Once over a decade ago, I was sad. I was maxed out exhausted with little children and I was trying to be a good mother, teacher, laundry manager, PTA activist, family archivist/publicist, a teacher and friend.
It wasn’t Zoloft, Wellbutrin, prayer or meditation that saved me. (not that any of those things are bad) I made a new habit that pulled me out of my sadness.
I decided to evaluate every activity required in life and put them into 3 categories:
In category 1) I found teaching and playing catch in the park, walking with a friend or working in my garden.
In category 2) I found writing, cooking, laundry and putting the kids to sleep.
In category 3) I found cleaning floors, prepping the taxes and meetings.
I decided to outsource or limit with extreme rigor all activities in category 3. Like any habit, the more your practice it the more precise you become at it. After a decade of practice, I’m completely repelled by anything in category 3. I am not afraid of change and that helps me extract myself from situations that qualify as excessively draining. I’m also not a control freak, for example you may clean my floor any way you want to just don’t ask me to take time away from my category one or two commitments for it.
I have more energy and bliss than ever.
Is it realistic? Not all the time, I still have to prepare taxes, and the occasional meeting cannot be avoided. This habit cut some activities that I valued out of my life, but I adjusted and filled my life with experiences I also value and inspire me. My energy level is high and my love of life is even higher. So the habit is worth it to me.
In Fill Your Cup I repeat, eat only what feels sustaining – leave out the junk. My life choices align in similar principle. Bring commitments to your life that inspire you, leave out the junk and you will live a blissful, inspired life.
I teach pilates classes and have individual core training clients as well as coaching weight loss. My clients are business owners, great moms and dads, attentive partners and community members. I would say ALL of my clients are leaders in their own professions.
The leadership that is often most difficult to present are the habits – the subtle differences in the choices we make. What are your habits? Do you swear under your breath (yes) do you disrespect people you don’t even know? (yes) do you snack mindlessly disrespecting your own digestion? (yes) There are no perfect humans and I’m not suggesting perfection is the goal.
But maybe your leadership could include identifying 3-5 habits that you show your community you do really well. Make your priorities visible. Tell them I’m taking time away from you so I can take care of my body – want to come along?
Energetic mother, I have been thinking about you all day, I was you. I was a protective mom of one toddler age boy, once upon a time. I worried that the forces of the world were going to infect my perfect precious child. I worried about baby talk, gender toys, paint, pesticides, vaccines, racism, sexism, egocentricsm and a dozen other “isms” and then… my boy (or his two brothers that followed after) knocked out their teeth by force. My whole and perfect boys, they broke their bones. They rode bikes with no helmets, no hands, then no feet. The boys have skateboarded off mountains and off the roof. I was called for concussion alerts by the ski patrol, the school nurses and several coaches. I have heard from principles and the police. (“There’s a man on the roof with a rifle!”…”uh, no …there’s a tall boy with a BB gun keeping rabbits out of his mother’s garden”)
So after some years and some tears while mothering I realize there are forces in the world to be concerned about, but there is a bigger force with in each of my sons. The fire and force of a young man’s passion, curiosity and aggressive nature you can guide for a while but with an ever-lightening touch. After babyhood is gone most mothers of boys come around to this: We provide cuddles and calories and cheer loudly from the stands!
Love you my sons and my sister’s out there who are raising young men….
Tweet Today in the Studio Mat class I heard from a witty, wonderful, sexy and stylish woman that she has accepted middle age and is in a retail quest for Belly Blocker Tops. At first I thought she meant these … Continue reading →
One of my favorite students came into the mat class today and told me of her neck pain. I replied, “The simple solution to a pain in the neck is to keep your chin up” “how metaphorical!” another student replied.
It is bio mechanically sound, if you keep your head balanced on top of your shoulders, your neck muscles won’t fatigue as quickly.
It’s also true, that if we bring our perspective on life up a notch, lots of pain will dissipate.
