Geesh... time really does fly.
This is a long one, so get ready.
I still have the magic of a new year inspiring me, which is a first. Usually by February I am back to my old ways of stuffing my face with pasta and red wine.
Ever since I started doing yoga on a daily basis, two things have become increasingly important to me, which in turn has revealed a side of myself that I honestly wasn't sure existed in the first place.
Apparently the part of me that I adore has been sleeping.
Those two things are intention and acceptance.
In the beginning of the year I wrote down (well typed out) my new years aspirations, and in an effort to keep those things alive, I've made them an important part of setting my daily intentions. Some days have more intention than others, but the point is.. I am giving intention the time it deserves, and I am noticing things about myself that I really never thought were possible.
Whatever it is that is coming to life within me, comes with this warm light that allows me to accept and love myself exactly as I am in that moment, and it is really a beautiful thing. Accepting your flawed self doesn't mean you accept the flaw, it means you accept what got you there and recognize how to move through it.
This is something that has been incredibly difficult for me in the past. I consider myself a fairly self actualized person, I am hyper aware of my faults, strengths, weaknesses.. but up until recently I never really accepted myself for who I am and where I have been.
I have allowed my past to haunt me in ways that I wasn't even fully aware of.
I was one of those kids that grew up too fast. Looking back at my childhood has always been painful, even as an adult. I would feel sad because I felt like I was robbed of my innocence. I would be angry because I had too much responsibility and worry. I would be jealous that everyone else* got to enjoy their youth, and I lived mine battling with depression, helping to raise my siblings, making adult decisions before I could even spell, let alone articulate what the hell was going on, and always wishing I was someplace else.
(*I realize I am not the only one who grew up in these circumstances of course)
Learning and practicing acceptance has been life changing. Even if I am just accepting that I am not flexible or strong enough for some of the more advanced poses in my yoga practice, I accept that's where my body is at in that moment, and push through the pain.
On a philosophical level this physical act has completely changed me, and have to say that change has been one of the most surprising and inspiring gifts I have ever been given. I don't want to say that I was in DENIAL about where I was suffering mentally prior to practicing daily-- because I knew I was suffering, and I knew that pain was related not only to a rough past, but also to an uncertain future.. But I really have been living the life of a lost soul, and this has all become quite apparent through my journey.
When I decided to start this journey in November, I never saw myself getting to the place I am right now. I find myself completely humbled by this process and I am just so grateful this path found me and that I was able to recognize its purpose for me.
I've always sold myself short. I could go on and on about all the ways I have sabotaged myself in the past, but I won't because it doesn't even matter anymore. I just wanted to say, that if you are reading this and you have been a self sabotager in the past, I welcome you to give yourself the gift of acceptance.. move on, move forward, and love not only yourself, but also the process.
Start each day with intention and end each day feeling accomplished. Make decisions that will get you closer to your goals, even if by one inch. It all adds up and it awakens something in you that is nothing short of a miracle.
In the past I never really believed I was good enough to be what I wanted to be. I could hardly love myself because I honestly couldn't stand the sight of the pathetic person in the mirror. I allowed myself to not only gain 50 lbs, I kept 40 of them as a way to punish myself for not being good enough. I wouldn't nurture my creative inclinations, I wouldn't reach out to friends, I wouldn't allow myself to be happy, because I didn't WANT to know anything different.
I just couldn't leave the comfort zone that was my own misery.
I have learned that if you set goals, or aspirations, and don't allow yourself to be inspired by the best version of yourself (for me the ideal version of myself is in shape, calm, kind, open, adventurous, healthy and HAPPY) ...then you are just punishing yourself for something you have not accepted yet.
DO the work. Accept and love yourself, your body, and your mind.
I really can't wait until I have found the words to describe all of the beautiful things I am experiencing right now. I feel like there are all these things I really want to express, but I just don't know how to say them yet.
I had my first thoughts of suicide at age nine, I remember this very vividly because my best friend at the time told her mother, and her mother sat me down on the driveway for a talk and she explained to me that it wasn't normal. I remember being grateful that she said I was different, and should embrace it, and that I would understand when I was older.
A few years ago I thought I finally understood what she meant... But through this journey I have realized that I was missing one important thing, acceptance.
As I have mentioned before, getting in the best shape of my life is something that is really important to me this year. This has been something I've talked about at the beginning of the year, every year, for the past 7 years.. I've stayed so focused on becoming the best version of myself this year that when I stepped on the scale this morning I almost died of happiness. In two weeks I've lost seven pounds and that's with a week of spotty work outs. (I'll get into that tomorrow when we weigh in). Weight aside, I am turning into a different person and I am just so happy to get to know the person I always thought I was suppose to be.
The funny thing is, she was there all along.
I know the reason I am succeeding this year is because every day is starting with intention, and every act is preformed with acceptance and a love for myself that I never thought was possible.
So I will sign off with some words of wisdom, which conveniently appeared in my email this morning..
"He is able who thinks he is able."