The power of doing less or, LET’S BE LOSERS!!!

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

We live in a society that says if you’re not in action, in motion, making every second count because time is ticking and it’s also money, then you are an absolutely worthless bum. From the time we can walk we are scheduled, pushed, cheered, and shamed into being the best, making America proud, while shutting down our true natures so that we can be outstanding team players. The people who step outside of our go-getter lifestyle are labeled delinquent losers. Their gifts are smiled at with that ever-present look of pity that lingers on the faces of the financially successful.

On the campus of the largest tech company in America sits a single fire station whose sole job it is to scoop up over worked or near-death corporate employees and get them safely to the private corporate hospital that tends to these overworked and near-death employees. Everyday this fire station dispatches medics to treat everything from heart attacks to panic attacks and sometimes even deaths. I remember the year the fire station was built and I have personally picked up an employee from the private corporate hospital. This is no joke. This is corporate America and it dictates that if you’re not shutting down the nagging feeling that you’ve been pushed beyond your limit then you are letting your team, group, department, corporation and your country down.

So, are you choosing a body bag over corporate failure? Are you planning to die at your desk proving your worth instead of playing with your grandkids? Have you given your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s to a company believing that this is what your family and your country expect of you? If so, why? Who raised your children? Do you know these people’s names? When’s the last time you laughed until your sides hurt (alcohol free)? When’s the last time you took a meaningful vacation, without an itinerary, that left you feeling deeply rested and refreshed? When’s the last time you took a well day and stayed home and played with your cat? We say we are free but we are slaves dying on the corporate wheel. We are so determined to keep the economic mill of the American economy turning that we miss out on our own lives.

 I’m not asking you to quit your job. I’m suggesting to you to find balance between your work and your play. And when I talk about play, I am talking about getting silly over your dog, making cookies with your kids, building blanket forts for your cat (cats love blanket forts). Building a city out of cardboard boxes with windows and doors and watching your kids makeup lives and stories. Watch as they act out what it is to be grownups in a metropolis. This last silly is my favorite silly because in watching my little one and his friends play, I saw through their eyes just how cool being a grownup could be. I watched them meet at the corner café for coffee, I watched them dress up for dinner parties and talk from their cardboard windows to one another, I listen to them sing songs and tell jokes and be so human that it made me remember what it felt like to be fully alive.

It’s okay to listen to your heart when it says, ‘I can’t do more.’ It’s okay to decide to downsize, shift careers, and choose a slower pace of life. It’s okay to have that hard talk with your partner where you reevaluate your life and what you thought you were hoping to achieve. It’s okay to choose a different path, to disappoint your family and coworkers. It’s okay to choose life over a corporate body bag. You have the right to live even if that means that main stream America might dub you a loser. It’s okay to choose loss of career status because you would rather choose yourself. When I lost my role and my place in the world, I put a spin on an old saying and repeated it to myself daily. ‘What if I have lost everything but gained my soul?’ Reassess your life. Deiced what’s really important. Who knows, it may be time to embrace what the economists shake their heads at. It may be time to join me and become a part-time loser. It may be time to hold your kids to your heart and decide you are the one who is raising them.

All my love, all my faith, as your sister I promise the creator has you. LIVE!

You’re Crazy

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“You’re crazy…you’re really crazy…you are aren’t you…” the woman stared at me, her eyes studying my face. “You really are aren’t you.” I looked back at her, confused. Christ, I was sitting in my new Audi wearing a grey turtle neck and holding my toy spaniel, yet there it was. Somehow, in some way, she had identified me as not OK. “Yep, totally certifiable,” I joked back, wishing to god this awkward moment would pass.

She’d come to the car to see my dog who is, I must admit, irresistible. A quick exchange of niceties had followed and then this glazed over moment when she searched my face and proclaimed me insane. I didn’t do anything to start this. I was just being me; just being a mom dropping off her son while holding a lapdog in a silver Audi, yet like puff the magic dragon my crazy had managed to make itself known. Or had it?

This is not the first time this has happened to me. In reality, crazy has been a lifelong companion. It was how my certifiably unstable mother undermined me from a very young age. I remember standing on my neighbor’s porch imagining a story I was telling myself only to be pulled out of it by my mother, appearing like a black cloud from nowhere, saying, “Don’t move your lips when you think, you look like a crazy person.” Later, while splashing in the bathtub I announced my wish to be president of these United States. “Don’t be crazy,” Mother answered, “You’re a poor white girl without an ivy league family. You will never be president.” I was maybe five? Yet the worst was the thousands of different times she and dad said, it’s fun to dream but if you think you’ll ever be anything, you’re crazy, in a thousand different ways over several decades.

Crazy morphed into, Emotional. Emotional became you’re too Sensitive, followed by Fractious, Unreasonable, Weak Minded, Fickle, Touchy, Confused, Flustered, Unbalanced, Irrational, Difficult, Hysterical, Crazy. You’re a crazy girl. Just crazy, girl. Too crazy to be anything!

All of these words have followed me like ribbons knotted in my hair and it’s taken decades to comb them out. And now I’m rich and loved and happy and successful and sitting in my Audi hearing, you’re crazy all over again.

