Weighing In On Self Worth

I had the pleasure to meet a remarkable young woman by the name of Mar Ortiz a few years ago.  She is now a reality television star on a show called Big Women: Big Love .  Recently, she found herself catapulted into an arena that is as courageous and inspiring as it is absurd.  A photo and a statement… would soon be a platform of debate.

I love my love handles!

I scrolled upon this photo in my Facebook feed and I commended Mar because there is nothing more beautiful than being comfortable in your own skin.  As this picture went viral and people began commenting, I was actually appalled at the thought that anyone would even suggest that Mar was “glorifying obesity.”  That’s absolutely absurd!  It is becoming harder and harder in this day and age to “be beautiful.”  What is beauty? Is it running around scantily clad?  Is it looking like a superhero? Is it systematically butchering your body parts to resemble a celebrity?

love love handles

It’s absolutely ghastly and unnerving for someone to be scrutinized for appreciating their God given body.  That concept within itself has been so lost in translation for some time.  In a world of Photoshop, filters and plastic surgery … what’s so bad about posting a picture and being content with yourself.

Love yourself at any size or glorifying obesity?

Not everyone is petite, tall, thin, or even full figured.  What is wrong with enjoying what you have and working it with confidence and acceptance?  We must be careful with the type of message we are sending and be wary of it being lost in translation lest we raise a generation of self-loathing anorexics with a skewed perception of what beauty truly is.

From the outside it is very easy to point and shake a finger at people who put themselves out there.  On the other hand.. “out… there..” are many people who maybe suffering for various reasons that are not afforded the opportunity to attempt to fit into this highly unrealistic ideal of beauty.  In addition to what they are facing, they should not be made to feel that they cannot be happy within themselves or pleased with their appearance because it is seemingly is not acceptable to the norm.

Self-acceptance should be celebrated and woman like Mar empower others.  In turn they should be supported and not blasted for simply being happy with who they are and proud of their appearance.

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Knock, Knock

I had a GNI (Girls Night In) evening last night and rented a movie called “Knock, Knock” starring Keanu Reeves.  I must admit I knew nothing about the movie prior.  I had never seen a preview trailer but was gripped by the concept of the plot because it is something that does occur but hardly ever reported or talked about.  Apparently this film is a Sundance film that premiered earlier 2015.   It is centered around a topic we are conditioned to avoid talking about.  Rape.  Moreover, MALE RAPE.

A new study reveals that men are often the victims of sexual assault, and women are often the perpetrators. – Hanna Rosin

There are a lot of myths and misconception about rape itself…  When we think about rape, we automatically assume it is a crime that is committed against women and children.  The statistics on adult male rape are not accurate simply because male rape is seldom reported.  There is an overwhelming shroud of shame that comes along with rape that is unfathomable among male victims due to the misconception that arousal equals consent much like the misconception of a woman warranting sexual assault because of her attire.

In asking 40,000 households about rape and sexual violence, the survey uncovered that 38 percent of incidents were against men. – Hanna Rosin

Self blame, particularly for a male in a such a predicament, can be a psychological oppression that can fester as a result of being unable to speak out based on the general consensus.  An erection is a physiological response to stimuli which is no different from when a doctor takes a mallet to a person’s knee.  The real damage emerges when the adult male victim tries to wrap his head around what transpired.  Sometimes, sexuality maybe called into question of the perpetrator is male as well.

It is extremely crucial we raise awareness and educate ourselves on the topic and educate others so that they are empowered.   This can happen to anyone.  No one deserves violation regardless of their attire, state of sobriety, or physiological response to stimuli.

Although the plot scenario has been exaggerated for entertainment purposes, the principles of power and control are present.  Manipulation into self blame are all present as well.   There are a few links below for more information if you would like to get a comprehensive understanding on rape, sexual violence, and the general misconceptions.

RANIN

When Men Are Raped

Rape Myths and Facts

 

Choice

No one says you have to be the same person you were yesterday. No one says you have to be the same person you were just five minutes ago. Changing is a choice. The choices you make can shift your paradigm and although you remain in the same environment among the same people, you can be a different person and therefore have an entirely different experience than before.

 

If you choose to be happy, you will notice the distinction in how you deal with unhappy people. Moreover, they will notice it too.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho

If you choose to live your life looking through the windshield rather than the rear view mirror, you will notice new opportunities and encounter new people that will yield new experiences.

You have to be the catalyst of the change. It must start inside. It must start with you.

Like ripples in water a single simple choice undulates and echoes throughout the universe. Not only does a simple choice affect you, but those around you in inconceivable ways. If you choose to say hello to someone versus just walking past them can possibly make or break their day setting off a social butterfly effect.

