March 2019
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rainbow icons / out of shape / Unity Church / meeting Sara / want friends nearby / rainbowknitduster

Haha, you guys see me very differently than I see myself! I was sure you'd all choose the first one, and it ended up being least popular. I think it's significant that kmiotutsie chose it though, because she's the only voter who's actually spent several days in a row with me ;-D and I apparently come across much more serious in my LJ than face-to-face. I laugh and grin a lot in real life. and rant and yell and make crazy faces. Maybe I should make a habit of posting videos more often. Anyway I made the two most popular choices into icons, shimmering and voltaic. ;-)

My posts have been monomaniacal lately, which is a bit irksome to me because when people come across it I feel they get the wrong idea about me. But sex (the act, sexual identity/ preference/ orientation, the social beliefs about it) seems to be the theme in my thoughts lately so it's the theme here. I suppose I'll just have to live with my monomaniacal LJ until the theme passes ;-)

On another note, I'm so freaking out of shape! I almost never get my heart rate up, never exert myself, and as a result I get out of breath so easily. And my muscles are weak, which annoys me greatly because I've always been strong. I really miss the feeling of confidence that comes with muscle strength. When I worked on the farm, I never got out of breath and never got tired (unless I did something REALLY exhausting like muck out the barn) -- I don't miss the drudgery and depression but I do miss my fitness! So I'm going to make that a current project -- for every thirty minutes of sitting I'm going to do some half-jumping-jacks (while holding my breasts, so they aren't REAL jumping jacks but I don't care to have my breasts fly off) to get my heart rate up (or maybe I'll get a jump rope and sports bra), and I'm going to sign up for Curves (now that we can afford it yay!) and go three times a week. And in a few months I'm going to start taking bellydance lessons again!

A few months ago I wrote this and never posted it, so here you go: I went to Unity Church, which had been recommended to me by the one lady who showed up for my first meetup. Very strangely, when I went searching on the Unity website before that, this particular church didn't show up. So even though I spent hours googling churches, this one came to me by word of mouth, through an endeavor that was rather stretching for me.

It was amazing. They have a female pastor, which is so exciting to me because I've never had a female pastor before, and she reminds me SO MUCH of Adrienne Liesching (lead singer of The Benjamin Gate, one of my heroines). They're LGBT-affirming, which is a requirement for me in a church. They are inclusive of many religions, which is really fascinating and I'm excited about learning about various paths to God/dess in an environment of love. It reminded me of Liberty because the people were so friendly, but there was an additional openness that even Liberty people don't have, for the most part. At one point, the pastor asked everyone to turn to three people and tell them, "I love you lavishly!" Now in Liberty, that happened too, and people did it, but with a kind of 'oh this is silly' attitude. These people meant it. And they didn't stop at three people and they didn't stop at saying it, but started getting up and hugging each other! And the pastor laughed and said, "I knew I'd never get you back!" and then people laughed and settled down. After the service they have a sort of welcome class that I went to, and it was nice, but I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to meet many other people because it took a lot of time.

They have healing offered every Sunday after service! So I experienced reiki for the first time, though I was a little skeptical, wondering if it was going to be something created by my expectations. But I FELT the energy flowing and I knew that it was more than mine. It felt kinda like static electricity, but hotter and more cozy, maybe like an electric blanket. And afterwards I felt so much taller! He said he had stretched my spine and adjusted the alignment, which was exactly what it felt like. I felt like there was energy flowing down both sides of my body at different rhythms, and then they gradually got closer until they matched. I was very impressed and excited! I want to learn how to do it.

I've been four times now, and I'm not as excited about it (but still like it a lot). In a few of the people I've met, I sense this 'open-minded arrogance' which seems paradoxical, but it's like they're so proud of their open-mindedness that it has become a new kind of dogma! People who have open-minded-dogma are very condescending to any way of thinking that they see as less enlightened. ((I get scared that I might be that way or seem that way -- I talked about it with Ben though and he says I'm definitely not, so I feel better now.)) Anyway, I haven't met many people (and I could be wrong about those few who did seem that way), so I'm still enjoying the church very much. Just being around people who are focused on spiritual growth is REALLY good for me.

Last Sunday I went to Unity again and the assistant pastor Bill spoke (because Nancy was out of town) about how to find happiness. One of the things he focused on was surrounding yourself with positive, growth-oriented people. I had noticed a girl who seemed close to my age sitting in the row in front of me, and had thought about giving her my contact info (since I thought I'd have to leave early but Bill is less verbose than Nancy), and his topic convinced me that I should. So I super-nervously spoke to her after the service (she had to offer her name because of course I forgot, and then I gave her the wrong name! agh!) and gave her my contact info, and she seemed open to the idea of being friends. And then I was very relieved that she actually contacted me AND added me on LJ (hi theindiequeen!) so I didn't put her off. And she lives decently close instead of HOURS away like everyone else! So hopefully we'll get to meet sometime this week. I am very proud of my own bravery! When I think back about how I used to be... just wow.

