“I”, as in “Me” . . . or the “I” I want to be!
I have been talking about sharing my plan for the new year for a while now. I’ve been working on it pretty much all of 2014. I had a lot of time to think about my future laying in bed for so long and then having to rest so much until my body was fully healed. The hardest thing to do as an active person, is nothing!
Have you thought about what you would be like if you could mold yourself into the person you want to be? You can, you know . . . I have often thought about this. You leave a great discussion with someone you really admire and think, I wish I could be like that! it really got me thinking this year, with all the months I spent in bed. What would it take? So I started thinking about my most recent goals, and what it would take to get “there”.
I had been working towards a few goals for the past 3 years and getting very close to a few of them just before I was first diagnosed with Shingles last year. My weight was one of those goals. I had eaten so unhealthy for so long and my body was just kind of in slow motion, responding to what I told it to do. I had to really buckle down and just be consistent. I used to get so frustrated when I didn’t see fast results, that I would just give up and move on to trying something else. Or I would find something that works, and say, oh, “I deserve a cheat meal now” or a treat and that always seemed to stunt my progress, which threw me back into the first pattern of giving up and trying something else. Then again, there were times when I would find out something worked and lose my momentum one way or another. It took determination, stick-to-it-iveness, to just let the little bits add up and keep going. Education doesn’t hurt either. The more I researched, the more classes I took, the more I have learned that sometimes our bodies just need time to respond to new stimuli or the removal of old stimulus. If our bodies are familiar with one type of fuel (cheese, pasta, sugar, meat, traditionally grown and processed plant foods, etc) and we replace it with fresh whole vegetables and fruits, we will go through withdrawals. We don’t just crave it because we like it, our bodies crave fuel and develop intestinal flora to digest that fuel. It becomes a physical addiction. When you don’t feed that flora with it’s preferred fuel, it releases hormones that cause you to seek it out. The same way a crack addict seeks crack. That flora must die and the new flora must grow in order to develop a desire for the new fuel. And it is different in every body. Some folks go through this turnover faster than others, and it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Especially if you treat yourself once a week with the proverbial “cheat” meal. That happens just often enough to keep that flora high enough to make one struggle with cravings. There are all kinds of parameters involved in how fast this process is, strength of the immune system being one of them, and we all know that I have a genetically slow system.
I’m getting off track again, let’s keep going . . .
Over all, although I knew how we are connected body-mind-spirit, and I had spent some time on each in my effort, I hadn’t truly found a way to marry them together for permanent success. Hence, the stress build-up and eventual illness. Through this year, I have been making a conscious effort not to commit to anything I don’t absolutely want to. And focusing on being present. I have a tendency to think too much. I go over and over in my head what I should have said, how I should have handled something, how different my day could have been if I had just done _____. Focusing on the present is like the rip through the vinyl record – a reminder that what’s done is done. With that being said, I developed this acronym to remind me of these things that are the way I want to live my life – the way to ‘mold’ myself, or allow myself to be molded. Some of these things come naturally, and quite a few are taking some work. Maybe you’ll see yourself in these . . .
I start and end my day this way.
For me, it’s a few moments of quiet where I am completely, wholly in that moment.
Defined as: It can be gratefulness for something as simple as the sieve on the canister of my juicer, a new facebook friend or for my new grandbaby! And followed by a prayer of thanksgiving. And I firmly believe that a person who lives a life of gratitude radiates love. Mother Teresa said, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
Action: Just a few moments alone to close my eyes and begin/review my day, at the beginning and the end, and say out loud to myself what I am thankful for and to say a prayer of thanksgiving for these blessings.
Reflection & Resolution ♥
Defined as: This is a conscious behavior, reviewing my behavior and setting goals for the future.
Action: To look on my week and see what I accomplished, what wonderful things happened, how close I came to my goals. Am I doing what it takes to reach them? And then resolving what the following week requires to move forward by writing it down. I am setting small action goals to reach the final destination! I have my eye on the prize but I am focused on the task at hand. Every step is a step in the direction of my goal!
Affirmation & Action ♥
Defined as: It’s a time for affirming myself.
Action: I used to spend so much time in the shoulda-woulda-coulda regrets. There’s a lot in me that fights this affirming of oneself because the proverbial self-patting on the back makes me feel sheepish. I don’t want to be perceived as vain or narcissistic and at the same time I recognize that this is healthy behavior. In the same way we uplift each other, we should practice kind words with ourselves. There is nothing wrong with being proud of yourself for a job well-done! And if I realize that I missed an opportunity to just let myself feel the joy of pleasure in my successful moment, I walk myself through that moment and make a mental note how to respond positively the next time the opportunity arises – that’s the ‘action’ side. This is a living in the moment action – I am trying to live this way without having to stop and think about it!
