Business Biz Rant No.1 - The 'Presentable' Woman

Image: Cat Wearing Zero Makeup & Giving Zero fucks 2017

Image: Cat Wearing Zero Makeup & Giving Zero fucks 2017

I recently decided that I would like to do videos, as those of you who follow my blogs know that I post only once every few months... due to chronic illness I find typing extremely fatiguing... but I still have tonnes to say about all the deathy, mystical healing arts, and creating space for authentic stories to be told... so videos seem to be a perfect medium for my imperfect body. ;)

And low and behold in one of the business groups I belong to we have peer expert appear on the scenes to help us make little website videos through our iPhones... FAB!!! I am primed, ready, and excited to learn how to light and frame a headshot video!!!

Then there was a little online blurb telling us to bring certain items of clothing and makeup, none of which I have. She started with makeup, hair and wardrobe tricks to help us look our best on camera. She told us that people generally only buy the services of people who look like them or how they wished they looked, so it is important to look our best. 

I giggle and blurt out... 'I guess I am fucked then.'
Oh why is that dear?
'Cause there is no way I am wearing makeup or changing my clothing.'
I was informed that the trick to wearing makeup that was to make it look like I wasn't wearing any. 
One woman piped up that I could find a friend and borrow something nice to wear.

And I restated that I would not be wearing makeup, nor changing my clothing choices to make an unrealistic representation of my core being especially when it comes to my business.*

The expert frowned and said people look weird without makeup... I told her I was oki with looking weird as I am weird, used to my scars, and thrilled that my body is healing. Another frown and I am told 'well maybe if you drink lots of water so you are hydrated and well rested we can do something with the light to help with the skin stuff and wrinkles'. 

I understand that the person running this event is a cis-gender white woman... and when we are talking traditional ways of making videos we are eyeballs deep in patriarchy thinking and process... While I do consider myself in the woman camp... one look at me and you can tell I am queer and pretty far from cis.

So while I feel I have zero obligation to put on makeup to have my voice heard... the current reigning system says differently... so who am I to judge the peer expert best and most helpful advice... it is based on succeeding in this fucked up system of patriarchal thinking and building an entrepreneurship.
I write these words not to shame or blame the folks involved... I say all this to draw attention to how we attach value of opinion and experience to appearances and to create a larger dialogue about how we can bring our whole authentic being into the world to tell our own stories in our own ways.

However to get real honest on a personal level... the whole conversation felt like this... 

X-Men 2 (20th Century Fox

X-Men 2 (20th Century Fox

*I mean... come on... my business tagline is "AUTHENTIC LIVING. AUTHENTIC DYING. AUTHENTIC CONVERSATIONS." If I suddenly started wearing makeup or wigs and weird clothing shit to make videos then my whole business ideology goes out the fucking window. 

Peace out kitties <3
~ Cat

Energy Output: How many fucks do I honestly have to give?

Dear CatHeart Know Thyself and Trust Collaborative Piece with a personalized Lilith by MoDemeter & Momma Hecate and her Hound by the Talented Beanface Bean aka The Kiddo.

Dear CatHeart Know Thyself and Trust
Collaborative Piece with a personalized Lilith by MoDemeter & Momma Hecate and her Hound by the Talented Beanface Bean aka The Kiddo.

Since living in a chronically ill body that is badassing its way to a new healthy... I have learned a few things about energy exchange in situational dynamics and the need for strong discernment and boundaries for optional functionality of my body to be maintained.

I call it spoonie math... I am sure I am not the first to call it this but its my guiding equation on where I can optimally use my varying energy output. (What are you going on about, Cat-brain? Spoon Theory)
 
I mean it's worth it because my quality of life/ health meter is going up... but I ALL-WAYS have to be super discerning on where I give my fucks. As an EMPATH, I Feel All The Things... I want to heal the world... Right all the wrongs... Fix everything.... However as a spoonie I must pick what/where/how I can manage to support myself/ my daughter/ my community and the causes I advocate for. But as I like to paraphrase from the airplane boarding advice... "Put your own mask on first Momma."
In doing this spoonie math... I am able to leave my house more often and have been able to build and maintain a supportive community structure for myself and Bean. I have witnessed how being involved in multiple communities has helped both of us level up and learn new skills and see the world in new ways. Bean is learning and thriving and I am so greatfull. I see the value in the progress I have been able to make with this Badass old bag of bones and skin.
Yet I must always keep in mind that Mast Cell issues are based on chronic inflammation of tissues and organs*. We know that chronic inflammation is caused by stress and toxicity. We know that stress is literally a killer. I know that when my stress is bad my body gets inflamed, shuts down, stops eating and does a plethora of other crazy things. So this means I must keep going forward in a good way where I have the energy to continue making a healthy life for myself and my child.

