Monday, December 14, 2015

double presence (and presents)

wednesday morning i received an email with this message:
Don't wait for something good to happen to you. Go out into the world with the intention to lift up the people around you and then see as good happens in return.

Say to yourself this morning "I am a gift, my presence is my offering."

Put a smile on your face and go into the world and give your joy away.

Watch as you get joy back. Watch as the effect you have on others lights you up. No matter where you go, you get to be the loving gift others need. You get to be the reminder of a loving world.
it was beautifully timed, as this whole idea of being present and offering my presence has been ringing through my life over and over this week: i've heard it through pictures, a podcast, emails, from friends, and (of course) in yoga classes.

this blog is about offering presence. which is more than just being present. it's actually like double-presence: there's an extra amount of presence that you have to pull off to be able to reflect your presence and offer it to those in your life.


my friend's brother made this.  check him here!
i taught a yoga class wednesday with this theme: we focused on this very idea of offering our presence as a present. we lit ourselves up with bouncy love so that it could be reflected back out into the lives of our loved ones that day. and we practiced re-wiring our thinking to think of ourselves in that way.

and then, as i made my way through the day, i watched as the extra time i spent with a university student lit her up. i saw how when i stopped and smiled and chatted to an older doorman in front of a building downtown, he lit up. i found extra energy to make dinner for my friend that evening and watched him light up in return. i kept giving pieces of myself, and i watched it reflect light right back to me.

so there were successes. there are successes.  but. being so fully present in myself is ongoing work. friday night i was getting ready for a dinner out with friends, and i changed my clothes about seven times--maybe nine--because i felt so uncomfortable in my body; too big.

trying to shrink is typical eating-disorder behavior. i can recognize that my beliefs are not based in reason.i can recognize that i'm not seeing what other people are seeing.  i can recognize that i'm sabotaging my own presence.

in that hour, i was pulling away from myself: shrinking is the opposite of fully inhabiting my body. i was pulling away from my friends: i was late in the offering of my presence. this mini struggle felt so uncomfortable to be present within. and it was the polar opposite of double-presence.

extra practice, please.

i have one friend who continually reminds me of the value of his presence. i sometimes find this hilariously amusing. but mostly i'm completely in awe. his presence is on-point.

so my self-challenge and my holiday challenge to you, as things start to whirl around you, is two-fold: 1) be so fully present that you are double present, and 2) offer your presence.

and then, see what happens.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

things i forgot

last night i was in albuqurque at a little gift shop. i spent an hour there looking at gifts and talking to the shop owners about their handiwork. when it was time to pay, they asked me to pay with cash or check. when i said i couldn't, and that i was leaving in the morning, they suggested i send a check to the shop once i landed in new york.

i felt uncomfortable with this, and asked her if i could send money via paypal, venmo, or any other way. the shop owner told me, no, it was fine, just leave with all the gifts and pay her when i got home.

i walked out of the store, i felt so... weird. i was grateful. i was amazed. i couldn't believe the trust. the kindness.

the trust.

the amount of trust she put in me felt unreasonable on one level. but, on the other hand, she had spent an hour talking to me, and understanding things about me. maybe she did know me enough to trust me. maybe i should expect a level of trust like that.

trusting myself has been a long hard road.

sometimes i forget.

and then sometimes things remind me.

a television show with a character that is binging and purging where they actually discuss tips she is using to purge "better."

the podcast i listened to where they talk about pro-eating disorder websites.

these things remind me about my history: i used to visit a pro-ana/mia website every night after binging and purging. i used to look at the "recovery" section and convince myself that the reason i was on the site was to help me with recovery tips. but then i would look at other sections. this site, in fact, is where i learned many "helpful" tips.

those evenings full of self-hate led me to make promises to myself: "i can't check-in to an inpatient clinic now, because i'm still finishing my phd. but as soon as i finish, i'll go."

"i can spend a summer in germany, i probably won't binge and purge there--i won't even really have the opportunity."

but i broke every promise. i broke so many promises to myself that it became weird to trust myself. it became normal to NOT trust myself. so normal, in fact, that when other people trusted me, whether strangers; like in albuqurque; or people i'm dating, i'm alarmed. why would someone trust me so much?

yesterday, when the shop owner trusted me, i felt this glow: maybe she trusts everyone like that, or... maybe i was trustworthy... so trustworthy that she could see it?

this morning i practiced trusting myself. i ate two breakfasts: one before and one after my run. i ran how far i wanted to, instead of how far i felt like i should. i practiced a soft yoga class instead of pushing myself.

clearly it's ongoing. and maybe forgetting some of those old un-trusts with myself is another step.

maybe i should trust myself like other people do.


i will trust myself.

Friday, October 30, 2015

putting the gold in golden

be nice; treat others how you want to be treated. don't say something you wouldn't want to hear yourself. don't TEXT something you wouldn't want to read yourself.

blah blah blah

where's the real gold in the golden rule?

i think it's recognizing how we should be treated; how we deserve to be treated; how we should treat ourselves.

i read this blog today about those messages we say to ourselves every day. my favorite part is where she says that we are never going to criticize ourselves into something. it's true: we know that if we want someone else to do something, we are nice to them; we compliment them and work to motivate them. but if we want to do something for ourselves, we often berate ourselves and minimize any steps we've taken toward our goal.

today a friend messaged me: "I'm in need of one of your blog postings to a) motivate me to make the changes I need to and b) tell me I am good enough the way I am." i was honored to receive that message. but she didn't really need me. she needed herself.

but, even in saying that, i know how she feels. when you aren't happy with something in your life, external motivation feels stronger than the internal voice that is often the opposite of motivating. my internal voice beats me up for not running one day out of the week... but it never compliments me for the other six days. it never tells me what a great job i'm doing at, well, most things in my life.

i have this new cat. cat stevens (cat for short) is a very sweet and loving one-year-old that likes cuddling and is fantastic at not jumping and scratching. when i brought him home on tuesday, i was shaking. i've cared for other people's pets. i've cared for other people's children. but i've never been solely responsible for a living thing. (well, other than plants. and those have all died rather quickly.) i called my sister (who has a six month old new baby) and commiserated. "MY LIFE IS JUST LIKE YOUR LIFE NOW!!!"

...or something like that.

i noticed this new side of me emerging: i was wanting to rush home to check on cat; i was looking forward to nesting and cuddling with him; i wanted all my friends to meet him and bond with him. in other words, i was treating him like gold. like i wanted to be treated. like i wanted to treat myself.

why don't i run home to pamper myself regularly? to spend time with myself? to spend quality time with my friends as a priority?

my advice to my friend that messaged me? look to the things you are grateful for. list them. acknowledge them. move forward from that place of acknowledgment.

i'm grateful for the run i completed today; the friends i get to spend time with tonight; the plane that i'm currently blogging from; and the motivation to treat myself well--the motivation that blooms both internally and externally.

keep moving forward; keep motivating yourself and those you care about, whether or not they're human. (enter halloween zombie/vampire references.)


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

dear diary

when i was home last weekend, i found my childhood diary. it was locked, so i then had to find a hammer.

ok, adi had to find a hammer.

once inside, i curiously read through entries written from 7-15 years of age. it was pretty hilarious: i titled each entry (much like a blog post), and numbered all the pages so that i could say "see page 62" for updates on past topics (paper-based keyword search!).

i also went back and re-wrote some of the early entries with better handwriting... and then made a note that i shouldn't have done that, and apologized to my future self for doing so.

i found it very important to record events of note, especially every birthday gift i received and on which days my sister was a brat (titled "shayna the pain-a").

the thing that stuck out the most to me, though, was the amount of change from there to here. case in point, this entry about how i hated the whole state of california because it was in that state that my parents sent me to a sexuality education class:
"I knew I wouldn't like it here as much as I did in MS. I took a sex education. Everyone always seems to be talking about it. I don't feel comfortable. I didn't know hardly anything about it in MS. I liked it there much more. see pg. 41--I was right"
(page 41 was before the move, when i worried about how terrible living in california--and spelling it--would be.) and now? i dare you to try to engage in a conversation with me where i do not mention sexual health. change.

and thank god people can change. we shouldn't go around expecting people to change in the direction we want them to, but the true miracle is that we can and do all change. it happens in our own opinions and attitudes; it happens in our relationships; it happens in our yoga practice. the change goes up, it goes back, it goes around a bit, and then it flips. expecting or guessing at the direction of change: impossible? worthless? a waste of time?

yesterday i received a text from someone that hurt me about six weeks ago. receiving the text was a little unsettling--it kind of came out of nowhere. i had to sort through my feelings by texting with approximately 16 of my closest friends.

what did i figure out? it took a sleepless night to tell me that i was clearly still bothered by this, and while i appreciated the text, i kind of didn't know what to do from there. i'm not the same person i was six weeks ago. and, as evidenced by the apology text, the sender isn't either. change.

i'm not about to launch into some deep analysis of this situation. quite the opposite actually. i am left with this feeling of gratitude: i am grateful that we can change. i'm grateful for my growth; i'm grateful for the growth those around me experience. and i'm pretty amazed at our overall levels of morphability.

but, on the other hand, the other evidence the diary presented was my desire to write, to record, to be precise, and to make sure my reader felt fully informed and could understand the whole story. and THAT is still me. 28 years later: very much the same. and, yet... so. much. change.

ps: sorry i said you were a pain, sister. i love you!

Friday, October 2, 2015

just share it already!

I've written before about how *not* telling people about bulimia makes me feel like I'm lying. I've written before about how being open about bulimia reduces my shame and helps dispel society's stigma.

today I next-level-ed it: I let my undergrad sexuality class ask me about bulimia. (it was relevant; we were discussing the female sexual body, including body image.) I told them I wanted them to be exposed to it in a real way and encouraged them to ask anything they wanted.

I was scared to death.

I'm not sure of what. judgement? that they'd lose confidence in me as a teacher? that they'd lose respect for me? that they'd find it inappropriate and report it? --I don't think it was any of those. i think it was just the extreme vulnerability.

I planned to write a whole blog about this tonight. I wanted to unpack this a little more. but, as I sat down to write, I got an email: an email from a young academic across the pond. she has written me before, and I shared something she said to me in an earlier blog post.

"L" shared something so vulnerable with me tonight. her vulnerability in sharing this with me (when she has never shared something like this before) humbled my vulnerability in class this afternoon. L asked me if I was willing to share it with my readers, and I feel honored to do so. she didn't feel that she had another outlet, and she didn't feel like that she could post it for herself, but she wanted to feel heard in some way. I'm not posting all of it; I've edited it a little for length and I've removed anything that could be construed as "tips" or things I thought might be extremely triggering for someone in recovery. read as much as you can:

Today, I woke up with stabbing pains in my stomach shortly before 7am. The laxatives I took last night before I fell asleep were kicking in. I lay there for what felt like hours, until the pains become so strong that I knew I urgently needed to get to the bathroom. I stumbled out of the bed and made my way across the hall. The pain is always the same – so excruciating that I swear to myself that I will never again take another laxative. There were tingles all over my body and I broke out in chills. My insides felt as though they were going to implode and for a second I thought about the damage I must be doing to myself. I stripped off and gazed at myself in the mirror, sucking in my belly as hard as I could. I pressed my hand to my stomach, checking to see if it somehow felt as flat as it did yesterday. I breathed a sigh of relief - it didn’t seem like I gained much weight from the horrific 12 hour binge purge marathon I had yesterday. I looked at the scales and wondered whether or not to get on. I knew that I would be horrified at what I saw, so thought it would be best to wait until tomorrow.

In the shower, and felt so weak that every move I made was an effort. It felt like my bones weighed 3 times as much as they should. My arms were so heavy that it was difficult to wash my hair or my body. I always hate the shower; it forces me to confront every inch of myself.

I made it to my desk a little after 11am, and collapsed onto my chair, out of breath and completely exhausted. Two friends emailed to ask if I wanted to go for lunch later that day. I spent over an hour going back and forth in my mind: ‘you can’t eat today - you ate too much yesterday’…‘if you eat you won’t be able to stop and will put on at least another pound’…‘but one more day of binging and purging won’t hurt in the long run, ‘this will be the last day, tomorrow you can start again’…‘if you do this you are throwing away all of the work you’ve put into losing weight so far’…’you’re fat enough as it is, don’t eat anymore’…’fuck it, just today so, tomorrow you’re only having 100 calories’.

And that was that.

I met them at 1pm and ended up eating a pretty large dinner instead of a lunch. To my friends, I looked the same, I smiled at them and laughed at their jokes. But all the while my heart was thumping in my chest. It felt like my thighs and stomach were getting bigger with every passing second, and I wanted nothing more than for them to just leave me alone. As I ate, I was hunched over, embarrassed and ashamed of my body, worried they would think that I was getting fat.

I figured if I just kept eating until I was completely full, I could purge it all up in one go. So I ate more, I bought 2 chocolate bars and ate those at the table, left my colleagues and went to the nearest corner shop. There I spent $25 on snacks and ate it all, and by then it felt like I had ripped the lining of my stomach. Unable to stand upright, for the third time today, the pain was so sharp I had tears in my eyes as I tried my best to get to the nearest toilet. Although I have gotten pretty good at purging; it is still a difficult thing to do, especially when I’m crying at the same time. My throat was still raw and sore from all of the purging I did yesterday. With one hand down my throat, I punched myself in the stomach with the other as hard as I could to help get the food up. Even though I was sore all over, I could feel my entire body relaxing, the panic and the fear became less as I vomited. There is nothing scarier to me than feeling full. I purge quite forcefully, so I was gasping for air as I sat on the floor in the cubicle trying to gain enough composure to continue purging. Sitting on the floor of a public toilet cubicle crying next to a toilet bowl full of vomit was not how I wanted to spend my day.

I cried as I walked from the bus stop to my house. Once inside, I raided the cupboards. Anything at all that didn’t need oven time or defrosting, I threw into my bag. It was 5:30; I was so overwhelmed with panic that I started to hyperventilate. I slammed the cupboards and the fridge, took the stairs 2 at a time, sat on my bed, and ate, and ate, and ate. The pain was excruciating. It was a struggle to breathe because each time breathed in, the pain got sharper and sharper. The front door opened – my dad was home from work. All I could think was ‘I need to get sick!!’ I rushed to the bathroom, locked the door and turned on the shower. I couldn’t bare to undress and actually get into the shower; my stomach was bloated and undressing makes me feel even more ashamed and disgusted with myself. Sometimes sleep in my clothes and tonight was going to be one of those nights. But I didn’t stop there.

I went downstairs, said hello and closed the kitchen door behind me and began prepping food for another purge. I ate the additional food when it was ready. Having purged so much today already, I knew this time would be extremely difficult; my gag reflex was completely gone.

There are already 3 vomit stains on my carpet, now I have a 4th. I cleaned up as best I could.

It’s 10pm and I am completely wiped out. My entire body aches and tingles, and my heart is racing. I lie across my bed, and a voice in my head keeps saying over and over ‘what are you doing to yourself?’

for me, reading this was like a distant memory of a nightmare I had once had. the parts where she talks about the emotions and constant self-bargaining, the body-checking in every mirror, the accelerated heartrate, the self-loathing as she falls asleep. I haven't had a day like that in years. but most of her story was very similar to days I've lived through. they are days I've tried to put behind me and forget about. but I also think that there is value here.

there's value for me: remembering where I don't want to be again.
there's value for those who haven't experienced eating disorders: a tidbit of understanding.
there's value for L: she got something off her chest--and believe me, i know the value in that.

there's value for society:

talk about it,

share it,

and get it out there.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

be bold

for some reason the word "bold" struck me today. i had read a blog post about the idea that the way that you tell "your story" shapes your life. the author mentioned that she was striving to tell her story in a bolder way. and i started thinking "would my story have a bold protagonist? would people describe me as bold? does pink hair equal bold? can i be bolder?"

one definition of bold is acting fearless. a course in miracles dichotomizes the world into fear and love. if we take that perspective, being fearless can be interpreted as living fully in love.

approaching difficult conversations, interactions, or situations with an attitude of love: BOLD.

i used to talk about "when i developed bulimia" before my lifecoach insisted i change it to "when i chose to start binging and purging." it took me a while to incorporate that language choice into my lexicon, but, when i did, it actually became easier to talk about. owning my behaviors put me in the protagonist's role: i was no longer a victim of circumstance; i was no longer "sick" or someone to be pitied; i was not blaming anything in my life on anyone else.

i hear people every day attribute their perceived failures, big or small, to outside circumstances. if we consistently think that our life outcomes are outside of our control, we are let off the hook of taking action. but if we recognize that we can take ownership over our pasts, of our decisions and choices, of where we are currently in our life, we can move forward boldly.

and the best part is that it is never too late to take that ownership. it is never too late to change your perspective on your story, or the way you convey it to other people. this week i had a first date with someone. during this date, i talked freely about my part in the ending of my marriage, among other things that could be interpreted as life-fails. my date listened to part of "my story" and then replied with "wow, i didn't expect to hear that; thank you for sharing that in such an honest way."

that whole marriage-ending story is one i haven't quite mastered all of the boldness in yet. i tend to say "when my husband left me" or "when my husband moved continents without telling me" because of the drama of these statements. but no one has never complimented me on those re-tellings. a few chuckles or embarrassed side-glances, perhaps, but nothing more.

the relationship stories can be some of the most challenging to own. because there is always another person there: there is always another person that can be blamed. so it can be difficult to take the words and actions that are ours within a relationship, and to own the effect they have on the outcomes. we have to let go of the hurts enough to release the want to blame the other person for the story's ending.

and sometimes we might not even know how we got to a relationship's ending. one of my friends recently blogged about the struggles of today's dating world. and believe me, i know. owning my story in unexplainable situations is very challenging--when i think that i have acted as a bold individual but feel that i have received fear in return, the boldness can feel worthless... but i think that knowing where relationship outcomes are not directly related to ourselves is also pretty bold.

i don't want to be let off the hook in any area of my life. i want to take ownership. the shift we can make and the power we create for ourselves through such boldness is impressive. we get to decide. we get to act. we get to create. we get to be the author. and fuck, i think that's all any of us want.

today, i choose to be bold.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

recovery is a long word

do you know what yik yak is? if you're not under 25, or one of my best friends, the answer is probably no. it's an anonymous twitter type app that i'm obsessed with--along with all 18-25 year olds. you can only see yaks that are posted in your immediate area, so if you're near a college campus, or in a big city, it will be super interesting. (if not, don't even attempt to download it!)

you can comment on people's yaks and up or down vote them. if a yak gets 5 down votes, it is automatically removed. which is kind of cool, because it is a little self-regulating. anyway, it can be a mean place (because it is anonymous), but it can also be a super supportive place (because it is anonymous).

point of the story: a young girl posted tonight about binging and purging. i replied, she replied, i replied, etc. she hadn't told anyone about her eating disorder; she kept it hidden; she didn't know what to do.

is how i felt. and i wanted to help her: i wanted to do all the things for her. i told her about how hiding it amplifies the shame, and about how admitting it (even anonymously) was a good first step.

that admission can be SO. HARD.

i've had other people grace me with their admissions in the past, both about eating disorders and other mental health issues. and every time i feel this intense yearning to soothe and nurture; to offer support; to provide forgiveness.

i know those feelings arise from the needs i have so strongly felt in my life. the needs that i was afraid to express, and afraid to have met--both by myself and others.

this morning i did an online yoga class with elena, and she said this:
the amount of energy that it takes to resist the expressions of our heart and recoil from our divine nature is exactly the same amount of energy it takes to surrender. this energy cannot do both at the same time.
when she said that, i freaked out a tiny bit. like it struck a chord inside me pretty deeply. i couldn't say for sure exactly why this morning.

and now, i feel like, oh, yeah. it's because all i do is struggle with how vulnerable i can be. how vulnerable can i be with exposing my sensitivities, my true feelings, and my insecurities? how vulnerable can i be with admitting TO MYSELF my sensitivities, my true feelings, and my insecurities?

seeing my struggle reflected back through a younger version of myself hurt. i wanted to protect her; i wanted to speed up her healing process.

not that i'm recovered.

not that any of us are.

from whatever.

but, you know, we're all ok anyway.

we're all on this journey of recovery.

which is actually just life.

so keep recovering. keep remembering that true nature. keep forgiving those who can't yet. keep supporting them. and put all your energy into the surrendering: to the vulnerabilities, sensitivities, feelings, and insecurities. i swear it's fucking worth it.

now watch this. #love

Monday, August 31, 2015

the light at the end of the grocery store aisle

i was mopey all weekend. apparently i was being a "mopey mopey babe." last night one of my friends was trying to cheer me up and he dragged me out with him to pick up a pizza. as we were walking toward the pizza shop, it started raining. i almost broke down in tears, being in the mopey mood i was in. he pushed me into the grocery store we were next to, and told me to wait in there for him to get the pizza. as i walked into the store, a sad song was playing, and tears started streaming down my face.

