Doing the next right thing…

Hiya Everyone,

Not sure why I was thinking about this yesterday… but I was.

What are some of the things you remember, in your greatest time of sorrow… grief… or joy? Do you remember people? Do you remember who showed up? Do you remember who did not? Any surprises? Do you remember the weather? Do you remember anyone elses responses… or… do you remember how you felt?

I ask this question, as my mind has drifted from past to present. I thought about this question and immedietly my mind scanned for how I responded to others in need. Did I show up? Did I make a casserole, a salad or a pot of soup? Did I say a silent prayer, did I reach out at all? Did I send a card?

I took a giant step back into my memory, and found some really sad times. One in particular stands out. I remember when one of Hailey’s classmates died in a tragic accident. He was walking across a busy street and was hit by a semi. Not sure how news spread so quickly before we had Facebook… but within hours, the whole town was buzzing.

I made a macaroni salad, stopped at the grocery store and bought deli meat, rolls and the fixings… then, I drove to their house. I just wanted to hug the parents, and leave the food… but… God had another plan. I ended up spending the entire day with them.

I was the one, who opened the door and spoke to the attorney, representing the driver. (In retrospect, who the heck does this? The very day… they sent someone to question the grieving parents.)

When I hopped into my car that morning, I had a plan… I didn’t know what the need would be… but I knew they would need to eat. (This is my love language… I feed people.)

What I didn’t know, was that they would also need someone to pray with them. Cry with them. Make phone calls. Answer phone calls and to tell them that it was all going to be okay.

I think back to that day. Why was I able to comfort them? What did I have, that they needed? Nothing. I was just willing to be there. I am not sharing this story to point out what a good person I am… I am sharing it to show you how something so little… a few groceries and a tuna salad… can make a difference. How being willing to sit with a horrific situation and sad people… can have an impact.

Be that person. Set your own stuff aside… and just show up. I am not saying you need to cancel your day or not be there for your family… what I am saying is that you need to be willing to be uncomfortable. It is not fun being with a grieving person. Nobody knows what to say. Nobody knows what to do.

No-one knows what someone needs, and everyone is different… so… we stay away.

Don’t stay away.

Remember when people made a pot of soup for a sick neighbor? Remember when people brought food, for a family, who had just lost a loved one?

Be the person who makes the soup. Be the person who feels awkward and shows up anyway. Be the person who bakes a casserole, sends a card and picks up the phone.

If we could stop making it personal… and realize it’s not about us… we would be so much better off. We need to learn to set aside our own fear of saying the wrong thing… and just show up. Stop being so busy that you can’t drop what you’re doing and show up. People need us. We need each other.

I also remembered my own grief.

I remember my sister Kim saying, I am just going to be there.

I am going to sit on the edge of her couch and be out of the way… Just in case, she needs something. Maybe it’s a hug, maybe it’s a sandwich, maybe it’s to sweep her floor… but if she needs anything… I want to be there.

You have no idea how much that meant to me. She was willing to come and just be there… for as long as it took… just in case, I needed something.

I was talking to a friend yesterday,m who had lost his wife a few years ago. He mentioned that after the funeral, when everyone left… was the hardest part.

The loneliest time of his life. He was all alone. People avoided him. People stayed away.

My experience was different. I had a friend who stayed with me for months… she allowed me to cry. Allowed me to talk on end… and never tried to make it anything else. She allowed me the space to heal.

Here is a little unsolicited advice- When people start crying, don’t stop them.

Don’t rush to grab a tissue… just let them cry. Let them get all messy. Allow them to be sad. If they need a kleenex, they will ask. Allow them the space and let the tears flow. It isn’t about you. So what, if you’re uncomfortable. Allow them to cry.

One of the weirdest parts about my grief, was allowing other people to be uncomfortable with my breakdowns. And trust me… there were many.

I had to watch men start to shift their weight from hip to hip… I watched as they folded their arms across their chest… I watched them as they looked away. I watched their body language and I allowed them to be uncomfortable. I needed to cry. I wasn’t sorry either… It. Was. What. I. Needed.

One last thing… This isn’t a contest either. You don’t get a medal or a badge. It’s a privilege. I don’t share these things to get an atta boy or to shame someone… I am gently reminding you all… that it’s time to step up.

