Another year has come and gone in the blink of an eye. In some ways I feel like 2016 just started a smidge ago, and I really cannot believe the number of events that have occurred in such a seemingly short amount of time. Some experiences were HUGE, heavy events inside my chest, and made me stronger in every way. Many, if not most memories are so fantabulous that my soul bounces with joy revisiting them, and as usual, there are some things that pretty much sucked big ol monkey ass that made me either cry or want to punch things.
Lot's of folks look back and can only think about what went wrong, what they didn't accomplish or try to forget the stupid things they did. Join the club. My "oh-oh" list is cringe worthy every year, I get it. My "want to" list has hardly anything crossed off, and if I walked more than I talked, I'd get a shit ton more accomplished.
As much as we want to click our heels together and wish away the election, our bad choices, and remove the tough times, we can't, and that's life. Life is an asshole sometimes, but it usually tries really hard to point us in the right direction, and quite frankly does some pretty fucking amazing things for us. Sometimes we have to pause everything, or just plain STOP and reflect on the good shit going on around us. I swear to a god of some sort there is more good than bad going on in the world if you just LOOK.
Recently pausing, thinking, reflecting and sharing my thoughts with some friends has really helped me out of a deep depression I was in right after Thanksgiving for a couple of weeks. Realizing how many positive things were happening around me or that could happen if I just tried, has dramatically shifted my mind set to seeing AND reminding me how fortunate I am. I shall spare you the braggy, gloppy, Look At Me Everybody holiday card. What I do want to share are some of my big nuggets of happy that remind me of the goodness I experienced and that there is plenty more where that came from.
I went to fucking EUROPE the beginning of 2016, helloooooo!?!?!? Jesus H, Molly, remember!?
I went to Ireland, worked on a god damn farm and experienced things that make my knees buckle with over powering giddiness. Dude, I made cheese, milked goats, rode horses, fed chickens and met amazing folks. I also went to Spain to drool over architecture I had only studied about, and stopped by Norway to visit an amazing human/friend/mother that felt like a dream on so many levels that it cannnot be explained with words .
Sure, I may have spent my savings, but you know what, I wouldn't change a thing because I WENT TO EUROPE AND MOST PEOPLE CAN'T.
I JUST started speaking to my father more frequently. Until this past Thanksgiving, I had only spoke to him once since August of 2015. I have spoken to him 2 more times since Thanksgiving and am planning on visiting him in February. He may not even realize anything was up, is moving on up, or dig that I just said that, if he even reads this blog. I speak of this because it brings out enormous feelings, including apprehension, but these feelings are rooted with the purest of intent, and deep respect. I am feeling hopeful, which terrifies me, but currently this makes me feel pretty fantastic.
My friendships have become stronger in every which way and my list of who I would take a bullet for has grown longer. I didn't think it was possible to love larger than I was for my dearest friends, but I was incorrect. My bonds with them have been solidified with such strength and depth that I cry reflecting on it. It is incomprehensible having a life without my closest friends and quite frankly I would not be here if it wasn't for them and their unconditional love. Many of my newly formed friendships already feel like warm sweater's and provide me with so much strength, inspiration and support that I don't want to curse it all by babbling about it too much.
2016 was full of all the sights, sounds, feelings and ingredients we all have going on at any given time. Happy, bright, dark, hopeful, sad, excited, scared, adored, pissed, insecure, aggravated, inpsired, bleak, loved, forgotten, amazing, valued, understood and most of all alive. I am trying like a MoFo to remind myself this is not a drive by situation going on. I am going to make a point to be in the mix of this life thing. I want to feel the prickly, the squishy, the sticky and the goodness that I am fortunate to be a part of because I CAN. Good, bad or ugly, life is happening and I am comitted to seeing possibility in every nook and cranny.
I have somewhat certainty that 2017 is going to be colossal. The anticipation of the upcoming year of brilliance is killing me, just like when we had to wait for a phone call on a land line. I want 2017 to know how happy I am to finally meet it, and tell it all about the cool things we are going to do, see, start, be apart of and take on. We are gonna need some kick in the pants, elbow grease and reminders of our kick assness, but this shit is so ON, it's not even up for debate. WE have each other, WE are strong and WE are alive. Let's do this.
Recently I was having dinner with 4 incredible women to discuss an upcoming event we would be taking part in for Passion Collective. Some of us had never met and were sharing our personal stories, tossing around ideas for future events, or asking questions pertaining to the event. Each of us were asked to give our "elevator speech" and while listening to the other guests, I heard myself state various times how much I wanted to do a certain something, or what I admired in others. It dawned on me how many things I still wanted to conquer on my Fear List and squash the yuck.
Somehow I managed to chat about the many things that make me vomit in my mouth, and I referred to my Fear List, which included taking a burlesque class. Personally, taking a burlesque class would push me so far out of my comfort zone I would need a plane flight back, so of course I ignore it at all costs. The women that do burlesque are completely and utterly amazing to me on so many different levels. It baffles me to no end how people have the confidence to get up in front of others to rock their femininity, celebrate their beautiful body, and radiate strength.
This got me thinking on a deeper level regarding my own fear of femininity and my Inner Bully. The grisly inner dialogue so many women have going on inside their head regarding their bodies and of themselves as a whole is overwhelming.
Why is it so hard for us to celebrate how completely AMAZING each and every one of our bodies are and what they do for us?!
Why is so hard to say "thank you" ?
