Being a Bigger Person

Today I got more than irritated, I got fucking angry. The details of which seem irrelevant now compared to the insight I gained, but the quick version is that in my attempt to be flexible and understanding to someone else’s position I ended up getting shafted.

Now as you already know, I feel pretty strongly about maintaining the clarity of mind to gauge how big of a deal something is and respond accordingly. I also have personally done a lot of work to instinctively seek out a forward moving/positive outlook when the view is otherwise dismal and utilize my ability to adjust my perspectives in order to see a solution in challenging circumstances. To put it simply, most of the times that I find myself faced with a dilemma I don’t mind to bend a bit if it means everybody feels good in the end. This is different than being a push over when you genuinely don’t mind to adjust, but today when I was basically told in twice as many words ” thanks for understanding why you can’t, but they can. I know it sucks to always be the bigger person, but it’s just easier this way.” My initial response was to say okay and move on because arguing rarely seems worth it to me and being considered the bigger person should be a compliment, but as the day wore on I just couldn’t shake feeling taken advantage of. Then it occurred to me.

Being the bigger person does not mean you’ve got to take it in the ass.

This is a politically incorrect way of saying it, but it seems that being the bigger person is often confused with having to compromise yourself, settling for less, be treated unfairly and ultimately being left without a voice in the matter. What a grotesque misunderstanding of a phrase that should be used to describe someone with integrity, self awareness and leadership.

Now I am not gonna lie, when I realized that I was getting screwed all because I was voted less likely to cause a problem, cause a problem was all I wanted to do. I was ready to go back, teeth out and guns cocked, but knowing that the only relevant thing that I would have to say would be “you know, I got to thinking and it occurred to me that YOU SHOULD FUCK OFF” thus nullifying that stuff I said about clarity of mind and dignity, I instead took a moment to think about what being the bigger person actually meant to me, something I am not sure I’ve ever done, but what I concluded helped me to see that it’s less about being “the” bigger person and more about being “a” bigger person in general and gave me a good bit of motivation to keep these values alive in everything I do.

Being a Bigger Person

Being a bigger person means having enough self control to not react in haste. To maintain your dignity and live with integrity. Being a bigger person means having strong conviction but little need to argue about it. It’s less about making sacrifices and more about just not  taking more than you need. It means giving other people room to be themselves without sacrificing yourself, making decisions in loving kindness, seeking out solutions that are best for everyone involved, and understanding the balance of give and take.You don’t have to be an asshole in order to stand up for yourself and you should never have to feel devalued in order to make it “easier” for someone else.

I thought this over a few times and looked down at my hands. Those are the words I have tattooed on my knuckles. Give.Take.

I got them done a couple of years ago when I was facing the challenge of selflessness vs. selfishness and decided that both were important…..and the wisdom to know the difference.

So I did go back, minus the teeth, guns and “fuck off” part and calmly and clearly stated (also in twice as many words) that I did not agree with how the situation had been handled. This opened up the door for a discussion that led into an incredible conversation that left me feeling like I really was a bigger person and a better person for having taken the time to do it right.

So next time you feel like you should “be the bigger person” make sure you do so by staying true to yourself and not just giving in.

 

Breaking the Ice

Today I had this feeling that it’s taken me too long to write and that to do so now would be weird, or awkward. But that’s a super lame and ultimately unacceptable reason for me not to put my fingers back to these keys and write to you anyway.  So I am typing and deleting, retyping and staring, just waiting for the flood gates to open up again. For a great thaw to occur inside my mind and for my thoughts to flow wildly like a river in the spring, or to rise up and crash onto the page the way the waves do in November.In the meantime I will count the cursor blinks between words ( I am up to 52) and stare at myself blankly in the mirror that sits at the foot of the bed (75). And it occurs to me.  I am trying to get out of telling you about how Body Love Month went, cause I blew it after about two weeks. But I can’t not mention it at all since the only thing I’ve posted in months was that goddamn video about it. So there it is, my ice breaker and wouldn’t you know it, it’s the truth.

