Tag Archives: Mental Health

Hugging a Cloud: Loving the Unavailable

I love a man. A man who is so “man”, he takes my breath away. Even when I so much as think about him, my insides do this instant-melty-butter thing. I lose all shape and form. I float away on a river of deliciousness. I love this man but he is not here in a body. Well, he is here, but he’s…um…in and out. He comes and goes. He’s here and not here at the same time. He’s both solidly man-ish and vapor-y illusion at the same time. I love this man deeply, wholly, and to the ends of my mitochondria. But.He.Is.A.Cloud. And, you all know what happens when you try to grab a cloud and hold on to it: You free-fall back to the dense and difficult earth. Everything in your body snaps. And, then: Nothing fits back into place. Ever. Again.

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I’m not complaining. It’s a common pattern for lots of people. And, before you go all “CSI” and try to figure out who the specific man is, let me appease your curiosity by telling you that it doesn’t matter. He’s an amalgamation of an energy pattern that lots of us project and are working on in our lives. Myself included. (Obviously) He’s the overarching signal of nearly every partner/parent/sibling/friend/lover/husband with whom I’ve interacted and co-created in this existence. He’s every man and no man. He’s a template, the “messenger” of a big self-realization that I had yesterday. That’s it.

Okay, back to the cloud man; He can be pondered and sometimes touched, but only in the barest (and quickest) of ways. I can gaze upon his veneer, which is really quite lovely, but I cannot hold him. I can’t fully “lock in” with him or truly ever know him. When I try, he wiggles free, a slick fish slipping from my hands, back to the dark safety of his lake; I get just a quick peek of silver-glinting skin beneath the green and murky waters and then he’s gone, swimming away from the penetrating sun of my presence, the skull-splitting light of my words, the piercing oxygen of my intensity.

He is unavailable. Totally. Utterly. Completely. And.I.Love.Him. Of course.

When I hold this man/no-man’s image inside of me, I see amazing eyes, his depth, his wonderful soul, his “foreverness”. I see a huge heart, how he could be available, forward, and present. I see the potential for true connection, a capacity for realness, intimacy, and co-creation with him, but that’s not what I physically have with this man (except on rare occasions). What I have is an approximation; it’s a pleasing, 2-D drawing on a piece of paper. I try to extract his essence, inhale him, tug him deep, and ride our combined energy. But, it’s useless. He’s pressed flat. Closed. Bound by the tight fibers of his page.

To be sure: He’s gorgeous. He’s fascinating. His mind is compelling and brilliant. There is some fascination inside of him for me, but at bottom, he doesn’t want to be held, understood, teased apart, or “seen”. He doesn’t want to be present with me or available to me. If he wanted to, he would be. He would take action. He would show up and stand in the unwavering sunlight of our soul- and body-connection, at least once. But, he doesn’t do that. He stays remote. He comes out for the briefest of exchanges, and then he runs. Can I blame him? No. I can’t. Why?photo-unsplash-clouds

Because…(and this is the HUGE self-realization that I just had, late yesterday): I AM UNAVAILABLE. Um. Yeah. Me. (Cue the music: dunh, dunh, dunh!)

Even with all of my words, all of the love that I beam out to others, all of my intensity and forwardness and passion and deep-feeling, I actually hold myself out, alot.  At my core. I hide. I also wriggle free and escape to the cooling, dark depths of my own lake whenever someone (anyone) gets too close or comes in too hot. I maintain a wide moat around myself that’s writhing with alligators and which no human being can penetrate, navigate, or cross. And, if they do get across, I can retreat to the castle and fire at them from behind my ancient, lichen-covered, stone facade.

True, I’m much more available than many people I know. I am often present. I can look at and process uncomfortable things with others. I can often be an adult in my relationships. I do show up. Frequently. But, what I’m talking about here is what happens deep inside of me…way down in the deepest depths of my body and psyche. I do not let people into my deepest places. I seem available (and to a point, I am), but ultimately, no one ever gets all the way in. No one gets past the dragon. No one ever makes it to my inner sanctum, which is protected by a bad-ass Viking who is so extravagantly powerful, even I cannot remove him. I’ve tried. (He thinks I’m a simpering idiot. He’s not going anywhere.)

