Archive | September, 2013

Move like a butterfly, sting like a bee

30 Sep

6ebb7d5d49db4c2ba5793a6320e3591c

Oprah’s Life Class is one of my favorite, favorite shows. I can’t begin to tell you the number of ‘ah-ha’ moments I have experienced in my PJ’s watching t.v.. However, I tend to let the shows pile up on my dvr until I’m emotionally ready. Sometimes, I just don’t want to face the music, confront a fear, recall the past, examine my warts and all the ugly that resides just beneath my skin that only I can hear, see or feel. I’m really good at stuffing all that junk away, disguising it with sarcasm and a smile….But there are times that I’m brave and willing to slip on my amour in the name of growth.

Last weekend I watched Brene Brown on Life Class. She is a researcher, publishing and speaking on shame, vulnerability and living wholeheartedly. Yes, wholehearted living…that is the word, the definition of what I’m longing for. In short, the theory is that because of shame we build walls to deflect how vulnerable we are. Yet, we are not able to live wholeheartedly if we are not vulnerable. The essence of wholehearted living is putting your WHOLE self out there for relationships, for experiencing the unknown, for building creativity…none of these things, she rations, can happen if you are not vulnerable. I’ve bought the book….it is on my to-do list.

What I’m currently focused on is the idea of shame. There is a TED talk where Brene does a remarkable job outlining shame…check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psN1DORYYV0

Where does shame come from? Why does it linger in our hearts, around our minds, whispering in our ears? Why don’t we talk about it with our friends? It is almost as if we are ashamed of shame….I’m not prepared to answer all the questions about shame or even claim I’m an expert…Maybe Brene Brown can do that for you. What I will tell you is that once the veil of shame was lifted, there was a realization that shame is rampant. It can start at a young age from our well-meaning, loving parents, when they say those little phrases for behavior modifications…”Boys don’t cry.” “Good girls don’t wine.”..and if you do, you are bad…you are shamed. After a life time of hearing you don’t fit in here, you can’t do this, you shouldn’t do that, why can’t you be quieter, why can’t you express yourself more…trying to be someone we are not. The layers of shame are so deep we don’t even recognize it as shame, but as a way of life…It leaves us battered, worn out, changed, lonely, and fearful.

Over the last month or so, my younger son has been wearing tall knee socks —with shorts. I love his individuality and I encourage it. He now has three different pairs of superman socks (one complete with a cape), along with several other solid colors. He is fortunate to go to a very small school where the children are more like family than just a school. When asked why he wears them he replies “That is just the way I roll.” When asked where he purchased them, he replies “Awesome.com”. This makes me smile broadly. I’m super proud of him for stepping out and being his own ‘man’.

Today I took him to a doctor’s appointment at a new office. As we were walking up, a lady squishes up her face while lifting her brows and with disgust in her voice says, “boy, what is with you and those socks??”….

Um, do I know you??

Before I could evaluate what was happening, I saw my son’s face fall, his eyes down at his feet…I thought OH NO YOU DON’T…you will NOT SHAME him for his socks…

…Because he defines coolness differently than you…because what he wears is out of the norm and makes YOU uncomfortable…

Want to see me go from zero to crazy?? Mess with my children! I squared off, looked her right in the eyes, and with a curt smile I put her shame back where it belonged. On her shoulders. I did so politely and with out saying a negative word. But under no uncertain terms, she knew she had crossed a line. As we walked away, I reached across my son’s shoulders, giving him a slight squeeze… “You are so super cool.” I said, “Man, I love those socks.” He smiled that big toothy grin, eyes dancing.

We adverted the shame slinging today, barely…but we did it.

When you know better, you do better.

Advertisements

Runner?

29 Sep

image

For the record, I consider anything faster than my walking pace, a run…

So, I’m not really a runner. My body isn’t made for it. I hurt when I run. My calves tighten instantly like stretched rubber bands ready to pop. The arches of my feet scream and my hips ache. I’ve been attempting to run for about two years now, and within the first half mile, these pains return and stay with me until I finally succumb. Yet, I keep lacing up my kicks, enthusiastically thinking this time will be different. It never is.

