Transitioning from dreams to reality

A love letter to my body: prompted by Sheloves magazine

In Uncategorized on July 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I know it has been a while since writing on here and can’t promise it will happen again in the near future, but a dear friend posted a challenge on Shelovesmagazine that I just couldn’t resist. Well, maybe not a challenge, more like a healthy nudge. So here I am writing a love letter to my body. So timely since these last couple of months have been a season of transition on the body-love level. So, here’s my letter:

Dear Body,

I have typed and re-typed this letter about five times because I just don’t know where to start. I want to apologize a million times over while equally praising and thanking you for patiently absorbing past abuse. You weren’t created to be destroyed, yet you persevered through years of sabotage and are proving to be stronger than ever. I guess that’s how the line goes though isn’t it: what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger? But, of course you know that because I tried to kill you countless times and each time you developed a new skill to thwart my attempts. And to think I was so angry when you proved strong…

Looking back, I crumble with despair at how focused I was on empty expectations. We both know I based our relationship on your weight, body fat, and ability to thrive off minimal amounts of sleep and fuel. All for what? So that you could match some unattainable requirement set by some person who I don’t know in some city where I have no desire to live. I definitely didn’t have my priorities in order.

I want to kneel down and beg that you forgive me, and actually, I think we need to take a moment to acknowledge everything I put you through, so yes, that is exactly what I will do right now. . . .

How is it that you have already forgiven me? How is it that we sit here in harmony, able to work as a team; and that you patiently listen as I still sometimes seek other’s opinions before knowing that you are everything and more. I promise I will work on that. I love you, and not because of what you look like (although, I’ve gotta say that you, my dear, are stunning). I promise I will also work on saying that and letting it stick. I love you because of what and Who you represent, and for your capacity to so graciously engage with my many demands. More specifically:

Brain – Thank-you for continually impressing me with your capacity to learn and think and imagine. And seriously, thanks so much for always knowing what to say for my academic papers!

Eyes – You have a way of showing me the world that is indescribable. I am sorry that Soul sometimes gets in the way of you showing me an accurate picture of Body. Work in progress.

Ears – Do you know the impact you have on Body’s ability to function? The way you help Brain hear university lectures, or Legs stay on tempo to music when we dance: impact.

Nose – Mmm. From safety to tasty, your function helps me enjoy nourishment and stay alert.

Arms and Legs – You are definitely separate, but I put you together because you are such a team! I know we are running more now and I can’t thank you enough for powering through the miles even when Brain tries to make you stop!

Feet – You support this machine. What else need I say? It’s fun putting nail polish on you too.

Body, I know we have had some rough times, but I also know we are in this together. I love that you are mine. When God dreamed us into existence, He placed YOU and ME together for a purpose.

Me and you and you and me,

no matter how they toss the dice it has to be… (The Turtles)

So honoured and blessed and excited to be doing life with you.

Much love always and forever,

Tash xo




On: Sheloves withdrawal & choosing not to jump ship

In Uncategorized on September 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm

For the past year I have had the honour of writing for Shelovesmagazine. Although I wrote a wednesday wellness piece, I found that writing was a way for me to stay focused on personal health. No matter what was going on during my week, my learning was always honed in (usually very late on Tuesday nights) and I was reminded to consider the priorities of my moment.

Well, it has been less than two weeks since taking a step back from Sheloves and I am noticing a need to sit with my computer and debrief recent experiences. 23 days since I moved to a new town, started a new job and entered graduate school. Also 23 days since my social life was overtaken by paper writing and Disney princesses.

Currently living in a house with 10 teenaged, professional-division ballerinas, I have been dubbed Mama Bear and am the go-to woman for most of their Calgary motherly needs. Yes, my e-mail and phone number have been given to their teachers, doctors and extra-curricular planners. Yes, I have so far experienced a 911 call, trip to Children’s Hospital, enough flu symptoms to last a life time, and the joys of reminding myself to be patient in regards to their less than professional dish-washing skills. But the key to this experience is that I am reminded of my commitment to “house mother” them to the best of my abilities…. even on the days where all of my abilities seem to have vanished.

Have you ever felt complete peace stepping into a situation and owned it, but then compared it to other opportunities and wished you could trade it in ASAP? This past week has been that exact situation where, I thought I was completely content with my job, but then began comparing it to other opportunities and yearned for a chance to switch things up. To get even more real: I became overwhelmed with the amount of time being a mother takes and researched other job postings online. What did I find? Postings for jobs that require I work half the time, yet pay more than my full-time parenting position. And I got frustrated. Heck, I even had a couple of my friends convinced that my applying for a different job was “part of the plan”.

