Yes it is true, I have been absent and my 30 day clean out turned into much of a bust. Based off of my experience of summer(spending time outdoors rather than in front of a computer screen) I've admitted to myself I might find great absence in the blogging world. I don't wish this though as my habit is that when I blog I also check in on YOUR blog. So I have decided to go where my heart calls so that I will stay connected. My heart calls me to my gardens. Though I know nothing of gardens I am learning more every day and wish to share with you what I learn and how it relates to my life. And so it is that if you are a regular reader of this blog, or a partial checker- inner, or a random reader, I invite you to join me now at Maryguitecontrary-lisa.blogspot it will be great fun and you can watch Mary quite contrary as she learns how her gardens grow. I am fairly excited about this new endeavor so I hope that you will follow all the good things that grow this summer; my flowers, my veggies, my shrubs, my life. Join me in the fun and we will re-establish the 30 day routine after this 100 days of summer.
My official clean out is beginning, though I have been on retreat for two days now. These last two days have been.... 1. sleeping in 2. going to yoga 3. hanging out with my sis Ash 4. biking with my friends 5. hanging out in my garden 6. cleaning out the basement and my bookshelves 7. massage, pedicure 8. reading 9. relaxing
So I was hesitant to set my official clean out because while on retreat I discovered I might want; pizza night with my sis, a drink with my friends, a little bit of TV, and cake for breakfast...ahhh, ok these don't fall into the guidelines but let me share them with you first.
Body clean out: No alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, white sugar/ flour, limited animal products
Mental clean out: No TV, 5 minutes a day of meditation, reading, writing
Spirit clean out: daily practice of prayer, gratitude, forgiveness, and extending love
So Day 1 is officially set and these are my guidelines. Not rules, guidelines. I will let you know as I progress forward how this undertaking cleans my system and allows more freedom and love into my life.
Tomorrow will bring more time in my yard, and a full overhaul on the front slope. I will provide before/after pics. I am so excited!
On a side note: Everyone and I mean EVERYONE deserves a vacation at home. This has been so healing and inspiring to my soul and though I intend to enjoy the rest of my 3 days on retreat I am excited to go back to work and life refreshed.
Today I enjoyed a day in the garden. Clearing away the clutter, debri, leaves, of last fall and allowing the spring growth to shine through. And what a sweet day it was, the sun was shining, it was warm and the beauty of spring was more evident with each pile of leaves I raked away from the garden. It looks so fresh and new and I was deeply in love with each moment of bringing the new growth to light. It was a pleasant reminder for me that as I am in process now of clearing away the clutter and debri of my mind, I can stay ever present and in love with the new growth that I am allowing to shine through in my life. It was a meditative experience, my mind was clear, and I was able to hear the "wisdom of my heart" clearly. Playing a sweet melody of joy and expectation for all the goodness and blooming that is to come!
I am taking Ashram next week. In the dictionary ashram is explained as "spiritual retreat". More to come on this but it will also be when I begin my official '30 day clean out' although I feel in truth it began today!
Wondering where I am? What's up with the 30 day clean out? Me too....some resistance to this experience. Ahhh, the beautiful place of struggle we all get to own through out our lives. I will make a promise (as I did with my new shoes) that I will be on task by the end of the week. Sometimes we need a little time to make that jump from "I don't want to" over to "I know this is the best thing for me". I am going to sit on the other side for a few more minutes. Don't hate me for it. :)
Spring is about new beginnings and I am taking on new beginnings for my health, wealth, and the love of life. Starting Monday I am beginning the '30 day clean out'. More to come on this, I only must get through tomorrow's happy hour Flat tire clinic that involves wine (not allowed in the clean out) and as much sugar as I can possibly put down in one day (also not allowed on the clean out).
So details to come on my most melancholy Sunday night before the first day of the clean out. Sometimes getting what you want means doing some things that you don't!
Ok, I am a terrible blogger. I admit it. I lack in the art of staying connected via blogspot. I am even more painfully aware of this as little over a week ago I helped my friend Donna (aka Blaise and don't ask why) set up a blog of her journey selling her home here in Mpls (so sad) and setting up a guest house in Austin (Tx of course, would anyone really blog their journey to Austin, Mn?) and within a week she has posted more often (and more interestingly) than I have since the beginning of the year. Well, you want funny? You want often? Then read her blog for goodness sake, about her little inn of horrors. But if you want Lisa then here you are, and here you will be, waiting for me to finally post. And of all the interesting things I have to write the most is related to what is MOST me; my boots.
