Tag Archives: choices

Are We Broken?

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Are We Broken?

Remember that time when you thought your cancer would break you? Your divorce? Your child’s crisis? The death of a loved one? That rape? That abusive relationship? What if this presidential outcome is America’s cancer? What if it is an opportunity to go through chemo and radiation and hair loss and find ourselves again – individually and collectively?

Do you remember the day when you realized you had survived? And then the day that you could finally say you were thriving? Perhaps even finding appreciation for the lessons learned in the space of pain?

To move to a place of surviving and thriving, you had to find a source of strength that you didn’t even know you owned. You had to rely on the love and support of friends and family. You had to own the feeling of broken to find whole again.

Somewhere in that process you gave yourself permission to be different than you were before. More of YOU emerged. You were more honest, more forthright, more authentic, more empowered, more mindful, and more compassionate. You chose to take more risks, more adventures, and have more fun.

Those around you have said things like, “She is different now. Ever since the ______, she is living life more fully. Sometimes I think she is crazy, but she is incredibly happy.”

I know. I have done this many times in my life, just like you.

This time is no different. Dig deep, find the strength that you know is there for these times. I find a simple strength in the rising of the sun. No matter what has happened, she rises, gloriously to face another day. Her consistency reminds me that I can rise each day and be fierce and resilient while shining brightly. Remind yourself of what feeds your determination.

Give yourself permission to volunteer with any population that may feel unsupported today. Give yourself permission to start up a non-profit helping to meet the needs of an underserved population in your area.

Find YOUR fierceness that will keep your fires burning for the changes that must happen in America. Be part of the solution and don’t give up hope. Press forward with determination that LOVE MATTERS and will prevail.

Attacking the institution, the process, the President elect really does not serve the greater good. Have your temper tantrum and MOVE ON to being your best self. Ghandi said it so well, of course, “Be the change you wish to see.”

Rise Up and Be Love. Step Into Kindness with Each Step. Bring In Strength and Purpose with Every Breath.

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Yes, Samantha, You Are In The Flow

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Yes, Samantha, You Are In The Flow

I hope you get on this site soon Samantha. We met last night in a serendipitous turn of events and had a lengthy conversation covering so many topics. I want you to know that you are in the flow of life and more importantly, you are the flow. And, you inspired my flow here on my blog.

I have been where you are and when so many doors close then it is easy to reach out and close more of them – making the assumption that this is the outcome that will happen anyway, so let’s just get it over with. It becomes an instinct to hesitate walking through another door, fearful that it will close on our nose too.

You are resilient and strong. Just from a 2 hour conversation, I know this about you. Be bold. Put yourself out there again with your voice and your musical gifts and say Yes when doors begin to open.

We talked about Efforting vs. Being. Efforting is when we struggle to make things happen, exhausting ourselves, and sometimes others, in the process. Being is allowing action steps to be inspired and intentional that feel good rather than heavy and burdensome. Our to-do list comes from our mental mind more than our heart when we are full of efforting – and we feel weary when we think about doing these things. When we shift into having our heart engaged, we shift into inspired actions that leave us feeling excited and hopeful.

You are a beautiful being that I am happy to have met you in the alley behind Goodwill on a lovely Friday night in Boulder, CO. Start asking yourself, what if I am doing everything right? What if I am right where I am supposed to be all the time? What if this experience is to help me learn more about me and about the world around me? What if this is to help me grow and stretch myself in ways that I cannot imagine?

Stay tuned, Samantha for posts about other things that we spoke of that I feel compelled to share here –  neoroplasticity, pain and letting go, movement and stillness, there are no guarantees, why did this happen to me?, travel and serendipity of events, and more. Thank YOU for showing up and getting my voice rolling again – YOU inspired me to publish some shit!

You are having a Great Life Samantha. Enjoy.

Love, Angela

 

What Forgiveness Meant to Me – Literally

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What Forgiveness Meant to Me – Literally

I wrote about the 3 day retreat that ended with an unforgettable experience here. And I wrote a poem expressing my pain here. Now it is time to share exactly what freedom meant to me after the exercise of forgiveness. I had no idea what to expect – the possibilities were endless.

In the days following the retreat, I felt that my heart space had doubled in size. In my daily prayers I asked God to bring things up so I could let go of even more. I would think of old painful experiences and I forgave myself and others easily. Since I had tackled the biggie in my life, all these other wounds were senseless to hold on to. Sometimes tears accompanied my prayers of forgiveness, but overall, each time I practiced forgiveness, it just got easier and easier.

