New Bandwagon: Redirecting Hate in an Effort to Feel Good About Oneself.


  
There are new photos sweeping facebook that are shared to express larger women as beautiful (just as thinner women are). And I agree with that. I’m all for it. Larger women should be shown as beautiful in the media. There needs to be an evolution of media images, for real. (How about even putting a stop to airbrushing, and revealing humans as humans and not digitally altered, flawless 2-D monsters! But thats another topic...)

The narrow-focus of thin women in the media is both damaging and insulting to women everywhere. Women any shape, size, color are beautiful (same goes for men!)

Though, sadly, this new facebook bandwagon is a misguided attempt, left to ignorant people to redirect their self-resentment. It’s “misguided” because some of these pictures, and a lot of the comments, are insulting thin people. Making comments about bones being uncomfortable and larger being “more attractive”. A lot of it is very sickening to me, a thin woman.

No one is helping anyone by insulting other people. I understand that there are a lot of insults and judgments around being “fat” and that it needs to stop. But is insulting thin women going to help that?

If you are someone who made any of those comments, I ask you: does insulting another sized woman really make you feel good about yourself?

Lets try to make everyone feel good about themselves.

Stop the hate—don’t redirect it!

How do you look at people you see?






Isn’t it remarkable how you can subtlety feel when someone is judging, either, you or someone else?

It’s almost as if there’s a stuck-ness, a clogging in the air. Something is messing with the flow. Some kind of preconceived theory is getting in the way of natural rhythm—the conversing, creating, the being.

It’s hard to be yourself around people who think you are something and hold you to it, refusing to let you show yourself to them. They are too busy assuming they know everything about you to listen to you.

They might even be starting at you like you aren’t worthy of their time or energy, or even air!

Some just look at you like you are purely an interruption to the awesomeness that is their lives.

Some people just sit there, as you talk, judging the shit out of you. About things they “know” about you, things they “think” about you and things they are thinking about you right now as your talking- I don’t know about you, but when I feel that from people, it throws me way off- sometimes causing me to forget what I was even talking about (yet, usually, keeps me nervously rambling— giving them something more to judge-no doubt!)

Isn’t it worse when you sit, uncomfortably, in front of someone who you think is judging you, ridiculing you, when in fact they aren’t and it’s all in your head?

How do we know the difference between an intuition and a made-up story in our minds?

Furthermore: isn’t amazing how you can feel when someone is looking at you without one ounce of judgment? Just total love, acceptance and encouragement?

That feeling when people smile at you with a knowing of how great you really are.

I like that feeling.

I like to stir that in others, by looking at them with utmost admiration- no matter who or what someone is, they deserve to be looked at like they matter. Listened to because they are important. And loved because they are love.

We all must give each other the freedom to make mistakes, to learn from them, to move on and to create amazing things in life—no matter how much we may have messed up in some other phase of our lives (or how much we will at some other phase!)

How will you look at the next person you see?

A White Girl Talking About Black People.

After reading Jackie Summers’ article on the elephant journal: Black Boy in a White Land: Urban Safari & the Elephant in the Room about his experience as a black man in white cultured surroundings. I was inspired to write about my little perspective of black people and my first meeting of a black family.

 I grew up in a small, rural town in Newfoundland, an island on the east coast of Canada (translation: I am pretty damn white). I think there were maybe 2* black people in all the 7 adjacent small towns, and I had never seen either of them. I only heard about them (without saying much) from other kids. In sentiments resembling stories of haunted neighborhood houses, without fear or distain involved, just a sort of foreign, intriguing, ghostly concept. Most of us had not yet met a black person—only saw them on TV and in movies.

 I don’t remember a lot of racism when I was young—either because there weren’t enough black people around to be the brunt of it or no one was really racist at all. I don’t really know for sure.

But I give full credit to the Cosby Show, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and my mother for developing my love of black people, or any color people! (My mothers saying: “I don’t care if someone is purple!” is one that made me giggle and want to meet purple people!)

