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Rincon Rabbit Hole

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Rincon Rabbit Hole

It took me an embarrassing amount of time to finish this blog post. It’s so much more difficult to write about the Rincon Rabbit Hole while you’re currently spiraling through it yourself. It happens to the best of us here about twice a year. We live where you vacation. No Es Facil. It’s not easy living here in paradise, but someone has got to do it. Unless you have had the experience of living full time on an island in a seasonal tourist town it might sound like we are being cocky or rude with that phrase, but that is not the case at all. It truly is not easy living in paradise, there is much to distract you and draw you towards the debaucherous dark side.

Beach BBQs, bonfires, parties in abandoned buildings, fire dancing, mini music festivals, island adventures, surf contests, sweaty surfer boys and bikini clad babes every where you look. No real rules of the road so please proceed with caution. Bring your cold brew with you or a cooler for the car bar. Nobody knows what day of the week is it because every day is Sunday Funday. No shoes-no-shirt clothing optional type of town. We are Lords of the Flies governing ourselves with sometimes disastrous results. This is the Land of  The Lost Boys claiming Neverland as our very own. Bienvenido a Rincon.

Some of the town residents chase the Summer and live here in this sleepy little surf town only six months out of the year and the remainder of us take a deep breath of relief as the population swiftly declines leaving the year round residents behind. We form amazing bonds with brothers from other mothers and soul sisters that challenge us look at ourselves and our lives differently. Star aligned soul mates that will either return to us in six months with stories to tell or will fade from our lives never to be seen or heard from again but always to be remembered for the memories and moments shared on this sacred island paradise. March and April is dedicated to non stop Going Away Parties and drunken half assed goodbyes. I have the added excuse of March being my birthday month, so I am extra guilty of tossing all my regular routines and self restrictions out the window to romp around with the rest of my island clan like a wild wolf woman on the hunt.

I give in to it and slide down the Rincon Rabbit Hole willingly.  Bands, bonfires, and debauchery that you absolutely can’t miss out on, followed swiftly by “I’m never drinking again” “why on Earth did I do that” and “it never happened if we never speak of it”. We thrive off of an interesting small town bubbled balance of best kept secrets and grapevine gossip. Tourist population dwindles and the two months of Going Away parties slowly blurs into the year round American “locals” trickling out of hibernation and reclaiming their bars and beaches in a more mellow fashion. Paces slow down, businesses alter their hours of availability and responsibilities dwindle down to the bare minimum for some. You climb out of the Rincon Rabbit Hole, take stock of your injuries, brush yourself off and like a flip has been switched, island life is low key again.

It can be a vicious cycle if you are not prepared for it, but a beautiful one if you have learned to trust yourself and your surroundings and go with the island flow. It’s not easy living in paradise, but someone’s got to do it. Only the strong survive.

 

 

If you are ever visiting Puerto Rico and find yourself gravitating towards the Best Coast, pardon, I mean the West Coast 😉 then please look me up! I run several vacation rentals and provide a full concierge service to anyone in need of a little guidance while visiting Rincon. I have a groovy crew of adventurous souls and we love sharing our passions for this beautiful island! Follow the links below to be guided to my Instagram and Facebook and see what kind of island shenanigans I get into!

Personal Instagram: GypsySugarCloud

Airbnb Instagram: BeachGoddessAirbnb

Follow on Facebook: Surf Town Beach Casitas 

Adventure with Cloud and stay at her Surf Town Beach Casitas

 

 

Looking At Love Through New Eyes

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Looking At Love Through New Eyes

Before my thirties, I had met very few people to look towards as an example of what the sacred love shared between only two people should be like. Just before my 31st birthday I met a couple who changed not only my entire perspective, but their loving influence changed my entire life from that point forward.

I met Derek in 2014 when he came to vacation in Rincon, Puerto Rico to visit his family with his best friend Maty. I vibed out instantly with the guys and we all stayed in contact after they left. One year later Derek returned with his new girlfriend, Jade. I have always been “one of the boys” and am used to a variety of reactions that occur when a woman involved with one of my friends meets me for the first time. As soon as someone says, She doesn’t really get along with other girls, I know we will vibe out. Not that I don’t get along with other girls, but I am more likely to find common interests among groups of women who display more male characteristics (which also feels wrong to say because what truly determines “male” vs “female” characteristics except for our own individual opinions?). Derek & I have so much respect for each other and our friendship that we were both nervous of me meeting Jade for the first time. We both wanted everything to go perfectly.

Derek & Jade knew each other growing up through their school years and only began dating each other later in life. They watched each other make mistakes and grow from them. They already knew each other’s past, understood each other’s mood fluctuations, and honored each other’s energy in a way that I had never witnessed before. Derek & Jade were not perfect by any means. They bickered in their sarcastic New York way, spouted out You Never’s & You Always’, and experienced arguments and disagreements that would have sent most couples stomping off in opposite directions. Even their arguments are beautiful to me. There is so much love shown in every action that they take, individually and as a partnership. The lines of Her, Him, and Them are clearly defined. Derek & Jade are so very much their each individual people, and yet also very much one great combined unstoppable force each complimenting the other in such naturally effortless ways.