People are hurting. People are not okay. People are lonely. Check in. Bring the damn soup. Even if it’s raining and you don’t want to get out of your fat pants… get up and get moving. **Don’t take a selfie and post it all over your social media… it ruins it. Really. Just do it, because it needs to be done.

Kindness Matters.

Until Next time… Peace and Love Peeps~

Proceed with Caution… this one may sting a little.

Hiya Everyone,

I was thinking this morning about a friend. She mentioned that she wasn’t feeling well and knew she had a lot of inflammation in her body. She also mentioned that she may need to change her diet and she dreaded that idea because she is not a good dieter.

As I was playing around the house this morning, I started thinking about my friend. I also started thinking of the things in my life that I dread… I really really really… want to get a daily yoga practice. I want discipline and I want to be faithful to me.

Bingo.

Instead of dreading the idea of creating the habit… I just need to change the way I look at it. Just like my friend.

I don’t have to create a new habit… I get to.

I just need to change my perspective.

Just like my friend… she gets to help her body, she gets to support her health… Instead of looking at all that she can’t eat, maybe she needs to focus on what she can. There are so many dense nutrients that support gut health, inflammation and arthritis… maybe she needs to look forward to better health and less pain… rather than dreading a lifestyle change?

I am a pretty holistic person. I would rather take a supplement or an herb… than a prescription.

But… I have an entire shelf filled with supplements and vitamins. It dawned on me this morning, I am trying to use the vitamins etc… to do what a pill or a prescription would do. (Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing…) But here is the issue… I also want the quick fix.

I want the herbs to work as quickly to relieve my symptoms, instead of looking at the root causes. What is causing my irritation or issue?

Lack of sleep. Extra weight, especially around the middle. Inflammation. Aches and pain.

I have an entire cupboard filled with things to take… instead of addressing what the real issue is. I am also not supporting my body. I am eating garbage and then taking a supplement to off set it. I am not practicing yoga and meditation and haven’t been journaling… My hormones are directing a lot… and that isn’t a cop out, it’s just a fact of life.

I have many tools to be healthier. I have the knowledge.

So… changing my perspective… I can move forward with this thought. What if I supported my body in a few other ways… What if I took responsibility for me?

A few years ago, at my chiropractor’s office, I filled out the questionnaire and there was a question that made me think deeply. It asked if I wanted to get to the cause of the pain, or If I was just looking for the pain to go away.

A lot of people come to me to reduce pain. Emotional, physical and sometimes even spiritual. Sometimes they don’t like what I tell them. Sometimes they don’t find what they need. Sometimes, they just aren’t ready to hear me… other times, they just want the pain to go away… they don’t want to own their part or take responsibility.

It all begins with the decision to change. Even if I am really ambivalent. Even if I have a cupboard full of supplements and quick fixes… it all begins with me. Sometimes the answer is a pill. Sometimes it is an herb… maybe it is exactly what my body is lacking… but it shouldn’t be the only thing I am doing. I need to look at my part.

I read a book a few years ago by Iyanla Vanzant. She said something that really stuck with me… she said, it’s all intellectual, until we put it into play. In other words, I can read all of the books and gain all of the knowledge in the world… but until I use this information, nothing will change.

There is a saying in the recovery world… Nothing changes, if nothing changes.

What do you want to change? What’s stopping you? Who have you given your power too? Is it time to take it back? Maybe it’s time to schedule an appointment with a Health Coach or a Counselor… here is the cool part.

You get to decide. You are in charge. You have the right to stay stuck… or move on with all that you have.

I threw my yoga mat down on the kitchen floor… I set my iPad to an old yoga playlist… and I did some yoga. When I was done, I made a smoothie. I finished cleaning my kitchen and I folded the clothes that had been re-fluffed three times.

I grabbed an apple and I went to work. I get to work today. I get to do yoga. I have so many blessings…

Until Next Time, Peace and Love Peeps~

Who gets this life??

Hiya Everyone,

This past weekend was “The Harvest Gathering”… I am still reveling in its wonder… Harvest Gathering is a beautiful music festival in my hometown. I look forward to it each and every year… BUT. It’s not just about the music. It is so much more than music.

