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Lucky #7 gets to 67,000 views

The seventh post on Go Ask Ella has turned out to be quite lucky after all… 

happy condom

When I began Go Ask Ella, my whole purpose was to address “things we don’t talk about but should” with a really warm, factual and honest approach.

My first attempt at a video way back in April 2010 now has over 67,000 views on youtube. Yowzah, I had no idea until today.

So glad I got over myself and went with my instinct to make my old sex ed talk have a close up. We all need to.

We will always have a thousand reasons to not act on an idea but perhaps today there are 67,000 reasons why you should.

Your unique genius, what you say yes to and do in the world may just be an idea written on your journal page today but what could you do to make it come to life?

Sometimes we think something as common as a “how to put on a condom” video isn’t worth our time because it’s obvious information.

Well if it helps one person know something or be less afraid, why not share it? Just do it!

Here’s to being awkward for the greater good,

Ella

 

Cheating On Yourself With…


oooooh the options!

  • mac n’ chez
  • not meditating
  • drama
  • cheese
  • sexting
  • busyness
  • cigarettes
  • cheese
  • one too many drinks
  • pessimism
  • watching gay porn and masturbating all day
  • reading old journals and letters
  • staying up too late
  • cheese
  • talking to/about old flames
  • dating people that your friends have on the do not call list
  • your credit card during Bloomingdale’s summer sales
  • your work out routine (or lack thereof)
  • cookies after midnight (think Gizmo and Gremlins)
  • [insert weak spot here]

 oscar-wilde-on-temptation

You know the drill- you make an agreement about who you want to be and then you start putting things on the “To Not Do” list.  Perhaps with summer aflutter and in full effect you’ve decided to not eat so much pasta or that you’re going to go the gym, yoga, run in the hills three times a week and you’re most certainly not going to mess around with people you shouldn’t ( the past, old flames or new ones that aren’t meeting your requirements, et cetera).

It doesn’t help that EVERYONE has a tip or flip on this.

Oh goodness me!

I’ve been listening a lot this week and it’s just so up for everyone, that I thought I’d add my Go Ask Ella two cents.

Getting more advice in and of itself is a temptation sometimes, too.  What to do or not do?

The present moment is a practice to be more and more of who you are and align with your actions AND you’re human so you “fuck up”.

I don’t like saying “fuck up” or “mistake” because that too seems inaccurate. Let’s call them misfirings defined as: you make a decision that you don’t feel so fucking great about deep down and it’s a misfire that allows you to know what your target is (albeit after A LOT of misfires).

greek-statues2

We are free unless we are enslaved by desire/passion according to the Greeks AKA “Sophrosyne;” simply put ‘mens sana in corpore sano‘ (“a healthy mind in a healthy body”).

Of the dangers carried by aphodisia, dishonor was not the most serious; the greatest danger was bondage to them. – Foucault, The Use of Pleaseure (Volume 2 of The History of Sexuality), 79.

Michel Foucault, in his analyzing of eroticism and the politics of a gay old era, offers the reflections of Socrates and Diogenes in the chapter entitled “Freedom and Truth.” Between the bedsheets up to the laureled crowns it’s noted that a good ruler was one who wasn’t subject to gluttony, incapable of mastering his own desires and a tyrant, well, they were prone to abuse their power.

What are you bonded to?  

As the ruler of ourselves, what do we do when we cheat on us?  We bullshit ourselves out of or into a situation that we know “isn’t serving our highest good” by saying perhaps- “just this once” or rebel and go into “fuck it, I only live once?”  Hmmmm, perhaps patience is the greatest ruler and within an age of immediate gratification (likes, shares, invites, options aplenty), it’s hard to know what is best day in and day out let alone for the long run.

 

Chanting, meditating, getting into your body  and taking care of it certainly assists your mind in relaxing it’s tight hold on ruling.  The heart is a better master but let it not confuse you either, the subtle heart is found through constant, quiet reflective listening and it’s not impulsive or loud.

 

I’m opting for tea instead of a milkshake, for now, sigh (although I REALLY, REALLY want one!).

 

 

truth

truth

 

Saying yes is saying no to something else.

