lovingkindness

Congratulations! You’re a Feminist

Do any of these sound familiar?

  •  You didn’t vote for Hillary and you didn’t vote for Trump. You believe that everyone has equal rights and deserves to be treated with respect, lovingkindness-just like how you want to be treated. You didn’t march in any of the Women’s Marches because you feel it doesn’t represent who you are and/or it was too political, and that there are other ways to show solidarity than marching in the rain wearing a pussyhat. You didn’t IG, FB, or use any of the following hastags: #nastywoman, #powertothepussy, #IStandWithHer, #lovetrumpshate, etc..You hate seeing other women and populations being torn down by nasty words. You believe in people choosing how they want to live and conduct their life. Seeing all these “pro-pussy” posts on social media has you down because you they make you feel inferior for not being fired up, angry, a #nastywoman, and less than because you don’t see things like them.
  • You voted for Hillary and despise Trump. You use every outlet you can to forcefully push your beliefs on others and refuse to see other peoples perspectives OR you share your beliefs but  don’t use forceful language and berate people who don’t believe like you. Like the person above you believe that everyone has equal rights, deserves respect, and can choose to live their life the way they want. You marched on Saturday carrying a sign with a vagina sticking a middle finger to the man and wore a pussy-hat.
  • You are a woman who voted for Trump. You feel ostracized by other women because they look down on you for voting for him. They call you names and do not respect your choice though they preach tolerance. While you voted for Trump, like the other women above you too believe in equal rights for all, the right for people live according to their beliefs, and in treating others with respect. You understand that Trump and his position on women do not represent you but you saw something in his policy that resonated with you that Hillary, Bernie, Jill Stein, or Gary Johnson policy didn’t.
  • You are not like any of the women outlined above, or you are a variation of the three presented.

 

If you are any of those women outlined then Congratulations!  You are a feminist! Don’t believe me? Then look at the definition of feminism. According to Merriam-Webster feminism is defined as,

  • the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

  • organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

Feminist.com defines feminism like this, “feminism wants you to be whoever you are-but with a political consciousness. And, vice versa: You want to be a feminist because you want to be exactly who you are. That may be a person patriarchal society doesn’t value or allow-from a female cadet at the Citadel to a lesbian mother. Maybe you feel aligned with the self-determination and human rights implicit in feminism, but you also organize your life around race, religion, or class, rather than solely around gender“. See how anyone can be and is a feminist?

 

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Now that we have realized that each and everyone of us is a feminist, let’s take it a step further. How about we put feminism into action? Action is always better then words-we all know people who talk a good game but when we look at their actions and fruit we see otherwise. It is this call to action that will bring about the change people are so desperate for. Action doesn’t always mean marching or walking in protest. Action is anything carried out. As a friend on Facebook mentioned it doesn’t matter how you “protest” or what action you take as long as you do something. So here are some things you can do that are not just feminist in nature but are little gestures that go a long way in treating people like a human being that was, just like you, created by The Divine/God.

  • Words of Encouragement and Affirmation. Who doesn’t love a good word or two of encouragement after a rough day. We all love hearing that we are doing a good job at being a mom, wife, an employee, a friend, teacher, lover, etc…Words are the most powerful tool we have in our arsenal. Words can be used for good and to build each other up, but they are also the most destructive. As James 3:5-6 says, “In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself”. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to burn anyone’s life down or burn myself. So what are words of encouragement or affirmation? Some examples are: “I believe in you”, “Thank you for being you”, ” You are a great friend”, “You are such a strong person”, “You can do great things”,  “I’m praying for you”, or “You did a great job doing *insert activity/action* “. These words are so simple, but yet extremely powerful. Think back to a time when you were utterly distraught, forlorn, or depressed. How did it feel when someone noticed this and said something nice to you? Didn’t that pick you up and give you a little extra oomph to get through? For my yogis out there, this is a verbal way to practice Ahimsa (non-violence).

 

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  • Practice Lovingkindness. If you are friends with me on social media or have come to any of my yoga classes, you have heard me talk about Lovingkindness or Metta. Honestly, if you have been to any yoga class or are friends with a devout yogi/yogini you have heard about Metta. Metta is a simple meditation that helps us see others in a positive light and helps us to cultivate compassion. The Lovingkindness Meditation is simple and can be done anywhere. To have the greatest effect recite the meditation a few times daily. You can also recite it when someone is getting on your everlasting nerves to help you calm down and treat that person nicely. I take my version of Metta Meditation after Jack Kornfield. My version is, “May I/you be filled with lovingkindness. May I/you be peaceful and at ease. May I/you be happy. May I/you be free”.  Find your version and begin practicing today! I know lots of people who could use some good vibes and Metta thrown their way.

 

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  • Support Woman Owned/Operated Businesses.  Not only does this support local economy it shows that you believe women are capable of being movers and shakers in the business industry, which is largely dominated by men. I am blessed to know many female entrepreneurs and run successful businesses. They give me inspiration to pursue my dreams and show the value of what hard work, determination, and not taking the word No for an answer can do. They show me and other young women that in order to make a statement, sometimes we have to go out on our own and pave the way to success. Whether a female in your life owns a company, is a freelance artist or teacher, sells essential oils, Plexus, artisan goods on Etsy,buy from her! Show her that you appreciate what she creates. And honestly, who doesn’t like to make money off what they love?

 

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  • Support Causes that Resonate with You. This is where we can generate support and show solidarity for others on a grander scale. I don’t care who you are there is something out there that moves you. There is a disease/sickness, social injustice, or mission, that resonates deep within your soul. Take a moment and think to yourself, what are you passionate about? Are you a female artist who wants to support other female artists to get work shown or become a director of a ballet company (which is a mans world though there are more females in ballet then men)? Have you been touched by the effects of cancer? Maybe it’s bringing awareness to the horrible practice of female genital mutilation, sex trafficking, homelessness, LGBTQ support, overseas missionaries, children’s hunger, making care packages for those undergoing chemo…ANYTHING!  For me, I am passionate about Eating Disorder & Addiction Recovery, Mental Illness, and  Domestic Violence because those have been me. I have lived many years in a self-harm state of anorexia, exercise addiction, and been emotionally abused. I share my story, educate young girls, write this blog, participate in the Red Flag Campaign and Take Back the Night, I do what I can-sometimes even if it’s just a prayer or sending of good vibes out. It’s something.

 

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  • Mentor Young Girls and Teach Young Men. This is probably the biggest thing we can do. It is up to us to reach out the younger generation and teach them about the power they have within them. It is up to us to teach young girls how to be strong women. We are to teach them that they can not only be whatever they want to be, but how to reclaim their bodies. Their bodies aren’t just for making babies and to be objectified. It is up to us to teach young men how to respect these young girls and what is/isn’t appropriate. We are to teach both sexes tthat they have worth and value that isn’t related to how many likes/followers/shares on social media, the clothes they wear, where they come from, or what other hindrances are in their lives. They have value and worth because they are divine, they were made in God’s image. Each and everyone of them are unique, beautiful snowflakes,with special talents that make the world a better place. When we raise this next generation, they can be the change that we hope to see in the world.

 

So, are you ready to take one or more of these actions and make a difference? Are you ready to claim your title as a feminist? Are you ready to start a revolution-whether it is just within your soul or in your community? If so, then good for you. If you aren’t, then guess what, that’s ok too! Just know that no matter your choice, I’m here for you. Just remember,  “You is kind. You is smart.You is important” (The Help).  for more female empowerment check out my article, When You Don’t Know What to Say Let Maya Angelou do the Speaking.

 

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#’s (pounds not hashtags)

Do you love the scale? Do you hate the scale? Do you just not care? Whatever your opinion on scales are, you have an opinion. Hopefully it is a healthy one. Those of us with ED’s or are in process of recovery have a definite opinion of the scale. It is our frenemy (friend and enemy).  We love it because it brings us happiness when we need it. We love it
because it keeps our otherwise hectic life in control. Yet, we hate it because it brings us unhappiness. We hate it because it controls us. We hate it because it tells us our self-worth, self-value, and when people will love us. All because of one number we have in our heads. We cannot go above that number. We have a safety number (well I did). Once we go above the high number we starve and purge. If we fall below our safety number we binge because we feel sad and out of control than follow it up with purging.

When I was controlled by a scale I use to hide my insanity. The scale was in my parents bathroom. So I had to go in there to use it. I had to time myself and step on the white plastic scale when they weren’t around. If they caught me using it they would either check the number (which would result in gain weight comments), or tell me to get off it. I did it daily. Multiple times a day, knowing that your weight fluctuates during the day, I had to do it. Ask any one who struggles with this, it is only you and that scale. I had numbers on it where I felt my best and that I liked. I had numbers that were my heavy numbers which were signs that I need to lose weight. And I had a number that I couldn’t go under, mainly in part of a truce I made with my mom and gynecologist when I was severely underweight.

One of my first challenges was to step off that plastic white scale. To decrease my time on it. Instead of five times a day, cut back to three or four, etc…Eventually I weened myself off the scale and only stepped on them when I had a dr’s appointment. When I moved to my current therapist he came up with the idea to step on the scale sideways or backwards so I wouldn’t see the number. If I didn’t see the number I had no attachment to the number (I am not a math major but I had number attachments). It wouldn’t ruin my day with thoughts of “I am gaining” or “I am losing” etc…I felt like I looked stupid and I always made a joke of it but I soon came to realize that the nurses didn’t care. Most of them thought I was smart by doing that given my challenges.

The other day I had a major breakthrough. Probably one of my biggest ones in the almost three years of recovery. I saw a number on a white sheet of paper (my check out sheet at the doctor). On that white sheet of paper, I saw my weight. Here is the crazy part: it was heavier than usual, but I didn’t care. I knew that it may not be accurate because of the time of day, the time of month, and just took it with a grain of salt. I knew that I gained a few but that was ok because people still think I weigh less than that. I have muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat. There are lots of reasons for that number. My current weight as of that day was how much I weighed in high school. I honestly think I look smaller now then I did around ten years ago. But my body has also changed shape (yay for late blooming).  I took that number and just let it be. I didn’t purge, starve, or over exercise. I just became mindful of it and went on my merry way.

A year ago that would not have happened! 2 years ago that definitely would not have happened.6 months ago there would be a chance that that would not have happened. But there I was completely ok with it. Melvin did creep in and try to talk me into starving. I disobeyed. I was in a good place. Especially since they are figuring out what is really wrong with my GI distress, and that is enough t over rule any weight arguments with Melvin.

So for those of you out there struggling with the scale, don’t give up. Try getting on the scale backwards or sideways. Don’t have the health practitioner tell you anything. Work on getting rid of attachments to numbers (they do not serve you). Keep trekking on. Eventually that white plastic scale (or whatever color of scale you have)  won’t have a death grip on you.

Till that day comes, practice Metta (lovingkindness in Sanskrit).

 

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