Writing from the darkness of domesticity…again

 

 

As some of you know, I have been taking a break from work since September. Three months in, I find myself grateful for the extra time and space and also bristling against my now (even) more domestic mode. (Since there is nothing else to take my focus.)

I hate domesticity. I rail against it. All the time. Almost every day.

I hate everything to do with housework and domestic duties. It is something that I have an ongoing battle with. I struggle, I rage, I despair. I accept, I flow, I enjoy. I struggle, I rage, I despair. This is the rhythm of it for me.

I hate the schedule. The monotony. The uselessness of it all. What does it mean for me to wash dishes, cook food, buy groceries, run errands, pick up toys, change summer to winter clothes? I honestly don’t give a shit. I find it useless, stupid and a waste of everything else I am good at.

I love my children and I honestly don’t give a shit.

I feel like a wolf that has been trapped in the wild and caged. Every day, her wildness dims a  bit. And she forgets what snow on the air smells like.

Dramatic? Maybe.

This place where I am is not where I expected to be. In high school, I did a project with my two best friends and we wrote down what we wanted to be when we grew up. One wanted to be a fashion designer. One wanted to be married with children. I wanted to travel around the world and have “lovers in every port”.

Being the main housekeeper and childcare provider feels like having a job I hate and not getting paid for it.

Maybe, some would say, your healthy and happy children are payment enough.

Nope. No, they are not. Not for me.

And yet, YET, occasionally, there is joy in this role. Occasionally, nothing brings me greater pleasure than being a mother, a mama bear, a goddess of the hearth, a keeper of all things cozy and nutritious and delightful and wonderfully loving.

Occasionally.

And then, there are many times where my rage and feeling of unfairness threatens to rip my brain from my head and light my house on fire.

So what does a woman do, a wild woman do, a woman who dreamed of travelling and having lovers in every port, what does this woman do with her domestic rage?

I allow myself to become untamed. I shed the skin of domesticity and become animal. True to my nature. Wild. Free.

I light candles and they represent the burn of every woman who feels like me.

I put on a black dress. I like where it is tight and pulls against me. I like how it caresses my bare skin. How it will expose me as I move. It connects me to my darkness, my vitality, my angst, my vibrant push against it all.

I know I have a choice in this moment. To dive into the darkness I feel or to pretend it isn’t there. To stuff some part of me down, down, down. To suffocate my soul. To stitch myself up on one side only to have myself spill out on another. To cover my shadow with sparkly glitter which burns like poison on my skin.

So I dive into the darkness I feel. I move and sway and let the music take me away.

I begin to shed, cracking open what I mistakenly thought was me. I am reminded of myself. How much life there is inside of me. How much joy. How slowly I can move; like I am leading the world by the tip of my finger.

I touch my skin and feel where it is velvet soft, where it is warmer, where it curves in and out.

And then, aaahhhhh, there I am. My creature. My animal of all the shades, this breath of life in and out. My curves, my opening wider and wider.

I find the hard parts and soften them with curves. My cells open and breath for the first time today.

Yes, here I am. I become exquisite, mysteries, untouchable, magical again.

I leave with no plan, no solution. Nothing has changed. But I have stood firmly inside of myself and tasted my greatness. I belong to myself once again. And I have reminded myself of how much I am, how deep I go, how wide I am capable of opening.

I have celebrated my truth and made poetry from it.

 

 

The indecency of pleasure…and a wading pool

 

I was at a wading pool. The water was so so cold and the weather was so so hot. I sat beside two little girls as they played in the pool. One of them dribbled some cold water on my hot leg and it felt delicious.

They were delighted at my delight.  They spent a long time filling up their buckets with cold water and pouring it on my feet. My knees. My legs. I oohed and aahed. They loved it. And then I asked one of the girls if she wanted to feel what it felt like. We switched positions; I filled the bucket and poured cold water on her skin.

It felt like a sacred act – pleasure being given and received from woman to girl and back again. I thought about how little we do this for each other. Moms and daughters. Girlfriends. Women to each other.

Asking for, allowing and receiving pleasure has been so tainted by porn and a puritanical distrust of anything that feels good that most of us have a rock-hard resistance to surrendering to pleasure.  We women learn our lessons well, don’t we? And in a culture where we are yearning to be touched but everything encourages us to keep a respectful distance from each other, giving and receiving pleasure seems like an indecently intimate act.

