Qualities of being a woman
I like clothes, colors, textures patterns. I try not to get clothes at those chain super stores. I mostly shop at thrift stores. A lot of my clothes are from the Naropa free box.
My hair draws a lot of attention. It’s so long because I haven’t really cut it in four years. And also because the only hair stylist I trust is in NY
what if I just cut off all my hair? I remember, I want to donate it anyway.
I look at myself in the mirror. I look for both flaws and things I like. Has my stomach become flatter? Am I biking enough? Oh a pimple.
I painted my nails for the first time in years, Lilac!
Most of the time I don’t wear makeup
I meditate when I remember
Or when my feelings don’t get the best of me.
Am I too intense for people? Am I expressing too much? Maybe Im not expressing enough. Maybe women are just too intense. My mother spoke in circles sometimes, too.
I see the thoughts and thoughts and thoughts. And I let them go, again and again and again.
I pray because I am scared. I pray because I love something greater (God, cats, dogs, babies and family and friends).
Most of the time I try to remember something greater than me.
Most of the time I am not enlightened.
I work hard and I feel poor and small sometimes.
I work at a clothing store with all women. I work for landscaping at Naropa.
Sometimes I stay up too late, because I distract myself in front of the bright computer screen
And I go round and round into pictures and words and sounds, blogs and emails. Facebook and buzzfeed.
Most of the time I work hard.
Sometimes I get angry, I get frustrated.
People seem surprised, you, get angry? You’re so sweet, so nice.
I say something, like, “fuck” and then, my friend turns and he looks at me, “that’s the first time I have ever heard you curse”. I say, “I do that sometimes”.
My friend asks “have you done any drugs”. I say “yes, have done them …ecstacy, acid, mushrooms, dmt. I am done with that phase of my life. I have no desire to go back .”
Most of the time my past informs my present life.
Sometimes, when I hop on my bike to go to the store. I look up and I see the stars. For a moment I feel both big and small at the same time. Unaware of all my problems, issues, unaware of my little self.
Fresh air on my skin on my breath. Unaware of my body size, weight, whether I can afford to buy food for the next three weeks. Just me the winter air, the sky and the stars. I remember Kimya Dawson as she sings, …”if you ever hear someone
Say you are huge, look at the moon, look at the stars, look at the sun
Look at the ocean and the desert and the mountains and the sky
Say I am just a speck of dust inside a giant’s eye”
And then, I go and ride my bike.
I’m having that missing New York, family, friends and home feeling. ( I still love you Boulder friends). im still learning difficulties and challenges, love and joy come up no matter where I am physically. Though, I’ve learned that there is no “perfect” community, job, life. its what we choose to make of it. life can be lived as a prayer and I am always learning to be grateful for it all.
about to make breakfast. then start working on my thesis after I dance downtown and meet with Alex. I haven’t been dancing in the past few months and I really missit. My body is a bit sore from biking around so much, so im trying to bus more and be more easy on my body, but there could be worse pains.
I graduate in the fall, and my last semester I have classes I look forward to: psychology of the five elements, community action and service, a womens studies course on global female empowerment, nature sacred and contemplative, education and critical theory. wowzers!! I think im going to enjoy writing for these classes.
working for landscaping dpt at my school. its great, I love working outside and my co-workers. my friend manages a small gardening/landscaping company so im going to call her/. im also still working at the clothing consignment place.
overall my summer has been low-key, working a lot and visioning what I want to do when I finish school. in my down time I have been hanging out with friends, going to the creek, biking, and I started making art again the other day. I went to New Mexico for a week with three of my friends from school. I went on retreat with Amma. It was amazing and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to afford such a thing. I learned a lot about Amma, and my spiritual path with a guru. I was always scared of considering her my “teacher” or “guru” but she has so much to teach, and a lot of love, compassion and wisdom. I sang, I danced, I cried. and I saw a lot of my inner patterns, thoughts especially tied into money. whoa. Im learning a lot about my emotional health, and not attaching to any one emotional state. I have been a naturally sensitive/emotional person and to see them as temporary is a very very big lesson for me.
definitely taking a year off school before I continue education in holistic health, and/or child education.Deciding whether to stay in Boulder until next summer, or move back to upstate NY/Brooklyn in January. I miss my friends and family in NY, though im sure some friends will be moving, gone, or just have grown into a way that its a different friendship then my memory provides. my mom is selling the house we grew up in, which has been happening for the past few years but its finally going through. so my mom is most likely moving to Brooklyn. our relationship is so much better.
living in a college town where people/friends come and go so much can be hard, and a lesson to really let go. I realize I have have the privilege to live in Boulder, and go to a school like Naropa. It has been a big challenge finishing undergrad being financially independent, and holding a job. though ive made it work.
I have student debt, but I have come more and more to just accept it, and appreciate it. sometimes I get angry about it, though I trust I can get a good job in Boulder or NY, after all my work experience the past few years.
im grateful, and still learning all the time.
I waver back and forth about the debt-education relationship I have with my school. Naropa is a fairly new liberal arts school accredited in the past thirty years. It was started as an insitute by a tibetan monk named Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who wanted to bring tibetan buddhism to the west. Essentially he met the hippies and Naropa was born. What drew me to the school was the meditation base , yoga, and the environmental studies focuses on the sacred.
I think a liberal arts degree could go many ways honestly. In the best light a degree can allow a person to have a career and support themselves, their family, and serve their community. Perhaps thats the issue with a liberal arts degree is that it loses the “career” attainment factor, and it’s more about the knowledge attained. hence why many people go to continue education after undergrad.
in the end its what you do with your education. thank you naropa for introducing me to boulder, trungpa and his crazy wisdom, and the many amazing creative caring passionate people I have met.
I would argue that caring for your body in traditional ways- like eating a healthy diet, exercising, and taking your vitamins- may be the least important part of your health. (I know! Radical idea coming from a doctor!)
This may sound shocking to you. After all, you’ve probably watched many other doctors get on television to tell you that your health is all about using food as medicine, getting enough exercise, and avoiding bad habits. I’m not suggesting that those aren’t great health-inducing behaviors. What I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter how great your diet is if your body is flooded with stress hormones! No amount of kale is going to counterbalance the toxic effects of high levels of cortisol and epinephrine on your body.
So what’s the most important part of your health? The nature of your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. When your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings are positive, relaxation responses are activated, healing hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, nitric oxide, and endorphins are released, and the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms are activated, allowing the body to do what it does best-heal itself."
- Lissa Rankin, M.D