I feel this deep tension - in my root. Climbing upward. My breath, shallow. I cough and choke. A spasmodic attack. I clear the debris. I sense the past well-up within me. An old and tired friend. It splits me in two. I know not what I say. She tells me, demands my efficacy. I am swallowed up there, drowning. She feels deeply. Distrusting of us all, like she was betrayed. Why didn't her life exist like a mortal tracked in beauty and decay? Instead, she is missing. Stuck back there. Still wishing she'd been alive to express her heartfelt destiny. Now she is havoc and anger. Demanding to be heard. The tension rises. It cannot be dismissed this time. Until I am whole again - me in its entirety.
A Journey of Magic and Mayhem
- Aug 31
- 3 min read
Updated: Sep 1
Yesterday, I joined the JCC that my Mom goes to for the 3 weeks I will be in town. I joined her yoga class comprised of diverse set of folks, most of them in their 60s. Today I decided to try out the Pilates floor class and she came with me.
had been worried about going to something new but as it turned out, both of us got quite a bit out of the 55-minute class focused on the muscles and bones of the feet, and the subtle movements of joints.
We spent another hour in the dry and wet saunas before heading home. As the class instructor, Melinda mentioned – our joints got juicy. I hadn’t weighed myself since my post-surgery days in March. I clocked in about 10lbs heavier than when I had a stomach full of tumors (fibroids). It was a bit shocking but then again, my clothes had stopped fitting.
My stressful months putting up the corporate website and sitting a lot had taken their toll. I am also on a hormone reducer called Lupron and that doesn’t help either.
Now I find myself re-committed to that healthy balance. However, having lost muscle tone and ability while the tumors grew rampantly last year and the trauma of the surgery itself, getting back into shape is a daily process.
Physical movements I used to do effortlessly for my passion sport, curling, are practically impossible right now.
The upcoming season is looming for many people who call the St Paul Curling Club their home for the winter. I know I couldn’t yet play a full game. To bridge the gap, lose some of the weight, and get back into shape as I t
urn 50 will take much more effort than it did even a few years ago when I tried a 10-week kick-boxing regime.
It is easy to get into a negative spiral in one’s mind. There is a lot easier path of staying sedentary that my body and mind could lean in to. It’s like working against a tide. And yet, once I end up on the yoga or Pilates mat, I realize that leaning into giving up is not the path I wish to take.
I do know that I will need to take complete recovery slowly and purposefully. My body at 50 is not the same as 40 or 20. The thing is, we all have a chance to live long and healthy lives these days if we concentrate our efforts on what that will mean. My years of being around health-conscious and active folks has led me to take more seriously this path of a powerful connection to my body.
Doing tiny movements on the Pilates mat or reformer could seem like nothing to a guy or gal bench-pressing 100s of pounds, however to me it means that I could avoid injury as I get more active. These are concepts I had no idea about when I was supposedly in my prime at 20 or 30. I would constantly over-do exercise and end up with long stretches where I gave up, in pain or needing surgery.
I had little sense of my body in space. It was a vehicle I barely paid attention to until it was in crisis.
I spent more time, high in the clouds considering spiritual matters and reading self-help books. If you look at pictures of me in those days, I had a much more wire-y body type and thin limbs. I wasn’t grounded in my physical presence.
Lately, I may be getting rounder and showing up on the scale with more weight, but my out-look on life is also grounded on the earth and enjoying real-life connections a lot more. I read fewer self-help books and enjoy talking to friends about the real events of their lives. It may have taken me 50 years of life to get to this point, however, it is worth the journey.
Not everyone is as committed to being here now, on the earth at this time. You see and hear about it in the multi-million-dollar spiritual industry hawking easy cures for life’s ills. Making up whole paradigms which include spiritual beings and entities who benevolently welcome us to ‘higher consciousness’ while absolving us completely of everyday responsibility.
The world burns and we find ways to escape as though we have “done all the work.” What if the work really is those subtle dance moves, the little recognitions of our physical body and its many glorious muscles, bones and sinews working in concert to take us to the next tiny step. Then at 20 or 50 we can be in our bodies, fully living instead of flying off pretending we are all knowing.
It is clear we are not.
- Aug 30
- 2 min read
Aisling (Ash) and I flew Sun Country to CA. It was a first time for both of us. TSA was pretty easy-going in Minneapolis-St Paul airport. She got a lot of attention from the team and they walked us through the process. She didn’t try to get away when I had to take her out of the cat carrier. She preferred being right back in it after the screener.
The TSA agent cracked a joke about “letting the cat of of the bag.” We all laughed nervously. I had enough time for a glass of wine and a sandwich.
On our first full day in CA in my parent’s house, Mom and I decided to go to yoga at the JCC. I ended up getting a two-week membership. Maybe I will actually get in shape now. Dad decided, while we were out to take care of the trash bins. Ash took this moment to escape out the fence and go off on an adventure of her own.
By the time we got back from yoga, we realized quickly the cat was out. As is per usual with Ash, I got more exercise hopping on my Dad’s bike to look around the park, calling her name. I called her name up and down the cul-de-sac and into the neighbor’s yards. We posted on Nextdoor.
I had gotten Ash a Jiobit GPS tracker, but the collar I got her was way too big even in the smallest setting. I would need to find her a kitten collar somewhere. I am not 100% sure at her size she will even wear the Jiobit. She is not yet microchipped. All these thoughts raced through my mind.
About 20 minutes into the stressful search, Ash came quietly sauntering up to me in the front yard, having come out of the trees and bushes on my parent’s property. Unlike me, she seemed oblivious to the large garbage trucks, the dogs and the kids in strollers.
She was perfectly fine and not stressed at all. That figures! She came inside completely willingly with an air of “not sure what you are so frantic about I am fine.” Her collapsible crate comes today – seems both of us will need some boundaries in the new space.
The week off work will do me some good. I can finally recover from the six months of content work for the corporate website I stood up for my regular job. I am trying to recall that complete sense of centeredness I felt post-surgery in March. That time I took a women-centered class, burned sage, read tarot and danced to get in shape.
Who was that woman? I became a cat Mom and got lost in a corporate project. It is amazing how quickly we can let go of that balance in this world. Give it up, almost without thought. Squelch our good habits in favor of the pushing and shoving so ubiquitous on this planet.
Let’s hope that this week gives me back a little sense of the complete me and I can develop a more sustainable trajectory.
In the meantime, Ash is taking her afternoon siesta and I am writing.