 They Cosby show was my first experience of black people. Revealing only several aspects of culture: the upper class of NYC to the humorous life of students to glimpses of the culture that stem from the heart of Africa (revealed by colorful, ethnic clothing, and songs, stores, poems and accents) Also, it showed black and white people interacting and smiling—no sign of hate! From the show, I may not have learned the full scope of all black cultures but I loved that family (it seemed more functional than mine!). They had a dad (an awesome one, I might add— I still love Bill!), they were funny, loved each other, dealt with stress in a healthy way and were always involved in things— what more could you want from people!?

 The Fresh Prince of Bel Air played a huge roll in my love for black people guys. It’s true. I had the hugest crush on Will, he was my first interracial crush. Back then, I would’ve dropped my 11 year old life for him!

 These shows did the complete opposite of racism for me. I wanted to BE black. My skin was all pasty, white and boring, or so I thought back then. I remember wanting to be black so bad it bordered on being a disorder! The people were so different from everything I’d ever seen, and I liked different.

As I got further along in my little life I realized something called “racism” existed. I could not at all grasp why someone would “hate” someone for the color of skin. (There were white people I didn’t like, reasons nothing to do with skin color!) It didn’t make sense to me! It confused and angered me.

 I started watching movies, shows and reading books with themes of slavery, racism, and the KKK. I started to hate the history of white people more and more. (Is there a word for racism against ones own race?)

 For a short time, a part of me seemed to personally take on the guilt of white people. I felt so bad that it happened, and that white people caused so much pain. Mostly American white people, those were the people who were mentioned the most regarding mistreatment of slaves (Did every American family who employed black workers mistreated them as badly as was portrayed in some things? Surely couldn’t be all?!) Thankfully, I matured and I don’t hate on white people as much anymore. But I am still disgusted at mistreatment of people (any people!)

 And after reading/watching so many things, I had developed an irrational fear that black people would think I am racist— simply because I am white. I have always been so against racism that I knew I’d risk smiling a little more, saying “hi” a little too loudly, and staring, captivated, a little too hard, all the while telepathically sending out strong vibes of love to any black person I would ever meet. So I always feared coming across as an indirect racist person, like “why is she trying so hard, what’s her white-ass problem!?”

 It wasn’t until I was 18 that I met a black person in real life.

 I just moved to Ontario, Canada, in a basement apartment. I was there maybe 3 days when I heard a knock at a door. I opened the door to a very tall, thin, dark skinned, brightly dressed woman with a thick, foreign accent “HI! I’m Royette! Me and my family live up stairs” *she held out her hand*.

 I stood there, staring, flabbergasted at having a long-time dream finally come true. I wanted to touch her beautiful face, hair and hands so badly, but I didn’t- because that would be weird.

 She broke my gazing with a “Helloooo?! I said, Hi to you!” (In that amazingly delicious Republic of Dominican accent). I snapped out of it, giggled, stammered and spewed: “Uh. Well. Hi. Um. I have to say, you are the very first black person I’ve ever met and I hope you don’t take that wrong because I love black people I have a crush on Will Smith and just think black babies are the cutest!” (Can you sense my excited awkwardness?? Oh yeah.)

 In reply: “HA-HAA! NO SHIT!! You are funn-neeey!” With a big pearly white smile, to boot! I released a sigh of relief and thought, “Thank goodness she knows I’m not racist!”

 I was so happy. We were friends right away. Her and her 3 beautiful children, ages 3,6,9, and her hardly-ever-home husband, too. We hung out around the house and chatted a lot, went to Wal-Mart together, and she showed me how to make the best damn fried chicken I ever had! (She laughed at my ignorance of fried chicken—I didn’t even know it was used as a racial slur!)

 I also baby-sat her kids a few times. Her very-shy 3-year-old son had the deepest, darkest eyes I had ever seen. And the most adorable dreads imaginable. When she brought him to meet me, I asked her, sheepishly but respectfully, “Can I touch them!?” She got a kick out of my timid, yet fearless way and screeched in a sing-song, “Oh yeah! You can! haha! You are so funn-neey!” (I think “fun-neey” was her word for “weird” for me. And I liked it.) The boy looked at me oddly as I told him how amazing his hair was. He shot me a ‘haven’t you ever seen hair before, lady?’ look.)

