Emaciated

verb ema·ci·ate \i-ˈmā-shē-ˌāt\
ema·ci·at·edema·ci·at·ing
Definition of EMACIATE

intransitive verb
: to waste away physically
transitive verb
1
: to cause to lose flesh so as to become very thin <cattle emaciated by illness>
2
: to make feeble


What a word.  Emaciate.  Sad and sinister at the same time.  The definition above from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

This word found its way into my life well before I understood it, in the opening lines of an emotionally charged summer theater work.  It wasn’t my line, I just heard it.  It was my scene, I didn’t understand it.

It’s amazing, the power of words.  How words spoken or read can stay with you, reminding you of good, bad, happy, or sad times.  Words can stink or pull at heart-strings and words can guide or uplift, inspire and destroy.

Emaciated

It wasn’t until very recently that I saw this word come to life.  In a picture.  Tall skinny body, always on the thin side but that was once commanding and muscular now gaunt.  Hollow face set apart by protruding cheek bones, no longer rosy.  Deep set eyes that once sparkled with nerve and adventure from under a distinguished brow line, now encircled by darkness.  Ghostly.

Can you see this face?  I see it clear as day.  It haunts and hurts.


Is it possible to feel emaciated?  Cause I think I have before.  Maybe it’s other feeling that drive it and you fall away, into the shadows of yourself wasting away.  Becoming consumed with what went wrong and how you should have done thing differently to avoid this place.

You sink further.
And further still till you are riddled with memories and words and images that you can’t let go of.
Until you do.
Until you decide you won’t let yourself be eaten by the darkness that is this fear and anger.  You find a way.  Me?  I run.  I run long and hard and I don’t look back.
At least I didn’t.  Back to the power of words?  One text.  A few words.  One text from one name and that Pandoras box you locked and hid under a floor board under your bed opens and all those shadows come bursting forth with fury a thousand times stronger then before.  Angered for being overcome by the present and powerful thoughts and actions.
I fell.
I fell back into that dark place.  So easily.  Like returning to an addiction, it takes control so much faster the second time.  How easy it is to fall back.
Then you become feeble, handicapped, emaciated.  Because your feelings consume you.  You forget to take care of yourself.  You don’t sleep.  Can’t eat.  Can you get out of this shadowy abyss again?

A picture is worth a thousand words.  That’s a powerful picture if one little word can pack such a punch.

One powerful words perfectly wraps up one image and it scares me.
What has happened to that charming face and powerful being?
What will happen to me the next time those shadows re-emerge from the dark?

I told you it’d be thought provoking…

lovealways, Christiane

A Mild Monday Morning

That’s what it is here in New York today.  The humidity and threat of summer already beginning to make itself known.  But for now it’s still that special breed of morning cool, dew, and light.

And it’s just 10am.

Are you sick, Christiane?  Why… how are you still home at 10 on a Monday?

Yes, I ask myself that occasionally, as I’m sure others do.  But gone are the days of waking up at 5:30am to commute to work, ping-pong between jobs, and finally arrive back home around 11pm just to collapse on the bed and to it all over again a few hours later.

That’s right, I’ve gotten a new job… well more like I’ve climbed up a rung or so on the proverbial ladder.   I’ve been with this company 2 years June and stuck it out (even when it seemed like the end) so a promotion came with open arms.  That’s not to say it’s all fun and games.  It’s a total retraining, relearning, re-strategizing process.

I work in sales.  No, not retail so much anymore.  Not hospitality,  although my Southern charm has come in hand way to many times.  Sales.  Membership sales.  Sales of an intangible practice at lofty prices.

Sure, I can talk about the value and benefits all day long.  I can put you in the right class again and again and know you are enjoying it.  But then comes asking.  Asking for or assuming the sale.  It’s not like selling a pair of shorts– OK, these fit and they look good.  I need shorts, cause it’s warming up and all.  Great, I’ll buy these shorts.  I know they are what I want and I know I will have immediate use for them.

