Friday, 25 April 2014

Too many minds...

It's Sunday, the child is still sleeping and it is quiet...eerily quiet.  I am still laying in bed, with a cup of coffee and a dog at my feet, contemplating life and how everything changes and somehow still remains the same.

There is a calmness in my life now that even today I am adjusting to.  There is that small part of me that still expects "something to go wrong" but I am learning to push that aside and look at things for what they really are, not what I imagine them to be.  I was having a conversation the other day about how horrible our minds could actually be and how hard it is sometimes to take a thought and purposefully change it.  For example:

Seriously, what is with that???  I had to laugh because I have had a lot of these cross my mind, particularly the "Insists you forgot something" one.  I have had days when I really wanted to turn the car around because my mind is insisting that I left my hair straightener on at 450F and I will return home to the ashes of what was once my apartment.

The mind truly is a powerful object weapon tool .  In yoga they teach you to let go of your mind and your thoughts while you are in practice and even then I find myself attempting tree pose with the items on my grocery list coursing through my subconscious.  Again, it is acknowledging your thoughts and purposefully changing them because a lot of times, you mind is just a big, fat liar. 

My child has not been abducted when she doesn't answer the phone, she is having too good a time with her friends and doesn't hear it ringing. The semi -driver I am beside on the highway isn't going to quickly turn his wheel and run me off the road; but if you saw me drive next to a semi - you would think just that, or at least I am thinking just that.  Sometimes a noise is just a noise, not some burglar breaking into my apartment to steal all my belongings - or worse.

My mind has been infamous for going the wrong way.  The doom and gloom way, the negative way, the way that can quickly escalate into a shitload of anxiety if I don't rein it in.  I don't know what it was in my life that caused my mind to react like that and it has been horribly difficult to try to train it to react in the exact opposite way.  BUT...I am doing it and having success.  It's the pause before the reaction.  The question of "is that real or is that me trying to mess myself up?"  

Don't get me wrong - I can't get it every time, sometimes my mind decides that no matter what, I just need to feel a little bit of anxiety, just a little reminder that the brain is still there and sometimes it's still a little bit of a jerk.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Gumby Doesn't Even Bend That Way

Your life is a sacred journey.  It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way.  You are on the path…exactly where you are meant to be right now…and from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity and of love.”  ~ Caroline Adams
Wow my path is taking me in some great directions.  I have to stop along the way and make sure that those are actually my feet down there.  On March 25 this year I decided to join my oldest for a drop-in yoga class.  Hot Yoga.  Yes, where they purposefully crank the heat to a sweltering 40⁰C or 104⁰F and then tell you to get all bendy.  They actually will give you a special towel to place on your mat because you drip sweat so much that your mat (without the towel) becomes a slippery, death hazard.   Yes, this is the first class that my beloved daughter decided to take me to.

I knew no poses so had to look up to see what everyone else was doing, I am sure the perplexed and shocked look on my face when hearing “let’s get into the pigeon” was quite amusing.  I dripped, I panted, I drank my water faster than should be normal but I did it.  I walked out of that class with my hair stuck to my face and the back of my neck, sweat in places I didn’t even know you could sweat but I WALKED out of that class.  No one had to carry me, no ambulances were called, no one had to go and throw me in a cold shower – I completed an entire hour of hot yoga and then signed up for a 4-week introduction pass.

Yoga is more than just poses.  It is about finding that connection with yourself and being honest and true to that person inside and to tell you the truth, sometimes when you find that honesty it is difficult. and emotional  There have been a couple of times that I have discovered tears on my face because I have connected with myself and have allowed myself the time and the quiet to be truthful.

One of the things that I have really been enjoying besides the workouts and the stretching and the silence is leaving my ego behind.  You are there for you, not the person beside you, the person who came with you.  You go into the class with your soul not your ego.  This is great for me because I know it has been my ego in the past that has prevented me from doing some of the things that scare me – only I feel it as butterflies in my stomach and sometimes hear the voice in my head that screams “you can’t do it – You’ll look stupid – You’ll fail and everyone will laugh at you.”  So in this sense, consciously and routinely walking into the room without my ego has been doing some great things for me outside the studio as well.
The other thing that has been helping me is the necessity of being in the “now” when you are in practice.  You need to not only be in the moment, you need to feel in the moment.  You need to connect in the moment.  This is a great lesson to carry out into the real world as well.  I cannot change yesterday and I don’t know what will happen tomorrow but I am here, right now, in this moment and this moment is a great place for me to be.  I really am happy in this moment.  It’s quite difficult to explain because you actually need to experience it for yourself and I am pretty sure that another's experience might be different than my own. 

