Tag Archives: butterflies

2014 BLOG – DAY 47 :: peak performance: how to quell anxiety

16 Feb

Happy Sunday night. Welcome Monday morning.

Sunday is notorious for bringing the blues to town. Which causes anxiety and procrastination and maybe some daydreaming too.

Before I go off to bed, and prepare for Monday morning, I am posting my Sunday night note.

I am now deep into the book The Champions Mind and happy to report that I am intrigued. The athlete inside of me is jumping up and down. I am reminded of the power of setting goals and the intense helpfulness of visualization.

Tonight, specifically on a Sunday night looking a new week in the eye,  I am intrigued by this: how to quell anxiety.

Among the many suggestions and advice is this: Get Creative.

When anxiety strikes, “Use your imagination. Give the anxious feeling an imaginary form (such as a sparkler or a firecracker) and then place it in an imaginary safe place or container that will protect you from it. Understand you are bigger and more powerful than this anxious feeling.”

I’ll keep reading and report back. Until then, have a great week.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless}
Jamie

{how do you conquer anxiety?}

Day 183: fearless in the grand canyon :: day 5, oh, my swollen cankles!

2 Jul

My feet are swollen.  My legs are heavy. I have been home for almost a week and I still have cankles — as in canyon ankles.

My feet are scratched, bruised and my heels are all torn up.
But, it was so worth it.

After a few days in the canyon something incredible happens — other than waking up to the smell of banana nut pancakes — your feet swell and ankles enlarge.

Actually, everything either swells or becomes stiff from the knees down. We must have looked like zombies in a Michael Jackson video, stumbling our stiff bodies out of our sleeping bags in the light of dawn.

All the while yelping like coyotes with each painful step.
Oh! Ouch! Yikes!

So our cousin, Kyle, took it upon himself to save the day and lead stretches on the beach in the morning before we departed camp.

Maybe it was to help us get ready for our day, or maybe it was to prove to his parents that he has indeed been attending class as a sports medicine major in college at Austin, Texas.

Or, maybe, just maybe, (and, I’m going with this theory) I think he wanted all of us over thirty-somethings to stop complaining about not being able to walk.

We loaded up camp, jumped in our boats and landed at the next scenic spot down river:  Deer Creek Slot Canyon.

And, guess who was already there?
Yep! Our nudists friends. They were mostly dressed and boarding their boat so the hike was all ours.

We set off for The Patio, a beautiful opening of flat rocks with trees growing up between swirling water in a spa like setting.

Our first step was hiking up a steep, rocky staircase. A hike our guide compared to 3o minutes on a stair-master.

To a beautiful lookout point where we could see way up the Colorado River and survey where our trip had taken us over the past few days.

Then, we gently stepped along a centuries old trail, high atop a 50-foot waterfall.

     

As we walked the narrow path right next to the slot canyon, just above the waterfall, our guide, Keith, pointed out the ancient handprints in the rock and the place where a hiker found remnants of an ancient society — bowls and woven sandals.

The gorge was used by native cultures as a ceremony for boys to jump into manhood — all they had to do was jump the divide (or, I imagine, fall to their death).

The narrow path widened and we ended up at The Patio, a flat rocky expanse perfectly named. It felt like an oasis, like discovering some ancient spa, hidden inside the narrow, rocky gorge.

We napped, read books, hiked, and ate a few granola bars on the flat-rocked patio.

It was so delicately landscaped and well-thought out, it felt like at any moment a waiter might appear to take our order.

We played in the water:

Justin excitedly showed me a cave behind the waterfall and encouraged me to go behind the water to see it.

I hesitated.
It looked so cold, so dark, so not appealing. But, then he took my hand and showed me how to duck under the strong current of water and dip behind the falls.

Then, I panicked.  

The cave seemed to swallow me up and all I could see was a wall of water. I was stuck and I felt out of breath.

I yelled up at Justin, over the sound of the pounding water,  “I want OUT!”
He looked me in the eyes and yelled back, “You are okay. You’re okay. I’m coming in.”

Then he slowly scooted in beside me and there we sat, together, behind a wall of water barely able to hear each other speak but surrounded by the splashing and echoing of a million-year-old cave. Just the two of us.

As we emerged from the wall of water I opened my eyes and saw butterflies.

Little, white, delicate butterflies fluttering all around the ferns, moss and greenery. It felt like a washing of my soul, my fearless moment of the day — and butterflies were there to celebrate.

And, then we did what everyone does after a hike: EAT!

We paddled over to an enormous rock structure where our guides set up kitchen for our mid-day dining.

