Category Archives: Body Image

Trapped in a Big Fat Trap

Very recently, I’ve realized something that I have felt for a very long time. I’m in a trap. A trap that I’ve obviously constructed with great care and precision but haven’t been able to step out of no matter how hard I work on myself. I’ve articulated this through some tune-up therapy sessions with a remarkable psychologist here in Sedona and was able to express how big this is for me. In all of my many lifetimes, the collective experiences, exhaustive nuances of emotion, endless thoughts, and activities have created a near-constant sense of claustrophobia or “stuckness” inside of me. I feel trapped. Alot. And, like any trapped animal, hmmm…well, I fight it. In fact, I often feel like I’m chewing a leg off to get free, but free of what?

So, I’ve been drilling into what this idea of being trapped means and why it seems to be coming to a head in this life now. And, believe you me, it’s coming to a serious head right now. I’ve been looking at what these ideas mean for my lovely body. I’ve been asking myself why I often carry an underlying current of anxiety and unease that is closely tied to feeling stuck. I’ve been asking if I am in fact really stuck or is this such a common refrain with me that I’ve gotten used to it and believe that I am stuck. I’ve also been able to isolate that feeling trapped is a “theme”, in most (if not all) of my lives; this feeling is not new to me at all; it’s very familiar, though it feels like it hasn’t been so sharply outlined until now.

I’ll give you an example of one of my more recent lives where I felt so incredibly trapped, I invented a way out of that life at an early age, because I just couldn’t take the pressure, pain, and confinement anymore. In the mid 1800s, I was in a convent in England. Both of my parents had died. At age 12, I was shipped off to live with the nuns in the countryside. I was unruly, loud, restless (hmmm…sensing another life theme here, too?!), disobedient, and constantly punished by the nuns for being so wild and disruptive. Eventually, the nuns grew so tired of my outbursts and having to scold me all of the time that they sent me to live out in the barn with the goats and other animals, where a mute nun named, Mary took care of me and raised me alongside the goats. Mary and the goats were the highlight of that entire lifetime. Anyway, at age 15, I was “purchased” by an older wealthy man, a total stranger, and he moved me to France where he then proceeded to rape me as soon as the carriage pulled up in front of the house. He impregnated me immediately and at age 16, I died horrifically in childbirth.

This is just one of many examples from my past of being confined, stuck, powerless, and abused. And, lest you think what happens in our past lives does not influence the present-day life, think again. It’s all in there, recorded inside of our souls, and it’s all exerting influence whether you believe in this stuff or not. It comes out. It finds a way.  And, oh, mama, is it ever coming out in my life now. In this particular life, I’ve felt:

  • Trapped in a family of angry, dysfunctional people
  • Trapped by poverty and circumstance
  • Trapped in my jobs
  • Trapped by workaholism
  • Trapped in a body that hasn’t been my ideal (until the last 20 years or so)
  • Trapped in relationship
  • Trapped by my own thoughts, feelings, and need for expression
  • Trapped by my ego
  • Trapped by my desires
  • Trapped in an existence that has long-ceased being fun
  • Trapped by societal rules, regulations, gender definitions, and codifications for behavior
  • Trapped by friendships and other people’s expectations of me
  • Trapped by my rampant anxiety
  • Trapped by religion
  • Trapped by a psychic ability that scares the livin’ crap out of me and which I greatly stifle

On and on and on….

In this life, I’ve felt huge resistance to being in yet another body, being in yet another difficult and painful incarnation. I’ve often felt chained to my psychology, bound by my emotional struggles, glued-in-place by yet another abysmal childhood, and suffocated by my intensity. Many times in this life, I’ve turned my eyes heavenward and pleaded with Source/Creator/All-That-Is to release me from this earthly trap. I’m still here. Healthy as a horse. Yes, even with over 20 lung embolisms (in both lungs) in 2012 and a clot the size of Kansas in my right leg, plus six surgeries in three weeks to treat the effects of the clots, I’m still friggen’ here. Trapped. Always caged. Always bound to the earth plane. Always suffering. And, the worst (best?) part of it: always painfully aware, awake, full-feeling, and unavoidably sober. I cannot escape this. I cannot go back to numbing myself (like in past lives). I cannot take the edges off. I cannot get relief except by walking through the fire and burning in it. And, oh, how I burn.

