Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Today felt, after a certain point in the morning, kind of crappy. Anxious crappy. Triggered crappy. One thing after another - something I read, a social situation, then another social situation, awakened feelings of unworthiness. I texted with my BF about it, I went for a run. I felt better for a while, then back to feeling bad again. My 16 year old son offered me a hug, which helped, then back to feeling it. One of those days. It will be better tomorrow probably. But it brought up the question of how to talk about it here. Telling the truth is a form of bravery. A big one. In public and in writing is a certain kind of bravery, and skill. I'm not sure I have the right skill of it yet, but I thought I'd start practicing it here today. So, here's my tiny start. Tomorrow I'd like to start talking about making exciting goals. Goals which feel new and big, and maybe even redefining. Stay tuned. :)
Monday, May 30, 2016
I had a new idea for something brave I could do. Improv theatre. It would be ideal for challenging my fear of unstructured interactions with people I don't know. Perfect. I could feel all that awkwardness, and maybe have fun instead of what I often do, which is to slink away and avoid it. Then I thought, god, I think I'm doing enough. Writing, running, art classes, exercise classes, trips, kids, work, house, and all the other stuff I can't even remember. I'm trying to find the sweet spot of stretching but not exhausting myself. I'll save improv for my back pocket.
Sunday, May 29, 2016
Today nothing dramatic happened. I kept running when we went this morning and it felt hard after a point and then afterwards, sitting on the porch with a coffee, my body felt relaxed and my mood light for having gone. I wouldn't have guessed while we were running. It just felt like work then. Keep going. Later, tired from too many chores, I cancelled with someone I had plans with for the evening. Kindof last minute (last hour anyhow). I don't like doing that but I knew I had nothing left. Instead we lay and read on the wicker couch we pulled into the backyard earlier in the day, and maple keys fell on us and other bits of nature from the tree overhead, and the birds sang, and it was delightful. That was the right choice too. Small ones, leaning into the right place even when discomfort at first blocks the way.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Asking for what you want from another person can be a vulnerable thing. I don't think it was that hard for me today, but it was certainly satisfying, so I wanted to write about it. We practiced it in the core erotic theme workshop. We got into pairs, and practiced asking for something that we wanted the other person to do or say to us. Not something they were going to do necessarily, but as a practice. And of course, the other person can say yes or they can say no. Today I practiced asking my boyfriend to rub my belly. Then I asked him to say some things I wanted him to say. They were important things. I ended up crying. I knew I could trust him enough to ask him for those things, and that he would probably respond well, because I've asked him for smaller things before. We ask and build trust, and ask again. Is there anything you would like to ask for from someone in your life?
Friday, May 27, 2016
There is a line in 'Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life' that captured my attention. There are many lines that capture my attention in this book, but this one in particular stayed with me. It's a compelling part of why I want to practice facing my fears. Author Bernadette Murphy says, "Until this point in my life, I never felt a great affinity for motorcycles, never harbored the desire to learn. In fact, when my middle son Neil bought a motorcycle as a college freshman, I was apoplectic, utterly opposed. I railed about the dangers of accidents. But when I signed up for that five-day class and found myself sitting on an asphalt training range atop a 492-cc motorcycle, I experienced a kind of giddy delight I had never previously known. Ever." Did you catch that "ever"? That's what I want to feel, too. New things I never felt before. In the possibility of experiencing new feelings or new heights of them, there is not only the joy of heretofore unknown delights, but also the breaking of what I thought was possible, and the felt sense of the mystery of life. My small self likes to feel certainty and as much protection from the possibility of death as I can, and the bigger soul of me loves to feel the vast uncertain mystery. Breaking through into new possibilities feels something like practicing death. I know this is saying a lot, but I think all of this underlies our fear of and embrace of risk and aliveness. As I grow more fully into mid-life, I feel the call to greater authenticity more loudly and insistently, and I also feel a greater call to be of service. I still haven't pinpointed exactly what I wish to offer next as best I can, but it may have something to do with this - to help others experience heightened moments of aliveness, and also of love.