It’s not exactly the same process for a membership.  “Would you like to continue your practice with us?”  Sure, maybe I would… but I’m traveling and what if I get hurt and can’t take class or I get busy with work and never make it in for the classes I want.  I’m sure I will enjoy it, but I want to come 3 times a week and I know I won’t be able to any time soon…  Wait, it’s now much?  Will I be coming enough to justify spending that?

I hear it every day.  Smiles and Southern flair only get you so far.  And that’s where my biggest challenge lies…  in the new uncharted unknown.

I’ve also found myself so much more immersed in the business… the numbers game or a large company.  The stat reports and corresponding percentages are suddenly something I check and actively participate in every day.

So why am I writing about this as I sip my coffee and procrastinate putting on stretchy pants and a blouse for work?  1.  Because I thought my fabulous blog community should be made away that I have a new position and will probably be writing more about it.  and 2. Because of the newest book i picked up the other day for summer reading.

While browsing the shelves of Barnes and Noble on 80 something and Broadway I picked up my usual- the latest edition of Women’s Running, another book on the cosmos, Origins by Neil DeGras Tyson, a book recently turned major motion picture that was recommended by a good friend, Wild, and then I found myself in the Business Management section.  Here I was drawn to a book bearing the Starbucks logo– Onward; How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul, by the company CEO Howard Schultz.

I don’t know what it was about the book or the moment, but I had to have it.  Will it unlock some hidden secret about working in a corporate company?  Maybe… I have no idea.  All I know is I haven’t been able to put it down.  My train commute is now something to look forward to rather then hold off on a long as possible.

While I’m not very far into it yet, a section of Onward stuck with me and I will leave you with it.

lovealways, Christiane

“There are moments in our lives when we summon the courage to make choices that go against reason, against common sense and the wise counsel of people we trust.  But we lean forward nonetheless because, despite all risks and rational argument, we believe that the path we are choosing in the right and best thing to do.  We refuse to be bystanders, even if we do not know exactly where our actions will lead.”

Time. All it takes is time.

That’s a line from a song that has been floating in and out of my thoughts for weeks now, but I can’t place it or find it anywhere!  I can hear the melody and everything, but can’t recall any other lyrics, much less where it’s from.
Don’t you hate it when that happens?!  

Anyway, regardless– the concept, that anything takes time– is what truly resonates with me.
Time to grow
Time to heal
Time to learn
Time to practice
Time to adventure
Time to gain perspective
Time to understand
Time.

Time is something I’ve struggled with in various ways over the years.
Wishing I had more time
Remembering back to a different time
Not knowing what to do with my time
Having to much to do and not enough time
Wanting to go back in time

The list could go on.

But it’s not ok to live like that, I’ve discovered. Always living in a different time. Because then you are never living in the NOW, you will miss all the experiences and people that are coming and going around you because you are to busy stuck in a past time.
I’m not saying this is always easy, but when you can it opens you up to a lot of fun things.

This isn’t intended to be a long story based post, just a short muse on a topic… and to out these song lyrics out there into the universe, that maybe someone will recognize them and help me fill in what I’m missing, or just what the song it!

Anybody  know??  Or have personal reflections on the concept of time?  How it’s affected you?

Comment, share, like, tweet, reblog, etc!

Time is always been something I’ve struggled and played with- so much so that it, and a book titled, “Einstein’s Dream”, sparked a dance piece that I did the summer before my 1st year of college.  I don’t share this one much, and no comments on my movement technique at the time, but I think we all wish we could freeze some moments.  (And yes, back to the days of being super blond!)

 

I hope you all enjoy,

 

lovealways,  christiane

 

“it is’t yes, it’s not quite no”

Delete. Dye. Decision.

Never in my wildest, well maybe not my wildest, but never did I think I’d be pampering myself at a hair salon on 5th Ave. or that I’d have 2 self designed tattoos on my body, or that I could have been removed from someone’s life (and removed them from mine) like an outdated document, or that I’d find myself surviving alone and actually being ok… being more then ok at times.

