One of the most crushing feelings I've experienced was like so:

I feel a need for connection with my loved ones. I feel unsafe to the point of retreating into solitude.

Imagine, if you will, a giant rope bridge in the middle of nowhere. this bridge spans hundreds of meters over a very deep chasm into who the heck knows where. Human beings built the bridge; not technologically advanced human beings. They have tools, but not technology.

When I imagine that bridge, and when I've seen pictures of such bridges, I wonder, "how did they build that? Where did they even begin? How did they get it to span that distance?"

And how do I start building this bridge between safety and love?

Today I decided to make a commitment to myself.

Or... perhaps it is more that I am challenging myself to meet this goal.

The goal?

Excising the word, "you" from my lexicon.

Well, there may still be questions. "Do you want pepper with that?"

I am challenging myself in this way because I feel hurt.

Why? I feel hurt because the word "you" is something I hear a lot of; usually, however the rest of the sentence goes, I end up feeling panicked, ashamed, frustrated, angry, alienated, detached, hurt, hopeless, anxious, overwhelmed, fragile, insecure, and depressed.

(I'm working on feelings here. Need help? Here's a feelings inventory.)

and I've observed that when I use the word, "you" I am frequently blaming someone else for something. In the course of that, I see how much my words have hurt them. I've also observed that when I've used the "you" word that I do not get heard on the rest of my message.

... and then the kicker, I've hurt that person, and then I feel ashamed.

... and then I feel defensive because the bitch in my head won't shut up about how much I've fucked up.

Now that may seem harsh; I feel pretty angry about this really. I feel angry that self-compassion sometimes seems so out of reach.

It's a very difficult cycle to break out of and I've been fighting this one for what feels like an eternity.

I've been learning compassionate/non-violent communication (NVC). The toolkit is there and I've managed to practice it in "real life" several times, and I attend a group where that is the sole focus: practicing NVC.

Ultimately, I'd like to approach people in a way that does not create defensiveness and self-protection. I'd like also if people approached me that way. And removing "you" as a challenge will, at the very least, mean I need to slow down and think through what I'm about to say.

The rest of this post are quotes that I feel speak to my current work.  All of them are from Marshall Rosenberg (he created NVC). There's nothing more after the quotes. Enjoy, and have a wonderful evening. May you have find joy, peace, connection, safety, and love.

These quotes come from (and there are many more) the NVC Site.  Emphasized quotes are ones that, for me, hit even more home than the others.


-Lisa, 2014-04-09, Comment

Babbling about mini-vacations!

Today has been very productive though I did not finish - nor start - the task I set to myself.  I spent the day instead preparing for my mini-vacation. 

... and now I just finished packing for the coast - except for any things that I need tonight or tomorrow morning. The dogs food is even packed in a Styrofoam cooler with ice, currently freezing away in their chest freezer. All I gotta do is pick that up and put it in the car. Oh my but is dog food a pain.  ;)

Seaside Wednesday-Friday. The forecast looks lovely. Tomorrow will likely be only a short jaunt on the beach as we'll get in  late afternoon.  They will need to be run out after the run before I take them to the house we're renting. I'll get them settled in then dinner for everyone and a relaxing evening hanging out.

Wednesday, however, will be primarily spent on sand by the ocean with the dogs running and playing and me playing with them. I do have pilates and yoga plans for the beach.  Whee!  I'd rather the weather forecast said, "sunny" instead of chance of rain, but that's ok. We'll enjoy ourselves out there no matter what. :)

A leisurely Friday morning with check-out by 11am. I'll probably take them to the beach for a final play/hike before we drive on home. Then time to get the car detailed to be rid of sand and dog fur and prepare it for normal, every-day use.

Then back home and a bunch of days until I go to Soho, NYC!!  

Fun times and good days ahead.  I hope everyone is having wonderful days, nights, and everything in between.

-Lisa, 2014-03-19, Comment

Skating and Histamines

I was passionate. I found something that I loved. I could be all alone in a big old skating rink and nobody could get near me and I didn't have to talk to anybody because of my shyness. It was great. I was in my fantasy world.

Dorothy Hamill

These are two very different subjects. However, they're currently both at the top of my thoughts.

About a week ago Michael sent some links about histamine intolerance. This is a bit of a controversial thing; however, I do react to many of the foods high in histamines or histamine releasers. I have a lot of the tell-tale signs; if you've ever seen me imbibe red wine, you've seen some of it.

