The Fear of Change

create, science says, social awareness, your body

Good golly. I really can’t say this in a brief way.

In a nutshell: I’ve been studying Existential Therapy and Carl Jung before that and have essentially called to question every single aspect of my reality in the past three weeks. (Which is not separate from LIFE that keeps happening to me…. that I keep attracting/creating). Part of this process has been creating art work that explains the concepts. What a beautiful challenge.

So yesterday I realized that social media is a giant crutch/addiction/detriment to my self-actualization so I’m on a indefinite Facebook hiatus. And then I started looking at the WHYs behind my use of Instagram because I don’t want to give that up aka I’m extremely resistant to that change and wasn’t sure if it was even something that I wanted to potentially ever put on the cutting block.

Long story short my response was to create a new Instagram called @reallifereg that only has pictures from my trash bins. This was a huge wakeup call about my own lingering body image issues and self depreciating beliefs about my own appearance plus called into question the WHY was that picture not good enough. I explain in each caption why I chose to delete the photo.


I created a one image representation of all of this :

____________________________________________________________

Here’s the more polished explanation with references if you wanna geek out:

My piece is the most succinct visual representation of a rather convoluted but powerful experience that I had considering James Bugental’s contribution to existential psychotherapy. In Corey’s explanation of Bugental’s approach to resistance on page 144 he shares that, “Forms of resistance include intellectualizing, being argumentative, always seeking to please, and any other life-limiting pattern.” I have been processing that one line for over a week because of my constant employment of those tactics that I had never viewed as self-limiting before.

After researching Bugental’s explanation of resistance which included reading a powerful article entitled, A Fate Worst Than Death: The Fear of Changing (1984) I sat with why I am resistant to a career change. That boiled down to perfectionism and always seeking to please. From there I explored all of the myriad of ways that I am a perfectionist and what that means to my self actualization as well as my short and long term goals. This lead to re-evaluating my use of social media, specifically the visual perfection that I have curated on Instagram that serves my public persona but does absolutely nothing for my internal self.

After deleting my Facebook account I created a new public Instagram feed that has only has pictures that I had previously deleted found in my trash bin on my phone. In each caption I wrote the reason why I chose not to post the photo and delete it. In this very revealing exercise I realized that so many of my deleted pictures were “selfies” and how intertwined those deletions were with my ego, being self-conscious, old patterns of body dysmorphia and a general malaise with the changes in my face as the result of aging. The large piece that I printed encapsulates that entire process of self-exploration in one image. Referencing a time in my life where I was extensively studying anatomy and had a very different relationship to all bodies, mine included. My piece is an ode to a real, non-resistant, surrendered acceptance of my self entirely and the necessity to be honest about that process.

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Things That Live In My Womb

create, soulfood, your body

I inherited the blood, cells, DNA, tears and sweat
of thousands of women.
Four of us have shared a table,
broke bread and called ourselves mother.

 

My great-grandmother
an elusive and frigid woman.
Not the first in the chain of insecurity I’m sure,
but my first reference point.
I have never understood how my own mother loved her so.

 

My grandmother,
well she’s had two lives. Is of two worlds.
Children were a textbook endeavor.
Philosophy and materials were much more suitable.

 

My mother, sensitive and callused.
The product of confusion and regret
Gilded in an oily slick of redemption.
The child to make up for the one given away.

 

The child of confusion.
She has stumbled through life
trying to fill holes of inconceivable depth.

 

To fill them with:
babies
bread
flora and fauna.
Tucking herself into a flower bed of lonely each night.

 

Born redemption,
grew to be shame.
Mouth covered and the last morsels raped away.

 

One- two- three
We never healed you.

 

One- gone six years too soon.
Two-gone six years too late.
Three – forever at your heals.

 

Here’s four mama. Born redemption.
Hold her with me.

and they all fall down

social awareness, your body

In the last two days two men that were once friends in Lawrence have died. With a void of any information as to why and how they passed I’m left to assume that they went the way of far too many of my other young male friends from home. An overdose. An inebriated freak accident. Something that will never make the obituary. Something that will always weigh heavy on their loved ones chests. Something that didn’t have to be.

I wrote this yesterday. I add another tick today with a very heavy heart.

_____________

How surreal
to watch the boys you call home
drop dead one-by-one
18-20-26-29-41.

How surreal
to lament a life that you haven’t
touched in ten years.