 Her girls were also adorable. The 6 year old was full of questions and life force. She had such energy and reminded me of Rudy! The oldest, who seemed to have more experience behind her, was the shy, reserved one of the 3. She seemed to have deep stories behind those dark eyes; only I never got to hear them.

 We were there less than 2 months when Royette got deported. Taken right from her home, right in front of her children (who were born in Canada, so they were safely allowed to stay here, her husband because he was working.) I heard screaming and crying upstairs. I knew they were having stressful moments at the time, but this was different. I didn’t go up. I waited for her to come down. I waited the next day. Nothing. I waited another day. Still no word.

 Finally on the 3rd day I met her husband outside and asked him how he was and where Royette was. He said with tears in his eyes and hate on his tongue: “She has been deported. Back to Dominican. Where she shouldn’t be. Her family is here. It is so unfair! It is not safe for her there! We just needed more time!” I had no idea what it all meant. But I felt for him, for her, those kids. I looked up and noticed all those deeply hurting, dark eyes peering out through the window. They were so lost. They were all hurting. I told him if there were anything I could do, I would do it. I was then 3 months pregnant; there wasn’t a whole lot I could do. I babysat the kids a bit more. I helped them with homework. I wish I could’ve done more. I wish I still had contact with them, but they moved shortly after.

 How someone can hate someone for the color of skin is something that will always elude me.

 How a country like Canada can rip a mother from her children to put her back in harms way of a Country they fled to start a better life is also something that will elude me.

 I don’t know much about the rules of immigration and what leads to deportation— but I do know people deserve time and understanding.

All people deserve love and safety. No matter what country. No matter what color. No matter what socioeconomic situation.

"Racism isn't born, folks, it's taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list". ~Dennis Leary

 *If anyone from my home town reading this knows exactly how many black people lived along the Southern Shore, if you could ever so nicely leave it in a comment below, I’d really love to know! (I said 2 for comedic effect and to emphasize the low number ;)

 UPDATE: After beginning this piece I started to watch episodes of the Cosby Show, for research you see, and wow was that show ever filled with a lot more than just color and humor! For examples: gender issues, stereotypes, relationships, addictions, as well as heavy focus on parenting and being children were all thickly themed throughout. And the parent/child relationship is pretty picturesque on the Cosby show. The kids are good and the parents are good. And more importantly, they show that conflicts of interest and egoic tendencies will occur, but it’s all in how you react and deal that matter: emphasis on love, understanding, trust and humor, a lot of humor! Life would suck without humor.

The Want-to-run-through-the-woods-naked Urge. Like grass peeking through the pavement.(as appeared on elephant journal)

Out for a late night walk.

That primal, want-to-run-through-the-woods-naked urge strikes as I notice grass peeking up through the cracked pavement.

I am that grass.

I am struggling to rise above the layers of asphalt covering my raw earth.

All of me is striving to blossom, to unleash my potential into a full open field of tall, green grass.

But so far, like the earth under pavement, only pieces of me have found cracks in the hard, grey layering.

Glimpses of my truth are peaking out in clusters of fighting, bright green blades of pure, earthly grass. More and more everyday, every season.

Unlike me, the grass did not weep when the hot asphalt was poured over it.

Nor did the grass seeds underneath become stricken with despair over the defeat of the last blades that were covered.

No.

They gracefully bowed down to the destruction.

And the seeds continue to be dormant, patient until the pavement cracks and bestows the required elements for growth: the right amount of water, the right amount of air and the right about of sunshine. No emotional bullshit attached.

My own dormant character aspects work in the same way (albeit, they had/have their fair share of emotional bullshit attached!). They’re waiting for the proper elements to line up, to aid in my growth. My required elements may not be as simplistic as water, air and sunshine. Though, maybe symbolically they are.

Maybe my three elements are: the right amount of truth, the right about of forgiveness, and the right amount of love. Perhaps when those three elements combine in areas of my psyche, is when growth is stimulated and potential is reached.

My road differs from the paved road in another way.

I am the one who controls whether or not city workers come to add more layers, covering up my protruding grass. Unlike real roads, I have the conscious ability to not let anyone, city worker or not, destroy my freshly grown greeneries—the freedoms I worked so hard to bring to the open air. I have the conscious choice to stop asphalt workers dead in their tracks: DO NOT ADD ANOTHER LAYER— OPEN FIELD IN PROGRESS!

