Dos and Don’ts of Beauty – Rant Time

We interrupt the normally eloquent blog posts to bring you this. Excuse me, but I need to rant real quick…

Does anyone else feel like the “Do and Don’t” makeup videos make no sense?

Not only is beauty entirely subjective, makeup is also a form of self expression. Some even say it’s an art form!

If makeup is supposed to improve my self confidence, if makeup is for me, if makeup is self expression… You can’t tell me what not to do.

ALSO, culturally, makeup differs from place to place. So by saying that you shouldn’t have heavy eyeliner on the bottom of your eye is disregarding what other cultures find beautiful and fun. Also, girl, I look damn good with heavy eyeliner on my lower lash line.

I don’t care if you started your video by saying, “Everyone can do their makeup how they want.” You’re still running the risk of making someone feel bad, or feel wrong. You’re essentially saying, “No offence, but you suck at makeup.”

Seriously, no one sucks at makeup. I may not do my makeup like you do yours, but our faces are completely different.

You wanna know the REAL list we should be spreading?

Don’t use products that aren’t meant for your face. Don’t use products where they aren’t meant to be used. Don’t listen to people who say anything negative about your makeup or lack thereof.

DO love yourself and embrace this form of self expression. Do allow it to improve what you want to be improved to feel better. Do wear makeup that makes you feel sexy.

Finally, do wear makeup if that’s what you want, regardless of your gender.

[drops mic] Namaste

Advertisements

Faces

I have a tiny problem. I’ve met a few people with the same problem, but I don’t think any of them had really thought about it until I asked.

Take a moment to close your eyes. You could also leave them open I suppose, it doesn’t really matter. Try both ways even!

Now think of someone close to you. It could be your life partner, a new romantic relationship, perhaps a family member, or a dear friend. Anyone who you know pretty well. Be sure this person you’ve picked, is someone who you have seen a lot. This could even be someone you work with and see often, or the cute guy at the Starbucks who makes the best espressos.

The important thing here is that you’ve seen their face often enough to know it.

Can you picture their face?

Can you see what they look like?

Of course, it is to be expected, that some details may be lost. You may not know the color of someone’s eyes, or their exact face shape, but can you picture a face that you are fairly certain is theirs?

Most people can. Of course they can close their eyes and think about their families! people they know and love. Even celebrities!

I can’t.

I can describe what someone looks like to you. My husband has blue eyes, dark hair, slightly down turned eyes, generally has stubble, even though he shaves every day, bushy eyebrows, etc. etc. But I can’t picture his face when I close my eyes.

I always found it odd, and it generally isn’t a bad thing. I can still recognize people. I have a pretty good memory for recognizing people, I’d say. I don’t tend to forget someone if I’ve actually spoken to them (Or they were ssuuuuuppper hot.) But for some reason I literally cannot picture a face.

Normally this wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but I’m finding that being away from my husband is much harder than it should be. I mean, think about it. Not only is he not around, I literally cannot think of what he looks like. It’s incredibly frustrating! Even after I’ve looked at a picture, I can’t do it.

To be honest, it’s really upsetting and I’m fairly certain there isn’t much I can do about it. Luckily, it really isn’t the end of the world! Especially since I’m not trying to describe someone to a police sketch artist. Hopefully that day never comes either.

I’m curious of other people out there like this. I feel like it shouldn’t be that rare.

Update 7 October 2016: It has a name. Aphantasia. 

A Discussion of Literature

I just had the most wonderful evening. I spoke with two men I know about writing. We spoke of many other things, but this conversation in particular struck me.

While we sat out side, one taking the occasional drag of his cigarette like a true artist, I asked him what he did. He told me one of his hobbies was writing.

The three of us began talking passionately about writing. Our writing. At least the two of us did. The third had very good information and knowledge on the general topic of writing, which will forever be immensely valuable to me.

I was genuinely interested in hearing about this guy’s ideas and stories. His plans and what he enjoyed writing. He seems genuinely interested in the same things I was saying as well. There came a point, when I had finally felt comfortable enough to divulge some details and story behind what I had been writing all these years. He seemed extremely excited and interested. It was as if he thought I had actually struck something. My other friend seemed genuinely interested too!

It was an amazing moment where I truly felt inspired. I had to continue. I need to put my heart and soul into this and try to get something out of it. I don’t think that what I’ve written is to be held at the same level of genius as many authors, but I do believe, that someone will enjoy it. Somewhere out there, there is another human who would want to read this book.

So I’m going to do it. I’m going to finish this and put in all the last details I was too lazy to add. I’m going to actually ask people I am close to and trust to read it. I’m going to ask for input and face criticism to better myself and my writing.

I’m going to publish a book.

