“What are you up to in the world?” This question was recently posed to me and it was food for thought.
“Once a man was about to cross the sea. A wise man tied a leaf in a corner of his robe and said to him: “Don’t be afraid. Have faith and walk on the water. But look here – the moment you lose faith you will drown.” -Sri Ramakrishna
As above, so below.
As within, so without.
We are what we repeatedly do. Do you keep running into the same situation, people, experiences in your life? I have been having this conversation with clients lately. I had one client remark that he wanted to move to another city, another told me she was quitting her job, another quitting a relationship. There seems to be a theme here, that beyond quitting something these people were really hoping for some kind of relief by making changes to their external worlds. The idea that if I get the “next” job, live in a “better” city, find the “right” person, that I will finally find happiness. And the truth is that we can never find happiness outside ourselves.
What am I up to in the world? I am up to healing myself, growing continuously, and helping you heal. I am here to guide you to the answers within you, to find the you that is trying to break free. I am a healer but I can only guide you to yourself.
You are the power. You can shift your internal biochemistry with your thoughts and actions. You. Transformation is happening always, all ways. You can either drive the change yourself, or you can be driven, but change just…IS. I believe that breathing and physical movement are mechanisms of human control. Being in your body—in touch with it as it moves—embodying your own spirit is the ignition for transformation.
I remember with exquisite detail when I read the book “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. I remember how it resonated with me; how much I wanted to walk out of my own life just then. How much I longed for nature and the deepest solitude and the hard physical work and the obstacles that one cannot simply ignore. I remember not having the courage to do anything about those feelings so I anesthetized myself every day so I wouldn’t have to feel what staying stuck felt like.
We all have ways to numb ourselves to the discomforts of living: alcohol, drugs, tv, chocolate, sugar, starvation, video games, social media, exercise, or anything that keeps us from being present in our feelings. In “Wild,” Cheryl Strayed found some self-destructive ways to numb herself from the harsh reality of losing her mom way too young to cancer and the past abuse by her stepfather.
I totally get it. I have been there more than once in my life and have used a variety of things to escape my feelings. When I was 23, I was 100 pounds overweight, drank almost nightly, smoked cigarettes, and avoided exercise. Earlier in my life, exercise had been my freedom and avoiding it was a way of numbing myself. If I didn’t move I didn’t have to feel out of shape. I was a very successful chef, somewhat famous, even, and I had a lot of external validation for continuing along just as I was. For me, the restaurant business wasn’t healthy as it was an environment that encouraged drug use and lots of alcohol. We socialized after work starting at the bar in the restaurant as we closed–and then moving the party to a local bar or a co-worker’s apartment. Nights involved lots of booze, cigarettes, sometimes cocaine or pot.
My mornings involved piecing together the last night’s events, hangovers, more cigarettes, and then getting ready to get back to the restaurant and start the cycle all over again.
There were many events that should have helped me turn my life around but my wake-up call came in the form of a diagnosis of Bowen’s disease. Bowen’s is an inherited form of cancer, which fortunately for me, was precancerous at the time I was diagnosed.
I decided at that very moment that I was done feeling like crap.
I started going to an aerobics class at the park. Admittedly, I was hungover most mornings and smoked cigarettes in the car on the way there–but I showed up to class three days a week dressed in the baggiest pants I could find. I weighed 260 pounds.
Somewhere along the way I stopped smoking and shortly after that I quit drinking alcohol.
The aerobics instructor invited me to join her for a class she taught at the YMCA and I went with her after one of the morning classes and I was hooked. I went four days a week and started taking more and different classes. I met two new instructors and started lifting weights, running, and riding my bike again. I took the literal plunge to start swimming laps and joined the master’s swim team at the Y. I started racing triathlon and that led me to run races, bike races, swim meets, and more. I never stopped. I have changed directions over the years but I’ve never stopped moving.
I lost over 100 pounds and have never gained it back. Since then I have gained and lost a few pounds and what I have found is that I gain weight when I am living against myself. It is one way I know to tune into my soul. What is eating at me that makes me eat?
The only times since then that I have used alcohol have been when I am living against myself. I don’t like the feeling of an altered state and never have. But I numbed myself in order to not feel myself, to turn away from my intuition, and to fit in. Getting back to movement got me back in my body—back to feeling my inner world and back in touch with my dreams.
So today, “what am I up to in the world?” I am up to healing myself, growing continuously, and helping you heal. My journey inward has recently taken me to the study of breathwork and frankly, it can be brutal. I’ve spent days in tears and I don’t know why. Nothing in particular happened. But as author Mary Karr said, “Anyone who wades deep enough into memory’s waters drowns a little.” No shit, girl.
I have found that once called, one cannot unring the bell. So here I am on this wonderful, spiritual journey continuing my path as a healer.
I can help you uncover not only the ways you numb yourself but the reasons. I use a variety of methods to help people shift toward themselves from physical training to healing breathwork to writing exercises and much more. As I do with physical training I customize my work for YOU.
I want to help you unleash the infinite power of your own biochemistry. I know firsthand that wellness comes from balancing fitness and nutrition. When you feel centered you can generate a massive potential to achieve all of your goals.