Let me preface this by saying that I decided to go back to a largely non-processed diet - paleo/primal inspired. Once this histamine intolerance thing came up, I restricted out those foods too. I felt better within days: cognitively clearer and faster, emotionally more stable, etc. It was brilliant.

Then I ate at the Brazil Grill with C & S.

The next few days? Much. less. fun. That was probably the pineapple more than the aged meat, though.

Thankfully I savored every last bite at the grill. I likely can't go back for a long time. Histamine accrue, you see, and I set my progress back a lot. And I knew it, too. Dealing with food sensitivities and isolation diets means sticking with the plan, stan.

Anyway, I'm back to it and enough farting about. Yesterday I went back to it with a vengence, feeling faintly not great in the mornning, I started with fried eggs. See, I just learned how to flip eggs!! I've been practicing. I failed at carbs, though, and having 0 carbs (until dinner time) proved a disaster.

We had steak that evening for dinner... and I unintentionally way overrestricted my calories. I was not fun to be around, being downright mean. It's an adjustment, I err'd.

Today is a new morning. I am sitting here with my espresso shot (no milk!) and an apple. I've got calories and carbs but no protein. I'll figure this out eventually anyway.

So onwards... in the state that I was in, I went skating. I had a lot of demons in my head and the day wasn't going well and I needed an outlet, so I took the drive to Lloyd and was on the ice from about 4-6pm.

I enjoyed myself, though it was a struggle in some ways. I practiced my three turns and actually managed to nail a forward three turn. Yippy. My backwards three turns are getting much easier, more stable, and more consistent. Forward I only just tried yesterday after watching some figure skating routines with my partners. Inspiring!

I did some practices at one of the rink and tried some spins and finally, 'lo and behold, I found myself down, ass on ice.

My first fall since I started again. I tripped forward out of the entry into the spin. I landed on my knee. A little bruising, no problem.

But I'm painfully shy at times and I was in front of large groups of human beings in a mall. I knew, logically, that none of them gave a damn. But my heart was racing, face flushed, and I was shaky. So I took a deep breath and relaxed at the rail then did some more mohawk practice and took off around the rink.

Then they cleared the ice and cleaned it at 5pm. YAY!!!! I got back on and was at the other end of the rink practicing 3 turns when....

Then this thing happened. I did it, however, it was... subconscious and physically expressed. That is: I took me by surprise. I was practicing three turns and did a good one and then, well, I got the zoomies! I hopped into a fast forward straight and then sped around the rink.

Now I do this fast skating (forwards or backwards) a lot, you'll see skaters do this frequently at any level where they are capable of it. It's exhilarating and also, managing high speeds, stops, and turns from high speeds is vital to most skating.

The surprising part was that I did this hop thing.

If you watch hockey skaters or figure skaters, you'll see they often hop to push off for more speed. Figure skaters frequently hop out of jumps. To me it looks like a little "woohoo I landed it!"

I did that hop. I landed and was around the rink once before I realized I'd done this little hop. I am working on some jumps but more on spins and more basic moves; I did not intend to include a hop in my every day practice.

But it was freaking addictive. I started hopping into my forward skates at every opportunity.

The first hop I did was inspiring, invigorating, exhilarating, and easy. The other ones? My freaking brain engaged! My muscles are smarter than my brain at these things and so the hopping got harder. But I did it many times and it got easier.

It was a nice reminder, from muscle memory to brain, to trust myself.

So with that in mind, I practiced scratch spins. I like my entry, my coach in my teenage years worked hard with me on it. But getting from the entry into the upright spin and then not losing it takes practice. I stepped out of the spin a lot.

Then I did a real spin, to the point my right leg was crossed over my left and lowering as I brought my arms in and tightened in to gain more RPM. I then exited because I felt wobbly as I spun faster. But I came out of it cleanly. It was my best spin in my adulthood.

Anyway. Life changes. In a few days Milton, Elka, and myself will go to Seaside and hang out in a beautiful house for a few days. it has a fully enclosed back yard, even. I won't get to skate, I will get to do pilates and yoga on the beach, and fully intend to. Maybe I'll even dance, or practice some off ice moves. Mostly I'll wrestle with the dogs, enjoy the weather, and get energized for my trip to NYC on Apri 1st (no foolin'!)

These days are interesting. I'm enjoying the feel of a longer day. The histamine intolerance diet sucks to learn but I'm seeing the benefits already. And I've returned to one of my favorite activities.

It's a good life. Now if I could convince my brain to stay content mode, at least. Hi brain, there's no reason for all this angst!

-Lisa, 2014-03-17, Comment

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