Dealing With It

No, you can’t just “deal with it”. Especially not in the case of things like chronic pain, depression, and anxiety. There’s a huge list of things you can’t just get over, ranging from diseases to mental health problems. This is where coping mechanisms come into play.

So often that phrase is met with repulsion. In reality, so long as your coping mechanism actually helps you cope and function outside of what you suffer from, it’s successful. That doesn’t sound very repulsive for me. Bad coping methods would be abuse of Vicodin or other prescription/illegal drugs, harming yourself or others, or ignoring the problem completely. Obviously these are tempting ways to deal with something, and if you you are stuck in any of these situations we are here to help you. I promise never to shame you if you have a coping method that may not be healthy for you or others. I promise I will support you in your journey to get better. Above all, I promise that I want to help you. A lot of us do! More of us want to help than don’t, in fact.

Healthy coping mechanisms come in all sorts of shapes and forms. For those suffering from depression, you could even say prescribed medications and therapy are coping mechanisms. Heck, they work right? You learn to cope.

Let me tell you my story.

As many of you may know, I suffered from an injury many years ago when I was 14. You can probably imagine how horrible it is to be 14 and living with pain. On top of that, it was diagnosed as a chronic pain, which has proven to be true 8 years later. That pain definitely made me depressed. It made me feel alone, sad, and misunderstood. No, people don’t believe your pain if you’re under the age of 30.

It took me a while, maybe 4 years or so, to figure out the ideal way for me to “deal with it”. Writing!

I was often confined to my house, or going out for a long time was not an option. Forget about going out if it was COLD! That only made it worse for me. All through high school, I would enjoy looking out windows, or falling asleep to made up stories in my head. Finally, I put those stories down on paper…well, digital “paper”… I use Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.

I suddenly noticed, I didn’t feel so bad. I realized that writing made me really and truly happy. These stories had nothing to do with me. I wasn’t writing characters based on myself at all. Though some qualities they had were qualities I admired, or I believed I had, they were not me. I felt… free.

I worked on this one story for a long time, up until about 2 years ago. After that it was very off and on. Mostly off. One day, this year, I decided I wanted to finish it. Guess what I felt? Happy. AGAIN! Of course I still deal with pain, though the pain itself is much better. My husband is far away from me, and I spend much of my time alone. Though I don’t always mind being alone, it can be…well…lonely.

I love writing so much that I’ve written over 53,000 words. That’s not including all the stuff I’ve deleted in the process. Dare I say… I wrote a full book.

So next time you complain about a problem and someone says, “Write a book about it” maybe you should?

No, that’s not my advice. Here’s my REAL advice. Find something that makes you happy. Is it reading? Writing? Poetry? Do you like to sing? Maybe dance! Even if you’re confined to a wheelchair, you can still find a way to dance. Perhaps you simply like to kick back and listen to music.

I guess I’m telling you to get a hobby, but it doesn’t have to be a big one. It can be as simple as writing one sentence a day.

Maybe you just like to read blog posts about people talking about themselves.

Or maybe, you should call the person you hold dearest more often and just talk! Ask them how their day was. Makeup? Painting? Drawing.

You don’t have to be the best at your craft either. I mean, to be honest, you don’t even need to be good. You could literally be THE WORST, but if you’re having fun, you should never stop. Plus, practice does make you better!

So what should you take away with this?

  1. Coping isn’t a bad word
  2. Get a hobby
  3. If you love it, keep at it!

Ahhh, I finally found a nice way to tell people to “get a hobby”.

If you need help figuring out what you might enjoy, totally hit me up. I’m all ears and have lots of opinions!

Movement Is My Forte

I have tried a few different forms of dance, and while many instructors told me I was naturally good, I never before felt like I was actually a “good” dancer. I was always a hands on student in high school, so maybe that’s why dancing worked for me. I’ve done yoga for a long time too though, and can easily follow an instructor from mostly visual cues with some talking through. So maybe all of this together, my brain is wired and trained to see, listen, and change what I’m hearing into movement on the fly. Despite learning fast in dance, I always felt like I was more of a beginner though.

A little background before I explain what I mean. I was researching dance studios in Colorado Springs, and I found a teacher who had two classes. One was labeled as “Beginner/Intermediate” and the other as “Intermediate/Advanced”. Now you can’t blame me for being a bit confused as to which class I would fit in. I’m no beginner anymore. I’ve been dancing for around 2 years! I also don’t think I’m advanced either, since I’ve only been dancing for about 2 years. I did wonder, however, if I was intermediate enough to take the more advanced class.

This weekend was when it hit me. I could probably take that class. While I was by no means the best dancer on the stage, maybe that’s because I had close to least experience and our troupe leader has been dancing for almost 30 years, I didn’t stick out. I knew all the moves, and could do everything. The hard part was the speed and my brain keeping up, of course.

