Hindsight 2017

It's that time of year again. When we look back on the past year and judge the distance traveled. I look back at my thoughts as the year began. I think, "How'd I do? Would I do it again?"

The Review Reel:

Breathing Roots

Here is the opening chapter of the story Lucy has been pushing me to tell. Or is it pulling? I'm not sure. She's been insistent. In my dreams. Flashes during gazing exercises and in the inciteful and thought-provoking lessons in my yoga classes (taught by Hope Allred at Root to Rise). There was such a long and frustrating period of silence. I couldn't connect. I couldn't seem to find that thread. It was in the period of concealment. It would not be rushed no matter how loudly I protested or plaintively I pleaded.

As Hope reminded us, seeds need to be planted in the dark. It's in this place of quite - out of sight - where the mystery begins. We must be patient. Well, maybe not, . . . but it does no good to try to rush things. Seeds grow in their own time. And we don't even know when it has begun because the growth starts in the darkness beneath the warm soil. It does because it must.

And then . . . we see the first hints of the soil pushing upward.

And so, Lucy's story begins:

If we were to go back in time and visit with Lucy, the Australopithecus pre-human, and travel along the path of human development ... and even forward beyond today ... what would we see? Feel? What is common then and now? What’s different within us? What will change ... and what will always be the same? 

A New Journey

I hear her. Insistent. Persistent. She won't take no for an answer. She doesn't care what's popular or cool or hip. She insists that I tell her story. It's a very old story. And yet, it stretches through and beyond our knowing. I can't ignore her any longer. She is my muse. Her name is Lucy. She may be familiar to you. I am embarking on a new journey to tell her story through my work. You are welcome to come along with us. 

These are our first steps.

Finding My 'Why'

My workplace has been advocating a program to help employees be more engaged in our jobs and life in general. Every quarter or so, a couple of interactive posts walk us through personal discoveries and lifestyle changes that we can make to better our lives. The concept is lovely. The timing and application to an individual may not always have the intended effect.

When the first two posts came out, I diligently clicked through them. Afterward, I left work feeling even more inadequate and disengaged than ever. I was slipping into an existential crisis, and I hadn't seen it coming.

The first post was focused on your "why." Your raison d'etra. Your purpose. It was an exercise in thinking about how your job aligns with your purpose. Because engaged employees have jobs that line up with their reasons for being, right?

As I clicked through, I found myself skipping pages, not writing in anything, and getting more and more resentful. "I don't have a 'why.' I don't have a 5 year, or even a 5 week plan. No, I can't imagine looking back at the end of my life and saying, 'This. My career was my purpose. This is what my life stood for.'" Can't I just like my job and love that it contributes to helping people when they need it most? Isn't that good enough?

After having had my fill of that post, I thought I'd move on to the next and feel better about myself. Until I saw the title. It was about meal planning. How good engaged healthy people - who love and care for their families - plan meals out ahead of time, do food prep and make meals ahead on the weekends, create menus together. Smiling happy faces eager to spend life's precious hours chopping carrots.

My inner monologue was something like, "WTF-ever. I'm NEVER going to do all that. ANY of that. My idea of 'meal planning' is 'I plan on eating at some point today.'" 

I tried to push it aside. Ignore it. After all . . . I have PLENTY of other things to juggle and worrying about every day. I slogged on.

2017 - Let's Remember to Breathe

I can't say I've been exactly eager for this New Year. There is much on my mind. And my heart. I am certain there will be many good moments. But it's not like there is some guarantee of a fresh new bright perfect year ahead. 

I feel overwhelmed. I'm in a few groups that are trying to encourage action and activism and political change. I have so much on my plate already. I'm trying not to feel guilty by focusing on just improving myself - being more patient, less reactive, a better listener. In my head we each can make a big impact if we start with our own little circles of existence and especially within our own selves. I hear others saying this is a cop out and it's not enough. That we have to do more. But I don't have more to give.

Spread the Love

Today I went to my yoga class. We learned a new chant for the month of December.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavanthu

It means, "May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all."

Death of a Goddess

Taps plays softly in the background as I slowly slink away muttering blue words.

But this metalbender will be back down to the studio to try her hand at taming the elements after she makes a cup of tea.

And she will try not to drop any more stones . . . today.

Struggle with the Juggle

This was a post I wrote recently on FaceBook. Last week? Week before? I don't know. Life is rushing by so fast these days it is literally a blur at this point. It seems every day is at least somewhat manic. And then there are days when the mania is on overdrive.

Does this sound familiar to you? I'm betting that you can relate:

"Rushed home, rushed kid across town, rushed back and straightened house, met with notary on refi ... Now making dinner. After I get the kids in bed I have at least 3 more contracts to analyze and comment on before bed. I see an Americano before long!"

That post was soon followed by this view . . .

"But Mommmm!" - Thoughts from the Studio Buddy

Mom put my old "little" bed just outside the studio. She won't let me lay IN her studio. Something about the fact that I take up the whole doorway already ... and that the torch is nose height ... and I keep bumping her arms and leaning on her so she'll hug me. #pout  #greatdane

3 Years Later: Still Gluten Dairy Soy and Egg Free . . . and Loving It!

Wow. Tuesday, May 31, 2016, will mark 3 years since I began my "new" food lifestyle. I still struggle with what to call it. I'm not just gluten free. While there are similarities, I am not exactly following a paleo lifestyle diet, either. I suppose I am basically on a low-inflammatory diet. Three years later I still do not eat gluten, dairy, or soy. I still avoid corn and peanuts. Every once in a great while I might have a roll that is made with egg whites. Or dip my french fries into a regular aoili or mayo-based sauce that has egg in it. It doesn't seem to hurt me in teensy tiny quantities like that at this point. But I do feel it if I go overboard and have those rolls several days in a row, or eat a lettuce-wrapped burger with a bit too much aoili on it. I still cannot eat an actual egg or egg white omelet, or anything with a significant amount of egg.

My kryptonite is sugar. Ohhhh, you know you are a bit too good at finding-things-you-can-eat when your hubby comes home with a box of ginger snap cookies that are gluten, dairy, soy and egg free. Mini custard-like tarts at the grocery store in that delicious persian lime flavor. Salted caramel 70% cacao bars that are actual free of all those vile poisons. Because then you EAT them. Eat them ALL. Like it might be your LAST. You hover over your sugary treat like Gollum clutching his "precious." Yessss. I have food-guarding issues. It's sad. I'm working on it.

But, the great news is that I am still in the clothes I was when I lost the original 54 lbs.