Hope everyone had an amazing holiday and you got to spend it with the ones you love! I talked a bit about the benefits of Flax this week, and I shared some holiday ideas here and here for ya! Check them out if you missed ’em.
I’ve thought about this post now for two days and how I want to go about putting it together without it having like a “woe-is-me” or “I’m-crazy” kind of vibe to it. I think I’ve found a way to talk about staying present while sharing things that keep me from this goal at times. Just be forewarned, I will rant a bit.
Mindfulness. It is something I’ve touched on quite a few times on this blog. Every action we complete, every word we speak every day should be done in mindfulness. All it means is that you breathe, think about what you’re doing and how it serves you. If it doesn’t serve you, that split moment in breath should help redirect you to something that does.
I can talk until I’m blue in the face about this and how I should be practicing it all of the time, but it doesn’t mean my practice is perfect. To be honest, the last few years have been transformational for me in many ways. I have learned to let go of harmful feelings and memories of the past that were hindering my present and future. But, the one thing I constantly struggle with is my view of self. I, personally, am still creating and harboring harmful feelings and memories towards myself. These feelings are often exaggerated and distorted by my own thinking and none other than that. When people say, “The greatest journey we take is the one within ourselves,” they mean that it is almost a never ending road with twists and turns, a difficult terrain to tread because our mind creates it so.
It is a cycle. I do well with treating myself with love and kind thoughts, and then all it takes is for one external event to set off an internal event within. Our ego needs to feed itself, and sometimes mine gets out of control. “Who has this?” “Who is doing that?” “Why am I not doing that?” “Why can’t I look like that?” An endless chatter that chips away at the things that serve me and leave a bigger room to fill with the external that do not.
Let me give you an example. And, I am not entirely comfortable sharing this but if it can help someone else, I want to share it. I obsess over my weight and how I look. No, I don’t expect to be a size two, or four for that matter, but I want to maintain a healthy weight. In my mind, I know exactly what measures to take: eat right (which I do for the most part) and exercise. SIMPLE! But, as soon as I start comparing what I see now to what I HAD seen in the past, I am doomed. I start this cycle of COMPARISON, and I don’t compare with anyone else. I will look at photographs next to photographs of ME. I will take pictures of my face daily to “track” if it’s changing too much. And, I know pictures can be distorted. That’s not REALLY ME. I do it anyway. It gets me down.
This cycle has started back up for me just recently. It has been about 6 months since I had stopped taking Topamax, a migraine medicine that has also been used to suppress the appetites in those who want to lose weight. I’m talking about people who are severely obese and need help to get to a healthier lifestyle. Topamax can lead to hair loss, so I stopped taking it. Cold turkey. Since then, I have put on about 8 pounds. I knew that was something that could happen. But, did I change how I was eating or exercising? No. But six months later, I let it effect me negatively.
So yesterday I made a vow to myself. NO. I WILL NOT destroy myself with negative thoughts. I have every ability in the world to change and be a healthier more vivid ME. Our bodies change all the time. There is no correct way to be other than to just BE. I can’t keep looping these thoughts and feelings TOWARDS MYSELF or no one will want to be around my cloud of negativity.
My mother just found out that she tested negative on the BRCA gene test. It tests you for a mutated cancerous gene that can be passed to your children. Breast cancer has run rampant through my family and has touched the lives of many of the young women in my family. I am turning 28 next month and it was a true concern for me and my family, and I was about to start getting yearly mammograms. We all kind of assumed she would test positive with two sisters, a mother, and a young niece having had cancer and, obviously, the gene. But by some grace of a higher power, she doesn’t have it. It then effects me. I do not carry this mutated gene.
This is fabulous news for my mother, me, and any future child I may have. I decided to take this result and apply it to my life to get me out of this loop. I am a healthy, vibrant, able-bodied 27 year old woman. I can be happy and healthy. There is no way I should let negative thoughts keep me from living my life.
I’ve touched upon the end of year, kinda, “assessment” I do this time of year. In retrospect, I have made a lot of positive changes. Some are ongoing. So, this year I have come to a few resolutions that I want to carry out and share with you on this journey.
1.) Stop comparing myself to myself. The past can be tricky. I often get stuck in nostalgic ruts that leave me feeling both happy and sad. But, the comparing needs to stop.
2.) Get more active and continue living “mostly” meat-free. Weights. Yoga. No running though. I still hate that.
3.) Let go. This could go a number of ways. But, mainly it means if something doesn’t serve me, let it go. Negative comments others make, let it go. A new hobby that I wanted to give a try but end up not liking it, let it go. Judgments, let it go.
4.) Meditate. I was doing so good for a while. Honestly, I feel this practice benefits anyone who takes this journey. It is the most self-serving thing you can do. See your thoughts. Transform them into more positive ones. Or, just be.
Obviously I have some others that are more external like getting into my Master’s program and etc., but these four above are active measures to help heal myself and lead a healthier and happier life.
Self love should be everyone’s mission because it creates a magnetic energy around you. If we are all happy and spend time with one another, we are in the present moment and truly sharing ourselves. We have no other pre-occupying thoughts that distract us.
I wish you all well on your “journey”, whatever it may be, in our new and upcoming year.