Breaking the Spell of Scarcity: Reflecting on SPEND

Growing up, I was an incredibly frugal child. While both of my parents have always been financially responsible and stable, I’m unsure exactly where my mentaily came from. Perhaps I was just fascinated with the independence that money could bring to a highly dependent being? After doing my requisite chores and household responsibilities, I received a modest allowance; what I did with it was up to me.

I remember being fascinated by the concept of borrowed money earning interest. I often “charged” my mom an extra quarter whenever she needed cash for the weekend. She thought it was adorable, I thought I was business savvy.

If memory serves, I probably counted my savings on a weekly basis. I was also a highly organized child (at one point literally everything in my room had its own labeled place) and found an insane amount of comfort in stacking my coins and sorting my bills.

I maintained a healthy relationship with money throughout most of my life, save for two largely disruptive cycles heralding massive life changes. The first was a shopping addiction I struggled with during my ill-fated marriage. I was that girl who would clothes shop every weekend, and occasionally during my lunch hour. I love a good deal and my tastes have never been particularly expensive, but the outlet of stockpiling clothing helped mask the crushing anxiety, depression, and fear I struggled with inside.

The second was as I made the transition towards my current career. I took at 30% pay cut, paid for expensive out-of-state trainings out of pocket, and spent my remaining time in Fort Collins at my favorite locations with my favorite people. I amassed an incredible amount of debt in that year and worked diligently during my first year-and-a-half in Birmingham to pay off my nearly maxed credit card. It was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.

But more than just my relationship with money, I’ve been a stockpiler of nice things. Books I’ll never read, candles I’ll never burn, lotion I’ll sparingly lather on, journals I fret about “ruining” by using, favorite outfits I avoid wearing (and thus washing) to keep them as near-new as possible. Hell, I’m even stingy with the booklets of planner stickers I use to organize my time keeper.

The problem with this of course is that I outgrow my pristine clothes and because I never used them enough, they sit in my great-grandmother’s hope chest waiting until the (unforeseeable) day that I fit into them again. I buy cheap notebooks to record my daily thoughts because those aren’t beautiful enough words worthy to fill the expensive leather journal I bought in my 20s. The fancy facial serum my former mother-in-law bought me literally eight years ago sits practically full on a cabinet in the house I now share with my partner.

I know how stupid this is. How ridiculous it is to be so afraid of scarcity that I prevent myself from enjoying the beautiful things I’ve curated. And believe me, I’m millions of lightyears better than I once was. In the five moves I’ve made over the past six years, I’ve probably purged a solid 60 percent of my belongings, including an insane amount of self-care products, candles, make up, exotic spices.

I don’t consider myself a cheap person. But there is something about the feeling that these possessions are precious and irreplaceable that gets me. I’ve had my fair share of items that I got rid of and was never able to duplicate or replicate — the black lace peplum top that looked stellar with both pants and skirts, the sexy boots with the perfect shape and heel height that laced up the back, the apple-pear candle I found in middle school that is still to this day one of the best smells I’ve ever experienced. The sachet of saffron from an outdoor market in a foreign city. I find myself so attached to these things that SPENDING them in whatever capacity they offer almost hurts. And because they have become so precious, that panicked maintenance spills over to more arbitrary things too.

Knowing this month was coming up, I prepared myself to really go gung ho on this spending thing. I reminded myself of the times I’ve successfully broken the spell of scarcity. When I relocated to Birmingham, I decided the only plates I would pack was the dogwood-patterned fine china my dad gifted me (us) after my 2009 wedding. My ex and I ate with them once, maybe twice. I spent weeks purging closets and drawers and memories, and that china was literally in the back of my car headed to Goodwill. Then I realized I was more than happy to just dump this beautiful set of dishes which my father had held onto since I was 15-years-old because I was too afraid to use it.

What a sad waste.

Josh and I use that china every day now. We can’t put it through the microwave because of the gold plating but we do run it through the dishwasher. And when Josh accidentally shattered one of the dinner plates, it wasn’t a big deal. I managed to normalize what was once fancy so its loss no longer felt impactful.

What a wonderful thing to gain.

This month I started a journaling project with a set of beloved out-of-print oracle cards that I had previously been putting off until I got my hands on a backup set. Every night I’ve greedily slathered my whole damn body in the delicious-smelling Hemp lotion from my mom. I’ve used my good pens in my favorite colors any time I’ve had to put pen to paper. I took a week of vacation days to read books and drink dark-and-stormies on the beach with my beloved.

