Days 4-8: No Bat Belt

There’s a scene in Dark Knight Rises where Batman is trying to climb out of a prison. The climb could mean death if he falls- so he has a safety rope tied around his waist. He works out, gets stronger, makes the leap, and falls. The only person to make this leap and survive was a child, with nothing but desperation and fear to spur him.

Bat man’s prison mate says:

“make the climb as the child did. Without the rope.”

He doesn’t need more strength; he needs to let go of his last tether to safety. He needs to know that there is nothing to break his fall, and he’s truly risking everything when he leaps.

This weekend was a time of removing my bat belt, my safety, my rope. Strand by strand, I unraveled and dissolved it, thanking it deeply for all the times it had saved me, but also recognizing that I hadn’t yet been ready for it. I wasn’t yet worthy of a bat-belt, a lightsaber, or a spear; I needed to learn to be strong on my own, first. Leaning on the assistance had me not trust my own strength or worth, to the point where I felt helpless, scared, certain I couldn’t make it on my own.

Dark Knight Rises: Prison Escape Scene

And so, I took off the rope. It was a painful, days’-long process.

I’m preparing for the climb again now.

These days had some victories: I discovered again how good exercise has me feel. On days I couldn’t go to the gym, I went on hour-long walks, bringing my focus to breath, and the feel of my feet on the ground as they rolled from heel to toe. I canceled some friend dates (thank you for being so understanding, friends ❤️) and I also reached out and called people, and wrote to one friend, when the despair got too heavy to carry alone. (Thank you for lending your steady strength and compassion in my dark pit, friends ❤️)

I’ve leaned on trainers, a counselor, and friends – but I haven’t leaned too much. There’s a balance. There’s a time when no one can prep us for the climb but ourselves.

I realized I had been hanging onto someone as he made the climb for us both, and we both fell.

But accepting help from community with deep gratitude is an important step for me. Hitting rock bottom and not being able to show a “perfect” face to the world has had me discover that many people are understanding, kind, and empathetic. They didn’t judge me. They didn’t even seem to think twice, just held me or let me cancel…

yes, there were those who surprised me with a lack of empathy, but having no resources to deal with that also made turning away from those few, and dropping those communications very easy.

There’s nothing like having absolutely nothing left, to teach a person how to say no, and how to say thank you.

And so here we are at Day 8 of the training. I’ve bribed myself with inspiring shirts to get me in the mood to go work out 😉

Day 8: Padawan

I’ve stuck with the challenge of dietary change (I’ll put a sample day’s meals here, one of these blog posts…maybe tomorrow …), of drinking half my body weight in ounces of water daily, (not as hard as it sounds, especially if you get some exercise in,) and of exercise.

I have discovered that I am most unhappy when I don’t allow myself to be as expansive as my nature demands: so when I was living in the “shoulds” of: closed off, reproachful blame, and victimhood; when I wanted above all things to understand why, I felt sick. I don’t need to know someone’s reason – all I need to know is that they chose.

As soon as I allowed myself to do what people told me I “shouldn’t,” which is: love, forgive, understand, be okay about things, let go, be actually happy about things just as they are, AND continue to wear my rings because they mean that I belong to myself now, and are inscribed a with these words: Present and Wonder, that I must live in now,

I felt better. I feel – good.

Ready to make the climb and leap with no rope, no bat belt.

What if I fall? Oh,but my darling,what if you fly? -Erin Hanson

To Build a Fire

“You attract to yourself what you give your attention and energy to, whether wanted or unwanted.” – Abraham Hicks

Re-evaluating the focus.

Are you focusing more on complaints or negative things that are out of your control, than you are on gratitude for the good things that are present, and the things you want in your life?

It takes a minor shift to re-focus the lenses and give no more energy to people or things that are draining.

Toxicity in my environment (neighbor burning wood smoke night and day) VS. doing what I can to stay healthy by nurturing my body with clean, nutritious, organic, whole foods.

People who are in psychic pain of some kind and choose unkindness VS. the many people in my life, home and community who are loving…my friends who make me laugh…

“Shoulds,” and More Societally Acceptable 9-5 jobs VS. Creating my own unique and incredible livelihood…

I know which I would choose to focus on, every time.  But when you let the toxic or negative things build up, it’s easy to get into reactive mode and let your mind churn away on little mean, petty things that unhealthy people say or do, out of their own pain.  Sometimes we go over and over the harms like we’re sliding prayer beads through our fingers… what if we shifted that, and replaced all those bad things with affirmations? What if we stopped trying to control others (which is part of what hanging on to perceived wrongs is all about) and started practicing radical self-care?

Let it all go, now…that is not your burden to carry.  Do what you can to clear it out. Take a walk, and breathe it out to the trees. Release it.  Do a mikveh… meditate…

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Climb into your dirigible, sail above it all, and let your imagination soar.

Worry is just negative daydreaming.  Sometimes it seems like adults have forgotten how to daydream…

What about practicing that again?  No rules, no limits, no self-editing – your beautiful daydream is waiting for you to open the door, come outside and play.

There will *always* be people who choose to remain safe, and there will always be people who try to tie everyone around them down to their grey vision of plodding, “should”-oriented life.  There will always be critical people – but one does not have to focus on these things. One does not have to try to please.

For heaven’s sake!  Shake them off!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  – Mark Twain

I remember when I began to (naïvely) tell people that Juilliard was my dream school.
“Better have a billion backup choices.” “No one *ever* gets in there.” “Why would you want that? You’d be better off doing something practical.”

I said I was going to get in, and I got in.

Doesn’t matter that my passion and drive shifted. Doesn’t matter that I am not focusing on acting right now– I use the things I learned at that incredible school every single day. (Alexander in boxing, you’d better believe it 😉

If you have a dream, don’t focus on the ones who want to chip away at it (even if – *especially* if- they are coming from a caring place, wanting to protect you from the hurt they’ve experienced. The fears, worries, concerns and attempts to stifle you, encourage you to dream smaller…all that is about them, not you.)

Focus on the dream. Focus on the desire. Focus on working toward it every day. Just a little every single day.

Do one thing every day that will bring you closer to, or hone your skills for, your dream- whatever it is you dream you can do. Begin it…and don’t stop.

That’s the secret… hone your body, mind and spirit; nurture your heart, and keep going.

This is a note to self.  I’m pretty hard on myself in this arena, and I’m learning positive ways to re-frame the self-talk, through my life coaching (life-saving!) program.  I’m learning to temper the inner Boxing Coach voice with much compassion and love…and I’m grateful for that Celtic fire in my heart that doesn’t give up.

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