This moment with myself and these two girls was exquisite. It felt like the most beautiful and natural thing to do and utterly unnatural and forbidden at the same time.

The way we deprive ourselves daily, of pleasure, is such a deep shame. I believe that our skin is yearning to be touched gently. Our senses are designed to moan over that first gorgeous bite of food. Our backs want to arch in ecstasy when that perfectly breathtaking warm breeze finds it’s way through our hair and down our neck. We are built to ooh and aah over a smell, close our eyes over the exact right tickle. What ecstasy the world can offer us when we lose our minds in the pleasure of being adored, gifted, opened, relaxed, seduced, satiated and overcome by smells and touch and food and sound.

Have you ever found yourself holding back that sigh of pleasure, that moan of ecstasy? Have you ever wanted to shift your body during a tickle to receive it in even more of a delicious way, but stopped yourself?  Have you ever found someone’s full sensual enjoyment of something, uncomfortable?

In the comments below, I’d love to hear what your experience is with pleasure. How you think about it in your life. Whether it has a place there or whether it doesn’t. What you were taught about the place of pleasure in your life.

 

I ask myself, what would a masochist do?

 

First of all, I had to look up this word because you know when you think you know what a word means but there is a bit of fuzziness around it and you definitely would not go on a game show and raise your hand? I just knew that one of those words does the spanking and the other word gets spanked.

Masochist. A person who derives sexual gratification from their own pain or humiliation.

Also, a person who enjoys an activity that appears to be painful or tedious. Bingo.

Whenever I am in a situation that feels shitty (and when I can remember to do this) – stuck, hurt, ashamed, doubting, hopeless – I ask myself the question, what would be the hardest thing to do right now?

I started doing this because it became obvious that I was already doing the easiest thing. That just happened naturally.

When I felt stuck, I just let my negative programming have at it and it would race away and convince me that nothing would ever change and that this was my life forever.

When I was emotional bruised, I would close down physically and emotionally so nothing could get in to hurt me again. I fed my wounds.

When I felt shame, I isolated so no-one would ever know.

When I doubted myself and my work, I just sat in that pile of shit and let those waves of self-diminishing wash over me and get into every cell of my body.

Actually, all of that was really easy to do. It fit with all of my human training thus far and I didn’t even need to think about it. Those responses happened just like breathing.

The thing is, doing what was easy also felt like shit because there was something about my reactions that kept me there. They protected me from everything including being able to move through and out of where I was.

Hence the question, what would be the hardest thing for me to do right now? Perhaps if the easiest thing didn’t do shit, then the hardest thing would be the answer.

When feeling stuck in our bodies or mindsets, the fucking hardest thing to do is to move and let go.

When feeling heartbroken and bruised, the hardest thing to do is to stay in the room and stay open.

When feeling shame, the hardest thing to do is to tell someone else about it.

When feeling self-doubt and self-hatred, the hardest thing to do is loving self-care.

When overwhelmed and panicked, the hardest thing to do is to slow down and take a break.

When hating our bodies, the hardest thing to do is to touch them with love and treat them well.

When rejected, the hardest thing to do is to not take it personally and to stay turned on to our amazingness.

I have found that this technique usually points me in the right direction of GETTING THE FUCK OUT OF HERE. It also always reminds me that I have a choice, even though everything in my body might be clinging on for dear life to the victim.

In the comments below, I want to know what you think. Have you ever tried this? Do you have a question you ask yourself to try to move out of where you are and towards where you want to be?

WHAT IF. What If. What if. what if. what if. what if…

 

I look around and I see so much of our strength. Our wisdom. Our fucking gigantic hearts and our deep deep wisdom that instinctively is drawn to heal and love. Our beauty…oh my, so much beauty. Our warrior courage. Our magnetic sensuality and our naughty, mysterious, breathtaking, joyful sexuality. And over that, I see the veil. The veil of self-doubt. Comparison. Overwhelm. Bitterness. Guilt. Staying quiet, small and good. Expectations. Shoulds. Numbness. Fear. Shame. Trauma. Feeling like there is a limit to how big we can get, how loud we can talk, how much we can ask for, how much of our real selves we can show and how much space we are allowed to take up in the world.

