Sunday, August 13, 2017

The more I pay attention, the more I see

"Only LOVE is real." 
A Course in Miracles 

The more I pay attention, the more I see that its not about me at all.


It's not about accomplishments; for we all are quite spectacular.

It's not about pain, endurance or suffering; because it's not about struggle.

It's not about money or possessions; each insignificant.

It's not about the body; for life is in our spirit.

It's not about me; its about us.

It's about a shift in perception. A return to love.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Let Someone Love You



Ever since my divorce I have been punishing myself in an ego driven roller coaster ride.    To someone looking in from the outside it may have seemed like I was riding high; running 100 mile races, completing an Ironman, success at work....but the mask I wore concealed painful lows.
Lows that I thought I deserved.

In her book A Return to Love, Marianne Williams tells us that "If I am convinced that I'm not good enough, I will have a difficult time accepting someone into my life who thinks I am.  The only way that I can accept someone's finding me wonderful, is that if I find myself wonderful.  But to the ego- self acceptance is death."

In my first relationship after my divorce, I clung to hold on. My belief was that surely I could make it work, that I wouldn't fuck things up in a relationship again....but my co-dependent desperation was like Febreeze covering up a pile of shit.  I finally realized that even though it would dry up and smell less- it still wasn't going anywhere because subconsciously I was unlovable.   I tried really hard to run away from my thoughts, my self, my ego..... but dammit- my  soul wasn't going anywhere, and I was damaging my body in the process.
I knew things needed to change, so I asked God to "put good people in my life."

He sent me Greg- so patient, kind and loving; and over the past year I have allowed that love to slowly seep back into my heart.
It isn't always easy, because I'm stubborn as hell (what?), but by allowing him to love me, to take care of me, I have been reminded of the love I have for myself and others.
I no longer live in fear.  Things are becoming less about me, and more about us.  Because I work closer to home and am traveling less, I get to see my kids more often and have a better connection with friends.  I'm finding balance, doing fun things, and attracting abundance and joy!

"All of your past except it's beauty is gone, and nothing is left but a blessing. A miracle is a shift in thinking from what we might have done in the past or should be doing in the future, to what we feel free to do right here."- A Return to Love

Thank you God for sending me the reminder that our eternal essence is love.  The ability to finally forgive myself is indeed a miracle.















Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tired of my own bullshit

"Starve the ego- Feed the Soul" 
unknown


A year ago while training for Leadville 100, I developed severe tendonosis in my inner ankle.
A year later, I find myself scheduling an MRI; not only for said ankle, but for my knee as well.
Think my body is trying to tell me something?

Thanks to kinder, gentler workouts like swimming and yoga- I am finally listening.  I really should stop beating the shit out of myself.  There is a reason that I'm the girl that can't touch her toes, why I'm constantly sore and tense, and why my run has become a limp.   My body is holding up the white flag of surrender.  Intensity is no longer serving me.

My favorite author Elizabeth Gilbert says " I've never seen any life transformation that didn't begin the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit," and I'm so sick of my ego driving my training bus.  There is more to life than running myself (literally) into the ground.

Perhaps I could try:
Staying up past midnight to drink wine and laugh with good friends, followed the next morning by strong coffee on the porch while the dogs lick my feet.
Yoga and meditation.  Stillness.  Silence.
Time for others.  More you- less me.
Delving in deeper instead of running away.
Quality over quantity.
Soul over Ego.

"For everything there is a season.....a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up." ( Ecclesiastes 3:3)
Breaking down my body is no longer the answer.  It's time to build up, and heal.
I'm listening........







Saturday, May 20, 2017

Throw Away the Mask- Being Authentic

"Authenticity demands WHOLEHEARTED living and loving even when its hard, even when we are wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we are afraid to feel it." 
Brene Brown

For the past two days I have been bathed in amazing energy, and am so proud to be associated with Life Time Fitness.  These group fitness rock stars teach, inspire and make a difference everyday.  From kickboxing to yin yoga- these gurus know their stuff, and they are damn good at what they do. You can't help but to leave their workshops knowing that you are forever changed. 

