On pregnancy, motherhood, and the Divine Feminine

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Photo by Lena Abujbara

I was living in New York City when I found out I was pregnant. It was the happiest day of my life. My beloved, Solomon, and I had been trying, so it wasn’t a surprise, but I was still in a state of shock as I walked down 2nd street on that crisp, March morning. All throughout the day, I felt the presence of this new being inside me, and I was blissful knowing that I was placed in charge of carrying this life from one dimension to another. The 8.5 months following that moment were something like a dream, a bit of a nightmare, and wholly surreal. Up until that point, I had been a fairly stable, independent soul with a flair for adventure, and I was in love. In love with life, in love with New York, in love with being female, and in love with a man. At the time we were long distance, so I still felt like I had my independence, and I enjoyed every second with the utmost gratitude and the sense of wonder that comes with being a woman living on her own in the 21st century.

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We decided to move to California after we found out about the pregnancy to be with my paternal grandmother. Pregnancy is one of those things that you never see coming. Even if you knew it was coming, or wanted it to come, when it actually happens, the reality of it is a combination of enchantment and mourning. I was mesmerized by the process–the miraculous symphony that was taking place inside without me even trying. At the same time, I mourned the loss of my autonomy. I now had to think about another person, and I couldn’t escape, because the person was inside my body. This, for all intents and purposes, was a revolutionary act. To agree to be a mother is a revolutionary act for a woman, because it is the ultimate sacrifice. I didn’t know the real meaning of being “single” until I got pregnant.  For me, pregnancy was a constant ebb and flow of sheer terror and pure joy at what could be. Every move was considered, everything I ate was questioned, and every thought was scrutinized. “Will this hurt the baby? Did I just traumatize my child? What can it hear? Does it feel me when I cry? Laugh? Sing?

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Photo by Lena Abujbara

Early on, I was very ill and could not tolerate most foods. Light bothered me. I couldn’t listen to music. Even certain people’s voices made me sick. Apart from the physical strains, I was also an emotional train wreck. I wasn’t prepared for the utter loneliness that comes with the territory of this journey, especially before you start to show. I suddenly became an outsider, silently suffering and unable to express exactly why. I felt like a barrier had been placed between me and the world, and no one could see or feel it but me. This was very isolating, and I found myself battling depression and anxiety, and although it was transient, it was very powerful. I couldn’t even ask Solomon for help, because I didn’t know what I needed help with. I no longer felt like the confident, secure, strong woman I thought I once was. My body was changing. My thoughts were erratic. I was being broken down, prepared, softened for the arrival of our baby, and in hindsight it all seems so obvious, but while in the throws of it I felt as if my whole world was crashing down faster than I could pick up the pieces.

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Photo by Lena Abujbara

Day by day, life became more tolerable. By the 4th month I was able to eat again, although my capacity to deal with everyday stresses had dropped drastically. We decided to go with a group of midwives to deliver the baby. We wanted the least invasive approach, so all throughout the pregnancy, we had no ultrasounds. We didn’t know the sex, and we wanted a drug free delivery. Everything about prenatal care was overwhelming for me. I hated going to the clinic. I hated that I had no idea what to expect during the delivery. I was perpetually irritated by all the questions people asked, all the horror stories other women were so eager to share. If it was up to me, I would have had my baby in the forest against a tree, with the squirrels and mice as my audience and God as my guide. I just wanted a healthy baby and an easy delivery. All I could do was wait and see, and pray.

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40 weeks

At 42 weeks and after a plethora of attempted “natural” inductions, I went into premature labor. I say it was premature because I knew the baby needed more time. Solomon and I knew the date of conception, and it was a week after the proposed due date, but for arbitrary reasons the midwives refused to push it back, and unfortunately the law does not allow midwives to deliver babies after 42 weeks gestation. After 12 hours of labor, we were transferred to the hospital because I wasn’t dilating past 3 cm. I knew in my heart it was because baby wasn’t ready to come out yet, but fear and ignorance took over and we found ourselves at the last place we wanted to be: the medical corporate nightmare of the hospital.

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Phares and I, after almost two days of labor. It took me a while to like this picture.

