An Invisible Fence

IF  dog

OpenField

Today I came across an invisible dog fence.

Small electric shocks teach a dog to stay within a perimeter.  However, after a few weeks the signal is turned off and the invisible fence no longer exists.  The dog is free to go, yet remains based on its memory of the pain.

Many boundaries exist to keep us safe and happy.  In this situation the boundary may prevent the dog from getting hit by a car.  Parents create boundaries so children can learn to function and thrive in the world.

However, there are many boundaries that no longer serve a purpose.  The fence has been turned off, and you’re free to roam.

Yet we stay behind the fence, in fear of pain.

Somewhere along the line I learned that authority knew better and I couldn’t trust myself.  I learned that if I did make a mistake or do things differently, I would suffer a consequence.

When I was in 8th grade I snuck out with my friend and her older sister. We walked to the local high-school in the middle of the night and met up with some other high school boys.  We climbed a fence and went swimming in the school pool.  The cops showed up and my parents were called to pick me up.  I suffered a month of what felt like debilitating consequences in addition to the sternest lectures soaked with disappointment.  Following this I endured years of mockery from my family anytime I climbed another fence.  Of course my parents were looking out for my safety, especially as I approached my high school years. I totally understand their decision and appreciate all they’ve done for me.

Whether or not this moment had a huge influence or not, somewhere along the way I developed a fear of failure, of making mistakes, of being corrected, of looking stupid, of appearing ill-equipped.  I have therefore restrained myself with tension and worry and retreated to less-challenging environments or when in a new situation, relied on the thoughts and opinions of others. I lost my trust for my own instinct, intellect, and ability.

However, the longing to love life persists and has called me forth. Through my engagement with yoga and coaching, and my quest for knowledge and understanding, I have gained the tools and courage to again approach the invisible fence.

The new paid position I hold has challenged me in many ways. I’m new and don’t know all the rules yet, so I am forced to either make decisions on the spot, or constantly put things off and wait for a supervisor or veteran staff’s approval.

But this time has been different. I’ve noticed the flexing of fear and given it space. I’ve relaxed, and continually regrouped. I decided to start running through those invisible fences left and right. I’ve decided to make decisions on my own.

What have I noticed as a result? First of all, most of the time there are no shocks whatsoever. And if there are shocks, they fade quickly and are overshadowed by my growing sense of confidence and understanding of my role and abilities.

Seeing the fence sign tonight has affirmed my current path and encouraged me to keep going, to keep showing myself that the shocks no longer exist.

Advertisements

Trading Pints of Beer for Pints of Ben&Jerry’s

What is it about my life that has kept me on that path?  How come I am able to Begin Again and maintain healthy routines?  I know what it’s like to feel under the spell of food, sweets, and coffee, and why am I able to pull myself away?

My theory right now is that I am able to come back to the path because I have been here before.  And the more time I spend feeling the positive effects of living my life a certain way, the more likely I am to come back to it.  Having the experience of feeling alive in my mind, body, soul is most important.

Therefore, putting myself in a structured experiment of living a certain way is very important and does serve.  ‘Forcing’ myself to eat a certain way for a month, and therefore reap the benefits is what is going to help me come back to this lifestyle if I stray.

Again I am reminded of the importance of PRACTICE.  Living a healthy lifestyle takes practice.  Begin again, begin again, begin again.

What beliefs am I stepping into today?

I love taking care of my body.
I love eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
I am passionate about sticking to my goals thus I only eat sweets once in a while.
I love moving my body, I am passionate about moving my body, I move my body as much as I can via yoga, running, stretching, acro, gymnastics, dance, hooping, walking, conditioning, anything!

Feeling energized, focused, awake, happy, relaxed, able, strong is so important to me and so attainable that I easily and happily eat vibrant fresh food, move my body often, meditate, and maintain routines.

This video pumps me up!! Focus on a goal!

Sober Evolution

Big realization about my relationship with alcohol!

Annnd RoadTrippin, lovin life 🙂

 

(Filmed this last week)

 

 

Day 2 Sugar Free Treat- Raw Honey

Raw honey on a spoon. Gorgeous texture, a comforting experience, sweet, tasty. And I feel good about putting this food in my body. Honey is full of vitamins, good for digestion, and soothing for the throat. Thank you bees!!

Having this conversation with Jordan got me thinking more specifically about sugars. Why is CANE sugar, or refined/processed sugar worse for me than sugar from honey or maple syrup? The cane plant is a plant… that’s all natural right? Is it the processing that creates the problem? Maple Syrup goes through some processing…. And I’ve heard of ‘beet sugar’, how does this one measure up? Something to look into….
If you have any thoughts or knowledge on this topic- would love to hear them!

Video

Silence Serves

IMG_6938IMG_6871

I got sick, and lost my voice-COMPLETELY.  A whole day of no talking, and about 5 days now with a hoarse voice.

The universe has spoken and it has said: Shut Up.

