DevaChan’s Pixie Cut: "Croaking" from Cancer & Honesty

They say that on one’s death bed, the only thing you will regret is having not done something…
Yesterday, I lay in bed waiting to get more sleepy as I read through articles. This was at about 3:20 in the afternoon. And yes, I was laying down for a nap (be jealous). I came across an article about cancer and the reality of dying. It spoke about someone who’s wife had been stricken with cancer. As her hair had began to fall out she asked that it be cut into a mohawk. They sent a photo to their best friend and he replied with a photo of his own. He had also cut his hair in mohawk in support. In that instant I looked at the time – it said 3:33 pm and I knew.
I knew in that moment that I would regret all my not’s. I would regret not moving to California (or at least not giving it an honest try). I would regret not learning to drive. I would regret not trying this whole life coaching business and going out on my own. I would regret not living life to its fullest. I would regret not being courageous. 
We move through life stopping ourselves. Holding back. Playing small. Not being honest. Committing sins of omissions or telling little white lies. I don’t want to lie anymore. I don’t want to hold back for fear of hurting someone or of insighting the rumor mill or having people speak of me. 
Anyway, what I am trying to say is that at 3:33 pm yesterday, I decided to cut my hair. I decided that I would have the courage to expand the definition of beauty. I always looked at those that had the balls to cut off their hair super short with jealousy. 
I heard a friend say- “Oh, I wish I could cut my hair into a pixie cut but no. First, I will catch a husband and then I will cut it off.” In my silence, I am ashamed to admit, I agreed with her and adopted that mentality for myself too. I will wait after x (after getting married and being bought and paid for? Or would I wait until I returned from my trip to California when I apartment hunted?). I will put it in the back burner for now.
A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life…
I had the desire. I can. I did. I wanted to expand my mind beyond…
No need to wait for x. No need to be stricken by anything. No need to stay where it is safe. No need to wait for approval. I am reclaiming my own life. No apologies. No regrets. 
After all, it’s only hair:
There is something very different about me – something deep within. I no longer have to wait for my life to be threatened to be pushed into action. I now see the fleetingness- correction- I now FEEL the fleetingness of every moment as I strive to live in the now. How beautiful.

The funny thing about reading an article is that sometimes we fail to identify with it. We just set it aside. I have learned that if it happens to one it happens to all of us. Over the past year, I have learned to feel great empathy and I am sometimes moved to tears. I don’t have to wait for it to happen to me to learn the great lessons of life.

Thank you FUNemployment for giving me the gift of feeling the depths of the joys of life- for allowing me to FEEL my humanity and love every second of it.

P.S. Support my crazy dream of (F) UNemployment: Read more here. Help me relocate to CALIFORNIA!!!! Donate here. 
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Cellulite on Ice

When I went to the beach, my friends were discussing how now they all try to buy bathing suites that cover up their bodies more. One piece bathing suits are what they look for. They began a deep discussion of all their flaws- including cellulite. At some point, I interjected that I had cellulite. They did not believe me…

I am here to tell the world- yes, I too have cellulite.  I think most people, those deemed “skinny”, “athletic”, or “curvy”- have cellulite. It’s a human condition of the body. I am not ashamed of it. No one is perfect. We live in this delusional world where each individual thinks that they alone are afflicted with flaws. The truth of the matter is that (lean in for this one- I will whisper) we have been conditioned – through mass amounts of photoshopped media that systemically creates a false reality of an unobtainable perfection. The faux reality deletes and denies our true individual realities that we are living and cohesively experiencing as a society. Why, you may ask yourself would our wonderful society do that? Well simple, if you happen to think there’s something “wrong” with you or if you are just not happy due to the constant comparisons- you, my friend, are a prime candidate for consumption. Buy that skin firming cream, pay for that lipo, join the gym, go on that special diet, do that detox cleanse, get that girdle or spanx that will smooth out those imperfections- all the while purchasing new clothes for each body type on the spectrum and damning our current bodies as we struggle to zip up our jeans that we are too in denial to throw away (oh these will fit once the X pounds are gone- we are all guilty). If we would all be happy- we would want for nothing (well close to nothing)…

no thigh gap! 

