On Twitter: Jack Kornfield@JackKornfield Oct 20, 2014 at 5:55 am
The Path Is Not Linear but Circular and Continuous - http://goo.gl/hlEzET
How can this be?
I grew up believing that grown ups got jobs, worked hard, found a partner, got married, bought a house, had children, set aside money, retired, gardened & played golf & traveled and then died.
There was a starting point, a middle point and a end.
That life map was simple & clean to understand. I could measure where I was on the path by checking off my accomplishments. Until I derailed my life train.
My derailing was my divorce. We had worked hard, bought the house, set aside money and then due to unemployment, the money all got spent, we almost lost the house, and the we killed our partnership.
Then my life became about starting over. Looking back this has been the fatal flaw of the past few years for me. I thought I was supposed to start over on the original path. Like a board game, I thought I was supposed to go all the way back to the start point and work my way back up. I have been beating myself up with all of the "shoulds" based on where I was supposed to be based on the original life map.
If you haven't read my piece A Nasty Case of the Shoulds, please do!
After my derailment, I started back at square one. It took forever for me to find a job. Because of my kids school schedule and location, my hours 3 days a week are limited. I have been shocked at how much of a problem employers see this as. You get my 20 plus years experience for $12 an hour tops but my having early two days a week when I can work 16 hour days the other two days a week doesn't fit your acceptable model.
I found a job that worked around my children's school schedule and could use all of the skills and experience I have collected in my 20 plus years working.
I found the partner. I had created a list for my searching and he met all of the important qualities I wanted.
I found the house. I moved out of my girlfriends basement and into my huge 3 bedroom old victorian rental with a fabulous porch & large back yard, within minutes of jumping on the highway to get to my kids school.
My children and I settled back into our rhythm and life was normal again.
I felt like I was really doing a good job checking off items again. Now I was on the path to being able to start saving and boom I would be totally back on track for my 40's. Right?
Then my ex husband stopped paying me. That was a huge financial hit.
Then my soul crushing job and the stress it created made me very, very sick and put me on very, very expensive daily medicine.
Then the company I worked for took a huge loss. I took a pay cut.
I was renting my little dream home, but it is not mine. It is tied to my job. If I leave the soul sucking job, I leave my sweet little house.
You know that moment when you find yourself sitting, confused and lost? That is where I am. Confused and lost. Kicking myself for all that I should have done that would have been better than what I did.
Why didn't I go back to school so I could get a better paying job to provide for myself? Then I remind myself that I didn't go to school because I have barely been able to scrape by financially and with time as it is. If employer's are not accepting of needing a flexible work schedule I have lead myself to believe neither will college. Sorry Mr. College but I can't take classes after 2 on Monday's & Tuesday's and every other Friday because I have to go pick up my kids from school in the mountains. Then I only have them on Monday & Tuesday evenings, so I can't take classes then or I would miss out on being with them. As you can tell this is a big one I keep kicking myself about.
I am ready to succeed financially. So much of my stress (and most people's) is just trying to make ends meet each month. But I think I am going to have to wait on the school plan until my kids are grown up. I am trying to convince myself that I will catch the school train on one of the next go rounds.
So, why did I get back on this damn path. It didn't work for me the first 20 years, but it is all I know, and I reached for the security of it. The reality is that there is no security in it at all.
I really don't like the idea that life is not a straight path, but "circular and continuous" as Jack Kornfield suggest. I don't like it, but I know he is correct.
Even before my first derailment, things were starting to spiral out of control.
Several lay-offs, draining of the retirement funds, almost losing the house because we couldn't pay the mortgage and the healthcare payments. We would have years of barely scraping by, followed by a year or two of great success and stability and then another cycle of lay-offs and loss. This was repeated several time over my 16 year marriage. Crazy how I forget that. I like to look back and see that we were on a steady track to retirement, but we weren't.
So I have found that I have been kicking myself for not having made it farther down the path of success, when I should be reexamining why I am so anxious to return to the life map? This map has not worked for me yet. When does one accept that the traditional model is a lie? And even if I accept it as a fallacy, what do I replace it with?
How do you live on this kind of life map once you acknowledge that life is not a destination. How do I get back in line, work hard,when realistically I will lose some huge portion of it again and have to start all over? What I need is a new concept that helps me to accept the ebb and flow that is life.
I both love and hate the impermanence that I am learning about. I love the idea that even though things are very difficult right now, that they won't always be. This is the hope I cling to. I don't love the idea that when I get everything in place and I feel successful, that it could all go away again. I so don't like this part of the cycle.
