I’m in the last week of my second trimester, and wouldn’t you know it, things all over my body are already starting to hurt and/or swell. They say the second trimester is the bright spot of pregnancy–you’re not nauseous anymore like in the first, and you’re not yet feeling the bodily discomfort of growing larger and larger in the third.
It’s something new, something different, expected or not, every day.
But each week as my belly grows bigger, my baby’s kicks, punches and rolls are growing stronger. I can’t really describe the feeling of having another tiny human being moving around inside my body. It’s weird, wonderful, and oddly comforting and routine. There’s the way she riles up about a half hour after I eat, the way she responds when she hears her daddy’s voice, the early morning kicks before I get out of bed, and late night jabs when I’m trying to fall asleep.
Sure I tire easily and some days it hurts to walk, but I’m sure that I’ll miss all of it once she’s with us on the outside.
My spouse and I are sharing a one-room apartment. But it’s only temporary.
Our kitchen has no stove. But it’s only temporary.
It’s been chilly and cloudy almost every day. All day. In southern California. I’m told it’s called “June Gloom” and that it’s just temporary.
I don’t have a job. But that’s just temporary.
For a short time I didn’t have health insurance, but that was only temporary.
I’m sick to my stomach almost every day. But I’m told it’s only temporary.
I’ve been too exhausted to work out or go to a yoga class lately. But hopefully it’s only temporary.
I literally have two heartbeats inside of me. But that will just be temporary, too.
Everything in life is temporary. But that’s where the joy comes from! If nothing ever changed, we wouldn’t have goals, motivation or appreciation.
Years ago, I was going through a particularly rough time and a friend gave me the following quote that has stuck with me ever since:
It’s the last day of the first month of 2019. The time we use to set our intentions for the year. I used to think that manifesting was bullshit, though. Maybe using words like intentions and goals makes it a little easier to swallow. How else are you supposed to achieve goals without keeping them front of mind? I’m still skeptical about manifesting concrete things like love or people into your life, but if you keep yourself open to a possibility rather than being cynical or closed off, it could be called a success in the end. Changing your mindset can change your life.
I’ve almost always kept myself surrounded by reminders of my past and present. Photos of people I’m grateful to have in my life, pictures and souvenirs of happy events and moments, vacations, etc. But it wasn’t until the last few years that I decided to display phrases and quotes to influence how I wanted to feel. I would stick post-it notes on my bedroom door, bathroom mirror, refrigerator, places that I would see them and be reminded every day.
Last year was the first time that I set an intention in a visual form. I posted two California postcards from a recent trip on my bulletin board. Part reminder of a great trip that was meaningful to me, and part intention of eventually moving there. At the time it seemed crazy, but I thought that I would be really happy in the climate and culture of Los Angeles, and I realized that as you get older there are less and less opportunities to try something new, to completely change your life. And I wasn’t getting any younger.
So I set it there. One year. Open to the possibility. Intention set. I saw the postcards every day. And the idea became less and less crazy, especially as I started to see the signs that were everywhere. I was open to it, but not pushing it. And now that move is in the works.
I’d love to hear your own stories of manifesting or intentions realized. Has simply changing your mindset ever changed your own life?
Remember the joy of Christmas morning as a kid? You know no different, a single focus of energy and attention.
That feeling is near impossible to replicate as an adult, replaced by things like love, loss, gratitude, fear. Often at the same time. Much more complex emotions than the purity of a child.
Today is one of those days. Only a few of my friends really know about it. It’s closing day on the sale of the house I owned with my ex husband. I feel relieved, scared, melancholy, hopeful.
As I realized months ago on the day my divorce was final, this is the type of thing where there is no winner, there is no celebratory party in order. It’s just sad. Sad that a marriage failed, sad that we both lost a lot of money, and sad that everyone involved felt a lot of pain. But now I look forward, unencumbered by my past. I was able to let go of heavy emotions and events form my past, even further back than this last decade. I learned how to be more aware, accepting, and not view myself as the victim in every scenario.
Through it all I focused my attention on positive gratitude. I’m grateful for my friends and family who held my hands and gave me advice. I’m grateful for lite moments that made me laugh while I cried. I journal morning and night about the things I am grateful for, and it turns out the things appearing most often are some of the most basic things in life, and things that can be so easy to take for granted.
