Dancing on film…again (part 1)

I’ve been dancing lately. Every weekday at lunchtime I shut my office door, change into comfy clothes, and move for 20-30 minutes. I’ve had phenomenal inspiration and a brilliant leader. I’ve been doing it for more than a month (!! IT’S A MIRACLE !!). And it feels like I’m finally ready to share.

When the time came to film, I couldn’t decide what music to dance to. I got so tired of sitting there and shuffling through tunes that I decided to dance in silence. I think I like it better this way.

I have Grand Plans (TM) (don’t I always?) to make this into a series. I have a timeline in mind, but I’m not going to share the details. I know they say “sharing makes you accountable blah blah blah,” but honestly, I find that my most successful ventures have happened when I tell no one, or just one person. I don’t know why that is, but it’s a fact. And I’m hoping to see my idea through.

For now, here’s Part 1:

Remembering

My husband read somewhere that our generation is prone to “mid-life crises.” Apparently, we have it mid-life crisis refined to the point where we don’t just have one crisis, we have many. In fact, depending on how we react to them, we may live in a near-perpetual state of mid-life crisis.

I don’t know if it’s true. But I know it feels true for me.

Once again, I’m feeling lost and wondering who I am and what I’m doing. I’m looking at my life and thinking “Is this really mine? Is this me? Is this how I want my life to go?” My dreams feel so far away that it’s hard to  remember what they are or how close I really am to achieving them (or at least starting to)

I see how easy it would be to let go of the dreams I’ve had and continue along the path I’m walking—it wouldn’t look much different from the outside, honestly, and maybe I would be happier if I just let go of these desires and looked for fulfillment in other things: a fantastic work review, a raise, a well-thrown birthday party, a family vacation. Everything would be simpler if I could only want those things. Life would be less complicated and painful…

Ummm….no. Did I really just write that?

The next minute I’m (sometimes literally) shaking myself, as if trying to wake myself up from a bad dream, and I’m wondering who the hell this voice in my head is and what happened to the idealistic, illuminated, passionate, and (comparatively) courageous dance teacher of 7 years ago.

I’m comparing and self-criticizing and digging a big hole of stuck.

Basically, it sucks.

I find it hard to write about this stuff publicly. I feel like I’m supposed to “have my shit together” and write about how I use movement to make my life better and how awesome everything is. But that’s not where I am right now, and I’m trying to be honest.

But, on the bright side, I’m not just sitting in ick, I’m taking steps to get out.

Here’s what I’m doing right now to help myself:

I’ve already been doing a (mostly) regular meditation and movement practice (YAY ME!), and I’m finally going to put my plan of “biweekly yoga class” into action starting Thursday (YAY ME!), but today I bought myself some index cards and I’ve started writing things down. I’m not writing down plans and dreams this time, but tools. Every exploration or moving meditation I used in my classes is going onto those cards. I’m starting with the ones I remember, and then I’ll go through my old journals and class plans, and THEN I’ll go through my books and add NEW ones.

I need to SEE these tools, see what I’ve got in my collection, remember that I’ve DONE THIS BEFORE. I need my thinking brain to remind the terrified parts of myself that I’ve got this, that I’m already partway there, that I’m not a big fat phony who should admit her failure, take down her much-neglected blog, and call it a day.

‘Cause I’m not one, and I don’t want to admit anything of the kind.

So there.

Happy February!

xox

Meg

Welcoming the New Year: Power words for 2014 and beyond

Happy New Year!

Christmas break is ending and, as usual, I took some time to think about my Word of the Year during my time off. As I said last week, despite my second-guessing, my word of the year for 2013 ended up being Tend…and it turned out differently than I’d expected (but doesn’t it always?). This year, the word came easily with no second-guessing. For 2014, I’m going with the word Possibility.

As I thought about the past 12 months, I realized how many of my stories were “I really want to do X but I can’t because Y.” So. Freaking. Many. Yes, I know, I’m a working mama and I have 59,000,000 things on my plate at any given time, but often the issue can be solved with a shift of perspective.

