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A Rant

25 February 2012

I'm usually not much of a ranter.  But there are certain occasions that make you go What the f$@*.

I'm helping to plan a free meditation event, open to the public, at the meditation centre I attend.  At this point, our biggest effort is just spreading the word.  So I decided to join a Meetup group called "Sydney Outdoor Yoga, Fitness, and Meditation."  I was interested in what the group had to offer anyhow, and thought some of the members might want to attend this free meditation event.

So, upon joining the group, I "Suggest a Meetup" and add the details for the event.

After suggesting the meetup, I decided to send a short E-mail to the Organizer.

Dear Mirella,
I'm so glad to have found this group.  I'm looking forward to participating in some of the yoga classes. Are there ever events on the North Shore?  Also, I'm attending a free meditation event soon and thought others might be interested.  I suggested it as a meetup.

Almost a week goes by, with no response.  Then I get this gem....

I don't know how you got into my calendar to post an event. 
However good your intentional, this is feels disrespectful and is way out of line, asyou are not an organiser. 
However, good luck with your event. 
{spelling errors left uncorrected.}

Okay guys, if you've never been part of a Meetup group should know that most of them love new ideas and contribution from members.  Between that and the fact that "Suggest a Meetup" is at the top of every page {as shown in the photo above}, I was slightly miffed that her initial reaction was that I somehow "got into" her calendar.

Was she accusing me of somehow hacking into her account?  That seemed way too far fetched.  Not to mention, if I did in fact do something that crazy, why on Earth would I E-mail her to tell her about it?  Surely it must be a misunderstanding.  She must not know all the features of Meetup.  So give her the benefit of the doubt.


I didn't "get into your calendar."  When you are a member of a meetup group, you can click to "Suggest a Meetup."  It does not become a Meetup until the Organizer approves it.  It just allows other members to get involved and suggest things, while still giving Organizers the final say.  Does that make sense?

I was sure that would clear up any misunderstanding and all would be right with the world.  But alas, that was giving her way too much credit.  Her reply?

Yes and no .. its an issue of respect.


SERIOUSLY!?!?!?  You think I disrespected you by suggesting a meetup for a free meditation event on a *Yoga & Meditation* meetup board?  God forbid.  

My higher Self was telling me to just let the issue go.  Crazy people will be crazy.  What can you do?  But my lower self was unwilling to let it go.  I feel slightly ashamed for not taking the high road, but I guess we all have those moments.


Honestly, I was totally flabbergasted by your initial response. The fact that your immediate conclusion was that I "got into your calendar" and "crossed the line."  But I gave you the benefit of the doubt that you just didn't know all the features in Meetup.  Obviously, if I didn't respect you as the Organizer, I wouldn't have taken the time to send you a message letting you know about the meetup I suggested and that I'm so happy to be a part of the group.  

Clearly, you're not looking for a meetup group that invites collaboration, new ideas, and member participation.  I'm glad to find this out right away, as there are many others that *love* participation, feedback, and fresh ideas.  

As someone who's trying to live a yogi life, it's sad to think you've found a group of like-minded individuals....only to be judge and criticized right off the bat.

In terms of issues of respect--I do not respect you.  I gave you the benefit of the doubt, and obviously should not have.  

I'll make sure to pass along the terrible experience I've had with YogaSatiLife to everyone I know.


To which I received this response, right away:

Hi Emily,

I am very open, in  supporting, co creating and networking with many other wonderful people. 
Respectful communication and action is a very important foundation for collaboration.

I had received your request and was actually interested in connecting. I have been unable to respond as yet, having dealt with a family loss and keeping up with my own commitments.

My emails simply openly expressed what I felt about the situation of you taking the action of submitting an event, without receiving a response.
If you re read my emails, no animosity whatever has been expressed towards you.

However from your vindictive, judgemental and threatening response, I do not wish to collaborate with you.


Can we say BACKPEDAL?!?!  Maybe we aren't reading the same emails, because when I go back and reread your emails, as you suggest, I find where you call me "disrespectful" and "way out of line." Is it even possible to read into that?  Because I was taking your insults at face value.  Glad we're finally on the same page with the fact that a collaboration isn't going to happen.  You clearly only want to promote your own yoga studio's paid events.  Sorry for stepping on your toes.

What do you think guys?  Am I missing something here {aside from the irony of this flame war starting over the topics of yoga & meditation, which is pretty ridic}?!

Book Review: Under the Banner of Heaven

24 February 2012

I recently finished reading Under the Banner of Heaven, written by Jon Krakauer.

I decided to pick up the book because A) I loved Jon's writing in Into the Wild and B) the gals from my book club read it before I joined and appreciated the discussions it stimulated.

