Tag Archives: body

Body Poetry is Craaazy Cool!

Lately, I’ve been writing what I call Body Poetry and it’s pretty cool. What is Body Poetry?  It’s poetry that bubbles up from the body consciousness to the mind, not the other way around as is typical with writing poems.

This is how I do it. I sit for a few minutes, close my eyes, breathe deeply into my core, and ask my body to give me sensations, feelings, or words. I invite my body to talk with me. It takes a long time for me to center and still myself long enough to hear, really hear my body, and not trample what I’m receiving with my mind. But, I’m getting better at “hearing” my body with practice. Sometimes I get physical sensations in a particular area. I then zero in on that area and ask “What do you want to say to me? I’m listening.”

The first few things that came through me were really odd, like stream-of-consciousness stuff that seemed to have little coherence or meaning to my current circumstances; here’s an example of something that recently came from the area of my chest and ribs:

yellow curl
heart-scape sealed
grab air
nothing
float
closed

My heart said these things, or “breathed” these words to me as I meditated. I had to wait a while for the words to come up from my body and settle softly in my mind. It’s hard to describe what’s actually happening when I do this, but the words flit through me really fast from way deep in my body. I didn’t understand the meaning of the words that first came through me, but I made sure to hold them, welcome them, feel each one, and live there inside of them for a few minutes. Then, when I traced the words back down into my body, they were crowding my heart area and their meaning became clear. I realized that I had been guarding my heart toward someone because I was recently offended by them. At the time, my mind had quickly and dismissively characterized the whole episode as “their problem”, but when I held the feelings and traced them deeper, I found that my heart was actually still stunned and a bit sore from the exchange between us.

So, my heart’s message was one of curling inward, yellowing, and sealing off. In looking for a connection with the other person and getting nothing in return, my heart then went away with a residue of pain and carried this pain until I asked it to tell me what was going on. And, when I held the words and asked where they were from, the person’s image loomed up in my mind and my heart constricted. Ah-ha! To get this message from my heart was profound. To see that my heart has its own code, it’s own language, and its own presence, aside from the rest of me, was so moving. And, it’s only continuing to deepen as I continue to do this kind of work.

So, I’ve been practicing this a little each day. I can tell you this: My belly wants to and likes to speak. My belly often speaks of force, strength, will, and drive. It often holds a simmering impatience and irritation. But, staying with the static from my belly longer, reveals something else inside all of that bluster and bravado; there’s a supple tenderness, a wish to protect, a yearning to be really seen and considered and loved. And, oh, my Goddess, my belly loves to be touched! She asks for it all of the time. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve found that the loudest feelings are often covering up my more gentle ones; the loud stuff is masking my vulnerability. It makes sense, but until I actually “lived there” with a deep concentration, I was missing all of this.

I have a particular person in my life, whom I adore and who is energetically in my body alot. This person gives me unending pleasure to ponder, sift, feel, and hold inside. When I dial in and ask for belly emotion, his face sometimes looms up inside of my mind, and then I feel such body joy, such pointed awareness of his physicality, his “essence”.  I get chills and radiating blue electricity inside my core and can actually feel my Chi radiating outward; it’s so pleasing. He’s incredibly tangible and physical for me. So, with the help of my belly (and some attention from my mind also), I wrote this poem:

Wanting to gently pull from youjournal_pages
a confession
softly uttered
in the stillness

of
a never-ending night

the barely audible
but steady
timbre of your voice
carrying the weight
of a thousand years
inside it
carrying me open
and down into your
body
as you bare
who you are
at that moment
in the darkness
and use your
missives
to ease the
latches of
my core places
open and
loosen points of
light
into the eaves
where they breathe
and blink above us
like night on
the mountain
whispering
your name
through me
over and over.

This is my belly wanting deep recognition, a confession that he feels as much as I do; it’s a sweet, soft, and pure recognition of the fact that he and I have known each other before now; it’s a longing to hear his words about that experience, our experiences together, then and now. As he speaks, my body opens and becomes his body; parts of me that are usually hidden are gently unlatched and the light of those energies is freed into the corners and eaves of the room where they blink like stars in the night, on the mountain, which has its own messages and mantra. It’s about trusting that this person, whom I’ve let into my core is gentle enough and reverent enough to know what a big deal it is for me to have him there. Few people make it into my core, so this is a significant shift in my energy paradigm. To be honest, it scares the hell out of me to have someone so inside of me like this, so deep, and so prevalent, but my belly largely dictated this reality, so I’m going with it. I’m holding the energy despite my fear.