I quickly became in love with their love and in love with being their “third wheel”. Every visit they make to la isla we cram in as many adventures as possible, swap music until the sun comes up, talk until our voices are raw and laugh so hard our forehead veins pop. For the first time in my life I witnessed a passionate romance and love that made me want to scream out loud “I Want That!”.  Every emotion that they displayed between them is done with honesty, love and respect. I want everything that they have, the love, the laughter, the gentle disagreements, the honest opinions, and the complete partnership that they share.

I was waiting oh so patiently for the event that I knew was coming…..the announcement of their engagement! As if that was not enough to shed happy celebratory tears, I learned that they intended to have their wedding here in Puerto Rico instead of New York where they are from and I completely lost my head. But wait it gets better…..the wedding falls on the week of my birthday AND Maty (Derek’s best friend who I met a year before Jade) will be their officiant. I have not seen Maty since we all originally met back in 2014, and I have never gotten the pleasure of enjoying all their company at once. I’m so over the moon happy as can be you would think this wedding was for me!

Since meeting Derek, Maty, and Jade, my eyes have been opened to the endless definitions of love and soul mates. We are raised with the mainstream belief that our life’s purpose is to find our one true love soulmate and live happily ever after. I have loved so many people in so many different ways, for so many different reasons and each experience has brought something necessary into my life. The love that I speak of has nothing to do with sex, but everything to do with passion and connection. I now understand that being loved is just as powerful and necessary as giving love.

I will forever have the biggest couple crush in history for the two people that opened my eyes to a new way of loving and living. This upcoming weekend we will all join together to celebrate Derek & Jade’s wedding in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Stay tuned because this will be the first wedding in my life that I have ever looked forward to so I will all full of love and will have beautiful pictures to share later.

I adore this article from Elephant Journal on the Five Types of Soulmates We’ll Meet & Love In Our Lifetimes. Give the article a read if you would like and leave a comment below about any type of love that lifts you up!

 

“Important encounters are planned by the souls long before the bodies meet each other.” ~ Paul Coelho

Inn Saei: The Sea Within

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Inn Saei: The Sea Within

I’m going to change the world. In fact, I’m already in the process of changing it. You’re going to help me. We’re all going to do it together. All you have to do, is trust yourself.

I have always known that my purpose in this life is to help to change the world in some way. I had no idea how, I just knew that I was special, needed, and important to this world. We all are uniquely important. My belief has always been that when you put a certain energy out into the world it effects others around you, giving that energy even greater life force. If enough people start to believe what you put out there, that thing will eventually start to happen and become even more real.

I just finished watching an amazing documentary called Inn Saei, that proved to me that we are truly in the midst of a great change happening. Inn Saei: The Power of Intuition, reminds us of the importance of stepping within ourselves and to listen and trust our instincts. Our intuition allows us to get back in touch with nature and regain connection with the energy of our true selves. In a world that is constantly moving faster, it is essential for us to find ways to slow ourselves down and look within so that we don’t miss the important moments and lessons that life has to offer us.

Inn Saei has many meanings such as The Sea Within, To See Within, and To See From The Inside Out. In the documentary, two Icelandic cultural entrepreneurs set out on a global journey to uncover the art of connecting within. They speak with a wide range of people, from artists and scientists, to African tribe Elders and school children. The most inspiring and emotional segment of the documentary was when we meet an extraordinary group of British schoolchildren who are learning how to better cope in today’s world by unlocking the power of nature and mindfulness. We meet a boy named Shyloh with anger issues, who with the help of a program being used in his school called Mind Up, learned how to cope with his own anger issues and deal with life situations in peaceful ways by learning how to listen to and trust his intuition. Overtime his own actions encouraged his family to make small changes in their own behavior, and so the cycle of mindful change begins.

Mind Up is the signature program of The Hawn Foundation, created by Goldie Hawn thirteen years ago, which is serving nearly 1 million children in the US, Canada, UK, Serbia, Mexico, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. The program helps bring a solution to our children who were suffering from high levels of stress and who were completely lacking the skills to navigate in a complex world. The skills and the mindfulness practices that are being taught within this program has helped children improve learning and academic performance and learn valuable social-emotional skills that build personal resilience for a lifetime. The Mind Up program is available to therapists, camp counselors, and parents at home as well as for school teachers and administrators. By using Mind Up, people all over the world are benefiting from better communication, reduced stress, better sleep, more compassionate home relationships, improved family harmony and more. It is such a beautiful program and the more I talk about it with others the more hope I gain for our future.

I have inserted a link to the Mind Up website below so that you can read up more about the program if you would like. I have already spread the word about this program to a few of my friends with children and am super curious to find out who already knows about it and what schools are already using these practices within their lessons. If you know of any schools currently using the Mind Up program please leave a comment below!

Mind Up: A Framework For Success In Learning And In Life

 

One of the greatest dangers of losing touch with intuition is, that we lose the ability of empathy and the ability of coping with our own feelings. Children have to learn how to interact in a world full of technical gadgets but also full of human beings. We tend to forget that sometimes. This world is forever changing and with it, so must we. For so long I have felt so out of place for being overly sensitive and intuitive and longed to be a part of a world that cherished and respected those that led with an empathetic nature. For the first time in my life, I do not feel alone in my ways of thinking. I am surrounded by passionate and positive minded people who are empowering and inspiring all around them to make positive changes in their actions and ways of thinking as well. Inn Saei is a beautiful reminder of the importance of finding calm moments in the midst of world wide noise. Let go of the chaos. Listen to the voice inside of you. Trust yourself.

I Honored My Mother With Honesty

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I Honored My Mother With Honesty

In only two days this new year has already taught me enormously important lessons. For all the things that I know about, have seen and experienced, there are an infinite amount of things that I am naïve to. There is great reward in learning from your own mistakes, fighting your own battles, and conquering your own demons. But you don’t always have to live to learn, you can also learn by sharing your experiences and thoughts with others. I think we would all feel a little less miserable if we learned to share how miserable we feel at times. Every living being suffers and struggles at one point or another in their life. When did it become so important to hide that side of living?

I am a highly sensitive empath who was raised in an environment that did not always encourage showing and sharing feelings. I was taught to hide my fears and pains and always put my best and strongest face forward. Over time and with the help of some equally sensitive souls, I grew a respect for the power that comes with feeling free and safe enough to use my words to share all aspects of feeling. At times I still get ashamed when I feel down but for the most part, I am proud of my sensitivities. I am proud that I can feel, identify my feelings, and share them with others and I am eternally grateful for the people who I have met who are as equally open with their experiences. It is truly mind blowing how many emotional similarities we find that we share with people that we are unaware of because we are all working so hard to hide the bad and show off the good. In an ideal world, people would embrace all the feels and spread them around freely so they didn’t become insecure about the thoughts that they have at times.

This week is the anniversary of my Mother’s passing and I normally work hard spending the day distracting my mind and channeling my energies in the most positive ways possible. I desperately attempt to honor my mother’s memory by being strong in hopes of making her and the rest of my family proud of my strength while on the inside I am weeping so hard at the dishonesty of my actions because the truth is, I am still heartbroken. I have moments where I recall the amazing woman that she was, the way that she devoted her life to helping others at her own expense, and the beauty that shone from every fiber of her being. I can feel her light shining through me. But for the most part, I ache for the loss of my best friend, confidant, champion, teacher and mother. I see life moments that she missed, experiences that are not being shared, advice I am not being given, and lessons I am not being helped through. I weep for the moments we will never have.

A wise new friend told me that creating stories creates our possibilities. She reminded me to channel what I was feeling into creating the possibility of new energy and new opportunities. It was an odd sensation to have my own words of wisdom given back to me when I was not clear minded enough to remember them for myself. The gentle reminder was needed for me to remember that I still have an infinite amount of strength and energy stored up within me, the choice whether to utilize it or not is entirely my own. I used to think strength was not being able to be feel, be effected by, or acknowledge negative feelings, but I am slowly learning that true strength means persevering throughout All The Feels. There is an amazing power that comes with being able to bear your soul, shed tears, and share experiences honestly.

So today, I created a new possibility in honor of my Mother in hopes of finding a more honest way of getting through this tough time of the year. I imagined a moment where it was ok to feel sad on this day and accepted it into reality. I did not cloak my sadness in cheerful distractions or numbing diversions and I did not apologize for my sadness. I awoke with tears on my pillow, I sat in the sun and sobbed my heart out with mere strangers and I accepted their unconditional love and compassion with an open heart. I am leaking from the face as I write this, I fully intend on crying myself to sleep, and I am completely ok with how I spent this day. I did not use my head to distract myself in 100 different ways, I used my heart and allowed all the feelings to rush through me. Today, for the first time since she has passed, I honored my mother with honesty.

 

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Frente Bolivarasta Vol.4 Nomades // #BeatJunkyBlogPost

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Frente Bolivarasta Vol.4 Nomades // #BeatJunkyBlogPost

No matter what sort of night I had previous, or how much sleep I got, I can gently guide my mood of the day based upon the music I start my brain off with. Beginning each morning hunting down new music has become a meditative routine for me that helps me kick off my day with beautiful vibes. It is hard to keep track of all the amazing music that flows through my life so I am going to start compiling some favorites here to share with you all!

