Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Reoccurring

It never fails.

He and I are talking, catching up with each other. Sometimes we're not talking at all. Sometimes we're sitting in a room. Sometimes, it may look like something is up because we're lying in their bed, I'm half naked. I couldn't tell you what we're saying or what thoughts we're having.

I only recall the way my stomach feels when she walks into the room. I can only tell you that my heart is beating outside of my chest as I rush to hide even though she's already seen me. I can only share that my eyes are welling with tears as I stumble through words that don't mean much while trying to convince her that nothing happened, nothing IS happening and nothing will.

Yes, I know there is history that proves otherwise. But she has to know that I've chosen not to be his secret anymore.

She and I... we're connected in levels beyond form. She and I... both have the same reoccurring dream.

He has them too but with varying content with regards to me. He says, "I have a feeling that we will be dreaming about each other until the end of time."

Though we've forgiven ourselves and each other, that history haunts us still.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Your Primary Relationship

I've found a church that the kids and I have been to a couple of times. I grew up Catholic and, though I consider myself a recovering Catholic and don't regularly attend service, I do believe my children should have the sense of community that church offers... and have a familiarity with practicing faith.... but without the hypocrisy.

And that's a whole other blog post.


Yesterday the sermon was about dating. I loved that my children received the message that their primary relationship is with their higher self. In this case, the pastor said "Jesus". I've also used the phrase "Holy Spirit". Some say "The Universe". Or simply "Higher Self", "Love", "God", "A Greater Power"... etc. In other words, the relationships here, on this earthly plane, should take second nature to the relationship with Who You Really Are.

I've written before that I find it's easier to be spiritual when I'm single. Human relationships can rock us to our very core. They seem so real and good and painful and orgasmic and excruciating. It is difficult to remember, in the midst of all of those feelings, that we are, first and foremost, spiritual beings having a human experience.

Simply put, we are BETTER in our human relationships when we take care of our SPIRITUAL relationship first.

****

As an example, I have a wonderful friend, another single dad, who is in a very damaging relationship.

He is divorced and his first priority is to his children. His girlfriend, however, has never been married and has no children. Her first priority is to make sure he meets her needs.

He is, quite possibly, one of the kindest men I know. He is probably a better mother than I am! He would do anything for anyone that he cares about. Thus, he has spent the past few years doing anything and everything she has asked from him in order to "make her happy". On a personal level, he understands that it is not up to her to make him happy. He knows that happiness is a choice and he is doing his damnedest to be happy despite the fact that she constantly puts him down, picks fights with him every time they're together, and nags him when he is with his children or when he's alone because she is jealous that he wants to spend time with someone other than her. When he includes her in his family time, she again gets jealous when he is affectionate with his children. He knows he can't make her happy and yet, he keeps trying.

It's rather frustrating to watch.

Obviously she is relying on him for her happiness. She has forgotten her relationship with her Higher Self. She would rather blame him for her unhappiness than to take responsibility. She is pointing at him and shrieking in anger... forgetting her other 3 fingers are pointing back at her.

He also chooses to remain in this relationship for fear of "being the bad guy". He already IS the bad guy though, isn't he? After all, who does she blame for her unhappiness?


I'll admit that I've fallen into this trap myself, at times. Isn't it easy to do so? It seems so much easier to blame someone else rather than to look at our own demons - or rather - rise above the perceived battles we're fighting and remember that we are not who we think we are.

****

I told my daughters that if they can remember their True Selves and that the true Love in their lives is with the spirit that created them, then they'll handle all relationships just fine. Because with that, they'll naturally (1) learn how to fight respectfully or by not engaging at all (2) learn how to say I'm sorry because they'd rather be happy than right (3) learn how not to take things personally.... and so many other powerful lessons that I've written in this blog....and those I'm still learning.

It was a great lesson for them and a great reminder for me.



"For God Himself created the only relationship that HAS meaning, and that is His relationship with YOU."
A Course in Miracles

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

As Single Parents, We can't help but be AWESOME


As mentioned before, my chiropractor gives me an energy word whenever I see her. Today the word was:

Calm


She recommended that I meditate and affirm that word because what my body was saying was CHAOS.

Ha!

Now why would it say that?

Is it because.....

