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Phenomenal Woman

February 3, 2010

I read this poem today and thought- WOW! This is the sort of woman I want to be… I know and see so many phenomenal women and take such inspiration from them! So to all you phenomenal women out there- this is for you X LJ

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I’m not cute or built to suit a model’s fashion size
But when I start to tell them
They think I’m telling lies.
I say
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips
The stride of my steps
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please
And to a man
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees
Then they swarm around me
A hive of honey bees.
I say
It’s the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth
The swing of my waist
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say
It’s in the arch of my back
The sun of my smile
The ride of my breasts
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say
It’s in the click of my heels
The bend of my hair
The palm of my hand
The need for my care.
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That’s me.

~ Maya Angelou

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And so this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over…

December 21, 2009

I have been spontaneously singing this song lately in public (mostly when drunk, which unfortunately for my liver is often at this time of the year).

It is such a simple but beautiful song. It reflects on what many people think at this time of the year. It makes me think back to a year ago. In some ways it seems so long since last Christmas. It has been such an incredibly eventful year! I have accomplished many of the things I wanted this year. Namely it was Finding Joy.

This has a double meaning. One was the obvious. Finding  joy in life. The things and people that make me smile and rejoice.  I have had many times of joy this year and I know that whatever life brings I can always find joy in many different ways.

The other way I have been finding “Joy” is in “finding” myself. I am Joy. It is my middle name.

One thing I was left with last year is not knowing who I was- beyond my physical presence and my name… However I find myself knowing more of myself as time goes on and I know this will be a continued journey- I find great Joy in that 🙂

It is time to think about what I want for next year. Part of that is wanting to help others… I am not sure how I can do this but will contemplate it…

“A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Let’s hope it’s a good one, Without any fear…”

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Anne Morrow Lindbergh: The first days of grief are not the worst

November 14, 2009

” Contrary to the general assumption, the first days of grief are not the worst. The immediate reaction is usually shock and numbing disbelief. One has undergone an amputation.

After shock comes acute early grief which is a kind of “condensed presence” — almost a form of possession. One still feels the lost limb down to the nerve endings. It is as if the intensity of grief fused the distance between you and the dead. Or perhaps, in reality, part of one dies. Like Orpheus, one tries to follow the dead on the beginning of their journey. But one cannot, like Orpheus, go all the way, and after a long journey one comes back. If one is lucky, one is reborn. Some people die and are reborn many times in their lives. For others the ground is too barren and the time too short for rebirth. Part of the process is the growth of a new relationship with the dead, that “véritable ami mort*” Saint-Exupéry speaks of. Like all gestation, it is a slow dark wordless process. While it is taking place one is painfully vulnerable. One must guard and protect the new life growing within– like a child.

One must grieve, and one must go through periods of numbness that are harder to bear than grief. One must refuse the easy escapes offered by habit and human tradition. The first and most common offerings of family and friends are always distractions (“Take her out”–“Get her away” –“Change the scene”–“Bring in people to cheer her up”–“Don’t let her sit and mourn” [when it is mourning one needs]). On the other hand, there is the temptation to self-pity or glorification of grief. “I will instruct my sorrows to be proud,” Constance cries in a magnificent speech in Shakespeare’s King John. Despite her words, there is not aristocracy of grief. Grief is a great leveler. There is no highroad out. Courage is a first step, but simply to bear the blow bravely is not enough. Stoicism is courageous, but it is only a halfway house on the long road. It is a shield, permissible for a short time only. In the end, one has to discard shields and remain open and vulnerable. Otherwise, scar tissue will seal off the wound and no growth will follow. To grow, to be reborn, one must remain vulnerable– open to love but also hideously open to the possibility of more suffering.”

*true friend who is dead

–Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001 ), Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead (1932). She and her husband, the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, suffered the kidnapping and murder of their first child, not yet two, under the glare of worldwide publicity in 1932.

One of the things I have read that most closely tie with how I feel about grief. -LJ

http://www.amazon.com/Gift-Sea-Anne-Morrow-Lindbergh/dp/0679732411

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What a year!

November 7, 2009

So this month marks one year of living in my apartment. It has been an awesome year!

