In early November, I wrote this post on social media about my relationship and our decision to live separately for a period of time as a conscious choice. You’ll see from the public comments that many felt inspired by my expression of relationship freedom.
In private messages, I curiously received some well-intentioned notes of condolences from people who skimmed the post and missed its essence.
Then, out of the shadows, came an accusation and admonishment that I was OVERSHARING.
I’ve been pondering that one ever since.
The idea of “not airing our dirty laundry” might be an empowering decision IF we were coming from a clear and sovereign place of uninfluenced choice.
And of course, there are certain times and spaces where sharing the intimate details of one’s life can be socially inappropriate. I can appreciate why you may want to keep your private life out of the conversation at the parent-teacher conference. Sure!
What I see though, is that a lot of the time, there’s discomfort and shame around “real talk,” especially if it is about our emotions. Have you ever lied and said you are fine, when someone asks how you are?
We are unconsciously adhering to what I feel is a dangerous and disempowering societal construct.
Why dangerous? Simply put, across history, people with more access to privilege have overtly and covertly silenced those with less privilege. Think about the old-school rule that it is impolite to divulge how much money we make at our jobs. And now, think about how that provides the conditions for men to continue to make more money than women for the same work. This is how problems like abuse, racism, inequality, and many other ills of society are able to thrive.
Why disempowering? I think often about a community I lived in for 20 years that was affluent, highly educated and achievement-focused. Competition and keeping up with the Jones’ was the norm. On a regular basis, I witnessed people experiencing the pain of normal life issues become compounded by the deep shame that they were having any challenge at all.
Take something as common as it is taboo, like divorce. The experience of ending a marriage is stressful enough, but in these environments there seems to be a ubiquitous feeling of loneliness and isolation that is added to the original issue because people are living in fear of how others perceive them.
The sad irony is if they were brave enough to share, they’d likely experience a sense of comfort in hearing that in fact, the Jones’ are in couple’s therapy too. All parties would be able to show up powerfully and supportively, if there wasn’t this judgmental stigma about oversharing.
We could all do our dirty laundry together!
Learning how to live a radically authentic life is courageous and necessary work, my friends. It is a key component to our well-being and ability to feel emotional resonance and connection with others as well as resource support for ourselves.
This type of self-development is the nucleus of my work these days. Oversharing is a focal point within my one on one coaching, the online groups I lead, as well as workshops and retreats that I facilitate.
Announcement About Separation
Yes it’s true, as of October 15 we have not been living together.
This is the second separation of our marriage. The first time was in response to a relationship crisis. This time around, it’s a conscious choice that fully supports the deepening of our intimacy.
It’s been SO good for us, in this season, to follow our individual sleeping and eating rhythms because we are both in separate creative/business-building modes.
Also, after a very stressful September we weren’t communicating as well as we normally do. Gears were grinding and we started getting on each other’s nerves in a way that would probably look pretty mild to an outsider, but wasn’t OK for us.
So, rather than wait for that to devolve into an actual breakdown, we decided to mindfully hit pause and create some boundaries that serve.
So, until mid December we will live walking distance from each other and we are now dating!
So fun and exciting. Rimon is as amazing and sexy a boyfriend as he is a husband.
There’s not enough content out there about keeping long term relationships alive and vibrant so I’m leaving this here and hope it inspires.
#conscious relating #relationshipdesign
I spent a lot of time this weekend transmuting the emotions of grief, anger and sadness through the vessel of my body. I am so grateful that this is possible.
My daily practice lately has been a mixture of martial arts punch sequences, dance, theatrical movement, a few yoga poses and savasana. Not necessarily in any order, and always in the outdoor church.
Guess what. I haven’t done any seated meditation in a long while, maybe months.
I’m tracking with curiosity how the mainstream yoga/meditation scene isn’t working for me anymore.
I booked a yoga one day retreat a few weeks ago and was surprised at how feral and rebellious I felt against the backdrop of the overly serene, good vibe tribe. I’m over it. I did me, and kicked, punched, grunted and screamed into my hands anyway. Hopefully I inspired someone.
I am less interested in calming down and focused instead on expanding my capacity to feel all of my emotions, through my body, and find an authentic somatic expression to move big emotions through.
