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Self Portrait Sunday

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I almost forgot, AGAIN, that it was Sunday. I was trying to think of a picture I could take that would go with today’s writing when I remembered. And that’s good, because today is a two-fer. You get the outside in the picture, as usual. But I have also spent some time today sharing my heart on relationships with a friend, and that, cleaned up, will be the bulk of what you read or skip today. :)

And truly, it’s okay if you skip. I will never find out. And I know it can be very uncomfortable to read about other people’s inner thoughts. Unintentional mirrors and flashlights and such. I get that.

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I like to laugh, to play. I have a lot of serious moments, deep thoughts. And then a flash of humor. It’s important to me to be able to share both. I want a man willing to both think and laugh with me.

Let me revisit that last statement. Not “I want a man…..”. I want people….who can accept me as I am in this moment, and in the next, different moment’s incarnation. And I want that badly enough that I am intentionally seeking it out. I want that depth of connection, because anything less feels false.

The interplay of love and freedom has been particularly salient for me of late, likely because I am spending a good deal of mental energy figuring out what open relating and relationship anarchy is going to look like for me. Letting go of that societal imprinting where the body is the person. And also figuring out what makes me feel caged and what makes me feel free. And how to approach people, but stay large, stay me even as I forge connections with others. I’m very busy pulling the lessons from the experiences.

I’d rather look at my fear and get to know it, get comfortable with it, than to set yet more artificial boundaries between myself and others. People hurt each other, as much as they try not to. I know that in any relationship, that’s going to happen. Because we are human.

There are two things about that. First, I can decide not to even get started because of fear, or I can accept it as a “cost of doing business” as it were and proceed. And the second thing is about when it happens: whether or not we move past it when it does happen relies to a very great extent on whether I make it about the other person or about me. And if I own my own feelings on that, sit with them, look at where they really originate, then that’s the better choice.

All of this is part of what my tattoo means. I was able to get it after I changed my perspective on some things. I’m not actually fearless. But I can act that way because I don’t let fear call the shots. I don’t let should call the shots. Should is another link in the chain of fear.

I let the shots call themselves, and attempt to walk in grace and beauty, treading compassionately in the lives of others.

Self Portrait Sunday: Pre-Exercise Body Shots

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Well, there it is in all it’s wiggly-jigglyness. I’m like Santa in that I shake when I laugh like bowl full of jelly. I’m not ashamed of it, but that doesn’t mean I like it. And it’s not the size that bothers me. It’s that I feel weak which we discussed yesterday. At least I think I discussed it here. It may have been in my journal. Nope, I checked. Right here.

So, I did actually sit last night and think about what I want to do. I had a pretty good routine going through the summer and I really liked it. Not the exercising part, but the endorphin rushes and pushing myself. And the day I moved my fully loaded cubbies from one place in my room to another was a very empowering moment. I was STRONG, and I was confident. And I really, really enjoyed that. But I am not strong anymore, nor do I have any confidence in my physical abilities, beyond the knowledge that I did this just a few months ago. That’s a thing I want to change.

You will note that I do not have my weight anywhere in this post. That’s because I don’t know what it is. Nor do I really care very much. I did not lose more than a couple of pounds last time, but my clothes fit better, and I felt better. See, that’s the thing. How I feel. Exercise makes me feel strong. It makes me tired so that I sleep well. When I sleep well, everything else falls naturally into place. Exercise also allows me to process stress. When I do that, I am less grumpy and generally a more pleasant person to be around. Since I spend more time with me than I spend with anyone else, I’d like to be less grumpy, so I can enjoy me more.

Here’s the plan. I am going with the squat challenge..

In fact, that is the exact image I have pasted into my notebook. I’ll use that same number for squats, crunches, reverse crunches, calf raises, and jumping jacks. I will do 10% of that number for push-ups. I’ll convert numbers to seconds for plank, reverse plank, wall sit, superman, and bridge. Then 50% of that for side planks and V-sit. These are all elements that I used before, but this will be the first time I am starting everything at once.

The one thing I am worried about is my left shoulder. It did not enjoy supporting my weight before, and I had to alter my routine to accommodate that. I decided to accommodate from the get-go this time, so hopefully it will not be a problem.

I plan to exercise four days per week, because that’s the number of times I could find a two hour block in the schedule. I will want time to stop sweating and shower before the next agenda item rolls up on me.

