Saturday, February 16, 2013

I AM ...!

It's been a horrendously-albeit-gloriously epic week ... At least, this is what I've been telling myself.  Because I can dramatize anything.  Seriously, I can turn sitting on the toilet, and discovering that I'm out of toilet paper, into a tragedy.  And then, because I can, I turn it into a comedy.  To amuse the voices in my head, AKA the audience.  (Yes, I am Legion.)  Better to laugh hysterically, than to scream, thusly.  But best of all, to blog about it.

So, between the betrayals, the deceptions, the confessions, the forgivenesses, the blessings, the celebrational envy-of-the-joy-of-others, the survival of Vendetta Day (some of you may call it "Valentine's Day" - the day we observe the obligational-affectionary spewing of Pepto-Bismol-pink all over creation, or at least the stores), some anniversarial triggerings, some intensely emotional conversations, the loss of my longest-ever friendship, an expensive SNAFU-lesson with Verizon, the painfully-difficult standing-of-my-ground, and an infected eye (yes, one really must remove the contact on occasion), I heard one major message:


Because, when all is said and done, I am all I have.

My soul, the little stinker, apparently asked for this ... because my soul knows what my mind doesn't yet:  that I can handle this, that I even required this, that all this is valid, necessary, for my growth, evolution, expansion.

I've known this for a long while now ... it started when I cried out for "truth at all cost" ... that was 8 years ago, almost 9.

I knew this when I questioned everything ... when I started losing friends, left and right ... when I left my marriage ... when I did a series of emotional-bungee-jumping cliff-dives ... when I said "yes" to the divine plan ... when I renewed that "yes" more than once ... when I experienced a shamanic ceremony, and saw/heard/felt/smelled/tasted the words, "Sudden and Complete Life Change - From Now On Nothing Remains The Same!"

Ok ... but somehow, part of me thought, or at least hoped, it would be a bit more ... comfy.  Or at least less excruciating.  Less agonizing.

I wonder ... how long shall reeling be my modus operandii...?

Or ... is it just that I need a perspective-tweaking ... a shift in how I think, how I label what I experience?

I mean, is running out of toilet paper TRULY a death-defying situation ...?

I had a conversation today, with Sarah Ross, a life-coach (I keep attracting life-coaches ... hmmmm...).  I whined and groused and vented and dumped what I wrote above, about "the horrendously epic week" ... and she summed it up like this:

"I am so happy and grateful that you feel the blesings, even when they are messy and look like crap, frankly."

Messy-crap blessings.  (oooooh, see how this ties into the toilet paper trauma?!?)

Beautiful torment.

Exquisite agony.

Flawed perfection.

Vulnerable strength.

Courageous fear.

Tumultuous peace.

Divine-dichotomies, all ...

Which is fitting since I am a divinely-dichotomous, fully-human sort of woman.

So, Sarah asked me who I am... I AM an expression of The Divine, here in human form, cleverly disguised as Dena.  

She asked me to articulate my vision of me ... so, in the midst of some rather painful emotions, some strangling fears, and some severe doubts ... I intentionally expanded that narrowed tunnel-vision I was self-confined in, and dared to say:

Strong, confident ... inspiring others ... speaking, writing, acting, painting, dancing ... living fully ... relationships restored ... a life-partner with me, sharing life, co-healing, co-inspiring, co-creating ... experiencing abundant provision, giving to others ... enJOYing life, fully ... all aspects, welcoming whatever emotion comes along, receiving/allowing the messages ... growing, evolving, expanding ... exploring heights and depths ... authentically intimate, passionate, unleashed ...!

I have always sensed that I was "sent" here for a big mission.  Yeah, I'm fully aware of the grandiosity of that ... and yet, the simplicity of that (ha - another dichotomy!).  And lately, I have felt derailed, inept, incompetent ... THAT, I believe, is what I have most-grieved.  The loss of my purpose, my meaning, my vision, my gifts, my mission.

I AM re-claiming this.  I AM re-membering this.  I AM re-cognizing this.  I AM real-eyes-ing this.

Living small is not serving me, nor anyone else ...

I AM daring to show up ... to live my life ... to be me ... to take risks ... to make mistakes ... to be gloriously-messy ... to NOT hold back ... to not live-small ... to not shut-down, or numb-out ...

I AM going to survive,  and thrive ... even if it kills me ...

