We have our weekday morning routine down to a smooth science. After hitting snooze for thirty-or-so minutes Hadj gets up while I resist further the oncoming wakefulness. He cheerily makes coffee and talks to the animals while I pull on the few remaining strings left behind from the wacky tapestry my dreams weave. I have had recurring themes of desperate unhappiness or depression lately in my dreams, which has caused me to form some theories about my current artistic discipline. After waking, drinking our coffees, checking our in-boxes, etc. we dress and take the dogs for a half hour walk around the neighborhood. Today I admitted that I've ashamedly been wishing for one of the goats down the street to get her head stuck in the fence again so I'd have an excuse to go over and free it. It was an icy morning which saw us slip sliding around the street in our boots.
We come home from our walk around 8:30 and immediately put all four pets downstairs. We shut the door and set up our chairs. We press play on my i-pod where Jeru Kabbal's Quantam Light Breath meditation is stored. I then remember to do a series of things which distract me from what I aught to be doing, which is of course, just breathing. I set the cell phone alarm for thirty minutes if we've not practiced for a few days, like today. And of course, I'm supposed to spend that time just "breathing in life and releasing what's not needed" as Kabbal puts it. And of course, sometimes I achieve that goal for only one third of the allotted time, with the rest of the time being spent in my brain remembering this and that or writing this or that. It being Monday, my thought process resembled a ping-pong ball in motion in a small box.
Beauty was the thing my brain wanted me to write about today. Beauty and self love and healthy security. My major malfunction through most of the first quarter of my life was extreme body hate. As I let go of all those ingrained and detrimental beliefs I see more deep pockets where they're stored. I realized not long ago that I routinely retreated into myself when a beautiful person entered the room. I was unable to speak or even look at stunning women (especially), because I would immediately make myself worthless to their attentions. I had all sorts of degrading mantras that I used to cut myself down as an adolescent and young woman. My behaviors were in line with my thoughts. I was not nice to myself.
My first roommate in Chicago did not have the kinds of problems I ever had. He may have suffered from a bit of the opposite sort of problem, but I don't know if he'd have ever known it. He saw me one day clearly and said that I was always going to feel like the loathsome, fat twelve year old I'd stored in my brain. I'm happy to know now that he's wrong. I may be on the up side of the pendulum swing or maybe this is my happy middle. The images floating today through my non-meditating mind were ones of eye-catching beauty. I designed costumes for myself to wear at Burning Man 2010 and imagined myself so radiating beauty that I was noticed among the masses of other pulsing beauties and asked to be photographed.
In my dream this morning I was not even being deceitful about my body. The person I saw being stopped for photo shoots was the person I am exactly today. Not thirty pounds lighter or hard bodied, but soft, with rolls, and pale skin. The costumes I hope to make up before the event of course did flatter my shape, but exposed it too. I wondered in my day-dream what situation would need occur for me to again feel body shame. It's not too hard to conjure something. And I don't have total assurance that a beautiful woman won't stop me mush-mouthed and dumb again. I hope I remember that roommate's philosophy though. It doesn't hurt anyone to tell someone they're
As I re-read this post before publishing it, I notice something else worth mentioning. I must have had some strong threads of dignity and self love in me, because I have been able to attract and entertain many very beautiful people as I grew. So, I'm thankful for a strong and good inner voice which kept me mostly in charted waters and mostly away from dangerous people full of their own versions of self loathing.