Possibility

Don’t think I have time to meditate at home? How about using 10 minutes out of one of my breaks at work? Think I can’t take a yoga class? Find out when they’re freaking offered, talk to Matthew, and see what’s manageable—one class every 2 weeks is better than no classes ever.

You get the idea. I’ve been limiting myself with my mindset, and this year I want to stop doing that. Instead of “I can’t because blah blah blah” I’m aiming for “I want to do X, and here are some ways I can manage it.”

Life is shades of grey after all, it’s not 1000% or nothing. Baby steps are still steps!

In addition to my word of the year, this year I’m beginning with a phrase to live by. In November and December, I had the very great fortune of taking a 4-week course based on The Four Desires by Rod Stryker (a book which I then got for Christmas and it is FANTASTIC!). Part of the focus of the course was uncovering our Dharma Code, or the way we are meant to live our lives. It’s not a task we are meant to do, it’s bigger. It’s the essence of who we are in the world—the way we live when we are being 100% ourselves.

Best. Workplace. Course. EVER.

This was one of those courses that came at precisely the right time. Everything clicked, and every exercise was meaningful. So now, I’ve got a phrase to live by every single day for the rest of my life…a reminder of who I really am and how I am in the world:

I radiate magic.

I could go on and on about this, explaining it in detail and offering examples, but what it all comes down to is that when I am 100% me, I feel bigger than my body. I feel light shining from me. I radiate magic.

DharmaCode

My gorgeous necklace made by Liz Lamoreux (click photo to go to her Etsy shop)

So this year, I will focus on Possibilities, and I will also carry the touchstone of my Dharma Code (literally, most of the time!). And we’ll see where they take me!

I hope you have a beautiful new year!

xox

Meg

 

P.S. Did you pick a word/phrase for the year? Wanna share? I’d love to hear about it!

2013: A year in review post…sort of

People are posting their “year in review” prompts on Facebook (which is where I hang out), and it’s got me thinking about 2013 and how it went.

Honestly? 2013 felt like a non-year to me. A limbo year. A year of mostly-stuck.

2013 was the year I made 59,000,000 potentially life-changing resolutions and didn’t stick with any of them.

2013 was the year I shoulded on myself so hard I made myself feel like less than nothing. A big, fat, non-doing failure.

2013 was the year I worked myself ragged looking after everyone but me. The year I decided it was too much trouble to ask for what I needed.

2013 was the year I did my best to make myself a non-person, to not-express most of the things I felt and thought, to NEVER (or rarely) ask for help).

BUT…

2013 was the year I realized all of this…and realized that it Had. To. Stop.

2013 was the year I realized that my Word for the Year (Tend) didn’t mean what I thought it did. It didn’t mean taking immaculate care of the house or feeding my family only organic food or learning to be on top of everything. It took me 11 months of this year to learn that the essence of Tend was “look after your damn self, Meg, and if you do that, magic will happen.”

It took all year for that to really and truly sink in, and for me to learn what I actually NEED.

I need dance. I knew that. But I’ve found out that I also need stillness. Give me 10 minutes to meditate and 10-30 minutes to dance every day, and the frazzled, miserable mess of stressed-out Mommy martyrdom disappears. Add regular yoga, and WATCH OUT, WORLD.

When I take care of myself, my light can shine.

Looking back over my blog, I see that my light HAS been shining. I didn’t realize it, I didn’t feel it, but it has. So imagine how life will be if I take care of myself.

2013 was the year I looked everywhere outside of myself for the answer, when the answer was to go inward. It was a precious lesson, and I will always be grateful to 2013 for teaching it.

Thank you, 2013. I love the gifts you brought. I love the lessons you’re leaving me with. Thank you thank you thank you.

 

Dec 5 & 6: officially catching up with the Old Skool Blogathon! YAY!

With this post, I have officially caught up to the Kickin’ it Old Skool Blogathon…at least until the next time I miss a day :P

Dec 5: Tell Us 10 Things About You.

These are REALLY random, but they’re what came to me at the time. Enjoy!

