CrossFit, It’s Time To Fix Your Ways

Just Alyssa

1013018_392520527520746_2121630102_n The CrossFit Games has made an altogether unsurprising move to cement their reputation as being sexist. Though they’ve upped the ante by throwing in a healthy dose of Transphobia. As a CrossFitter, a highly trained CrossFit Trainer and the owner of a CrossFit affiliate , I wish I could say I was surprised. As a woman, and the mother of three girls, and a human being, I wish I could say I was surprised.

But I’m not, I’m just fed up.

View original post 1,588 more words

Advertisements

A Mouse Tale

I wrote this for a Psych class a few months ago.  Thought I’d share.

A Mouse Tale

Under the stairwell at 442 Broadstone Way, in Chesapeake Bay, NJ lived a family of mice.  There was a papa mouse, a mama mouse, and two baby mice, one a girl, and one a boy.  These baby mice were happy and fat little babies as all mice should be at that age.  They chased string together, ate cheese, cuddled with their Mother and adored their Father and his tales of travel and adventure.

As the children grew it became apparent that they were very different.  The girl mouse loved to spend time with her Mother.  Together they tended the garden under the eaves, baked sweet, cheesy bread in the solar oven that Father had built, and made and mended clothes for the family.  The little girl mouse wanted nothing more than to be the perfect little girl mouse that she imagined herself to be one day.

The little boy mouse had other plans.  His father’s tales of travel had sparked a flame in him and he dreamed of travelling the world and grand adventures.  He and his father would spend hours together, roaming the house and yard in search of food and valuables to be traded with other mice for things the family needed.  While they spent a great deal of time together, Father didn’t talk much.  He would be silent for hours at a time, and the little boy mouse grew to be very good at understanding his father without words.  He came to enjoy the silence and his father saw that his son was coming to understand the art of speaking without words.  This pleased him greatly.

As the children grew older they went to school with the other young mice. The siblings made new friends at school and no longer had time to play together.  The little girl mouse studied hard and always did her best, knowing that she needed to get good grades and learn as much as she could if she was going to be a good example for her own children someday.  The little boy mouse was excited to be learning but quickly grew bored with his lessons.  He didn’t understand why the teachers never talked about anything really important.  His mind wandered and he wondered what made him so very different from his sister and the other mice.

The life of a mouse is a short one and this they learned early.  Before they knew it they were growing up and getting ready start lives of their own.  The little girl mouse dreamed of a handsome husband and starting a family.  The little boy mouse dreamed of adventures with his father.  But one day they came home, and their father was gone.  The little girl mouse cried, because that’s what all children are supposed to do when they lose a parent, and she wanted so much to be normal.  She missed his stories and was very sad, for she realized that she never knew her father, she only knew his stories. She wept for the loss of what she could never have.  The little boy mouse never cried once.  At least not where anyone could see him.  He lost himself in his adventures, and he talked to the ghost of his father, saying things he had never said when his father had walked beside him.

The girl, being slightly older than the boy, finished school before him and found her handsome mouse.  Together they built a home and started a family.  The boy mouse, now nearly grown, decided he too was ready to leave school.  While his friends were heading to the classroom, he packed a bag, kissed his mother goodbye, and started walking.  He grew up on the road and lived all the adventures that he had dreamed of.  And more.  He travelled the world.  He flew through the sky.  He joined the mouse corps and fought battles in far away lands.

But one day he met another mouse and fell in love.  He brought her back to the land he grew up in and they built a home and had their own little mouselings.  The little mouse, now a man, became the Father and told his tales of adventure and discovery to his own children.  His little ones dreamed of a life in the world outside their home.  They learned to speak without words and they found beauty in the silence.  Father Mouse was pleased.

As their children grew, the little girl mouse and the little boy mouse, now a Mother Mouse and a Father Mouse themselves, would bring their children together to play.  Always they met at the home of the Mother Mouse.  She didn’t care for the home of the Father Mouse.  It was cluttered with books and odd, strange things from his travels.  And his stories and ideas, so un-mouse-like indeed!  But she was grateful she could show his daughters what a proper home looked like.

Father Mouse, saw that his sister had built a beautiful home.  She was happy and content and he was pleased that she had the life she wanted.  Her children were happy and her husband was a pleasant enough mouse.  But his sister never asked about his life.  She never asked about his travels, his ideas, his happiness.  She would talk about the latest gourmet cheeses, about the mice next door, or about how well her kids were doing in school, but she never talked about anything that mattered to her brother.

