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I started this blog because I wanted to talk about sex. I had no idea I’d soon be single and that sex would be the farthest thing from my mind. Or, that I’d be getting so naked with myself, literally and figuratively, than I’ve ever been in a sexual relationship. And at the risk of sounding like a yogic hippie, which I suppose I am, the getting naked has been possible because of meditation, safe spaces, a funky new brand of yoga and a life changing book.

This is the incidental story of how my intuition led me to uncover an infection that’s been going on for months, without my really being aware of it.

On Sunday, I decided to take therapy into my own hands, and in 9 emphatic pages, I unleashed my fury and pain toward my Ex.

Then, I burned it.

Along with pictures, cards, ‘love’ coupons, and a shirt that just would not die.

Then, I needed a mood brightener, so I danced the dance of the gods and followed up with some yoga nidra and crazy intense breathing. It had been a long time since I’d experienced the buzz of serious meditation, and damn, it was nice.

Because my massage therapist swears by the cleansing power of apple cider vinegar baths, I indulged for probably the 3rd time this week. My whole plan was to let out the emotions over my once-lover, then wash it all away and be done with it. Once the thrill of the warm water wore off and my mind started to wander, I decided to use a meditation from Wild Feminine.

And this is when the pain became tangible.

I think you’d need to read Wild Feminine to understand what I mean, but I used a pelvic bowl clearing exercise, and I uncovered a lot of tension in the front quadrant of my root. As in, I felt overwhelmed with crazy sad emotion, and I wanted to cry and be hugged and yet I just needed myself, all at once. And I wanted my book so badly to read over certain parts and understand more about this area of pain, and yet all I could really do was breathe. And just feel the tension, and breathe, and breathe, and ride it out. To let go of the emotion and find calm again, even though when I’m in that moment, it’s hard not to wonder if I’ll ever see calm again.

I had this urge to dunk my head under the water, and I know I have sensitive ears, but I decided I was going listen to my intuition. So I dunked, twice, and nothing alarming happened. Then for good measure, I showered off after my bath, to make sure all the bullshit went down the drain.

And, let’s be honest: so I wouldn’t smell like apple cider vinegar.

The rest of the night, I felt like I had water in my ears. Watching TV was painful because everything sounded so fucking loud. So I kept laying on my right side, thinking I needed to let the water drain out.

It didn’t get better.

I slept on my right side, woke up, and again, no change.

Actually, it was worse.

I remembered using alcohol to get water out of my ears from swimming when I was younger, so I grabbed some en route to work.

Then, the lovely google people confessed that alcohol: not the best idea for your ears. And I started to realize that the water wasn’t sloshing around, like a normal swimmer sort of feeling . . . it felt much deeper. As in, the shit’s not going to come out.

EXCELLENT.

It’s at this point that I started to question my intuition.

Dammit, I KNOW I have sensitive ears, yet there I go, just obeying the little voice. Well, fuck that, I’ll just shower next time. No dunking for me. Etc.

By the time I saw my doctor, I found out that I have a hardcore ear infection that has nothing to do with bath water.

And so, my intuition saved me, because the dunking shook up the fluid in my ears so I’d notice that I’ve got quite the problem going on here.

Cheesy {but true} yogic moral: It’s amazing what’s revealed when you allow yourself a safe space to listen.

And yeah, it could all be coincidence, etc., but I think that’s the thing about your intuition. You have to trust in that little voice, and you may not have real proof, ever, but I’ve found that more often than not, trusting the voice pays off.

Especially when it makes no sense at all.

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I’ve had this epiphany, over and over again, until finally it sunk in: calm is the foundation for my happy life. And when I say happy, I mean healthy, sexy, grounded, logical, balanced, successful, present, patient, bright. Because really, when one is un-calm, happy becomes stressed, snippy, bitchy, spacey, frayed, angry, ungrounded, nervous, anxious, controlling, blah.

Of course, accessing calm is easier epiphanized than done.

I do know this: I am addicted to taking breathing breaks during the day to just feel my body, all the crazy, vibrating sensation that’s whispering underneath the rest of my day. Sometimes, it’s just ten deep breaths, and I find my calm again. And then, there are times when it takes 15 minutes. And sometimes, goddamnit, it takes a glass or three of wine before I can remember that calm lives in the same world I do.

Crazy thing is, the more I take mini breaks, steal wedges of time for myself to refresh, I can’t fathom how the Frenzied Anti-Calm folks make it through the day. I’m so over pushing myself despite feeling tired. I’m over the eye-bleary of weariness. But then again, I’ve never been a fan of the ‘work hard, play harder’ mentality. I’m learning that I’m much more the hippie, yogini type who would like to follow her breath, see how her body feels, and then decide what to do. Preferably with some meditation and hot tea involved. And believe me, I never thought that would be me: I bought my first yoga DVD because the ladies reviewing it said that the teacher was a hottie. And oh yes, he is, even if he did shave his gorgeous curls.

But I think once you taste that afterglow of meditation, that shift of consciousness, the jello bliss of post-yoga calm, your whole experience of life changes. I’m not even sure how to describe the feeling I mean, other than it’s like being intoxicated, only better. (In a different way, since you’re sober. Or maybe you’re not. But it’s still good, either way.) Early on in my yoga practice, I thought my body was craving the stretch. Then, it was the buzzing bliss of a warm, pliable body. One day, I finally got it. I told my man: I think it’s the breathing. And it is – the breathing and the focus, and being in your body, not in your mind. When I’m too much in my mind, the calm tends to disappear.

I suppose the whole point is that frenzy (un-calm) can get shit done, can come in handy over long days, or shitty stretches of life, and then just become a habit. A state of being that’s no longer even considered, just default. That’s what happened to me. Yoga, meditation, and breathing all helped to unwind me. I didn’t even realize that calm was so lacking in my life until I’d found it again. In fact, I didn’t even know how to relax until meditation. Then all of these health issues that drove me to yoga in the first place began to make sense, and heal. Because I stepped out of the mind-fury and yes, cliche as it sounds, into the moment.

The trick is keeping that moment full of relaxed aliveness.

And that’s where I’m at now.