It started with coffee. Delicious and highly caffeinated, dressed in honey and chocolate almond milk, I was on to my second cup before I realized what I had done. But when I did I didn’t care. So instead of getting back on track I just scrapped the whole plan. I feel a bit disappointed that I gave up so easily and a tad resentful about my lack of self control /discipline. But ultimately I am embarrassed that I said something about it, in hopes it would help me follow through with it and didn’t. But all that aside I realize that I kind of expected this to be some life changing experience. Like drinking only water and tea would catapult me into some new life, transform my body and enlighten my mind. I would suddenly overcome my dysfunctional body image issues and reach a greater understanding of all things. But I am not Gandhi, fasting my way to a spiritual utopia is not in my plan. And I wasn’t even fasting. So obviously THOSE things didn’t happen. But let me tell you what DID happen.

I’ve been exercising consistently and feel great. In fact I have been GETTING OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING to go to the gym, which is unheard of. and with the exception of that Cinnamon Crunch Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon Whipped cream I ate Thanksgiving weekend I have been eating pretty well. More importantly I have rekindled my love affair with the culinary arts and am cooking again.

I roasted my first chicken…I didn’t think to tie the legs together and am pretty sure I cooked it upside down, but there are fresh herbs stuffed inside. It turned out really well. We ate it with Marsala Mushroom and Chestnut Soup….I also made a Sun dried Tomato, basil and goat cheese quiche with almond milk instead of cream. So good.and my very favorite of all is this Ginger Pear Pie, which is really just cobbler in a crust. And if I were going to be super uppity about it I would call it an Organic Pear, Candied Ginger, Gluten Free Strudel Topped Vegan Pie. But I won’t.I challenged some insecurities and faced some fears by submitting some photos to a model search INKED Magazine was having.

Now I don’t want to be a model, so my goal was not to get a bunch of votes. What I wanted was, and is, not be afraid. Afraid of what exactly I can’t be sure yet. But it’s something along the lines of being afraid that someone might see my body the way I do. This is a terrifying thought. It’s also an infuriating thought, because I know my perception of myself is all fucked up. So it was more of a “look fear in the face” kind of exercise. And It was helpful, but the process of untangling myself from this net of self loathing seems endless. Sometime I will spend some time on the issue, but it’s a tender spot and so I try to keep it in small doses, but it is certainly more the issue I was trying to address via Body Love Month and has nothing to do with drinking coffee. Such a curious form of self sabotage to set goals irrelevant to the issue.

But the biggest thing this last month did for me is bring to my attention how ready I am to grow, evolve and transform in a big way. I am ready for an uprooting, a great adventure, a renewal. It’s funny to me how serious I was feeling about this liquid limitation exercise being the key, but it did help me to realize what I am actually hoping to accomplish and what I ACTUALLY need to do to accomplish this. So I take it back, Body Love Month was a huge success. I can’t wait to see what December reveals.

My Dark Passenger is a Succubus

I made a reference to Dexter’s Dark Passenger monologue in my last post and want to clarify that I am not a serial killer, in fact “violent” is probably the least likely term that could be used to describe me. My dark passenger is a succubus, a savage temptress, who’s greatest desire is to reel you in and bring you to your knees. Her intentions are self-indulgent and her desires are driven by power and revenge. She is ruthless and will drain you and disappear. But she fills me up, my senses on point, my movements calculated, my body on fire. I know exactly what I want and can see so clearly how to get it. It almost feels supernatural. The catch, is sometimes it’s hard to control.

 

The catalyst for her arrival was the first time I experienced sex with another person. I was preteen and it was non consensual. The way I saw the world and myself in it changed from that point forward. But looking back it was in the weeks and months that followed, in my attempt to keep it a secret and understand it privately that this part of myself came to be.  That was nearly 15 years ago, when my ideas about my sexuality had barely evolved past the curiously innocent explorations I enjoyed in private and the things I’d observed around me. Yet there I was, suddenly a “woman”, terribly ashamed, really fucking angry, and also intensely curious about the over whelming power of carnal desire. So naturally I became a vengeful harlot warrior. Ha. In reality I was more like an angry, out of control promiscuous girl and I played the part to a T. By 16 I had dropped out of school and moved away from home, and by 17 I was a full blown drug addict, all the while my relationship with my dark passenger becoming even more intertwined as that was the deal, she would protect me from harm, not with kung fu, or a sword and shield, but by deadening my ability to feel anything about everything that was incoming and outgoing and sharpening my skills at seduction. My range of emotion consisted of anger and lust.

