Reservation is Not a Weakness.

bukowski quote

 

In this digital culture of everything-on-display-with-immediacy, we can say anything we want and it might reach a million people in a day.

We can and do express and create and share ourselves freely, completely.

With so much information available at all times, with so much coming at us, we are easily overwhelmed with a million things to react to.

These screens simultaneously connect us and separate us, creating a fictional, two-dimensional world where we can “see” each other but not really be there.

I think it’s simultaneously freeing us and fucking us up.

I’m such a proponent of authenticity. But when it comes to sharing how we feel, I think that we sometimes confuse vulnerability and openness with reactivity and emotionalism—maybe even a little bit of narcissism.

I’ve certainly been this way, and I don’t judge people for it, nor am I asking people to suppress emotions or accept abuse.

We’re learning how to be open and honest, vulnerable and real, but we still need to understand when to choose our battles and how to step into them with grace.

But what if it’s sometimes in ours and others’ best interest to shut up and maybe even fake it a little until all parties are willing and able to have a reasonable conversation?

Expressing emotions is healthy and necessary, but we also need to know how and when it’s best to just take a step back while still facing the problem or issue (person) in question.

This offers space and objectivity in difficult situations—basically, a break.

Then when we’re ready we can step back in with fresh ears.

We now may more easily have an audience, but the flip side of this is that we have more responsibility to participate as attentive audience members as well.

A negative consequence of this sharing and connection economy is that we tend to talk more than we listen.

Or maybe we have always been that way.

Either way, reservation need not be seen as a weakness. It can be an act of grace and a tool of empowerment if we approach it in it the right way.

Posted in Community, conflict, connection economy, mindfulness, Social networking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016: A Blank Canvas.

narnia street light

via Pinterest

Well here we are, rolling into 2016.

I had such high hopes for how things would be by now. Some things seems clearer, but life isn’t glamorous.

Today was spent going to all three of “my” houses, working a little, blocked out of Facebook, head mildly sore from last night’s gin and tonics over beautiful warm improv jazz. We did a shot of whiskey with the bartender, because Dawn is…well, Dawn. And that’s what happens in Montreal.

It’s his birthday, so I can’t help but think of him. But he’s just another person I need to not have in my life anymore.

I messaged J earlier to let her know that I’m still riding the amazingness that was 2013 and 2014 — not in an overly-nostalgic way, it’s just that those two nights will be hard to top, ever. I miss them — the times, the people. Everything.

Those were the most perfect nights.

I still haven’t found community here and it wears on me a little every day. I try to focus on how much beautiful space there is instead, but it’s hard.

So it’s 650p on NYE and I’m sitting in my new kitchen having just finished a salami sandwich with fresh Portuguese bun, drinking Scarlett’s leftover vodka with Orangina. Later I’ll try out my new teeny tub — it’s not much, but enough for me, for now.

I’m in one of the most amazing cities in the world, but with no desire to go out.

I just left the fabulous Esplanade ladies for the last time. It was nice to say goodbye to them properly, but it still feels like another failed relationship. They didn’t find anyone to take my place. Mr. Boo (the cat) returned after a day or two away, and I was glad that I got to give him a little love too.

I forgot to return the keys on the way out, then felt like an ass when I read the text but didn’t turn around — bad etiquette for the last day of the year, I know. But I promise(d) to drop them first thing tomorrow.

Trudging through the snow on the way home, awkwardly carrying the last remnants of that place, I stopped to look at an old style street light and thought of the Narnia books.

It was then that I felt the cold weight of my new alone-ness.

I’m in a fresh new space for myself: white walls, white snow outside. It’s new, it’s bright, it’s clear. This is my first time ever living alone without even a cat to come home to. It feels more intense than I expected.

I can finally unpack, unload.

I can breathe here. And that’s why I’m here…to breathe.

I have one white plate, one white bowl, a few glasses, and bits and pieces of cutlery…I like it like this. I’ll have to buy a few more dishes, but not much.

There’s a spot for everything, I’m not in anyone’s way (nor me in theirs) and I have exactly what I need. The bed is comfortable and the walls are stark…there is so much space to play with.

I’ve always been scared of a blank canvas; I tend to get indecisive sometimes if there’s no guidance. I see the joy in it too. This is the test for now.

I’m scared that I will be this alone forever. I really do not want to, but I’m also finding myself less and less able to offer energy to others. I guess I wasn’t ever that good at it. But the thing is that I want to be good at it. I want to share my life with another / others in a real way.

It just doesn’t seem to work. So I embrace it (again) in the hopes that this is (again) only a temporary and healing respite. And there’s work to do.

There’s color to add, food to cook, people to drop by.

Basically my resolution is to fill in the blanks in a way that is fulfilling. Like, I don’t want to have days that I want to end. There have been too many of those lately. That’s no way to live, feeling like that.

