Category: Woman (Page 2 of 3)

The Next Right Thing

Oh, friends. I started to write you yesterday and today about the stress and the pace of the holidays. The way the spending always gives me the heebee jeebies. How tired I am. How so very overwhelmed this time of year can often feel for me.

But, as I wrote and I kvetched and complained, something else showed up for me. And, it was this:

I am just really struggling, right now.

I really want to walk. I want my feet and my legs to work right. I want to get up and go. I want to stand up and move. The demands of the holidays are one big, fat reminder of how limited I am. Of how crippled I feel. I am myself, but I don’t move like me. I know something bigger is at play here, but I tell you what: I can’t see it right now.

I can’t see it at all, today.

What I can see is everything that I really want to create in my life. I can see it CRYSTAL CLEAR. And, being benched and riding the sidelines with that vision just dangling in front of me, HURTS. I keep telling myself to be patient. I keep willing myself to have faith. I keep touching the wounded place with my gentlest touch. But, today, I can also see that I have a long way to go.

Somehow, I really need to bridge that gap. Today. Because, I have searched myself, and I have determined that there are a variety of ways to deal with my current emotional and physical state, and none of them feel as right as this:

I need to give myself the gift of knowing what I know. Right now, that means knowing my goals. Even if I don’t know how the hell I am going to get there. Somehow, if this vision is what I can see through the clouds, then THIS is what I will focus on right now. Even if it hurts and feels like a promise I don’t know how to keep.

Either way, I have learned that there are days when I can only do the next right thing, and today is that day. Telling you what I want to create for my life, what I see for myself, is the only right thing:

I want to walk in the sand beside the ocean.

I want to swim in the ocean.

I want to play with my kids in a green field.

I want to walk for 30 minutes without stopping.

I want to write about what I want to write about.

I want to volunteer for the Up Center and Planned Parenthood.

I want to pick up my daughter.

I want to run with my son.

I want to ride bikes with my children.

I want to pay off my hospital bill.

I want to get rid of my couch (okay, maybe burn it, but that seems dramatic, so I will stay medium on that).

I want to wear sandals.

I want strong legs.

I want comfortable feet.

I want more than all of the baby steps that I have been living on. You know I have supreme gratitude for my health and the health of my children and our family. I know I am LUCKY. I also know that I see more. Reconciling  those two feelings can feel like an awkward battle between two well-meaning friends that really just want some kind of goddamn harmony. So, I say, maybe harmony tomorrow. For today, a struggle.

I gave a dear friend advice the other night, and it seems relevant for me, today:

“You don’t have to feel better, right now. You just have to keep moving.”

Thanks for moving with me, gang. Needed that.

xo,

M

Tell the Truth

GALS.

I would much rather be honest and courageous than likable. Every. Single. Day. This doesn’t mean that I intend to be unkind or devoid of all diplomacy. I firmly stand for kindness, and I believe in diplomacy (being civilized and careful are certainly respectable).

HOWEVER.

I don’t know how much time I have on this planet, and I’m not planning on wasting any of it by shying away from uncomfortable or difficult conversations.

I encourage you to consider areas in your life where you have chosen to please over telling the damn truth. No pressure or anything, but that choice is a PRISON, and a prison that I see far too many women walk into out of FEAR.

Woman, you are not designed to harmonize all of life, and may I remind you that there is no harmony in telling lies-not to yourself, or to anyone else. You don’t protect yourself when you choose to be likable, first and most of all. You go to a tiny, private, quiet jail. All of your own making.

Come on. I know you feel something pulsing inside of you, something rattling mightily at your cage. Turn toward the drums and the marching, get your ass out there and be heard!

Don’t save your breath and waste your voice. You deserve an honest life. Every one of us does.

xo,

M

Kindness Sunday

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” -Mother Teresa.

I’m keeping it short and sweet today, so I’m going to leave you with this quote and this very brief nugget, of my own:

Please, in your walks through life this week, remember how incredibly connected you are. To everyone. The good guys and bad guys and in between guys. The people who need you, the people who scare you, and the people who love you.

