new year!

tumblr_lixfxaogzp1qbnex9o1_500happy new year!!

ok so its mid-april. big whoop. it’s been busy and crazy. and amazing. and intense.

i’ve been riding around on a magical carpet of life, love and kombucha since we spoke last.

doing backflips and floating in a sea of cash while simultaneously feeding homeless children.

ok we’ll maybe it hasn’t been quite that dramatic. or even remotely as inspiring. but there has been progress… and that is what is important.

i’d like to thank a special lady for inspiring this post. i got to talk her through her dancers pose on a sunny rooftop in overlooking all of seattle today, read her blog after and felt compelled to come back home to return to my writing roots. so hi, hows it going?

i know this blog turned into a bit of an eating disorder tale as i used it as a means of journaling throughout treatment.

and as much as that was a part of where i was – it isn’t where i am or how i define myself now. i am more aware than i have been in a long time and realize that wherever i choose to put my focus is exactly what i will create. with that in mind: i am more healthy, strong,  and accepting of myself than ever before. ED is reminding me that i must point out that through this journey of recovery i have put on a good … 30 lbs…. since returning home, going to treatment and rediscovering my love for chocolate (and even pizza !!?!). does that mean i am at my healthiest? well much healthier than i was when all my hair was falling out. does that mean that i have healed my relationship with food, body or weight? nope. but it means that i am where i need to be and i am going to love the shit out of where ever i just so happen to be. this goes for whichever demon of a number that chooses to show itself on silver scale that determines my worth on the bathroom floor (sarcasm) or whether it be that silly number in my bank account that tells me just exactly how much i have been spending on yoga/pants/training and coffee. i am ok with all of it. and im not sure why.

i wanted to check in and say that – i love strong, funny women with a passion for pursuing life. i love late nights with myself, wine and ram dass movies. and that i graduate yoga teacher training tomorrow. im not exactly sure what that means. i am growing roots. getting to know myself. and learning to love myself and others a little more each day.

till the next time.

yours truly,

misscarissas

what in the …

hi guys,

so some of you have been following along on my journeying around the west coast, to finland, back again then recent unexpected sudden return home. its been a very interesting last couple of years to say the least. although there have been some truly good times with absolutely unbelievable people and events – the truth is that i have trying to outrun a debilitating eating disorder.

i’m just starting to come to terms with the severity of the disease by starting to take a step back and looking at the wreckage and path of reckless destruction it has left in its wake. it is a long, interesting tale that varies between anorexic behaviors, incredibly lonely periods of bulimia and more recently a close call with reaching the brink of permanently destroying my body and mind through excessive exercise and restriction.

my irrational and fearful mind has been trying very hard to break free from the daily mental hell by moving, running and fighting to get back to the days of clear thinking bliss. it has been nothing short of confusing, scary and sad.

after finally being fed up, i went to finland on a quest for healing – to get back to my regular, happy, healthy self.

i found my peace through the power of exercise and the mental salvation of yoga.

unfortunately, people affected with this disease often have a tendency for excess which resulted in losing 20 lbs in 6 months. (they also have been known to crack their knuckles, have social anxiety and a history of escaping to europe, burning out and coming back – seriously).

all my hair started falling out, i lost my period but i was under the illusion that it was to do with something other than my eating disorder. I had thought that I had made a lot of progress by leaving my self destructive behaviors behind in the States and was just incredibly active and ate incredibly healthy now, right? wrong.

although, i tried to start gaining weight so that i could keep up with my new found love yoga (and have a pair of pants that fit) the weight loss continued and with it the deterioration of my mind and choices. i started got the chance to start working as a kindergarten teacher and absolutely loved it however i had become so underweight that my cognitive abilities and focus were (and still are) significantly diminished.

it became so hard to focus at work (took me 10 minutes to wipe down a table) yet i couldn’t stop utilizing the gym as a way to break free from the constant stress, worry and anxiety about food and weight. my life was a constant state of shakey nervousness and obsession – it was incredibly difficult to be social or be anywhere other than my church – aka the gym.