The most difficult part of the process is simply making the choice.

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Requiem for Responsibility

I came across this post from a positive and motivating good friend of mine.

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As I read it over again, I reckon this schpeel applies to us all.  There is a silent social epidemic of entitlement that is stifling and strangulating our ability to connect with one another on a healthy basis.  This social epidemic of entitlement has infiltrated our professional and interpersonal relationships.  Responsibility evades us when we feel as if we are owed something whether it is praise, validation, favors, special treatment, retribution, immunity to rules and laws etc.  Nothing good can ever come from feeling entitled.

You are important and you are needed.  It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday.  Someday is now and that somebody is you!

Every single soul has a special super power.  Every single soul has a contribution to make to other souls.  It is our individual responsibility to identify our special power and use it to impact the lives of others.  No one can do it for us.  That is just how we are built.  Without purpose, we end up shits creek and possibly for some, before a judge reciting something similar to the above. 

It is up to you to decide to take responsibility for yourself and your individual power.  Learn it, use it.  It is far more rewarding to do so than to sit back and wait to receive what you feel you are entitled to receive.

When All Else Fails in Your Closet

Every woman comes out the womb screaming she has “nothing to wear.”  To quote the great philosopher Usher Raymond, these “situations will arise in our lives but, you’ve got to be smart about it!”

The little black dress

36 Chic Little Black Dress Outfits - Style Estate -

36 Chic Little Black Dress Outfits – Style Estate –

It always makes a big statement. It does not matter if it has been in heavy rotation for years like your favorite song on your iPod playlist. Add some accessories to the deal or a pair of textured or bright colored shoes and “Voila!” a whole new look.

The Classic White Shirt

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Paired with your most flattering jeans, this combo is the little outfit that could – and will – hit the mark every single time. Play up your hair and face.  Be sure to add a Boss Lady handbag or clutch and no one can tell you squat; unless of course, you actually do at the gym in which case is a total score!.. “Goal!”

The pencil skirt

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Adding a blouse or tank top makes a nice and easy ensemble to pull off that can coincidentally look like you’ve pulled out all the stops.  You can throw in a belt over it to seal the deal.  Whether you throw on a leather jacket, cropped denim jacket, or a bolero jacket/sweater … you’re good to go.

The Blazer

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The blazer can be worked into a casual outfit to transform a day look into night.  If you’re in a t shirt and jeans, add a blazer and some heels to complete a fun and stylish look.  It works every time!

The Fourth Decade

This post awesome!

Amanda Mininger

One of my closest friends turned 40 today. I’ve been thinking about this one, trying to figure out why we put this much significance on a birthday, why we decorate this particular mile marker with lights and flowers and well-meaning phrases full of pith, borrowed from antiquity or Sex in the City, one of the two. I’ve had this conversation before with friends in their late 30s and early 40s, and we all say the same thing: “I don’t feel 40. I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like, but whatever it is, I don’t feel it. Does it mean we have to wear longer skirts now?”

Whatever cause for contemplation there is, I’ll take the bait. I know that, at minimum, turning 40 gives us permission to take stock and see where we are, to ask of ourselves: What have I learned (if anything?) What have I…

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Why You Can’t Live Without Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel has become one of the most important items in my medicine cabinet.  It has multiple medical and aesthetic uses.  Topically, it can be applied for minor skin rash, irritation, bug bites and sunburn.  It can also clear up acne, blemishes, brighten skin, shrink pores and eye bags.thy-045178-1

I have used it for years now.  I cleanse my face and splash Thayer’s Witch Hazel with lemon on it and let it air dry before I apply makeup.  I use nothing else.  I have not had a break out since.  It gives a natural dewy glow without over drying your skin or leaving it greasy.  At night, I also put some on a cotton swab to remove eye make up and I dab a little extra under my eyes so that I do not wake up looking too tired or worn out.

There are many other uses for Witch Hazel.  Please check out some articles listed below for further uses.

17 Genius Uses of Witch Hazel

Uses for Witch Hazel

So, I said to myself… Self…

How do you view yourself? Is how you view yourself congruent with who are? How can you tell?

These are self-assessment questions everyone should ask themselves periodically – particularly when their lives are on the verge of change. Are the same formulas still working for you? What is your current level of inner peace? Are you happy? Are you sleeping well at night? Is your load heavy? How can you lighten it?

 

Self-assessment can be a scary thing. Sometimes we do not want to look back or within but looking back and looking within will provide the clues and tools necessary to move onward to your next destination. Looking back a year ago today… where were you? What were your biggest fears and concerns? What were your accomplishments? What goals have you set since? Have you achieved them? Who had been helpful and supportive when needed along the way?

