All posts by Steph Ruopp

About Steph Ruopp

Like many before her, Steph is a human. She is also a freelance writer/blogger/copywriter. As an extroverted introvert she is well suited to the alternating human contact and isolation that is the life of a freelancer.

rebel daisy has returned

Last week, my amazing and supportive husband suggested I consider including illustration on my blog. I pondered this. Then pondered it some more.

Yesterday, the narcissistic trash can fire president of the United States – a small letter ‘p” president whom I shall never call “my” president – decided to pull out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. I pondered this. Then went and willingly banged my head against the wall.

It was at that moment – likely sparked by my husband’s suggestion, Trump’s narcissistic mind-blowing ignorance, and a slight concussion – that rebel daisy entered the room.

Who the hell is rebel daisy? Well, he’s a rebel. And a daisy. A daisy with no roots. He wears army boots and blue jeans. He’s a cut-to-the-chase kind of flower who doesn’t believe in capitalizing words. Or really any sort of capitalistic behavior. And he’s a he. So get used to it.

Nearly 20 years ago, rebel daisy walked into my life.

Or more aptly, my head. And he started seeping out of the pens and markers that occupied my hands at that time. He’s rather intrusive in that way. But he made his presence known.

rd - his nameIn those days, the internet was in its infancy and spell check software would have choked on the word ‘blog’. Even so, rebel daisy was well received in several quirky circles. So he’s decided to venture onto my ass-backward blog on mindfulness and see how he fares on the big screen.

I think it’s going to go well. And I think we can all stand to learn a little something from a renegade perennial. I know I can.

Sure, he can be a bit of a blow-hard at times. And he thinks he knows things that he really doesn’t. He could easily be president one day. Then again, he’s a well-meaning and compassionate environmentalist with some words to say, so maybe not. Anyhow, stay tuned.

Lesson number one with rebel daisy will soon commence…

Winter trees.

Spare Me the Positivity Right Now

These are dark days.

I mean, literally dark. Winter solstice and all that. In these northern climes, we just don’t have a lot of daylight hours right now. And I’d like to believe that this darkness is responsible for what I’ve been feeling lately. It is surely a factor.

I suspect, however, the looming possibility of living under a dictatorship plays a whole hell of a lot more into what I’m feeling.

I live in a racially and economically diverse city with an LGBTQ community center at its heart. Having the good fortune to attend racially and culturally diverse schools the majority of my life, I feel quite at home in such an environment. But these days, I’m around many people who are feeling sadness, hopelessness, injustice and fear. And rightly so.

Being in this open and accepting neighborhood, I also frequently encounter new-age, “just think positive” advocates who keep telling me to look on the bright side, be thankful for what I have and expect good things.

Aw, that’s nice. And with all due respect, it’s emotionally dishonest and it’s bullshit.

Continue reading Spare Me the Positivity Right Now

The Niyamas – Soulful Living At The Second Limb

In the simplest of terms, yoga is like a tree comprised of eight limbs. Each one of these limbs represents a different level of the practice. The yamas and niyamas comprise the first and second limbs respectively and are ethical precepts that apply to how one relates to oneself and to society. By the most essential definition, the yamas are restraints while the niyamas are observances.

In a nutshell, the niyamas are as listed below :

Shaucha – Purity

Santosha – Contentment

Tapas – Burning Enthusiasm

Swadhyaya – Self-Study

Ishvarapranidhana – Celebration of the Spiritual

Easy enough then. Practice all of these things and you’re good to go.

Well, not really. It’s been said that practice makes perfect. But whoever said that was delusional and possibly cruel, as perfection is an illusion and cannot be achieved.

Continue reading The Niyamas – Soulful Living At The Second Limb