It seemed pointless to hang on to anything that weighed me down – forgiveness was my new happy pill and I dosed myself frequently.

The second miracle is that the SHAME that clouded my whole life, simply evaporated. I had not understood the roots of my shame until now. I had worked on it from so many angles, and now with the choice of forgiveness, it was gone.

An old journal entry describes my feelings:
“I feel like I am drowning in shame. I take more of it in with each breath. It stinks like rotting flesh. Its voice is eerily comforting as it fills my ear with lies. Sometimes I play hide and seek with shame trying to escape its grip. But I end up feeling naked and exposed and put out the SOS – Shame Oh Shame, please return. Wrap yourself around me like a cloak and help me feel safe again.

My head knows that being raped was never my fault, but I cannot release the grip of shame in my being. Ok, God, let’s heal this shit. Enough already. I am 46 and I have proven I can do shame – with gusto, flair, and grit. It is time to make a change.”

I don’t know if I can adequately express how much shame was woven into my being. I always had shameful thoughts about myself running my brain and body ragged. I used so many tools to neutralize this shame, but they only helped me keep my head above the drowning level.

Obviously this shame took root in my being just from the nature of the violence I endured. I think it was easy to allow shame to grow and perpetuate because so much of the world mirrored that I was not enough as a girl, as a woman, as a human.

I do still have moments when I feel vulnerable without that cloak of shame. I feel exposed and yet I realize that I was always the first one to attack myself. Being and sitting with vulnerability is a worth while practice.

There are many layers of vulnerability and just when one gets comfortable, another emerges, inviting us to expose more of our heart.

Freedom from shame and old wounds of unforgiveness would not have happened if the seed of wanting forgiveness to happen had never been planted. Even if it seems impossible for you to experience forgiving someone that harmed you, I encourage you to say, “Someday, I would like to be free from the weight of unforgiveness. Prepare my heart so when the moment arrives I step into the miracle of unfolding.”

The last little miracle to happen from this is that for 3 days after the retreat ended, I heard my grandpa saying “Angie” in quiet moments. Just before bed on the 3rd day, I said, “Ok, grandpa, I am listening.” He appeared in my mind’s eye sobbing and repeating “I’m sorry.” I thanked him for his apology and released him to continue his own journey. While it was completely unexpected to hear from him (he died 25 years ago) it was beautiful to feel his sincerity and hear his apology. I certainly was not anticipating this experience.

So, if his soul found a new level of peace, that was previously beyond imagination, I am a-ok with that.

Won’t you plant some heart seeds today?

In case you missed it, here is Part 1: Forgiving the Unforgivable

My Poem Related to this post: Feisty for $25

Read more about who the heck I am: https://iamangela.org/about/

Yoga of Self-Care #8 Moving Forward Using Anger

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Yoga of Self-Care #8 Moving Forward Using Anger

I have a ton of fun hosting family and friends out here in beautiful Colorado. We often visit trails and mountains that are new to me too. Recently all the fun I had in a mountain adventure was sucked away in a vacuum of anger just a few minutes into our drive down the mountain. I use all experiences – good and bad – to grow and learn more about myself.

I have known for several years now that I don’t allow to have enough healthy anger to have a voice in my life. Here is the beginning of my anger working for me. I have a new boundary. I feel compelled to publish it – it is good practice for saying it out loud to all the people that plan to visit this summer.

If you are visiting me and you feel it is important to tell me how to live my life better than I am, I will walk you to the door. Our visit will end at that moment, especially if I didn’t ask for your opinion. If you cannot have an insightful, open, intelligent dialogue with me respecting my choices, you are out. I will be direct with every person that plans on coming a long distance to spend time with me. If you happen to live locally, its not such a hardship to get your ass home.

I have navigated questions about my soul’s eternal destiny and many of my lifestyle choices with love and compassion for many years now and I am not going to be so nice and peaceful anymore. Now I am pissed that people I know and love cannot love me for who I am – they insist on trying to change me. That is not love.

My request is quite simple: Leave my choices alone. Give me the same respect you want of me for your lifestyle choices. I love my current life. My spirituality is sacred to me – anyone that attacks what I believe, is attacking me. I won’t stand for it anymore. Choose your words wisely in my company or you will find yourself back home sooner than planned.

