every little bit…

I still question if I am living my most authentic life. There are elements of my life that feel exhilarating; that feel fulfilling; that feel like I am doing the thing that I always knew I would be doing.

But there are moments when I wonder if I’m playing out of someone else’s playbook. I wonder if I could commit myself wholly to yoga, to selflessness, to ecology, to compassion in all areas of my life.

I think it’s time to stop second-guessing myself. One thing that has always remained about me is my inability to perform in ways that is inauthentic to who I am and what I feel. I have always been stubbornly honest and wholly real – thus authentic.

Authentic, yes. But also wanting to belong. Before I awoke, before I understood how to think about things, how to question them, I accepted many things, many ideas, many behaviors that I understand now as unacceptable. I still wish I were different, further along, but I am on my way and for that, I should feel some comfort…

Self-acceptance is harder than it looks. But I’m working on it. As difficult as the journey is, it still feels wonderful to be alive, to question what to do with my time, to wonder if I’m living my best life. I look forward to answering my own questions.

Presence

I went to a yoga class today for the first time in a couple months. The instructor and the fellow attendees were warm and inviting. It was an easy flow – though I wasn’t sure how I’d enjoy it, I reminded myself as it began that I am back to square one.

My hamstrings were tight and I wasn’t able to bend as far as I would’ve liked in seated staff, but I was aware of my body at that moment. I felt its limitations and its capabilities. I breathed easily, allowed my body to follow my breath and eased into the practice.

I felt at home.

It’s been bright and sunny today, too. I took my pup out for a leisurely stroll a few minutes ago. I’m trying to soak up as much sunlight as I can to ward off the winter blues. I’m currently nursing a headache and cup of coffee….I haven’t had any coffee today and I’m wondering if the lack isn’t part of the problem. I am listening to my body. I am present.

 

I am also kinda tired, hehe.

One of the few things I enjoy about fall is the excuse the weather gives me to make soup and chili. I made a delicious lentil soup last week that I’ve taken for lunch over the weekend. Chili will probably be next, but that’s a tomorrow task.

Not My favorite Time of the Year

The proceeding words are written by a person who becomes seasonally depressed. I’ve not yet been formally diagnosed. I only know my history, my patterns, and my experiences. I’ve been cautious to really go out on a limb and say that it is what affects me every fall and winter, but considering that this is my third fall in a row where I am indescribably sad for no good reason, it seems to be the only logical conclusion.

For the past three consecutive Septembers/Octobers, I’ve become dejected, moody, uninterested, and uncharacteristically sad. I thought that because I am in a new place with no one I know nearby that perhaps I was just dealing with a minor bout of the blues due to small twinges of isolation. But my friends and family are readily available by phone and I can communicate with them whenever need be. It is usually satisfying. After one such phone call today, I cried a bit, and then it struck me. It’s officially fall, the weather sucks, and it’s been a good seven days without any kind of sunlight. Hi, SAD. You’re a jerk. Go away.

 

Sometimes, naming the thing helps. Other tactics I will employ:

  • Vitamin D.
  • Omega- 3 (or maybe just eat more fishes)
  • Yoga (yeah, buddy)
  • Melatonin (for the sleeps)
  • Phototherapy (major lamp action)

I may be a bit of an Eeyore and that may suck, but I’m not going to just sit here and take it.

 

 

Truth: Being alone is hard.

I don’t do it well. I mindlessly spend money, distract myself from the tasks at hand. I wander aimlessly through my quiet, lonely apartment. I eat for consolation. Hell, I eat out of rebellion. I am not one that enjoys the solitude because the solitude brings thoughts that I can’t bear.

I think about writing. I think about what it would be like to have finally accomplished the book I’ve been working on. I console myself with knowing that some of the greatest works ever published took years. It’s just another thing to keep me from doing what I don’t want to do. I have to get inside myself and find a way to love this woman as she is, instead of how she might be or could be. I have to love myself, not my potential.

I have to come to terms with the fact that my children will grow up, that my lover will either one day die or leave, that my friends will move on with their lives, and I will still have myself to contend with. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to be in myself at this moment and love the person here. Am I worthy of my own love? Of my own dedication and commitment? Love me, so that I may love me? When will I be out of this cycle?

I’ve listed the many ways that I am worthy of love. I’ve detailed my supreme qualities. I’ve been equally doted on and dismissed, and yet all I can do is focus on the many ways that I’ve been dismissed. My, how we humans love to self-castigate. For what reason? Is the religious doctrine we’ve been pummeled with for centuries? If I hate myself enough, if I am good enough, perfect enough, sinless enough, God will love me, people will love me. I’ll never be alone then.

But it isn’t true. I’ve treated people with a surprising amount of tenderness, love, and consideration. I’ve placed the needs of other above my own, time and time again; only to have been left to fend for myself, by myself. Solipsistic, maybe. But it’s all I’ve ever known.

Summer Reading Goals

Hi friends! Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Taco Thursday! One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, FLOOR.

