Friday, October 25, 2013

What is Femininism?

No, the title is not a typo. Femininism, not to be confused with feminism, is the appreciation of all things uniquely female-related. What’s so special about being female, anyway? Well, I’ll tell you. If you’re ever feeling like you need a good dose of Girl Power, take these physical and spiritual signs into consideration.

1. Women are God’s masterpiece.

I’m sure you’ve heard the criticisms of Christianity’s creation story in which Eve was created from Adam’s side as his helpmate.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be created from a sentient being than dirt. The creation of woman was the final act, the piece de resistance. After creating all that other stuff and before he rested, God created his final masterpiece, woman.

In all reality, who was created first or last does not make one gender superior over the other. My brother and I used to always yell when breaking into a run for the car, “Last one there’s a rotten egg.” And the other would say, “First one there gets to eat it!” I don’t think we actually knew what we were saying. I just remember running really fast to the car but then slowing down as we approached it and looking at each other confused; we weren’t sure who should be the first or last.

Despite this, I still think it is cool that Eve was last.

2. We have uteri (uteruses).

The uterus is the strongest muscle in the human body. Ok, so there is actually much debate on this and it may not be true. Some argue that the jaw, cardiac, or calf muscles are the strongest, depending on your definition of strength. But it is safe to say that the uterus does superhuman actions that a man cannot do, such as push a watermelon out a quarter-sized hole. Okay, so birth is actually nothing like that as discussed in this article: The Watermelon Fallacy.

Despite this, the uterus is still freakishly strong!

3. God chose to be born of a woman.

Of ALL the different ways God could have saved us or even come to Earth, he could have just floated down on a cloud, or burst up from a volcano, or appeared by a bolt of lightning, but no, he chose to enter the world as we all have, through a woman.
Remember how cool Eve was to be the last creation? Well, she also gave women everywhere a bad name by committing the first sin. But the same way we can blame a woman for the fall of mankind we can also blame a woman for its salvation.
Mary accepted the role of God’s mom. Had she aborted this mission, we’d be lost.

4. Women can feed people with their bodies.

Women can literally be life support. Whether she is breastfeeding her own child, acting as a wet nurse, or pumping and delivering to a breastmilk bank, a woman’s body can keep another person nourished and alive!

I will never forget the story about a blizzard that stranded a family in their car on a mountain for nine days. The mother kept her two young children alive with her breastmilk. The father, desperate to find rescue for his family, perished in the snow looking for help. This story epitomizes parents’ love and sacrifice.

5. Jesus first appeared to women.

When something really good and new and exciting happens, who do you tell first? Maybe you just had a positive pregnancy test; who’s the next person to know? If you found out you “got the job,” who would you call right away to share the good news? Probably someone really important and significant in your life to you.

Jesus woke up, got dressed, rolled out of the cave and just accomplished the most significant event in all history. Everyone needed to know about what just happened. And who did he surprise first? A woman, Mary Magdalene. And he asked her to go spread the word. She was the first missionary!

6. Being female is the foundational building block of our development.

Embryo at 7 weeks
At your conception, your parents’ chromosomes combined to form your genes, and depending on how that all went down, usually you end up with either the female genes, XX or the male genes, XY. When you grew as a little teeny embryo, whether male or female, this growth and development was activated by your X chromosome. Not until about six weeks in, the Y chromosome starts directing your physical development to be characteristically male and later the genitals start differentiating. This is why men have nipples. Remember point number 4? Why would men need nipples if they can’t even feed people from them? Well, they got there because their X chromosome was directing their development early on in the womb, and later once the Y chromosome became activated, they were already there and there's no going back. They are proof that we all start out with the basic female blueprint.

Both sexes have unique qualities that are to be cherished and admired. Whether you were created first or last, pushed out a baby with your uterus or… bit something really hard with your jaw? People are awesome! Which brings me back to my core belief that I have mentioned before about each human being having equal dignity and value.  Growing up, I felt I was receiving confusing messages about being a woman such as to be strong you have to be like a man, or to be powerful, you have to seduce a man. These messages run contrary to the innate signs that point to our power and strength. These signs are also what make us unique and I've learned to appreciate rather than minimize these feminine traits.

Tip for the day- go out and find joy in your unique qualities, whether male or female and point out unique qualities that you enjoy about others. Thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Kids Watch Everything You Do

I applied for my first real job when I was 18 years old. I wanted to be a cabin counselor at the summer camp where I had been a camper myself for 8 years. I was having a phone interview with the Program Director, Kelly, who was my former favorite cabin counselor from two of the summer sessions I attended as a kid. We were going over expectations of working with the kids and she stressed the importance of always maintaining a positive attitude. “If you don’t like green beans, and that is what we are having for dinner, just at least eat some of the green beans and be happy about it because if you are excited about green beans, they will be excited about green beans. If you’re counting calories and not eating bread, they will count calories and not eat bread.”

I thought, “Ok, that’s easy enough. I can eat anything!”

