To All Women – Love Yourself!

Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is me.  I am 44 1/2 years old. I do yoga whenever I can and I think I may have discovered a love for hiking. I have Fibromyalgia, which makes hardcore workouts very difficult, as my body is in constant pain – unless I drastically increase the dose for the meds I am on. Cause of the FM is that I suffer from PTSD, which means I have to keep my stress levels at a minimum; this is hard to do, given that my normal cortisol output is always elevated. I literally run higher strung than normal people; and  that sucks.

I am fighting genes. High blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, gastritis and pancreatitis run in my family; the latter killed my mother when she was 48 years old. It almost killed my sister three years ago. I have managed to avoid these issues with a fairly healthy diet and exercise.  I quit smoking a few years ago, I don’t really drink and I was never one for drugs.

I work a corporate job and I’ll leave it at that. The point here is that I have a full-time career, which sometimes demands more and sometimes less.

Why am I telling you this? Because I am trying to make a point. When I look at myself, I see the average woman. I have a career, I pay my bills, sure, I sport some tattoos and spiky hair, but otherwise I am just doing what all of us are doing – trying to do the best I can. I live my life with a high level of integrity, honesty and decency, but I don’t have the perfect body; and I have been rejected for that in the past.

I have struggled my entire life to gain acceptance from a society that favors unrealistic expectations of how a woman should look like; not just from a weight perspective, but on all levels imaginable. I spent thousands of dollars on diets, personal trainers, workout equipment, fitness club memberships and therapy. At the ripe age of 40 I started to actually love and accept myself. Does that mean I gave up and simply said “screw it?” No, it doesn’t mean that. I am still dragging my butt into yoga, even when I hurt and when my vinyasas are painful and I have to take breaks. I try and keep striving to be healthy, strong and fit and trust me, none of this comes natural to me. It has been a struggle my entire life – and yes, I was the fat kid in school they made fun of. Yes, I do have struggled with body image and weight issues my entire life.

It took so many years to finally love myself. And talking to my fellow sisters, they all have struggled with this at some point; some of them still do. The older we get, the harder it is to be desirable when you live in a society that bought some notion of eternal youth and beauty, sold by the images of movie stars – who couldn’t be further away from the “real” world if they tried; models – who are less than 1% of the population, or porn stars – who hardly describe how the average woman looks, feels, works and operates.
Imagine if all men would have to look like Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt or Bradley Cooper, just to name a few. Imagine if we’d expect our men to have an average penis size of at least <–insert porn star penis size here, and imagine how it would be like if we’d expect our men to look like a Calvin Klein model or Chris Hemsworth. I don’t know any woman who has these unreasonable expectations – myself included!

However, having to look like some barbie/model/movie star is something that gets imposed on us women all the time. Men are not as forgiving when it comes to our flaws. It is normal for a guy in his 50s to date a girl in her 20s and it often feels like “game over” when you are an average woman in her 40s or 50s. Make that double hard when you have the average body; or worse, when you don’t (unless you are super thin)!

So, here I stand – the whole 5’3″ with hips, thighs, belly, chest and all, letting you know that beauty is not just external. Beauty comes in other sizes but 0 and 1. I stand here saying that I don’t need to look or behave like a porn star to be sexy. I do not need to have the body of an actress or model to be beautiful. I am these things by the very nature of my being – my actions, thoughts and words.

Beauty and sex appeal lie within the way we move, hold our head high, carry ourselves, walk, talk, think and behave. These traits are held within the wisdom we share, the knowledge we have and the confidence that we acquire by the time we become real women. We may not have the perfect body (anymore), but we know how to love, share, give, receive and we are better lovers because of it. We don’t need your money and we don’t need you to take care of us. We have the freedom to invite you into our lives because we want you there, not because we need you there.

Women – with great power comes great responsibility. Our responsibility is to celebrate and love ourselves, even when society tries to tell us that we are never quite good enough. We are/you are beautiful and enough! So, here it is, a big hooray for T&A! 😉


TUT – A Note from the Universe

What if in “heaven,” Carmen, you also have to think of what you want before you get it? You have to start every windfall with your own little blowing? You have to do what you can, with what you’ve got, to make stuff happen?

Yeah, that’s what I said! You’re going to totally own the place.

Cowabunga –
The Universe


Alles kann besser werden – Everything can get better

My brother posted this on my FB wall. The gist? Never give up, because everything always gets better. The decision to walk out “of this shit show.” Everything can get better, let’s aim for heaven on earth.

“Even when you are sobbing and crying hard, please don’t give up.
Even when you deny your life, please don’t give up.
Even when everything seems screwed up, please don’t give up…”


Love, Dove, Schmove, Pove

love-sove

 

It’s the most complicated emotion we can feel and yet, I find it the most important one. What would I be without the ability to love? What would the world be like without love?

I am not an expert. But I have learned some valuable lessons along the way that taught me the difference between infatuation, lust and love. I think, like most people, I had it wrong. I think that I fell for the Hollywood bullshit version of “love at first sight” and “falling head over heels.” I mistook strange obsession and unhealthy attachment, fear and adrenaline rush for love. I also mistook an old, and yet familiar feeling of having to prove my worth and value, for love. And hence, love was eluding me and was all but a fleeting and painful emotion I often wished I never felt at all.

I learned love from my friends. Yes, not from romance, not from movies but my friends. I learned what love truly was when I realized how I felt when someone truly, compassionately and honestly cared for me and valued me. I realized, if I ever was going to feel that strongly for a man AND had chemistry with him, I’d be set (provided he felt the same in return, of course).

But as we humans are, we make it complex. We want the whole package, as is sold to us by media and entertainment. The whole shabang, including the crazy obsession and the endless what ifs, fear and excitement, we so easily mistake for being in love. We are so confused and unable to form true and lasting bonds that we consistently feel disconnected, alone and unloved. And when we meet people who do not ignite the proverbial spark, we dismiss them as not the one, even though the spark is based on superficial and exterior things.

Love, as defined by psychology and as I see it, is a mutual admiration, respect, compassion, intimacy, care and commitment to another. Yes, we have to be attracted and have chemistry/sexual compatibility, but I found that the big bang theory doesn’t hold up.

Maybe, the “bang” is the thing that happens when your admiration, care, compassion, intimacy and commitment to the other grows. Maybe, you just wake up one day and find that you truly cannot be without the other, because they do make you a much better person and life without them, while possible, actually sucks. Maybe it truly is that thing where you grow closer, versus further apart as the time passes and you truly get enveloped within their whole essence and being – by choice, not by obsession.

I think my understanding of love is more of a bond than just a need. As I grow older I am changing, evolving and learning. My paradigms are shifting and so is my outlook on what I deemed once important, attractive, desirable and necessary. I think it’s all changing for the good. I feel calmer, even though my life is less exciting one could argue.

These days I believe more and doubt less. I don’t pick things apart, I don’t dissect them the way I used to and I don’t think them to death. It’s more quiet and there is no adrenaline rush. Crazy has left the building and for that I am super thankful.

And on that note, here is the latest TUT – A Note from the Universe:
“Fret not, Carmen. Time is on your side.
So are all the angels.
And “no” is never forever.
Yes, now, thank you –
The Universe”


Self-Confidence vs. Selfish Douche Baggery

Confidence

Has it ever happened to you that you watched the actions of someone who truly shines in being insensitive and selfish and sells these traits as confidence with a bow of “if you love me/care for me, you should accept all parts of me, including the douche baggish ones.” You know what? Not so much! There is a huge difference between confidence and selfishly pushing your agenda for the sake of your own gratification and ego. There is a very clear line between being selfish and arrogant and being confident and loving. So how does one strike the balance?

When we are self confident, we act from a place of knowing who we are and where we are going.  Confidence comes from a place within and is obtained by positive thoughts, followed with positive actions and being rewarded with positive outcomes. The intent is to do what’s best for your higher good and therefore often intertwines with was is good for others. Confidence is a peaceful, quiet place – not fueled by ego, fear, need to prove, please or impress another. Confidence is fueled by knowledge and inner power. Ego has no place here. Confidence is an ever changing and evolving flow of experiences, created by positive actions, aligned by the intent we have set in regards to whom we want to become and where we want to go.

Arrogance, while often appearing as confidence is fueled by a selfish reason to appease one’s whims and desires, without care for consequences to others. Arrogance is fueled by ego, fear, insecurity, narcissism, a need to prove, impress and gloat. Hence, arrogance goes hand in hand with selfishness. It is built on quicksand with a house of cards and will blow over when challenged or proven otherwise.  Arrogance comes with a disregard for other’s feelings and leaves no room for growth or error; it is rigid in nature. Arrogance is by design unkind and unloving; not just towards others, but to oneself.

So how does confidence and selfishness go together? Well, let’s first break down how we define “selfish.” Personally, I don’t care for the word selfishness too much. I like to define doing what is best for me as setting boundaries. I find doing what is best for me, usually goes hand-in-hand with doing what is best for those around me, because I cannot be at my personal best and operate at my highest level, when I am off balance and feeling overwhelmed, unloved, ignored, angry, overextended, taken for granted, etc. – you get the gist.

When I set my boundaries and do what is best for me, I tend to usually not hurt others in the process, because doing what is best for me involves surrounding myself with those who deserve my time, space and love. Setting my path with confidence and self-love means that I choose situations, people, jobs and outcomes carefully, based on the notion and intent that these will serve my higher good. 

So let’s examine this within the realm of being an introvert. Wouldn’t it make sense for me to require large amounts of alone time to recharge my batteries and hence, push away those I care about here and there? Confidence has given me the ability to recognize that I do require recharging of my batteries and then set the boundary by clearly stating when it becomes too much to be out and about. Confidence has also given me the ability to define these boundaries in a way that does not hurt or push away another by simply asking to stay in and watch a movie, for example, or asking to stay behind from this concert everyone is going to. Being loving and caring gives me the ability to allow another to freely choose if they want to be part of Carmen’s hamster ball of quiet, or partake in the rowdy bits without me, when I am feeling overwhelmed. Either way, my actions are loving and allow for both to get what they want, without being pushed away, or feeling selfishly imposed upon.

It is possible to be all of you and have your boundaries and needs respected within relationships and friendships; provided you choose wisely. People may often feel that they cannot be themselves or need to lose themselves when being with someone, but I found that the opposite can be true – when we have the confidence, experience and wisdom to choose for our higher purpose. The people, situations and outcomes we choose and act upon within this realm do not infringe on our well-being, but instead help us grow and become continuously more confident and the butt kicker we set out to be. When we choose from confidence and love, we choose what is best for us, almost 100% of the time, so the need to feel selfish, unkind and douche baggish also diminishes. The right people recognize light and intent and therefore won’t interfere, but add to it.


Time, Zeit – Is It Ever Right?

Ready

If I had a single dollar for every part of my life where timing wasn’t right, I’d be a billionaire. Timing – isn’t it an interesting concept? And isn’t it about the only thing we never truly have enough of? It ticks away and within a heartbeat, it runs out.

I’m a jumper. I jump into things and oh yes, I have gotten my butt kicked for that, in the proverbial sense. I jump and I run and while I used to run away from things I now run toward them. I run and I jump, because I truly value the essence of time. I understand, maybe more than most, how precious time is and how quickly it can be taken away; so I simply don’t waste it. I am always aware of my mortal coil and while it sounds so cliché, I know that lightning could strike tomorrow and I may be run over by a truck. My mom sure as hell had no clue that she was about to die when she went to the hospital to merely get some gallstones removed – she was 48.

Why do we treat our life as if it was endless? Why do we act as if we had an endless amount of life and health? We waste it all away, careless and clueless until it gets taken away from us. Oh, how we take it all for granted. How we think there is always another chance for us. There is always tomorrow; or next week, next month or next year, right?

Today, I woke up understanding once more that I am on borrowed time and that it ticks away slowly and surely with each breath I take. I realized once more that I have a duty to myself to live life to its fullest potential and above all – love myself, forgive myself and continuously strive to be the best I can be.  Today, I realize once more that there is no such thing as being ready; at least not for me. Some things will happen to me, regardless if I am ready for them or not. I can cease the day, the moment and the opportunity and handle it like the the woman I want to be. I can recognize each amazing moment, person and situation and face it, head on! I shall not run away and dwell in fear, doubt and regret. For how often have I ever felt regret for the things I’ve done versus the things I didn’t do and ran from?

Today, I realize once more that I am always in the perfect moment, at the perfect time. I have no regret, I have no fear, I am ready now – I was born ready. May I never miss a single moment of joy, bliss, happiness, love, friendship and wonder. May I always be able to take this leap of faith, instead of waiting and worrying that I may not be ready, wondering what if. May I never hesitate and keep running and jumping, arms and heart wide open. And may you be able to do the same. With love and light…


There’s Something Firing Here Inside My Head…

If God was egg, if six were nine… If time was never measured, only
killed in pleasure gardens of our making. If we’d never taken anything,
but only given… If we could forgive, forget and rearrange the patterns.
If you’d never thrown a stone or split the atom – ate the apple… if…
If I’d stayed alone in shackles feeling nothing, seeing nothing in my
head… If we’d shared instead of just collecting. If we’d never lived…
If… If we’d ever… If we never never, never land but fly without a
destination, cry without a cause, and lose ourselves for just a second at
the beauty of it all… Then maybe in the next life we’d be dolphins.
The Legendary Pink Dots – Evolution

We-think-too-much

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was up until 3 am – thinking. I woke up at 7:30 am – thinking. At times, I think a lot, I think all the time and my thoughts are not all that productive, because I am overthinking.  It turns out, I am quite happy when I act; when I do, when I take charge, when I decide and when I am I feel the most powerful.

