Life Has A Crush On You

Falling in love with Life one day at a time…

Tag: health

I love and accept you just as you are right now

While I was going to bed last night, this was the phrase that kept coming to me. “I love and accept you just are you are right now.”

I was thinking of a family member, one who I had always held at a distance, and I cannot begin to describe the emotion and the love that began to flow from me to them. In an instant, I saw them, not as I always had, through the judgmental eyes that I had, but through the lens of compassion. Instead of thinking of the changes I thought they should make, or that would be easy for them to do, I felt their suffering. I was deeply pained by things I had never thought of. The problems, issues and prejudices that they had to face every day. How blind I was to their continuous suffering, which I know was so painful for them as well. It was truly one of those moments that knocked me down and showed me how far I have been from truly loving.

I continued to say it. I continued to tell them through my thoughts and prayers that I love and accept them exactly as they are right now. Through the compassionate suffering I felt they were going through, I also felt deep love that I didn’t know I could give to someone. I felt the power of this love course through me and descend upon them. For the first time, I felt the depth and love of  true acceptance.

After this experience, I realize I am a toddler in this life, just learning these new things, having a breakthrough in a step towards walking in love. While incredibly simple, I know I will fall down again. But for today, and for all consciously lived days ahead, I will continue to genuinely love and accept those in my life, and myself, exactly as we are right now.

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Visual Choices

If you read my previous post I have been committing to a diet for a month that doesn’t involve any flour, sugar or potatoes. Essentially, I have chosen to give up my fall back foods. The foods I know I use to bring me joy, which I can see as being potentially dangerous if I don’t tame myself now. Please note- I am not going against the unadulterated joy of eating! I am still doing that, just with lots more veggies which when I calm my mind and bread-loving ego I am very clearly drawn to give up for a bit.
But here is the important lesson I have learned today. While vibrant health is a top priority of mine, above even that I prize freedom. And if course, where do I feel the most free- when I am choosing food, eating food and defying the need to diet ( I still don’t believe in diets). That is the point that was the hardest thing for me during this cleanse and commitment of mine. Not the actual letting go of some foods, but the idea that I couldn’t eat them.
The truth is that despite my commitment I am still the one choosing every bite. The ultimate authority lies with me, not with someone else’s guidelines that I am trying.
So tonight, coming off of a long day of work, getting back home around 8, I ordered sushi. It’s late. I love sushi. So what if I break this guideline and have some white rice tonight.
I was thrilled.
But then it happened. As I was picking up the food, the other option came to me. I quickly ordered a side of veggies and a seaweed salad. Why? Because right when I had given myself permission to “cheat” I didn’t want to.
It was actually joyous to see both options side to side and choose the one I knew was right for me. Not because of a need but because of a choice.
The real need I realize is not about restrictions and depriving ourselves, but to see and accept the abundance. From there we make our choices that align us with our intentions and highest selves. Sometimes it can be a bit more wasteful or expense as you put the options side by side, but it is worth it to be reminded that the choice is always yours.

A Brat about Bread

I pushed away my bowl of breakfast and dramatically offered it to Drew this morning.

“I have lost the will to eat.”

He couldn’t but help and laugh in my face.

Why? Because I have chosen, yes, it was my choice, to commit to not eating gluten, sugar or any refined products for a few weeks (except one day each week). Today is day four.

What I am experiencing is not hunger, but the mentality and psychology of a screaming ego. Who knew I would become such a brat about bread.

I just know with my love and seemingly “need” of bread that I am of European descent and have it built into my DNA that in order to survive I need to indulge in the freshly baked warmth of a loaf at least every few days. It is probably the food I just can’t imagine life without . Jesus even called himself bread. Yes. Exactly it’s really important.

But the truth is, this is an ego problem, not a hunger one. My energy has been great. My body starting to “hum” a bit more. But my mind – oh yes, it is kicking and screaming.

So what? On this day four of my diet change, as momentum has run off, I am starting to realize that this isn’t about cleansing, or health, or calories or weight. This is about God.

Somewhere along the lines I believed more in what bread could do for me than what God can. Somewhere along the way, I decided that I was in control and part of my control plan is the joy and physical reaction I have to bread. So of course now, this lack of bread is not just a preference, it is rocking my world. It is God saying – “Yes. Give me your tools of “control”. See how Life really is. Look to me. Stop looking to yourself.”

