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.

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!

Silence Serves

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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.

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Life only needs a crack to thrive.

Aside

Escorted to Energy!!! BeerBread Included.

Whow!

I am surprised by my level of energy right now. I feel bright, focused, awake, excited.

I haven’t been exercising as much, eating more bread and other less supportive foods, and last night had some delicious muffins, beer bread* (woo!) and other snacks late at night. For the most part I’m noticing that this type of behavior leads to less energy for me.

I went to bed with positive affirmations for myself. (It’s okay, I’m fine, I’m doing great. I love my life. It’s all working out. I will feel great tomorrow. Even if I’m still a little sick, it’s not big deal. I am moving closer and closer to more and more brightness in my life.) That sort of thing. Woke feeling pretty good, not exactly in the mood to exercise, but put on a 20 minute yoga video, a nice compromise. (Myyogaonline.com  $10 a month!) Then I decided to get on the elliptical that’s right there next to me. Just 10 minutes I told myself, better than nothing. Well I got on there, put in my headphones, and YouTubed a new band my friend told me about last night. Escort. Woo! Ended up doing 20 minutes. Finally got myself back to that sweaty strong place that actually feels good.

Next, I ate some organic raspberries and blueberries (Yes they’re expense, but soooo good and I’ve been craving them lately so am assuming my body will really benefit right now!) Then I JUICED 4 large carrots, half a lemon, big chunk of ginger, and one apple. Yummm.

And magic. I am literally surprised by how BRIGHT I feel right now.  

Thus I am locking in this Positive Diet routine for myself.

Positive Affirmations 
Exercise
Berries and Juicing
Positive Music
Positive People (last night’s activities)

*Beer bread.   I didn’t realize I was eating beer bread until a few slices in.  Once I knew, I had this moment of suspecting there was still alcohol in the bread. A feeling of relaxed giddiness came over me. Omg, I think I’m a little drunk! I had this itty-bitty thought (because really I knew there was little to NO alcohol in the bread). But I actually had a visceral response of feeling buzzed, merely because I THOUGHT I may be…..