Tuesday, August 26, 2014
For those who already know this bare with me, lol, I do repeat myself I'm afraid.
So anyway, for those who don't know, Bruce Lee changed my life, this one quote prompted me to start my BHSM program just over 3 months ago now, to go with the flow and do as I please. On paper this seems like disaster central, how can you achieve anything this way! Well my lack of a focused structured program apparently meant I didn't have time to sabotage and ruin stuff and I wrote this blog a while back showing incidental change was possible: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Fast forward 2 more months and I'm reminded yet again of this wonderful quote and that 'unfocused change'. Yesterday I received a 1000 monthly fitness minutes trophy for the first time in ages and excited I wanted to go check it out...well, you know a trophy is a trophy, even if it is virtual On my trophy page I was shocked to see three, that's right THREE of those golden streak trophies. Hmmm but I 'failed' at my streaks and they are only on a week by now... but that was just the streaks I was focusing on. Chasing health, improvement, and personal betterment I had apparently been streaking incidentally. So a minor celebration if you will of consistency I hadn't even noticed!
Log in to spark, spin zeeee wheel : 56 days
8+ cups of water per day: 51 days
5+ veggies per day: 54 days (record for me)
Cigarette Free: 37 days
Soda Free: 57 days
Journal privately: 51 days
and to just contrast the streaks (for 10 mins minimum daily) I have been focusing on and trying to get right:
Walk: 9 days
Write: 9 days
Read for pleasure: 9 days
Before that they got up to 12 days I believe, then I got moody, stayed in bed and just didn't do them. I was annoyed at myself for breaking those streaks I'd chosen to do, without even realising though that I was still practicing consistency in way MORE areas, and for much longer without even thinking about it!! It is also abundantly clear to me, that I operate SO much better in the unstructured chasing life way and really think I may just achieve my goals.... as long as I'm not looking and have no time to sabotage or slack for whatever reason So, yay me, I'm an incidental gold streaker
At the end of the first blog I had also listed some desires that were surfacing as my haze of depression was receding. Going through them I was intrigued to find they had begun to take their first baby steps...cute! From desires only to stepping out and gaining a foothold, here's how they are slowly beginning to bud.
I signed up for an online guitar course, and have continued to strengthen my fingers so I can play fully someday
Carry my phone everywhere so I can take pictures and have been collecting them for myself in a series of folders. Have also done a couple photoblogs to share what I've seen on my country sojourn. Have a lovely Pinterest account that keeps me visually motivated and thinking of ideas.
I began writing in fits and spurts but now find such peace in it that I have completed 3 stories for a series I plan and am happy to continue pursuing that writing streak of mine! Have also been blogging dailyish, which I never did before, and journaling is all helping me to practice being in the habit of a hobby I love
I have been taking better care of myself physically by having umpteen spa days, with my own home made products so I know they are good for me. I've started slowly on my appearance, by just wearing one item that makes me feel special, picking up my confidence, just a touch I've also again, been choosing nutrient dense health foods much closer to my ratio of 80:20, what better way to take care of yourself than, gorgeous healthy food.
I have adapted to my current circumstances in order to have activity in my life now and not just when I get home. I have been exercising almost daily, with JessicaSmithTV. Short videos when I can only do a little, adapting it to make it low impact so as not to hurt my joints. And as I mentioned earlier I got that 1000 fitness minutes for my efforts
I am pleased that this haphazard, crashing and flowing water, made up on the spot program of mine is getting me to where I want to go! It may be slow, but it's definitely going in the right direction, and that's enough for me to take today out to celebrate how far I've come!
Monday, August 25, 2014
I do my BHSM recaps weekly (well I try to) to reflect on what goals I reached, where I went above and beyond my goals and where I fell down and could do better. After writing up this weeks recap (previous blog), as soon as I had finished it I straight up burst out laughing. My only thought was well yeah of course that came out how it did because you are a giant CHEAT. This is not following the rules, this is not setting a goal and then seeing if you hit it, not only are people going to read this and think you're crazier than the hatter himself they will also think you are the biggest CHEAT in the universe!
For you see, I kept changing the rules as the week went on. At the start of the week, start a raw challenge, start an exercise challenge, take care of myself = WIN! Oh, hmm, failed at the raw challenge, exercise challenge is draining me too much, and I was careless went out in a flimsy summer shirt when Autumn rocked up early and now have the flu... but I did some fun stuff and had a great time = WIN! Hmm, pushed way too hard, overate some allergen foods and joints now inflamed, ditched working out and sloped round the block for my 'exercise' streak desperate just to get home and hop back into bed, but I got some great journaling done and practiced some acceptance = WIN! I pretty much didn't do anything I set out to do at the beginning of the week...most would call that failure, off plan, nice people would say 'don't beat yourself up, just get 'back on the wagon'. Cheaters like myself say... I WIN I WIN I WIN!
