Relax, Remove the Rocks

did end up continuing with 40 Days. Last week was all about Restoration, and our focus was on relaxing with what is, accepting your current situation, and removing the rocks in your life that hold you back from being who you want.

Relaxing

Through our practice, we learn that struggling against something makes the experience more difficult. Whether it’s a pose that you keep coming out of or a toxic relationship with your mother, constantly struggling against it won’t allow you through it. It’s like a Chinese finger trap.

Chinese finger trap

Things I decided to relax with:

  • My body does not look the way it once was, or how I’d like it to be. If I continue with the same behaviors, it’s only downhill from here.
  • I’m not working toward achieving my goals in endurance athleticism, and if I continue this way my goals won’t be achieved.
  • I don’t have a home that’ll be ‘repinned,’ but we’ll always have a “fun house.”
  • My mom has opposing views on how to live, parent, grandparent and what is appropriate for young children. I can’t change her, I can only amend my expectations and my own behaviors.
  • There are only so many active hours during the day, and sleeping less will only negatively affect following days.
  • At the rate I have been going, I’ll never have a book published.

Removal

I’ve removed many rocks over the last year of practicing Baptiste Yoga. I restored long-time dormant relationships, connected with people on a deeper level, came to terms with being awful at working from home, committed myself to my family, accepted that some things, people and dreams are worth letting go of and that I’M ENOUGH. The latter, something that has been a driving factor my entire adult life: trying to prove my worth to others through outside achievements.

Getting out of the rat race and resisting the need for approval is a constant toil. I still have moments when, though I have enough on my plate, I feel the need to do more. I have times when I feel like I’m being lazy, even when I’m rushing from one thing to the next. I have times when I obsess over the steps I’ll take after the next thirteen, and others when my past preys on my mind: trying to figure out why I am who I am and if or why I’m at a disadvantage.

These are rocks I’ll keep chipping away at, but this time around I’m going after physical things that are holding me back. I’m heeding advice from the book I read at the beginning of 2015 and I’m ridding my home from top to bottom of excess, bit by bit and often.

Then I took it a step further

People always tell one another to drop the past. That it’ll make them a happier, more fulfilled person if they move on and focus on the future. It sounds like rainbows and butterflies, but I’m already so happy and fulfilled, and I decided years ago, after binge-reading memoirs, that I didn’t go through all that I did just to keep it to myself. I need to hold onto my memories, because what if, suddenly, I wake up and they’re gone? What if I lose them without telling my story?

don't let this happen

On the final day of restoration week, I decided to remove all those rocks. I wrote a timeline, starting from things I don’t actually remember thoroughly going into what I did: childhood cancer, my dad moving out of state without a goodbye during my treatment, dealing with absentee parents as my mom attended med school, getting sent to live with my grandparents and various friends in middle school, hard, heavy and frequent drug use before I hit high school, rehab, dating violence and near-death experiences that stemmed from that, visiting my abuser in jail, teen pregnancy, teen marriage, domestic violence, alcoholism, sobriety, divorce, finding home as a single mother, finding true love, graduating college, beginning the workforce, my second marriage.

It’s just a framework, with few details, but it’s there. So it’s begun. I feel like I removed a boulder.

Drop the Drama

I have a lot of feelings.

Ever find yourself watching Teen Mom on purpose? Lifetime movies? Crying over songs Justin Timberlake wrote for Jessica Biel? Super Bowl commercials?

It can get a little embarrassing, but I do. When people open up about great loss, when they open up over great triumph, when they make something beautiful, when they display any degree of passion in any direction–I cry. I can face it: I cry a lot.

Past

As a kid, my mom and other relatives would call me a “drama queen,” and it caused me great hurt. My feelings felt so real to me; how could people who love me devalue them like that?

When I grew into an adolescent, I rebelled against my feelings. I hated that I was emotional, so I took on a persona of  “hippie” and “chill”. Drama free, care free. I wanted to be Cool Girl, and I steered clear of all people who were always fighting about who knows what, in favor of others who shared the same carefree careless attitude toward life. I wanted to be strong.

As an adult, I embrace my feelings, and take pride in the empathy I have for others. I learned that strength comes from knowing yourself, expressing yourself fearlessly, and inspiring others to do the same. I steered away from the drama-filled people and the careless, and confide in people who are emotionally aware. Now, I’m really drama free, right?

Present

Not quite. A little perspective I gathered from my 40 days meeting today:

Just because you steer clear of unnecessary conflict and people who are always wrapped up in it, doesn’t make you bulletproof from drama.

How often do you think, “Well, I really want to _______, BUT _____,” where BUT is some aspect of life that you allow to limit your growth?

