Anorexia, Asana, Body Image, character study, depression, Dharma, eccentric, Existentialism, Expansion, Fear, Health Issues, Mental Health, Mindfulness, poverty, privilage, PTSD, Self Growth, Self Love, Self Reflection, Universiality, Wyoming, Yoga

yoga and the wounded healer

Coming back to the subject I’ve thought about over and over. My falling outs, meltdowns, burning of bridges, loss of friends, passing the point of no return, crossing the Rubicon, nailing my colors to the mast. I’ve dealt with some shit. I’ve caused some shit. Acute conflict felt from the edges of my heart into the corners of my soul.  I caught myself in a moment with another when I began to talk about this stuff. Eyes glazed over and the gaze becomes distant like trying to talk to my father right after work, staring at the coal dust in his eyes know he might not hear me through his own clouds and questions.

I’ve sometimes heard that being a leader comes with people you love hating you a little more each day. No matter what decision is made, there will be an angry soul who is convinced the devil is running the show. Then I wonder if it’s not just my silly little ego to call myself a leader to protect me from the thought that people really don’t like me. That I’ve been banned from spaces, from hearts.  Big, universal, hurt.

I also know it takes two to tango. Yoga attracts wounded people. Every person I talk to in yoga has come to the practice because of abuse, a crappy family life as a child, their own or others’ mental illness, social isolation, family life as an adult, bereavement, life-threatening physical illness and a whole wide gambit of crap. These wounded healers, these who take issue with me, have their own wounding experiences and two wounds don’t make a healer.

I wonder, too, at the lack of integration in yoga and search for the old souls, the professionals, the ones who have spent years letting it all sink in. Then I get caught up in teach more, achieve more, get more students, buy more leggings. What if we all took a class, sat on it for a few days. See what happens. Or what if we fight, let it runs its course, and tolerate the anxiety of growing together. What if we stop being ashamed at the way we treat each other, acknowledge our wounds and evolve toward greater cohesion and solidarity.

Instead of wondering when my soul became less human or less beautiful, I can wonder how another’s wound has affected vision and perception. And through the vulnerability of suffering and universiality maybe we can self-reflect, look outward, and meltdown in a way that leave puddles of our own gorgeous human essence.

The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer’s art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam’s curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

T.S. Eliot “East Coker,” from *The Four Quartets*

Asana, Body Image, character study, depression, eccentric, Existentialism, Expansion, Health Issues, Laramie, Mental Health, Mindfulness, mountains, privilage, Running, Self Growth, Self Love, Self Reflection, Trailrunning, ultramarthon, Universiality, Wyoming

limitlessness

I’ve been at a lot of races lately and some sounds and sights are familiar. Cold mountain air in the morning, frantic energy at the starting line. Heavy breathing and panting, feet grazing and flopping on dirt roads, quiet muffled sounds of headphones, and the crazy eyes. Those crazy eyes. Watching as the normal gaze of distraction turns shiny and human desire bubbles up from the belly of determination–color unnamed yet so familiar. Ruddy cheeks frame the eyes,  the blush of anticipation that transcends anything sexual. Eye color doesn’t matter because it’s not the color that’s doing the talking.  The hue becomes the energy of someone who has tapped into what it means to be elite. This person will be fast. This person is creating their experience.

What inspires me is being around limitless passion.  Passion that transcends suffering, pain, or any imagined barrier (because they are usually imagined, this life is limitless if we create it so). Raw, messy, passion that pulled Viktor Frankl through a concentration camp—creating meaning in an inherently meaningless world. His spiritual strength fed the fire that fueled his will to continue on, to survive, because life took on some kind of meaning. It became bigger than him.

Struggling and suffering are not always bad. It is through struggle that growth occurs—when the river is forced to find a different path because the force of the suffering, the winter melt-off, is too great. The path might be slow at first but the river carves land, edges of rocks, rumbling loud in spring, gathering strength in winter.  It becomes its own artery of life and aspiration. Find something bigger than self and struggle becomes universal.  A mountain to climb. One hundred miles to run. A prayer to an open sky. A race to win. A story to write. A fable to tell.

Take the first step by going out of your comfort zone. See yourself as part of an infinite story.  You are not the first or last to arrive on this path. And the key is to do what you have to do to get what you want and realize your own strength. 

What is it that you want?

What is it that you will do?

How will you become limitless?

 

“If you can’t run, then walk. And if you can’t walk, then crawl. Do what you have to do. Just keep moving forward and never, ever give up.”
― Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

Anorexia, Asana, Body Image, Bulimia, character study, depression, Existentialism, Expansion, Fear, Health Issues, Laramie, Mental Health, Mindfulness, mountains, PTSD, Self Growth, Self Love, Self Reflection, Trailrunning, Universiality, Wyoming, Yoga

why i gained 30 pounds

Why I gained 30 pounds and am starting to be happy for it…

1—no one should lose 30 pounds by telling herself that he wouldn’t have left if she weren’t so fat

2—ass moves mass and lifting weights is fun

3—soda (beer) and a burger after a hike are worth not being Muscle and Fitness cover-worthy

4—working out 6 hours a day is not okay

5—your hip bones shouldn’t have bruises from lying down

6—cleaning the vomit off your toilet after a binge really hits home

7—I AM ENOUGH no matter how you quantify me

8—fight, flight, or freeze modes are no way to live 24/7

9—doing yoga in a 100 degree room wearing booty shorts and hating yourself is ridiculous

10—everyone should eat a whole pizza in their lifetime

11—counting calories is BORRRRRRRING and sometimes obsessive

12—now I don’t have to post every workout

13—relationships are more important than the gym

14—cheese is just too damn good

15—measuring your worth through the concave shape of your tummy ain’t no way to live

16—I don’t ever want to see my backbone jutting out of my back again

17—I am not a greyhound, I am a big hipped Jen and seeing my ribs means I’m not eating

18—researching laxatives feels really dirty

19—feeling pain in my chest when I see the girl at the rec center with ankle weights on the bike for 2 hours

20—identifying with other random people with exercise and eating disorders because we have been at the gym for 3 hours…we see each other and know our shame

21—NOT EVERYONE WHO DOES YOGA IS SKINNY

22—I can’t run away, to, or around my problems, especially on a treadmill

23—I am not an Olympic athlete and don’t have the sponsorships or support to train like one

24—because I’m just so darn counter-culture

25—sugar cookies

26—I shouldn’t have to decline invitations to restaurants because I know I will throw up my dinner

27—guys don’t really notice who’s skinny and not—they notice when you love yourself

28—to spend a day being in every moment without worrying about poundage

29—to stop telling myself that I’m more happy when I’m not healthy

30—I AM DIVINE. So are you. Love yourself just how you are.