Being Happy

17 Jun

Hi everybody – Kasi here.

So this is another of my wu-wu self-help hippie posts. 🙂 In case you don’t know, I read and think a lot about how to be happy. It might seem like a superficial, selfish kind of thing to think about, especially in light of all the terrible things in the world, but I really think it’s the most important thing you can work on.

Why? Because if you’re miserable, you’re going to make everyone around you miserable. The way I see it, you have two choices: you can get freaked out by every little thing that doesn’t go the way you think it should, or you can learn to deal with the shit that comes up in your world while maintaining your own peace of mind and a sense of contentment.

There’s an excellent book that I talk about a lot. It’s called “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer. One section of this book is particularly resonating with me lately. Mr. Singer says that people will say things like, “I want to be happy, but my husband left me,” or “I lost my job,” or whatever. This is saying that the world needs to be a certain way in order for you to be happy.

When you stop to think about it, this means that you can never be happy. Let’s face it; the world (and your life) is never going to be exactly the way you want it to be. It would be like playing Whack-a-Mole: you are always on guard,  watching for the little moles to pop up, hoping for a time when they stop so that you can finally relax and be happy. The problem is those moles never stop. You have to learn to be happy even while you’re dealing with them. It’s a long road to get to that point, but I have faith that it’s possible.

The first step along that road, I think, is to recognize when you’re trying to force things to be a certain way, and to learn to catch that thought: “I could be happy if that happened.” I’ll leave you with my new favorite saying: The cause of all suffering is knowing how things should be.

Take care and be happy!

Bouncin’ Around Denver

15 Jun

Hi, all – Babs here.

Well, we’re back in Denver for a couple of weeks taking care of family business and recuperating from the crazy month of May. It’s been a nice, relaxing time visiting friends and family but almost time to get back to work.

This weekend is Denver Pride. We always look forward to this event. There are so many wild, crazy, colorful people and they’re always so much fun to watch. This year, of course, there’s a huge damper on the festivities with the recent tragedy in Orlando. We’re extremely sad for the senseless loss of life and the grief and sorrow that it brings to the friends and family of the victims. At the same time, we feel the obligation to show our support and our solidarity with the LGBT community by using Pride to celebrate their lives and the enormous strides taken for public acceptance and tolerance of alternative lifestyles. Our thoughts will be with those who are grieving.

Next week we’ll be heading to Kansas City for a Makers Faire, something we’ve never done before. We’re hoping it’s a good event and that maybe we’ll get a chance to see friends in that area. If you’re between Denver and Kansas City, or in the Chicago area, please hit us up and see if we can’t get together to say hi in the next few weeks!

Happy Pride to all of our friends in Denver, and anywhere else that’s celebrating it this weekend, and I’ll talk to you soon. Gotta bounce!

How to be Happier

3 Jun

Hello – Kasi here. I found this great article on Purposefairy.com and wanted to share it with you. It’s a list of the fifteen things you should give up if you want to be happier, and I think it’s absolutely brilliant advice. Here’s the link to the article online, and here’s the list:

1. Give up your need to always be right

 There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control

Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame

 Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk

 Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs

Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining

 Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism

Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others

Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change

 Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” 
Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels

 Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears

Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
 Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses

Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past

I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment

This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations

Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

If you want to learn more about HOW to let go of these 15 things, check out the book with the same title, available NOW on Amazon for order and worldwide shipping.

Bouncin’ to Oklahoma

1 Jun

Hi, all – Babs here.

I know I missed the last couple of weeks so I wanted to give you a quick update. We’ve been doing lots of shows this month, as you know. We’ve been to Jacksonville, Florida, Charlotte, North Carolina, Columbus, Ohio, one of my favorite towns (lots of yummy plants, not too hot, no alligators–at least that I’ve seen. Those nasty things can be hiding anywhere, though, so you can’t be too careful!), and Pryor, Oklahoma.

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All of the shows were fun and fairly successful (except for a little rain and some COLD weather), but I’m kind of glad it’s over now. We’re currently chilling in Marlow, Oklahoma (a place that’s starting to feel like home) for a few days while we try to take care of the dents in the RV that were left by the tree in Savannah. Reggie did a really good job of patching it up but it will be nice to have it actually fixed.

Next week we’ll be heading to Denver to get ready for Denver Pride. That’s always a good time. We’ll get to see a lot of people that we haven’t seen much over the last year. I just hope the weather is nice! We’re getting kind of spoiled with all of the nice weather we’ve enjoyed this winter.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a nice, relaxing Memorial Day. We’re enjoying our week off, relaxing, visiting our favorite uncle, cooking some of our favorite meals and getting more stock made. Oops, I think I hear a piece of razzleberry pie calling my name. Gotta bounce!

