Changes, Liminality, Vulnerability

Estimated read time... 4 minutes

I know, it’s been a long time since I last posted.  I’ve been working on changes, being in liminality, and being more comfortable with vulnerability.  Here goes!

Let’s see if I can quickly bring you up to speed about my weight-y issue:

  • I have been working out
  • I have lost fat
  • I’ve gained muscle
  • The scale hasn’t changed that much but…
  • I feel a billion times better (and stronger – woot!) today than I did six months ago.
  • I’m focusing on taking care of myself, my relationships (the ones that matter most to me), letting things go that are no longer serving me, and spending less time working!

So, now that you know where I’ve been!  I am not beating myself up about the scale, although what I am disappointed in is my apparent “lack of progress” strength-wise.  This is a little insane since now I can do a pretty rocking squat with a 10lb weight and I’m ready to move to a 15lb weight.

Progress, not perfection – remember that.

Where have you been?  Have you had a good year?  Have you accomplished what you set out to do in 2015?

My 2015 was dedicated to being “the year of Pam”: nourishing and nurturing myself and finding more of a balance between work and life.

This has been a little trickier, the balance part, than I realized.  You see, I not only am a herbalist, I’m also a 9-5er with a job that is completely unrelated to being a herbalist!  It’s a great job, and I love it, but wow does it mean that I have to be very particular with how I spend my herbalist work-time!  The “life” part of my plan has been going swimmingly, my relationships are so much better (hello, new job + less stress = happier Pam for friends and family), and I feel so much better about myself and my life.  Frankly, the relationship you have with yourself is one of the most important relationships you’ll have – might as well have a good one.

Notwithstanding some trying losses, illnesses and injuries, 2015 has been a very good year for me and I’ll be sad to see it go. Yet, I look forward to seeing what 2016 has in store.

And 2016 is fast approaching: it’s now December 17.

Have you set your intentions for the year ahead?

I set my intentions for the next year back in mid-October.  One was to be in fantastic physical shape exercise-wise.  Why did I choose this particular intention to share?  Because it was the first thing to drop off my list when I started to get lost in the stress of work and life.  Sleep?  Never been an issue to get enough sleep.  Eating?  Well, I love food and cooking so I’ve always been well fed even in times mired with stress.   Herbs?  I actually do take herbs on a regular basis, and rely on them especially during difficult times.  Those aspects of self-care have not been such an issue for me.  Exercise, whooeee that falls right off the list though.

Another intention that I set for the rest of 2015 and all of 2016: relationship improvement.  My relationship with myself, with my spouse, my friends, my family, even my co-workers.  I can very easily slip into my own little world, and only reach out when I’m in a good mood.

This is the year to toe the line, get out on that shaky branch and let go.  Open my heart, bare a little more of my soul to those that I love.

I can write all day about it, draw about it, but to talk about it with someone in a vulnerable (vs false bravado) way is scary as all get-out for me.  I call upon my herbal allies to help me get through rough times, and sometimes to provide some extra light in my life (rose petals + honey + orange peel + seltzer water = awesomeness at the end of a work-day).  But being vulnerable… I don’t think there’s an herb for that!  And really, working with herbs in a “this herb for that problem” is totally backwards and ineffective!  It’s like saying, “say these words and you’ll have this result with every person you interact with, even yourself, and all your problems will disappear!”  Totally unrealistic, and it makes demands on us (and the herbs) to work the way our intellect wants them to work, not the way they actually work.  There’s no formula for self-improvement, no straight line, no easy path.

It’s all circular – like drops of rain landing in a pool of water.

The ripples move out – when you are ready to move out of your comfort zone, into the liminal space, you open yourself up to a new ring of possibilities on the water and horizon.

It’s all a little scary, but those densely vulnerable liminal spaces are where the growth happens.  That’s when you need to take a deep breath, a leap of faith, trust yourself, and go for it.  After all, exercising is putting yourself out there into a vulnerable place – you have to honestly look at where you are at, ask for what you need, and get to work.  Gaining larger muscles is a little uncomfortable, and learning how to row a 5k as fast as you can manage is a humbling process!  Having better relationships requires vulnerability, knowing who to talk to about what and how, listening with your mind, body and soul, and allowing the communication to flow forth unimpeded by ego.  Changing relationships for the better is very uncomfortable at times, and requires heaps of vulnerability and time in liminality.

I suppose 2016’s theme is: allowing myself to be vulnerable, to really live in and relish those liminal spaces and discomfort.

What are your intentions for 2016?