It’s true what they say about your past. If you run from it, it will find you. Even on a good day, a best day, even when your hair is perfect and you’re dressed well, it’ll get you . It’ll sink its teeth into you and it will try to make you bleed. Today it used a closed minded, utterly vapid little rule follower, and it took her wholly and completely.  Like a faithful little puppet, vacant eyed and hungry for the answer as to how I’d got away for so long, crazy unleashed itself in words that flew like dull arrows and missed their mark. Even repeated again and again I felt nothing. No pain, no embarrassment touched me. I stared back in confusion until even the possessed felt the strangeness of the moment and snapped out of it. She said a few more niceties before walking away leaving me stunned. “Well that was fucked up,” my son said and he was right. It is fucked up to tell someone that they are crazy. What made the bite painless this time is the reality that I know I’m sane because I know who I am.

Crazy has been used for centuries to undermine women, homosexuals, rule breakers, and artists all over the world. To call someone crazy is to label them as rebellious, broken, shattered, irreparably insane. Lunatic is another word used to undermine individuality. The word itself is derived from Luna or Moon meaning that a woman on her moon cycle or menstruating was a lunatic when the P.M.S. kicked in.

Women were locked up in asylums for being hysterical. Hysteria is a nineteenth century feminine affliction involving anxiety, depression, overt sexuality, and mood swings. Hysteria was oftentimes remedied with a hysterectomy. (Hystera is the Greek word for uterus if you’re wondering.) So, to recap, we passionate types have been labeled as broken, been “negatively” afflicted by the moon cycles, and driven mad by our own uterus’s to the point where doctors removed them.

So why were woman and the marginalized so afflicted? Because their energies and purpose where stifled. They were allowed no personal exploration, could find no personal fulfillment, and were allowed no personal expression. They were wholly confined to the social norms they were born into.  Thankfully, things are so much better now. We are moving towards personal equality and it’s a beautiful time to be alive.

Equality isn’t women lording it over men, grabbing them by the penis and elephant walking them into a submissive and powerless future. Equality is simply the return of an ancient symmetry; the symmetry of the sacred female and the sacred male. These two, when brought together make a perfect unit. Stable like a triangle, they lean on one another in equality.

Gay or straight, a balanced couple is a couple where both individuals have a balance of the sacred male and sacred female energies within each one of them. Sacred female is the energy of intuition, compassion, sensuality, and unconditional love. It’s an energy that when embraced balances the male energy away from toxic masculinity into a more open and peaceful masculinity that is beautifully powerful. Sacred masculinity is the energy of compassion, relational integrity, emotional intelligence, fatherly guidance, and leadership from the heart.  And the sacred feminine doesn’t demand that woman set aside their femininity but encourages them to embrace it, love it, honor it.

As we move away from gender identification, and socially enforced gender rolls, we will move instead toward a more classical, creative, and open style of living where we will again create the golden age spoken of in Egyptian hieroglyphs, and by Plato and Socrates. And in this new renaissance we will be able to let go of labels like lunatic, hysterical, and crazy, because radical individuality will have simply become the norm.

I don’t know why that woman called me crazy. I did nothing to call her attention towards me. But maybe my own individuality stood out to her as too different, too free.  Maybe some deeply awkward part of her was trying to use the crazy label to push me back into my place. Thankfully, I live in a time when it’s OK to stand out and be different.

To read more about gender discrimination through labeling others as crazy, read, A Brief Yet Fascinating History of the Word Crazy by Amanda Montell 

The Spaghetti Strap Dress

Green spagetti strap dress
Just like me, cotton has its own personality. I like the way it breathes against my skin. I like the way it smells, my perfume and natural scent mingle with the finely woven threads. I like the way cotton feels when it glides onto my body. It fits like a second skin the moment I slip into it. At first it’s strong and cool but contact makes it soft, warm and sensitive to every curve of my body.

The dress lies pressed and pleated across the worn back of a kitchen chair. None of my chairs match. Like me, they’re second hand, a little worn but amazingly beautiful; graced with an elegant patina that comes with experience. Pink, turquois, the third is red while the fourth is a green so worn it’s really just the memory of color pressed into oak.

I dress next to the ironing board. It’s old too, but not as old as the chairs. The board lies across the top of my kitchen table, only feet from the 50’s aqua colored fridge that never dies. Glancing at my reflection in the darkened window I see my silhouette; a nude strapless bra and panties glimpsed for a moment before the cotton dress drifts over them.

The dress slides, slipping towards my knees. My arms shimmy through the green and white spaghetti straps that add youth and elegance. I face my reflection, still and ghostlike in the dimly lit kitchen. I smile. My Laugh lines grow through the black and silver curls that frame my face. My body is strong. Long legs look out under the knee length hem; well defined shoulders give way to arms that have held and loved many people.

This is my night. Tonight I’m forty-nine, strong, happy, at home to myself, to my life and ready to celebrate the day of my birth. I pick up my bag and walk through the front door to the waiting cab that will take me anywhere I want to go.

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