Human AF

Writing helps me figure things out. Myself. The world around me. My place in the world around me. All of it. I typically have everything sorted out before I bring it to a blog, but I am still in the process right now and thought I would try it this way. I might be all over the place, but that’s where I am.
I am a thinker. Sometimes that’s a good thing, and other times, not so much. I try so hard to feel my way through situations, but that just isn’t who I am. I have a hard time talking about my feelings because I have a hard time knowing how I feel about things. I prefer to figure everything out in my head and make sense of it. I suspect that can make it a bit of a challenge for the one who gets to therapize me. Don’t question that word. I love it. Yesterday I spent my therapy time on the couch NOT talking about the things I should have been talking about. Those things don’t feel good. I don’t necessarily know how they make me feel, but “not good” works. I tend to keep it light unless I absolutely know that I have to throw the uncomfortable thing out there. I like to share my joy. At the end of our session I felt like my therapist was ready to “kick me out of the nest.” I let her know that she would have to die to get rid of me. Which, for the record, isn’t true and I MIGHT not say again if given the opportunity. But she is fabulous and assured me that I didn’t need to go anywhere. On the drive home I was being less than compassionate toward myself for being so clingy and for not discussing the things that I should be sharing. Whatever SHOULD means. And yes, I know the quote about “shoulding on myself” because I am a walking, spiritual self help book. I felt like shit when I got home because I spent the entire drive in my head focused on all the things that are “wrong” with me and how I got that way. If Jon Kabat-Zinn had been there, he would have reminded me that as long as I am breathing there is more right with me than there is wrong with me. But he wasn’t riding with me. He’s a busy man. When I got home an amazing thing happened. I received a message from a Facebook friend. I don’t know this woman. I have met her one time. She seems to know me and really knew what I needed at that exact moment. She sent me a poem (I think it was a poem) called “Hiding.” It was absolutely beautiful and absolutely ME. It was about how I had spent that hour on the couch hiding. It was about how the horrible memories that keep coming up for me have been hiding because I wasn’t ready to know my truth. It was about how I hide from the world when I get overwhelmed. It was about all the ways I hide and how it’s all so necessary and completely OK. I let out that breath I didn’t even realize I had been holding. I began to relax. I let this woman know how timely her message was and how much I appreciate her. I even opened up to her and shared from my heart. Just wow. A beautiful God moment. A beautiful connection. And I am grateful.
Now I’ll take it back to the REAL issue I was upset with myself about. My need to cling. It’s a known fact that when I love a thing, I really love it. It’s been the joke of the week with my cacao consumption, but it’s true. I love it and love it and love it some more. I tend to feel like I can never have enough. It could be green smoothies, Buddha bowls, or kombucha. Driving home from Wilmington yesterday it occurred to me that my feeling of needing more might be (IS) a deep rooted feeling that I am not enough. Some days I know that I am broken. There is a piece missing that I have tried to fill in so many ways. With drugs. With sex. With alcohol. I have become more skillful in the ways I fill that hole. I have yoga, meditation, community and God. I have an amazing family and a ton of friends. Yesterday afternoon the feeling of not being enough was strong. That hole felt very large. Something is missing. What the fuck is it and what do I do about it? Sit with it? Keep doing the work until my heart and my head catch up with each other? Because I KNOW I am strong, powerful and capable. I know I am loved and that I AM LOVE. I also know feelings aren’t facts and not to believe everything I think, but I am human and some days are harder than others. I know a lot of things intellectually. Feeling them in my soul is another story. Maybe life is designed that way to keep things interesting. Maybe I need more. Maybe I need to stay out of my head so much. Writing helps.
I mentioned in session yesterday that as much as I love my work, something is missing. It was the first time I allowed myself to say those words out loud. It didn’t occur to me until I got in the bed last night that the Universe heard that statement and responded. I received a phone call just an hour after I got home yesterday from a woman who is having a very difficult time recovering from surgery. She is depressed and she is struggling. She wants to work with me one on one. I am going to meet with her today. I have more than enough to keep me busy and out of my head. I’m not sure I even need another thing on my calendar, but my heart said yes and I couldn’t argue with the fact that this was the exact thing I had just said I wanted. The Universe always responds.
Today is a new day. The sun is shining and right now at THIS moment I am content and I am grateful. Perhaps the trick is just to stay with the bad feelings until they pass. That sounds so simple. Maybe too simple. OR, perhaps the trick is writing about it, reading 5 books, therapy, energy healing, sound healing, yoga, meditation and a healing circle or three with an AA meeting thrown in there just because. Clearly, more is better. Today I am going to live my life, love the Hell out of the things I love, obsess a little less and remind myself that I am so enough I might even be too much. I’ll overthink that one another day. Being a human is hard.

