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Over the next few weeks we’ll be exploring the theme of balance in a series I’m calling Hacking a Yoga Sutra:  Balance, When to Push Harder and When to Let Go.

We begin with defining balance and it’s components according to a yoga sutra.  Look for parts 2 and 3 (how not to live in extremes, regaining balance) in the coming weeks!

~Namaste!  Thanks for reading,

Eryn

 


 

How do you know when you are out of balance?

Do you only notice when you start to snap at people, when you’re feeling sluggish at work, when you’re binging on ONE category of life (only working, only partying, only eating, only sleeping etc.)?  Or maybe when you find yourself compulsively trying to control things around you.

What is “balance”, anyway?

Balance is defined as the equilibrium of power between opposing forces or the point between two opposite forces that is desirable over purely one state or the other. Most of us try to return to a constant state of stability, to re-balance when thrown off (think homeostasis of a self-correcting system). Yet, how balance is created, regained or maintained over time is a bit more murky: often there’s a lot of new age talk about self-care and moderation in all things.

In whichever context, regaining balance is easier said (or cleverly placed in a meme) than actually done.  You know, lived out and achieved. Balance is the stuff of acrobats, yogi gurus and nutritionists.

How do everyday people find balance?

In a yoga class recently (where I have been learning physical balance on the mat), the instructor was talking about yoga sutras and the ideas therein about effort, ease and balancing the two.  Apparently, these sutras have long defined and suggested underpinnings of balance. It’s in the context of successful yoga poses, sure, but I detect usefulness on a universal level.

 


 

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Chapter 2.46  contains the phrase “Sthira Sukham Asanam” which refers to a yoga posture “being firm yet happy, steady yet comfortable.”  T. K. V. Desikachar describes the state of satva (equilibrium or balance) as “attention without tension, loosening-up without slackness.”

Sukha is the ease and softness needed in a yoga pose while Sthira is the effort and steadiness required. Together they interplay to create a pleasantly balanced pose.  Sukha and Sthira are dialectical opposites, yet complimentary:

Sukha                                            Sthira
Ease                                         Steadiness
Relaxation                                  Alertness
Letting Go                               Holding On
Allowing                                Pushing Oneself
Release                                         Strength
Surrender                                       Effort
Softening                                      Firmness
Vulnerability                                In Control

The literal translation of Sukha is “having a good axle hole.”   Ha, ha, right, “if only my axle hole were better, I would feel more at ease.”  Seriously though, maybe my axle hole is kind of difficult at times…

Sukha is a unique way of envisioning being at ease, open, surrendering to what will come.  Many people resist “letting go”, assuming it may be followed by things falling apart!  We like to feel we are in control so, often, we cling to things in an effort to allay anxiety.  As Americans, our focus tends to be very do-do-achieve-think-make-it-happen Sthira-focused.  But what if letting go didn’t have to be synonymous with things falling apart? 

Perhaps letting go allows things to fall into place.

 

current music faves:  new tori amos, silversun pickups

current show faves:  breaking bad, revisiting the wonder years

breakfast today:  pineapple coconut greek yogurt with granola, everything bagel

Visit me at www.erynsmithmoeller.weebly.com

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Recently a lot of things happened to me.  I won’t go into it all, but a lot of gut-wrenching, confusing, ugly things piled up in the span of about 3 weeks.  Tears were shed, I noticed my shaking voice and shaking hands as I tried to compose myself and make sense of what was going on with this pile-up of misfortunes in one area of my life.   Maybe there is a “reason” that these things are happening… to get my attention about something.

So I started wondering:  what does shaking “tell us”?  What about being shaken up by events in life?

When We Shake Because of Life

Why do we tremble or shake sometimes?  There might be vibrations, agitation so deep it’s involuntary; equilibrium is being disturbed somehow.  I know my arms start to shake in yoga if I’ve held downward-facing-dog for too long.  Shaking can be a sign of your muscles working so hard they are threatening to give out.

Sometimes when I tremble it’s because I’m emotionally thrown off or upset and my body is trying to cope.  It’s a sign I’m attempting to adapt to what’s happening around me.

As a psychotherapist who specializes in trauma, I also know that shaking can be part of the trauma response, even years after the actual event has ended.  Often there is pent up “fight-or-flight” energy stored in the body and, when finally discharged in therapy, can come out in a physical release, including shaking, crying, etc.

