BESSHAILE   51,948
50,000-59,999 SparkPoints
BESSHAILE's Recent Blog Entries

Letting go of dross - a new moon ritual

Monday, January 03, 2011

A new moon is on the way and astrologically speaking that's a good time to get rid of things - things like

1. the fat on my body
2. any eating that isn't pure pleasure
3. Fear and it's younger sister, worry
4. the Untruthful living one does based upon fear.

those are the 4 things I want to let go out of my life this year, and I'd like to continue to release the frittery procrastination I began releasing last year. I was amazed at how successful I was with releasing bad juju last year - especially the habit I had of grousing about long gone injustices and hurts whenever I was doing housework. I don't know how I started that practice but I realized it was a really creepy damaging thing for me to do. Whenever I'd catch myself doing it last year, I'd stop and say, in a much louder voice than my muttering voice, a list of everything I could think of that I was grateful for of everything I could see right then, that was beautiful. Truth is, I don't even remember the last time I grumbled about something though I think it was some time in the summer.

so. to add a little more oompf to the process of getting rid of things I don't like I wrote them down on pieces of paper and one by one, I burned them up in the stove. Watching those little bits of paper shrivel away did feel good. and with an eclipse and a new moon on the way - I can smile at the thought that I picked such an auspicious time to do it.

May you be able to release your bad juju to make room for all the wonderful things out there just waiting to fill up your world.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IATQOTW 1/3/2011 8:43AM

    What a lovely post to see first thing (ok, almost first thing) in the morning! Thank you. Excellent thoughts.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHEILA1505 1/3/2011 8:37AM

    How stunning that there's a partial Solar Eclipse tomorrow coinciding with the New Moon - so soon after the Lunar Eclipse at Full Moon 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately, once again, none of this will be visible down here at the tip of Africa :(

Well done with dealing with the juju last year - funnily enough I tend to do my muttering when I am hanging laundry outdoors :)) Must remember your tip!


Report Inappropriate Comment
JLITT62 1/3/2011 8:06AM

    Turning those negatives into positives is an excellent way to handle them! I am working on most of the things on your list, too.

Report Inappropriate Comment

The Gift of 365 Glorious Days - to do with what you wish

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Oh my. Sometimes I surprise myself at how cool I am.

Wait! No! I mean.

Sometimes I surprise myself at the cool ideas I come up with. Alas. I don't always follow through with them – but they're awfully good ideas. So last year, in the days leading up to 2010 I made three lists – one, of things I'm grateful for, one, of things I want to let fade out of my life and then 31 things I wanted for my body. Cool, huh?

Of course, for me, coming up with ideas and carrying them out are two different things. I'm like my favorite juvenile fiction character, Betsy Ray, (of the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud H Lovelace ) who was forever making lists and coming up with adventurous ideas that her spunky friend Tip carried out. Betsy, Maud, and I admit this facet of our characters, but just because we don't always act upon our grandiose plans doesn't mean we don't ever act. In fact, many of Betsy's lists, resolutions and plans were so compatible, I adopted them for myself.

So what about all my 2010 plans and resolutions anyway? I don't know where the gratitude list is but the other two were posted in a blogs here. Of the 6 things I wanted to let flow out of my life, all of them have at least gotten closer to the door.

1.Unhealthful food - in unhealthful proportions  This one barely budged, though it was nudged slightly further away by the addition to my daily life of a yummy green drink made of juice and dark leafy greens and almonds that BD and I have become addicted to. The day doesn't feel right if we don't have our green drink.

But there is something I don't like about this particular release ... something about turning food into an enemy ... much like health food people turn food into something magic ... it's a semantical thing but definitions are extremely powerful so I need to think about how I could reword this to make it both more positive and more truthful.

2.My sedentary body and it's accompanying aches

Learned yoga – hurt my back twisting too much during yoga – had to stop doing yoga – took up swimming again - feeling far fewer aches and pains now. ALSO Realized that i CAN do yoga but I have to only turn as much as I can't feel the pull. My own extremely loose ligaments make it too easy to stretch too far. Recent unbelievably easy yoga practices have shown me that I need to be looking for something different from what other people look for in yoga.

3.Grumbling while doing housework 

Ooo. I forgot I wanted to let this go. It's almost completely gone though. Cool!

4.Multi-tasking and it's evil twin... 
6.The mother of #4 & 5 ... Frittering away my time slash Procrastinating 

I made substantial progress on these three things – especially in my work world. I began using a computerized calender and taking the time each month to fill in every thing I want done and the steps (and deadlines) for accomplishing them. Last year was the absolutely most productive year in my job I've ever had. And that productivity left me in a consistently good mood that was so high I looked forward to Monday every single week!

Man. I want More of this!!

As for the 31 things I wanted for my body (since this is a weight/health/body blog) I achieved 24% ... which, in my book, is pretty durn good. This is not just leaving me proud of the previous year, but excited for the new one.

Well, well, well. So today is January 1, 2011. As per one of the very few rituals I keep, I will take down the tree, clean the house, put away my Christmas perfume, take a wonderful luxurious bubble bath, and sit down with pen and paper and a fresh new notebook and start making my new lists. I already know I'll lift some things from last year's lists but I've also begun planning the new items I want to add to this year. I love me some New Year's Resolutions.

My wish for you is that your year, whatever you resolve to do with it, is so glorious and thrilling and rewarding that you, too, look forward to every Monday – even the rainy ones. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPAL50 1/1/2011 12:51PM

    I loved reading your blog! You did well to accomplish 24% of your goals! You are an inspiration... emoticon I can't wait to see what you are up to next. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHEILA1505 1/1/2011 8:38AM

    I love Mondays!
Did not enjoy this morning - :( It was raining and I wanted to go for a neighbourhood hilly walk - old trainers have holes in them (Ok for gym but not puddles) and the new ones created blisters yesterday.

Eventually it stopped raining so I managed my walk at lunchtime but oh,boy, that meant the sweat started streaming so much sooner. It was a good hour though and glad that I managed it.

In case it didn't stop raining, I finally put on my Brazilian Body dance and be fit DVD - and that made me sweat too - it's going to be a whole lot of fun and I'd like a body like the girl on the cover - bet she's been Photo-Shopped ;)

Hugs and love for a wonderful 2011

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANNR1003 1/1/2011 8:36AM

  As I was reading your post, I saw that you mentioned the fictional character Betsy Tacy. I had never heard of Betsy Tacy or read any of her books, but my daughter did a story on the Betsy Tacy Society while she was working for a tv station in Mankato, MN. You can check it out at
I love your idea of writing down 31 things that you want for your body and achieving 24% is GREAT.

Happy New Year!


Report Inappropriate Comment

Baby steps day 28 - a revelation!

Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm making good use of this long vacation to ask myself some deep searching questions. I'm inclined to do this anyway and the coming new year is just more motivation. I love using the left hand/right hand writing to start the juices flowing and often find that on days when I do, interesting answers and valuable insights will bubble to the surface throughout the day.

I took a long meditative walk yesterday, across slushy fields, beneath soft grey clouds and asked myself a frequent question:

Why, when I love exercise so much, do I ever skip it?

And the answer came to me in a flash. At least, a part of the answer. A part that comes from my childhood. As a very young girl I begged to learn how to play the violin and it turned out I had a rare talent for it. This was before Suzuki and all those wee tiny toddlers playing twinkle twinkle little star in group recitals. 5 year old violinists were extremely rare back than and my parents, never loath to set high standards and unrealistic expectations for their children, very quickly took over my life. From the time I was 5 there was never a day of untrammeled play for me. Unless I was sick in bed, I was expected to practice my violin 3 hours a day during the school year and 5 hours a day in summer. 5 hours is a lot of a child's play time, considering the music schedule in no way shortened my share of the household chore schedule. I never had another day of play again until I grew up and actually quit playing music at all.

I am sure I submitted to this rigorous schedule mostly because I really did love music and fairly quickly on learned to crave the approval I got for being a good musician. There was even a day when I was 11 when I really thought hard about whether I wanted to quit or stay, assessing all the burdens of staying and deciding the rewards were worth it. Evidently I was introspective even as a child. But the down side of such demands on an introspective child was that I learned to fritter away time to look busy, to push the clock back when I began practicing and pushing it forward when I just couldn't stand it any more, and many other bad habits that linger at least in memory, if not in practice.

Alas. Play - free, unfettered movement and activity, or even sedentary pursuits of hobbies, still shimmers with an aura of forbidden fruit for me. Play is for other people, not for me. Play carries with it a hint of guilt and a bit of a pointing finger, frowning brows and withdrawal of love. And what is exercise but vigorous play? Yikes!

I'm on the quest to add to my life, not restrict things. I want there to be so many better, more wonderful things out there to choose from, that i won't want to choose worthless food or slothful inactivity - or worse - time wasting frittering!

And so, the revelation that struck me forcefully yesterday, on my walk across the country, was that Play is permitted and Exercise is Play - and the thought of playing for 30 minutes a day seems so much more inciting than the thought of exercising 30 minutes a day. As I gave myself permission to play yesterday, I began to think of all the really fun things I could be doing. There must be 50 dance videos in the library and I love to dance. I belong to a gym with a pool. I can swim laps, but I could also just swim. period. or play water volleyball or just anything that seems like fun. anytime I want to do something structured - that's permitted too, but the point is to remember that it's ALWAYS Play.

