Tag Archive: stretching


I feel “pretty” today.

For the first time in decades maybe, that I can remember.  No special occasion.  I didn’t dress up.  I didn’t put on any makeup.  I didn’t even shower, and I don’t remember looking at my face in the mirror.  I just pulled on yesterday’s tank top and slid into a cotton hippie skirt and flip flops and started coffee.

I think it’s the skirt.  I’d say it’s been 30+ years since I wore a skirt because I wanted to, maybe longer.  My entire adult life I have kept a few skirts and dresses around for the inevitable occasion that absolutely required it, but those times have been few and far between and I can’t say I actually ever enjoyed dressing up.  I just never was that girly of a girl, I never saw the point.  But lately, just in the last few years, I’m beginning to have the experience of wanting to be a GIRL.

I’m learning to appreciate my body for its intended purpose of keeping me healthy, and moving me place to place, warning me of danger, and of filtering the environmental toxins out of my air, food and water.   The more I accept it for what it does right, the more feminine I feel.  After all, attracting and keeping a mate is important, but not as important as being strong and healthy, as being ALIVE.  I don’t hold my femininity against myself anymore, I no longer see it as a weakness.  I’m learning to embrace my womanness, and all that goes with it.  I’m keeping my toenails polished, wearing jewelry, drinking tea, reading books, writing, spending time with other wise and wonderful women, and yes, wearing dresses.  

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I don’t know why it’s happening, but I kinda like it.  It’s foreign yet familiar at the same time; like the way you automatically gather your skirts up to climb stairs, or step into your shoes, you don’t even think about it, but you do it, even if you can’t remember the last time you wore a long skirt.  A few times I’ve even had the urge to curtsy, of all things – I was never taught to curtsy, ever!  Where does that come from?!

My point is, I’m becoming softer and more feminine, balancing it with my previous independent, tough girl lifestyle and attitude.  I’m more humble, more compassionate, and have more passion for life and loving, goodness, justice, and peace.  I’m happy and proud to be a woman at this point in my life, I’m enjoying the process, as surprising as it is sometimes.

PMS, for instance.  Having an excuse for a few days every month to take better care with myself, to live without the structure of a schedule, a plan, or a To Do list.  The mood swings that cause my truths to spill out unfiltered by political correctness or subservience to a social hierarchy, making certain that I don’t lose my voice, even if I only speak through my pen or keyboard.  The way I feel a teensy bit crazy sometimes, or peacefully nostalgic about the past.  The way I’m learning to trust the future, while embracing the experience of living in today’s world.  The way I allow myself to cry when I need to, even for no reason.  I no longer make mistakes, I only learn more about myself and the nature of humanity.  I’m allowing my intuition to guide me, instead of controlling my thoughts with logic and reason.  I’m learning to appreciate chaos for the change it brings.  I’m learning to accept help from my friends when it’s offered, and to be grateful for the smallest things, taking delight in micro-moments of delicious joy at the simple act of interacting with a dragonfly, or a baby, a toad, a lover, or a song.  I bathe in the light of the full moon when it suits me, and feed off the warmth of the sun on my back while I’m weeding my garden, consciously accepting the gift of its healing and working with it to grow the food that will sustain me through this year of this life.  These things are real and good and irreplaceable, and decidedly feminine in nature.  They make me feel like I truly do belong to this world, like my time here has purpose.

I have come to realize that “pretty” isn’t something defined by a picture in a magazine, or the face you see in the mirror.  Feeling pretty for me is a way of being in the world which encompasses all things feminine and all beautiful ‘in the flow’ experiences.  Had I known that putting on an old hippie skirt would draw all that together for me, I might have done it years ago, instead of clinging to an identity that clearly doesn’t fit right anymore.

It’s ok to change.  It’s ok to evolve into something more, to accept where you’ve been and let life draw you toward who you are becoming.  Change doesn’t have to be complete or excruciatingly difficult.  It’s an adjustment from doing what you’ve always done to noticing what else feels good to you and allowing yourself to move in that direction to whatever extent you feel comfortable.  The more you stretch outside your comfort zone, the easier it gets, and the more your own experience transcends the ‘reality’ outside your door, or on the news, or at your workplace.  This life is your creation.  Make it your goal to find out what makes it pop for you personally, and move toward more of that experience.  You won’t regret it.  And just for fun one day, put on a skirt and see if it makes you feel “pretty”, too.

Much love, my sisters, we got this.  (;

∞E

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I’ve recently been checking out the Online Dating thing and I’ve gotta tell ya…it’s way tougher than it seems.  Big kudos to anyone with the huevos to put their heart out there looking for love.  I applaud you.

That being said, there are very few men that I’ve considered getting to know, based on their profiles and I’d like to offer up some advice to those who are actually in search of a woman of substance and integrity and not just a  good time.  Nothing wrong with that, but if your relationships are lacking meaning and depth and you’re actually wanting a soul connection, you’re gonna have to clean it up and get real.

