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Hello wild she-tribe! This is the second issue of A Wild She-Tribe, a project started out of a summer retreat in the woods in the mountains of Oregon last summer. Again, I am amazed and humbled by the courageous and inspiring words of women like you and like me who have struggled to love themselves, their body. I believe it takes a revolution of the heart for each of us to not only see ourselves as worthy, incredible, goddesses – but to truly feel it deep down in our bones. Our culture tells us that who we are is not enough…lose ten pounds, change your hair, seek flawless skin, be sexy, but not too sexy, wear the latest trends…but the truth is, if we don’t learn to love who we are RIGHT NOW, despite wrinkles, curves and age, we will never recognize the gift of being our most authentic selves – flaws and all. Who you are, right now, in this moment is sacred, worthy, gorgeous and perfect. You are more than the size of your hips, the color of your skin, the scars on your back, the clothes you wear, and more. You, darling girl, are incredible. Now act like it. ;-) It’s time to revolutionize how you think about yourself, how you talk about yourself, how you carry your self…. Swing your hips when you walk. Wear red lipstick everyday. Wear a little black dress because you feel like it. Dance naked in your living room. Embrace your sensual side. Know that you are beautiful right now! As you read these amazing stories, poems, be inspired…we are never alone. The SheTribe is here for you. Learn more on my website: www.sarahmcmurray.weebly.com and contribute to the next publication on “creativity.”

Cover by  Sarah  McMurray,  model:  Renee  Owens  


“The human body is the best work of art.” –Jess C. Scott

Art by  Sarah  McMurray,  model:  Julia  Reynolds  


By Sarah Ingraham

Dear Body, We’ve been having some pretty fun times together lately, haven’t we? Some rough and tumble times, some loose and limber times, gallivanting, skipping, dancing? Whether we’re just popping round the corner on foot, biking across town to work, swinging and shimmying to music, or digging post holes in hard rocky ground, I’m enjoying being with you. That time last week when we were carrying an 80 lb. bag of concrete mix up that steep hill, and I thought you were going to slip and fall to your knee because I was too tired to go on guessing where to place your feet, but you DIDN’T? and in fact you got us up the hill and hefted that bag off your shoulder into the wheelbarrow so coolly, like it was no big thing? I was amazed. Dear Body, you are bad ass! Or that time the other night when I was trying to blend into a bench, pretending to be petrified wood, because I was convinced that I would indeed be wooden on the dance floor? You acted like we were going to go get a drink, but instead we wound up wiggling and whirling to the music and I didn’t know quite how you’d gotten me out there but I LOVED it. Dear Body, you are brave! And of course yesterday when you raced us up Bessie Butte as the sun was setting and I kept making us stop so I could take pictures? You were cold and your fingers were trembling, but you didn’t complain. The sun dripped orange light across your nose and you grinned and we were happy. Dear Body, you are beautiful. There have been times when I didn’t see your beauty, when I criticized your curves and sighed over your soft middle, when your eyes flashed with my disappointment in you. I haven’t always supported you, while you’ve never ceased to support me. You’ve always had my back, been my backbone, held me close while thick or thin. You’ve kept your feet on the ground and your head in the sky, and I the whirligig of mind, heart, and soul pinballing round inside you - have not always been grateful. And so I’m writing this letter (how different we are, for while you can simply BE, I must DO…) to say, “I’m sorry”, sure, and perhaps add, “I‘ll try to do better”. But you don’t ask for apologies. And you don’t try. You just ARE - badass, and brave, and beautiful. So actually, I’ll just say, “Thank you!” I love you dear Body. I love you, me, us. We make a good team, when you and I disappear into each other and we become simply Sarah. xoxo Yours always, Mind, Heart, and Soul

Sarah Ingraham left 6 sisters scattered round the east coast when she moved to Oregon to pursue an adventure in natural building (straw bale, timber framing, cob, etc.) last year. She has been adopting new west coast sisters ever since, while developing her photography and drawing skills, writing, hiking, studying permaculture and sustainability, and generally getting up to mischief. She currently resides in Bend, OR, apprenticing to a local timber framer, drinking altogether too much craft beer, and reading way too many Young Adult fantasy novels. tuulenhaiven.com