See, see what I've been doing, cheating unashamedly!!, I had an intention, that didn't work out or get done, so I just upped and changed my criteria for winning (read cheated). I looked for a positive, checked if my attitude was ok, if I felt happy then clocked a win anyway. I shifted the goal posts. Now if you were playing this way with others, then yeah, cheaters never prosper, it's just plain annoying if someone else does it in the middle of game where everyone else is doing what they're supposed to do. SO, why am I laughing at myself, not really seeming to care that I 'cheated' my way through last week? Well, because I'm talking about a different kind of cheating altogether, intentional cheating in a game with no rules, Life,...the only time it's acceptable.
One of my happiest memories was of a time when I was on the Psych ward, cheating.. prolifically. It still makes me smile so widely and chuckle just to remember it now. Myself and 3 of my fellow patients decided to break up the monotony of ward life by playing monopoly. A guy who was hardly ever calm (he pretty much got 'the injection' and locked in his room everyday), hardly ever smiled and spent most of his time raging, at us, for being infidels, decided he wanted to be the Banker. I was skeptical, but didn't say anything as the fact he even wanted to sit and spend any time with us was a minor miracle, plus I really liked it when we could all just get along. We chose our counters, got our start up money, a quick decision to go anti clockwise and the game was afoot! Within moments one of my fellow players decided he liked the iron better than his dog... he asked the Banker could he swap... even though we had started. “Of course!” the Banker cried joyfully. Hmm, ok, swap if you must but really lets just role the dice and play on I thought. Well he'd started the ball rolling then, soon everyone but me had changed counters and they looked at me imploring me to change counters so we could use them all....it was more fun that way, so they said. “Use them all, yeah lets use them all, brilliant idea Banker, don't swap, just use them all” one of the other players squealed as the Banker unwittingly hit on a new way to play. So then within a flash we had all the counters on the board...2 counters each!
Hell in a hand basket came to mind. I was apoplectic. This isn't how you play monopoly I said, almost wanting to get up and leave, how would anybody win now! The Banker just smiled and said “yeah we know it's not how you play, but it's fun isn't it, we can all win if you want” Everyone was laughing; in a place like this, it just made no sense to choose rules and winning over a glimmer of joy and laughter, I'd just have to get in the handbasket...no other choice. Ok, hang the rules lets have fun; and so we did, so much fun that apart from the nurses station, the half open door to the 'medication room' and the locked doors, you would have thought it were just four friends on a games night, shooting the breeze, passing time, with soulful laughs; instead of four souls who'd been hammered by the 'rules' of life and were sitting out the game. It had been such a long time since I'd laughed so hard...
We were making so much noise with our laughter and revelry, that a nurse began to pace up and down the hallway, eyeballing us but not saying a word, it was a face we hadn't seen before, either a trainee or an agency nurse. We weren't too bothered by it, we were used to being watched, but so engrossed in our game without rules were we that we hadn't really noticed that she'd finally plucked up the courage to stand right next to us and watch our game. As she observed she heard:
“Can I have 300 pounds Banker I want to buy some houses”
“sure...here.. have 500... then you can buy a hotel too”
“wait you don't have to buy it have some of mine, they don't all fit on Mayfair anyway, they're hanging off”
“hmmm tell you what, lets just divide ALL the money equally, then we can all buy something new, then race the pieces home”
“or just race them round the track... how many times can you pass go in total!”
“we can't move unless we get sixes!”
“yes and lets start in jail...since we are in one here anyway, jail is the start, go is the 'end'”
“Isn't that cheating? That's not how you play.” the nurse finally chirped in, frowning. We roared with laughter then, because there just was no cheating, when there were no rules, you could do as you pleased.
“It's Mental Monopoly, it's different” he said with a sly smile. We all laughed again, as the nurse looked beyond baffled, because we knew, we knew that when you'd lost everything and misery had become your bedfellow, and the world had declared you 'mental' there was only one rule, one thing to chase; those elusive moments of joy. So not yet being jaded by the glaze of rules, this trainee nurse, after declaring it was her first day and she didn't know if she was allowed to but would anyway, sat down to play with us. Within 5 minutes, she had our rules down pat – enjoy it! Oh she laughed once she understood, how could she not; then she asked for extra money... then she borrowed a hotel for 4 houses, then she turned over 3 chance cards, and handed out her get out of jail free cards to everyone, because it was only *fair*. So after being an outside spectator restricted by the rules, pacing the hallways, worried about impressing her new colleagues, she wandered over, looked, contemplated, then hung the rules and jumped into the game.