For years anger has frozen me. It was a learned behavior to repress my anger. I have feared that letting anger out would be catastrophic to me and those that I love – my anger seemed bigger than me. I am experiencing healthy responses to my healthy anger and it feels great!

I understand the importance of honoring all of who I am – even the Angry Angela. In fact, allowing anger to flow through me in a timely and appropriate way is a natural and beautiful response to have present in my daily life. Bottled up and repressed anger is toxic, like an oil spill, to my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

I don’t want to smell like toxic shit anymore.

Day 7: The Yoga of Self-Care

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Day 7: The Yoga of Self-Care

Self-care for the blogger begins with hitting the draft button regularly or a completely done amazing post goes down the vortex of the web. And sucks my beautiful words and tender heart with it. It is amazing how my energy plummets when this happens. I was done except for my image. A nice person at WordPress even conspired to find my words but to no avail. Why isn’t the new post page defaulted on draft where it is in save mode instead of publish immediately where it does not save text?

I am grateful for the Your Turn Challenge team led by Winnie Kao and Seth Godin. It has been a remarkable week. I can’t wait to spend more time on the blog reading amazing material by other participants.

I can ship. Lots more than I thought I could. And I had FUN doing it. My self-care will be to ship way more frequently and stop hiding who I am and what I think and where I have been and where I am going.

I had a nice long note here about the sun and my daily celebration of her steadfastness. Of how much this comforts me and gives me strength and perseverance in my own life. How by spending time in the natural world, I am more devoted and compelled to be steadfast in my personal self-care. I watched her rise this morning and she took my breath away. I even wrote her a letter. And then I wrote you, the readers of this blog a letter about honoring your self-care rituals that help you grow and heal. We are all different and it takes respecting your self enough to take care of you. No matter what kind of crap another might throw at you. We all clean up our shit storms our own way.

That beautifully written post will have to be drafted tomorrow because my body is yelling at me to go to bed. And tonight I am going to listen. I hiked in the Rocky Mountains today and celebrated the Earth’s magnificent brilliance, played an outdoor xylophone and had my picture taken with a snowman. So all in all, it was an awesome day. My words will come tomorrow as sure as the sun rises.

This is part 7 of a 7 part series on self-care.

Day 6: The Yoga of Self-Care

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Day 6: The Yoga of Self-Care

Why am I writing about self-care? All I had learned and understood was how to live in survival mode which is chaos and mayhem. Very exhausting. Self-care was a vague and foreign concept – something I am still cultivating an understanding within myself. I believe listening to my body is the foundation for learning how best to take care of myself. It has taken me years to develop healthier habits. And I am still very much a work in progress. Consistency is my challenge. I find myself in a state of resistance or flat out self-sabotage regularly.

There are so many reasons why we, as a culture, resist premium self-care habits in the midst of our platinum and luxurious lives. In my opinion, the lives we are working so hard to maintain, are layers of distraction for avoiding ourselves. I am ready for something different.

I choose to give myself permission to take extraordinary and exquisite care of myself. I give you permission to do it too.

Why all this emphasis on yoga? It spoke to me. Attending weekly Trauma Sensitive Yoga classes taught me what consistency meant for my body. Anytime I see a mat, I feel my body hum. It longs to spend more time on the mat in various states of rest and stretching.

TRAUMA YOGA

Contrary. Oxymoron.
Like me.
Two halves that should not fit.
But must reside in the same body.
The wounded half. The healed half.
I wonder, “How is this yoga different?
My curiosity invites me.
My trauma qualifies me.
My trauma body shows up.
Longing to find my yoga body.

No Eastern ambiance.
Just a conference room.
Filled with a sense of safety.
Created just for me.
And the millions of eligible souls.
Small classes, by design.
No challenge for perfecting the pose.
No call for deepening the experience.
My eyelids shutter closed.

It is just me and the teacher’s calm voice.
My body responds with a small rocking motion.
My self-soothing visits each pose.
Resources on Suicide Prevention keep me company during tree pose.
I smirk at the irony.
Memories of my 15-year vigil with Suicide.
And now I am doing yoga with Suicide.

