magic: the ability of individual consciousness to affect the pattern of the universe. I believe that thoughts and emotions are magical; words are the manifestation of these things and as such can draw even stronger patterns -- especially in Naming. I believe in the use of symbols in ritual; physical representations of thoughts and emotions provide a focus that strengthens the magic. I have used my thoughts, emotions, words, and ritual to affect the pattern of my life and seen amazing clusters of "coincidences" as a result.
critical analysis: accepting and/or dismissing nothing without careful examination for the assumed meaning and possible purpose. I believe every piece of knowledge must be reshaped in order to make it part of oneself; without this, one's mind is just a collection of other people's thoughts (it's the difference between building a structure from gifted materials, and just leaving the materials in a haphazard pile. The second is not very useful). I believe every person has something I can learn from them, and I believe in taking every opportunity to find those things.
mindful touch: touch that is full of awareness. I believe touch is sacred and find thoughtless touch to be upsetting most of the time; it feels like a desecration. I believe touch requires consent, always. I want to be touched by people who are aware of my desires, my reactions, my body, my boundaries. I do my best to touch people only in ways that please them (not just in ways that don't bother them); if in doubt, I will not touch.
asking: questioning instead of assuming or accepting or wondering. Asking for what I want; asking if I have interpreted correctly; asking why a pattern exists; asking myself how I can change a harmful pattern; asking to help others learn about themselves; increasing openness through invitations to share.
bold emotion: not dampening, silencing, or shaming my own or others' emotions. Experiencing the full spectrum at full volume and calling no emotion "bad" but considering them all teachers. Expressing my own emotions without censoring.
creating/living art: elevating every action to an art form, every item one owns to an expression of self. I believe mass-produced things can be rescued with customization. I believe everything deserves uniqueness. I believe in finding every possible way to express oneself.
colors: I believe in surrounding myself with color like some people believe in eating green veggies. Color nourishes me, especially the colors which reflect parts of me (spirit, heart, soul).
nudity: of the body and the inner self. I believe in hiding nothing; wearing only what decorates and highlights.
giving: of self, of resources. I believe in giving at least 11% of what I earn to support organizations that are dedicated to my core values or to caretaking beings I love (like trees and snow leopards). I believe in giving whatever help I can to whomever asks it of me.
self-love: loving and caretaking oneself. I believe in learning to love every part of myself (spirit, heart, soul, mind, body) exactly as I am in the moment and in making self-care a priority. If I do not nourish myself, I will not be able to nourish others. My first responsibility is to take care of me.
coffee: the ritual and the drink. For me, making coffee is a sacred ritual (if I ever make you coffee it means you're very important to me); it's the equivalent of "communion" in the church. Which is part of the reason I could be quite happy being a barista as a lifelong career. I believe in fresh-roasted, fresh-ground, fair-trade coffee beans, in high-quality flavor syrups and in organic, ethically-produced milk.
Georgia: my state, my land. I believe in the gorgeous thickness of trees, in the heart which pulses in Atlanta, in the growing movement for equality. I believe in the -estness and diversity of Georgians, in the sticky heavy heat of Georgia summers, in the land which calls me its own. I do not think I will live here for the rest of my life, but I do believe Georgia will always call me back. Horrible things have been perpetrated on this land, but it still feels so willing to care for and connect with anyone who reaches out. I may be a transplant offshoot of a destructively invasive family (kinda like kudzu) but this red clay is where I've rooted, and I will do my best to help heal the land.