  • I work a full time job where I...
    • keep the office running smoothly and clean, fridge, pantry, cabinets stocked.
    • do all of the accounts receivable and accounts payables
    • do HR, payroll, insurance and retirement accounts, benefits
    • assist in implementing new software for sales and marketing
    • have my own sales products/process to follow that no one else does
    • assist in implementing new phone system
    • handle all vendor relationships relating to the office
    • build our marketing plan
    • design and roll out new website
    • create content for our marketing, website
    • handle all corporate communications within and outside the company
    • do all events planning for internal and external
    • assist the CEO in whatever
    • be an ear for anyone who's going through anything
    • keep a smile on my face through it all
  • Then I also volunteer for another organization where I...
    • handle all their marketing and events planning
  • I'm also working on the side helping several other businesses with their marketing
  • I'm also networking like a fiend to continue to build this side business
  • I'm also creating marketing workshops to help others
  • I'm also planning my high school reunion
  • Oh... then I get home and I...
    • cook (preferably 4 times a week and healthy homemade meals)
    • clean (continuously)
    • buy groceries
    • do laundry (continuously)
    • help with homework
    • pay bills
    • keep the house in good running order
    • make good quality time with my children
    • make time for the dog (because she's my child too)
    • get the kids to and from school on time
    • make time for kid related functions and extra-curricular activities
    • keep the kids and dog healthy by being Dr Mom
    • maintain the car I drive
    • plan fun time with my kids
    • think of and remember EVERYTHING (thank goodness for Google calendar)
    • be an ear for the kids when they're going through anything
    • do it all with a smile...
  • Somewhere in there I also...
    • try to keep my fitness with yoga, Pilates and (only) light triathlon training (since I'm injured)
    • try to get at least 7 hours a sleep a night
    • try to keep myself healthy by eating right, visiting my natural wellness support network (chiropractor, homeopath, neuromuscular therapist, energy healer)
    • try to meditate and study my spiritual path
    • try to spend time with my friends and others in my support network 
    • be an ear...
  • And.... every now and then, I'm able to ...
    • drive 3 hours, each way, to spend a day and a half with my boyfriend (once a month)
    • make time for him when he's in town for me (once a month)
    • and when I'm not with him, talk to him for 1/2 hour to an hour a day
    • be an ear anytime he needs be other than that
  • Occasionally, I get to...
    • sleep late
    • watch TV
    • blog
    • read

So, why on earth would my body say "chaos"?!?

The worst thing about all of that activity is that sometimes I want to just collapse... but if I don't do it, it doesn't get done. It is draining, physically, mentally, emotionally...

Feeling low one particular day, a friend said to me, "How can you doubt yourself? You're amazing and awesome!"

But as a single parent, I have no choice. I didn't even cover the things I need to do (like fix some things around the house, take better care of my car, sleep more, enjoy more girlfriend time). Because I'm so spread thin, I do what I can do, to the best of my ability, and I have to let go of the rest. This is when the squeaky wheel gets the grease, ya know?

As a single parent, my priority is to take the best care of ME that I can so that I can take the best care of my family.

If that makes me awesome, then I can tell you ALL single parents are awesome. We can't even help it.

I'll keep meditating on calm, though. Every now and then, I'll find it and relish it while I can. Until then, somebody get me a Margarita.... or go buy one for a single parent! We need it!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Breaking through the Wall: What Approach To Take when Your Partner Isn't Talking

Imagine this...

You're wanting him to know that you're feeling low... but you don't want to specifically ask him to hold you. You simply want him to intrinsically know. Instead of showing you attention, he turns on the TV, laughs at his show, grabs himself a snack like you're not even there. You begin to feel angry, resentful and so you start making loud noises to distract him. He looks at you, perplexed, and asks if you're okay. You announce sharply that you're "FINE" and he shrugs, shoves food into his mouth and returns to his television show.

Or let's imagine that you've had a difficult day. The boss is demanding more than you've got. A bill is due and you don't know how you're going to cover it. You return home and she's in her own world. Maybe she's had a great day and wants to chat with a friend about it. Maybe she's had a rough day and wants you to listen to her problems instead of listening to yours. You're the man. You don't want to ask her for help...men don't do that. Instead you withdraw, bury your head in a book and ignore her. Maybe instead of reaching out to you to see if you need anything, she acts like you're not even there. Secretly you sulk and shut her out even more.

