What is a real Woman?

Am I a real Woman?

“Real women have curves.” You hear this from many different places. As “plus size” women do we try to over compensate by declaring ourselves better for having curves? Are we fighting against what has made us feel rejected for so long?

By saying real women have curves we are enacting the same “us, them” attitude that has gotten us into this mess in the first place.

Real women come in all shapes, sizes, sexual orientations, races, talents, likes, dislikes. In fact, I would really like to take out the word “Real” all together. It implies that the opposite is somehow fake in some way. I have many friends without curves and I’m pretty sure they are real and I’m pretty sure they are “real” women.

Am I being too serious? Can’t we joke? Yeah, I mean believe it or not I am a jokester. But, as a society we have taken appearance and telling people what is or is not good wayyyyyyy beyond where it needs to go. But this is a serious issue in society and people do end up with eating disorders as a result of societal judgements. What role could humor serve though? Could making this issue more lighthearted among friends relieve some of the tense energy around it? I would say…maybe…and know your crowd.

I joke around with my friends all of the time in fact. We joke about our bodies, and everything really. But, to make wide-spread judgements and campaigns about what a real woman is or is not isn’t too funny to me.

So don’t worry  anymore, get out there. Be a woman. Do your thing. Owning your “woman-ness” has nothing to do with curves or not.

On Resistance…

You can resist what is, or shall I say you can try. 

With all of your might, fight that which exists in solid form.

It is there when you wake up, it is there when you sleep.

You can wrap it in brown paper and tuck it away in a trunk. 

You can give it away asking another to take it from you.

You can put a bow on it, so that it looks different.

Under the wrapping, under the bow, it is still what it is. 

You may even successfully put it away and “forget about it.” 

But sometimes when the wind blows, you are reminded of something, and you silently know it is that which you resist.

And it knows it is there. It is waiting there for you, ready for you to face it. 

And it seems the harder you try to resist it.

The more effort and strength you mount an attack against it, the stronger it seems to become. 

It becomes no stronger though, the strength of that which you resist is that thing plus your own resistance coming back at you.

Then, one day, you turn and face it. It hurts. 

It hurts so much deep within your soul, deep within your cells.

It dances and weaves it’s way through every part of your being.

You feel as if you might break into a million pieces.

This thing you now face is a part of you, and always has been.

The fear of acceptance flashes quickly. You sit with this fear, with this thing, with this resistance.

You realize if only you can understand this part of you, transforming that which you have resisted is possible.

You turn in the dark facing a mirror, and in the mirror it looks back at you and all the other pieces of yourself stare back from behind it, crying to be heard, to be seen again.

It is out of love for these other pieces, that you must love that which you fear the most.

Slowly with time you stop resisting.

But not like one who gives up hope.

You stop resisting with your heart and your mind open. 

You listen to this thing’s story. You feel what it is telling you. 

You sense within the fabric of your being that story for it comes in many ways. 

You draw it into your breath and for the first time in a very long time the pain subsides. 

Some realizations…for the morning.

Yellow Flower

I am writing a paper and am reflecting back on my life. I was doing this just this morning while sipping my coffee, sitting by the plants, watching the blue jays and letting the wind blow on my face. When, I thought of realizations…or quotes or something.

1. I am extremely sensitive. I feel the emotions of other people. I have binge ate many times just to dampen these feelings to a tolerable level. I am an open person, but I can also get tired interacting with so many people. I have had to create self-care techniques to combat this and learn to set boundaries. Not in a bad way, but a healthy way. So, I thought to myself, “Don’t be so open that yourself falls out.” I realized if I let myself open up so much, I have at times lost myself in the emotions of others. This is not healthy or helpful.

2. As a seeker of “information” I like to ponder things. I read and read and ask many questions. Which, of course, only leads to more questions. I realize I have to stop searching for the TRUTH and allow for the answers. This can really only happen when I am quiet enough to hear them. In addition, someone else’s answers are someone else’s answers. Can reading an inspiring quote offer a new insight? YES absolutely, but then stop and ask, “how does this fit into my life?” How do I personally feel about this. It can deepen the experience even more.

Just some morning ponderings!! Thanks! Good day!

