Your Body Is Not A Prison

Embrace yourself as part of the magic. Photo Credit: Clifford Kanda.

Embrace yourself as part of the magic. Photo Credit: Clifford Kanda.

You are not a prisoner of your body.

Media and advertising would have you believing you are. Actually, convincing you of the imaginary wall called, “your body’s shortcomings,” is a multi-billion dollar industry. You may even work in advertising and still fall prey to the ever present message that you are lacking. Miserably.

 

You are not a prisoner of your body. You are not defined by your body. You are the life inside your body. If there’s anything that can be learned from the flower growing in the cracked concrete, it’s that life doesn’t accept imperfection and difficulty as an end all boundary. Rather, life seeks and finds the route that leads to opportunity and growth.

The walls of your body, your skin, and your limitations are obstacles specifically designed to be overcome by you. You are meant to find the crack.

 

You might be thinking, "Girl, I've only got one crack - and it's not exactly a door of opportunity!"

That's not the crack I'm talking about. ;)

 

Actually, let's get away from that metaphor... You are meant to embrace who you are and what you have. Fully. Deeply. Genuinely.

Make friends with your Self.

 

You’ll start to realize that what you lack cannot be bought. What you lack is not perfection. What you lack isn't even in the magazines.

The feeling of lacking comes from a deep need to connect with the Self, and to give from this pure place. To contribute meaningfully to society, and ultimately, to feel like you matter.

 

Making friends with your Self will dramatically change your expectations from your body. You will find that your body has likely been trying to speak to you for years about your truth.

Making friends with your Self doesn’t mean all your limitations melt away. It’s your perspective that melts into a new mold.

 

Your limitations, your pain, and your walls illuminate your greatest gifts once you find the right angle. It's from this angle that you'll see how you can really make a difference to those around you. This is where you'll find your path to passion, purpose, and belonging.

You are not a prisoner of your body.

Whatever your supposed flaw, however difficult the obstacle, the prison is in the mind.

 

The mind is the one who buys into the media. The mind is the one who decorates the merry-go-round of anxiety with webs of lies. The mind is the one who celebrates wallowing at the base of imaginary walls.

The mind is like the big brother who is not mature enough to be left in charge of the younger kids.

 

How does one escape? By deciding to overthrow the negative navigation of the mind. You escape when you decide to rebuild the pathways with heart based intentions - funded (of course) by taxes on the mind's wasteful use of anxiety.

Retrain your pathways with:

Breath, words of love, compassion, and friendship to your Self.

 

Assume your burdens, or symptoms are a conversations stemming from a place of love. "What is my body trying to teach me?" Ask yourself this question. Breath into it. Let it go, and refocus yourself on love several times a day. This creates a pathway for opportunity and growth - whereas, the mind tends to accept symptoms as a concrete slab.

Speak love into yourself until you know that your life is love. This may take weeks, months, or even years to fully set in. Start the conversation anyway.

This is how you set your Self free. This is how you learn to appreciate your body. This is how you can more fully embrace this life.

Your body: your friend, your teacher, your teammate =  your freedom.

 

This is not always an easy to go alone. If you want support in your journey to retrain the mind, visit my Consultations Tab for your free Initial Consultation. Underneath your obstacles, you'll find your greatest truth and joy. Let's uncover them!

Thanks for reading. Make loving choices. :)

Identify? Like this message? Leave a comment, and feel free to share!

This Conversation Will Actually Boost Your Metabolism!

love. your. food.

love. your. food.

Have you ever noticed that the exact millisecond you decide it's time to take control of your life and "eat healthy," you suddenly HAVE to have all your favorite foods like RIGHT NOW? Scarcity mindset can morph you into a stage 5 clinger (even... no especially to - food) if you're not careful.

How do you overcome this feeling that all will be lost if you choose a salad just this once? The answer is simple. Logic. Start holding this logical conversation with yourself every time you reach for a snack or meal. By simply asking yourself a few questions, you may find that you're not hungry, so much as you just need to drink some water, or get outside for some fresh air and change of scenery.

