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ashleyjude

Just a rock and roll soul spreading the Good Vibes gospel

Ego + Pain

The human ego deals with pain in such an unproductive way. The ego wants to wallow. We all need to grieve our losses of course, but in times of hardship it’s never more important to remember – your ego is not you. The more unattached from it you become, the more at peace you will be, regardless of the situation you find yourself in. The pain won’t stop hurting… we’re still human. But I guarantee you’ll be able to navigate through it easier if you do not let your ego control you.

Sometimes when you don’t fit into someone’s exact perception of who you should be, they react badly. The ego cannot stand being wrong or disobeyed, so when things don’t go exactly according to plan, the beast gets disturbed. Left unquestioned, untested, it could lay in a peaceful slumber for years. As soon as someone or something comes along to ripple the water, it twitches, opens one eye to assess the threat. If the threat is perceived as great enough, the beast rises from it’s sleep to defend. It will do whatever it takes to bring down the threat, even if the so-called threat isn’t a threat at all, but just another life form doing their best to get through a painful situation.

People deal with pain differently. And that’s okay. Disassociation makes things easier. Disassociate from each other, and from the egoic part of the mind that cares what people think. Attachment to a reputation will get you nowhere. A bruised ego falling to the ground must grab onto anything it can, ripping out the roots of plants while it falls. Slandering names to ensure they have company down there, so low. Because after all, misery loves company.

If you can manage not to take things personally, especially when dealing with people whose beast has been disturbed, you can escape the situation unscathed. Don’t stoop to their level. If you respond to these people with compassion and keep your own ego in check, you cannot be harmed.

Belonging.

An imposter in my own hometown. Have I changed, or is it just my perspective? Alienated and alone; I don’t belong here. 

Everyone wants to belong. Belong somewhere? To someone? Our belongings are our possessions. So we want to be possessed? By a place? A person? Sounds like hell, some sort of exorcist movie. To belong in a group is to conform. So if you belong; you conform?

But people don’t yearn to conform. They yearn to BELONG. I know the English language is weird, but these definitions don’t add up. We all say we want to stand out, can we stand out and “belong” at the same time? What takes more courage?

I spoke to a friend not long ago – The beautiful, smart, unique person she is was struggling. She said she felt like she didn’t belong anywhere. It’s a lonely feeling, no doubt. But maybe it’s a good thing? When we’re left to our own devices, we have no choice but to get in touch with the person we truly are. Our true Being, unaffected by others’ energy and opinions will start to shine through.

Belonging implies that you’re smack dab in the middle of your comfort zone; and if I’ve learned anything so far in life, it’s that nothing incredible is accomplished there. So the next time you feel like you don’t belong, just embrace it. Something amazing is likely right around the corner, and if you never leave that cozy place where you “belong”, you’ll never find it.

The Revival Festival Manifesto

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Raid rant.

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90 people arrested in connection with Toronto pot dispensary raids

I try not to make a habit of getting too politically charged online, but this is a subject that gets me a little fired up. As a user of medical marijuana, I’ve witnessed first hand the benefits it can have. When I shattered my heel and had a massive prescription for Percocet and all the T3’s to last me a lifetime… I started to feel the effects of excessive prescription drug use. My stomach was completely fucked, I felt woozy and dulled down. I won’t lie – I took every single one of those Percocets because the pain was horrendous at first, but as soon as they ran out and all I had was T3s… weed saved my life. The painkilling properties alone were more effective for me than T3s, plus it didn’t make my stomach feel like shit. On the contrary actually. I won’t go too far into my reasons for loving weed. There’s enough documentation on the benefits. Of course if you take too much, don’t know your limits and are reckless there are some potential dangers… as with anything else… but the worst thing I can imagine in relation to weed is eating too many edibles and curling up into the fetal position in bed thinking the room is spinning  (Which I’m pretty sure happens on another very legal substance too…) The second worse thing that can happen is that you might feel disgusted with yourself for eating an entire box of Oreos.

I’d love for everyone to take a few minutes to watch the link above. It’s a press release from the Chief of Toronto Police yesterday speaking about the mass arrests connected to Toronto pot dispensaries just a couple days ago. Around 6:10 an inspector is speaking about the justifications behind these charges – note where he talks about the community complaints. He says petitions have been filed, supported by around 50, 60, 70 people. In the entire city of Toronto, 70 people complain about “health concerns” and 90 people get arrested? Can someone please explain that to me? When asked to clarify these so-called health concerns, the answers are robotic and senseless. I understand the concern about the lack of standardization, but it’s true that health approved licensees DO list the quantities of THC and even the ones who are not officially licensed, when asked, would VERY likely be able to tell you. There’s no limit on what you can buy at the liquor store – if you wanted you could go in there, buy 12 bottles of whiskey and drink it all to yourself and die in your sleep. Even if you ate 12 pot brownies you wouldn’t die. You may feel like you’re dying for a few hours but you’d pull through and probably be just a bit more careful next time.

When the floor opens for questions around 16:00 or so – the issue of number of complaints versus number of people benefitting from medical marijuana is brought up and it gets absolutely zero response or recognition from the Chief. Actually – at around 18:33, two people get kicked out for asking very legitimate questions that he had only been offering the flimsiest fucking answers to. I had to turn it off at that point for fear of throwing my computer out the window in frustration.

They asked this question and I will too – where do you think people will go to buy weed if they can’t get it from their dispensary? The government LP’s with the regulated “quality” being absolute shit? No – they’re going back to their friendly neighborhood drug dealer… just like before.

Moving backwards. Neato.

Shall we take a Stroll, my love?

Shall we take a stroll, my love. Through the garden and down to the ocean’s wall.

Let’s escape civilization even if only for a moment.

Close your eyes and smell the fresh rain, listen to the sound of birds flying above.

It’s an urban refuge down here.

Take it all in. Meditation is easier said than done, but it’s easier here than anywhere else.

As a thought enters your mind, don’t give it any merit. Just let it slide off like a dewdrop on a morning flower.

Take this stroll at least once daily. More if you can manage.

Nature has a way of curing even the most troubled minds.

Stroll away. Stroll home. Repeat.

Daily Prompt – Stroll

A Lonely Sailboat

Photo Challenge – Landscape

An old favourite photo of mine, a sailboat captured from Wreck Beach around sunset.

To me, it says solitude.

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Icebergs

Daily Prompt: 1 word – Faraway

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In a world where technology reigns supreme, why is it so hard to connect? In a literal sense, the ease of connecting is as simple as plugging something in; but the closer we get to technology, the farther away we get from personal connection.

They want us to think we’re more connected now, with social media making it easier to stay in touch and share moments. While that might be true, how high is the quality of these connections? For me, it comes down to the principle of quality over quantity. 50 Facebook “likes” a day versus 1 long, rambling conversation in person? I’d take the latter, any day.

I’ve never felt so faraway from human connection as I do right now – this April 6, 2016. I feel like everyone in the whole world is on their own little iceberg out in the middle of the universe’s ocean and we’re all drifting farther and farther apart every day. We’re being tricked into believing we’re more connected than ever, when really we’re slowly alienating ourselves and our loved ones in favor of a screen.

I can’t count the times I’ve been in social situations where people are just sitting, staring and clicking away at their phones instead of exchanging in a real life conversation. I just can’t get my head around it. The person you’re texting, wouldn’t you rather be able to talk to them in person? So, why not talk to the person you’re actually with? Or is someone you’ve never met’s Instagram account more interesting that the real life human sitting next to you, vying for your attention?

I feel like an old lady. Or maybe I’m just out of touch with the times. Almost 28 is still pretty young, but I’m old enough and wise enough to know what’s really fulfilling in this life; and it’s those real, human interactions – intriguing conversation, genuine laughs, hearing someone’s story, getting a glimpse into lives and worlds different to your own – that really make this life worth living.

So, maybe just take a day sometime (a weekend, if you can…) and be as Faraway from the internet as possible. Go outside. Enjoy the company of all of those interesting people around you – human beings and the world around us are quite astonishing if you can just pay any attention at all.

Faraway

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My Punk Rock Love Affair

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Ahhh, punk rock. It’s so nostalgic to think back to my teenage years – when I’d narrowly escaped a life of having terrible taste in music. Nothing but love for my girls in Midsun Jr. High School, but I think I truly had to move away to figure out a way to be myself in that crazy adolescent time. In a land where we’d all wear the same Mavi jeans and Buffalo tank tops every day, [YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US!], it was hard for a girl to find herself. I didn’t want to move away. But when my Mom yanked me out of Grade 9, I found myself in the small highway town of Okotoks, where I knew 2 people. I was annoyed to be there. But it ended up changing the entire course of my life in a lot of ways. In the obvious way of course – I was in a different location so I was literally walking a different path – but in a really fundamental way too. I only stayed in that town for about a year before I got the fuck outta doge, if you know what I mean. That’s another story for another day – but that one year, living away from the people I grew up with, my circle of friends, and being forced to start fresh, I think it was ultimately one of the best things that ever happened to me. For a couple reasons, but one big one: I discovered punk rock.