Despite our fears and hesitations to give birth at a hospital, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the staff was extremely accommodating and sensitive to our needs. After a total of 38 hours, a few bad decisions and some good ones, we finally met the One who was inside me all those months. Solomon was there the entire time, helping me push, and gently walking me down the final stretch of this road. Phares Joseph came to Earth on a Thursday at 11:48 pm. The feeling of pushing him out and holding him in my arms was indescribable. In an instant, I was transformed into a mother. I was staring into the eyes of a human being who came from the other side, who seemed to know so much already, and who stared back at me with dark, piercing eyes. We were utterly in love.

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Although I did end up having to take drugs, most of my expectations from pregnancy to delivery were fulfilled. Phares was born and he was healthy, although he was put on antibiotics out of fear of infection due to my waters being broken for so long. After 7 days of fluorescent lights and medical jargon, Solomon, Phares, and I stepped out into the world as a family for the first time.

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Thinking that pregnancy would prepare me for motherhood, I quickly realized that, just as with pregnancy, nothing can prepare you for the job of Mother. The old me was gone. It died at the hospital, and I was reborn into something completely foreign. My body was in shambles. I could barely walk or sit down. I had no control over my bladder. My once-filled belly was now a vacant sack of what felt like loose air. To describe the way I felt would be futile. I was experiencing life in the most outrageous way, and I felt completely lost.

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Photo by Lena Abujbara

I also never felt more like a woman.

When I think about myself as a woman, some things come to mind. I think about our powers. I also think about our beauty. And I think about the qualities of the Divine feminine, which encompass the former. Women reign in the spiritual domain. We are not meant to dominate in the material plane. Why would we want to? It goes against the very nature of the feminine spirit. We are first emotional, second logical. Logic is masculine. The material world is masculine. It is left-brained, it is anti-nature, it is output. Feminine is receptive, intuitive, kind, life-bearing, creative. When Alexander the Great decided to conquer the world, it was because a woman told him he would. Women are the seers into the unseen dimensions, and for that reason man cannot help but be amazed, even–dare I say–slightly afraid.

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Photo by Lena Abujbara

What I am realizing now, two months after giving birth, is that femininity, in its essence, is trusting the unknown. It is allowing the currents of life to take you where they may, under your subtle control. For me, femininity is not about taking power, because femininity is power. It is nurturing yourself, your young, your partner, the world. It is gentleness and kindness, it is what guides the masculine force, it is inspiration.

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Photo by Lena Abujbara

Being a mother has filled me with a sense of love that goes beyond time and language. It’s the kind of love God must feel for His creation, otherwise why would we be given such a gift to behold? Being a mother has also been the most difficult experience of my life. My identity is scattered. I’m moving towards a future self I cannot see or fathom, and I am wary to say the least. I am slowly re-introducing myself to myself, finding any fragments of who I was and trying to fit them into this new skin. I feel alone, yet I am attached to a tiny human who depends on me to survive. The world that was once so familiar to me is now a scary, unpredictable place that I feel alienated from. And despite having the most loving, supporting partner and father there is to have, my struggle feels uniquely feminine and other-worldly, and so it’s an internal process that I must grow with in the solitude of my inner reality. The irony of it all continues to astound me.

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P and I hanging loose

Each day brings its struggles and challenges, but I am incredibly grateful to be alive during this time. I want to continue, to move forth in finding my own way as a woman and now as a mother and wife. I want to raise Phares to be a man of discernment, a man who knows the respect a woman commands, a man who is aware of his own feminine aspects. I want him to help heal this planet, and to know his purpose as a protector and gatekeeper of Love.

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May we all find our peace in the chaos.

With that, I will depart. Eternal gardens of spectacular Light,

Nedda

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Color Watch: Pink

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Good Day Gentiles!

We know it’s been a while since our last post, but we assure you–progress is being made on the forefront of this Earthly existence.

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Today we honor the color pink. The color of unconditional love, passion, romance, femininity, and purity. With Venus in full retrograde, it’s a sensitive time for all of us, and so we study the color pink to gain its virtues and understand its role in our lives. Pink is unique because unlike primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, pink is not found on the light spectrum. In other words, it is not a reflective color. Pink is only visible to the human eye when it is combined with red and white, making it a transmissive color. Nevertheless, it is still a very important color found not just in your underwear drawer, but all across nature, especially in the flower, insect, reptile and mineral kingdoms.