To begin, sit down and take 7 - 10 deep, slow breaths. When you've met yourself in the present moment, make your way through these questions. Be honest - you'll know if you're fibbing.

  1. Am I actually hungry?

  2. What’s the vitamin and mineral content in this snack/meal?

  3. How much progress have I made on my hydration goal today? *You're aiming for 1/2 your body weight in ounces, right? That's what I thought... go fill up. ;)

  4. Am I bored?

  5. Am I looking for a distraction or an escape?

  6. Am I stressed out?

  7. How will I feel after eating this? Energetic, tired, bloated, guilty, satiated...?

  8. How does this snack/meal benefit my bigger goals?

  9. Do I have any preconceived judgements about this food? Do I innately believe that this is a "good" or "bad" food?

  10. Am I at complete peace with where this food came from, and how it will nourish me? Am I secretly shaming myself?

  11. Do I love this bite? Do I love this seventh bite?

  12. Do I need to finish this to feel perfectly content? Or, will I be happy see someone else enjoy the rest, or to save some for later?

This quick and easy check in with yourself will help you identify:

  • If food is really what you want in this moment.

  • If you're eating for the wrong reasons and/or sabotaging your goals.

  • If you're giving yourself a stress response by harboring mixed feelings about what you're eating.

  • When you're satiated/satisfied and it's time to move on.

When we are not at peace with what we choose to eat, we induce an innate stress response that slows digestion, makes it difficult to assimilate nutrients, and ultimately hinders our metabolic ability.

Do you like the sound of that? I didn't think so. Choose to be at peace with how you nourish your body and morale. It's okay to indulge, especially when you're truly letting yourself enjoy it!

If you find this post useful, please share it with a friend or 900 (give or take) who may enjoy the mindset shift as well. :)

If you have questions about what steps to take to develop more peace in your relationship with food, check out my consultation page to schedule a free Initial consultation and find out how Life & Nutrition Coaching can help you reach your goals. 

Thanks for reading, make peaceful choices. :)

Launch Pad - Pop Quiz (A Screenshot of Your Life)

Reverse warrior: humble, graceful, strong. Rooted down, and open-hearted. Finding its role in the dance of life. Kahala Beach Park. Photo by Clifford Kanda

Reverse warrior: humble, graceful, strong. Rooted down, and open-hearted. Finding its role in the dance of life. Kahala Beach Park. Photo by Clifford Kanda

Hey friends! I put together this quiz (survey really) to help you connect with the ground you're currently standing on... so to speak. Many of us have lofty goals (in life and business) looming over our heads. Why do our deepest desires sometimes feel like the heaviest rain clouds? The answer is simple: our dreams feel heavy and dark when they feel just out of our grasp.

To get where you're going you have to take an honest look at where you are and what stories make up your reality. I've designed this quiz to offer a screenshot of your current reality, and to serve as a launch pad to the reality you dream of.

Rules:

Answer the questions in order. Write down the answers as you go without peaking ahead. Stick with gut reactions and short answers. This doesn't have to be an essay. The writing and thought process are for your own benefit. Have fun, and let me know if you have questions.

1. What are your top 3 passions?

 

 

2. Do you practice and nurture those passions routinely? How?

 

 

3. When do you feel happiest/most alive?

 

 

4. What do you do for a living? On a scale of 1-5, how fulfilled are you by your day job? If you chose a number under 5, how could you bring it up to a 5?

 

 

5. What is your dream/ideal life like? Career? City? Home? Family? Details are encouraged.

 

 

6. How is your dream life different from your current reality?

 

 

7. What is holding you back from that reality? Be honest.

 

 

8. What fear is slowing you down? What do you fear most?

 

 

9. Do you believe that? Is that fear truly warranted? Why, or, why not?

 

 

10. When do you feel unstoppable?

 

 

11. What is the difference between "unstoppable you" and "fearful you?" What fuels you when you're unstoppable? What fuels your fear?

