Monday, May 4, 2015


Its no secret that breaking up is hard. I've written about it more than once on this very blog. I'm now finding that the getting back into dating might be just as hard. Let's get real it might be harder. When you're breaking up everyone expects you to be a mess so if you aren't you're some sort of super hero. Conversely you're supposed to love dating.

And I do love dating, the flirting, getting dressed to go out and meet someone for the first time, those initial sparks of attraction, love all of it.

But, let's be honest here, I've had two important long relationships and they came right after each other. I was so in love so early on in both relationships that I didn't have time to overthink or feel insecure.

Now is a little harder. I've made this conscious effort to not just jump into the next comfortable thing. I spent the time actually wrapping up the last relationship before diving into something new. I've been plugging along going on first dates and swiping right. I'm realizing just how hard it is for me to get real with people.

So the fun has been had. We have common interests, we're attracted, now I have to open up. I don't know if its because I'm older or I've had my heart broken more but its tough. Instinctually when I feel like my feelings might get hurt I try and push back or get out. I am incredibly lucky to have people around me that are gently pushing me forward, assuring me that I'm making good choices. That feeling of raw vulnerability is scary for me right now.

Its the feeling of a backbend. When you press up and straighten your arms and your heart is just out there exposed. Its scary as fuck. And pretty thrilling.  


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

retaining yourself

Its not my first time writing on this subject, I have a hard time saying no. I'm a natural pleaser, a caretaker. Of late I've been working on being more careful with how I go about putting those efforts out into the world. I've realized I don't want to change who I am, I love taking care of the people around me, I just don't want to get taken advantage of by people who don't care for me back. I want to retain who I am by surrounding myself with people who get it.

Yesterday I got a text from someone who hasn't treated my particularly well asking me for a favor. It was so in my nature to just do the favor for them that I had to stop myself from responding right away and think it through. How would I feel after I did the favor? Like garbage was the answer. I would resent that I had taken my time to do something for someone who would never appreciate it or thank me. It was hard for me but I referred them to someone who would be able to help them and stepped out of the situation.
Now obviously that didn't work perfectly because here I am writing about it the next day. There is a part of me that is still worried that I might have been too harsh or that I should have just done the favor because it wasn't that hard for me to do. The stronger part of me knows that had I done the favor I would be upset with myself. Its a growing pain for me.

A few weeks ago I traveled with a friend to the middle of Florida for a race she was competing in. Not to sugar coat it, it was a pain in the ass to deal with. I had to sub my classes, board my dog, and spend my weekend in a podunk town. And I loved every second of it.

So what's the difference? A tiny favor for someone vs. an entire weekend away - on the surface the weekend away seems like the greater effort. The entire weekend I knew how much my friend appreciated me being there. I didn't feel for a second like I was "doing a favor" I was just hanging out with my buddy and I couldn't help but feel all the love she was sending my way.

My work is surrounding myself with people for whom giving my love and effort to, doesn't feel like work, or a favor, or an effort. I'm working on curating relationships where I can just be myself and trust that the people I have surrounded myself with are there with all the right intentions.

I hope you find the same.

Namaste, Rachel

Saturday, February 14, 2015

selfish on valentine's

This year will be my first valentine's day that I'm not dating someone since I was in high school.  The part of me that loves being with someone, caring for someone, making them dinner on February 14 is incredibly sad. Romantically, I am on my own for the first time in my adult life.

#love #quotes

But there is another part of me.

The part of me that's been loving coming home from work to take my dog on a walk then ride my bike to practice yoga for two hours, before I come home and eat eggs and quinoa for dinner (this is my idea of an ideal evening). The selfish part of me that loves doing what I want, when I want, without checking in with anyone else. I love drinking my coffee standing in the middle of my kitchen.
I love blogging on a Saturday afternoon. I love taking two yoga classes in a row on a Sunday morning.

I have spent years dedicating my practice to something greater. Someone else, an idea, a goal, a thought, and cause. I ask my students to do it every week.  For the last few weeks I've been asking for something different from them and I've been dedicating my practice in a different way.  I've been asking myself and my students to dedicate their practice to themselves. Do what makes you feel good on the mat, nothing less, nothing more. Walk out feeling better than you did when you rolled out your mat. That is my purpose. Feeling better can mean mentally, physically, emotionally, whatever you need right now.

That's it. So simple.

Victoria Erickson (FB: Victoria Erickson, writer)

It has brought me incredible joy to practice in this way. In the way that months ago I found myself crying in pigeon, now there are times when I just crack into an uncontrollable smile. I am so damn happy with my life its overwhelming. 

I hope you're having a beautiful heart cracking Valentine's Day. I know I am.


PS. One of the things I love most about teaching is making a playlist, here is my Valentine's playlist. The perfect music to fall in love, get busy, and break up to. valentines yoga 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

you can't always get what you want, but its worth asking

I'm not great at asking for what I need.

Who am I kidding? I'm terrible.

I don't like to ask for help, I don't tell even those closest to me when I could really use them. Its not because I have some idea that I should be strong or I don't want to owe someone its because I like to be the caretaker. I want to be the one to help you when you're sick or tired; I don't want to burden anyone with my needs.

My great joy comes from cooking for someone who is busy, bringing them something they've forgotten. In college my friends called me "mama rach," clearly with reason.

This way of thinking has unfortunately led to the consequence that I seem paralyzed to ask for what I want. Last week I asked for something at work and was met with an offer that I could have what I wanted, sort of. My immediate reaction was to say, "OK close enough, I'll take it." But, that really wasn't what I was looking for.

I was encouraged by a friend to stick up for myself and demand what I really want, nicely of course.

You know what? I got it. I asked for what I wanted and was karmically rewarded. 

On the other hand last week I also failed miserably in asking for help. I was moving and wanted to be able to do it on my own like the fierce chick I am. Moving is really the pits, I knew I was going to have a tough time, yet I just refused to tell my people that I needed them there. I insisted up to the very moment I was loading the truck that I didn't need anyone.

It was miserable. I was so unhappy to be on my own dealing with the stresses of moving. But then my people did show up, they brought lunch, they helped build furniture, they hung pictures. I needed that moment on my own, that moment of being uncomfortable, of being reminded that asking for help is ok, before they swarmed in and saved me.

settling into our new place
Community is invaluable. Even as someone who loves to care take, I'm making an effort to tell people what I need and ask for what I want. I'm learning that when you take care of others, the good ones, the ones worth taking care of, want to take care of you right back. Letting them is the real work.