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.

Renee’s Click

This is the second time Renee has written a “click” for me.  The first one was a fictionalized click. I introduced you to her last Wednesday so the only thing I’ll repeat here is her blog which you can find by clicking here.

I’m generally not the type to dwell on the past or even think too much about what’s happening at any one particular moment. I go with the flow and deal with things as they come, my mind quickly racing through ways to solve specific problems and come out on the other side with my life intact.

So when Leslee asked me last week to write a Click Story for her blog, it wasn’t easy to come up with an idea. I racked my brain trying to think of a moment in my life where I suddenly realized something profound, a moment that maybe changed my life – for good or bad. I couldn’t think of anything for a couple of days.

And then it came to me … the perfect “Click” moment for a blog about finding one’s spiritual path. In fact, there are two of them and they are both connected, so I chose to write for Leslee about the moments I discovered who I am as a spiritual being, what I believe and why.

My mother grew up Catholic and my father Jewish. Neither was or is especially religious, but I learned about Jesus and heaven and hell and all of those things. We lit Chanukah candles and exchanged Christmas presents under a decorated tree. I even went to church or synagogue every once in a while. In fact, I still do all of those things, but they have different meaning for me now.

Like many, I grew up with a belief that there was a God in heaven and He was a man and that all things Judeo-Christian were, without question, the Truth. It’s in our American culture, so unless a person either thinks more profoundly than a teenager usually does or is brought up in a home with an alternate religion, one tends to blindly accept these things.

I had friends who were Hindu or Buddhist, but never really thought much about that. Religion was religion. My mother told me once that no matter what religion a person is, there is still only one God and everyone worships Him in his or her own way.

But then I grew up. I went to college. I started thinking more deeply.

I took astronomy.

To pass my class, I had to go to the community college’s observatory a few times and look out at the heavens and write a report about what I saw. I went at a time when a local astronomy club met so they could help me with using the telescope: the general mechanics as well as finding specific stars, asteroids, comets, the moon, whatever.

As I peered through the telescope at the millions – billions! – of stars and planets in the sky, I had an epiphany (a Click moment): we are not alone in this universe.

I’m not a person who necessarily believes extraterrestrials visit Earth and probe people. I’m not sure it’s possible to ever travel that distance in a lifetime. But I do know that in a space as large and endless as this universe is, there’s no way that we are all there is.

When one looks at most religions, especially Judeo-Christian religions, they are very Earth-centered. God created the Earth and all the beings on it and he watches to make sure we don’t swear or have sex with someone to whom we aren’t married. And if we mess up a little bit, fire and brimstone await us in hell. But why, with all that’s out there, does He care about those things? He must have more important things to worry about, right?

And then I started thinking about how life comes to be. No man or woman alone can create a child. Some asexual organisms can, but with both male and female anatomy only. Even with cloning and in-vitro fertilization, one needs male and female elements. So how can one, single, male god create so much life without a feminine partner? The laws of Nature are against that scenario. Therefore, in my reasoning, if there is a god, there must also be a goddess.

And that was the moment I realized I am not Christian and I don’t want to be. It’s a lovely religion at its most pure, but to me, there isn’t much sense to it. There’s some, but as a whole it’s not something I can buy into.

But what now? I’m not Christian or Jewish. I’m not Buddhist, Muslim or Hindu. What am I?

It would be several years before I’d have that answer, my second Click moment. It came about two months ago when, out of curiosity, I attended a gathering of pagans. We went around the room introducing ourselves and stating what pagan path we each were on.

I didn’t have an answer. I didn’t really know enough to say. I still don’t know for sure, but one man’s answer hit me hard where it counts. He said, “I am a religious eclectic.”

And that is exactly what I am.

Rebekah M’s Click

Rebekah found my blog through Love-olution and sent me the following click story about finding her career path. You can follow Rebekah on her blog Another World Is Probable. In addition to working as a journalist she also wrote a book called Just A Girl From Kansas: One Woman’s Dreams Are Ant-Sized Compared To What Lay Ahead, which will be published by her company Tri-Sight Entertainment next year.

Rebekah M’s click

It would be disingenuous for me to say I’ve had a click moment. More like moments. In truth, my life is a series of clicks, some big and dramatic, some small and subtle. What follows is one of my more dramatic clicks.

