TRP: Who are you today?
Hmmmm, today, I’m not in a good frame of mind, Monday —- but started the post-interview anyways . . . and then needed to stop, feeling “closed in” … Two days later feeling the desire to complete a task, so finishing this today, Wednesday, was definitive goal. Kind of how I do many things!
TRP: What are the biggest challenge’s that have faced you as a woman?
As a woman… let’s see. . . it starts when I was a girl. I was pretty. So any attention I received was around how I looked. Although I didn't put much value into that myself because I felt uncomfortable with the oogling attention on my appearance. Although others may believe it a blessing, it was very distracting for the rest of my personhood, like distractions from actually communicating. I was nurtured and loved and bullied into silence. As long as I was silent, I was worthy of being in the presence of others. Just be quiet and look pretty. Don’t ask for anything. Don’t ask for help. Certainly, do not give an opinion and DO NOT defend yourself verbally! So the impulse to communicate verbally, physically even psychically was thwarted from my early years. Very few verbal skills exercised did not lend for a robust positive self-esteem.
My language skills were extremely limited to say the least. I was aware of this at the age of 20 when I started college. My employer was paying for college tuition, so I figured that I might as well try it. “They are paying for it.” I remembered saying to myself that “if I don’t graduate or if I fail completely in scores and grades and result in incompletion, at least I’ll have learned new words and have increased my vocabulary!” To some this goal me seem minimal, however, for me it was a courageous commitment to meet my “Mount Everest” face on ~ ultimately to fulfill my dream of speaking intelligently with others and the hope that others found my thoughts and desires to be interesting. I had wanted to be able to say that, “I’m more than just a pretty face.” But, I didn’t even have the ability to put that sentence together, process through my brain to my vocal cords and mouth and SAY IT!
So the foundation of my life story was dependent on affirmation outside of myself rather than from an internal drive. I had no idea, until I started college and started observing other girlfriends. I was in a perpetual state of observation and then checking in if I wanted that behavior or word to describe me. Watching how others reacted to my friends, was my initial litmus test to the selection of how I wanted to be. So this method seemed to have been working, UNTIL . . . attending psychology courses.
From these courses I learned that to be a more balanced and content human being was to generate my affirmation from within. This is known as having an internal locus of control. So it really wasn’t about how others behaved at all. This was going to be a much deeper “archeological dig” into myself that I hadn’t been aware.
Internal locus of control: It made sense and felt right loud and clear. So my next climb was to set out and discover exactly WHAT was my internal locus; what exactly made me tick; what made ME happy and feel joyful? So I started with some basics. Looking into the mirror and evaluating my face and really looking into my eyes ~ WHAT!?!?! In that moment, I discovered something profound! My eyes are greeeeen NOT blue! Interesting. So for my first 20+ years I thought I was a blonde with blue eyes. HUH?!? Ok. Next step: correct my driver’s license! Eye Color: Green.
Ok, moving on into this adventure: What foods did I like? What was my favorite color? What did I like to do? Well, I started with pizza ~ ok~that’s a great favorite food to start. Favorite color ~ aqua blue and the contrasts between colors were magical to me. And what do I like to do? Bike riding… I biked everywhere that first year, sometimes 40 miles in a day! I then added swimming. Tried running~ nope, not that one.
I was driven to “find myself” which I continue to make discovery even now ~ how fun is that? Now for the more challenging part, that came later: to express myself. This part of the quest remains a constant. Like a friend who stays with you forever! The journey hasn’t been easy by any means, however, my life has been robust and full of adventure because of it. I encourage everyone I meet to live their life to its FULLEST! We only have this one. Get yourself to love yourself and live profoundly.
However, I still apologize for myself at times and have great fear of alienation. I’m now learning the fine balance of sharing my thoughts and desires, however, NOT EVERYONE needs to know what I’m feeling or thinking. Not only are some people not interested, but they are even offended! HA. (laughing at myself ~ my audacity to think that most people want to know what I think!!)
To continue my story, I finished a nursing degree with honors; later on, a visual communications degree with high honors, Summa Cum Laude, and now embarking on duo Masters in Healthcare Admin and Holistic Counseling. I remain with challenges to communicate in written form on a higher level and verbally, sometimes I’m a bit direct and the delivery isn’t comfortable or smooth. Especially, defending a position verbally. I think partly because I’m still in the dregs of defining my authentic position and committing to it. My discomfort is often mirrored back to me from others that I am aggressive. Sometimes, this gets in the way of relationships and sometimes not!