and then, a small panic swept over me: i realized i hadn't brought anything with me--no phone, no money, no keys. i didn't know what pizza store my friend was going to, and now i had been deserted at this grocery store in the middle of a storm. i thought, "i could yelp close pizza stores... oh wait, i don't have my phone. i could go back to the house... oh wait, i don't have my keys."

i walked helplessly in a lap around the store, and then just walked straight back out, sure that i'd never see my friend again.

as i walked outside, my friend walked up and i collapsed in his arms saying i thought i was going to have to spend the night at that grocery store. he laughed a bit maniacally and said that he would never do that to me, though it would've been a brilliant plan--especially considering my level of mopey-ness.

well that whole thing showed me i kind of needed to turn the corner.

what was before the corner? saturday morning i woke up and found that someone i cared about deleted me from their life without any explanation. it was pretty jarring. i'm grown up enough to know that this wasn't my fault, and i reached out via text message to this person and offered compassion, hopefully offering a safe space for this person to respond back to me. they haven't yet. it left me feeling a little small. i was shrinking into myself with fear about the situation.

luckily my friends distracted me most of the weekend.

they are the most lovely friends in the world.

and then this morning i went to yoga. the teacher taught a theme of expansion: of expanding past our physical boundaries. on the mat, i reached my arms wider than i ever had before. i stretched my legs further apart. i cartwheeled my arms bigger, i radiated my heart with more passion and energy than i thought possible.

and i BREATHED. so deeply. so fully.

the feeling that emerged as i did this was overwhelming: i felt myself shattering the shell of fear i had encased myself in over the weekend. i felt myself thinking "i'm bigger than this. i'm bigger than this feeling of fear. i'm bigger than this mopey-self. i'm bigger than all this shit!"

i left the class with a knowing that i'll be ok. a knowing that i turned the corner: i made it out of the grocery store, and i'm making it out of this.

and to the person that evoked all of this: i'm also big enough to handle whatever is going on. that's an offering and a promise.

love, compassion, peace. and expansion. so much expansion. outside and inside.

Friday, August 21, 2015

rose-colored life

i live in new york city, so i've heard a few car horns. ok, i've heard a lot of car horns. this morning i was walking with a friend and he screamed back at a car stuck in traffic "why are you honking? what do you think is going to happen?" i laughed and said that the people honking in the cars were likely very upset about a lot of things, and that they didn't know how to express those emotions in their lives. so? they honk.

"honk" is my new shorthand for "wah wah wah, i don't know how to properly process this!"

we're all guilty of this occasionally, of course.

what's funny about my response to the above story is that i immediately replied with compassion to the people polluting my environment with noise. but when i fail to process something well, i rarely reply with compassion toward myself.

last night a friend told me that they were dealing with some depression/anxiety issues. i replied with compassion. but when i think about my own issues? i reply with the opposite. "why do i feel this way today? what's wrong with me? why can't i feel this way? why can't i act this way?"

mid-blog writing, i paused for dinner. i ran home while listening to a podcast and then over to a friend's to watch a tv show while eating pizza. in those two instances of media mid-writing, i heard two instances referring to the saying "rose-colored glasses." i've never particularly liked that phrase, because i thought that it kind of makes fun of optimists, and i consider myself to be one most of the time.

in the latest freakanomics podcast, they interview dan gilbert (a harvard psychology professor) about some ads he helped prudential with. when he discusses happiness, and people planning for their hopeful futures, he stated the following:
I love the metaphor of rose-colored glasses. That’s the way to view the world. They’re rose-colored, meaning there is a tint. You are seeing a rosier future than we will really experience. But they’re glasses. They’re not opaque, right? They’re not blinders. You actually are seeing the world. And if there’s a train coming, it’s a little bit rose-tinted, but it’s a train.
i really really liked his interpretation of the glasses. it made me feel hopeful.

and then, mid-pizza, i heard another reference to rose-colored glasses on bojack horseman. a character on the show said "when you look at the world through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags." ...and then i felt compassion for that character. it was a potent line, but it didn't dissuade me from wanting to be optimistic about the world. perhaps cautiously optimistic, but still optimistic.

and all of this rose-colored talk reminded me of the compassion i was trying to cultivate toward myself. what if i just slightly altered my perception of myself instead of something more drastic? practicing on others has given me the tools; i just have to reflect the rose-colored tint back inwards.

a rose-colored mirror, if you will.

self-compassion. self-love. hands on heart.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

lies: little, white, and not-so-little, not-so-white

adi climbs in all kinds of boxes!
my 4-year-old best friend adi got into a cardboard box last time i was visiting with her. she wanted to play jack-in-the-box and then asked me to close her inside the box. as soon as i began to fold down the second two flaps, she squealed, "maybe this isn't a good idea; I can't breathe!" it was kind of cute; it was kind of hilarious.

and that's kind of what i felt like today: a little trapped, a little suffocated, a little scared... and a little like i brought this all on myself... and i just wanted someone to open the box right back up for me.

sometimes i lie to myself. the one i tell myself most often is: "i don't know why i'm feeling like this!!"

i do. i always do. i just sometimes don't want to admit it.

i told my mom about my eating disorder a little over a year ago. i hadn't told my dad yet, but i didn't feel anxious about that. i reasoned that mom was the "hard" one to tell--she is the dietitian and tends to take things personally. last week i told my dad. it was one of the hardest conversations in recent memory. and then i felt very "weird" for a few days. i tried to deny the emotions that were all still bubbling. i tried to pretend i felt the same as always. but i finally called a friend and talked about some of the emotions i was feeling.

i lied to a friend this weekend. in protection, of course, but a lie all the same. the last few days i've been obsessed with exercise. and i made myself throw up--just a tiny bit--last night. today i kept thinking "why on earth is my eating disorder voice screaming at me? why do i feel so crazy?" but i denied the knowing.

i texted a friend in australia a casual question this evening and he immediately said "are you ok?" i was like "yeah, of course." but a few hours later i replied that i wasn't--and how on earth could he tell from that one question?

apparently my behavior admits things before i do. while i was with my husband, i once kissed another man while out of the country. when i came back from the trip, i apparently acted differently... FOR NINE MONTHS. because nine months later he screamed in frustration "what the hell happened on that trip?!"

oh. i'm not a good liar.

i've also felt this behavior admitting something to my world before i'm ready to admit it. but i'm still really fucking good at ignoring it. today, when i was feeling very very guilty about the purges i've been engaging in, i finally faced the source and decided to take action and un-do the lie. i'm about to untie the knot--both the one in my stomach and the one between my friend and i--and i'm scared as fuck. i don't know how he'll respond; i don't know how he'll react. but i'm finally ready.

i read this in a morning email i received the other day:
My friend is really into this man. But last night she got a text from him that he isn't really feeling the spark between them. She was crushed.

I sat with her for a while. We cried and grieved and got angry and felt sad. Toward the end of the night I said, "I know this is so painful right now, but what if rejection is God's protection?"

