It’s Valentine’s Day. True, a “Hallmark Holiday” for many, but a good excuse nonetheless to look at Love.
Love is a vast topic, and perhaps the only topic truly worth discussing. Love is, in the end, everything. But love is also incredibly misunderstood.
The concept of love that many of us grow up with is (quite unintentionally, most of the time) conditional: The basic assumption is that “I will love you when/if you do this.” This assumption is not typically stated out loud (although sometimes it is brutally drilled into kids’ bodies-minds), and most parents really would never mean or think such a thing. But whether they are aware of it or not, parents’ actions and seemingly benign statements can sound to a kid like...
Those of you who know me personally know that I have made most of my life choices in the last 17 years so that I honor my values: freedom, joy, connection, love.
Since 2015, I've made some truly risky and unexpected decisions, one of which took me to a new continent and a totally new way of living. It seems that that move presented more of a challenge than even I was prepared for. Unforeseen circumstances put me off track, and somehow I forgot how to have fun. Me! The person whose main priority in life is finding and enjoying the fun in it!
This loss has been affecting me every day, and needless to say it’s also affecting my fairly new marriage. In the course of investigating and working through the painful issues that are contributing to my lack of fun of late, I brainstormed a list of things I used to do for fun. It looks something like this:
I’m absolutely terrified to write this post.
This post is about my dreams. It’s about the dreams that I neglected while I pursued what I had convinced myself were “smarter” (i.e., someone else's) goals. In 2009, I walked away from my dreams (a second time!) and into what would become the most difficult period of my life, fighting for things I did not believe in, getting farther and farther away from myself in the process.
In my mind, my dreams would never be attainable. I could not put aside all of the other noise, distraction, and false needs to pursue my authentic dreams. So I didn’t. And I suffered. Wow, have I suffered.
But the suffering ends today.
At about the same time, I was told I was a likely candidate for Marfan Syndrome, a potentially deadly disorder of the aortic valve. I was pulled from daily gym class and spent that hour each day in the library with the "special" kids. I was required to have echocardiograms and EKGs every 6 months for the foreseeable future, if not the rest of my life.
I don't remember if it was a few months or a year later, but sometime after that initial diagnostic period, I was fitted for a back brace. I was expected to wear it 23 hours a day until I stopped growing--approximately 6 years. Yeah, right.
Sometimes it's nice to take a minute and remind myself of all the many reasons why I love yoga. Because I'm hyper flexible, I often have to forgo extensive asana practice in favor of targeted strength training for my hips, shoulders, back, and core. But yoga is my rock, the calm eye of the hurricane, the lighthouse pointing the way home when seas are rough and skies are menacing, the thing I return to after allowing myself to get scattered in the ego-driven winds circling us all at any given time. And here are some answers to the question, "Why do I love yoga?":
If Jillian Michaels hates her butt, then you should too.
That's the underlying message behind this news from Ms. Michaels [this was an Examiner article and it's no longer live so I removed the link]. It's just one more piece of evidence that
I spent years hating my body. It was never going to be good enough because I was comparing it against some unrealistic ideal (the origins of which I still don't know). I finally got smart, though, and realized that my body was here not to look a certain way but to do certain things, such as...
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