Surrender Sucks

That’s right folks, Surrender Sucks.

That’s why I eat my face off.  I get tired, I eat; I get upset or riddled with fear, I eat; I freak out like a girl over some minor detail in my relationship I’m just sure means that we are doomed to failure, I eat.  To celebrate, because of boredom, stress, or anxiety I eat eat eat.

Anyone else?

I sat across from my friend day before yesterday and declared that I have an eating disorder.  She looked at me shocked, talked me out of the notion and then tried to switch gears into something more positive and grounded (one of the many reasons I adore her)  I left feeling not all that bad, especially when comparing myself to some stricken “others.”  So I hoped on my bike riding across town on my merry way to a date with a plate of fried potato product.  I deserve it after all.

I felt better, for a moment.  After that I was bloated and ashamed and not so interested in getting naked with that awesome boyfriend of mine (and yes we are doing more than fine).

To say out loud or in print for that matter that I believe I have an eating disorder is pretty bold I know.  It’s not something I say in jest nor do I take its implication lightly.  I think it needs to be said that I also believe that many of us (men too) are suffering from some sort of food distortion or obsession.  If we eat because of shame, regret, gilt, or any other reason other than physical hunger then I think there is something unbalanced that deserves some investigation.

How many of you are on a diet?  How many control what they are eating in the name of activism, health, or religious preference?  How many people do you know who are counting calories, portions, or the effects of supplements?  How many of us are in the middle of a juice fast or a cleanse?  How many raw food only, warm cooked food only, no carbs, single cheat day, these are the rules so follow them or else crazy people are out there?  I am pretty sure that you know many persons in each category and in addition you’ve got a perfectly good reason for arranging your particular eating habits into a neat little box labeled “perfectly sane and rational.’

What would happen if we all just surrendered our well thought out eating habits?  The real question of the day is what would happen if I did?  That’s the exact question that led me to tears at the lunch table today.

Today is the day!

It’s been a pretty mind-blowing year and for those of you who have been reading me for some time know that though fraught with major change, I have landed on my feet feeling like a grateful badass.  It’s the sound of the collective cheering at our good fortunes that led me back to the path of the internal world.  I’ve been feeling safe again you see..

Finally feeling some stability I have endeavored to read more in the past two months and do some manicuring of the internal lawns.  I have been face to face with obsessive behaviors and issues that I thought I’d conquered years ago and therefore I’ve been secretly snacking and participating in some late night shoveling in order to bury all those pesky feelings that have bubbled up.

What was I thinking anyway?  It’s like I totally forgot that self exploration leads to excavation and I failed to prepare myself with an accountability partner or a few girlfriends I could verbally barf on when the need arose.  I have been journaling for sure but since I have decided I can do it on my own <because I am an island damn it> I ended up in a pool of tears in my cole slaw at the Lobster Shanty on the phone with a friend.

I spend so much time caring for others and being a sounding board (which I love and feel very useful and blessed) and yet I forgot that I too need help, I too need a shoulder, I too am a fragile and beautiful creature on a path to self fulfillment.

I realize now, once again, that self fulfillment is not at the bottom of the bread basket.  I remember that I do not have to clean my plate like my parents said and that I don’t have to eat what others have deemed important, healthy, or nutritious.  I don’t need to sit at the tea shop to feel loved and I certainly don’t need or want to spend all my money surrounding myself with people or stuffing myself with anything so that I won’t feel lonely.  All I have to do is be gentle and breath.  All I have to do is observe the discomfort, when that urge to run to warm bread and cheese begins to ring in my head, I can take a moment in stillness and get curious as to why.

It doesn’t matter that I own a studio, or that I am a teacher or a widely read blogger.  It doesn’t matter that I’m supposed to be the one to help or the one who has the answers.  Who made up those dumb rules anyway?  I’m not a guru, I’m not a prophet, I’m just a girl who grew up lonely and needs to be seen and touched and feel like the world is real again.

It does not matter what other people think.  What matters is that I get lonely and I have an urge to fill that hole with something.

Bahya Kumbhaka…the bottom of the breath and the hold after, I feel anxious and expectant.  In a state of deep detachment I am scared and I feel alone.  What is in that absence of breath?  Am I about to die?!  Is god there?  I’m not so sure but I’m desperate to find out.  Desperate to change.  I have hit my threshold for pain and I give up.  It sucks, this feeling of defeat.  Perhaps I am not defeated but that I am giving up a fight that no longer serves me…It’s scary.