Balance

I was getting really good at writing consistently for a minute. Until I wasn’t. Writing is the one thing that always feels like home to me, and yet, sometimes I avoid it. I missed all of April. It was a good month full of really high highs and some really low lows. I’m not bipolar and I don’t need medication. I just feel all the feels in a big way. It’s a good thing. Especially for someone who spent a lifetime numbing all those feels. I hosted Kirtan in the studio last month. It was powerful and it was beautiful. I am so in awe of this life that it occasionally takes my breath away. This was one of those times. To be in my studio surrounded by an entire collection of people I love and am loved by from all the different areas of my life was beyond amazing. AA peeps, yogis, Goddesses and a few friends from way back when. It was pure love. The vibration of that evening was so high that it took me a few days to recover. It was a huge crash after an outstanding high.
That weekend, Leon took me out to a rooftop bar for a concert in Wilmington. I wasn’t feeling it at all. That’s just not my scene anymore. But, Leon has loved the band that was playing since college and seeing him in his glory was fabulous. It was crowded and loud and as the evening wore on people were more and more obnoxious. Read drunk. I was well aware that I used to do the exact same thing, and I really tried to not be judgemental. I stepped out of the crowd and found a corner to chill in. Away from all the people. At that moment the Azalea Festival down below was coming to a close and the festivities ended with a huge fireworks display. I stood away from the crowd watching the fireworks which were phenomenal. What was even more phenomenal is that at that moment, I heard the lyrics of the song from the band. They were singing “Jesus Christ” over and over. They were calling out to THEIR Higher Power. It was like rock and roll Kirtan with awesome fireworks. It was so powerful that it’s hard to put into words. In that moment, in the sea of drunken chaos, I felt God. I shared it with Leon, but I’m not sure if he got it or not. I’m also not sure it was for him or anyone else to “get.” I got it. Loud and clear.
Then there are the lows. The lows for me last month came in the form of more repressed memories surfacing. I no longer feel crazy when it happens, but I do feel violated. It takes my breath away in a completely different way. My therapist assures me that eventually I will start to recover joyful memories once I clear out all the shitty ones. I can’t wait. For now, I’m still dealing with the shitty ones. They leave me feeling raw and vulnerable and afraid. When this happens, I want to hide from the world. Sometimes I can and sometimes I can’t. Sometimes I have places to be and things to do that I can’t put off. Those are usually the exact things I need in my life to distract me and put me back into the present moment. I’ve always thought gratitude was the quickest way to raise my vibration, but after an experience I had working with another woman last week, I think selfless service ranks right up there. Those AA people were right again. Who knew? Life goes on and I move forward with an entire network of awesome humans who love and support me. I let go again and again and again. As many times as I need to. I remind myself that I am safe. The present moment is a beautiful moment.
My month ended on an incredible high. I was asked to sub “Yoga Church.” People who know me understand why this was so huge for me. For those of you who don’t, here’s a little backstory. The woman who teaches the Sunday morning “Yoga Church” class I attend used to be my therapist. I paid her a lot of money to sit in her office and bitch about how much I hated my life and almost everyone I knew. There were times I would show up drunk for therapy and be a complete asshole. I called her in the middle of the night on the emergency line on more than one occasion because, clearly, I needed her. Her response to those calls was always “oh, it’s you.” Then there was the time she called me out for wearing a tiny skirt by telling me she could see my vagina. Because, obviously, nobody else was going to tell me. I’m sure I called her and bitched at her for telling me that after I got home. I could go on and on with the ways I loved to hate this woman. She was hard on me and she was exactly what I needed at the time. She’s so special to me. Eventually, I started to hear the things she was saying to me. I trusted her and she didn’t steer me wrong. She introduced me to yoga, meditation and a complete different lifestyle. A (mostly) wholesome lifestyle. Sitting in her seat to teach was one of the highlights of my sober life thus far. Not because I did an amazing job and taught a packed class. I didn’t. The class was tiny and I hopefully did alright. The fact that she asked me to do it was everything. I was so emotional on Sunday morning as I drove to that class. I experienced love, compassion and forgiveness for the girl I used to be. I also experienced the soul explosion of joy and gratitude for the woman I am today and this beautiful life that I have worked so hard for. In fact, the soul explosion was so huge, that I took a three hour nap on Monday and used the day to recover. Balance eludes me. I have big emotions. I think it’s just who I am. I know for sure it’s better than being numb.

