Why even Relax, Though?

S’Ho moved to Squamish.  I feel much better here than on the island.  It’s a different vibe here.  It was a really easy transition minus the actual move: I just truly put the intention out there, and a lovely little suite of my own surfaced.  It was right.

I’m in a space of working with compassion. Compassion for parts of me that trauma has led to feel really unsafe.  Somatic Experiencing is the therapy I’m doing which is basically a way for me to slowly reconnect with the parts of myself that I basically unplugged from the umbilical cord of my own prana, my own life force energy.

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You know when you’re in just like, a haze of feels, and can’t find a release? Man it’s tough; the face of the Human Condition.  Somatic Experiencing is a therapy modality that recognizes that through trauma, the young parts of ourselves that experienced the pain that was too much for our current coping abilities at that time in our lives, those parts learn to cope through fight, freeze or flight, so that they are able to survive.  They cannot handle the stimulation because it feels like a threat to survival, so they build an armour around those parts to shield, to blunt the blow.

I realized that the state of utter terror that I felt growing up, I still feel that during everyday life.  It was a big realization, not one for words.  It’s been a journey with the therapy, to experience a state of functioning that wasn’t the modality of terror; and in that space I could come outside of my habitual state of functioning to see just how frightened and threatened those parts of me still feel.  They still feel very threatened, and haven’t been taught how to feel safe and nurtured in the world.  The somatic, the bodily feeling that I was able to see outside of myself was a feeling like I was going to be beaten, physically, it was terrifying and terribly insightful.  WHOA.

They have begun to relearn how to feel safe in the world, this is what I’m teaching them, teaching parts of myself.  It doesn’t work to “suck it up” and “just do the things” that terrify me, and to name a few;

  • abiding by authority
  • rules
  • restrictions
  • control
  • time constraints

The way my little soldiers fight back when threatened show in the following fight/flight/flee ways;

  • skin picking
  • terrible gut pains and digestion
  • exercise
  • restriction of food
  • restriction of nurturing (in all senses of the world)
  • somatically by thumping heart
  • migraine
  • depression
  • indecision
  • mean self-talk
  • rushing like a chicken without a head

So this therapy is to begin by identifying when these soldiers are mobilizing; basically anytime the above presents itself.  Those are survival-mode soldiers.  The process is slow AF. And it’s supposed to be.  Because the moment I go too fast for my parts to feel safe, they latch onto a coping strategy.  This is where a quote sums this shit up eloquently:

I don’t “let go” of my thoughts.  I meet them with understanding, and then my thoughts “let go” of me. – Byron Katie

Beautiful description.  An explanation of why “ripping the bandaid off” won’t work.

I often forget why I’m changing, though, because this way of life has become so normal and change is fucking hard.  And parodies have showed up to reinforce the need for this shift; the need to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system– the relaxation response (that sweet spot that basically initiates our own knowledge of how to heal ourselves);

(in jot dots because Ho’s tired):

  • in physio for alignment while running; tight hip, tight glute, literally stemming from tension and stress where I am not belly-breathing, such that a rib isn’t aligned in my thoracic/lumbar spine area.  why breathe deep?  whoa this is why…body is so wise.
  • gut health: shits on run, shits all damn day, gut = second brain = depression and incomplete poops. worst. feeling. ever #amirighttho?  Relax, tune into my soul; make different food choices, or at least begin by watching and observing my choices and how they’re affecting my body.  Further than that- when eating in a relaxed state, food can actually digest better.
  • Cramp on run: alltheabove

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So the body is telling me and I’m actually beginning to watch myself, and am slowly actually becoming open and even able to feel that I want to relax.  This is so new.  Some things I’m doing:

  • child’s pose
  • letting my belly go out to breathe
  • unstructured meditation nightly
  • legs up the wall (did this once, forces body to belly breathe literally because the chest and shoulder muscles aren’t physically able to fire)
  • physio to flex at hip while breathing with full belly breaths, which actually disinhibits the response of my hip flexor firing in place of my glute

Ok, that’s it.

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Podcast: Sharon Salzberg “Do the good that’s in front of you, even if it feels very small.”

1. Tim Ferriss is sexy (AND bald😎), damn smart.
2. This is #sohuman and great applicable tips.
3. Trust a sis

melanie sakowski on Twitter: “everyone struggles w meditation: self compassion in forgiving ourselves for it IS the practice #damngoodpodcast @SharonSalzberg #metta 
https://t.co/C4sKOhM6wG

https://dfkfj8j276wwv.cloudfront.net/episodes/505397f9-8b1b-4747-b509-06cb97ab28f5/5e1f0b1881210d04574e89968f2c9eeeb90076ab3f5fd5f268d7765f700d4e04b44eb9a3f6b372584ad9980c26e180a32f21142418bb588d33465dae74bb6e10/The%20Tim%20Ferriss%20Show%20-%20Sharon%20Salzberg.mp3

“Holding Space”

“I sheppard people into the empty space that’s infinitely all around them…that they’re already in, but can’t access without me.”

