You Do Not Always Have to Agree

Debates with friends and family can be a great thing; an exchange of ideas that help you understand a varying point of view is good for you.  The problem occurs when you cannot accept the fact that someone may have valid reasons for having an opinion that differs from your own.  Instead of having a conversation about topics and issues, people become defensive, and even antagonistic; becoming angry at the other person for not immediately changing their mind and adopting the “correct” way of thinking.

We will constantly encounter people who have different views, and sometimes those views are valid, and other times they may not be.  However, as Jedi, we should always be able to hold our calm when encountering different ideas and points of view.  If appropriate, we may state our arguments (again, calmly), but in the event that the person stands their ground (and they most likely will), we need to be able to agree to disagree.

Example from my own life: my parents have very different political views.  I find the things that come out of my fathers mouth backwards, offensive, and completely uneducated.  He considers me young and foolish.  We will never agree, he will never accept my opinion, and I have come to accept that.  My father is also the type to become enraged when you do not immediately adhere to his opinion, so I simply do not engage in political discussions with him and will physically leave the room when he starts ranting politics (he is often found yelling at the television).  It is not worth the fight, and I would rather keep the peace at home.

You could also encounter a person whose religious or cultural background causes them to believe differently.  If it is someone you are close to and can comfortably have a debate on the topic with, by all means, discuss, but chances are very low that you can change their mind, so accept that, and see it as an opportunity to learn about another culture.

Everyone does not have to agree with you.  In their mind, you are probably just as wrong as they are in your mind.  You may both be right.  You may both be wrong.  Everyone is different from you with their own past experiences that have shaped them, and that is good.  Diversity is good.  New and different opinions create change and growth, and make the world much more interesting.

Even within the Jedi community, you will encounter people who have very different views of what the Jedi should and should not be.  In the eighteen years I have been around the community, I have run into all sorts of different opinions there.  I have seen it end friendships.  I have seen new communities develop and other sites dissolve for it.  And yet the cycles continue and patterns repeated.

Bottom line:  learn to not take offense from opinions different from your own.  Realize that what another person thinks does not change your thoughts or who you are.  If someone chooses to adhere to a lower standard in your opinion, that does not mean you need to lower yourself to their standard.  Live your life, be an example of what you believe, and if your way truly has merit, others will inevitably follow suit.

(Disclaimer: I feel the need to point out that I am not speaking in regards to protesting great atrocities in society and what not.  I have great respect for those who have protested peacefully for change, though I have less respect if they do not act in ways to support their protest or take the existing actions available to effect change.)

Weekly Training Summary


  • Reading – This week I finished reading Book of Sith, started and finished the Imperial Handbook, and just started The Bounty Hunter Code today.  I finished Aftermath: Empire’s End.  Keeping up with Star Wars and Philosophy (on Chapter 14), The Beginner’s Guide to Insight Meditation (on Chapter 9), Scourge (should finish tomorrow), and Dune (up to date with book club schedule…about 43% of the way through the book).
  • Crash Course – I watched three episodes of World History: 13-Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars; 14-The Dark Ages…How Dark Were They, Really?; and 15-The Crusades – Pilgrimage or Holy War?.
  • Language – I watched four episodes of La Pimpa, and read two chapters (six pages) of Pinocchio.  I am starting to memorize the song for La Pimpa too…it’s just a short little children’s song, but it never hurts to start a habit of singing along to Italian songs.

♫Quando il sole sale su
Alto in cima al cielo blu
L’orologio fa cucù
E nessuno dorme più

E la Pimpa corre e va
In campagna o in città
E di certo scopirà
Qualche nuova novità♫


  • Calories in/out:  8400/15775 – 7,375 Deficit…honestly the calories in are probably a little off, but because I have been coming up short most days this week, and I really need to adjust for that.  I am only eating one big meal per day right now, but I need to squeeze more protein into one or more of the small meals.  I keep munching on pepperoni at night after working out…which is not the best thing.
  • Weight Loss – 0….grrrrrr…scale does not matter….scale does not matter…scale does not matter……
  • Workout – Thursday marked the end of the fourth week of doing the arm exercises I have been doing, so I decided to add an alternating set.  The original set focused primarily on the anterior delts, so I created a set to focus on the biceps (in and out curls), triceps (overhead tricep extensions), and more on the posterior delts (bent over row) (my anterior delts are solid right now, I definitely need some balance).  I figure I can alternate between the two arm sets on different days.  I am also going to switch up lower body exercises on those days.  I have not been doing a lot on legs, cause cardio does a good deal (I actually have a few Zumba songs that I call calf  or thigh songs because the respective areas are burning by the time I finish them), but I still do a little.  So instead of squats on Bicep/Tricep/P.Delts day, I will do calf raises in three positions.  This week I did three days of each set.  Also, on my chest presses, I think this is the last week I am going to be able to use my current weights, but I do not have a weight above them…I might have to raid my father’s weight room.  As of Saturday I am in the fourth week since I started doing Zumba again.  I am really hoping the four week rule holds true and I start seeing some results, cause so far my size has not been doing much budging.  I found a few of my missing Zumba songs from the video games, so I have done some rearranging and swapping of songs in my routine.  I should be good with the current line up for a couple weeks, but I will continue to change the routine as I become to comfortable with it.
  • Diet – I did really good most of the week…but on Thursday my father offered me Portillos…it made me feel sick the rest of the day.  That is the problem with eating really clean, when you indulge in some not so clean favorites, you tend to regret it.  People think I am crazy for not eating steak or most fast foods anymore, but honestly, I really do not want to feel the way I know I will feel after eating it.