I am pretty desperate for friends in the area. I have so many AMAZING friends but you all live too damn far away! And I want to do stuff! The only friend I have close by is Ben, so when he is home I want to spend time with him, so I only do things that we both like -- which is pretty much go to coffee, go driving, or stay home. (every now and then he'll go to the used book store with me) And of course when he's at work he has the car, so I can't go out then. *sigh* I'm looking forward to getting a second car. Or a friend who lives nearby and likes similar things so that I can do stuff with them instead of by myself.

ALSO! Crafty friends, I want to commission a bright rainbow-colored ruffle-front or zip-up knit duster (like this or this or this, only in rainbow yarn) Are any of you available/able to do that sort of commission, or do you know anyone who is? As long as the prices are reasonable and the person is vouched for I'll be happy to pay half in advance (or if it is one of you, I'll pay it all in advance). I'd also be up for a thick rainbow fabric if the maker can find it.

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(Anonymous) ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣adoring╠══
;-) I'd like to meet you some day!
rockstarjoker4 ══╣╠══
I kinda grew up in the unity church, and despite all my issues, feel that unity taught me the value of earnest love better than any other religious group ever could.

I'm happy that you felt so welcome there, and hope that you're able to find lots of friends with common interests thru the church. (Live journal is great, but it's hard when everyone you know can only be reached via email and chat. Sometimes, you just have to get out and experience doing things in real life to make connections!)

I love your idea for a rainbow colored duster! If I knew how to knit, I'd gladly do it, but all I can do is crochet. :(
belenen ══╣confused╠══
thanks for the well-wishes! and yeah, sometimes you need IN-PERSON communication. ;-)

what's the difference between crocheting and knitting?
rockstarjoker4 ══╣╠══
I'm no an expert, but if you ask me, Knitting is much harder!

I've never been able to really get it, but I know that there are two needles in knitting, and only one in crocheting. The patterns look a little different between crocheting and knitting, as well, and whenever I look at my sister's knitting, it seems like the design is much smoother, it's better looking (more professional) than crocheting.
phydeau ══╣╠══
I could ask my friend Alison ( if she'd be up for something like a duster. Or if you're still feeling that bravery, you could ask her. ;)

Looking forward to hearing stories of good health from you!
belenen ══╣amused╠══
I asked her! It's easy for me to approach people online -- it's just harder in person. ;-) Thanks for the suggestion!
kmiotutsie ══╣╠══
YEEAY for using my 3 favourites as primary rainbow piiiiictures!!! :D any yeeay for gettn the ol heartrate up!! good for you, lady!!
belenen ══╣adoring╠══
:D thankie!
collectively ══╣Rose╠══
I'm a Reiki master and have been using it since middle school; it's really wonderful, isn't it? Such a gentle, calming energy. I would really recommend learning it if you enjoyed it, it's so incredibly simple and can be very helpful.
belenen ══╣intrigued╠══
ooooh how awesome! It's definitely on my list of things to do!
lastres0rt ══╣╠══
Oh Dear.
Now I want to make a Duster Coat, but for myself. XD

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you MAY want to do this on your own; that's a lot of work to do in yarn, and even for a simplistic pattern of "Insert Sleeves Here", you're going to pay more than you probably intend to. Ponchos like the kind she makes go for $50 EASILY, and you're talking a higher complexity and probably more yarn required to boot, especially if we have to use a thin sportweight yarn like most rainbow yarns are.

It may also be easier to get several different colors and make it a Technicolor dreamcoat duster versus trying to use Rainbow yarn - multicolored yarns may be fun, but for a clothing item you'll probably want the stability of an actual pattern instead. Most multicolor yarns turn out like VOMIT unless they're used as accents or other visually 'thin' situations, and rainbow yarn often looks the worst of the lot when that happens because it has so much color variance without a change in hue that it just doesn't work. The only time when it does work as a base color is when you get a decent color drift, but you just can't count on that in a multi-skein item like a duster.
belenen ══╣intrigued╠══
Re: Oh Dear.
wow, you seem pretty knowledgeable on the subject! I don't know how to knit, so I don't know anything about it. I'll keep your tips in mind as I look for a crafter!
Thinking 'Saw
lastres0rt ══╣Thinking 'Saw╠══
Re: Oh Dear.
If you decide to make it yourself, I recommend looking at the books for "Mile-a-Minute Crochet". Many of them have patterns for very quick and easy strips/squares you can use as building blocks for the pattern, and as a bonus they're often done in such a way that changing colors in the pattern is trivial.