trap

So, why this realization and revelation now? Why is this such a strong sense in me now? What does it mean for my beautiful, long-suffering body now? What can I do about it? What does this situation need from me to shift it? How do I shift this? As you can see, my questions are copulating like bunnies and making even more questions. Maybe it’s partly due to my age. I’m 49 and rabidly menopausal. So, maybe some of these feelings are just what “women do at this time in their lives”. But, what does it all mean? Dunno yet. However, I can tell you that I have an urgency inside right now that is really strong. And, I feel trapped in my work/life situation.

The trapped thoughts/feelings are stemming from confining myself psychically, mentally, and physically. I’ve worked myself into a stupor for 30 years. I’m talking about 80+-hour weeks for 30 straight years. I’ve let life speed past me while I sat at a keyboard tapping out words for corporations and making them gobs of money while allowing myself to remain chained to their success instead of my own. I’ve not rested or relaxed or sat still. I’ve take only one formal vacation in my life (in 2010) where I left the country, but what did I do for most of the vacation? I worked in my hotel room. Work is my addiction, my distraction, my drug. Choosing “paying work” keeps me from doing my deeper self-work. It has distracted me from living in the deepest depths where I want (and don’t want) to be. It has kept me from drilling down on my “sensitivity”, my psychic ability.

Sure, I’ve gotten a crap-load of stuff done. I’m not a total slug. I have more energy than most and I have made tremendous strides on myself despite my work addiction. I’ve come a very long way, but right now, I’m feeling so, so stuck because of these commitments that I’ve made and “must see through”. Seriously, a very large part of me wants to move to a huge mountain, live in a tiny cabin, chop wood, grow vegetables, ride my Harley, work only when absolutely necessary, write my books, meditate, do yoga, and breathe. That’s it. I want to check out. I want to feel the earth, listen to the earth, be fully awake on the earth, and rest for my last 27-odd years here.

So, this week, I processed these thoughts/feelings with my awesome psychologist and he gently reminded me that “being trapped” is a thought that I am attaching to; it’s a “story” that I am identifying as reality, but it is not reality. I’ve been believing my thoughts about being trapped. So, the thoughts are the trap. Isn’t that interesting? But, the reality is: I am not trapped. I am free. I can walk away. I can change my circumstances. I can come and go. I can move. I can fly anywhere in the world, if I really want to, and I can do anything I want. What’s important is the feeling attached to the thought of being trapped. It’s what’s below the stories that I tell myself that is most important to trace and then understand. What’s the feeling? What’s below it? What’s causing the pain? Pause…pause…pause…

Sitting with it, I learned this: I feel HUGE fear and pain below the story of “being trapped”. Fear of taking true responsibility for myself, of standing up for myself, and speaking my truth. Why? Okay…go deeper…deeper…yep…right there…got it. When I stood up for myself in childhood, my mom physically and emotionally abused me. She routinely tried to destroy me over the twelve years that I lived with her and she tried in multiple ways. Other people in the past have done similar stuff to me, too. Feeling trapped is tied to this core of fear, pain, and mistrust. People sometimes hurt me when I stand up and tell them what I think, when I reveal my tender underbelly, when I get vulnerable. People have maligned and shamed my expression. People sometimes use my words against me later. People often judge and criticize me for my feelings. I’ve been hugely damaged when getting real and trusting others.

And, as an aside, like many people do, I’ve “shielded” with my body. I’ve used my body to keep people at bay, keep the world away from me, to keep people out of my tender core. My body has dutifully guarded my innards by being larger and denser. She’s been my “protector”. She’s been my insulator all of these years, my padding against the weapons people have waved at me and used on me. How I love my body for protecting me and doing exactly what I needed from her and couldn’t even openly articulate. I have the best body on this planet. I know it. She’s the best one.

