Happy TunesDay: Collection 53

Friends, life has been a real whirlwind as of late. I don’t know if it’s because spring time has sprung, or because I recently got back from Greece, but I’ve been feeling refreshed and rejuvenated in tackling all the projects I’ve signed up for.

Hopefully that feeling doesn’t subside.

This week, I quickly put together a soulful r&b mood music playlist.  When my mind is racing, music has the magical ability to keep me calm and focused.  Hopefully it does the same for you all.

What kind of music makes you relaxed? Let me know in the comments below!

Sending you love & light,
Christina

Happy TunesDay: Collection 41

Y’all. Get this.

IT’S MAH BROTHER’S BIRTHDAY.

On this day, twenty-bajillion years ago, my dear and sweet and lovely mother pushed a human person out of her own person. And my dad watched in shock/awe/horror. Birth is still wild to me, but that’s another post for another time.

My brother and I have a pretty solid relationship. No matter how old I or he gets, we always regress into our silly selves. I am so grateful that I have a family, and specifically, a brother who gives me the time and space to be a kid. You dah bombdiggity, Miffs (I know you don’t read this, but just in case you do…)

In such a spirit, this playlist celebrates life in all of its intricacies. We both grew up with our dad playing soul music and some jazzy beats, but I wanted to blend it with some updated hip vibes…because you know, it’s 2016.

Thankfully I have some cool Hive pals, Sam and Earl, who provided me with outstanding song recommendations to keep my playlist fresh. Y’all are top.

Whether it is your birthday today or not, hopefully your Tuesday is a groovy one.

Beautiful background image by Design Love Fest.

Happy TunesDay: Collection 34 – A Thank You in Racial Solidarity

This is a different kind of TunesDay.  I am taking this time as a thank you–a sharing of weight and burden. It is an expression and acknowledgement of the unbearable struggle that my Black and brown family constantly endure.

I am unbelievably grateful to every single person, across racial plains, who has taught me about solidarity, Black struggle, and what that means in creating a better world.

You have shared your triumphs and your pitfalls. You told us about your losses and fears. And sometimes, often times, we do not believe them.

It makes me incredibly emotional to know that there are people who do not value our shared humanity, who hijack every opportunity for learning and turn it into defensive ignorance.

Still, you speak your truths as if your lives depend on it, because it does.

It was never and is never your job to keep teaching and keep educating those around you. But still, you do. And I have benefited from that every step of the way. I promise to do more teaching. To let you take a break and stop your wounds from reopening.

Your resounding resilience comforts me.  It tells me that despite oppression, hatred, and magnitudes of barriers, it is always possible to overcome.  It tells me that eastern Asian womxn like myself can also be strong and outspoken. You tell me that my voice also matters.  You confirm that racism and exoticism isn’t just in my head; that it impacts as all–some in worse ways than other. But we never play oppression olympics. We’re not at Rio. We never displace or remove or hide.  You always let us express our shared frustrations and our differences. In doing so, you uplift us all, without question or compromise.

There are no words to explain how thankful I am for the womxn of color, especially in the Black struggle, who teach me, guide me, and love me in spite of my missteps and high learning curve.

We rise because of you.

So this is just a thank you, plain and simple.  Because even though thank you’s don’t change the world, you still need to hear it.  You need to know that your work and your presence matters.  Thank you, a million times over.  I have learned to love myself because of you and in turn, I will do everything in my power to ensure you too feel love, safety, and acceptance in this society that constantly tears us down.

With a love that knows no bounds,
Christina

if we loved ourselves as much as we loved everyone else, maybe things would be better

You are aching bones and stretching skin–
a combination of the rigid and flexible.
Your body is and was and continues to be
everything it needs to be.

And that is all you can ask of it.

Do not let your body know you are ever ashamed.
Do not be ashamed of how your body cares for your soul.

You are full
of life.
Your soul knows it.
Your body does too.
Sometimes our brains need catching up.
Be patient.

Because though you are bones, and skin, and brains,
you are also strength, and shelter, and resilience.

You are everything you always needed.
You just might not know it yet.

Read this until you do.

Tell yourself
until it stops becoming forced
and you know how loved your soul
and your brain
and your body is.

Happy TunesDay: Collection 31

Y’all. Y’all. I saw Allen Stone in concert. After five long years of pining, my best friend and I saw him live this past weekend!

Anyway, this week I’m kind of in that drag-your-feet sluggishness. I’m telling you, being the boss of your own schedule is not that fun. How does one motivate themselves out of the bed so early in the morning? It’s a question I still don’t know the answer to. Yesterday, I legitimately had to give myself a pep talk in the mirror. It went something like this, “Christina. Get your shit together. Stop watching Shameless.”

It didn’t work very well.

Regardless, I’m trying to squeeze some more of that concert high from seeing Allen Stone. So in the spirit of his good vibes and hoping that I’ll become more motivated after listening to good music, this week’s playlist is full of soulful, hip r&b tunes.

What are some ways you keep motivated throughout the week/your entire life?

Groovy floral background provided by Jenn Sanchez for Design Love Fest.

TunesDay: Collection 30

This week is a relaxed sort of craze.  Being on your own schedule can be extremely liberating, but if you’re like me…you need some semblance of forced structure.

I’m trying this new thing to keep me focused. For me, being busy means running around everywhere for meetings, errands, and work sessions.  But, over the almost year that I’ve been on my own schedule, I haven’t gotten nearly as much done as I wish I have.

So, I guess that means I need an overhaul in how I’ve been sorting out my time. As my poppa says, I need to “buckle down” and get my stuff in order.

Essentially, what I’m saying is, if I call, text, email, Facebook message, LinkedIn inbox, or Twitter message you…ignore me. Or, make sure it’s on a weekend or not during typical 8-5PM work hours.  I beg of you…hold me accountable and don’t let me schedule meetings with you unless its for legitimate work! It’s beginning to be an actual problem.

I need to get my life together.  But, maybe this week’s tunes will help me destress. If you have any tips for how you schedule your time or if you experience similar difficulties in your freelance life, drop me a line.

Sending you all wishes of productivity and clarity!

TunesDay: Collection 28

Sorry for skipping last week.  Disappointed in myself that I did, but I think I need a break from social media for a little while.

I can only say that I am tired, of waiting for change to happen, of being scared, of being outraged over the violence that consumes us.

I’m not as hopeful as I used to be, and I can only say that what I have written on my Facebook about the happenings of this past week is what I have to say for now.

I believe that I am lucky in a way to be leaving to Costa Rica to start the Birds of La Cangreja project because it will help to clear my head and figure out what role I can and should play in social justice movements and in fighting overall as an ally and as an activist.  But, my travels also comes at a bad time because it feels like to leave is to abandon the communities that need strength here at home.

Though I am torn, maybe because I have the privilege of being able to step away, I should so that I can return and be ready to really tackle the problems that seem so daunting and hopeless.

I have no answers and no real moral to the story or uplifting note to end this on.  I am just grateful in that I know there are so many dedicated and motivated, angry, beautiful, loving activists in the struggle–in the queer, Latinx, and Muslim communities who are holding it down.  I could only hope for an ounce of the strength they have, and do my part in calling our elected officials for gun restrictions, in calling out homophobia, Islamaphobia, anti-immigrant sentiments, and the other forms of oppressive hatred that plague this country.

With this, I hope to continue on with TunesDays upon my return.  I just need some space.

Wishing you all love, healing, and more strength.

Background image comes from The Debrief.