On the day you were born, a specific plan was laid out for your life. This path is based on the Japanese system of observing nine particular stars, called the Nine Star Ki (“key”). Nine Star Ki is the study of how the patterns of energy move harmoniously through time, and it incorporates the Chinese yin and yang modality. It has nothing to do with astrology or planets; it’s based on the cycles of the seasons, years, times of day, and the lives of animals, plants, and people—everything that lives on Earth. These energy patterns are validated through thousands of years of study. They are a reliable source of information, even for the skeptic.
Jean Haner helps you find the three main numbers that correlate to your birth date and then shows you incredibly surprising, yet also familiar, facets of your being and spirit. She discusses your main personality, your emotional self, and your life challenge and true calling. She then delves into the patterns of time and lays out what you can expect to go through based on what year you are in. It’s also important to look back on your life and learn more about yourself through what has already happened.
Personally, I vacillate between skepticism and gullibility. I try to always be open-hearted and want to be surprised or convinced when being exposed to new information. There is always something to be learned. So when I opened up this book and read that I can sometimes be easily influenced by others and then overthink things, it was like the author knew me personally. She also speaks about mandalas and trees, two things which I have developed a great love and interest in over the last several years. I also appreciate being able to use this book as a tool to understand how to interact with others in my life based on when they were born.
Haner closes the book by referencing wuwei (“woo way”), the Chinese word for the concept of action without effort. Essentially, wuwei is like being a tree; a tree doesn’t think about growing. It just grows. So, too, must we learn to align with our true nature. Once we do that, we don’t have to reach some goal. Instead, we can just be in the flow of our hidden symmetry and move with ease through the patterns of our life. In Your Hidden Symmetry, you will learn to lean in to the true nature of who you are. And who you are is enough.
Note: I was not financially compensated for this review. I received the product at no charge from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.
Less than 48 hours ago, I lost a very dear friend and surrogate mother. She passed away after a long battle with lung problems. She was only 65. So when nothing makes sense and I don’t know what to do, I write. Sometimes it is only then that I know what I needed to say.
I met Sandy when my family lived 2 doors down from her. She was pregnant with her son, Danny, when my mom was pregnant with my sister, C.J. She had 2 dogs, Mocha and Katie, whom I adored. I would even walk around the green belt with her as she picked up dog poop because I found every chance I had to be with her to be enjoyable. I babysat Danny and watched him grow up. He might as well be my brother for how much I love him like one.
Sandy and I were very close. In fact, she was the one I traveled with to Ithaca, NY last year for her son’s graduation. Our first and only trip together. Those memories I will hold close to my heart. I even journaled about everything that happened on that trip while we were there. I chronicled even the piddly little details of the journey, thinking Why I am writing all of these stupid things down? No one cares. How wrong I was! I was able to break out my journal over the last several weeks and re-live those memories with Sandy all over again.
I spent some decent chunks of time with Sandy over the last 3 weeks or so. I brought her food and lattes, sat with her and filled her in on the details of my life at the moment, and read to her from my journal all of the things that I needed to say again. It brought such joy to me, and to her, to re-read all of the things we did and the places we went when we were in Ithaca. We had philosophical conversations at a place called the Boat Yard about life, having kids, and the importance of weeding one’s garden of life to make room for new growth. We laughed and cried as I read to her, and I shared some new writing that I’ve been doing as part of the exercises from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I was able to pour my heart and soul out to her these last few weeks with my writing, and I’ve sent her numerous cards and letters over the years expressing my love for her. It is because of her that I will pursue becoming a bestselling author with even more invigoration, as it will be a way to honor her.
If you have things you need to say to people, forgiveness you need to make happen, apologies you need to give, please do it. There is no better place to do so than in the present moment. Life is too short. If I learned one thing from Sandy, it would be this:
Fling open wide the gates of your heart. If you are struggling with something in your life (like hyperhidrosis, for example), I implore you to be vulnerable and ask for help. For it is only there where true connection can happen. Look around you for the “helpers” in your life. They are there, waiting to be of service to you. It’s okay to not always have everything together. That’s what friends and family do. Help hold you up when you can’t do it yourself. Allow yourself to love and to be loved. That is what life is all about.