That veil makes me fucking mad. I want to run down the street and pull it off every woman and then run to the park and dance in the sun for hours and hours until we drop into delicious, ecstatic exhaustion. Feeling so perfectly and absolutely right.

Sometimes we don’t even know that we are asleep. Sometimes we don’t even know there is another way. Sometimes our fear keeps us tuned to the one channel we have learned about what a woman is. It’s not our fault. We are such fucking overachievers than when lessons come our way, we learn them, but good. Even when those lessons about what it is to be a woman come from outside ourselves. Maybe especially then.

But what if…..?

What if.

What if all of our bodies were perfect and totally deserving of every test, every doctors appointment, every healer, every morsel of food, every hour of sleep, every touch and caress and tickle just because.

What if there was nothing wrong with us when we struggled. Got crusty. Got angry. Felt stuck. Failed. Couldn’t decide. What if our symptoms were mostly because we have forgotten how perfect, how beautiful and how absolutely right we are. In every way. In every stage. In every struggle.

What if every struggle we are in, has been felt by other women and even though our pain is our own, it is also pain known and held by our sisters all over the world and what if, we really are never alone.

What if every effort we make to love and nourish ourselves heals not only our wounds but the wounds of our mothers and their mothers and every one who came before us and will come after us.

What if every time we met another woman who was glowing, we didn’t criticize or judge or try to diminish her light but let her light fill us up and lift us up and help us remember where WE WANT TO GO TOO.

What if we are fucking geniuses.

What if we trusted our bodies (instead of the doctor/teacher/trainer/magazine/guru) to know what they need to eat, how much they need to sleep, how they want to move and what makes them purr.

What if we DO know exactly what we want. What if we DO know what we want to say yes or no to. What if we really DO KNOW.

What if we trusted ourselves so deeply that we followed our own voice, our own intuition, our own “gut feeling” without hesitation.

What if we believed that we had every right in the world to ask for everything we wanted in the bedroom. What if we were able to not receive everything we asked for and MORE.

What if we are not broken or flawed or fucked up or failing but just women on a never-ending journey of which every part is to be honoured and celebrated because we are fucking alive and human and divine.

What if every time we went to the gym, we didn’t have to push our bodies into pain, stretch further than was comfortable, crunched until we ached. What if we stopped punishing our bodies and believed that we were desired and loved and worthy, just because.

What if we could just put down the burdens, the pushing, the going, the doing, the constant racing, the running, the go go go go go go go and just rest and rejuvenate and relax and totally approve of that.

What if we all wore bikinis on the beach and looked around and saw thin bodies and big bodies and bodacious breasts and more-nipple-than-breast breasts and juicy jiggly butts and sexily square butts and overflowing with love tummies and tight tummies and short tall fat small dark light old young and thought…“Wow. Look at how beautiful we are.”

What if we didn’t feel guilty about taking a break in the middle of the day because we stopped believing that we needed to “earn our keep” at our jobs, in our relationships and inside our families.

What if, instead of isolating ourselves during our dark times, we reached out and grabbed our sisters hands and pulled them into the dark with us, where they sat, just holding us. What if we didn’t hide our darkness but shared it so NO WOMAN EVER felt like she was the only one again?

What if our girls never lost the natural love of their bodies, seeing the way their flesh and curves grew and expanded and shrunk and stretched as beautiful and worthy stages of the miracle of their story.

What if we unlearned our habit of complaining and became, instead of victims to the boss, the partner, the kids, the husband, other people, the heat, the snow, the news, decided to stand in the full joy of living that we were born with.

What if we overflowed with enthusiasm, joy, bliss, laughter, glow, light, fun and play.

What if we asked for everything we wanted.

I don’t know much. But I know I love you.

In the comments below, I’d love to hear what this makes you think of. What are your “what if’s” in your life now? What are you doing in your life to change the way you feel and move and live, as a woman?

I’m really good at self-care and here’s what I’ve learned about it

 

I am really good at self-care. It has been and is the work of my lifetime.

Here’s what I have learned:

Self-care has many levels. There is surface self-care and there is deep self-care. We have our own versions of all the levels. For me, a hot bath is surface. A movement session where I burst into tears and crack somewhere is deep. I need both.

