May 31, 2015

I went and broke my body


2015 has been a whirlwind of a year for me so far. I can only assume that its theme is: "Here... let me show you exactly what still needs to be cleaned up...but we're going to do it at an intense and rapid rate."

"Why spread over 5 years, what can be done in one?” is my typical attitude—that attitude is also my typical problem.

I'm a quick paced, over-achieving, fast moving, fast thinking person, so a small part of the way this year's lessons are all being handed to me suits me just fine. The big part of it is causing me to collapse.   

And that was my light bulb moment. 

Let me tell you, I am so sure that had I not been actively working on myself for the past few years and acutely more aware of myself and my inner workings...I'd probably be lying in fetal position, crying, in bed, refusing to come out from under the covers until life becomes fair—except probably worse than that. 

Out of all of the stressful challenges I've been faced with recently, by far the most debilitating one is that I have pretty much been sick for the past 6 months with scattered periods of health.

For someone who has never had to deal with chronic physical pain or sickness before in my life...my tolerance level for it is incredibly low but my compassion and empathy for those who have experienced it is exceptionally high at the moment—it’s hugely affecting my ability to handle all else the way that I normally would. Even my everyday tasks and routines feel like a steep and jagged rock climb. My immune system is shot. 

I used to laugh in the face of germs—recently, I fight urges to use disinfectant spray as perfume—I see a coughing person in my vicinity and I move to another country—I want to wear a hazmat suit every time I venture out of my house—I have become one of those mothers I swore I'd never become and chase my kid around with a face cloth and hand sanitizer. Germs have the capacity to scare the pants off me. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I suspected that I was burning out in 2014. Truthfully I’ve probably been in the process of burning out for years, but I’m too stubborn to have fully accepted or acknowledged it. I’ve been writing about simplifying my life for a while now, and I actively have been. It’s clearly not simple enough though and it might have been too little too late to avoid this place I'm at. I'm trying to release a lifetime of habits that don't serve me in the least bit. 

So as I sit here today typing this, because I could be dying and I'd still be writing something, somewhere. (At least I think I would. Or maybe I just want to give in and whine about how sick I've been. I haven't decided yet.) 

My body is aching, my sinuses are on fire, my ears hurt, my throat is inflamed, I’m cold yet sweating, and I still feel a world better than I did this morning before taking a hot bath. 

I was barely able to get myself up the stairs to do so, but I sure am glad I forced myself.

As I slowly let my body slip into the hot water, the sensation of relief was so intense that I groaned out a very grateful “Thank youuuuuuu.”

Out loud!

I startled myself.  

Who said that?

Who was I thanking—the water?

And I realized it was actually my bodies’ sentiments and I was merely being its voice.

It spoke to me.

I’m not too proud to admit that I cried, and if I wasn't so sure that my body had just expressed gratitude, I’d think I was looney.  

My poor body.

I've pushed it so hard my whole life and now I've gone and broke it real good—I broke it, and it’s still thanking me for the temporary relief and comfort I had given it!

As I lay there in the Himalayan salt and eucalyptus soak that I couldn’t smell at all…Dr. Christiane Northrup’s book “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” popped into my mind. It’s a book that I read for the SWAT Institute, and I'd read it all over again in a heartbeat. 

So I started dialoguing with my body—with every ache, with every pain, with my exhaustion, with my inflammation.

What did it need?

Why was it there?

What was it trying to tell me?

It had my full attention and boy, did I get answers.

I figured some affirmations wouldn't hurt any, so I started with “I am healthy…”

That felt like absolute malarkey as soon as I said it, so I went with “I am healing.”

That felt just right.

Some emergency self-care is in order—self-care, self-compassion, self-acceptance and self-love.

During this rocky and unpredictable time that we're going through, for however long it may last, I desperately needed to remember that no matter what, I will be good.   


“ That I would be good even if I did nothing
  That I would be good even if I got the thumbs down
  That I would be good if I got and stayed sick
  That I would be good even if I gained ten pounds
  That I would be fine even if I went bankrupt
  That I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth
  That I would be great if I was no longer queen
  That I would be grand if I was not all knowing
  That I would be loved even when I numb myself
  That I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
  That I would be loved even when I was fuming
  That I would be good even if I was clingy   
  That I would be good even if I lost sanity
  That I would be good whether with or without you” 

                                                                 | Alanis Morrisette




May 20, 2015

when your passion goes AWOL

There is such a thing as caring too much

Trust me, the struggle is real. 