Connected and Divinely Guided

I hosted a moon circle last night. Like I do. It was powerful. Like they are. I LOVE holding space for women to heal, grow and support one another. During the new moon we always spend time writing in our journals. We use the collective energy of the group and the power of the new moon to set our intentions. I always take a peek back at my last new moon entry to see if my intentions are now my reality. They usually are. Last night I laughed so hard at the fact that all of this shit I have been dealing with in my own healing journey is exactly what I asked for. Seriously. I could tell by my writing that I was a bit angry at the last circle. Or maybe defeated. It certainly wasn’t joy and optimism that I was experiencing. I wanted to be open and vulnerable and feel ALL THE FEELS. And guess what? HAHAHAHAHA The Universe handed that gift to me in so many ways. I am in the process of working through some newly unrepressed (that’s totally a word now) traumatic childhood memories. I have been sitting with a lot of anger and a lot of grief. But the world keeps spinning and moving and life goes on while I figure it all out. I’m not exactly sure how long that takes, but if there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that I can’t force anything. I am just riding the wave and allowing it all to unfold. There is a purpose to all of this. I know that my own experiences will help someone else. Somehow. Someway. I am slowly finding gratitude. Shifting into a space of gratitude happens in waves. I just knew that these memories were coming up because it was time for me to let go. I knew it was time. I knew I was safe. I knew I was creating space for something better. And then it happened. I was sitting in an AA meeting on Monday when I received a text from my landlord. I told him I could call him at 1:00. Then I proceeded to think of everything in the world that could possibly be wrong that he must want to speak to me about. Because as much as I teach others not to do this, my mind still goes there. One day maybe I’ll get control of that bitch. In the meantime, I’ll keep practicing. And guess what? There was not a thing in the world wrong. Everything was so right in fact, that my landlord wanted to let me know that when the time comes and I am ready to expand he wants to build onto the studio for me! WHAT?! Say it with me…..HOLY SHIT! I had already accepted the fact that expanding meant I would most likely have to relocate to a different space. This opens up a whole new world to me. Further confirmation from the Universe that I am in alignment with my divine assignment. The idea is exciting and I have more options now. I have a new list of things to think about. A bazillion to be exact. I haven’t been in the space very long, and “the season” hasn’t started and I am not sure how much yoga this island can support but I’ll figure it out. Rebel Soul is a healing space. There is so much potential. I have no desire to play small. I can do great things. I am loved and supported by a tribe of amazing people. I am connected and divinely guided.

