labelleizzy: (Default)
A bunch of us who grew up touch starved developed unhealthy coping mechanisms.

I would like to share, please, the healthiest coping mechanism I’ve found for wanting the kind and quality of touch that I need, when I can’t get enough of it. And all it needs time, hot water, soap, and like $5.00!
Trader Joe’s Lavender Salt Scrub costs like $3.99 in store. Amazon has it listed at $15.00!! Plus shipping! Duh, don’t buy it on Amazon then…

Pretty easy to make a salt scrub at home if you don’t have a TJ’s. Olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, or any kind of thick massage quality oil, with the same amount of non iodized salt and maybe a few drops of an essential oil. Lavender is good because it’s a natural antimicrobial, but you do you.

Exfoliating is pretty simple, it’s a bit rough on your skin till you get used to it but good grief does my skin feel amazing, soft & smooth right now, hands, arms, shoulders, legs, torso. And NOTHING ITCHES right now except for that spot I can’t reach in the middle of my back.

I like to get in the shower, wash my hair first, then turn off the water to scrub my skin. I do hands, then arms (underarms feels SO GOOD to scrub but please don’t try this just after shaving if you shave!), shoulders, boobs and torso, butt and hips, legs and feet, and face is last (and most gentle).

Then I get some soap on my scrubbie, get me and it gently wet, wipe off remaining salt and excess oil, before resoaping and washing as usual.

Many years ago, I left my ex husband, for a bunch of reasons but one of them was, that he refused to touch me in the ways I asked him to, the ways I needed. And I wrote myself a reminder:

“If nobody else is touching you in ways that you need, you need to do it for yourself.”

I forget this sometimes. It can be hard to get enough warm tight hugs, or enough neck kisses, or other things I wish I had more of and don’t seem to know how to ask for, how to get. But I can definitely treat myself on a Saturday afternoon, scrub my bod, cut my nails, do my hair.

I can do this for myself, and so can you, mostly. If this specific technique doesn’t work for you, or if you are differently-abled than I am (which is mostly able) then i encourage you to adapt.

You can still pamper yourself. You can still feed yourself in the non food ways, you can still treat yourself with kindness and gentleness (yes, for some of us it takes conscious practice, I know and realize).

Love yourself enough to care for your body, listen to what it needs, and do what you can to provide that.
I love all y'all. I finally love myself, too. (Mid forties fat cis woman.)

Take good care of each other and of yourselves, please.

#touch #deliberate touching #touch me #gentle touch #loving touch #self-care #touch starved #touch starvation #kindness #massage #exfoliating #exfoliate #exfoliante #exfoliantscrub #grooming #love yourself treatyoself
labelleizzy: (i dance)
wow.
this weekend I went with my friend Chelsea to a 3-day workshop for the dance form we both study in, called Open Floor, or Five Rhythms...
it was such an amazing experience, that I still can't, partly don't want to, wrap words around it.
the kind of time that feels like you'll break the spell if you try too hard to describe it, too precious to try to explain.

Here's the KIND of weekend it was though: flirty fun floaty flowy.

I danced and moved and explored and stretched and didn't take long breaks for the entirety of the session. Fri 7-10 pm, Sat 11-2 and 3-6, Sunday 2-7 with a break at 4:30-5.

So call it thirteen hours of being carried along by the dance and the moving and the community and the exploration of what my physical self is capable of. Beautiful, ugly, silly, boring, all of it, range of motion, all the different moods and impulses that the music and our teachers encouraged to come out.

Aside from emotional and self esteem shift-change-improvements, the physical improvements are tremendous.
my shoulders feel totally liberated, I can move them n all kinds of directions, watch my collarbones be mobile (what??)
and late on Saturday I had THE most painful kind of muscle cramp, in my low right abdominals, at first I was like, shit I overworked them but I dug my fingers into the muscle to try to support them (through the deep belly fat) while they cramped, breathed and hollered a little (I was actually sat down in the loo when this triggered, heh)

but when the cramp finally released me and I was able to stand up again, there was this... only way to describe it, freedom, open space, liberation? in my belly and my hip and leg and belly and back were straighter, looser, more limber... I had a new rotation in that hip, as I discovered when we returned to the dance floor, a new violence was possible in my movements, explosive and HUGE.