JP Sears is real good.

But in all seriousness, meditation is something I’ve practiced and fallen out of, mannnny times.  I’ve forced it via a phone alarm for a while, and I’ve stopped.  I intuitively started doing it again, sitting and letting myself “hold space”, and I find my body asking for it.  I run around here and there all day, and to stop and be there, whatever the hell that means, just to be still feels so damn good.

I’ve been marinating on the pain because I want to feel it now.

I know I’ve read and heard of the “isness” Eckhart Tolle describes, and I have to eye-roll at the esoteric nature of the term.  But like…I’m starting to feel that “isness”…and it feels not good…but just “feels”.  So strange.  But mamilike.

Anyone have this kind of experience?  Anyone meditate?

Feelings

My laptop is too slow for my patience for posts, so I’m posting via phone:

I’m sick of toronto and want to leave to the West coast. I understand that this escapism is the same feeling of discomfort internally that led me to NZ, India and BC the first time. I understand that “wherever you go you take yourself with you.”

I know I have to ground before I go. But I’m le tired.

I’m going to a horse therapy ranch in Erin, ON, and it’s pretty sweet. I’m working on remembering how to feel fucking good. Feeling goood is something I’ve been so disconnected from. I honestly don’t remember the last time I had fun, or the last time my gut felt healthy and I didn’t get so bloated. The last time I lived freely. It’s been a while, and I’m working on “trying on” ease. If I come at it like that, vs “all-or-none” then it’s easier to do. I can use consciousness to tell myself that I don’t need to suffer.

What if things were easy?

What if, hey?

Honestly, the universe is shutting its doors to me in TO; jobs I’ve applied for that normally would seem “perfect” for me- I’ve not gotten. I need more nature than TO offers, I’ve never felt right here.

So fuck FUCK FUCK (penisgame- remember Kenny? Pins?)

Ya fuck I am tired. I want to feel. I want to feel good. Holistically fucking good. Thank you all who’ve reached out to me to express support- it means the world to me- it’s honestly currently my life’s livelihood. It gives me hope. It supports me in this isolating illness. The journey illuminates a bit. 

It’s like a Mitch Hedberg joke in the middle of a painfully long lecture

It’s like a really solid shit

It’s like seeing a familiar face after backpacking solo for some time

Jah bless you all

Meme material that I don’t have the media skills to create: we are the champignons, my friends…(Mercury is holding the shrooms…can someone actuality this for me?)

My hero dad, picking mushrooms in the forest, standing on “moss that is like you’re standing in heaven”

 

No Worries

Today, I swam for the first time in bout 8 months. It was in a warm water pool dubbed “therapeutic” and shit man at 89 degrees it was balmy AS. First time I think I can say it was a pool that was TOO hot. But it felt so good to move in the water.  My ass hurts my legs hurt I am so anxious in my mind that I’m craving the physical release from exercise and it’s hard. I swam easy, I still need to move.

It brought me back to Vancouver and I miss it so much.

I went to a horse therapy farm on Tuesday round Caledon and it was also really cool. Animals have such an intuition for healing.  The horses read my energy incredibly; one horse was even reiki-gifted and honestly, wonky yogi tingz aside- when I put my hands on his strong coat, I feltthatshithard thatswhatshesaid.

There’s such merit in things we can’t put into words but can feel. Like the water silencing the world and moving weightlessly through it. 

Like stepping meditatively one foot at a time up a mountain.  Nature giving mind a rest from pitter patter of constant thoughts. 

Like connecting with people and laughing about farts, Mitch Hedberg jokes, and cats that have been shaved like a lion post-vet named Rhombus from math-loving owners.  

Like the hashtag #my4wordobituary



Like the feeling after a run, a trail run where you hop over tree trunks and boulders. Like really “getting” what someone is telling you about their experiences, just like, totally vining with their expression. 

Like making a beautiful meal out of backyard veggies, or foraged goods from the forest.  Like feeling the powerful magestic brilliance of a horse under my small palm, stroking its shiny coat. So powerful but gentle.  

My heart is aching for nature and I feel so pulled to Vancouver Island. I know that wherever I go, I take myself with me. I know I’m not healed yet. But I also know that Toronto noise and culture is not for me and I’m sick from it.

Universe, show me a sigh plzandthankyou.

2014 wishiwasoutwest

This is “plantain tea” the plant grows everywhere and it’s good for tummy issues. Mami likes👌🏻

Camping Solo 

Rest day today, camping tomorrow. 

