[Dear Sister #QueensInExile] Lift Your Back Foot

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Dear Sisters,

So I know this will come as a complete shock to you, but sometimes I lie to you on social media.  That sounds so much more exciting than what it actually is which is more obfuscation or omission.  The silent mutually agreed upon social contract of social media is that we all get to be our best or worst selves but we all get to present ourselves exactly the way we want to be perceived.   You have to actually know the person in real life to know which parts are fibs, omissions and obfuscation.  Like we all have That Friend who is writing love letters to their spouses publicly on Facebook about how great their lives are together which is clearly a desperate cry of please don’t divorce me except in very specific circumstances (a special occasion, >1 year married, etc, etc)The social contract there is that you either silently judge them because you know what’s up and keep it moving oooooooooooooooor you don’t really know them that well so you be a team player and make some supportive comment.  You are not supposed to say, “I know I don’t know you that well, but this seems like overkill?”   And you are definitely never ever supposed to say, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, LADY?  YOU WERE LITERALLY JUST TELLING ME HOW MUCH YOU HATE HIS FACE AND HOW IF YOU DID NOT HAVE CHILDREN YOU WOULD LEAVE HIS ASS.”  Because we all deserve our best pretend lives, right?

And sometimes it’s not that clear cut.  Sometimes it’s more like the picture above.  That’s really me.  I can point my toes okay ten years after modern dance.  I own those pants.  Those are my pedicured toes.  And it looks so fun and whimsical, right?  Oh man, getting in shape!  Being sexy and fun!

Sisters.  Nothing about that class was light hearted and fun for me.



I was still sore from trying Pound Drumming at my new gym the night before (fellow fat sisters – you will have very sad body feels post class for like four days after, fyi.  It is so fun and maybe eventually less ass kick-y?  But not the first time).  I was there with friends.  The instructor was a friend.  There were (0) strangers.  You literally cannot ask for a safer environment.  The yoga ish warm up was fun.  I’ve done rah rah get empowered classes before, I was ready to feel like a sexy femme!  But also, tax season ended less than a week ago.

I can never decided which is worse, being an imprisoned rat for a quarter of the year as the walls sllllllllowly close in around you and there is nothing but work and sleep oooooooooooooooooooor right after when all the shit you’ve been ignoring comes crashing down around you and you are now de institutionalized with no idea of how to survive on the outside.  Routine is gone, people expect you to act like a person and not a feral animal and you have to get your shit together but also you are really fucking exhausted.  It’s sort of along the line of saying a new mom should feel refreshed and not tired because her baby is out and not in.  Like, I am not nearly as on point about my diet, I didn’t go to the gym yesterday as I usually do and I highly doubt I’m going today.  Why?  Oh, I don’t know, I have to finish reading a memoir, start befriending said memoirist, interview said memoirist, bang my head against my budget which has zero give currently because I apparently equated being back in corporate to everything is fun Carrie Bradshaw life again even though I make less money in corporate than I did as a nanny, pitch pieces for the nine million annual books I write for, read research books, do witchcraft, blog, write a book (?), update my shop, cleanse my house, clean my house, return things, find ballet flats and and and and—

During tax season, I:

  • Went to work
  • Showered semi regularly
  • Meal prepped
  • Went to the gym
  • Went to brunch sometimes
  • Took my meds
  • Slept

And that’s all anyone frankly expected from me.  I’m not sure when I’m going to meal prep this weekend exactly.  My dehydrator is constantly going because I am eating a whalish amount of dehydrated veggies (along with a whalish amount of non dehydrated veggies), but I’m also likely not drinking enough water and — Look.  Right now, to be completely honest, all I want is to go to Passages Malibu.  My sister (the Divine Ms. M) is feeling similarly suffocated by life as are my #TeamPersistantSnail girls, so I would not be lonely there.

So we get to the pole and for some reason I have it in my head that it might take me a little while in class to get a spin going, but it would happen.  I’m not sure why exactly I had this in my head.  I guess because I can limp along well enough in all my other athletic pursuits that I didn’t think I’d be good at it, but I’d be able to do the most basic thing.

Wrong again!

I could not lift my goddamn back foot off the ground to save my life.  My directional sense is always mangled from being semi-ambidextrous (mostly just enough that I make a mess out of everything, but I write left handed and do sports and scissors and whatever right handed except for a few things like archery) and I was terrified I was going to fall.  I didn’t trust myself which was every bit as fucking miserable of an ah-ha moment as you expect it would be.  So from that point, playfully touching my body was right out.

During this week, I also did my first ever yoga pose Instagram challenge.     That’s less of a parcel of lies because I’ve done yoga for a few years now and I’m not bad at getting angles.  I taught myself how to take video of myself to edit down to still shots using a chair and a selfie stick.  I got the lighting down.  The last pose is completely stripped down but mostly because at that point I was exhausted and the idea of finding panties that were “sexyish but not too sexy” was exhausting.  At that point, I didn’t care.  I would edit out naughty bits if I needed to (I didn’t), I just wanted to finish that week. I was done watching my giant boobs slosh all over the place in the least dignified manner you could possibly imagine.  It worked, it’s one of my favorite pictures from the week and it looked surprisingly graceful.

But the bitter irony here was that I was trying to get more comfortable in my body and all of these efforts were making me feel like a million times worse, at least in the short term.  It feels sort of like picking at a mostly healed scab and ripping it open again so you could deal with blood and mess because why not you?  I’m still slowly unwrapping this, because I can’t tell if it means I need to stop picking at it and accept that I was semi good with things oooooooooooooor keep picking until I get to bone and then be bloody but victorious.

Because (and okay, this is a huuuuuuuuuuuuge overshare, family if you are reading this, avert your eyes) in other ways I am getting more for real comfortable in my body.  I had started to get shy about my body and Certain Bedtime Activities With My Partner.  It wasn’t quite as fun and it was much more self conscious.  Over the weekend, it was way more fun and way less self conscious.  It was the first real “mile marker” I’ve had since I’ve started this MFP about six weeks ago where I noticed a very noticeable difference.  I was way more flexible!  I had way more stamina!  I had way more fun!  And that’s worth a lot I think, especially as a witch where we’re (theoretically) supposed to be constantly DTF and/or dancing naked around a bonfire.

What I’m really trying to do is make my body sacred to myself.  And I want to find some softness and kindness for my body in the process, which is not the easiest so far.  At all.  It can be hard to tell when I’m being lazy and when I am actually tired and overworked. It can be hard to tell when I’m hungry and when I am Feeling Feelings.  It can be hard to keep pushing when my insides (and often outsides to boot) feel so raw.  But I want to trust myself.  I want to lift my back foot.  So I’ll keep trying.



Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  


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