I am kicking off my first #BeatJunkyBlogPost with the Latin American vibes from the Frente Bolivarasta label. I wish I could add every single one of their albums onto this post but I am forcing myself to pick just One representative album to share with you. I chose Frente Bolivarasta as my first music selection to share because they are a label with such a diverse selection of artists whose sounds each hit my heart so hard they bring happy tears to my eyes (I’m an emotional sort though so forgive me, good music makes me weep!). Every single artist featured on this compilation will make you feel their music in physical and metaphysical ways. Their mantra is “hermanos unidos conectando las influencias permitiendo nuevos horizontes”, which translates to “United brethren connecting the influences allowing new horizons”. I LOVE music that makes you FEEL and connects people on a universal level.

The fourth compilation of Frente Bolivarista is inspired by the sounds of Nomade Festival, a festival, music label and artist collective seeking a new sound territories merging the contemporary to the ancestral Latin America folk. After a three day journey of a lot of fusion music into the woods, meeting dozens of great and insipiring people from all over the world they decided to release a new compilation inspired on this beautiful exchange of knowledge.

I am going to list each featured artist below for you with links to each of their individual SoundCloud pages for you to expand your music horizons if you wish!

Pigmalião draws you instantly and sets you up for an amazing compilation of heart felt music that will lift your spirits and make you feel all the things. Pigmalião is the result of experiments on merging Latin American regional and roots references with specific sounds from other parts of the world. This first track is by far one of my favorites and had me eager to hear what was to come next!

Vruno is the stage name of Bruno Saldivar, an experimental musician from Chile who is constantly utilizing inspirations from all the different sounds of the world.

Camila Costa is an artist from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil who has a beautifully clear voice and a simple sound akin to Bebel Gilberto.

Gama is a young Dj/Producer based out of Mexico City who specializes in Electric Latin Fusion beats. His track is honestly my least favorite of the batch, but it helps set the pace for the following tracks.

Matanza Y Spaniol is either a very new artist or they simply do not have a lot available online. The track Lamento Negro feels like a story. An almost 8min track with a hypnotic beat that takes you on a completely different journey independent from the rest of the album. I can dig it, I wish I could find more of their music!

Steffen Kirchhoff plays deep electronic soulful music with spirituality in his compositions. His tracks contain organic and spiritual elements like shaman drums, holy chants and field recordings that reflect the beauty of nature.

Dandara adds some rhythmic jungle beats to the compilation. He spends his off time between festivals traveling throughout South America, collecting sounds and experiences and working on new music.

EXZ is the pseudonym for Dj/Producer Alexandre Silveira from Sao Paulo, Brazil. You can find him showcased at the festival circuits in Chile, Brazil, and Germany.

Kurup is a Dj/Producer from Brazil specializing in electro-acoustic vibes. His track, Canela, meaning Cinnamon in Spanish, is another of my favorites on the compilation. Such a sexy sound!

El Remolón is the alterego of Andrés Schteingart, a producer who tucks hints of Latin American rhythms like cumbia into a solid base of electronic music.

Intiche is a beautiful earthly goddess who reminds her listeners that everyone must remember we are cells in your body and we dance together. Her vibes remind me of a Latin Björk!

Cancion Waunana finished us off with a melodic ceremonial flute and drum selection that elevates you higher! This track is another of my favorites and I was again disappointed that I could not find more of their music, but this track is a fabulously beautiful way to end the compilation.

All the tracks featured here are rich with spiritual sounds and binaural beats that will take you on a magical journey. Take a moment and do your ears and heart a favor by starting your day off with music that will set your desired intentions for the day! You can find this compilation plus all the other music that I will be later sharing on my Music For The People Page! My SoundCloud page, Cloud Vibes, is also full of goodies that I hunt down and repost so Follow Me for more music inspirations.

 

 

 

 

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Announces Plans to Ban Kratom’s Alkaloids in the United States

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U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Announces Plans to Ban Kratom’s Alkaloids in the United States

Kratom, Mitragyna speciosa, is a tropical deciduous and evergreen tree in the coffee family. The medicinal effects of kratom are highly flexible and diverse due to its unique alkaloid profile, which is unlike any other plant known to exist. These effects are:

  • Pain relief
  • Opiate withdrawal relief
  • Opiate maintenance /transitional substance
  • Mood-lifting
  • Energy Promotion
  • Anxiolytic (Anti-Anxiety)
  • Depression Relief
  • Insomnia Relief
  • Immune System Stimulation
  • Nootropic (Cognition Enhancing)
  • Anti-leukemic
  • Anti-malarial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Lowers blood sugar

In addition to this large range of medicinal applications, this plant also has other positive secondary properties such as high-antioxant and vitamin content, which has made it worthwhile for general health purposes as well. Kratom is safe in almost every regard, as there have been no known deaths from this plant, except in combination with other dangerous substances.