Just a few hours later I was speaking to my son about his last days of Biology in summer school. His study plan for the final had none of the skills I hoped he’d demonstrate. My chin sank, my shoulders hunched in frustration and then my neck hurt. I scolded and scoffed, and then my stomach hurt. It took about 10 minutes and I realized I could choose to look up. I could elect to elevate my headspace. I don’t really know all he’s done in preparation since he’s at school for 5-7 hours a day and spends half his free time at his dad’s house, I reasoned. More importantly if your own mother looses faith in you, that’s more of an issue with the faith of the mother. Well, since I am she, I can affect that piece a great deal.
I looked up.
My neck released. Jared and I printed notes from the website he needed and made a plan for organization.
All in one magical day… Neck pain and the metaphor that fixes it came into consciousness.
But for the crew perfection and expectation bring loads of stress before the launch. The excitement and anxiety balance each other and create a high energy buzz you can feel on your skin. The love of space and awe of the power in front of us is apparent in the eyes of everyone working and reporting on the launch. No one wants their job to be the failure of this majestic experience. Any minor mistake will make the launch scrub, (or stop.) If the weather or orbit window closes, then it’s over for now. With any imperfection a team of approximately 2000 people slump their shoulders and ache with disappointment. I’m told every person feels the immense weight of the rocket on their shoulders, and they really seem to love it anyway.
Imagine a team of 2000 where everyone has different conditioning/training regimen yet mutual commitment to not greatness, but perfection.
To leave the atmosphere requires a velocity of 6 kilometers per second, it costs about $10,000 per pound of payload, and employs over 5000 people for 36 months. (The numbers depend on the payload or what the rocket’s carrying.)
Today the United States launches military and commercial rockets for weather and communications. That investment keeps our GPS’s alive and well, that’s pretty much it for now. This generation offers no good looking astronauts, no missions to the moon or mars, no sexy new frontiers. On the other hand, Wi Fi from the Airplane is incredibly useful, and with in one day of this launch I was using GPS to find my son’s basketball game. A nod of gratefulness seems appropriate.
That leads me to ponder, what is the government’s roll? Besides funding our Wi-Fi from the military budget, I believe it’s to keep us civilized and to protect us from danger. Government protects us from our narcissistic habits by spending our earnings to provide schools, to develop and repair roads, to offer tax breaks on food and on giving to the poor and tax penalties on tobacco. It also protects us from harm, ensures our liberty and all the tenants of our bill of rights are safe.
Whatever size or scope of government you endorse, a donkey or an elephant doesn’t matter here. Consider that civilization and protection from harm is their goal and it’s easy to connect the dots up into the sky.
A civilized country keeps hope and national pride alive. It supports education for what’s possible. So, without a final frontier we have a brain drain, our best and brightest in math and mechanics are making video games and developing shopping apps for our smart phones. Those are individual activities not unifying or creating national pride. They don’t inspire collaboration or connection that improve our civilization.
The Aerospace companies, NASA and the Defense Agencies have a merchandising challenge for sure. Rockets are big, dangerous, expensive and they have to be secure. They can’t run tour busses over from Disney World to touch the rocket. Yet, Aerospace needs to come to the public and show off their sizzle. Obama shut down Space Shuttles in part because I dream of Jeanne didn’t have a modern daughter swooning for an Astronaut. Let’s face it, a GPS Satellite just isn’t as handsome as Major Nelson. The public isn’t attached because they don’t see the eyes of the believers.
The industry needs sexy marketing. Time Life isn’t knocking because no one is offering a story. But there is a rich story here, the awesome magic of nature and science, liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen contained by the collaboration of geniuses safely in a structure and then brought together to make space accessible – that story needs to be told in modern terms.
Yes, launches have thrilled us before, and so have roller coasters, race cars and multiple orgasms and yet those still flip our switches. The difference is with rockets most people aren’t allowed to feel them, the others we can. Aerospace needs to let us close enough feel the magic. When more people feel the force of chemistry, overtake the law of gravity the aerospace world will expand again. Then we’ll have hope, pride, civilization and protection all flying high.
This is Andy and me in front of Delta IV in the 4-2 configuration.
