How Midsummer Strep Reminded Me To Breathe

There are be-ers; there are do-ers; and then there are the people that fall somewhere in between. I used to settle into that healthy in between – skilled at being in the present moment and clicking into git-r-done mode when things needed to be tackled.

I lost that balance and somehow exhaustion had become more of a constant state of being and less of a once in a while condition. I had been in fight and flight for so long that I was stuck on this “do” merry-go-round.

I don’t remember a time in my life where my heart crumbled so easily and my rage spit out so quickly.  That should have been a dead giveaway that my body and spirit were spent.

The constant going finally netted me strep mid-summer. I tried relaxing, but sitting there trying to do nothing was literally driving me insane. It’s not the pretty parts of stillness that bother me, it’s that when I stopped doing I had to sit with myself. My self has a lot of thoughts sometimes dark and often erratic. That constant sense of doing successfully distracted me from dealing with heartbreak for about a year now. I spent so much time working and tending to the whims of others and steadily feeding into the numbed type of bliss of constant busy-ness – I’d forgotten how to simply be.




It’s just another form of evading a sense of powerlessness – each moment; each breath has a direct purpose that serves the head. If all of this “doing” serves the ego and “being” serves the spirit, I’d say our spirits are all begging to be fed. Maybe you find that sense of being and meditative bliss on a motorcycle; maybe it’s hiking; hell maybe it’s shooting at the range – it doesn’t have to be the cross-legged sitting Om Shanti Shanti that you hold in your head as the only way to meditate or hold a peaceful space. It’s not the things you do mindlessly, but the things that are so second-natured to you they become like breathing. After all, focus on breath is the easiest, most direct form of meditation.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that swings between doing and mindlessness. Do-ers, especially do-ers that are trying to move their feet so fast they don’t feel the pain, will slam into a wall before they realize that they are run down and empty. When you’re not being, you’re not breathing. Hell, it’s no wonder I was so exhausted – you need oxygen and I’d been holding my breath the whole time. And those that cling to mindless pursuits, never really live at all.

Then comes the question; What do I want my breathing to be? What do I want my my inhale, my exhale, to be? Do I really want my restorative time to be tuning in to Keeping Up with the Kardashians? Not that there is anything wrong with a little Trash TV, but when I think of how I want to restore my spirit that ain’t it.

How will you breathe today? How will you restore?

Please Get Your Guilty Outta My Pleasure, Thanks.

There are certain terms I just don’t like the sound of guilty pleasure for one. Not a fan. There is (should be) no guilt in pleasure and what exactly makes one guilty in pursuing pleasure? For the sake of this post, I’m going to break this down – let’s get literal.

 As defined by the Oxford Dictionary:
Guilty
adjective (guiltier, guiltiest)
culpable of or responsible for a specified wrongdoing
Pleasure

noun

  • a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoymentshe smiled with pleasure at being praised

[attributive]

  • used or intended for entertainment rather than business

verb

[with object]

give sexual enjoyment or satisfaction to
Happy? Satisfaction? Enjoyment? Hm, pursuing happiness  sure doesn’t sound much like  wrongdoing to me. Perhaps the aversion lies in how guilt can be strongly associated with shame and there is nothing shameful about pleasure. Not a thing.
“Oh, but it’s just something we say.” I can feel the eyes rolling from here, but the more conscious of  definitions and emotional associations I become, the more aware I am of how these affect thoughts and perceptions, and in turn life. Guilt and shame have no place tied to pleasure, it only serves to further perpetuate the lie that pleasure is a naughty thing. I don’t know about you, but I feel some kind of awesome after a bubble bath or indulging in a leisurely brunch. There are enough places for fearful/shameful/guilty thoughts to poison and misdirect – I don’t need it to hide in my bubble bath or my hairbrush performance session of Moulin Rouge‘s  “Elephant Melody”. Seriously.
Explore your relationship with pleasure. Just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths while you sit with the word. How does it feel? Physical sensations? What are the first words that come to mind? This is a relationship worth pursuing. Tell me what you find.

Shovel Out The Bull*ish To Get To The Good *Ish

Warning: Just a bit of rough language, but only a bit.

It’s time gorgeous people to shovel out the bullshit to get to the good shit.

Excuses! You have to love these sneaky little bastards.

Most times the “but, but” stumbles out of our mouths before we even have time to process what’s going on.

Aren’t you tired of handing the reigns over to your limiting beliefs? Your fears?

My sniggling little inner-critic mostly just reminds me “Walk my talk.” and challenges me to “Put my money where my mouth is.” these days.

We’ve made friends… well, mostly. Sometimes she still whispers lies.

But the little monsters that still feed you that “Sacred Lie” are holding you back and down.

I can validate and compliment you until I’m blue in the face,

but you have to begin the work of shoveling out the bullshit to let all that goodness start to stream in.

So do it!

Today, right now, don’t wait any longer.

You owe it to yourself to see who you really are when the “I am not enough” crap is stripped away.

They are placeholders – really crippling and stagnating placeholders.

What wonderous loveliness are you blocking out by holding onto them?

Your dream career? Relationship? Promotion? House?

And do it in your own way,

find tools that resonate with you.

This is not a one-size-fits-all world.

You need different outfits and you need different tools in your self-love arsenal.

