Entries from February 2011 ↓

Rockin’ the Vagina

I walk into my BFF Jenny’s house (Yes, the fabulous Jenny, owner of Ms. Sparrow’s Holistic Cleaning Co.), she turns from the delectable tomato soup she’s stirring for our girls night and says,

You’re rockin’ the vagina today with that necklace and the cowl neck T.S.

I think I love this outfit even more now, but I’ll never be able to wear it again without laughing my ass off and thinking “vagina” every time I speak to someone. Which might be kind of fun, actually.

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It’s So Hard to Like My Body!

Everywhere I look, especially on the Internets, I hear women whine, “It’s so hard to like my body!” This from beautiful women who essentially look like the above pictured woman.

WHAT. ARE. YOU. TALKING. ABOUT!?!?

YOU are making it hard.

The truth is that it is very, very simple.

IF you wake in the morning, look at your image in the mirror and treat it like total shit, with hateful words, harsh criticisms and judgmental pulling, prodding and poking – picking yourself apart, bit by bit, THEN of course it is “so hard to like your body.” In fact, it’s so hard that it will never, ever-in-a-million years happen.

Beware, I’m about to seriously invalidate your feelings: These are not real feelings, Ladies. These are habitual negative thoughts that your brain is tracking in a spiral. It’s a negative brain loop – that you are doing to yourself. If you can stop the brain looping these feelings will stop. I promise.

The media is not doing this to you.

Your boyfriend or husband is not doing this to you.

Your family is not doing this to you.

The culture is not doing this to you.

Your “prettier” best friend is not doing this to you.

YOU are doing this to YOU.

YOU are choosing to do this to yourself. It is mean, it is wrong, and it is going on inside YOUR head. Which means, that you and only YOU have control over the entire process.

You could, if you choose, wake up and look in the mirror and voluntarily look past your flaws and imperfections. You could, if you wanted to, look in the mirror and say, “You’re looking good today! or “Hey, baby, you’re looking like the very picture of health and vitality,” or “Wow, you’re simply stunning today!” or dear God, if it works, “You’re so hot, every man in the world wants to F#$% you.” Whatever it is that will put a spring in your step and allow you to go through the work of making the world a better place with your head held high.

If you insist on this kind and flattering treatment of your body, then and only then, will your feelings follow your brain into a more positive brain loop about your body. It can not happen the other way. You will never, ever-in-a-million years be finished talking about all the flaws of your body until you simply demand that you stop.

Stop. Right. This. Very. Minute.

You COULD have been born in THIS Human Suit

These are not real feelings. There is no bleeping way that 97% of women truly and really, honestly feel this shitty about their female human suits on a daily basis, as this Glamour article suggests.

We’re the beautiful half of the species. For God’s sake, our male counterparts are bald or balding, grow hair in their ears, out their noses, on their shoulders, asses, bellies and backs, they’re smelly, beer bellied and have sweaty, stinky balls hanging off their ape-like bodies. And they feel F##% GREAT about themselves. That just doesn’t add up.

Negative self-talk is a bad emotional habit.

Habits can be broken. Negative self talk is only a habit. Criticism and beating yourself up is a habit. It is not a natural and normal feeling. It is not what being a woman is. It is not what being a woman in this culture, with all this beauty pressure surrounding you, really feels like.

When you walk by the Victoria’s Secret window that says “Hello, Bombshell!” You have a choice. You can take it as a you’ll-never-measure-up-to-this-Victoria’s-Secret-underwear-model criticism, OR you can say, “Hello!” as if the comment was about YOU! Personally, I prefer and enjoy the latter.

The next time you catch yourself looking in the mirror and/or being cruel to a part of your body, please imagine me, Tracee Sioux, with my hands on my hips and wide eyes, coming to your worthy body’s defense saying, DO NOT TALK ABOUT MY SISTER LIKE THAT! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?

Maybe that will silence the evil, cruel b*tch that lives inside your head, because it is about time someone stood up to her.

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100 Points Theory

I was marveling at this business consultant’s mad Excel skills as he magically made the machine do the math for me the other day.

“100 points theory,” he said.

“Huh?” I said, thinking the was expounding on the over-my-head nuances of Excel sheets and accounting.

“Everyone is born with 100 points, but not the same 100 points. I didn’t get many hair points (he pointed to his balding scalp), but I got a lot of Excel points,” he explained.

