The Breast Blog: How To Become Your Own Breast Health Ambassador: Chapter Three / Permission from Art

Cultural conditioning is the polite term used to describe lying.....lying about the state of your life, lying about your feelings, lying about that fact that many of us decide that telling the truth is too risky. It's not the risk associated with violence, but more with rocking the boat. Or peaking out of our BOXES, arm waving gently in the air, with questions about why, for example, women, when out for meals, get asked to leave restaurants if they breast feed their baby.

Waiter: If you're going to do THAT, please take your child to the rest room until you are finished. You're disturbing the clientele.

A new cultural response might be; Mom: If you want me to feed my child beside a toilet, then you can serve my lunch in there too.

But alas, rather than face such adversity, many breast feeding moms simply don't go out for meals. The issue stays invisible and our cultural conditioning stays intact, keeping the status quo boat calm.

Fear holds the conditioning in place and looks something like this. Someone might call us stupid, mean, rude and God forbid, selfish.

The result of us maintaining such conditioning is betrayal. Betrayal to self. By not saying 'sod this', we lie to our own hearts and souls by restricting ourselves.

But wait, it doesn't end there. Rather than see through our own web of deceit, we apply lipstick and a BIG SMILE. Then we head out the door and expect other people to tell us the truth. When they don't, we blame them. Then act like victims.

It's the perfect one/two punch. Only we're the ones doing the punching and being punched.

I got a bag load of permission in the last three days. Thanks to the very groovy Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival that twirled into town this past week, I attended 13 performances. My permission came in the form of 'reaching for the stars.' I watched dancers of all ages move, literally and figuratively beyond what they ever imagined themselves capable of. Magic. Pure bloody magic dust flew all over me.

I laughed so loudly that I spit. My heart ached with despair; I held it tightly. I stared, transfixed by the subtle gesture of eyebrow, finger and shoulder. Colour and texture moved into new relationships....yellow feathers with red fishnet stockings. Dancers having deep meaningful relationships with their bodies. Funny, heartfelt, powerful dialogue.

If you give yourself permission to explore ART, ART will generously provide you with inspiration to be more than you currently imagine yourself to be.

Imagine that.

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