But our biggest splurge was the 500-square-foot deck added to the back of our house. Josh and I haven’t had a decent outdoor space during the entirety that we’ve been together, something we both deeply cherish and desire. We had planned to save up money and get it built in October before family comes for Thanksgiving. But when Josh was tapped for a side-hustle project that would pay for most of the deck, we decided to go all in. So the most phenomenal crew of guys (seriously, one of them worked on crutches with a broken foot) built our deck in three weeks. And I dropped a tidy sum on patio furniture during Wayfair’s Christmas in July sale.

It was a lot of money out of our pockets. And a fair share of nerves putting over grand on the credit card I worked so hard to pay off.

But it feels so damn good. So right. Our backyard is now the highlight of our already gorgeous home. And what’s a few months of pinching pennies when we can spend our Friday nights sipping cocktails surrounded by fireflies instead of at a crowded bar surrounded by TVs? It’s almost backward — the mundane has now become sacred.

August is my birthmonth and with all this spending, our next verb — TREASURE — is perfectly timed.


See Steph’s #VOWspend post here

#VOWcommit: The price is high; the reward is great.

My first question is this: How the fuck is it May?

I think back to March, to #VOWseek, and I was so set on taking respite. I needed it. I basked in it. March was lovely.

Then April hit, #VOWcommit, and it was full speed ahead. I can’t say that I necessarily took on anything new in April, but I did get serious about a few things in my mind: working out, creating, my Tribe, and my person.

My goal is always to exercise more days in a month than I don’t. I normally make it, but last month it was a solid 18/30. I felt good about it. I still do. I can see the changes in my body.

I made all of the art. I created a visual resume. I got my website up. There are prints for sale. I took a couple of classes. An art dealer came to my apartment (i.e., my studio for a visit). She sparked something in me. I’m doing another 30-day creation challenge.

I showed up for my Tribe. They showed up for me. I don’t know that I was as present for Sister as I needed to be, but she was always on my heart. I was always celebrating her moments, and she had some big ones. I spent a lot of time at my church, a little bookstore with a lot of heart, where my Tribe was born.

I feel like my person and I made a transition. I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but I think we have settled in for a bit.

And all of these things have left me, over and over again, completely breathless with gratitude. I am so incredibly thankful for this life, because I know I have a lot—and I am fucking in love with it.

April was lovely.

But other things happened in April too, even though I don’t know exactly how.

The work-life balance that I have put so much effort into cultivating has turned into solid 10-hour days. I’m having trouble sleeping again. My mind is constantly on a low buzz, chewing on not-enoughs and should-ing all over itself; I spent hours between sleep and awake digesting. My body is in revolt. I watched two of my dearest friends’ hearts break and then shatter all over East DC. I began to let anxiety start to steal my joy, to follow those breathless moments of thankfulness with fear—what if it goes away?

 And today, I woke up—after a beautiful weekend—groggy, wishing for more sleep, more weekend. And I cried. Because it was the only thing I could do in that moment. And then I went to work, and I emailed Sister and texted the Tribe with a sort of SOS. And they got me through the day.

And tonight, when I sat down to write this post, I remembered an April five years ago.

I had just come through a battle. With alcohol. With a love that I almost singlehandly destroyed (with a little help from Afghanistan—probably a war that was never meant for me but taught me a lot). With myself.

But I fought hard for my joy, and I remember waking up in Baltimore one morning, in my favorite apartment ever—Apartment 207 was formidable—and realizing that happiness is a choice.

There are moments when life in life when it is just easier. And maybe life itself isn’t easy, but there are times when joy and gratitude come more readily. When they are your default.

And then there are moments when it doesn’t. Even if you are doing all the right things, and everything seems exactly as it should be. In fact, you know in your bones, you are exactly where you should be.

I think that’s when the real battle begins.

You start to realize maybe there are things you could be doing more right. Thoughts you could let go more quickly. Anxiety you shouldn’t trust. More art. More writing. More reading. More yoga. More meditation. More.

And you find yourself fighting invisible enemies on more than one front, and they are sinking your battleships.

That’s today.

But happiness is a choice; joy is my default—it’s tattooed on my arm, my ever-present reminder, as a dear friend put it.

So, it’s May now, but I am committing to that declaration: happiness is a choice; joy is my default.

I have no idea what this month, #VOWcross, will bring, but I am ready.

