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Re-Wilding our Imaginations Will Enhance Our Beauty!

“What if the way out can be much sexier than buying things or changing legislation? What if it is more fun, and more colorful? What if the way out has to do with “re-wilding” our imaginations, undomesticating our lives, and reclaiming not only our rights but also our health?”  Malia Burkhart

When I read Malia’s blog post about the 99 or One and the occupy movement it struck a chord with me.  I especially like the concept of re-wilding our imaginations, undomesticating our lives and reclaiming our rights and our health. First of all I like the made up words because they go against domestication and move toward reclaiming our wildness.   This reminds me of the Wild Woman movement started by  Clarissa Pinkola Estes and her book “Women who Run With Wolves” in the early 1990’s and how that stirred me at the time.  I was even part of a Wild Women artist group and we did a lot of wild and crazy things together.

This quote from the book brings up wonderful images of what that might begin to look like:

“Within in every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing.  Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species.  Though the gifts of the wildish nature come to us at birth, society’s attempt to “civilize” us into rigid roles has plundered the treasure, and muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own souls.  Without Wild Women, we become over-domesticated, fearful, uncreative and trapped.

“To adjoin the instinctual nature does not mean to come undone, change everything from left to right, from black to white, to move the east to west, to act crazy or out of control. It does not mean to lose one’s primary socializations, or to become less human. It means quite the opposite. The wild nature has a vast integrity to it”

“La Loba (Wolf Woman), the old one, the One Who Knows, is within us. She thrives in the deepest soul-psyche of women, the ancient and vital Wild Woman. She describes her home as that place in time where the spirit of women and the spirit of wolf meet the place where her mind and her instincts mingle, where a woman’s deep life funds her mundane life. It is the point where the I and the Thou kiss, the place where women run with the wolves”

I believe the same is true for men.  We have been domesticate yet that doesn’t mean that domestication has to be our primary mode of operation.   Domestication has little to do with our authentic wild self and a lot to do with conformity and fitting in.  It has little to do with what our heart and soul desires and more about being enslaved.

“Nature and human beings are not separate. You can be sure that when the land and creatures are wounded by humans, that those humans are copying their own psychic wounds into the earth and animals as well; what is wounded and without thought, wounds others…”

~From essay “Massacre of the Dreamers, in “Untie The Strong Woman book” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

In one of my favorite children’s books, Maurice Sendak  tells the story of Max, who one evening plays around his home making “mischief” in a wolf costume.  As punishment, his mother sends him to bed without supper. That is how we were all domesticated, we were punished for doing things that didn’t fit the status quo.  In his room, a mysterious, wild forest and sea grows out of his imagination, and Max sails to the land of the Wild Things. The Wild Things are fearsome-looking monsters, but Max proves to be the fiercest,conquering them by “staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once”, and he is made “the king of all wild things”, dancing with the monsters in a “wild rumpus”.

Social programming has left us over-domesticated, fearful, uncreative and trapped.   We have projected our own wounds on how we treat nature and the earth.  I think that is what we are witnessing right now, right along side of a movement around the world of people banding together to break free of it.  Estes Pinkola and Sendak were planting seeds toward this movement and now those seeds are blossoming.  I think we have reached momentum and that is what we are watching now in the freedom movements across the globe.  People are so tired of feeling fearful, uncreative and trapped that they are willing to give their lives to change things.

This piggy-backs so well on my current writing about embracing our authentic selves and the beauty of “weirdness”.  We have been away from our wildish nature too long as slaves to domestication and social programming. Our wild nature is a great part of our beauty. Without it we are not authentic and we are hiding parts of ourselves.  It is exciting to watch people waking up and begin to explore the wild and natural creature that they are.

This is not an easy process because it means questioning all the things we were taught as children.  It means letting go of judgment, self censorship and comparing. It means moving toward acceptance of self and others, of saying what is on our minds and not worrying about what others think and not comparing ourselves to each other in order to fit in and feel accepted because that is where the creative juice and genius is.  That is the edge of the norm and the beginning of new territory.  That is where the gate to the playground is.  From that place we can burst forth a new world and our life, our health and our soul depends on it.  If we lived from that place there would be no need for Occupy Movements.

Doesn’t that sound more colorful and sexy than what we have been doing for way too long?  I think it would be beautiful to see everyone unleash their wild nature and be themselves!

Let’s all get WILD in the good sense!  What do you think?

Here is my favorite photo of myself hanging out with wild things…

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The Magic of Massage to Bring Beauty Alive!

Today I had the exquisite pleasure of getting a massage at Spa Gabriella at 752 Grand Ave in St. Paul. Grand Avenue is a quaint street with a Manhattan feel. It is loaded with , boutiques, wonderful restaurants and a number of spas and salons. I purchased my massage on Crowd Cut, which like Groupon is one of those enticing new shopping experiences where you can get discounts on all of your favorite things. It can be addicting!

Before I talk about my experience at Spa Gabriella I want to talk about massage in general. Massage can be magical for unleashing the beauty within. Why is that? Aside from all of the healing benefits such as toxin release, stretching the muscles and reducing pain, massage helps you get in touch with your body.We now have scientific proof of the benefits of massage ranging from treating chronic diseases and injuries to alleviating the growing tensions of our modern lifestyles. Most people spend a lot of their time out of their body. What I mean by this is we walk around unaware that we are in our bodies. We run into things, and people and move too fast. Have you ever found a bruise on your body and couldn’t even remember how it got there? That is being out of your body. Massage brings you back in.

Massage as a healing tool has been around for thousands of years in many cultures. Touching is a natural human reaction to pain and stress, and for conveying compassion and support. Healers throughout time and throughout the world have instinctually and independently developed a wide range of therapeutic techniques using touch. Having a massage does more than just relax your body and mind and there are actual physiological and psychological changes which occur. By allowing your self to be nurtured and touched you someone releases your beauty and makes your body feel alive and loved.  Somehow massage pulls at the inner beauty and brings it to the surface.  Have you ever seen someone who had just had a massage?  They glow and have a sparkle in their eyes.  Beauty.

I hadn’t planned on getting a massage today but when I called to make an appointment they had an opening so I jumped on it. I live in the neighborhood right next to Grand Avenue and didn’t even know that Spa Gabriella was there! What a treat to discover this wonderful place right in my neighborhood.

It was a pleasant surprise when I walked up the stairs and into a space fit for the Queen that I am.  I have been in a lot of spas.  Ambiance is important.  I think it is the small touches and attention to detail that bring spirit into a spa and Spa Gabriella has both.  Spirit is dancing off the lights.

I was greeted immediately by Melissa, the owner, who jumped right into a conversation with me. She smiled throughout our conversation and I could feel her pride as she talked about what she had created at the spa. She showed me to a beautiful sitting area where I was greeted by a tray full of cookies. I chose one and ate it and do you know what? They were guilt free, so I didn’t have to worry about them spoiling my newly establish eating routine.

Soon after I sat down I was greeted by Nichole, my massage therapist, who showed me to a cozy room where my massage was going to take place. Again it was a room fit for royalty, which a beautiful purple satin blanket on the massage table, flickering candles for light and wonderful music. At first Nichole was a bit quiet, but I am one of those that likes to talk during my massage because I am always curious about people’s stories so I asked her a few questions. We got on to a subject and found out we were both interested in it and a connection was formed. We talked throughout the massage and my body relaxed like butter as she massaged olive oil into my skin. My body loved every minute of it. After Nichole left and I stood up I realized I was much more relaxed that I thought I was and it would be best to wait a few minutes before I drove home. I floated into the waiting area and grabbed another one of those guilt free cookies and Melissa came back to me and asked if I would like a chai latte. Of course I said yes. She returned with a cup of Chai that would put Starbucks to shame.

While I sipped my Chai , Melissa and I talked and I mentioned my new business, Dimensions of Beauty, about exploring beauty and breaking the beauty myths. We discovered we had a similar philosophy about beauty and being authentic so a lovely conversation ensued.

I looked at the Spa menu found a lot of delicious service for you to choose from. I would highly recommend Spa Gabriella for the next time you want to treat yourself like a queen and feel totally nurtured.

Spa Gabriella