Archive | March, 2012

“Appropriate”

28 Mar

Have you heard about Madonna’s new music video that is being banned and censored all over the place? It’s difficult to find on youtube but you can watch it here.

 

What do you think? I personally love it. I actually can’t see the problem with it. Maybe censors are worried that it’s too “gay” or that the half a second of male butt-crack will somehow be offensive to audiences that couldn’t care less about female nudity. Most of the discussion online about this vid relates to whether or not Madonna is “too old” to be slutting it up in her clips. Who the hell are we to judge! She can do whatever the fuck she wants and far as I’m concerned. The focus should be on the inappropriateness of the censorship!

Censorship like this takes away people’s right to decide whether they like something or not. I don’t need to be protected from a 4 minute video containing men in stilettos, a bit of suggestive foreplay and a bum-crack that has been and gone so fast that it really doesn’t hurt anybody. If I don’t like it – I’ll turn it off!

This censorship also brings up the issue of other videos that are similar or far worse. Why is this one being singled out? Have you seen Alejandro by Lady Gaga??!!!!! It’s virtually the same but it’s not censored!! Actually not only is it basically a porno with similar gay-ness, it also brings up political issues re: gay men in the military etc. I would have thought this would piss of way more people, yet when I search for it on youtube the extended version is the third hit. I love this vid so I’ve posted it here for you to compare.

 

So getting back to Madonna, I really can’t see what the problem is with her video. If nudity and suggestive images are an issue then why isn’t Katy Perry’s California Girls banned? Or if we can’t handle the implication that two men might kiss then what about the gay wedding reception at the beginning of Pink’s Raise Your Glass or any of the other controversial ideas in that video?

I actually think that the fact that Madonna is in her 50’s sadly has more to do with this censorship than the man-bum. And if the problem really is with the man-bum, can we all just get over it?

Yours Faithfully

23 Mar

I question traditions that are no longer relevant to our modern world. Many customs have evolved over time into something that makes sense but there are plenty that we seem just carry on with purely out of habit without ever wondering why. Not that we would really have the power to change things even if we wanted to.

So I received a letter the other day, from the bank, signed with “Yours Faithfully” and I proceeded to become rather fired up about the irrelevance of it. I did a quick google search which only turned up “rules” (again for no reason at all) about when to use “Yours Sincerely” and when to use “Yours Faithfully” etc. LIKE ANYBODY EVEN NOTICES OR CARES!

According to my moany local paper, there are more important things for hundreds of whingers to write letters to the editor about – who the hell is going to worry about the “correct” context of a formality that means less than nothing!?

(Can you imagine living with me?)

Actually after I read the rules I did notice that the “Yours Faithfully” I received was in fact used in the “wrong” context. Ha!

You can read more about valediction here. So yeah, I understand that saying “Yours whatever….. ” is a simplified version of an even more complicated formality from the past, but my question is, what does it mean now?

I wonder whether the people writing and signing these letters have ever considered what  declaring being “Yours” to someone really means nowadays. Telling someone that you belong to them or are essentially “theirs” is generally something that I would consider to be reserved for love letters. It has no place in professional communiques. Just say “Regards” or “Cheers” or “Many Thanks” at least they sort of have meaning.

Anyway, I recognise the irony of writing a post about something which I declared that no-one actually cares about. This one was just a rant for me. Ok, now I can exhale…

Judge Not pt 3

12 Mar

I love to tell the truth. I love to share my stories and my journeys. However confessing to having eaten meat after 6 years without it was far more difficult than I had imagined.

Some of my fellow vegetarians judged me so harshly that they were bordering on cancelling the friendship with me altogether. To them I was just another failed vegetarian. Using pregnancy as an excuse to justify my disconnection from my food. And I must admit, if I was in their situation it’s likely that I might have had a sneaky judgement too.

