I’m EXHAUSTED. In the past few weeks I’ve been working many more hours than usual while co-launching Radical Pleasurist’s new program and rideshare driving. House sitting 45 minutes from home. House hunting, moving out of our apartment for a temporary stay with Laura, my best friend of 25 years. My daughter got her driver’s license. We left town to camp with my college friends. And more.
It’s a LOT.
The house sitting was a miracle for me. The home is outside of Washougal, Washington in the Columbia Gorge. It is large, open and comfortable. The view is tremendous and most of the sounds I heard were the wind, the neighbor’s horses, turkeys or goats. There’s no traffic noise to wake me up repeatedly in the middle of the night. I slept in a room with a door.
I’ve been living in a one bedroom apartment with my daughter for four years. For the first two of those, my boyfriend lived with us. My bed was in the living room. It was cramped and I had zero privacy when my daughter was home, which was most the time. Much more than you’d imagine, because she has been recovering from a head injury since November 2017.
The first night I stayed at the Washougal house, I was truly alone for the first time in an extremely long time. It was even better that I wasn’t in a small box surrounded by other small boxes filled with strangers. Just open air, trees, fresh air, my miniature schnauzer and a lovely Australian Shepherd who loves to play ball and cuddle.
Is this what relaxation feels like?
From Saturday night to Monday morning I was gentle with myself and it recharged me. I relished my alone-ness and did only what I desired, when I desired it. I asked myself, what is the most decadent thing I can do with minimal effort? Go back to bed? Yes, please. Listen to an audio book? Hell yes. Masturbate? Yup. Nap a bit? Fuck to the hell yes. Yoga outside now? YES. I stayed in touch with my beloveds but much less than usual to give myself more quiet time. I stayed naked. I took another nap. I went to bed at 8:30 as the sun went down.
Monday I worked online for two of my clients and Radical Pleasurist for most of the day, and continued to be gentle with myself. I would concentrate fully for 30 to 45 minutes, then do anything I wanted for at least 15 before repeating the cycle. I was considerably more productive than usual. Most of my breaks were spent outside with the dog.
By Tuesday morning I was feeling an unfamiliar sensation. I noticed my chest didn’t feel as tight as usual. My stomach was relaxed. My shoulders weren’t clenched tight. I had a gentle stream of lazy thoughts going through my mind. I wasn’t fretting. What is this? Could this feeling be what is known as “relaxed”?
I talked to a friend and told her that I believed I was feeling true relaxation for the first time in my memory. I cried a little realizing how sad it is that I was so unfamiliar with relaxation that I didn’t recognize it when I felt it. I will continue to notice anytime I feel relaxed because over time that will lead to the unfamiliar feeling becoming more and more familiar and easier to access.
I’m thankful I started the week that way. The rest of the week was busy to the point of ridiculous. By Friday morning, I was frantic. A scary thought flashed through my mind and felt completely true: Today is the day that will break me if I do it alone. I crouched on the grass and cried into the ground while I tried to remember to breathe. Shortly after that, I made this video:
I intend to continue practicing asking for help frequently as well as not taking it personally when people say no.
When was the last time you asked for help? How did it feel? How was your request received? How did it feel to receive that response?
I love you fiercely,
P.S. Myrissa recently completed the Feel Your Body Journey and when I asked about her experience she said “I feel good and honestly more empowered in my feminine, which I wasn’t expecting from just a few activities.” Would you like to check it out? You have one more chance before winter… starting Monday, August 19. Check it out here.
P.S. again: The book I listened to in bed on my house sitting retreat was: On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real and Listening Hard by Jennifer Pastiloff. It’s an incredible and inspiring true story.