Fearless Women: Midlife Portraits

I am loving this book…really loving!

An elegantly strong depiction of wise women warriors. Yes we do get better with age and this sword-wielding photo anthology is an inspirational documentation of that gift. It takes honesty and courage to age gracefully; it also takes moxie and a fearless desire to embrace life to its fullest. So for today I will wield my unsheathed albeit figurative sword, lean into my midlife gifts, center myself in my experience and exhale into gratitude for all my hard-earned wisdom.      Take that crows feet!

Take that crows feet!

Ready for your close-up? What’s your fearless photo?

New Moon Manifest.

The moon is chock full of fabulous energy.  Percolate on this for a moment…tides shift because of it, women menstruate on its cycle, wine tastes differently when harvested with the moon, and even scientists are trying to mine moon energy to use on our dying planet. So, if you are already open to the idea if manifesting new pleasures and dreams into your life…set your intention and let it establish roots. The new moon is about renewal, birth, re-birth, dreaming and growth. If you aren’t quite sure about all this witchy-woo-woo-mumbo-jumbo stuff, well, that’s okay but ask your self “what do I have to lose?” Then try. Just suspend disbelief long enough to dedicate a wish to the mysterious unseen forces that for certain exist in this world…and surrender. This dark side of the moon creates a fertile new ground to manifest a new direction in your life. Take a few moments to breathe deeply, easily and without strain, until you have some clarity of mind, then write your intention*. The written word carries more power – it just does. By the way, you have a full reign to write as many New Moon intentions as you would like. When ink has touched page and you’ve put your pen down, take another deep breathe. Exhale fully. Then release any worry, judgement or expectations around your intentions. Trust that your soul seeks to blossom toward the light and toward your greatest good. So after you’ve planted your New Moon seed(s), step out of the way and watch them grow. Dream big. Live long & prosper.

* A word to the wise…be careful what you ask for, you just might get it! Be sincere, be succinct. Write your intention in the present positive. Go.

Super 8.

1967 Super-8...the year I was born! Umm-Hmm. Rock that polka-dot bikini!

Life is different on super-8. We smiled more. There was a tangible curiosity and playfulness about life. Color and sound weren’t perfect. We weren’t perfect. There wasn’t a need, yet if we desired to somehow attempt to figure it out…there was plenty of time. When did we abandon the urge to run into the camera face first and laughing? There wasn’t a need to face the harsh critics of retouching and HD because life was a bit out of focus anyway. We lived in it. We breathed in it. We found soul, like it or not, in the inherent knowing that each moment was lost as soon as the next one began. Super-8 was the simple solitary piece of a captured moment that also held in it the rational fear of burning up forever each time we played back the memory. Now we concern ourselves with the viral spread of memories, even ones we weren’t being truly present for when they were happening. Yes, I have a professional digital camera now, and a Flip, and every Apple product I can get my techno-soul hands on. And yes, as much as that keeps me in the loop (photography pun fully intended), I yearn deeply through a melancholy lens for that accidental mishap in the darkroom which every once in a while made the memory better.

So we may have collectively grabbed a permission slip from the desperate hallways of restraint, and before getting caught we had already squelched our souls’ and their craving for nourishment by imperfect things. A more mistake and passion filled way of living somehow got lost. We got swept up in the bondage of perfection. Now we’re sitting inattentive, not sure if we should raise our hands, yet desperately yearning for élan’s bell to ring.

My thought is:   Every so often let’s give that futile slip back, get out of focus and laugh more.

City Comfort.

Cities inherently sound the same…thus, even by sound we’re all connected. That’s comforting. What is it about being in a city, even one I’ve never been to previously, that makes me feel at home? What makes me feel connected to the guy in the business suit next to me, or the hurried sales girl in her 20-something chic? I’m a desert girl. I mean, I really am a desert girl. I grew up with coyotes, tarantulas, snakes, forts made from palm fronds & tumbleweeds, and road signs that said “beware of drifting sand.” If your head is tilting in wonder at that one…you’re not from the desert. Anyway, my person, my body, my soul feels at home in big cities. Head down, bundled up, iPod blaring, or head gazing up toward the architecture, sandal feet and the sound of wind bristling full summer trees…we are connected. It’s the same experience, this not-together togetherness, even if you’re wearing boots. It feels like a collective search for one’s self that comes out and thrives in the big city. Why is that?

Teaching Guide.

I have been out and about lately. Actually, not really getting my groove on or hitting up the club scene or any otherwise wacky behavior, but out. I’ve been trying new yoga and fusion classes, and what I’ve found to be the new universal truth…not all classes are created equal. Nor are instructors. I always felt it truth-bearing to call myself a “guide”. I do believe that I am a teacher in all its descriptions –  years of gained personal experiences, acquired wisdom handed down by generous mentors, certifications and degrees (the least important in my opinion), low-valleys of life transformed into peaks of insight, and most importantly the humble knowledge that teaching has nothing to do with the teacher and everything to do with the student. That being said, “guide” leaves the possibility for the students own sense of self to merely be led on a path where their authentic world unfolds. I like that.

Drink Grass.

Wheatgrass. Who came up with the brilliant idea to squeeze grass so hard that it would actually liquify…and then even more of a head tilting thought…drink it? I’d like to imagine it was Jack LaLanne simply because he rocked, and I guess because at some point he endorsed a juicer. Smart. And because it would make sense, after all here was a guy that thought swimming while pulling boats was a great exercise routine. So if at 96 he still looked like the picture of health, I thought why not throw back some juiced grass and imbibe in its promised magic.  Saunter to your local juice spot and place an order for wheatgrass. Take a deep breath and sniff…smells like the promise of Spring. Tastes kinda like dirt. yum.

Cultural Creativity.

A culture is dependent on the cultivation of soul and seeing itself through the authentic perception of its creative thinkers. This concept must be taught, advocated for and nurtured from day one of a citizen’s life. I wholeheartedly believe that a unified cultural approach to emphasizing empathy and ultimately an open-minded global consciousness stems from outside-the-box thinking. And this type of deeply American independent thinking will breathe soul back into our society. As a whole it seems we are collectively yearning to nourish creativity. Why else would Starbucks put thought-provoking slogans on cups? Why else are moms across this great country lining up to volunteer to run Young At Art programs regardless of the lack of school funding. Why else would all this fabulous web-content techy stuff have multitudes of design and color options? Are you catching my drift? Our souls are craving beauty at the deepest level, and as a long since YatA mom, I’ve realized I’m not alone. It’s in every classroom, in every cardboard partitioned office and in every home regardless of wall space. For today, let’s dive into our yearning and start at home. Frame something, anything. Write a poem. Read books at the dinner table. Watch your children play video games (but only for a little while!) and then turn them off and have a discussion about what they saw, felt, discovered. Bottom line, get involved in creativity and make it a priority.

Support imagination & creativity on a federal level. Thank you Obama administration and White House Live for these vital oval-table discussions. Imagine what we can do. Just imagine.