How is your Oxygen intake?

Have you ever thought of how is your oxygen intake? I usually think on how much water I drink. I count how many calories I am consuming. I think and reflect on how much I am exercising and how what I eat affects my body, but I cannot recall a moment in which I have counsciously ask myself of how much oxygen am I inhaling. How am I breathing? Am Iusing my lungs to their fullest potential?

It never occur to me that this is an important topic to think deeper about. I know that I need oxygen to live, but I am definitely a person that has taken it for granted. The book I started reading a couple of days ago adresses this question. As a matter of fact it is dedicated to this question. Pam Grout, on Jumpstart Your Metabolism: how to lose weight by changing the way you breath, adresses the issue that we do not talk enough about the basics of losing weight and living a fullfiling life, which to my surprise is all related to our oxygen intake.

We definitely adress the topic in general, but we are looking for solutions on the consequences and not on the causes of our overweight or lack of energy. We know that oxygen is good and yoga has done a great job with this. Also all the meditation gurus talk about breathing and how it is a great way to center yourself. Plus as simple as we cannot spend that much time withouth breathing (3 minutes to be precise).  “Breathing is the most underrated activity on the planet” and yet is the one that provides us the most energy, it is our “body´s chief cleansing tool”, it literaly transforms our cells from being fat storerers to fat burners, and these are just some of the examples she explains in her book.

Brething affects us in physical, psycological to emotional aspects of our lives. This is the key activity which determines our quality of life. I must confess, I have breathing problems and this book just made it obvious.

Yesterday, I counsciouly did some tests and exercises the book provides and ,Let me tell you, what a mind-blowing discovery it was. I do not breath deeply. I half breath and eventhough I luckyly like to live fully, I have noticed a lack of energy in my body and being in general. Also I´ve been fighting against 30 extra pounds that I have been carrying for a couple of years now. It had never occur to me that I am not providing my body with the right fuel, which is oxygen. Uncousncioulsly withholding my breath, creates stress in my body making it tense, stiff and produce cortisol.

After I did some of the exercises in the book, I felt better, which is as simple as if you take just one deep breath ( inflate your belly with the inhale and squeeze all the air out on the exhale) you will automatically feel better, but I focused on this for the whole day. (At least the most that I could and when I remembered.) My day was slow and emotionally heavy. There was a lot of selftalk in my head and I was seeking to connect to myself and breath. Just breath. I finish normal and well it was just one of those mellow days.

but TODAY. Today I feel a huge difference in my being. Allowing all that oxygen enter my body was miraculous. I think my body was grateful for the loving oxygen I was allowing to enter it. I´ve been actively doing all my chores ( that I had procrastinated for a couple of days too) and I feel happy  and excited to do what I have to do.

It is an amazing feeling and I am sure it was all because I focused a little bit more on this activity that I anyways have to do: breathing.

I have not finished reading this book and I don´t know if I am going to lose weight, but just feeling how I feel in this moment by allowing all the air to fill my body, makes it worth reading. I will give this a try and breath through it.

Have a deep breath.

Resource:

Jumpstart your Metabolism: How to lose weight by changing the way you breath by  Pam Grout.

“I am human and that is OK”

I don´t know what this post is going to be about. I just know I need to write this down and make it public. Put is out there and listen to this voice in my head that is talking too much. This voice in my head that is driving me crazy. The voice that tells me what is right and what is wrong.

I don´t even knon if i know the difference. There are moments in which I just want to be me, free without caring a bout the rules, but that is completly another topic, about which I might or might not write.

Not that I don´t get to be myself. I think I do. I think I get to do many priviledged stuff. I have gotten many blessings in my life, which are wonderful, but the funny thing is (and many may feel this way) those things don´t make us happy. Of course I can go with the cliché about “It is all about the experience not about the material things” which is true, but I want to go deeper. Change the subject a little bit…

More than what we receive from the outside, there is always that little voice in the inside that determines whether you are having a good time or not. No matter how good the whether is, there is inner sensations that will tell you whether you are in pain or not. No matter how many good quality friends or partners you may have, there is allways a little voice inside saying whether you are good enough or not.

Now, why should we care about this little voice? Well that little voice is deciding for you. That little voice is telling you how to approach your daily life. That little voice can run or ruin your life. So the question should be: how do we control or get the best of this little voice?

Truth be told I am still figuring it out and I have noticed though, that I have power over it more often than no.  Something tells me that if we directed it with the heart and start refracing our stories we can get better experiences. Now I know this is possible for a fact, because I´ve experienced the most amazing moments ever, just by reframing the story. Moments I never thought I was going to live.

I am now in  city called Tampa and it is located in Florida. I living a dream an experience I decided I wanted to live a couple of months ago ( literally two).  So for the most part I feel confident and powerful about what I do and how I do it, because I know my inner power can do anything and it´s not becuase I believe I am better than anyone, but just because I know I am working this out with everyone else too. Here is the secret; we are all connected! The moment I allowed myself to receive helo everything went better.

We are all connected to this crazy thing that we call love and love really makes it all possible.

Now you must be thinking, “you crazy bitch, easy to say, because you have it all!” ( or an equivalent to that). Point is, no I don´t have it all, or maybe I do… let´s define what having all means…  Anyways… my point is that as good as it can get, I don´t allways feel well. I started this post feeling sad and in pain, now at the end of this I am feeling better, but I am in pain… more than I would like to admit.

I have a lot of inner and bodily pains. I have selfdoubts most of the time and a lot of frustrations, specially for things that I love the most. My main struggle that I am trying to express through this post is how vulnerable I really am. I want to be strong and feel strong. I want to be able to create and develop environments for others to grow, but I feel stuck with my own demons, so I doubt my legitimacy of wanting to helo if I am not perfectly fine. I specially feel I have issues with my health. It seems to me that since a couple of years ago, I have not been able to put myself together and I have taken all the wrong paths. Now I think I am approaching the best route, with the help of this big connection I am talking you about. Nevertheless the situation of doubting myself self seems to never stop nor dissapear.

I guess in the end I will feel whole as soon as I realize and accept that the voice of magic, love and miracles making all amazing things possible; and the voice of selfdoubt, selfhate, pain and disgrace, can actually live together inside me. For this body was created to hold both voices.

I am on the journey of accepting the real imperfect me. I have demons and I have angels. I have shadow and I have light. I have weaknesses and I have strenghts. I am human and that is ok.

Launch a Rocket… or not

Today we had a beautiful rainy morning in Tampa. It was a perfect day to see mother nature “do her thing”. Nevertheless I decided not only to observe it, but to actually experience it. ( Although I didn´t know that I had decided that since the morning).

Taking advantage of the luxury that is a walk through the streets of Tampa, I arrived to the universit. Luckily for me it had stopped raining, but before I could find my right building my luck changed. I ran for like 2 min under the rain and entered the class room completely wet. Little adventure number one of the day had arrived to show me that: no matter how much we may plan how we are going to arrive to a place, the outcome is never certain.

Which brings me to adventure number two. A friend invited me over to go and see a rocket launch. I was definitely excited and didn´t know what to expect, except of course, the rocket to launch.  We drove for like two hours to get to the place to see this, stayed there and waited for the magic moment. 20 min before the launch, some people started to check how the launching process was doing, unfortunatelly the only news they found was that the launching of the rocket had been postponed to the next day.

Of course this was an unfortunate news. However, for reasons I don´t understand, it wasn´t as disappointing as I thought it was going to be. I could be complaining about the fact that we literary invested 5 hours of our afternoon on this adventure ( driving back and forth) and it is time that we will never get back, but the truth is, we were traveling at our own risk.

Life is allways uncertain. We do not control any outcome that we may get. Not even when the possibilities are stadistically high or when you have planned something and it seems like good wheater. Truth be told we really never know what will in fact happen, until it actually happens.

Today was a reminder of how it doesn´t matter how much we plan to “launch” or see the launching  of a rocket, It will never be certain that it will happen. Same happens with every little or big thing that we plan or expect. This happens in health, business, learning and even love. The only real thing to do is to make the best of the present moment. It will be part of our journey and as enjoyable or memorable as you make that moment, the less regrets you will have. Be it, every step I took in the rain today or every tree I admired on the road on our way to Port Carnaveral. Every Now is what counts. Breath into it and feel you heart beating.

Humans on Stage by UT

This weekend I had the opportunity to go to a dance concert at the David Falk Theater in Tampa performed by the department of Dance from the University of Tampa.

I was able to witness two performances. One was a choreography by Susannah LeMarquand and the other,  the Spring Dance Concert, directed by Susan Taylor Lenon. Both performances had a substance rare to find in dance. (Taking into account that we are living in a industrilized society and we are taking arts in a superficial way in many occations.)  As an audience member I am  looking forward to enjoy the performance, but I also want the dancers on stage to transmit something to me. I believe that as we take the opportunity to be on a stage, we have a huge responsability and it is to put purselves vulnerable to an audience and transmit a message, story or emotion. Dance was created to communicate between people a thousand years ago, now we use it as an art or a hobby, but we must not forget that our body is our number one tool to send messages between us. So it doesn´t really matter how you move, you are allways sending a message, it can either be an intentional one or a mediocre one.