I remember meeting a woman years ago in one of my classes who told me her story of surrendering her vegetarian ethics during pregnancy. Although I was outwardly compassionate, since then I have always thought to myself “I will never do that. It’s easy to have a balanced diet without meat whether you’re pregnant or not!”. When I finally allowed myself to eat some meat I judged myself for being “one of those people”. For a while I labelled myself as a cop out. And it turned out that my vego friends didn’t see me as much more than a cop out either. So I confessed to some meat eaters…

Remember part 1 of this post? Yep. Most meat eaters just welcomed me back to their side, content that I had finally “seen the light” and stopped being a protein deficient whinger. Thankfully I have a good understanding of the grips of the ego and how fiercely people will defend their truth so I was able to take these reactions lightheartedly. But still, I received very little appreciation for the huge emotional transformation that had taken place within me and the amazing power of my body to accurately tell me what it needs.

I found this appreciation of course in my spiritually aware friends, those who also listen to the needs of their body and make changes accordingly. At the end of the day I realised that all that matters is that I am comfortable with my own actions. I don’t really care whether or not people accept my choices or if they use my actions as a way of justifying their own actions. All of this is beyond my control.

It is my intention to continue having small amounts of meat during my pregnancy and I hope to revert to a vegetarian diet once the baby is born however I now know that I need to listen to the needs of my body first and foremost and I remain open to any changes that my inner voice may suggest.

Read part 2 of this post.

Judge Not pt 2

10 Mar

So I may have found peace with the eating habits of others but I’ve had a recent struggle accepting my own food journey. Since being pregnant I have been craving meat…. severely. I’ve been vego for about 6 years and I had the occasional meat craving in the beginning, but for the past 3 years, I’ve not found meat appealing at all.

So as you can imagine, I was completely baffled when my body started telling me that I needed desperately to eat meat. I know that my nutrient, vitamin and mineral levels are all good but just in case, I tried eating iron rich foods and ensuring my protein intake was abundant. I did this for a month while I dealt with daily cravings and nothing changed. During that month I went on an amazing emotional journey which began with a fierce attachment to my version of “right” and “wrong”. My values were being severely challenged by these cravings and some days I shocked myself when I realised that I was actually considering eating meat. What the hell was wrong with me?

I kept thinking about all the reasons that I don’t eat meat in the first place and it felt as if I had a war going on inside my head. Listen to my body or listen to my values… that was the choice I had to make. It’s not often that we’re torn between to two.

So the question I had to ask myself was, “Will I be able to cope emotionally with the impact of my actions if I do try some meat?”. This is not an easy question to answer. I thought of all the people who mindlessly eat meat at every meal and I thought of all the ways in which I am environmentally conscious in comparison to the general population. I could sense that I was trying to justify my desire to eat meat but the inner voice telling me to eat it was becoming too much to bear.

With all of my medical struggles over the past year I have worked with some amazing professionals, all of whom have encouraged me to listen to and trust my body. As I developed this communication with my body I have become intuitively aware of what foods I need to include and what foods I need to avoid, so this whole meat thing was really testing my relationship with my body.

After weeks of emotional turmoil I finally concluded that I would not know for sure unless I allowed myself to try it and see. I knew that my body would tell me if if wasn’t right. Realising this allowed me to find peace with it all. I knew I couldn’t consume meat if I felt terrible about it so I had to reach a point of acceptance. What a transformative journey.

So, yes I tried some meat. (this is where staunch vegans unfollow me on twitter) I didn’t struggle with it. My body was fine with it. I gave thanks to the animal that had suffered and I approached the entire process with openness and peace. And the next day….. ALL OF MY RANDOM DIGESTIVE SYMPTOMS WERE GONE. Completely gone. All of the weird gas, burps, tummy aches and nausea had vanished without a trace. Until this point I was not consciously aware of how unpleasant those symptoms actually were and how much grief they had caused me.

After about a week the symptoms returned and I tried some meat again and once again, I felt instantly better. I don’t understand exactly how or why this was happening but it allowed me to see a potential weekly meat dish as something amazingly therapeutic, and I let go of any remaining concerns about whether or not I was doing the right thing. I have to trust my body on this one. It wasn’t until I started to tell people about my journey that I was struggling again, this time with the judgements and values of other people. More on this in part 3 of this post.

Read part one of this post here.

Bad-Ass For Life

6 Mar

I have been looking into social groups for parents and playgroups because I thought this could be a good way to meet a few new people who I can relate to as a mother. Unfortunately, I’ve found that the majority of these groups tend to be populated by women who’s sole interest in life in having babies and parenting. Ugh. For example, I looked at a few members on facbook and these women only follow pages about birth, pregnancy, parenting, products for children and breastfeeding activism. No interest in music, philosophy, food, travel, spirituality or anything other than child-rearing. Double Ugh.

I promise that I will NOT become anything like this.

Seriously, just because I’m having a child, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to become an elitist snob who slips off the social radar and doesn’t have time to hang with childless friends. I. HATE. THAT. SHIT. And the truth is that 90% of my friends don’t have children so I’d really be shooting myself in the foot by abandoning them.

My philosophy is to be myself AND have a child. Of course I recognise that I will need to adjust my priorities and plans in order to care and provide for my daughter first and foremost, however that doesn’t mean that I can’t have a meaningful conversation about SOMETHING ELSE. I have little tolerance for the mundane so I’m hoping that I might be able to meet some mums who are both supportive AND interesting.

I always thought that having a child would provide me with an opportunity to find some like-minded friends but I’m realising that I’m not going to just stop being a weirdo once my baby comes into the world. I’m simply going to become a weirdo with a baby – even more of a minority than I was before.

As I mentioned in my last post about my desire to avoid the rigid opinions and judgements from others, I need the freedom to be myself and to honour my journey. At this stage I’m not convinced that I’ll be able to find this level of understanding and compassion from women who have no interests other than having babies, but I remain optimistic and open as always!

Start In The Present

4 Mar

Dear passionate mothers, pregnant women, well-meaning family members and friends full of stories. Now that you’ve found out that Bob and I are expecting a child I’m sure that you will be very excited for us and would love to share with us your stories and values around pregnancy, birth and parenting. I’m asking you (with love) to please reconsider! Ask yourself whether you feel compelled to share these stories for our benefit or for your own.

We are thankful for your friendship and support however we find that hearing multitudes of stories and opinions from all over the place is less than helpful. Sure, you might have lots of children, lots of experience or done lots of research but please remember that everyone’s journey is different and valid and that the last thing we need is to have our journey compared to another’s.

I know that many of you feel passionately about your chosen parenting/birthing approaches and we need to tell you honestly now that even though we might agree with your choices and philosophies and may potentially apply them, it’s unlikely that we will ever give ourselves a definitive label so please don’t be disappointed if we don’t join your club (especially if it’s very heavily ‘anti this’ or ‘pro that’).

Our approach is one that will be more intuitive than planned. We like to live each moment at a time, reassessing and learning as we go along rather than sticking to a rigid set of rules (whether or not those rules have been proven to be best/right/good). We’re happy to throw the rules out the window if they don’t work for us and we ask for your respect in our choice to do so.

We are not at all saying that we do not want your continued support throughout the rest of the pregnancy and beyond but please be mindful of the fact that what has worked for you may not work for us, what you found to be negative – we may find to be positive (and vice versa), approaches that you disapprove of may well be something we adopt. We ask you purely to remain open and positive as we do and to respect our choices even if you do not agree with them.

We’re certainly not claiming to have all the answers either, so expect that we will be asking you for advice around particular issues that we are facing – we certainly appreciate your expertise and assistance (but please, only when we request it).

Please do not take this request personally. We’re not doing this because we have had a bad experience with anyone, it’s more that we’ve observed others expecting their first child in the past and have seen how unhelpful the stories and opinions of others can be and would like to prevent this from getting in the way of our experience. The last thing we need when going into labour is to have flashes of stories from everyone elses birth flashing through our minds and getting in the way.

We ask you this lightheartedly and lovingly and certainly don’t want you to feel uncomfortable talking to us about how we’re going with it all. If you’re unsure about how to approach the topic with us then your best bet is to start in the present, that’s where we are.