Dress Up Days: The Chakras

Chakras are a word that every new-age hippie utters at some point. As in, “Oh, lower back pain you say? Must be a first chakra issue…how’s your relationship with your mom going ?” Sometimes I wonder if I even know what it means anymore. Just to be sure, I looked it up via Dr. Google:

Chakra: (in Indian thought) each of the centers of spiritual power in the human body, usually considered to be seven in number.

Chakras are visualized as spinning vortexes of energy (the word “chakra” is Sanskrit for wheel or disk) from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. The speed and openness of these vortexes is thought to contribute to a number of earthly spiritual truths and illnesses.

You can find a primer of the chakra system here.

The first chakra example from above illustrates this very well: called Muladhara, it is located at the base of the tailbone and also called the “root” chakra. As it’s name suggests, it is associated with all things pertaining to roots: family ties, being grounded, feeling certain, etc. etc. In this facet, lower back pain could be your body saying, hold up I feel disconnected and like I have no real family.

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Day 30-Heel Challenge Lessons Learned

Thanks to all who read any part of this. I truly appreciate your eyeballs taking the time to rest upon these words of mine.

What did I learn over these 30 days?  What things am I truly taking away from this all and hope that you all do too? Thanks for asking!

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1. The whole feel the fear and do it anyways shtick is so correct. I often thought I had to become a different person to truly do the things I wanted to, that I had to swell up my ego so that it was at Kanye West capacity. Sometimes faking it does work. But, sometimes just being okay with that nervousness or self-consciousness and not running away screaming is okay too.

2. That which you need is always inside of you. Corny and should be on the back cover of a self-help bestseller, yes. But, really, the bravery to wear heels didn’t come from a guru or another body image improvement class. While these things are worthy investments, all they do is help realize the power that I always had. It’s an oft repeated story because it’s true: we often journey to find the things we had all along. The confidence to show up fully as myself, 6’3″ to 6’8″ was always here.

3. The wider the heel, the more secure I step. It’s not only the height that matters but the overall construction. If the heel is shifty in anyway, ditch it. This will be in my mind when I make future purchases. Also, better to spend a bit more on a nicely made shoe then some plastic knock-off that blisters toes and makes one’s feet sweat.

4. You never know who you’ll inspire. Now, I get it. Most people, even the ones who made exclamations or snide remarks will forget about me after an hour. They will go about their days and the 6’8″ woman will soon be a distant recollection. However, you really never know who you’ll imprint upon positively. After all, it was a complete stranger in Ikea five years ago who provided the first real example to me about wearing high heels at any height. She probably has no idea who I am and yet I can still recall her confident strut. I felt the more happy and la-di-da I was about wearing heels, the more it was reflected back to me.

5. Sometimes you gotta stop the bellyaching and just do things. Not for the fame or acclaim, the followers, or Instagram reposts but because life is life. One day it will not be here. Some people will have a problem with these moves and most of the world, unless you’re the Pope or Beyonce, just won’t care. That’s okay. Make like Joel Goodsen, “What the f*, make your move.” (Yes, I am quoting Risky Business.) Make your move.

So, again, thank you for tuning in. If you’re a tall woman or girl reading this, I hoped it served to remind you that your body is yours and you can wear whatever you want, especially high heels (if you needed the reminder). If you’re someone who inhabits a body, I hope this challenge made you think or care a little less about external opinion or buy six inch platforms or take up every square inch of your body with pride. Remember, life is life.

Also,  a man on the subway asked if I was related to Wendy Williams today. Because we look so much alike I suppose.

Enjoying the view,

Hana

Day Twenty-Nine (!!!) – Killer Heels

Twenty-nine days. IMy Achilles tendons have felt their fair share of push and pull. My calve muscles have increased in strength (no jittery shaking here!). My gait has grown more secure and sure. Tomorrow marks the last day of the heel challenge. Wowza.

Posing in front of the Pink Teacup
Posing in front of the Pink Teacup

Tonight the heels made an appearance on another library run. I dressed up like I was going to a cocktail party though (see above). I also wore the heels in the very faint stretches of the morning before beginning my morning commute. Both times, I let my mind make its sporadic wanderings after other’s opinions, which wasn’t many. I’ve found resisting this only makes things worse (see previous blog posts).

I cannot believe it’s almost over. But, as any self-love guru would wisely counter: it’s never really over, the journey has only just begun. (Pretend I said that in a voice syrupy with all-knowingness and peace.) While I’ve gained much more confidence and inner security about showing up despite the fear, I am well aware that this is just one step.

