April 30, 2013 Leave a comment
Faithful readers! The Unboxed Life has moved to a new home. Find me here: http://www.mindamagero.com and follow my current national book tour from the West Coast to the East Coast and back!
Talk to you soon!
May 10, 2012 7 Comments
Wow, it’s already May! The older I get, the faster time seems to go by. I have so much going on in this season of my life and I’m trying hard to keep up with it all. I’m in the middle of writing my 2nd poetry book (The Book of Mysteries is the first one). Along the way, I’ll be sharing a few selections from it. It’s a book about love; its different stages and faces.
Today’s selection is about a violent attraction I had for a fine, young man. One day, I walked into a room to find him alone, sitting there, looking impossibly handsome and asking after my day. Sparks flew between us. The pull towards each other was so strong that, for the first time in my life, I was afraid of it. Afraid that it wouldn’t take much at all for us to discard our clothing in pursuit of that deepest of intimacies.
Thankfully, we chose to keep our clothes on and to honor each other physically, since we weren’t married to each other. We chose to wait. This poem sums it all up:
Some days when I walk into your space
You’re smoldering like embers
And I’m kindling for the fire.
The winds pick up
Sparks crackle between us
The temperature inches towards boiling point.
But because I love you
And you honor me
We choose not to light this fire today.
We choose to rein in our passions
Until the covenant is sealed.
For a fire contained
Will warm us and our children
But a fire that rages
Will raze our house to the ground.
© 2011 Minda Magero
Picture: Christine Kysely
February 13, 2012 7 Comments
In celebration of love, I submitted the following extremely short story (140 words) for the Burning Love Contest at the MikChiks blog. Thought I’d share it with you, too.
Thilo begged for English conversation lessons. Nina consented, little suspecting he was mad for her. It became evident after a month of conversations. Since he wasn’t her type, she kept things formal to spare him the heartbreak.
On a group weekend getaway to the countryside, a friend said, “Rumor has it you two are dating.”
“There’s nothing between us!” Nina quickly pointed out.
“Let’s give them something to talk about,” Thilo said. “Let’s pretend we’re engaged.”
He called her sweetheart, sat next to her at meals, held her hand on snowy walks.
That last morning, Nina felt Thilo’s eyes adoring her across the breakfast table. She sat opposite him, suddenly shy after months of knowing him.
“Honey, don’t hide your eyes from me.”
She looked up at him, lost in the wonder of love, grateful that he’d loved her first.
Image: by Jan
January 19, 2012 13 Comments
I’ve wanted to write another positive post about women for a while now (earlier posts are here). All because of a female blogger I stumbled upon last year. She is a misogynist, even though she’d be the last to admit it.
Apart from her small group of immediate family and close friends, she holds the view that women are bickering b*****s–insanely jealous of each other (in her case, of her good looks), and unable to get along with each other. She is well-traveled and swears that women are the same everywhere: argumentative, petty and mean. She prefers to work and play with men. Her posts always made me want to say, Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles and Thundering Typhoons! Excuse me, what??
I’m almost certain the problem lay with her; not with other women. There is just no way all the women she met could have been so terrible. I have known many women in my relatively short life, and they have been the support that has carried me through some of the worst seasons of my life. They also make up the fabric of some of my favorite memories of being fully alive and happy.
One of my BFFs and I were once unwittingly caught up in a love triangle. Jean-Marc had just told Sofia he had feelings for her; she didn’t have feelings for him. As she shared this with me, I informed her that I had feelings for Jean-Marc, which he seemed to reciprocate. Sofia and I were both shocked. Jean-Marc later declared he had no feelings for me. As you can imagine, it was a hot mess. I wanted the world to end.
The months that followed were difficult, at best. But early on, Sofia and I had decided that we would fight for our friendship. We valued it too much to allow this storm stirred up by a man’s mishandling of relationships to destroy it. Sofia and I showed up for needful conversations with each other that were sometimes beyond painful. We honored each other. Privately, we each wept and railed and agonized. And we continually chose love and forgiveness, sometimes several times in one day.
