Sunday, June 30, 2013
Eight or so years ago, I didn't think I "could" either. I believed I was stuck, unchangeable, impossible. It isn't so.
Yes, you can. Yes, I can. Sometimes, it just takes that one person who will believe in us. (For me, that was my husband.) Sometimes, it just takes us, ourselves saying those who say we can't...are just straight up wrong. I loved this and wanted to share it:
Thursday, June 06, 2013
Variation On A Theme By Rilke
(by Denise Levertov)
(The Book of Hours, Book I, Poem 1, Stanza 1)
A certain day became a presence to me;
there it was, confronting me -- a sky, air, light:
a being. And before it started to descend
from the height of noon, it leaned over
and struck my shoulder as if with
the flat of a sword, granting me
honor and a task. The day's blow
rang out, metallic -- or it was I, a bell awakened,
and what I heard was my whole self
saying and singing what it knew: I can.
~ Denise Levertov ~
I love this poem. Personally, I wonder sometimes about "purpose"...about a "meaning" to life. Maybe you do, too.
Sometimes it seems to me that what matters is the task in front of me, and that's all;
the workout, now (breathe, breathe, breathe...you can do this, YOU ARE doing this, keep it up...keep it up because your body is responding...because it helps you remember you're alive, because you're having more fun in your body these days because this is what you do)
or the morning walk (lift your eyes, look out, realize how lucky you are to have this gorgeous scenery, the river, the green trees, smell the lilacs, listen to the birds)
now, sitting down to enjoy a healthy breakfast, slowly...slowly...slowly...(if I can remember to do that)
...now maybe a poem, a cup of coffee before I catch the bus to work...
now, resisting the donut that shows up at work, or the muffin, or the cookie (UGGGGHHH...or not resisting, sometimes...then, forgive, let how you are feeling now inform you the next time)
now, making a quiet space in the evening for supper, for connecting with my husband.
One thing at a time, one moment at a time, one day at a time...in this way I gather strength, gather momentum. Grace. A task. A small victory. This is where my power lies. And the bell begins to ring. I can.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
So...how'd I do on my goals?
My goals from January 17 through Friday January 25 were:
1.) Steer clear as much as possible from the area where I know darned well co-workers set out the treats to be shared.
I did well on that one! NO extras at work (and though I tried to go by less often, I do have to check my actual physical paper mail box, hang up my coat, put my purse away, talk to my boss, etc. I did spy various treats...I resisted! Good for me!)
2.) While I am at work, eat ONLY the lunch I have packed.
CHECK! All week!
3.) No empty-calorie junk sugar-snacks for the entire period. (We're planning a breakfast buffet on Sunday with my husband's father...that may be the most difficult time to stick to this. Desserts are hard for me to resist at buffets.)
This one was tougher...and I didn't make it.
To begin with, I have to tell you, last Saturday evening we (my hubby and I) scored free tickets to the Beer and Cheese show at the Alliant Center here in Madison. Lots of beer and cheese samples! Now, I didn't "swear off" either of those for this experiment...but they certainly didn't help the situation. As we left the show I was telling hubby I was needing "real food", (and, you can imagine, my resistance was low from the beer.) Well, "real food" turned out to be a huge burger and another pint. I ate the whole burger. Oooouffff! I was on my elliptical the next morning.!!
On Wednesday night we shared dinner with the downstairs neighbors who made baked apples with yummmy cinnamon sauce and ice cream for our dessert. (I did keep it to a good spoonful of ice cream, as opposed to an entire SCOOP; and I suppose a baked apple isn't the most horrible thing to eat if one is going to have dessert. Our very kind hostess knew we try to eat healthy.) Still...I ended up stuffed. There had already been plenty to eat. We brought chili and cornbread and there were lots of cut raw vegetables, (also courtesy of our host and hostess).
Last night we were invited to dinner at another home...a lovely Sabbath (Shabbat) meal. I had a couple of bites of kosher style brownie. Once again, though, in general...I had ended up eating more than I really needed to eat.
So, honestly...I failed at that one. Partly not to be "rude", I suppose...but also because sweets are difficult for me. (As is any sort of bread!)
So, more than once during the period I was facing regret. I have learned how to work myself though it and pick myself back up, so there's a good thing. This past week seems like it was extra challenging...although, one is always going to run up against challenges. I haven't perfected not letting challenges become excuses. I'm still working on that.
4.) Keep up my 3 hours of cardio per week.
This I DID! Yesssssssss! I had some fun at it, too, because last Saturday I bought myself six or so new pumped up songs for my i-pod from the Sparkpeople list of "100 Best Running Songs of All Time".
Tonight I am gathering myself for next steps.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
I have noticed that too many "little extras" have been inveigling their way into my diet lately. Too many times have "just a little taste" added up too quickly. Yesterday, for instance it was salami and crackers that someone brought in to work; today it was pumpkin bread. Nutritionally, I obviously require none of that. TIME TO GET MYSELF BACK ON TRACK!
To that end, here are my goals just from now until the end of next Friday, January 25 :
Steer clear as much as possible from the area where I know darned well co-workers set out the treats to be shared.
While I am at work, eat ONLY the lunch I have packed.
No empty-calorie junk sugar-snacks for the entire period. (We're planning a breakfast buffet on Sunday with my husband's father...that may be the most difficult time to stick to this. Desserts are hard for me to resist at buffets.)
Keep up my 3 hours of cardio per week.
I figure if I post this, I will be more accountable.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Two years ago I was at a Vipassana meditation site in Illinois for ten days. We listened to the teacher's recorded voice saying those words over and over again; "Patiently. Persistently." as we sat in posture for eight or nine hours a day, observing.
I have grown to love these words, as they have slowly seeped in during the course of the last couple of years. They spoke of a quality of forgiveness. They spoke of an attitude of gentleness towards myself as I worked through all the ways I thought I was "doing it wrong." (Oh, my mind is wandering again. I'm not really, actually meditating, I'm just "trying" to meditate. My back hurts. I want to stop this...on and on. ) They also spoke of a tenaciousness at the same time. (Keep going. Don't quit. From the top of the head to the tip of the toes and back again, observe sensation: observe tingling, itching, aches, pains, cool, warm...whatever it is. When the mind wanders, simply go back to the place where you left off. Begin again from there.)
I hope I haven't been rambling too much, but do you see where I'm going with this?
I've been trying to apply this same principle in my life; this very same spirit of forgiveness and tenacity, to other things...to making my marriage work, to maintaining and improving my health, to my personal campaign (lately) to do small things differently, just to see how it goes...see how it feels. (Pick up the phone, for instance, CONNECT with someone. Stop putting some little thing off...move TOWARD it instead of away. ) Most of all, when I slip, begin again where I left off. No biggie.
I'm feeling on a little shakey ground yet with all of this, yet. It's nothing exactly concrete. Paul Simon has a song with a line I love: "Before you set your sails," he sings, "drift in the wind." I'm drifting a little in the wind right now.
Maybe more later :)
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