200,000-249,999 SparkPoints 226,538

Loving Yourself: Lightening the Load

Monday, March 11, 2013

Now that we’ve been examining our negative thoughts for a week, you should have made some discoveries about yourself. I discovered through Thursday’s blog that I’m thinking more negatively than I’d been aware of. While doing what I was writing about, I found it was difficult at times to stay present and focus on my thought processes. I can say with some “feeling” of conviction today that I do feel more prepared today than a week ago to continue to move forward, and to begin turning the corner and letting these thoughts go. How heavy is the load you’re carrying every day?

This series is all about getting us to a point of thinking, and feeling differently about our bodies. Some of the changes suggested can boost your self-esteem and body image, and some changes may not have been as effective for you. I believe that from this point forward, the key is to have realistic expectations about how much changing your thoughts and beliefs can change your appearance by changing how you feel about yourself. We are learning, or reminding ourselves, what we have control over in ourselves, and taking ownership of these choices will empower us.

Let’s face it – we’re not going to be able to wave a magic wand, and have our lives become magically trouble free, wonderful, and blissful. We’re not going to begin seeing everything through rose colored glasses. This doesn’t mean that we’ll be loving every single thing in life as we run through fields of wildflowers and sunshine dressed in a nun’s habit. Wait! I love that movie. Oh forgive me, I’ve digressed. I do feel stress, I do feel impatience, I do feel upset, angry, and frustrated, and I do feel defeat. But this is a step forward for me because I am starting to feel more. I’m not just ambivalently letting things float around totally unaware in my head. This is being realistic. Life happens – we just need to learn how to flow with the current. How has this past week made a difference for you?

This morning I was struggling and getting frustrated trying to gather my thoughts for today’s blog. What should I write about? I could feel it creeping its way into my shoulders and neck working its way through my back. I don’t know about you, but I wash my hair in the shower. I was scrubbing the shampoo into my hair so hard that my fingers started to ache, which snapped me into awareness. That’s when it hit me. Was I being present in the moment? Nope – I was simply doing, and going through the motions without any feeling or attachment. I’m discovering that I do this a lot. I unconsciously get caught up in managing my life. I just “do to get through” it. Are you guilty of that, too? Managing – planning, problem solving, analyzing, and controlling - all things of the mind.

In the book, Transitions by William Bridges, he shares a simple yet profound concept, the idea of moving on or past "stuff" in life. He uses the analogy of a caterpillar who wants to become a butterfly.

The caterpillar must go through certain stages or phases in order to have a successful transition.

his concept is easily applied to any of life's transitions: from one relationship to another, from one career to another, from one lifestyle to another etc. The three stages or phases are:

1. You must declare an ending. You must put closure on the previous relationship, issue or circumstance. When people fail to declare endings before moving on to a new beginning, they tend to repeat the same ending again in the new beginning - relationship, career and so on.

2. You must spend adequate time in the neutral zone. Bridges compares the neutral zone to the cocoon. If the caterpillar emerges from its cocoon too soon it may not be properly formed and will die or at the least not be able to fly.

If we spend too little time in the neutral zone, discovering what we need to learn - we will again tend to repeat similar mistakes and repeat the earlier ending once again. Oh, it might be a different person, career or circumstance, but nonetheless, the ending will have similar characteristics.

The neutral zone is where we self-discover who we are, how we feel, how we behave, what we believe and who we want to become. It is an active time of introspection and self-evaluation. Mr. Bridges, goes on to explain, that several years ago he spent almost two years in the neutral zone after the ending of a relationship.

3. If you have declared an ending... I mean really declared it and not just given the idea lip service and you spend enough time in the neutral zone - it is now time to move on to step three - Declare and Embrace the New Beginning.

Much of the stress in life comes from an unwillingness to move from step one to two, or step two to step three, even knowing that it is in your best interests, or even necessary, to do so. You feel emotionally stuck, out of control or just afraid of the future after you have made the decision to move to the next step.

If you are in a transition from one “anything” to another embrace it, enjoy it, learn from it. This transition will introduce you to the new you if you will let it.

Most psychologists agree, and it's tough to get psychologists to agree on anything, that most of us form our self-image or self-concept by the age of 8. We’ve got to get out of our heads by letting go of thoughts, beliefs, excess baggage, and other things that cause us to sabotage our growth, and falling short of reaching our goals.