To lament
a life that could have been theirs.
There would have been
recovery -relapse-recovery
forgiveness-trust-pride.

But there you are
blue, cold, dead.

Another tick on the
countdown to
everyone you know will die.

I don’t know who to be mad at
you ?
the place?

The town that nurtured us
into fearless adventurers .
The same town that spoon feed  it’s children
ruckus, party and drugs.

The town who forgot to teach
resilience, family and self-care.

Boy- you inherited your priorities
upside down and inside out.
Man- you are a vessel.
Not a party.

________________________

 

 

 

Making Peace With The Fact That You Look Like A Video ..Girl..

silly goose, your body

My back side came to be in the 8th grade. Not that it wasn’t disproportionate before hand, Ev is going to be blessed in all of the same ways I can see it now, but puberty did not spare me. I remember walking up the stairs in junior high and a boy gasping out loud ohh my God who is that?! I turned around and he was shocked little ol’ Reggy from the block looked like JLo from the waist down. None of us were ready. 

I’ve had a love hate relationship with my body as a whole and my whole ass for the better part of my life. By the grace of God and the help of  my friends I have largely stopped waging war against my body in the past four-ish years. I’m still working on fully embracing it. Yet still times pop up when I surprise myself, shall I share…

Yesterday, on the international holiday of woman stuffing them selves into strappy contraptions, lace and satin, I abided.  A few days prior J and I had perused through the negligee department of our local Dillards. He pointed at all things minuscule and see through while I held up floor length opaque frocks suitable for Grandma. At one point a passer-by laughed out loud at us. I reminded often, “Jesus Christ, Julius I’m somebody’s mother”. Truth. But the truth is also that millions of mothers on this planet are workin’ it. Being a mother in no way diminishes your sexuality if you don’t let it. My reality is it just seems so silly to dress like a stripper (yes, this is subjective) regardless of the holiday, company, or sobriety.

In defense of pubic hair, cotton granny panties, sweat pants and extra large t-shirts. 
-Google gynecological health. Hair is for a reason.
-Silks, satins, Lycra and all things wedged up your butt crack do not breath and vaginas need to breathe.
-No body wants to sleep with under wires jabbing, panties creeping, garters and thigh highs. And let’s be real after the fun I’m going to pass out like a brown bear going down for winter hibernation.
-The realest of the real reasons, the pomp and circumstance lasts about 5 seconds. Then we get stripped naked any way. Let’s do the math: 15 minuets exfoliating, shaving and plucking. 20 minutes figuring out how the G-damn hookey contraptions work, 5 minutes getting your winged eyeliner just right- we know how every man loses his shit over that perfect angled tip… 5 more minutes tucking and sucking and doing 360s in the mirror, fuck gotta readjust at least one of the straps and bobbles. That’s a total of 45 minutes for 5 seconds of glory. I’m no mathematician but God damn.

So yesterday because I’m a selfless person and sympathetic to the cries of, “You just don’t understand what men want” (I may have asserted the aforementioned arguments a time or two) I strapped my self in. It took just as long as I thought. And then I turned a round. HOLY FLIPPING LORD I literally looked like a centerfold for some B rated nearly-porn magazine. I’ve got booty for days. Not news. But still somehow shocking in the right rig.

There’s some bizarre disconnect in seeing your business casual, mom hair cut self so sexualized (for me,  if this isn’t your struggle then good for you sister let’s hear your raawwwrrrr). I don’t know if it’s easier to walk into a room where the spectator is the love of your life and one of the silliest people you know or if I would prefer a total stranger. It’s hard to embody a persona to fit your body. I did a good job of not taking myself remotely seriously. Because I just, couldn’t.

So, who won? No one and both of us. J learned that the impossible was a possibility. And I learned that I have to go through this entire ritual more. Not for him or any one else but for me. Because I’m so damn used to looking at my self covered in dog fur, tussled hair and ratty pajamas that my body in… well fitting… attire looks utterly foreign. Last night I literally looked in the mirror and didn’t remotely recognize the girl woman before me. Even if I look like one of those rap guy’s girl friends and that’s not who I am in my heart of hearts I need to make friends with that reality. All of me is mine. 

This morning I woke up trying to make heads or tails of all of this. So I put on leggings and I wore them as pants. Not because I love that look, but because I have to get used to seeing alllllllll of my ass in it’s full glory instead of tucking it into something in hopes that it won’t look so obscene. Hi my name is Reagon, and I have a ginormous beautiful full derriere and I’m not apologizing for it anymore. If it shocks you, entices you or repulses you well that’s your business not mine. I’m doing ALL of me from here on out.

