Mean Girls

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Let’s talk about judgments.

Women are known for being judgmental. In fact women are known for being ruthless. It’s sad really, that women attack each other. Not just women, girls do it, too. Middle school was ridiculous, girls would steal boyfriends, back stab, gossip, play tricks, start rumors… you name it. The funny thing is that I was never warned about females. I was warned about boys. In fact, I was protected from boys. I was not allowed to date, and my time with the opposite sex was limited extremely. Meanwhile, I was coming home from elementary school in tears every few days because this little girl was mean to me. By middle school I was on a first name basis with our school councilor. (Not to mention, I was seeing my own therapist weekly.) They called it mediation. Left to our own devices, I imagine “Lord of the Flies” would have become a reality in our middle school.

Someone told me once that when you boil female lobsters you do not need to put a lid on the pot.  But you MUST put a lid on a pot with male lobsters. Why? Male lobsters will make a ladder so that they can escape, they help each other, while female lobsters will down each other. I have never boiled lobsters, but it sounds about right!

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It’s sad to see they way women attack each other. I have been totally guilty of this, and have made a conscious effort to stop. Women should build each other up, we should be able to trust each other, and be a team. We all know we can’t. We all know that once we get to a certain place, the women around us will feel threatened, and suddenly you have an enemy. You may not even know you are enemies. That’s the thing about women, we act like we love each other to pieces, and then ┬átalk shit behind each other’s backs.

How do we stop this when we cannot ever trust each other? That’s what stops me. I would like to say I always give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Generally upon meeting someone I will give them a chance, but if I have heard about you… well… I keep that in the back of my mind. There is a girl code, and if you’re my best friend’s enemy, I am expected to hate you. It’s unfair, and ridiculous, really. One of my closest friend’s is actually someone that another friend had a falling out with, and had nothing nice to say about… It just goes to show, we never know about a person until we give them a chance!

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I saw a lot of this “female rivalry” during my wedding planning, you see I have this general rule, I don’t bring 2 or more groups of friends together. I have seen this backfire over and over again, usually because women just can’t handle it, hell, I can’t always handle it. I have had some pretty mortifying moments by mixing friends (and sometimes adding alcohol). You know those moments you just wish NEVER happened, and it’s much more comfortable to pretend it didn’t? Like the time I got mad at my ex for being mad at me… (Girl Math, if you’re new to my blog, “Girl Math” is a way that women rationalize a decision, like eating a carrot, doing sit ups, or taking a laxative to counteract that piece of chocolate, so, I admit, it tends to be pointless, and sometimes harmful (in the case of the laxative) but women are the queens of rationalizing… I’m sorry we are the kings, men just can’t rationalize the way we do, or maybe they can, but they certainly cannot articulate it fast enough.) after having most of a bottle of Moscato (you know this was ages ago since I was drinking Moscato!) at a party, and I ran off down the street, got lost and ended up in tears, and my tears I mean I was sobbing uncontrollably and my friends had to search for me because I didn’t know where I was. (Yeah that happened, and I try to forget, but for the sake of my story, I am reliving it.) Well this was a result of “friend mixing”, and too much alcohol. I would like to say this was the last time I mixed friends, it wasn’t, but I’m not telling you what happened the next time, however, it’s safe to say that I learned my lesson. And then I got engaged. It was an awkward position for me, knowing that my friends and family, and James’ friends and family now had to in the very least spend one day together, and trust me, I tried for the minimum. I did not know what to expect, but it’s these occasions where you just hope that everyone will behave themselves for… well in this case for me. Last year my ex and I were both invited to a wedding, we both attended, I went with my fiance (at the time) and we were polite, we didn’t sit together, (no need to make things uncomfortable) but we both had a great time. Are we friends, no, but we chose to be bigger people for our friends. So I really was hoping the same thing could happen for my wedding. I have to admit that a lot of things could have gone wrong, but didn’t. There was still a lot of awkwardness, and only one uninvited guest ( a great story for another time, perhaps). But my bridesmaids did not all like each other, they still behaved, banded together, and sucked it p to make my day special. I know it was hard for some of them, and I am well aware that most of them were very thankful that I had a falling out with the one girl that was close to me, but treated them all like crap, maybe it was the fact that she wasn’t there that they all proved themselves. I would never undermine the willpower of a woman who is proving she is better than her best friend’s (ex) best friend. In fact a lot of them don’t like each other, but they still behaved. Why does it have to take a special occasion for everyone to be on their best behavior? I have heard, and been a part of gossiping and shit talking, and it’s not OK, I have made a conscious effort to stop being petty. It does no good… Ok at the time, when you’re pissed, it seems like it’s a great idea, and you might even feel better, not better than you did, better than her. But that just makes us bullies and mean girls. Not to be biblical, but how would YOU feel. Maybe you wouldn’t care, and if you don’t, maybe you are just more mature than the rest of us, maybe you’re Madonna who said, ” It’s none of my business what people say about me.” I have to admit it’s true… Usually hearing what others think of you is painful. Maybe we can work on ourselves, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This is easier said than done… I know, but neither is eating clean, but it’s so worth it to have more energy and love your body! I am making an effort to cleanse my soul, no more shit talking, bad mouthing or gossiping. I’m going to do yoga, and meditate, no more festering and dwelling on negativity. I want to be a better person. Life is too short to be a petty bitch.