It’s cliche, but still worth mentioning that we really, truly are in this life factory together. Even when we’re millions of miles apart and can’t agree on what kind of bread to make our sandwiches with. I mean, it feels like we are so separate, because we’ve evolved into these complicated existences that pull us away from the earth, away from one another and away from the truth.

I am working over here to try to figure out how to have compassion for people who, on the surface, appear to lack compassion. I am working on forgiving those who appear to offer no forgiveness to anyone, unless they look and think the same. I am working on forgiving the worst in this world I belong to, because it has started to hit me that I can’t cherry pick when it comes to compassion and forgiveness. I can’t decide that some people deserve it and others don’t. I’m not here telling you that I’ve gone and decided to snuggle up to homicidal maniacs or that I’m feeling cuddly about terrorists or angry, violent abusers. BUT. I’m also not going to contribute to the dividing of more lines. I’m not going to put my own two cents into the bank of us versus them.

What I’m saying is: Even the people who scare me, or disappoint me or disgust me-EVEN THOSE PEOPLE-they share something with me, and it’s something so vital and so necessary to my existence. It’s this planet. It’s humanity. I have to learn to see past what is obvious in EVERYONE. Even the Donald Trumps of the world.

That’s not easy, but that is the rock I must get under in order to find peace.

I’m not telling you to shove down your feelings of grief, anger, resentment or betrayal, heavens no. I’m just asking you to hold those things in the same hands that you use to hold the idea that beneath every person’s skin lies a beating heart, built to do the exact same thing as yours and mine: LOVE.

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xo,

M

Housekeeping

This new writing routine I’m into feels like a solid workout for my brain, and let me tell you-I thought my brain was fit and strong, but NOOOOPE.

I feel like I did the first time I took a kickboxing class, or got onto a piece of pilates equipment. Initially, I was CHARGED. So pumped to be upping my game and flexing my muscles. Then, I felt overwhelmed (WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO). Next, a feeling of sheer terror (WHAT HAVE I DONE? WHERE ARE THE SUPPOSEDLY CLEARLY MARKED EXIT SIGNS?). And, finally, acceptance (I have chosen this workout. I will see it through. I. Can. Do. This).

Anywho, I’m not exactly a secretive person in life, so one might think that the sharing I am undertaking wouldn’t feel like SUCH a giant, daily exercise in managing a vulnerability hangover, but again, nope. I have had a few moments this week when I seriously wanted to pull down my site and throw up a 404 error in its place, because I MUST HAVE MADE A GRAVE MISTAKE.

I have had to sit down and have a few talking-tos with myself, just to make sure that I’m crystal clear on what the hell I am really up to. After all, I am telling you guys the truth, and this is the internet. Is this what I came here to do? Is this joyful? Am I feeling creative? What’s happening here?

I realize I’m 5 days late in doing this, but I think today is a good day to go ahead and get us all clear about exactly what IS happening here in my daily present. For you, for me and for the 3 other people actually reading this blog (I mean, let us just be honest).

What am I doing here, anyway?

I’ll tell ya. I am following a hunch. Period. I don’t know how else to explain this without sounding woo-woo, but a voice inside me straight up told me that I need to write, I need to write every day and I need to share it. I added in the part about the internet (for convenience purposes, obvi). I have also chosen what to talk about. But, otherwise, I’m just doing what the damn voice told me to do. If I had to say it another way, I AM DOING THIS BECAUSE IT IS EXACTLY THE RIGHT THING TO DO. Maybe there’s more to unpack there, but we’ll have to save that for later.

Is writing every day, in this format, for these 4-5 people total all that joyful?

Yes, in fact, it is. It’s also somewhat terrifying. Because I am a recovering perfectionist, and I don’t have time to sit and agonize over every detail and edit, edit, edit the way I would like. Because I am a confident person, but putting myself out there for you 4-5 people to see takes courage. On good days, bad days and just super sleepy days. It’s also a lot of work. I have to really make time and take time and do something with the damn time after I’ve made it and taken it. Just organizing my day to do this feels like a good 5 mile run around town, and that’s before I’ve even put a damn word on a page.

What’s joyful about it? So far?

