with Natalie caine


March 5, 2016 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

Shoes for SharingYou know those weeks where you are singularly focused and then you are at a Saturday lunch with a friend?  You notice your shoulders are dropped, bellies out, and you effortlessly are listening, and engaging. You feel birthed anew.

During lunch, I told my friend how vulnerable I felt crying in front of a new friend.  She said, “I wouldn’t be able to cry like that and tell a new friend about the loss I was feeling. You, though, have a way of staying with it. You find words that land so safely.  I stumble and freeze when vulnerable.  I quickly go to what is she thinking about me right now?  Better stop.”

I thanked my friend for sharing something about me that I hadn’t thought about. I told her that it is predictable later my critic will say, “Really, you told her that so soon.”   I hopefully let that voice pass me by.

I don’t want to lose the courage I had to be me in the moment with that new person.  Who knows.

I hadn’t planned on being vulnerable.  I didn’t know what I was going to say or do and I just opened to that pulse.  I thought I would choose who I want to be vulnerable with and who I don’t.  Well that idea flew out the window when I was crying in front of a new friend.  I actually don’t regret it.

My friend shared with me that she is working on not focusing on her sore yoga shoulder.  She is attending to it and saw a doctor, which she delayed because the loud spinning chatter in her head fed her doubts. Her doubter says it will be a waste of time and the dr. will just say ice, rest, and take an anti-inflammatory.

We laughed saying, “Well, what would you want him to say, oh you are imagining that pain, there is nothing there, oh you have arthritis just part of aging, oh you need surgery.”  It’s not so much about what the doctor would say, we just don’t like being interrupted with a life we aren’t choosing called pain in the shoulder.

Her style with pain is do the best she can to heal it and not be angry at her body.  Learn to call the doctor when pain shifts for the worse and delete the words telling her,” Oh, I don’t want to bother him.”  When she is in pain, she likes to get distracted doing what she enjoys, researching.

She doesn’t want to fall down the negative trap of LIFE SUCKS and it is only going to get worse with body pains now that I am getting OLDER.   We tell each other stories about our neighbors who are still biking at 91, starting Pilates at 79, and traveling by themselves at 87.   We are committed to reminding each other we have a long happy life ahead of us, so keep choosing, and we can also share about pain or inconveniences our bodies unexpectedly deliver us.

Pink Blossom Hanging DownFriendship reminds me that trust has been earned and built over time.

Masks on. Masks off.  Oops. Forgiveness. Encouragement. Crisis. Getaways together for new views, fun, and relaxation. Our friendships add meaning to our lives.

Oh the questions of life, let’s hope they keep unfolding!

In our friendship council we assessed:

  1. What is the story you want me to stop talking about?
  2.  When I punch your buttons, what happens to you?  Do you collapse, speed up to defend, not get your foot off the petal of wanting to be correct or heard? Tense your shoulders up to your ears? Are you able to tell me in the moment or even later?
  3.  Honestly, you can tell me, do you think I am more of a listener with you or the talker?  In other words, do I give you space to talk about you? Do you want me to shift how I am with you?
  4. Do I ask you questions that help you see more of yourself and who you might become? For example: What do you think was going on for your husband?  What did you want that didn’t happen in that work conversation? What are you holding back from each other? Let’s not judge why you are holding. What is a different conversation you could have?  This is a noticing of you and what feels safe and unsafe.
  5.  How can you have more fun this week?
  6.  Let’s talk about our spiritual practices.
  7.  I am vulnerable telling you something about me because I don’t like this part of me. Could you just listen until I finish saying it? “When things aren’t going as I want them to, what you don’t know about me is that I go faster, seeking a big something that will fill my lack of acceptance or my lack of trust. I have a part of me that thinks I can come up with a new idea that will land me in the spotlight of my happy place whether that is in relationships or work.

In relationship, I just keep teaching, suggesting new ways he could act.  In my work, I over extend my creative ideas or actions, like a kite out of control rather than being with what is, pausing, weeping, and appreciating.  I guess that sounds like a bit of denial for sorrow and a pusher who just tells me do something right now. Make it work.  No acceptance for what is right now. Don’t pause. Go Go Go. Ok, breathing, will you help me with this behavior that I don’t like so much?  Do you do things like that?

Bluffs Subtle SunsetFriends want to help you. They like feeling needed.  More women are living a solo life and their friendships are their partners. Even if married, woman to woman time is treasured.

There is a myth that tells you that you need a lot of friends.  If you have one or two friends, you are blessed. Friendships grow us. They help us accept and dream big, holding paradoxes.  Friends bring out parts of us that are waiting to surface.  They keep you interesting and interested.

What conversation do you want to have with a friend today?

Take care,


Life in Transition

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Natalie Caine, M.A. natalie@lifeintransition.org | 10061 Riverside Dr., Suite 1002 Toluca Lake, CA 91602 | 800-446-3310