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Archive for November, 2009

Burning the Blob

blobcrop 

I’ve chosen to work through Debbie Ford’s 21 day Consciousness Cleanse.  I’m always up for tweaking the good thing I’ve got going and I know there are some areas of stuck that could use some examining.

One of the exercises suggested that I draw a picture of the dark stuff that lurks, that perhaps is keeping me stuck.  At first it felt a bit silly, but I let it flow and found the act of drawing put me in another part of my brain.  It reminded me of a time when I regularly used artistic expression as a form of release.

I saw this thing as a heavy, shiny, slick, undulating, gelatinous blob that mostly lurked in its assigned corner, but would occasionally cast out creepy arms that slid up into my consciousness, jerking around how I interact with myself or a situation.  They appeared sinuous and slippery, almost oily.  They could schmooze out and do they’re thing but were not easily grasped so I could look at them or have a talk with them before they slipped back into the blob.   I suspected that each arm had a name or function:  FEAR, ANGER, INSECURITY, SHAME.

(Above is my computer generated representation of this blob.  As you’ll see in a sec, I couldn’t share a photo of it, since I no longer have the paper. But that’s a pretty spot on reproduction up there.)

It dawned on me while I was immersed in drawing this thing that in the past, it still had its blobbish qualities, but it was not confined to a corner.  It flowed through me and affected my personality most of the time.  It gave me a feeling of ease to acknowledge how far I’ve come, that my blob had become contained.  I also realized that while I didn’t have to work so hard to hide it, I hadn’t really accepted it.

So I was digging this little exercise.  I felt I had gained some valuable insight.  Then I read the next suggested activity.  Issue forth some suggested words and burn that baby, a symbolic act of releasing the hold of this darkness.  I thought it was stupid not for me and read on.  However, the idea of it stuck and some of the verbage resonated with me.  “…..I ask that you turn what has formerly been toxic into fuel for my future.” (pg 101) So I decided to give it a try.  I headed outside with my little paper in a vessel and lit it up.

I wasn’t ready for what happened.  The sun was shining and the air was crisp, with a little breeze.  The thin paper burned quickly and the ashes were weightless, easily lifting in the breeze and drifting away.  A smile spread over my face and I had this feeling of lightness.

I noticed a shift within myself, a little click inside as I realized the heavy dark thing in the corner could change just like that.  I accepted that this is a part of me and all of a sudden understood on a deeper level that all the energy I had previously put into distracting myself from the blob was now available to me. It could indeed feed the fire that was pushing me toward an ever brighter future. 

As I think about it today, I know it didn’t change just like that.  It’s taken sincere effort and mindfulness, coupled with exactly the right people and circumstances to get to this place.

I’m ever grateful that I’ve found it.

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For the last couple years I’ve felt stuck, sometimes stagnant, incapable of drumming up the gumption to take care of things I would like to get done.

  • I’ve been at a standstill with weight loss after accomplishing a major goal.
  • I’ve got the rest of my clutter lurking in corners
  • Pursuit of higher order tasks like developing a life path that reflects my talents and passions was on the back burner.

 I could think, read, or dream about these things; but action only seemed an overwhelming idea best visited in the future.

I often felt frustrated with myself.  I would make an effort to trust I was in exactly the right stage and things would happen in their right time.   This idea was often followed by fervently hoping I wasn’t justifying complacency.

Then my 5-year-old went to school. After about a week I noticed that I was doing lots of stuff. I was working on portions of clutter, gathering material toward a career change and struggling less with food.   I felt full of energy.

Somewhere in the frenetic doing, I stopped to reflect and realized I had been tired. 

For about two years.

The tiredness had creeped in slowly over time and I didn’t honor it because I wasn’t paying attention.

It was about two years ago that the small fry no longer required naps. Looking back, I realized I rarely had time alone. Make no mistake, I love this little guy and I miss our time together now that he’s at school. What I’ve learned from this is that I function at full capacity when I have some quiet time alone.

As I worried about whether I could ever lose the last few pounds, or realize career dreams, or finish de-cluttering my house, I didn’t realize that all my stuckness could have possibly had to do with being tired.

I assumed there was something wrong with me.  That’s a bad habit I’m working on kicking.

Before he started school, I never envisioned how much I would enjoy coming back to a quiet house to eat my breakfast.  Or how busy I’d get when allowed to do whatever I want.  In fact, I think I  feared that I had the potential to lapse into laziness and hedonism. 

I suspect now that I’m engaged in activities that are exciting and result in forward motion, the weight loss may take care of itself.  At the very least, I won’t worry about it as much because I’m focused on different things.

Right now, keeping my attention on my higher purpose seems far more rewarding than focusing on the minutiae of body shape or percentage of protein that is in my diet.

I know that I’m very physically healthy.  There was a time when my big work WAS focusing very tightly on how I was eating.  I have worked hard to cement into place healthy behaviors.  Would I like my jeans a size or two smaller?  Yep.  Is that required to make me happy?

No.

The big take away for me is that I spent too much of the last couple years feeling badly about what I wasn’t getting done and not listening to myself, rather than celebrating what I had accomplished and embracing this stage in my life.  I was impatient with myself for neglecting things I wanted done “right now”, when I evidently had enough on my plate.  I was raising a little boy, working, maintaining my health and a household.  The impatience and frustration only interfered with my ability to do these things well.

I learned that quiet time is part of what I need to be my best.  I am grateful that I now have found another piece of the puzzle that helps me complete my picture of being well and happy.  I appreciate yet another reminder that being mindful always moves me farther ahead.

How are you doing in the listening department?  Do you know how to take care of yourself so that you are your best?  Are you honoring where you are and appreciating yourself?  Can you relax into trusting that you will take care of what needs doing in your right time?

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