To wake up tomorrow and remember that I’ve been here before:  this wilderness, where, as Maya Angelou put it, “You are only free when you realize you belong place—you belong every place—no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.”

And you go to HRH Brené and find the words that speak to you:

Rarely do you have the gift of knowing you’re inside a moment that will be part of what defines you….What do you do when you’ve spent the majority of your life moving to try to fit in, and all of a sudden Maya Angelou is singing to you and telling you not to be moved? You learn how to plant your damn feet is what you do. You bend and stretch and grow, but you commit to not moving from you who are. Or at the very least, you start trying.

So tomorrow, I will wake up in my bed and spend a few minutes breathing, because meditation doesn’t have to be more than that. And I’ll start looking for a new yoga studio, where I can breathe just as freely.

I’ll remember that the wilderness is a place I have chosen, and I will choose happiness.

This month, we

cross.

 


Be sure to check out Lin’s #VOWseek and #VOWcross mashup post here.

Level Up: Reflecting on ENHANCE

This week both Steph and I had the good fortune to attend lectures by HRH Brene Brown. I have a sneaking suspension that the lessons we learned from Brene and her new book Braving the Wilderness (buy it, buy it, buy it!) will fuel both our posts this week.

It’s not a surprise that we’re all struggling right now. Everything in our world seems divided because, let’s face it, everything is divided — especially in the US. Today I got into a social media tiff with a relative because I posted a moderately divisive post about #actionoverprayer. But the thing is, I didn’t mean to ostracize someone I care about, to cause inflammation amongst public discourse. I just wanted to encourage people in my network to be move involved in the problems of our world. I didn’t even think that it could incite mild controversy on my page.

But incite it did. And rather than firing back with what my bleeding-liberal-heart wanted to say about innocent lives over shooting hobbies and if someone doesn’t agree with me then they can just defriend me, I decided to consider the lessons I learned this past week. About how we are forming these isolated factions — us versus them.

And that mentality isn’t making our country any less sick. It isn’t making us any more connected. In fact, Brene’s data shows the opposite. That we feel more lonely and isolated than ever because we forgot to recognize the humanity between us. We have depleted our interconnectedness to such an extent that we refuse to challenge our own perspectives. To acknowledge a middle ground.

None of us are good at this.

But Brene asks us to be better. To address disagreements in an open-hearted way. To agree that our social issues exist on a continuum rather than separated pillars.

Brene’s call to action weighed heavily on my heart all week. She asks us to ENHANCE our relationships by improving our conversations. To recognizing that it isn’t all-or-nothing. That you can be against us while still being with us.

So rather than lecture my cousin, rather than call to arms my liberal brethren to teach this guy a lesson, I decided to message him separately. Acknowledge that we disagree on a lot of things but at the heart of the matter, we can hopefully agree that there is a problem we want to fix. We need to fix. And it doesn’t matter if it is done exactly my way (or my party’s way) or his. That our egotistical sense of righteousness isn’t what the world needs right now.

We owe it to ourselves (in the plural sense) to find our way back to each other.

This week we take it a step further and SUSPEND judgement, harsh words, and possibly some disbelief…


Lin’s VOW mantra: Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit. Edward Abbey

Lin’s SOW (Song Of the Week): More Today Than Yesterday (Carmen McRae or Goldfinger versions)


& Be sure to catch Steph’s #VOWenhance and #VOWsuspend join post (coming soon!)

Pendulum Swings + Disconnect = #VOWprotect

I’ve been struggling for weeks to find balance (Ironic that it’s this week’s VOW right?). Months actually. All I seem to be able to do is pendulum swing. Physically. Emotionally. Professionally. Artistically.

I spent all of last week thinking about why I am doing what I am doing (or not doing). Why I feel so disconnected from myself.  From my life. I hypothesized to Sister that it had something to do with #VOWprotect. That I’ve been trying to shield myself from something. I just didn’t know what or why.

Enter Brené Brown and her new book, Braving the Wilderness:

We all agreed that we get the lonely feeling in places that don’t feel alive with connection….I think places themselves, not just people, can hold those feelings of disconnection too. Sometimes a place can feel lonely because of some sense of a lack of closeness in the relationships that happen in that space. Other times, I think the inability to visualize yourself in connection with people you care about in a particular place that makes a space feel lonely on its own….When we feel isolated, disconnected, and lonely, we try to protect ourselves. In that mode, we want to connect, but our brain is attempting to override connection with self-protection. That means less empathy, more defensiveness, more numbing, and less sleeping.

