Monday, January 28, 2013

Just When I Needed You Most!

I went to bed feeling uneasy and angry but not at something that could be easily identified.  I woke up continuing to feel discombobulated.  I got the girls ready and out of the house and off to school with some typical irritation.  My youngest did ask me a profound question about something we discussed the night before as she does from time to time in her role as "old" soul.  And I knew a cry was coming and I worked to hold it together until I finished carpool.

As I walked back into the house, Annie, the dog greeted me and was ready for her morning walk.

I thought, "Oh here is the faithful companion!!" and she jumped and sat by me on the couch and I patted her head and my tears flowed for a few seconds.  I thought, oh, this is the solution for my old habit of needing someone to be there when I'm working through feelings and don't want to be alone.  Annie can sit with me.

And then she licked her butt.

Laughter through tears, my favorite emotion.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I Think I Can, I Think I Can.

I have never been a runner, except in high school when I ran around the football field because the football team sometimes practiced there and I liked that! {big smile} It was great motivation.  Now quite a few years later... I'm thinking about running again and it would be just for me and for no one else to watch.  It's sparking my interest.

I never thought I would be pondering this, but I feel myself drawn to what runners are into.   I'm not sure if my knees will cooperate. (I have chondtrotoin at the ready) I have begun using an Ease into 5k app which I have downloaded and they ask you to do 30 minutes of a progressive run/walk three times a week.  Seems very doable.   Yet running was the least favorite part of the triathlon I tackled when I was approaching forty.

Yet is has occurred to me that the profound message I have repeated to myself over and over was that I didn't think I could do it.  I set myself up to never try.  This is what I am beginning to understand.

Before I downloaded the app, when I walked on the treadmill, I would break into short running jags for a minute at a time.   I evidently just wanted to move more.  My body is calling me to move more somehow.  I am  going to try this and see where it takes me.  I have not signed up for a 5k, I'm not ready to do that, I want to go with the flow.  I have completed the first 2 days and all is well.  I felt twinges in my feet and at first, I had panicky thoughts and the twinges went away.  And then later hours after I was done, I thought, well I'm not in pain now, all is well.

A few years ago, I injured my foot walking, yes, just plain old walking and I felt defeated.  Every day I feel a pull in my foot when I move a certain way.  I think this is my forty four year old feet talking and I must get use to it.

So for now, I am telling myself I can, until that time if it comes that my body tells me I can't.  I can, I can.  And it feels good to be sore.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Media Free Twenty Four Hours Plus Some

As part of my Sunday night Apprentice Series book study, the "soul training" assignment this week is to be media free for forty-eight hours.  The instructions are: no internet, television, newspapers, magazines, radio, video or music devices.  I started with 24 hours because I knew how difficult it would be to abstain.   The purpose is to show how sexually saturated the media is.  But that is not what it really did for me.

I am aware because I have two young girls.   Any show I sit down to watch with my ten year old, it is painstakingly obvious how much sexual innuendo there is even with sitcoms with children in the cast.  I have watched "Dancing With The Stars" where spray tans and costumes comprised of bikinis are the norm and I have become accustomed to it.  I know that magazines are photoshopped and this is what my girls will aspire to look like, an ideal that doesn't exist.  Female celebrities are critiqued endlessly for their weight gain or loss, etc.  The list goes on and on.

And I am aware because my self worth was boosted in part from my looks and other external forces while I was growing up.

"Miss Representation" is a great documentary of how women are portrayed in the media and it's not good.

I didn't watch the whole 2 hours because it felt overwhelming that I could make any impact.   I need to challenge myself to speak up more with my own children.  Learning to have a voice now in my forties, means that I have to actually SHARE what I learn with my own children.   This is unfamiliar territory yet I continue to practice, practice, practice.

Within the first two hours of my media ban, I began paying attention to all the thoughts in my head which is something as you know, dear reader,  that I do anyway.  Yet, it is so much easier to hear with silence.  Friends that I needed to contact, as well as activities that I needed to do popped in my head.  I began to really look forward to chats with my best friends and interacting with another adult at an appointment.   I wanted human contact!

As I ran errands on a particularly heavy rain day, I watched the weather radar in my car because I needed video stimulation!  The silence in the car was deafening.  No Oprah radio or music to lighten my day.

After six of my twenty four hours passed, I watched a "Housewives" show while I ate lunch.  I needed companionship!   I proceeded media free after lunch.  On Day 2, I decided to keep going, yet on the way to lunch with a friend, I turned on Oprah Radio in the car.  I was meant to cheat because it was a Classic Soul Series with Rev. Ed Bacon, Elizabeth Lesser and sex therapist, Dr. Laura Berman.  They are some of my favorite people.  They were talking about spirituality and sexuality.  Can you say apropos?

This assignment has been interesting.  I miss Facebook less that I thought.  I miss TV on in the background at home as well as music in the car more.  The biggest consequence is that I am reminded I don't want to be told what to do anymore.  My journey of authenticity and learning to listen to my own voice and let go of others' opinions has taken hold!  

Yet,  I have been reminded that disconnecting is good.  When I am quiet, I will eventually hear God's voice.  Deepak Chopra who has meditated every day for the last forty years knows what he is talking about.

And perhaps I could get by with less TV. {grimace}

I am thankful I tried the experiment.  The girls will be thankful that they can listen to music in the car again.  I will be too!  Though, every now and then, we can turn it off and learn to be silent.  I am excited about exposing them to this lesson at their age.  I am equally excited for myself!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Walking the Dog: Simple but Profound

Day in, day out I walk the dog in the morning.    We got a dog because Mallory wanted one badly and we thought it would be a good family thing to do.  Yet, Annie is ALWAYS ready to go for a walk!  She is ready to put her head down and smell the smells and make her mark.  The one exception is when it is pouring down raining.

At first, I looked at this dog walk as an annoyance.  In the beginning weeks of June when we got her, I worried about the walks.  Do I have to walk her in the rain and how?  I did not want any more messes in the carpet which were abundantly occurring at the time so I worried every step of the way.  Was she going to pee and was she going to poop?  Do I need to walk longer to make sure?  Blah, blah, blah, but this was the way I thought.

I have evolved and I barely pay attention to her pee and poop except that I have to pick up the poop.  It just took time and practice.

First, it was the heat of the summer, and I used an umbrella to help shield the burning heat and to avoid more sun exposure.  Then, when it is raining, I used an umbrella.  What a novel idea, it's raining so I used an umbrella!  And recently,  the temperature was in the high 30's and I prepared accordingly.

This routine of walking Annie despite the weather has taught me that I can do things that I didn't think I could.  It's a simple act but it carries symbolic meaning.  No matter what, she wants to walk, her desire translates to forcing me into the activity that at first, overwhelmed me with indecision and FEAR.  Here is another example of "You don't know you are there until you are there."  When I realized that the basic format to walk the dog, was to put the proper attire on and go, it became so much easier and even enjoyable.  The routine of it, helped me realize that despite what is going on, rain or shine, I can persevere.  Very, very simple, but very profound for me.

And it doesn't hurt that she is always happy to see me.