1. I went to private school and was picked on mercilessly from Grade 1 through Grade 9. Having the same 15-odd classmates year after year is less awesome when most of them hate you.

2. I completely suck at keeping things clean. Generally, I wait until our house is a painfully depressing disaster area, and then clean it in a several-hour whirl. I would love to change this.

3. My three favourite books in the universe are The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, A Little Princess, and The Ordinary Princess. They all involve heroines who are forced to be servants (OK, you could argue that The Ordinary Princess chooses to do it…sort of). Not 100% sure what this says about me, but there it is :P

4.  I have zero tolerance for sexual violence in books/on TV/in movies. Game of Thrones made me physically ill. My mom loaned me The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo without warning me, and I had to skip vast swathes of it. The few words I read as I flipped were enough to make me nauseated. I just…can’t. *shudder*

5. I’m a big fan of British gaming YouTubers The Yogscast. Xander and I started watching their Minecraft series when he was 3. We’ve been mesmerized ever since. They’re a daily feature at the Goodmanson house. Don’t judge me!

6. I detest going to the dentist, which is unfortunate because I have the Worst Teeth Ever (TM). My dentist rocks, and I STILL hate going to see her. It terrifies me.

7. Even though I hate the characters, the story, and the writing, I still listen to (and enjoy) the Twilight saga audiobooks at least once a year. And I feel slightly pathetic while I do. 

8. I don’t know how to drive. With every passing year, I get more terrified of learning.

9. I’ve recently realized that my life is 1000000000 times better when I meditate every day. I’m trying to work it into my workday so that I don’t need to try to do it at night when I’m snoozy.

10. I’m rediscovering a love of yoga! I used to dream of being a yoga teacher…and that dream is coming back. Even if I never did it as a career, I would still love to take teacher training and incorporate more yoga into my dance classes.

Dec 6th: Friday First – Share Your First Blog Post

Oh MAN, this was fun! I have 2 first posts to share:

1. My first-ever LiveJournal post from just-over 10 years ago:

November 14th, 2003:


06:23 pm - HI!
Hehehehehe. I am ONLINE!! I am TYPING!! You can SEE me!!
This is cool.
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
Current Music: Sarah McLachlan – Trainwreck

2. My first-ever non-LJ blog post from The Adventures of Mama Bear, which was my first blog:

http://theadventuresofmamabear.blogspot.ca/2008/11/our-story-so-far.html

 

 

 

Dec 3 & 4: More bloggy goodness!

I’m still catching up to the Old Skool Blogathon! Here are the entries for Dec 3 and 4. If I actually manage to blog tomorrow, I’ll be all caught up! YAY!! Enjoy!

 

Dec 3rd: Sharing Colours

[ RED ]

  1. What’s the first thing you think of when you think of red?
    Fire. Satin. Warm.
  2. Closest red thing to you?
    A deep red, harvest spice scented candle
  3. What is the last thing that made you angry?
    An email at work.
  4. Are you a fan of romance?
    HUGE fan of romance. I’m of the “This movie is so adorable that I must clutch a pillow and sigh” persuasion.
  5. Do you have a temper?
    I never thought I did…until I had a kid. Then the HORRIBLE TRUTH revealed itself.

[ GREEN ]

  1. What’s the first thing you think of when you think of green?
    Leaves. It’s only December, and I already miss green leaves.
  2. Closest green thing to you?
    Xander’s homework journal (the book where he draws a picture and writes a sentence inspired by one of the books he brings home to read each week. It’s adorable).
  3. What’s your favourite green environment?
    The Lone Shieling in Cape Breton.
  4. Are you jealous of anyone right now?
    Of anyone with a wood stove. My toes is froze!
  5. Are you a lucky person?
    I haven’t won the lottery yet, but I do feel very lucky a lot of the time.

[ PURPLE ]

  1. What’s the first thing you think of when you think of purple?
    Flowers. Amethyst. Beauty.
  2. Closest purple thing to you?
    My tank top.
  3. Do you like being treated like royalty?
    I like being pampered—is that the same thing?
  4. Do you like mysterious things?
    Hmmm…they’re OK. It depends what they are.
  5. Are you intuitive?
    Yes, although I don’t always listen to my intuition.

