Wednesday, April 24, 2013
"Peace and contentment are feelings that take practice to achieve. They are not a consequence of being successful or being in love or being thin. They are, among other things, a consequence of stopping in the present moment and looking around." Geneen Roth
It's been 16 days since I started on a new path of accepting myself now, as I am, at this weight. It's been 16 days of allowing myself to eat portions that truly satisfy me and make me feel wonderful. And it's been 16 days in which I feel more and more free.
As is often the case, the amazing resources I find support my intentions beautifully. I'm a participant in a wonderful course called "Awakening Joy" by James Baraz.
I mentioned in an earlier blog that this month's theme is letting go and I'm finding this practice to fit in beautifully with my new way of life.
Here are some wonderful thoughts from James Baraz's teachings and how I see them connect to living a healthy life:
1. Letting go of the grips of attachment is challenging. We’re sure our happiness depends on having the beloved object, experience or person...in a world of impermanence, where things constantly change, when we... don’t get what we want, our ability to accept our situation—a kind of letting go of what was—is crucial to our continued well-being..."
For me this means accepting my weight now, as I am, and loving being here even if it isn't the weight I might choose if I could wave a magic wand.
2. Letting go is an acceptance of the way things are. Holding onto what's changing brings us pain. Letting go brings us freedom from that pain.
For me this means saying goodbye to the myth of 120 pounds or less. (and good riddance, I might add) There is incredible freedom with this choice. I can see now just how unhappy I was trying to attain a weight that requires just too much work and anxiety.
3. Letting go is actually a movement towards simplicity, uncomplicating the mind as we free ourselves from the pull of more stuff or imagined needs.
I love this. I imagined I needed to be something I am not. And life feels so much simpler now that I've let go of this unnecessary striving.
4. Our ability to let go is an expression of contentment...Happiness doesn’t come from having the perfect circumstances. Rather, it’s based on how we relate to our circumstances.
This is so true, on so many levels. If we can be present and appreciate what is, life is so much better.
5. We are complete as we are and can practice the perspective that life has given us just what we need to wake up to life. Loving and accepting ourselves just as we are is an essential element.
Well, isn't this the ultimate goal? Loving and accepting ourselves NOW, as we are, feeling good now. Not when we get to that mythical arrival point! We are already there!
6.Life rarely follows our exact plans and the degree to which we are stuck in them will determine how much we suffer. People who’ve discovered the secret to happiness have flexibility with changing circumstances.
Well, between my husband's cancer and many other events this year, I have learned that life really doesn't go the way we plan. So flexibility is crucial to a happy life. Learning from every moment and every unexpected event with an open heart is crucial.
7. Letting go of the stories you tell yourself is another way to practice this theme. Open to the possibility that these thoughts might not be true. If they weren't, would it change how you feel about yourself or others?
I spoke about this in my last blog. I'd created a story in my mind that I was unsuccessful if I didn't weigh 120 pounds (about 10 pounds less than I weigh now and about 10 pounds less than I've weighed all my life), and believed that story for 31 years. I've finally realized that it isn't true, that I'm healthy and fit at 130 pounds, and it's completely changed how I see myself!
"Man can indeed partake in all creation if he switches on, deep inside, the will for life, the decision for happiness, the option for love. I have “decided” to love my life, to
throw in my gauntlet for it, to believe in it, to find it exalting in every respect, at
every moment, from the beginning to the end." Robert Mueller