As a sophomore in high school I joined the yearbook staff. I loved yearbook. I looked forward to it and didn’t even mind if I had to stay after school to finish some work. At the end of the year I was so proud of our book – the cover, the layouts, the photographs. I thought it was award-winning material. The staff went to a yearbook camp at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and I was sure we would win something.

We didn’t.

Watching all those other high schools win awards I took the determination that next year my high school would win something.

My junior year I became the editor-in-chief of the yearbook because there were no seniors to take up the post. Our theme was Evolution, something concocted by the former editor-in-chief. She laid the whole thing out for me – how we would start in black and white and eventually progress to color. How our typography would begin with a typewriter-esque font and evolve into something more modern. The whole nine yards.

The entire year I poured my blood, sweat and tears into that book. I made sure the whole thing screamed Evolution from our copy to our visuals. I took work home with me many a night to ensure we made our deadlines. Even though it was stressful I loved every minute of it. Even when I wanted to pull out my hair.

The year ended and it was again time for yearbook camp at UNC-Chapel Hill. I sat in the 400-person lecture hall with the lights dimmed and the projection screen lowered with my heart pounding. Would we win anything? Would our name flash across the screen?

Yes.

We won 12 awards that day including first place for theme copy, which I wrote. In that moment, when I saw my name flash across the screen I realized I wanted to be a journalist. Not only that I wanted to be a journalist but that I could be. That it was possible.

It is my firm belief the Universe communicates with us like that all the time. That there are a series of moments where we can give into what is being conveyed to us. Where we can say, “Yes. I believe you. I trust in divine guidance and I’m willing to take the plunge,” or not. I hope you say yes because when you do your heart will sing and the world becomes magical. I hope you say yes because as Paulo Coehlo would say in The Alchemist you are following your personal legend. And there’s nothing more gratifying than that.

What am I doing now? I’m a professional journalist. I don’t work for the New York Times or the Washington Post but I make a living as a writer. And all because of that one moment at yearbook camp.


John B’s Click

I am pleased to introduce John Ballantree (pictured here with his daughter).  He found my blog through the Tarot post and allowed me to do one of my amateur readings for him.  Since he reads and teaches the cards, he gave me some wonderful feedback about what to look for in the cards.  For John, he treats the Tarot like poetry and philosophy, not like a Ouija board or other “fortune telling” device.  It is like a piece of art, placed before you, from which you can draw clues.  You can find John’s tarot website here after you’ve enjoyed reading his click!

 

I lived in Holland, off and on, during the 1970s.  One evening, I was watching a tv documentary about pirate radio stations that used to operate from the North Sea.

You probably know of the BBC, but you may not have heard about “needle time”. The musicians’ union had a deal in place that the BBC could broadcast only a certain number of hours of recorded music, and the rest had to be live, or duplicated by approved-of singers and bands. This became a problem for the listener when we wanted to hear the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, but had instead to suffer through weak versions of rock songs performed by the singers in The Billy Cotton Band Show.

It wasn’t the same, somehow.

The union wouldn’t budge or update its position, so along came the pirate radio stations. They broadcast from international waters and so were not subject to agreements the unions had made. They played records all day and all night, of the groups listeners wanted to hear.  So we had Radio London, and Radio Caroline, North and South, and others.

The driving force behind Radio Caroline was Ronan O’Rahilly, and it was he who was seated on a park bench reminiscing for the Dutch documentary. He was talking about the time when he thought he would have to shut down the station because he needed a new boat and he didn’t have one and couldn’t afford to buy one. The midnight deadline approached, and with a few  minutes to go, the phone rang and someone offered him a boat, so Caroline would be able to continue broadcasting.

As Ronan explained this, he said that there’s business and money and all that, but with the phone call happening in the nick of time, it was as if something else was going on.

The editor could have cut at that moment, but the film kept rolling and after maybe ten seconds of silence, Ronan smiled quietly to himself, and slowly nodded his head. Then we cut to another scene.

The moment has stayed with me. I happen to agree with Ronan. There’s what appears to be going on, and what is really going on. We may be paying too much attention to the appearance, and not enough to the inner reality – though there’s sometimes a nagging doubt that this “reality” is just fooling oneself.

A wistful  look in the eye of an Irishman is maybe not that solid a foundation on which to base important decisions. It seems real, however, and makes some kind of sense.

Then, when I listen to in-laws and people talking about their daily concerns – the price of gasoline, their medical problems, their fears – it makes a lot of sense.

