The Minimalist Game came to a close for me a little early. Travelling out of town for my grandmother, Carolyn‘s funeral broke my streak. And that’s ok. It was a really healing weekend (traveled the Outer Road), and I’m ok with as far as I got! My study got cleared out and that’s the truly important thing.
This month is already more than half over, and I’m just barely ready to admit it’s February. My ambitious goals to start another cleaning project fell a bit short. Not to worry, I’ve found another new project to keep me busy…
Bullet Journaling! I’ve been starting to simplify things. I’m trying to reduce my online time – at least the wasted time. It’s so easy to drown in online tasking systems. I’ve put a few different ones through their paces. I still like the ones I’ve used, but I needed to find a way to sift through all the noise and keep track of the very top priorities. The rest will get done, but when I just need to stop and “regroup”, my bullet journal is really doing the trick. Watch this video to see a quick overview.
I’ve also listened to two audiobooks that have strongly influenced me. I highly recommend them both.
Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, by Byron Katie – What I learned: The relentless pursuit of my own truth, passionate love of reality, and a letting go of my “story” are the steps toward peace and happiness that I was missing. I will re-listen to this one periodically. It’s not complex. All the info you need is actually available on her website, TheWork.com, but the audiobook is a lovely way to be taken through it, step by step.
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, by Gary Taubes What I learned: Surprisingly, I learned that I really should trust my own experience when it comes to losing weight. When I was pregnant with J5, I got gestational diabetes and had to go on a strict low-carb diet. The day I came home from the hospital after giving birth, I weighed less than I did the day I found out I was pregnant. I know others who have had similar success, yet somehow it wasn’t until I listened to this book that I heard what I needed to be ready to make a change. So far so good.
So, that’s what’s been going on with me lately. One day at a time. If anyone has questions about anything — speak up below!
- Currently reading: Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, by Gretchen Rubin.
- Video: Recorded my first SparkVlog in a very long time. Hoping to make that a weekly habit.
- FTW: Met the goal of helping my BFF launch her new Kettlebell Gym’s website!
- Politics: #feelthebern: FB – Twitter
- Last, but not least, I’ve set some mini-goals for myself, and I’m excited because they are doable and I don’t feel internal resistance to them. It’s a thing.
You see, I’ve been really working, for the past year or so, on doing the hard things. I’ve made some pretty significant changes in how and where I do a large part of my life. I started experimenting with being super honest about my views and beliefs, and I pulled up stakes, and after 10 years, started a new job. These have been exceptionally difficult, and overwhelmingly healthy things for me to do.
There has been one place, however, that I have just been unable to make any progress. My physical health. Let’s face it, I’m past my P.Y.T. years. And the way fitness and health is so frequently portrayed, it’s all about how you look (flat abs, thigh gap, big boobs, round butt — on and on ad nauseum). I know for a fact that even if I devoted all of my free time to diet and exercise, I would not reclaim my youth, and I would not look 20 years old again. I accept that I am the age that I am. It doesn’t really bother me. And since I have had a kid, and carried a lot of excess weight for a long time, even with significant weight loss, I would not return to pre-fat form without assistance of some kind of surgery.
So, I’ve just about given up on trying to do anything. I’ve been in an all-or-nothing sort of place. Once I’m locked down on an issue like this, it’s near impossible to push me into action.
However, I have also known that there would come a time when I would change my mind. That someday, my desire for longevity (I have a 9yo that I want to see grow up and become independent) would push my brain to find another path — another way of thinking that would free me from the trap of “if I can’t do it right, I won’t do it at all”. I need hope. I need to have a goal that I can see is actually achievable. Something that I, in my future, could actually attain. Something that would be genuinely worth hard work and different choices.
In comes Beth and her wisdom. In essence, she has put the idea of fitness into a perspective that I have always believed. Form follows function. I deeply respect usefulness. Functionality. I couldn’t give a crap what something looks like if it does the job well. Seriously. Somehow, I hadn’t made the transition in my thought process to myself in the realm of physical fitness. Midway through her post she asks,
“What are you building? Do you want to be able to run and jump and play with your children – your grandchildren? Do you want to be able to work a construction job? Are you planning on competing in any specific sport? Do you have a sport that you love so much you want to condition your body for that? Why are you building your body at all? Then I suggest the most CRAZY notion: …what if you let that dictate what your body looks like?”
I almost started crying. You mean I can pick something ELSE, something FUNCTIONAL, that I want to be/do that doesn’t depend on a completely muffin-free top and flat abs (that I know are impossible with this body of mine without surgical intervention)?? I can totally skip the magazine-photo-clipping-vision-board stage of this and just pick some thing I want to be capable of, and work towards THAT?!?