In the situation I had been in, I’ve been forced to take easier classes over and over and over again. Not because I wasn’t able to move on to a higher level, but because all the levels were in one class. There were a few times that everyone had been dancing for longer, but because of my natural ability, or perhaps I just practiced more than some other dancers out side of class, I was still not feeling super challenged.

Then came the invitation to the troupe. WOW, did I get my butt kicked! Plus I was behind in learning all the dances because I missed 2 rehearsals and we only had maybe 7 or 8 total. I also missed one opportunity to have the dances broken down slowly for me. I was literally thrown into the middle of these dances done at full speed. And I pulled it off! You should have seen how good we all looked too. I wonder how I would have done if I had gotten to start learning from earlier on.

Either way, I finally feel comfortable calling myself a dancer.

The Smell of Tea

I had an amazing experience this morning while I was taking the tea bad out of my cup. It had finished steeping, I picked up my mug, and began unwinding the string of the tea bag. I wrap it around the handle so the tag doesn’t fall in. All of a sudden, the steam managed to waft up to me just right and I could smell my Red Rose tea! It was so comforting.

After this long week, of yoga, airports, and dancing, beginning my day off with the smell of tea was comforting.

My day turned out to be productive, but still just lazy enough. I got inspired to dance a little, I recorded some videos, and I started planning out my next meal!

Ahhh, always start your day with a cup of tea!

Mi Familia – The Warmth in Your Group

I’m not talking about my mother and father. Or my brother. Heck not even my cousins, aunts, uncles, or grandparents! I’m talking about the women I dance with.

I’m starting to think about how I’ve found my group. My people. There is an intense comfort in that. I love them to bits, and there is an immediate bond, even between those who I have only just met. A dance troupe is a lot like a family!

I am so glad I tried belly dance. I encourage you to try something different. We had a young man in or class once, he was a boxer. He danced with us for a full year! Then he even came back to see us perform. Totally breaking the stereotype, and, while we may not have been his “group”, it surely helped him find a part of himself.

I think about moving in November, and the one thing I cannot let go of is the women I danced with. I didn’t get to spend enough time with them! Though I think I can move on to bigger things from here. I got a great foundation, was able to show myself that I am better than I thought I was. I got to be part of a REAL dance troupe and perform in front of what seemed to be the entire population of the small town we were performing in. (The population is approximately 15,000. So probably not actually all of them, but it was definitely in the thousands.)

Notice that I only said I was moving on to “bigger things” not “bigger and better things”. I truly believe that, even if I performed on a stage filled with pyrotechnics and fancy lights, I would consider it just as wonderful an experience, as dancing with these ladies, on the little pier jutting out into the bay.

I am sad I began saying my goodbyes to many of them tonight, but this experience, and the support of them, has made me excited for the future. I cannot express my love for them enough. I can only say, that when I came home tonight, and washed off all my makeup, I teared up a little thinking of saying bye.

Also, I found the woman who pushed me and showed me that I was a good dancer. Rather than saying it, she always just made me prove it to myself. It was the best way she could have done it too. By just telling me to do it! And it was fun the whole time. The teachers and leaders in the beginning, who set us up for the future, might matter the most.

But I know they’ll never really let me go, I might just be too far to join them.

M.I.A – Going Missing Can Be Good

I was supposed to upload a video yesterday. I did not. I think that it was important that I didn’t though. Clearly, for all my subscribers this isn’t a good thing, but it was a good thing for me.

You may know my husband is out of town for a prolonged period of time. My parents had also gone out of town the day after. While my brother was around for a bit, he too had to leave. I don’t blame any of them for not being around, but I definitely could have used a few of them. I managed to pull through and make a video though! A video I’m very proud of too. But with everyone gone, it was hard on me, and Wednesday, my parents came back!

I was going to release a video Thursday, but I didn’t. I didn’t, because it was more important to me – no, it was better for me – to be with my parents. I was able to nurture myself and feel less alone! So why not turn this into a lesson like all my other posts. If you need to disappear for a while, do it. Of course I love posting on this blog, and making videos, but at the end of the day it is work.

Now, I’m going to listen to some Skyhill, read Sherlock Holmes, and enjoy my evening. Videos will resume next week, and hopefully I can begin blogging more again.

Compare and Contrast

Let’s just start this up with a little update. I’ve decided I’m going to post more on a whim. Partially because I won’t post routines here, but also because I find there are a lot of little life lessons, which I feel I can draw from and put on here to help myself learn and grow, and perhaps give others a little insight. Plus it’s fun! Why not post a blog post here and there without schedule. 

Recently I’ve been watching friends graduate from University left and right. I think I had something like 5 or 6 friends all graduate on the same DAY. It’s crazy, and I am so unbelievably happy for them, but at the same time, I find myself feeling this immense amount of sadness. Like they’ve accomplished something and I haven’t. For a couple of days I tried to just put it away, because I really am happy for them. I saw another friend graduate today and it hit me AGAIN.

