Monthly Archives: August 2019

Rejection

Today, I am applying my bodyfulness principles to the feeling of rejection in my body. I’ve actually been rejected quite a bit in the last month or so, looking to re-enter the workforce, but today I got rejected by one that really appealed to me. Something I could see myself doing joyfully, for others, in contribution. So the rejection stung in a new way.

Rejection feels tender in my body.  I don’t know how to describe it but to say it feels like the high end of the sensational scale… not deep and grounded, although maybe as i sit with it, it may distill there. To be willing to sit with this, to bring it in and not avoid it (because I am seeing very much how distracting myself would be the perfect and obvious choice in this situation) is new for me.

Over the last month, getting into ‘work mode’ had me sitting to do a bodyfulness practice, and then getting up and throwing myself into an old mindset: the mindset of ‘the work world.’ Not only has that not been successful, it had an energetic signature of frustration and fear and ‘getting over’ that fear and ‘pressing on’ and ‘numbers game’ and general malcontent. Figuring out in the last week or so that I truly need to bring bodyfulness in hasn’t added to my success, but it certainly has me dealing with the myriad emotions more productively. It reorients my dedication to being an agent of peace even in the nooks and crannies. Even when panic is the logical response. Or disappointment. or shame. Letting those emotions show up and be held with openness, curiosity and gentleness.

I know that this is all normal, and that even though it’s obviously time for me to reengage with the work world, this is low-stakes rejection. It’s not like I’ve waited for a kidney and my body doesn’t accept the one I get. That’s some high-stakes rejection. This rejection is ego and comforts and, honestly, other people deciding from a piece of paper that I am not the right fit for them. They really get to do that, and it’s really not an assessment of my worth in the world. How many truly wonderful men did I date before I married my husband? Quite a few, actually (I was very lucky in that regard for the most part), and the fact that I didn’t marry any of them did not make any of them lesser beings (or vice versa). Waiting for the right and obvious fit makes all the sense in the world. I don’t begrudge the employers my rejection, I really don’t. But, that still doesn’t make it easy.

Ironically, my daughter got a job and a backup job today. She interviewed at 2 places and got a second interview for the second. When her first choice called and offered her the job, she pondered how awkward it would be to tell the second interview people later in the day. I told her, “half of the world’s problems come from people trying to avoid 90 seconds of discomfort. Go in, thank them, tell them the truth. 90 seconds later, it will be over.” Except that as she walked away, the interviewer said, “if it doesn’t work out, or next time you’re looking for a job, call me. The fact that you came in and let me know showed me youre the kind of person we want working here.”

With all of the rejection and the awkward and uncomfortable feelings I have, and am committed to processing openly and honestly and as fully as I can muster, I know that life has all kinds of challenges and celebrations, sometimes overlapping, and our openheartedness is what allows us to experience it fully and offer ourselves to life, waves and all.

To our success!

Broad Applicability

When I was evaluating grant proposals, one of the things we looked for was broad replicability – if this project succeeds, can we extend the value of it easily? Is it scalable? How quickly? What would be necessary? Are the processes in place?

The last few weeks have me applying this to my life.

My journey over the past decade has been intensely personal, and my measures quite intimate. I was not participating in culture at large and receiving reviews based on organizational objectives (which, in and of itself, incurred a crisis of determining individual worth in lieu of those objective measures – but I think I’ve written about that quite a bit already – and surely will again, because intrinsic, inherent worth of all of life is a pretty foundational belief in my cosmology). How my lifestyle choices impact my health is just about the most personal biosphere there is, and as I’ve gained competence in navigating that space, my life has improved. Let me tell you the biggest hurdle (as I can assess it right now): It wasn’t learning that cream or corn creates a flare up (that was pretty evident as soon as I started paying attention) it was changing my behavior. Often, even with that knowledge, I’d make a poor choice. Inevitably, I’d have to pay the piper. It took a surprisingly long time for the negative result to escalate enough to finally shift the behavior. How sick did I have to get? Usually ridiculously sick.

The decade wore on and little by little, I’d make the behavioral changes. Little by little, I required less dire results to do so. It wasn’t *just* listening to my body that I had to learn, it was also respecting what I heard, having it be more meaningful than my preconceived notions about what I “should” be able to do/eat/have. As I describe, at first I could hear my body and ignore it. Ignoring it never worked, and yet I persisted (in the name of defending my right to the “normal”). Over time and much error, my body’s signals became paramount and I valued what I felt over my own expectations (or anyone else’s). This was a quantum shift for me, and as I’ve developed the capacity and continue to tune in to my body, my body continues to reward me. I am pretty good at it now (although, sadly, I remain imperfect in my choices).

So, having my sea legs with presence and sensitivity and receptivity in my own physical structure, life said, “hey, let’s get back into the professional world.”

Immediately, all my mental habits regressed 15 years.

