5 Sober Years
I love when people reach out to me after reading my blog or a particular social media post that I have written. I love when people connect to my words. Last week I wrote THIS post full of “classic one liners” from my old therapist. A few days later I received this text that’s too good not to share. I saved this screenshot because it’s THAT awesome and I laugh so hard every time I read it. It’s become a mantra for me this week. I often tell my children when they are leaving, “make good choices.” Well, “don’t fuck the monks” has played on repeat in my mind since I received that text. It’s the same. But different. It’s “Make good choices” for grown ups. I laugh so hard at the shit that goes through my head. I even told my therapist “don’t fuck the monks” last week as I walked out of her office. She loved that so much. I mean, how could she NOT?
All that silliness aside.
I didn’t write yesterday because I was too exhausted from all of the exciting things happening in the studio and in my life. There is always something new and exciting coming my way and some days it’s just too much and I crash. Which is what I needed yesterday. And I allowed myself to do that. At the beach.
Last week was an amazing week in the life of me. I turned 5 years sober 6 days ago. There was no parade, but you probably saw the sparkly medallion on social media. What a ride that’s been. Each year I look back and each year gets better. Year one was all about not drinking. Anything extra I learned was a bonus. Each and every day I practiced not picking up a drink and that was enough. Yes, I meditated and practiced yoga, but the NOT DRINKING was where all of my focus was. Those other things were simply ways to pass the time and carry me through the day sober. I’m sure there was plenty of growth involved, but I wasn’t feeling it. During my second sober year, I began the journey of becoming comfortable in my skin. I learned how to properly love and care for myself. I had no idea how good I could feel. During that year I learned how to fuel my body with nutritious foods. I kicked up my yoga a notch and began to move my body in new ways. I always assumed that since I wasn’t overweight, the whole exercise thing didn’t apply to me. Who knew that Dr’s weren’t just being assholes by suggesting exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. This girl LOVES some endorphins! Early in my third year of sobriety, I completed my yoga teacher training. Sobriety introduced me to something I was more passionate about than drinking. I decided I needed to share that. I found my light and my purpose. Not that my purpose is to be the greatest yoga teacher the world has ever seen, because that is definitely NOT it. But my purpose is absolutely to help others heal. Teaching yoga has been a launchpad out into the world of helping others find their own light. Year 4 was my Rebel Soul year! The best year yet. I opened the studio on November 6th 2017. I spent my 4th sober year growing community and growing ME. I entered therapy (again) last year in November. Just a few days before I opened the studio. This time I entered therapy as a strong, sober and healthy woman who wanted support through my journey. And damn. There was a lot more to work through than I ever imagined. From what I can tell, “working through shit,” is a never ending part of life. That weekly session has been a great resource for me. I have grown more this past year than any previous year. On EVERY level. This is the year I learned to sing and dance and pray with my words. That little yoga studio of mine is such a safe space for me to try ALL THE THINGS that bring about a deeper level of healing for me and my community. So freaking amazing. To say that I am grateful for my sober life is an understatement. I talked to my AA sponsor on Saturday and shared with her how magical my life is and how I am in love with every minute of it. She reminded me of a time, that first year, when she and others were just trying to convince me that things would get better if I stayed sober. All I wanted in those days was for my life to not suck. That was it. I wasn’t asking for joy or magic or anything great. I just wanted my life to not suck so bad. Never could I ever have imagined that not only would my life not suck but that I would be happy and that I would wake up excited about life every day. And really, it happened in such a big way and it happened so quickly. One skillful choice after another. In AA they call it “doing the next right thing” however, in my mind it will forever be “not fucking the monks” one day at a time. You’re welcome. 😂 If I can do it, anyone can. I promise.