By Beki Allen

The pain in my neck and head had moved beyond pain to sheer torment – it became all consuming and my body shook with the intensity of it. Beginning suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere: muscle relaxers, pain meds, and physical therapy were powerless to provide relief. I was desperate. On the advice of a friend, I made an appointment at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. I’d never considered going to an acupuncturist before but with no other recourse left to me, I relented. When the student assigned to me began working on the area around my head and neck, he stopped abruptly. “You have a great deal of energy blocked right here.” touching my neck gently; “You’re holding a lot of grief here.” I was silent. The past year had included my mother’s death after four years of being her caregiver as well as the loss of my three children to a belief system that could not accept me once I’d opened my mind to new ideologies and a blossoming acceptance of who I was becoming as a whole person. He couldn’t have known any of this. Over the next few days, the energy in my neck began to stir. Slowly, it moved and the pain moved with it diffusing and fading but finding new expression in an inexplicable rage. This was a new emotion for me, one I had never felt before. It was both terrifying and empowering all at once. Terrifying because, in my experience, rage was the evil demon at the root of the domestic violence I’d escaped as a child and as an adult. But it was empowering too – allowing it made me feel stronger that I’d ever felt before. This was the rage required to heal my grief, my heart, and spirit. This was the rage I needed to become whole. This was the rage buried for a

lifetime and I had the power to release it so, I let it flow. I observed it with a sense of wonder, reverence and awe. And it inspired me. This experience released a period of creativity as a poet and artist I am still exploring. I’ve never had that particular pain again, nor that particular rage. Feeling it physically was an intense lesson in accepting all of my Self. My emotions are powerful energy – a force within that when transmuted has the potential to destroy or create. The choice was mine.


Kali Me I am woman! The pain and rage of a million sorrows I carry within my breast As the love and compassion borne of every mother bleeds red from my womb I am the circle cast of flesh and spirit The sheer will of my intention is the anthem I thrust up before man The fire of Kali shoots from my nostrils as dragon’s breath The destroyer I am The alpha and omega I AM The healer I become when first I have licked my wounds Their bitter weeping intoxicates me and I am made powerful Strike me with your whips, Ha! Bind me with your chains and still, I am not yours Untamed, I rail against the boundaries of my own body I am more than what you see and more than what you feel with earthly hands My edges grope the endlessness of being In defiance of all that is assumed of me, I bare my teeth And scream in ragged wrenching silence my truth, My law that no one knows Because it resides locked within and the key is mine alone Those who play at divinity with long-winded speeches and heavy hands Shall crumble and be broken by the very divinity they spout For She hears them all and She cares not for words She wants naught but complete and utter surrender beneath Her dancing feet Beat the drums; call forth the sitar, the ankle bells and the flute This is the hour of reckoning, a time for karmas to come and play My body sways and spins with the rhythmic call of Her charge Moon carries with it the fullness of my power Sun bows low before my passion Stirred and released through an act of love with the Beloved Don’t speak to me of truth, speak to me of humility and I might listen I don't want the hollow chords sung by sweet voices masking hatred

Ra ther, give me the discorda nt tones of a soul stripped ba re a nd broken. The body of a mendica nt over the ma rble ca rvings of perfection For this is wha t I AM


-­‐ Naomi  Wolf  

Photo by  Sarah  McMurray.  Model:  Ashley  Testerman  

“Women who  love   themselves  are   threatening;  but  men   who  love  real  women,   more  so.”  


s wen O   ee Ren   y B

Today Instead Try Happiness, Love For Yourself See What Blossoms Bloom! Let Go, Let Go Now! You Are Enough As You Are Know This And Be Free. Alone You Are Not No Matter What You Believe Everybody Poops.

