Monday, February 28, 2011

Tri what???


I have wanted to do a triathlon for seven years now. I get excited about it... I think I can do it on my own. I start to train. In a week? I've given up. I tuck away those feelings of failure and just move on. People just smile now and I am sure they think 'oh sure she's talking about that triathlon thing again'. I know I like to dream. And I know, I like to imagine me having already DONE the thing... but I actually SIGNED UP for one!

One of the wonderful things about my life, is that when I really put the energy out to the Universe that I want to do something? Wheels starts turning and *boom* it pretty much happens. Not always in the way I thought it would happen, but when I am open to life and let go of control? It really seems to work itself out beautifully.

So... about two weeks ago, I decided it was time to get back to working on my weight and my exercise. It's been a lifelong issue with me. My struggles with weight. I remember about seven years ago, I had lost a bunch of weight. I went with my sister shopping. I tried on a pair of tight leather pants. I walked out and my sister told me I looked *hot*. I went back into the dressing room, panicked, started to cry, took off the leather pants and within a month put the all the weight back on (and then some for good measure)... that was sort of the last time I really invested in losing weight.

But since I started writing this blog, since I really started digging into my 'stuff', I've realized I like myself more. I still have issues (don't we all?), but I realize I have made some shifts in how I see who I am. At lunch the other day with my friend Lori, I said that within a relationship I often have a difficult time speaking up for what I really need. She just shook he head and said, "I don't get it MK, how is it *you* can't see what everyone else around you sees? That you are this amazing, strong, wonderful woman?" I couldn't answer her. For most of my life I did *not* see that. And heaven knows, my self confidence and self image took some beatings over the last year. I had few reserves to pull upon to boost myself back up - I mean I have amazing friends who never let me fall *too* far. But finding that resolve within myself and that confidence inside has taken me a while. But within the last month or so, I have realized I feel like I am back on track. I feel like I have found that spark inside of me again - I feel alive and I feel back in the flow of my own life, not trying to swim against it.

So when I said to myself, I'm ready to get back into an exercise program, *poof* two days later my friend Trish mentions to me that she has signed up for a triathlon to support breast cancer! SCORE! Next thing I know? I have signed up as well. I'm excited about it. It's sort of a baby triathlon, but it's perfect! And I am not doing it alone, I'm doing it with someone who isn't counting on me, but *is* excited to share the journey with me.

So, things are moving in my world. I feel like I was stuck for a while... but here I go, back on to my next adventure. I didn't make it up at 6:30am today to workout, but I will either go tonight or go swimming at my place. I think the important part is to do something every day, not get hung up on when the plan for that morning takes a left turn. My goal is to do *something* and keep working towards it. I have to get to the point where I can swim 1/2 mile, bike 12 miles and run 3.1 miles! I can do this! If you think you might want to come with? Let me know :).

I'm excited and nervous, but I think this means I will *finally* get a bike that I like! *laughter*



Sunday, February 20, 2011

Feeling that Emooootion

So... I've found my motivation to get back on the weight loss train. Lately, pretty much since my dad's heart attack, I've been working a lot on dealing with emotions. I know it has been healthy for me. I feel like myself again - and now I feel like I'm even more myself. How much more selfier can I get? I don't know but I'm enjoying finding out. This blog? Has helped... so has all your support and love.

What I realized this past week is that I am ready to get back to the whole 'letting go of weight' issue. I don't know about you, but for me? I have to be motivated. And motivation doesn't come from some external source. I've had plenty of wake up calls in the last few months, the last few years really. But I had to find that space inside to get back up on that weight loss horse and get going again. Honestly? I have spent my life feeling like a failure when it comes to weight. I know slow and steady is the way to go, and I feel like I have had some real insight into life since this time last year and I feel more like myself than I have in a long time.

So, believe it or not this is going to be a short entry. Just to say I haven't given up. I'm still moving forward and still working towards my goal. Small steps, I know, but steps none the less. In the past? I would have just quit blogging because I felt like a failure. This time? I don't feel like a failure, just a person doing her best on her journey. I feel like I am 'feeling' more about it instead of 'thinking' about it. In my life I have spent a lot of time escaping in 'thinking' about weight.

Feeling about it? Well, that seems like a really good start.



Sunday, February 13, 2011

That Day... that day...