The opposite of trauma is resilience. It’s great to know the tools to create more calm in your life, but being able to carefully train your nervous system to hold charge is probably a lot more useful, in this crazy world. How are you cultivating your healthy fierceness, sister?
I am so psyched to start sharing more of this work. I’ll debut my new curriculum - Rewilding Movement at the Nature and Nurture Retreat coming up September 29-October
Cycling Through Graveyards
Growing up in Queens I spent a ton of time bike riding with my Dad at Maple Grove cemetery. It was actually one of the only places available for me to ride safely.
I’ve shared this often with friends over the years who grew up in suburban or rural environments and I’ve usually been met with utter disbelief. When growing up with nature privileges, it can be a challenge to conceive of the fact that some kids are raised surrounded by concrete. Even the small playgrounds in my hometown had zero grass.
People also doubt me when I say i was well into my 40s before I went on a proper hike. It just wasn’t something that was a part of my world. I didn’t feel motivated to seek it out, simply because I didn’t know what was there. There was also some cultural based fear of nature to contend with.
I quite literally knew next to nothing about mountains when I moved to the Rockies two years ago. It was an amazingly expanding experience of a world that I’d only seen in movies.
I’m so happy that my relationship to nature has deepened. But honestly, to this day, nothing lights me up more or brings out my inner child as much as as a good cycle through a graveyard! So much joy this morning.
Gun Culture Life
Two weeks ago, I attended Pride in NYC and shortly after I parted ways with my 23yo son he sent me a text that read “mom there’s an active shooter.”
For 45 min he and others sheltered in a restaurant, eventually finding out the popping noises that had sent hundreds running in a panic from Washington Square park, were in fact, fireworks.
I noticed that when I got that text, and in the depth of my fear, all I could think was, okay. It’s my turn. Today is my turn to have a child in a mass shooting. I was weirdly resolute and stoic about it. I was consoling myself in real time, so aware that I’m not the only one going through that experience.
Wait, what? I still don’t know quite what to make of that reaction.
Last weekend, I called my other two sons who live in different cities to review what might be useful to do in case they were faced with the typical American experience of encountering a mass murderer with a killing machine at the 4th of July celebrations they were attending. We discussed this using the same tone as we would if we were trying to figure out what to have for lunch.
It turns out they way they have been drilled during their elementary school years may not be the best advice. So we casually discussed running in a zig zag pattern because a moving target is harder to shoot.
I don’t know what I’m more disturbed by. The fact that this keeps happening, or the way my own mind is normalizing it as a coping strategy.
Sending love to all of you holding this with me… as well as holding everything else, too.
Silencing Me Won't Work
I spoke to my mom on the phone this morning. “You’re not very quiet,” she observed.
She’s right. I’m not. I’m pretty sure I don’t know how to be.
I find that there’s immense opportunity when we are transparent and have the courage to share. The opportunity exists to leverage every difficult situation for the healing of ourselves and others. I also feel the power of being able to inspire people to see things differently, consider a broader perspective and perhaps even to motivate them into actions, big and small.
I know this raw, direct honesty often brings humans way out of their comfort zone, especially when we are speaking about power structures and supremacy. People absolutely freak when those shadows are brought into a spotlight.
Some weeks ago, someone I considered a friend did her best to publicly silence me on a group thread we were both on when I expressed my desire to openly process the experiences of harmful behaviors I’d witnessed within the group. It was interesting to witness her efforts to shut me up. I watched as a couple of voices surfaced in support of me, and I tracked the silence from others.
The situation was painful, but I found that I remained wholly undeterred. If anything, it strengthened my resolve to take my process to perhaps a much wider audience.
I consider myself a leader within many communities, and I’m quite present and aware of the power of my voice. I use it to teach and support as well as hold others accountable for their actions. That’s not going to change.
Ask my mom, if you don’t believe me
I’m sitting with the potential impact that I can create. I’m organizing my thoughts, and looking forward to leveraging my 18 month experiment out west to create change in this world. I’ve got stories for years, people. Some of it will burn the hair inside your ears.
Stay tuned, I’m writing. Lots of good chapters for the memoir here.