owning your heart + love in the journey
“i want my inner truth to be the plumb line for the choices i make about my life – about the work that i do and how i do it, about the relationships i enter into and how i conduct them.” parker palmer
I am one of those people that firmly believe all the answers are already inside of us… bold statement, huh? Let me sandwich it with my other belief; whether or not we choose acknowledge, listen and ultimately execute those answers is another thing. Some folks struggle with the identification, some with the belief that the right answer might ultimately come from themselves and ultimately, folks struggle with execution. I find myself squirming between the last two.
Gratefully I have found practices that lead me to the truth, or in this case, the answers. Meditation, daily exercise and yoga lead me to what many of my teachers call, “the highest, first”. This phrase put simply, means that a person must always search and work toward finding that which is most life affirming; i.e. what your answers are. Owning the fact that we have all of these answers inside of us brings us to a higher level of consciousness that is invaluable, but is also immensely frightening. I have a feeling many of you may know what I am talking about? The most challenging and thus worthwhile part is staying in that space, which I like to call, my edge.
My edge means making sure that I am actively practicing yoga, exercising, meditating two times a day, eating healthy + wholesome meals and drinking lots of water. My edge also means that I am not engaging in anything that isn’t life affirming, i.e. drinking alcohol. At least for me, alcohol has been a pretty significant part of my upbringing and part of my existence in society. My family (at nearly every gathering) shared a couple bottles of wine around the table and at least and from my experience with other families growing up, this habit was not uncommon. Friends in high school drank quite a bit, after what had been modeled for us so many times… and as you can see, the cycle, in most cases, continues. For me, alcohol has never been life affirming. I have never acted in a way that I would like to have more of in my life when I was under the influence of alcohol. I can honestly say that never have I reflected on an occasion of drinking and said, “I wish like I could be like that all the time.” I do however want to be clear about one thing, I am not sitting here trying to be some sort of puritan, or person that thinks that all people should stop drinking; so please do not read this that way. I am sharing my deepest truth about what I know to be the most non-life affirming action or habit I have had in my past. And I share it in hopes that folks will be challenged to engage with what might not be life affirming for them + work toward doing less of those things.
When we engage in activities that aren’t life affirming we shroud our own truth. It becomes harder and harder to engage with how we truly feel and we continue to disconnect from our own selves. So very many of us do this on a daily basis; whether it is with alcohol, food, television or constant stimulation. Whatever we might choose to use, we stuff and suppress our emotions with other things. A little over a year ago I was a great case study of just this. Nearly all my emotions were completely and totally unpredictable. I was successfully suppressing every possible attempt my truth made at getting in touch with me. I was unhealthy, overweight, unhappy and felt extremely lost. Through the introduction, commitment and execution of a near complete and total life overhaul I gratefully stand where I am today.
I know my answers because of my commitment to finding them, each and every day… and sometimes I still doubt them, imagine that!? My newest charge and challenge is increasing my overall execution and it’s not about beating myself up when mess up, either.
Life is one big dance of revelation and concealment, of “a-ha!” and “oh shit!” moments.
Our presence on this planet should be enough for each of us to know that we are worth the work.
This will be the first post of a series on the journey of healing and transformation I have undergone over the past year. My intention is to make it as raw and real as possible so that folks (myself included) can get the most out of it. Is there anything you’d like to hear about in particular? Please comment, please share, please, please.
All of my heart + love in the journey,
4 comments on “owning your heart + love in the journey”
Wow, it sounds like you have had quite an amazing journey! Thanks for sharing. I feel like I am at the beginning of a new transformational journey. Although I have “reinvented” myself a few times in the past…this time it feels different. It feels more real some how and more positive. I know a lot of that feeling has to do with the help and love I’ve received by coming to see you and Luke for acupuncture and workshops (and doing yoga at freedom yoga). I love being a part of the community that is forming there. And I love seeing your smiling face (usually) when I walk in the door!
Melinda, you are such a wise and insightful young woman. I wish I had it together as much as you when I was your age or for that matter at my current age!
You sure have a talent for expressing yourself.
I love you. pt