Women's Circle

Women, Our Bodies, and Beauty

I was talking to a colleague the other day:

"Women don't want to feel beautiful. They just want to lose weight. My heart breaks every time I hear this. They only allow themselves to feel beautiful (briefly) if they are 'perfect'...but 'perfect' really never comes. Most days women just beat up on themselves."

I teach women HOW TO FEEL BEAUTIFUL. But I've literally had women tell me they'd just rather lose weight. I believe the world is dying for the Feminine right now. Women need to throw off the shackles of body and beauty image and take their rightful place at the table--to be IN THEIR POWER--not worrying about their thigh gap.

We are only operating at a fraction of our possibility.

My dear, beautiful women: the reason you don't feel good in your body is NOT because you don't have a beautiful body--it is because you've NEVER been taught HOW to feel good in your body. We women, almost from birth, have only been taught how to fee BAD in our bodies.

Do you get that? Do you get that the water you've been swimming in is poison to your sense of well-being? (And by the way, this is by design.)

Our bodies are a battle ground and we take on that battle ourselves. We subjugate ourselves. We beat our bodies into submission.

Transformation occurs when we see the paradigm we are living in for the abuse and oppression that it is and we reject it. We claim our bodies as our own. We recognize their magnificence and we recognize the years of abuse that we and society have heaped upon them. From this place we can learn to adore and appreciate our bodies. And from this place everything begins to shift: what we put into our bodies and what we put onto our bodies becomes an act of beauty, respect, and adoration. How we move is different. How we hold ourselves is different We are in tune with ourselves. We are embodied and no longer disconnected.

Women are good at love.

Love is the most radical act of all.

Start with yourself.

 

SOUL SONG SUNDAY. THIS IS POLITICAL. Watch this, listen to this, like it's your job.

Mary Lambert - Body Love (Part 1 & 2)

 

Mary Lambert - Body Love (Part 1 & 2) Lyrics

I know girls who are trying to fit into the social norm
Like squeezing in last year's prom dress
I know girls who are low rise, mac eye shadow, and binge drinking
I know girls that wonder if they're disaster and sexy enough to fit in
I know girls who are fleeing bombs from the mosques of their skin
Playing Russian roulette with death; it's never easy to accept that our bodies are fallible and flawed
But when do we draw the line?
When the knife hits the skin?
Isn't it the same thing as purging
Because we're so obsessed with death
Some women just have more guts than others

The funny thing is women like us don't shoot
We swallow pills, still wanting to be beautiful at the morgue
Still proceeding to put on make-up
Still hoping that the mortician finds us fuckable and attractive
We might as well be buried with our shoes and handbags and scarves, girls
We flirt with death every time we etch a new tally mark into our skin
I know how to split my wrists to reveal a battlefield too
But the time has come for us to reclaim our bodies

Our bodies deserve more than to be war-torn and collateral
Offering this fuckdom as a pathetic means to say,
"I only know how to exist when I am wanted."

Girls like us are hardly ever wanted, you know
We're used up and we're sad and drunk and
Perpetually waiting by the phone for someone to pick up and tell us that we did good
Well, you did good.

I know I am because I said, I am. [3x]
My body is home [2x]
I know I am because I said, I am. [3x]

Try this
Take your hands over your bumpy love body naked
And remember the first time you touched someone
With the sole purpose of learning all of them
Touched them because the light was pretty on them
And the dust in the sunlight danced the way your heart did
Touch yourself with a purpose
Your body is the most beautiful royal
Fathers and uncles are not claiming your knife anymore
Are not your razor, no
Put the sharpness back
Lay your hands flat and feel the surface of scarred skin
I once touched a tree with charred limbs
The stump was still breathing
But the tops were just ashy remains
I wonder what it's like to come back from that
Because sometimes I feel forest fires erupting from my wrists
And the smoke signals sent out are the most beautiful things I've ever seen

Love your body the way your mother loved your baby feet
And brother arm wrapping shoulders, and remember
This is important

You are worth more than who you fuck
You are worth more than a waistline
You are worth more than beer bottles displayed like drunken artifacts.
You are worth more than any naked body could proclaim in the shadows,
More than a man's whim or your father's mistake
You are no less valuable as a size 16 than a size 4
You are no less valuable as a 32a than a 36c
Your sexiness is defined by concentric circles within your wood
It is wisdom
You are a goddamn tree stump with leaves sprouting out
Reborn

Women, Self Care, and Food.

