RAW

There’s something about that third baby that unravels you.

Maybe it’s the sheer exhaustion of having three kids to raise. Maybe it’s knowing what’s ahead and what’s behind and what that means for the right now.  Maybe it’s just because it has to be for you to survive.

Or maybe, for me, it’s just because I’ve changed that much between two and three. I had nearly nine years to recreate my life after all. Maybe I just did a better job this time.

Maybe I’m more prepared, or maybe I’ve just accepted how difficult this part is.

This baby has softened my edges and stretched my perceptions, my roles, and pushed me to hit a reset button, again, but harder.    Continue reading

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Ain’t That Some Shit

You think can just entirely get rid of something about yourself?” I recently heard a someone say, “No. Whoever told you that is a liar!

Well no,” I’d replied, “I just keep thinking that if I work hard enough it will like… go into remission or something.

Ha.

I guess it kind of works like that, and doesn’t. Our things, hang-ups, issues, kleshas, struggles, or whatever label you’d like to slap on them, don’t really exactly so much go all the way away, they just show up in new ways . . .

Yeah. FUCK.

Translation: your shit is your shit is your shit.

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STORIES

The holidays come with a lot of stories each year.

No, not Santa stories. Not Hanukkah stories. Not even family blooper stories, although all of those do get shared as well.

Instead, it’s the stories I tell myself — I’m not giving my kids enough. I’m giving the kids too much. I don’t give the kids enough consequences. I give them too many consequences. If my kids love their stepmother, it means they love me less, and that I am insufficient and inadequate. If they miss their dad, it means I’m not doing my job well enough. I can’t fully forgive him for the hurt he caused me because he doesn’t forgive me either. He doesn’t deserve to be happy, but I do.

I’m not doing enough, there is more for me to do here, and there, and there, and also there. I am only of value if I am doing something. Nothing I do is ever enough to be excellent.  

I’m too different for the rest of my family to like me. They just don’t get me, and they don’t want to. I’ll never be the kind of normal required to be loved fully by my parents.

Yes. Those stories. Those scripts. Those tapes. Those records.

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GET YOURS


So my birthday is today and I’m now a number that is bigger than the number I was yesterday. Also, I am part of the TEDxSacramento Core team. Also, we have an event today, on my birthday. Also, also, that means I will be at TEDxSacramento, as a part of the core team, on my birthday for the birthday that is for a number that is bigger than the one I was yesterday.

Squeal!

Guess what else? Since last year when I was in New York City having the best.day.ever with my then-boyfriend-now-husband, we’ve done some epic shit. We got married, for that one thing, did a bunch of yoga shit, took some trips, started some projects, moved, and created some cool experiences for the kids. I earned clients and work that align with who I am as a human being and what I’m up to, started growing a baby that’s due this coming winter, oh, and in a little under a month we’ll be announcing our new yoga home, one that is partly . . . OURS.

No big deal. Continue reading

ASK

It’s been quiet on this front. I know.

This time, it’s not because I was in a dark spot. It’s not because I was so tired and sick. Or so overwhelmed. Or so confused. I was all of those things, for a little bit, again, but that isn’t why I’ve been silent so many days.  

2015 was such a big year for me. Actually, 2013-2015 were HUGE. Epically, life altering, never-gonna-be-the-same kind of years. So much YES, so much change, so much love, so much joy, so much trial, so much failure, so many restarts. After that kind of action, it makes sense that a cycle of stillness and settling would follow.

It was like the part of meditation where your brain is finally quiet enough that you can stop and look around and see what’s floating around in there with you. When the noise is off, when the dust has settled, when the pause comes, then you can step back and examine the picture you’ve been so busily crafting. Continue reading

EAT SHIT?

I keep reading and seeing and all but running into quotes about the shit sandwich. Kristen and Rachel wrote about it today. Elizabeth Gilbert talks shit eating in Big Magic, and she got the idea from Mark Manson. The premise is simple — there is no pleasure without struggle. No free rides. No success with effort. You don’t get to the finish line by simply staring at it, you have to be willing to do the work.

