Tuesday
Jan222019

Cabo

If you are reading this, thank you for making it this far.  I should warn you, this story is not for the faint at heart.  There is foul language, sexual references, violence and is intended for adult readers only.  

 

"Wait you say, I thought this was a website about balance and beauty, yoga and makeup"..."What is with the violence and 'adult content'?"  Well, you'd be right, this is a website promoting a balanced and beautiful lifestyle and sometimes to get there, we have to deal with some real life "shit".

 

This is my story of some "real life shit" I had to deal with just over 10 years ago.  And on my 45th birthday I'm feeling a little like sharing, in hopes that someone out there might get something out of it, feel the same way or prevent situations like this one from happening again.  I tell it not because I want you to feel sorry for me and think of me differently (please don't).  Nor am I presenting this story as a testament to the Bad Ass Lady that I am...but I'm okay if after reading this, you think I am. ;)  I'm simply releasing a time in my life that no longer serves me.

 

It is for women (and men) everywhere to know that strength and peace in, not only our bodies, but our minds and spirits is our best defense.  I hope that those of you reading this will never have to "defend" yourself as I have...(and if you have, I'm here for you in full support.)  But we all have challenges in life.  We all have stories of failure and success.  I always say, it is not so much the action in life as the reaction to life that truly determines the outcome.  The stronger and more at peace we are in our mind, bodies and spirits the greater the outcome when life throws us a curve ball...

 

 

So, if you are still with me...thanks for listening...

 

Here is my story.

 

CABO

 

“Oh hell no!” I gasped in utter shock as I turned around and he rushed towards me.  Without a moment to think, I was tackled onto the rocky sand dune. “No fucking way this is happening right now.” I remember crying out loud, suffocated by his foul body odor.  “No Bueno” I screamed over and over again as I struggled to push him off. His body weight forced me to the ground and onto the rough terrain below.  My sweaty ponytail smeared into the rocks and sand as I cringed side to side avoiding his advances.  There, on my back, on the berm, I realized the terrifying fact that I was alone. With the exception of this one naked guy and a new construction site off in the distance, there was no sign of anyone around. I questioned whether or not this was really happening.  Of all the times I had found myself in precarious situations, made bad choices in my life, put myself at risk, drank too much, trusted too much and didn’t care enough, this was not one of those times.

 

I was just going for a run.  “See you back here in a few hours”, my husband kissed me goodbye and left the room to join the rest of the wedding party for rehearsals. While he fulfilled his role as “Best Man” that afternoon, I was at leisure to do whatever I wanted.  Ready for a little adventure of my own, I put on my newly purchased, just for this vacation, super cute turquoise polka dot bikini and sunglasses and headed out for the Cabo San Lucas Shore.  Careful not to get sucked in by all the umbrella drinks and Coronas I laid my sandals, towel and room key on an empty lounge chair poolside. I skipped down the stairs, filed past all the sunbathers, kids playing in the sand and water sports activities to the wide-open waterfront.  Off in the distance was a large berm of sand and rocks, probably about a mile away and I decided that this would be my destination. At a steady pace, my bare feet sank slightly into the sand with every stride. My skin was hot but cool from the exhilaration I felt to be alive and free.  I fancied myself Bo Derek in the movie “10”, minus the braids, boobs and tan.  The further I ran, the more deserted the beach became, until eventually it was just me, the sand, sun, sea and the Arch of Cabo San Lucas, in the background.

 

As I ran, a sixth sense told me something was going to happen.  In my mind I romanticized this sensation into something sexy where I would encounter an exotic dark attractive male.  While my mind wandered, my legs carried on and before I knew it, I had reached my journey’s end.  Exhausted, I looked forward to relaxing a bit before making my way back to the hustle and bustle of the hotel scene. I climbed up the raised bank of sand, salty sweat dripped into my eyes and I pulled my glasses off for a moment to wipe my face. I turned to the ocean and reveled in my personal achievement while enjoying the gorgeous views. The Arch of Cabo San Lucas framed the horizon like a peephole from the ocean to the sky.  Boats and wave runners appeared as little toys and the water sparkled like diamonds in their wake. Struck by how far I had come, suddenly I was uneasy with this.  I turned away from the view of the ocean because I felt something behind me…a presence.  

