Halloween is kind of fucked up.

Ray Ban Grim ReaperCheck out the full post:

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/10/a-real-life-celebration-of-day-of-the-dead/

Of course I went trick or treating as a kid.

I would dress up and go door to door with a group of friends and ask for candy from mostly unknown neighbors in suburbia.

In high school, I don’t remember celebrating. In college and post-college, I would go to big, wild house parties involving a lot of alcohol and everyone in costume.

In Guatemala, the culture has been sufficiently “Americanized” (USAificated?) for some Halloween traditions to have arrived here, but the bigger deal is on November 1st — All Saints’ Day. On this day, families and friends gather in cemeteries to commune with their late loved ones. It’s similar to (yet different from) DIay of the Dead in Mexico, which is on November 2nd officially.

I so appreciate the Latin American culture’s attitude toward death and see it in start contrast to North America’s Halloween with its emphasis on blood, gore and fear.

How to Unlearn

I write this morning to tell you that love is here now.

Love is here now. Peace is here now.

Or, if they aren’t, they never will be.

There is always going to be a problem, an issue, a challenge, an excuse.

There is nothing to attain.
We are life living.

The birds singing their songs in the trees, the black cat bathing in the sunlight, the distant sounds of voices and the lapping of water in the lake—all these are life, just as we are life.

Only none of them are striving for self-improvement, as we humans often tend to do. We tell ourselves that we could and should grow, transform, heal and become whole (not to mention have flat abs, amazing orgasms, a perfect family and powerful career).

Religion tells us we need to seek and find god and repent our sins.

Media tells us we need to look made-up, skinny, and fashionable, because these things equal beauty.

There is much unlearning to be done.

Primarily, we need to unlearn the learned notion that we are somehow incomplete, lacking or separate from nature and the rest of the beings in the universe.

We need to unlearn disconnection and relearn community.

Unlearn repression of our emotions; relearn their acceptance and healthy expression.

Unlearn isolation and relearn interdependence.

Secondarily, each and every one of us seriously needs to unlearn our conditioned, limiting beliefs and belief systems and explore the myriad ways in which we have been conditioned by our circumstances, genes and culture.

But, how to unlearn? Read Michelle’s recent article on elephant journal to (un)learn more!

When I get that feeling, I want sexual healing!

I must admit it kind of freaks me out to have written and published this, but I’m reading two books simultaneously about the yoga of intimacy and sexuality and so I got inspired. Sex is something we are ashamed of as a society. The more that people can talk and write and read about sex and intimacy, the more we can shine light on the shadow and heal the wounds around sexuality that culture imposes.

So here it is:

My journey of sexual, spiritual healing.

(Don’t read it.)

Blast from the Past Bio

Feliz ThanksgivingI have this I Love Lucy lunchbox my parents gave me several years ago which contains the few photos and mementos I have saved and kept with me over what seems like eons and all my moves from place to place.

The other day, I unearthed a little folded piece of paper, on which is a typed bio of yours truly, written by one of my ad agency colleagues circa 2002. It says, and I quote:

Michelle Fajkus, Writer/Proofreader

Michelle Fajkus is yoga-teaching, proofreading, world-traveling, film-reviewing, English-as-a-second-language-teaching, media-planning, environment-protecting copywriter. How’s that for versatility? These days writing and proofreading duties for just about every client on Tocquigny’s roster occupy most of her time. That means when she’s not aligning chakras as Toquigny’s resident lunchtime yoga guru, she’s realigning copy for greater clarity and grace. Michelle got her start with Toquigny back in the Spring of 1999. Since then she has worked miracles in just about every department in the agency, all the while working towards her BS in Advertising from The University of Texas. Looks like all that yoga is paying off. They just don’t come any more vocationally flexible than Michelle.

I’m so glad I saved that piece of paper for over a decade. So much is the same, yet so much has changed.

I am grateful for my background in advertising. I learned a lot of skills that I still use to this day. I am also grateful to no longer be working in that field.

I am grateful for my experience with yoga, even and especially on days like today when my chakras do not feel altogether aligned.

I am grateful for words from the past for reminding me of who I was then — and for bringing into greater focus who I am now.