Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mojo Monday ~ My Body Is Magic

“I like my body because it’s magic.” - 5-year-old Sofia (aka Lola)
Interrupt Magazine published an article that caught my attention.  Writer Marie C. begins by sharing a startling statistic.  "By the age of 13, 53 percent of girls say they are unhappy with their bodies. When were they happy?"

In order to find out, Marie C. photographed and interviewed girls between the ages of four and eight and asked them what they liked about their bodies. These girls share wisdom the rest of us have forgotten.

Sharing this article was already on my agenda for Mojo Monday.  Yet I took note last Saturday during a water aerobics class how many women were making critical remarks about their bodies.  Comments were made now and again that reflected how many of the women wished they looked different.  A part of me wanted to address the whole group and ask "How many women here like their bodies?" I had a strong intuitive sense that most of the women would not have responded positively.   

Consider the wisdom in the answers of these other young girls when they were asked what they liked about their bodies.

“I like my body. I like my eyes because they help me see different things. I also like my hands because they help me write different things. I also like my feet because they help me walk and have fun. My name is Jeniah and I’m 8-years-old!” - 8-year-old Jeniah

 “My whole body I love I love.” – 4-year-old Layla

“Something I like about my body is how fast I can run,
and how healthy I am.”
 – 9-year-old Lana

“I like that I can move with it. I like that eyelashes are long. I like that my skin is half white and half brown. I like that my hair can shake.” – 6-year-old Bayan

“I like my hands they help draw.” –  6-year-old Laila

“My body is magic because...
...of my bright green eyes that are soulful and shine.
...of my ability to float, glide and swim in the water like an otter.
...of my big smile that is warm and toothy.
...of my hands that can transform my creative thoughts into art and written words.
...of my strong legs and big traveling feel that support me well.
...of my arms that give comfort, bug hugs and serve a volleyball fast and hard. provides me with the tools to live and love this life."
 –  44-year-old Michelle Ida Fairchild

Now it is your turn.  
List some things that you love about your body.  
How is your body magic?
Take a self portrait.
The photo(s) can be your whole body
or of parts you particularly love.  

Lastly, be sure to embrace yourself as your own beloved.

Come learn more about A Beautiful Body Project
and watch this video for a very inspiring experience.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mojo Monday ~ Banging On the Doldrums

Banging On the Doldrums by Michelle Fairchild

It began as a word nerd alert. In an exchange with a friend the word "doldrums" was used. I found myself curious about where the word doldrums originated. So I looked it up. Then I found myself getting an image of a colorful art journal page with drums and the saying Banging on the Doldrums. That is how creativity can shift things. Just picturing that image was very amusing to me. 

Two days later I created this journal page.  She is indeed Banging On the Doldrums and the note below reads She was reminded of how creativity can shift things.

The topic of creativity has been much on my mind too, as I was working on my August article for Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine on that very topic.  My focus was on how creativity is a healing force and how it is an expression of our very souls and spirits.  

Is there something that is troubling you?  Is there something that inspires you right now?  In either direction one can use creativity to wonder and contemplate more deeply a subject.  Try drawing an image while thinking about a certain situation.  It can be random doodles or an image of the thing that you are thinking about.  Transforming thoughts and feelings into images can be very powerful and transformative.  Give it a try and see what happens.  

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mojo Monday ~ Express Yourself

Jack Kornfield, Buddhist author and teacher once wrote “I’ve been told the story of a six-year-old girl who asked her mother where she was going one afternoon.  The mother replies that she was headed for the university to teach her students how to draw and paint. ‘You mean they’ve forgotten?’ her daughter asked, amazed.  Many of us have forgotten how to give voice to our creativity.  And yet it is said that play —- our ability to let go, dance, sing, create — is one of the most wondrous expressions of our aliveness.”

Excerpts from the book by Nina Wise called A Big New Free Happy Unusual Life: Self Expression and Spiritual Practice for Those Who Have Time for Neither.

“Everyone is creative.  Creativity is our very nature.  But for many of us, the creative impulse has gone into hiding, ‘I can’t draw, I can’t sing, I can’t dance,’ we confess to each other, and we plant ourselves in front of the television for the evening. But the creative impulse that is at the core of all being remains robust within us.”

“Creativity is about having the courage to invent our lives – to concoct lovemaking games, cook up a new recipe, paint a kitchen cabinet, build sculptures on the beach and sing in the shower. Creativity is about our capacity to experience the core of our being and the full range of our humanness.  The question of how to become more creative is not about learning anything or even doing anything, but about allowing whatever arises to gain expression.  To do this, we must bypass the voice inside of us that says stop.  The censoring mind is clever and has an entire litany of reasons we must refrain from expressing ourselves: you are a bad dancer so sit back and watch while the skillful ones dance.  And you certainly can’t paint so don’t even try because you will embarrass yourself. You sing off-key and you can’t hold a rhythm – you will disturb everyone within earshot if you open your mouth.  And if you happen to disregard this sage advice, you will make a total fool of yourself and no one will ever love you or give you a job.  We obey this voice as if being guided by inner wisdom, but when we tune in, we hear a quieter voice calling out to us to express ourselves freely.  This is the voice that can liberate us.  If we listen and respond, our lives become rich with the pleasure creative freedom provides.”

“It is our nature to be free and it is our nature to express that freedom, spontaneously and without hesitation, through song, and dance, and painting, and poetry and prayer.  In the same way that the universe gives birth to uncountable shapes, forms, colors and beings in a grand panoply of flowing, changing manifestation, we too, are of the nature to give birth to myriad forms of expression.”

What are your thoughts regarding the excerpts from Nina Wise's book?

Has someone you know ever stated I am not creative?  Did you respond?

Have you ever felt that you weren't very creative?

This week if you hear that voice that says "stop" when you think about painting, dancing, writing or inventing a new recipe put your fingers in your ears and go "la la la la la" until you can't hear it anymore and then proceed with wild abandon to create without judgement, to create just for the sake of creating. Liberate yourself! Set aside time to just play and let go.  See what happens when you give yourself permission to just create without a specific purpose in mind.  

What do you gravitate to first  - paints, crayons, scissors and glue?

As Greg Anderson so brilliantly put it
"Focus on the journey, not the destination. 
Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it."

Nina Wise is known for her provocative and original performance works. Her pieces have garnered seven Bay Area Critics' Circle Awards, and she has received, among other prestigious honors, three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. Her written pieces have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Nina lives in San RafaelCalifornia.

Jack Kornfield is one of the leading Buddhist teachers in America. A practitioner for over 40 years, he is one of the key teachers to introduce mindfulness and vipassana meditation to the West. His approach emphasizes compassion, lovingkindness and the profound path of mindful presence, all offered in simple, accessible ways in his books, CD’s, classes and retreats.