I’ve created a lovely little ecosphere between my little family, my relationship with my own body, and the lovely, conscious evolution-oriented micro-communitites I engage. Trying to figure out how to reconcile the “world-at-large” and my proclivities reduced me to the same patterns of predict and control (hahahaha, or “try to”) I’d left behind in all those other categories. Resumes, job boards, keyword searches – how can I apply deep listening, an open heart and surrender to this?

The anxiety of trying to decide what to do (do I revert back to entertainment marketing? What is my ‘humblest option’ since things that I used to be able to jump into just to break the seal are no longer available to me? how do I monetize what I actually love doing?) called forth that long battle of determining my value based on what I do. The powerlessness of submitting resumes to no response reminded me that all of my peace of mind does not pay the bills (it does, please note, reduce the bills – insofar as I’m not seeking peace through acquisition/consumption). My lack of network in SoCal (and my lack of keeping in touch with my larger network due to illness and parenting and things) contributes to the opportunity to feel hopeless.

Arthritis felt hopeless once, too. I felt powerless there, too. Every doctor told me my situation was hopeless and would only decline, just like the article I read that women my age reentering the workforce had exactly zero chance of online resumes landing a job.

By slowing down, unplugging from the ‘common wisdom’ and moving into my personal wisdom (and, finally, acting from that personal wisdom), I’ve moved into a relationship with my body and health that feels powerful and gentle, respectful and full of potential. I’ve defied the common wisdom and am significantly healthier and more capable than I was 10 years ago (when they told me things would only get worse). My current challenges help me sculpt a life that suits me – and they serve as a reminder that takes my “Gemini” mercurial, “Enneagram 7” pain avoidant, self right back into the present moment when my old patterns reemerge. I’m actually profoundly grateful.

I’m glad for the education in scalability that I got as a proposal evaluator and then as an entrepreneur. As I sit facing this new adventure, instead of feeling powerless, I get to choose to expand the circle of my personal success to include livelihood. I know the pitfalls. I know the opportunity. I know that the life that I truly want to live doesn’t come from jumping back into ‘the game’ (which is a shame, because I felt pretty good at it. much like i liked to eat cream sauces), but to carve out a life sourced in connection, deep listening, responsiveness, the consideration of the wellness and autonomy of all parties…

I have no idea what it might look like (if i did, would it be new?) and I know that these qualities can apply anywhere. I’m happy to know the path and the pitfalls, that it’s not a straight line nor does it need to be. That living the life unfolding through me is an enormoous privilege, and offering my gifts in each encounter is all I can ask of myself.

I’m happy to uncover this opportunity. I didn’t realize I had parts still stuck in old patterns – and remembering that awareness is the healing agent makes the process of upgrading those patterns far less daunting. Success in one area can contribute to success throughout the organism… now i’m babbling and way over time…

 

More than meets the eye

During the Bodyfulness calls, we’re focusing our attention on the feeling state of the body, but there is also a context I’m setting – a context of connection, of wholeness, of the de facto truths about our bodies – all of the harmony that is going on between systems to keep us alive, the energetic field of the earth radiating out and through us, our complete interconnectedness with all of nature and all of life as evidenced by our unrelenting exchange of molecules. These are all things that are undeniable but that we, or at least I, typically forget when my mind is assessing what is right and what is wrong with the world.

The last few days, as I’ve struggled mentally and emotionally due to changing circumstances (which I welcome, as uncomfortable as they are, because I want to exchange the known for what’s possible), I’ve neglected to remind myself of some of these truths. Checking in with my body is helpful every time, even when i pop back to my mental discomfort/confusion. But reminding myself of the truths of nature which I started focusing on today, relieves my feelings of isolation. It reminds me that whatever I am going through is part of a much bigger process *that I deeply want to be a part of* and I can rest a little that this ever-evolving life knows what it’s doing.

I can’t decide if that’s spiritual or simply practical. Believing in life seems sortof self-evident. Aligning to nature as it is unfolding seems to make sense being that it has done such a bang up job these last several billion years. I was raised Catholic and truly worship Christ and accept him as my savior, and I also accept Mary and Buddha and Kwan Yin and Ramakrishna and Divine Mother. We have all of these wayshowers and at the end of the day, I feel the message is about Life and choice and truth and trust.

Anyhow

Sometimes things are difficult, and I believe I am moving through this as best I can through staying connected to my feeling state and employing the ice/water/vapor relaxation. And it’s been so helpful. But add in the context about life, about the truths going on in our bodies and our interconnectedness to the whole world with each breath, and the helpfulness and rest expands at an order of magnitude from just me noticing my body. Both seem to be far more powerful than either, although each has a lot of connectivity and potential.

I am doing my best that when my exhalation leaves my body (and makes its way to yours, and to my dear trees outside) that it carries with it acknowledgement that we are all one playing out in infinite expressions, and that I love and support you and yours, and thank you for your contribution to my inhale.

So, thanks.