A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn....

It's gonna get harder before it gets easier. But it will get better, you just gotta make it through the hard stuff first.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The new (and improved) life.

It's been a long month since the last post, as I worked hard establishing my new position as an LMT for more hours at Massage Envy and Myo Massage, as well as doing 50 hrs a month of Yoga teacher training. Basically, I didn't have a day off since I stepped out of UT on January 16th (or, rather, came back from Russia and went to work on January 1st) until Monday, March 2nd. While I love my new life so much, I am learning to fiddle with what we call a "golden medium". Apparently, being a massage therapist for 6 hrs a day is a physical job. Ha. Who would have thought? And since I tend to maximize time I am away from home, I ask for "no breaks", meaning I have client after client with barely a breath in-between. This has to be adjusted in the future (we submit schedules 2 months ahead, so I can't move much until May), to figure out where I am comfortable financially, feel like I fulfill my duty as a member of a family as well as a healer to people, yet don't break down. Sometimes the physicality of it runs me so that I fall asleep way before 9 pm, and even miss a run or a gym. I don't really feel worn out while doing massages, it's the "whoosh" that comes once I am home.

That said, and since I managed to strain hamstring-overcompensate with right hip flexor-still dealing with left foot (never-ending injury from 2011), my attempts of speed work and somewhat faster-paced runs went to zero. I strap my Garmin and go without looking until the end of the run. I did manage to put a progression of longish runs - 14, 16, 18 - all on roads, as time is just an issue (and seems to be even more so) as it was when I worked at UT. Driving 20+ minutes each way to the trailhead, which (the trails in Austin) do not inspire me in a big sense anyway (though still much better than roads, indeed) can't fit into my schedule, and being so slow these days means same 6-10 miles will take me close to 40% longer staggering on rocks and roots. So, I keep circling the neighborhood(s), being happy if I pick the hillier area, for the better views and more muscle fun. I did go to trails once (like, in many months!!) though, and it was absolutely beautiful and awesome, and I am trying hard to re-write my schedule so I can make it a habit at least once a week!

That said, I took out the Idaho 50k I tentatively wanted to do in June (I still feel bad I won't get to visit the area and some of my friends!), and have no clue if it also means I'll be chasing cut-off's at Smith Rock 50k on Mother's day (or bail out so my speedy friends don't have to wait for me). Since I do not intend to not go to Oregon in May, I will play it by ear. So far I took a back-off week last week, and the runs picked up some overall pace. Smart coaching, huh? :)

Because of said injury and the road running making me stiff (and massaging affecting my back and shoulders), my yoga practice hasn't made progress as I anticipated (in terms of, no, I am not doing splits, or hand stands, etc.), but learning all the little details did help me with a much better alignment. Also, the training part of being a teacher is fascinating, I missed that since my 10+ years ago Bikram teaching stunt. We are all getting better, with my usual feedback including a positive or two (I know my stuff, have energy, fill the room) and a not-so-much (I talk too much by giving too many cues!). I got to teach Sun A series (about 7 min of the class) last Sunday and it felt so real.

And I did finish a dress I was making! 50% yak wool with 50% merino wool, yarn I bought as a shopping therapy back in November with no clear idea, used to make a sweater during Thanksgiving trip to Estes Park, then decided I didn't like it one bit, and re-made it into dress with creativity being born as the rows were stringing one on another. Used every inch of that yarn! That was close!

Well, back to that day off I had - since it was Monday, and I rarely see my husband these days between working into late evenings and all weekends being either at work or yoga training, I begged Larry to take a day off his job and have a one-day get-away.

We drove to Kerrville, TX (about 2 hrs SW of Austin), stayed in a nice place, ate in a great Mexican restaurant (says me who really doesn't like any kind of Tex-Mex rice-beans combo!), and the next day drove to Lost Maple state park and made one big loop (10 miles) to utilize very trail they have there. The park took our vote for being the BEST Texas state park (besides Guadalupe, which is a National park, and is basically in NM) for the variety of trails, flora, grand views (yes, the hills were beasts and very pretty). Despite the weather being foggy and cold, we enjoyed the hike and being outside immensely.

No trips planned until May (Oregon). Gotta buckle down for 2 more months.:)

Below are pics from the Lost Maple hike.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Emotionally free.

Today my vacation pay-out came through, so the break from UT is final and clear. Huge exhale. There are a lot of words of choice I could say, but why bother? Like a horrific accident that people shove away into the furthest parts of the brain, it is over and forgotten. In fact, I only think about it when asked how it feels to not be there - and I, myself, am amazed how awesome and easy the transformation had happened, and how I did completely forget I spent 5 years in my last lab. One thing I will say though: if you are a boss of others, even just one person, think how you treat them. It's not the job that people dislike, it's the way they are appreciated or not. One word is all it takes to help folks soar or get broken. Last 8 months drove me into a clinical depression and magnified my already existing medical condition. But I am one patient, focused and goal-oriented human being. I haven't been broken yet, and I didn't let it happen now. If anything, I am more than ever determined to rise to the highest of my potential.

Reading a book "Emotionally Free" didn't shed a huge amount of light as I had been working on myself for over a decade (as well as "Your Money Life"), but these two last books had been given to me by my massage clients. My dear massage clients, just as my dear coaching ones, become my friends, or for sure people whom I share with some soul searching. May be because I truly believe that without being emotionally involved, one can't really help another on any level. And "help others" is what I wish the most for in my life...

A huge quote (two paragraphs, to be exact) has made the most sense, rang the loudest bells, for me, and I wanted to have them stay with me.

Emotional freedom is being able to do what you want when you want to do it. With emotional freedom comes emotional responsibility. 

You are the sum total of everything that has ever happened to you. It has taken everything good and bad you've experienced to bring you to this point. An important part of attaining emotional freedom comes from accepting responsibility for everything in your life. If this seems too severe, it is also liberating. It is true that many things that happened to you were not your fault, but in each case you chose to react in your own way. 

Accepting responsibility for your reactions to events diminishes the blame you can place on others but also empowers you to change and move on. After all, in the words of Swahili saying, it is not what others call you that matters but what name you respond to that determines who you are.

The secret of life is that there is no secret of life. It's all hard work. Yet you still have to find the right works and be free to choose direction that is best for you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift.

The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others.

David Viscott.

I found my gifts. Now I can share them fully and without holding back.
p.s. Larry, we are a great team. Thank you for helping me spread my wings and keep them wide and flying.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Follow your dreams!!!

A bird sitting in a tree is not afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not in the branch, but in her own wings. - Unknown

Hot damn, I can't wipe the smile off my face! It's my last day working at UT, and in biochemistry research, and at 9-5 job! 20 years and 8 months to date...sure takes me long to make a move. But if first 6 years I was thankful for learning new skills and having a job in general in a country which language I didn't speak in a profession I wasn't properly trained for, and the following 5 years were the best out of my scientific career working in pharma industry on prostate cancer and HIV vaccine (closer to medicine I am versed in, well paid, and greatly appreciated by all around, with the utmost awesome supervisor), then 5 years in Stem Cell research with a fresh and curious boss and amazing real scientific break-through's, the last 5 years were a total drag from the get-go. The projects are boring out of the mind, the boss is a egocentric tyrant, the financial and growth intensives non-existent and 80% of the people are working 50% of the time, what always made me extremely uncomfortable (and sad that I often wasted my precious life away). 

It's over. I have no regrets, no fear, no anxiety. I am extremely happy for this step, for my future, and very grateful to my husband for supporting this move on all counts. I have to follow my calling, it's been way too long. I am put on this Earth to help people, one person at a time. I am to use my time, my knowledge, and my expertise wisely and fully, enjoy what I do, live every moment, and be happy - simply happy for myself, if you can imagine. I am doing something that simple - I am doing something just for me. It is going to be a great year. It is going to be amazing life - a whole life ahead. 

Sometimes my decisions take a long time to come, sometimes they are a snap, but I follow my heart, and when it feels right - it IS right. Took me years, over a decade, to pull the plug on my previous marriage, but when I did (7 years today officially) - I never looked back. Took me a split moment to sign up for a first race. first ultra, first 100 - couldn't be happier. Took me no time at all to move across the country and marry a guy I ran into on a trail - it wasn't always easy at first, but we made it work, and it was the most profound change I've made for my life. That's why I don't fear - on the opposite, super excited - about this decision. I KNOW it is going to be the best one yet, and now I have a team behind me.

And here is what my best friend sent me as a gift - a link from this blog.

one step.....

we all have heard
'every journey starts with the first step.'
'one step at a time.'
the list goes on.
this is true
some of us
feel like we can't do 
whatever it is that lies before us
whatever life is asking of us
whatever it is that WE seek
because it feels too big. 
but the first step isn't a physical one
the first step starts within.
the first step on any journey
starts with our commitment.
commitment to ourselves.
when we commit to ourselves
it has to feel good.
if you have doubts about any decision
or any step
explore where these doubts are coming from.
if they truly come from within
your inner guidance saying, 'no way!'
of course listen!
but if the doubts are coming from:
'what would so and so think.'
'how would that make me look?'
'but, i feel obligated to....'
then QUESTION it.
are you living for you?
are you living for someone else?
any and all decisions we make
-tho some may not be easy-
will feel good or bad.
weeding thru our feelings
recognizing where the feeling is coming from
will help us be more confident in our decisions. 
then we can commit.
once we commit
we are unstoppable.
tho sometimes the thought of committing brings fear.
are we afraid of our own power?
are we afraid
that really
we are magnificent?!
we are incredible, limitless, manifesting beings
trapped in the belief of 'not good enough'
'i can't'.
we can do anything we commit to
but we first have to commit.
committing is the hard part.
focus on how you feel.
go deep
to the place within you
where YOU really exists.
this is a place within the physical body
yet it goes infinitely deep.
in this place
your inner sanctuary
see how you really feel
about anything.
go there to ask questions
to seek answers
without a doubt
from the depths of your BEing
that whatever journey you are about to embark on
feels right
to YOU!
and if it does?!!!
that is the first and hardest step on any adventure
of any kind.
whether it's physical. relational. emotional. work related. etc.... 
from this point forward
decide to commit to YOU.
do what feels right to YOU
THIS is a GIANT and the most important first step
on the journey to the center of you.
the MOST important journey you will ever travel.
you can do it.
yes you can!
commit to you. always.
and find the life you are looking for
(it is also looking for you).