September 2010


Our source of suffering is always related to our resistance to what is.  The soul doesn’t try to control life, the ego does.  When your ego is wrapped firmly around a desire, your peace of mind and happiness are held hostage by an obsessive need to control the outcome.  After enough pain and suffering, you’ll eventually get the message: If you don’t learn to surrender your will, you will surrender your peace.

It takes a leap of faith ot abandon your way for the right way.  It means letting go of how you think things should be and accepting them as they are.  When we surrender, it doesn’tmean that we throw our hands in the air and do nothing at all, it means that we pay close attention to the messages we get from our Divine partner so we can act on this wisdom.  Then, once we’ve done what we can, we let go and allow the Divine to take over to bring about the result that will serve our spiritual development.

Cheryl Richardson

I decided to do some speed intervals on the treadmill.  I’m committed to doing a 10k race in a few weeks and my issue is that I suck wind big time.  So I figure by sucking wind more often I should hopefully suck less, from practice.

I planned out this workout during the night when I couldn’t sleep.  It was the night I decided not to give baby Leo a dream feeding.  A dream feeding is the 10 pm bottle you give a baby to help them get through the night.  He’s over a year now and I thought it’s high time to stop that nonsense.  Only I hadn’t cleared it with him. 

At midnight he had different plans.  He woke up crying like he hadn’t eaten in a week.  So I crept around the dark kitchen, got him a bottle and he downed it without taking a breath.  He crashed and slept like a baby.  I, on the other hand couldn’t get to sleep.  So I planned an awesome speed interval workout for the next day.  And I did that for a long time.

Of course the next morning I hardly felt like getting dressed but dragged my sorry butt to the gym anyways.  I got on the treadmill, it wasn’t one I was familiar with.  I couldn’t figure out how the miles per hour worked. I finally figured out something that felt “speedy” and did the first interval. 

It hurt.  I felt awful.  My legs didn’t move right.  And my thoughts went like this – this is really awful!  if the first one is this awful what will the next 3 be like?  they’ll be worse!  I’m going to die here on the treadmill!  My headstone will read, “wow she *really* sucked wind”.

But I kept going and you know the crazy thing?  The second interval was easier, and the third was easier than that.  Not like easy easy.  I was still counting down the seconds before the interval ended but it was more doable.  Like my body figured it out.  My legs got into sync. My brain said, oh yeah I remember this. 

Whatever it was, I did a bunch of them and I didn’t die after all.  So here are the 2 easy ways to stop catastrophizing and making yourself miserable:

1. Allow the possibility that it won’t get worse.  It might get better or stay the same, but it might not get worse.  You might be fine. You never know.

2.  If that works try going a step further.  Maybe you don’t know anything and you should wait and see.  I think it’s called Beginners Mind, you just look at the situation and go – wow I wonder what’s going happen!  Instead of being an old wise curmudgeonly person who knows from their reams of experience that it’s all lousy.  You just hang out in the moment and watch.

So here’s my plan the next time I do something that’s hard and painful and I’m going to do it again.  When I catch myself saying, wow was that ever awful!  I’m going to remind myself to also say,  but just wait, *anything* can happen.

I was doing really well.  I was taking the cup half full approach.  I was focused on enjoying my body instead of trying to change it.  My goal was to do something exercise related everyday.  It didn’t have to be a run or an hour of power yoga, it could be 20 minutes of yoga or some push-ups and sit-ups, but something. 

And it didn’t matter what I felt I *should* do, I was going to do exactly what I *felt* like doing.  I’d ponder my energy levels, decide whether i wanted to be outside or in, and then pick something that felt good.  It was working great and then I crashed.

I try to get on the scale only when I know it’s going to be a good story.   Why aske to be bummed out right?  Sometimes I ignore it for a long time and then I’ll look in the mirror and say, hey something good is happening here and I’ll consider The Scale. 

The other morning I thought, things have been going to so well that the scale has *got* to have a good news story for me.  So I got on and I was up a pound.  I was majorly pissed off.  I’ve been doing lots of good stuff on the eating front, exercising daily, you gotta be kidding me! 

And bang, i felt myself fall off the wagon right on my ass.  (big sigh)  I went into who-cares, nothing- makes-a-difference-anyways, i’m-probably-stuck-with-this-extra-weight-forever.  The whole BMW – bitching moaning whining bit.  I hate that.