This morning I started my run feeling good, better than average. My aches returned a few minutes in. I pushed them out of my mind, bouncing to the beat of the music. At some point it hit me that the familiar voice of the runkeeper ap lady had not come on yet…I must be doing better than I thought! She is programed to tell me my pace and mileage every 5 minutes. I kept pushing. I hit the end of a street, which I know from experience is about a mile…still the ap lady had not come through my ear buds. I looked down. DAMN. I must have hit the pause button…six seconds into my run. I had no idea how fast I ran…and instantly I wanted to quit.

I thought to myself, are you running because you want something to measure? If you are not able to measure it, does it make it worthless? This is a common thread in my life right now…something I’m working on…You see, I like numbers. Numbers are safe. They are constant, reliable. 2+2 is always four. I love the exactness, the perfection of math. If done correctly, you are always right. No, I thought, that isn’t why I run. Although I do love logging a run into runkeeper.

So why am I running, torturing my body for what seems like a minimal amount of calorie burn? It isn’t the only exercise I do. I take a weightlifting and dance classes at the gym. I work in a 90 minute hot yoga class weekly. Running is battle, a true war between my mind and my body. For the next 2 miles I allowed myself to contemplate this.

Where I live we have awesome trails that wind around the various neighborhoods and provide views of the lake. This is where I run. Even though I have music blaring in my ears, it is my escape from the noise. Sometimes while running my mind goes completely blank, sometimes it solves problems, sometimes my focus is the music and at other times it is my screaming tendons. In the spring I’m reminded to soak up the world around me as the smell of honey suckles blooming fill the air. In the fall, the changing of the leaves tug at my heart signaling what I already know, life is short. The gators in the lake reinforce that fear is always looming right under the surface. The blue herring is both a symbol of strength and calmness as he effortlessly plucks fish from the lake. The wild flowers sprinkled along the trail show the artistic work of God’s hand. I deeply breath it in, while pounding the pavement, replacing the negative energy I’ve inadvertently consumed during the week with the simplicity of nature.

I run to see the world through a micro lens. For me, it isn’t just about the stats (how fast, how far, how much). It is about the silent exploration, the anticipation of what will unfold on the trail. I may never be a great runner. I’m not even sure that it matters to me. Through this process, I realized there is freedom in being a pseudo runner. More important to me is the desire to explore, to witness life from a new perspective, to be open to what is around the corner, to absorb, to allow it to change me for the better. Running is so much more than the act itself. For these reasons, I will fight through the pain, battling my own body, against all odds.. pushing..sweating…to log another mile…and gain another ounce of clarity.

image

Dirty Girl Run

15 Sep

Dirty girl

I am self proclaimed girly girl. I adore things that shimmer and shine, make-up and heels. When I was younger, people would use the term ‘girly girl’ as if it was carried some sort of negative connotation. In their tone, you sensed that being a tom boy made you a stronger, smarter, more desirable woman. In my old age I’ve realized that is simply ridiculous. Women come in all shapes and sizes, all levels of estrogen. One is not worth more or less because of their desire for pretty things, or for that matter, the lack of . Truth be told, there are still women today that use that same tone as they critique my shoes, or clothes or whatever they choose to voice. My response? I laugh, flip my hair and hope my tiara blinds them before I walk away. The only time I think it may be better to be a man is when I have to use the porta potty. Standing could be an asset….

This weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with a fantastic group of women to play in the mud. HUH? Yep, it was a 5k with 10 obstacles. The goal was to get as muddy as possible and laugh. We met and exceed the goal! When I agreed to do the run I was scared. Scared I wouldn’t be able to complete the course. Scared of what it would entail. Scared of mud in awkward places…In the end I decided to give it a go. What the heck, right?

