Sunday, April 24, 2011
It would have been easy for him. No one would have batted an eye. He could have picked up a stone, and joined the crowd. The law, after all, was on their side. The woman was wrong, she had broken a law. She had sinned and she must be punished and it needed to be done soon. It would have been easy.
Instead he placed himself between the crowd and the woman so they couldn’t throw their stones. He looked at the ground for a bit and then made eye contact with each of them. “If YOU have never done anything remotely wrong, made a mistake, an error in judgment, anything like that. If you feel your slate is as pure as the driven snow, go ahead and throw the stone.
I imagine it was a bit tense for a few seconds. What if they didn’t get the point? He was directly in the line of fire. They’d not only get her but him also. They had the perfect justification. He had caused them to think about what they were getting ready to do. He asked then to look at them. They couldn’t have this. In the end they relented. They put down their stones and walked away.
I lie in bed this morning and that story popped into my head. I got a bit emotional. I realized that I walk around with a stone in my hand pretty much all the time. Oh, it has different things written on it. All of them are justified in my mind. They are people, or groups of people who don’t think the way I do and so I go running for some obscure quote, twist it a bit to make sure I feel right about what I am about to do, and then I rear back in my best Nolan Ryan impersonation and splatter you with that stone. I can almost hear the heavenly choir warming up in the background. The emotion that welled up inside of me had nothing to do with guilt or anything like it. It had to do with the fact that today, Easter, marks a new chapter, a new beginning in my life, my WHOLE life, if I choose to take it. It represents a resurrection, a casting off of old ways, beliefs and behaviors and embracing health in a holistic manner. It means that my body, mind and soul have a new opportunity to start again and in many ways become whole.
I embraced Good Friday a bit different than most Christians did this past week. I used it as a day to make peace and to let those old things inside of me die. It had to happen. There can be no resurrection inside of me until I let those things that hold me back die. They need to be dealt with and put in their proper place. I need to put down those stones, especially the ones I aim at my own image in the mirror.
Today is a resurrection for me as well as it can be for all of us. A time to recommit, renew and most importantly a time to quit throwing those gosh darned stones.
However you choose to celebrate it, have a Happy Easter
Saturday, April 23, 2011
I’m not sure if this qualifies as venting, a rant or just being very perturbed. I will leave to you to decide. I do know it’s not Bit$%ing.
I had a telephone appointment yesterday at eleven with a potential client. It’s important to note this company contacted me through a mutual acquaintance, said they’d love to explore working with me, could I email them my contact information. All they had was a phone number. No problem. That was about six weeks ago. Last Thursday I get a call from the mutual friend. Could I resend the email? It was misplaced. Okie-dokie, no problem. Tuesday evening I have a voice mail on my cell phone. It’s the company president. He wants to set up appointment time to speak with me later in the week. He called around eight thirty in the evening. The next morning I return his call we chat for a few minutes and decide to get together via telephone yesterday at eleven. Eleven comes and goes and he doesn’t call. Maybe I was supposed to call him. I get his voice mail. I send an e-mail. As I write this blog I haven’t heard from him. I rescheduled an appointment for later in the day to be able to speak with him and there was no notification; no “Gee, I’m sorry, something came up.” I called the mutual friend. She said his office was closed for Good Friday. Was I sure he said Friday. I forwarded her the e-mail. She responded by saying “Oh.”
I accepted a new coaching client after going through a rather lengthy discerning process with her. We schedule an appointment and she cancels ten minutes before we are supposed to meet. She is the backup contact for her sister from her nephew’s school. Her sister would rather not leave work. She was having a productive day so my client had to go get the sick child. I was scratching what little hair I had left. So she had to cancel. Because I work out of my home and much of my work is confidential if Joan is not working she will vacate the premises so the client feels more at ease. So I call Joan tell her she can come home. I am kind and understand and reschedule the appointment for early last Friday, before we left town for the weekend. It never happened. She called and cancelled at six am. She told me she had gashed a knuckle moving a box around the previous afternoon. She got angry when I asked why she didn’t call the previous afternoon. She referred to me as a donkey, but not in those terms and hung up.
Is it me or are people just becoming less accountable for what they commit to?
Don’t get me wrong, I am surrounded by uber wonderful folks in my life but more and more I notice a trend of people saying “Gee, that’s too bad. I decided not to come”
Friday, April 22, 2011
If I took the time to listen to what I’m saying on a regular basis I just might find out a bit more about what makes me tick. But, like many people I am a bit scared to understand myself. That would mean I’d have to do something and Lord knows we can’t have that, can we? I’m not talking about therapy, self-help books, DVD’s or the like. I’m talking about listening to myself talk.
I had coffee with a friend yesterday and he told me about someone he worked with. He said he noticed they began every sentence with a negative statement. It was like the glass was half empty before he even started. As we talked more he said this person was a “real downer to work with. “ Nothing was ever good enough and nothing was ever right. It was like E-yore from Winnie The Pooh walking around all day going “Poor me…..”
I took that thought with me yesterday and did some serious contemplation. I was surprised by what I found out about myself. when I am feeling a bit anxious, maybe a little insecure or unhappy I filter that through my thoughts and ultimately what I say. Nothing is ever good enough. If I eat outside my calorie range I pull out the whip and begin to scourge myself and when that’s not good enough I’ll include you. What’s the old saying? “Misery loves company.” After a awhile I don’t even notice I’m doing it. It becomes part of my routine. Oh I may disguise it as sarcasm, or humor, because, don’t you know, that’s just the way I am.
It’s just another excuse for me to stay stuck. If I see my world as being hopeless, helpless and futile, then I might as well punch my ticket for pity-party-central and flop back on the couch. I can convince myself of anything, if I try hard enough. Living in balance, spiritually, mentally and physically is easy on a good day. Those days when everything goes right, it’s pretty easy to be upbeat and positive.
The reason I’m over weight is my own doing. It’s not a character flaw. I don’t deserve to be singled out for punishment either by myself or others. Yeah, there are cruel people in this world and some days I believe I can tell you where every one of them lives. There is nothing wrong with me. But inside of me, that voice, that self-talk, reminds me that there is. I never want to be alone so as soon as I begin to believe there is something wrong with me, I will find something wrong with you! My words come from my thoughts. When I perceive myself in a negative way, that’s what you are going to hear. When I see myself in a positive light or accept me for where I am at right now, then I can begin to see the rays of sunshine poking through the clouds. Then, not only am I okay, but so are you! Hooray!!!!
I know where I am “supposed to be.” It’s not always where I am at right now and sometimes it seems so far away, but I won’t ever get there until I learn to love me and be at peace with the current me and please oh please John, quit beating up for stuff the rest of the world never, ever notices. That’s ground zero, the here and now. An honest assessment of me and my journey means I can start to contruct goals that will help me get to where I want to go.
Kermit the Frog said, “It’s not easy being green.” I don’t think any of this is easy. I think it requires hard work, diligence and beginning to appreciate yourself. Then and only then can I appreciate someone else.
What’s that you say? You’re all alone? Look around you, there are millions on either side of you who are ready to lend a hand. I know, most of them are my good friends.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
It’s easy to get lost or as the saying goes, “You can’t see the forest because of all the trees.” You get up in the morning and if you’re honest a plate of bacon and eggs sure would taste a whole lot better that a bowl of oatmeal and a banana. Some of us are running, cycling or lifting when the sun is still asleep, some rush to get it done at lunch and others push after work to get their exercise in. It becomes so much drudgery and monotony. There are small victories both in the gym and on the scale, but truth be told I often find myself asking myself “Okay John, tell me again why you’re doing this?” Some days I just give up counting my aches and pains.
I took some time Sunday evening to clean out my Facebook message box. Some of my correspondence had been sitting there for over a year. One message came from a client who asked how much weight I had lost. I looked at the date. It was April 20, 2010. My answer was “Sixty eight pounds.” It took me a moment to realize it had been a year, I’d lost sixty eight pounds and most importantly I had not regained my weight. Before you release the balloons, I still have close to fifty pounds I need to lose, but I have Never, let me repeat, NEVER kept that much weight off for that period of time. A small “wow” came from someplace inside of me.