Strong Enough

“That thing you are most afraid to write. Write that.” ~ Nayyirah Weed

An interesting thing happened to me last week. And by interesting I mean fucking horrible. I am not necessarily ready to write about it yet, but here I am anyway. Last week I had a lot of ugly and completely repressed childhood memories present themselves to me rather suddenly. I say this was suddenly, but maybe it wasn’t so sudden at all. I have been back in therapy for the past four months working through a lot of things, including childhood trauma. I began to process these new memories with my therapist last week. So many of you have reached out to me to talk about EMDR and how helpful it has been for you or a loved one. I am thrilled to hear your success stories. That has not been my experience with it. I just don’t process that way. Fortunately, the therapist I have isn’t Hell bent on continuing with something that’s not working for me. We are talking through a lot of things and I take it to my journals and my meditation. Sometimes things come out on my yoga mat. I process slowly but I am thorough. It seems to be working. It’s always helpful for me to share here because there will always be someone who will send me a “me too” message to help me through and remind me that I am not alone in this. Whatever this is. I’ve had a hard time with theses images coming back to me and honestly, it made me feel a bit crazy. I have a wonderful and wise friend who pointed out that I know these things happen to other people, I just didn’t think it would happen to ME. She was so right and so helpful to me in that moment. When I opened up to my therapist about this she had the sweetest smile on her face and she looked genuinely happy. It is her opinion that it’s time. I am strong enough and I finally feel safe enough to deal with this. This was somewhat comforting, but I’m not quite there in sharing in her happiness. And, because I am who I am, I questioned if maybe she was the crazy one. I called a friend of mine who is also a psychologist and opened up to him. I value his friendship and his opinion. Imagine my surprise when he seemed genuinely happy about this too. I began to feel a bit better about it and the way I’m thinking of it is starting to shift. It actually is interesting to find more pieces of my puzzle. Maybe this didn’t happen to me as much as it happened FOR me. I am trying to get into the space of feeling empowered by this. It might take a minute, but I’ll get there. Last week’s full moon was so powerful that I can’t help but think she was shining the light of awareness on this for me. Clearly it’s time for me to know these things so I can begin to let go of them. I know that when I let go I create space for better things to flow into my life. I asked The Universe to help me be open and I think this is how the Universe has responded. I’m creating space. None of this feels good to me and it’s not particularly fun to deal with. But, I’m doing it. Never once did it cross my mind to numb myself with alcohol or any other substance for that matter. There’s beauty in learning how to stay. I am not sleeping well because along with this came nightmares. I know they can’t last forever. In the meantime, I’m napping when I need to. I’m participating in immersive experiences that nourish my soul. I’m eating the things that make my body feel good and I’m journaling my way through this. And it’s working. I am learning so much more about myself through this process. My word of the year is “Learn.” I even got it tattooed on my arm. Just WOW. I keep coming back to “be careful what you ask for or you just might get it” statement. I feel connected and I feel heard. I don’t feel crazy. I feel healthy. If my mind wanders to that weird place that tries to tell me otherwise, I have a family to remind me that I am so loved and I have a host of amazing people to remind me that I’m a bad ass warrior. I’ll get through this and I’ll help others as I do. THAT is everything to me.