I think I wrote about this before, but some years ago, I had the pleasure of talking with a psychic that could receive messages from a person’s body parts. She told me that my left knee was unhappy about some of the things I had been saying about it to other people. I was stunned at first and then incredibly apologetic. I begged my knee to forgive me. I simply didn’t know that the body listens to us so intently and never regarded the body as having its own code, it’s own consciousness, its own “life” outside of me, the soul and psyche operating it. Well, I learned such a valuable lesson that day. The lesson has obviously stayed with me. The body poetry work that I’m doing now is an extension of that work from so many years ago. It’s delicious.

Today. These are the words that came from my body:

Heart says: “blue haze quiet longing”

Belly says: “sifting
memories through layers
touching
edges of meaning
holding you
holding you and me”

My left knee says: “walk into future”
My lower back says: “need change need”

Interesting. So, so interesting. I have a feeling that big shifts are coming for me. My body is telling me in advance. I can feel it coming and I’m ready! What about you? You wanna try this? Please do and leave some comments about your experience; or, better yet, write a guest post. Would L<3ve that!

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A Body that’s Too #@&% Full!

A body that’s so full, the energy spills out in every direction and reaches the furthest points in the galaxy. A body, rife with such emotion, such movement it can barely contain it all, so she has to be bigger and more vigorous. A body that pushes words out and tries to convey, weigh, catalog, and identify, but feels lasting frustration with the endeavor because words can never capture what’s really happening inside. Words are mere nuances, shadows, ghosts of the depth and intensity that this body and consciousness experience.

How to tell you how it feels for me here, now, in this body, on this planet, in this life, in this moment? It’s nearly impossible. I have no proper conveyance system to help you understand, but for the expression in my eyes. If you want to know, you have to look into my face. Then, you will see it. You will get it. You will come away with a piece of the truth.

Sigh. I’ve been writing my novel again. Mostly because the emotional pressure has built up so much inside of me that I must write. I must get it out. I sit here and climb the purple walls in my office for a few days and then, I can’t take it anymore. My body is so #@&% full of feelings that I have to tap in, drain it off, release. Such is the anguish and the exaltation of the writer.

Some more of my crazy artwork

More of my tangle artwork

My protag is a fierce woman. She is a depressive. She is intense, strong, deep-feeling, ballsy. She merges with other people in a culture that stringently dictates how and when that should happen. She’s not unlike me. And, while I don’t want to write about myself (because I’m pretty sick of myself most of the time), I can’t help it. I’m all that I know.

The challenge for any novelist is to create a character so different from one’s self that that character lives outside of, eclipses the psyche that created it. I’m not there yet. All I can do for now is plumb the depths of my own being and spill it all out in the hopes that this character will someday emerge from my shadow and stand in her own light. I want her to be other than me. I want her to live.

So, lately, I’ve managed to write (on her behalf) some snippets that might almost be good. Tell me what you think.

“The depths that I swim frighten me. I go so, so deep. I live in that murky half-light, that blue-to-black space, that world between worlds. I live in a place without light. I breathe the sea.”

“His silence is either bad or worse. It almost never means goodness. It’s a cold stare, a closed hand. A dark room. It means consternation, tension, guilt. When he’s silent, I have no choice but to make up stories about his feelings (or lack thereof). I have no handhold, no beam of energy on which travel, no connection. His silence is a knife in my neck.”

“If only I were enough for myself. How different might my life be? Today, I can describe my life only in terms of what’s missing. So much is missing. What’s not here is what I carry into each strangled moment. The ache of loss. The dim blood-beat of loneliness. What’s not here smothers me. I feel like I’m drowning.”

“He lives and breathes from inside of me and while I don’t know exactly what it all means, if anything, I can say that to feel him so close, so immediate, so deeply but not be able to touch him is torture. It’s a yearning that never ceases. A gnawing, steady drag of feeling through me that never relents.”

Swapping Bodies! Whaaa?

“You have got to be kidding me!”, I thought when I first read the title “What if you could experience life in another person’s body?” This BBC article was delivered to me by way of an email blast from one of my all-time-favorite Law of Attraction gurus, Mike Dooley.