Something I noticed today: NYC women rarely wear heels while out and about. Heels seem reserved for the time specific constraints imposed by clubs, parties, and other celebratory gatherings. Wearing a heel above three inches, especially the more stiletto shaped, means constant ground surveillance and a slowed down pace. Who has time for that here?

 

The last exciting tidbit is for those who live in the NYC area:

On September 10, the Brooklyn Museum is opening an exhibition on the high heel!  What timing. I will of course have to make an appearance. This is my favorite museum anyways but the designers for this exhibition include Alexander McQueen, Salvatore Ferragamo, Chanel, and of course, Louboutin. I look forward to learning even more about the history of the high heel and its meaning over time. I’m a nerd like that. Look for the #killerheels.

To the highest height (and the last day),

Hana

Day Twenty-Eight-Heart Shaped Balloons

Be aware what heart shaped red balloons can do to the weathered NYC soul. This morning, I had the photo shoot for my Miss Tall International pictures courtesy of my writing buddy, Diana . This rescheduled date had to coincide with one of the hottest, humidity ridden days NYC  has seen this summer. I probably wiped the sweat from my face every five seconds . I guess my pictures will carry that glistening vibe.

Heart shaped balloons are magic on muggy September mornings
Heart shaped balloons are magic on muggy September mornings

The five inch heels made an appearance as I held the red balloons on the steps of Queen of All Saints, a local church, the location of the pictures. Most people smiled. Even in their slight confusion over what this 6’8″ girl with a crown and sash was doing on a Tuesday morning. I think the pictures will turn out pretty magnificently.  It was a relief to work the five inch heels into the very beginning of my day. It was also nice to see so many people smile at the sight of red heart shaped balloons. Two more days to go! What will it be…

To the highest heights,

Hana

Day Twenty-Seven-Thumbs Up

On this Labor Day the streets carry the unmistakable sweet smell of refuse. Unlike most establishments and agencies, the trash collectors are off today and so the neighborhood I live in is still strewn with black trash bags containing mysteries. I’m glad the trash collectors have the day off. More people should. We should all be allowed to rest from the one thing 99% of us do each day–work.

Feel the fear and do it anyway
Feel the fear and do it anyway

In trying to rewrite my procrastinator ways, I headed to a local coffee shop, Baba Cool, to work on homework. Maybe it was walking alone, or the fact that there were a lot of people out today, but I did feel a little more shaky today. Almost as soon as I left the apartment, a man from across the street kept on calling out “Shorty! Shorty!” I don’t know why he thought this was original. People who endeavor to make height-related quips to me or any tall person would do well to do their research beforehand. We’ve heard most of it before. If you are going to yell things at a stranger across the street, at least be unique.

Not even a minute later, a tiny older woman pulling a cart of cans looked up at me, smiled, and gave me a positive fairy godmother sweep of her hand. It was adorable.

The coffee shop felt miniature and I focused on appearing as confident as possible as I ordered an iced tea and took my seat at the bar, laptop out and ready.

As my study time came to a close, I got up and put my stuff away. As I was leaving a woman said, “Tall and wearing high heels? Love it!” She even gave me a thumbs up through the window. She made my day.

While I wish I could sashay Naomi Campbell-like along my street every day, today I accept my apprehension, my cloud of self-consciousness, the good and bad interactions being fully me bought into being. I am learning that sometimes I want so much to be on the other side already–supremely confident with the sassy walk to match, that I reject the parts of myself who are not there yet. It’s a tightrope; this growing into myself.

And I love how wearing heels is just one reminder of the journey.

To the highest heights,

Hana

 

Day Twenty-Six-Making Room

Sometimes I am not the best planner in the world. Sometimes every day isn’t a high heel day. But this is my high heel challenge and so room had to be made. At 10:30 pm I convinced my gallant boyfriend to accompany me to the library to return books. It took us thirty minutes because of how slow I was walking.

The five inch peep toes in all their glory
The five inch peep toes in all their glory

I almost tripped and fell once, the unevenness of the sidewalks barely being illuminated by the street lamps. People strolled out and about on this late Sunday night, most carrying the specific type of glee that comes from knowing you don’t have work the next day.  I think NY is trying to make up for the summer’s considerable lack of humidity in the next couple of days. The air was sticky and sauna-like. Perfect for wearing five inch heels.

But, I was able to stay true to the challenge. I cannot believe there are only four more days left of this whole thing. What will my high heeled future look like?