Trust

I have been a bit stuck lately. In a bit of a funk. Feeling heavy. But you know what? That shit doesn’t last forever and I am back on top. Today anyway. After kicking my own ass for what seems like forever over my perceived inability to keep my heart open, I went to see my friend AJ. She is a bad ass warrior goddess and one of my favorite people in the world. She is also an an amazing massage therapist. She has a good idea of what’s going on with me and we talked about it for a bit before she gave me the best massage of my life. She did some energy work on me during the massage and helped open me up, because really, I was stuck. I left there feeling completely drained and the only thing I wanted to do was cry. But there were no tears. Also, I had shit to do. I stopped by the grocery store for a couple of things, but as soon as I walked in the door I knew it wasn’t the place for me. But as I had one foot inside the store I saw my beautiful friend Nadine. I wrapped my arms around her and got the sweetest hug and felt the Nadine love that anyone who knows her has experienced. Then I immediately left the store. Because fuck that. I went home and drank herbal tea and rested for a bit before I ventured back out to live my life. I had a 4 o’clock yoga class to teach and then a moon circle to lead. My yoga students are always loving and kind. They were fine with me teaching an extra gentle class that day. Next came the moon circle that I didn’t really have the energy to facilitate. And guess what? The goddesses in my life didn’t judge me. They loved and supported me. We loved and supported each other. And we had a moon circle. A powerful moon circle. In the center of our circle was a jar of journal prompts that I wrote for the women to take home and reflect on. It was quite amazing to see how everyone reached their hand in the jar and happened to pick the one that was right in line with what they had shared about in the circle. The Universe is always awesome like that. My journal prompt said “What does trust mean to me?” So perfect. Because trust is a hard one for me. It’s part of the reason I do that thing I do. The “closing off” or if we want to use the word dissociate, we can. Whatever. I disconnect. I do it because I don’t feel safe. I don’t feel safe because I don’t trust. I don’t trust because I’ve been in situations in the past that weren’t safe. So I learned to go elsewhere. That came up for me in therapy this week. My therapist wasn’t nearly as bothered by it as I am. She is sure that when I am ready, I will let go of that protective mechanism. Maybe it’s just not time yet. Seems things don’t always happen NOW just because I want them to. They happen when they are supposed to. Or maybe when I stop forcing and start allowing. I think that’s the key. Allowing. I love everything about that word.
The trust word came up with my therapist Friday and I was asked to answer that question from my journal prompt. “What does trust mean to me?” The only thing I could come up with was non judgement. I have a fear of being judged. I always feel like I’m being judged. This opened up a whole can of worms that led me to investigate exactly who it is that judges me. Can you guess who it is that is constantly judging me? Because it only took me about two minutes to figure it out. Shit. It’s ME. I am so hard on myself. I criticize myself and am never quite as good as I think I should be. One of the women from moon circle even mentioned to me on Thursday that I seem to be hard on myself. As much as I teach about self love and self acceptance, there is always that little voice in my own head talking shit to me. She’s a bit of an asshole and likes to make me think I’m not worthy. That’s the voice I need to question. That’s who isn’t trustworthy. Now I get to practice the art of “taking a deep breath and remembering who the fuck I am.” I get to practice radical self love. Thank you Universe for the perfect timing on this lesson because yesterday I spent two and a half hours at my studio attending a workshop all about self love. My friend Sandi taught the workshop and it was wonderful. I connected with women I know and women I had never met. I was especially touched by two women who were 70 years old and learning all of the things that I am learning now. It reassured me that I am not behind and that this life is always a journey of learning, unlearning and relearning. I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this moment. I allow my life to unfold naturally. I flow. I don’t force.
This morning I woke up at 4:30. Partly because all of these thoughts were swimming in my head and partly because I was excited to go to yoga church and practice with my favorite teacher. My Catherine. Another bad ass woman in my life.
There’s really no way for me not to heal, recover and thrive. There’s no way I could possibly stay in a low vibration for too long. My life is a steady stream of experiences that nurture my body, mind and spirit. I have designed my life that way. My entire life supports my healing and recovery. That is bad ass! I did that work. Me. The more I look at that and think about it the more I realize that I can trust myself. I am trustworthy AF. I know exactly how to care for me. I know how to keep me safe. I know how to love and support myself. I know exactly what I need and I am capable of making sure I get it. It definitely helps that I have an amazing tribe of bad ass women to love and support me and hold hands with me along the way. It takes a village. For all of us. My village rocks so hard. ❤️