Here's the Amazon book description:

Jon Krakauer’s literary reputation rests on insightful chronicles of lives conducted at the outer limits. He now shifts his focus from extremes of physical adventure to extremes of religious belief within our own borders, taking readers inside isolated American communities where some 40,000 Mormon Fundamentalists still practice polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like theocracies are zealots who answer only to God.

At the core of Krakauer’s book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Along the way he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America’s fastest growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.

Disclaimer: I debated on whether or not to review this book publicly, because I find it impossible to do so without calling into question the beliefs of others.  So let me begin by saying, it is not my intent to pass judgement on any religion.  I will state my opinions, but I'm well aware that anytime you speak in generalities or try to stereotype an entire religion, you run the risk of alienating many beautiful individuals in the process.

Basically, Krakauer set out to look at religion and how it can shape people's beliefs and actions, through the lens of Mormonism.  He selected Mormons for two reasons: 1) the religion was founded less than 200 years ago, in an age of documentation, and 2) he grew up with many Mormons and was fascinated by their happiness and 100% confidence in their religion.

I did not love this book.  I found pieces of it quite interesting...and some stuff a bit dull or historically dense {I've never been a history lover.}

Here are some of my takeaways & insights, in no particular order:
+It's clear to me that Joseph Smith {founder of Mormon religion} was a man with a large sexual appetite.  The revelation that God gave him about celestial or plural marriage {aka polygamy} was either a figment of his imagination or an outright lie, used to justify his lusts & desires.

+With any religion, there will be a small faction of zealots who use the teachings to commit heinous crimes.  This is, perhaps, exaggerated in Mormonism because the religious teachings are founded on receiving direct perceptions from God.  Therefore, what God 'commands' you to do, can be manipulated by a sick mind and then later used to justify those actions.

+Any religion that thinks they are God's chosen people, and therefore, everyone else is destined for eternal suffering, lest they covert, simply rubs me the wrong way.  {And, yes, I realize that's like 90% of world religion.}  It's funny how every religion is so sure that they are right, and everyone else is wrong.

+My heart goes out to the girls who are born into polygamist communities.  It is so sad and scary that they are married away at very young ages, to men older than their fathers.  When the community is setup in such a way that you either follow the rules or you're excommunicated and left without any support network or lifestyles, it leaves these women {girls} with very few options.

+Science and religion should not be at such odds.  I find this very weird.  Mormons believe the world is only 6,000 years old.  When the evidence is clearly in the contrary, can't we just accept that maybe a few of the founding concepts might be wrong and move on?

+I should also mention that a fair bit of the book was spent with FLDS {Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints} members, who are not affiliated with the modern LDS church in any way.

With all that being said, the Mormons I've gone to school with, worked with, and called friends are very nice people.  They are cheerful and have an attitude of service.  The Mormon community does a wonderful job of raising children and teaching them respectfulness, industriousness, and humbleness.  So I certainly don't intend to judge individual people based on some of the things I learned from this book.

As always, linking up with the fabulous Heather for Book Club Friday :)

Fun with Pinterest

22 February 2012

Continuing with my Aussie-theme this week,
here's some fun stuff I pinned.
Good ol' Australia with the deadliest everything.
It turns out that 3 sharks were sighted at the beach on Saturday.
The very same beach we surfed at, just two hours prior.
Three freakin' sharks, people.
Let's chat for just a second about the awesomeness of Sydney Harbour.
And yes, you have to include the 'u' in harbour when you're down under.
Anyhow, it's pretty spectacular.
More than's unique in this world.
Why? It has 152 miles of coastline, all in one, compact city.
Think about that for a second.
That's more than the distance from San Diego to Los Angeles.
What it means is that the uber-rich don't have a monopoly on ocean.
You can be in the not-so-nice areas and still have a water view.
You might be facing north, south, east, or west...and all of a sudden....
you go over that next hill and BAM! the most amazing view that you never expected.
I really love Sydney for that.

What's this creature?
Well friends, this creature is a wombat.
Doesn't that just sound Australian?
They are cute arse marsupials that like getting hit by cars {sadly.}
They look really cuddly, but aren't.
I love them though :)
How cool would it be if it did happen though?!?!?
For that reason, we shall keep dreamin'.

A big thanks to Ms. Michelle for the link-up :)

Tuesday Travel Diaries: Dominica

21 February 2012

Welcome back for another week of TTD!
This week, I'm excited to feature Katie from Priceless Adventure.
Since discovering Katie's blog, I've been dying to hear more
about the little island that she & her hubby call home.

