Sunday, July 5, 2015

Downward Dog and Bubble Baths

You may remember reading a while ago, in The Struggle is Real,Girlfriends post, how difficult I find it most of the time to care for myself in ways that matter. I know I'm not the only one. The girl inside requires more than the 10 minute bubble bath, the solo getaway to the grocery store, or even the Mom's Night Out once a month (or every 6 months).We tell ourselves that this is our me time. We pretend to enjoy the rushed bubble bath, in which we probably just squirted in some of the kids 3-in-1 pineapple scented bath wash to make our luxurious foam. We try to look at the shopping excursion, minus the "helpers", plus a stop as Starbucks, as alone time. But none of that counts guys. Sorry to burst your bubble. None of that stuff is feeding your soul, or your creativity. None of that is letting the girl inside feel valued and alive. Those things are quick fixes, band aids. Little moments of supposed sanity in the chaos of it all.

So you might be thinking, "Well damn. I was feelin' pretty good about my bath time. Pretty accomplished, like I was taking some time for ME." Ya....I know, we've all done it sweetie. We've all fooled ourselves (or rather tried to convince ourselves) that we give ourselves the necessary care. I mean we all know we aren't doin' it. We eat last, and usually in between standing and sitting. We go to bed last, after all is settled and everyone else is tucked in tight as a bug in a rug, but wake first. We make sure everyone gets their vitamins and exercise, while we drink coffee and watch the martial arts class, baseball practice or whatever your kids' thing is. Then we get home, close the bathroom door, slip into a bath and think we are gonna be all shiny and new tomorrow? The girl inside could care less about the 10 minute me time you indulge in, it's not enough, and she thinks you suck!

Of course Chicas, we are all different. Different things feed me, then feed you. I'm not going to try to tell ya what you need to do to to let your girl know she is treasured. To give your soul a drink and your mind some rest. To feel alive again and fuel your fire. Not going to give you "The 5 most important things you can do for you" blog post. But I can tell ya some of what works for me. Take it or leave it.

I've always found myself the type of person to enjoy being outside. I'm a sun powered California girl through and through. When the sun is out and the weather is warm I am at my happiest. I have no control of the weather though, I'm not that cool. But I've found that even when the sun isn't shining as brightly as I wished it were, just being outside feels so good. Maybe it's not just the sun after all, but nature. I love being out "in the wilderness", which to me is usually a well marked hiking trail. I love being at the beach. Feet in the sand, just watching the ocean, listening to it, imagining all the life so far out in it's depths that we have no clue about. Letting the sound of the waves lull me to a little meditative state. I could live there, in the sand, like a beach wandering nomad. When I can't get away, I'll even just go sit in my back yard. Sometimes I'll plant something or just deadhead my flowers. Sometimes I relax with a book, sometimes with my music, sometimes with nothing but closed eyes and open heart. Nature soothes me, and speaks to me, makes me feel closer to God. I feel things deeply in those places and am able to think more clearly.

About a month ago I decided to finally try a yoga class. I've wanted to for a long time. I've always had a pull towards the spiritual aspect of it, not to mention the physical strength it seems to build. I signed up for a beginner's course. I wondered if I would totally make a big ol' fool of myself. I've done a yoga dvd before in my living room, but never a class...with people... who can SEE me. I'm not super duper coordinated, this could be bad. I showed up to class and...fell head over heals for this yoga stuff! I'm still a complete novice and a little bit intimidated by all of the teeny tiny nuances of each position, but I felt it after the first class. I felt the girl inside smile and give me a little thank you. It spoke her language immediately.

I loose myself in books. It's funny, I kind of forgot how very much I loved reading. After the kids came, I probably didn't read anything other than parenting books and devotionals for at least 6 years, probably more like 7 years. When I finally picked up a book again, I couldn't believe how it felt. When I read, I read books. Books with paper, and covers, not books on electrical devices. Real books that I hold in my hand and dog ear pages. I love the way they feel, and smell, and the way a good story can suck you into a completely different and vivid world. I almost always fall in love with the main character gentleman, and swoon over him obsessively for a while, until I come back to reality. My current fantasy man is Jaime from the Outlander series. There are 8 books in the series and I am finishing up the third, so I suspect he will be my boyfriend for a while. After a reading binge, you can sometimes have a hard time readjusting to life as you know it. You'll feel foggy in the head, maybe a little stoned. It's okay, take it slow and enjoy the ride.

Music is magical. Music speaks to our souls like nothing else really can. It lets us feel things we are afraid to feel. It opens our minds and our hearts and enters those places that you mean to keep closed. It can squeeze through those tiny cracks in your armour and embrace you so tightly that you can't resist it. I do believe any kind of music can do this for any kind of person. We all have our own preferences, each soul with it's own song. But music is medicine to every soul. I have a hugely eclectic taste for music. As long as it makes me sing, move, and touches me, I play it. Like Bob said...

You know what things feed you inside. Which things are sweet nectar to your parched soul. Which things strengthen you and open you. Whatever it is, do it. Don't try to get away with the band aids. Don't just live malnourished, putting one foot in front of the other, in a caffeine delirium. You, my fiends, are meant for so much more.


P.S. For any of my girls close by....if you've always wanted to try yoga, do it! I've been learning at Tree Top Yoga and love it. Nicole is fabulous.

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