DeBoudoir 2013

DeBoudoir 2013

Portrait in shadow. Have you ever looked so good, you want to email old boyfriends?

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DeBoudoir 2013

Portrait in shadow. Have you ever looked so good, you want to email old boyfriends?

How We All Can Save the Gulf (with love)

Ways to help heal the Oil Spill

So many of my friends, and myself, included, are hurt to sickness over the Gulf Oil spill tragedy. In fact, “spill” seems such an inadequate word to encompass and accurately describe the terribly wound that has been made to Mother Earth. And if anyone hurt my mother, I would be angry, sad, and feel helpless. So I’m not surprised that I and other feel this way. But I am a writer, a performer, a community gatherer and catalyzer. I am not an oceanologist, a geologist, or an engineer. And I do not have a lot of money. What can I do? Here’s a short list, and I encourage you to add your ideas, in support of healing, of the earth, and of our society.

1. Coaches, counselors, therapists, clergy- offer your services to the Gulf’s human victims. Help them work through the possibility that they will never return to their old life. Help them see the gifts in not being tied to the sea in the same way. Help them mourn what is lost, and to claim what is next. Be present for them while they express their fear, their anguish. Help them to see that weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning- and that morning can come quicker if they have their eyes open for new opportunities, new vistas. Help them articulate and package their skills in new ways, so they are marketable and have dignity as they enter the marketplace. And pray for BP. Help their employees and stockholders find their core of decency and love and help them toss out budgets and timelines and focus on healing and results.
2. Fashionistas, stylists, self-care mavens, and other pretty people- when people look good, they feel good. And when they feel good, they look good. If the Gulf residents and front-line workers have been on boats for generations, they probably could use some help learning about and acquiring clothing appropriate for interviews, press conferences, and speaking engagements. Everyone involved could use a manicure, pedicure, facial, or massage. You could be a part of a revolution that gives folks a language to express themselves in a new way, to a new audience. Unfortunately, the rest of the nation can be shallow, and evaluate people with a voice on the basis of their clothing label, rather than their spirit and message. So all you people who find it effortless or lucrative to look good; go to work. You know what to do.
3. Writers, performers, creative journaling types- heal with words. Go start collecting letters to the sea- prayers, songs. Ask the children for their ideas, for their feelings about this- both here, and in the Gulf. Include the adults too, for good measure. Collect stories, release them in the next town, take them to the sea and read them to mother earth- send them to BP in big crates. Use performance to raise money to help those affected- and send it directly to them with a DVD or book of what you’ve done. Show them that people care about them, and even though we just met them, we have needed them for a long time.
4. Doctors, scientists, researchers, and their funders- you already know what to do. Drop everything non-essential, and get to brainstorming. Offer cash prizes for ideas that work. Go to unexpected places for help- Dr. House is never too proud to ask a “lowly” janitor or nursing student for assistance in a case. Place “weird” ideas next to each other- think about their connections. Do not sleep until this is solved- or engage in radical self care and nurture your brain to new ideas and connections, possible solutions. Try anything that will not make this worse. If it does make it worse anyway, apologize and move forward. Try again. Be like Thomas Edison- try to fail 10,000 times as quickly as possible, so we can get this particular lightbulb made. And funders- just give the money to the smart people and let them hypothesize and test ideas. Gather data for evaluation, if you must, but remember- we won’ be able to evaluate this until it is over. And this is not another program that we can afford to terminate due to lack of funds. Let’s just get it done, please?
5. Government officials- I sigh as I write this, because you are never off the hook. And yet, you are so seldom on the hook, either. Get it together. Grow up, stop infighting, and open your eyes. I don’t care how much money your constituents stand to make from offshore drilling; it is not safe. While we’re talking about it, neither is coal mining, or Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) drilling. We need to stop this oil dependency NOW. Today. If that means we can’t drive all the time, well, fine. Our roads are pieces of outdated crap now, anyway. If that means you lose your seat next election, fine. Isn’t it worth it, to say you were a part of historical healing? And don’t your constituents want this thing handled, apart from the usual envy and petty comparisons we are taught to make, and you perpetuate? We are ONE nation, under God. More importantly, we are ONE planet. That’s all we got. And water knows nothing of nations. We are exporting our poisoned water elsewhere, and that’s not right. Water is already a global endangered resource- we must learn to respect it. Because that is one resource we have no way to replicate or duplicate. And all of us need it- from the smallest to the tallest, the richest to the poorest. Water is a requirement to human life, second only to breath. Now ain’t THAT serious? Get it together, politicians and government officials. Cry on camera. Show vulnerability. Ask for help. But please, please, STOP blaming. Just get on with the work.
6. Finally, environmentalists- yes, you were right. Yes, you told us so. But does that make you feel any better? No. So instead of beating people over the head with rhetoric, try modeling the desired behavior, getting out of your ego, and showing us how to do it? If that means consulting door-to-door with every household in America about recycling and composting, then do it. If that means understanding a dollar and providing many ways and many levels to be involved for all people, then do it. If it means eating a hamburger with a family and making that, slow food, then do it. All I’m saying is this is no time for righteous indignation- we just need righteous action.