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The God Thing

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For such a small person, I seem to have an overload of “issues”. I am so tired of caring so much! I am in a constant struggle to find the middle ground, but my ego is fighting for black or white. I have always been neutral about religion, it doesn’t sound like it sometimes, but in reality, believe what you want. Who am I to say what is what? No, personally I do not believe in the Christian god, but I have friends and family who do. I love and respect them, and am thankful for their hearts, and convictions. Besides certain literal inconsistencies, my real aversion to Christianity is people. I grew up saturated in hypocrisy. Not everyone involved was as harmful, but for a child to grow up in such a huge group of liars, you can imagine my discomfort with Christians. It was embedded in my brain for my entire childhood, 2 years old to 16 years old, that this “church” was the ONE AND ONLY way to God. A god I had no real concept of. God is a very difficult concept if you think about it. Actually for some, it is a very simple concept… God is a security blanket, a reason for everything. Humans are constantly wondering “Why?” and if the answer is “God.”… there is no further reason to search. For some reason The God Thing never fit right. I know people who are so comforted by the thought of God, but here I am, here I have always been, feeling uncomfortable, confused and alone. I know all of the arguments, I studied The Bible, I went to church, I was even baptized, which is shocking, I’m sure to those of you who know me (I can even walk into a church without bursting into flames!).

So, if my question is “Why?” and the answer is “God.”, then my real question is “HOW?”

I think I know what God is. And the answer is simple, the journey to achieving “God”… not so simple.

God is inner peace.

You might hate that I over simplified the master of the universe, and there is no need to get offended. I’m not saying you’re wrong. In fact, I’m saying you’re right! If you’re thoughts on your god comfort you, if you are able to give your problems to your god, if you are able to “let go and let God”, then your god is inner peace. I know religion tells us there is ONE GOD and ONE WAY and ONE CHURCH, and there are rules and guidelines. In that case, what I’m saying can’t possibly be true, right? OK, well, I want you to know that you are probably right. Which one of you? Which religion? Which god? I don’t know, but someone has to be right, right?

Or we can just say the truth, we don’t know, which is true, and we may never know. But for the sake of my health, I’m going with inner peace. I’ve tried the traditional god, and then I gave up. I gave up on all of it, I spent years being lost, angry and lonely. I’m ready to find Peace now.

For as long as I can remember I have been attracted to yoga. I love breathing through the discomfort, and stretching every muscle. I love that you have to focus on breathing only, (even though I have horrible balance and have to sometimes focus on balancing). I love how quiet and peaceful yoga is. Lately I have found a lot of comfort in yoga, and thanks to beginning to read Eat Pray Love, I have been inspired to learn more about it, which, honestly is what sent me on this mission to find Peace.

The first interesting thing about yoga is that yogis use/used it to help them meditate. When you meditate, you are supposed to sit still and focus on nothing, clear your mind… this is not an easy task, I have tried and failed many times. However if you are sitting for hours in one position your back is bound to get sore, and it’s hard to clear your mind when you are in pain. So, if you practice yoga, you strengthen your muscles, and massage them, you stretch them out, and you feel great. Then you can sit for a few hours in one position and focus on nothing. And by nothing I mean God and by God I mean Peace.

This is where prayer comes in. I have a serious unnatural fear of prayer. I mean I am flat out distrubed by prayer. I feel anxious simply thinking about praying. My heart is racing right now as I type because prayer freaks me out! You’d think I’m writing about spiders! The funny thing is that I believe in the power of prayer. I have read studies and witnessed miraculous recoveries, I believe in prayer, but I cannot bring myself to do it. For a log time my reason was that I don’t believe in god. Obviously I was not about to pray to something that I don’t believe exists. So that should really be the end of my prayer debacle.It’s not… because prayer works. I believe prayer works because people put so much positive energy into the universe, and energy is powerful, even more powerful with solid faith behind it. So many people pray, to so many different things, and everyone seems to think that whoever/whatever they are praying to is “the one” because they all seem to work. This makes me think that everyone is praying to the same “thing”.

But why can’t I pray???

It must be my ego, my shattered ego that can’t stand the thought of being burned by faith again. There was one other time in my life that my ego wouldn’t allow me to do something… My ego would not let me fall in love. For years I would not let go, I would not let my walls be broken, or even cracked. I kept my relationships on the surface. I could not be intimate, or honest. My ego was protecting my heart because we had been shattered to pieces , and the healing process took years. I had been so naive, and I paid the price. I guess The God Thing is similar, I was just as heart broken by my church as I was by a boy. I learned my lesson. I am so glad that I found my fiance, and that I finally did break down my walls with him. But it was scary, and a long process. It was humbling. My ego didn’t like it. So it makes sense that my ego is fighting longer and harder for my faith.

I want to pray to the universe, I want to feel a connection to the world, I want to put my faith out there, and believe in affirmations. I want to let go! To let go of negativity, to stop fighting the world, to stop fighting myself. These things are scary for me, it’s scary to type, it’s scary to say. I know I should ask the universe for inner peace… but I can’t yet. For some reason I’m not there. I’m scared of the answer.

OH PS: We got married in August 2013!

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The way it was, and the way it is now

A couple years ago I lived on fast food, I refused to go to the grocery store and I hated cooking. I also smoked a pack a day. I am ashamed to admit that while I was pregnant my food group consisted of Taco Bell, Del Taco, and Carl’s Jr. I quit smoking the week I found out I was pregnant (more because I was too nauseated to even think of a cigarette) but I had every intention of smoking the minute I left the hospital. I had no intention of breast feeding, either. Thinking back, I was so self destructive. No wonder I was depressed!

It was not until my daughter, Jo was born that I began making healthier choices, I think at that point my baby was real, up until then it was just this parasite sucking the life out of me. I made the decision to breast feed, even though I had no milk (milk production is strongly influenced by your mindset, the more you look at, love and connect with your baby, the more milk you will produce. And I think since my mindset was so far from parenting my breasts had no idea that they had a job to do.) Luckily after weeks of pain and sleepless nights, she finally latched. That experience is the one I look back at and think, wow, something was finally bigger than me. I had been so self centered my entire life, and this little person changed everything.

When Jo was about 14 months old I gave up fast food. I started going to the grocery store and slowly making healthier and healthier choices. By 19 months I had not spent a night away from her. I literally had no life, and that is when I started getting restless. Coincidentally this is when I weaned her, I’m sure that had a lot to do with the sudden loneliness that took me over. This is when I had to throw myself into another project, Project Me. I am still perfecting it.

The biggest change I made was cutting out meat. I am a pescatarian, I started out as one, actually, but if I have learned anything about healthy habits I know that they evolve. And my diet has continued to get cleaner and cleaner. A pescatarian does eat fish and sea food, but no other meat, no cow, pig, bird etc. And I do still eat eggs (Cage free!). Why did I give up meat? At first because I noticed that I made healthier choices when meat was not involved. Because, let’s face it, I may have given up fast food, but the temptation for a jalapeno burger and fries from Carl’s Jr was still there. You can easily gain weight when you make a change like I did if you do not add guidelines. Example: If you stop eating meat and switch to cheese pizza from Toppers instead of pepperoni… That is not any healthier, so if you make a change, be sure to incorporate it further than simply, I’m not eating that food anymore, commit to making your meals healthier.

Like I said, at first I gave up meat to encourage better choices. That is when I began watching documentaries. Food Inc. and Food Matters and more recently Hungry For Change. Now i have moral issues with eating meat. However, my kids do eat meat (grass fed, cage free, free range, no hormones added yadayadayada). And they don’t eat meat often. I still give them meat because I want them to make their own choices when they are old enough, for now I feel that it would be unfair to force a meatless diet on them because then they will never be able to choose for themselves, and unlike religion, if I took meat away now, their bodies would never be able to process meat. After research I found that green veggies are full of protein, calcium, fiber, vitamin c, folic acid… The list goes on. So I limit meat, and cut out dairy. The trick is getting kiddos to eat green food!

It has taken years, and I’m sure more changes will come, I can see my diet shifting slightly every few months, maybe I will switch to a plant based diet, for now, I focus on buying fresh fruits and veggies, and avoiding packaged foods. I work out 5 days a week, usually I run 2-3 miles and I do yoga or Pilates to work my core. Personally, I need my workout time because it is the only real “Me Time”. I encourage you to find some YOU time. While nourishing your body, and your children will go a long way, giving yourself that gift of time allotted just for you, doing something you want to do, especially if it is a physical activity will make the biggest difference!!

*I mention religion because it is another moral decision, and while I won’t choose their faith, they will always have a chance to make that choice
**I understand, however that MANY parents take meat out of the house, and I support that choice!! I also support families who do eat meat, I just ask that you know where your food is coming from
***I was inspired to write about my diet after reading my friends blog (http://rachaeljordanpages.blogspot.com/2012/07/child-autonomy-im-vegan-but-my-toddler.html?spref=fb) You should check her out, especially if you are vegan!

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