Challenge: Did you take on a new challenge? What was it? Is there are challenge you deliberately avoided? What do you want to do to challenge yourself in 2014?
The new challenge was to shift my paradigm, my perspective and behavior, specifically in relation to food and my body, which leads to a shift in the whole shebang really. I entered the year feeling drained, having less energy, filled with a general sense of “this is not working.” I was tired of beating myself up, using criticism as a way to motivate myself, pushing past my limits, denying my needs, not allowing myself to have what I wanted, swinging between starving and stuffing myself, smashing myself to bits. It was a 30+ year failed experiment and I was finally willing to admit it and try something different.
At first, I sought out an expert, someone who could tell me what to do, fix me, heal me. I thought that meant I needed a new doctor, but we all know how that turned out, and I realized that it was actually about self-compassion, and the fact I wasn’t practicing it. I asked women I know to share their experience and practice, got a therapist, started practicing Intuitive Eating with an amazing group of women and brilliant facilitator to support me. I stopped dieting and weighing myself, stopped using external expectations as a measure of my worth, asked my body what it wanted to eat, how it wanted to move, what it needed. With help and support, I am becoming my own expert. I am saving myself by trusting myself.
The challenges I’ve avoided are related to my old habit of attempting to fix everything, thinking I was responsible. There are some difficulties I’ve had to release, in part because they don’t belong to me, are someone else’s problem. I do what I can, what I need to, and let the rest go. I lowered the bar to give myself room, ease, a chance at some success.
What I want to challenge myself to in 2014 — stop being a student and become the teacher, recognize my own truth, honor my own wisdom and authority, immerse myself in yoga teacher training to continue to repair and deepen my relationship to my physical body, change how I spend money so I can use more to manifest the future I’m working towards, put together a beautiful book and continue writing the other one, open my heart to another dog knowing full well it will break my heart, continue choosing a way of being that allows my life to feel like I want it to feel, trust my intuition about what to do next.
“What was the greatest risk you took in 2013? What was the outcome?“ I put myself out there, showed up as I am. One way I did that was to attend three workshops in California with people I adored, some of whom I’d never met in person. These people mattered to me, and there was a risk that we’d meet and feel “meh…” or even worse, “yuck!” That didn’t happen, in fact those connections were deepened, enriched by the time we spent together.
Another way I showed up, was present is here, this blog. I wrote a lot about my experience, my struggles and joys, and there’s again always a risk that my kind and gentle readers would respond with “meh…” or even worse, “yuck!” And maybe some did, but others of you have not only stuck around, but offered me such kindness and support. I am so grateful for you.
P.S. Since Besottment typically posts the prompts later in the day, rather than wait, or come back and add to an already published post, I’ve decided to simply respond to those a day late.