A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn....

It's gonna get harder before it gets easier. But it will get better, you just gotta make it through the hard stuff first.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Emotionally free.

Today my vacation pay-out came through, so the break from UT is final and clear. Huge exhale. There are a lot of words of choice I could say, but why bother? Like a horrific accident that people shove away into the furthest parts of the brain, it is over and forgotten. In fact, I only think about it when asked how it feels to not be there - and I, myself, am amazed how awesome and easy the transformation had happened, and how I did completely forget I spent 5 years in my last lab. One thing I will say though: if you are a boss of others, even just one person, think how you treat them. It's not the job that people dislike, it's the way they are appreciated or not. One word is all it takes to help folks soar or get broken. Last 8 months drove me into a clinical depression and magnified my already existing medical condition. But I am one patient, focused and goal-oriented human being. I haven't been broken yet, and I didn't let it happen now. If anything, I am more than ever determined to rise to the highest of my potential.

Reading a book "Emotionally Free" didn't shed a huge amount of light as I had been working on myself for over a decade (as well as "Your Money Life"), but these two last books had been given to me by my massage clients. My dear massage clients, just as my dear coaching ones, become my friends, or for sure people whom I share with some soul searching. May be because I truly believe that without being emotionally involved, one can't really help another on any level. And "help others" is what I wish the most for in my life...

A huge quote (two paragraphs, to be exact) has made the most sense, rang the loudest bells, for me, and I wanted to have them stay with me.

Emotional freedom is being able to do what you want when you want to do it. With emotional freedom comes emotional responsibility. 

You are the sum total of everything that has ever happened to you. It has taken everything good and bad you've experienced to bring you to this point. An important part of attaining emotional freedom comes from accepting responsibility for everything in your life. If this seems too severe, it is also liberating. It is true that many things that happened to you were not your fault, but in each case you chose to react in your own way. 

Accepting responsibility for your reactions to events diminishes the blame you can place on others but also empowers you to change and move on. After all, in the words of Swahili saying, it is not what others call you that matters but what name you respond to that determines who you are.

The secret of life is that there is no secret of life. It's all hard work. Yet you still have to find the right works and be free to choose direction that is best for you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift.

The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others.

David Viscott.

I found my gifts. Now I can share them fully and without holding back.
p.s. Larry, we are a great team. Thank you for helping me spread my wings and keep them wide and flying.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Follow your dreams!!!

A bird sitting in a tree is not afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not in the branch, but in her own wings. - Unknown

Hot damn, I can't wipe the smile off my face! It's my last day working at UT, and in biochemistry research, and at 9-5 job! 20 years and 8 months to date...sure takes me long to make a move. But if first 6 years I was thankful for learning new skills and having a job in general in a country which language I didn't speak in a profession I wasn't properly trained for, and the following 5 years were the best out of my scientific career working in pharma industry on prostate cancer and HIV vaccine (closer to medicine I am versed in, well paid, and greatly appreciated by all around, with the utmost awesome supervisor), then 5 years in Stem Cell research with a fresh and curious boss and amazing real scientific break-through's, the last 5 years were a total drag from the get-go. The projects are boring out of the mind, the boss is a egocentric tyrant, the financial and growth intensives non-existent and 80% of the people are working 50% of the time, what always made me extremely uncomfortable (and sad that I often wasted my precious life away). 

It's over. I have no regrets, no fear, no anxiety. I am extremely happy for this step, for my future, and very grateful to my husband for supporting this move on all counts. I have to follow my calling, it's been way too long. I am put on this Earth to help people, one person at a time. I am to use my time, my knowledge, and my expertise wisely and fully, enjoy what I do, live every moment, and be happy - simply happy for myself, if you can imagine. I am doing something that simple - I am doing something just for me. It is going to be a great year. It is going to be amazing life - a whole life ahead. 

Sometimes my decisions take a long time to come, sometimes they are a snap, but I follow my heart, and when it feels right - it IS right. Took me years, over a decade, to pull the plug on my previous marriage, but when I did (7 years today officially) - I never looked back. Took me a split moment to sign up for a first race. first ultra, first 100 - couldn't be happier. Took me no time at all to move across the country and marry a guy I ran into on a trail - it wasn't always easy at first, but we made it work, and it was the most profound change I've made for my life. That's why I don't fear - on the opposite, super excited - about this decision. I KNOW it is going to be the best one yet, and now I have a team behind me.

And here is what my best friend sent me as a gift - a link from this blog.

one step.....

