November 4, 2011

Exploding the Myth of Magazine Lifestyles

I was flicking through a women’s glossy lifestyle magazine earlier in the week.

The women were groomed, thin, wealthy. They had successful businesses and beautiful children and had written best-selling novels. They threw tea parties for their friends with sumptously dressed tables and home-made macaroons.

I sit here writing this in between my sneezes, crumpled tissues beside me. Yesterday I had a grouch about feeling poorly & unloved. Glamorous? FAR from.

The reassuring news is that those women in the magazines don’t exist either. I know because they’ve come into my psychotherapy room and told me about their real lives. They get colds. Their marriages are falling apart. They yearn for more meaningful work.

The even-better-news is that we can find our lives satsifying exactly-as-they-are. Hey, my head is muzzy and my nose is sore, but this apple & raspberry juice really is delish. I can look up from my writing and watch Roshi kitten swiping at Tsuki kitten’s lashing tail. I can glance out the window and see the long strands of white cloud garlanding the early morning sky.

We can’t avoid dukkha. Impermanence, sickness, death… insecurities, litter trays, parking fines, spilt milk…

We can know that our ordinary, non-magazine lifestyles are enough. We can watch Tsuki kitten meticulously washing her paw. We can text our beloveds and tell them we appreciate them. We can buy our rainbow macaroons from the French deli. We can be held by love, and by faith.

“Whatever you may be sure of, be sure of this, that you are dreadfully like other people.” ~James Russell Lowell

PS I’d love to work with during November as you Write Yourself Alive (and Kaspa is running the most marvellous Eastern Therapeutic Writing). You’ll have to register by the end of TODAY – if you’re teetering drop me an email and share your thoughts.

(image: macaroons by Julien Haler, with thanks)

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