(Check the list below for some of my favorites.)

If you need a cheerleader, a friend, A CHAMPION!

I’m here! I believe in and love you deeply.

If you don’t like me, then find someone in your life that can be this for you until you can be this for yourself.

The world needs more light, needs more love today not a week from now.

More good shit and far, far less bullshit.

Happy shoveling!

 

A Shovel Is Waiting For You …!!! / Une pelle v...

A Shovel Is Waiting For You …!!! / Une pelle vous attend…!!! :))) (Photo credit: Denis Collette…!!!)

 

 

 

 

I love to meditate with this chick: Gabby Bernstein

EFT: Gala Darling taught me how!

Seduction as a spiritual practice with this siren.

Asking the right questions with Ms. Courageous and it really is ALL about the questions.

You can wander through my archives for more of personal beliefs, tips, and practices.

Fall in Love With Now

NOW

NOW (Photo credit: mag3737)

 

I cannot begin to calculate the issues that would be solved if we took this simple, albeit challenging, task to heart. Fall in love with the now – the present moment. On a spiritual level, only the infinite truly matters; the past is a memory of what has already happened and the future is an idea of what may happen. Now is the only thing that truly matters or exists. It is infinite, we will go on being in the present forever. Without the woo-woo schtick, the present moment is the only one that is occurring at any given time, the past and future are merely concepts.

 

It’s only natural to think about the future, plan it out, fret a little over future outcomes of today’s decisions. It’s only natural to reflect on the past, miss and wonder about things and people from time to time. Living there, that’s what breeds fear, ruts, anxiety. All sorts of yuck that could surely send the most confident person into panic attacks. One of my favorite analogies is from Gala Darling’s Love & Sequins (totally unsolicited plug, I LOVE this woman’s work). She references a cosmic diner where you place your well-thought out order and you wait… you never worry about whether or not your food is coming and you go on chatting with your guest or checking your email, you may grumble that it’s taking longer than you like, but you KNOW it’s coming. Where is this clarity throughout the rest of our lives? The level of certainty that whatever you asked for or manifested is coming? Breathe, you might even receive an upgrade on your miracle.

 

Full disclosure: I have to pull myself back into the moment all of the time, though much less than I used to. I was a notorious dweller burning both ends of the candle – future-tripping and constantly analyzing what past events meant. Stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, helpless, hopeless. Everything was out of my control or quickly spinning out of my control. Meditation had much to do with bringing me into the present moment and that “a” word I love oh so much, awareness. All of the work I did brought the “why’s” front and center and so many of my neuroses were tamed by this one commitment (and constant recommitment), falling in love with now. Anytime I start to feel all frazzled I take a deep breath and take a step back into my body, into what is going on at this very moment and usually the yuck dissipates fairly quickly. I want to be here now enjoying life as it happens, not living in something that hasn’t even happened yet or something that was quite literally so 30 minutes ago.

 

When life starts getting to be too much, turn your attention to the present moment. I do recommend meditation (which can be sedentary or active) as a beginning to build self-awareness and overall sense of peace. *There are scientific studies to back this up my nonwoo-woo friends.*

 

What about you? Do you analyze the past or are you a future-tripper? What do you do when things start getting out of hand? I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

How To Forgive Someone When “That’s Just Who They Are.”

Forgiveness

Forgive them. They know not what they do (Photo credit: -Marlith-)

“I’m sorry.” There is a lot to be said about these two tiny words put in such a sorrowful melodic order. I’m sorry saves relationships, face, pride – sometimes lives. It’s a can be a superficial release or something deeper, something that dams rifts between hearts and abolishes grudges for which reasons have long since been forgotten. It’s easy to know when to say I’m sorry. You hurt someone, purposefully or not, you apologize. Simple enough. It’s even easier to know when you’re the one that’s been wounded by a wrongdoing. You were obviously wronged and thus an apology is owed.

What about the times you feel betrayed, abandoned, enraged, or just plain hurt and it’s no one’s fault? What about the times you let who someone is affect you, how then do you forgive this person/people?

I’d like to say first – this is your problem and not theirs because they’re just traipsing down their path carrying their baggage with little regard or knowledge of how it affects those around them (especially the people they love most). Please pay attention here: they cannot directly affect your being without your permission, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt. Grudges are the shackles of the spiritual world and they only hold you back.

All behaviors should be addressed with great compassion and respect because odds are if this is someone who cares about you they don’t know that they’re hurting you. You don’t have to make a sweeping gesture to that person to release them – no entitled, snooty “I forgive you” required.

Sit with yourself and meditate, journal, affirm, whatever your process is to turn your focus inward and make the decision to forgive and release that person (and by extension yourself) for whatever they have done. Gabrielle Bernstein has a wonderful forgiveness visualization meditation (it’s minimum on the woo-woo just in case that’s not your bag) that gently encourages you to remove the metaphorical brick wall between you and the intended recipient of forgiveness.

The next time someone in your life is dragging their baggage all over your ego don’t get let that fester because that’s “just who they are.” Look inward, forgive, release, accept, and love. It is a difficult thing indeed, but try it on for size and watch how it shifts your perception, communication, and relationships as a whole.

Asking For Forgiveness

Asking For Forgiveness (Photo credit: hang_in_there)