Let's see if this helps keep me more active and having more fun to boot.

as for the points - ahh well. good news.

1. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing ____X___
2. 30 minutes of right hand/left hand writing ____X___
3. AM Yoga. ____X___

The score, this final day of December is 79.5 points or 6 hours and 38 minutes. I enjoyed these three so much I'll do them again today. This will be my last post about baby steps, though I'll continue doing them till I reach that magic 8 hours of time off. I'll let you know how I spend that special free day when it happens.

May you all, my dear Spark Friends, know how valuable you've been to me, this wonderful year of 2010. I've had some ups and some downs and then, some more ups. You've always been there for me and I thank you profoundly. May 2011 be all that was good of this year plus new good things of its own.

Here is a photo I took earlier, on this last dawn of 2010. I think it looks so hopeful I want to share it with you all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 12/31/2010 11:43AM

    I, too, take a photo of the dawn this morning! After I wrote my blog, however. It was another stunningly beautiful dawn here, and I was thankful that being a morning person, I often get to see both sunrise & sunset.

That is very sad that your parents had such strict rules for you at an early age. It's amazing how the way our parents shape us follows us our entire lives -- but we do have the capability to change!

I now many people who have really caught the exercise train after having a similar aha! to yours. Looking forward to hearing how you enjoy your playtime!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHEILA1505 12/31/2010 8:59AM

    Ouch - that is a heavy burden for a child to carry and how can a child not submit rather than incur wrath or withdrawal of affections and comfort.

I know that you have started to think of exercise differently. Can I help to turn this around a little bit for you, Bess, in yet another direction?

If you are still having difficulty with the Play aspect - instead of believing exercise is play, why not consider it to be yet another one of your jobs - the job of ensuring that you have good health and fitness, to enable you to carry out all your other chores and responsibilities without incurring unnecessary downtime through sickness?!!!

Hugs and love for a very happy healthy super-fit 2011 :))

Report Inappropriate Comment

Baby steps day 28 - getting comfortable in my skin

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Yesterday was a good day - a good day for cleaning my house around a still glittery Christmas tree - a good day for tidying up the piles of paper that got stuffed in my bedroom to make room for the glittery Christmas tree - a good day for thinking about how to make my weight a non-issue in my life - to get comfortable in my skin - to get the size skin I can be comfortable in.

And what do you know - along came today's Best of Spark People article by Dean Anderson: Stop Dieting and Start Living!

I have read this article before but it was good to read it again because it is just what I'm trying to do. I'm sick of the subtraction, minus, restricting, numbers game. I really think I am supposed to live slim and fit and well, just the right size - for me - for the rest of my life. I'm really and truly tired of "struggling with my weight" and, I admit it, being "on a diet" or about to be "on a diet" or just gave up "on a diet".

Yesterday I asked my Wild Child if she thought she could live the rest of her life as a 145 lb woman and she said "sure" and then "so long as you listen to me" - and also so long as I actually asked that part of myself what I really want to know. Not what I think I want to know.

It's all about being honest. About not playing games. About not setting traps for someone, even if that someone is me! (An aside here - this is why I hate most modern comedies, chick lit, and even straight fiction. The game playing dysfunctional behavior of the characters is so blatant and unsympathetic I don't really care what happens to these characters - let 'em suffer I think as I shrug my shoulders and walk out of the theater or put down the book.)

I don't mind being on the quest - but I'm tired of being on the healthy body quest. I want to have gotten there so I can take that healthy body someplace else. I want to be comfortable in my skin so I can take it swimming, not because it'll help me lose weight - but because it's Fun To Do!

I'm sure I'll have more to say on this subject as the new year rolls in - but soon I hope I have nothing more to say because I'm talking about Other Things.

So - how did I do yesterday

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me? ____X___
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing ____X____
3. A long walk out to the mile point and back ... or maybe even to Robert's Landing (3 miles rt) ____X___

sweet. 3 for 3 and I cleaned the house to boot. That gives me a score of 76.5 points or 6 hours and 23 minutes.

And for today

1. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing
2. 30 minutes of right hand/left hand writing
3. AM Yoga.

This baby step program ends on January 1 ... at least I'm going to stop blogging about it - but I will keep doing the baby steps and when I have earned a day off, I'll set another reward for the rest of January.

So. Happy New Year's Eve Eve to you all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEILA1505 12/30/2010 9:04AM

    You've come a long long way Bess - and whatever name you give to your journey, you are going to reach your destination!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHEERS2YOGA 12/30/2010 8:41AM

    I liked your blog, Bess. It's very down-to-earth and, as you said, HONEST! I think we do have to do a better job of filtering out the hype of "working out to look good" or "dieting to get to the ideal body weight" goals and instead make it an individual quest to what feels right for you. I struggle with this, especially since I turned 40, almost four years ago. I feel like I have to keep my head above the rising water, but it seems to get harder and harder. Maybe it's better to go "with" the water and see if it takes me to a different ideal body weight, or a place where I look good in a different way than when I was in my 30's. Ya know? It's hard to trust, though. Society's feedback really sucks sometimes.

