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When I’m lost

Every now and again, emphasis on the again, I get lost.  It happens when the noises on the outside become too frequent and get too loud, before I know it the noise is all I can hear.  I start to think of all these problems and all the things that are wrong and I get overwhelmed because I feel like I have to do something about them.  I lose myself.

Luckily, it’s happen often enough that I have a way to handle it.  Self care is a very important thing.  Life is full of disappointments, stress and heartache, not that these things are necessarily bad, they are necessary but they still take a toll on the mind, body and spirit.  So when I feel like I’ve lost myself in all the noise I find a way to get quiet again.

The fastest and easiest way to get rid of everything is to breathe.  The power of the breath is very much underestimated.  How could something so simple and basic have such a profound impact on you?  Well, try not breathing.

There are many pranayama techniques, I know very few but instead of forcing anything I just listen.  I listen without trying to change it.  When you focus on your breathing it changes.  It changes because your thoughts change, you are no longer thinking whatever you were thinking, you are just listening.  You can hear your thoughts in the breath.   So I sit and listen.  Eventually, my breathing becomes steady and deeper.  My mind gets quiet, even if only for the moment.  Sometimes, that moment is all you need.

Yoga is another thing that helps me.  When you focus on your body and the pose you become more present and aware of the moment.  After an hour or so of this we get rewarded with shavasana, corpse pose, where you just lie on your back, close your eyes and breathe.  You only notice it when you are coming out of it but if you are lucky you get to a point where you think and become nothing.  The noise stops and you have only silence.   It is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world.  I akin it to a mental reset.

All your problems are still there when you come back but they aren’t as loud and heavy anymore.  You gain distance and space.

Next to those two things is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  It’s hard to think of anything when you are rolling with someone else.  All your attention has to be focused on what you are doing.  By the time you are done you are physically exhausted and all the tension in your body has had a chance to work its way out.  The extra cortisol caused by any anxiety or stress has been put to good use and the body can relax again.

And finally, I find it relaxing to spend time in nature, either walking through a trail in the woods or going to the beach.  My current residence grants me access to the trees and I love it but sometimes only the beach will do and when that’s the case I make the drive back home, pick up tacos from my favorite place and go eat them on the beach.  I stare at the waves while I eat then usually soak up the sun for a while before going into the water and walking down the shore to dry off.  It’s the perfect solo date.   Nothing cleanses quite like the ocean, the warmth of the sun is soothing, and the ocean breeze refreshing.  Doing it all in silence is nurturing.

Most of our worries are caused by ruminating over the past or the future.  If you can find a way to be present then you can find the silence that is always there.  If you can find the silence you can experience the peace that it holds.  Maybe yoga or BJJ isn’t for you but there is something out there that is, find it and keep it close.

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Stop body shaming me.

Being a woman in our current society is hard enough as it is, why do people feel the need to make it harder?  Well meaning comments about weight and appearance, no matter how well intentioned, do have an effect on people but maybe not the effect you were going for.  You may be doing more harm than good.  Case in point, my mother (she’s not the only one but if you follow me on FB you can see it for yourself) likes to take any chance she can get to point out that I’m thin.  Too thin according to her.  She feels that I need to eat more.  This is so very frustrating for me because I have fought this battle for a very long time.  I have tried to gain weight on several occasions only to fail epically.  My body does not like to hold extra weight.  In order for me to meet my mother’s standards for what a “healthy body” looks like I would have to binge on processed food, sugar and alcohol and also stop working out.  Please tell me how that is healthy?  If I did that yea I bet you I could put on an extra 5 or 10 pounds but I would be unfit, lethargic and depressed.  If any good has come of this it is that it has forced me to find my own truth and learn what is best for me and my body.  I like eating healthy, I love fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, legumes all that shit.  I do not like processed, fatty, fried, oily, sugary, genetically modified, pesticide, hormone injected toxic “food”.   Yes, I have to admit a lot of it taste wonderful but I can’t deny the feeling  of regret that I get after I eat something like that.  My body does not like it.  Plain and simple my body operates better when I feed it whole natural foods and whole natural foods tend to not leave any extra pounds on your body.

I know I’m thin and I know that may not be the ideal figure for a woman in our society or in our culture but guess what, I’m not out to try and impress anyone or get anyone else’s approval on what my body should look like.  I love my body, every inch of it and no that doesn’t mean I think it is perfect or even to the level I would like to see it but I do love it.  It helps me do the things I like to do and I am grateful for it.  Any part of my body that I am not fully satisfied with is in all honestly is a part of my body that I have neglected.  Also, how I am now is not how I will be for the rest of my life.  Right now my focus is not on any number on a scale, it is on eating properly to support my body and keep it healthy on the inside.  Once I feel like I have a hold on this then I will worry about weight gain if I feel like it but if I do trust that it will be for myself, not for her or anyone else.

And while we are on the subject, I hate how everyone has such a judgmental opinion on women’s bodies.  I am not what you would call an exhibitionist but I also do not feel that I should feel ashamed of my body in any way (no one should).  I will wear what I want and if it seems “inappropriate” it is because our society has been conditioned to view the female body as a sexual object.  I don’t see why I should have to cover everything up because it gives you “uncomfortable” feelings.  Can we at the very least entertain the thought that when a woman dresses a certain way maybe it is because she likes it and it pleases her.  Yes, there are some out there who like to dress to impress and get attention but not everyone is like that and you shouldn’t automatically assume that just because you can see a bit of skin.  Our bodies are our vessels, we have every right to feel comfortable in them no matter how uncomfortable that makes someone else.  We are here only for a moment and they are not permanent.  Important yes, but only because they allow us to do things in this physical realm.  The female body has more uses than just procreation, it also nurtures the offspring that comes out of it, it provides affection and love and protects those it cares about.  We really need to get over our obsession with how bodies should or shouldn’t look.  Worry about what’s on the inside.  Is your body healthy on the inside?  Is it housing someone worth knowing?  I want to raise my daughter to love her body no matter what it looks like and I want to raise my son to see past physical appearances and to be able to stand next to a woman in a bathing suit without gawking at her.  Is this really that hard to understand?

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