However, the REAL turning point for me came when I was 27. The year I joined the UW Milwaukee sailing club ~ I learned how to sail on the Great Lakes. It was like a switch was flipped… I finally woke up to life and my lungs filled completely… As if I was newly born to the world. It was incredible! “You are a natural sailor,” I was told and it felt like it to me too. So I kept sailing. For the first time, I felt complete joy, bliss, almost heaven-like. Very quickly I was invited to race ~ loved that too, so much, that I bought my own J24. Raced my own boat attracting awesome friends and crew, who taught me the finer aspects to sailing; paying attention to the wind, water, boat handling & maintenance. With the help of my team, I became a 5-year champion in the Milwaukee Bay J24 fleet, fleet captain and co-founded the first Women’s Offshore Racing Fleet of the Milwaukee Bay. Which lead to more adventure!
How does this relate to being a woman?
Well the worthiness to speak definitely stemmed from societal constraints on the value of women in our culture and family…. and the ability to race sailboats had typically been a man’s sport. I learned how to swear like a sailor and used it often on the race course projecting a power that I had no idea I had. It was profound. AND my abilities to handle my boat, direct the crew definitively and still have fun doing it!
However, even in the sailing arena, I was shunned by some because I was winning ~ A WOMAN winning against men. Now, please keep in mind, my crew was made up of primarily men, however, the gender distinction never dawned on me until people pointed it out to me. I was just racing because I loved it and winning because how our crew all came together and won. I fully resolve my ability as an experienced sailor, regardless of my gender. It is my genius. I have more to learn on the sea and about the varying vessels. I will never stop learning. I’m especially drawn to the classic wood boats. There is a harmony, a connection to these vessels that seems to run through my blood. There is a life that runs continuous through the wood into my hand to meet my soul.
Co-sponsoring the Women’s OffShore Racing in the Milwaukee Bay in the 90’s has been a heartfelt accomplishment. Again, only in a team of people did we accomplish this goal. Our fleet continues to thrive to this day. The glory is that I, now, get to watch girls grow into women in the sport and go on to win intercollegiately and hope to see their accomplishments in the professional sport as well. I am told that I am a legend in Milwaukee’s sailing for women. I really had no idea, nor did I set out to do that… I JUST LOVED to SAIL and RACE.
TRP: What are some of the issues that you think are important to explore as it relates to being a woman?
One of the most important aspects of being a woman, is to support other women. Being that our culture has been patriarchal for thousands and thousands of years, where women have not only been systematically oppressed, but still remain at risk at the hand of man for rape, murder, reduced pay ~ being de-powered essentially by our gender counterpart. Not all men are like this of course, thankfully, and the paradigm is shifting to a larger mass. I am truly grateful.
Only, if we stand united as women, will we be able to change this paradigm. We must unite no matter the philosophical differences! We must find common ground and stand together. Not only does the future of women depend on it, our world and even humanity needs the balance to survive.
If the feminine does not match the masculine in the balance of power, then I’m afraid humanity will be at grave risk for survival. The masculine power can no longer reign in the control seat by itself. It will destroy our earth and all life. We MUST unite and tip the scale back to a balanced position and join them to provide a flourishing world again.
TRP: What makes your heart ache?
My heart aches when injustices are committed by those in power against those in less power positions…. children, animals, women, people without weapons. People who believe they are superior to others based on skin color, socioeconomic levels, gender, religion, etc, makes me ill.
TRP: What frightens you most?
That people in power are destroying our planet and all that is living ~ chemtrails, GMO, fluoride chemical waste dumped into our drinking water, vaccines with toxic preservatives, powerful weapons that can obliterate millions ~ and even darker actions that I will not mention here. All efforts to control the masses by a few men in power. They will destroy us if we don’t shift and stop these atrocities against man- and woman-kind.
TRP: What do you deeply love? (This can be ANYTHING or ANYONE or ANY PLACE…)
Dogs and being in the presence of loving, funny and creative people and genuine powerful women and fully aware and masculine men.
What is your “Life Purpose?”
I thought it was to help others ~ but I think that it is really about helping myself. I am to focus on what makes me fulfilled: Daily yoga meditation and sharing the technology of kundalini; self-expression in color ~ glass or paint . . . AND
I believe my outward purpose is to inspire others. Not to help them per se, rather, be an example ~ live my life to the fullest…. and share my wisdoms in doing so. There is a difference.
