A Simple Life

6a014e89d0e880970d017ee3f01401970d

“Just let go.  
Let go of how you thought your life should be,
and embrace the life that is trying to work its way
into your consciousness.
― Carolyn Myss

 

The life I used to want . . . or perhaps the better way is to say the life I thought I wanted? . . . was a grand one.  A life of being celebrated, and documented, because of what I’d put into the world.

Maybe it’s age and the wisdom that hopefully comes with it.  Maybe it’s disappointment, and choosing to redefine a goal instead of wallowing in the failure of an old one.  Or maybe I just lost my appetite for grand.  But today there is a very different life that I want.  And it comes closer to a renunciant’s path, to Zen, and to nature, than ever before.

Let’s take Oprah Winfrey for a minute.   I think the legacy that she has carved for herself is a noble one; that of being the spokesperson for discovering one’s best self and living one’s best life, and the idea that this has nothing whatsoever to do with financial prosperity, but instead with spiritual prosperity.  Yet the irony can’t be lost on even Oprah that her own financial wealth makes the very kind of zenning, sentient life she purports virtually impossible for her.   A woman with homes (plural) that rival the size and scope of art museums, and require staff.  A woman who has entourages.  A woman who is stalked and hounded and quoted and misquoted by a frenzied culture desperate to crack the code that is the Entity Oprah, because we all want whatever magic has befallen her.   How does one live in that life and temper the monkeys in the mind, never mind the monkeys coming after you?

Yes-Men surrounding you constantly will lose you your touch with reality, and make you operate from an engine of dissociative ego.  And I often wonder to what degree she is aware of that peculiar power (or is it a liability?) and takes full advantage of it. I think back to her controversy with the author James Frey [read about it here, if you’re not familiar].  I have my own opinions about what he did, which is perhaps an article for another day, but I have always, and for this article’s purpose, also questioned her role in this, because of the Yes-Men phenomenon that ostensibly makes Oprah incapable of ever being wrong, and gives her permission to wield the ax at her discretion.  Did she really think that what Frey did was morally reprehensible?  Or had she just been personally humiliated, and therefore needed to use her power to humiliate him in return?   Was the punishment that she doled out to him on national television really about teaching James Frey some ethical lesson?  Or just about saving her own face?  And does she even choose to recognize that whether she feels it’s her responsibility or not, she has set herself up to shape the zeitgeist for a lot of America and what America should think about such things?

I only choose to analyze the Oprah phenomenon, as opposed to anyone else out there in the celebrity world, because she is not just a celebrity but a pop culture icon, and there has been a pretty wide swath in my life of envisioning a similar station.   A few years ago I wrote a grief memoir about the death of my mother (not yet published), but what the book is really about is an examination of our relationship; complex to say the least.  One of the commonalities that I examine is both of our desire for fame.  I am an entertainer.  My mother’s life was in politics.  And we both had an appetite unlike anyone else in our family for renown.   There was something just so fundamentally dreadful to us both about living unsung (let alone dying unsung) in anonymity.  And somehow the belief that if only a hundred people were touched by our gift, versus a million, that our gift was meaningless.

I have had many knock-down-drag-outs with my soul on the place my art and my contribution has in the world, and where I place its value.  Is its value in acceptance by the larger public?   Acceptance by the boutique few?   Or is it measured by no barometers at all save my own instinctive sense of personal best?

I think we all know my answer, but putting that into actual action and ownership has been another trick entirely.   Believe it or not, getting older helps.  A lot of delusion gets shed away.  I think I know what kind of famous person I would be, and it isn’t pretty.   Talk about dissociative ego.   Today I am finding more peace with the artist I am, and with the spiritual being I am, while living in a world (“in this world, not of it”) that woos only greatness, as defined by financial station, celebrity, and popularity.  And yes, I’m even finding more peace with that world, as well.

And so, any longer, here’s what today’s dream looks like.  Here’s what’s truly attractive to my soul, and what I believe my consciousness has been inviting.   Hint:  It hearkens awfully close to a Thoreau utopia.

