Okay, So clearly I am not a blogger my nature. I do have a lot to say, and have no problem whatsoever in my daily life going on passionately about things that get under my skin! I also like to interact with people, unless I’m needing my space (born in California, we need our space) The whole blog thing however, hasn’t appealed to me yet! BUT, I DID redo my site, and I DID put in a MUSINGS page, so I pretty much should get around to filling it.
One of the topics that I am crazy passionate about is the health and wellness and support of young women and girls. Here are a couple pieces I wrote a while back. I’m putting them here so you can see again, and for the first time. And to get my MUSINGS page going!
Some of you have read them, some haven’t. This is from the heart and who I am. I’ll be back with new musings soon!
A LETTER TO MY NIECE AND ALL GIRLS AND YOUNG WOMEN:
I want you to know this very important thing and remember it always. Know that it is true, and that it’s not only encouragement because I love you.
You are amazing. A breathtaking beauty. I see your energy, your love and creativity. I listen to your ideas for the world, for your friends and for yourself, and I see how excited and fearless you are when you share them. You are sensitive, intuitive, and compassionate. So beautiful. You know things, important things that could benefit the world.
The problem is, society is going to try to diminish you. It will tell you that your power is in being really skinny. This is a lie. It will tell you your power and lovability is in being sexy. This is also a lie. It will tell you that your body, not your heart or brain is all the use it has for you. That to be lovable your bones must stick out and your thighs must not touch. Lies.
If you believe these lies you will spend precious time and energy trying to deliver. Don’t waste your time and energy. It will never work. Even when people say, “Wow you look so good, did you lose weight?” it is only temporary, and inside you’ll worry that you’re not enough, normally, and you’ll worry about gaining even an ounce. If you starve yourself, even though it feels like you’re in control, you will lose your hair, your period, your energy, and your gorgeous vitality. You will be filled with fear 24/7. Find a trustworthy place to express your feelings instead.
If you binge and purge you will become bloated, your breath will smell, you’ll destroy your stomach and possibly grow hair on your face. You are not expressing feelings you have. Get the real feelings out, then you wont want to do it silently as harm to yourself.
If you look at yourself in disgust, it is because you have been told lies. You are not alone, millions of women before you have stood at the mirror and cringed. But millions of women have chosen self love and esteem. As hard as it seems at first, it is possible.
I wish with all my heart for you to commit to loving yourself. I was a young woman in Hollywood, and believe me, if I can love myself here, you can love yourself anywhere.
Here are some things that worked for me:
1) Seek a counselor, teacher, friends, or group, in person or online where you’ll be supported by sane, caring people who also are refusing society’s lies and are reclaiming their power and true beauty.
2) Every time you see something showing women as too skinny or blatantly sexualized, take a deep breath and say to yourself “That’s a lie. I choose me.”
3) Read Geneen Roth Books like When Food is Love. www.geneenroth.com
4) Start meditating. Even 5 minutes a day spending time being aware of your breath will put you in touch with your feelings. http://www.sharonsalzberg.com
5) Start to become active in what you love DOING. People admire action, courage and real happiness far more than they admire a size 2.
6) Ask yourself if it is your body, mind or heart that is hungry. Your mind and heart need nourishment other than food.
7) Spend time with people who support you, not people who hurt you.
I love you. The world needs you.
Photo: Daphne in Cambodian orphanage
THE GIFT OF NOT BEING A MOTHER by Daphne Zuniga
“Mommy, auntie’s cool. You’re not cool, but auntie is.” That’s what Danielle, my niece told my sister, and I will remember it for the rest of my life. What does it even mean…she was a seven. Does she think of me when other cool people like High School Musical pops into her head? I’m deciding yes. I’ve witnessed the love that little girl has for her mother many times over, and I know I’m cool because I can swoop in and then out, no part of the lose-lose situations, but that statement made my heart swell, I’m on her radar! I matter to her. That is special.
My sister always wanted children and I always did not. I’ve always related to kids, I just never wanted my own. At age 13, Jennifer was such a sought after babysitter she decided to open a day care center in town complete with child-sized chairs and tables loaned to her by the school principal. She made sure the kids had books and snacks and games to play while she looked after them. I was busy with play rehearsals those afternoons. I’d started a theater department in school, and got a part in the local community theater. I’d much rather play Humpty Dumpty and Baby Bear and hear kids laugh from the audience than be with them all day long. We both happily took charge of Sunday school in our Mom’s church, but my sister and I went on to connect with and love kids in different ways. With a degree in Family Studies, my sister is married with two kids of her own, and I am child free with an acting career of my own.
In learning the skills of an actor, which includes being fearless in experiencing and expressing human emotions without judgment, I’ve spent years delving into fun human stuff like grief, shame, rage, lust, joy, and so on. I’ve enrolled in personal growth workshops where I learned to embrace even more aspects of myself, and started therapy at 25, which I see as crucial for any young person choosing to make a living in Hollywood. This all takes time, focus, and money. I was free to do such in depth self-discovery because I didn’t have a family depending on my being there for them day in and day out. With all that inner work came the desire to connect to and nurture others.
Life has given me so many incredible kids and young people to know, to care about, and to love. I want to share my experiences and struggles with them so they know they are not alone, that they are valuable, and stunning. As age would have it, I play mothers now. This is a great joy for me because I have scenes with young people and this year have had the pleasure to get involved with a group of women in their 20s called Team True Beauty (Teamtruebeauty.com), which started on Twitter (taught to me by my TV daughter). Eight friends banded together in reaction to some loser who tweeted that girls should be a size 0, and they should use something he made up called “managed anorexia”. These women now have a membership with a website that reads, Team True Beauty…it’s the size of your heart not your waistline. When I talk to them, I feel maternal yet also like their peer, with a couple decades more experience. Because I don’t have a child of my own to compare it to, the closeness I feel toward them is love. I am grateful for that connection. The gift of being child-free is that I get to love many, equally.