Remembering

My husband read somewhere that our generation is prone to “mid-life crises.” Apparently, we have it mid-life crisis refined to the point where we don’t just have one crisis, we have many. In fact, depending on how we react to them, we may live in a near-perpetual state of mid-life crisis.

I don’t know if it’s true. But I know it feels true for me.

Once again, I’m feeling lost and wondering who I am and what I’m doing. I’m looking at my life and thinking “Is this really mine? Is this me? Is this how I want my life to go?” My dreams feel so far away that it’s hard to  remember what they are or how close I really am to achieving them (or at least starting to)

I see how easy it would be to let go of the dreams I’ve had and continue along the path I’m walking—it wouldn’t look much different from the outside, honestly, and maybe I would be happier if I just let go of these desires and looked for fulfillment in other things: a fantastic work review, a raise, a well-thrown birthday party, a family vacation. Everything would be simpler if I could only want those things. Life would be less complicated and painful…

Ummm….no. Did I really just write that?

The next minute I’m (sometimes literally) shaking myself, as if trying to wake myself up from a bad dream, and I’m wondering who the hell this voice in my head is and what happened to the idealistic, illuminated, passionate, and (comparatively) courageous warrior woman of 7 years ago.

I’m comparing and self-criticizing and digging a big hole of stuck.

Basically, it sucks.

I find it hard to write about this stuff publicly. I feel like I’m supposed to “have my shit together” and write about how I use movement to make my life better and how awesome everything is. But that’s not where I am right now, and I’m trying to be honest.

But, on the bright side, I’m not just sitting in ick, I’m taking steps to get out.

Here’s what I’m doing right now to help myself:

I’ve already been doing a (mostly) regular meditation and movement practice (YAY ME!). And today I bought myself some index cards and I’ve started writing things down. I’m not writing down plans and dreams this time, but tools. Every exploration or moving meditation I used in my classes is going onto those cards. I’m starting with the ones I remember, and then I’ll go through my old journals and class plans, and THEN I’ll go through my books and add NEW ones.

I need to SEE these tools, see what I’ve got in my collection, remember that I’ve DONE THIS BEFORE. I need my thinking brain to remind the terrified parts of myself that I’ve got this, that I’m already partway there, that I’m not a big fat phony who should admit her failure, take down her much-neglected blog, and call it a day.

‘Cause I’m not one, and I don’t want to admit anything of the kind.

So there.

Happy February!

xox

Meg

If…

I’m at this weird point in my life where I can see where I want to be. In all kinds of areas, from my physical well-being to the way my home looks and runs, I can picture how I want things to look at feel and be. And, wonder of wonders, I know that change is achievable.

If.

If if if.

If.

If I do the work.

Why is that such a challenge? Or, at least, why does it FEEL like such a challenge. You wouldn’t think that something like “dance 5 minutes a day” would be hard. You wouldn’t think that “pick something up and put it away when you’re done with it” would be a challenge.” “Go for a walk” sounds like child’s play.

It’s all habit, isn’t it? It only feels like a challenge because I’ve made a habit of doing something else.

I’ve made a habit of stillness and got caught in inertia. I got to the point where not moving and not cleaning up and just…not-doing…was the norm. Somehow it felt (feels, more often than I like to admit) easier to not put in the effort, even though that meant (means) feeling achy and tired and weak and prematurely-old and afraid of injury. Even though that means living in a house that progressively gets filthier day by day.

I take comfort in the fact that I’m starting to see this now, and see it (mostly) without judgement (OK…not always). I see how my choices led to my inactivity and (often) squalid home. And, thank goodness, I can see how my choices can lead me in the other direction…

If.

If if if.

If.

If I do the work.

If I set the intention to make a change…and take the actions required. And then take them again. And again and again.

I’m struggling with this, struggling to make new habits and not let old ones creep back in. Day by day I’m struggling to make the choices that support where I want to be. Some days it doesn’t happen—I choose the old ways instead. But eventually I pick myself up and take another step forward, because nothing is impossible.

If.

If if if.

If.

If I do the work.

Waking up

Yesterday I was in the kitchen cooking dinner when Matthew came in to talk to me. I turned around to face him…

…and suddenly the world, and his face, came into focus again. Like the lens of a camera moving from blurry to crystal clear, I saw him, truly saw him, for the first time in months.

The relief of coming home, of waking up again, was almost too profound to write about. I don’t know where I was, but I wasn’t here. I wasn’t fully living. I wasn’t seeing the people I love. I wasn’t being myself.

And then I came home.

I don’t think that the timing is a coincidence. I’m sharing this partly as a reminder to myself: when I’m tired and resisting the dance, I want to remember this moment. This is what the dance can do…it can help me find my way home.

