Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dating With Options

After taking a two year hiatus from dating, I am putting myself back “out there”. Part of me is thinking what a waste of time dating has always been and the other part says, get over it and just do it. First I’d like to define dating. Dating to me is meeting up with someone (in my case a man) with the intention of getting to know that person and hopeful there’s some kind of spark, chemistry or connection that propels me to want to see him again. I wasn’t really planning on getting into the dating scene, but it seemed all at once there were 3 eligible men swarming around. I live in NYC and yes dating is a scene. Also a friend from childhood who I hadn’t heard from in 4 years now works for a dating service and randomly sent me an email asking if I was single and interested in meeting someone. We are still trying to get together so she can have a better sense of who I am when she meets with her clients. It seems the universe is saying it’s time for me to date. That and my astrologer told me my chart says Venus is in Saturn for me until September so to look out for love. In putting my best yogini foot forward, one needs to invest in a wardrobe and cosmetics especially if one lives in yoga gear with her hair in a bun most days and evenings. Mani/peds are already in my weekly routine. This is not what I like to spend my limited income on, but I have to say I had a good time picking out dresses and shoes and actually getting dressed up to go out on the town. With support from friends near and far, I am up for this challenge and believe me dating is challenging anywhere let alone for a Buddhist yogini living in NYC. What you think you see is not what you get. What I do for a living and how I live my life are philosophies and lifestyle choices, not a hobby.

One of my male friends had this to say, a perspective I hadn’t thought of before:

 On behalf of the entire male population, I thank you for returning to the dating game =).  You are a truly beautiful and engaging woman with a real spirit and sense of wonder. That is something any man would be lucky to have.  I know it is a process that can be extremely hard on the ego though, so my thoughts are with you!”

Look at that, I even have a referral from an awesome guy if I might add. I hadn’t thought that little ol’ me was depriving men of a decent date. Certainly there are many of us out there, but if we all throw in the towel and say forget it, then great guys like the one above gets screwed, too. Just in case you are wondering if I am dating him, I am not. He lives across the country and is significantly younger than I.  We have a mature friendship and dialogue. Before my friend wrote that, all I could see was the endless line of men who didn’t want the same thing as I did - a mutually understood relationship that could lead to a commitment. I am 43, never been married or engaged, and no children. Seems perfectly normal and sane to me, but unusual to others. The smile I have today started a long time ago.

In 2007 I wrote an interactive blog called “The Rules, Really?” inspired by the book “The Rules” which was a totally new world to me as well as the impetus for the blog. I wanted to see how my behavior matched up with their rules. BTW, both women who authored the book are divorced and the whole premise of playing by “The Rules” is to get a ring which happens to come with a husband. Quite honestly, the whole thing made me sick. Turns out I am a natural rule breaker and subsequently proved their point as to why I wasn’t married. Marriage has never been a goal for me. Happiness has. They left out the part of being a happy person. There are some good pointers in the book that make sense like dating more than one person at a time, be busy, mysterious, never too available and make them chase after you because men like to hunt. Sounds like women are prey, well sometimes it seems that way. I recently reread that blog and had a blast going down memory lane. Dating and writing about it, now that’s a lot of work. Especially when you aren’t getting paid for either. Time is very valuable. 

 When I date, I am dating. Not just one or two men, but three if I can swing it. The more the merrier. I don’t sleep with any of them right away if ever. I find that they quickly drop off because they confuse dating and getting to know someone with a fuck buddy. I’ve experience many different types of relationships. Twenty years of yoga and meditation have brought clarity to me that an intimate connection with someone else can only come from being intimate with oneself. If it doesn’t feel right to me to have more than one lover than don’t do it. If it does, then do it.

I like to think of having a team of men in a dug out and watching them come up to bat. It’s the ones who actually aren’t in it for the “home run”, but just want to get on base and play that you’ll actually have a chance to get to know. If you get the home run straight away then neither of you will have anything to look forward to. This doesn’t mean that because you wait to have sex that the relationship will work out. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. But what probably will happen is that you’ve had a chance to open to desire, be in a space to get to know someone and see if this person is a good choice for you or not. Afterall we are all a work in progress and the more work the more progress. There’s tons of advice out there on what to do and what not to do and how long to wait and yada- yada-yada. For women over 40, we have a different game and reality than the younger single women out there. I am happy to be right where I am. The choices I make now are very different than when I was in my 20s and 30s. I do my best to be clear with intentions and remember to be open to experiences. This is how change happens and you might just find yourself in a relationship that feels right.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Figment NYC - Free Art Show


Figment on Govenors Island is a really special weekend long event. Free transportation, free entry, no commercialization of products and nothing to buy. What a novel event based on community service, volunteering, creativity and play. 
View from Govenors Island
My friend Maitreya Levanchild performed a roving sacred dance piece,"Not An Island". I wasn't able to see her performance, but I did go out with her the day before the event to help her set up and bring about 60 pounds of art installation. Also on the island close to my heart, The ID Project had a mala of plastic bags in an effort to bring awareness to plastic bag consumption, an activist project that was launched in 2007. Govenors Island is absolutely beautiful. You feel like you are on sacred land, land that is unique, special and one of a kind. 

Andy Golub painting a model

I went out on Saturday to work with Andy Golub as a model for body painting. It takes about an hour or so to get the look that he did on me. He starts with a base coat, gold everywhere for this project, and then added the design in segments. He works on other models - as one is drying another is getting painted. Andy doesn't stop. He's really quite amazing with his vision. A lot of people ask is it hard to wash off? The paint comes off quite readily with soap and a washcloth. Some scrubbing is necessary and some parts of the skin have a light stain, but that comes off in the next shower or bath. I find color in my ears for a couple of days, too.

Andy Golub's art work in action


upside down

After Andy finished painting, his friend and photographer Dave Hoffman graciously followed me around the island as I chose locations to strike some asanas. He used my iPhone for all of these photos.  : -)

Figment Project Organization
Drawing inspiration from other community-based arts events, the development, production, and experience of FIGMENT are guided by these 11 principles:
Transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play.
FIGMENT seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We will not substitute consumption for experience.
Anyone may be a part of FIGMENT; no prerequisites exist for participation except willingness to work and play. We welcome and respect the stranger.
Each individual and collaborating group has unique qualities, and through self-expression can offer a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of others.
FIGMENT encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.
FIGMENT is devoted to acts of gift giving and volunteering. FIGMENT itself is a gift from volunteer artists and event staff, who hope that each participant brings an attitude of giving. Giving does not imply a return or an exchange for something of equal value.
We seek to create an environment ripe for each individual to achieve personal artistic transformation — but the creation of such an environment can be done only through creative cooperation and collaboration.
Each participant in FIGMENT is responsible for creating a civil environment for all other participants. We endeavor to produce this event in a way that fosters a civil society and that is socially responsible.
We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves to leave each place in a better state than we found it.
Too often the limit for creative expression is the barrier between our inner selves and the selves that we present to the world. By breaking down that barrier, we can gain a profound appreciation for the opportunities that lie in each time and place.
We believe it is important to remind ourselves where we come from, and to appreciate what has been given to us to get us to where we are. We are not entitled to anything, and approach our relations to others from a place of gratitude for their efforts.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012