Rock the Vote

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.”-Joseph Campbell
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As many of you read in my last post, Shake, Rattle and Kick Ass, I passed my second and final licensing exam to be an LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) in the state of California. Which is quite the battle and I am very proud of my accomplishment. Thank you to those who have supported and encouraged me along the way. Since then, 10 days ago, I have found my way to this place that is, well it…just IS! This is: THE SPACE BETWEEN. 
What is the space between? No, not the Dave Matthews song…(You’re welcome!)
You all know, if you read me diligently (and I thank you from my depths, if you do) that I love definitions of words. They carry strength. So…Between by definition: “in the period separating (two points in time.) Two points in time…what is in between two points in time? NOW.
This “Between” is my current residence. But, I am going to be the Mayor of this fucking town and call it: FOR-NOW.
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Who is ready to buy some land and plant some crops in FOR-NOW?  Prices are amazingly LOW because no one wants to live here…currently. So I will take a breath, look around and know that this space is exactly that: FOR-NOW. 
The magical land of FOR-NOW, between where you were last and where you are going…can be scary, to say the least. It can hold an energy of confusion, and or fear. Those fearful moments don’t add to the amazing process we are experiencing in the Space Between. Your free floating thoughts may sound like this: “I’m lost!” Impossible! “I’m stuck!” Nope. “I’m stranded.” Never! “What do I do now?” Be Here. 
My Space Between is filled with inquiries that I don’t have an answer…FOR-NOW. They are evolving. My current habitation is rich in development, so, I sit patiently. Well, most of the time. What will unfold? What and how will I move into this next chapter? Who will I meet that will have a specific purpose to teach me something radical? Or vice versa?
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FOR-NOW is a space for letting go of control. Allow yourself to open your eyes and mind to all that is in this space. And then, settle in. Snuggle yourself into the depths of this cozy, warm, perfect place…a truly exciting place to see what is brought to you! Are you with me? Or are your insecurities and ego getting in the way of what is? Stop for a moment, right now and ask yourself that exact question. Allow the answer to come…
A tool to use for this space: BREATH! I think of meditation within the context of this space. The space between in meditation or prayer is that “place” you go where there is no time. Where there is no space, people, things…just your breath…and YOU. Link to How To Kick Ass in One Easy Step, where I talk about this practice of…breathing.
IMG_3034Raise your hand if you have been in or are in YOUR Space Between? Where you don’t know the next plot on your course. I don’t know where I am going…exactly. But what I DO know: I AM HERE NOW. Trust the process! Enjoy the journey…this exquisite journey into YOURSELF.
And of utmost importance, my FOR-NOW abode is not my FOR-EVER. Nor is yours. That is an important point to make very understandable and clear: FOR-NOW, does not mean FOR-EVER! Life is a becoming. Let your life become what it is to be through this space between.
As Mayor, President, CEO, and Soul-Proprietor of the beautiful city of FOR-NOW, I promise this to you, dear citizens: YOU can take complete solace that the unclear will become clear, the unknown WILL become known, and the fog will lift. Then and only then, will your investment multiply!
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Population: 1
Who is ready to admit where they are and invest in this ocean front property? 
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“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day your realized why.”
Mark Twain
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Shake, Rattle and Kick ASS!

“Exercise is a beautiful equilibrium of weakness and strength.” -Me

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I would like to start this weeks flow off by sharing with you something about me personally. I am this woman, that you read…most of you weekly…from many countries…not knowing much about me. Except that I can throw some words together to form a sentence, and then a paragraph, and then a slew of connected paragraphs to make a semi-concise riff.

This week I accomplished a goal I set out to achieve over 5 years ago: I passed my second and final Licensing exam to be an “official” Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California. CLAP CLAP! What a journey it has been.

I share this with you because I have learned so much in this process. Once it has set in, sifted into my being and is ready to shine…YOU will be the first to know and hear!

With that said, last week we chatted about the things in our life that we want to do or that we should doo. Here. I will make it easy for you to read if you haven’t: Do Do or Doo Doo (See MO!)