It’s about connection. It’s about community. It’s about love and support. It’s about the environment and caring for each other.

I remember a few years back (MySpace… years back!) I wrote on my “MySpace” about the gathering. I remember mentioning that I wanted to be a Hippy. I wanted what these people had to offer… so loving and generous with all they have. I wrote about how the festival changed me and that I wanted to become a hippy. (Insert sarcasm here… ) I also wrote that I didn’t want to become a vegan, wasn’t willing to not shave my legs/arm pits and still wanted to eat cheeseburgers!

Well, I am here to say- the festival has grown… and so have I. Harvest Gathering has changed… it’s expanded and what used to be a few hundred friends and musicians, is now over 2,000 and growing. I remember when they added a second stage… now there are four stages and over a hundred bands that play for three whole days! (And late into the night…)

I have watched the festival become its own energy. It draws people in. It changes them. It nourishes spirits and it mends the brokeness within. The music and the people speak love. It is universal. Many cultural ethnicities, races, religions, beliefs, sexual identities are represented… and they all get along beautifully. They conduct workshops and educate one another. They dance. They do yoga. They bless one another. They spread change and they nurture the young. These people respect their elders and they honor them.

As I sit here 12-15 years later… I say it again… I wanna be a hippy. I want what these humans have. I love who they are… I cannot wait until this weekend, next year. It imprints my heart and enriches me beyond these words.

img_2423

I tried to explain it to someone last week, I said- “You show up and you quickly realize that this is what you have been missing… all of your life. It’s magic.”

This year as I waited for my lunch … (Which is a totally different blog… the food is incredible. They have such wonderful choices… my mouth salivates, at the thought of that grilled cheese with green apples and Havarti cheese… topped with an aoli sauce with a small container of cool tomato basil soup for dippin… oh….mmmmm….geeeeee. )

Anyway… I digress… as I was waiting for my lunch… I was approached by an old friend. She and I went to highschool together and she still lives locally. I see her name mentioned by friends, but we have not stayed in contact. She makes these colorful hand crafted window shutters and I have been thinking of her a lot lately probably because I need a pair of these wonderful shutters for my she-shed/massage shed… anyway, she mentioned that she spotted me and wanted to tell me that she reads my blog. She said that my words often touch her and she wanted me to know this.

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

You see, I don’t know who reads my blog. Unless you comment here or on my Blog Facebook page, I really have no idea who reads these posts.

I guess in the spirit of The Harvest Gathering, once again… I am blessed. Not just by the music and the love… but by an old friend- who stepped out of her comfort zone to pay me a compliment. I probably walked away just a little bit taller with that grilled cheese…. thank you friend, your kind words were appreciated. Namaste.

So… I ask myself this question often… especially when I see memories on social media. Who gets this life??

On this day I have memories of past Harvest gatherings… a visit with my daughter and first grandson, the Dixie Chicks concert, a friend/massage client who tagged me and said thank you, for “seeing her” and a new post from a friend who shared her heart and thanked me for being her shining star through the years without even knowing it…

My life is full today. I have so many wonderful friends. I have a husband who works hard and supports my dreams. He allows me to putz and play… I get to make crafts and write blogs. A few years ago… my life was full of sadness. I was picking up the pieces of a shattered heart. Some of my pictures and memories show a deep sadness in my eyes. My smile is placed where it should be… but my eyes tell a different story.

Hailey and I at Harvest in 2012

I write these blogs to keep my memories. I write these words to share hope. I share my heart and my silliness to show other people that anything- is possible. I want whoever is reading this blog to know… this is just one day. Today is just a little blip… in the big picture.

I am reminded of a story….

A little girl has a really bad day at school. She is crushed. She runs home after school sobbing. She asks her mom for a piece of chocolate cake, to forget her troubles.

Her mom agrees.

Her mom hands her a tsp of baking soda. The little girl whines and asks why would she do this to her?

Her mom then hands her a stick of butter… again, the little girl wonders why her momma would be so cruel… she has had the worst day ever.

Then her mom hands her some flour in a cup… the little girl is beside herself… her mom asks her to sit down so they can talk.

She explains that this day- is just a single day. Just like in a recipe… if we take this single day without the other ingredients… it’s just a stick of butter. God is not done with us. If we stop now… we will never get the whole cake. This rough moment… this bad day… is just like a tsp of baking soda. It’s necessary… but alone… is not very good.

This path is not always fun. It’s not always concerts and kind words… but when I look at it all together… I am in awe. Who gets this life? Me. I do. (And… so do you.) I see you… I am proud of you. Don’t stop now… we all want to share in that cake…

 

Until next time peeps… Peace and Love~

 

 

Just Send Love…

Hiya Everyone,

Last night, I got a message from my best friend. She said the Lansing Police Department had contacted her to do a “wellness Check” on her ex-husband. A little bit later they contacted her to let her know he had passed.

Today is a day of sadness. Today is a day of anger.

I hate the disease of addiction.

He was one of the funniest men, that I have ever known. He was one of the brightest, smartest humans. There was such an ease with his gentle soul… until Addiction took over. His life became conflicted. He began to spiral and he lost it all.

He went from a prestigious position in IT with many certifications and respect, to living in a shady part of town and not able to keep a job.

He could remember random facts, and was the person you wanted on your team in any board or trivia game. He knew details and could recall any Actor, scene or title to whatever movie you were watching. He loved animals.

I remember his gentle nature and smile. I loved his laugh and his ability to make anyone feel like they were the center of the world. He did this well. My best friend had one of those picture perfect marriages… from the outside.

From the outside, looking in- we all saw how he adored her and went out of his way to make her life rich. From the outside we all saw how hard he worked to provide and how much he loved his job. From the outside, we watched him build a life in a small community and supported her dreams.

On the inside… he was withering and dying. He battled with addiction and even though he wanted to be all of these things for everyone… the addiction kept him feeling alone. It pulled him. It lured him… and eventually he believed it. He didn’t feel like he had a choice. He didn’t think he could ever stop.

My heart aches for this lost life. My heart aches for this lost possibility. My heart aches for my friend. I am so mad.

I go from tears staining my cheeks to angry with fists clenched and jaw set. I go from praying to God to help her and her family… to questioning God for allowing this to happen. I miss him. I haven’t spoken to him in years, but knowing that I never will again- brings the ache and the guilt of allowing someone their own pain.

In recovery, I have heard it said many times that sometimes a person has to die… to be free. I will hold that in my heart today. He is free.

When Paul was sick, people asked what they could do to help? My comment was “Just Send Love”. It’s a universal language and in the Love, I found healing.

I ask you today, for my friend and those who loved this man… Just Send Love. They will need it.

If you or someone you know is suffering today, I pray that you find your way. I pray that nobody ever reads a letter at your funeral about how things could have been. I ask the powers that be… to help you and guide you. May you find peace on this side… not the other.

God Bless…

Until Next time… Peace and Love~

Check Yourself….

Hiya Everyone,

It’s been a minute since I have posted a blog, I have been enjoying my summer… Today it feels like Fall… I am excited for Fall. (Don’t hate me… I am one of the crazy Pumpkin flavored everything lovers… )

The other thing I love about Fall, is the transition in me… I get to slow down. I get to re-group. I use the seasons to check in with me. I allow the seasons to guide me. In Ayurvedic Medicine, the Seasons are a time to shift… your body wants to shift. Trust me.

So another reason I am writing today is because I have an opportunity tomorrow to speak at a recovery meeting. It’s not a huge deal, it’s maybe 40-80 people… Each week, one person opens the meeting- we call it a “Lead Speak”. Tomorrow is my turn. It can be ten minutes or it can be twenty… You don’t have to have a specific topic… you can just share your story.

I have been thinking about what I should share. In recovery, they teach us to share our ES&H… which is short for Experience Strength and Hope. The problem is… I feel like a Comedian- who needs new material! You ever watch someone and think… damn, I have heard this before. They need to get new stuff… that’s my fear.

So I was chatting with a sponsee yesterday and decided I would speak about “Having fun in recovery” Or “learning how to have fun” in general. It’s sad, like really sad… because most of us recovering addicts- don’t know how to be silly. We were not taught how to feel safe and to be child-like.

How many times did you hear, “Grow up… stop it… Behave… Act your age”??? I know, I did. It’s almost like I skipped that stage… being a kid.