Of course, most people think it uncivilized or inappropriate to shake, cry or flail–all of which are the body’s natural pressure valve, the way the body normalizes following a trauma.  So, let yourself feel, let yourself move, allow yourself to let go.  Trust you are shaking for a good reason.  Listen for what that reason might be…

I know anxiety, anticipation, fear of uncertainty may be present for me if I feel myself start to shake.  Our bodies often give clues as to what’s going on for us–there’s a physical sensation that “goes with” an emotional or psychological phenomenon.

When Life Shakes Us Up

Let’s contrast here, what about feeling “shaken up”?  How is that different? 

Feeling shaken up is often more about things happening that are unsettling, things going wrong in some big ways followed by an Aha! moment.  Maybe we are shaken out of a place of being stuck, dislodged from a place we may not have even been fully aware we were at a full-stop, unmoving, or not growing. 

Sometimes you might be shaken up and realize you need to get out of a familiar-but-abusive relationship or a work-place.  But leaving the familiar means opening to a non-abusive yet unknown place.  Sometimes it’s a wake up call to look to the bigger picture and what really matters.  Being shaken up can be an opportunity, even a blessing, to awaken to the previously hidden realities of a harmful situation.

Whether physically shaking or emotionally waking up to stagnation in our lives, the data we get from these experiences can increase our awareness of what’s really going on and invite us to ask ourselves what we want to do about it.  It can be an opportunity to be curious about how our overall equilibrium was disturbed (is there a status quo you are no longer “ok” with, one that needs to change, needs to be thrown off perhaps?). 

Are you working too hard for too little gain?  Are you staying in a toxic situation when it no longer makes sense to do so?  Have you grown complacent to a bad situation you’ve refused to acknowledge is growing toxic?  Or maybe you know it’s toxic and just haven’t found the time to DO anything about it?  Your body, your mind, hell, The Universe may be tugging on your sleeve to  w  a  k  e    u  p!

Maybe it’s time to listen deeper.  Maybe it’s time for a change.  The Shake-Up may be trying to say ‘Trust and be open to the unknown’ or ‘You are worthy of a better situation, don’t waste another minute here!’.  If life has shaken you up, maybe even try shaking your body and see what it feels like!  Shake and awake!  Connect with this shake-up situation and invite the wisdom in.

Pay attention to the trembling self, to the shaken up self. 

Sometimes you need to shake off the things you can’t control, or take control of the things that are no longer serving you. 

Awaken to the reality you are allowing in your life. 

Make the most of the things you can control and find a way back to the big picture of what brings you the most joy.  Trust the shake up!

sky

current music faves:  sharon van etten, icona pop

current show faves:  the good wife, silicon valley, grey’s anatomy

breakfast today:  sausage, egg and cheese sandwich, iced tea

Visit me at www.erynsmithmoeller.com

If you haven’t heard of Brene Brown yet, she is a hot TED Talk speaker and psychological researcher specializing in the study of vulnerability and shame.  Here is one of her TED Talks that captivated me recently:


  
I just love her ideas.  So much of what she talks about in terms of the strengths of people who are willing to lead with vulnerability and authenticity line up with the sister-ideas around the value of accepting and sitting with ambiguity.  In fact, Brene Brown notes that “Vulnerability is not weakness (and the myth that it is is dangerous).  Being vulnerable means taking emotional risks, risking exposure, embracing uncertainty“.  She believes ones’ willingness to be vulnerable is “the most accurate measurement of courage”.  Wow.
 
People who have a sense of worthiness, belonging and being loved believe they are worthy of it.  According to Brene Brown, these people have in common:  the courage to be imperfect, to have compassion (kind to others and themselves), and end up being in better connection with others as a result of their authenticity.  She calls this whole thing being “Whole-Hearted”, to love with your whole heart even though there’s no guarantee of not getting hurt.

I just picked up her book Daring Greatly, named after a quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

 

“It is not the critic who counts; not the
man who points out how the strong man
stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could
have done them better.
 
The credit belongs to the man who is
actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust
and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly;
who errs, who comes short again and again,
 
because there is no effort without error
and shortcoming; but who does actually
strive to do the deeds; who knows great
enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends
himself in a worthy cause;
 
who at the best knows in the end the triumph
of high achievement, and who at the worst, if
he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

I am loving it… with my Soft Animal Body.  I just had to share these ideas with my fellow Whole-Hearted ones out there.

 
current music faves:  lana del ray, tuneyards

current show faves:  downton abbey, shameless

breakfast today:  everything bagel and laughing cow cheese

Why, hello there.  I know its been a while since I’ve posted…  I caught myself “waiting” to have something “wise” to say.  But really, ambiguity has come to live with me lately and I’ve been… uncomfortable?  Annoyed?  Impatient?  In denial…!

I NEED to face the uninvited ambiguity that has come to stay. 

I have written much about the gifts of learning to sit with ambiguity, the freedom that can come if you just accept the unknown.  I see now that I’ve been running away from the ambiguity that has begun to roost in my life.  I refused to see it until now.  It’s almost like I refused to admit I was not using my skills for sitting with what is unknown.  Instead I fought tooth and nail to make the unknown known.  I have caused myself suffering because of this, yes, but I also have been humbled by the experience of ambiguousness choosing me rather than me choosing it, as I have had the luxury of doing in the past.

Ambiguity has been seeping into my life for months:  my partner’s job search starts and stops, the unknown way we still try to get bills paid, month after month (on one salary instead of two), the threats and hopes that have peeked through the clouds of my career–all of this has not made for a very stable existence.  I find it interesting that there has been all of this rich ambiguity and it’s only now occurred to me to post about it.  On my blog about sitting with ambiguity(!).   

Perhaps, in order to survive–just get through it– I’ve been white-knuckling it, keeping my head down and complaining a lot about why I can’t know how it will all turn out.

It’s been indescribably difficult to not know what is going on in my life.  I’m sorry, but it has.  If it were one thing I was unsure of, I could handle it.  Maybe two things; piece of cake.  But with ALL the things being so very up in the air?  A silent panic slipped around my heart and apparently I’m just now noticing. 

Of course, I also have the luxury of writing today from a place of greater certainty.  And I have to admit, it is an immense RELIEF!  My partner found a job! (Hallelujah.)  At my agency job, things have turned out to be amazingly more hopeful and empowering than threatening. 

It honestly feels like I have been bracing for getting hit with the unknown for months and I finally know its safe to come out of the bomb shelter.  What is now known is:  it is safe.  So, I suppose I realize it was NOT safe for all those months.  Maybe deep down I couldn’t risk realizing just how scary all this uncertainty was (or felt)?  Uncertainty that comes to stay is freaking hard.  It seems normal to want at least some “knowns” you feel you can count on. 

You know, it’s great to face the unknown with courage and hope.  But if you run like hell, just know that you are human!

I have to wonder if I was running so hard from actual danger or merely the pain of not-knowing. 

current music faves:  lana del ray, dirty projectors

current show faves:  bunheads (hate the name, love the show), great food truck race, totally biased with kamau bell

breakfast today:  steak ‘n shake pancakes, sausage, eggs

Recently, I attended a training on trauma and I heard the same old/ same old stuff.  I was practically yawning.  Then I noticed a new idea that really felt crucial to my understanding of trauma.  Essentially, a common definition of trauma was presented:  Trauma occurs when an event overwhelms a person’s ability to cope.  The greater the level of trauma experienced the more coping, or control, that is needed.  I sat up straighter and listened harder when I heard the word “control”.  I had never thought to link coping to a need for control.  When trauma happens often control has been taken away from the survivor.  It makes sense she or he would seek greater empowerment or control following a traumatic event, especially one in which they were helpless in the moment.

Many survivors of trauma cope—during and after the trauma itself—by finding ways to be in control again.  Please note that I’m talking about being in control of Self here, not controlling others.  They often control either by dissociating (pretending they are somewhere else in their heads when abuse is happening, for example) or by insisting on getting their way in the non-trauma part of their lives.  Maybe it’s no surprise that many anorexics are trauma survivors clinging to being able to control the one thing that is truly theirs to control—their bodies (it’s truly an effort to feel in control about their lives, though, ironically it’s destructive to their safety).  The correlation between “coping” and “control” was immediately intriguing for me since it married two ideas that come up a lot in trauma counseling work.