So be it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Body-Shame ... Body-Love

Ahhhh, the human body.

Such a miraculous and formidable ... and yet, vulnerable ... creation.

They come in all variations ... shapes ... sizes ... colors ... each one a glorious work of art.

They are "us" ... and yet "not us" - at least not-us in totality ... for we begin to recognize that we are a soul who inhabits, or even "wears" a body.  And yet, for this span of our existence, while on planet Earth, they are indeed part-of-us ... assigned-to-us (I happen to think we chose them, for our own purposes, to learn our chosen lessons, but I digress ... and can neither prove nor dis-prove this hunch).

Our bodies enable us to enJOY this material realm.  They let us experience growth, comfort, food, movement, touch, dance, exertion, power, connection, pain, pleasure, temperature, sensations, agony and ecstasy ... we can face the horrors of war, or the bliss of making love, in these amazing bodies.  They can achieve inordinate feats of strength & agility, or succumb to the ravages of disease and aging.  They can heal ... they can express love.  They are our companions, for the journey.

 (Note:  while I recognize that I am primarily a spiritual being who is having a human experience, I LOVE everything about being human ... the emotions, the experiences, the body I inhabit ... during this life, the body is NOT less-than the soul, or the spirit, or the mind ... it is a precious vehicle through which to experience this material realm - and matter matters!)

We are judged by our bodies, we judge others by their bodies, and we judge our own bodies.  Often, to our own detriment.

I've had an ongoing love-hate relationship with my own body, including a 21-year history of a severe eating disorder in my own past ... I've been overweight ... I've been underweight ... I've been my "normal" weight ... I'm getting older (I've currently been in this particular earth-suit for 51 years) ... I've given birth to 8 human beings, and I've sustained 3 miscarriages ... I'm a female in a culture where my worth and validity is measured by my attractiveness ... and I can attest that body-face-shame is just *there* no matter where the weight registers on the scale ... learning to accept and love ourselves, beyond the earth-suit, is a formidable task ... I am not giving up.

I experienced intense body-shame, just over a year ago, when, due to some intense and sustained grief, I had neglected my body ... I hadn't looked in any mirrors below my shoulders for weeks ... and I had lost my appetite ... I wasn't eating enough ... was not taking care of me.  One day, because some pants didn't fit right (they wouldn't stay up!), I got on the scale, out of curiosity, to discover that my weight was dangerously low ... and I was shocked - horrified!  Honestly scared.

A friend launched into some practical advice: "start beefing up those calories, start supplementing with Ensure ... get that weight back ON!" And as I heard those words, I felt "body-emotions" ... I tuned in, and I allowed myself feel my body's fear ... it felt "ashamed" ... it felt "bad/punished" ... even though it had been doing the best it could to serve me ... and I said, "No, I'm going to *love* my body back to it's setpoint. I'm going to trust it to find its way, by loving it. I'm going to *accept* it as it IS, here and now, and TRUST it to do what it knows to do. I will listen to it, and honor it, and eat what it calls for when it's hungry, and stop when it's had enough."

I got in the shower, and used the warmth of the water to soothe it ... I washed it gently, like I would do with a baby ... I cried tears of empathy for how my body had tried SO hard to serve me, even while I was unintentionally neglecting it ... I asked its forgiveness for not caring better for it. I dried it tenderly, and I slathered on lotion, dressed it in comforting warm clothing, fed it a nourishing meal, and rocked myself, tears streaming down my face almost meditatively, sending my body love.

Within a short period of time, with the power of love and trust, the weight did increase and stabilize ... if I had crashed it on (and if anyone crashes it off), the message is, "you are bad, I do not accept/love you, and I am going to beat you into submission."  The same would apply to a body that is overweight, or has sustained an injury, or surgery, or any sort of challenge ... our bodies need to be appreciated, accepted, treasured ... LOVED.

What child, animal, or adult human responds positively to punishment or abuse...? Something about loving what IS (a person, our bodies, a situation) allows us to have the space and freedom to see our options, and for balance to occur.

(I think I needed to type this out, to remind myself, today.)

I recorded this video a couple of months ago ... this poem about beauty came pouring out of me one evening ... in about 20 minutes of a "download".  I shared it before ... but it fits here, too.

(LOL ... it only *appears* that it's a video about yodeling lessons ...!  Choosing to let go of the "shame" of my goofy expression in the image!  :P )