And can I just say? Am I allowed to say? I just want to put out there that when I look at these pictures, they aren’t that bad. I’d like my arms to be firmer and my butt to be a bit rounder, but other than that, I’m not displeased.

It’s Sunday

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And that means Self Portrait Sunday! If you want to participate, grab the button, click a pic, and link it back here.

Back in, what was it? 2008? When I started this meme, I was a regular church attender. That’s pretty much why I chose Sunday–it was the one day of the week I was pretty much guaranteed to be dressed and “fixed.” Well, I don’t do church anymore, but I’m sticking with Sundays anyway. Just be prepared for whatever you get, because you might get “real,” like today. And also, just throwing it out there, I was doing selfies before selfies were cool.

I took this picture right after meditation. Looking at it, it is fairly obvious why I have been having so much trouble with my shoulder. Even accounting for the lifted arm to snap the pic, shoulders do not belong this close to ears. Even in meditation time, I can’t let it go. I’m noticing that I am having a hard time sitting still, my breathing is way too shallow, and even a half lotus is out of the question. Girl be stiff. Out of practice in my practice. But I’m there. I’m doing it. I’m assuming the results will come, as they have before. It’s funny. When I start to get stressed, meditation flies out the window. I spend the time stewing over whatever is on my mind instead. Ruminating, we call that. It’s not a good thing because it is focusing on problems instead of solutions.

Anyway. I know you have seen this particular spot in my home several times. It is one of my favorites, and stoves (my other favorite spot) are not very photogenic. Still, you haven’t seen ME in this spot before, and I thought it was time. This is the one spot in my home that is always guaranteed to be CLEAN. Nobody EVER lays anything on it, except me. And I only put things there intentionally. I can clear my kitchen table, and as soon as I am through someone walks in the door and lays something on it. I can wash all the dishes, and someone is going to need a drink of water. I can catch up the laundry and there they are, wearing more clothes and refusing to be naked. But this…this is mine. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it is right by the bathroom door, and no one has joined me there since I moved it. They can’t see me there, because it’s on the other side of the bed, and the bed is taller than my sitting self. When it was on the other side of my bedroom, I would get an occasional child guest, still and quiet and cuddly. When I move and set it up again, the sitting place will be more out. Still in a quiet corner, but visible and available to everyone in the house.

OH SNAP. See, sometimes rambling on and on is not a bad thing. I just realized that the spot where the Christmas tree now stands is exactly the right size for this. Of course, it’s also in the main traffic pattern to the living room. Still. I’m thinking. It might happen. If I can figure out how it would even work to try zazen with the television on and the verbal sparring in the background and…..yeah, maybe not. But. Maybe I can find a way to bring it back to the other side of my bedroom.

Yeah, yeah, I know I was in the middle of a series of goal posts. You can expect that to resume tomorrow. It takes time to think these things through.

January 6, In Which We Obtain a New Wardrobe. Also, SPS

My aunt has impeccable taste. She also likes clothes. A lot. New ones. And so she has to clear out the old ones to make room. Let me tell you people, the difference between a short, chubby size 6 and a tall, thin size 6 is an elastic waistband.

We share a fondness for classic cuts and fine fabrics. Fortunately for me, she has the wallet to indulge herself. And me, vicariously. Yesterday, she gifted my daughter and I with 6 bags of delectable cast-offs. On the right is the pile that I loved that fits today. On the right is the pile that would fit if I weighed what I weighed a year ago today. I’m holding on to them for a few weeks to see what happens.

In the middle are two red throw pillows, which match my purple and pink room just because I say so.

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Ok, it’s Sunday, and time to bring back the SPS. I am not dressed or made up, but here is a picture. Sorta.

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Show me what you got!

Self Portrait Sunday 7/22/2012

So here I sit, all dolled up, ready to meet Allison for a blog tutoring session.  YK, I can’t remember the last time I actually put on makeup and earrings.  That’s kinda messed up, right?  Oh, and perfume, too.  Woohoo!  Not the greatest picture, I know, but that’s what you get in dim lighting with a webcam.

And this bring me to another question I keep struggling with.  Why, when I love the way I feel when I put on actual clothes, paint my face, and spray on good smelling stuff, do I do it so rarely?  I’m pretty sure I have asked this same question on this same blog at least a dozen times.  So why do I keep denying myself  this small pleasure?  It takes less than 15 extra minutes, and it makes me feel good all day long.

One more time, I’m going to remind me that I am worth 15 minutes of my own time every day.

Sps April 1, 2012

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SPS March 18, 2012

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Good morning!