I practically fainted when I read the title, because this, as many of you know, is the subject of one of my novels. You know, the novel that I’ve been writing for nearly a decade about the topic of merging one’s essence with another, swapping bodies in a delicious act of love and soul connection, and lighting up for one’s true soul mate, etc. Gawd, I love merging.

Anyway, I was excited as I followed the link. My heart was pounding. I was a bit jiggly and breathless as I waited those few seconds for the page to load. What I hoped for was a metaphysical exploration and explanation of what happens to me when I am in love with someone or something and merging energies with them and while that wasn’t what this particular article was about, it was still a very interesting article.

In short, two people don virtual reality headsets, called a “Machine to Be Another” in which the video from each person is ported over to the opposite headset. In the article, a male participant was able to see what the female participant was doing and vice-versa. Apparently, it takes the brain a few minutes to orient itself but it adapts pretty quickly and results in a very interesting, perception-altering experience for participants. These particular participants expressed that this exercise changed them for the better.

Machine to Be Another is part of a growing study of implicit racism and how to generate empathy for others but makers also see lots of other applications for the technology, including using it in therapeutic practices where a therapist can swap bodies with their patients to more clearly understand the patient’s issues and better empathize with them. The fact is that these devices change the brains of the wearers, at least, in the short term.

brain My theory for why people become accustomed to living in another gender’s body so quickly is that we’ve all lived before and we’ve all been both men and women. We remember. Our cells remember. Many of us know in some deep, soulful place that we are much, much more than these bodies that we currently occupy. We know that there is something much more profound and far-reaching happening with the human race. So, swapping bodies is natural to us because our brains are super computers designed to adapt instantly to stimuli and then yield expanded states of consciousness and higher functioning.

Okay, I’ve held you off long enough. The article totally makes me want to try this exercise. I wonder if they let just anyone do this? I wonder if it will become mainstream, like, will we see cafes opening all over the place where people can go in and have life-changing experiences? I can totally see this happening. Walk in one way and come out completely different but the same. I dig it. 🙂 What about you guys? Would you want to try this?

Worship at the Altar of the Body

If I were running things, this is what I’d like to see: You, grateful, breathlessly full of love for your wonderful, hard-working body. I’d want you to lay flowers at an altar to the self daily and hold the energy of self love, body love for the entirety of your lives. I want a world full of people who do not disdain their creations. Yes, we absolutely do create our bodies down to the very molecules (with our thoughts and beliefs).

I want a world full of people who LOVE their journey here, who love the lessons that they have chosen, who love their bodies with such vigor that they feel holy, they act holy, they ARE holy. I want you to feel a love pulsing through you that only comes from deep recognition of your own grandeur, your light, your importance to all that is. I want you to be giddy upon awakening, happy, excited, and joyously thinking about all of the things that your body will do for you during the day. This is what I want.

Now, that is also what I imagine God/Goddess saying to us. In my belief system, we have a source energy that holds an image of us as perfect, no matter what we manifest, no matter what the construct. A source energy so loving that it gives us all of the tools that we need to be successful here, gives us free will, gives us perfect bodies, and then in total freedom, releases us to create and shape a life of our own choosing, but a Source that continually loves us inside and out and never waivers from that ideal no matter what choices we make. This is God/Goddess to me.

prayer

If I started a religion these would be the only “laws”: Love yourself in body, mind, and spirit and take ownership of your energy, thoughts, and emotions. That’s it. Can you imagine a world where people were taught in the light, not in the darkness? Can you imagine a world of people who love and worship their bodies for the miracles that they are? I can. How might it look?

Imagine this: A baby girl is lovingly sung to in her father’s arms. He knows that it is his primary job, for the first three years of this child’s life, to teach her that her body is perfect. Her soul is perfect. Her mind is perfect. He takes this job very seriously. He knows that it’s up to him to help her form the foundation to a healthy life, to “program” her body with abundance, love, acceptance, honor, and trust. He knows that she will base all other life experiences from this early foundation and if there are cracks in the foundation, it is his failing and she, along with the human community, will suffer.

The girl grows with no separation between her soul and her physical manifestation. She is solid. She is centered. She is whole. She loves her own mind, feelings, and body. She loves how her body serves her. She loves to think and to play and to feel. It never enters her mind to think of herself or other people as anything less than they are. She accepts other people because she was taught, rightly, to accept herself first. She watches people having emotions, making decisions, living their lives, and she grants them the same freedom that was granted to her from the beginning. She acts like a creator. She is a creator.

