“How does one become a butterfly?" she asked. "You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” Trina Paulus

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

From Pumpkin Bagels to Beauty Pageants (and maybe a Mammogram in between)


Some days when I get to the end of the day, it seems like the morning was weeks away… I started the day trying not to beat myself up and I ended the day with tears of pride in my eyes at the courage and charisma of one amazing young lady….Rewind to one year ago when this spunky little firecracker walked into my office…she wanted to be a Big Sister and she was running for Miss Dixie (Homecoming Queen at DSU)…and she wanted Big Brothers Big Sisters to be her platform….We talked about her apprehension and her anxiety…. But she faced her fears and she worked her heart out, and she was crowned Miss Dixie 2013-14
The past year I’ve watched her dance her way through many obstacles…she has stepped into the role of recruiting and sharing the BBBS message, she has been an outstanding Big Sister…her Little has become like a real little sister.  I have seen Shaelie shine when they are together… and I’ve seen her Little become more confident and sure of her own value… I’ve been involved in many events over the last 12 months, and every time I ask her to come and support…she has never hesitated.  I love when she wears her crown, she shines like the jewels on her head…she has done the crown proud.  I love to watch the children want to be near her, and have their pictures taken with the “princess”, the way she makes each child feel important and special…and come to think of it, that’s how she makes everyone around her feel.  She has that special spark inside her that outshines even the jewels in her crown. 

Tonight as I watched her on the stage, I couldn't help but smile….she was in her element…she was pure joy… knowing her, I knew she felt vulnerable, but she stepped into the arena… She danced with grace, she spoke with confidence and humor, she sang with rich melody…. I thought tonight of that sweet spunky girl I met a year ago and although I could see her peek out in certain moments, the young woman I watched tonight had grown into a polished beautiful queen.  And as I know giving up the crown brings much apprehension and is bitter sweet, I know the real crown she wears is never gone… she has much light to bring this world and many lives to touch… and though it might not be visible to the ordinary eye, the crown she wears still sparkles brightly beyond even her own comprehension.  

I need kick boxing this week, so I can stop beatin myself up

Day two of sleeping through my gym time... I lost my momentum and beating myself up... so instead of staying on that path...I decided to let the morning disappointment go and take a deep breath and think about what's right in my life....
1. Sometimes when you hold in your tears, your eyes have a different idea and they release those water droplets anyway...
2. When you talk to God in the shower...sometimes your ipod shuffle on the way to work, tells you that He loves you through beats, and words...
3. When you just need something to lift you up... Pure Bliss from Perks! helps in just the right way (and the Barista's smile just adds the whipped cream on top when you have to say "hold the whip") 
4. When its Fall and you just need one extra nudge... a pumpkin bagel with pumpkin cream cheese can start the day off right...
5. Singing all the way to work, and laughing when my notes don't match the artist...
6. Breathing in the cooling Fall air
7. Choosing to feel happy and love my self even when I mess up, but at the same time, holding myself accountable for the choices and making a shift.
8. Knowing that no matter what... I have people in my life who love and support me just as I am no matter my size, my different views, my crazy ways, and even hold me up and remind me when I forget to love myself.
9. There is a new moment...now...and now...and now... just hold on and love me!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Courage to be Imperfect

This week has been so hard for me physically... I took a few days off work for my birthday then I'm working 45+ hours the next four days after that... I'm trying not to beat myself up for the lack of workouts... My normal reaction is to quit it all together... to give up... but I'm choosing to give myself a little break... to know I can start over on Monday... that because I feel worn out doesn't mean that is for always...So I didn't want to blog because I felt like I was a disappointment, so I made myself write... 
So I decided to write about my imperfection this week... to have the courage to be imperfect that I still love myself for what I have done this week and for what I haven't done...that I love me for being me...for shutting down the voices sooner... for not listening to the people trying to guilt me... for knowing I'm doing the best I can in this moment...My friend gave me a challenge that "I'm a shadow on the wall"  and then he asked me what the wall was.... as I looked inside me for the answers, I realized that my wall is fear... that when the light shines on me, my shadow shows on the wall... I move to the fear...that instead of shining in the light and turning my face to feel the warmth of the light... I have turned to the fear and let my shadow become bigger....but today I'm shifting just a little toward the sun... I'm forgiving myself for my lack, and focusing on what i can do different...I'm closing my eyes, lifting my face to the light, taking a deep breath, and enjoying the warm...


