Thursday, October 8, 2015

Perfect love always casts out fear

"I just want to be ok today."
Ingrid Michaelson

Because its neither night nor day, or clear or cloudy......its partly dusk.
Because we're neither cheerful nor sad, young or old......we're comfortable in our middle age.
Because life is neither bad nor good, always or sometimes just is.
Because you and I are neither apart nor together, yes or no......we're maybe disconnected.
Because love is neither hot nor cold, or all or's something warm.

Where is the passion?  Where is the fire?
Are we to be content in mediocrity?
Maybe for today,  "just ok" is enough.
Because perfect love always casts out fear, and I am very much alive.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

And then I realized, I'm a fucking co-dependent

"I'll give you all of me."
John Legend

Want a friend who will continuously give and sacrifice?   Someone who will make you feel powerful, competent and appreciated?  Someone who's sense of purpose is based on extreme sacrifices to satisfy your wants?
Then I'm your girl.

It's funny how I've stoically prided myself in my ability to put everyone else's needs in front of my own, leaving me feeling resentful if my needs were not met in return.  Tonight, after a month of wondering if I was experiencing full blown depression, I had an Oprah "aha moment" as the idea of co-dependency popped into my head like a quote bubble light bulb.

So, like any self diagnosing patient I googled it.
CODEPENDENCY- a disease of "lost self,"
Someone who cannot function from their innate self- who's thinking or behavior is organized around another person.
Characteristics include:
* Intense and unstable relationships
* Inability to tolerate being alone.
* Overwhelming desire for acceptance and affection.
* Discomfort receiving attention or help from others.
* Self worth based on care-taking.

Check, check, check, check and check.

I'm the girl who keeps trying, over and over.
I'm the girl who keeps herself busy, with work, training, texting, Facebook.....
I'm the girl who does Ironmans and runs 100 miles.
Asking for help, I feel defeated.
I've taught in the poorest schools, volunteered in homeless shelters and coach others.
I give.  And give.  And give. Until there is nothing left and I explode like tired two year old into a full blown temper tantrum.
It's awesome for everyone around me.

I've been doing what Ross Roseburg describes so perfectly as "The Dance of Codependency"
(You can read that article here: )
Damn it. There you go. My deal.  My issue.  I accept.
I'm so fucking tired of dancing myself in circles of exhaustion.

Ha- So what web page better to turn to then Codependency for Dummies?
They suggest:
1.  Focus on yourself
2.  Relax, don't obsess or worry.  Put it in God's hands and send love.
3.  Don't judge others.  You are not responsible for their behavior.  You're only responsible for your own behavior
4.  Write and meditate
5.  Remember you can't change or fix someone
6.  Take time out.  Step away
7.  Stand up for yourself
8.   Get counseling

It feels good to better understand that the patterns and characteristics ingrained since childhood could be the cause of so much confusion and uncertainly in all of my relationships.
This blog was hard to write, and I've questioned whether or not I should post it- but as Brene Brown says "Once you we fall into the service of being brave- you can never go back."

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Unless life also hands you sugar and water, your lemonade is going to suck

"I'm just so broke you won't believe
Can't get a dollar out of me And as far as I can see I'm losing control like a bad disease No I just can't get relief I've been shot down by the life police And everyday I try to rise But I can't succeed Can anybody find a cure for me? You can be bitter, bitter, bitter Or you can be better, better, better"
Alex Boye- Lemonade

We've all heard the quote "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade."
Well, unless life hands you sugar and water too, your lemonade is going to suck.

Wouldn't that be awesome?  If you could just take your rotten and sour life and turn it into something sweet and delicious?  After that you can do your needlepoint, cake decorating and tea- rose arranging in June Cleaver fashion and just completely ignore the fact that you've been poisoned!

Lemons suck.  They are sour and acidic.  They leave a lingering, acrid aftertaste that doesn't just go away.
Lemons just piss you off, leaving you feeling angry and uninterested.

But if you have sugar and water too- Ah, that's a different story.  Sugar is pleasurable and passionate.  Sugar is delicious. Sugar dances lustfully on your tongue.
And water.  Water is life. Water is sustenance.  Water washes the sadness away.
Sugar and water together?  They complement the tart lemon, leaving you surprisingly refreshed.