 

 

 

Love at first sight?

13 May

Hello all, Reggie here and today I would like to talk about a topic common to romance writers. That is the debate over love at first sight verse love that grow organically. In our current life style we have a lot of time to talk while driving from one show to the next and I brought this topic up the other day with kasi and eva.

Being the only male in the group I thought I would be the one to have the more practical outlook on the subject, I was wrong. I will freely admit that I do believe in love at first sight. I also believe in love that grows organically through shared thoughts, feelings and experiences. I can say this because I have personally been privileged enough to have both kinds happen to me. I will not say that one is better than the other, nor will I say that one is deeper, longer lasting or more intense than the other. These things are, in my opinion, completely dependent upon the people involved and their intent.

I experienced love at first sight with Treena. The first time I looked into her eyes I knew I would spend the rest of my life loving her no matter what happened between us. We ended up spending the next 35 years together and even though she no longer wishes to be a part of the life style I have created and we are no longer together we still love one another very much. I cannot explain why my feelings for her do not diminish over time or distance. I suspect that they never will.

I have been lucky enough to experience love that grows organically with kasi and eva. I won’t say that there wasn’t an instant attraction to them, there was, but it was different than it was with Treena. The love I share with kasi and eva started with an unexplainable attraction but grew, deepened and strengthened over time. As we talked and learned about one another our love grew. As we accomplished mutual goals our love deepened. As we shared life and experiences together, our love became stronger. As we helped each other through trials and hardship our love became enduring and resilient.

So, having had both kinds of love I believe in their existence. Both are wonderful and make life worth living. I won’t say either is better than the other, just that I am honored to have had partners that let me experience them. Thank you ladies!

I was shocked when both kasi and eva told me that they do not believe in love at first sight. I will begin by saying that I will attempt to explain the points they raised and any errors in the retelling are my fault in possibly not understanding them correctly and not their explanation. Eva explained that she believes that many of the people who think that they have love at first sight are probably really experiencing lust at first sight, an infatuation or a crush and not true love. That we as a whole are conditioned through movies, music and stories to believe in love at first sight when the feelings are often something else that eventually grows into love. Kasi explained that she believes some people are karmically drawn together to accomplish some goal, even if they are not aware of it and can grow into love over time., Both of the ladies told me that even the most intense love can run its course and possible end without it being a bad thing.,

I don’t know if I believe that a love ending isn’t a bad thing but I will take their word on it for now. As romance writers we often have to deal with the subject of whether we will have our characters fall in love immediately and then have to overcome some obstacles that bar their way to happiness or to have them start off at a lesser level and grow to love one another though shared experiences. Both schools of thought leave a lot of room to work plot lines in our stories but which do you like better? Is it better for the characters to share that bolt of magic the first time their gazes meet or does it make for a better story if one character has to pursue the other and convince the object of their desire to love them in return?

I know there is no right answer and that it is case specific but I thought it would make for a great conversation starter. I look forward to hearing what you think and what you have experienced yourself. Just remember what I say in every relationship workshop I lead, there are as many ways to do life as there are people doing it, if it works for those involved, it is the right way. Until next time, have a great day.

 

Reggie

Bouncin’ North

11 May

Hi all – Babs here!

I have to say that the Carolinas are just as beautiful as I’d expected them to be. We had some tree-related vehicle issues in Georgia (the tree won) and then a flat tire in South Carolina (we won), so we were a little distracted from appreciating the scenery for a little while. (Except Savannah, which was absolutely gorgeous, even the hostile trees.)

The festival in Charlotte (Carolina Rebellion) was a lot of fun. We got to see (well, hear anyway) some great bands and even got to meet a couple of the band members!

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This is a pic I took of Reggie with Alice Cooper’s guitar player, Ryan Roxie. So cute!

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And here is Reggie with the members of Baby Metal.

If you want to see more of these pics, watch Reggie’s Facebook account (Reggie Alexander) or look for Poly’s Pleasures Jewelry on Instagram.

So anyway, we’re now on our way north to Somerset, Wisconsin (I hope it’s not as cold as it sounds!) for Northern Invasion. We’re having a great time on this tour!

See ya next week. Keep cool!

Bouncin’ to Carolina!

4 May

Hey, all – Babs here! I only have a second to write while the humans are loading the RV, but I wanted to send out an update.

We had a GREAT first concert weekend in Jacksonville, FL. It was a great lineup, the people were wonderful, and overall it was very successful. It took a day to recover from it, but now we’re heading toward Charlotte, NC for the second festival. I’m so excited! I’ve never been to either North Carolina or South Carolina and I’ve always heard about how beautiful they are, so I’m buzzing with excitement to see for myself.