we all have heard
'every journey starts with the first step.'
'one step at a time.'
the list goes on.
this is true
some of us
feel like we can't do 
whatever it is that lies before us
whatever life is asking of us
whatever it is that WE seek
because it feels too big. 
but the first step isn't a physical one
the first step starts within.
the first step on any journey
starts with our commitment.
commitment to ourselves.
when we commit to ourselves
it has to feel good.
if you have doubts about any decision
or any step
explore where these doubts are coming from.
if they truly come from within
your inner guidance saying, 'no way!'
of course listen!
but if the doubts are coming from:
'what would so and so think.'
'how would that make me look?'
'but, i feel obligated to....'
then QUESTION it.
are you living for you?
are you living for someone else?
any and all decisions we make
-tho some may not be easy-
will feel good or bad.
weeding thru our feelings
recognizing where the feeling is coming from
will help us be more confident in our decisions. 
then we can commit.
once we commit
we are unstoppable.
tho sometimes the thought of committing brings fear.
are we afraid of our own power?
are we afraid
that really
we are magnificent?!
we are incredible, limitless, manifesting beings
trapped in the belief of 'not good enough'
'i can't'.
we can do anything we commit to
but we first have to commit.
committing is the hard part.
focus on how you feel.
go deep
to the place within you
where YOU really exists.
this is a place within the physical body
yet it goes infinitely deep.
in this place
your inner sanctuary
see how you really feel
about anything.
go there to ask questions
to seek answers
without a doubt
from the depths of your BEing
that whatever journey you are about to embark on
feels right
to YOU!
and if it does?!!!
that is the first and hardest step on any adventure
of any kind.
whether it's physical. relational. emotional. work related. etc.... 
from this point forward
decide to commit to YOU.
do what feels right to YOU
THIS is a GIANT and the most important first step
on the journey to the center of you.
the MOST important journey you will ever travel.
you can do it.
yes you can!
commit to you. always.
and find the life you are looking for
(it is also looking for you).

Sunday, January 04, 2015

2014 - behind, and that is a good thing.

I was going to say "good riddance" but you know, really, every year deserves to be lived. Still, last year was rather disappointing. My health, that began falling apart at the end of 2013 and layered weird tiredness syndrome (yet again, a repeat from Fall 2012) with  CMV infection. I rested, then tried to get back to running slowly. Well, I was never able to be running not only at the level I used to (including my glorious come-back in the first 6 months of 2013), but running consistently, at any respected pace, or any respected miles/times a week at all. Towards the end of the year I decided to go to every doctor I can find and dig deep. My "early menopause" (I went into it at the age of 38) was diagnosed as poly-gland insufficiency, which included not only levels of Estrogen, FSH and Estradiol of an 80 years old woman, but somewhat low thyroid (always had) and pretty low adrenal function. After 2 months of testing blood, CT, etc. - nobody was any closer to solving the problem than when we began. I know, I used to smirk at Geoff Roes and his fall-out of Earth of running, but now I understand his frustration with: tested all I could, some things are off, but nothing really pointing at anything special, so I just live on my life with no answers. So, this is where I am: can hardly run few miles and feel like I raced a 50k, my heart rate is off the charts (despite trying Maffetone method for 3 months true and all) unless I walk slowly, but my yoga practice is not affected at all (or ability to lift heavy, just lift fast). Bottom line is, something that influencing the cardio-vascular and breathing systems. A general feeling of a total complete exhaustion, as at mile 75 of a 100, but with the very first steps. I am done going to the doctors, it takes time, money, and doesn't solve crap. Besides, my medical insurance runs off in 2 weeks. I am taking matter in my own hands, a.k.a. patience and, well, sometimes slight depression with crying...

That said, I had to look back at a year 2014 long and hard, and, of course, did find good stuff that happened. I learned how to not pay attention what other people/friends/runners are doing, and not feel jealous/incomplete (well, almost). I focused on what I can do, like Power yoga, some Stairmaster and weights. And I expanded my massage practice - both in amount of hours/clients as well as depth. I also had great year of knitting ideas, applied for an awesome massage job at Myo Massage, read more books than I did in years before, coached a lot of runners to their highs, and finalized my plans for leaving my Science job for good (long time coming). Plus I signed up for a long dream of mine - Yoga Teacher Training with Baptiste Power Yoga studio, which begins in January! And last, but not least, my relationship with Larry had come to new levels. Now, 5 years after we married, I can truly say I am the happiest, looking forward to many years till the end, and it was the best crazy decision we've made on the fly. Our backpacking trip on Wonderland trail was a highlight of both our marriage strength and our year - and we want to do more of those trips very much!

On the family side, I don't share much anymore, but in short, Alex went back to college (he got financial aid now that he is over 23), Stephen graduated from high school and lives on his own, working some odd jobs in fast food chains, and Harrison moved on to 8th grade in good style and with solid grades. My father, on the other hand, was suddenly, out of the blue, diagnosed with stomach cancer, which, after trying to perform surgery, turned out to be stage 4 and with metastases - and that prompted me to an extended trip to Russia at the end of December. My mother's health is so-so, and as they are both 78, things are coming to an end. My sister takes great care of them, and I wish I could do more - but at least those 2 weeks I could let her rest, spend time with both mom and dad, help with medical decisions and some leg work, and also do some legal Russian citizen stuff I kept postponing.

I declare 2015 to be a year I reclaim my health, focus on working where my passion leads me. I'll be patient, I will take care of myself, my family, my home. I am committed to Whole30 because it worked for me in 2013, to slow runs, to the gym and to lots and lots of yoga. With one 40-hr a week plus commute job gone by January 16th (an important date in my life, as it turns out, the day I got divorced 7 years ago, and the day it will be 10 years since my only nephew died in a car crash), I will work somewhat less, do things I absolutely love, and focus on self-growth in many directions.

Here is to 2015. It was a great lesson to dig out photos. 2014 was pretty damn good!
(Photos of Good Stuff that Did Happen in 2014 - the year WAS filled with friends, trails, mountains,and revelations)

Volunteering at Bandera, January

Running Mt. Mitchell 40M in February

Volunteering at Nueces, March

Traveling to Bay Area in April

San Antonio trip, May

Oachita trail, OK - May

Portland visit, early June

Bryce 50M race

Utah family vacation, June

Taos-La Luz mountain races, August

Wonderland backpacking trip, September

Estes Park, November

Russia, December