I am so wrecked with emotions right now that I am having trouble even forming the words necessary to write this post. But here, and now, this post needing to go out and be read and reacted to is one of the most important things in my life. Kratom saved my, and thousands of others lives after diagnosis. After 10yrs of being passed around between doctors and specialists and enduring every test under the sun, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis and Narcolepsy and handed dozens of prescriptions to manage my symptoms and the symptoms that other medications were causing as well. I made the decision with the support of my doctors to decline all prescriptions to instead self medicate with Kratom. I researched with others more knowledgeable than I, and then I took the knowledge that I gained and taught myself how to properly and safely dose for my needs. I am thirty two years old and I have already recreated life after diagnosis. I do not have the time to be tired, or have brain fog. I need to live my life. I have goals to conquer and people that depend on me. Taking away Kratom is like taking away my right as a US citizen to empower myself and have free choice. Why should I be forced to use prescription medications because huge pharmaceutical companies care more about profit than my well being? I am an adult and should not have government deciding they would prefer I am in pain or hooked on Morphine than a thinking viable member of society. I am sitting here terrified of my options if this law passes. At the bottom of this post I have provided a link for the petition to NOT make Kratom alkaloids a Schedule 1 Substance.

A member of my AS support group wrote the following: “The CDC reported that it received 660 calls between 2010-2015 regarding Kratom, many of which involved people that were using Kratom with Heroin or other illicit drugs. I cannot help that there are people that will use Kratom, alcohol or even aerosol cleaners in combination with other drugs to get high. I should not be punished for other people’s poor choices. By that logic alcohol, household cleaners or even Tylenol should be illegal. I would bet that the CDC received more calls about Tylenol than Kratom; yet no one is seeking to make it schedule 1.”

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The company that I trust most to provide the quality Kratom that I use shared this message with us and I am going to copy it in its entirety below because linking is not enough for how crustially important this message is.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Announces Plans to Ban Kratom’s Alkaloids in the United States

Posted by on 8/31/2016
A bit of shocking news has been announced by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which has announced that it plans to ban the active chemicals in kratom, a plant-based substance that’s native to Southeast Asia. In banning these active chemicals – alkaloids called mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine – the DEA is in effect, banning kratom as all varieties of kratom contain these alkaloids (along with over 20 others.). https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/08/31/2016-20803/schedules-of-controlled-substances-temporary-placement-of-mitragynine-and-7-hydroxymitragynine-intoThe DEA announced its plans to ban kratom, making it a “schedule I” drug as of September 30, 2016. This is said to be a “temporary” measure in an attempt to “avoid imminent hazard to the public safety.”Let’s take a look at some of the questions that you may have as a result of this announcement:

What is Kratom? How is Kratom Used?

Kratom (mitragyna speciosa) is a natural substance made from the leaves of the kratom tree, a member of the coffee tree family that is native to Southeast Asia. Some use kratom recreationally, but a vast majority of users use kratom to self-treat chronic pain, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, and opiate withdrawal symptoms. It should be noted that kratom is not formally approved or recommended to treat any of these conditions due to a lack of research studies, but the anecdotal evidence is compelling.

In smaller dosages, kratom can have stimulant properties, while in larger quantities, kratom tends to have a more sedative effect. There is little, if any, evidence to suggest that kratom is any more addictive than coffee. Anecdotal evidence suggests it’s actually quite effective at helping opiate addicts move away from heavier drugs, toward a life of sobriety.

It is not uncommon for users to take kratom on a daily basis if they’re using kratom to self-treat an issue because most of these issues – such as anxiety or chronic pain – are long-duration or lifelong conditions.

The DEA’s Announcement Refers to Kratom as an Opiate. Is This Accurate?

No. Kratom is not an opiate, which is, by definition, a substance containing opium or derived from opium.

Kratom has opiate-like effects, but its active chemicals are alkaloids. These alkaloids, which include mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, act upon many of the same receptors in the brain that are impacted by opiates.

What is a Schedule I Drug?

The DEA classifies a Schedule I drug as one that has “a high potential for abuse” with “no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.”

Other drugs in this class includes heroin, LSD, ecstasy and marijuana, amongst other substances.

How Long Can a Substance Be Listed Temporarily as a Schedule I Substance?

The DEA has the power to temporarily classify kratom as a Schedule I substance for up to two years.

What Happens Once Kratom’s Alkaloids Are Temporarily Listed as a Schedule I Substance?

Once mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are listed as Schedule I substances, it will become illegal to possess kratom or any synthetic substance containing those alkaloids (this is why the DEA added the alkaloids – instead of kratom – to the list of Schedule I substances, as it allows them to ban synthetic derivatives in addition to kratom leaf products.)

Typically, the temporarily banned substance is subjected to numerous research studies. If the study results reveal that there is no risk, then the item will be removed from the list of Schedule I substances. More often, though, the DEA finds study results that support its belief and the substance is permanently classified as a Schedule I substance.

Unfortunately, once an item is temporarily listed as a Schedule I substance, it becomes very challenging to conduct research studies. The temporary listing virtually always becomes permanent, demonstrating why it’s so important to take action now before the new classification goes into effect on September 30.