things spun more and more out of control but i couldn’t see clearly that i was killing myself. thankfully to a few amazing friends that saw my illness, physical and mental state decreasing – i finally looked into getting help and decided to come home where health care and family would hopefully help me to understand what was happening.

upon my arrival (really not sure how i even made it on my own) my phenomenal family was waiting with open arms – even after years of horrible, impulsive decisions impacting us all.

since being home I have thankfully been checked into a partial hospitalization outpatient eating disorder treatment program and finally don’t have to be alone in fighting this demon anymore. i am more grateful than words could say.

currently weighing in at 94 lbs (up a few lbs from my worse state), my resting pulse is 48 (a male athletes should be around 60), can wrap my hand around my bicep, barely able to focus for even a short conversation, am incredibly nervous and obsessive around food and am in constant state of feeling like im on a spaceship. there is nothing funny or cool about this. i have been so disorientated and the only thing i have been able to think about or focus on is food. i haven’t even really been able to listen to music anymore which is probably the saddest thing in the world.

the effects of semi-starvation are incredibly real and the doctors have helped to explain some of my weird behaviors through a study that was done in WWII on a group of men:  http://matchstickmolly.tumblr.com/post/3261188113/starvation

although today was my first day of recovery, i am already feeling extremely hopeful. it will be a very long journey before my health and mind restored – but being in amazing hands with an incredibly supportive family around me makes it finally clear that i don’t have to move, run or fight this demon in my head on my own anymore ( but that suddenly clear thinking might just be from all the food they are feeding me).

eating disorders have nothing to do with food or weight. they are tools of control that usually mask something much bigger and deeper and often help guide us to finding our purpose and what we are truly here to do. Exercise (even though I am banned from doing any right now), yoga and meditation have already shown me that there is a part of me that is untouched by all this, a part of me that is infinite, perfect and beautiful (and guess what, it is within you guys too! 🙂 ).

sorry if this bums any of you out that like to think that my life is rainbows and sunshine, but i find it far more important and fulfilling to be real since i am certain now that i am not alone in having this internal sadness and emotional hunger that is creates an inability to deal with reality. if any of this rings true with any of you, or if you have struggled with this or any other type of mental suffering and pain – know that you aren’t alone. the moment you surrender and let others in is the moment you can finally get the tools you need to break free and find the inner peace you so seriously deserve.

back to work at crazy girl camp. see you guys in saneland soon ❤

love, peace and joy –

c

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finding one’s pack.

we all have to sit down everyday and make our art.

we have to create.

we have to purge the junk that clogs up our mental arteries so that the system can work and things can flow once again. when we don’t throw up this mental garbage and use it in a beautiful, creative way it will begin to dampen our souls and weigh down our spirits.

like those weird 80’s velcro ankle weights but less stylish.

resistance to using this inner junk to make our art is just as strong as the need to create it. we tell ourselves no, no, no. i’ll just ignore that part that is scary or hurts. i will cover it with a towel of tv, food, booze or drug of choice until it dissipates. unfortunately this never happens and it just begins to rot through the floor and seep into other areas of our lives that would have previously been fine if someone would have just cleaned up the fucking mess in the first place!

so that is what this blog is about. cleaning up the mess by letting it out. i would rather throw it up in this format then in a format that is destructive to my mind, body and soul.

what a beautiful introduction, ay?

today’s post will follow no particular chronological organization. it will come out exactly as it is supposed to and isn’t subject to guidelines, order or expectations. hurrah for it!!! 🙂

Basically, I want to use passages from a story told by a lovely lady and tailor it to my own experiences of this past year. It is a story that hits home hard for myself and a lot of women out there that battle with finding a sense of self and ones rightful place.

“It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while looking for the kinship one requires. It is a never a mistake to search for what one requires. Never.”The Women Who Run With Wolves , Clarissa Pinkola Estès

If you have ever attempted to fit into a mold and failed – there is probably a moment of defeat. A loss of self-worth and a feeling of never being good enough. When in reality you are actually probably the luckiest creature alive, you have sheltered your soul. Although, exile from the group that you attempted and failed to fit into is likely – it will temper you, make you strong and eventually lead to a “profound magnitude and clarity of psyche.”

