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Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ category

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Tree Pose lime ricki swimsuit tied one piece seaweed yoga modest christian mountain tree pose

Swan Pose lime ricki swimsuit tied one piece seaweed yoga modest christian swan

This is probably the first time I’ve ever published photos of myself in a bathing suit on this blog, but I wanted to show this lovely one piece seaweed swimsuit by Lime Ricki!

Above is a series of yoga poses that challenge balance, flexibility, and opening of the hips. The first three are variations of a graceful yet powerful pose called by many names—Dancer’s, Shiva, Lord of the Dance, Lord Shiva, King Dancer, Dancing Shiva, and Saral Natarajasana in its original Sanskrit. It was one of the first poses I ever fell in love with when I first started with yoga asanas. Even when other postures capture my attention  now and then, I still go back to Dancer’s like love at first sight! There is at least a couple of other more challenging variations of this pose that I didn’t end up taking photos of.

Yoga has been ever so popular and mainstream these past few years, and the more I learn about it, the more private and personal it becomes to me. It has almost become sacred but without the connotations of  judgement or bias and exclusivity that usually come with religion. The benefits of yoga posturing are almost therapeutically immediate, and that is why it is so popular in the West (besides the coolness factor of the more challenging strength and balance poses!). However, to live by the yogic philosophy takes a great leap of faith—perhaps even greater than you would need for Christianity.

Don’t get me wrong. In a way, it takes a lot more faith to be a Christian because Christians believe in Christ being God, while there is no requirement for a Christ in yoga. Christianity is the only religion with this kind of message, where there is a need for a savior for salvation or liberation. So what I really meant to say is that for Christians it takes a whole lot more to believe in yoga than for someone who isn’t.

What do I mean by this? Many of us Christians believe that The Bible is the only source of truth. Now, there are many things that have once been thought unshakably accurate for decades in the macroscopic lens of science but proven to be inaccurate in the microscopic sense—nonetheless, they are all correct though their conclusions misguided, ie physical sciences vs. quantum physics. Thus, having seemingly opposing information doesn’t always mean only one of them is true. We are after all looking at truth with our limited spectral perception. I believe God did not include many things in the Bible not because they are evil but because we wouldn’t understand them. Things like all of humanity’s innate ability to perceive beyond the five senses probably also aren’t as important as what He really wants us to think about with our limited time.

Realizing that in and of itself, information is not evil however, it is my desire to have all and in particular Christians understand that Yoga is just another lens to look through the same world and the same universe. The philosophy of Yoga is information that may seem opposing to Christianity, but it is very much integrated. The barrier of language and culture have obscured this lens, making us think that this foreign concept is shaking our faith when both Yoga and their personal faiths are all standing on the same foundation.

Just like the sciences however, yoga, or any other faith or practice, our conclusions may also be misguided, judging the world to be flat rather than round or in the the center of the universe instead of in the wayside, all while having the same data. However, it never hurts to inquire about ourselves and the world around us. See for yourself and not look to what others are saying about a certain practice, belief, or way of living.

 

 

Games People Play: The Smart Card

December 23rd, 2013

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The Beginning of Knowledge

1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and instruction,
    to understand words of insight,
3 to receive instruction in wise dealing,
    in righteousness, justice, and equity;
4 to give prudence to the simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the youth—
5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
    and the one who understands obtain guidance,
6 to understand a proverb and a saying,
    the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and instruction.
- Proverbs 1:1-33

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I’ve had enough of people qualifying their intelligence by literally saying how smart they are. Throwing hissy fits with a fist up proclaiming, “I’m smart! I’m smart!” doesn’t win any arguments. It seems to me that these people are trying to convince not others but themselves of this.

These are the same people who will not apologize for things they’ve clearly done wrong and realize it to be wrong themselves. They often make excuses, say why they did what they did, or point to something else as to the cause of their actions—as if they were nothing but a victim, prey to the circumstance that befell them. It is never their fault. It is always yours.

I’ve had enough of people who assume that the person they’re talking to doesn’t know the meaning of the word or idea by defining it for them before they even have a chance to ask or say that they are more than familiar with it. I don’t even do this to a five year old. I wait for them to ask me what something means. You must always assume the best of others.

These are the same people who hold their heads up high at all times while they walk on their tiptoes, ignoring all others beneath them. They neglect to see others who are much taller but are humbly slouching away to hide their true genius.

I’ve had enough of people who will make themselves (or their significant others) feel better or look good by putting others down with their words. It does nothing but cause strife between the people being compared. To say that they (or someone they know is the smartest person) by saying everyone else including the person they’re talking to pales in comparison only proves that they’re cocky and very much ignorant. It seems to be the sinister goal of this type of person to create an unstable environment for others for their own pleasure.

Without kindness, there is a lack in intelligence. Intelligence, as we’ve come to understand is not just being able to solve difficult math problems, memorize hundreds of names, finish a novel in less than a week, and so on. An integral part of intelligence is understanding how their own words and actions affect others and if their effect on others is ideal. Some people are too ready to just pulverize the person they’re arguing with by using ad hominem, thinking that they’ve won the argument by doing so. No sir, you have just lost with that kind of move.

Saying someone is ignorant at something is not bad as saying someone is an idiot, a dummy, or stupid. Being ignorant simply means factually uneducated in the area of interest. Calling someone the latter names means you have thereby determined their identity and their fate. For someone to claim that they know this about someone unquestionably assumes the role of God and is also therefore ignorant and very much cocky themselves.

This post is for the silent waters. I admire your intelligence and most of all your humility. You tower over all others who use their mouths before their brains, if at all present. Instead, you observe and speak up when needed. You do so to gently correct the mistaken and to bring truth and wisdom into a conversation riddled with hungry minds. You need not be qualified by anything outside of you. The words “I’m smart” resonate from you for all others to see without your having to say them.

For the people who’ve been told or felt that they were less than intelligent because of how others have treated you, you are capable of wonderful things. Don’t let others stop you from your explosive potential. Ben Carson’s story is an excellent example of a world renowned, brilliant neurosurgeon who in his childhood was called a dummy.

To those people who play the “smart card,” please do us all a favor and shut up.

“There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first kind is excellent, the second good, and the third kind useless.”
- Niccolo Machiavelli

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Top: Vintage (Etsy) – Jeans: Angel Jeans – Necklace: Forever 21

I simply love this top, because it’s more Victorian than 80s. It’s puffy around the arms but tight around the wrists, buttons up high on the neck, buttons are like polished gems, and the fabric is like satin. I have it up on sale on Etsy, because I think I’m going to stay away from black tops for a while because I am keeping my hair color black longer than expected.

These jeans were sent to me by Angel Jeans, a very affordable but quality pair you can get from Amazon. It made sense to me to pair this Forever 21 necklace, because of the pretty embellishment on the jeans. They were a match made in heaven. The stones on the jeans are high quality as well. I’ve worn this pair a few times and have not lost one gem yet. My body type is mostly flattered by flare jeans, so this bootcut took a bit of getting used to. The acid wash did make my legs look more slender, so that is a plus.

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Thank you kindly to Christine Lingerie for this glamorous gown, first of all! Its’ fine silk makes me feel beautiful and graceful.

A few Christmases ago, a friend of mine gave me a pretty blue plaid dress glistening with metallic yarn. It had long sleeves, a high neck collar, and was right down the shin. I loved the pattern, the color, and the style. However, what I thought was a regular dress turned out to be lingerie! I gave her a funny look once she told me what it was, and she looked back at me and said, “what? it’s modest!”

Another girlfriend giddily handed me a throwback catalog for vintage clothing made for today and pointed to the lingerie section. She told me that this is where I could finally find modest underwear.

These two women were not mocking me at all! They are very dear to me, but they haven’t quite understood what modesty means to me. Some women are modest because they are naturally shy, pious due to religion, held back by cultural expectations, etc. Whatever the reason is, it is my belief that modesty should never, ever, ever exist in the bedroom.

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Why Modesty Does Not Belong in the Bedroom

 Why hold back from your man?
If you do, you’re just inviting more temptation than there already is for your spouse to look for pleasure elsewhere.
It’s an act of love and appreciation towards your spouse, because it takes effort at times to try to look good for someone you’re used to seeing all the time
Because you can’t generally (or want to) wear underwear in public, this is the perfect place to go wild ;-)
Your most beautiful self should be seen by and not hidden from the most important person in your life
 Your outer clothing is for everyone else, but you leave what’s special for the love of your life (or yourself)
Even if your significant other doesn’t appreciate you fully or make mistakes by looking at or thinking about other women, remember that they’re human. They may contribute to or take away your happiness, but they aren’t responsible for your joy.
Honesty not modesty in the bedroom. You two should be perfectly secure in each other’s physical flaws—not just know them but love them.
Wear the sexiest, nastiest, cutest, weirdest lingerie to boost your self confidence within closed doors—whatever floats your boat! Now, look at your self in the mirror. Smile. Wink. Laugh. Dance to your favorite tunes. Have fun while you burn some calories! You are beautiful no matter what others think of you! My husband wondered why I owned sexy undies before we got married, even if I didn’t sleep around. This is why! :)

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How much do you like fun or sexy underwear?

It’s not too late to enter the giveaway for free printed tights! Ends this FRIDAY (12/20)!

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Here’s a song by Grace Jones from 1980 called “Private Life.” Just pretend like she’s talking about your underwear!

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I was walking around a friend’s neighborhood in the suburbs of New York when these photos were taken. While I was walking around I thought about how old I was and how I should be ready to have a child by now. I’m twenty-six and working on my fifth year of marriage, yet my husband and I have been living like grown-up teenagers. I’ve just embarked on a new chapter in my life where I become a group fitness instructor in a matter of months. This weekend I passed my fitness audition with flying colors, yet I thought, “Should I be doing this much wear and tear to my body at this point in my life? Am I not planning to have a baby soon, but yet here I am with aspirations of teaching with my body, long term and rather frequently?”

Those worrisome thoughts flooded my head right after being on cloud nine when the news of my impending fitness career broke. I’ve never been this involved in athletics in my life, and it feels so strange but also invigorating. I dabbled in sports growing up but never excelled, so finding a new knack—nay, a talent—in teaching yoga and Pilates, just four years before I hit 30 is a huge transformation. This was never me.

A big part of this transformation I believe has a lot to do with the food I’ve chosen to eat in the past couple of years. After being sugar-free, gluten-free, organic, and low-toxin, my body has become incredibly agile and flexible as if I was a lot younger than when I was in high school. My body has started to look more womanly but at the same time athletic. That’s why eating the right food I truly believe is the best medicine for just about any anomaly of the body. If interested in learning about my diet, my husband and I are on a Bulletproof diet, and get our supplements on their website.

Another reason why the transformation came at this time is because I virtually had no freedom to do what I wanted before I got married. My past involved being around overly controlling people that held me back from pursuing anything, even friends. Married life has its own beautiful set of boundaries, but the restrictions are never as abnormal as the state I was in before.

Above all, every good thing comes from God. I may not deserve these changes in my life, but I am really happy and thankful for them. Remembering how I had barely any freedom to choose in the past reminds me of what wonderful opportunities I can take hold of now. That is a blessing.

Now that things have changed, I am now having to decide on things I never had the chance to decide on before, with the inclusion of family life as not just an option… but a goal.

ABOVE OUTFIT:

I have been looking for below-the-knee bodycon-type skirts for a good price and with good patterns for a while, and I stumbled upon this tribal skirt from a neat little corner on the web called Make Me Chic. The quality is amazing. It’s not cheap looking at all. The pattern has a dark hippie or bohemian feel to it. At the same time, it made me think of colorful stained glass.  I have another pencil skirt from Make Me Chic, which I can’t wait to show you in another “tennis” post around this same neighborhood!

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This right here is pretty much what I wear on a regular basis these days—capris, sneakers, t-shirt, and a vest. There’s really not much I personally do to accessorize when the heat is just that bad, because I don’t really wear much jewelry. A vest is a good layering piece to make an ordinary t-shirt look modest and not so boring.

These photos were taken with an iPhone last week in Norfolk while I was visiting family in Virginia Beach. I swear, sometimes my phone takes better photographs than my camera! It helps that I was surrounded by beautiful shrubbery right in front of a quaint green house.

While I was headed back home to Baltimore, Rob and I decided to stop a thrift store. He and I parted ways to scurry through treasures found in different parts of the store. I was later approached by a man maybe in his mid 40s while I was going through the female tops rack. The conversation went on a little something like this:

My Conversation with a Creepy Stranger

Man: Is this for women? *smiles, pointing to the clothes then pointing at me from top to bottom*
Me: Yes, these are for women. *goes back to what I was doing, sorting through the tops*
Man: These are nice. I’m buying for a friend.
Me: Oh, okay. You’ll find a lot of good things here. *smiles*
Man: So, what’s your name? *smiles*
Me: No, I’m not going to tell you my name. *I wouldn’t normally be this rude, but he was looking at me so intensely*
Man: Huh? What’s that?
Me: My name’s Rachel. *looks back at him*
Man: I’m ______. What do you do, for job?
Me: I have a store. *continues to sift through clothing as a hint to get lost but looking back at him when answering a question*
Man: Oh, so what do you sell? Art?
Me: Umm, a lot of things. Like, CDs.
Man: You’re very beautiful. What’s your background?
Me: Thanks. Hmm, how about you make a guess?
Man: You’re Filipina, no?
Me: Ha, you’re the first person in a long time to ever guess that right. Not even Filipinos think I’m Filipino.
Man:I know some Filipino! Magandang gabi. Kamusta. Uh, what else…
Me: It’s magandang hapon for the afternoon.
Man: Oh yeah yah, magandang hapon.*big smile* Where do you live?
Me: I’m not from around here.
Man: Oh, really? Me too. I’m from Washington.
Me: Oh, okay.
Man: Where are you from?
Me: Maryland.
Man: Oh, Maryland, huh? So what are you doing here?
Me:  I was visiting my parents.
Man: How long you staying?
Me: I’m leaving today. I’m going back home today. *that was really true*
Man: Aww. Can we exchange phone numbers?
Me: No, I’m married. *points to my ring finger*
Man: Oh okay. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. *smiling* *pause* You have kids?
Me: No. No kids.
Man: Ah, no kids. So are you visiting alone, or…?
Me: No, with my husband. He’s in this store somewhere right now.
Man: *looks around nervously* Ah, I see. Maybe if we exchange e-mail, it’s safe. Okay? Is that okay?
Me: No, I’m sorry.
Man: Okay, how about I give you my e-mail? You’ll have my e-mail.
Me: No… I’m sorry.

My Verdict

The man in this conversation wasn’t what I call harassing me. Maybe a bit persistent but not harassing. He was probably lonely and looking for some company, innocent or not. What I don’t like however is that he kept pushing me to exchange contact information after I said no and also tried to keep our communication “secret” from my husband by suggesting we do e-mail, because it’s “safe.” The nerve! A few people in the store saw the whole thing and a woman just shook her head and said “Oh gosh, some people!”

I’m not against guys walking up to girls and asking them for their numbers (or e-mail). I don’t think that’s creepy. Some girls, if they thought the stranger was cute would give him her number any day. To say someone is “creepy” just because you don’t like how he looks is two faced. The same idea goes for girls wearing revealing clothing to hopefully invite the cute guys and not the “creepy” guys who they just think is unattractive. That’s just mean and unfair to label someone a creep, when it’s biased and totally based on looks.

However, I do think someone is a creep for pursuing someone they know is married. That applies to women who know a man is married. Women can be creeps too (equal and opposite…genders). Men and women, look for the ring first before you start flirting with someone. If they hide their being married, that’s on them.

For your viewing pleasure and nostalgia, here’s TLC (hope you get the reference):

tlc

 

flapperempower copy In 1922, a magazine called Flapper published the “Flapper Dictionary” and included Cosmo Hamilton’s definition of a flapper as having “a jitney body and a limousine mind.” A jitney was a cheap five cent ride, and limousines, we all know what those represent! Flapper magazine would at least be the most outspoken supporter for the flapper lifestyle at the time, but even they were aware of the reality—that flappers sold their bodies. It could be argued that the ability to sell your own body is part of a woman’s power, but at the same time it cheapens sex and your body as something you can put a number on.

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Orphans of the Storm (1921)

I’ve heard the argument that killing oneself should be every individual’s right. It’s a statement I fall prey to during my darkest of days. It is true, albeit somewhat, that your body is in fact your own. It’s not so easy to defend that when you’re under a marital covenant like me, having taken an oath in front of witnesses, swearing that you are one with your spouse and that your body is not just your own. When you’re single however, most people believe that you can do whatever you want with your body in the name of liberty. The legal system, working together to protect your civil liberties, also prohibits you to enjoy certain freedoms if they have somehow proven that what you do is harmful to yourself and others. Examples of such are the usage of marijuana and steroids, drinking while driving, and prostitution.

How does selling your body for sex harm yourself and others? Unlike marijuana, prostitution is frowned upon by the majority of people, mostly because of its relation to slave trade and sex trafficking. A lot of feminists I know frown upon the act as well and for basically the same reasons why I don’t espouse to it—being harmful to your own body and demeaning to the worth of women. It is a mystery to me why it is legal to be a sex worker via pornography but not in the streets (another topic for another time). So, why did the flapper sell herself? Perhaps because it was frowned upon, and it was her goal to do what was unconventional. Mind you, not all of them involved themselves in this business, but it was the general idea that came with the culture. It could’ve been a stereotype, but all stereotypes are derived from having something happen enough.

Everything else about flapperdom it seems is a delight to feminists. It is ironic however that the corset (which I am much a fan of) was representation of structure and was abandoned by forward-thinking women including the flappers; but now, corsets are attributed to promiscuity. All I know is that it makes me feel better with my posture, my shape, and my back!

I put the below outfit together for my idealized modern day flapper, with the elements of gold, feathers, tiered skirts, layered necklaces, and a fascinator—all of which a flapper in the 1920s would’ve incorporated in her dressing. The difference with my ideal flapper is that this woman would have had a limousine body and a limousine mind. She would, as I do now, enjoy her voting rights and her position as a boss of a business, without having to resort to using her own body as sign of power.

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Bag: Minsstyle | Dress: Belonda | Locket/Pendant: Fashion Junkie 4 Life | Shoes: Pamplemousse Vintage | Fascinator: These Woods | Pearls: Chanel

Bag’s name is Coco by designer Lily Vasaelini and can be purchased through Minsstyle. I’m very much into black and white contrasts, striped or not, and this purse looks very pleasing. It’s also a good size and made from quality Italian leather. The dress is from Belonda who makes silk printed dresses, and this somehow made me a think of a tamer flapper Bjork with its resemblance to a dress I’ve seen her wear!

The heart locket you see up there is actually a replica of a rare Victorian vinaigrette necklace. Back in the Victorian time, women didn’t have the luxury of bathing daily, so to cover up the evidence of that fact, they would dip the pad that you see up there in scented oil and place it in the locket. They’d wear it around their necks and replace the pad as needed!

 What do you like or dislike about the flapper culture?

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Great Gatsby (2013)

 

Eye Spy Spy Clothing!

June 18th, 2013

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What better femme fatale to feature for spy clothing than Emma Peel from the 1960s TV show The Avengers! Contrary to what most people think about the good ole’ days though, there were a lot of risque and scandalous clothing before now. The Avengers was not at all what you’d call sexploitation, but it was around the time when women unilaterally didn’t get all up and arms about women’s rights and equality. That was up until the women’s liberation movement of second wave feminism came along in the late 60s and early 70s. Before all that, men easily got away with using women’s bodies to sell movies and to make women believe that their powers reside in their sexuality. Women have brains as much as breasts, muscles as much as… men-struation? Yes, oh so sexy.

Setting aside geeky alliteration, here are some things I came across the web that deserve some attention, good or bad.  All these are great for a well-covered feminist spy who carries around gadgets instead of lingerie for a change to save the world. I am a lingerie addict, but I can’t pretend that it does any good outside the bedroom.

scottevest-trench-coat-spy En-trenched with this trench coat. I complain about how women’s clothes are lacking in pockets, but that’s what purses are for, right? Then again, it could just be a massive conspiracy where women’s clothing designers intentionally don’t add pockets so that they can sell more bags. Check out this trench coat by Scottevest. It has 18 pockets?! They have a whole line of TEC (technology-enabled clothing) that is perfect for a spy. Oh, and I spy Amy Tan sporting the coat on their website!

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A Purse and a Boot, to Boot! Elizabeth Anne’s The European boot looks like an ordinary boot from the outside, but take a close look at the interior. This Canadian designer made the “The World’s First Purse For Your Feet.” I could see an Emma Peel in this decade wearing these as she whips out a credit card to pay for her purchases and picks up her cellphone to make a call. I’ve seen a lot of crazy fashion ideas out there, but this one seems not too far fetched from sanity. Femme fatales have been hiding knives and guns in their shoe and garter belts, pretending like they’ve obviously got nothing to hide in their skintight clothing. Oh, looks can be deceiving.

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Zoom-ba! I recently saw a commercial for Zoomies on TV, and I immediately gave it the same creepiness factor as the Snuggies commercial. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my Snuggie. It’s an odd-looking thing, but its use is so practical. Zoomies may be very useful, but they do open up a can of worms for predators. Snuggies however do not, but perhaps another person can argue otherwise.

When it comes to decisions on clothing and accessories though, I  do succumb to aesthetics over practicality almost every time. I know some people may frown upon that, but dressing up can be and is an art form for some of us. If we were to supposed to wear the most practical pants, then we’d be all wearing cargo pants. I wore cargos in the 90s, and although I really liked them at the time, I may not ever go back.

My point in this post is this— there’s nothing wrong with “impractical” clothing if you see it as beautiful. However, if you’re going to try to kick butt, make sure you do so through “practical” skills and not your body.

P.S. Thank you for choosing me as one of your top 25 political and feminist blogs in June 2013! I’m not going to take this TOO seriously for two reasons. One, I haven’t written anything on point in a while. Two, I was ahead of Michelle Malkin by two points.

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