I have had my couple of good years and am fearing heading back into the instability and financial difficulties again. I keep hoping that as I grow older and smarter that each down swing will be smaller and shorter and less costly, but I don't have evidence of that yet.
MENTAL NOTE FOR LATER THINKING: I am guessing this is one of those limiting beliefs I keep hearing so much about.
So I am spending too much time being confused and lost and ignoring that I need to pay attention.
Yesterday at work my maintenance man staged a low level intervention. He told me he has noticed that I don't breathe a lot at the office, that I hold my breath. Then my admin, turned around and brought up my teeth clinching and endless head scratching (eczema). That they took the time to come up with ideas to help me is a huge testament to how very kind they are. However it also makes me pause and notice how much I am ignoring because I don't know how to fix it all. I have been burying my head in the sand.
It seems that I am fully capable of ignoring my body announcing that is is overly stressed. I cannot allow my health to become a part of this cycle. I am blessed that my friends took the time to tell me I am starting to scare people. But, how embarrassing to be that person who everyone is watching implode.
My goal this weekend is to create an idea of what a new life map looks like for me. What do I want to accomplish as milestones? What will success look like to me? Can I define enough of it in small daily moments that I don't ever feel like I am failing again? How do I redefine my life map to have more of the milestones be things that help me ride through the low cycles?
Time to start thinking about what small steps I can take to take care of myself and to help myself dig out of this hole I find myself in again. Time to pull my head out of my ass and start taking care of myself.
Step one to think about what I want my life to look like so I can see if anything I am currently doing supports the life I want. I am ready to go from surviving to thriving! I am going to end it here and get my notebook out and meditate before the morning gets away from me.
I think about sex, a lot.
Mostly, I think of a lot of reasons why it ain't gonna happen tonight.
I can already feel it. I am bloated, my head hurts, I am feeling fat and I can't allow myself to enjoy any happiness until all of my chores are done, right?!
Then I feel guilty because I love my partner and love being intimate with him. I tell myself that if I was childless and wealthy to the point of not having to work I would have plenty of time and few distractions for having one kick ass sex life. However, I work full-time, am a parent, and am pulled in hundreds of directions a day. Too often I have to remind me that I am doing a crappy job of taking care of myself.
So what keeps us from connecting more often?
I think about being too tired for sex, and that I would really rather being sleeping. I think I have too much to do to slow down and have sex. I don't have time in my day for such things, when my to do list is a mile long and my laundry pile is as tall as I am, and I need to create a grocery list for the week. I get so mad a myself when I sink into my tub to relax or sit to meditate and my crazy monkey mind takes advantage of the inactivity to go into overdrive.
Sometimes I have to stop my mind from wandering to my mental to do list during a massage and I am always grateful when I can snap out of it and focus just on the touch. It is too easy to go on autopilot and miss the pleasure of just being touched.
My head does actually hurt too damn often. I should probably see my doctor about more nose spray and allergy meds to make this low level irritation stop.
My belly actually hurts and feels bloated and gassy. The thought of bumping bellies does not sound appealing. I should probably see my doctor about this too, or make those hard choices about my diet and the things that make my belly bloated and gassy.
I think about being too soft and fat. I think about my muffin top over my panties, which seem to be getting very tiny on my ever expanding ass. I think about how "things" are going to look from different angles.
I think about the kids walking in at any moment, and listen for them.
I can find tons of reasons to not have sex, but then I remember, I like sex. It feels very good. Equally important is that I need the connection with my partner.
I now know that sex is very important in a relationship. Making the time to physically connect is equally as important as making the time to verbally connect. I was reading an article by Judith Orloff where she states that too often "sex is often viewed more as a performance feat than a holy exchange."
It really needs to become a holy exchange between partners. Sex is the tending to and caring for each other that bonds us together. We have lost touch with what sex is supposed to create in our lives. Sex is what keeps couples together. Physical touch keeps couples connected. Mutual healthy sex means there are no barriers being put up between partners. Sex is meant to be a mutual escape and release.
Your partner not having sex with you is a big sign that there is a loss of connection in your relationship.
Everyone has days and nights when they are not in the mood. While it sucks to be the person asking for the sex and being told no, it is normal for couples to get out of sync from time to time. We all handle stress in different ways. Some people want sex to relieve the stress and to feel connected to someone. Some people don't want to be touched and want to be alone when they are stressed.