Several weeks go by uneventfully.
Then my whole being hears the word “choice.”
My body shudders in response.
My mind keeps repeating:
Choice, choices, choice, choices, choice, choices
This is my awakening
I can move a little
Or a lot
Or not at all
The past is not here

Today means
No violent authority
No need to resist
No one holding me down
No one demanding, expecting
It is just me

I immerse myself in the experience of safety and choice
Body memories spasm and sputter, ready to escape
Captive no more
A spinal twist wrings out ancient tears

Yoga connects me to my body
Helps me feel whole
Shows me the path of gentleness
I begin to see a wider landscape of the future
To feel more freedom than pain
To resemble healing more than trauma

Only a teacher than understands
Trauma is ready to witness the depth of my pain
Only a teacher that understands
Yoga will appreciate the stretch of my courage
Today
I practice
The Yoga of Courage
I practice
The Yoga of Choice
I practice
Freedom Yoga

Photo, of the author in tree pose, is by http://www.brittripleyphotography.com/

Previously published on http://givebackyoga.org/trauma-sensitive-yoga-for-rape-survivors-reflections-from-a-poet

This is part 6 of a 7 part series on self-care.

Day 4: The Yoga of Self-Care

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Day 4: The Yoga of Self-Care

1. Always begin with the breath – take it   d e e p   and   s l o w. Your body dances when you breath mindfully.

2. Post your intentions. Sing them, chant them, have FUN with them, do art with them!

3. Make the ACTION LIST. Do the EASY items first.

4. Work through the IMPOSSIBLE.

The items left seem IMPOSSIBLE or they wouldn’t still be waiting for attention. Getting to the root of IMPOSSIBLE will take time, effort, and, emotional attention. Healing these roots will make all the difference in the current situation and create different outcomes in the future. The same old shit won’t trigger you into fear-based thinking. I am cheering you through this shift – it is such a worthwhile journey.

Fear is an awesome manufacturer of procrastination. Likewise, anger can be an awesome springboard for action.

I give you permission to be pissed at the situation or circumstances. Allow the emotions to flow. Just take the piss (and the victim) out of your voice once you are enlisting the help of others. The goal is to navigate this with as much grace and healing as possible, which means how to treat others through this process is important. Keep your civility and integrity intact.

When facing the IMPOSSIBLE, it is time to remember you don’t have to do it alone. In fact, learning how to ask and receive help might be an important lesson for you. It certainly was for me. Now is the time to reach into your toolbox or see a practitioner that can help you find the source of pain, hurt or trauma that is probably at the root of IMPOSSIBLE. For me, Emotional Freedom Technique (aka EFT or Tapping) is a wonderful self-help tool that will take me to the root of my blockage. Use what works for you. I also highly recommend therapy and counseling professionals that can help you navigate shitty times especially if you have PTSD, complex trauma, anxiety disorder, or severe depression. I have a history of all of these and the professionals in my life always helped me pull through. Remember, it is Your Turn to give yourself the experience of courage and freedom using whatever tools make you feel safe and comfortable.

Simple solutions that have used: I made an appointment with a close friend and ask them to be with me during the hard part, whether it was a phone call or appointment. Sometimes all I need is an accountability friend. I ask them to poke me to make sure it got done when I promised it would be done. I have friends that would just let me talk about the possibilities out loud, sometimes giving helpful suggestions, but mostly listening. Talking it through (out loud to yourself even!) can be an important shift. Make a list of trusted professionals, friends, and family members that you can call upon as you navigate this shit storm.

As you read through the IMPOSSIBLE ACTION ITEMS, I have some self-help tools to share:

Where do you feel the tension in your body? What happens if you breath into this space? Use the   d e e p   and   s l o w   breath to open up space in your body and mind to navigate this differently than you have before.

Notice your self-talk during this process. Can it be addressed by one of the new intentions you created?

What personality of fear is showing up right now? Panic, fear, anxiety, overwhelm, frustration, anger, shame, guilt, intimidation? Stretch your body – do any movement that will help your body let go of the physical tension that has been launched. Dance, shake, laugh, walk, run, stretch and be vocal during this process.

If you feel comfortable doing this alone, ask yourself what is the earliest memory you have of feeling just like this. This might be the root of this trigger. Once you have identified a situation (typically from childhood or young adulthood) then start using the tools you know to begin to work through this old hurt. Again, totally cool to work through this with a pro if that feels best.

Journaling is a great tool right now. It can be as simple as a list of how you are feeling. You can send an email to your self or use pen and paper. I believe your body needs for you to acknowledge these feelings and emotions to begin the healing process. Here are some prompts:

This makes me feel ____ or feel like ______ or remember ______
I don’t know why but this word/action/emotion makes me ________
When I think of ______ I hear/smell/taste/feel/see _______
My <body part> hurts and has a message for me ___________

Honor yourself with some yoga. Find a community that takes care of themselves and you will find a community that cares about you.