(And let me preface what I’m about to say with this:  I don’t begrudge the Oprahs of the world their wealth, their station, their largeness and their guaranteed seats in the history books and Forbes Magazine.  These choices, and these good fortunes, are not bad ones or wrong ones. I’m just finally finding a different value for my life.)

I want to live simply.

I want to be awakened every morning by the sunrise, and honor a ritual by which I prepare for bed nightly, instead of letting myself fall asleep to the white noise of the television, fighting with everything in me to stave off sleep, just because the waking hours feel like a desperate drug to this addict.

I want to bask in quiet and stillness for at least a few precious moments every single day.

I want to encounter every wonder with the patience and pace required to catch every detail, and I want to write about it, because every one is as remarkable as a Van Gogh or a Stravinsky.

I want to be of service.

I want to read books and, through them, get lost.

I want to stare at a painting in a museum, and have my life changed.  No, it doesn’t move.  No, it’s not interactive.   No, it doesn’t trend.   There are no hash tags.   No friends.   No followers.  No algorithms.  No memes.  No apps.  It hangs on a wall merely, and blows our illusions out of the water, if we’re canny enough to see.

I want to be canny enough to see.

I want to sing, not for my supper, but for the gods.

I want to earn my wage outdoors, with labor and sweat and sun about me.  I want to plant gardens, and eat what I’ve grown, and work my body like the vessel it is.

I want to forgive my body its daring to creak and ache, and instead awe at its magic to move, to protect, to repair and regenerate, to create, to haul lumber and compose symphonies equally.

I want to open my doors, and meet my neighbors.  And hold children.  And praise animals.  And laugh with friends till it hurts.  And invest in compassion.

I want to watch the rainfall with the same fascination as when I watch a great movie.

I want to abolish from my own brain, my own agitated sense of desperate measures, once and for all (warning: incoming rant), the emperor’s new clothes of this insidious Religion of Prosperity that’s gripping our culture today, and the irresponsible false promise that all we need is a positive mindset and to walk in the world AS IF, for all our problems to be solved.  If only the billions of starving, war-torn, Third World citizens of the earth would stop for one second to apply its principles . . . Don’t they know!   I’m not knocking positive thinking – a huge proponent actually – I just reject this idea that it’s a magic pill.  The world IS insecure.  It is unsure and unpredictable.  It will always, and till the end of time, give us joy beyond measure . . . and loss, heartbreak, and disappointment beyond measure.  And all the praying to the manifesting, law-of-attraction gods will not make us magically immune to pain and disappointment.  The true key is not to be constantly coveting an over-there reality that may or may not ever come to us, or to try and create a cocoon of cotton candy denial around us from all the realities of life, but to amass the masterful tools meant to help us respond to all of it – the fortunate and the unfortunate – with grace, humility, mindfulness, and compassionate vigilance.   To truly be able to recognize the beauty, and power, and opportunity for transformation and swift healing in whatever experience is given to us.  Which doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t work toward goals, or not try to cultivate a can-do mindset.   But what it does mean is that if we live only for the GOAL, then we completely miss the GOLD of the absolutely magnificent right now.

I want to never miss the gold.

I want to learn the lessons that every encounter with every kind of being on the planet is meant to teach me.  And I want to appreciate them for that, instead of collecting enemies.

And I want my only prayers from this day forward to be . . . NOT . . . “Dear God, please give me . . .”    But two words, and two words only:  Thank you.

I want a simple life.

 

With wine.

 

And chocolate.

 

 

 T H I S !

(yes, it’s a commercial for life insurance,
but it’s the most brilliant message ever, and is exactly what I’m talking about.)

 

 

 

 

Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD.   Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.   Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.

Advertisements

Why Lent Came Calling (Day 1)

Fasting and Prayer

I recently watched a documentary called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, about a man who documented his 60-day juice fast.  He’d felt at the end of his rope health-wise, and was subsisting, at the age of 42, on an artillery of pills for a myriad of ailments.  On his journey, where he traveled across the United States telling his story while drinking his green juice, he came across a few most unlikely candidates, who latched onto his journey and made it their own.   These were people who, like him, simply felt as though they’d somehow, somewhere along the line, lost self, lost purpose, and rather than living were merely surviving.   I remember as I began watching it, thinking, “well, this isn’t new information for me, but it’s always good to get a reminder.”   But then there came a moment that truly got my attention, and made me obsessed enough to watch this movie two more times before sticking it back in the mailbox.  Not only did these participants’ health turn around (how could it not, when you’re talking about concentrated, mega doses of micro-nutrients a day?), but something in their entire psychological and spiritual paradigm shifted.   A serious reboot of mind, body, and spirit seemed to have occurred.  And lately that is something I’ve been feeling an almost desperate need for in my own life.

Something’s been wrong.  I’ve felt overwhelmed by finances and survival, and though I am an artist to my bones, I’ve been creating very little.  The novel that released almost a year ago now has barely received  much marketing nurturing from me.   I would tell myself that I believed in a universe that would take my deserving labors into it, and would not let those labors just flounder in the sea, no matter how unmotivated I may have been.  I was clearly ignoring whatever the universe might’ve had to say about effort.  Even this blog hadn’t been given any love since my last post three months ago.  My own health, fitness, and wellness is okay, but I want more than okay.   And I’ve begun to isolate socially and emotionally from those I love, or even just like.  And I realized as I watched this movie that I, too, felt I was merely surviving, and no longer living.

I’m a big believer in synchronicity.   I encounter it constantly, and always experience moments of absolute bliss when it occurs.   So, right as I was obsessing over this movie, I also happened to read a quote on Facebook, credited to Homeboy Industries, an interpretation of Lent that spoke directly to my own practices of meditation and turning inward.

“The giving up of something you enjoy is to quiet the mind and recognize how caught up we are in what we think we need.  Lent is a time of reflection and centering and to remind ourselves that what we need is inside of us.”

Amen.

I’m not Catholic, and have never observed Lent before (born and raised Baptist, now living largely with the tenets of the Buddha Dharma).  But my own spiritual approach has always been completely inclusive of any rituals that resonate with my heart and soul from all the traditions.   So, what the hell, let’s participate in Lent this year.  Of course, I came to this resolution ten days into Lent, but I also realized that for me it wasn’t about the number of days, but simply about participating in something for however long I could, somewhere during this stretch of time called Lent.  It was a symbol.

From the moment I decided to participate, I knew that a juice fast was going to be the chosen sacrifice.  Lent and this documentary couldn’t’ve both been roiling in my head at the same time for any other reason.  And for me, it seemed too easy just to give up wine, or coffee, or chocolate, or whatever (the typical choices I always hear about).   I wanted it to be something truly challenging, because if the ante wasn’t high enough then I just didn’t see any kind of genuine transformation being a part of the deal.  So, I decided to do 10 days of a juice fast, inspired by Joe Cross’ adventure, coupled with an intensive meditation.   To quiet my mind, and invite the truth to show itself to me.  To actively seek to forgive myself whatever realities I’ve clearly felt needed punishing.   To feed my body with only what it needs, and not what I think it needs (in this environment that I’ve created of learning to self-medicate and to numb).   To get really, seriously, ridiculously focused, which the ritual of juicing pounds of vegetables every day, and cleaning the multi-parts juicer everyday, and getting in lotus position everyday, and saying “no” to every waft of food that comes your way everyday, will give you.  There’s no meditating in the movie, but I decided to include meditation because suddenly the age-old tradition of “prayer and fasting” was very attractive to me.

I am open to the possibility that if I’m feeling the need for further, come Day 10, I’ll extend the fast beyond that (I can tell you now, it won’t be the 60 days that Joe Cross accomplished).   And am resolved that if I do make it to Day 10, and don’t crumble at Day 5, it will be a triumph beyond words.  No other options exist.

I chose a day to start, and even got a friend on board to do it with me, so that a sense of community, of a support system, of checking in every day and keeping each other honest, would be set firmly in place.   And today is that day.   Leading up to today, I experienced the weirdest and widest berth of emotions about it.   Dread – that I would not succeed, that I would bail after Day 2 because my caffeine and sugar addiction would get the better of me and have me climbing the walls.   Hope – that I might actually come out of this 10 days changed, transformed, bettered.   Anxiety – that a social commitment would challenge my ability to stick with this; because, what are we if not social animals who congregate over food and libations?  And honor – to be entering into this ritual that I see as sacred space.

