Girls, we run this.

“Reppin for the girls, who takin over the world

…How we’re smart enough to make these millions

Strong enough to bear the children

Then get back to business.”- Beyonce “Run the World (Girls)”

Happy International Girls’ Day! A wise person once said, “If you can be yourself, be yourself. But if you can be Beyonce, be Beyonce.” Needless to say, I love Beyonce and I love this jam. Beyonce writes and sings anthems. Songs that embody a movement, a belief, an ideology. And this song, certainly embodies the cause and belief in the power and strength of women. As a woman, who works primarily with women; I see strength, patience, love, and all good things pour out of many of the strong women that I am blessed to know. Many of them have faith beyond any person I’ve ever met, but you wouldn’t be able to guess just by looking at them. You can’t judge a woman by her cover!

Living in this world, and working with eating disorders; I’ve begun to reflect on the plight of women through a different lens. Our society has become increasingly (and disgustingly) objectifying of women. As every year passes, it seems we’re expected to be even more skinny, artificial and photo-shopped than the month, year, or day before. We begin to view standards and see images that make us feel less worthy, less beautiful, less “woman.” And it is a sad, sad truth only sadly (sometimes) reinforced by the men in our society. Instead of lifting us up and appreciating the beauty, brains and baby-making ladies we are (Beyonce paraphrase); they often feed into our insecurity and validate that because we are not big/small enough, smart/dumb enough, out-going/quiet enough than we are un-worthy.

At the risk of sounding like a complete bra-burning feminist, I have to say that ladies– we have to stick together and stand up for ourselves! It is one of my core beliefs that we all receive the respect that we give ourselves. Love who you are, and know what you deserve and don’t treat your body like an object, free to be “bought” for a cheap drink or bargained for a commitment. Your body is a temple to be honored, not an object to be perfected. It is sacred. It is “fearfully and wonderfully made” to be enjoyed through a life that is well lived, not hated and bashed and criticized for the way it looks different than the one next to it. Women, we need to stop comparing and putting beach other down and recognize the unique role that each woman plays in her life, her family, our world.

And if we come together and recognize and see the beauty in all women, whether or not they look like they belong on the cover of Vogue, we will each do our part in coloring this black and white world a rainbow of light. Because we all have different colors, we all have light within us, we all have deep, incomparable beauty and the sooner we begin to recognize it in each other; the sooner we begin to believe it for ourselves and act in a way that honors the beauty of us.

Because after all girls, we run this!

Autumn Fallin, from trees. The snow is up to our knees… I believe, it was you. Who I wanted to be walkin next to.

And I believe we were friends
And I believe we will be again

If I knock on your door would you let me in?”- JayMay “Autumn Fallin'”

Best song. And in this video, it is performed in one of the best cities in the world. London is such a charming place. Besides all the history, literature and religion that was birthed in the Motherland; deep down, it is a city with a story. And how fitting that the gifted story-telling singer-songwriter, Jaymay chooses this city with a story as the backdrop to her autumn fairy-tale.

The thing I love about this song, and Jaymay as an artist, is like any good story-teller, she invites you into her story, her life. And she does it by setting up the scene. “Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away”… Okay, not that kind of story, I’m not going all geek squad on you, don’t worry, but by the first words “Autumn’s fallin…” she sets a beautiful scene. Autumn is falling from trees, and instantly in our minds we see Jaymay and ____ walking through the snow, walking through central park, getting rid of shoes, and a whole bunch of other fun things that this setting, this season may bring. Our imagination sets in as she tells the story. And we’re fully aware that this is her story until slowly but surely, her story becomes ours.

And we go from, man I wish I was walking with Jaymay in Central Park to… BAM. The picture of the one person I want to be walking next to. RIGHT THERE WITH ME. The “hero”, “prince charming” or “princess charming” in our story. Maybe someone comes to mind. Maybe a group of friends, maybe a long lost friend you’ve lost touch with, someone you couldn’t picture your life story without.
Whoever it is. Whatever it is. A good song brings the song-writer’s life experiences into your heart and your mind. It makes you reevaluate your life and ask yourself tough questions like “who do I want to be talking to, walking next to, spending forever next to?” What kind of stories and adventures do I want to tell? And who is in those stories that I don’t want there. And who is not in those stories that I do want? And then of course these thoughts and hopes, lead us to action. It leads us to following our dreams and believing our hopes will come true… “I believe we were friends. I believe we would be again.”

Autumn is falling. Let’s fall right with it, fall in love with the story of your life. 🙂

All Too Well

All Too Well

There are moments in music that can be defined in one word. Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well” is one of those moments, and the one word that can sum up this ballad is: nostalgia.
A longing for the past. Reminiscing on a better time and grieving the loss of what was, what could have been and what will never be.
During this time of year, nostalgia runs rampant in our hearts and minds. We think about holidays of the past, with family and friends who may no longer be with us, old traditions we have lost along the way and even just the loss of another year with the ones we love.
What’s most interesting is that amidst all of these feelings of nostalgia; this time of year is also the most aesthetically delightful times (if, of course, you are in a geographical location that experiences season). As Charles Dickens writes, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.
This season, with all the nostalgia and difficult memories it may bring, also brings new memories, new beauty, new growth.

It is good to cherish our lives, every past and present moment. It is also good to recognize the beauty of change, the beauty of loss. As you watch the changing leaves, realize the beauty of their “dying.” As you watch the change in your life circumstances, recognize the beauty in the loss of your life. In the things you “let die”. Maybe they are your fears. Maybe they are your unrealized dreams. Maybe they are your worries and stress about what others think of you.
If the green leaves of summer never encountered the Autumn. They would never become the beautiful fall colors we know and love. If we never experience change and loss in life, we would never “let go” of what we’re not meant to hold onto in the first place.
Change is hard. Loss is painful. We can still picture the life we once had, or wish we had. But what we must realize is that though our dream was beautiful, the loss of it, the transformation into a new dream, is beautiful too. There is beauty in letting go…

“In the end, only 3 things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”