Make sure it’s not YOU you’re saying no to.

 

Love you, you virtuous freedom flyers,

 

Ella

 

P.S. For the record, I’ve moved through the need to stay in bed all day and watch gay porn, I have hope for the rest of you.   Thanks South Korea!

 

 

Ready To Wear Sociology

I was thinking today about how many faces we wear in our day to day…

 

You know we all put up a front for occasions sometimes unknowingly and sometimes VERY knowingly.

 

“And to the degree that the individual maintains a show before others that he himself does not believe, he can come to experience a special kind of alienation from self and a special kind of wariness of others.”

Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

 

As a sociologist second and a human first, I enjoy owning how I’ve shown up over the years.

Recognize or relate to any of these?

The I'm Fine, No Really

The “I’m Fine, No Really”

 

 

 

The Innocent

The Innocent, I swear

 

 

 

The Deny

The Deny

 

 

 

The Too Busy

The Too Busy

 

 

 

The Seduction/Narcissist

The “I Love Me Especially In Hats”     (AKA The Unbearable Lightness of Being)

 

 

 

 

 

The “Less Talk, More Wrestle”

 

The Hunky Dory (AKA Stuff Face with Ice Cream)

The Hunky Dory (AKA Stuff Face with Ice Cream)

 

 

 

 

 

The Beg

The Beg

 

 

 

shut the fuck up

The Know It All

 

 

The "I Roll With Bad Ass Bitches"

The “I Roll With Bad Ass Bitches”

 

The Turn Your Back

The Turn Your Back

 

 

 

The Heart Chakra Approach

The Heart Chakra Approach

 

 

 

snufflin

The “Putting On The Ritz”

 

 

 

The Awesome/Righteous

The Excellent

 

 

 

 

The Uh Oh

The Hide

 

 

 

 

The Sociologist

The Sociologist


And finally, The "Don't Fuck With Me I'm Living My Life Like It's Golden"

And finally, The “Don’t Fuck With Me, I’m Living My Life Like It’s Golden”

Happy Friday to all your beautiful faces…

xoxo

Ella

God, to me…

is Beauty.
Simply the moments where you are so struck by the awe of what you witness, feel, know that you are silenced into nothingness and everything joins you in that reverence. That is consciousness, that is God, Goddess, Divine.

As a child, I knew not what religion was.

My grandmother’s crucifix, that was my size, made me incredibly sad and my earliest memories were of wanting that bleeding man to not be so alone.
My solution? Undress all my Barbies, wrap them in toilet paper loin cloths to be fashionably on par and hang them up all over the wooden cross so this guy wouldn’t feel so lonely or awkward. I seriously wish I had a photo of that and my family’s face when they found my Buddy up Jesus project. Priceless!

Buddy Christ Motivator_by_Saint Jimmy (deviantart)

Buddy Christ Motivator_by_Saint Jimmy (deviantart)

As a pre-teen, I wanted so badly to be confirmed, for a ritual to take place that marked me as a valid something. I dreamed of having a bat mitzvah or quinceañera, a rain dance rite of passage and to get to wear a hooded cape in the mists of Avalon. I just had a Thanksgiving plate of mythology and tradition that I wanted to eat up and digest.

religion
I didn’t understand the practices but I loved the community of my friends’ religions except the whole sin bit and certain rules that seemed to exclude people- that didn’t make much sense to me.

I was taught to find my own way by my parents and when I started asking tougher questions beyond my Barbie years… my father gave me Siddhartha and my English teacher recommended the The Way of The Tao to read.

The places in life that caused me to pause were little and easy. I don’t know if I really saw religion as anything else but good story telling and at that point I wouldn’t have been able to have a conversation about spirituality.

I did know , however, what caused me to feel like I had insight, the keys of the universe- they were the little moments I felt sublime. Perhaps what some would call grace.

Falcor?  Ewok?

Falcor? Ewok?

The right song on the radio that “randomly” sang exactly what I needed to hear, dogs sticking their heads out of car windows, sunrises that found the details out of the darkness.