Renee' Owens is a self taught Author, Artist, and Mother living in Sunriver, Oregon. She specializes in creating one of kind PopArt pieces on found or recycled canvas. Her passions include Hiking Central Oregon, Hot Springs, and Chihuahuas! For more information visit http://tothedo.me


By Sherelle Johnson It didn't take long to figure out what was wrong with me. Even from elementary school, I was told that I was too dark and I should stop playing in the sun. I was very aware that I should be afraid of becoming fat. When I looked in the mirror, all I could see was my big, round nose. And I would sit there and pinch it with my fingers and think about how much prettier I would be if I just had a thinner, pointier nose. Even from a young age, I knew everything about what I was supposed to look like. If you Google "how to get a pointy...� "nose" is the first word that automatically comes up, not that I had Google back then. So I asked my mom, and she told me that if I kept rubbing the sides of my nose every morning and every night, I would get the nose I wanted. But I had to do it before I got too old and it got stuck that way. She even offered to get me a clothespin from the backyard to help me along. I tried it for a little while, but it hurt and I quickly gave up. I loved to read, and every magazine and book about young women only reinforced the idea that it would be like this forever - that I would continue to look at myself in the mirror for the rest of my life and only see everything I needed to fix. So many movies and books had a scene where the young heroine looked in the mirror and poked at herself, unsatisfied. Around the age of thirteen, I looked in the mirror and decided that I did not want to spend the rest of my life that way, hating my reflection and hating myself. I started ignoring my nose and tried to find things that were...okay. Over time, it occurred to me that poking at myself and being unhappy about not having a flat stomach was not going to make it any flatter. I started to begin a practice to tell my reflection, "This is what I have today and I'm okay with that." When I was fifteen, my grandmother died and I was told that it was her nose that I'd inherited. I remembered her snuggling me with that nose, so enthusiastically. Holding me tight in her arms and taking me in with that nose. I had to love this nose she gave me, a part of her that I would always carry. I dated guys who loved my nose, my skin, and my thick calves, beyond my belief. So I started looking at myself in the mirror with eyes of love and seeing that I was more than my nose. That my heart went deeper than my skin and that my value was more. I began to secretly extend this practice to strangers. I would glance at random people and imagine I was

their lover, noticing the features they might find ordinary, but that their lover might treasure. In my late teens, I was on a beach in the Philippine provinces, when a smiling pregnant woman asked to touch my nose. As a Filipino superstition, your unborn baby inherits the qualities of people you touch while you are pregnant, and this woman wanted her baby to have my nose. I smiled, and said yes. -------------------------

Sherelle Johnson is a love coach, a lover, a friend, and the mother of a not-so-small pup named after India Pale Ale. You can find her buried in a book or writing & coaching at www.moreloveforus.com Â


“A Slave to Fashion”, mixed-media piece by Sarah McMurray, 2009


By Nissa  How

ard

Women...we are gorgeous! Our beauty inflicts confusion, surrender, and mystery in the eyes and hearts of men. And truth be told ladies, I find women’s bodies more attractive and powerful than men’s’: and I love the men’s’! But, at the risk of being bold and crude...balls are just not sexy. Poor men, walking around with those flapping, unsexy balls while we slither through space oozing sexy with every movement. Why can’t we absolutely fall in love with our own bodies, our power, and our beauty? Why can’t we own the love in us? Recently, I’ve been asking my Self-questions around how to fully love ourselves. Like the kind of love that lasts; not looking for flings here. I’ve received visions of how un-loving thought traps perpetuate themselves in us. There is an intricate weaving of negative self-talk that (once started) knits itself a network within our energy bodies. Specifically, our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy bodies. This network of traps throughout the layers of our energy bodies sabotage the freedom to love ourselves wholly. So, when you go on a new “diet” or rigorously workout to shed fat, you are trying to love your body (physical energy body). When you commit to daily affirmations of how great you are; you are trying to train your mind to love you. (mental energy body) When you give yourself permission to go easy on your Self, you are trying to love your emotions. (emotional energy body) And when you wake up and realize you have a purpose and a gift to give this world, and then you are trying to love your soul. (spiritual energy body) What tends to happen is one or two of these actions get our focus or awareness at a given time. And we experience relief due to some of the thought traps dissolving from our hard work and focus. But, if only part of the problem is being address, we only get partial results; which makes it easy for old patterns to kick back into gear in our lives. To disconnect all the networks and traps in all the inter-woven energy body layers, we have to address every cry for love from every layer of our being. In my journeys on this topic, I’ve seen steps to take on all energy levels to not only fill them up; but also re-connect them in a way that makes our ability to love our Selves bigger than the sabotaging self-talk. Grab a journal and settle into your center; awaken your senses and experience the following: 1. Feel the physical body. What do you love about your body? Declare this love. 2. Feel the mental body. What do you love about your mind? Breathe this in. 3. Flow into feeling the emotional body. What can you love about your emotions? Let them build you up 4. Radiate into the spiritual body. You will feel really big here. Love feeling big! Gather this joy. Then shine all of this back down through the other layers, filling them up with the qualities you love about all parts of you. Making your way back to the body and into your center. 5. Take several deep breaths and surrender to the thought traps un-weaving throughout all the energy bodies. 6. Embrace the freedom to love your body, mind, heart, your soul. Celebrate loving you as a whole, complete, empowered Goddess. Who are you as a woman in love with her Self? Write down the qualities of this woman. Now, reincarnate as a woman in Self-love! ~Nissa Nissa  Howard  is  a  Shamanic  Practitioner,  Soul  Crafter,  and  intuitive  Wild  Woman.  She  uses   Shamanic  energy  medicine  in  healing  sessions,  product  creating,  and  in  soul  crafting  playshops.   Nissa's  passion  is  to  be  a  guide  and  a  technician  for  the  awakening,  and  crafting  of  the  inner   world  soul  for  all  who  crave  it.  Check  out  her  website  at  www.inquirewithin.me    


I heard the words Loser, lazy, stupid, fat Their language working To shame me To hook me in my nakedness I went to bow my head I stopped. I listened to my heart beat. My unique breath. It said something else to me

Love yourself. Accept. Be. You have brilliance. I hugged my torn self. Those words belong to them. That lost language of shame. Which seeks to hook us all. To snag, to catch. A staggered breath. ounselor

“Believe”, said the new language in my heart. Believe. I looked up. I listened to my heart whisper, “Good-bye shame.” And then, “Hello me.”

vy is a C e in e L a y n a T Colleg

munity . She in a Com va Scotia o N , n to e ism, Cape Br her optim our. r o f n w o is kn of hum nd sense a m o d is w the social in d e k r o She has w r over twenty fo work field hobbies include: r e e years. H ending tim p s i, h C i a m writing, T ating drea e r c d n a e er at in natur an reach h c u o Y . s . boxe gmail.com t@ e o p r e p a c


My Body is a masterpiece of beauty…my scars the constellations on my skin, my curves a vast landscape to be explored by brave warriors and my soul forever sings of my body’s incredible movement…constant like the sea, forever changing and still the same me.

“Green with Envy, Growing to Love”, Acrylic by Sarah McMurray, 2009


By Deborah Fay D’Onofrio She’s been a long time coming This woman that I am. The Maiden listened to others and lost her way Got caught up in supposed tos, shoulds and rules of the day Her compass and truth gauge spun in outward directions Shrunk small and sometimes invisible to the eye of the world Surrendering to the social glare, the pressures and norms Hidden under layers of not enough, she conformed. She’s been a long time coming This woman that I am. She married the lover, gave birth to the child The Mother nurtured the man, cared for the babe. Forgot self along the way. Sunk her roots in the soil of family Soul cracked open, focused on her holy trinity Man, babe and She. But She had dreams that ached, a heart that longed and hands that itched To do her soul’s work. She’s been a long time coming This woman that I am. The Queen has claimed her crown. She delights in her gray growing in Her body now her friend She stands true and strong, wiser with the wear of life Wrinkles bear memory of fine times had Her hands hold, her eyes see, her heart knows That this life is what we make it, it is ours to do Standing in the still center, I follow the call Of the Gray Queen.

Deborah Fay D’Onofrio, creatress of Circle Magica, is a practitioner of the timeless arts of natural magic, ritual, spirit work and sacred craftwork. She acts as companion, and guides, holding sacred space in private healing sessions and in person and online circles. She listens, witnesses, reflects and explores with you as you encounter your own deep wisdom, claim your own truths, and align with your true power. She is a Reiki Master Teacher, shamanic healer, intuitive/psychic/medium, and is a published mixed media artist. Meet here: www.circlemagica.com


ton By  Robyn  R.  Johns

We all  know  that  beauty  is  in  the  eye  of  the  beholder,  so  what  makes  us  hold  back  when  it   comes  to  really  loving  and  accepting  our  bodies?  Our  bodies  are  vehicles.  Its  true  that  we  may   desire  different  shapes,  styles  and  appearances  but  when  you  get  right  down  to  it,  the  fact  of  the   matter  is,  we  have  to  have  a  body  to  be  here.  What  is  optional  then  is  how  well  we  are   ENJOYING  the  make  and  model  we’ve  been  given.       We  likely  didn’t  make  these  selections  at  the  factory;  we  inherited  the  particular  traits  through   genes  and  DNA.  We  also  have  the  choice  to  make  enhancements  and  we  can,  at  any  time,   upgrade  to  a  higher  “class”  of  style.  I’m  not  talking  about  cosmetic  surgery,  what  I  have  in  mind   is  a  far  more  radical  approach  that  begins  with  the  mind,  the  thoughts  and  the  inner   perceptions  we  hold.  Maybe  it’s  time  that  we  take  our  bodies  through  an  etheric  “belief  wash”   and  wipe  the  windows  of  our  souls  clean.    

What would  happen  if  we  stopped  worrying  about  the  little  things  and  start   “charging  up”  our  assets?  First  we  have  to  learn  to  DRIVE  our  personal  vehicles  and  that   will  require  keys:  curves,  confidence  and  companions.     Curves  are  those  wavy  lines  that  break  up  the  monotony  of  the  road.  While  we  can  appreciate   interstate  driving  because  it  may  get  us  down  the  road  faster,  who  doesn’t  enjoy  a  winding   country  road?  Curves  require  us  to  slow  down,  pay  attention  and  focus  on  the  details.  They   invite  us  to  linger  a  little  longer  and  savor  the  goodness  of  the  present  moment.  Delicious  body   curves  offer  us  a  similar  respite.  There’s  something  deeply  sensuous  about  appreciating  our   curves  versus  beating  ourselves  up  because  of  extra  flab.  And  remember  different   makes/models  will  have  different  types  of  curves.  What  are  yours  like?  How  do  you  showcase   them?  Pull  off  the  “dust  cover”  it’s  time  let  your  vehicle  shine!     Confidence  relates  to  the  “fuel”  we  need.  Our  vehicles  work  extremely  hard  transporting  us   to  new,  expanded  experiences.  They  allow  us  to  meet  new  faces  and  connect  with  other   vehicles.  Confidence  is  a  special  “additive”,  it  can  be  replicated  and  it’s  not  synthetic.  It  is   looking  in  the  mirror  and  seeing  our  positive  traits  and  then  roaring  full  speed  ahead  on  to  life’s   streets.  It’s  what  helps  us  bypass  the  ego  and  travel  to  “hot  spots”  and  other  FUN  places  that  we   are  ready  to  experience.  It  is  what  allows  us  to  leave  the  flat  tires  of  fear  and  low-­‐self  esteem  in   the  dust.  This  key  comes  in  all  shapes,  sizes  and  ranges;  confidence  can  easily  be  spotted  all  the   way  down  the  line  from  luxury  models  to  slender  minis.       It’s  lovely  to  travel  solo,  but  sharing  a  trip  with  a  friend  is  equally  delightful,  especially  if  that   companion  is  someone  you  adore.  I  keep  this  key  to  my  vehicle  very  close  because  I  know  I   can  trust  my  companion  to  tell  me  the  truth,  especially  when  it  is  something  I  need  to  hear.  Like   a  clear,  clean  mirror,  a  companion  reflects  the  love,  truth,  light  and  beauty  we  already  have.  We   may  not  KNOW  all  the  goodness  we  posses,  or  we  may  forget  it  because  we  are  so  used  to  our   vehicles  (after  all  we  are  IN  them  ALL  the  time!)  So  inviting  a  trusted  companion  to  share  what   they  see  is  a  wonderful  tool  to  keep  your  vehicle  running  in  top  shape.  Look  at  the  features  you   already  have…go  ahead  and  honk  your  horn  too!  No  one  else  in  the  universe  has  access  to  your   vehicle.  You  have  control  here,  sit  in  neutral,  and  let  it  purr  for  a  while  or  throw  it  into  drive   and  see  what  happens.        