This voice and perspective is useful as I tame the toddler of my ego that is acting out horribly. What an incredibly spoiled brat I can be.

It is starting to help me understand just what our sermon was about this past Sunday. The hard passage in Matthew that discusses the wealthy man who came to Jesus to ask what he can do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

“Sell all your things and come and follow me.”

But he just couldn’t do it.

The point of this story is not to instigate all of us to sell our things, but it is to ask us to relinquish to God all that we hold most dear “to make our lives work”. What is one thing that you do use to tightly hold and control your days? While it sounds quite crazy and I am sorry that it got to this place in my life – bread is one of mine.

So take it. One month. Shape me. Not my body. But me -this screaming, whining, dramatic child that needs Your Presence and Power to make me disciplined and dependent by and on Your Will, Power and Strength – not on just a man-made fickle thing as bread.

20% Days!

There is a successful business practice that allows you to take 1/5 (or 20%) of your time to pursue what you want to pursue. This is complete and total autonomy, except for one typically requirements –  to show what project you worked on in a meeting later (yet even the meeting later might be fun perhaps serving cake and beer!). Other than that it is you, creating.

This is a beautiful thing.

What they have found that this 20% time is actually vital to the production and advancement of companies – and it makes employees happy!

I am not one to learn something and not try it out in my own life. Miraculously, in the past few weeks, I have allowed myself a “20% day” (usually on these glorious Wednesdays) and it has proven to be tremendously useful in producing not only results at work, but within my own positive psychology. No one (before this post) knew I was taking it. I still showed up to work. I still answered emails and attacked what was absolutely necessary, but… if something came up, if I wanted to look into something, if lunch lingered longer… This is my 20% day! Pursue it!

What I have found is twofold.

1. I still get just as much done at work, except am able to “check” the stress at the door, since I don’t actually have to “do” anything (I have two more days to pursue that later).

2. Life supports this! What do I mean by that? In the past few weeks, as I have approached my Wednesday as a 20% day amazingly fun things have come my way – sushi making (“makin’ maki!”) parties come to my office  or free health screenings are given where I get to discuss and perform tests I would have done in my free time anyway.

What I find is that I am happy. I get through this transitional day pleased since I have given myself permission to do and be as I hope, not as I am expected to be. This is incredibly freeing and productive.

So can you take a 20% day (or perhaps apply it to 1/5 of your workday if you don’t want to take a whole day)? Can you give yourself permission to be “on” but “off” for a certain allotted amount of time? Can you pursue what you want to pursue joyously, without the restraints of guilt?

I hope so!

Your greatest weapon against stress

Next time you feel stress, realize the choices you have.

The only thing that is forever in our control is how we react to things, and therefore the subsequent meanings we give things.

When things start to feel overwhelming. Stop. Breath. Recognize that you have the choice to proactively do something, instead of re-actively fret.

One of the best cures for stress is action. It doesn’t matter if you initially think the action you are taking is too small. Everyone can only eat, do, think, be so much at one time. Get the momentum going. This is not only the movement of accomplishment and completion, but the movement of proactively.

Being proactive is your greatest weapon. This will make all the difference.

Don’t dare use stress as an excuse to not do something. Never let it be your disability. Instead, make it the fire that burns away all that in unnecessary – including, perhaps most importantly, the stress itself.

May the overwhelming situation be a Divinely Ordained lesson designed for you to claim your own power and to put that into action.

To Do More, First Do Less

It has occurred to me that this is one of my favorite topics to write about. Most likely it is because it is “creating space” is my actual job right now, not planning events, or being a wife, or being a friend, sister, writer, yogini…The real work is carving out space in your mind, heart, body, physical space, schedule, so that each of those roles has not only time to do what is tasked to them, but to roll around in the grass, to muse and dwell in the space of what it means to be in that role.

It is counter-intuitive to think that to do more, you first has to do less, yet this is the truth I have found.