Pauline’s Click 2

I’m so excited to have Pauline back to the click stage.  She sent me this amazing post the other day.  I read it and it brought tears to my eyes.  Please take the time to read it and visit Pauline’s blog here.

Reflections

I woke up at 6:30 and was still rushing to get out of the front door by 8:30. We had a 15 minute drive ahead of us to make the bus for the  pumpkin patch, our lunches were packed, and Buttercup was sitting pretty on the couch watching TV while I rushed into the bathroom to pull my mexi-fro into a pony tail. I glanced at the clock as I walked by. It was 8:15. We were going to cut it close, but we would make it.

I had just put my head in the sink for a quick wet down when I heard Buttercup call me from the living room.

“Mama, I’m making myself beautiful now,” she sang out.

I turned the faucet off and hurried back to the living room on high alert, already knowing what I was going to find. Buttercup had been dressed for hours, her curls pulled into a little pony of her own, since 7 that morning. “Are you excited for your first field trip?” and “Don’t mess up your hair,” had been repeated on a loop from the moment I declared Buttercup adorable and ready to go. We’d been late for pre-school too many times because I’d turn around to pack her lunch only to come back to the little stinker leaning over the sofa rubbing her head into the cushion, fro-ing out her previously ballerina-worthy top knot. I had ten minutes on the clock and my kid was going at the couch with her head like most cats use a scratching post.

“Dammit,” I sighed. “M’ijita! Why’d you go and mess up your pelo? We’re gonna be late now!”

Her face fell. “But I made it beautiful,” she said, reaching up to touch her crown of fuzz.

“Just sit down, I’ll be right back to fix it in a second.” And I hurried back into the bathroom and back with hair products and a brush, and sat Buttercup down to fix her fro, my own still dripping and out of control.

“Mama?”

“Yes, baby?” I had one eye on her hair and the other on the clock. I had five minutes to get us out the door.

“I was just trying to make it beautiful.” Her words were a mere whisper.

“I know, babe,” I said. “I know.”

She turned to face me, reaching up to smooth the kinky spirals I’d cut, straightened, and hid under weaves (which I in turn denied were weaves) because I was  so determined to keep my hair from being the conversation starter with strangers that always ended with me explaining that yes, indeed, i was Mexican and not mixed. “I was just trying to make my hair beautiful, like yours.”

She thinks my hair is beautiful…

My breath caught in my throat and I kissed her hard. “Mama loves you, baby. Mama loves you more than you’ll ever know.”

She stood there smiling while I hurried to smooth my hair back into the world’s fastest pony-tail and we dashed out the door. I hadn’t bothered to check  the mirror.

I didn’t have to. I had already seen my reflection in my daughter’s eyes.

Grateful Kim’s Click 2

Kim is one of the friends I made through Twitter and Owning Pink.  I love her.  She is inspiring, uplifting, and just plain wonderful.  Since she last wrote for my blog she has gone Zumba crazy!  I’d love it if I lived in her town and could take her classes because I’m quite sure they are fantastic.  Please enjoy the following click from Grateful Kim!!!  (The picture here is from the opportunity she explains in the post.)

 

Several months ago I clipped out a 3″x2″ piece of paper out of a magazine and put it on my bathroom mirror. It reads: “Starting small can lead to some really big things.” I suppose at the time I clipped it out I was struggling for change, so the words appealed to me. I needed something bigger, something better. As usual, however, I had no idea what it was. The feeling is always a yearning, a desire for more, a knowing that I am capable of something extraordinary, coupled with a voice that says I’m too old, too inexperienced and much too incapable. Any chance you have that same voice in your head?

I see that little piece of paper everyday. It has been splashed on, crumpled and probably even has sprays of toothpaste on it, but it faithfully greets and reminds me of what to do. That tiny little piece of paper serves as my reminder that I don’t have to have all the answers and all the tasks of life completed by end of business day….today! Just take a step….a baby step…then wake up tomorrow and take another one. And pretty soon, all those steps will have lead to something that thrills me.

Today is one of those days that thrill me.

Without going into a whole lot of background (you can read my Zumba experience right here), I will tell you that I fell in love with Zumba Fitness less than a year ago. I became certified to teach Zumba back in February 2010 and took additional training/certification to improve my teaching just this past August. Simply put…I love Zumba. I love the dance, the music, the sharing, the classes and the connections I have made with people. Finally I feel at home in something, and can use my gifts and talents to enhance my life and the lives of others just by doing something I love.