  • Your Pictures – You may see this as shallow, but it’s the first visual contact we have with you.  Mugshots aren’t cool and unfortunately, those pics taken with your webcam are distracting.  Your food processor on the shelf behind you may tell us something interesting, but your laundry is something entirely different.  Do you have a friend?  Maybe one with a digital camera?  Give us a recent shot of you smiling for the main.  To coin a phrase from a friend, “We all looked better five to ten years ago, you’re just setting yourself up for rejection.” Show us you doing something you love, enjoying time out with your friends, something serious, something funny or interesting, you and your kids if you have them, your tats or toys for the rest.  We want to know who you ARE, not just what you look like late at night while you’re surfing the web.  You boys in cowboy hats, throw some shape on that thing after you dig it out of the back of your closet and before you present yourself in it online, you look like a goober.  We know the difference.
  • Your Interests-BUZZWORDS, yep I said it – use them!  Conservative, liberal, political, religious, spirituality, geo-caching, home improvement, your kids, movies, books, technology, leather, photography, psychic, philosophy, sailing, history, time-travel, skiing, climbing, self-help, motorcycles, cross-dressing, dogs, volunteering, coffee, causes, tattoos, chain mail armor, road trips, sushi, horror flicks, spelunking, working on cars.  Anything that you’re passionate about, put it out there so it shows up in a search.  The key is commonality.  If we can’t find you, we don’t know if there’s something there to work with or not.
  • Your Profile – I don’t like it anymore than you do, but technically this is your resume to the world of women.    State your intent.  Honestly.  If you’re looking to be the man next to one of us at the end of the day, tell us why that’s a good idea.  What are your strengths?  Weaknesses?  Passions?  What makes you pay attention to a particular type of woman and what type is she?  This is an exercise in asking the Universe for what you want in a relationship.  Half-assed profiles are going to get you half-assed results.  Get clear on who that girl is that you want and then tell us what that means.  Tell us what about you compliments that woman, so we get a picture in our heads and can decide whether we’re interested or not.  What do you do with your time?  What gives you joy?  Why?  Are you sensitive?  Strong?  If you want someone who’s not afraid to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, say so.  If you’re looking for a hippie chick, a good mom, someone who likes to read poetry by the fire, dominatrix,grandma, ball-busting business partner, conspiracy theorist, roller derby queen, big boobs, Buddhist…PUT IT OUT THERE.  Don’t compromise yourself by settling for any old pretty face.  Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t fluff it up to fill space.  You are perfectly acceptable and interesting just the way you are.  Dig deep and be REAL.  Someone out there is going to recognize and appreciate that, IF she can see what you’re about.  If you don’t write well, ask someone to help you present yourself, someone who knows and appreciates the person you are and is familiar with your strong points.  Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, other men are not looking at your profile.
  • Your Updates – If you think of something you want to add, do it.  What’s on there is not set in stone.  People change, find new interests, change their minds.  Be current.
  • First Contact – Get to the point.  Tell us what it is you find interesting or attractive about us or our profile and give us some feedback about who YOU are.  I know I’m cute, what else?  If you have a gut feeling about someone but their profile is vague, act on it-but be specific about what you’re asking and don’t expect too much.  Quit trying so hard to be what we want.  Be who YOU are.  If your message is gushing about all the things we have in common and how we’re ‘The One’ for you, that’s a little freaky coming from someone we’ve never MET.  Cool your jets, Hoss.   Start a dialogue with something relevant.  If we feel it, we’ll respond.  Period.  I don’t want 4 emails telling me how much you like my hair, or agreeing with *everything* I said in my profile, or sappy crap about staring into my eyes for hours (CREEPY!), or asking me if I like to wear thongs.  You wouldn’t say that to someone you just met in person, would you?  Would you like it if all we were interested in was your IRA and an accurate measurement of your penis?
  • First date – Cripes!  Keep it simple!  Meet somewhere quiet and public and bring separate cars.  That way if she smells like a walrus or has a nicer mustache than yours, you can beat feet when you’re through with your coffee.  No long drives together, no helicopter (or ambulance) rides, no expensive dinners, no overnight trips to Vegas, no concerts.  Two people, exchanging ideas and eye contact and hopefully getting a better feel for each other than they did online.  Keep your expectations low, she’s just a human being, like you.  You’re out less than ten bucks and if you want to extend the date to something else, you can.  If she wants to see you again, it’s going to be very apparent.  You can plan the Costa Rican zipline tour for the next date after you’ve established that you like each other.
  • Finally, don’t be discouraged.  Things don’t always happen over night.  There is a huge ratio of men to women on these sites, sad but true.  We pretty much get to pick and choose who we want to give the time of day to.  We don’t always have time to answer all your emails in a day, or determine if there’s an interest, and many people are uncomfortable with outright rejection because they are sensitive to your feelings.  Don’t take it personally.  Make yourself seen, make yourself heard and leave the rest up to the Universe’s timing.  Enjoy the process of getting to know someone, savor the good stuff and don’t stress about the rest.  Everyone in your life is there for a reason, you don’t want to fill it with junk that’s not worthy of you anyway.  Use the time in between to get to know yourself and take care of YOU.  There’s nothing unlovable or unattractive about the person you are, it just takes the right woman to appreciate what you bring to the table and she’s worth waiting for.