Only by learning to see my own worth and cutting out unhealthy patterns/ toxic dynamics/ situations/ food/ people and claiming radical authenticity and forward focus on well being for myself and Bean have I really seen progress in my health and personal situations.

In this way I am able to find a good path forward. In this way I am able to do more than I ever thought possible.

Peace and Blessings on your journey to your own optimal energy output.
Cat AKA Hecate's Daughter

*
Manifesting as skin (Multiple full body staph infections and mast cell degranulation), lung (childhood chronic bronchial asthma and more recently lung mould poisoning), and stomach issues (stomach ulcers)... and was/has been/ is being/ repaired over time by knowing myself and building and maintaining strong boundaries to maintain healthy forward focus.

Excavating the Well of Guilt

Cat's Chiron Astro-Collage

Cat's Chiron Astro-Collage

Lately I realize I hold a tonne of internalized guilt for not being able-bodied and able to do all the things... I want to be able to keep up with UBERLeo-Bean... I want to help community and do all the social things... and have a job... and make money... but I am so tired... and this guilt is something that my psychologically-abusive able-bodied Mother and physically-abusive alcoholic able-bodied Father and the able-bodied society at large ingrained by telling me I was just “being lazy”.

So as a rule I said YES for over 3 decades to keep other people happy… Even when my body and mind said no… Even when my body was screaming in pain for me to stop…  Even when I ‘knew better’… Even though I was sick with severe asthma from age 8 months old onward… Even though I have almost died a number of times over the course of my chronically ill life (body staph/ mould in lungs/ et al. ) I must not neglect to mention real people literally trying to kill me... Age 5: Creepy Uncle / Age 16: Classmates / Age 23: Abusive Boyfriend / Age 26: In-Laws / and also debating on whether this list should also mention a series of incompetent doctors spanning across my whole lifetime. 

Equipped with A.C.E. Scores and understanding fully the physical trauma my body has had to repress, slowly integrate, and recover from, I don’t know how much is actually possible… I don’t know if Cat will ever 'fly'.

The thing about the guilt is... I have never been fully able-bodied... And for a body that has survived despite all the odds and keeps going and creating art and beautiful moments... Is actually a pretty Badass body when you come to think of it... I was never “being lazy”... Why do I still hold this guilt?
*Enter the epic bag of tools acquired through years of therapy/ coaching/ study/ plain old KNOW THYSELF*
I realize I hold guilt for just being alive and existing as I am… which is a pretty bullshit feeling if you ask me.

So today, I am tired of apologizing for how my body works or doesn’t… That's basically it... If I, as a priestess with all my odd healing mojo can't magically make my body better... Perhaps my body just IS. Maybe my body just needs more rest than the able-bodied world that it exists in. Could be I am BUILT for something else.

It is entirely possible that cats have not evolved wings to fly for good reasons, which I am not privy to in my earth bound incarnation. 

Today I embrace the concept that Cat is ENOUGH. AS. SHE. IS. 
AND on the upside I wield some epic CHIRON Wounded Healer Mojo… ;)

Peace and Blessings
Cat

Self Care, Grief, and Interacting with Children

Self Care, Grief, and Interacting with Children

Societally there is a lot of unacknowledged and repressed grief floating around out there. Our current culture misunderstands grief so badly that they actually categorized it as a mental illness in the DSM-5… Grief denial like Death denial IS Big Business.

I am estranged from my abusive family of origin, and finding myself divorced in a new city, while living with chronic illness/ low energy... I fully acknowledge I do not have a sufficient support network of people in my life at this time.

I have friends in other cities. I have play groups for my kid, I talk to the random moms, we make polite chit chat, but people have lives and the world stops for no one. I have a few colleagues, some of them quite lovely and inspirational, but circumstances always come up that prevent us from meeting up outside of work and becoming real friends. I have 'pay for support' in the form of doctor and therapist. The ONLY true support I have is my ex-husband-best-friend, as we are both committed to the co-parenting our daughter and maintaining our friendship, but he is very busy with work and does not always have time for socializing. 

I would like this all to be different, as I believe it takes a village to raise a child, but this is the reality what I am working with at the moment. Humans are not meant to live like this. We are not meant to be all alone in our lives like this. I am doing my best, but of course, I am grieving. 

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