So, this is my realization:

  • You draw what you are. In other words, we draw to us what we possess inside of us. We draw behaviors from others that we share with them.
  • We draw from others and the environment what we want to work on and either eliminate or elaborate.
  • What we experience in life matches an energy frequency that we ourselves emanate, period. It’s a signal.
  • What we send out, attracts like-energy from others and then we live our own creation.

I’m living my own creation. I draw unavailable people because at my core, I am unavailable. “Real” relationships get too much of my underbelly; they are too close, too damaging, and make me too vulnerable. I’ve been too hurt. This means that I don’t often take deeper risks with others. I stay safe. I don’t practice trusting. I don’t communicate effectively. I don’t speak my core truth. I don’t extend myself past a certain phase or point. When hurt by another, I curl inward and lick my wounds (for decades). I say nothing. I stop trying. And, if a relationship goes “south”, it’s no harm/no foul because I wasn’t fully there in the first place. I saunter away after a day or two of pain.

Up to now, it’s been easier to point to the other person and say: “Well, you are not coming forward” or “You are not present with me”, but it’s been much harder to realize that my projection actually comes from within me. It’s taken me a very long time to understand that the energy in my relationships originates with me. My reticence to be fully forward in relationship, to be completely honest in relationship, is drawing my present circumstances. There is no getting around this.

So, when faced with reluctance from others to step forward, spend time with me, and be in my company, this indicates my reluctance to step from the shadows and take risks and fully insert myself into my emotional connections with others. I now see that I am the God of this design. I am the creator of this template. I have crafted this pattern out of the horrible wounding from my past. And, I have maintained the pattern (subconsciously, of course) for my entire life.  I cannot complain about the way I’m treated if I’m offering the signal to which others are aligning and stepping forward to match. There it is. So, now. I want to own the signal. Own the responsibility.

In coming to this awareness, I realized something else. I want to heal my attachment disorder. I do. I want to be closer to other people. I want to take risks and live those risks and benefit/hurt from those risks, fully. I want to love to the ends of my cells whenever I can. I want to open my rib cage and let him in, even if it means he stomps my insides and I end up having to defend myself. I want to attract people who are ready for a solid, mesmerizing, all-encompassing journey with me into places that perhaps frighten us both, but by being there together, we become stronger individually and achieve our greatest, fastest expansion.

I want to live the intensity and fervor that I feel inside of my amazing body and let others live in my fervor, too. And, I want to feel and hold other people’s fervor. I want a real exchange. I want real truth. An honest exchange. A risky exchange. I want real people, not clouds. I’m talking about totally honest, unwavering, non-judgmental realness of two (or more) people who understand each other completely and accept each other regardless of what’s being felt and expressed.

I want to connect so deeply that no words are necessary but when we use them, they simply add to what we’re doing together. I want to look into his face and know that he owns his fear, that he’s comfortable with his fear, that he can express his fear and yet still show up for himself and still show up for me once in a while. I don’t want all of his time. I do not need to own his schedule, his soul, or even see him daily. I’m not asking for possession or servitude. I’m not asking for a forever commitment. I’m asking for an honest journey. I’m asking for someone who can process with me sometimes, traipse through the childhood darkness inside of himself sometimes, hold his own heart and mine, sometimes. But, above all, I’m asking for one who can be honest. Even if it’s ugly. Even if it hurts.

Lastly, (and few have any way of knowing this, but the following is a very BIG statement from me):  I want to drop my weapons, retire the Viking, leave the door open, wait there, and be soft for the first time in my life. I want you inside my inner sanctum. This means that I want you to conquer me, all of me, in love and light, in truth and expansion, in the delicious, rich, error-prone, full-feeling, and succulent physical. For the first time in my life, I’m ready to submit. I can’t believe it, but that’s the uncomfortable and scary truth. I’m ready. Meet me.

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.

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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.

Step Away from the Body!

