Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year Perspective

So, it's a New Year is it? Ok, so life is pretty much the same and those twenty-four hours between December 31 and January 1 don't make a whole lot of difference usually. Alright, let's dispense with the resolutions, ok? How many do we actually succeed in keeping anyway? Ok, a couple maybe. Because life has a way of unfolding a day at a time, why don't we try living in the present a bit and see what happens. I have an idea: how about some New Year Affirmations instead? Instead of saying, "I want to lose 50 pounds this year," say, "I accept myself just as I am and desire to create health in my body and treat it kindly and with respect."

Because we know that how we phrase a question in tarot makes all the difference between a really beneficial reading and one that kinda sucks, the same is true for how we approach our daily lives and goals. Just as a tarot question works better when it is firmly planted in what the querant can do today in order to impact tomorrow, so it is with a positive approach to life. It works, honest it does. I once agonized over losing weight, tried dieting, exercise and not one pound would budge. Disgusted, I threw in the towel. I gave up. I decided life was too damn short to hate my body every day. I shifted my perspective and decided to treat this physical part of myself with kindness and respect. After all, it took me from Point A to Point B every day. It gave me pleasure. It served me well even if I felt there was a bit too much of it hanging around. So I focused on treating it well. I fed it good food, not low fat diet food, but really good food that tasted good, that was prepared with fresh ingredients, that would be most beneficial for the operations that needed to occur inside. I took my body out for walks and stretched its muscles and basically let it enjoy itself. I rid my closet of all the clothes that were too small and which daily accused me of a size I wasn't. I bought myself new lingerie that fit and felt and looked good. I eased my larger frame into new clothes that fit and looked attractive. I nurtured my body and it liked it. Very soon I noticed those new clothes didn't fit anymore. They were too big. I had to buy smaller ones. And I felt lighter and could run again. I enjoyed playing on a playground with my young daughter. I started showing muscles and I liked the way they felt and looked. Over about 3 years time I lost all the weight I had gained and returned to my natural adult weight practically effortlessly.

I say practically effortlessly because it was at times a challenge to direct my thoughts back to the present rather than the future. I became impatient and started focusing on the body size I wanted to be instead of appreciating the body I had right then. Whenever my mind shifted to that kind of thinking, inevitably my weight loss stalled and I sometimes considered doing some very unkind things to my body, like take diet pills for example, or I starved it a little. Frustration would peak and then I would smack my head a couple times and say, "Self, you're being an idiot. Knock it off." And I would, and my body liked it, and I liked my body more and more.

So, why can't we apply the same principles to all other areas of life, too? The more we rail against a condition or circumstance, the less likely it will change for the better. The more we accept and nourish a particular issue or goal or desire, the more likely we will see positive change. See, I have a few challenges in front of me at present and thus far I have seen no progress and I think maybe it's due in part to my attitude. Instead of appreciating and nurturing the good, I have been frustrated and moaning about it, seeing only the hopelessness of it. I'm not quite sure how to feed this issue in a nurturing way, but I know this way isn't working. See, I need a job. A good job. I want to write and I want to get paid for it. I don't have an English or Journalism degree, but I have written for publication before and been paid for it. I get consistently high marks on my English courses and papers. I'm good at it, but I don't have the cred. I also don't want to wait five years before I get that degree. Meanwhile, I still have three kids that need me nearby. They are getting older and as many mothers will agree, the older ones need supervision almost more than younger ones. At this point, my ten year old is more mature than my fifteen year old and exhibits more common sense. I need to pay my bills and I need to raise my kids and I need work that is satisfying. Sure, I could work as an administrative assistant, I've done that in the past, but...well...at this stage in my life, with my accumulated life experience and skills, I was hoping for more. This is a common dilemma for women who have sidetracked their educational goals and career aspirations in order to devote themselves to raising children and creating a nourishing environment for a family. The years tick by and when it's time to get back out there, we find we're underqualified, overage, and decidedly not appreciated for what we have learned and accomplished over the years.

So here I am. It's the New Year. I need to shift my focus, stop complaining, and nurture and nourish my creative writer self in order to see things happen. That's what I'm doing here. But this doesn't pay the bills so I need to ... hmmm... do something.
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