Monday, October 14, 2019

The Ordinary Goddess

Last week, while recovering from surgery and on the same day I was (still unknowingly) beginning to detox from pain medications, I went to Grace Cathedral in San Francisco to walk the labyrinth with my friend, Ginger.  I had had a particularly emotional therapy session earlier in the day, which had already exhausted me.  I am also fairly moon sensitive and all signs were pointing at the weekend's full moon being a powerfully cleansing (i.e., emotionally draining for me).  While laying in bed at 1 PM on a Friday afternoon, I thought briefly about canceling on Ginger, but I felt very strongly that I needed to go (and I didn't want to let her down since we had been talking about doing this for a while).  I had never walked the labyrinth the "right way," so we attended a quick informational meeting when we arrived.  I can't even remember what was said to touch off the flood of tears, but they showed up pretty quickly during the presentation.  Ginger slipped her hand into mine and squeezed.  I really can't say enough about how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.  During the chat, I kept hearing the words "the mediocre goddess."  I took out my phone, made a note of it, and let it leave my brain.  Once the meeting was over, we dispersed into the main hall at Grace Cathedral.  As I was still overly emotional, I wasn't ready to walk the labyrinth with other people.  I tucked myself into a dark corner facing the front of the church, and I just let myself melt down.  I don't even know what I was crying for anymore.  By that point, probably the souls of people I've never even met in this lifetime.  I had a couple of people stop, confused, not sure if they should comfort me or leave me alone.  They all left me alone.  Another woman on the other side of the church was crying even harder and louder than I was.  We both needed this apparently.  Eventually, I cried it all out, and I was ready to re-join the rest of the event.  I walked the labyrinth (if you don't know what you do with a labyrinth, think walking meditation), and just felt completely cleansed. 

I almost forgot about the note I had made in my phone.  I pulled it up today and remembered I had thought maybe it would make an interesting blog.  The Mediocre Goddess.  But I just didn't like the word mediocre -- it didn't feel right.  The notes I made after it were:  we can't all lives extraordinary lives, can we?  Then I saw this meme on Facebook that my sister posted.  Man, that hit the nail on the head.  So, that's how The Ordinary Goddess was born. 

We aren't all here to cure cancer.  Or be famous.  We can't all possibly live what society considers extraordinary lives (what does that even mean?).  However, our life could look extraordinary to someone else.  We all want to leave some kind of mark, don't we?  A legacy for after we are gone.  As a woman in her 40's who has chosen not to have children, I sometimes wonder what that would look like for me (although if you meet my four and a half year old niece, she didn't come out of my body, but completely embodies me, so I don't think I have anything to worry about).  Does my legacy need to affect millions of people?  Or even thousands?  What if my legacy is just being a good aunt to the babies?  What if my legacy is something like Nature Goddess Adventures?  Sure, the Facebook page only has a couple of hundred fans, and I am pretty sure I personally know each one of them, but we have plenty of positive interactions with each other.  I would rather cultivate a small group that actually helps and inspires each other than have millions of followers who don't look at my content.  I want people to recognize that we are all spiritual beings connected in this Universe.  I don't even think you have to believe in God or a higher power to accept that.  Did you know that a mouse's DNA adapts so quickly, that within a generation or two (which is pretty fast for mice), people have to change the poison they use to kill mice because they know not to eat it anymore.  There is no newspapers announcing this.  No listserv is cluing the mice in.  They know it deep down in their cells.  This is the connection.  We have that in us.  (Sorry for the morbid example, but it's so fascinating to me.)  We are spiritual beings having a human experience.  I truly believe that. 

Ginger had asked me how things were going with Nature Goddess.  I had so many plans when I first came up with the idea with Vanessa.  I was excited to set up a hiking/yoga event with a little bit of an inspirational speech for a small group of friends as my test subjects.  Then reality hit.  My first event right out of the gate gave me so many road blocks, that I decided I need to take a step back and take my time.  I probably need to make a real company and get insurance before I can truly set up the events that I want to have.  So, I didn't let it stop me, but I did want to do things right rather than throw together something that wasn't going to work.  I have continued to share inspirational posts on the Facebook page, and am still hoping to make my ultimate dream come true -- in addition to the local hiking/yoga events, I'd like to do weekend retreats. 

So, in the meantime, I am content with the slow building of this tribe.  I appreciate every single one of you.  I love the engagement on the Facebook page.  So maybe I wasn't put on this earth to change everyone's lives, but I am so happy to be part of this supportive group who can make a difference in our small part of the world on a daily basis. 

I sometimes struggle with how vulnerable I should be on these posts.  I swear if you just read my blog posts, I probably look like I'm depressed and crying seven days a week.  I promise that is not the case!  I do want to be real about what depression looks like for me in particular.  I feel like we spend so much time expecting people not to talk about their demons, which just seems to create more demons for future generations.  So, I am happy (no pun intended) to talk about what depression looks like for me, or when I'm just feeling emotional and need a good cleansing cry.  That's what this was for me.  Thank you for being part of this journey.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Tales of the Traveling Burrito Blanket

Earlier this year, I saw a Facebook ad for a burrito blanket.  It's a blanket.  That looks like a tortilla.  And I needed to own one.  Immediately.  I ordered one for a ridiculous price.  I think I paid more than $30.  When it arrived, there was something wrong.  It looked nothing like a tortilla.  It looked like someone was stabbed while wearing a white blanket (we called it the murder blanket or the period blanket).  It was horrible and looked nothing like what was advertised.  So I emailed the company and demanded my money back.  They responded that they had been given a "bad batch" but that they had new ones and they promised it would actually look like a tortilla.  So, I let them send me a replacement.  When it arrived, I was ecstatic!  I could make a burrito!!!  Finally!  

So, with what you know about me, you can guess that I did the only thing you could possibly do with a blanket that looks like a tortilla: I decided to make a photo album of the burrito blanket's adventures.  

 Muir Woods
First stop:  Hawaii.  I thought my burrito blanket deserved a vacation, so I took it with me on my trip to visit friends in June (in addition to looking like a tortilla, it is actually a light, soft blanket that is perfect for air travel).  We had adventures all over the island of Oahu.  On my last night, I packed up my little blanket, in preparation for flying home the next day.  When I got home, I couldn't find my blanket anywhere.  I was devastated.  I checked with my friends to see if I had left it on accident.  They didn't see it, and I very specifically remembered packing it into my bag.  So, I did what anyone would do...I took to social media to shame the TSA for stealing my burrito blanket!  I also immediately went to Amazon to order myself a replacement.  I figured I would have more protections if I used Amazon, plus they had a million options for size and color.  

Meet the Murder Blanket
A day later, my friends sent me a photo of the burrito blanket, still living in Hawaii.  And then I remembered that yes, I did pack my burrito blanket, then I worried it was still damp, so I took it out of my bag, and it got thrown into the washer with some towels.  Whoops!  Sorry, TSA!  I quietly took my post down, and told my friends that they were now the proud owners of a burrito blanket.  A day after that, Amazon Prime paid off, and a package showed up at my door.  I picked it up off the doorstep and excitedly opened my new burrito blanket.  A second later, there was another knock at the door, and another box was delivered.  It was the same exact size and weight as my first box.  Could it be??  Was the Universe rewarding me with TWO burrito blankets?!  YES!  Yes, the EXACT same burrito blanket was in the second box.  Again, I took to social media to talk about my amazing good fortune.  
San Luis Obispo

I got a message from my friend Heather a minute later.  She couldn't stand the thought of me being without my burrito blanket, so she bought me one as well.  She literally chose the same brand, size, and color as the one I chose!  She's so amazing.  So, now I have two burrito blankets.  One lives in my car for those impromptu burrito blanket photoshoots.  And the other lives in my house, ready for any travels we may want to take together.  

I know some people question my mental state sometimes.  I don't consider myself immature.  I am able to hold down a good job and pay my own bills.  But I do appreciate the silly things in life.  So, I will leave you with this quote and a few photos of my burrito blanket's adventures:  

It's okay to be absurd, ridiculous, and downright irrational at times; silliness is sweet syrup that helps us swallow the bitter pills of life.
~ Richelle E. Goodrich

Las Vegas
Family Reunion in Tracy

One Last Ride

Buy nine, get one free...  There should be a punch card for surgery.  Strangely, that kind of happened.

Last week, I went in for my tenth, and hopefully final (for now) surgery.  Last year, I posted about my ninth overall surgery, a (surprise) replacement of a leaking breast implant.  I had to go back in for another surgery because they were so uneven.  Any time I did downward dog in yoga, one nipple was constantly coming out of my sports bra.  Just one.  I have an all or nothing requirement for nipples hanging out of my bra.  So, this surgery was a scar revision to even them out.  Everything appears to have gone well.  My pain is well-managed.  I'm resting fine.  I am hopeful that this will be the final resolution for my poor abused boobies.  The next surgery I have on them will be when I have my implants removed when I'm 70. 

What does this mean for my (already non-existent) "pole career?"  I'm essentially done with pole.  Other than teaching a few classes for friends here and there, I haven't poled regularly in a long time.  It is very uneven and painful for my body.  I have had a good ten year run, and appreciate the opportunities pole has provided for me, but it is time to retire my hooker heels.  I never could walk in them anyway. 

I am also in the middle of some other life changes.  I had started school a couple of months ago (which I don't enjoy), and am going to be buying a house in a few months.  I just have new priorities.  I would like to focus on Nature Goddess Adventures, which I believe still embodies the Confessions of a Twirly Girl message of loving yourself and finding joy in life.  So, this blog will continue because I believe the Twirling Viking Warrior will live on, just in a different form.  Although, I do need to decide how helpful it is to write these blogs publicly.  Facebook very clearly hides the links in order to force me to pay to boost them, and I have noticed that my clicks have gone down significantly in the last couple of years.  I guess as long as I'm getting something out of it, I should continue.

So, thank you to all of you who have come along on this bumpy ride with me over the last ten years.  I hope that you will continue along with me as I transition more to hiking and yoga with Nature Goddess.  I appreciate all of you!