Sometimes…you just have to get away. Peel out of there like a shot. Bail. Abandon ship.

There are moments when it’s nearly impossible to be in the body, to stay with the body. I’ve found that this usually occurs in times of intense feeling, trauma, anxiety, or fatigue. If you’re anything like me, your feelings are massive, earth-shaking, and, well, bigger than the universe. Feelings are messy, deranged, reckless, momentous, and impossible to contain. Our feelings are so big that we’re often afraid of them and sometimes so raw that it feels like they’ll choke us (or at least, do tissue damage). Damn emotions. 😉

Whenever something gets too close, hurts too much, or feels too big or confusing, I bail on my body. This is called disassociation; it’s pretty common in people who have been abused. I do it subconsciously, of course, and it happens so fast that I can’t stop it. Most of us disassociate to some degree. When you daydream, that’s disassociation. When you drum, you enter a disassociated state. When we trance while listening to music, deeply relax, or even when some of us do yoga, that’s a type of disassociation. But, some of us disassociate dozens of times per day (or more) to avoid feelings. Some of us live more “out” than “in”. I lived more out of my body than in my body for decades.

For the longest time, I didn’t know that I was employing this type of coping mechanism. I didn’t even know what it was until I went through therapy. Analysis revealed to me that when the sh*t goes down, I leave my body effortlessly and instantly. My spirit vacates. Again, for years, I did this without realizing it. And, it was a real process to identify my penchant for disassociation.

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Unsplash art is free and fabulous; check ’em; http://www.unsplash.com

I was in my second year of high school and going crazy. Years of living with abusive parents (four of them between both sides of the fam) and siblings (two of them between both sides), plus gobs of other physical and emotional trauma, had literally brought me to the edge of sanity. I was a complete and utter wreck. I was anorexic/bulimic and torridly addicted to cigarettes (1.5 packs) and caffeine (1200 milligrams) per day. I ate one meal per week. My life was imploding all of the time, but, hey, I looked competent. I acted brave. I was thin and beautiful. People thought I was well.

At the end of my Sophomore year in HS, I was trying to move out of my dad’s insane household and struggling to pay for food, school supplies, clothes, and the bare essentials. I was working under-the table at a video store and putting in as many hours as I could get, in addition to going to school. So, there was intense pressure in my life, intense pain, and heaps of childhood damage that I was doing my best to hold down and avoid. It was a truly awful time. And, being in high school, with all of its pressures and torment, was the last thing I needed or wanted. But, of course, I went to school every day, because if I hadn’t, my dad, (read: bad-ass cop/investigator), would find me and drag me back into the hell from which I had escaped. He warned me that he would. I knew he would. So I toed the line, stayed in school, did my time.

“Doing my time” included a stint of living in my car, which was preferable to actually going back and living with the damn-family. Yep, it was pretty bad. But, my ego had me convinced that I was fine. What other 16-year-old lives on their own? I didn’t need any help. I just needed to stay away from my crazy family and work harder, that was all. This was the stuff my ego was routinely telling me and since I was rarely ever in my body, it was easy to believe my ego, easy to believe that I had things under control.

In talking with an older friend of mine one day (who was a regular at the video store where I worked), I let some of the “crazy” out. I admitted that my childhood had been pretty abysmal and I was often so depressed that I had trouble getting out of bed. He suggested that I call a therapist with whom he had worked and gotten some help.  At first, I balked because “everyone has families like mine, right?” He assured me that no, what I suffered through was actually far worse than what many people go through; it had damaged me; I clearly needed help. His words burned me. They did. I felt them pinging somewhere deep inside of my body as he spoke them, and I knew he was right.

I called the shrink soon after, made an appointment, and in the consult with the doctor, I begged her to help me. I offered to pay her $10 per week for our sessions, because it was all I had. I ended up going to her for three years. And, despite the fact that my therapist tried really hard to turn me into a Christian (a story for another post), the therapeutic process actually saved my life. In my sessions, I finally caught up with the damage that had been done to me. I saw and re-experienced, in garish detail, the abuse, the trauma, the heartbreak, the devastation, the agony. I crawled through the dark woods of myself over and over and got lost inside of those woods many times and sometimes for days on end.