I AM a channel
This morning I found myself reading bible quotes on the internet. This is NOT how I usually spend my mornings and if I am honest, it made me laugh a little. At myself and my openness. I call that smiling out loud. Earlier this week I heard myself use the phrase “I am a channel.” I know I am a channel although I didn’t know exactly what that meant when I said it. This morning I have a full understanding of what that means. It means I am a channel, not a reservoir. This is what I learned from the internet bible. “If you sow abundantly with a good (cheerful) attitude, then God will bless you. Why? So that you can bless others. Being a channel for God’s blessings means passing them on to others.” That doesn’t exactly sound like a direct quote from the bible to me, but I’m not willing to go dig and I am happy with what the internet has to say about being a channel. Makes perfect sense. I am well aware that one of my gifts is my enthusiasm. Remember? Enthusiasm means to be filled with God. I am FULL of enthusiasm and love nothing more than to drag others into that space with me. And I have this wonderful internet platform to do just that. I always think the internet version of me is “my best self.” People love internet me. I have pretty yoga photos and the best inspirational quotes. I can (and I will) write an entire bog about that one day. Back to being a channel. People connect to me and to my words. It’s truly a gift and I am grateful. I am always amazed at the people who reach out to me and ask me about my”story” and about recovery. I am always willing to spend time sharing my “how it works.” Everyone’s version of “how it works” is different, but I can tell you this. Pick a path and STAY on it. The path doesn’t matter and there are a million ways to the top of the mountain. My path seems to be constantly changing and evolving as I grow. There are some constants that keep me grounded. Yoga, Meditation and AA. These are the three that I never stray too far from. But here’s a little secret. Those things aren’t for everyone. Most of the other sober bloggers I read are anti-AA. They either don’t like the idea of calling themselves alcoholics or they don’t like the old school patriarchal feel of the literature. Some people don’t like the idea that they have to go to meetings for the rest of their lives. There have been many times in my sober journey that I have felt like AA isn’t for me. Probably as recently as yesterday. But I also don’t feel like I have to go to meetings. I choose to go. I enjoy being around other people who are “like me.” People who don’t look at me like I have two heads when I talk about that time I wanted to hang myself. Those people have been there and they get it. Also, like me, those people have found a solution and a better way to live. I am all about surrounding myself with positive people. I’m not saying that AA is full of positive people, because it’s definitely not. I have just managed to do that thing they call “sticking with the winners.” I take what I like and what works for me and I leave the rest. Isn’t that how life is supposed to work? We are all different and have different needs. I had no idea who I was when I began my recovery. I am still learning and growing and changing every day. I have no problem saying out loud that I am an alcoholic. I have friends who think I shouldn’t put that out into the Universe because everything is energy and what we put out is what we get back. Being an alcoholic isn’t a negative thing to me. My life has only gotten better since I began affirming to the Universe that I am an alcoholic. The Universe has sent me the tools and people I need in my life to help me along the path. In return, I get to give it away to anyone who wants it. I know what it’s like to struggle. I also know what freedom feels like. It hurts my heart when people reach out to me who are SOOOO close to grabbing a lifeline but are also too scared to actually do it. It’s not my job to save everyone, but it absolutely is my job to be there when someone reaches out. It absolutely is my job to share what works for me and it absolutely is my job to share the things I am enthusiastic about. I AM a channel, not a reservoir.
