rest in peace

Practicing Peace with Ourselves for the Benefit of All

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The #metoo movement, the Time’s Up Campaign, and the massive energy behind women’s empowerment and what we expect from others as women has me all fired up in so many ways. 

It’s kind of like waking up from a life-long dream… 

Wait.... of COURSE, we need to speak out about the daily misogyny we experience as women! 

How could I have just been letting the cat calls, the uncomfortable comments like 'your jeans look like they fit really well,"or the lack of respect I feel, every time someone chooses to comment on a physical attribute of mine, instead of commenting on the attributes of my mind, my intellect or my kindness? I was just letting that stuff “go” as “part of the life in this world”. 

It is majorly messed up alarmingly often women get sexually assaulted in their homes, places of employment, etc and don’t speak out about it because they are worried about retribution, judgment, and being seen as the one who “stirs things up.” 

Well it’s over, time is up now. We WILL STIR THINGS UP, because we are all humans beings who deserve to be respected and seen for more than our bodies. 

This is a great rule of thumb. 

This is a great rule of thumb. 

The thing I want to write about today is more about the source of this misogyny and how we, as women, can also be the perpetrators of violence. In our society when we think of violence we generally think of physical violence: inflicting physical harm to someone else. However, I want to expand that definition to any type of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual harm we cause to ourselves or others. 

We must realize that gross and extreme examples of violence aren’t just random acts. Like all things that go against the goodness of human nature, they build up slowly over time. Definitions and boundaries; slowly being eroded with small toes over the line of decency. Something, and then another thing, and then another thing, gets shoved underground, passed off as "normal", and eventually all these subtly not-OK things begin to fester, become toxic, and turn into something really ugly. 

In the case of extreme acts of violence, it’s the more indirect acts of violence that are consistently permitted on a larger, broader scale. When these seemingly “small” harmful acts are allowed, deemed normal, or seen as necessary, it is inevitable that larger, more extreme acts of violence will eventually take place. In this way, the violence we perpetrate on ourselves on the seemingly inconspicuous levels contribute to the society-wide severe violence we seen in our culture. That is why, as women, we must say “no” to any and all violence inflicted against us by other people, but more importantly the acts of violence we inflict on ourselves. 

Internal violence is pervasive. These violent sentiments can show up in so many seemingly “normal” actions. Suppressing our hunger is an act of harm to our bodies. Overeating to fill an emotional void is an act of harm to our emotional state as well as our physical bodies. Deciding to push our bodies way harder than they want to be pushed in the gym is harmful. Eating junk food mindlessly. Starving ourselves. I would argue, that certain types of plastic surgery could be considered acts of violence towards our bodies. Literally cutting our skin, manipulating precious body parts to be closer to a standard of beauty that society sets for us and has nothing to do with our worthiness. The way we talk to ourselves, treat ourselves, and the disrespect for our bodies and what they need/want/are asking for, is a massive source of “subtle’ violence in our world. 

We can’t expect people who don’t love themselves to be able to love other people. It truly does, and always will, start with us. {This isn’t a call for the victims of sexual assault or violence to blame themselves, and if you’ve been violated or had violence done to you by someone else it was not your fault in any way, shape or form.} We all have to realize that we must stop the violence where ever we can. We must say “NO” to the violence perpetrated against ourselves in the form of negative self-talk, cruel self-commentary, and the assumption that we need to use harsh language or action with ourselves to create internal/external changes. 

Non-violence and peace starts with you and me. It starts in our ability to forgive ourselves. It starts with allowing ourselves to be flawed, and still speak to ourselves lovingly. It starts with complete and radical self-acceptance. It starts with having grace with ourselves. It starts by refusing to inflict violence on ourselves. 

Practicing peace towards ourselves, daily, will allow peace to overflow from our hearts and into the collective. As we are less judgmental of ourselves we become less judgmental of others. As we become more kind with ourselves, we notice we are kinder to others.

So let’s say “time’s up” to the violent, abusive thoughts, behaviors we have been perpetrating on ourselves. Let’s bring awareness to where we are allowing violence in our daily lives, and start to choose Love instead. As we build the momentum within our own lives, we will see it spread out to others. 

I'm with you relearning how to treat myself with more love, forgiveness, and allowance every step of the way. 

Coming Back to America & Productivity Addiction

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It's been a little bit since I've reached out with anything new... and that's because I've returned to the United States after my year-long trek around the world. 

My husband and I are on the very last leg of our journey and today we'll actually set foot in OUR HOME! Right now, we're sitting in the Bozeman Food Co-op waiting for my mom to come pick us up and bring us home. It's snowing outside. We have all our suitcases piled around us as well as a week's worth of groceries that will actually go in my OWN kitchen. 

It feels right. 

I am so excited to have my own space again, more options for clothes than what can fit in a little packing cube, and to be seated at my own little desk in my own little office. 

That being said... 

Coming back to the United States from a year abroad has its difficulties. 

I am a person who is very sensitive to energy and "vibes" and part of what I would do in each country I visited is get a sense of the energy of that country and try to sum it up in a few words. 

Example: Bali is magical and heavy with discovery. India is chaotic and spiritual. Croatia is recovered and burgeoning. 

So when I landed in LAX from Guatemala, I immediately felt the American vibe of: stress, isolationism, and "rat-race-iness." (not to mention the smell of America is fast food restaurants and cleaning chemicals). 

We've been back stateside now for about 3 weeks visiting family and friends and slowly making our way north, and I've already found myself and my energy getting sucked back into this "go go go" energy. It's incredibly hard not to. 

We, as a society, are addicted to productivity. 

We have this idea that being “productive” somehow increases our value. The more we do, the more we’re worth. 

Making us feel like productivity equals love. And productivity starts to be equated to the biggest of all our root desires; connection. 

So we do more. We stretch ourselves further. We try to dig deeper into a well that’s already hit bedrock. We strive. We push.

More work. 
More workouts.
More healthy food.
More money. 
More things. 
More.

And, just like any addiction, this one is making us sick. Creating a surge in physical imbalances like adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, hormone imbalances; mental/emotional imbalances like anxiety, depression, & a general lack of enthusiasm for life; spiritual imbalances like feeling like we have no purpose & meaning in our lives. 

In a climate like this..
(As Danielle Laporte says) “being still is an act of courage.” 


It is a brave & courageous act to stop, let go of the need to “do” & instead listen. 


To lay in savasana a little longer.
To let yourself sleep in.
To allow yourself to do nothing for an entire day.
To let the “to do” list fall by the wayside. 
4 day work weeks (which I am personally implementing this year).
Take a year long sabbatical.
Do shorter work days.
Take 15 min breaks every hour.

When you stop to reevaluate your life, you are taking a stand against our society-wide addiction & letting wisdom sink in. Creating space for healing to occur. 

Slowing down or stopping won’t get you any honors or congratulations, but when you are intentionally still you are doing something powerful & necessary. 

Pause to feel what’s happening to you. 
Pause to love. 
Pause to appreciate & feel gratitude.

Take a break, not to be more productive later, but because its the inhale to the exhale. 

I see you’re tired, love. I’m tired too. Let’s all rest & simply breathe. You are loved, you are loving, you are lovable, forever. 

You don’t have to do anything to deserve this. We’re in this together.

 

Only Love, 

 

Clara