And then I got convicted.

Remember that awesome parable about workers in a vineyard being frustrated with receiving the same pay as others who had worked less time? Yeah, that one in Matthew 20: 1-16. Well, last night an internal whisper pointed out that I am being one of those whiny workers. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into when I accepted this position; I knew that the pay is less and the responsibility more. However, I also knew the job was mine from the moment I glanced at the posting. Not in a cocky way, but in a way where I saw a light shining down this path and felt a nudge to walk within it. Unfortunately, this past week I disregarded the perfection and highlighted the flaws. Worst. Choice. Ever.

So what happened that caused me to freak out? A combination of: (trust me, I have noticed the pattern of these repeat offenders when it has come to triggers) lack of sleep, lack of exercise, lack of homework, lack of fellowship with people over the age of 15, too much negative self-talk, and a multitude of new experiences that need to be debriefed with my Creator.

What am I going to do about this minor shake? Go back to my 3 P’s and focus on #2: PLANNING. Like the corny old saying says: He who fails to plan, plans to fail. I am aware of the cause for my distress and recognize it would be beneficial to: sleep more, exercise more, do my homework sooner, invest in relationships with people my age (who live closer than a skype date away), speak a little nicer to myself, and share my experience with the Lord before I crash.

It’s ironic that one of my biggest triggers is the hardest issue to change: spend more time in relationships with people my age who live closer than a skype date away. Sigh. Snowball into: admit that I am not super woman and need tangible relationships; ask my boss about my promised weekend off; put down roots in Calgary and develop new relationships despite my fear of needing to say good-bye too soon; remind myself that gaining a new friend does not mean less space for old ones.

If this were a therapy session, around now would be the time where I asked the client how they hoped to take a step towards developing some tangible friendships (assuming this was their priority goal). My response: I will pick one acquaintance to reach out to this week and maybe ask if they are interested in going for lunch or coffee. I will also choose not to feel defeated if they are busy or not interested and, if needed, I will ask someone else.

I felt the need to post this beautiful portrait that one of my girls created on our Chores board. Notice any resemblance between me and the “Mom”?? 🙂

Removing the blindfold

In Uncategorized on February 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm

As many of you know, I have re-located my life 15 hours north of comfortable. This move was technically for work, but I am quickly learning that my new “dream job” was bate to remove me from my over-functioning environment. When packing I was aware of the weight requirements put on luggage, and in the hopes of fitting in one more pair of jeans (which I later learned was pointless as jeans aren’t part of the dress code at work), I removed my journal and planted it on the shelf at my parents house. I have been regretting that decision ever since and have yet to find an appropriate replacement while my journal takes its own little sabbatical.

So, for the time being, this shall be my canvas. The place where I plop the colours of experience and blend the shades until they produce a masterpiece. My prayer is that I don’t waste a minute. I have recently learned how easy it is to fill the “gaps” of life with aimless fluff, producing nothing more than regrets and the learned acceptance of impartiality. I am writing this week’s Sheloves column on “gaps” and I look forward to hearing your thoughts in response.

But back to now. This very moment. Sitting cross-legged on my under-stuffed dorm room computer chair, trying to ignore my stomach’s anger from filling it with chocolate and coffee due to an aimless moment during an earlier “gap”. This week was supposed to be the time when I hit the ground running, embracing the goals set with the counsellor I hired as an aspect of “self-care”. Unfortunately, the counsellor was fired before being fully hired and I neglected to find a moment to pray or journal about tomorrow. Tomorrow has come and gone about seven times and I find myself lost, blindfolded, and stumbling through unknown foliage, grasping at the branches in the hopes that one will talk.

The great news is that I just took the blindfold off. I think sometimes we stumble around, forgetting about our two hands that are capable of untying the light shielding material. I have found myself in a pause/breath/moment where all is still and the decisions I make bare heavily on tomorrow. I feel like it will take more than one decision to embrace this season, but I will start with one because that will surely lead to the next.

Today’s decision involves this blog and my priorities. I have decided to give myself permission to be real. I’m in a weird place where the life I used to dream of has been handed to me, but I am not the person I had imagined in this life. Sure, my hair and style have changed to that of a “professional counsellor” (whatever that means), but everything else still needs to grow up. Once again, I am faced with the reminder that I will never officially arrive. I will be growing and running and learning until I take my last breath. I am ok with that. I love learning and growing, but I am currently lacking discipline and know my “learning, growing, running” season will bare more fruit when the track comes back into focus.

So here I am, pausing before turning the lens back into focus. I will rest in this pause a little longer, slightly afraid of what reality will tell.