I have evolved enough to know that it is, ultimately, my choice to become buried and destroyed.

Realizing I have choice and control over my road, my spirit, my potential is in itself a cluster of grass protruding from my road, my path. Revealing another simple, yet profound, truth that has taken years to escape through the cracks.

The Secret of the Secret!

It takes more than just thought: you have to put work into it!

Yep. Sorry to break it to you. The bearer of bad news, I am.

When I first watched the film “The Secret” I was captivated. I was enthralled at the power of creating abundant lives for everyone in the world!

What!? Human thought can make things happen!? I can attract things in my life!?

Does everyone know this!? EVERYONE HAS TO KNOW THIS!
I wanted to football huddle the global community and shout “THREE-TWO-ONE WE GOT THIS! HUT!” (hut? Do they say that then? I digress)

But seriously, I was all: HOLY SHIT! What power!

OK! I want this-this and this and I wana go here-here and here and I want to spread this love and empower everyone in the world!

*THINK THINK THINK THINK THINK THINK THINK THINK THINK THINK*

No results.

What the--? ← was my reaction to my lack of money and travel and spreading of world peace (and I may or may not have tried to "think" those few pesky stretch marks off my ass… wouldn’t YOU like to know!)

So what was the missing link to all that think-wanting?

I mean, most of the things I “desired” were things that would help myself, my family, my friends, and thousands of other people connect and live joyfully and explore the world for all it’s wonder… “Is the secret bullshit?” I wondered. (and shouted at times of stressful events: THE SECRET IS BULLSHIT!!)

But what I didn’t know: before I am able to receive and spread all those gifts of abundance: I need to get into a place of receiving, in my mind, in my heart.

I need to dig out the blockages of what is actually hindering me from living the life I want and imagine (for if there weren’t any blockages, wouldn’t I already be living that life?)

The Secret movement is powerful. It was powerful for me. It got me to really look at what I truly wanted to attract in my life. Which is its true message. We can have all the things we want in life! We just need to decide what we want, take steps towards making it all happen, and work on ourselves to make sure we are open and ready to receive all those possibilities! (so, it’s not just hold my breath, think it and wait for Fedex to drop it all off? Boo. —though who knows, maybe some people are naturally that blockage-free and receptive!)

With the work I have been doing with Yoga and Enlightenment studies, I have begun to see the mess of blockages that are deep within my subconscious. With studying my own mind and my relation to my world around me, I see that I wasn’t in a position to receive all the things I still desire. I would’ve only scared them all away back then!

So with each day, with each meditation, with each yoga session, with each reading, with each conversation, with each stressful event: I am discovering my truth, revealing my power, and attracting all the beautiful things I can harness in this world… stay tuned, world peace coming up in about 9-12 months!

(I am glad to say, I have collected some of the beautiful things through my thinking and opening: another beautiful child to love, finding my way to yoga and meditation, meeting and connecting with more and more people, a car I love, and true love for myself ← that last thing is HUGE! (oh and a wicked vacuum, too ;) (inside joke!)

(I wanted a bird so badly when I was a child. One that would land on my head, wash my dishes and help put my clothes on, like the ones in Cinderella and Snow White... Well here's my Bella, she lands on my head, has yet to master the other talents ;)

What abundance do you want in life? And what can you do to start attracting it?

(for more information about the Secret and the Power, go here: http://thesecret.tv/)

The Best "Random Toy Find" of Summer 2011:

Clothes-pin-chip-bag-closure-birds!!! (huh?)

I don't really like to buy many toys... especially flashy, blink-y, noisy, plastic-y, overprice-y toys....
so when my kids get drawn to random, inexpensive things that are toy-ish enough to play safely with.. I like to get them for them!
Like these birds the 2 yr old freaked out about (and the 10 yr old likes them too!)...

They are SUPER cute!

What are they, you ask? I have no idea... I think they may be clothes pins, ones that would no doubt leave deep, awkward shaped dents in your wet clothing (the beaks open!)



Some have guessed chip bag closures (but would 6 really come in a set? Does anyone ever have THAT many open bags of chips around? I should hope not!)

