Focusing In


Happy Tuesday everyone!

Did everyone celebrate Halloween in the way that felt best to them? Or, by chance, did you bop around like me trying to do, “ALL THE THINGS! ALL THE THINGS!” before finding yourself in a VERY tiny VERY queer asian party of two outside of a club surrounded by a group of large men discussing how their friend pretends to be gay to hit on women.

“It’s a risky game because you know how aggressively flirtatious gay men can be when you’re at a club, are a guy, are pretending to be gay, and are flirting with them. Wow. It’s like, hey, easy fella. So sometimes, you know, you end up having to kiss guys because, you don’t want to blow your cover too soon. You know, to get the ladies.” {I may be paraphrasing… somewhat} 

Aha, moment: What the hell? Oh, I’m an introvert. Also, I’m done with you line of club goers.

That’s not to say I didn’t have a fantastic Halloween. I sat on high school bleachers as a really talented group of folks performed, Carrie the Killer Musical Experience, in the perfectly decorated Los Angeles Theater. Walking around the theater was as much a part of the experience as the show itself. You could take prom pictures, sit in the infamous locker room, and powder your nose in front of mirrors that reminded you of your sinful vanity.

I got to meet street artist, Morley, at his solo show Skywriting where he was kind enough to gift us latecomers with the last of his mason jar pieces he made for the night.


Aside from the show being amazing and his work being lovely little tea lights of encouragement sprinkled over the often defeating landscape of LA, he was also just a really nice guy. Pretty perfect.

Still, by the end of the weekend a little afternoon trip to the slow down of Ojai was just what I needed. As often happens when I’m out adventuring with, our Musical Temperance contributor Kristel, we found ourselves in a little shop reeking of patchouli and staring up with glazed eyes at a wall of tarot decks. I ended up taking Carol Bridges, Medicine Woman Tarot Deck home with me while Kristel snagged the Sun and Moon Tarot.

I’ve started to work a bit with my deck and found a suggested spread on tuning in that I want to share.

FocusInSpread After a long weekend, of so many things, I’ve been thinking about the importance of doing the find tuning work to focus in. Someone pulled the 8 of Pentacles out of the Wild Unknown for me this morning which seemed like affirmation. The 8 of Pentacles offers us the reminder to, “Hone your skills. You are close to finding mastery at your craft, so strive for it. Pay attention to the details.”

So, if by chance you were solid grounded humans this weekend that practiced lots of introspective self-care, huzzah!

If perhaps, you bounced around, did all the things, and are finding yourself a bit worn down from the weekend’s festivities… maybe you want to take some time to tune in?

Fine tuning and focusing,



Traci {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is a yoga teacher, therapist and amateur tarot enthusiast! They try to believe in the power of their inner Magician, stay inspired by the Fool’s spirit, understand struggle through the lens of The Tower/Disaster and always stay reminded that, “The Star Awaits…


Musical Temperance: Like a River Runs

BannerLike a River Runs

When I fall asleep I can see your face
What I lost in you I will not replace
And I could run away, I could let them down
And I know you’re gone but still I will remember your light

I will remember
And if you see me in the darkness
I hope you know I’m not alone
I carry you with every breath I take
I won’t let up, I won’t let up
Until the wind is gone


Growing up, death was a rarely discussed topic in my family. I was five when both of my Grandpas passed away, a few months of each other, and the only lasting memories I have of that point in my life is the unfamiliar image of seeing my parents cry. Back then I was too young to understand death’s unparalleled force or the vast hole it leaves in each person’s life. For the longest time, I thought of it as some unknown entity scary enough to make adults cry like children.

Grandma Kaneshiro
Grandma Kaneshiro

In the last year, parts of my childhood have been falling away. I’ve said goodbye to both of my Grandmas (who were my only remaining grandparents), two of my best friends from high school each lost a parent, Tinkerbell and Kaile (family pets who represented two significant stages of growing up) passed away, and most recently I sold the Honda.

I know as an adult, death and loss will become more commonplace, but these are strange reminders of how removed I am from my youth. I sometimes don’t recognize myself when I look in the mirror. I feel like I’m changing without my own consent, as if parts of me are unintentionally disappearing as I unravel.

A few weeks ago, I heard the Bleachers’ Like a River Runs EP on Spotify. The last track was titled “Dreams Aren’t Random,” which turned out to be an interview with singer Jack Antonoff and his therapist about the inspiration behind the album. He explained that the title track “Like a River Runs” refers to a recurring dream about his sister, who passed away when he was 18. He recounted how they’re not doing anything specific in it, but there’s a vague feeling everything is okay. “There’s this period of time […] where it’s probably, in reality, only five seconds, but it feels like a thousand years. Right as I’m leaving the dream and right as I’m fully becoming conscious that I’m in reality and in that five seconds […], I’m in reality, but she’s not dead. And it’s the most powerful experience ever.”

