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I looked at my blog list this morning and realized the last few titles were completely depressing!  Now, I must admit the subject matter itself while serious, wasn’t full on depressing, I actually hope some of it in the end inspired and helped give some hope.

But let’s face it, the subject matter does sound rather grim: eating disorders, suicide, loneliness, crap ideas, losing a child, and being over 50.  When I look at it in that way, it’s not a cup of tea I’m suddenly wanting…

In truth though, they’ve really been addressing using control in a positive way, finding your way back to living, patience, trusting yourself, turning grief into something more and liberating yourself.

I hear myself saying, “Words matter, perspective is a choice”.  

My word choices reflected the seriousness and gravity of the subject matter, but not with the lighter and deeper point that I was really getting at.  When I saw the list of titles to be completely honest, even I didn’t want to read them, I certainly wasn’t rising like air.

It dawned on me that’s really what the point is, to help people feel power, the energy of  goodness and kindness, and at least here, I don’t want to make them wait until the end of the story to experience it.  The more we all learn how to bring kindness and goodness to ourselves and each other we really will see those same things take hold and grow bigger and stronger in the world.  Slowly the beliefs that don’t serve us will begin to drop away.

With that in mind, I’ve decided, it’s time for a change.  We commit to remaining conscious of the words we use even when choosing our titles to interest with a feeling of hope rather than resignation.  Yes, change is feeling good.

Hmmm… that tea is sounding rather refreshing again.  I think I hear the kettle boiling.  Earl Grey anyone?

The power of words is in their selection, not in their number.  Ernest Hemingway apparently once one a bet writing a story of only 6 words capable of making people cry.

“For Sale:  Baby shoes.  Never worn.”

Always remember, wield your power wisely.

© 2015 JFries / Rise Like Air

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Eating Disorder Services: "MIRROR" Print Ad by Clemenger BBDO Wellington

Eating Disorder Services: “MIRROR” Print Ad by Clemenger BBDO Wellington 

Believing is Seeing.  What are your beliefs showing you?

A quiet killer, often hidden by baggy clothes and popularly supported in the dark recesses of the internet.  An addiction to being thin at any cost, even their lives.  When the line to good judgement has been blurred, the spiral begins.  This is an illness that has created a community that doesn’t help each other get better.  Instead, they help each other get sicker.

Antonia Eriksson has traveled this path herself and is recovering.  Her opinion of thinsperational accounts is clear.

“They’re really dangerous,” she says.  Eriksson is now in recovery from anorexia, and runs an Instagram account and blog focused on fitness and healthy eating. But back then, she was easily triggered into unhealthy behaviour by those images. “It would help me in my eating disorder, like in the most negative way… It would keep me sick,” she says.

via Pro-anorexia, bulimia communities thriving online – Health – CBC News.

I’d like to say this trend comes as a surprise, or that I’d never even heard of such a thing but of course that’s not the case.    I worry about my own children and their self image and how these sites and associated hashtags influence them. Trying on a pair of skinny jeans the other day my daughter lamented, “But my calves are too fat!”   She is in perfect physical shape and size for her body.  I reminded her that she’s just fine.  The jeans were just made for a different body.  Let’s face it the very nature of skinny jeans is a challenge.  It was obvious her first thought wasn’t that the jeans were wrong, it was that her body was wrong.

On one hand, when it comes to “thinspiration”,   it seems obvious that anyone with “half a brain” would “know better”.  But that’s not really what it’s all about after all. Whether a person is spiralling into a gloomy pit from an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, OCD, schizophrenia, PTSD or abuse there is one thing that everyone has in common.  They’ve crossed a line from the reality of  “normal” most of us know to a reality the rest of us don’t share. You would think they should be able to simply step back over that line but it doesn’t work that way.  Slipping over the line to illness seems so easy, but taking that one step back sometimes feels impossible.  Spoiler alert – it might be the biggest challenge you face in life but it isn’t impossible.

These thinspo accounts are like putting a line of coke in front of an addict, it’s fills the need and there is almost no way that the addict will be able to resist on their own, at least not for long. In my opinion this is like an unrecovered alcoholic being the sponsor for another alcoholic.  Pretty much doomed to failure.  Instead of helping each other they are actually encouraging and empowering each other to continue the spiral into the disease.

The good news is that I see more and more sites and resources that are dealing with recovery, self care and hope. Healthy is in, skinny is out.  Unless of course you are naturally skinny, which some people are.  Then rock it and love it.

I’m glad that many social media sites are trying to make things better.