It took me 20 years but I no longer shudder at the words God, Lord, Holy, Spirit like I once did. I resisted these words as I didn’t understand them and saw they often made people shift their weight or stand weirdly erect. What helped was no longer having God be synonymous with religion, dogma and righteous separation.

I had the opportunity a few years ago when I lived in Sedona to reexamine what I experienced as sacred, spiritual, or God-ish. People who were visiting often asked me what the deal was with a vortex. Stay with me here…
These places all over town that were supposed to provide spiritual insight and be psychedelic in some fashion, vortexes or correctly, vortices (but no one ever called them that, it wasn’t Southwesty enough I suppose). It was in trying to explain it to someone who had no vocabulary regarding consciousness, yoga, metaphysics, etc. that I, too, was able to understand my own definition of the nameless.

sedona beauty

Sitting atop Cathedral Rock at sunset

“When you stand in witness of a view so potent with beauty, you can’t help but shut the hell up. There lies peace and in the face of it, you know what some call divinity.”

That’s how I saw it, spelled it out and it still holds water with me today.

Unity with beauty- be it with a conversation that blows your mind with possibility, a spring flower on it’s first opening, the vulnerability of a hand on the small of your back that makes your heart flutter, the breath the Earth horizon seems to breathe as the burst of red sunsets cast their warmth at sunset, tears on a kind face, the depth in a newborn’s eyes, a sky so clear that it kisses you and grants you wishes.

This is what I call God.

Being human allows you to forget how perfectly round this experience is and it’s the momentary returning to something greater and all together simpler that requires nothing, just to behold and be held. Behold, be held in, of and by beauty or just give a dog a belly rub. Dog/God. Meh, same thing, just spelled backwards. Coincidence, methinks not.

Honour The Heart

Happy Heart Day to you!

TEDx offered a beautiful valentine’s honoring this morning and I give it to you humbly and so joyfully.

xoxo
Ella

TED Talking

I’m not one for keeping quiet and staying mum on incredible things but I was so beyond humbled to speak at a TED conference that I didn’t even post about it (until now).


Ridiculous?  Maybe.

Have you ever had a dream that came true, so fast that you thought maybe it was an accident or you ducked your head in the sand or peed your pants?  I thought I’d have published ten books and then maybe, MAYBE, attend a TED conference let alone SPEAK at one so when my birthday came around this year and I asked to live my life with joy on purpose I didn’t expect the gift that came two days after blowing out my 30 candles.


Yup, me, your Ella, will be offering her perspective on “Visions for Transition: Challenging existing paradigms and redefining values (for a more beautiful world)” and will be boarding a plane to do so in a week’s time.

You never know you who you’re going to inspire and you never know what doors will open from you being you, doing what you love.

Thank you ALL for being a part of this journey.

A gift my mother imparted on me this year was the choice between two images of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama to sit on my altar.  One was of him quietly smiling with peace, the other with him laughing while speaking into a microphone and clasping his hands in joyful prayer.  My first instinct was the quiet, non-mic check photo.  I’ve been feeling more and more quiet these days, especially since my journey to Mother India (yes, I know, I’ve not shared about it with hardly anyone but you’re on my list, promise!).

However I chose and choose the image that reflected my birthday wish for this year.  I choose to embrace the gift I asked for- to speak, to share, to express myself and be in service to healing of hearts worldwide.


I feel like he’s winking at me through his glasses even now.  “The World will be saved by a Western Woman”, so His Holiness said at a peace summit three years ago when I began my journey as a doula to you.  Perhaps I’m not THE Wonder Woman to save the world but I’m happy to be a pink, sparkly brick in the foundation of its healing.




xoox


In humble and joyful service,

Ella

P.S.  As I stand on the precipice of realizing a dream, I ask for your well-wishings, love and support as I take the stage January 12th in London. TEDxWhiteChapel is on Facebook if you want up-to-the-minute news (for instance, I just learned that tickets ARE SOLD OUT, woweeee, gulp). So click like and follow and blow kisses my way if you feel so inclined.






















Giving Thanks for New Moon Reflections

Magic is afoot in the cool air and dark nights.  Kisses are more haunting and spellbinding, music seems to bathe you and seep into your skin, food just tastes better and eyes get a bit more misty with nostalgia.  New moons are time for reflection, ultimately within and finding the groundedness in the midst of what may feel like an ocean of emotion.