Self-care is always changing. Ha! What used to soothe, re-fill and re-fuel might not work anymore. We are always changing. We are never ever static in how we feel and what we want and need. Yoga might have done it for you before but it might not anymore.

Self-care is a call-and-response. The body (or heart or soul) calls for something. The mind decides whether or not to fulfill the request. For example, body tells mind I am tired and want to sleep. Mind tells body, push through, I can’t stop to give you what you need. Conversation over. Self-care dead.

Self-care bangs up against everything. Self-care hits walls everywhere it goes. It bangs up against what your partner wants you to do. What your kids want you to do. What your work wants you to do. Anyone who expects self-care not to bang up against anything will never do it well.

Doing self-care in spite of what it bangs up against builds our warrior. When we are not building our warrior, we are building our victim.

Self-care is the hardest when it is needed the most. This still boggles my mind. When we need it the most, we do it the least. Most times, when we are in crisis, instead of increasing our self-care (more massage, more physical activity, more meditation, more good food, more sleep, more orgasms), we decide to just make it through as best as we can. And we survive it all. We survive the crisis because we are so good at surviving. But we might arrive at the end of it in a total physical or mental breakdown, depleted and depressed or just numb.

Self-care is work. It requires an iron will and tons of discipline. It is where a woman must stand in her own power and for her own worth. This is where the battle is fought, day in and day out.

Part of what is essential to me is my feminine soulful movement practice. For those who live in Toronto, you can join me every Monday night.

In the comments below, I would love love to hear what you have learned (or are learning) about self-care.

 

I can’t teach you…or me…this

 

When I started this business, I had this idea, perhaps unspoken but there, that I would teach a way to reach perfection. I would teach my way to reach perfection. Learn what I know, do it my way and the result of your hard work will be that you will be forever perfect! Sheltered from the storms. Fitter. Thinner. More beautiful. Happier. Cleaner. With glowy skin and white teeth and everything you have ever wanted.

(By the way, if you want a soundtrack while you are reading this, I recommend Bon Iver, “I can’t make you love me”.)

You will be finished. Done. Complete.

Except that, even though I did this work-o-mine, stuff kept on happening to me. Feeling lost. Failure. Shame. Challenges that seemed endless and unsurmountable. I lost weight. Gained weight. Got fitter. Got unfitter. Long hair, short hair, danced in the ecstasy of being fully fucking alive and then drowned in heart-pulling tears in my bathtub. I was up, I was down…I didn’t know where the fuck I was.

So….problem. If I was doing all of this right stuff, then how come shit kept on happening to me? Was there no guarantee? Was there to be no place reached where I had finally made it and didn’t need to worry about that pesky business of being a messy human? Was NOT THE WHOLE FUCKING POINT to learn (and then to teach) how to live a life free from all of that crap, holding it back with the right movement, tools, mantras, blah blah blah?

And if that wasn’t the whole point, if that wasn’t what this work could give me (and what I could promise to others), then…ummm….what the fuck?!

What was I doing, really? With my moving and my dancing and my body connection and my devotion to pleasure and sensuality and my own flavour of sexuality and my blah blah blah? If I wasn’t SOLVING THE PROBLEM OF LIFE, what was I doing? And if I couldn’t tell women that I could SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM OF LIFE, why would anyone care about what I did?

(Insert months of thinking here…and by thinking I mean crying, drinking red wine, dancing, swearing, writing, breaking down while dancing and hot baths.)

So, here’s the thing. I don’t solve the problem of life. It took me a long time to realize this but now I know for realsies that stuff will always happen. (Please don’t laugh at me, I am sometimes a very slow learner.) I will lose people I love. Maybe in a nice way. Maybe in a tragic way. I will forever face new challenges and some will feel like they will break me. I will have problems in my relationships. I will have distances between myself and my children….I may struggle to know how to love them. I may go through periods where I feel shut down. Where I am very very sad. Or very very tired. Or very very unsure of myself, my work and the world.

This I know is true. I cannot solve your problem of life. I cannot solve my problem of life. Mostly, because it’s impossible. And also, because I don’t want to.

