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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

right thought, into actualization of dreams

"Your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize.
Your words are the greatest power you have.
The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience."

~ Sonia Croquette ~

"Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen"

~ Sarah Ban Breathnach ~

and in order to accomplish these things, we need to love ourselves and believe in our capabilities.

from this inspirational website, here are some Recipes for Self Love:

Take full responsibility for your life.
Stop blaming others.
See yourself as the cause of what happens to you.

Do things you like to do.
Don't stay in a job you don't like.
Participate in life at the highest level you can.

Stop terrorising yourself with your thoughts.
Be gentle and kind and patient with yourself.

Give yourself the simple pleasures of life abundantly.
Wear clothes you feel good in, get a massage etc.

Watch what you say. Avoid self put-downs.
Stop being critical of yourself and others.

Take care of your body.
Give it exercise and good food.

Be willing to create a life-style that generates and nourishes self-esteem.
Associate with others with high esteem.

Acknowledge yourself frequently.
Keep a diary of your successes and accomplishments.

Avoid comparing yourself with others.
Remember that it's who we are, not what we do, that's important

Give yourself permission to do nothing periodically.
Schedule time by yourself.

Frequently take deep breaths.
Discover the benefit and pleasure of breathing fully.

Eat first class frequently.
Don't look at the right side of the menu.

Stop trying to change others.
Focus your attention on being the way you want others to be.

Look into a mirror regularly
and say "I love you, I really love you".

Stop feeling guilty and saying "I'm sorry".
See mistakes as valuable lessons and avoid judging yourself.

Consciously generate positive thoughts and feelings of self-love
in place of old thoughts of inadequacy.

Be willing to laugh at yourself and at life.
Stop taking yourself so seriously.

Accept compliments from others without embarrassment.
Don't invalidate their positive thoughts and feelings about you.

Be kind to your mind.
Don't hate yourself for having negative thoughts.
Gently change your thoughts.

Keep your awareness and your thoughts focussed in present time
instead of living in the past or future.

Acknowledge others frequently.
Tell them what you like and appreciate in them.

Invest money in yourself.
Go to seminars, workshops and courses that develop your talents.

Make a list of 10 things
you love doing and do them frequently.

Treat yourself as you would treat someone you really loved.
Praise yourself.

Author Unknown


I don't know about telling myself I love you in the mirror... I could try but I think anyone would feel kind of silly doing that.... kind of hearkening back to Stuart Smalley's "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it people like me!"

But there's some good advice in there.

now to follow it...

Monday, September 28, 2009

the many lessons of belly dance

I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard, "I hate my body" from a woman.
Let's face it, unless we're genetically blessed, we all basically hate our bodies. Girls in our society are taught at a very young age about the "American Ideal" of beauty through their peers, advertisements, shows & movies, videos, etc. And while men face similar struggles, I feel that women are always judged more harshly than men by their physical appearance.

One thing that woman struggle with in bellydance is the whole process of becoming comfortable in their skin... accepting their bellies and their curves as part of what makes them beautiful and accepting our individual nuances. It's hard to see an incredible bellydancer, knowing that those movements will look totally different on our bodies - and that's just because every body is different.

My bellydance classes start Saturday Oct. 3rd at Studio 21 (yippee!!) and I am going to (in addition to focus on technique, fun and education) also have a brief quote of the day regarding female empowerment and studying how bellydance can teach us many things about ourselves.

I found this article that is a personal narrative on issues that surface while mastering bellydance.
she mentions:
1. Freeing my Pelvis and Spine
2. Shame and Negative Body Image
3. Intimacy and Opening my Heart
4. Sexuality and Empowerment
5. Anger and Judgment

One thing I want to try to emphasize is that bellydance is NOT about being a sexpot. Ava Fleming said to me once, "bellydance is sexy by accident" - you don't need to sex it up.

I don't want women to take bellydance to be sexy for their men... I want women to truly understand how mastering every muscle in their bodies gives freedom and a feeling of empowerment like NONE other.

(And incidentally you will just become sexier by accident :)

I also want to try to foster a spirit of COMMUNITY NOT competition among women. Women tend to get very competitive with one another and I don't believe that has any place in the world of bellydance. I see this art-form as a sisterhood; and as such, we should help each other along our journeys instead of tearing each other down.

Anyhow, I will probably be blogging more often on this subject as I prepare my lesson plans for dance class.

Why do I have the sudden urge to yell "Ya Ya!" ? :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

thought for the day

from Taro Gold:

Apparent distinctions exist only in our minds. For example, in the sky there is no distinction of east and west. People create such distinctions and then believe them to be true. We do the same in everyday life—making distinctions, such as "us" and "them," where none exist and then believe them to be real.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

excellent advice from a friend

Which I'm blogging so I don't forget and can keep coming back to my new mantra from the amazing @cupcakemafia:

Firstly there's this pearl: "Never ever be with a man who says "I don't want to hurt you" It means that a. they have a track record of hurting women & b. they probably already have forseen how they will hurt you"

NEVER thought of this before but it's sooooooo true! and I have the history to prove it.

then some more observations she had on my patterns in relationships:

"I think we may have discovered why you get so wrecked during break ups.
It's not just losing a loved one; you have a history of these broken wing birds that you want to nurture. So the end of the relationship is not just a romantic dissolution but almost feels like you failed at saving them.
I know because I have been there.
I used to stick it out in relationship until it got super ugly or I was just a mess because I hate failing."

Just give yourself a little mantra: "No more broken wing birds, I deserve someone whole and healthy."

Thank you my friend. This will be hard for me because I do love to nurture and help people... but I want to heed this advice and discontinue these patterns.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I was going to blog about me until...

... I found out Patrick Swayze died. crazy swayze (How I Met Your Mother episode season 3).

this man was a rarity. a loyal husband, talented dancer and actor. and STRAIGHT.

seriously rare, wonderful man. made dancing manly and sexy for men, what every woman dreams of!

right now his real-life love story is occupying my brain and my heart goes out to Lisa, his dance and life partner.

Sending her love and thanking you crazy swayze, you rocked our socks off.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

sediment removal time

When we are upset, it's easy to blame others. The true cause of our feelings, however, is within us. For example, imagine yourself as a glass of water. Now, imagine past negative experiences as sediment at the bottom of your glass. Next, think of others as spoons. When one stirs, the sediment clouds your water. It may appear that the spoon caused the water to cloud—but if there were no sediment, the water would remain clear. The key, then, is to identify our sediment and actively work to remove it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

only 4 more days to sign up for my beginning bellydance workshop (Denver)

If you are in the Denver area and have always wanted to try bellydance, now is your chance!

I have a challenging, yet FUN syllabus planned (click here to preview the workshop agenda and choreography).

Here is all the information. If you are interested in reserving your spot, please visit Studio 21's website and click the last option for a one-time payment of $20.

Date: Saturday, September 12, 2009 Time: 2 - 4 PM

Place: Studio 21 Dance Studio
1821 Youngfield St Golden, CO 80401
(720) 435-6689 Studio Director, Jessica Smith

Cost: $20

Several hip scarves will be available to borrow - first come first served.

Bring water and wear clothes you are comfortable to move in.

Hand-outs will be provided with important links to the choreography, information on bellydance and a link to a survey to let me know how I did.

There are going to be several ladies there who have NEVER taken bellydance before, so please don't be shy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

TGIF & a long weekend!

as I impatiently wait for this last hour to pass before hitting the road to Jazz Aspen Snowmass with Colleen, I thought I'd share a quote I got via email:

04 September 2009

In the general sense, "faith" means to establish one's awareness of true self—to realize that the infinite dignity of the universe and the nature of one's life are the same; to recognize that indestructible happiness exists right here and now within oneself. In this light, faith means to cherish and develop the potential of one's own precious life.

~Taro Gold

hmmm I'd never thought of faith in those terms before.

reminds me of Shepherd Book telling Mal to believe ~ he didn't care in what. (if you don't know wtf I'm talking about, GO WATCH FIREFLY and then SERENITY).

ok that's about as deep as I go today. In other news, some evil demon brought us massive quantities of delicious cookies, brownies and candies and I've proceeded to make myself sick. :P

but all will feel better as soon as that show starts tonight! :) Here's hoping traffic allows us to get there by the time Michael Franti goes on at 8.

Peace ~ have a wonderful, LONG weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's not like your strength is in your hair, right?

"No, I believe it is in my biceps" (from Angel Season 3, Episode 14 "Couplet)

this is of course a reference to the Samson & Delilah story from the bible where she learns the secret of his power and strength is in his hair and cuts it all off.

It got me to thinking recently about women and their relationship to their own hair and it's associations to femininity (often the "power" of a female to get her way).

and then started to think of perceptions of hair and how it used used in culture:
Hair, power, punishment, and status

Of course I'm thinking about these things because I recently got all my hair chopped off. Luckily I THINK I'm one of those women who can "pull it off" to quote men's perceptions of women with short hair. I generally think that most men prefer women with long hair because it's feminine, they can play with it, smells associated with it, etc.

I started wondering, why do I CARE what men think? Is my vain need to feel desired and attractive really more important than expressing myself? I feel like short hair is like removal of a veil that we women tend to hide behind. It feels naked, raw, brave and bold. I feel stronger now with it gone. Hair is TIME but not only that it's a routine and sometimes expensive beauty regiment.

Often hair is cut in mourning like Yoko did with John (see that link above on hair power, punishment, etc). Since I am going through so many changes and shifts in my life right now, I've decided that I mourned the loss of a less effective and enlightened self and am now redefining me and getting rid routines and old traditions.

Flappers cut their hair in the 20's as a sign of freedom and sexual independence. And the fact that some religions and cultures STILL regulate what women can and can't do with their hair, makes me even more fiercely glad I have the freedom to assert control over my own appearance and sense of self.

The lady who empties the trash in our office told me she would love to cut her hair as short as mine but her husband won't let her (just another bonus to being SINGLE). Of course that brings up another cultural topic I don't want to veer into.

I'm not too worried about my appeal anymore... anyone who found me attractive before still seems to now. My strength isn't in my hair, it's in the character that has formed from life's challenges.