The DEA’s Announcement Implies that Kratom is Dangerous. Is This True?

The DEA cites a number of poison control calls involving kratom, but many claim that this is primarily due to U.S. medical professionals’ lack of familiarity with kratom. When medical professionals are unfamiliar with a substance that a patient has ingested, it is standard practice for them to reach out to poison control to determine how best to treat the patient.

In cases where a kratom user reported serious adverse effects, virtually all of these cases involved mixing kratom with another substance. This creates a synergistic effect and it also makes it challenging to determine which substance is responsible for the individual’s symptoms. It is widely considered impossible for a healthy user to experience a fatal overdose on kratom. When excessive amounts are consumed, nausea, vomiting and sedation are the typical effects.

What I Do To Help Prevent a Kratom Ban?

Now is the time to take action! The American Kratom Association’s founder, Susan Ash, has told multiple media outlets that she intends to challenge this matter in court. Measures may include seeking a temporary restraining order to halt the DEA’s move. There are also many online petitions seeking to keep kratom legal and to approve it as a dietary supplement.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/please-do-not-make-kratom-schedule-i-substance

https://www.botanical-education.org/petition/

You can also call and/or write your local lawmakers. Need help writing a letter? Check out our instructions here.

 

I apologize to my followers that the content of this post is mainly copy and paste but I do not feel able to express myself to the fullest without becoming overly emotional. I have been on a terrifying roller coaster ever since I received the news over a week ago. Being someone who personally does not have a substance abuse problem and takes their healthcare and disease VERY serisouly, I can honestly see why this is happening. People will always find a way to abuse what they can, even the most harmless of substances can become dangerous in the wrong hands and with the wrong combinations, but Kratom is Saving Lives and helping thousands of people in positive ways. Please please from the bottom of my swollen limbed, chronically fatigued, semi able bodied heart, take a moment to sign the petition that is linked about and share with others.

 

Thank you kindly for taking a moment to read this post.

GD Garner Art Show in Rincon, Puerto Rico

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GD Garner Art Show in Rincon, Puerto Rico

I live in a small seasonal surf town in Puerto Rico called Rincon where people come and go as frequently as the tide. If you’re lucky and can make fast friends and take life as it comes you will meet some truly amazing people during your time spent here. My current group of friends include two American men who were itching for some off hours island adventures and linked up with me and some friends to explore on our weekends off. (Check out my post about the Abandoned Prison that we discovered down in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico!). I thought my buddy was just another average Joe that passes through the tiny tourist town that I live in, until he asked me to assist him in holding an Art Show he was having in town and I began doing the necessary research to promote his work. His intention was to host an art show of his work and to donate 100% of the proceeds to ARF (the Animal Rescue Foundation). I have a background in marketing and assisting with an art gallery so this project to help a friend and a good cause within my town was right up my alley. I read up and found out that my good ole buddy was known to some as GD Garner and he is quite talented. I had always noticed that he carried around a set of pens with a notebook and would sketch doodles on menus everywhere we went, but had simply enjoyed observing and had never inquired any further.

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GD Garner spent 5 years on a global expedition to all seven continents engaging indigenous cultures in search of the essence of life. His work chronicles those experiences and fuses them with his fervent imagination and exploitation of vibrant color. His work has been featured on the red carpet of numerous Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Sundance events as well as appearing on network, cable and public television shows, major feature films and the walls of countless A list celebrities homes.

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When GD told me of his plans to hold a Silent Auction & Fundraiser here in town, I was honestly a little apprehensive at first, but instantly agreeable to helping in any way a friend needed. Rincon is a small seasonal surf town, I had no idea how people would react to an art show of his caliber or how we would hold up to his expectations. Everyone’s intentions aside, nothing went as planned. Like any event, there were bumps along the way, but things smoothed out the way they tend to around here and the night ended up being more than a great success. All the art was sold incredibly fast and we were able to send ARF a nice bundle to provide for the fur kids in needs here in Puerto Rico. The band performing that night kept drawing my concentration away from my tasks that evening, they were fabulous! Horns and funky beats galore! I had never heard The Almas Band perform before that evening and I have been greatly looking forward to hearing them perform again ever since.

Check out the highlights video that I created using Luis Marin’s photographs from the evening! You can contact Luis Marin Creative for photoshoots and events. The music played in the video is called Booty Swing by Parov Stellar.

Adopting A Deaf Kitten

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Adopting A Deaf Kitten

Let me begin by saying, I am a dog person and have never owned a cat before.  I had never met a “cool cat” so I didn’t know what I was missing out on. My Pomeranian, Osita, whose name means Little Bear in Spanish, on the other hand, has it absolutely twisted and thinks she is a Cat Mama and continuously guides strays and kittens back to our house and attempts to nurse them. I usually give everyone my One Day Rule which means they get shelter and food for a day and then either send them on their way or contact our local animal rescue, DAR (Defensa Animal Rescue) foundations to find the felines homes. One tiny kitten in particular had a very special circumstance that allowed her to slip her tiny way into my heart before I even knew what hit me.

