I Understand

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I understand.

 

I want you to know this in a powerful way.

In a deeper way.

In a way that takes you out of the foxhole you are fighting from.

 

I understand.

 

What it feels like to give it your all

To do everything in your power

To be told that it is enough

And to stumble at the finish line

You believed you were meant to reach

And in the lonely hours that follow

asking what the point is

knowing the right answer that sounds good in your head

and feeling punched in the gut regardless

 

I understand

 

Watching a loved one lose their grip on life

And seeing them hold on so tight

You hold on tight too

And then they learned how to let go

But forgot to give you that instruction manual

And like locked fingers after releasing a heavy load

You don’t know how to open up again.

 

I understand

 

Sitting and feeling paralyzed

As if the smallest task was hoisting a 300 pound weight

And the shame of feeling lazy

And unproductive

And knowing you are none of those things

And wanting the words to explain it

Feeling the need to explain it

Waiting until the feeling passes

Hiding in movie theaters

And in plain sight

until you can engage life again

 

I understand

 

When out of nowhere tears form behind your eyes

And no one else knows behind your calm stare

Is a raging river ready to burst over

And you control it

For now

Suffering through emotional incontinence

Knowing you have no control when

And a healthy fear of looking at why

 

I understand

 

The courage it takes to get of bed

And show up when every bone in your body says otherwise

when people say you are an extrovert

it means something

and when you walk slower in a hallway or sidewalk to avoid talking to someone

It means you are a bad person

Every time you say “what is wrong with me”

 

I understand

 

I am also learning

Present tense

Still figuring it out

 

I want you to know this in a powerful way

In a deeper way.

In a way that takes you out of the foxhole you are fighting from.

 

I am also learning

 

That the sun doesn’t really rise and fall

It’s not dramatic like that

The world just keeps on spinning

And if I stay grounded with my eyes open

I get to see and participate in life as it happens

Instead of feeling like it’s happening to me

 

I am also learning

 

To accept that I too will die

And allowing that knowledge to add value to today

Not as moments to be hoarded

But moments to be LIVED

And the more I hold on to the heavy things in life

The harder it will be to receive unanticipated blessings when they arrive

Its like that

With the moments that truly change our lives

They are not planned events

more like the wind whipping up out of nowhere

and instead of bracing yourself against it

you take a deep breathe in and feel alive again

 

I am also learning

 

Change does not arise from hiding

Or the belief no one will understand

And that tools make life easier

No one ever called the invention of the wheel a weakness

And so when I encounter a new way to ease my practice of living

That doesn’t dull and keeps me engaged in life

It’s worth a look

And that discovery will happen

In transparent conversation

With another

 

I am also learning

 

I need to cry more

And stop editing at the false bottom of release

To spend more time talking and sharing bout what lurks beneath

Not as a deepening of sadness

But an uncovering of layers

bringing it into the light

And saying out loud to every darkness that lurks,

In the immortal words from Labyrinth

 

“Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child you have stolen, for my will is as strong as yours and my kingdom as great. You have no power over me!”

 

I also understand

I will fall down again

I will forget all I have learned

And maybe

When I sit clutched in fear and fury in my foxhole

You will understand

And tell me what you have learned

And this is how

We love each other

building our community

of human beings

Making each other great

And whole

Choose Your Life Everyday

I just spent two hours writing a post that I am not going to share. Its all right and its all wrong. I spent 4 pages writing passionately about a topic and when I read it, it felt like I had walked into a beautifully staged Manhattan apartment for sale. All the pieces are right, but the feeling just isn’t there.

The reason is because I was not speaking from the place of my own experience, from the place of I.

It’s the reason I have not shared anything on this blog in several weeks. Every time I pick up the proverbial pen, I want to go into fix it, beige vanilla do not look at me mode. I want to tell you the solution. How to get you to the letter Z without sharing that I am literally on the letter D and plodding my way through the alphabet.

I do not have all the answers and what I can share is how I am okay with my life right now and how my current perspective is empowering me to enjoy and choose the life that I have.

I am actively choosing my life. In the last 6 weeks I have examined every part of my life. My friendships, relationships, work, and daily activities are all now active choices. Regardless of how long or the manner in which they were previously present in my life, they all exist now with brand new acceptance and space.

I did this in my yoga practice as a physical embodiment of the power to choose. I realized sometimes my drishti or gaze is so rigid, I forget that I always have the power to choose this moment. So while I was in Eagle pose, I closed my eyes and opened them with the chance to begin again. To choose exactly where I would set my vision unattached from where I had previously set it. Sometimes it worked out that my eyes landed on the same spot. Other times I found a completely new place on the wall. Sometimes I completely fell out of the pose and others I felt a renewed sense of foundation and strength.

Each time though, I had the experience of having the power of choice and complete acceptance with each outcome. The coolest thing I noticed was a renewed appreciation for the actual wall. By being so focused on only one spot, I forgot that no matter how I look at or relate to the wall, its power and connection to my practice is always there, and I always have the power to choose connection.

I do not have any goals right now, as an active choice. My entire focus is on developing practices in life that support my ability to be fully present in each moment that I have chosen to be a part of my life. In my relationship at work, that means developing a practice or organization that allows me to communicate and work with my team in a timely way, with precision and awareness. In my relationships it looks like dedicating time each day to spend meaningful time with the people in my life. I know I cant spend time with everyone, and I can take that time each day for meaningful connection with someone.

