Saturday, March 4, 2017

On Power and Passion

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a real, from the heart blog post. There are many reasons, not the least of which is my own ego getting in the way of creative production. Perfectionism is the fatal flaw that hinders production. I think I’ll write, I wonder what to write, I decide that nothing I have to say is really important or significant enough. Or I’ll get an idea, and jot it down for later, but then another idea comes and another and before you know it I have so many ideas as to what to write about it’s almost as bad as having no ideas. The end result is not knowing where to start.

Dearest blog reader, if you were to read back from the beginning of my bloggy journey you would be able to see some of the growth and expansion that has occurred in my life and my heart.

Every time I think about coming here to speak these truths my ego flares, my fears come up, and I feel insignificant and weak. I feel like my voice is insufficient to say what needs to be said. It’s so complicated and will take so long and there are so many parts I again am left not knowing where to begin.

To write is to encounter risk. To place your inner thoughts and ideas out into the world is scary and threatening and takes strength and courage. I’ve come to this stage many a time ready to sing my song, and have even expressed my intention to do so, and yet I have tapered off, my production limited to occasional photos and playlists.

I am better than this. I am a skilled writer and I feel that my talent is being crushed by my ego. My ego is trying to protect me from hurt, from imaginary dangers that don’t exist outside of my mind. Fear is based on lived experience, and my experience with writing is that it is an unstable profession and therefore does not fit my ego’s requirements: steady, reliable, predictable, measurable, and easy to analyze. The ego likes to sort, categorize, and file. But the wild and passionate life does not want to be filed away. It wants to be present every moment, experiencing life as it is lived instead of how it is imagined or feared to be.

My word for this year is “surrender” and it has already appeared repeatedly in many of my studies. I am working on surrendering to the universe, surrendering to my higher self and to my life purpose. I am ready to assume my power, to be less concerned about being liked and more concerned about being respected. I am ready to stop giving my power away to others, to the patriarchy, to capitalism, to people I know and people I’ve never met and their imaginary demands on my time and energy. I am in control of so much more than I have wanted to take responsibility for. I am learning how to assume true leadership in this new age of humanity.

Ideas expressed in this blog are inspired by my current reading, Sacred Success: A Course in Financial Miracles by Barbara Stanny.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Playlist Post

Trump is our president-elect. Time to Rage Against the Machine

Friday, November 4, 2016

26th Avenue Hill

Running down
26th Avenue hill
fog softens my footfall
the horizon is sleepy.

At the base of the hill
a woman with
a puffy purple vest
a close cropped cap
of white hair
peers at her screen
her finger scrolls
up and down.

We pass without a glance she
continues up the hill
slowly, not seeing.

Pokémon Go, I think
and return my gaze
to the terns, the green lagoon.
A vacuum cleaner is submerged
In the cloudy water under the bridge.
An egret launches from the shallows
I look up, startled
feeling her silent wings on my skin
scroll up
scroll down.

8.27 Night

Last night I
awoke to get water for the dog
fumbling in the darkness I
confused a colander for her bowl. I
tried to fill it but
the water just poured through.

Heirloom Fruit

On my backyard quince tree
downy apple-pears
ripen to the shade of morning suns.
A sweet smell like sugar cookies
fills the garden
as ready fruit falls, uneaten.

It is an heirloom orchard
planted over 50 years ago.
I googled how to use
the tough fruit.

Hard to eat, bitter even when ripe
the woody flesh calls for
a sharp knife and skillful hand
to slice and prepare,
to coax out the sweetness
in pies or preserves.

I never tried to cook one,
too scared the paring knife would slip
in my modern hands.
I lack the sturdy intuition
of earlier women.

The Forest of Nisene Marks

Living beneath the marine layer,
I forget the relentless desert
where the sun’s insanity
heats your bones
in a torrid x-ray
your insides strained
shivering with fever.

In the solid green redwood forest
light is milky-white and heavy,
filtered through flat needles.
Ferns trail lazy fronds
the smell of wet earth waits
under fallen leaves.

A slim stand of cottonwoods
is reflected in the creek.
A black lab bounds into the water
shredding the papery bark.

A crow caws, indignant, alarmed
this dog is different–
she cannot be trusted.

I had never seen a banana slug,
couldn’t imagine a creature
so vulnerable and bright
not living in the desert
under a scorched shell.


You swim through my dreams
Underwater tendrils curl around my horns
cold kelp traps my cloven feet.

Neptune is your companion
I don’t speak that language
can’t breathe underwater
I’ve pledged my allegiance to fiery Mars.

Like a bighorn
I see the mountain
I want to ascend.
The rocky ledges crumble
as I climb.