This post has been turning over and over in my head for about a month, but I wasn’t at a place where I could put the thoughts into words for it’s content. I believe, more or less, that I am at the place now… or at least closer to it.

DELETE

A little while back, I was having a pretty rough patch, on a personal level.  It felt like everywhere I went something rememinded me of a different time, a different place, and all that has changed over the past few months.  I was sad and angry and frustrated and couldn’t really put my finger on “why”… which made me more upset about it all.  I admit I’m not good at letting things go and moving on… especially if it’s not my decision to do so.
And that, I realized was part of what was making me upset:  How easily some people can remove another from their lives entirely.  Seemingly as easy as hitting the “Delete” key on your computer, dragging an icon to the “trash bin”, clicking “un-friend”, “unfollow”, and “remove”.

Of course this opened my eyes (and I hope you all noticed) to the fact that each of those descriptions refers to the way of removing unwated files or accounts from your computer or social media arenas. But I am not a digital file to be discarded or “replaced” by the newest changes. When I’m treated like that, I feel pretty awful and a huge part of my wants to fight back. Nor am I a computer or something that has no real memory… “I wish that I could wake up with amnesia” is a very true statement. Cause that may be the only was I can DELETE events of my past from my present life.

This whole thought process also led me to realize how much our lives are entwined with our social media outlets. The fact that being “unfriended” from someones Facebook account, at one point threw me into a crying fit, as though that were really really the worst the worst thing that had happened to me, was kind of ridiculous. Half the people I’m “friends” with on Facebook or “Follow” on Instagram I don’t even know! now that’s pretty ridiculous. But in my opinion, not as ridiculous as thinking that my removing all images, appearances, and reminders of someone will ever remove them from your memory or a part of your life.

DYE

No, not die… like “drop dead”, but dye as in a colored dye, an ink, dying something. (This is particularly relevant to me today).
As you all should know, I have 2 tattoos. One on my right ankle, that’s 4 years old this month. And one on my left forearm that’s 5 month old today, to be exact. Each time I get a tattoo, I have gotten a different reaction. When I got my first tat, some people got flat out mad, others got concerned that I was becoming some strange tattooed rebel. Getting my second tat, because of the timing I think, make people saw it as a “F**k (insert my ex’s name here)” tattoo. Which was certainly not the case… or was it?

Starting a few months ago, I began dying my hair… and I’m not talking a few highlights to embellish my blond… I’m talking full on color change. I went RED. And I love it! It gives me a whole different look and almost a different personality at times.

This seems to be my way of dealing… maybe I don’t go through like a tornado and remove every track of you, but I’ll change myself. Becoming another side of me that hasn’t come to the surface in a long time, if ever. I’m tempted to say I’m obsessed with both. For someone who never thought they’d get a tattoo, and after my first had no desire for another, I have ideas for several more. Will I get them? Maybe. Anytime soon? Probably not… but I’ll think about it as I’m laying in bed or folding towels at work. As for the hair- that’s sticking around for a while. This is the second time I’ve done it in this color pallet. Sure, it’s expensive and then I have to keep it nice, but if I’m not with anyone, who am I going to pamper if not myself?

DECISION

This was not the word I originally had in my list. If came about tonight, while I was writing and I think it’s better then “Dilemma” that I had at first.
I feel like I’m faced with a decision to make, not so much facing a dilemma.