When life gives you lemons- it's time find someone who can loan you a bit of water and sugar.
They are the ones that will always make your life sweeter.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cant go over it. Can't go under it. You have to go through it.

Can't go over it.
Can't go under it.
You have to go through it.  

I tried to run away- but the tacky mud weighed me down.
I tried to flee- but my heavy legs slowed the pace.
I tried to escape- but my distracted brain wouldn't settle.
I tried avoidance, but my broken heart just lay wearily in my chest.

 I sat on a crumbling log -letting sweat and tears rain on me
 until I heard the warning of a chattering squirrel:
"Keep it moving sister- you have to go through it."

So I picked myself up, wiped away the tears, and began moving forward
Into acceptance.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A promise to myself: I never "have" to run again.

You don't have to try so hard
You don't have to, give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up
You don't have to change a single thing.
You don't have to try.
Colbie Caillet

The 5:00 alarm sounds and I hit the snooze three times.  I want nothing more than to sleep in, but I get up because I "have" to run ten miles today, and I promised my daughter I would be home before she woke up.  
There is no questioning whether or not I will go,  I've "had" to run at least 10 miles every Sunday for the past 12 years. 

Having a hard time getting going, I have my little toast and some cinnamon coffee and sit down with a magazine. 

The first article I start to read is about balance.  Looks like it might be a good one, but I'll catch it later, because I "have" to go run.  

Stepping outside the humidity hits me like a wave of nausea and I decide to walk for a bit.  My body, from my neck to my hamstrings is sore from yesterdays workout.  I'm grouchy because all I want to do is have a second cup of coffee, chill on the couch and write.  And then it hit me- so why the hell am I not doing that?  A slow morning is what I've been craving for weeks!  And I turned around and walked home.  

Training is such a tricky balance.  

When we work hard and see success, we think that more is always better. We fight ourselves to the point of exhaustion. We become moody, irritable and tired, as we catalyze deconstructive effects on our body. Why do we do this to ourselves?  Any kind of stress, be it physical, mental or emotional produces hormones and neurochemicals that create inflammation and supress our immune system.  
We are not helping ourselves here people!

So, I vow that I never "have" to workout again. 

 I will train because I want to be successful for an upcoming event, but I will not stress on the off season.  
(And I will have an off season).
I will workout with you because it is fun to get stronger together. 
I will run trails because that is where I feel most free.
I will swim because it creates balance in my life.  
I'll bike with the group that helps build camaraderie and friendship.
I will walk when I need to. 

But today, I will eat banana pancakes with my daughter. 


Friday, August 7, 2015

Nothing to prove

"I'm good enough.
I'm smart enough.
And doggone it, people like me!" 
Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley

I'm going into this post knowing that my writing may be a bit controversial.....but I'm willing to go there, based on the fact that I can't get this off of my mind for the past few days.

After a few grouchy 15 milers in the heat, I decided last week that running the 100 miler at Big Cedar (and training for it right now in 107 degree temps) was not going to make me happy.
I was not upset about it at all.  As a matter of fact I knew that dropping to the 50K was going to be smarter right now on the path building to my big goal of Leadville next summer.  The only reason I signed up in the first place was because I had a moment of insanity when the Ironman was over.
I simply didn't know what to do with myself, so I decided "Hey- what the heck?  I'll just go run 100 miles."

The first rule of ultra running is to respect the distance.  I knew that I wasn't doing that, trying to run this race with such a short amount of training; so I hired a coach who will help push me out of my leisurely zone 1 runs and I hope to really kick ass at the 50K distance on this trail that I love.  

When I posted this "announcement" on Facebook- a good friend commented that "The only person runners have to prove anything to is themselves."
Whoa.  That got me thinking.
Have I been trying to prove something to myself or others over the past few years?  Proving that I'm good enough?  Proving that I am worthy?
The truth is- maybe in the beginning, yes.  I used to be horrible at comparing myself to others, especially in the years that I was trying to qualify for Boston.  I had the nerve to think that "everyone was watching me."
Ha!  How egotistical is that?  The truth is, everyone is concentrated on their own shit.  Their own goals. Their own lives.
Whether or not I qualified for Boston, or bonked at mile 18, running was a gift.  A blessing.