Others climbed the ginormous rock.

I slept under it.

And, then, I stubbed my toe. 
As if my feet weren’t already swollen enough, I mindlessly walked right over a rock, (a pebble!) that opened up a patch of skin on the tip of my second toe.

Not a snake bite, a fall from a 50-foot waterfall, or a valiant attempt to save someone falling out of the boat.

Nope, I was half asleep after we napped in the shade of that enormous rock structure and I woke up to go use the bathroom. Where I stubbed my toe.

That night was a bit of a rocky road.
We pulled up to camp on the rocks. Literally.

Sure, there was sand lining the crevices, but this was ROCK CAMPING.

We laid out paco pads on the rocky ledges and watched for scorpions.

It was so hot we sat with our feet in the water until darkness descended in the canyon.

There’s nothing like 50-degree canyon water for cankles.

In a way, it was like a spa day, Grand Canyon style.
We started with stretching on the sand, napped on a patio with waterfalls and butterflies and we slept on hot rocks.

The only thing missing?
A pedicure. 

I wish I could say I slept well, but I didn’t.
With visions of scorpions crawling all over my head I watched the night sky turn into the Milky Way and then back into the first light of dawn.

And, then, as the sun rose up over the canyon, we were off to the most beautiful waterfall I never did see…

Day 83: f*ing friday :: fire it up

23 Mar

It’s F*ing Friday!
I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5 in Year 1, including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.

Last week I dove into the word Free Food. 

Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the word:
Fire it up.

As in, passion.

Tonight, I led a Women on Fire Tea at Cottey College.

It was significant for me because it my first time leading a Women on Fire Tea.

But, even MORE significant is the fact that the tea was for young women at my alma mater, Cottey College.

I am so impressed with and on fire about these young women.

Tonight’s tea was dedicated to Debbie Phillips ~ the founder of Women on Fire ~ who was also leading a tea in New York City at the exact same time we gathered around our table in Nevada, Missouri.

And, I think that’s the special magic of being a Woman on Fire.
To be connected, over years, miles and a mission.
To share dreams, passions, goals, yearnings and unfounded joy.
To weep, laugh and cry.
To honor and applaud each other as we all take the next step – together.

It’s somewhat ironic to me that the room where we gathered tonight was in a building called the Women’s Leadership Center.

But, it’s no surprise that floating above, throughout the entire night, shining towards us all, was a sparkling, colorful, glowing…

BUTTERFLY.
May we all help each other grow wings, fire it up and fly. 

Day 72: go butterflies!

12 Mar

Yesterday, while walking Pup, I saw a bright orange butterfly.

It was a tiny and beautiful butterfly — and very elegant.
Just as I spotted it, she flew away.

For the rest of our walk I kept thinking – I wish I could see that butterfly again.  

When I was in the depth of my divorce my best friend’s mother said to me over and over, “Jamie, you are a butterfly.”

She was trying to tell me that someday, all the pain and awful fear would be behind me. She was trying to pump me up, encourage me, with love and support during all of the terrible trials, court dates, job loss, and other unexpected shenanigans of that major life chaos.

She wanted me to believe I had something to live for…
Something to look forward to…
Something to grow wings for…

I thought she was all foo foo talk, just to get me to smile. Like a 50-year old cheerleader at a losing football game, jumping up and down in the end zone with a plastic smile and pom poms.  “Jamie, you are a butterfly! GO BUTTERFLIES!”

Give me a B! Give me a U! Give me a T!
What does that spell? BUT.

And, that’s what I was carrying around with me back then. A big, old “but” — but this and a but that. I wasn’t ready to step out of my cocoon and grow wings because all I could see was the life I “used” to have and what I had “lost.”

These days, however, I keep a quote next to my bed.
It says:

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us”
Joseph Campbell 

Kind of sounds like a butterfly doesn’t it? Leaving behind the cocoon and breaking out the wings.

Yesterday, on my walk with Pup — just as we reached the last tree (the last pee tree!) on Pup’s regular route — I looked down toward the ground and saw an orange spec flapping it’s wings back and forth.

The butterfly came back!
And, she landed on the pavement right in front of me.

I looked at her and smiled, and said “thank you” under my breath.  Then, all of sudden she flew up in front of my face and flew around my hair.  Then she was gone.

Every time I see butterflies I think of that moment when I was scarred and trapped inside a cocoon, too afraid to take a step forward into the unknown.

And then I get out my pom poms and dust off my wings and continue to fly toward the life that is waiting.

Go, Butterflies!

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