Don’t Be Beige

Don’t be beige.

I scribbled the words excitedly in my journal like a 15 year old writing about her new crush.  So profound.  Or was it?  I can never tell with these thoughts that occur to me in the shower, or while driving around town, or while I’m half-watching Law & Order: SVU and half-making an imaginary grocery list.  (Does anyone else do that? I’d imagine it’s a normal part of life as a mom/household manager/toddler wrangler.)

Anyway… beige.  The walls in our apartment are beige. I don’t mind it.  It’s not particularly exciting, but it’s fine.  Beige is a neutral – one of the blending colors.  It’s a color that allows all the other decor to be seen. Beige is a good background because it isn’t memorable or noticeable. It does not stand out.

Don’t be beige is my new motto.  So what exactly do I mean when I say, “don’t be beige”?

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I mean show yourself.  Reveal who you are.  Don’t be afraid to live your life at full volume because you think someone else won’t like your song. In order to live a fulfilled life, you need to in full glory and magnificence, without any care for what anyone else thinks.

I think that people are comfortable being beige. Beige isn’t scary. I get that.  They feel beige is safe. It’s polite. It doesn’t offend. I tried to be beige, I tried to please people, tried to blend, tried to step back so others could have the attention.  While blending in and being beige may make others comfortable, ultimately living life this way ends in disappointment and regret.

Two major things I noticed while I was consciously camouflaging myself:

  • There is no benefit to me. – I gained nothing from stepping back, dimming my own light or quieting my passion.  Literally nothing good comes from silencing my voice so that someone else can speak.  I get no life experience, meet no new people, and receive no praise because no one sees me.  And ironically trying to please others didn’t make them like me more ore less.
  • There is no benefit to others. – The people who shine do that because of who they are. Colorful, magnetic, fun, talented. My beige-ness didn’t accentuate them. It only hid me. Worse, being beige causes me to miss out on contributing to the world in a way that only I can.

When I realized I wasn’t being my authentic self, I made a choice to be more colorful. I spoke up when I felt passionate.  I accepted invitations to parties.  I wore the sexy dress without worrying what someone else might think. Creatively, I have so much to give, and expressing that through writing, podcasting, and other venues allows me to contribute something tangible to the world.  My kids see me being silly and it shows them that they can be silly too.  I follow my own rules and beat my own drum and in the same way, peers and friends hear me telling my story and they are emboldened to tell their own.  It’s a beautiful domino effect.

These days, I have renovated my soul. There is no beige. I am memorable. I stand out. I am not a neutral, because I have a voice and I’m not afraid to be seen, and my home – and my whole world – is so much more colorful.

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Vegetables and Yoga and Good zzz’s, Oh My!

Good day, all!

[Actually it’s night time here, but I refuse to accept that I spent so much time at my job and then consumed in my mommy duties that I’m just sitting down to blog at 8 pm.  Total denial.]

What’s up with YOU?

Here’s what’s going on with me lately… I am vegetarian again.  The story about that will follow.  In that vein, I will be posting some vegetarian and vegan recipes, hopefully some yummy holiday ones too, when I get a free moment.  I LOVE eating this way.  I feel so light, my mood has improved, skin looks smoother and plumper, and I’m sleeping much better.  I also discovered that I LOVE Alba brand (vegetarian, cruelty-free) skin care.  Papaya Enzyme scrub and Hawaiian Aloe/Green Tea moisturizer in particular. I’ll be posting about that later, too.  On to the news…

Recently I have been seeing a doctor about some abdominal discomfort. Something hurts – well hurts might be the wrong word – aggravates me is more accurate – on my lower left side.  He has ruled out hernia, fibroids, c-section complications or scar tissue, and appendicitis.  Yahoo.  After 2 ultrasounds he says it’s unlikely it’s cancer or any other growth.  Yahoo again.  It’s possibly: 1) severe constipation, 2) inflamed ligament (the one that connects the hip to the spine), meaning I need to ice it and stretch, 3) ovarian cysts (discovered on u/s but determined to be non-threatening) or 4) something like cancer that could only show up on ct scan.  (Wait… what?)  At least he was honest and said that abdominal stuff is the hardest, particularly with women, and that it’s difficult to diagnose.  So here’s what he decided to do: 1) Get me pooping. Pooping is good, he says. (who doesn’t like to poop, right?) 2) Rest from working out for a couple of weeks, 3) Give me pain meds.  Um… thanks?  After talking it over with my husband – and when I say “talking it over” I mean I talked it over, he listened.  Or fell asleep, I’m not sure and I can’t remember.  Point is, I decided not to get the prescriptions filled, partially because they were $85 (yowza!) and partially because I know that I can heal my body naturally and with gentler measures.  SO, my treatment plan the past week and a half or so has been: 1) Cut out all meat and dairy.  I used to be vegetarian, sometimes vegan, so this is not new territory. My tummy likes this way of eating, I have less bloating and more pooping.   2) Purchase a good probiotic. These good little guys eat the bad stuff in your gut and get things “moving”. So yes, this is poop related also.  (Seriously, I like to poop.)  3) Put down the diet soda.  I was only drinking one a day, but one daily is enough to throw off the body’s internal ph, cause acne, sleeplessness, gas, and other things.  Plus this means I automatically reach for the water more often.  4) Incorporate yoga and meditation. Stretching, yes.  Relaxing, yes.  The main reason, though, was to ease tension and get rid of the day’s stress.  Since I’ve been working full time (4 months now), my whole life has changed.  Some areas in small ways and other areas, pretty drastically. Yoga and deep breathing/meditation helps me center, and I have found that it also helps me sleep like a baby. Well, like a baby that sleeps.  Score!  Meditation, visualization, deep breathing are all AMAZING techniques to become calm, to create peace within, and set the tone for the day.  I even use “power thought” cards that say things like “All is Well in my World” and “My Healing is Now in Process”.  Sounds silly, but it works! 5) Lastly, I increased my cardio.  I was only lifting weights because I’d been feeling burnt out on the other activities.  The problem was that I was also feeling a bit ‘bulky’ and possibly eating an excess of protein following a bodybuilder’s diet.

Bottom line: I feel good.  HOW good?  Good enough to shoulder-dance to “When Doves Cry” at 4:45 this morning, while driving to the gym.  That should tell you everything you need to know.

I should be a doctor.