Sunday, April 20, 2014

You're Braver than You Believe

“Promise me you'll always remember: 
You're braver than you believe,
and stronger than you seem, 
and smarter than you think.”
A.A Milne

"Hitting the Wall" for the first time in an endurance event scares the shit out of you.  You're going along in your race just fine when an unknown force starts sucking your energy.  You feel weak, broken and powerless.  Panic sets in and all you can concentrate on is the pain.  Defeated, you start to walk; all the while punishing yourself for doing so.

But the walk was just the break you needed, for it allows you to digest the gel you remember you have stashed in your pocket.  And instead of taking in a small sip of water at the next aid station, you drink a whole cupful.   A mile later you think about all of the training you put in for this day, and you decide to try to run again.  To your surprise, you gather strength and pick it up to the finish line, where a beautiful family surrounds you with supportive hugs. You're totally amazed by the strength you found to push through, and are forever changed.

"Hitting the wall" in life is pretty much the same experience isn't it?   Paralyzed, I curl up in fetal position not knowing how to take another step.  The crushing pain in my heart chakra steals my breath and I wonder how it is that here I am naked and vulnerable, once again.

But I start walking and gain energy from the sunlight.  I am nourished through family and friendship.  I swim in waters that support me.  I awe in the mileage I've put in, and memorialize past successes.    Having a heart broken open grants opportunity for fulfillment.
And as I put my faith in the God who will always take care of me, I find the strength to push through.
Forever changed.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Love hurts

"Have you ever been in love?  Horrible isn't it?
It makes you so vulnerable.  It opens your chest and opens your heart and it means 
that someone can get inside and mess you up.  You build up all these defenses,
you build up a whole suit of armor, so nothing can hurt you.  Then one person wanders into your 
stupid life and you give them a piece of you.  
They didn't ask for it.  They did something dumb one day like smile at you on the beach, 
and then your life isn't your own anymore.  
Love takes hostages.  It gets inside you.  It eats you and leaves you crying in the darkness so a simple phrase like 'maybe we should just be friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart.  
It hurts.  Not just in the imagination.  Not just in the mind.
Its a soul hurt.  A real gets- inside- you- and rips- you- apart pain. 
I hate love."
Neil Gaiman

Romeo and Juliet
Cleopatra and Mark Antony
Tristan and Isolde

Forbidden love.  It's a soul hurt.  A real "gets-inside-you-and rips-you- apart- kind of pain."
You find yourself falling  head over heals for someone that you can't have.
Maybe it's distance.  Could be timing, commitment to others, or religious issues. Regardless, you're not "allowed" to be with that person and for the life of you, you can't understand why.
You dream about them.  You pine for them.  You love them.
It's not enough.
"There is my dagger. And here my naked breast." brain says it can't happen, but my heart begs to stay.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Truth be Told- Loneliness Sucks.

"Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god."
Francis Bacon

And whosoever said that you "have to be ok with being alone" is full of bullshit.  I mean, let's just put some scenarios out there:

A dinner date with your iphone?  Or sushi and wine while gazing into beautiful brown eyes?

Sitting in the corner in the back of the theater by yourself? Or burying your head in your boyfriend's shoulder during the scary parts?

A road trip listening to 80's on 8 drinking mineral water? Or driving to your destination with a Route 66 Diet Coke, Chili Cheese Fritos, and intelligent conversation?

A night checking in on Facebook?  Or a night of exquisite sex with your lover?

Elizabeth Gilbert says that "Sometimes life is too hard to be alone, and sometimes life is too good to be alone."
Either or, I don't want to feel lonely anymore.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Things are looking up

"I howled at the moon with friends
And then the sun came crashing in
But all the possibilities
No limits just epiphanies
 American Authors

I knew this was going to be a "put your head down" kind of race.  So I did.  For about 22 miles my eyes discerned only the ground.  My view?  Irksome sand, jagged rock and wearisome feet.  I drudged through the monotony.  I was getting it done.
Around mile 22 I was forced to slow down for a sharp turn on a cliff.  The trees opened and I was blessed with the most amazing view of blue skies over calm lake waters.  I stopped running and looked up; and as I drank in the view my race changed.  I relaxed in the surrounding beauty as awareness unfolded in the energy of the sun, the whisper of a breeze and the spirit of a deer. 