Anyway, on the outside, I know that I want to stand up for myself because it means greater clarity and greater expansion as a consciousness, but when I do stand up for myself, I get stomped. So, inside is a huge feeling of being unable to stand up (trapped) to clear the way for my expansion because that comes with huge pain, familiar pain, unwanted pain. There. That’s it. This is all a natural reaction to past experiences and damage. I can identify with the thoughts that are a lie or I can go deeper and unearth what’s below the thoughts, which is the truth. The feelings are the truth. My feelings are here for a very good reason; they make perfect sense. The feelings never lie.The feelings are the path through the darkness.

Now, my real work comes. What to do with all of this? How to “act” in integrity and clarity around this revelation? How to invite understanding and communication with myself and others on this. How to heal this? I’m going to continue looking at it and going below the surface of the thoughts. For now, that is enough. When I can, I’m going to speak my truth to others and regardless of their reactions, I’m going to know that it’s enough for me to have spoken my truth. They do not have to accept me or my expression. They do not have to validate me. I do. I’m opening the trap and stepping from it. I’m walking into the unknown, into the soft air, into the arms of the mountain. I’m freeing myself.

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Body Poetry is Craaazy Cool!

Lately, I’ve been writing what I call Body Poetry and it’s pretty cool. What is Body Poetry?  It’s poetry that bubbles up from the body consciousness to the mind, not the other way around as is typical with writing poems.

This is how I do it. I sit for a few minutes, close my eyes, breathe deeply into my core, and ask my body to give me sensations, feelings, or words. I invite my body to talk with me. It takes a long time for me to center and still myself long enough to hear, really hear my body, and not trample what I’m receiving with my mind. But, I’m getting better at “hearing” my body with practice. Sometimes I get physical sensations in a particular area. I then zero in on that area and ask “What do you want to say to me? I’m listening.”

The first few things that came through me were really odd, like stream-of-consciousness stuff that seemed to have little coherence or meaning to my current circumstances; here’s an example of something that recently came from the area of my chest and ribs:

yellow curl
heart-scape sealed
grab air
nothing
float
closed

My heart said these things, or “breathed” these words to me as I meditated. I had to wait a while for the words to come up from my body and settle softly in my mind. It’s hard to describe what’s actually happening when I do this, but the words flit through me really fast from way deep in my body. I didn’t understand the meaning of the words that first came through me, but I made sure to hold them, welcome them, feel each one, and live there inside of them for a few minutes. Then, when I traced the words back down into my body, they were crowding my heart area and their meaning became clear. I realized that I had been guarding my heart toward someone because I was recently offended by them. At the time, my mind had quickly and dismissively characterized the whole episode as “their problem”, but when I held the feelings and traced them deeper, I found that my heart was actually still stunned and a bit sore from the exchange between us.

So, my heart’s message was one of curling inward, yellowing, and sealing off. In looking for a connection with the other person and getting nothing in return, my heart then went away with a residue of pain and carried this pain until I asked it to tell me what was going on. And, when I held the words and asked where they were from, the person’s image loomed up in my mind and my heart constricted. Ah-ha! To get this message from my heart was profound. To see that my heart has its own code, it’s own language, and its own presence, aside from the rest of me, was so moving. And, it’s only continuing to deepen as I continue to do this kind of work.

So, I’ve been practicing this a little each day. I can tell you this: My belly wants to and likes to speak. My belly often speaks of force, strength, will, and drive. It often holds a simmering impatience and irritation. But, staying with the static from my belly longer, reveals something else inside all of that bluster and bravado; there’s a supple tenderness, a wish to protect, a yearning to be really seen and considered and loved. And, oh, my Goddess, my belly loves to be touched! She asks for it all of the time. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve found that the loudest feelings are often covering up my more gentle ones; the loud stuff is masking my vulnerability. It makes sense, but until I actually “lived there” with a deep concentration, I was missing all of this.

