Sunday, October 26, 2014

Right Now It Is Like This

I first heard that phrase just over a year ago, and it started a whole new phase of evolution in my life.

I heard it from Lucia Horan as she taught a 5rhythms workshop in Dallas. She mentioned who coined the phrase, but I don’t remember.

When I first heard this phrase, it resonated in a way that “It is what it is” can’t and never could. That’s because “It is what it is” has no movement. It implies inertia. Dead weight. Something to complain about.

But “Right now it is like this” has movement. It is grounding. It acknowledges that this moment right here—the present—is all that exists. Perhaps it’s not exactly what I want. Perhaps I feel emotions I don’t like or don’t want to accept.

But those feelings, those emotions, are temporary. They will pass. This phrase helps me accept it—because when I say “Right now,” that means I could (and probably will) feel differently in just a few minutes. That means I can change my perception, change my attitude, and, just like that—shift. Move. Gain forward momentum.

And, the second part, “It is like this,” reminds me to name my feelings. Name the situation. Describe it and what it feels like, so that the next time it comes around, I’ll recognize it faster—which also means I’ll recognize that I can move through it, too.

And in variably, I do—and quickly.

In other words, “Right now it is like this” is empowering.

The tattoo isn't blurry... that's from my camera phone not knowing exactly where to focus. :)

And now I have to share the story about actually getting this phrase tattooed on my arm.

I knew who I wanted to do the lettering. I’d stalked his Instagram for a while, and although I love his lettering, it’s not really “my style” as far as something I would want permanently on my body. But I still felt he was the right guy to do it—so, I went with it.

I was frustrated that day because I was in the middle of the push-pull of trying to open my heart to the man I was dating, yet I kept pulling back (now I know why... *ahem)… I felt out of control, and I was struggling to trust myself (and him). And, he called me out on it—and there I was, in Denton, at the tattoo shop… my heart pounding because I wasn’t sure what would happen with the guy, but I also wanted to make sure this tattoo turned out just right, too.

(Even now as I read over that last paragraph, I’m smiling at my own control issues. I am a “recovering” control freak. Sometimes I fall off the wagon, though…)

I met with Joe (Zombie Joe, aka Joe Chavez) and told him what I wanted—in excruciating detail. He came back up front with a drawing, and I didn’t like it. I made some suggestions of what to change, and he went back to draw it again.

When he came back out, it looked somewhat better, but I still didn’t like it.

He went back to the drawing board a third time and emerged to the front of the shop with a few more drawings.

I still wasn’t happy with the drawing, and I became increasingly frustrated.

I could tell Joe was frustrated, too.

At that point, he had a little “come to Jesus” talk with me. He told me that he was an artist who had won awards all over the world for his lettering. “This is what I do,” he said.

He asked me to just… let him do his thing.

I immediately understood where he was coming from. I agreed. He popped up off the couch—clearly re-energized—and disappeared into the back.

He came back up front a few minutes later with a sly grin on his face.

When he showed me the drawing, I immediately loved it and felt overcome. Tears came to my eyes as I nodded yes and said, “I love it.”

“Really?” He said.


Later, I thanked him for talking sense into me and I pointed out the irony of the whole thing—with how much I struggled with trying to control the tattoo, when “Right now it is like this” actually helps me differentiate between my emotions and feelings (which I cannot control) vs. how I respond to them and what I do with them (which is within my control).

(And yeah, we had a good laugh about that.)

When I look at this gorgeous, one-of-a-kind scripting on my arm, I can’t help but smile.

Right now, it is like this.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

25 Classes

Sunstone Yoga gives wristbands for achievement. (10 & 25 classes)
25 classes. It might not seem like much, but that's 25 hours of hot yoga. It is just the beginning, really.

But this beginning is profound.

Some days are still hard. Really hard. Usually that happens when I am low on resources—dehydrated, too hungry, not enough sleep. And sometimes, it’s just random.

But I get through every single class, and that still feels like an accomplishment, although I must admit that the time goes by so fast, it blows me away.

And at the end of that hour, I am exhausted, sweaty, stinky, and serene. Not a terrible combination, if you ask me…

So, what has changed? What has shifted in me?

I’m up to going to classes at least 4-5 times a week. It was remarkably easy to get there, even though I was really skeptical at first. I haven’t posted to Facebook for accountability because I actually haven’t needed it.

I am solely accountable to myself.

Holy shit!

This might just be the first endeavor in my entire life where I haven’t needed to be accountable to anyone but me. That’s huge! And I didn’t actually realize it until just now, as it hit me that I’d stopped posting yoga updates to Facebook.


As far as other changes, there are the outwardly obvious things—my posture has vastly improved. My skin looks amazing and glowy and happy. My clothes are all fitting looser because I have lost inches. And over the past 5 weeks, even though I’m not actively trying to lose weight (because on yoga days I tend to eat like a horse, or so it feels like, and I love to eat, and I eat whatever I want so long as it’s got ingredients I can pronounce and identify and feel good about eating)… I have indeed lost 5 pounds. And of course, I am more flexible, I’m getting stronger, and my balance is better (most days).

And it’s really cool when I can hold poses longer than I used to, or better, or both. It’s fascinating to see and feel my own progression and growth and change. I am enjoying this process very, very much.

But the real, soul-deep benefits are much harder to articulate.

I’ve noticed that I’m making yoga a priority, no matter what. It’s not so much the yoga as it is making taking care of me the real priority.

I’ll give you an example.

This past Monday, I knew I was going to go to my dad’s house in the evening. I normally try to catch the 8pm class on Mondays, but after 9pm would be way too late to head up to my dad’s house.

Instead of skipping class, I got up an hour earlier, went in to work earlier, left work earlier, and caught the 5pm class instead. I was done by 6pm and on my way up to my dad’s not too long after that.

In other words, I rearranged my entire day to make sure I could still get to yoga but also get to my dad’s. I fulfilled both priorities and felt great about it.

The more profound piece of that, though, is that missing my yoga wasn’t even an option that came to mind.

Which means that I have turned it into a habit to take care of me and prioritize my own health and well-being. It’s not even an option anymore for me to be sedentary, because that is so far from what I want that it doesn’t even enter my mind anymore.

Even now, that realization brings tears to my eyes.

As I anticipated, hot yoga is changing my life. I feel calmer and more in control during the day. I am sleeping harder and better. I’m not waking up at random times of the night anymore. I am able to fall asleep immediately once I’m in bed—and that is a gift, considering falling asleep fast (or sometimes at all) eluded me after my mom’s death.

Oh yeah!

There's one other thing. A really big thing, too.

I’ve stopped drinking coffee.

Yes. You read that right… this life-long coffee lover (coffee obsessor, more like) has actually stopped drinking coffee altogether.

Before—I drank about 20 ounces of coffee.

That’s a lot of caffeine, y’all.

So now it’s one or two cups of tea (or perhaps a chai latte using almond milk), and if I drink any tea in the afternoon or evening (and I often do), it’s herbal and caffeine free.

And I honestly couldn’t feel better about it than I do. I feel great! I love the smell of coffee, and I do still enjoy the taste (provided there’s enough cream and sugar), but even after a couple of sips, I can recognize that my system just doesn’t like it anymore. In fact, my system all but completely rejects coffee, now that I’ve stopped consuming it.

These changes in me are profound.

And there are more (good! happy!) changes, too—not having anything to do with yoga.

But you’ll have to wait for another post…