She-Shedding Emotional Excess

2019 has become the year of shedding excess for me. Remarkably so, this theme has been communicated to me through, prayer, meditation, yoga, and Netflix. All in January 2019. I hear you, God!

Therefore, I am sharing this part of my journey for the next few blog posts. I have outlined my she-shedding as follows:

  1. Emotional
    1. “Responsibilities” to Family & Friends
    2. Circle of “Friends”
    3. Fear
  2. Physical
    1. Hair
    2. Weight
    3. Clothes
    4. SHOES!!
    5. Home
    6. Yoga Practice
  3. Career
    1. Number of Clients
    2. Amount of “Busy Work”
  4. Spiritual
    1. Empathetic Attacks
    2. Sex
    3. The Overwhelming amount of “Inspirational” Facebook Groups

For today’s blog, let’s focus on shedding emotional excess:

“Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

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The summer of 2018 was not an easy one for me. I was selling my home and moving from Colorado. It was time. I had planned to move to Hawaii but took a detour to West Texas. I found a love for this little town and its community. Things run slower and it is much quieter than Loveland, Colorado.

Unfortunately, some of my friends and family felt I was abandoning them. This pulled on my “responsible” apron strings. And shit got ugly. I can’t remember feeling so guilty about “doing me”…well ever. People said I was chasing after my new love. Not true. He and I decided to hang in West Texas for a couple of months, while I decided what I wanted to do. Since we both travel, we decided to make our RV in West Texas our landing spot.

The gift of this relationship: No unrealistic expectations or responsibilities. However, my guilty feelings over the summer flowed into our vibe from time to time. On one such day, at a carnival, I could not bring myself to smile. If you know me, I smile a lot sooo…

It was time to set my friends and family free to make their own decisions. Time for them too experience their own journeys. Regardless, of my desire to “fix” everyone else’s problems. I need to do the things I have feared my whole life.

Thus, I let them go. Of course, I let them go with a blessing and not a curse. Regardless, I did experience frustration and shake my fist at times. I am human after all. This began my process of shedding emotional excess.


But Elysia, How do I Shed Emotional Excess?

I’m so glad you asked! As have always been instructed by my advisors: First thing you do is pray. But faith without works is dead. Therefore, action must follow…

  • Service Work to Others – Just because my life seems like shit, doesn’t mean that others who have it better than me. Absolutely not! Being present and offering an ear to someone else surely gets me out of my own BS.
  • Staying True to Commitments – Life continues no matter what. Suit up and show up, even if it is just to shut up…
  • Focus – When we are emotional, we can certainly be effective. We have emotional energy. Use it!

And personally, most importantly:

There are no victims, only volunteers

I took a 2-month trip to South America to be alone for a while and reflect. Speaking with my boyfriend on the phone, I recognized that I didn’t handle the summer of 2018 so well. But now I was getting a do-over – celebrating Summer Solstice the second time. I was not going to let history repeat itself twice in one year!

Suddenly, I observed how I had re-developed the victim role. WITAF?!!
I had been playing victim during the whole summer in the states! What an effin’ waste of time! Precious time, I might add.

Just to be clear, there are benefits of being a victim – people feel sorry for me, the person who upset me might send gifts…etc.

Therefore, I took some time to identify the pros and cons of being a victim. Not surprisingly, the cons outweighed the pros. How could I be the warrior queen I say I am and be a victim at the same time? I cannot.

Consequently, I stopped letting people talk to me a certain way. This is not easy. Indeed, it takes courage. But we do teach others how to treat us. Stepping up and standing up for myself is essential.

None of this is new. I have known this for a long time. I guess revisiting this lesson was in order. Just to make sure that being a victim still does not serve me, I’m sure.


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While in Punta Hermosa, Lima, Peru, I rediscovered my courage to face the power of the waves. I have always had a love for swimming in the ocean. But I also have a reverent fear of its strength. I wanted to swim further. Swimming into the waves, I ate shit a few times. Then enjoyed the glory of floating far from the shore… That moment, that day I shed some excess – fear.

Do you “feel” the need to shed excess emotional excess? If so, comment below. And stay blissful my friends.

Short Hair & Other Resolutions

We could all use a little change – Smashmouth

My hair is short today. At the beginning of the year, I had long extensions. They were removed in the Spring. My hair was then just past shoulder length. Not a bad length. But then I got obsessive about my gray hairs and decided to have it colored, then highlighted.