Tuesday Travel Diaries

The basics:
My husband & I moved to Dominica in August of 2010 so that he could pursue his dream of going to medical school.  We quit our jobs, put our things in storage, and rented out our house in Southern California. We are still here, and will be moving back to the states sometime later this year so that he can do his clinical rotations in America.

What route did you take? How much was the flight?

To get to Dominica, we take 3 airplanes. It is a Long Trip. There is always an overnight involved, either on the plane or in a hotel. The flight alone is usually about $1000 from California. Give or take a hundred or two dollars depending on if the flights are packed with medical students during semester breaks. 

Who did you travel with?
I've made the trip with my husband & two cats, just my husband, and by myself. I definitely prefer traveling with my husband from the three choices because then I don't have to worry about creepers sitting next to me or where I'm going to leave my bags while I use the restroom.  

Tell us where you stayed.
There are a few hotels on the island, but they are all privately owned and operated. There is not a single resort here! If you were coming to the island, I would recommend staying:
$$$$- Secret Bay <>
$$$- Rosalie Bay <>

View from Pagua Bay

Did you encounter anything unexpected?
Oh my, everyday there is something new and unexpected. I call these my "Only in Dominica"  moments. For example, this "bus" with linoleum flooring & wall carpeting.

How accurate are the stereotypes?
I'm not sure anyone has stereotypes about this island because, well, most people don't know it exists! Even I thought I was moving to the Dominican Republic initially. Turns out that Dominica is actually one of the smallest countries in the world in terms of size & population. A total of 68,000 people live here. The local islanders have mixed African and Caribbean heritage, and they speak English - technically - with an impressive accent.

Photo of us crossing the one major highway!

Dominica is also a developing nation, so you don't expect much! Other than the major highway, the roads are mostly unpaved. There is not a single stop light on the island. You won't find any chain restaurants, malls or movie theaters here. There is not really any shopping, other than for souvenirs. But, the people are wonderful and friendly. The surroundings are breathtaking, and the beach is always only a few minutes away!

Tell us about the food.
On the one hand, there is always fresh fish, chicken, local vegetables & plenty of fruit. On the other it has been hard for me to adjust to cooking with limited ingredients. The island is small, so a lot of important ingredients (like milk, butter, red-meat) have to be shipped in from other islands. This makes for high prices & low supply. I'm sad to say that the food has been the most disappointing part of living here.

Are there any must sees?
Yes!! Pagua Bay, Red Rock, Trafalgar Falls, Emerald Pool, just to name a few. The Island of Dominica is green, lush, and relatively untouched. It's nickname is "The Nature Isle of the Caribbean." The snorkeling & diving is incredible, and the beaches are clean and abundant. My very favorite spot has to be Scotts Head, where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Do you have any regrets?
I have no regrets. My time on the island has been filled with new adventures, new friends, and self-discovery. I was able to quit my job and start a new career as a graphic & web designer. Moving to Dominica was the best decision we ever made, and I'll be sad when we have to leave later this year.

Would you go back?
Yes! This island has stolen a little piece of my heart, and I will always remember this time fondly. 

Anything else you'd like to share about the trip?

I feel like I need to say something about the weather. January & February are beautiful, but the rest of the year is miserably hot & humid. Clothes sticking to you, sweat dripping down your back, I-might-pass-out hot. It gets easier the longer you are here, but it is still very annoying. For your own sanity, I recommend coming to visit in January!

Find me Elsewhere:
personal blog: Priceless Adventure 
twitter: @KtPrice 


Katie--thank you so much for sharing!
Readers--if you're not already friends with Katie...go check her out.  I love her so much that I awarded her the Liebster Award.

As always, if you're interested in being featured on Tuesday Travel Diaries {for any vacation, recent or not}, please E-mail me at emmyjuneborninmay{at}gmail{dot}com

Australian Lingo, Part I

20 February 2012

When you live in Australia.....

If you say,
It actually means...
 If you say,
It actually means...

photo source 
If you say,
It actually means...

If you say,

It actually means...

And finally...if you say,

 It actually means...

I hope you all enjoyed this little lesson on Aussie lingo.
I was cracking myself up while writing it {read: editing a million pictures.}
There is definitely more where this came from :)

Spiritual Sunday

19 February 2012

“Peace emanates from the soul and is the sacred inner environment in which true happiness unfolds.  Peace is not something we can acquire outside ourselves, we must learn to discover it within.  Through meditation we become centered in the stillness and joy of our own essential nature, the soul, and partake of that divine peace which is the actual presence of God.  The peace that passeth all understanding.”
-Paramahansa Yogananda

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