Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mojo Monday ~ A Beautiful Body Project

A Movement Of Women Rising Up 
To Transform Body Image 
In Mass Media Through 
Untouched Photographs, 
Essays, Audio, And Video! 

A Beautiful Body Project is an upcoming series of book volumes & an online media platform dedicated to women & body image, dedicated to sharing stories about motherhood, aging, cancer, still-births, miscarriages, weigh-gain, weight-loss, dysmorphia, and beyond. 
Lulani #1
It all began when photographer and dancer Jade Beall posted this photo above of a friend of hers that she took in her studio Tucson, AZ.   She had already posted photos of her post-birth body to show the world what she was going through after her son Sequoia came into this world. And through all of this she realized that there were hundreds and thousands of women who also wanted to share their life stories about their bodies! The emails started flooding in and she realized she had to build this project, that it was her calling. 

A Beautiful Body project is movement of women coming together to tell their stories and celebrate their ever-changing bodies so that future generations of women can live free from self-suffering.

Portrait of Jade Beall with son Sequoia.
A few weeks back in a Mojo Monday post called My Body Is Magic I mentioned this project and shared a video about it.  This week I found myself inspired yet again by Jade Beall and her co-creator and husband Alok Appadurai with two poems they shared on Facebook and on the web site for the project.  

Here is the first poem by Jade that will also be featured in my upcoming Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine article entitled The Embodiment of I AM in September.

You can wear makeup
or nothing at all
You can wear heels
or walk barefoot
You can drive a BMW
or take the bus to the store
You can have plastic surgery
or leave your body alone
It all means the same to me:
We are all variations of truthful beauty
I honor you as you choose to be
while I pray for freedom from unnecessary suffering
and I pray for the wisdom of listening to one’s truth
Our paths are unique while uniting as one
One Love!
And there is an urgency for compassion for one another
that begs us to
and listen
and treasure
those around us
While we live our lives
As authentically as the DNA that is being danced
by the beat of our one heart.

Here is the fierce and inspiring poem by Alok Appadurai.

Industries are born on the backs of Women hating themselves. 
It's an emotional slavery that milks these women, dollar by dollar, 
Like chained dairy cows, Oozing vicious droplets of self-hate
That rot the roots of a woman's inner beauty... 
You see, executive bonuses don't swell when women feel naturally beautiful
Just as they are. 
You can't push lipstick, eye shadow, foundation, and blush 
Like crack cocaine or heroin, 
On a woman who sees her true worth, you dig? 

Millions are milked from the financial breasts of women 
Simply by convincing them 
A Grand Canyon exists between them and being beautiful.
Magazines and movies are complicit in this lie that warps all of our minds
into a silent submission prostrating to the Lords Of Media
Who enrich themselves on the suffering of a woman,
as she whips herself leaving emotional scars that don't have to last a lifetime
but all too often do. 

Diet pills, Spanx, and photoshop are foot soldiers in the war on women's self-esteem,
hell-bent on their own Crusade to convert unsuspecting teens, or worse, preteens,
into self-critical consumers of false hopes offered by surgeons, photographers, and others
who want to hide, reshape, retouch, or fix what actually isn't wrong with you. 

Millions are milked from the bank accounts of women who have been brainwashed to believe they aren't good enough. 
Industries thrive when she looks in the mirror and hates herself just a little more with each day, each wrinkle, each magazine consumed. 

Embodied self-esteem breaks the chains of dependence on products that merely momentarily massage our bandaged egos,
Cutting the umbilical chord of self-suffering that has been feeding their bodies and their brains
with toxic imagery of fake tits and other ideals that are nothing more than comparative trampolines:
Your mind soars on the amphetimes of a shopping spree
yet crashes when the superficial effects wear off. 

Ask yourself this:
Who would buy what is being sold if women actually believed they were beautiful for who they are,
not what they look like?
Industries would crumble. Bonuses would deflate.
Executives would scramble, Board rooms would be abuzz.
What would they do if women stopped buying the lie that they are flawed,  that they aren't enough?

And the best part of the corporate magic trick to maximize profits built on women hating themselves:
women do a bangup job making other women hate themselves too,
and have become the front line warriors destroying other women's fragile sense of self. 

You can blame everyone and their mother
or you can believe: It's time. 

It's time to close your eyes, ears, and wallets to the pimps of self-loathing
who want you hooked on their drugs that manufacture dysmorphia in your brain.
Self-esteem doesn't come in a bottle.  You were born beautiful.

There is only one way forward. Women rising up &
Empowering each other to leap into the unknown chasm
of life's greatest love affair with one's own self.
Alok_Professional_Cropped.jpg-Alok Appadurai is a writer, co-Founder of "A Beautiful Body Project" & "Fed By Threads", an advocate for animals & the environment, and a proud father to baby Sequoia.

