Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Road Traveled

If one thing changed in your life, would you be who you are today? If one event had a different outcome, whom would you see when you looked in the mirror? 
The road "not" traveled is a road filled with wonder and regret. It is the road of "If only". "If only I had different parents then..." or, "If only this didn't happen to me, then my life would have turned out differently." The "if only" road takes you nowhere. You see the same scenery over and over again. It isn't until you let go of the wheel that you are able to see the turn off for the road of "right now".  The road of "right now" is where your life is created. Right now you can choose who you want to be and what you want to do which impacts the road yet to be traveled. The road of "right now" is a road of choices. Events happen in life and you can choose to allow them to define you or you can choose to define yourself. 

Is the past in power over you? Are you ready to empower yourself? Let go of the wheel and turn off the road of "if only" onto the road of "right now”. The road of "right now" does not ask you to forget the past. It asks you to let go of judgment and look at yourself with compassion. The past made you who you are today, it had a purpose. Learn from it and let it go, because today is where your life begins. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Slaying Dragons

Have you ever read your old journals?  It is an enlightening read. I found a box containing some of my old journals and began to read them. Although I recognized my handwriting, I didn’t recognize the person. The person writing hadn’t embraced who she was. There was fear in her voice and her heart was broken.  She was afraid and unsure of herself and didn’t know how to pick herself up. When she looked in the mirror, she didn’t see that she was perfect, whole and complete. What she saw was imperfection and insecurity.

It takes courage to embrace the true essence of who you are.  To see yourself as perfect, and believe that you are perfection. It takes courage to see yourself with the same grace in which you see others. With the same compassion and love that you can give another, and yet withhold from yourself.  Yet, that is what the person writing these journals did, she found the courage and embarked on the journey of self-discovery and self-realization.

It takes courage to cast your beliefs about yourself aside and face the fear that is staring you in the face. To courageously face life in spite of whatever adversity you have been through in the past, and realizing it is the past. You cannot move through fear if you are afraid to face it. The first step is to give yourself permission to feel what you feel. To acknowledge it and say I see you, I know you, I understand you and I release you. When you allow yourself the courage to face your fear at each step, you take the power of fear away, and own your power. You feel the strength rise up and take hold. You look at yourself straight in the eye and say I LOVE YOU. I AM Perfect and I EMBRACE the true essence of who I AM! It is not an easy journey, however, it is a powerful journey. A journey that once taken changes your life in ways that before you had only imagined. 

My journey through the valley of fear did not happen overnight, nor has it ended.  It is a continuous journey and there are times when I find myself traveling the path of fear. The beauty is, I know I have slain the dragon of fear before and I know I can do it again.  You have the power to face whatever you are facing in your life right now. Surrender into the true essence of who you are and embrace the light that lives inside you. Allow it to guide you as you courageously slay the dragon of fear.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Measure of Beauty

When I was a little girl, I loved playing with paper dolls, making mud pies and playing dress up with my Mother's clothes. I would sit for hours underneath the dining room table playing with the paper dolls that I cut out from the catalogs my Grandmother kept in a box underneath the phone table.

The requirements for making the "cut" were precise. They had to be complete, meaning nothing or no one could be blocking any part of their body, their outfit had to be stylish and most importantly they had to be pretty.

At the ripe old age of six, I had set my standards and defined beauty. I would spend hours, turning page after page looking at each potential paper doll, deciding if they met the criteria I had set. Looking back at this, I ask myself these questions, how did I decide who was beautiful and who wasn't? What influenced this decision? Well, could it have been the catalogs I was looking through or the magazines on my Mother's coffee table?

For years, print and broadcast media have defined beauty. There was a time in the not so distant past where voluptuous women like Marilyn Monroe, Mae West and Jayne Mansfield were the "hot" commodities. They were the pin-up girls who women wanted to be like and men drooled over. They were a size 14 or above. By today's standards they would be obese women on the cover of tabloids with some horrifying caption. So, when did the standard of beauty change from healthy and curvy to unhealthy and straight? When did a woman having a boy's body with breasts become the "hot" commodity? Who is defining beauty and why as a society are we buying it? It is time to change this way of thinking and honor our bodies at each age and size.

The Maiden's body beginning to form and develop, flowing with creative juices as she begins to paint on the blank canvas of life. The Mother's body full, juicy and ripe, ready to birth life in all forms, and the Crone, whose body carries confidence, wisdom and grace from a life lived. Honoring the wisdom and the curves of our bodies is a testament to true beauty. Embracing each curve, stretch mark and wrinkle is testimony to living an alive and full life.

In the last few days of my Grandmother's life, I would sit next to her bed, holding her hands. She had beautiful hands. I looked at her hands and thought about the number of tortillas these hands made, how many quilts these hands made that keep her grandchildren and great grandchildren warm. I thought about how these hands worked on a farm and held her children, grand children and great grandchildren. I looked at her face and touched her cheek and thought about, how many smiles were on this face, how many tears streamed down these cheeks. I looked at my Grandmother and saw the beauty of a life lived. The beauty of a women who touched many lives, fed many people, cried many tears. At that moment, the size of her clothes did not matter, it was the size of her heart that defined true beauty.

In the end it is not the size of your clothes that matters, it is the size of your heart. Live from the beauty of your heart. Do not let a number on a tag define you, let the number of people whose heart you touch be the meter of true beauty.