Some of us go back and forth between wanting sex and wanting to be alone.
However, Judith states that, "if these excuses become habitual and our erotic lives are suffering, it’s essential to examine our resistance to sex."
"We have to want to be sexy and keep passion alive in a relationship. When we’re tired, angry or if communication breaks down with a partner, passion is the first to go. Denial and apathy are the enemies of passion."
She list the Six Common Killers of Passion from her book The Ecstasy of Surrender:
I believe that on any given night you really can be too tired or not feel well, but I like her caution to examine how often excuses are given. I know that all six of these were part of the demise of my sex life with my ex husband. Tired, overwhelmed, finances, no connection, rushing, anger, loss of interest and time worked against us. I remember the courage it took to work my nerve up to allow it to happen. I cannot imagine how much anger he had built up after asking so many nights only to be told no.
Reality check, I don't like my ex, but this is me owning up to how crushing our sex life was to our marriage. I didn't understand how huge the gap was growing between us. I didn't understand how much pent up anger we were both accruing. I didn't know that each day the anger and resentment was allowed to go unvoiced and unheard that another brick was being mortared into the wall that would end our relationship.
We grew so far apart that negotiating the possibility of sex always seemed like a huge battle. If he wanted it and I didn't, he grew bitter. If I wanted it after not having it with him in months, he was mean and made me pay for hurting him.
I was not aware of how much your sex life says about the state of your marriage.
Without getting into how often a couple should have sex, a couple that is able to, should be having sex on a regular basis if they want their relationship to last and grow. This needs to be a discussion between the two of you. It is very easy to think that your partners needs are being met, when in fact they aren't.
I don't think most of us want to reject our partner. I don't think we keep track of when we last had sex and think, damn my partner must think I don't want them anymore. But your partner probably does think you don't want them, or that they aren't a good lover, or that you don't find them attractive. Don't let them hurt in silence, ask them. Grab a blanket and coffee and meet outside on the porch or deck one morning to connect and talk.
These are not conversations for the bedroom or the end of the day.
Ask your partner if they are happy with your sex life. Ask them if they want more or less or different. Use this time to make a non-sexual connection with your partner.
If you haven't had sex in a while, know that building this connection is really important and will take time. It is too awkward to start having sex after not having it for a while, like really awkward.
If your relationship has lost sex, there are lots of good web sites and counselors to help you be able to trust and touch again. For couples that have not touched in a while, it takes some non-sexual touch over a course of time to build back up to a place where a sexual touch can be initiated and welcomed again.
I know people don't like the idea of scheduling sex, but if you don't make it important in your life, it will not happen. Waiting for the perfect conditions to exist will not happen. Relationships die long before life presents you with perfect circumstances. Relationships die very fast. You are no more busy than anyone else. You are given the same number of hours a day as everyone else on this planet. If you work out, you schedule your gym trips and what area you will be working on. So if Monday & Thursday is back and bi day, make Wednesday & Saturday Anahata (heart) & Sacral (sex) Chakra workout day on the calendar!
Sex and exercise are the two items we drop first, because they are self care items and we seem wired to take care of everyone and everything at the expense of our own well being. Tv, internet, social media, email and household chores all get prioritized higher than physically connecting with our partner. That is very sad. So if you don't want to schedule it, don't want to talk about it, don't want to change, well then you don't like the idea of being responsible for your own happiness and you don't care enough about your partner's happiness. So don't schedule time together or sex, dumb-ass. Just keep sitting in your lonely recliner watching life pass you by!
When I find myself getting lost doing too much for the world and not enough for me, I have to remind myself that I want a happy & sexual relationship. I will do whatever it takes to create the time and mood to connect physically with my partner. I can't always make it magical and special, but I always find the time needed to connect physically. Sometimes it has to be quick and quiet and under the covers, but I have to make sex work around real life.
Being divorced and sharing custody of my children means I have child free nights. Child free nights allows me to use that time to connect with my partner in a non rushed way. We try and make up for the hurried moments during the weeks when we have children home by blocking out time for dinners, conversations, and getting into bed early on the nights when we are alone. Priorities and scheduling make sure we use our child free time wisely otherwise it is too easy to piss away an evening in front of the tv or on the internet.
I really believe that if in your marriage you could figure out how to have regular child free time, that many of us would take better care of our marriages. It is too easy to get lost in those parenting days and think that you will find the time and energy to connect after the kids get older. Then the kids get older and quickly leave the house and you have allowed so much time to pass that it is like peering across the Grand Canyon looking for your partner. With technology, it is too easy to find a new partner, rather than start the long ass journey to rekindle with your existing partner.
