Monthly Archives: April 2013

Unconditional Perspective

“… and she loved a boy very, very much– even more than she loved herself.”

Perspective, as cliche as it sounds, can drastically affect a situation. It can happen over seconds, minutes, years or a lifetime. It can shift back and forth, seemingly non-commital. Sometimes things appear half-empty, rude, wrong and to others the same may be full of life, engaging, inspirational or right. It’s what makes us all different. It’s what makes us sometimes connect. Sadly, it’s also what tears us apart, not only on interpersonal levels, but as whole societies.

Recently, someone brought up the story of “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein, saying it was a beautiful story of dedication and selflessness. This reminded me that Steve had given my very own copy. I went home, opened it up and out fell the card below. I remember when Steve gave me this book  early on in our dating. Of course, I had known it as a child. But, it had always seemed like a story of destitute, of abandonment, and of abuse. But, as always, Steve had a positive viewpoint. How the hell did he always do that in situations. He saw it as one of dedication, inspiration, care and reality. A story of selfless love. Now in retrospect, I have a deeper understanding of his perspective. Perhaps, I was the tree at times and he the boy. At other times, the roles would be reversed. The situation would shift back and forth and with this, so would the way we both viewed it. It was unconditional love. It was unconditional perspective.

The results from a shift in my perspective have been evident, even more so, over the past four years. And now, over the past six months, my perspective has again shifted. Yes, it’s already been six months since we all lost Steve. I’ve gone through a plethora of emotional changes. One moment, I can accept things, knowing that we are all going to die and it’s “ok”. The next, I can be distraught and realize that Steve was young. Not the youngest to ever pass, but yet still so youthful and full of life even until his last days. This makes me sad. It makes me mad. Sometimes, it makes me distraught. But at the end of all, I know I was so very lucky to have learned about love, forgiveness, acceptance and perspective.

My perspective shifts on other people’s problems as well. Part of me wants to listen, to be fair. As Steve used to say and believe, it’s all relative. I truly believe this as well, but sometimes my perspective changes and I want to say “you’re lucky you don’t have cancer” or “you have no idea how shitty your life could really be”, but I don’t. I remember Steve’s words and beliefs and I put it all into a similar perspective. I remember my pre-cancer perspective and know that I had no idea of others during my innocence. Consequently, this allows me to have a perspective of appreciation and celebration of every individual, their situation and most importantly their perspective. Because just when you think you’re having a shitty day, I bet there is someone that can one up you.

In Steve’s short life, so many have been changed directly and indirectly. How do I describe the admiration and respect for Steve? It’s simply done through his very own perspective:

  • This man brought humor, where there was deep sadness.
  • This man brought strength, where there was fear.
  • This man brought compassion to others, where it should have been reflected on him.
  • This man brought self acceptance, when there was weakness.
  • This man brought acceptance for others, when he was hurt.

I remember a man who has forever changed my perspective and many others. A man that, for as cheesy as it may it sound, knew that it’s not the years in your life, but the life in your years. Proof of this is in the fact that I will be accepting a Master of Arts from Pepperdine University on his behalf this April 27, 2013 (if you’d like to attend, please email me).

With an unconditional perspective there comes peace, acceptance, calmness in oneself and calmness with others.  I now know that it a slight perspective change can make or break not only a precise second, but an entire life. And, if anyone can be an example of that, Stephen Dickter was and still is.

Lucky, we are.





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I’ve been thinking about doing a cleanse lately. You know the kind us LA people do that makes us seem obnoxious. Since, I’m so innocent of being a pretentious and vain Angelino, it’s something that I thought I would never try.

However, the past 6 months have taken a bit of a toll on me. It’s my nature not to sit and “be still” and with recent events this has become even more difficult. Consequently, I’ve been on the go mentally and physically. The past few weeks culminated with of a little too much whiskey, a Vegas bachelorette party, working out every day and dinners out every night. I could feel the weight of it all.

Now there are a ton of pressed juices popping up all over Los Angeles. But, I decided to do a two day cleanse with TOTES in Sherman Oaks. Why, because the lil lady behind Totes, Chelsea, lives this stuff. Everything is truly organic and pure, down to the reverse osmosis water she uses (I know, what the heck is reverse osmosis water). But really, there’s something encouraging about living proof guiding you through a miserable day(s) of food and whiskey deprivation.