Today I roll over into child’s pose and I surrender!  Thank God for Yoga.

responsibility, a four letter word?

Choices that encourage you to thrive and how to act responsibly…this is what all the mentors and self-help books are talking about.  Making a choice that is in your best interest and at the same time being warm and fuzzy towards the greater good so we don’t step on any toes or accidentally kill some endangered species across the planet with our inattentive actions.

That’s a lot of responsibility!

I go to the Social Justice Series at the UU once a month to watch a film that will expand my horizons and that will provoke thought and conversation.  The thing is though that I often leave these films either totally fired up and ready to tackle some huge industry or a little on the defeated side at the expanse of problems we face as a species.  There are also those times when I am left with an odd mixture of the two with no direction but with the understanding that I must act.

That’s the rub with education.  We learn and then we are meant to act responsibly according to those lessons.  It’s the Take Away as some put it.  We can remain ignorant of the issues at hand or we can choose to get involved… though once you go down that road it is a slippery slope and the lines of integrity keep shifting.  It becomes very hard to ignore the impact you make with even the smallest of decisions and it takes an evolved personality to stay active and aware.

It can be downright exhausting.  I mean, why not just throw it all to the wind and go kite surfing or dog sit my way from city to city?  Why build anything and therefore tie myself down to a single location… why not just invest in the mobile office and take off into the great “out there” and see where I end up about 50 years from now? Why be responsible at all!!?  It’s not as if my little corner of the world really matters in the face of the big box stores and governments…

When my brain starts to hijack my reason I try to focus on the fact that right now all I can focus on is the little bubble I’ve created here on the beach.  I know there are a million things I could (or should) be doing according to both the voice in my head and the voices of others but in the mean time I can act in a mindful way socially by being a fair business owner, toward my environment by recycling and refusing trash that is unnecessary, making food choices that are ethical, and by surrounding myself with people who will bring out the best in me.

I guess that is the point.  Not to get overwhelmed with the billions of choices and the possibilities and consequences our actions might incur and to just do the best we can.  Just and single step followed by the next.  One breath at a time.

Be here now.  That’s it.

Be here.  Just do the best you can.  Breathe.  Talk it out with friends.  Stay away from poisonous situations.  Be responsible for yourself. Love thyself.  Everything else gets easier from there. One step, One Breath, One day at a time…

Listen To Your Gut

How involved should I get?

That is the question I am facing in two distinct areas of my life right now.  One of which is glaring at me in the form of my sample ballot courtesy of the Florida Board of Elections.  It arrived in the mail today printed in red, white, and blue.  First, this is not about the candidates.  You won’t be hearing anything regarding who I will, or will not, be voting for.  I do vote.

When it comes to all my election day choices I’m finding it helpful to go to websites, read reviews and editorials, and talk to my fellow citizens about opinions and perspectives.

I wish the same were true for the other area of my life.  If I could only do some online research, read a few articles, and then chat it up at the community table over at Tea & Chi (the intellectual epicenter of Vero Beach) then I could figure it out quickly and with the approval and support of others that I admire.

The thing is though, there are some answers that we can’t find online or in public.  There are questions, like how involved should I get, that simply can’t be teased out with others.  It’s not like life comes with a sample ballot that can be filled out prior to election day.  Our experiences don’t line up conveniently under tabs on a website reading Issues, Platform, or Donate Here.

I guess it’s all up to me.

A generous, though at times conservative, woman I admire said something the other day that struck me.  After expressing concern over how tired I looked and how busy I must be she said, “don’t take on anything that you don’t have to.”  It seems like sound advice on the surface but it left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.  I wondered how the world would look of I approached it with that mantra in mind.  I wondered how I would feel if I simply disengaged from all the things that are uncomfortable, difficult, or that leave me a bit vulnerable.  Not that I have to be a doormat or anything but is it really better to just skate by and do the minimum?