For starters, this project is ALL MINE. Do you know what is not all mine? EVERYTHING ELSE. People, I cannot even sit down to eat an apple without a child grabbing at it and demanding a bite or a slice of their own. I love these children I am raising with a fierce and intense something or other, but they have overtaken all the things in my life, and I NEEDED A LITTLE SOMETHING SOMETHING. Also, it feels so liberating to stick a tap into the keg that is my brain and let the brew OUT. I needed a creative outlet, and I needed to take a personal risk and I needed to get all of these ideas out of my head because they were getting pent up and seriously bothered.

Do I have big plans here? 

Negatory, friends. I’m keeping my expectations LOW (or, nonexistent, actually) and my standards high. That’ll do for now.

Any intentions?

Just to stay with this as long as it is joyful and fulfilling. Also, I’d like to grow my writing skills. I know that writing every day will help me to be a better writer.

What about values? A mission statement? Promises to make to your readers/yourself?

Just thinking out loud here, but sure! Here is my promise to you:

I promise to maintain the utmost integrity in writing this site. I also promise you humor, honesty and fun. I promise to be courageous, and you can count on me to be myself. I will likely use bad language from time to time, and there’s a strong probability that I will get political at some point.

Any requests for those generous 5 readers?

Yes, but just one thing and one thing only. Please behave on this site with the same integrity I have promised to you (read: kindness). I have zero tolerance for internet trolls, and while I certainly can’t prevent them, I can tell you that if you came here to be nasty, BUH-BYE. Remember when I told you that this site is ALL MINE? That means I get to be the boss! I love your constructive feedback, thoughts and insight. In fact, I VALUE those things from you. But, I won’t tolerate bad behavior and unkind language. Thanks in advance for that. Smiles, smooches, etc.!

Finally, anything else?

For a while, I’ve felt like I couldn’t dive into this sort of project because I don’t have time, and my brain is foggy from sleeplessness and too many goldfish crackers. I thought that I can’t keep up with it, or what’s the point, if I can’t do it perfectly and only sound sage and interesting, at all times. I waited way too long, because I was afraid. Afraid to be vulnerable, afraid to make mistakes, afraid to be messy, afraid to fail, afraid of myself. I had to really put the brakes on that storyline and choose to do this for the simple act of doing it.

I HIGHLY recommend doing something for yourself with absolutely NO agenda. It feels quite literally like the most liberating thing I have ever done, EVER.

Remember, as I remind myself, that life is NOT about doing things and looking good about it. No matter how you exercise your inner sweet spot, I encourage you to do it with gusto and without limitation. Sloppy, half-assed and mediocre are wonderful ways to go about doing things you love, and I for one am so tired of being reminded of how perfectly coiffed success and fulfillment are “supposed” to be. Wash the makeup off the face of your life, and please do consider going for it (whatever “it” is) with just your game face and your fierce conviction. It’s enough! I’m telling you!

I know, because I’m haphazardly writing an almost entirely unedited blog on the internet for the world (or, just the 3 of you) to see and I feel GREAT about it. Good days. Bad days. Sleepy days.

Let’s do this.

xo,

M

 

Do Less, Sister

This week is kicking my ass. I’m busy with my day job, the kids, my husband’s work schedule, doctor’s appointments and our house. I feel like I’m spinning, and at the end of every day, I want to literally unplug my brain and have someone or something else do the work.

Multi-tasking used to be my special super hero strength, a quality in myself that I considered to be a true reflection of my ability to be and do all things! Before having kids, I was PROUD to run like a wild chicken through my life. I was too busy to sit down for long, too necessary to the many balls always spinning in the air. I liked going fast and relying on my instincts, most of the time.

After having kids, I straight up LIVE to do one thing at a time. I want to stand still and stir my damn stir fry. I want to read a few pages in my book without getting up every 2 minutes for milk or snacks or tears, etc. When I start juggling, I have an actual physical response that I cannot ignore, and I find that I have to stop, drop and put down, or else. I have to choose one thing to be with, and put everything else aside for later.

I’m no longer a happy multi-tasker, is what I’m saying. I’m no longer a joyful juggler, is what I am telling you. I am infinitely more happy when I am taking my time and taking one step and then another (and maybe stopping there, because let’s face it-being mediocre feels GOOD).

