After a few years of blogging here, this blog is moving. I have a new website and I will blog there as well as have information about my book But First… A Story of a Backwards Life. I will also have information about Pilates, Xtend Barre and TRX classes. Please join me at the just launched heatherhollowaymccash.com and thank you for being a reader!
Slow to react
But a reaction will happen
After enough hits
It will fall apart
Sometimes a slow crumble
Others a loud explosion
But something will happen
The target tries to move
Tries to doge
But gets hit anyway
That was easy
So the aim is focused again
And the hits keep coming
Until the target is done
I was talking to a friend recently about the thoughts I shared a few weeks ago about starting over not really being starting over, but taking the next step. We talked about perception. We talked about failure. I have had a long battle with failure.
Growing up in the dance world, failure was like a gremlin that lurked around the corner. It was constantly on my mind. If I don’t get this part, I’m a failure. If I can’t do thirty-two fouettes on pointe perfectly, I’m a failure. If I have to miss a class because I’m sick, I’m a failure. When I had to stop dancing at eighteen because of an injury, that was the worst failure ever. My body had enough and had broken down and said no. I see now that the change in my course was not failure. I was a dedicated student and artist, that gave everything I had every time I danced. I was successful. Yes, I had wanted to continue doing that but it was time to move on to the next thing. There were signs, but it took my body being temporarily paralyzed at times when I danced to make that finally make that change happen.
When I moved to New York at 18, I thought I would live there for the rest of my life. I could see myself as one of the well dressed older ladies walking around town, slowly, but still moving, still getting around. After eleven years of New York I was just done. The city had changed, I had changed. I had been waiting to get out for a while but I could not bring myself to do it. I did not want to be a failure at living in New York. But the time had come to change course again. My time in New York was over. I left and I’m so happy I did. I kind of saw it as a failure at first. But then I looked back at all I had done and accomplished despite all the struggles around me, September 11th, the housing market crisis, a recession, not to mention the things I had personally gone through. I realized I was successful at living in New York. I had a great life there and when it was really time to go I did.
Many times in life we have a plan as to how we want things to go. I have plans for my clients before they come in the door, sometimes written out and extremely specific. Sometimes that plan happens. Then there are times I have to change it completely for whatever reason. When things do not go the way we planned sometimes we fall apart. I know I do sometimes. But I have learned to see the blessing of things turning out differently. Sometimes the workout I didn’t plan ends up better than I could have planned. I learn from a situation turning out differently than I planned. It’s not always what I would have wanted but that information is usually valuable later on.
I am done with the idea of failure. Instead I will remind myself that life happens, then you learn from it and move forward. Bye Felicia. Be kind to yourself and give yourself a little room for error. Look at the situation through a different lens when things turning out differently than you planned. Take a look a your life and refocus your goals. And say goodbye forever to failure.
I am one
One among many
Mostly blending in
But still here
I am one
One in a sea of similar
But we are not the same
Similar but not the same
I am one
One blooming where I was planted
Standing as tall as I can stand
Learning to sway with the others in the wind
But maybe one
At least one set of eyes
Will appreciate the differences
Will see what this one has to offer
Today I am simply over it. Going to take some time for myself and try to let go of some of the frustration that is getting me down today.
Starting over is something many people have to do or choose to do. This process can be painful, but only if you let it be painful. If you let it, starting over can be a freeing process.
There was a time in my life that I felt like I could not get started long enough to then have to start over again. I tried so many things only to have to ditch that plan and begin again with something new that was once again unsuccessful. Then it got to a point where nothing, not my job, my city or my home was working. I felt very much kicked to the curb. The hardest words to say were I want to come home. But I took all the courage I had to say them. I really thought moving back to my hometown without a concrete plan was a failure. I had not once in my life approached anything without a well thought out plan in place. All I had was an idea of something I might want to be my new career and a promise to myself that I would work toward a life that would build me up, not tear me down like I had let happen years before. I had so many great years in New York before things starting going slowly downhill. Before I knew it I was living in the rubble of what I had hoped my life to be.