Tumblr, Facebook and Pinterest have also attempted to circumvent users’ access to material that promotes self-harm. -CBC article

Dr. Rebecka Peebles, co-director of the Eating Disorder Assessment and Treatment Program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia… found that nearly 40 per cent of the sites included pro-recovery information. Many of the troubling Instagram posts also include pro-recovery tags: #EDrecovery, #ANAwarrior, #BeatANA.  She believes that reflects the nature of the disease. “Part of you wants to get better, and part of you wants to stay sick.” – CBC Article

We all know that there are different body types.  Within each type there is an infinite number of slightly different shapes and sizes.  They are normal.  They are healthy.  They are beautiful.  Instead of embracing this fact, we watch the photoshopped ads, the models that have countless groomers and preeners fawning over them, that have been selected because they have this very specific body type.  And don’t kid yourself, even though they are “perfect” in our eyes, the industry tells them they aren’t quite good enough, they have the same qualms and self doubts as all of us “average” girls (and guys) out there.

Don’t ever fool yourself that any of these images are put out there because big business really cares about you.  They care almost exclusively about making money.  Really, most of them don’t care at all about you.  I mean honestly, not at all.  Those ads with all those beautiful people are meant to do one thing.  Get money from you.  Period.  They don’t care if you become prettier, smarter, fatter, skinnier, healthier even if their fake smiles seem to say otherwise.

We all have our moments, or maybe lifetimes, of wishing “something” was different about us or our lives.  No one is completely immune.  Unless.

Unless you make the conscious choice to begin loving yourself AS YOU ARE TODAY.  With all your perfection and all your flaws (which by the way, are almost always your own opinion).

We are all perfectly imperfect.  Quit fighting it!  It’s a battle you will never win, and were never meant to.

No matter what you do, unless you can love yourself (or at least like yourself) as you are, nothing you do will satisfy you for long.  You will always come from a place of lack.  You don’t have to.  Just start seeing your own good, your own beauty little by little.  Trust that it’s there and you’ll find it.

I really do recommend taking time every single day to look at yourself and tell yourself you love you!  Find the little things that you can love.  Maybe it’s your smile, or a dimple, or the way your one eyebrow raises when you smile. Maybe it’s how you can make your mother laugh or your little sister asks for your help.

Like any addict, or someone with a habit that needs breaking, do it one step at a time.  And don’t beat yourself up for every single little misstep.  Work to stop following the propaganda and start following things that inspire you and give you hope to be all you can really be.  Ask for help.  Then ask again, and again and again.  Do not give up.  Be kind to yourself and others.  It’s a start, and that’s what has to happen first.  A start.  A very simple start.

Life and love are so much more than thigh gap, or protruding bones, or the vision of outer beauty.  

If that’s all you can focus on right now you are missing out on so much, actually all the wonderful awesome stuff. Need help?  That’s ok.  Recognizing it is the first step.  We all need help for something at sometime.  Don’t give up.  Keep looking, keep trying.

If you are overweight an unhealthy amount, and I do mean unhealthy, not your own jaded opinion, then yes, do something positive and constructive to move yourself to a place of health.  But do it because you love yourself and you are worth it.  And if you don’t believe that right now it’s ok.  Believe me.  You are worth it.  Change your focus from one of controlling yourself and your weight to one of loving yourself and working together with your body towards wonderful health.

If you still need some convincing, I encourage you to listen to Maya Angelou explain and read her poem “Still I Rise”. Never doubt, that you too can say, “Still I rise.”

Eriksson was once an #ANAwarrior. She started an Instagram account, which has since grown to nearly 40,000 followers, the day before she was hospitalized to document her six-week in-hospital treatment and recovery.

What she calls her Instagram family helped motivate her recovery. “I wanted to show them that it was possible,” she says. “So I just kept fighting it.” – CBC article

As Eriksson reminds us,  it is possible.  Don’t give up.

© 2015 JFries / Rise Like Air

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riselikeair:

Please don’t give up, find your way to healing.

Originally posted on takingthemaskoff:

“You see the giant and the shepherd in the valley and Elah and your eye is drawn to the man with the sword and shield and the glittering armor. But so much of what is beautiful and valuable in the world comes from the shepherd, who has more strength and purpose than we can ever imagine.”

 -Malcolm Gladwell

 

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I survived a suicide attempt, spent years in rehab centers, jails, psych hospitals. Now I have worked as a staff, and at times as a supervisor at these type of facilities.

However my friend, he did not. This is what suicide looks like. This is him after hanging himself, right before he died. February 25th 2010.

 

The difference between us is nothing except our resources. He grew up in rough environment, by that I mean school, neighborhood, friends, and life experiences.

I try to preach getting to know each patient…

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riselikeair:

Waiting for the rainbow…

Originally posted on Read these lines. They already read you. :

Today’s rain has saved my tears from loneliness.