I think the worst part of all this is that we pass it on – our insecurities. It’s like a plague. We critique the bodies of little girls and speak about their gaining weight and developing bodies as if it is ok. We then sit as friends and comment on how our bodies are going down the toilet. My boobs- they sag and have stretch marks. They are being held up by my bikini top. My butt and thighs have cellulite. I have no thigh gap. My hair- it’s not straight. And clearly, I am not that tall- I am wearing heels. I use mascara to elongate my lashes. I use blush to make my already rosy cheeks orgasmically glow. I play feminine quite well – I am a bunch of lies constructed by me held up by crazy glue and gum with a nice thick coat of shellac. Who gives a sh*t? None of us is “real” or “natural.” There is no such thing. The truth of the matter is that we each have only the one body (evolving, changing, never to be pin pointed…). Where our body currently stands- in whatever state it is- that’s where we should love it. Compassion and kindness should begin with the self.

Fat is political. This is why I do not own a scale. Society and culture have a vested interest in our bodies. I will not play into it. I don’t want to obsess over a frame/appearance/something superficial and negative. 

I, on my part, will keep wearing whatever type of bathing suit I damn well please, one piece suits included. I will not be hiding- even if it makes me uncomfortable. We should show our friends, children and others the plurality of bodies by not hiding our own. Our bodies are not bad and they most definitely are nothing to be ashamed of. Let’s take a radical step and practice self love.

I know I am taking a leap posting bathing suit pics online… f*ck it! Sorry mom!

Throw my cellulite on ice- make mine a double! Cellulitis con hielo! Cellulitis con hielo! 

nothing to see here, Martini! 

My bathing suits I got at a sample sale for Faherty Brand- you can find them here. The cross back straps and cups offer awesome support for maturing saggy boobies such as mine :p. Snap them up before they are gone. I foresee travel and beaches in my near future… (I am wearing XS top and S bottom) Enjoy the rest of summer!!!!!!!

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Curly Hair Resources: Taming the Beast

I was born bald. My mom prayed to sweet baby jesus to give me hair and rubbed my bald head with coconut oil.

You might be surprised to learn that my hair grew in straight:

It was only when I was about 8 or so that my hair was a frizz disaster and then transitioned into curls. Curls that were a mess because I did not know what to do with them. I had a phase where I would throw baby oil in my head and brush it back. It was ghetto-fabulous. I then discovered gel and I found my savior – Smooth ‘N Shine Gel
                                       
Having curly hair and embracing something other than the straight “norm” has become easier in recent years. There has truly been a move towards “natural” hair. I must say that there is nothing “natural” about my hair. It takes a ton of products to get the curled end result. A whole industry has come up to accommodate the “ethnic” (::eye roll::) hair market. I learned to embrace my hair in all its curled glory. I stopped fighting and learned to be the expert of the  temperamental beast on top of my head. This is the hair I have and I want it to be healthy and awesome. Just keep me away from open flames – god knows if the stuff I put on my head is flammable…
First things first – throw out your brush! You do NOT brush curly hair! Use a wide tooth comb or your fingers to detangle (curl experts use the fingers :p). One of the best resources out there is NaturallyCurly– they have a product searches with reviews,   hair type information and techniques. I love to google product reviews before purchasing or if I want to try something new – I look up the best products within categories.
For the most part, I have seen a trend in products for curly hair to NOT have sulfates (soap).
I condition my hair mostly every day. I wash with shampoo about once a week. My favorites are: 
1. Bed Head Hi – Def Curls Shampoo & Conditioner
2. Serge Normant Shampoo & Conditioner (I bought at Costco)
I use the rake technique to disperse the conditioner through my hair. I decided to be fancy like the curl experts and do away with the wide tooth comb. After washing out the conditioner the key is to not ring out your hair – leave it wet. With my head tilted over, I then begin applying all the leave in conditioners while in the shower:
I then apply my Smooth & Shine gel along with the Ouidad Define & Shine: 
About once a month or so, I deep condition as well:

1. Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque
2. Shea Moisture Anti-Breakage Masque

As you can tell, I’m a bit of a product wh*re and love finding products that work. If I see anyone with awesome curls, I might ask them what they would recommend. I think when walking into a hair product store you don’t want to end up with the latest product that they are trying to push or sell. I ask a  customer service rep with curly hair what they use on their own hair – what’s their holy grail and what do they recommend? I did this once at Ricky’s and the curled customer service rep told me about SunKissAlba and her Youtube hair tutorials

I would say that my Holy Grail of products are Giovanni Direct Leave in, Shea moisture coconut and hibiscus curl & style milk and Smooth & Shine gel – and I still rub some coconut oil (just like my mamma did) from time to time. Keep all products in the shower and style while your hair is soaking wet. I then take a t-shirt and dry it a bit. I then let it air dry – do not touch!!! Touch = Frizz.