To the highest heights,

Hana

Day Twenty-Five-Surprise!

Have you ever decided to step outside of your preconceived idea of yourself and expected some negative feedback? Maybe it was deciding that you were going to quit a job, or date this person who wasn’t your “type”, or dye your hair magenta. And once you did That Thing the outside world kinda shrugged and was like, Whatever, dude.

Perfect place for a random photo shoot
Perfect place for a random photo shoot

That was me today. I wore the heels to the Fort Hamilton commissary. Grocery stores are one of the public places I’ve had interesting experiences surrounding my height. Children pointing. Little old ladies asking how hard it is to find a good fella. Middle aged men asking if I like ’em tiny. And of course, the innumerable times I’ve been asked if I play basketball.

But, today was a different Hana-goes-to-the-grocery day. And by that I mean, nothing happened! People barely even stared. The most I got was a “Love the t-shirt!” from a clerk. At first the inattention was a bit unsettling, very Twilight Zone-y. Then, it was awesome, confirmation that I can be a full self and people won’t care that much (especially if they are shopping for Labor Day BBQs).

Walking on the level, smooth ground of the supermarket was really cool, I spent more time looking up then checking out the ground for cracks. I think I and my BF were in there for about forty-five minutes and my feet didn’t scream once.

If you clicked on the link above, it took you to a poem I’ve loved for awhile called “Ed” by Louis Simpson. We have all kinds of reasons why we don’t step outside our boxes. Sometimes we invent them and sometimes there is that peer pressure from those closet to us. None of these reasons are easy to subvert.

However, as evidenced by Ed, we really should follow our hearts. Once we do, we often discover that a.) People don’t care b.) People get used to it and c.) A bit of all the above because we are so much more fulfilled being ourselves that we really don’t care what people think.

To the highest heights,

Hana

Day Twenty-Four-Brittney

Brittney Griner. That’s how tall I am with these heels on. I am the same height as the WNBA superstar and recently engaged athlete extraordinaire.

Oh yeah, these heels are from Payless by the way
Oh yeah, these heels are from Payless by the way

I don’t know why, but thinking of her helped me today as I walked around. I just came down with a rather nasty cold, so I needed all the inspiration I could get to leave my studio today.

Maybe it’s the fact that she doesn’t need any help from elevated footwear to be who she is. I’ve met one 6’6″ lady and another 6’10” woman in my life. I wonder what life from that height feels like. When I put on these five inch heels, I instantly felt powerful. It was amazing the change in view that a couple of inches afforded (and how much dust I noticed…the super super tall must be the cleanest people in the world.). The kind of stares I attracted today were more of the same, except people were quicker to look at my feet. Tall women get that look in general, but it has definitely increased as I’ve gotten “taller”.

Look at that heel!
Look at that heel!

I guess the lesson for me tonight as I visited a nearby furniture shop and grocery store was that there is no use feeling weird about my overall height when there are actual women who are 6’8″ and beyond. Tonight I stood tall and remembered that if I ever met Ms. Griner, I would need these heels to meet her eye to eye. After my mini-epiphany, I got some NyQuil and called it a night.

To the highest heights,

Hana

Day Twenty-Three-Five Inches High and Rising

So, here I am. Grossly overestimating the ease of walking in five inch heels, I had to slow my roll as I exited the front door. I also repeated “Heel, toe, heel, toe…” to within the confines of my mind. Oh, America and your dying infrastructure. Oh, you uneven sidewalks who do not meet my elevated heels nicely. You force me to look before I step and not take anything for granted.

My apartment is a much sweeter habitat for these shoes.
My apartment is a much sweeter habitat for these shoes.

I had nowhere to go really, so I settled for a nice little stroll around the block. When my feet got fed up, I stood on the corner (yes, literally, it’s not that type of place). I received some stares and two compliments. One was from an older man zooming on a bike, “Don’t you look pretty tonight!” and the the other was from two women exiting a cab, “Your outfit is so cute! We love it!” I desire to give more compliments to strangers. Keep the goodness going around.

I have to admit, I did feel a bit of nervousness leaving the house. It is a completely new thing. I know there are some very tall women out there who model shoes for cute OOTD posts, but I actually want to walk in them. IRL. What’s great is that I know this slight apprehension will fade in time. This is one of the keys to self-confidence, the ability to look back on past successes and be like, yep, I did that. Even when not done perfectly, I am reminded of how cool it is that I’m actually still doing this.

What will a new five inch heel day bring?

To the highest heights,

Hana