This is part 4 of a 7 part series on self-care.

Day 3: The Yoga of Self-Care

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Day 3: The Yoga of Self-Care

1. Keep up the   d e e p   and   s l o w   breath work to connect you with your body. Use calming mantras to help bring balance into your body and mind. Practice yoga.

2. Define your intentions using Contrast and Clarity statements. Let these begin to saturate your awareness and open up your energy to a new way of living and being. More yoga.

3. Take action.

Whatever your situation is, chances are that you have some literal action steps to take to find resolution. Make a list of all the things you can think of to help resolve the mess and create a desirable outcome. If you don’t know literally what to do to solve your problem, gather information. Google it – we have so much information at our fingertips. Read up on the topic if it is foreign to you. Call professionals.

I once took advantage of a legal firms free consultation only to have the attorney tell me I didn’t need to hire him because I had done the action steps needed and just needed to continue on the path I had started. I went to see him because I had let self-doubt creep in and decided I should use a pro. I love the integrity of that attorney!

Now that you have your ACTION LIST we are going to use a simple green light, yellow light, and red light system to get them done. Is there one or two that are time sensitive? Prioritize and tackle these first. (Don’t worry if one of these is a red light item, I cover that in the next post.)

Go through the list and highlight or circle all the actions items that are EASY for you literally, emotionally, and mentally. Set up a schedule and choose a reasonable time frame for them to be completed. Do one of these items today to experience success.

Go through the list and highlight or star all the actions items that require a measure of RESOLVE for you to complete. With each item note what the obstacle is: logistical, emotional, mental. Sometimes success on our EASY items make this set of items seem more do-able. Set up a schedule and choose a reasonable time frame for these to be completed.

I know, there are still items on your list. We cover the IMPOSSIBLE tomorrow. For today, stay focused on what you can accomplish.

As you talk to folks that you need to talk to, such as, the banker, the lawyer, the social worker, etc. Be polite, kind, humble, grateful, courteous, and NOT a VICTIM. Lots of situations in life make us feel victimized and I am here to challenge you to not be a victim in the way you to talk to people. Listen to yourself as you talk, be mindful of statements that blame others or lead you to shift responsibility. You will recognize it when you hear it.

You are not a victim anymore. You are taking charge of the situation. Also, do not be self-condemning in your statements, nor shame-based in your language. You are being pro-active now – you deserve to hold your head up during this clean-up process. Intimidation is often projected in shit-storms and you can choose to not be intimidated. Shake it off – don’t allow someone’s judgment of you to enter your head. I will cover strategies that will help you let all of these things go in future posts.

Last, but not least, before you make these phone calls, I am going to suggest you set the intention to forgive yourself for being in this shit-storm. Begin thinking that this is all going to work out and release yourself from those harsh judgments that just cause headaches, stomach upset, inflammation, and a host of other dis-eases.

My experiences with shit-storms have taught me alot about myself and how I grab onto responsibility that is not mine and how I carried shame and guilt with me everywhere. I learned how to allow my fear to just exist and found it helpful to acknowledge it when talking to the person that is assisting me, when appropriate. I way over apologized too – I had so many regrets, but regrets are the contrast – let them go.

I allowed myself to be in the shit-storms of bankruptcy and foreclosure. I say allowed, because I believe that I could have chosen differently and had different outcomes. In the end, neither killed me. In fact, I sold my house and got a bit of the equity. The stress was overwhelming at times, but I would pull back and make a list and do what was EASY to work up the energy to do the IMPOSSIBLE. (We cover the IMPOSSIBLE in the next post.)

Did you find a yoga class yet? Yes? Fantastic! Go again. No? Seriously, get on it. Today is a great day to connect with your Self in the practice of yoga. There are so many types of yoga and thousands of teachers. Did you try it once and not like it? Try it again! A different teacher and a different type can make all the difference. Let yoga be part of your new life.

This is part 3 of a 7 part series on Self-Care. #yourturnchallenge

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Day 2: The Yoga of Self-Care

1. Keep up the   d e e p   and   s l o w   breath work to connect you with your body. Use calming mantras to help bring balance in. Do yoga.

2. Define your intentions.

It might seem silly to have to articulate “I would like to move past this pile of shit I am sitting in.” However, knowing what you DO want is an important part of the process. Taking time to reflect on what you don’t like often helps create the list of what you do like.