Let’s be honest, pushing anything down and away never really works. I suppose I thought it would pass, and perhaps it would have, but I think in the long run, it’s better to figure this out and make myself realize I don’t need to feel upset about anything.

Since this is based in an insecurity, I thought that even if it did pass, there is something greater I should be looking into.

First off, school has never been for me, and to see the people who have gone to university because they felt it was what they needed to do, rather than what they wanted to do, has made me feel more comfortable in my own decisions. Let’s just say, they weren’t happy. I’m very glad I chose not to go, this gave me the opportunity to start going to school when I felt ready, and even finding ways to work classes into my own schedule better.

I had to combat a lot of pressure to go to a 4 year university, I still do in fact. Feeling like you didn’t achieve what you were supposed to is a serious downer. Talk about feeling like a failure…

When I have that feeling of failure tug at me, I pause to think of why I didn’t go in the first place. I didn’t go, because it made me happier not to go. To me, the benefit of going to a university at that time was outweighed by the happiness and other goals I could achieve by not going.

That is what makes me feel better. I find comparing myself to others to be very deadly. But I have found that when you had the ability to make a decision, it can be easier to accept that it’s OK. Even if now you wish you had done something differently. At the time, it was probably better for you not do said “thing”.

I also have achieved quite a bit. I’ve taken classes at a local community college to find my areas of interest, I’ve become a licensed helicopter pilot and a licensed yoga instructor, AND I’ve got this awesome YouTube and blog thing going for me. I tried things, had fun, and I learned a lot about myself. Did I mention I also got married? All this in the time it took them to get one degree! Psh, I’m wonderful.

That’s a joke! I am wonderful, but they all got something really valuable too. All my friends have had great life experiences, made friends, been in relationships. Heck, I have friends who have been busting their butts off making movies and getting amazing internships! We’ve ALL done amazing things.

I’m having this nice revelation, where, if you take a step back from it all, you’ll notice that you and all of your friends are all equally wonderful in your own ways.

I’d also like to point out that if you just spent the past 4 years working at a McDonald’s or cleaning toilets, you’re just as wonderful too. You’ve worked and earned money, and I’m sure you’ve learned a thing or two, even if you haven’t realized it. I don’t believe anyone’s experiences are any less wonderful or important.

If you’re ever feeling a tab jealous, just take a step back and look at all the different wonderful things you and your friends have done, and even those who you’re jealous of are all super different from each other.

Ahh, I’m definitely happy for everyone now.

Namaste

Acts of Yoga

Seriously, who knew I could make it 4 days in my 30 day challenge! I’m terrible at commitments, remind me to tell you the story of how my husband got me to marry him. But we’ve done 4 days so far, unfortunately we started out with a slight injury, but I’m starting to feel much better.

My back was just a touch angry at me. So of course, actually doing 30 days of yoga has been out of the question, but it’s those small acts that count! Here’s a little reminder to join me in sharing your acts of yoga on Instagram!

Since I say it all the time, why don’t we talk about what I even mean! First off, it can be anything that involves giving yourself love and care! (Going to the doctor? Act of yoga. Getting your hair done? Act of yoga.) Indulging yourself a little is great for you. If it makes you happy, and if it isn’t hurting you or anyone else, it qualifies!

What isn’t an act of yoga is over indulgences and unhealthy practices, i.e. eating an entire chocolate cake in one sitting alone. Sounds delicious, totally not good for you though. This can also include negative thoughts toward yourself or others. (Sometimes they happen though! Don’t get mad at yourself for a momentary lapse, read my post about 24hrs complaint free if you’re curious about this kind of negative thinking.)

An act of yoga is that fine balance between the two. Your health and care routine doesn’t need to be awful. Beyond being healthy, it should also make you happy. After all, happiness is mental health, and mental health is just as important as physical in yoga.

I find it’s also a good way to remind yourself that you’re doing well. If you’re trying to loose weight, for example, it can seem like a grueling process sometimes, but perhaps your body (or mind) really needs it! It’s a wonderful thing to do for yourself, even if the process is tough. Rewarding yourself once a week with small treats, like rest days or desert after dinner, are wonderful acts to look forward too. Holding off your cravings and working toward a goal an awesome act too. Also super hard! I’m very guilty of snacking and giving into my salty/sweet tooth.

Really, I find many people forget about loving themselves and getting caught up in life, so if you have the chance for a quiet morning cup of tea, enjoy it! That can be your morning yoga today. Just don’t forget to do your proper yoga tomorrow! ❤

If you would like, follow me along on Instagram! Join in yourself and use #actofyoga so I can find you!

Namaste