let yourself be…

Over the passed few years, I too have gone through quite a few “I shoulds”. Many have been documented on this very blog. This past year, I have tried very hard to unlearn each of them.

I should do yoga every single day. I did that and I ended up exhausted.

I should wake up at 5am and go to yoga, pilates, or the gym. That was fine until I burst into tears one night when I set my alarm for 4:55am.

I should sleep the same amount at the same time every night. All I have to say is that it sucks leaving a dinner party early to make it home for bedtime.

Oh yes, and then there was the whole no gluten, no animal products, no coffee or alcohol thing. That landed me in the hospital.

It took me awhile to learn that the “should” strategy just wasn’t working. The hardest part was the ego, but that tends to be the case. But I was desperate, so for the past several months, I have tried another strategy: let myself do, eat, not do, and not eat whatever the moment calls for. I’ve tried hard to let myself be (two steps forward, one step back each and every day). And guess what, folks? It’s working!

Now don’t get me wrong, I still believe in what drove me to all of the above – the power of yoga, healthy eating, challenging yourself, etc. But here’s the major, major game-changer: moderation, and as is best for you – your unique you. The moment a healthy life decision become a stressful dogma, it has defeated its own point.

When I think of letting myself be, I think of this… Cali.

Life is too short to miss out on pleasure, too long to be miserable, and too complicated to fit into anyone else’s mold.

Find your own balance. Be kind to yourself. Listen to your gut, and all that jazz.


doing the work: the living of life

When I set my mind to something, I want results and I want them now. Better yet, I want them yesterday. And I want them to be extraordinary.

When I picked up yoga again a few years ago, I wanted to do a headstand immediately.

When I started running, I wanted to run a half marathon without any training.

When I started eating well, I wanted to have glowing skin and boundless energy after my first green juice.

But here’s what I’ve learned after a week of doing my homework: it doesn’t work like that. What’s more, when we are so focused on the results – awaiting that glorious moment when everything will click into place – we miss out on what might actually make it all click: the living of life.

Here’s an excerpt from Geneen Roth’s “Why Weight” which REALLY struck a chord this week:

I have a friend, someone I love very much, who has spent the last few years either traveling around the world or in meditation retreats. In four years, she’s worked for six months, and those months were spent making enough money to leave. She reminds me of the participants in workshops who keep looking for the answer, keep waiting for the click, and all the while, miss what could be producing it for them: the living of life. Waking up, dreaming, laughing, fighting, loving, crying, sweating, sleeping – and noticing. The boredom, the sadness, the rage, hate, joy, the hunger of being alive. Notice it all. The ordinary happenings of a day.
This friend of mine keeps opting for the extraordinary in just the way we keep waiting for the magic. We keep thinking something is going to happen that will make it all make sense. And when it doesn’t, my friend goes on another retreat or flies to somewhere else in the world. Just as she does, we wait. We wait.

“When is the little thing going to click that will make it all change?”

The answer is that there is no click. Or the answer is that the click is now, here. If you value the experience of getting there instead of the result of being there, one moment is just as good as the next. Learning about your hunger, tasting a raisin as if it were the first you ever ate, stopping when you are satisfied, not stopping and noticing how you feel, it’s all part of the process of waking up to being alive.
Happy tumbling & stumbling!