her.

I hear them say to me ” hey gorgeous” or “you’re so beautiful” and I stop to question, well, they must have missed these gray hairs?

Do they see what life has done to my crown? It has exposed me. Made me odd and old and riddled me with this self-judgment.

How could they have missed them? There’re so many. Surely when they see them, they’ll reassess my status of beauty, status of presence. I will become invisible once they see that I am not what they thought I was.

Why do I do that? 

Even when I was 32 and only one day after I won a body building contest– ripped and leaner than I’d been in my entire life– I pondered whether to wear my cut-off shorts and tomato red heels to the Village for lunch.  

You know, because I thought maybe my legs showed cellulite, too much water-weight on the back.  

I had just won a bodybuilding show and still thought “they’re gonna find out I WAS fat just 3 months ago.”

Geezo, even with less than 10% bodyfat I felt like an imposter.

And I look at women all around the city; so many gorgeous, luscious women, and I can’t help but hope they realize their pretty is profound. So profound. So unique. Stunning.

Like art.

The Woman with dark brown skin, pure and unblemished.  Glowing gorgeousness.  A chocolate face that shines. Does she see how My breath slows when I look at her face? Maybe, she doesn’t know how exquisite she is, just as she is.

 

The round Woman with hips like ruby rose petals bursting in May . I think they are paintable and sculptable and climbable.

She may not know that she radiates like a maternal goddess, that she reminds me that we’re all mothering someone, even us women without our own child. She is my mirror, and I thank her for letting me see myself that way.

 

The Lady behind glasses masking the mystery in her knowing eyes;  on a face with warrior markings, touched with reds and pinks and greens and black lines of clarity.  Reading her library labeled book.  A thinker, a lover of words and sounds and silence magnified.

When these women turn and catch my gaze, I let a smile stream between us.  

 

Does she know of her lovely? 

 

I, too, wanna feel beautiful beyond my failed control over the gray that commands my head. I wanna feel beautiful even with the patch of cellulite on the side of my rump, when I am without pink and red powders, while wearing my writing glasses and tapping letters on my iPad, while feeling the flow of tears when I write stuff that really matters to me.  

And I wanna let HER know she is– the one I’m smiling at–the lady sitting across from me on the train– the one who keeps staring at me–I want her to know she’s stunning.

108_5114-1.jpg

for real.

Clawing for your dream to become real can be a bit exhausting, if it goes on long enough.

But God knows, you definitely have to go after what you want in full force if you’re seriously determined to make it real.

 

In order for most of us to claim our deepest desires:

to lose fat once and for all,

to cruise to a six-figure income,

to hold the keys to your beach house, 

to finally caress the hand of your everlasting mate,

we need to start acting more like a kid instead of a pissed-off, overwhelmed, confused,

and irritated grown-up.

 

Once you decide you are READY to acquire that dream,

the activity that must consume your “efforts” is playing

MAKE BELIEVE.

 

Use every pocket of me-time: when you’re in the shower, on the toilet,

driving,

or right before bed

to daydream VIVIDLY!

 

What’s new in your wardrobe when you’re 10 pounds lighter?

How does it feel to look at your bank statements after you’ve easily paid your credit card bill and sent extra money to your investment accounts?

Describe the kitchen and bathroom in your beach house.

What does your everlasting love say to you on Sunday morning?

 

Daydream the questions.

The answers become your vision.

 

Then PRETEND.

Feel that darn dream as if it’s real right now. And feel it again tonight. And feel it again in the car. And again when you take the dog for a walk. And again tomorrow.

Act like it’s real.

 

Eat the foods someone 10 pounds lighter would eat.

Send money to your nieces every month.    

Go to HomeDepot and select the cabinets and tiles you’re gonna use for the kitchen remodel in your beach house.

Wake up feeling that you’re seen and loved.

 

Actively MAKE BELIEVE your dream is real RIGHT NOW.

And like a crazy adult or a creative child, boldly PRETEND you are living your dream every single day without cease.

Pretty soon, really,

pretty soon,

you will live it

for real.

for real

www.michellebernardspeaks.com

 

shedding

who you be?

if the noise inside gets too loud, you’ll never hear

yourself.

better to write her

draw her

scribble her onto an unused napkin and stick her in your purse.

carry her with you everyday.

she needs to be defined.

she needs to be with you every moment

not crumpled in a pile of mess or jumbled under layers of judgment

and fear.

 

let her loose.

let the WiLD breathe.

 

Michelle Bernard: WiLD journaling

to be unleashed January 2018

 

 

I’m addicted.

I’m a junkie. I study like a freak. I devour programs on self-growth, energy healing, spiritual principles, bodywise information.

I don’t need to go back to school again–ever. There’re teachers offering brilliant stuff online that really digs deep intellectually. Lisa Nichols. Anne Lamott. Danielle LaPorte. Tony Robbins. Brendon Burchard (Imma take a breath…)

I am addicted.

And here’s the problem: when I find myself stuck in somebody’s

virtual classroom more than I’m out in the world actually using my education,

then being a life-long “studier” becomes a blanket to hide under. 

Sometimes life-long students need to close the books and get wise by doing.

Me. Now.

 

anne lamott quote
anne lamott

stuff

I remember when that lopsided tree in the backyard was one wind gust from falling down on our new house.

We closed on the house in late August. My first house. By November Hurricane Sandy almost caused our upstairs bedroom to crash into our kitchen. Sandy had pulled at least 14 trees out of the ground on surrounding streets. Welcome to the neighborhood.

I ended up leaving that little Cape Cod home anyway. My husband will continue to live in our house while we uncouple. I’ve mourned then found the calm to settle all that loss. I’m grateful for what those things were to me and what they made helped me become.

Things aren’t permanent. Stuff might last, it might not. And I’ve tried not to hold on to stuff as tightly as I used to. It’s a daily effort.

As I watch the sky go from gray to white to regular to gray, I feel Jose’s breath coming behind Irma’s.

I’m giving to the people who’ve survived Irma in the ways that I can.

I’m also giving thanks in general. Grateful.

I’m grateful for my freedom. My freedom to change. Freedom to let go when I need to or have to.

I’m grateful for the freedom (and courage) to move onward to what calls me forward.