From Centering to Triumph!
Wow, can you believe the past 5 weeks have gone by so fast? Time does that, it continues on whether we are paying attention or not. I think that is why it is silly when someone says, “I wish I could ________ but I am too old now.” The world will continue to turn so go ahead and plant that acorn now. Not tomorrow, not yesterday, right now. As we have learned, right now is the only chance we have to do anything.
This chapter on Week Six may be my favorite. I appreciate Baron’s vulnerability in sharing how he came to learn what a real man is, how it takes “more strength to connect to people than to control them…” because this is so counter to what our culture speaks. He also reminds us to appreciate and celebrate every breakthrough, every time the light shines a little more on our experience of the world we need to find gratitude for the enlightenment. As we come to the close of this 40 Days program we are reminded that it “is not the end of anything. It is only the beginning of a flexible life.” I have been reading this book, The Biology of Belief by Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D (it is on sale right now, too!) in which he discusses the biochemical effects of thoughts and beliefs. It is a scientific book written in a very easy-to-read format. We know there are epigenetic effects on DNA, this book begins to describe the “link between mind and matter.” Perhaps this flexibility of thought can change our bodies as well as minds!
Speaking of flexible, how was your yoga practice? Mine was going pretty good and then I found myself mid-week with tremendous muscle spasms and an inability to move due this darned herniated disc issue. I am the very opposite of flexible right now! I have a tendency to want to fix things, to try this exercise, that therapy, whatever… all just to make the pain go away and let me get back to living life on my terms. I have stuff to do, for goodness sake! There is also a niggling worry that maybe I will always be this way, unable to move, jump, twist, or even sit for a couple of hours. I am having to really put into practice the lesson of living centered, in this moment and not imagining the future, and especially of not thinking of my body as in need of “fixing.” I am using the lessons from previous weeks, Equanimity and Restoration, to allow my body to be as it is, to let the recurring pain speak and to really listen to what it has to say rather than jumping from one fix to another trying to quell it. Who knows, maybe there is a deeper lesson in this discomfort. Or maybe not. Equanimity means I will let it be and not flip out or get depressed. What a nice chance to practice the lessons further!
How was this week’s Balancing Diet for you? Any insight into your relationship with food, by chance? Wow, I could see, really see, how sensitive my body is to dairy and sugar this week. I moved into some more normal-for-me eating habits and could feel the difference. Most enlightening was the effect sugar has on my mood. I simply cannot handle a sugary or high grain-carb breakfast. I can enjoy fluffy pancakes, muffins, or toast as long as there is a quality protein. These things are so obvious but when you have habits or cravings, the obvious doesn’t matter. I love bread. I make whole grain toast and muffins but still I have to manage portion size to keep my body and mood on an even keel. I know this and am glad to have been reminded of how important it is, especially just before these upcoming holidays that tend to be laden with heavy foods and tons of carbs and starches. I remember as a young teenager eating stuffing sandwiches after Thanksgiving! Well, no more of that! I will take what I learned into my TRIUMPH week and beyond by having several meals, especially lunches, be similar to those fruit fast meals. This can help arrest the tendency to slide back into old and unhelpful habits by serving as a reminder of how good you felt during your mini-cleanse.
Have you started using some of the meditation practices all through the day to stay centered? It is amazing how many times a day I realize I have not been completely HERE and instead had my head somewhere else. Those also happened to be the times I would misplace items or do the classic walk into a room and have to ask “What was I looking for?” These frequent mini-meditation practices go a long way to keeping us centered. I do not want to be that person who is happy and content only when sitting on the meditation mat, I want to bring that serenity into every moment of life. The practice of staying grounded and non-reactive is especially helpful during the holidays, whether at a family gathering or managing the stress of expectations that come during this time. It may just be time to let certain traditions go and replace them with new, healthier habits. Meditation helps guide the way.
How were your Excavation Questions and journaling? Do you trust yourself and your inner voice? That can be such a hard thing to do, especially if it seems to be counter to societal expectations and norms. Is there something calling to you, a little song in your heart that wants to be heard? What would it take to give voice to this heart-song? Just as important, what price do you pay to keep the song quiet and unheard? Can you be fully attentive and present when talking with your loved ones? What would it take to do so? I remember how challenging it was sometimes to work all day and then come home and just want to decompress but the family demands made that hard. I began to enjoy the drive home as *my* time and rarely even listened to the radio. Hitting traffic just meant a little more me-time. This reframing totally changed my experience of traffic from one of stress to one of peace and enjoyment. What can you do to reframe a situation to be more fully present and happy?
All-righty, my fellow 40 Dayers! Let’s keep up the great work! See you back here in just 5 more days!!!!
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