  • Meditation – Still averaging two times a day, I just shifted from doing one before bed to doing a headspace meditation after my shower.  What I really need is to work in a morning/afternoon meditation.
  • I have also been watching youtube videos of the Dali Lama this week.  I wanted to watch one a day, but some of them are ridiculously long, between the length and listening through him struggling with the language, I tend to lose focus.  I may have to just set myself a time limit per day and watch a little of each video each day.

New Logo

In addition to the new look and name, I have made myself a logo.  Up until this point, I have been using a purple version of the Jedi Symbol.  There are multiple reasons I wanted to get away from that, I will not get into all of them, but I decided to make myself something unique.


There is a lot of symbolism in here for me.  The crystal in the middle is because of my draw to the kyber crystals.  The complete circle is an overall thing for me, I prefer circles, the symmetry, the connectedness, the lack of harsh corners, and the many things associated with circles (seriously, there are so many).  The three dashed lines outside the circle are to symbolize either Mind, Body, and Spirit, or The Force, Knowledge, and Self Discipline.  I always felt these two sets were equivalents of each other:  Mind=Knowledge, Body=Self Discipline, and Spirit=The Force.  The greater image in the banner contains the symbols for the latter set (referenced from The Jedi Path by Daniel Wallace).


The new symbol being in the middle of the three is my way of stating that here, all three are equally important.  Finally, the four lines crossing on either side of the crystal.  The initial idea was to show one long line, because I always thought I would have a double bladed saber.  It did not look right.  I tried making three lines, or six points, because my lucky number is six.  It still did not look right.  I ended up with four lines/eight points, which I felt fit with the fact that as a dancer, I always count things in eights…even in my workouts, I have a difficult time doing 10 of something or 12 of something, I always have to go 8, 16, 24, ecc.  It also has fictional meaning towards me, but only in my own stories I have dreamed up, so while those have meaning to me, they have little meaning to the rest of the world (maybe one day I will share the stories…maybe not).  The scenic background in the banner ties into that as well.

Last thing I noticed, was that the symbol sort of looked like a cross section of a lightsaber, as if you looked from one end to the other. Not that you want to look down the top end of a lightsaber (Luke), but still neat.

I may continue to tweek this (the image was completely flat until a week ago).

One Year Anniversary: New Name, New Look

Today is officially one year since my first post on this blog.  I decided long ago that at the one year mark I would change the name, let’s face it, you can only be returning for so long.  And yet, I have not really returned.

While I participate with some groups, I am still sitting on the outskirts of the community, outside, looking in.  I went to a gathering, and I had planned on being at the California Gathering this week (finances prevented that), but I am still not fully involved.  I hang out in the California Jedi chats and I make my posts available for Katie to share on the site, but I am still acting as an entirely independent entity.  I still refuse to take on a title, and I still study on my own, on my terms and based on my standards (which tend to be a lot stricter than anywhere else I have seen thus far).  I have often likened myself to Yoda on Dagobah or Obi-Wan on Tatooine (I am listening to the Audiobook of Kenobi while I type this…definitely hitting home in a few spots), and wanted this blogs new name to reflect that.  This is my post-Order 66 hideaway.

I toyed with several names that involved Ilum, but the new fiction leads me to believe that Ilum is not only a dangerous place to be after Order 66, but most likely no longer exists by the time the First Order comes around.  I toyed with names involving Kyber Crystals, as I have always felt a draw to the crystals themselves, but nothing felt quite right.  For a good length of time I had settled on Elysium, either Elysium Jedi Sanctum or Elysium Jedi Enclave (I might break one of those out if I ever finish my curriculum and decide to curse myself with opening a training academy).