Yesterday I came home early from work. I grabbed my two journals and a couple of InkJoy 700 RT pens (they are the best I’ve found for my slanted, furiously fast journal writing) and found a park with a nice tree to write and cry under. While I was sitting in the dirt connecting to my roots, a breeze suddenly blew over me. It had a sound, a Shhhh sound, like Sandy was speaking through the wind and letting me know it was okay now. I also saw a robin on 3 separate occasions that afternoon. I’m not sure if Sandy had an affinity for robins in particular, but I know she likes birds like I do, so I think that was her, too.
When I got home from journaling, it started raining. I sat on the (finally) green grass in my backyard and turned my face up toward the drops, letting them mix with my tears into the larger universe. As I closed my eyes, they were flooded with bright red light—Sandy’s love. When the rain stopped, I noticed my tears had, too.
Later that night, I went through the drive thru at McDonald’s in an attempt to comfort myself. I’ve had many happy memories over Happy Meals, so I figured it might help. My total was $7.12, which is Danny’s birthday. Here’s the song that was playing on the radio at that time:
So today I am sitting at home in my dorky sweatpants with the moose on them that I bought with her during a trip to Estes Park, staring at the tree pictures she bought for me at the Arts Picnic, and weeping over her departure. Sandy’s roots have been upturned and replanted in Heaven; I have my own personal angel in the sky now, whose roots are being pumped full of the cleanest, purest air. She can breathe without fear now. And for that, I am grateful.
(If you or someone you love is a smoker, there is help for quitting. National Jewish Health, the number one respiratory hospital in the nation for 15 consecutive years, operates QuitLines in 12 different states. They offer FREE support to help you quit tobacco, including free nicotine patches and counseling. Please call them at 1.800.QUIT NOW)
I hate public speaking. It makes me sweat. So what did I decide to do? Stand up in front of, oh, 500 people and share a poem I had just written 20 minutes before.
It’s hard to explain how this happened. It was rather surreal, but I’ll do my best. Toward the end of day 2 of the Writing From Your Soul workshop (you can read about Day 1 of the workshop), Nancy Levin, brilliant poet and event director of Hay House Publishing, led a series of writing exercises. The first was called I Remember. That was the starting point for each line of whatever it was that we were each writing. This was followed by Most Memorable Kiss, Fire or Water, and What I Absolutely Can’t Write About. Besides the second exercise, all of these I ended up relating back to my hyperhidrosis. I was astounded that all of these exercises were coming full circle to exactly what it is that I have been writing about publicly for nearly 2 years on this blog. This is not coincidence. This is synchronicity. Synchronicity is alignment with Source.
So there I am, fleshing out these writing exercises and pulling my shirt sleeve down over the side of my palm to keep my notebook dry. The words are flowing, and each time Nancy says the 5 minutes are up, it seems like I’ve just started to write things down. We complete the exercises and then there is time for 3 people to share what they’ve written. The first 3 to make it to the microphone are the ones who get to be heard. I feel myself jump out of my seat and make a mad dash for the mike stand. Alas, I am not fast enough amidst the skinny aisle, ballroom chairs, and bodies crammed into the small space. I walk back to my seat, dejected and wondering what in the heck I was thinking anyway.
But then, they decide they have time for more people to get up and share. I get right back up and literally run toward the microphone. This time, there are about 8 people in front of me. I am the last one standing in line. I decide to stay there and see what happens. So I assume my “absorbing sweat” pose: arms crossed over my notebook, palms grasping my sleeves. Then begins the uncomfortable inner monologue: Oh, sweet Lord. I am standing up in front of all these people. Like, 500 of them plus 3 big video cameras and God knows how many people who are streaming this webcast and watching me in their pajamas. What am I doing?!
I can feel my heart thumping out of my chest. I wonder how high my blood pressure is because I can feel my pulse in every ounce of my being. I am fully in fight or flight mode. Slowly, slowly, the line gets smaller. There is a brief set of words spoken followed by applause, and I hear everyone share his or her piece willingly. Thump, thump, drip, drip. It’s a good thing I covered my notebook in clear Contact paper a few weeks ago, otherwise the front and back cover would be shredded by now. My hands are sopping wet, and so are my feet. Breathe in, breathe out. You are well, I tell myself. You are okay in this moment.