What if exactly the right thing is happening right now? I know you want HIM, but he is clearly not your man right now. What if he is keeping you available for a love that is moments from surprising you?

When was the last time you felt rejected?

Can you see now that the rejection that once hurt was probably the best thing to have happened? How did it redirect your path?

Like water in a river, when it hits a rock, it doesn't stop. It doesn't complain that the rock is in its way. The water sees the rock as a redirection of its path and simply keeps flowing.

When we have perspective, we can see that we were being guided by the rejection. But when we are in the middle of it, it just plain hurts.
all types of rejection hurt. whether it is real, perceived, or even anticipated. but, just like ryan says, there's always another way to look at it. and today, with all things, i'm choosing the light. because light is everything.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


sometimes i feel broken.
sometimes i feel like i cover myself in armor.
sometimes i feel like i'm the only one.
sometimes i feel crazy.

and then today happens.

i hear a young man say "everyone's a little broken; we wouldn't be people if we weren't."

--i feel some armor slide away.

i get an email from someone i don't know telling me that she read my blog and mentioned "I had a particularly bad day today and am feeling quite alone, and although there is no purpose to my email other than to tell you that I really admire your courage, typing this out makes me feel a bit more connected to the universe."

--i don't feel so crazy.

the email i received was from a young woman with an eating disorder and talked about how she felt alone, about some of the shame she carries, and about how she didn't feel courageous enough to tell some of the people in her life--specifically those at work.

the email made me feel so many things: empathy, sadness, admiration, gratitude... and kind of like i was a fake. yes, sometimes my blog feels courageous. but sometimes it feels like i get to hide behind it because i'm being so open here. like i have built some armor up through all the baring.

she complimented me on my career status and about how open i was with my eating disorder. it's true that i talk about my struggles and recovery status with people at work i barely know. but there are also things i don't tell them. like when i'm late to a meeting because i had to run a little longer to make my mind feel sane before i was allowed to shower and go to the meeting. or like when i schedule things around a yoga class i feel like i just have to get to or my soul will freak out. these things could be termed "taking care of myself," or they could be termed "selfish," or even, dare i say it, "characteristic of someone with an eating disorder."

there's STUFF. there will probably always be stuff. i've let go of a lot--and i am very proud of that. but there's still the little broken pieces i keep finding under the rug; the little shells of armor stuck to my skin that haven't all chipped away. and finding them can be hard.

in some ways, i don't know where this blog is going. am i trying to build up more armor for later? am i trying desperately to feel as courageous as this lovely reader portrayed me to be? what am i trying to do?

i think it's the shame that really gets to me. i carried so much shame about binging and purging... for so long. i still do. and there is so much stigma around so many mental health issues, and about seeking help for them, that i get angry at that shame. i get angry that it even exists. and when i read this email with the words "embarrassment and shame" included in it, i felt that familiar stinging in my heart.

it's only talking, sharing, and giving a face to a health issue that can de-stigmatize it. my shame disintegrates when i don't give it any power. when i told my mom about bulimia, when i told my co-worker about my bulimia, when i told my yoga class about my bulimia, when i post a blog about bulimia on Facebook, i lose the shame. it disappears with the broken pieces under the rug, it hides under the small pieces of armor still remaining.

i can't fix the world; i can't even fix me. but i also know that i don't need to. i can let go of the armor; i know i'm already whole. and i have hope that the world is ready for that.

and, to every blog reader, but especially L: the world is ready; i believe in you.

Monday, June 22, 2015

fatherly advice

i had an amazing weekend with friends: my housewarming, a birthday for sam, an early birthday outing with anthony... but i also was feeling sad this weekend. sad about a situation not going the way i wanted it to, sad about not being able to see my family this weekend, and sad about texts with lydia who was going through her first father's day after her dad died.

best cure for feeling sad? more best friend time, obviously.

and listening to their advice.

we can receive valuable lessons from many places: parents, siblings, friends, and of course our own intuition. in all cases, we have to be willing to hear it, though.

this post is for lydia: you're never alone.
this post is for adi and martina: thank you.
this post is for all my friends going through rough times (xo erin).
this post is for me. for all of us.

i am notoriously bad at taking advice: for some reason i seem to prefer to learn things the hard way. i buck up against being told what to do. i'll come up with all of the responses for why i shouldn't listen to what someone else tells me. and, after struggling through the situation on my own for a while, i'll finally be ready to hear it.

my dad seemed to always know this about me; he is highly adept at offering soft words to me over and over until i can hear them. just like his gentle replacement of three sets of bicycle training wheels (because i leaned so heavily on the right wheel that it would bend and be rendered useless) until i could learn to ride on my own, i am grateful for that repeated support as i push my way through the world.

but what would it be like to take advice, to learn lessons, to grow... without so much struggle? what would it be like to lean on others just a little more? to ask for things when needed, to listen to what is offered?

i suppose i don't really know. except that when i started to let adi's words sink in yesterday, when i started to let them wash over me a little more, when i started to really be in them instead of fighting them, i felt safe. i felt loved. i felt a little more ready to take on the world.

advice in.

love out.

listening: tuned to on.

Monday, June 8, 2015


subtitle: "i'm not sorry. and i'm very thankful."

a few days ago i watched this clip: amy schumer's "i'm sorry." if you haven't seen it, or if you don't have 3 minutes to watch it just yet, it pokes fun of women's likelihood to apologize too often. and it's very funny.

i know i say things like "sorry, but would you mind getting me a straw?" or "sorry, but could you repeat that?" in other words, i put the word sorry in front of most requests. i have two friends that apologize so much that i sometimes ask them to rephrase their statements to me without the apology.

watching that clip last week really got me thinking about my words.

two weeks ago i was in honduras with friends. i don't speak any spanish. i know how to say "thank you," and so i said that in response to most questions. luckily i didn't need much spanish in roatan, but my friends kept trying to get me to learn spanish. my reply of "gracias," but with differing intonations (think gracias pronounced in an "excuse me?" sing-song), was pretty comedic... though i'm probably lucky i wasn't there longer than five days. i think my friends would have gotten over the novelty of how funny i was after that.

upon return to the US, standing in line at customs in NY, a five year old girl from roatan (that lives in NJ) was chatting with me. she asked if i had just come from honduras. when i said yes, she asked me to speak to her in spanish to test her skills. i laughed and said, "gracias!" she smiled and replied in spanish. i went on to explain to her how i had been using "gracias" to mean everything. she laughed and said "at least you're polite!"

true. that.

how nice is it to say thank you? how amazing is it to be grateful?

cut to two days ago. saturday i was at a hash camp out with about 99 of my closest (and about-to-be closest) friends. we did a long, hot outdoor run. once we returned, i got in the hot tub to relax. i started to feel a little weird so i got in the pool to cool off. i remember sitting in the pool just kind of looking around at everyone laughing and thinking that something was wrong. so i got up and went back to my tent to lie down. i tried to drink some water and take a nap. a restless hour later, i felt so hot that i tried to get out of the tent. however, i was so dizzy and weak, i couldn't. i flagged down help and got someone to find my friends. within minutes i had three friends taking care of me: one trained in first aid and two assisting. they were cooling me down, trying to get me to sip water, and monitoring my levels of consciousness.