*****

Ugh. These are both situations that I've been in or had some experience with. As a woman, I can't stand being "ignored". (I put it in quotes because it only seems like ignoring.) No one likes to feel unimportant or unheard. Perhaps the "not noticing" is because you or your partner is silently building a wall between the two of you.

As a man, I would assume he doesn't want to feel shamefully helpless to her emotional distress so he allows the silence, the non-verbal cues to just "stay away". After all, to him, she's just "being emotional" over a feeling or situation relating to someone else.

Maybe the reason a woman would avoid her man is because she feels just as helpless. He sees himself as "failed" in some way. To him, there is an actual concrete reason for him to feel bad. He isn't providing or living up to an expectation he has put on himself.

Viva la difference, eh? Men and women are so different in their reasons why but they are alike in at least one way: Helplessness... a feeling no one enjoys because it creates deeper feelings of anxiety and separation. Thus, avoidance becomes the bricks and mortar separating them.

So how do you break down the wall?

Awareness helps.

When you're actually in a situation like this, it can be difficult to communicate with words. The tension can be cut with a knife and any words spoken may very well feel like blades. The non-verbal communication says "leave me alone". In this moment, the best advice that I've heard is... remember your breath.

You have to take a moment to observe how you're feeling. Anxiety, frustration and resentment usually mean you're holding your breath or breathing short and shallow. Take a moment to find a center, breathing in slow and deep. Once you're centered, can you find a way to step outside of yourself and recognize how your partner may be feeling?

Yes, your partner may have some idea that you're in need of support but doesn't know how to reach you.

Is there an agreed upon gesture that you can give your partner to allow them through your wall?

Maybe reaching for her hand or crawling into his arms. Passive-aggressive stomping or distraction doesn't work. We all know that. If you're unable to speak with words or feel heard, find a gesture or touch that reminds you both that the connection needs to be reestablished.

When we feel low or failed, we feel very alone... thus we seek witness to prove how alone we are. Everything your partner does will "prove" to you in some way that you're on your own. Take a breath and remember this is not true. Can you remember that your partner is on your side? Their avoiding or ignoring is not to hurt you but to self-protect from the helplessness.

Avoidance is the common tone in a situation such as this. Using words from this place of resentment, sulking or withdrawal can often lead to attack. Attack usually leads to defense... which usually leads to more attack and so on.

Approach, however, can be more open and positive. Approach may be a small gesture of reconnection (touch or some other non-verbal love language) or it may be as simple as remaining open to your partner and allowing them time to lower their defenses to the perceived "danger" of an unfriendly world that doesn't even include you.

The point is - one of you needs to soften before the other one will.

If we can remain open to each other, even during the toughest of situations, show empathy the way our partner needs to be shown (different for everybody), remember small gestures of love (like we all do in the beginning of a relationship), perhaps the communication has a better chance of remaining intact.

Words have power, no doubt, but feeling connected runs even deeper than what you say.

What is your experience in communicating without speaking?





Inspired by this book and my own frustrating learning/growth experiences.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sometimes I need to take my own advice...

I received an email late on Valentine's Day from a long time reader of this blog. Elle and I communicate via Twitter, she comments on the blog occasionally and she's sent me a few emails. Most recently, she's inquired about studying A Course in Miracles.

Last night, she sent me the following email:

Hi T,

You wrote a great post a few weeks back "Must be nice" and I commented that I was feeling down because my ex just had a new baby with his girlfriend, friends are getting married, have great jobs and here I'm still struggling to put the pieces back together.

This is what you wrote back:

"Keep your eyes wide open if you want to dream." ~ Paulo Coehlo


It is difficult to dream when what appears right in front of you is struggle. Life isn't easy for me right now but I'm choosing to FIND the ease as best as I can. Then... things just happen. Opportunities present themselves. My believing things will get better (and I mean FEELING that belief) is making things get better. A little by little. Bit by bit.


Remember we all have our battles. Your ex husband will be getting up at all hours with a new baby! Your newly married friends will feel blissful at times but then they have to concentrate on making a marriage work. That's a tough job in any relationship. Better jobs? You're worthy of one too. You can be the change by changing your mind first.


And also, I pray a lot. :) Part of praying is also listening and saying, "Thank you."