After the game was over she said how much fun she'd had and how this was a great first day, she began to explain how nervous she'd been that morning, she'd been told such horror stories you see, for the rotation 'in the madhouse', her colleagues on the training course had given her a list of do's and don'ts, of rules to follow to 'survive it all'. I said only one thing to her, which I hoped conveyed my meaning 'we're just people'. I think she understood as still smiling she asked if there was something else we could play, no longer willing to follow the rules of them and us... nurses in the station and patients in their rooms.
That's the irony of it all isn't it. Playing by the rules, dutifully flagellating yourself, enforcing adherence, which oftentimes causes mental anguish and all those accompanying thoughts of failure, guilt, low self esteem and pressure, when this was supposed to be something to give you a better life. This 'game' is meant to help you, it's one you CHOSE to play, don't let the rules hold you back from enjoying it, toss them out, free yourself to make new rules that suit just you and bring joy along for the ride.
Just like I first experienced on that ward with my fellow players. Our reasons for being put on a psychiatric ward were not gone, we still had a lot of work to do, but for that wistful afternoon, playing a game and KNOWINGLY throwing out the rulebook and allowing ourselves to just be and enjoy each others company, I'll tell you this for nothing, it was the happiest, most talkative, most lucid and expressive I had ever seen any of them; along with a nurse who had at first been terrified, desperate to follow the rules and survive 'the madhouse' but let go, threw out the rules, became one of us just for a moment, and 'enjoyed it'. I treasure that memory I really do.
So, after feeling like a giant cheater, and laughing at myself as I did my BHSM recap I must again shift the goal posts, cheat one last time to obtain a new attitude, a new perception. Today, on day 50 of the second half of my journey to reclaiming my life, I will hang the rules and scratch the word 'cheating' from my playbook. It's not a weight loss plan, a health journey even, with rules and regulations to be followed and penalties for infringements. In the spirit of the Banker I shall simply say “it's 'Living Life', it's different, and there is only one rule; to enjoy it”
This is why I get to clock up seven wins, to end the week that was, as a victor; because I thoroughly enjoyed most of it, shifted my attitude to release pressure and depressive clouds of failure and thought of new ways to keep my face turned towards the 'rules of enjoyment' throughout being sick and off plan.
Every time I see a monopoly box or think of life as a game I smile; just smile and remember that to live is the only criteria for winning, so there is no need to feel like a cheater. Each day I pledge to play by my own rules, or to throw them out altogether and simply get in the handbasket for the win.
Monday, August 25, 2014
win, win, win, win, win, win, win = I won the day x7
WIN, WIN, WIN, DOUBLE WIN, WIN WIN WIN, TRIPLE WIN, BAZINGA, WIN, WIN, WIN, YAY ME, WIN, WIN, HAPPY DANCE, INFINITE WIN = I won the day but also won the week which made my month entirely, so I guess I WON AUGUST!!!
I am, nothing short of ridiculous, don't worry I know it, but writing that just made me laugh hysterically. In a more serious tone though, it is kind of how I feel about the past week. Now I could have listed all the things I did and achieved last week BUT the only criteria I set was to win the day...and yup, regardless of up and down moods and obstacles and such I can genuinely say I'm happy and pleased with the week just gone, and just decided to express that here, in my usual insanity, instead of listing it out as I usually do. Be like water.
I'm tired, be nicer to me, I want more juice and less...crap, and leave me be to rest crazy woman! The immune system is busy working, it's not time to romp about like a headless chicken, reeeeeeeeest!
Yes, yes, fine. Stick to ratio of 80% freggies, mostly juice
Make my own food so I KNOW there are no allergens in it
Rest, doing activities that don't require much from me physically
It's been a fun summer just you and I, I LOVE to talk, don't stop listening to me when you go home, I'm afraid you'll lock me up back in my box again because you have 'important life stuff' to do. Promise you'll let me stay...keep the journal?
I promise right here and now to continue to honour my emotions as part of my journey and continue to journal daily.
See, don't be scared, I won't put you back in the box. In time you'll learn to trust me, that I mean what I say this time, when you know better you do better, and I will do better by you all.
Enjoy your last week, those assignments are waiting for you when you get home. But as for this vacation I'm proud of you for letting the light in when it wanted to enter. Good job little Bean, good job, I'm so glad we got to see each other on the labyrinth. Until it's time for home, continue with just that, keep your ears, and eyes open for whatever may come.
Enjoy my week
Keep journaling my dreams and meditations
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