 

In life we can accumulate a lot of things like methods of doing things, people and paradigms that are no longer suitable. Once a bipedal adult, one reckons the fastest was to get around is not on all fours as a quadruped. This is no different from maturing and shedding old thought patterns, influences and extracting lessons from experiences had that help shape you to become who you are while honing your skills to identify and circumvent recurrences of not-so-pleasant situations, experiences, and people. This too, like handwriting, is a skill that takes practice. It is a difficult skill at first because looking back and looking within can dredge up feelings that are unpleasant.

 

Feelings are what make us human and perhaps, so incredibly beautifully flawed. Good feelings are better than any possible high known to man. Bad feelings… well… I know I do not stand alone when I say I’d rather break a bone than feel bereaved or dejected. The reality is, there is no avoiding it; and often, it comes without warning. Not dealing with feelings and filing them away in the back of your mind is like cleaning a loaded gun with the safety off – someone, is bound to get hurt – either you are someone around you. Unresolved feelings can hinder your progression in various areas of your life. Keeping yourself extrinsically occupied will not diminish those buried feelings within.

 

It is frightening to go searching for those old dingy feelings, but it’s less disastrous to find them and purge them than allowing them to emerge spontaneously. I heard a lecture by Bill Johnson called, “The War in Your Head” and he said something profound,…

“every response in life we have is either out of LOVE or out of FEAR.  The source of our words, responses, our directives in life… the things we choose to pursue, the things we choose not to pursue are either because of love and fear.”

So,… ask yourself, what do you love? What do you love to do?  What would you love to do?  What are you afraid of? What are you holding on to so tightly that you’re afraid to lose?

 

This is the precipice of self-assessment and therein is keys to unlocking who you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going. Defuse the pain of past experiences by extracting the lessons you’ve learned from them and set out to love more. This way you can make room for new experience and new people. Identify your sources of love and support and avoid sources that provide contrary influence. Keep moving and keep checking.

Frenemies

unnamedA portmanteau of friend and enemy; an enemy who acts like a friend. Sometimes spelled frienemy.

PERSON WHO HATES ON YOU BUT LOVES YOU SOO MUCH!

THEY WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND…
BECAUSE YOUR LIFE IS BETTER THAN THEIRS.
THEY ENJOY YOUR SHINE..

The type of “friend” whose words or actions bring you down(whether you realize it as intentional or not). The type of friend you ought to cut off but don’t cuz… they’re nicegood …you’ve had good times with them. U know… they’re good people that you can count on to bring you down again sometime in the near future. The friend you may or may not have cornered about their quicksand like ways and keep around because “it’s in the past”… and so was one minute ago; the person that will continue to bring you down until you demand better for yourself.
When you ask yourself is that person my friend or enemy…they are your frenemy. Straighten ‘em out or leave them. Don’t put up with it.
JUSSTRIGHT September 14, 2010

Sometimes, out of love we turn a blind eye to friends that have gradually turned negative, toxic and abusive right before our eyes.  For a myriad of reasons, we may sympathize with their current life situation and therefore allow them to dump their negativity and abuse in our laps when they have an episode. When we find ourselves saying to ourselves or others “she/he is a really good person, it’s just… ”  That “JUST” is a conditioned justification for the inappropriate behavior and when you find yourself often saying “it’s just’… it’s time to evaluate whether you have a friend or frenemy within your midst.The type of ‘friend’ whose words or actions bring you down (whether you realize it as intentional or not).

The type of friend you ought to cut off but don’t cuz…they’re nice… good …you’ve had good times with them. U know…they’re good people that you can count on to bring you down again sometime in the near future.The friend you may or may not have cornered about their quicksand like ways and keep around because “its in the past”…and so was one minute ago.The person that will continue to bring you down until you demand better for yourself

tweetybird1 May 25, 2006

It may not be that easy to spot who is who, however it can be apparent by the way you are made to feel after having encountered them.  The spectre at the feast, doling out back handed compliments in front of everyone or blatant put downs.  The friend that is always there when something is wrong but seems to always have something to do when you are celebrating something right.  The friend that encourages you with poor advice or flat out expects you to accommodate them without consideration for you at every turn regardless of what you have going on.

A person with whom you may have a lot of fun and /or a lot in common, who also has a vile and random dark side. These relationships are worth doing a cost/benefit analysis on. Also, limiting relationships with frenemies to non-SO relationships is a must. Why? Because it’s ultimately all about them after all, and you will need to be in a position to get away from them for indefinite periods of time. Know too, *that you will probably become their frenemy as well -because you won’t be able to keep from talking behind their back. If this happens, don‘t expect everyone to get it – some will wonder why this person enrages you so much and others will wonder what you see in them.

It is recommended for your own safety/sanity that you limit yourself to one frenemy at any given time in your life.

WhoWantzToKnow July 10, 2008

Take notice if your friendship dynamic begins to feel like a competition.  Friendship is about being there for one another, through good and bad and also empowering one another.  Friends help each other, pick each ob4a82bd1d45b2009b38494478dec42c5ther up and build each other up.  If you’re being put down, let down or torn down … you have a frenemy.  Frenemies are more dangerous than enemies because you’re on guard with your foes and you allow yourself to bevulnerable to your friends.  You let them in your heart and let them peer into your soul therefore providing them with the tools they need to sharpen the dagger with which they stab you in the back or the chest at any given moment.  Having a frenemy and receiving the Judas treatment in life is as certain as death and taxes.  However, keeping them in your life is entirely optional.  Just because you have known someone for years and years does not make them entitled to oppressing you.  There is no excuse for it.  Frenemies are individuals who have learned to thrive off relational aggression.  They wield weapons that we have provided them on our own volition only to ride the backlash to make amends until the next time.  Second verse same as the first.  This vicious cycle creates a very toxic atmosphere than can, in turn, become addicting.  Nothing good can come from such a vicious cycle although frenemies are propagated everywhere – Mean Girls, Housewives of Whomever/Wherever,.. list goes on and on.  Although I cannot think off the top of my head, a good example of friends,… other than the television show “Friends” … I can say a true friend would never display the qualities or behaviors above.

Time on Tap

round_tuit_drink_coasters-r125c5b0f54f74c0b9ec0e0864412ee84_x7jy0_8byvr_512Sounds ridiculous, right? Time is not a tangible thing. Nor can we mold it like cosmic play dough. There is no fast forward, rewind, reset or pause. It is quite fascinating how we conduct ourselves and our lives as if we did have time at our disposal on a day to day basis. We live our lives flying by the seat of our pants as if getting “around-to-it” was an actual object that we can obtain. You cannot trade time; it is non-transferrable.   “I’ll call you later,” … “I’m too busy right now” … “Next time” We have this deceptive sense of security when it comes to time and it is not until tragedy strikes that one realizes how truly unbusy they were or could have been if they had known that later would not to be. That argument may not have mattered nor might it have transpired,… you would have said “I love you” … “I appreciate you” or “I’m proud of you”… or stayed at home and cuddled with your sweetheart or played with the kids.

We have all the time in the world to take for granted, until we run out of time.  ~ Dolores Raymond

How much more enjoyable would this hot summer be if you knew it was your last? Would you opt to text a person or place the phone call if that was your final correspondence with them? How tightly would you hug your loved one if you knew this was the last time they would walk through your door? How hard would you laugh at the story you heard for the 1,657,245,326th time if you knew it would never be told by that person again? Wouldn’t you say “I love you too” if you knew that would be your last opportunity?  When someone passes away suddenly and we are grief stricken and shaken to the core… we bleed out emotionally and blurt out “I shoulda,” … “I coulda,” … “I woulda,”… “If I had”It is not so much as guilt but a natural reaction to the hay-maker of reality, that… we have no control over time. And in an instant, we can be taken into eternity or left to grieve a loved one.
Does this mean we have to live in fear? No. It just means perhaps we need to live in awareness that tomorrow is not guaranteed and make a conscious effort to spend time more wisely. It does not have to be a lot of time, but quality time. Place a call instead of a comment on social media or a text message. Go physically say hi. Hug and kiss goodbye. You ever notice how beautiful and eloquent and heartfelt a eulogy is… Why aren’t these beautiful loving heartfelt words and feelings shared with the person while they are alive?  Who says you have to wait until they pass away to share your thoughts and feelings with all their friends and family… in their absence?  We are so quick to dole out sarcasm, criticism, and poke fun… but we need to work up courage to express love and happiness…  we get self-conscious about that.  emphasis on self…  when you become conscious of self,… you tend not to be conscious of others and in turn, the message is lost.
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Who has time? Who has time? But then if we do not ever take time, how can we ever have time? ~Merovingian

We cannot just assume people know how we feel any more than we can assume to live well past 100 years. We do not have time on tap. We do not own time, we cannot trade time, we cannot borrow time, we cannot exchange time, or change time… nor can we stop time. What we can do is love. We can show love and allow ourselves to be loved and express love at every given opportunity while the opportunity is present.