Everyone knows Lisa and her boots. They come out in October and don't get sent away to the closet until nearly May. I have many reasons...1. I LOVE them. 2. They are so easy to get on and off. 3. They keep my feet toasty like I like them. 4. They add dramatic effect 5. They offer my ONE AND ONLY fashion statement (currently I can barely even rock the fake hair, it is always in a pony tail) 5. Did I mention they are so easy to slip on and off?
Today during our 75 degree weather I had to admit in 3/4 length stretchy pants (I guess I lied my second fashion statement is Lycra, not original though, Morgan works that much better than I do) and a tank top, I was getting a lot of funny looks. This compiled when in the studio I got many comments as well. So I guess, even though it is only almost April, it might be time to say farewell for the season.
In lieu of another 30 day(the next one is a whopper doozy and coming soon) I am posting a promise. I will find and buy (sorry Matt I have to) another pair of slip on shoes that are not flip flops (my other staple) by tomorrow night. Farewell sweet boots, until the cold-or semi- cold, or barely cold- or ONE day of snow, even if it is in September. And too bad Donna/Blaise you will be in Austin and miss out on the fan fare when I bring them out before Halloween, but I promise I will wear them when I come to visit you in Austin in the winter. Just for old times! And you'll be required to do hundreds of burpies!
I have been amiss in my posting and that is perhaps because I have been amiss in my positive thinking as well. But more on that later, for now I want to focus on the positive. Last week Kelley, Pru (my sis and my niece) and I went to Dallas to visit my other sis (Carrie) and her daughters. It was to be a week of girl time but alas, we got stuck in Atlanta for 6 hours. Fortunately, positive thinking kicked in, and we proceeded to have the best time ever stuck in an airport. You can witness this via our little mini- Pru videos. Have fun, have a laugh, but most of all know that if you want it to, a delay in your life can equal the BEST time ever!
Before I begin another 30 day, I thought I would share a few photos of our lovely trip to Puerto Rico. Everything was fab. Never mind that the 4 weeks previous to our arrival had been all rain, we brought the Sun with us. Such a great time with great friends, I will never forget it!
Sarah and I enjoy a little down time
I was so blessed to get this close to an exciting crab, Barry couldn't believe it stayed still for me!
Morgan, Sarah, and I...who won the coppertone contest? So not me!
In town for lunch!
"Loving the human form means loving the insanity too"! This message in the sand didn't make it on the blog during the trip but it is a nice segue into the new 30. The insanity of the ego is undeniable, and what we will do for recognition, putting ourselves in a category above or below to determine our worth and value in the world is hedonistic. But there must be space for loving all that is, even in loving the unlovable parts. We have to at least try. I am going to go up against the EGO this month in a head to head, never before seen, only on pay-per- blog event. Watch me as I take on the separatism, the comparisons, the negativism, the unholy belief that I am either more than or less than you, we are all, under God equal. And we are all deserving of God's love. And I intend to tell the EGO so this month. No more negative conversations, about myself, about others, about anything. All can be considered of value and worthy. And if you know me and are engaged in conversation with me and see otherwise, Please call me on it! This is going to be a tough one to get into. I bet I have no idea how often I engage in negative conversation, but I am willing to find out. This month, only on 'The 30 day Expereience', tune in!
The last 30 days has been such an eye-opening experience for me. Paying attention to what I think/say/feel about my body, listening to what the women around me are saying about theirs....
I have come away with a beautiful nugget.
We are being called to love. More than anything the call is to love our bodies, love living in them, feeling in them, experiencing the fullness of them. We have all been given the gift of our bodies and when we look upon them with disdain we are telling our giver that we are unhappy with this gift. Imagine putting heart and soul into finding the perfect something for someone and then having them look at it and say "what on earth is this?, I don't want this!"
God put so much time into creating every special nook and cranny and feature and wrinkle and dimple for us. We are unique and beautiful and designed with love and it is time to receive that love.
We as women are being called to love. It begins with us. Adoring, adorning, and appreciating the beauty that is our body. It is time to surrender the criticism, release the comparisons, and move from disregard into self respect and honor.
Ask yourself this, "Body what do you need from me to be full and alive and in love?" She will answer. She will tell you what to eat, how to exercise, when to drink, when to rest, when to skip, and what is best for her. The disconnect must end though. No longer living in the mind and ego where the foundational thoughts are denial and deprivation.
Give your body what she needs, and this is mostly and all LOVE! How will you love your body today? Tomorrow? The more you respond and listen to her you will blossom and find beauty when you look in the mirror.
Refrain from judgment and see through the eyes of your creator. Be generous and gentle and with her and allow her to fully live out her greatest potential.
Today I will see my body through the eyes of LOVE and I will receive the fullness of that love. This is what is meant to be. Thank you, Thank you.