It’s a lot of cr*p that I throw on my hair but you will be surprised to know that it is soft and not crunchy at all. Most of the products I have bought from the Shea Moisture Line I found on sale for about $6 at Duane Reade/Walgreens. With the Bed Head and Big Sexy Hair products – I have found these in large salon sized bottles for $15 at Marshall’s (225th Street in the Bronx). I also love shopping at Ricky’s because of their wide selection and I love speaking with their reps.

At the end of the day, it’s about being happy with what god gave you- be it straight, wavy, curly, kinky or crazy. Not everyone will have the same hair as me. Even my hair varies depending on unpredictable variables (fun fact – while traveling, the biggest factor for my hair is WATER. A different city can yield a horrible hair day on vacation). I think an awesome resource that really opens one’s eyes to the business behind the beauty business and the industry that has sprung around hair is the movie Good Hair:

I highly recommend watching this documentary. It is truly eye opening to see the lengths women (and men) will go to for beauty – Creamy Crack anyone? You can layaway your weave! But don’t you dare touch the HAIR!!!

I hope that my curly hair – though a very small drop in the bucket can go to show little girls that it’s ok to move away from stick straight and keep to whatever is easiest for the individual.

One thing I will say that it breaks my heart when my niece, who has naturally straight hair, looks at me and says, “Mary, I wish I had your curls.” The point is to work with what you’ve got and love it no matter what state or condition it’s in – expand the definition of Beauty.

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Unexpected Conversations with a Psychic

After speaking with a psychic two times and knowing other people who had spoken with her, I had questions about how it was that she received the information she conveyed. I had asked her for an interview but that was cancelled. This past January 20th I caught up with her, I scheduled her for a third reading in which I was told that the spirits were not coming through so I began to ask her questions. Apparently, no one had ever stopped to ask about her gift:

Kathleen Moore (I was given permission to use her name! Follow her on Facebook) was born with the gift – she likened it to being born with an extra finger. You don’t really notice it or feel special. She was used to it. Lots of people gain psychic abilities after having near death experiences. Beginning at a young age she saw people others could not see. She would get messages from people. 


She was sent to a psychiatrist. She was suspected of having juvenile schizophrenia. This was a turning point in her life. She went to a psychiatrist who asked her regarding what these “people she saw” told her to do, how she saw them, and if she believed them to be real at one time. While with the psychiatrist, she saw their dead grandmother and she conveyed a message. The doctor immediately brought her mom in and told the mom that she’s not crazy. The doctor admitted that this was the first time he met someone that was gifted. They advised to keep it all a secret. 


She spoke to her mom about it and extrasensory perception runs in the family. In her late teens/early 20’s she started reading professionally. The last 5 to 6 years, psychic abilities have become more mainstream (i.e. Long Island Medium). People are now more spiritual. When she was a teen, people called her a fake which was only a fear based reaction to not understanding or being able to define her.


Kathleen has been doing readings for 22 + years. She is a clairvoyant- meaning she sees images, hears the other side and is able to connect with spirit guides. She reads by spirit. She meditates, speaks to spirit by focusing on the person’s first name. She can read via phone or remote writing because she connects to spirit. She can’t read over the computer because she sees too much. She picks up too much energy.


