Love & Sex

Convivial Moments: The World From My Lens + A Lil’ Some Some

Last night, I was going through some photos I’ve taken and it occurred to me that having them sit idle in my computer folders do nothing for anyone. Why bother taking the opportunity to capture a moment, which is my preference when it comes to photography, if I don’t share it with the world? So, today we’ll share some love. Like, literally some love I captured at the Ft. Worth Stockyards one hot May day.

 

Back story:

I was walking to my car ready to get out of the hot sun when I caught this alleyway located in between some shops and restaurants. I honestly just wanted to capture the lines, shadows, and colors that I saw, but it just so happened that a young couple was strolling toward me in the distance.

While I stood with camera at  eye level, adjusting the lens to ready myself, the couple kept getting closer. I’m sure they couldn’t help noticing me and the man did something totally unexpected. He stopped, turned to his girl and leaned in for the kiss. I was like, “WOW!” and began shooting.

It was an impromptu moment of mutual inspiration for me the photographer and the man who took his chance to create a convivial (and unforgettable) moment with his woman. Ya gotta love men who take initiative to conquer their world.

   

My Father The Hero

As a little girl, I didn’t get the experience of being “Daddy’s little girl.”

I can’t remember a tender moment between just the two of us, father and daughter until I was about 18 years old. I don’t recall him ever looking sweetly at me and making me feel special. He only knew to wake up every morning and head off to work to provide for me every day.

He made his mistakes with me, but thankfully, as I became a teenager, I came to understand that it wasn’t that he didn’t care or love me; he simply didn’t know how to express his fatherly love toward me.

Luckily, he loved the hell out of my mother and without realizing, he taught me how a man should love a woman. (more…)

   

A Convivial Love Affair

Today marks the 8th Wedding Anniversary for my husband, Martin and I. To commemorate this sacred day, here’s our story…

We met on Halloween Day 1998. I vaguely recall his face, but clearly remember his spirit. It was convivial. Our first dance was to a song called, Oye Mi Amor (Hey My Love) by the Spanish Rock group, Mana. We jumped wildly and danced together while belting out these lyrics: Hey my love…don’t tell me no…let’s get together…and join our souls…join our bodies…

To listen to the full song, CLICK HERE.

I didn’t want to give him my number, because I had strictly gone out that night with the intention to dance my ass off and walk away with the memory of it all. Fortunately, I broke my own rule. Something in him called something in me. It was never about appearances with us, but instead this sense of being high on life and experiencing an energy so contagious that we couldn’t ignore the potential for more opportunities together. I felt light on my feet as I thought

Hmm…he’s interesting…I’m interesting…we could be interesting together.

The chemistry was there from the get-go. I felt extremely vulnerable around him. I’m not someone to open up so quickly, but Martin broke me of that. He could see me in ways I wasn’t ready for him to see. (more…)

   

A Vision of Sexuality

Here’s a video of one of my favorite Spanish artists, Bebe singing the song La Bicha . As I watch Bebe sing, the melody and movements strip and caress the flesh that I call my own.

I see myself in Bebe as she expresses in her body, her smile, hands, hips and lyrics such strength, confidence, freedom and lack of inhibitions. Yes, I believe this is what my own sexuality looks and sounds like.

Do you know what your sexuality looks like? Feels like?

Have a look at this video and see how you feel. You may not understand this woman’s words, but I don’t doubt you’ll get her message.

.

Sex is sacred,
savage,
supernatural,
and I embrace its every form.

Religion taught me to believe it was bad to express the desires of my flesh, to experience all that is natural in me and I still hear those messages in society today. As a mother, I should be keen not to appear too aware of my sex, because goodness, what kind of woman would I seem? (Madonna/Whore complex) How about a confident one? I’m sorry to say, but my name is not Mary. Sex was my ticket to motherhood.

At a young age, I remember having an awareness about my sexuality-I felt it and wanted to express it. When I finally did
(more…)

   

Infertility Treatments for Ambitious Women

I was listening to The Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio (NPR) and the show was about Infertility’s Legal Issues- the technology available to assist women with conception and how the laws are behind the trend when things go wrong.

