Sunday, January 21, 2007

exposure


there's been a request!
this one's dedicated to Ms. Hannah, all the way over there in surprisingly-sometimes-muddy Iraq.
i expose myself on here and talk about personal issues sometimes. i go back and forth about that, opening myself and my feelings and personal life to possibly folks i don't even know, and those friends who might read and possibly form judgments.. but in those times when i have the courage to do so, i think: a) it's my blog, and if for no one else, it's for me to share my process, and b) we are all human, and dealing with essentially the same stuff. by sharing my process, i'm helping others to feel ok about their shit, and maybe helping them realize theirs is manageable, and that maybe they're not alone. and i think it can be a compelling story sometimes. lately i feel as if i have gotten "burned" by exposing myself, and having expectations about feedback that was not forthcoming. expectations = no good. i ran back to my little hermit-hole (very well worn, and very cozy) and let myself be shadowed as the world went about their business. in the past few days i have had some reminders from some unexpected ~ and one expected ~ sources, namely, a couple of my Friends on tribe.net, and Dream, who is ever-inspirational. on my tribe page (for those of you who haven't been), i have posted quite a few quotes that inspire me greatly. it is my place to be as bright and shining as i can imagine. many people i haven't met in person have sent me enthusiastic messages of thanks and resonance upon visiting my page. that's really cool. :) the other day, a Friend wrote to me and titled the note "light-bearer", which refers to what i say my "Occupation" is in my profile, and i mean that very sincerely. and had forgotten. not being surrounded by the ever-constant invigorating glow of my Lucent family, i had forgotten my Occupation. i had sought to be anonymous and "trudge" through my "battles" silently without fanfare or attention. although i've not performed with them for OVER A YEAR now ( :-( ), i still am on the Lucent Dossier email list. Dream sent out a questionnaire for everyone to think about their goals for the group, their visions, and ideas, in the coming year. she answered the questionnaire herself, and here's what she had to say about "what makes Lucent 'special'?":

"... what becomes clear is that.... we are different because entertainment has always been about wearing different masks to create a facade of some sort.... show girl, rockstar, sad clown.... but the people who really touch us are the ones who find a small (or large) piece of themselves and expose it to us... it requires a kind of honesty that is sometimes painful, embarrassing and always revealing beyond what our daily social structures seem to allow for us... what i see when i look out at our little community is a group of people who are exploring the allowing of self and others... to be. to just be. and what [we] as a troupe are is a brightly shining example of that... pure expression and acceptance of self.
what i seem to learn over and over again is that contrary to what i have always thought... open admission of fault, frailties and flaws... no excuses... is endearing. freeing. intriguing. it frees the voyeur to express themselves... it takes so much work to keep our flaws and mistakes undercover. how much more fun is it to just let it all rip!!!! HERE I AM. ~8-P "

the Emile Zola quote has resonated with me for a long time:
“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, I will answer you: "I am here to live out loud.”

and, of course, the Marianne Williamson quote, which i think is so powerful:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, Talented, fabulous? Actually,who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
A Return To Love - Marianne Williamson

i think it is emotionally tiring to be exposed. especially when i feel i so exemplify that one american Trancendental writer (who was it, Gemini?) who says something about, "i'll yell out one day my beliefs, and then the next day when they are different, i'll yell those out, too." i feel as if i'm quite contradictory, and, having it all down here for Anyone to read, it's out there to be pointed out. .. i had let the fear win. and then there's always that perfectionist tendency: as if you all thought i was perfect in the first place! :-D

so the other Friend (an acquaintance with whom i'm not in regular contact) who wrote to me on tribe said, " Tiff, You are so fucking beautiful! For a whole week, I was doing my daily routine on tribe and your face kept shining brightly at me through the thicket of my friends list etc. Your inner beauty is shining strong girl. So lovely to see it! I had to say something. xoxo "

i definitely have not been feeling beautiful lately. i have been feeling that i'm at an awkward "transition" phase of my Self and life, in which i might as well be wearing braces and a training bra all over again. but i have been trying to be honestly accepting of myself, and to present myself honestly in photos. (not the dramatic" glamour" poses as much as the sincere happiness that comes from the inside.) so ~ that email made me feel good. and being that i'm exposing myself, i thought i'd share that. :)

on the subject of "feeling beautiful," i had an epiphany very soon after my thirty-first birthday (birthdays tend to make me even more contemplative than i usually am .. ). for the past few months, upon finishing Michael Pollan's _The_Omnivore's_Dilemma_, i have been endeavoring to simply be healthy. i know what healthy eating is now, and i know what a healthy level of activity is. over the summer, i figured out how to achieve the Skinniest Tiffanie i've ever whittled. and i found that i was just as obsessed, if not more so, with keeping myself there as i was when i was *not* there. so my latest (hopefully long-term) goal is to experience what truly healthy looks like. not to look like a professional athlete (i'm not one.. ), and not to judge my Self for ebbs and flows ~ stronger weeks, and fluffier times. it is very challenging for my ego. and that's ok.
i have been whole-heartedly studying what "healthy" looks like. i have been a victim of America's twisted vision of "pretty" and "sexy" from a young age, and, through study ~ a lot through *nutritional* study (Weston A. Price's _Nutrition_and_Physical_Degeneration_, in large part), i have been forcefully escorting those opinions out of my brain and heart one-at-a-time. a couple weeks ago, i made the mistake of looking at photos too late into the night (choices that are made, and conversations that are started, after bedtime are not usually the wisest. . ). i was comparing and contrasting (very self-centeredly) my relative level of fitness in photos of me throughout the last year. yes. i was. and what i realized, perhaps for the first time since i was a child (really.), is: wow! ~ i look really strong and healthy! my legs are sturdy and can take me a great distance! my hips will serve me well! my arms are strong. and i also realized: in all these years that i have critiqued and criticized myself for things that i saw and didn't see in my physical appearance, even times when i was not as "in shape" as i am now ~ i have *always* been strong and healthy. i have been. strong. and healthy. and as i am able to extend my gaze and get just the slightest CLUE about the world around me, and the millions of folks who are dying for a meal, and all the folks who do so much with so much less, i realize once again how amazingly fortunate and blessed i am to have been born in this body: strong. and healthy.

there you go, Hannah! "thanks for noticin'." i am actually doing quite well. :)

photo: me. feeling good in my body, after a nice jog (note pink cheeks.).

1 comment:

Hannah said...

You are honestly one of the most beautiful women I have ever met in person. I have been quite envious of your beauty in the past. Lord, Tiffanie, if there's anything you should worry about in life, it shouldn't be beauty! I agree it sucks when there is no feedback to big posts. Many of us, however, are lurking procrastinators. I enjoy your posts very much.