 

Thats it!! Did you learn anything about yourself? I was surprised that when I took my quiz moments after writing it, I discovered something new about myself!

I already knew that I let naysayers into my head all too often. What I hadn't realized before is that unstoppable me is fueled by encouragement from happy clients, students, and readers. I already knew that my primary love language is words of affirmations - so it's not that surprising. However, it is a breakthrough to come face to face with the reality that I let other people's opinions dictate my actions and my progress.

Did you have a breakthrough? I'd love to hear about it! Leave a comment below, or pm me. Would you like support with your next move? Let's set up a (free) introductory consultation to discuss your next move for the healthy, forward moving life you're meant to live!

Thanks for participating! Make confident choices! :)

"I’m Not Racist, But…"

We are all the same. Love is our choice. Love will set us free. Photo Credit: JMallin Photography

We are all the same. Love is our choice. Love will set us free. Photo Credit: JMallin Photography

I’m not racist,

but I used to be.

 

I’m not racist,  but unfortunately I am racially and culturally ignorant. Recognizing the difference means I try to keep my ears more open and my mouth more shut.

I grew up in a predominantly white town. Any given year, there were (I think) fewer than ten kids belonging to racial minorities in the whole high school.

Except for the Mexican students. We had quite few Mexican students, but they didn’t seem like regular students. They kept to themselves. Looking back I guess the real separation was based solely on language and culture. We all tend to find comfort and community in what seems familiar.

I was an ESL aid for a few semesters. I never thought I was racist. I chose to be an aid in that class, but…

There was a but.

I was different.

 

This was the first experience in my life where I was the minority. It felt weird at first.

I was there to help with language related homework, but soon many of my peers were patiently helping me with my Spanish homework. Over time friendships grew and I always looked forward to that class. It was fun. It was comfortable. I liked the way the language barrier kept me present in conversation. I had to focus harder to communicate in simpler ways, and that somehow made the connections more sweet.

One day we were having a party in class and I was blown away by everyone’s efforts to make me feel included. I told the group how thankful I was to be so warmly included, and I’ll never forget what Cesar said back to me,

“Of course we want to include you. We all know what it feels like to be the different one.”

 

I’m so glad he said that to me. He humanized both of us in that moment. Now that I’m thinking about it, that might be the single most important thing anyone said to me in high school.

After that party I felt like they were my friends, but there was an invisible line I didn’t know how to cross. Most of these students ate lunch down the hall from me. Sometimes they’d walk by me and smile, and I’d smile and wave back.

But:

They never invited me to eat with them.

I never asked if I could join them.

I never asked them to join me.

 

What I failed to realize is that outside of that one classroom where I was the minority, I was not the minority.

I should have offered my friends the same warmth and inclusion that they offered me, but I didn’t. At the time, I didn’t know how. I didn’t know that my non-action was an action. "They kept to themselves" because I didn't invite them into my other social circles.

 

There are countless ways I can muddle this story with my own insecurities and social anxieties, but I know deep down that I should have done better.

A few years ago, a younger sibling described her parallel experience to me. We were both overwhelmed with guilt for going along with the social rules we were familiar with rather than acting unabashedly from a place of love and humanness.

Acknowledging our shortcomings is the gift that will allow us to behave more responsibly moving forward.

 

I am still probably racist.

Not consciously, and definitely from a place of ignorance rather than aggression, but I am guilty. Ignorance is not an excuse, or something to brag about. There is so much about culture, religion, and politics that I simply don’t know. Pretending to know would be a lie, and when you live in a lie you have to hustle harder to defend that lie.

I choose love. I choose to learn. I choose openness. I choose compassion.

Change in this country and on Earth, will not happen if we all refuse to own our ugly moments. The thing about ignorance is that by definition, you don’t know something. So as you learn, acknowledge your history of ignorance. Your past does not define you. The present moment does.

So choose to learn daily. Choose to connect better with yourself in order to connect with the people around you. Choose to forgive your past as you move forward.

Think of those moments where you've felt different, and choose not to make anyone else feel that way.