Many people reached out to me a bit worried because I didn't write on Sunday. Thank you for your love :)

What happened was a mix of family craziness tossed in with travel combined to create a perfect storm of extra-busy plus a little overwhelm. And I decided it was okay to take care of myself first, which meant not writing the newsletter. It isn't that I'm not committed to reaching out--I'm SO COMMITTED. But my first commitment is to my self care. I've learned the hard way that if I don't honor my needs, things really go to hell in a hand basket quite quickly. And if I'm depleted, then I have nothing to give and my family, friends, and work and all will suffer.

Women, self care, and food. Women are incredibly hard on themselves. Our culture has carefully trained us to be this way. We are taught to believe our happiness is connected to the happiness of others. If our happiness is connected to the happiness of others that means we work tirelessly to take care of the needs of those around us and if we aren't doing this for even a moment, we feel GUILTY. Even the most aware among us fall prey to this guilt.

We work tirelessly for the happiness of others while posting social media memes declaring, "HAPPINESS IS AN INSIDE JOB" or similar sentiments. HA!

We post those memes and still don't recognize that our happiness is indeed connected to WHAT IS INSIDE US. What I mean by that is: OUR DREAMS, OUR DESIRES, OUR IDEAS, OUR PASSIONS. We are SO QUICK do dismiss our desires, dreams, and passions. That voice says, "Who am I to want that for myself?" or, "If I follow my dreams I'll be a terrible mom." or "I'll never know enough or be enough to follow that dream." or even worse, "I'm an idiot for even thinking about that!"

Guess what? When we are committed to the happiness of others and we deny our own brilliance, we live in a low level of apathy because "...none of it matters anyway." It keeps us in a place of not wanting more while simultaneously apologizing for wanting things.

When we give, give, give and go, go, go, we are depleted and we end up resentful. Because we feel guilty doing things for ourselves (and because, ultimately, we are not fully expressed as human beings) THE ONLY THING WE CAN RECEIVE FOR OURSELVES IS FOOD AND ALCOHOL.

We are so depleted, the only thing left are the Oreo cookies in the cupboard. The cookies are 100% there for us. They will ALWAYS fill us up. They never let us down. And, best of all, no one will fault us for eating them. They will, however, fault us for not being super thin (or even too thin--seriously, we cannot catch a break) but that's another topic for another email. The point is, EATING is about the only socially acceptable way women have of nourishing themselves!

No wonder we all have such disordered eating habits--disordered physical habits and mental habits, too. And this is yet another way that we are kept apathetic.Listen--this is political. All these stories we are told about what it means to be a "good" woman, mother, daughter, sister, friend in this world HOLD US BACK and KEEP US DOWN. And let there be no doubt--they are designed to do that.

Why? Because women are POWERFUL. I'm not saying we are more powerful than men and that men suck etc...if you're going there in your mind I invite you to simply stop thinking of others just for a moment and consider YOU. Consider YOUR LIFE. Your dreams, hopes, desires...and I mean the dreams and desires that you never even say allowed for fear you'll be judged.

Women are powerful and we have big dreams. We have big solutions to the problems we face. When we allow ourselves to be fully expressed, to own our power unapologetically, and to step into our dreams...WHOA. THE ENTIRE WORLD BENEFITS. Our families benefit. Our friends benefit. WE BENEFIT.

