Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2016-05-09

What the Heck is Inflammation and Why is Drinking Anti-Inflammatory Tea Good For You?

My friend Mucha just moved to LA and she’s renting out our guest room briefly while she gets settled. It’s nice to have someone to teach all of my newfound information about the neighborhood and living in LA. She used the same movers we used, she already has her driver’s license, she’s getting stuff done.

She’s also getting hives. It’s probably a weed allergy she hasn’t been exposed to yet, so she’s doing the things you do like taking Zyrtec and whatnot, but I suggested drinking my Hibiscus Coconut tea to help with the inflammation.

hibiscuscoconutteaThis tea is so gorgeous, when it’s in dry form and when you brew it, it’s so pink and pretty.

She said to me, “What the heck is inflammation anyway?” (She didn’t say heck, actually.) She’s right, people throw around health buzzwords but they rarely get explained in this mile a minute internet world.

I’m going to tell you my understanding of inflammation. I am not a doctor and you should totally consult a doctor or naturopath or someone in the medical field who knows your body before you take my advice, but maybe this will help folks have more understanding about how inflammation works and why anti-inflammatories are so good for you.

My understanding of inflammation comes from my experience doing my friend Vic’s cleanses. Vic is my health coach and I am so forever grateful to her for helping me address chronic health issues by reorienting how I interact with food. Her cleanses are a real stay full, learn about cooking and foods and your body’s reactions to foods experience.

Inflammation is when your body is in fight mode. Our immune system is meant to rise up to attack when we get sick or injured, to move healing energy to that part of our body that needs healing. When you have a cut that’s puffy, that’s inflammation because our immune system is going to work. When we have chronic inflammation it is where our bodies are fighting everything.

beltanemuchaA weed allergy and yet the opportunities to hang out on lawns on blankets with friends in LA abounds!

For example, if you are allergic to the grass around your house and every single day you had itchy eyes and watery nose and hives, you might get used to that being your everyday life. But you go to visit a friend’s house and when you’re there you have clear eyes and no watery nose and no hives. You feel so good! And then you go home again and feel crappy. Inflammation is like a silent version of that, where your body is exhibiting lots of side effects from other parts of your body you don’t realize.

Inflammation in the gut (where 70% of your immune system lives) can lead to tons of outside symptoms–for me it was chronic IBS and my body being achy. For other folks it can lead to auto-immune disorders, psoriasis, increased depression, the list is endless. Anti-inflammatory foods are also sometimes linked to cancer prevention and since my partner is a cancer survivor we work hard to give her nourishing anti-inflammatory foods!

bevinmuchaLove this babe so much. She got to town four days before Dara and I threw a HUGE Seder dinner/performance art event in our backyard. This photo is from my outfit as “God.”

Inflammation can result from the food you eat, sleep deprivation and stress. Yes, having an ongoing stressful situation can physically harm you and wind you up with a chronic or worsened health condition.

I handled my chronic inflammation by doing the Candida Murder Plan. Working with Vic, it really helped me figure out what are my trigger foods and how to orient my nutrition.

I now focus on supplementing my diet with anti-inflammatory natural foods. (Like the Good for Me Lifestyle Heal Me honeys–so good for inflammation and migraines.) I make a lot of bone broth and try to make sure there’s always soup in the house made from bone broth. The recipe I use is from my health coach and I make sure to add a whole bunch of scallions, more salt than you think you need, a little pepper and a cup of dried Nettle leaf because of its anti-inflammatory gut healing properties.

muchaonsunsetWalking in Silverlake.

When I made my Hibiscus Coconut tea it was because I wanted something refreshing and hydrating and delicious. I also realized as I did more work with hibiscus, how good it is at anti-inflammatory work in the body. I decided to add Nettle leaf to the tea to just give it a wham pow of anti-inflammatory magic. So folks who bought the tea in the first pre sale got the original version and when I tried

The way Reiki works is to transmit life force energy. When you get a Reiki treatment, this energy is put into you by your practitioner. Because it is energy once you are Level 2 certified, you can transmit that energy through time and space and into objects. My goal with my teas is to amplify the naturally occurring herbal benefits in the flowers and leaves themselves, as well as provide the drinker with Reiki healing energy.

