A couple of years ago I was on the edge of an enlightened shift…which ended rather abruptly when I became totally overwhelmed by all that enlightened beeswax. I am thinking that I’m on the same precipice today. Nearly the exact same place. In fact I almost just copied/pasted an old blog post with todays’ date because it seemed so relevant, but that’s totally self-plagiarism or something.
Here’s the thing…I have simultaneously been ignoring and obsessing over #9 on my life list: lose 25% of my body weight. I feel like I’m eternally spinning wheels on this issue. For a little inspiration and hopefully inner guidance I turned to a few blog posts I wrote 2+ years ago:
There are two quotes (of my own – is that seriously too narcissistic for words?) that I’m wanting to remind myself of now because it makes it all the more clear that I’ve really circled back:
I’d like this to be the part where I slam down my fist and shout, “Well this ends here!” But the truth is I’m feeling cautious. I am feeling compelled…pulled…inspired…called even, to change everything – but I am feeling cautious. I'm not sure how easy it will be to let go of the notion that there may be some perfect way to eat and live that will cure all that ails me and right my body again. I think now is the time to be kind to myself, not demanding. To be loving, not critical. To whisper in my own ear, “I love you, girl... Now what are you really hungry for?”
Taking risks is worth it, but Pema [Chodron] is right, the inclination to bolt is strong. The trick is allowing the inclination ‘to stay’ to grow just as strong. And I’m learning that it’s not just ‘situations’ i might want to bolt from, but it’s also the act of trying to make my dreams come true.
… that desire to get the hell outta dodge is the first sign that you are in the exact place you are meant to be. That rush of adrenaline? I’m starting to learn that maybe it’s not fear, maybe that’s God/Buddha/Elvis saying, “Hey girl – welcome to the party! You finally made it.”
So, I am here again. Fully desiring major change in my life, but spinning those wheels. What I’m realizing now is that very easily this issue becomes all-encompassing for me – even if all I’m doing is spinning my wheels. It easily crowds out all other dreams, all other attempts at spiritual growth or connection. It is my go-to distraction when my “desire to bolt” grows large. I fill my thoughts with diets and weight loss and weight gain not because it’s the most important thing in my life but because it is a successful distraction from the things that could be the-most-important-thing-in-my-life. I am starting to wonder, “Am I choosing a big body to avoid a big life?”
And yesterday it struck me that there are 12 more Tuesdays until the end of the year. 3 months until my list quest ends. 3 months = 25% of the year. Perhaps it was just the 25% that was important here.
I have decided to spend some time practicing being fully invested and present in my own life. For the next 12 Tuesdays and the weeks in-between, I will focus on all the things I’m avoiding when I obsess about my weight. And I’m going to start with thinking about Kindness.
- How do I define kindness? What does it look like and how does it feel to be kind and/or receive kindness?
- What does kindness to myself and to my body look like?
- How do kindness and indulgence relate? Or kindness and pleasure?
- What would happen if the determining factor for all these choices I struggle with was “Is that treating myself with kindness?”
It’s about the food, but only changing my diet isn’t the answer. It’s about my weight, but losing weight isn’t the answer. But what is the question again? Oh right…it’s this:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
- Mary Oliver