I need to move this some more, because it's immense and gorgeous, after seventeen years after the initial injury, this precious body has found strength and release and liberation.

I wasn't larger than this body, or smaller than this body, but exactly body-sized; and everything was full of flow and amazement.

I have a completely different belief about what I'm physically capable of now, and the crunchy painful fear and worry has softened and melted and released and ALLOWED.

...Right now, if you're reading this: for just a moment, roll your neck gently, move your shoulders around in circles, twist your torso, wiggle your hips, flex your feet. If like me, you tend to sit a lot, take a moment to check in with your body and love it with some movement.

and that's what I have for now. Got a busy day today, looking forward to it.

labelleizzy: (brain dump)
*grin*
I've been studying this for *years*, no lying. I knew I grew up in a house of clutterholics, I knew it was uncomfortable and didn't feel healthy, but for most of my growing up years I had no idea how to get out of the collecting, and, let's be honest, packrat habits.

Here's the first principle, in my opinion the most important principle involved in getting over "hoarding" behaviors. YMMV, of course.

1) Hoarding is never about the *stuff*, not really. It's about your feelings.

In my family, we held on to a lot of stuff we didn't need. I've come to realize there was a real fear of lack involved. Grandma and Grandpa on mom's side both lived through the Depression, and came out with a "save everything, it might be needed someday" attitude.

*narrowed eyes*
This led to junk drawers of all kinds throughout the house, filled with random screws, rubber bands, office supplies (broken and whole), kid's toys, eyeglasses someone had outgrown, small lengths of thread or yarn, twistie ties, and, well, I'm sure you are mostly award of this trend and how it's manifested in spaces you are familiar with. Linen closets with lots of ratty old towels, taking up the space for the good towels. Clothes in the closet that haven't fit for *years* or are a style you'll never wear again but were "too good to give away". Broken tools in the workbench drawers because "someday we'll get that fixed".

Useless JUNK.

I came out of that house and clung to all my STUFF. I conflated my STUFF with my memories, with my feelings, with how people would think of me, with how I saw /myself/. And it was paralyzing.

Too much STUFF! Almost all with mental and emotional associations of scarcity, lack, worry, fear, and not-feeling-good-enough.

And I KNEW that I had too much stuff, and I knew it was helping me hold onto all these unproductive feelings and ideas, but the overwhelm and paralysis meant that it was a lot easier to shuffle stuff around in order to find the useful stuff, than it was to GET RID OF the stuff that was useless.

I'm not sure of exactly my tipping point.
I know I had one, or several; points of OMG WTH have I been doing with my life?!?!

One:
When living with my exspouse, I determined to go through one of the many boxes-o-junk we'd stashed in the "storage room" off the landing to the stairs in the condo we were living in. It was full of mostly papers, mostly five to ten years old, many envelopes unopened.

I was ashamed.
I went in anyway, with a bag for recycling and a letter opener.

And in that box were bills addressed to my college address. Five+ years old, never opened. *toss* *wince*
And in that box were papers that had no meaning to my current life. *toss* "Why have I been KEEPING these?"
...
And in that box was an envelope from the university, and a date-stamp for around when I graduated.
(no, it wasn't anything cool, it was embarrassing.)
I open the envelope, and it's the information on where when and how to return my graduation cap and gown.

So. Much. Headdesk. Something like 7 years later.
I think that I was sometimes too scared to open the bills when I was in college, because I didn't have money to pay them, and in my house you just didn't talk about money. or bills. or owing people money. or ask your parents for money you knew they didn't have, to help you out.

So I guess I learned to stick my head in the sand about things that scared me that way.

And it took a rare bit of courage, initially, to dig in to all that STUFF and to face all of those old, fermented feelings, let them out, let them crumble to dust or evaporate into the air.

Yes, sometimes I did get hit with the big feelings, letters from loved ones, job evaluations (good or bad), or reminders of things I had promised to do and hadn't actually done. Disappointments, old pains, frustration with myself and with others.

But mostly, for me, (eventually) the satisfaction of clearing out the dreck and the useless overcame the Other Feelings that were triggered BY the dreck and the useless.

And sometimes you'd find treasures in the dragon's hoard. That helped make it worth it.

Your STUFF is not the same as your self-worth, nor is it the same as your feelings, or your reputation.