Very often, strong-willed, passionate people can suffer from this pandemic that I like to call OCC: Obsessive Compulsive Caring. 

They’ve long begun to give themselves up to their passion as opposed to giving of themselves for their passion—and the trouble with us kind of crazy but still endearing folk is that the line that separates giving of ourselves and giving up ourselves is a fine one—one that doesn’t always send out big loud warning signals when crossed.


And then one day…

 *POOF*

You’re waking up and heaving your carcass out of bed in the morning just to sit at the edge of it feeling utterly lifeless, uninspired and underwhelmed by your own existence. If you could find your ability to give a shit, you’d be highly unimpressed with yourself for not giving a shit.

When did life become so bleak? 

When did people become so dull?

When did I become so antisocial?

Dear good gawd, I’ve become a flat-liner!

All that once breathed life into you—your driving force—the very reasons you’d jump out of bed in the morning, could now go to hell in a handbasket for all you care.

All of it.

The only thing worse than staring blankly into the abyss, as you try to figure out where you’ve misplaced you passion… is... um...nothing.

Nothing is worse and I’ll tell you why.

We’re dependent on passion. Passion is the very thing we use to define who we are and what we contribute. We have no life outside of our fire—so we take it personally when it seems to have burnt out on us.

Surely, there must be something wrong with me!

Side Note: Wouldn’t it be nice if fear, anger, hurt and embarrassment would get lost as easily as passion does?

So what do you do when your passion goes AWOL?

You take a deep breath and you stop.

Yunhun…

You just stop.

Stop trying to force it.

Stop trying to make it happen.

Stop banging your head against the desk...

the computer keyboard…

the piano keys…

the easel…

Stop banging your head against the notion that passion is the end-all and be-all to your worth. 

Stop meditating on it…

Stop reciting affirmations about being passionate when it feels like complete bullshit, because guess what? Right now, it is.   

Stop wondering why it left you and start realizing that your unconscious mind arranged for you to take a sabbatical from your passion for your own damn good because you weren’t going to do it on your own—it just took a while for your consciousness to catch-up and clue in that you’ve lost your balance somewhere along the way and you need it back. Stat. 

So stop.

Stop and go do other life instead.

Do curious life…

Do Backburner life.

Use the opportunity to actually do the one day I will life you’re always talking about.

Do if I had more time life…

Do mundane life…

Do practical life…

Do that which is merely enjoyable life…

Do get on your hands and knees and scrub the hell out of your house life…

Do ‘oh dear god, not this crap again!’ life…

Do listless life…

Do simple life…

Wash your dishes at the kitchen sink and gaze out your window at the garden you never planted. Notice that you're now staring out at some uninspiring diddly squat because you once had passion. Feel the warmth of the water—smell the aroma of your dish detergent—notice the simplicity of the moment and make plans to finally plant those flowers. Wash your dishes like it’s the most important thing you’ll do today, because according to your temporarily monotonous existence, it will be, so you might as well wash ‘em like you’re Martha Stewart on camera.  

Feel the inner-vacancy within you. Be with your lack of purpose.

You’re not empty or incomplete without your passion—No-no! You’re spacious!—prime emotional real-estate because you, my friend, have gained inner square footage for other life!

Notice the space but don’t judge the space—don’t try to fill the space up with frustration, fear or guilt just so it won’t be empty.

Enjoy the bare white walls of inner possibility.

Passion is a rowdy, fast-moving, stimulating energy and it takes up a lot of damn space—passion monopolizes E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G and we’re often much obliged to let it. It’s always screaming at you to “Pay attention to me, pay attention to me!” while everything else gets pushed to the wayside in order to make room for it.

So while it’s gone, don’t worry about its return—sort through what has accumulated in that wayside and then go do whatever it is you find there!

Bask in the stillness of your passionless life and use the time to cultivate a curiosity and interest for all other life so that you can be brought back to life. 

Trying to boss your muse around works about as well as trying to get a pre-teen boy to take a shower. 

So just stop.

Your inner fire will be back in full blazing glory before you know it—just as it always has.