I choose to be active in many pursuit so my physical health, endurance and mental clarity is important. To support this I regularly practice yoga, perform cardio exercise, lift weights, eat whole foods most of the time and I have completely stopped drinking

Focusing on the process and practice that supports the connections and activities I choose is incredibly freeing. It allows me to be fully present to each interaction without attachment to how it is going to turn out. My happiness right now is not dependent on winning or achieving, its dependent on giving the full measure of life of presence I have to offer each person and each situation.

The most difficult thing for me to process during this transformation is the realization of the damage of who I have been, my dislike of it, and not to dwell in the past. I have made several work commitments that were not followed up on in a timely manner. I have not called people I consider friends for weeks on end. I have not offered and demonstrated love and listening when it was needed. I have been distracted, absent and missed countless opportunities owing in large part to my own self-generated and induced laziness.

The consequence of my own re-calibration is coming face to face with the reality of how each person and circumstances really is in my life today, and acknowledging that I am the source of how it is.

The road I have traveled in my 36 years on this earth seems to have been filled with many hi’s and many low’s. What I am realizing is the road has been flat this whole time. I am the one who looked back and distorted the past view to justify my current condition as being on the way down or on the way up. Whatever felt better, whether I wanted to wear the victim coat or the hero jacket. It was either up or down.

It really just is.

The road ahead of me right now is full of people I love. It is full of moment to moment choices and decisions, some of which may work out and others which may cause unexpected detours or changes of course.

Today I want to share with you that no matter where you are, no matter what is happening in your life, you have the power to choose it. Partner with it. Send it your forgiveness, your understanding, your presence and your awareness. If it is worth enjoying, enjoy it. If it is not the most pleasant, accept it and move on to what you can manifest in your life that will bring joy today.

You are never defined by what has happened to you or what will happen to you. We all have the power to engage life right now, and when we do we create life and all the possibility it holds, which in my experience….

Is infinite.

 

 

 

 

About Me-Updated

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One of the most important things I have learned in the last 6 months, is how connected we all are and how what we have in common may act as the pathway to discovering the ultimate connection, that oneness within us all we all share.  Perhaps we are even more connected than you know. In the spirit of that discovery, I have updated the About me section of this blog.

I am 36 years old and enthusiastically identify as Gen X.

I have lost a parent

I am learning to rediscover another

I have two brothers that love me

I can spend more time loving them

 

I grew up in a small town

Went to college in a bigger town

Dropped out of college

Had my heart broken as a teenager

And as an adult

 

I have had almost every hairstyle

Shoulder length

Shaved

Bowl

Cornrows

No dreadlocks

And never shaved only down the middle

There is still time

 

I have been addicted to drugs

I have been addicted to alcohol

I am currently addicted to pizza

Seriously

I have been overweight

 

I loved wearing sweatpants in school as a kid

Then I wore a uniform from 4th grade through 12th grade

And dressed like a bum throughout college

And most of my early 20’s

Then I saw Ryan Gosling in a Hugo Boss suit in Fracture

And decided to compromise

 

I have lied in the past to look good

And avoid looking bad

for fear of punishment

and to manipulate praise

for all the bad reasons

because good ones don’t exist

 

I watch too much TV

I LOVE watching movies

But don’t really like movies made before 1964

Stand By Me is my favorite

 

I was a mathlete in middle school

Don’t ask

The first book I remember feeling moved by was A Celestine Prophecy

I once told my fellow 4th graders at recess that I was pacifist

I explained it meant I wouldn’t hit back……

Should not have explained that

 

I love playing basketball

But not the practice

I loved acting

But not the practice

I love writing

But only when it comes easily

I love anything that comes easily

You know

Anything I don’t have to practice at

Except Yoga

I love practicing yoga

 

I love just about every type of music

my first love was grunge

I used to tell people I liked everything

except country

that was the thing to say

and now I like country

and have fallen asleep to the sound of Metallica

 

I am a hard worker

When I know it will get me ahead

Whatever that means

If I could go back I would remind myself

Not all hours spent working are productive

To be proud of a job well done

Not of a job well perceived

 

I have never been a bully

But I have sat down when I should have stood up

I am sorry for those moments

And I endeavor to never sit

When the moment to stand arrives

 

I love making people laugh

I laugh out loud

Often about 2 seconds after everyone else

It just takes time for the joke to hit me

I love listening to people sing

And although I wish I could

I’m not the best singer

Except in the shower and elevator

There I am a star

 

I love works of art

And I draw stick figures

And label my drawings when not clear what is drawn

Really

My 7th grade art teacher threatened to take me off the honor roll unless I drew something else

She allowed stick figures after I submitted ‘something else’

 

I often think about running for office

Then I see the news

And I don’t

Then I think about what I could change

And I do

Until I tell myself the system is broken

And I don’t

 

I used to believe in God

Then I didn’t

Then I did

Then being agnostic was cool

Or calling it a higher power

Then I didn’t think about it at all

And now I do

And I believe we are all connected

And I believe

You know

 

My favorite color is blue

It’s the color of my eyes

my mom’s favorite color

the color of her eyes

 

I am very skilled at starting things

Less skilled at continuing things

A novice at finishing things

An amateur at engaging in feedback after something is finished

A virgin at being okay with completing something that failed

I give up before I can fail

It’s my paradoxical parachute

Opening it ensures I crash

 

I will hesitate to hit send on this post

Just like when I want to call to my friends

And I have AMAZING friends

It’s not about you

Always about me

 

I do believe that sharing who we are

And holding space for others that do

is the foundation for connection

I don’t share enough

I would like to share more

I commit to sharing more

Starting now