Author: Riss

Tuning In

Tuning InIn the recent months, I’ve been taking a lot of time and energy to actually pay attention to my own health and I’ve started listening to my body… something I’ve never been terribly great at, but that I’m working on. I have a meditation app that talks me through a 5 minute body check in, and I try to run through it 3 or 4 times a week. It gives me a good opportunity to really just stop, and breathe, and feel. I’m always up in my head. I’ve been that way for a long time. When I’m motivated, there’s no stopping me. But I was burning myself out very quickly and it needed to stop. I needed to take some time for me, which is one of those skills I’m trying to develop. It started out small. I would just take the time to paint my nails a time or two every week. It was silly and little, but that 15-20 minutes gave me a time frame that was manageable in our busy daily lives. I was still working close to 50 hours at that time, so that had to stop too. I was so tired all the time, and I knew I was having a hard time keeping my health in order too.

The real shift happened in May for me. I subscribe to an email newsletter from Dr. Sara Gottfried and she had sent out an announcement about an upcoming free web seminar that she was speaking in. Since I jump at any chance to listen to Dr. Sara talk, I signed up for this “Red Tent Revival” thing. It literally changed my world. I left work early on the first day it started so I could make sure I was home in time to have my computer all setup to watch it, and I told the guys at the office that I was doing this online seminar thing, so they could text, but please don’t call because I wouldn’t answer it until it was done. J The first night, I watched with rapt attention as the hostess talked about Divine Feminine Power and Being… I’m not going to lie. I cried. I’d been out of my own body for so long, that I didn’t even know what it felt like to be in it anymore. Colin and I weren’t having the regular sex life we both needed. I was unhappy and exhausted all the time. I was still fighting depression. I just couldn’t take all of it at once, and here was this beautiful, successful woman telling me that I had all the power and life I needed, I just didn’t have access to it yet. I cried tears of joy at the idea that I could harness my own feminine energy, something that got suppressed in my fast paced office environment where results were everything. I cried tears of sadness that I had allowed myself to slip away so very much into a dark abyss. And with the tears came amazing relief. I cried for so long, I had to rewind the video about three quarters of the way through, because I’d missed too much information. Colin sat helplessly next to me on the bed as I wept. He did that “standard guy thing” (his words, not mine) and just rubbed my back and murmured nonsense in a reassuring voice. He knows that I don’t cry often, and that I usually hate crying, because I always felt it was a sign of weakness. Well, that pretty lady had just told me that emotion wasn’t something to be ashamed of, and that it was in fact what made a woman so womanly. Our ability to care and feel make us the ultimate nurturers. It’s our nature to take care of things and to strive for perfection, but I didn’t have to overwork myself to the point of exhaustion, because perfect wasn’t an option. It’s not attainable, so I should just BE! It was so amazing and really shook my entire life up. The rest of that week, I watched each of the livestreams and the interviews with such rapt attention that I forgot to take notes on most of them. I watched quite a few of the interviews multiple times so I could listen and learn and then go back and hit the bullet points. I spent countless hours deliberating and discussing the points of interest with Colin and he sat patiently while I rambled on. I think I cried more in that week than I have in a long time. It was uplifting, but also was a call to action for me. I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I had to do something to change my lifestyle patterns. I couldn’t keep on the way I was; numb to everything and everyone in the hopes that if I just shut it all out, it would go away. It doesn’t work and only serves to make me, me and everyone around me, miserable.

So I fired a client who was eating up my evenings. I put a “curfew” on when my agents could call me for “real estate emergencies” and stopped booking myself into corners on the weekends. I started dancing and listening to music again. And I took every opportunity to spend time with myself. I would dance and shimmy around, feeling free and fluid in a body that I hardly knew anymore and took a long hard look at my own perceptions of it. I soaked my feet in the massaging foot spa and gave myself mani-pedis in the evenings. It was glorious. I started wearing my hair down more at work too! That caught a lot of people’s attention. My usual style is a bun at the back or a ponytail. Letting my hair dry into the soft waves that it had naturally and then just brushing it in the morning gave me a more flowing feminine feel, and I went with it! Now I can take a 5 minute check in with myself if I feel like I’m getting too stressed and just breathe, allowing all the stress and tension to flow out of me. It’s made me more productive at work, much happier at home, and it’s also made me realize that I had some very unhealthy habits and patterns that needed to be broken.

Now I’ve got a tribe of beautiful, intelligent, amazing women who I can share this journey with. Every up and down, all the little bumps along the way. I can hear their stories, offer my take on their situations, the way they do for me, and we learn from one another. We are building a network of individuals who all have the same goal, and that is to be the most amazing creatures we can be, in every aspect of our lives. Between business and pleasure, personal or professional, all our worlds are expanding, bit by bit, and it’s amazing to know that I have that community and support that I’ve always craved but never allowed myself to have.

So I’m tuning in to my body’s reactions. I know my limitations, and also know that in some things I can be limitless! I have said NO, I have stood my ground and I have built myself a nest at home that gives me the security and freedom to be everything and anything and all the things that I can be. Colin calls in my “Chaos in Containment” theory. My requirement of structure and safety to completely let go and be WILD. It’s true. I have been hampered and penned and tucked in around the edges in perfect little hospital corners for the better part of my life and it was time for me to break from my mold, step outside my comfort zone and try new things. It’s been an amazing journey so far and I can only imagine it will continue to be so as I move forward and upward. I can hear the call, and it’s coming from my heart. I just had to tune in.

Gearing up for Fall

fall-leaves-purpleAutumn means a lot of things to different people. In most cases, it’s a time for cooler weather, warm nights cuddling with cider, and all things Pumpkin Spice.

This is true for me as well, but there are a few other “annual rituals” that come with the shorter days and longer nights in my little corner of the ‘verse.

Autumnal Equinox: I like to celebrate this in my own little fashion. That means breaking out the colorful scarves, and mulling cider for hours so that the house smells divine! Then a few fall time crafts to really bring everyone together for an evening. It’s a time for collecting thoughts and remembering to be thankful for the blessings you have, and about bringing the warmth of the summer’s end inward so that your home stays bright and happy all winter long.

Halloween: My annual dread of trick or treating is expressed quietly and usually somewhere under the surface. I’ve been taking my sister trick or treating at the mall for years now, because it’s more bearable than wandering around neighborhoods for hours on end with her. Costumes are a delight, and I actually enjoy most of the revelry that goes along with this spirited happening, but I just really can’t get on board with the tot-ing idea. Never have, I doubt I ever will.

NaNoWriMo: If Halloween is the marker for real fall festivities, then NaNoWriMo is the big event that steals my Novembers! Now that we’re hosting Thanksgiving at my house for the family (more on that as we begin our proper planning), I’ll have to really make sure to dedicate time early on to getting ahead of my word count curve so I can enjoy the holiday later in the month without the added pressures of a 50k word novel in 30 days! If you’re doing National Novel Writing Month this year, let me know and we can cheer each other on! It’s always more fun to do it with a friend!

Thanksgiving: Growing up Thanksgiving meant going to my grandparents’ house, lots of pumpkin pie and family, and then Christmas Present Season officially began! As children, we would receive our Christmas gifts from my mom’s parents on Thanksgiving so that our grandmother would be able to enjoy our opening them. It was a tradition that we looked forward to every year. After my grandfather died (on Thanksgiving that year, no less) that tradition died off as well, but in the last couple years, we’ve gone to great lengths to revive it, and my grandmother’s spirit of the season as well. It’s going to be a big celebration of life this year. Last year marked the 5th Anniversary of my grandfather’s passing, but this year Thanksgiving and the 27th of November are one and the same. My grandmother has requested that this year, when we all come together, that we share memories and read them aloud. I’m adding them all together in a binder so that she can take them home with her and read them as much or as little as she wants.

My Autumn is looking like madness right now with everything going in every which direction, but maybe that’s not all that different than my Summer or my Spring, so perhaps that’s just my way of life. I do know one thing though, life is never boring in this corner of the world, and it’s delightful!

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo 2013 ParticipantI’ve synced up all locations of my Evernote. I have brainstormed character development until I can’t think straight without the voices in my head drowning out all sense and reason. I have stocked up on “writer snacks”, mostly coffee and Werther’s Originals in three flavors because they make me happy and taste good even when I don’t feel hungry.

I’d say I’m ready to start this year’s NaNoWriMo out right! I’ve even got writing buddies this year, which is a first for me! I’ve got a NaNoWriMo support team and an hour and a half each day blocked out on my calendar for my daily word count goals!

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