cosmic 2x4 Archives - Dr. Mary Pritchard

Honoring the Rhythms of Your Body and Of Life

By | Goddess Wisdom, Walk the Path, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

As I write this is it almost March, the herald of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Yet, if the inch of snow we got last night wasn’t enough to let me know that it isn’t quite time to Spring into action just yet, my body is telling me loud and clear: it’s still time to rest and hibernate.

We talked a couple of weeks ago about the Frustration of February and how, after a long, hard Winter, many of us in the Northern Hemisphere are ready for Spring to bloom. Yet, as in Nature and in life, there is a Season – a right time – for everything. If I’ve learned anything over my 43 years on this planet, it’s that you can’t force things to happen. You might think you are in “control” and have it all together, but don’t be surprised if and when Universe knocks you off your high horse!

I used to be a control freak. Truth be told, it’s still something I fight nearly every day (I was born on the cusp of Virgo…). Several years ago I had a pretty bad year. It was one of those years that was jam-packed more “life lessons” than I cared to learn, but learn them I did. Three of the biggest lessons I learned that year were:

  • Life happens for you, not to you – I used to get so mad at the Universe when things went wrong. I would think to myself, “Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” Yet, I learned two important lessons that year: 1) I wasn’t in control of everything; I couldn’t be. 2) Playing the victim and asking, “Why me?” was getting me nowhere. Here’s the thing: you can’t control everything, but you can control how you respond and what lessons you learn from everything that happens for you. Life is nothing but a journey of opportunities for growth, after all.
  • Honor the rhythms of your body and of life – I used to try to be the Energizer bunny. I would go and go until I crashed. I would work through pain, sickness, grief. Work became my go to coping mechanism because it’s what I learned growing up. Unfortunately, that viewpoint very nearly killed me (I almost died of pneumonia when I was 25). I’m nothing if not a slow learner, and I am still a work in progress. But here’s what I know about me: my energy levels vary. They are not constant. Also, I am not the Energizer bunny (nor are you, for that matter). We weren’t meant to keep pushing ourselves until we break. It’s not healthy and it likely won’t make you happy either. (See today’s video for more on cycles and rhythms.)
  • You can’t fight the Universe – after my very stressful year of learning these lessons, I started January of the next year with a new motto: instead of fighting the Universe (a battle I never won), what would happen if I tried to go with the flow more, laughed a little more at myself, and tried a little harder to pay attention to the lessons Universe was trying to teach me? This wasn’t easy, mind you, as it was a complete 180 from what I had been doing most of my life. But, I found that if I just stopped resisting for a minute and allowed myself time to breathe, check in with myself, and ask, “What’s the lesson here?,” Life got, if not easier, then at least more enjoyable. Those onions didn’t seem quite so bad and instead of getting hit with Cosmic 2x4s, Universe turned to more gentle nudges and whispers because I was finally listening so it didn’t have to scream so loudly!

In today’s video, I discuss a little bit more about these life lessons and how you can learn to harness the power of the cycles and rhythms of your body and your life.

A Lesson Learned by Just Be-Ing

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

beingAs I write this, this is my first official day back to work after my Spring Break – a Spring Break I spent sick, lying on my couch trying to breathe. It was not how I had planned on spending my Spring Break, but it was actually quite wonderful. No anxiety, no to-do lists, nowhere to go.

I was talking to a friend of mine about it this morning. “I wish I could feel like this all the time – minus the sickness,” I told her. “Yes,” she said. “That's the goal.” She challenged me to carve out more time for myself everyday – time for me to rest, play, and just be. In addition, she encouraged me to slow down in other ways – to get out of hectic going and doing like I'm on a hamster wheel mode.

Here are the possible strategies we brainstormed to help me with my objectives:

  1. Take the time to prioritize daily objectives. Each morning before I start working, I ask myself, “What are the 3 most important things (MITs) I need to do today?” Then I usually make a list of 5-10 things. Inevitably, I don't finish my to do list and then feel bad about it, which defeats the whole purpose of the 3 most important things. No more! I am going to allow myself to list 3 and only 3 things. Then I focus on those 3 things. Yes, interruptions will occur, but I find if I write them down and put them by my computer, it helps me remember what I am supposed to be focusing on.
  2. Cut internet use by half. Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a FaceBook junkie. Then I complain about not having enough time to do the things I want to do. Of course, if I spent less time on FaceBook, Twitter and my email, I'd get more done… My friend suggested I close out my email account when I’m working so I don’t get distracted. Ditto with Facebook. Without the constant notifications pinging at me, my work space should be much quieter, and thus make it easier to concentrate to my 3 MITs!
  3. Enjoy nature. I try to get outside every day – especially when it’s nice out. A mid-day quick stroll or a few minutes in my backyard at the end of the day go a long way to restoring my sanity. Since my dog Kolby always knows when it's “time” to go for a walk, he holds me accountable. 😉
  4. Eat More Slowly. Confession time: I am eating my lunch at 3:00pm while I write this blog post. Clearly, this is not conducive to get digestion or getting the most nutrients out of my food. I need to stop doing that.
  5. Connect with family and friends. I’m not talking about Facebook either. I’m talking about one-on-one time when you can actually enjoy each other’s company, sans smart phones.
  6. Make time for yourself. Yeah, yeah, yeah. “But I don’t have time for myself.” Yes, you do. Cut down on Facebook by 10 minutes a day and do something relaxing for you. Have 15 minutes? Take a relaxing soak – even 15 minutes will do wonders for your sanity.
  7. Give yourself more time. Some of us like to stick to a tight schedule and plan all our daily events. Next time you’re jotting down new tasks in your planner, try to factor in a few extra minutes when estimating how long things will take. This will help you not rush through daily tasks. And, if you're anything like me, you tend to underestimate how long this will take. So this will allow you to feel less harried trying to get things done “on time.”
  8. Take the scenic route. Hate rush hour? Me too. So I drive the ‘long’ scenic way to work. It’s so much more refreshing than sitting in traffic. Occasionally I even see a deer! I also listen to music and dance during my commute – when I get to work I'm already in a good mood!
  9. Sit for a moment with your eyes closed when you start your computer. I start each day in prayer. I ask for guidance. I ask for God/Goddess/Universe to guide my thoughts, sight, words, voice, heart, hands, and body. And then, and only then, do I start working. (This also works well when you're dealing with a difficult person!)
  10. Remember your goals and aspirations. It's so easy to get sidetracked by all the little time wasters in life. Those 3 MIPs should be taking you one step closer to your goals. If they're not, they're not MIPs.

