Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So Long Sensa, My Sense, Ahh!

I used Sensa for exactly one week.

After I wrote my first post for Sensa, which was exceedingly positive, I went to bed that night and had one of the most frightening, disturbing dreams of my life.

In my dream I was walking with the Reiki Master I recently began studying with. She turned to me and said, "I think you have breast cancer, let's go see a doctor."

In my dream, we walked into a doctor's office and I saw not one but two different doctors for the standard "second opinion." Both doctors in my nightmare informed me that I did in fact have breast cancer in my right breast and that it was terminal. I was told that I only had a few weeks to live. When I asked how it was possible that I could have such an advanced stage of cancer in such a short amount of time, I was told that it was due to a vanity product I had been consuming.

I awoke abruptly in a stark, cold alertness. The only product that I was currently consuming that could be considered a "vanity product' was the Sensa.

As a descendent from a long line of matriarchs with prophetic visions, dreams are not something I take lightly or write off as mere symbolic metaphors. I heed them for the warnings they are and have been in my personal experience. So while I believe that Sensa was working for me, I have chosen to stop taking it.

Even though I only consumed Sensa for about seven days, I did gain positive results that have far exceeded that time period. In just one week, with the assistance of Sensa, I was able to stop the momentum of eating more than I should at any given sitting. I also broke the break neck eating pace that busy mothers often inherit after giving birth. That food shoveling routine for energy sake that comes from never knowing when one will have a chance to separate from child in order to eat. Sensa has given me the gift of experiencing food in a healthy manner, thus a renewed, "Sense…ahhh". For that, I am grateful.

And while I must say, So Long Sensa, I am still committed to this personal release party. I have created my own diet which someone before me probably already created, which I am calling The Never Starve, Never Stuff Diet. On the good Ol' NSNS Diet I am eating the same total daily amount of food as I did on Sensa but just smaller servings, more often. I am finding that as long as I never wait until I'm hungry to eat or eat to the point of being stuffed, I am still losing weight.

In addition to my new eating routine, I am also going to begin a new exercise program. I have always been an active person, taking daily or nightly walks on the beach. Each year I also trade in my old exercise DVDs for new ones. I am particularly fond of DVDs. This year I have chosen the Core Rhythms, Latin dance inspired series.

I'll get back to you on January 15 with an update. Let's keep inspiring each other to stay on track and be accountable for treating ourselves with the respect, kindness, love and fun factor we deserve.

Happy Healthy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This Ms. Don't Miss The Mrs.

I come from a long line of feminists, they just don't know it. My grandmother says to her friends when referring to me, "She's a women's libber," as if she were saying, "I smell a poopy diaper." Yet, if she thought for an instant she was being paid less than a man for the same work, there would be hell to be paid. The problem is that she doesn't believe women are paid less than men. She also doesn't believe that O.J. Simpson is anyone other than a charming, innocent retired athlete/actor. Therefore, what Grandma believes and what actually is, might just be two different things.

I have been happily married for nearly 20 years and I love my husband dearly. But I am not a wife before I am a woman, an individual. It's terribly distressing to me that so few people seem to understand the weight and significance of using "Ms." over "Miss" or "Mrs." Only "Ms." is equal to "Mr." If men are not addressed differently based on their marital status, why should women be?

My husband is my best friend, my soul mate, he is also a feminist, which is to say a person who believes in equality for all. The rest of my family and his have been respectful of our choices. However, on our wedding day, my teenage sisters painted our car "Mr. & Mrs." not out of defiance to our beliefs but out of ignorance of their importance to us, while also motivated by the perpetuation of engaging in a tradition. Moments before walking down the aisle, I spotted the car, licked my hand and wiped away the "r" in Mrs. so the car read Mr. & Ms. , albeit a bit smeared. I lovingly explained it to my accepting sisters during our wedding reception which was all caught on tape by the befuddled videographer.

My husband and I each have our own last names and our daughter has his last name as her first name and my last name as her last name (There is a way of preserving the lineage of both parents in families based on the book by Sharon Lebell, Naming Ourselves, Naming Our Children ). We have a meaningful family name of convenience for others to address us as a unit when it comes to holiday cards, restaurant reservations, etc.

When people address me by "Mrs. " or my husband's name, I politely yet emphatically correct them. I ask them how they prefer to be addressed; and if it is by "Mrs. " and their husband's last name, I address them as such. Even though I am against the tradition, I am for individual choice and respecting others and honoring their wishes.

In response to the question, "How do I deal with people who disagree with me?" I would have to say, "I don't." I do my best to be thoughtful, considerate and sensitive to others; but I include myself in the group of "others" and place more importance on what I think about what I am doing in my life than I do on what others think about what I am doing in my life.

I just keep walking my path and they just keep walking theirs. I do believe that we inform people how to respect us by the actions we take to respect ourselves and the world around us. When we pay attention to the light within each individual we become enlightened as a collective. I don't have to try to teach or educate anyone about anything. That is done naturally when I revere my authentic self without apology or justification.

Everything can be argued; wisdom asks us, should it? I'm not interested in arguing over personal choice. I am interested in living with equality. Being addressed by "Miss" or "Mrs." may be a tradition, but it's also an example of inequality. It may be a minor detail, but minor details can change the very meaning of a thing.

The following two sentences have the exact same wording but depending on where I put the comas, (the small, seemingly insignificant details like a woman's last name or doing away with the titles of "Miss" and "Mrs." altogether) the meaning of the sentence changes completely:

"A woman without her man is lost."
(meaning that women need men)


"A woman, without her, man is lost."
(meaning men need women)

Small details make big changes. Perhaps if all married women kept their own name and used "Ms." instead of "Miss" or "Mrs." society would see them more as equals; and they would receive equal pay, and who knows…maybe, just maybe, someday a woman could be president.