Meet a Westsider:
Ahriana Platten

Profession/Occupation... I wear several hats. I am the acting minister for Unity Church in the Rockies, founder/ director of the Colorado Ecospiritual Center and president of VitAlex International Marketing Company.

What I like most about the Westside is... its eclectic personality. I love that diversity is welcome. Tie-dye meets yuppie, artist meets athlete – it’s all here and its all “okay.” There is nothing “cookie cutter” about the Westside.

If I could change anything about the Westside, it would be... the width of the streets in my neighborhood. Sometimes it’s hard to maneuver past parked vehicles on both sides of the road. (I really had to stretch to think of something here because I really LOVE the Westside and feel blessed to live in such a beautiful place!)

A good movie I’ve seen recently is... Well, I can't think of a movie, but my family has been enjoying the Hercules series with Kevin Sorbo (circa 1996). Its available on Netflix and I had forgotten how fun it is! Lots of Greek gods and goddesses, mythical creatures and great adventures!

I'd like to discover... a way to teleport so I could see my older children and my family more easily, more often, and with less expense! We have four boys – ages 8, 13, 28 and 30. I miss the big ones so much!

If I could meet someone famous, I’d like to meet... Barack Obama. I think it must be very hard to be the president in today's world. I'd like to shake his hand and personally thank him for his courage and tenacity.

The next time I travel, I’m going... hmmm. I travel a lot. If I could go anywhere I wanted to go, it would be Scotland… or Rome… or Vermont… or anywhere my children are! In a few weeks, I'll be in Kansas City for a series of classes… not quite as exciting as Scotland – but still very satisfying for my soul!

My favorite childhood memory is... my mother singing to me. I never realized how much she sang until I had my own children. I found myself singing songs I hadn't thought about in years. Many of these songs I only know because my mother sang them to me. I have loved singing them to my boys and rediscovering these memories of my mom.

My favorite winter pastime is... holiday vacation with my family. This year we went to Estes Park, rented a cabin with a hot tub next to a river and soaked in the beauty. We love sledding, and sleeping late, and just having an extended period of time to bask in the sweetness of being together without any other distractions.

Something good I’ve read is... “Finding God in the Singing River” by Mark J. Wallace. I love his perspective on the importance of nature in spiritual pursuit and his explanation of the animistic symbolism that can be found in sacred text.

My pet peeve is... anyone failing to recognize the power of the words they use when speaking to children. In my 30 years of raising children, I have learned that everything we say to our kids has the power to change their perspective on life. If we speak lovingly to them, their inner voice will be one of love. If we speak judgmentally, they will learn to judge themselves harshly. Each of us has a “little voice” in our head that helps us to make decisions. The voice we use when we talk to our children often trains the inner voice in their heads that will guide them in their adult years. Our tone of voice becomes the tone of their inner voice. It is so important that we speak to them with an attitude of love and compassion.

If I didn’t have to work for a year, I would... I’d spend it loving my husband, who gives up so much of our time together so that I can work in service to community. I’d have time to laugh more with my children, sit on the front porch and enjoy the peacefulness of a cup of tea... and I’d go visit my parents. I’d take my dogs for more walks and plant flowers in my yard... and look at the Peak and remember how lucky I am to live on the Westside!

Meet a Westsider” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you would like to be a Meet-a-Westsider (or know someone who should be), please give us a call at 471-6776.