resistance training

resistance SOM

I can’t remember where the thought came, but it was probably one of those fleeting existential thoughts I have every day.

Why are things so hard? 

Why do I feel stuck?

Will things ever get easier?

Things here were allegedly going to clear up yesterday, with the human trashbag taking himself out (with the supervision of someone here), since his lease was not renewed. It’s strange, but I kept hearing that wasn’t going to happen until Sunday.

The human chimney is still here.

I wouldn’t really care if it wasn’t for the stupid smoking inside, and the scary decompensation/manbaby temper tantrum that last about 21 hours near the full moon.

And he’s just a symptom. It’s the landlady who is currently in Canada doing fuck-all. She won’t be back on the 12th.

I’m not even going to check on this, because these are the constants I have. It’s not my house. The only thing I’ve vowed is that I will fight this spiritually now.

At the very least, I’m not afraid of anyone anymore. That took all year to get that place of internal solidity.

But something broke.

Like a true Capricorn, I have a (somewhat) janky knee. This month about 11 years ago, I had knee surgery. For two weeks, as the cartilage in my knee healed, I wasn’t allowed to put weight on my leg. It’s amazing what two weeks will do to a muscle. My thigh muscles atrophied.

After those two weeks, I had months and months of physical therapy to build my muscles back up.

One of the exercises I had to do was crab walk with resistance bands, like the ones in the image above. I’m sure I did a lot of other resistance band exercises. Somewhere in storage, I have a ton of them. They were exercises I wasn’t supposed to ever stop, really. But I did.

This week, I’ve been pondering about what I should be doing with my career as a writer. I’ve been feeling like I’m not going in the right direction because everything has been so hard. I haven’t been making connections to the clients I want.

Everything feels like a struggle, one I’m not willing to fight through. It feels like I’m going to hit a dead end any moment now.

And this whole blog has been one long sad song of life is has been so hard, for so long.

Those pained words are real, and for so many years, even before this blog, it’s the only true song I’ve known.

But I’m tired of this dirge-as-life refrain.

But practically speaking, I didn’t want to keep thinking that I was wrong. That I’m someone who needs to be fixed.

So on July 1st, I definitely felt like a different person.

Before that Twitter thread, on June 29th, I had such a mind-blowing experience, talking to an intuitive, and I know I’m being guided to do different things. Like read tarot and astrological charts professionally.

But also, to lean into my creativity more and write more creatively. Again, someone has told me that I should write books, and I’d love to–but I’d also like to eat.

Interestingly, I did a tarot reading for a friend. She’s also a writer, leaving behind a different career.

The reading basically was this: you’re stopping and assessing what’s going on. You need to embrace this transformation and stop procrastinating.

Great. 😩

I definitely took that as a free reading for me. She and I are on similar tracks, and that reading really resonated.

My Services page went up yesterday, and it felt…like the right thing to do. I wasn’t afraid. I wasn’t expecting a lot of fanfare from anyone–I’ve gotten a few supportive messages from closer friends, which has been surprising and encouraging.

My Twitter presence seems muted at times, even though I know a lot of tarot readers and astrologers.

But that’s something I’ll be working on, marketing to the right people.

Something that keeps coming up for me lately, but has always been nagging at me–the feeling that I am not even closer to what I should be doing.

My mom told me when I was 15 or so that I wasn’t really living up to my potential. In high school, I didn’t really have the best work ethic. I silently agreed with her. And 25 years later, I still do.

And not to get back on the weepy-go-round of grief, but I have always felt held back or encumbered by things that I can’t control.

It’s always something…

Even now, because that terrible housemate is going through some stupid depressive spiral and chain-smoking in his room, I’m breathing smoke right now, for the umpteenth day.

And there’s nothing else I can do about it.

And last week, I got really sick of feeling helpless about it.

But here’s the reality: I am on my own with this–physically, anyway. I will have to wait this out (who knows for how long?), or figure this out spiritually.

