Pretty or Ugly (POU) Phenomenon

Every girl is beautiful. From the scrawny, knob kneed young girl-looking-in-mirrorsprites with eyes too big for their faces to the elderly, wrinkly, ones with voices that have become more gruff with time. Each person’s beauty is something that cannot be truly held by another. It is as unique as the fingerprints, the personality, the DNA.

It matters not what the current standard of beauty is. With time it too will change. Where once were celebrated rotund bottoms and pouty lips our current pop culture favors digitally enhanced pictures, unreal beings from the imagination.

Take a good hard look at yourself in the mirror and find one thing that you think is excellent. Tell yourself every moment of every day how amazing and excellent this one thing is that you find about you to be acceptable. Maybe even lovely.

Because as you admire this one thing a myriad of things will happen. The voices that tell you you’re ugly, too fat, or too thin, have eyes that are too close together, hair the wrong texture, moles in the wrong places, or have ears that stick out…. Well those voices will begin to fade into the background.

By finding one small piece of you to love unabashedly and to tout to the world your confidence will grow until one day you find two. Two parts of you that are worthy, deemed so by you. And then two becomes three and three becomes five and five becomes a miracle. The miracle that is you. Able to flourish and grasp that no one knows what beauty is. It’s something we find each day on our own in the least expected places.

The only person you have to be worth anything to, is you. And when you love you the world becomes indifferent and in its indifference a counterbalance of love and acceptance is formed between you.

Beauty is but one piece of a very complex puzzle in this life. Getting caught up in it breads an ugliness -the depth of which we are not prepared to shoulder the burden of alone. Speak up speak out. But don’t let the nasty world inside the fiber optic cables served up to you on screens small and large the world over dictate the language of your soul. Protect it. Shelter it. And do the same for others every chance you get. Because humanity is ugly enough without exposing yourself to opposing opinions of beauty. Just be you. Righteous, glorious, and most certainly… beautiful.

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2013 Progress

Hard at work!

Well, we’ve all made it through the first quarter of 2013 together. From my view it’s been a bit hectic, but that’s how I like things.

I’ve been participating in a variety of wellness focused challenges over the last few months, and one of them asked me this morning about my bucket list. Of course, I posted one in January for the whole year so instead of making one I took the opportunity to review where I’m at with my list. I’ve copied and pasted it below and crossed off the items that are already complete:

2013 Bucket List

  • Reiki Level 2 Certification 3/10
  • Excel Level 2 Certification
  • Make Friends
  • Start a writers group that meets mostly monthly 2/17
  • Write a book
  • Publish a book
  • Acquire a massage table
  • Learn Scottrade with my dad 5/9
  • Take at least one long-weekend trip locally 4/18
  • Meditate Daily
  • Try something new in exercise 5/6
  • Spend a day on a farm
  • Take Rhy horseback riding with Darian
  • Encourage others to advance in their lives
  • Tour a local brewery with a friend
  • Take James to see Coheed and Cambria 3/14
  • Host a backyard bonfire and barbecue

I’d say all in all not too shabby for the first quarter. Some of the items are in progress but won’t be crossed off as complete for quite some time.

In other new, the office project I posted about a few months ago is well underway. I absolutely think I’ll be able to finish it by my target goal of July 27th.

So how is the first quarter of 2013 treating you? Bumpy ride? Smooth sailing? I’d love to hear about it!

The Crafty Person Inside Me Is Exploding With Joy

Oh my! I’m practically doing backflips across my office floor right now. The excitement is nearly too much, I’m giddy, overjoyed, ok yes even that much excitement can be too much for me. Seriously though, I’ve stumbled upon the motherload of creative carpentry.

Ana White, who outgrew her first blog KnockOffWood, now runs Ana White. This is the blogger who got over 1,000,000 hits in her first three months of blogging. Why would it be called anything else? This little lady went from power-tool-averse to self trained on CAD tools and building her own house! She has great tips, free plans, and all the inspiration you need to get off your butt and get building.

Disappointed with the styles your finding? Just don’t want to pay the wicked $1300 price tag (or more???) of that Pottery Barn piece you’ve been eyeballing?  Ana’s got you covered.

I’ve committed to myself to completely overhaul my office space by July 27th. Just a few hours with Ana have me feeling confident and crafty.

Check out this great project for a cubby covered craft table, pics & plans are all Ana:

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I’ll be acquiring my own power tool additions soon and setting off to work. I’m sure I’ll post about it along the way. And of course, praying to channel my inner Ana all the while.

Which Road Leads To Peace

I heard a story for the second time yesterday about following peace.  At first, I didn’t recall that I had heard this story before.  Obviously I needed to hear it again.  To protect those that may not want to be named, I’ll spare the full details of the story.  But ultimately, the message is follow peace.

