A couple of weeks ago, I started reading A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle and I have been learning all about the ego and how it controls so many of us. According to Tolle, the ego is the collection of thoughts our minds constantly produce and, if we are not careful, we can be completely taken over by those thoughts and start believing that the thoughts are who we really are (ie. I am fat. I am an accountant. I am beautiful. etc.). Instead, Tolle’s book teaches us how to recognize the awareness behind our thoughts and realize that this is who we really are. For example, a few days ago, I thought to myself, “That guy is a pompous ass,” and as soon as the thought entered my brain, I recognized that my ego was creating those thoughts for a couple of reasons – the ego hates feeling inferior to others and the ego loves to judge others to make itself feel superior (ie. the voice in our head is constantly trying to make us look down on others and believe ourselves to be superior). Ego also hates to be wrong and loves to be right, so it goes out of its way to cause thoughts that make us feel as though we are right and others are wrong. In essence, Ego is the source of all conflict in the world – religious, political, personal – and if everyone could learn how to be aware of their thoughts and of the ego, conflict would diminish and eventually disappear. I’ve always known that there was something inside me that kept me in check when my thoughts spiraled out of control (in any direction) and, after reading this book, I really understand what it is and what has always been lurking within me, waiting patiently to be recognized.
The danger, of taking our thoughts too seriously and being unaware of our inner energy, is that our thoughts can completely shape us and cause us to believe we are something we are not (such as, I’m better than this person or that person or that guy’s religious beliefs are wrong and he should die because of it or that dude’s a loser, etc.)
I’m having one of those days where my thoughts are trying to take over and my inner awareness is struggling to recognize all of the thoughts for what they are (just my ego trying to make me believe I rock the world and everyone else should know it) and I find the only things that help me get through days like this one (besides a vat of vino and an entire chocolate cake) are sleep, photography and blogging. I didn’t have any shoots scheduled for today and I don’t feel very sleepy, so blogging it is.
Last Thursday, Ellen had some plus size models on her show who were doing a plug for Glamour magazine and it’s newly changed format (which is now going to be including models of all shapes and sizes and is steering away from the norm of only showcasing “normal” size models). I was stoked. It’s about darn time. Did you know that “plus size” models are size 6 and up? Size 6. Are you kidding me? NO WONDER SO MANY GIRLS GROW UP WITH WEIGHT ISSUES AND INSECURITIES. Suffice it to say, I hope that all of those “normal” gals out there will breathe a lot easier now and give their poor, starved, overexercised model bodies a well-deserved rest and some good home cookin’.
Days like this, where my thoughts are going a little crazy, I like to spend a little time taking stock of who I am – who I really am – just to remind me that I’m okay with who I am.
This is a little bit of me…
- I’m not a size 2, I’m a size 9 (sometimes a size 11 on my bloated days) and I’m okay with that;
- I spend a lot of time and energy trying to remind women that we can be beautiful at any size and that what we look like has absoultely NOTHING to do with who we are. My efforts are exhausting and often fall on deaf ears, but I will keep on this crusade until, well, forever and I’m okay with that.
- I try to eat healthy as often as possible, but I have days where I give in to temptation and I eat really unhealthy and liver-damaging foods, like birthday cake from Safeway (the kind with the colorful roses on top and buttery-tasting icing), Dairy Queen ice cream and my mother-in-law’s delectably delicious cheese cake. I also love Lindor chocolates and can eat a whole bag of the round ones in one sitting and I’m okay with that.
- Despite being a mostly upbeat person, I have moody days and I’m okay with that.
- I always cry when I’m frustrated and I’m okay with that.
- I love passionately and with everything I have or I don’t love at all and I’m okay with that.
- I’m a born procrastinator. I inherited this from my father (and so did my brother Mike) and I’m okay with that.
- I constantly look for ways to make other people feel special and wanted and loved. I sometimes feel sad if it doesn’t work and I’m okay with that.
- Sometimes I get angry when people don’t share my opinions or point of view. I recognize this is just my ego’s need to be right and feel superior to other egos. I know that awareness of this is the first step to overcoming it and I know I have a ways to go before I can leave my ego in the dust and just be and I’m okay with that.
- I sometimes feel slighted when I don’t receive recognition for things that I have done. Another ego problem that I’m slowly overcoming and I’m okay with that.
- I often lament the fact that kids these days don’t seem to have an appreciation for gifts or any of the things their parents do or buy for them and it really bothers me that the next generation is made up of many “entitlement” kids who feel as though they are owed and deserve anything and everything they want. But then I come to terms with the fact that I don’t have children and really have no idea how I would deal with this issue with my children and maybe that is just the way things are these days and I’m okay with that…mostly.
- I love snuggling with my boys (Greg and the animals) on Saturday mornings. It makes me feel loved and cherished. However, sometimes we go days without snuggling and I’m okay with that too!
- My husband is a complete redneck – he says and does inappropriate things at inappropriate times and I’m okay with that.
- I don’t have have a “filter” and I often speak my mind without thinking. Sometimes this is a good thing (because I can be very witty and make people laugh) and sometimes it’s not such a good thing (because I can rub people the wrong way and sometimes hurt people’s feelings), but I’m okay with that.
- Even though I make a constant effort to accept people for who they are, I still sometimes fall into the trap of buying into my egotistical thoughts and labeling others or judging them. I recognize this. I hate this. I’m doing my best to overcome this and to make others overcome it too and I’m okay with that.
- I sometimes let fearful thoughts control my actions, but I know that fear stops 90% of the people in the world from realizing their dreams, so I do my best to ignore those fears and step out on the ledge. Sometimes it doesn’t work. Most often it does and I’m okay with that.
- My favorite item of clothing is Yoga pants and, despite the fact that I may not always look “put together” because I so often wear yoga pants, I’m okay with that.
- I don’t give a crap what other people think of me – any part of me – and I am SO okay with that.
- I wish everyone could just get along. I know that the world is starting to shift into a more aware state, but I also know that it won’t come to peace in my lifetime and I’m okay with that.
- I cry when anything sad happens to an animal or when I hear about any animal suffering or being subjected to cruelty. I did a photoshoot on Saturday on a farm in Merritt and the people who lived there raised pigs for food. These pigs spend their entire lives in pens that are barely larger than their bodies. This bothered me so much that it was all I could do to keep it together and not turn on my heel and run from the situation. I stopped eating pig over a year ago when I watched a documentary about how intelligent these creatures are. Very intelligent. Smarter than any dog. Would you raise dogs for food? I thrust the pain I was feeling for the pigs out of my mind, did the shoot and left, only to have to pull over on the way home and cry for ten minutes at the heartlessness of some people. I love animals. I hate knowing that many of them suffer. I hope the world will someday realize that animals have souls, just like people and that hope keeps me from turning into some sort of vigilante, animal cruelty avenger and I’m okay with that.
Those are a few pieces of what makes the whole of me and, every once in awhile it is good to remind ourselves of who we are and why we are that way. Some people ask me why I bother to blog about topics like this when I’m trying to promote my business. The truth is, this blog is as much a personal journal as it is a promoter of my business and I am a blogger who happens to be a photographer, not the other way around. I hope that these little revelations help my readers (and potential clients) to get a feel for who I am and help determine whether or not they are going to get along with me during a photo shoot or on their wedding day.
Having said that, I feel a thousand times better than I did when I started this post and I’ll leave you all with a funny pic I took of our friends’ son, Ethan, while he played with our dog, Juno in the back yard the other day. Juno loves to attack bubbles!!! Good night, my friends, I wish you enough!