Friday, November 18, 2011

Lessons in Forgiveness

"True forgiveness is when you can say: thank you for that experience."
~Oprah Winfrey



The above quote caught my attention this week.

There are areas of our lives, usually long ago in our pasts, but not always, that are wounds in our souls.

We experienced something at the hands of others that caused us hurt.
 That injured us, physically, mentally or emotionally.

And very often it is only with life experience, and the benefit of hindsight that we are able to look back on the hurt and find some measure of benefit.

My childhood had experiences of great harm.

It has taken me many years to work through the pain and emotional scars left behind.

Recently, though, I realized that the experience, horrible and painful at the time and for many years after, has given me some greater insight into certain areas of life.

I'm not saying I couldn't have gained that insight in a less painful or emotionally devastating way, but the experience itself provided me with a benefit that I can now see and verbalize.

I still have no wish to be in contact with the perpetrator of my experience, but I can look at the experience in a different light.

I can see with different eyes.

The forgiveness, the letting go of the anger and hate and resentment, is not for the perpetrator of these acts.

It is for ME.

It is to release the toxic energy from my soul that has lived there for far too long.

It is to brush away the dirt from my heart.

It is to push back the curtain that has been covering my inner light, darkened and obscured by old wounds and hurts.

Forgiveness is not for the other...it is for me, and you.

Do you have a hurt in your life, one that has festered and swelled, blocking out your light and spirit?

Are you able to look for the benefit of the experience?

Did it teach you something about yourself? Your resilience? Your strength? Your power?

Can you find some insight?

I encourage you, peel back the cover on that dark place in your heart, and see if you can look at the hurt with different eyes.

See if you can find a way to say "Thank you for that experience".

See if there is a way to say: that experience helped me to grow as a person.

See if there is room there to forgive.

Not for the other...but for yourself...so you can heal and move forward.

You deserve to forgive and heal and move forward.

You are valuable and worthwhile.

Clear the darkness from your soul.


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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Never Give Up



"Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else."
~Brian Tracy


There have been several reminders in my life lately to Never Give Up.

If you read here regularly, you know that one of my goals and aspirations is to weigh less and be more fit and healthy. You may also know that one of my frustrations with this aspiration is that the steps I need to take to achieve this goal are neverending.

I will never reach a point where I can say: DONE! Goal achieved.

Why?

Because health, body weight, fitness, those things are not achieved and then finished. It is not the same as having a goal to write a book, or to learn the tango. If you have a goal to write a book, once the book is written the goal is accomplished.

Being healthy, weighing less, those goals are more indefinite. Sure, I can lose 10 pounds and say I have achieved that goal, but I then have to maintain that goal. I cannot give up on that goal. I cannot then walk away.

Even now, weighing both less and more than I have in the past, I can say that I have achieved this goal in some ways, but I have not fulfilled it. It is an ongoing process. One that I must put attention toward fulfilling every day.

I can never give up on my goal of being healthy and fit. I must chose to stay focused, to take the actions and steps necessary to continue me on the path toward fulfilling the goal.

For if I ever were to give up, ALL of my efforts would be lost. ALL of my intentions would fall to the wayside. ALL of my learning would be forgotten.

I have worked much too hard to get here to let it all go. I do not like the path that I must go down if I ever were to give up. It is dark, cold and sad down that path. The light is missing. There is no energy. There is only sadness and guilt.

I do not want darkness, sadness, and guilt in my life. That is part of my journey, to alleviate darkness, sadness and guilt from my life, to inspire my own light to shine and light the path to my most lived life!

The stepping stones that light my path say to never give up!

Never give up. Never stop trying. Never stop working. Never quit. Failure only occurs at the point after which you quit. Everything before that point is progress and effort to achieve.

You can do it! Keep placing one foot in front of the other! Use your light to show you the way!


(source)



Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Message From Abraham Lincoln

"Always bear in mind that your resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing."
~Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

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This was the message provided  by my tea today.

The quote then begs the question: what is your resolution to succeed? How strong is it? Do you want to succeed more than anything else? Or is it more of a passing wish?

My resolution to succeed is strong, but as we have noted, it waxes and wanes.

However, I believe if it wasn't strong I would have given up long ago! I would have stopped taking steps to achieve my goals. I would have let the times when my resolution waned extend indefinitely.

BUT I HAVEN'T!

Each day, each time that I make the choices I know help me toward my goal, I am strengthening my resolution. I am solidifying that want in my head.

Today I started my week the way I intend to finish. I started my week with action to support my resolution to be healthy, fit and well.

Today, a Sunday morning, I got up and made sure to take action toward my goal. I did 30 minutes of exercise pretty much before I did anything else. Day one, step one.

My resolve grows with each success!

How strong is your resolution to succeed?







Friday, November 11, 2011

Success

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SUCCESS!! I DID IT!

It took me a couple weeks (three, or four?) to get back into the groove and to achieve my goal.

My goal was to get back to regular exercise, which I had slacked off on in mid-August, and had fallen completely by the wayside as I got back to school the end of September. I needed an achievable, small goal to help me get started.

I decided on this:

20 minutes of exercise at least 5 days of the week.

Small time committment, but consistent. The first week I think I managed three days. The next week I did four. The next week I don't think I did any. But THIS week! This week I achieved my goal!

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I successfully completed at least 20 minutes of exercise (a mix of cardio/weights and  yoga)!

Now, I know that 20 minutes of exercise is good, but not great. I know that 20 minutes of exercise isn't going to help me achieve my other goals.

However.

THIS goal was about creating consistency. Showing myself that it can be done, even in the midst of my current time crunched schedule. This goal was about just doing it, for 20 minutes. This goal wasn't about the bigger goals, it was just about taking those small, baby steps to start me on the path to those bigger goals. To create some momentum and energy.

Not all goals need to be grandiose and magnificent!

Some goals are simply there to help you taste some of that success! To get a feel for what those bigger goals might feel like when you achieve THEM.

My goal for this next week is the same. 20 minutes of exercise at least 5 days of the week. I hope to get 30 or 40 minutes in there at least a couple times, but I want to commit to at least 20.

Thanksgiving week will be a challenge due to houseguests, but maybe I can get them to go for walks or something.

Do you have a small goal you can set to give yourself a taste of success? Maybe it is related to food. Maybe it is related to better sleep, or a different morning routine. Maybe it is flossing your teeth three times this week, or saying a gratitude at least 3 times this week. I don't know. It could be anything.

But find a goal for the week. Something small. Something achievable. Something that can give you an amazing feeling of success and power!!

Share your goal with me in the comments and I'll help encourage you to stick with it!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gratitude

Happy November!

It is the month for thanksgiving and reflection. If you follow me on facebook you know that I have been posting status updates over the last month or so of "daily" (in quotes because I don't manage to get them every single day, but I try!) gratitudes.

Sometimes they are little silly things, other times they are gratitudes for people, or sunshine, and sometimes they are gratitudes for the many things many of us take for granted in our lives each day, like running hot water and indoor plumbing!

I would like to invite and encourage anyone reading to participate, particularly this month, in a daily gratitude or affirmation. Being grateful or thankful, for even little tiny things can really change our perspective.

For example, earlier this week I woke to a gray, cloudy, cold, wet, dreary day. I am hugely not a fan of this type of weather, which is why I moved away from rain-central. As I caught my thoughts starting to head in the direction of complaints I instead was able to stop myself and think grateful thoughts instead. I have heat in my house. I have warm clothes. I have a coat. I have a car to get me where I need to go. Many people do not have these things, so instead of complaining about the weather, I turned the complaint into a gratitude for the things which I DO have.

It is hard to be complaining when focusing on gratitude.

source

Let us rise up and be thankful for if we didn't learn a lot, today at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die: so let us all be thankful! ~ Buddha


What are YOU grateful for in your life today?


Feel free to check out my "Inspire the Light" facebook page to follow my daily gratitude posts, or feel free to leave your own daily gratitude in the comments.

Today I am grateful for the ability to buy healthy food, from local farmers, to feed not only my body, but to nourish my relationships with my community. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Almost a month?

Hello my friends!

I can not believe it has been nearly a month since I last posted on this blog. I will tell you that figuing out my schedule with school, and both blogs, and life, and cooking healthy has been a bit more challenging that I at first anticipated.

I have not, and am not, giving up my quest to live life each day! To grab ahold and pursue my deepest wants and desires.

I have been stumbling a bit the past few weeks, though, that is true!

Here is what I'm DOING about it!

I have gotten back into the habit of doing much more food prep work on the weekends, and making lunches the night before I have early morning classes. I am doing simple things like getting the coffee ready the night before. These LITTLE steps are immensely helpful to me. Otherwise, I end up with no time and no food and subject to whatever I can find on campus, or Chris is subject to whatever crappy drive through he can find. This is NOT acceptable to me, and so I am consciously making the effort on weekends and evenings when I have more time to do SOMETHING VALUABLE with it!

Gee...what a concept!

Also, I am working on getting back to daily exercise. This, also, has been such a challenge! Here is my conundrum of exercise. I really don't like it. I never have.

Yes, I LOVE to feel strong and energetic and healthy! But I very strongly dislike what I have to do to get there....and I dislike strongly that I have to do it FOREVER. These thoughts are so self-defeating for me. I have a very difficult time (and have had a very difficult time my entire life) overcoming these self-imposed objections.

Plus, I KNOW the health benefits of exercise. I KNOW I feel better after. I just have a very difficult time motivating myself to do it. Even with all the big reasons.

A few weeks ago I challenged myself to do 20 minutes of exercise 5 daays of the week. I did I think two or three. The following week I kept the same challenge, and I think I did four days. This past week I did nothing. Why? I do not know.

This next week, I have a goal to do at least 20 minutes of exercise 5 days of the week. I feel like if I can get a routine going doing this for 20-30 minutes, for two or three weeks continuously, then I will be able to increase both the intensity and duration.

In the meantime, in an effort to clean up what had become some very messy food habits (too much sugar, too much wine, too much...) I started a 14 day cleanse on November 1st. I usually lose weight, but so far I haven't. I am not sure if that is because I am not exercising and normally I do, or if it is because the food has been a little different than I normally do.

This next week the plan is to have my lemon water, then my cleanse fiber shake, then a green juice, then some oatmeal (green juice will not hold me till lunch). Lunches will be greens with chopped veggies, and some beans and rice thrown in for some filler (topped with lemon juice). I also have made a big batch of lentil soup which I hope to use throughout the week. Dinners will be vegs, salads, grains, beans and maybe fish.

Part of me insprining myself, and my own light, is learning how to survive the changes that occur in life. I am a very routine oriented person. When my routine gets thrown off by not being in school, and then being in school, or whatever the change is, it takes me several weeks to adjust. I don't flow easily from one routine to another.

This is a personal challenge for me. To work on adjusting to the time change, my school schedule (which will change every 11 weeks!!) and to not allow these changes to derail my own plans!

I have goals:

I want to get out of the weight decade I'm in and get into the lower decade by the end of the year.
I want to enjoy the holidays, but not OVERly enjoy the holidays.
I have a half marathon (that I have done zero training for) in June. I need to start planning for that.

I need to find my own motivation, inspiration and light and blast it out to the world!

And sometimes we just need to remember this:

(source)
Yup! Time to get off my ass...and get to work! The life I want won't magically happen without some work people!

Have a great weekend! Don't forget to set your clocks back, enjoy your extra sleep, and then...get off your ass! :-)