Skip to main content

Comfortable Shoes.

I'm learning to wear comfortable shoes.  I have a bunch of lovely heels, but DAMN, they hurt. They look good on the outside but they feel terrible.  There's a lesson here.

A couple years ago I spent some time in Boston at the beginning of my midlife crisis spiritual awakening. It was, in fact, the second time I had run away from home to tape myself together, and that time, I went back to Cambridge and holed up in the Charles Hotel for a week. When I was there, I hadn't eaten for 10 days, was running obsessively, and hadn't slept more than three hours a row for 18 months. I was not well. Nevertheless, the afternoon I got in, I ran five miles, walked a mile up Mass Ave. to the Baron Baptiste Power Yoga Studio and proceeded to hurt myself striving during a 90 minute hot yoga practice that left me splayed, drenched in sweat, and exhausted.

The next morning I woke up after sleeping 6 hours in a row, (which was an improvement, really, after most of a bottle of wine and a veggie burger), and I could barely move. What did I do? I went right back out to run and yoga. By the time I got to the yoga studio I was on fumes, which, frankly, was not an abnormal feeling, so as the Krishna Das music got started, I was on autopilot and jammed through the first poses. About 10 minutes in the first long hold happened, and as I let go and drifted downwards into chaturanga, I hit the mat and just...stopped.

I lay there, forehead and nose pressed into my mat, my hands in my armpits, ready to push up for the longest time, as the rest of the class flowed through another sun salutation. And another. And another. Each time I intended to "catch up" with the class back in down dog.

But I didn't. I laid there. And the thought arose, as the instructor led the class through the next poses..."I DON'T WANT TO DO THAT." As clear as a bell.

I. Don't. Want. To. Do. That.

My worn out and broken heart said: "It hurts and is hard, and I have already done enough. Too much, really. I've been unkind to myself and to my body and I hurt because of it. I want to be done."

But my internal critic said: "But you'll look like a loser lying here not doing. Why did you come if you didn't want to work? It's only 90 minutes. You'll feel so accomplished when it's over and you can say you went to yoga today. Just keep going. Just do it."

My heart won that day. Not because I was being wise, or conscious, or spiritual, but because I literally, physically, could not go on. I cried uncle.

And I hated that feeling. I hated it so much, I felt so much loss, that I laid there on my mat and wept for the remaining 80 minutes of that practice. In public. In child's pose.

(I got more adjustments during that practice than I've ever gotten before, which was a testament to the seeing of the teacher and the assistants and I'm grateful they were there for me that day.)

Ken, my very wise therapist said recently, "you're not mourning the loss of what once was, you're mourning the loss of your superpowers." It sure was true that day.

That day was the beginning of this change, really. Learning that I could set limits, do what felt good, and not have to be working so hard all the time. It's a daily process, but that was really the first time I said no to anything.

The work then became to determine what exactly I wanted and continue to want to say yes to. Who I am and what I like and what I don't.

Daily, daily, daily, reminding myself it's OK to just be me, to have my needs and temperament and all of it. Choosing to be vocal and brave and say those things without checking first if it's OK with someone else.

I want to choose people in my life the way I choose my shoes, and to stop giving time to things and people that don't give back. When you've spent your life alternately pushing love away or hiding from it, or chasing unavailable people, that's a hard habit to break. I want to choose things to do that cause me joy and not pain and struggle, but when you've taken the uphill path your whole life, out of some attempt to prove your worth to yourself and "the world", it's another hard habit to break.

It gets easier with practice, is all I can say.


Popular posts from this blog

It is safe to say that you are Settling in Your Relationship? That is the Question

In our lives we meet a wide range of individuals yet not all are good with us thus this is the reason it is so elusive an accomplice throughout everyday life. You can adore a wide range of individuals, yet that is not quite the same as what makes an incredible accomplice. At the point when you genuinely love someone so much that you're willing to work to be a superior individual and that other individual is eager to do likewise for you, that is the point at which you have enchantment in a container.

The inquiry is would you say you are settling? Do you have all the fixings expected to make your relationship work, are you in-adoration, do they rouse you to be better at everything - a superior individual, a superior mother or father, a superior sister or sibling, child or little girl, do they regard you, do they tune in, are you explicitly fulfilled. Let's be honest, a relationship and additionally marriage can be extremely long and you must like the individual as mush as you lo…


After my engagement was broken off, my brilliant therapist led me to a conclusion that was hard to accept, but necessary:

"I know I have to consider just dating, and not taking it all so seriously."

He said, "I support that."

So I did.

I've been out online since late last summer and I've seen a lot of people, talked to a lot more, and have begun to figure out what works for me and what doesn't. I talked to EVERYONE, just to hear the stories. Sex workers, married guys, older ones, younger ones, blue collar, polyamorous, all of the varieties of -sexual (most of which are indistinguishable to me). I describe myself as a "casual dater" although apparently that has an acronym now: ENP-NPP which stands for "ethically non-monogamous, no primary partner." It's what we used to just call casual dating - everyone is seeing other people until you decide together that you aren't.

I was proceeding easily down this road and all was going perfect…

From Grief to Gratitude

We live in a world so averse to suffering that avoiding feeling is practically a vocation. But when I avoided the darkness, I realized I had to seek out ways to experience it that I could control. Emotion phobia is a thing. But the need to feel is real.

The brilliant Miriam Greenspan comments:

"We fear our emotions and devalue them. This fear has its roots in the ancient duality of reason versus emotion. Reason and the mind are associated with masculinity and are considered trustworthy, whereas emotion and the body are associated with the feminine and are seen as untrustworthy, dangerous, and destructive...But despite our fear, there is something in us that wants to feel all these emotional energies, because they are the juice of life. When we suppress and diminish our emotions, we feel deprived. So we watch horror movies or so-called reality shows like Fear Factor. We seek out emotional intensity vicariously, because when we are emotionally numb, we need a great deal of stimulatio…