  • “I really want to lose weight, BUT I can’t make the time to work out.
  • “I really want to eat healthy, BUT I hardly know how to cook.
  • “I really want to blog everyday, BUT I worry that there’s nothing valuable in what I have to say, and no one will care.
  • “I really want to simplify my life, BUT first I have to tend to my to-do list.

These are limiting beliefs I’ve let control my actions–my life even. I bring drama to things like going for a run because I haven’t done the laundry yet. I bring drama into cooking because I might fail again, I bring drama into blogging because “Oh no, I posted a link to my blog on Facebook and now people who I know could read about how I really feel and things I do that no one probably cares about and I’ll be vulnerable and they’ll judge me and my writing isn’t good enough and and and!” 

I bring drama into finding misplaced objects: “Where is that f*cking thing?” and as I continue to look, “Damn it! I can’t live in this mess!” and I bring drama into laundry: “I’m going to fold some laundry, but first I need to find a movie on Netflix to watch while doing that.” Then later, “Ugh! Why does Netflix keep messing up, I’m trying to focus on getting this stuff done!” 

Future

Now that I’ve noticed these thought patterns, I can bring ease into my daily life. I can stop thinking about what could limit me, and just BEGIN. I can think to myself, “Where is that useful object?” and replace the word “f*cking” with “delightful” in any situation. I can glide over the hurdles effortlessly if I’m focused on the finish line. All I need to do is see and drop the drama.

Is there something simple in life that you add drama to? Let me know in the comments!

 Featured image found on https://myfitwitjourney.wordpress.com/

A little secret…

I did a few posts about my family trip to Southern California. I made posts about L.A., Disneyland, our stay at the fabulous Parker Palm Springs, and a road trip to take from Palm Springs. But there’s one thing I didn’t mention, and I’ve been keeping offline for six weeks.

A little back story:

Mark and I’s courtship began with an impromptu trip to the sunny state of California. Once running buddies then with a few dates between us, we flew across the country to see the beaches of San Diego, taking turns glancing at each other with enamor in our eyes and laughing about how unreal it all seemed. Then we agreed: “Yep, you’re my type of crazy.”

Fast forward a couple years and a few million more of those glances and memories, we were engaged. I soon threw myself in a frenzy of wedding research, excited at the chance to have a dream wedding with my soul mate—both of which I had, at one point, given up on the idea of—only to be disappointed that in our culture of Bridezillas and materialism, vendors are taking advantage of people who are vulnerable to those dreams and raising costs accordingly. We considered all of the OTHER dreams we could pursue at the same price of ONE, bought flights back to The Golden State where it all started and… Continue reading

My Face Hurts.

Deciding to become a stay-at-home mom was a long, drawn out process that was fraught with worry and hesitation. In May of 2013, after a few long and hard years of going to college while caring for a child, most of which was during a divorce, I graduated from a four year university. Those school years were plagued with doubt, and I was constantly terrified of how disappointed everyone would be if I couldn’t get a job after those years of leaning on others for support. I took the second job I was offered. Then, I stumbled upon an opportunity that was better for me and my home life, and jumped at it. Working from home, part time, for 150% better pay than the first. Perfect.

It was only a couple of months in before I realized how unsuited I was for the gig. I was disorganized, I lacked passion about my subject matter, and I lacked self-motivation. Week after week, I was suffering from self-imposed stress because I was focusing more on my duties as a homemaker and a mother than on being an employee. I was a failure. One day, in tears, I lamented to Mark, “I could climb the corporate ladder, I could be an entrepreneur, but nothing will give me as much satisfaction as raising my kids!” Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards for me. Continue reading

The 3 Best Comebacks for Snarky Moms

Moms are conditioned to put their guard up, beginning in the early days of pregnancy. From the first signs of a baby bump, all-knowing and well-seasoned mothers and grandmothers are more than happy to delve out advice for what worked for them, and are unaware of the critical glances they give as you state that you’re doing the opposite. We’re all self conscious of whether or not we’re doing the right thing by our children, so when someone challenges it by taking a different route, panic ensues, and defense mode leads to rude expressions and disapproving comments.

I get it, it’s a nerve-wracking job to take on. Just when you’ve convinced yourself that something isn’t a big deal, there’s a Dr. Freud or a Dr. Sears to let you know that you’re potentially ruining your kids’ psyches. Whoops!

Here’s the thing: parenting isn’t a competition. Here’s another: you’re not right, and neither is the other person–there’s no right way to do it. And something we all need to be reminded of: Your [honest and truthful] best is good enough.

Not everyone has been reminded of those things, so when you come across someone that’s being snarky, here are some of my favorite comebacks: Continue reading