I Did It On Purpose!
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.