 

“Oh hell no!” I begged as if someone were listening.  This stranger of a man rushed towards me. I screamed and my heart clumped into my throat.  He charged me with one hand to stroke himself off while the other grabbed me.  My weary feet planted firmly in the rough, rocky sand. Paralyzed with fear and confusion I braced myself for the inevitable.  In my mind, suddenly I am 9 years old again trapped in the basement with the neighbor’s son who pulled me down there to ask me to give him a “fellatio”.  Then, I was back because I was tackled to the ground, his sweaty body mounted onto mine. Every vertebra in my spine stacked into a stiff rod of fear.  I recall this feeling, and I am 16, half-passed out in my friend’s bed and pushing away one of my male classmates who has climbed on top of me. My stomach turned, fists tightened, shoulders locked up around my ears.  For a moment, under the bright sun and in the thick hot humid air, I was frozen. Perspiration dripped off his face as he thrust and clawed for my limbs to pin me down and I am 22 again, being prodded unwillingly by a man I foolishly invited back to my hotel room.

 

“No fucking way this is happening right now!”  I cried in total disbelief as I continued to fight him off by any means possible.  He wasn’t too big, a little taller than me, had brown hair, dark skin and was completely naked.  No one around to hear me yell, he continued to force himself on me. Every violent movement, the rocks and sand below dug deeper into my back and shoulders. Desperately afraid I fought back with every fiber of my being.  With my angels above and a will that was not about to back down, I am 30, skeptical, sober and strong and 100 percent certain I was about to go crazy town on this guy.

 

“No Bueno!” I screamed over and over again.   The sun was hot and my blood was even hotter. “No Bueno!” I pleaded, as if speaking Spanish would make a difference.  Desperate but not done, I muscled us down off the hill to the sand below.  Somehow in all this mess, I knew the one chance I had was to make my way back down the same way I came.  He wrestled himself on top of me again.  His body reeked of semen and sweat, which smeared all over my flaming red skin. His hands moved quickly from my breasts to between my legs. For his every maneuver I battled him back with sharp elbows and knees. When I was not screaming or fighting I was holding my breath because I could not stand the smell of him.

 

In a constant struggle to free myself from underneath him, my bikini, now half on and off, literally hung by a string. He attempted to masturbate while tearing at my suit.  His hand reached into my swimsuit bottoms and fingered towards my nether regions.  I felt him down there when suddenly he hesitated for a moment. I sensed he was thrown off by something and for one very small second, his aggressive wet body went limp. I had my period.  He discovered my Tampon and in some form of shock or disgust he paused for a moment and I was given a gift.  I was able to break away from under him.  I stumbled to my feet, and without looking back for a second, I ran. I ran like I had not fought or ran a mile in the sand already.  I ran, rearranging my suit as best as I could and mourned slightly for the sunglasses that were sacrificed in the battle.  I never stopped running.  I ran towards the crowded beach where not a single soul had any idea what had just happened.  I ran, I was hysterical, I cried in agony, I screamed in victory.  I slowed down.  I was ok. I was alive.  I was about to be back at the resort.

 

Tattered and torn, I walked into the crowd of oblivious tourists and vendors.   “You want some chicklets?” a little Mexican girl asked as she shoved colorful packets of gum into my face.  I didn’t answer but in my mind I responded, “Do I look like I want some fucking chicklets?” Surrounded by people on all sides, a permanent tunnel of silence wrapped around me.  If they were looking at me, I did not notice.  I found a beach shower against the wall next to the stairs up to the pool, checked to make sure my suit was in place and stood under the water to wash away the smell. I walked up the stairs to the pool deck, picked up my sandals, towel and key and headed straight for my room.

