Jul 262017

It has been years since I wore proper trainers/sneakers to work out in. Ever since I discovered Vibram Five Fingers, I never really looked back.

My love for these kind of shoes started with my love for what I call ‘toe-socks’ which are popular in Japan. I still wear them around the house or especially on flights as it helps my feet. They are also great for yoga to train the toes to open out wide giving a nice base for your feet.

However, there are times when my heels start to hurt as I tend to be a heel-toe walker rather than the other way around. Therefore, not having enough support/cushion can leave it bruised or sore.

Participating in the MRTTAD Summer Challenge where we are in teams to try to see how many kilometers we can get in has been a challenge indeed. First, I had stress. Then, I got sick. This week I finally got back to it, but then hurt my heel….

So…I had been contemplating going back to ‘normal’ shoes again especially since we are likely moving to a country where I’ll have to actually put coverings on my feet. This seemed like a good time to take the plunge.

Determined not to spend too much on some new runners, I went shopping yesterday with only a set amount of money in my wallet. In short time, I found these lovely Adidas for just the right price!

They have been given a go today, so will see how my heel feels tomorrow, but overall, I am happy with my purchase. Still, it is going to take a bit to get used to wearing coverings on my feet again! ๐Ÿ˜‰

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Jul 252017

Throughout our experience over the past month (yes details will come soon-ish), I have come to understand the human condition a little bit more. I must say that it is not a positive understanding….

We all have a fight or flight instinct about us in times of crisis.

We also have different ways of responding to crises moments.

Ultimately, our true characters come out when these crises hit us directly or to those around us. I am sure that there is some psychological or sociological study already done somewhere explaining the nature of people in these moments; however, my own recent experiences allow me deductions about those in my world.

Let me digress slightly first –

It is not an unknown or surprising fact, if you know me even a little bit, that I generally dislike people. It is not that I am anti-social nor is it that my introverted nature makes me feel this way. It is more my early upbringing and exposure to a world of interactions that has proven to me that in general people are a**holes. That is, of course, a huge generalization and I leave room for the exceptions. However, for me, it is easier to work myself towards liking someone knowing that disappointment is inevitable rather than being optimistic that everyone lacks the capacity to be disappointing. I am cynically optimistic towards my fellow humans.

With that lens in mind, when it came to needing support and help during our recent crisis, I should not have been as deeply affected by the lack of compassion, empathy and unconditional reaction towards my requests, questions or unspoken needs.

In the end, I have found that my tolerance for others who cannot or do not step up with honesty, integrity, compassion, empathy and positive reactions has pretty much dropped to zero. What do I mean by this?

*I no longer put myself out or forward when someone asks me “When are we getting together?” If you want to get together, then you should provide some specific days and times in which you are available and follow through with the scheduling without making it my responsibility to respond or follow up. I would do the same if I wanted to hang out. The fact that I haven’t followed up to that kind of question should inform you of the amount of effort I am willing to make in response to the lack of effort involved in the question.

*While I might appreciate intended emotion behind “Let me know if I can do anything” or “I would if I could, but…”, I lack the capacity to be responsive to such statements. If you want to help, tell me exactly what you are willing and able to do. Or, better yet, just do it. By putting the onus on me, it just adds more thought (stress) to an already stressful situation that is unnecessary to me. It also requires me to make you a priority even though the situation is not about you at all. Instead, I would just prefer to know your thoughts and love are with me or know what specifically you have to offer to me in the situation.

*Never again, will I ever say to someone, “Keep me posted.” What a line of BS. Again, this puts the responsibility on the person in need to keep you informed of a situation that may or may not actually involve you nor require you to know about. If I am not updating you, then there is probably a reason for it. Either, I do not have the time or energy to do so or you simply are not a priority at the moment to be deemed worthy of being updated. I know that sounds harsh, but crisis situations are not normal ones and adding more to someone going through the situation does not help. If you want information, then ask for it regularly by checking in. Do not leave the responsibility up to the person who is actively going through it all and probably needs to know s/he is supported more than being the giver of information.

*The art of asking questions is a fine one. Providing unsolicited advice in question form such has “Have you…?” “Is so-so helping?” “What about…?” etc. is not helpful. Allow the person to provide the information s/he has and believe that they are doing everything already known to be done. If you truly believe that there is something being missed, then you can ask by offering to do it yourself…. In this way, you are stepping up to take a real action but also putting it out there as an option to be done.

