Do the work: Sunday 06.01.13

Artwork by Betty Trotter
Artwork by Betty Trotter

When you buy a house that is perfect for you, you expect to feel like this.  But when you buy a house and you are emotionally spent already that might not be how you feel after you've signed all the paperwork and stepped outside.  I closed on my beautiful house on Friday, I signed the mountain of paperwork, promising to pay, and acknowledging god knows what.  As I walked out of the lawyer's office I expected to feel elated, but instead,  I kinda lost it.  By "lost it" I mean tears, not tears of joy, sobbing, sitting in my car looking like a ridiculous idiot sobbing at lunch time for no apparent reason.

I'm not entirely sure where these feelings came from, truth be told they caught me off guard.  The suddenness of the pain was astounding.  Pain, and sadness weren't the emotions I was expecting.  I was expecting elation, maybe even a flood of adrenaline.

I know I've made the right decision, I'm in love with my house.  I'm ready to move forward into the next chapter, but when I walked down the street with my house keys in hand I didn't feel elated, I felt empty.  I felt utterly empty and exhausted.  When our expectations of where we think we're supposed to be  or what we think we should be feeling aren't congruent with reality it can be jarring.

I'm proud of myself for many things in this last year.  I'm proud of myself for doing the work to open my yoga studio and not going completely insane in the process, for working hard at Lincoln, for always putting in the work at the end of a relationship to work through my feelings until they are completely processed.  I'm proud that I am a strong independent women who has the strength and the financial means to buy myself a house.  All of those things should be good, but even still I'm sad and upset.

A caring friend gently reminded me that what I'm feeling is normal, and it means I have more to learn, it means I have more work to do.  More reading, more journaling, more meditation.  More work.  period.  If you ever think to yourself  "I don't need to do the work, I don't need to be more introspective", you're probably in for a big wake up call.  It doesn't matter what your age is.  No matter how much self-work I've done I'm confident there will always be more.  If we simply float through life not looking closely at our emotions I ask "what kind of life are you really living?"  I know that if I do the work now this won't rear its ugly head unexpectedly 5 or 10 years from now.  I've got to dig deep and just deal what is coming up. Self work is not easy.  It's some of the hardest you can do, but I promise it's worth it.

In some way's this place where I am feels familiar.  I've been here before.  Do I really have to learn this lesson again?  Yes, I do.  I must have missed something the last few rounds so I've got to process it out once again.  We get the lessons we need until we don't need them again.  This I'm sure of.  Until I figure it all out, I'll do the work.

Thinking about little girls: Gut Instincts

Little Curly Haired Girl I finished reading " Lean in" this week by Sheryl Sandberg.  I'd strongly recommend you read it as well.  Frankly I think everyone should read it (man or woman).  It's got me thinking about many different aspects of the female life, not simply workplace related.

Given the current cross roads I've found myself in, I've been thinking about how we don't teach our children to trust their gut, especially our female children.  Maybe you are teaching your daughter how to trust herself and if so this is great, but looking back on my childhood trusting myself, my gut, my instinct was certainly not talked about or cultivated.  This is not a criticism to my parents, it's more a commentary on society in general.

When I think about decisions I've made in the past, I know I've made really big decisions more on calculations of what I think the "smart choice" in life is, than on what I really wanted in my heart.  Have you done that?  For example in college I would have loved to do a semester abroad.  I reasoned that I couldn't afford it, I couldn't afford to live abroad for a semester and not be working ect...  .  Yes, on paper that was a very smart choice right?  But regardless I'm still paying off student loan debt, I'm not sure that a semester abroad would have really made it any worse than it is and the experience would have been priceless.  I've taken and stayed with jobs I've not been completely jazzed about because they are the "smart" financial choice.  I've dated men long-term because they seemed like safe bets, choices that wouldn't break my heart (clearly this one has not worked out for me at all).  I don't always say no to people and events that I should say no to.  It comes down to not trusting myself.  I don't think I'm the only person who does this, I believe there are many, I'm sure some men do this, but I have a hunch that it's more of a female thing.

I'm happy to report in most of my adult life thus far, I think I'm getting better and better about trusting myself.  Finding and listening to what my gut is telling me is still hard, but I'm stopping to try to figure it out.  Even still questions still nag at me.  How do I continue to cultivate a trust in myself, a trust of my gut feelings and gut desires?   Not just go with them, but recognize and walk with them.  In the times that I do listen to my gut, it's typically gone well, but I don't always  know how to distinguish what my gut instinct actually is.

Let me take this a little further, not only do I wonder how to cultivate it for myself, I wonder how we teach little girls to cultivate a trust in their own intuition?  What if I ever have a little girl? (I'm not planning on having children, but never say never.)  How do we teach little girls to trust themselves, listen to their hearts, be strong, stand up for themselves, and be their own strongest advocates?  How do we teach this?

I've given it a lot of thought recently, I certainly don't think I have all of the answers, but I have a hunch that a few of these would help.

1) Turn off the TV:  This simple thing will get rid of the bombarding of girls with bad messages that you are fat, ugly, not good enough, popular enough, pretty enough ect....  The TV (with rare exceptions) belittles self-esteem.  Get rid of it.

2) Attempt regular conversations with little girls (and yourself) about what their hopes and dreams for the future, help them on the path that they are interested in, constantly brain storming ideas with them about how they can make their dreams come true.  Think about possibilities not road blocks.

3) Teach girls yoga and meditation.  If I had these tools when I was younger, I would be a different person today for sure.

This is what I've got for now.  Do you have anything to add?  How do you think we are doing on teaching girls to listen to their gut instincts?  I'd love to hear your thoughts especially if you have little girls!

Weekly Wrap up May 10th

Yes I wore the hooded sweat shirt the entire 22 miles, no this was not my first ride. Wine glass with wine and LUNCH!

Art Journaling time


my soon to be home

This is my attempt to recognize just how much I actually do every week.  I hope that it will inspire you.

Weekly Wrap Up

22 Mile Bike ride at the MS Gears for Cheers ride: Grove Vineyard winery Saturday Evening/Afternoon of  Art Journaling a business journal and working on "Creative + Conscious Business e-course" Sunday Morning Shopping trip to my favorite grocery store Deep Roots Ran a total of 11 miles part of them with my buddy Alli two 15 minute meditation sessions viewed and made offer and had offer accepted on a Art's and Crafts style Bungalow in Westerwood had a nice sunday evening dinner with a great friend penned "Getting colder" penned "art Journaling" taught 8 yoga classes created a rough draft of a presentation for something at Lincoln Finished reading Pema Chondron's "The Wisdom of no Escape and the path of loving kindness" cuddled with and walked big train

Weekend Wish List

Teach a free class at the Lululemon Show room in Greensboro go to the the symphony go for a long bike ride go for a long run Teaching a private lesson take a nap