So today, as a 53 year old grandmother… I am learning to be okay with being silly. To not take myself and other people so seriously. I can let you be you… and I can not carry your shit with me… I don’t have to look for your reaction to be okay. I don’t need your approval today. But… that was a process. So- that’s what I am going to share at the Lead Speak.

I also think I will talk a little about allowing other people to feel their own pain. Say what?? Ya… that’s hard, I know… but it’s necessary. I can’t save the world. I can barely save me. Along those same lines, I wanna mention what it feels like or how to recognize when we need to be aware of something. When we need to address an old wound…

A few weeks ago I posted something on social media, I won’t share what it was, because I don’t want to call anyone out. But here is the thing that sort of miffed me. (Is that a word? Please don’t go grammar Natzi on me…) Anyway, a person commented on my post, to “one up me”. (Or that’s what it felt like… and that feeling, alerted me to an area that I need to look at- in me.)

I am not even sure if they did it on purpose. But here is what I have learned about me over the past 20 years of soul searching and digging… people are brought into our lives to teach us something about us. When people irritate us, “miff” us, or in general just rub us the wrong way… it’s usually something about ourselves that we don’t like. (Here is where you can smack your own forehead….)

SO… I have to check myself. I have to look within to see why or what is going on? I have to genuinely look at myself and understand why it bothers me. Am I like this? Do I do this to other people? Is it my ego that is being challenged? Why does it bother me??

Someone once told me “If you spot it, You got it.” At the time, I wanted to smack them upside the head… really. What?? But when I step back… I can see clearly.

If I can recognize a defect of character in someone else, it must mean that I am capable of this action myself. Most of the time, it’s something in myself that I do not like. Sometimes, it’s an old wound that I haven’t addressed.

How is this done? How do we heal those old hurts? How do we not keep picking at it and finally let it go?

1) The first step is recognize that you want to change.

2) The second is to make a decision to change.

3) The third step- and this is HUGE, we have to make a decision to allow other people to not be okay with the new us. (Insert new decision, a change… whatever you’re trying to do.) Too often we will abandon our idea or our commitment, when we are challenged by someone in our group.

Here’s an example… Let’s say that I want to stop eating potato chips. If I make a decision to not eat potato chips, and my friend buys me a bag of my favorite kind… I should be able to politely refuse the gift. If my friend gets upset and says something like- “That’s the the last time that I buy you anything….” (insert eye roll here… really- my friends don’t treat me like this… but follow along- this is good.)

If my friend couldn’t honor my change or my decision, and they started pressuring me… and I didn’t want to hurt their feelings… so I ate the chips to not hurt their feelings…. this is what I am talking about.

We have to be okay with allowing people to disagree with our decision and to allow them to not be okay. It’s not up to me, to make sure everyone is okay with my evolving. I am constantly creating a new version of me… remember?? I get to be whoever and whatever, I chose to be!

Okay, I completely got away from the social media post… backing up to the post. What was so upsetting about the comment? Why did I get irritated? Because I felt like this person was making me look dumb. (It wasn’t their intention… I know… but it stung a little.) Why??

It stung a little because I have not gone to college. I don’t have a degree. I know a lot, about a lot… but I am not a college graduate. Why is it hard for me to allow people to know more than me?

When this happens, I breathe deeply. Settle back into my truth… and know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am smart. I have a good handle on many things. I am not an expert on them… but I am enough.

My name is Denise, I am a Daughter, Sister, Friend, Mother, Wife, Alcoholic, Addict, Sponsor, Sponsee, Grandma, Sexual Abuse Survivor, Reiki Master, Artisan, Widow, Writer, Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher, Blogger and Master Certified Health Coach. (I passed! 😉)

A friend reminded me of this the other day, she asked “How many initials do you have behind your name now, Denise?” I may not have a college degree… but I am not dumb. I am enough.

Be kind ya’all… check yourself. Make sure your motives are good.

Oh… and random funny thing happened yesterday. (I told GT that I was going to blog about it and he said I was a glutton, that people would have a field day with this… so here it is…) Yesterday while I was making a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup, I burned my chin. I grabbed a spoon from the drawer to taste test a noodle to see if they were done… I slurped, it slipped… it landed on my chin. Yup… I have a burn on my chin from a noodle. A welt. It stuck- like a melted piece of plastic… damn, it hurt. Okay… so that’s me not taking myself so seriously. That’s me being silly. I can laugh at me today. Hope you can too….

