Monday, September 22, 2014

ruts

my bestie asked me to call her hairdresser and schedule an appointment for her after she had to cancel one last minute recently. i said "sure," because i knew that i didn't like doing things like that. she asked me to pretend to be her, which i did. little did i know how poorly this salon takes to cancelling appointments. after chatting with the first woman that answered the phone, i gave information about "myself" to book "my" new appointment. i was then quickly put on hold while a new person came on the phone. the next person to talk to me started by stating "my" full name sternly. i knew "i" was in trouble. and i freaked out.

when i feel strong negative emotions, or when i think others will put negative strong emotions on me, i resist. and i put up cushions and cushions of softness and avoidance to prevent myself from experiencing these things. i was talking about this with someone recently and she asked me why was i so afraid of people being mad at me. i said, without thinking, "i guess it's because someone might be mad at me and not like me any more and leave me."

woah.

so, yeah, what am i actually afraid of? being left.

we can go back to the millions of times i moved as a child to understand what leaving friends behind over and over did to my psyche. or we can examine the two 4 year plus relationships i've had and the break-ups that involved them leaving me and not telling me (yes i'm serious).

or we can simply say "no one likes feeling left; no one likes feeling alone; no one likes feeling lonely."

my ink droplets, following
the path of least resistance 
but the danger i fall into is that i grab onto the path of least resistance. just like water droplets that will find another existing pathway and follow it instead of making their own. that existing pathway is the easiest. so i avoid potentially upsetting someone. i put up cushions so that i don't feel any uneasiness of my own. i try to make everything ok for everyone so that everyone is happy. i follow that already-created-path. because i'm used to it.

i fall into a rut.

but kelli gave me a reminder saturday night. she said we should be like YEA... RESISTANCE... I CAN GROW!!! which is what #miraclesnow and gabby taught me: be grateful for what we can learn from our fears. and it's also what my energy healer told me: when you feel those uncomfortable feelings, take them as a SIGN that you need to change something.

it's the same lesson over and over, but in different words: "don't avoid. feel. do. evolve."

so why do i keep forgetting this lesson? i don't know. (yet.) but i do know that i see lots of my friends forget it. one of my BFFs in yoga the other day PUSHED and pushed through the practice; ignoring body signals and feelings of tiredness. the result was not pretty (crash landing anyone?)... but it was just the physical interpretation of the same lesson. there was no acknowledgement there: it was "nope. gonna ignore that. gonna do what i always do instead."

and when i saw it in yoga, in someone else, i cried. i recognised this for what it was when it wasn't me. but when i do it? shhhhh. avoid. let's not acknowledge that, k? k. thanks.

it's sad when we avoid what we need. when we avoid what we feel. when we avoid what can be an opportunity for more in our lives.

when i was in my marriage, and unhappy, i wasn't going to do anything to change it. i thought "this is where i live now," and i wasn't going to even try. i resigned to it. i used to wish for ANYthing to come along to change the situation for me: even an illness or death. i was desperate for something to get me out of where i was--but i couldn't see a way out on my own.

last week i had a friend express almost that exact same sentiment to me: she said she wished sometimes that a certain person in her life would just drop off the face of the earth. why? because the situation she was in with this person seemed hopeless to her. she didn't know how she was going to get out of it; how she was going to change it; how she could ever be happy.

part of all this is that avoidance. part of it is not wanting to feel those strong things. part of it is being afraid of being alone. and part of it is just being stuck in a rut.

who new ruts could be so fucking heartbreaking?

so?

change the pattern; shake it up:
feel what's happening.
forget about the fears.
react in a new way.
and then: let your heart sparkle;
be glitteringly happy.

that's the plan anyway. xo

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

through your eyes

i was at a birthday party a couple of nights ago talking to a friend i don't see very often. he gave me a few compliments that were hard to hear--because they were so genuine and nice.

like SO nice. i kept saying "really?!" to things he was saying, and he kept saying "oh, come on, you know this; i'm sure your five best friends tell you this all the time!"

when i repeated these things back to kitty (still in disbelief), she said "umm, i tell you that ALL THE TIME!" oh. hmm.

three lessons here: 1) we don't tell our friends genuine things enough. 2) sometimes we may not hear or believe the things our very best friends tell us. 3) we often have no idea how others see us.

if you asked me how i see myself, this is what i would say: i'm just a girl.

sure, i know i am talented and have a lot of good qualities. but everyone has their own talents. and everyone has some great qualities. so i guess i just don't really feel that special most of the time. but it's really a strange thing to hear yourself described by someone else. luckily for me, it was also positive.