Inner Child Healing

This week my therapist asked me if “I ever have anyone sitting in front of me in circles or what not who obviously don’t want to talk about something.” She asked what I do when that happens. She said she uses that time to take notes. And then she took notes. Can you believe that it was hours later before I had a clue that she was talking about ME? Of course I don’t want to talk about things with her because the things she wants to talk about don’t always feel good. My preference would be to go in, sit down and tell her all of the amazing things going on in my life. My life really is FULL of amazing things that I am grateful for every day. I especially feel good when I can present her with some work that I did on my own or some fascinating discovery I have made about myself. It’s a classic “Look at me, I am so good!” moment. And really, all that stuff is great. What’s not so great is the actual work I am doing. Inner child healing. First of all, I know I said I wasn’t going to “work” on myself anymore. Obviously, that’s not true. Second, It’s more like figuring things out than work. Third, I am my favorite project. Inner child healing is no joke. She mentioned this to me over a month ago. I bought the book she recommended and jumped right in. If there’s a book involved, I am usually all about it. But then it got weird. Unfamiliar. Uncomfortable. So I stopped. My favorite line is “that’s weird and I’m not doing it.” It was that way for me when I got to AA. It was that way when meditation was suggested to me. It was that way when I went to my first yoga class. Weird. Not for me. I ignored the idea for a month and eventually came back to the book. I skipped the first few chapters because they were weird and not for me. Then I hit on the inner 3 to 6 year old. And HOLY FUCKING SHIT. So that’s what happened? Mind blowing really. I won’t get into specifics, but I will tell you that there was some trauma I first experienced at this age that shaped the way I processed, dealt with and lived in the world. This little girl needs to be protected. She needs to feel safe. She needs lots of love and support. She is me. Her experience makes me sad because she is also the little girl who learned to numb herself with drugs and alcohol at a crazy young age. I haven’t even started on the 7 – 12 year old and wonder just how that works since that child was already using. And missing out on being a child. Guess I’ll figure that out soon enough. Or not. I still really struggle with staying open with my therapist. Some days I do great, and some days I feel the wall go up and I feel myself become numb. I don’t know how else to explain it. She tells me she experiences me as going in and out of being present. I think that is called disassociation. I’ve read the DSM too many times for someone who is not a psychologist. I am just going to call it throwing up the wall and closing my heart. And I hate it so much. I know that it is a way I protected myself in the past and that it served me well then. It’s time to let that go because it truly doesn’t serve me today. I just don’t know how. I can do yoga poses to open my heart. I can meditate and recite mantras. I can write about it, teach about it and talk about it. I have yet to figure out how to get there and how to stay there. On the days when I shut down like that, it feels like a giant step back. A friend told me it’s a stand still day and not a step back. I can live with that. I can be still and be ok. Meditation has given me that gift. I don’t have to hurry through this process. I don’t even have to love the process. I just have to love me. I am being extra gentle with myself through it all. Making sure to sleep enough and eat the right foods. Random daytime baths are a must. The main thing is to remind that little girl that it all turns out alright. She’s a little warrior. A survivor.

Born to Fly

“If you want to fly you have to give up what’s weighing you down.” I love inspirational quotes because without them I might not have survived 2012. Seriously. I would scroll through my FB newsfeed and feel those quotes in my soul and sob because I just couldn’t pull it together. Letting go of what weighs us down is never as easy as it sounds. Especially when you don’t even know what you are holding onto. Alcohol was a hard one for me to let go of, but oh my, when I did, I began to soar. I’ve basically had two lives. The drunk life or BS-Before Sobriety and my current, sober life. Sober life is the shit. It’s all the feels all the time. Unless I am throwing up an emotional wall to not feel things, which I still do, but that’s another post for another time. I am always in the process of letting go of something. It’s a practice. I’m not a one and done type of person, but I am oh so thorough. This week’s practice is all about letting go of self limiting beliefs. I am worthy of all the good things in my life. I have done the work to be where I am. I am letting go of doubts. I have a little voice that will talk me right out of doing the things I want and need to do if I listen to it. I am letting go of judging myself harshly. I’m letting go of all the ways I get in my own way. And then there’s the list of things that I’m just not ready to let go of yet. And that’s OK. I have a beautiful (to me) reminder in the form of a tattoo on my rib that I can “Let it Be.” When I let go of the things that weigh me down, I create space in my life for the things that inspire me. I create space for the things that bring me joy and lead to my ultimate happiness. When I let go, I create space for spirit to enter me and flow through me, working its magic and helping me shine my light into the world. ❤️

When I am Open, I am Able to Receive.

