You Can Run Alone!

On Sunday my daughter told me these amazing words. We were signed up to do the Race for the Cure with a group of hers from school. It was moms and daughters. It was dark and we were gathered at the steps of the capital waiting for the walkers to start the race. I watched the timed runners as they started the 5K journey. Everyone running because they want to remember someone that had breast cancer, celebrate someone, or just be there to support someone that this disease had touched. As we took pictures and stood around, I asked a few women if they would run and they laughed. I was trying to be in the group and spend the day chatting, maybe meeting a new friend. But, my heart felt restless. I had so much on my heart and ever since I lost my friend Leslie I have avoided this race.  She lost her race with this disease and I have been pretty grumpy about that. So I have avoided the Race for the Cure because I was still heartbroken.

As Hallie and I wrote on our race bibs that morning, a wave of intensity washed over me. There is a blank on your bib that says “I am running for_____________.” As I pulled out a Sharpie and wrote Leslie Walters it became that horrible truth that she was gone. My daughter saw me fill in that blank and said. “Oh, Mom do we fill that out?” She, too wrote the same name on her race bib.

As we drove to the race, I shared with Hallie how much I missed my friend. How certain chapters of my parenting journey, she was the one friend that held so much compassion for me. She was always home when I needed to stop by and gather support and courage to face another chapter that was really hard. At that moment my voice cracked and Hallie said to me, “Momma, you can run with Leslie today. You do not have to stay with the group. Run with her.”

Oh, how a 17 year old girl can give you permission to do what you need to do will always give me pause.  

These words were all I could hear as the race began. Hallie and three of her friends burst ahead in a sprint and all I knew was that my feet were doing the same. I had to run. I had to pound that pavement. These four girls were giggling and contemplating when they were going to stop running and just enjoy this morning moment. I knew in my heart I had to keep going. It was something I needed on so many levels. To just go. To act like I could run to be strong. To push my limits and prove that I can do this for my friend. I could carry her 3 children and her husband as my living memory of her. For that entire family, I was going to sweat out their journey that this terrible disease had cast on their lives...our lives.

It was hot. The sweat did pour. I passed people and people passed me. It did not matter. I had to be alone. No one else understood that this was a moment I needed to love my friend and honor her. I could not do small talk today. I could not spend time trying to make a new friend. I was there to honor my friend. And I was going to run with her. Every step of the way.

Thank you Hallie for letting me go run. Or, for letting me hold my heart in the space of great love and the memory of someone that is still so dear to me.

Maybe today you get to remember someone you really love. It is okay to run alone. It is okay to be alone. 

Maybe a moment alone is all we ever need to help our heart feel love.

With great love to Leslie and her family. If you have a dear friend, tell them you love them.
It is precious to have someone in your heart that you will never forget.

I am forever thankful for having her as my friend.  

She touched my heart and will always be with me.

Wear your bracelet and know it is with you…even when you are alone, it is holding that dear memory.


Weather You Like it or Not!

Today I busted out for a walk. Sometimes the freedom to just head out the front door to take a walk during the day is such a gift it makes me giddy. This was one of those days. September in Austin is still summer. So I was preparing for the bright sun and the sweat to start rolling.

What a surprise. When I turned the corner off of my street a huge cold breeze blew into my face. How could this be? It was such a surprise. Which got me thinking...being outside and experiencing the weather is about as close to being a human and experiencing all of our internal emotions as you can get. Okay, this might be a stretch for many. But, if you have heard it once you have heard it 100 times, “spending time outside is one way to keep your mental health in check.”  That is what I felt today. My whole emotional experience changed when that cool breeze blew across my body.  

Weather is a reflection of every emotion that we all experience.  From stormy to bright and sunny!!!  We can all relate to how parallel the outside can reflect some experience we have had on our insides.

I was instantly so thankful I was outside. My thoughts that I had been carrying from inside my house after reading the paper were instantly changed. I started looking at the flowers, the colors, the leaves that were blowing on the street. It brought me blazing into this moment and this very place in time it was like I was given a gift. Outside is the best place to shift your insides.

I believe it so strongly. The people I know that spend time outside gardening, exercising, walking around Town Lake, etc. All of them carry a different feeling of carefree and joy. Try it for one day.  Just go somewhere. See what the breeze has to offer. Let the sun kiss your face. Walk somewhere that you can see the different plants and leaves as they blow around your feet.

It could hardly get easier. A gift from the earth, weather you like it or “knot!”
Just a Healing Knots moment.

Have a beautiful day!


The Special Club – H.W.

This morning I went to yoga. The miracle of a Labor Day weekend and the gift of getting Monday off from work. The class was full and you could tell a lot of the students were sweating out the football game and all of the concessions that go along with that. The teacher is one that is rather militant and the class is a strict series of poses that she barks you into; not a class that is touching and fills your heart with kind words. So ready, set, go is how the class starts.

Well, today was a day where that worked for me. I needed to just get the exercise on my mat and leave my heart out of it. As we went from downward dog and onward into other poses, it was humble warrior that caught my attention today. Both of those words became just what I needed to think about. For this past week was a week that held a lot of challenge and change in my family. When times get tough, I realize only a few people can stand with you and let you weather the storm. And with that, I realized that very special club of people that are the Humble Warriors in my life. It is amazing how you get into the club. Never do you imagine that your life will land you there. But, these things happen to all of us...these feelings of loss, sadness, despair. Losing control of something or someone in your life and realizing you must just surrender and accept the outcome. Re-writing your story to include something that changed the course of your life and knowing that it will be forever changed. Landing on the other side of these events is how you get to the place of Humble Warrior.

The humble part – not proud or arrogant: modest. Courteously respectful.
And add that to the warrior – soldier: a person who has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness.

The place where these two come together and you become that person. Weathered by the storm and changed forever in your heart by the experience. In these moments it gives you the amazing capacity to love and care for others that are facing something that is changing their lives and breaking their heart.

To all of my humble warriors out there, you are the hands that reach out even when your own life is unstable and you are facing challenge. But, you can hear others' pain and let them know they are loved and safe sharing. The humble warrior does not try to fix your problem. They just know that they can stand next to you no matter how scary it might get. No shame, no judgment. Just support and understanding.

The pose is so very telling. The grasping of two hands, the bending over towards the earth, almost like a surrender. Both feet planted firmly and the legs using all of their muscles to hold you up to maintain the experience.

Thank you Humble Warriors for being able to do just that.

Today I can celebrate a day off to stop and move into the grounding and inspiring pose of humble warrior; at the same time, to take the time to honor those in my life that are my humble warriors.

Blessings and thank you.

Be strong and carry on!!