Focus Focus Focus

What if everything has the potential to work out if we stop focusing so hard on it?

I have sort of a funny example:

I’ve always disliked my arms. They were never the shape I wanted.

Through the years I started paying more and more attention to them until it became a total obsession.I was constantly thinking about them, and noticing other people’s arms that I was envious of.

Looking back, I can also see that my fixation caused me to assume that EVERYONE ELSE was also aware of my arms.

What is wrong with me?

Oh my gosh I look so horrible!

My arms are so noticeable and disgusting!

I found weight classes with the determination of getting them THE WAY I WANT THEM. I pushed myself to make this happen, but nothing seemed to be working!

The ARMS had become this HUGE problem.

I worked out even harder.

But still nothing happened.

About 4 months ago, I was peering at them, grabbing the areas I felt should be different, and I thought of something. If my arms suddenly WERE exactly what I wanted, how would my life be different?

Would I still do the same things?

Would I still have the same people in my life?

Would the same things still make me happy and sad and excited?

Yes. Of course, the answer was yes.

So…

Who cares?

I mean really, what if my arms are just the latest obsession that is keeping me from totally accepting myself, but they are fine? What if they are fine just the way they are. Can I love myself exactly as this, if they never do change?

I decided that yes, I can and I stopped thinking about them. I started sending them love when I saw them in the mirror, and being grateful they were getting so strong from all my weight exercises.

I stopped noticing the size.

 

The other day I was in the middle of my brutal yoga class and I happened to glimpse at my arms in the mirror. I realized that they were starting to take the shape I had always wanted. But I hadn’t even noticed!

As I examined them more closely that evening, I realized something else. It’s great they are toning up, it really is. And yet I don’t care nearly as much as I thought. Their size, their shape isn’t what determines my happiness.

So I was wondering, is this how it is in all areas of life? If we are super focused on something, and running in circles demanding it to BE DIFFERENT, do things suddenly change? After all that grueling work?

Or if we build up some sort of ideal into this fantasy that will make our LIVES BETTER AND MORE ENJOYABLE AND HAPPIER, is that ever true?

This was a great epiphany, because I’m involved in some heavy life stuff right now. Maybe instead of running in circles SEARCHING FOR THE ANSWER, I can surrender to what is, and LOVE who and what I am and who and what everyone else is that I am involved with.

Maybe this can create the space for miracles to occur.

 

 

Girls Girls Girls

I was chilling on my yoga mat on Saturday morning, right before class started. Heat began flooding into the room, and it was filling up with lots of fellow yogis.

There was a girl next to me minding her own business, like most of us. But something about her made me realize something.

Girls are so funny. I mean not all of them, but a good portion of us are. We tend to be so competitive. I know I have been. Wanting to be acknowledged by them, maybe seen as the best or better, wanting to prove something.

And yet, in this crazy world right now, with all these women’s marches, etc. it’s obvious we are craving more women connection.

But can we do it?

Maybe I’m speaking only for myself. I am very aware that some of my girlfriends (especially my sister in law) meet other women with a pure open heart. She’s warm and makes eye contact and is truly waiting to connect.

I say I want the same thing as well, and yet if I’m totally honest about myself right now, I don’t really put it out there to women I don’t already know. I think I probably still operate out of the fear of not being enough, so I don’t always make eye contact, or smile the way that I could. It hasn’t been my intention to put other people at ease. It’s not that I don’t care, but it’s just not on my mind. I have been more concerned with HOW I AM PERCEIVED.

Now that I really look at it, it makes me sad to be that way.

I know I can change this, but it makes me curious, where did it start?

I have heard that women have been competitive with other women since the beginning of time. When we were a bunch of hulking cave women and needed to make sure no other burly cave woman was going to steal our caveman. Maybe that’s true, or maybe it’s just been learned through society.

We all know the mean girls in school.

I was never one of those. In fact, I was the girl that would take a scared newbie under my wing, and invite them to sit with me. But I certainly had felt like I wasn’t good enough for certain girl groups, and that made me steer clear of many of them. Don’t girls gossip and one up each other? At least that was what I was used to, and I did attract some really mean ones for a long time.

I am sure many of you may have also gone through a bitchy gossipy stage like I did as well. It felt better (at the time) to put down other women then actually feel my own feelings about my inadequacies. That didn’t last long, and I’m definitely not there now.

Also, for some reason if I saw a girl that I thought was prettier than me or more talented, I have assumed that she was a snob or that she was really better than me. So I wouldn’t go out of my way to connect. This isn’t fair to her at all, and I want to change it.

What I would prefer is to NOT jump into a place of being competitive, or assuming that I’m not on someone’s level.

I want to be MORE open and loving, and ready to connect with all women, recognizing that no matter what someone looks like, they are still going through difficult things in their life that they don’t have answers to.

I want to remember that we aren’t all that different.

I want to fully invest in being a really awesome friend to all women, even ones that I will never be close to.

It’s my goal starting today to make eye contact with everyone, everywhere I go, and send them all love. I am going to be the one that smiles and says ‘hello’ first, and has compassion when someone doesn’t say it back. Because I get it. Females can be strange, but we have protected ourselves long enough. It’s time to have each other’s back.

Doin’ It Yoga Style

I have this extreme love/hate relationship with this hardcore yoga class called yoga sculpt. The temperature is turned up so high your body begins dripping with sweat, and then along with some yoga moves, you are pumping iron

WITH WEIGHTS.

The first time I did it I ended up stopping in the middle, totally done, gasping for breath on the floor and thought I was going to die. Seriously. I have worked out my entire life and yet this is the absolute hardest class I have ever done.

Now this is where things get interesting. Sure the class is hard, sure it’s like a fucking nightmare, lez be honest. But it does end! The intervals end, the downward dogs end, the horrible squats, all end.

It was a habit of mine for most of the time I was in this class to STOP when it got horrible. My chest starts burning, and my limbs shake so hard I think they will fall off, and there is so much sweat on my face that my contacts are swimming. So I would stop.

I started to believe that I COULDN’T go on.

Stopping became a habit.

 

And then I realized something.

I’m stopping before the miracle even happens. I’m stopping when it gets tough, when I feel super uncomfortable,..

I was outta there.

This didn’t just happen in yoga for me, it was like my whole life was laid out on the mat.

I’VE DONE THIS BEFORE IN SO MANY AREAS OF MY LIFE.

Life gets horrible, or feels nearly impossible and I checked out.

So what if I start to do things differently in this yoga class? Maybe there’s a chance that I start to become more aware of it in my life. What I have also realized is that it’s okay to slow down. What if instead of STOPPING, I get really present and breathe in compassion and MOVE SLOWER,

BUT DON’T STOP?

I’m not always perfect about this little tweak. Sometimes I still get so mind bobblingly ill that I have to stop, and that is okay. But I would say in general I push myself more.

Isn’t this true about LIFE? All parts of LIFE? Creating art or having relationships or finding a great job or doing really anything? If we QUIT when it hurts or feels yucky, what happens? We miss out. The art won’t get looked at, we won’t get that great job, we won’t work out relationship issues,

NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

I’m focusing on slowing down if I need to, but NOT STOPPING. I can do this, I can get through life (and HORRIBLY AMAZING yoga). There is always an ebb and flow, and it always gets better. I can do this, and so can you. We can move through even when it’s hard.

 

 

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