Those who regularly read the blog, know that I am married to a Rocket-guy named Andy. He’s Director of Commercial and Missile Defense Rocket Motors for ATK. For my birthday this week I met him in Cocoa Beach to see his industry in action. A Rocket is launching. This launch is for a GPS Satellite.
During the day we got to see the rocket up close, Andy and the PR director Trina explained the rocket boosters, component parts and some of the structures were all made by ATK. There was a nervous excitement in the air.
Some of the reporters at this prep time were reporting for news stations, some for educational and industry science websites others seemed more like students of Science Fiction trying to extract vocabulary for the next issue of their graphic novel. But everyone was excited to be part of the launch.
The tower backs away from the rocket that stands over 200 feet high.
you can see the edge of the tower on the right side of the photo almost out of the frame.
Photographers scurry and we all look up in awe at the majesty. The Rocket represents a billion dollars invested by over 100 companies and thousands of people who bring this dream to the physical monument before us. It’s just huge – people on the mechanical scaffolding look like insects as they prepare for launch.
Next they fill the tanks with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.
These are the Liquid Hydrogen and Oxogen tanks. It looks like my house could fit inside one of these tanks 3 times!
They have to complete that fueling process with no lightening and we’re in Florida where storms are eminent.
We, the reporters, leave for the afternoon storm and hope the evening skies clear.
They fill some balloons with lighter than air gas, the balloons carry weather instruments to report back about winds, and if the clouds are too dense they can’t get the data back about the winds. You’d think these clever people who defy the laws of gravity could get past a balloon failure, right? I asked a first ever asked space question, what color are the balloons? The engineers had to ask around and found out that they were off white, so I sent them a link to 99 Red Balloons. CLICK >
But the balloons can’t manage the weather and the launch is Scrubbed (that means cancelled) for the night. They must remove the liquid Hydrogen and Oxogen, but it is okay they can remove the fuel and refill the rocket tanks 3 times. Everyone is deflated (balloon pun intended) this moment but since tomorrow the weather looks 90 percent good, we’re all very hopeful the launch window is set for 8:08pm tomorrow.
Many of my students have asked this week about the 2 hammocks in the tree in front of the Fill Your Cup Studio in Phoenix. I can’t find the ones I bought but if I were buying one today this is the one I would choose.
It is available at Urbanoutfitters.com, and called the Marrakech Swing. A soft easy rocking motion is where all of my children, my husband, his children and I all feel at peace. In the home we have in Park City and the home we have in Phoenix there are several places to rock or swing. Since the many of my posts encourage a balance between being and doing I thought you may like a recommended BE-ing space.
Swing softly, enjoy filling your cup with a special moment with yourself.
Why get married? Because we are more, together than we are side-by-side. I married my deepest love a couple of months ago. I pondered why for months before we decided. And I came to this: Togetherness is deeper than tandem.
Let me back up it hasn’t been as cheery a journey as my Facebook suggests (No one wants to photo document struggle.) I began dating Andy after a year in Divorce Court and a couple of failed relationships that couldn’t withstand the difficult time I was in.
When I attempted to back out of things with Andy in the beginning, sighting all my failures in relationships and entropic life he said, “You know what I do for a living right? I develop design and deploy nuclear weapons, you don’t scare me.”
His clarity and commitment was grounding for me and over the years no matter the challenges in his life or mine, he gets me; he matches my directness, ideals and passion for experiences so together we create amazing moments, spaces and feelings together. I didn’t have to get married for any practical reason, but as I pondered it all I realized, I truly believe in uniting what I feel so deeply on the inside with what I show the world on the outside. I believe that your heart can be worn on your sleeve safely and that beliefs can live from soul through to skin.
In Pilates we teach strength to both the being muscles and the doing muscles. And they are more effective together than they are side by side in supporting the body. What if our being values and our doing values supported each other in a similar way? What if our inner way of being (what we believe, dream, or sense,) supported our daily action all the time?
Most of my frustrating times with anything, weight loss, parenting, jobs or relationships I’ve found my inside (believing, dreaming, sensing) wasn’t married to my outside (doing, working, thinking, behaving)
From the inside out and to have and to hold, love …. I do!