Waiting for your kids to grow up before you reignite that sexual fire will create a very lonely, disconnected mess that is too big for most of us to want to tackle after years or a decade of neglect and anger. You cannot afford to wait. So many marriages end when our kids are still in the house because we think we can wait, but then we find other people to connect with. 18 years is a long ass time to wait to feel alive and wanted and valued again. It is too easy to meet and connect with other lonely people. It is way too easy for that seemingly innocent connection to turn in to divorce.
If your kids are small, hire a babysitter if for nothing else than to escape together. Get a baby monitor and close the damn door. Those are hard years, but if you value your marriage, make sex happen. Create a baby sitting round robin with friends so you can drop your kids off at a friends for three hours and run back home and have time to ease into grown-up time.
If you kids are teens, you really can't use them as an excuse any more. If you can leave them at home while you run to buy groceries, you can leave them at home while you and your partner escape for an evening every month or two. Take advantage of teens love of staying in their rooms and scheduled bedtimes.
What really sucks is when you allow this connection to be lost between partners and you don't have any children to blame it on. Having children & focusing solely on them is an easy seemingly acceptable excuse for the demise of your relationship. Not having those sweet little distractions and allowing your relationship to erode will get you the big eye roll from your parent friends.
I can't say it enough, make the time, schedule the time, make the connection before your relationship is so damaged that it cannot be repaired. Make your relationship a priority before your partner looks elsewhere for the attention and connection all humans need.
Exhaustion: If you are too tired most nights, get up a little earlier on a day off and have sex in the morning. I love this idea, but sometimes my bladder is too full. Potty breaks may be needed, but don't let exhaustion be your go to excuse. I personally am not a fan of being woken up, but I have yet to meet a man who isn't thrilled about being woken up for sex.
Anyhow, the idea is figure it out. Stop being exhausted. This is important.
Not communicating your needs: This is a tough one. If you are in a relationship and cannot express your needs and desires, examine why you are in the relationship. If it just shyness and awkwardness in discussing sex in general, plan a long car trip or hike where you can be side by side, but not looking directly at each other. I learned that from Arielle Ford during her Art of Love Relationship series. If you just can't say the words, write them and share them with your partner.
Too many partners are punished for not being able to read their partners mind. We have to accept that this is not fair and will never get you what you want. Focus on the goal of happy connected sex, not punishment.
Losing interest: This is a heart breaker. Too much distance has been allowed to exist for too long. Too many words not shared or too many hurtful, hateful words have been shared. No one loses interest in connection and touch, they only lose interest in connection and touch with you. They will find interest in someone else if you allow it to happen. Can you rebuild a relationship after an affair? Some people can, but we all know that most of us don't. Take the steps now to affair proof your marriage. There are lots of good books and websites that offer tips for affair proofing your relationship. Start the conversation now!
Rushing: I am a parent and I know that rushing is all we have for long periods of time while we are parents, but it is our responsibility to create time to not rush. As I grow older, I need more time to get my head out of the game and relaxing. My mind has become quite the task master and will grab hold of any down time to fill it with creating a to do list or for simmering over stress, worry and anxiety. I need a little slow dancing, bath time, a glass of wine, or a walk to disconnect my brain from "go" to relax. Remember when making out could fill an entire evening? If not, you need to spend an entire evening making out with your partner. Some of us respond very well to the art of not rushing!
Lack of creativity or boredom: This needs to be a conversation.
If you and your day is boring and lacking in creativity, why would you think that somehow your sex is going to be fabulous and creative?
Go slow and easy into this one so feelings don't get hurt. Get books that include sexual and non-sexual connection. Get creative outside of the bedroom. Having sex at the end of the day is about so much more than the physical act. Having sex at the end of the day is because of the hundreds of little things said and done starting before you get to work in the morning. Emails, texts, hugs, kisses, notes, compliments, shared meals, conversations, and eye contact create the special elixir that makes falling into bed together magic.
Even if falling into bed only leads to curling up together, the connection has been made.
Repressed anger and hostilities: We all know this feeling. The only way to make it go away is to talk to your partner. Reread the above paragraph on communicating your needs. There is no other way. You either do it now or during your costly divorce.
If things have progressed to this point, find a counselor, immediately. Have someone help you reconnect. Be specific in what outcome you want when talking to a professional. "We" want a safe way to express all of the old baggage and anger. We want tools to help us learn to talk to one another and not hold our disappointment and anger in. We aren't interested in determining who is the shittier partner. We love each other and want to fix what we have allowed to wither. If either partner starts feeling picked on, you need to regroup and possibly find another counselor. Visit several before choosing. Get books, schedule weekly time to connect and talk with your partner. Listen without responding with rebuttal. Remember you want to fix your relationship, not win a war. You can't be right and them be wrong and create a loving connection.
We all need physical touch. We all need connection. Your partner is no exception, neither are you.
Your goal is to be naked and enjoying ecstasy with your partner!
Link to the article:
http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/10/6-common-killers-of-passion/ Judith Orloff on Oct 15, 2014 Elephant Journal
I love the idea of "becoming" instead of a mid life crisis.
I am in the process of becoming. It started right on schedule prior to my 40th birthday. As much as I like to fault my body for failing me and falling apart, I need to admit that I am a well oiled machine.
I adamantly did not want to have children or be a mother until about 4 months into being twenty-eight years old. My biological clock went from ticking to tocking to gonging to full on glocking like the Munich Glockenspiel, with music, dancing and spinning! Within two months, I was pregnant.
Right before 40, I realized I had neglected my body during my mommy haze. I started walking, then I started very slow running. As things started to thin out, I added weights to add strength & definition to my emerging Goddessness!! You can do an awful lot of thinking when you are out running.
I started reading again in the evening instead of vegging out to tv. Suddenly my mind was filled with new ideas and thoughts and I went searching for people of like minds (or at least people who don't choose to turn every conversation into a debate) to share my new knowledge with and to learn from. Then miraculously, I figured out how to run at a very slow pace and talk to people.
I was very, very happy for a while with this new ability. I started running with friends several times a week. I was blossoming and becoming. It was glorious!
Then I realized that my becoming was not conducive to my marriage.
He didn't want to continue to "become". He was done with becoming and was happy with how he had turned out. I believe that "becoming" is an on-going process, that it does not stop, that we repeat this process every decade or so because we have to and because we want to.
I believe that you can stop at any point on a path, no matter how far you have gone and how long it has taken you, and change direction. I believe that it is important to stop from time to time and really look around to see if you are happy, to see if you are where you thought you'd be, to see if you still even want what started you on this exact path months or years ago.
I believe that when we stop and listen, we get either the confirmation to continue on or the nagging, pit of the gut feeling that signifies that we are not happy.
I also didn't view failure the same as he did.
We tried, and then we didn't try, but in the end it was clear that I didn't want to be required to stay the same person he felt he had known for 17 years. I didn't feel required to stay the same. I didn't feel I was changing as much as remembering who I was. I am not sure we ever truly knew it each as it came as such an awful surprise that we wanted such different journeys.
So, long story short (for once), I stopped on my marriage path, listened with my heart and soul and came to the conclusion that I needed to take a different path to continue blossoming into my most full Goddessness and to live the life that I was dreaming of. I realized that I needed the wide open space to grown unencumbered and without having to defend or debate my choices and thoughts.
I think some people can continue to "become" and stay in their existing relationships, but I think that it requires both people to have interest in continuing to move forward in life, in learning new things not only about the world, but about themselves. Not everyone in this world is interested in evolving and personal growth and that is ok, unless you are married to them.
I believe it is worth trying to drag them along for a period of time to see if they are just hesitant, which is very human. Few people actively embrace change. Most of us need a very personal reason to willingly change.
If after dragging and pulling and including, they still don't want to come with you, then you need to stop and get quiet and figure out if you feel you can continue "becoming" on your own, but tied to them. I have seen this happen and with the right person, they will watch you become and love you through every step. Love is funny like that. You meet those couples who seem so different with seemingly nothing in common, but some very strong love, respect and admiration. It is rare and bewildering to watch, but I do believe in this very special kind of love.
If after dragging and pulling and including, they still don't want to come with you, and they are asking and pleading or demanding you to stop becoming, then you have choices to make.
I wanted to find and live forever with my prince charming. Then at the time of my becoming, I realized that I don't believe that everyone meets that one person and stays with them forever. Maybe some people are only supposed to be in your life for a while, for a portion of your journey.
Maybe people who start "becoming" way earlier in life are better prepared to find someone they can stay with forever. I remembered who I was going to become when I was a child, but I was too scared to take the chances. I didn't stop and listen, I was too busy rushing and living. I let life happen to me instead of trying my hand at creating. I was so scared and I put off "becoming" for fear that I would fail.