When it comes to the tough questions I often start with my team of advisors and friends.  In an almost knee jerk reaction I begin to talk it out via email and text with my bff, about five other goddesses, with a few men in the mix (my dad and my mentor included) and by the end of an hour I’ll have a fistful of new perspectives and opinions.  I’m really good at steering the conversation too, I will ask questions in a way that will illicit answers that are in alignment with my true desires (even when I am unwilling to admit this to myself).

I get sidetracked and exhausted running through all the scenarios, the options, and all the quips of those that I trust and admire.  The problem here, perhaps challenge is a better word, the challenge here is that I’ve approached whatever issue at hand with a tactic that gives me way more information than I need and without taking even the smallest moment to consider my own true wisdom first.  My gut reaction is usually accurate and even though I know this, I choose to complicate things.

This is the story of my life.

Perhaps it was the moving every three years and always being the new kid, or that I honesty enjoy the perspectives of friends.  Maybe it is the thrill of a life experienced in a crucible and in full view of others.  More likely, and this is downright uncomfortable to admit, it is that I automatically believe that the opinions of others are more important than that of my own.  For some reason I continue to ignore my own inherent value.

It’s silly really because I make great decisions.  I’m awesome at seeing a complex situation and distilling it down to it’s fundamentals and prioritizing.  I’ve negotiated a million hardships, opportunities, and I’ve made magic out of nothing on the simple charms of a Texas smile and a willingness to try.  In spite of these strengths however I constantly seek the advice of others.  Mind you, there is nothing wrong with a little sound-boarding but if this tet-e-tet is the first pit stop on the journey to fulfillment then I am neglecting that inner wisdom I’m encouraging so many to tap in to.

I forget to sit in stillness.  To pray.  To head out to the ocean and listen to the waves.  I forget that I don’t have to have all the answers, the details, or even the broad strokes of life figured out this very moment.  I forget to trust.

Instead of bulldozing my way through life I could take the opportunity to be kind to myself, cut myself some slack, and to allow the process to unfold and blossom as it naturally will.  I think the answer is not “don’t take on anything that you don’t have to,” but the better question is “what do you want.”  To figure out the answer to that gem requires silence.

Inhale, Exhale; Rinse & Repeat

When it comes to voting, choosing what to eat, what movies to watch, or which book to pick up the research can go a long way to making an informed decision.  When it comes to the big questions in life like questions of virtue or direction, there really is no other person on the planet that I should be willing to allow make that decision for me.

When we take a moment to consider what we want and how involved we are willing to get there is an intimacy that we cultivate with our highest self.  We build trust.  We show care and we add value.  We step into a sacred conversation with the wisdom of our ancestors, our inner child, and our connection to spirit (that inner voice) can be heard and deciphered.   We must be vigilant with our hearts and trust our gut.

I invite you to dive into the space between the heartbeats and listen for the voice of guidance.  To sit in mediation and without judgement or expectation seek the stillness that is required of those on a spiritual path.  In doing so I remind myself of these gifts.  The moon is bright tonight, the dogs are curled up sweetly in their beds, and as I finish typing I will resist the urge to investigate the questions of my life online or with others.  I will close my laptop, light a candle, and listen.

Namaste!

Expectation Enigma

Live beyond all expectations.

Uh, how exactly?  Well, that’s part of the frustration for many.  How does one live without expectations.  What an inexplicable puzzle.

I guess gratitude is a great weapon to cultivate.

We must be deliberate in all things.  Being one hundred percent responsible for our actions and intentions we must be mindful to propel ourselves forward… best foot forward that is.  Do it in spite of fears, do it regardless of your ego’s reservations… do it no matter what!

It is an exhilaration, this letting go of mapping the details of life and simply embracing it as it unfolds.  This experience of being “in the flow” swallows us whole.  We have the opportunity to continually wipe the slate bare and swim in the tempest of mercy.

My Confessor is a hippie chick like me.

At the moment at least, as my confessor tends to shape shift along with the tides.

This weekend was a wonderful mix of soft sheet covered laughter, canoodling with ducks in rows, mariposa meditations, variations on Venus, consecration, and revelation.

It may have been the winds that helped to part the Red Sea and the sweet smell of fall that lulled me into a beach front exploration of all the shifts of life and how moving energy from one place to another is fascinating and delicious.

