Last month I got to perform in a local community theater production of Guys and Dolls. Performing in musical theater again had been on my "wish" list for about 25 years and I am so freaking glad that I got to do it! Musical theater was a big part of my identity when I was younger. I was in everything from Bye Bye Birdie to Oliver and I loved singing and performing. Up until my sophomore year at college I was often in plays until I got way too cool and spent all my free time listening to music, dying my hair black, wearing armloads of silver bangle bracelets, going to clubs at 11:00 pm to hear bands and obsessing over cute British bass players- but that's a story for some other blog post…
I don't know about you, but I am wrestling with keeping my shit together right now. I'll be going along, managing just fine, and then I will see or hear something that will send me spinning down a rabbit hole and running towards anything that will numb me out, like a bottomless bag of chocolate chips or endless hours of playing Hearts on my phone. I have nothing against chocolate or playing games on my phone but regularly numbing out to avoid reality is not a good long-term plan. So I decided to make a list of things I can do to balance the numbing and the upcoming right-wing agenda.
In getting back to the business of living my life these past couple of weeks, the practice of gratitude has been a very effective tool for moving out of the fear of an unknown future and into the present moment where all things are possible. So, in the spirit of giving thanks, I'd like to share with you my current gratitude list.
People often comment on the name of my business, Audacious Wellness, maybe because audacious is one of those words that can mean several different things. Personally, I love the idea of audacity when making life choices. Women I admire from Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Sanger to Alice Waters and Debbie Harry, have all been considered bold, daring and gutsy, or in other words, audacious, for going against the so-called grain to ultimately change perceptions and create new norms.
I've been going through some stressful things of late and haven't been paying as much attention as I normally do to the way I've been eating. As a result I've gained a few pounds, my clothes are tight and I'm generally dragging. It made me think about what I'm feeling (or avoiding feeling) when I don't eat mindfully. It made me question what I am really hungry for right now.
It's the middle of August and the middle of an "extreme heat warning" here in Seattle. Super hot summers are a relatively new thing in this town so lots of old houses like mine do not have central AC. It's usually right around now that I start daydreaming about the cooler temps of fall and that fresh-start, back-to-school feeling I love. So, in the spirit of September's approach, I put together 5 easy ways to get ready for fall that I think you will love - even though they do not include having a pumpkin spice latte!
Here's a fun fact about turning 50 (or 43 or 47 or any age after 40 really…): stuff you have done all your life can suddenly stop working the way it always has. That's right - you think you've got something wired and just like that it either explodes or just starts fizzling out. Then you're like, "WTF? I'm waking up at 3 AM? I've always slept a solid 8 hours a night", or " Hello? I've gained 10 pounds and I have not done one single thing different in the past 6 months." Welcome to the wonderful world of aging and perimenopause.
As a coach I am always looking for good metaphors to help make sense of things we humans keep tripping over or bumping into. One of my favorites comes courtesy of the airline industry. We all know that in case of an emergency, we need to secure our own oxygen masks before we try and help others. If we can't breathe then we are useless to everyone - including ourselves. This is a great metaphor for real life! Daily living in the 21st century can feel relentless and stressful and often keeps our adrenals running as if we are in a constant state of emergency.
I'm a Wellness Coach and I'm ALL about possibility and potential. But I live in the actual world and sometimes even I forget that I have the power to be and do whatever I want in my life.
I was reminded of this recently when a client told me "I can't help it. I'm a control freak. That's just the way I am."
(or how I lost 50 pounds, turned 50 and then told age 50 to fuck off).
When you get into the world of Personal Growth and Self Help, you hear the word "intention" a lot.
Like all the time.