Will I do it, for real, this time?

Will I fill in my life with actual, proper, full on joy in a way that I never have?

~

“Trouble
Oh trouble please be kind
I don’t want no fight
And I haven’t got a lot of time.” ~ Cat Stevens


 
~

“Oh take me home
Let me go all day
Just be here til I know
Til I know that the riot’s gone, the riot’s gone away .”  ~ Santigold

 

Posted in Introverting, Moments, Uncategorized, well being | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Better Way to Body Love.

nude woman black

via afunkydamsel at Flickr

Imagine what it would be like if we all grew up with a sound understanding of how to be mindful and loving towards and within our bodies—to schedule the right amount and type of movement every day, to make time fore restorative and relaxing self-care, to let go of body judgement, and to connect with others on this in a supportive, non-judgemental way.

For many of us, pain, illness, food intolerance, depression and fatigue are signals that our bodies are out of balance.

Perhaps this is our bodies screaming:

Have you forgotten about me?

When did we stop listening—I mean really paying attention—to what our bodies were telling us? Why do we think it’s okay to simply ignore such things, to not love, or even like, ourselves entirely?

How did we forget how precious these bodies of ours really are?

The problem, I think, is that most of us never learned to love ourselves this deeply at all—there’s just no room. Life gets in the way. We work 9-5, rush to work, come home bagged, cook dinner or eat out, maybe squeeze in a workout, some social time or a hobby, party or relax on the weekends. Add kids to that mix and our schedules are filled with—well, many things that don’t include real opportunities for us to just sit and listen.

If such activities were incorporated into our lives from the getgo, I’m guessing that we would be so much better off spiritually, energetically and psychologically.

Well, it’s never too late to re-write your story.

Rewrite Your Body is an innovative, affordable, self-paced digital workshop geared towards learning into tune into our body and reframe our relationship to it. Through a variety of exercises and via some fabulous guest teachers, participants have the opportunity to really dig into some core issues body issues facing far too many of us today.

I took the course because I battle with fatigue, depression and minor ailments on a regular basis. I’d been feeling isolated and unmotivated in a new city. I was (am) lonely, and it shows in the way that I’m treating myself: when I’m disconnected from my body, I’m disconnected with most other elements of my life.

For me, the course offered fun, real ways to step into a new type of relationship with our bodies. Clearly we need something more than the “cut calories and hit the gym” method to help us feel healthier and better about ourselves. At least, that doesn’t work for me, partly because I don’t love the gym, but mostly because there is a lot more going on with me and my body.

There is a lifetime of negativity inside to unlearn.

So just choosing to take this course—that intention—was me accepting the fact that I needed to do something new and different in my quest for a lifetime of core self-love, focus and empowerment.

Learning our body stories is complex, and each of our stories is unique. So, this is fun, but it’s also work. Don’t take the course unless you are ready to ask and answer some pretty tough questions about your body. This is not so much about how our bodies “look,” but how we can learn to work with ourselves from the inside out to find greater joy and acceptance in life.

I loved how the course made a point of questioning and examining assumptions that we have about our bodies and even the activities we choose. For instance, we had the privilege of working with Dianne Bondy who encourages us to examine our perception of a “yoga body.” Her beginner yoga session was a perfect opportunity for me to take a step back and be gentle, rather than forcing my body into uncomfortable distortions in a room crammed full of heavily sweating bodies and hating what I saw in the mirror.

Her gentle video session made me feel much more at ease with myself than those hot yoga classes have lately.

No matter how “advanced” we are, some days we just need to come back to a peaceful space and start simply, at the beginning.

“In order to understand the mind-body connection, we must first begin to view our body (and our lives) holistically.” ~ Zachary H. Avery

Zachary reminded us that this re-building of relationship will take time and patience, since we have to understand our bodies stories first before starting the process of re-writing.

The course showed me that this type of healing and care issn’t about the future; it’s about what we are doing, in action, right now, and how we can incorporate these things on a regular basis to re-build the broken connections between mind, spirit and body.

I was reminded of how important it is to learn to just be with myself, in this body in a way that feels right for me. This means touching in regularly to hold ourselves in a positive space, both literally and figuratively.

This is probably the best gift that we can give ourselves—even if it’s just five minutes a day.

Imagine how different life would be if we just created more space to tune in and understand the ways in which our body relationships frame every element of our lives—there is so much depth here that all too often goes ignored.

There is clearly a desperate need for us to get back in touch with ourselves, and Kate’s course is a perfect place to begin and continue. Thank you Kate and crew for offering such a sweet array of accessible and empowering tools to help us understand ourselves in a new light.

Here’s to us all finding new ways to love ourselves on this journey.

 

 

Posted in Community, Creating, fat shaming, fitness, Food, Health, Love, mental health, mindfulness, self love, well being, writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment