How to Break the Cycle

In the aftermath of this election, I am finding it extraordinarily difficult to come to terms with the outpouring of intense reaction, especially on Facebook. I have read the question, “How do we stop the hate?” And yet these same posts are so full of hate toward the president-elect.

In my world, “hate” is a four-letter word. And to me, it is by far the worst of them all. Not only does it send horrible energy out into the world. But guess what? It sends it right back to the person doing the hating. No, thank you.

If you want to stop the cycle of hating, then stop hating.

It is truly that simple. I did not say easy. I said simple. It will take a lot of practice. But you can’t simply stop doing something. When you take something away, you have to replace it with something else. So here is what you do….

Start small. Find someone in your life who annoys you. (If you’re one of the people having a hard time swallowing the election results, don’t start there!) A coworker, perhaps? A family member? A neighbor? A salesperson at a store? Now, choose one thing about that person that is positive. I refuse to believe that any human being is 100% bad. Surely there is at least one positive thing you can find about everyone. Just one thing. It can even be superficial. Maybe he has nice, straight, white teeth. Maybe she takes good care of her aging mother. Maybe he dresses really well. Just fine one thing.

I did this once and chose to focus on the fact that this man had beautiful blue eyes. He really did. There was no denying it. He was all kinds of awful things, but darn if he didn’t have two of the most beautiful blue eyes I’d ever seen. So every time I thought about this person, every time I had to interact with this person, I focused on those blue eyes.

It takes time. And it takes practice. Try writing down the positive thing and keeping that slip of paper in your pocket. So when you think of this person – or encounter him or her – you can put your hand in your pocket and actually feel that piece of paper, reminding you of the positive attribute this person has. Do it every single time.

Pay attention. Because you’re about to experience life’s real magic. Not some kind of hocus pocus or slight of hand. But this practice works just like magic. Before you know it, something will change. A shift will occur. Maybe this person starts treating you with more respect. Maybe he even compliments you. Or perhaps she just stops crossing your path. Maybe she gets transferred to another department. Or he suddenly moves out of state. Don’t worry about that part of it. Just keep practicing focusing on that positive attribute.

Let’s create a world where we can be respectful of one another.

Namaste.

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Just What am I Afraid of?

I did a short meditation last night. If I’m going to “invite my fears to tea” (as Kris Carr says), then I need to know what those fears are. So I sat for a little while to meditate on that question.

I had a sense of: what if I make changes away from unhealthy foods to healthy foods … and then there is nothing to eat? Literally nothing.

It sounds irrational. (But then, aren’t all fears irrational on some level??) I know that I am not going to go hungry. I am fortunate enough to never have to face that situation. It wasn’t that there wouldn’t be food in the house or on the table – more a fear that I would be left without any choices. What on earth was I going to eat??

Well, as I was putting lotion on my legs this evening to get ready for bed, I found my thoughts wandering back to this topic. And I had another revelation. My fear of having nothing left to eat might just be more specifically a fear of having no foods left with which to soothe myself.

I definitely turn to food for comfort when I am stressed, tired, overwhelmed, sad, frustrated. Basically, when I’m feeling any negative emotion. And what kind of food do I turn to for that comfort? The junky stuff.

As I write this down in black-and-white, it seems kind of obvious. These aren’t exactly new ideas – for myself, or for many of us who struggle with food and weight. So many people soothe themselves with food. However, putting it down in black-and-white makes it more real to me. I suppose in a way, it is a means of “inviting my fears to tea.”

My next question is this: if I am to make changes to healthier foods, and if I am no longer going to soothe myself with food (junky or otherwise), well then, exactly how am I going to soothe myself when I am experiencing negative emotion??

Fear. Ego.

Something is happening.

It’s hard to put into words. So much of this journey is truly about feeling.

Well, lately I’ve been feeling some rather unpleasant things in my physical body. The emotional interpretations lead to two things: fear and ego.

The first one, I totally get. Fear is so huge for me still. Even though I often wonder, why?? My life is so amazing. I have manifested such extraordinary things and people and experiences. I sometimes wonder if I have any big dreams left to dream, since so many have already come true! So what the heck am I so afraid of?

Well, I know that when I slimmed down two years ago, I was afraid of putting the weight back on. Afraid of falling back into old habits. So guess what? I put the weight back on and fell back into old habits. Now I’m trying to move forward in a way that releases me from that old pattern. But in order to that, I’m going to have to release that huge fear.

I wonder if there is something else, too??

So what about ego? On the one hand, I thing this has a lot to do with control. And that left-brain intellect trying to keep hold of the reigns. My ego is thus getting in the way of allowing my divine guidance to come through.

Oddly enough, at the same time, I believe I also need to start trusting myself more. That feels a little like taking control. But didn’t I just say that I need to let go of control? Well, trusting myself is really trusting my divine guidance – my intuition. Trusting myself is not about trying to fix things and holding tight to old habits. There is a very different feeling when I think of trusting myself – a feeling of letting go.

I still need all my gurus – the ones I talk to directly, like my acupuncturist, my chiropractor, my massage therapist, and my mom 🙂  And the ones I gain wisdom from through reading, like Louise Hay, Abraham-Hicks, Doreen Virtue, Kris Carr, and Florence Scovel Shinn. But I am listening to my own voice and following my own intuition … or at least I’m trying to.

As this shift has been happening, I’m noticing something about food. I feel like eating everything … and yet, nothing sounds appealing. Food isn’t even tasting right. I feel over-full, even if I haven’t eaten a lot. I’m craving veggies and water. But even there, I’m not sure what I actually want to eat. I’m trying to just be with these feelings. No judgement. No criticism. Just see what happens next.