Not that I didn’t know it existed, or hadn’t heard of it in a general sort of way – but no one I hung out with at the time listed to punk. They didn’t listen to rock at all. It was mostly Top 40 pop music and hip hop. Granted,  there is definitely still a place in my heart for those guilty pleasures. But I didn’t hear a single NOFX song until I was 14 years old, living in good ol’ Okotoks, Alberta. Just Blink 182 and Sum 41 for this girl until finally;

I was saved. There was suddenly an entire universe in front of my face that I never even knew existed. Everyone in this town listened to punk rock. I was embarrassed. I didn’t know anything about anything anymore! I could talk about Dr. Dre all day, or even Travis Barker but couldn’t offer a single word on Bad Religion. I remember telling my mom that I needed to go to HMV to buy some CDs. NEEDED TO. She gave me some money and I went and blew it all in minutes. I think she gave me $60, and I got 5 CDs or something and I’m pretty positive they were NOFX, Pennywise, Bad Religion, Rise Against and AFI. I remember being really into AFI when I first heard them – so “Emo” in the literal sense – meaning super emotional lyrics and songs – perfect for the angst-y teenage soul. And that one album of Rise Against’s, I think it was their first – The Unraveling. I just loved it. Played that song “Angel” over and over again.

Since then I’ve been eating punk rock up in all its different styles and forms, and figuring out my real preferences. Back then, I was just listening to it to be cool and fit in and to be honest, I never really put on NOFX or Pennywise anymore. The odd time I’ll throw it on for nostalgia’s sake, but I’ve narrowed my interests and am figuring out what it is that makes me really like music, and for me, from very early on – it was all about the live show. And no genre of music has a better atmosphere than punk. Especially those really fun, bouncy types of punk like ska – nothing beats it. Except maybe Celtic punk, or gypsy punk, or polka punk. Or ska. Did I say ska? I feel like I’m the only person left on earth who still loves ska – I just wish people would come out more often to see how fun these shows really are. I can never stop smiling at a ska show.

And now I’ve now found myself completely head over heels with the wrong era. Punk rock music of the mid-70’s to mid-80’s has swept me away – I daydream constantly about what it must have been like back then. The dawn of punk rock and all of the beautifully flawed subcultures it spawned. Post punk and new wave have especially captured my heart recently. Of course I fell so in love with The Clash quite some time ago. And the Sex Pistols, the Buzzcocks, The Ramones – English punk rock in the mid-seventies must have been like the peak of some sort of collective drug. There’s this Vancouver band The Tranzmitors – one of the first bands I saw live at the Rickshaw as part of a school project – who were so Clash-esque I almost cried of happiness when I saw them live. My friend Scott took this picture of me. Pure bliss.

ASH

And now, working at the Rickshaw 3 years later I’ve had the chance to see so many bands I would have never even known about. The Rezillos, The Flamin’ Groovies, The Chameleons, to name a few – that have just made me fall deeper and deeper in love with alternative music from 70’s and 80’s and I wish every day the Hot Tub Time Machine was a real thing.

Album Review! Terry

Terry – Eponymous Release

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If you are easily offended, don’t have a sense of humor or you’re just generally a boring person… don’t pick up this album. If you like laughing, especially if you have a slightly inappropriate sense of humor, you should definitely do yourself a favor and check out this album as soon as it’s out on January 31st. Colin Lamb’s trio offer a hilarious treat… something a little different to feast your ears on for dessert when you’re already way too full. It’s a total guilty pleasure – sometimes reminding me a little bit of Tenacious D.

The music itself is actually really pretty, especially to a Calgary girl like me who loves bluegrassy guitar riffs and cheesy country melodies. That along with the theme of totally immature, schoolyard humor and quite a few laugh out loud moments equals to me, a good comedy album. Colin is a true comedian, the guy is hilarious, but he also actually has a great voice with quite a range, can really play that gee-tar and write really catchy songs.

The overall theme of the album starts off strongly with “Mon Pere”, an ode to my Dad being able to kick your Dad’s ass. Naturally. Next up, “The Liquor” another little ode to something we all hold dear to our hearts, starts off nice and pretty, I’d be expecting Brad Paisley’s voice to start singing me a love song or something. Halfway through it picks up tempo and warns against the perils of drinking and having sex. All very relatable. The third track of the album was the first song I ever heard Colin perform live. It was called “Friend Zone” then I think, but is now titled “We’re Not Bangin”, which works too. The song is about a guy who wants to fuck a girl, but she’s sort of stringing him along and keeping him in the friend zone, (something I’m sure we can all relate to) and of course, the frustrated guy gets fed up (as they do) and puts it quite eloquently. When I first heard that song it resonated with me a lot because I just had been in that exact situation! The guy put it a little more delicately than that, but he might as well have just dedicated that song to me. The rest of the album is nonstop laughs. “Sister Banger” is a fan favorite for good reason, and one that you will not be able to get out of your head. They shot a video for it a few months ago, check it out here:

To sum it up, the album is funny. Listen to it. Get your copy on January 31st at Terry’s Seedy Release Party at Seven Dining Lounge on Broadway! Get event details here. And like Terry on Facebook!

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