As months went by and healing came, our friendship emerged from the storm even stronger than before. Sofia is one of my greatest champions. She fights for my dreams and I for hers. She wouldn’t hesitate, if she had to jump into the path of an oncoming train to save me. I’d do the same for her. You can’t convince me that women are horrible.
Women are deeply relational, tender and compassionate. When we live from our true selves, rather than from our woundedness, we release a fragrance of beauty that smooths out the rough edges of life. We love fiercely and well. We invite the world to life, to elegance and laughter, to vulnerability and goodness.
I love women.
*Picture by Sujin Jetkasettakorn
January 12, 2012 17 Comments
I thought I’d start 2012 by doing something really new, so I went speed dating (perhaps subconsciously inspired by Hitch). I’ve begun to notice a pattern with dating: in smaller cities, I get asked out more, even by strangers I run into on the street. In bigger cities, the fish aren’t biting. And in the church, there is a crisis. I much prefer to meet people face-to-face, rather than date online, so speed dating was the next best thing to being asked out by someone in my circles.
The only information I had about the evening was that I should expect to have 12 dates in the 2-hour period. Not bad for one who hasn’t been on a formal date in years. I arrived at the midtown lounge with a good friend, whom I’d convinced to join me on this adventure. We signed in and were directed to our seats, based on numbers that were assigned to us. I had expected more fun and games at the event–more structure–but the 5-minute dates were free-form.
My dates ranged from highly entertaining men (some with the help of mind-altering drinks) and decent conversationalists, to socially awkward ones. The 5-minute slots seemed alternately too short, just right or never-ending. Right off the bat, most men wanted to talk about work. Once that was out of the way, I’d steer the conversation to my favorite question of the night: What do you do for fun? Invariably, those who were stumped by the question were the ones who made the 5-minute date seem like an eternity. No life outside of work = No date!
One of my dates pontificated about the Greeks and their varied expressions of love for our entire 5 minute-slot. Greek lesson? No, thank you. Running one’s mouth is no way to pique a woman’s interest. I might have told him that, had he let me get a word in edgewise. Two men made me laugh so hard with their ridiculous stories about daily life, that when the bell rang and our time was up, we felt like we had just begun. I’m so glad one of them was my final date for the night. It was a good way to go out.
Although I’d actually expected that more fun activities would be incorporated into the evening, I enjoyed the evening and would do it again. Now I’m trying to come up with a modified version of speed dating to add to my Bringing Sexy Back repertoire, the relationship seminars I have hosted since 2010. See, I’m bothered enough by the scarcity of romantic relationships among my peers to do something about it. For the most part, I think today’s young adults don’t know how to do relationships.
What do you think?
November 19, 2011 12 Comments
As a multifaceted artist, I’ve grappled for years with the idea of finding my voice. Often we find it hard to become the people we were meant to be because we grow up in environments that constantly compare us to each other. No two snowflakes are alike, yet no one ever says, “I like this snowflake better than the other one.” Each of us is like a snowflake—unique and beautiful.
Well into adulthood and after pursuing a number of majors in college, I finally realized that I’m happiest when I’m creative. So I dove into poetry, writing, painting, singing—with little or no formal training. At first I was afraid that I wouldn’t measure up to people who had formal training or far more experience in these areas. But I have come to realize that my goal is not to be as good as other people are, but to be the best that I can be.
Vincent van Gogh, a 19th century impressionist painter, said, “If you hear a voice inside you saying, ‘You are not a painter,’ then by all means paint… and that voice will be silenced.” That quote—and finding out that elephants could paint (what?!)—inspired me to attempt new things, including painting.
It’s not about who thinks you’re a painter or who doesn’t. It’s not about how many albums of your music you can sell or how much you can sell them for. It’s about whether what you are doing brings you joy, even if no one else likes your work. It’s about giving yourself permission to explore things you’re passionate about and room to come up with original ideas.
Take some time to list a number of things that make you come alive. Then ask yourself, “Am I doing any of these things?” If you’re not, what’s holding you back? One of my mentors, T. K. Henderson, recently said to me, “If you’re not walking in your purpose, the world is unbalanced. Don’t let fear hold you back.”
It’s your time. Become who you were meant to be.