As I look back on the day, I realize that the reoccurring theme in each master class was the need for authenticity from a coach, leader or teacher.  My first thought was that being authentic just means not to be fake or false right?  But I heard it so many times today that I decided to research it a bit, and I found out that authenticity means so much more.

Brene Brown says that "authenticity is cultivating the courage to be emotionally honest, to set boundaries and allow ourselves to be vulnerable exercising that compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle, and that we are connected to each other through a loving and resilient human spirit.  Nurturing that since of connection and belonging we can let go of what we think we are supposed to be, and embrace who you are." 

Do you allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to truly be authentic?  Are you willing to feel enough?  Can you trust that it's ok to let go of who you think you "should" be and embrace yourself quirks and all? 

Brown goes on to say that " Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul searching struggles is how we invite GRACE, JOY and GRATITUDE into our lives." 
Authenticity to me means embracing the fact that we are damn good at some things, and maybe not so good at others.  It means going for it- even if you're afraid you might fail.  It means being such a bright shiny light that others are drawn to your energy.  It means falling down, and getting the hell back up.  It means loving again, and starting fresh every freaking day. 

Authenticity is a choice.  Forget the false stories of your past, show up and be real; or as Karen Collacutt said "Throw away all of the masks and put on your soul."
What makes you vulnerable, makes you believable.  And THAT is truly inspiring.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Lean in a Little and Let Gravity Carry You

"If you want to get faster on the down hills, let go of your death grip, uncurl your toes and relax."
Paul Howard

With 2577 feet of elevation gain, St. George 70.3 was the hardest bike I've ever done.
From the first slow, hard grind out of Sand Lake Reservoir I realized: "Toto- you are not in Texas anymore."  What I didn't know at that time was that the mental challenge would be far more difficult than the physical challenge.

You see, I struggle like a beast!  Hard, hilly, rocky....bring it!  I will put my head down and power through.  I'm "Ram Tough" baby, and on the uphill- this flatlander would pass people. 
A lot of people actually.
But...you already know where this is going don't you?  Of course they would Ferrari by me on the downhill, leaving me in their dust like a 1971 Ford Pinto. 

Downhill has contradictory meanings. 
On one hand, it could describe that the hard part is over, and that things are smooth sailing from here on out.  On the other hand however, it could mean that things have gotten a lot worse over time- like "Its been all downhill since Trump has been elected president." 

During my race I found myself dreading the downhill.  They were scary and made me anxious. The lingering thought in the back of my mind was always that there was a serious possibility that I could crash.
I find myself doing this in life as well.  I have had a pretty tough climb over the past couple of years, but the hard part is over.  If I would let myself I really could chill, let go of fear, and enjoy the ride. 
It's time to lean in a little and let gravity carry me. By putting on the brakes- people are passing me by. 






Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Soulful beauty

"You don't have a soul.
You are a soul.
You have a body."
George McDonald

We are so quick to dump on ourselves.  Maybe we have a belly bump, or we think that our feet are too big.  We have too much or too little hair.  Wrinkles, love handles.....we scrutinize every little thing that society labels  as "unattractive". 
But George McDonald suggests that our bodies are "temporary clothing of the soul," and if that is the case, shouldn't we be celebrating our bodies for all they allow us to experience?

This past weekend for me was the kind that makes you fall in love with being alive. Watching determined athletes of all shapes and sizes take on the mighty marathon. Sweaty kisses at mile 16. Eating food so heavenly I had to close my eyes to absorb the experience.  Laughing with friends while running in the sunshine.  "Mandatory holding hands" while walking through the Commons, and stopping to take pictures as often as possible.      
This weekend in Boston, humanity and all of its greatness gathered to exalt in the strength of our bodies. And it was fabulous.

And inspiring.  My soul craves joy, and my amazing body allows that experience. 
No more criticizing- only love. 
Thank you body, for being with me on this journey.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

You Can't Do Epic Shit if You're Exhausted

"I wanted to rest and play.  I wanted to connect and ask for help, and sometimes just stop entirely.  I wanted to listen to my own body and spirit instead of feeling like I was on a speeding train that left the station a long time ago and wasn't stopping anytime soon......."
Shauna Niequest- Present Over Perfect


I want to do epic shit.  I want to do the things and be the brand and change lives.  I want to leap and shout and influence.  I want to be brave and say what needs to be said. 
I have GOALS and AMBITION dammit!