there's this old episode of "this american life" that i love so much i've listened to it a few times, and i never listen or watch things more than once. this episode is haunting, but amazing: it's called see no evil. the episode is all about pretending that things are ok and ignoring things that are uncomfortable--on personal, business, and national levels. in the first segment, there is a family struggling to see the bad in one of their loved ones. even when that something is really bad.

why is it that we can only see the most amazing things about our loved ones but we struggle to see those things in ourselves?

there's this exercise in gabby's 40 days book that has you look into the mirror and say things to yourself as if you were saying them to a best friend or lover. the exercise is quite confronting, and hard to get through. i've gone back to this a few times to try to get it "right." but it's always hard. (i dare you to try it.)

telling yourself those nice things, and believing them, is something that takes practice. we can do it on the mat or off. we can practice cultivating inner strength and power by breathing through a challenging yoga pose or by breathing through a difficult conversation.

after seeing kanye friday night, i taught a theme in yoga about stepping up to a stronger more powerful version of yourself: like believing SO MUCH in your inner strength and power. but not for ego reasons (yeah, i'm calling you on that one kanye). when we truly believe in ourselves, we can do more; we can give more; we can become more; we can inspire more.

we can manifest miracles.

and it's important to do. hard work... but super important.

practicing believing what i hear. love to you N for your words saturday night. i actually heard what you said. and it means a lot to me.

sharing the love back. words to KK you may need right now: you're smart, intelligent, genuine, kind, caring, loving, and loveable. to A going for a job interview later today: you're going to rock it. #nodoubts and to all y'all: you have it inside you too. xx

Monday, September 8, 2014

spring cleaning

i once went to a comedy show where the comedian started off the show saying "does anyone out there actually know what their name means?" me, sitting in the front row: "umm, yeah."  he asked what my name was, and as i replied, he immediately followed up with "and what does it mean?" i looked at him like he was insane and said, "it's a season!" he replied, "oh. yeah. ok; you win that game!" and moved on. everyone laughed and it was hilarious.

i love all the opportunities my name has for jokes and teasing.  and i'm obsessed with things that have my name in it. when springtime comes, i get to see my name EVERYwhere.  and the really great thing is that i get to have this when it hits springtime in the US, and when it hits springtime in australia.  i'm a super lucky girl.

anyway, it's spring in sydney.  finally.  spring is the most exciting of the season changes (yeah, yeah, i know, i might be biased).  but the reason i think it's so exciting is because it really is the time of year when everything is fresh and new. we get to break out of hibernation.  we get to blossom.  we get to really glow.

you'll notice people getting outside more; breaking up their routines; smiling more; reconnecting with others in their lives... getting happier.

o recently made me clean my closet; it was way worse than cher's.

and one of the super typical things we associate with spring is "spring cleaning"--the act of getting rid of stuff we don't need anymore; clearing out our space; making room for the new.

we do this in our closets regularly. but we also need to remember to do it in our lives.


i went to kelli's day retreat on saturday where she used "spring cleaning" as a theme for the day.  i stole the idea of the theme and made it my own when i taught both yesterday and tonight: the idea of letting go of things that aren't serving us in our lives is one of my favorite yoga themes.

i like this theme so much that i usually go back and teach it about once a month. because there are ALWAYS things we need to let go of.  there are so many little habits and ways that we get stuck. and being reminded that we have the power to let go of them, to move on, to expand and blossom--well that's just about the most empowering thing in the world.

when i practiced with kelli on saturday i thought of the relationships in my life that weren't giving me everything i needed.  i meditated on thoughts of my heart blooming.  and in savasana, these images of angels dusting out my heart snuck in front of my eyelids.  i was lying there, completely calm, completely at peace, and i just felt myself being dusted out.  i felt myself shining a little brighter.  and it felt amazing.

after i taught this theme sunday afternoon, i had a few people tell me how much they got out of it.  one student told me he had never had such an emotional experience in a yoga class. another told me how much she shifted during that hour. a few others told me how much they enjoyed it.  tonight, the same thing happened.

but you know what's so cool about that? each of us has that power. each of us can do that for ourselves.

i had dinner last night with a friend who is on a super high vibration right now.  she's got her duckies all lined up and she is ready to take on the next stage of her life: no doubt about it; she's gonna rock it.  she and i talked a bit about that idea of realizing your power in a situation, or even just realizing your power to change your attitude in a situation.  and about how easy it can be to forget that we have that power.

so, here's a little reminder: you can do it.  you can let it go.  you can have a little more spring in your step.  even if you're living in the "other" hemisphere right now.  clean out your inner closet; let go of that thing that's holding you back--why would you want to keep hanging on to it any longer than you have to?

to my friend that's on the verge of a divorce. to my friend who isn't sure what her marriage might hold for her. to my friend that doesn't know what career she'll have next week. to all my friends.

make room for new patterns, new ideas, new opportunities, and new people in your life. make room for the next, better thing. make room for yourself.