 

When I got to my room I locked the door, removed my bikini and showered again. My body convulsed under the water that washed away the constant flow of tears down my face. I stayed there until my husband returned to the room, maybe 20 minutes maybe 2 hours I had no recollection of time. I stepped out of the shower and lost it.  My backside, bruised and bloody, reflected in the bathroom mirror. Barely able to mutter the words, “I was attacked” He noticed the damage to my flesh.   “What happened?  Who did this?”  He asked.  “I don’t know!” I sobbed and trembled uncontrollably.  He comforted me as much as I would allow.  I had been touched enough that day.

 

After explaining what had happened, my husband was enraged.  We went down to the front office and demanded that we speak with the General Manager who at the time was arguing with another hotel guest complaining about the noise of construction outside his room.  My Husband interrupted their conversation, “My wife was just attacked on your hotel grounds!”  They both dismissed him in some form of denial or language barrier.  And while he persisted on, we realized, it was as if this was not the first time something like this had happened. Even if we caught the guy, would we come back to fight the case in a Mexican court? Would I be able to identify a naked man in a line up?  The whole situation was beginning to seem quite helpless. 

 

 

We insisted that the hotel security drive us in one of their beach vehicles to the place of attack, but they were understaffed and too busy to help.  So my husband, a couple of his friends and I marched down the beach to see if we could find evidence of the assailant or maybe his clothes.  Unfortunately all we found were my crushed sunglasses and the perfect vantage point from the construction zone next door where we surmised he watched me running up. On a dare from his co-workers or some sick perversion he must have waited for me, pleasing himself and scheming to strike as I ran closer. Had we caught him I was quite certain that I would have kicked him and beat him to the ground with no remorse. But we never did. 

 

I kept it together that night and the rest of the trip for that matter, the best I could.  I coped the only way I knew how.  “I’m ready for another drink!”  Exclaimed one of the partiers from the dance floor.  “Me too”, I thought, and headed for the bar. 

***

Please know you are not alone and if you need help going through any sort of trauma there are services out there for you.  www.reconnectcenter.com

 

Monday
Dec312018

It's "Hip" to be Boring

 

  • ·     A NICE DINNER WITH A FEW FRIENDS AND IN BED BY 10
  • ·     BINGE WATCHING NETFLIX NEAR A WARM FIRE
  • ·     A CANDLE LIT YOGA CLASS
  • ·     THE LATEST POD CAST OF ARMCHAIR EXPERT AND A CUP OF MULLED WINE
  • ·     A WARM BATH, FACE MASK AND A GOOD BOOK
  • ·     MIDNIGHT WALK UNDER THE STARS                    

If any of these plans remotely resemble your New Years Eve, I’ve got to tell you, you might be boring.  I mean what happened to the days of sparklee clothes, nightclubs and DJ’s spinning well into the morning hours?  When did we get to be so boring?  

 

Let me tell you about boring, or shall I say, the exact opposite of boring. I just returned from 11 days in the Mid-West with my family, (but who is counting) where our schedule was packed from one event to the other.  Last minute shopping, lunch here, dinner there and travel EVERYWHERE!  We pretty much ate our way through the entire vacation. I’ve learned to hold off on drinking any Egg Nog prior to arriving, because I reach my weekly quota of all things fattening and nutrient deficient within the first 48 hours.  Despite all the food and activity, none of it involves working out! Any downtime is spent playing cards with Aunt Janet or putting a puzzle together with Grandma and Grandpa.  

 

What little downtime we had, was spent arguing with my daughter over why playing with the dollhouse my Father and I made over 30 years ago, that to this day still sits next the all the dolls and books, in the very bedroom I grew up in, is WAY cooler than making another meaningless Tic Toc musically on my cell phone.  “Mom, I’m bored!” She cried as we wrestled for my phone on the wooden-post framed bed handed down to me in the early 90’s when my parents upgraded their bedroom set.  Looking at the white walls above the radiator, my daughter points out the large crack running down the wall of the almost 100 year-old house.  Walls I painted white myself, because I fancied myself a decorator in High School and black and white (a la “Nagel”) was all the rage.