But it's one o'clock on a Wednesday afternoon, and I can barely keep my eyes open to listen to my 80 year old client tell me again how pissed off  he is that he's getting old, and that his t-shirt has stains on it. 
 I'm dreading the swim that I have planned for this afternoon, and I get a call that I need to pick up my kids unexpectedly from school.  I grudgingly drive the hour  pick them up- barely able to  keep my eyes open.  I have nothing to give when my kiddos get in the car, and when we finally make it home I sleep for 2 hours. I'm grouchy and unpleasant to say the least. 
So much for productivity on Wednesday. 
But here's the real problem.  It's not just Wednesday.  It's everyday.  
I realize that I've built a life that I cannot handle, and that  I just can't keep doing this to myself. 

Most days start with a  3:15 wake up to get to work on time.  Thanks to coffee, I am able to fake it for at least 8 hours of my work day, but when 1:00 rolls around the brain fog is so thick I can barely function.  I usually get a second wind around 3:00- so I can get in some sort of training before driving an hour home and making dinner. I try to make it in bed by 9 pm, but my average sleep time for the past 96 nights has been 6 hours and 30 min. 
I'm lethargic, unmotivated, and frankly I feel like shit. 

The ultra runner in me says I should be able to ignore the pain and power through this to get to the finish line; but in real life the finish line is death, and frankly I'm not quite ready to go there just yet. 

Shauna Neiquest in Present Over Perfect describes a time when she decided to "make her life look more like her longings," a time when she chose to author her own pace and life.  Fortunately, with Greg's help,  I am learning that I no longer have to live in survival mode, and that I too can choose what I really want for myself. 

What would that look like? 
Connection to others and to myself.
More yoga and Pilates, less ignoring that my hamstrings are so tight I can barely lift my leg. 
Quality over quantity.

More listening.  Less talking 
Less "have to."  More "choose to."

More playing.  More outdoor time. 
Fullness over hunger. 
Relationships over numbers. 
.
More sleep
More space for creativity and writing.
More sweat.  More gardening. 
More time for those I love.

More shaking things up!
Saying yes to the things that matter, and no to the things that don't. 
More leaping and shouting and influencing and teaching.
More caring.  More love. 

More days off, and continuing education.
More reading, more authenticity.
More believing in myself- and voicing my opinion.
More trust- less guilt. 

I want to do epic shit! 
To be a fountain, not a drain. 
I better get to bed now........












,









Monday, April 3, 2017

This Mess is Actually my Life

"The ache for perfection leaves us isolated and exhausted.  We keep people at arms length, and we keep hustling - trying to reach some ideal that never comes."  
Shauna Neiquist- Present Over Perfect

This mess is actually my life.

The wrapping paper may be disheveled, but I picked the present especially for you;
And the lasagna may be a little soupy, but it's not Stouffers.

Some days I choose to sleep in, but on most days I put it all out there;
and I can tell you about every flaw on my body- while climbing that goddamn mountain.  

There is no budget, but the bills are paid
and no real "plan",  but I'm good at my job and love what I do.

I worry, I ponder, I leave.
I relax, I love, I stay.

This mess is actually my life.
Present over Perfect







Sunday, February 26, 2017

Its a Marathon not a Sprint- My Marriage to Running

" The marathon can humble you." 
Bill Rodgers


Ah running.....

It's been 15 years since we first met at that class at Run On!
In the beginning I remember being cautious and shy.....after all, you took my breath away.....but the more we hung out together the more comfortable I became.

We've been on many adventures over the years, like that time we crossed the Grand Canyon and back arm in arm, or fighting for that finish at Western States.  We've met inspiring people, witnessed many sunrises and sunsets, and even pulled a few all nighters under brilliant stars.   Sharing those experiences with you has given my life purpose and meaning, and I cannot thank you enough.

It hasn't always been easy though.  You've broken my heart, spirit and body more than once; but those times when we separated made me realize how much I really do love you.  There really is no substitute for the way you make me feel.
And the make up sex!

Speaking of our sex life.....so hot and steamy, especially in the summer months!
Sometimes you have to talk me into it, but I always feel better and more close to you after we make love.
I still find you extremely attractive after all these years, and those Tuesday afternoon quickies...well...they keep me smiling for the rest of the day ;)

Now that we're older, there is a lot less pressure to perform and we seem to have come to a comfortable agreement.  I'll take care of my body, and you'll continue to keep those endorphins coming.  Sometimes, we have to make compromises, taking breaks from each other or spending time with other friends...but in the end you know that it's you that I'm coming home to.

Happy anniversary to you- my friend and soulmate.
Here's to many more years of happiness together.





Monday, February 13, 2017

Finding contentment in pork chops, laundry and lice

"How do you measure a year in the life?  Measure in love."
Rent


I text:  " I want pork chops for dinner. Do you guys like pork chops?" 
Greg:  "Sure- one of the kiddos may not eat it, but we'll work on that." 
Me:  "Ok- I have one with lice, so I need to do her hair and I have to finish up this laundry, but then I'll go to the store so we can have pork chops with roasted vegetables for dinner. See you soon :) " 

Its Sunday, my only day off  after a 55 hour work week and you can see from the above conversation that I am not sitting around watching episodes of "This is Us" and eating bon bons as I would have liked.  Quite frankly, at this moment, I'm pretty bitter about that.  My child's head is full of crawling lice for the 3rd time THIS school year, I have 5 loads of laundry to do (all of my sweaty workout clothes plus the sheets and blankets that have become a lice casualty), and going to the grocery store on a Sunday ranks right up there in fun with poking my eyes out.
So, I do what all people do when they are feeling overwhelmed:  I take a nap.
And awake to this text:  "Hey- I can go to the store if you want...."

And this is when I realize:  I'm a damn lucky girl.

I got to comb my daughters hair, listen to her stories, and watch her do an uninhibited dance while waiting for the 10 min lice meds to do their stuff.  Cool bonding time- that doesn't happen often.

I have clothes to work out in.  And we have sheets to sleep on.  Oh- and a washer AND a dryer. 

I got to go on a grocery store date with my best friend, and we grilled pork chops on the back porch, and drank wine, and talked.  A lot. 

We ate with the kids until our bellies were full, listened to music that soothed our soul, and slept in a bed of well being. 
Its the best I've felt in a very long time. 

The Dalai Lama once said "Happiness is not something ready made, it comes from your own actions." 
How cool to find contentment in pork chops, laundry and lice. 
Maybe there is hope for kale, work and wrinkles........






Sunday, January 22, 2017

Love is a verb

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."
Moulin Rouge


Love is a verb. 
It's opening her car door and "Here...wear my jacket."
Dinner is ready, and "I brought wine."

Love is cleaning up messes and chicken soup when you're sick. 
"Want to run with me?" and "it's time for you to get some sleep."
Picking the kids up from practice at 9 pm, and Sonic runs "just because."

Love is concerts, plane tickets and road trips. 
A full tank of gas, surprises and sunsets.
Listening to listen instead of listening to answer. 
Perfect imperfection. 

Love is DO it, SHOW it, BE it. 
Love is action.
Love is a verb. 







Sunday, January 15, 2017

You can stop beating yourself up now.


“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it's often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.”
BrenĂ© Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are   


You can stop beating yourself up now. 
There's a pile of clothes on the floor, unopened mail on the countertops and the bed hasn't been made in weeks......
But you have a warm, safe and comfortable home. 

Maybe you don't make as many home cooked meals as you would like, or you ate a cupcake just to stay awake this afternoon, or you decided that giving up coffee would be the equivalent of torture. 
But your belly is full. 

You can stop beating yourself up for the thickness of your waist, or the wrinkles that show themselves when you smile.  For the every day pony tail and your abhorrence of high heels......
Because you are beautiful just the way you are. 

You don't have to be "the best" at everything.  It's ok if you don't work 55 hours a week, or you have a terrible race.   You know that your best attempts at relationships sometimes fall apart, yet you continue to love.........
Because you are a girl that learns from her mistakes. 

Wouldn't you be so much happier if you stopped beating yourself up for your "imperfections"? 
Today, I gift myself with the permission to be human.