Father Mouse thought about his sister, trying to understand why she could not find the same joy in his happiness that he found in hers.  He spent a great deal of time thinking about this, and finally, one day, he discovered the answer to this question.  This answer made him very sad but it also made him feel better.  The problem, he decided, was not with him, his family, or his home full of books and ideas.  The problem wasn’t his sister or her family either.

One beautiful summer morning, Mother Mouse, realizing she hadn’t seen her brother or his family in a very long time, asked her husband to go by her brother’s home and invite his family to dinner. Her husband returned to tell her of an empty home with a note left on the door.  When he’d asked, the neighbors told of a grand party with a great deal of laughter and celebration.  The family had been so very happy and had left shortly after the party, having given away their books and anything they couldn’t carry.  They each left with nothing more than a smile and a backpack.

Mother mouse looked at the note in her hand.

Every mouse is defined by what they consider to be of value

True values cannot be hoarded, kept, or given away

They can only be found, cherished, and shared

We have gone, not to find that which is valuable

But to share and love that which holds the highest value to us

May you find and love that which you value

May you value that which you find and love


Discovery and Purpose

Many people spend an inordinate amount of time attempting to discover the meaning of life – or at least the meaning of their own life.  While for some this is a fruitless search, others find that the search for meaning becomes the purpose itself.  I have begun to suspect that our purpose in life changes over time.. and is largely based on who we are, when we are, and where we are.

I believe I have discovered a key to my own life.. it didn’t come at some moment of inspired insight or a flash of intuitive knowledge as so often happens with other areas of my life.  It happened over time – an unfolding process that has led me to this realization.

I’ve known for many years that my personality and energy is that of a healer.  My interests and studies have granted me various depths of knowledge in numerous spiritual practices and traditions as well as more practical aspects of understanding people and their situations. My current studies as a Psychology Grad student are adding tremendously to that store of knowledge. In addition to that knowledge I’ve ingrained other skills through studies of martial arts, massage therapy, dance, and energy work.  All of this knowledge, experience and energy draws me to the healing arts – whether that be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.  I can’t speak to how many times I’ve found myself in this role with friends and complete strangers alike.

But the story doesn’t end there…

Since my discovery of self and my transition into a more complete person, I have been drawn more and more into social activism.  I began by volunteering to help facilitate the local transsexual support group.  That affiliation has since led into potential political involvement at the state level.

My unique military situation as an out trans woman in the US Army has also opened some doors into avenues for facilitating change – this time at a national level.  I’ve already met some amazing people that had only been names and pictures in the news prior to this.  It has been an honor to become involved with these folks and these organizations – people and parties helping to lead the latest fight in US civil rights issues.  While I’ve never had a desire for fame or celebrity status I do now see the benefit of stepping out from the shadows and making my voice, and my story heard.

During this explosion of involvement I had the pleasure of meeting a number of my peers – trans men and trans women serving in the military.  This was the experience of a lifetime and something that has been a highlight in my already eventful life.   Getting to know them all, hearing their stories, sharing in the tears and laughter, and creating shared stories of our own – I have truly found a home and a family I’m proud to be a part of.  It’s a privilege to consider these fellows my siblings and to be viewed as the older sister in the group.

So what am I saying?  Perhaps it’s premature to say with true clarity.  But I find that my life had led to a feeling of purpose and opened avenues for action.

The fight for equality shall not be won in the court room or by political debate.  It shall be won in the hearts and minds of the people of the world.

For the coming battles I’ve set aside the useless weapons of my past and am poised to don the robes of the peace-maker.  I eagerly look forward to standing with my peers in the coming struggles.


Reflections from the House of Mirrors

I’m unsure of what to write tonight, but my fingers have been itching to give voice to the thoughts bouncing around in my head.

Tomorrow is the last day of 2013.  I’ve had a great deal to reflect upon lately, given the events of the past 12 months.  I won’t bore my readers with the details, but suffice it to say that the core of my essence has been laid bare and stitched back together.  Rather than see a patchwork monster in the mirror, I’m finally seeing the woman who’d been hiding inside of me all these years.  No longer do I have to search for a hint that she’s there as I see her in everything I see or do.  I am now the embodiment of the being that I once thought was a simple shadow.  I still don’t understand how I hid so much light and love in the darkness for as long as I did.

Discovering that the woman I am emerged from that seclusion without scars or trauma is truly a wondrous thing.

