Tag Archives: Risk

#reverb13: Day Five

reverb13Challenge: Did you take on a new challenge? What was it? Is there are challenge you deliberately avoided? What do you want to do to challenge yourself in 2014?

The new challenge was to shift my paradigm, my perspective and behavior, specifically in relation to food and my body, which leads to a shift in the whole shebang really. I entered the year feeling drained, having less energy, filled with a general sense of “this is not working.” I was tired of beating myself up, using criticism as a way to motivate myself, pushing past my limits, denying my needs, not allowing myself to have what I wanted, swinging between starving and stuffing myself, smashing myself to bits. It was a 30+ year failed experiment and I was finally willing to admit it and try something different.

At first, I sought out an expert, someone who could tell me what to do, fix me, heal me. I thought that meant I needed a new doctor, but we all know how that turned out, and I realized that it was actually about self-compassion, and the fact I wasn’t practicing it. I asked women I know to share their experience and practice, got a therapist, started practicing Intuitive Eating with an amazing group of women and brilliant facilitator to support me. I stopped dieting and weighing myself, stopped using external expectations as a measure of my worth, asked my body what it wanted to eat, how it wanted to move, what it needed. With help and support, I am becoming my own expert. I am saving myself by trusting myself.

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another picture from my photo shoot with Andrea Scher

The challenges I’ve avoided are related to my old habit of attempting to fix everything, thinking I was responsible. There are some difficulties I’ve had to release, in part because they don’t belong to me, are someone else’s problem. I do what I can, what I need to, and let the rest go. I lowered the bar to give myself room, ease, a chance at some success.

What I want to challenge myself to in 2014 — stop being a student and become the teacher, recognize my own truth, honor my own wisdom and authority, immerse myself in yoga teacher training to continue to repair and deepen my relationship to my physical body, change how I spend money so I can use more to manifest the future I’m working towards, put together a beautiful book and continue writing the other one, open my heart to another dog knowing full well it will break my heart, continue choosing a way of being that allows my life to feel like I want it to feel, trust my intuition about what to do next.

What was the greatest risk you took in 2013? What was the outcome? I put myself out there, showed up as I am. One way I did that was to attend three workshops in California with people I adored, some of whom I’d never met in person. These people mattered to me, and there was a risk that we’d meet and feel “meh…” or even worse, “yuck!” That didn’t happen, in fact those connections were deepened, enriched by the time we spent together.

my friend Sherry Richert Belul, who I finally met in person this fall

Another way I showed up, was present is here, this blog.  I wrote a lot about my experience, my struggles and joys, and there’s again always a risk that my kind and gentle readers would respond with “meh…” or even worse, “yuck!” And maybe some did, but others of you have not only stuck around, but offered me such kindness and support. I am so grateful for you.

P.S. Since Besottment typically posts the prompts later in the day, rather than wait, or come back and add to an already published post, I’ve decided to simply respond to those a day late.

Wishcasting Wednesday

homeskyFor today’s wishcast, Jamie asks, “What risk do you wish to take?” I am immediately reminded of one of my favorite quotes, from Muriel Rukeyser,

What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.

I wish to risk telling the truth. Telling my story even though it’s often embarrassing and messy and hard, leaning in and letting go, loving myself, being my own best friend, “willing to be stone stupid,” showing up not knowing and unprepared, keeping my heart open, raw and tender, being vulnerable, willing to be wounded.

The truth today is that I am taking another sick day, and as soon as I finish this I will lie down and maybe stay like that the rest of the day, still tired and achy, tender and sad, feeling like I am right at my edge but finally willing to stop, be still, take care of myself, no matter what anyone else might think about that, even as I am working with feeling guilty, a sharp shame surrounding my suffering, my need to rest, that even though it’s my 20th wedding anniversary today a part of me still wonders “does he love me?” and needs to be reassured.

#Reverb12: Day 10

reverb12There are a few extra prompts from over the weekend from Besottment that I’m catching up with here, and other ones that are on the wrong days because I can’t seem to keep them organized–but I like how no matter how I approach them, the right ones seem to come to me just when I’m ready to answer them, trusting in the process, the practice, the magic.

Funniest Story

The full prompt: What was your funniest story from 2012? This is a great prompt to have some fun with! Think of a funny story you were involved in, heard of, saw happen, etc. Describe what happened – is there any back story to it? What were the circumstances? Do you still chuckle when you think about it now?

For me, no one story stands out as memorable, as THE funniest. However, there are relationships where laughter happened on a regular basis–in my Writing for the Web class (I made them laugh, they made me and each other laugh), between Eric and I (we are always cracking each other up, over sometimes the dumbest things, stuff that would make no sense to anyone else), with my trainer (we both have a sense of humor equivalent to that of a 14 year old boy), and with the dogs (I don’t know if the dogs laugh or think things are funny, but they are constantly making me laugh).

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why the backyard needs grass: for running, rolling, lounging, and peeing on

This year I’ve became increasingly aware of my sensitivity to what I watch on TV–it has to be either funny without being too mean (no pranks of taking advantage of those who can’t defend themselves, no humor that is dependent on hurting someone), or a “feel good” story. I typically watch short episode comedies, with the occasional movie, when I watch TV. Shows like 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, The Mindy Project, Ben & Kate, New Girl, or The Office. On Netflix this year, I worked my way through How I Met Your Mother and then started My Name is Earl. (I really don’t watch as much TV as that all makes it sound like I do!)

Quote

The full post: What was the quote or saying that most resonated with you this past year? Was there any quote, mantra or saying that really spoke to you? Helped you through something? Made you smile?

The most significant quotes for me this year were:

Confidence is the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment. ~Susan Piver

We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves—the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds—never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake. ~Pema Chödrön

I have a hundred other favorites, but it was these two that came up, over and over–so often that I practically memorized them.

Nostalgia

The full prompt: Was there anything you were feeling nostalgic for in 2012? Anything that you were feeling nostalgic for? Something you were yearning for from your past? A memory that wouldn’t leave you, or tradition that you wish you could continue?

I felt this longing for something past first when we went to the beach this summer. We have stayed in the same house in Waldport three times now, and one of those times was Obi’s final trip there. The second time in that house, the next trip we took to the beach, we brought some of Obi’s ashes with us to scatter in our favorite spot, and this last time, I brought a little bit more. When we visited the place on Driftwood Beach, scattered more of his ashes, letting him go little by little, there were yellow wild irises blooming.

obisirisesThen right after we got back from our trip, Dexter was diagnosed with a fatal cancer. We’d only lost Obi to his three years before. This made me again feel nostalgic for the days when Obi and Dexter were together and so in love, both young and healthy. Three years out, I had finally felt as if I’d released most of the pain surrounding Obi’s loss, that it had softened to gentle sadness and happy memory. And just as that ease occurred, the grief began with Dexter. If only I could know for sure that Dexter would get to be with Obi when he left us, it would be so much easier to let him go.

Obi and Dexter

Accomplish

The full prompt: What are the 10 things I’m most proud of accomplishing this year? What are 10 things on the to do list for next year? (Author: Lee Currie)

10 things I’m most proud of accomplishing this year

  1. My continued commitment to this blog, the ease and joy of this practice.
  2. Attending the World Domination Summit.
  3. Meeting so many women I admire and not throwing up on any of their shoes.
    feet
  4. Hosting a Well-Fed Woman Retreatshop, led by Rachel Cole.
  5. The poem I was brave enough to write and share at the Fearless Creativity Writing and Meditation retreat with Susan Piver.
  6. The way I’ve handled Dexter’s cancer, his care.
  7. Teaching.
  8. All the classes I’ve taken, the engagement and the learning.
  9. Connections I’ve made, so many amazing and like-minded, like-hearted people.
  10. 20 years with Eric, in a relationship that is functioning and workable, happy and loving.

10 things on the to do list for next year

  1. Take a lettering class, such as this one.
  2. Do a massive decluttering of our house.
  3. Send some things out to get published, both in print and online.
  4. Increase my HTML and CSS knowledge, specifically learn to set up and maintain a WordPress site on my own server.
  5. Heal my body, my relationship with it.
  6. Cultivate my meditation practice so it rivals my writing practice.
  7. Another retreat with Susan Piver.
  8. Explore and learn what it might mean, be like to teach an ecourse, (consult the experts).
  9. Catch up the home repair and improvement project list.
  10. Determine what a “balanced” like looks like and live it.

Soul Food

The full prompt: How do you nourish your soul? What activities are essential nutrients for your soul’s well-being?

buddhafeatherPractice: yoga, meditation, word, and dog.

Study: reading, reading and more reading, responding to prompts, taking classes, attending workshops and retreats, watching video and listening to podcasts, showing up and doing the work.

Connection: consulting with teachers and other open-hearted, wise beings, being open to whatever arises, synchronizing body and mind, connecting with nature and reality and myself.

Creation: art, space, and love.

Greatest Risk

The full prompt: What was the greatest risk you took in 2012? What was the outcome?

Being myself. Maybe I wouldn’t like her, maybe she’d be boring or insane, maybe Eric wouldn’t like her, maybe I’d have to choose between her and him, maybe she’d ruin my life, maybe she’d have nothing to say, no skill, nothing to offer, maybe she’d be less than I imagined, small, maybe she’d have something to say but no one would want to hear it, maybe she’d be hated, unlikeable, maybe she wouldn’t like who liked her, maybe she’d be impulsive, reckless, so selfish that she’d end up alone and unloved, maybe she’d fail, ruin my life.

None of these things turned out to be true. I adore her, and she’s doing really good work, helping people, easing suffering in the world.

eyei

Scars

The full prompt: (this is the one I’m doing out of order, but it’s the right time now). They leave marks, and sometimes you can only take what you can carry. What will you, by choice or by chance, carry into 2013?

I will carry with me the consequences, the karma of mistreating myself, of denying my power, resisting my calling, rejecting my need for love and affection. There is real physical damage, a literal weight I carry with me, but there is also mental and emotional baggage, old habits and ways of being that no longer serve me, but are sticky and deep, patterns of behavior, discursive and destructive thinking, ways of numbing out, resisting and rejecting, running away from the truth. Judgement and criticism, anxiety and depression, practiced for so long, so intently that they don’t fall away in an instant, not even after concentrated effort. There remain faint lines, bumps, jagged raised scar tissue. They ache in the cold and itch in the heat, old hurts, lingering damage that can resurface under certain conditions.