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Its My Party...I can Dance if I want to....

Wow today I am 48... as I opened my eyes and looked around my semi dark room, I smiled... I have a new year... a whole new start, what will 48 look like for me?  Before I completely moved from sleep to wake, I talked to my mama...those moments are when I can easiest connect to her... I thanked her for this life she gave me, even though I wasn't conceived at an opportune time for her... and I didn't make her life an easy ride... God knew that I needed this mama to be in my corner...that she would love me beyond all doubt even when at times she wasn't sure if she liked me.... I miss her everyday...but especially today when we had our journey together of bringing me into this life... As we both pushed and pained to bring me here, it was the start of a ride of crazy and beautiful waves....
So I decided to start this birthday with a smile, and I watched a recorded Super Soul Sunday episode to start it right, then I got dressed in my workout clothes and I headed to the gym (I wanted to skip because its my birthday...I can skip right?, but I decided in this new year I am given, I will make better choices for my health) So I pulled up to "Group Power" class, whatever that was gonna be... I walked in and got all the gear (well some of the gear cuz I didn't know the drill)... I felt happy to see my old friend "the step" thinking 'oh this is familiar' ... and I grabbed a bar and some weights... 
As the class started I had those familiar feelings of feeling like the new kid who didn't know the routine... and everyone seemed so confident... but I kept my mind chatter to a minimum... And I focused on lifting... I felt weak but at the same time, I felt strong... I felt my muscles burn and I knew that they were under there...they were aching to move and burn and gain strength again... I knew how they felt, because I too ached to gain strength and be strong ...
About 3/4 of the way through class, as I lifted weights I noticed that where I stood, the sun shone through into my eyes... at first I moved and was bugged "why does the sun have to be in MY eyes...then I smiled and I changed my thought ... I closed my eyes and thought "God is reminding me that he still shines on me, that he's wishing me Happy Birthday too!" That I'm blessed to feel the Sun!  
I as lay on the step for ab work, I closed my eyes, and I reminised again to my other gym days, where I wasn't the new girl, where I had "my pack" my village of people who held me up... and I felt sad and alone...but I'm really trying to realize that I'm a good lone wolf for now, that I will find my niche, my group, my pack...and even if I don't I am strong and I can do this anyway...

And today my sister posted the following picture... at first I felt embarrassed...then I decided to embrace it... I danced in the corner window at my nieces wedding, and the people below stared and my family giggled...and I felt free, cuz this is me...my crazy, goofy, self... no matter my size... I am me...I am wild and free.... (plus my sister kept paying me to dance ... so I can say now that I'm a professional right?)  Sometimes your family and friends, and especially your children need to see you dance with wild abandon...like no one is watching, or everyone is watching...that its okay to let go and be you.... regardless of others reaction... so this year... I am dancing, and I am singing and I am me! Happy 48th year to me! 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

One, Two, Hook, Up....

Yep I made it up again today... was a little late (that seems to be a theme right?) so I was in the back and was trying not to make eye contact to share a bag with my last kickboxing buddy... After Tuesdays horrible, awful, cray cray day... I was trying to not talk and just concentrate on keeping my mind in check... So it was going pretty good, then here I go looking in the mirror- do they have to be the whole side of the room?  My first though was who is that hobo in the back at kickboxing...then I realized it was me...did I dress in the dark? Oh well... punch, jab, kick... just concentrate on the beat of the music and the instructions... 
oh no, oh no...she notices me... the instructor is coming back here...don't make eye contact, keep punching... "Hey there's an open side to a bag up front" I smile "Oh Thanks!"... Really?  up front... right next to the mirror??? ugh... oh well... there's a goal right, I'm here for a purpose... "I can CHOOSE Courage, or I can Choose Comfort... 
So here we go up front... and as we change the routine... we punch Jab, Cross, Hook, Upper Cut... and as we move faster and get our rhythm... She starts ...one, two, hook, up... we all start chanting and as I move and chant I hear it... 1, 2, HOOK UP... I start to giggle inside... that's hilarious (yes I might have the humor of a 12 yr old boy sometimes, most times...ok alot) but then I start to think of a conversation with my friend Kaysha yesterday... on being single, and dating, and finding love... the fun and the pain of it... looks of pity (or is it envy) on the faces of people who ask "are you seeing anyone?" Like single is a disease, like being alone is a defect.... but it is a topic in the forefront of most discussions... So thanks for the encouragement Kickboxing teacher... and Kaysha maybe that recommended internet dating site is the new answer- go ahead check it out  ... follow her lead ONE, TWO, HOOK UP!  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sometimes spin sucks... And other stuff



