Caren’s Click

I met Caren through the Owning Pink Posse and more specifically through Megan Harner’s “Journey to Health” blog.  We connected and cheered each other on in our spiritual and healthful paths.  In the following Caren shares how her “sexy journey” led to a big realization about what she really wants out of relationships and life. You can read more from Caren at her website The Perceptive Woman.

A Different Kind of Sexual Awakening

I don’t remember when I first discovered I was a sexual person perhaps it goes so far back that my forty-six year old brain has tucked it away for safe keeping. Suffice to say, I learned at an early age how to use my looks and sexuality to get what I wanted, or so I thought. I have been defining myself by my sexuality for years. Never really looking for love but more for the relationship or encounter of the moment was how I lived my life. I dated but the ultimate result ended up being a very hot sexual relationship more than a meaningful, mindful one.

I can remember being on an airplane in my late thirties and reading a book with a political subject and having a man look at me and say, “YOU are reading that book?” As if to assume that me; with my big breasts, perfectly manicured toes, perfect hair and makeup, could not have a brain. At the time, I thought it was funny, giving me more reason to look at men as a game rather than a partnership.

I didn’t realize this was what I had been doing until, I saw something about an ex boyfriend on the internet. He and I had dated and could have gotten married. But he broke my heart and I never fully recovered. It was in that moment that I used my insecurities to give way to a lifestyle without love but filled with plenty of physical contact.

No longer was I looking for a relationship, that idea left me in my late twenties, I was more about casual dating. No man was going to get the best of me. I was not going to be hurt again. But it was the underlying current of the past that I finally realized why I was using sex as a means to find love. I let myself be defined by my circumstances at the ripe old age of twenty-one. My pattern went on for years and then as easily as it began, it stopped for a while. I was in a self imposed sexual drought. I put on weight so that no one would want me. I became best friends in the gay community and set out on a sexless road. That lifestyle came to a crashing halt several years ago when I met one of my latest ex-boyfriends.

He was a catalyst for me to be sexy and sexual again, but the reality was the pattern was about to repeat itself. After he and I dated for a short time, we decided to just be friends with benefits and so it went for another year. I finally had enough of him and embarked on internet dating, where I went on countless dates. I met so many men, but they just wanted to take me home. I didn’t go. I finally met someone online and embarked on a relationship that was not all about the sex. There were real feelings there.

So fast forward about two years and I have finally realized how much I allowed my sexuality to not be sacred. I put myself into that box and am now climbing out of it slowly. I no longer want to be seen as a sexual being, but a woman, with beauty and brains. I cringe at the men that look me up and down. I know men will be men and they are visual creatures but I have yet to come to terms with it.

What I have come to terms with, is me. I am a vibrant, beautiful, and yes, sexy woman. I am smart. Beauty, brains, and sexy all rolled into one. I have been fighting the system and not dressing the part of the sexy woman, going so far as to not do my hair or makeup, all in the name of hiding. But what I am realizing is that I am hiding from me. I am re-learning that sexy is about confidence not just sex. I can be sexy and smart and still be respected, not just by men, but by myself. It has been a re-birth of sorts for me to awaken to a new kind of sensual and sexiness. The kind of sexiness that is just for me and whomever I feel like sharing it with. I share it because I want to, not because I have a need to prove anything. I find my validation in other ways. Life is so much sweeter when you find what you have been searching for all along is inside you. I want that version of me to emerge. I will now only engage in the physical when it is for me and my partner. No hidden agenda, just love. This sexy woman is now looking for love in all the right places.

Fame and Fortune

In this era of reality TV and social networking, I think it’s pretty safe to say that the desire for “fame” is within all of us, even if it’s there in a very small dose.  We want to do something that will attract the attention of others.  I think it explains why we are inclined to put up those cryptic attention-getting status updates so that people will bang down our inboxes with questions and concerns.  Regardless of what our jobs are, we imagine reaching the peak of that experience.

I said in another post that I am low-maintenance.  I enjoy the simplicity of my life and at times am even proud of it.  But I’ve also always craved the limelight a bit.  When I was a teacher I did fantasize about being “teacher of the year” (or even being nominated) and the second that I started writing again I dreamed of being the next big author.

Then there’s the fortune part of this post.  I think it’s also in all of us to desire riches.  When I was young I had plenty, but there was always someone who had a little more.  Every time my mother bought me a new Barbie, the next-door neighbor’s mom would buy her two.  I had the Barbie Jeep and she had the Barbie RV.  She had the Barbie dream house 2 years before I had mine.  In high school, I drove a 1979 Honda Accord that we (my friends and I) named “The Little Brown Turd” and two of my closest friends drove much newer and better cars.  They also lived in bigger houses.  I had it good, but sometimes I thought if I had  a better car or a bigger house and more money to spend my life would be better.

Here I am as an adult and for the most part I have all the stuff I want.  Mark and I have come a long way through the years.  We started our life together with nothing but a few pieces of furniture we brought from our parent’s homes.  Each year we’ve grown a little bit richer and yet there is still the desire that if we just had a bit more we could be happier.  I still browse through Realtor.com from time to time checking out the bigger houses and occasionally wish I could replace my entire wardrobe with clothes from nicer stores than Old Navy and Target (no offense as I love these stores).

Recently I had the opportunity to get the feel of both fame and fortune.  I sat next to a woman at the television studio before Lissa’s interview.  I didn’t even realize she was famous.  She walked in fidgeting with her phone.  Apparently, it wasn’t working.  Being connected was an absolute necessity in her world.  She had a day filled with appointments including a telephone interview with NPR that same afternoon.  I was beside her as she made the call to her cell carrier and for the first time truly understood what it meant to feel someone else’s energy.  Her world was crashing down upon her because she didn’t have a cell phone.  It might sound like I’m picking on her a bit, but I really am not.  This was her world…one of fame.  In order to stay in the position she is in, she must keep all these balls in the air and that includes the ability to make and answer the calls that are constantly coming in.  I’ve dreamed of her life without even grasping just what it means and what has to be sacrificed to live it.

I also met someone who was ultra-wealthy.  This person had everything money could buy, yet longed for deep friendships and connections with like-minded people.  I looked around their amazing home and knew in that moment the grass isn’t always greener and money will not buy happiness.

I’ve alluded to this topic in my last two posts.  I wrote about realizing my big dream wasn’t really right for me and about how we miss opportunities to do things that are great for ourselves and the people in our small circle by trying to fit labels.  This is just an extension of that.  I think ultimately the motivation behind the choices we make has to be pure and beneficial.  If we are doing things just to get rich or famous, we will probably find ourselves less than full-filled.  My advice to myself (and you if you dare to take it) is to seek to give, help, connect, and heal and perhaps by following that path the stars in my eyes will be transformed.

Missed Opportunities

After my trip I have been thinking a lot about “callings” and purpose.  I still believe that our highest purpose is to connect with God.  Beyond that though, we have contributions that only we can make.  I wonder how often we miss these opportunities because we are trying to label ourselves or fit into a box.

The last few days I’ve been thinking of my passions, or the things that light me up when I think about them.  I get really excited about the lessons I plan for the kids at church.  I’m not incredibly organized and struggle a bit with putting them together in a lesson format, but the ideas bring me to life.  In December, we’re going to discuss the metaphysical symbolism in the Christmas story.  In January we’ll be doing the metaphysics in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  After that I’m going to create my own unit on the red letters (the words in the bible supposedly spoken by Jesus).

But here’s where the label comes in.  Because I find myself drawn to the teaching idea again I am trying to make a predictable path for myself.  I’m scared to let God lead me so my ego is butting in.  Yesterday I came up with a plan.  I’d go back to school, get that History degree I’m only 3 classes shy of, and teach middle school Social Studies.  Luckily I know how to listen to my body these days and couldn’t ignore the sick feeling in my tummy when I visualized that plan.

I wonder how many people ignore their guts, go against their dreams, and choose the “sure thing” path?  I wonder how often opportunities for finding your purpose and embracing your calling are missed because money, stability, power, or reputation seem better?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Let’s see…not much to say today.  We had planned to have a destination Thanksgiving, but that fell through.  We will probably head out to Cracker Barrel for our Thanksgiving dinner.  My family and friends will be on my mind and  in my heart though as I eat my veggie plate.

I am thankful for so much in my life.  I am so lucky and so blessed! Thank you all for coming here and reading my thoughts, I do appreciate it!  I’ll leave you with my current “happy song.”  Have a wonderful day and enjoy the tryptophan (unless you’re a vegetarian like me).

Grateful for the Book Tour

I knew I’d be writing a post like this.  I knew I’d feel changed and ever-grateful for my time with Lissa last week.  But to tell you the truth I thought it would be for totally different reasons than it is.

You see, Lissa is a Goddess.  She is a Rockstar.  She is a Rockstar Goddess!  She is grace under pressure with enough energy to light up a big city.  I was in awe of the way she moved through each day, accomplishing everything on the agenda, answering her hundreds of emails, and being loving and open enough to sit and talk with individuals after events about their very personal female problems.  She has made her way to the stage and it’s going to be so much fun to watch it all unfold and know I had a small part in it.

When the opportunity to serve as “roadie” was first brought to me I told Mark I needed to do it so I’d know if my career goals were right for me.  Since I started writing again in 2007, I have dreamed of a career like Lissa’s.  I wanted to write books and travel, speaking to crowds and doing book signings.  I’ve thought so much about this dream that in ways it has disrupted my creative writing.  As time passes and I see myself no closer to “the goal” it has really brought me down.  So getting to experience the “Rockstar Author” life vicariously through Lissa was just what I needed.

I assumed that I’d get there and think “YES!! THIS IS THE LIFE FOR ME!”  Instead, it didn’t take long for me to realize I thrive on the simple, quiet life I have.  I reserve the right to change my mind (which is something I am told Charles Fillmore, founder of Unity, used to say), but that high-demand-everybody-wants-a-piece-of-you  life is not for me.  I love that I can sit on the couch and read a book for an hour without feeling like there is something else I need to be doing.  It’s nice knowing I get to pick the girls up from school everyday and schedule playdates for them.  I don’t need to be anyone else’s Rockstar because I am one to the people it matters to the most.

During her presentations, Lissa often mentioned how you can leave your job but you can’t leave your calling.  Her calling as an OBGYN was to take care of women.  As the author of What’s Up Down There? and creator of Owning Pink, she is still answering that call.  This was something that flashed like a red light across my imagination every time she said it.   THE CALLING!  I’m not 100% sure of my calling but the trip definitely gave me some ideas.  Although I’m resisting it like you wouldn’t believe, I think it has something to do with teaching!  Just like Lissa, I left that traditional job yet I still feel called to help educate people (though I’m not exactly sure on the subject).

This Thanksgiving week, I am so grateful for the chance I had to test-drive the car before I plunked down the money to buy it.  Now I’m one step closer to the me I’m meant to be!

In honor of the holiday week the next 4 days on the blog will be low-key!  I am still in need of “click stories” if you have an “aha” moment you’d like to write about!