And I also know this. I will go through this life fully alive and fully creative. I will rock myself back and forth with tears as all the truth spills out of me. I will face my inner voice, calling to me. I will write out my rage and dance in my anger. I will face what comes with all of me awake and alive and real. I will open up my body and my heart and my soul to my greatest pain and let it have it’s way with me. I will do this because I want to be fully alive and fully creative in my life – not just the easy parts but all of it.

I will let those hard parts break me apart. I will try to open into them, I will try to breathe, I will dance in my tears, I will move my truth, I will leave no stone unturned. I will grow deeply into myself. I will feel what comes out, what I become out of the ashes. I will try my best to face my life not as something to be conquered but something to be faced with my naked courage and rawness. I will try not to hide from it. I will try not to let things shut me down, turn me to rock, make me hard and joyless.

I will try every day to do this. And this, THIS is the work I do. I can’t solve all of your problems or make the bad stuff go away or shelter you from the gut-wrenching joys and pains of life. But I can help you, me, us, go through this life fully alive, fully creative, fully ourselves and FULLY TURNED ON no matter what is happening.

Please join me for my marketing workshop titled “My business will definitely NOT solve your life problems”. Grab a spot NOW because it’s sure to sell out! (I’m joking.)

Thank you. For reading this. For caring. For thinking and living every day of your life with your dreams and hopes and failures and wisdom and triumphs and learning and hard and beautiful moments. Even when we feel isolated and alone, we really are all in this together. xo

 

Diaries of a retreat – Part 3/3

 

This is the final installation in my “Diary of a retreat” writings. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

Day 3

The theme for me this retreat has been belonging. A big challenge to the story I’m holding on to about not being worthy of love and belonging.  I know on a cellular level what it feels like to be the outsider. It feels like my natural state. But I don’t want that anymore. The more I want to fly, the more I need a tribe. So that was where I opened this retreat. I allowed myself to belong. In however and whatever shape that took. And I do feel that I belong here. I belong to the women here. I belong to this movement. I belong to my friends here. I belong! And in belonging, I can bring my whole self here and be a part of this for everyone else. I become part of their belonging too.

Today we had class on the beach. It was one of the highlights for me. Being in the sun, feeling the wind, moving outside. Hearing the ocean. The teacher’s voice was low enough that I could move as I wished. And then we went to the ocean. And I danced all the way there; it felt like it took a million years. I dragged my toes in the sand, I curved my hips, I leaned back, I took my time. And then, in the ocean, I called a few women to join me in swimming (sometimes we are the pusher and sometimes we need to be pushed) and we took our suits off and swam naked. It was glorious. The ocean waves would come and knock us over as if to say, Snap. Out. Of. It. THIS is who you are. THIS is how you should always be, in this state. Free! Wild! Alive!

I know now that by not going to class and taking my own time, I was creating the safety that I needed to jump. And the jump I want to do is to show my truth to this tribe. I wanted to break apart. I wanted to show ME. Because when I can show the truth of me, I can truly belong. Here. There. To myself. To the world. Anywhere. Everywhere.

Day 4

I had my first group dance and it was okay but nothing emotionally happened, except that it felt good to move. It was a safe dance for me. I knew I wanted something more. So then Sheila (Kelley, S-Factor‘s creator and leader) asked me to tell one of the leaders to put me with a group of women that would want to dance to a “break apart” song.

This is what being a co-creator in jumping into your fear feels like. You actually seek out what will break you apart. 

When we got assigned our new dancing groups for the second round, I said I want a song that will break me apart, that will make me cry. The second woman said, I want to dance to dirty sexual music that talks about fucking and licking pussy. (Honestly, I fucking LOVE this stuff!) So, that is where we started off. I just had this knowing that I needed to push for my song and that this dance was mine. We finally all agreed to dance to “Delicate” by Damien Rice. (Even women who love to dance to dirty sex songs have a tender, delicateness about them. We are 100 shades of the rainbow.)

I went to the middle of the floor right in front of all of these women because I wanted to be seen. I started on the floor because I didn’t think I could stand up. I danced. I broke apart. I cried. I showed my fear in being seen and then I was seen, as I lifted my shirt over my head and showed my tear-stained face. And then, at the end of the song, I wept. Lying on the floor. I let it all out as I was held by my tribe. And then, I felt so fucking glorious that I yelled out a cry of victory. I did it! I gave my self the time I needed, I listened to my own voice, I trusted when I was ready and then, I jumped.

