Saturday, January 2, 2016

"New Year, New You"

So, they say....  Rather, I'd like to find authentic me.  That's not yoga speak, I promise.  It's not a deep, spiritual(-appearing) venture.  I want to strip away all the stuff, the expectations, the effort, the impressions and just figure out who the hell I am.  Right now, I'm the girl who struggles to complete stupid online personality tests because I truly don't know if I'm tea or coffee...

Truth is, I'm probably both.  I've always been an imbalance of extremes.  Woods or grids, silent or loud, all or nothing.  Maybe that IS me, that indefinable who knows what.

Monday, December 28, 2015

#bitch

I have been in the midst of the most fascinating transformation...  

I've decided to stop being a pushover.  That statement requires a bit of explanation.  I am not a victim.  I never have been, even when I have been, objectively speaking, victimized.  Rather, my flaw is that I am a pleaser and a fixer, and a tad too trusting.  I want others to be happy and, somewhere along the way, I took that desire on as a responsibility.  

Where has being overly accommodating ever gotten me?  And no, it's not all about what I can get, but it sure is about what I've chosen to give up.  I'm redefining what is important to me and I'm sort of high on the list.  

So am I going to become a #bitch?  Ha ha, I doubt it.  Rather, I'll need to start creating new expectations for myself.  Today, I stood up for something that didn't make sense to me (and believe me, it was outside my comfort zone to do so).  I was perfectly polite, had a positive interaction, and ultimately the outcome was favorable to me, but the entire time I was in the middle of it, I felt like a bitch.  I felt like "that lady" who requires accommodation for every whim.  Really, my request was pretty reasonable and it was granted and the outcome is better, but I felt bad for asking.  

That will need to get better.  

Friday, November 6, 2015

How?

How do you forgive yourself for all the things you've done?  How can you forgive when you know there is no forgiveness?  

How do you turn off the fear?  The panic that you haven't done enough...the fear you have of not making it long enough to undo all the harm.  

How can you fail time after time after time without wondering when it will end?

How do you let time pass when nothing ever changes?

How can you find quiet when there is always so much noise?

How do you be everything that everyone deserves when you can't find all your pieces?

How can you move when your heart, your soul is lead?

How?  

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Shadow

Sometimes that dark thing, that shadow, rises up in me.  Sometimes it is swift, obvious, and debilitating.  Sometimes it creeps, slowly taking over every rational thought, each ray of light, all hope.

I keep thinking that, as circumstances change, things will change.  I will change.  Somehow, I always forget that I am always me deep down.  Suddenly, I have more time than ever to do the things I love and explore things I think I'd like.  Instead of contentment, I feel guilt.  I have a...I'm at a loss at what to call it because it doesn't feel like what it should...a business?  Career?  Calling, perhaps?  Yet, I still feel like a failure of a partner to my husband, a bad example of a human to my children, and a fraud to the rest of the world that has known me.  I have these big ideas that burst into my consciousness only to find that I am incapable of follow through.  I want so badly to create something, to inspire, but the impulse flickers on and off like a light in a storm.

I can't seem to do small, so everything in my mind is huge.  Failures.  Obligations.  Disappointment.  Regret.  FEAR.  Sadness.  Deep, deep discontent.  A desperate desire to find a quiet place for my mind and my self-criticisms to rest.

Every night I go to sleep with ghosts.  Every morning I wake with the best intentions, only to find that dark days follow dark dreams.  I sit, glassy eyed, wishing I could do one of the thousand things I feel like I should do, trying to remember what it is I like to do.  I go outside and feel the sunshine and breeze on my face and feel alive for just a moment and then the sensation fades, so I go back into hiding.

What I know now that I didn't know then is that there is a deep, burning inside me that is stronger than the darkness that surrounds it.  Honestly, it's almost harder this way than it was when I felt truly hopeless.  I recognize what is lost and what there is to lose.  Instead of being overwhelmed with it all at once, my heart feels each individual ache.  It's excruciating, paralyzing, but not numbing.  Not this time.  Not yet.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Progress

Progress is a fickle thing.  With each arduous step forward, I find myself slipping backward.  I thought to compare myself to Sisyphus, tasked with apparent forward progress just to watch his efforts slide back down the hill and have to start again and again.  But Sisyphus was cunning and unapologetic.  He was prideful.  I am not.

