Photo taken by Michelle Fairchild ~ Art in Nature taken on 12.26.18
Mojo Monday ~ A Beautiful Body Project
A Beautiful Body Project is an upcoming series of book volumes & an online media platform dedicated to women & body image, dedicated to sharing stories about motherhood, aging, cancer, still-births, miscarriages, weigh-gain, weight-loss, dysmorphia, and beyond.
A Beautiful Body project is movement of women coming together to tell their stories and celebrate their ever-changing bodies so that future generations of women can live free from self-suffering.
|Portrait of Jade Beall with son Sequoia.|
or nothing at all
Here is the fierce and inspiring poem by Alok Appadurai.
It’s an emotional slavery that milks these women, dollar by dollar,
Like chained dairy cows, Oozing vicious droplets of self-hate
That rot the roots of a woman’s inner beauty…
Just as they are.
You can’t push lipstick, eye shadow, foundation, and blush
Like crack cocaine or heroin,
On a woman who sees her true worth, you dig?
Millions are milked from the financial breasts of women
Simply by convincing them
A Grand Canyon exists between them and being beautiful.
Who enrich themselves on the suffering of a woman,
Diet pills, Spanx, and photoshop are foot soldiers in the war on women’s self-esteem,
Millions are milked from the bank accounts of women who have been brainwashed to believe they aren’t good enough.
Embodied self-esteem breaks the chains of dependence on products that merely momentarily massage our bandaged egos,
Ask yourself this:
And the best part of the corporate magic trick to maximize profits built on women hating themselves:
You can blame everyone and their mother
It’s time to close your eyes, ears, and wallets to the pimps of self-loathing
There is only one way forward. Women rising up &
|Alok, Jade and Sequoia|
You will be inspired and moved by the stories and the images.
What are your thoughts about accepting and loving your body ~ imperfections and all?
Mojo Monday ~ Coming Home to Yourself
Can you wrap your mind around the reality that both you and I are literally made of stardust? How does an identity of being made of stars feel when you try it on? Do you stand a little taller? Does it blow your mind, just a little, or maybe a lot? Does it make you want to swagger or maybe just stare up at the night sky and say “Why hello there my friend, I had no idea we were related?”
In next months article about Perspective I share my suspicion that the one perspective at the core of them all is the one we have of ourselves. What I know is that there is a theme, a thread of connection, in my writing. I feel a calling to shine a light and offer up ideas and tools on how we can heal our wounds and really learn to be a guest in our own hearts, and truly love ourselves. I also believe as the quote at the end of this posts suggests “Each time you remember the Truth of who you are, you bring more light into the world.”
This weeks Mojo Monday is about Coming Home to Yourself. It is about as the opening quote by Parker J. Palmer states “…becoming more at home in your own skin.”
Today I share with you an excerpt from Mark Nepo’s book entitled The Book of Awakening Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have. Mark even includes several grounding practices at the end.
“Anything that removes what grows between our hearts and the day is spiritual. It might be the look of a loved one stirring their coffee as morning light surprises their groggy eyes. It might be the realization while watching a robin build its nest that you are only a temporary being in this world. It might be a fall on ice that reminds you of the humility of your limitations.
- Center yourself, and as you breathe, realize that your spirit fills your life the way your ones and blood fill your hand.
- As you breathe, realize that your life fits the world the way your warm and living hand fits a glove.
- As you breathe, feel your spirit fill your skin and feel your skin fit the world.”
Mojo Monday ~ Am I Pretty
Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, PhD:
cheats her of confidence. It causes her to perseverate
about whether she is a good person or not, and bases her
self-worth on how she looks instead of who she is.
It keeps her preoccupied , colors everything she does, plans, and anticipates.
It is unthinkable in the instinctive world
that a woman should live preoccupied by appearance this way.”
Cosmic Cowgirl’s Magazine by visiting this web link:
Mojo Monday ~ Freeing Your Spirit and Dancing with Life
A melancholy feeling had overtaken me. My most recent music mix even took on a slightly gray hue of sadness. I knew it was bad when spending some time in my artist room playing with paints and glue and glitter could not pull me out of my funk. In fact the funk grew deeper as the art piece I had envisioned and was attempting to create would not come together. Instead of feeling pleased with the creative process I grew more frustrated because what I was seeing on the canvas was making me feel more mediocre than ever. My woe-is-me attitude began to spiral into questioning my purpose and bemoaning that I don’t have a local women’s circle. One way for me to try and short circuit the negative thought patterns is to pick a favorite book to read or take a bath. Even better yet is to combine the two. So that is exactly what I did.
As soon as I was immersed in the hot comforting water I began to read from a well-read copy of Finding Joy: 101 Ways to Free Your Spirit and Dance with Life by Charlotte Davis Kasl, PhD. My spirit chose well that evening because the short excerpts in this particular book were so perfect for what ailed me.
- Discover the Power of Joy
- Loving Yourself, No Matter What
- Tapping the Power of Your Mind: A Training Manual for the Brain
- Lighten Up: Finding Balance in a Crazy World
- Marvel At Your Amazing Body
- Reaching Out, Breaking the Rules: Tips for Making Life Easier
- When You’re Sinking Grab a Life Line
- Loving Your Body In Spite of It All
- Loving Children, Discovering Ourselves
- More years, More Wisdom
- Dancing with Life
- Joy to the World
Author Charlotte Kasl describer herself this way on her web site:
“I wear the hat of psychotherapist, author, and teacher, but at my core, I am a peace and social justice activist. I believe the starting place for healing the planet is in our hearts and in the ways we practice respect, empathy, understanding and equality in all human relationships, including our relationship to ourselves.” ~ Charlotte Kasl
Charlotte has written a number of books. One I have already read is called If the Buddha Married: Creating Enduring Relationships on A Spiritual Path. Her newest book that has yet to be released is called If the Buddha Had Kids: Raising Children to Create a More Peaceful World. It is one I will read once it is released.