My first instinct was to share this journey publicly.   Facebook here I come!    Then I thought, no, not this one.   This one requires quiet.   Then a third thought came to me.  That if I blogged about the journey (no, it’s not a travelogue to the Himalayas, or across an ocean, merely an internal one), then I would be made to stay honest, to commit, to see this all the way through.   Otherwise there’s just public humiliation, and we all know how fun that can be.   But there was something deeper to the thought, as well.   A connection.  Sharing my journey means opening my heart.  Maybe even inspiring someone else who may be feeling lost.   Just as a Netflix DVD changed my world one night.

So, here I am.   Day 1.

I awoke with excitement, and immediately went from my bed to my meditation altar, lit my candles, drew my mantra for the day, and then closed my eyes and did what I do.  Sometimes meditation can completely cocoon me in the comfort and warmth of meaning.  Other times I can be quite antsy and distracted.  It happens.  Every day is different.  Today I was cocooned.  When I was done, I walked right over to my kitchen and juiced up the pile of vegetables and fruit I’d bought the night before.   I was stunned at how little juice that huge pile of veggies actually made, and instantly realized I’d need a lot more vegetables every day to make this work, and to keep me from feeling starved.   But the juice was tasty (I made enough for all of my meals today), so the first effort has been a triumph.   Today’s combination is spinach, kale, celery, apples, a whole lemon, and copious amounts of ginger.   I made sure, as I prepared for this day, to collect as many juicing recipes as I could find, so that the creature of habit in me wouldn’t end up making the same thing every day, and growing bored, and quitting.

So far, so good.   No panic seems to have hit.   I’ll call my friend who’s doing this with me a little later on to see how he’s doing.   But I’ll check in at the end of every one of these ten days, document where I am, and promise to be honest about how I’m feeling.   There are sure to be some cranky moments, but if I keep clear and present about what I’m trying to accomplish, I think the crankiness will be kept to a minimum.   Or it’ll be the steepest mountain I’ve ever had to climb.  Either one works for me, because I’m ready to take this on.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, offers a thought that does my heart good as I go forth into Prayer-&-Fasting Land.

“If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, anything from your house to bitter old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.”

That’s good enough for me.   See you all tomorrow.

 

 

P.S.  Speaking of synchronicity, the very next day after reading the Homeboy Industries quote on Lent, I was driving to Union Station in Downtown LA, and drove right by a large building with “Homeboy Industries” in big, bold letters on top of it.   I just had to stop in to find out about them.   Wow!  Check them out, if you’re so inclined.  Homeboy Industries

And while we’re at it, check out:
Reboot With Joe

 

 

Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD.   Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.   Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.

Yoga As Muse: How My Practice Has Informed My Art

Mandala copy

 

I have been a singer/songwriter for twenty-five years. I have been a yoga practitioner for twenty.

When I look back on my body of work, I see an unfocused songsmith, full of agendas. My music has resembled everything from show tunes that I wrote for easy money, to power-pop ballads, hoping to become a star, to straight-ahead jazz, trying desperately to be hip.

It wasn’t until yoga came into my life, and I learned to quiet my world, that my practice reshaped me as an artist and I began to connect with the art of song on a level too organic for agenda.

This wasn’t instantaneous. I persevered through the years of the yoga novice and the machinations of the ego: wanting the practice to give me an awesome body and stupefying flexibility (a leg behind the head is something we’d all like to show off, wouldn’t we?), wanting to wear the badge of New-Age-artsy-liberal-hippie-chic honor, and, perhaps the biggest trap of all, wanting instant enlightenment. I begrudgingly honored patience, and, as will beautifully happen with time and commitment, finally managed to burrow deep.

It was during this shift that I clearly saw my music going through the same stages of maturation. The writing was no longer about acceptance in my industry. It became surprisingly internal.

Today my music is as close to pure as it’s ever been.  Can it traverse even further?  OF COURSE.  But I believe that where it is today owes its great debt to the practice of yoga. Sometimes I even wonder if it might not be the other way around. After all, they both regard the Pursuit of Truth.

