Friday, September 05, 2014
Every so often, I like to go back to the beginning of the series. Episode 1 deals with towards and away from motivation. Away from gets you going, but doesn't last. So you need to find both...
I was planning to write a neat and orderly summation of my reactions to episode 1 this time around (just over 5 years since the first time), but the week got away from me. Instead, I feel like writing my experiences from last night, which create their own summary.
I love music. All aspects--whether I'm singing, learning a new bass riff, listening to a recording, or at a performance. Once a month, I go to a folk club, where the performers range from "keep your day job" to "will be famous someday". Last night, there were two sets, both with couples who aren't going to be world famous, but are good enough to make a living through music.
During the first set, the songs were bouncy enough that I was on my feet dancing most of the time. The bad news: I was really feeling my jeans, ya know? I was not comfortable in my skin. The good news: I didn't care. I didn't let worries about whether I looked good slow me down. And really, the longer I danced, the better I felt.
I want to move away from that feeling of tight jeans. If I keep moving down the path of not being at my physical best, dancing will be harder for me as I get older. Even if I just stay the same, I'll spend more time than I want about worrying whether I can dance in what I'm wearing.
I want to move towards feeling lighter on my feet.
--And whether that happens or not, I want to keep the feeling that if I want to dance, I dance. I would NOT have done this 5 years ago, at least not without someone dragging me on the dance floor.
Now, the dance floor in this case is really just a small space behind the tables and chairs, since usually there aren't many dancers. (Sometimes just me and a good friend, but last night there were actually 4 of us at one point or another!). And it's near the door, so I was on hand to answer questions when a woman stopped by. She said she heard the music and wanted to see what was up. She didn't look much like our regulars, who tend toward the aging hippie look. She had a tailored green dress, with several pieces of matching jewelry. Shiny high-heeled pumps. Perfectly coiffed hair. A body that wasn't photo-shop perfect, but looked like it had been cared for over the years. (She was probably in her mid-70s.) She listened a moment or two longer, asked how long the show would be, then went to make a phone call. I'm not sure if she was trying to convince someone to join her, or telling someone not to worry--but in the end, she decided to stay.
And almost immediately, she joined us on the dance floor.
During the second set, she danced every danceable song. She danced on her own, she danced with others. She got others up on the floor dancing.
As much as I enjoyed the music, I enjoyed her enjoyment of it even more.
This is what I want to be when I grow up. This is my picture of my towards motivation. Well, OK, I don't think I'm ever going to have such well-coordinated jewelry--I'm doing well if I remember to put on my earrings that I picked up at a bus station. But I want to follow the music, and feel secure enough in myself to jump up and dance in a room full of strangers, if that's what I feel like doing.
Saturday, June 07, 2014
In addition to listening to IOWL podcasts (Renee Stephens) on a regular basis, I've been going through her book, Full-Filled, as part of an online class. This week, part of the homework was to listen to a guided journey on forgiveness. Collecting all the things from the past and present that we wish we could have done differently--identifying the positive intention behind those actions--and forgiving ourselves. It doesn't mean "Oh, well, I'll do better tomorrow." By identifying what we were *really* trying to get out of over-eating or under-exercising, we can find better solutions for the next time a similar situation comes up.
What's coming up for me? Well, a big part of it is forgiving myself for this feeling of failure--that I was doing so well maintaining, not necessarily at my ideal weight, but one that felt comfortable. And when my life started changing around me, I couldn't hold it.
My stress level started going up around a year and a half ago, when we ended up in this fostering situation.
There have been many times since then that I wish we had said no. That we had gone on with our plans of having the house to ourselves, our own kids out (at least during the week), options opening up.
It has been good for me to finally really, truly acknowledge this feeling. I knew it was there, but I didn't like it. Didn't want to feel it.
Lisa, I forgive you for not wanting to be stuck in this difficult situation. I forgive you for not always being happy with it.
On the flip side, I don't think we could have said no, or should have said no. Even though it's hard. Even though we run into situations like having to tell this 12yo that no, she's not allowed to go stay with her 21yo sister in another city, because she hasn't checked in with social services for a while and no one knows if she's still a prostitute. (OK, we didn't go into the details of lifestyle choices--but the whole situation was VERY difficult.... It involved lots of help from social workers, and finally giving details about the court order that says yes, we trump her mom... Oy.)
