Tuesday, July 8, 2008

BE BRAVE: Day 2 and 3: Moving and Ending and Moving On

Whew! After Day One, what could I follow that up with? Still reeling from the dive and the collision, I stepped out and decided to increase my exercise during this healing time. This was for Day Two (yesterday).

I currently do gyrotonics. It is really hard for me. I see gyrotonics as something normally done by dancers and lithe svelt strong people, not matronly middle-aged women with weak abdominals who are coordination-challenged, like me. However, I have grown so much in just 5 sessions. Mostly brain-stuff, Jill Bolte Taylor brain recovery stuff. My brain isn't damaged, though, just struggling to develop in areas that have lain fallow for half a century. It is amazing!

So, remedial student that I am, it was hard for me to ask my teacher if I could increase my sessions for a couple of months. She was enthusiastic, so she's going to be putting up with me twice a week now. She has extraordinary patience and has to do things with me very, very slowly and repeat them over and over and over. Then by the next session, I'm almost back to where I started, but not quite. We start again and build. Gyrotonics requires me to challenge my brain and my emotions and to stretch my views about my capabilities each time I go. This translates into the rest of my life and is a true gift.

I also decided to resume yoga (yes, again). My wonderful teacher and friend, Shanon, is in nursing school full-time, so I'd slacked off. I really do need a teacher at this stage, and I'd been putting off trying out new ones. I found out just yesterday that Shanon is teaching for the summer, so I'm in.

I am hoping that with both gyrotonics and yoga in addition to my regular walking, that I will get into not just good mental and emotional shape, but begin my journey of losing my lovely Lexapro weight as well.

Today is Day 3 of BE BRAVE. Today I ended my therapy. That was my BE BRAVE task. It was a beautiful ending though, because I explained why to my therapist, and the alternate direction I wanted to move in, and lo and behold, he got it and wished me well. He also agreed to be available for me should my depression worsen and I need him. I could never have believed it would have ended so well. It's hard for me to do things like this.

It may seem strange to be ending therapy after my adventures in the looney bin and just embarking on TrueHope, but it is time for a change. I'm wanting to integrate spiritual principles into my journey, and feel a need to move beyond cognitive behavioral methodology to deeper things. Things I see as deeper at any rate. I may yet return to therapy, but it will be a deeper type (like Jungian, perhaps...).

So, I went down to St. Placid Priory, a local progressive Benedictine monastery for women, to seek a spiritual director. I found one of the spiritual directors in and she spoke to me on the spot and guided me towards a sister who is on vacation for several weeks. I was intitally disappointed, but then decided that slowing down would be a good thing. I tend to be quite intense. You didn't know that, right? She also invited me to be a part of an ecumenical spiritual formation program that starts in the fall. She was gentle and kind and more invited me to slow down, rather than screaming, "WHOA there girl!" That was nice.

So that was my Day 2 and 3 of BE BRAVE. I obviously needed to do this, and to do this now. I thought it would take a while to get my old bravery muscles back, but I can feel them there already underneath a lot of flab. It will be easier this time...

~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark


Jessie said...

Holy WOW, woman!!!

You are a beautiful force to be reckoned with. Luckily, you are a force who has also learned to go at a sustaining pace. Hey, I could learn something from you! Well, I could learn LOTS of things from you.

I love reading about your journey and I look forward to (technically) joining you very soon...but in the meantime, please know that I am still committing my little acts of bravery and celebrating the way you inspire me.

Thank you also for giving me the nudge to really get going with this again.

love you!

Kate said...


Wowser my girl you sure are stepping out in bravery and all in good ways to help you. That is so awesome. I love seeing your journey unfold. You go girl.


Leah said...

woot, woot! just wanted to add some cheering you on energy! :-)

i ended therapy with a new therapist just last week! i'd only seen her three times and it wasn't a good fit for me, so i went in and discussed it with her and it went so well. it felt very brave and empowering to do. i felt how much i've grown in the process because in the past i might not have been able to do it face to face!

it sounds like you are doing beautifully, olivia. xoox

Anonymous said...


it sounds like you're really being gentle with yourself and taking good care of yourself during this time; i am really humbled by your commitment to personal growth! i was wondering if you had ever heard of a therapy called "acceptance and commitment therapy?" there are some workbooks out there on amazon that i really think you'd get a lot out of. if you want to know more about it, drop me an email and i can tell you more.

Olivia said...


Hmmm...sustaining pace...I don't know about that! I'll write more about that on today's post later. Likewise, ma'am, I learn SO much from you. You nudged me, right?

Love you, too,


Olivia said...

Thank you, Kate, for your encouragement. Thanks for the hug too, and I love your picture, Peace and rest and relaxation, O

Olivia said...

Oh, thanks for your positive energy, Leah! Good for you, so you KNOW what I mean!! Many thanks and creative juju, O

Olivia said...

Hi, ruby, Yes indeed I have heard of acceptance and commitment therapy, although it came into popularity after I finished graduate school (2003). That very well might be a next step for me if I return to therapy, thank you ruby. And I appreciate the invite to write you as well...thanks so much! Rest and joy and peace, O

Anonymous said...

That must feel SO GOOD to realize your Be Brave muscles are still under there!

Olivia said...

It certainly does, Kelly. It makes me feel empowered, which I need. Love, O