Rawwrrrrrr, and love.

 

 

Energy. To Be A Teen Again

science says, soulfood, your body

I accidentally stopped writing here and started ranting to my professors.
I’ll leave this here for when I need reminded that overdrive is not a fulfilling existence.

Response: Brainstorm, The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain

I am just three years out side of adolescence and I’ve launched a search party to find my true self- my ESSENCE. This has looked like spiritual exploration, ravaging self-help books, therapy and meditation. All of these efforts to tap back into the ‘me’ that I was when I was sixteen years old. Before this book I had mostly felt like the exception to the “tortured emotional floundering” of adolescence. I loved my early years of adolescence. (The later ones looked an awful lot like adulthood in my opinion.) I had a robust social network, I had a very sure sense of myself, I was confident, filled with hope and aspirations, I was in love, I was a practicing artist and I was free. I have always held those years close as a magical time and a place that I would like to get back to.

It turns out not to be magic but instead to be biology and evolution. Funny how at the root of all psychology, especially human development, are the adaptations that we cemented in place over millions of years of evolving. According to Siegel’s acronym I was deeply fulfilled by each letter: emotional spark, social engagement, novelty and creative exploration. It turns out I was living the upside of this formula.

Depending on the season of your life each reader will take something out of the book, which is pretty wonderful. For me at this juncture in time I’m piecing together how to make many of his skills and information serve me as an adult. There’s some solace in knowing that my dopamine levels are more regular than they once were, that the appeal of statistically life threatening risk is waning. Mostly, because I escaped those years with out any real devastation or addictions. I did walk away witch a wealth of knowledge and a few reminders that bless me in new ways each year.

I did appreciate that he develops the practice of Mindsight over the chapters. Mindsight is a set of skills that help you integrate your brain. Adolescence is all about increasing your neural integration, which is how one coordinates and balances the internal world of others and ourselves (Siegel, p. 54). This is possible when the individual parties comprising a relationship are allowed to be, “Unique and specialized yet linked” (Siegel p.53). Essentially this is how on both an individual and global scale we can foster flourishing social connection and meaningful relationships from the intimate to the casual. Integration brings harmony.

The term harmony keeps popping up everywhere for me like a big flag screaming THIS! HERE!. Each time I stop and think yes, that’s the goal figure out how to get that. The embodiment of harmony has felt really distant and elusive as of late. I feel that Siegel’s take on integration is a good framework that I can fill in with personal practices in to help me grow highly functioning, supportive, challenging, social bonds and networks. Later in the book he explains how belonging to a bonded peer group has literally meant life or death over the millennium of human existence. At the end of the day we can’t lose sight of the fact that we are animals straddling the constructions of modern society. I will add Mindsight to my mystical toolbox of resources as I seek peace and contentment in this wild Western world.

The most striking part of this book was something so simple, “All thoughts and feelings are energy” (Siegel, p. 46). It’s so obvious but so abstract during the course of a normal day. In a modern Western context I think that we have confused the term energy. We associate it with being tired, with needing to eat; we’ve simplified it to something purely physiological. We often miss that the laws of physics apply to all energy including that of our own production. Energy can never be created or destroyed, just transformed. I often find physics the most esoteric experience.

Siegel explains that at its core the mind regulates the body’s energy. Duh. But, we commonly get bogged down in the functions of each structure and don’t heed the big picture. That our brains are working on a macro and micro scale to keep not only keep us alive but to very complexly conduct a higher level of thought and function not the least of which is emotional.

I have personally been expending way too much energy in the anecdotal sense since the first of the year. I’ve been stressed, consumed in rumination over ultimately trivial interactions. This past weekend with the help of this book I really had to take some time to evaluate how carelessly that I was expending my energy. Seigel’s explanation of attention as how we direct the flow of information and a relationship as sharing energy and information flow couldn’t have been better timed (Siegel, p.45-53). I think that like people, information comes into your life with some destiny. This text on the teenage experience was incredibly applicable to my current adult existence. I agree with Siegel that there is good reason for us communally and as individual adults to strive to get back to this highly experiential exciting sense of life, ESSENCE is a very powerful model.