Suddenly, I am front and center at the microphone. A lovely gentleman on staff at Hay House comes and adjusts the height of the microphone for me. I look on stage and up into the warm and pretty face of Nancy Levin. She is wearing a sleeveless black dress and some killer black heels that she totally rocks. I take a deep breath and say my name. I can hear my voice reverberating back at me in the microphone. I’m really doing it. I am speaking what needs to be spoken. I am standing on the shoulders of the writers whom have come before me from all centuries of this life, whose work I look up to and from which I gain strength. I take another deep breath and read my poem loud and clear. I speak with truth, with light, without apologies.
Here is the poem I shared with the world only 20 short minutes after I wrote it, having no idea I’d be doing so.
I remember once having dry hands
I remember them getting wet
I remember my condition used to not have a name
I remember when I found its name
Excessive sweating. Hyperhidrosis.
I remember being seen
I remember being validated
I remember being loosed from my shame
I remember being touched for the first time with understanding
I remember reaching out to others so they are not alone
I remember saying I AM.
I remember launching my blog, My Life as a Puddle
I remember creating hope and awareness one drop at a time
I remember being changed by my circumstances,
but certainly not reduced my them*
I remember that water is the Source of all life
I remember that I am enough exactly as I AM
I remember to love myself through it.
I remember hearing the audience chuckle when I got to the line where I said my blog name. After all, it is kind of catchy, isn’t it? After I read the last line, I looked up at Nancy, and she had her hands over her heart when she thanked me for reading. I walked back to my seat amidst the applause of 500 people. I felt like I was on top of the world. I was also shaking like a leaf. A LEAF, people. As I sat down, the woman sitting next to me reached into her bag and pulled something out and handed it to me. It was a piece of matted artwork. She said she felt led to gift this to me after hearing my poem. I took it from her in awe, my hands now dry as a bone as I held it up to look at it. That’s when I almost lost it. My eyes teared up and almost spilled over in gratitude. Gratitude for her artwork and what it said, gratitude for this once-in-a-lifetime event, gratitude for having the courage to get up and speak my truth.
Here is my new piece of art by MaryLou Falstreau. I also met her husband Alan Falstreau, who co-creates with her. Thank you MaryLou. I will forever treasure your work and the memory now associated with it.
Since I’m feeling especially daring today, I stopped to visit one of my tree pals on the way home from the workshop to record my very first blog video. So, here’s a spoken version of my I Remember poem. You can’t see my eyes in this one; my future’s so bright, I need shades!
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
*This line is adapted by a quote by my favorite poet, Dr. Maya Angelou.
Today was day 1 of 2 of the Writing From Your Soul workshop I’m attending. Dr. Wayne Dyer is the keynote speaker, accompanied by Reid Tracy, CEO and Nancy Levin, Event Director, of Hay House Publishing. A few nuggets of wisdom I picked up today:
If you change your thoughts, you can heal your life.
What are the words you are speaking over yourself and embedding in your subconscious mind? Are you telling yourself negative or positive thoughts? The words “I Am” are powerful, and so is what follows them. Are you speaking “I am unworthy because I have hyperhidrosis”? or maybe you’re saying “There’s something wrong with me. I’m suffering and my life sucks.” But what if the very thing that’s “wrong” with you is exactly what’s right with you?
I’m not saying that we should always be happy about our excessive sweating. Let’s be realistic. But you can choose how you react to your condition. I no longer say, Hi, I’m Maria. I suffer from hyperhidrosis. I can now say Hi, I’m Maria. I have hyperhidrosis, and I’m creating hope and awareness one drop at a time. I believe that God gave me hyperhidrosis for a reason. I want to make my sweaty mess my message.
Everything in life is here to teach you a lesson. It’s up to you whether you get the lesson. Awaken to your life and live consciously so that nothing in your life is a mistake.
Always be a seeker.
Declare yourself an expert on your hyperhidrosis. You are your own best health advocate. Always seek treatment options and therapies that can improve your quality of life. Never give up hope that one day there will be a cure for hyperhidrosis (note: I do not believe ETS surgery is a cure) and that we can enter a dry world like everyone else.
