September 30, 2012 § 4 Comments
I’ve recently begun to live my life on purpose. You know, like, deliberately. With one full month of life happening because of me rather than to me, I’ve got to say, I’m pretty confident in my process so far. All it requires is one little question, “Why?”
For every action I perform, I ask myself, “Why?” And if the answer is anything other than, “Because I want to,” I scrap it. From the work I’m doing to the food I’m eating to the activities and people I’m engaging with, I’m not living the way I’m supposed to, I’m living the way I want to. That one simple change has brought me, by far, the most fun and stress free month I can remember. I feel like a kid that’s just gotten off the best ride ever and is taking a quick breather before she jumps right back on!
Do you want to hear the best part? Despite all the fun, everything still got done. I’m healthier, I’m happier, my relationships are stronger and I’m more effective in all areas of my life. All because “no” and “can’t” and “shouldn’t” simply don’t exist as options. Neither does “hard”. Oh, and “because that’s the way it is”… yeah, I took a sledgehammer to that one.
I’ve been reading Lost And Found by Geneen Roth. She makes many resounding observations, but one in particular sticks with me. It’s the idea that well-intentioned lessons repeatedly told to us throughout our lives morph into ugly, limiting beliefs. For instance, when I was a kid, I was told that I was chubby and that I had to watch what I ate. I’ve been fighting with food and my own self-image ever since.
So, what changed? I looked at the behaviour. Whenever I caught myself trying to manage myself around food, I asked, “Why do I want that?” or “Why can’t I have that?” Most often, the answer was, “Because I’m not supposed to.” I dug deeper. “Why?” The reply, “Because I have a weight problem and if I allow myself one bite of that donut, chocolate, piece of cake, etc. I won’t be able to stop myself.”
I dug deeper and found no memory of this ever happening. What I did find was a particular moment in my childhood when I felt ashamed after being scolded in front of relatives at Thanksgiving dinner for reaching for a second piece of dessert.
I’ve subsequently thrown any weight loss goals out the window. If I want cake for breakfast, I eat it. Most often, though, what I really want is a bowl full of strawberries or a bit of granola. If I don’t want anything, I don’t eat it. I’ve lost 7 lbs in the last month.
Doing what we’re supposed to do or attempting to keep up appearances for the sake of appearances does nothing more than serve to take up space and keep us from attaining that which we want most. Make a list. Check it twice. And ask, “Why?” Rinse and repeat for any areas of your life you aren’t attaining what you want.
September 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
Every sunny moment, almost without fail, when I look out my front window, there’s a rabbit snuggled up in the same lump of grass next to the sidewalk. He’ll spend hours there, basking in the glow of the morning or the evening sun. I hadn’t thought much about him until one day my roommate commented, “Did you notice he sits in the exact same spot every time? It’s like he’s made the perfect groove in the ground to fit his little bunny body.”
And so he has. He was there again this afternoon when I got home. Cuddled up and catching the last few rays of the waning summer sunlight. I headed out onto the front porch to watch him a little while longer. As I stepped onto the stoop, he tensed a little, but he wasn’t running from his treasured dip in the ground unless he absolutely had too. Not wanting to disturb his September afternoon rest, I quietly headed back inside and contemplated him further from the front window.
I then decided he had picked a pretty sweet spot to make himself at home. Besides the obvious, a house with two of the world’s best roommates, it really was a nearly ideal groove in the ground – he fit so perfectly. I wonder how many other spots he’s crouched in before he found this one? I’m honoured that it’s our house he’s chosen for his perch because I’ve made it mine too and I’ve got to say, it’s the bees knees.
How important is it that we each carve out our own little space in the world? Our own niche, own hideaway? Whether it’s somewhere fully exposed or tucked way back from prying eyes, everyone and everything needs a place where they feel at home. A place they can come back to and feel safe from the roar and rustle of the outside world.
With shifting family dynamics, jobs and even my own inner self over the last five to eight years, it’s taken me quite some time to find a haven I’m comfortable curling up in again. But I think I’ve finally found it. A place in time I’d like to stop and enjoy for more than a passing moment or two. I did a faery card reading last night, and one of the cards I pulled up was called The Guardian at the Gate. It stands for “passages to new life. Openings. Gatekeeping.” And the meaning behind the card:
“We are embarking on a new phase of our lives, and there will be no going back once this gate has been passed. That is the kind of transition the Guardian at the Gate leads us to – always to irrevocable change.”
I can’t help but think having my own two legs to stand on, firmly rooted in my own sweet spot, is what’s helped me be ready for whatever this next phase is. I’ve felt it coming for a long time now, I just didn’t know when it would hit. But here we are, maybe one or two more corners to round… and my next chapter shall begin.