I am at this point in my life where change is sort of inevitable. We are at the brink of a pretty major move, and that in itself is forcing me to really think about what it is that I want. In a new place with brand new people, how do I want to be seen, to be known? It’s interesting to consider the option of recreating me – or rather taking the old me and improving upon her. I hate to think that I am stagnant. Change is so incredibly important. I think we lose a since of vitality and joy in life when we stop pursuing growth.
A month or so ago I posted a list of goals that I wanted to tackle, and I am proud to say that several of them now have big check marks beside them. I have been going to the gym – or at least working out at home – on a regular basis. I went no-carb for the better chunk of a month…still trying to tackle those binges. I have read 2 books and started a third. I have learned to knit AND crochet. I have sent pictures to family members. I have explored some different career options. With that said, I still have a lot to focus on. All of these are part of me working to actively improve elements of me that I don’t like. I want to be the best me without regrets or guilt or disappointment.
I read an article on mindbodygreen.com today that pushed my thinking about the recreation of self even further. The article entitled “Why Exercise and Burning Calories Won’t Help You Lose Weight” is by Tara Stiles. Stylistically and organizationally, this article could use some love. But thematically and contextually, it is beautiful. Stiles challenges her readers to really examine body and mind, looking at the ties between the two. The article has encouraged me to ask myself what motivates the actions I take. Am I practicing life in the way that I want to live it? Stiles hit it on the head…I live in a world of tension right now. I am tense about job markets and job performance and living up to expectations and beating the odds and losing/finding/making friendships and raising kids to be better than I am and having an amazing marriage and keeping people happy. Those of you who know me well will remark that maybe I haven’t changed one damn bit. And that’s the point here…why can’t I change for the better? Let me nab a few great quotes from Stiles’s article…I wrote these on my white board in my office…
“Tension in your mind leads to lots of tense habits and activities.”
“If we do shed light on what’s going on in our minds and bodies…we can begin to choose how we are, in a way that creates what we want.” (Her emphasis.)
“We get good at what we practice.”
“Doing what you love leads to happiness and good health.”
“When you exist in ease, every moment in your life becomes meditative and space has a chance to enter. You have room to breathe, room to release tension, room to create yourself healthy and happy. When you’re in this space you begin to expand and see beyond each moment. You become yourself. You’re able to make good decisions, be in the zone, and allow room for synchronicity. Your life heads in the right direction when you give it space. When you squash it with tension, well, it gets squashed.”
“With yoga, and any other activity in life, we have the opportunity to observe without judgment, and then do something about it.”
Now yes…I am a yoga freak, but this post isn’t about yoga. This post is about life. These same elements are what Christ calls us to do. He wants us to embrace the joy in our lives rather than existing in a state of unhappiness.
“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” John 15:11
One last shout out in this blog…I have been so moved in the last 2 years by the devotional Inspirations for Girlfriends by Ellen Miller. For women searching for that career – that perfection that we imagine and seem to crave – Ellen Miller’s words are perfect, and her grounding in Gospel teachings helps to remind me that God cares about my career, my choices to be a working mom, and my scholastic endeavors. Check out her awesome website here, but definitely check out the devotional book as well!
In the mean-time…I am going to keep searching. I’m not giving up on recreating me.