"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us." ~ Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Something for Your Ears

Music is a big part of who I am. It is a universal language that has a way of connecting people of all backgrounds. I have been working on uploading videos and wanted to share a song "Con Un Mismo Corazon" that I recorded with one of my great friends Reynaldo Maestas. We were so honored to have been nominated as New Mexico's 2007 Vocal Duet of the Year. Listening to this brought back so many great memories. The song is originally sung by Ana Gabriel and was probably one of the most challenging songs I have attempted. There is something so powerful and moving about mariachi music. While I have worked on various pieces of music (mostly country) this was my first recording of a mariachi tune. Reynaldo is a n amazing vocalist and as you will hear, his voice is just so crisp and clear. We had the best time working on this in the studio and I look forward to working with him again in the future. I hope to upload some more videos to share with you all, but in the mean time I hope you enjoy this one! Leave us a comment and let us know what you think. :) 

In friendship,

Friday, November 8, 2013

"Words Have Power, Don't Be an A**"

Australian PSA  

Sticks and Stones Can Break Your Bones and Words Can Really Hurt You

I have two major pet peeves; one is smelly things and the other is when people inappropriately use mental illness terms in offensive and in a non-mental health context way. Doing so is referred to as ableism, and negatively targets individuals living with disabilities. Describing someone or something as "crazy," "bipolar," or "insane" is not okay and should never be accepted. Mental illness is a medical condition that affects a persons thinking, feelings, mood, and overall daily life. Just as with cancer, diabetes, or even the common cold/flu mental illness is also an illness. For thousands of years (yes thousands) the stigma associated with mental illness has silenced men, women, and children preventing them from getting the appropriate help they desperately need and deserve. Words influence our thoughts, actions, and ultimately the world around us. Being cognizant of what we say and how we say it, when talking about mental illness has the power to change the way society thinks and feels about mental health. Speak wisely. 

In a time where we have made significant strides in the fight against discrimination, we have a long way to go. So, why does society seem to have this laissez-fair attitude when it comes to mental illness? A big part of it has to do with the fact that many have never been told that it was wrong and/or offensive and the other is that many are not well informed about this illness. However, the fight to end stigma can only be achieved when we make a conscious choice in what we say and how we say it. 

I recently read about Kylie Jenner and the controversy created by her tweeting, "“I miss my black hair I’m so bipolar :( .” What's wrong with this statement you ask? Well, first of all being undecided about hair color does not make you bipolar and second it seems to highlight how desensitized society has become to mental illness and those who suffer from it. Does this make Ms. Jenner a bad person? No, it does makes her misinformed and ignorant. What she tweeted was definitely inappropriate, but is also reflective of society as a whole. Statements like this degrade those suffering from mental health disorders and only add to the stigma. Continuously using words like this will only make you look like an ass in the process. 

The next time you are in the thought process to verbally describe your annoying neighbor or horrible day at work, get creative. If that fails, maybe revert to selecting one of those colorful words we know you have stashed away in your vocabulary vault. Okay, just kidding do not do that. The last thing I need is for your mom to comment about how you and I need to put some soap in our mouth! Just as with the silent social rules like; don't talk in an elevator, don't pick your nose in public (ahem, please remember your car has windows...we can see you!), and never asking a lady for her age it is also not okay to use albeist language. If you catch someone else using it, do your part and inform, educate, and fight the stigma! 

In friedship,