Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Five Percent Course Adjustment

I recently read this article about not setting goals because that's how we set ourselves up for failure.


Then I thought about the biggest goals I've had in my life and how they've never stuck.  I had a goal to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle.  Instead I became what I lovingly refer to as The Thousand Pound Woman having yo-yo'd my way through many dress sizes in my life.  Why?  Why didn't it work?  Because it was a goal.  I would strive momentarily for a goal and then I would achieve it and quit behaving in the forced manner that had gotten me there.  I could do step aerobics, a torture best left in the 80's, but only for a finite amount of time.  The community class I signed up for ended, the holidays arrived, the spandex-y glitterbomb of a teacher was dreadful -- you see, I can do anything for a little bit of time.  But the problem was that the goal was reached in a forced manner.  As soon as I stopped trying to force myself to reach the goal because it had been achieved, it was right back to the way of living that I knew best. It might not be what was best for me, but it was what I knew.

I tend to be a broad strokes, big sweeping gestures kinda' gal.  My friend Candy used to always say to me, "baby steps," to which I replied, "pish posh."

But now I am beginning to get the baby steps thing.  It's not the goal and a giant leap that gets me magically transported to The New Lee.  It's the system I put into play every day.

So instead of saying, "I want to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle," I must simply put into play in my daily life systems that will create the space for happiness each day and that will point me down a healthy road.  It's NOT a GOAL though.  Got that?

Systems are not forced things, will power or regimes.  Systems allow you to find, in your own happy way, a lifestyle that is different, yet satisfying and joyful.  After they have been booted up, systems operate in a practically unnoticeable manner (like your pulmonary system.  See what I did there?)

Systems will not overwhelm you or discourage you or leave you feeling restricted.  Systems give you freedom.

But setting up an entirely new system can be overwhelming, too.  It seems so much like a goal.  I have a friend who recommends the 5% course adjustment.  This is a conscious decision to make a small change.  I've seen it work in other people's lives.  The 5% course adjustment is skim milk instead of whole milk, or walking an extra half mile on your constitutional.  The 5% course adjustment is saying yes to a sorbet and no to an ice cream.  It's the little things that add up to a lot of things.

I never understood this on a personal level.  I, being bold move Betty, thought, "If you're going to change, then change dammit."  But I discounted the fact that even a 5% adjustment to the path you are walking eventually will take you miles off the course you trod.  Ultimately the change that occurs, because it is barely noticeable, means that it is likely to be permanent.  And the battle of will power does not have to be your burden.

The dialect of all or nothing disappears with the 5% course adjustment.  It is no longer, "I MUST do this thing every day for the rest of my life." The dialogue between my choices and my habits is now, "Just do this little thing right now; no one's going to be much bothered by it." So I can walk that extra few yards, drink that extra glass of water, stretch in the morning, or walk around the block on my break.  It all adds up.

And change that takes place over a long period of time adds up.  You have a new system of living life.  It was not a forced conscious decision, it just happened gradually.

Without setting a goal.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What A Fluffer Wants In Bed

Yesterday I shamelessly threw myself at several men and got paid for it. They bought me drinks, they laughed at my stupid jokes and checked me out. They all wanted me.  A man with glasses and a wry smile sat in the corner and watched.  He quite enjoyed himself.  All the while I was being filmed by a close friend.

True confessions of a low-budget porn star?


I was working as a casting assistant for an indie film project, and part of my job was to be the person that the actors auditioned with.  The scene was a pick-up at a bar.  I improv-ed that scene multiple times and everyone -- EV-ER-Y-one had a good time.

I was quite skilled at being a vicious, quick-witted flirt.

It was the topic of the day around the water cooler -- Lee was unexpectedly good at being a sexual woman.

The situation is both painful and an eye-opener for me.

I realize once again that I crave two worlds.  I want to be respected and employed for my skills.  I want to walk into rooms and have my co-workers think, "there's that Lee -girl.  She knows what she's doing. She's got it going on as a filmmaker/producer/ writer/director/actor/etc."

But I also want to be someone that men see as desirable.  And I'm not. I'm just not.  I am 100 pounds overweight.  I'm at best a person men talk to about professional stuff, and at worst, I am truly invisible to them.

I am overlooked.

I am treated rudely, as if I don't exist because of my size.

Believe it or not, I'm still the same person I was when I weighed 135 pounds and all the dogs were barking at my front door.  I just happen to be a lot heavier now because I bear the true weight of my burdens.  I eat my woes.  I've emotionally eaten enough to put me very firmly in the obese camp.

And that makes me an unnoticed person.

Yesterday I had their attention on both sides of the dichotomous worlds I desire. Professionally I proved once again that I could act.  I could do the work and do it so well that a room full of people were enthralled by me. And at the same time I was desirable.