I ground my coffee #thanksReunionIsland 

I cooked my cabbage, and made a slaw #thanksBerryFreshFarms (started working there today!)



I prepped some things and froze others:


I learned fire building tips from a pro, thanks Cris!

I’m going to be ight, and am looking forward to being in nature, the constant noise here is getting to me. My body wants a break from training, but mind is racing. Bringing yoga mat, hiking shoes and kayak. Trying to match mind level w body needs, slow things down.

Music is made in the silence between the notes.

Rest

This Shit’s tough.

Breakfast was standard. Here is a pic bc it’s lovely. 

Fruit omelette


Worked on my website for a business I am starting in the field of holistic health and wellbeing: orendawellness.com (going “live” real soon). I ultimately want to have retreats where there’s a rad team of people working together to promote this world of stuff: unplugging, acupuncture, holistic nutrition, yoga, body awareness, mindfulness, meditation, ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, Shinrin Yoku (“forest bathing”), healing from eating disorders and reconnecting people with their intuition. 

First, I’m reconnecting myself with mine.

My website will also sell tshirts with my puns on them.

Don’t Think, Just Do

Video

I’m posting this vid pretty vulnerably…man, I know I’m thin, but it’s hard to feel skinny.  I can feel unwell, but to feel skinny?  That’s different.  Seeing this video, I can see myself, and damn, I’m too skinny 😦  I don’t like it!

Yesterday, I had a wicked conversation with my neighbour about how she overcame similar struggles with Anorexia.  She pinned it down to:

  • Awareness
  • Belonging (working outdoors at a forestry camp one summer)
  • Coping skills for anxiety (decreasing anxious thought patterns)

She expressed the liberation she found when she realized how fleeting our times on this earth is, as she observed life and death around her, and she was sick of being so bony and drained, all the time.  She needed energy for the job outside, and she didn’t feel good at her weight.  The endless cycle of restriction, compulsive exercising, and chronically high cortisol led her to say “I’ve had enough!” and so, she let go.

It’s a blessing whenever I can gain insight from the journey of people, making me feel not alone in this.  It’s so easy to feel alone.  But I’m totally not, and everyone is a warrior, in some way or another.

Trucking on, see you when I have a bum.

 

In reply to Jill from “A Case Of The Jills” https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLJC… re: getting your period back after H.A., by exercising less and eating more. This vid is about the monkey mind of someone with an eating disorder and how to silence the voices that started the problem in the beginning. (Healing the “SOURCE” is a totally different ball game).

Presence

I have an accountability deal with my neighbour: we text each other when we are doing our daily 10 min meditation (where we sit and focus on breath…that’s it).  It’s great, I recommend it highly.

Today, I had no energy to do my workout.  I was so close to taking a walk through High Park instead.  And it was scary AS, but I also viewed that I didn’t need to escape.  I didn’t wake up famished.  I wasn’t in survival mode.  It was a heavenly peaceful insight; giving myself the space to be aware.  Man, I deserve rest.  I want to run and race and have fun, cry, date, play, swim…..And it’s balance, nah?  I am in a state though where rest is scary, it’s foreign.  willmeditateonthisdon’tlikethinkingaboutit

I went to the gym and did my helliptical workout.  It was OK, I had such mindgames throughout the “ride”: basically deciding over and over again each minute that “that’s it”, I’ve had enough and will stop….I finished it, but definitely not as hard as able.  Probably as hard as I could, granted my body’s state.

I’m glad I went because I connected with the humanity of the gym goers afterwards when I overheard Jamie, an experienced older runner, mention how some days are just “get it done days”, and I felt like that big time today.  (rest would’ve been more body-beneficial though)…so we all exchanged expressions about rest, injury, healing etc.  That connection was worth it.  I am sick of living in isolation.

I have also had real unsettled gut.  I get so frustrated.  I know I eat too many veg and the fiber overload isn’t what my body’s asking for.  I am confused about the intuitive voice of my body.  I realized that I’m scared of bingeing deep down, although my soul knows that I’m not in that danger zone of such self-hatred any longer.  I’ve upped the level of self love, but still am scared to let go and fully trust.

It’s easier to control my body through suppression and using “safe foods” as fillers.  But then I get bloated, uncomfortable, and confused about hunger cues bc I hold in my tum and man it’s hard when you’re full of bulk to distinguish hunger, let alone what would best suit your body to eat.

Check this out though: my google search of “how to hear hunger cravings and choose what to eat”

How fucked is that?  The emphasis is so much on suppression.

