Sometimes life has a way of teaching you every conceivable lesson at once and it feels so overwhelming that all you (I) want to do is eat pizza in bed until the wave of discomfort passes. That was this past week in my life. Now I'm sitting at Thunderbird writing this entry and finally for the first time in days, feeling a little relief from it all. Writing helps. It really does. I am grateful for this forum.
A lot is happening! My dad is in the hospital (he is okay and I am seeing him tomorrow, but it is a scary reality nonetheless--parents getting older and facing the reality of that), I got confronted this week by a woman who has held onto resentment toward me for four years for something I have no recollection of, I broke things off with a man that I liked but that I knew there was no potential with and I witnessed people treating each other in other unfortunate ways. I felt every human emotion possible. I'll divide the happenings into categories, which is also how Marissa and my series is framed to begin to think in these ways. It will help me organize my thoughts...my life...my ideas...and give them a place to live that is outside of my head.
For a long time, I was strictly paleo, meaning that I rarely if ever consumed grains, dairy, wheat, or even peanut butter. I've softened since, recognizing the pure enjoyment of pizza and ice cream sandwiches, but what I do know what is true for me as an individual is that my body often functions better digestive wise and general circulation wise when I am staying away from inflammation producing foods and beverages. Since starting my business, I've been stressed with trying to 'do it all!' I've been stubborn at times about receiving help and asking for it and have therefore felt a little out of control and have had moments of going into fear. I notice when I am in this space, I often feel as if my base line basic needs are not being met even if they are. I feel out of control and off kilter and so I will reach for tacos and more comforting foods that sometimes leave my digestive system confused and working a little to hard. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with a taco or a slice of pizza, but I know that when I am in better touch with my body and what it wants...and practice mindfulness around eating, I can enjoy and savor what I choose to put into it instead of just grabbing and going on the fly. I'd like to become more mindful of this without beating myself up in those moments of mindless eating. It's all a practice, just like everything. This seems like a time for re-evaluation of food choices and really being with the food instead of rushing through the experience of it.
As much as I wish I could say that I've worked through all my body image issues, that would be a complete lie. I haven't. Over the past few years, I have gotten a lot better at listening to my body and what it wants in order to cultivate a more loving relationship with it, but recent events triggered what feels like a reversion to old ways of thinking. I was in a situation in which I saw a photo of a woman who in my opinion, was the standard ideal of beauty and it sent me into a tailspin of comparison and self-judgment. This woman had very large, fake breasts...and my breasts have been something I have been insecure or unsure about forever...so it just hit this trigger for me. Recognizing where that comes from is probably the important place to begin healing....but it made me realize that I still have a lot of nurturing to do of myself for myself. There is always room to grow and heal from old trauma wounds. Of not feeling good enough, pretty enough, tall enough, thin enough...etc etc. So I'm recognizing this now...and instead of going back to old patterns of behavior which used to look like food restriction and overly rigid exercise regimens, I am simply noticing and giving myself more of what will soothe and nurture me. My yoga practice and new fun running program as well as dance and laughter are major medicines for me moving forward.
Sometimes when external circumstances are intense, I go inside a shell. I procrastinate, I hide, I push away...and I do notice this at times with work. Now that I have my own business, how I'm feeling can be a direct reflection of my work and vice versa. With things being pretty intense right now energetically and circumstantially, I find myself not wanting to sit still long enough to plan, to write, to advertise and reach out to the right people for help. I become a spinning top and I forget how to be begin. My life coach asked me to think about where my business is going next and honestly it is going to take a lot of sitting and thinking and being still long enough to create an action plan. It is inside me but I can get so swept up in the whirlwind of everything, that I begin to feel ungrounded and forget what is up and what is down. Meditation is helping with this. Having started a 10 month meditation teacher training with the assignment to sit everyday and a community holding me accountable, I have a lot of opportunities to settle into stillness and just be with myself. This, in my opinion, is the best way to get information about what's next. It curbs impulsivity and increases the freedom for creativity.
This is a sensitive spot for me that I am continually working with. My relationship with money is one that is currently a bit shame laden, because I was financially blind for a long time as many people are. Taking a look at finances sometimes makes my stomach turn and insides cringe but I am starting to see it as an energetic exchange. Where attention goes, energy/money follow. In my first month of business, I was so deeply committed to my practice, my plan, my goals....and I saw incredible results. Not to say that beautiful gifts haven't been happening since (they have!) but I seem to have gotten a bit sidetracked and my attention went elsewhere due to fear and distraction, and then I got a little out of touch with my money and felt kind of out of control. The thing is, we should neither grasp money nor waste it....but I think that everything I'm putting my money to currently is for good reason, minus the occasional frivolous purchases...but I suppose I should take the judgement out of that as well. So I am learning. My life coach made me stare at a 100 dollar bill the other day. I cried and cried. For so many of us, money can inspire so much fear. It prevents people from getting out of situations and taking risks. It prevents us from making changes and sometimes keeps us so paralyzed that we don't act at all. As a business owner, I'm learning about money for sure...which, perhaps was something I wasn't quite ready for prior to now...but it is certain something I can't avoid any longer. It's interesting growing up in a family where money was never questioned and it was always available...and now, feeling the fear of not having enough of it...and I often wonder about the cultural collective of being Jewish and there being an undeniable history of oppression and an actual fear of scarcity. I suppose that could be a part of it...but I am now learning to believe that I am good with money. I am responsible with money. And I don't need to fear. Everything is working out.
My friendships are so important to me, as they form what I feel to be my 'chosen family.' The women in Austin who surround me are kind, talented, independent and very much in a state of figuring things out. We communicate clearly as often as possible and when there is an issue, we strive to talk about it without letting it fester. I feel healthy in my friendships and they flow. I've gotten pretty good at weeding out the relationships that don't serve me and I continue to learn about my boundaries and limits. What is not so clear to me at the moment is the arena of dating and men...so I'm putting that on hold for now, as I focus on me and work and cultivating health in that realm. When I am unclear about what I want, which happens when I'm so wrapped up in the whirlwind of life, I attract equally ambivalent or confused people who are often unavailable for a deepening bond. Now, it's time to get clear within myself so I can have a chance at, when the time is right, a relationship that can actually go somewhere instead of the pseudo relationships I had been attracting. No judgement about other forms of relationships, because I know different set ups work for different people, but I think I am quickly learning that in order to stay on my course, I need to be clear and true with myself that I am not emotionally equipped to handle open-relationships or sexual relationships without emotional intimacy. It confuses my system.
God? Yeah. He's there. I've lately been feeling disconnected to source even though I am always well aware of the presence of a higher power who is always looking out for me. When I do not trust, I easily go into fear. When I go into fear, I lose out on the opportunity to really know where I'm being guided. I get confused and lose my footing. I have every piece of evidence to believe that I am taken care of. That my business is meant to be. That I am meant to be on this path. Meditation brings me much closer to this. Being still long enough to hear that still small voice within me that so effortlessly connects me to myself and true knowing.
It feels so good to write this all out. It's like a million pangs of doubt and fear have left my body and now I have more space to cultivate goodness....to forgive myself, to forgive others...my defense mechanisms lessen and I feel more open. That's part of why the journey of this business has been so profound for me. I am being forced to open doors and learn lessons that I otherwise may have been shielded from noticing. Here's to more life. A life of being awake and true to myself.