Peace and Love~ Until Next time….

Perspective…

Hiya Everyone,

This morning while cleaning… my mind started to swirl. Some people’s minds may wander… mine does that sometimes… but today- it was most definitely swirling. It’s like a kaleidoscope most days.

kaleidoscope

As I am putzing around the house, GT is golfing… it’s a beautiful morning in Northern Michigan, it’s 77 degrees and I have the fans blowing and the windows open. Ashley McBride is playing, my homework is open on the kitchen table, dishes are washed… sheets clean and ready to be put back on the bed… cheese and crackers and watermelon on the counter for nibbling, and I started thinking about our little house.

I bought this place in 1996, it’s roughly 980 sq feet. I almost said it’s just 980 sq feet… that’s when I realized it’s all about Perspective

I actually looked at the definition of Perspective- it can be described as your particular attitude or a way of regarding something; a point of view.

This may or not be the same as frame of mind… you can decide.

While we were drinking our coffee this morning, Tom and I were looking at before and after pictures of our house and we realized how many changes we have made over the past four years.

Because that was still on my mind, and because we are always looking at new homes on the market… and dreaming of a bigger place with a bigger garage… I heard someone elses music playing…

Across the street is a young woman folding clothes in the back of her little SUV. I think she is homeless. I am not sure her story. I have never spoken to her. I just wave when I am in my front yard or driving by. One day I saw her and her boyfriend climb out of the hatch with bed head and noticed the blankets as I drove out of my driveway… They have been in my neighbors driveway on and off for a few weeks.

This is where perspective comes in to play… as I am thinking about our little house and wishing for a newer, bigger place… there is a homeless couple across the street wishing for a home.

It really did change my thinking.

I was talking to a client the other day and we were talking about successful people and how some people are just never happy. Some people always want different and more. I remarked, “If I can’t be happy with what I have, then how can I be trusted with more? If I can’t be responsible with this much money, then how do I think I could manage more money? If I am always wishing and wondering for more… how am I ever going to enjoy today?”

Perspective.

create

 

It comes down to contentment. Can you be content with your life today? If not… then make the changes to get you to the spot where you can be happy.

You are the only person who can make those changes.

One of the things I have been reminded of recently is that this is all only temporary. Life is changing, we are changing… either we get on board with the change… or we can fight it everu step of the way… and be miserable.

It all begins with you. Each of us has the choice to get beyond the past, heal the wounds, and climb up out of the dark.

If you don’t like where you are today, change it. If you don’t like your job, relationship, body, house or whatever else you’re struggling with… You have a choice today. Change it- or change the way you’re looking at it.

rain

You are not a victim today. Let me repeat that… You are not a victim today.

Victims are powerless. Victims blame everyone else for their life. Victims never take responsibility for their life of their choices… You are not this.

It begins now. It begins today. Are ya ready? Hang on darling… things are about to get good…

Until next time… Peace and Love~

Leaning into it…

Hiya Everyone,

Leaning into it… So… what does that really mean?

We have all heard the expression lately, when it comes to fear, anxiety or anything that we just aren’t too comfortable with… “Go ahead, just lean into it…”

My definition of the phrase is to gently approach it… then step in. Gingerly step into the fear. Step into the discomfort. When it starts to feel like too much… just lean in a little more. Step in further… and commit to staying. Ride it out.

That’s the real test… can you commit to it? Can you ride out the abrasive, hot, lonely, overwhelming sensation?

Sometimes it looks and feels like you’re testing your bath water or the lake. You dip your toe in. Sometimes, that’s enough.

Sometimes it’s enough to just talk about the fear.

Today… You- Get to decide- what is enough.

anxiety

I attended a workshop a few months ago in Virginia. It was held at a wonderful Yoga Ashram, called Yogaville. (They have a huge pink lotus temple… you should google it- really. It’s amazing.) The workshop was called Embrace Your Weird. 

The name alone, was enough for me… Hell ya- I am going.

The woman who taught the workshop was a famous retired actress. Her name is Lisa Jakub. She was the oldest daughter in the movie Mrs. Doubtfire, Lydia. Yup… the one and only. (She has a few books out on the topic too, worthy of a mention.)