I do tend to admire people who live tidy lives, for many reasons but not least of which is that it seems a lot easier to do the things you want to do without having to paw through a bunch of Old Shit to find the things you need.

I work towards that, myself.

And that? That happens A Little Bit At A Time, which will be my next musing on the subject.
labelleizzy: (how to eat an elephant)
Once upon a time there was a little girl.
This little girl trustingly swallowed, hook, line, and sinker, the cultural meme that having more stuff will make you happier. She was not a happy little girl, and there were many hungers in her life that were never properly satisfied.

She started accumulating and collecting stuff. Meanwhile she was puzzled about why she seemed no happier, because she continued to hear the message that having enough stuff, will make you happy. She continued accumulating stuff.

Of course it wasn't really about the STUFF. It was about the unsatisfied hungers.
But it took her many many years to realize, that if you find out what the shape of the hunger is, and you feed yourself appropriately to satisfy all of your hungers, you don't need your "STUFF" as a pacifyer anymore.

and then you can get rid of the pacifyer.
labelleizzy: (Default)
as seen on [livejournal.com profile] apocalypticbob's Livejournal.

15 years ago I was 25. That was the "existential birthday" because after 25, I hadn't imagined at all what my life would be like. I had detailed expectations for every year up till 25, then 26? No clue what I should be doing with myself. Interesting, I haven't thought of that in a long time.

At 25, 15 years ago, I was back living at home with my mom. My dad had just died, about 6 months earlier. We were living in a house we rented, very near to the school that she worked at (also my old junior high). Our house had a little cement and stones waterfall-pond in the backyard, and mom spent hours dredging out that pond, shortly after we moved in. We wanted to put some goldfish in it. We discovered, once it started raining, why it needed mud dredged out of it: the rest of the yard was on a slight upslope, and the dirt from the lawn and garden flowed down hill when the waterlogged dirt... yeah. =) I loved that yard: spending time watching the fish, practicing kata on the back porch. I had just started the librarian job in the Grant district, was doing taekwondo at the community college, and feeling physically strong for the first time in my life. Emotionally, not so strong, though.

Advice for the Me of Fifteen Years Ago: (Granted if I had taken it I wouldn't be where I am today:)

* Gods, DITCH Francis already. He's not emotionally available, he's sarcastic and unsupportive, his parents are clutterholics, and so is he. He wants to keep everything the same. This is not a relationship that will help you to grow.

* Keep up with the Taekwondo. But: find a mentor who you feel comfortable going to for help in breaking down complicated moves, find someone who you can ask stupid questions of, regularly (and get used to asking uncomfortable, stupid questions). Practice jumping kicks at home, and ask for specific drills involving falling and getting over the fear of falling. And if this Do-jang doesn't do that, find another class to take, because it was the fear of asking for help/looking foolish and the fear of falling and hurting yourself that caused the knee-sprain. Twice.

* When you realize after about a year that you are still PISSED at dad for dying and everything else, give a call to that 800 number for employee mental health, and find someone to talk to about this, keep calling till you find someone. It's not natural nor good for you to be angry for six years and to be unable to remember any of the good things about your father. Also, that headspace puts you as a good match for another emotionally unavailable, sarcastic first husband. =( Talking to people is a Good Thing, and asking for help, well, you won't get help unless you do, and you won't know if you'll get help UNTIL you do ask, so talk to people.

* In that same vein, say yes more often to social events with people you like and who like you. It's good for you and builds your self-esteem and the friendships with those people as well. (The number of social events I flaked on, to have a date with a boy who didn't really make me happy...!)

* Make more stuff. Actually USE your craft supplies, you'll be sorry you didn't. Make gifts for friends and family, even if you "don't think it's good enough". The pillow that Scotty saved the dog's hair to stuff? Make that first. =(

* Do more professional development in the librarian gig, and find more ways to interact with the kids. Follow up on the mobile mini-library idea for classroom projects. Pick the brains of the English and history teachers more. Go do social stuff with Sandy and Cathy and ask Regina and Sharon out to tea. Knowing smart, experienced, older ladies is Good. Also, look into academic counseling at Sac State, you won't finish the teaching credential your first time through, but they'll understand, what with dad dying. They might be able to help you stay on track or find support services, bereavement counseling, stuff like that.

