Girl Warrior. You have the right to say yes and to say no. You always have a choice. Always. It’s critical that you understand the importance of this. Especially at those times when you hit the fork in the road and a decision must be made. If not your life, then your wellbeing could depend on it.
It’s your life, your body, and your mind. It is all sacredly yours to decide how what where when and why you will use it as a means of expression. Only you get to decide what happens to you. This point is a powerful pill. Take it in massive doses.
Do not let anyone tell you differently. Do not allow another to pressure, persuade or push you into anything you do not want to do. Do not be coerced into giving consent or granting permission. Do not surrender your esteemed self. Do not let anyone sweet-talk you into being untrue to the self-respecting warrior you are. Do not enable arm-twisting of any kind.
No matter what.
Do exercise your right to self-determination. Do grow all your spiritual muscles around this notion. Do expand your understanding of the things that matter most to you. Do figure out who belongs on your odyssey and who does not. Do draw your own line in the sand. Do take control of your life. Do manifest your own destiny. Do say yes to the life of your choosing.
Girl Warrior whether it’s yes or no, the choice belongs to you. Only you.
While I was sitting here drinking coffee
In the silent stillness and stifling solitude
Of my writing space
My mind drifted lazily
To when I was a young woman
And my two oldest kids were still my kids
The time of two cats in the yard
Where everything was loud and noisy
Gritty and grating at times.
I was obsessed
With cleaning up my messy life
Which was actually
A deliciously divine messy life
But I didn’t know it at the time.
Back then I believed
My messy life wasn’t good
And certainly not
It didn’t fit
Into the glossy pages
Of a coffee-table magazine
I would never ever be
Wife or mother of the year
But oh how I longed
For that impossible
It’s laughable now
That this messiness was a problem
This glorious domestic chaos
And magnificent uproarious thunder
Racket and tumult
This callow tender tackiness
Of everyday life
Was something to be fixed.
Girl Warrior. Don’t be a shrinking violet. Ever. No, not ever. Not for any reason. Not for any person. Not in any situation. Under no circumstances or conditions.
Do not make yourself small. Do not diminish, draw back or decrease in any way your presence on this planet. For it belongs to you as much as it does any other. You have a place here. A position to defend. A stand to take. A clear and resounding voice. Let it be heard. For it is utterly magnificent.
Don’t back away from the good fight. Don’t abandon your convictions. Or betray your beliefs, ideologies or principles. Don’t let fear or any other false fabrication of your imagination prevent you from being the big girl that you are. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are too big for your britches. That’s impossible. Stay vigilant and ignore ludicrous comments designed to keep you in your place. Or worse yet, keep you down.
You have big things to do Girl Warrior. Brilliant things. Bright things beyond your wildest dreams. But doing these things will require you to step out boldly and bravely into every arena as the formidable force that you are.
So put on your big gutsy pants Girl Warrior and show the world what it looks like to be too damn big for your britches.
Girl Warrior. Surrender all. Let go of all the junk that litters your beautiful life. This includes everything. Externally and internally. Release all the things that break your heart, your mind and ultimately, your precious soul.
Change what you can. Clean house when you. Chuck out all the clutter wherever you can. Clear away as much of the chaos and confusion that is causing you stress and suffering, anguish and agony, distress and disease. Do all that is necessary to rid yourself of negativity. Say farewell to the three isms – cynicism, criticism and pessimism – in yourself, in others, in situations, and in circumstances.
Put on your fiercest boots and kick away. Stomp hard and stomp fast. Do what you have to, to set yourself free from these physical, emotional and spiritual crushers. But be warned Girl Warrior, this may also mean you have to say goodbye to some people, places, things and thinking. Yes, thinking. And this may not be easy. Loosening the grip, uncurling the fist, severing the tie is grueling work. But it is also gratifying.
Girl Warrior, now stand up and take a long hard look at your world, the one you have created. Is it as good as you can make it, at least for today? Have you done all you can? Given it your best shot? Tried the hardest you possibly could? If the answer is yes, then drop to your knees. Kiss the ground. Exhale fully and let it all go.
Then slip into sweet sweet surrender.
Girl Warrior. Don’t take offense. This may be one of your greatest challenges. One you’ll not only need to work on every day but possibly every minute of every day. For being offended, insulted or indignant by another’s words or deeds happens so easily. Sticks and stones may break the bones. But words can hurt. Sting. Smart. Sadden.
Thoughtless, unkind, reckless, or flippant words are often the most harmful to our psyche, to our spirit, to our soul; but only if we allow or give them permission to do so. Therein lies our power. Therein lies our potency. Therein lies our potential. We are at the controls here. This is our command central. How we feel. How we think. How we react. And most importantly, how we act after receiving such a blow is everything. This is the “big tell.” This is the pivotal moment when more is revealed about our character than that of the offender.
Our egos are bruised. Our hearts are broken. Our feelings are hurt. Our spirits deflated.