There are significant moments in our lives that define us. Whenever I do something, whether it’s playing the guitar or even drinking a glass of water, I do so as someone who has lost their Grandmas. This feature, Antonoff also explains, is as permanently defining as something like ethnicity. “And in those split five seconds in my dream, I’m not that,” he adds. “So it’s like I’m literally a completely different person.” His therapist explains that in these dreams, he’s transporting himself back into this moment where she’s still alive and he’s traveling back to who he was before her death defined him. As a kid, I also moved through the world with a lightness in my step. My sadness was often situational and short lasting, like the single colored disappointment of being called inside for dinner while I was mid-bike ride in the neighborhood.

In the weeks after Grandma Kaneshiro passed away, I used to see her in my dreams. A few months ago, she started visiting me again. I remember one dream where I was running through a big field in order to meet someone nearby. There was an adjacent building where people began filing out and walking through the field to get back to their cars. They traveled in pairs and groups, swept up in their conversations as if everyone had just come out from seeing the same movie. I zig zagged through the crowd and spotted my Grandma ahead walking with another woman. She must have said something funny because my Grandma was mid-laugh by the time I reached her. In this moment, my Grandma was still alive. I was bouncing around, excited for my plans, and leapt forward to surprise her when she spotted me. The interaction was quick, as if we had plans later. She told me, “Hi, Kristel!” in that same way she always does and I responded with “Hi, Grandma! I’ll see you later!” as I ran through.

I know my grief has changed me and that the people who meet me now will never know the person I was before my Grandmas passed away. Recently, I had a conversation with my mom about the strangeness of our lives now. She told me, “It’s like life appears the same on the outside, but the base fell out.”

The question I find myself asking these days is one I have no answer for yet: how do we re-define ourselves when we’ve experienced loss?

Some think grieving is a process that has a distinct beginning and end, as if our lives are suddenly resumed when we decide it’s time to move on. The experience, however, adheres to no neat timeline. Nothing quite prepares you for it and no one can really tell you how to move through it, and yet it’s a universal experience.

The other day I showed a friend of mine a picture of Grandma Yoneda from the 1940s and she said I had her smile. I suddenly remembered how people used to tell me we looked alike when I was growing up. There’s an old picture of us on my fridge and I never realized until now how the curve of my chubby cheeked half-smile reflects hers. Now when I look in the mirror, I see her too. When my Grandmas make appearances in my dreams now, I try to hold onto that distinct feeling of being with them.

Grief is a cavernous and transformative process, but it also illuminates, in time, the unexpected ways we remain tethered to those we’ve loved and lost. Our dreamspace allows us to process the parts we have difficulty accessing in our waking lives. It opens us up to the possibility of being connected in places we can and cannot see, with the hope we’ll one day recognize these unique and beautifully permanent imprints within ourselves.

Grandma Yoneda
Grandma Yoneda

This week’s playlist is about our journeys and those we carry with us through our lives. Grandma Kaneshiro and Yoneda, please visit again soon.

Kristel is a sometimes angsty writer from Hawaii who now lives in Los Angeles, CA. She claims she’s a Marketing Director at web design agency, but she spends most of her day in front of the computer while wearing pajamas.

Musical Temperance is her small attempt at creating the perfect soundtrack to help her survive an extended quarter-life crisis. Additional musings and playlists can be found at

COM|PASSionate Events


Life has been busy. Master plans have been made, re-made and tossed aside. We’ve been meditating on the importance of staying grounded and the magic healing power of getting swept away.

Temperance and deep breaths, friends. Temperance and deep breaths seems to be the ticket.

We hope you take time to get lost in dreamland and scrawl some love notes to yourself. Whether your love notes are a yoga class when your to do list is growing, a pause to switch on a lamp and journal when your day is dark or childlike chalk doodles where there could be neat clean sidewalk we encourage you to write with abandon! Place your love notes out in front of you, breathe them in, scatter them carelessly around your heart space and check in with which ones make you soar the highest… when you find them… write those love notes three more times…. scatter again…. repeat.



Get out, take care of yourself and heal in community!


Don’t forget there’s lots of upcoming ways to get involved!


Feeling like some quiet time at home is what you need? 


In solidarity,



*Events are put on by the CR Community/CR Community members. Other events are by friends of the CR Community or of interest to the CR Community. Feeling a little nervous about getting out and involved? Email us and if we can we’ll make some introductions so you have a friendly face to say “Hi” to when you get there!

**Most of these events will be local to Southern CA (unless we notice an event that sets us off into road trip dreamland.) If you want to do a COM|PASSionate event round-up for your local area let us know!

***Are you an individual, meet-up or community group that has some COM|PASSionate events of your own? Email us for details on how to submit your event to our calendar!


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