Monday, November 23, 2015

note: there will be curse words

It has been a few days since I last posted. I decided to rest up from my that post. It was probably one of the most open, honest and satisfying  pieces I've written in a long time. That should surprise you a little because I kind of let it all hang out over here in this little piece of my world. It just felt so good to not pretty up a shitin' thing. That last post wrote itself. I just allowed myself to be guided. I couldn't spend a moment alone without it creating itself inside my mind, writing and editing itself until it became all that it wanted to be. It was one of the times I felt totally connected to intuition. I just followed where I was led. It felt so inspired that it kind of set me on a new path.

I no longer wish to balance my male and female energy so that I feel more feminine. I realize now that balancing my female and male energy doesn't have to work the way I thought. Nurturing energy isn't all about the sweetness of a mother's arms. Sometimes nurturing comes in the form of showing your children the right path by speaking the truth that sometimes stings. That kind of nurturing doesn't come from a place of needing to give and get love. It comes from a place of, I can endure that you may no longer feel love for me after this but I'm still happy if  I enhanced your life in any way. It's more like saying I love you but I want better for you and I can live with you not loving me as a result. This is real unconditional love. It says I love you no matter whether you love me. That is female energy at it's finest. It may not be all June Cleaver but it doesn't make it less feminine.

I want to say upfront, if you know me this will come as no surprise, that I think there are more good men in this world than bad. It's well known that I don't participate in male bashing because I don't think all men are the same. I have been privileged to know so many wonderful men that love without ego and are not afraid to just be who they are without fearing they won't be seen as masculine. These same men don't need to hear a battle cry from me to speak up when it's needed. With that all said, now this.

Today I just want to say to all the feminist in the world, I'm totally with you but one thing we don't need more of is female feminist. It has taken us a long way but always stops just shy of getting us heard on a universal level. What we need are male feminist. We need men saying, "you know what, I hear ya and I totally agree."

One thing you seldom see in this world is a man in the media saying, "why are women still not being treated equal?" It sometimes seems like women are still having to defend each other with very little contribution from the opposite sex. I want to see more men, who get the picture, rise up to proclaim it.

I know a lot of things have changed over the years and a lot of things have gotten better but there is still no real equality.

... The dot dot dot over there to the left of this sentence was a list I removed of the ways that women are still not treated equal. I realize that you don't need a list from me. You already know the list. I'll just say to those men who need to hear it, that women are not a place for you to prop your virility. We don't want to be propped up on and if you take away our choice to not be propped on, then you are taking away a much of what makes us who we are.

Man, don't you see the special seat you have at the table? Can you not see how awesome the melody that could be found in your voice if you lifted it to sing for those who have been waiting sooooo fuuuuuuckin' long. If you really think a man should be seen as strong, then pull yourself up and stand for those who've never had a seat at the table. That my friend is a mark of real strength. Anyone can say the things we've heard over and over again, the things we've become accustomed to. Step out on the limb and let your voice be heard to speak the words of equality for all.

MLK said in his I Have A Dream speech in 1963:

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

In 1963!! Fuck, that brings tears to my eyes. How is this still a struggle?

How is it possible that a man could say these words 52 years ago and there still be a need in the world to dream for equality? We women feel inequality everyday and I know that it cannot be compared to what African Americans have endured since their feet hit the soil of America but we still want for it. 

The white male in America has never had to want for equality. He has always had a seat at the high table and it is time he finally spoke for those who have not. What have you to lose if you reach down and pull someone up? Can you not see the beauty in this just as a vision in your mind's eye? Do it, man, just fuckin' do it. Some of us have been waiting for a very long time.

Okay, so never fear, I'm not turning this blog into a feminist platform. I know it's true that “What you resist, persists” (C.G. Jung). So, I'm choosing to live in the world like it's already filled with the equality I've asked for in this post. I'm not concentrating my energy in the shallow end of the pool where there's not enough water to float on my back and look to the beautiful sky. This post will only be here to serve as a wake up call to those who need it. If you don't need it, thank you for coming with me to the world I've chosen to be part of. There is always room for others here if you decide to come on over. I'll just say as the old song says, "Welcome to my world. Won't you come on in?"

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

This is Why Hannibal Buress Kicks Ass and Other Thoughts

I reread the last post I made and I think it is a strong post but I still have some lingering things I feel like I need to express. 

I'd like to point out that the comedian Hannibal Buress was the person who first took on Cosby about the allegations of rape. How amazing is that? A man finally brought down Cosby. I also love this tweet I found at the Hannibal link: 

Jesse Thorn @JesseThorn"Good for @HannibalBuress. Just because something is crushingly sad doesn't mean it isn't reality. We need more men speaking against rape."10:57 PM - 20 Oct 2014 · Los Angeles, CA, United States

A-M-E-N to that.