Since I prefer to walk through life without hyperventilating once a day, I am learning that I have to, HAVE TO stay very connected to my precise priorities. At every moment. Because then, it is easy to see that so many things can so easily be put down, and I can swiftly return to being the day-to-day under-performer that I am perfectly happy being. I finally, truly do prefer to focus on what matters rather than on a whole bunch of stuff that doesn’t. Who knew?!

Here are my priorities, in no particular order:

  • My children
  • Myself
  • My marriage
  • My family
  • My work
  • My sleep
  • My health
  • My writing
  • My friendships

So, this isn’t rocket science, but it usually helps me to see that I don’t need to obsess or worry or even doubt anything I am up to. I just need to decide if it fits into the particular priority that I am focusing on at that one specific time, and if it doesn’t? BYE, FELICIA.

I’m officially putting all thoughts about things related to being a homeowner ON THE BACKBURNER for the rest of the day. I am officially putting facebook, the internet and emails ON THE BACKBURNER for the rest of the day. I am officially putting all thoughts about my calendar, christmas shopping and the kids’ schedules ON THE BACKBURNER for the rest of the day.

Doing less and not even sad about it. Bam!

xo,

M

Woman

When I was a small girl, I loved playing outside. I was athletic and loved to climb trees and run fast with my brother. I liked to ride my bike and wander in the woods and jump rope and hula hoop. I liked to dive underneath waves and dance in the sand and search the seashore for mysterious shells or washed up jellyfish.

I also loved to read. I loved to write. I loved to sing and laugh and play pretend. I loved magic, I loved making things and I cherished my broad and mysterious imagination. I was a precocious child, a fast learner, an early reader.

Also, by the time I was 3 years old, I was told that I was “pretty.” And, that I was “cute.” These kinds of comments meant almost nothing to me as a small child, other than to irritate me (I didn’t want to be called cute! Who do you think you are that you get to call me pretty!). I was a strong girl with my own thoughts and ideas, and I didn’t like adults trying to tell me ANYTHING, at that age (certainly, not SILLY things like “cute” and “pretty”).

In first grade, a boy who sat behind me in class told me that he could see down the back of my shirt and down my pants (he could not), and that he could see my body. This made me uncomfortable, but I was too young to understand much about what he was doing, other than that he was trying to demonstrate some kind of power over me. I didn’t feel threatened, but I did feel angry, and I felt something else: NOTICED. Not for who I was, but for my body. I didn’t think I liked being noticed like this, but I was busy running, jumping, playing and being a brave little girl, so I ignored him (as I was instructed to do), and I didn’t pay him any mind.

Years later, my body began to change. I grew strong, big, muscular legs that led into wide hips. I didn’t notice my body developing, until a few kids at school began to call me thunder thighs. At first, I didn’t know whether to be hurt or to laugh. I wasn’t aware that my legs were wrong or bad or different or too big or too strong. They were my legs. They did things for me. I appreciated that. Period. Now, I wondered if something wasn’t quite right with my body. I didn’t mind my legs, when I thought about it, but I wasn’t sure about these comments and what they implied. Something started to feel not quite right. But, I kept running, jumping and playing, and I tried not to pay it any mind.

A year later, while shopping for a bathing suit, my mother commented on my developing, pre-pubescent body. I was almost 11, and my body was changing fast. I had entered that awkward stage of female development when things start growing in strange places and at unfortunate times. My butt and legs were strong and thick, while my chest and stomach remained flat. My face had filled out, my hair was suddenly frizzy and I realized I wasn’t the same “pretty little girl” I used to be.

I needed to work on my weight, my mother told me. I had to watch it, she reminded me. Up until then, I hadn’t thought much about my weight, or my body, and I certainly hadn’t been “watching it.” I knew something was terribly wrong in this equation, but I mistook the “wrong” thing as being ME.

That day was a turning point in my life. All the things I liked and loved began to shrink down beside this newfound idea that something was wrong, and that something was definitely my body, and my body was definitely ME. The girl I was became secondary to the girl I looked like. Mira on the inside became the runner up to Mira on the outside. While Mira on the inside was a brave, bold and clever girl, Mira on the outside was lumpy, frumpy and unfortunate looking. Too big. Too much. Too often.

