Archive | March 2016

A Lack of Presence

woman-902213__180Just writing the blog title made me sigh, in relief and resigned recognition. I’ve been here before, but it’s been a while. This place, or rather getting to this place had many moving parts and pieces. It’s been a slow, steady slide into less yoga, less meeting attendance, less connecting with my recovery peeps, more unhealthy eating, way more television watching. Really the only thing missing is burying my nose in a romance novel I’d read and re-read dozens of times. Yep, I’m isolating and “checking out” of life. Mainly because I’m afraid and getting overwhelmed at a lot of next level stuff coming up. Stuff like the reality of choosing and committing to a Yoga Teacher Training program (I still haven’t found one). Stuff like paying for it (I don’t have it all saved up yet). And if I do find a YTT program that fits into my work schedule and the money to pay for it? Am I capable of succeeding and completing it? What about my Life Coach training? I need to go through the same thing with finding a coach training program, committing to it and paying for that.angst-807726__180

I’ve been avoiding dealing with the fear and anxiety of my future with a decided lack of presence in my life. It sucks and even with acknowledging it, knowing what I need to do to get going, I’m not motivated to do it. I’m just not. I’m stressed and overwhelmed about my job again, even though I was notified of my annual performance raise yesterday. The raise wasn’t bad either, more than I expected. However, the workload is so unwieldy. It’s not like I sit at my desk and twiddle my thumbs all day either. That’s not even possible to do for a small part of the day. I’m busy as hell when I’m there but so much doesn’t get done, it’s so disheartening. I feel ineffective as an employee. Which in turn makes me even more anxious and afraid about going into business for myself when I do get certified to teach yoga and coach. Ha, wouldya look at that? Even in the midst of my downward spiral, I did write WHEN instead of IF I do get certified to teach yoga and coach. That’s something at least.

I’m creating some problems with my inaction and lack of presence. Problems that need to be dealt with. But again, I’m not motivated to do anything. I’m just not. A part of me wants to give up on all these goals and dreams. Forget about having to write a blog three times a week. Forget about finding YTT or coach training programs. Forget about finding a way to pay for them. I can go out and buy new romance books, start a new collection since I gave all of them away when I moved last summer. I’m tired. I’m not feeling all that great about writing and publishing my last blog post either. I need to go to sleep. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

I suppose since I didn’t get into this space overnight, I probably won’t get out of it overnight. So perhaps I adjust expectations and hope tomorrow is a little better with a little more effort and presence from me. That’s the best I can do for now.light-1204946__180

This entry was posted on March 31, 2016. 6 Comments

A Buried Piece Resurfaces

child-220264__180A little girl acknowledged her memories and used her voice to speak her story with a woman’s conviction and compassion. That was 10 days ago in the sacred, safe space for a women only writers workshop. Before that, it had been over 20 years since she mentioned a small but important detail of a piece of her story to a room of drunken, drugged girlfriends. A small but important detail that shocked the room and caused one of them to repeat what she’d said in a screeching voice that cracked. She didn’t say it to shock anyone, she was just participating in the conversation about something they’d all given up and how old they’d been when it happened. She’s fuzzy on the gist of the conversation after that, they were high and drunk after all so it got laughed off. The joint got passed, the bottle got shared, the conversation moved on.

Today the little girl retold her story to the woman’s therapist tonight. Another safe space, this time with a professional’s opinion and feedback. This time, the little girl and the woman push through denial, disconnect, minimization and shame so they are not caught in the undertow of what’s underneath this particular piece of their story. The woman’s kick-ass therapist tells them the statistic of 1 in 4. I’m sure you know what statistic. All the woman can think and voice is that she never thought she was one of those writersWho had a particular story or essay to tell the world. The kind of story or essay that comes with a warning of content. She is not what happened so long ago, that’s not what she wants her art, her story to be about. The kick-ass therapist gently agrees and says it doesn’t have to be. But it is important to acknowledge the truth of our story, without shame, without blame, without censure. The therapist points out how the practice of yoga releases emotions and memories. The woman looks back in stunned recognition of the truth in the therapist’s statement. The woman points out how living from the heart, creating safe spaces within herself and the process of writing can also release emotions and memories… Son. Of. A. Bitch.! The therapist says with a gentle smile, “You are good.” As a means of acknowledging how far the woman has grown, healed and evolved, confident she will continue to do so. (Later, at home alone, as the woman recalls those words and that moment, she weeps)heart-914682__180

And so here’s the thing about this journey to my heart, my true self. I get to meet myself unexpectedly. These reintroductions create ripples of memories that illuminate the paths I’ve tread and hopefully provide healing for where I am going. Where is that? Where ever He Calls or Leads. Lately, the path has been ever inward.

