Resilience at Home

Resilience

I think we build resilience to prepare for whatever adversity we’ll face. And we all face some adversity – we’re all living some form of Option B. -Sheryl Sandberg

Resilience


If we have all the basics, we will most likely survive this global crisis.

The challenge is how we miss other human energy.

I have my dog, Winston and a good neighbor. And said neighbor has her two dogs aka “Winston’s bitches”. They have playdates as Jenna (my neighbor) and I chat from a social distance.


So, in essence, I am having more social activity since the quarantine began. And I discovered that we have other neighbors who will say hi and share the same woes. Mostly about hair. Ha!

Indeed, as I sat outside one day, people were sitting outside their apartments. We have a rather large and lush grass-covered courtyard. “Other people live here?”, I asked myself. Then, “Oh no, other people!” But other people are not so bad. At least not my neighbors.

A perpetual state of adaptation

ResilienceIf you are experiencing what I am, things are in a perpetual state of adaptation right now. Though we are learning how to do things differently, we hope some situations will go back to the way it was before… Shall I mention going to the salon? The gym? An outdoor concert…

When my gastroparesis returned, I had to pause my travel as I adapted to living with illness again. In a way, I was preparing for what we are going through right now. Most importantly, I created a home hot Yoga room.

As I started out, I was troubled by how weak my muscles had become. Perseverance is my middle name…I am now getting stronger every day. Resilience.

Resilience

Obviously, my life has not always been rainbows and butterflies. I know what it is like to have a lot and not to have much at all. I have experienced trauma and peace. Chronic Illness and health. Birth and death. Moreover, my favorite book in the bible is Ecclesiastes. Particularly this set from Ecclesiastes 3:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…

We, humans, are born with resilience. Some of us have had to nurture it more than others. And we know, this too shall pass.


Resilience

This Season’s Learnings

  • The art of brewing (and sipping) Turkish Coffee
  • What minimalism means to Elysia – It is not necessarily what it means to others.
  • Caring for home plants – an art of resilience in its own right.

Yes, we will get through this particularly harsh season. Furthermore, I believe we will come out of it stronger and wiser. Because we have resilience.

I am sure you all have your own stories of resilience from this global health crisis and I would love to hear them. Please comment below.

Never give up…and stay blissful my friends. – E

6

 

Blissfully Welcoming a New Year

Blissfully Welcoming a New Year

I love new beginnings, fresh starts, how my closet looks after I clean it…

I don’t love being grounded or having my life interrupted. Something that happened to me in 2019. Gastroparesis returned and I had to put off travel plans for a while. What to do, what to do? Put that money in my investment accounts and start a new gratitude list, of course!

Because when life gives you lemons, make a funny face and throw them at someone else to pass on the blessings! And, everything is a blessing. Even if they come disguised as curses.

Blissfully Welcoming a New Year, WinstonSo I found myself ready to adopt a new puppy last fall. He is my joy! Watching Winston, running through our apartment, sliding on his butt just before he crashes into a wall. Life is good.


About a month ago, my little guy got very sick. What are the odds? Winston has Gastroparesis. Fortunately for Winston, I know how to care for this disease. Giving him love and ice cubes when he was thirsty and couldn’t hold anything down. Because I know exactly how he felt.

Thankfully, for dogs — and especially puppies, GP is rarely chronic. So, when Winston was feeling better, we took a ride. To Colorado. After all, my kids and granddaughters needed to experience the happiness Winston brings.

Instead of the 7-day trip we had planned, it was extended to 12 days. Because it is just so difficult to say good-bye to my loved ones.

Moreover, I was able to witness my oldest son’s Chrismation in the Orthodox Church. What a gift to be able to see his spiritual journey in motion. My son let go of the old names and took on the name “Peter”. His reasons were profound. However, that is his story to tell, not mine. I just get to observe…blissfully!


Returning home, I unpacked our bags and spent a few hours cleaning my closet. It was dark by the time I finished. So, I turned on the closet light, sat down and just stared inside my newly organized wardrobe. There is something deeply spiritual about an organized closet…

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Photo by Victoria Borodinova on Pexels.com

A random memory of my brother, Stan practicing his disco moves with me. Making me think, we were practicing our disco moves. This was the only time I felt that I knew how to dance. Disco…one of the finest genres of all!

What is it about welcoming a new year that brings you joy? Talk to me…and stay blissful my friends.

Shedding Physical Excess

Shedding Physical Excess

Shedding physical excess can be painful.

Shedding any excess can be painful. For some, it may feel like a surgical amputation. I experienced this many years ago when I started to live a serene life. I had known only chaos since I was a small child. My physical body and my emotional state rebelled. Consequently, I developed panic attacks.

