I grew up in Fresno so I’m used to the heat. Whether it’s hot yoga or a toasty day on the beach, I play and feel better when I’m warm. I love the warmth I feel when I connect with other people and their life stories. But in eastern medicine, heat, or yang energy, especially in excess is something that causes inflammation, pain, and wear and tear on our bodies, and when I showed up at my friend and crazy talented acupuncturist Amanda’s this week, I had a lot of heat that needed to escape.
A week of travel, not enough sleep, relationships, and life logistics weighing on my mind without my usual outlets of hot yoga and volleyball for a couple of days, and I showed up at my appointment without much calm, yin energy. In short, I needed support, because what I do for myself on my own wasn’t cutting it. That yang energy can feel intense, it causes my shoulders to ride a little higher and my jaw to clench with tightness that I can feel when I wake up in the morning. If I didn’t take the time to feel how things show up in my body, I wouldn’t have the motivation that I do to make it better. To me it is the evolved version of being tough. Writing is part of that journey to self awareness too, and I am passionate about it because it has helped me feel and see my own progression over the past five years, just like the breath and movement I talked about last week. Without it, I wouldn’t notice the little signs of growth that are easy to take for granted like how easy it is for me to go places by myself now like I did on the 4th of July where I made lots of new friends, or the progress I’ve made being able to share my stories out in the world. Life is too short to live shut down or less than honest so this week I tried to take inventory of a few things life has taught me lately:
I’m a different human than I was five years ago, and yet more intense in the ways that have always been me. I’m feel deeply, but I’m not dramatic. I’m fiercely independent and hate being told what to do, yet also extremely coachable. I’m stubborn, but it can be used for growth and good. The beauty that makes us unique lies in our contradictions and gray areas and not everything has to make sense all the time. It’s the little things that count and connect me to the people I love and I’m grateful to have my kids and friends, old and new, in my corner. If you are looking for more connection in your life, raise your eyes and smile at people, ask questions, you never know when you will discover a new friend.
As humans, we are always works in progress, we don’t have to be perfect to build connection with other people, but we can only build lasting relationships if we are honest - that includes the happy and the more difficult communication that exists happens between us. I’ve learned that some of the hardest conversations are a dance, trying to figure out with grace for ourselves and others, what is ours to own, what to say out loud, what to hold back, when to hang on, and when to let go. Relationships are work, but they also have a beautiful honeymoon period, so I will always savor that.
To quote my friend Chrissy:
“As spiritual and human beings, we long for connection, and the hope of love is still alive in you and that is a beautiful thing that sometimes feels like an ache.”
Those words were too beautiful not to document. Man I love her and our conversations and we go the distance on mind, body &
3. Humor is a salve for everything. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves with others about what we know, what we think we know, and what we don’t know yet. It keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously, even if you are a thinker like me. I love having relationships where we can laugh together…I mentioned this in a post this week about my kids. When people feel safe and loved, laughter comes easily, and has the ability to heal so many wounded parts of ourselves. If you can’t find it in your relationships, keep engaging and looking for it every day because it is a game changer.
I’m a big believer that life is relative, it’s what makes my life with four kids just as hard and fruitful as someone with a completely different experience, but sometimes I realize that I still stuff down what is hard, and hide it under that mirage of calm, until the heat makes it’s way to the surface. I’m still learning how to work with this fire that has a tendency to rise up in me. Thanks for helping me merge it with my real calm Amanda, I’ll keep working with this heat of summer.
With love & optimism,