I have a particular person in my life, whom I adore and who is energetically in my body alot. This person gives me unending pleasure to ponder, sift, feel, and hold inside. When I dial in and ask for belly emotion, his face sometimes looms up inside of my mind, and then I feel such body joy, such pointed awareness of his physicality, his “essence”.  I get chills and radiating blue electricity inside my core and can actually feel my Chi radiating outward; it’s so pleasing. He’s incredibly tangible and physical for me. So, with the help of my belly (and some attention from my mind also), I wrote this poem:

Wanting to gently pull from youjournal_pages
a confession
softly uttered
in the stillness

of
a never-ending night

the barely audible
but steady
timbre of your voice
carrying the weight
of a thousand years
inside it
carrying me open
and down into your
body
as you bare
who you are
at that moment
in the darkness
and use your
missives
to ease the
latches of
my core places
open and
loosen points of
light
into the eaves
where they breathe
and blink above us
like night on
the mountain
whispering
your name
through me
over and over.

This is my belly wanting deep recognition, a confession that he feels as much as I do; it’s a sweet, soft, and pure recognition of the fact that he and I have known each other before now; it’s a longing to hear his words about that experience, our experiences together, then and now. As he speaks, my body opens and becomes his body; parts of me that are usually hidden are gently unlatched and the light of those energies is freed into the corners and eaves of the room where they blink like stars in the night, on the mountain, which has its own messages and mantra. It’s about trusting that this person, whom I’ve let into my core is gentle enough and reverent enough to know what a big deal it is for me to have him there. Few people make it into my core, so this is a significant shift in my energy paradigm. To be honest, it scares the hell out of me to have someone so inside of me like this, so deep, and so prevalent, but my belly largely dictated this reality, so I’m going with it. I’m holding the energy despite my fear.

I think I wrote about this before, but some years ago, I had the pleasure of talking with a psychic that could receive messages from a person’s body parts. She told me that my left knee was unhappy about some of the things I had been saying about it to other people. I was stunned at first and then incredibly apologetic. I begged my knee to forgive me. I simply didn’t know that the body listens to us so intently and never regarded the body as having its own code, it’s own consciousness, its own “life” outside of me, the soul and psyche operating it. Well, I learned such a valuable lesson that day. The lesson has obviously stayed with me. The body poetry work that I’m doing now is an extension of that work from so many years ago. It’s delicious.

Today. These are the words that came from my body:

Heart says: “blue haze quiet longing”

Belly says: “sifting
memories through layers
touching
edges of meaning
holding you
holding you and me”

My left knee says: “walk into future”
My lower back says: “need change need”

Interesting. So, so interesting. I have a feeling that big shifts are coming for me. My body is telling me in advance. I can feel it coming and I’m ready! What about you? You wanna try this? Please do and leave some comments about your experience; or, better yet, write a guest post. Would L<3ve that!

An Open Letter to Your Body

My friend,

How are you? No, how are you really? I’ve been thinking about you so much these past few weeks and wondering if you can feel me. I’ve been wondering if, as you move through your day, you can feel my thoughts coming to you and moving over your being. Can you feel me: thinking, studying you, holding you in my mind, heart, and psyche?

So, as I’ve thought about you and your life, your bearing, and abundant presence, it only makes sense to reach out, tell you what’s going on for me, and hope that you can receive my words in all of the tenderness and adoration with which they were created. This is my love letter to you, body. Please…please take this in as deeply as you can.

You must know that when I see you, spirit in form, such sweet emotion rises through me. I gasp at your beauty, your contours, your radiance. It’s like you are lit from a fire that radiates outward in all directions. It’s staggering. I can see the light from you. I feel the energy of you, how you move, and where you hold yourself in. I do.

I can see what you carry and how you process the emotions and thinking of your caretaker. You, body, do such a wonderful job of processing what your caretaker hands you and you rarely complain until it becomes too big for you to parse in a healthy manner. I also see that when you receive what you need, you do not hold grudges; you heal, readily and look forward to the next adventure. You do such a good job of being ready and counted upon; it just delights me. I admire what you do with so little.

Further, I can feel when you struggle with the icy hand of hurt or when you bask in joy’s warm laughter. I can feel when you suffer or celebrate. I really feel you. I sometimes think that you can feel me, too. And, that makes me smile, suck the moment down into my body, hold it there sweetly while it spreads to the furthest reaches of my physicality, opening layers, penetrating the center of my molecules, touching, holding. Such riotous joy inside because of you. You, my friend, inspire me beyond description. I’ve written poems about you and how it feels to look at you. I’ve written pages and pages about you in my novel. I simply cannot get enough of you, body. I want more. I want more.

