F*ck it femininity: femininity as a means of rebellion

I had weird career goals when I was 14-16. My dreams often varied from my peers. I wanted to be something a bit extreme. At one point I very seriously wanted to be a nun and devote all of my body and mind to spirituality. I craved a magical and intense mysticism to enter my life. Later, I wanted to be a Geisha (cringe I know). I asked my parents to let me move to Japan to start my maiko training, which obviously didn’t work out. But again, I don’t think I wanted that path as much as the essence of it. I always wanted to live my life and devote it to something feminine and artistic. I wanted a path with passion and creativity. Of course many won’t go these extreme routes, but I do believe there are women out there searching for something spiritual, magical, feminine, deep, and creative. They want a life that is anything but ordinary. We admire Jane Goodall and her exploration, and Lady Diana and her grace and compassion. To me, this is radical femininity.

Today women are increasingly valued by how they measure up to men. Of course we deserve equal rights, pay, and opportunities. Yet, some women give up a part of their hidden feminine hearts in order to be successful how we define it today. Success is defined in our culture often by our career position, income, and external value. Traditionally, feminine values are not of this sort. Women are valuable by their essence, their nature, and their simple act of being themselves in their authentic energy. All of us have different levels of gender identification, so this may not fit each person. But to me, being vulnerable, tender, creative and loving in every situation is an act of feminine rebellion against the masculine system today. Women are often seen as more valuable (societally) when in their masculine essence and exhibit qualities like aggression and ambition, both in love and work. Let yourself be seen when the world says stuff those pointless feelings away!

If you like ruffles and frills bust them out among a grey or trendy office. If you hear words of anger, dare to be compassionate. If someone hurts you, dare to say, “I am hurt” instead of “I hate you”. Dare to be vulnerable and go on a limb to change the status quo of what is held to be valuable today. Offer love even when you can be rejected. Show the world that softness has immense strength.

My Poetry

Here are a couple of poems from some of my hardest times. I have written a book of poetry coming out soon, and during the time I wrote this I was dealing with very serious depression and the two suicides of long-time boyfriends. The book together deals with grief and turning it around.

Here are a few samples:

Autumn comes in quiet corners.
The windshield wipers pump the
rain up and down
like momma's breathing.
It's okay again, to feel beautiful
Because the earth mourns around
you, and with you.
The silence wakes me
and deeper it goes into my heart.
You drive around looking for ghosts,
but I am looking for people,
who are alive.

This is grief,
like the ache for poisoned blood.
I loose more parts of my soul
than I can capture.
Even as the stars and moon get dolled up,
and I walked down the streets of my ancestors,
It means nothing.
It is no cure.
Why does death now taste like love?
I can't remember where my lives begin
Neruda, Nabokav, my communion
is stale.
Lost is my teenage heart.
Dead in your borrowed bones.

20 Ways to Create Your Own Fairytale Lifestyle

My heart and inner world has always been like a fairytale. Sometimes it gets buried, but it is always there. I enjoy creating a world around me that is simple and beautiful. It is not superficial, but deeply spiritual, and one of the ways I connect with and glorify God and nature, and feel a purpose. Never believe creating a little beauty, shining a little light, or little acts of kindness are not important. Your own life is your artistic statement and needs no explanation.

1. Create a ritual tea time. For me, it is late afternoon and each morning. There are so many varieties of tea to suit each person. You can buy a specific tea set for your own ritual, and pair the tea with milk or lemon.

2. Learn to make your own clothing. You can have something unique to your tastes and body. At the least, making simple dress or skirts is a creative way to pass the time and end up with a lovely look.

3. Have dinner parties, preferably outside with lights illuminating the surrounding plants. Serve several small courses, dessert, and coffee. Use your best china, maybe find antique pieces. Include a vibrant mix of people new and old to create new connections and ideas flowing. Play card games while drinking champagne. If they don’t want to play cards, one it starts, trust me they will get competitive and lively!

4. Practice a hobby. Making dolls, watercolors, ballet, or embroidery can help you meet others, or have something lovely to add to your home.

5. Have picnics. Whether alone with a book, or with friends. Wonderful places include by a fountain or river, or in your city’s most beautiful park. You can play croquet when with friends.

6. Buy yourself a plant, name it, and speak to it (it honestly helps it grow!) and practice giving a little love to your new friend and it gives beauty to your home. Better yet, make your own secret garden somewhere…

7. Find new uses for flowers, whether pressing them in books and making collages, decorating frames, hanging them in a room, or more.

8. Create your own space for creativity in your home. Whether it is a photography set up with natural light and props, or a comfy corner to set up your painting canvases.

9. Take yourself on dates to museums, historical sites, plays, and natural wonders. Absorb their beauty and let your mind wander. Bring a sketchbook for drawings or poetry.

10. Only watch, read, look at, and listen to things that are true and lovely. Read some of your favorite children’s books. I enjoy the book “The Girl in the Tower”. Children's books and fairytales still ring true for me. The body, mind, and soul don’t age according to turns around the sun, but how fresh and new we are inside and treat ourselves.

11. Create a little vanity with your skincare, makeup, bows, and hair brush. Whatever makes you feel pretty all in one place.

12. Read books and watch films from other eras and bring some of their style and positive mannerisms into today.

13. Go vintage shopping (aka treasure shopping). Need I say more?

14. Be the person who goes out of their way to make someone feel special. Listen awful hard and with a full heart speak respond, make little hand made little gifts, and remember their favorite things.

15. Start a collection. It could be coins, teddy bears, fans, tea sets, whatever you love.

16. Volunteer. Wherever you are is the best place to start healing others.

17. Pet every dog you see, and cats (if they let you). I believe the best people in the world are dogs. It doesn’t have to make sense.