“How to Outsmart A Craving”

Jesus, it’s scary aye?  We’re primed to believe that our intuition is wrong.  I understand the challenge, the confounding cycle of our body’s trying to survive the stress we undergo in the Western world of crunched lunches, scarfed snacks of sugar, alcohol, cigs, stimulants, NSAID’s, pain coping, escapism.  We don’t stop to breathe, meditate, feel, damnit.  So we crave sugars because our body’s are hurting for an insulin spike due to high cortisol, and the reliance on easy fast foods for survival.

Are we living in survival mode?

 

When do we stop to tune into ourselves?

How is your gut?  Mine’s giving me info, hard to tell what it means.  Maybe to rest, breathe, work on myself.  The space is scary.  What to fill it with.  I’m blogging, sharing my story, and deciding each moment to choose to save myself.

So here’s an ode to awareness and to making space for feelings.  To trusting intuition.  To look at hunger cravings and ask what the body is looking for, before acting on it.  Craving sugar means some things, lots.  But only each individual person can find that answer out for themselves.  I am so confused by cravings since I’ve shut them off, and listening is scary.  I pretty much have zero sugar cravings, when in uni, under so much social pressure, stress, bullying, I gorged on Splenda and Twin Sugar, never eating real food: meals could be a tub of sugar free yog, with 8 packets of fake sugar crap, and sugar free jam.  Followed by coffee whitener, and then saying “fuck it” and raiding my roommates pantiries for “forbidden” foods like cinnamon toast crunch and skippy PB.  Stuffing myself with cookies.

Then puking it all up.

That’ sucked hard.  It’s been 7 years since my experience of Bulimia, and my god, I am blessed to be through that part of my healing journey.

And now, so scared to face that, I truck on.  I know I need to heal deep.  The source of the pain is the same, the coping, differs.  But the healing is in truly honouring my body and it’s voice.  There is no fear in presence.  I totally was disconnected with that voice throughout High School and uni.  I’m finding it again.  And learning to embrace myself, man, ya;

I am beautiful.

Thanks Christina, now that song’s stuck in my head.

Fucking consciousness, eh?

OM.

Looking forward to meditating today.

Bless

How “Self-Love” Heals Anorexia

IMG_3162In reading excerpts from “The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption” By Gad Saad research points to the self-explanatory reasoning for the basic cessation of period via self-starvation because of a conscious or subconscious belief that the woman doesn’t want to procreate.

Reading this, and knowing this (because of my own self-analysis of my eating disorder, I had an “aha moment” regarding this whole “self love” concept.  Self-love self-love, all over the mindfulness blog posts etc.  But personally, it’s a vague concept to me.  I realized something though: growing up, all the comments, all the words, all the mirrors, and combined with being a sensitive woman, I somehow cultivated enough self-hate to determine that I wasn’t worthy of procreation.  Therefore; self-starvation was my means of continuing a half-life, while self-punititive for my imperfections

Maybe self-love is the idea that I am beautiful as I am, and that in itself is enough for me to be “worthy” of creating life!  I’ve always shunned the masochistic view of femininity, never one to quote Women Who Run with the Wolves and feel right about using the term “divine feminine” or “goddess”…So in my own words, the idea of being beautiful is innate, it’s a feeling more than a thought.  And I’m realizing that if I believe it truly, regardless of the mirror, then all of my actions stem from that space of being nice to myself and treating myself with the most care that I have the current knowledge of to simple feel good.

I’ve realized that my subconscious harnessed this self-hatred while my conscious mind was in denial.  I wasn’t acknowledging my past history with men, boys, rude asshole comments while I would be running outside, going to Western , living with 7 girls who were all trying to find themselves in a sea of image-conscious youngins wearing uggs and raybans….being a perfectionist, and being bullied.

I pretended that it didn’t matter that the girl at the bar last night was wearing the same dress as me, and her “crew” was picking at comparing our bodies,  that a man yelled that “if you ran more, your thighs’ll look better”, or that I was “ok-looking”.  That shit hurts, though!

Somewhere along the way, I was in so much hidden pain, feeling alone, and without an outlet of expressing it, that I cultivated the belief that I needed to stop myself from being healthy enough to further the human kind because of unworthiness.  WOW.

So now, with instagram, facebook, snapchat, and all the other forms of social media, I’m pretty sure that it is of utmost importance that this issue be brought to light for girls, AND guys, from a young age. There’s gotta be mindfulness and awareness brought to the detriments of negative self-talk and societal perfectionism.

So that sums up the idea of “self-love”: having a strong enough self-image that the outer voices don’t have the power to shake us.  To be able to block of the outer noise, knowing deeply and having that sense of security in ourselves and the innate beauty that we all have.  “Divinity” or whatever you want to call it, everyone deserves to feel that.

I’m going to go meditate on this.  Maybe this is my calling right now.