When I started running ultras, I began to realize this even more.  With every trip that I took, breath of fresh air, mountaintop vista, flora and fauna, canyon echo and river crossing I learned to love running for the places it took me.  I learned how special each moment I spent there was.
The reason why I can run 100 miles is because there is simply no place I would rather be.

Maybe I am lying to myself, but I'd like to think I have nothing left to prove.
To myself.  To others.
It's all an illusion anyway, this skin that embodies us.

I just want to seize the day, and enjoy the gift.

Friday, July 31, 2015

"This is just another AFOG. Another F'ing Opportunity to Grow"

"So I just let go, of what I know I don't know
And I know I'll do this by living in the moment
Living our life 
Easy and breezy 
With peace in my mind 
With peace in my heart 
With peace in my soul
Wherever I'm going, I'm already home 
Living in the moment."
Jason Mraz

I had a taste of the secret to a free and joyous life this week.  It's so sweet and delicious that I have to share, and so simple it's shocking.  It's so straightforward that my mind doesn't want to believe it....yet in the past week I have softened ten fold, and I realize that deep within my soul, I  have known this forever.

So.... on this Friday evening I heat up a bowl of frozen mac and cheese, pour a glass from an $11.99 bottle of wine, and meditate that my words will speak to you, just as Anam Thubten's words have spoken to me.
One thing I do know as I get started- this shit is going to be real.

I have spent so much of my life believing that things just weren't the way they should be, and that somehow I would be happier if my circumstances were changed.  As many years as I can remember I have been living a fantasy story told to me by my own crazy thoughts.
As a child I thought: "I would be happier if I didn't have so much work.  Jody doesn't have to do chores...."
As a teenager I complained: "I never get to go out.  I would be happier if my parents weren't so strict."
As an adult my gripes were:
"Teaching would be easier if worked in a more affluent neighborhood."
 "If I didn't live in this city, I would have so many more adventures"
"If I just had a house in this school district...."
"Life would be so much easier if I had more money"
"If he hadn't gotten so sick...."
"If we could have worked it out..."
"If life wasn't so unfair......"
"If I was in charge...."

Thubten explains that this problem begins with our EGO.
 "Like a spoiled child throwing a temper tantrum- Ego doesn't except who we are or the way things are, and when we are under the jurisdiction of ego we don't accept anything.  We don't even like the fact that we are on this planet.......but there is nothing we can do."

So how do we placate this brat trying to get everything that he wants?  How are we supposed to deal with the everyday aspects that materialize in this life we live?

The answer is acceptance.  Easy as pie.

My best friend and I used to always quote: "It is what it is."
How is it that over the years I have forgotten that?

Buddha told us that "everything is emptiness."
All we have to do is accept everything the way it is, without attaching positive or negative thoughts.
There is no good or bad.  There just is.
We accept people the way they are without attaching a label to them, and we are able to love everyone and everybody.
We accept our circumstances as "another fucking opportunity to grow"- without attaching the demons of anger, doubt, loneliness or fear; and life becomes less scary.
We accept that where we are right now is where we are supposed to be without bonds to our job, or to a relationship, or to any moment.......   and all problems dissolve.
Lack of conflict = lack of pain;  and in turn we are free.

So what do we do?
"Surprisingly we don't do anything," says Thubten.  "Just by watching and being in the present moment, we find ourselves in a calm and peaceful space where nothing has ever happened."
How simple it is.  It does not require any special learning or religious rituals , this secret to happy life.
We just be.

Can you do it?  Can you stop fighting and just accept the way things are right now?
Can you trust that your life is unfolding just as it should be, grateful for every opportunity and experience?
Can you just let go?

Don't confuse the story for what your heart knows is really true.
You are enough.   Your life is unfolding just as it should be.
Sometimes we are just presented with another fucking opportunity to grow....and that in itself allows us to evolve.
In this moment, it's all good. Listen to your heart, and believe.

* Special thanks to Aaron Conner for sending me the book: No Self, No Problem by Anam Thubten
and for reminding me to always stay mindful and grateful for the present moment :)