This left me quite raw. My two worlds ran fully into one another and it was a powerful shock. I was acting like a woman that no one would expect dwells in my body.  After all, the assumption goes, fat people don't flirt.  Fat people don't pick up men in bars.  Fat people don't do those things.  They don't deserve it.  And yet there I was, fat and flirting.

Mind you, flirting is not something I've EVER done, not as a fat girl, not as a thin girl.

I am at my best in my authentic skin.  I am a vulnerable and open heart.  Flirting causes my heart damage.  Flirting leaves me open to barbs and rejection and rebuffs. On the other side of the coin, flirting leaves me open to one-night stands and beer goggles and the walk of shame.  Flirting leaves me in a place where I can bear my heart and sole wide open and then have to pick up the shattered mess a few hours later.

I don't flirt.

But as I proved yesterday to my charming voyeur, the camera operator, and every man who came in to audition,

I am a man eater.

I am a vicious cock tease.

I know how to be a flirt.

For the past 24 hours I've felt torn and scraped.

The idea that flirting is harmless does not apply here.  What happened to me was a good metaphor for the expectations we place on women.  Be pretty; be thin; be willing, but not too willing; be there for me, beside me, but not separate from me.

There's a personal metaphor in play, also.  I can paint myself to be what men want.  I can walk the walk the men are asking me to walk.  But I am certain that I will never be a fully evolved me if I turn into this woman.

It occurs to me that doing any of that crazy, kinky stuff that someone might expect after my performance as a flirt will only solidify my place as a second - class citizen.  I would be placing myself in the passenger seat -- woman to serve and service man.  Yet I know that my heart can be open to a man, that I can be as sexy as I feel with someone and let it be about being authentic together.

I can remove the pornography from my actions and just be graphically beautiful with someone.  We can do whatever we want as long as we are authentically sharing, in the moment, a passionate physical moment, eye to eye, toe to toe.

We will not be objectifying one another.

We will not be playing a game in which there is an inevitable winner and loser.

Instead we will be dancing.  We will embrace, body and soul, heart and mind.  We will enjoy each other's touch and lustful grunting.  We will be to one another what we cannot be to ourselves or to the pornography that we re-enact in hotels and dark alleys and the back seats of cars.  We will not be the sex-full act that lacks intimacy.  We will be the intimate action that is beautiful sex.

And it will be me, the complete person I call The Thousand Pound Woman, who breaths authentic love in and out and looks into his eyes and sees that he is not simply getting off, he is having sex.  With me.  WITH me.  It is not something he does to me.  I am not a thing that is seen briefly then becomes invisible.  I am real.  I am authentic.  And we are together for that moment, in one another's arms.

No one needs to sit by and watch.  There doesn't need to be a camera.  It doesn't have to be the talk of the office for a full day.  It is simply lovely.

This is what a fluffer wants in bed.

I deserve that.

We all do.

#flirting  #feminism #selfesteem

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Universe's Smackdown

Last year was an amazing roller coaster ride, this year is more like a merry-go-round.

When my life turned upside down and I had to face the painful truth of a bad marriage and my denial of my circumstances, I got a really good dose of living.  I cried a lot, I laughed a lot, I pursued dreams and accomplished things.  All the while I was doing things like winning major screenwriting awards and graduating from an MFA program, my ex-husband was busy getting hit by cars.  That's right, that was plural.  He was hit by a car a few days before I left for China last year.  He broke both legs, his pelvis and an arm.  Ouch.  And a few days after my birthday he was hit by another car whilst crossing the street. These two accidents mark the sixth and seventh times in his life that he has been struck by a car.

My take on the whole  ex-husband-as-a-car-magnet thing is that the Universe is trying to get him to learn a lesson.  And the Universe will keep dishing out the same "opportunity" until he wakes up and smells the coffee.

Now it's my turn.

This morning I found myself face down on the carpet, having thrown my back out, once again, while picking up a cat.  While I examined the worn down fibers of beige encrusted in something like mac 'n cheese, I had to ask myself,  "What is the lesson the Universe is trying to impart?" Here's what I came up with.

I've been plagued my whole life by underemployment, financial woes, and my weight.

What does it all mean?  How can I veer away from these issues? What is it that I need to change?  How must I grow?

I GET IT, UNIVERSE!  You want me to take care of myself first.

Okay.  I can do that.  But first I just have to make sure that my daughter/boss/friend/pets/landlord/....


Taking care of yourself first is no easy task.

Where do I begin?

it might just be that loyalty is my downfall.

I have this core expectation that if I am loyal to someone, that they will reciprocate.  The plan that I have acted on throughout my life is that I will put others' needs before my own and then they will do the same for me.

Oddly, that hasn't worked out so well.

Today is the first day.  Today is the day, driven home by a back wrenching episode of cat lifting. Today begins a journey into Me First Land.

Today I am getting off the merry go round and walking towards my future rather than repeating my past.