It’s our lot in life, isn’t it? That, despite what people believe, we are all intimately tied together in energy. We are all connected in the ether. There is no separation between any of us. Bodies register each other, don’t they? They know things the mind can never know. They handle things the ego can never evaluate, appreciate, or understand. Bodies are the gateway to the spirit. You know this. And, despite people’s reluctance to take ownership of their feelings and behaviors, our bodies always do. You, dear friend, do. So, this letter is to tell you what I see and hopefully give you a little boost if you need it or a quick pat if you are doing well.

I see a hardworking body doing the best, the very best, that it can to teach, receive, heal, help, grow, process, and protect. I see you working so hard. I see you doing exactly what is asked of you through your caretaker’s attention, beliefs, and choices. I see you accepting and accepting and accepting despite being largely unaccepted. You never waiver. You are a true, true friend, a solid partner in your caretaker’s growth and you receive so little recognition for the role you play in the expansion of their consciousness. But, you do the work, day in and out, year after thankless year. Well, I thank you.

I honor and accept your shape, your heft, your bearing, your light, and your darkness. I will never turn away from you in disgust no matter what you manifest. You are beautiful and don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise (including your caretaker). YOU ARE A MIRACLE of evolution, a masterful design, an inspiration. And, you are perfect. Please know your perfection because I see it every time I lay eyes on you and it makes me swoon.

Know that in me, you will always have the dearest friend. I love you, sweet body. I love you.

❤ BigLizzy

In a Famine, My A$$ Could Feed Me for Weeks

Make no mistake. My arse has a plethora of healing powers. Ask anyone who knows me. It’s a magic a$$. It’s an epic shelf of protection, the very source of my earthly powers. Ha!! I joke, but it’s literally a fact that due to my “largess” in the hindquarters region, I would outlive lots of people in a famine. I might even outlive the famine. Fat is a good thing. It nourishes, protects, heals, heats, and feeds. It’s necessary to life. We all have it.lizzys_tush

People often talk about the unhealthiness of being fat, but rarely do you see reports of the good that being a chunky-monkey can do for one in this world of ours. Well, I’m here to set the record straight (or, curvy as the case so clearly is for so many of us). Following are three pluses of being…well, plus.

one

Fat is actually healthy and being overweight leads to longer life for lots and lots of people. Being overweight is even cited as a boon for fertility, better skin, calmer dispositions, stronger bones, and sounder minds. Despite rampant reports that being fat equals automatic heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, it’s simply not true for lots of people. Studies are coming out all of the time that disprove the “Fat is Always Bad” prejudice.

Unfortunately, what we have in this country is a media monster. This monster spreads misinformation so pervasively and so routinely that few people ever take the time to question, let alone challenge the assertions being made by these misinformed souls. One of the falsities that the media perpetuates is that being fat is universally bad or will lead to bad things down the road. Not true.

We all know that life is much more complex than soundbites and selling news would have us believe, isn’t it? There are way more nuances across the wide spectrum called human health than these media monsters portray. I encourage you all to dig a little deeper. Like anything in life, there are extremes at either end of a particular spectrum. And, unfortunately, these extremes are the most cited as, Du-Du-Dum! Evidence by the media monster.

But, most of us are in the middle somewhere and we know that “the middle” does not sell newspapers, television shows, or magazines. Yes, some people who are fat suffer from the results of that bodily state, but fat does not automatically equal unhealthy and sad, nor does thin automatically equal healthy and happy.

It takes all kinds of shapes, sizes, and experiences to be human and we all have a relevance to the human collective. Bodies are merely vehicles for the exploration of spirit. Your body is the way it is for a reason. If your body didn’t need to be fat or thin, it wouldn’t be. So. There. You’re free. Go forth in your new-found freedom, forget the size of your body, move into soul, find ways to be healthier every day, and be the bad-ass human you came here to be. We’re counting on you.

twoI’ve talked about this before in other posts, but being plus size is an invisibility cloak.  You can get away with alot of shi*t as a fat person. I test this all of the time and it always makes me laugh. As big as I am, I can get in and out of places without ever being seen. It’s the coolest phenomena. I literally walk right past people who, because of what I can only guess are their own prejudices and general insecurity about their body size, do not see me. And, this, my friends, comes in really, really handy. For example, when wanting to merely run into a store and grab something quick without a long, protracted discussion or “connection” with someone, being fat is awesome. It’s freedom. People don’t look at me. And, you know what, that’s okay. I actually like stealth mode.