As more responsibilities and projects come to me, I find I have to first make space, to separate myself from the tasks and rolls and just be. Sure there is the tightening in the chest that says, “whoa… how are you going to do that too?” but that is exactly what the space addresses. I figure that I have a choice. I can be overwhelmed and controlled by the tight chest, or I can say “stop!”- to my mind, my body, my thoughts, my chest, my emotions and tell them to chill out. It is an interesting conversation I have with these parts of my physical and emotional body, but it’s vital. I usually then think expansive thoughts about  “how other people do it”. I think -“Oh, well! Imagine if you had a kid!” Then I think about the President of the country, or people who own 13 companies! Yea, I can address this new thing as my responsibility. I can handle this!

In addition to this self-talk, I have a few other methods that I would love to share, for you and as a nice reminder for myself as I continue to make way into being a more contributive, responsible, organized and joyous being!

* Start with the breath!

When the chest tightens or the head starts to ache, or perhaps you just feel tired at the thought of what you have to do, stop everything and breath deeply. You don’t have to know any breathing exercises, just count while you inhale, count while you exhale. Add a mantra or simply keep your focus on your breath. You are creating space physically, emotionally, schedully, mentally! (For those of us who have had the habit of eating when stressed, breathing deeply will help you get the same effect that food does without the regret and tummy ache later)

*Organize something!

I know, but there  are so many other things to do! I don’t care. You will be a more effective, efficient, useful and happy person if you clean up the pile you have been “meaning” to get to. This now is your priority. Clean it up! it will help you gain momentum, as well as, give you space away from your “to-do” list. This time is actually a time your sub and super conscious will order your other tasks, making them easier and manageable when you get to them.

* Move your body!

I am not talking something strenuous, if you don’t want (kill the “shoulds” that are controlling you!). But get outside. Walk. Stretch. Do yoga. Laugh. While you might think you don’t “have time” to do something like that, it is actually your priority! It creates space for you, on a cellular, spiritual, mental and emotional level.

With love,

Elizabeth

Dream Watchers…

I really like Weight Watchers. I have been to a few meetings with friends and thought that I found a little enclave of camp in the real world. They cheered for each other! They encouraged each other. They went and faced the truth every week. They set clear and definable goals and were rewarded for them! I remember the first meeting I went to when everyone erupted in applause because a woman ate a carrot instead of birthday cake! They cheered for carrots! I love cheering for vegetables! I was in!

Yet, as time passed, I quickly realized that as much as I  loved the encouragement and joviality of the group, it wasn’t aligned with my health ideals (I just couldn’t agree that it was “healthy” to cook a box cake with diet coke….). Yet I often think how wonderful it would be to have such groups about other things, not just weight. Why can’t we form groups around different goals too? Why can’t we all get that excited for each other’s little decisions that mean real growth in the direction of our dreams?

It is my hope to form such a group, yet, until then, I write about weight watchers because there was one thing in particular that I did take away from it and am applying right now. Like any long term goal that is changing habits, Weight Watchers was very good about encouraging each other not to stop completely because they took a break. They spoke openly about how we all “get off track” and that there were certain things to do to get back on track. 

I think of this today because it has been a while since I have written on this blog and I am faced with the uncertainty, the self-abuse, the internal dialogue  that berates me for neglecting it (the voice even hinted to me to stop!) It is funny to observe this. It is even funnier that it makes me think of a meeting where people are cheering because  I have chosen to quiet that voice and take the humble road back on track to doing what I feel good about.

It is interesting to me that we tend to push aside so often that which really means the most to us – we push aside what we find is our calling. This could be our health like in those Weight Watcher meetings, it could be writing for me now or  making the calls for business and success. Perhaps we do this because this calling is a part of us and we know it will always be there, even if it’s not being expressed. Yet I can assure you that we all can very easily deny our true selves -our highest selves  and the daily actions that bring us to that place of happiness and greatest contribution.

But we have to get back! We have to go back to the meeting and shyly say that we have been off track, but are ready to come back. We have to forgive ourselves for not meeting our own standards or daily goals. We have to understand that Life has a reset button, even though our minds try to convince us that It doesn’t.

So what does this mean? It means that it is ok to veer away. Consider it the scenic route on a vacation. A detour to appreciate the daily path you have chosen. We don’t beat ourselves up for taking vacations. Why should we here? Everyday presents an opportunity to “get back on track”. The hardest part is simply taking the steps again towards the goal – even if you feel you have put yourself miles behind where you were. This is a time for us to recognized our humanity and embrace with celebration and love that we are not perfect! But we are strong – as proved by our decision to bring ourselves again on track towards our ideals.