Monday, February 2, 2015

I'm Cake & You Are Too

I'm participating in this very powerful, very deep, mind-blowing writing course - Writing the Womb. I knew this kind of writing was going to stretch me - I enjoy writing and I can spew journal pages and streams of consciousness with the best of them but Isabel Abbott is a different force of nature. I connect with her writing in a way that I do not understand, but I connect. So, I took the plunge.

It's late and I essentially just had an hours long therapy session with my journal and pen so I'm going to nutshell this.

Ok - so the writing prompt was to spend some time writing out all the stories we've been told. Down and dirty, quick and raw - I was told... I was told... I was told... - you get the idea. I set the timer for thirty minutes and went for it.

I filled four pages.

I sat in the dark wanting to puke, scream, weep, and throw my naked body back to the earth and call it home. I went back through each line and gave an internal 'fuck off' to all of those 'I was told...' And then I realized my kids were finally asleep so I got up from my cozy spot, clicked off the lava lamp and kissed them goodnight. And vowed to be mindful of the 'I was told...' stories I'm offering to each of them (I'm a bit fear-stricken at the journal entries of my daughters when they hit 40...or 11, for that matter.)

And then it hit me. I'm cake. I am not these stories - these statements - these ingredients - I've been told. I'm not just the flour or the egg. I'm the cake. I am the sum of my parts...and THOSE parts aren't actually in my recipe. And my recipe changes from day to day. I'm tired of feeling shit-tons of  remorse because one day I feel this way and tomorrow I'll feel that way.

We are all cakes. We have to stop defining ourselves by these stories that have either been told to us or are being told about us. Am I emotional? Yes. How does this play into my cake? It makes it rich. Am I intuitive? Yes. This makes my cake delicious. Does it take me two hours to shop at the grocery store? Well yes because most of the time I'm solo or down to one kid and, well, we go slow. Does this make me selfish and irresponsible? Wait. What? No. Shut-up.

I was told I am lazy.
I was told I deserved it.
I was told it didn't matter.
I was told I could handle it.
I was told I was her best friend.
I was told to quit.
I was told to stop crying.
I was told to get over it.
I was told to do it (insert anything) on my own time.
I was told I don't make sense.

Those stories are not mine. Those stories grew from the fear of others. This is truth. However, in that truth I surprisingly found acceptance and empathy, or was it that forgiveness thing that people keep talking about? I don't know but...I realized that these others are also cake. Their love for me or their desire to love me should not/is not defined by their fearful statements. They are also not defined by their ingredients. We are all just cake - sweet, delicious, could have you every day - cake. And that's when I realized what was mine.

My recipe goes something like this:

I am love.
I am light.
I am power.
I am strength.
I am determination.
I am whimsy.
I am connected.
I am intuition.
I am laughter.
I am a child.
I am imperfection.
I am trust.
I am whole.

This prompt ended with an entirely different affirmation then what I thought going in. It's the alchemy of Isabel.

Who wants cake?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Yoga {2.1.15}

I've been playing with yoga for awhile. She's pretty cool. I've sorda always wanted to be like her but, she's thinner and hippy'er and eats better. For a long time I just wanted to copy her. She'd show a pose - I'd try the pose. Mine wasn't so graceful. I'd compare us. She'd whisper 'You're missing the point.'

I've been documenting my yoga practice since Summer 2014. I consider this the start of a more mindful practice. I purchased a membership to (I can't say enough awesome things about YogaGlo - hundreds of practices, dozens of instructions, all types of yoga and meditation. Check it out - really.) I'd even say that this was the start of a 'serious' yoga practice but yoga doesn't really need to be taken seriously. In truth, I really just needed to lighten the f up and start letting go of the serious - but that sounds pretty judgy and yoga doesn't do 'judgy.'

So here's the deal. I turned forty a few weeks ago and 40 days ahead of my 40th birthday I promised my body that I'd give her yoga every day. And not the 'serious' yoga from before but a solid 30 minutes of whatever yoga routine sounded good in the moment. I'd light incense. I'd pull a tarot card to offer wisdom and focus to my practice. I'd do it at night as the kids were falling asleep. I'd do it in the middle of the day when the dishes were piled-up and crusty. I'd do it for 45-minutes or 60. I'd get on my mat angry. I'd cry on my mat. I'd let the kids do it with me, or lay under me, or balance on me. I didn't care. I just wanted yoga in my life. Everyday.

I missed two days out of forty. Two days. It was such a delicious way of celebrating my body. And in those 40 days I realized something huge - HUGE for me but perhaps not for all of you, especially any yogis. Here's the deal - the practice of yoga is a practice in letting go. Forget what your body did yesterday. Forget what you expect your body to do tomorrow. Forget what you think you're body will do today. When I hold my body to these expectations, I close myself off to my practice. Yoga is about letting go. Turning inward. Reconnected. It's not about getting yourself into a pose, but rather allowing the pose to come from within.

Today was a pretty exciting day. Ideas and emotions and excitement have had me wanting to cry, run, scream, sleep, and cheer. I needed to get on my mat today, and I 9:30pm. During my 'serious' yoga phase this would have never worked. I would have massacred the energy in the house, pissed myself off and the self of others and made life miserable because I was too scared to miss a practice. Nowadays, I practice when the time comes to practice. And it always comes, as long as I'm willing to show up.

Tonight I practiced with Elena Brower. She is one of my most treasured yoga teachers on YogaGlo. Yoga with Elena is a spiritual experience for me. Her teachings bring me closer to my own grace and beauty. Tonight's practice was titled Cultivating Curiosity and Courage. What a beautiful ending to a roller coaster day.

Namasté, friends.

Here I am

Welcome to my cozy new space! I've been dreaming about this place for some time now. Like a year - maybe longer.

Pardon the empty spaces - I'm in the process of moving in. But in the style of KonMar, I hope to keep things clean, connected, authentic, and honest. Because this is what my space is all about - truthsaying. My own truths, and how they connect to the rest of the world.

It seems pretty fitting that my launch-post for this new blog is a conversation about Mamascout's Dream Lab. Over the last two years I've been participating in all of Amy's labs. She offers these  amazing explorations into our inner worlds. Into ourselves. Into the stories we hold, we hear, we repeat. The Dream Lab was a stretch for me. For some reason, I equate 'dreamer' with 'entrepenuer.' I have no idea why. Maybe it's because most dreams I've heard over my lifetime have been focused on career and money - dream job; dream house; dream title; dream work. Those kinds of words aren't even the same language as my dream-speak.

No. This clearly wasn't for me. And prior to taking Amy's lab I even told her I wasn't Dream Lab material but, I really like Amy and think the moon rises and sets with her so I followed. And I am a different person because of it.

I am such a dreamer. I live in this sweet little feel-good bubble of kids and husband and homeschooling and freedom. I also live in reality, friends. Dinners need to get made. Kids puke. Laundry for six is ridiculous. Hormones - mine and others. Introvert-tendencies/extrovert-history. But I have great dreams. I have great intentions. And I have enormous ability to bring my dreams from my heart to my hands.

So - Amy's Dream Lab hasn't ever really ended for me. I live it every day. Every time I choose an interesting and non-mainstream read-aloud for my kids = Dream Lab. Every time I pull out my yoga mat and hit play for an hours practice = Dream Lab. Every time I say YES to an invitation to meet someone new (online friends turned arms-intertwined friends) = Dream Lab. Every time I meditate with my children, and talk about big complex things when they should really be going to sleep = Dream Lab.

I am breathing life into my dreams with every exhalation. I am living a more authentic life. I am closer to my personal Truth then I have ever been. And I am expanding from a place of love and delight every day.

Because - truthfully - my dream is to be vulnerable. To be all in. To show up.

What's yours? I dare you to explore with Amy and me this March.