((hugs))

I emailed it to myself, printed a copy and read it ALL the time. I also emailed you about ACIM (A Course in Miracles) and started doing the daily readings along with prayer and taking time for ME. I can not tell you what a difference it has made for me. There are still challenges-lots of them however I have something I had lost--confidence and the knowledge that I am worthy of better things. In that last month, I ran my first half marathon, started applying for jobs and have kept my grades up all while taking care of my daughter and working full time.

I am sure that blogging can be very draining and even tiresome sometimes ( I am so sporadic, I don't even consider myself a blogger lol) but please know that your words do make a huge difference. I can't speak for anyone else but for me? Your words were exactly what I needed to hear to change my perspective. I will always be grateful for that.

Thank you for being you and for sharing your experiences with us.

Love and hugs,
Elle

I can't express how much this feedback means to me. I love to know that my struggles and lessons are helping someone else. I love comments (as all bloggers do) but I often feel like I'm struggling and perhaps bringing y'all down when I struggle... or preaching to you when I'm not. I want to be helpful, to myself, to you all. So receiving Elle's words last night made my entire day.

....especially because *I* needed some reassurance as I'd slipped into the "must be nice" category that I'd written about. I'd begun envying and feeling less than. When I'm in that space, I cannot relate to the positive person that Elle writes about. Not only did her words bring me to humble tears, they reminded me that I can bounce back from these little temporary failures that bring me down. After all, I've done it before and others continue to do it all around me.

Thank you all for your comments, feedback and reminders that I am not alone. It is amazing to remember that the life I'm leading would inspire someone else. Thank you to Elle for creating awesome experiences in your own life. You are indeed MY inspiration.

"He does not have to fight to save himself. He does not have to kill the dragons which he thought pursued him. Nor need he erect the heavy walls of stone and iron doors he thought would make him safe. He can remove the ponderous and useless armor made to chain his mind to fear and misery. His step is light, and as he lifts his foot to stride ahead, a star is left behind to point the way to those who follow him."
~A Course in Miracles

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

If you want to change the world...

A friend sent this to me. It's so perfect that I have nothing to add. Enjoy.



IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD.. LOVE A WOMAN


by Lisa Citore

(When a fairly spiritual male friend of mine who had finally found and was deepening into committed relationship with his soul mate confided in me he was thinking of being single again, and in the next breath expressed his latest idea for raising consciousness worldwide, I wrote this poem.)

If you want to change the world… love a woman - really love her.
Find the one who calls to your soul, who doesn’t make sense.
Throw away your check list and put your ear to her heart and listen.
Hear the names, the prayers, the songs of every living thing……

every winged one, every furry and scaled one,
every underground and underwater one, every green and flowering one,
every not yet born and dying one…
Hear their melancholy praises back to the One who gave them life.
If you haven’t heard your own name yet, you haven’t listened long enough.
If your eyes aren’t filled with tears, if you aren’t bowing at her feet,
you haven’t ever grieved having almost lost her.

If you want to change the world… love a woman - one woman
beyond yourself, beyond desire and reason,
beyond your male preferences for youth, beauty and variety
and all your superficial concepts of freedom.
We have given ourselves so many choices
we have forgotten that true liberation
comes from standing in the middle of the soul’s fire
and burning through our resistance to Love.

There is only one Goddess.
Look into Her eyes and see - really see
if she is the one to bring the axe to your head.
If not, walk away. Right now.
Don’t waste time “trying.”
Know that your decision has nothing to do with her
because ultimately it’s not with who,
but when we choose to surrender.

If you want to change the world… love a woman.
Love her for life - beyond your fear of death,
beyond your fear of being manipulated
by the Mother inside your head.
Don’t tell her you’re willing to die for her.
Say you’re willing to LIVE with her,
plant trees with her and watch them grow.
Be her hero by telling her how beautiful she is in her vulnerable majesty,
by helping her to remember every day that she IS Goddess
through your adoration and devotion.

If you want to change the world… love a woman
in all her faces, through all her seasons
and she will heal you of your schizophrenia-
your double-mindedness and half-heartedness
which keeps your Spirit and body separate-
which keeps you alone and always looking outside your Self
for something to make your life worth living.

There will always be another woman.
Soon the new shiny one will become the old dull one
and you’ll grow restless again, trading in women like cars,
trading in the Goddess for the latest object of your desire.
Man doesn’t need any more choices.
What man needs is Woman, the Way of the Feminine,
of Patience and Compassion, non-seeking, non-doing,
of breathing in one place and sinking deep intertwining roots
strong enough to hold the Earth together
while she shakes off the cement and steel from her skin.

