The space between

I recently found an email my mom wrote to someone who was writing an article on education.

She shared a statement that she had said to me in many ways throughout the years. Rereading it today, I feel many of us can relate in multiple ways.

Hope it helps some with what you have going on.
“Learning always happens in the middle, in the sacred space between known and not yet known. There is intense tension in this space. It is not a comfortable place to be, but it’s where the action and progress takes place.” – Dr. Tobie Sanders
It’s not always fun, but that uncomfortable, “sacred” space is where magic happens, try to embrace it.
TRUE Strength 

 

Be present

Something I continually try to remember is to be present.  imgres-1

Be where you are and be engaged.

All too often I find myself thinking two miles down the road… what do I have to get done, what is stressing me, what do I need to accomplish.  OR I’m left thinking in the past… did I exercise enough, eat too much, say the right thing.

What happens when you’re always living in the past or future… you miss the gift of the present.  <— Too corny?  Yes, maybe, but it is true.  Each moment is a gift that can be taken away so quickly.

My personal eating disorder thrives on “fortune telling” it’s the what ifs and the very unrealistic cause and effect thinking.  An example… if I can’t workout today and didn’t workout yesterday and actually eat everything on my meal plan I’m going to gain weight… This type of thinking takes me away from the present and causes me to miss the great gifts all around me.

Recently I was instructed to just breath.  The instructor said… the beauty about breathing is that you cannot breath in the past or in the future – you can only breath in the present.  It reminds me of a comment my mom once made to me in the middle of a very stressful situation.  She said… “Take three deeps breaths, splash water on your face three times, and then keep breathing.” Much later I asked – why three times…she laughed and said she had no clue why it just came out. The point is it brought me back to the present. I could handle the situation if I was in the present but only then.

I am learning, I can battle the disorder, be a better wife and a better mom and a better professional if I’m in the present… but only if I am.  

Take a few deep breaths and BE PRESENT.

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TRUE Strength

Finding the sign… a little luck, a lot of love

Yesterday was so hectic and a workout didn’t seem doable but something kept pulling me towards Hoover Dam for the stairs.  ** If you’re not familiar with “The Hoover Stairs” two flights of stairs flank the dam… it’s about 105 stairs up and a killer workout.

I changed clothes in the parking lot (sorry for the indecent exposure) and set out for stair repeats. After each set I started doing a few moves in the grass. During plank (and while feeling like I wanted to stop) I saw the tiniest four leaf clover.

My mom had a knack of finding four leaf clovers and would have said this one was perfect because it was so small and slightly torn – she always valued “imperfections”.

I smiled and said thanks mom and took my butt back up the stairs.

The next round, in a completely different spot, I looked down and saw another and another, and another to the point that I was giggling in excitement.

I took the first two and left the rest for others to find some luck.

This poem seems so fitting always 

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TRUE Strength

Feeding on strife

So what are you to do when you’re working on battling an eating disorder and because of life circumstances the thought of food just sounds gross?  Who is in control here?  Is the disorder drill sergeant calling the shots or is it the legitimate grief playing a role… both?

I recently learned during a session with my nutritionist that when people lose their appetite – legitimately lose it – not in a restriction/disorderly way… the first thing to go is a taste for meat.  The nutritionist said this holds true for women who have morning sickness, people in the hospital, those going through grief and any other reason you may have a physical loss of appetite.  Personally, for the time surrounding my mom’s passing the thought of chewing meat (sorry to be so graphic) made me gag.

To validate my feeling of sickness and grief we restructured my meal plans to simply get food in… whatever it was – forget variety and trying to expand the list or challenge myself to new meals (this is a goal of recovery).  At this point we decided surviving and just getting things in was most important.

prvDoor AjarSO… now the door has been cracked… the disorder sees this as an opportunity.  I share this because I want to give validity to those going through multiple struggles.  They are real.  AND at the same time, I hope to share some strength that you can make sure that in times of challenge you can keep moving forward and continue recovery.

Sometimes – just surviving IS recovering.  

What I’ve learned through my recovery journey is that the disorder often feeds on times of weakness and when you’re under eating it allows for the sergeant to become louder because you do not have enough fuel to think clearly or battle the disordered thoughts.  Often if the “voice” is getting louder… telling you you’re eating too much or need to do a two-a-day at the gym, it’s because you’re restricting and can’t battle.

We all have so much that we’re dealing with.  Sometimes it feels all too much to handle and at least for me, going back to restricting and over exercising is my comfort zone.  BUT I know the road to recovery is uphill… and worthwhile.

And the only way to travel it is with a clear mind and at the strongest I can be.

TRUE Strength

When your strength is stolen

Friday morning I listened to a voicemail from my dad asking me to call him back immediately.  

chosen because she was happiest when surrounded by family experiencing new things.

Fast forward several calls, a talk to the police, a call to my brother vacationing in England and several dizzy spells brought on by sobbing.

My mom had passed away… Very unexpectedly.

My mom was effervescent, full of laughter and life, kind beyond words, welcoming to every single person she encountered and … my best friend.

She was my safe place, my role model, the one who got me before I even understood what I was feeling; she challenged me and celebrated all moments (victories and defeats). She was the glue of our family, who kept the peace and made everyone feel valued and special.

She was my mom, and now more importantly, she was Baylor and Nola’s Gram. Or as she liked to sign letters: “Grim” because when B and N say Gram it sounds a little more like a soft i sound. She came to my rescue when I was panicking about a sick child and would happily giggle while playing on the floor and up and down slides with the twins. She was silly and loving and thought that they we’re smart beyond their years. She mailed them fun notes and the ones that were 3 feet by 2 feet had outlines of her hands and feet. (Those will never be thrown out.)

She was the person who gave me confidence in my own ability to be a mom.

She also gave me strength to get healthier and gently stuck with me through the worst of my sickness and ever so steadily helped push me forward. She was my strength.

I feel as though my daughters have been cheated. I know I am biased, but my mom was so creative, so encouraging, so loving and exciting. She filled a room with light and fun. They deserved more time with her. SHE deserved more time with THEM.

The thought that keeps bringing me to my knees is the fear that Baylor and Nola won’t remember her. Throughout my recovery journey the strongest motivating element has been Baylor and Nola having a strong, healthy mom and role model.  The desire to be at my best has grown tenfold because now, I will work everyday to emulate, channel, and bring her spirit to life.

I know she would tell me, this isn’t goodbye, it’s just see you later. At her funeral I said it is now our job to live with our hearts full, laugh as loudly as possible, and keep our spirit full of life because that’s how she lived everyday.

I know right now my heart is broken and my strength has been stolen but I will work everyday to honor her heart, laughter and spirit. These are her legacy, we are her legacy. I’ll make sure it’s honored and remembered.

Please work hard to keep your TRUE Strength.