A little heart-to-heart in the wake of a heavy reality before we head into the weekend.
Happy Friday, friends. How was your week?
I feel like an asshole even saying that.
We’re all on the same page, I imagine: Thrilled it’s Friday. Eager for a little downtime. Happy to have something to look forward to and feeling a bit guilty for thinking exactly that. Still reeling in sadness, confusion and a yearning for palpable clarity and change in the wake of Las Vegas.
Yeah. I’m right here with you.
I know I said I was going to post a bit more of my travel content this week, but after the inexplicable tragedy that struck last Sunday I just couldn’t bring myself to hit publish. Or do much of anything else beyond emotionally refreshing my news feed.
I haven’t had much to say on the blog this week for many reasons (the aforementioned, mainly), but I’ve felt like I need to kickstart myself back to a state of “normalcy” and I knew talking about it with you authentically and up-front was the best way to do so. (That’s me, though.)
I’ll post my weekly link series tonight, but for now I’m just going to brain-dump… A little heart-to-heart of sorts that I hope you’ll benefit from too.
Life is confusing right now.
We talked about that in an “Unpolitical Post” I wrote earlier this year, but in sum:
“I’ve kept our community free of my own personal views, but that’s not because I don’t have an opinion; it’s because I like to keep it light. (And quite frankly, if you wanted to debate or consume political information, all you have to do these days is open your Internet browser.)
Like you, perhaps, I struggle with how to share my opinion in a way that’s informative, open-minded, meaningful and non-isolating to anyone. And when you have a platform, voicing an opinion is really intimidating. Like, am I missing any sides of the issue? Do I even know what the fuck I’m talking about?”
Tragedy consumes us in reflection.
Personally, when my heart is heavy, I turn the dialogue inward — sometimes for longer periods at a time.
I fear for my future and that of my friends and family (and you guys). I worry about our relationship with good ‘ol Mother Earth. I spiral in doubt about whether I’m really doing enough to make even the slightest dent of a difference. I feel guilty for not using my platform more vocally.
Voicing your beliefs and contributing to change is important, I know, but I’ve always felt that where I can make a difference or offer a sliver of value is through the form of empowerment.
(Remember that as I’m going to mention it again later: Where you can offer value.)
Life is all about accountability, right?
So, here’s a story from my week:
Yesterday, I went to a new(ish) boutique fitness studio with Jess called “Chill.” It’s part yoga, part meditation — and I’ve been putting it off for a long time. I’m very bad at meditating. I’m very bad at sitting still, actually.
So I found reasons not to go — despite the fact that Jess speaks so highly of the studio and the experience.
A huge reason for this — and it pains me to admit it — is because I haven’t really exercised since teaching my final SoulCycle class.
That was nearly 11 weeks ago.
And that’s not to say I haven’t tried. But that’s a brain dump for another day.
So I went.
And it felt good. It felt really good to just — well, move my body.
I felt vulnerable. And scared. Like everyone was staring at me looking for an explanation or something. (As far as I know, no one was, lol.) We push ourselves into that spiraled state of mind way too much, don’t we?
For a lot of the class — mainly the meditation aspect — I cried.
Not loudly or outwardly, just to myself. But I didn’t fight it. It was embarrassing and uncomfortable and painful, but it was also a release. And I knew I needed it.
I cried for the unimaginable things happening in our world and for all of the people suffering as a result. For the helplessness felt when we spiral ourselves around wondering what to do. And I cried in longing for the space in my life where I was once able to physically step up as a leader and a healer through my job as a fitness Instructor.
A release is generally what I need to get un-stuck from a cycle of helplessness, fear, vulnerability and so on. It’s usually uncomfortable. (You’re nodding, yes?)
We’ll touch on my current relationship with fitness at a later date (promise) — but for today, the point of what I’m saying is this:
Again, life is really confusing — consistently so, it seems.
But harboring hatred because you feel confused, angry, hurt or helpless (on a personal and/or communal level) is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to suffer. Obsessing over whether or not you’re doing every little thing to be a better person won’t actually make you a better person. And most of the time, we’ll ultimately never be able to comprehend the question of why.
I know. It’s not fair.
But here is what we can do:
Wake up, do your best and be thankful for all of it at the end of each day.
If you don’t know where to start, do something. Anything. Do the opposite of nothing.
Start small. Look in the mirror. Love the fuck out of yourself.
Take your time. Speak up. Get off social media. Don’t become numb to tragedy or allow the relationship between change and our world to feel overwhelming. Be positive. Be genuine. Give back within your means.
Smile. Don’t point fingers. Make everyone around you feel like they matter. Never underestimate your impact. Be kind to literally everyone and accept that the only way we really, truly, leave our footprint in this world is by impacting each others’ lives for the better.
Stop putting whatever it is that you want on hold. Learn to rest, not quit. Don’t let your fears control you. Embrace the uncomfortable moments — that’s growth. Lean into your vulnerabilities. Release.
Live compassionately, joyfully and without regret — and don’t feel guilty that you have the opportunity to do so.
In these moments of mayhem, focus on the little ways you can (and do) add value to our world. Remember that everything you do has a ripple effect…
To hold yourself back from connection, joy, love, and truly living the fuck out of your life (that is so damn precious) would indeed be giving “them” the victory that we’ll never let them win.
Life is raw, unfair, constantly confusing and often unexpected — but it is also beautiful… It really is. So while you’re able to, don’t forget to look around and see for yourself.
I hope you have a really good weekend — and I hope that you see to it that someone else does too.
All my love,
Endless love and respect to every single person who was living their best life at the Route91 Harvest in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017.