I’ve had to dig deep to find spiritual resources because there aren’t any others around me.

And that’s how it’s been for a while.

So since there are no saviors here, then there’s only amor fati left–a love of fate. Loving, embracing what is, right now.

And that’s what broke–my resistance to this experience.

Yet resistance creates strength.

And that’s the thought that came to me this week, that all this resistance has created an incredible strength that I could not have possessed otherwise.

So many people remark on my strength, but this isn’t because I signed up for this (no matter what spiritual teachings that say otherwise). This isn’t some spiritual circuit training course.

It’s always been out of necessity.

And. The recurrent thoughts I have about how bad things are, they’re out of necessity, too:

I’m not going through all this shit for nothing.

There’s a greater purpose for this struggle.

This has to be used for the greater good.

Although today was allegedly going to be an Independence Day from this trash person, there was a mightier independence declared earlier.

I’m not going to be defined by my circumstances, by the lack of respect, by the lack of help, by the lack of it all.

I’m still here, unharmed. I am full of an ever-expanding ocean of self-respect, a raging wildfire of righteousness, and gale-force winds of determination.

I am supported by loved ones who have passed on and protected by angelic beings.

And there are some online friends who have been there for me, and I’m ever so grateful…but it’s not the same as being here.

Oh, another old refrain that’s not even worth dredging up again

So maybe most of my life has been me, thinking I was supposed to be walking normally, but instead, the resistance was doing some work for me, on me.

I can’t say this without thinking of all the crazy resistance bands that are thrown on marginalized people.

Why do we have to be strong when the occupants of dominant culture crumble at the paper cuts of life?

But I really can speak of my own journey. Being treated cruelly when I’ve given kindness–that isn’t my karma is it? I thought if you’re to be kind to those who are unkind to you, then things will transform.

Says the former chump. Says also a lot of well-meaning white people.

I don’t know…this all made sense when I was briefly thinking about it: the persistent circumstances that have been clipping my wings, that have kept me in this suboptimal holding pattern. And I thought it was me not trying.

Even when my mom said that to me about my potential at age 15, I was living with a frighteningly emotionally distant mother, a father who was becoming more and more mentally ill, and a brother who had his own scary behavioral issues.

Yeah. Not really the potting soil for “living up for my potential.”

So, 40 years later, and life is still pretty disappointing. So now what?

Until “then,” until conditions are more optimal, when will I start living, right here, right now?

Waiting out the smoke monster is a waste of my time, of my life. It’s no way to live.

Fuck this and fuck him.

I’m strong enough to really live, instead of mourning and grieving the life that I felt I was meant to live (and this thought came up today right before I had a Reiki session).

So yes, the life I was meant to live was never alive. It was always dead. But the life I can live now, even in this dump of a home, can be real, can be full of joy, can teem with healing and hope.

I don’t have to wait. I don’t have to resist. I don’t have to settle. I don’t have to merely cope.

And this is probably why the practice of gratitude has been so hard for me. How can you tell a perpetually grieving person–a person who had high hopes for herself, who had those high hopes continuously dashed–to focus on what she does have, not what she doesn’t have?

Grief has been silently strangling for so long. It came up today during a Reiki session.  I wasn’t surprised.

But I am tired of grieving what wasn’t, what should have been.

This is the life that I’ve been given, for better and for worse. So many bitter things, I’ve had to choke down and swallow, more than the normal amount.

And my heart…goes out…to all experiences.

But herein lies…hope.

I still have so many chances to make this miraculous life into something that will last beyond my earthly body.

Right now. Because that’s all I have.

If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. I blog about things that I don’t post here.

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal.

Thanks for your support!  💘

 

Advertisements

Identity & finances

mirror-image-1532853

When I was buying my car in August, the financial advisor noticed how antsy I was as we were completing the paperwork in his office. He assured me that my income was fine–it was great at the time. I was concerned getting to this tight spot three months later, with no real job prospects in sight.