So to help me stay focused on releasing fears and ego – and to ask for some divine guidance, I just pulled a bunch of cards from those gurus. Here’s what I got:

Everything is working out for my highest good. – Louise Hay, Life Loves You cards

Divine wisdom guides me. – Louise Hay, Power Thought cards

Release fears while manifesting, and instead focus on feeling the joy as if your desire were already a reality. – Louise Hay, Love Yourself to Great Health

Release & Surrender – Doreen Virtue, Daily Guidance from your Angels. Oracle Cards

Invite your fears to tea. – Kris Carr, Crazy Sexy Love Notes cards

There is nothing for me to guard against. – Abraham-Hicks, Well-Being Cards

Physical Well-being is only one good thought away. – Abraham-Hicks, Well-Being Cards

Basically, I got a whole bunch of cards to support and inspire me – everything I needed to hear!

Day 5 of 365

Today is Day 5 of Stephanie Bennett Vogt’s online class, A Year to Clear What is Holding You Back from Daily OM. Yesterday, there was a great video about how to get out of the rut of feeling overwhelmed. Part of the answer is to do one thing for one minute every day, particularly clearing some physical clutter, such as your desk. Well, it’s not just my desk that is covered in stuff, so that I can hardly see it. It’s every square inch of my entire office. I barely have a path to get in and out. It makes me want to hyperventilate just thinking about it. And going in there … well, I only do that when I absolutely have to.

So today, I set my timer on my phone for one minute and headed in. Let me tell you, 60 seconds is almost nothing! It went by so fast! I hardly had time to do anything. And yet, I did. I got a few things put away. And after the timer went off, I saw a few more things that I could quickly do. Still, I probably was only in there for a total of 2 minutes. And then I walked back out again.

Guess what? I can do that. I can even do that every day. I’m sure of it.

And better still? It already feels great!

A Year of Clearing

A friend recently told me about the website called Daily OM. You can take online courses on various topics related to mind, body, and spirit.

I just signed up for one called A Year to Clear What is Holding You Back. I had seen it advertised on Facebook and bookmarked it to check out later when I had more time.

Last night, I couldn’t sleep. I found myself asking for new inspiration to stay positive as I continue to try to change my body image. Ever since my recent encounter with the scale, I just can’t seem to get back on track. I haven’t been logging, and I know I’m eating more junk again. As I lay in bed wishing for sleep, I thought about getting up to go look at the course. A few minutes later, my oldest son knocked on the door, because he couldn’t sleep. After I put him back to bed, I decided to see his interruption as an opportunity to tip-toe downstairs to my laptop. I thought about setting up a health session with my acupuncturist for the next day, but she didn’t have any openings. So I looked up the course and signed up for it.

I’m a little nervous about it being a whole year. But she says to think of it as an “elastic year” – meaning it can stretch if you need it to. If you miss a day or two, just pick back up where you left off. No problem. I like the sound of that.

And I thought about where I want to be one year from now. Do I want to be stuck in this place of frustration? No, thank you! I want to move forward. Ready, set, go!

Water, Water Everywhere

Well, actually, water isn’t really everywhere, is it? When I was growing up, there was always a bucket in the shower and one in the sink to collect extra water. My dad had big water barrels outside behind the garage to collect rain, too. He would water our beautifully landscaped yard all summer with that extra water.

Alas, I did not inherit my dad’s green thumb. Lucky for me, he comes over to plant pansies in my flower boxes and make sure that daffodils and tulips pop up in the spring! But then he gets after me to water them when we haven’t had rain for a while. Sigh. I’m not very good about that either!

But I just saw this tip – on the Ikea website, of all places! Apparently, plants even like starchy water. You know, like the kind you drain off from your pasta! So keep a bucket or sturdy watering can nearby when you drain your pasta next time. And after it cools, use it to water your beautiful blooms!

Here’s a link to Ikea’s website for more green and sustainable ideas: Ikea Sustainability Guide (No, I’m not getting compensation for mentioning this site.)

No More Scales

On April 4th, I made the colossal mistake of getting on a scale.

I thought I was doing a wise thing, since I had been logging my food again. I learned before that a smaller body needs less energy to fuel it. So if I was losing weight – as I believe I was – I should probably check in and enter the new lower weight, so I could recalculate my daily calorie goal.

The only thing was, when I entered my starting weight back in February, I used a number from last October. It was the last time I’d been on a scale, when I was at the doctor’s office for my annual physical. Well, between October and February, there were the holidays. Guess what? I must have put on some weight, because even though I felt as though I’d lost weight between February and April, the number on the scale was had gone up quite a bit.

UGH!!!!!

I wish I could say it didn’t matter. In my mind, I know that there is a much bigger picture, and that the number on that scale is only one small part of that picture. But emotionally, I feel something so completely different.

Seeing that number on the scale sent me into a tailspin. It sure as heck did not encourage me. I stopped logging. I started eating whatever. I stopped caring.

And now, two weeks later, I still can’t seem to get back on track. Heck, I don’t even know exactly what track I want to get on! I try to start logging again, but it isn’t working.

And so I have decided never to get on a scale again. I mean it. Never. Ever. The next time I go to the doctor and they ask me to get on the scale, I intend to politely decline. And if they insist, I will turn around and get on backward, so that I don’t see the number. It seems like the most compassionate thing I could do for myself.

Every time I get on a scale, it messes with me. So why would I want to keep putting myself through that? No, thank you.