<3

Back in the saddle…

The past month was rough. Not “bad things are happening to me/the people I love” rough (thank goodness), but “I am intensely miserable and can’t seem to figure out how to fix it” rough. I was stressed out of my mind, completely un-grounded, separated from my body, barely breathing at all, and generally in a place of physical distress. And I couldn’t figure out how to snap out of it.

I tried all kinds of things, from Reiki to grounding to meditation to crystal work to daily walks, and nothing worked. I was at my wits’ end. I was out of ideas.

And then my husband pointed out that actually, I hadn’t tried everything. I was trying everything except the one thing that always always works for me.

I hadn’t tried dancing.

Somehow, I had lost sight of the fact that dancing always always reconnects me with…well…me. And I was trying all of these other things that work (for me) for mild mind-body separation, but not for major issues like I was experiencing. Matthew maintains that I hadn’t forgotten, I was just resisting (and that would certainly be true to form). And it’s true that the very thought of trying to dance again was terrifying. I felt physically incapable of doing it at all. But I shut myself in a room with some music and slowly, slowly, things started working themselves out.

I’m still struggling with resistance. I still don’t feel quite myself, but like a smaller, quieter, greyer version of me. So I am recommitting to dancing every day starting now. I’ve noticed that even a couple of minutes makes me feel more like myself.

100 Days of Dance take 5.

I’m like the opposite of the Toys R Us kid…

Today I went to Google and typed in “How to be a grown-up”

…well, technically I typed in “how to be a gro” and it filled in the rest because I am clearly not the only person in the world who wants to know.

I keep expecting people to go “Oh NO, don’t be a grown up! Why would you ever want to grow up?”

And here’s the truth: I don’t want to “grow up” in the way that people mean when they say “Oh grow up.” No. Here’s what I want:

To clean up my messes and not leave them all over the house. To know when bills are due and pay them on time instead of paying them whenever I happen to be able to. To have savings. To use food up before buying more. To never run out of toilet paper or hand soap. To have up-to-date passports, a will, and the same last name in both the US and Canada (long LONG story). To “get around to” all the things I mean to “get around to” instead of going from day to day hoping the sky doesn’t fall on me and then waking up in a panic one morning in July and realizing that, while I did pay my taxes, I didn’t actually file them. Yeah…that happened. Not 100% my fault, but the fact that I didn’t notice for a month is kind of sad.

I know that the answer to my problem is habits: creating them, keeping them. I know that I can learn all the stuff I need to know fairly easily if I put my mind to it. But I’m embarrassed and sad that I’m 32 years old and I’m basically a teenager in a grown-up’s body. I may feel old sometimes (like when I try to listen to dubstep or find out that Eminem’s daughter is now 18), but in many important ways I’m not acting like someone who has a kid and a house and taxes and bills and things to do other than crochet and play Minecraft. 

I don’t have all the answers (and no, I didn’t find them on Google), but I know in my heart that it’s possible to dot your Is and cross your Ts and STILL be a total kid at heart. And that’s the kind of growing up I want to do.

My Big-ass Epiphany

I’ve made an earth-shatteringly major discovery. Hold onto your hats, people, because this one is big big BIG. And I’m going to tell you what it is.

Ready?

Ok, here goes:

If you want to do something, like blog, dance, draw, whatever…

You need to actually DO it. If you don’t do it, if you just think about it, it doesn’t happen.

I know, right?! I’ll wait here for a minute while you recover from the mindblowing shock of realization.

But seriously, I don’t know why I spent so long not realizing this. For months now I’ve wanted to dance and I’ve wanted to blog and I wanted and wanted and wanted…and FELT LIKE CRAP.

Today I got up and danced for 5 minutes. Today I sat down and I wrote this post. I didn’t just think about it, I did it. AND I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER!!

There you go. Wisdom for the ages from my brain to yours.

A bag of fireflies

The other night, when I was feeling lost and panicky and completely out of touch with myself, Matthew sat me down and gave me a challenge: Before I spent any more time envisioning the future, making plans (and despairing about how to carry them out), I was to look in my bag of fireflies.

How he came up with that image doesn’t matter (it made sense at the time, I promise). His point was that I needed to sift through my creations and experiences before anything else. And I agreed with him. I have a very short memory—I forget I’ve done things almost immediately after the glow fades.

So I’m sifting through my bag of fireflies, seeing what’s there. I’m reading old word processing documents: blog post drafts, class notes, write-ups. I’m being reminded of who I am, who I’ve been, and who I want to become.

And as firefly after firefly shines out from my bag, I see how they form a path that leads me forward…and how I may have wandered here and there, but I’ve (almost) always been heading in the right direction.