Choose inclusion. We are all human, and deserving of love.

 

Thank you for reading! Identify? Like my message? Please share. :)

Make good choices :)

Through Myself, To My Self - Reclined Hero

Supta Virasana - Reclined Hero

Supta Virasana - Reclined Hero

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken." ~CS Lewis

"Having courage does not mean that we are unafraid. Having courage and showing courage means we face our fears. We are able to say, 'I have fallen, but I will get up.'" ~Maya Angelou

"Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change." ~Brene Brown

 

It's no small wonder this posture is called Reclined Hero. This posture is a brave display of vulnerability. No one over the age of seven, and in their right mind, would throw themselves into such a shape without great care. It takes a certain amount of time and a purposeful set of steps to get into -- and out of. Once you're in, you're vulnerable - physically and energetically.

To be vulnerable is to be courageous. Somehow in our society, we've lost touch with that concept. To be vulnerable in this posture is to sit in stillness with an open heart, while completely defenseless to outside elements. Our culture doesn't teach us this. Our culture trains us to avoid this at all costs:

To always be busy.

To always have background noise.

To always have an escape plan.

To buy your way out of discomfort.

To invest in the latest.

To peacock bigger.

To speak first.

To be strongest.

To fake it until you make it.

These are not all horrible or entirely damaging rules, but they aren't genuine to Self constructs either. You cannot be your Self if you're busy being several other things on the way.

There is no "on the way." There is here, and there is now.

The reclined hero is reminder to settle into the moment:

To choose stillness.

To chose quiet.

To create freedom from the inside out.

To own my feelings.

To invest in who I already am.

To know I am enough as I am.

To listen with intent to understand.

To know I have the strength I need.

To know that I am not, what I am not.

There is so much instability and ugliness happening not just in this country, but in the entire world. If we are all afraid to sit with ourselves and our own personal battles, how will we ever find peace? There will be no change in this world without transformation within each of us.

We can all always become better, and the solution is the most simple thing.

The solution is to simply be you. To simply be love.

Not kind, not generous, not something else -- you don't even have to create it. You just have to be love, and the rest will take care of itself.

That is vulnerable.

That is courage.

That is heroic.

"The best way out is always through." ~Robert Frost

I'm learning more and more, that the way to reach the things I've been grabbing for, is to simply be myself. To work through my feelings with a willingness to feel and an earnest desire to learn, to grow, and to expand.

Through myself, to my Self.

Thanks for reading, make quiet choices. :)

What do you think??? Lmk!

 

 

To Love Your Self is Everything

A few nights ago I gave the girls I nanny two small triangles of watermelon each for dessert. I felt the serving was a bit modest and assumed they’d both demand more. The rationed servings were really just my selfish attempt at inducing scarcity mindset in the girls. The third slice can make a world of difference regarding whether or not dessert becomes a highly esteemed event, or, dispensable art supplies.

You can imagine my surprise when the 3 year old squealed with delight, “Auntie Natalie, why did you give us two watermelons?”

I put on a tone like I thought the serving was generous too, and told her that of course it’s because I love them so much. When I grabbed two triangles for myself she asked why I gave myself two slices. I answered with a wink,

“Because I love myself.”

She tossed her head back for a full, hearty chuckle - then with the same playful tone usually reserved for “Silly Auntie Natalie,” she singsonged,

“you can’t love yourself!”

I was struck. It only then occurred to me that though I often tell both girls to think of all the people who love them, and all the people they love, I have not thought to specify including themselves. *Apply palm to face... nanny fail.

They are young, and pure, and joyful. Their sugar and spice runneth over like a hippopotamus in a bathtub. I figured they loved themselves innately; that self erosion, insecurity, and fear were later learned (or projected) traits that wouldn't require tending for a great while longer.

In three seconds I had about 4 million thoughts, and realized whether or not self love is innate, every precious person on this earth can benefit from understanding gratitude and energetic abundance. Even if children do fully love themselves, teaching the articulation and good habits to sustain that positive relationship with the Self can be —

everything.