However, there was a lesson to learn. Fortunately, I had a strong tribe of support and help along that part of my journey. I just needed to learn to live a better life. And learn I did.


To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven. 

– Ecc 3:1

It’s been a while since I have done some good writing. This was not planned. Two months ago, my GP (Gastroparesis) returned. What can I say? I had a great 5-year remission. Remarkably, this came just as I was about to address the topic of shedding physical excess.

Nonetheless, I have had to shed a whole lot from my diet. For three weeks, I was unable to eat any solid food. So, there’s that. Keto is out the window. I cannot eat any meat or anything too fibrous.

Exercise and Yoga practice is limited as well thanks to my low nutrient count. So, what does one do? One finds another form of movement. Just as I found other ways to get as many calories in me when I cannot eat.

One night, I truly thought I was done. My body shaking, vision blurred, I was weak & in severe pain. I knew the flare-up was almost over. I just needed to make it through the night. Still, I thought I was going to die.  I ain’t going to lie, I kind of wished for death. But I’m a survivor. And as survivors do, I survived.


Anywhoo, let’s talk about shedding physical excess:

Diet (And Weight)

Ha! You would think someone who hasn’t eaten much in 2 months would be shedding some weight right? Not me. Well okay, I lost about 5-7 lbs. maybe. But hey, it is what it is. In the past, I have scraped the whole internet regarding diet plans. Currently, I’m not actually looking for a diet plan for myself.

Shedding Physical Excess

Regardless, there are many people out there looking for the diet plan that works. One thing I know: our bodies are all different. Find a plan that works for you. And make sure you are getting some movement.  You’d be amazed at how much one misses working out when it is not an option. This too shall pass.

Sometimes, our bodies divulge the need to change things up. Moreover, I realized that when I am weak and, in a fog, I cannot think about preparing something that I can digest. So, I subscribed to Daily Harvest (Yes that is my affiliate link :).  I prefer their fruit smoothies and Avocado/Cucumber soup. And they add veggies to the smoothies! As always, I add protein powder.

These days, my diet mainly consists of pureed food, soups, and smoothies. Somedays I am okay with that. Sometimes not. But we don’t always have to like our circumstances. We just need to accept them, right? After all, this too shall pass.

Additionally, I am on liquid forms of vitamins and supplements. Iberogast is a German made herbal concoction that is almost miraculous. Danke, Deutschland.

Beauty

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I know there are women who don’t get excited about beauty products. I’m just not sure I’ve ever met one. Before this last flare up hit, I went through all my gear and tossed away any expired items.

Moreover, I cannot count how many products I had barely used. Of course, when I purchased them, I thought each item would be the miracle cure for my numerous imperfections. What? I thought I had expressed my desire to be perfectly imperfect. To the trash you all go!

Now, when I see a shiny new product, I ask myself the following questions:

  • Do I need this?
  • Do I need this now?
  • Is it within my budget?
  • Does this item serve any real purpose in my life?

If the answer is “no”, time to move on. If the answer is “maybe”, I put it on the wish list. And if the answer is “yes”, I first get rid of one item before purchasing my new precious.

Click here to get a free download of 3 Tools to Help You Shed the Excess [Infographic]


Yeah, I was pissed off when Gastroparesis returned to my life. I don’t like it. But I will accept it. For me, today GP is not a death sentence. It only controls me when it is at it’s strongest. But I am not GP. I am E… And this too shall pass.


Shedding Physical Excess

He

He is not mine.

He never was.

Can we ever really own another anyway?

Time to let go.

Time to move forward.

Resisting the evolution of life is fruitless.

I want to be a healthy, strong tree.

And sometimes, I must stand alone.

Feeling the winds of adversity trying to take me down once again.

Trusting my roots to grow.

Strengthening my stance.

Until the calm returns.

And I may rest.

And I may delight in the sunshine once again.

I deserve this.

And so does he.

Shedding Physical Excess

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?

girl-2705518_640Outward Representations

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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Things People are Asking

…What they are asking me – the woman who is traveling alone. Their Questions and my answers.

I’m in my second year post-divorce. What have I learned? So much, I have to gather my thoughts quite often.

I have learned that I enjoy traveling. I love to travel with the boyfriend. I love to travel alone. Presently, I am in the midst of a 2 1/2 month solo visit to South America.


Unusual Lifestyle?

I am also learning how this new lifestyle scares the hell out of some people. Or at least confuses the hell out of them. It’s become a fun little game of question and answer… or unsolicited statement and unsolicited reply.