No fighting to be seen. No more getting other people to validate me or even acknowledge my existence. I get to practice being enough for myself, break the dependency between myself and others, and push deeper into my own psyche, my own healing. It’s liberating.

So. If you’re fat, try to have some fun with it. Know that you are broadcasting an energy beam around the issue and if you look for disapproval in the world, you will find it. If you instead look for ways to validate yourself every day, eventually you will have self-esteem and you will manifest approval from the world in lots of ways. If you can, try to laugh as much as possible and know that other people do not matter one little eensy bit. It’s YOUR opinion that counts. Be stealth. And, giggle. Alot.

threeIf we are totally, totally honest with ourselves and we dig past the societal biases that we’ve maybe absorbed about fat, I bet more than a few of us would be very surprised to realize that we actually like a little cushioning versus bones or rock-hard muscle. Fat is very, very comforting. It’s silly; it jiggles and wiggles. It’s fun to grab and poke and handle. Fat is pleasing to us psychologically because it’s about nurturing; it’s about the mama, being held, being warm, and gently soothed. Fat is comfortable, encircling, engulfing, and just a delightful, never-ending softness. Fat definitely broadcasts a message of fertility, abundance, and pleasure.

This fat phobia of ours is a very recent cultural phenom. Up until the 1920s when the country was becoming enthralled with industry, being a bit fat was okay. Farm people were fatter. They needed to be to work the fields. Women were expected to be fat because they made babies. But, with the choke-hold of the industrial revolution, came the idolization of the “machine”, the “hard”, the “thin”, and along with it swept in the idolization of a thinner body type.

The thing is, world-wide, until modern times, fat has always been viewed as wealth, abundance, comfort, and something to celebrate. This fat phobia of ours is a modern construct. It’s time to be honest. If you don’t like fat, ask yourself why. Do a little digging around in your psyche. But, ask yourself if your ideas about body structure are truly your own or if you have absorbed the ideas from other people. Touch your fat and see what comes up for you. Journal about it. Ask and ask and ask. I bet you’ll be surprised by the journey. Oh, and READ THIS BOOK that I blogged about early on in the life of BBB. You gotta read this book; it will change your ideas about Fat. Guaranteed.

There are many more very real, life-affirming benefits of being fat, but ultimately, this blog is not advocating that people become fat. I’m advocating for the journey toward self-esteem, regardless of how you look or what your bodily conditions are. I’m advocating for self-acceptance because I want us, as a species, to accept others, expand our consciousness, and become healthy. I want us all to be well-fed, happy, and taking responsibility. I want us to own our power, be a force of good on this earth, and love. I want us to love. Even our fat.

 

A Body that’s Too #@&% Full!

A body that’s so full, the energy spills out in every direction and reaches the furthest points in the galaxy. A body, rife with such emotion, such movement it can barely contain it all, so she has to be bigger and more vigorous. A body that pushes words out and tries to convey, weigh, catalog, and identify, but feels lasting frustration with the endeavor because words can never capture what’s really happening inside. Words are mere nuances, shadows, ghosts of the depth and intensity that this body and consciousness experience.

How to tell you how it feels for me here, now, in this body, on this planet, in this life, in this moment? It’s nearly impossible. I have no proper conveyance system to help you understand, but for the expression in my eyes. If you want to know, you have to look into my face. Then, you will see it. You will get it. You will come away with a piece of the truth.

Sigh. I’ve been writing my novel again. Mostly because the emotional pressure has built up so much inside of me that I must write. I must get it out. I sit here and climb the purple walls in my office for a few days and then, I can’t take it anymore. My body is so #@&% full of feelings that I have to tap in, drain it off, release. Such is the anguish and the exaltation of the writer.

