The One That Almost Got Away

It was during Morning Prayers today that I remembered May events don’t get applied to April’s highlight reel. This prompted me to remember that I never posted an April highlight reel.  I’ll start the feel-good fireworks there.

By feel-good I mean fluid, flowing, easy and clear. Magic, divine, soulful and natural.

A massive storm bent my rose bush nearly to the ground while it was in full bloom so I had to do some maintenance. I used the opportunity to give myself some of my own flowers–about two dozen of them–and repair my bush. I was pleased with the fallen rose petals at my feet so much that I wanted to include them as a highlight. More pleasure. It’s important.

As for the other desires I served in the month of April, those came in multiples as well. I wanted to learn (well, re-learn) how to make a fire all by myself so that I could light a Beltane bonfire on the 30th. My fire-making skills were previously eroded by the luxury of teenage boys living in my house. Making fire was an important outlet for their destructive urges so I abdicated fire pit duties to them over the last few years. It’s like giving your cat a scratching post to destroy so she won’t shred your sofa. But that boy kitty has grown up and moved out. With piles of myrtle branches in the yard it was time to become the fire goddess again. So I did. And once I started I couldn’t stop. And now I’m so into the ritual of lighting a fire I’m cleaning out the bamboo grove just to generate something else to burn. I’m begging the tree guy at work to bring me his leavings instead of taking them to the county landfill. Fire feels comforting to me these days and igniting fire makes me feel elemental. How do we cultivate these feelings? We practice.

Let’s talk about feeling strong. Splendid. Engaged. Fully present. Free. I ran my first race since discovering my Renaissance Heart. It was a 10k; the longest distance I’ll be running unless I can get fast enough to run longer in under an hour. (Don’t think it can’t happen.) It made me feel resilient.

How ’bout feeling adventurous? After my second month wearing the FitBit I thought it would be fun to join one of the team challenges offered by the app. I’m not wearing the device for its intended purpose (to track exercise) but rather for the benefit of the heart rate monitor while I run. Since the device does all these other cool things I wondered if it wouldn’t be worth the investment to at least try to use them. So I set some goals to see if it would be fun to hit the numbers each day. It was. But wouldn’t it be more fun with other people? I thought so.

I joined an online challenge in which I’m placed on a team of strangers. Our team competes against other teams in a weekly step count challenge. I figured I’d do really well since I get a ton of steps while running. Nope. Nope! Had no idea that the FitBit world is a study in obsession. These people are militant. Radical. Zealots. It’s not politically correct to say insane anymore, but holy frijoles, these FitBitters are unsound. My team members might be walkers (as opposed to runners) but they are fanatical about step counts. I mean crazy-sexy-hardcore. They blow me out of the water every single day–even on long run days. I might put in an active day and feel all proud of my big-ass number but they each put in double or even triple that number. It isn’t really much fun playing with people who are so far out of my league and the comparison trap is one I’ve learned to avoid. Chalk this up to a bad idea? Maybe not.

Instead of chucking the whole idea I simply adjusted my perspective. I have no hope of matching anyone in the middle of the pack, much less the leaders, and I’m not interested in matchmaking anyway. I’m not going to be a conventional competitor. Remember, I’m done struggling to prove myself to the world. The whole point is to feel good, as said so eloquently by Danielle Laporte. My goal instead is to make last place look different each week. By different I mean improved by any amount, regardless of the next highest stepper. (As of this morning there are 30,0000 steps between me and the next highest stepper so it ain’t hard to say “meh.”) The result is that I own last place. I’m making it mine. I’m making it shine. In addition to my regular running regimen I’m walking my ass off rocking the caboose. Not to prove to anything. Not to disprove anything. It makes me feel honest. Authentic. And yes, badass.

You know how much I love to be in the healing business. From the first seed planted to the full bloom of wholeness, any contribution I get to make to the process feels like a holy endowment. To wit, I came out of retirement from teaching and offered a yoga class to the public (by request) for the first time in over a year. Outdoors. At sunrise. With first-timers and veterans alike. Men and women. Old and young. Heavy and light. I remembered why I love teaching yoga. It was almost two weeks ago and the feedback is still coming in. Last night women said things like so amazing and exactly what I needed, and we can’t stop talking about how awesome that was. Might as well be winged seraphs delivering the messages because I received them as if it was. It makes me feel generous. And supernatural.

Freedom. I finally broke up with the bathroom scale. I kicked it out of the house. A woman who wanted me out of her house long ago once told me, “There’s your clothes and there’s the door.” I’d moved in with her family right after graduation. While I searched for employment I earned my keep by cleaning her house and doing the laundry. When I found a job I dove right into full-time hours and didn’t have time to get her house clean before she arrived home at 5 pm. Sometimes the laundry was only halfway done. Sometimes the bathrooms had to wait until the weekend. She got fed up. Continuing to clean the house at the same rate of completion and on the same timetable as before turned out to be a deal-breaker for her. She got fed up with my excuses of I had to go to work or I got called in to work or I was late for work. She didn’t want to hear it. I wasn’t adding any value to her household. I could pack my crap and go. Stuff my sorrys in a sack, mister.

Through the years I always thought this was cold and cruel. I am not going to lie to you though, as I removed the scale from my yoga room (sacred space, but with a scale–I know!) I had to laugh. There’s your batteries and there’s the door, Scale! She was adding no value to my household. I might have welcomed her into my home at one time but she was no longer welcome. All she did was suck up resources without any contribution. Her productivity was shit and I didn’t want to hear any of her excuses of I’m just a machine or I’m just doing what I was programmed to do or I don’t know how to make you happy.  Whatever. Not hearing it. I put that bitch OUT. I am free. I have no idea how much I weigh. I mean to go on not knowing. It was a radical act of self-love. It made me whole. And empowered. And Lo-Retta, wherever you are, I forgive you.

Also on the list of things I always knew I should do but hadn’t until April 2016; I broke up with my girl products. I decided that the only reasonable way to take care of my skin was to stop medicating it with chemicals. I ditched the laboratory line of synthetic skincare products and switched to Mother Nature’s method. Organic. Vegan. Like when the Waponis rejuvenate Tom Hank’s weather beaten face in Joe Versus The Volcano. Smooshed bananas and octopus tentacles and tribal saliva. Only in tidy white tubes now; with a free washcloth when you buy the complete set. It’s been a week now. It makes me feel potent. Seriously Assassans, try and tell me that I’m wrong about this; isn’t this what the world needs right now? Some people who feel potently beautiful?

And now the big one. Big. Huge. Like the snooty saleslady’s lost commission in Pretty Woman. Big. Huge.

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Only I’m Vivian. Blonde Vivian. Who doesn’t wear heels. So maybe I’m more like Vivian’s low-heeled potent country cousin who definitely would have hooked up with Jason Alexander so that one day she could brag that she did the guy who stuffs his sorrys in a sack, mister.

I gave my notice at work. I’m leaving my job. Willingly. Of my own volition. Yep. Comfortable. Steady. Benefits. Yada yada yada. I resigned. I am leaving safe, comfortable, and known for the scary, new, and unknown. Eek! It happened so fast. I was the very first interview. I was the very first choice. I slept on it and then I said yes.

Now Vivian is tearfully giving me her favorite black hat and stuffing cash into my denim jacket pocket, telling me that I’ve got a lot of potential.

Y’all know the root word of potential?

Potent.

Mm hmm. It’s a practice.

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