I'll read that article and see if there's anything I can latch onto in it. I do know that ever since I've been doing yoga, I've had a healthier attitude about what I want my body to look like. I love that people of all shapes and sizes do yoga -- that there's not one type of body than can or can't do it. I've also seen how flat chested women can be very beautiful, too! HAHA!! emoticon

Anyway -- thanks for posting this and good luck with your ongoing internal quest. I'll be curious to read more from you.

p.s. That picture of the bald eagle is amazing! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BESSHAILE 12/30/2010 8:24AM

    Hey - thanks for the title suggestion. Happily, I'm a librarian. I can go get a copy right away. and the thought of rereading the baby step posts is a great idea too.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KEC1974 12/30/2010 8:15AM

    I highly recommend the book Intuitive Eating, it's about exactly this. Not being in a diet mentality but listening to what your body is telling you.
I hope on January 1st that you go back through your baby step blogs and see and appreciate just how much you have accomplished!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Baby steps day 27 - digging deep for treasure

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Yesterday was a big improvement over Monday. Oh mind you now, we are still swathed in holiday activities and even some holiday dining but there was none of that out of control madness of Monday - where chocolate floated down my throat chasing the bourbon fruitcake that had followed the cheese. There wasn't that sense of mindless out of control that cast it's spell over Monday.

And why, you may ask, is there chocolate and bourbon fruit cake and cheese in my house? Well - I do not live in a vacuum, nor do I stay only in my house where, from time to time it is ascetically pure. I visit family, accept food gifts from them, even open them and partake of them - though I try hard to not consume like Ms Pacman used to do to those little colored balls. The goal is to learn to deal with all of life's temptations, not just the easy street of carrots and flax seed meal. My inner wild child is not interested in repression and deprivation but she's perfectly amenable to the freedom of adding New Improved Treats - so many and to such an extent - that the old tired salt and sugar laden treats lose some of their appeal.

How do I know this? Well, wild child and school marm had a little chat. The conversation, written down to use as a reference while we all work towards a better way of living, revealed some hopeful thoughts like in exchange for slothful lazy School Marm getting up of her duff and doing the AM Yoga she loved so much last winter, Wild Child will refrain from scarfing down 3 slices of bourbon fruitcake. And as long as SM is totally honest with WC, the latter is happy to consider all the Lists of Things To Do that the former is itching to write down.

Okay - I'm being a little silly about all this. A less metaphorical way of explaining what I did do yesterday was: I spent some time deeply considering whether I believe I can live the rest of my life at my optimum weight ... which I believe is somewhere between 145 and 150. And if I do believe it (even Wild Child admits to this belief) then how will I go about it. And for the most part - it is going to HAVE to be adding new grand pleasures to my life at such a pace that the old pleasures fade. I don't have the sort of competitive nature that responds to the challenge of goals or competition. I DO have the sort of cooperative nature that loves buddies and to work on joint projects ... which is why I'm here and writing this blog and listening and responding to the folks on Spark People.

I still have a whole lot of thinking and pondering to do but happily - I have 6 more days of holiday vacation with ALL my obligations to Other People taken care of. It's ME time. At least, as much as ME time can exist when you're married and your son is visiting - and that sort of US time is pure pleasure, believe me.

so. how did I do yesterday?

1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me? ____X___
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing ____-X____
3. Take some time out, probably after we get home, to find a way to make food that isn't made with flour and sugar seem like a treat.____X___

Score - 73.5 points or 6 hours and 8 minutes.

Too bad about the fruits and vegetables thing. I had been doing really well with that but it just didn't turn out that way. The trip into the city to see my parents was long and delayed by much digging of snow to get the cars out. All time schedules were scrambled and lots of chores got added on to the day. I felt it too - and am pretty uninterested in anything BUT fruits and vegetables today. This was a fluke, not the start of something bad.


1. FIVE times today, at 10, Noon, 3 p.m. and during dinner and at bedtime, do a "How am I feeling?" assessment. How is my body feeling, how hungry am I? do my muscles feel comfortable? Am I thirsty? Is anything bothering me?
2. the Water, Fruits and Vegetables thing
3. A long walk out to the mile point and back ... or maybe even to Robert's Landing (3 miles rt)

With that - I wish you all a happy hump day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIME2BLOOM4ME 12/29/2010 1:23PM


Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 Last Page