How to loose 7 pounds in 12 hours!!!!

your body

Breaking news guys, the solution that all of us have been searching for! Have you been struggling to shed that last 5 to 10 pounds? Tried every fad diet in the book and nothing seems to work.

Worry no more. Following is a step by step fool proof guide to lose all of that pesky poundage with out doing a single exercise or giving up carbs:

1- Aquire a Taco Cabana breakfast taco (yes it just takes one). If there are no Taco Cabana’s in your area you can substitute any Taco Bell, Taco Johns or McDonalds breakfast egg product just be sure to leave it setting around for a few days or rub it on the bottom of your shoe. My preferable mode of acquisition is wait for some total stranger to deliver them to my office and offer them to the masses for free. That’s the beauty of the pharmaceutical industry folks.)

show498_image7421.gif__1920x1920_q85

2- Now that you have said taco, refrain from asking any pertinent questions like: Are these fresh? Did you get them today or have they been sitting in your hot car for an extended period of time? Did the Taco Cabana staff look hygienic today? Did you piss them off in any way that may have made them sabotage this food?

3- Eat the taco, but first take the moral high ground and take off the bacon. Well, because you are a newly former vegan and it’d be really hypocritical to shove the worst of the worst processed meat product down your esophagus.

4- Now you can enjoy the little unsuspecting taco. Make sure to put a lot of red chile on it that makes everything taste better and dismiss the memory of the massive E. coli out break from New Mexico chili that happened just last year. Not you, not today.

5- Eat the whole damn thing despite it not tasting so great, after all there is no bacon, so it’s basically a health food. And health food isn’t always supposed to be delicious.

6- Wait 3.5 hours. Make sure to ask all of your co-workers during this period of time if they feel sick from those tacos. Try to brush off all of the comments like, “Ehhh no, I started to eat one but it didn’t taste right”.

7- Here’s the part where you loose 5 lbs in 3 hours. I can liken it to the after effects of drinking a whole bottle of this laxative ambrosia.

Hollywood

For added weight loss just go ahead and sit on the toilet with your head in the trash can, it’s much more efficient to ‘metabolize’ your weight out of both ends.

If for any reason you get tired of jumping up from a reclined position out of fear that this will be the time that you actually shit yourself, then try lying on a trash bag in the bathroom. Are you stuck in a public bathroom, don’t fret , everything exploding out of you is basically water after a few hours, no one will have any idea that you’re not just peeing really hard.

As long as you don’t die from dehydration.
*Warning* Facilitating your own death by forgoing any further liquids in hopes that the endless sea of barf and liquified shit will dry up is not advised.

*Please consult your physician before trying any new diet or exercise routine*

Before                                           After

before Anna             anna-nicole-smith-net-worth1

Well except that your face is significantly more distressed and haggard looking.

GMO babies

organ donation, science says, your body

GMO babies (coming to a nursery near you)!

I either want one that looks exactly like me, talks exactly like me and acts exactly like me (okay so fine I want a clone but I want it to be a snuggly baby first) or I want some really beautiful exotic looking daughter that has a French accent, knows how to roll cigarettes and talks like a walking thesaurus. Can they make that in embryo? I bet if I spent enough time and money in China I could get top seed on the hot female geniuses list (that’s real, click here).

Were you so busy reading about the pregnant manager of a Texas Popeye’s that got fired after being robbed at gun point that you missed that this month Chinese scientists genetically altered embryo DNA!

I really can’t decide how I feel.

I mean I’ll take my margherita pizza sans the GMO tomatoes and I’m not so hip on selective abortions but designer babies? Hmm.

Here’s the thing the possibility that in a reasonable time that we would be able to eradicate all kinds of rare horrible genetic diseases. Have you ever spent any time researching blood diseases, like the one that these scientists were targeting in their experiments? It’s a shitty life. Being born and existing anywhere under any circumstances with  a life altering chronic medical condition sucks. Period. Yes, you can preserver. Yes, with the right support team, medical innovation and amount of money you can have a externally normal life. But really, wouldn’t it be nice if we live in a world free of cystic fibrosis, tay-saches disease, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia and swiss cheese cartilage dysplasia (that’s a real thing) amongst others.

I feel like were back to the anti-vac-ers debate where we have to pull out horrid images of mumps and polio to remind people that science makes our human lives far superior to what it was 5 to 100 years ago. Seriously.

The scientific community, humanitarians, ethicists, people using their brains for anything other than reality tv everywhere are flipping the fuck out.

Why? There’s an unwritten code amongst scientists that you don’t fuck with real human DNA. Multiple scientific organizations released statements condoning such activities (it’s research). Their reasoning, we’re not ready. We haven’t flushed through all of the moral debates. We’re playing God.

Here’s my issue. On the micro scale-

1- These scientists were using a new technology that has made DNA altercation far more precise than ever before.
2- They used inviable embryos that wouldn’t survive if introduced to a womb as a way to wart off ethical debate.
3- They are experiementing. This is how science works. Someone has to rock the g-damn boat. Even if that boat is called human life.

On a macro scale-
I really understand not wanting to open the lets go messing with human DNA can of worms. Sure there may be (okay there are) mad scientist and no actual Superman. But, like all kinds of medical technology we have to put some blind trust in the morality of scientist. Butttttt then again there’s animal testing.

Speaking of animal testing. If we’re so high and mighty about the sacredness of human DNA maybe we should exercise a little more humanity towards the 125,000 primates prisoned, tortured and murdered in US laboratories every year.Those are actually born, living, feeling, breathing, emotional creatures that are in my opinion much more sacred than unviable human embryos.

Mostly my defense of this kind of highly controversial research (experimentation). Is not that far from my defense of stem cell research. We are willing to go to all of these extreme lengths to keep those of us who are living alive. Including, taking a beating heart out of a brain dead body performing a four hour surgery that literally costs 1.2 million dollars over the first year. All so that we can keep smoking cigarettes, eating cheeseburgers and/or find a work around for defects genetic or otherwise that occurred at no fault of the patient. Over 2,000 of these are performed in the United States every year.

I wonder if those patients spend an amount of time commensurate with the amount of science, innovation and unprecedented research that lead to this magical procedure that save thousands of people from desperate life ending situations every year considering the morality of the procedure that they jump through crazy hoops to get. A heart transplant is just one example.

My counter to this argument is that there’s a sliver of my heart that longs for all of the good, smart, funny, innovative people on this planet to pass some sort of standardized test that says you get to move to this sustainable utopia where we have eliminated the concept of linear modern time and industrial farming. We (clearly I would be one of the chosen people) will now all live a simple life full of nutrients, nature and rewarding work. Plus we get to keep all of our apple products, wifi and modern plumbing. That’s only reasonable. In this world we would all die at reasonable life expectancies probably around 40. You could get stitches and some kind of herbal salve for your boil but no major pharmaceuticals. No genetic manipulation. No life saving procedures in the 11th hour. No emergency c-sections. So yep, most of us would be dead. Or soon to be dead.

I’ll refer to your high school debate team for the discussion on Eugenics. If it happens before you are born is it immoral?

We all want what we can’t have (with out medical intervention or drastic lifestyle reform) a long happy, healthy life for us and our children. What are we willing to sacrifice for the cause? The unwritten code amongst scientist that somethings are off limits? I’m ready to go there. Maybe we should cling to the last spontaneous elements of nature but then we should also be willing to watch those people die off without overextending a decent and reasonable amount of medical care. Are you ready to flush your pills? Skip your elective surgery? Pass on the amniocentesis testing?

Call me crazy but I find the criticism of genetic manipulation hypocritical or soon to be.

everything will kill you, but you will kill you faster

Love, your body

Truth: You’ve been dying since the day you were born.
Truth: We are exposed to an alarming amount of carcinogens and toxins on a daily basis through regular daily life (breathing, drinking, eating, touching).
Truth: There are no guarantees in life and yes you may walk outside at any moment and be hit by a hypothetical bus or a real bus for that matter.
Truth: In you using “Everything will kill you” as an excuse to continue behaviors that are causing indisputable harm to your body and mind, you actually can’t separate the two you are loosing all of your credibility as a reasonable, intelligent, rational human being.
I said it, you’re an ignorant ass for saying that and even more so for convincing yourself that it is true.

Let me tell you a true story.

I was born into the arms of a woman that I loved more than any other human being on this earth, my own mother included. She was the person that I (and countless others) called to divulge all of my secrets to. There was literally nothing about me that she didn’t know and she loved me despite all of it. My grandmother was this enigmatic mix of sassy, fiercely loyal, loving beyond measure and contagious. I imagine that for all of her younger years that everyone’s head turned when she walked into the room. Beautiful didn’t do her justice. As she aged she retained her command of attention. You knew her.

grammy

She did what she wanted. (Maybe this is why I turned out as I did…) When doing what she wanted wasn’t helping people, being the voice of reassurance, spoiling all of the people that she loved rotten. It included chain smoking Marlbro 100’s, chugging pepsi’s like water and ingesting chocolates by the boxes. This was before and after open heart surgery, a regimen of blood thinners and constant blood work. It was after pleas from her grandchildren to take better care of her self. After stern talking tos from doctors. After the very real realization that she was on borrowed time.

And still. She lit up every cigarette with a snide, “We’re all going to die anyway”.

One morning eight years ago my phone rang and my grandpa was frantic on the other line. “Reggy, Grammy fell, hurry run up stairs”. Up stairs referred to the inpatient recovery unit of the hospital. My grandma was there after a gruesome recovery from a stroke caused by an vicious asthma attack. An asthma attack that caused her to flat line, gave her a life flight to another state, put her on life support and caused her family to contemplate pulling the plug.
I rushed up there. A doctor was sweetly stitching up a gash over her left eye. She was in the bathroom when she fell, she didn’t remember how or why. She just did.
After the squad of nurses and doctor left the room. I sat on her bed cradling all 85 pounds of her in my arms. She broke down, sobbing for the first time in the weeks that we had been in the hospital together every day. She begged me to drop her off at the nursing home. She felt so terrible that she was a burden to her family. That she was a burden to her husband. That she had treated him so badly and that he was unabashedly in her corner every damn day of their 25 years of marriage.

And then with those larger than life brown eyes she looked me square in the eye and asked me what happened. WHY ME?

When you’ve woken up from a coma in the ICU, when you can no longer read, when you can’t make your affected side pick up a fork properly. When your liquids are thickened and you calories calculated for you. When you are utterly dependent on your medical team and infrastructure no one really wants to say to your face what happened and why this is your reality.

I said, “You died. We thought you were gone. And over MY dead body will you go to the Andbe home.”

She died 6 months later. I didn’t rush across the state the second time that she was on life support. I simply couldn’t see her like that again and I knew she wouldn’t come out of the ICU alive for another time.

My grandmothers funeral was on her 60th birthday. You have parents older than that. She missed the birth of her first great granddaughter, watching me graduate from college and years later knowing her final grand baby. She missed retirement with the best man that any woman would be so lucky to have. She missed so much of what could have been the most beautiful chapters of her life.

But hey, “Everything is going to kill you and we’re all going to die”. Aren’t we.

So, that’s why I’m pissed off when the people that I love sabotage their well being. That’s also why I’m no longer bashful about it. Prepare to be the recipient of my pleads, the bombardment of my arguments and the unleashing of a whole rash of shit that I will give you. I’m not sorry.

I didn’t want to be the asshole who argued every point with my grandma. I wanted nothing more than her approval. Her love. I was too young to call it enabling but I didn’t try hard enough to persuade her to quit, not just smoking but the general daily assault to her own body.  I will always regret that.

When I lash out at you about your poor life style choices it might not always seem like it’s from a place of love. But trust, it is. It may be selfish, I don’t want to watch one more person leave this earth with their claws dug in asking themselves why? But, I also think that you deserve better.  Here are the things that I want for you to consider:

-Be happy that you have good health to destroy. Millions of people in this country and billions across this planet are were born with any one of thousands of conditions or are at the mercy of diseases that they had nothing to do with acquiring. It feels unfair for you to throw away a perfectly able body, more than that, our bodies are an amazing orchestration of function and tenacity. Stop fucking up a good brilliantly designed thing.
-Be considerate of your future self. You may not always be a twenty-something hell bent on being the life of the party at all times and at all costs. Some day you may decide that you want to run marathons. You may decide to have children in your forties and not live to see them graduate high school, or shit, preschool. You may have a loved one, maybe even your own child or your mother who needs an organ transplant and you’re not eligible to give them one because of the damage that you have done to your self. You may get cancer and have to experience the hell of chemo therapy. You may get COPD and not be able to walk a few steps without loosing your breath. Your life may depend on an arsenal of medications that you have to take every day to keep your heart from stopping. You may deeply regret all of the years of living like, “Everything is going to kill you, so fuck it”.

Ohhh internet that’s cute

Ever Sophia, pretty things, your body

Fuckin elitedaily.com, uhhhh. I love-hate you. Because every 10th article was actually worth reading but more so that the 9 others were inciting enough for me to open and then proceed to shake my head in shame. G-damn. This is my generation.
The most liked comment after every article is this,

“Clearly a 20-somehting that has no idea about reality talking about things that they are mostly unqualified to discuss making an ass of themselves. Lowering the bar of journalism time after time”.

Yup. It’s what we were all thinking, even me a 20-something making overstatements without the experience to back them up time after time.

Here’s the latest rabbit hole that I got click-bated into:
6 Reasons Why Beautiful Women Are Also Insecure Women. 

I’d like to take a moment to pat myself on the back for clicking on it in the first place. Does that sound like the most narcissistic thing that you’ve heard all day? Well good. I am a beautiful woman and I said it. Let me explain. I spent a solid 11 years of my life hating the way that I looked. Nit picking every single part of me: my fat ass, my Jay Leno chin, my belly that never gets completely flat no matter how long I go hungry or the number of crunches I do, every freckle, my huge feet, my man hands. These are all real things. And they didn’t magically disappear. They’re all there more present than ever. But that’s okay. It was a very very long, winding, emotional path to get to the place that I am now: my body is the beautiful external reality of who I am. A very large part of my new-ish sense of self-acceptance is thanks to this lovely lady.

Maybe it just takes one person to bring to your attention that you shouldn’t be your own worst enemy. That you are worthy of your own love. I survived puberty, cat calls, attacks by other women and girls, the incredibly surreal process of growing and birthing a baby for the first time and the body that you’re left with afterwards before I learned, accepted, that I am okay.

The external me has been all of the shapes and sizes. I’ve been sick and well. I’ve been skinny and fat. I’ve ran races, I’ve laid on the couch eating cupcakes. I’ve spanned the gamete. Haven’t we all. Maybe it’s all just getting to be old news. Yeah yeah, this month I’m not crazy about my external appearance in three weeks it’ll be better, or worse, and eventually it’ll get better or worse. I just decided to get off of the emotional roller coaster that comes along with it. That’s a choice that you get to make. WHAM. You’re welcome. 

Any who, back to the girl that wrote this upsetting article. Lauren Martin, darling. Here’s the thing. You are beautiful. I actually am hard pressed to remember a woman that I’ve met that I didn’t think was.
So, I get it. Every point that you made was founded in a reality. The reality of way too many.

The following quote was prefaced by: We’re constantly paranoid and always comparing with a bunch of becuase’s this is one of the strongest arguments.

“Because it’s the primary adjective you describe them by

She’s not smart, she’s beautiful and smart. She’s not hilarious, she’s “decent looking with a personality that makes up for it.” The first adjective before any others is about her beauty. All her other qualities come second, as a definer.

When your entire life is based on a single adjective, you begin to think that’s all you’re defined by.”

I catch myself doing it to my daughter. Well, because she IS beautiful. It seems to be the first attribute that slips from my mouth on a regular basis. To be honest though, she could look like a total ogre and I’d still think that she was the most incredibly breath taking creature to grace this earth. Let’s take a moment to appreciate that she is in fact stunning:

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It’s hard not to mention. It’s also hard not to mention that she’s scarily brilliant. That she is more cleaver than is healthy for a 6 year old. That she lets out this laugh that makes you smile from three rooms over. That she’s amazing in every way and almost every single one of those reasons is the direct result of who she is as a person. She’s six. This only gets better, I am a little scared and a lot taken a back.

So, Lauren. Maybe one day you’ll be blessed with an amazing little human to call your own. Maybe then you’ll see the world through a whole new lens. Maybe then it will all make sense. You are beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, standards our not.

Here’s what get’s me the most. Ever’s eyebrows, totally unsemetrical— those are mine. Her checks those are my mom’s. Her nostrils one a differentiated sister of another, my own reflection.

nose hole

The 8 pack that she rocks, definitely from her dad. Those feet, I think I saw them once on her Grandma Carol. ‘Dat booty tho, yup I’ve tucked that same one in skirt after skirt. The 4 and a half feet that she already stands, must be a great grandparent that we never got the privilege to meet.

Maybe it takes creating your own human to realize that we’re all just the product of genetics, some traits dominant other recessed. So yes, you are a beautiful girl, woman. Yes, you are insecure, because you haven’t been taught yet, or you haven’t fully learned. You are a woman your beauty is inherent. Please own it.

sometimes reality is soap in your eye

soulfood, your body

I’ve had an extremely emotional and stress full couple of weeks, well months really. The culmination of which are stirring up all kinds of terrible things in side. Like actually you know what I really wanna be when I grow up? A princess or a goat farmer. A princess-goat-farmer-cheese-monger-philanthropist. Any thing else just won’t do. *If you know a feasible way to make my dreams a reality please, please, please get in contact with me*

Things are shitty, they’ve been shitty and they aren’t getting easier. Flailing in career upheaval, relationship woe’s, school conundrums and general distaste for hateful people, life feels hopeless.

Waaawwwwww. I know, cry me a river.

So what cha gonna do about it? Huh.

-Take a mental health day, check. At least I didn’t wake up to a screaming alarm and didn’t immediately start counting all of the ways that I hated my lot in life for once.

-Watch gif’s of puppies playing in a pile of leaves… thanks for the recommendation.

-Wallow in a puddle of self-loathing and finger pointing…. turns out that’s not particularly productive.

-Try to change my shitty God damned attitude and be grateful for all of the beauty and ease in my life. I’m working on it.

Last week J and I went to the Santa Fe Community Yoga Center for the first time. I’ve been to many a yoga studio, pretty ones, smelly ones, ones that cost a billion dollars, ones that I couldn’t stand and ones that I didn’t want to leave.
This place is different, sweet and humble. Nothing elegant, pushy or uptight about it. You can tell that the center was a realization of someone/s dream to have a legitimately affordable (they have a ton of donation only classes every week) house of yoga and love (plus they do a bunch of community out reach to public school students). Which is perfect because I need to stretch my self physically and emotionally on a dime. I honor the light in you, amen.

We had a lovely vinyasa session full of sun salutations. It is so nice to move your body like that. I get a little squeamish around all of the hippy dippy declarations that yoga changes your life. Come see the light. Namaste. But, it does do something spiritual to you plus makes you high on endorphins and lactic acid release. Here’s the catch unless you’re way more dedicated to the cause than I you have to go somewhere and pay someone. It’s just not the same in your living room.

Between not trying to explode in laughter from the faces that J was making I was evaporating so much emotional crap. By the poetry reading at the end tears were streaming down my face. Ohh, I’ll be back.

So today, on my mental recovery day, I went back. To something called Rest & Restore Yoga.
Given the description I decide that this is a glorified version of bed yoga. Not to toot my own horn too much but if bed yoga was an actual practice and there were belts I would be a 4th degree black belt. I make stretching and yawning in my own bed my bitch.
So I go.
Turns out I was the only one there under the age of 65. I’ve got news for you, rest and restore might be the perfect yoga for ‘old people’ but it treated me pretty well. I involuntarily cried nearly the whole time. Released some seriously deep emotions and felt like a million bucks afterward.

Feeling restored, well at least not completely destitute, reacquainted with my soul. Spilling over in gratitude for the incredible little human that belongs to me. Savoring every breath. Awh, good to go, take on the world, but first let me stop by the bathroom.
Washed the cup I borrowed. Peed. Went to wash my hands, and AHHHHHH!

“FUCK, GOD DAMN, FUCK, SHIT THAT HURTS, WHAT THE FUCK!!!!” 

I’m sure my stream of the least zen words that I could conjure radiated through that beautiful little space. I’m so very sorry grandma.

You see I went to wash my hands. Depressed the soap dispenser and wham. It jetted out at the perfect angle with great velocity under my glasses (which are notoriously called safety goggles for their hugeness) and into my unsuspecting eye.

Per chemistry class protocol I stuck my whole head under the sink, muttered every other profanity in the book and attempted to flush my eye out. My face is still puffy, my eye still blood shot and honestly still too stingy for an hour post incident.

That’s my life— well that’s life. Just when you’ve found your place in the universe. Fixed all of the internal dialogue the corrosive, un-washable, sting of life takes another shot at you. If you’re me it wins for a little bit, you may say some things that you regret and then you wipe away the tears, dry your hands, and walk out of the bathroom and smile,
“Sorry, I got soap in my eye, see you next week”.
And you leave. I will actually see them next week and again this week. I’ve learned not to scare easy, but I’ll be damned if I ever wash my hands at that sink again. At least I learn.

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*ohhh wee, for a good time google sexy men doing yoga, here’s a sampling you’re welcome.*

sexy man

yoogi

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yogi