Disconnection leading to self-protection? Yep. That’s it. That’s what I’d been trying to articulate.

I spend a lot of time alone these days simply due to the fact that I am single and live in my own apartment. That doesn’t bother me. I need more alone time than I used to. I’m  a little more introverted now. But lately, something’s different. I feel less at home in my space. It feels emptier than it used to, despite the fact that it’s more full than it’s ever been. I’m feeling disconnected from my body. Like I don’t know how to move it. How to feed it. Like it’s not quite mine. I feel like I’m not where I’m supposed to be at the moment but closer than I’ve ever been to what I want. Like I’m just in a holding pattern. Circling.

It’s like I know where I need to go. Where I want to go. What I want to do. But I can’t get there or do those things right now. Maybe the timing isn’t quite right or I’m not quite ready. And instead of striving towards them anyway, manifesting them by assuming they are a given, I’m headed the other direction. Trying to make peace with and adjust to a life that I don’t want and truly don’t believe is meant for me. Because maybe, if I can adjust to it, I won’t be as disappointed if the one I want doesn’t come through.

And all this self-protection is just disconnecting me.
It feels inauthentic.

So this week, I seek

BALANCE.


Steph’s PROTECT mantra: There’s nothing negative about running away to save my life. (Joseph Heller)

Steph’s Song of the Week: Spirit of a Storm by Kenny Chesney

& Don’t Miss Lin’s #VOWprotect post (coming soon).

Visible: Reflecting on BARE

BARE is one of the few words that I’ve given thought to prior to the week it occurred. I had plans for BARE. But as the date approached, I chickened out.

You see, a couple years ago I came across an art project consisting exclusively of beautifully lit, black-and-white photographs of women’s thighs. Not in a sexual way. I hesitate to say even in an particularly artistic way. But in a completely, undoubtedly, beautifully real way. There were thin thighs, thick thighs, cellulitey thighs, stretch marked thighs, thighs gaps, thighs that didn’t even separate near the knees. No thighs looked just like mine. Because none of them looked the same. And much to my surprise, for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel ashamed of my legs.

If you were to ask me what part of my body I’m most insecure about, it’s my thighs. Always has been. Even as a small child I tended to sit with my feet pointed so only the balls rested on the ground. I thought it was weird and gross that my legs spread so much when I sat down. I assumed if I could tell this flaw from my own vantage point, surely others could, too. My peers never let me forget that I was heavier than most, so I routinely posed at school to disguise my girth as much as a seven year old can.

When I hit puberty, my thighs grew so quickly that they were striped with deep purple stretch marks. They chafed against each other when I wore skirts. Pants that fit my waist couldn’t accommodate my legs and often I’d have to buy a size or two up (which is particularly traumatic for a girl suffering with anorexia). I don’t know if my ex-husband ever saw the back of my legs in the full light of day during our eight years together. That’s how deep the disdain runs.

So after seeing that art project and becoming so deeply riveted by my lack of insecurity — I wanted to take and post a picture of my bare thighs for this post.

But y’all… I couldn’t do it.

As evident by my other recent posts, I’m struggling with my body right now.  And while an aspect of my head thinks it’d be partially healing to dive in and just do it anyway, my heart is begging for respite. For a small break in the trial.

And as HRH Brene Brown preaches, you should never share a source of shame until you’ve owned it. If I shared such a picture now, I suspect I’d hear lots of love about my bravery, my vulnerability, my beauty. But if one person made the slightest of negative observation, I’d be ruined. And my hair can only be a life preserver so many times before it drowns with me.

So this is my BARE post. This is me telling you that I’m not strong enough yet. That I’m damaged and scared and insecure. That despite the body positivity accounts I share on social media, the beauty myths I deconstruct, and the small steps of allowing my current boyfriend to watch me walk past him naked… I’m still not ready to be quite so bold.

In the meantime, please enjoy these amazing individuals who did what I couldn’t. It isn’t the same project I discovered so long ago, but it has the same heart. Cheers.