My thunder thighs were now very bad news. People were looking at my body, and they were noticing it. People were noticing my body, and acting like my body was their business. This didn’t seem right, but then, an entire world of messaging was backing them up, so who was I to disagree? Magazines aimed directly at me (Teen Magazine, Seventeen Magazine) told me to pay a lot of attention to my weight, diet, hair, makeup, clothes and boys. Good looking girls grew into good looking women, and good looking women were rewarded on television, on the news and in life! In every direction I looked, there was an image of a woman and accompanying commentary to let me know what was right, wrong, good or bad.

Over time, I lost total and complete interest in the best parts of me, because if I didn’t look right, who cares? Why run, jump and play when the world wanted me to sit still and look pretty. Why stand tall when the world wanted to me to shrink down in size? I heard people tell me that a woman could do anything, but that was usually after they’d told me what to wear, eat and say while doing it.

By the time I got to college, I’d surrendered to the idea that if I didn’t look perfect, I would never have a life and never be happy and never be anyone worth anything. Something was wrong, and something had to change, and that “something” was me. I exercised constantly. I developed an eating disorder. I grew depressed. I struggled to have a social life. I was exhausted, I was broken and I didn’t even know what the hell I was doing anymore. I got so caught up in working on my outside, that I starved my inside, and lost all sense of who I was. I had changed outside Mira, but nothing was better. In fact, everything hurt and everything was wrong.

One day, when I was 23, I came home from work and wandered into my bathroom. I stood in that tiny room and caught my own eye in the mirror. For the first time in a long time, I realized that I didn’t recognize myself. Who was this person, I wondered? Where is Mira? Inside Mira? Outside Mira? Where is the girl who loves to climb trees and wander the woods and swim in the ocean and dance in the rain? Where is the girl who likes books and words and thoughts and ideas? Where is the girl who loves to run, jump and play?

I had turned into one of those one-dimensional images I’d seen in so many magazines, and I was empty. I was breathing, but I wasn’t ALIVE. I was entirely made up of activities designed to rid me of unwanted, exterior characteristics that meant NOTHING to me. I looked back at this face I was wearing, and I stared, through tears, for a long time. Finally, I looked at her, and I told her:

I am coming for you. I am right here, and I am coming, and I will bring you home.

And, for the next 10 years, that is exactly what I did. Along the way, I learned that I had been setup to fail from the very beginning. Because I am a woman. My very first memories include frequent commentary on my looks. Before I learned to read, I was “pretty.” I was still playing with Barbies, and boys were remarking on my body parts and discussing the size of my thighs. I was entering puberty, and the world (including those close to me) was waiting and ready to pounce on my vulnerability and innocence. Ready to show me what I was supposed to be. Ready to tell me what it needed from me. Ready to lead me far, far away from myself and into the arms of a prepackaged world designed to keep me small, powerless, quiet and dependent.

It took me 10 years to untangle myself from that briar patch, and now that I am out of it, it is my absolute responsibility to do my part to burn the damn thing down. Now that I know who I am, I can never stop telling the world, since the world worked very hard for a very long time to shut me up.

I tell you, I love being a woman, but not because it’s easy or because the world has paved a safe and nurturing road for me.

I love being a woman, because I’m so powerful that entire institutions and political parties want to keep me down (they’re scared of me!). I love being a woman, because I’m so big, entire continents want to try to keep me small (they’re afraid of me!). I’m so loud, that entire religions want to keep me quiet (they don’t know what I’ll say!). I’m so beautiful, so colorful and so vibrant that whole cultures want to change the way I look (because, I will blind them with this beautiful way I was made!)

Girl, woman, lady, friend. Don’t you ever, ever believe that you have to be anything but WHO YOU ARE. Big, small, wide, tall, thin, fat, loud, proud, quiet, bold, white, black, brown, yellow, red, PRECISE. You.

Go run, jump and play.

Go find yourself. Go. Bring yourself home.

Your body is your own. You never have to leave it again.

WOMAN.

xo,

M

 

A Room of My Own

Guys,

I woke up at 5 am today ON PURPOSE. Just to write. I can tell you with complete certainty that, after 2 babies back to back, and no consistent sleep for a solid 3.5 years, I did not envision a day when I would choose to wake up before dawn for MY OWN GOOD.