I feel a little like an imposter - ha ha ha - I'm going to run the Toronto 10 miler in the fall. But I'm going to keep acting like I'm doing it until I actually do it. Starting the 10 mile race clinic at the High Park Running Room June 23rd, but I haven't been running much this winter, so setting out for a short run to start it off right now. Anyone else have some brave fitness goals?
Thursday, May 26, 2016
So, we did the workshop tonight and it actually worked! There was a moment early on during the first exercise when I thought, this isn't going to work. What if noone feels free to talk? Sex is a hard topic, maybe I needed more experience before I tried this. And then people talked! It helps that we all know each other. It helps that I have lots of experience as a therapist talking to people about their emotional dynamics. This was just the first time I tried it on this topic. It's also fairly new for me to facilitate groups. But I went into it with a try it and see attitude. It was a lot of fun. We talked about the possibility of turning it into an 8 week learning group. I'm going to work on that idea. Stay tuned for more.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Today I am planning a workshop that I'm giving tomorrow night at my house for a few friends on the topic of sex as a healing force. We will be talking about core erotic theme, fantasies, attractions, and how our early relationships help shape our core needs. If you want to read more about core erotic theme, check this out: https://bettersexed.org/2014/03/29/whats-your-core-erotic-theme/. I'm trying this workshop out with some friends to get some feedback on it so I can offer it at a sexuality retreat later this fall. Facilitating is new to me! And this is a tender topic! Please send me some love on this, I'll be diving in tomorrow night at 7. If you want to read some more on this juicy topic, check out 'Your brain on sex, how smarter sex can change your life', by Stanley Siegel. Can you think of anything more worth putting some time into? ;)
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Today my brave thing was going to my memoir writing class, week 6 of 8, and reading a piece of writing. We are a group of 6 women who meet in the apartment of the writing teacher. If it's exposing enough, my heart starts to pound when I read. That happened today. Writing is one of the most exposing things you can do. Just you and your mind out there for all to see. It's exciting that way, too. I also phoned the Running Room to sign up for the summer 10-miler clinic. I have to wait to see if I can still use a credit from a clinic I signed up for two years ago but couldn't attend because I developed frozen shoulder. So, I'm not signed up yet, but I intend to. I haven't run that far in 10 years, and I don't know how my joints will take it, but I'm in for trying.
Monday, May 23, 2016
I've been inspired to start this blog while reading 'Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life', by Bernadette Murphy. It's about a 48 year old woman who takes up motorcycle riding while she's going through both the death of her father and the dissolution of her long-term marriage. She does it to show herself her own strength and to face her fear in the service of expanding her life. So many people fall into ruts in mid-life, and she doesn't want to be one of them. Neither do I. Like Bernadette, I have often been a cautious person (with notable exceptions). It's easy to keep doing the predictable and comfortable. I want a big life. So I decided to start this blog to commit to and chronicle my brave acts toward living as big a life as I am capable of. I am committing to (at least) one brave act a day. A brave act being something that takes me out of my comfort zone in the direction of what I want. Something that makes me feel more alive, more exposed, more in flow with life. I'd also like to inspire others to do the same. To live their big lives. It's not going to be easy. I have a strong tendency to want to stay safe and hidden to some extent, but also a strong desire for authenticity and aliveness, too. I've tasted what happens when I go outside my comfort zone. It often comes with some amount of discomfort and sometimes outright anxiety or even terror. It also often brings exhilaration and joy. I want more of that. It's a choice that you have to keep making over and over. Yesterday, I took a tiny taste of this feeling when I decided to go swimming in a pretty cold pond at a yoga retreat I was at. I am especially cautious about physical discomfort and risk. My boyfriend dove in and I slid in slowly down the ladder. It was really really cold. I got out quickly and dried off. He asked if I wanted to go in again and so I did. This time we swam around for a while and it was beautiful with the sun on our faces and the water bracing but better the second time around. When I wasn't able to close my hands properly because they were so cold, we got out. I felt happy and empowered all the way home, and decided to start this blog. Today my brave act is publishing this post.