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The etymology of the word ‘pink’ is thought to be of German origin, named after “pinks,” a type of flower with frilled edges representing the endearing hue. Historically, pink has symbolized many feelings and attributes relating to the human condition, including seduction, youth, innocence, and tenderness. Pink also was a symbol of the Body of Christ in many art works during the Middle Ages.

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Metaphysically, pink is associated with the heart chakra, which is also represented by the color green. This chakra deals with the subject of universal love and compassion. Planets associated with this energy center are Venus (as mentioned above), and the Moon, our heavenly guide for the functions of the body. Interestingly enough, Venus is the planet that rules our sensual experiences pertaining to pleasure. This doesn’t limit the term to  simply physical pleasure, but pleasure in the total sense of the word. The pleasure we derive from delicious food, good company, lovers, and friends. The spaces we inhabit and the things and people we like all fall under this energy.

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Psychologically, pink can be used to aid in calming the mind of anxious and irrational thoughts, as well as facilitate compassion and love for fellow man. Pink is also known to help dispel aggression and violence when used in color therapy. Let’s not forget that pink also represents femininity, which indirectly fosters the nurturing, receptive, and intuitive natures of the feminine role.

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We urge both men and women to invite pink into their lives despite the overwhelmingly redundant cultural references to its status in society. We see how, like many scared colors, pink has been made profane by the mass media and marketing entities, and we ask you to set your judgements aside and try pink from another perspective. Perhaps a different tone of pink will help alleviate some of the pressure that pink implies, as there are many alternative hues to pink including magentas, salmons, rose, carnation, and champagne for a more subtle exposition of this fascinating color.

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Pink can flatter any skin tone, but be sure to wear the right hue for you. Those with red undertones should stick to warm pinks (salmon, coral, peach) and those with yellow undertones look best in cool pinks (rose, violet-pink, lavender-pink).

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Suggestions on how to wear pink:

-Pink makes a great accessory or accent piece. Jewelry, scarves, or cardigans are great candidates for pink

-The right pink shoes can take any outfit to the next level

-Pink socks

-Pink blush or lipstick (tastefully, of course)

-Pink nail polish

-Pink pants match virtually any color, as well as a pink top–so treat pink like you would white or black. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

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That’s all for pink. It has been our supreme pleasure to bring you one of our favorite colors on The Dawn’s Color Watch. Stay tuned for more to come!

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Dripping in Love for You,

The Dawn

Alan Watts: Voice of the Century

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So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other than yourself. – Alan Watts

Greetings from our new headquarters in New York City! The Dawn is pleased to announce our latest move to the big apple where we expect much activity in all areas of style, fashion, and overall health and wealth! As we adjust to this new transition phase, we have been taking ample time to reflect on the time—this time—if you will. Naturally, the experience of time seems to be that of constant transformation, the ebb and flow of existence that simultaneously defines our being at any given moment. The Dawn believes that each moment, each breath is a sacred opportunity to go right or left, up or down, and it is through this determination that we experience the effects of our decisions.

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Which brings us to one of our favorite philosophers of the 20th century: The Great Alan Watts, whom, during his short time on this planet, brought light to some of the most pressing issues in our current state of cosmic affairs. We will note that Mr. Watts’ presence was not only strikingly unique, it commanded the attention of the masses, for his message is one of immense importance.

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Alan Watts was a major advocate for zen buddhism and was essential to the West’s understanding of Eastern philosophy as both a theological practice and psychological study. Bridging such ideas as religion, history, psychology, metaphysics, and science, Mr. Watts was a proponent of the totality of Being–he recognized the dire situation we humans find ourselves in and managed to articulate it in a way that makes cognitive, emotional, and spiritual sense.