A few weeks ago I was a mess. I was exhausted all the time. I was sour and easily irritated. I didn’t mean to be and I was not able to pin point one thing that had triggered these feelings. And it was getting bad- things at work were starting to slip, I wasn’t eating right, and relationships were being pushed. I knew I didn’t want to feel as I did, but I felt like because I didn’t know why, I really couldn’t do anything about it. Just give it some time and hope thing changed, for the better.
It wasn’t until earlier this week that it was brought to my attention that I seemed happier, more energetic, and looked a lot better. This hit me, and I realized I wasn’t forcing anything. I actually felt… feel… good! I feel happy and am enjoying what I’m doing. I’m taking time for myself and not feeling guilty about it. I’m enjoying the time I have with friends and co-workers instead of dwelling to much on the past and the people I miss. Sure, maybe I still beat myself up a little for hurting someone and not being able to change my ways soon enough. But I hope I’m making decisions that will make me happy and in that, show that I’m not a horrible person.

Is it a decision to be happy? Yes. I believe it is, same as it’s a decision to change ones hair color, or have our skin injected with ink, or to go through months of photographs removing only certain ones. Maybe not always a conscious decisions like some of the other examples, but a decision none the less. As I’ve come to find, the decisions that lead to making one person happy will not always make others feel the same way. We do so many things as a way of self preservation.

What do I want you to “get” fro this post, I honestly don’t even know. I wrote it as a place to put these thoughts that have come together in my mind. Perhaps, if you’ve been in a similar situation, you can relate. Let me know.

Like, share, comment, the usual.

lovealways, Christiane

Sharing is Scary: Part 1 “Shaded Blue”

As some of you probably know and others may not, I’m a dancer.  I’ve been dancing sense age 4 and have built up quite an impressive resume over the years.  I love performing, being on stage, directing, choreographing, etc.  However, I’ve always had a hard time sharing my work while it’s in progress… or really sharing my work any other way but live.  I’ve decided that is something I want to work on- to overcome.  While I think dance, and most live performing arts are better live I know there is a huge outlet for it via video, online, etc.  I’ve decided, that to overcome this fear and to get my work seen by a few more eyes, I will work on releasing various performances, pieces, and clips of work here on the blog!

 I’m starting with a piece I did a few years ago that is truly one of my favorites and one that I would love to put on the stage again.  “Shaded Blue” was choreographed in 2012 at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA as an assignment for my Choreo. 2 class.  The semester before in Choreo. 1, I set a piece about my father and our struggle with his cancer and the aftermath of losing him.  That work, “Holding On/ Chasing Dreams” was an emotionally charged piece that above anything else was a way for me to express what I had been through.  After working on a piece so deep and personal, I wanted to create a piece that was just movement for the heck of it!  Phrases that felt really good in the dancers bodies and didn’t tell a deeper story.  Something that moved and was happy and beautiful, creative and flowing.  I actually wrote out all the choreography on an airplane.  I could just see the piece in my head, I didn’t need to feel it in my body, I already knew what was coming next.  This quartet is set to an original piece of music by Kyle Lacy, titled “Iceberg Shade of Blue”.  In a way, we collaborated on creating the perfect track for the final performance, editing sound levels, length, vocals, etc. It was exciting to create a new dance to a new piece of music, I was able to pull inspiration from the raw music and share the work of another artist.  The performers are all friends and fellow dance majors from Agnes.  Setting this work on them was fun and in many ways, easy, because we could all communicate and just play in the early stages of choreography to create some movement that was personal and individualized for each dancer.

And now I have to share!!   Click here, here, or HERE to see the Promo short for “Shaded Blue”.  This is a 1 minute clip that should spark your interest and make you want to see the whole dance…  Then you can click This, that, or the other for the full length video!!!   I hope you enjoy 🙂   (yes- everything in orange is a hyperlilnk to my youtube channel and the indicated performance video.  You have plenty of options on where to click…. and hopefully you will watch more then once!)

I was constantly inspired and loved working on this piece of choreography.  But I know it does not stand alone.  I have begun work on a new solo which is a sister piece to “Shaded Blue” and may be one of three in total!  Exciting things are happening and I plan to keep sharing, so keep an eye out for more “Sharing is Scary” entries that will contain snippets of new work and progress as well as (hopefully) thoughts and insight on my process.  