Some more of my crazy artwork

More of my tangle artwork

My protag is a fierce woman. She is a depressive. She is intense, strong, deep-feeling, ballsy. She merges with other people in a culture that stringently dictates how and when that should happen. She’s not unlike me. And, while I don’t want to write about myself (because I’m pretty sick of myself most of the time), I can’t help it. I’m all that I know.

The challenge for any novelist is to create a character so different from one’s self that that character lives outside of, eclipses the psyche that created it. I’m not there yet. All I can do for now is plumb the depths of my own being and spill it all out in the hopes that this character will someday emerge from my shadow and stand in her own light. I want her to be other than me. I want her to live.

So, lately, I’ve managed to write (on her behalf) some snippets that might almost be good. Tell me what you think.

“The depths that I swim frighten me. I go so, so deep. I live in that murky half-light, that blue-to-black space, that world between worlds. I live in a place without light. I breathe the sea.”

“His silence is either bad or worse. It almost never means goodness. It’s a cold stare, a closed hand. A dark room. It means consternation, tension, guilt. When he’s silent, I have no choice but to make up stories about his feelings (or lack thereof). I have no handhold, no beam of energy on which travel, no connection. His silence is a knife in my neck.”

“If only I were enough for myself. How different might my life be? Today, I can describe my life only in terms of what’s missing. So much is missing. What’s not here is what I carry into each strangled moment. The ache of loss. The dim blood-beat of loneliness. What’s not here smothers me. I feel like I’m drowning.”

“He lives and breathes from inside of me and while I don’t know exactly what it all means, if anything, I can say that to feel him so close, so immediate, so deeply but not be able to touch him is torture. It’s a yearning that never ceases. A gnawing, steady drag of feeling through me that never relents.”

Becoming Empty

All of my life, I’ve been seeking something that has consistently and near-completely eluded me; it’s something that I have written about wanting, something that sent me to meditation, yoga, religion, and long bouts of solitude; it’s something that I’ve ardently chased, held in my mind as evidence of a life well-lived, and dearly craved, but it continues to elude me. As soon as I’ve gotten it in my sights, tip-toed toward it with an eager heart, and watched the light dancing off of its shiny hide, it has always bolted away with a puff of air and I’m left in a daze, wondering what the hell just happened.

What is this thing that I’ve wanted so desperately and which gets away from me every time?

PEACE.

ocean_re-size

Compliments of http://unsplash.com/

Peace has eluded me. Or, I guess, in order to take full responsibility, I ought to say that I have not chosen peace. I have not chosen rest. I have not chosen serenity in this life, all things that I claim to want. Oh, I’ve certainly had moments of peace, but largely, my life has been a sh*t-storm of activity, drive, action, fire, feeling, and momentous energy.

For example, I’ve worked 80 to 90-hour weeks for the last 24 years. I’ve started three companies and run them, single-handed. I’ve written a book and been published lots of times in magazines, newspapers, and poetry periodicals. I’ve worked two and three jobs simultaneously. Hell, I survived a horrendous childhood, went through years of therapy, and have largely eclipsed the pain and horror in which I was immersed. I’ve worked and worked and worked and worked. I’ve had little peace.

In the midst of the firestorm that is my daily existence, I have deeply yearned, begged, and wished for peace. Just a little. Peace from my relentless thoughts, my fire-temper, my passions, my ego, my intellect, my libido, my exhaustive, constant, and voracious emotions. On and on and on. But, sweet peace flits away with its serene countenance, inscrutable expression, and captivating secrets.

OK. It’s time for a deep, restful breath, time to gently wipe away the angst, draw myself up, suck in some delicious oxygen, and become empty. My ego protests: “But, HOW? You’ve never been able to do this. You can’t do it. It’s futile!” To which I smile, pat my ego on the head, and say “Relax, dear. All we’re going to do is nothing for part of each day. We’re going to sit and do nothing.”waterlilly

Becoming empty has to be the way toward peace for me because it’s the last thing my ego wants me to do and maybe the only thing that I have not tried. Granted, I’m writing all of this on the brink of taking on even more projects so this is going to be a real challenge for me, but I have to try. I have to become empty. I have to let go. This means: Work less. Push less. Do less. Share less. Grasp less. Added to this: I have to sit still. Stay centered. Stay inward. Stay silent. Stay present. Breath more. Rest more.

