Monday, March 14, 2016

Those Things We Tell Ourselves

On inadequacy... Why is it sometimes so hard to be kind to ourselves? Why is it sometimes so hard to believe that we deserve good things? Like, not just say we believe it and like all the nice quotes on instagram believe it, but like feel it deep in your soul at the very core of who you are believe it? There's a certain need to measure up. To be good enough, to compare. This is not ok. The need to measure up, the need to be good enough is not the same thing as always striving to improve. The subtle difference is in the intrinsic motivation. What are you trying to be good enough for? Who? Who says that you have to be 'good enough' for anyone or anything or any ideal? And why do we listen? Why do we internalize that? The truth is, you are good enough. Already. Right this second. Just as you are. One of my favorite accounts on instagram (@idillionaire) I found through the woman that owns the salon where I get my hair done. Today she posted a snipet that fit SO well with my post-yoga self discovery thought train that I had to share.

Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress --which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once. Little message for anyone who needs a reminder on trusting the process. Understand that patience means trust. It means you believe you'll receive the seed you've sowed. Don't let worry, fear, and anxiety make you dig up what you've planted just to see if it's growing. If you didn't know before there's a very important universal law called "The Law of Gestation" this law basically means that there is a natural process and order to things once they have been planted. This law works in nature; growing trees, food, and even all reproduction systems. The truth is right in front of our faces even if we don't pay attention. This is why we have to learn to respect and honor the process. When it comes to our goals and our dreams we expect things to happen, like, yesterday. And when they don't show up in the timeline that we want or the way that we expect, our doubts and limiting beliefs come into play. Our negative mind chatter creeps up and starts blurring our vision. You ave to believe that life is perfect and timing is life's best friend. Trust the process, and have faith in the unseen. The minute you decide on a goal or have a strong vision in what it is you want to accomplish, the energy starts moving through you and begins the work. Everything is in fruition! Your vision will be realized. Just believe!

We don't owe being 'enough' to anyone. As Erin McKean says, “You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked ‘female’.” You don't owe prettiness to anyone. You don't owe measuring up or being enough to anyone. You deserve it. For you. You deserve to spend time on yourself. You deserve to have your hair done well.  You deserve the new lil gloss that makes you feel pretty. You deserve to feel pretty, you deserve to feel enough. For you. Not because you owe it to the world. Because you're you. And you deserve good things. You deserve to feel good things and to feel pretty when you're all dressed up and going out for the night, and when you're makeup free dripping rivers of sweat in a hot yoga class, and when you're eating ice cream watching tv at home alone. You deserve to eat good things, healthy things. You deserve to move and be healthy.

The little things we tell ourselves, even on an unconscious or subconscious level do some damage. I had a hard time at hot yoga today. I got dizzy a couple times, I couldn't find my balance on my right leg in any of the poses, and I couldn't get my brain to focus or connect with the breath or any one thing. My mind was racing to all the things to try to focus on -focus on the breath, tuck your ribs in, pull your tailbone in, ground through your feet-- flitting from one internal suggestion to the other without landing on any one in particular. As I was walking home I found myself wondering why it was such a difficult class for me today. The poses were the same, the teacher was the same and wonderful. The class was good, so what was it? Ultimately it is this deep seeded belief I've installed in myself that I'm not good enough. And as I strip away and let go of the layers and beliefs and bad habits I've gotten into I'm uncovering the deep hidden layers that weren't even on a conscious level yet. And it feels good to get down there, to strip away everything else and get to the center of who you are. The good pieces and the pieces that you need to reconstruct. Tear down and build again. There's such a freedom and a stillness that comes in self acceptance. In saying "Okay." Not in trying to change, but in those moments of realization, just feeling what you're feeling, listening to yourself and saying okay. The realizing and accepting what is and being ok with what is so you can build what you want, what you need. It starts with saying okay. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Okay, my body doesn't want to make that shape right now. Okay, let me just stay here for a minute. Okay, you don't feel like you're 'enough' for this person. Okay, let's feel that for a minute. What is it? Now let it go.  Be proud that you showed up today. And show up tomorrow and ask your body to make that shape again. And tell yourself that you ARE enough and believe it. Be enough for yourself and let that be all that matters. Let other people's opinions go. Show up for yourself. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Late Night Thoughts

A quick note on staying. Part of the unspoken tribal 'rules' when I was growing up was this idea of staying. Family members that stayed close to home -next door or within a 30 minute radius- were lauded and praised, ones that ventured out as far as an hour or a couple time zones away were... not outcast, but it was different.  I just typed and then deleted several snippets of conversation I remember vividly from my childhood. Deleted because, that's not the point. I don't even think the thoughts or the words were a conscious thing. It's a several-generations deep basic instinct, part of the 'rules' that are unspoken among a group. Family or otherwise. There is nothing wrong with rules. Rules help ensure survival of the group. So staying. There is nothing wrong with staying. It's a beautiful thing.

