Monday, February 23, 2015

Fearless in My Own Skin

I was serious yesterday in my post about how I hate loathe despise having my picture taken. I know I can not be the only one. The selfie epidemic makes me feel inadequate.  In some ways, left out. I  watch the photo obsessed take pictures of themselves, and shudder with the thoughts of how uncomfortable and awkward I feel about myself. The only thing that trumps the selfie movement, is the ability to tag people in photos. Cruel friends tag me in the most horrendous photos. I quickly untag myself, and make a joke to them about how they must hate me or something, only I am not joking.

I avoid photos every chance I can.

I avoid photo obsessed people, they are not the same as photographers. I in fact, have lots of photographer friends. They are safe. No one wants to work when relaxing and hanging out.

I have cried over bad photos. Some of you can relate. Especially that horrendous school photo that is printed into everyone's yearbook. Permanently.

I had a rude awakening about the detrimental emotional effect of not taking photos. If you have not read about David, do so (gratitude day 10 David) because I mention him almost too much, but only almost, because no one could ever have too much of David's wisdom. After David passed away, and I realized I had never taken a photo with him, after a decade of being friends, it was a tough lesson to learn. I would not have cared what I looked like in that hypothetical photo, I just wish it wasn't hypothetical.

When you have kids they really help you avoid photos because you and everyone else can focus on taking and sharing photos of them. I do not want my kids to wonder where I was during their childhood.

I have even come up with piles of excuses not to have my photo taken. I do think people should be more conscientious and respectful of this, because my goodness people are pushy about photos, but for me it is time to stop avoiding the camera.

I no longer want to be so uncomfortable in my own skin, that I do not want photos of myself to exist. In a youth and beauty obsessed society, it is so hard to feel good enough if we base our value on our appearance. In my opinion this is even worse  for women.  You can never be young enough, thin enough, pretty enough; in essence you will never be perfect enough, and you will constantly be reminded of your imperfections through media, and advertising.

I was also serious in my post when I said I am working on this.

So, as uncomfortable and vulnerable(oh so very vulnerable) I feel about this. I am making a change. This isn't just for me. I do not want to pass any of this baggage, even accidentally onto my children, especially my daughter. So, I am just going to get rid of this baggage.

 As part of my 2015 revamp movement, I am going to start taking more photos of myself, and having more photos taken of me. I will not promise that they will all be as raw as the ones tonight, but I will not photoshop myself into a super model. I do not even know how to do that in the first place. So here is to the start of my own Fearless in My Own Skin Movement. If you are struggling with this as well, feel free to join in, comment and link to your blog, or add photo comments to the Lotus Rock LIfe Facebook Page with the hashtag #Fearlessinmyownskin.

Thank you as always for your support! My heart goes out to everyone else who struggles with taking and having photos taken of themselves. Now is the time for change.

So without anymore chatter.  Here are my selfies. What I look like late at night after hours of taking care of my three littles. No filters. No foundation.  Just me with my hair a little messy, getting ready to work on casts and blog.

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

32 Things

Well, let's make being 32 official.

1. I was born in Mineola N.Y. I used to say 'you guys' when I was small. I've seen home videos and I have heard my New York accent, that is long gone. I sang Bruce Springsteen, my Father worked in the city, and part of my heart lives there still.  I had never heard anyone say Y'all until I met my soon to be Aunt when I was 6. I was mesmerized by this beautiful Southern Woman. I have lived in South Florida the majority of my life. I do not have words for this place and at this point nowhere really feels like home.  It is very transient here, a melting pot stuck in the center of concrete, beaches, humidity, bad drivers, and voting mishaps. It never ceases to be uninteresting though.

2. I was fearless as a child. My parents called me Wild Woman. I used to jump into the bathtub headfirst (that might explain a lot). I work daily at finding that inner wild woman.

3. I am the middle child and the only girl. I don't think I ever felt ignored or any of those typical middle child issues everyone talks about. I wanted to be famous when I was little. I would get all dressed up, sing, dance, and give out "movie kisses" when I was little. I was sort of hard to miss. I also never shut up. I mean even more so than now.

4.    I am pretty free- spirited. Definitely a dreamer. Innovative, and Imaginative. I am not afraid to feel emotions.  I have to bring myself back to reality at times, which can cause me disappointment. I wouldn't change this though because it is what helps my creativity. I was blessed with parents that made me super responsible, disciplined, and hardworking.

5. I  have never been drunk. I have never smoked a cigarette, nor have I been under the influence of illicit drugs. Yeah I know. The addicts in rehab have already told me way too many times how much I am missing out. I think I am crazy enough without any of that. Plus I am pretty sure I am not blessed with the buffer most of you all are, and my body would freak out on me.

7. I am left handed. I grew up before this politically correct movement took over and there might have been one pair of left handed scissors in the classroom, and you would have to share with all the other lefties. That's ok, it is how I met my kindergarten boyfriend. I finally figured out how to cut things straight not too long ago.

8. I have had migraines since before I could talk and have some really interesting medical conditions. I make doctors work for their money, but it isn't something I let define me for too long before I stubbornly keep trekking forward.

