Monday, July 2, 2012
Revisiting The Mantra
Sugar Hill, New Hampshire
June 6, 2012
The first half of 2012 is now officially behind us. Are you finding that as hard to believe as I am? I always find myself somewhat at loose ends for the first few days following our Summer Trip! So much time, energy and preparation go into the research, planning and execution of those trips that, once it's over, I tend to look around and think, "o.k., what now?" Bill begins teaching his summer class almost immediately and we go from being together 24/7 to being apart all day with little time for transition. And all of that is just fine! It just takes a short period of readjustment for me and some time to gear up for the second half of the year.
My 2012 Mantra (see this January post) is never far from my mind. It became so important to me that I worked hard back in the winter to memorize it and train my mind to revisit each part daily. And for the most part, that has worked. Some of the points in the mantra have been easy and fun, others have caused me to recognize some areas that could use some work. What better time than mid-year to look back, look forward and share some of those thoughts with you?
Here's the Mantra...........(read the linked post above to understand the background)
In 2012, I will:
Look for a SURPRISE in every day.
EXPECT steady results from a healthy eating plan and efforts to have a normal relationship with food.
RECEIVE love, friendship, gifts and kindness without question from those who choose to give it to me.
Embrace JOY with every thread of my being.
CELEBRATE my own successes as jubilantly as I celebrate those of others.
SHARE my life, my time, my money and my possessions in creative ways that are new and extravagant.
Right from the start, I will say that, "expecting a surprise" has become one of my most cherished habits. There are no days which don't contain surprises and this extra effort to SEE them for what they are has been invaluable to me. It is a habit I hope I never lose. Surprises happen to us ALL THE TIME, but what I've learned is that if we aren't looking for them, our minds are far to occupied with other "stuff" to appreciate what is right in front of us. Then at the end of the day, we complain that nothing good happened i.e. the day was boring, "everyone" treated me badly (I mean, really, EVERYONE???), the weather was awful, crazy drivers wouldn't get out of my way, yada, yada, yada........
It's not even noon yet and here's some of the surprises I've enjoyed today: an unexpected rain shower early this morning, a phone call with a friend who moved away last fall, the cost to fill up my new car was $20 LESS than the last time, I already have my 10,000 steps for today - is that enough?
I've also learned that the surprises don't always come in a good way, but they are still "surprises," and I'm trying to find a balance I've never known between focusing on only the less desirable surprises at the expense of the ones I enjoy. To my amazement, it all comes out pretty even with the "good" ones outnumbering the "bad" ones more often than not. I repeat - you just have to look for them!
You've walked with me through the expectation of steady results from a healthy eating plan. And I've achieved what I believe to be a much better relationship with food. I also believe that I have a very realistic sense of reality with respect to my own weaknesses in this area and refuse to take anything for granted. I am enjoying celebrating my success. The weight loss is evident, the compliments are flowing and this time around, I'm not fluffing them off and saying, "oh, it was nothing." It IS a big deal and I'm proud of myself.
The "receiving" and the "sharing" aspects of the mantra are two I plan to spend some extra time considering over the next few days. Over the past six months, a couple of key friendships have changed in ways that are no longer acceptable to me and I'm getting better at knowing when it's time to let go. That creates room for new relationships to grow and I find those opportunities abounding in the form of lovely "surprises!!"
Working the "receiving" and "sharing" part of the mantra is forcing me to focus on being more open as I tend to be very private and guarded until I know someone well. But the mantra is teaching me that sometimes I get the cart before the horse and think the receiving should come before the sharing when perhaps, I should focus more on the sharing and patiently wait for the unexpected "surprises" that come from the unselfish concept of giving expecting nothing in return. That's when the receiving really starts - when it's LEAST expected!
And having said all that, I believe I'll bake those yummy crab cakes I brought back from Maryland, enjoy them with a pasta salad (whole wheat, of course) from Gina@Skinny Tast I whipped up yesterday, then sit back for a couple of hours with the book I could hardly put down long enough to write this post. It's hot as blazes outside, but cool as can be in here and there's nothing I HAVE to do for the remainder of the afternoon. Bill has a rehearsal tonight, so gee whiz, don't even have to plan for dinner.
How's that for an afternoon of EMBRACING JOY WITH EVERY THREAD OF MY BEING?
I would LOVE for you to pick the one aspect of my 2012 Mantra that YOU like best and tell me how you already have or could apply it to your day.