I Am Not an Independent Woman

I am not an independent woman.

I was reminded of this recently,

when my shoulder froze.

When I cried in pain in my car;

and healers and friends surrounded me and cared

and worked miracles

and brought magic.

I am not an independent woman.

I remember when I look at the man by my side,

supporting the latest iteration of my self,

some project,

some grand manifestation not of his making.

I am not an independent woman.

I am aware of the ancestors,

their stories and struggles,

that have led to this; to me.

And the students, young and old, who listen to me

and follow my suggestions on the yoga mat,

or in life.

And the songs of the swans,

the soaring of eagles,

the prancing across my driveway of does and fawns;

made for me stop and wonder.

Each breath requires forces beyond my control.

Each moment is an opportunity for me to grow and learn and give;

which would be nothing without you.

I am not an independent woman.





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Three Words of Advice

My usual advice to my little daughter is “Remain calm.”
She has always had a penchant for a scene, a flair for the dramatic, a tendency to flip out – if the seam of her sock is crooked, something she made gets broken or she can’t grasp a skill or talent in the first 12 seconds.

“Remain calm,” I remind her, which possibly makes her flip out more.

I decided that maybe I need to expand my advice to 3 words. But which 3? I’ve started a list. I’ll keep it updated and maybe give it to her one day.

If I die unexpectedly, please make sure she gets this. I’m one of those that feels like they’ll live to a ripe old age, into the 100s, but I could be wrong, right?

My advice, in no particular order is this:

Accept yourself unconditionally.
With all of your quirks, emotions, uniqueness and ideas – love completely the You you have been given in this lifetime. Only then can you mine her talents and desires to create the beautiful life you were meant to live and the gifts you have for the world.

Take things lightly.
It seems very serious and important, all of the tasks ahead, but a life lived in the mind can get heavy and hard to bear. Laugh, feel the heart and the body and the light energy housed there, often.

Question your thoughts.
Lots of bullshit runs through the mind. Be skeptical. It’s not all true, and it may be causing you suffering.

Allow all feelings.
Allow them to come and allow them to go. They are like the weather.

Eat real food.
“If God didn’t make it, I don’t eat it,” Jack LaLanne said. Be vegan or lacto-ovo vegetarian or caveman or fruititarian. It doesn’t matter that much. Just believe in whichever you choose and eat whole foods mostly – the way things grow or live on the earth in their natural state.

Sit in silence.
There is wisdom within that can be heard in quiet moments. It sounds like a whisper or feels like a slight tingle at first. Practice tuning in to it and tuning out the loudness of everyone’s opinions, including your own, and all of the distractions of the world. Then it will become louder, brighter, more vibrant and vibrational. Then it can guide you on your way.

Let things evolve.
Things change. Your desires, your jobs, relationships, the body’s needs, other people – these and more will change. Let them. Roll with it.

Marry a nerd.
A hot nerd, like your dad. They’re smart and witty and have good jobs. They’re responsible and devoted to family. One will challenge you in intelligence and understanding, which you’ll need to grow.

Powder over pencil.
Just something I always tell my friends when they marvel at how I still have eye makeup on at 10pm. Powder over pencil or cream helps it stay. Or don’t wear makeup. Your choice. I came of age in the 80s when we were lighting our Maybelline eyebrow pencils on fire to make them work like gel eyeliner, and wearing the tightest jeans possible and slave bracelets and huge hair. If you’re lucky, the natural look will take hold for you girls, thanks to Alicia Keys.

Make yourself happy.
It’s not someone else’s job. It can’t be. It’s an inside job. Love yourself, take care of yourself and make yourself happy. Then present that wholly loved, happy person to the world.

Also, I love you.

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I Wasn’t Good at Body-Positive

The body positive movement didn’t work for me.

I tried it on. I tried to love my curves, embrace the fat. I tiptoed into virtual groups where they were doing body-love activities, or taking pictures. I can see the beauty in all of those women’s photos. They are magnificent creatures, all of them! I just couldn’t see myself that way.

I led a group of women on a New Moon Journey where we let go of old, unnecessary beliefs and other’s words about us and our bodies. We focused on the love of the true Self, the Spirit. We journeyed (guided by a shamanic practitioner) to listen to our bodies. I learned a great deal. I heard Her voice, felt Her power.

But I still wanted to be smaller. And then I felt bad that I still wanted to be smaller.

I kept getting bigger. Just a little bit, like a pound a year – but at that rate where was I headed?

I judged myself as unspiritual, un-yogic, for not being able to fully love my physical form as it was, like these other, bigger women seemed to do. I felt hypocritical as a yoga teacher who preaches love and kindness toward our bodies in class.

I do think my body is amazing for all it does and gives! I am grateful for Her.

I watched Embrace, the lovely movie with so many good points about societies’ ridiculous standards for women and the damage that can come from that. At the end I thought, “Yeah, but I still want to be smaller.”

I’m shallow, I guessed.

But I remembered listening. It’s a form of love.

Then I saw a picture of a friend, who had been on that New Moon Journey with me. She was half her size! I immediately demanded the info, which she generously shared. What she was doing, and now we are both doing, is Bright Line Eating. I am not pitching BLE. I am not an affiliate. I just figure I should mention it by name. The important piece of it is that it is based on breaking the addiction to flour and sugar, and not eating them anymore. And it turns out that is what I needed. I released 20 pounds. I feel more comfortable, confident, sexier. My bloodwork reflects great health (last year my doctor didn’t love my cholesterol numbers).

Loving enough to listen worked for me. I’m continuing to pay attention to Her, my beloved body. I don’t do Bright Line Eating perfectly but I try one day at a time. I feel free of many compulsions that were there with flour and sugar ruling my brain. I’m doing it because She loves it and feels good… and looks good. And I’ve surrendered to the fact that I care about that.

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