With all of my teas, I think you get the most benefit drinking one cup a day. Set aside fifteen minutes a day to enjoy a cup, treat it as a centering experience and you’ll experience better quality of life. Even if you don’t buy into the anti-inflammatory idea, self care stretches time. Taking that pause is important!

I’m excited to be feeding Mucha lots of nourishing foods and see if having her drinking deliciously tart Hibiscus Coconut tea every day helps with her “Welcome to LA you’re allergic to everything” hives.

bevinmuchadunks

I’m doing a pre sale of my teas through May 10th, but will leave the sale open a bit longer if you’re reading this post later than that. Can’t wait to scale up my business so I can do orders all the time!

And if you have questions about any of the tea blends hit me up, I am excited to talk about them and have so much communications work to do on my forthcoming website! It’s truly my dream come true to develop a business to help get healing and self love into as many hands as possible!

2016-04-27

LA Transition Month 3: I Started Swimming

We’ve officially been LA residents for three months! I got my CA Driver’s License finally. I got my DL when I was 17 and living in the Bay Area, so they managed to find my old record and give me my old number. (Big Brother is real.) I had a little disagreement with the entirely pleasant clerk who took my application. I stated “red” on the hair color question. However, I actually identify my hair color as “Ginger Spice.” She had to fight me about whether I am blonde because when I was 16 and got my permit I was blonde. I don’t identify as blonde but I guess because of bureaucracy that’s what is happening on my ID. Lots of people don’t have their true identities on these documents and I’d rather work towards a third no gender marker on IDs than self-selected hair color.

IMG_20160413_194959I guess with the bangs now I look more blonde than ever, other than in high school.

I was stressing about taking the test because I know some folks who have flunked the first try, so I wanted to just get it. I needed my license in order to go to the Medical Marijuana dispensaries to use my prescription I got back in February. I’ll post about the process, it is fascinating and has really helped me physically, mentally and emotionally. For anyone getting their CA DL I suggest reading the manual once through and doing the practice tests online. I’ve had to take written tests in most of the states I’ve been licensed in, having hopped from CA to NJ to PA to NJ to NY in my life, but never felt as stressed as I did this time. I think I’m just tender right now and prone to stress.

I passed on the first try after reading the manual a few hours leading up to my DL appointment, and while I was waiting. It still took two hours of waiting in lines to get my license in spite of the appointment, so definitely make an appointment.

IMG_20160413_174934794I made this dog bed for Macy out of a vintage suitcase from Goodwill ($10), an old pillow (free dollars) and a vintage blanket with a stain on it I got at the World’s Longest Yard Sale ($0.50).

You know that old chestnut “I’ll do it when things settle down.” I started saying that to myself a few weeks ago when we were dropping everything to prepare our house for the Seder for Dara’s family and then preparing the Seder and then the tea pre sale and then preparing my Schedule C info for my accountant to file my taxes (this is like a week of non-stop accounting and bookkeeping) and then… I’ve had so many projects back to back and not achieved any semblance of balance and I’ve been reminded (I’ve realized this before and forgot) that I need to bring my own serenity to every situation. And that I can’t just keep dropping everything to focus all of my attention on one thing with a deadline.

This is how I lived in Law School, it’s how I have lived when I’ve been the most high strung and I can’t live like that. I need to plan, sort, execute, and let go of the stuff that’s not that important. I need to live in alignment with my values!

I decided that I would start organizing my schedule around my self care. And the thing that is the best at helping me chill the F out is exercise. I do it primarily for my mental and emotional health, but it also really helps with my physical and spiritual health as well. Since I haven’t joined a gym yet, waiting for the body positive gym Everybody Los Angeles to open somewhere around here, I decided to start going to lap swim at the community pool. Because we have those here, and some of them are outdoor heated pools.

I had to do some clever searching because the LA website just gives you addresses not neighborhoods, and some of the pools close in the “Winter” here. But the Glassell Park pool, just a six minute drive from my house, was a great candidate.

bevinatpoolMe at the Glassell Park Pool.

