Thursday, August 04, 2011
I always use the same ice breaker with every class I conduct. I ask people to write down the two most popular title sections they notice when they walk into a book store. Seventy five percent have no clue and are amazed when I tell them those titles are “Self Help” and “Dieting.” (Just as an aside I find it amazing that the section on “relationships” is a measly two book shelves while the section on “Sex” spans an entire wall!!) Everyone, including your truly, seems to have an opinion on health, whether it be spiritual, emotional or physical. I ask the class why there are so many titles, so many approaches and opinions. It’s because there are so many of us.
I can’t count the times in my life that I’ve run out and purchased the “latest and greatest” book title that was guaranteed to solve all my woes and even possibly help me grow a bit of hair to boot. I can’t count the times I’ve been really disappointed in the results. Whether it’s a thirty day plan to change a behavior or a life time commitment to eating nuts and berries, I always end up disappointed in the results. As brilliant as I am, it took a really long time to figure out why. It starts and ends with me.
Everyone has their own path to finding fulfillment in their own lives and that journey starts and end within ourselves. A close friend shared something with me a few days ago. He’d read it in a magazine. It simply said “What other people think of you is really none of your business.” At first I was a bit shocked, alarmed and confused all at the same time. Hadn’t I been taught that other people’s opinions of me are what REALLY count? Shouldn’t I be speaking, teaching or writing so that I gain notice, attention or support? This short sentence literally turned my whole world upside down. What had I been struggling for my entire life time? (Honestly, if he weren’t such a good friend I would have put my fingers in my ears and began singing “I can’t hear you, I’m not even listening.”)
For two days my world was upside down and inside out. Last night I lay in bed, thanking God for the return of AC when a few short words entered my mind, “It starts and ends with you.” Beyond me there is nothing finite I can really grasp. My experience is mine and yours is yours. We are all fruit. I’m an orange, you’re a banana. (Please don’t tell me we can make fruit salad, please!!!) There are things I do, think or say that will fit well in your life and vice versa. For the most part my life experience will teach me so much more than anything I can watch on TV or read in a book.
I’ll keep sharing me. I’ll keep sharing my path with you and slowly but surely even though you have a right to think what you choose, when the day ends its none of my business. If I believe in me and what I profess, I’ll continue to live it in a way that helps me make this planet a better place to live in.
My list of wisdom gets a bit longer all the time and I worry that when I indeed finish my book it will be eight or nine volumes. For what its worth:
“You are who you hang around with”
“You deserve to be happy, healthy and successful”
“I am worth all of the effort I put into myself”
“I am what I believe I am”
“It starts and ends with me.”
You too. Be blessed today in whatever way you choose to be blessed.
Monday, August 01, 2011
Sometimes I stand in line at the grocery store and while I’m waiting to check out I look at the magazine covers. It’s become a reflex action, hardly noticeable, but I find my hand going across my bald head feeling for something that resembles hair. My belly automatically sucks in a bit and I stand a little taller. I start to compare myself to the image staring back at me. As I load the groceries into the car I start making all sorts of mental resolutions and set some fantastic goals. I’ve compared myself to someone else and I’ve come up lacking. All the way home I curse my last bottle of beer and last carb loaded lunch. I rationalize that it’s all in my genes and that I am always going to be this way. I lock my jaw a bit more firmly. “I WILL do this!!!” And I do. At last count, to the best of my recollection, I’ve done these things eight or ten times in my adult life and each time I end up back in the same spot, heavier, less healthy and more frustrated. Want a laundry list of the things I’ve tried? I’ll skip that part because you’ve probably tried them also. It’s really frustrating isn’t it? You reach a success plateau, celebrate a bit and watch your success slowly unravel.
The answer came to me of in all places Sam’s Club yesterday morning. Joan gave me one of those “Wait here,” commands while she walked down an aisle to look at something. I was staring off into space when this massive revelation entered my mind. “You can’t change what you don’t believe in.” Most of my life I’ve been really good at “removing” things. Bad habits, weight control, you name it. I ferret those little buggers out and attack them head on. The missing integer has simply been taking a deep breath and accepting and loving myself just as I am, right now! If I never change another thing, never lose another ounce, never eat another healthy balanced meal or run a 5K, I’ll be the most wonderful and cherished person God created. We were born as we are and then as soon as we were able we began comparing and changing. We wanted to look more like……… We wanted to sound more like……………… It hardly ever worked.
I sit here today, overweight, in a bit of physical distress because of my back and legs and it dawns on me that maybe all of this happened because I am being shown that my worth and my value has nothing to do with a scale or how fast and far I run, but in accepting who and what I am right now, today, and loving me as is, no extended warranties, no promise of an updated model, just me as me to be loved and to love. It comes down to looking at me and accepting what’s in front of me, not running away, getting lost in magazine images but simply and purely loving me as I am. I cannot begin to create any sort of action plan until I dig deep and look at ALL that I am and accept and love me.
I’ve been Sparking for almost twenty months. This lesson is the most important one I’ve learned to date. Accept who I am, learn to love myself as I am, and then and only then can I see any real change. Once I know I am happy with me as I am, right now, only then can I create a vision of my future.
Many years ago, a wise man told me “Where you are is where you are supposed to be, right now” I didn’t understand that message until yesterday in Sam’s Club.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
What if we believed……………..
We were perfect just the way God made us
We were loved unconditionally and without any expectation.
We were loved simply because we were created.
That we were wise
That we had the capability inside of us to be healthy and fit
That it didn’t really matter what we looked like
That running fast or jumping high or swinging weights didn’t make us any better, or any worse.
That it’s okay to fail every now and then
That it was perfectly fine that we learned a bit slower than the person next to us.
That the gifts, treasure and insights we possess made all the difference to those we live with and those we love.
What if we believed in us, you and in me, and what if we held that amazing belief we had in ourselves out like a beacon for others to see. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Thursday, July 28, 2011
My legs weren’t feeling any better, my attitude was in the toilet, I was able to do less and less and Joan gave me the option of either seeing another doctor or getting a good attorney!! Since my last visit to the doctor and the exhortation to rest, swim and apply cold packs to my thighs things hadn’t gotten any better. They hadn’t gotten any worse, but had stabilized to a dull ache and a lack of mobility. This, in turn, made John one very cranky person to be around. My whole lower body was stiff and sore.
My doctor is out of town so I went to an immediate care facility. I’d had good luck in the past with these folks and the PA on staff there is known to be thorough and easy to get along with. So I sat on an examination table, gave her my list of woes, she smiled and said “X-Rays” After bending my lower body into positions I don’t think it should be bent into she told me I had a slight bulge in the disc between my L2 and L3 vertebrae with a few tiny bone spurs thrown in to boot. All of my spinning and TRX training had aggravated the condition. Those vertebrae are responsible for providing feeling, etc. to the legs. I’m scratching my head because my back didn’t hurt.
She gave me a shot containing an anti-inflammatory and a prescription for muscle relaxers. She scheduled me for PT starting early next week and told me to walk as much as I can along with swimming. I popped a muscle relaxer before bed last night and woke up feeling relaxed LOL. Joan and I took a walk this morning and I walked about one half mile. That is the longest I’ve been able to walk in a month. The only area sore right now is the injection sight.
Her assessment is that my biking and spinning days are over because of the pressure it puts on my lower back. It felt good to be able to walk unencumbered this morning. As I write I feel pretty good. Just thought I’d share.
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