Enduring exile is far more rewarding than living in the lie of re-shaping yourself to fit in with people that don’t feed you what your spirit requires.

This is exactly the ugly duckling syndrome. Assume that instead “not being good enough”that you are actually a swan and that they are mice. Swans and mice hate each other for the most part. They think the other smells funny and they are not interested in spending time together, and if they did, they would be constantly harassing the other.

What if wherever you went you tried to walk like a mouse, but ended up waddling instead. What if wherever you went you had to pretend to be grey, furry and tiny? What if you had no snaky tail to carry in the air on tail carrying day? Wouldn’t you be the most miserable creature in the world?

Many, many women keep trying to bend and fold themselves into shapes that aren’t theirs because they simply do not know better. They do not know that they are not mice, they do not know that swans are just as, if not more, beautiful and that they are making themselves miserable for no good reason at all.

Once we let go of trying to be mice, of trying to minimize the size of our wings or the loudness of our call – we can begin to look for those that better mirror ourselves and are set free.

There is a time between giving up trying to be something we are not and finding those that align with our true nature. This is a very scary, very isolating and confusing time. It is a time for searching. And the searching continues until you find the trail, until you find your way back home.

Wolves never look more funny than when they have lost the scent and scramble to find it again: they hop in the air; they run in circles; they plow up the ground with their noses; they scratch the ground, then run ahead, then back, then stand stock-still. They look as if they have lost their wits. But what they are really doing is picking up all the clues they can find.

Though a women may look scattered when she has lost touch with the life she values most and is running about trying to recapture it, she is most often gathering information, taking a taste of this, grabbing a paw of that. At the very most one might briefly explain to her what she is doing. Then, let her be. As she processes all the information from the clues she’s gathered, she’ll begin moving in an intentional manner again.

Then the desire to fit in with the mice will diminish to nothing.

We all have a desire to find our own kind. There is not a woman in the world who does not know this feeling. But it is this feeling of exile that pushes us to search for our rightful place.

It is interesting to note that among wolves, no matter how sick, no matter how cornered, no matter how alone, afraid or weakened, the wolf will continue. She will lope about even with a broken leg. She will go near to others seeking the protection of the pack. She will put her all into taking breath after breath. She will drag herself, if necessary, just like the duckling, from place to place, till she find a good place, a healing place, a place for thriving.

The duckling is led to within an inch of his life. He has felt lonely, cold, frozen, harassed, chased, shot at and given up on, unnourished, at the edge of life and death and not knowing what will come next. And now comes the most important part of the story: spring approaches, new life quickens, a new turn, a new try is possible.

The most important thing is to hold on, hold out, for your creative life, for your solitude, for your time to be and do, for your very life; hold on, for the promise from the wild nature is this: after winter, spring always comes.

Hold out. Hold on. Do you work. You will find your own way.

At the end of the tale the swans recognize the duckling as one of theirs before the duckling does. This is rather typical of exiled women. After all that hard wandering, they manage to wander over the frontier of into home territory and don’t even realize that they are there.

One would think now that they are on their own psychic ground they would be deliriously happy. But, no. For a time they will be terribly distrustful. Do these people really regard me? Am I really safe here? Will I be chased away? Can I really sleep with both eyes closed now? Is it alright to act like… a swan? But after a while, the suspicions will fall away and the next stage of coming back into oneself begins: acceptance of one’s unique beauty; that is, the wild soul from which we are all made.

When we accept our own wild beauty, it is put into perspective, and we are no longer poignantly aware of it anymore. Does a wolf know how beautiful she is when she leaps? Is a bird awed by the sound she hears when it snaps open its wings? Learning from them, we just act in our own true way and do not draw back from or hide from our natural beauty.

Like the creatures, we just are and it is right.

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