…a beautiful gift. time.

it is so easy to confuse vulnerability for weakness. but why get so caught up with being bigger than life, than your life…than who you really are? recently i have regained an enormous amount of strength and beauty in being exactly who i am. my challenges are nourished by my tears and my tears have allowed those challenges to transform into countless stories and each story shapes who i am. i never viewed my tears as a gift before but what an amazing gift the ability to cry is. countless tears have been my source of comfort. i am grateful to be my own source of comfort. there is an enormous sense of strength in that knowledge. i have beautiful gifts. unique gifts. stories. unique stories. stories of a one of a kind life. stories of a rez girl growing up a tomboy. stories of a rez girl born of a clan, born to run, born to give life, born to lead, born to love, born to live. stories of pain. stories of loss. stories of a naïve, stubborn rez girl transforming into a strong, beautiful, motivated, diné woman who allows herself to be truly seen and understood, just as she is. i know there is beauty and strength (nourished by struggle) in the ability to feel deeply for others and the ability to cherish others over oneself without losing who you are. my strength and beauty come from knowing exactly who i am, knowing where i come from and trusting myself…Sa’ah naaghaii bik’eh hozho. if you are struggling and are hurting believe in yourself. trust yourself. love yourself. be yourself. you will get stronger. cherish time especially if you know how much you don’t have.

may endless happiness, goodness and peace be yours…

-J

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Running…yielding to life. Running…having focus, pose, patience & peace during the tough moments.

I was in the 4th grade when I ran my first timed mile. I loved it!

I was in Mrs. Poorthunder’s class that year. Mrs. Poorthunder also happened to be the teacher who taught me how to fancy dance for pow wows.

Even in the 4th grade when I ran my first mile I got something from it. I got a little taste of peace.

I have so many close family members who turn to alcohol & drugs to deal with stress, setbacks, and heartache. I just run. There is something about lacing up my running shoes and pounding the pavement day in and day out. It is reliable. Running clears my mind of all the things I cannot control. Lately running has been the perfect outlet for the hurt I’ve felt. I’ve pounded the pavement in tears, pushing myself to take that hill, allowing the anger to build up from inside and then releasing the rage & pain with each forefoot strike. Running has done so much for me. For two hours out of each day running affords me the clarity, stillness, quiet and focus that I first tasted in the 4th grade.

I know I’m getting into the best shape of my life right now. I feel stronger physically, mentally and emotionally after every run. I can’t wait to get home and lace up my runners. The more running I do, the more marathons, half-marathons, and shorter distances I do the more I realize that I am not just running for myself. I’m running for the members of my family, loved ones and friends who cannot. I run because I am fortunate to have found a way to deal with life’s hardships. I have found a way to allow anger, sorrow, and hate to be balanced with peace, joy and  love. On the days I am feeling alone and sorry for myself and want to do nothing but sleep, I think about my family, friends and loved ones. I think about where they would be if they could understand and know they have a choice. I know they would tell me to keep moving. That it will all turn out okay. So I get out of the funk, lace up my runners and get my butt out the door.

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Before the start of the 2013 Long Beach Half Marathon 10-13-2013

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The sun coming up as we wait for the 7:30am start time of the 2013 Long Beach Half Marathon 10-13-2013

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Seeing the full marathoners off at 6am

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The 2013 Long Beach Half Marathon Medal

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My 2013 Long Beach Half Marathon Bib and medal. The real prize is the peace and clarity I had while running alone.

Coyote and the stars…

This is just how life works. Time needs to pass. Time needs to pass to set straight the train wreck of emotions. There is no other healthy way to learn from the pain of a cracked heart. In the last few days I’ve learned things about myself. Most notably, when I love, I love deeply and completely. I’ve also learned that there are endless things that are still reliable in my life. Growing up Navajo I’d always heard the story of Coyote, First Man and the placement of the stars. I was told that First Man took great care and patience with building several constellations because he wanted the results of the work to be perfect, forever lighting up the night sky. Coyote watched and eventually grew impatient and gathered all of First Man’s mica and threw them up into the air. They instantly stuck in random bunches. To this day I can count on looking into the night sky and be reminded of the reliable disorder created by Coyote and his impatience. Stars are reliable. There is always a story in the stars. I need to allow myself to be patient, still, and open to all the stories that are out there and in me. I got so caught up in a whirlwind of love and like Coyote was reckless & impatient with that love and it had the potential to be an everlasting disorder. I’ve learned that I cannot count on someone to know me better than I know myself. I lost sight of the fact that they may not always be around. I’ve learned that I am the only one who has power over my life and I have to take the time as First Man did and patiently build the constellations of my heart. With time and patience I can work to make sure that commitment, communication, warmth, goodness, consideration, respect, honesty, sex, intimacy, passion, romance, love and trust will ALWAYS be secure in their proper positions even when surrounded by the complications, randomness, trials, and struggles of life and love. I am learning that with patience and time there is nothing in my life that cannot be renewed, restored, or remade.

With love and deep respect…

– J