Of course, too, all day, I was ruminating about my shitty credit, made shitty thanks to grad school. Even as I type this, moving to Florida has been all about taking risks, for following my dream of writing. The dream is realized–I’ve been a writer for four years. But at times I wonder if it was all worth it, especially financially.

As I joked my way out of my fear of the future, the financial advisor said something sagacious that reminded that I was not my credit score or my finances. It’s something that’s stayed with me and has been more important to me now, after two stressful phone calls with my car loan company and my long-suffering but not that great cell phone service provider.

I’ve come to a point that I’m doing all I can and it’s not enough to pay bills on time. I can understand suicidality from a place of–I can’t live like this anymore, the bleak and unyielding despair that can try to choke you out. There are no options. And it’s something that even last month, I batted around like a cat would with a toy mouse. I’m too lazy to do that, and I’m also curious about what will happen next in my life. But I get the exhaustion, the frustration, and the sense of hopelessness that one can feel when unemployed. I’ve been here a few times and this time feels more like…an object lesson.

One of my favorite movie scenes is from Dune, where Paul is given this test to see if he’s divine (I think, right?). He has to place his hand inside a box and endure inordinate amounts of pain. If he removes it, he’ll die. He holds it in the box until the test is over. It seems like his hand is being seared from the inside. But, when he removes his hand, it’s fine.

Also from the book and the movie, there’s the Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear that Paul recites in a stressful situation (can’t remember what it was), but here it is:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

know things will be fine, eventually. There are things I know coming down the pipeline that will help tremendously. And then there are things that I don’t know are coming that will also be helpful. I have to have faith that the latter is very, very true.

I don’t fear that I will be homeless, or even that I will lose my car. My phone may be turned off tomorrow. I fear that I’m letting myself down in terms of how I wanted to live my life–with independence and aplomb. This feels like yet another adulting failure, but so many people are in my position right now, doing the best they can.

Deep down, though–I fear that I am my shitty credit score or my bank account balance or even the number of friends that I have close by.

I am none of these things, and I never have been.

The lesson that I’m learning, with a little more ease this time, is that I had been identifying with my job and with the amount of money I have. Money, my phone, my car–they are all tools. And I am not defined by tools, or even my access to tools. It’s tough to say this, as a double Capricorn, who likes to work, who likes to have money, who likes to pay bills on time. Not having these things does cause some suffering. It’s suffering that I’m learning to be present with, with copious amounts of self-compassion–even if it comes out in dribs and drabs.

Once I let go of this identity tied to money, then I’m just me–an able-bodied, hard-working, fiercely loving, highly intelligent person who deserves love and compassion and is doing all she can. All of this is enough, no matter what circumstantially happens to me. That’s still a hard pill to swallow. But, day by day, internal meltdown after internal meltdown, it is becoming enough. Scorpio season may have ended yesterday, but my own personal transformation is still happening. One can only be stripped down every so often before it starts to become not about the things being stripped away, but about what remains.

I’m so grateful to be housed, for my plucky resilience, for the few people that have helped me during this transition time, and that I’m still alive to see what will happen next. Again, my own personal readings have been so positive. I believe I received one today about golden opportunities. I look forward to not scoffing at these readings and really embracing them as messages from Spirit, that things are about to get better, that things are already getting better.

Anyway, I’m a broken record, but it seems like every time I blog about this, my attitude and my circumstances start to shift. I write because I am compelled to, and I want to document this journey. But the self-encouragement as I go on another hero’s journey is so necessary.

When I’ve done all I can, I have to throw the rest of it up to the Universe/higher power/God to take care of the rest–even when it’s out of exasperation. That may be the best time to do it.

Even in the expansive space of gratitude, it’s been hard to embrace that the Universe pro-me. It’s been yet another lesson that I’m learning. And while I am learning, I’m not giving up.

If you want to help me out during this time, you can donate to cash.me  or paypal.me. Thank you in advance! If you’re interested in how I can help you with your writing needs, let’s talk really soon.

If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. 

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal.

Thanks for your support! 💘