Specially on Susannah´s choreography a lot of emotions were being portraid on stage. It was an intense performance and as the choreography kept going and you as an audience member could relate to the dancers and this made the message  more powerful. I felt alive and honored to be there  sharing some of the emotions that the dancers were transmiting so passionately. It was work with substance and meaning.

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The dancers answering some questions by the public.

The Spring Dance Concert was as awhole an enjoyable show. It had a little bit of everything regarding dance types, but none of the pieces were senseless or meaningless. It demonstrated an work ethic that I believe is worth imitating and admiring.

The whole point of me bringing this up is because there is a huge responsability and an honor to the action of performing on a stage. You are taking your audience on a journey and to not diminish the art it is crucial to explore your own being in order to perform. I was intrigued by the fact that this performances were adressing the point that dance is not only about the tricks and the cool movements, it is also ( if not specially) about what you are transmiting to others. Which, in my opinion, speaks deeply about the meaning of dance.  We have to learn how to be human beings on stage and that is probably a much harder and deeper work than learning all the technical tricks.

Trust The Process 

This past Monday I felt like trash. I really did not want to do anything. My body was hurting and my mind was overloaded with crazy thoughts. I was down. The chief feeling was of “unworthiness”. I questioned everything and complained about everything. 

Specially, as a dancer you are really tough on yourself for not being flexible enough, strong enough, intelligent enough or ‘why didn’t I star before?! ‘ kind of questions. Should I practice this, but then also this other choreography. Should I focus on ballet? But  I am not good enough, so then why not focus on contemporary or jazz… Then again the same answer…. It becomes a draining conversation… And the worst part is it is in your head… So I felt trapped, I really wished I could run away from that conversation. 

Yet I can’t. 

Therefore the only option is to look for solutions or look for ways to dissolve the problem. I wrote for some time, cried, laughed and then talk to a therapist that has helped me a lot (yes I go to a therapist). 

This was a huge reliever to me. I noticed I went through a process of awareness, presence and then resolution. I put all what was troubling me out there through writing, then I felt this huge bomb of emotions through laughter and tears and then I talked about it with someone who helped me pin point some solutions or ways to see that this wasn’t a huge deal and that it is ok to just crash some times. 

Monday was a tough day. A day with a lot of thinking and reviewing, but it was worth it, because today I feel so much better. I am still figuring out a lot of the things that I discovered, because this Monday put on the table many topics I was avoiding and now they are more obvious than ever. So I have a lot of work to do. This episode,  instead of becoming an excuse for depression, became an opportunity for growth. 

I am dealing with some health problems, some carrier insecurities and wondering where am I heading. These are three big questions, that I now know and want to answer. 

Why am I talking about this? 

Well I’ve discovered that my life is not perfect. I have a lot of struggles, weaknesses, doubts and inner battles, which, as time passes by, it is not worth it to keep them inside… That is the reason I am taking them out. May be that will set me free sooner than later. 

It never get´s easier

The other day I was doing my Ballet class and sweat was dropping down my face. My feet were hurting, my legs were shaking and my brain was commanding my body to keep going and finish the exercise. After that one I continued with the next one and the next one. While doing it, I kept telling to myself, how is it possible that after 6 months of class this is even harder and harder. Each class I have to concentrate more, hold longer, kick higher and go on point for more exercises. This just never gets easier!

 

Ballet, as everything else, has layers and layers of knowledge so as you keep working and working and learning new steps and details, the class instead of getting easier it gets more complex. You start building upon what you learned last class, so you end up thinking about what you learned last class and what you are learning this one. You have to connect the correction about the foot with the one about the head. You have to pull yourself up and go down on a plié. Kick your leg high and ground your support leg as if it is the roots of a tree.

 

These layers of knowledge are visible until you understand the layer beforehand. You start translating what you see into a feeling and an understanding that your own body can reproduce. You hold the opposites I was talking about, but after you tried the step a million times and something doesn´t work. So you add knowledge from a deeper layer and it makes it more understandable. After that you add a connected step that builds upon your previous knowledge… and so it keeps going and going.

 

Truth is, nothing in life gets easier, it just changes. Problems, obstacles and all that comes in our ways become always proportional to what we can confront in the present moment. So the amount of energy we put to what we do is proportional to what we can do, and it feels hard when we are truly changing and growing. Learning is breaking our old patterns and acquiring new. Learning is an uncomfortable process that takes energy and practice, which is probably what, makes it so much fun.

 

What is comfortable and too easy loses its grace and entertainment too fast. Complexity and difficulty is more interesting and hooks you into thinking and discovering. Probable a rea son why dancers love dance so much.