I hate photographs

by: Rohan Chary

I hate photographs
We try to capture
Summer nights
Whose faces are haphazardly splattered with white dots of other worlds
We try to capture
Trees so tall that they tickle the soft underbelly of the clouds

We try to capture the majesty of everything around us
We try to jam them
Down the throats
Of those with no
Passion for that moment which the light had captured,
and we lose them
In that dark cavern
Of online “friends”
Who we barely know.

I hate when great moments are ignored
When they’re left to fade in the flicker of flashes
When we chose to see larger than life sights through those small seductive screens

We dream in brushstrokes
Not pixels
Strokes of surreal hues
And vibrant views
Shimmering reds and blues

I hate when people don’t realize
Every tweet of morning birds
Every shimmering orange sunset
Every time we feel validation or happiness without the prompt of a “like” is a victory

It may not be a big one
 every one of us should hold an internal parade in honor of every battle won
In the war against sadness
Against stress
Against emotional dependence on those small seductive screens
Every one of us should hold a parade for those rare mornings that we look in a mirror and say
Today I feel good

Rohan Chary is a sixteen year old Virginian high school junior who lives with both of his parents and his four-year-old dog. Rohan enjoys playing video games with friends, listening to music, and watching movies. His favorite movies include the Troll film series and the Shrek film series. Shrek Forever After is his favorite film of all time. Rohan’s favorite musical artists include Smash Mouth and John Cena, whose meaningful and intricate lyrics provide consistent inspiration for Rohan’s poetry.

Don’t Let The Ashley Madison Scandal Ruin Your “Happy” Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

By Cynthia Battino

secretsMarriages, lives, and relationships were shattered when Ashley Madison’s site was hacked and names and addresses were made public last week. I can only imagine the fear, anger, rage and arguments that were, and still are continuing, in households across the US. I am very sad to think about the relationships lost due to this hacking event as there is much grey area around sexuality, cheating, and taking responsibility in partnerships. Before making any drastic decisions, try to sit back and take some things into consideration.

What Now?

His or her name is on the list. It’s time to confront your partner with the information you have. They deserve the benefit of the doubt. They deserve to be faced with your knowledge and your fears.

Is It True?

There is evidence that you can no longer trust your partner. Trust is the foundation of a relationship. Before you condemn them, ask these tough questions.

  • Is the Ashley Madison site accurate? Maybe not really. Email addresses were used and not verified by this site. This makes for a very untrustworthy source.
  • Is it old information? Did this happen before you two were together or during a separation? Timing is very important to examine.
  • Has information like this come to light in the past? In other words, has your partner admitted to cheating on you or others? If so, this becomes a game changer. Head straight to a professional marriage counselor. Even if it wasn’t true that they were on the site, you didn’t trust them enough not to check. You HAD to check. This means that the trust foundation of your marriage needs some severe shoring up. You both have some serious work to do.
  • Finally, if you asked them if they were really a member on this site during your partnership, and they answered yes, it is now time to work through those uncomfortable, undeniable feelings.

STOP & Feel

As a life and relationship coach, I would counsel any of you who found your partner’s name on this list to not make any drastic decisions while you are in shock and pain. I encourage you to find a safe place to explore and work through your emotions (denial, anger, rage, disappointment, frustration, and much more) and feelings of betrayal, rejection and abandonment. Before you can look at the “grey” of the “why,” these beliefs and feelings need to be heard and honored.

Journal. Talk to your best friend. Find a therapist or relationship coach. Use these venues to cry, rage, and FEEL your feelings. By letting all of these emotions come out, be heard, be valued, you can then come to a place of calm.

Seek Space

You might need some space to get through these feelings without punishing your partner or making rash decisions. Go away for a weekend with your best friend (some wine and a journal). Or take a couple of days to be alone. Maybe head to the mountains or the beach where you are fed and nurtured by mother-nature. You need to be free to scream, cry, write, wail and wallow in the “woe is me” place.