“Dripping Woman”  by  Sarah  McMurray  

Love the She Tribe Project? Write/Paint/Photograph for our Creativity Issue! Learn about submission guidelines at: sarahmcmurray.weebly.com


her as naturally as the sun rises. She is my Mother. She nurtures my soul with her very presence. She gives me the air to breathe, the ability to just be. Be in her presence. Be in her. Be before her. My Blessed Mother that heals my soul in every moment. Her beauty is eternal. Her beauty is majestic. Her beauty graces this world as none can. My Mother. My eternal Mother. Our Mother.  

Original Art  by  Kimberly  Roberson  

I am drawn to stand before

I have colored on the walls since I could hold a crayon or paintbrush. I was born to do this.... Create. I come from the Tribe who dances a lot. I wish you peace and love - Kimberly Roberson


d Bra e l o Nic By

ford

breach of trust false accusation and larger impacts outright hate by sneer rejection being left to wait by wordless siding with another shrugs and mock'ry (shiver shudder)

The me i feel true me through me has words has deeds like these: Light. Free. of love of good inspiring more. so why am i once more (once more!) nose to floor? i look to see…

And so i built it to protect but now it blocks me holds me back from all i dream that i can be my brightest light my truest me. in grief a tear a gasp i cry and cry and cry till sirens fly around me broadcasting my pain north south west east above below then i know i'm a vessel through which this blows

that golden day of grass and trees and pale blue sky down on my knees the peace is there it tingles feeds my every cell it energizes what i am and like a watered plant that rises with ease in flow i go up to my size my back is straight my chest is open shoulders down legs strong breath even feet set tight upon the ground I sense my self in space all round i'm warm i'm calm i feel my eyes float heavenward without surprise and made of gratefulness i see there is no glass impeding me.

creative project is the piece of Earth I call "me".nicolebradford.ca

Photo by Tyler Kergen Photography

there above me a hard glass ceiling hard cold pressing impedes my upward rising clamps me down i frown and sigh the sirens soften out of sound and want to cry and I am spent there i recognize on the ground this hardness… i pray it is the limit i pray of my heart i pray the armour so still i have wrought when jarred repeatedly by and once again tiny barbs of apathy as on the hill disdain disgust I'm Nicole Bradford, from Calgary, AB, Canada; a healer and costumer, single exasperation mother of 4, passionate about co-creating Heaven on Earth, understanding my first co-


By Kristin Kovalik

The dark clouds mask any sign of the sun and a gray monochrome sky leaves me wondering what time it is. Maybe it is the season, the cold, blustery weather that brings on this feeling of isolation and aloneness in the world or maybe it has more to do with the flood of past memories that have been swirling in my head and heart. Facing old insecurities can create a sense of vulnerability- a feeling of being cracked wide open. I am willing to experience this if being present with the past allows the light to shine brightly on several areas that have been pushed deep and hidden for far too long.

I was given the name Lakshmi, my ‘true self’.