She’s Getting Closer
This week I went to see a healer. There’s a shocker. I went to see our island witch. I was expecting some time on her table while she worked her woo woo energy magic on me. What I got was a guided visualization/meditation, a lot of talking and working through my shit. Not what I wanted, but exactly what I needed. Isn’t that how it always works? In that “getting what I need” what I got was a visit from my inner 3 year old. At least I think she was three. I didn’t even mention it during the session because it didn’t seem relevant. During the guided visualization I was asked to find a pedestal to sit on. A pedestal of my choice and my design. I tend to go with a giant mushroom because it has an Alice in Wonderland feel to it and Alice is a bad ass. I was completely safe and comfortable on this pedestal. Then she brought in a storm. A tornado began to swirl around me. A storm of chaos if you will. I was safe in the center of this tornado and nothing could reach me. I was asked to just notice what was swirling around me. I don’t remember exactly what I saw, but when it was over, this sweet little girl came to me. “To me” might not be exactly right, but she was THERE. I could see her. I remember exactly what she was wearing and exactly what she looked like. She was happy. She was beautiful. She was probably the MOST relevant thing that happened during that session, so my choice not to mention it during session means something. I’m just not sure what. Perhaps I felt the need to protect her by not talking about her. As much as I share with the world, some things are just for ME. And some things are just for me until I am ready to share. It was suggested to me that I go home and write. Writing is my process. All of my healers know this about me. Guess what I wrote after that session? Not a fucking thing. The next day I saw my therapist and shared this information about that little 3 year old with her. She smiled and said “She’s getting closer.” I’ve been doing this inner child work for a while now without a lot of success. And as I type that, I’m not entirely sure that’s true because what would success look like? My therapist said that little 3 year old is the part of me that is joyful and playful and impulsive. I prefer the word spontaneous because I think impulsive gets me in trouble. At least it used to. But, that’s neither here nor there. “She’s getting closer.” I am still trying to figure out exactly what that means. Is she going to talk to me? Does she have things to tell me? What does she want? My therapist kind of, sort of pointed out (by having me figure out on my own) that this little girl was me at the age I was right before my sexual abuse started. And dear God that session rolled all over the place from that to my drug addiction to the guilt and shame I still carry and back around. When our time was up she suggested that I go home and write and write and write some more and guess what I wrote? Not a fucking thing. After that session, with the full moon vibes in effect, I went straight to my studio to DANCE. Because that is what I needed. I needed to be in my body. I needed to connect and I needed to move. I am not sure what my aversion to writing has been this week, but it’s been strong. I’m inclined to think that strictly because someone (2 someones) suggested I write, I automatically didn’t. THAT would be the inner 15 year old that I know all too well. Even without writing, I have had amazing insights this week. I have been in 4 different women’s circles in the last 7 days. Always a great place for me to be. In one of these circles there was a woman who was surprised to learn that my “dancing career” is just three months old. In her mind, I had been dancing for a lifetime, since it’s THE thing she sees me share about most. During our conversation it occurred to me that dancing IS the joyful, playful and spontaneous part of me coming out. And just maybe this is what’s bringing that little 3 year old closer to me. In fact, I’m sure it must be. Dancing has brought about a shift in me that allows me to let my guard down in a way nothing else does. I fully intend to keep at it and bring that little girl home.
There was one circle this week that I had absolutely no intention of going to. It was the same day as my therapy session and I was just done. But there I was. Exactly where I needed to be. The discussion took a turn toward the Patriachal society that we live in and there was (or more likely I felt) an attack towards the women who “allow” this type of behavior by “being whores.” I felt the need to jump in and defend these women. Which I did. My immediate thoughts and my response was that those women were once children who weren’t allowed to say no. Who weren’t allowed to be in control of their own bodies. I know those women. Those women were me. And then it happened. Another woman felt the need to defend “those women.” She opened her mouth and my story fell out. A story of being sexually abused from a young age and learning that’s what love feels like. A woman who was taught from a young age that this kind of attention is good attention. A woman who didn’t know that she didn’t have to give her power away or that she even had the option to live another way. A woman who thought her worth was based on her body. She had never been allowed to say no. It was so powerful, and as I sat there listening to her share exactly what I have never said out loud, all I could do was cry silently on the inside and touch my heart as I nodded my head at her, so she could see and know that I felt her pain. It was so incredible to see her own the ALL of her “story” and give a voice to her own inner child who was never allowed that voice. Equally incredible was the love and support she received from the circle. Nobody shamed her. Everyone witnessed and held her with compassion. Our stories, when shared, have the power to heal. I never doubt that. She reminded me of just how much truth there is in that. I told her that night that I wanted to write about her, without using her name. I asked her permission and made sure she felt ok about it. She responded by saying that I always write about her, I just didn’t know it. Again, blown away by the power of our stories and the connections we all share. I write to heal my own self and in doing so sometimes I help others along the way. The best.
In September I was in a circle with this same woman. That night we ended the circle with a little bit of dancing. She stood in that circle and said she would absolutely NOT be doing that. She even told us she might sway her hips a bit, but that would be the extent of it. A week later she showed up at the studio for ecstatic dance. She pushed past that fear and she has been dancing ever since. Four separate events in just over a month. I am pretty sure it’s her new favorite thing too! What I know is that she has connected to her inner child through dancing. That’s exactly why she loves it so much. Another shared connection with this woman. What a gift she has been to me this week. She has helped me sort out and make sense of some of my own shit. She’s a mirror. A teacher. I am grateful for her strength, her courage and her presence in my life.
This week in the book The Artist’s Way I came across the word Enthusiasm and its definition. The word enthusiasm is derived from two Greek words, en and theos. Theos is the Greek word for God. Enthusiasm literally means “Filled with God.” How freaking beautiful is that? Anyone who has spent any time around me has felt my enthusiasm for the things I love. People tell me all the time that my enthusiasm is contagious. I get excited! I get excited about the things I love and I want to share those things with others. Now I know why I get so damn excited! I KNEW I was connected and divinely guided. So what am I excited about this week? EVERYTHING! I’ve mentioned before that I’m not like “normal” people. Whatever that means. This is a big week in the studio. You know how musicians and movie stars excite people? Well, I am not that girl. Healers who do awesome work excite me. And authors. I love healers and writers. And, really, some musicians. So, I’m most likely not that weird at all. Whatever. This week a psychologist who is doing awesome work and has written 5 books is coming to the studio! What?! I am already about to jump out of my skin with excitement. Here’s the backstory on that. Because social media spies on me and knows what I like, a book about EMDR and Mindfulness came to me in a FB ad. I am sure it was because I had just written a blog about EMDR therapy. You can read it here. Basically, the blog was about how much I suck at EMDR. When I saw this book, it occurred to me that while I may suck at EMDR, I am really good at mindfulness. I thought maybe the book could help me be better (the best) at EMDR. I bought the book, but it wasn’t for me. The book was written for professionals. I knew the book ended up in my hands specifically so I could give it to my therapist. She was so excited to get the book from me. She showed me her calendar and had the weekend blocked off to take that particular EMDR and Mindfulness training from Dr Jamie Marich, the author of the book. Synchronicity! Unfortunately, circumstances beyond her control made it impossible to make the training and she had to cancel that weekend. But, she had the book! I then began my social media stalking, like I do, and friended the psychologist/author. I bought two of her other books and kind of fell in love with her. I sent her a message and awkwardly told her way too much about myself, again, like I do. Sometimes I still lack a filter. I explained to her that I am not a therapist, but I l have spent tons of time IN therapy. 😊 I told her I had bought her EMDR book and how much my therapist loved it. I invited her to come teach something, anything at Rebel Soul Yoga. And she responded immediately with a YES! We made a plan, put it on the calendar and it’s finally here! AND it’s DANCING! You can check out Dancing Mindfulness here. Soooooooo freaking excited! While the rest of the world is paranoid and pissed off that social media is spying on them, I’m over here loving it. Spy on and keep connecting me to great things and people!
But wait there’s more………..
I have a beautiful friend in Wilmington who wanted to bring her healing energy and help our community. We put our heads together and Mental Health Monday was born. Next week we will be co-facilitating a two hour healing session for those who are feeling the post-Florence trauma as a gift to the community. I will be leading us in a yoga practice to bring us into our bodies and open us up to feel our feelings and then we will roll right into a group therapy session to process together. (She’s a psychologist.). How freaking amazeballs is that? I am most excited to observe her group process. She inspires me in so many ways and I am honored to co-create a beautiful and healing event with her. Enthusiasm is an understatement.
I love my life and the people in it. I can’t say it enough because I am constantly amazed. My gratitude game is strong! The right people cross my path at exactly the right time. I might not always recognize it immediately, but I am getting better at paying attention. I am connected and divinely guided at all times. I know I am being guided in a direction that I’m not quite ready to share with the world yet, but my soul knows. It’s just a matter of pushing the fear to the side, or most likely, doing it scared. I am getting closer every day. In the meantime I will just be over here being Enthusiastic about every single thing in my life. Starting with the cacao ceremony and kirtan I am going to today!
Warning. I fully intend to talk about monster phlegm today. If you are tired of hearing about my monster phlegm or have an aversion to the term, this post might not be for you. Here we go. Last week I hosted a moon circle. Like I do. It was fabulous as they all are in their own way. During the circle I was leading a guided meditation. I don’t practice or have a script, I just lead from my heart. I let spirit flow through me. Sometimes it’s smoother than others. This particular evening was extremely smooth. I was connected and divinely guided. I led everyone out of their heads and into their hearts. I asked them to drop the protective walls that we put in place and just allow themselves to FEEL whatever is in their hearts. For the first time, maybe ever, I felt my wall drop and I sat in that circle feeling wide open and vulnerable. It felt really good and as I noticed it, my throat suddenly closed up and I had an attack of “monster phlegm.” This is never a good thing when leading meditation because the next few seconds are spent clearing my throat loudly. It sucks, but I’m human. I was well aware that there was a connection to what I was feeling and that sudden attack to my throat, but the circle wasn’t the place to figure all of that out. Or maybe it was and I just didn’t. And then I kind of let it go and moved on. Then, on Wednesday, it happened again. This time I was with my therapist who I trust completely. She said something I didn’t necessarily want to hear and my heart got hurt a little. Immediately, my throat was attacked by monster phlegm. This woman is smart. She asked me what I wasn’t saying. Because she knew. I acted like a 5 year old and said “nothing.’ She asked me to go into my body and feel what was there. Again, I acted like a 5 year old and said “nothing is there, and there’s nothing I’m not saying.” I hate that I did that. The reality is that there was something I wasn’t saying and I knew my heart hurt. I wasn’t ready to talk about it and she completely respected that and gave me the space I needed. I was so aggravated with myself on the drive home and for the rest of the evening for not being better at expressing myself. I am my own worst critic and I can still be harsh with myself at times. I did send her a text to tell her the thing I wouldn’t say while I was on her couch, which made me feel better, but the whole choking in the moment episode really bothered me. I was determined to love myself a little harder the next day. I called a friend who is an amazing healer and told her about the two instances of monster phlegm. She completely understood and explained it to me so simply. Simple if you are into chakras that is. I happen to be into chakras. Our Sacral Chakra is our center for emotions. When I supress emotions (which is always), it manifests in my throat. The two chakras are connected. I am blocked from speaking my truth because somewhere along the way, I received the message that it’s not safe for me to express my emotions. This is why I suppress my emotions in the first place. Makes perfect sense. I took my new knowledge and went to my Artist’s Way group. I shared this knowledge with them and when I had a monster phlegm attack and couldn’t share some of the triggering things I had written for the course, they understood and loved me just the same. The beauty of this Artist’s Way course is that it’s connecting me to my happy inner child. Almost everything that comes up as I remember her is the joyful stuff. This particular exercise that triggered me was a letter from my 8 year old self to my today self. My 8 year old had a lot to say, but the one thing she really wanted me to hear was “Find our voice.” With all the trouble I have had with that this week, it broke my heart. After the group I went to lunch with two friends. I dissociated a few times during lunch and they kept bringing me back. That’s the awesome thing about hanging out with people in recovery. They never even batted an eye or acted like it was a big deal at all. I guess it wasn’t really a big deal, but I did think I was past that. I was hoping so anyway. It bothered me to be in that space and to have people notice it. I taught yoga after lunch and it put me right back in my body. Always a good place to be. Friday I got over myself and decided to love myself even harder. I accepted that this is just where I am right now and it’s REALLY not that big of a deal. I spent the day with a friend doing awesome things and spent the evening ecstatic dancing in my studio with people I love. So much fun and such a healthy way for me to move emotions through my body. Saturday morning I taught an 8 am class. I had everyone in class pull an oracle card. My card hit me right in the feels. “As I express my thoughts, feelings and ideas, they are welcomed and easily comprehended by others.” BOOM. And just because I am not constantly “working on myself,” I rested like a boss the rest of the day. This morning I went to yoga church and an amazing thing happened. I found my voice. I was able to speak up and speak my truth when I knew I needed to. Confidently. With no monster phlegm. Wouldn’t it be nice if this was all behind me now and everyday for the rest of my life I could easily express my emotions. The reality is that I have this beautiful new awareness and something to practice. It will get easier and I WILL find my voice. It might not happen this week, but it will happen. Awareness is everything. It IS safe for me to experience AND express my emotions.
Wait for it…
That moment when you have been doing “the work” so big and so deep that you can see it not only paying off in your own life, but having an impact in the world around you. Ahhhhhhhhh. That is powerful stuff. I have really learned in the past few months how important it is for me to speak my truth, or maybe, write my truth. I have been digging deep and leaning into the most uncomfortable of truths. And THIS is where I am finding my freedom. I stepped into my moon circle last night feeling powerful and ready for this next chapter. It is an honor to witness other women in circle. To watch them heal. To watch them grow more comfortable in their own skin. To watch them step into their power. To watch them be there for the next woman. I saw the FULL CIRCLE of that last night and it was beautiful. Soul Explosion Beautiful. A little secret…..I had never been to a moon circle when I decided I needed to lead one. One morning I was sitting in meditation and it occurred to me that I needed to gather women in circle. I had no idea how or why I needed to do this, but it was clearly a nudge from the Universe. I have learned to “follow the nudges.” I did a little research and learned that moon circles were a thing that existed and a lot of women were participating. I was already a Moon Goddess so this seemed like the natural step to take. Then, I did a little more research and found tons of people willing to train me to facilitate a circle. So I paid $500 and signed up for the one that spoke to me. An online training. I was so excited to learn ALL the things! I sat through the first two sessions and quickly realized that not only did I already know all the things that were being taught, I was already doing all the things. I didn’t really need the training. It’s a moon circle, not rocket science. On that second week I went ahead and planned my circle without the certificate of completion. The certificate would have taken 6 weeks and the new moon was coming. I didn’t have time for that. I hosted my first circle at Hearts and Sol Wellness. I stood at the top of the stairs greeting, smudging and hugging every woman before she entered the circle. They poured in. Seriously. The women just kept coming and coming. 21 to be exact. A HUGE circle for our small community. And I was blown away. I was also terrified. I had notes, but I forgot to bring them. So I stumbled and stuttered through all the things I thought I was supposed to say. And these women didn’t care one bit because they were not there to judge me. They were there to love and support me. We were all there to love and support one another. There was no way for me to say or do anything “wrong.” I have obviously grown so much since that first circle, but I still feel nervous before every one. I think that’s natural.
And then it happened again. I was sitting in meditation and it occurred to me that I needed to lead a group of women on a different journey. I had been kicking around the idea of The Artist’s Way for a while. I had been trying to get through the book myself since November. I decided this was it. This would be a good way for me to get through the book and I could support a lot of women in the process. Once again I was blown away by the amount of women who showed up for this. These women didn’t just show up, they are pouring their hearts and soul into the process and it is such an honor to be able to hold space for them in this process. There are 33 women in the two groups I am running. 33. My Angel Number people will know this is powerful. I’ll share with those of you who are unfamiliar. “33 signifies the Holy Trinity, which means at any given moment one has divine protection, help, and guidance from angel hands.” The message I get from that is that I am Divinely Guided. I keep getting that message loud and clear. I have a gift. I am starting to fully understand that. People relate to me. People are comfortable around me. People open up to me. I am sure this comes from my ability to be vulnerable and honest with the people around me. This, in itself, is a gift. I am beginning to feel as if I am being Divinely Guided to my next chapter. I feel it in my soul. The stirring. Because the world needs my light and I KNOW there is something MORE I am supposed to be doing. Not necessarily “busy” more, but “deeper” more. “Meaningful” more. I felt the nudge last week. I’m still waiting for the push. Sometimes I’m stubborn. When it comes I will know and it will have my whole heart and it will be amazing. Just wait. 😊
I saw a Facebook status yesterday that read “Living in process opens you up to constantly seeing connections.” I loved that so much and it resonated with me in the biggest way. My therapist recently said to me that she “loves how I continue to process hours after our session.” That statement made me laugh so hard, because my life is a constant state of processing. I live there. It’s the air I breathe. I love it. I am my favorite project. I spent so much of my life asleep and numb and if I’m honest, blacked out that I love being awake and living with awareness. I love learning about myself and how I work. That’s why I spend so much time “working on myself.’ Not because I am so fucked up. Because I’m not. Most of the time, I am pretty happy with myself. This week I had three separate healing sessions. Because if one is good, three is better. I am wired to be ALL in or ALL out. I know that about me and I’m good with it. There are others out there. I am NOT the only one. As always, I had a therapy session. My therapist is a spiritual gangster. I got my weekly dose of “where spirituality meets psychology.” My favorite. On Friday, I had a “practice” LifeLine session with a friend of mine who is studying to be a practitioner. I know a few LifeLine practitioners and I LOVE them ALL. But, I wasn’t sure it would be for me. I am always resistant to the unknown. It seemed a little too Woo Woo for me and I had my doubts. But, since I love and trust my friend, I went in with an open mind and an open heart. I didn’t investigate it at all before I went and I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Which isn’t like me at all, because I am all about doing the research. I was a complete LifeLine virgin. And I loved it! She hit on some things that blew my mind. And, she did it through kinesiology which is science, not Woo Woo. Who knew? LifeLine also focuses on aspects of Chinese Medicine, aromatherapy, epigenetics, EMDR, which we all know I’m the best at 😉 and tons of other really cool techniques. I’m guessing most of you are also unfamiliar with the process. You can check it out here. I also went to an inner child healing workshop this weekend. Inner child healing is something I’ve been working on for a while now and it’s another thing I don’t seem to be the “best” at. Yet. Probably because I disconnected from that child. All of those little children. I went to this workshop on the down low, without telling people and kept it a “super secret” so I could have that space for myself without anyone I know being a part of the group. Wouldn’t you know when I pulled into that parking lot and stepped one foot out of my car, I heard my name being called. There are no super secrets in the healing community. And I hope this woman got what she needed out of this group. My jury is still out. But, I did spend the last two nights with some serious dreaming going on. Or, processing in my sleep, because that’s what it really was. So, maybe I got something from the group. This week I am going to take that child to play. Because she needs that. I had a mini melt down last week. It could have been the full moon/eclipse energy combined with all the celestial happenings. It could have been the PMS I was experiencing. It could have been that I was tired from the bazillion things I do. OR, it could have been that they all hit at once and I was just DONE. Only I wasn’t done because I had things to do. I know we have all been there. We push ourselves and we go and go. At least I do. Until I don’t. Which is exactly where I am. I took a day off to look at my schedule and made a few changes. I am cancelling my Monday and Wednesday 8 am classes so I can have those mornings for myself. I’ve been on the fence about that for a while now, and I realize it was my soul telling me to let them go. Only I wasn’t listening. If you practice in the studio with me, be on the lookout for those schedule changes. I am down to 6 classes a week and I feel so good about that. I feel good about knowing what I need and honoring that. I have plenty of classes on the schedule and amazing teachers who love being there as much as I do. It’s a great feeling to know what I need and to be able to give that to myself. That comes from a lot of practice and doing the work. That comes from being mindful and intentional. Maybe next time I won’t even have to have the mini meltdown and eventually I will just listen to my soul as soon as I hear the whisper. Before it yells at me. Practice!
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.
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.