Though in the end, as life goes galloping richly by, the richer for all our efforts to be whole, does it really matter?

Visit:  http://www.angelacarolebrown.com/globalyoga.htm

 

 

 

Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD.   Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.   Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.

So, This Bindi Thing…

Head shot you tube copy 2

For years I’ve worn the jeweled ones. Colorful ornamental drops that nestle between the eyebrows. The first time I even thought to do so was after seeing a White woman wearing one at a party. This was years ago. Though the bindi is of Hindu derivation, and comes from ancient tradition, and I’ve obviously seen Indian women wearing them since I can remember, I was struck by this non-Indian woman daring to be brazen enough to do this tradition that was not of her own culture (the truth is, I have no clue what this woman’s background or experience was). The point is that it opened up something in me. I realized that most people, at least that I’ve ever observed in life, attach themselves to rituals, causes, and agendas based upon very compartmentalized associations.

How many people march in Gay Pride parades that aren’t gay? How many African-Americans associate themselves with Jewish causes? How many Caucasians walk around sporting African kufis on their heads as a simple matter of fashion and personal taste? Of course the answer is never none. There are always those treasured jewels who believe in a world beyond their own personal demographic, who embrace that above all else this is a human culture, and not just a racial one, or a gender one, or a sexual preference one, or whatever. The movie Cloud Atlas dared to challenge that notion by its very casting (an Asian woman portraying a Mexican. A Black woman portraying a White woman. A woman portraying a man. A White man portraying a Chinese man). But the bottom line is that in most cases, because we belong to a certain culture, race, gender, etc., we must know our place.

I’ve always been someone who’s done ODD.  It’s been an inadvertent skill, not one I particularly chose, but one I’ve been sort of stuck with, as a kind of dubious blessing.

One example that is a complete tangent from this discussion of the bindi, but will set the tone for you of my proclivities toward being otherly, and is just one, among the many things, that branded me for life and set the mold for quirky. Quirky has been with me since childhood, for better or for worse, much of which ended up being for worse, as adolescence defiantly insists on an adherence to conformity. And the example that rings loudest is the time as an early teen that I picked up a dead bird and brought it home. I found it lying in my path as I walked the grounds of my junior high school on my way to class. It was beautiful. A perfect blue jay. So beautiful in fact, and unmarred even in its death, that I was drawn to pick it up. It had a warmth to it, and I placed it in my purse. I carried it there for the rest of the day, precariously aware that if I moved this way or that, I could accidentally squish it and squirt guts all over my wallet and tampons. When I got it home, I placed it in one of my mother’s Tupperware bowls and put it in her freezer. When my parents asked me why I would keep such a thing, I told them I planned on having it taxidermied some day. I truly wish I could go back in time and notice their faces at this out-to-lunch pronouncement, and have to give it to them; they were always great sports for my idiosyncrasies. And there my bird stayed for years, nestled between the rib-eyes and the popsicles. It eventually saw its fate when Mom and Dad separated, and as my dad was preparing to move out of our house he unplugged the garage freezer (the extra one in which we would store pounds of meat), forgetting that my frozen bird was in there, and Birdy was maggot food before anyone discovered it. I’ll let you sit with that one for a minute.

Here’s one more. I promise we’ll get back to the bindi thing, but I just can’t seem to resist a circuitous route. While in college, I decided to start writing my first novel, and I actually spent the next eight years writing its first draft. I’m a Black girl from Compton. Yet my story was not what you might expect from that demographic. Mine was not an urban tale of encounters with Crips, or what have you. I decided to write a book about England in the 1930’s. I’d never been to England, or any other place beyond my sheltered Southern California upbringing. But something in me was compelled to do that which would never have been expected of me. I had a very specific agenda to be the opposite of predictable.

I think it’s probably fairly deep-seated. Perhaps steeped in a childhood of being severely outcast. When ostracization is your childhood, you tend to simultaneously and paradoxically try to blend in AND steel yourself by going the exact other way. And today I realize that this has been my engine my entire life. Associating myself with rituals, agendas, causes, even fashion that are beyond my own cultural background.

