Faithfully Yours

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BiCurean started for me as a conscious concept when I was working in the LGBT community. In my own journey, coming out as a person of faith created what felt like an impossible choice. I could either leave my faith, which I chose at the age of 13 when I converted to Mormonism. Or I could ignore the way I felt about the woman that I loved. I spent months agonizingly trying to sort out how to be myself in this world in which my love and my faith were at odds. My friends, mostly faithful Mormons, were loving and supportive and (for the most part) horrified that I would even consider leaving the faith to be with a woman. I eventually did choose to honor my love for the woman I fell for and leave the church I had chosen as my home. It was a painful and confusing experience. 

When I started working at the Rainbow Center in Tacoma, WA, I ran into more people facing a similar challenge. People who identified as devoutly Christian for the most part feeling like they could live celibate lives alone or they could have partnership and love and lose the faith that called to them. At the time the LGBT community was also very rejecting of people who were gay and also maintained their Christian faith. Neither community was open to a world in which these things co-exist comfortably. I realized I wanted a world in which these arbitrary contradictions were no longer enforced but instead embraced. And the concept of BiCurean was created. 

I imagine a world in which people celebrate their inner inconsistencies. Where we embrace our weirdness and we accept ourselves as the dynamic creatures of change and curiosity we are capable of being. I believe there will be less pain in the world if more people can face their own confusing messiness. 

So join me in the #BiCurean movement. Notice your own BiCurean moments. The things that don't fit neatly into a marketing package and yet are still true.

 

Podcasting Takes a Lot of Time

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I have been neglecting my blog for a few months. It turns out a podcast takes a bit of time. And now that we've added transcription to it, even more. And digging into the topics and figuring how to make them somewhat coherent and (hopefully) interesting, takes even more. Every week I promise myself I will write a blog. And every week, I manage to wriggle out of it. I have a lot of ideas for topics: Adult Children; Changing Relationships; Why I Support Jared Polis; Navigating the Health System. They swim in my brain and on post-it notes, with supporting links, like neglected children while I focus on podcast topics, many of which lead to dead ends. There are lots of things that simply don't have enough depth to them to be able to hold a 30 minute conversation on. 

I think I will have to change how I blog since in a lot of ways the style of blogging I was doing was reflective of the kind of podcast I wanted to do. So for the 5 of you that read this, I apologize for disappearing. 

Meet the Magician

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When I founded BiCurean in 2011, my initial vision was to produce a podcast. I pictured a community growing around the idea I was creating. A community dedicated to embracing our seeming contradictions. A place to embrace ourselves as messy humans and, perhaps through that experiment, learn to be more accepting of the messy human nature all around us. I bought the domain, started a Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram. I began blogging sporadically, trying to find ways to share the BiCurean vision. I bought a Blue Snowball mic and downloaded Audacity and started trying things. The podcast, though, well it went nowhere.

Slowly.

This last fall, I met Erik Kosnar. I shared my vision for BiCurean (which he embodies in his life) and my continued desire to create a podcast. Being the kind of person who likes to help others achieve their dreams, he offered to help me make it happen. Somehow, I managed instead to rope him into being a co-host. We started playing with ideas and theories and concepts and topics and have, finally, achieved 1 full episode. Which will post (cue drumroll) this Thursday, Feb 15!

Erik brings a rich history of working in music to BiCurean. Darker Days Tomorrow is his current solo music project. He is an artist, musician and composer with an extensive background in audio engineering. He also has a lot of experience in training both in the corporate and private training sectors. He also worked at and designed educational materials for a national nonprofit. In his private life he is an advocate in the LGBT and poly communities. His current day job is Customer Success Manager for a thriving Silicon Valley start up. 
 
I have large visions for BiCurean. I want to be part of creating a cultural shift towards a more human world for all of us. The podcast simply wouldn't be possible without his efforts and expertise. I can say that with confidence, as it didn't happen until he showed up. When he offered support, I asked for partnership in the project. I have always been a better worker when I have a teammate. I am lucky to have found one as dedicated and hard working as Erik is. And I am so delighted he has opted to be my sound magician and co-host for this endeavor! 

