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

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