Do YOU know what they are!?

I'm not sure, and I don't particularly care, because they kept the 2 year old happily using her imagination for no less than 4 hours that day and loads of total hours ever since! (These birds have taken baths with her, road tripped with her, swam with her, jumped on the trampoline with her, and have gone for rides in anything in the house that can bring 6 lil random birds for rides! These were totally worth the dollar I spent on them!)

Check out the joy on this kids face, with her clothes-pin-chip-bag-closure-birds: in a cage!


Priceless.

Telling my babies to “heal” the boo-boos.

Today, the 2 year old has bitten her mouth 3 times, in the same place.
There’s a big chunk of skin that is irritating her a lot.
I told her to say, “heal mouth, please” (and she says it in the cutest way!)
I can tell by how she holds her cheek every so sweetly that she understands what I’m telling her, that she already understands the power of communicating with her body.
I tell her: tell your body to heal and go to sleep and sleep all night and when you wake, it will be all better, the pain will be all gone.

She delights in this possibility and runs to her bed and cuddles her blanket to her chin, she reaches out for kisses and hugs, and as I walk away I hear her softly say: “heal mouff, p'ease”.

This makes me smile on every level possible. (And I cant wait to find out what she thinks and feels in the morning!)

She believes.

I’ve learned a lot about the bodies healing ability this past year.
I’ve been going on and on about “healing meditation” and how darn easy it is!
And I would never go on and on about something that I didn’t first test on myself, successfully.

I had back pain for most of my life, as well as knee and hip pain.
But now, since learning the healing meditation technique, I haven’t had many issues with either!
And if I do, I quickly do a meditation on it and it vanishes, either instantly or the next day (some serious pains require a deeper meditation before bed- some may even take a few days.)

I want my children to be aware of this power, harness it as early as possible. I want them to know that the body, as well as its self-regulated functions, also takes instruction from the mind, we can speed up the healing process by believing we can! (You must fully believe!)

I tell my 10 year old about it all the time, she’s does it whenever she’s hurting.
Now that my 2 year old understands, I will remind her during every pain she has as well.

It's empowering to feel your power!

How I “Combat” Depression…

The place I started was removing the idea of “combat” or “fight” or anything that will add defense and resistance.

Years ago, I would start out with the idea of fighting it… I’d threaten it: SCREW YOU DEPSRESSION I WILL FIGHT YOU TO THE DEATH (Its or mine? I could never tell.)

Even more years ago, I would hide the fact (ok, completely deny the fact…) that I was depressed.

Me?

Depressed?

NoooOOOOOooo!!!!....................... yes I was.

I tried so hard to pretend to be “normal” (whatever that is!) Act as if feeling like killing myself is a normal occurrence in everyone’s life and being angry at the state of my world was my “thing” … that it didn’t mean that I was depressed, I was just edgy! (pfft!)

Then one year I finally gave in and admitted there might be a problem. (I had a daughter, I needed to get out of bed and stop crying!)

My next question was: what the heck now?

For the first week or 4 I cried.

I cried and cried and cried.

I felt (almost-but not quite) every ounce of pain and despair that I had bottled up over the years.
I gave in to the tugging of my depression. Let it consume me. Went into it.

And soon enough, my tears were dried up… but I was still sniffling.
I sniffled my way to a doctor I didn’t know and sat as a lump on his chair and stated: I think there is something wrong with me.

The typical list of questions ensued and my answers poured out.

The honesty, which I had been hiding from any one and every one, started driveling out in snot and tears and gasps for air to this Doctor who had never seen me before.

He smiled (?) and decided I was depressed and had “Generalized Anxiety Disorder” (in other words: I was freaking out about everything and had no sense of who I was!)

He prescribed me pills. At first I was reluctant. I didn’t want that. I wanted someone to talk to, who would fix my thoughts.

I asked him could he refer me to a psychologist. He kinda brushed his hand and said the pills should be enough, but I could talk to Dr. So and So when he gives me the prescription, if I wanted.

Ok, I sobbed. I felt a little excited to be able to FINALLY talk about all the pain I had been carrying.

The next day I went to Dr. So and So and quickly felt uneasy when I walked in the door.