The Right Chemicals

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In. Out. In. Out. This steady rhythm beats behind every movement in our world. Some fires burn the air away and then we choke on our own expectations. I don't know all the fires in my belly, my mind, my past, but that doesn't mean they don't burn me when I get distracted. There is a balance in life that paces itself to the steady in out of our breathe. When I lose touch with that balance, I feel the wobbly-ness all the way to my toes. It's not like drowning, there is none of the peaceful feelings I've heard are part of breathing the wrong mixture of chemicals into my lungs. A little less O and a little more H and suddenly what gives me life, slowly smothers it. There might be a lesson there, in the details. Put the wrong things together and they are bound to cause trouble. Maybe that's what I did, when I walked into your life, but really all I wanted was to find another touch stone in this chaos. To be another touch stone in this chaos. But all the fear we thought was behind us welled up. In. Out. And my lungs were slowly filled with something I could neither process nor expel.

Year in Review

Thank you 2017. You have been a year of change, growth and new experiences. I evicted my gall bladder, said good bye to my uncle, and regained my voice. I saw Depeche Mode, Tori Amos, and Lords of Acid. I finally made it to New Orleans. My dear friend moved to Colorado, and we have been storing up as many joys as possible. We took a road trip, have been playing D&D regularly, and chatted for hours about all the things.

Our family changed our name and survived the first year of Ian's loss. I found ways to connect with my mother. I rekindled friendships and sold my first piece of writing.

I faced fears I didn't know I had. 

I held loved ones while they cried. I fell into books that consumed me. I made a difference for strangers. I failed. I put one foot in front of the other. I gave up. I started again. Hell froze over. 

I took the Landmark forum. Then a seminar. Then the Advanced Course. Then the Communications Course. I was patient when people called it names. I practiced being open and vulnerable. I got irritated anyway. I watched how living the work impacted my world in positive ways. I surrendered to my own flaws and accepted my imperfections. I forgot what I discovered and lost my temper. I created a world of possibilities. I bought into a finite limitation. 

I went to water aerobics. I started learning shorthand. I lost 30 pounds. I started running again. I gave someone a chance. I celebrated birthdays and holidays and new jobs and new opportunities. I grieved lost friends and family passed away. 

I experienced a total eclipse of the sun. 

I found myself in between the moments. I remembered to breathe and laugh and cry. I learned how to sleep. I fell apart. I re-membered myself. 

I tried things I knew I hated and discovered I was wrong. I let go of how things are supposed to be. I bought new boots. I gave peace a chance.  

Thank you 2017. 

Wisdom from Experience

Annually for years I have celebrated a version of Samhein. This year the theme I found that spoke to me was "One Who Gains Wisdom From Experience". I have had experiences. I am hopeful of gaining wisdom from them. 

Samhein is a time when I pause and thank my life for what it has brought me. While I do not enjoy all the experiences of my life, I appreciate my opportunities for growth. I celebrate the moments of connection and joy I have been gifted. This year I am especially grateful to the people who have been patient with me as I have sought to learn a new way of being in life. My family, of course. My partners. My friends. 

 Photo by Ken Sieglinger

Photo by Ken Sieglinger

This is also a time when I invite a new direction into my life. I set an intention for myself to live into for the upcoming year. I invite you to join me in this, as you feel inspired. Take a moment and acknowledge your life. Or more than a moment. Write it out, burn it, fold it up. Once you feel clear in that, pause. Set an intention for what you seek to discover or create in the next 12 months. Perhaps more family time or greater community service? Perhaps making more time to learn new skills? Whatever it is, simple or complex, sweeping or specific, know you can create your direction with your intentions. 

It never falls out the way I imagine. So far, it has been a journey worth taking. 

Happy Samhein. May your journey be your joy.