* Call your brother more. Find out more about his life, his girlfriend Sarah, have him tell you more tacky fraternity stories and explain why his fraternity was so important to him. Ask him about the trip to Hawaii, and about coaching his baseball team. Find a way to get down there and go out to dinner with him and Sarah.

* Call your sister more. Even awkward conversation is better than no conversation. Get to know Matt, and you and Jen can learn ways to support each other, and to support mom (and Scott) as well, through the grieving period. (I don't have any memories of spending time with my sister during the first year after dad died. I may be misremembering but yeah.)

* Try casual dating, and dates-with-friends. Also, dates-with-self. Strengthen the muscles of independence and self-sufficiency.

* I'd say "purge the clutter" or "get rid of the crap" but I know the crap is a security blanket that isn't going anywhere till you feel better about yourself. In addition to working on your social skills and other crafty things, try going to Al-anon, and hell, learn more about being an Adult Child of Alcoholics. Fran gave you that book because she recognized where you were, even if you didn't. Believe her. Try a meeting.

* Learn to give yourself manicures and pedicures. Seriously, you ARE worth the effort to learn to do such small things that make you happy, make you feel pretty.

* Hug your mom more. Take her along when you go out to walk the dog. Talk to her more, ask for stories of your dad from college and when they were early dating.

* Take your mom out on social events as often as she will let you. She was very very lonely for a very long time, even married to your dad and with you kids and the social life she did have... and she was primary caretaker of your dad during his final illness, even if you helped. She deserves some good times with loving, friendly people, and she won't meet them on her own for over 10 years. Help her out, it'll help you out as well.

* Enjoy the pagan community you're on the verge of joining. Talk with those folks more often, they'll be good for you. Read the books they recommend, seriously, READ them. All the way through. And read some more original sources, too, and as much other mythology as you can lay your hands on. This will be more fun and more useful than getting lost in crappy romance novels. They're good people. If you have to be shy, be shy, but ask them about themselves, learn more about who they are, how they problem solve, and the obstacles they've had in their own lives. This will help you problems-solve, and overcome your own obstacles, and again, give you confidence in your friendship-building skills, coincidentally more friends as well. =)

* Just so you know, you are sexy, and there are often people who think you are cute and want to see more of you. Don't grip so hard onto a relationship because you are worried no more are going to come around. There is enough, you have enough, you are enough. Feed yourself before you feed EVERYBODY else around you. You know about being alone, it hurts but it's not the worst pain ever.

* BTW, the worst pain ever? It's yet to come. You will handle it, and you will learn what you're made of, and it will open your eyes to who and what you are, where you are, and what your path is. It's a kind of birth. Remember that, and treat it as such.

* Be honorable, and be honest. Live by those two rules as much as you can, and treat yourself with kindness and respect.


... If you like, write a letter to the Yourself of Fifteen Years Ago, (assuming you're old enough to have figured out some life-lessons to share with that Yourself), and share with me.
labelleizzy: (Default)
TEN things of joy... Feeling ambitious.

1) Waving g'bye to GW. *waves*

2) Breaking [livejournal.com profile] spurious_logic's brain last night when I told him that on Sunday we replaced the last things that were stolen from us in the burglary... wait for it... )

3) Test driving one of the items from number two, just a little earlier today. Thinking about writing a review. Should I?

4) Warm kitty-lap. Also, kitties curled up on me as I'm falling asleep.

5) Realizing that I probably won't get a hard-copy newspaper for today but also realizing that I won't mind THAT terribly much; more paper in a pile is a Do Not Want, even if it has very cool pictures and articles, I can prolly find over 70% published online. (CC times and SF Chron.)

6) a date to go have someone poke holes in me and my "niece", accompanied by dinner. (yes, odd that I am, I'm looking forward to that.)

7) light weight-lifting alleviates a muscle cramp. I will most likely do more of that tonight.

8) long and intense conversations with a friend who is very perceptive and trying to figure out some of HER stuff too. Perspective on situations in MY life that are helpful.

9) Chocolate in the mail.

10) Saying "no thank you" to even very nice champagne (I wasn't sure if I'd been handed a glass of non-alcoholic so I didn't drink it) with only the slightest twinge. It may be a very long time till my next drink. At least there is much joy in the rest of my life, enough so it's hard for me to say that I miss the (often dubious) pleasures inherent in alcohol.

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