When I was a small child, only able to speak a few words I had one phrase perfected. It was "No home!" Let me state clearly and without reservation that this was not a reflection on my home. I had the most lovely of childhoods with parents who loved me, and loved each other. I wanted for nothing. I was happy. Every time we'd be out running errands or shopping or whatever the day's tasks may have been, the story goes that I would protest loudly and repeatedly "No home!" from my carseat in the back of our car. No matter what route my parents tried to take, or where we started from, according to my mother I had a sixth sense that ALWAYS knew when we were heading toward home, and I was always down to stay wherever we were for longer. From the carseat.

Growing up I loved to hear this story --I mean, what an adorable kid right?! Lol. Who doesn't want to stay out shopping more even at 18months?!  Again, it's not that home was a bad place to be... but, there was so much more to see and do...

I've thought a lot in recent years that this in a quality that I never lost. The first time I went away on vacation --I was hooked. The first time I went to New York I literally went through withdrawals upon leaving for MONTHS. And so a traveller was born. For a while I found a place that I wanted to stay for a while. And I stayed. And I fell in love. And I fell out of love. And I stayed. And it felt like home. For a long time. And then before I realized that it wasn't home anymore I was miserable. I was a rockstar at a job that I hated. I had fallen into this old bred-deep idea that everyone had a place. That there was a home. A geographical location where everyone belonged. And you settled down and you did adult-y things like buy houses and establish pension plans. By the time I realized I needed out I was a shell of the strong woman I had become. I felt such a strong pull to be near to my family again. The thought of leaving my family had me in sobs and tears every time, so I moved my home. That gypsy soul was still lulled to rest by the concept of adulthood engrained in my brain. It was right to go home. At the time I thought I'd stay there forever. In retrospect, that was not meant to be. I was never meant to stay. I was meant to be there and to have the experiences I did. Of that I am sure. I am also sure that I was never meant to stay. Again, by the time I realized I was meant to go I had held on to the concept of staying and permanence longer than was healthy for my mental state.

The point of this (I do have one) is that I find myself at an interesting cross road. I've found a new place. I love this place. It feels like a lot of things that feel like home. I have a complete mental block on calling it home or on committing to stay. And I'm ok with that. Because staying is not for me. --geographically. I'm happier than I've been in years. I've lost 40lbs without trying. I have a core group of friends and coworkers that feel like family. I feel free. I feel right. I smile every day. Every day. Do you know why? Because I let go of the idea of staying. This idea of permanence is lost on me geographically. Do you know what's permanent in my life? People. My people. My family. My people here in LA, my people from Seattle, my people from New York, the people I met in these places are literally scattered all across the country now and with one soul-sister (in the literal sense of the term) even in Kenya. They are my permanent. They are my stay.

Sometimes it kills me to FaceTime with the people I love most in this world. I love my littles more than anything in this world and I treasure the time I get to see them --even if it's only on screen-- more than life itself. It's also hard. To not be able to go snuggle them and have them read me stories and do my makeup and see them play and laugh and grow in person. Sometimes that kills me.

People ask me all the time "When are you just going to sign on and stay?" Or "Where are you going next?" and few people understand "I'm not" and "I don't know." And that's ok. It's not for them to understand. I'm not sure I understand it fully. What I do understand is this. It's me. And I'm ok with it, and I'm ok with not knowing and not having it all figured out. I have a home. I have a permanent. I have a stay. Mine just looks different than yours. Mine is not geographical. Mine is my people. Someday I might have a geographical stay also. Who knows? I like my version of permanent just fine. If staying in one geographic location near my babies --my littles-- wasn't right, nowhere is.  There is SO much of this great big world to go and see!! I'll keep my 'home' within me, my people, and I'll continue to be just fine --as someone who inspires me daily says, 'Wherever you go... there you are. Living day by day... let's see where it takes me.'