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 šŸ™‚Ā  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!

Release

Something huge has just hit me.

I’m a firm believer in the mind-body-spirit connection. I believe (thanks to Louise Hay) that when our bodies are in any kind of “dis-ease” (as she calls it), it is trying to tell us something. (See her book You Can Heal Your Life.)

About four years ago I sprained my back lugging a suitcase out of the back of my car when I was 6 weeks pregnant. Ever since, I have lived with intermittent pain in my low back. It’s one of the reasons I continued to do yoga, see a chiropractor, and get regular massages. And then my chiropractor suggested IĀ  try Pilates to strengthen my core and take some of the load off of my back. And then my Pilates instructor and my massage therapist suggest I go to physical therapy to find out what was really going on and get some more specific help. That was about 5 months ago.

I was also working with an essential oil blend called “Release” from Young Living. I had started using it to help release my negative beliefs that I believed contributed to my negative feelings about my body. But as I worked on my back, I realized how much I needed to release that, too.

Yesterday during Pilates, I did some of the exercises recommended by the PT. And for the very first time, they were easy, and there was NO pain. Now that’s not to say that it’s gone forever. I’m still going to do my stretches and strength exercises (also because they just feel good in general).

But here’s the connection: It is also the same day that I took charge and decided NOT to do the detox. Ever since that moment, I have felt a new sense of calm. And a stronger sense of empowerment.

Because I didn’t go on the usual emotional roller coaster to make the decision. I heard the old arguments in my head (“don’t be a failure” – “what will your chiropractor say?” – “you can’t give up, because you were so ready to brag about what your were doing!” – and on and on). The words were there, but the strong negative emotion was not. I took charge and made the decision that was right for ME.

And in making that move, there must have come a big release in my physical self, too. Which is why my back felt better than it has in years!

Little Bits of Love this February

I’ve been a big fan of Louise Hay for many years now. Last year, I discovered her page-a-day calendar and loved it. So guess what everyone got for Christmas this year? Yup. The new 2016 version of the tear-off calendar. I love getting a new affirmation every day. She even has an extra page to begin each month. Here is what she has to say for February:

Love is the nourishment that we humans need to fulfill our greatness. As I learn to love myself more, I learn to love everyone more. Together we tenderly cultivate an even more beautiful world.

I am in the process of changing some pretty deep-rooted beliefs (but that’s another post or two….). So I was inspired by this affirmation to focus a little love on myself each day this month. I thought I would post one thing each day that I love about myself, be it part of my physical appearance, a character trait, whatever! It feels a little conceited, I have to admit. But then, that’s something else I’m trying to change: my perspective on myself. It’s okay to proud of who I am. It’s okay to be happy with who I am. It’s okay to celebrate who I am!! So here goes….

Is a Picture Really Worth a Thousand Words?

We had family photos taken a couple of weeks ago and just got to see the proofs today.

I love seeing the images captured of my boys and the smiling faces of my family.

I’m less than thrilled to see the images of myself. Earlier this evening, I was so disheartened. I seem to look the same as I did two years ago before I started losing weight. According to the numbers, I’ve only gained back about half of what I lost. And I definitely am still a smaller size than I was. But I don’t see a difference. I also know that I may be smaller still, but my body shape looks very much the same to me. And that is a tricky point for me.

I almost cried in the car on the way home from dinner tonight. I just feel like I’m on this bumpy ride. I get clear. YES! And then I get derailed. UGH. And then I get clear again. OKAY, GO! Oops, off track again. GAAH! Back and forth I go, like a tennis match.

I feel like I am so close to being in alignment with the person I want to be. But it remains just out of my reach.

When I started this blog, I thought it was going to be about maintenance. And I wished I had started it sooner, so I could have shared the “secrets to my success”. Ha! Looks like I don’t have as many secrets as I thought. Either that, or I’m just not using them. Or maybe I’ve outgrown the old secrets and am in search of new ones.

Tonight while I was dancing, I felt like punching the air. Just busting out all of my frustrations. So I did šŸ™‚ It felt good. LET GO. Just let go of the past. The power is in the present moment (my Louise Hay calendar said that the other day). And that means that in any given moment, I get to begin again. Start fresh. Let go of the past. It does not have to have a hold on me.

I’m looking for new ways to feel healthy. To feel happy.

The other night, my husband and I were out for dinner. Just the two of us šŸ™‚ It was so nice to be out and away from the bustle of every-day life. And I was inspired to try some dishes that I don’t normally order. I chose a small salad, a soup, and an appetizer. Everything was absolutely delicious! I loved savoring every single bite. I loved the way I felt afterward – just right, satisfied. I didn’t care how many calories or grams of fat were in the foods I ate. I simply enjoyed them. And felt healthy doing it.

THAT is how I want to feel when I eat. But it is not an easy feat. Especially with young children at the table. It’s almost impossible to savor each bite. I’m not sure how to get around that. But I know I want to.

My other challenge to myself right now is to continue letting go of control. Not just when it comes to food, but in all aspects of my life. I recently started physical therapy for a back sprain I got over three years ago when I was pregnant with my second child. (Another topic I could go on and on about: why do we suffer through such pain instead of asking for help, as if to suffer like that is normal?!!) Because the injury is in the low back and pelvic region – areas that never get any rest – the muscles could not recover. And so it’s as if I’ve been clenching and holding tight with my back muscles while also using them to protect my abs that were weakened from pregnancy. It’s a telling injury: emotionally, I do the very same things. I hold tight, trying to control things and protect myself. But that just doesn’t work. It is time to feel – to know – that I am safe and protected and that I don’t need any “extra padding”.

Most of all, it’s time to get back to loving and appreciating myself. Just as I am. Right now. I’m not sure exactly how to go about doing that. But I know it is the place to start.

Approval and Acceptance

School started last week for my kids. And at the end of the week, we all had colds. Fabulous.

Whenever I get sick, I know I should eat better, drink more water, etc. But all I want is comfort food. Which often translates as junk food. I know that has something to do with why I put some of the pounds back on last winter: because I was sick every other week and practically the entire month of April.

So here I am again. I had just gotten back into a good habit of logging my food and was even being really good about drinking more water. And then with this rotten head cold, I slipped back into the haze of junk food. I know I’m not the only one who does this, too.

But this post isn’t really about whining. What I really want to think about is how to be in this place where I know I’m not anywhere near eating healthy and still being okay with it.

Today, my Louise Hay calendar said:

“The two main keys to positive changes in my life are self-approval and self-acceptance. I know these qualities work to make my life the best it can be.”

I asked myself, is it possible for me to approve of myself right now? I’m making terrible food and drink choices! I know that I am. And yet I do it anyway. I give myself excuses: I don’t feel well and this is comfort food. Hmph.

Well, maybe I can get to approval and acceptance in this way: I am not perfect. I cannot be perfect all the time. I am going to slip off track now and then. I am human. And human beings do not live in a state of perfection or joy or positivity 100% of the time. It simply isn’t possible. And actually, that is a good thing. We need that contrast. If we lived in that perfect state all the time, we would never want more. And wanting more or new is always good.

After a few days of making “bad” food choices, I’ve pretty much had enough. My cold is clearing up. And now I’m ready to get back on track. Will I start logging and drinking more water tomorrow? Well, I hope so. At the very least, I feel that I will make at least some healthier choices. And that is something I can approve of.

So what happens the next time I get a cold? There’s a good chance I’ll be making those less-than-healthy choices again. Is it possible to approve of myself then? That is a really tough one.

Unconditional Love

I recently traveled abroad with my family. While we were at passport control, the unusually friendly young man looked from my passport picture (about 5 years old) to me and smilingly said, “You have lost quite a bit of weight. Congratulations!” He was perfectly earnest in his compliment, and I took it as such. It rather made my day!

I have to admit, I have been looking forward to getting a new picture for my driver’s license later this year. And I was wishing I didn’t have to wait another two years to get a new passport picture. Those pictures show the “old” me. The heavier me. No, thank you. But after getting that compliment, I laughingly thought, hey it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have a picture that demonstrates that contrast and shows how far I’ve come!

Later on, though, I began to realize the negativity in all these thoughts. After all, if I am going to truly love myself, don’t I have to love all of me? And that includes me at every age, through every stage, and even at every weight. I can’t pick and choose. It’s all a part of me. It’s a part of the woman I’ve become and am continually becoming. Instead of judging her – instead of criticizing her – instead of wanting to shun her, I should be embracing her. I should be thanking her. I should be loving her. She, too, deserves love. Of course she does. She, too, is special and talented and interesting. She still has all the other wonderful qualities I’ve been coming to appreciate in myself.

After all, isn’t this month’s challenge from Louise Hay to “… prove to myself that I unconditionally love and appreciate who I am”? I am certainly not loving myself unconditionally or appreciating who I am if I cannot love that other (bigger) version of me. And so I am trying to focus on sending her all the love she truly deserves. All the love *I* truly deserve.