I'd start working on one, but I have a few other projects I want to finish first (a wool hat to match the scarf I made from the same yarn, an amigurumi doll I've been dying to start, and I'm debating whether or not to do a 'Weighted Companion Cube' amigurumi afterwards. XD)
deleon ══╣╠══
Reiki rocks! My husband and I have used it on each other, you can also do self-Reiki, which I've done and it works great too.
belenen ══╣effervescent╠══
Pumpkin Kitteh
jendaby ══╣Pumpkin Kitteh╠══
Both of my grandmothers and my parents are really into Unity church. I have to say that it was one of the few (fleeting) church experiences I had as a child that did not frighten me or make me feel stupid or evil or mean. I was the oldest in the children's program when I was twelve, and at that time in my life, we had moved away from a school where I was very popular to a completely new state - and to a school where most of the other children had celebrity parents. It was my first experience with really being cast out, and Unity made me feel like I actually belonged somewhere (my parents were in a rough patch then, so there was no support there).

Anyway, I have been to several Unity churches (my parents move alot) and I like that they are so accepting. I agree that there is spiritual snobbery out there, but for the most part, most people I have met are very warm and welcoming, and that's very cool. I saw a unity church in my neighborhood and considered going in and checking it out, but I chickened out. I admire your courage in talking to someone new and forming a connection. Very cool.

I am glad that you have found a place that makes you feel welcome and comfortable. :)
belenen ══╣spiritual╠══
I love hearing about people's good experiences with churches ;-) thanks for sharing yours!

I hope you do visit the unity church in your neighborhood!
theindiequeen ══╣jump╠══
I'm so glad that you talked to me at Unity. I was sitting there thinking the same thing when Bill was talking about surrounding yourself with happy people. I've been going to Unity (on and off) for a couple of years, and I always tell myself I need to meet people who go there, but I never do.

I know what you mean about people who have "open-minded arrogance." I hope I'm not like that, but sometimes I'm afraid that I am. I like Unity though because so many people can get so many different things out of it. I go mainly for the positive energy. And to remind myself that everything really is okay. Sometimes I get so stressed out with life that I forget that everything is beautiful, we are all connected, and I love everyone. And Unity always reminds me of that.

Okay, on another note, you used to work on a farm!? That's awesome! You'll have to tell me more about that.

Oh, and I love all the pics of the curvy chicks. Hotness!
curvygirl -- model (Crystal Renn legs)
belenen ══╣curvygirl -- model (Crystal Renn legs)╠══
Re: Yay!
Sometimes I get so stressed out with life that I forget that everything is beautiful, we are all connected, and I love everyone. And Unity always reminds me of that.

oh I SO know what you mean! I feel that way too ♥

Yeah, for about 6 months I worked on a dairy goat farm. Craziness! Maybe next time we meet up I'll tell you about it. ;-)

on the pics of the curvy chicks -- are you referring to my slideshow on myspace? I have curvygirl photos everywhere, haha.
lorelei_sakti ══╣╠══
You used to work on a farm? That's awesome! When I was a kid, I used to want to move out to the country some day and work on a farm. I think it's in my blood; that's what my ancestors did. (But then again, so many of our ancestors were once farmers!)

You'll feel so much better after you start working out! I joined a gym a few months ago, and I go two or three times a week, and I feel so much better about my well being.
curvygirl -- me
belenen ══╣curvygirl -- me╠══
yep, a dairy goat farm! It's not something I'd want to do again, but I'm glad I had the experience!

I can't wait to get started, for real! I'm really looking forward to it.
blood_4_deniro ══╣╠══
i always wanted to work on a farm...until i realized i'm not the "farmer type" once when i had an air plant. all it needed to survive was air. until it met died. and all it needed was AIR! poor little plant. i couldnt even give it enough air.

that's so cool that you found a nice church nearby. i'm between religions i guess :/ i havent found a religion to follow. i think in my town if there was a unitarian church, it'd get burned down. this is extremist southern baptist and pentacostal territory here. i wore my star of david once and a lady proclaimed (loudly at that, complete with hysterical pointing) "SATAN!!!!!!!!!!" lol. it was funny tho.

i know what you mean about the openmindedness arrogance. like someone's so openminded they basically become closeminded because if you dont believe the same as them, youre not welcome. i was always afraid i was like that. i used to be, i changed that really quick :)

for getting shape, you should try yoga. it's so relaxing and it improves your flexibility (i had to do it for my back and my hamstrings) and it's fun, too. i dont have the $$ to take classes, so i just checked out a book @ the library.

oh.....i have a book i think you'd enjoy. it's called Eat Mangoes Naked: Finding Pleasure Everywhere (and dancing with the Pits) by SARK. it's really fun.

sorry....didnt mean to write a book ^^;
belenen ══╣rainbowarrior╠══
oh no! Poor air plant! *giggles*

I don't really have a specific religion -- I have pieced my own beliefs together from several different faiths. ;-) Whatever resonates with me is what I believe!

and holy crap, that's crazy! *shakes head* I hope you can find your own path even if you don't have a group to share it with where you're living now.

I don't have the dedication to do yoga by myself, sadly :-p But I'd like to take classes sometime...

ooooh that book looks AWESOME! WANT!

never apologize for long comments -- I love them!
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.