Between all the chemicals and heat styling, my hair started dying. Rapidly. So it had to be cut down. Oh, it will grow again. Maybe.

Oh, and the weight gain…caused another back injury. Just as I arrived in Ecuador. Most of my food goes bad because I buy too much anyway. But I continue to wake up in the middle of the night to sneak Oreos from the pantry. Why are there Oreos in my pantry?!!!

Laundry day has become an all-day event, prompting me to buy more clothes?! Am I the only one?

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They say the outward is a direct representation of the inward. This year has proven that statement to be quite fair. I have taken a long inventory of the excess in my life as of late. My physical being told a great story.

Weight (This one Really Hurts)

I had a back injury in 2016. In addition to treatment, I was put on a Ketogenic diet to lose 30 lbs. This was a complete success throughout late 2016 and all of 2017. I felt better than I had in years!

But then, I thought I could have a cookie in 2018…Mind you, I had just begun a new relationship with a wonderful man and lost my soulmate (my dog, Chewy). So much emotion – and this will be another topic in the Shedding the Excess Process.

Because emotion plays right into eating habits for me, by the end of  2018 I had gained 15 of those pounds back. Now that doesn’t seem like much but let me tell you, I injured my back again. Additionally, heartburn and burning mouth syndrome have returned.

The solution to this: Find another healthy eating program. One in which I can afford. I decided upon HIITBURN after completing their questionnaire. For $97.00, I get a personal coach. This is extremely helpful since I travel a lot and cannot go into a clinic for weigh-ins.

Frontpet Pet Carriers


Home

My house in Colorado was difficult to give up. So many memories. My son wanted to buy it to raise my granddaughters in the home they knew so well. Unfortunately, he could not come up with the money in time and my ex-husband was wanting his money.

This proved to be a blessing in disguise. The house did hold many moments in time. And it was time to let those moments go. Just as I had said goodbye to Chewy, I needed to say goodbye to the home I raised him within.

Again, this was an emotional process. I had already minimized so much and moved into an RV. But there was more.

How many of us hold on to a cluttered home because we just cannot let go of the dead energy that we know so well. There is safety in the familiar. I had learned this when I got sober. I had learned this when I got divorced.

I realized that I did not want the responsibility of a mortgage. I didn’t even want the responsibility of digging in roots anymore. It’s time to travel the world. It’s my time. And, it’s time to own it.

House sold.

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SHOES!!

Okay, I have a love-hate relationship with shoes. But especially boots. I have been stalked by shoes and boots on Facebook. But alas, I have no room for all the shoes that I once owned. Furthermore, I don’t need all of them!

Clothes

When I am in my new landing spot in West Texas, I dread laundry day. Packing for my long-term trips around the world is a nightmare.

I had a flannel shirt for 15 years. It served me well until the holes could no longer be mended. After which, trying to find that perfect flannel again took another 15 years. I remember a conversation with my favorite pair of white pants when I was 16. “Okay, I am giving you one more chance to make it right. I’m going to wash you with bleach and if you are still pink when you come out, it’s off to the Segunda for you!”. They came out white again…

I downsized my wardrobe twice in 2018 and have concluded that I need to do this again. But clothing also has an emotional connection. This item was a gift, this other item was something I wore on a special day. How can I hold on to these memories while letting go of the piece of clothing that means so much to me?

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Yoga Practice

How can one practice Yoga too much? When it starts to lean more on either aspect – the physical/spiritual. Yoga burn-out is real. It happens. It was happening to me. Just after a great year of taking two additional Yoga Teacher Trainings.

It was time to change it up. I had no choice but to do so when I injured my back. Taking a look at the many different practices:

  • Hatha
  • Iyengar
  • Restorative
  • Yin
  • Kundalini

I landed back on Kundalini because, though it can be physical, it is also less stressful on the back for some reason. I found a lovely 40-day Kundalini for weight loss program. What I started to see as a continual topic through this program was “Shedding the Excess”.


This is just a small piece of the pie. (oh, I want pie).  There’s much more excess to cut:


People are flocking to the Minimalist Movement. But do they really know why it is so appealing? Do they understand the philosophy behind this movement? Or is this just another pop-cultural thing to do? Another “Shiny Object” to play with for a while?

For me, it has become a new prana. The only way to truly breathe now. And I realized this when I looked in the mirror and saw that my hair is short today.

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Ayampe, Ecuador

“Are you okay?”, the Native American Healer asks me. Good question. I can hardly reply, so the answer must be “no”. She continues, “Because you look like sh!t. Your energy is f*cked.”

