Filling Up My Cup

Just the other day I wrote a post mentioning I was strongly encouraged to discover what fills my cup. Tending to be the type of person to push myself, activities I choose to do fill my cup, but they take away from my cup as well. Balance. How this idea of balance needs to come to fruition in my life. I am the girl who signs up for a triathlon to take her FIRST swim lesson just two months prior to the race. The one who joined only about a hundred people in total (at that time) who had traversed the Via Ferrata at the Horseshoe Canyon Ranch.

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Right about here I am cursing myself “Why do you do this??!!”

The girl who would have panic attacks while running, but managed to find the finish line of a marathon. The girl who was told “you can’t bike 100 miles” and made sure less than a year later that statement was proved wrong.

I push myself. All the time. And I think it’s because I don’t feel worthy otherwise. I feel week. T and I watched Hidden Figures last night – my new favorite movie! – and it is so inspiring to witness women pushing beyond limits, despite being told “you can’t” they proved they can. They defied what was perceived as possible at that time. They were strong and bright and determined. And they weren’t going to allow anyone to hold them back. Granted their pushing beyond limits was for something far greater – equal rights and basic humanity.

But this is where my line blurs. The line of balance. When does pushing yourself become too much? Where does that sweet spot lie – the exact spot where you have pushed just the right amount. I haven’t discovered it yet. It’s a constant back and forth in my mind…a struggle to prove myself maybe? What am I trying to prove? That I am strong? Capable? Anything but week? Or am I “running” away from something? Is my constant push actually an attempt to avoid? All thoughts to ponder I suppose.

These past few days I have discovered a few ways in which I can fill my cup – without simultaneously depleting it.

  1. Walking – through my neighborhood, with my son, with my dog. Just walk. And notice.
  2. Watching an inspiring movie – fosters motivation, some clarity, and honestly..joy
  3. Sitting on the sidelines of T’s sporting events – listening to all the sounds…the birds, referee’s whistle, the cheers, the clapping, feeling the energy

I intend on adding to this list. But for now this is my start. Drop by drop.

Smiles and Stress

“With fond remembrance of your amazing smile, the one that took over your face seemingly sponsored and wattaged by Edison bulbs.”  A message – to ME – from a long lost friend. How that stirs up all that is good thinking I reflected an obvious sense of happiness. We all know how things aren’t always what meet the eye…but…there’s always a grain of truth regardless. And these words artistically phrased and meant for me, well, it made my day. How nice is it to be remembered for something so utterly positive?

Only days after receiving this message, one of my yoga teachers was crouching in front of me at the beginning of class and remarked rather simply “you have a great smile.” And again I felt good about myself. Like a reassurance that I am ok.

And the cherry on top? The song played at the end of yoga class tonight – Smile by Nat King Cole

 

So smile more it is!

These two occurrences have led my thoughts to laughing. And how laughing automatically brings you into the present. I still firmly believe a good old fashion belly laugh is medicine of the best kind. I know I need more of this. Being told by one of my healthcare providers just yesterday I need to make sure I find time to do something that fills my cup once again brought light to my life…the dark corners I like to avoid. Running fills my cup but also empties it, she said. She is right. So what is it that I can do that will rejuvenate, balance, de-stress, make me a better me? I’m still actively pondering this. But I will admit, my initial thought is putting on my comfy pjs and watching my most favorite sitcom. And hey that might be it. Just slowing down, sitting down, and just simplifying.

……Although, it’d be nice to have someone rub my head too.

And…She…Let…Go

Read during shavasana last week….I hope it speaks to you like it did me.  Namaste.

 

She let go.

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to let go.

She didn’t search the scriptures.

She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back.

She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go.

She didn’t journal about it.

She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.

She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.

She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.

She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.

She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

She didn’t call the prayer line.

She didn’t utter one word.

She just let go.

No one was around when it happened.

There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort.

There was no struggle.

It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…

– Rev. Safire Rose

Changing

 

I read an article a few days ago offering advice to respond to situations in a new light. Change old habits of impulse reactions, particularly ones that involve anger, negativity, resentment. Note the usual reaction, stop, and try a new way. Changing thought patterns. Clearing a new path. I like it. I like the suggestion. It feels, I don’t know, hopeful? I actually  practiced it the other night. As I lay thinking about a friend who has hurt me on so many levels, I found my anger rising, my body tightening, and then….I stopped. I acknowledged this almost habitual response and decided to consciously process my response differently. In a more constructive or at least less negative-feeling way. What I have noticed is when I start to feel this anger and hurt, it snowballs. My body and mind pay the price. So in this moment I took a deep breath, placed one hand on my stomach, my center, and one hand on my heart and I let it go. Did it make it hurt any less? Not so much. But what it provided was a place where that hurt could no longer control and weaken me. It was a safe haven of sorts. And I did’t have to physically go anywhere.

It is all here – within me.

To Be…Not

Sometimes when you are in pain, in that moment, in that timeframe, you think it could not hurt anymore. But I discovered that is so wrong. Like being kicked when you are down. This is what I have felt for the past week. It has been a wave of constant hurt continuously smacking me against the rocky, sharp, unforgiving wall. I am left in-between this blockade and the thrashing, intensity of the waves…waiting for it all to stop.

Feelings of being overwhelmed followed by shock and sadness.

Strength found to be challenged again but with great force.

Some panic, some weakness, some all out craziness.

Again pure shock.

And then deep sadness and hurt and disbelief.

And I sat in this. All of it.

So twisted and surreal almost.

How ironic.

I lose myself from time to time. I get lost in the complexity and many paths. This past week, I lost all harmony.  Any sense of balance and peace was gone.

Maybe all these twists and turns is how I actually will find myself…….

 

Laugh

I can’t think of a more beautiful way to complete my day. The laugh of my 17 year old son. With me. It might just be one of the best, most honest-to-goodness happiest things. Ever.

Regret Versus Guilt

So by now you must know I carry a lot of guilt. Waxes and wanes, but always peaking its head around the corner daring to be seen, guilt is ever present. At times I am able to assuage this annoying and often incredibly persistent emotion. While other times, I succumb to the drowning effects.

Certainly regret and guilt are not mutually exclusive. They seemingly both stir up negativity in many ways. But for me, in my case of divorce, one does not mean the other. To clarify – because I carry this guilt does not equate to regret. Admittedly, the weight is slowly lifting. And yet, I truly don’t think will ever completely disappear. The definition of being a parent surely includes feeling guilt. Somewhere in there it must state “be prepared to go to bed many a night feeling guilty.” But, I did not choose divorce in that I ultimately had no choice. Despite the many good “things,” some of the best were not shining through or even present. For example, I want my boys to witness love at it’s core; to experience first hand what respect looks and feels like between two people who have promised their life together; to sense compassion; to taste the sweet, sweet taste of undying selflessness; to witness patience and self-control; to appreciate the ups and downs are to be travelled together.

Yes, there is a possibility that I will never be able to personally exemplify all of this for them. But, they are no longer living in a place where the opposite exists and teaches them all that should never be taught.

Guilt? Yes. Regret? No.

This morning I read a beautiful post. It was the reminder I needed. My boys are strong. And I think that maybe, just maybe, I am too.

‘Honey, that challenge was made for you. It might hurt, but it will also nurture wisdom, courage, and character. I can see what you’re going through, and it’s big. But I can also see your strength, and that’s even bigger. This won’t be easy, but we can do hard things.’                        -Glennon Doyle Melton