Time to let go of all these thoughts and beliefs we’ve been toting around with us. Here’s a humorous look at this from a very funny lady:

This week we are going to practice Step one – Declare an ending. We are going to declare and cement the intention of letting go of our negative thinking, thoughts, and excess baggage. They are simply holding us back. By choosing to recognize, accept, explore and move through and beyond any negative, self-limiting thoughts and beliefs, instead of constantly attempting to camouflage them with mantra-like self statements, you free up energy to create the thoughts and things you do want for your life.

I know that I’m beginning to love myself by simply being more aware of these feelings. I’m loving myself by finally waking up, and being present in the moment. It’s been a real eye opener for me.

Thanks for stopping by!
***Google Images***
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • UZA77777

    1858 days ago
  • SAMI199
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1864 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1865 days ago
    1865 days ago
    I don't know if we are hardwired at birth to be negative or if it is just conditioning from society. Either way, it is easy to be negative but takes true effort to be positive. I find this true in so many things, but especially when subbing students. Out of 30 students in a class, the few trouble makers can change the dynamics of the whole day for everyone in that class. I find way too often that by the end of the day, I can tell you the names of all the trouble makers and negative kids, but NOT the names of the students that were quiet and listening. Truely sad.

    I am aware of this and I work very hard to change this, but it is not easy and it doesn't always go the way I want it to go. But I don't give up.
    1865 days ago
    I'm going to go back, restart from the beginning again.
    As always, thanks for the food for thought!
    1866 days ago
    Great blog Sharon !! You are so right about this and l like you've talked about the concept for the caterpillar wanting to be a butterfly. For me, I realized, forgiveness is very important for me to work on in my journey in life. I know in my head that holding a grudges is not a good idea. And trying not doing bad thinking about my past. But once in a while, I feels I am still holding some grudges in my past... It is working progress step by step. I think I am getting better at it day by day. (^^)

    1866 days ago
    This is a thought provoking idea. I have to really sit down and decide on what my "endings" are. Right now I think I am more in the neutral zone, it has been described to me as the "desert" but I like your description better. Either way it is a time of reflection and decision. And I can't go rushing through it, I'll just die of thirst or run out of breath. So I am just looking around me and trying to figure out where it is I go from here. It will come to me when it is time, not one second sooner. I can deal with that.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1866 days ago
    You have hit the nail on the head here buddy! Eveything you wrote resonates! Im going back to catch up some more on your blogs. Thank you for sharing yourself with everyone, I hope you know its appreciated! emoticon emoticon
    1866 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1866 days ago
    Great blog!
    1866 days ago
    Awesome blog Sharon. I need to follow the steps
    and Step one is a great way to start. Thank you
    for leading the way with this series. emoticon
    1866 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1867 days ago
    What a wonderful blog Sharon! I cracked up when I saw your picture of the neutral zone emoticon

    Obviously, your blogs have been sinking in because I have caught myself in negative thinking and then turned it around. Let me tell you, it feels great! And, it gives me hope and motivation to do healthy things.

    Thank you! Here's to new beginnings... emoticon emoticon
    1867 days ago
    Thanks again for yet another awesome blog!
    1867 days ago
    This is great! I'm going to implement these steps. Thank you.
    1867 days ago
    Thank you for today's blog. It is something that I really need to work on.
    1867 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1867 days ago
    The theories are so really logically simple, but so difficult. This is a wonderful blog. LOTS of food for thought.

    1867 days ago
    Good point! This is an echo from alot of the conversations my friend and I had this weekend! She really helped me start to see that it's ok to BE ok and that I DO have a voice! Thanks for reinforcing it!!! Hugs!
    1867 days ago
  • KITT52
    great blog Sharon, it is a work in progress...
    I had to start buy writing done positive things , first 3 things, then 5 things...I thought once the weight came off the world would be a shinning star for me....the truth is that shinning star was in me all the time..

    I remind myself of this everyday... learn to love our selves no matter what we weigh....

    and be kind to ourselves like a best friend...
    and believe you can become healthy, not skinny, not a model just a healthy women, who has so much to offer the world....
    and holy cow if you do become a model, that would be

    have a healthy Tuesday

    1867 days ago
  • ROSES17
    Another great blog. You are great at doing this. Thanks for the blogs.
    1867 days ago
    After reading your series, I am still catching up with the process... but I so know what you are talking about with going through the motions and not mindfully living your life in the moment and being aware of how you think and move as a result, the decision making with total awareness of all that will mean.
    I love your blogs, I adore the way they are systamatically becoming a walk through the road maps of our brains ... and learning a new way to power through to a new path, a healthier path.

    Thank you so much for being so honest and sharing this with us so we can learn and grow also.
    1867 days ago
    Another awesome blog. I am really enjoying this series. Thank you for sharing the journey with us.
    1867 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.