When I showed up for the first time and paid my $3.50 I was amazed to see that the locker room looked just like it did in the community pools in the Bay Area where I grew up. I remember as a kid those cement floored, wooden benched locker rooms with modesty changing areas that only cover you from the neck to the calves. So that means this locker room hasn’t been updated in thirty+ years. Amazing. And when I went out to the pool after giving my bag to the locker room attendant behind the window in exchange for a safety pin with a number on it, I marveled at how huge the Olympic size pool is. And how few rules there are.

My recent public swimming experience is from swimming at the Bed Stuy YMCA in Brooklyn. An indoor year-round pool with strict rules and schedules. Lap swim means lap swimming only, you must wear a cap, when more than two people are in a lane circle swimming is mandatory. These are all spelled out on a long list of rules.

Here there are very few rules other than no running on the pool deck. No caps required! No lap swim guidelines except the lifeguard’s half-hearted “You have to share the lane” when a man was super rude to me. Lap swimming and recreational swimming are at the same time. It’s a bit intimidating to go swimming in public for the first time, especially as a fatty, so I brought Dara as my body positive ally. It was great, I swam for almost an hour, alternating between swimming and aqua jog moves. I love aqua jog, that will be another post.

I have kept going, managing three times a week most weeks for the past month. It’s still cheaper than going to a gym and it’s been helping me. I need to add yoga to my routine to stretch more, but this is a nice way to center.

IMG_20160412_191109Unfucking the guest room.

The house continues to come together. Sadly my Mariah Carey closet hasn’t been sorted out, so once my friend Taylor helped me get everything upstairs and put on the floor or hung on the pipes, that’s where it has laid. I can’t wait for it to be in full working order. Every time I go up there to get dressed I’m kind of drawing from my red suitcase or various piles. It’s pretty much the opposite of what I imagine it can be.

Dara and I were dissatisfied with the orientation of our bed. We paid to move a bunch of my mom’s hand me down furniture from the Bay to LA (I detailed this in a previous post) and the movers set it up originally. I didn’t find it accessible for me to walk around a CA King size bed to the other side of the room so Dara took one for the team. The snuggle position required from that orientation had me on Dara’s left side, which is the side she had a cancerous tumor removed from her breast. It’s more sore, it had radiation and surgery. So we decided to try the bed against a window. (Not my favorite aesthetic choice, but definitely an improvement in snuggle land.)

sleepnumberbed

Here’s some advice about moving a sleep number mattress. Make sure it is completely zipped up before you move it. If you do not do this step, it will fall apart into a bunch of pieces and look like a play space for 3 year olds. There will be foam and air mattresses everywhere, because all a sleep number is is a very expensive air mattress with foam on top of and surrounding it. This bed cost $4,000 apparently and is an air mattress. It took us over an hour to put it back together and get the bed set-up again. I’m excited to someday buy a Casper or a Tuft and Needle mattress–if you know anyone who sleeps on one ask them if you can lay on it, they are exquisite and much less expensive than standard retail mattresses.

sleepnumberbed2Dara is physically in that mattress in this photo.

Anyway, so far the bed in the new spot is fine, but we have to sell and replace the nightstand we had because it is way too big to fit on either side of the bed. Two steps forward one step back is going to be the title of the memoir about moving cross country into a house without a bunch of money or the correct furniture.

IMG_20160408_133050515_HDR

We finally moved everything into the guest room from the staging area in the dining room before the Seder. While Dara was away on business again for 8 days, I tackled the guest room and made it so we could blow up our fancy air mattress (that cost $100, which is literally pennies compared to a sleep number mattress…) for our second overnight guest, Jacqueline. This just meant a lot of stuff got Tetrised against the wall but progress not perfection is my motto. To be transparent, though, it feels hard for it not to be perfect.

IMG_20160426_221241373The wall of the guest room looks like this right now.

I set up all of my tea stuff in the dining room because for now I am in and out of it a lot and need it accessible. On the long-range plans are to convert our cellar (presently storage) to a tea studio.

IMG_20160416_133608285_HDRFemme Tea Party offerings: Hibiscus Coconut iced tea (I’ve added Nettles to the blend and it’s amazing), Self Love iced tea, Dolly Mint iced tea, Feelings tea served hot.

I’ve been getting amazing feedback about my first round of Reiki Infused Teas that I sent out. Only one got lost in the mail, which did eventually find its way to the intended recipient along with the replacement tin I sent–she joked that she must have needed a lot of Feelings Tea support. I believe in the Universe and so maybe yeah. That Scorpio Full Moon was extra difficult. I learned a LOT about the process of starting a product based business and am learning a lot in B-School.