As I listened, Diane introduced fertility doctor, Dr. Paul Gindoff and he proceeded to talk about what infertility treatments were and started promoting them as a great method for women to use if they wanted to postpone having children solely because of their desire to pursue a career.

He made it sound easy to consider this route by saying any woman could wait to have a baby, that she could have it whenever she wanted, and she could do it this way. “Was this a commercial break?!” I thought. Definitely not. This was a guest, a medical doctor making it seem the control was all in the woman’s hands, that the timing didn’t matter and these technologies could guarantee her the desired outcome which was a baby.

I was immediately reminded of the book by Silvia Ann Hewlett called Creating A Life: What Every Woman Needs To Know About Having a Career and a Baby. Here’s a brief excerpt from the book which tells you why it came to mind:

The plain fact is, if you are a career woman who has had the tenacity to nurture both a career and a long-term loving relationship, you might well be on the wrong side of 35 before you have time to draw breath and contemplate having a child- exactly the point in life when infertility rears its ugly head. Media hype notwithstanding, the new reproductive technologies have not solved fertility problems for forty-something women.

I’d add that the reproductive technologies have not solved the problems for thirty-something and even late twenty-something women either. I’ve known many women who sought medical intervention to conceive a child because nature simply wasn’t cooperating with their bodies, not because they held off too long due to career aspirations.

The stories and statistics given in Creating A Life about women who went this route and couldn’t conceive, even after years of infertility treatment show a different side of this reality. It’s not as easy, yet media doesn’t talk about those women and their stories. Hearts are broken, relationships are strained, bank accounts are stressed and no baby results. When it comes to what is reported on infertility treatment, there’s lots of coverage on Hollywood actresses and singers having babies in their 40′s, and of course, OctoMom’s latest shenanigans or Kate Gosselin and her 8 kids she supposedly doesn’t care for because she has desires to dance.

Trouble on the conception front is far too common nowadays, so for this doctor to make it sound like getting pregnant has never been easier for women, well, I’m just a tad bit annoyed by the misinformation. I’m sure there are women out there he may be speaking to, but I would find it hard to see them as the majority of interested clients.

This may have also hit a nerve for me, because I had trouble initially conceiving both my children. The reasons behind this were potentially related to stress, unhealthy eating, a non-active lifestyle, therefore causing an imbalance in hormones, possible endometriosis, and resulting in infertility. I never found out if I had endometriosis, because I took a different path to conceive my children by first trying to get to the root of my problem and correcting the imbalance.

Then I explored Mayan Abdominal Massage via The Arvigo Technique which is a non-invasive massage for the female reproductive organs and it worked for me. I highly recommend it as a first resort solution to infertility and overall women’s health. I drove from Dallas to Austin to have it done by Elizabeth Quigg of Sirisage and firmly believe it helped me get pregnant with both my boys. The timing was too impeccable not to believe in it. And although I didn’t go the invitro route doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have considered it. I just never made it to that point and I’m thankful for that.

Like Dr. Rosita Arvigo of The Arvigo Technique once said,
“Give nature half the chance and she has a miracle in store for you.”

In my case, it was two miracles.

   

Say Anything

In need of a feel-good moment, something that really warms the heart? How about the experience of my all-time favorite movie?! I saw it for the first time at thirteen and haven’t stopped loving or watching it. I could have it on just as background noise; that’s how much I love it. It was the early 90′s and I was a thirteen-year-old girl on summer vacation looking for a dare to be great situation. I walked to VideoTek, the local video store in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, neon lights on the front window and everything, and hand-picked the movie right off the shelf. Here’s the trailer to Say Anything. If it calls you, watch the movie. To know Lloyd Dobler is to love him. Everyone needs to know Lloyd Dobler. Drop a comment and let me know what you think!