This week Steph and I devour Brene’s new book and PROTECT what’s ours…

Check out Steph’s wonderful #VOWbare post here

#VOWbare Reflections

I don’t remember the first time I was naked with a man. I know who it was with, but I don’t remember the moment. What I remember is a time I was naked with you. I’m not sure how far into things we were by that point, but I was in deep enough to have given you everything. You knew it, which is why you must have felt powerful enough to do what you did. We were lying in bed after what I thought was making love—looking back, I realize you have absolutely no idea what that is—and you told me I had a “weird labia.” I am obviously still scarred enough to point out to you, readers, that I do not; I know this because I spent a decent amount of time in gynecologists’ offices objectively making sure. I realize now I should have told you right then and there to fuck off, climbed out of your bed, and never gone back—you were an asshole. You chose something on my body, which I was already insecure about then, that I have absolutely no power to change. I cannot eat less or exercise more to change or tone that shape. You picked that to pick apart, and that is a cruelty I had never known and never will again.

I remember the first time I knew what it meant to love my body. Truly. It didn’t make it out of that Bikram yoga class intact, but at least I knew what if felt like. To appreciate the curve of a hip that is strong enough to run half marathons now and will eventually carry a child. To understand the strength of my spine and all that it can carry. To know I would rather be strong than skinny, healthy despite the size.

At 28, I am finally learning how to feed myself. Recognizing that I like to graze—on small and, whenever possible, shared plates. Accepting that eating mindfully, for this body, doesn’t have to be Whole 30-approved, paleo, or limited to three times a day. Appreciating simple, nearly naked food over complicated meals with used-once-a-year spices.

I know how to be soft, brutally so sometimes, and how to sit with it. To wait out the vulnerability hangover without curling up into the fetal position. To lose what needs to be lost, knowing that ruin is transformation. To love, understanding it’s always, best-case scenario, going to result in eventual heartbreak.

This week, fitting and ironic on so many levels, we try to

protect.


Steph’s BARE mantra: Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. (Brené Brown)

Steph’s Song of the Week: Organs by Of Monsters and Men

& Don’t Miss Lin’s #VOWbare post 

Her Royal Highness of Vulnerability: Reflecting on DARE

It is no exaggeration to say that Daring Greatly completely changed my life. I know I’m not alone in this. Author, social worker, and all around vulnerability badass Brene Brown is one of those transformational people who seems to make fans of literally anyone who has read her work.

Everything she creates, writes, or discusses is pure gold. And so during a week that was far more cerebral than I expected it to be, I found myself watching and rewatching this Facebook video she filmed in the wake of Charlottesville.

In it, she articulates the importance of owning our privilege. And recognizing that we all have it in one way or another. How we are all responsible for standing up for those who lack the privileges we have. To act in compassion and grace when we fuck up — because no matter how woke we all try to be, we’re imperfect. We mess up. And at the heart of her life’s work is that to be vulnerable, to own up to our mistakes or assumptions or general wrongness… that is the most DARING thing we can do.

Brene challenged me this week to reconsider and really own the benefits I receive that I did not earn. That I have been granted because I am a mostly-young white cisgender able-bodied middle-class well-educated woman. And to consider and reflect upon how I can use those identities to not only benefit myself but to use my voice to support — yet not speak for — those with marginalized identities.

To hold others accountable. And to do so with compassion. To rise above words of hate because, let’s face it, if I espouse hate back in the face of bigotry then what purpose am I truly serving? Does this mean I sympathize with or condone the beliefs of white supremacists? Absolutely not. But to challenge those ideas in a wholehearted and empathetic way, especially with those whose ears I already have, is just about as close to DARING as we can manage most days. And that ain’t bad.


Lin’s VOW Mantra: “Daring greatly is being brave and afraid every minute of the day at the exact same time.” ~Brene Brown

Lin’s VOW Song Playlist of the Week: As Steph mentioned, #VOWdare will always and forever be linked with HRH Brene Brown in our minds. So with that, my song became my playlist, created as a class project for COURAGEworks.


Check out Steph’s #VOWdare post here!

#VOWdare: Walk Tall & With Heart

I am convinced you find what you’re looking for, and when DARE is your verb of the week, you’re looking for a fight. You’re asking the Universe Buddha God to give you reasons to enter the arena. To suit up and battle. To show up and be kind. To have a not so great week.

Brené is a goddess, but the work she asks us to do is Hell.

In the past seven days:

I was soft with a man, knowing it might be one-sided.
I was emboldened by my sister to demand something for softness.
I was scared to write a letter and a couple of emails but wrote them anyway.
I signed up for my 200-hour yoga certification, knowing it will cost me.
I realized when I was wrong and apologized.
I saw a chance to extend empathy and did.

And I saw others do the same thing every damn day.