Monday, September 1, 2014

work work work work workin' on my sh!t

(i seriously have that song stuck in my head right now.)

every relationship is hard work. not just romantic ones. not just the emotional friends. not just the crazy second cousin. every relationship. each friend, each family member, each co-worker. every person we interact with is a whole complex person that deserves a whole complex understanding.

in the past week i've noticed this theme over and over: one of my bff and i got in a disagreement over a miscommunication and didn't really talk for a few days. another bff received an embarrassing text from me that we had to work through (hell no i'm not sharing what it said). another bff (yes i have this many best friends) felt left out when i didn't get an invite out. another friend called me and worked through a misunderstanding we had. two different friends got back in touch after a several month hiatus. a co-worker broke down and shared something personal after feeling under-appreciated. ...this is just off the top of my head, but there are so many examples of how important it is to put time into each communication and each interaction we have.

the theme also popped up this weekend when i went to a few festival of dangerous ideas talks at the opera house. in a talk about loneliness and depression, someone said (my interpretation): we spend so much time being busy. busy-ness is a stand-in for fullness in our lives: if we're busy, we're full, complete. but busy-ness doesn't allow time for connection. in fact, quite the opposite. we end up rushing through our interactions to get to the next one, not allowing space for fully connecting with the people in our lives.

to fully connect with someone is hard work. it takes more than a few minutes. and it takes empathy as well. it needs time, space, compassion, and understanding.

friday afternoon i spent time with my favorite four-year-old: adi is brand new big sister; her little sister is under two weeks old. adi has been feeling a little left-out since her little sister was born, so she and i had a special "big sisters club" afternoon on friday. she and i put on shiny tattoos, went trampolining, and then spent a couple of hours working on a dinosaur activity book and coloring. adi soaked up every second of time that was fully focused on her: she didn't want the time to end and made sure we scheduled the next meeting of big sisters club before i left. "umm, how's friday?" she asked as i was walking out the door. i don't think she even knew which day it was, but she knew she wanted to get her special time scheduled in.

after i left i thought about how adi might be feeling, and i thought about my own sister and how i might have felt when she entered my life. and i thought about how much she drove me nuts for several years. and how she copied everything i did and wanted to steal everything that was mine (like when she ripped the arm off of my favorite doll trying to pull it from the crib so she could play with something dear to me).

and i thought about how my sister and i are best friends now.

i'm super grateful for where we are. but it wasn't easy; it was work. and it still is. just like every other relationship. so part of this blog is a promise to myself and the relationships in my life. part of this blog is a reminder to keep working. part of this blog is an apology for the places i haven't put in as much effort. and part of this blog is dedicated to all of those siblings; all of those co-workers; all of those ex-partners... just all of the people: all of the people who have ever felt like they didn't get the time they deserved from somebody.

relationships are hard work. but they're worth it. and they're probably the only things in this world that are worth that much hard work.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

slooooooooower

i'm sick today. i don't know what it is: some allergy, me running myself into the ground, or the fact that i forgot to get a flu shot this year (shhhh, julie, I KNOW!).

so i spent a majority of the day in bed. mostly snapchatting a few of my bff and texting kitty about... you know, things.

while lying there i received an email titled "are we ever really prepared?" by patty kikos. funny you should ask me that, patty, because i'm lying here thinking "umm, i have other things i need to be doing!"

but, guess what, the universe had other plans for me today. and i am pretty sure that the universe tends to give us what we need. the universe thinks i need to slow the fuck down? well: the universe will make my muscles achy and me tired and feverish. and then? i won't move an inch from the bed, even for that glass of water i'm dying for. (not for seven hours until my laptop dies anyway.)

oddly enough, as i texted and chatted with friends over the course of the day and night, i think all of them said to me "maybe you've been doing too much." yeah. maybe. but i like to be busy, so it's hard for me to take space to slow down sometimes.

it's funny how sometimes you can't hear these universal messages unless they're a bit heavy-handed. while i've been much better at listening to my intuition lately, i still need to be hit over the head occasionally. and i think that has also happened a lot recently. either that, or when i realize something, i REALLY realize it. which can feel like a clubbing.

and that's what today felt like. so i slowed down. wayyyyyy down. mostly i let my mind wander slowly around. being silly a little with kitty: "you're funny when you're sick!", making up diagnoses for myself: "i am a doctor after all" (you're welcome O), or just thinking about my little piece of the world.