In this state of oneness, there is no need to act out, steal, lie, take advantage of other people, or fight with others, because she knows that she is not a victim of any circumstance. She has enough. She has herself. She has the knowledge that if she wants something, she’s but to program the universe to manifest what she wants. Not by taking something away from others, but by being aligned with her own desires and understanding the laws of this physical time/space. She knows that thoughts are things. Thoughts become physical objects. Thoughts always come true in one form or another. All she has to do is think about what she wants and then align with the desire, the feeling of that thing, and it will manifest. She trusts this process. She trusts her body. She trusts the universe.

This is possible. I will never waiver in my belief that mankind will someday get to this place, will prove the naysayers wrong, will realize our divinity and power, the holiness that is the human body and will move onto higher and higher levels of advancement and spirituality. Call me “pie-in-the-sky” or a silly dreamer, but I know mankind is good at its core. We will figure this out. Until then, I’ll be here, reminding you all to lovingly fight for body acceptance until you learn to love it, all of it. Toward that end, I have a GREAT IDEA!

Create an alter to your body

For many years, I’ve kept some kind of altar in my home. Sometimes, the altar was for a lost pet or a sweet place at which I could sit and meditate (not very well, mind you, because meditation doesn’t really work well for me). Sometimes, the altar was a place where I gathered various photos, objects, and rocks that I love in order to do nothing else but look at them. Sometimes, my altar is outside in my yard or a sacred spot that I hike to and sit in for a while, like the Amitabha Stupa here in Sedona.

altar

My current, simple altar.

At any rate, an altar, as you smart body-lovers know is a highly personal place that can help us focus or dream or simply be. It can also be a very public structure that lots of people visit to pray or meditate. Either way, it occurred to me that since we humans are programmed to worship things and erect monuments (big and small) to things that we admire or exalt, why not make an altar to our own bodies?

Making an altar to your body, especially if you have “issues” with your physical form, is a great way to get more comfortable with it, to focus on the positives, and turn your mind toward that which works instead of concentrating so heartily on stuff that displeases you.

Making a personal altar is pretty easy. Here are some tips:

  • Pick a spot that you revere or feel safe in and make it a spot that’s easy to visit; the key here is repetition. The more you view this wonderful altar to your body, the better it works for you. Got a spot in mind? Good!
  • If your altar is indoors and it feels right to do, pepper your altar with photos of yourself from when you were happy, feeling good, laughing, goofing off, or just feeling really content. Try to pick photos of you that you like but that won’t make you feel bad for no longer “being that thin” or “looking that good”. The idea is to get used to looking at your body as it is now and appreciating aspects of it that please you. If all you can muster is a weak “Well, I like my wrists,” good! Use it. Take a photo of your wonderful wrists and pop it into your sacred space. The more you do this and concentrate on at least one aspect of your body that you like, the better.
  • Try putting colored stones, figurines, or other small art objects in your altar space. Bring in objects that you find pleasing and which remind you of health, vigor, and well-being. I sometimes prop up various Tarot cards that remind me of things on which I hope to concentrate or am currently working. I also place stones from the yard, crystals, images of Archangels and I almost always have a small Buddha statue there.
  • Write a loving letter to your body, praising him or her, and remarking on all the ways that your body helps you be here. Cite every pleasing aspect you can summon, read the letter out loud to your body, then place the sacred writing in your altar area to be infused with the energy from your stones and art objects. Read the letter out loud to your body once per day. This totally elevates your mood and gets loving thoughts and energy into your aura and subconscious.

What about you? Do you have an altar? Do think you’d like to make an altar to your body? What will your altar contain? Please share your thoughts on this and let me know if you have any more tips for readers to try. So, let’s do this! Let’s make an altar to the body and worship at it. Love you guys. All of you. 🙂

 

How to be Obnoxiously In Love with Your Body

The following was a guest post that I did last July for Outlier Collective, which is now gone (Booo! I miss my friends over there very much), so I decided to re-post it because it’s a perfect representation of the BBB philosophy and is hopefully, helpful. 🙂

zeal

Picture this: A woman, say, in her late 40s, standing in front of a full-length mirror. This woman is grey-haired, heavy-built. She’s looking at her body, up and down and smiling, widely. She giggles, reaches down with both hands and grabs her full, chunky belly, squeezing it as she says to herself: “You are so friggen’ adorable!” This woman clearly loves her body and relishes its size, shape, and bearing. She’s clearly happy with how she looks and loves her girth, despite the fact that her body is “socially stigmatized” as undesirable, unattractive, and unhealthy by large segments of the population. She doesn’t care; at bottom, it doesn’t matter. She is fat. And, she’s completely fine with it. In fact, she’s madly, obnoxiously in love with her body.