My litmus test for people I allow into my inner circle are people who fulfill a “Yes” to my question of “Would I want this person on my lifeboat?” It may seem rather strange, but the truth is that if survival is our basic instinct in life, then this is a fair question. Crises show us who we really are. Falling apart or running away solves nothing. Putting off responsibility, getting angry or waiting for someone else to take action serves no purpose. Everyone has something different to offer based on their character and skills. I do not expect everyone to be like me by any means.

Still, I do expect those upon whom I put my trust and unconditional consideration to fulfill certain expectations. Although I may not cut off everyone who does not, I do start to question their value to my life ultimately. The world is both large and small, but life is short. I want my life to be full and fulfilled by those whom I surround myself with so that we all help each other to live in a way that gives maximum joy to ourselves and the world around us.

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

 Posted by at 14:55
Jul 232017

A friend of mine keeps posting regularly on FB and brings up in conversation a lot regarding her sense of being all on her own. She feels alone struggling through her current situation in life since she has no partner, few close friends nearby, no family around and her beloved pet not with her. As she moans about her lot in life, I draw comparisons to my own life and recent circumstances.

Despite my general dislike for social interactions and trying to fit in to what is deemed 'normal', I have to say that I have never truly felt alone. Even with the past year being one of the darkest of my life, I have known that I have friends and family both near and far on whom I could count on. Never have I thought to myself that I am alone.

With that said, at the same time, I have been very much on my own throughout our most recent ordeal. In fact, I am still processing it and have only just begun being able to journal about it. It has taken me into depression, isolation and a sense of hiding back into the "womb" to recover and heal. Only in the past few days have I been able to inch my way towards taking baby steps out of the dark hole I have burrowed into for safety. Even still, I am not quite ready to fully embrace the outside world, but I sense my courage returning.

What I have come to understand is that we are only alone if we push everyone away. I cannot express enough the true gratitude I feel towards those who offered to help in whatever way they could and to those who dropped everything to be at my side when I asked or even when I did not. The love and support I felt without pressure or questions, but just concern for me helped me to maintain the precarious balance of sanity I needed to survive. If I had been alone, I would have never eaten and lost far more than the 5 kilos I lost in two weeks. If I had been alone, I would have probably collapsed into a nervous breakdown or who knows what else.

Yet still, while I was definitely not alone, I was most assuredly on my own to deal with everything and to live the experience I was meant to live. The support of those around me allowed me to take care of what needed to be on my own. No one else could or would do it. No one else answered my constant prayer of having someone say to me, "Don't worry, I'll take care of everything for you."

In the end, this was okay because I was not alone.

My take-away from this whole experience is that no one can experience my life for me. This means that instead of wishing that someone else would come along and take control of it, I can only do my best to get through the experience with integrity, honor, love, compassion and as much success as possible. If I survive, then I can share the story to perhaps help others go through similar experiences a little bit easier or faster than I did.

The saying that what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger has some truth. Though it is often used as a consoling or trite phrase, the reality is that through the growth, I can not only say I survived, but also do my best to help others do the same. In this way, we are never alone, but left to survive on our own.

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

 Posted by at 20:12
Jul 162017

Sometimes feeling as if you have hit rock bottom can feel optimistic as the only way to go is up. 

Although I can imagine life could have gotten worse and I do fully appreciate that many others are worse off than we have ever been over the past few weeks, I also know that I can only handle so much. Even a week later, I am still recovering mentally and physically.

I am working on a post that will reveal all the nasty details of the past few weeks, but the ordeal is not yet over and will only be published after we are settled elsewhere. In the meantime, you’ll just have to accept the unknown of details.

In the meantime, I am slowly crawling out of the pit of despair and although I probably still have some PTSD that is not quite over with, I am hopeful that it will all be a very vague memory soon. 

This is the first time I have been on the computer/iPad properly in three weeks, so that is definitely a good sign. The fog in my brain is also slowly lifting….

At the moment, we are planning on flying by the end of the week and keeping fingers crossed that everything to make that happen will go smoothly and quickly. Your positive energies and prayers are definitely welcomed!

In the meantime, I hope to get myself back on here regularly again….

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

 Posted by at 12:57
Jul 022017

I have been unable to focus long enough to write or to gather my thoughts in a way that is comprehensible. I still cannot share the details publicly on what is going on, but what does not kill us…, right?

My patience has been tested and is still in tact. Short meditation sessions are helping me get through the days and having a new MRTTAD Team summer challenge gets me to the gym.

So, trying to focus on our big move out and slowly get things done helps me a bit. When I can update I will…


 Posted by at 13:20
Jun 242017

Juneย 18th (Sunday)

  • 60โ€ฒ Private yoga session

June 19th (Monday)

  • 20’29” 2km walk/run on treadmill
  • 2’18” plank regular and elbow

June 20th (Tuesday)

~wasn’t feeling well last night so had someone sub my yoga class and decided to just do a nice ‘leisurely walk’ today just to ensure that I reignite the habit of getting to the gym every day. Hoping to be back to normal soon – feel better than yesterday so far….

  • 33’05” 3.07 walk on treadmill

June 21st -23rd (Wednesday -Friday)

  • Chaos….

June 24th (Saturday)

  • 33’36” 3.12km walk on treadmill
Jun 202017

There is a habit that I became acutely aware of back in my life coaching training days. It is our need to respond to others by either devaluing, minimizing or dismissing their experience. Seemingly benign, innocent or even empathetic statements can have this effect even when we think we are doing the opposite.

For example, let’s say that your partner brings home dessert to have after dinner. You take the dessert, put it in the fridge and either forget about it or just put it on the table without a word.

Or, perhaps someone complains to you that they feel under-appreciated at home or at work. You respond with your own story of how your colleague or partner or family makes you feel the same way. Or even simply say, “I’m sure we all feel that way sometimes.”

What about if you complain about being tired all the time and the response you get is “You just need a good night’s sleep” or “Take a nap and you’ll feel better.”?

These may seem like normal responses and situations. They may happen to you or you may say them to others all of the time.

Yet, take a careful look.

In the first example, the partner’s contribution and emotional effort to bring home something special for the home/you is devalued due to lack of recognition for what was put forward by them. An easy way to avoid this is to respond with gratitude and perhaps even excitement. Although you might think it seems disingenuous to show this kind of response (especially if it is a regular thing), consider how much you enjoy praise and thanks – don’t you think others deserve that enjoyment too?

In the second example, the minimization of the person’s feelings is so common. People always want to appear empathetic rather than sympathetic to another person’s experiences. How many times do we interrupt or interject in someone’s story to express how we have also been wronged or had a relatable offense happen to us? Even though the intended effect might be to ensure that the person knows they are not alone, instead it can cause a person to feel as if their experiences are not unique and important, which they are – because the experience is unique and important to them. So, it is best to let that person express their version of their truth and be allowed the freedom to process according to their own experience. Listen, acknowledge and soothe if necessary, but remember the story is not about you or the world.

The final example expresses a very common method of dismissing someone’s feelings. Instead of offering a solution it is probably more ideal to consider why the feelings are there. Are you tired because you are doing too much and need to learn to take care of yourself? Are you feeling ill and perhaps need rest so your body can heal? I am not saying that you should interrogate the person who expresses a feeling to avoid dismissal. I am saying to ask good questions, again just listen and perhaps simply ask “Is there anything I can do to help you feel better?”.

There is so much in how we respond to others that can be so small and yet have a massive effect. When a person, like me, is introverted, sensitive and has up and down tendencies, these minor matters can be quite huge. Although I appear rough and tough on the outside in my manner, my inside is just as soft as anyone else’s.

Of course, there are plenty of times when I think my woes, stresses and such are more important, bigger or worse than EVERYONE else’s – perhaps to me they are!ย Still, I, too, have to remember and try hard not to devalue, minimize or dismiss others around me.

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

 Posted by at 09:33
Jun 192017

When my husband makes a point of telling me that I am constantly seeming grumpy or on edge and then have these bouts of “weirdness” where I am overly silly and happy, then I take a step back to consider the validity of his comments.

Although never formally diagnosed as depressed or bipolar according to labels, my therapist some years back allowed us to call myย moments as ups and downs. While I appreciate the lack of labels and freedom from a box, it does also make it difficult to explain to others what happens to me in these up and down cycles.

I came across this website yesterday when I was contemplating whether or not to go back onto medication temporarily given that I have no control over our current situation and that maybe it would help to take the meds just until life is a bit more settled…. What I found was this list ofย red flags for the author and thought to myself…hm…this just might be me!! ๐Ÿ˜›

In fact, I think it has been me for some time and perhaps I should have seen it coming a while ago…?

Even though my husband does not quite appreciate the label and tries to minimize what I am experiencing by saying “I think we are all a bit bipolar” or “I get this way too”, I try to take it as his way of empathizing with the fact that this may be a reality.