Kelly:  “One of my campers' moms told me that when it was time to take her daughter for her first bra, her daughter said she wanted a sports bra ‘Because that’s what Kelly wore.’ I don’t wear sports bras all of the time but I did at camp, of course. So you never know when someone is watching you!”

Molly: “Awkward!”

Kelly: “Are you sitting down?”

Molly: “Yeah, why?”

Kelly: “Molly, that was your mom.”

I had totally forgotten but she was right! I do have a vague memory of asking my mom for a sports bra like Kelly! We both got a big laugh out of that and Kelly said that she has used that story for training other counselors countless times.

Many parents bring their child to therapy because they want their child to stop doing something. Occasionally, the best way to discourage a problem behavior is for the parents to stop engaging in it themselves. Limiting screen time is a common goal parents have. When children see their parents using the computer and watching TV for four or more hours a day, they are socialized to use the computer or watch TV for four or more hours a day.

The best way to get your child to brush her teeth is to brush your teeth.

Seems simple. But to many parents there is a double standard. “I am the adult; he’s the child.” Adults do have rights and privileges that children don’t. Adults can stay up late, drink beer, and cuss like sailors, but don’t forget for a second that as you exercise these freedoms, YOU ARE BEING WATCHED.

I was treating a teenage girl whose parents wanted her to quit smoking. They were growing especially concerned because her two year younger brother was now expressing an interest in smoking which they believed was due to his sister’s influence. The girl was being treated at a residential facility for other mental health issues and while at the facility, she never once complained of any cravings or attempted to sneak-in any cigarettes. Only during visits home on the weekend was the smoking an issue.

The parents viewed this as, “See, she could quit if she wanted to. She goes the entire week at your facility without a cigarette and is perfectly fine.” In other words, they believed she was smoking to annoy them.

Before a family session, I would ask my client on a scale of one to ten how much she wanted a cigarette and she said, “1.” When we entered the session, I asked her the same question and she replied, “8.” The reason was obvious to everyone in the room, except her mother. Her mother smelled heavily of cigarette smoke. I would have to open a window after sessions to let the air out before my next appointment. Her mother did not know this about herself as she had become accustomed to the smell. We were able to address this in the session and were able to explain that when Mom goes outside to smoke at home, the client’s scale of wanting a cigarette jumps to a ten. The client explained the only time she has ever craved a cigarette while in the facility was when a staff member came in from a smoke break and their clothing smelled like smoke.

The parents had a difficult time accepting this at first because after all, adults are legally allowed to buy cigarettes but minors are not. They were able to better understand that asking her to quit while at the same time triggering her cravings probably wasn’t the most supportive way of helping her achieve her goal. The girl truly wanted to quit and didn’t like the fact that she smoked. Her mother admitted that she was the same age as her daughter when she took up smoking and had not stopped since.

By the time the girl was ready to leave treatment, she had completely stopped smoking and the mother was down to smoking only e-cigarettes outside away from the kids. I don’t know how they are doing now with being smoke-free but I wouldn’t be surprised if both her kids picked up the e-cigarettes!

Kids are not ashamed to admit that they watch what we do! One of their favorite songs they asked me to play for them was this country song by Rodney Atkins called “Watching You.” Enjoy!

Kids will even watch you when they pretend not to like you. Imagine the most emo girl in the world who was too cool for everyone and everything. This facade was due to every adult in her life completely breaking her trust. Her foster care worker asked if we could meet on a certain day and I replied, "Um, I'm not sure, I'll have to check my schedule." The girl interjected, "She can't. She has to go to a training that day." I had totally forgotten that I had a one day training that was two weeks away. She must have noticed it on my calendar- when I wasn't watching! Even though she was "too cool" for me, she took note of when I was going to be in and out of the office because I was someone she could trust.

Please, let me know on Twitter or Facebook any stories of kids emulating you when you least expected it. Thanks for reading! Talk to you soon, 


Monday, October 14, 2013

Acting According to Your Values

I had just started my counseling internship while in graduate school when I was at a staff training that my internship supervisor was giving about boundaries. I will never forget her advice that she emphatically stated while slapping her palm on the table, “Check your values at the door.” Sometimes in life, we have negative role models who make a lasting impact.

Check your values at the door? I knew she meant that professionals should respect cultural diversity and not use the profession as a means to directly proselytize people to a particular belief system. Couldn’t she have said it like that?

Acting in accordance with your values leads to success. Many have different definitions of success but that is due to having different values. If you value money and power, you will achieve success by obtaining money and power. If you value self-expression, you will achieve success by effectively expressing yourself.

If you value the dignity of each person, for example, how perfectly appropriate that you would serve the oppressed. This is what I value most and I have often been asked, “How can you be Christian and also CATHOLIC, and work with people who have sex outside of marriage and are homosexual and get abortions? How do your values not get in the way?” There’s that word again: values.

I will tell you that the value that is the foundation for my beliefs about human sexuality is the same value that allows me to serve all people with equal respect and compassion for each person's dignity.
My values do not get in the way; they pave the way.