As I sat last night in a much awaited child’s pose on my yoga mat, I decided to keep my eyes closed during the majority of my practice.  It was the first class I could go to in weeks as I’ve been too weak from a persistent cold to do much of anything, let alone vinyasa flow.  I felt such gratitude.  Thanksgiving isn’t just about giving thanks to the external but also to ourselves and knowing when to be still, sweet and surrender.  When we focus too much on the outside/the external we literally go without (without, with out ) and we won’t have much left to give.

New moons are the perfect time to get real and deep or simple and sweet.  Appreciate everything on the menu, focus on what’s most nourishing for you right now (and don’t judge yourself for it).

Big shifts in the stars are making lots of folks wobbly and humbled by emotions, setbacks and whopping big changes.

Sometimes when I hear a lot of the same thing from friends and even people around me in stores, lines, gas stations I’ll peep what’s happening in the world of astrology to see what’s up. Emotions and uncertainty seem to be on the menu especially this week.  Cafe Astrology is one of my favorite astrological info hubs and I love the name (let’s be honest, I’m a foodie in all that I do).  There are a number of resources on the site relating to planetary alignment so totally check it out, it’s Ella approved. ;-)

Being that today is quite auspicious, I’m reposting the word on the street about our new moon in Scorpio (yes the Sun and Saturn are too)…

New Moon Solar Eclipse on Tuesday, November 13th, 2012, at 5:09 PM EST.

Tuesday afternoon, a New Moon in Scorpio occurs. This lunation is a more potent New Moon, as it is a Total Solar Eclipse, and represents a new beginning in the fixed water sign of Scorpio. It’s a time when we can focus on some of the constructive traits of the sign of the Scorpion–passionate, resourceful, focused, probing, deep, and perceptive–and consider how to positively incorporate these qualities into our lives. Scorpio New Moons are generally good for working on our self-mastery skills. We may want to pinpoint the things in our lives that make us feel out of control, such as addictions and debts, and work on freeing ourselves of these emotional burdens. This New Moon cycle is also an opportune one in which to explore what is missing in our lives that leads us to engage in these self-destructive behaviors. This cycle represents an opportunity to rid ourselves of the “junk” in our lives–material and spiritual. With this potent Scorpio energy, we have the chance to make important changes in our lives.

This Total Solar Eclipse occurs on November 13th at 5:09 PM EST at 21 degrees and 57 minutes of Scorpio. Its effects can be felt up to six months after the actual date of the eclipse. In the sign of Scorpio, matters related to intimacy, control, power, money, and sharing will be a strong focus on a personal level. This eclipse is about new beginnings regarding all of these matters.

One of Scorpio’s “lessons” involve learning to dig deeper into the mysteries around us instead of always being content with status quo. Taking the time to understand others’ motives can enrich our feelings of intimacy, forgiveness, and sense of meaning. Scorpio also teaches us that dedication to one meaningful relationship or undertaking can be significantly more satisfying than spreading ourselves around. Here, “quality over quantity” applies. We might want to use this cycle to work on focusing on and developing one special project or relationship in order to help add purposefulness and depth to our lives.

With retrograde Mercury square Neptune at the time of the eclipse, we should watch for fuzzy or wishful thinking. Intuition is heightened, but the details of our plans now may be hidden, overlooked, or unclear.

My magic 8 ball says “outlook unclear AND good”, what about you?

Shakin’ it under the moon,

Ella

Change? Heads Will Roll!

The Queen of Hearts, not much of a fan of change or things not going HER way.

Your way? Always MY WAY!
Off with your head!

Recently, it came to my attention that I’m all for adventures but often on my terms.
When a friend recently invited me to a girls’ night out and her boyfriend tagged along, I admit I initially got a bit pissy.

I thought about my not-so-favorite movement sequence in tai chi, “Change Is Difficult”.


I always snicker to myself at the title because change is inevitable so why is it often experienced as difficult?
For me, if I’m a smidge cranky or excited by my expectations, I’ll admit I’m easily agitated at first if they change (even if for the better).

