The Body Knows

You know those moments when all the pieces of a puzzle you didn't even know you were trying to put together finally fit?  I had one of those moments while I was stretching on Billy Goat Hill this morning.  I have been struggling with neck pain and started going to see someone who does tui na, a traditional type of Chinese massage.  He confirmed that yes, my neck is a mess, but what also became apparent is that my legs are super tight...especially my left leg.  

I walk and jog quite a bit so I knew my IT bands were tight, but I was kind of shocked at how much pain was in there...especially on the left side.  I started doing some serious stretching and noticed that I also almost always sit in a way that stretches my right side. And the more I do it the more I do it because it's more comfortable. Basically, I have been reinforcing this pattern for a long time and that's why I'm so tight. 

Now back to my "ah ha" moment...I had my left leg up on the fence and was grimacing with how much it was hurting when I thought "Wow, I've neglected this side of myself!" And I realized, yes, literally I have been neglecting a side of myself...the left side of my physical being. And that is a metaphor and also a physical manifestation of the other side of myself that I have been neglecting.  The side of me that writes.  The side of me that stopped writing on this blog years ago. It all makes so much sense. Just like with my legs, the more I leaned in one direction, the harder it felt to go back in the other direction. That kind of worked until it felt painful.

I'm now doing yoga for runners and lots of stretches to help my body become more balanced again. I'm also paying attention to the habits that got me here.  And on the psychic/mental health side of things, I am taking the time to write, travel and do the things that make me feel balanced.

8th Grade

I saw the movie 8th Grade yesterday.  Wow.  I'm not even sure what to say, but if my 17-year-old son's reaction was anything to go by, it was an accurate look at the torture (and potential) of that time in life.  He was cringing so much, and also laughing.  The movie nailed so many small details that highlight the awkwardness of that age...the close-ups of acne, braces, posing, social media addiction, bodies in all stages of development and many more.  

Although the movie is about one especially awkward girl, you get a glimpse of some of the other "types" of kids (the hot guy, the snobby girls, the nerd...). We don't get to know any of them well, but it feels like they would each have their own bigger, more nuanced, equally awkward and painful story to tell.

The main character, Kayla, makes advice videos about topics like being yourself, getting out of your comfort zone, taking a chance (kind of like some of the things I write about!).  In some it's a close-up of her face, and in others her voiceover is heard over her doing some of those things (or not doing them) to painful effect.  What's fun, and also excruciating, is watching her feeling her way through things. I sat in the theater willing her to make the right decision knowing it could go either way. (I won't tell you which way...don't want to ruin the surprise.) 

By the end of the movie, when Kayla is headed to high school, we definitely have the feeling she has grown a bit, and is a little wiser, but that there are more bumps ahead.  There are also some hilarious and touching scenes with her father.

Gucci. (If you see the movie, you'll understand.)

 

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What has changed?

I decided to leave my old website/blog behind and start again.  It wasn't all lost, and I will go back and read old posts and possibly move some over here or create a link, but in the meantime I'm going to push forward here.  The photos on my homepage are just photos that I like...that make me happy. I'm planning to add new ones as the mood strikes to keep a sense of life and movement and hopefully joy.

I've been thinking about what has changed since I last posted consistently, and it feels like everything has changed...and nothing. Probably the most significant change for me is that my kids are older, and that has shifted dynamics and needs and issues.  As hard as parenting younger kids can be, looking back it feels so much more straightforward.  I know that's not really true on some levels, but the stuff my kids are grappling with now are so much bigger and more fundamental.  I guess that's not entirely true...younger children are grappling with the same things but at a different level of consciousness.  Now my sons are facing life as young adults, which comes with a lot of heartache and sorrow. And I can no longer make it better. I have to watch them struggle and trust they'll figure it out, but it is so hard watching it, feeling it and seeing it.  So hard.

I feel like I am playing a delicate balancing act of being there, being supportive, listening and at the same time stepping back and letting things play out.  I often find myself wanting to jump in and solve something for one of them, only to remind myself that that's not really my job anymore. And it's really not what they need.  

I have realized it's now time to figure what this next phase of life will look like for me.  And part of that is getting back to writing here.

Fresh Start

I guess you know you’ve neglected your blog/website when you finally go to write a new post and it’s gone! Or not completely gone, but not what it was when you were last there, and only a skeleton of what it had been.  I’m sitting here in a state of minor shock because I was ready to reengage, to be committed, to start writing again.  And now I’m not sure what to do?

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Maybe it’s a sign from the universe.  But what does it mean? And what am I going to do?

I think what I’ll do is write the post I thought I was going to write and go from there. I haven’t written consistently for roughly 8 years.  What happened 8 years ago? I decided to join forces with my husband and work for his/our marketing firm. Coaching was great, but it wasn’t bringing in the kind of money we needed with two kids in private school.  And I recognized that I was not going to bust my ass marketing myself as a coach.  I’m not a salesperson.  I’m just not.  And even though I’m confident I am good at my job..my coaching job, I’m not going to sell myself beyond having conversations and being honest.

That’s what happened.  I kept coaching a few clients, but also dedicated myself to our company.  I got very busy.  Busier than I had been in a long time, so writing blogposts fell by the way side.  I made a few attempts over the years to reengage with it because I really loved it when I was writing, but something was blocking me.  I kept trying to figure out what that was, and then when I did write I just stopped again.  I have felt bad about it for 8 years. Not all the time, just some of the time. And then when I would declare I was back to writing and then not follow-through, I felt even worse.

That brings me to today.  Well, actually yesterday. I was talking with a woman I know through carpool.  I really like her but we don’t know each other that well.  She told me she was working with a coach, and then I realized she didn’t know I was a coach.  And that struck me.  Because I still work with clients and I still get so much pleasure from it.  There is nothing like having a good session with someone.  With having a palpable sense that I have added something good to the world. 

We were at a school function, so we didn’t have a chance to speak more, so I thought: “I’ll send her a link to my website.” And then I thought: “I can’t do that because it’s stale, and old and unloved.” And then I thought: “Well, I’ll write a post and then send it to her!”  And that’s where I landed while I was out exercising this morning.  As I often do, I composed what I would write as I walked. (I’m always amazed how eloquent it all seems while I’m walking and how hard it is to translate that eloquence to the actual page.)  I also burst into tears as I thought about writing and stopping it so many years ago. And you know, when you start crying you’ve hit on something. 

I got home, bathed, had my second cup of tea, futzed around with things I didn’t really have to do, and then thought: “Do it. Now.”  I tried to open my website to begin, and that’s when I found out it’s gone. I feel sad and bewildered.  How could I not know it is gone? And now I’m back to the “What do I do?” Do I start from scratch? Do I try to save elements? Do I run away? If I’m honest, it feels strangely right.  Like it had to happen. That’s uncomfortable, but here I am.