My recommendation would not be to go to your parents – unless you can go there and not share about your spouse and them being a part of the current national scandal. Once your family finds out about your spouse possibly committing this type of act against you, they will not be as willing to forgive if you decide to stay. Your family will want to protect you. Not see you in pain.

Next Week: Part 2 – Looking at the Grey in the “WHY?” Why it happened in the first place. Our goal will be to help you make decisions to move forward from a place of clarity and not anger or fear.

Cynthia Battino is a Life Coach, Healer & Separation/Divorce Specialist, author and speaker. Her company, Transformational Healing, specializes in working with people going through life crisis, specifically separation/divorce. She has written a healthy divorce workbook, You Were In Love, Once Upon A Time, which you can find on her website:

Running after my funny dreams…

By: Davine Ker

Ker, Davine headshot
Davine Ker

The day I started running, my outlook on life completely changed. Running taught me endurance, resilience, but mostly, it taught me that I was enough. That me alone, from within myself, I could draw my own fuel, transform, without relying on anyone else or anything. No equipment. No gym subscriptions. Just me. And the pavement. And my own thoughts. It became my motivation. I discovered my true strengths. I amazed myself and learned to compete against myself. Beat my previous distances. Break my own records. One step at a time. One mile at a time. Many smiles at a time. It became quickly addictive once my running yielded positive results, on my body, my mind. It made me feel light, strong, accomplished and relaxed. I felt the runner’s high and it made me say Hello to the Universe. I got amazing support. At times, I felt like the poster child for curvy girls. “If Davine can run, we can too” (paraphrasing: “Since she is heavy and doing it…”). But it was okay. I was so happy running. Especially after getting very ill, a few years previous to that, where I didn’t think I would be able to do anything physically challenging anymore. I remembered going through all these surgeries on my breast while they were trying to figure what type of infection I had. I remembered the way I felt when I was this medical mystery, for over four months, while I was thirty weeks pregnant with my second child. I remembered worrying about how I would take care of my oldest son, who has just turned three back then. I remembered the fear I felt when the storm poured strongly over my family, while, at that very same time, my husband found out his entire department was getting cut and he would lose his job. We only had one income. With a brand new baby on the way. I thought I was going to be so ill I would end up leaving all of them behind. I never thought our lives would turn around and I would end up down the road, running towards my goals. I thought the only time I would run was towards the ice cream truck. And there I was, running three times a week, feeling stronger than ever. And at peace.

I barely run anymore these days. I am having a hard time maintaining my running schedule. Once the days became too humid to run, I fell off the wagon. I didn’t sweat it. But I joined a new gravy boat instead. I allowed myself to agree with my thoughts, and yearnings. I decided to tune into my own rhythm. Tune into my hidden voices. And share my voice. I started doing comedy. It all started as a bet, at first, thrown from a sweet friend. After ranting to her about some of my personal baggage and ongoing rants about things that weighed me down, preventing me from taking off. And I surprised myself telling her how much I wanted to do comedy, but never dared to consider it. This industry is a whole joke after all…Well, it surely would be according to my parents for sure. I could already imagine my parents say “Had we known you would choose to become a clown, we would have left you in the jungle back when we fled Cambodia, running way from the Communist regiment. Had we known, we wouldn’t have risked our lives, running away with a crying baby blah, blah, blah. We would have left you with the tigers instead.” This was the kind of cynical humor I grew up around. Because, obviously, I did not become a doctor. Well, mom and dad. This is me now. Trying to save the world. One joke at a time. Because the world is a better place when we can all laugh.