After seeing that White woman sport her between-the-eyebrows jewel, and being enchanted by that, I started sporting them myself, as much for the statement of otherly as for the beauty mark that they give any woman. What’s a Black girl doing wearing a Hindu ceremonial dot? I actually got annoyed, during the era of Madonna’s album Ray of Light, when she was suddenly shown sporting them along with her henna body art, during one of her endless reincarnations, and thought (the entire Hindu population aside): “Hey, she totally stole my thing!”   My thing, of course, only being a thing if the most famous pop star in the world is actually stalking my life in order to steal things from me.  Yes, I do live inside my own special world.

My line, whenever asked about my bindi, and which is meant to diffuse any real discussions of my reasons for wearing it, because that can sometimes be exhausting, is usually, dryly, “It’s to cover up the bullet hole.” It tends to get a laugh, and perhaps even has the person walking away with yet more intrigue about the mysteries of Angela. Or not. But this is who I am. I store dead birds, and I write books about Fascist Europe as a teen, instead of hanging out with my girlfriends and listening to Heatwave.

What’s silly about my Madonna annoyance, of course, is that I’ve hardly been the only non-Hindu out there sporting these. The bindi became instantly popular once the Material Girl and Gwen Stefani and Shania Twain made them fashion statements. But like any popular trend, which always has a “use by” date, other than the heritage and culture from which it comes, the bindi long ago got replaced as the trend du jour.

So, why am I still sporting mine? Because I have never adhered to the fashion of the day. But that’s the easy answer. More profoundly is that what I never foresaw when I first started wearing them was that I would, years later, come to pursue a spiritual life that is largely Eastern (Buddhist, Taoist, and Yogic practices, and meditation), and the idea of the symbolic third eye, of inner vision and enlightenment, which is the very place from which one meditates, as well as being the sixth-chakra spot of sight and insight, and which has resonated with my deepest heart. To think that a fashion whim, as well as the instincts to be otherly, has turned into a spiritual lifeline.

And so here I stand, present day, and after years of wearing the jeweled ones, or even just applying simple dots by the various means of make-up pencils, ink pens, or fingernail polish, I finally got my bindi made permanent in 2011, thanks to the wonders of the tattoo gun. It’s a part of me now.  Me, the Black chick from Compton.

I’ve always tended to think of myself as Hippie Girl (braided hair, tattoos, nose-piercing, and a weirdly fetishistic fondness for Birkenstocks, tie-dye, and Nag Champa). I collect crystals. I light candles when it comes time to commemorate the memory of someone. I burn sage when I feel the need to purify my surroundings. I rearrange furniture whenever my gut tells me that my home is in a state of discord, which means that I’ve been employing the practices of Feng Shui long before I’d ever even heard of it, and certainly before it became the new thing several years ago. I’ve even begun lately dabbling with the Tarot and palm reading, which, in spite of its popular mis-press, isn’t about predicting someone’s future, but is about locating and identifying archetypal energy and behavior, but that’s another tangent for another day. The point is, I do fully embrace the practices of healing and wellness, both the literal and the symbolic.

I don’t have a clue where any of that comes from, other than the fact that I am the Perpetual Seeker. I search for enlightenment in every hemp-strewn cubbyhole and New Age. But I cannot deny that it’s also a matter of my own brand of defiance against being pigeon-holed.

There is a price to pay for choosing to be otherly (still debating whether it’s actually a choice). It can be lonely. It can create a life of few inner circles. It can foster isolation. But those of us who align ourselves with its principles know that in spite of the possible challenges, we are staking our place in the world by the very practice of discombobulating people’s minds about who we are, and their instincts to compartmentalize us, and ultimately their inability to do so. It may have originated from a deep-seated place, but I have discovered that I quite like it.

More than anything, at this point in my life, my permanent bindi symbolizes the virtues of honor, integrity, grace, and peace of spirit. It is a reminder, every time I look in the mirror, of my pursuits of wellness and wholeness.  The actual work to attain these things is, of course, all on me.

I still like to say that it’s there to cover up the bullet hole. I make myself laugh, even if I don’t make anyone else. I still love it, nestled between my rapidly thinning eyebrows. I’d better.  Because it’s not going anywhere now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD.   Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.   Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.