I started to write “Some Women are Fat” but that’s not the main issue. More men are becoming weight conscious, but for women fat phobia is a way of life. “This Is Us” has won an Emmy in part for including the lifetime pain of a large woman in its story line. More prevalent are shows like “The Biggest Loser”, featuring weighty men and women abusing themselves, often gaining the weight back because of their underlying medical problem.
The reality is that the medical community may not want to admit they don’t have an answer to all the fat conditions. They are as myriad and individual as the people struggling with fat. One doctor told a candidate surgery was the only way to reset her metabolism. Really? The big secret is that bariatric surgery does not reliably produce weight loss.
Recently the role of our manufactured food industry has been recognized, but still the billion dollar diet industry rolls on. Women are assured the more they measure, the more they will never measure up with the appropriate body. Ads for “health” are masks Continue reading “Some Women Have Fat”
Right now I have an 89-year-old friend who moved away from her lifetime residence and cadre of friends to a retirement home closer to her daughter. Her daughter wanted this move because it would save her expensive flights to visit her mother. Although they were not especially close, my friend wanted to be nearer to her daughter in case she became ill.
My friend spends her days isolated in the facility. Her daughter does not see or talk to her very much and it is difficult to begin making friends at this age, she says. It is now apparent that her daughter may not be there even if she is ill. She thinks she made a mistake but she cannot move back now. She is too old.
Inventions are just another way people are creative. Women excel in creativity, and have focused it on whatever arena they have found themselves in.
We don’t know the names of Native American women who developed any of the pre-Columbian treasures that were found when Europeans arrived here. We know that the idea of democracy from the Iroquois Confederation and compulsory education were new to the explorers. They found Native Americans using chocolate, aspirin, gold plating, rubber balloons, toy tops, chewing gum, hammocks, oil extraction, and a container like a baby bottle. Their knowledge of 2,564 plant medicines revealed uses as anaesthetics, insect repellants, and oral contraceptives, some administered through syringe-like devices.
Given the chance, Native American women did enter fields yielding inventions. Born on August 9, 1908 in Oklahoma, Cherokee Mary Golda Ross was the first female and the only Native American engineer at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in Burbank, California during the Space Race.
Many times we don’t know the names of the women who have created our benefits today. A cliché is a woman’s place is in the home. So women inventors changed what this meant. Tour a home with me and see how many ways women inventors have helped us with our work.
“Every human person is inevitably involved with two worlds: the world they carry within them and the world that is out there. All thinking, all writing, all action, all creation and all destruction is about that bridge between the two worlds.” – John O’Donahue
Valentine’s Day is a celebration of connection. Sending heartfelt thoughts is a way to reach out, perhaps say what can’t be said, with a greeting already packaged.
October has been chosen as a month of over 100 chances for awareness or observances. The National Holiday Calendar list could be grouped into categories of animal care, human care, food, health, ethnicity, and more.
So it is tempting to wonder if there is a hierarchy of significance. Are, say, the human causes more important than the animal ones? Famously we are aware that there are more animal shelters per population than women’s shelters. But those who are animal lovers may brush this away because humans are supposed to be able to defend themselves.
I am proposing a shift in the way we think about the issue. I am proposing that we shift the emphasis away from violated women as a group that must be advocated for by others and therefore “lower” somehow and emphasize their strengths.
“Oh my God, now I have to put up with this too. I can’t believe the nerve. What does he expect?! He never thinks of anyone else. It’s damned if you do or damned if you don’t.”
Feeling better after reading this? Of course not. But each day many of us inflict barrages like this on our poor adrenal system voluntarily.
We can do ourselves and our nervous system a huge favor by recognizing the top three categories of stress talk and replacing or releasing them to the fiery pit from which they came.
In this sample, extremes are pushing you off a cliff fast. Phrases like “OMG”, can’t believe” and all-inclusive generalizations or abstractions box us in. There’s a reason for the phrase “two horns of a dilemma”- it’s a false choice.
