Calm over chaos and leaning into your feels

My Catalyst moment this week happened as I flailed the waters of the Hooch and later at the foot of a tree.

It snuck up on me last week……..the tight chest, the overwhelm, the inability to “deal”, eating to feed a never-satisfied satiety, the desperate tug-of-war with my brain searching for answers to find peace…..and time……and calm over chaos.  I was in a “20 to life” kinda mood.  You know that one…when you mentally sharpen up your shank and get prepared to spend the rest of your life behind bars?  I have too much left to do in life to be locked up so I had to figure out a way to chill……..STAT.   I kept asking myself “What is your DEAL; the milk of human kindness is curdling around you”?   Then on Friday I had to visit the vet and I remembered that the last time I was in there I saw my grandmother’s hairdresser and then the dates all clicked for me…….this week is coming up on three years without #OurRockOurGlue.  Oh.  yeah.    Dad-damn unconscious mind.

I try to be responsible for my energy so I usually disengage to prevent spreading dark clouds but disengaging was creating more problems in all facets of my life. All.  So, that night I decided I would KEEP TRAINING and get up early with my crew and get in an Open Water Swim annnnnnnnd that was a suckfest!   I went about twenty feet and realized I had left my noseclip in my bag so I couldn’t get in rhythm with my bi-lateral breathing THEN I was aggravated that I had a crutch that kept me from performing without it (what the heck would I do if another swimmer knocked the damn thing off during the race?).  So I kept struggling through the rest of my swim and I mentally made a note to lose my “binky” next week.  My binky was fine while I was trying to train during an illness last spring because I had a team relying on me, but now it has become a hindrance.  During Half Ironman Chattanooga I had another racer ask me where I got my cool ring and he looked away in awkward silence as I told him that was my noseplug. Dude, you do you.

Suckfest or not I decided to “submit” and give in to my pissyness and just swim on my side the rest of the way.  A bad training session is better than no training session, right?  That is when I saw the feather floating on the surface several feet away.  I let my kayak support know that ” I gotta get that feather” and I started swimming towards it and my flailing made it travel further away sooooo I submitted again and I calmly floated over to grab it.  “Stop flailing, Stacy”.

Alex, my support that day, calmly asked if I wanted him to carry the feather for me while I continued to swim.  No outward judgment, no disdain, no control or eye roll…..just, “You want me to carry that for you, Stacy”?  Now, he may have internally been side-eyeing me and wondering what would make an #over40sowhat woman flail through the river to grab a feather, but he simply offered me…….calm.  It is like the Universe knew what I needed in order for me to start figuring out how to calm the chaos on my own.  I handed over my feather and kept swimming.  “Stop flailing, Stacy”.

I grabbed my feather after the swim and left to get in the second part of my training done, my run.  It was not a suckfest and I was able to clear my head a little……I am starting to like this Zone 2.  Imma try to stop griping about it.  I saw many peeps out there clearing their heads that morning, too.

The days during the planning for Mama Dot’s funeral many members of my family (we are simply known as the MDGSociety) were visited by hawks… was on top of her house, one was on the roof of the funeral home, one circled my brother’s truck as he drove to the funeral, one flew in front of my parents as they drove to the viewing, one screeched at me through the woods as I walked through jobsites, one sat outside during the family gathering afterwards, etc……..AND many of her grandchildren and children would find feathers that week……everywhere.  In our bedroom, on the hotel floor, inside the doorframe of a vehicle, in the driveway…..the list went on and on.  The night of her funeral and many nights after a flock of birds would soar and dance above us when we visited the cemetery.  Feathers are symbolic that her energy is still with us and that we are still connected with each other.  Oh. Yeah.

I went to visit Sacred Heart today and checked on her headstone to see if anything needed to be tidied up.  I took the feather I found in the current of the Chattahoochee and sat listening to the cars whizzing by. I also decided to sit at my grave for a spell.  What?  You have never sat at your own grave before.  It can give you a whole notha’ sense of perspective…..I recommend it.  I noticed that the lawnmower took a chunk out of one of the roots near my “plot” (and morbidly thought I would be the killer of this tree one day since it will need to be damaged in order to bury me, but then I remembered it was a damn Bradford Pear…soooooooo).  Seeing that deep cut made me think how everyday we sustain damage: pain, sickness, chaos, fear, resentment, rejection, sadness, overwhelm.  Then I looked up into the canopy and saw……….light.   “Stop flailing, Stacy” 

I am leaning into my feels this week and will attempt to stop flailing.  It is okay to feel the feels and let them guide me in order to grow and expand or even acknowledge that change may need to happen so I don’t stay stuck in a negative feel for too long. I spent the weekend resetting my boundaries and I will fiercely protect them, disengage where I must, and push forward where I have to.  I actually made a list of the things I will get done this week (go ahead and pick yourself off the floor).  MY list is the priority in order to get on the other side of overwhelm. That overwhelm that keeps us from experiencing the journey of our one life on this beautiful blue marble with the people we care the most about.  And when someone asks, “You want me to carry that for you, Stacy?” I just might let them more often.


Flowers left by Diva (aka, Mom) when I agreed to finally let her come clean the house while I was at work!


*Next week is recovery week for tri-training…..perfect timing*