   

Perfection is Possible

I have been convinced of a truth: Perfection is possible. I know it exists and can be reached, because I just experienced it. I am now more certain of its power, its potential to grab a hold of my heart, even if for a moment, and take me for an unforgettable ride. With this experience, I was transported to the muse’s doorstep and given a taste of the sweet sensations she brings. Before anything can get in the way of this feeling, I must declare it mine. Just as I do with my own life, I am holding it dear to me, embracing it with eyes wide shut and heart wide open. I am thankful, because I know it cannot stay. This moment will pass in exchange for another. It’ll call me, then evade me and I’ll chase it and find it again in some other form, but for now, it’s here…caressing, inspiring and causing feelings in me that I can’t explain. Does this make any sense to you? If the answer is no, then my answer is, GOOD. Mysterious ways…perfection works.

How did I arrive at this final destination? It happened without attempt, without logic or strategy, and had no clear direction- just as love is, as life is- but once I was aware of what I could do to steer perfection my way, the intention was all there. I didn’t seek it out, didn’t pursue it and like the sun rises and sets, it made its appearance. When the journey to this treasured spot began, I was unsure of how or what the experience would be. If I’d allowed my thoughts to take the stage, I would’ve hindered perfection’s debut. So I let go of all thought and chose not to speak. I closed my eyes and envisioned a deep, dark, gentle space within me and took my thoughts there. And left them there. I went with the flow. I let all worries walk out on me. I breathed in and then out, continuing this pace as needed and soon felt myself relaxing. When I felt the potential for thoughts to take the forefront, I pushed back and closed the red curtain on them. This was my stage.

In the beginning, there was a little uncertainty, some restraint, even friction at times. As is every new experience, every new meeting of the minds, of the hearts. But I had faith. And trust. And most of all, desire. I allowed the experience to unfold on its own, giving it the space, time and energy it required of me. I inched forward, then held back, leaped across and over, then surrendered again, not pushing or forcing anything. Cause and effect, baby. I trusted myself and all that was out of my control. Eventually, the pathway that called to me opened up for me and as I journeyed forward, I felt a rush of happiness, peace, and total calm. But the journey wasn’t over yet. I worked hard and was diligent in my efforts, strategic and patient for an outcome that would result in my ultimate favor. Then…it happened. I had arrived, reached success, reconciled my ideal of perfection to one of reality and was left in a state of pure gratitude. Perfection had surprised me, completely conquered my mind and body by simply proving her existence. I was in awe of her power and felt harmony and unity and peace and love. I was speechless. Tears replaced potential words.

What moments of perfection have gone down in the history of your heart? When all is right, smooth sailing, flowing, smiling down on you; when you feel impenetrable, subject to no limits, seemingly (or literally) floating above ground, and you can’t contain yourself, these feelings are what we aspire to achieve every day in life. Perfection is possible and a reachable state of mind, although not a permanent possibility considering the daily distractions that swallow up our mind’s potential power, but it is there, waiting for us to dedicate the time, resources, energy, and belief that it can be experienced. Give yourself the chance to discover and set foot on utopia. Repeatedly. It’s an incomprehensible and convivial place to be. Even if for just one moment.

   

Embrace Your Inner Girl

Source: Uploaded by user via Kaylan on Pinterest

I’m capable of telling it like it is and capsizing boats that merit sinking, but I haven’t always gone “there” for fear of how I might be perceived or no longer received. GASP. An image-conscious, convivial woman?

I wish I could say it isn’t so, but it’s one of the biggest challenges for women (raising my hand) to overcome before reaching

The convivial promise land of “This is who I am, this is how I live…take it or leave it.”

Thankfully, we have a TED talk like the one given by Eve Ensler, creator of The Vagina Monologues (pictured above) to remind women how important it is to (more…)

   

Not being treated right? Take your cue, smile, and move on. One less person to worry about.