For some women Mother’s Day is not an easy day. Daughters of mothers who could not nurture them experience emotional fallout that casts a shadow over this day and indeed their lives.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes about the Stone Child, stories and myths of the unmothered child. As women, we experience “collapsing” and a wild hunger that leads us to doubt ourselves, have difficulty seeing ourselves accurately, engage in risky or impulsive behaviors, and an inability to maintain healthy boundaries. We miss training in honoring our intuition, consciousness and common sense. To recover, women must grow their own internal mother to warm their hearts through meditation, connecting with nature, bodywork, and support from other women. We must come to terms with our mother shadow, for she never leaves us. We cannot escape the effects and should not. Our mother effect is the source of our creative energy. Our emotions are our guide to our next level for spiritual development.
I’ve been reviewing 3 basic tasks for spiritual development: honoring ourselves, discovering our expressions and sharing our expressions. Along that line, let’s revisit an idea of resolutions for the beginning of 2017.
Instead of twisting myself in knots out of a framework of faults, I wanted to set my path from a value-added mindset. So I began to think about what would enhance me this year. You may want to consider something similar for yourself.
I recently saw a post I thought was a good beginning. It recommended replacing every “I’m sorry” with “I appreciate.” Instead of “I’m sorry I was late” I can say “I appreciate your waiting.” “I’m sorry I can’t stay” with “I appreciate the time I’ve had with you.”
In the past two posts, we looked at the foundational necessity of Honoring Yourself in the pathway to spiritual growth. Without honoring our gift of embodied life, we are set at odds against ourselves, constantly battling our right to be and squandering the energy we have been so lavishly given by having a physical experience for our spiritual selves.
Likewise, the second step in our spiritual growth is to Discover our Expression. This is what we are uniquely suited to bring into the world. It provides a sense of satisfaction, a “rightness”, that assures us we are in the flow of our good and what we came here to do. It does not matter how small, how inexpensive, or how quiet our gifts may be, it they provide us with the “click” that signals the integration Continue reading “Share Your Expression This Season”
In the previous post, we explored the foundational practice of honoring yourself.
Without this in place, our efforts often become disappointing because we are acting from a place of not knowing ourselves or looking on the outside for what can only be found within.
Honoring self allows us to be equals, not subservient to others nor creating resentments through “self will run riot”, as the 12 Step program says.
Discovering Your Expression, then, grows out of paying attention to our intuition, nudges, dreams and life experiences. This attention comes from honoring ourselves.
Our dreams or deep desires are there, I believe, from our beginning. They are linked to what is ours to do in the world, what will provide us with maximum satisfaction.
Discounting our dreams is a way of dishonoring ourselves. Often as children our dreams are in our play patterns. As we mature, we recognize that this was a type of dream language. What we enjoyed was a symbol containing the seed of what would fulfill us. It is not uncommon to forget what gave us satisfaction as children. So we have to rediscover it.
It doesn’t take much looking to see the correlation between children’s toytrucks in the sand and construction heavy equipment activities. The root satisfaction of being able to move objects or land is innate. In fact, many discoveries have come while the mind was relaxed at play, or in dreams.
Discovering our expression usually involves an integration of ideas. All life emerges from an integration of elements, so it is not surprising that our expression will involve putting elements together that we may not have in the past. For example, music and therapy, or technology and healing.
Our expression will create a “click” feeling when we discover it. We will sense that something has “come together” and is right for us. Often all that is necessary to discover it is to observe, journal, talk, or study an interest or group of interests that will not leave us alone.
Emerging careers now involve combining fields: biotechnology, educational management, scientific illustration, genetic engineering, and so on. But your field may not exist yet. It may be up to you to invent it by discovering your expression.
Your expression might not be something as large as a career, however. Part of not honoring ourselves is comparing our gifts to those of others and feeling like they are not as important. Your expression may appear small or similiar to others, but that doesn’t matter. It is yours to express and you will feel happy doing it no matter how small it seems. Your painted rock is unique among all other painted rocks, and it is important that you paint it, because it expresses your soul’s work. Monetary value is not a factor in measuring the worth of your expression, but many have discovered abundance pursuing theirs. As the saying goes, love what you do and you will never work a day in your life.
You may not create the next “pet rock” fad, but that does not mean your expression is insignificant. You must express it because it is yours. It is a reciprocal act: expressing it enriches the world and you are enriched by doing it.
Anywhere there is a gap or an unmet need is a clue to something needing to emerge or be expressed.
When we identify it, we can be sure to pursue it because it is our unique gift, both to ourselves and others.