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SO, here is my DOO-DOO confessional regarding my exam: I did some stinky DOO DOO-ing on myself this week! Before I took my exam, I was unsettled…expressing anxiety and fear, reaching out for support and taking a ton of deep breaths! My “doo-doos”, which smell like shit too, sounded a bit like this: “Rebecca, have you studied enough? You didn’t doo this and you didn’t doo that! What if you don’t pass? Holy “doo-doo” pile, (like i’m on my knees praising this pile) what if you fail and then…” THEN WHAT?! Then nothing. We will be the same, smart, centered people we are in this moment, in that moment and every moment in between.

Remember last week from Do Do or Doo-Doo “Push through that discomfort. Move forward. Don’t stop and waste a bunch of time, pointless time, to stress about what may not happen.”

These Doo-Doos met their true form this week, because guess what? None of that wasted, SHIT STORM of Doo-Doos mattered or happened! So here is your amazing Still Playin With It life lesson for today: flush that poop down the toilet and call it good. Because it is ALL GOOD!

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Even more, “You cannot fail because you already succeeded.” came in an email this week (wink wink) and what a valuable tool that was for me on game day! That is the quote I had at the top of my ONE sheet of scratch paper. When you think of your Hero’s Journey and the different stages along the way, slaying the dragons (plural) is a part of this journey…You can’t fail at what you have already achieved: Answering the Call.

Check out my Hero’s Journey series for some dragon slayin’ revelations!  Hero I Go, then Insta This, and last but not least: Delta Delta Delta! Yummy stuff.

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Step one from last week was asking what you do do? So let’s look at Step 2: What do I want to do and aren’t doing quite yet? For example: I want to start exercising more regularly. 

We all experience this when we are prepping to exercise, or merely thinking what we should do…the cursed “shoulds”! The hardest part of a run or working out is before we even begin. Our minds are busier and working harder on why it is going to suck, more than our physical bodies are doing anything at all.

What you will find is if you actually start the routine, start moving your body towards the road, gym or studio, you will feel more energized as you move. As your body starts to feel that surge of Serotonin, the “feel good” neurotransmitter and Endorphins, those creatively, amazing chemical compounds that are produced while IN MOTION, you will actually desire MORE!

IMG_7612The term “Runner’s high” comes from these pesky blessings that are IN YOU! They reduce stress levels and create a feeling of euphoria. Not sure about you, but, I will take some of that! Natural Euphoria. Now that is delicious! IT IS IN YOU! All of it. Right inside of you! Use it. Absorb it. Feel it.

Lastly, step 3 states: set a small, savory goal. Something that will ignite you. Find that inner excitement I wrote about in Ignition…Check!

Andrew Carnagy says: “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” Whether walking a mile (with a friend), hitting up that exhilarating Zumba class at your gym or hopping into a 5/10k, discover your inner hero through movement. (Link to Joggin’ For Frogmen 5K happening soon in SD!)

What form of movement ignites an energy in YOU? It doesn’t matter what it is. What matters is YOU moving forward into that feeling. Committing to yourself: I WILL LIVE A HEALTHY LIFE. DO IT!

Where are you headed? To the land of Natural Euphoria? Or to the land of Stinky Piles?

YOU CHOOSE!

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“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

 

Do Do or Doo Doo?

“Whatever it is, make it your own.” – James Clear

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Last week I wrote about my discovery of my true bliss in Ignition…Check! My bliss also includes my love of exercise. Exercise is, and will forever be, a part of my bliss, if not my true BLISS!

IMG_6649You may ask yourself: “Why don’t I exercise? Why don’t I do things to live a healthier life? Why don’t I wake up earlier? Why don’t I visit that friend? Why Don’t I!? Why why why?” Those questions all sound very limiting and discouraging.

Reframe style: Instead of Why DON’T you? How about focusing on the Do’s! First focus on what you DO DO. Not doo-doo…Do Do! And not in question form. Therefore: I do take walks. I do desire to exercise more. Or…if you really can’t commit to that statement, how about: “I DO want to live a healthier life, therefore, I want to DO what I can to get there.”