It's Valentine's Day tomorrow. I remember when I was young I loved Valentine's Day. I can't say I love it now, but I feel like I have cycled through a lot of different feelings about love, romance and 'that day' in my life. I recall how, when I was in college I was sure I hated Valentine's Day. On 'VDay' I wore black and screamed my anger at the 'Hallmark' advertisers that forced stupid romance down my throat for a WHOLE month! Oh how I hated the 'holiday'! I raged against it. How I hated the commercialization and I sent the evil eye at all the kissing couples. I rode my high horse, hard.

But at night, when I was alone,  I sat and cried. And I hated myself not the holiday. Hated that I was alone. Hated that every guy I liked always seemed to end up with my room mate. Hated that I was always the 'friend', but not the 'date'. One Valentine's Day? I brought my current crush to my house, we had dinner and watched a movie. It was late and he didn't want to drive so he slept on the couch... until I woke up the next morning and he came out of my roommate's room! AND I MADE THEM PANCAKES. Yep. That was my story.

In my mid twenties, I stopped hating Valentine's Day. Funny how my hatred for this 'BS holiday' seemed to disappear with falling in love. I hoped every single year for a ring. And every single year I got a funny card. Even though I was in a relationship, I was still the 'friend'. In my mid-thirties? I left and started all over again.Without going through my dating, my marriage and my divorce, I came to some sort of peace with this holiday. I realized my anger and frustration may have had some validity, but railing against this holiday wasn't the answer for me.

I had a date this weekend, I sort of wanted it to be a way to celebrate Valentine's Day since I knew we weren't going to be able to see each other again for a while. I really liked this guy and thought maybe there was a future unfolding... We were talking together and he started railing against the upcoming "Valentine's Day" holiday. I listened. He had his reasons for not liking Valentine's Day, and he really got upset talking about rings and spending so much money on blood diamonds and stolen gold. I said that I agreed, although, if I got married some day, I still wanted a ring. It didn't need to be fancy. But I wanted a momento that I could look at during the day and think of the person I was dedicated to being with. Let's just say we didn't see eye to eye on the subject. I appreciated his position. I respected his points. I couldn't really even argue with the points he was making about blood diamonds, and gold taken from land that was stolen. I understood why he would be so frustrated and angry. Some horrible things have been done to people and to the earth in the name of "gold" and "diamonds" and "wealth".

But in the end, I don't hate Valentine's Day anymore. I don't need to do something 'crazy' with it, I don't need flowers (that are jacked up in price) I don't need a fancy dinner, I don't need some 'big display' of diamonds, or gold or anything really. But I have spent my life fighting that I am romantic. I have not wanted to believe that I like sunsets, and magic, and beauty, and desire. I have spent my life NOT letting myself believe in those. Now? I want to believe in those things. Actually, more than 'want to', I do believe in those things. I want to be with someone who also believes in love and romance and joy and magic. I could live with someone not liking Valentine's Day, but anger over romance, is a deal-breaker for me. It's okay not to like all the commercialized trappings, but in many ways, I do like some of those things... and if I am going to spend my life with someone? I want to spend it with someone who can respect and share a connection to romance. Being romantic doesn't mean a $15k ring, or expensive house or any of that. But I do want to be with someone who wants to talk about rings together. Who wants to design them together so that they represent a shared connection that means something to both of us. I want to be with someone who thinks that there is something beautiful about love and romance... I asked a friend of mine what he and his wife were doing for Valentine's Day. He said, "We don't celebrate it on Feb. 14th. We think that date is expensive and stupid. We celebrate it on the first day of Spring, that was our first date."

I thought that was such a lovely answer.

So Valentine's Day, I don't "love" you. I recognize that really you are an overpriced, hyped, commercialized excuse for those who have someone to recognize them and those who don't to wish they did, but the 'idea' of you... the idea of romance, of love, of connection, of joy... well.. I think it is healthy to celebrate that every day...



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Because you're special in every single way
Because you're special no matter what you're parents say...

~Captain Wonderful and the Less Than Perfects


When I was a child, I wanted more than anything to be special. I would make up stories that I pretended were true to impress people. I wanted ESP sooo badly! I thought if I could tell the future I would be uber special. I wanted to sing better than *anyone* so that people would know I was special. I mistakenly thought that being special meant being loved.

As I got older, I began to seek out ways to be special. I had a knack for reading tarot cards and I found that people, indeed, thought I was special. I loved that feeling. Some people liked how I read the cards, some people? Not so much. But using tarot cards was a wonderful way to meet people, to learn about them and more, to learn about myself. I was good at it, and people liked me for it. And hey, I liked feeling special, so throughout most of my twenties and early thirties? I was your girl if you needed a card reading. I was deep in the New Age movement. I thrived on it.