Defined as: Frankly, this one can be scary. We really make ourselves vulnerable through commitment. This one really should be called “courage”. Because when we commit to anything, whether it’s ourselves or others, someone will be depending on us. And who wants to fail?? It’s easier not to make commitments than it is to feel embarrassed because maybe we didn’t fill our commitment in full, whatever that may be. Or maybe we fear we won’t be able to fulfill those obligations. Maybe you struggle with punctuality, truthfulness, deception, lack of enthusiasm, lack of dependability, inferiority complex (<– me) and the list goes on. There will always be someone better versed in everything. Instead of worrying about whether or not I measure up, or if I’m going to be belittled for mistakes,
Action: I am standing tall in my own abilities and using them to the utmost. Having faith in my convictions, I am persistent and consistent in following through with my commitments.
Defined as: This is the flip side to affirmation – this is directed at everyone else. I have a friend who called me years ago, upset about something in her life. I don’t even remember what the issue was, but I don’t like to see anyone in pain and I just wanted the uncomfortable situation to go away for her. When she finished talking, it was clear to me what I would do in that same situation, so I immediately said, “You know what you should do? You should _____.” She stopped me in the middle of my sentence and said, “I didn’t call you for advice, I just want you to listen.” I had forgotten to encourage her and immediately went to solving my own discomfort with how she was feeling by making suggestions to her for her situation. She just needed to be encouraged!
Action: Truly focusing on conversation and making sure I don’t inject my opinion but rather uplift the other person. It is also where I am focusing on my listening skills rather than my need to inject my opinion or experience. I have been doing this for several years now but I am really working on evaluating my responses before I speak them, the ole “think before you speak”. 😉
I am reading more about Non-Violent Communication, a book a new Facebook friend recommended on the subject and it is wonderful. We don’t realize the affect the words we say have on others not to mention the hidden reasons why we communicate the way we do. Ever been around that person, the “Debbie Downer”? Or the person you always walk away from who makes you feel fantastic and you wish you had more time together? It’s the way they communicate – the agenda. One is seeking affirmation, and one is giving it. You will be hearing more about this in the weeks to come.
Defined as: The state of being calm, peaceful, untroubled, tranquil. This is a huge one for me. I love just the sound of the word so much, I want an entrance gate to my home/driveway with this word across the top. Just the presence of this word forces me to close my mouth and my eyes and just breathe. It’s a reminder that I can rest in my Creator’s hands and everything else does too.
Action: I need this word everywhere I go! I get in the car, I breath and think ‘serenity’. I wash my hands in the bathroom, and before I walk out, I do the same thing. And I try to take just 15 minutes a day to listen to something beautiful and calming and focus – and as long as it’s not overcast or super cold, I try to do this with the sun on my face, in the fresh air.
It’s almost as if I can feel God’s breath in me.
. . . for life!
Defined as: As serene as I want to live, I want excitement!
Action: There is so much on our earth that I haven’t experienced physically, and I have to remind myself when I’m in unfavorable situations, that there is life beyond this!
And on the spirit side of things, enthusiasm creates curiosity.
When I am excited and active in my beliefs – I create enthusiasm around me!
In the same way we can pass a yawn, a smile is just as contagious 😀
This is just going to take assimilation into my day to day life. One of the ways I create enthusiasm in my own life is through exercise. You’ve heard it before, well, maybe you haven’t, but exercise increases endorphins. Getting your heart rate up gets your body’s juices flowing a little faster. Your heart has to work a little harder to get it’s job done and your body creates endorphins to encourage it along. Endorphins are the ‘feel good’ hormone! Want to feel good? Exercise! Even a little goes a long way. Get up off the sofa, do a few stretches – arms in the air high above your head, then touch your toes and back again, then walk to your mailbox and back as quickly as you can. You’ll be surprised how good you feel!
Defined as: Do you ever look at your life and say, where has the time gone?
Do you wonder where that young person went to?
I do. And I remember modes of thinking, naivete, brevity, courage, fear but excitement . . .
Action: We can become so thwarted and cynical by events in our lives that we move away from what our hearts tell us is important. I am actively making conscious decisions to let myself feel. If I’m mad, I’m not forcing it down and looking for ways to tiptoe around the other person. I’m addressing it head on. Now, I’m not looking for confrontation, just facing the fire instead of looking for shortcuts around it!
If I’m afraid, I just take a deep breath and keep going.
If I’m excited, I let it out!
It’s a return to myself . . . man, it feels good!
Defined as: My life is full of joy! But I don’t always see it that way.
I feel like I’ve lived the last 20 years with a blindfold on and have been picking away at them like they were a dying scab, from the outside in. I want to live a VIBRANT life. For me, eating foods that were processed beyond recognition, full of chemicals to obtain certain flavors of making the processed foods suitable to eat, or eating the dead carcasses of animals made me feel like a carcass.
My mind gets muddy, I feel like I have mud in my veins, it’s like living in a slow-motion black and white movie!
Today, I eat living foods and I feel alive! So my focus feels like being blinded by the sun and then seeing Eden once I can focus again – a colorful, diverse, wonderful life, physically, spiritually, emotionally.
Action: This is the action of the very first goal, gratitude. I am trying to walk into every room and recognize 5 positives immediately. This starts my mindset for whatever activity I am engaging in as one that is positive and maybe relieves any possible negativity from a previous engagement or experience. For instance, I am in my living room right now, and my positives when I came to sit down were 1) heating pad, 2)puppy in my lap, 3)thankful for my curtains that are up after 2 years! finally :D, 4) quiet, so I can think, 5)clean, all holiday decorations are finally put away. It took all of about 15 seconds to do that, and I took a great big breath and just smiled because all of those things made me feel so good. Hopefully, that is transferring to my writing! But it will also give me a lot to reflect on when I get to my evening routine of gratitude. Then I get to choose my favorite part of the day!
Defined as: what is needed for growth and health. There are many things in my life I used to nourish – and not necessarily the things that were good for me. Many times, I spent time nurturing the unhealthiness in those around me just to keep the peace. I found myself disappearing and felt like I was one of those people with the fake smile. Who wants to be around that person? SO,
Action: I will nourish body-mind-spirit . . . I will be transparent in who my authentic self is – it forces me to differentiate between wants and needs . . . again, this one will take practice . . . obviously the physical side which I will discuss more in the weeks to come, healthy food, exercise; and discovering what my real needs are!
Man, this is a hard one.
Defined as: Instinctual understanding. Because of that desire to please, I compartmentalized for so long, I found myself just pushing my intuition down and just doing “what I was told”.
Action: But the old adage of “the more you do it, the easier it gets” applies here. I’m sure I will be posting snippets about my successes and failures with this one!
Trust /Harmony ♥
Defined as: This kind of goes hand in hand with “commitment/courage”. If you make yourself vulnerable enough times, you will get hurt. There’s just no getting around that. I’ve had several big hurts in my life and they have caused me to be leery of trusting others, including those closest to me. And on more than one occasion, it caused problems. It is hard to live in harmony with others if you don’t trust them!
Action: I am actively working on trusting those I’ve given important positions in my life, implicitly. I am releasing anything negative – fear of abandonment, fear of failure, fear of being hurt/lied to/betrayed . . . all of it.
It is hard to live raw like this, but it sure does clear out a lot of brain space! And it allows room for living as my authentic self, and allowing myself to feel in the moment. Funny, how this is all connected, huh?
By the way, if you have an any suggestions for trust, aside from the ‘trust-fall’, I would love to hear them. If you haven’t done the trust fall before, or know what it is . . . it is simply putting your back to someone you ‘trust’ and falling without catching yourself. You allow the person behind you to catch you whenever they choose to. It may be close to the ground or seconds after you start to fall. But you should have complete trust. I may need to do a video on this 😉
This should be “Y” but you get it, right?
It is the best one in my acronym too. For years, I have known that the calling on my life was to share my convictions through my talents but remembering and acting on my “why” gets put on the backburner. And who knows why, really, other than quite simply, fear.
Defined as: Acting on my why is the most authentic I can be!
Action: I was given a compassionate heart, for all living things, in everything I do . . . . stay true to me in all I do and say and think. If I feel called to act (or not to) I’m going to. I want to be careful with my speech and only speak to my convictions but I don’t want to edit myself so much that my message is skewed, in any sense. Sometimes, it’s just hard (or scary!) to go against the grain of popular belief. I used to really fear rejection and I found myself agreeing with all sides to avoid conflict and potential embarrassment. Part of that was choosing my company wisely. At this point, it takes being well-educated in my convictions which gives me the strength to stand firm without wavering and without fear. I’ve been working on this for about 10 years, and it is a never ending process.
We are always growing, always learning, I hope it never stops!
Do you know your “WHY”?