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fat

I feel like I’m wearing fifty pounds of sausage hanging off the front of me. I hate it. Its not new or anything. About three years ago, I started hating my body again. I don’t know what triggered it for sure but two things happened around that time. First, I found myself on a new cocktail of psychiatric medications. Second, I moved back in with my parents and began spending time with my family of origin after several years of estrangement.

I accuse them of upholding society’s impossible ideals about weight. They insist it’s the health issues that are important. When you lose the weight, annual bloodwork seems to clear up miraculously. No more high cholesterol. When we see each other we say, “Have you lost weight? You look fantastic!”

I’ve been shopping at Lane Bryant, the plus size women’s clothing store, since high school. I’ve always been big boned. The models back then were thin. The models now come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. I sit and stare at them and wonder, “Is it okay for me to be fat? What am I fighting and why?”

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flow

Something is happening in my body that I cannot quite explain. I spin around the same circles of neurosis. I practice yoga weekly and with my full attention and dedication. During yoga, I feel movement internally and energy shift. I do not usually feel emotions.

About a week ago, I was feeling especially anxious and prayed silently to relieve this pattern of spinning. A few days later, I awoke feeling more present and centered. The spinning had been alleviated.

As a practitioner of craniosacral therapy, I have experienced the release of energy cysts, core to the modality. Energy enters the body as physical or emotional trauma, the body responds with the attempt to assimilate the energy. What cannot be assimilated is walled off as an energy cyst.

I suspect what is happening is the release of energy cysts as a result of yoga. My constant concern with discipline has subsided. I am feeling more joyful and energetic.

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desire is the root of all suffering

I learned this wisdom in my early twenties experiencing Ram Dass’ “Be Here Now.” The book explained the entire process of finding happiness through Buddhism.

Now, twenty years later, I wonder how I came to believe that everything beneficial to my body-mind-spirit is suffering. Now I am loving yoga but still feel like meditation is suffering if you’re doing it right. In yoga class last week the teacher demonstrated using balance poses that there is always movement in stillness.

I’ve been a perfectionist again, believing that I could sit for 20 minutes and still my body-mind-spirit completely.

According to Buddha, the basic cause of suffering is “the attachment to the desire to have (craving) and the desire not to have (aversion)“. From that we learn “detachment.” Detachment leads to flow which lessens suffering.

I have to find it all within. Perhaps that is the honest, humble path to a daily committed meditation practice. It’s not in food or any addiction. All pleasure, all creativity, all passion, is generated within.

From my place of white, American privilege in the world’s scheme, I am overwhelmed daily by ounces of fluid gratitude, oozing like honey down and through me.

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apparently, I’ve taken a turn

I was obsessing about meditating. It was causing me more harm than good. I spoke with my therapist and he thinks I should find calm, centering (my words, not his) things to do that I enjoy. I wrote a note to myself in 2017, “Do it because it gives you that peaceful feeling.” That’s been my inspiration for getting to yoga at least once a week. Yoga makes me feel good, while I’m doing it and after I do it. Meditation was stirring up angst and didn’t feel good.

I go back to read blog posts and pages I created in fall 2018 and I’m amazed at what a sharp turn I’ve taken.

My parents and I traveled to Mobile, Alabama for Mardi gras 2019. We went to two parades and were wowed and overwhelmed with beads and other goodies thrown at us from the floats. The best part of the whole trip was meeting two women, friends of my mom. They met traveling to Costa Rica and Peru as part of a group. The two women were the greatest world travelers I’ve ever met. They had been just about everywhere and had vibrant, strong memories of each place and what made it special. It was a real lesson in life adventures, Mobile for the first time, Mardi gras for the first time, and the bonus of making new friends.