Finally my thought train pulled back into the station, and I responded,


“Oh yes I can love myself! And you can love yourself. And you should love yourself!”

I asked her if she did anything that day that she enjoyed, like swinging, or sliding, or teeter-tottering. She said she had, so I asked if she thanked her body for letting her have all that fun.

She got really quiet as she thought about this concept. I explained that it is a gift to have a body that takes us from place to place, and hands and feet that walk, and grab, and play, and do - as we please.

I tell my yoga class all the time to look in the mirror and spend a few quiet moments honoring and celebrating their incredible bodies, and the unique life that lives inside.

But.

I don’t do it enough for myself. I love guiding others in it because I know how powerful it is to love and appreciate yourself.

But I don’t do it enough for myself.

Today, that changes. Today I will sit in quiet and appreciate:

My hands and feet that go and do.
My guts and organs that selflessly toil.
The health that I have.
The strength that I have.
And lastly, I will take a few moments to honor as a whole, the way that I look. My image.

This body isn’t me, but it is my home for this life.

I am thankful for this body.

Flaws and all — It’s been with me through every chapter. All of my physical flaws and hardships, have proven to be illuminating both inside my Self, and outside in the world.

It’s like every closed door; everything that has made me different, insecure, and unlikable, has opened four windows to something greater.

Loving myself is the only way I can truly see past myself.

This is your permission to steal yourself away from whatever you're doing and find a place to create quiet within you. Breathe, and cry, and smile. No matter what you're going through right now, find something (anything) you love about yourself, and breathe into it. Really - fully - breathe into it.

Notice how celebrating yourself sets you free from the inside out. Rinse - repeat.

What do you think? Does this resonate? Tell me about it... :)

More to come. Thanks for reading, make kind choices. :)

Share and subscribe!!!

Time To Jump!

Powerful pose was one of my least favorite poses until about a year ago - when I realized its power.

I was brainstorming about imagery, metaphorical meanings, and energetic flow of postures when I had one of those epic light-bulb moments. I always thought powerful pose lacked elegance. I didn't think it was pretty or comfortable, so I never gave it much respect until I realized how similar the stance is to the a position I practiced moving through millions of times as a child. Powerful pose is the "potential energy position" right before jumping into a back-hand-spring. If I'm being honest, it's the "potential energy pose" right before I would jump backwards onto my head and sort of flail-bounce to my knees or feet. ;)

Powerful pose is a manifestation of energy. Feet fully grounded to the biofield of the Earth, legs full of strength (and building strength), heart center and open palms reaching upwards, and the gaze fixed on the infinite possibilities of the universe.

This posture has become an inspiration for me... a place to decidedly reinforce positive pathways in my mind and body, and let my qi flow freely. I'm on a precipice right now. I'm about to jump into the life I've always wanted. I'm about to jump into my Self. And I'm scared.

You see, I'm realizing how often I sell myself short. I've been mentally cock-blocking my greatest potential for several years now. Deep down it's hard to believe that my most innate qualities are exactly what I'm meant to share. How can it be that simple? It has to be harder than just following my heart, right? Why do we tend to discount our greatest gifts? When does humility become insecurity? When do we start hiding behind self imposed stipulations based on fear?

Don't I have to be ten other things first? If I prove myself in these ten other ways, then I'll feel confident to step forward...

 

When my house is clean, I'll be ready.

When I lose 10 pounds, I'll be confident.

When I get my PhD, I'll be worth hearing.

When I am perfect, life will fall into place.

When the door opens for me, I'll close this door I'm standing in...

I think I'm not alone in this battle, and that's what I'm loving about Utkatasana right now. Sometimes you have to step back and honor the strength, power, and potential you've already developed, while decidedly opening yourself energetically and emotionally to the unknown - to the current moment that so quickly becomes magnificent future.

I will never be ready. I will never be perfect. My house will never stay clean. Documents are not proof of, or standardized measure intelligence and human worth. Doorways are only for standing in if there's an earthquake.