I realize now that was not a failure. That was my transition time. Yes, it took a lot of things breaking down including my body and my health to realize it was time to change. But I finally took the steps to work toward a better life. The last thing I wanted was to start over, once again. However, this time it worked. Often times in my business of teaching Pilates and Health Coaching, I have clients that for whatever reason it is necessary to start over. This process can be painful and frustrating if you let the past stand in your way. Comparison of one’s self from the past can have adverse effects when seen negatively. I try to remind clients that if they have done it before, they can do it again. This time will not be as hard because they have knowledge from the past they can build on. They do not have to figure out every single thing again. They at least have some helpful knowledge.
If you choose to free yourself from the negativity of the past, that is when starting over instead becomes taking the next step. That is when you can turn around and look at all the steps that got you to the place you are now. You can then appreciate those steps rather than be overwhelmed by the steps that exist in front of you.
How can you let go of the past and take the next step today?
I was fortunate enough to see the touring production of Beauty and the Beast this week at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. I love fairytales and Disney so I for sure loved this show. I watched Beauty and the Beast many times as a kid but seeing the show as an adult made me think of it in a different way. I no longer saw the servants as innocent victims, in the curse that changed them from people to the physical objects they used most. Instead I saw the servants as participants in the Beast’s selfish, entitled demeanor and inability to see past appearances and see the beauty in people. Yes, in the story they are servants and the Beast is a Prince but our surrounding community helps shape who we are. We tell people how to treat us. Once the Beast let his servants help shape and guide him to being kind that was was when things started to change and the spell was lifted. The Beast could not make this change by himself.
This was also illustrated in the townspeople in Belle’s village. They all banded together to help create Gaston’s giant ego. The little group of ladies that followed him around let him treat them like objects that could be picked up and played with only when it suited him. The townspeople all brushed off her father as a crazy person when he was actually telling the truth. Once they were shown proof of his story they all banded together to try and kill the Beast. That resulted in the death of Gaston.
Community is so important and can make or break you. We cannot go through life just doing things by ourselves with a good chance of surviving. We need each other. We sometimes have to make our own community and we have a choice to work toward the greater good or rip good things apart. I have been lucky enough to be a part of great communities throughout my life so far. I have also found myself in the middle of not so great communities. But I do what I can to continue working with others toward making this world a better place. I would not have been able to attend Beauty and the Beast had it not been for one of my awesome friends in my community. Coming together with other people can do great things for this world. What can you do today to help out your community?
I would love to hear about your experiences and lessons you have learned from community. We can all learn from each other. Please share your knowledge in the comments!
I am often wondering to myself why now? Why is this happening to me but mostly why now?
I wondered why now as I left my orthopedist office in the spring semester of my senior year of high school. He told me I may never be able to dance again after fifteen years of working toward being a dancer. I was moving to New York in the fall, finally after years of waiting to be there. That was my time to make my why was I born happen and my why I live my life was being taken away.
I wondered why now when I was desperate to leave New York eleven years later that I was not chosen for a dream job with my absolute hero in Los Angeles. Why was I offered this job when I had no idea my hero was involved with it when I applied? Why did this job come into my vision if I was not going to get it?
I wondered why now so many times that I was so close to something I had worked for and wanted so badly but was then yanked away. Now I know why. Now I know that sometimes our why, the thing that keeps us going is only motivation and set up for the right thing later on. There are lessons to be learned, choices to be made, things to know to be closer to the goals and life we may not understand yet. We may not even think we want that life at this moment. But later we may understand. I am grateful for the why nows of my past. Sometimes they are painful to look back on but they have pushed me to the life I am living now. I love that life.
So next time life gives you something that makes you say “Why now?” think about the impact it could have later.
May is Lyme Disease awareness month. There is so much to be aware of with this disease that it is hard to understand what it is like unless you have been in it yourself. I wrote a lot about my struggles with Lyme in my book But First… that is coming out soon. I wanted to share a little bit of that today.
The best way I think to describe Lyme Disease is to think about an iceberg. You can only see the very tip, with a lot of ice underneath the water almost taking up all the space. When my health was at it’s worst I probably looked the best I had in my life. The people I told about my illness were very surprised because I did not look like a sick person to them. I heard a lot of “but you look like the picture of health” whenever I shared some of my struggles. I was far from the picture of health. I was fighting for my life every second of every day. I still have to fight now but not as hard as I did 7 years ago when I was first diagnosed.