The thought should be the catalyst for the action. The thought should not be the sword that cuts deep into our psyche and heart, doubting each step of the way and waiting for more magical thoughts to pour out of the brain. When all we do is think without acting and without deciding, we go back. We stop evolving and we literally regress.

Oh, we want the magic bullet that just makes it better. We seek within our relationships, friendships, jobs, spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof), religion, philosophy and science for that moment of clarity, when we can say that we have figured it out. We devour books, pills and any substance that promises the quiet peace of mind we so desperately long for and find – it never comes.

I could go into the benefits of meditation and how we truly do find answers within stillness, but I’m not going to. It’s stillness we struggle with and we have such a hard time obtaining. So why would I say that something can be achieved in a state we so desperately attempt to reach? Yes, stillness works, but for a fire brain like mine it’s a bit hard at times to achieve said quiet peace. So when I cannot be still (like this morning at 3 am), I have found something that works just as well – I DO!

I can be up all night and day thinking about what ifs and watch all the scary scenarios I conjure up in my head – and trust me, the more I think, the scarier it gets! – but nothing beats the clarity I achieve by first, making a decision and second, acting on that decision. I don’t worry if I make the right decision, because anything beats the indecisive state of wobbling about, unsure what to do and creating terror and misery with outcomes we paint in the bleakest colors.

Some of our greatest qualities lie within the ability to think, feel, sense and decide. When I decide something there is a feeling attached to that. It tends to be a feeling of relief and joy from which I can move forward, even if the decision was difficult. I am proud to report that I feel a lot more joy than misery these days, because I make decisions and I act on them. It’s the baby step thing, you know? You wake up and each day you make a new decision to maybe do something you haven’t done before. The slate is wiped clean and maybe you’ve gotten it all wrong the day before, but today is a new day and you can act once again, maybe getting it right.

We don’t live in our heads. We live in the world by doing and partaking in life. We do not experience living while standing on the sidelines, thinking about how the water may feel like. We take a deep breath, and we jump. You know what? The water is just fine, now go swimming and guess what happens when you dive? There, under the water, it is, your stillness!


Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy-Valentines-Day

 

People seem to really hate Valentine’s Day. I don’t quite understand why. It’s been around for as long as I can remember, even in Germany. Granted, we may not have celebrated it, but we acknowledged it and it has always been known as “the day of the lovers.”

I kind of think that Valentine’s Day is awesome. Not for the commercialized aspect of the obligatory flower and chocolate gifts, but because I think we SHOULD have a day for the lovers. Hell, I think we should love every day and quite honestly, in this day and age I feel that love is underrated!

It feels as if our lives revolve around “stuff” and work; making more money, being more busy and more successful. Our feelings and emotions are watered down. We don’t put a whole lot of stock in our hearts anymore and rely instead on our amazing intellect and rationale. It is frowned upon to feel and most emotions are seen as mushy and weak.

What a sad state of affairs! If it would be up to me, almost the entire world population would be in therapy, learning how to let go of undesirable and emotionally crippling behavioral patterns. There should be workshops for how to feel more and be less selfish. We should school people on the power of true intimacy and teach them how to connect, without sex. I find it rather laughable how many consider f***ing their indicator for intimacy. I’d love classes on how to open your heart, be present and share love and kindness; for the joy of it! I want tools to heal broken hearts and let go of past hurts and regrets for everyone.

I want the bah humbugs to shut up. I want a world filled with more Dali Lama’s and less politicians. I want to give chocolate hearts out all the time and I want to share my love and heart as often as possible, because I think love is the only thing truly worth living for. I believe love is all that matters, especially when we are stripped of the stuff we have made a priority, usually for the wrong reasons.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Doesn’t matter if you are single, married or in a relationship, know that you are loved. And when you are loved, you are not truly ever alone.