Have you read any of Charlotte‘s books? If yes, do you recommend any?
The Chocolate Cabinet by Geneen Roth
A mother of an 8-year-old was desperate. “My daughter is gaining weight by the second,” she told me. “I am so afraid that I have passed on my troubles with food to her, and I don’t know whether to remove all candy from the house, take her to a doctor, or put her on a strict diet. Help!”
“What is your daughter’s favorite food?” I asked.
“Chocolate,” she said.
“Does high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes run in your family?”
“No,” she said.
“Is your daughter’s health good?”
Desperation calls for radical measures, so I said, “On your way home, stop at the store and buy enough chocolate to fill an entire kitchen cabinet. In your kitchen, designate one cabinet The Chocolate Cabinet and fill it to overflowing with the chocolate you bought. Now, tell your daughter that this is hers and hers alone. Tell her that she can eat as much of it as she wants and that you will fill it back up when the cabinet gets even a tiny bit empty. Do not criticize her. Do not watch her with hawk eyes. And make sure that cabinet is brimming with chocolate. Wait three weeks, and then let me know what happens.”
She looked at me in disbelief. “Have you lost your mind? If I give Gracie free rein over chocolate, she will devour every single piece before I can get to the store and buy more. She will gain a million pounds. I will create a monster!”
“Try it,” I said. “Let’s see what happens.”
Fast-forward three weeks. The desperate mother says, “When I first told Gracie about the new plan, she didn’t believe me. She waited until I left the kitchen, and then she plowed through the contents of her cabinet before I could change my mind. I filled up that cabinet four times that first week (with gritted teeth, I admit). But when Gracie realized I was not going to criticize her and that I was absolutely serious about letting her have as much as she wanted, she ate less and less. By the second week, I only had to buy a little chocolate, and by the third week, none at all. She is more relaxed around food. She is losing weight. I am a chocolate-cabinet convert!”
Does this story (it’s true, by the way) make you excited? Slightly hysterical? Have you come up with 25 reasons why this wouldn’t work at your house? You are not alone.
However, while some of your reasons may be based on fact, most of them are about your own relationship to food and hunger and abundance, not your children’s. And here’s the litmus test: Ask yourself what would happen if you filled one cabinet with food you wanted but believed you’re not supposed to have. What would happen if you let yourself eat it without criticizing yourself? I can’t swear to this, but I bet you have (at least) 25 reasons why that wouldn’t work.
It’s not about the food. Although the chocolate-cabinet idea was radical, I was almost positive that what Gracie wanted wasn’t candy. She wanted her mother’s (positive) attention. She wanted her mother to trust her. But mostly, she wanted to believe in and trust herself, and only way she could do that was by first learning those skills from her mother. The drama around food and weight gain was the language that Gracie was using to communicate with her mother. The real issue is never the food.
My mother was a fat kid whose own mother took her shopping in the Chubby section of Macy’s. Growing up, my mother felt self-conscious, ashamed of her body around boys, clothes, socializing. Because she loved me and didn’t want me to suffer the way she had, when I was a kid she began watching what I ate, restricting certain foods from my diet, telling me I was getting fat.
How did the hawk-eye, restrictive approach work?
Not so well. In response, I began hiding frozen Milky Ways in my pajama pants, sprinting past my parents’ room and sitting over the trash can in my room eating the candy bars as fast as I could, ready to spit them out if my mother opened the door and caught me. I began feeling as if I needed to look a certain way for her to love me, eat certain foods for her to approve of me. And so I began living (and eating) a double life: When I was in front of her, I’d eat cottage cheese and chicken without skin. When I was out of her sight, I’d stuff myself with everything I wasn’t allowed to eat in her presence. Food became the language of our relationship. And although, as my brother often points out, I’ve made a career from the dysfunction that resulted, I would not recommend this path to anyone.
I tell them, “Attend to your own relationship with food first.” Be honest with yourself about what you actually believe. Do you believe you can’t trust your hunger? That if you really let yourself eat what you want, you’d start at one end of your kitchen and chomp your way across the country? Do you believe there is an abundance of what you need, want, love?
After you begin exploring your own relationship with food, be mindful about what you communicate to your children. Deprivation, force, and shame do not ever, under any circumstances, lead to positive change. If you judge your children, if you create a moral standard about body size, if you withhold approval based on what they weigh, nothing good will come of it. They will begin judging their bodies, hiding their food, and defining their worth by what they weigh.
And ask yourself this question: If you could fill a cabinet with anything — food, attention, time — what would it be? Chances are, it won’t be chocolate. Commit to being lavish with yourself with what you really need. As you do that, you will become a living example of self-care and trust and love. You will be who you want your children to become. Believe me, they’ll notice.
Geneen Roth has authored many books:
Lost and Found: Unexpected Revelations About Food and Money
Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
When Food Is Love
The Craggy Hole in My Heart and the Cat Who Fixed It
Breaking Free from Emotional Eating
Feeding the Hungry Heart
When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair
Appetites — On the Search for True Nourishment
Why Weight? A Guide to Ending Compulsive Eating