All of these women are me, at very different ages. The young girl at the lower right was 18 and at the top left a young married 28. There's the precocious and happy little kindergartner in the middle who didn't know that her world was about to get rocked by an abusive grandparent and a series of hostile teachers who still thought that left handed kids were the devils spawn. They didn't know then that trying to switch a kids dominant hand could exacerbate the ADD which I struggled with for years until I learned to work with it instead of against it. The most recent "Me" is the one with the purple scarf, taken the morning of my 53rd birthday.
I recognize the young (18) girl by her eyes of course and her determination to have her voice heard in the world. Her message was "You can't make me and I'll do it myself." I was determined to control my destiny which I did in a dysfunctional haze of my chosen primary foods of drugs, alcohol and sex. It was the late 70's; the era of wanton free love and all of the abuses that came with it were part of my playground. Finally after much family support and therapy, I was able to create for myself a healthy relationship with the fabulous man who has been my husband for thirty years. At that time I began what has become a life long and passionate devotion to womens studies and traditions , sex and sensuality. I figured (quite practically I think!) that all of that experience should turn into something. As I dove further into my studies with Integrative Nutrition my true purpose for doing the program suddenly clicked. I knew in an instant that I wanted to help guide other women through that maze.
One day during one of the lectures about sexism and eating disorders, I was listening to a young absolutely gorgeous plus size model speak to the experience of being a large woman (size 12!) and her struggles to become a size 2 within what was obviously a sensual, voluptuous body. I thought back over the years to my own struggles with food and body image, although never anorexic or bullemic I spent years trying to crash diet this very curvy body of mine into a size 8 when I'm really a natural 12 to 14. Once I tossed a bottle of Clairesse Golden Blonde hair dye onto my head in an attempt to keep my boyfriend at the time because he wanted me to be a blonde. I've used my sexuality to manipulate men and in turn fell into destructive patterns of self-loathing and addiction. I've been raped by my own bravado as well as a man that I should never have trusted. What I know is that I put myself in those positions. I'm not justifying what happened to me by some sort of strange "I'm karmically responsible" conversation. No always mean No. However what I will say is that I was way too stubborn and stupidly bold to know what I was doing to my soul and at the time I put myself in a seemingly endless round of compromising positions. Instead of nurturing my passions I exploited them in an almost bullemic attempt to control them. Binge and purge, Binge and purge over and over again, each new man or drug false proof that I was in charge of my life that was spiraling out of control.
It all ended when I found myself living with a man who was incredibly violent...the outward mirror manifestation of my shadowy side. The Native Americans have an old saying that of two wolves, the one that's fed is the one who lives. In short because somehow I knew that if I didn't I would die, I learned to eat well !
I learned to feed my burning passion for life by allowing myself to fall flat on my face but then get up again. Once I got up and looked around at the wreckage, I was able to see that there was another pathway open to me and that was by walking a path of personal integrity, accountability and most importantly allowing the space in your life to become your most authentic self. I love being a woman and all of the experiences that it has brought me, even the tougher ones.
Our first periods, losing our virginity, falling in love, marriage, pregnancies, menopause and the deaths of our own mothers bring us not just physical changes but deep soul rocking spiritual ones....We have a sacred wisdom that's just waiting to be tapped into and often we cover up our passions with layers of fat or addiction simply because there's no one around to talk to who won't judge or to show us the way through the maze to the unique and passionate life that is waiting for us.
Could one conversation change your life?
I've discovered that I love to work with women and having been to hell and back as part of our work together I'm thrilled to walk the path out with you again and again, guiding you and helping you choose to embrace the richness of the WHOLE world that's waiting for you.