And of course, Revenge of the Fifth.

Leisurely reading has been on my wonderful list of things to do and, like most of my other goals, I set it aside and abruptly forgot (I think I was distracted by cooking shows or something). I have done well to read some personal development books (these are kind of essential, I think) and I’m ready for something meatier.

The two at the top of my list are Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie and The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo – followed abruptly by my anthology of Kurt Vonnegut and then Edgar Allen Poe.  My eldest kid has her own reading assignments (she requested them!) of To Kill a Mockingbird and Harry Potter 4 and Harry Potter 5.

Midnight’s Children was a Christmas gift and though I have made some honest attempts to lose myself within its delightful imagery, life has been chaotic. I’ve decided to slow down some and make room for the things I’ve said are important to me. If reading and books are life, then a certain amount of dedication must be paid.

Just as yoga requires attention, as does my love of words.

One of the greatest mistakes I think most anyone makes is failing to develop his or her inner self, apart from the rest of society. We fail to distinguish ourselves from our families, our friends, and our intimate relationships. Having made that mistake and learnt from it, I know how freeing it can feel to be rooted in yourself.

Over the coming months, there are things I will gleefully subtract from my life in order to make room for new things and experiences. I’m anxious to get started, happy to see positive changes and excited to move my life in a new direction.

A Little Lost, A Little Found

I’m a bull-headed woman; incongruously independent; unrelenting, unforgiving and undeterred about achieving my objectives – once they have been soulfully decided and moved upon. I say this as a kind warning. Telling me what I should do, reminding me of my responsibilities, and insinuating that I might not have examined a decision from all angles is sure to bring out my harshest qualities. Commitment to any idea, notion, movement, or philosophy is not something I take lightly; it cannot be done with frivolity. I may talk about this or that, but talk is cheap. When my actions begin to line up with my words – then you can be sure that my heart is wholly engaged. Like stopping a speeding train, only a catastrophe is likely to derail me.

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Whole Truths, Half Truths, and Bald-faced Lies

Yesterday I wrote about the trinity of my family – honesty, vulnerability, and kindness – and like most other people, after I finished the entry the theme stayed with me. I thought about some of the ways that I hadn’t been honest, vulnerable, or kind. I also reflected on many of the ways that I had observed my actions and made a conscionable effort to live more in line with my values. It’s easy, so easy, to get caught up in all the wrong we do, in all the ways we don’t walk our talk – at least it is for me. Life is our greatest teacher, but what good are the lessons if you forget them afterwards?

Until very recently, one could say that I was not living honestly. Continue reading

How to Evolve….

I’ve not ever been a dedicated yogi. When I first became interested fifteen years ago, it was because it was easier and more charming than lifting weights in a gym or doing a zillion crunches on the threadbare carpet of my bedroom. I was entranced with backbends and splits for oh-so-obvious (read: stupid) reasons. I’ve dipped my toe into the water to see how I like the feel of things, but generally stayed out of the pool because I was afraid I’d be found out as a fraud. Until three years or so ago my practice was much more for the beauty of the poses and for how limber it kept me. It had nothing to do with spirituality, nothing to do with reaching for the higher self, or personal evolution. It was superficial then. Continue reading

Seek Out Your Guides

The M word has a strange affect on people. Whether you are or are not one seems to bring a certain level of shudder-y and ickiness to the room once the topic is broached. Of course I’m talking about Millennials (or Snake People, thanks Google…); those people born between the years 1980-2000, who feign nostalgia about the 90s, and are bringing a major wave of attention to environmentalism, feminism, cultural appropriation, race issues, and accepting our mass differences by rejecting labels, boxes, and conformity.  These are not new ideas, not at all, but we are more vocal about the changes that need to occur than maybe our parents were.

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Not yet

I want to get out of debt

I want to get out of my head, out of the business of thinking.

I want to be more in my body.

I want to be here now

What if I sold my house?

What if I became a licensed massage therapist, a yoga teacher, and a writer?

What if I loosened the noose I’ve strung about myself?

What If I completely disrupted our lives again for the sake of finding happiness, a new beginning?

What if my kids hate me for it?

What if I spend the next ten years doing just what I need to do to get by, to make things work for them?

I don’t do yoga because it’s fashionable.

I don’t do yoga because it’s new agey and I want it to bring some deep sense of spirituality and purpose.

I do yoga because it gets me out of my head.

I do yoga because it connects me to my body.

I do yoga because it’s beautiful and hard and requires patience.

Massage therapy, what an idea. But why?

I have a knack, I think, for working out the kinks. My hands have always been strong and sure.

Is it what I want? I don’t know. I’m ambivalent.

Why don’t I want it? My hands will tire. It may not bring in as much as I hope.

Why do I want it? The freedom? The perceived ease and natural ability? The requirement to get out of my own head?

Writing is a “feeling” process, speckled with “thinking”

I have to feel to write, to understand the characters

It requires both.

I want to live. I’m not living, not yet.