Make a contrast and desire list: I don’t like how this shit smells turns into I really like the smell of roses and lilacs. Feel free to tear off the ‘don’t like’ half of the page and have a burning ceremony. At the very least cut it off and keep the ‘like’ portion of the page to help you define your intentions.

This is a critical step that helps create a sense of safety. Be clear about your boundaries for self-work. Feel free to use the general intentions below as a guide to get started, however, I encourage you to re-write them to reflect you and your language, thoughts, and desires. Add in the important aspects of what you are working on being as specific as possible. I wrote out some intentions regarding healing from childhood trauma that you might find useful.

When reviewing my stinky shit, I only want to address the aspects of it that are critical to my moving past it. (Contrast statement: I don’t want to wallow in this any longer than I need to.)

When I feel stuck, I am choosing to be open to new solutions, especially ones that stretch and flex my Self in different ways. (Contrast statement: I have done this before and this revolving door is getting old.)

If a core belief of mine is challenged during this work, I am open to changing a core belief. (Contrast statement: I like looking at the same four walls, it has given me safety, but I am feeling very limited.)

When I feel stuck, I am open to asking for help and support from the appropriate resources. (Contrast statement: I don’t know how to get out of this shit alone. I keep trying and not succeeding.)

All during this healing process (yep, this is called healing) I am expecting the next right action step to feel natural and intuitive. (Contrast statement: I never know what to do next, I circle and spin but don’t do anything because I am afraid it is the wrong thing to do.)

I am going to surround myself with people and messages of hope, change, transformation, support, and love. (Contrast statement: Everyone I know is in this same shit or something that smells just as awful. Some of them have been wallowing in it for years.)

Remember, these are just samples – create your own. Words are just as powerful as our breath. Use them mindfully.

There is so much more living waiting for us – it doesn’t always come easy. There is pain in life, this much we know. Let’s start a healing revolution and inspire everyone to work with the aches and pains of life to find freedom and happiness. We won’t get there alone or in the same box of shit, but we can create a kinder, gentler life.

Did you find a yoga class yet? Yes? Go again. No? Get on it. It is never too late to start yoga. Read stories on Huffington Post about yoga changing lives through Give Back Yoga Foundation

This is part 2 of a 7 part series on Self-Care. #yourturnchallenge

Day 2: The Yoga of Self-Care

Day 1: Yoga of Self-Care

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Day 1: Yoga of Self-Care

Ok, so the shit has hit the fan and you are in a mess – emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, and/or mentally. The only thinking happening is panic induced:
“Help. I need help.”
“What the Fuck – really? Now?”
“I don’t even know where to begin.”
“I am so tired of feeling attacked.”

 

Hit the pause button of your thoughts. Take an extra   s l o w   and   d e e p   breath – hold it for a moment – then release it slowly and completely. Make noise, or not. Do it again and allow a mantra to enter your mental space, such as peace and calm. Use it on the inhale and let the exhale take away as much stuckness as you are able to muster. Do it again for as long as you want, knowing that your breath, is your life force. Intentional breathing can help you co-create your homeostasis, your balance. Your body wants, and needs, you to pitch in and help out here.

Use this space you have given yourself, tiny as it may seem, to keep moving forward; to co-create a mental space that will provide a foundation for healing the shit-space you feel taking over right now. This is a critical mass moment – consider yourself in the ICU – cancel any non-urgent appointments and obligations to invest time in yourself. Now it is Your Turn as Guru Seth Godin, would say.

Too often we fail to do this – I know, I used to be the master of busy. It was far easier to show up for someone else than it was to show up for myself. I let life happen to me rather than taking charge. I deferred and procrastinated the ICU matters of my life until someone else made the choices for me or until the situation had deteriorated to such an extent that my options were severely limited. This is not Self-care. This is not, as a recent guru put it, Devotion to Self.

Have you ever been in a hard yoga pose? It takes an enormous amount of attention to hold that position. There is no choice but to be fully present in your body – the vehicle for movement, momentum, changing directions. This latest shit storm? It is your hard yoga pose. I know, it stinks and is terribly uncomfortable in all ways, but I am suggesting you “sit with your shit.” Being grounded and present and in your body is the first step to creating the life you desire.

I know you will find fertilizer for new growth and potential far beyond your imagined limitations of today.

Last, but not least, head for the nearest yoga class, immerse yourself in yourself, and find seeds of faith, hope, strength, courage, resiliency, wisdom, and love for your Self.

This is part 1 of a 7 part series on Self-Care.