In closing, this is a rapidly written rant with the hopes of galvanizing community. I am not one who writes manifestos; I am a shy person who is just incapable of being silent about this. I offer my thoughts, and I welcome yours. I will post all of the extensions of ideas, manifestos, prayers, plans, etc., that are offered in goodwill, to my blog, Don’t Say Sorry (https://tamvanhorn.wordpress.com). If you want to join with me and love our ocean back to health, then send your loving thoughts to socybride@gmail.com. I love you; I love the United States of America; I love the Gulf fishing industry and residents; I love President Barack Hussein Obama and his team, and I love BP. Now it’s time for us all, to love the water that depends on us, as we depend on it. Let’s go to work.

*Please excuse misspellings, grammar errors, etc. I chose urgency over perfection, for this one. I was moved to write this and distribute this. Please circulate as widely as possible, with or without credit- Tamara Williams, July 4, 2010.

I Can Haz Coaching?

Have you ever wanted an ideas partner? Someone to bounce things off of, especially wedding-wise?
Are you in transition, or finding the transition form single woman to bride, a bit overwhelming? Would you like to bend the ear of someone who has no attachment to your various identities?
Do you think trying out coaching, may just be fun?
Well, I have been trained as a life coach, and I have decided to open up my practice again. In celebration of this move, I am offering 100 (yes, 100) interested brides a complimentary 30-minute coaching session- no obligations. The catch? I’m asking for those who participate to answer four short questions about their experience with my coaching, after the session.
No email lists, no newsletters, and no follow-up if you are satisfied with 30 minutes. This is a gift to me, a way for me to move towards being MORE of who I want to be in the world.
So, how’s this all work?

Put me in, coach!

from I Can Haz Cheezburger

*First, you leave me a comment or send an email to me at socybride@gmail.com (let me know you’re interested in coaching on the subject line).
*We set up a time to talk on the phone. I tend to have new clients call me from a number they feel comfortable with.
*We talk about what you want to talk about for 30 minutes.
*At the end of our time, I ask you for your email address to send you a 4-question survey about your experience with coaching. I can also take down the information over the phone, if you prefer.
*That’s it. If you like working with me, you can request more sessions, and I will put it out there, my regular rates start at $60 for 30 minutes, a la carte. I can also develop a monthly package for you with 4 30-minute sessions, beginning at $200. I will mention this as we open up our session, as a reminder.

I really love coaching, and have seen it do fabulous things for my life, as well as in others’. So contact me- let’s see what we can create together!

Tamara-Embrya, the coffeehouse coach
socybride@gmail.com

Practicing Graceful Requests

I am practicing requests- simply asking for what I want. No apologies (don’t say sorry), no tweaking it to make it sound “cooler,” or “more marketable-” just asking. So here’s one example of what I wrote

Hi OBT!

My name is Tamara, and I was selected as a finalist for a boudoir photo-bachelorette party in a contest sponsored by a local photographer (http://nicolenichols.com/blog). If I get the most comments on her blog, myself and six girlfriends will win an amazing experience. I need all the help I can get, so if it is appropriate to post on this forum, I would like to request my OBT family please submit a comment on my behalf over at Nicole’s blog. I think she does fabulous pictures, and as I have been reading about others’ experiences with boudoir photos, this would be really good for all of my Maids of Awesome, but especially for me. I miss my girlfriends, I want them to meet each other, and my body image could use a boost! So OBT, if you feel led, please support me by submitting a comment that includes my name (Tamara) at http://nicolenichols.com/blog/boudoir/bachelorette-party-finalists/- I’ll let you know how it turns out!

My name is Tamara, and I was selected as a finalist for a boudoir photo-bachelorette party in a contest sponsored by a local photographer (http://nicolenichols.com/blog). If I get the most comments on her blog, myself and six girlfriends will win an amazing experience. I need all the help I can get, so if it is appropriate to post on this forum, I would like to request my OBT family please submit a comment on my behalf over at Nicole’s blog. I think she does fabulous pictures, and as I have been reading about others’ experiences with boudoir photos, this would be really good for all of my Maids of Awesome, but especially for me. I miss my girlfriends, I want them to meet each other, and my body image could use a boost! So OBT, if you feel led, please support me by submitting a comment that includes my name (Tamara) at http://nicolenichols.com/blog/boudoir/bachelorette-party-finalists/- I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Boudoir Party Contest

Boudoir Bachelorette Party Contest by Nicole Nichols

Gentle reminders, part II

Cover for Humility by C.J. Mahaney

Cover for Humility by C.J. Mahaney

Ya’ll, God (I believe in God) ain’t finished with me yet. I fall down so many times, and it is only by Grace that I am able to get back up again. So far, I have. Stumblings, trips, flat-out face plants, and I’ve been able to get back up, mostly uninjured, and keep it moving. Sometimes slowly, sometimes I pop back up (always looking to see if anyone saw me), but I get up. And my biggest fears are injuring myself during the fall, and worse, someone seeing it.