Last night I went to Relax and Restore (and yes, it feels as good as it sounds.) You are only doing a few of the poses in the 75 minute class but you are holding those poses for several minutes and you are using props, such as blocks or a bolster to do the work for you – hello, getting the benefit without doing the work!!!  People will often fall asleep in that class because it is so relaxing.  I had one of those odd moments last night and had become so much in the moment that when the instructor spoke, she startled me.
Basically, what I am trying to get across is that I am grateful, so very grateful to my daughter for introducing me to the practice of yoga.  I enjoy going so much and have become so passionate about it that I will be renewing my pass for an additional 4 months.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Holy Hard Work Batman

So, it's out there.  I am filing for divorce. My friends and family now know and if you read this blog, congratulations - you now know too.   I wasn't ready in my head yet to say it out loud and although a few close friends were aware, I just wasn't ready for everyone.  I actually finished up all the paperwork on Monday, April 1st which is cruel in many ways. It's April Fool's Day and it was our 5-year wedding anniversary. I actually didn't plan it that way but that's the way it worked out and it was a little on the painful side.

I have realized quite a few things throughout the past few months.  Separation and divorce is shameful.  I was literally embarrassed to finally say the words "My marriage is over, I am seeking a divorce" Not only am a seeking a divorce, I am seeking a second divorce.  I am sure this shame is in my own head and when I posted on Facebook that I was changing the relationship status - it took a really long time for me to hit submit.

Am I not a strong enough person to push through stuff?  Other people push through.  Am I damaged goods?  I must be, holy crap - 2 divorces!!  And it almost makes it worse in a hysterical sort of way that Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" keeps playing any time I turn on the radio.  Google the words of that song if you need to know what I am talking about.

This is not a blog post to blame.  There are 2 parties in a marriage, there are 2 parties in a divorce.  This post was because I wanted to talk about the feelings I had been having and why it is so important to have or find a good support group. I have an amazing group of friends, who are supportive and kind and there for a shoulder for me to cry on and even a distraction - thanks again for the poker game :)  

I originally wanted to do what I have always done when faced with something of this magnitude...hide away in my bedroom, sleep when I could, stop eating properly and be depressed.  I am glad I have not.  I have asked for help and am getting the help and have been surprised at how many people are there for me.

Divorce is scary because you can't really get your mind into a place in the future. A future that doesn't involve crying when you open a fridge door and see a condiment you would never eat but your husband did.  A future where checking off the single box really isn't a bad thing. A future where going to an event alone isn't going to involve a spotlight on you all night (albeit an imagined spotlight).

There is life after marriage.  And sometimes this is an easier transition for some because you may have spent a lot of time alone in the marriage anyway.  One of the things that has helped me when I have felt particularly down and sad is that realizing I have been mourning the loss of what I wanted my marriage to be and not mourning what my marriage actually was.  We all want the happily ever after, the knight in shining armour, rescuing the princess and being the hero as you ride off into the sunset together :)  BUT, you need to be honest with the reality. You may have had different ideas of what you wanted it to be but my marriage isn't over because of what I wanted it to be, my marriage is over because of what it was.

This isn't all doom and gloom.  I have realized I am a pretty strong woman.  I have changed what was wrong for me in my life and am remaining true to myself.  I am learning new and wonderful things about Melanie the person, the single person. I am not alone, if I feel like I am alone, all I have to do is turn around and see all those who support me standing behind me.  It is not shameful, it is life. It is what happens when any relationship breaks down.

This past week, I have been changing all my id back to my maiden name.  That's is a ton of work - phew.  No one at work has known me by my maiden name so it has been confusing for some people and quite amusing as I see the look of confusion while they try to remember the email I sent out and what I said my name was.  I have new business cards, a new nameplate on my office, a new email address.  To be honest it has been kind of liberating taking me back :)

So in conclusion, divorce sucks.  But so does being unhappy for the rest of your life.  So does staying in a relationship because you are afraid to be alone or you don't think you can make it on your own.  If you are reading this and you are stuck - reach out, don't struggle and drown on your own because you are ashamed.  And to those of you that have been there for me - thank you from the bottom of my heart for handing me Kleenex and letting me cry on your shoulder and for getting me out into the land of the living.