I am doing such a beautiful job of attending to and loving my body this month and then I hit *silent whisper* THE DREADED MIDDLE! I love how the middle always manifests as crisis and turmoil, or rather I am fascinated by it. My favorite thing to notice though is how each time I hit a different "middle" I get a little better at recognizing it, shifting my state of being, and moving through it.
Here's how this particular middle played out for me yesterday... 1. I fried my skin at the beach (of course I do not do this, EVER! I am diligent about my sun block, and yet here I am a boiled lobster). 2. I burned myself yet again when I put my hand in our kitchen sink full of water, right after someone had poured the boiling pasta water into it. 3. Ha, I am a slow learner...I burnt myself ONE LAST TIME when I brushed my arm over an empty burner that had been left on.
Can I just say, OK I GOT IT!!! I AM PAYING ATTENTION! WHAT CAN I LEARN HERE?
The answer was easy. After so many days getting set up for this trip, holding space for our group, for Mo and I as leaders, for caring for and arranging a beautiful first 3 days here....I needed to take some time out to care for myself! BY now I have been at this long enough that I am a much better listener than I used to be, and after 3 burns in one day, my ears were burning (so to speak). Just imagine what it used to take me to perk up!
Today I took the day off from our group and going to the beach and hung back at the house instead, to care for my body! I did this by staying out of the sun, taking a lingering shower, an indulgent nap, a beautiful and meditative walk, time out to hear the quiet.
And guess what? I am refreshed and renewed and I made it through another middle, how awesome! I am getting good at this, next time I will probably only need one minor catastrophe before I wake up. :)
There is no message in the sand today because I took care of myself by staying off the sand. So consider this the point of the day...I love myself enough to say yes to quiet and self-reflection when I am called to it.
On Wednesday I head to Vieques, Puerto Rico for our annual Balance retreat. I am so excited to be engaged in this experience while sunning and funning on the beach. There is no better opportunity for me to practice appreciation of my body. Winter in Minnesota gives you plenty of chances to "avoid" with all the clothes and layering required. Within this opportunity lies a challenge as well, because after all, less clothes means more scrutiny. Well, we'll see how this goes, I am ready, willing, and able, to love and accept myself where I am, to see the beauty that lies within and without, to be grateful for my unique qualities, inner and outer, and to check the negative self talk when it comes up!
Matt sent me this funny e-mail this week from a day in a dog's diary. How refreshing of course to be so positive and excited about life. So today I looked in the mirror and decided to be so excited about my body....
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing! 9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing! 9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing! 10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing! 12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing! 1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing! 3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing! 5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing! 7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing! 8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing! 11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
Lisa's Body Diary 8:00 am - oh my eyes! My favorite thing! 1 minute later - My nose! My favorite thing! 1 minute later - My arms! My favorite thing! 1 minute later - My shoulders! My favorite thing! 1 minute later - My tummy! My favorite thing! 1 minute later- My back! My favorite thing! 1 minute later- My hips! My favorite thing! 1 minute later - My butt and thighs!....pause... My favorite thing! 1 minute later- My legs! My favorite thing! 1 minute later - My feet! My favorite thing! 1 minute later- I am so beautiful!
I've trained hard this week and my body is sore. Interestingly I note that somehow with all my work I don't feel I've done enough. I keep thinking I didn't spend the time in the gym that I needed to. And So for tonight I am silencing the inner critic (thanks again to my friend Arlys for that one) and have decided that since my body is so sore, I need to listen to what she is telling me and rest. Here is me, headed to soak in the bath and appreciate that I can feel these muscles, and more importantly listen to them when they are asking for some time off.
The new year is always an opportunity to ask yourself, "Where am I holding back?, Where can I step forward more boldly?" For me this means asking myself what I really want in my life. When I test out this question on myself I am confident that my greatest desire is to move deeper into healing modalities in relation to the body. I ask myself everyday, with every woman I work with, why do they loathe their bodies? And though this seems like a strong word it is the reality of our culture, women are not only disliking the body they live in, they are actually completely critical about how their presence manifests physically in this world. And I ask myself why? (the average body type is not 6', 120 lbs so why do we feel we must be that?), It isn't helping us as women to feel better about who we are and how we are in this world. I am taking this on for the next 30 days as I prepare to step into the ring again and train for a fight. I am asking myself...what is the ideal body type for me?, What feels best for me?, Do I LOVE my body? and if not why? What are the pieces of me that I believe make me less than perfect physically, and why is it less than perfect? Who decides? 30 days of astute attention to my body, my exercise, my food intake, how I feel about all of it, begins now.