The environment was old and outdated and not welcoming (not a place that cared about my pain AT ALL!) There were people just handing him paper and he’d give them pills in return.

No one was talking.

My thoughts: WTF!?

I finally saw a real-life pill pusher! Sketched-out, lost people were lined up, not wanting to talk, waiting for refills.

THIS was NOT for me. But I took my pills and left. I decided to take it in to my own hands for a while. Just pills. Lets see if they work.

I was on them for 3 months, 3 long, shaky months. At first I thought they were working, but I began to realize I was just numb.

I went to talk to two other psychologists, both of which felt much too sterile and stuffy for me. I did not feel comfortable so I didn’t talk and didn’t go back.

I decided that pills were not helping and I didn’t want to be pumping myself full of the crap. So I stopped them. No easing off. Just stopped. By the end of the first day I had to call my mom to come take my daughter. She had her for almost a week. I lay in the fetal position and cried and didn’t eat and smoked and shook. (I gave up smoking after this ,too!) It was one heck of a week!

When I finally got back to a normal I could handle, my daughter came home, and I started reading. And sadly, starting using my friends as psychologists. I would talk and talk about all the pain, all the suffering, and all my analysis of myself, my life.

That got old. And didn’t help as much as I was hoping (and I’d say it annoyed the shit out of the people in my life at the time.)

The reading helped, and I read a LOT. But it still wasn’t enough. For the next couple of years I started hunting for someone or something that I could release to. Searching obsessively for someone I could feel comfortable and safe with.

My first year of university I got excited about one of the schools psychologists I had met during an exam, he was babysitting us. He seemed so nice, so real, funny and he looked like he cared! I was excited. But sadly, it was a university, with thousands of stressed out students needing advice and listening to, he was much too booked up and I needed much more time than once every two weeks- MUCH more (...a lot of pain in there!) My hunt continued.

It took a long time. Luckily I was dealing quite well with the ups and downs of depression. I was a little bit more aware of it and all the readings were giving me tools to use when it hit, so it wasn’t as devastating as it used to be.

It was only one year ago that I found a true outlet. A place lead by a wonderfully receptive, supportive, and caring woman, Meranda Squires.

She ran the YES program (Yoga Enlightenment Studies). It was through the inner work and the sharing with her and the others in the group that I went deep into the roots of my depression and deep into all the reading I had done and finally got in touch in ways I had been searching for.

A place where I felt safe to share, to open up and to love myself. It helped me be honest with myself and others. That when I am feeling depressed, I’m not going to hide it and act as if I am a super hero. I’m going to go into it. I’m going to cry when I need to cry and I’m going to tell people that I’m crying and know it’s ok.
Being open about the truth of it all might help other people be open about their own pain and discomfort.

However, the YES program has ended for this year. And after going so deep into so many things, apart of me feels like I’ve picked old scabs and they are still bleeding from the edges now.

This time, this last month, when depression hit, I went into it.

I went in deeper than I have in years. I am missing my YES weekends, if I had a YES weekend this month I could've released so much of it there. But I don’t. I can’t. So I released it by driving for 6 hours on the highway, at night, in a rainstorm and fog, with moose crossing signs, a million transport trucks AND I was texting- without a seat belt on! And I didn’t die. (This proves to me that we die when we are ready to die, circumstances aren’t always the cause.) I felt a sense of risk, which helped. I felt a sense of being in the moment, in control- which also helped. I felt a sense of love for my family and pets sweep into my heart and dry up some of those tears. I meditated. I wasn’t scared and I cried and I stopped crying. And the next day, I felt much better, tired, but much better.

This September I start Yoga Teacher Training at the Lotus center. I’m excited. I think this will be a beautiful way to connect with my inner self and become more centered and better equip to deal with depression when it hits (and much less dangerous than late night highway driving!) I know yoga will help, it helps me now and I hardly have a clue what I’m doing yet!
It will also help me help other people, which is apart of my life's purpose (which I discovered with truth during YES).

I’ll end by quoting a family member: depression is not a choice, and we have no say in when it comes and goes, all we can do is cope with it while its here.♥

Truer words were probably spoken, but these are pretty true as well ;)