I learned about disassociation and how I had used it exclusively to avoid my feelings. I learned when I do it, how to catch myself doing it, and how to stay in my body (or at least, how to return to it faster and catch some of the feelings that I was trying to avoid). And, while therapy made me feel like sh*t, often, it also began to work in subtle ways, ways that I couldn’t articulate until much later. I learned how to descend into the body and hold the feelings that I was running away from. This work was harrowing, painful, awful, and at the same time, illuminating and beautiful. Analysis helped me so much. I loved and hated it. But, I did the work. I kept going.

Truthfully, even now, it’s a daily struggle to stay present and descend into the depths of my body versus pop out and retreat to my mind or somewhere “out there”. Sometimes, it’s such a chore to dig in on my feelings, trace them to the thoughts I was thinking, ask questions, wait for the answers, and not run away from my emotions. Sometimes, I just can’t do it. I have to leave. And, I’ll be honest, I like bailing. I like being “out there”. It’s safer. There are fewer feelings “out there”. But, I’ve learned that it’s not always helpful to bail.

While disassociation is a coping mechanism that serves a purpose, is necessary, and even arguably “natural” for human beings, when we do it too much, it can keep us from healing our inner wounds and fully living. It also cements a less-than-healthy relationship to the body because you’re not fully feeling the body or living in the nuances of experience from the body. You know what I mean. We all struggle with body image issues. We all reject our bodies sometimes. I had to learn how to dig in versus bail out and I had to learn how to  walk into my wounds. When I did that regularly, when I did the work, huge transformation happened for me.

So, tell me about your experience. Do you disassociate? How does that feel for you? What is your journey with it? Have you come up with some ways to manage your departures? Tell me about it in your comments. Let’s talk.

Drinking from a Waterfall

Many, many people have accused me of being, well, intense. Ha! Ya think?! Yes, people. I’m intense. I’m big in body, mind, and soul. There is no missing me when I enter a room or open my mouth. No missing me. In my youth, I spent countless hours trying to be quiet, dainty, thoughtful, reserved, patient, demure, small, and feminine, but you know what? I’m really none of these things. Oh, like all people, I have these elements in my personality and at times, they can be seen, but at my core, I’m not tidy; I’m messy and energetic. I’m big, loud, funny, raucous, active, aggressive, and very yang. A part of me still wishes I was softer and quieter. I mean, I’m certainly soft in the right circumstances, in the right places (ha, ha!), and at at the right times, but I’m a nuclear power plant most of the time. I think I need to just own this sh*t.

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I once reviewed a book for a friend of mine who was into a really interesting spiritual practice of “no mind” or in laymen’s terms, just being in the present moment with no ego, no plans, less thinking and doing, and simply being. I read my friend’s book and wrote in my review of it that reading the book was like drinking from a waterfall because of the bigness of the book, the expansiveness of the writings and his practice. It is, frankly, the best review of a book I have ever given, because I nailed it. I totally dialed it in and “got” him and his work on a cellular level. It’s so fun when that happens.

This morning, it got me to thinking. Anything that we push into the world by way of expression (even if it’s about other people) is describing us, our psychology, our current self; it’s all about us, not the other person. It’s like when dream analyzers say that the dream is always about the dreamer no matter the subject matter of the dream. No element in the dream is actually about other people; it’s all about the person doing the dreaming. Yes.