If you want to change the world… love a woman, just one woman .
Love and protect her as if she is the last holy vessel.
Love her through her fear of abandonment
which she has been holding for all of humanity.
No, the wound is not hers to heal alone.
No, she is not weak in her codependence.

If you want to change the world… love a woman
all the way through
until she believes you,
until her instincts, her visions, her voice, her art, her passion,
her wildness have returned to her-
until she is a force of love more powerful
than all the political media demons who seek to devalue and destroy her.

If you want to change the world,
lay down your causes, your guns and protest signs.
Lay down your inner war, your righteous anger
and love a woman…
beyond all of your striving for greatness,
beyond your tenacious quest for enlightenment.
The holy grail stands before you
if you would only take her in your arms
and let go of searching for something beyond this intimacy.

What if peace is a dream which can only be re-membered
through the heart of Woman?
What if a man’s love for Woman, the Way of the Feminine
is the key to opening Her heart?

If you want to change the world…love a woman
to the depths of your shadow,
to the highest reaches of your Being,
back to the Garden where you first met her,
to the gateway of the rainbow realm
where you walk through together as Light as One,
to the point of no return,
to the ends and the beginning of a new Earth.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

To tell you the truth

This post was in draft, written at the end of August 2010. I have some idea to whom it was written but I am not sure. Pretty powerful feelings I left on this post...

These past few years, I have decided to live my truth. I choose to be authentic and real. I have decided on boundaries I want to live by.

And yet, I still have problems honoring those boundaries and truths.

I tend to be the person who's pretty agreeable. There are some times, however, that I'm not. There are some times that I really have something important to say.

There are some times that I need to say something that could be so hurtful and honest, so down-to-your-core, that you may not want to speak to me again.

There are some truths about yourself that make me want to slap you clean across your sweet face.

There are beliefs that you carry about yourself that make my skin crawl.

*sigh*

My fear is that if I speak up, you will pull back, run from me, lose trust, keep secrets, hide and eventually go away...

What am I supposed to do with that?!?

They are YOUR misguided core beliefs. They are YOUR negative feelings and misperceptions about who you are. They are YOUR habitual ways of hurting yourself or proving how 'not worthy' you are.

I cannot change that about you.

I cannot change your mind, your thoughts, your deeply rooted core beliefs.

Knowing this, I want to remain silent. Knowing this, I want to avoid you. Knowing this, I want to remain in my own quiet space where I don't hurt you, where it doesn't matter what you do, where I don't have to watch you not care about you like I care about you.

Maybe... it'd be easier on both of us if I weren't in your life.

Then I wouldn't have to tell you the truth. Then I wouldn't have to speak at all.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

An Examination of marriage: My sexuality (part 7)

This was a post in draft from August 2010 examining not only my thoughts on marriage, but continuing the examination of my sexuality. (This would be part 7 in the series on my sexuality. part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6)



Sometimes I have to ask myself:

Why on earth would a self-proclaimed "simple" man who longs for nothing more than a "quiet, boring" life be attracted to me, ever-searching, restless, far-from-boring character?

I've discovered recently that it is actually myself that I don't trust, instead of my Gentleman Jack.

***

Last week, I tweeted:


"A few of my girlfriends (whom I've had sexual relations with) still flirt with me on Facebook. Jack says it feels disrespectful to him."


"He feels there's a societal double standard: That it's ok for women to flirt with me but not men. But I'm bisexual, both should be taboo."


"He feels their flirting with me is as disrespectful as another man who flirts with me. I see his point of view, just never thought of it."

A few comments were made. Some great questions asked:

"Sorry, but I have to agree with Jack. After my summer of seeing so much jealousy, I have learned the hard way, but the honest way, that most if not all flirting is disrespectful and hurtful when you are in a relationship. It does bad things to damage the core of your trust, especially if you've had intimate relations with the person you are flirting with or who is doing the flirting. Just best to eliminate it all."  (*sigh* Yeah well...)


"Would you and he feel the same way if they were men from your sexual past? (Yes.)
If yes, you gotta look at that, too.
But, jealousy is never good, even if you're a flirt ... as long as you both know where your boundaries are." (Thanks Kat. Boundaries are good.)