one thing i thought about: how much i love my friends. as soon as i found a cover for the yoga class i was supposed to teach tonight, i posted to my students that i wouldn't be there. i got a few messages right away wishing me well ...and one from SP telling me to chain myself to my bed and do some "sexy soup eating." umm, i did say i snapchatted all afternoon, but let me be clear that it was not of that. (that would have involved me moving more than a few inches!)

i talked to some friends on this continent, and some on my "other" continent. i even got to talk to a friend who hadn't been in touch in a while. which felt like another "here's the universe giving you what you need today" moment. (one that did NOT feel like a clubbing!) when she offered to bring me things i might need tomorrow if i was still feeling sick, i felt this wash of "OMG i'M SO LUCKY."

my friends are amazing. all of them. ones that i speak to rarely, and ones that i speak to every day. ones that i have known for years, and ones that i've recently met. ones that i know through work, and ones that i know through coffee shops (yes you, MR... but i still owe you a "proper" shout out for all of your amazing life advice EVERY DAY!).

one of my most amazing friends is going through some major life changes right now. she left her life and husband behind today to go to the US for 7 months for an amazing PhD-training-related opportunity. and she also has some major family stuff going on. which means she is one of THE BRAVEST. MOST COURAGEOUS. MOST FEARLESS. women i know.

i know i cry a lot. but i've sobbed all three times i hung out with her this week. and every time i walked past her house (which is a block from mine, so that equals: A LOT OF TIMES). ...and every time i thought about her going away (which was way more than the number of times i walked past her house). i'm so proud of her, and so glad for her opportunities both professionally and personally with her family. and that's why i'm going to miss her so much. (no, not because she could've brought me popsicles today.)

...i'll miss her support. her ever-present energy. her love. her FEARLESS love that anyone can see shining out of her.

and so all of this comes full circle, yet again: lydia, you've got this. the universe is there for you. and the universe is there for me. and, with its backup, i'm there for you.

so much gratitude to y'all. and to the universe.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

my heart's voice is not a pipsqueak

quote and image from gabbyb, my #miraclesnow guru!
i had one of the most emotional weekends ever. and then i had the most emotional monday ever.  i don't think i need to, but let me just tell you: i'm an emotional girl... so that's really fucking saying something.  

after going to the energy healer last thursday, i had a lot of confrontation to face.  i had a lot of "speaking my truth" to do.  i had a lot of conversations that i had been avoiding to OWN UP and have.  and, as a result, i had a lot of unsettled feelings.

telling people things about myself, about my wants and needs, is strangely hard.  putting my needs first is something i've rarely done.  and when i have done it?  i feel like i've been punished for it.  

when i told someone that i needed more from them?  i was told i was selfish.  when i requested more from someone at work? i was told it was impossible.  when i put my needs first after my separation from my husband?  i was cut from most of our mutual friends' lives. when i was exploring my needs in those several months following? i've had my actions thrown in my face; repeatedly.  

so, yeah.  why would i bother to put my needs first?  oh. that's right.  i just paid $100 to be told why: because no one else does.

thursday i blogged about how great it felt to speak my truth; to be in my power; to be in control of my needs.  and then i had a hard conversation friday.  "i want more from you" i said.  "nope; not gonna happen" i heard.  and then i spent the rest of weekend trying to explore the unsettledness.  i thought i was supposed to feel good.  i thought i was detached from the outcome, and that i'd be glad i had said what i said.

hmmm.  well, i gave myself over to these feelings all weekend.  and what i came up with was that maybe i just hadn't expressed them well enough.  i started to say things, but i didn't finish them.  i hinted at things, but i didn't fully say them.  ok.  i guess this takes practice.

but what else have i noticed?  my handstands improved drastically this weekend. no wall? no problem.  weird.  speak your truth and internal confidence starts to bloom, even when you can't emotionally feel it yet. and, even though i still felt unsettled, i taught the theme in class tonight.  we practiced it in each pose: let go of the outcome (the final version of the asana); let your heart speak its truth (be fully shiny in your version of the pose); we practiced it for life: where can i let my heart's voice be louder?

my energy healer warned me that if i didn't practice speaking my truth more often, it would come out sounding squeaky and tiny when i used it.  (umm, has she HEARD my actual voice?!?!)  so.  i committed to more practicing.