Listen, the kinds of things that used to “restore” me are just not the kinds of things that bring me peace and restoration now. I used to relish things like getting my nails done, or having a massage or the fresh, crisp exhale that comes after cleaning the shit out of my house (this was before children, as you can clearly tell). Also, I liked to hole away at night, take an endlessly long shower and curl into bed with a good book and my favorite music.

After having kids, I HAVE STRUGGLED to figure out how to restore this soul. Do you know what you do not get to do when you are the mother of small children? Take long showers. Know what else? Hole away for a night. Getting my nails done? Ahahahahaha. You are cute! And clean the shit out of my house? THERE ARE NO MOMENTS IN MY CURRENT LIFE WHEN I GET “PEACEFUL” AT THAT THOUGHT.

I have tried to do things that soothe me. And, generally, it’s a far more uncomplicated act or process than I imagined it would be:

Sometimes, it’s just being rested, or getting a complete and full 8 hours of sleep. I’ve noticed that there’s something kind of miraculous about spending an hour in my home without work or my family and just myself. Even if I do nothing but listen to music. Or cook. Or tidy in silence. Sometimes, it’s sitting on my front step when the sun is high, and basking like a kitty in a glowing sunbeam.

Still, waking up at 5 am just never sounded like a peaceful project. Until today. I don’t know you guys, but there’s something straight mysterious and divine about a humming, sleeping house. Curled up on my couch in my jammies across from my twinkling christmas tree and beneath my entire, slumbering family felt like a reward. I sat and I wrote and I wrote and I sat and then my child woke up and came tip toeing down the stairs and I will tell you: I was happy to see him. (It was 6:15 am, and I just want you to know I almost never want to see anyone at that hour).

I think I like stealing the earliest hours of the day for just me. I think it felt like a secret, or like entering a trap door into a room, all of my own. I understand why Virginia Woolf wrote in A Room of One’s Own:

“No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anyone but oneself.”

Certainly, I have missed something far too obvious all of these years of my life, both before babies and after, and that was this:

Restoring myself isn’t an outside job. It’s the simple act of sitting still, in quiet, unremarkable and yet, myself.

I’ll take it.

See you at the crack of dawn, sisters.

xo,

M

 

 

Day One

Guys. Today is December 5th. A seemingly random, any old day in December. It’s Monday. Mold pollen is high. Trees are turning bare. Brown is all around. I am in yoga pants. Many things are just entirely ordinary. EXCEPT.

I am embarking on a big, fat, mysterious adventure. It’s day one. I have strapped on my sports bra, pulled my hair up into a ponytail (okay, so yes, things I do every day, but stay with me) and am sitting here on this couch about to put this path into written commitment. It’s a big deal. It’s just a normal day. And, finally, I am ready.

You know what happened a while back? I forgot how to stay very close to things that bring me joy. I had a baby, then another. I had (and have) a marriage, a mortgage and a whole new life, and that life got big and busy and demanding, and in response, I got small, and tired and overwhelmed. I tried to keep up by giving everything away. It sounds so cliche, and if it wasn’t the honest to God truth, I’d tell myself to pick another plot line, but no. It’s just that simple, and just that complicated. Because what I learned then, is what I know now: You can NEVER ever sell out what feeds you to please/satisfy/make space/give room to what needs you. You NEED what feeds you.

Now, I have to go out into the world and ask JOY back into my life. With flowers, love notes, chocolate, jewels, the whole nine. This is courtship 911, and I am running the show which means we can all expect a lot of enthusiasm and a hefty dose of brutal honesty. I have no idea what the hell I am getting myself into, but I KNOW IT IS EXACTLY WHAT I NEED. I am going out to get her (JOY, yes, she’s a SHE), and I am bringing her back HOME. To myself. I’m not coming home without her, so do not try to deter me. This is my vision quest, my expedition and my very own, personal J.R.R. Tolkien novel (okay, so that last one was a stretch, but think of me like Frodo!). PLEASE DO NOT PLAY.

I’m taking a daily route, which means I’m carving out time every day to call out to her. One day at a time, I am on my way. Every. Single. Day.