Whoa. Gonna let that one settle in. (Thanks, BK.)
“Whether it be the sweeping eagle in his flight, or the open apple-blossom, the toiling work-horse, the blithe swan, the branching oak, the winding stream at its base, the drifting clouds, over all the coursing sun, form ever follows function, and this is the law. Where function does not change, form does not change. The granite rocks, the ever-brooding hills, remain for ages; the lightning lives, comes into shape, and dies, in a twinkling.
It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things superhuman, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law.”
[Featured image credit: Jinzel]
– Jennifer Louden
So, what am I devoted to?
At first thought, I would say I am devoted to my family. I will probably spend some time ruminating on that today, though, before I land on that for certain.
Devotion DFN -love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause. “Eleanor’s devotion to her husband”; a feeling of strong love or loyalty : the quality of being devoted. : the use of time, money, energy, etc., for a particular purpose
synonyms: loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity, constancy, commitment, adherence, allegiance, dedication;
No, I guess I really don’t need that much time. If I strip away everything else, I keep coming back to my family and home. A significant amount of my time, brain space, and energy is spent towards caring for my husband and son. They’re the first thing I look to when re-centering my priorities.
Second to that is probably my own development. Pushing through and processing to ensure that my own mental, emotional, spiritual, and hopefully soon, physical, health will allow me to be of more help to my family.
In general, what I want most in life to do is…help. I want to be a help. Assisting and care-taking come very naturally to me. However, I am learning that I need to rein some of that in and apply it to myself for a while. If I don’t, I quickly become a martyr and that helps absolutely no one.
The more I attend to my own basic needs, the more I realize that my unhealthy care-taking was a misplaced attempt at earning the right to take care of myself. If I just could get “done” with the chores of helping others, then I would earn the perk or bonus of time for myself. That’s one of those (faulty?) interpretations of the J.O.Y. acrostic I was taught in Sabbath School – Jesus/Others/You is the intended order of priority for my devotion or attention. Just so messed up.
There’s a real downside when you believe in your heart that you’re supposed to serve and love others more than yourself (as better than yourself). The chronic devaluation of a person can never have healthy side effects. Sacrificing your mental and emotional health as the going price for God’s approval and in exchange for eternal safety, well, those days are over.
I can’t honestly say whether I believe in the idea that God’s Spirit is within me, but if it is, that’s how I’m going to be listening to him/it/whatever. I’m going to be listening to my own heart, and doing what I believe to be in my (and my family’s) best interest. I’m ready to stop second guessing myself at every turn.
So what is my devotion? To make this world a better place for my family to live in.
This. I want this.
Hands Free Kids: Less Device, More Real Life
I’ve also been reading: books, blogs, tweets, and of course, FB. I’m hearing a bit of a theme. The changes I need to make in my life to become what I want can only be made by me, and can only be determined by me. It’s time for me to stop abdicating responsibility for my life. Whether it be blaming the church, various employers, people in general, or God…for not getting me to where I want to go, I need to be done with excuses and start making the climb.
I’m going to stumble a whole freakin’ lot on this journey, but I’m going to take it and journal it.
The Sea Change topic for this month is Decluttering. It’s one that’s near to my heart and well timed. We’ll see how it goes for my home, my body, and my mind.
My first small thing will be getting moving. Not a huge fitness plan, just moving more than I am now. That won’t be hard.
Currently Reading: Zealot by Reza Aslan and Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin
If you are at all interested in hearing the latest talks, music, etc., from the following:
Braille, William Branch, Brad Brisco, Mike Breen, Sally Breen, John Bryson, Caesar Kalinowski, Matt Carter, Francis Chan, Neil Cole, Jonathan Dodson, Todd Engstrom, Lance Ford, Michael Frost, Dave Gibbons, Brandon Hatmaker, Hugh Halter, Kim Hammond, Jackie Hill, Alan Hirsch, Aaron Ivey Band, Amisho Lewis, Dhati Lewis, Justin Lopez, Andy Kampman Ryan King, Seth McBee, Jimmy McNeal, John Onwuchekwa, Doug Paul, Kevin Peck, Dr. John Perkins, David Platt, Propaganda, Jo Saxton, Matt Smay, Michael “Stew” Stewart, Odd Thomas, Adam Thomason, Courtland Urbano, Jeff Vanderstelt – See more
(People in bold are the ones I’m particularly looking forward to, but honestly, everyone I have heard so far has said something that made impact.)
Log into the Live Webcast here: http://live.vergenetwork.org/
Oh, and it’s for March 1 and 2 only. Let me know if you hop on – I’d love to hear if anything resounded with you!