Self Portrait Saturday: Change Gonna Come

In our lives there are often big, giant, changes that happen that we have no say over or control about. But we always have control over ourselves whether that is our attitude, our gratitude, or maybe just our hair.

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A Human. Being.

I woke early today. No reason, just awoke.  Generally I go with Dr. Dyers suggestion to listen to what the early morning quiet wants to whisper to you. The gentle silence of the dawning day does lend itself to contemplative thought and often words will bubble up. Essays or poems given the all clear to swim up to the surface of the mind to be scooped up and prepared for consumption like so many fishes.

I’ve sometimes thought that I should make a habit of rising early in the morn to get a jump on the live-long day in one way or another. Alas, it does not come naturally to me at all, barring these occasional lapses.

I lived my entire childhood with a woman who was naturally an early riser and annoyingly perky with it. At least to the grumpy bear she was poking with a stick to try to wake from hibernation every morning. To me, I’d rather you didn’t coat the stick with honey. The situation was sticky enough without gumming up the works any further.

Eventually, as most (relatively) reasonable humans do, we worked out a system that worked pretty well for the most part. Mainly: I used an alarm clock and she steered clear of me until later in the day.

But, of course, I digress.

Back to this early morning business.  I think that it is rare anymore to sit in complete silence without any electronic sounds going or machines running. That is one of the chief benefits of camping, I’d say. We don’t camp much. It involves entirely too much planning and organization for my brain to really contemplate it seriously as a task I want to take on. I do need to try to make more of an effort to do it, tough, as my husband is an outdoorsman at heart and needs the air and sky and dirt and trees in much the same way he needs food to eat and water to drink.

He is determined to return to hunting. His expectation was this season, but i think he is not recovered enough yet from his most recent poor health adventures to accomplish it so soon. But I think it could be managed next year if all goes well and he is determined to regain his weight and strength. At the very least, a camping trip or two seems only fair.

Back to the topic at hand (again), I was talking of the rarity of sitting in silence, free from the whir and buzz of modern contraptions and contrivances. Or even just the bustle of other inhabitant’s habitation.

I live fairly rurally and am able, on occasions such as this, to pause and just listen to the birds chirping. Even they have settled into quietness for now. I suppose it is a blessing that even the refrigerator must rest from running sometimes. As must we all, of course.

Some people panic at the thought of being alone with themselves, I’ve heard. I’ve always been prone to dwell in my head a lot (too much, I suppose some might say). I’m comfortable with only my thoughts for company, at least for a while. Eventually I would need to seek out distraction in one form or another, whether that form would be the pages of a book, the flicker of a screen, or the society of a companion.

Of course, some of the best companions are those who can accompany you in your silence.

I am often more eloquent in my head or on the page than i am in person. So interpersonal relations can be hard sometimes to figure out and maintain. I’ve noticed that a significant number of my friends over the years have been horse people. It’s interesting to me because I’ve never particularly been interested in horses beyond my general affinity for all animals. I was thinking recently that that might be because they are more aware of body language and unspoken communication than most people. It occurs to me as I write this, though, that they are also usually calm and fairly well grounded so as not to transfer a nervous energy to the horse and also not to spook them.

As a person who derives much of her energy/mood from the people around her, I find that I need steady, calm folk around me who won’t transfer their nervous energy to me or spook me.

Obviously I am the horse in this scenario.

I suppose it’s clever of me to instinctively seek out good “handlers.”

Self Portrait Saturday: A Shadow of Myself

Shadows are funny things. They show a picture of you that is both you and not you. I take pictures of my shadow because it helps me to remember that the way I see myself, and even how others see me, is not the way I actually am. Shadows change minute by minute depending on the location of several moving bodies both celestial and terrestrial. These moving, changing, progressing bodies affect how the shadow is perceived, but not the actual body that the shadow comes from. A lesson to keep in mind.

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Self Portrait Saturday: Baseball Gear

I haven’t done self portrait saturday in a while, so here is a picture my friend took at our baseball game last week. Spring here isn’t really that warm yet, so watching baseball requires some gear. and for good measure a picture of Child C sliding into home to steal a run.

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Friday Falafel* Five

Here is this week’s offering of great posts that I’ve read. I hope you’ll click through and give them a read or a look.

