Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: emotional

Snorkeling – Maui

This view isn’t getting old anytime soon. I wrote my morning pages and ate breakfast out on the patio as planned. We didn’t have anything specific planned for today, so H decided we’d drive to south Maui and go snorkeling.

Now, I’ve never been snorkeling but I like the idea of it. I love fish and I love the ocean, so it should be instant love. However, last year H and I were caught in a rip right at our local beach (near the Venice Beach pier). Having no idea what was happening, of course I panicked, and a life guard came to my rescue. It was scary shit.

So when today’s first snorkel location looked like this, I wasn’t pleased:

My inability to calm my racing nerves, the pull of the tide, the waves breaking over these rocks and H’s insistence that I would be fine made this morning’s adventure not fun at all. I felt like I couldn’t keep up with H – that he was rushing me, pressuring me to move on to the next thing and pack in as much as possible. I was tired from our trip and looking forward to a relaxing first full day on vacation.

It took a car ride nap and a small discussion to sort things out.

Soon after, we found a beach near mile marker 14 that is not recommended by our guide book, but was a great place for me to acclimate to the snorkeling part of the swimming activity. It was splendid.

And once I did that, I felt ready enough to try Honolua Bay, which we did this afternoon. No pics of that though, since we’re paranoid people will steal our stuff.

Can’t wait to snorkel again.

Got The Memo

View from my brunch with friends yesterday. Can’t wait to be on the plane to Hawaii…

Ok, I’m finally hitting my limit with all of the wedding stuff. Excitement has turned back to anxiety. I feel panicked about not pleasing people, about having to change our plans because someone is inconvenienced or my actions completely offended them.

How the hell am I supposed to know?

I can’t and I don’t. We don’t. We’re trying our best and so fucking thankful for everyone’s help that it so catches us off guard when someone is miffed by a decision we’ve made.

“Are you freakin’ out?” people keep asking me…

And I think, “Uh. No. Did I miss the memo?”

But yes. Now I am freaking out. I’m tired, we still have a lot to do, and we’re only going to add on the stress of traveling and having lots of family around us in the next (5) days. Yesterday I felt so super accomplished with how much we’ve done, how close to our budget we’ve stayed, how amazing all the pieces are failing into place. We’re kicking ass.

Today was me defeated. H said something to me and I started crying. I feel like I want to crawl into bed and just hide. My hope is that a good night’s sleep gets me back on track.

Last full day of work tomorrow. That’s something to look forward to.

Anxiety vs Excitement

Yesterday, after a day of anxiety, I decided to reframe my anxiety and call it excitement. And oh my, did that shift things.

I’ve been reading through “Glad No Matter What” by SARK. She writes about nudging her feelings. When things feel a bit extreme and not so good, she says “recalculating” to herself (like a GPS) and she moves the emotional needle bit by bit until she’s processed her feelings.

Anxiety runs through my chest, right at the top of my diaphragm, where my ribs split apart. Excitement usually sits lower, a rippling in my stomach. For how they sit in my body, they’re pretty much opposite sides of the same coin.

Brene Brown talks about our inability to feel “negative” emotions, our tendency to numb those difficult emotions, actually keeps us from experiencing the highs as well. Same circuits. Not to mention, joy is a vulnerable place.

“…vulnerability is still just absolutely essential. That we can’t know things like love and belonging and creativity and joy without vulnerability, but in this culture of reflexive cynicism you better also really have an understanding of shame if you’re going to put yourself out there.” (TED blog)

And what is getting married if not PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE. Like the right of passage of vulnerability.

I can be quite stoic. In cases of extreme emotions, my face stays blank, absorbing other’s issues and processing things as quickly as possible. I’ve had people yell at me, “Why don’t you smile!?” People I don’t know. In public.

It makes sense I’m having a bit of trouble untangling my panic, worry and exhaustion from my joy, excitement and anticipation when it comes to the wedding.

So, I’ve changed the tape. Instead of thinking, “I’m so stressed / overwhelmed / panicked about the wedding” I think, “I’m SO excited!” and I feel much more energized and amazing about all of the tasks I’m  working through and the challenge as a whole.

Because planning a wedding is a bitch.

“I got a lot of lovin’ / got a lot of lovin’ / got a lot of love in heart…” lissie

Symbolic Spiders

Last night, I dreamt about a spider the size of a softball. It was a tarantula, a big, hairy, brown and black one. This was not a Godzilla dream – unfathomable monster comes crashing through walls – but like most of my dreams, it was realistic. I felt panic. Freaking out, I tried my best to stay calm. At one point the spider hung from the ceiling like a bad Halloween decoration and then swung violently around the room like those battery-operated planes in toy stores. It felt like it was lashing out, unpredictably and I was so scared that it was going to swing over my head. I was frantically ducking and shaking.

I don’t remember much else, but it was in no way a resolved. I woke up feeling scared and didn’t want to go back to sleep.

Curious about the symbolism of dream spiders, especially tarantulas, I did some searching.

Dream spiders are enigmatic, much like their waking life counterparts. On one hand, a spider may be seen as venomous, poisonous and as such may indicate a poisonous aspect of yourself, something causing you to engage in self-sabotage. Or it may indicate a toxic relationship, one that has an insidious hold one you, draining away your life force. It may also indicate that you feel trapped in a situation or relationship.

Spider webs, too, have different meanings. Even with the fear that spiders inspire, it is difficult to deny the ingenuity and marvelous creativity of their web building abilities. Seeing a spider building a web may indicate industriousness on your part, or a creative project coming into being. Alternatively, seeing a spider web may indicate a sticky situation, or a complex series of events or emotions. ~ Bella Online

The ups and downs I wrote about last night have to do with my relationship with my mother. Even though I do not regularly interpret my dreams, I found the below spot on.

The spider is also symbolic of feminine power or an overbearing mother figure in your life. Alternatively, a spider refers to a powerful force protecting you against  your self-destructive behavior. ~Dreammoods

I am sharing this because the above fits in a way that I’m able to articulate. My body, my subconscious felt and expressed this emotional complexity on a deeper, less tangible level. I do feel trapped in parts of my life, just not the parts my mother thinks. I do struggle with our relationship even as I try to heal. I have been self-sabatoging (who hasn’t?). As with all mother / daughter relationships, it’s a tricky situation, nothing that can be even remotely summed up here. And maybe that’s only a piece of the puzzle. Maybe I need more patience, as spiders rebuild their webs daily and wait for their food. Maybe I want to be more creative.

Just making a note of things.