I know my Clutter is there even when I try to pretend I don’t.



Memories? or just stuff…or both?

In what I would consider my “perfect” existence all of my things have a home, and I don’t have many of them. I live simply and the most important “things” to me consist of the moments shared with the ones I love. I cherish every memory, every smile, every hug. I keep them and hold them and make them part of me.

How can I remember ALL of these moments? How can I cherish them and not forget?

They say to look inward for answers. And I can say this is certainly a wise way to begin to find inner peace. However, what does our outer world say about our inner world?

This is a very interesting question for me to ponder this evening as I have spent the day cleaning, “sorting” and yes reliving memories. One box after another I questioned, “where did all this stuff come from?”

All kinds of emotions flowed through me today as I “cleaned” up my clutter. As I said, I like things to look nice. I love beautiful things and looking at home magazines to see how people decorate differently. No where in these magazines are piles of stuff. There are some that have more stuff than others, but there is a limit.

So, if I had to delve into the inner workings of myself after looking at my stuff, I would say many things. Here are a few.

1. I “hang on to things.” I do not part with things easily which might mean I have a problem letting go.

2. I feel bogged down by stuff and it makes me feel stuck sometimes. Yep, this is true. I do get overwhelmed easily. The more overwhelmed I get, the more I IGNORE the stuff. Then, the stuff becomes more stuff and I am swimming in a sea of stuff never to be found again. Do I do this with emotions too sometimes? Perhaps…

3. I cherish memories, and I think things are memories sometimes. Well, I can say, I LOVE finding something I haven’t see in years…I found an AIM chat I printed out from maybe 9th grade..HILARIOUS. I loved every second of it. If I didn’t save stuff, I would have forgotten how funny I was and how I am still having the same conversations I had years and years ago.

4. I like bath stuff…I think I went through a phase where I purchased beautiful smelling stuff to make myself feel better inside. WAIT, I bought STUFF in general to make myself feel better inside. oooo I am seeing a trend.

5. AVOIDANCE I have brought this up like 400 xs on this blog. Ya, that’s right it is a theme for me. I am doing it right now as I avoid typing a paper. Who doesn’t avoid stuff? I am trying more and more NOT to do this, because the stuff I avoid has a way of building and sneaking up on me in a not so pleasant way.

6. Guilt- I found myself feeling guilty that I had so much stuff and probably was wasting things I didn’t need. First of all I thought how beautiful nature is in and of itself, not piled high with stuff. Second of all, I wanted to make sure I donated anything I didn’t need. Third of all, why did I buy stuff I didn’t need in the first place? I am sure now, I could have used that money in much more meaningful way. It is hard for me to admit this on here. That’s interesting. I know I write about not feeling guilty and beating yourself up. However, instead of beating myself up, I would like to note that instead I can look at this as a learning lesson. I have really stopped buying excess things now, and I am working to simplify. So, in a way this is good. But, I still have a hard time letting go.

7. Sometimes I worry that if I get rid of something, it means getting rid of a person, or memory of someone. HOW DO YOU REMEMBER IF YOU DON’T HAVE PHOTOS/MOMENTOS etc.? I think maybe a good idea if to take a picture of the item and keep a scrapbook? I don’t know I am not an organizational specialist (BY ANY MEANS). I am really just throwing out ideas here.

8. I am of a creative mind. I see a use for almost anything. OOOOO maybe that string would go well in a mixed media painting? OR that key could make an interesting necklace… This, saving it in case I need it mentality has brought me to where I am now. I am sure if given all the time ever, I could find a use for every single thing.

9. I don’t like to be put into a box, or said another way, “I like to color outside the lines.” As much as I say I like simplicity and order, I am also uncomfortable with it. It makes me nervous in a way. Having to always keep things in their place is really hard for me because I can be a bit obsessive at times. So, I would rather go with the flow. Hmmmm interested change here. I really like things to be tidy and look good, and in theory I would like things to be organized, but having things in specific places feels daunting. I think I have just found the key to mind so to speak…but maybe more on this another day.