I had a large glass of wine earlier, finishing it as my boys mother called me to discuss money and our children.  Despite or because of the wine, it was one of the nicest conversations we’d had in quite a while.  I’m so happy that we were able to part amicably and still maintain the platonic love and respect for each other.

I’m still unresolved on the military front.  I had the door shut on my face just when I was walking back through it.  I feel like I’m stuck on the outside pounding on it in vain.  I’ve never cared for feelings of abandonment and in a way, that’s what this feels like.  This is also one of the most important events I’ve been involved with in my life, and I had my role stolen from me just as I was preparing myself for the part.  I intend to find or create an avenue for change in 2014 as I will not be denied that which I’ve worked so hard to earn.

ah.. romance.  Still no luck on that front.  I did have one very nice date, but the attraction seemed to be one-sided and any sexual tension that existed at the start of the evening dissipated by nights end.  Ah well.  It was simply nice to get out and spend time with someone.  It’s not all about love and sex.

But speaking of love and sex.  I’m still exploring what I want in a partner.  Most days I want love and romance and passion.. occasionally I just want someone for a great night of uninhibited passion.  No matter what I want though, I haven’t seemed to manifest anything resembling romantic interest that I’ve wanted to reciprocate.  Well, I’ve had plenty of partners in the past and I’ve no doubt I can find one or two more in the future.

Alright.. the evening is getting long and my glass has long since run dry.  I’m off to explore the underside of slumber.

Image

I think I need more wine to lubricate the fingers.


The illusion of two-ness vs the value of one-ness

This may sound like a marked contrast from my last posting where I was talking about relationships and wanting to be with someone but I feel like talking about this:  I don’t need anyone else to be complete.

Let me clarify this for my own edification as well as yours.  I’m not talking about being alone or being with someone, I’m talking about being comfortable and complete as an individual.  I know Jerry Maguire had the famous line that broke every girls heart “You complete me”, but really, is that the truth?  Perhaps she complemented him well, augmented him and was the yin to his yang, but complete him?  Was he missing a vital part of himself?  Did she have the extra arm that he was missing?  No?  I didn’t think so either.

Nearly all of the great spiritual traditions talk about the value of oneness, or being in harmony with the universe.  But to achieve this one must first be in harmony with oneself.  You must know who you are and be at peace with yourself before you can achieve peace with the world (physical and otherwise) around you.

But the universe is ready and waiting for you to come to it, to harmonize with it – and for it to harmonize with you.  Achieving that harmony and oneness with another individual (or more than one) is exponentially more challenging.

Yet we do see this.  Couples that have been together for decades truly do seem to complete each other and those that have managed to hold onto the love, passion, and compassion for each other are truly a great thing to see.

I would never say that that is not a worthy goal, loving and growing old with someone – I wish I am so lucky.  But what I want, what I’d like to see and experience for myself, is a relationship between two people that don’t “need” each other.  Relying upon someone you can trust with your heart, having someone to cling to when life gets tough, yes.. who wouldn’t want that?  But thinking that you are incomplete as a being without that person; this is proven false in the face of the uniqueness and power of each of our souls.

I have no illusions that I’m enlightened, and often I’m as far from that state as possible it feels. But I’m working towards that goal, and every day is a constant discovery of who I am and a redefining of my personal definition of myself.  When I meet another walking the same path, and we fall into step beside each other, it should be a union, a harmony based on addition between two positives, and not an equation of balancing out the positives and negatives hoping the sum is more than zero.

Until I find my travelling companions in life, I’ll be sitting here, contemplating my cosmic navel.


The Claiming of the Fox

Changes in life can be wonderful and scary at the same time.  It’s a central tenet of life that people change, the world changes, our circumstances change.  Don’t like where your life is today? Just wait, tomorrow it may change.

2013 has been all about changes for me.  The biggest of my life.  And I have lived through many changes before this.  Changing gender is more than the physical transformation one goes through.  There is the inner and outer world that must be changed as well, and how we see and interact with those worlds.

My inner world has been remodeled.  Where before I was a fortress of hard granite blocks, sharply cut and tightly fitted, now I exist in a palace of color, texture, soft, flowing buttresses designed to welcome and not defend.  The occupant of this palace has shed the skin of the chameleon she used to be, and now, with all masks removed, stands open to the world and the possibilities it brings.  She can accept heartache, scorn, rejection.  Those negatives are recognized but they fall at her feet, unworthy of embracing.  Instead she celebrates her existence, feasting with the lords of love, laughter, and childish joy.  This is a party of open invitation and lords and ladies, in their rich embodiment of emotion, parade through her halls without hesitation, confident in her presence.

The outer world is once more that home of my childhood memories.  The laughter and love that for so long lay withering has returned in a flood through new friends and fellow wanderers that I now call family.  The world around me has transformed as I have been transformed.  I move through my reality with a confidence borne of self-knowledge and lifetimes of experience.

This transformation has opened me to the possibilities of other changes and recognition of additional facets of my being.  My sexual orientation was always a bit fluid and now it seems to have settled into what can best be described as “pansexual”.  I like to think that I see the beauty of people beyond their presentation, beyond the definitions that society tries to impose upon us.  While I do find myself aroused by physical beauty, what excites my soul is the energetic recognition of a soul I can harmonize with.

Expanding this further, I can now openly recognize that I find Poly, or polyamory, an intriguing idea and something worth being open to.  I’ve toyed with this idea for many years but always honored the monogamous relationship I was in.  With that relationship now transformed from one of romantic love to purely friendship and co-parenting, I have the freedom to explore this new territory.  What about this concept appeals to me?  I think after all my failed relationships I’ve recognized the futility of thinking that one person can satisfy all your needs.  I’m not talking simply sexually; I’m referring to emotional, intellectual, artistic, philosophical, spiritual, etc.  It’s a daunting task for anyone to be all that they themselves want to be, let alone what someone else wants or expects them to be for them.  Opening the boundary (carefully) and allowing others into a loving relationship could ease that strain and enrich the lives of all involved.  Granted that’s a perfect world scenario.  Most of the poly relationships I’ve seen and heard of involve drama and end in failure – but not all. I live in the single digit percentages in all other aspects of my life, why not try for success in this?

So here I am, a pansexual, poly-minded, transsexual woman – and I’m sitting home alone with my cat sleeping next to me.  I know I sound like I’m open to so many possibilities, but I’m actually quite discriminating about who I spend my time with or share my body with.  As much as a quickie or a one-night-stand sounds good in theory, it’s an idea that probably should remain a theory (though if it happens I won’t be crying about it).

Do I want love, romance, tenderness, passion, cuddling, laughter, joy, tears, and peace in the arms of a lover?  Of course I do.  And I think I’m worth it.  So what then?  What am I trying to say with all of this?

.

.

.

Hey universe, I’m ready whenever you are.. I’m ready to be with someone.  The right someone(s).


Phoenix

When I was a boy I had long, flaming red hair.

Old ladies pinched my cheeks and told me I was such a cute little girl.

I told them fiercely, “I’m a boy!”

Tthe faintest echo said “I’m a boy?”

When I was a teen I dreamed of clothes and fashion.

Cutting and sewing, I crafted my expression of freedom.

I stood out in every crowd with long, bright hair and daring outfits.

I was popular.  I had friends and lovers.

I drank and danced at every party and kissed the girls – and the boys.

In my drunken debauchery I hid my confusion.

When she spoke I would not listen.  She was lust, and love, and light.

I chained her in the darkness and when she wept, I bound her tighter.

I lost myself in the progress of life.  A wife.  Children.  Work.

I swore allegiance and threw myself from anything that flew.

I fired my rifle and shouldered the heaviest loads

proclaiming to the world I AM A MAN!

But the years gave me no peace.

There was no lasting happiness.  No sense of identity.

The volume of my life was set to mute, and I strained to hear the joy in my children’s laughter.

Forty years of running leaves a man tired and even the strongest bonds don’t hold forever.

In the windswept deserts of the East, worlds away from home

I cried out as the chains shattered

and the world became color

the world became a chorus

the world became my home

He gave way to She, He gave way to me

Forty years of life and I have a past that tells only of darkness and chains

Forty years of life and I’m newly born

Seeing the world with fresh eyes

Greeting the world with an innocent smile.

Oh what joy in breathing the air and running with naked toes in the night

In muscle and bone he steps from the darkness and reminds me of his life

But the final chapter of His-tory is written and the book is closed.

HER-story starts a new volume in the set, a new verse, written in a fresh and flowing hand.

His children are mine, his loves are not lost, but reforged in the hotter flames of my passions.

His face and body have melted in the heat of my desire, my lust to live!

Stillness and silence has dissolved into laughter and dance.

I AM SHE I laugh into the wind.