I recently had an opportunity to go on retreat with myself. I escaped for a few days from my daily grind in order to let go of some internal baggage and hopefully fall a little bit in love with myself. I quickly honed in and realised that I am no longer interested in ripping open old wounds, reliving bad moments of my past or bringing up a lot of garbage that has weighed me down, only to wallow in it. I am okay doing all of that as long as I see it, identify, learn, and move on. I want to Build a Bridge and get over it.
This is crucial. This is liberating. I am open to an exorcism if I know I have some cleansing and cleaning power at the ready.
I am fortunate. I have a great therapist. I have a wonderful husband and children. Everyone is on my team, encouraging me to keep the celebration of myself going…it took a lot to get to this place , but I am proud I am here.
Since my personal retreat, I have experienced a couple of potential stress hurricanes. I was somewhat surprised with my ability to quickly access a place of calm openness and a powerful commitment to my own limitations. There is strength in saying I am at my capacity. It helps you move forward without picking up more than you can handle. I was able to listen to a troubled friend without getting consumed by the drama or hurt. I have had a habit in the past to take it on in order to help their pain…meanwhile clogging my own ability to move on. No more. I also was at work and a colleague wanted to take my time without respect or efficiency. I said no. I was firm. I stated that I am limited for time and I cannot extend myself anymore especially if there is no plan, agenda or clear objective to how my time will be used. That is a HUGE accomplishment for me. I can suffer from wanting to please or feeling that its better if I give to all…and again it leaves me flattened and furious. Not this time. I learned something crucial at my retreat: Taking on more, carrying more burden does NOT make you stronger. It can weaken you and defeat you. There is so much strength in setting limits and respecting your abilities…it is true self perseverance and love. Strength comes from love.
So yea…I am building a bridge.
i’m sitting in a lobby
near a very large revolving door
occasionally i get a wash
of cold city fumed air
across me then followed by a force of heat
from the guy, seated to my right, breathing
don’t be mad
but this made me think of you
i miss that smile
i wonder what you’re doing,
I see this woman in a puffy black winter coat
held together with a pink cashmere scarf
draped over a pair of mustard yellow sweatpants
cant help but think
if you were here
this moment, this part of my life
would be a poem.
In our house it is serious Girl Power time. We had a great time watching the Women’s World Cup and trying to empower our little one to know women’s sports are equally as awesome to watch as the Men’s teams.
Helping my three year old to have confidence and celebrate herself has opened my eyes to small injustices and sexist circumstances in our everyday life. I am examining how I speak and see myself…I want to give her a world where I practice what I preach. I have realized it ins’t enough to tell her she can be anything or that Women are as important as men or that there is beauty in all of us – if I don’t celebrate this daily.
Not too long ago, my husband, daughter and I were having fun exercising, doing yoga moves, stretches and being silly. At one point my husband told my daughter they were going to do push-ups. She struggled so he said wait, you do the girl ones and began to demonstrate. I said “hold on a minute, why do you call them ‘girl push-ups’? That doesn’t sound right. Are they ‘girl push-ups’ because they are not complete or as challenging?” He looked at me puzzled and said, “Honestly, I don’t know. They have just always been called that.” I knew he was right because that’s what I always heard them called…but it didn’t feel right any more. I announced as parents of a daughter we need to find a new name or a real term for those push-ups because she needs to feel validated, supported and empowered from home in order to take on the world.
So what did I do? I looked it up. They are called “half Push-ups”. They are promoted towards women because most women have less upper body strength than men biologically speaking. I get it. Yet, is it really so hard to call it half push up? Because calling it girl push-up also makes men & boys feel alienated from something that could promote good health AND be better for their backs.
I am on the path – I am really trying to find ways I can make my daily speech and thought more tolerant and empowering. She is going to have a tough enough time dealing with all the stress and discrimination out there – she doesn’t need it reinforced at home.