Way back when I first joined the community in 1999, I created my website, and I named it after a solar system in a Star Wars story I had made up.  When I created my first forum, I actually named the different subforums after each of the planets.  Elysium system was essentially where I would have been from were I in the Star Wars Galaxy, a sort of character back story if it were all true.

However it still felt wrong…the name felt empty, and if I ever wanted to create an actual training academy, I felt it would be in conflict.  I tried to look at what I post here, and find something that fit.  I ended up polling the Jedi on my facebook (thank you to Christopher, Alex, and Katie for the imput) and finally settled on Jedi Journeyer.  In the Legends fiction, the original Je’daii Order had four main ranks: Padawan, Journeyer, Ranger, and Master.  The Journeyer’s had successfully completed their formal Padawan training and would travel between the nine Temples of Tython, each Temple having their own subject area of focus.  I felt it was a good term…sort of a not-a-student, but-not-a-knight middle ground that was all about exploring different subjects and practical, real world training (granted I have been at that for much longer than the Je’daii two year term 😉 ).

So, welcome all to Jedi Journeyer.

Weekly Training Summary

A new addition to my posting, I intend to post this every Sunday night/Monday morning as a way of keeping myself accountable.


  • Reading – I have been doing SO much ready lately.  In the past week I read Kenobi, Bloodlines, and I have started Empire’s End; and I am gradually making my way through Star Wars and Philosophy (for California Jedi Book Club), Dune (for another online book club), Book of the Sith, The Beginner’s Guide to Insight Meditation, Le Avventure di Pinocchio (in Italian), and Scourge.  I am making small progressions in most of these, but cumulatively I am reading at least 100 pages per day.
  • Mental Floss – I have done three lessons in World History this week.
  • Language – I have not done as well with my Italian as I did last week.  This week I only watched two episodes of La Pimpa and only read one chapter/four pages of Pinocchio.  It has been a busy week though, I was booked on set twice and had an audition.


  • Calories in/out – 8,935/16,845 (Burned a total of 7,910 calories more than consumed)
  • Weight Loss – 1.5lbs – They weight has been up, down, and all around this week, but the trend is still going down (which is the goal).  As frustrating as it is that I am not losing my goal of 2lbs per week, the fact that I am burning more than 2lbs per week (based on 3,500 calories=1lb) means I am also putting on muscle, which is also the goal.
  • Workout – I am still doing really well on my workout.  I did not workout three days this week, the three days I had class and was on set (but I still hit my daily goal of burning 1k calories more than I ate, otherwise I would have pushed myself to workout those days too).  The other four days I did my full Zumba Routine, stretched, and did strength training (skipped strength training tonight because neck was hurting and had well surpassed calorie goal for the day, so I did strength training three of the seven days, which is still acceptable).
  • Diet – My diet has been a little odd this week, but I have still kept pretty much to healthier foods.  Usually the most difficult time is when on set, but I managed to not snack on any Kraft Services this week.  I actually have been finding myself a little short at the end of most days (like today…I need to go find 351 more calories to consume).
  • I also began researching a new Martial Arts school this week.  I cannot afford classes at the moment, but I am hoping that will change soon.  It has been far to long since I have taken classes, and I am eager to learn new skills.  I have a few possibilities on my list, but I will do more research when living and financial situations settle.  I am still on the hunt for a good Ba Gua Zhang school, also considering Kung Fu, Aikido, Jujitsu (if I can find a good school teaching the Japanese version as opposed to Brazilian), or even returning to Capoeira…maybe (it has always been my favorite, but I like to try different forms).


  • Meditation – I have meditated at least twice a day this week.  I did not manage to squeeze in a third time, aside from using my Mala bracelet while out and about, until Saturday.  I have the entire old version of Headspace to try out now…and there are at least 650 guided meditations there (granted…some are focused on things I have no need of…like pregnancy…if I still had my tumor I would totally use the pregnancy meditations for that :D), so I have plenty of meat there.  Plus the meditations from the book I am reading, and I will probably pick up a few other similar type books next time I stop at the library.

Random Musing

This evening I was on set of a commercial.  We were filming by Northwestern, in a field surrounded by a track.  Throughout the evening there were various people running and walking around on the track, but at one point, a group showed up and the end of the field we were facing towards.  They did a group warm up, and then they did a lap, regrouped, and then started running again.

As I was standing there watching the runners pass by, observing their posture and strides…I found myself thinking how nice it would be to see that in the Jedi.  A group of Jedi show up at a track or somewhere similar as part of a regular workout group.  Not just once in a blue moon, and not just at lightsaber gatherings, but actually workout…out in the world…being an example…  Kind of like seeing high school cross country teams running through the neighborhood after school all wearing various team attire; a t-shirt, shorts, a hoodie, a windbreaker…

Chicago seemed to be going that direction for a heartbeat…when we started offline here we would get together at forest preserves and do Tai Chi and what not, but we were small then and that changed quickly.