   

The Kiss

I witnessed pure love while dining out at the mall today. As I’m sitting at my table, feeding my son and trying to steal a few bites for myself, I see a woman walk into the restaurant. A man who appeared to be waiting for her approaches her and without hesitation, bends toward her, CLOSES HIS EYES, and gives this woman a kiss. I’m not talking a peck; I’m talking an unhurried, it’s-so-nice-to-see-you-smell-you-taste-you kiss. Nonchalantly yet appreciatively, she receives his kiss and soon follows the hostess to their table.

I felt the love this man had for his woman, sensed that he cherished her, that he found her beautiful.

In an interesting and unexpected way, I thought so too. Why was I so touched? He freakin’ closed his eyes for this very public kiss! It’s not often you see such genuine affection from one person to another in public. These people didn’t look like a young couple barely dating (prime time for such gestures). No, they looked like they had a house, dogs, and a couple of kids together. That’s what makes it all the more special, because at that point in a relationship, maintaining what brought you together as a couple is more of a choice than an automatic reaction.

Being with someone for years calls for more intention and effort to keep passion in the relationship.

It’s easy to get hampered down with the daily grind of our lives and let the simple pleasures such as holding hands, looking into each other’s eyes and staying long enough in that embrace or not pulling away so fast for that kiss go to the wayside. Have you ever inhaled your partner’s breath and then surrendered to the kiss? That’s what I’m talking about!

Love is a choice. Choose Love.

   

A Convivial Sense of Security

A man walks into the doctor’s office carrying his daughter who was about ten years old and took a seat next to me. Glancing over at the young girl in his arms, I saw scraped knees and additional bruising and cuts on her knuckles and imagined a pretty good fall had occurred. After seeing her wounds, I met eyes with the girl and saw her bruised spirit as tears began to well up in her eyes. Her eyes communicated a girl who was hurt, vulnerable and fragile. And now, here she was cradled in her Daddy’s strong arms. It seemed all was going to be just fine.

I wondered what that did for her soul, for the future woman in her.

Instantly, I was transported back to a rare moment when I found myself in my own father’s embrace. I was about four years old and attending a church service for a family friend’s brother who had passed away. I had fallen asleep and my father picked me up to carry me out of the church. I remember waking up to see our friend’s son looking up at me. I pretended I was still asleep and rested my head back on my father’s shoulder.

I recall the feeling of security I got in my Dad’s arms. I felt protected, cared for. The memory makes me realize how important it is for a young girl to experience a father’s love and the security that comes with that love. Nothing is perfect, but there is a dynamic between father and daughter that sets the tone for how a girl may feel about herself and conduct herself in relationships with men later on in life. Many girls nowadays are growing up without the experience of a father’s love and it is my conclusion that this is a key factor as to why many women are giving away so much of their power in male/female relationships.

We have so much value and power yet so many of us women don’t realize it.

And when we do know, there are moments when we can forget. When that happens, it shows in our behavior, in our relationships, in our appearance, in our homes, in our families, in the decisions we make and most importantly, the decisions we don’t make. It shows in the ways we look for love.

In January 2008, I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting Michael J. Lockwood, author of the book Women Have All The Power, Too Bad They Don’t Know It, and I want to share something he said that stayed with me after our meeting:

Women are a prize to be won.

It’s one thing to say it, and hear it, but how many of us believe it? Demonstrate it in our actions? In the way we teach people to treat us? To value our wants? Our time? In order to be the change you wish to see in your world…it starts with believing you are a prize and finding security in that belief.

But it doesn’t end there. You must then go out and…

Live according to that belief,

   

You are a Story

…she is a story whether she wants to be or not.
Because she is a woman.

People watch women as if reading them.
They watch them more closely than they do men.
Because they are more interesting.
Women have been the subject of so much objectification because of their intrinsic mystery.

Some of the greatest figures of worship are female:

the virgin mary
mother nature
earth goddesses
madonna…

people study women the way the devout read books; not so much to learn material as to surrender to a word or phrase that captures ones attention. That is how others perceive women. And that is why non-verbal symbols become weapons.

A strength you don’t use turns destructive.

- The Princessa, Harriet Rubin

   
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