(Disclaimer: My spin instructor Rebecca is amazing.. The following story doesn't reflect her class)This post is a day late cuz the pain lingered longer this time... Is week 2 normally harder? 
Waking up wasn't easy... The talking myself out of going was loud... But I went... I never knew an hour (ok 55 min cuz I was late) could feel like an eternity, that I could want to leave so much. Everything was hard... Most of the music felt like hell in a speaker... Luckily it was loud so my cussing couldn't be heard over it. My beautiful friend Jessamy was on her bike ....And it looked so easy for her that I wanted to push her bike over (but I love her so I let her stay up right)    I kept peddling... Not up to speed... But I kept peddling. My mind was racing faster than my legs... Negative self talk was amped to pounding beat...
If I was talking to you the way I was talking to me-you wouldn't be my friend today... But I can't leave myself so I just gotta apologize and forgive myself.... But the good news is the cool down song was Guru Ram Das by Nirinjan... Which calms me, I got some girlfriend chat time after, and when I got in my car Jodeci came on... Now that's gotta make up for it... 
I'm not gonna pretend that the rest of the day was rainbows and butterfly's cuz it was a tough day all around ... Culminating with my granddaughter throwing up all over us... But with the struggle of the day... I saw flashes of beautiful light- penny from heaven, grand baby smiles, my redheaded daughter play with her heart and soul & score the most beautiful goal, feather from heaven, Sean's song, mamas song... 2 soccer wins... 
It's hard sometimes to see the light when it seems dark... But squint a little harder, it's there. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week Two: rump shakin... soul shakin

Today was hard to get up, I'm not sure if it was the weekend off working out or just the thought of actually staying committed to something good for me.  This was the hardest day so far to actually get myself there, but I snapped into the groove pretty quick... it helps to run into a friendly face on the way in.
As the music played and I started to loosen up, I got a smile on my face... as we do a grapevine kinda move it reminded me of my days at the old Desert Palms... when I used to be addicted to step aerobics... as my body moved I giggled inside thinking of my gym friends Kelly, Pam, Jana, Linda, Adele and our outfits---bright biker shorts with one piece thong leotards... and man could Deb Torres make some great outfits... Teaching Aqua... and kids at the daycare... Perry always joking and making the atmosphere fun...  
As I caught onto the moves this morning I noticed a few things... my hips remember the beat faster than my feet... I can still shake my booty, there's just more to shake... twerking is acceptable at Zumba, and actually preferred at times... I felt good today... I felt happy and alive...and even though I joked "is it over yet" at 30 min in, I really was sad when it was over.  
I looked around the room... I know I'm talking alot about my journey and the crazy thoughts in my head, but as I looked around in some women's eyes, I remembered that we all have a story, and we all beat ourselves up, and we all just want to be valued.  So regardless of our shape and our sizes, and regardless of our reason for getting our fannies up for the 5:30 class--- we are all human and we all want to be valued.  
And to top it off, the cool down song was Try by Colbie Caillat... and as I stretched my body... I listened ...
You don't have to try so hard
You don't have to, give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don't have to change a single thing
Look into the mirror, at yourself
Don't you like you?
'Cause I like you

And I thought of all the times I close my eyes and don't make eye contact with myself in the mirror... but then I thought again of the commitment I made even before I started the physical work... I was driving down the highway and I thought of the feelings we have when we are in love, especially the twitter-patted first parts of love... and I thought about myself... I made a choice in that moment that I would feel that way about me... that I would fall in love with me, all of me, the crazy, the silly, the broken, the naive, the foolish parts, the heavy parts... all of me... that I would get butterfly's in my stomach and adrenalin thinking about me and my possibilities and my today and tomorrow.  So when I went home from the gym today to get ready for work, I looked in my eyes and I saw her, I really saw her... the soul that is me... and ya know what I adore her and I cherish her... I believe in me.