Saturday, December 28, 2013

Because Being A Goddess Is Not About Being Perfect . . .

Have you ever read Greek mythology?  Athena, Artemis and Aphrodite were just some of the goddesses. They were incredibly powerful, beautiful and often petty and mistake prone.  They were still goddesses.

I have long believed that being a woman means you have the potential to be a force of nature. You are beautiful. You are strong in ways that most men do not even understand. You are a goddess in training.

Embrace your inner goddess.   You don't need to spend so much time focusing on your flaws.  Learn to focus on what is good about you. Maybe you have great eyes or beautiful legs. Maybe you have a great memory for trivia or movie quotes.  If you can not list at least three good things about yourself right off the top of your head, then I have some homework for you.

Sit down with a piece of paper and a pen--old school I know but it helps stir your creative juices--and write down 10 wonderful things about yourself.  I do not care what they are but you do not get to leave your chair until you do it.

Learn to appreciate yourself as you would a friend. Embrace your inner beauty as well as your outer and we will have you wearing that toga in no time.

"Things Every Goddess Should Know" is now available as an ebook on The paperback version will be out on January 7th for those who prefer the feel of an actual book in their hands.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

It's Christmas Time

It's Christmas time. A holiday that has the distinction of being both a religious festival and a secular one.   For many people, it is about celebrating the birth of Jesus. For many, it is about seeing family and friends.  For others, it is a stressful time full of demands and loneliness.   I hope for you, whomever you are, it is a time of peace and relaxation.   I wish you a Merry Christmas. A children laughing, people singing, families hugging Christmas.

If Christmas this year is not all you are hoping, do not despair.  Try to find something good about the day.  Focus on feeling happy and relaxed; on enjoying what you can.  Try to ignore if your mother complains about the meal or if your uncle gets drunk again.   Give yourself permission to walk away for a minute and take a deep breath if you need to keep your cool. Do your best to just silently roll your eyes and let it all roll right off your back.  Mentally shake it off like a dog shaking off water.

Feel free to sit down and have a hot drink (or a cool one) and spend time with family and friends and let the dishes sit until later.  You don't have to spend all of your time in the kitchen (but if your family is driving you crazy, feel free to escape to there).  

If you have no one to buy you a present, buy yourself one. If money is tight, make one or give yourself the gift of a few quiet hours by yourself. You deserve to be happy and peaceful.

Merry Christmas and Blessings on you in the coming year.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Desiderata

The Desiderata is a poem by Max Ehrmann that is believed to have come out in the 1920s. Desiderata means "things that are desired".  It is a list of life lessons condensed into one place.  I have a small version of it on my desk at work. I leave it out where the customers can see it while they wait.   I have a larger one at home.   I find something beautiful in it every time I look.   If you have not already read it, I think every one should. 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dealing With Inappropriate Touching

Some people have no boundaries. Others are just trying to push those boundaries. The result is often the same. You end up with some one's hand somewhere you do not want it to be; somewhere that makes you uncomfortable.

This is a common problem for pregnant women. Strangers come up and put their hands on the baby bump oohing and ahhing over how wonderful it is. It becomes as though any baby is public property; even before they leave your womb.

Where you are and what the circumstances are do have a lot to do with how you can or should react.  First, you do not have to put up with any one putting their hands on you.  If possible, you can simply step back.  You could smile politely and say, "I am sorry. Have we met?". Should that not work, give them a dirty look or a regal one down your nose and say something along the lines of "I have not given you permission to touch me" or "Would you like it if a complete stranger walked up and started rubbing your belly?"

People also experience this in clubs. Let me paint a scenario for you. You are a young woman hanging out at the club and a man comes up and cozies up against you and puts his hand on your hip or butt. Maybe you are completely against this. Maybe you find the guy interesting but are not comfortable with that level of intimacy yet.

If you are interested but just not quite to that level, you can pick up his hand and hold it in your own.  This indicates that he should not put his hand there but it also says that you are interested.  You should smile as you do this.

If you are not interested, simply remove his hand with a pointed look or step back away from it.

Always try the quiet option first. This lets you avoid escalating things but if that does not work, I would feel free to glare and demand that they release you.  You are not required to allow anyone to touch you no matter how innocuous it seems.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How To Build A Fire--Things Every Goddess Should Know

Building a fire is one of those life experiences that you generally get to pick. You can choose to go camping. You can choose to have a fireplace.  It is also one of those things that can come in handy when you least expect it.  There have been a lot of bad storms these past few years--hurricanes, snow storms, tornadoes. You may find yourself without power and needing to start a fire to keep warm or cook food. You may never find yourself in this position but a little knowledge is not a bad thing.

So here it is, the Things Every Goddess Should Know guide to making a fire that will catch and burn.

 First, you will need some kindling, some paper you can burn, some logs and either a match or a lighter. I like the long necked lighter that you just pull the little trigger. You want to make sure the wood is not wet. Wet wood smokes more than it burns and will not make much flame or heat.

Crunch some paper into a few small balls--about four should do it. Arrange the paper on the bottom of the fireplace. Put a little pile of kindling on top of this pile of paper. (Kindling is just a fancy way of saying you want a lot of twigs or tiny branches.)  Now take two or three logs. Arrange the logs so they are leaning against each other forming a little triangle or tepee over the kindling.  You want to make sure there is room for air to flow freely around the logs. Next make sure your vent is fully open. You will need the circulating air to get the fire going.

Light the paper and wait for it to catch the kindling.  The paper will light quickly. The kindling a little more slowly. The kindling will then help the logs to catch. Once the logs catch, you will start to see a decent sized fire.  Give it a little time for the fire to heat up before closing the flue.  If you close the vent and the fire starts to go right out, open it back up some and wait a few more minutes. You will get a sense of how long this takes for your fireplace once you have done it a few times. Once the fire is hot enough, you can close the vent all the way.  You will need to add another log about every hour or so to keep the fire going.

If you want, you can just let the fire burn out in the fireplace. If you want to try to save the coals to start another fire later, you will want to do something called banking the fire.

Wait until the fire has burned down to a layer of hot pieces of wood that look like coal burning. Push it together and cover it with a thick layer of ash. Keep the vent closed. In the morning, you can push the ash gently aside and you should find some coals still burning. Add some logs, open the vent and it should flare up. If necessary, throw a little more paper in there.  And voila, fire.