By most standards, I am lucky and have had many breaks, fortuitous introductions and many ‘in the right place, at the right time’ coincidences in my 58 years – yet, I’ve also worked really hard to get to where I am.
I’m constantly on the lookout to finding better ways to do things:
- I’ve stayed up late (more nights than I care to recall) to write, work, connect to other parts of the world, read, research, and work more.
- I’ve been up early to teach, connect, learn, catch up on daily tasks and to work.
- I stay after events, workshops, get togethers, etc. to connect with the presenters, friends, people behind the scenes and in the scenes.
- I’ve used connection as a bridge; the bridge from the isolated world of being a shy introvert to the open, expansive world of the outgoing extrovert. I used connection to link the shy, awkward part of me with the outward facade of false confidence and the extrovert that I longed to be.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I am a quiet ‘connector’ – I sit silently watching behind the scenes; always working. Working to stay current, working to stay in touch, working, working, working. In all of the decades of working I’ve built an incredibly diverse and rich community of friends and extended family and because of my upbringing – I do my best to maintain ALL connections – even to the point that they are no longer serving me. I do this to keep the connection circle going and to bring people up and to send people out on new journeys. Connection for me is the glue of humanity – and this year with the pandemic it’s been harder than ever to keep up connections, yet strangely enough – it’s also given me more time to reach out to some that I haven’t connected with for years and it was like we had never ‘disconnected’…just like yesterday.
So, while I grieved the loss of many things that I held dear – I delved into learning and became a student again. I took a 5 day a week, 5-week course to become a Cancer Exercise Specialist (awesome course through CETI by the way!); listened in on podcasts of every kind; took a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training through CorePower Yoga; listened in on the BB Deeper Dives (highly recommend these golden nuggets of information and knowledge from the best in the field Nora & Joy); and many others too numerous to recount. Even after all of that – I felt that I was missing something.
“We are constantly creating ourselves with every thought we think. Every cell responds to our every thought, thereby making ourselves that which we believe ourselves to be.”
This taken from a slip of paper that my grandmother wrote on; and I kept after her death (I cherish everything about my Grandmother – she and my Mom are the strongest, most resilient women I know and I can only hope to be a fraction of the woman that they were (my Gams) and are (my Mamasan).
Knowing that learning was only the beginning; I knew that I needed to put myself out there, so I started the Coffee with Portia series – starting with a random post of me doing my morning pushups as I let the coffee drain into my cup on the Keurig (yes! I really do 30+ pushups at the kitchen counter every time I make a cup of coffee – and sometimes that’s up to 5 times a dayJ) and has turned in to a M-F morning ritual with a video for Instagram (@portiapage) and a 3-D photo for Facebook (@portiapage) with a quote or teaching from Louise Hay or the likes – every week for the last way too many months! Yet, it’s a way to connect virtually with the people that I might normally meet or see at a convention, event, training, random meeting on the streets (actually ran into a friend in Tokyo Japan walking across the street – no lie!). I also started an online group fitness venture with 2 dear friends in the fitness industry – offering online group fitness classes (www.yesicanfitness.com), and a myriad of other random classes (I also teach for Zayna Gold in Boston at www.pilatestogo.com) and for Robert Sherman at www.robertshermanfitness.com . So yes, I’m busy; and yes, I’m feeling connected – yet…I’m still trying harder. Trying harder to find connection; make connection; and keep connected!
From someone who was perpetually used to being on the road, teaching groups in person, presenting at conferences internationally and generally “connecting” on the regular; one of the biggest pieces of advice I can give to all of us (introvert or extrovert) is to be YOU. In all of your glory show up with the real you by holding true to who you are and what brought you to where you are today. Know that it’s okay to show vulnerability and to be uncertain – yet the only way that we can seek advice or get a kind word is let others know that you want to connect and that you too might be feeling a bit uncertain about the future. When we live in the moment and are aware and awake to ourselves and our surroundings; we can be the true authentic human selves that we are – beautiful and imperfect in all ways.
What I’ve lost: jobs, income, property, pride, confidence, love, sleep, connection, time
What I’ve gained: power, confidence, a voice, love, sleep, connection, time
What’s your takeaway from these last few months?
Feel free to connect on social media and let me know what you’re up to!