She talked about anxiety and depression and how to “manage it” with Yoga, Meditation and writing. She encouraged us all to write about our fears. We talked about the inner dialogue and how it can paralyze us. How the voice that always tells us we aren’t good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough or worthy… That voice isn’t a voice that we should be listening too. But… how do we stop listening to “it”? She said we need to write about it.

Most of us have heard of the story of the Native grandfather, talking to his grandson about the two wolves that live within each of us. One is dark. And one is light. They battle for control. They are constantly fighting… The young boy asks his grandfather which one wins? If they both live within us and are fighting for control… which one wins?

The wise old man says “The one that you feed.”

The dark one represents our fear, anger, jealousy, distrust and all of the other things that our “inner dialogue” will encourage.

The white one represents love, respect, self-worth, empathy and all of those beautiful traits.

Lisa went on to teach us to take that a step further. She said if you tie up an old dog out back and try to starve him… he is going to get pretty angry. He will be fiery mad. So… just ignoring the dark side isn’t enough. She suggested that we live the white wolf and we write about the dark one. Give it an outlet. Give it a voice… Honor it… but don’t live it.

shazam

If you battle with an inner dialogue that is an asshole… begin today. Pick up a journal and write about it. Write about the things you fear. Give them an outlet so they don’t control your thoughts.

The other part of the workshop was about meditation and yoga. For everyone who says, “I can’t meditate. It doesn’t work for me.” I challenge you to do it again. Do it again and again and again. Keep doing it, until it does work. It may take weeks. It may take years. But… what do you have to lose?

Think of all of the things you have overcome so far. Can’t think of any? How about these…

Do you use silverware to eat? I bet you didn’t always know how to do that.

Do you know how to ride a bike? I bet you fell a few times before you got it down.

Have you ever driven a car? I bet you had to learn how to do that.

What about reading, writing, not wetting your pants, using a cell phone, using chopsticks. Bingo… you get the idea. (I still don’t know how to use chopsticks!)

For everyone who thinks that we all need to sit in a Lotus position with a quiet mind, with no thoughts coming in… on the first or tenth try… it doesn’t happen like that. Here’s a fun fact… If you meditate for 20 minutes, your entire nervous system will re-set. Now doesn’t that sound fancy??

Even if you sit and your mind is racing. Even if you sit and you can’t get quiet or sit still… you are beginning the process. You can do it. Promise. Just keep trying. (I will also keep trying the chopsticks.)

Now… how about Yoga? Did you know that the practice of Yoga, isn’t the Asana? Asana, are the poses of Yoga. Some Yoga traditions aren’t even about the poses. The practice of yoga can be quieting your mind at a stop light. Not swearing at your neighbor. It could also mean not doing harm to nature and respecting all living things. It can also be sweating your buns off in a room full of people holding in a toot. (Insert the 10 yr old me here…)

lol

Yoga isn’t about bending yourself into a pretzel. But it can be. The practice of Yoga is versatile. It is challenging and it is beautiful. It is about self discovery.

Today… this week… I challenge each of you to lean into something.

Maybe it means you’re going to try to meditate. Maybe you will try writing or journaling … possibly a yoga class. Or maybe you will just speak up and not let someone be rude. Whatever it is… Do it with zest. Shine on my friends… if we don’t do it… who will?

Here is the second part of that dare. Commit to it.

I read a book awhile back, it was about making changes and the author talked about that being a two-part process. Most of us will try a new diet, new cologne, new vitamin or a new mask… but what happens when someone challenges that new thought? What happens when your family isn’t on board with your new eating plan or the new you? What if someone doesn’t love your new cologne as much as you do?

Most of us will give up. Most of us will abandon the idea, because we haven’t committed to the idea of allowing others to be uncomfortable with it. Let that sink in.

When we try something new… we must also commit to allowing others to be uncomfortable with it. We can’t bail, because someone else doesn’t like the idea. We get to bail… only- when WE, decide to bail.

Commit. Stick with it. You can do it. I believe in you.

Be an example. Someone is watching and they need you to lead. Someone is learning from you and your efforts. Namaste…

Until next time~ Peace and Love.