Tag Archives: self-actualization

Life Well-Lived

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Progress…not perfection.
Just one step forward,
just one little action.
Write the goal down;
you don’t have to know how.
Just breathe. This doesn’t have to hurt.
Yes, it may take some hard work,
and yes, there might be some setbacks,
but this is life.
Infuse love into everything you do;
and some day (hopefully) far in the future
when it’s time for you to leave this body behind,
you’ll know this world is better
for your having passed by this way.
Perfection is a myth.
Just make a little progress, bit by bit
and it will be a life well-lived.

It Had to Happen

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I know now that it had to happen.
I’ve come to this realization before,
so bear with me, but you know how this works.
We keep circling and circling and circling back
to the same old stuff until one day we get it,
and we can finally set off on a new trajectory.
It had to happen.
I was comfortable, and comfort was making me complacent.
I knew deep down I was meant for more.
I longed to be met at my depth,
to be seen and held and loved by someone capable
of seeing my value and loving the woman that I was.
It wasn’t happening, and a part of me grieved deeply.
It wasn’t happening, and I resigned myself to a love
not quite deep enough to be congruent with my true nature.
I yearned for more, so deeply in my heart I yearned,
and a voice said that I was fooling myself,
that such a love wasn’t possible in this world.
I was determined to do the work inside myself,
to search for where I felt unmet and dissatisfied,
and discover how I could meet and satisfy myself.
Hence the meditation, the writing, the reading,
the sewing, the knitting, the kombucha making,
the therapy, the workshops, the trainings,
the research, the practice, the commitment to arete.
I secretly thought I was doing him a favor
putting up with his lack of depth, his lack of vision,
his inability to penetrate me fully to the core of my being,
to flower me open to bigger possibilities,
to take me open to God.
Well if this is it, I told myself,
then I may as well make the most of it.
So I kept going.
And then it happened.
He dumped me. ME.
Me, the mother of his children.
ME, his WIFE.
Me, his yoga teacher.
Me, his partner, his best friend.
He threw me away.
It had to happen.
It took a while, but I see this now.
At times I look jealously at intact families,
and I’m triggered by what was stolen from me.
But then my new mindset arrives and reminds me
It had to happen.
The comfort was making me complacent.
I had to be made extremely uncomfortable
to be forced out of this nest, this cocoon,
this cage of material wealth,
where my needs for food, clothing and shelter were met,
and the price I paid for it all was my authentic happiness.
I look back on who I was and I shudder.
I look forward to who I know I will be and I shiver.
I look within to the one I am now and I smile,
at peace with the fact that sooner or later,
it had to happen.



Did I Offend You?

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Oh, don’t mind me,
I’m just over here trying to figure out
how to leverage my gifts, talents and abilities
so that I can create a financially sustainable livelihood
doing what I love.
Oh, I’m sorry, did I just offend you?
Does it bother you when I suggest
that it’s possible to spend time working
at something you love?
Do you think it’s impossible,
preposterous even,
to spend time working
in deeply satisfying ways,
bringing your unique talents to the world
in ways that will serve and inspire others?
Oh, you think I should just shut up and give in?
Does my mere presence upset you?
Do I remind you of something you once had,
but lost a long time ago?
Yeah, I do feel a need to figure this out.
No, I’m not okay with just shutting up
and getting any old job
to make ends meet.
I have two kids to raise,
and I need to show them what is possible
when you hold to a greater vision.
I don’t want them growing up thinking
that adulthood means you sell your soul to the system
so that you can scramble along
frantically attempting to acquire
society’s symbols of success,
meanwhile feeling dead inside.
Dead inside is no way to live.
Pardon me while I blaze a new trail.
No, I don’t know where I’m going,
I have no clue…
I’m making this path one step at a time.
Does my weirdness scare you?
Yeah, I want to be happy…call me crazy.
Not just with a drink in my hand
or a man by my side
or for a week of vacation once a year—
I want to be really, truly happy,
from the inside out.
Do you find my lack of adherence to social convention
absolutely galling?
Good.
I don’t care what you think about me anyway.

As I go through this extremely uncomfortable period of imminent homelessness, I’ve had multiple people get pretty huffy with me, instructing me to take a job even if I don’t like the job. They seem to be insulted by my conviction that I can figure out a way to make money AND be happy while doing it…so insulted, in fact, that they seem to want to discourage me from even attempting to figure out an alternative to what they’ve suggested.

As I become more accustomed to living with uncertainty, I’m starting to see people’s resistance to my vision as a sign that I’m really getting somewhere. At the same time, I’m wanting encouragement and support, not criticism and judgment. It’s lonely over here, blazing a new trail throught the wilderness of my chaotic circumstances.

I don’t want people telling me I’m being unreasonable. I could reason with them that my kids are watching every move I make and they are learning from all of my choices.. When they’re older and they describe me, I’d love to hear them say, “Yeah, my mom took her crappy circumstances and turned them into an opportunity to grow, change and evolve. She taught me that I could accomplish great things by believing in myself and loving my dreams. She showed me that I was free to become anything I wanted to be. Her example helped me to own my own power to create a life in alignment with my truest self.”

The alternative would break my heart: “Yeah, my mom worked so hard. She barely ever saw us and was tired and angry all the time. She sacrificed so much for us. I wish we could’ve spent more time together…”

Ah well, only time will tell how this current difficulty will be resolved. My task seems to be cultivating a sense of okayness around all the chaos and uncertainty and going with the flow of life. If it were easy and fun, everyone would be doing it. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. It may as well be me…

Only the Wind Speaks

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The wind howled and howled all day.
This evening in yoga class
I challenged my students
to identify the story they told themselves
that was holding them back.
I also challenged them to discover
the practice that would facilitate
their living into the biggest version of themselves.
The wind kept howling just outside the studio window.
It was a mournful sound, a sound of
deep, inconsolable sadness.
I heard the voices of those who had gone on,
the voices of those who regretted deeply
not living the lives
they were born to live.
Now only the wind speaks for them.