I belong. Exhale. 

The evening after the retreat ended…

I spent this night with people! I went out to dinner with them! I belong here! (As you can tell by the exclamation marks! this is not what I usually do!) They weren’t stopping me from belonging, I was stopping myself! Gosh darnit, fucker head shit!

After being home for 4 days

I’ve been back for 4 days now. This re-entry is different Last time, I merged with life effortlessly. So I thought I got it and that is what would happen this time. But it didn’t. I am still quiet about the retreat. I am still holding it in my body and heart like a treasure. I don’t know how it will move through my body and my life but I know it will.

But here’s what I learned. I belong. I trust myself to know what I need. I know how to make myself safe. I want to jump.

Thank you for reading.

Sophie

xo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

    

Diaries of a retreat – Part 2/3

 

This is the second installation of my “Diary of a retreat” writings. You can read the first one here.

Day 2

I don’t like this retreat. I am not feeling at home or good; I’m feeling uncomfortable. We had an experience with horses with the amazing Jen Zoe this morning and I had an uncomfortable realization. I thought the horse I had connected with was paying attention to Jen Zoe and another horse and wasn’t with me. And then, something shifted and she was with me. Jen Zoe asked me what I thought had shifted and I said I didn’t know. She said, maybe that’s what you are going to find out this weekend. And then I realized that maybe I had been thinking that I wouldn’t be enough to hold that horses’ attention and so, of course, she was wanting to be somewhere else. That is one of my tender spots. Bah. Sigh. Cry. Release.

During the dance in class today, I had a moment where I was crying and I looked at one of the women there (because I know she can hold space for me) and afterwards she said that she could feel me get emotional and then close down and why didn’t I just let it go? Then I felt badly that I hadn’t let it go and I said it wasn’t time and I don’t know if that’s an excuse or the truth and I can feel all of my old patterns of thoughts which make me wrong or bad come up and I don’t want to feel like that.

I’m repeating to myself – I am so perfectly where I am right now. I am perfectly where I am right now. And I am open-hearted and ready and trying and being and it’s all okay. And I don’t hate this retreat; it’s just that I’ve come up against some real shit here.  

Last night, I had the thought that maybe my body has to be so pleasured in order to overrule my brain. I could feel how my brain patterns were taking me right out of my body. I could feel my body (that flow, that total feeling of rightness, that joy in being everything I am) was crying out “please don’t leave me!” as she felt all of my overthinking and critical thoughts take me away from her. I think that the more she is pleasured with good food, the right clothes, movement that allows her to express what she feels, deep breathing, touch, sensual/sexual pleasure, her volume gets louder. When in doubt, always go to the body. Funny, that was the lesson I learned at the last retreat. When in doubt, go to the body. She knows fucking everything.

Then we danced for teacher again.  It felt okay to me but there was some performing I could feel. So I was half in my body and half just showing. In her comments, my teacher said that I was going in and out of two different things. That I was like a sea anemone, flowing big and small…and she didn’t know what I wanted. Okay, so it is all true, I am not dancing to show what I want. And what do I want? I’m afraid to show it. Because then everyone will know how I am. I might want to actually be unknowable. Do I really want that? How can I get what I want if I am not knowable? If I can’t show the women here and at home, then how will I show the world? I am afraid of it. My power. My big sexuality. I don’t know what to do with it or how to fit it into my life in a way that serves my desires as well as a life with a husband and kids and the domesticity of it all.

I want to live in my power and not shrink it behind other stuff anymore.    

I decided not to go to class tonight. I had too many voices in my head. When my teacher talks so much during the class, I can’t hear my own body. It feels so disconnected and awful. So I decided to go back to my room. I had a bath, I read, I went to bed. It was exactly what my intuition told me I needed. But I had all of these voices saying, you should stay, you need to push through it, this is when you need to NOT run but I was having strong resistance to going and so I was fighting on two fronts; one was to follow my truth and not go to class and the other fight was to believe I had done the right thing and to trust myself as deeply as was required. And it turned out to be the perfect thing for me to do. This has been a pattern for me – I engage and connect and then something triggers me and I have to retreat. I need to find my centre and think about it on my own before I can go back out again. And when I go back out, it’s as if I’ve made a big decision while being on my own that allows me to experience a breakthrough.  