  1. Next time you should experience this with someone you love.
    1. I am experiencing this with someone I love – Me.
  2. Who is driving you around?
    1. The bus driver.
  3. Be careful!!
    1. Of course.
  4. Aren’t you lonely?
    1. Sometimes. But everyone should experience loneliness from time to time. It helps one appreciate the presence of others.
  5. Do you need help with that?
    1. I sure do. Thank you!
  6. Do you miss home?
    1. I am home.

So, I don’t mind the questions or comments. Like everything else in my life, I just have fun with them!

 

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Ultimately, I am having a fine time. Meeting new friends. Staying in and binge-watching shows without being judged. Walking through city squares at night, people watching. Lots of Café con Leche!

Ecuador has become my new favorite place. Olon, in particular. But Lima, Peru has its charm as well.

 

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Staying Connected

My daughter and I have a scheduled weekly chat to check in about our lives and new adventures. And there’s the occasional text to and from my sons. My oldest will be joining me in Peru to celebrate Christmas. I miss my kids. Yet, I am so happy that they are all living their truth. Experiencing their personal journeys.

I really miss my granddaughters deeply. Thankfully, they are in good hands. My son and his wife are an excellent team as parents.

I really really miss the boyfriend. Fortunately, we have this understanding: We welcome these pauses in our relationship. No, It’s not an open relationship. We just are okay being apart and being alone at times.


Plans and Lessons

There were many plans made for this trek through South America. Unfortunately, it didn’t all work out according to said plans. But it never does. The back is injured again, interrupting surfing lessons. And I was doing so well! So I guess I will try again next year. 2019 is on its way, regardless of whether I give it permission to do so.

Then there’s the “shedding the excess” lessons. This need is surely what this trip is uncovering. And I have learned, more importantly, to ask myself some questions:

  1. Are you being you – living your truth?
  2. Are you living according to your values?
  3. Have you reviewed your values lately?
  4. Can you be happy regardless of any circumstance?
  5. Are you sincerely ready to let go of the past?

These questions are being answered along this journey through South America. I guess discovery is what adventure is all about, right? Stay Blissful My Friends. – e

 

Back To Me

I feel like I’m doing my own version Eat, Pray Love. But more like Love, Pray, Starve…

Exactly one year ago, I was falling in love with a man I had only met twice in 2017. But we wrote to each other quite often. He inspired me to write with all the rawness in my soul. Almost exactly one year ago, he surprised me in Hawaii. He showed up for my Yoga Teacher graduation.

We fell fast and hard. He lived on the East Coast, I lived in Colorado. But we met up around the 8th of each month and then spent the summer and fall in Texas together. For the first time in my life, I let a man be really good to me.

IMG_20180425_162331_3I welcomed him in. That he would know me, and I would know him. More intimately than anyone else. I let him see the good, the bad, the vulnerable, and even the insecure at times.

The boyfriend and I are good to be together. We are good staying in an RV in a small West Texas town. We are good to be apart for days, weeks, and even months.

We’ve connected in a way, I had never known possible. No drama, no games, just true love.

When an incident would more commonly lead to packed bags and a long car drive out of town, I remained. We walked through these moments together. It wasn’t easy. But so worth it.


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But now, it’s time to get back to me…

I sound like a Fergie song. Blah! Have I been reduced to becoming a walking cliche of pop culture and inspirational quotes? And is anyone even reading this sh!t?

The medicine woman I met at the beginning of this trip has extended an invitation for a 3-week spiritual walk next year. There is much to consider, and I will first consult with my sponsor about some concerns I have before I can commit. Though, everything this lady shared with me seems to be a confirmation of sorts.

Untitled designAlone in Olon

Did I really have to fly all the way to South America to feel lonely? Why Yes. Yes, I did. As I said last week, this has been a year of excess in the States for me. Mostly good, but not all.

So now I am detoxing from smoking, sugar, and (gah!) sex. Even the private party sex. (Oh, don’t judge! If you’ve never done it, you’re a liar.)

 

Anyway, back to me…

This first week in Olon has got me all twisted. I eat, work and sleep. I sleep a lot because I want chocolate cake, a cigarette, and my man.


I Have Found My People

But on the 3rd day, it is beautiful out and I must hit the beach. I also meet a friend on the Facebook Expat group. While we were communicating back and forth, we find out that she and her family are staying upstairs from me.

46644878_2086531621382063_8490081000414511104_nI have found my people! We are open about everything. My new pal will not tell me where to buy smokes (even though I don’t ask).

But a few days later I figure it out. I tell my new friends that I now know. But I chose not to buy a pack. This smoking cessation thing is a lot harder than it was the last time I quit. But I have not given in. They cheer me on!

