Monday, November 17, 2014

Body Image Inspiration from Home Renovations & Artist Carol Rossetti.

Badass inspiring artwork above, by Brazilian graphic artist Carol Rossetti
Good morning everyone! I can't help but be joyful today because (1) Autumn - my favorite season - is finally in full swing here in San Francisco (I wore TIGHTS last week and ate OATMEAL for breakfast this morning!), and (2) I just spent an entire 3-day weekend sweating through home renovations. Yes, I realize "scrape off popcorn crap from ceiling" isn't at the top of most people's "super fun" list, but I LOVE sprucing things up and making them more functional and beautiful. Feathering the nest turns a house (or apartment) into a home.

There's a meditative quality to the way that the physical work of renovating distracts my mind from its usual to-do list cycling; in an uncrowded mind, new ideas and thoughts have space to emerge and be noticed. This happened yesterday. I contemplated my love for "home improvement" last night while sweatily tearing up base-boards with a crowbar, and it suddenly occurred to me that I used to reserve this kind of time, energy, and passion for various "self-improvement" projects, instead.

Before: My house, yesterday afternoon. Beloved chaos with "potential."
After?: Still TBD
The creative energy I now put toward home renovations used to be fully spent by my body and beauty obsessions. Two hours spent putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls used to be two hours researching, sampling, and buy "miracle" makeup or anti-aging treatments. Thirty minutes of rearranging furniture used to be thirty minutes of trying on different outfits each day, until I found something I liked "enough."  Hours spent pulling up old carpet used to be hours spent each month tweezing, plucking, waxing, and shaving various part of my body; I now put "shave legs and pits" on my calendar for the 1st of each month, and I haven't been arrested by the fashion police yet! (The Carol Rossetti artwork I posted at the top of this post is gorgeously inspiring to my newfound razor-minimalism.)

Anyway... these days I still enjoy my makeup/fashion/beauty routines, but I've changed them so that they take up a lot less time and so that they feel more like creativity and self-care, than "required-before-I-can-leave-the-house." Speaking of leaving the house, once I'm done with all of these renovation projects - including a TBD fabulous home-office revamp - I'm not sure I"ll ever want to!

So now I'll ask you: where do you spend most of your creative energy?  Is this where you want to be spending it? 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Inspired by Yoko Ono's "Mirror Piece" Poem

I'm no expert in poetry, but I do know what it feels like when writing resonates in the soul, when I consider a creative work and somehow feel more known, more centered, and more connected to the world.

Yoko Ono's 1964 poem "Mirror Piece" has that effect on me. It will forever be pinned on my inspiration board! I hope it inspires you too.


Does anyone know more about the context or history of this poem? I'm hungry for some knowledge!
PS - Thanks, Tessa, for sending this to me!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall Book Reading @ Books Inc. Opera Plaza - July 10th, 7pm

Looking for something to do tonight (7/10/14)? Join me at Books Inc., Opera Plaza, for a book reading of Mirror Mirror, Off the Wall. Sponsored by About-Face, 15% of ALL book sales (not just MMOTW) will benefit their programs to help girls build healthy body image and self-esteem. Hope to see you there! Here's the scoop:

Kjerstin Gruys, author of Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall: How I Learned to Love My Body by Not Looking at It for a Year

Book title Mirror Mirror Off the Wall and photo of Kjerstin
Thursday, July 10, 2014
7pm to 9pm
Books Inc. Opera Plaza,
601 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
About-Face is proud to co-sponsor a special book reading and benefit with Books Inc. Opera Plaza featuring author Kjerstin Gruys. A former market researcher and merchant in the fashion industry plus recent Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Sociology at UCLA, Kjerstin shares Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall: How I Learned to Love My Body by Not Looking at It for a Year. Part memoir, part women’s studies, Kjerstin’s observations offer an important look at body image and how women view themselves with society’s standards in mind.
Please join us for the chance to meet the author, hear a wonderful book reading, and enjoy the opportunity to have your copy of Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall signed! Copies of the book will be available for sale during the event, so please consider purchasing your copy and gift copies at the event (amongst other book shopping) to support your local Books Inc. store and About-Face.
During the event, Books Inc. will donate 15% of ALL book sales (not just sales of Mirror Mirror Off the Wall) to About-Face.
Admission is free for this event, and parking is available in the building.
Note for parents: This event is appropriate for adults, pre-teens, and teens, too!
RSVPs appreciated but not necessary. Click here to RSVP.

Map of event location:
For further information, call our office at (415) 839-6779 or e-mail About-Face.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Paperback Release of Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall is July 1st!

I'm so excited to share the news: the paperback release of Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall is July 1st. Join me that evening at 8pm EST for a kick-off live TweetChat hosted by the Academy for Eating Disorders (#AEDchat). More info at the end of this post.

Check out the fabulous new cover design! 

Here's the scoop on the AED TweetChat:


It's easy to join in the #AEDchat! - Try it!

1. Login to Twitter with your Twitter account.*

2. With your Twitter account already running, you'll open up Twubs at: http://twubs.com/AEDchat. ("Twubs" is the site you can login to and use during the chat. It will allow you to participate and watch all the action!)
3. At the bottom of the page, click the Twitter badge that says “Log in with Twitter,” and then click “Authorize app” to allow Twubs to read/send your #AEDchat tweets.
Note: Twubs will automatically add the #AEDchat hashtag at the end of everything you tweet, so no need to do this. However, you will need to check the length of all of your prepared responses to make sure there is room for Twubs to add the #aedchat hashtag at the end (in other words, Twitter allows you 140 characters for each tweet, so you’ll have to subtract eight characters for "#AEDchat" hashtag in order to be under the limit for your tweets).
*Don't have Twitter account yet? You can create one here. #AEDchat
See you there!