Thursday, April 23, 2015
I read those words a couple of weeks ago now and it was one of those beautiful moments in life when your mind and body understand something together. There was a deep exhale and a huge sense of gratitude and relief that not only had I found another person out there who really gets it and is eloquent enough to express it but praise be - the crowning glory - she's written a guidebook to aid me on the next stage of my voyage, sailing through the swamp.
As much as I have worked on letting go of 'why?' it's a relief to have someone validate why things have been the way they have for the last 18 months, why that hasn't looked or felt anything like I imagined it might, why moving out of survivial mode has been hesitant, full of ups and downs, fumbles and stumbles. If you're running from yourself, trying to be what you think you should be then when you stop running you need to be patient and strong to not sprint away again. I guess I knew on the deepest level that it was time, so I've resisted the urge to try and shut Pandora's Box, knowing that I couldn't stuff the issues back in again and that there was a reason I flung it open in the first place.
It's not that I just found Brené's work. I scribbled down notes from one of Brené's Ted talks last spring, I've watched her on Oprah since and felt the truth of what she was talking about which is why I asked for the book for Christmas. Yet it wasn't until this month that I felt the urge to read it; I dove in and it scooped me up from the start of a spiral down and has delivered me again to a clearing. I love how the right book can find you at the right moment. Here with all the experiences and explorations of the past years within me I am resting a while, enjoying the abundance of spring and reading this book for a second time. I have new language for this next phase of development and a huge hit more love for myself as I consciously start to practice integrating courage, compassion and connection. Last year I think I could grasp the ideas intellectually but I wasn't ready to start to embody them.
So one tiny step at a time I am opening up and embracing all of me. Just writing this post and particularly that sentence makes me want to hit backspace, does it sound too self indulgent, too hippy, too raw? And so it goes, I have become adept at hiding in plain sight but with Brené to hand I can see that feeling the awkwardness, feeling that vulnerability is a sure sign that I am going in the right direction for me right now. The sentence stays and with each seemingly tiny act of courage I take a step further in to my wholehearted life.
Saturday, April 04, 2015
I'm starting to feel the love for stretching and moving my body, sparks of energy that are building in to flames in glorious danger of setting fires. Desires to move that come from deep within rather than thinking that I should do some exercise. It is a huge sign of increasing health and all but alien to me.
I used to hear friends talk about going for a run/to an exercise class/playing a match because they wanted to and could only translate that in to them having more willpower, more drive to exercise than me. I could often enjoy whatever activity I cajoled myself in to but I never got there without a mental stick and carrot approach.
There is a learning within me to loathe organised exercise which came from having ME/CFS as an adolescent; there is probably nothing more likely to incur the wrath of a PE teacher than the chubby, seemingly well child that has a note from her mummy to get her out of the cross country run. Then of course when you haven't got a note you still don't have any stamina or understand the rules of hockey.... anyway I can definitely remember the joy of realising that when I did A-levels PE was no longer on my timetable! In the last year or so I've found two local classes (T'ai Chi and Pilates) which are rewriting that story and building up my body and it's wonderful to see that contributing to other activities.
A walk of any length at all was something that used to require more than a call of the woods, as my body so often had nothing to contribute to the conversation. It would have to be a sunny day or a group activity or some sort of extra impetus to get my tired, sore body up and going yet again. I see now that if you want to do something physical purely because you feel you should it is always going to be a battle of wills. I'm really enjoying finding that working with my body sometimes brings me the things I thought I should be doing, not because I tell myself I have to but because I find them delightful. Even on a rainy day.