Lyme Disease is not only something you can’t see very well, but also is incredibly depleting. Lyme Disease depletes everything it can, nutrients, energy, money, time, sanity and everything else. In that respect it is kind of like Pac Man eating up everything in it’s path trying to take all it can before the timer runs out. My endocrine system was out of whack causing me to have insomnia and had to be fixed. My nutrients were either being taken by Lyme or my body was using everything it had to keep me alive and fighting for another day. I was in and out of the doctor’s office, constantly getting tests to see where we needed to fill in where my body was giving out. I had to get my liver checked because I was on high doses of antibiotics. I had to find out which treatments were working and which were not. I had to have someone checking my vitals to make sure I was still surviving, making progress and not being overtaken by the disease.
I was depleted of time because I spent endless hours researching. I spent many hours resubmitting claims to insurance. I spent hours sitting in the doctors office waiting for the next thing. I researched all sorts of treatments from head to toe. I searched for recipes that did not include any of the long list of food I could not eat. I then spent many hours cooking from scratch in my kitchen.
I was depleted of money. I spent so many thousands of dollars on doctor’s appointments, supplements, medication and treatments that I lost count. I was depleted of all my dollars. I was depleted of my energy after spending so much time on all of the things I had to do everyday, including work overtime most weeks, just to make it to the next day.
I was depleted of my social life. I had no time, energy or money, to hang out with the few friends that had stuck around through the hell that was being ill and then the years of trying to get a diagnosis. I was depleted of my confidence in social situations when I knew my body would not be still and at any time any muscle in my body could be in spasm. I did not want people to see my face moving on it’s own. I hated not being able to speak clearly due to my muscle issues. I had trouble writing and there were times I could not sign my own name.
My brain was depleted of its ability to be in control the way it had been in the past. If I could make words come out of my mouth in a way you could understand them half the time at least one of them was wrong. I was constantly saying newspaper instead of magazine or knee instead of elbow. My brain knew the word wasn’t right but no amount of taking my time could make it happen correctly. I could not control my body in the way I needed to. I fainted right in the street once, knowing it was happening but not being able to do anything about it. I only prayed I would not get hit by a car and I could get up without being hurt.
I am so much better than I was. I have whacked away at the iceberg getting rid of as much as I can. I have been successful in my health but I have a new normal that I have had a hard time getting used to. I do my best not to live in constant fear of a return. I do my best to take care of my health so I can continue moving forward.
If you have Lyme Disease, I want you to know you are not alone. Lyme can be so isolating but I have chosen to let it unite me with people I may never have known. If you know someone with Lyme Disease please be compassionate. There are so many unseen struggles with this disease and it can be an uphill battle everyday. If you do not know what Lyme Disease is I encourage you do some of your own research to educate yourself on this depleting disease. Everyone needs to know that a tick bite can be fatal and a huge health risk.
Please post any questions in the comments. I am happy to share any support I can.
There is a curse on some dancers that when they are not in the dance studio they are very clumsy. I am no longer a dancer but I have been a victim of that curse. I have injured myself once again and of course in a ridiculous way.
Sunday night I was rushing to get out the door with my husband and meet my parents for Mother’s Day dinner. We had bought my mother a book and in the process Steven found a book that he wanted, The Dictionary of Sarcasm. I bought it for him and left both books in their bag on the kitchen counter. I took both books out of the bag that was still on the counter before we left for dinner. I picked up the new bag with my mom’s gifts in it and pulled it off the counter. That caused The Dictionary of Sarcasm to fall off the counter and the corner of this heavy hard backed book hit the center of the top of my foot almost breaking it.
Thankfully my foot is ok, at least as far as I know. But it still hurts. There is a possibility of a small fracture but there is nothing that can be done except to not stand on it all day long which is not helpful for a Pilates instructor. So every time I have a client I haven’t seen since my injury I get to tell yet another person how sarcasm almost broke my foot. I hope your week has started off better than mine!