Saturday, November 22, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
I sat at my kitchen bench oneday, my favourite spot in the house. It has the nice contrast of the cold marble beneath my arms and the warm sun filtering through the window heating my cheeks, turning them a dusty pink. My son all milky white sits at my feet which dangle off the breakfast stool. He's making his own magnificent orchestra with the pots and pans. My daughter lays sleeplily on the couch twirling a lock of her copper hair. I have everything to be greatful for, yet in the pit of my stomach there is a heaviness. When I start to become aware of it my heart is signaled to beat faster as I become afraid of this feeling. But, for whatever reason, that day I plucked up the courage to close my eyes and drop into that churning sorrow in the pit of my stomach. As I did this I felt as though I was falling off a high cliff into a deep dark crevice. As I fell into the engulfing darkeness the full realization of my pain began to take over. It was no longer islolated to my stomach, it soared through my body quaking with its power. Just when I thought I couldn't feel anymore grief I felt myself softly land at the bottom of the crevice. No longer did I feel isolated but instead a part of the darkness and the earth that surrounded me. It was if my bones were making themselves home in the rock and sediment. I was whole yet everywhere. It was a feeling of absoloute expansion. Then a memory came and I was a little girl again, seven years old, seated on my fathers couch afraid, tearful and angry. My brother and I had been subject to deep emotional abuse from another family member, only one of the many times. I remember hearing my dad come home from work and running into his arms, briefly taking in his comforting smell of sandalwood, house paint and cigarettes, then heaving into sobs trying to tell him through gasping breaths what had happened. My young self with her soul shattered was seeking comfort and justice. A justice that never came. So, I was going to see it right instead. I saw myself now as a mother and an adult take the 7 year old me into my arms and I cradled her and let her weep into my chest. I stroked her golden hair and kissed her soft rosy cheeks. I told her I was going to fight for her and she didnt have to be afraid anymore. I looked into her wet blue eyes and whispered that she didn't have to hold onto this pain any longer and I was going to take over now. I pressed my forehead against my young self and breathed unconditional love into her. I then held her even closer to me and with a very stern and powerful voice I told those who had betrayed my younger self exactly what I thought of them and that they no longer had the power to hurt us. They were deeply sorry and I saw their own pain and trauma in their lives. It was no excuse, but I had an understanding. I then took this younger me to a beautiful room with all of her favouite things and tucked her into a feathery soft bed where she could now peacefully rest. It was then I noticed that the grief and pain I had been holding onto was gone. I felt serene and empowered.
When I opened my eyes I took a deep breath in and wiped my tear stained face. I looked over at my children playing happily together on the couch, blissfully unaware of mummy's little trip to the depth of her soul. I felt like a better mother. A piece of me had been mended and so now I could love more fully. I embraced my darkness and it has brought me an immense amount of peace and reconciliation within myself. When I feel something tap tap tapping from my insides I no longer fear it, I invite it in and ask to feel all of it because it has been in my darkness that I have found my most brightest and most luminous light.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
- 1/4 cup Turmeric powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
- 1/2 cup filtered water
Friday, November 7, 2014
What is the most important thing in the world?
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
“Look at me. Look at my saggy tits full of stretch marks and scars. Ohhhh yea! Do you see them? LOOK!” These were some of the first words I uttered in my introduction to Burlesque and Body Self-Confidence class. Staring into the eyes of a complete stranger I had to work my way up my body telling them to stare at all the parts I loved and all the parts I hated. My bony feet that have taken me everywhere I need to go in life, my mother’sknobby knees, my incredible thighs, my hips that had expanded to house children, my milk filled and overworked breasts, my slender neck and my face. A face I have admittedly stared into a mirror and spat how much I hated it. But here I was, commanding this stranger to look at me for all I am, flawed andimperfect and utterly ‘fabulous’.
Hold on, weren’t we supposed to be gyrating a chair in some slutty underwear whilst lip syncing some cliché Beyoncé song?Licking our lips and undoing all the hard work of our feminist sisters. Wasn’t I just here to spice up my sex life a little? As it had become about as interesting as a mommy and me group.According to our teacher, Cat, in her swirled British-American accent, “absolutely fucking not”. This workshop was not about pretending to be the epitome of what society thinks women should be, it was about creating a performance that brought out you or an aspect of you that had been locked away in societies little box of taboo.
And so the five week burlesque workshop journey began with my troupe. We were all there for different reasons but I think we all shared the same lust to embody our powerful and divinely beautiful feminine side. For me, I wanted to unlock my inner goddess who had been handcuffed by bad relationships, bosses who had berated me, women who had bullied me, people’s expectations which I’d failed to meet and a huge lack of self-worth. I also wanted to express a side of me that was lost when I became mother. My body is now shared, tugged and constantly sought after for comfort and protection. I wanted to feel like for a moment my body was my own again and I wanted to get back in touch with my sexuality.
It wasn’t easy coming up with poses and a whole routine. It turns out there is a lot more to commanding your presence on the stage than I had expected. And then I got my awkward little hands on a midnight black feather boa. It became an extension of myself and an integral part of my act as it was to be used to seek revenge on all those who had wronged me. I got to pour out all of my unforgiving thoughts and emotions into a sequence of sultry and powerful movements with that boa, that demanded therespect and presence of the space and energy in which I was creating. Sometimes it feels better than good to stop working at forgiving and to just do something that says fuck you, here I am and I’m taking my power back.
While I’m a long way off a dazzling polished performance or stripping down to nipple tassels, I catch myself now being able to look at people in the eye when they speak to me. My initial thoughts when I meet someone are no longer “they aren’t going to like me. I’m too weird, I’m too quiet, I’m too skinny and I’m not interesting enough. Save your dignity Astrid and walk away now!”. Unapologetic for who I am and what I have to offer to the world is the skin I now reside in. It has also been a gift to see the other woman in my class express and evolve a part of themselves that has been itching to get out. I went to this workshop as I was always intrigued by the Burlesque world but never did I think it would have such a profound impact on my self-confidence. So look at me. I am a fearless and beautiful goddess and I’M FABULOUS!
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Saturday, November 1, 2014
|Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Photo Credit Thomas Northcut www.freepeople.com|