Maybe it's because of my weakened physical health (10 days and counting with sinusitis, woof. I am officially "that girl" on the bus these days that everyone cringes to sit next to), but it seems that my sneaky little ego is upping it's efforts to make me feel less than stellar.
Reaching into its go-to bag of tricks, the ego has pulled out the following slightly less-than-loving messages;
* Lose weight. You look about as sexy as a tree stump.
* You are a terrible friend. It's a wonder you manage to keep any kind of social circle outside of Blanche, Dorothy, Sophia and Rose. And by the way, haven't you seen this episode 42 times already? How are you still laughing so hard?
* You suck as a daughter, sister, cousin, niece. What a disappointment you are to your family. Tsk tsk. Shame on you.
* You've made so many past relationship mistakes there's no way you will ever be happy in a partnership again. Oh...you are currently happy? Ha. The other shoe is dangling, darlin'. You'll screw it up soon enough.
Yowza. Enter the swirling. You know that feeling? When one bad thought leads to another, pushing you down a critical path of nit picking, guilt carrying, self-hating judgments? As I was showering yesterday this kind of swirling was at an all time high. It was so bad, in fact, I realized that tears had been falling down my cheeks for a few minutes and I hadn't even noticed. My "Trish's Faults" list making was giving me a headache. What a craptastic way to start the week.
And then in the midst of my salty cheeked conditioning I suddenly heard my spirit say, ever so gently and quietly, let go, baby.
Phew. It was so good to hear from her.
There are certain things you can do to dig yourself out of these ego-driven funks. You can reach out to friends, go for a walk, have a dance party for one, take a bath, listen to good music, snuggle a snaggle toothed bulldog, etc etc etc. Actively shifting your perspective and placing yourself in positive scenarios is for sure a healthy and self-loving step to take towards sunnier days. But sometimes these things act as too-temporary band-aids. Sometimes to most effectively deal with the swirls you simply have to let go, baby. Stop clinging. Let it be. It is far better to be an observer of your life than a judge. So just observe. Stop thinking so much and observe. Is it really necessary for you to make heads or tails of the past? Or can you let go and let it live there without your judgments?
As for the future? Like my sweet B said on the phone yesterday, "Eh, you don't need to worry so much about the future. Just be here now".
Let go or be dragged. Damn, ain't it the truth.
On our last day in Costa Rica the coaches leading the retreat had us sit for a few minutes in the beautiful outdoor yoga pavilion to partake in a final exercise of self-love. This exercise consisted of writing a letter to ourselves which would be sent in the following weeks post retreat, the idea being that it would serve as a reminder once thrust back into the "real world" of all we had learned and experienced during our magical time together.
Have you ever written yourself a letter of any kind, let alone a love letter? It may feel like a pretty silly practice--I know when I first held the pen in my hand I stared at the blank card and thought what the heck do I say to myself? This is a little goofy.
But then I stopped thinking with my ego and just let go (which could honestly be the tag line for my book on how-to-live-most-happily). I let my spirit quickly write this short and sweet note to myself without interruption from insecurities. Without re-reading what I wrote, I sealed the sucker up and handed it over to my coaches. The best thing about receiving my note a few days ago (besides the fact it was snail mailed and holy heck do I love me some snail mail) was that I had no memory of what I had written--it was as if I were seeing the words for the first time; as if someone else entirely had sent me this card. Even my handwriting is slightly off from my normal penmanship! Kinda trippy, right?
I debated on whether or not it would be "cool" to share this with you all here--admittedly it's a bit humbling (read: embarrassing) to showcase--but I think my readers, in all of their wonderfulness, will understand the point of my posting it. Plus, as a line from my favorite movie says, "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we're uncool...":
"Miss Trish, my darling girl-
There's no denying that deep within your glorious soul there has always dwelled a sparkling, shiny, powerful light. Since birth you have had a gift to share, but I know thru the years it has been difficult to really acknowledge this--to activate it. I just wanted you to know that now is your time--now is all there ever is. I wanted to tell you that you are ready...and that not only do I wholly, completely, unconditionally love you but I will never, ever leave you. Shine, beautiful one. Soar. Play. Laugh. Share. Be. Trust. Connect. Travel. Explore. Write. LOVE. Always love. You will live beyond your wildest dreams; you will help others live beyond theirs. Me & You, kid.
I love your guts,
I've said it before--the one person you are stuck with for your entire life, is yourself. If you can't learn to make the effort in ensuring it's a positive relationship by practicing a lil self lovin' now and again then...well...life is going to be a heck of lot less enjoyable. I can guarantee it.
So, what would you lovingly tell yourself in a moment of uncool?
I bet you'd be surprised to see how awesome you think you are :)
Despite having a nasty germ filled body right now I am feeling grateful for my week spent with the goose...
And my ability to order In-N-Out as a lunchtime treat for our team, despite being home sick in bed...
And the blessing that is having company funded credits to Exec, a service that charges $25 an hour for their help with an endless list of to-dos, errands, odd jobs, etc. Thanks to them I was able to have 2 vitamin C packed smoothies and 1 juice delivered from my favorite organic shop. How do we feel about my plan to drown and pee out the germs?
By Kim Walker
This is my Knee Penguin. I love her almost as much as my real pet dog Eva. Almost.
I am not an athlete by nature, like our other dear guest blogger Shannon. While all the other kids were joining intra-mural sports I was reading really bad sci-fi novels about dragons. I didn’t lay a groundwork of health like all the other elastic, spry pre-teens around me. “Tendonitis? What’s that? Did you hear Josh asked me to Spring Fling? Whee! Giggle giggle run run. Fitness!” Post-college was the first time I ever ran a mile. A real shitty mile. But slowly, with epic whining and kicking and screaming, my dear husband pulled me into a life of pseudo athleticism. I was always creaky and bad at it, but I started to see it’s merits. Then I broke my left foot and visited a physical therapist for the first time. My calf practically disintegrated and 5 years later has left a serious imbalance in what little strength my legs do have. A few years later I barely ran a half marathon, damaging myself severely along the way, and wound up in physical therapy again. Both times they loaded me up with a series of exercises that made me look like a jackass and I decided it was easier to just not run or be active anymore than to work to solve the imbalance.
Then I fell for a ‘sport’ and actually had a reason to want to succeed. I’m addicted to circus. I do flying and static trapeze and lyra. For the first time I cared about my body’s performance. And, surprise, it didn’t cooperate. I was injured all. the. time. It was so frustrating and I couldn’t just stop, because I loved it.
My third round of physical therapy came from a mysterious bout of very acute knee pain. I generally feel a pretty consistent level of knee pain, so I tried to ignore it, but this was bad. It was either a torn meniscus, strained bicep femoris, or a tight IT band. Regardless of the diagnosis, the treatment was the same. More goofy exercises. And, mysterious black tape.
Three physical therapists crowded around my knee, poking at it. I am apparently hyper-mobile in all my ligaments. Near as I can translate, this means I’m a walking jello blob. Tasty, but not very structurally sound. They discussed various ways to tape my ‘hyper mobile patella’ then decided on the method pictured above. It looked exactly like a penguin, causing me to envision a class in which advanced medical professional practice taping zoo animals to various body parts. “Oh, my, looks like this rotator cuff could use a good Hippopotamus taping.” “No, I disagree, this situation clearly merits a Giraffe.”
Then the magic happened. I walked out of the office and my penguin knee didn’t hurt. At all. Instead, my right knee (my ‘good’ knee) hurt really damn bad. Moreover - I realized it wasn’t a new kind of bad. It was pain I was living with every single day, not even when I was doing something athletic. It wasn’t until my penguin knee felt good, that I could truly comprehend how bad my ‘normal’ knee was. I had just ‘learned to live’ with a situation that was completely unacceptable. Because changing it would have been hard or scary or time consuming, I dug in and dealt with it. I only paid attention to the loudest, most obnoxious pain in my ‘bad’ knee.