Looking at our current or recent circumstances, it is no wonder that I have not really gone to the extremes since everything suggested on this website is how I try to live life in the best of circumstances. Factor in the chaos that has surrounded us and now I can stop wondering why I prefer to binge watchย The Keepers (just one episode left!) all day yesterday rather than try to go out or see anyone….

So, I have not yet made a decision about the meds. I do have them already and know what to do – just not sure I am ready to go that route again…though it wasn’t a bad thing before and sometimes just having a little extra help can make a big difference…. We shall see…I should probably seek counseling, but that would require funds that we do not have and thus continues the spiral that spins me around up and down and around and around….

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Jun 182017

We had a decision, then we changed it, then we reconsidered, then a new option came up, now we are back to uncertainty. I am not sure my psyche can take it….

Without too much detail, I think I can sum up our options as follow:

1 – Spain
2 – Saudi
3- Stay

Number 1 is our preferred choice now because it gets us to a fresh start away from the region and closer towards our end goal of France. However, it is not great pay and although we do have our minimum requirement of a salary, it does present itself as the riskier of all the options. Still, it is what has given us both a sense of happiness in choice and contentment about our ability to make it work.

Number 2 would be completely to make money sacrificing any sense of a lifestyle and a return to a world of frustration for me in terms of working with challenging teaching conditions. It is not that I would not do it nor find ways to endure it; it is more that it might not be very relaxed or fun for a year or two. Therefore, the consideration is whether or not it is worth potentially making loads of money at the expense of life?

Number 3 is not a bad option overall. It just means that we maintain the status quo. It does satisfy our minimum requirement of a salary, but this will be minimal (still better than nothing as we had initially expected this option to offer). Of course, we have the same kind of potential to earn more here and it is a known way of life that we could maintain. Therefore, it is not really a bad option either.

The problem on my end is making a decision sooner (as in yesterday!) rather than later as my husband is wont to do…. My sanity does not have this luxury given that we have to move out of our apartment and close up shop in 25 days. I have yet to speak to a removal company or sort out what needs to be done to cancel accounts. On top of that, we need the funds to accomplish it all.

In the grand scheme, we do have time. I think I can probably last another week to make a decision or to have one made for us. However, it is all affecting my moods. M said I have been crabby, snappy and generally unhappy. I do believe this is probably very true given that I totally hate uncertainty and 18 months of it is starting to take a serious toll. It is not that I will give up exactly, but more that I am feeling at a loss….

So, we will just keep focused on the positives as I work each day to chin up and look for the bits of happiness that will carry us through to a real decision that we can take action upon! ๐Ÿ˜€

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

 Posted by at 10:10
Jun 172017

Last Saturday I was not quite as warmed up as I should have been doing our practical yoga exam. We did things a bit quicker than normal to save on time. Unfortunately, I did not also apply this to pushing myself a bit less knowing that injury was possible….

So, we were nearly finished when we went into upavistha konasana (seated wide legged stretch) when I felt something in my glutes pop. It made a sound much like knuckles cracking. At first it felt kind of good as if something had been released. For most of the morning I felt fine. By the time I got home in the afternoon I was limping and sore. An ice pack helped and I thought I would be okay.

However, I have still had yoga sessions this week when I seem to re-injure the glute with a forward fold… ๐Ÿ™ On top of that, to compensate for the pain on the right glute, my left lower back has started to hurt as I am obviously off balance a bit now. So…that’s annoying, but I managed to get through the week anyway.

Instead of the gym – which I am going to get back to as soon as I’m healed up as I have agreed to do a July MRTTAD challenge with a team – I attempted planking…. ๐Ÿ˜›

Juneย 11th (Sunday)

  • 60โ€ฒ Private yoga session

June 12th (Monday)

  • 3’05” plank
  • 60โ€ฒ Wellness Yoga

June 13th (Tuesday)

  • 60โ€ฒ Private yoga session

June 14th (Wednesday)

  • 60โ€ฒ Private yoga session

June 15thย (Thursday)

  • 2’30” plank – been a bit lazy with my bum and back pains….

June 16th (Friday)

  • 60โ€ฒ Private yoga session

June 17th (Saturday)

  • Rest

So, not really great, but better than nothing I say! Just another week or so of the regular yoga sessions until I have a month off. Then, it’ll be time to hit the gym and reassess my schedule a bit. ๐Ÿ˜‰

~T ๐Ÿ˜€