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    hope that no matter what difficulties arise in family, health, or finances, a family can survive it and get to the other side. 'How' is not just one response, rather it's an evolving idea. Solutions present themselves as you go along the path. As you seek the thing it is you want to achieve, so will an idea come to you. I do not attribute it to a god or a religion, though I may have one or both of those. This is life. Hope. Live with me,... 



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    Entries in self care (8)


    There Are No Shoulds

    We have been having a good time lately, we meaning me. I have been choosing to do things I love to do, and doing them daily to help me stay happy. It’s working too. Being outdoors in the sun, doing yoga, meditating, riding my bike and feeling relaxed, and writing. So I’ve made them all a priority in the day. It sort of started as, “I love this and I have to do it all the time!” type of obsession. And I told myself “it’s ok to do something I love everyday,..” so I kept doing it. Then doubt started to creep in. Actually, it was always there but as the newness of things wore if it got louder and louder. At first I felt spoiled, like I didn’t deserve it. “Who was I to do something I loved every day? Why should I get to? Who am I to leave the prison of fear and worry and go outside and feel alive? Shouldn’t I be inside huddled in a corner figuring out how to get out of debt, write enough thank you notes to everyone who has helped us, feel bad about the ones I forgot to send, ruminate about my expectations vs my reality, be concerned about ways people felt let down by me because my personal capacities couldn’t contain their needs… instead of cycling down a sunny trail? Aren’t I not allowed to enjoy life this often yet until I right all my wrongs? Mustn’t I dig myself out of it unpleasantly and uncomfortably because I should feel bad for the things I did imperfectly?” And so all the dark thoughts went in my head. I did not realize how much I was still allowing these ideas to stop me from being present and whole. 

    But every time I moved my foot one more revolution on that star through the crisp air of an Austin mild winter, I learned to get farther from these lies. No, being inside feeling ashamed will not help me heal, recover, or build to what I need to become to move through this phase and past that other phase of life. This bike, this trail, the ground beneath me and the feel of how a season changes from day to day on my skin are exactly what I need. That moment on the yoga mat that I opened up my heart to the sky and became willing, that is what I needed all along. Moving the pencil across the paper and through every page of the notebook until the lead is all gone and my heart is all poured, breathing into my belly and feeling the air move through me as the figure eight of an infinity circle up one side of my body, through the middle, and down the other, blowing out the un-ending thoughts with my breath as if they are clouds floating away and relieving me of the burden carrying them all the time, my mind clears. And I am here, and it’s all about now, and finally I can feel it in my body and see it with my eyes without being afraid. And it’s all ok. I feel I belong here now. And my life is deserving of happiness and some time in the sunshine. So I glow. 


    Breathing Enmeshed

    Lately I have been on the move. I am excited to twist into yoga or flow on the bike trail. I have turned it into my response for dealing with unpleasant things. Frustrated? Ride. Grumpy? Ride. Not sure what to do with yourself? Yoga. Just waking up? Yoga. It gives me a jumping point, and I am learning lots as it's going on. Today my yoga teacher said something as we went into this pose, she taught us as we are thinking of sitting up straight to release the tension in our hips and relax; responsively you'll sit straight while easing into the hip crease. Akin to life, when it has you all twisted up in places you cannot necessarily get out of quickly, when you are enmeshed, you can release in those spots and breathe. Find spaces you once clenched closely to you in fear or panic. You can learn to live through the uncomfortable contorted phases, and I like to think of it this way very much. May I learn to release the tension and keep breathing in any place I may find myself...


    “Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move.” — Osho


    Come with me for a moment...

    File under things I love


    Alanon Zombies

    ….and then our therapist told me to go to Alanon. I tried that once about 5 or 6 years ago and hated it then. I tried it again just to follow recommendations and not be totally closed minded, and I still hated it. Except this time even more so. There’s this sworn allegiance to the program that, quite frankly, startles me. Apparently, the 12 steps of Alanon changed all their lives and they plan to come to meetings unendingly. Forever. It is their social system, and that’s great, but I don’t want it to be mine. They are careful to remind you, you are not there for the addict but because of the addict. Also that by being there doesn’t change the addict’s behavior, but yours. I get that already. 

    From my un-steeped perspective it is a fellowship to support you in learning self care. The rules all talk about letting go, submitting to a higher power, etc. They also say, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” 

    Well, I have had a spiritual awakening, an ongoing one, for over 20 years now. It’s evolving and I am very happy with it. I also like that it is not based on an addict in my life. And as I write that step here I realize why some of the members are so fanatical about the program, it's the 12th step to tell me and others. I also tend to disagree with their leaning towards co-dependency being such a bad thing. That went way too far with therapists, there is a science of healing to having healthy attached relationships. Emphasize the world healthy. The answer is not to swing the pendulum all the way towards independence. It just really feels a lot like a religious gathering and format, they have their own literature, they read from them in meetings, there are rules about what is allowable to be read and be said outloud, the same things are read each time a meeting opens and closes, etc etc. I see it as a replacement for regular religious practice, something I already have and am not interested in replacing. I completely get why this works for some people, but I somehow find it off in a way. Off and empty. 

    So I go, alanonless into the world, married to an addict and war survivor, struggling with his own ability to care for himself and not be addicted to self medicating in some way. And really, what can I do? I have learned a lot about letting go, personal self care, responsibility, communication, reactions, and more. I hear other people’s stories in an alanon room and realize how much I have learned that they are still trying to figure out. 

    IDK if I will be OK with my current support system and knowledge of navigating the array of illnesses in my family, but alanon doesn’t seem to be the place I want to hash that out.


    Dear Fantastic Girl 

    "You know so much more than you think you know. You are so much braver than you think you are. You have so many more blessings than you even know...and you are so much more loved than you could ever imagine.

    So....don't ever doubt your abilities, or the difference you make, or the way you light up the world. The world would NOT be the same without bring happiness, light, color and goodness everywhere you go. Thank you for that, beautiful girl."

    You are so very loved.

    via Brave Girls' Club


    CrossFit Log: A Beginning

    I am so bringing this style back to the gym,... I may or may not have formally announced my allegiance to a new cult, the cult of CrossFit. Is it amazing? Yes. But somehow I am alarmingly surprised at how difficult it is to be consistent. Every week is new drama, either a kid is sick, there's a trip to prepare for, someone lost a job, someone got a new job, I got a new job, the next kid in the family is sick, I got a foreclosure notice and need to spend 30 extra hours a week working a case to save my home, A disabled person in my home needs further assistance because it's a "hard week", someone in my household was sent to the hospital, some utility got disconnected because I forgot we have bills and threw us off our game for 2 days, the VA appeal case needs follow up, I got sick with what the kids had, or the usual hard to juggle grocery shopping, planning, cooking, learning a new nutrition program, cleaning, actually working at the new job I got, and getting the kids everywhere stuff.  Let's not talk about Jewish and American holidays at this point. I have been attempting to make my health first on the list since May of 2011, and yes all of these above occurrences happened in that short amount of time. To a normal human, they would say " well ya! that's hard!" But my inner dialogue argues the fact. Self care should be first. But it's often competing with mutually important self care matters, like "food" and "shelter." Geeze, right! I mean, can't I just not eat and workout like a beast so I can be a ripped homeless woman? Enough excuses. It is what it is. I just want to know how to conquer this dilemma and be there everyday. Discipline. When I am using it to be responsible with so may things at once it feels scarce. Emotional continuity would be a wonderful thing to experience in the midst of all this, but it seems to be the most thrown around aspect. Here is hoping for improvement...


    Lovliness Awaits Me

    Through the dreary, cold, and barren times, I see delight ahead....