In fact, with all the progress I display, whether it's casual optimism like, "Yeah, things are going great," or simply silently suffering through my fear and feelings of worthlessness, there is no better.  There is no ending.  Perhaps there is no progress at all.

I know I am approaching danger when I start to hide, figuratively speaking.  I stopped writing in September.  I moved away from the more raw, honest work to a half-optimistic, half-bullshit attempt at hope, at "healed."  The truth, of course, is that although it can get better for a time, it can also get worse for a time.  It is a constant internal struggle between accepting me as I am and striving to be better than I am.

It is a constant effort to navigate my life at an even keel, cautiously optimistic about any "progress" yet fully expecting the storms.  And the storms come.  I got to a strong place where I weathered the storms on the deck, sails and steering managed, knowing that if I wanted better, I had to go after it.  I had to fight.  Though I make it though each storm now, I find myself retreating below deck, pulling the covers over my head, hiding, hoping it will pass.  I spend much of my time in a room with curtains because I'm anxious again of what is "out there."  I'm not terrified, I can leave the house, but I'm glad I can see out and no one can see in.  It's progress, I suppose, but I still take steps back.  Frequently.

I am fearful again of sharing where I am at.  What once felt so therapeutic, so honest and freeing, seems risky.  I have something to lose again because, though I struggle, I have come so far.  I have new people in my life who know nothing of my spectacular fall from someplace better.  I am doing everything that I can to move in a direction of peace and love.  Acknowledging the darkness that sits so uncomfortably inside me makes me feel like a fraud.  How can the two exist together?  They do.  Perhaps that is the nature of my affliction and why I can't find balance.  Perhaps that's why there will always be a hidden, internal conflict, and progress will always be a struggle between will and nature.

But, as a wise friend shared with me, "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."  -Maya Angelou  So, I will tell me story again.




Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Turning Inward

I love Fall.  I love how it slows down my life, as we stop scrambling to use all the daylight hours, complete outdoor tasks, travel and take advantage of all the things that are enjoyable in the summer months.  I love returning to the routine of "back to school."  Ask me in a few months, and I'm sure I'll be singing the praises of all things sunny, lazy and refreshing, but for now, I'm happy the seasons are changing.

With the change, though, I notice myself turning inward.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing.  There is much good that can come from slowing down, leaving the outside world outside ourselves, and focusing back in on oneself.  It allows me to revisit burning questions like, am I who I want to be?  Do the things in my life serve me or can I simplify?  Sadly, this self-evaluation always dissolves into an internal dialog of all the things I'm doing not well enough or downright wrong.

What starts out as healthy self-reflection quickly becomes a critical deconstruction of every matter I've ever undertaken.  It is in these moments that I feel the ground begin to fall from beneath me once again.  I am healthier than I have been in a long, long time and I am able to rationalize and to hang on, but I do get tired of the struggle.

And so today, and as long as I feel trapped inside my head, as the seasons change and the quiet of Fall sets in, I will hold on to these thoughts and work to challenge opinions that feel like truths:

"You're problem is you are too busy holding on to your unworthiness."  Ram Das

"Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend."  Elizabeth Gilbert

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Practice what you Preach

Since I've been teaching yoga, I've had a lot of opportunities to impart "wisdom" on my yogi friends.  Here are some things that I've suggested that I really need to incorporate into my life for more than the hour a day that I'm teaching....

Don't take yourself too seriously.  We all fall down sometimes.  Just get back up.
"Take into account that great love and great achievement involve great risk."  (Dalai Lama)
Don't compete.  Start where YOU are.  Do what YOU can.
"Follow your bliss and the Universe will open doors where there were only walls."  (Joseph Campbell)
"Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured."  (BKS Iyengar)
Be present.  For the next [insert class length here], your sole purpose is to be here, doing this.  Nothing else.
"Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self."  (The Bhagavad Gita)
If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.

I need to learn to shut off my every day-brain and listen to my yoga teacher-brain.