Love Yourself

Imagine this, a woman of a certain age hears a message in her meditation to pack up her SUV, including her yellow-eyed cat, and make her way south during a worldwide pandemic. Despite living comfortably in a pastoral setting with like-minded friends, she heard the voice and chose to answer.

More importantly, this woman settled in a small town in North Carolina, where her inner voice had led her.

Some may call it Intuition, while others will claim she was bat shit crazy.

Regardless, sometimes you must shut down your ego-mind and listen to intelligence. And that’s just what I did.

I cannot say it was easy and that I didn’t question, have my doubts, and wonder where all of this was leading. I had begun the journey to share the Mindful Mandala cards with anyone who would listen and found myself a stranger in strange towns with few who wanted to hear what I had to say.

Enough, said I, a job is what I need, one that will introduce me to this creative community. Like a guiding star, my intuition led me to a fashion boutique where I boldly stepped up to the counter and asked if they were hiring. Understand that I have been self-employed for the past 30 years. Therefore, I am unaccustomed to working a salaried job. Plus, I was to become a “stylist,” dressing women’s outer selves after years of addressing their inner health as a nutritional counselor. Who knew. I took to it like a fish to water.

The pandemic has touched us with loss, fear, uncertainty, death, and insecurity—no more soothing heart hugs between friends, plus the dreaded weight gain.

Big bellies are all the rage.

I say this in a fashion sense because women come to the boutique looking for something to cover the results of two years in isolation. There was little to console them besides chips, wine, and pizza. I do my best to drape, elongate, and encourage the appreciation of a woman’s curves; for some, this works. The evidence is too pronounced for others, and only months of dietary restrictions will appease.

Over the months, I heard a mantra of body parts a woman hates, rejects, ignores, abandons, and can no longer tolerate. I imagine I am at peace with my physical changes, although I avert my eyes when passing a mirror naked. It was a moment of surprise to realize that age has such a decisive say despite all I do to stay fit and healthy.

Women over a certain age do not want to show their upper arms once the skin grows loose and hangs in unattractive drapes. When solid triceps turn soft, biceps flatten, forearms wear the marks of too much sun, and knees, well, that’s a whole chapter in itself. Likewise, women complain that they have hips that are round and full. I point out that these are the curves that make us women. Breasts receive the same scorn:

“I look like a cow.” Said one well-endowed woman in a fabulous v-neck peasant dress.
“No,” I replied, “not udders, beautiful breasts that deserve your love.”

Women come in all shapes and sizes, colors and tones. We wear our pasts like armor. We seek to look beautiful. We drape ourselves in body concealing clothes and hang gold or silver from our necks, ears, wrists, fingers, toes, and ankles. If we don’t love it, we can change how we look. We pierce body parts, tattoo our skin, spend time and money on our hair, polish our nails, and shape our face, breasts, bellies, buttocks, and even the bunions on our feet.

From these observations, the Mandala Talismans were born. The Mindful Mandala cards are a tough sell unless you are used to consulting the Self, using oracle or tarot cards, the Runes, or iChing. These forms of divination are questions to a more profound sense of what you already know. Slowing the constant chatter in your ego-mind allows intelligence to quickly reveal the key to resolving negative emotions. Reminding yourself of the emotions running you is how we can prevent going down a dark rabbit hole of negativity, especially when critical of our beautiful bodies. Wearing your emotions, in this case, around your neck is the antidote, and they are the ideal plumage for enhancing your most attractive attributes.