I totally get it. It’s beyond vanity at this point. I have spent quite a few dollars changing my hairstyle, buying pretty flowers for my hair, etc. But there is something going on within and it is extending without.

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I thought I had beaten my battle with sugar.

Unfortunately, this year got the best of me. Gluttony, sugar, smoking…What in the actual? What happened? Sickness, bad teeth and now another back injury have plagued me within the last 6 months.

So, I decided to spend a couple months in South America…alone. Well for the most part.

 


For the first wing of the trip, I flew my daughter and myself out to Ayampe, Ecuador. Ayampe is a lovely little surf town just 3 hours from Guayaquil. This place is off the beaten path. To buy any of the basics, like toothpaste, you will have to get a taxi or bus ride to Puerto Lopez.

We stayed at the beautiful Finca Punta Ayampe hotel. Wonderful staff, gorgeous setting, and delicious meals!  The Staff Manager, Santiago, was extremely helpful in helping us get to our other locations.

 


There were so many stairs to reach our room, and then more stairs to get to the restaurant. This reminded me of my stay in Oia, Santorini Island, Greece. Only, I’m not is as good of shape as I was then. More to work on…

The plan was to spend a week doing Yoga and learning to surf.  Unfortunately, I hurt my back lifting my bag during travel.  Then my daughter got smacked in the mouth with her board. So, we are both in paradise, hurting.

Of course, I push it trying to do Yoga. But after 2 sessions at Otra Ola, I know I need to stop. I know this path all too well. No Yoga flows for at least 5 weeks. But I can probably find some Kundalini Kriyas, which will more than suffice. It’s been too long since I have practiced Kundalini.

Then there are the surfing lessons, which Otra Ola also provides. I did much better than I thought I would. Didn’t think that surfing would make my back worse. It did. Alas, I will probably have to get back to that next year, when I return. Too much risk.  Well, at least we could take advantage of the soothing tea they brew when they are not teaching Yoga.

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I feel I cannot make this trip good enough for my daughter. We take walks along the beach, drink tea, and have some conversations. This was not the “retreat” I had envisioned…

I pull out my chanting books for my daughter and me to practice together. This is something we enjoy doing with one another.


But we meet the Medicine Woman. And we know that everything that has happened on this trip was for this divine appointment. We were meant to meet her this very day.

And the Medicine Woman has a lot to say to both of us. So instead of chanting. We listen.

 

Super Blue Blood Moon – Entering the Spotlight

I am not an astrologist and rarely view my horoscope for anything else besides entertainment. Yet, a few women, whose words I cherish have made a similar statement. One of the Super Blue Blood Moon’s effects will be shining the spotlight on ALL that we are. Be prepared to be exposed, the good and the bad. This will definitely serve its purpose by allowing us to let go of what no longer serves us. Mentally, Emotionally, Physically and Spiritually.

I recently shared my cowardice in being vulnerable with letting a remarkable man know me…really know me. Today, I’m over it. Good timing, since we will be spending next week together.

Today, I welcome the thought of his embrace, the feeling of his breath on my shoulder as we lean in close to one another. He will also know my touch, breathing, noises, weird faces, and (yikes!) ….my scent!

 “Yeah baby, yeah baby, I come to dance with you

Yeah baby, yeah baby, are you ready?” – Kano

I’m ready!


Elysia, how did you arrive here so quickly? I’m glad you asked! In addition to my daily prayers, here three key observations I have made through this process:

A Strong Support System

Being that this is a long-distance relationship, taking some time off was simple. Not easy. Having good friends to lean on, talk to and play completely inappropriate games with is imperative.

While taking some alone time for self-reflection is good, one should avoid loneliness. In addition, being alone for too long makes one take themselves too seriously. What a drag.

Thankfully, I have the best group of friends one could imagine. For better or worse, (and we have seen it all in each other), we stand together and are present for one another.

Mindfulness

Another part of this newfound bravery has been my return to practicing mindfulness. Taking the time to experience my senses; While I’m walking the dogs – feeling the cold breeze on my skin, listening to my footsteps, and smelling the smoke from the neighbor’s chimneys.

Though nature walks can be inspiring, I’ve also applied mindfulness to my work; Listening to the scroll and click of my mouse, the tapping of my keyboard, giving attention to my sitting posture, & the pleasing scent of brewing coffee.

Additionally, housework is a useful activity to practice mindfulness. I learned a lot while residing at the Ashram in Hawaii. Seva (selfless service) is done with minimal talking. We would either listen to Kirtan or chant while working. The goal was not to get as much done in 30 minutes as it was being mindful of our actual work. After the 30-minute bell was rung, we stopped cleaning whether we were finished or not.

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Acknowledging Our Shadows

We all have them. Ignoring our shadows or dark personalities doesn’t make them go away. We can only improve that which we can see.

Fall of 1986: I had just got my paycheck at a job I hated. In addition, my mother and I had a nasty argument right before my shift. So, I quit my job, cashed my check and bought a handle.

I decided to surprise my then boyfriend but he wasn’t home. This did not bother me in the least. One of his friends was hanging outside and we drank together. Platonic juvenile drinking of course. At some point, we decided to go get high. I don’t remember much about how we managed to get to a motel on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.

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There I was, with a bunch of men I didn’t know, in a motel room smoking crack. But the God-shot in all of this – Every single man in that room had only one thing on their mind; getting high. Really, these were the most polite and kind crackheads I would ever meet outside of the rooms of recovery. I found myself in the bathroom puking my guts out and they were bringing in water and wet cloths trying to comfort me in between hits.

This could have ended up very badly. I might not be here typing this story. But instead, I made it home alive and safe.

I’ve been to some dark places. These days, my shadows are not as grim. However, they do exist as life evolves. More is always revealed. If I am willing to take an honest look with an open mind.


“If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall; this is the physics of vulnerability.”

So today, I am ready to enter the spotlight, with courage. Mindfully, no longer hiding my shadows, and knowing I have a good support system in place. The sweetest thing; knowing there is a strong soul of a man who wants to know me inside and out. Just as I am ready to know him.

Welcome the Super Blue Blood Moon to shine on our wholeness and assist our letting go of what no longer serves us.

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

PS. I have created a Moonsong Playlist on Spotify which I would love to share with you for your listening pleasure.

The Obstacle Course That is Life

 

BAgus Ghufron Unsplash
Source: http://www.unsplash.com Photo by Bagus Ghufron

 

My life has become one obstacle course after another. I hope to wake up early enough to do Yoga and meditation. Soon after, I am showering, styling, making coffee and breakfast. My intentions are always to get out the door at 8:50 AM. But I must first: Pack my lunch,  slip on my wedding ring, put the dogs in their crates, give them treats, make sure all electronics are turned off,  and grab my purse/laptop/cellphone/lunch bag.

The drive to work is about the easiest part of my day as long as there is no extreme weather. Upon reaching the office, I must grab my stuff and try not to lock my keys inside the car. Then it is all about standing in line at the espresso machine, placing my lunch in the  fridge, starting up the laptop and checking email.

I schedule travel for many people and just as I am ready to lock in some good rates I will find that; pertinent info is missing, my P-card limit needs to be temporarily bumped up a bit or the server is down.

I will then send out the proper requests for one of the above and move on to another item until I receive a reply. I will choose to schedule some meetings. What happens next? There are no meeting rooms available, the distribution list needs to be modified, or the server is down.

More requests, and more waiting. Maybe I should do some scanning and electronic filing…you guessed it, either the scanner or the server is down. More requests, more waiting. Obstacles.

This is just work. Back at the homestead, we are updating our flooring. I arrive home with a great need to get on my elliptical machine but, it is hidden behind several pieces of furniture.


Obstacles are generally short-lived. At times, they appear in order for us to take a good look at how we are doing life. When this happens, we might ask ourselves a few questions:

  • Is my schedule in need of modification?
  • What is preventing me from doing my best?
  • Are my beliefs about success hindering progress? If so, maybe they need to be looked at realistically.
  • Do I need to delegate?
  • Am I delegating to the right person or persons?
  • Maybe I should hire someone to clean my house once a month.

When we can be honest with ourselves, action will soon follow. For every problem, there is a solution…if we really want one.

The Hindus chant the Ganesh Mantra 108 times to remove all obstacles.  The chant is as follows: “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha,” as a calling upon the powerful energy of Ganesh, the elephant-headed deity, who is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles and the Lord of Beginnings.


Christianstt.com has written a beautiful prayer in regard to obstacles:

“Father, we sing praises unto Your Precious and Mighty name. We thank You for all You have done. Be with us daily Lord, guide us and protect us as we remove obstacles in our way. Lead us along the plain path of righteousness, Oh Heavenly Father, bless us with Your divine favor and mercy.