i was keenly aware that my friends were missing all of the fun camp activities: hashlympics, adult slip-n-slide, pool time, volleyball, hay rides... you name it, they were missing it. i kept thinking in my head "i'm so sorry you're missing the fun!" but, being so conscious of the "i'm sorry" epidemic, i managed to suppress my apologies. every time BS wiped my back with cool water for evaporation cooling purposes, i said "thank you." each time PR went to try to find more water or ice, i said "thank you." when AM volunteered to drive us all to the hospital, "thank you."

both BS and AM spent most of their evening getting us to the hospital and providing support. PR spent all night and day at the hospital with me. and when PR and i began to worry about getting back to the campsite to get our stuff together before everyone started to leave, we received a magical text from BS and AM saying they'd pack up all our stuff, reorganize the car situation, and come to pick us up at the hospital later that afternoon. "THANK YOU."

the really funny part about all of this is that while BS was sitting there with me, he actually said to me something like "don't worry about us, or about what else we might be doing right now. just worry about what you need, spring. what do you need from us right now?" and, although i was completely unable to laugh because of my intense pain and weakness, i know i smiled. it was like he had heard my internal struggle of trying not to apologize for my state. my reply? "thank you."

so gracias. to BS, AM, PR. thank you times a million. i am grateful for your kindness, your selflessness, and your overwhelmingly beautiful souls. all my super-heart's love to you. ;)

and gracias to all my besties texting and calling and checking on me as well; your support is soothing my migraine.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

write it down

writing things down gives them an importance: whether it's in the notes on your phone, a draft in your email, or tweeted/posted/blogged publicly.

i didn't used to believe that simply writing something down gave it power. now i find it hard to believe how much power.

last year i was doing some life coaching with elena and she had us make a list of dreams for the year. i skeptically made a list, including things on the list that i didn't even think were really possible.

among the items that i had been told were impossible or had no reason to expect that would happen: 1) receive ARC funding (check), 2) become an associate professor (check). at the end of the year, when i found that list in my phone, i almost freaked out. i hadn't even applied for the CUNY job when i made that list--i had no reason to believe that i would be able to get to where i am now at that point. sure, i had a hand in those things happening. but writing them down gave them a place in my mind, a sense of priority.

the same thing can happen in reverse. do you know what else i write down every day? how many calories i've eaten and how much i've worked out. this is one of those pieces of an eating disorder that i've termed "ok" for my life. it isn't actively hurting me, so why not?

because i'm giving it power. i don't even ever look back over my past days. it just gives me some sort of comfort knowing i have it in a list.

but it's also embarrassing: when i update the list, i'm terrified that someone will look over my shoulder and see what i'm typing. i envision my friend next to me asking "why are you writing down '45 mins run' in your phone?" my secret answer: "um, because i'm afraid that it doesn't count if i don't write it in this list right this second." hmm. clearly that doesn't make sense.

i've been writing down my exercise and food intake since i was little. my parents paid my sister and i to do so when we were young--it was about making sure we were getting our fruits and vegetables and dairy per day, etc. i don't think this version was bad parenting, but i've been doing variations of this for 22 years now, and sometimes with dangerous levels of obsession. there were points when i weighed food and wrote down exactly how many calories, protein, and fat in each serving of each thing i had that day. i carried a notebook with me everywhere. now i "just" make notes of exercise and a running tally of calories for the day.

some of my closest friends know about this, but i've delayed writing about it because i was afraid of what anyone might say about the initial food diary keeping my parents encouraged. but let me say this in their defense: my sister never even completed hers when she was getting paid for it. me, on the other hand? i chose this behavior as a safety net. i chose to take it into adulthood.

so why am i writing about it now? because i'm tired of it. i'm ready to let go a little more. and i had some motivation yesterday: i received this message via facebook from amy.
Hi spring! Not sure if you'd remember me...but I was also and instructor at Penn state! I graduated in '08. I was also a BBH major! Anyways I recently completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training....amazing!! So I have been reflecting back on all the inspiring teachers I've had along the way and you're one of them!! I always loved your classes at PSU...they offered a little something more than just fitness. And you were also a great female role model to look up to as I was just an ungrad and you were working your PhD! You totally emulated girl power!! I enjoy reading your blogs because it's always on a theme that anyone can resonant with! It just shows that by being a bit vulnerable and opening yourself up you really can connect on a deeper level! Anyways I just wanted to share this with you because as I look forward to a new blog post I realized that you probably don't know how influential you are! So thank you Spring for being such a great teacher!
there are some days when writing things down makes more of a difference than we know. did amy know that message would hit me today? that it would inspire me right back? probably not. but that's what happened. (amy, that was one of the most beautiful messages i've ever received; thank you.) and i'm going to place attention a little more thoughtfully: 1) i'm making a new dreams-for-the-year list, and 2) i'm no longer going to write down my exercise activity. i want the dreams to have power; i don't want the disordered eating behaviors to have power.

when i was unpacking the things that arrived from sydney last week (FINALLY!!!), i found a notebook of exercise notes from 2008. yeah, i still had it; i always saved them. as evidence.

guess where the notebook is now? in the garbage.

i dare you to dream.

and xo amy.

Friday, May 1, 2015

5 things i'm grateful for this morning

1. the people in my life that make all the little moments worth it: that person i text when it's 11:11 just to be like YEAH; the one who texts me about birthday plans over two months in advance; the person who makes me smile every time i see their name on my phone. #gratitude

2. the joy i have in my work. even when the administration of it all threatens to crack me, there are those bright spots of meetings with inspired students that reignite my passion. #gratitude

3. my yoga practice. last night it lit me up after a long day. this morning i'm looking forward to teaching at a youth-centered non-profit tonight. i can't wait to share that peace and light. #gratitude

4. starting to feel like where i live is my home. yesterday i went to buy a bagel and didn't have any cash: they were like, eh; just get it next time, and this morning i paid double. the belongingness i feel from that familiarity is so comforting. #gratitude

5. SPRING. (obviously!) suddenly i begin to see why people might like NYC. i've noticed new coffee shops and stores: i'm looking around more. my head isn't burrowed inside the hood of my jacket. and everything is blossoming. #gratitude

Monday, April 27, 2015


you know the ones:
the little knot in the pit of your stomach,
the nagging feeling that something isn't right,
the little unease about, well, *something*

we get to be experts at ignoring them; we cultivate that practice in our society. i don't know why. it's not like politeness rules the airwaves. it's certainly not as if we never see or hear conflict in our offices or on the streets. (ok, yeah, yeah, get your "i'm a new yorker now, i must see tons of mean shoppers" jokes out of the way!) but i suppose avoidance can feel simpler. easier than figuring out what that little sign actually means.