B-School is good but slow going. Marie Forleo gives all this bonus content when you sign up and one of them, Start the Right Business, is required reading before you begin her modules. With 60 pages of reading and exercises, that itself was a lot of work. I’m glad they tell you right away to go at your own pace because I needed my own pace.

IMG_20160414_214512721Jacqueline is the first person to wear a bikini as an outfit on our porch.

Jacqueline and I did a bunch of stuff while she was in town. We went to In-N-Out Burger and the Pleasure Chest on her first night. We had Korean BBQ with my favorite plus size porn performer turned incredibly sweet, smart and wonderful person I know in real life April Flores (we called it BBW BBQ). We went to Disneyland with our friend Jenni, James Darling, Jenni’s sweetie Fin and her friend Michele. It was epic, there’s another forthcoming blog post.

IMG_20160416_182418Femme Tea party part one!

IMG_20160416_182219Femme Tea party part two!

I hosted a Femme Tea Party where I served four kinds of my tea blends and made some delicious rice crispie treats with Good For Me Lifestyle’s amazing Energize Me Better Butter. My guests got Reiki infused tea and delicious superfood supplement treats–I love being that woo kind of hostess.

IMG_20160416_133634312_HDRAlso included in the snacks were gluten-free scones made by Jenn and guacamole from my avocado tree.

I kind of ran away to visit Grandmother this weekend. I knew I owed her a visit having not been since early March, but also I wanted to get away. Sometimes running a house and not having the house set up completely feels overwhelming. The Scorpio Full Moon was in full effect and making me feel at odds with lots of things, including Dara. It’s nice to have family you can go visit in someplace beautiful. This guy at a pizza place asked why I wasn’t at Coachella (it’s really close to Palm Springs) and I said I was going to have a lot more fun swimming in my Grandmother’s pool listening to Guns and Roses.

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All in all I would say that LA is gorgeous, I love living here, the transition is hard, I’m not sure if I miss NYC, I’m overwhelmed with how much I have left to do to settle into my house and I’m really excited to get my tea company running so I can make a living off being a tea proprietress. The next pre sale will probably start on Monday. I had been hoping for this week but there’s a lot going on here. Dara got a grant to throw a 30 person Seder dinner in our backyard. Even as I’m not in charge of it, there’s still a lot for me to do.

2016-03-01

Dolly Parton taught me to Dream More and I’m Doing It!

You all know that Dolly Parton is one of my heroes. She taught me to Dream More. It’s part of her four pillars of success, as she outlined to the University of Tennessee graduating class commencement speech and then elaborated in her book Dream More. (I highly suggest the audio book read by Dolly herself.)

jessbevindollymatiequinnI met Dolly last summer because I work hard, dream more and have generous friends.

Anyway, I’m dreaming. Those of you who have been reading my blog over the past few days know that I’m hustling a pre-sale of my Reiki infused tea blends in order to make tuition for B-School, an online business school whose sign-up ends tomorrow. It’s a stretch to make the money needed to go to the school when you are a freelancer living off savings after a cross country move but I am working on it!

The great news is that I have sold a bunch of tea and gotten a few donations, so I am now officially 30% funded!! Thank you to everyone who has purchased tea so far and donated, and thank you to all of my friends who have shared the fundraiser!

I need your help to get closer to my goal!
Would you consider posting the link to my pre-sale on your social media, emailing friends you know who love tea and/or healing modalities?

If you’re on Twitter here’s a tweet to copy and paste: Help Bevin @queerfatfemme get to #BSchool! Buy some #reikihealing infused tea! Sale ends Wednesday! http://queerfatfemme.com/reiki-tea-pre-sale-ends-march-2nd/

I know I’m on the right track for a business because I am excited to blend the teas! I’ve already started to dry the tangerine peels for my Rooibos Citrus blend, carefully carving out the pith so that the peels brew sweeter.

I’ve gotten great feedback about my tea through this process, too!