Does this scenario seem improbable, maybe even impossible? It’s not. This demonstration of body-love is real and anyone can attain this state of being, regardless of circumstance, body state, fitness, appearance, or health. How do I know this? I’ve done it. The woman that I described above is me. And, if I can do it, anyone can do it.

How did I get to a place where I’m obnoxiously in love with my body? It wasn’t easy, I tell you. It took me years and years to get here. I write about it often on my blog. Ultimately, I think that I got sick of fighting. I got tired of dominating my body and criticizing her and measuring every mouthful of food and obsessing over how I looked. I got sick of caring what other people thought of me. I just got worn down by the struggle and the negative emotions, but beyond all of that, I wanted peace. I deeply wanted happiness. I didn’t want to feel so bad all of the time. I wanted to like my body and relax. I finally, finally let go, dropped my arms, and decided that if I had to be big (like my body so clearly wanted to be), I had to stay healthy. That was my only goal, my only concern, my only rule. And, I’m perfectly healthy, vibrant, active, and thrillingly alive at 5′ 5″ and 245 pounds. My blood pressure is always 110 over 60. I feel and look great.

So, why would any of us want to fall obnoxiously in love with our bodies? Lots of reasons. Primarily, acceptance. Acceptance of the self and others. Acceptance that the body is an integral part of our experience here as human beings and a vital tool, an important element in how we expand as spiritual beings. Without the body, we cannot do the work that we, as souls, crave doing and have come here to do.

At the periphery of our minds, we know that our lives mean something far bigger than our day-to-day concerns and struggles. We know there is a reason we are here. We know that we really should love our bodies, and yet so, so many of us hate our bodies or dislike key aspects of our physiques. So many of us, particularly women, struggle with the body and suffer, truly suffer over how our bodies look, measure up, or perform. Men have this affliction, too, but women. Oh, women. We are largely miserable creatures when it comes to the body. Women are so hard on themselves and by proxy, other women. It does not help that we have these plastic, air-brushed, and computer-manipulated images of “perfect bodies” barraging us from every flat surface.

We, as a species, so dislike the body that we have thousands, maybe millions, of industries devoted to altering, reducing, beautifying, and fixing it. Everything from drastic, brutal methods, such as compulsive exercise, plastic surgery, liposuction, and chemical peels to the less-severe skin and hair treatments, adornment, and concealing clothing. We so dislike our bodies that we mostly will not show what “real bodies” actually look like in advertising, films, art, and other media. This is, thankfully shifting in recent years, but we, for the most part, honor bodies that are not real or representative of the vast majority. We honor the seamless, the young, the endlessly underfed and photo-shopped aliens who peer placidly from the pages of fashion magazines and reality TV shows. So, when your body does not follow the socially agreed-upon convention of beauty, what then? You begin to despise it and this happens at a very early age in this culture.

I really believe that most people want to feel better, happier, more centered, balanced, and loving. Falling in love with your body is an excellent way to increase positive thoughts and emotions. Falling in love with your body is a perfect way to live a richer, happier, and more loving existence. It’s not easy to get there, but loving your body and honoring its needs, rhythms, messages, and life apart from you, the consciousness inhabiting it, is a delicious way to get deeper into why you are here as a human being. I argue that mankind cannot advance to his greatest potential without a healthy love or respect for the body.

So, how does one do this? Start small. Following are three ways to start falling obnoxiously in love with your body.

  • Start with your thoughts and beliefs. Think about the beliefs, thoughts, and ideas that you have about your body. Where did these opinions come from and who influenced your ideas about the body? Think about your shape, fitness, and health. Are you happy when you think of your body or less than joyous? What are you wanting from your body that you do not have now? Think about it. Then, you can try sitting down and writing it all out. Write down how you feel about your body and how you want to feel. Do this so you can create a dialog with yourself and get comfortable thinking about your beliefs. Our beliefs hugely influence the way that we look. Yes, genetics plays a role and also environmental factors, but nothing affects the body greater than thought. If you can get to a place where you can more quickly pin-point an idea that does not serve you, you can change it.
  • Understand that our cultural ideas about beauty have nothing to do with reality. I’m sorry, but women have cellulite. Women make babies. It’s a fact of life. We need some pudge. We need curves. Whoever came along and decided that cellulite was ugly and had to be air-brushed out probably had body issues, but that doesn’t mean that we have to accept this opinion. Nor do we have to shame our bodies because they don’t measure up to some false ideal of beauty. That is a choice that many of us make, but we can change it. Bodies are varied and multi-faceted and miraculous. Bodies serve us in the exact dimensions that we need in order to expand as spiritual beings. Sometimes those bodies need to be big and dense and sometimes small and light. It takes all kinds of bodies to make all of this living work. So, realize that the opinions we are being fed by way of the media are simply opinions of others, are to be heavily questioned, and do not have to be accepted.
  • Realize that you are an electromagnetic being and a powerful creator here in this body. Your body is vital to the process of your expansion. The body is doing exactly what you have commanded of it by way of your thoughts and behaviors. If you continually crab about the shape of your body guess what you are concentrating on through your attention—the current shape of your body. This focus on the negative disallows any number of other realities of which your body is capable, because you are focused, with your thinking, on the problem, not the solution. Try instead to sit quietly for five to ten minutes per day and think of all the things that you appreciate about your current body. Send your body loving thoughts. Maybe you like your toned arms. Well, tell your body that. Maybe you love your skin. Tell that to your body. Have a discussion with your body. Ask it what it wants and needs. Even if you do not “hear” anything in response, know that you are creating bridges of understanding between your consciousness and your body and its particular consciousness. Be willing to listen and this will create huge openings inside of you. You will start to feel better, slowly, but surely.

This is what I know: all of us can change our minds and learn to love our bodies. We have ultimate power and control over what we think, feel, and how we react to life’s circumstances. All of us can decide to change our thinking and thus, our beliefs about our bodies (or any topic). We do not have to hate or be critical of our bodies. We can choose love and appreciation. If we choose to facilitate a deeper love and respect for our bodies, lots of positive things will result. The most important of them: you feel better and you have more happiness. Consider falling madly in love with your body just as it is and see how your life unfolds. Just watch the universe mirror that love and appreciation back to you.

Brushing My Mustache

I knew that this day was coming. I knew that, one fine day I would casually glance in the mirror and see it. There. Above my lip, a misplaced eyebrow. A sign of “the change”.  Well, today is that day, my friends.

Maybe it was the sunlight streaming in through the small bathroom window that glinted, just-so, off of the nicely rowed, baby-black-hairs creating their conversation across my lip. Maybe it was a shadow there that caught my eye. Whatever it was, I now have a mustache. I have now crossed that invisible line from fertile nymph into wrinkled crone in an instant.

And, I’m cracking up about it. Why? Because my ego cannot stand the thought of sporting this soup strainer out in the real world; my ego cannot stand the thought that other people will see it while simultaneously knowing that I’m going to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about it (except to accept it).

Lizzy_&_Her_FurdinandSo, this is my plan: I’ll brush my mustache and cackle like a hag in my house. I will wear this mom-stache with pride, even bravado. I will stroke my stache thoughtfully while I think at my desk. I will name it (I name everything). I’m thinking “Furdinand” (get it? FURdinand?) Hahahahaha! I will wear this stache because my body made it and she must know that I need it.

So, for all of my sister-crones out there who think that a chickstache is not useful and to be controlled or removed, let me assure you, there are some real positives:

It’s natural. These things happen. As we age, our hormones lessen and change. Men lose hair and women gain it. But, this is perfect and right. We crones get to take out our revenge on the male of the species for their endless objectification, the near-constant and often unwelcome attention, the male bravado, the ego. We get to sport better hair than them and prove that we are still very much capable of doing what they can no longer do. (You all know that this is tongue-in-cheek, yes?)

It gives you a cloak of invisibility. As I have gone completely grey now and become much more hairy, fewer people look at me. And men? Almost never. What a relief! I no longer have to impress the people with whom I interact. I no longer have to seduce them with my wit, my humor, my sexiness. I get to rest now. The woman-stache is a huge signpost that indicates the beginning of the crone’s journey. We women can now stop looking outward and go inward, travel through the layers of the self on a much deeper level instead of concentrating on others and giving away much (or all) of our energy. The mustache frees us from the attention of others and affords us the time and space to go inside our souls.

It’s liberating. I no longer have total control over my appearance and no amount of essential oils or other healthy skin care products can hide the fact that I am middle-aged, liver-spotted, and hormone imbalanced; there is nothing that I can do about this but walk through the self, accepting all the way. I am liberated by this mustache because I can be even more authentic now. I can be more real. I can show the world what inner beauty looks like. I can let my soul do the talking. What sweet relief.

So, my new motto is: If it’s there, it’s there for a reason! And, if we women can’t grow it on our heads, let’s grow it on our faces! Let’s wear our crone signposts with pride. Let’s leave all of our hair out there and see how it triggers us, but more importantly, let’s celebrate every little hair for helping us do the work that we invited in this lifetime. I, for one, am going to celebrate this hair-lip of mine and laugh all the way to the grave. Now…where did I leave my comb?

Breaststrokes: “Natural”; A Guest Post by Claudia Moss

Editor’s note: This is installment #3 in a series of guest posts by the wonderful, prolific, and talented Claudia Moss. In this series, Claudia artfully explores the voice, opinions, and reality of women’s breasts and what they experience. Enjoy! And, please, please show Claudia some love by commenting here.

Natural

It’s the catchphrase on everybody’s lips. Natural this and natural that. We honestly cannot go more than three days without bumping into the word in some way, form or fashion. Yes, we understand that a considerable percentage of the population wants to be natural today more than ever, but, goodness, why we hypocritical about it?

Educate yourself, for Heaven’s sake.

Think about it. Consumers want natural foods with as few preservatives as possible. Over half the FDA-approved additives in our processed food will no doubt leave us six feet under, given enough years of eating it. What’s natural about macaroni and cheese bright enough to tie-dye five white T’s? Give us naturally brown eggs, with unbleached shells; brown rice or maybe even black rice, which is new to us, in place of white rice. And, let’s not forget the catchphrase whole-wheat flour instead of bleached, lily-white flour.

That word natural is a stream, flowing over into grooming and hair care. It’s unnatural for mothers, black or white, at least the white ones with biracial children, don’t need to be combing creamed lye into their children’s nappy hair, burning the daylights out of them while instilling the premise: “Something is inherently wrong with the way your hair is right now, in its natural form. And, in order for you to presentable in my eyes and yours and the world’s at large, please sit still while we bring order to these unruly naps!”

Then, you have the fashionista, natural, hair-care divas with YouTube on lockdown. Sisters talking self love for others with naps and curls and waves and kinks. Sisters who are not only bringing the natural, hair-care tips, but sisters who always demonstrate right there in their bathrooms and bedrooms how to be thankful for and glorify the beauty of nappy hair.

The power of the video is a wonderful thing.

Let’s not forget the natural-oriented fitness community. One of our favorite fitness queens on Instagram, that awesome Mankofit, just plugged eating right, with the right servings of vegetables and protein and drinking water, works better for her than drinking the whey protein-powdered drinks. They’re the new fitness craze, another way, we say, to bank dollars. If you have enough funds to purchase a $34 plastic bag or $62 canister of the powder, then why not put those dollars into fresh produce? It’s got to be better than continuously drinking something that you don’t actually know the ingredients of. The tiny print in its contents section looks like Greek or Malaysian.
I’m just saying.

Now, if you care to follow me in other directions, consider the natural fabrics that allow the body to breathe. Or, the shoe that is engineered to fit the natural curvatures of your feet. What of using natural gas to power the energy-needing sources in your house? And, the natural resources we need to be honoring and preserving?

So, with all this talk of us living in a world going more natural every day, somebody please tell us why we are so “unnatural” that she can’t ever put us in her baby’s mouth without the family going into battle about it, simply lining up and taking all sorts of stabs, above and below the belt, about it.
It gets so crazy, so unnaturally insane, until we want to scream, “Where else on a woman’s body can milk be secreted to nourish an infant? Can somebody please answer this for us?”

And if you can’t find any other place on a woman’s body to do that, please don’t edit and proofread and revise what the Divine has preordained for a baby’s first meal. I mean, folks, it’s not even relegated to homo sapiens. Animals under the umbrella of mammals have teats and suckle their young, people!

You would think that people forget that everyone has a chest—if they are living, and some men have literal breasts, when they are overweight. Dressed, people forget this bit of minutia, until a woman pulls out one of us to do what thus made the Lord, okay?

The problem is the world’s mind is wrongfully thinking.

If all people can see when they see us or bump into us or feel us or read about us is sex and dirty sex (for why else would they think we are so nasty and need to be bound and lifted and smothered and covered, like hash browns,) then scientists and spiritual leaders have got it wrong. We are not advancing, getting better with each generation. In truth, we are heading backward…or maybe we are standing still, locked in stasis, considering cavemen and women knew to put a baby to a woman’s breast, we’re thinking.

Why can’t the family see that we are magical?

When the baby cries out in hunger, we download a stream of milk in response—we are that attuned to Mother Nature’s call. And, even when she thinks about the baby when she is away from the baby, we will discharge sustenance, reminding her to return to the little one. How can knowing how to do what we were made to do be wrong?

She has gone to taking a lightweight drape to toss over her shoulder as she nurses the baby if she is going into the public. That keeps harsh eyes from glaring at us and the baby, which isn’t good, to say the least, for either of us. The cold way some people stare would make you think we’d committed a capital offence and should expect to be arrested at any moment.

“That’s right,” Cedric blares, when she sat on the long sofa one evening and peeled the lap back on her nursing bra and placed one of our nipples in the baby’s ravenous mouth. “Why don’t you listen to your mother and go upstairs or in another room when you do that?”

“Do what?” she asks, drawing him out. We knew she was tired of his rude, self-righteous tone.
He smirked and clicked the television remote. “You know. What you are doing.”
“Feeding our child is what I’m doing.”
“Don’t be cute, Jadira. You know what I mean.”
“Honey, I told you. In my day, I nursed you children in private. Some things are only for your husband to see.” Her mother is in the rocking chair across the room, barely able to stay in the room. She’ll be fleeing soon.
“What is it with you? My nipple? I don’t even have my whole breast exposed. Is it my opened blouse? Or, is it a tiny sucking mouth doing what comes naturally, instead of what is perceived as sexual?”
Cedric’s back stiffens. “Why do you have to go there? Nobody mentioned that nonsense, woman. We just want you to cover up and go somewhere else to do that is all. Damn.” He huffs loudly. “Do you have to make everything dirty?”
Her sister laughs softly with her legs pulled up in the armchair near the kitchen. “No. I’d say you guys do that exceptionally well already.”
“Sophie.” This from her mother, to keep Cedric from commenting, but it doesn’t work.
“Stay out of grown-folks conversation, girl. I done told you about that, but you just like your sister.”
Sophie’s different. We love her.
She giggles and answers, “Oh, forgive me. You’re right. All grown-folks’ conversations aren’t equal and worthy entering to share truth, light and love.”
“SOPHIE.”
“Excuse me, Mama. But what’s right is right, and he’s right on another account. I’m ‘just like Jadira,’ except I wouldn’t have made some of her choices.” She looks over at us, nursing. “Not that you’re my favorite person, Jadira.”
She and Jadira share soft, musical laughter.
“No need to explain, Baby Sis. We speak the same language,” Jadira agrees.
“And, that is precisely why she will be an old maid and you,” he says, waving the remote at his wife, “maybe an older maid with her, you keep that talk up.”
“Aaaaw, that sounds delightful!” Jadira sighs and looks at Sophie, who adds, “Yes. Sounds like the glory of liberation!”
The baby releases a nipple, palms our white nursing bra and glances up at his mama and smiles, full and satisfied. He coos his gratitude.
“And, I see Junior is in agreement,” Jadira says.
Before lifting the flap back over one of our nipples, she lifts the baby to her right shoulder and gently massages a burp from his middle.
Sophie leans over the side of her chair. “Good boy,” she coos. “That’s Auntie Sophie’s fav nephew.”
Cedric hurls his disgust into a nearby chair with the remote before stalking out of the family room.
“See, both of you are, plain and simple, unnatural,” their mother affirms. “Haven’t I taught you anything? Women do not goad men. Now stop it. PLEASE.”

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This is post number three, in a series of guest posts provided by the incomparable Claudia Moss, author, radio personality, speaker, dancer, and all-around AMAZING WOMAN! Please share your thoughts here, BigBodyBeautiful peeps; better yet, visit Claudia’s links below, tell her how you feel about her writings, and connect with this Goddess of self-esteem.

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