tonight

So this is me
Soft foamy suds
Flirting with my feet
Roar of the wave
Quiet sheet of water rising high
me
Crashing down
White water tumbling across layers of its own body

So this me
Foamy suds kissing my feet
Hello
me
Orange juice sun
Sinking down behind the mountain
me
Cool breeze pillows falling into my cheek

So this is me
Seagull gently flapping wings, easily, flying, majestic,
Catching air
Working with it
me
Sandprints
Sinking in
Sliding earth
I can dig a hole in you
me
I can build you into a castle
You are mine to mold
And right now
You are holding me
me
Seagulls
Waves
Foam
Sun
Pink sky
And this mmmm vibration I make
Going mmmmm
Through this body
Touching this foam
Feeling this air
Watching with these eyes
Tiny white birds
Scurrying across the sand !

These ears
listening
to
Tiny chirps
Waves crashing
me
My tongue
me
sticks out into the mist
Nostrils smell the salt
This brain records
these findings
through exactly this
me

Honesty, Ch 3 Facebook

Facebook post I'm saving as a blog for my records.
--
Hey guys, going forward (and well, i’ve started already) I’m going to share honestly what’s going on with me. I see Facebook as having so much great potential to be a real community. Currently, when I look through my newsfeed, after about 5 minutes I hate myself. It’s not because you guys are posting such wonderful things, but because I have made myself wrong for not having those things - a happy relationship, a passionate purposeful career, perfect splits, inner peace… you get my point. 

I spent so much of my life afraid to share what wasn’t… happy. There’s nothing wrong with happy, but when I make it the only allowable expression within myself, then a huge part of me gets denied. 

I’ve been telling the parts that feel scared, or not good enough, or unlovable that they are the ‘bad’ parts of me. I’ve been pushing them down instead of loving them and allowing them to heal. 

I’ve been living as a thin papery shell instead of the warm, throbbing person that I am, and then I wondered why I had low self-esteem. I wondered why I was so dependent on others for me to feel good. 

For months now, I’ve been asking myself and others - how do I actually LOVE MYSELF? (independent of others’ feelings for me). Well, this is the first thing I’ve stumbled upon that’s actually working. Acknowledging how I’m actually feeling, and sharing it in a responsible way. Not blaming or judging, but letting myself feel what’s really coming up, and then observing the intense reactions it’s bringing up in me.

So, how does that relate to the Facebook? 

1. If you are sad, you share in a post.
2. Because I see that, I can feel love by reaching out and showing you I care, and you'll experience that someone cares about you.
3. By you sharing you’re sad, you're showing yourself love by acknowledging how you authentically feel (not making yourself wrong for it).
4. Instead of isolating yourself in this sadness, you’re exercising courage in your vulnerability, which is also so loving to your self.
5. One of your friends who feels sad but considers that a ‘bad’ feeling sees your share and feels less alone. “I’m not the only one,” he thinks. “I’m not bad for feeling sad. I don’t have to numb it. Feelings come and go. I love myself and right now I’m feeling sad. I’ll be ok.” 

The more of us that share what we're authentically feeling in this moment, the more we support each other in healing.

And then people may share what they're noticing about themselves:
“Woah, I noticed I got really angry in traffic. After about 2 seconds I realized the anger wasn’t about the traffic, but from me leaving a voicemail earlier that didn’t go exactly as I planned and I’m judging myself for it. I’m literally beating myself up mentally for leaving the message “wrong” because now I think the person, whose opinion I care about, is going to look down on me for it. I realize how much power I give away to others. I'm basing how I feel about myself on how I perceive this person is perceiving me. Also, wow, that ego 'controller' self is literally raging at me that I didn't act within the boundaries of what it considers perfect. But wow, it was setting those tight parameters because it was trying to keep me safe. So I don't need to be mad it. I can love it and thank it for protecting me, and tell it I'm an adult now. And I want to experience more of myself. And I'm safe. And I've got this. WOW. I'm so thankful this happened so I can see all of these old reactions coming up in me!"

Woah… and yes, that did literally happen to me the other day. When I get to see even a glimmer of how my mind is working, I feel a little space between me and that reaction. With that space I feel calmer and can start to act intentionally (not just out of reaction).

I see a lot of people posting memes and quotes saying things like “be yourself,” but my challenge for anyone who’s up for it is instead of posting a meme, actually post something vulnerable and scary from your heart. Instead of talking about being real, BE REAL. Share if you’re uncomfortable, scared or… whatever! What I experience when someone shares vulnerably is that I then feel in a more loving space to acknowledge my uncomfortable feelings & reactions. I start to turn the lights on in shadowy places. And I start to feel like I’m ok, like I am a warm, throbbing, human being who is alive. I also feel a connection forming between me and that person. Real-ness. Humanness. 