i hurt my shoulder last weekend at penn state. i slipped on a step and caught myself by grabbing a handrail. it jerked my shoulder out of joint, but i didn't fall down the steps. my shoulder was not mobile at all for a couple of days. mobility started to return a little here and a little there. but this physical sign in my shoulder was much easier to listen to. yoga practice? not for a few days. then standing asanas without arms. then some flow without the chaturangas. now most of it, but still without the handstands. yeah, it's sucked. but i wish that listening to those emotional signs was as "easy" as this has been.

tonight i had a friend text about one of those feelings, that he had been experiencing it all day. <--that kinda stabbed me in the stomach. i know those feelings. if anyone knows those feelings, it's me. i know this is like one of the top 5 themes of my blogs, but, then again, i clearly need to write about it.

i've spent so much time ignoring uncomfortable twinges. and every time, the situations got worse. until they became unbearable in some way. either the friendship would dissolve, trust would be ruined, or maybe i would *just* take it out on myself by excessive exercise or binging and purging.

as i've learned to recognize these signs for what they are--signs that something needs to be explored, discussed, evaluated, and resolved--i've gotten more and more practice. and i feel so much better now that it physically hurt me to think about NOT talking through the issue; it hurt me to hear my friend had been sitting in that space.

since i've been in the US (3 months minus my quick 2 week trip back!), i've binged and purged a total of one time. i'm totally proud of that fact, but also horrified and ashamed and angry about it as well. it's a balancing act. but the balance beam continually seems wider.

and, for me, that openness is the key factor. i'll tell you anything you want to know. usually before you ask. i was at a "after seminar appetizers" event one evening a few weeks ago. i was with a colleague and some doctoral students. for some reason, the colleague was very interested in the types of food i eat. he was asking, in front of everyone, about my breakfast habits. i tried to evade and laugh off, but after his insistance, i answered. he then moved to lunch. i hadn't felt so uncomfortable in a very long time. i paused, took a breath, and said "i'm in recovery from an eating disorder, and i don't really feel comfortable discussing my dietary habits like this."

everyone laughed.
i didn't.
one woman glanced at my face and yelled "she's serious!"
and then it was silent.

i followed up with, "i'm ok, but i had to tell you that i was feeling uncomfortable." and then i changed the topic. yeah, it was awkward for a second. but a few minutes later? i felt much better than i would have if i had sat there and been grilled (food joke) about my eating without saying anything.

so yes. i blurt it out now. part of it is practice, part of it positive reinforcement for my openness... and part of it is that little extra inspiration. just this morning i received an email from my favorite energy healer patty about speaking your truth. i've learned a lot from patty on this subject, and i had just been inspired by it again this morning. so when my friend texted this evening, i was straight to the phone lines. READ THAT SIGN.

in her blog i read this morning:
"the biggest block that tends to come up, is that we don’t want to hurt our partner / lover / friend / family member by telling them how we truly feel. but when our actions become more about the other person’s feelings, our personal vibration then starts to vibrate at a frequency that doesn’t resonate the truth of what we think and how we feel. as a result, our reactions and responses lack a genuine sincerity, which then results in a domino effect of misunderstandings and resentment."
yeah. i like that. we make these excuses for not being open, for not speaking our truth. "i don't think he/she/they will like what i have to say." or "i'm worried that i will hurt his/her/their feelings." guess what. that isn't an excuse for not talking about it. it's only an excuse that we tell ourselves to feel better about avoiding that sign.

i'm proud of my friend for texting about it in the first place. so i wanted to say it publicly. hard work this whole living-happily-in-a-functioning-society-as-an-adult thing, huh?

what's your body/inner knowing trying to tell you? i'm just hoping mine tells me i get to do handstands again soon. xo

Saturday, April 11, 2015


I got citizenship. I got a passport: "two black books" as adi says. I left Sydney feeling like I was moving... again. it still feels like home. I have the loyalty card for every coffee and frozen yoghurt shop, I have the lingo down, I have the peeps to call in any mild emergency: I have my own international family there.

but, yes, nyc feels a little like home too.

I feel guilty every time I think that; like I'm betraying my life in sydney.

in some ways I feel like I belong nowhere. (Air Force brat!) but I also feel like yeah, maybe I belong both places. maybe I belong everywhere.

I had a few different friends tell me things like that. mr I'm-a-citizen-of-the-world matt was my favorite: we are "like fucking James Bond!" laurel: "We are now officially more cool than allllll of our friends!" yeah. ok. dual citizenship is pretty fucking awesome. but. how do you actually live in two countries, in two hemispheres, in two datelines?

that's a real question. help me, because that's what I plan on doing. I fully believe in this: I covered a yoga class while I happened to be in Sydney, I ran into a friend on the street I hadn't seen in months, I picked up a ring that I had left for repairs, I was asked by a bakery lady how has it been that she hasn't seen me recently... I still belong there. and I want to continue to belong there.

so f u convention. (yeah, you totes never expected that from me, huh?!) but seriously. I'm doing this. see you in three months Sydney. I love you.

jo. lydia. bal. chuck. hal et al. matt (yeah I consider you Sydney). same, anthony. hayden. mandy. kel. david. sydney. rob. sam. norm, nut, sally (all the hashers). shel. lisa. julie. rachel. bron. mish. samantha. rachel and jeremy. adam. superman. james. chris. even owen. all the boys. all the friends. all the yoga students.


just so you know: you're all there. and I'm there. and I'll be back. xo

Friday, March 13, 2015


impatient. there's no other word for it. I can clearly differentiate between how I normally feel and how I feel right now. everything seems to take longer than it should. that six minutes til the local-stops train arrives on my way to my friend's house tonight? seems like at least 24 minutes. that additional four weeks til my blackmilk and Roxie's legs arrive from Australia? seems like two years.

I want to feel settled. hell. I want to BE settled. but I have this nagging sense that the feeling of settledness comes with a bed. you know. that bed that's still on the boat.

and so I wait. and wait. but not quite as patiently as I'm used to. talking with a friend as I leave yoga: "look, I don't know. just decide already!" him: "you're just... leaving yoga?" yeah. that's me as I'm leaving my happy place. can you imagine how I am as I walk into class?

luckily for my friends, it's mostly in my head. unluckily for me, it's mostly in my head. in yoga class yesterday, I taught about being present in a transition phase, rather than continually waiting for what was next. I taught that theme because I have been hearing over and over "I can't wait til spring is ACTUALLY here!" (btw, me too.) but this continual forward focus distracts from the now. ...and only today did I realize that I was really trying to teach that theme to myself.

so we are in seasonal transition. and I'm definitely in transition. but we are all in transition.