If you’ve tried nearly every type of treatment to stop your excessive sweating like I have with no success, perhaps the best treatment is the extreme self care you give your mind and your heart. Re-frame your hyperhidrosis in a different light. If you’re still in the darkness, tell your story and open wide those curtains you’ve been hiding behind so the spotlight can highlight your extra shimmer. Leonard Cohen said, “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
Detach yourself from outcomes.
Life is cracked. Life is crooked. So is hyperhidrosis. It makes us vulnerable. It makes us scared to talk about our condition. But you can choose to come out into the world and show everyone exactly who you are. And who you are is enough. Plain and simple. You are perfectly and wonderfully made. We are all unique expressions of the source that created us. Let your true self shine. Literally. It is our superpower!
Detach yourself from the expectations that a treatment might work. If something does work for you, that’s fabulous. But if it doesn’t, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and further feelings that you are inferior and your body is against you. By releasing expectations of a certain outcome, you can be pleasantly surprised if a treatment works. But either way, you can rest in the knowledge that you are pursuing everything you can to live a better life. It’s all in how you see yourself and your hyperhidrosis.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
Have you heard of the fabulous product called the Thompson Tee? If not, I encourage you to do some research, or better yet, order a few. I tested out the men’s version of the Thompson Tee last year. You can read about that in my post The Thompson Tee for Excessive Underarm Sweating.
After I tried the men’s version of the tee, I asked president Billy Thompson to make a women’s line. I love it when people do what I tell them. Ladies, fear not. There is now a shirt designed specifically for your own axillary hyperhidrosis called the Women’s Hydro-Shield Scoop Neck.
I tested this product while at work. Unbeknownst to me, I picked an excellent day for this test run as I ended up having an extremely sweaty day, but in a good way. I’ll tell you more about that in a minute. I wore the Thompson Tee under a long-sleeved shirt. Initially when I put it on, it felt a bit strange because the fabric and stitching is a bit thicker than a normal shirt. Do not let this deter you from wearing one, as you get used to it pretty quickly.
Here is what I told Billy about the product.
Overall I really liked it and felt confident despite my underarm sweat. A few comments, though:
The sizing seemed rather small. I ordered a large and felt like it fit too tightly. I know the underarms should be snug against me (although I think the arm openings could be a bit wider), and I felt like I had to pull on the shirt to stretch it out everywhere else. I’m not a huge person, but I certainly don’t look like your model with the flat stomach. I felt a tad self-conscious in the stomach area, so I wore a long-sleeved shirt over it that concealed this area more.
I like the softness of the fabric and the feel against my skin. I wore a white bra underneath, and you could completely see the outline of the bra. I would suggest making the fabric more opaque and/or more thickly woven and less see-through.
I like the cut of the shirt, and the neckline was really nice. It didn’t look like a cheap undershirt but one that I could wear underneath a blazer and still feel professional at the office.
4. Future Products
I’d love to see this shirt in additional colors like black, grey, and navy. Long-sleeved options would be great for colder weather, too.
I think I mentioned this before, but I’d like to see underwear, too. There are so many people with groin sweating who could benefit from this. Ideally, the design I’d like to see would be more than a women’s brief, like a midway point between men’s boxer briefs and women’s boyfriend briefs. Longer than a women’s boyfriend brief, but shorter than a full-on men’s boxer brief, yet also long enough that they wouldn’t roll up and need to be pulled down and away from the groin area.
I believe in the Thompson Tee 100%. If you are a larger woman with a rounder mid-section, for the time being I would suggest you order from the men’s line. The women’s line runs small, so order the next size up if you go with the women’s version. I fully anticipate the next round of the women’s line to address some of my concerns, as Billy Thompson is always innovating his products.
As far as my picking an extremely sweaty day to test out the women’s Thompson Tee? It was my one-year anniversary at my new job the day I wore the shirt. (You can read about how I struggled with my hyperhidrosis at the office in my post Hyperhidrosis at Work.) That day, I was running newsletter metrics for the monthly newsletter I write. Upon running the report, I thought I was going mad. I don’t do numbers. In fact, I hate them. Ask me about writing and grammar instead if you ever meet me, okay?
