FINALLY!

Or should I say, ‘At Last!’ I finally got back in to my account.

(Who, you are wondering, are you?)

So, about 10 years ago (I think) I started this blog as a way to transform my frustration and fury about injustice toward women into productive approaches, positive action, ideas about how to make things work in a way that would be good for people.

Photo by Thiago Schlemper on Pexels.com

It began following a conversation with a friend on what I thought was a really negative, destructive, unproductive way that some people were responding to sexism toward women. I won’t go into what that was; it suffices to say I wanted to promote positive alternatives to both sexism and to those sorts of misguided responses.

And now, since the last time I posted, the United States has elected our first female vice president, many people are beginning to stand up against sexual assault and other forms of injustice in ways that the system recognizes (i.e. lawsuits), transgender individuals are beginning to be recognized and advocated for more than ever, and not least of all, numerous non-toxic sustainable options are becoming available for menstrual care. This is truly a beautiful and powerful time to be a woman. While I don’t plan to complete my journey here, my intention when I set out to begin this blog was to create a ripple of positive energy, a culture of people who feel good about feminism.

I am proud to say that whether or not this had anything to do with my writing, there is now a groundswell of uplifting, highly visible, intentional, activist-feminists continuously working for positive change. I feel so much more surrounded by good energy and positive momentum than I did just a decade ago. I have hope, and I want to thank you for being part of that. Whether you participate actively working to change things for the good, or if you read blogs and tweets such as mine that strive to put an encouraging voice out there, thank you. Keep doing it. It’s helping.

There are many encouraging voices now, and I look forward to continuing to amplify them. ❤ 

Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com

Young Artist Gift Guide

Here’s a post I created awhile ago and just got around to putting up now. Hope it helps you shop for some positive encouraging gender-neutral gifts for the kids in your life, if you plan to shop.

 

Honestly, why kid ourselves? (pun intended)

Boys and girls both need encouragement, especially when it comes to expressing themselves. Kids often love doing art. So here are a variety of art toys and creative gifts to inspire a range of ages.

Amazingly cool that you might expect to see at a science museum

A classic: the kids’ easel

Sewing machine (blue)

Recycling paper to make beads

I’m pretty sure I want this Now. and I know I would have really liked it as a preteen.

#Nomakeup

Something I tried to begin awhile ago is taking hold through the efforts of a famous and amazing singer. My no-makeup thoughts in 2012

Alicia Keys has the right amount of celebrity and determination to make it trend. Yeah! Click the quote below to see more photos.

Alicia Keys vowed to officially stop covering up. “Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing,” she said. 

Here’s the letter she wrote to explain why

And she’s actually doing it:

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Awesome gifts for young girls !

I started shopping for my good friend’s four-year-old’s birthday gift. Not because gift-giving is obligatory societally, but because I’ve known this little kid since she was 4 weeks old and she’s very special to me.

I was blessed as a child with generous relatives and family friends who gave a wide array of the most amazing inspiring beautiful gifts!! So to continue the legacy, here is my first attempt to move past my first thought (Oooooh, sparkly pink tutu!!!!!) and share with you some gifts with greater perceived depth. I say ‘perceived’ because as an artist and costumer, I very much so value beautiful fabric and visual aesthetics and see them as facilitating perception of the beauty of the world.

The age range for the below list is wider than just the 4-year-old crowd, and the price range is on the low side. A lot of these are from ‘amightygirl.com’, which you should definitely check out.

Tool box I had and LOVED as a kid

Book about Rachel Carson, female environmentalist

Book about Female Inventors

Raise Butterflies with this kit!!!!!

Play Camping Set! So cool

Miss Rumphius; A book based on a real woman who made the world more beautiful

And I think that will about exhaust most folks’ willingness to click links, so I’ll save some others for a future post. Keep on raising amazing, intelligent, sparkly-eyed, alive, compassionate girls. We all start little, and then get inspired.

Why run for president?

 

This article makes some good points. I disagree personally about the bit that ‘president’, seeming such a male office, is intimidating to women because they think they won’t have much of a chance to win. However, that may be true for some. For me personally, I wouldn’t want to be president because I think it’s immensely stressful and also awful for any one person to be so much in the spotlight. I want a more peaceful lifestyle for myself. I know that there are men who feel that way, too.

I think the article makes an excellent point that I was already planning to write about; that maybe there just aren’t that many women seeking public office. To get more women in positions of authority, maybe we need more candidates. I personally have no clue what could accomplish that goal, what could encourage women toward that end. Do you? Are you a woman interested in politics? Make a comment.

I have a few clues about what isn’t helping, though. There are enough women focusing on makeup and beauty alone that multiple youtube ‘vloggers’ make a living in the multi-millions from posting their makeup and hair tutorials.

I wish them no ill whatsoever. I personally find their makeup tutorials helpful when I choose to wear makeup. What I’m saying is that a lot of women are spending a LOT of time and money and FOCUS on their image. Not their minds, ambitions, or working for change in the world. Are you personally willing to shift those priorities for yourself? Do you know how much time out of any given day you spend on image? And more importantly, how much you spend developing your mind or working for positive change in the world?

I think the condition of focusing on image has a lot to do with how people are brought up, pressures faced at school and in the workplace, and media consumption. These ways of living are ingrained. But the solutions are at our fingertips and EVERY positive change makes a positive impact. Do what you can, today, right now. And then when it’s ‘right now’ again, do what you can then, too.

Share your positive actions here! As a community we need to support one another.

Trusting your Story

This post is inspired by something I saw on Etsy just now, as well as recent events.

When your gut instinct tells you something, I think the initial reaction for many tends to be to apply logic, to deny that intuition could be right on the mark, and to ignore the message. What I’ve been learning for the past couple years (at least) is that my intuition rarely fails; though occasionally I fail to heed it.

In the book ‘Women Who Run With the Wolves’ there is a story called Vasalisa the Wise, in which a girl is given a doll by her dying mother. Her mother tells her to feed the doll regularly and she will be protected. When she doesn’t feed the doll, she gets into dangerous situations, but when she does feed it, the doll begins to speak to her. The author, Dr. Estes, compares this to intuition; when we ‘feed’ our intuition by heeding it, the voice of our intuitive knowing grows more powerful and we are able to hear it more clearly.

I have been heeding my own intuition more and more over the years, and whereas 4 years ago I felt I was walking around confused and blind through many situations, unsure of what decisions to make, now I feel that I have a much brighter and clearer view of the safest and best path.

  • I’d encourage you today to get quiet, close your eyes, focus on your heart while breathing deeply and
  • see if there is a nagging thought or feeling there.
  • Begin to write whatever comes to mind on a piece of paper until you have nothing left to write.
  • When you’ve done this, look at the paper and see what decisions you might be mulling over.
  • Accept that you are or aren’t sure right now, of what to do.
  • If you know what to do, (which for me, I get a sense of peace about that path if it’s the right one) you might write down some first steps to take: don’t just think them! Actually write them. Somehow this always makes clearer in my mind how easy they are, though they seem hard before they turn from thoughts to printed words.
  • If you still don’t know, let that be ok. The answers will come at the right time. Come back to your heart again later.

It may take several tries of getting centered over several days or weeks before you are able to write anything. Keep attempting. The simple act of centering in your heart is food for your intuition anyway.

I wish you the best in this. Remember to trust your story. If you feel like something’s ‘off’ or out of place, it most likely is; so take the steps you need to take and trust yourself.

The Baby Who Knew Me!

Beautiful story. Wise and beautiful women. Love and acceptance. Thank you, Nicole.

Cauldrons and Cupcakes

“Hope is the thing with feathers 
That perches in the soul 
And sings the tune without the words 
And never stops at all.”
~ Emily Dickinson

“Really important meetings are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other. 

Generally speaking, these meetings occur when we reach a limit, when we need to die and be reborn emotionally. These meetings are waiting for us, but more often than not, we avoid them happening. If we are desperate, though, if we have nothing to lose, or if we are full of enthusiasm for life, then the unknown reveals itself, and our universe changes direction.” 
~ Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

 

It takes a lot to freak me out. But last week, in the middle of Woolworths in Byron Bay I consider that I was freaked. Let me explain…

I was feeling ill, miserably exhausted on my lyme drugs, depressed and in…

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Complaining about body size- gets us nowhere.

‘Broadside’ talks about the distraction that is focusing on women’s weight. An important post from an excellent writer. We have more important issues to be concerned with.

Honestly, I don’t think about my weight from one day to the next. I don’t weigh myself (other than on Thanksgiving to see how much food I ate, because I have a scientific curiosity about how much it’s possible to eat). I eat healthily on a regular basis, yes with cookies and chips occasionally thrown in. I eat hummus, spinach, beef, chicken, hemp milk, blueberries, apples, oranges, eggs with cheese, oatmeal, and many other things. I want to see how these foods affect my level of energy and happiness. I take a multi-vitamin so I can be awake and alert. I avoid coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, and other toxins which can cause bodily imbalances.

I am really grateful not to be concerned with weight. I don’t watch it. I move around. I do things I love. I relieve stress. I avoid watching t.v. and I try to limit how much time I spend on the computer.

I am interested in women’s rights and promoting them. I care about art, design, feng shui, photography, animals, nature, the environment, human rights. My family is vitally important to me. I am an intelligent person with many gifts, and much to offer humanity within the course of my lifetime. I am feeling good about staying focused on what matters!

Broadside

I am going to lose it completely.

Some of you read Kristen Lamb, who writes a blog about writing. It’s extremely popular and usually very helpful. But her latest post was a digression — an extended piece about being a size 10/12 and why she feels fat:

I am healthy, have beautiful skin and hair. I have enough energy to power a small city and am never sick, but I am still a size 10-12 and 170 pounds.

Why is it no one looks like me?

When we look on TV, we are confronted with extremes–super skinny or clinically obese. We are calling anorexics “beautiful” and calling dangerously obese women “curvy.” We are an a country that is dying because of euphemisms. I hear parents call morbidly obese children “husky,” “big-boned” or “muscular.” We have retailers calling anorexics “curvy.”

I get it. I’ve written about this as well.

But, seriously…

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Excellently stated. I could not have written this better myself, and therefore I give you hecatedemeter’s rendition of the framing of the issue of women’s reproductive rights. Of course it’s good this came up in the debate, and of course it’s good to support women’s rights. Women are worthy enough to be supported simply because *we* matter. There need be no other reason to uphold our autonomy and power over our decisions.

I’m feeling good about being worthy.

hecatedemeter

I appreciate good framing and I understand what President Obama and Atrios are doing when they explain that giving women access to family planning information and other forms of birth control and abortion (see what I did there?) implicates economic interests and the interests of men and children (aka “families,” which, oddly, in America don’t appear to include the women and their children who are not attached to men), as well as women’s rights.

And, Obama and Atrios are right.

And, it pisses me right off.

First, of course access to, for example, free/cheap/effective, and safe birth control (including abortion; see what I did there?) has important economic ramifications for women and those who love them/have their lives entangled with them (aka, pretty much everyone).

Being able to control how (if any) many children she has and when she has them can make a gigantic economic impact upon a woman’s…

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