TEN STEPS BACK
I write almost daily with the theme of the dynamic trio- self reflection, awareness and acceptance. Part of the deep process of life for me is upward to the light, baring of the soul, truth, admitting my vulnerabilities as a dialogue to help contribute to more honest discussion between us humans, especially women. I feel like when we present our insides, we realize together we are more alike than our outsides generally admit.
Coming upon my one year ‘boobaversary,’ this particular year has been like a missile launch traveling through my body leaving the trail of past negative thought patterns in the rocket dust. My double mastectomy has been a surgery of freedom. This has been the greatest surprise and ultimately a most welcome one. Living in the truth sphere is a fulfilling place, way easier since there is never any back tracking. What you see is what you get, vulnerable yes, but liberating super yes.
So this past week when I showed up for my first time on television, The Rhode Show, my less than three and a half minutes of fame, the negative thought patterns came back like that same rocket taking a nose dive back into the earth surface. From the moment I began getting dressed, is this outfit going to look alright on tv to driving to the studio the little memes of self disatisafaction popped their way into my brain. I went into the bathroom when I got to the studio and heard a slight pop sound and immediately thought, what if my zipper just broke on my jeans? What would I do? It didn’t. I didn’t recognize myself and found myself toggling between judgment and criticism like I was in eighth grade. It surely didn’t help that this was all layered with an inner critic I thought I had buried at the onset of my first diagnosis. Buried is the choice word here because by now I am fully aware that nothing good comes from burying. In order for the work to really take flight it must be worked through and released. Part of the movement towards the light, for me anyway, is the upward and outward once it has sufficiently marinated or in some cases fermented my insides. Why am I so hard on myself? When I try to determine who the voice is, where it comes from, suffice it to say being judged is how I grew up. This is how I spent my upbringing and have spent my adult life working on reversing it. For the most part, I have come to peace with the goods, the greats, the bads the uglies we chicks struggle with because we have been told in a variety of ways from a multitude of outlets that we are not good enough.
Television, and it’s not like I was on Oprah, I was on a local very safe and delightful show hosted by a twenty nine year old who totally had her shit together since four am. I am guessing her stint on The Rhode Show will not be her television resting place as she was a strong presence from the moment I saw her handing off the salad to top the pizza on the cooking segment.
In all of my standing in front of hundreds of people, YouTube videos and newpaper and radio interviews I have been part of in my thirty year history in the beauty business, I have never been on television. I haven’t even been on a set to see what it looks like from behind the camera. When the original idea of being on this local show came up, it was presented as a live interview. I declined promptly for the main reason that I quickly learned there was no delay time and I envisioned myself dropping one of the many F bombs that are part of my daily verse. Fortunately they offered a back up idea that I could pre tape the show to be aired at a later time and I said yes with a, surprising to me, slight hesitation.
I generally like being out of my comfort zone, I like the shake up, the nervousness, but this television experience was more than that. It was a total mind fuck that caught me off guard as the negative thoughts, the not good enough mind darts that I thought were gone along with my breasts of long ago yesteryear. When I first found Louise Hay, the guru of positive self talk, in my early twenties, she presented ideas that my young and very fucked up mind had never considered. ‘Your thoughts create your reality’ was a big one. This was the start of some very introspective thinking and I worked hard at convincing myself that I was in fact good enough, whatever the hell that means as I reflect back on it now. Compared to what? Compared to whom? In our short lives none of this matters, but in our day to day operations of moving through these lives, sometimes it seems to matter more than the knowing wisdom of retrospect offers.
One idea that Louise Hay offered to me in my young life was that when you start on the path of introspective work and you think you have passed the test and you can move on to the next lesson, the universe sometimes throws the final test at you. This is like the universe saying aloud, Oh yeah? You think you have done the work and figured it out? Let’s see if this is really true; let’s see what you are really made of! Can you get past this next exercise so that you can truly pass go? This, of all of the many nuggets I gleaned from her books in my early life, was one of my favorites.
Just when I think I have figured my shit out, the gale force winds of my mind come blasting back at me to remind myself that yes indeed it is progress not perfection.
As I made my way on the set with sparkly Michaela, the popcorn thoughts came barreling at me. First off, I looked into the camera albeit briefly and caught a television image of myself and immediately had the yep, you guessed it, the dreaded fat thought. “I look so fat.” I actually said to myself. Not the best positive thought to start my first television interview with. Then I proceeded to get pissed at my self because I had the thought and spent the next part of the interview distracted by this. When she started asking me questions, I realized that I am not in control here; Miss Michaela is. After all it is her party, not mine and I didn’t necessarily want to relinquish the control, but obviously it was too late for this diatribe, I was in the middle of an interview that seemed like it was an hour, but was really less than three minutes. The self defacing thoughts, “I am doing a terrible job, I am looking for words, Am I embarrassing my brand, my team? I am not saying what I planned, People are going to watch this and laugh aloud at how bad I am, I look I sound,” blah fucking blah. I was tired of myself already. I am sure I did a good enough job. And if I didn’t, who really cares, it is cleansers and moisturizers I was talking about. It was my first ever television appearance. For Gods sake, Alayne, you survived a double mastectomy and you are alive standing here talking about beauty. Shut the fuck up.