Thursday 25 July 2013

Why go on RETREAT?

A gorgeous woman in relaxation, at the Alice Springs Women's  Retreat May 2013

Why take a retreat...

" I think it is essential to sometimes go on retreat, to stop everything that you have been doing, to stop your beliefs and experiences completely and look at them anew, not keep on repeating like machines...

You would then let in some fresh air into your mind, wouldn't you?

You would become open to the mysteries of nature and to things that are whispering about us...

In a retreat.. you can have a complete break from the past and see what happens...vast expanses of love, understanding and freedom.

When your heart is open, then your own noises are not heard.

To take a retreat and go away and stop the routine - not only the routine of outward existence but the routine which the mind has established...."

J. Krishnamurti, Madras 1952

Sunday 21 July 2013

Return to goddess fashion?

A young fashion commentator in Milan tells me the next fashion "trend" will be "A Blast from the Past." And she wonders if women consumers have had anything to do with the return to the "full figured" woman.  

It's an  important issue:  the power of women as consumers in an industry that ‘owns’ them, so to speak. 

Women wear fashion. It’s unavoidable. Every choice they make is fashion conscious. At the same time their choices are image driven, more specifically, body image driven. 

“Does my bum look big in this?” became the catch cry for the way women make a choice within the limits of what is made available to them by the fashion gods.

 So when the gods switch from heroin chic, to granny comfortable, or fifties retro etc, it begs the question: Are the gods influenced by the consumers, who have been struggling to fit into skinny legged jeans,  g-strings, pointed boots and strapless bras etc or is the switch just another whim.

Certainly the return to the more curvaceous, goddess-like women, such as Marilyn Monroe, Esther Williams, Rita Hayworth etc will be welcomed by the majority of women because the majority of women have hips, breasts and thighs. That’s what makes them women.   But will the designers allow curvaceous women to model for them? Will cat walk models ever be less leggy and more fleshy.

As a psychologist working with girls and women with eating disorders, I can vouch for the effect fashion has. While fashion may not create eating disorders per say, it does have a negative impact on ‘recovery.’ Many girls are asked if they are models. Receiving positive praise for thinness discourages them from gaining weight. And for obese patients, their depression is exacerbated by fashion which extols thinness as a virtue.

So while I would like to think that the retro fashion has resulted from consumer pressure, I am also aware that a lot has to change in the fashion psyche before women can be celebrated for what they are: diverse. A one size fits all approach does not serve them, especially when that one size suits only the smallest fraction of the minority.

Saturday 20 July 2013

Women, take your power...

While  women buy the youth card, they deny girls and younger women the guidance they need. While they chase the promises of cosmetic youth, they deny themselves the wisdom they deserve.
And at the same time, they fail to model womanhood for the young. 
Come on women, don't be afraid to take your power...Younger women depend on you.

"The Crone has been missing from our culture for so long that many women, particularly young girls, know nothing of her tutelage. 
Young girls in our society are not initiated by older women into womanhood with its accompanying dignity and power. 
With no inner wisdom figure to guide them, and no outward model to help them set boundaries and be their own person, young women often fall victim to false and superficial ideals, such as pleasing others. 
Ironically, they achieve their greatest success at the cost of their own emerging sense of self. "
-Marion Woodman & Elinor Dickson from Dancing in the Flames

Monday 15 July 2013

Girls pouting and posing for a selfie. For whom?

Actor Miley Cyrus poses for a selfie.
Actor Miley Cyrus poses for a selfie.

In my practice as a psychologist, I see girls with eating disorders, body dysmorphia and other body image issues.

Sometimes they show me pics of their friends or other girls they think are PERFECT. 
Most, if not all of the pics I've seen are of girls  posing like this. Many of them post their pics on facebook. Their female friends respond with LIKES and comments such as 'you look hot.'

My question is: who is all this posing and pouting for?

The availability of so much visual media is making the body image trap more insidious for young women.
And men are being affected too, having procedures so they can look good on facebook or on their phones.

I am deeply saddened by these destructive trends. I hope they will pass, like the whirlwinds they are.   But how much damage will they leave in their wake?
What do you think?

Monday 8 July 2013

Afterglow of MOTHER's RETREAT

What joy to re-unite with the wonderful women from the May Mother's retreat. And how exquisite to be honoured by them (WE LOVE DENISE) and to enjoy their honouring of each other.

It's one thing to take time out from one's life to retreat but it's profound when the benefits of that experience spill into life.

All the women from my May retreat continue to meet, support and lovingly care each other.

You can see how proud I am of them.

Love you all, for your courage, tenacity, generosity and warm abundance. BLESSINGS!