Now is the time to jump forward. Who's coming? Identify? Tell me about it in the comments! :)

Here's a list of some of my favorite quotes that always light me up:

  • “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”-Anais Nin

  • "Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we are already, and become it." -Steven Pressfield

  • "Yoga is not about touching your toes. It's about unlocking your ideas about what you want, where you think you can go, and what you will achieve when you get there." -Cyndi Lee

  • “You are nature. You are already perfect, peaceful, and powerful. You don’t need to become anything. You simply need to remember yourself.”― Vironika Tugaleva

  • "Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?” -Danielle Laporte

  • "If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” -John Lennon

  • “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”― Cynthia Occelli

  • "If you can change your mind, you can change the world. Before you can be creative you must be courageous. Creativity is the destination, but courage is the journey." -Joey Reiman

  • “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • "If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything." -Thich Nhat Hanh

  • "If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud." -Emile Zola

  • "The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style." -Fred Astaire

  • “I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories... water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.”―Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés,

 

Thanks for reading! What are you jumping for? Make powerful choices. :)

Hydration - Health - & Painless Periods!

nataliepfund.com

It's the second day of my period, and I'm feeling lucky!

Noooooot lucky enough to go on a shark dive, but ummm, I feel pretty pleased with my situation.

Two incredible things have happened to me today.

 

I was scooping myself some power chocolate pudding (this recipe but with added chia, coconut, and hemp seeds) when I knocked my bowl off the counter (periods make me clumsy). My maternal instincts fired up, my turbo-boost powers auto switched on - my thighs lurched forward to guide the bowl's descent into a stunning 10.0 landing on my stool. The chocolate was unharmed.

Miracle shit.

The second thing is the more important thing, and the reason you know about my moon cycle. The second day of my period is when I experience all the discomfort we associate with periods. A few years ago, I was on a zero sugar (save for veggie sugar) diet. My period symptoms literally disappeared. I only felt a wee bit of pressure down by the (ahem) secret entrance.

Since then, my cramps/pain symptoms have never been as bad as they were before my sugar free diet, but my symptoms did come back as I've tried to fit in socially... eating things I wouldn't if making friends, having interpersonal connections, and sharing laughter weren't a thing. But they are a thing, and in the name of acting totally cool about things like conventional soy sauce in public situations, I've been continuously burdening my body (I'm sensitive to gluten). I knew it was time for a change, but I'd been putting off doing a rigid cleanse. I like eating, and I love freedom.

February first the answer fell straight into the palm of my hand!

resetyourbodywithterrygivens

 

Terry Givens was hosting a water challenge starting that day. Accepting the challenge was a no-brainer. I didn't even try to argue with myself, as I had been chronically dehydrated for quite some time:

  • I know I never drink the proper amount of water.
  • I teach hot yoga.
  • I love coffee.
  • I love wine.

Dehydration happens. But it's not cool.

I know full well, that when you're dehydrated your body simply cannot function as it's meant to. Dehydration impairs your body's ability to function properly on a basic cellular level. This effects everything! Everything.

For the challenge you're supposed to drink half your body weight in ounces daily for 10 days. Knowing my level of commitment and devotion to certain diuretics, I decided I would drink 80 ounces daily. That's 10 extra ounces of water... but it's a clean finish of two fills of my hydro flask. Health, clarity, and convenience. I'll take it.

I got really bloated the first few days. A tell tale sign of a chronically dehydrated body having to relearn filtering and appropriation. I decided to stick the course not matter what. After day 3 the bloating went down mostly, and I was comfortably drinking my 80 ounces.

Due to the nature of a challenge, my mindset shifted. I had been in the habit of thinking:

  • "I'll finish my water later."
  • "I'll just have a snack first."
  • "I already drank quite a bit, I'm probably okay for now."
  • "I'm about to get stuck in an appointment (or fill in your own blank), and I don't want to have an excretion emergency."

I had all kinds of excuses, until I decided to shift my mind.

