It All Counts (On Softening, Trust and Gratitude)

  I’m proud of myself that I started my day with answering a few emails, and then immediately jumping onto my mat and doing an hour of stretching/yoga.

It felt good to spend time with my body again, even if my mind was wandering most of the time.

It will come.

Towards the end, when I was doing some simple sun salutations, I was filled with gratitude and chose to practice some self-forgiveness.

I’ve been so hard on myself in the last few years,  keeping myself in a holding belt of constant self-judgment, criticism, and bullshit that led to self-doubt, sticky stuckness, and the inability to trust myself.

And then beating myself up for not being able to move past all this, on top of it.

[Note: yes, even I, get into loops of stuckness and paralysis born out of self-punishing thoughts. It’s time I shed the layers of shame about it, and show up as I am: human.]

I felt myself soften today.

Felt so much gratitude for just being alive. For this experience and all the experiences I’ve had in this life, the good and the bad.

Even if the bad are not completely resolved and I don’t know if they will be.

I’m grateful to be alive.

And I guess it doesn’t much matter what I do with this life as much as it matters that I live it and that I’m alive.

It all counts.

It’s all experience.

I feel softer, slightly, towards myself.

The choices I’ve made have brought me to this moment, and this moment, feeling this gratitude filling every corner of my being, is precious.

I want to cry but the tears aren’t coming yet.

All in due time.

I know my undoing is coming, and it’s coming softly.

Unravel. Unfold. Unfurl.

The chrysalis comes to mind. That mush that isn’t formed, which will become a butterfly but has no shape yet.

In this place, I trust.

  

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Pleasure, Our Highest Responsibility

Pleasure is our highest responsibility. It’s so easy to be down

– Jena LaFlamme (The juicy goddess behind Pleasurable Weight Loss)

 

Hello, delicious readers!

Today I’m going to share a bit about responsibility, pleasure, and choice. It’s what’s been on my plate again lately. This cycle keeps repeating itself, and each time I get a new scrumptious morsel of insight.

So what’s going on?

After periods of utter awesomeness, I find myself being more lax in reigning over my thoughts instead of the opposite. I forget, relax and slowly my mind sneaks up on me and I let it run my emotions and therefore my actions.

I don’t feel like taking charge. I don’t feel like going to the gym or to yoga. I don’t feel like answering all those e-mails or calling my mother.

[Insert your version here]

I start acting from that place, instead of acting from what is important to me.

And so it happens that after a while of suffering through this, I start noticing what goes through my mind when I wake up in the morning.

There is a brief moment of getting our bearings, looking out the window and marveling. And then… I can almost hear our mind whir into life. A nanosecond later, it begins:

I have to call So-and-so today
Oh, crap! I didn’t finish that project
Why hasn’t he called?
What am I supposed to do?
Ahh… Too many things to do and not enough time
Is this what life is supposed to be like?
What do I want?
Why isn’t life working for me?

Etc etc etc

And pretty soon, whatever wonder was there about being alive is well and properly killed.

It doesn’t take much to let every day be like this. Taking the victim role, instead of taking responsibility for feeling good.

I’ve had many days in which I don’t realize I have a choice. And, after so many, I’ve come to see that the only thing that will get me out of that kind of funk is…

Choosing to get out of the funk. Making a commitment to reframe the way I view things and the way I view myself.

It is so easy to let ourselves be sad, or feel like people or the world are against us. It comes so naturally.

Finding pleasure in everything, no matter what life throws at us, is a practice.

As Jena so wisely says, pleasure is our highest responsibility.

The delightful Luke Simon was talking about free will in his yoga class on Monday, and it occurred to me that perhaps this choice we have to take responsibility and choose to feel good every time is why it was granted to us in the first place.

Let’s exercise it consciously.

And with that, I’m off to the beach!

With love and pleasure always,

 

Melody

From Numb to Orgasmic: Part 1 (Without Drugs!)

You know that feeling?

The way you feel life is passing you by and you’re just going through the motions? When you feel distant, disconnected from your body, your emotions, and the people in your life?

Yeah… nothing quite gets to you so you don’t get upset much.

But there’s something missing…

What is it?

Perhaps if you stop to consider, life seems a blur. Nothing stands out… Everything is a bit… muted.

Toned down.

How did that happen?

Sometimes, in the quest to stop feeling our ‘negative emotions’ so much, we distract ourselves. We numb ourselves out.

Common and well-known ways to do this are watching TV, playing video games, shopping, eating, drinking, drugs, pain-killers… even working can become a distraction when we do it excessively.

But… Has it ever occurred to you that maybe too much ‘thinking’ can also be a numbing agent?

When we’re involved so much with our left brain, explaining, analyzing, rationalizing, justifying, evaluating… we don’t leave much room to take in our life from different avenues.

Our body, our senses, our emotions…

Aghhh! But that’s what we were trying to avoid, right?

Our emotions!

We don’t want to feel so deeply and, our body, being the interface through which that happens (because emotions are nothing but sensations in the body that are triggered by thoughts), also gets left aside in the process.

We breath shallowly, avoiding getting our breath all the way into our belly, lest it awaken some unwanted feeling in that emotional center of our body.

We analyze everything that happens around us to death, because it’s much easier than allowing ourselves to feel the slef-doubt, anger, sadness, or feeling of separatedness, of being different.

So life becomes less vibrant. Less… alive, because we are leaving a whole side of ourselves behind.

We create that split in ourselves, precisely by allowing ourselves to take life in only through a part of us.

So how do we reverse this?

Integration.

This is the true meaning of ‘yoga,’ an ancient practice aimed at aligning our whole selves with our center.

You might know it as those weird positions that make your body hurt in places you didn’t know existed.

But there’s much more to yoga than that. It’s not just the weird positions, but a way of life.

The same goes for Taj Chi, Chi Gong, and many other forms of martial arts.

These are systems that were developed to foster a more integrated life.

You could take advantage of that and start your own practice.

But it’s not necessary.

You can also start becoming aware of in which ways you numb yourself out, and perhaps choose to allow yourself to feel whatever is running through you without trying to explain it away.

And through you it runs, because nothing is permanent so you can be sure this feeling is only temporary as well.

When you do that, you will notice that you feel more integrated and at peace, because there is no longer a nasty part of you you’re trying to hide from yourself.

This is a practice of self-love, allowing yourself to be you in your totality.

To be whole.

 

Jump in!

What are some of the practices you use to feel more whole?