Day. On New Years Day I walked to the abandoned MASH 4077 film set in Malibu Creek State Park. We walked about 6 1/2 miles and enjoyed being out in the fresh air and sunshine.

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This morning I intended to get up and go the Rose Parade in Pasadena, but I overslept. Normally I would say forget and have coffee in my pajamas and spend the day being lazy, but I knew I had a picture to take. So, I was forced to make secondary plans and get out of the house.

My husband and I went out for a lovely French breakfast and we decided since my goal was new or interesting activities, he would take me to a local golf course, Woodley Lakes, and gave me instruction on putting and chipping. If it were not for the 100 days of happiness challenge, I definitely would not have joined him at the golf course.

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I do know yet what I will do for tomorrow, but the good news is that I know I will do something. The possibilities are endless and they do not have to cost any money and I do not have to be in competition with anyone else and with what anyone else is doing.

I could make a new recipe that I have always wanted to try. I could paint or draw something. I could go to the beach or the local Japanese garden. The point is that I will get up off of my couch and I will do one thing tomorrow that I am looking forward to doing.

If you cannot thing of anything to do, all major areas have websites that could help you out:

For the next 100 days, my goal is find something happy and enjoyable within each day and my motivation is to have 100 photos at the end of the challenge that I can arrange into a photo album to have printed so I can look back on my good times when I need it.