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We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society. – Alan Watts

Alan Watts was not only a lover of humanity, he wanted to help heal humanity, for he saw how we are collectively suffering because we do not know, we do not understand the complexities of this era the way we are meant to understand it. It is for this reason that we have mass despair, mass upheaval, poverty, spiritual emptiness, and general disconnection from out true natures. Mr. Watts gave us the gift of his knowledge, his way of interpreting esoteric tradition so that it became palatable to the Western mind, and for that we are forever grateful.

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We adore Mr. Watts for a number of reasons. He was, in the highest sense, striving for completeness in all ares of life. He understood the concept of balance and Self realization, including the mastery of sensuality. When we speak of sensuality, we speak to the notion of sensual experience, or the act of sensing. This pertains to the outside world–recognizing what is attractive, embodying the utmost of one’s being as it applies to the physical senses. Alan Watts says that there are two realms we humans must master and balance, and those are the realms of the spiritual and physical, and both are, in a sense, dependent on the other.

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What wonder! For this is our purpose here at The Dawn, to help find that balance between the inner and the outer—much of which rides on one’s sense of style, their outward signature to the world. We believe in the deep appreciation and expression of beauty, and we are convicted in the knowledge that finding one’s balance is one of the great secrets of this life. We here at The Dawn have a sincere desire to maintain the passion of Alan Watts when it comes to helping others understand themselves, to know their power as they stand in space–and we will stop for nothing.

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The myths underlying our culture and underlying our common sense have not taught us to feel identical with the universe, but only parts of it, only in it, only confronting it – aliens. -Alan Watts

We leave you with one of our most beloved compilations of Mr. Watts’ teachings for your auditory pleasure:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHT5fjMnJyI

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Day Dreaming of Your Glory,

The Dawn

Mission of The Dawn

What we do:

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“[Style is] the state in which one feels the least separation between one’s character and one’s body”

-Alexander Nagel, Art Historian

We are a service that offers styling, style coaching, custom design, and wardrobe consultations.

At The Dawn, we strive to bridge the gap between the inner and outer persona in order to most fulfill what human beings seek: true expression. It is the duty of each individual to embody an authentic representation of themselves. The most effective way to do so is to cultivate one’s own unique style. Style goes beyond clothing: style is everything one has gone through and felt in one’s life all compressed into a moment of real time. The Dawn will help you make that moment count.

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Circadian Rhythm and Optimum Performance

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Many of us walking this Earth live our day to day lives unaware of the natural forces that affect us biologically. The distractions of modernity keep us in spiritual and mental limbo as we struggle to find some kind of happy medium–often leading to destructive habits that could have lasting consequences.

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The circadian rhythm is a most treasured process that is constantly working to regulate the body’s system as it relates to the external world. One may call it our “internal clock,” as it is most commonly referred, but the circadian rhythm is much more than that–it is the reason for our consciousness, it protects us from sickness, and connects us to the cosmos.

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When the circadian rhythm is disrupted, the human body will suffer. Human beings are diurnal, meaning we operate most fully during daylight hours. Our bodies are programmed to metabolize energy (food) during certain times of the day. Similarly, we are also programmed to sleep, rise, and even procreate during preferred hours, all of which operate according to circadian rhythms.

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Because of our extreme sensitivity to the environment, circadian rhythm can be disrupted quite easily if one is not aware. Jet lag, decreased metabolism, inconsistent eating patterns, stress, absence of light, and sleep deprivation all pose a threat to our circadian rhythm. Drug abuse is also a major culprit, leading to a number of problems, including emotional instability and depression. Essentially, circadian rhythm reiterates the notion that everything is connected, and when we understand the bigger picture, the details can be more easily manageable.

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Scientists are still trying to understand how this phenomenon works, but they do know that light plays a primary role. Temperature is also a factor, and together, the human body uses these (and other) external stimuli to measure time and regulate the functions of the body. Through this, we can deduce that the human body is in fact its own system, separate from consciousness. We here at The Dawn will go even further to say consiousness arises from circadian rhythm, due to processes in the brain that allow intellectual growth and other elements of conscious thought and experience.

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Some suggest that when we are out of tune, problems such as obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic illnesses will appear due to dissonance. It is important to note that all living beings on this planet are operating within the circadian rhythm. The Earth itself is also aligned with this rhythm, so one may imagine the havoc that could come with mass disruption. Many of us today are not in sync with our circadian rhythm, which is one reason why we see so much sickness and suffering running rampant in so called ‘developed’ countries, not to mention the atrocities happening in less industrialized parts of this world.