I received an email a little over a month ago with an opportunity to audition for a new set of Zumba DVDs, that I assume will be sold as a home fitness package. That little voice? Yeah…he TOTALLY told me I was too old and not good enough. But my friends, acquaintances and family told me otherwise, which gave me all the encouragement I needed to go for it. Amazingly enough, my audition went well and I was selected. The words in this blog cannot fully express my joy and excitement and how I feel.

As a bonus to being selected, I have been invited to take a Zumba class with the creator of Zumba, Mr. Beto Perez. It’s tonight. It’s in Hollywood. It’s unbelievable to me that this is happening. As I write this blog it’s 4:45 in the morning because my adrenaline is flowing and sleep is just getting in the way of experiencing all the joy. Tonight can’t come soon enough, but one thing is for sure, I’m going to need a nap at some point today to refuel my energy. I’m excited, but I’m not a machine. LOL!

So much is happening. I’m taking a class with Beto-friggin-Perez. I’m in the midst of planning a Zumbathon for Breast Cancer that, so far, seems to be touching a lot of people. In one week and three days from today I’ll be in rehearsals and filming for a Zumba video. This is some crazy stuff people! I’m a 45-year old suburban wife, mother and realtor for goodness sakes! And sometimes when success comes (MY version of success, just for the record) I get this strong desire to pull back the reins and yell “Stop! No, no, no…it’s too much. I can’t handle it. I’ll never pull it off.”

This time, I’m not stopping. I’m going to dance my way into the unknown, go for the experiences and share the joy with anyone willing to listen. Because what I now understand, is when you love something and give it 100% of your energy, there’s no way you can fail. The journey itself is one hell of a ride!

What are your dreams? Can you take one small step toward them today? Because you know what? “Starting small can lead to some really big things.”

Leah’s Click

Leah Shapiro a Kick-Ass Life Coach & Head Rabble Rouser at http://www.DefytheBox.com. Leah helps creative, non-conforming souls uncover the pre-packaged beliefs that prevent them from living their version of a Kick-Ass Life.  When she is not focused on working with clients, building her Empire or hosting My Kick-Ass Dream Life Radio you can usually find her making pottery, playing with her two cats or whipping up something delicious in the kitchen. A self admitted hedonist, Leah is frequently off engaging in pleasurable pursuits and is known to be a mighty temptress.

You can read Leah’s blog here: http://www.DefytheBox.com/blog

The Rock

Back in the day, I was part of a really cool woman’s mystery school and leadership program called the Priestess Path Apprenticeship. This program was truly amazing and opened the way for deep personal
growth.

 

This group of 24 women gathered together once a month and spent time in circle exploring many mystical practices and initiations aimed at making us confront our fear and inner-demons in order to know
ourselves better. It was very powerful work.

 

One of the things we did was called the Quest. Each of us was lead on a
journey down a dark path through an unknown forest. There were many
stops along the way designed to challenge you and make you think. At one
stop you were asked how heavy your past emotional baggage weighed on
you. Then you were given a big rock to carry with you along the path to
represent your baggage.

 

Let me tell you that carrying that rock sucked! It was awkward and took
so much energy. It weighed me down. At each new stop along the trail it
became more and more irritating. The longer I carried it, the heavier it
became and the more I focused on it. I was not able to enjoy the cool
stuff I was coming across along the path because I was so focused on
carrying the rock and how much it sucked. The rock became the focus of
everything.

 

Finally, I got fed up and decide to throw the rock off into the woods.
Boy what a relief. I felt free. The Quest was fun again. I wondered why
I did not ditch the rock sooner.

 

Interesting enough, I was the only one who chose to ditch their rock.
Everyone else kept lugging the thing along until they came to a stop
where someone else relived them of it. It never occurred to them that
they might have a choice in the matter.

 

I wonder how many of you are carrying around a Rock of your own without
giving thought to the idea that you have a choice in the matter.

 

There is always a choice.

 

Choose to let it go and focus on what feels good to you right now.

 

Choose to enjoy the adventure.

 

Ditch the Rock!

Simone’s Click

Simone is a fellow Owning Pink Blogger and Pink Posse member.  She and I have been connecting here and there through the world of Owning Pink for over a year now.  I love her energy and enthusiasm.  I was so excited when she agreed to write a “click story” for my comeback week!!  I know there are so many people out there struggling with the same decision she writes about and her story is an example of the many ways guidance arrives in our lives.  Here are some other places you can find Simone’s writing: Advice Blog-Good Witch, Bad Witch; Pop culture living for Carnal Spiritualistas blog-Pop Smarts Zen; Our self-paced online de-stress program-Still Sitting; Facebook.

When I was asked to write this article, I felt honored and relished the thought because writing is like breathing to me. Lately and persistently, I’ve been going through a lot in my personal life, a click shouldn’t be hard to recall. I rarely if ever feel blocked creatively, but suddenly realized I didn’t have a thing to write, as I’d recently been experiencing so many “clicks” that they were beginning to run together and I didn’t know where oneendedandthenextbegananymore. That clicking sound was getting loudly indistinguishable to the point of nearly negating itself. I needed some settle-out time just to stop the ringing in my ears.

A lot of my recent personal experiences have to do with family and duty. My cutie-patootie dad and I were talking and I stated that I had consciously and actively struck the word “obligation” from my vocabulary and actions at least 20 years ago. Plus I’ll believe in the Tooth Fairy before I believe in being “guilted” into anything. Even if I didn’t actually want to do a thing, I would willingly do it if I could muster up some legitimate (for myself) intention and reason that was sustainable. Nice words. Now in recent times, I found myself (a very caring but non-maternal woman) faced with the business end of caregiving for a family member who doesn’t (and can no longer) realize how much help she needs doing most everything. This sort of lengthy (coming up on Year 5), daily, ongoing task has started hitting me as a duty and I noticed I’d begun to resent it. If you met me even once, you’d know I’m not a shy and quiet person. How I’ve been expressing that simmering anger and frustration externally is snappiness at slower others. Unattractive…and not accurately reflecting what’s actually eating me. I had to really search to reconfirm/-affirm, if possible, my own legitimate intention, and exactly how sustainable it really was.

I did what I’ve done for decades: I meditated in bed, and asked my guides for signs and messages. “C’mon, babies! Talk to me. I am willing to shut the eff up and listen.” Immediately the next morning, dyed-in-the-wool night owl-me, sprang awake naturally at 5:00 a.m., made a beeline to the kitchen table where the 25-page Care facility documents were lounging lazily, procrastinating, and attacked them with a vigor that woke us both up. All business, all business, all business, eh!, no big deal, then…BAM! “List patient’s likes and dislikes” showed up. This question is an effort for the caregivers to help a patient re-engage as well as handle them with more customized personal attention. I wrote that she had once drawn and painted a lot, but no more, yet is still a very creative person. (Yikes, what a recipe for disaster that is!) I listed she likes natural objects including leaves and feathers. I noticed this line did slow me down for some reason. I even inexplicably started feeling warm and fuzzy about her again.

Later, I went out into the world. All day long, I ran into feathers. Feathers on the street, feathers in the cool store I discovered. I would have to be sleepwalking to not be knocked over by them. …And suddenly I remembered: the day before, we heard a vibratingly loud Thud!, and thought our full-of-life cat had knocked something over downstairs. It literally shook my house. Yet we could find nothing. Then after all the feathers showed up, we saw a huge moss clod on our front stairs. Obviously a large bird (to pick that thing up airborne!) had dropped it (probably while building a new nest). I often get messages from birds (symbolically the messengers) and knew “moss” was going to mean something really, really good. I could just feel it. The Book of Google said it represented “luck” and “money” both of which I have no conflict about.

I don’t think there’s no reason that this building block moss, meant for a new nest, dropped on my freshly painted house’s doorstep, as I am in the process of making a new home for a loved one. I don’t think the quieting of my anger and frustration and suddenly recalling how creative she is (too!), and all the feathers that kept flitting into the picture before me (did I mention my signature jewel feather necklace I wear?) are all just mere coincidences. I think I found my sustainability in recognition, in (re-) connection, in the flow of creativity and on the supportive hands of winged guides. I think when I think of her…there but for the grace of god, go I. My level of capability in this world is a gift, and gifts are best honored when shared.

If a feather “clicks!” and no one is around to hear it fall, has its message been delivered?

#   #   #

Maria’s Click

Maria found my blog during the break.   Like me, she is also a fan of the teachings of Joel S. Goldsmith.  She sent me the following story of an amazing healing in her life.  She told me in her email that since writing out her story she has lost twelve pounds.  I really believe that miracles can happen when we seek to heal starting with our thoughts and feelings towards ourselves.  Maria’s story is evidence of that.  You can find Maria here and here.

This summer we remodeled our bathroom and we got a full length framed mirror for over the vanity for free.  Since we already had one there, we decided to use it vertically in our bedroom.  I haven’t had a full length mirror for many years.  I was so excited as we mounted it on the wall and I saw the reflection from the window right across and the effect of brightness and openness it was giving to the room!  But the next morning, when I rolled out of the bed and started getting ready for work, I stood in front of the mirror and was so disappointed by seeing a figure I could hardly recognize.  The twelve or so extra pounds immediately snapped at me, my grays stuck out, fluffy arms out of tone, a “life saver” of belly fat, some orange peel on my thighs, blotches on my legs and a height loss (I swear I was taller before)!

A few thoughts ran quickly through my mind.  I haven’t had a professional facial in over fifteen years.  I have no time for working out.  I wish I had money to join one of those weight loss programs.  Oh, I don’t even know what to do to look better-no wonder why I don’t get compliments anymore! As those thoughts and more downfalls like them were spinning in my head, I decided to sit down in prayer and visit my only source of beauty-Soul’s Beauty Salon-for an extreme makeover.

I quieted down, started taking a few breaths, and as I did that I thought, I come to Thee for inspiration.  And as I was “inspiring”, the thought came to me that I invite in the Spirit of Truth that purifies and rejuvenates all things in me.  A sense of peace instantly took over and a flow of refreshing thoughts started occupying me.

“Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest though?”

“Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.”

In that state, I dived into the “FOREVER 23” anti-aging formula:

“The Lord IS my Shepard I shall not want!”

“He restoreth my soul!”

“He annointed my head with oil.”

Right then, I felt I was sitting in Christ’s clinic for a complete and permanent makeover.  I felt mother Love, gently combing my full of strength hair.  I felt my body was full of brightness and grace.  I felt strong, light, and radiant.

“Love restoreth my soul!”

Then the thought about fat reduction came to me.  In the question “what is fat?”  Instantly the thought False Assuming Thoughts or Fake Appearing Thoughts came to me.

There I understood that all belief about fat was an illusion and it was up to me to reduce and eliminate it.  In the thought about extra weight I started thinking what extra weight can mean and then I realized all the “extras” I was carrying for a long time:  thoughts that people have wronged me, thoughts that people have hurt me, self-justification about this that happened 30, 20, 10 years ago or yesterday, guilt and blame.

Right there, as I was sitting in the makeover room, I felt I stood in front of a “burning bush” and mentally threw all the weights I was ignorantly carrying for years.  I saw forgiving every person that abused me since I was a baby, letting go of every sad memory, forgetting all history of me, releasing all resistance for being new and ageless, erasing my story-whater that might be, burning the past and pausing the agony of the future.

I threw in my complaints about the government, the pollution, the dogma, the economy, the war, the pain.  I felt I was doing this for me and for the world.  And as I was doing it for the world, I was doing it for me.  The fire became stronger and stronger as I was throwing more and more things of mortal history and collective thought, but strangely enough the atmosphere felt clearer and clearer, brighter and brighter and me and my body lighter and lighter.  There I knew I was standing on holy ground.

Then I felt going through an exfoliating process, a sense of getting rid of layers and layers of erroneous, heavy thinking concerning all mankind.  That moment I had a glimpse of Jesus transfiguration experience, the understanding of what might mean to be transfigured in the light of Christ Truth.  My figure felt a slim and thin silhouette dancing in the glow of the brightest light.  I felt shaped up in perfection by Soul and sizzled in holiness by Love.  The feeling of beauty was overwhelming.  The sense of grace was un-measurable.  The actual form of me was meaning-less but never the less quiet beautiful and ever refreshed, standing in different heights.

When I went to work that day, I was astounded when the very first question I was asked was “Have you lost weight?”  Somebody else looked at my flat heels and questioned why I looked taller.  And somebody else said “Gee, you look gorgeous today, did you have a makeover or something?”

Jane R’s Click

I received a click story in my inbox the other day and at first felt terrible that I had not found it sooner, but as I read it I realized the timing was just right.  I wrote about marriage on Monday and when I published that post I wondered about any readers who might be thinking that they’d been looking at the big picture and were tired of living in a black cloud and desperately seeking that silver lining.  I know there are people who put all they can into their marriages and still find that the only way to achieve joy is to leave it behind.  So this amazing post about the end of a marriage and the awakening of a creative, thriving, beautiful woman is for you. You can read Jane’s blog here.

One of my biggest personal changes happened when I got divorced from my ex-husband.  We had been living in a renovated carriage house on his parent’s property for 10 years.  His parents were adamant that the kids and I should stay and he should move out.  I had my chance to get that UHaul and move but I passed on it due to my own fear and self imposed limitations.  I simply didn’t believe that I could ever make it on my own out there with two children.  On July 1, 2004 my husband moved out.  As the kids ran to the window and watched the moving van pull out of the driveway, I sat there in a half empty dismantled home feeling envious that he got off that property instead of me.  He had the freedom while I put down the scissors after clipping my own wings.  It would be four more years of living next door to the main house and a soured relationship with my ex-in laws before the tides changed and I got that UHaul.  But in the mean time, those four years were the biggest gift from God that I ever got.  In that period of time I unearthed so many wonderful things about myself that I thought were long dead.

In the beginning of our divorce there were some adjustments to be made.  If you’re a woman who’s been through a divorce you know that no matter how happy you are to be free of a bad marriage there is a period of grieving that goes with it too.  For so long I was tied in to the identity of being someone’s wife.  Even though I was in a bad marriage, it still gave me a sense of feeling complete just knowing that I had a husband.  With the new title of “single mother” I really started looking closer at what it meant to be a woman.  Sometimes as a single mother I felt like I had scarlet letter on my forehead.  Other times women would approach me privately and tell me that they envied the freedom I had gotten because they had been in horrible marriages for years but were too afraid to leave for financial reasons.  It was then that I realized I would rather be single and struggling a bit than to stay in a loveless marriage for the next twenty years just so that I could hold on to the big house and tennis lessons.

It didn’t take too long after my ex husband moved out to realize that a huge mountain of weight had been lifted.  Granted, I was still living on his parent’s property and terrified about how I would make it as a single woman with no real career but I was still amazed at the sense of freedom for just having that weight taken off me.  I suddenly had a sense that if I could feel so much lighter despite those restrictions, imagine the real sense of freedom once I cut my ties to my in-law’s property entirely.

The greatest thing about my new found freedom was watching all the goodness in me resurface again.  The creativity that had no pulse was suddenly bursting out of me.   I replaced every piece of store bought art with my own original work.  My house was like a little art gallery.  I replaced white walls with vibrant yellows and reds.  I took up kayaking and entered in to the MS 150 bike ride from City to Shore.  For a woman who was constantly criticized for her bad cooking, I was suddenly finding myself devoting Saturday mornings to making Linzer Torte and homemade spinach pasta.  No longer fearful of being condemned for a messy house, I was elated to put my infamous little stacks of books and papers wherever I wanted.  I was creating a space and life that was uniquely mine and for the first time in my life I didn’t mind being without a partner.  During my first marriage I rarely went anywhere.  I isolated myself in our bedroom for hours.  Now I was taking every chance I had to go out and throw myself in to social situations that would allow me to talk and connect to everyone.  It was marvelous.  It truly was.  But the turning point that started me on a long path of self-discovery happened when a co-worker challenged me to pick up my camera and get involved in a Flickr project which involved taking and posting one self-portrait a day for a year.  The first time I picked up the camera and turned it on myself I cried.  It was actually joyous because what I saw staring back at me was a beautiful woman who had locked herself away for years.  It’s true that the eyes are the window to our souls.  Once I took that first snap shot I was hooked and it wasn’t because of some vain ego thing at all; it was because each photo revealed more of who I was on the inside.  I needed to take those pictures to continue to evolve.  Of course the posting on line lead to connecting with other people globally.  Now a whole new world of endless possibilities to connect was at my finger tips.  I started a blog and realized that I could actually write.  Five years later, I’m still blogging and continuing to build and connect in ways I never could have imagined if you asked me six years ago.  I’ve since remarried to an amazing man and life is so good.  I feel like I’ve been given a second chance at living.  I’ve been rebuilding my life slowly.  Writing, I’ve discovered, has a voice inside of me that needs to come out and share itself with others on their journeys.