I'msitting in Cambridge, MA right now, in a way too healthy little cafe called Life Alive. After a week of cafeteria food at the grad school where I'm taking classes, I decided a binge on all things green was necessary. I ordered a green juice, a green smoothie, and a green goddess bowl of green stuff. The waitress eyed me over and said, "Feeling green today?" My initial feelings of embarrassment soon evaporated after an old man who could probably be the leader of a cult started ordering. Apparently he's allergic to everything from gluten to dairy to red food to ice cubes to seeds to you name it. But, he just got tested for h.pylori (a nasty parasite), so all will be "well soon."
He's currently sitting next to me engrossed in a feisty discussion with a young guy about kale.
I've been in Cambridge for the last 4 days and will be here for the next 4. I know you are probably assuming that I am taking classes on anatomy and physiology, steeping myself in all things physical and fitness. But, nope. I'm actually here to finish a MFA in Creative Writing that I started before having my second baby girl. It was something I left behind in the wake of kids and life and career and and and. I always knew I wanted to finish, but sort of assumed it would happen when things were more settled, less infant and less intense. But, life is never going to be less infant and less intense and there is never a right time. Creating and running Momma Strong stirred up something in me - something I was hoping to stir in all of you too. Underneath all the fitness and the green everything lies another layer of wellness: Authenticity and Want.
I used to think we had to strive for balance as mothers and women. And I thought that at some point I would settle into finding my one true purpose and that in doing so, everything would align and fall into place. I'd be left with a clear, straight-forward and manageable way of being. But, I've started to see that it's not that simple and maybe it shouldn't be. That we might be juggling a lot of aspects of ourselves at all times and that balance is found in merely accepting who are and all the myriad ways in which we want to operate in the world.
You don't have to choose balance. You can choose You. Complex or not, choosing you might be multi-layered or it might be completely wonderfully simple. But, it has nothing to do with balance. It has to do with choosing you and hearing that little voice that says, "I Want."
The reason I am here at a writing program is not because I am miserable and certainly not because I don't enjoy my work with Momma Strong, but because I realize that without having the courage to finish what I started years ago, I won't show up everywhere in my life as brightly as I need to. But, I'll be honest. It was not easy to get here. And definitely not rational. I'm a busy lady! Along with that, I don't have nannies or tons of extra money or anything that makes this leap less fitful. In fact, I had to take my kids a few days earlier to my mom's in DC, where I then had a middle of the night panic attack about what the eff I was doing leaving my kids and going away for a whole week to pursue a degree for no other reason than "I want." I've had to dip into emergency funds and money I don't have to get a room at an inn near the college and I'm paying for tuition through financial aid. Again, nothing about this is rational. Nothing.
The one thing that is rational?
Want. This is a part - an intrinsic part - of the truth of who I am and for that reason, I want it.
So, in honor of New Year's and in place of the normal "Be a better you" push for this month, I'd like to replace it with: What do you Want?
I guarantee that the answer to the question is the foundation for your ultimate wellness. The thing that snaps you into working out more consistently, eating food in a nurturing way, and being a truly better you. There's a secret to New Year's resolutions that I think you already know: They don't work. Has it ever worked for you? How many times have you attempted to beat yourself into submission, completely believing that the cleanse supplement at Whole Foods or that workout video or that yoga package will make you suddenly shiny and bright and settled? But, it's all for naught unless you start with: What do I Want? How do I Want to feel?
Start there. From your guts. Be willing this January to start at this place with me. And while you go through that adventure, don't worry, I'll be here to take care of your body. If you haven't joined the Tribe yet, go for it now! Start today. We're a group of women focused not only on wellness, but on how to show up in our lives embodying wellness. We sometimes talk like sailors. We often giggle at ourselves. We (digitally) hug when life gets wonky. We wink at our kids latest -isms. We trade green smoothie recipes. We manage injuries. We tell each other to begin again and keep f*cking going. We show up. Join us.
I'll also be reintroducing the amazingly popular program, The Hook, on February 1st. Whether you did it before or are starting anew, it's going to be great. AND, guess what? It's only $30, but only for a couple more days! This sale ends on Sunday, January 20th!!! This program has changed the lives of so many of your fellow momma strong-ers. Join us now for a super cheap investment. $1 a day. You and you hero's journey to wellness. What do you have to lose? Go.