I wanted to also start this new portion of my life with a very honest look at where I am both emotionally and physically. I hate myself and when I say hate, I don't mean a casual, indiscriminate use of the word hate, I mean HATE myself. I struggle with at times, crushing anxiety and depression, I never feel good enough to do anything, and I constantly struggle to see anything positive about myself, toss in several health issues that have left me feeling betrayed by my body and it is a perfect storm of self-criticism... it is super great. A few weeks ago, my therapist sat back after I honestly told her some of my inner dialogue and said "wow, that is pretty harsh." Yes, it is a gift to despise oneself as much as I do. A really crappy gift, kind of like a pile of manure.
The past year was a beautiful-awful year, filled with countless blessings and many challenges for myself personally. I have made a lot of progress, and I have learned a lot of great tools to help me to be more physically and emotionally healthy. And while the election was devastating and heartbreaking for me personally, it did give me the wonderful gift of being motivated to get off of my couch and to do something about the social issues I care about. I am more informed about politics (for better or worse) than I have ever been, and I am committed to working to change my community to fight against everything our president-elect has professed to stand for (I think he is lying, but I digress). The other gift that seems to have entered into my life for better or for worse as a result of this election is that for once in my life it is clear that my feelings are making others uncomfortable, and I feel the freedom to not feel responsible for their feelings. A dear friend of mine has seen my anger and frustration and mistaken it for hate... I don't hate much, I hate ideals and injustice, but I can't say honestly that I hate anyone when I really think about it. I do however feel a responsibility to fight against everything this new administration represents. There comes a time when it is necessary to do whatever it takes to stand up for what is right, I believe we are solidly in that time. I will not be silent just to make those who are complacent feel better about me.
In one of my favorite series of books by a little-known author Professor Dumbledore tells the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge "If your determination to shut your eyes will carry you are far as this, Cornelius... we have reached a parting of the ways..." he later states "The only one against whom I intend to work, it Lord Voldemort. If you are against him, then we remain... on the same side." I have not been able to stop thinking about these quotes since the election and this is firmly where I stand. I feel sad that some of the dearest people in my life can't see this for what it is, that they can't resist judging me based on what makes them comfortable, instead of what they really know to be true about me and my character. I am babbling, but I felt this was an important thing for me to get out into the open as I begin this journey to a better me.
So, today is the first day on my journey, I am sure there will be detours along the way, but I am committed to restoring my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Here are some of the steps I am taking as I move forward...
1. Clean eating - I need to be eating a gluten and dairy free diet, with minimal processed sugar. Today I begin that diet, I am starting my day with a water kiefer smoothie and an apple, so far so good.
2. Working out - I am working out daily to Bikini Body Mommy's workouts, using 5.0 until the free version of 6.0 starts in two weeks. I am also committed to running three times a week and slowly adding mileage with the hopes of running at least one more marathon possibly in the fall. I also plan to remain committed to my physical therapy strengthening exercises. These are my base goals, I also am adding a push-up challenge and want to get some yoga in each week. My year would also feel like a success if I could become strong enough to complete one pull up... just one ha!
3. Mindfulness - I need to add meditation back into my life each day. I got a new watch for my birthday and one of the apps on it reminds me to breathe, my goal for now is ten min. of breathing each day, with the hope of increasing that to a few full meditation sessions each week.
4. Spirituality - I am working toward increasing my spirituality. I just finished a book called 10 Great Souls I Want to Meet in Heaven. It was inspiring and very healing to my troubled soul. I am in the middle of reading The Crucible of Doubt, and this is proving to further strengthen my belief that I am not here on this planet at this time to help others be comfortable with me standing up for what I believe is right... Jesus didn't worry about that, and I am not going to either. I also plan to fully immerse myself in the Healing Through Christ programs and in my personal study.
5. Service - I am working to complete my ticket for Woodbadge, an adult training program for Boy Scouts; this includes working to start an interfaith hike to different Churches in Kalamazoo, and putting on a conservation event for boys and girls within our congregation. I am also committed to working to improve relationships between parents and leaders in our Pack and making sure we have a functioning pack committee.
Yikes... that is a bit overwhelming and yet I am feeling today total confidence in my ability to do these things if I remember what my priorities are. In the past I have tried to use a word as my focus for the year, this year it is "Priorities." I am really trying hard to prioritize the things in my life... I want to be focused on what is the most important and not the most urgent. I want to be focused on what I care about and not things that just eat away my time... it is going to be interesting and if nothing else, I am sure it will be a wild ride.