I find myself too often in life "putting my head down and just getting it done," and frankly the muscles in my neck are tired of the strain.  I bet if I pick my head up and look towards the sun- it will still be shining as though I never looked away.

Monday, April 7, 2014

No, can I HELP you?

" I get by with a little help from my friends,
Mmm, I get high with a little help from my friends,
Mmm, gonna to try with a little help from my friends"

The Beatles

Asking for help is an act of courage.   We have to announce that we’re not perfect.  We admit that we can’t do it alone.  Our egos must bow down in reverence to our spirit, and we become instantly vulnerable.   Help me, we ask.  EMPOWER ME. 
Most of us ask for help because we want to find the strong and dynamic person we lost somewhere along the way.  But often, when our friends ask us for help; we pity them.  We say we’re sorry, then carry on with our own concerns instead of empowering them with reaction.  How can we really help someone when they ask?  Put words into motion

1.         Tell them you’re sorry to hear about their situation, but follow that with “How can I help you?” Invite them to dinner, take flowers or ask them to go for a walk.  Shift

2.         Listen with intent.  Visit them or talk on the phone instead of texting so you can hear the pain and need in their voice and understand their hurt.  Let them know its ok to cry. Hear.

3.       Hold their hand.  Go to AA meetings or doctor appointments with them.  Send them a book that was helpful to you.  Bring dinner to their house or give them a break from their troubles. Give them a hug.  Act.

4.       Send energy or pray for them.  Positive thoughts lead to positive change in the world.  Love

"Your beliefs become your thoughts,
 Your thoughts become your words,
 Your words become your actions,
 Your actions become your habits,
 Your habits become your values,
 Your values become your destiny.”   Ghandi

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Be Still and Rest

"I am a part of the ebb and flow of the limitless source of life."
Dr. Wayne Dryer

I'm drudging through a fog that does not lift with the rising sun.  With the day, my energy only wanes.  Drained and out of gas I begin to punish myself.  "Why am I so exhausted?  I shouldn't feel this way. This is so not me."  But naps are blanketed in guilt and a low mileage week is spanked with delinquency.  Low motivation has left me apathetic and I spiral in a whirlpool of self condemnation.

Whoa! Its crazy what a recovery week can do to those of us who are used to running away......
But I force myself to be still anyway. 

"Be still, and know that I am God."   In stillness we are bathed in an involuntary wash of reality.  For a while, the storms rage, reality bites and we sit in loneliness.  But if we sit long enough, the storm calms, we receive and replenish, and we once again are reminded that we are never alone.

In stillness we remember that we not only have energy, but we ARE energy.  We find the motivation to move, to give and to love again.
Rest.  Recover.  Breathe.  And get back on the road with a full tank.

Monday, March 24, 2014

What are you craving?

"help me
i broke apart my insides
help me
I've got no soul to sell
help me
the only thing that works for me
help me get away from myself"

nine inch nails

I think that most people would say I eat fairly healthy.  I try to follow Michael Pollan's manifesto "Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants,"  but after a long endurance event I swear that I would wrangle the steer and ride him to the slaughter house myself for a cheeseburger, and swim in the vat of oil for fries covered in salt.
I know teacher's who have practically beaten the vending machine with a broom at 2 p.m. in desperate need of their "happy hormone" chocolate fix, and it's no secret that Starbuck's has a hold on millions of people jonesing for their next shot of espresso.
We WANT it.  No we NEED it.  We CRAVE it.

"Food cravings arise to satisfy emotional needs, such as calming stress and reducing anxiety," says Drewnowski, a well-known researcher on taste and food preferences.  Comfort foods often take us to a place with happy memories.  And face it....most of the food we crave tastes soooo good!

But food isn't the only thing we hunger for in this palatial world we live in.  We lust after money and power.   We ache for passion and touch.  We dream about peace and quiet.  We thirst for excitement and adventure.  It feels soooo good!   But because so many times we find ourselves relying on other people or other things to give us our happiness fix, we often experience the withdrawal symptoms of irritability  and depression that results when our dealers disappoint us.  

Aristotle stated that "happiness depends on ourselves." Your bliss is not another person's responsibility, and in return you are off the hook when it comes to their contentment.  We are independently prosperous.  Independently gratified.  Independently blessed.

Sometimes we forget that all that we need, is within us.
God, The Universe, Love Everlasting......everything you crave is in your own soul.
And we are full.