Daily Archives: January 25, 2012

Wishcasting Wednesday

image from jamie's post

What do you wish for your health & wellness?

I don’t know if anyone else doing Wishcasting with Jamie feels this way, but it’s like she’s gotten inside my head, read my journals, or followed me around for the past week to determine the exact question to ask–the very thing that I need to clarify, get clear about, wish and claim for myself.

For my health and wellness, I wish for balance, rest, and maitri.

:: Balance: I’ve written about this before, my ongoing effort to find a middle path, the middle way when it comes to my health and wellness. Instead of taking the middle path to begin with, I tend to practice one extreme (e.g. eat a huge bowl of Marshmallow Mateys when that’s not even what I’m really hungry for), freak out because I’ve gone too far, and in an attempt to balance that excess, go just as far in the opposite direction (e.g. restrict what I eat the next day or work out too hard). I practice too tight (e.g. write for 10 hours straight) and then too loose (e.g. spend five hours on the couch watching TV because I’m too tired to read or think), tricking myself into believing they even each other out.

This doesn’t work for me anymore, (if it ever did). It’s like Sisyphus with his boulder, pushing it up a hill only to have it roll right back down. I am stuck in this loop, this push and pull, the falling down. I had been thinking specifically this morning about the 20 pounds that I have gained and lost, over and over, for the past 20 years. I weighed myself yesterday, knowing I wasn’t going to like it, but it was worse than I expected, and made me feel bad, and then I felt doubly bad that I wasn’t evolved enough to love myself no matter what the number, to not care about the number, to just throw away the stupid scale already.

To find balance, I need less food, weight, pain, suffering, secrecy, shame, self-loathing, self-criticism, clinging, attachment, and more ease, space, light, love, joy, rest, grace, strength, bravery, and self-care. I’d like to even out, start from the middle, the stillness and wisdom and kindness of my center. Balance.

:: Rest: I was talking to a friend the other day about this, and in explaining it to her, I had a realization: the comfort I get eating too much or eating food that doesn’t support my desire for more health, is numbness. I knew that already, but what I hadn’t realized is that my desire to dull, check out, be numb is because there’s all this stuff I want to do, writing and practicing and studying and living, and I don’t want to stop, don’t want to waste any more time, so I go until I am so exhausted, I have nothing left.

Unless I am asleep or sick, it is really difficult for me to accept stopping, resting. The only way to turn off my desire to keep going, the guilt about resting, the shame about wasting time, is to numb out, and food is the way I have learned to do this. What I need to do instead is give myself permission to stop, to rest. I need to embody the understanding that I need to pace myself, that I have to restore and regenerate, I need to eat for nourishment, I need to get enough sleep, I need energy to do the great work I hope to do, and it won’t come if I keep smashing myself to bits.

:: Maitri: As I have always heard it defined, this is “cultivating unconditional friendliness,” (also simply loving-kindness, friendliness, friendship) to oneself in particular, because as we’ve heard time and time again: without self-love, you don’t understand how to truly love anyone else. My only resolution last year was to “be a better friend to myself,” and it was a good start, but I still have a long way to go. So many of my issues with health and wellness center around learning to love and care for myself.

I did a Q-Cast this morning, asked the question “Is there a way to do this lovingly, cut back and let go of some weight, get healthier without it being punishment?” The cards I pulled where “cut ties” and “jackpot.” Which means to me that the trick is cutting ties with the comfort of overeating, the numbness, find balance and learn to rest.

I need to cut ties with swinging between extremes and find balance. I need to cut ties with pushing myself so hard and learn to rest. I need to break up with this self-hate like it’s an abusive boyfriend, quit it like the worst job ever, move away from it like a bad neighborhood, throw it out like a pair of socks that have holes, toss it in the garbage like spoiled food, abandon it like a car that won’t start, replace it like a roof that leaks, trash it like a pen out of ink.

Yesterday, Ingrid Michaelson released her new album, “Human Again.” I’ve been listening to it all day. This song “Ghost” makes me think about how terribly I’ve been treating myself for so long, how that made me feel. I made my true self a ghost, invisible and unloved. I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s not working.

For my health and wellness, I wish for balance, rest, and maitri. 

Small Stone: Day 25

Small Stone: Late Bloomer

You’ve never bloomed this late. It’s just one blossom, but still. Your hot pink pistil shoots straight out like a rocket, petals bent back from the sheer force of it. You remind me that it’s never too late, and that a single, focused act, small but true, can cut through the dullness of a moment, wake you up and make you notice.