It has been a transformative year for me in so many ways. Thoughts of the past no longer consume my days. It is just a now and then thing and I honestly find myself feeling happy most of the time. I have moved past that period of my life and instead of looking at the past or the future try to concentrate on the present.

I have spent the last year making a home (even if I am still renting) and a life that I can be proud of and call mine. I love living in the Inner West. I feel so at home here. There are so many interesting people who dress how they like and radiate such chutzpah and creativity. I am never bored walking up Enmore Rd to Newtown!

I have met and made friends with so many wonderful people. I keep on telling myself that my “friend cup” is full, but I keep on meeting amazing people, so I don’t really mind that it is overflowing :). I have met or gotten to know better several amazing women who I have learnt so much from and am happy to count amongst my friends.

I have changed how I dress, my hair and so many things I do. I take meditation classes, and singing lessons and have filled my calendar with (probably too many) activities. I had a wonderful Summer with the Sydney Festival, Peat’s Ridge Festival and events with Couchsurfing. From someone who spent most of the time in front of the TV (which I do not miss) and reading (which I do miss), and looking forward to something next month, I find my calendar full most weeks. I now enjoy those nights I have off instead of getting bored by them. It has truly been a year of firsts- way too many to list here. More to come- I have just started Salsa dancing and am thinking of trying Scuba Diving (And hopefully some time to enjoy some good books)!

I have had some health issues but have tackled them head on and will continue to do so. I still have a way to go in my health and fitness and I am happy to take this slowly. While I have lost 17kgs since Sept 08, I still have a bit to go. I am never going to be a skinny girl but no longer do I say, when I am thinner I will do this or that. I will challenge myself to do all those things and more. I will keep on working on my health and on being the best person I can be.

The biggest impact on me has been taking burlesque classes. I remember when I started it, I saw it as a bit of fun and maybe to do private shows when I found a special someone in my life again. Like so many others I thought it was just stripping. It is not that- it is so much more, and as someone who calls herself a feminist I have found it so empowering. It is hard to explain what it has done for me. But at the hands of my wonderful teachers Fran and Holly, all the other women at the classes and the wonderful people I have met at burlesque shows, it has taught and given me so very much. I has given me body confidence and acceptance of myself. It brings me Joy and is firmly part of my life now.

I have got on stage in front of a crowd and several times now and even though my dancing (especially) and singing is not the best I have so much fun getting up and giving it a go. I hope to perform again so be prepared everyone 😀

I have a feeling the transformation has only just begun!

X LJ

What is burlesque?

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Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime

July 22, 2009

I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind today.

It has made me think. Would I do it? Would I want to erase someone from my life.

Sometimes I would say yes. Hell yes. Especially the bad, the hellish times… But that is just a tiny percentage of my past…

Would I give up all the amazing times. The love, the discovery, the amazement, the joy. Would I therefore go back to the person I was. Would I give up all I have learnt… Would I want to be the person I used to be…

You see the technology depicted does not exist. But the mind is a powerful tool. It can be made to forget a lot of things. I find that I have forgotten much. Unfortunately the forgotten things are usually the wonderful things and the things that stick are the terrible. But I wouldn’t be who I am today without those memories…

I want to learn from the bad. I want to remember the good. Not to hold me back but to remember the Joy and have it give me hope for the future. To appreciate every day and to relish those joyful moments.

http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/show/4632-Alexander-Pope-Eloisa-to-Abelard

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIVh8Mu1a4Q

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What are you waiting for?

May 28, 2009

I just saw this ad on TV, and it made me think. So what am I waiting for? Time, opportunity, fate?

I want to take every opportunity that arises with open arms…

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How to save a life???

May 23, 2009

Step one you say we need to talk
He walks you say sit down it’s just a talk
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
You begin to wonder why you came

CHORUS:
Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Let him know that you know best
Cause after all you do know best
Try to slip past his defense
Without granting innocence
Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you’ve told him all along
And pray to God he hears you
And pray to God he hears you

CHORUS:
Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you’ve followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he’ll say he’s just not the same
And you’ll begin to wonder why you came

CHORUS:
Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

CHORUS:
Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life
How to save a life
How to save a life

CHORUS:
Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

CHORUS:
Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life
How to save a life
Artist: The Fray
Album: How To Save A Life