I'm not sure when all that changed for me. What I am about to say may offend some of you. I apologize now if I do, that is not my intent. This has been a journey of discovery for me, a journey of being healthy. And one of the ways I have found to be more healthy, is to realize some of the beliefs I have held on to, didn't really promote my mental health. Some of my beliefs were simply a way to make me feel special.

I think the switch started with the whole 'Indigo' child movement. I was very into the Neale Donald Walsch "Conversations with God" movement. I do not regret that time, I derived quite a bit from his perception that God can speak to you from your own heart. Until he became the 'guy with all the answers', I really liked what he had to say. Then? He started to think he was 'special' and pretty soon? His teachings and such reflected that belief about himself. He isn't the only one who fell off his pedestal in my eyes, all the teachers I sought, Mary Summerrain, Hank Wesselman, Dan Milleman... they all sort of fell off the pedestal I put them on and became human. Nothing wrong with that. (Ted Andrews is perhaps the one exception to this story. He understood that he was no more or less in 'touch' than any other and somehow he shared that idea in every class of his I took. Although he has passed, I will always have a sacred place for him in my heart, because he showed me what a true teacher could be like.) I remember I was at a conference for 'Light Workers' in Columbus. I was in a workshop called: "Indigo Child: Raising and being around these special children". I found myself getting upset. The leader of the class (I can't remember her name now) was going on and on about how special these children were. How they were more 'elevated' than others. How they were 'old souls' come to 'move the planet into its next phase of evolution'. How we needed to pay special attention to these very special children. I think I might of gotten up and walked out. I was so frustrated. I remember asking why THESE specific children were more valuable than the REST of the children being born. And the instructor looked at me with 'pity' in her eyes. Sad that I couldn't embrace this important information. How could I not understand? I must not be 'special' enough to understand how 'special' these specific, cherished children were. I was angry. I was angry because I believed then and I believe now that NO child is more special than another child.

But I think that is when I started listening to some of the verbiage that not only 'new age' people used, but many religious people in general. One thing in particular that started to frustrate me was this concept of 'new' and 'old' souls. I think it really hit home with me when I was in Hawaii taking a 'Shamanic Training' class. We were doing journey work. We were supposed to go to see where new souls were being 'born'. And I remember thinking, very clearly, "I don't believe in old and new souls!" When I expressed that sentiment, I was told I was wrong and that there are definitely  old and new souls. I thought... says who?  How do YOU or anyone else KNOW that? You can have 'faith' in what you believe, but it doesn't make it the ONE RIGHT WAY. I have been told my whole life that I am an 'old soul'. But what I realized? Is that it is just ONE more layer of "I'm special" seeking behavior. What does the phrase, "I am an old soul" mean? To me it says, I am wiser than you are. I know more than you do. I am 'evolved'! You poor 'young' soul, if you were an older soul you'd be part of my more 'knowing' group.  How incredibly condescending. Of course my being frustrated by it could very well mark me as being a young soul. *chuckle* Methinks I do protest too much, perhaps?

I suppose I may come across as being angry or harsh, but really? I am no wiser or older than anyone else doing his/her best to navigate life on this planet. Saying you are an 'old soul' or WORSE looking down on me because I do not agree with you and therefore must be a 'YOUNG' soul is just one more level of separation we put between us. How is that different than saying, "I am a Baptist, you are a Hindu. My view of God is right your view is wrong." Is saying you are an old soul, not just a way to make yourself feel special? We want to believe we have a unique voice among a sea of voices. I get that. What I don't understand is why we have to be special by being 'apart from'... why can't we be special by being 'a part of'?

I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to feel special. I don't know that we can truly step outside that desire. We all have a place in our hearts that cries out to feel our own unique place in the world. I suppose I wouldn't have an issue with 'Indigo' children, or 'old soul' or any of those terms we use to classify ourselves except I think just being here on this planet at this time is special. Each human is special merely by the act of making choices, doing the best we know how to do and living the best we know how to live.

I don't care if you think of yourself as an "old" soul, an "indigo" child or whatever, just don't tell me I am less because I am different. I seek finding the things that bring us together, not divide us and keep us apart.



Monday, February 07, 2011

Ohhh SHINY thing...


