Spring Awakening and the Iron Lung

I’m about halfway into my Spring Break and I’m still struggling to breathe. Today was better than yesterday, but I just coughed so hard that I thought I was going to pass out. I know that I am improving because the cough is productive. I’m getting this poison out of my lungs, but it is laborious and exhausting. So much for a relaxing week in the mountains, right?

I have struggled with my health off and on for my entire life. I came into this world fighting and there have been moments (or years) of that same fight as I’ve grown into a woman. I know that this illness this last week is small in comparison to some of the things I have survived in the past, but having to put off something fun because of being sick, takes me into a dark place of despair and disappointment.

This journey is about the present and right now, in this moment, I am striving to not feel defeated. I have been working at mending my whole self through this process and this set-back is hitting me hard. I don’t want my body to be my enemy anymore.

I know that taking better care of myself with good rest, healthy food and daily exercise would go a long way in helping with my health, however that feels too little too late at the moment.

I dreamed about going up to Buena Vista for weeks. I daydreamed of writing, sleeping in, hiking my favorite canyon…My family and I had discussed going up for a long weekend if I was improving. Even though I have seen some improvement today, it isn’t enough. I realized today that going up into the higher altitude will only set me back. I can’t miss any school next week so it is in my best interest to stay here in town.

I feel the need to grieve. I didn’t want to write about it, but that was an indication that I should. I also want things to change and feel more drive than ever to reconnect to my body in a healthy manner. When I look forward to the rest of this year and all the years I will be blessed with, I want to know I was living my best life all of the time. I intend to be well.

In reality, people get sick. Especially teachers who are caring for and educating sick students who come to school and share all their germs. I may always struggle with asthma. I may not. It’s hard to say. I do know that I have scaled bigger mountains with my health and this disappointment will fade.

For now I can ask my angels for a speedy recovery and a better nights sleep. It’s going to be 75 degrees on Saturday. I hope that I will be feeling good enough to get out in the sun and enjoy some of this Spring Awakening. They say that vitamin D is good for depression. It might be just what the doctor ordered to get me back on my feet.

Just Smile

My Spring Break has started with a revisit from the sinus infection that I thought was long gone. I’m sooo stuffed up and am heading back to bed as soon as I post. I have a bunch to write about, but just don’t have the energy tonight. I had a really interesting realization today…but I’ll get to that soon.

I went to the zoo with my students on Friday. One of my students pointed out that this elephant was smiling and I thought it was great.

I’ll write again soon…hopefully feeling much better!

Great Expectations

I have been thinking a lot about expectations today. One of my worst personality traits is that I’m notorious for creating expectations that can’t possibly be managed in reality. I had been really looking forward to something this week and inadvertently built it up in my mind – built it up so much that when it came crashing back down to reality, I was faced with the consequences. Disappointment.

I have been trying to manage my expectations with this project and have done a pretty good job, considering my track record. However, I’ve allowed myself to get out of control again the last couple of weeks. I understand that having expectations opens the door to that sinking feeling of failure.

I also feel like a failure today because every time I feel like I’m getting better at reading other people’s signals – that blows up in my face too. As I read back that sentence to myself, it seems absurd. It would be nice not to have to read signals or build these sand castles of expectations in my mind.

I know I can’t fix this tonight…I may never be able to fix it. It is a part of me like my wrist bone or my unique laugh. But after feeling the dull ache of disappointment today, I’m determined to find a way to temper my unrealistic expectations before the year is through.

Show Your Feathers

I have been enthralled with peacocks for as long as I can remember. I think they have the most beautiful feathers and I love all the brilliant colors. When I was a toddler, I caused quite a commotion when I chased one around the Denver Zoo at top speed. The peacock wasn’t interested in being friends and led me through a frenzied chase. I was too engrossed in his beauty to realize I had stomped through a couple of picnic lunches. My parents finally caught me before I caught the peacock and I’m sure they were very proud of me that day 🙂

This weekend, I have been surrounded by peacock feathers. I did some research on the symbolism of the peacock and found it to be appropriate to this journey I’m on. The peacock is a symbol of integrity and the rich beauty we can achieve when we commit to showing our true colors. The feathers are also a symbol of protection and watchfulness. I have felt highly connected to protective forces recently, and this synchronicity of seeing so many peacock images this weekend doesn’t feel coincidental.

I read tonight that Buddhist’s associate peacock feathers to the feeling of openness, because the peacock displays everything when they spread their tails for the world to see. And apparently, peacocks can eat poisonous plants and survive, which they attribute to the ability to persevere and thrive in the face of suffering. Lots of connection to my own life!

I’ve had a wonderful weekend of support, love and reconnection with many friends – some of whom I haven’t spoken to in a decade. This morning, I skyped with two of my best friends – my writing soul mates. We try to connect every three weeks and it is healing to hear their voices and receive their advice and input in my life. We spoke about my journey of healing, especially in intimacy and relationships. It helps to put a voice to my mending heart and have ears that so willingly listen. Lately, I have received little glimpses of what I have been missing for so long. It is exciting and unnerving at the same time. I know that I am  healing because although I am tempted to run away, I am staying present and working through these emotions.