Simple, right?

What can I learn from becoming empty? What can I hope to accomplish? What will it do for me? These questions are thrown out on their ears. It doesn’t matter. Guess what? All that matters is:

  • Sweet, suspended moments where I’m still, staying present in my body, feeling the contours of my chair or standing solidly in my legs.
  • Moments where I’m pulling in my core, not projecting myself outward to others, pulling in, pulling in, pulling in, holding, breathing, feeling the thoughts and emotions softly float through me and then not attaching to them, letting them go.
  • What matters is emptying my mind, emptying my body, draining my stress into the receiving earth, opening my rib cage, flushing energy up or down and then out.

Where will I land? Will I buy a house in Peaceville? I don’t know. But, at this moment in time. I want to want nothing. I want to want stillness. I want to want emptiness. I want peace and then, I want to stop wanting it. 🙂

Our Body is Our One True Home

Following is a quote from a remarkable woman, Anita Avalos, who I recently had the distinct pleasure of talking with on the phone and getting to know a bit. She says: “Our body is our one true home, why not love where you live?”

Um, yeah. That just about sums it all up, now doesn’t it? I think I’ll get this tattooed on me somewhere because it really is the core of what I encourage others to do by way of this blog: Love what you got and it will change. But, this post is about Anita and YOU and how you might play together to find a deeper, richer process and healing around the body.

Body-Goddess, Anita Avalos

Body-Goddess, Anita Avalos

Ms. Avalos is a Holistic Health, Eating Psychology, and Body-Food Relationship Coach who contacted me a couple of months ago to discuss her work and how much she likes my blog. We had an incredible conversation. I immediately felt like I was talking with one of my long-term friends. She and I were instantly comfortable together. Anita exudes compassion, understanding, and acceptance. She cares about other people and this caring forms the core of her offerings. It was immediately clear to me that Anita does not want you or I to change. She wants to help us love. And, by helping people get clear, showing them how to work with what they have, and providing them with tools to support their journey, she does just that.

Anita’s entire aim is to help people “Learn a diet-free approach to creating the body they love and a life that rocks.” What does this mean? This means, achieving body acceptance by methods other than obsessive dieting, working out, or otherwise dominating or belittling the body. To me, it means: finding ways to love and accept the body first and then noticing that your behaviors then align with that love and acceptance. For example, if you feel good about your body, you naturally want to move it more. If you love who you are becoming, you naturally gravitate toward healthier habits and relationships. It’s about practicing and working at core stuff, the stuff that is largely ignored by our appearance-obsessed culture. By the way, these are my words, not necessarily Anita’s, but I think she would agree with me based on everything we learned about each other. 🙂

This work that Anita does is deeply emotional, personal, and transformative. Through live workshops, seminars, and personal one-to-one sessions, she’s helping people understand their relationship with the body and food. She helps people safely explore their body shame and where it comes from so they can move past it. She helps people connect with who they really are on an emotional, psychological, and behavioral level and then gives them access to tools and new behaviors that help them learn what works for them and what detracts from their highest good. This work is life-changing and life-giving. It’s a different journey for every person and each exploration is revealing, captivating, and astonishingly beautiful.

Anita’s web site does a much better job of letting you experience what her work is all about, so please be sure to click over and spend some time exploring there. And, if you seek out Anita’s help and feel inclined to guest post here about your experience, that would thrill me to no end.

Something that I’ve said from the beginning and is my core philosophy is that the body and its shape or level of fitness is a direct by-product of one’s alignment and acceptance. If one has little or no self-acceptance, less than desirable health or fitness can result. Our bodies simply cannot achieve lasting and optimal health without addressing our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and behaviors, combined.

I think the work that Anita is doing is hugely healing and beneficial for all of us (whether you seek her direct help or not). Anita gets it. She gets and gives what the world so deeply needs. Thank you for the tremendously healing and helpful work you do, Anita. 🙂 You are so right. Our body is our one true home. Let’s love it.