9. I love childbirth, pregnancy, babies, breastfeeding, and how amazing the female body is. Motherhood is an amazing journey. Childbirth is truly one of the most powerful things I have ever witnessed, both through my own births, and being present with other women for theirs. It is why I went back to school for my nursing degree. I really want to be a midwife. We shall see what the future has in hold. I think we lose the sacred spiritual process of birth in our westernized litigation happy society. It isn't always rainbows and butterflies, but it is raw and full of so many emotions. Life is such a delicate, beautiful, and amazing gift.

10. I am embarrassed to say I  have never been out of this country, but I chat with people all over the world daily. One day, this will change. I have either been in school, raising kids, or doing both at the same time for all of my adult life.

11. We have hosted exchange students. I will blog about more of that one day. It is definitely an amazing experience.

12.  I really enjoy working out. Like a lot. I have always been doing something : ballet, dance, running, yoga, and now I lift weights. I like working out so much,  it makes me a happier person. My friend mentioned the other day "you are in quite the cheerful sarcastic mood today." To which I replied "I went to the gym, it is like my Prozac."

13. I am not even sure of the name of my favorite color. It is somewhere in the seafoam, aqua, robin's egg blue family.

14. I hate having my picture taken. Loathe. Despise. Social Media makes that even more difficult. Wake up and check FB"You have been tagged." Yeah, you hate me if you do this to me. The whole selfie epidemic. I am working on this issue. In the meantime, when can another one of the other fives senses dominate our lives?

15. I can lick my elbow. I have many other talents, but this one which in no way required any mastery of skill on my part, seems to interest others.

16. I am a little bit of an overachiever academically speaking. I have always worked really hard to do well in school. I spent high school involved in so many academic and extracurricular activities, it is too much to list it all right now. This isn't always a good thing. I spent most of my twenties in school.  I have a BA in Psychology a certificate in Women's Studies and a BS in Nursing School. It was a one year accelerated nursing program. I had to withdraw 7 weeks shy of graduation because of complications with my second pregnancy. I went back and finished that last semester though with straight A's. Yeah, don't do that with 2 kids, 3 and 15 months old. Not smart. Not smart at all. It is sort of like hell actually. I am definitely not done with my education.

17. I think too much. Several years ago, I would have been annoyed if someone had said this, but it is true, I think too much.

18. I have been teaching yoga since I was 17. The first class I taught was  how I met my dear friend David, He was the real teacher. You can read about him here and here. I taught yoga all over the place and have so many stories. I even taught yoga in drug rehabs for 4 years or so.

19. I hate strong smells and dirty fingernails. We all have our things.

20. I have too many hobbies and interests: reading, music, instruments, dancing, crafting, painting... it goes on and on and on. I will never be bored.

21. I make belly casts, in case you missed that.

22. I like making pretty things. Pin all the pretty things. Make all the pretty things.

23. I have strong spiritual beliefs. I am super science minded, but I feel science has its limits and I believe there is so much more to us than our bodies. I have experienced that spiritual connection to another person, and the universe. I can't chalk that up to some chemical phenomenon in my brain. It is one of the most powerful overwhelming experiences.

24. I never close lids tight. Is this a left handed thing, an absentminded thing or should we examine it deeper and say it is a physical manifestation of difficulty finishing things (see thinking too much thing)? Whatever it is, I have learned that it seriously annoys the person I am married to, not calling anyone out here.

25. My taste in music is all over the place. I just really really love music. I always listen to music when I am working out or creating.

26. I have had so many jobs. Crazy ones. So many jobs it is almost concerning, but you have to get through all that college somehow.

27. When I was 21 a painter asked if he could paint me naked. I used to work for a shipping company and he would ship his art through the company. He was extremely talented and gay. He was not hitting on me. My ex-husband would have  had a fit, it is definitely a regret of mine.

28. The Princess Bride has like a cult following with my age group, and I hate that movie. I will always hate that movie because it scared the crap out of me when I was little. That life sucking machine, enough said.

29. I have a thing for dragonflies. It is complicated. They are beautiful. They are very symbolic to me, let's just leave it at that.

30. The story behind my kids' nicknames on my blog. Bean,  my Mother gave him this nickname when he was 6 months old, which was around easter time. He was a very chubby baby. She said he was like a  big round jelly bean, and it stuck ever since. She also gave Tadpole his nickname. My daughter's real middle name is Wren. There is a lot of folklore around the Wren, the 'King of Birds'  After everything I went through pregnant with her, I just felt like she was small yet fierce. She was still thriving in a difficult environment. It simply fit. All of my children's middle names have a lot of meaning behind them.

30. I make up songs for my kids. I have been making up songs since I was quite small. The first song I can remember making up when I was just three went something like this, "I'll be yours if you'll be mine, twinkle babe." I came across a book with short poems in it and it had something similar written in it. Crazy. I would go around singing songs I made up and regular songs on the top of my lungs. Not much has changed, I just do it around my family and no longer in public. My poor family.

31. I have amazing friends and family. I mean really really awesome inspiring incredible people in my life. I am even blessed enough to be the Mother of three of these incredible souls.

32. My biggest fear today is not dying empty enough. Les Brown's quote about the graveyard being the richest place on earth... I am living to die empty.

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