∞E

∞  I went on a second first date last week with a boy I dated 17 years ago.  I ran into him at the county fair, it was the 2nd time this year and he asked me out again.  It took awhile to figure out what we were going to do on our outing, but we finally decided to go for a drive and that turned into lunch in a small mountain town about 3 hours away.  As soon as we cemented the plans I got pretty nervous and told him so.  I got back a text that said, “Sweet dreams, don’t worry about Monday.”  I did anyway.  6 hours in a car is a long time to spend with someone you haven’t seen in 17 years.  What would we talk about for that long?  I was glad we’d be driving, at least we’d have something to look at instead of staring at each other over a table in a restaurant somewhere trying to figure out what to say.  As it turned out he was right, I needn’t have worried.

I got up early and took a shower, did my chores and headed out to meet him.  Gorgeous day, little overcast.  Drove right to his place without a problem.  We decided to take my car (because it’s cool), and I let him drive (because he’s the man).  First thing he did was top off the tank.  Thumbs up.  We tried to find a Starbucks because I didn’t sleep much the night before but we didn’t see one so we kept going.  The conversation up the canyon was good; cars, racing, relationships, marriage, experience, a few spiritual experiences shared.  I noticed he smiles alot and his eyes smile too.  He’s compassionate and kind and he has wonderful laugh lines.  I like looking at him.  He listened to me and I felt like he heard me too, because he asked questions and empathized with what I was expressing.  Couldn’t believe how fast we got there.   Halfway up the canyon it was absolutely beautiful, big blue sky, warm, perfect.  Had a nice lunch in a cool cafe on the Main street in town.  More good conversation over lunch. I noticed I wasn’t nervous anymore.   After lunch we took a walk through town and looked at some antiques and for once I didn’t feel rushed.  I’m pretty sure he enjoyed it as much as I did.  Stopped in a convenience store with a gift shop and looked at some moose pajamas while he was looking for a real estate book.  He caught me looking and bought me a shirt (unexpected warm fuzzy), for experimental purposes {inside joke}.  Drove out of town talking and taking pictures and he thanked me.  Thanked me.  For the day, and the company, and the therapy of driving a really fun car in the mountains.  Gratitude.  I was touched.

We stopped at a rest stop and took some pictures and then stopped again at a lake down the road.  We walked down to the water and I took my shoes off and stood on the sharp rocks enjoying the cool.  Took a few ‘hippie” pictures of driftwood and wildflowers and he took some of the lake.  I told him I wanted to take home a rock to commemorate the day.  He helped me look and he found a good one.  Said it was our ‘friendship rock’ and gave me a squeeze.  I liked that a lot, the rock AND the squeeze. More warm fuzzies.

Got back in Paisley and drove down the mountain.  I don’t know that Paisley has ever enjoyed herself more, he drove her really well for someone who doesn’t drive ‘Mustakes’.  He liked her too and was surprised that she handles so well.  Got back to his place late afternoon and helped him hook up a printer and update some drivers on his machine.  Met his dad.  Spent some time out in the yard talking and he thanked me again for being there, then he took me to dinner at a really nifty bbq place in town and we had a beer.

After dinner he didn’t want to go home yet so we drove around and checked out the farm, the fields they farm, the house he’s thinking of renting, their shop, several houses he used to live in.  I told him I’d like a sunflower out of one of those fields.  He got right out and picked me one (extra points).  Brought it back to the car, set it in my lap.  It was gorgeous.  He said when that one wears out he’ll get me another.  We drove on.  Turned up one road and I couldn’t believe it.  I had stopped there the week before and taken pictures of that very same field of sunflowers.  His sunflowers.  He said, “See, we’re more connected that you think.”  Heart flipped and my eyes opened wide.  He speaks my language too.  Now he’s got my full attention.

Down the road from there was a house he thought I’d recognize and I did.  It was the house he lived in when I went out with him the first time.  Went there to watch movies, drink beer and eat pizza 17 years ago.  He’d  told me to bring my roommate so she could keep his roommate company.  I did.  They’ve been married 15 years last week.  I remember what I was wearing that night.  Surreal.