I know what you’re thinking. That sounds a little vague, sister! How do you plan to find joy? Do you have a map? Is there a plan? Does joy keep an address? What’s happening, here? I’ll tell you.

I’m going to write every. single. day.

I don’t really know much else about what this will look like, except for practical details, like how much I am going to have to wake up early and stay up late and do WHAT I MUST in order to keep this very deep and entirely sacred promise TO MYSELF. I know that I haven’t kept many promises to myself in a very long time, and that has felt so hard and harsh-both on the inside and on the outside. I have promised myself, from a place so far down inside of myself that I will GIVE myself this gift, this DAILY PRESENT, because GOD, IT FEEDS ME. It brings me joy.

Do you need to care or be interested or invest in this journey? Goodness, no! You can come along, or not. You can be with me, or be without me, and we are so good. I will tell you, that I WILL BE WITH ME in this, and I will be with you, should you decide to come along. I’m not sure that I’m up to anything all that important in any greater context, so please join me in keeping low expectations in the results department. This is just me and my words and a promise I made and intend to keep. Kinda straightforward/Kinda not so much (typical).

I’m not promising you miracles. I’m not promising myself an easy road laced with only perfect sentences. I am promising myself a trek across the space of myself. I am promising to embark on a luminous journey of 100% soul nourishment. I promise to show up. I promise NOT to give up. Not on me. NOT on joy. Otherwise? All else is up for grabs!

I’m so excited/scared shitless/alarmed/shaky/itchy/warm/cold/certain about this journey, and that’s how I know it’s precisely right.

Tally ho!

xo,

M

 

 

WOMAN

Hello, world! I am a woman. I need myself. I need a village. Friends, family, hugs, love, support, laughter. I need lots of trusting, wise, kind and loving people to help me raise my children/myself. I need my health. Physical strength. Vitality to move. I need food, water and shelter. I like to read. I like to cook. I love to be outside. I enjoy time spent with people (but not all the people at once because #introvert). Here’s what I don’t need:

To be constantly sold to
Fulfillment/Happiness that comes from OUTSIDE of myself
Weight loss solutions
Dieting regimes
Skincare regimes
Supplement regimes
REGIMES, IN GENERAL

In fact, I LIKE ME JUST THE WAY I AM. Wrinkles, stretch marks and more. Wide hips, small lips, squinty eyes, yoga pants, ripped t shirt, tennis shoes, unwashed hair. I’m so good with this look! I’m so GOOD with me. I don’t do tight rope walking or strict rules or less than well. You start throwing shoulds and musts and you betters at me, and I get all kinds of pissed off. I do not want your waist trainer, your diet shake or your 21 day master blaster workout routine. I want to live inside this body carefully and consciously, my people. I do not want to shred it or blast it or turn it into a beach body. IT IS OKAY TO PINCH AND PULL SOMETHING FROM MY SIDE, Y’ALL. I have bigger fish to fry!

And those bigger fish are the entire world that is ready and waiting to try to teach my daughter how much she needs to CHANGE and SHRINK and WITTLE and BLAST and SHRED and SMEAR ON or TIGHTEN UP. A whole world of messaging is headed her way and it says: BE MORE, BUT BE SMALL ABOUT IT. DO MORE, BUT DON’T LET ANYONE SEE YOU TRYING. BE QUIET. BE STILL. SIT DOWN. SMILE MORE. MAKE ME COMFORTABLE. ALWAYS BE COMFORTABLE. KEEP TRYING. NEVER GIVE UP. EXCEPT, ON YOURSELF.

Y’all, I’m on a rampage this year, and I should’ve known it was coming because this year felt like shit up until I started asking myself the right question, and that question was not “What is wrong WITH ME?” The right question was: WHAT IS WRONG?

Cliff notes: So many things.

Anywho, I’m just not cool with being a woman and raising a girl in a world that wants to sit me down and shut me up and squeeze me into a pencil skirt. I’m not cool with a world that wants me to spend my money on a diet industry that keeps me SCARED of my body, and AFRAID of myself. I am not down with raising kids in a world that tells me I need to do it all by myself and do it perfectly and never fail and never fuck up, while telling me to somehow make sure to teach my kids to fail and teach my kids to fuck up and teach my kids they don’t have to be perfect. What?