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Being self-controlling is potentially a strategy to stave off being hurt, disappointed, re-traumatized.  Trauma survivors who live their lives with a controlled grip on everything are doing it to possibly keep the anticipated new trauma out.  Psychology has a term for this; “proactive coping” – coping with the aim of heading off a future stressor.  Makes sense. 

But, when does this way of coping using control go too far? 

I have worked with trauma survivors who describe, usually in a light-bulb moment , the realization that their over-control of the world around them is actually robbing them of the ability to build relationships, trust others, let others in emotionally or allow themselves to take calculated risks of vulnerability (being willing to fall in love has to involve the flip-side of being willing to be potentially hurt).  The control was needed in the then-and-there but is now backfiring in the here-and-now of the person’s life.  Sigh.  Thank you coping strategy, you were very helpful.  Now I need you to stop.

Many survivors of trauma have experienced violations of safety, betrayals of trust, feelings of helplessness/ absence of control, often at the hands of an abusive parent or partner who abused their power over them.  It makes sense that  allowing someone else to be “in control” or letting go of being “so controlling” would be difficult given a history of being hurt by those close enough to do such damage.  Years after a trauma, many survivors often feel completely terrified to let go of controlling things and really trust another human being or even a higher power such as god.  It can feel impossible to put faith in someone else that their needs will get met—it can feel like taking a huge risk of getting hurt again.  It’s scary to risk the possibility that needs could go unmet after finally trusting.  And I guess the point is not that it’s silly to not trust when it’s totally safe out there—no—there is likely some amount of risk or “danger” that you could get hurt on some level (even emotionally).  The point is not to convince the Self it is safe when it isn’t.  What counts is to get to the point where it’s ok for things to not be 100% safe, to learn to take a risk, to trust when conditions are optimal, to trust yourself that you could handle it even if it isn’t safe. 

Trauma survivors I’ve worked with in counseling have told me that they get exhausted of doing it all, controlling it all, all by themselves.  And that it gets lonely in that artificial “ivory tower” of control, looking down at others insisting “it really is better this way”; to be independent and separate and safe.  The thing is, this idea that things can be completely controlled is a false.  No matter how controlled someone is, a new trauma could still occur.  There are no guarantees.  Not everything can be controlled, no matter how hard you try.  Thus, “being in control” is an illusion but one that people cling to in order to survive.

I see learning to let go of controlling-coping ways as utilizing the skill we discuss so much here on this site, the skill of tolerating ambiguity.  It is indeed rational on many levels for survivors of trauma to be active in staving off future trauma by being rigid and controlled when it comes to possibly trusting others (this smacks of risk-aversion we’ve talked about before here).  Yet it can rob survivors of a vibrant, lush, in-the-moment experience of life.  This reminds me of the dialectic between Change versus Acceptance that’s discussed so much in DBT.  Without acceptance (letting go) you cannot have change (peace, growth, freedom from trauma).  It’s ironic:  by holding so tightly to control, many men and women continue to be controlled by trauma from the past.  It holds them back in the present.  For those who want to risk coming down from the ivory tower of complete safety, learning to sit with the ambiguity of what could happen—learning to befriend the unknown—could be a door to taking a few risks and possibly leading to greater personal freedom and growth. 

There’s a lot more we could talk about relating to this topic in regards to spirituality, faith, abundant-thinking versus scarcity-thinking.  Maybe we will go exploring these ideas a little deeper real soon.

I ran across this idea this week.  Let’s end on this bit of food for thought:

The Unknown + Trust = Exhileration

The Unknown + Doubt = Dread

current music faves:  katy perry, sufjan stevens, abba

current show faves:  the killing, mad men, happy endings

breakfast today:  toast with nutella and sliced bananas, chocolate milk

Would it surprise you to hear that in 1977 the head of safety and pilot for KLM airlines, a Capt. Van Zanten, became so concerned with mandatory rest periods for himself and other pilots even when finding his plane stranded at Tenerife airfield (after being diverted to the airport due to a terrorist bomb explosion) went against his own safety protocols because he was determined to save time?

When the stranded plane got word that they had clearance to proceed to their destination they were already in the middle of a “time-saving” refueling and could not interrupt the 35 minute process, further frustrating Van Zanten.  While the refueling completed, a thick blanket of fog began descending on the runway with a worsening visibility of 300 meters.  Fog descending, Van Zanten was ready to take off before an overnight stay on the island became unavoidable which would serve to further delay the aircraft.  Van Zanten revved up the engines while his copilot nervously noted they did not have clearance from the tower to take off.  Taking off anyway, Van Zanten sped down the runway, the plane’s fuselage ripping through the top of PanAm plane parked on the runway that was hidden by fog.  Van Zanten, his entire crew and all his passengers were killed in the crash.  584 people lost their lives that day.