ADD and Autism

 

http://momnos.blogspot.com/2013/04/our-kind-of-autism-awareness.html (autism awareness)

http://www.diycouturier.com/post/47249603128/21-tips-to-keep-your-shit-together-when-youre (depression)

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/04/its-different-girls-adhd/63746/ (ADHD in girls)

 

Kindness and Love

 

http://www.kindovermatter.com/2013/04/through-lens-of-kindness.html (kind photography)

http://mad.ly/68e5a3 (you deserve love)

http://www.kindovermatter.com/2013/04/only-connect.html (making connections is what it’s all about)

 

Creativity

http://99u.com/articles/14599/the-5-most-dangerous-creativity-killers (make a change, if necessary)

 

Equality, Freedom and Poverty

 

http://www.upworthy.com/history-may-not-remember-this-speech-but-i-guarantee-that-you-will?c=ufb1 (equal rights in marriage (video))

http://www.upworthy.com/its-hard-enough-convincing-some-women-they-need-feminism-so-when-a-dude-gets-it?c=ufb1 (equal rights in gender)

http://billmoyers.com/content/slideshow-poverty-in-todays-america/ (photos of poverty in america)

 

*The falafel is in there because it makes about as much sense as me continuing to say FIVE every week.

“Five” for your Friday

So here are some things I gathered this week.

On loving ourselves and each other:

http://www.brenebrown.com/my-blog/2013/3/20/meuitdwaubpgr9qt1xanm3fwwa0sjo (shame is not a tool that allows for change)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3KyvlMJefR4 (Imagine a world without hate)
http://www.scarymommy.com/hate-my-body/ (I don’t hate my body)

http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-moments-that-prove-mr.-rogers-was-greatest-american (a rare ceasefire in snark was called on Cracked because of Mr. Rogers)

On politics and Dying:

http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/the_last_letter_20130318/

On Rape and Rape Culture:

(I assume these will be triggering for some. [too many])

http://www.guante.info/2012/12/new-video-action-and-mens.html (a spoken word poem about staying silent)

http://www.lateenough.com/2013/03/friends-dont-let-friends-rape/ (when a friend won’t let you drive drunk, but will let you rape)

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/03/19/stubenville-and-cnn-and-the-rest/ (we need to hear more men like this)

http://teachertomsblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/this-is-too-much-for-me.html

 

I am not fat. (Viewer discretion advised)

When I talk about my ADD I try to be careful to make the distinction that I have it, not that I AM it.  I’ve blogged about it before.  Someone posted on facebook recently a sentence that, after it had a little time to sink in, really made my stop and think. What they posted was:

Fine, I have fat, not I am fat.

At first I dismissed it a little. Yes, of course, that makes sense. So? But it refused to give up as easily as that and niggled around in my brain, tapping at neurons until I paid more attention to it. Right. Okay. Yes. It’s kind of obvious once you think about it, isn’t it? I have fat. It does not define me. As much as our thin obsessed society would like me to think otherwise, I am not fat. I have fat. I have fat on my body. Some of which, maybe even most, I’d like to take off of my body. I am working at doing so. But in the meantime I am resolved to love my body for the beauty that it holds now.

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I have fat. That little word has no bearing on myself as a person. It has nothing to do with my heart, my soul, my sexiness, my womanliness, my abilities as a mother, as a spouse, or as an artist.

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I think that our media and society has fetishized thinness to point where people have trouble believing that any variation is attractive at all. It’s hard to envision yourself as beautiful when society holds up a picture of what beauty is and you don’t match it. We have swallowed the line heard so often; that we ARE fat and that being fat is a failing. The truth is that having fat is not a failing. Even if you want to lose weight or fitten up, it is possible to love yourself and your body now. In fact, you must. The way you talk to yourself colors the entirety of your experience. If you are hateful toward your body it won’t work with you it will work against you. You need to love your body into a new shape.

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I wonder if it would be easier to turn down a “fatty” dessert if you could just say, “No, thanks. I already have enough fat.” As opposed to drawing it in to the fatness that you ARE because you can’t separate yourself from your fat. Hard to say. But it’s sure as hell worth a try.

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A funny thing happened yesterday. I was on Pinterest and ended up spending 15 or 20 minutes looking a a couple of boards in promotion of Curvy women. After just that little amount of time had a big effect on my perception of my own body.

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Just that small amount of time looking a big beautiful women let me see in me some of the things that I considered beautiful about them. Imagine if that could happen all of the time. If women of every beauty type across the broad spectrum were regularly represented in mainstream media. If your culture said that you were beautiful, too.

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It is hard to imagine it.

What if our young men saw that it was okay to find more than one type of woman attractive? What if it was not considered a fetish to be attracted to bigger people? What if we allowed people to love who they love without labels?

What if I told you you’re beautiful?

What if you knew it already because you didn’t have to fight so hard against society’s cookie cutter idea of beauty?

What if I am not fat? What if I have fat?

What if it doesn’t really matter that much if I do?

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