Did I mention, that my people also live in an RV back in Canada? We talk about renting the big house on this property next year together. And extending our stay to 6 months.

But back to me…


Contentment

It’s incredible, how Ecuador has taught me how much I don’t need. My closet does not floweth over. My refrigerator is almost empty. But I’m neither naked nor hungry.

I come from a world that is conditioned to live a certain lifestyle. Though many of us don’t realize that this lifestyle is a choice. I have been hustling for new business constantly instead of being content with the clients I have right now.

What if I stopped working so hard to find more business and just focus on giving better service to my clients? I sound like the “Jerry McGuire” of the Online Business Management world. But I think I’ve tapped into something.

I don’t need as much money as I make already. What if I just lived off what I need and save the rest for another day?

We don’t have to choose what everyone else is doing if we don’t want to. Look at your lifestyle. Is this what you really want? If so, good. Be happy. If not, seek what brings you joy and go after it.

While you are working on this, I will get back to me…

“Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and a perfect contentment.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Spiritual Laws

 

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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.

 

Vulnerability is Not A Safe Place

LivingElysian, Yoga, Spirituality, Quality of Life

I’m a coward. At least for today.

A few years ago, Brené Brown’s Rising Strong became an all-consuming topic on social media. The memes continue to be shared by many today. These words were incredibly powerful. I wanted in!

Of course, it was easy to live these words in my decision to leave my long-term position at an amazing company to start my own business. Business is an easy place for Elysia to be “Brave”.

Of course, it was easy to live these words in a loveless marriage, where the walls I had spent many years tearing down began their reconstruction.

Of course, it was easy to live these words as I walked away from said loveless marriage and chose to live by myself in an RV down by the river.


“Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences.” – Brené Brown

Sounds good yeah? Well no. Not for me. Vulnerability is not a safe place for me. Not today. Don’t get me wrong. I have complete admiration for Brené Brown. I follow her on Twitter and Facebook. I especially admired a picture she posted of herself with no makeup, no filter. This lead to a personal decision to stop wearing makeup and embracing the gray. Accepting what one looks like is true courage. This too was easy.

But when it comes to Love, true Love…Nothing is ever easy.

Too Soon?

So, I met a guy…Not just any guy. A remarkable man with a strong spirit. Chivalrous, funny, intelligent, brilliant…the list goes on. This was NOT planned. I fell hard and fast. Well, maybe not too fast but exceptionally fast for me.

We are two extremely different people. He is conservative, preppy even. I am this wild woman spirit. He does not partake in my colorful language, does not do Yoga. Yet we connect on so many fundamental levels. And what an incredible writer he is – totally kicks my a$$, I might add. After many months of experiencing zero inspiration, I found myself passionate again about putting words together.

This gift came with distance, he lives on the East Coast and I am here in Colorful Colorado. Safe enough, yeah? No. I frequently found my heart being pulled in the direction of the east. Daydreaming, listening to love songs…and we had only hugged once.

He surprised me by flying out to Hawaii to celebrate my recent Advanced Yoga Teacher Training graduation. It was on now! We embarked on a most passionate love affair, the likes of which I had never known. Soaking in the Big Island experience, we spent 5 days of bliss, laughter, and total comfort with one another.

He was a trooper, staying the first 2 nights with me at a hippy shack I rented in Pahoa (not knowing I would have a guest), before deciding we needed to move on to a bed and breakfast in Captain Cook.

I can’t remember having laughed so much. Corny jokes, silly pet names…what a blast! And so much love. People could see it, often commenting to us how “cute” and “in love” we were.

Has it been the most ideal of romances? No. But just right. Just Elysian. Irregardless 😊 of the distance, he has been present with me at each given moment.

We made plans to see each other when we could. A 5-day visit last week here in Colorado. Hawaii again next month, then the Spring, many different possibilities. Our visit last week was euphoric for the most part, and then…

Vulnerability

Wait, what happened? How did I let myself go this way? This man knows me. He has seen my messy hair, my imperfections. My snoring, drooling, clumsy, cellulite, needing a haircut Elysia. Then there is my inept ability to let my “street” come out every now and then, using “ain’t” and combining words that make absolutely no sense to anyone else but me.

And what do I really know about him? What if he’s a womanizer? If he were, would I still love him? The answer is an unapologetic “Yes”.

I know enough to keep my side of the street clean and to trust someone until that trust has been abused. I also know that expectations are future resentments. I have a past. We all do. So, I choose not to judge what I don’t have 100% knowledge of in any circumstance.