When this kitten first showed up on my balcony I watched it from a distance wondering what on earth was wrong with it. It was screeching non stop and pacing back and forth in a wobbly pattern while making harsh jerking motions with its head and entire body. I have seen a cat get high and trip out after biting a gecko of some sort in the woods and I thought maybe something like that had happened to this kitten as well. I kept my distance and hoped it would just go away but it didn’t, nor did it ever stop screeching and pacing all over my balcony. I decided to give it my One Day Rule and dropped some food on the porch for it and stepped back to observe. Watching this kitten eat was an even more bizarre scene. The jerky head motions were extremely exaggerated to the point where it looked like the kitten’s head and neck was just flopping around on its tiny body. No way I wanted anything to do with this thing, so I contacted DAR to come take it away.

On the day that DAR was coming to pick up the kitten I noticed something that changed my mind instantly. It was sitting on the edge of a step facing away from me and when I approached her from behind she didn’t budge. I stomped my foot, clapped my hands, whistled, and yelled at her and she sat completely still simply gazing peacefully out at the street below. She couldn’t hear me at all. She was deaf. She was special and she would need a special home and family. I couldn’t allow her to go anywhere else than here with my partner, Jibby, and I. Jibby has experience with interpretative sign language and I have recently had a set of beautiful experiences with fostering cats that had tougher than average personalities and special needs. We were both perfectly equipped to give this baby girl a happy and safe forever home. When the Universe speaks how dare you not listen with an open mind and heart. So I cancelled the pick up call and informed the rescue group that I would be adopting her myself. The kitten was given the name Toque, which means “touch” in Spanish and we call her Toquita at times because she is still a wee thing and the name suits her.

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Jibby & I had just discussed a month prior our exact prerequisites for “the perfect cat” for our new family, and ironically this kitten held them ALL. We wanted a female cat that was a tough cookie but still let us snuggle her when we wanted who was primarily an outdoor cat that liked to come inside to visit from time to time and was ok with a bath when it was needed. I don’t know much about how cats are supposed to act, but so far she’s not much different than my dog Osita. Although that could possibly be because Osita thinks she is a cat and is currently help raise her new kitten and Toquita now thinks she’s a dog. Their bond is adorable to witness and I love watching our new kitten mimic her dog sister and mock her movements.

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Even before we began reading up on what special things were required for raising a deaf cat we were able to notice a lot of little quirks she has and figured out ways to help her cope. We read that cats can’t tell us that they’re hard of hearing, and they compensate by paying more attention with their other senses and are startled a lot more easily. They sleep more, meow loudly (because they can’t hear themselves), watch owners and other pets more closely, and cue off of their behavior to know that somebody’s at the door, for example. Deaf cats also pay closer attention to vibration, air currents, and lights. We learned how to utilize those sensations to teach her instead of scare her. I can blow on her fur or tap the ground for vibration to get her attention or get her to move in the direction I want to. Flickering the lights will initially get her attention and shadows can guide her towards where to actually look. Other times the shadows can just distract her like they are doing right now, as I type this she is chasing her own shadow all around the room, pounce rolling across the floor to tackle it, then jumping and hissing when she bumps into something she didn’t see coming. Life will never be the same with this one around, I can already tell. We read that a laser pointer is actually a helpful tool in training and signalling deaf cats so we’re looking forward to getting one soon and testing that theory out. I absolutely love learning about her special needs and teaching her new things.  Jibby taught me to try to stay consistent with my hand motions and keep them slow and direct so as not to confuse her. Since Toque is mainly an outdoor cat with a dirty rough and tumble tom boy personality, I began giving her weekly baths to get her used to water and just like her sister, Osita, her favorite part of bath time is the towel snuggling that follows. We got lucky that we were able to introduce her to bath time at such a young age and make it an enjoyable experience for her.

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I love all animals and I have such a tender spot for anything that has special needs. Everything that I have read has mentioned that indoor life is much safer for deaf cats, but Toquita began as an outdoor kitten and is comfortable with that. I am extra vigilant since she can not be for herself at times, but I am also aware that she was a feral animal and anything can happen out there. We have only recently began introducing her to indoors, and at first it stressed her out incredibly. Over time she has gotten comfortable coming inside to play or nap for a moment, but she still fights her arch enemy in the mirror every time she enters the room and makes herself dizzy watching the fan blade shadows play tricks across the ceiling. She trusts us completely and because we are slow, patient and loving with her she is learning to cope incredibly fast. I might be a biased first time cat mom, but I do believe she is a baby genius. I am so grateful that the universe worked it’s magic and brought us all together, I truly feel like it is a perfect match and Jibby, Osita, & I are looking forward to all the silly sweet love that Toquita will add to our family. If you have a deaf cat or know anything about them, please send us advice!