COMMUNITY.

Honesty, Ch. 2 Fuck.

Fuuuuuuuck. I feel so much pain. I want this to go my way so badly. I want to control this. And I can’t. And I’m hurting. I feel so much pain. Like a wall inside me. Hmm, is that wall the ‘wanting my way’ wall that I’m physically feeling? It feels like a block. Hmm. Is my focusing really hard on what I want a block? It seems like it is - a block to being present to what’s actually here. A block to what would actually be coming into my life if I didn’t have a wall up. Hmm. Does letting go of what I think I want create opening? 

Each time I think back to that thing that I want, I feel that wall form inside my chest again. Up to my throat. Sending out little pinges of tension throughout my arms and into my belly. 

And then letting go of that thing for a moment, taking my attention out of the wanting, the somewhere else, by acknowledging my longing experience here on paper, bringing my mind here and just accepting what’s actually happening now, me, sitting here, "boring," recording to myself the most real sensations I'm having feels… allowing. 

Longing feels like tension. Longing feels like an unbreakable wall. I feel small in it.

Focusing on what’s happening now - as uncomfortable and painful as it is - feels calming. And powerful. I feel power gathering here. In this landscape. Depth. Layers. Vastness, unknown. In these spaces. I feel warm energy building. 

Honesty

So after yet another failed romance, I find myself in a familiar place.
Oh the pain. That familiar, searing pain, like someone is stabbing a hot poker into my chest.

It was at an event two nights ago that something clicked - an event in which I crawled under a garage door into a sex positive orgasmic meditation coaching event, bra-less. I’d only intended to go to the local market, and just felt like being free. I almost didn’t because I hate it when men stare at me or my chest so I didn’t want to draw attention, but at the same time I didn’t want to deny myself freedom out of fear, so I just decided I’d stare back with fire in my eyes if I had any trouble. Of course this is the night I find myself crawling under a garage door (with 2 feet of space to clear), into a room full of strangers sitting in a circle, staring at me. Fortunately for them and me, they were all smiling warmly.

It was at this event that I got to experience from the outside what I’ve been doing my entire life. 

A volunteer client and coach were brought into the center of the circle. The coaching session was to be about whatever the client wanted support with in his life. The client shared that he felt troubled that he could not get his female friend to be ok with him being part of a practice that mattered to him. He wanted, no, needed her to be ok with him doing this practice, and he really wanted her to join in as well. 

"Isn't this about him?" I thought. "Why does he need her to do anything for him to be ok?" 

Lightbulb moment. 

"Why does this sound familiar?" I thought.

Hours earlier: Me, feeling drained, lifeless, waiting for the boy to call, or text, or contact me in some way. Show me in some way that he’s thinking of me. 

Nothing.

Me, drained, waiting, sad.

Me, days before: Feeling ok. Doing my thing. 

He texts and my mood bursts, joy, love, happiness, fulfillment, stars, tingles flood through me. 

I text back. Within hours the feeling of longing returns, at moments on the surface, most moments under the surface. I go back to doing my thing, feeling some tension in my mind and body. Some time goes by and I check my phone. I start to feel impatient. I feel sad. I begrudgingly go back to doing my thing, feeling ok, I guess. 

He texts. I feel a burst of happiness. (you get the picture)

Me in previous long-term loving relationship: When feeling love & attention from my partner I feel so happy and loved and full. Floods of tingles in moments when I'm really feeling acknowledged. General feeling of safety and warmth and contentment inside. 

When not feeling love & attention from my partner I feel this (depending on the intensity of my lack): sad, devastated, panicked, unsafe, destroyed, broken, empty, wanting to hurt myself in some other way to distract from the searing pain in my heart, lifeless wanting to die. 

What did I experience in watching this client and coach? If the client is needing his friend to show her acknowledgement in order for him to be ok, that means there’s some part of him that doesn’t believe it's ok. He's needing her permission to tell him he's ok for doing the practice.

What did I see in myself watching this? Here I was, waiting for my latest romantic interest to text back. It had been 3 days and I was feeling panicked. My own groundedness felt totally shaky. The life energy seemed to be draining from me. I felt lethargic and empty. I needed him to text me, to contact me in some way in order for me to feel ok. 

Hold on a moment. I needed this person to text me and in essence, tell me I’m ok (by his acknowledging me), in order for me to be ok. 

LIGHTBULB. If I’m needing him to contact me in order for me to be ok, there’s a part of me that doesn’t believe I’m ok. I'm waiting for his permission to confirm that I'm ok.

I'm giving my power to a person outside myself, letting him or her decide if I'm ok, and I'm basing how I feel about myself on THAT!