*more patience

Monday, March 9, 2015


"if you've ever experienced
the mountains in the springtime:
snow is melting into rivulets
of crystal clear water
trickling from underneath
and coarsing ever downward
into widening streams
birds singing; the air sweet and clean
new buds and greenery sprouting forth
everything fresh and new
... that's spring"

legend goes that when they were naming me, my dad uttered those words. my mom scribbled them down, wanting to cement the reasoning behind my name. she then wrote it in calligraphy, and it has been hanging in my room ever since.

i get a lot of jokes about my name. ESPECIALLY this time of year. ESPECIALLY as new yorkers are getting sick and tired of snow. each person i meet says "oh, can you do something about this weather?" or "you're bringing the warm weather with you, right?"

but it's ok: i secretly like it. i roll my eyes playfully and tell them that i'll do what i can. or i joke back, saying "you know, i've NEVER had ANYone tell me that before!" ...which usually gets a blushed chuckle.

but the truth of why i like my name is because of what is written above. the word "spring" has many meanings. but the connotation of the seasonal change is the one that resonates with me and has guided my life in so many ways.

everyone has to live up to their name in one way or another. me, i feel a little pressure to be bouncy. a little urge to keep the smile on my face. a bit of desire to make everyone's life a little brighter. but honestly... that's something i can deal with. i want to live my life with responsibility like that.

almost every yoga class i've been to in the past week has talked about germination; sprouting; blossoming... all of the metaphors you could think of for spring. and every single one seems to speak directly to me. (just like when the person on the corner goes "ohmigoodness i think spring is coming!" and i turn my head to respond, but then realize they might NOT be speaking to me.)

germinating it totally me right now: figuring out how to blossom in this new place.

but even more, it's my sister. my beautiful baby sister is about to have her first baby blossom. and she has been germinating with all her strength and beauty for the past nine months. i'm so proud of her. so excited for her. so excited for us.

and this blog is dedicated to her, and to her and andy's choice for their baby's name. shayna: your baby will grow into his name. he will find the meaning he wants behind it. he will blossom into it and learn to joke back with whatever anyone says to him. he will find his strength and beauty in it. i promise.

we all germinate.
we all blossom when we are ready to.
learning to be in the germination phase is sometimes hard,
but we always know that spring is coming.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

pink noise

pink noise. go ahead. listen.

I learned about pink noise this weekend when visiting the new museum in NYC. of course I was attracted to the concept (ahem, my hair), but for some reason I also felt comforted by the actual phrase "pink noise."

other phrases that made it into my notes this weekend?

"my realities never quite lined up."

"add more volume to your life."

"he was attracted to limitlessness." and

"my capacity has returned."

hmmm. what was my subconscious trying to tell me as it placed these phrases into my life? well, it was lovey love weekend, so take what you want from that... but, I think these signify the confirmation of my re-set. and, perhaps more than that, confirmation that I [we] can re-set.

we can re-set after a job change; after a move; after a break-up; after an epiphany. sometimes it takes a while; sometimes it's hard; sometimes we have to wait until we're ready; sometimes it takes a universal kick in the butt.

regardless of circumstance, that underlying possibility and potential for love (self, platonic, romantic) is nothing less than amazing.

I have already experienced heaps of changes this year (note that aussie-ness!), and I know there are many more still in store. re-set: listening for the next message.

even if it sounds a bit like pink noise at first.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

forget what you think you need

"forget what you think you need" was advice from gabby's "crazy sexy miracles" talk last night. when she said it, i really heard it. because i realized that the night before, that's exactly what had needed to happen: i got an email from my husband saying that he filed for divorce, and i freaked out.

i. was. hysterical.

i spent the evening talking to a bunch of friends about how i was feeling and why. but i was still feeling weird about it the next day. until i heard gabby say "forget what you think you need."

i thought i needed to be in control of this situation: i thought i was going to file; i thought i was taking care of things; i thought i was going to be the adult here. when i got that email, a little piece of my reality changed.

what i thought i needed was to take care of this situation myself.
but i realized this was actually another little miracle.
sometimes blessings can be hard to receive.

this whole move has been an exercise in acceptance; in letting go of control; of forgiving myself and my friends for stepping on each other's toes (matt, anthony: i love you both and greatly respect your ability to forgive!). and that last one relates straight back to forgetting what you think you need.

gabby on forgiveness: 1) lose your shit and allow yourself to be in it; 2) choose to forgive, to see the situation differently; 3) let it gently lift as it is ready; and 4) what you need will be given to you when you are ready.

but only when you forget what you think you need can you be open to receiving what you REALLY need.

i need this divorce. and here it is, on its way.

so now i'm just working on trusting ALL of the seeds that i've been busy planting. we make all these little steps and decisions each day. they are steps toward where we are now. and where we are now is on our way to that next place--that next miracle. and we have to trust ourselves. and trust in the next miracle that's just around the corner.

anthony lost his wallet just before coming to meet me for the miracles talk. we spent a while on the phone searching the apartment with no luck. eventually anthony thought to check his work voicemail (since he had one of his business cards in his wallet). and--miracle--someone had found his wallet, handed it in to the local post office, and they had notified him that they had it. *miracle*

this morning i went to elena's yoga class. elena is my favorite of all yoga teachers, and my life coach. i'm used to stalking her internationally to make it to her yoga classes, or doing them online. i'm used to skyping with her in the wee hours of the morning sydney time. but today, i got to just walk in to her yoga class--because now i live in new york. while flowing during class, elena instructed us to dive forward, taking our arms through prayer position.

all of the sudden i remembered a line from one of her online yogaglo classes: "you can swan dive or take your arms through prayer; i usually take my arms through prayer--i'm a new yorker and i'm used to PACKED yoga rooms!" and, right there in the middle of her real-live yoga class, i started crying. i looked around the packed room and realized that was me now. i was a new yorker. *miracle*

so yeah, there are miracles all around us all the time. i'm living one. sometimes i just need to forget what i think i need in order to realize it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

committing. #sydneytoNYC

i haven't been getting excited. i've been freaking out. and mish got super pissed at me on my last full day in sydney because of that. she said SPRING! SHUT UP ABOUT YOUR STUPID APARTMENT! WHO CARES? YOU'RE GOING TO NEW YORK!!!

and i tried to get excited. i really did. but i had so much anxiety about the move (which i felt, in my stomach, every single day) that it was hard.

i was in a yoga class mid-move: those few days in LA between sydney and NYC were much needed down time. the teacher told us about how her six-year-old did the splits on the escalator that day. her advice to her daughter: "you have to commit; you can't be in two places at once!"

and that's when i realized what i needed to do: commit to NYC. sure. i did all the things. allll the things to get myself moved. but i didn't actually commit to NYC. so, right there in the yoga class, i decided to do it. i told NYC: i'm yours. totally yours. i breathed through each pose and smiled from the inside out. i repeated in my head over and over: "i commit to NYC."

by the end of the class i felt strong. happy. centered. ready.

there's a real lesson there: as soon as i committed, the anxiety disappeared. i filled my heart with love and it squashed the fear. it edged it right out.

and i'm going. RIGHT NOW. i'm in the air mid-way from LA to NYC: the last part of the move. i'm not even scared.

the only way i could have gotten to this place was through those friends that went so beyond the call of duty that i can't even begin to think of how i can thank them.

(hayden: thank you for helping with the boxes and computer. bal and chuck: thank you for stealing my stuff. matt: thank you for alllll the shit. and to all my besties who have supported me through millions of texts, chats, and company: thank you.)

so what's next? well, i run into anthony's arms at JFK. and then? who knows. anything can happen.

anything happens all the time.

i'm a New Yorker.