How do you take time for you and get off that hamster wheel each day?

What Are Your Triggers?

By | Body Love, Wisdom Blog | One Comment

In today's video, I get really vulnerable and talk about my battle with anorexia on camera for the first time. Even if you don't suffer from body dissatisfaction or an eating disorder, this video pertains to you. Why? Because we all have struggles – things we've been working on healing for years. And just when we think we've got the issue healed, life throws us a curve ball. This video discusses just how to handle those curve balls.

Enjoy!

Coming to Terms with My Infertility

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 15 Comments

Pregnant womanI got divorced in August of 2013. One of the many issues that lead to the downfall of my marriage was that my ex badly wanted to be a father – of his own biological child – and after 4 failed fertility attempts, I was done trying. He wasn’t.

Soon after the divorce was finalized, he found himself an insta-family: a woman who had 2 children already (and thus was obviously fertile). As much as it smarted that after 21 years he ‘replaced’ me less than a month after our divorce was finalized, I was more hurt by the the fact that he got what he always wanted – a family. Whereas I got nothing, but my infertility rubbed in my face again.

No worries, I said to myself. I’m okay with my infertility. I didn’t want children anyway. I was 40 after all. My biological clock had ceased ticking a long time ago.

But somehow, somewhere underneath the ‘I don’t want kids’ exterior, I still felt flawed. Jilted. Like my goddess-given right to have children had been prematurely and unfairly taken from me.

So I made it crystal clear to every man who expressed interest in me that I couldn’t have kids. I thought it only fair to both of us to not even pursue a relationship without him knowing I was ‘flawed.’

Because you know, I was fine with my infertility. I wasn’t.

As I’ve said before, I believe the universe gives us just what we need when we need it. When we don't listen to that message/lesson, the universe keeps sending us increasingly louder reminders until we get it. Gentle nudges turn into shoves. Shoves become cosmic 2x4s.

I thought I had dealt with my infertility. I thought I had accepted it, gotten over it, moved on. Apparently I hadn't.

I met a man two months ago. I told him I couldn’t have kids. He said he was fine with that; said he didn’t know if he wanted them anyway. We chatted almost daily; talked about meeting again (we don’t live in the same state – we met at a wedding of a mutual friend of all places). I was apprehensive, wanting us both to be sure before we tried to make a long distance relationship work. He finally broke down my reserves and I agreed to meet him. We only had to work out the when and where.

Two days later, he changed his mind. He wasn’t sure if he wanted kids or not and I couldn’t have them… He needed some time to think it through.

I was devastated. It's apparently still a very sore subject for me and it felt like I was being rejected by yet another man for something I could not control. I spent more time in my office that day crying in between my classes and meetings than I care to admit.

You see, I thought I had dealt with my infertility, but I hadn't. So the universe sent me this man – yet another cosmic 2×4 for me.

The shock I felt, the betrayal hurt like hell. Yet, I am grateful to him for inadvertently pointing out another lesson I need to learn. A lesson I didn’t know I needed to learn, but can now deal with it so it doesn't come back to bite me in the ass again. And now I know that I need to be even more clear with any man I might want to date about the kid issue. To make sure that he gets it and is okay with it before either of us invest any of our time or ourselves in the potential relationship. It just hurts too much to keep going through this. And I now know that's something I need to deal with and work on. I owe that to myself.

And so I told him I was finished. I wasn’t going to wait for him to ‘think about it.’ My heart can't take another beating for something I have no control over. I have worked so hard to not see this as a flaw in myself. It's not like I asked for this or brought it upon myself somehow. Endometriosis is hereditary (although my ex seemed to blame me for it anyway). I cannot pursue anything with a man knowing he sees me as flawed. I have too much self-respect for that.

I wished him well and said I hoped he could find someone who can meet his needs. I think we both deserve that. Everyone deserves to be happy.

If there is a plus side to this it’s that it did in fact make me re-think the kid issue. It made me ask myself, “Do I want children?” And I came to terms with the fact that regardless of my endometriosis, at age 40, I actually don’t want kids. There – I said it. I know that statement will make me a pariah to some, but it’s my truth. I feel that I have many gifts to share, but they will be with friends, family, students – children of my heart, not of my womb. And I am okay with that. I can move forward knowing that I am not flawed for not being able to have – or not wanting – children in my life at this point.

I also realized something. I am a good catch – for the right guy. I just need someone who wants the same things in life that I do. I need someone I can pursue my dreams with (and he with me) without feeling like I am letting either of us down. I've done that before. No more. It's not fair to me and it's not fair to my future Mate.

So I’m putting it out there for the Universe to hear and deal with. I want a romantic partner who is also my Soul Mate – not because I need one, but because I want one. And I am more than willing to wait for the right man at the right time and the right place in my life. Someone who won’t judge me or see me as flawed. Because I’m not. I’m perfect just as I am – infertility, deciding I really don’t want kids, and all. Even if it takes months, even if it takes years. I will wait.

Finally, I surrender.