Tag Archive | cleaning

The Belly Dance of Life

Tonight my sister and I went to belly dance classes. It’s a great, fun and sexy way to exercise and it is a very hard workout. Sweat pours off of you while you are barely moving because it is such extreme muscle isolation. You must drink a lot of water before, during and after the lesson. Now, put two women over the age of 40, who are not very coordinated to begin with…and you have quite an adventure. And as we bent down in our belly dance stance position, looking straight ahead in the mirrors to see what our bodies were doing, I noticed a trend. A trend not only with my body, but with others in the class as well.

I noticed the subtleties of what the instructor was doing with her hips, her arms, her legs, her chest as we danced. And I  noticed what we were all doing. And the two did not look the same at all. While the instructor’s movements were very contained, controlled and subtle, most students, including myself, had jerky overdone movements. Our movements were so very exaggerated from what they should have been, what the instructor’s were. But we are all learning in this class, getting the hang of the positions and movements. We have tired arms and burning legs. We need to rest sometimes, catch our breathe before the next movement.

And isn’t it the same in life? Sometimes, when we are first learning a new skill, our movements are unsure and uncoordinated, jerky. And while learning, we sometimes over do things to make sure we actually have the movement down. And then, in time and practice, we slowly become more sure of ourselves, our movements more fluid and our thoughts take over other areas, as it becomes natural. But in the meantime, we may overcompensate and miss the subtleties of certain situation which we are trying to master.

Indeed that is the case in my life. I try to handle things with Grace, and while my movements have become a bit more fluid, I still do have a bit more coordination to work on. It is easy to have grace when all is going well in life. It is harder when things do not go as planned, or when you are exceptionally angry at someone. And then I overcompensate, and go to the other direction of not having a spine in an attempt to have Grace. Having Grace still means having a spine. And somewhere, there is that balance.

When we over compensate and miss the subtleties in dance class, we miss the small beautiful movements that truly make it an art. We get off balance, our arms and legs flail around (or maybe that’s just me?), we loose our rhythm, we loose count, and we have to stop, take a breath and start back at square one. The we try again, and again, and again.

The same is true in life.

Sometimes, I over do things. Sometimes, out of insecurity, I go overboard. I am afraid that I will not be understood, so I say the same things over and over, to stress what is important. The result is driving people away, instead of drawing them closer. Or because I am so very hurt by someone, I lash out at them, hurting them worse, when all I wanted was for them to just understand.

And somewhere, there is my balance where I don’t fall when trying to do a hip shimmie.

Why do we over compensate in life? Why do we go overboard in our reactions or intentions sometimes? Why is that balance so hard to find, between where we are and were we want to be? Sometimes it seems as if we are wars apart from our goals. Maybe the secret is to just relax and stop trying so hard. Keep at it, as practice makes perfect, and know that with enough repetition and perseverance, we will indeed find our rhythm and Grace.

I guess I should pray for physical grace as well. And maybe, one day, with enough practice, I’ll get them both right.

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How to Respect Yourself in a Relationship

Madonna sang about it and made it famous. Respect Yourself. Go for what you want and need in a relationship and don’t settle. Pop songs can rarely be applied to real life, but maybe the singer was onto something. When you are in a relationship, how do you respect yourself enough to not loose yourself? How do you know where that line is that should not be crossed?

Aside from the obvious – no physical abuse, no criminal activity – sometimes defining just how to do this can be a bit tricky, even for a feisty red-head like me. And when you really care about someone, it can be easier said than done. But basically it comes down to this: Respect yourself.

If you don;t respect yourself, then why would anyone else. No one will respect you any more than you respect yourself. Have standards. Love should not hurt and someone who loves you will not do anything to hurt you intentionally. Have pride in yourself and walk away from anyone who tears you down, makes you feel bad for wanting to be treated well, or makes you think that you do not deserve to be respected. A person who loves you will not disrespect you.

If you are in a relationship, you are going to hurt each other at some point, that is par for the course and part of the deal. Respecting yourself though is not about the occasional spat or even cross word. It is not about who left whose dirty socks on the floor or squeezed the toothpaste tube in the middle. It has to do with being treated at a certain level – as a human being. Girls, if the man you are with lies about something (like when his divorce is final), he will lie to you about other things.Respect yourself enough to not allow him to lie to you this way. Hold him accountable for not only his actions but his words, and walk.  

Forget about second and third, and 100th chances. and ut’s not your job to try to understand them or why they are mistreating you. It’s not your place to make excuses for them. You are not the jerk whisperer. Nor would you ever want to be.

If he says he loves you, then you find out that he is seeing other women, he doesn’t love you. Respect yourself enough to know that you deserve better. Don’t settle. Walk out the door and know that nice people, normal people, do not treat others in such a cruel and damaging way. If he balks at the fact that you have called him out on his bad behavior, if he doesn’t like you knocking on the door when you catch him cheating when another car is in his driveway or you find messages on his phone or such, then walk. You deserve better and there are too many wonderful, kind and amazing men out there to settle for someone who is so uncaring that he would let others suffer.

