Break Free Today

The truth will set you free,

but first it will piss you off.

Gloria Steinem

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Here’s Summer!  With three teens under my roof, freedom and independence are never far from my mind even when it’s not the 4th of July.   On the radio, I hear lyrics of pop songs like Wasted and Fancy that revel in the freedom of being unconsciousness, blacking out as a convenient excuse for “I don’t know what happened to me!” Do the young seriously believe adults don’t crave this same relief from living the straight and narrow?!  Red, white, and blue don’t do as much for me as seeing red lips pop on black and white with Powerful Goddess Cora Poage.

Pema Chodron speaks of a more genuine freedom in this excerpt from  her book When Things Fall Apart:

We are told from childhood that something is wrong with us, with the world, and with everything that comes along: it’s not perfect, it has rough edges, it has a bitter taste, it’s too loud, too soft, too sharp, too wishy-washy. We cultivate a sense of trying to make things better because something is bad here, something is a mistake here, something is a problem here.

To dissolve this dualism, we must question our habitual tendency to struggle against what’s happening to us or in us. What if we move toward difficulties than backing away? We don’t get this kind of encouragement very often.

Everything that occurs in our lives is not only usable and workable but is actually the path itself. We can use everything that happens to us as the means for waking up. We can use everything that occurs–whether it’s our emotions and thoughts or our seemingly outer situation–to show us where we are asleep and how we can wake up completely, utterly, without reservations.

In the practice of lojong, a slogan says, “When the world is filled with evil, all mishaps, all difficulties, should be transformed into the path of enlightenment.”

We’re trying to learn not to split ourselves between our “good side” and our “bad side,” between our “pure side” and our “impure side.” The elemental struggle is with our feeling of being wrong, with our guilt and shame at what we are. That’s what we have to befriend. The point is that we can dissolve the sense of dualism between us and them, between this and that, between here and there, by moving toward what we find difficult and wish to push away.

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Hot In The Kitchen

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well,

if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

I envy people who love cooking, people who create magic in their kitchen with gourmet meals and  homemade desserts–sure magnets of warm conversation, laughter and conviviality.  When such a cook looks like the Goddess in this photo series, you can triple my envy.    I used to be torn between thoughts like ” I want a mother like that!” and “I want to be a mother like that!”  until I surrendered to the fact that my talents lie elsewhere–like eating the amazing food they make! 😉

When in the company of passionate gourmands, may we savor everything their table offers and skip talk of our latest diet.   Geneen Roth, author of  “Women, Food and God” and “Lost and Found” wrote in “When Food is Love:”

A diet is similar to an oppressive, authoritarian parent who tells you what to do and when to do it.  Diets perpetuate the child in each of us who was treated with mistrust and restrictions.  Diets keep us focused outside ourselves–on what we are allowed to eat, when we are allowed to eat it, and how much of it we are allowed to have at one sitting.  Diets keeps us dependent on a source outside ourselves for our sense of well-being and self-worth.  With a diet, the anger and humiliation stay forever self-directed, we spend our lives punishing ourselves for not being good enough.

In breaking free from diets and the ensuing self-punishment, we make a choice to stop being a victim.  It creates an awareness of how our culture encourages us to define our self-worth according to externals–what we look like, how much we weigh, how much money we make.  In paying attention to what our body wants instead of imposed rules, we learn that our body is our ally, our instincts are wise, we have many choices, and we can rely on our wisdom to live compassionately with ourselves.

Add what you think, share on Facebook, tweetie please!

© 2011 Sharon Birke

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC

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