When I am open, I am able to receive. I can hear the message intended for me from anywhere and anyone. IF I am open. This week I heard the message loud and clear. Last weekend. I was at a Y12SR training which was being led by an amazing woman named Nikki Myers. I love so many things about this woman, but mostly I love that she walks her talk. She is so real and relatable. She threw out the term “Namaste Mother Fucker” which, as you can imagine, I freaking loved. She went on to talk about what “Namaste Mother Fucker” means. It’s looking for the light, the Namaste, the God in every mother fucker that comes across her path. Every shitty person and every shitty situation as well as the good ones. All of it. Look for the Namaste. I loved that so much. Fast forward to yesterday, I walked into my therapist’s office and got comfortable on her couch. I suspect she was having a difficult morning, or maybe a difficult week since this was Friday. The window and the wall of her office were jacked up because someone had crashed their car into it. The first words out of her mouth to me where how she has decided that her job is to look for God in every person she sees and every situation she’s in. My jaw dropped a little, because damn! Damn! That was the second time I had heard that this week. From two completely different people. Boom! Thank you Universe. I hear your message loud and clear. Synchronicity, it’s the language of the Universe. Some people call these God Winks, or coincidences. I don’t care what you call it, if I am paying attention, and open, I receive. During that hour, the amount of work I do on myself, for myself, “might” have came up. And it “might” have been brought to my attention that maybe I don’t have to do all that “work” on myself because I am already perfect as I am. In God’s eyes. I usually have such an aversion to the Christian speak, but yesterday, it didn’t bother me in the least. It felt right. When I am open, I am able to receive. The message was one I needed to hear. One of my favorite quotes from the Zen Buddhist Monk Shunryu Suzuki Roshi is this. “You’re perfect just as you are…and you could use a little improvement.” Maybe there’s a happy balance there. Maybe I don’t have to constantly “work” on myself. Maybe shit comes up and I handle it as it presents itself. Maybe I don’t have to look for it. Whew! What a concept! And maybe, just maybe, while I am busy finding God in everyone, I should start with myself. Because I am already perfect. I am already whole. I forgive myself for not knowing that sooner. ❤️
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Healing

I took myself on a two hour date Saturday night. In my fortress of solitude. There was sacred cacao, candles, meditation, chanting, yoga and dancing. I capped it off with some time in my journal. This is self care for me. I am all for manicures and massages and highly recommend them, however, sometimes (often) I need a big dose of self care on a soul level. On Sunday morning I took myself to “yoga church.” Yoga church recenters me and connects me to myself like nothing else. It reminds me of where I’ve been and where I am going. My body was so open during my practice. I’m sure it helped that the heat was on, but more than anything the time I spent with myself on Saturday showed up in my practice. I felt strong, centered and so open. I can measure what’s going on inside of me emotionally by what my body does physically on the mat. I had a tough time in therapy last week and I wrote about it. Sharing helps me to heal. It helps me move through the process. This week I went in fully prepared to be the best at EMDR again. Only this time there was no EMDR. I actually did my “homework” and we had more than enough to work with. I’ve heard in AA meetings that the real work doesn’t start until we are 5 years sober. I’m obviously an advanced student because at 4 years in, this is feeling like the real work. My mood has been a little “off” since last week, but it’s ok. I’m learning to dig into the darkness and then leave it so as not to stay stuck in it. My therapist assured me that I’m strong enough to stay stuck in it for a bit. In case I was doubting myself. Which I do. The one thing I don’t doubt is that I will be ok. In fact, I am sure that the work I’m doing now will make me stronger, healthier and happier. Eventually. First it’s going to piss me off and make me sad. I found this parable in a book I’m reading. As per usual, the message was right on time.

A Parable:

The Prisoner In The Dark Cave

“There once was a man who was sentenced to die. He was blindfolded and put in a pitch dark cave. The cave was 100 yards by 100 yards. He was told that there was a way out of the cave, and if he could find it, he was a free man.

After a rock was secured at the entrance to the cave, the prisoner was allowed to take his blindfold off and roam freely in the darkness. He was to be fed only bread and water for the first 30 days and nothing thereafter. The bread and water were lowered from a small hole in the roof at the south end of the cave. The ceiling was about 18 feet high. The opening was about one foot in diameter. The prisoner could see a faint light up above, but no light came into the cave.

As the prisoner roamed and crawled around the cave, he bumped into rocks. Some were rather large. He thought if he could build a mound of rocks and dirt that was high enough, he could reach the opening and enlarge it enough to crawl through and escape. Since he was 5’9”, and his reach was another two feet, the mound had to be at least 10 feet high..

So the prisoner spent his waking hours picking up rocks and digging up dirt. At the end of two weeks, he had built a mound of about six feet. He thought that if he could duplicate that in the next two weeks, he could make it before the food ran out. But as he had already used most of the rocks in the cave, he had to dig harder and harder. He had to do the digging with his bare hands. After a month had passed, the mound was 9 ½ feet high and he could almost reach the opening if he jumped. He was almost exhausted and extremely weak.

One day just as he thought he could touch the opening, he fell. He was simply too weak to get up, and in two days he died. His captors came to get his body. They rolled away the huge rock that covered the entrance. As the light flooded into the cave, it illuminated an opening in the wall of the cave about three feet in circumference.

The opening was the opening to a tunnel which led to the other side of the mountain. This was the passage to freedom the prisoner had been told about. It was in the south wall directly under the opening in the ceiling. All the prisoner would have had to do was crawl about 200 feet and he would have found freedom. He had so completely focused on the opening of light that it never occurred to him to look for freedom in the darkness. Liberation was there all the time right next to the mound he was building, but it was in the darkness.”

And there it is. So powerful. And right as we approach the winter solstice. The darkest night of the year. The work I’m doing isn’t easy, but I’m not the first and I won’t be the last. I’ve found a good guide on the path and I have an amazing tribe of loving and supportive people who have my back through the process. I am a warrior. ❤️83A47216-A6A8-4EFE-A661-A623121DC58D

EMDR Therapy

I recently started therapy again with a new to me therapist. I have been hesitant to mention this on social media, but I’m not really sure why. I openly share my story of recovery and this step is part of that process. Never have I ever gone into therapy when I wasn’t in the middle of a crisis. Until this time. I am a strong, sober, emotionally stable woman. And yet I still struggle with a few things. I’m sure that’s natural. Especially for someone “like me.” My new to me therapist thinks it might be time to heal some past trauma. A lot of what she calls trauma, I just call normal shit that happens when you are an addict or an alcoholic. A lot of what she calls trauma is actually real, unhealed trauma. She suggested we go the EMDR route. I don’t know if any of you are familiar with EMDR, but a quick google search will fill you in and save me the trouble of posting a link. I have this desire to be the very best EMDR patient EVER, get through it quickly and heal completely. All in record time. However, this isn’t the way it’s going. In fact, I would say I suck at it. My therapist earned my complete respect today when I completely shut down (again) and wouldn’t/couldn’t share with her. I learned a lot about her while I wasn’t talking. I learned that she is patient and kind and willing to walk me through this process that is painful and not nearly as simple as I was hoping it would be. She’s also a bit of a hard ass which is good for me because I need someone who will push me. Gently. I am strong today and ready to do the hard work. I say that as I sit here writing this blog instead of writing in my journal actually doing the hard work. And this makes me laugh. I do know for sure and certain that the one thing that always helps me is sharing with the world. Even when it makes me feel vulnerable and scared. There’s always that one reader who sends me a “me too” message. That helps the most.
Today in therapy we talked about shame and forgiveness, and really, who the fuck wants to talk about those two? Not me. Not today. So I closed completely, feeling FULL of shame and not ready for forgiveness. I left there having accomplished very little. I stopped by the Buddhist temple on my way home for a few minutes of quiet time with the giant, green Buddha. It’s been a while since I’ve done that. And I have missed it. The monk noticed me and was kind enough to point out that I haven’t been there in a while. I told him I would be back on Sunday. Now I pretty much have to go back on Sunday. This also makes me laugh. All are welcome to join me Sunday! After the temple I went to the studio to teach my 4 o’clock class. We began our practice by pulling an oracle card. I got the forgiveness card. Of course. Thank you Universe. I hear your message loud and clear. I am not sure exactly who I am supposed to forgive, but I suspect the list is long and difficult. I have done the acceptance work. I guess forgiveness isn’t necessarily the same thing. So here I go. Diving in. Attempting to stay open. Doing the work. I have no doubt it’s going to be hard before it gets easy. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are days that I want to pluck my eyeballs out. My hope is that I won’t. Wish me luck.