I’ll choose to give to myself, put into myself, teach myself. I’ll choose to be so conscious so that anything I do consume, I consume with my wits and my senses and myself. I’ll teach my kids to fail and fuck up by failing and fucking up. I’ll teach my kids to be enough by learning that I AM ENOUGH. I’ll teach my daughter to love her body by LOVING MY BODY. I will teach my girl to know herself by KNOWING MYSELF. I’m not looking for myself in other things, in other bodies, in other people. I am RIGHT HERE, MY BABIES.

HELLO, WORLD! I did not come to social media to share my perfect pictures, and tell you about my shiny life. I came here to share myself, to be seen and heard and to connect. Mark Zuckerberg did not KNOW what he was getting all of you into.

Do not let anyone tell you what you need, boo. YOU NEED YOU. We all do.

xo,

M

I Just Had to Listen

Oh, I was feeling small and fragile and shaky today. Things felt extra hard. I felt extra incompetent. After a while, I looked at the boys (my husband and son) and asked/begged: PLEASE GO AND LEAVE ME ALONE FOR A WHILE? And, while my daughter slept upstairs, I decided that maybe it would help to come spend a little time with myself.

Oh, I have been working so, so hard, you guys. I have just been working deep and wide and painful and time consuming and rewarding and exhausting and for myself and for my kids and for my marriage and for my family and for my world. I have been working in tedious fashion, pulling tiny specs of dust and dirt off of my heart, whittling away at old, unnecessary ways of doing things and gathering a pile of shit I no longer need and discovering the courage, in small bits and pieces, to throw that shit out and keep going.

Today, I woke up, and everything inside me said, “Stop. Wait. Rest awhile, dear.” The kids were needing me, the day was calling and my husband was waiting. But, my body and my SELF would not be deterred. “SIT DOWN, SISTER,” they begged me. “GO FIND THE QUIET,” they urged. I started crying, for what felt like no reason, and retreated to my bed. My husband wanted to know what was wrong, and the words came from someone, I think me, “I just need space and quiet and away. Please take over?” And, he did.

There was a time in my life when I would have forced myself onward, even when all things inside said, “Stop. Wait. Rest, awhile, dear.” I would have pushed onward for “the sake of” my children, my husband or my career. I would have told myself to shhh, shhh, be quiet. Get up, get going, and you will be fine. Don’t wait. Don’t stay. Don’t listen. Just go.

This year, I have learned that listening to myself is the best and greatest thing I can do for myself and for everyone who knows and loves me. When I listen to myself, I can listen to the people around me. I can hear my children, my husband and my friends. I can be awake, and I can make conscious choices. It’s amazing, actually, what I can see and hear and do when I listen, first, to myself. I never knew how much I was missing when I wasn’t listening to myself. How I was shutting down to so much because I was shut down to myself. Now, the world is NOISIER, but I am clearer. I need this combination of REALITY and SELF, because, for some crazy reason, it grounds me. It anchors me. I can feel my legs again. The shakiness stops. The blood returns to my body. I can breathe.

Today, after listening very carefully, I discovered that I was hungry. So, I made myself this salad.

Not a salad advertisement, but wow-right?

Not a salad advertisement, but wow-right?

After I ate it, I cried. Because I am so proud of myself. I am hobbling around and facing myself and doing the next right thing over and over again. I am showing up when I don’t know what to do or how to do it. I am doing simple, every day things, and big, lifelong lesson-y things.  For more than half my life, I wanted to be this strong. I wanted to be this brave. I wanted to be this creative. And, after all of those years of longing and searching and not listening, HERE I AM. I was always here. I didn’t have to be fancy or shiny or even walking on my own two damn feet. I JUST HAD TO LISTEN.

(Also, I am proud of my salad skills, but we’ll save that celebration for another day, because time and such.)

Oh, thank you world, for letting me share this with you. I am not trying to teach you the lessons of yourself. I am just so grateful because now that I am listening, I also feel courageous and driven to SPEAK. It feels like real life running through these crinkly veins. I needed that. I needed this. I needed me. I needed you.

Love you. Mean it,

M

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