Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Most Beautiful Sound I ever Heard. Maria.

I previously mentioned that you may be seeing some different faces around here. I know some incredible women...well, every woman I know is incredible, and I want to introduce you to some of them. In a world where we tend to focus on celebrity and fortune, I really want to see women who can be role models for my two girls (and me). So, let me introduce you to Maria.

Maria shielded from scorching TX sun. Dorman Pacific Co. hat from TJ Maxx.

For Cheryl
First off, I want to thank Cheryl for inviting me as a guest on her Just Fab
fashion blog. I see by her entries that this site is not only about looking
fabulous, but feeling fabulous too, sometimes despite feelings of inadequacy or

I was asked to tell about who I am and what I believe. Wow! I had no idea how
difficult those questions would be to answer. What happened to easy questions
like, "What's your favorite color?" "Indigo, like the midnight sky, or  green,
like the canopy of a tropical forest," I would have answered.

As you may have guessed from my would-be response, I love nature and am, in
fact, often wrapped in it's arms as I go about an active contemplative lifestyle
in response to local and personal needs. Now, on to Cheryl's questions.
Ring a little girl gave me off her birthday cake at a garden birthday party

Who am I?

Life is a journey in identifying who we are. Even at my age, I still often
struggle with the question of who I am. My mind too easily answers with recorded
responses originated by other people, which are no good because only we can ever
truly know ourselves, or worse yet, it sometimes auto-generates putdowns. The
question of who I am can be answered adequately only by first tapping my roots.

I was brought up by two women with a strong work ethic and an unwavering faith
in a higher power - both knew poverty, hope, hard labor, and ingenuity. With
their resources, those two women practiced charity and neighborliness, and thus
made very good role models.

My second set of role models were the Jesuits, the Sisters of Charity, the
Marianists, and the School Sisters of Notre Dame. These, along with a small
group of dedicated laity, were the parents that formally educated me and laid
the foundation for my global outlook.

In youth, my imagination was taken by nature and adventure. I fancied being like
St. Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Indiana Jones, and McGyver,
but the first two were too saintly and fatalistic (what will be will be), and
the other two were too aggressive and ambitious. Instead, I chose the middle
road and dreamed about becoming a Peace Corps volunteer, which I did after my
first college degree.

In my life, I have been an aide and activist for different social causes, a
community educator, and a global advocate for the environment and the poor. Some
have described me as a Peace Worker - a title I believe accurately describes me,
no matter what my job title might be.

Maria @ Time Dollar Garden. Merona dress from Goodwill.Tiger's-Eye stone earrings & necklace from Avon.
Hello Kitty ring from HER birthday cake. Rafters sandals from Nordstrom Rack.
Artisan Women's Group recycled silk purse from Africa.
Foster Grant sunglasses from Walgreens.
What do I believe?

Life is also a journey in discovering what we stand for. Along with the question
of who I am, I have also struggled with the question of what I believe. The
world is filled both with marketers that vie for fertile mental ground to seed
for self-serving purposes, and false prophets that pave the road to catastrophe
through good intentions.

The journey in identifying my beliefs has  recently led me to understand myself
as a mission oriented naturalist (or pantheist). This means that nothing in life
makes me happier than knowing my efforts and resources are benefitting not only
humanity, but the entire global system. I analyze my daily decisions to
determine global impact, and when I take on a job, I take it for it's ethical
uprightness, not for the money.

As you may have guessed by now, the majority of my life is spent living in
voluntary poverty because to live otherwise, in my opinion, would be unethical -
personal and social greed, in my experience, has a way of throwing the world off
balance. Experience has also taught me that interdependent (symbiotic)
relationships - in humanity, in nature, and across both - are the way to
restoring balance. Both people and nature (biotic or not) deserve respect
because we share kinship as global citizens.

I realize I may sound a little strange to most folks out there, but if you dig
my counter-cultural lifestyle and think it worthy of respect (or maybe even of
following), let me add this:
The road to self determining an identity can be laborious because one has to
sift through input and different schools of thought from multiple sources, and
lonesome because one defies going along with crowd mentality, which can leave
one feeling at the edge. This road less taken takes courage to follow, but it
builds strength of character, which is necessary to make a real difference in
the world. With that stated, I will conclude by saying this: Life just isn't
worth living unless your living on the edge. Discover who you are, discover what
you stand for ... and then go out and make a fabulous difference, whether in the
world at large, or in the life of an individual that really needs you.

Thanks for hosting me, Cheryl!

I mean wow...amazing woman right? I think she may be channeling one of her idols, Indiana Jones with her hat!
Look around you, you may be really inspired by the women you know.