So, I’ve decided to take my delicious metaphor back, because it also perfectly describes me and the energy, focus, and bigness of this life of mine. My new task? To go deeper in my psychology and eliminate the desire to be other than I am or to change myself because of other people’s behaviors. I will work harder to own my complete self, the self that is loud and sometimes quiet, messy and sometimes tidy, masculine and sometimes feminine. I will remind myself that who I am is ever-changing, ever-active, and never inert. I can be and am all of these things and if other people don’t get me, oh-freaking-well. I am enough. I will drink from the waterfall of the self over and over until satiated. Then, when I’m good and whole, I will offer the purest compassion, understanding, and acceptance to others. I will then be drinking from a sunbeam. 🙂

Happiest with a Big Harley Between My Legs

The title of this post is not a tawdry euphemism. LOL! One of the many awesome things that my healthy body lets me do is ride a big, heavy, 103 cubic-inch, 1690 CC, 2012 Harley-Davidson Street Glide. For those of you who ride, you understand the allure and necessity of this freedom-seeking activity without me even having to explain it, but for those of you who have never ridden, well, you’re missing out, my peeps. Riding is a perfect tool for exploring one’s spirituality and for generating happiness, lasting happiness. Following is a photo of my bike, “Anja”, or as I also call her, “my savior”:

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She’s the reason I’m still on this planet doing ma thing. Seriously. I live for three things: riding Harleys, helping people (women, in particular) and loving animals. Fortunately, I get to live in a place where I ride 300+ days per year. Riding, for me and some one million women in this country like me, is absolute nirvana; it’s uplifting, freeing, exhilarating, and happiness-inducing. I’ve written about this quite a bit on my blog for Biker Babe Tours, but now I’m going to describe it for you, my body-loving peeps.

But, first, a little exploration of why I ride.

It might be obvious to you all by now, but I have an enormous ego and intellect. I am not bragging. These have not completely served me in this incarnation. While they have helped me survive a traumatic childhood and made me some good money (among other things), they have kept me from drilling down on my softer, intuitive, and I’ll just say it, my psychic side. They have not made me happy.

My intellect has made it very, very difficult to walk forward into my feminine faculties. The ego has kept me chained to the mind and the mind’s machinations. It has distracted me from my real work, the work that I believe I came back here to do (which is to explore and develop my psychic abilities); it has waved a large flag of academia, science, and reason at me, kept me looking back at the past or toward the future instead of staying present, and ego has taken me down paths thick with vines of a false self, the self of illusion. Check out the groundbreaking works by Echart Tolle for more on this affliction.

So, like lots of other people on this planet, the mind has kept me far away from anything that could diminish the ego’s stronghold. Meditation? “Naw, we don’t need it,” my ego says confidently. Tapping into the divine feminine? “No, that will just get you hurt”, my ego whispers severely. Showing any weakness? “Certainly not!” my ego shouts. Thus, I have gone on and on, using my mind, growing it and my ego bigger and bigger and bigger.

So, what does this have to do with riding a motorcycle? Everything. Riding a HOG is my meditation. It’s how I rest. It’s how I feel and stay present. Eyes open. Heart open. In the zone. Feeling the road and the world. Releasing myself. Riding is my means of escaping the ego and the preponderance of thought, intellectualism, analyzing, quantifying, weighing, and describing that I do everyday. Riding is my chance to step out of the mind and simply be in the moment, which is exactly what I most need.

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Because it would be dangerous, I cannot get on the bike and process my technical work. I cannot get on the bike and process my relationships. I cannot get on the bike and think about quantum physics. I have to be present. Riding demands that one is totally, utterly available and honest about being able to be present. You have to be aware, awake, and attentive when riding. You have to watch the cars around you; you have to assume that other drivers cannot see you and thus, ride as safely as possible. You have to be totally in the moment and ready for anything.

Riding my Harley is the quickest way for me to tap into my deeper self, my soul. It’s a chance to rest my active mind and feel my body, be in my body, be in my body in the moment. I ride at least three times per week and average about eight hours of saddle time each week. In a good week, on the weekends, I’m out there both days for at least four hours per day. On weekdays, I might get a couple more hours of riding spread across a couple of days. Heaven! Nothing else feeds me like riding does. Nothing. Not even meditation. And, when I’m riding, I’m the happiest, most centered, and non-egoistic woman you’ll ever meet. Come with me, body-lovers. Let’s ride.

Playing with My Pudge

Do not fear. This is not an obscene post, despite the rather provocative title. Hahaha…just have to tell you this funny story from some years back and hopefully, it will bring you a smile and remind you that the body is our refuge; it can be a source of peace, comfort, and nurturing.