And some people think that if you care about or love someone, that that gives them the right to mistreat you. No it does not. No matter how much I love someone, I will not let them mistreat me. Period. And if they try to mistreat me, they will quickly see this little red-headed girl put down the law in a matter of seconds.

So chin up, and respect yourself to know that you deserve someone who treats you with kindness and caring, someone who means it when they say I love you, someone who doesn’t cherishes you and makes you feel like you are the only girl in the room. And know that, just like Calvin says, normal people do not destroy other human beings.

So what does Madonna have in common with Calvin and Hobbs? Now you know.

Clean it Out!

We have all heard about the benefits of cleaning out the clutter. And indeed, there have been many articles written about it, and articles written as well.Read them here, here and here.  This is indeed something that has been put to the test this weekend.

It started in my bedroom. In my closet actually. And I cleaned it out. all the clutter, all the movie stubs, and the little things and reminders. Gone.  Along with all the shirt, pants and skirts that no longer fit. And I mean really don;t fit, like no matter how much weight I try to loose i will never again fit onto that. Gone.

And then I moved into the bathroom, and cleaned out everything that was his. Everything that that made me think of him. Gone. Along with all those empty or almost empty shampoo and lotion bottles. All the old things that I had never used and had gone bed. Gone.

Next was the main bedroom and where the most work went into cleaning out. all of the memories and cobwebs cleaned out. Gone. All the told thoughts, feelings and emotions. All the tears and hurts. All the times i hugged my pillow and wished i was not alone in the dark. all the time listening to the clock. tick. one heartbeat at a time. One teardrop at a time. One dream, nightmare, hope and crushed feeling at a time. Gone. Along with all the trash, old papers, noted, thoughts, writings scribbled on notebooks and napkins. Gone.

And the result is a clean life. no clutter, emotional or physical. Bags and bags of clothes to take to Goodwill, and more bags of trash to be taken out to the curb, soon to be picked up, carried away, far away, where i never again shall visit. What is left is bright, airy and full of promises. What is left if Spring.

Yes, I feel as though a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, my heart, my eyes, my soul.

And so it is, because you must get rid of the old, clean it out, in order to make room in your life for the new. If you want to move on and be free from the past, you must first break free from it’s grip. One of the first steps is getting the past from right there in front of your face, to free yourself from it’s ghosts. Let them go to haunt another. Let me not miss him him anymore.

And I am ready for all the wonderful things coming into my life, what is blooming right before my eyes. And this is the year that I want to find love. real, wonderful, inconvenient, can’t live without each other love. but maybe the key to finding that kind of love, you must first fall deeply in love with…your life. And that is exactly what I plan to do. But firsts I must clean out the clutter and trash. And make room for that which will make my heart truly happy.

Out With the Old! – Cleaning Up, Giving Up and Stress Relief

We all go through those times were we need to clean out – the car, the closet, the friends list, the email, the garage. We all also know people whose house, closet, desk, etc are all so cluttered that you just can’t even think. Sometimes you just want to go in with a big trash back, or industrial size vacuum cleaner that can suck up all those magazines, old shoes and pants that don’t fit, so you can see the forest without all the leaves. I am doing all of that. They say that there is a psychological benefits to cleaning  Here and here. (And you can thank me for such interesting, cool reading).

For me, cleaning out the clutter is extremely cathartic. it starts with the physical cleaning out…and makes it’s way to emotionally cleaning out the cobwebs, old information, ideas and such that serve no purpose.  And I am looking forward to that as much as I am actually having room in my closet.

Ther has been much mental and emotional clutter buyilt up, and it is time to clean the cobwebs out. If it does not serve me, then it is going out – shoes, pants, people and old magazines. Thats’ it. I’ve had enough and I don;t want the clutter anymore!

Why do we have clutter byuild up anyway? IT’s like a bad ring of soap scum around the bathtub of life. Gross!  Maybe it’s because we arew afraid to let go of those old memories, thoughts or things. Even if the do not fit us, or our lives anymore, we know them. we kn0w the faults they have, know where they don’t fit, and find comfort in that familiarity. Maybe others are afraid to let go fo things because that means letting go of a part of life that is jut too painful to try to part with. And again, some people can get comfortable in their pain, because they know it, and the thought of being open to a new pain is just too…terrifying.

But we will never have room for the new wonderful adventures, thoughts, ideas and people are emant to have in our lives, if we always hang on the is old and what we have outgrown. There is a reason why they call it growing pains, because change is not comfortable for most people. But nothing good ever came easy.

So don’t be afraid to clean out that garage, or desk, or friendslist. Because your life is waiting for you…and you will never know until you make room for all the wonderful things life has in store for you. Clean out, appreciate what the old brought you, taught you and made you…then gently put them in the trash and step away…right into the life that is waiting for you.