"So, the questions would be, do you flirt back? (not intentionally) Or is it just one sided.
Does he have a reason to worry? (looking at MY history? See above posts on my sexuality.) Does he think you might go back to them?" (no, he doesn't think that.)

"I never knew you were bi-sexual. Just curious, do you think you would be satisfied in a LTR with just one person of either sex, knowing you couldn't enjoy the other?" (I think I would be. Let's examine that.)

[Update today: Funny how I feel completely different about flirting than I did then, when this post was written. Check out my most recent encounter with a flirtatious someone and how it made me feel: Realizations from a Flirtatious Encounter]

***

In my marriage, I settled into a place of quiet contentment. I still had sexual desire, don't get me wrong, but I was ever-the-initiator and wanted more and more attention.

Once I began receiving attention, it would spur me on to initiate more, to put in even more dating-type efforts (lingerie, strip tease, etc.). Eventually, after I was a stay-at-home mother and no longer in the workforce workin' my sexy self, I stopped initiating. I was tired. I wanted someone to take care of ME. To want ME.

In simple terms: It turns me on to be desired.

[Update today: Yeah, it does still bother me to not get sex when I want it. The difference is that I have an awareness of why now.]

Will a long term relationship (i.e. marriage) keep that part of me satisfied?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How to Survive a Divorce... with Children (part 5)

This post was in draft as part of my How to Survive a Divorce series from late October 2011. I still think this is good advice after the end of a relationship.


Get to know yourself again

Before you were in the relationship you're now leaving, you were a different person. Can you remember who that person was? Do you remember your goals, dreams or plans?

Those things may be different now. Or some of them very well may be the same.

Hobbies?

Interests?

What have you put aside or pushed away that you could pursue again?

Maybe there is something new you've never done that you could try now. Perhaps going through a transition such as this gives you strength or courage to do something that you may have never done before. Let it fuel you.

Part of getting to know yourself again means spending time alone with yourself. Maybe that time alone is during a good long run, a quiet yoga class, focusing on your breath during long laps in the pool.

Maybe that means just taking a moment, a few minutes of your morning or evening to sit in quiet awareness.


"To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions."
~Deepak Chopra

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My emotional gray area is non-existent...

Over the weekend, I started to feel a little ill. I know some of it is paranoia after being home for 3 days straight with a child suffering from very contagious strep throat. Nevertheless, I felt awful Saturday morning and crawled back under the covers.

As I lay there, I tried to recall exactly when I initially started feeling bad. I couldn't, for the life of me, remember what feeling good felt like. Then I laughed, in spite of myself.

I know me. When I feel an emotion or feeling, I'm ALL IN.

It's like I have no emotional gray area. It's either one way or the other.

When I feel ill, I can't imagine what healthy feels like.

When I feel angry or sad or frustrated, I can't imagine what happy or joyful or at peace feels like.


The same occurs when I feel good, I can't imagine what "bad" feels like.

I get stuck on one side of the wheel and can't get to the other side.

Last week's post where I apologized for coming off as schizophrenic? I think this is exactly why. When I feel really happy and grateful for being with Gentleman Jack, I can't recall what ever made me doubt our relationship. Yet, when I'm feeling doubtful, it's like I've completely forgotten all that makes me happy and grateful about us.

I remember when my ex-husband and I would get into arguments. I would get so upset that I had to leave. He hated that I would leave but I couldn't stand sitting with the discomfort of "not being liked" in that moment. It seemed like that discomfort would go on forever. It completely encompassed me!

What would help me was to remove myself from the situation and find a good feeling to replace the bad feeling. In most cases, I would go see a movie. I love movies because I feel like I can jump into someone else's skin and forget about me for a few hours. So, I'd escape to another life and then come home fine. My husband would be seething but I would be able to handle things better. The movie would help change my perspective. Then, because I changed, stopped trying to force him to see things my way, or forgot why I was upset to begin with, the argument would fade into nothing.

Not exactly healthy, huh? I'm certain this and other things contributed to the many unresolved issues... but that's why we're divorced now.

Gentleman Jack challenges me to stay put, sit with the feeling and try to change my perspective from the inside out. He expects me to listen, just as I expect the same from him. We both wish to be heard but when we're wishing for that, neither of us is listening. It actually takes one of us to recognize our own bullheadedness before things begin to slowly settle down again. One of us softens, anger dissipates and love takes over.