I kind of like this theory and have been thinking about it a lot lately. Especially in regards to what we expect of ourselves as people and how we can better parent our children.

It’s pretty easy to look over at the bald business consultant’s 100 points and think, “Why couldn’t God have given me a couple of badass Excel and Quickbooks points?”

Likely, there are plenty of people who look at me and say, “I wish I had her hair points or her prolific writing points.”

Seriously. On any given day you can find millions of people who are wishing they got someone else’s points.

That’s just a waste of time though. Everybody gets 100 points. That’s fair. As fair as any theory I’ve heard about why some people are born with money and others in poverty. Why some people are born stunning looking and others only average. Why some people have to count calories and work out vigorously everyday, while others stay thin no matter what. Why some people skate through life socially, while others struggle terribly.

100 points. Everybody gets them. They are just different points.

As parents, I think the best strategy is to focus on the points we do get and make them count. To focus on the points our kids got, and help them learn to really make them count.

It’s a huge mistake to expect that a different set of points might have made us happier.

Far wiser is to say, Hey, you did pretty good in the points department. You got 20 of these and 50 of these and 5 of those, 10 of that, 10 that will come in handy for this, and 5 of them you haven’t yet discovered. They’re yours and they are all you need to make a go of it in this life. They’re really, the perfect combination of points to bring you health, wealth, happiness and wholeness in this life. Use them well.

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The Beauty of Flawed Parenting

Our job as parents is not to be flawless or perfect.

Our job is to be our incredible, flawed selves with grace and humor so we can teach our children how to fall down and get back up.

Fall down, get back up. Fall down, get back up. Fail, try again. Win, raise the bar. Take risks, be bold, have faith. Practice. Learn. Get better. Try again.

Brush off the knees, wipe away the tears, put our big girl panties on and admit to our daughters, “yeah, I screwed that up, made a huge mistake, tried and failed, but I’m getting up and trying again. That didn’t work, but this next thing might.  It’s worth the risk, I’m better at it this time.”

That’s the human experience. It’s the beauty of it.

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Bully Proof, How to Bully Proof Your Kid for Life

Life Lesson #1 – I do not have the power to control what other people do or how they feel.

Life Lesson #10 – I do not have the power to control what other people do or how they feel. Neither does Teacher.

Life Lesson #123 – I do not have the power to control what other people do or how they feel. Neither does Mom.

Life Lesson #563 through #1,010 – I do not have the power to control what other people do or how they feel. Period.

Until you really, really understand this lesson, you’ll keep learning it into eternity. If you’re emotionally bright, you might really get it and get to start learning something else after your second marriage in your late 30s. (Wait, that’s just me.) If your daughter is really, really emotionally bright, she might actually get it in the 3rd grade, which will spare her the painful lessons around boyfriends in her adolescent years. A mom can dream can’t she?

Bullies are there to teach us this Life Lesson:  I do not have the power to control what other people do or how they feel.

Happily, they are also there to teach us Life Lesson #2: I have the power to control what I do and how I feel.

If you’re alive, then you know how tricky it is to control how you feel in the face of a 3rd grade pack of girls who are screaming and running away from you every time you look in their direction. Still, it’s a prime opportunity to learn these lessons. Without this experience, a person might walk around for 50 more years believing they can control other people’s feelings by changing their own behavior and frankly, that’s the recipe for every abusive relationship ever experienced by any woman.

In other words: while it sucks to watch and you really want to stop it, as a parent, you really, really want to help your kid learn this lesson ASAP with the 3rd grade Mean Girls. Before the lesson becomes a battering boyfriend or a manipulative adolescent pressuring her to have sex. You really, really want her to fully grasp Lesson #27:  I have the Power to control what I do and how I feel.

So that if that guy shows up , she already knows “he’s lying when he says he will love me IF I have sex with him,” because she already has learned, “I can not control how another person behaves or how he feels. So if he doesn’t love me now, he won’t love me then.”

So, rather than telling your kid you’ll figure out a way to stop the bullying, drill this into their heads: Honey, you can’t control how another person acts or how they feel. You just don’t have that power and neither do I. What you can control is how you react to their behavior and how you feel. You could let yourself feel bad about this, or you could decide that you only want loyal and kind friends, and these kids obviously don’t know how to do that yet. You could chase them and try to make them like you, but that will likely make them meaner. You could just ignore them, and that will likely make it less interesting for them. You can only control how you let this effect you. You don’t have to let it make you unhappy.

More tomorrow.

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