We agreed to take a short break. Then this watery substance starts to flow out of my eyes. Oh hell no.

Trainwreck

I just watched Trainwreck (again) with my daughter last night and found myself admiring the main character in the beginning of the show. “Maybe I should move to New York and be a slut“, I said to my daughter. “There’s no shame in being who you are and accepting it”. To which, my daughter replied, “If that were what you are mom, I would support it. But that’s not you”.

Dammit.

Additionally, I forgot that Trainwreck is not just a comedy but a rom-com. The leading lady meets a man who is so different from her – he is quite conservative. This is sounding all too familiar and when the male lead talks of Norman Rockwell and his love of Billy Joel, my head starts to hurt. “I need to turn this off.”, I say to my daughter. She steals the remote from me.

I’m totally feeling it when the female lead expresses her concerns about vulnerability with her sister. Though she uses a far more colorful analogy than even I would use (can you imagine?). The movie rolls on and the couple breaks up. Now, this makes sense to me. Alas, with every rom-com there is the makeup scene and everyone lives…

This is so not real! Monogamy is not realistic. People do not live happily ever after. Am I bitter? No. More jaded, more careful than anything.

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Vulnerability Part II

The last two years of my marriage were so easy. My ex-husband didn’t love me and I knew where I stood. No questions to ask. Safety.

I have indeed, fought with my monsters. But am I ready to take this journey of vulnerability? Why complicate things by getting lost in emotion? Tomorrow is another day. So for today, I am a coward, comfortable in the safe place of my fear.

Fortunately, I do not have to sit in my fear alone. Having a good group of friends, who love me unconditionally, is my saving grace.

For today, I would rather take a drink than be vulnerable. In fact, the thought of being vulnerable makes me crave a drink. Good thing it is time for a meeting, where I can surround myself in the safety of my GOD.

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

The Throat Chakra – Be Real

The Throat Chakra is representative of creativity and communication. I have recently experienced a rebirthing of my originality and voice on the mat. Also, Living Elysian has just moved thru a rebranding process.

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When I decided to get certified as a Yoga instructor, I had many expectations of myself. I wanted to be one of those deep, spiritual teachers, full of wisdom. Practically imagining floating above the mat, ha! Always, believing in “To thine own self, be true.”, I have accepted my sailor’s language.

Anywhere else but the mat. My expectations brought me to the point that I would become frustrated seeking the right words. Consequently, I managed to hinder my throat chakra. I believed my true words do not belong on the yoga mat. Well, F*ck that! In addition, this followed me off the damn mat.

Accepting oneself goes everywhere with us. This includes our presence in our Yoga practice. Fortunately, my beautiful students appreciate the “Real” Elysia!

A blocked throat chakra can drastically impact our ability to communicate efficiently. Mainly due to the fear of scorn or judgment. This may demonstrate as an inability to voice and realize our truth. When this chakra is unlocked and balanced, we have the ability to express ourselves with clarity and honesty. Clear and honest in any situation with full confidence.

When I was practice teaching at the Ashram in Hawaii, I started off with a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. My instructor expressed that this was nice, however, he expects me to share my story. As I was writing a sequence the other day, I found myself going to quotes again. Remembering my teacher’s words, I scribbled out the quote and wrote: “Share your story”!

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Did you know that a throat chakra blockage may also manifest itself in the physical realm? Here a just a few physical symptoms:

  • Chronic sore throat
  • Recurring headaches
  • Dental problems
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Throatiness
  • Thyroid imbalance
  • Laryngitis
  • TMJ
  • Neck pain

Non-physical signs of blockage common signs:

  • Fear of speaking
  • Inability to convey thoughts
  • Shyness
  • Speech and action inconsistencies
  • Social anxiety
  • Repression of creativity
  • Stubbornness
  • Detachment

I can so relate to most of these symptoms. But the good news is, we can unblock our throat chakra. How do we do this, Elysia?  I am so glad you asked!

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Meditate on and incorporate the throat chakra’s color, blue. Implement this color into your home and wear the color more often while feeling said blockage.

We can work through and release all negative emotions. This includes guilt, pain, and resentments. Enjoy a good cry. This may help considerably. I have a girlfriend who can cry at the drop of a hat. Does this represent weakness? I don’t think so. Admiring her strength and courage to show emotion, she has become one of my ideals!

Practice mindful speech, action, and deeds. Speak openly and honestly with others often.

There is nothing wrong with who we are! Authenticity may be an overused word, but it is a necessity in keeping our throat chakra open.

Be you. Be real. Love and appreciate you and your realness! Rise above it all like the mutha-f*kkin phoenix you are! And stay blissful my friends – E