Just Living Life

courage-be-yourself

I’d planned to go off and do a bunch of writing, and whole site revamp. Didn’t happen. Work to over, and an old health issue popped up. I found myself not scheduling and writing much less redesigning anything. To keep myself from allowing yet another idea fall by the wayside, I’m just gonna keep showing up here (posting consistently once or twice a week) until I plan out the new site and content design.

The big lesson, which keeps coming back to me, is to show up as I am. Not some polished, shiny version. Be myself and the rest of life will take care of itself.

 

Invincible Summer

Invincible Summer

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger — something better, pushing right back.” ~ Albert Camus

A friend gifted this quote to me yesterday. The words resonanted so deep I almost started crying. Life has been beaten, bruised and broken me. Yet, there is something in me that keeps gathering together to stand up. This time ’round instead of seeing the broken and bruised pieces of myself as weaknesses, I see them as beautiful war wounds like in the Japanese art of Kintsugi. You only get this kind of beauty, depth and scarring by engaging life.

Monday, I’m heading into another Crossfit box. A friend suggested his center. It sounds like a great community, and the classes look fun. Venturing into reclaiming fitness makes me nervous. As a survivor of sexual assault, the idea of a smaller, less powerful body, and more conventionally attractive is scary and feels quite vulnerable. I have to trust that no matter what I’ll be ok. I have so far. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve come through rough, dark experiences. Life is slowly getting better. Along with trust, in the moments of fear and doubt, I must also remember that invincible summer that rages in me.

 

Photo Credit: http://www.photoswithquotes.com/inspirational_quotes_111.htm

When Life Attacks…

one-day-at-a-time

There are days I’d like the world to stop so I can take a breath. The last time I wished that I wound up sick in bed for a week. From the holistic point of view, I completely understand about mind/body/spirit/emotion connection. I get why I got sick, but I don’t like it and didn’t appreciate it. Too many things to do to be sick. Or so I thought! (Always learning lessons.) Now my practice when life threatens to overtake me is to take a time out before a virus waylays me again.

 

Active meditation and prayer.

Get out for a walk.

Move to another room at home to be alone.

If at work, book a conference room to work in alone for 30 minutes.

Call a friend for a new perspective.

 

The time out feels as if it add oxygen to the air I’m breathing, and calms the buzzing in my head until I can resume taking it one day at a time.

 

Note: I found the image here close to the bottom of the page.

2 Women You Should Know

Today is really short. I’d intended a different post, but have rekindled a love affair with Jes at The Militant Baker and am falling for Ragen Chastain at Dances with Fat. Witty, intelligent women forwarding the Body Positive movement. I’ll let them introduce themselves with their own words.

 

Jes – The Militant Baker

Jes_The Militant Baker

“I strive to provide a place in the blogosphere that offers fresh and colorful perspective on what is presented as normal to those immersed in our gender bent, body loathing society. I love that the internet is an open forum and the only media that doesn’t have a universal one sided skew….I am here to support, contribute and join with other women that also challenge the status quo through their thoughts, lifestyles and self acceptance.”

 

 

Ragen Chastain – Dances with Fat

Ragen Chastain

“I believe that basic respect and the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are not size dependent.  I believe that it is impossible to tell somebody’s health based on their size.  I believe that public health is about making options for health  affordable and accessible to everyone, not making fat people’s bodies the public’s business. And I believe in respecting whatever choices others make about their bodies, whether or not they are the choices I would make.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful and Broken

Beautiful and Broken

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

The vase in the picture was repaired by Kintsukuroi or Kintsugi.  “Kintsukuroi or Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing chipped and cracked ceramics with gold so that the object becomes more beautiful for having been broken.”  As I accept and love all of me, I begin to see beauty and strength in places where once all I saw was shame and weakness.

 

Note: The photograph is Shoki Imari vase with kintsugi by David Morrison Pike.

Heart Healing

“Courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” ~Brené Brown

One weekend in January, two years ago, while in San Francisco for a workshop, I held a picnic for one in my hotel room. The spread was beautiful, but no matter how much I ate there was still such darkness in the hotel room and surrounding me. The next day, I completed the workshop, flew home, and found a therapist dealing with food issues, trauma and body image. At that point, I’d been a compulsive overeater and binge eater on and off for 10 years. I knew things were getting worse, and I’d never make it if I didn’t ask for help. The darkness was too much for me to fend off alone, and really, let’s face it, I was asking a lot of food to keep me functional and the darkness at bay.

A couple of weeks after San Francisco, I had the first appointment with my Rock Star therapist, and started a journey of healing, breaking open, integration and returning to myself. You see, I eat feelings and not food. How could I have a life of love, laughter, community and service, if I’m hiding and disconnected?

By now, you’ve probably heard of Brené Brown, her work with vulnerability and shame, and her fantastic book, Daring Greatly.  You may not have heard of The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. In it, she writes, “We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t a zombie. I could feel, but over the past two years in my thawing, which is at times inconvenient and flat out hard, I have experienced deeper, richer emotions.

The identity I’m forging now is much stronger for having been broken. Owning all of me, the light and dark, is a moment by moment commitment. A life of radical self-love, joy and wholeheartedness awaits as I continue to show up for myself.

 

Brene Brown Wholehearted Living