What is it about revealing ourselves to another?  It feels primal and necessary.  The desire to do so, it ebbs and flows with the courses of the moon.  I wonder how being heard by another, by baring our hearts to be heard and held by another, is both tantalizing and potentially throttling.  To be seen by another without judgement with a “total permission to be” attitude and acceptance brings my heart to a pace with the wings of those butterflies I admire so.

It is the caterpillar that climbs inch by inch…

And it is the exquisite stroke of the almighty that creates the spark of life and the shutter of our hearts.  We were made for each other.  Thriving in a state of perpetual wonder and a healthy awe of the unfolding offers the opportunity to enrich our lives with the recognition of the divine light within.  Resisting the urge to control each others sails we can then marvel at the playful direction of a life well lived.  I vow always to encourage you and your dance.  I vow to honor you as I honor myself.  To love you as I have love for myself.  To respect you as I show self respect.  You for I, and I for You, and We for It, and It for Us.

We Are Each Other.

So back to the gratitude thing…

Along with just being cool with what is manifesting in your day to day here are a few other practical steps in avoiding the pitfalls of expectations:

Simplify your morning routine and set yourself up for success in wandering through your day in a state of receptivity.

Spend your money in places that offer true happiness and see how being deliberate with your dollar votes can also change the world.

Get comfortable with what makes you unique, or a freak!!

Inhale, Exhale; Rinse and Repeat!!

Good Luck Fellow Travelers ;0)


The Chick Flick

I thought it prudent to sit in front of the keyboard and let it roll.

I just watched a great chick flick, New In Town, and it gave me the warm and fuzzies.  Well, it could have been the two homemade martinis but let’s for the sake of the argument presume it was the sappy love story that did it.

In fact, I’m all about the story as you well know and this week leaves me feeling like I just dropped off the end of a cliff into a great big vat of strawberry jello, or preserves, on toast, with pickles on the side.. OY!!  I have just had the weirdest cravings over the last few weeks.  I haven’t been right since I picked up what I thought was food poisoning from my beloved but what turned out to be an never ending digestive upset with nausea and a headache…

Where was I?  Oh yes, the chick flick.

It must me a genetic issue that women LOVE the never ending fairy tale of man cometh into our lives to sweep us off our feet and offer some serious make out action on a cool furniture piece that we bough thanks to the killer career offered to us since the liberation movement.  I mean, really, there are few goddesses that I hang out with that won’t gush over the latest come hither to me story of the season… It must be the fact that the ladies like it just as much, if not more, than the fellas would like to claim domain over.. silly silly boys…even the fabulous ones.

All the circles are leading back to the fact that I just adored this happy movie and that, this is the FIRST Saturday night that I’ve had all to myself since returning from that month long sabbatical at the top of the summer.

My life looks like this: either it’s parties, doggies, classes, boyfriends, girls night, time to talk to the folks, or catch up time with friends gone west over the never ending countdown of summer that has left me just beside myself with excitement (albiet exhausted at best) Tonight there was not one single thing that I was committed to doing.  Think great big SIGH OF RELIEF.

Which leaves me of course wondering about you and all of your to-do-lists that are never ending and coming out your ears-!!

My thought is this.  When was the last time that you had an evening to yourself?  If you can’t remember or you breath deep just imagining such an occurrence then I insist that you schedule one in ASAP!  What I have found is that given to zero expectations or unwanted questions and interruptions my mind floats back to the things that not only give me the greatest pleasure, but that also play to my strengths and remind me of my mission and goals in life.  The quiet, the turning off the mind, the avocado fat, and the movie ALL contributed to a re-awakening of my passion and trajectory.

I think it is important that we all offer ourselves the same luxury and more important, I feel it will enlighten even the most preoccupied soul.

Take time to ponder the glory of YOU.

Good Luck and Keep me Posted ;0)

The Earth is Shifting

 

Who Knew?  I mean, I have my feet planted to the ground as I move through space but I rarely feel the earth shift beneath me.  There are those moments when it happens, out of the blue, and you are suddenly throttled and you are aware in a way that you were not before that you are a part of something greater than yourself and that that thing you are a part of is a power beyond your wildest dreams.

I said a prayer of thanks today for the moment.  Giggling to myself because God has a funny way of getting my attention sometimes… and since I love to laugh He obliges me.  

Rock on!! A change is coming and I am running out of things to say…

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