Crisis of Capitalism

*** I wrote this back in 2019 for the blog I write for my job, but never published it because I was worried it was too political. Now I feel like everything going on with COVID is exactly the "excruciating event" that might launch us all into action about these broken systems that hold all the power One of the biggest challenges to being sustainable is not having reusable/refillable options for everyday products. TerraCycle teamed up with UPS and several top brands to create a completely closed-loop container system called Loop. I started to feel excitement about it and then I realized something... why is this MY responsibility? I am not a billionaire, millionaire, nor do I have any power. Why is this gigantic mess something I am supposed to pay to fix? Does this even fix it? No. It's creating a new system of revenue out of trash, which is the only way capitalism will ever handle pollution. I don't trust most solutions that require a new product. Granted, t…

Red Flags in [Scientific] Journalism

Don't let yourselves be fooled by your brains' desires to believe what you already want (aka confirmation bias).  Here's a checklist, with an emphasis on scientific articles, you can use until you get the hang of spotting journalistic red flags.

Does the article mention specific names and dates when referencing scientific studies?  Articles that refer to everything as "studies" and "scientists" aren't being forthcoming with their information because they likely have none.  Articles that try to use science to justify their own beliefs often use this tactic to keep you from performing investigative work, hoping you'll just take their word for it... don't!  Example: Studies Prove How Human Emotions Shape Physical RealityAre there citations at the end of the article or within the article?  If not, move on... articles that don't site their references likely either have no references or are hiding their questionable references.  Also, are their…

365 Challenge Completed!

On my last birthday I decided to do another "365 Challenge" where I take and upload at least one photo every day.  I managed to come through the year having only missed 7 days!  DANG!!!  That's pretty impressive in my opinion :) 

I think for my next challenge I will attempt to do a photo + blog every day... and I'm thinking of coupling it with my upcoming year-long fellowship.  We shall see.

The Expectation to Suppress Joy

People talk a lot about suppressing anger (including myself) and how harmful it can be.  I think it's equally harmful to suppress joy, and that's not something we often hear about.  One of the issues I see is that as a society we have decided "negative" emotions have more value than "positive" ones.  Some say it's a product of our brain's ability to empathize with pain more easily than with happiness, but I think it could be the biological responding to our environmental cues.  Empathy is a social belief we teach as part of our culture to promote kindness and compassion.  Problem is, empathy can also be taught through guilt and shame (muting pride and self-esteem is holy), which solves one problem by creating another.  Let me give you some examples of expected harmful behaviors that will show you what I mean.
A friend is going through a divorce and you purposely don't talk about your great marriage in their presence so as not to "rub it in t…


"Truth is not a thing, it is a constantly shifting balance of multiple interconnected realities. It is ever-changing, cyclically-building, interdependent, and infinite in nature." (Allison Burnett, 2019)

Found this in my journal.  I don't remember being this insightful!  Sometimes I write things in the present that end up inspiring my future self.  I have quotes on my wall that I swap out once in awhile, and I haven't had quotes from others in a really long time.  Years.  I think that's pretty cool.  I started out with quotes from others, and now I inspire and motivate myself.  This is me and this is where I am.  My current quote wall:

One object at a time.  One layer at a time.  One room at a time
Growth mindset from classroom.  To closed system lab.  To practical application.

All were inspired by my own life and the realizations I had from my experiences :)  For anyone who doesn't know what "growth mindset" is, it's worth learning about!!  Not…

PTSD Conditioning

Some days he walks away
And anything that felt good before
Turns to shit at the door
Unfairly canceled out by
That actually means

My body won't agree
My body feels betrayed
By his responsibility
...................................... to leave me
"He has to leave" I tell it
"He'll be back"
"He'll be the same"

She disagrees

In my temples and behind my eyes
I feel those saline pools
Gathering for an appearance
"STOP" my mind scolds
"Shut that damn door"

My body is in disbelief
She's in desperate need
She feels the sting of loneliness
For 38 months
All at once

Like Ms Oliver told us
The soft animal of my body
Doesn't separate causes from effects
A broken bone is broken nonetheless

Biology is reactive and unreasonable
It's Pavlovian
It's conditioned to be what it's trained to be
Through experience
It makes no sense

She feels the same as she did before
Like he's going to war
Or lik…


I believe our old views of balance as a linear teeter-totter model are flawed.  I think real balance happens in a trinity/triad/triangle.  If you really think about it, we already knew that anyway.  Think of that teeter totter model again.  What else do you need for balance?  The fulcrum and the system itself (the platform).  Move the fulcrum or the platform and what happens?  You have to re-balance.  Balance doesn't mean the sides are equal; balance is not equality!  The universe will always be in balance.  No matter what you do.  There are limits and laws and they will be followed whether or not you understand/acknowledge/believe them.  Balance is a constant shifting to maintain equilibrium within a system.

That's what balance really looks like.  There are laws and limits, but almost endless variation... like pi.  The amount of complexity increases to infinity, but is defined by constants.  All triangles are 180 degrees.  It doesn't matter if all angles are equal or not.…

Victim Triangle

Thought I would share this on here since I've shared it with at least 3 people individually at this point.  I've been working on establishing and maintaining healthy personal boundaries so any instance in my life where I have unhealthy boundaries have been really obvious.  Still not great at dealing with those instances, but I'm getting better all the time.  While I'm working, this keeps popping up at different times to illustrate my inter/intra-personal communication cycles that need to be broken.

The hardest part for me has been recovering from taking responsibility for everyone's emotional state.  I would feel immense pressure to involve myself in other peoples' triangles, thinking I had to play the mediator role.  I would get intense feelings of anxiety, thinking about their expectations of me to fix their relationship... or feel it was my duty to point out if I saw an issue (without ever being asked or expected to do so by anyone other than myself).  I do …