Monday, October 29, 2012

what my root canal taught me

Smile Mouth Teeth Clip ArtSo I underwent my first root canal this morning...what a wonderful way to start the week. As I sat back in the chair and anticipated the worst, what happened was pretty magical. The music from my iPod pumped into my ears and the drilling, poking, and prodding never made me flinch. The whole thing about a root canal is removing the decay and also to make room for a "new" tooth of sorts.

Usually, my blog posts come from a place of life metaphors and this moment was no different than the rest.

It's all about restoration and building up, from death and decay.


To be totally blunt, 2012 has been a year of change, transition, death, dying, and loss. It has proven to be a year of tragedy but at the same time growth, blooming, and celebration of new opportunity. How can we live in both of these worlds at the same time?

Throughout this crazy year, I have come to the realization there are no guarantees. Just like the dentist-you go in, you hope you get a clean bill of healthy teeth, and you walk out with your 6 month appointment card in hand. But, sometimes, you get bad news: fillings, or in my case, a friggin root canal. But, what remains true is that you simply acknowledge what is and adjust. Whether it's your business, your job, your relationship, you adjust and do what you have to do to keep on living that oh so blissful life you lead.

Needless to say, I took the day off from work, caught up on some stupid TV, and ate a sleeve of thin mints and homemade pizza. I'm ready to get back to work after being out of the office last week for a conference and then mourning the loss of our pup this weekend. It's been up and down but I feel as though I am moving forward with excitement and ease.

Friday, October 26, 2012

on losing a best friend

The past week has been full of grieving. Grieving a loss that arrived this morning. 
Ginger, our lovely, unconditionally loving, amazing fur ball, was put down to sleep. She has been struggling with liver disease for two months and has been an absolute trooper. I know when I left this morning, I was saying goodbye for good. It broke my heart yet it was important for me to keep in mind that her quality of life was truly diminishing fast. I could see it in her eyes that she was almost about to cry. 

Ginger on my yoga mat, one of her favorite activities. 
Loss is something we all experience and it is important to recognize that we all deal with it in our own way. 
I will say that in my experiences, especially those in the last year or so, I have been more conscious about gratitude and expressing my fondness of the memories. Sharing the memories makes the loss a little bit more bearable. Don't get me wrong, the losses will stay with us for awhile, little things will bring us to tears, but revel in joyous memories. That makes living our bliss just a little bit easier. 

Yesterday on my way home from my conference in Tacoma, 'Angel,' by Sarah MacLachlan. It brings tears to my eyes. In honor of my furry best friend, I dedicate this to her.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

resistance in change

As I embark on my sixth year of living in the PNW, I have finally come to terms with the amazingly fast transition into fall/winter from summer. All of a sudden it feels like the sunshine took off never to be seen again, the drizzle and grey skies unpack their suitcases and settle in without giving a thought, and I am left in a state of incredible disbelief. All I want to do is stay in my cozy clothes, under a down throw, and eat chowder, chili, and pie as well as sip hot tea like it was going out of style.

Along with this transition comes complete and utter resistance and non-acceptance of the change. Not only do I start to miss long summer days, shorts, and chaco's but I feel a deep sense of melancholy take over my entire being. I resist the change through eating more junk food, crashing on the couch after work instead of hitting the gym, sleeping way more than I think I should, and being quite moody with everyone. Little things start to annoy me more and I notice I don't want to do a damn thing (i.e. paperwork, balancing the checkbook, cleaning out my car, packing my lunch, etc.) I start to resist.

The crazy thing about this whole resistance movement is that internally, I know better and I know exactly what's going on. It's normal. It's the way we change with the season. It's okay. Instead of being hard pressed to change what is through monumental changes, I can just start to feel what I am feeling and be careful not to attach myself to it. It's like a mini-buddhist practice.

Moving from resistance to acceptance is something I have been working on personally for quite sometime. I consider myself a fighter of sorts, not giving up, the word 'quit' not in my vocabulary but there are times that I know letting go and accepting is much easier than putting up a fight that in the end will be exhausting, draining, and leaving me resentful.

So, what are my core practices around this?
1. Sturdy & stable self-care. Massages, naps, sleep, practicing yoga, journaling, eating healthy foods.
2. Expression of the feelings in a healthy, non-destructive way, whether it's locking myself in my car and crying my eyes out or screaming into a pillow.
3. More light exposure. Hikes & walks in nature this time of year are key.
4. Tap into support systems. Friends and family are the givers of the support and compassion and it proves to be a win-win for everyone.
5. Maintain structure, regularity, and routine. The mind over matter piece is key.

Like I said before, it's like a mini-buddhist retreat all the time. Constantly observing, being a witness, moving through it, and making small changes. There is light at the end of the seasonal changes, that's what is so cool about the seasons.

May you be blessed this fall and always.

Monday, October 1, 2012

deep needs: knitting, car maintenance, and yoga

Wow. Autumn is finally here, officially speaking. I am always so sad to see the summer fade into distant memories, almost like "Christmas Past" from the Charles Dickens novel. It feels as though it is an abyss to never be seen again but yet it comes around faster than one might think. I know that as I get older, I feel the seasons change and time move in a different way from when I was younger, mostly because the seasons seem to affect me more and more both in good and challenging ways.

 I feel as though lately with the transition from summer to fall, I have had a few 'deep needs.' For instance, getting things in order, organizing, decluttering. I cleaned out my office nook recently and organized and purged, shredded and did some much needed data entry and e-file cleanup. Also, I have this deep need to move my body. I have been hitting the gym more, getting on my yoga mat again, and sweating out my junk. It is becoming more and more apparent that I need to listen to my 'deep needs,' no matter what they are. It is in our intuition that we learn the most about ourselves and the world.

On a fun note, I took a learn to knit class a few weekends ago. I decided that in keeping with my theme of trying new things this fall, knitting was in order. I have always wanted to learn and finally, I signed up for a class at the local neighborhood knit/yarn shop down the street from my house. I am in love with it and it is keeping my hands busy at night, helping me wind down. It also humbles me to know I am always in process.

The Man and I (mostly The Man) has been getting my car maintenance up to date. We did some big work recently (Transmission fluid flush, coolant flush, spark plug replacement, cap and rotor, etc.) I absolutely abhor car work. I hate it but I am SO INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL for The Man because he does it. I merely go with him, buy the stuff that he needs, and he does it. The car maintenance is such an incredible metaphor for life in general. We all have those things we hate doing yet know they are necessary and when we keep putting them off, it does nobody any good. Find a way to get it done and JUST DO IT.

I also got back on my yoga mat the past few Sundays. It feels so good to stretch and breathe. Yoga is my grounding place. It's my thing. Yet, similar to the car maintenance, I leave it off the list. It's funny how those things go sometimes where we know if we did the important things, our lives would be incredibly different, yet we don't. How do we change this?

I have been thinking a lot about this concept of putting off the things that matter.Whether it's taking our vitamins, seeing the dentist, going to bed 30 minutes earlier, whatever. We put off the things that matter and it leaves in a place of painful resentment and crabbiness. So, what do we do? Well, I hate to say it, but the tried and true method of doing anything is putting it into existence. Think: Google Calendar, iCal, your planner, an alarm. ANYTHING! But when we put something into existence, it's more likely to happen. It becomes an investment of sorts. (Think of putting pennies into a piggy bank over time).

So, this fall, I am taking the path of doing the things that matter: My yoga, time to myself, cooking more, eating better, taking time to plan, dream, reflect, design, write.

How about you? What are you putting into existence?