As of November 1st, 2015 the list of women who have alleged they were raped by Cosby stands at 55. I feel like this list grew so fast because Hannibal Buress, a man, believed the story. He made these ladies feel safe to finally tell their story. That so seldom happens in this world.

This should not be a job for one man. It's time our society took a real stand and stopped blaming women when they are sexually assaulted. 

After my last post the person I referred to on Facebook came back to eat me alive and kind of blame me for ruining his life in a shit storm of poor me. It was a fit of childishness that I promptly removed after his second comment to keep him from embarrassing himself. I never said in the post who posted the rape joke but he made it a point to let it be known in my feed. Mind blown. If you feel victimized by my post you don't have to let people know you are the person. There's obviously a calculated motive behind that.  I think his motive was to try to make me feel bad instead of feeling bad about what he did, taking responsibility and admitting it was in poor taste. I can see straight through it. I'll admit that it  made me feel a tiny bit bad for a second but it didn't make me feel bad enough to allow this person to make me feel like a terrible person. I honestly felt like telling him what my stepfather used to say, "the more you cry, the less you'll piss." I just found it almost funny that someone who posted a rape joke was crying over getting his feelings hurt because he felt victimized by my post. It made me want to make a meme of him crying, with a caption that read, "a lady hurt my feelings," to match the Cosby rape meme he put on Facebook and start the post with, "it's just a joke" which is something he said to me. If I was a terrible person I'd have left up his comments on Facebook and have added a comment to tell him that it sounds like he had a lot of problems long before I said anything and that I didn't appreciate his projecting.

I also didn't like the fact that he had the forethought to start his post off with something like "come on, you know this is funny." (I'm not sure if that is exactly what it said but it's pretty dang close) and then say that it was about two people who seemed untouchable finally being brought down. Pleeeease. He posted that meme for the same reason anyone else posted it. If what he said is true why "somewhat" apologize for your poor taste at the top of the post? It's like saying, "even though this isn't really funny, you know you kind of think it is" or essentially "I (the post writer) think it is." You wouldn't say that about untouchable people being brought down. The joke is that a serial rapist, with a history of raping women he drugged, is itching to get a hold of a person knocked unconscious and the guy who posted it knows that. Have the balls to admit your bad taste, don't just deflect later when it's pointed out.

I'm not trying to beat a dead horse but I did take down the part of the last post that this person said bothered him. I didn't want to but I did. This morning when I woke I wanted to tell the full Facebook story still minus the part of the last post I removed. I wanted to tell it because I wanted to point out how much pain my post supposedly caused him by me pointing out the pain his post might cause the victim of rape. I hope in feeling his own pain through this, he might think on what pain might have been caused by making light of something that is not. 

Aaaand Hannibal Buress still Kicks ASS.

Monday, November 16, 2015

It's a Long Road

I loved when Aziz Ansari used Episode 7 Ladies and Gentlemen, in his new show Master of None to show side by side what the difference is in being a man versus a woman. It is absolutely beautiful to see a man thinking about these things. The fact that he addressed this in his show tells what kind of person he is. I'm impressed. My husband is a man like that. He thinks about these things. He will not stay in the room to watch anything on TV that shows violence against women or children. He should not be alone but sometimes I think that he is.

Just today I saw a joke about rape on Facebook that even after I noted to that person that rape is not a joke, he still defended it. Rape is in no way funny. Some things just aren't to be joked about. Slavery isn't funny. Molesting or harming children isn't funny. Slaughtering whole populations of people, not funny. The ladies that Bill Cosby raped are not fictional characters. They are real life, breathing people. What happened to them is not a joke.

I know that it feels threatening to the male population to think that women should be treated equal. I realize that this might make them feel like less of a man but I can tell you it takes a man who is strong in who he is to be able to set aside his masculinity to make others feel equal. There are things that men do better than women but there's as many things that women do better than men. This isn't true in all cases but in general. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Does this elevate one sex over the other? No, it does not.

It is a shame when women cannot go any place they want alone. But we cannot. We have to take a lot of things into consideration. Men have no idea what this is like. I remember at a very young age, asking my mother why I couldn't do the same things my brothers were allowed to do. The answer was the same every time I asked from as early as I can remember around five through my teenage years. "Because they are boys." That is the world we women have lived in.

A man I knew when I was in high school wrote a detective novel. In the story a lady is accidentally murdered when a man chloroforms her with the idea he will have sex with her without her knowing. One of the times he overdoes the chloroform and she winds up dead. I read the book to give him my opinion. When I didn't say the things this writer thought I would he asked me if I thought he had written the murder's character in a way that readers might take pity on him and root for him. That blew my mind. I asked him if he realized that this man had raped this woman. He didn't see it that way.  I was stunned. I have to say that if this were reversed and someone, anyone forced an object into any orifice on a man's body while he was unconscious he would think he had been violated. Women are thinking, feeling people. We should not be looked at as an object to please men. Yet from the moment when we take our bodies out into the world we are warned in every way that we should live our lives like the men we encounter have no self control. That is why we have limits on how short our skirts/shorts can be. It's why we have special rules for our daughters about how they dress in school because the way they dress might entice a male that we assume will not be able to control his self at the sight of her dressed a certain way. We have rules for girls about not enticing males but we never speak to the young men regarding self control. We let the females assume the role of keeping the order. It is so one sided.

Sometimes women are worse than men about seeing women as equal. In fact, the rape joke on Facebook got a lot of "likes" from women. That is a real shame. Playing small to appease the male species takes away our power. It doesn't just take away the power of the person playing small but it takes the power from all women. I kind of equate this to when one African American person says that another African American man brought on the violence perpetrated on him by society and then every racists white person reposts it to further their own agenda. Other African American's mostly do not repost these posts, only white people do. I see it all the time. Ladies if you don't want to be equal to all other people on this planet keep it to yourself and let the rest of us rise up out of these ashes and be what we are called to be. Don't hold your foot on the throat of the rest of us.

What's funny is that there are people who will read this and think about what a bitch I am. It doesn't make me a bitch to want what everyone should want. I want to be seen for exactly who I am regardless of my sex. I want to be able to go wherever I want, whenever I want and not be fearful. I want men in this world feeling like they can hold their own head up high because the women next to them are finally able to hold their heads high. I want men to be as proud of us as we want to be of ourselves.

Ladies, tell the men in your life the stories about the times you've been physically mistreated by males in your life. Tell them about the times you've feared for your safety in the presence of men. They need to know. They need to have a picture in their minds about what it's like to not feel safe in the female body. They need to know what part they can play in making our worlds better.

To those men out there that would never harm or want to see a woman harmed, I know you feel alone and you might feel like you are invisible to women but you won't always be. What the world has taught us about being women has sent us to the arms of what we feel we deserve. We don't think we deserve you because right now we cannot see you because our world taught us that we are here for the pleasure of men. If you see us as equal beings then we feel undeserving. If and when we see through this we'll finally see you standing where you've been all along and your brilliant love will leave us in awe.

Men, if you are not standing up for the equal rights of the women in your life then you aren't equal either. Women, if you don't stand for yourself then no one will stand for you. We can all be the change. Think about your daughters and how you want them treated.

One last thing. To all you men out there that get exactly what I'm saying, Thank You SO Much. You are needed and appreciated and I'm happy I get to call one of you my husband.

Note: I'd like to extend an apology to the young man on facebook I spoke of. I do believe him to be a good person. I  did not want to change what I first wrote here because I was honest about  feeling the way I did at the time I wrote it. Now I see that bringing up something so personal might taint the whole purpose of this post so I made a tiny nip and tuck. I'd just like to say one more thing to him. "Son,  you didn't know that you were stepping in a bucket that was almost full. Once you stepped in you made it overflow." You were the straw. If my sentiments seem to marginalize men and that brings up emotion for them then maybe they'll have some idea of what it's like to be seen the way that women feel seen everyday. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

my favorite things/Oprah eat your heart out

I love handmade, home goods and things that smell good. So, I thought I'd be good to share just a few of my favorite things. It's close to Christmas so maybe you'll find an idea or two to gift to a loved one.
  • My favorite incense. I used to buy these from Susan White (Love and RIP) at New Century Bookstore. So sad when it went out of business. It was one of my favorite stores ever.
  • My favorite perfume oil. I wear this everyday and I love it.
  • Favorite skincare product. I wasn't sure from my test sample but after using it for a while longer I fell hard for it. With my last order she sent me a free copy of her husband's book, Kale and Coffee: A Renegade's Guide to Health, Happiness and Longevity. I haven't finished it but I love what I've read so far. Crazy thing is I had already purchased a copy so I have a spare now if anyone wants it. 
  • This is one of my favorite Etsy buys ever. It is from Umber Dove. It's a tiny piece but so beautiful.
  • Favorite Etsy store period. Buy anything in this shop and you'll be in love.
  • Favorite Tennessee handmade shop. I want a house full of pieces from this shop.
  • Here is my favorite ring. Now I want the opal. Did you know that it is said to be bad luck to wear an opal unless you were born in October? Sorry.
  • So I may not be settled completely on my favorite ring cause this one's pretty special too. Oli Rose Collection really makes some beautiful pieces.
  • My favorite bag ever. I mean ever.
  • How awesome is this tee from Skyline Fever?
  • But ya know this is really my favorite tee right now except for the other three I have from Imogene and Willie. I'll be getting a pair of the jeans whenever I take the time to go to the shop. I don't want to pay that much for jeans that do not fit. 
  • Nothing makes me happier than seeing my little air plants all around the kitchen and living room. I got them from this shop. It's fun watching the new babies show up. I get so excited when I spot a new one.
  • As many of you know this is still one of my all time favorite books. Everyone loves this book and you will too if you give it a chance.
  • My favorite piece of furniture in my whole house is from Real Wood Works. It's our tree stump table. I think if you asked B he'd probably say it's his favorite too. 
Well, that's about it. Happy shopping and I hope you see something you love in this mix. What are your favorite things? Do share.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Waking Up - Part III

Everything I'm wearing in this picture is from the men's section.

Over the past year I've been on the road a lot with work. I've listened to audiobook after audiobook. There's been:

The Surrender Experiment by Michael A Singer
Change Me Prayers by Tosha Silver
Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver
Dying to Be Me by Anita Moorjani
Perfect Happiness by Jon Mundy

...and many many more. Almost all of them have in some way touched on surrendering. These books just kept showing up. I took a lot of lessons from each book but I never intended to ever fully surrender. I kept just enough control to make sure that my WALL did not crack and all the while wondering why my damn wall wouldn't just fall. I just didn't want to let go of all the bad that has happened to me. I thought that just ignoring it and not wallowing in it was enough.

I've let my ego fall back into the arms of whatever there is to catch it and I can already feel my soul smiling. Tiny bits of my inflated male energy is chipping slowly away and I can feel the nurturing coming back into my arms. 

It is my hope that everyone has the opportunity to find their own self after rising up out of the ash and debris that the world buries them under. I'm letting go. I have surrendered.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Waking Up - Part II

I'm going to spew all of the bad things as simply as I can and then I'll get to the rest.
  • I had a parent that removed himself from my life when I was 9 and did not come back around until I was 17.
  • I had a stepfather whose favorite game was to make me feel as small as he possibly could.
  • I was picked on by other girls in high school because I was an outsider.
  • I was abused by my first husband.
  • I had my second son while single, with a man that has had nothing to do with him his whole 25 years.
  • I was a single mother raising 2 boys for 14 years.
  • The only female friends I had while my children were growing up were my sister and anyone she brought with her into my life. 
  • It was always easier for me to make friends with men than women. 
  • I dated a man for almost 7 years whose family did not like me because I had been married before and had a child out of wedlock.
  • I went to his church for that full time with some of the people there telling him that if he married me he "would go to hell," (a direct quote).
Those are the building blocks that built my wall. I took no handouts or help through any of those damn bullets you see up there accept that Bryan came into my life during that 14 years of being single. I am not giving this information out to have anyone feel bad for me. It's basically an outline of how and why I built the wall. I know along with the people mentioned up there in those bullets, I too played my part and I'm not excusing that. 

I lost almost everything inside of me that makes me female. Even my closet is half filled with men's clothing that I prefer to wear over women's. 

I studied hard to make myself better, knowing I could  and would overcome anything but I've never really let go of any of those bullets up there even if I told you that I did. I've been riddled with bullets for a very long time...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Waking Up - Part I

If you look deeply you can always see the things I'm trying to work out in my own life when I'm writing here. I speak of these things here when I'm working on them so that we might share in the experience. I'm thinking that maybe you might be going through something similar.

A few times I've written of balancing our male and female energies. When you ask people to raise their hand if they have issues with this I'll be the first to raise my hand. My issue might not be like every female, in that I'm not trying to balance some male energy into my mix. My issue is that I'm trying to bring back some of the female energy I've lost over many many years.

I am a fist up kind of person. I can let go of people doing wrong to me now but my past has been stuck to me like it was superglued and I liked it that way, was even a little proud of it. Because I carry these things with me, I keep my fist up, trying to insure that the past does not come back to repeat itself. Anyone who knows me at all, knows I'm a tough nut to crack. I'll watch you interact with me for a long while before I let you passed the wall. That damn wall in Game of Thrones has nothing on my wall. My wall kicks that wall's ass.

I went on my retreat this passed weekend. I was alone for 3 days without eating. I couldn't seem to be by myself. I tried hard to avoid getting too still and having to be with myself. It was much tougher than I thought it'd be. The way your mind works is dependent on the way you eat. The strategy outlined in this book helps prepare your body and mind for optimum usage. I cannot point to anything significant that took place during the 3 days but afterwards the gates have opened and the flood is rushing in. The WALL is coming down.

I know how it is to come to a blog with an extremely long post. We want to read it but we just don't always have the time. For this reason I'm going to break this post up into a few smaller post rather than one long one. I'll be back with more later.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

real men & women

I try to be uplifting on this blog and never be negative but if there is one thing I could gripe about for hours, that's someone saying "he's a real man"or "she's a real woman." What the hell does that mean? Are there fake men and women walking around some place I don't know about?

Generally when I hear this I hear it come from a person comparing themselves to another person of the same sex. They want to "show someone what a real man or woman is". I wish they could hear what they really sound like when they say this. It's rather a childish thing if you think about it. People who feel good about themselves would never say this.

Think about what you a really saying. It's all about being better at being female or male than someone else. I'm pretty sure we can't really measure that. It's the yin and yang of life. We are born with the duality of male and female regardless of sex. That is what makes us beautiful. When we can find balance in this duality this is sacred ground.

If we could stop identifying in the roles that sex assigns us at birth according to the world and just make our own way, we would wake up to such possibility. If  you believe you have to be a certain way because you are a woman or a man then you will miss a lot of opportunities.

It's time to shed the old roles. Let's forget about being real men and real women and redefine what it means to be either in our own special way.

If you follow along here you know I just did a retreat where I went away to fast for 3 days. The plan that I followed had an exercise for releasing old roles we play. The author suggesting using toothpicks, a candle and a bowl of water. He said that you should assign each toothpick a role you play in life whether negative or positive and imagine blowing that role onto the toothpick with your breath. Next, burn the toothpick and just before it burns to your skin put it out in the water. He said the first time he did this he burned over 200 toothpicks. I did not do this activity while I was away but I still want to give it a try. He gave example roles like, father, son, husband, brother, teacher, etc. The idea is to leave yourself a blank slate on which to reassemble the real you little by little instead of remaining in the roles that life and the universe have assigned you. It's a fresh start. You can still be all the things you were before but this time you get to decide if you want to accept the roles or not. Of course we don't want to use this as a way to walk away from family but you get the idea.

You don't have to be a man who can never cry. You don't have to be a man that has to be tough so he doesn't appear to be a sissy. You don't have to be a REAL man.

You don't have to be a woman that solely takes care of your family and home. You don't have to be a woman whose been a victim of life. You don't have to be a REAL woman.

If you could celebrate the attributes of  both male and female in you, then you'll be the most real you've ever been. That's what you were made for in the womb.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

time for me

I know that I'm not alone when it comes to never giving myself the gift of time spent alone. I am not so sure that the people in our lives keep us from taking this time or if being a mother, wife, friend, etc. just molds us over the years into people who give away all of our time instead of savoring some of it just for ourselves.

The end of this week will find me away on my on little adventure into complete aloneness. Thoughts of this feel so delicious I keep marveling at the vision I have of it in my mind.

When I return I'm hoping that B will be able to see the shiny newness of me and wonder even more how he could ever live without me. I know man, I love you too.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

One Spirit Medicine

I bought this book a while back and have been putting it into practice over the last few weeks. Because of this, I had to change the way I eat. The first week was rough but I've been much better since. So far I've lost 6 lbs that I am keeping off successfully and calming my mind has been much easier. I just booked my cabin for the 3 day fast. I'll be leaving on Thursday. Here is where I'll be staying.
I think this has been much needed for the cleansing of my whole person and I would recommend it for anyone that wants to live a healthier life.

On Thursday I'll be going silent while fasting. Right now I cannot see the benefit but I'm sure there will be a payoff. If this experience has anything to teach me I'll be sure to share it all here. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

what about you?

I've spent 49 years here on this earth and over that time I've learned how to like myself really well. I couldn't put the things out into the world that I do here if I didn't like myself. I'd be too afraid of the scrutiny.

One other thing I've figured out is that if I'm honest and really think about it, I can see where I don't love myself. I always think I could be better, do better, love better, give better and live better. It's taken me until this week to see that I feel this way because I have never really given myself unconditional love. I'm gonna work on that. I feel more at peace just admitting I need to give myself a break.

What about you? Are you loving yourself unconditionally?