 

“When I was your age, I sat in this very room and played for hours without any cell phone”. I told her.

 

“Mom when you were my age, cell phones didn’t exist, so you didn’t know what your were missing!”  She replied. Which you can imagine what my comeback might have been!...

 

What is boring?  I’ve learned being bored is in the eye of the beholder.  What is boredom to one person could be very exciting to another.  Take yoga for example.  I can't tell you how many people have told me they find yoga boring.  However for every one person who finds it boring, there are many others who absolutely love it and find it very exciting!  In discussing this evenings plans with a group of 20 something year olds, they informed me their plan was to get together with friends, drink Glogg and listen to Pod Casts.  I had to contain myself from laughing out, “Seriously?” When I was 20 I was dancing on revolving floors, pouring flaming shots down mine and my friends throats until we headed to the after party where we proceed to watch the sunrise.  But they explained to me that, they are “done” with that scene.  They would much rather enjoy an evening with friends, sharing stories and relaxing at home. (YAWN!...)  No I kid, sort of.  In hindsight, how cool is this?  And it made me think, boring is the new exciting!

 

Tonight I will gather with family and a few friends, have a nice dinner and go for a bike ride on the beach with my family on New Years Day.  There will be no club scene or sparklee clothes, although my daughter just asked if she could borrow my blue glitter eye-shadow and cell phone to play music for freeze dance, so there is that.  Anywho, I couldn’t be more excited!!  If you asked, was the smallest part of me slightly jealous of the couple in front of me in line at Whole Foods who were stocking up on bottles of water, ginger ale and “Party Smart” Himalayan Herbal supplements. The answer would be, Yes. But the other 99% of me was like “been there, done that”, and suddenly I realized I was so happy being “boring”.  And after talking to my 20 year old friends, dare I say, I might even be a little "hip"?

 

Alisn Burmeister

For

Balanced Beauty 

Friday
Nov302018

Tis the Season for Believe'n

 

 Meet "Ty" our Elf on the Shelf...

 

For those of you who don't know about the "Elf On The Shelf" tradition, these pesky little guys show up uninvited to your home December 1st and don't leave until December 25th!  Each night they (read:The Parent) magically transport their bodies from one area of the house to another.  For example, your Elf on the Shelf might do something cute like eat cookies from the cookie jar, write messages with m&m's or hide in the freezer because it reminds him of the North Pole.  Other times, make a big mess, forming snow angels in the flour he spilled on the kitchen floor (terrible idea by the way) or seek adventure by clinging to a candy cane/garland zip-line across the living room.  (I'm pretty proud of that last one...)  Whimsical creativity and excitement abound in your home as your unpredictable friend entertains the family with his latest stunt.


However, if you are considering taking on this time honored, ridiculous tradition, you must know, you will have to lie, a lot.  Even more important to know than that, your Elf HAS TO MOVE every night!  Lord help us if you forget!!  "Mom, my Elf didn't move!"  Your child sobs as you wipe away the sleep from your eyes. You were out late, the bionic flu took you down, you fell asleep watching a movie...doesn't matter.  The Elf must move.  To cover your blunder and keep the magic alive you tell a bold face lie or make up some lame excuse like, "I heard that when he doesn't move, it means he is resting up for a really big crazy move the next night!"  You do what you have to do.  There is no greater sinking feeling than your child crying at your bedside over their idle, futile, lame Elf.

So you see, it's a lot of pressure hosting an Elf on the Shelf...not to mention isn't the idea here at Alison Burmeister for Balanced Beauty to feel good and lower stress?  So you might ask yourself, "Why in the world would I want more responsibility?"  Here is why...because the Elf on the Shelf represents more than just a silly tradition dreamed up marketing geniuses.  The Elf on the Shelf represents magic and belief in something you cannot see!  The Elf on the Shelf inspires creativity!  To quote the author Steven Pressfield, "Is there a spiritual element to creativity?  Hell yes.  Our mightiest ally (our indispensiable ally) is belief in something we cannot see, hear, touch, taste or feel."  Something as simple and silly as a little Elf on the Shelf consciously or subconsciously reinstates that life doesn't have to be so serious.  There is plenty of time to be serious.  When we have the opportunity to encourage fun and creativity in our homes, we should take it on with gusto!  To quote another great mind, "Creativity is intelligence having fun."  Albert Einstein. 

As crazy as it sounds, until my daughter walks into our room and looks me straight in my the eyes and says, "Mom you can give up the Elf act", I will keep the tradition of Elf on the Shelf alive.  For I believe we are all growing up too fast today.  With the influence of media on every corner and technology accompanying our every move, it is important to get back to the basics.  Whether you are 5 or 75 we are all kids at heart.  If something as simple as placing a goofy little Elf on a Shelf each day makes you smile, you are on the right path.  If that same act makes you and someone else smile...well that's magic. 

 Wishing everyone magic and a little silliness this holiday season!

 

Alison Burmeister

For

Balanced Beauty 

Thursday
Aug302018

Back to School With Essential Oils!

It's official now, I think.  Every Parochial, Private and Public School is ringing their bells this week. When school starts, traffic on the main streets increases, schedules fill up, the weather changes and everyone is just plain busier.  Regardless if you have a back to school kid or not, this big shift of energy manifests in our homes and communities and somehow, you feel it. Not a bad time to arm you and your family with a few essential oils to increase energy, balance stress, increase focus and deepen much needed sleep!

 

 

There are so many incredible oils and oil blends out there...that you might get overwhelmed with all the choices. The good news is you don't have to go crazy buying a million different oils to create the perfect combination for every moment in your day. What I've noticed is, some oils work for more than one situation!

Here are some of my Favorites!

Lemon Benefits:

Fights Fatigue

Boosts immunity

Cleans surfaces and skin

Brightens and heals skin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peppermint Benefits:

Supports the digestive system 

Relieves headaches

Stimulates circulation

Encourages hair growth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frankincense Oil Benefits:

Helps Reduce Stress Reactions and Negative Emotions

Eases Digestion

Acts as a Sleep Aid

Helps Decrease Inflammation and Pain 

 

 

 

Lavender Benefits:

Promotes relaxation

Eases muscle tension

Helps heal skin irritation

Boosts immunity

 

 

 

Cedarwood Benefits:

Disinfecting wounds 
Killing fungal infections
Helping with insomnia
Ridding skin of blemishes

 

 

 

 

 

Vetiver Oil Benefits:


Reduces Inflammation
Prevents nervousness/Calms/Grounds
Relieves Insomnia 
Speeds-up Healing

 

 

 

 

 

So whether you need a boost or a bolster, with just these six oils, here are a few combinations to start and finish your day in perfect harmony!

 

For Energy:

Lemon, Peppermint and Frankincense

 

For Stress:

Citrus, Lavendar and Peppermint

 

For Focus:

Lavendar and Frankincense

Cedarwood and Vetiver

 

For Sleep:

Lavendar and Frankincense

Vetiver and Cedarwood 

 

Thanks to my friends at Young Living for these great combinations!

 

Wishing you a great start to a New Season!

May you feel Balanced And Beautiful!

 

Alison Burmeister

For 

Balanced Beauty

 

Friday
Aug102018

The Palisades Magazine, August/September issue. "Yoga Anywhere"

What a pleasure it was to write about yoga in nature!  Two of my favorite things!!  

In today's world the image of yoga has morphed into some supernatural being that can balance on one finger while wrapping her leg around her neck.  The fact of the matter is, yoga is not about that at all.  It's about tuning in to the natural wonders that happen inside each and everyone of us.  So I hope you will slow down and take a moment to find yoga everywhere and anywhere you go!

Alison Burmeister

For

Balanced Beauty

 

 

 

Read the full magazine HERE