The fact that we feel guilty, the fact that we go, go, go without taking care of ourselves, the fact that really weird and crazy expectations on how we look, what we say, and what we do is something we have bought into is not our fault. It's not men's fault either. This system has been in place for thousands of years. We are the fish in the water--we don't even know we are in water because we don't know anything different.

To be clear, obviously many women and men know there's a different way. But even those men and women continue to understand the ways in which the current cultural paradigm has hurt us and holds us back in deeper ways. And, as you might be able to see, we are in the midst of a powerful cultural awakening in general. It is a very exciting time to be alive! But we all have stuff that we don't know that we don't know. Now is the time to learn a different way of being.

Where do we start? So many of us have not really taken the time to truly ask ourselves what it is we desire. It can be a scary question. It can also be challenging to answer because if we rarely ask it, that muscle is weak and we really aren't sure of the answers!

Here is an exercise for you to start working on this question. It's deceptively simple. I recommend using this as a journal prompt for 5 - 7 days in a row...just set a time and free-write what comes up for you every day. See how things change at the end of 7 days. Then keep up the practice as much as you'd like to--every day or once a week...trust yourself to know how often you need to do this.

EXERCISE: What are 5 things that you would like in your life?

Separate out what you would truly like from what you think is possible! Allowing yourself any feelings or emotions that arise out of the desires that you may have previously “failed at” or “succeeded at not having” for weeks, months or decades.

Exclude the things that you no longer want. You can still write them down, but just flip it so that you are replacing the unwanted state with what you would like to experience instead.

As always, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR BACK FROM YOU! And I also invite you to join the Virtual Goddess Gathering, where like-minded women show up to support each other in creating change in their lives and the world.

Sending so much love your way,

ElijAH

Join Me for a Goddess Gathering!

Happy Holidays!! Along with the joy and cheer, this time of year can also feel a bit crazy and intense for so many reasons. My hope and wish for you is that you're taking good care of yourself and that during this time you're with someone you love and who loves you whether that's your family of origin or family of choice.

As we head into the New Year, it's such a great time to look inward, discover and affirm what is important to us, and make some conscious decisions on how we want to move forward into the next 12 months. It's not about making resolutions...it's about the ritual of renewal and the opportunity that provides for us to examine our past and claim our future.

With this in mind, I am finally doing something that I’ve been dreaming of for years and that is to create a virtual space to bring women together in community and support –I’m calling it the Goddess Gathering!

When I lived in NYC, there was a group of women that would get together monthly, make dinner together, hang out and talk about life and give each other support. We’d also laugh a lot and sometimes even cry. We called it our Goddess Night. Ever since moving to San Francisco I've dreamed of recreating that feeling of love, joy, support and laughter.

This is going to be an online version of that gathering. I also have re-envisioned it to have a little structure. I plan on this Goddess Gathering to be the first of many and each will have a theme.

The first virtual Goddess Gathering is Saturday, January 13th and I would love for you to come! The theme of this gathering is Core Desired Feelings—Setting Intentions for 2018!

This Gathering will operate around the ideas of feminism, social justice, women’s empowerment, spirituality (whatever your idea is of the bigger picture!), and living our lives more fully with the support of a community of like-minded women.

There is no cost for this event. It is all about community and connection.

In order to receive all the information you need to join in on January 13th, you'll need to click here and sign up...all the info will follow! I'M SO EXCITED!

DETAILS:

  • Date: Saturday, January 13th, 2018

  • Place: Your computer :)

  • Time: 10am PST - 11:30am PST (1pm EST - 2:30pm EST)

    • A word about TIME. There's no perfect time for me to host this event, and for that I'm sorry! All of us have busy lives and different commitments. I have chosen a time that I hope works well for most people. Regardless, I am asking you to show up powerfully for this event (and in your life!) which may mean creating a clearing for you to be able to attend. I know it can be hard, trust me. But it will definitely be worth it. xo

I can't wait to see you and dig deep into what we want to intentionally create in the New Year!

Love,

Elijah