Jes Baker of the Militant Baker said when sharing the tea sale with her readers, “Bevin of Queer Fat Femme is a healer and one of the most inspiring people I know. She’s launching a Reiki tea line and is starting a pre-sale now. She left ‘Feelings Tea’ with me last month and it changed my life. Go support a rad chick and get rad tea, my loves. Everyone wins.”

dollyquotemugI got this mug at Dollywood! The quote says, “If you don’t like the road you’re walking start paving a new one!”

Dari, a friend of Dara’s, came over and said my Self Love tea (I served it iced, it is great both ways) has a good flavor that lingers in the mouth.

My little niece Joey (4 years old, her favorite music is “Dolly Parton” and I have her saying that on video) said “Yum!” when her mom Christie gave her my Find Your Chill blend. I got a cute video text about it.

My friend Holly said she loved the Dolly Mint I served her when we were hanging the other night and followed up by buying a tin!

bevinmilkbobMe, backstage at the first Dollypalooza in 2014. Right between World Famous *BOB* and MILK (RuPaul’s drag race). I never knew my life could be so awesome and I am really excited to see where it can go! There’s another Dollypalooza happening in NYC in the Fall and one planned for LA next Winter, so BOLO (Be On The Lookout) right here or at Dollypalooza.com.

I’ve also heard some amazing things about B-School since I launched the fundraiser and gotten support from folks who love Marie Forleo’s work and, in the words of Paul Thomas (a follower of the Militant Baker, who heard about my tea from her), “Marie Forleo is the real deal.”

I’m so excited to get this business off the ground using my blog and to share the progress with my readers. I would love your support by sharing, buying tea or even just thinking good thoughts that I can womanifest this goal by tomorrow evening!

Dolly says, “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.” That’s what I work to do with this blog, and that’s what I’m hoping to support with this Reiki-infused tea business!

2016-02-25

I’m Following My Dreams and Doing a Reiki Tea Pre Sale Through March 2nd!

(If you don’t want to read the backstory and want to go straight to the Reiki tea ordering page, click here for seven blends of Reiki infused tea, available through March 2.)

As readers of my blog know, I am obsessed with tea. I started my web series, The Lesbian Tea Basket as a way to chronicle my burgeoning interest in tea and now I’m a full on tea nerd, with an entire pantry closet of tea and a lot of tea opinions.

findyourchillteaMy “Find Your Chill” blend is my calming blend. Good for bedtime or just chilling out during the day when you’re stressed. I love it with some fresh lemon juice or neighbor lemons.

For the past two years, I have been working on my own blends of tea. Combining herbs and flavors to meet my demanding standards for tea tastiness and personal wellness.

But more exciting than that, I am creating a healing modality out of my tea.

In November 2013, when my partner Dara was diagnosed with breast cancer, I took a Reiki level one class. I barely knew what Reiki was but I knew it was a modality for healing and I wanted to help in any way I could during a time I felt really helpless. I also felt a strong calling, that was buttressed by a tarot reading the summer prior and an astrology reading.

Reiki, for those who aren’t familiar, is a healing modality that infuses life force energy into something. Usually people, but is also used on animals, plants, your house, or pretty much anything. When you are Reiki level two certified, you can send Reiki energy through time and space and into objects. When I learned that you could do that, I knew I needed to start infusing my teas with Reiki energy. I got my level two certification as soon as my Reiki teacher offered the class, in May, 2014.

darabevinmay2014smilingMe and Dara in May 2014. She wants me to mention how much my Reiki treatments helped her during chemo.

When I create a tea blend, I infuse each herb or ingredient with Reiki energy. I go back in time to its seed, and give it Reiki energy all through the plant’s growth, through the harvest and to the person harvesting it. This amplifies the plant’s natural potency. (For example, chamomile has a great reputation for being a calming herb, imagine if you got chamomile that was all Reikied out how calming it could be?)

After blending each batch of tea, I infuse the entire blend with Reiki energy, so that the person drinking it will then also be infused with Reiki healing.

I have a lot of plans and ideas for my Reiki infused tea line. Feminist icons, wisdom, really fun mystical ideas.

I have a lot of things to do in order to launch my tea line. A great website is key, a marketing plan, killer packaging, writing wisdom that connects with me and the tea, distribution, scaling, figuring out how to make tea bags from high quality loose tea that doesn’t turn the tea into powder.

reikimintteabyafireplaceMy Dolly Mint tea enjoyed at an outdoor fireplace this weekend.