I’ve reached the age where life is comfortable. The down side is this also comes the risk of becoming stagnant. If I don’t branch out, I’m apt to be stuck in the same comfortable, pink silk lined box that I’m used to. Yes, it is pretty and soft in there. However after a while, even the prettiest of things can become mundane. I’m ready to discover what I can do. I’m putting fear in its place. In a cardboard box of its own, tightly wrapped in duct tape, placing it on a high shelf that can not be easily reached. Win, loose or draw, I’m going for it.

A few months ago, I ran the Color Me Rad 5k run with some of these same ladies. We ran while they pelted us with colored cornstarch. And we laughed….I laughed so much that I had purple teeth at the end. We are now planning our next run and I can’t wait! We didn’t start 2013 with a running goal or a plan to have a running team. Some how it ended up that way. In fact, we are not true runners…At least I’m not. I keep trying but I stink at it. I secretly hope one day I’ll magically wake up a runner. Yet, by the time this year is over, we will have at least 3 organized 5ks under our belt. It is funny how quickly your world can expand, if you are open to change and allow yourself the freedom to try.

color me rad

Reflecting on the weekend, I am simply amazed that I have such wonderful women in my life that are willing shed their comfortable Saturday for a day in the mud. We supported each other, clapped and cheered. We laughed and giggled and whooo-hooo’ed. In a world where people are so critical of each other, (especially women) it was nice to spend the day with those that had no other objective but to have fun.

Feeling blessed!

Well, that is a bummer…

4 Sep

94448b40cf2e07d9694057880f298956

Today my car visor broke. You know that thing with the mirror on the back that when pulled down also blocks the sun? My car is only a couple of years old. This shouldn’t have happened, but it did….Tore right off in my hand as I was fighting to put it back in it’s holder. The thing is, I don’t want to tell my husband. No, I’m not scared. He is the nicest, kindest man. However, he tends to point out the obvious. While it may be true, it ticks me off.

Over the weekend, he drove the car and also fought with the visor. Irritated, he said I use it to much. Well, uh.. yeah…it has a mirror…I’m a girl. I have lips and teeth that I need to check before getting out of the car…DAILY. I don’t apologize for that..Oh, and I also use it to block the sun as I can never find my sun glasses. One of the reasons I refuse to buy ‘nice’ glasses…I toss them around the car, around my purse, around the house. Most of the time I’m dodging a scratch on the lens directly in my line of vision to see the car in front of me…its a rough life. Point is, I do use the visor. I’m not sure that I use it “to much”. Isn’t that what it is for? What is too much?

If I tell him I broke the visor, he will say that I need a car with bumpers. He would be right. I hate that. I’m not a BAD driver. I haven’t been in accident in over 11 years (knock on wood). Truth be told though, over the years I’ve backed into several poles, mailboxes, other parked cars..the list could go on, but I’ll save the gritty details to protect myself and prevent his list from getting longer. I don’t know why stuff just jumps out in front of me. (Maybe the scratch on my sunglasses is preventing me from seeing properly???) He swears the car has more scratches on it than it used to…honestly, it is possible…I don’t really notice. Once, while dropping my son off at school, I ran into a curb. This caused a tire to flatten in 30 seconds..and caused me to say a few naughty words. That was a bummer because we apparently use expensive hi-profile tires, not like the $57 tires on my old Honda Civic. The Hubster fussed, as much as he fusses anyway. I of course said it was a micro tap and tires really should have more ‘life’ to them. Either way, we were out a pretty penny. Since I manage our accounts, it upset me more than him…I think.

As I’m typing this blog and contemplating how I will tell him, my husband finds his way to the passenger side of my car looking for something. (There is some strange power in the universe that doesn’t let me get a way with a thing! I swear to goodness this is true!) Turns out I left the newly destroyed visor on the seat. He returns saying, “So you decided to just rip the visor right off, huh?”

Damn…

%d bloggers like this: