Day One

Sunday, January 02, 2011

[Originally published at my balanced living blog, To the Fullest. I encourage you to click through for the full story, complete with photos and links.]

Okay, so this post's title is deceptive. I mean, it is day one of 2011 . . . but I don't necessarily believe that's all that special of a fact. But, like I wrote yesterday, the shiny newness of a new year is tantalizing all the same. I went to make resolutions, start a new fitness regime, pledge to lose 200 pounds by Easter . . .

Reality break! There is no way anybody is going to lose 200 pounds by Easter. Unless it's through surgery, which I'm not even sure is possible. Is it? Actually, I don't think I want to know.

Even though I'm not really on board with resolutions-making, I have hopes for 2011. Don't we all? I mean, if we didn't have hopes for the future, what would be the point of anything? But, because I'm a flesh and blood human, I hope. I have some concrete(ish) hopes, including:

* write, edit, polish, and submit a novel by 2012
* hoop daily (and that's hula hoop, folks, in case you're a new reader)
* kick disordered eating habits out the door for good (okay, I'm not sure this will ever be possible, but I want to get as close to full healing as possible)
* bust through insecurity and fear and be the woman God made me to be

Those are all good goals. Also, notice that none of them has to do with weight loss or physical appearance? This is a big step for me from even January 1, 2010. Even while attending therapy for my eating disorder, my ultimate goal has always been to maintain a low weight and look good. Even when I gained lots o' poundage this summer, my goal was not to heal and find balance, but to lose weight. No more! While weight loss might result from achieving my goals, it is not the goal itself. Take that, eating disorder brain.

Yesterday I wrote that, while I'm staying away from resolutions (and, in my mind, goals are different from resolutions), I am hoping to stick with a theme for 2011, and maybe beyond. And the theme is (cue suspenseful music) . . . doing it for me.

"Wow," I hear you thinking. "That's really . . . selfish." Oh. Well, maybe. But hear me out.

In my last post, I shared a video of Baxter of the HoopPath discussing his practice principles. While he says a bunch of good stuff, my big take-away was to think about how my hooping serves and affects me. So many hoopers perform and teach, but (Baxter asks) what if the only person you hoop for is yourself? What if you never get on stage or in front of a class? Are your efforts wasted? Baxter's answer is no, and I find this profound.

I get really tied up in "What will people think?" and "Am I good enough?" and all sorts of similar scary questions. Even while I'm hooping up a storm in my living room, I think about what people would think if they were watching, and how I can make a really fabulous video to post on YouTube for the rest of the hooping community to admire. Also, because I don't have a nine-to-five job right now, I keep trying to capitalize on my hooping by teaching. Both of these facts -- that I focus on hooping for others, and making money from hooping -- stress me out. A lot.

So, after watching Baxter's video, I decided I needed to hoop -- for myself. Instead of worrying about my fitness hooping class's low attendance or if I should perform at a local open mic night, I focused on feeling my body and feeling the hoop. I let my practice stand for itself in the moment. And -- it was amazing. Seriously profound.

I can't control other people's opinions or the future or even my own gracefulness while hooping, so I am practicing letting it all go (which, I know, is easier said than done). And not just in hooping. I want to write for the joy of writing, exercise for the joy of moving, stomp through the snow for the heck of it. I want to do these things for me, live for me, because it's worth it. I might even say (cautiously, nervously) that I'm worth it -- and you are, too.

Like a performance poet sang out at the Hoopcamp showcase this fall, I want to pretend that I live for a living. Don't you?

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