She sees silver threads that she weaves and sees photos in a scrapbook. Messages and psychic imagery are conveyed to her in a way that she can understand the information being presented. For example, when she says she sees marriage – for her it means a deeper commitment in which a couple might be living together without the paper or official marriage piece of it. When she is presented with a wedding taking place – she might see the physical invitation that has a year or sees wedding planning or if the person being read is a female she will see them in a wedding dress.
She asked at a young age not to be able to see “death” unless she could help or change it. The way she sees death is that she may see a calendar that goes blank and does not go past a certain time. When she sees that – it may be that the person needs to receive the message that they need to focus on their health or make other changes.
As a result of her gifts, she sees death differently. She sees it as a continuation of an awesome journey – not an end. She’s spiritual and believes in God/a higher power. She believes in divine light and love. 
She’s not so much for organized religion. She doesn’t believe in anything that’s used to hurt or judge people. She only believes in things that are uplifting and make you feel strong. God doesn’t make mistakes. Every energy is put on this earth for lessons [good/bad/indifferent]. Everyone has something to offer someone else. 

She believes in experiences, not victims. There is a higher power, miracles, angels, connection to earth- but above all God does not make mistakes. 

Her advice is to not let others tell you what you can and can’t do. We get stuck on the here and now and what we want. We forget that the Universe and spirit knows how things will go down and has a purpose for us. 
Follow this exercise – divide your life. Think of your life in terms of 5 year increments and think of something instrumental. The things that truly shape our lives and point you in the right direction – those moments, although we might be hesitant to admit, are divine interference. 
Every being has an intuitive connection but we block or close it off. 
We are souls having a human experience (via Gabrielle Bernstein aka my new obsession). Our souls are here to learn and go through a physical process- this includes meeting new people, volunteering, being employed/funemployed, experiencing the passage of time and aging, dating, connecting,  or whatever it is you are meant to be doing with your gifts (blogging for me). You must go through the process of being in a body (health/sickness etc). [Having a psychic reading will not provide you with a shortcut (my personal two cents).] You still have free will and, with that, the opportunity to “f*ck it up”. But through it all, we are guided and never alone. And in the end, what we thought were those “f*ck ups” are what turned out to be blessings in disguise- just wait for the whole picture to reveal itself to you or better yet- go out there and grab life by the cojones (male, female, or in between- have BIG b*lls).

And if you’re feeling up to it… I’ve got a number for you:

[The above transcript was printed with permission from an actual conversation with Kathleen on January 20, 2014. Some of it summarized and interpreted by me- you’re welcome.]

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Divine Light & Love

These past few years have been beyond anything I could ever imagine. When I was young, I would always have these bizarre dreams where I could control the outcomes. I would say or wish something and it would happen. I could mold my dreams. 
I have a secret to share. Out of curiosity, a bit over 1.5 years ago, I spoke to a psychic. I was looking for guidance, answers or anything at all to hang on to (a bit sad I know…). What I got was a crazy experience that drove me to require more of myself and others (she called it an embraceable moment). 
What I got from it and what followed can only be described as MAGIC. I will not get into details but I will say that was the moment when I snapped. She said that people at work “did’t see me.” I had grown so disengaged, frustrated, exhausted and depressed that I was a shadow at work- I faded into the background. She echoed exactly what my 8th grade teacher told me upon graduation- Mary, you’re an amazing and talented person – let the world see who you are- don’t hide behind shyness. I AWOKE into action. I started caring and I started showing up.
Around that time was when I started to blog almost daily.  I took risks in my clothing and style choices.  I did my hair- something I hadn’t done in 3 years (!!!). I began to use my clothes to step into the role that I wanted to portray. To lift my mood,  I used my clothes- I dressed fancy. I learned that I could dress as well as I wanted to feel (awesome article- click link!). I was no longer reading fashion blogs – wishing to be them. I was playing dress up along side them. I got out of my rut. I ventured out and viewed my life as an adventure. She saved me. She gave me hope. There was more than a job. There was more than being lonely. There was more out there in the world waiting to be discovered. And all of this had a purpose and an order. The Universe was out there – and it was begging me to listen.
I haven’t written about this experience before because sometimes beautiful, magical things are vulnerable and shouldn’t be exposed.. Sometimes we should guard our dreams because maybe the world is not ready for them. Sometimes first you have to live it and show people that it can be done before you share that it was in the plans all along. I’m ready to be exposed. I’m ready to let this one out into the world and just put this one out on public record. Sometimes things are just too wild and too spot on to just be a coincidence. Come back Wednesday for my interview. 
Would it be too forward of me to say that I will be writing a book and I already have my inscription – 

“5.19.13. 

Love, 

M”

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