What does that mean?  The first time I heard the story I was quickly able to pinpoint the decision I was facing and which one was right – which one would bring peace.  It became much more obvious and blossomed in front of me and I was able to move forward.  I was at peace.

This time; however, I’m finding complexity in the answer.  What once brought me near instant resolve has me now questioning the very fabric of what makes up my life.  Am I at peace?  Am I following peace?  Do I know what peace is in regard to this situation?  No.  I don’t.  But I do know that I am not at peace and I am not following peace.  Which, strangely enough, is a step ahead of yesterday.  Or maybe it’s behind, as at least yesterday I was delusional.

I remember a time when I used to hear people say “Ignorance is bliss” and I would wonder how that could be true.  Looking back, I was clearly the ignorant, because now I understand the bliss that is lost.  If only I didn’t know…  Clearly that is not the way I really want to live my life but there is that bittersweet taste left behind when the ignorance of a situation, a friend, a job, a life, whatever it is, washes away.  Is the best path to salvage and correct, polish and fix.  Or is it walking away.

What methods do you use to determine the best path?  Well in the words of the Cheshire Cat I leave you with the thought – that if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.

The Year of the Snake

Hey, it’s my year!  The year of the snake.  In making this year’s bucket list I had a few different goals, well ok that’s2013 redundant.  But seriously I’ve done this enough times now that I have a basic sense for what I can realistically do in a year and how to push a little further.

So this year I wanted to have a few activities that I made public from the beginning.  What you see is only the public version, I think we should all keep a little something just for ourselves.  I also wanted to have a few activities that could easily include others.  Biggest challenge there, I don’t really include others in much and have a limited circle of nearby friends.  Enter bucket list item – make friends.

Without further ado, I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes of 2013 and what surprises I encounter along the way.

2013 Bucket List

  • Reiki Level 2 Certification
  • Excel Level 2 Certification
  • Make Friends
  • Start a writers group that meets mostly monthly
  • Write a book
  • Publish a book
  • Acquire a massage table
  • Learn Scottrade with my dad
  • Take at least one long-weekend trip locally
  • Meditate Daily
  • Try something new in exercise
  • Spend a day on a farm
  • Take Rhy horseback riding with Darian
  • Encourage others to advance in their lives
  • Tour a local brewery with a friend
  • Take James to see Coheed and Cambria
  • Host a backyard bonfire and barbecue

Did you make a bucket list or go with traditional resolutions?  Either way – I’d love for you to share!

An Excerpt From An Untitled Work

Almost two months ago I set off on a journey to write a book in 30 days. I did not complete the bull-riding-400challenge, but I worked at it, enjoyed it, and learned a lot.

You know it’s crazy that I learned little things, some I already knew that were driven home while others were completely “aha” moments. I think NanoWrimo; even though I wasn’t a winner, was a huge personal success. I did something I was literally terrified of doing. And that’s awesome.

Without further ado I give you, another excerpt from this project:

She smiles and her soft brown hair cascades down her shoulders and she looks at me, sweet. Johnny, hating your father until the end of eternity won’t bring me back either. It’s not what I want her to say. I want her to tell me that he should burn. He should have died instead of her. Instead she tells me that love is what created me and that if I’d let that love in, I’d be more like her than him.

The tears start to swell up under my eyes and before I can stop it I’m crying. Denying aloud that I’m anything like that beast, the murderer. The evil bastard incarcerated the majority of my life. As my anger swells she’s smiles and looks at me, asks me why I can’t open my eyes and see.

And I do exactly that. I open my eyes and scream as fistfuls of grass and clods of dirt come out in my hands. Pounding at the ground, terrified by her betrayal. I wanted her to tell me that it was ok, that I could go on hating and it wouldn’t do a thing to me and that he deserved whatever punishment he got, guilty or not.

What? Guilty or not? Where did that come from? Crazy thoughts, I just can’t think straight because there’s too much to face. I throw the grass and run. Tears streaming down my face, I swipe at them with my sleeves and fumble for the keys. Unlocking the door and bolting myself inside.

Pounding the steering wheel I feel like someone’s just unleashed a bull and the site isn’t going to be pretty. Push to start, crank the music, pull away from the cemetery like I’ve just seen a ghost. But I have. And she’ll never stop following me.

The sounds of my visit trail behind me with a little Chevelle pouring out the windows with bass blowing intensity.

“…Lawful, vengeful, awful, friendship, misfits
Bits of feelings, thieving, fits inside revealing
Time to censor, censor, realize
Censor, Censor, no friend of mine…”
Chevelle, Same Old Trip

p.s. the picture included with this posting is an accurate depiction of how i felt through much of this experience 🙂