All over a stupid pound.  It’s likely that i’m retaining water because it’s been hotter than Hades.  Or hormonal stuff is happening.  Or I’m just up a pound.  Whatever it is, it’s time to forgive myself and start again.

I’m not usually this all-or-nothing.  I can’t even completely do an “all”.  If I have ideas of doing a real spartan lifestyle thing it just makes me immediately want to eat a chocolate bar. 

I do detoxes twice yearly to keep myself on the straight and narrow but I’ve been known to sneak a glass of wine or a bit of cream in my coffee on those too.  I’m just convinced that too much asceticism isn’t good for the soul.  Or at least my soul.

I have a friend who’s very all or nothing.   She talked to me about how she completely gets on the wagon whole hog, loses a bunch of weight and the first thing that happens, the first slip and bang she’s off the wagon flat on her ass.  And promptly gains all the weight back.

I asked her what would happen if she didn’t climb completely on the wagon. If she did only one eating related thing and one exercise related thing. 

Easy stuff, like the 20 minute loop around the block twice a week.  Heck she could do that  in her sleep.  And lifestyle stuff.  The things she wants to do as consistently as possible for the rest of her life.  Not the crazy things we might be willing to do to fit into the too-small LBD we bought.

So she tried it.  She stopped her coke drinking and lost 6 pounds.  She tried some yoga and pilates DVDs to find ones she likes because those are easy to fit into her life.  And she’s using them to enjoy her body and not just change it.

So I’m going to do it too.  Tomorrow I’m going to start again.  Enjoy the fruits and veggies I got from the farmers market yesterday.  Ignore the cookies that I made during the hurricane before the power went out.  Do some exercise, anything that might be fun, anything that might help me enjoy my body and get my focus off that one lousy pound.

I was thinking more about yesterday’s quote – “Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world”.  Sometimes I get lost in what exactly grace is.  So my short hand way of reminding myself to go “Haaaaaaa” – a big noisy exhale.  

Have you ever done that one in yoga class?  It’s great.  It makes you realize all the holding you do, silently carrying all that breath and tension.  With one exhale you feel yourself let go of all the excess, the worry, the resisting.  It feels like you’re left with just what you need.  You’re in a state of calm.  You’re going with the flow and trusting it will all work out exactly how it needs to.   To me, that’s grace.

But acceptance is hard.  I was thinking about my son’s recent swimming experiences.  He flunked his last level of swimming not once, or twice but three times.  And he loves to swim, it’s not like he was quivering in the corner, he loves it.  I couldn’t accept it. 

Is my kid a Failure?  Is he lacking in some important way?  Is he going to flunk out of school too before he makes it to junior high?  You know, working through all the consequences and “what does this mean”  questions which is such of waste of time because there’s no way we can know.  It only increases the blood pressure.

I finally put him in a private lesson so he could pass the damn thing and take the next level with his cousin this summer.  The teacher was able to get him to understand the expectations which really helped.  They’re supposed to hold things like Starfish, floating on their back for 5 seconds. 

Only no one had told him that, so he’d come up after say, one and a half seconds and wouldn’t pass that requirement. So this teacher told him he needed to stay on his back while she counted to five and sure enough he was like, oh ok, no big deal.  And this time he passed.

So this summer he went into the next level of swimming with his cousin.  I was being really careful to manage my expectations.  To accept whatever was going to happen.  This is his swimming experience, he’ll get it at some point, this isn’t about my timelines. 

Didn’t he pass with flying colors.  There were little check marks next to the long list of stuff they need to show they can do.  I was shocked.  And i couldn’t accept it.

Maybe the teacher has gone insane.  The kids were a little wrangy waiting for their turns to swim, maybe he passed them so he wouln’t have to deal with them anymore.  And then I thought no Corilee, noisy exhale time (Haaaaaa!) just accept it.   Find that state of graceful calm about this too.

We went to the beach the other day and there were some awesome waves coming in.  Angus and I got about waist deep and waited for the waves coming in.  “Here it comes here it comes here it comes!” 

We’d either stand strong or dunk underneath them.  And then we’d feel the sand move under our feet as the wave sucked back down the beach.   Afterwards he played in the waves himself and whether he got hit in the face or bowled over by them he had a blast.  I kept an eye on him but I didn’t worry because he’s a strong little swimmer and he’ll be just fine.