Give us strength to persevere and overcome the obstacles in our lives, whether it is of You, to make us stronger or of the evil one who tries to knock us down. Despite it all, satan’s evil works will not prevail, for the battle is already won and we shall overcome, just as You overcame the world.

Loving King, draw near in these treacherous times. We confess that we need You at this very moment and we cannot gain victory without You. Remove every obstacle that prevents us from getting closer to You, our merciful Savior, remove them! In Jesus name we pray! Amen!”


Whatever obstacles you are challenged with, I pray you clarity. Regardless of our obstacles, we know we can continue in the Elysian Life. Stay Blissful My Friends – E

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The Snow Man

I have been intrigued with the term “Poetic Crossing”, in a more philosophical manner. I wanted today’s blog to be written about said term, but I am finding that it is going to take more research to give it my best words.

However, in my ongoing research I have found a lovely poem that I feel compelled to share. Please enjoy these words by Wallace Stevens…and stay blissful my friends! – E

The Snow Man

BY WALLACE STEVENS

 One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,
Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

 


Wallace Stevens, “The Snow Man” from The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens. Copyright © 1954 by Wallace Stevens and renewed 1982 by Holly Stevens. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

Sunday Shot of Bliss VI. Slow it Down

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It is remarkable that since I wrote Slow it Down I., I have been going full steam ahead. Balls to the wall! Sidenote: If you think the phrase “Balls to the Wall” is nasty, get your head out of the gutter and click on the link to find out what it really means.

Anywhoo, back to slowing it down.  If you recall, I was reflecting on the one time I got a speeding ticket on my way to Yoga class…Yeah, cue up Alanis Morissette’s Ironic!

Slowing down is fairly difficult at this time in my life with work, writing this blog, studying for a 7-hour test this upcoming September and trying to get as much quality time with my granddaughter before she moves out of the state. I used to say I didn’t have enough time, now I know what that actually means.

Breathe

It is customary to start with the breath. Breathing is always a good thing to do.  After my hysterectomy, I developed panic attacks and visited with a Neuro kinesiologist. The first thing she pointed out was my incorrect method of breathing. I didn’t even know there  was a proper way to breathe! But yes, she told me that since I breathed in through my mouth it was increasing the anxiety attacks.  The correct way to breathe is to use your diaphragm and breathe in through your nose. You may breathe out of your mouth or nose, as long as you remember to breathe in through the nose. I have been doing this for years now and can honestly say that none of my panic attacks have ever killed me! Ha! But honestly, I have not had panic attacks since then.

Source: aromaticwisdominstitute.com

Aromatherapies and Essential Oils

With the explosion of the Essential Oil businesses Doterra and Young Living, many have better knowledge of what “real” essential oils can do for our well-being.  However, if it is not in your budget you can check out PlantTherapy.com or find Aura Cacia at your local health store.  Lavender is by far the most calming essential oil out there. I keep a mighty big bottle at home as it is also excellent for the many burns I inflict upon myself with my various styling tools.  You can rub lavender into your wrists, mist it through a humidifier or diffuse it with a tea light candle burner. I even picked up a locket that I can place a small piece of cotton doused with a couple of drops of the oil of my choice.

Rest

Lie Down on your back and close your eyes.  Take your attention to your breath and listen to the sound of your breath. Feel the vibrations of the air touching your skin. Be still, be quiet.  You might even find yourself slowing down enough to get in a mid-day snooze. Don’t forget, to breathe!

Unplug…Oh, Wait!

Did I just say that?  Why yes I did! Believe it or not, I unplug more often than ever…and when I say unplug this also includes the smart phone! I am sometimes amazed at how many emails, texts, PM’s and voicemails I DON’T have waiting when I re-plug. Nice to know the world keeps on revolving.

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Prayer and Meditation

Well, you saw this one coming, didn’t you? Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”  Pretty simple no? Though I am one who can complicate a cheese sandwich, God spells it out in seven simple words! Just be still. Just recognize that He is God and You are not! The weight that came off my shoulders when I first acknowledged this is astonishing! Don’t forget to breathe!


There are numerous ways to slow down; Walking barefoot in the grass, Afternoon Tea, A Bubble Bath,  Tubing over calm waters, Star-Gazing, Walking the dogs, Petting the cat (if he/she will let you), Listening to calm music.  Something for every walk of life. Find your preference and go for it…Don’t forget to breathe!

Stay Blissful My Friends – E