Alok, Jade and Sequoia
Founder Jade Beall has been a photographer, a massage therapist, and an inspiring dance teacher for women for over a decade. Her work is touching thousands of lives around the world. 
More about Jade in her own words:
"A quiet yet profound love for photography took me by surprise my senior year of high school (1996, yeah, a while back) because of an incredible teacher at Tucson High, Mr. Halfmann.  Today, I gather inspiration from poets and local photographers alike, finally finding my true passion for what I call Medicinal Photography for Women a few years ago in 2009.  Medicinal Photography means to serve as an empowering tool to facilitate healing for women to feel beautiful and irreplaceable, just as they are, without need of digital alterations.
I have taught weekly dance classes for self-empowerment with live drumming for over a decade, I run a made in America sustainable clothing line that feeds Americans in need with my husband.  I in-joy listening to people and looking into their eyes and seeing THEM, the real, beautiful them.
Becoming a mother in February of 2012 brought forth this Beautiful Body Project.  Through this journey that motherhood in all her glory and raggedness has generously gifted me came a new-found desire to connect to other women on a much deeper and more meaningful level.  This inter-connectedness, this unity with other mothers and other women has been one of the most precious gifts of all (besides my gorgeous and perfect son, of course)."
Please visit and explore the web site for A Beautiful Body Project.
You will be inspired and moved by the stories and the images.
Do you feel inspired by this project?
Does it have any impact on how you view yourself?

What are your thoughts about accepting and loving your body ~ imperfections and all?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Wielding the Healing Wand

Today in Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine
is my latest article called 

“At the end of your brush is the tip of your soul.”
~ Andrew Hamilton
Some of my mission here on planet mama earth is to shine a light on extending love and grace to ourselves.  I don’t have a magic wand that can heal others or make people love themselves.  My wand can only work on me.  The good news is that I am quite confident that everyone has such a wand.
Photo by Michelle Fairchild
Magic Wand photo by Michelle Fairchild

To read more come visit Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mojo Monday ~ Plot Twists

It began with a dear friend posting this quote to the left on her Facebook wall on July 5th.

I responded:

LOL - This is part of what we call writing your Legendary Story. Plot twists in the real world can be a real pain, but when you look at it from a story perspective, oh this is when the story sometimes gets really good and juicy!  

She wrote:

Oh yeah! well I could use some boredom right about now LOL Plot twist, Plot twist, Plot twist!!!

I wrote:

You're funny!

Then I wrote: 

Tonight while reading the novel A Good American I come to this paragraph on page 353 that ended Chapter 40 - "My grandmother's life had been one long opera. There had been drama, heroes, villains, improbable plot twists, all that. But most of all there had been love, great big waves of it, crashing ceaselessly against the rocks of life, bearing us all back to grace." (Can you believe that!?! - how uncanny!)

Her response: 

synchronicity.. gotta love it!

Then on July 8th I read this in an astrological forecast by Heather Roan Robbins on Starcodes.

Thursday, July 11: If conflicts and friction arise early on; breathe through it and be safe. Tell good stories midday; when the plot twists, choose a good road. Afternoon is more efficient as the Moon enters mental Virgo, but instincts may work better than our minds; unknown factors can challenge our judgment as the Sun sesqui-squares Neptune. Watch out for detours, sloppy conditions, and defensive people; feel the good road underneath.

I began to get this nagging feeling that the Universe was telling me to "Pay attention, this is important!" and then laughing at blowing my mind with some good old synchronicity.

Several weeks have passed but I still felt inspired to write about Plot Twists for a Mojo Monday post.  I am curious and wondering what kind of plot twists others are experiencing out there?  How are you dealing with them?  Do you have a basket of goodies or a tool box, or belt if your more into packing them on your hip, that you can reach into when life throws you curve balls?  

Have you been experiencing more synchronistic moments?  What are your thoughts about synchronicity?  What is THAT about?  

Something to wonder about and ponder are the lyrics to the song Synchronicity by The Police:

Synchronicity I
With one breath, with one flow
You will know

A sleep trance, a dream dance
A shaped romance

A connecting principle
Linked to the invisible
Almost imperceptible
Something inexpressible
Science insusceptible
Logic so inflexible
Causally connectable
Yet nothing is invincible

If we share this nightmare
Then we can dream
Spiritus mundi

If you act as you think
The missing link

We know you, they know me

A star fall, a phone call
It joins all

It's so deep, it's so wide
You're inside

Effect without cause
Sub-atomic laws, scientific pause

You can also read more about how to handle things when life throws you curve balls in my article called The Compass of Love in Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine.