How I Lost 12.5 Pounds & Regained My Soul

Naked, as in truth, and uncensored, I share my daily quest to survive as a woman and artist, while dealing with the complications of a full life, meddling in politics, loving my children to excess, totally permanently married and on a never-ending diet. While my soul is in constant need of repair and redemption, I struggle to do the right thing. In the meantime, let's all double the love. (Love, not sex, you fool). All posts are copyrighted material.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Keepin' it real...

Good afternoon, my kindly little does~

Yes, in the '60's and '70's we used to call it, "Keeping it real,", but we soon became more sophisticated, got jobs, married, bore children, raised them, sent them to college, and nothing has really changed.

We are still a very sex-obsessed society and race, doing horrible things to each other over money, power, greed, territory, religion, and some of us are still trying to be 'authentic'.

Indeed it is a struggle, particularly when you are with people with whom you need to maintain a modicum of dignity. Like my Rotarian friends. Last night at a meeting in which I am sponsoring someone else for membership, we attended a required get together.

To warm up the crowd of virtual strangers and their sponsors, the President Elect chose to have us introduce ourselves and then give the title of our favorite movie or book and why it was our favorite.

Well, there were some science nerds, some who claimed they had no favorite and talked only of the book they were currently 'dating' and the jokesters who offered tomes on the sport of golf.

I was the next to the last person to speak, and it was a struggle all the way. Should I tell the truth and risk looking like the bleeding heart I am? Or take the less-revealing route and claim to be reading either something my son or husband left lying around. I knew nobody would appreciate my latest interest, a book by Gustavo Allerano based on his column, Ask A Mexican, which is both insulting and interesting to a gringa (which he claims a Mexican would never call me and only gringas call themselves).

Anyway, my turn came around and I told the truth. "The Art of Happiness is my favorite book of all time," I confessed. If you haven't read it, it was written by a Western shrink who followed the Dalai Lama around for a year or three and wrote down not only his speeches and interpretations, but also the shrink's own Western view with a part devil's advocate/condescension and the other rapture.

It wasn't the book itself so much as one chapter in the book when the Dalai Lama tells us that the art of happiness is achieved through first alleviating our own suffering and then attempting to take on the suffering of others. He then elaborates by saying that the cultivation of kindness, love, patience, compassion, empathy and humility is what we need to do if we want that degree of happiness that makes life worth living.

I confessed that I was validated by reading that book and it released all the pain I had suffered throughout the years. Various friends and family had told me that I was 'too compassionate' or 'too concerned about others I hardly knew' and had asked me things like, 'Why are you crying over that child with cancer? It's not your child...' Suddenly it all made sense and although I was sure I was 'too much' as they had said, the book helped me accept myself and just say , 'Yeah, it's true, but what the hell.'

Of course, laughter ensued as everyone chided me with, "I'm sure the Dalai Lama couldn't have said it any better." So you know I occasionally like to swear, but hell isn't really a swear word, is it? And the Dalai Lama probably doesn't believe in hell anyway.

So maybe if we can't keep it real, we can try to at least sound authentic, right? And maybe we can read something that will improve our minds a little too.

Clark County Diva



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