I share these photos because the changes in my body can be seen. The changes in my mind and heart are a little more difficult to capture. All that being said, I was suicidal and committed when I was teaching 20 aerobics classes a week, racing bikes, and doing a very regular Bikram yoga practice. So the body is NOT always a reflection of the mind and heart, nor is it a guarantor of JOY. But photos are what I’ve got. Longest caption ever.


In a former life, I was Mormon. Then, I decided that God had given me a brain.  A really big, juicy, amazing brain.  And I was tired of being trumped in all things simply because I was a woman.  And say what you will, men have dominion over women within the LDS church.  Some, like my father, my ex-husband, my brother, and my son, would never dream of abusing this dominion.  They are rock stars.  BUT.  I. MAINTAIN.  Any organization that sets one gender, race, creed, nationality, or other identifying factor in dominion over another is a breeding ground for abuse.  This is my belief, and I own it.  You are fully allowed to believe differently.


So when, shortly after I parted ways with the Mormons, they came out with the edict that there should be no piercings or tattoos, I knew I had to have one.

  • Note 1.  One should never do anything just because someone else demands or forbids it.  Actions should be taken because they bring joy.  Nuf said.
  • Note 2.  One should never make permanent body/life decisions when going through a crisis or divorce.
  • Note 3.  Yup, I got three, small tattoos, ONE on my belly button.  That tattoo said, “SHINE, and had three stars around it”
  • Note 4.  This tattoo was totally fucked up (sorry, no better word for it) during not one, but two lap band surgeries.  (they go in through the belly button)  ONE surgery to revise the band after I over ate repeatedly, and it “slipped” and one from a band removal surgery, when I overate, and it slipped AGAIN,.  I went to MEXICO, alone, to have the band removed, which is a GREAT story of courage and stupidity. (not necessarily in that order). I am now band free.  But do have a belly full of scars as a reminder.
  • Note 5.  I may or may not have issues.  Bwahhaaahaa.
  • Note 6.  I have spent the past 2 years, lots of money, and a WHOLE lotta pain getting the three tattoos removed.  I have no issue with tats or those who have them, I just wanted my skin to be MINE.

I share all of this because the word SHINE has some very interesting memories, meanings, and attachments for me.  In a VERY physical and literal sense.


Many many moons ago, my dear friend gave me this:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson

I printed it, read it, put it on more than one bulletin board, lather, rinse, repeat.

In a previous life, I had a tendency to live small.  Hide my sparkle.  Dim my light.  It made those around me comfortable, and felt very safe.  It also made me miserable.  This blog and other life changes are my attempt to shine.  To sparkle.  To bring JOY.  And to help others do the same.

Light and Love,

Big Laura

via Daily Prompt: Shine

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2 thoughts on “SHINE

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