And then shit really happens.

Stay tuned for the final chapter of my “Diary of a Retreat” series!

 

I aM sTuCk

 

I am going through a stuck period right now. And this is what I usually do when I’m stuck.

Watch movies in the middle of the day. While eating a hamburger and chips.

Get angry at the teacher because I was late for drop-off and because IT’S HER FAULT I’M STUCK!

Rage at everyone. My kids. My husband. Strangers. Above teacher. And then smother them with hugs and love because I feel so badly. (Not teacher.)

Sit in front of my computer, looking at the screen and doing…nothing.

Watch movie trailers. For a long time. Or videos from SickKids and just cry.

Look at my “to do” list, feel immediately exhausted and take a nap.

Take another nap.

Look everywhere for help. Watch videos. Reach for books. Listen to interviews. All of me is screaming out SOMEONE HELP ME BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO NEXT.

I also dance, do yoga, cry, journal, meditate, try to breath, try to eat healthy food, make green juice, tell someone else I’m stuck.

Drink wine.

I feel so jealous of everyone who is doing well, who has something exciting going on, who is a SUCCESS.

I doubt every idea, every blog, every dream and think I MIGHT JUST BE WRONG ABOUT ALL OF THIS.

I say “no” to things I should say “yes” to…

My body feels so sluggish. So stuck. So bored. So blah blah blah. I haven’t the energy to do the littlest thing. I know I should get up but I only feel like being down.

AND.

and.

And there are times when I am wise enough to say…

“Oh baby, you’re stuck! That’s why you are watching this movie in the middle of the day with a bag of chips. You’re stuck! You poor thing. I know it feels like shit. You know, why don’t you have a nap after this movie? And you know what? This too shall pass. How do I know? Because we’ve been here before. I remember. It passes and one day, you’ll be on fire again. And it’s okay that you are feeling stuck right now because a) it’s just what’s happening and b) it’s the truth right now and c) there is always something in the gaps for you. Remember? I do. This is when we are forced to sit in this really freaking uncomfortable place and just be. This is where we practice being really kind and loving to ourselves. This is when we have conversations with other people and we say “I’m stuck” and they say “Oh my god, I’m so glad you said that, I’m stuck too!”. This is where the stuff we don’t really want to do just gets left behind and the stuff that really pulls us, that really gets us excited, is the only thing we have energy for. This is the place of Giant Remembering. We’ve been here before. It will pass. See what’s there for us in the gap. Be ever so kind and compassionate. Be still. Be so present in the gap and also, let it pass. It will.”

And it does pass. Until it happens again. Which it always does.

I’ve been thinking about how it also seems possible that whenever I’m stuck, it’s not because things aren’t going anywhere but more that there is about to be a shift into something different. I am not actually mired in the mud but just at the edge of something completely new.

In the comments below, I’d love to know how you go through being stuck without losing your mind.

How to kill a desire

 

Yes, I’m into desires these days. If you didn’t read my post called “Audacious, scary, body buzzing, delicious desire”, you can read it here.

What are desires? For me, they are simply things, feelings and experiences that I want. And, for me, they have a deepness to them that simply “wanting” doesn’t seem to have. A simple want comes from my mouth and a desire comes from my soul.

If you have never made a desire list, do it. It’s really really fun. On your first one, you might end up sitting there, trying to figure out if you actually have any desires. (You do!). You might start rusty as a robot and end up having desire diarrhea.

You start off with a chirp chirp chirp silence.

Then, “new winter boots”.

Then, “a new dress”.

Then, “to take yoga teacher training”.

Then, “to have mind-blowing sex.”

Shazam. Done. Pencil down. Mic drop.

Here’s what I’ve learned about desires.

When you think about a desire, it makes you feel good. You smile. Your body feels relaxed (and maybe a bit scared and excited). It feels good in your heart and your body. Even without making a move towards it, it feel good to think about.

Desires don’t need to come true to make you feel good. (See above.)

If you had to describe yourself on a post-it note in 5 seconds, writing down a big desire would be a pretty concise way of telling the world who you are.