Mood is perspective, some of my best non-plans have the best things EVER!
However, sometimes it feels really good to be pissed off and disappointed, making someone else wrong and giving them shit for it. But what is the change symbolizing to you and is your being pissed off really creating the experience you ultimately want?

I think for everyone there’s a different broken record/tape playing in our heads that eagerly awaits the opportunity to be wound up. Do we give into the habit of it or embrace change?

Change is difficult if we believe that to be so.

A break up or a losing our job or moving from familiar surroundings can at first, absolutely, be difficult but will only remain so if we choose it.

If we’re stuck in the story that we’re not important, not enough, not lovable, always alone, unable to win then we’ll seek opportunities to prove these not so happy beliefs to be true until we catch it.

Being a grumpy old bear or an Eeyore serves something, it’s up to you to ask what?

Maybe having a hot temper around change is a way to protect yourself or stand up for yourself after not doing so in other aspects of our lives? I certainly see that to be the case for myself and many others. Anger can be a healthy thing though, it’s showing us where we feel violation (and that’s often seeded within violating ourselves).

Why are we happy?
Expecting to remain or hold onto happiness is what makes us unhappy because we’re forever changing, every second of every day. Trying to keep things exactly as they are will inevitably make us miserable and misery loves company. Change is difficult if we consider it to be.

Having things go our way and punishing others for not meeting our expectations is a quick way to kickstart unhappiness. Being stubborn about apologizing or shifting is silly and the quicker we laugh about it and consider that there are a bajillion ways (not a right one) the quicker we’ll inject a sigh of relief. It’s up to you…

“Natural happiness is what we get when we get what we wanted, and synthetic happiness is what we make when we don’t get what we wanted. In our society, we have a strong belief that synthetic happiness is of an inferior kind.” (Dan Gilbert)

This is incredible food for thought on happiness… Dan Gilbert’s TED Talk on “Why Are We Happy?” may change your perspective (be forewarned).

How To Transform The Whiney B%$#@

Moving away from being a whiner (or as I kindly refer to myself: whiney martyr bitch) is actually far easier to do than you might imagine.

Just change this statement:

_________ is doing this TO me

to

________ is doing this FOR me.

Why?
Because it’s true, we create our experiences to learn, grow and ultimately, love.

Progress can be harmless people, really it can and it all begins with taking responsibility for our lives.
If love is all around us and all there is, then it’s our ultimate purpose to sniff it out like proper little bloodhounds.

Feel what you feel, especially anger (don’t ever stuff it) and remember that it’s an opportunity for you to see that it’s the way the world loves you. Sometimes shit just gets lost in translation.

I was ridiculously inspired by my brother from another mother, Justin Polgar and his video post this week on Anger.

He’s the self-professed YES-ologist and I second his yessing. Watch this, warning: you will love him even if you didn’t plan on it.

I listened in my car while driving in LA traffic and rawr-ed along with him in this video, everything quickly turned into laughter and I felt a bajillion times better. Treat yourself to him and if you can, his chocolate (no I’m making an innuendo but it is dirty). :-)

You Can Blush But You Can’t Hide…

Tomorrow (February 6th) I’ll be speaking at Bini Birth in North Hollywood a group of amazing women, new mommies and those in world of mommies.

BINI Birth's Ana Paula Markel and Ella Lauser

Go Ask Ella is honored to be a safe space for questions about the “things we don’t talk about but should.” Ella will empower us to get in our bodies and check in our personal wisdom in our role of new mommyhood. We will look at the stories we tell as women and mothers. Come learn how to re-define who we are based on who we want to be and share tips for getting our groove back! Ella will be working on simple breath and relaxation techniques to bring us back into our own inner peace. Ella provides the perfect sacred and safe space for women to become empowered emotionally to live a happier, more connected, joyful life. Come be part of this amazing circle of support!

The group meets from 1 to 2:30 on Monday at Bini Birth 5355 Cartwright Avenue in North Hollywood. A six class pass is available for $120, or you can drop in for a single class for $25. Email rachel@binibirth.com for more details or of course, Go Ask Ella!