Afterward, investigators at the airfield realized that the fog contributed to the tragedy but they also concluded that Captain Van Zanten was irrationally frustrated and rushed to irresponsible action.  The Captain seemed to have experienced an irrational overreaction to a perceived loss of time.  This example illustrates how our aversion to loss plays out in our own decision making.

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Think about when you rent a car, they push extra insurance coverage called “loss damage waiver”.  Who doesn’t want a waiver for potential loss?!  Many people are quick to want to shell out money that will cover something bad that might possibly happen.  We often opt for the coverage, you know, “just in case”.  This coverage is typically actually redundant in nature (!) since our own car insurance would automatically cover us should anything go wrong during the rental of the vehicle.  But we will take out an extra policy at an astronomical rate just to be doubly safe… paying for this helps us feel we are better avoiding loss.

The losses Van Zanten was trying to avoid were all downsides of the mandated rest period:  the cost of housing customers in nearby hotels, the chain reaction of delayed flights and, of course, the black mark on his shiny reputation for being on time.  Ori and Rom Brafman, authors of Sway:  The Irresistable Pull of Irrational Behavior, studied the Tenerife airfield case and cite that Van Zanten’s desire to avoid a delay started out innocently enough.  “At first he simply wanted to keep passengers on board to save time.   But as the delay grew longer, the potential loss loomed larger.  By the time an overnight delay seemed almost inevitable, Van Zanten was so focused on avoiding it that he tuned out all other considerations and, for that matter, his common sense and years of training.” 

What we can learn here is, “the more meaningful a potential loss is, the more loss averse we become.  In other words, the more there is on the line, the easier it is to get swept into an irrational decision.”  Just like Captain Van Zanten did on that runway back in ’77.  Adding to his irrational decision was the force of commitment to his plan to take off that night no matter what.  The authors of Sway emphasize that—when loss aversion is combined with commitment to an idea or course of action—the force becomes an even more powerful influence in shaping our thinking and decision making.  They point out that “our natural tendency to avoid the pain of loss is most likely to distort our thinking when we place too much importance on short-term goals.  When we adopt the long view, on the other hand, immediate potential losses don’t seem as menacing.”

We can see these irrational pulls in our thinking present in more every day matters as well.  Take eggs.  Yes, eggs.  Studies show that when the price of eggs goes up at the grocery store, even just a little bit, people react by buying 2 ½ times fewer eggs!  That’s quite a reaction to slight price increase.  Rom and Ori Brafman would argue a distinctly irrational reaction.  Another compelling example comes from a Harvard Business School Negotiations course.  Shared in Sway, Professor Bazerman introduces his “twenty-dollar auction” on the first day of class.  It begins with Bazerman holding a twenty-dollar bill in the air and offering it up for auction.  Anyone is free to bid in $1 increments and an understanding that the runner-up still honor his or her bid.  The bidding starts out fast and furious until reaching the $12-$16 range.  It’s at that point that people realize everyone has the same idea and suddenly it’s down to the 2 highest bidders.  Typically the highest bids are $17 and $16.  The $16 bidder realizes she (or he) must bid $18 or suffer a loss.

Now here it is again, the loss aversion irrational thinking…

Back to the twenty dollar auction, at the $18 mark, suddenly the goal shifted from looking to make a quick buck to not wanting to be the sucker who paid good money for nothing.  Now each bidder is merely playing not to lose.  Bazerman shares that at this point bidding becomes like a runaway train, with bidding going up past $21, the rest of the class going crazy with laughter at the audacity of the situation.  The Brafmans note that

“From a rational perspective, the obvious decision would be for the bidders to accept their losses and stop the auction before it spins even further out of control.  But that’s easier said than done.  Students are pulled by both the momentum of the auction and the looming loss if they back down—a loss that is growing greater by the bid.  The two forces, in turn, feed off each other:  commitment to a chosen path inspires additional bids, driving the price up, making the potential loss loom even larger.  So students continue bidding:  $21, $22, $23, $50, $100, up to a record $204”…!