And I super get that. And agree with it. And believe it.

And, I’ve been holding onto this premise that there is some magical exception to the rule, and maybe I could be it. I suppose I believed that if I tried enough varieties of shit, put my time into testing them out and paid my dues, then I’d get to live the rest of my life basically shit free.  

As in, I could just write, and teach yoga, and live simply with my adorable family on a beach somewhere and it would all be champagne and cake from there.   Continue reading

DISTRACTION

Last night in my yoga class I lost my feet.

I got through integration, through Sun Salutation A’s and stepped into my first Warrior One before I even noticed where I was or what I was doing.

Did we even do Sun A? What about chair pose? Did he [the instructor] forget something?

That’s a good 20 to 25 minutes of instruction and movement that I had essentially no memory of. Like, none, which is about as scary as arriving at a destination in your car, as the driver, and wondering who got you there. It’s also as scary as being a part of a society that you realize you’ve been privileged to exist in without ever being required to notice who was, and was not, in it with you.

My body was physically in the room, yes. My feet were technically on the mat, sure. But my mind and soul elected an alternative activity.

That’s how I’ve felt the last week and a half. Distracted. Detached. Cerebral.

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THE RUB

I’ve always been a little bit outside “the norm.”  Not average. Challenging. Bold. Big in body, mind, and presence. Strong-willed, determined, and overly verbal about it. A storyteller by nature. I’m a dreamer who likes to make lists. A “YES” who likes to map it.

I rarely choose to do things the easy way. I like puzzles, and problem solving. I crave adventure. I need variety like I need air. I don’t like the word or the state of “normal.” I don’t like to hold still. Conventions make me nauseated. I like to learn the rules so I can bend and twist and break them when it’s time.   

I rarely play it safe. I’m uncomfortable playing small. There are never enough ideas or things for me to learn.  If you say we can go ten miles I want to go one hundred. My quench for growth is insatiable.

I love the way change calls me out of my comfort zone and into a terrifyingly fresh new space.

This, makes me . . . well. Me. It makes me, me. And I’m not sorry for that, anymore. It’s who I am. I’m good with it. Great, actually. Continue reading

THE THING

When I was 16, this girl at a leadership camp we both attended said at the end of our week about me “There’s just something about Michelle. You can tell just by being around her that she’s going to do something really great.

Every day since that day, I’ve been wondering— BUT WHAT?  

So I went into teaching. Because I loved kids, and I loved working in a place where my work made a difference in real time and in the future. I went to college, and got all the degrees, and all the credentials and all the labels that said “Teacher.”

Being a teacher seemed like it was going to be a really great thing. Probably THE Thing. Except it wasn’t. Not then, for me, anyway.

I put in a solid and commendable effort too. Eleven years in Elementary Education including a three year stint in School Administration, and then five semesters as a College Professor. And I was a good teacher. I made a difference. I know I did great work.

But instead of lighting me on fire, it was burning me out.

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CORE

So last Monday, a week ago, I had surgery to repair an umbilical hernia I’ve been ignoring for the last eight years. Per usual, I thought it would be no big deal. 60 minute surgery, home before noon, likely working again by 1pm.

Only, to no one’s surprise but mine, that’s not exactly how it went down. I was in pain and disoriented for a the better part of last week, and an emotional jack-in-the-box through… well, even today.

It was so much more than I’d bargained for, losing the ability to move from my core.

I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sit up without support. I couldn’t reach for things. I couldn’t hug my kids close to me. I couldn’t eat normally and I couldn’t exercise, not even to take  a simple child’s pose. I couldn’t even wear my regular clothes because of the swelling.

Nothing was normal. Nothing worked like I was accustomed to it working.  Nothing felt . . . certain.  

Old stories crept in. Stories of being not enough, not doing enough, being too much of something, or too little of another, or just simply — wrong. I felt completely powerless. Continue reading