Today we spoke about the reasons that I had shut down in the first place. I’m finding it less difficult to talk about. I think even acknowledging how profoundly hurt I was, has taken away some of the betrayal’s power over me. I don’t need to be dejected or unlovable any more.

Even though I’m nervous to open up and show my feathers again, I feel a deep urging in my soul that it’s time to come out of hiding and show off my colors.

Coming Soon…

Sorry I have been MIA this week. I tried to do an auto post thingy that did not work so well. I will be catching up tomorrow with an update. Stay tuned…

Taking a Sick Day

I am one big ball of snot!

We’ll chat next week…

It’s Not That Easy Being Green

I am a huge Muppet fanatic. I have loved the Muppet’s since I was a toddler. Jim Henson is one of my idols and I remember exactly where I was when I heard about his death. I cried myself to sleep for a week.  Today, I received an email from one of my best friends with a great Muppet picture and it made my day. I have been up to my eyes in work and I desperately needed a moment from the chaos and frustration to smile.

I have always loved the song, “Being Green” as well. It may be my favorite song. It is simple and profound and ever beautiful.

I finally started reading the book In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. I have been wanting to read it for a while, but had a chance to flip through it this weekend and was very impressed. I know that a lot of my health issues and weight issues could be remedied with a shift in my eating habits. It’s unfortunate that the busier I get, the harder it is to take care of myself…and that includes poor eating with processed food.

I know that the principles Michael Pollan suggests take more time and are less convenient, but I don’t want to get diabetes or cancer. Cancer is certainly not convenient either… It seems to me that a little more work now could really pay off in the coming years.

I am also really interested in a teaching job at a local school that focuses on green living. I’m nervous to apply because I want to make a good impression. There is sooo much competition – I’m super nervous, but here’s hoping that I am exactly what they’re looking for.

I don’t think all of this green stuff is a coincidence. It seems like a flashing neon sign. Green is the thing I should be focusing on. It’s not only important for taking care of the earth, but also taking care of myself. It’s not that easy, but its worth the time and the effort in the end. I think Kermit had it right all along:

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder, why wonder,
I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful
And I think it's what I want to be

Godess…

I have been meaning to write a status update for February and I plan to do so in this post, but first I have to get something off my chest.

It is just me or is anyone else sick of hearing about Charlie Sheen? It’s everywhere! On the radio, on tv, on the newsstands at the check out counter. I’m soooo done. At first his crazy ranting was a bit funny because it was so out there. Then it was sad. Now it’s just annoying and the more we talk about it, the more we feed the beast. I know, I know. I’m talking about it, but I want to comment on one more tiny (huge) thing and then I will hold my peace.

Goddess Girls – are you kidding me. When did porn stars and slutty nannies becomes goddesses? Every time I hear these women referred to as Goddesses I throw up a little in my mouth.

A Goddess is a woman of great beauty and grace. A Goddess is a female being believed to be the source of life, the personification of a life force who should be adored.

The fact that Charlie Sheen’s call girls are being called Goddesses is a slap in the face to all the genuine Goddesses out there in the real world. Is it any wonder true Goddesses can’t even recognize their own grace and beauty anymore when this is the example our society chooses to focus on.

Porn stars project an unattainable personification of fantasy that us real Goddess girls can’t live up to. In turn we feel less than perfect and pluck and prime ourselves in the vain effort to walk in their seven-inch plastic heels. I remember being younger and being depressed that no one ever referred to me as hot. I was referred to as beautiful on more than one occasion, but that wasn’t enough…

I’m not being fooled anymore! My eyes are open to this fallacy, this injustice.

There are real Goddesses around every corner. You just have to know the truth and open your eyes.

For instance, the teachers who I work with every day – these women provide love, support and a chance for a better life through education for hundreds of students who deserve better than what they’ve been given. The Para Olympian I saw on the news last night that coaches young girls who recently became amputees to find confidence on the ski slopes of Colorado. Single parents who work two jobs to make sure their children have full bellies and shoes without holes. The dozens of women workers from Wisconsin who are fighting for their bargaining rights…

These are Goddesses. Women of great beauty and grace. The personification of a life force.

Phew! I had to get that out of my system. That rant has been building for days and I feel much better.

Onto the status of my own evolution toward great beauty and grace…

February was a tough month. I still made positive progress but I hit some minor speed bumps as well. The novelty of this project started to wear off and the reality of a year of intense self-reflection took its toll on my motivation. However, I learned some important things about myself and the wacky signals I had been sending out into the world.

I’m excited for a new month and a new start with this. I’m going to simplify my grid for March and try to build a strong foundation before I add anything else on. This may seem like a step backward, but I feel that it’s actually a step in the right direction. I’ll be looking for more examples of real Goddess Girls to bring to light and admire this month – stay tuned for that!

I’m still racing around like a chicken, attempting to keep up with all the things I need to accomplish for school this semester, but I got some good sleep the last couple of nights and that makes everything easier. Time is speeding along and I’m doing my darndest to keep up.

I’ll check in soon. I promise not to get on my soapbox again for a while 🙂

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