And cue the hol-EE-shit moment: if I removed “knee” and “penguin” from the paragraph above, what was I left with? An insidious undercurrent running through most of my life. So many little bad habits and small negative choices settle in around us all day every day, and we let it happen. Because there are louder, more pressing concerns and pains distracting us. And because even the thought of making the small changes is sometimes more exhausting than overhauling the big ones. But they all matter. They’re all connected and worth our attention. No pain, no matter how small, is ever worth ignoring. Sometimes the right course may be to listen to it and live in it. Or we can listen to it and choose to not focus on it, but that choice should be conscious. Acknowledging the legitimacy of our pains, big or small, mental or physical, must be holistic, or we’ll wind up horribly imbalanced. And in desperate need of taped zoo animals.
failing at my trick candles :)
My 28th birthday was supremely delicious from start to finish. I've been meaning to tell you that since the day afterward, but I admittedly got caught up in a shuffle of travel, weddings, family and (very) cute boy time. But it was. I ate up every moment of it.
My eyes naturally opened at around 6am (far, far earlier than my normal rise and shine time) and for 45 glorious minutes I cherished, adored and loved every bit of my being. OK OK, that full on sounds like I got a little freaky bow-chica-bow-wow with myself (which also could have been a nice way to start my 28th year), but I don't mean it in that way. I just mean I took 45 minutes to breathe deeply. To lie still and peacefully in the perfect early morning light beginning to trickle its way through my blinds, underneath a fluffy sea of white, freshly laundered blankets. I gave thanks for the potential in another year; I gave thanks for the 27 memory filled ones of my past. My friends often tease me about my morning self-love routines, but it's one of the best parts of my day. I'll have to post about how it has helped to change my life another time...
After putting on my favorite yoga clothes I head out onto a quiet street to grab a cup of coffee and a bagel across the way. I then chatted with my sweet Jenny, who called as soon as her eyes opened (the jig was up when I heard her morning-voiced "Happy birthday, Pats!" scratch through the line). Out of habit I avoided walking down one neighborhood street in particular on my way to the Bay due to my desire to avoid a possible run in with a guy I dated last year. Then, naturally, he almost ran me over as we both turned the corner at the same time. I said hey! He waved. I tripped. We kept walk/running in our respected directions.
Oh Universe, you sure do have a sense of humor :)
The reason I mention this is because on my previous birthday I had cried over his lack of effort to come to dinner with my friends...or even call. I had cried because, frankly, he deeply hurt my feelings and it was a confusing, sad, weird 8 months of dating.
I mention this because it amazed me to notice I didn't flinch at seeing him and could even manage to crack up at myself for tripping...I giggled for a solid 3 blocks to Jenny on the phone, crowning myself the most graceful (read: awkward) gal in the Marina.
And I mention this because it's good to be reminded of how much time and space can serve to bring us new perspective; how much they can heal us, if we let them. It was beautiful to think wow, I am so, so much happier right now than I was a year ago and know that this fact stemmed from a place of great personal patience, effort and love. The previous year all I could see was they ways in which I felt hurt during my time with him. But now? Now I can see all the amazing ways in which that time pushed me down a more positive road--not necessarily because of who he is, but because of how it gave me strength in who I am. I am able to forgive, release and even give thanks for his brief chapter in my story. Time is the great equalizer, Trish, so trust the process and let it do its job. Will this matter a year from now? Food for thought during those future in-the-moment breakdowns, ya know?
Twice a month Weebly has a private yoga class downstairs led by the awesome Lindsay. I may have mentioned once or twice (or 54 times) to our team in the weeks leading up how great it would be if folks gave it a shot on my birthday. Usually we only have between 3-6 participants but when it was time to downward dog on June 20th, eleven people participated--3 trying the practice for the very first time ever.
As Lindsey wound down the practice (side note: she kicked.our.butts.) she ever so kindly asked everyone to "send Trish love on her birthday, which fittingly falls on Summer Solstice, the day with the most light--just like our Trish." Let's be serious--this sentiment, combined with the fact folks had made time in their days to try something new simply because they knew it would make me happy...well, I couldn't hold back my tears. I turned around to face the group and choked out my gratitude. I am beyond blessed to work here.
That evening 14 women flanked my sides at dinner. 3 years in San Francisco and I can't believe I've managed to surround myself with so many beautiful female friends. They are love, light and forces to be reckoned with. I would not be where I am without them.
With about 15 minutes left in my day, I said goodnight to my sleepover buddy (the awesome cousin Meggie) and let myself drift easily, contently and....what else?....gratefully into June 21st.
My cup runneth over,