I need capital to get started, so I decided to start small on my blog. I LOVE following the bloggers I love that work towards their dreams, the process and the progress. I love behind the scenes action and I love supporting them. Blogging takes a lot of time and effort and I like supporting their work so they have the time to blog. I am definitely committed to chronicling the journey of developing my tea line with my readers.

Throughout my departure from Brooklyn, I worked on my blends to create a sampler pack of Reiki tea that I would give each of my hosts during our cross country trip to test out my recipes. The reception has been great and people are loving them!

My friend Laura Vogel said, “Helps me start my day calm and centered, and helps me get back there when I’m in the muck of the day!”

I’m offering a pre-sale to my blog readers in order to raise capital. You all know me, know my work and know what I’m about in the world. Maybe you were going to buy tea at the grocery store anyway? Maybe you want to help me launch my dream business?

My first big goal for the money earned with my first Reiki tea presale is to go to B-School. I want to learn how to create a business from the ground up that is centered on being aligned with my values, being financially successful and getting my healing to as many people as it can. I need $2,000 to make my B-School tuition. Is it possible to earn enough from a presale to do it?

Each $20 tin of loose leaf tea I’m pre-selling will have enough tea for 20 cups. Since it is a healing modality, the pricing is more than you’d pay for Twinings, but it’s far beyond what you can get anywhere else. Uniquely infused with Reiki energy and totally delicious.

I’m also offering a $30 sampler tin of all of my blends, with each sample pack enough for 3 cups.

If you don’t have a tea infuser for loose leaf tea, I’ll also send one along with your tea for an additional $10. Trust me, loose leaf tea is better quality than most bagged tea, imagine the tea leaves swimming around in your cup infusing your hot water, versus the powdery stuff in a standard tea bag. Switching to loose leaf is a life upgrade.

B-School’s enrollment is only open for two weeks every year, and enrollment ends on March 2nd. That’s next Wednesday. I was lamenting to Dara that I didn’t have the $2,000 for the tuition (I’m living on savings) because of the otherwise most excellent timing for B-School enrollment. I have lots of time while I’m in my career shift and I do genuinely want to make a plan so I can live off of my Reiki tea hustle and continue to do my artwork, blog and book. Dara said I should try to do a limited time Reiki tea flash presale to see if the universe can help me get what I need to get into B-School.

behappyitdrivespeoplecrazyI love this shirt. This is the corner of my house that’s going to serve as my Lesbian Tea Basket studio so I can interview interesting folks and continue to rate and review tea. More unpacking needs to happen first, as it’s our current staging area.

More about why I want to go to B-School:

I’ve been hearing about B-School, the online business school for internet entrepreneurs, for years–from friends who have taken the course and loved it, and from spiritual thought leaders who I admire. I follow the founder of B-School, Marie Forleo, all over the internet. Her MarieTV episodes are great for anyone who is an entrepreneur and wants to create a business and life they love that is heart centered and authentic to their calling.

When conceiving of my Reiki tea business I have been working on concepts and ideas. I know the B-School curriculum of marketing with authenticity, branding with pizzaz, and shedding fears and limiting beliefs around money are going to help me create something beyond my vision. The strategies taught in B-School are things I need to work on prior to building my tea website, developing my packaging and business model. This is the right time for me and B-School! I want to make my Reiki infused tea business the best it can be and get it into the hands of all of the people who need its healing.

It has long been my wish to retire from the practice of law in order to follow my dreams. For years I thought about it, but had no idea how it could happen.

Eventually I managed to work part time in law and part time advancing my work to help make the world safe for people to love themselves. Moving across the country, out of the states I’m licensed in and having to leave my private practice has really kicked this into high gear. This is the time in my life to gamble on myself… can I do like Mariah Carey and Make it Happen? Will you help by buying some tea or sharing with your networks?

Creating my own line of Reiki-infused teas is one of my biggest dreams, and I’m taking the first steps in order to turn it into a goal. After all, goals are dreams with deadlines!

Clickie here to read about the flavors or just get to ordering!

Maybe you don’t want to buy tea and just want to donate to my B-School tuition? OMG thank you!





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