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riselikeair:

Advice isn’t always meant to be followed.

Originally posted on The Journal:

what a crap ideaMarvin Gaye wanted to move away from sweet innocent love songs and provide commentary on the turmoil happening in the inner cities of the USA in the 1970’s. Marvin_Gaye_in_1973Highly successful record company supremo Berry Gordy wasn’t feeling it.

He refused to back Marvin Gaye’s creative growth and Gaye had to go on strike for creative freedom.

Some of the songs that emerged were ‘What’s Going On’ and ‘Mercy Mercy Me’ plus the album ‘What’s Going On.’

Gordy initially said ‘What’s Going On’ was the ‘Worst thing he had ever heard’, saying ‘Don’t be ridiculous Marvin, that’s taking things too far.’

Because the quality control team at Motown also gave the single the thumbs down the record had to be sneakily released where it became the fastest selling single at Motown at that time.

According to Wiki, the album ‘has been voted one of the landmark recordings in pop music…

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feet gnap

As a parent I don’t even want to imagine what losing one of my children would be like.  If I allow myself to venture there I have to turn back.  It sucks my breath away.

For some parents, the joy they experience with the birth of a child turns to sorrow at the loss of that tiny new life.  It’s something we prefer not to talk about or think about, but it happens.  We know in our hearts there is no way to fix things or to make them better, so often we do nothing.

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is an organization founded by Cheryle Haggard shortly after the death of her own newborn.  They connect volunteer photographers with the parents of terminally ill babies.  With gentleness, kindness and compassion they take a heartbreaking experience and enable the parents to capture memories and a sense of the experience they all longed to share but were not allowed.

The photography services are completely free for the families. The organization believes that having the portraits created helps families with their healing process.

Thanks to The Kindness Blog for sharing such a wonderful story.  Please click the link to read more and to see pictures of some of the beautiful memories that have been created during a time of loss.

© 2015 JFries / Rise Like Air

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7380375_f520

Are you tired of hearing what you should wear or shouldn’t wear because of your age?  Well so is Michelle Combs, a blogger on Huffington Post.

She has some pretty great advice about how we should dress.  Personally, I think most of the advice applies to all ages, but I agree, once you’ve hit 50 you most definitely should be following her lead.

This is fashion everyone should be flaunting no matter the season.  Take a few enjoyable minutes and let Michelle explain 6 valuable tips that should guide your fashion plans for this season.

You are over 50 for fuck’s sake. Wear whatever you want. If you’ve made it to 50 and still need to consult articles on how to dress appropriately then you are so missing out on one of the best things about being over 50. One of the best things about getting older is realizing that we don’t have to spend our energy worrying what other people think and we get to be comfortable in our own skin with our own freak flags.

Still, there are a few things that women over 50 really shouldn’t wear. ~ Michelle Combs

You will be amazed at how inexpensive and liberating her recommendations are.   I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be the envy of everyone you know.  At the very least, you’re going to feel better than ever this season.  Like you have a new lease on life.

© 2015 JFries / Rise Like Air

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Anticipation

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Photo credit: J Fries

Delicious

© 2015 JFries / Rise Like Air

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photo by JFries ©2015

photo by JFries ©2015

~*~*~*~*~*~

Roses are red and some are white.

But all the colours are perfectly right.

So today we show how much we care,

For those who make us Rise Like Air.

So thanks to all of you our friends.

Valentine’s wishes we lovingly send.

~*~*~*~*~*~

You cannot share what you do not have. If you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else either. Don Miguel Ruiz.

~*~*~*~*~*~

I Love Me!

~*~*~*~*~*~

Love yourself. Accept yourself. Forgive yourself and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things. Dr. Leonardo Duscaglia

~*~*~*~*~*~

©2015 Rise Like Air J. Fries

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riselikeair:

I think this is an example supporting the theory we don’t meet people by accident. They cross over our path for a reason, in the right place and at the right time.

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

holiday-hands-heart-backgrounds-backgrounds-downloadThis is the story of my 15 year long tussle with a lesson in compassion and how I finally overcome mental resistance to practice it…

Scene 1: Some time in 1998, Mangalore, South India

When the blind man with a wad of lottery tickets in his hand entered the bus I feigned disinterest and looked away purposefully like I always do when coming face to face with anyone who looked remotely like an alms seeker. This one was no beggar but the combined effect of his blindness, shabby shirt, and the wad of lottery tickets in his hand was enough to put me off.

From the ease of his movement within the bus, I could make out that this was a daily exercise for him. He would lean gently at the very edge of the seat’s headrest, making sure not to inconvenience the passenger and balance himself before offering his…

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