We’ve come sofa; there is sofa to go.

17835040_10102633547456778_5816132283344642922_oThis has nothing to do with sofas, but I did happen to get a new “sofa” recently – my “notsofa”. My dad built me a base for a pad that folds out into a queen size guest bed. It is great – I’m more stoked on the base than the pad. But, that’s likely because it was built by my dad. I also love sitting on the floor and have found myself doing more of that in front of the notsofa. Something about being low to the ground makes me feel connected to the earth. Unconstrained. Free.

It’s been a challenging few months – to be honest, few years. I feel myself holding back. I look at photographs of myself and SEE myself holding back, of something in there not willing to shine. Not willing to risk. Not willing to be vulnerable. Not willing to live out loud. Not willing to love loudly. Willing? I AM WILLING, in the face of all that comes up. I WANT TO SHINE! Life is meant to be lived, so I want to live it. So often, so often, so often the same stories cycle in my head. Not good enough. Jealousy. Fear of missing out. Seeking approval. Grasping for relationship. Accepting less than is in line with my values. Not relating to the knowing of my values. Indecision.False refuge. Emotional eating. How many likes on Instagram or Facebook? Not fit enough. Not creative enough. Not smart enough. Not spiritual enough. Not developed enough as a human being. Not BLAH BLAH BLAH. Fuck the noise. Get still. Get quiet. Life is not about seeking, doing, striving, pushing for, forcing, inhibitions – who is telling me all these stories? Me. My inner roommate. I DON’T WANT A ROOMMATE. My cat is roommate enough, thank you very much. How do I set boundaries with this inner roommate? How would I set boundaries with an outer roommate? Boundaries are something I’m not too experienced in setting – but dang they are so important! I return to center through meditation, through getting still. I know my innate space of love, that my heart in inherently love. I know my heart wants to open. I know my heart wants to let love in and out. I know that I am nothing and I am everything. I know each breath is all we have. This moment is what we have. This is now. This is what life is. How we live our moments is how we live our lives. What we practice, we strengthen. Practice stillness. Practice love. Practice compassion and kindness. We are all in this together. We are all here in this moment together. I love humans and I love being human, but sometimes it all feels incredibly heavy. What is in this backpack I’m carrying? Why am I carrying it? Can I set it down? Sometimes I’m afraid that if I set it down, I’ll become uncaring, that life won’t have purpose. Huh? That is not true. Because I give a shit. Life doesn’t have to be hard or heavy. Yes, hard and heavy things will come up. That’s life. But we can find peace, ease, stillness, calm. We can find our true nature through any circumstance or situation. How about a commitment to finding joy, to feeling joy, to spreading joy. Joy. Love. Lightness. Laughter. Commit to silence. Commit to love. Commit to self care. Commit to unshakable belief in yourself, in the capacity of all human beings, in our innate wisdom and strength. Commit to what makes your heart leap, to what makes your soul feel alive, to what brings goodness.

Keep sitting. Keep finding stillness. Every. Single. Day. Come back to your breath. Listen to the sounds around you. Notice something beautiful within your line of sight. Say something nice to someone. Notice the feeling of your feet right now. Maybe your hands. Hold your heart with reverence – you are a gift. Life is a gift. This moment is a gift.

Love Loudly, Hollye. Love Loudly, World. You Are Beautiful.

“I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.”

– Mary OliverSave

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From Fuck You to Thank You

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It was only a week ago that I was sitting in a grocery store parking lot, zestfully shoving cookie after cookie into my voracious, salivating mouth. The shoving, crunching and compulsion were familiar, yet the cookies came from a hand I didn’t recognize. I saw my hand, my body, my physicality in the third person. This isn’t my hand. This isn’t what I do. This isn’t me. THIS ISN’T ME. This is what OTHER people do. I’m stronger than this. Yet the unfamiliar, indifferent hand persisted. With each eager shove; with each sweet, firm, plump chocolate chip crushed between my honed teeth, I silently repeated… “Fuck you, Hollye. Fuck you, Hollye. Fuck you, Hollye…”

And then at once the cookies were gone. There was a moment of relief: it was over. A desolate cellophane wrapper sat shotgun, hazed with oil and exhaustion. Cookie crumbs graced my lap, like seeds of a viscous aftermath soon to sprout. There was silence. And then came the loathing.

In the past several months, I’ve developed what I now identify as compulsive overeating, or binge eating disorder. It’s been hard. I’ve gained weight. I’ve talked a lot of shit to myself. I’ve felt terrible about my body, my gastro-indulgences, my perceived lack of willpower, my imperfections. And I’ve had moments of relief, love, and pure acceptance. But mostly: loathing; self hate; body shaming; fear of “what other people will think”; a frustratingly persistent obsession with my body; a disconnect from my feelings and emotions; exhaustion from the broken-record cycle of binge, loathe, body shame, sadness… binge, loathe, body shame, sadness….

And so, this morning I went to a yoga class. I take classes often. I teach classes often. Sometimes things click physically. Sometimes things click mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Sometimes a nugget of insight or wisdom from a teacher has an impact. This morning was one of those days. There was an excerpt read from the following post by Glennon Doyle Melton:

Your body is not your masterpiece — your life is.

It is suggested to us a million times a day that our BODIES are PROJECTS. They aren’t. Our lives are. Our spirituality is. Our relationships are. Our work is.

Stop spending all day obsessing, cursing, perfecting your body like it’s all you’ve got to offer the world. Your body is not your art, it’s your paintbrush. Whether your paintbrush is a tall paintbrush or a thin paintbrush or a stocky paintbrush or a scratched up paintbrush is completely irrelevant. What is relevant is that YOU HAVE A PAINTBRUSH which can be used to transfer your insides onto the canvas of your life — where others can see it and be inspired and comforted by it.

Your body is not your offering. It’s just a really amazing instrument which you can use to create your offering each day. Don’t curse your paintbrush. Don’t sit in a corner wishing you had a different paintbrush. You’re wasting time. You’ve got the one you got. Be grateful, because without it you’d have nothing with which to paint your life’s work. Your life’s work is the love you give and receive — and your body is the instrument you use to accept and offer love on your soul’s behalf. It’s a system.

We are encouraged to obsess over our instrument’s SHAPE — but our body’s shape has no effect on it’s ability to accept and offer love for us. Just none. Maybe we continue to obsess because as long we keep wringing our hands about our paintbrush shape, we don’t have to get to work painting our lives. Stop fretting. The truth is that all paintbrush shapes work just fine -and anybody who tells you different is trying to sell you something. Don’t buy. Just paint.

No, wait. First, stop what you are doing and say THANK YOU to your body. Right now. Say THANK YOU to your eyes for taking in the beauty of sunsets and storms and children blowing out birthday candles and say THANK YOU to your hands for writing love letters and opening doors and stirring soup and waving to strangers and say THANK YOU to your legs for walking you from danger to safety and climbing so many mountains for you.

Then pick up your instrument and start painting this day beautiful and bold and wild and free and YOU.

(Original article here.)

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I’ve thanked my body in the past. I’ve asked my students to thank their bodies. But today, it was different. I thought about my body, sitting in the car, shoveling cookies and repeating the words “Fuck you, Hollye.” I thought about my body, lying on my yoga mat. I wiggled my fingers. I felt my hands. MY hands. What a gift, these hands. What a gift, these arms. What a gift, this whole body and it’s health, vitality and wellness. And with all of my heart, with compassion and gratitude, I said thank you. “Thank you, Hollye. Thank you, Hollye. Thank you, Hollye…”

Every day is a gift. I am not healed, but I am healing. The fuck you will return. The thank you will return. And I am grateful for both.

From fuck you to thank you, I am blessed to have this life, this body, this paintbrush, this humanity, this Hollye.

Love Loudly. You Are Beautiful.

xoH

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