Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sometimes I have something to say

I want to educate myself.  I want to know mathematics, science, sentence construction, and a foreign language. So I've gone to my bookshelf and pulled the M encyclopedia off the shelf. I have read it four times now. I have learned a lot; but no matter how many times I read it, I still have not learned everything I want to yet. My mind yearns for more.

I want to take care of my body. I am sure that mangoes are good for me. I've been eating them for weeks now. Just mangoes. As well as toe touches. So I'm eating something healthy and I'm doing toe touch for exercise. Yet I don't feel all that great. My body yearns for more.

My spirit is craving connection with my creator. So I pray to God and I read the Bible. I study the Bible as the word of God. I feel closer to God, but I don't feel communion with God. My spirit yearns for more.

I have learned over the past five years that to nourish my spirit in only one way is as ridiculous as trying to nourish my mind with one book or my body with one type of food.

When I was growing up in the Baptist church, it was (still is) widely taught and hammered home, that there is only one way to God. Through Jesus Christ. Any deviation from that path is the devil leading one astray. That belief had its grip on me very tightly until about the time I hit my 40's. I truly wish it hadn't taken so long for me to examine this closely held belief. I might've been able to save my daughters from years of spiritual struggle.

What I now believe is that my spirit needs taken care of just as much as my physical body and my mind. I believe there are many different ways to nourish my spirit and I am unafraid to listen, learn and decide for myself what ways are best for me. For me, meditation nourishes my spirit more than prayer. I prefer to sit still, in communion with God. Spirit to spirit. I take that time to connect to the source of my spiritual energy and refuel. I take that time to ask God to use me to help others. When I commune with God through meditation, I feel Him with me all day long. It's so much deeper for me than using feeble words to communicate with him through prayer.

I watch my daughters struggle and I remember struggling like that in my twenties. With good and evil. Darkness and light. Never realizing it was all an internal struggle and not some outside force trying to lead me astray. The church teaches us that we are inherently evil because of Adam and Eve's disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden. That we are not good enough.  I do not accept this as truth. My spirit is neither good nor evil; it simply is. And although I do not yet know its purpose, I do know that it craves to commune with God; who knows, maybe that is the purpose.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Radical Thought

I've been flirting with an idea for some time now. It's been brewing for years, but it has solidified more in the past year. It's the idea of loving my body. I've learned to love myself over the years, it has come slowly with age. I'm 45 years old and I love me. But loving my body has taken more effort...more time. As a culture, we are merciless to women, finding fault everywhere. And even intelligence doesn't seem to be much of a weapon against the barrage of constant messages that tell us we are not good enough. I know. Because I am one helluva smart woman.

I have come to the conclusion that we suppress women's bodies as a way to take away their power. I am an avid watcher of AMC's series Mad Men; and although it isn't exactly history, it reminds me that there are billions of dollars hinging on the fact that we, as women, feel bad about ourselves. As long as we feel bad about our wrinkles, our rolls, our stretchmarks, our straight hair, our curly hair, our light skin, our dark skin, our thighs touching, our thighs not touching, our skin, our lips, and so on and so forth, then our energy is focused away from knowing our true essence and purpose in life. We become so wrapped up in our perceived shortcomings that we forget how truly incredible and powerful we are.

I can remember the first time I felt shame about my body was in the seventh grade. I was in gym and all the girls were being weighed in front of the entire class. I can't recall my weight, but I do recall there was only one girl who weighed more than me, and I remember being humiliated about weighing in front of everyone like that. My friends mother used to tell me not to worry about my weight, it was only baby fat. I don't remember my mom ever saying anything to me about my weight or nutrition. My friends mom was wrong. My baby fat was still around when I had my own babies :)

I grew up with four older sisters. I was the fat one. I heard them complain about their bodies. alot. I don't know what carnival mirror they were looking at, because they were all but perfect. But I imagine, like most of our society, they were comparing themselves to an ideal that was pure illusion.

There was a time in my late twenties when I started to love my body, but I was quickly put in my place by a sister who had grown up not loving her body, even at a size 4, and I imagine that in her mind, if she didn't love her body there was no way someone who weighed 60lbs more than her could possibly love theirs. When I expressed to her that I was comfortable with my size, that I felt more like myself, like me; with a hearty scoff, she conveyed that she believed me to be deceiving myself and her. That one discussion squashed any ideas that I should feel anything but disgust for my 180lb body.

It is a common pasttime for women to complain to one another about their different body parts. We have become so accustomed to it, that we do not even see anything wrong with putting ourselves down and hating parts of ourselves. Stop hating your arms, your thighs, your nose, and start loving them. Love ALL of yourself. In one week I had two sisters write to me with body hate. And although one might say that it was only a small note of self improvement; I know her history with her arms. I've heard it since she was in her twenties ;) I love your arms, they are beautiful. They are great huggers.

But in the end, what I have learned is that the struggle is not with my weight, but the way that my weight, as a woman, has defined how others think about me and how I am supposed to think of myself. There are people who want me to feel shame about my body, and I refuse to oblige them any longer. My body is not perfect for the cover of a magazine (in todays society), but it is perfect for me. Do not let magazines and television dictate to you what beautiful is. There are infinite definitions and examples of beauty on this planet. You are one of them. You are worthy. I am worthy. I am beautiful. My body is beautiful. Do not forget to pursue your dreams because you are preoccupied with false shortcomings of your physical self. Don't fall for it. You have more important things to do on this planet. Don't let anyone take away your power.

Peace & Love (YOUR BODY!)

P.S. I bought my first bikini and can't wait to rock it at the beach!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Today is a Washington day. The sun is shining so hard, doing its best to keep us warm. But the crisp chill is in the air and the wind is blowing. As soon as I walked out of my door this morning, it takes me back to Washington, to my sister.
Washington, in itself, doesn't hold much meaning for me. But it is a dramatic backdrop of unbelievable scenery and fresh air that brings you so close to nature that the memories you make there are imprinted a little harder, a little deeper.
I've been sitting at my desk for a few hours, I go outside to soak in the sun and it hits me again. Tears sting my eyes and my heart.