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When I first stated technical writing fifteen years ago, I interned at an electrical engineering company in Silicon Valley. So, my job was serving triple-PhD. engineers in the Integrated Circuit, Semiconducting, and “hard-as-shite” sector of the working world. There I was, a tiny, shiny fish in a huge ocean of mathematical equations, you know: transistors, electrons, physics, voltages, poly-silicon, etc.

Now, I am not a math person. I’m a creative soul, first and foremost. I have always been a creative person, as in, a liberal arts geek: poet, artist, graphic designer, freelance journalist, crafter, theater-nerd, etc. So, how the heck I landed a job in “uber-math-ville” is beyond me, but I nailed the interview and charmed all of those “Data-from-StarTrek” types with whom I interviewed that day. I think they hired me because I was bold and loud and so unlike all of them. But, I digress.

Early on in my writing career at Cadence Design Systems, aka “Math-Central”, I realized that over half of one’s time in High Tech is spent in meetings with lots of other people. And, if you know anything about me at all, you know that I suffer from extreme sensitivity (aka social anxiety), so meetings are, understandably, the bane of my very existence. Sitting in a room with lots of other people and trying to keep myself from falling off of the planet is physically painful. Meetings suck.

One day, like, two weeks into my first-ever exposure to High Tech and the mind-numbing machinations of technical meetings with 25 other people all crammed into a small, hot room, I was sitting there trying to get my pulse under control when out of the corner of my eye I see the dude beside me kind of shrink away and shift his chair over uncomfortably with a look of horror on his face. I follow his terrified gaze and look down at my lap where I notice that I have two fistfuls of my belly fat and am shaking it gently like a mother soothes a little baby. HAhahahahaha! No lie!

Needless to say, my face instantly flushed scarlet, I started to sweat, and quickly muttered “I’m so sorry. I do this when I’m nervous. OhMyGod, I am so, so sorry.” The dude was seriously FREAKED OUT! I mean, NO ONE in High Tech admits to having a body let alone touching it in front of others, EVER. I had broken one of the cardinal rules of High Tech: admit that you actually have a body and are not simply all mind like everyone else around you.

Holy-poop! I was so scared that the dude was going to report me to HR and that my career would end before it ever really got off the ground. For the record, he didn’t report me. But, for the next three years, whenever he saw me, he avoided me. I’m talkin’: briskly-walk/run-out-of-the-hallway-away-from-me avoidance.

I can laugh about it now, but back then, I was mortified! I couldn’t explain to him that I do this to comfort myself and that when I reach down, grab my yummy belly, and give her a little pat and a shake, it makes me feel better instantly. It’s not lascivious or obscene, it’s just a way for me to mother myself. It’s a way for me to love my body and take refuge in her ample-ness. I couldn’t fully explain that I was stressed and I needed to feel better. No, instead, I had to put myself on notice right then and there and, vow to never do it again, EVER (which, of course, just added to my anxiety in meetings). But, such is life.

The take-away is this: even if others do not honor this or understand, our bodies can be our biggest source of comfort and peace. We absolutely can turn to them to make ourselves feel better and to sense our divinity, our connection to the universal mother, and tap into the healing energies available to us. It is okay to love the body and turn to it when we need help. We can use the body to center with, align with, and embrace our highest good and the mommy or daddy inside of us that adores us and wants what’s best for us. It’s part of the body’s role. It’s part of the agreement that the body makes with us when we decide to play together in a lifetime.

Our bodies want to be useful and helpful. They do. So, to me, it feels like it’s time for us, as a race, to dig into this concept and find a way to open the channel of communication with ourselves, reach for greater healing by way of our bodies, and grab happy fistfuls of belly fat. Just pick a better location to do this comforting work than I did. LOL!

Anyway, I always say: “If you got it, grab it, baby” and I’ll now add to that: “…”and hold on, despite other people’s reactions”. So, go on. Reach down there and play with the belly pudge. See how you feel! 

All my love and light to you, my friends. Yours always, BigLizzy