Refocusing Inward

yoga-is-the-journey-of-the-self-to-the-self-through-the-selfYoga is a journey of the self, through the self, to the self — The Bhagavad Gita

I finally made it back to yoga class Tuesday night for Moon Yin Yoga. I missed a week and a half because of the flu which stretched into two weeks because I needed to head up to Pasadena last Thursday evening and I signed up to do a 5K walk last Saturday morning. I wanted to attend a class with my teacher before she and several other yogis from the studio left on a 10-day Bali Yoga Retreat. It was a hell of a class as most of her Moon Yin classes are. The full moon was in Libra. There was a lot of sweating, breathing, stretching, holding and even some dancing. It was a homecoming of sorts for me. Or rather a continuing journey home to myself. She mentioned the quote I put at the beginning of this blog and I can’t even begin to tell you how much that quote, those words caught my heart.

This journey of mine has many names and labels. A journey to build my brave. A journey of learning to live from my heart, my true self. A journey to live my Mission for Work and Life. Along the way, I encountered Yoga in a big way. I was caught from the very first class, a Moon Yin Yoga class for women only. The teacher was so reverent about fostering an amazing environment of stretching, breathing, connecting to ourselves, to the room at large. The practice of yoga quickly and profoundly became a part of my spiritual growth and progress as a person. I decided to make it a part of my life by committing to training to become a yoga teacher. I’ve connected to many in the community of my home studio at Bright Yoga as well.

But I had been slacking off about mid-February even before I came down with the flu a few weeks ago. I accomplished the 31 days of yoga every day in January challenge and tried to go back to my 2-3 classes a week afterward. But I was burning out with all of the activity in my life, so I started checking out and easing up on the yoga. When I got sick I didn’t want to get the others yogis sick, then there were other obligations. At the same time, I was forgetting to call my spiritual advisor, my 12 step meeting attendance dropped off and I wasn’t praying or meditating. This is what’s known as a Spiritual lapse or relapse. I am in essence turning away from God, myself and the things that connect me to God and myself.

It was in this space of spiritual lapse that I found myself when that quote resonated in the place where I live. I’m not sure I could have heard it in quite this way anywhere but in yoga class. You see this journey of myself, to myself, through myself had hit a snag. I was stuck in the disconnected, dispirited “self” of me. The self that is fueled by self-doubt and fear so subtle, so pervasive, that it has no voice. It’s the part of me that self-sabotages with overeating and overindulging in television watching such as NYPD Blue reruns, NBA basketball, HGTV home improvement shows. The self that avoids her spiritual advisor, yoga classes, prayer and meditation because those bring clarity. Clarity brings awareness and a necessity for some sort of action or correction. Like finally blogging about it and committing to refocusing inward. This weekend I will continue to reconnect with God and myself through yoga, prayer, meditation and 12 step meetings. I’ll also reach out to my spiritual advisor to get us on the same page. I feel better and more connected already.prayer-1257010__180

ONE HUNDRED

light-paint-933160__180This is my 100th blog post and my mind had been preoccupied on what to say in it. I decided to take the title of all 99 previous blogs and write them as sentences. Sort of like seeing my progression as a woman, a writer, and spiritual being through blog titles.

How Did I Get Here? How Does Your Brave Show Up? Break Your Own Barriers. Disengaging Auto-pilot, Surprisingly NOT A Bumpy Rid. Do You Have Places Of Healing In Your Life? The Best Laid Plans. Gifts Wrapped In Shit… Finding My Blessing Or Lesson. Four Rooms. Showing Up. A Little Something On Strength Or Something Along That Path. My Mouth Wrote a Check and My Ass Is Desperately Trying To Cash It. Looking Back To See Ahead. The Queens From Whence I Came. Unexpected Consequences Of Growth And Clarity. A Checkup From The Neck Up. Dealing… Because Life Goes On Ya Know? Humbly, Gratefully Called To Be. I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends. Getting Through The Blahs. What Is Your Practice, Do You Have One? It’s Time To Replace My Old Stories. Am I Right Where I’m Supposed To Be? Where I Live… Shades Of Blue: Writers on Depression, Suicide and Feeling Blue, edited by Amy Ferris. Inevitable Consequences and Unexpected Gifts of Growth. The Urge To Rest, Research & Refocus. Not Just Another Manic Monday. Healers Among Us & Within Us. Spiritual Cleansing. The Importance Of Vision. Random Happenings, Thoughts and Occurrences In The Life… Ghosts Of Grief and Echoes Of Old Patterns. Not Always Rainbows And Butterflies. Permission To Be Imperfect. Caution: Emotional Minefields Ahead. Honoring Body and Spirit. Getting To Know your Worth. On Balance, I’m Actually Good. Letting Go Of Old Ideas. What Are We Attracting Or Drawn To?