Well, the humans are getting impatient so I guess I’ve got to bounce. I’ll be sure to post pictures as we go!

Bouncin’ on Tour!

27 Apr

Hello, everybody. Babs here. I’m so excited–our tour month is finally here!

It’s true that the humans are a little stressed, trying to get enough stock made. I don’t know how their fingers haven’t fallen off with all of the chainmailing they do. Some days I’m really happy I don’t have opposable thumbs!

Anyway, while they’re working hard making and selling chainmail, I’ll be partying and dancing to all the great bands we’re going to see. Most of them are from the 80s, waaaaaay before I was born, but I’ve developed an appreciation for it over the course of all the concerts we’ve done.

So here’s a list of the places we’re going to visit over the next five weeks. If we’re in your area, feel free to write and we’ll see if we can stop by for a quick visit.

Jacksonville, Fl for Rockville (Apr 27-May 2)

Charlotte, NC for Carolina Rebellion (May 2-9)

Somerset, WI for Northern Invasion (May 11-16)

Columbus, OH for Rock on the Range (May 18-23)

Pryor, OK for Rocklahoma (May 24-30)

If you ever get the chance to attend one of these festivals, you should. They’re tons of fun. Gotta bounce for now. See you on the flip side!

 

 

Kasi’s Deep Thoughts – Life is Like Learning to Ski

22 Apr

Hi there! This is Kasi, and I want to share some of my philosophical musings with you. As a caveat, if you’re not into “wu-wu self-help stuff,” you might want to skip this post and wait for a more mainstream one.

Anyway, I’ve been looking for metaphors to describe the anger management techniques I’ve been reading about and working on for the last few years. This metaphor occurred to me this morning, and I kind of like it.

Life is Like Learning to Ski

So you’re on the slopes, and you’re not very confident in your skiing ability (like me). You are looking down the hill at all of the things that could trip you up, make you fall, crash, or lose control. Your instinct is to go very slowly, carefully controlling your movement so that you can avoid all of those pitfalls. The last thing you want to do is to just fly down the hill willy-nilly. You’d break your neck, right?

Well, I think life is kind of like that. You have to accept that you’re not going to be in control all of the time. You can’t avoid the parts that look dangerous, and you can’t always take them at a pace that feels comfortable for you. If you want to accomplish anything, you’ve got to learn the best techniques you can, then just go for it and allow yourself to feel a little out of control. If you fall down a few times, that’s okay. As long as you get back up and try it again, eventually you’ll develop the confidence to know what you can and can’t control.

I know I’m using the word “control” a lot here, but the thing I’ve struggled with the most is the feeling of trying to control the things that I don’t like. I feel like if I allow things to happen that I don’t like or approve of, they’re going to destroy me. I’ve got to resist, fight against them.

That’s where the technique comes in. If you try to clear away all of the little obstacles in your path, you’ll never get anywhere. It’s possible to fly right over them instead of stopping to fight, but you’ve got to develop some speed in order to do that. And speed feels like loss of control. But the more you allow yourself to risk not fighting whatever you think is trying to attack you, the easier it will be to fly over it.

I hope that makes a little sense. I’m still trying to put together all of the various techniques and philosophies I’ve read about. Thoughts?

Bouncin in New Orleans

20 Apr

Hello all, Babs here. Sorry I didn’t get to post last week but we were at a show that was out in the swamps of Louisiana with no wifi signal.  I don’t know what my humans were thinking but let me tell you it was spooky for this little bunny. The people were very nice but the weather wasn’t. It rained a lot and the wind tried to blow me to Kansas. The camp ground where the event was at was a beautiful area but all around it was the scary swamp, here is a picture evie took of it, doesn’t it look creepy?

springfling swamp

Anyway, once we were done with that we hopped on back to New Orleans where were are seeing our good friends at Airship Isabella. Let me tell you, if you haven’t looked at their stuff you are missing out. They are some of the most amazing steam punk and leather artists out there. Not only do they sell their goodies online and at shows but they did all the leather work for season one of the TV show, “Into the Badlands, season one”. You can see some of their work at http://www.airshipisabella.com .

This weekend we hope off to Jacksonville, Florida to start our adventure on the Worlds Loudest Month tour. It will be five weeks of crisscrossing the country doing some of the best Rock and Roll concerts events of the year. My humans have been working like wild animals making stock for the run and have lots of new goodies to be seen. They have even been making a new line of lace chokers that are very cool. Be sure to stop by and see us when we are in your neck of the woods and try one on. Well, I gotta bounce, so much to do and so little time…see you soon.

Babs