I’m a big pause and reflect kind of person. Trying my best to not live in the past (as I have done in the past) but to look back and see how far I have come and to make sure that I keep living in a way that reflects I am willing to examine the lessons learned and apply these lessons when necessary.
I forgot a really big lesson I had learned though… and this was the power of words….
My daughter has Cystic Fibrosis and I do a great deal of volunteer work to raise money for this cause to find a cure. At the end of every February, we hold an Event called The Princess Ball and it’s kind of turned into a big deal in our Community. It is by far one of the most Amazing things I have ever been a part of and definitely a point of pride for me.
This year’s Princess Ball was just 4 months after my Dad’s passing so this meant that my grief (which was substantial) had to be put on hold for January and February… for future reference avoid stuffing down grief at all costs… In March, it was like all of the grief I ignored for 2 months came rushing up all at once and I crumbled… fast and hard.
I had to take stock of my life in that moment and realized that the only obligation I had in my life that was at all negotiable was the Volunteer work that I do. As such, I let the organization know that I was taking a break from this work until September.
Here’s where I messed up;
If I received an email or text message or voice mail about this work I would say “I’m taking a break from CF until September…” not what I meant, which was “I’m taking a break from volunteering for CF”. See the difference? The Universe heard what I said not what I meant and delivered on my words and vibration.
Looking back over my daughter’s health from March until September it was remarkable. Probably the longest stretch we have gone without any kind of hiccup or incident. Then came September, and we went through one of the most difficult times of her health ever… you know, cause the Universe thought we wanted some CF in September. Duly noted dear Universe. I hope we never make this mistake again.
All the while, I was making the same mistake with my health. For so many years (like 3 decades) – I have obsessed about my body, my weight, my food, my exercise … every aspect that I believed shaped the size and appearance of my body was truly an obsession. It was rarely about health. It was only about the shame I felt about my body.
I over-exercised, under-ate, calorie counted, took supplements, bought the magazines, tracked my weight, recorded my food intake, recorded my work-outs… Gawd, I would love that time back!
So, here’s the mistake that I made… in an effort to finally release myself from this shame, I began a new obsession; ignoring my body. I have spent the last year not eating particularly well, turning to food to cope with grief and financial strain, not exercising, genuinely not having the time for self-care and actually saying “I don’t care about my body”… gasp! Wait, what? The context in which I have been saying this was to communicate that I feel like I am finally free of all of that shame about my body’s weight/size/appearance. “I don’t care about my body” was intended to mean “I don’t care about the cultural obsession that women are force-fed to focus so obsessively on our bodies.” So I shortened it down to “I don’t care about my body”… oops.
My body and the Universe responded accordingly – and I daresay this is the worst physical condition I have ever been in. I’ve put on weight; I’m pleased to learn that I truly have release the shame of my body’s appearance. However, I am uncomfortable – this extra weight prevents me from living and moving the way that I want to. I’m in often times extreme amounts of pain. I’m not sleeping well, my skin is bad, my energy is so, so, so low…… and on and on.
I was so far to the right about my body for so exhaustingly long that in an effort to free myself from the grips of uber self-criticism I swung way to the left…. I know now that keeping that pendulum somewhere in the middle is where we should all aspire to be. In Yogic Philosophy it is said that all Nature; energy, matter and consciousnesss are made up of 3 Qualities; and these 3 qualities are braided together in our physical and emotional bodies. These are referred to as the three gunas. They are tamas (darkness), rajas (activity), and sattva (beingness – peace). All three Gunas are always present in every aspect of Nature and all 3 qualities are necessary in nature. We are lucky enough to be able to consciously alter the levels of the gunas in our bodies and minds. This altering can be done with lifestyle practices and thoughts (and apparently words). I see clearly now that the very Rajas quality I was bringing to my business was necessary this year; it’s a creating-change energy. The Tamas quality I brought to my health made me realize that this rock-bottom is not where I want to be…. Obviously, I need a to consciously alter the level of Sattva I am bringing into my life.
Sattva is a state of harmony, balance, joy and intelligence. You find Sattva in your live with beauty, balance, inspiration…. The quality of Sattva creates life, energy, health, and contentment. Cultivating sattva—by making choices in life that increase awareness and nurture selfless joy—is a principal goal of yoga.
I am so ready to finish off the crazy rollercoaster of a ride that 2016 was by creating all of the things I was to FEEL in my life and HEALTHY is on the top of the list. I know November seems like a strange time to begin a healthy regimen but it’s time and that’s that. Have I practiced Yoga & Meditation through this whole rocky time? Absolutely. However, the energy I was bringing was very Rajas; think powerful movement and obstacle clearing mantra (I love you Ganesh). In my downtime I was very Tamas; too little activity and low vibration entertainment (social media and reality TV).
This week I have brought gentle, peace, softness to my practice and meditation… and I’m already feeling the difference. I have posted little reminders in my life to stay in the powerful knowledge of what our words create in our life; including this poem from Sanober Khan.
forces of nature.
they are destruction.
they are nourishment.
they are flesh.
they are water.
they are flowers
they burn. they cleanse
they erase. they etch.
they can either