18. Make creative, simple, and healthy takes on your favorite meals. Less sugar, more life giving ingredients. (But sometimes chocolate is good for the soul).

19. Decorate a box to put ticket stubs, letters, flowers, little gifts, and instax photos. You can go through them and remember the fun times.

20. Make everything fun for you. If you are doing chores, sing or listen to music. If you are doing homework, reward yourself every 45 minutes with little things like a latte or small walk. If you are watching your children, set up some me time for a bubble bath and paint your nails. If you are working, bring some poems to memorize when things get slow, or some essential oils and flower remedies for when things or fast. There is always a magical remedy.

3 tips on how to deal with jealousy

1. Compare to someone else. Instead of comparing yourself to others, think of people you admire most and compare someone your jealous of to them. Once you do this you can capture the silliness of comparison, because you can more clearly see how uncomparable each wonderful and beautiful people really are!

2. We are all constantly changing. Even if someone was more X quality than you, we are all changing. Nothing is still. Every moment, body, career, and pleasure is like a river constantly moving. I am not saying to wish ill on others, but realize you are both riding different trains and sometimes you will be staring out the window seeing a beautiful view while they are stopped at the station, and vice versa. Enjoy each others' good moments because all changes and that is part of the adventure!

3. Stop wearing other peoples' perceptions. Sometimes we might not even notice that we are comparing ourselves out of other peoples' values. Maybe your boyfriend said he loves blondes and you have red hair. Subconsciously you may envy certain blondes only because you are taking on his preferences. Forget other peoples' preferences. This life is for you to live and their thoughts have nothing to do with you deep down. This life is for you to love, create, and enjoy your own values!

I hope you have a great week.

Photography by Isiah Perkins

Butterfly Effect

“When I suddenly see myself in the depths of the mirror, I take fright. I can scarcely believe that I have limits, that I am outlined and defined. I feel myself to be dispersed in the atmosphere, thinking inside other creatures, living inside things beyond myself. When I suddenly see myself in the mirror, I am not startled because I find myself ugly or beautiful. I discover, in fact, that I possess another quality. When I haven’t looked at myself for some time, I almost forget that I am human, I tend to forget my past, and I find myself with the same deliverance from purpose and conscience as something that is barely alive. I am also surprised to find as I gaze into the pale mirror with open eyes that there is so much in me beyond what is known, so much that remains ever silent.”

Clarice Lispector

I found this completely intact butterfly while walking on my way to class. I also found myself appreciating this beautiful cycle of life and death and beauty we all share.

What I (Really) Learned From College.

University is about more than a formal education. The lessons I learned in these formative years can’t compare to anything I have learned before or after them.

You don’t have to know who you are going to be or what you’re going to do. I changed my major five times, and I became five different people at least. I have friends who stuck with one passion and finished, but not many. I went from a degree in ballet, to business, international studies, international business, ending finally in English. In my graduation I accidentally walked with the communication majors instead of my own class. Whoops. Who cares! I wouldn’t change my path because I learned from all of my classes and met a variety of people. You either learn what you love, or what doesn’t work for you, which leads you back to more things for you to love.

Your inner self if your new guide, not your parents. The time begins for you to decide things for yourself. I’ve seen so many people living someone else’s life. Life is too short to live for anyone else’s expectations. The world needs people who are passionate and creative in every field. Having a “good” job or degree doesn’t make a good life. You’re ability to work with your heart open and interests piqued will lead to better success and greater happiness and health long-term.

Choose your relationships wisely. I spent many of my college years in an unhealthy relationship. It drained my energy and lowered my confidence. Without holding onto him out of fear, I would have had more time and opportunities to pursue new activities, make more new friends, and hone and perfect more skills in my hobbies. Man, I really wish I worried about my painting and dance skills, not my worrying about a boyfriend skills!

Save, say yes, and travel. Save the money you would spend on objects impressing others with experiences. Research how to split your finances each month and save for a rainy day and your later years. But, also save for travel and experiences you can have while you are not weighed down with as many obligations to your own family and careers. Some students may have families and steady jobs already (good for you!) but many don’t, and it’s a perfect time to take the leap and expand your curiosity and question your views and lifestyle.

All together, college is about taking time for yourself. It’s about being quiet with yourself, away from the demands and expectations of your little world of the past, and asking yourself how you want to grow and expand your new world.

Forever 1800s

“I love old things. Modern things are so cold. I need things that have lived.”
Barbara Hulanicki of Biba

Fast food, fast fashion, and quick results, so much of the modern world is is about time-traveling to the future. However, I find the past even more exciting. I feel at home in antique and thrift stores where I find many of my items and clothing. They are beautiful, often well made, and sometimes even rare and priceless. I feel accomplished when I find something that speaks to me, and I find my childlike sense of wonder looking through the old objects waiting for another life to be given to
them from my youthful perspective.

Nothing feels old to me – from beautiful and ornate dresses, lace, and gold lined objects from other moments in time. If you are present and enjoying the moment time will no longer carry you, you never age or grow sick because you are in a perpetual state of wonder and now. Modern treasures amaze me, but don’t disregard your local antique shops, or judge thrift stores, which sometimes holds people as magical as the items.

Explore locally, and break shopping habits sometimes. I find a piece of my heart in every little antique box, bag, or frame. The energy of the piece adds to my own when I wear it and if that isn’t magical… Transformation of the self can be assisted by what we wear, and beautiful things we surround ourselves with, and these things can be found anywhere. I promise it.