Desires change. They come and go. Or you have a desire for a while and then, it no longer makes you feel good. You might look at a desire list from 6 months ago and find things on there that don’t tingle the way they used to.

Desires are fun. Desires tell us who we are.

So, say you wanted to kill a desire. How would you do it?

Here’s how…

You kill a desire by not allowing yourself to enjoy just the thought of it. By bypassing that very important first stage of desire where you get to just imagine what it would be like. What those new winter boots might look like. What they would feel like on your feet. All the cool things you’d be able to do in your new winter boots because you’d be comfortable and happy and you’d start snowboarding and ice fishing. Imagine what it would be like to be in a room full of people who also want to be a yoga teacher. Being so immersed in those movements and absorbing all of the wisdom from your teachers and also figuring out how you want to teach yoga. You feel it all – the excitement of teaching your first class, the nerves of teaching your first class, the amazingness, the tears, the sweat, the joy.

If you bypass this stage and go straight to “how do I do this?” stage, you will kill your desire. As soon as you tell a desire that you can’t enjoy it until it comes true but you don’t think it could ever come true and you don’t even know where to start because it’s totally impossible and now that you think of it, it’s totally pointless even thinking about it because it’s never going to happen and it’s too much and greedy to even wish for and WHO AM I TO WANT ALL OF THIS?, well… something very sad happens.

You know those cute little angel cupids in old-timey religious pictures? The ones with the chubby cheeks and dimpled butt cheeks and cute little wings and the bow and arrows? You just shot one down. That was your desire.

We are so good at thinking that we always have to do something. Especially as women, we have our flicks continually set to “DO”, so it’s hard for us to not need to take action and do something about everything.

A desire might pop into our brains and we think, what is my first action step? How would I make that happen? What should I do right now to work towards that goal? And then, holy sh*t, my brain is exhausted just thinking about how much work that is so I’m going to shut this sh*t down right now and carry on with carrying on.

And instead of letting that delicious desire (whisper a juicy one to yourself right now) make our blood heat, give us tingles on your skin, let our shoulders drop, make us smile, we kill it.

Let’s just enjoy the desire, damnit.

Here’s one of my desires.

I want to spend a month in Tuscany with my family. I want to wear beautiful dresses that sweep around my legs and leather sandals and look effortlessly beautiful (is it shallow that I also have perfect hair days while I’m there?), calling out “Ciao” to the olive farmers as I walk into town for an espresso. I want my kids to run around in bare feet, picking basil and tomatoes and running in and out of the kitchen as I make day-long meals. I want my husband to learn some romantic/dirty lines in Italian that he whispers to me as we drink red wine under the Tuscan star-filled sky.

When I think of this desire, I melt. I can taste it. I can feel it. I can feel the yearning like this very happy puppy tugging on a leash. I smile.

Okay, so let’s kill it now.

How would I find a place in Tuscany? I don’t know anyone who lives in Tuscany.
How do I find a place that I can rent for a month with the right feel when I don’t even live in the country?
I don’t speak Italian. Do we need Visas?
What would we do for money? How would we afford it?
What if my family doesn’t want to go? Can I trick them into packing for the cottage and blindfold them on the way to the airport?
Is Italy dangerous? Will my children run around barefoot, speaking Italian or will they be fighting in the kitchen as I cry over a ruined risotto?
Will my children come back to class where everyone now can speak Mandarin and meditate and they only know how to make handmade pasta and get dirt out of their toenails? It’s impossible, it’s a dream, it doesn’t make sense, it’s a luxury, I should be concentrating on more important things and STOP DAYDREAMING.

See what I mean? Thud. Another cupid hits the dust.

There is a time for action on a desire, should you want to take it. But I believe that the most important thing to do with any desire is to enjoy thinking about it, feeling it and imagining it. Let it make you feel good.

And should you decide to take action on it, all of that enjoying will help you take steps towards that desire without killing it along the way.

Desires are delicious little morsels of throbbing aliveness. They bring joy just by being. No action necessary.

If I’m lying, I’m buying. Try it out. Find a really juicy desire and just sit and think about it without needing to do anything about it. You like?

What is your relationship with your desires? Do you kill them? Love them? Both?!