Professor Bazerman reports that over the years that he has conducted the auction experiment he has never lost a penny and always donates the proceeds to charity.  The deeper the participants in the auction dig themselves into a hole, the more they continue to dig.

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Clearly, the sway of irrational thinking—namely loss aversion paired with commitment—affects most of us at some point and can be quite damaging.

The Brafmans, authors of Sway , have this to share regarding a kind of antidote to irrational thinking:

“Having a long-term plan–and not casting it aside–is the key to dealing with our fear of loss… Our natural tendency to avoid the pain of loss is most likely to distort our thinking when we place too much importance on short-term goals.  If looking far into the future is the way to avoid the faulty decision making that can result from loss aversion, the antidote to getting swept up in commitment—the force that keeps us from giving up on a project even though it’s clearly failing—is to don Zen Buddhist glasses and learn to let go of the past.”

I would add that it’s not just about future or past-orientation in our thinking but about being willing to let go of our perceptions in the moment, our expectations that are driving behavior in negative directions when not examined.  Practicing letting go of being in control would also help break the cycle of irrationality.

Being afraid of loss—and acting to avoid it—is normal, yes.  But is it actually more damaging sometimes?  I see an aversion to loss as a Big Bad Wolf to sitting with ambiguity.  Sometimes we are letting fear, rather than hope, drive the bus in our lives.  There are times when risking loss should be given another look, another try because the gains could out-way the losses.  In the case of Van Zanten if he’d risked losing time he would have gained being alive.

Being averse to loss is also often a way of being averse to uncertainty and ambiguity.  When we are less defensive about the possibility of loss and little more open to making room to risk a gain I think it tends to be a healthier, more well-rounded decision.  It reminds me of the discussion we had a few months ago about the counter-intuitive magic of Failure Club.

There’s a LOT of research out there about loss aversion and risk aversion biases out there, here’s a link to read more.  Keep in mind that loss aversion is a type of cognitive bias, many of which are unhealthy and need our attention and modification in order for us to be our healthiest selves.

current music faves:  the national, madonna, pixies

current show faves:  walking dead, the river, snl

breakfast today: home-made soy chorizo scramble skillets

Failure Club

Failure Club is one of those new Yahoo web shows/ Morgan Spurlock’s latest social experiment that explores what happens when people embrace the possibility of failure while helping each other go after their dreams.

The show asks the question “Is there something you always wanted to do but were too afraid to try?” 

It aims to reframe failure as a tool for self-enhancement, stripping away the idea that failure is wrong.  It focuses on 7 New Yorkers bravely chasing their dreams of learning to horse-jump, start new business ventures, become a stand-up comedian, etc; all while meeting weekly to support and encourage one another.  Their collective goal is to confront and embrace fear thereby emerging better and stronger people.

Questions explored by the participants experientially and in support-group format so far have included:  What if you “made friends” with failure, would you actually succeed more?  Would allowing yourself to flex your “vulnerability muscle” result in finding out what you are truly capable of?  Even if you don’t succeed fully, isn’t at least starting something you had been putting off partially a victory?  What if embracing failure could mean freedom to embrace anything in life?  Maybe perfection is just preventing us from practicing or trying to reach a meaningful “big” goal?  Maybe many of us let the fear of others judging us hold us back?

I find the idea of the show (and the progress the people have been making..!) fascinating.

One of my favorite things a Failure Club member said in the first episode was “I spent a decade giving a sh*t what people thought and all I got was… sh*t”.  I hear that.  I’m tired of caring so much what others think, letting that hold me back so I’m left with successfully not embarrassing myself– but also not having accomplished certain precious goals.  Anyone else out there relate?

Check out the show here.  I see clear connections to what has been discussed on this blog:  finding ways to get out of your comfort zone to enhance personal growth, facing anxiety head-on rather than avoiding it, trying to make the hard-but-right decisions in life, pursuing what you are passionate about in life even if it means being vulnerable and uncomfortable along the way, learning to sit with the ambiguity of not-knowing whether one will succeed but taking steps forward toward the goal anyway.

current music faves:  regina spektor, peaches, deb talan

current show faves:  alcatraz, project runway allstars, homeland

breakfast today:  trader joe’s breakfast burrito and hot sauce (highly recommended!), coffee with vanilla creamer