But they needn’t be. Know this Girl Warrior, you have the power to A) neutralize your emotions and B) control your response. Both are critical and integral here. You don’t have to be upset, insulted, angry or wounded. You are not a victim. In fact you are just the opposite. What others say to you, or about you, is actually none of your business. Not your concern. It has no bearing on who you are. It’s their stuff. Not yours. Others will say or do what they will, often without even realizing the impact or the consequences. And so will you. So will you. That’s the hard pill to swallow. We are all guilty.
But you can fix this Girl Warrior. It is your job, your mission, to get at the truth and own it. Examine the intention of the offense. Malicious or not, forgive everyone including yourself, so healing can begin. For that is how you get over being offended.
I found this note taped to a bank of mailboxes.
They are part of the scenery on the country road that I walk every day.
This is how I do lunch.
Take what you need, it said.
So I did.
The next day I passed this same bank of mailboxes.
The note with the offer to ‘take what you need’ was gone.
Maybe it was just a one-day thing.
Like a sale at Walmart.
For a second I was saddened by its sudden disappearance.
Then I smiled to myself and moved on.
Because I still have what I took.
Girl Warrior. Take good care of your skin. You are never too young to begin a daily routine. This is the outer layer of your Earth Suit and it needs loving-kindness every bit as much as your heart and mind and spirit, your muscles and bones, your blood and sinew. It’s what you present to the world initially and it always makes a first impression whether you like it or not. But the beautiful thing is you have the power to make this perception good if you choose to.
This isn’t about looks or appearances – although if you do look after your epidermis you will definitely reap the benefits – it’s about health and wellbeing. It has absolutely nothing to do with vanity. Your skin is the largest organ and it has the very big job of protecting your inner being. Every second that you walk this good earth it is doing exactly what it needs to do to preserve, maintain and sustain you Girl Warrior. But it does need you to do your part.
It’s pretty simple really. You didn’t get this far without knowing the drill. The secret to achieving a Cleopatra-like complexion isn’t that complicated. There’s no mystery here. It’s all about habits. Good ones. Daily ones. Circadian ones. It’s about mindfulness and awareness, practice and routine.
And it’s about knowing and abiding by these basic rules.
Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize. Start your day with a clean palette and smear on your favorite face cream and body lotion. Don’t step out the door without protection. Take off all your makeup at the end of the day. No matter what. No exceptions to this rule. Then moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize. And remember, while you’re in the Land of Nod your skin is exercising its super healing powers. So remove the residue and remnants of the day and get your beauty sleep.
Be good to your skin Girl Warrior. It needs to last a lifetime.
Girl Warrior. Listen up. Listen attentively and actively when someone is speaking to you. Listen empathically. Sympathetically. Conscientiously. Listen with your ears. Listen with your eyes. Listen with your heart. Engage all your senses. And your extra senses also.
Give all your attention to the one doing the talking. Whether they have come to pour their heart out and confide in you. Or pour you a cup of tea and all that is required is some comfortable conversation with a cookie.
Focus on the one across from you. Do not allow yourself to become distracted, diverted or drawn away. Don’t let anything trump or eclipse this moment between you. Turn off your cell phone. Close your tablet. Shut down your laptop. Turn off the TV. And tune in.
Then lean in. Look hard into their eyes. Let them know they matter. What they have to say matters. Their thoughts and feelings and fears and hopes and dreams count for something. This is important stuff Girl Warrior. Respect, regard and reverence are composed and crafted here in these everyday exchanges. These ordinary little tête-à-têtes that happen so often we take them for granted. These soulful heart-to-hearts that we assume will always be. But the truth is, they won’t. So don’t squander even one single solitary conversation by not being fully present.
Girl Warrior let the one across from you know that you have not only shown up, but you are fully engaged. And listening.
Girl Warrior. Resist the urge to judge. Criticize. Condemn. Crucify. Cast aspersions or make snap decisions about the words or deeds of others. Not everything is as it appears on the surface. Nor at first blush. Outward appearances are often deceiving.
We all have a backstory that affects the present-day things that we do or think or say. And some backstories aren’t so rosy. Glowing halos do not hover above everyone’s head. For some, the crown of light has been dimmed or extinguished completely. And there is no glory. The reasons for this loss of luminosity matters not.
What matters Girl Warrior, is that you take a step back. And ditch any self-righteous attitude. Holier-than-thou posturing. False feelings of moral superiority. Shake loose the sanctimonious, smug and self-satisfied belief that you are better than the girl next to you, the one down the road, or across the world. Instead take a walk in another’s earth-worn shoes. You may find their pain unbearable. Enduring one single step impossible, much less going a mile.
For this, and only this, will allow you the grace to see things from a different perspective. To hear the true meaning in the silence between the words. To fully understand that there is usually more to the story.
And always remember this, kind and loving Girl Warrior, judgment is a door that swings both ways.
The view from the lens of love is breathtaking.
Write the stories
you like to read.
Make the music
you like to listen to.
Paint what you see
with your heart not your eyes.
Take pictures of the things
that delight you.
Weave magic and wonder
into your life.
Love passionately all things creative