A summary of the week’s highs, lows, and in betweens…
Oy. I had a big cry this morning. This month, unbeknownst to all but a handful of you, I have been abstaining 100% from alcohol, eating well, and exercising a ton. So I get on the scale this morning, and I actually gained a half pound from last week. And my net weight loss, two weeks into this venture, is one measly pound. Friends, let me tell you. I cried. And my crying turned into ‘What’s the point? I might as well go back to having a bottle of wine and two bowls of pasta at night [which was my norm before]. I hate living here. I hate my apartment.’ Blah, blah, blah. All the stuff I’m not supposed to be saying, thinking, and doing during January is Appreciation Month! where I’m all grateful and awe-filled and focusing on the good. But…This is real life, and there is it. If nothing else, I’m honest with y’all.
And then my friend Firoozeh called me (and I was on the verge of tears). And she cheered me up and made me laugh and now I’m doing okay. By the way, she told me to throw out my scale.
Okay, enough of my sob story. On to what’s inspiring me this week.
WORDS (which, by the way, I love. In case you didn’t know.)
Lisa Nichols (motivational speaker)
“Serve from your overflow. Serve from the saucer, not the cup.”
Basically, Nichols argues that when you give, give to yourself first. Meet your needs first. Then, give to others. Otherwise, you will be depleted. Your giving will become a burden, because YOU suffer when your cup is half empty or, worse yet, bone dry and you gotta pour like four more cups.
I feel like as a woman, I am really guilty of serving from the cup. I put household chores, relationship needs, children needs, work demands (etc. etc. etc.) first and then, whatever is left, that scant, small, little itty bitty drop, that’s what I give to myself. This makes no sense.
Even though I only heard this quote this morning, the message has been a life mantra for me over the past year. I know I have to nourish myself first. I have to do the things that feed my soul (read, mediate, write, exercise, be with friends) before I can give to others and do so in a selfless and meaningful way.
Okay, so I’m gonna pour my cup. JUST FOR ME.
Sekou Andrews (poet and speaker)
I listened to an interview with Andrews on Good Life Project and then I visited his website where I found this gem.
“I am not perfect,
But I’m perfect as I am.
I’m not Beautiful like
I used to be,
I’m beautiful like I am.
Like the scar where a breast once was,
Like survival where
a death once was,
Like the better where
a best once was,
I AM AWESOME!”
I love this. I’ve written similar things on the blog. Remember my mantra, “I am awesomesauce!”? Say that to yourself every day. Remind yourself how wonderful you are, what a gift you are to this world.
And I love the concept of being perfectly imperfect, of accepting ourselves as we are, not as we wish we were or as we once were (this is so hard for an aging woman, too!!! Silkie: look at the beginning of this post, for fuck’s sake!). We work with what we’ve got, and what we’ve got is a beautiful mix of our life experiences, our successes and failures, our challenges, our loves and losses.
I AM AWESOME(sauce!).
Essential Zen Habits (Leo Babauta)
I’ve been reading Leo’s blog for a while now and I like how minimal it is and how simple his message is. The focus of his blog is habits – developing positive habits and changing negative habits. And he speaks from experience. Over a relatively short time period, Babauta radically changed his life – in every possible way. He quit smoking, ran a marathon, became a blogger (to pay the bills), moved to another country. I find his story inspirational and his posts meaningful.
So, I ordered his book on iTunes and, in general, this is what it’s about – how to change your habits. He advises to
- Fully commit to a single habit at a time, not a bunch.
- Start with creating a positive habit before you tackle giving up a negative habit.
- When giving up a negative habit, identify your triggers and get a support group (not necessarily a group like AA, maybe just a friend you can text or call when you are having a moment of weakness), which can also function to hold you accountable.
- Simplify your life.
- Be mindful of your life.
Religion for Atheists (Alain de Botton)
I heard de Botton speak on a Ted Radio Hour show and he referenced “religion without doctrine”. These words totally resonated with me, because I am an atheist with a fondness for certain aspects of my church years – the sense of community, the grounding in morality, the rituals. I love this stuff. This is the good stuff about religion (for me anyway), and the things that address my emotional needs. So why don’t I take those parts of religion I love (singing Christmas carols, reading the Prayers of the People from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, wishing people peace) and use them? That’s what this book is about.
And y’all know I am about taking what works for you and leaving the rest behind.
Those are my musings. What about you?
- What did you listen to or experience this week that inspired you, motivated you, or helped you on your path?
- What mental state do you inhabit that brings you happiness and purpose?
- [New question but equally important] What isn’t working? What made you mad or sad or say, “Life sucks!!”?
Thank you, for being my sounding board. This week, today, I really needed you.
This is for Firoozeh. Thanks for being my friend.