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The Opposite of Writer’s Block

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writers-block

Pardon my absence, I’ve been meaning to write. I am experiencing a blockage of some sort and I can not put a name to it. Something akin to the opposite of Writer’s Block. The opposite of a creative slowdown would be a creative overload, right?? Sweet Buddha so many ideas and so little time!!

What do you call it when you have too much to do, say and create? When the tasks, words and ideas don’t stop coming even after you have put pen to paper? When you look around your work space and find lists of your lists, none of which have anything crossed off yet you keep making senseless lists merely to purge the thoughts and ideas and make space for new ones. The urgency to use your time wisely is overwhelming the instinct to simply get anything done.

What do you do when there is too much to do?! Slow down. Just breath. Think back, think forward, think Now. What matters most to you? What is your purpose? Start small. Start simple.

Today my purpose is to be genuinely happy and to spread that happiness to at least one person. Also to finish my laundry and trim my toenails.

One Thing At A Time

I Can Feel You Through My iPhone

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Any relationship takes work but long distance relationships do not work if both people are not equally committed. A study by Cornell University revealed that while couples in a “normal” relationship tend to have more daily interactions than couples in a long-distance relationship, the couples who had hundreds of miles in between them tend to have longer, more meaningful conversations. It has been proven that Long-distance couples try harder than geographically close couples in communicating affection and intimacy, and their efforts do pay back. I can honestly say that I am giving more of myself and my efforts than I have ever given any relationship that I have been in, not just because of our distance, but because I know they are TheOne, and all of our efforts are worth it.

Miles apart and Bae keeps repeating “communication is all we have. I think to myself, but we have So much more, we have memories, we have love, we have connection, we have a future. I hear the words loud and clear though, I understand and respect their desire to remain connected through all forms of communication. They are far better than I at living in the present moment and helping me see the value in doing so, more and more every day. I work through my days, party through my nights, but every now and then a stray emotion or three slithers through my barriers and I can tangibly feel our distance. Like a radar inside of me bleeping, reminding me of every single island, wave, mile, and hour we are apart. Most days I suck it up and work my tail feathers off, but the pain of missing My Other Whole feels just as honorable as the beauty of being in love. So I embrace it, and I give them all the communication that they desire while we are apart.
I was gifted with an old fashion soul mate who has high expectations, a penchant for hand written letters and appreciates filter free conversations just as much as I. We are a rare breed. Alas, we are also children of the 21st century. In appreciation of, but not slaves to, the instant gratification that modern technology can provide. I’ll be the first to admit, text messages, audio messages, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook have been key contributors to keeping me united with the one I love overseas. There are times that I feel like I can actually Feel MyLove through my iphone. The text bubbles in imessage give me real time, I know they are there. Hand is on their phone, I know exactly how they hold it, palms clasped around the base, thumbs quick at work on the touch screen. The second the message comes through I can picture MyLove’s thumb tapping the blue highlighted SEND with a little smirk on that gorgeous face that I love so much.

There are times that I find myself unable to put my phone down because I have become addicted to seeing notifications coming through my phone, only looking for one name in particular. I can see the text bubbles or the “Is Typing…” notification and I know I am not alone. 3,603 Miles apart yet I feel like my love is right There! As if I could push my finger through my touchscreen and caress their face, feel their touch, smell their scent. I would give anything to do so, but for now, this will have to satisfy. I can feel MyLove through my iPhone.
Anyone familiar with Snapchat knows that things can get real naughty real quick, but you can also get goofy and sentimental. Being in a long distance relationship I can fully understand the benefits of the App, especially with the updated Live Feed feature, similar to FaceTiming. New messaging and video chat features were added to Snapchat allowing users to send text to other users and save text messages by clicking on them. A crucial aspect of the update is the “Here” sign that can subtly appear at any moment as a blue bubble in your chat window. The bubble pulsates softly to inform a user that a friend is also available to engage in a video chat—video chatting (the live feed feature I mentioned earlier) can only occur between users who are concurrently using the app. When the Here button is held down, a live video chat function is immediately launched. Regarding the Here function, Spiegel (Snapchats creator) explained: “The accepted notion of an online indicator that every chat service has is really a negative indicator. It means ‘my friend is available and doesn’t want to talk to you,’ versus this idea in Snapchat where ‘my friend is here and is giving you their full attention.”

Just the sight of the blue button, whether it is pulsating or not gives me comfort that my love is there. Not beside me, and no where nearby, but There where ever that may be. I have their undivided attention for the moment, and I can feel them through my iPhone. For that moment, Nothing else exists but me, my love, that mesmerizing blue pulsating button, and the connection that it gives us. Comfort washes over me and instantly I feel like I can handle this distance between us and anything else that life throws our way. When you find your forever soul mate every thing that you do is worth every effort that you make. I know the long distance will not always be an issue in my relationship, so for now, I am grateful for the technology that I normally take such great pains to avoid.

Until my love is in my arms again, I can feel them through my iPhone.