Well, the numbers in my report showed record-breaking click-throughs for the infographic that was in the previous month’s newsletter. I had to have someone else rerun the report just to make sure that the reason I was sweating all of sudden was due to a legitimate result. Well, it was. There it was, plain as day, that what I and my graphic design team are doing is making a difference. So, I got to run into my boss’ office and do a little happy dance and explain these exciting numbers. And that’s probably the only time you’ll hear me say “exciting” and “numbers” in the same sentence ever again. It was a great anniversary present for me, and because I was nervous about running the report and having to speak to the metrics for the first time I was already sweaty. Combine that with the excitement over such good results and it was a sweaty day indeed. I’ll take that kind of sweat over the standard sweaty day any time!
Copyright 2013 My Life as a Puddle
I took a trip to Oregon for Thanksgiving. (Yeah, I know I’m a tad behind on blogging about this.) My mother-in-law and her boyfriend recently moved there, and this was our first visit. We flew into Portland and then drove a few hours to her new place. I was able to cross off one thing on my bucket list: Powell’s Bookstore. It’s an entire square block of awesome. I was soooooo excited to go there, so I mandated that it would be our first stop after landing at PDX.
It was raining when we got to Portland. Shocking, I know. It was humid, but I didn’t notice it too much initially. I was more concerned with navigating ourselves to the books. We parked in downtown Portland and hoofed it over to the bookstore by way of Whole Foods. That’s another store in which I could spend hours looking around. When I opened the front doors to Powell’s, the angels started singing and white light surrounded me. Then, as a Highly Sensitive Person who also has hyperhidrosis, my hands started to sweat from the excitement of my surroundings, which I feel on a deeper level than most people since my nervous system is so finely tuned.
I spent a good hour or so looking at everything Powell’s had to offer. I planned to spend some money there that day, so as my pile of purchases began to accumulate in my arms, I had to do the strategic holding and placement of my hands I’ve talked about before so as not get everything all sweaty. Once I was ready to pay for everything, I worked my way over to the registers. I watched the line very carefully and waited until there was only one person in front of me before I got in line. I hate standing in lines! My sweat factor increases in lines.
After Powell’s we grabbed some breakfast and began the drive to the Oregon coast. My mother-in-law lives just a few minutes from the beach, so we went there first to watch the sunset. It was so pretty! Oregon air, especially on the coast, is so different in November. It was a bone chilling cold, and I could not get warm for the first couple of days we were there, which was weird but also entirely fabulous because I was not sweating. Yay! I was so cold that I had on a long-sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt, and a scarf during our Thanksgiving dinner. Absolutely unheard of for me, especially at the dinner table since I tend to sweat more around other people when we have to pass plates of food around and deal with silverware and cutting meat, etc.
Here are some photos from my trip. The beach shots are from the camera on my iPhone. I am so impressed with those shots!
Before we left Portland, we stopped at a local brewery for some dinner. Upon arriving at the airport and dropping off the rental car, I began worrying about going through the security checkpoint. I hate traveling with hyperhidrosis. Surprisingly, though, I did not sweat through security on our way home. Perhaps that had something to do with the two beers I had at dinner. Who knows. But it was blissful, I can tell you that. I had such a good time exploring the airport before our flight left. They have a Powell’s Bookstore at the PDX airport, too!
Copyright © 2013 My Life as a Puddle
You might be getting old if the idea of purchasing a new vacuum excites you. You might have hyperhidrosis if a new vacuum excites you because it improves your quality of life. Sweaty friends, meet my new vacuum.
I like this vacuum for a variety of reasons, but the one that stands out for me as someone who has sweaty hands is the handle. See that fabulous loop design that’s not just a solid piece that you have to wrap your hand around? This section of the vacuum is brilliant! I’ve had to wrap washcloths around my vacuum handle before and secure them with rubber bands. This doesn’t always work because the washcloth still ends up sliding right off.
I’ve also cut my hands before trying to remove the hose to use with the tools for the stairs. My hands slipped off the hose, and it took a couple weeks for the scraped-off skin on my fingers to heal. Which, of course, also stung when they healed since the salt in my sweat irritated the wounds.
This vacuum is sweat friendly because:
- the handle, the handle, the handle!
- it’s lightweight and easy to push and pull
- less effort is expended to move the vacuum, resulting in less hand and overall sweating
- the canister empties from the bottom, resulting in less dirt sticking to your hands since you barely have to touch the canister to open it
- you can shift the force of the air to “tools only”, which makes vacuuming the stairs with the hose faster so your hands are on the hose a shorter amount of time
Plus, it’s a sporty yellow, since vacuuming with hyperhidrosis is a sport in and of itself.
The Eureka AirSpeed Gold AS1001A – hyperhidrosis tested, My Life as a Puddle approved. This vacuum really sucks.
Copyright 2013 My Life as a Puddle
Remember when I got an iPhone for Valentine’s Day and was totally freaked out that it wouldn’t work with my sweaty hands? Well, it works pretty well for me, and I am used to it now. But the other day one of my friends pulled out a stylus for her iPhone. I had no idea they made these for smart phones. I’ve seen a palm pilot with one before but never realized they had transitioned over to smart phones, too.
I decided that I must have one, but wasn’t quite sure where to look. I was in Francesca’s Collections doing some Christmas shopping and found this iKey Stylus for $8.00. Of course I bought it! As well as a few other items for myself without getting any Christmas shopping done whatsoever.
This nifty little gadget plugs into the audio jack of your phone for safe and convenient keeping. Just pull it out to use it. I find it works great when I’m outside with gloves on (which, incidently, is another issue in and of itself) or when my hands are too sweaty and the screen starts selecting letters one or two letters away from the letter I want to type. This stylus prevents me from leaving sweat droplets on my screen that then dry and make the screen less smooth and more textured.
So, if you haven’t yet committed to enjoying the technology of a touch-screen phone, here’s one more tool you can add to your arsenal to make it easier. Just because your hands sweat doesn’t mean you can’t use things that dry people use.
I can’t sleep. I’m too worked up and am still trying to get my hyperhidrosis under control. In fact, hold on, please. I need to get up and grab a dish towel to dry off my keyboard. There we go.
Why am I worked up? Do you have certain things in life that really make you come alive? Things that make your heart beat faster, things that make you think, This is what I am alive for? Well, I do. Besides being in nature hugging trees and hand writing letters, I feel closest to God when I attend author signings. If you don’t know what an author signing is, let me enlighten you.
When an author publishes a book, he or she may go on a speaking tour to promote the book, thereby generating word of mouth to get people excited and aware of the beautiful gift that’s wrapped up inside. A book is a present you can open again and again. If you’re really lucky, sometimes an author will put on paper exactly what it is that you’ve been ruminating about. In those instances, the soul can bloom over such a connection.
Timing in life is everything. I received a galley of Eight Girls Taking Pictures by Whitney Otto about a month ago. A galley is a paperback version of a book that is soon-to-be-published. It is nearly the final version, but may contain typographical and grammatical errors. The idea is to bind the book quickly and get it out to booksellers, book buyers, and book reviewers so they can read it and move forward with purchasing it and generating word of mouth.
I wrote a book review of Eight Girls Taking Pictures and discovered the author and her editor, Whitney Frick, would be at my local independent bookstore to discuss the publication process and to read from the book. I attended the author signing tonight, and that’s why I’m so worked up and sweaty. My hands always sweat more when I’m excited. Put me in my favorite bookstore, especially when an author is there whose work I’ve read, and it’s twice as bad. So, I sat down and pulled out my galley copy and notebook to take notes. You never know when someone will make an utterance that simply must be written down. I am a copious note taker for this very reason.
I am a voracious reader. As Gustave Flaubert said, “Read in order to live.” I take that advice seriously. I would die without books. As I gingerly placed my Post-It flagged galley on my lap, it attracted some attention. Whitney the editor came over and said hello and asked where I got the galley. I explained I wrote book reviews and am a total book nerd. I even patted my book. Yep, book nerd.
I’m an introvert by nature, but when I am aligned with my passion all that shyness crap goes out the window. I totally used this as a networking opportunity and even gave her my freelance and blog business cards. She asked me what I like to read and I gave her several examples, including my purchase from this evening called The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. It’s highly recommended by Oprah, and I love me some Oprah.
The evening progressed into the author discussion and reading, and then a panel discussion followed about the publication of the book. Whitney the editor proceeded to tell the audience a little bit more about her job as an editor, and said so many things that rang true to me I had a hard time not gaping at her in astonishment.
I even spoke up when it was time for the Q & A session and mentioned the importance of enabling public comments on the author’s Facebook page. Once the Q & A was over, we all got in line to have our books signed. I scored a used copy of How to Make an American Quilt for 3 bucks that night, too, so I got both of them signed by Whitney Otto.
We all know how annoying it is to stand in line when you have hyperhidrosis. I had to wait about 5 minutes or so, and my hands would not stop sweating! I did my strategic arm fold and let my sweat soak into my long sleeves. I had already removed my scarf and shoved it in my purse so my neck could breathe. I was also holding a book bag with my new books in it. It was made of paper and had wooden handles which I turned a lovely shade of dark brown as I gripped them in anticipation of being up close and personal with an author.
It’s times like these where I will sweat and not care. I refuse to avoid encounters like this just because I have hyperhidrosis. I, too, deserve to live my life surrounded by the written word. To Whitney Otto and Whitney Frick, please ignore the part where I shook your hands and mine was wet. Totally can’t help it!
Long live REAL books. I adore hard copies.
Copyright 2012 My Life as a Puddle
The other night, I attended a dance performance called SKIN. Here’s the synopsis from the program:
SKIN examines touch and skin as a tactile organ. This evening’s performance examines the questions: Why do we touch? How do we use touch to communicate and what ARE we saying when we do? Why do we long for human contact? How can touch be so universal and, at the same time, so uniquely intimate? What happens to the human body at the moment of touch? Our skin is our largest organ and our means of contact to anything that is not part of us. What is your skin holding in?
Before the performance even began I was already into my inner monologue and applying all these questions to my hyperhidrosis. When the lights went down, I was ready to be moved and was hoping that I would be. For the first time in my life, I was brought to tears by dance. While watching these beautiful dancers move their bodies and touch each other in such intimate ways, I was thinking how lucky they are that they can dance barefoot across a stage and not have to worry about slipping and falling because their feet are puddles underneath them. I yearned to be able to do what they were doing in their bare feet and scantily clad bodies, whirling and twirling and holding each other’s hands.
I found myself drawn to each of the dancers for different reasons. They all had beautifully designed costumes, each one a bit different from the next. The costumes were sheer, sheer enough that you could see their breasts through them. How brave they were to bare it all for this performance. After all, it was about skin. I found myself drawn to a couple of the dancers who were a bit more curvy, just like me. While all of the dancers were good, for some reason a couple of them seemed more real to me. We’re more alike than unalike, and I found myself inspired by their bodies, their talent, and their bravery to dance in costumes that covered very little. Like them, I must brave myself to walk around in my own skin. My own sweaty skin.
What is it that you’re hiding underneath your skin? What would you do if you no longer had to be literally uncomfortable in it? I envisioned myself on stage, baring my heart more often and speaking my truth because I no longer had to worry about being sweaty all the time, which so often becomes the filter for my daily life. So much can be said through touch, or the lack thereof. I shy away from touching the majority of people because my hands are usually sweating. But that doesn’t mean I’m one who is closed off to the world. Sometimes it’s just hard to live in life when you are wet.
My skin has hyperhidrosis. Want to know what’s underneath it? A combination of yin and yang. East and west. Positive and negative. I must choose what I allow to come up to the surface, which at times is very hard when I can’t turn off the physicality of my sweating and my condition is manifesting itself all over my hands, feet, socks, shoes, jeans, sleeves, etc.
Underneath my skin I am:
What can I, and you, do as someone who suffers from hyperhidrosis? I can choose what I offer to the world, even if I have to be sweaty in the process. I can choose to let go and allow myself to fall into the right people, knowing they will catch me when I fall. Yes, it’s nerve wracking initially. Everything can be the first time you do it. But you have to be willing to jump and fall in faith, knowing that the risk is worth it. Because once you do, you will feel alive and open to the abundance that awaits you in life. Be willing to fail. Be willing to risk everything.
This performance of SKIN could have gone on all night and I would’ve felt like it had just started. What I gleaned from it I will take with me, underneath my own skin. SKIN portrayed truth, beauty, relevance, awareness, emotion, and courage. Gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, transgendered, all are worthy of touch. And so am I, and so are you.
We, too, are works of art. We just have a bit more “shimmer” than others.
Photo by Drew Levin, Postcard by Levi Parker
Copyright 2012 My Life as a Puddle