TRP: How do you keep yourself inspired by life?
Wake up every morning ~ when the sun is shining it’s easy…. when it’s cloudy and rainy in the morning, It’s a bit more challenging… I have soooo many ideas, often sooooo many I can never get to everything in a day. People tell me to get focused, yet I cannot. I try to be disciplined. I’m told that is the key to being successful… even now, I have soooo much to do, what do I do first? then 2nd, then 3rd…. I love to live in the moment, what I feel like doing RIGHT NOW!! … then I’m most happiest! Most days, I set out to complete at least one thing … If I’ve done that, I’ve succeeded … If I haven't done that one thing, even if I’ve completed tons of other things, I sometime still don't feel fulfilled. I am constantly driven to create and complete actions~bringing projects to full circle. Tenacious, they call it.
TRP: Have you ever hit rock bottom? Please share about it if your willing.
Rock Bottom - yes. Many times over. Sometimes with a crash so hard that the will to get up was zero. What kept me going? My commitment to others: those at work who counted on me, family who would be so wounded if I chose to leave the world AND for the past 10 years, my dog, SweetPea, has been my source of will. Her needs drive me. I organize my day around walking her every day. She is my heart: as I take care of her, I’m taking care of myself.
So, as I start each day with a yummy cup of coffee and a walk with SweetPea, the adventure begins.
What did it teach you?
I’m still learning. Still trying to shake the words that I’m a failure. that I’m a loser. . . . I KNOW differently, however, the cells in my body still identify with those destructive statements. I continue to try to show myself that I am certainly NOT a loser. It feels like I’m at war with myself some days … however, maybe if I embrace those ideas, allow myself to identify with them… find the threads that seem true in those statements, then those thoughts no longer have power over me! They no longer have control over my existence. I no longer have to fight to prove otherwise. Just allow myself to be ... and say “so what if I haven’t completed something or done something perfect?” ~ I know that I am not perfect. Instead of beating myself up for it, I am learning to love my self because of it.
I call this embracing my shadow ~ learnings from Debbie Ford. “Embrace your shadow-self and it no longer has power over you.” Those things one hates about herself, but bears some truth. Dig into it and allow it to be revealed.
Is there anything in particular that made you feel like being part of the Revelation Project was important to your life right now?
I’ve been going through a transition since age 27. I had always wanted to experience being a model and thought that this would satisfy that on some level. It did. I also know that through this experience that I would only gain. It was something new and that no matter what it revealed, I would have learned something and improve again. My sense of adventure is so strong and my courage significant.
About the shoot:
TRP: What did you think about the approach of the upcoming photo shoot (before you got there) and what were your expectations?
I had a vision of someone doing makeup and adjusting my hair. I anticipated smiling ladies and having fun. When presented with a challenge that might have blocked our shoot that day, I was determined to help make it happen. I was determined to do whatever we needed to do to help make it happen because I really needed it that day. And so we it did!
TRP: How did you feel during the shoot, and was there anything in particular that made you feel more or less relaxed and open to the process?
The opening circle was grounding and very familiar for me, so I LOVED it. I was in awe of “the studio” we shot in and the creativity of the ladies who took charge. The laughter and smiles energized me. I was soooo grateful that we were able to do it with SweetPea present, so I didn't have to feel guilty about leaving her in the car or at home. The presence of our furry beasts added to the excitement of the whole experience and challenged us at the same time. It showed me how flexible we all were even in the chaos that furriness sometimes presents.
TRP: Use three words to describe the way you felt before we shot:
Intrigued. Joyful. Enchanted.
TRP: Three words for after:
Elated. Grateful. Graceful.
TRP: Three words for when you saw the results:
Exuberant! Elevated! Grateful!
TRP: After you left, but before you saw the results, what were the thoughts and feelings you were having about your experience? What were some of the things you thought about on the drive home?
I had such a wonderful time in community with Monica, Kim and Andrea. I felt truly apart of something wonderful. I had full trust and faith that what would be revealed is exactly who I am. I felt that I was authentic in the experience and that these women would present me in an amazing way . . . which they did. I felt grounded to something that was beautiful which helped me continue with my day of returning to a work environment which was the contrary. Again, grateful, hopeful and a reminder that I WAS on the right path and the changes that were soon to come.
TRP: When you saw the results what was your first reaction and impression?
HOLY SHIT! AMAZING! I really am all that!
TRP: What was some of the feedback you received from those who saw your photographs?
People were floored. Men and women have been moved. Many inquiring where the photos came from, why I did that… Some were confused as to why I’m posting on FB ~ which seemed funny to me. Ah, WHY NOT? huh?
TRP: How did the feedback make you feel?
I felt loved. It tapped into my childhood experience of outer acceptance.
However, more profound and important, I felt like I accepted myself. That yes, I am beautiful and fun and graceful and alive and charming and intoxicating and a little vain. AND that it isn't a bad thing to share all those things about me…. Releasing photos allowed me to expose myself and receive accolades without that uncomfortable feeling of being the center of attention in a room in person.
The beauty of my humility balances my vanity, for which I am grateful. The photos are really for me and about how I feel about myself.
As I talk about vanity, it brings a wonderment to mind. Where did we learn that we could not revel in something that we loved about ourselves? What does it mean to be vain, anyways?
So googling it, my literary friend, Wikipedia, joins me and describes how religion names it in the PRIDE category ~ one of the seven deadliest sins. I suppose having an obsession of oneself in some form can be debilitating, however, I measure destructive behavior in how it inhibits my relationship with others.
My Wiki friend goes on to describes our experience of vanity having a split personality essentially. For example: We TELL her that it is evil to marvel at something about herself and yet we long to see her beauty. There are so many messages that to love something about yourself is wrong
Well I’m here to say. Stop that. Love yourself. Be yourself. Yet, don’t put yourself above others. Do not compare yourself. Stand next to your sister and marvel with her. Don’t envy her, rather, join her and at the same time find your true essence. Find the one thing, or may things that you LOVE about yourself. It might be your hair, your smile, your knees, your heart and even your mind. Connect to whatever it is and love it.
My only warning is that be aware that it will attract attention. People will be drawn to your energy of love. But if you are in full reverence and grateful for the beauty that has been bestowed upon you or that which you have created on your own volition, you will stand true. And as sisters, it is our responsibility to stand with each other and defend her honor in whatever that makes her joyful about herself. Protect her and love her as you would your own daughter, mother, grandmother or puppy.
TRP: Did you learn anything new about yourself from the experience?
I learned that what the photos revealed to myself, is how my friends already experience me. And most friends, know that my humility is intact and supersedes the bit of vanity that I do have.
TRP: Do you feel empowered, and if so what parts of your TRP experience were empowering?
Absolutely. I am invincible. I am responsible for myself to move forward and accomplish great things…
TRP: Since the shoot happened, what is the lasting impact of your experience? Has it altered the way you view yourself and the way you interact in your relationships?
I am even more bold. Which is important. Because I believe that I am destined for something much bigger than I even know at this juncture and BOLDNESS is what I am going to need in order to accomplish fully why I came to earth in the first place.
TRP: Do you think it's relevant for other women, and if so why?
OH ABSOLUTELY - I recommend TRP for all women! It gives each woman a perspective that they either are not aware of, or just partially aware and the photos confirm the essence of herself. In the American culture, we have been inundated with photos of beautiful women and we do not perceive that we can look as beautiful as all those professional photos in magazines, TV and movies. TRP demonstrates that ALL of us can be revealed gorgeously! ALL OF US! So now I no longer measure myself to the professional media as being less than. I am fully me. Graceful. Beautiful. Lively. Coy. Powerful. Soft. Joyful. Sexy. Playful and Happy.
TRP: How will you use the photos moving forward; professionally, personally, as gifts?
professionally - marketing materials for yoga, book release, Live Life nonprofit - and when I become famous ;)
personally - social media, one canvas pic as a reminder to myself of my essence
gift - one for my mother
Which photo was your favorite, and why?
So many were my favorites…. however, one where I’m laughing, on my belly with propped chin and feet up in air behind me - I love it, because I can feel myself laughing in it ~ AND the one with SweetPea and the sailboat pic because two areas in my life I am fully grateful and in love with.
What is your favorite song today, and why?
I am MOVED by so many songs ~ so many stop me in my tracks… but off the top of my head, I’d have to say ~ Bryan Adams, Everything I do (Robin Hood theme song)
Here Comes the Sun - Beatles
Imagine – Lennon
TRP: How would you sum up your TRP experience in one sentence?
TRP blew apart the binding constructs to my self-awareness.
TRP: THAT’S A WRAP!