Lisa, I forgive you for needing help. I forgive you for thinking you can, or should, be able to easily handle all this on your own.
I finally figured out one of the reasons it's so stressful, having her here full time instead of as a guest once a month or so. She makes me feel inadequate.
I get things done... but not quickly. So if we started talking about doing something, and 3 months later it still hasn't happened, I feel like a failure.
Lisa, I forgive you for feeling inadequate. I forgive you for being inadequate.
It's not easy, you know? This forgiveness. Just writing out each statement is difficult. Believing it is difficult. Difficult, but not impossible....
At the music festival I was at last month, a performer told a story about a song she wrote--Orphaned by The Color of My Skin--based on a book by the same name (but with the Australian spelling for colour!) about The Stolen Generations. The author of the book wrote about being taken from her mother, raised in an institution, having her culture erased....
Pretty serious stuff, eh? Makes my issues pale in comparison. (And yes, Lisa, I forgive you for feeling like everything has to be compared.... )
At some point, Mary (the author) found out about the song. She contacted Kath (the singer-songwriter), and the arranged a meeting. The topic? Forgiveness. Acceptance. Mary needed to tell her story--but she has forgiven the people who were in charge of this policy.
Which led to another song....
For your listening pleasure: To Forgive and Accept.
Friday, May 30, 2014
What an amazing weekend that was. Music, music, music....
This is my major renewal weekend of the year. Even though I don't sleep enough (and I'm really feeling it now, and it's the next weekend!!!!), it is the time when my current self and my dream self are so close we can touch....
I danced when I wanted to dance. I sang in the impromptu jam sessions when I felt like it. I was relaxed about life's little annoyances. I chatted with people I hadn't met--and had a great time hanging out with my friends I only know from this festival. Food? Yeah, I ate, because I had to fuel my dancing! Drink? Not really interested--too hard to dance if I have more than one serving. I laughed, I smiled, I listened.... I wore clothes I love, layered, flowing, soft--even if my fashionista daughters rolled their eyes. (Which they didn't, this time....)
Music makes me feel so truly alive....
So where is the gap between future me and current me?
There were times when I felt like I jiggle a bit too much when I dance. Didn't stop me--but I didn't like feeling like I need to be sucking in my gut or wearing something more constraining.
Then there's the numbing affect--there are still times when I'm confronted with something and want to eat as a buffer. Managed not to binge through a recent issue (back burner, but not resolved) with foster daughter--but I was so aware of the urge....
Recently I've been a lot more consistent with both daily meditation and daily tapping (EFT). Also, I think my effort to blog more here makes a difference. At least, I felt it this week when I was too tired or busy to prioritize blogging/journalling....
I think these activities will help pull my present and future closer together in my daily life.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Off for a weekend of listening, singing, and dancing.
I tend to come back feeling more alive...
Wishing you all a great weekend, too, whenever it starts. :-)
For that matter, wishing you a great NOW.
Saturday, May 17, 2014
I went through a long stretch of feeling like everything was a struggle. Thinking of food, getting in exercise, taking care of me.
I didn't stop altogether--but I pulled back, putting in the minimum.
At first it was unconscious--but towards the end of last year, I decided just to chalk 2013 up to a year of change--and a year of hibernation. I decided to trust to the fact that I've learned enough on this journey to find my way back out.
And it happened. Little by little, step by step. Goal by goal.... March: meditation. April: tracking water, doing a plank challenge. This month: a blogging challenge, and tracking fitness goals with friends.
Each month I've felt a bit of a shift, of an awakening. A lightening.... Lately I've felt much less of a sense of struggle. Yes, some days are harder than others--but I feel like I'm putting in effort to take care of me--not that I'm struggling to get from morning to night, dragging through the day.
The physical changes don't show up at the same rate--but they are still showing up. The scale even says so. :-) I'll just trust to the process--if I keep doing what I need to do (for both body and soul), the changes I want will happen.
That's worth the effort.
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