Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Furrowed, Playful Brow

This weekend I finished my Coach Training with CTI and I'm exhausted! I'm still letting the learning sink in, so not much about that right now.

I feel a sense of relief lingering in my entire body now that the training is complete and I can go back to having all the weekends in a month to play with.
I have this overwhelming urge to talk about what I learned and the fantasticity (I'm a writer, I can make up words if I want to) of it all, and I'm trying to stay in a playful place because I've missed it so.

["What is playing, again?" she asks intensely with furrowed brow.]

And as I sit here and try to think about something playful to write...I'm not playing. So with that, I'm going to go run around outside with Jackson for a while and just be silly. And I think you should too. Jackson would love it!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Learning Me

This morning I'm enjoying a bit of quiet time, while Erin and Jackson are sprawled on the bed sleeping the morning away, Killer is curled up on the futon enjoying her alone time, and Sly is curled up next to me on the couch (finally finished cleaning himself). 

The past couple of months have been a blur. Between Balance and Process coach training; life coaching and being life coached; reading Anatomy of the Spirit, The Drama of the Gifted Child, and The Mastery of Love (and then Bringing Down the House just for a break from myself); attending marriage equality rallies in Long Beach and Fresno; putting down bricks over the dirt in the back yard to keep Jackson from digging (since he killed all the grass within 1 month of our arrival); continuing work on the book; putting a 2000 piece puzzle of Neuschwanstein together; softball  and BBQ's, both local and on the road; and taking Jackson on his daily dog park trip so as to get him too tired to eat the furniture (or stacks of $20's we apparently keep lying around), I haven't made much time for blogging. 

I hesitate to exclaim, "ALL THAT IS ABOUT TO CHANGE!!" because I'm in a place where I'm really trying to honor myself. I've once again run myself into a place where I'm unwilling to commit to anything more that what I already have on my plate. A friend of mine, whom I haven't seen in quite a while (and now lives right around the corner) invited me to a BBQ and I just couldn't commit. Part of it was that I have prior commitments that prevent me from accepting any further invitations, but that line of reasoning was only valid after I found out it was an evening BBQ. While I thought it was during the day, I simply couldn't commit to anything further than, "...well maybe I'll stop by for a few mintues..." and even that made my skin cringe at the guilt of now she's hoping to see me and I really should just stop by for a minute, it's right around the corner!

But the thing is, maybe I really don't have a few minutes to stop by. Maybe in order to honor myself I just need to take the day as it comes and do only what I have time for, only what I don't have to rush around for. With all that I've already committed myself to, I've left little time for recuperation, for relaxation, rejuvenation (I feel like the Cajun Man on SNL). I've been focusing so much on growth that I haven't given myself the chance to let it all sink in. 

I've often referred to personal growth and learning as a sponge. If I'm the sponge and water is learning, then it takes a little bit for the water to stop flowing over the top of the sponge and for the sponge to really begin to absorb the water. But then when the sponge is full, the water continues to pour right through and the learning is missed. I have to turn the water off, allow myself to absorb what's already been passed through me to learn, and then let that sit for a while in order to really take it in. So to tell you where I am today, I've turned the water off and I'm letting myself sit for a while. In this space I'm finding time to appreciate the things I've learned. 

Living a balanced life isn't something you achieve, it's something you constantly work towards-it's about making conscious choices about what I'm willing to say yes to and what I'm willing to say no to in each moment of decision. It's about knowing that I have the right to make decisions based on what's important to me right here and right now. And about realizing that I am not locked into anything that I do not choose to be locked into. I am human and things change. I must be flexible in coming to understand what is important to me, and then firm when honoring those values. And then I must be flexible again if the values I've held onto for years and years are no longer working for me. And I must be firm in my commitment to honor myself in addressing and evaluating my values and then flexible again in how best to proceed in honoring those values. 

I've also learned the value of introspection, reflection, and being honest about what comes of both of these exercises. I've learned that the past is the past and while it's best to leave the past back there where it belongs, the only way to do so is to process the feelings--to really FEEL it all before moving forward. Otherwise I'm carrying around the baggage of the past. An example of this learning in my own life: 

I once thought that I was over my mom's death. Until I realized that whenever someone close to me would bring up their mom I would victimize myself in that I didn't have a mom and how hard it was for me on Mother's Day or her birthday or a random Tuesday because you can call your mom just because you feel like it and I can't. I realized that I had processed my mom's death, but I never processed the anger I felt around it. And so I carried that anger along with me where ever I went. I carried my anger with me to lunches and meetings and relationships and road trips and intimate dinners for two and large parties and into the shower and the bath and on walks and hikes and bike rides and to the grocery store. The anger didn't show up in everything I did nor everyone I talked to, so I thought it was manageable. Until I went through some coaching last month. 
Not only did I acknowledge the fact that I was angry with my mom for leaving, for being a bad mother, for teaching me the wrong way to love so  had to figure it out on my own, but I also gave myself permission to feel that anger. To really let it out and sob and scream and be ANGRY! I found that expressing this anger didn't take away my love for her, but it let me move past myself so that I could see and be at peace with the wonderful mother I had. While she was terrible at some things, she always did her best to be the best mother she knew how to be. I am who I am largely because of my relationship with my mother, in all its flawed brilliance. And because I felt the anger, because I let it pass through me, because I was willing to feel it and let it go, leave it in the past, I can now move forward a lighter person, without the weight of this bag of anger I carried around for so many years. 

I think I must stop with the learning for this morning, simply to honor my space of taking a break. I must let this learning sink in, I must sit in my silence with it to fully understand and then I'll be ready to move forward. More learning to come, although I can't promise expedience for right now...