This wedding planning has shown me all the times I’ve tried not to fall, or to try to be cute while doing it. It has shown me how far I still have left to go on this walk, and after I panic at all the work I still have left to do, not on the wedding, but on myself, I start to feel pretty good. Even with all this mess, I have done a lot with my life. I like my life. And if the people are gonna find out that I’m a fraud on my wedding day, at least I know for sure Jason knows the skeletons directly, and won’t run screaming from the room.

I feel abandoned and not supported by my family, particularly the male figures, who are the family heads. As they go, so goes the family. And neither one of them are interested in making my wedding a big deal…hence, none of my family are excited about the wedding being a big deal. I have to deal with that. I have to deal with the hurt that I still don’t matter to them like I want to; and I have to forgive myself and detach their decisions not to share in what will be a wonderful day from my own sense of adequacy. I am not inadequate- my ability to let people be free, when they are indeed free and act accordingly- that generates a feeling of inadequacy in me. Like being mad because you can’t run up a wall (yay, Margaret Cho!). This is none of my business.

So the lesson for today is, even if my family of birth doesn’t love me in the manner in which I wish to become accustomed, I still have family. I’m still loved, and I feel loved, often. I repeat, what my family does or doesn’t do, is none of my business. They’re free; I’m free; my wedding is free. I don’t have to weigh it down with expectations, or ask it to fulfill a need beyond its scope. I thank this opportunity to plan a wedding, because it has shown me that I want to deal with some un-done mess with relationships, but that’s my work, not the wedding’s.

As I said on facebook today:

FB fam, a moment of humility. You must know I’m making this up as I go along. I mess up. I get things “wrong.” I make messes. I try to mop them up. Sometimes I panic and cover up my mess. I love you all. I don’t always show it. It’s fear, not coldness. This is my process; this is my walk. Be gentle with me.

*I haven’t read this book, so I can’t endorse it- I just like the cover image. If you like, you can check it out here.

Vaguebook of the day

Upon realizing that I want something (a women’s art retreat), and that I let myself be conscious of wanting it:

When you’re this numb, the things that can break through the crap to thrill you are demands, not requests.

/vaguebook

Wow.

A Reminder…

My wedding…

My wedding is an opportunity, not a punishment.

My wedding is about sharing the love between FH* and me.

Sharing expands the heart, not contracts it.

Learning to give requires an open hand, not a clenched fist.

My wedding will be perfect.

My wedding will have things go wrong and people act weird.

My wedding costs enough.

My wedding is big enough.

My wedding is beautiful enough.

My wedding has enough room for everyone.

Because my wedding is a reflection of myself, being happy with myself means being happy with my wedding.

My wedding is not mine alone. It belongs to all of us, including those I did not invite, and may not even know.

My wedding is unique.

My wedding is not a delicate and beautiful snowflake. It is every other wedding- that’s why there’s a word for it.

My wedding is not a contest.

My wedding is not a blog entry.

My wedding is not a photograph (although our photographer does, indeed, rock).

My wedding is not a DIY garland.

My wedding is not my guest list.

My wedding is not my ONE LAST CHANCE.

My wedding is not a John Hughes** prom.

My wedding is not my love for FH*.

My wedding is not my marriage.

My wedding does not have to please you.

My wedding will probably not please you.

My wedding may not please me.

At the end of the day, I will still be married to my True Love. It will be witnessed. It will be legal. It will be real.

My wedding will be the sum total of what I dwell upon, what I meditate upon, the mouth I choose to feed.

I choose joy. I choose joy. I choose joy.

*FH= Future Husband

**John Hughes- beloved late director of every 80s movie starring Molly Ringwald, with whom I over-identified as a black adolescent growing up in the shadow of the projects.

Throwback Part 1 (edited)

I’m backing up selected posts I put on another blog to here…just so you can see what I think in real time. I’m real, son! But no dress pics here, because Sweet Intended can’t see it yet…and neither should you. Shoo, trying to look at my dress!

***

So… FH decided to chime in today. No worries- I’ve been trying to get him involved since Day Once, but he either claims male privilege (as if I dreamed at age 6 of planning a wedding alone, neither living near my parents nor his); or he sighs heavily and says a version of, “We can’t do what Iiiiiiii want, anyway,” which means in real words, “I know the idea of an actual FUNHOUSE is probably outside the $5000 budget for a destination wedding in San Francisco, but I want to make this your fault.”

Anyhoo, FH tells me he wants a 40s Film Noir theme. He knows I love the 40s (my ring is vintage), and I’m cool with it. So here’s my version of an inspiration board based on his input…

I also tried on fit and flare’s at DB today. I LOVE them- pretty sure anything other than a close fitting A-line or a fit-and-flare will tick me off now. Also, they’ll switch Dress #1 (not shown here) to White from Ivory, no problem!!!

Progress continues, and once I get FH’s guest list, we can rock and roll to the finish!

Note to other brides, we think about eloping every day. Every day. And we (I) work the budget every day. And I usually cry. Not a characteristic from Before, but apparently, from NOW. And CNN just profiled a couple who got married and broadcast it on the Internet for $300. No family present. I wish I were these people.

But this is fun, right?

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