and then tonight i had the most unexpected "i've been meaning to do this" conversation.  i was talking with a friend who didn't know my romantic history with her ex.  the whole reason and background to this is complicated.  and shitty.  but what i do know is that i have felt extremely uncomfortable with the current situation for quite a while.  i counted on him to have this hard conversation for me, because i thought it was important for him to do.  but guess what--that was putting his needs ahead of mine as well.  i allowed too much time for the conversation to occur, and i didn't ensure that everything had actually been truth-ed.

so while i still felt unsettled about the situation, i hadn't corrected it.  i had promised myself i wouldn't actively lie about it, but i secretly hoped no direct questions were asked of me.  but the friendship i was building was strong; and the hope of avoiding this truth was quickly diminishing.

tonight, after discussing the importance of speaking our truths, she asked about my dating life.  and, through some tears, i told her my truth.  i hated telling her: i didn't want to hurt her; i didn't want to betray him.  but, underneath everyone else's needs, were mine.  and i didn't want to live this way.  

i didn't want to hide things (umm, i'm TERRIBLE at hiding things in my life anyway #seemyeveryblogpost); i didn't want to threaten the reality of our friendship; i didn't want to continue to let someone else's mis-placed protection determine my actions.

so we talked.  i felt her pain.  i felt my grief.  i awaited berating words from everyone else involved.  i called my BFF and cried about all the potential lost relationships awaiting me in the next few days. i wrote a few emails to make sure people knew where i was coming from in this conversation, hoping for the best out of it all.

and then?  i felt at ease.  

i finally felt at ease.  

after this whirlwind of anxiety eating at my insides all weekend for not fully expressing myself, i had released my heart from its prison.  what's funny is it was un-intended.  i didn't mean to have this conversation.  i had been dreading how it would happen for weeks.  actually, months.  i didn't want to hurt people; i didn't want to anger people.  i bought into the idea that protection from truth was ok.  

even though my intuition YELLED at me when i tried to convince it of this, i ignored it.  and now? i can recognize that this fear/anxiety/self-doubt/shitty-feeling was actually my sub-conscious saying: this is not ok; do something about it.  

i'm sorry i didn't do it sooner.  but i'm also so fucking grateful i had the courage to do it tonight:  i'm certain of my friend's strength and power.  i'm glad we talked about it for her sake.  and for my sake.  and for the sake of the future of any friendships we hope to have. because no friendship or relationship can be built without that honesty--that real honesty from our own hearts and truths.

so the evidence is in: hard conversations are apparently now my thing.  i've got this.  and they're not (quite) so hard when you let go of what the outcomes are.  my conversation tonight stands to have me potentially risk two pretty important people in my life.  but--if i hadn't had the conversation?  neither of those relationships would be as authentic.  i have hopes about the outcomes, of course, but i can't spend my life worrying about them.  

and the only reason i would ever have such a hard conversation with someone is because i value them.

just like when kitty kat yells at me for not answering her straight away when she asks about something (knowing i'm weighing up everyone else's needs before answering), i am now listening to the internal screams that direct me.

"as you elevate your presence, you give other people the permission to do the same" gabby says. and i hope that's true too.  i hope everyone in class tonight; everyone reading this today; and especially everyone i've involved in my truth-telling finds the internal energy to glow a little brighter.  

don't be afraid to shine.  no one else will do it for you. 


addendum: i had a beautiful reply to this blog post from a friend that i hadn't spoken to in years. she's a dear friend who was feeling like she needed to keep quiet about something. but after reading this, she spoke up. i'm so proud of you B. you're a shining star in my galaxy. xoxo

Thursday, August 14, 2014

my truth

I went to see an energy healer today.

yoga friends: yes! she was amazing!

academic friends: 1) shut up. 2) see above.

first--how do i feel right now?

like I'm happy. like I am living my truth. like I'm totally connected. like I AM love. and kinda like she spiked my water with some MDMA.

I also feel a little nauseous. because I haven't been living this way every day? because I was giving up some of my power? because this is a shift? I'm not sure.

but I'm gonna get out of my head a little here. bc we all know that's what I really need.

kitty's writing about why it's hard to speak our own truth. I'll leave her to the intellectualisms today.

I'm gonna tell you how it feels to be fully aligned; in your power; always speaking your truth:

fucking good.

you don't have to TRY to be things. you get to just BE these things. I get to be happy. I get to feel loved: by myself and my friends. I get to feel relaxed. I get to feel at peace with myself and the world around me.

my mantras to keep me here:
I honor my needs at all times.
I'm ok being alone now that I love and nurture myself.
I feel safe expressing my truth now that I'm detached from the outcome.
my normal operating system has been upgraded to love: I feel it; I don't think it.
fear is now a guest that comes to visit me and bring messages from my soul.

big big big hearts