You don’t need to see it to know
this atmosphere’s too thin for fish.
You slip through silky shadows
blue and deep.
I gaze at the azure sky

Sunday, August 28, 2016

New Blog

Hello readers!
I haven't posted much recently as I've been focusing more on my creative photography and writing.

Check out my tumblr blog "California Thrasher" where I post poems and photos:

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy my work!

ETA: It's now early November and I'm much more confident with my poetry, 
so I've returned to posting here. 
You can follow me on instagram @sgstasi for my daily photos.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Project 333: Year 3 / Phase 2

I decided to do another update with my current Project 333 wardrobe and personal modifications to the project "rules".

If you happened to read my last post, you know I have modified the way I practice Project 333 to accommodate the fact that I now wear a uniform to work. Having a true uniform has taken some getting used to but I do enjoy the fact that it makes getting dressed each day so much easier as I have limited variables as to what to wear. 

For this phase of the project, April-June 2016, I have made various adjustments, some new and some continuing from past phases:
  • I was keeping all of my clothes (winter and summer) out at all times, but beginning in April I did pack away some heavier winter items.
  • I counted my work uniform (all of my logo tops and khaki bottoms) as one of my 33 items. I did the same with scarves, shoes, and jewelry.
  • I'm not counting my sunglasses, purse, sleepwear, workout gear, or rain gear.
Given all that, I end up with 24 items. Less than 33, but four of the items are actually "groups" so I have more than 33 items of clothing in rotation overall. After three years of living with a capsule wardrobe, I no longer think in terms of number of items. Instead, I just keep the clothes that I wear that look good and are comfortable and functional.

Here are my items for this phase:

Left to right from top:
  1. aqua long tank dress
  2. blue and white tank dress
  3. denim tank dress
  4. cap-sleeve black dress
  5. sleeveless black dress
  6. coral ss tee
  7. aqua ss tee
  8. bicycle print ss tee
  9. black ss tee
  10. white ss tee
  11. denim jacket
  12. black shrug
  13. tan ss cardigan
  14. brown long cardigan
  15. geey open knit sweater
  16. blue thermal
  17. striped ls tee
  18. off-white thermal
  19. shoes (not pictured: Chacos, flip-flops)
  20. scarves (4)
  21. striped tank
  22. black tank
  23. jewelry (about 30 pieces)
  24. uniform (13 items)*
*Uniform items are the same as last phase:

  • Two polo shirts
  • One fleece zip-up vest
  • One cardigan
  • One (shared) fleece zip-up
  • Three skirts
  • Two pairs of capris
  • Three pairs of pants

Thank you for following my Project 333 journey!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Project 333 Update: Year 3 Phase 1

Note: I drafted this earlier this year (probably mid-January) but neglected to post it. Please enjoy, and I'll post a Project 333 update in June for Year 3 Phase 3.

It's amazing to see that the Project 333 community is not only going strong, but growing!

This project was, and continues to be a touchstone for simplicity in my life. In the past 18 months, my life has changed dramatically as I have completely changed careers, and as a result my approach to project 333 has changed but the principals stay the same.
  • I no longer count or track my clothes or swap them out in 4 phases a year. I have all my clothes in my closets and drawers all the time.
  • I don't include jewelry or scarves anymore. Since I wear a uniform I use these accessories to express my individuality and style. 
  • I wear a uniform to work! This is the biggest change and is one that I felt uniquely suited for as a project 333 practitioner. My uniform is khaki bottoms with a navy top that has our logo on it. I have the following uniform items:
  1. Two polo shirts
  2. One fleece zip-up vest
  3. One cardigan
  4. One (shared) fleece zip-up
  5. Three skirts
  6. Two pairs of capris
  7. Three pairs of pants
  • I also have a variety of short and long sleeve tees and leggings to compliment my uniform.
  • I still have a limited number of shoes.
If I were to add all of my items together—clothes, shoes, accessories, and bags—I would undoubtedly have more than 33 things. But the spirit of the challenge, and the lessons I've learned about clothing and fashion, are now ingrained parts of how I view getting dressed each day.

I embrace wearing a uniform! It simplifies clothing choices and makes getting dressed each week much easier. Had I not been "living with less" by doing Project 333, I don't think I would have as readily embraced wearing a uniform to work every day. Some people might get bored or feel constricted with having to wear the same thing, but I find it a structured base from which to add elements - I can wear whatever undershirt, earrings, tights, or hair accessories I choose (as long as they are professional, of course!) I tend to go with ocean or sea-themed accessories, or seasonal choices for Christmas or Valentine's Day.

Here are a few photos of me in my uniform. Note the seasonal accessories!
Thank you for your interest in my Project 333 practice, and please check back soon for a June Project 333 / Phase 3 update!