Please do continue to read, share, follow, like, and comment!

love always,  Christiane

And if you read this far, you get a bonus- here is a special release 15 second clip of the new solo http://instagram.com/p/sEIFF2m4EL/

Enjoy and know there is more to come!

Tippin’ the Scales, Pullin Away: Finding Balance

Happy Friday beautiful blog readers! I hope you all have had a good week and are looking forward tothe weekend! I’ve had a great, but busy week- which has inspired this post… All about finding balance. In every sense of the word. These are some personal accounts and observations about finding (and sometimes struggling with) balance in my life. I hope something in here speaks to each one of you or causes you to look at the balance (lack of it) in your lives.

Physically

Balance in the most literal sense. Like, if you stand on one foot can you stay there still and peaceful or are you wiggle-wobbling all over? After many years of dance and many many twisted ankles (my right ankle has been twisted at least 6 times), this was a sticking point for me for many years… and still is on rainy days ;-/ I didn’t know what really to do to “have better balance”. Usually in trying to achieve it, I would get more stressed and frustrated… and only become more unbalanced.

Now as a (more) physically active and away young adult, I’ve learned that there are many things that can to worked on to achieve better physical balance. One would be working on core strength and centering. Having a strong center (the powerhouse for the rest of the body and limbs) helps you transfer weight smoothly and evenly from one foot to the other. Working consistently on my core strength has also help me to overcome a 6 year old back injury- that only until recently did not flair up every time I did true pushups or heavy lifting!

Balance is something that needs to be practiced and revisited many times. It’s worked on in many dance or Pilates class you will go to. In fact, we did a single leg balancing series in my Pilates class today and I didn’t hardly waiver at all.  It felt really good to see and feel my personal progress.

Fitness

This really goes closely with physical balance, but in a different way.  Sometimes when I look at how much I run, hit the gym, or throw myself into a class, I’m surprised I’m still standing.  My stress relief is working out… a LOT. But there is such a thing as to much!  Balancing time in the gym and time to recover is important.  That recovery time give your body a chance to rebuild muscle and become stronger.  But when my head is spinning and the only relief is to be on the running trail, it’s important to be careful… overdoing it could be a lot worse then some tears.

I’ve found a nice balance… for now at least!  Trying to run 3+ miles every other day, and biking or walking on the off days.  Always stretching and doing core strengthening.  Then on days off, not even thinking about it!

I would be the one to push myself to far.  Last week i was in the gym for 3 hours.  Felt great and did some of everything and did it well… but then took the next 2 days off from high impact workouts.  The next time I went for a run, I felt better and was looking forward to it, rather then dragging myself through it.  Your body will thank you for this sense of balance.

Sleep vs. Awake

Now I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time finding a good balance between sleep and getting everything I need done in a day.  We all know some of the reasons sleep is so important- it’s a time for your body to rest and recover (either from the daily stress of life or from an injury or illness), sleep aids in memorization and productivity, it gives your body systems time to recharge, etc.  However, we all know that the demands of daily life in 2014 (especially in New York) don’t always understand or lend themselves to everyone getting those 8+/- uninterrupted hours of sleep.  I discovered on my trip to Illinois how tired I was.  The first few days there I literally fell asleep every 3 hours, for at least 1 hour, and finally felt like I was “caught up” on sleep.

I’m still struggling with this aspect of balance.  Even on days off, when I technically could sleep in and not be late for anything, I make myself rise at a relatively early hour.  If I stay in bed to long i end up feeling like I’ve waisted the day.  I will get up and go to the gym even when I want to stay in and rest.  Part of it is guilt, “waisted the day”. Part of it is knowing how much I want to get done in a day.  Part of it is fear, that if I stay inside and to myself I’ll get lonely and sad.

But there must be a good middle ground.  Turning in right after getting home at night to wake early the next morning and not feel exhausted all day at work.  Allowing some sleeping in, and being perfectly alright if everything on that To-Do list doesn’t get checked off that day.  It’s a process, finding that balance.