Let’s look at this from a step by step process, or a way to outline some questions to ask yourself…
IMG_3226Step 1: What do I DO, already?! I walk my dog. I am aware that I want to be in better shape. I understand that it takes effort on my part. 

Step 2: What do I want to do and aren’t doing quite yet? I want to start exercising more regularly. 

Step 3: Identify a small path to get there? I will workout 3 times a week for 20 minutes. I will invite a friend to join me.

Step 4: Focus on the feeling you want to have once you have accomplished your DO. I will feel energized. I will feel strong. I will feel accomplished. I will feel sexy, confident!

Exercise is a powerful tool that our brains, bodies, and I believe, spirit, longs for! From the bilateral stimulation of our brain, to the brilliant way our bodies use simple movements to handle stress, exercise is a gift.  From the beautiful benefits of confidence to improving the oxygenation of our blood while it perfectly travels through our body, exercise is of enormous value.

What is exercise? By definition: Exercise is “a particular movement or series of movements done to become stronger and healthier.” 
IMG_5009 Flip the definition around and it becomes more enticing: “To become strong and healthier, I will perform a particular movement…or I will exercise.” Starting our life mantras out positively engages us more than starting our life mantras off with something that seems like work, something that takes effort. To become stronger, I will do, I will exude, I will practice…(fill in the blank)

While discussing the attributes of exercise with a strong man a few weeks ago, (Thank you LS) I discovered what it is about exercise that I love, that I long for, that I am addicted to and possibly what others witness in my workouts:

I love feeling my focus. I love getting in my zone. This zone where no one else is. Where I am truly connected to my self and becoming stronger! A place I get to revisit daily in order to connect with my physical body. Where I am able to kick my ass over and over again; walking away, with shaky quads and/or weakened pectorals with an increase in strength simultaneously. Exercise is a beautiful equilibrium of weakness and strength. 

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While running triathlons, a great friend of mine (BRP) would repeat: “When I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians  12:10) Utilizing this statement as a source of power in the midst of his exhaustion. Thereby, finding the beauty and balance of two opposing forces in order to perpetuate his endurance. Rad.

How do we become strong? First, you must identify your definition of strong. How does strength show up in your life? Generally speaking, in order to become strong, we allow ourselves to experience the pain of growth, or the discomfort of stretching our muscles to a point of exhaustion. Thereby, experiencing the amazement of building YOUR STRENGTH, and bettering your body. Your muscles will not be taught to get bigger, leaner, stronger, or more defined, without experiencing the, at times, torturous, development that comes through movement.

Little side note…I still believe, and will always teach, that everything begins with BREATH. Strength starts with breath. Gaining muscle starts with breath. All our movements start with breath! I discuss this valuable tool in a previous blog titled: “How to Kick Ass in One Easy Step” Check it!

During my first MFT licensing exam, which was one of the biggest challenges of my life, I was taught to push through the discomfort. When you feel uneasy and uncomfortable in the thought of not passing, or not knowing the answer: Push through that discomfort. Move forward. Don’t stop and waste a bunch of time, pointless time, to stress about what may not happen.

When you feel like quitting your set because your muscles are exhausted…finish one more. When you don’t want to get your butt out of bed to work out…push through! I tell my clients: When you don’t want to walk the 130 steps back up from the bottom of Stone Steps (a beautiful exercise spot near my home), WALK BACK DOWN! Then you HAVE to come up. You HAVE to push through the pain, to gain YOUR strength.

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This is Jack. He is 90-years-old and walks the convention stairs 12 times a day for a total of 1200 steps! I did this workout the two days prior to my licensing exam. I was blessed to have experienced this amazing athlete and his stamina, desire for strength and an over-all love of fitness and health. Thank you Jack! My inspiration for strength!

Because this topic is my true passion, I will expand on exercise over the next few weeks. From exercising physically to mentally and with many other twists and turns…let’s explore the amazing dynamics of exercise.

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“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day your realized why.” –Mark Twain