I was very honored to be invited to participate in a group discussion recently for folks who are considering or have had weight loss surgery. I was instantly reminded of the power of the group and how people challenge you. Poke you in the soft spots. So many opinions and questions flying around the group as well as inside my own head. Challenging my notions of “good enough” and internal as well as external body talk.
Fall is a time for renewal for me.
I finished processing a lot of changes I made last year (going through coach training, quitting smoking, releasing shame).
Now I finally feel ready to move forward. I enjoyed my summer. I swam, I organized, I socialized and I plodded along. I am spreading my wings and now preparing plans to further my coaching career and being the voice to the larger society on what coaching is and how to use it to elevate your life. I believe coaching can be applied in more than just individual ways to heal society.
I get so excited when I finally think I figured out something for myself.
I am a Fish
I dreamt I was a beautiful, colorful and shiny fish caught in a net. I had scales that reflected light. I was awash in shimmery green, silver and purple. I was floating in the current. I wasn’t trapped so much as hanging out in the net. Like an otter who hangs out in the kelp.
The net was silver mesh. I was moving around in the net. I was kind of relaxing in the net like a fluid hammock. I realized that I was drawing energy from the net. Other fish were attracted to the energy in the net and to me. I was feeling super charged.
Whenever, I am struggling with things I look to my dreams to inform me. I have had some really vivid ones. Here is a hodge-podge of my dreams.
I was staying at this crowed resort type place. There were hills and mountains all around. It was very green and verdant. There was mountain biking and the housing was pretty split level dark wooden condos. I was in the midst of a crowd of people filled with some familiar faces and some unfamiliar. My group was waiting to join one of the color-clad, fully decked out super jacked sports teams playing on the field. One team in particular was wearing this deep blue color. Like the color of water. There was a human pyramid and one team of 10 or more was pelting a single player with a water cannon.
There were large screens that projected the activity for people to watch on the outskirts of the game.
I remember thinking that this was a much younger crowd than I am used to and that all this “sports stuff” seemed overly steroidal and sort of militant. I was not looking forward to joining the super-soaker team.
Green Cigarettes and the White Haired-Lady
Spiders, Squids, and other creepy things that hide under the bed
As a child, I had recurring nightmares about “something” scary that lived under my bed and only came out at night. It was usually a witch or something white and amorphous in nature but always ominous and scary. I had a dread and fear that these things would sneak up and startle me, catch me “off guard” and get me. Not sure what the “getting” involved I only know the sense of overwhelming fear and complete loss of control.
I had a dream the other night that I was chasing a plastic bag in the air. As the wind carried it so I was also lifted in the air. As I grabbed for the bag I was pulled along by it. Like a crazy floating carnival ride.
I was in the Chicago O’Hare Airport running through the airport chasing my plastic bag when it zig-zagged and gently tapped someone on the back. It was Oprah. She was sitting in a cafe with Gayle and they were having some coffee. I had a choice. Do I stop and talk to Oprah or chase the plastic bag?
I chose the plastic bag and out of no where starting floating and flying again. Oprah turned around and said “This coffee is very good.” Gayle said, “un huh.”
When one door opens another one closes. I am reminded of this as I reflect on my history, my present and my future.
I have gone through tremendous physical and emotional changes over the past 6 years. Every experience I have had in my life (good and bad) has made me who I am today. I am grateful for all of those lessons and people who have helped me and cared for me along the way.
With all my heart, I am grateful and proud to have been in a loving and caring relationship (although not perfect but none is) for the past 16 years with one of the most decent men I have ever met. We came together under different circumstances (he was my roommate), we stayed together under difficult circumstances (my severe weight gain and his 9 years of struggling through college) and tried to forge our own path. We are very different people but I think I learned a lot about myself from him and when I needed it I used his strength and rational insight to cope with difficult situations around me. I think he learned from me perhaps how to be kinder to people and not be so hard on himself. Even though our paths are no longer pointing in the same direction I will always love and appreciate the time we spent together.
He helped me along my journey to get where I am today. Sometimes it was not the support I expected or wanted but I understand now how hard he tried. We both made mistakes and sometimes our communication styles worked against us. Even in the dissolution of our relationship I can still appreciate his support and love and admire his strength. I see his efforts to love me when I felt not worthy as pure. I can understand why we stayed together as long as we did because we needed to. We both derived comfort and found a home in the stability of our union or at least the need to keep that connection. At times we were both unhappy but tried to connect to the foundation of what kept us together. Our humor, common interests, ability to admire and sometimes even appreciate our differences, and our genuine care and concern for each other.
In our separation I can see him struggle now through his pain, anger, and hurt to try to be supportive of me and my new path. It is difficult as I struggle to balance my sense of freedom and find my own happiness. I realize how much I value and love all the positive contributions (even if I didn’t see them or appreciate them at the time because they didn’t look or feel like I needed them to) he gave to me and the relationship. We may never be a couple again but I feel so very lucky to have shared my life with him for so many years. I struggle now to envision a new life that he may or may not be a part of. Our relationship and connection brought me to this place and I am a different, changed, and humbled person because of it. For this I will always be grateful.
In therapy an exercise I found a lot of insight and use for was writing letters to myself. Sometimes to my body. Sometimes to a younger part of myself. The letter writing process allowed me to step back and re-frame events and speak to a distinct and/or distant part of myself.
I wrote to myself today.