Why do we push aside compliments and disregard it as if it's a lie, not to mention acting as if the person delivering it is just being nice or bat shit crazy for even thinking something kind about ourselves?
Why in the hell am I and so many other women so insecure with their femininity and/or bodies?
Is it the media? Past relationships?
Are we scared of looking weak? Too full of ourselves? Seen as shallow? Stupid? Ugly? Trying too hard?
The thought of trying to be "seductive" myself is just so outlandish to me and just TYPING that makes me cringe a bit.
WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT ABOUT?!
If someone I knew was telling me this, I would titty punch her right now for even thinking it.
Hell, I train people every day and remind my clients how much they kick ass, how they are their own worse critic and that they should never speak negative to themselves. There is honestly not a day that goes by that I have not admired another woman because of their strength, confidence, beauty or bad assery, yet I'd rather stick a knife in my eye than strut my own ass like I mean it, and I am not alone having those feelings.
I don't remember ever feeling insecure as a young child, but I do vividly remember playing King Of The Hill during recess outside on a winter day in 6th grade. I was gettin' my pushes in, vying for the top of the hill when my classmate Andrew yelled "look out for metro dome." That fucking comment hit me so hard in the face it could have destroyed a small city, and until last fall, made me cry. That exact moment I stopped being an unblemished child and never felt the same way in my own body. Over 30 years ago and it is still as fresh in my mind as the day it happened, I even remember the winter jacket I wore .
In high school I did the stint that many girls did of starving myself to be thin, and then in my 20's ate in excess or binged to fill "the hole" inside realizing it was due to a shitty boyfriend that belittled me. These situations built an unhealthy relationship with food and my body for most of my life. I always felt like the chubby girl entering a party or room and deflected in all ways to not be seen as feminine (only STRONG!) I would dream about what it would be like to leave the house and not think about my thighs rubbing together, to not worry if my love handles were hanging out or hoping that no one was looking at my butt because they would think it was gross.
Never mind that I was really great at sports in high school and college, was a talented artist, got to travel, had wonderful friends, met amazing people, had a supportive mother, etc etc.
Personal attacks were going on inside my head at all times and I am not alone hearing those conversations with a negative Inner Bully.
I thought that other women presenting themselves as feminine or pretty, no matter what genres, were relying on looks to get ahead. In reality I was jealous of their confidence and bad assery to rock the hello outta whatever the heck they wanted to wear, want to be or feel like that day.
How did they do that?
How can we teach that?
In my 30's I began to feel more comfortable in my body, and contribute that to getting through cancer treatment after enduring surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and being bald. I could literally see how my body became stronger and healthier after treatment, as well as appreciate the tasks it could perform after such a shit show. Facing my fears of femininity after that time, however, were difficult after acquiring scars on my breasts & chest, becoming pre-menopausal, and just trying to re-acquaint myself with a "regular" life.
When my marriage ended at 40+ years old after being with the same person for a decade or so, it made my insecurities start to boil up again. Who would date a twice divorced, half boobed, cancer survivor?
Thank fucking goodness for being introduced to meditation at that time in my life.
Yes, I mention it a lot, and this was the time in my life that I have referred to as my Holy Shit Moment. It was THEN that I realized that my negative body image/self talk stemmed from those assholes from back in the day and I let them win. Their negative voices became MY voice and that is revolting and exhilarating to realize at the same time.
What does one do with that serving of What The Fuck?
Take the power back.
I continued to meditate a crap ton, cry while envisioning the beauty I am capable of providing and feeling, and slowly embrace the love I have to share AND receive from others. I surrounded myself with positive friends, spent less time with Energy Suckers, pushed myself out of my comfort zones, reached out to people that I admired, tried out dating, and honestly focused on putting Good Stuff out there every single day. Every day I would have a positive mantra and after a while, positivity and strength became the normal for me. I viewed life as more than a task and could finally SEE the beauty in my surroundings and other humans. That is a shift that feels so effervescent it'll make your goddamn chest explode. I am fucking serious.
You put good stuff out there, it'll come back to you in all sorts of ways.
NO, it is not all fluffy clouds, bunnies and hippie dances. It wasn't easy getting to that mind blowing place inside nor will the work cease in order to settle there. I wish it was that easy to say "I made it!", but keeping my inner voice positive is a perpetual task and will be until the end of time. I face my internal Bully Douche Bag frequently and through meditation, unbelievable friends and a phenomenal dude in my life, I squash the fuck out of that Bully more often than none.
I am proud to say that I can usually accept a compliment with a thank you. I sometimes rock the hell out of high heels cuz I WANT to and am a strong ass person for presenting myself any way I damn well want to: feminine, masculine, or in a damn Snuggie. For me, it's about being proud as shit when I feel good inside my own skin and appreciate what my body and mind is capable of doing.
Maybe your positive voice has way different & cool things on the agenda to learn, to squash, or to take care of and THAT is why you are a beautiful human. You are a bad ass and don't let anyone or anything tell you different. YOUR true voice should be listened to, celebrated in all forms, and never ignored. The bullies and negative fuck faces are just that. They wish they could have the strength to be themselves, but they gave their power away. Let's break the cycle of negative bullshit inside our head and towards others. Everyone deserves be heard, to be themselves, to feel valued and be loved. Forget about feeding a human Bully back their own bullshit, they don't deserve your energy or time. Ignore the Energy Suckers, or better yet, kill em with kindness, they'll never know what hit 'em.. That internal Bully Douche Bag is another story, kick it's ass to the curb, and show 'em who in the hell you are.