Now I know you can't fail at becoming, there is no way to fail at being you because "once you become Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." And people who don't understand, can't matter.
If you stay on your journey to "becoming" you will meet people who are well worn, loose jointed and shabby chic'd, introduce yourself, as this is your tribe!
On my way back down from the mountains this morning, I am listening to Hay House Radio on my phone and the show is on Louise Hay and two of fitness her gurus/guardians, Ahlea Khardro & Heather Dane, that have been helping her take care of her body talking about the book they have written.
Louise is a very vibrant & alert & active 88 years old!
How happy you are and how fabulous your life is based on "how well you digest life." Ahlea Khandro
What a powerful statement and measurable testament to how well your life is going. Mine is a gigantic mess right now as is evident by the state of irritability my guts put me through every couple of days. I am endlessly bloated, rumbly, and suffering from loose bowels. My body screams at me when my life gets unbalanced & out of control.
Ahlea spoke about how powerful & sensitive our body is and gave a warning about the products we put on our skin. She gave a wonderful experiment of taking a peeled clove of garlic and rubbing it between your toes. She said within a few minutes, you will taste the garlic in your mouth because your skin allows the garlic to absorb directly into your blood. She cautioned that "if you wouldn't eat the ingredients in your lotions and potions, then you shouldn't put it on your skin." Pretty easy to understand experiment to test for yourself.
The other information that I took away from the show was:
I will be putting this book on my must read list as they also repeatedly mentioned problems with people who have had their gallbladders removed and the side effects and dietary issues associated. will also be reading it because so many of my "health issues" are autoimmune related, which the authors suggest is directly related to my gut health.
There are a ton of good articles on the web that go into depth about the second brain. Here are two that I found helpful:
Scientific America http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/ February 12, 2010 |By Adam Hadhazy
Psychology Today http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201404/the-gut-brain-connection-mental-illness-and-disease Published on April 6, 2014 by Emily Deans, M.D. in Evolutionary Psychiatry
"There is nothing better in life than feeling good and having a good poop." Louise Hay
While that sounds hilarious, it is brilliantly accurate. There is a great deal of science behind what makes a good poop. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/02/14/normal-stool.aspx I won't post it here, but they have several charts to show what healthy and non-healthy poop look like and a chart that explains what your poop color, shape and how it falls into toilet means. It is well worth a quick look at the charts and a daily check in the toilet to determine the state of your health.
The body is always trying to alert you to what is going on inside you. However most of us, myself included, are too busy to really pay attention. My body has to really scream at me in the form of hives, ezcema, irritable bowel, ulcerative colitus, loosing a gallbladder, putting on 30 pounds, and migraines. If you are like me, even when your body takes you down to your knees, once you are on the mend, you go back to your wicked ways.
The only symptom on the list that is really getting my attention and pissing me off is the weight.
I have been thinking a lot of not nice things about my body lately. I really feel like my body is letting me down, big time. Listening to this radio show this morning, brought into focus that I am letting my body down. It has done it's very best to tell me to slow down, breathe, sleep, manage my stress, eat slower so I can taste my food and know when I am really full, sleep some more, breathe a few more times and move. It is bloating me out, making me itch, making my head hurt and keeping on the toilet. Last summer it doubled me over in extreme gut pain and yet with medicine I am now able to ignore and keep that pain at bay. I am the one not honoring my body. Even moving feels labored right now, and this sucks after having been a runner and been light and kinda fast. Having watched my body lose muscle and gain fat has been awful, but it has been so easy to focus on anything other than what is happening to my body. It has been way easy to pretend I am ok.
When Jason and I tell stories of running the obstacle races, I get super sad when I see the listener do a double take at how someone in my shape could compete. Two years ago, I looked the part. This August, I even backed out of my annual 14'er climb for fear that I would slow my friends down or not be able to reach the peak.
Back in July when I decided I wanted to blog, I started a list of topics I wanted to write about. This list included: trust, forgiveness, love, relationships, friends, parenting, divorce, personal power, abuse in all of its splendid forms, rituals and self-care. I need to move self-care to the top of the list for right now, as it is the most pressing issue I need to focus on. I need to move me higher up on my priority list.
So here is my list of self-care items:
Sleep rituals & routine
One on one time with each of my children
In my head time either walking or running
Making the list is easy, making the items on the list actually happen with regularity is the challenge.