*happy sigh*

 I love it when that happens.....

*swoon*

Where was I?

Oh so anyway, it's good that he challenges me to work it out right then and there instead of running away from it. I don't like being uncomfortable but I'd rather face it and feel like we're resolving things than to run away like his feelings don't matter. Sitting with it also reminds me that the bad feeling is temporary... and that's a good thing to remember.

The funny thing is: Why do I have to be reminded that a bad feeling won't last forever... and yet when I feel good, I'm wondering how long the good feeling will last?

Is it just me?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How much attention do you give your Feet?

That's a helluva question, isn't it?

The reason I ask is because mine are screaming for it.

As some long time readers will recall, I documented training for a triathlon, right here on the blog. It all began when I dated an Ironman triathlete and wondered if I, too, could pull off a multi-sport endurance event. At that point, I was a full-time yogi. Yoga was my strength training. Yoga kept my body healthy. Yoga helped my peace of mind.

But soon, I discovered a love for cycling. I continually challenged myself to find peace in my long swims and recently, I decided to push my running a bit further. Over the course of triathlon becoming my first love, my yoga began to take a back seat. Things also shifted a bit after my tummy tuck surgery but I still made athletic goals to push past it.

Now, I'm limping. I may very well have to take 6 months or even this entire year off of running. I haven't been on the bike in months. Swimming is still possible and especially since we've had such a warm winter. Yet it appears my body is tired of triathlon.

As a single mother, there is only so much time available for training. I wanted to be a better triathlete so I pushed yoga aside and now I'm paying for it.

***

Have you ever massaged your own feet?

In yoga, we were made very aware of our feet. Our feet are our foundation - this is how we root into the earth. Occasionally before class, we would sit and massage our soles and spread our toes. This was soothing for me as I wear high heels every day. (Also not healthy for the feet but momma loves her heels!)

Yoga is done in bare feet. Again, our feet are the foundation of our poses. This is what holds us steady on our mats during challenging asanas or balance poses. All four corners of our feet are being used to give us terra firma, if you will. This practice leads to stronger ankles, knees, hips, spine, shoulders, neck, and head. It allows the energy to flow from the solid ground to the sky above, affecting the way we carry ourselves in the world.

Reflexology tells us that the feet also affect other areas and organs of the body.


The Chinese arts of Qigong and T'ai Chi use the stability of the feet to give flow to their forms. Before movement in any of these arts, we must first learn to find balance on our own two feet.

Beyond all of the ancient beliefs about the power of the feet, did you know that 25% of the bones of your body are in your feet. Can you believe that? Our feet are our shock absorbers, carrying the entire weight of our bodies.  Many of us take our feet for granted until our mobility is affected.

Thus the reason for this post.

***

I am suffering from a very common running injury affecting my Piriformis muscle. Quite literally, it is a pain in my ass. It begins in my lower back (the sacral region) and extends through my gluteus maximus down the outside of my leg (I.T. band) and through to my ankle. I am not walking well. Apparently I wasn't running well either, as my running gait, weakness in my hips and feet are what caused the injury.

My running gait can be fixed by relearning how to walk as well. Slowly, deliberately, walking barefoot around my house has become a moving meditation just to increase the awareness of how my foot grips the ground. As I learn that I lean on the outside of my feet (see pronate & supinate), I have found that it's uncomfortable and even painful to walk correctly. This is a practice I will continue, however, to help heal my body.

Weakness in my hips is caused by sitting at a computer all day long. Sitting all day is bad for our bodies, for obvious reasons, so I've also decided to purchase a chair that will help with my posture while I sit at the office all day.

The hip AND foot weakness go back to my lack of yoga as well. Where I used to practice yoga 3-4 times a week, I'm lucky if I'm getting in 1 class every 2 weeks lately. I've said for months that I "should" get back to it and apparently my body is in full agreement.

***

Today's foot anatomy class brought to you by a woman who wants to run like the wind, who wishes to cross more finish lines, and who desires to accomplish all of that with a healthy body, mind and spirit.... preferably without surgery to get me there.

So please, take it from someone who's taken their footsies for granted for far too long:

Give your feet some love.


Beyond pedicures and pretty toe nails, pay attention to how your feet feel. Your body will thank you for it!