My life has completely transformed. I myself, has morphed into this bold person who isn’t trying to bend over backward in attempt to please everyone anymore. I am not italic anymore. Not bending backward anymore. Bold it is. Bold I am. I went from my regular routine of avoiding stepping on Legos into letting go. I used the bravery and channeled into my strength that I have earned from my running experience into venturing into this exciting journey of comedy. Now, here I am, dancing my life into this new comedy workout, hitting open mics and appearing on comedy showcases. And feeling the new adrenaline. From my runner’s high into this comedy high. Hello world. Here I come. :)

Having received the life time achievement award for snappy shoes and dress styles from PC world magazine, Comedian Davine Ker is leading the anti-vaccine movement against computer viruses. Davine makes a point of swimming the Potomac river every morning before performing on stage so her jokes are always clean.  Her motto is “Give a kid spaghetti dinner for breakfast and he’ll never cry at lunchtime.” Be sure to like her Facebook page by clicking here.

HRP: A Musical Awakening

By: Dr. Celia Im

HRPHarmonic Resonance Process or HRP is a unique self-actualization program that uses especially composed piano music in combination with creative visualization and mindful inquiry to open up a powerful connection between the mind and the body. Evolving through three stages of development – Heal, Create, Actualize – HRP provides an effective means to gain a deeper understanding of one’s life’s path, take action to accomplish long-term goals and enjoy overall enhanced wellbeing.

The following is a synopsis of the first stage of this therapy between Dr. Celia Im and ‘Client Z.”

Dr. Im: In the “Heal” stage, we release old patterns in the body, emotions and mind, so that we can begin to create what we want in our lives in the second stage (“Create”), and bring that vision into reality in the third (“Actualize”).

Client Z, for example, came to do HRP work because she wanted confidence to move forward in an exciting new career opportunity. As we explored the feelings holding her back, she began to realize layers of fear of offending others, of being successful and showing her real self.   She also had come to understand later in life that she had been adopted when she was a young child, and wondered if this familiar fear was related to the family secret that was held from her.

As client Z worked with the gentle music, focusing on her body in a relaxed state, she began to unwind old holding patterns in her body.  She released deeply held anger in the stomach, cold fear in the upper chest, and holding in her jaws. As her body cleared and lightened, she saw an image of herself as a young dancer and felt a glimpse of freedom from the layers of fear and regret.

In the second session, she sensed a fog that was heavy, grey, and sad.  As she let the music interact with the fog, it turned to rain, and she cried long-held tears held in her body.  The image of a soaring hawk emerged, she remembered her own strength, and sensed that she knew exactly where she was going.  I knew that her fear was turning into courage, confidence and strength.

In the third session, she remembered the fear of her mother’s anger and words that left her feeling of being unwanted, blamed for mother’s problems, and the belief that she was not worthy.   Understanding now that her mother was hiding a secret of her adoption, she was then able to let her own adult self connect lovingly with her young self and correct the belief.   “Am I worthy?” became “I am worthy.”  In a moment of honesty and real courage, she realized that she had to choose to let go of the excuses and familiar patterns if she really wanted to be free and confident.    

How often does fear occur just as we decide to move toward something we want? It is difficult to overcome fear with the thinking, rational mind.   As with client Z, the HRP music and dialogue helped her to move from “Fear to Courage” by feeling what she really felt beneath the surface and choosing her true self of strength and confidence.   In just a three sessions, she was beginning to be open to hope and possibility where she had been stuck. With more work ahead of her in a 12-session series, she was well on her way to transforming her small self into her powerful, big self.

Client “Z”: I went to see Dr. Celia Im on the recommendation of a friend. During the session Dr. Im asked me to close my eyes and tune in to the music. Almost immediately, images of myself as a dancer appeared and ‘her’ simple joy and freedom in dancing made me cry. With Dr. Im’s prompting, I also was able to release years of regret for not following up on the dream of wanting to be a dancer. Many similar instances were dealt with throughout the next couple of sessions, but the third one was the most powerful. Until then I had no recollection of my younger self until around 5 years of age. Suddenly in the music, I heard my mother’s voice saying: “My life would have been so much easier, if I hadn’t had her.” I finally understood why I felt I was never enough.