Starting in October, with my spectacular fall on the bridge during a 5K I have had one nagging physical issue after another. Currently I am battling a blister on the tip of a toe. I’m not sure how it got there but it hurts, it won’t pop, so it won’t heal. Did you ever try to effectively bandage a toe? For the longest time it has seemed like one long, painful journey, until I realized I am no longer on a diet, I am embracing a healthy life style change. I followed a process, hung around with good people, and believed in my value and worth. Yes, I get down, and I do get discouraged but I get those consistency awards every month because I am here every day. There are many of you who have gently guided, nudged and inspired me. I don’t drop names simply because I’d forget one or more, but so many of you have become good friends.
It snuck up on me like everything else does and for once the surprise was a pleasant one. I am proud, I deserve to be proud and I have taught myself that sticking with it will always produce good results. However, there is another old saying, “What have you done for me lately?” I shared something I wrote for a client in a blog a few days and I am going to follow my own advice.
The “very best” is where a journey should begin, not end!
When I was training for my first 5K I listened to a song by Jordan Sparks called Love is a Battlefield. I adopted a line from that song and made it a mantra of sorts: “Better go get your armor.”
Time to suit up.
Monday, April 18, 2011
I had a really good weekend. My wife is a fireworks fanatic. That’s not an exaggeration. We sat in thirty degree weather with light rain off and on for seven hours to watch forty minutes or so of fireworks. We weren’t alone. There were close to five hundred thousand people with us. Thunder Over Louisville has become the signature event that opens The Kentucky Derby Festival every year. We are always there. Some of our kids, there are six, show up or drift in and out of the picture during the day and our darling granddaughter keeps you more than occupied. But that’s not why I’m writing today.
As I grow in awareness of myself, my body and my spirit, well, that awareness is not always pleasant. Sometimes that awareness causes me to take actions I’d rather avoid all together. One of those actions is putting my health first. I thrive in an environment that is scheduled or at least predictable. When I am out of town I try to stay at hotels that have gyms or work out space. I always pack my gym clothes and usually my resistance bands. They fit nicely into suitcase. I perform some sort of activity, for fifty minutes every day. I take one day per week, usually Sunday’s off. Friday and Saturday of this past week there wasn’t time for me to exercise, or at least that was my excuse. The real reason was I didn’t open my mouth and let the people I was traveling with know I needed to hit a tread mill or elliptical machine.
I’m not sure how you react to those sorts of things but I get really down, which leads to frustration which leads to me getting mad, usually at the world. Instead of opening my mouth I’ll find it more convenient to blame someone else. That’s a lot easier than sticking up for me and the things that are important to me. Because I am a people pleaser, who is in recovery, I will wear myself thin making sure everyone else gets what they need and then I am so darned surprised that the world doesn’t accommodate my feeling in return. When that happens you can usually find me locked in a closet eating food that isn’t good for me. I’ll sit quietly and allow other people to do the things they want at my expense just so I can hear that voice in the distance cry “Pity, party of one, your table is available!”
I didn’t get my exercise in this past weekend and it was everyone else’s fault. Late Saturday night I lie in bed and while I was fuming how I probably gained five million pounds over the weekend I decided that Sunday morning on the way home from Louisville I’d wait for the right moment and say something. We were about half way home when Joan looked at me and thanked me for spending the weekend on a lawn chair. She knew it wasn’t my most favorite thing in the world to do and I reminded her that it’s not her favorite thing to watch cars go around in a circle at two hundred miles per hour on the last Sunday in May either. I seized my opening and told her that I know we had lots to do this past weekend and all but I really had wanted to get my workouts in and I wasn’t really happy I hadn’t. I’m not sure what I was expecting as a response but Joan looked over at me and simply said “All you had to do was say something and we could have adjusted our schedule a bit. What is it, fifty minutes a day?” Then she went back to reading her book.
There is a lot of wisdom in that one sentence, and not just because it came from my wife. I can’t tell you how many times I put everything and everyone ahead of me and then become so darned surprised when things do not work out the way I want them to. Then I’m cranky and hard to get along with and the person I am the most angry at is me for allowing other peoples wishes and desires to come ahead of my own.
If my health is that important to me than it needs to come ahead of a lot of other things or at least be included in the things that are important in my day when I spend it with other people. I’m not talking about being boorish or offensive in how I present it to other people and I’m not saying my needs are above everyone else’s, but they are equal to everyone’s and the only way people know about it is if I tell them. Our worst fear and nightmares rarely come true. They are played out only in our minds.
Putting me first is healtrhy, no matter how uncomfortable its making me feel right now
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