The last two months have been such a fulfilling (and busy!) experience. I’ve completed eight weeks of yoga teacher training (just 10 more classes until I receive my RYT 200-hour certificate!), where I turned my self-study (Svādhyāya) into a practice, challenged myself and made new yoga family friends. While I loved learning the class sequence and what it takes to be a good teacher, I really enjoyed learning the philosophy behind yoga. The eight limbs, yamas, niyamas, and the 7 chakras put names to the pieces of the journey I’ve been on over the last year. I had already learned so much about myself and about using a challenge to thrive, and diving into this near familiar world was another sign that I am on the right path. Being able to turn my attention outward has been a great part of my growth as well. Not only have I set this goal to teach others, but I’ve shared with my Omies and in turn helped them open up, too.
To cap the training, I booked a trip back to LA where I am right now typing away on a coffee shop patio. It’s been amazing to have so much open time (that would usually scare the shit out of me), even if I did spend a couple days of it sick and dealing with the challenge of plans not working out. I’ve been able to get a ton of restful and healing sleep, spend quality time with my boyfriend and hit the mat for fun. His place is a block over from a CorePower studio, which he swears he didn’t choose for me, but hey, lucky either way. And today I finally made it out to Y7 to try out their “sweat dripping, beat bumping, candlelit yoga.” Twas fun.
More to come.
Happy International Yoga Day!
Yoga has become an important part of my life over the last few years and even more through the last few months as I’ve healed and grown post-marriage. I went on a “radical” yoga retreat in Mexico last month that was truly transformative. My new path led me to enroll in Teacher Training at CorePower which coincidentally began the night before the Summer Solstice and International Yoga Day. We were assigned to write an introductory essay which I was excited to share with my class, and now here.
What is Yoga and Why Do I Practice Yoga?
I found yoga because of back pain. I began to love yoga when I noticed it reduced my anxiety and brought my mind into sharp focus during class. I felt accomplished and stronger, especially in the beginning when my body wasn’t accustomed to the poses and breathing and just getting through class felt like a slog. I’d be sore for days, but I kept coming back for more. My desire to party faded because I wanted to feel the benefits of a morning class rather than blow off steam through late nights and booze.
Then came new strength, new accomplishments. I stood straighter. I felt more confident. There were days that I would suddenly nail a pose that I had been slowly working towards, sometimes without even realizing I was. I might not get it every time after that, but more consistently still. Core work and chaturangas got easier, believe it or not. Yoga began to fuel me, and not just physically. It also fueled my heart and my mind.
That mental and spiritual strength would eventually help me as my marriage crumbled and I found yoga and exercise to be my solace. Surrounding myself with positivity and a different language were key. It led me to a transformative CorePower retreat in Mexico and ultimately brought me here to TT to share with others.
I’ve heard that yoga is meant to clear the mind and prepare the body for long seated meditation. In our busy and cluttered western lifestyle however, it provides a necessary break from the outside world and allows us control of our minds to keep calm and centered amid what life brings our way. One of my favorite quotes that I learned years ago from my therapist encapsulates this idea, and it has morphed in meaning for me over the years as I have grown and matured:
“Peace – It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
I have come to the conclusion that I don’t like dating. I like going on dates. With one person. I don’t know how people date more than one person at a time. I guess I understand going on multiple first or second dates just to weed the field, to see what’s out there what you’re not missing out on. But what happens when you have feelings for more than one person at a time?
I’m still kinda new to dating again, and I’ve gone out with a few guys, getting back out there as they say. I’m currently “dating” one guy that lives 1,700 miles away that I’ve never met in person. It’s bonkers. We “met” on tinder while I was in LA for a concert. (And yes, I was initially only looking for a hookup and/or restaurant recommendations since I was only in town for 36 hours.)
If someone told me this 10, even 5 years ago, I’d be like girl, wth are you doing? Do you think this guy is even a real human? But here we are a month in and a month away from actually meeting in real life. We have phone dates and FaceTime dates, some of which are just us smiling stupidly at each others faces and others where we uh, do other things.
The forced distance has also forced intimacy, so instead of banging and crashing and burning, we actually talk about books and music and family and stuff (I’m even reading dude’s books!) and have actually gotten to know each other better. For better or worse. Fortunately it’s intensified our attraction (as I suppose it’s supposed to work), but it’s also complicating my feelings for other people if I had them.