Lakshmi,

the goddess of prosperity who bestows capability and power that manifests as beauty, luster and glory. Remembering the past has made me feel anything but beautiful, powerful or glorious. Reflecting on certain past experiences doesn’t cultivate an abundance of compassion or shakti energy that Lakshmi is known to radiate. But the universe proves over and over – there is a purpose to everything. And on this cold, silent day my willingness to confront the past and shine the light on the dark areas will align my true self with the Goddess qualities I was born to emulate. Lakshmi exists in all of us. Nestled at the heart charka her symbol is the lotus flower. The lotus represents beauty born from the dark and the muck. Cracking open the past and confronting the challenges that have plagued me for years provides a brilliant opportunity for the lotus to bloom. Through this process my true self can emerge and radiate and I welcome the wisdom that comes with releasing the past. There are times in our lives when we hear the call. It may be faint and we choose not to listen. And then there are times when the call is all we hear and we know it is time to listen. It’s not easy to venture down a particular path, to shed the layers, to rid our lives of the painful, unfulfilling parts. It may not be easy or natural to nurture and cultivate our true self but it is the greatest gift we can give and receive. Lakshmi is calling. It’s time for the lotus flower to grow and prosper and for the Goddess within to radiate.


All of myself is sacred and worth loving… My story matters… I am powerful.

Original Artwork  by   Sarah  McMurray  


By  Lauren  Backes  

Maybe it was because of the drinks, or that someone had overestimated her age, but she stands in front of the mirror in her two-hundred dollar shoes, leaning over the counter littered with eyelash curlers, curling irons, flat irons, mascara, widening her eyes as she raises her hands to the glass, pressing them into their own image until she can no longer tell where the seam is. She remembers a book she read once about a girl and a dream and a looking-glass and pushes further, climbing onto the counter as she watches her arms then legs disappear to the other side. A silent ocean faces her as she tosses her shoes to the side, peels off her dress, her underwear, stands naked in front of the waves. Eyes closed, she dives in and swims until she can no longer breathe, feels makeup wash away, toenails and fingernails turn to sand, skin become sea foam. Her bones crumble to the bottom, arrange themselves as coral, begin to breathe again.

Lauren Backes is attending OSU-Cascades to obtain her Master's in teaching and plans to be a high school English teacher. She is a runner, quilter, and most recently, an aspiring fly fisher. The art of language and the intrinsic power it holds are two of Lauren's fundamental guiding principles.


i Lane   By  Tamb

I remember scouring magazines looking at the beautiful women, longing to look like them: long legs, narrow hips, I thought that was pretty. My mother was always heavy, and at very young age she unknowingly taught me, to hate the curvy, busty figure that would eventually stare back at me. At 15, I never wanted to wear a bathing suit, and missed out on a lot of fun my friends were having because of it. There was no logical reason for my self-doubt, other than this is what I was being taught, by society, my family, and by my friends. Someone else's ideals of what "pretty" meant began to seep into my psyche, and when I didn't fit that mold, I decided no matter what I did, I was never going to be considered.... pretty. What I didn't realize, is that decision to despise the face and the body I was given, was going to shape the rest of my life entirely. Every relationship I had, the friends I make, are all influenced by that 10 year old, looking in the mirror, with tears streaming down her face, wishing she was one of those girls in the magazines, longing to be someone else...any one else, but who she was always meant to be. I don't claim to have it figured out; in fact, it's a constant struggle on a daily basis. Recently I took a trip with some of my closest friends - a girl’s weekend of self-discovery. While I can tell every woman with absolute certainty that they are in fact gorgeous, I still have a hard time telling myself those same words. There was a point in the night where all of us “moms,” after much wine, decided that hot tubing naked would be much more fun. That 15-year-old girl I sometimes hate, popped her head up and started whispering in my ear. I held out from getting naked as long as I could with ridiculous excuses of why none of these women wanted to see me jump into a tub of water with them and be blinded by the experience. Luckily, I have amazing friends who actually love me despite my large hips, and overly large breasts, and fortunately I was not getting out of this experience. Before I could argue long, the undies were off, and I was slyly slipping into the tub.... naked. Guess what? My friends still talk to me. What’s even better is I actually enjoyed it. I felt free, and uninhibited. I wasn't worried about who was watching, or what they might be thinking. I was, for once in my life, living in the moment. I realized, for the first time, at 36 years old, that maybe what I have learned to see every time I look in that mirror might not be what everyone else sees, and even if they do, they don't care as much about my imperfections as I thought. The past year had been about stepping out of my own comfort levels, to start exploring whom I really am. I’ve been a mom, and a photographer for so long I forget sometimes that I’m also a woman, and women love to feel wanted, both emotionally and physically. We want to turn heads and make people notice us, and that is OK! I’m not sure I would have picked this body if given the choice, but it’s mine. We all need constant reminders that we need to love ourselves. We need to love the bodies we were given, the experience's we've had that have shaped our world, and just simply embrace the fact that, honey, the camera doesn't lie...you ARE just that beautiful. My journey is long, and nowhere near finished. Sometimes I can still look in the mirror and wish for something different, but I can also (after many years) finally start to look into that same mirror and see someone beautiful staring back at me.


Photo by  W endy  Roe.  Model:  Tambi  Lane  

This was Tambi’s own empowering boudoir shoot with Photographer Wendy Roe. There’s more to her story on her blog at: tambilane.com.

“My body is wildly beautiful - its mountain peaks are more beautiful than any dream I’ve encountered…my body is peace.”


“You are  imperfect,   permanently  and   inevitably  flawed.   And  you  are   beautiful.”   -­‐  Amy  Bloom  


By S arah

McM u

rray

In 2010 I had my first art studio in downtown Bend. It was the year I began to celebrate my body through art, to process my journey with body image and PCOS and I was even so brave as to share my story through the raw candor of an art show on body image. Conversations began stirring and soon I was facilitating workshops for women to use creativity as a means of celebrating your body – flaws and all. We threw ourselves into conversations about what radical self-love and positive body image looked like. Art helped me through the most difficult seasons of learning to love my body as it is right now (even if I wished for some things to change). Here are five practices to self-love and positive body image I’ve learned in the process: 1. Talk lovingly to yourself every day – instead of saying, “I hate my thighs,” say “I’m thankful for how my thighs help me move in the world.” This simple reframing helps you appreciate your body even if you wish it was different. There’s nothing wrong with embracing who you are right now. 2. Honor your self – make time each day to rub delicious lotion all over your body, find an outfit you feel beautiful in and wear it, get a haircut, take a yoga class, dance in your bedroom... Simple practices that allow you to honor the body you have now, help you to make changes because you want to be an even better version of yourself, not because you hate your body, but because you love it. 3. Notice bodies shapes/colors/sizes as art – instead of thinking beauty is only young, thin, etc., look at bodies as art. Notice how they move, their texture and various shapes. If we all looked the same there would be nothing unique and original about any of us. Celebrate the differences! 4. Surround yourself with a tribe who practices positive self-care and self-love. If the message you constantly hear from your tribe is negative talk about your bodies, encourage everyone to have a no-complaints day and challenge each other to say only good things about who you are. (Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it.) 5. Move your body in fun ways – don’t make exercise a chore, or you’ll never do it. Instead make it a sensual process – dance, yoga, long walks in the woods – make it feel like a treat, and will uplift you body, mind and soul! Your body is a miraculous gift right now, honor it and it will in turn honor you. Embrace your flaws…they are beautiful and you are GOREGOUS!

Sarah McMurray is an artist, writer and photographer using creativity to inspire women to love themselves, get raw and embrace their truth! She is a dream launcher, who lusts after the color orange and loves hot springs and creating a life filled with joy. She founded the She-Tribe as a means of connecting women with their truth through art, community and writing. She lives in Bend, Oregon and has a massive desire to move to an island…eventually. Learn more at: sarahmcmurray.weebly.com


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A huge thank you to all the contributors to this second issue of The Wild She-Tribe Project. Your stories, courage and love astound me! This project is a gift‌please share, tweet, pin and spread the love, just be sure to give credit to the project: www.sarahmcmurray.weebly.com #SheTribeProject.

She tribe Project: Self Love & Body Image,Issue 2  

The second quarterly publication of A Wild She-Tribe Project. Learn more at: sarahmcmurray.weebly.com

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