I picked up two days worth of “food” on Monday afternoon. Come on it’s really tangible chewable food if they hadn’t pressed it all up into liquid form. Relax. I was doing it along side a friend of mine so we could support (I mean bitch to) each other. When you walk in to Totes to pick up your juices, Chelsea is there to greet you with a big smile lots of laughter (She’ll even do curbside delivery).  It’s definitely not LA pretentious or intimidating, at all. She explains everything in an email document the day prior and in person if you have more questions. Simple.

The first morning, I woke up to a motivational email check in from Chelsea (and a desperate one from my juicing buddy).  Unfortunately, I also woke up hungry. My guess is that it was a mind over matter situation. Knowing that you can’t eat all day, starts the self-fulling prophecy of stomach aching for food. And, there’s that thing of someone telling you can’t have something, that makes you want it more, right?

Normally, I get up and have a bowl of cereal with blueberries and coffee, almost immediately. This morning, as instructed, I boiled water and squeezed lemons into it. This was a nice touch, especially since I felt like I was coming down with a cold anyway. Chelsea suggests Reverse Osmosis water. I didn’t have any on hand, so I just used regular filtered water.

Now the Juices.
(Sorry for the iphone picture, my nikon is in the shop.)


Drink #1

Protein Powder. This was a good way to start off. You mix it with water or some of the last “juice”, almond milk. It’s filling and thicker in consistency. After I drank this I was full for a bit. Satisfied. It was tasty. I did the Vanilla flavor. You can chose from a few different ones. You even get a cute lil reusable mason jar that affords future discounts when you return with it.

Two hours later, I moved onto, Drink #2

Drink #2

Root Awakening. This was a bit sweet for my taste, but I prefer straight up vegetable drinks. At this point, I was feeling hungry, but nothing too dramatic. As instructed, I sipped the drinks and “chewed”. I think this really helps. It made me feel more as I was eating something solid.

Drink #3

Verde. This was my favorite. The least sweet and full of greens. My friend, on the other hand, wasn’t thrilled with this one. I think most people aren’t used to drinking 160z of pure packet nutrition and vegetables. Something that gets easier. Like everything, practice makes perfect.

Now what seemed like 2 of the longest hours ever, I started #4…

Drink #4

Yolo. Is a great mix of sweets and greens. Beets, etc. At about this time I was ready for a steady mixture of not too sweet and not too green. It hit the spot. Also at this time I ventured out to the grocery store (why you ask???) I swear I didn’t buy anything to eat. I had to return some redbox movies. But, point being, my sense of smell was insane. I could smell all the flowers, food, people (unfortunately) AND I had a cold. It was strange.

Drink #5

Spicy Tonic. This is an awesome drink. The pineapple was the driving force and tasted so good after all the veggie powered drinks. At this point I was liquified out. For me 160z of fluid, plus 8oz of water in between each drink was a lot. And, I drink a lot (no not whisky) of water every day on a regular basis.

Drink #6

Apple-Tini. Cute name, but it sure in the hell reminded me of happy hour. Seriously, cruel. No but really, this was also delicious. But I couldn’t finish it all. I guess some people prefer lots of liquid. I started to taper down at this point. Plus I knew 2 more were coming and I didn’t want to be up all night, peeing (yes I said it like it is).

Drink #7

Dirty-Tini. I knew this was the last “meal”, as #8 is more like dessert. I only drank about half of it. Carrot driven and the grand finale. It was easier to tolerate as I knew I was done for the day.

Drink #8

Night Cap. Hands down the best almond milk in the universe. I had half left over from my morning protein powder. It was thick, delicious and a perfect grand finale.

REPEAT – Day 2…

The finale was like a lil renew. After the cleanse, my tastebuds exploded. When I had my first few bites of my boring morning regime, the flavors were vibrant. It was sorta crazy. Everything tasted better. It was like a reset on my corrupt self. My mind felt clearer. My body felt skinnier (most important). And, above all, I felt pretty darn healthy.

Don’t get me wrong, all the drinks are fabulous on their own, but just drinking all day proved to be more difficult than I imagined. Totally feasible. Totally worth it, but reality check on my so called awesomeness. I had always wanted to do a cleanse and TOTES was the perfect place to go. Everything is well organized. Easy to follow. And the pricing is comparable and even more affordable then most. Chelsea goes above and beyond to make sure you’re comfortable, making you feel that it’s completely fine to ask questions OR whine. Ha.



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