I’VE BEEN SILENCED! What the heck. Soooo interesting.  A whole new experience of life. I spent an afternoon with my mother, who I don’t see often.  I was completely silent.  I listened.  I paid very close attention.  We drank tea on the porch.  I smiled and nodded.  I followed her in the garden.  I used signs/gestures when needed. (I have a whole new appreciation for Charades! Why wait for game night?) IMG_6863 I then went to a gathering of friends-some of whom I rarely see, most of whom I went to high school with.  And I was the quiet one. AND the sober one. This is an entirely new way to experience a group of friends.  I listened and watched closely.  I noticed that in the beginning, there wasn’t much I wanted to say anyway- which is a pattern I’ve realized about myself- and had been ‘struggling’ with.  Losing voice gave me an ‘okay’ to be that person. I found a new peace with being the quiet person.  I also noticed tension when I wasn’t able to validate what someone was saying (Ya, totally, MmHmm,).  Apparently this is very important to me.

And most of all, during all this watching, paying attention, holding back…. I noticed a flood of good sensation deep in my chest.  Pure love pouring in and out.  Love and appreciation for my mother, for my friends.  I saw them as the most precious beings on the planet.  Doing their part.  Playing their roles.  Expressing all their little unique quirks and ways of being.  Perfect the way they are.  Filled with gratitude to know them and spend time with them.   IMG_6920 With my friends I also gained insight into the way I show up in a group.  I noticed where I still held tension and anxiety. I noticed the patterns of self-talk going on in my head.  I identified patterns that no longer serve me, that I can let go of.  And I identified aspects of myself I really love, and want to nourish more!IMG_6926 This is the spiritual practice.  To notice, and then to keep flowing, and to flow from love and with love.  I allow the little blips (oops, that was awkward/unneeded, Oh well, keep going) and to keep flowing, accepting each moment, allowing it to come and go, so I can be completely open and ready for the next moment.  And when I can, I feel so much love, and experience more creativity in the way I show up, and more appreciation for others and how they show up.
Silence helped me see this.
Unfortunately I got sick and lost my voice.
Fortunately this silence brought me closer to myself and the world.

IMG_6941

Life only needs a crack to thrive.

Aside

Mindfulness Matters Most!

sutra chocheat

 

NOT eating treats is one very interesting experiment.  Strengthening willpower.  Having a different experience in my body.,  ANOTHER interesting experiment is eating treats and then staying grounded, staying present and mindful, watching myself objectively.  Can I find my positivity despite the uncomfortable physical sensations often associated with coffee/sugar??? Can I be more powerful than the sugar and how it makes me feel? This is an interesting perspective to try on.

Treats are here as a beautiful part of the human experience! I love finding ways to integrate them into my life in a positive way…

 

Video

Job/Success Anxiety?

I really appreciate this conversation around SUCCESS and job anxiety.  I’ve noticed that at times I compare myself to others, based on a traditional view of  ‘job success’, using it make myself feel better or worse. Seems automatic… and overall definitely not serving. It is not the way I want to keep functioning. When I intentionally reflect on my life… I see HUGE success in areas that are really important to me.

I have done so much exploring and pushing of my own boundaries. I’ve gone places, tried new things, talked to different people, put myself out there.  I have a nourishing and evolving relationship with food. I have paid attention to this world and often feel very connected to the magic and mystery, the awe and wonder.  I’ve taken great care of myself, taking responsibility for my self and my actions. I’ve made great friends and great connections. I am a kind person.  I’m following my heart and have discovered deep beauty in this world. I pay attention, I respond, I live intentionally, I work hard, I take care of myself, I am open, I am loving. I am so grateful I have developed these parts of myself and when I compare myself to my own values, I feel great!! Go me! ❤

Alain mentions that we are also a human-worshipping society.  For most of history, societies have a god or outside force they worship. Therefore our modern society turns to nature to get outside the human drama. How interesting that people find solace when focusing outside themselves…

AND I’ve found another powerful way to incorporate the benefits of focusing outside ourselves in addition to nature or a ‘god/spirit’.. I turn to my HigherSelf, my FutureSelf… I worship her, love her, live for her, believe in her… and now I visit her all the time!  When I put my focus on this vision of my ‘Best’ Self… I am slightly turning my attention outwards, and at the same time focusing on the positive, and also loving myself… all very helpful tools.  And the more I walk down this path, and do the work, I honestly find myself living from a place that feels so empowered, grounded, and connected. Living as my HigherSelf. Or some may say, channeling spirit, connected to god. 🙂

Alain says, you can’t have it all, you can’t have success in every area of your life, there is always a sacrifice somewhere. How can he be so sure????? Especially if I am the one deciding what success means…

Take Home Message
I decide what success means to me
Turning my attention to nature, an outside force, or my Higher Self provides a break from the beautiful human drama of achievement
In addition to finding solace in nature, or the concept of ‘spirit/god’ I turn to my vision of my HigherSelf/Future Self as a way to get outside my current drama, which in turn helps me feel more connected (grounded, empowered, inspired)…. more SUCCESSFUL! 🙂

Video