Then just months before my 18th birthday my parents had me escorted to rehab and in the woods of Alabama is where I stayed for 2 years. Lots of things happened for me in that time. One of which was speaking candidly about being raped, which until then I had fought hard to never have to do. I got in touch with and was humbled by nature, as the program was based outdoors. And by the end I felt as though I had truly exorcised my dark passenger and was ready to stand on my own two feet. This notion lasted for approximately 6 weeks after returning home, before I came to the realization that I was still fully capable of all the necessary evils required for satisfying that hungry place inside of me, not to mention that I preferred it, because without that sultry presence I was left to awkwardly resume the missionary position in life, following rules, asking permission and being just one in a sea of millions. So for me there was no question about inviting her to stay. Because more than the feeling of anything I could drink or drug I could do, I missed the lust….so bla bla bla six years later I am about to celebrate 4 years together with Jones. At two years I kind of panicked. I just never saw myself in a long term relationship and didn’t know if I even wanted to be, so I moved out. Ultimately I knew my hesitations to move forward with Jones had less to do with whether or not he and I were a good fit, and more to do with being able to trust myself not be a compulsive harlet. I took a pretty hard look at that and have since moved back home, and very gladly I might add, but still feel like I have to temper myself a bit. So when I stumbled upon Ev`Yan’s writing at Sex Love and Liberation, the world shifted for me again. Here I was trying to stifle my deepest of sexual urges in order to maintain healthy relationships. Both with myself and others, yet I am reading her words and daily notes encouraging me to live in them, explore them and relish them. And not for the sake of power but of liberation……..

That’s when I discovered that I had it in my head that my sensuality is inclusive to my pathology. That acting in the name of raw desire was the same as signing the death certificate to my feelings for the situation. The more turned on my body becomes, the less I care. At least that’s been my M.O. And if I wanted to be committed, then I would have to let that part of me go. So no wonder the idea of being in an exclusive relationship, for a long time makes me feel a bit queasy. I’ve got myself convinced I have to be half the woman I am or want to be in order for it work. Once I figured that out I thought, “that’s bullshit, get a grip on the situation and get on with this incredibly sexy life”. My next realization was that of true sexual healing. That after years of therapy, working the steps and support groups, proclaiming my self a survivor thinking I was “cured”  I only just realized this, I am a deeply sensual person, born from sex, drawn to desire and inspired by my senses, I feel everything around me through my body, be it through touch or sound or smell or emotion or sight it creates a stimulus that I am highly sensitive to. It is the current in which I move. I am also good person, deeply and genuinely and that neither of these things cancel the other.

So for the first time I have actually felt the grip of that dark presence in me loosen, lighten and surrender, even in moments of pleasure. Not because I am denying it exists, but because I am fully embracing it. (I wrote those 6 tips for me too) I am discovering pleasure everywhere and am experiencing it as much more than just a carnal act, but a way of life. I credit a great bit of that to the prompts for 30 Days of Sensuality (exclusive with the download of the manifesto) that arrive in my inbox everyday……so good.

So although I, have long since forgiven the man, who actually was more like a boy then, for his choice to violate me, long since understood myself to not be a bad person who deserved such a thing,  since let go of the resentment to those in my life who I felt like slighted me by not preparing me for the harsh nature of reality (how could they have?)and  have worked hard to forgive myself for the ways I have taken advantage of other people, and done my best to rectify the situation. It has only been recently that I have begun to fully accept myself, full of desire, want, curiosity and yearning and been liberated rather than afraid about what this means about me……….

Soneto XVII by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,

or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

*pls. note that the effects of abuse of any kind can manifest themselves in many ways, and should be regarded with the utmost sensitivity, but with a solid intention and great support it is possible to unweave yourself from the web. I believe in you -xoxo-

The Devil in Miss Jones

I’ve been receiving some really great emails and comments since I’ve started sharing more posts on Facebook. & I can’t express enough how much it means. Truth is, no matter what you do, or how strongly you feel about something, it still feels like a risk to share yourself. Even to people you know. So thank you to those of you who have reached out to share with me, your own experiences…….

The latest of the messages I received was from an old acquaintance from “back in your wild days” as they put it (they weren’t sure if I’d remember who they were. Turns out I do) They were writing, “Just to say hey and that they were glad that it seemed I had gotten rid of my demons from back then.” They wrote a brief summary of their own life as of late and wished me well. After I read it I felt weird, like my skin didn’t fit right. I was irked. What the fuck kind of “hey, it’s good to see you” was that anyway? “I’m glad to see you’re not at fucked up as you used to be.” Kind of felt like a passive jab. But as part of my efforts to get a grip on what happens in my brain, my growly face reactions have become a trigger for me to take that closer look at why. To move from defensive, jealous or spiteful into curiosity. So sure, when I imagine the things I have said or done that would have flagged me as “troubled” I feel a little cringe. But anymore that’s all it is, a pin prick. So why be bothered by this?

Because my demons are not gone. My devil still lives in me. Happily I might add. My reaction was out of feeling protective of parts of myself that I have actually grown quiet fond of. Because when I stopped focusing on “improving” and instead put my efforts towards realizing and understanding, I gained an immense amount of compassion for myself. I was able to let go of the resentment I held for the “evil” me. I invited her in. I began to see she and I as the same, divided only by the ideas impressed upon us that we have to choose. At odds because we weren’t working together.

So what if, instead of trying to exterminate or ignore our demons. Our raw, uncut versions. Our lusty, defiant, reckless selves we look right at them and invite them in? I’d love to hear about your experiences with accepting the darkness in you. Do share. As for my response to my pen pal, I haven’t gotten rid of my demons. We’ve just become friends. Xoxo

Use Your Words:In Loving Kindness….

Before we get too deep into our relationship, there is something you should know about me. In fact, it might be one of the most important things that I’ve discovered about myself and it all came together by using my words.

I’ve gone rounds with myself, between feeling such tenderness for everyone and everything around me, softhearted and compassionate, understanding and helpful, but I could never keep it up. I would always come to a point where I would hit a wall, get disappointed, taken advantage of, or just loose interest. Then I would spend a while not giving a shit, being cynical feeling guilty, empty and faithless. But I couldn’t keep that up either because without kindness sparked in my heart I start to wither. Then, one day, just as I was starting to understand this idea that we DO in fact get to choose how we receive and perceive and respond to our lives, I had an epiphany.

A Trifecta moment. I realized that if, as I take more ownership for my own life & am then granted greater control over it, then theoretically isn’t everyone capable of doing this?The answer was a deep and resounding YES THEY ARE.

Hey that’s GREAT. But then why should I feel the least bit sorry for anyone who isn’t? Oh that’s right I DON’T.

In Loving Kindness, I Don’t Care. That shit makes me feel good. Sometimes I’ll just say it over and over like a lunatic, but it helps.

I realized that I wasn’t feeling compassion, I was feeling pity. Looking around at all the poor saps drowning in their own shit, just like me. But once you raise yourself up, you gain a unique vantage point. From there you can see that the drowning, is more like wallowing. And now that I know no one is in any real danger of being drug under by the monsters of the world. I feel pretty good about getting on with my own life.

I realized that the reason being tenderhearted felt like such a hard job was because I was wishing all the best for people who weren’t doing the work.That genuine compassion does not include letting someone off the hook.That with a clear and good intention in your heart, not giving a shit is about having boundaries not being heartless. That the clearer you become within yourself, the easier you see traps that people set to reel you into their shit. And that these are the real opportunities to be truly helpful. Accountability is one of the greatest expressions of love. So when ever I am faced with the decision to feel or walkaway, I do both. I raise my hand to my chest and say. “With a soft and tender heart and in loving kindness…..I don’t care.”

Mickey Knox Had it Right

….well at least when he said,

” By the power ‘vested in me, as God of my world….”

I love that part in Natural Born Killers. It’s just so disturbingly romantic. Now the psychopathic, serial killer stuff really does take this idea of personal soverignty over the edge. So please don’t misunderstand my point. Which is,

Take control of your life BEFORE you become a gun toting lunatic.

“Personal Sovereignty is the intrinsic authority and power of an individual to determine his/her own direction and destiny….To be a sovereign person means to choose ones actions and reactions without being forced by another person.”- Serge King

Like me, you are probably thinking…Fuck yeah! That’s totally the life for me. I love having authority, and intrinsic authority sounds even cooler. I don’t like being told what to do, and have some pretty great ideas for my destiny. So I’ m practically there. Right?

Where do I sign?

Well, first of all I am glad it’s peaked your interest. Second, wrong. As it turns out there are a few details to wrap up before you consider yourself sovereign. Third and lucky for us, I had the afternoon off and drew this up for review.

(turns out I am a full blown dorkus malorkus)

(click to View/Print)

 So, now what do you think? Still ready

I hope you chuckled a bit, but also felt the challenge that truly being in the drivers seat of our own lives presents. You are welcome to use this. Put it in a journal, use signing it as symbol of willingness, or share it with others.

 

Tits of rage and a day of realizations

There is this thing that happens in a women’s body, I believe the technical term is ovulation. But due to it’s uselessness to me, as I do not desire children, I have come to refer to it as having, “tits of rage.”  Ladies, you know what I am talking about. You wake up, look in the mirror and  hot damn if you’ve never looked so good.  Your features are defined, your skin is firm, your breasts are full, your eyes are bright and on top of that you can feel your sexiness coursing through your veins, but you also have only one nerve and you will slay a mother fucker if they step on it, your clumsy, can’t remember where you put anything and did I mention everyone is annoying?

Well today is that day. But different than previous days like this, something just clicked, a realization if you will.

It’s taken me years of picking fights and feeling totally depressed. Taking it personal that I can’t get motivated and making up reasons why the world and it’s inhabitants are shit. It’s taken years of forgetting that I am getting a mega dose of the sexy time, hate juice called hormones to realize that,  just like these tits, just about everything I am feeling is a mirage, and NOT to be taken seriously. The fog will lift in a day or two. Realizations like these are bitter sweet, as it is cringe worthy to think of the carnage I have left in my wake, the unnecessary tears I have shed and the embarrassingly bitchy things I have said. But what a great thing to be able to understand the cryptic language our bodies speak, to “have the wisdom to know the difference” between our reality and this emotionally inebriated state. All to often we speak out of turn and act on an impulse that is purely driven by an imbalance in our emotions (this is true for guys too) So pay attention, learn the signals and don’t fall for the same trap over and over. So today I just kept to myself. Well after I bitched at Jones for our house being cluttered, to which he gently pointed out that all the shit is mine, I kept to myself. I loved on my clients and spent my break writing and reading in my room. Putting all my frustrations and doubts on paper, rather than giving them weight by speaking. I came home, ate some dinner and have spent the rest of the evening enjoying feeling sexy and somber.

So do yourself a favor when you start to feel the rage, the irritation or the sadness and it seems like it’s for no good reason, remind yourself that it just that. Without a reason. Go easy on those around you, don’t make rash decisions, relish your body and keep your mouth shut.

One Step

Letting go is different than giving up, backing down or loosing. Letting go takes strength and courage. It’s a choice, a discipline and the ultimate path to freedom. To take a good hard look at what we are holding on to, where we are crowded and what we fear, allows us to name it, call it out, clear it from our paths and create space.  It’s admitting you were wrong, not looking back, starting over, burning it, giving it away, breathing it out, being still, letting it hurt, packing it up, getting sweaty, feeling tender,taking a chance, being alone
and really fucking hard to do.

Yet despite the discomfort there is nothing more important or profoundly necessary than to,

Stand at the edge of yourself. With the pebbles of all you know falling from under your toes. Close your eyes. Raise your trembling hands up and out to your sides. Feel all that space, moving between your fingers, wrapping around your waist and filling up your lungs. Lift your face, raise your heart and feel weightless. Breathe it all in. Breathe it all out. and take one step forward.

