What are you truly longing for? Name it.

The Four of Cups:

An outsider would look upon your life and see supportive relationships, pleasures and even a bit of luxury.  But you don’t see it that way.  Instead there’s discontentment, apathy and even greed for more.  The four of cups warns not to take your situation for granted, nor the people who supported you along the way.  Look around you.  What are you truly longing for?
 Name it.

The Wild Unknown Tarot


Last night I drove around Montrose for 45minutes contemplating alcohol as an acceptable antidote to my emotional state.  I felt anxious and alone and very vulnerable and my brain was fixated on having a drink.  My body was not in pain, nor particularly craving alcohol.  It took me the entire 45 minutes to figure that out.  When I finally dropped into my emotional body to ask what she actually wanted, it became very clear that alcohol would be of no help whatsoever.  Comfort.  Recognition.  Creativity.  I immediately drove home, made a cup of my favorite tea and hopped into bed with my favorite book.  I cried, and I slept.  I woke up puffy-eyed, but with no hangover and no regret.  I woke up to a piece of my power.

On Tuesday night I had a couple of drinks and the next day was so completely exhausted.  This may sound like no big deal to some, but I did it because I was nervous.  I did it because I was sad.  I did it because I didn’t want to be completely open and vulnerable.  I did it because I don’t fully trust my capacity to live without it.  “It?”

 

My addiction to pain, suffering, drama, conflict.  I’m mourning the loss of my closest confidante and trusted ally.
 

In recognizing the cycles of pain-binge and their long-term impact I not only feel the ever present sense of fear, doubt and anxiety, I feel completely untethered and lost.  

Where do I go from here?


My friends, my trusted, reliable, intimate partners are not the comfort they once were.  I don’t recognize them anymore.  They have betrayed me.  I want them to come back to me and apologize and never hurt me again so that I can go on without this pain, this hunger, this anger that has no escape route.   

It’s not appropriate for me to scream or cry or hit or punch or need or worry or doubt or wonder.  It’s not ok.  I should be stronger than that.  I shouldn’t feel the way that I do.


I want to see my ex.  I want to eat pints of ice cream in secret and put all of my feelings into that one, sick feeling that will pass in a day or two.  I want to go out tonight and finish a bottle of wine.  I want to get infatuated with someone and think about them in every waking moment so that I don’t have to think about how anxious I am about my life.

I don’t want to fail.  I don’t want to be in transition.  I don’t want to doubt myself.  I don’t want to have to prove myself.  I don’t want to be alone.  I don’t want to be in need.  I don’t want to feel less than.  I don’t want to wait.  I don’t want to feel ashamed.  

I don’t want to carry my heart around like burden anymore.  

*I long for connection and compassion and partnership.  
*I want a passionate relationship that floods my senses with enough sense to see/speak/move/act clearly.  
*I want stability and structure in my work so that I can fucking let loose and get real in my work.  
*I want to transform and unleash the power of my heart into the ether and sing songs with it, chew on her echo and embrace the victory of her sound.

For an intimate experience with the Emotional Body, please join me on Sunday, May 15 at 2pm for a *free* intro class and Q&A about my summer mentorship.  All levels of practice/experience welcome.

when the walls are falling down, remember...

Yet again I am at a phase of profound changes, and while the walls are falling down around me and within me I feel a bizarre interplay of freedom and overwhelm.  How and what I practice, how and what I teach (and where and whom,) where I live, my priorities, the way I spend my time and think about myself, all of it seems to be under renovation, but I don't feel out of control.  And THAT is a profound shift from the past.

During times of big change and transition, consistency of practice can (and usually is) the first thing to be sacrificed.  There are, however, resources and reasons for prioritizing our self-care. I think that's pretty self-evident.  What may not be so clear, however, is WHY we lose our practice to begin with?  Well let me just speak for myself here: my practice hasn't been strong enough. My commitment to practice is and always has been strong, but what I was practicing wasn't strong enough to pull me out of my attachment to the chaos and the fatigue and the mental tail spin. Until recently. 

Over the course of the last five months I have been incorporating specific techniques into my dinacharya (daily routine) which have provided not only a stronger anchor for my practice, but much deeper embodiment and resilience.  Whether these techniques resonate or not for you is yours to discover, but if you're anything like me, why not give it a try, right?!

Breathe

As simple as it sounds, take a breath.  Becoming aware of the breath can immediately help you "relocate" to the present moment.  Then, after several intentional repetitions of breath you can reinforce your sense of stability (even if it's only at 50%) and gain clarity for making a powerful choice on your own behalf.  

Try this: sit or stand with even weight on both halves of the body (feet or sitting bones) and exhale with intention, even a little force.  Let the inhale happen.  Exhale intentionally again.  Sometimes I blow the air out of my mouth, but eventually you want to inhale/exhale through the nostrils.  Do this at least five times, or until you sense an evenness in the length of your inhale/exhale.  Relax your head and shoulders  (I usually wiggle my mouth around- tongue included!) and let yourself breathe for a full minute.  It is incredibly powerful to witness how capable we are of reestablishing balance and ease at the most basic level.  

Move

Generally, the nervous system responds to "threat" (upheaval, change, conflict, etc.) in one of three ways: fight, flight or freeze.  This is the animal in us attempting to survive.  In all instances, "stay alive" is the primary goal.  As humans, we have developed an intellectual capacity which allows us to override these instinctual responses, which makes it nice for saving face, but totally disastrous when it comes to dealing with stress.  Whatever the charge, it needs to be discharged, and the best way to do that is to move.  I HIGHLY encourage you to get out of any set sequencing or "cool" moves and just shake your ass.  Literally.  Shake, quiver, tremble, pulse, flail.  Your brain will thank you for it.  At some point in my practice I let my body move in whatever contorted, twisted way it pulls itself, often to discover that I am much more malleable than I thought.  I have a tremendous amount of space inside of me that traditional fitness and even yoga asana simply cannot touch.  It feels weird and even stupid if you think about it, so don't.  Just yawn with your every pore and let your animal out.

Express

Perhaps the most crucial part of this sequence is expression: saying, writing, painting or demonstrating how and what we feel, need, want, experience is the birthright of every human. We have needs, but so do animals and plants.  Humans need to externalize our internal awakening (even in private!) in order to come into right relationship with our environment.  If not, our emotional body gets suppressed.   The emotional body, as real and functional as the physical body, is more often vilified than praised in our culture, and the results speak for themselves (opiates, anyone?  alcohol?  how about television and junk food?)  I have a box full of art supplies, and while I don't fancy myself an artist, I have developed a deep passion for artistic expression.  Pastels, crayons, clay, pen, pencil, whatever your medium of choice, just start making stuff.  Let your emotional body "speak."

If these practices are of genuine interest to you, I encourage you to consider my eight week mentorship in the Fall.  Details can be found on my website under Mentorship.