So how do I ACTUALLY feel about myself, without the stimulation and energy of an outside person? 

Well, I can see this from how I feel when he (or she) doesn’t call, and hasn’t called for days. This is the moment when I feel most alone with myself. Not feeling love from any outside source.
This is it. THIS IS HOW I FEEL ABOUT MYSELF. 

::long pause::

Woah. Reality.

I have for some reason blocked off my own channels of loving myself.
However, my channels of feeling loved through a romantic interest’s love or attention are wide open, or at least they feel that way for some span of time.
So literally the only way I am feeling love for myself is through someone else ‘loving’ or appreciating me. Um, kind of dangerous? No wonder I’ve literally felt like I wanted to die when past relationships ended. 

I literally felt myself as I perceived the other person saw me. So when I couldn’t feel their love anymore, I felt - loveless. Empty. 

This is how I feel about myself, honestly, without outside stimulation. 

Woah, no wonder I’ve been attracting partners where I end up in this position. If this crying mess is actually how I feel about myself, even if someone appreciates me for a while, it won’t let it last. My core belief will always rise above and bring me back to feeling how I most authentically feel towards myself.

I stood last night leaning against my mantle, staring at myself in the mirror for a long time. After a while the crying simmered down. And there I was. For the first time, I just took my time looking, curious. 

"This is where I am." I realized.
After some time I felt kind of cozy in this spot. Looking at myself in the mirror with no judgement, no agenda. Everything felt neutral. 

Seeing my outer form, and feeling the void inside, and noticing my breathing, all of it calm and neutral, I felt this warm energy around me. It felt like relaxation.

I wrote in my journal just to mark where I currently stand.
Acknowledging where I am without judgment feels calming. Like this calm after a storm. It feels clearing. I feel ready. I feel myself gearing up for my next steps.

I wonder if some people are going to read this and feel sad or scared for me, or feel the need to give me advice. If you feel that need, I ask you to please keep it to yourself. I am actually fantastic. Not happy and joyful, but present. Alive. Learning about myself. Subtly and not so subtly seeing, feeling, discovering, revealing, absorbing. My only goal right now is to be as awake as I can in each moment. 

If you have your own story of honesty I would love to hear it in the comments below, in person, or in any other forum. Something I am feeling so good about in my life right now is community. Community of open, loving people being raw and honest. Scaring ourselves (and maybe our families) with how vulnerable we are. 

Hatha Yoga

I find this to be a very clear and visually stimulating definition of Hatha Yoga:

"Hatha yoga refers to a set of physical exercises (known as asanas or postures), and sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body—especially the main channel, the spine—so that energy can flow freely.

Hatha is also translated as ha meaning "sun" and tha meaning "moon." This refers to the balance of masculine aspects—active, hot, sun—and feminine aspects—receptive, cool, moon—within all of us. Hatha yoga is a path toward creating balance and uniting opposites. In our physical bodies we develop a balance of strength and flexibility. We also learn to balance our effort and surrender in each pose.

Hatha yoga is a powerful tool for self-transformation. It asks us to bring our attention to our breath, which helps us to still the fluctuations of the mind and be more present in the unfolding of each moment."

Cindy Lee, "Yoga Questions Answered" (Yoga Journal Online)

What is Flow?

When you come to my class you’ll hear me say “pay attention to the rhythm of your own breath.”

That’s exactly what flow is ~ your own rhythm.

We often get so caught up in the movement of society around us that we forget to listen to our own inner voice. Or maybe we do hear it but deem it unimportant and ignore it.

When we do this, we seem to say to this inner voice which tries to guide us, which is essentially ourselves, that it cannot be trusted. We fail to trust ourselves. And we see how this plays out in our lives. Our bodies shut down. Our emotions shut down. We stop letting the world in and being present to what’s happening in our lives. We become numb, and bored.

But your voice is important. You are important. Your authentic expression is extremely important and is such a contribution to this world. Whatever it is you feel moved to do, that thing that makes you light up inside and out—that is your flow. Whether it’s moving actively, dancing around your house to music, singing in the shower, playing tennis with friends, or simply sitting and being fully present to enjoy your grand daughter’s story.

Whatever it is, when you do what makes you light up, you’re bringing that light and joy to the world around you. And we all know what a difference light can make in a world that, at times, can feel overcome with shadows.

Through yoga we do structured work to guide the body back into alignment and wake up the breath. I love to incorporate free form movement to give you the opportunity to quiet, listen, and move in a way that feels most in alignment with your personal flow. During these times, if you listen carefully, your body will tell you exactly how it wants to move.

It’s still speaking, telling you how to bring ease back into your life. If you give yourself the gift of becoming quiet enough to hear it, it will guide you.