 

Drinking and Smoking

There is a saying that has stuck with me since I was in school for holistic healing and massage. It reads.

nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels

and  theoretically this is true, not to mention it’s a beautiful sentiment towards being committed to doing what’s right for your body. But in reality, and more specifically my reality, I have to be feeling really bad in order to make a change cause  I love to party, eat shitty food, smoke cigarettes, drink booze and stay up late.

some of you are thinking, “what’s the matter with that?” and I suppose in moderation there is nothing. But seeing as how I have been living on a steady diet of tacos, wings and booze for what seems like weeks now I’d say moderation is out the window. Not to mention I spent 2 years in rehab and the last 6 educating myself on  good and pure food, clean living, natural healing and wouldn’t you know, a bloody mary paired with bbq wings is rarely mentioned as a remedy for anything more than indulgence. I know better.

I have been in a cycle since finishing rehab, where I really apply the things I know about health and nutrition to my life. I feel great physically, I am clear headed, full of energy and feel pretty great about myself for taking responsibility for my quality of life and then one day I just step off the path. Maybe it’s a party for a friend, or I have cramps. Maybe I didn’t have time to pack a lunch, or it’s true that an addict is always an addict. Mostly I think it’s just being lazy. Regardless of why it happens, it does.  Then it’s happening over and over. I eat the shit that just tastes good, I drink what makes me feel good and I don’t care at all. I have more fun, it’s easy, I am more social, and I get to eat and drink and smoke and I genuinely enjoy all of those things……..

then comes today, I wake up at 12:30p.m. (again) after more than a week of not  going to bed before 3 a.m. I go into the bathroom and look at my dull, spotty skin, my breath stinks and my body is stiff.

I go downstairs only to be reminded that outside of condiments there is nothing in the refrigerator. Nothing except gin, club soda, old celery and some almond milk. I can feel myself  irritated and contemplate making a drink, when I realize this is one of those moments I get to choose. I want to wake up easily and at a normal hour, make a fresh juice, go to the gym, eat food that makes me want to go on a hike rather than take a nap. I want my skin to look fresh and young, and for my body to be agile and firm. I want my brain to be alert, my tenancy to procrastinate replaced with motivation and my temptation to tell every one to fuck off dissolved. From experience I know that all of these things are totally attainable through diet and lifestyle. The question is , is knowledge powerful enough to turn this ship around?

Now there are people who either……..

1. never really get too far off track

2. do, but recover quickly

3. wait until there is a real issue to deal with before they self correct

or

4.make up justifications as to why they can’t do anything about it and go on feeling miserable.

The third option is totally where I am. It always has been. Money, lies, drugs, jobs, relationships. I push it to the max. And I don’t entirely disagree with myself on this, because this same push has helped me achieve goals and break through road blocks, not to mention life is meant to be lived.  It’s just when I find myself living in the definition of insanity that I really take notice.  and I have taken notice. Over the years I have come to understand that very little about us ever “changes” it just “evolves” for the better or worse depends on our decisions. and depending on our decisions we gain freedom to create ourselves how we want to be.

But per usual there is never a “good” time to adjust our course. ex: Tonight is a 4th of July/birthday party, I have the next 4 days off work and and the weather is perfect for midnight moped rides. But my instinct tells me that if I don’t reel it in and get some sleep, drink water instead of gin and get reconnected RIGHT NOW then it will just take longer and be harder. and really this insight  marks great progress and is all I could really want for myself. It also helps me to remember that, despite feeling like I have wild nights packed with fun, I have missed out on much more important things because my body was too burned out to keep up. I have lost great memories because I got to wasted to remember, slept through beautiful days being hung over and my body isn’t how I want it cause I am eating badly. Suck. Like in Rules of Attraction, how Lauren looks at pictures of STDs before parties so she’s less tempted to have random sex (HA I always thought that was brilliant), we have to give ourselves an honest scale of value to measure our fun with.

The tricky part is remembering that we are the only ones who ever really know how close to the edge of disaster we are inside and although we must remain humbled by it, we should not fear it. Trying to explain or convince people of it just makes things weird, and worse and there isn’t really anything anyone else can do to really help. The goal is to catch yourself before anyone else has to. So I just stop talking, stay home, put my pajamas on and watch a movie. For every night I do this, my morning’s get better and my resolve grows stronger. I imagine it will always be a kind of pendulum, I am just working for the balance in the center to last longer and be easier to get to.