Emotionally

I seem to have a hard time finding and maintaining balance in this category.  It’s perfectly normal to have emotional reactions to various events- good, bad, happy, or sad, however sometimes I feel like my emotions are the ones calling the shots and not at all checking in ith the rest of me!  But emotions are not something we can actually see or touch… we can’t put a brace on them for stability.  So what can one do?

I found I got a graet emotional break when I got out of NYC and into the still, quiet, calm of my summer cottage in the valley.  I was able to get some perspective on my life, my situation, and my future.  I wasn’t constantly around reminders of that previous relationship or the place i used to call home.  I was able to distance myself and in doing so, came to a balance emotionally.  Harkening back to my previous post, EX-Factor, I was able to see, accept, acknowledge, and move on from what happened.  Allowing for this freed up some space to care and worry about other things- like myself and my rolls at work.  Being balanced physically and emotionally compliment one another and personally a least, have made me feel better about myself and more confident.

In just about everything else!

Balancing time with friends and time to one’s self.

Balancing one’s finances.

Balancing the good old diet.  This one I have fun with… as a bored eater, it’s sometimes hard to balance the snacking with the meals.  When am I actually hungry and need to eat vs.  when am I just eating cause it’s something to do.  Not to mention what are you putting in your body???  Are you getting a healthy balance of vegetables, fruits, carbs, protein, sugar, fiber… all that other stuff!  Especially when I leave home at 7AM and don’t come back till 11PM it gets hard to always eat healthy and on the go, without chewing a hole threw my wallet!

Who knew one word would pop up so much and in so many different places!?!  And get a whole post to itself!  haha.  I guess it’s just that important and because I does appear in so many different places, it’s something pretty much everyone has dealt with and can relate to.  Sometimes it’s easier to find and achieve then others, but balance is something that one can always work on.

I carry a little reminder to stay balanced on my person everyday.  The tattoo on my right ankle.  A traditional Yin-Yang symbolizing harmony and balance.  You can’t know black without knowing its opposite, white.  Nothing can exist without it’s opposite, but there are proportions that (when maintained) allow for calm and “balance”.  Why my right ankle?  Well not only because that is my weaker ankle, but I’m right side dominant- so reminding me to mix it up and lead with the left.  And to have a personal reminder, in general, all the time.  For balance in every sense of the word… idea… life style.  And it’s beautiful!

Well… I don’t think I have to much more to say on this subject at the moment.  What helps you find balance in your life?  What is a struggle for you to balance?  I know I’m not alone in this… sometimes though it’s hard to see where things are sliding one way or the other.  It’s not always an easy quick fix either.  thoughts?

AND bonus point to the reader/follower who can name the source I’m referencing in this entry title!!!!!

So on that note and till next time- follow, like, comment, share, etc!

love always,  christiane

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I Can See the Stars

But really- I was out walking the other night, looked up, and stopped dead in my tracks– I could see hundreds of stars in the night sky. I’d almost forgotten they existed. I stood on the sidewalk in the dark for about 5 minutes, not budging- just looking and listening to the night.

I should preface this short post… I’ve left the busy crazy New York behind for 2 weeks and retreated to my summer cottage nestled between the bluffs along the mighty Mississippi River. Basically the polar opposite of NYC, Chautauqua is the perfect place to be right now.

When I return to the city, this blog will pick up again, but I’m enjoying some time without a buzz or a ding or a ring… And some time to reflect and listen to myself.

Which leads back to the inspiration for this post- not quoting a song on purpose- but I could look up and see the stars and I couldn’t look away. Being in New York, so bright and loud all the time, it’s near impossible to see the stars or hear the crickets or listen to yourself.

Full accounts of my trip, my thoughts, realizations, and workouts will be in posts to come. In the mean time…
What I would love for all of you to take from this quick post– remember to get away from your phone, computer, daily stresses and really take some time for you. Go someplace where you can look up and see stars. It will be amazing how humbled and beautiful you will feel.

Love always, Christiane.