I watched a show last night on PBS called A.D.D. and Loving it! I can't decide what to do with the information. This tv show, in an hour and a half summed up most of my life.

My whole life I have struggled with the effects of being ADD. I have tried to make excuses, I have tried to 'be quiet'. I remember my grandfather offering me $5 if I could sit still for 5 minutes. I couldn't.  All I know is that I laid on the couch last night, watching the video thinking... 'oh wow'. It was like a check list for my life. Is it a failure to have ADD? I mean, I know my whole life I have often been told if I'd just listen more, if I didn't talk so much, if I was quieter, if I could JUST organize my office/desk/life I could be so much more productive, if I just stopped fidgeting, if I didn't ask so many questions, if I could just quiet my brain down a little I could think better, if I could just focus more I could do SO much better on my tests/quizzes/studies, if I could only finish the things I started I'd be so much more successful...

The list? Goes on and on. My favorite though is the struggle I've had with my creativity. I have lived with people who get upset when I dream about possible futures. No, seriously, they would get really upset! Just because I dream something doesn't mean I have to make it happen. I LIKE to dream about things. I like to share those dreams and play with them. Does that mean I HAVE to make them happen? NO. And the person would get upset with me that I shared my dream and would consider me a failure because I never DID anything about it. Then? I'd feel like I was a failure. And all those joyful hours of fantasy and dreaming? Suddenly seemed shameful and 'unproductive' instead of affirming and happy. I loved all those hours of dreaming about owning land on Orcas Island or opening a soup shop. But just because I never did those things, doesn't make me a failure. It makes me a dreamer. That dreaming has led to my creativity. It is what makes my stories shine and my world livable. I like being a dreamer. I don't want to feel bad about it anymore...

Does our society have room for dreamers in this day and age? And is taking meds to help me focus and not spend so much time dreaming a good idea? I mean, it might make me more productive, but what about my writing? What about my dreaming? I have long railed against taking 'meds' to 'fix' people with ADD, but I wonder now if meds help a student/an adult be successful in an environment that isn't likely to adapt to the person. Is that really such a bad thing? I don't know. All these ideas are swirling around in my head. Like the ADD person that I am, I can't pick just one and focus on it...

Even as I realize I'm struggling with these questions today, I also realize I have struggled with them my entire life. I am trying to navigate understanding how my mind works and its creativity while balancing that notion with the reality that being more focused would make it easier to figure out my finances."Creative" financing? Has not been really productive in my world. ;).

So what is the next step? I'm not sure. I know I need to do more research about the topic. I know that perhaps I should go get 'tested' for it, but what I do with that information? I don't know. I know that the healthy thing to do is to not ignore the situation any longer, but look at it as a part of who I am and go from there.



Tuesday, February 01, 2011

All Too brief

Today I found out that a student at our school perished in a car accident. Details aren't in, but I don't suppose they are important to this blog, or, in the end, to the pain people left behind are experiencing. I don't care who the young person is, or the story, any death of a young person feels tragic. This young man however? Was simply a delightful young man. He was a young man with a scholarship to a fantastic university next year for lacrosse. He had an incredible smile. He was dedicated and was working so hard at his studies to make it in college. He was focused and a bright light to everyone that knew him.

When I heard the news, the first thing I thought of wasn't him, but his parents. How do you wake up one morning and everything is amazing, then wake up the next morning and nothing is? Yet you have to somehow keep going forward when a part of your heart, your spirit, your soul is absent. I have no children, I truly can't imagine the grief. But I can hold the space of those two people who will wake up tomorrow where nothing is amazing.

I have no story of my own past grief to tell. I suppose I could tell about the day I found out my mom died. But there is no comparison. There is no way to begin to touch the grief that family is experiencing. I will not try. That would somehow take the grief that belongs to them and make it my own. I didn't have him as my student, but I find myself crying for the loss I feel and for the teachers I know who deeply respected and cared for him. I cry for the family and friends that somehow have to wake up tomorrow morning and face the shining sun, the clear day and the beautiful weather when everything in their world is a storm of terrifying thunder and darkness.

I will say a prayer tonight. For the family, for the friends, for the teachers, for the crossing of such a bright light. And I will say it again tomorrow night. And the night after. Because, like my father having a heart attack, things came into focus for me today. I got some needed clarity about what is important. There is no joy coming from a situation like this, but it does remind me to hold close those I love and appreciate every moment of life I have with them.