He stopped at a lake.  It’s the lake Bruce Willis drove his snowmobile into in Die Hard.  Apparently they never recovered it.  He said “I thought we’d take a walk around the lake, maybe”.  Shock and awe.  Who IS this guy?!  The moon was full.  He walked off for a minute and I sat there staring at the sky wondering how this date could get any better.  We stood at the edge of the water and tried to get some shots of the lights across the way on the lake but it didn’t work.  We walked for a while, the brush got deep so we came back and sat on a picnic table near the water.  I rubbed his shoulders a little while and then he pointed out something white out on the lake.  It was a swan moving around out there.  Too cool.  Swans symbolize self-transformation, creativity, intuition, sensitivity, love, purity, chance, beauty, longevity, grace, harmony, loyalty, the soul.  They mate for life.

Mosquitoes were eating him so we left.  Came to a turnoff with a grain elevator on the corner.  He asked me if I remembered that place and it felt really familiar but I couldn’t figure out why.  He said I spent a day with him once delivering barley there in a truck.  Still don’t remember that but it feels true and he knew what I was wearing… excellent memory.

We got back to his place around 10:00.  I told him thank you for the incredible day and told him the sunflower and rock were gonna be hard to beat.  He laughed.  He invited me in to watch a movie.  Went upstairs and laid side by side on the bed, holding hands and made it through a good half of Ghost Rider.  I was sleepy and happy and content and could have fallen asleep right there, but I didn’t.  At some point this man began to slowly and lightly caress my jaw line, my face, my hair, my neck, my mouth with his free hand.  I can’t remember ever being touched that way, at least not for long enough to notice.  Whatever wasn’t melted by the other events of the day didn’t waste any time softening up.  I was awestruck by how good it felt to be touched that way.  It made my breath shallow,  made me completely unaware of anything else but the way his fingers felt tracing my skin.  I was afraid to move for fear he would stop.  When I finally did, I glanced up at him and he was watching me.  Don’t know for how long, he surprised me and I looked away.  He didn’t.  He looked me right in the eyes for the longest time and then he kissed me, really kissed me,  took my face in both hands and kissed me deeply, like he meant it.  That was maybe the best kiss ever.  And when he did it all came back, I remembered kissing him before, all those years ago, his taste, his sweet smell, like earth and fire and sunflowers and I wished I could remember why I ever stopped kissing him.

I don’t know how much divine planning went into last Monday.  I don’t know which stars lined up just right, not sure why Mercury took that day off his retrograde pattern and I don’t know who to thank, specifically, for everything that happened so organically, but I can tell you for certain that I will never forget it.  There were more ‘moments’ in that one day for me than I can recall over the last several years put together and I’m profoundly grateful for the experience.  That day fed my soul like no other and on too many levels to count.  It was the mirror of my ideal day, I just didn’t know it til it happened.

To my date – Thank You-  from the bottom of my heart for giving me back my sense of value, wonder and appreciation for all that is good in the world, including myself and you.  Thank you for making me feel young and alive and desirable.  You have no idea what you’ve unlocked in me. You’ll be remembered fondly for the rest of my life for your part in this.  I couldn’t have custom ordered a better first date.

Namaste,  my friend, and thank you for the rock  ∞ E

One of my strongest desires is to help people (and animals) who are hurt or struggling.

I’m a fairly resourceful girl, a Virgo with some decent analytical skills {ha!}.  I’ve done a lot of research and experimentation with what I’ve learned, a lot of work on myself, a lot of healing, with and without the aid of other folks in my life.  So, naturally my tendency when I discover someone suffering is to try and help them as quickly and efficiently as possible with the information I already have because, a)  what’s the point in suffering needlessly? and b) if you implement one of my coping mechanisms with the desired result, then I have someone I can converse with about being spirit having a human experience which is my most favorite subject in the world.  In theory it’s a win win, but it doesn’t always work that way.  I’m not always necessarily a good listener because of this.  I’ll have one ear tuned in to the conversation but the rest of my mind is going, “Oooh, ooo, I know this one!  Pick ME, pick ME!” and trying to intuit that link, that commonality between our two experiences so I can draw the line as to how what I’m about to share  is going to help them rise above this particular problem.  Many times it works out great even if it’s incremental, it’s enough to turn their focus to a new horizon.  I’d like to say that this would show up as ‘results driven’ on a resume, but honestly what I think it boils down to is impatience.  I don’t know how to nurture someone without trying to steer their boat out of the mud.  I don’t know how to be anyone’s ‘safe haven’, and it takes effort to show my love without using words.  I’m much better at talking people off a cliff, dusting them off and sending them on their way with an altered perception.

But personally, some of my most restful, content and feeling-loved times were when someone just held me or listened and didn’t try to ‘fix’ it.  I would like to be able to be THAT kind of person more often.  I wish I was better about just allowing people to find their own way and loving them through it without directing traffic. To those who have that part mastered, I salute you, it’s a beautiful thing.  Thank You.

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