 

Setting a goal to finish 80 ounces of water made it a priority. I began reaching for my water before snacking. I quickly realized how often I'd been distracting myself with food when my body was craving water. This felt great, and I noticed some immediate changes:

  • My skin was looking healthier.

  • My digestion improved drastically.

  • I stopped craving empty calorie snacks. Chips are chips are chips. Gluten free is still empty calories.

  • I felt satiated.

  • My stomach was looking flatter daily.

I felt empowered! Around day 7 a friend asked if I was excited about the end of the 10 day challenge. I looked at him like this:

nataliepfund

"WUT?"

Why on earth would I stop drinking the amount of water I'm already supposed to be drinking, especially when it's clearly having a positive impact on my body? I told him I plan to never stop this water challenge. Duh.

You're still wondering why I told you so much about my cycle. There is a reason, and it's not just because I love talking about blood...

It's the end of the second day of my period, and I have had no pain. Zero. Not even pressure. On a scale of 1-10, I have a 0 for menstrual pain.

 

God bless water. Hydration is happiness. Happiness is a warm gun. Water is a warm gun. Save the world with water guns.

#makeperiodsgreatagain ;)

Did you participate in the challenge? Want to start - or keep going? Talk to me!

Thanks for reading, make hydrating choices. :)

 

But I Don't Work That Hard Anymore (Perseverance Problems)

Photo by Dave Miyamoto. Sun Yoga Hawaii teacher, sunset collection. Jan 2016.

Photo by Dave Miyamoto. Sun Yoga Hawaii teacher, sunset collection. Jan 2016.

I have a friend who always knows when I’m going to contradict or oppose myself. I’ll stop mid thought and she’ll immediately say, “why do I feel a ‘but’ coming on?”

I hate that about her, and I love it. It means she knows me, probably too well. This post has a few of those “buts,” so bear with me as I lay out some current thoughts.

 

I was on a roll for awhile trying to learn to ollie. I practiced a few times a week for about a month. At the ripe age of 31, I am for all intents and purposes, perfectly capable of succeeding at this basic skate trick.

But.

 

But it didn’t come easy, and I lost my motivation. Failing isn’t super fun.

It’s also not fun to fail over and over again during my few and precious hours of time off. Time off should be spent charging my biofield with my feet in the sand or being actually productive right?

Well yeah, sure. That’s one truth.

 

I consider myself to be a person who has challenged many of my fears. I’ve stepped out of many of the boxes I used to find comfortable identity in. I’ve been pretty bold in following my gut and taking my own non-traditional path.

But.

 

I’ve really only faced safe-ish fears.

My highest Self was never comfortable in those boxes. They were just familiar.

This path always felt natural.

I haven’t actually faced my biggest fears.

Here’s where I’m wrong about ollies, and practice, and failure:

 

I haven’t made myself an absolute beginner at anything for at least ten years.

 

When we are young, life is new. We are beginners at everything.

As a child I overcame failure on a daily basis. Sometimes that failure came with tears. Sometimes it came with smiles. Sometimes I succeeded and celebrated and shouted with joy! I probably demanded that a sibling or any proximal warm bodied entity "watch what I could do."  Then immediately moved on to the next goal; only to begin failing again.

This is a huge and incredibly important part of childhood.

 

Every adult skill we boast was learned at some point. We tend to take these skills for granted. We forget how hard we worked.

I don’t work as hard for myself anymore.

I don’t feel as resilient. The only brain I have, now resides a few feet higher off the ground than it used to, and I have developed a healthy level of respect for gravity.

Many of the tricks I learned as a child or teen are deeply engrained in my brain and muscle memory:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Cartwheels
  • Backhandsprings
  • rollerblading
  • bike riding
  • adding
  • subtracting
  • multiplying
  • etc…

All of these skills took time, practice, and failure before the sweet taste of success. All of these skills have felt easy and natural ever since I stopped failing at them.

But.

I don’t work that hard anymore, and that is why learning to ollie... err... failing to ollie is time well spent.

 

I'm realizing that in a way, I've been quite lazily riding out the strength of mind I developed in my youth. This is fine, and probably a regular and natural human occurrence as we transition into adulthood and start taking on more serious responsibilities; like working, paying bills, working out, and tidying up, so we can extend time and freedom to our children to play, fail, learn, and grow.

I want more than that. Life has to be more than that. So I will play, and practice, and fail. I will build up my resilience.

Persevering through failure builds strength of spirit.

When I can take failure in stride, then I can face and conquer my real fears.

That is when I'll be free. That is when I'll be "live streaming" my infinite potential. ;)

 

What do you think? Can you identify?

How are you strengthening your resilience?

Share your story, or struggle, or fear in the comments. Let's get our chatter on!

Love it?? Share it!

 

Thanks for reading, make strengthening choices! :)

 

So Perfect For Each Other We Should Skip Friendship & Name Our Babies Already

photo by Dave Miyamoto at Sun Yoga Hawaii.

photo by Dave Miyamoto at Sun Yoga Hawaii.

I once dated a man — we’ll call him Charles — who boasted clever looking round glasses, good coloring, enviable height, and a love of comic books and documentaries. To top all of that, he also possessed a world class, five star, Olympic grade hummus recipe. I enjoyed Charles’ company just fine... He was a great deal smarter than my previous flame, so I basked in his radiating intelligence. Something was missing though. Our interactions felt forced and Intimacy felt inorganic at best. When I tried to talk about it he swiftly shoved the topic aside claiming that we were perfect for each other, and that was that.

He appeared to be an excellent match on paper. There was nothing logically wrong with him, but I had a relentless itch to run away and never look back.. We had been dating a little under two months when my birthday rolled around. He made me a delicious dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free meal; rich in omega 3 fatty acids and brimming with nutrients. Just the way I like it.

I felt like a princess until he handed me my birthday gift.

I unrolled the paper he handed me and saw my likeness in drawn in charcoal. To draw my face was an incredibly sweet gesture, but it made me feel creeped out. It seemed too intimate for the short amount of time we’d been dating. He knew what I looked like, but I felt instinctively that the knowledge of my face - the strokes of charcoal in creating my likeness were unearned.

To appreciate my image is not the same as appreciating me.

I backed out of that relationship in a pretty harsh way, which I regret because kindness is cool, and because he refused to give me that gal-darn hummus recipe.

True intimacy dives deeper than the physical and tangible.

Two people may have a very strong draw to one another on an energetic level that makes one or both parties feel almost panicked about solidifying connection.

This is what happened to me when I met Daniel. He is absolutely, one hundred percent, one of my soul mates. Meaning we were always meant to learn from each other. Love, chemistry, and connection are not elements easily broken down, let alone explained as we grow up. It’s all something of a mystery, but I’m starting to realize some essential ways of maneuvering on my quest to find this crazy little thing called love.

  1. Take time to learn each other's details through a "no pressure" friendship.
  2. Chemistry does not disappear. It grows.
  3. Cultivate it.
  4. Savor the tension it creates. Dating is a dance; a very awkward but incredibly fun dance.
  5. Have fun. We all want to enjoy life. We want to share our life - and build a family with the sort of person who can make a trip to the DMV seem like an Adventure/Comedy.
  6. Labels don't make a relationship.
  7. The relationship is what defines a relationship.

When I threw my fit about harvesting Kalo together and taking adorable muddy pictures, the irony is that we were only about two months into the relationship... the same amount of time as when I felt that Charles was assuming more than I could give.

Regardless of what he was capable of or willing to offer me through a label, Daniel was still inviting me to have a great time with him. He still wanted to learn about me and enjoy my company.

Instead of living in the moment learning Daniel's details, the message I conveyed was: “you’re not blindly in love with me fast enough and so I’m not going to have fun anymore!”

My outburst solidified his notion that I had expectations he couldn't meet. I squelched his attempt at genuinely investing in me on a basic level.

What are your thoughts? Can you identify similar patterns in your life? Please comment.. and if you like my message, please share it!

Thanks for reading, have fun out there! :)

More to come!