[ BLUE ]

  1. What’s the first thing you think of when you think of blue?
    The sky
  2. Closest blue thing to you?
    Our super-comfy sofa
  3. Are you good at calming people down?
    Yes, unless I’m upset myself. Actually, sometimes even then…
  4. What’s your favourite body of water (i.e. lake, ocean, etc)?
    I’m a big fan of the Atlantic Ocean. I also have a thing for tiny brooks. Someday I’ll live in a house with a brook in the backyard!
  5. What was the last thing that made you cry?
    The other day I freaked out because I was going to be late for work. Yup. Ridiculous.
  6. Are you a logical thinker?
    95% of the time? No. But, on the other hand, I’m a darn good problem solver.

[ YELLOW ]

  1. What’s the first thing you think of when you think of yellow?
    Sun, butter, buttercups
  2. Closest yellow thing to you?
    Lego!
  3. What was one of the happiest times of your life?
    September 2004. It was the month that Matthew and I stopped being “just friends.” Every moment of that entire month was magical.
  4. What’s your favourite holiday?
    Christmas!!
  5. What makes you happy?
    Truly inhabiting my body. Radiating love.

[ PINK ]

  1. What’s the first thing you think of when you think of pink?
    Tongues. Sunrise. Clover.
  2. Closest pink thing to you?
    A Himalayan Rock Salt candle holder.
  3. What sweet things do you like?
    Chocolate! Maple syrup!
  4. Are you sensitive?
    Extremely!
  5. What is your favourite flower?
    Lilacs, forget-me-nots, and lily-of-the-valley
  6. Do you have a crush on someone?
    Do I EVER! ;)

[ ORANGE ]

  1. What’s the first thing you think of when you think of orange?
    Fire, warmth
  2. Closest orange thing to you?
    I really shouldn’t fill this out so close to Lego…
  3. Do you dress up for Halloween?
    This year I dressed as a tree. I wore brown pants and a green shirt, cut some leaves out of post-it notes and stuck them in my hair, and wrote a name tag that said “Tree” on it. I always give 100% at Hallowe’en. Or, you know, 5%…
  4. What gives you the warm fuzzies?
    Love stories, babies, hugs
  5. What would your superpower be?
    Glowing in the dark. Xander tells me that I would be called “Lightra Girl”

[ BROWN ]

  1. What’s the first thing you think of when you think of brown?
    Chocolate, cinnamon, wood
  2. Closest brown thing to you?
    The coffee table (and Lego)
  3. What is your favourite type of chocolate?
    Super-ultra-90%-dark Lindt
  4. What makes you feel grounded?
    Vetiver essential oil, yoga, breathwork, dancing
  5. Paint the wood or always leave it au naturel?
    Au naturel!

[ WHITE ]

  1. What’s the first thing you think of when you think of white?
    Snow, fluffy clouds
  2. Closest white thing to you?
    The chair I’m sitting in
  3. Do you always try to keep the peace?
    Almost always, yes,
  4. Do you like to play in the snow?
    If I’m wrapped up warmly enough (which I usually am not…but this year I got a new parka for my birthday! I’m hoping this will help)
  5. Are you afraid of going to the doctors or dentist?
    Doctor, no problem! Dentist, RUN AWAY!!!

[ BLACK ]

  1. What’s the first thing you think of when you think of black?
    Night
  2. Closest black thing to you?
    A speaker (I’m now pretending the Lego doesn’t exist)
  3. Are you sophisticated or silly?
    Are they mutually exclusive? Silly, probably.
  4. Do you have a lot of secrets?
    I am TERRIBLE at keeping secrets.
  5. What’s the new black?
    Rainbows.

Dec 4: Weather Wednesday
What’s the weather like where you live today?

Today it was sunny and wintry-cold (not bitter, just not warm). Yesterday it was warmer and we had a howling rainstorm. Welcome to Nova Scotia, everyone!