10. My purse usually has a few books in it, a pen, some paper. Maybe some other random things. Some perfume, or jewelry. What I sometimes lack is my credit card(because I left it in my coat pocket at home) or the check I owed so and so. BUT don’t worry I have the “Highly Sensitive Person’s Handbook” or “How to Heal from Surgery book” or some other light reading. So, my purse looks kinda like my room…filled with books and other musings…but maybe lacking any order? Well, what about chaos? There is an inherent order within is there not? Perhaps, I am going somewhere with all of this clutter and disorganization after all?

What I have learned about me and my clutter after typing this…

I like artwork. I like books. I like diving in and swimming in the ocean of life. I love my friends, I love my family. I cherish as my most prized possessions being, the times we have shared. I have a bit of a creative streak, that some would classify as disorganized. I light to get carried away by the moment. I doooo avoid things and then they become bigger, and then I get overwhelmed and then I avoid them more. ooops. I have to make a concerted effort not to do the above mentioned avoidance. I am both drawn to and dislike order. It scares me in some ways and entices me in others.

Sometimes, my clutter weighs me down…and I know it’s there calling my name to organize it. Even though, I am pretty sure it knows I will never be able to truly organize it. How do you organize, “random piece of paper, or this small momento that reminds me of 3rd grade?” But, at times, my clutter takes me on a trip. It reminds me of 3 hour long AIM conversations about the depths of teenage dating life, or the time I wrote a poem about lucky charms. It shows me how much my grandma loved me, or the pony I rode when I was 6. It shows me that my life has already been so deeply rich that although some days have been hard and painful, I have endless things and people to be deeply grateful for. So, you see clutter is not an easy fix. My clutter, my stuff has a story.




Trusting the River/the Path

I heard in the distance/deep within a whisper.
Calling to me, reminding me.
My path saved me.
When I could not see it/I felt it.
The path knew more than I knew, but it stayed present, because it was fixed.
I crawled on my knees in the dirt and I looked dirty.
I felt dirty. I felt weighted down, by the boulders and the bricks.
I wore them on my back, not just mine, but everyone else’s.
I would gladly take your boulders and your weight and put in on my back.
It was too hard for me to see you carry it.
But then, I took it, and you replaced it with a different brick, and I became heavier.
I sank into the mud. My mud and your mud swirled together and neither of us could breathe.
I still heard the whisper and i put my hand up out of the mud with all of my strength.
I grasped the path and I flopped myself onto it. No strength yet to do anything on it.
All I could do was lay on it/lay in it and let it guide me.
Like a river flowing I hung on to a raft any raft a long as it was mine.
It was hard because I had so many bricks and boulders with me.
I looked down in the river to see that there were other boulders and bricks lining the river bed.
These bricks seemed to be glistening, to be transformed somehow by the water.
What if I could let go of some of these bricks I thought?
My rocks, your rocks, what is the water needed them too?
Slowly, I began to let go of them. I placed them/or let them plop into the water.
I knew not how they would land, or if they would just be swept away.
But I let go of my need to know and control where they would go.
Knowing the river/my path would know what to do.
As time went on, the boulders and the river worked together to form an amazing waterfall.
Things were picking up speed now, and I felt lighter. I felt like things were falling into place.
Other people came to see their rocks in the water. To see the power of resiliency.
Suddenly, we all felt lighter. We didn’t know how much time had passed, just that at this moment we felt free.

Taking a leap while still having fear and not having all of the answers.

Taking a leap while still having fear and not having all of the answers.

I want to admit something…I love having answers. I have always loved this. Is love the right word? I have always been drawn to pondering to wondering to asking the questions. My parents tell me as a child one of my favorite sayings was, “but why?” Still to this day that remains with me. And now as an adult, I understand that we can never know the entirety of any answer. Be it all the viewpoints in a disagreement, or the the way the human liver works. I think as I “relax” into adulthood, I have come to realize that this constant need to intellectually know has held me back at times. Be it, in my career or in my personal growth and facing my eating disorder. I have felt so often the need to get a perfect answer. My need to have the perfect answer to things has also, at times, translated into wanting to “be perfect.” What is this drive for perfectionism? It is a roadblock to happiness that’s what it is.

My need for perfectionism could be seen in my early days of counting every calorie down to the very last one, or weighing myself 6 times a day to see if I had gained or lost any weight. I also sometimes found myself stuck in my work at school because it would never be perfect enough or “complete enough.” This need to perfect something takes away the joy and the awe for actually experiencing it. To deconstruct every detail takes away from the wholeness of the thing itself. I was slowly breaking myself into pieces. I was reducing myself to how well I “followed a diet.” Thinking about this now I actually get tears in my eyes.

I was and am so much more than how I do one particular thing. I feel my heart beating now and I know my capacity to love. I know that the moments I sit in love with my family and friends, that I am realizing my true self. As I type these words, I feel deep gratitude that instead of being stuck in this place of self criticism, I have somewhat been freed.

However, recently, I have been wanting to take on new endeavors. I have not felt “ready” to do so. Many deep loving friends have encouraged me and think I am crazy for believing I am not ready. One of the things I have come to know is that people may never be truly 100% ready when a challenge arrises, but there is a transition point that comes when one takes the leap and when one begins to fly. There is a middle point, when the fear is palpable, but despite it the answers arise.

I have encouraged many people to follow their dreams. It is easy for me to see the potential in someone else, and tell them about it with great enthusiasm. However, when it comes to myself, I am less inclined to do so. Perhaps, I am just afraid of failure.

I write this on my blog about having an eating disorder because, one’s relationship to food and body image highlights but one area of someone’s life. When I let go of my need to “diet” I let go of something very real. Slowly, other things I wanted to do have crawled in. And, so without having the all the answers or the “perfect” set of wings, I must try to fly.

Reflection on the discussion of the “ego.”

Lately, much discussion has centered around letting go of the “ego” etc. I have been pondering this lately and asking what does this really mean and is it good? I know in my life when I am making a decision I sometimes ask myself am I making this decision from a heart-centered place or an ego place? What do I mean by this? For example, would going to school for another degree fulfill me in any way? Am I trying to get another degree so that I feel good about myself or so that society can view my title and think I am more accomplished? This would be that type of question. The answer is I love school, I love learning, but yes having a certain title sometimes feels good and yes society loves titles. Do I NEED to go to school to learn? Do I NEED a title to have knowledge? No, not at this time and not about what I want to learn about. If I was going to learn surgery, sure maybe I would need a specialized skill.

So, the answer to this is not as easy as it may appear and in addition, it is based on mixed sentiment.

I think instead of the ego, I would like to call it belief systems. Belief systems can either stand in our way at certain times, or help us. I think it is a mistake to say the ego is bad or judge it in this way.

Why do I think this? I think this is because usually it is trying to protect us. An example is, I have fear surrounding certain things in my life. These fears have limited me in different ways. However, to say they are false beliefs also isn’t exactly true either. They were or are true for me at some point in my life, and served that purpose to keep me safe. Did they keep me safe? Maybe, Maybe not. Do I still need to hold on to them to reach new areas of achievement in my life? No. No I really do not need them.

Thanking these beliefs for being there is an interesting experience. I recently read an article and one of the things it mentioned was to thank the negative emotion for being there, for trying to protect you. So, I did this. What I felt inside was interesting. Instead of the usual sense of resistance towards emotions where I get mad and say, “uggghhhh I wish I did not have that fear.” I thought, “o, it was a defense mechanism.” The resistance went down a little bit. Is my fear totally gone? No, but my understanding of it is completely transformed. In a sense, it is like during relaxation exercise where I am imagining being by the ocean and the day’s list of “to-dos” comes into my mind, I accept that it is there, say hello, and allow it to pass. The more I focus on being annoyed or try to not think about the to-do list, the more I think about it.

Acceptance-This word/this theme comes again and again. What is it about acceptance that is so powerful? It is not giving in and saying, “I don’t care.” Instead, no it is taking a step back noticing and integrating that thought. It is like the river that finds a new way to flow around the rock.

So, I wonder, what is the point of fighting with “the ego”. What is the point of fighting our negative beliefs and emotions? What if we turn and face them and look at them. What if we thank them for trying to protect us? Will they transform us?

Just some thoughts…

Feedback is always appreciated 🙂