I watched a TED talk today -one I've seen a few times -by Amy Cuddy all about Body Language (recommended to me by Scabs).
Sister Cuddy mentions an experiment in which subjects were asked to participate in an interview where the interviewer was basically expressionless. She says:
...they go through a very stressful job interview. It's five minutes long. They are being recorded. They're being judged also, and the judges are trained to give no nonverbal feedback, so they look like this [still face]. Imagine this is the person interviewing you. So for five minutes, nothing, and this is worse than being heckled. People hate this. It's what Marianne LaFrance calls "standing in social quicksand."
It so telling that we would rather have a negative connection than NO connection, but really? Connection is so very vital, something we crave because we NEED it -like air, food, water.
Danny and I are starting to get these glamorous, indulgent tastes of true, positive connection. It makes the relationship we had 7 years ago seem surface... not always bad, but definitely surface. It was the copper medal, and now we're touching gold.
We spend about 30% of our time together touching gold.
35% falling away from the gold.
35% crawling back toward it.
100% of our marriage deals with connection (lack of, leaning toward, enjoying...)
I'm trying to learn how to be patient when Danny is stressed about something out of his control. My body -my smart, smart body -has retained a fancy sort of muscle memory where whenever Danny is stressed, I start protecting myself because I believe scary things inevitably follow.
This doesn't mean that Danny always acted out, but it does mean that his addict-related behaviors dominated the day, and those are very scary to me... mostly because I lose him in those moments (sometimes because I leave -figurative or literally, and sometimes because he does -figuratively, usually).
Losing Danny terrifies me. I love Danny.
Because I haven't been feeling well these days, I've spent a lot (A LOT) of time trying to reconcile my body to it's tenant: my spirit.
As I navigate the messages they're trying to send each other, as I dance the dance of moderation, listening, control, surrender...
I find that I spend
30% of my time in a healthy place
35% of my time falling out of a healthy place
35% of my time working my way BACK to a healthy place
100% of the relationship between my body and spirit deals with CONNECTION.
The relationship they have is JUST like a marriage. It's an intimate connection that takes work, dedication, loyalty, love, faith!
I find that my spirit left the presence of The Father to cleave to it's earthly body.
In my marriage, Danny and I both are trying -daily, and it is NOT always easy! -to keep God in the center of ourselves (first!) and our homes.
Inside of me, I am trying to keep my Spirit moving toward God and my Body moving toward God, hoping they will TOUCH GOLD.
And they do. They do touch gold 30% of the time.
I can imagine what it would feel like if I weren't so sick these days.
Connection is key. My body is speaking to me, and I'm learning to be patient as it works through the STUFF it's been holding for years.
As I lean into yoga poses, I feel FEAR in my body. It is terrified to simply OPEN UP because it knows, it KNOWS about pain and how pain comes after opening up.
My yoga instructor said on Monday morning, "Try to take this stretch somewhere you've never taken it. Maybe you're going to put more space between your head and chest. Maybe you'll be able to take the stretch deeper. Maybe you'll be able to feel a muscle in a way you haven't before. I know you've done this stretch a hundred times... so let's do it differently. We don't want to be the same as we were yesterday."
Everything Taura says sounds so deep when I'm on a mat in her Mom's backyard.
With that in mind, I adopted a new mantra to add to my list of Adopted Mantras:
Every Day a Difference
Today will be different from the day before. I'll try something new, take in something new, learn something new! I'll make someone else's day different. I won't go to sleep at night knowing that I'm waking up the same as I woke up the day before. My expectations for this mantra are enthusiastically low, but enthusiastic nonetheless.
So I'm charging out into the world toward DIFFERENCE.
Sometimes it means adding. Sometimes it means taking away.
Mostly it means that I keep riding those percentages waves in the right direction -RIDING, mind you, not stagnating on the wave only to be squelched by the quenching water.
It's simply finding a way to progress while being patient and accepting of where I am in life: whether I'm in a GOLD day or not.
Will I ever reach a place where everyday will be gold? Perhaps The Land of Gold lies only in those with silver hair? I don't know. I don't know the answer.
But what I do know is that it's okay that I don't know. It's okay that I'm riding some waves because the waves are all CONNECTION based, and THAT... that is one sweet wave to ride, even if you're coming down.
PS: if you want to be different than you were yesterday, watch the TED talk above. Seriously.