So to my former internship supervisor, I’m sorry but my values have been very much checked-in and it has made my success possible. I want to share with you, dear readers, how to align your actions and your values.

First Step: Determine what your values are.

There are a lot of resources online to help you determine your values. They often involve you identifying a time when you felt most happy, fulfilled, or proud. Here’s a short list of some examples that you can prioritize and then try to find opportunities to enact these.

Being the best
Hard Work

Second Step: Stick to them.

Whether I am meeting with the boss of the company or a homeless client, I try to be on time and respectful and presentable to both equally. Does this mean that I am always on time when I have a scheduled meeting with someone? No. If only that were true! When I do make an extra effort to be on time instead of making up an excuse like, “Oh, he can wait,” then I have acted in accordance my values, which leads to more success. 

Acting against your values leads to inner-conflict and sorrow. Kurt Cobain was said to have valued safety. In spite of his unlimited budget, he chose to drive a Volvo because of its reputation for safety. However, he put his life in danger by shooting up heroin, and eventually took his own life.

Third Step: Educate yourself.

Have you noticed some changes in American values lately? Instead of “bigger is better,” I’m hearing a lot of “less is more.” Prosperity and freedom are some of the highest ideals of the American Dream which used to mean buying the biggest house you could afford. Now many Americans are choosing to forgo modern luxuries for a simpler minimalist lifestyle. They believe that this leads to prosperity and freedom. Read and learn all that you can because often you will face challenges and people who will question your values.

Fourth step: Re-evaluate.

Your values can change over time and hopefully from a natural and gradual evolution because you have been diligent in this four step process.

I had a friend in high school who sewed her own clothes, didn’t shave, wore glitter on her face, and of course, was vegan. I was shocked to visit her at her college and learn that she began eating meat. She explained that even though she was eating meat, her values had not changed. She was vegan before because she was against the inhumane practices of the American meat industry. She then went to an agricultural college where she grew her own crops, raised her own chickens and cows, was fully aware and comfortable with the way they were being treated, and had no issue with eating the animals. She was at peace with her decision because she educated herself and used her values to make thoughtful and intentional decisions about her life. She admitted that she was at first afraid that most of her hippy friends would turn against her for this change but she reasoned that it is better to act according to her values than conform to a label. 

Contradictory yet true statement alert: be yourself and question the values suggested to you from authority and society but at the same time don’t dismiss the wisdom of your elders. There are authorities, leaders, and experts out there who can be trusted and who know a thing or two about what matters in life.

Thanks for reading. Talk to you soon,

Sunday, October 13, 2013



Welcome to the Devout Rabbit, a lifestyle blog that hopes you find faith every day.

The "devout" in Devout Rabbit refers to the devotion you possess when you live a life full of passion and purpose. This devotion can translate to monumental tasks as well as the mundane everyday happenings.

Rabbits, or as I sometimes like to call them "bunnehs," are just one of the many examples of the little lessons in life that can teach us a thing or two about what it means to be human.  We all have an instinctual drive to dig our burrows, mark our territory, and run from predators. And they are really cute and fun to doodle.

What I hope you find here:
  • Tools for self-help, advice, learning, and inspiration
  • Strategies to live healthier and act with intention
  • Basic skills that will allow you to take on challenges with confidence, purpose, and consideration to yourself and those around you.
  • Fun randomness. Hey, you are on the internet, right?

About Me

You can call me Molly Moore and I am the writer for the Devout Rabbit. I am a once upon a time prom queen, naive, material girl turned simple-living, zealous idealist. I have a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. In other words, I like to help people. If you are wondering where my picture is and what my real name is, I am choosing to write under the pseudonym, Molly, to protect the therapeutic relationship I have with my clients. That’s right, I live my personal life mostly free of social media. Are you ready for my explanation using psychobabble?

Due to the population of clientele I have served, it is in their best interest if my relationship with them is defined strictly to the therapeutic setting and to cross this boundary and foster non-professional interactions or a “dual relationship” would compromise the therapeutic integrity of their treatment.

In English? Boundaries.

Reading your therapist’s personal blog kind of ruins the vibe. When you go to therapy, and you’ve made some changes via that relationship with your therapist and now suddenly you feel obligated to “Like” her facebook post about the concert she went to sort of undermines the point in my opinion. When you see a therapist, her job is not to be your friend, but to be a blank canvas that you work out your problems on until you, the masterpiece, are finished.

You may be thinking, “I tweet my therapist all the time!” Cheers to you and your therapist! For me and the specific clients that I serve, it wouldn’t work.

But for you visual people out there who like to put a face with a name, I have included my very own self-portrait!

Disclaimer: This site is not a substitute for professional mental health counseling.

This site reaches beyond mental health and covers wellness, living skills, and spirituality. (Did I mention I have a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science Education?) Sometimes, you need a professional’s help, but additionally there are many steps you can take on your own to better your life and mental well-being. Hopefully the information and stories here will serve to augment the strategies you already have put in place in your own life, because I know you have already been working diligently.

Thank you for reading this and getting to know a little about me. I hope I get to know more about you! Talk to you soon,