Because when you’re waiting for people to dare greatly, you’ll see them do it. And if they don’t, you’re mindset will be different–maybe, just maybe, they’re doing the best they can–because you truly never know the battle someone else is fighting.

And I think some gratitude is probably in order for the work they are doing, so…this week we

THANK.


Steph’s DARE mantra: Courage, my love.

Steph’s Song of the Week: Inner Demons by Julia Brennan

& Don’t Miss Lin’s #VOWtake post (coming soon).

 

#VOWrepair: The Journey of the Warrior

The thing to know is that, for me, repair does not mean to make whole. It does not mean to complete. It does not mean to make anew.

Repair means to fix or mend (a thing suffering from damage or a fault).

I like that.

You fix things you care about. You mend things you need in your life. Sometimes you just work on things, refurbishing them, for no other reason than love.

And sometimes you don’t do those things for all the same reasons. You walk away because you care, for no other reason than love.

I sat on the beach early on in the week. Or rather I lie there. And I didn’t try to fix or mend anything. Nor did I try to walk away. I was simply still.

The day after I came back, I saw Glennon Doyle speak on Thursday night, and it was completely perfect.

That’s the thing I’m learning to trust, by the way, that the Universe Buddha God, sometimes brings beaches and books and bold fucking females to you exactly when you need them.

Anyway, she talked about the thing that I highlighted and underlined (yes, I do both—highlighting is a for passages that speak, and underlines are for points within that do) when I first read Love Warrior.

She was writing about Bikram (something I have a close personal relationship with) and a Pema Chödrön passage about the journey of the warrior:

So even if the hot loneliness is there, and for 1.6 seconds we sit with that   restlessness when yesterday we couldn’t sit for even one, that’s the journey of the warrior.

Glennon reflects:

What if pain—like love—is just a place brave people visit? What if both require presence, staying on your mat, and being still? If this is true, then maybe instead of resisting pain, I need to resist the easy buttons. Maybe my reliance on numbing is keeping me from the things I was born for: learning and loving. I could go on hitting easy buttons until I die and feel no pain, but the cost of that decision could be that I will never learn, love, or be truly alive.

That’s #VOWrepair.

It’s about caring enough about what you went through to let it cause you pain. And valuing that experience and loving yourself enough to be worthy of what that pain could teach you.

As Elizabeth Gilbert wrote, “Ruin is the road to transformation.”

And as you know, Sister and I are big fans of that road and the women who have helped us learn how walk it (Brené first and foremost, followed by Elizabeth and Glennon and Cheryl).

And this week, we continue on with the journey of the warrior as we…

REACH.


Steph’s EXPLORE mantra: We are not meant to stay wounded.

Steph’s Song of the Week: Hard Feelings/Loveless by Lorde

& Lin’s taking a bye week for #VOWrepair but meet her back here for #VOWreach.

#VOWstretch & the Journey of the Love Warrior

“You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love.”

Slay me, Cheryl Strayed (aka Sugar), just slay me. Just like spring has.

Sister told me the other night, delicately, that she though I may be a bit tender right now–her very PC way of challenging me to consider that I may have overreacted. I don’t disagree with her on that. But I did disagree with her suggesting I was too soft.

I feel like fucking stone, Sis, I said.

Minus the initial scene of the pain, I haven’t cried. I haven’t teared up. I haven’t felt pain. Or sadness.

I feel nothing.

Now I know that means that I am actually actively trying not to feel a whole lot of nothing (Thanks, Brené). My rib cage is making itself a big fucking anti-vulnerability barricade around my heart.

So this week, I continued on, just as I have been, and I honestly figured my post would be about yoga, since I went for the first time in a couple weeks this past Sunday.

It was not fun.

My body was crunchy. Uncoordinated. My balance was even more off than it usually is.

I left my mat feeling deeply unsatisfied and ran smack dab into that Cheryl Strayed quote and promptly flipped both of them the bird.

The thing is that I do actually miss yoga and know I just need to make more time for it. But this post is not about missing yoga; it’s about missing stretching. Not just the physical acts but also the spiritual, emotional and intellectual ones.

Believing in something.
Reaching for bigness.
Demanding more of myself.

This spring has taken a lot out of me professionally. It’s taken a lot from me personally. It’s left it hard to be soft and flexible and, therefore, brave and open.

So this week, as we

rest,

I am pausing. Thinking how I might return to the way of the Love Warrior and not just be open to letting pain change me but to finding joy and letting it as well (Thanks, Glennon, for your SuperSoul Session).