Everybody Needs A Little Time Away. Three Trips To Vegas. Serendipity And Synchronicity. That Which Unites Us. The Other 20%. What A Difference. Building My Brave, Discovering My Light. There’s Always That One Thing. My Gratitude List. Loved, Connected And Blessed. Breathe, Focus, Follow Through. Victim or Volunteer? What I Know vs. What I Feel. Rewriting Old Stories and Composing New Ones. Limbo And Lag Time. Attention and Intention. Shadows From Light. Social Anxiety and Ornament Insecurity. Why Bother? Truth and Trust. In The Spirit Of Christmas. The Best and True Gifts. Heart Openers. Arriving in Ojai and The New Year. Of Magic & Music & Manifesting. Heart Speak and Letting Go. Back To Life, Back To Reality. Hiding In Plain Sight. The Blessings of Busyness and Balance. Winter Revisited. Finding Direction From Dissatisfaction. I Gotta Say It Was A Good Day. Flat and Discouraged. The Tastes Of Childhood. Slip-sliding and The Most Pressing Thing. Reverb From The Universe and Just This. Accepting and Asking For Help. 31 Days Down, On To A-Z! Aspire To Love Your Light. How To Live And Let Live.

Enjoying The Moment. Flowing and Growing Into Big Dreams. Waking Up On The Wrong Side Of Me. What I Bring To The Table. Gearing Up. My ‘Just Another Day’ Valentine’s Day. Accepting God’s Revision. I’m Sick of Being The Grown Up In This House! When ‘No Shows’ Are Necessary. Who or What is ‘Holding Space’ For You? To Date or Not To Date, Is That Really The Question? Love and Legacy. Family, It’s Never Too Late. Sick And Losing My Way. Disconnect and Separation… Really? Ready To Press Play Again. Spring Awakenings and Energies. Finding Faith In My Stories and My Voice. What’s Underneath The Story.

I want to express a heartfelt thank you for all of you who have come along with me on this journey through this phase of my life. Some of you have been here from the very beginning. Some have just recently found your way to my blog. I am so profoundly grateful for all of your love, encouragement, support and feedback. I hope you’ll stick with me for the next 100 blogs and beyond.thank-you-1030266__180

 

This entry was posted on March 24, 2016. 1 Comment

What’s Underneath The Story

root-158119__180What’s underneath my story? Everything. My current story is a journey to my true self, my heart. At the center of that journey are layers of truth, emotion, learning, unlearning, laughter, heartbreak, heartache, healing, and discovery. So many pieces; moving pieces, buried pieces, developing pieces to make peace (p.e.a.c.e.) with those that didn’t know how to value the open, curious, bold, exploring, emotional, excitable, precious, malleable soul that chose them.

To continue developing peace, love and grace for my true self, my heart, my original soul. A soul that remained constant to its openness, it’s curiosity, it’s boldness, it’s exploration, it’s emotionality, it’s excitability, it’s preciousness and it’s malleability; protected behind/underneath the bunker against the abuse, neglect, rage, indifference, the learned self-neglect, self-hatred, the drugs, the alcohol, the depression, the emotional scar tissue of trying to use my body to find love only to encounter rejection.

What’s underneath the story is a growing confidence, a gathering strength, a rising knowledge and inner wisdom that bursts through the story to guide its direction, shine it’s light, hopefully, a healing light for myself and others.soul-636097__180 The key for me is not to become trapped in what’s underneath the story because while it is an important part of the process, it is not all of it. Writing my story brings me an awareness of my many truths that mutate from the past to present. In telling stories of my past, I’m able to see the truth of what was because I’ve learned a different truth in the present. It gives me hope that I will continue transmuting to greater truths, better stories, brighter tomorrows. This and so much more is what’s underneath the story, my story anyway.

This entry was posted on March 22, 2016. 3 Comments