Mirror, Mirror, What Do You See?

What do you see when you look in the mirror

The age, flaws, the scars

The areas of improvement

I see all that too

But I can’t help but dance despite all that

because what a beautiful creation God has made

me, made us

Taking ownership of that is the least any of us can do

It honors God and makes us feel good

So why not give it go!

Reflections on the Embody Project

A few months back, I had the opportunity to participate in the Embody Project. What an amazing opportunity. Here are my reflections on the event:

Present and Grateful

Me and my body have been all over the place. I’ve been the fat kid, the skinny kid, and now I’m me.

I love being me. It’s a weird and wonderful thing.

To sit in-between the Bebe Theater and the adjacent Methodist church was the perfect way to prepare for the shoot.

I loved the chance to sit down with Erica and Trey and talk before we began, because this really is a conversation, a conversation that I have had with my body for years, that I had with them in that moment, and that I am having with you now. The conversation never ends.

Then it was time to disrobe. It felt so natural, even with the cameras. I love to act (hence the theater setting), so being on stage in front of the cameras felt completely comfortable to me.

Then came my favorite part, the moment we began to play. Sitting in the chair, standing up and singing Sondheim, improvising a monologue in the style of immersion theater, getting down on the floor to match Erica’s angle: this is the stuff of dreams. And, finally, when all the talking and moving were done, it felt so right to sit across from one another and take the moment in.

There is beauty in the stillness. There is beauty in the motion. There is beauty in the moment, in the skin we are in, in the blood pumping through our veins, through the God-given Spirit in our souls. It’s all a gift.

To hug and reflect as I stood, reclothed, back between the church and the theater was the perfect way to end.

And now it’s your turn, to let your own journey begin. Take it and let it lead you to wonderful places.

Your body is blessed. Amen.

For more information, check out this site: http://embodyproject.com/about/

God bless!

Hello! My Name is Aaron

Hi,

My name is Aaron Ybarra, named after Aaron the brother of Moses,

sent by God to help the prophet when he doubted himself.

He acted as Moses’ mouthpiece before Pharaoh.

As soon as they were out of Egypt however,

Aaron kinda went crazy.

Under pressure from his peers,

he built a golden idol while Moses was away

and claimed that it just kinda happened

when caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

He and Miriam also talked smack on Moses while

he was in the tent with the presence of God.

And died in the wilderness.

My name means “lofty, high, exalted, mountain.”

Fitting now that I am in the Blue Ridge of North Carolina.

In the Bible, there is a lot in a name.

Nothing is lost.

So,

What can we learn from this?

What is my legacy?

I am a helper. I am a spokesperson.

I am also suggestible and can fly off the handle

when not under careful supervision.

I am a leader but also a born follower.

I need a mentor and a guide

to help me be a fully realized me.

So, Jesus empower me to speak,

to evangelize, to help, and come beside.

Guard my tongue and my heart.

Rid my heart of deception.

Let me own my issues.

Cleanse me of all pride.

Keep me pure of influences that would

have me make an ass out of myself.

As the song says,

“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above.”

Amen.

 

Friendzone?

Guys, let’s be honest: the friendzone is a lie, an imaginary penalty box of self-loathing, and handy gimmick to get us to buy relationship advice.

It’s natural to develop romantic feeling towards those you are close to. Be honest about that. Honor those feelings. When those feelings pop up and sustain themselves, find a appropriate time and place to relate them. If the feelings are met and reciprocated, then great! Have fun. If the feelings are not reciprocated, you have a choice. If they just want to be friends and you’re okay with that, be friends! If you really struggle with it, maybe take a break, step away. You may want to invest in friendship later on, once the hormones die down.

Now, you may have those feelings but choose to invest in the friendship anyway. If you do this begrudgingly, this is not friendship. It will eat at you inside. This is masochism, not love, and relationships are built on love. It’s in this space that the “friendzone” thrives, because it’s easier to commiserate than to own your stuff and take appropriate action.

So, respect your feelings and those of your friend. Be honest and check in. And in all things, excel in love, in whatever form that love may take.

Stained Glass

People are funny and people in the church are no exception.

We all have our unconscious lists of sinners and saints, people that seemingly can do no wrong and people that seemingly can do no right.

But in the end we’re all just people and this has been true ever since the first person showed up on Earth.

From Adam to David to Paul to Aaron, we’re all broken pieces of glass put together by God into this collective masterwork known as the fellowship of believers.

Let us lay our perceptions down and embrace the collective soul, for we are all saints and sinners whose sole redemption is God.

 

Permission to be Ugly

To permit myself to be ugly

is to permit myself to be beautiful

for if I do embrace my

flaws and failures

they will haunt me

in any attempt I make to be perfect and good

There will always that fear that they will see past

the foundation and the makeup

and see me as I really am,

but that is the point:

I want them to see that me

the PJs and cornchips

me

and say, I love you all the same

So I embrace that me

I invite you to do the same

to make a funny face

to embrace my contortions

and in doing that

become even more beautiful

than I ever have been before.

Amen.

The Embody Project

As I study the Embody Project,

I notice a few commonalities:

the shedding of clothes

brings with it the shedding of judgements,

the shedding of hangups

about the body and others’ opinions of it.

When we get beyond all the layers,

we transcend the physical

Suddenly, everyone is prophetic,

spiritual

It’s like we step into our true Edenic selves,

who walk with Jesus just like we used to

before our flesh knew shame.