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You may be asking how this relates to one’s sense of self or style. The Dawn believes in the importance of awareness as it pertains to the living body. When people walk about unaware of the basic functions and powers that dictate their existence, they are in danger of losing track of their purpose. Style is about visually appearing in line with one’s internal ‘fire.’ If we are out of touch, we are misrepresenting ourselves, and we all know what troubles that brings.

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So we ask you, Dear Ones, to study yourselves as you are: living, breathing wonders, sharing a planet with other beings such as yourselves, as well as plants and animals. We are all quite intimately connected to all that surrounds us, and we must not dispel this fact with over-rationality. What we humans have is the power to discern–we are given the power to choose, to create, to form our environments. However, we also have great responsibility to use this power for good. The crisis of our day is the abuse and ungratefulness of this gift.

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The circadian rhythm is a beautiful metaphor for the rhythm of our lives. Like music, if we are out of rhythm, the piece is no longer effective. Again, it is our belief that when one is ineffective, the point of existence becomes meaningless. In order to be effective, one must first understand their Truth, and much of that lies in how one flows with the rhythm of Being.

And don’t ever forget to do it in style.

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Thinking of You,

The Dawn

Happy Winter Solstice!

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“Man is a stream whose source is hidden. Our being is descending into us from we know not whence. The most exact calculator has no prescience that somewhat incalculable may not balk the very next moment. I am constrained every moment to acknowledge a higher origin for events than the will I call mine.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dearly Beloveds,

We would like to honor this day on Earth when the “sun stands still.” The Winter Solstice marks the time for re-birth and renewal. It’s a time to plant our seeds, so that we may see the fruits of our labor come Spring. For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, the solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year. In the Southern hemisphere, it is the longest day and shortest night of the year.

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What we love about the yearly solstice is its symbol of opportunity and renaissance. Our lives are defined by a series of transitions, some more poignant than others, and the purpose of these transitions is to foster growth. During the daily bustle of life, we tend to easily forget that we are infinitely suspended in space, on a living, breathing entity called Earth. Everything we know and experience is here, and it is through Divine guidance that way may understand what exists beyond the realms of human perception. Of course, we can never fully know what lies outside of embodiment until our bodily death, but we can use this life to seek Truth for all of our days, and the Solstice is a gentle reminder of the cycles in which we are all entwined.

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We like to think of the solstice as a sacred time to reflect upon all that we have done since the last cycle. How have we changed for better or for worse? What goals did we accomplish? Are we still on the straight and narrow path? Have we diverted? What can be kept and what needs to be thrown away? How have we honored the Most High? And lastly, are we operating from a place of Love, or Fear?

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These are all things we deem necessary for forward movement, for without self-reflection, what is the use of the intellect?

René Descartes

This particular winter solstice is extra-cosmic as it falls on the New Moon in Capricorn. The New Moon is the beginning of the Moon’s 28 day cycle, which is in itself a symbol of regeneration. Coupled with the Winter Solstice, this could be seen as a time of heavy inward transformation for many of us. We urge you to act in Love, and to be diligent in your work, and emanate your Truth to the world, as hard as it may seem.

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Pay no mind to the nay sayers, be what you are, and wear your worldly garment with dignity.

And don’t forget: Dress to impress!! We know you want to.

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“……..Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream…..”

Everlasting Joy,

The Dawn

Some Sunday Wisdom

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Today we would like to share a lovely excerpt from a well-known children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit. It’s amazing how much we can learn from such simple words. They are words we should all consider when asking the question: Am I authentic? Am I true? Do I exist through fear, or love, and to Whom do I answer? Who is my God?

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.” 

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

The Dawn believes in the power of the flesh embodied. Fellow beings, rejoice in the knowledge that you are one out billions, and you have something to offer. Do not give it away, do not suppress it, and most importantly, do not be afraid, lest you allow fear to become your master. Do the work you know you can do.

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Oh, and, as always, do it with style.

Grace + Gratitude,

The Dawn