I can imagine students at the Jedi Temple doing fitness classes together.

It was just a very beautiful daydream for that moment and I thought I would share.

Summer of Self-Improvement – AKA Summer of Unemploment

During this past spring, I gave my notice at my full time job, as I intended to move to Los Angeles in May.  Well, things happened, and the move was postponed indefinitely, but my replacement had been hired before the change in plans and so I found myself still living in Chicago and unemployed.

Rather than jump into another full time job immediately, as several have been placed in front of me, I decided to take a Monologue class that I have been trying to take for several years, which is only offered Monday afternoons.  I am searching for a part-time job and working as an extra to supplement my savings, but my days have been filled mostly with focusing on my own improvement and studies.  The goal is to focus on improving myself before I deal with the outside influences.

So, here are my daily tasks:
*Acting – I have lots to do with the monologues I am assigned in my class.  In addition, I am reading other plays in order to further build my knowledge of theater.
*Fitness – I am really cracking down on burning 1k calories more than I consume each day, and on building my strength back up.   I have a number of exercises I do throughout the day (cross jacks, torso twists, chest presses, shoulder flies, planks, plank with knee taps, Russian twists, leg raises, mountain climbers, squats, grips, and a few others I work in), plus walking/biking/hula hooping, and soccer on various days, and each night now I have been doing 30-90 minutes of cardio (Zumba mainly…my current full routine burns about 800 calories) depending on how many calories I have left to burn, and rotating through the four sections of my stretching routine.
*Reading – I am reading two books at once right now, one is Dune, as I am participating in an online Dune Reading Club, but it is only 5-10 pages a day.  The other book is up to me.  Last week I read four books and started on a fifth, generally reading 50 or so pages a night.
*Crash Course – I have posted before about Crash Course on YouTube, a channel that does short lessons on various subjects.  I am trying to do at least one lesson a week right now, but I want to work up to two to three.
*Italian – I am watching one Italian show per day (currently children’s cartoons), and reading a chapter a day in an Italian book (currently Pinocchio).  As I rebuild my vocabulary, I will work my way up to more difficult shows and texts.  I might start working on DuoLingo again, though I have finished the Italian course once, so I needed more.  Perhaps I will reinstall Rosetta Stone and see how far that gets me.
*Cleaning – All of my belongings were staged in the garage for my move, so now I need to start moving them back down to the basement.  At my current rate, I should be done by mid-September, though I am going faster than scheduled.  I also need to go through things, reorganize, pack loose items, sort through my to sell/donate pile, and generally condense everything.
*Meditation – I am meditating at least twice a day right now, but I would like to get back up to three or four as I was doing before last summer.
*Blogs – I am trying to get back on schedule with this blog, as well as two of my other blogs: Death by Chocolate (a chocolate blog), and Deciphering Lolita (a Lolita blog).  I currently have blog ideas into October for DbC and this blog, I just need to do that for DL now.  The biggest thing for this blog is choosing a new name, as I would like to change things over with the one year anniversary coming up in two weeks.  I have a few ideas, though nothing that I really love.  I might have to find someone to bounce my ideas off of for an impartial opinion.

So there is what I have been up to this summer.  I apologize for lack of posts, but I have needed to do a lot of soul searching.  I also had to remind myself that ultimately, I am writing this blog for me, and that people are not always going to agree with my opinions.  More on that later though.

The Starfish and the…evil eight-legged thingy…

A few months ago, a book (The Starfish and the Spider (seriously…they could not go with an Octopus or a Squid?!)) was recommended by a couple people in the California Jedi Chat.  Since then, I have noticed a several people discussing the organization of the Jedi community, arguing that it is more of a Starfish (smaller groups all operating independently) vs. a Spider (each community operating under the direct control of one person/group).  This discussion spiked when a recent organizational document made its way around.

I cannot entirely agree with this though.  I think Starfish-type organizations function better if the group functions on a “whatever-works-best” basis.  In other words, there are no standards or requirements, people just do what works in order for their group to be successful.

The Jedi that we see in the prequels are at the end of their life, and are too much under the control of the republic, but I think the structure they had is most appropriate.   You have a central governing body with the council, they set the standards and uphold the order.  Each Jedi or teams of Jedi however, must function on their own when out on missions.  It is a hybrid organization (which are also addressed the book).

The Jedi in our reality currently are more of a Starfish organization, but because of that we have a wide variation of standards, and even groups completely lacking standards all together.  A central council would be ideal, though it has yet to be successfully achieved, mainly because there is a variety of ideas of what exactly we should be.