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Since describing the improvements in the Living In Reverse I and Living In Reverse II posts, I have noticed changes in myself that reveal just how much my mind, body, and spirit were struggling before I started following the Living PowerLife approach to health and well-being. The theme for this post is without responsibility there is no freedom.
Until about 4 years ago, I took very little responsibility for my health and happiness. In fact, instead of following a plan with goals and accomplishments, I simply let health and happiness happen. While I did go to the gym, I had very little conscious awareness of the connection between what I ate and good health. I also paid little attention to how my thoughts determined how happy I felt.
I do not want to give you the impression that until 4 years ago, I was lazy. The opposite is true. Over the years, I earned a master's degree, worked full-time, had an active social life, ran a successful non-profit, published my first book, managed 2 websites, produced several public access television programs, produced and hosted two radio shows, was in a long-term relationship, and had an active writing and speaking profession. The difference between then and now is illustrated by where I focused my energy and why.
Before, most of my energy was focused outward with very little left for inner connections. I went from one project to the next, sometimes juggling several at once, without really taking the time to learn about what frightened, energized, soothed, excited, emboldened, inspired, or inhibited me.
In other words, I became very good at helping people recognize what frightened, energized... them but horrible at doing this for myself. I lived this way because, on some level, I was rewarded. I was rewarded financially, socially, and personally. The rewards, however, came with a few price tags.
First, focusing most of my energy on others, resulted in me I living a disjointed life. I was not connected to my inner guidance and spent most of my time honoring the guidance of other people. This affected my professional and personal relationships. Because I valued an inner compass that was not mine, I came across sometimes as conflicting and unpredictable.
Second, I became depended on others for feelings and conditions that I should have controlled for myself. I did not take responsibility for my own health and happiness. I did not value myself enough to do the work that was needed to learn about me. Instead, I allowed others to project their expectations and hopes on to me in exchange for a false sense of acceptance and love. I lived in a gilded cage, but I was just as trapped and miserable as any wild animal in the woods.
Now, most of my energy is focused inward with some reserved for outer connections. Instead of moving from one project to the next without regarding how the project fits into my life story, I take the time to see which is best for me.
Before reaching out my hand in friendship, which I value greatly, I take the time to get to know the person so that I can determine if friendship is possible. If I ever decide to consider another long-term relationship, I plan to avoid being bowled by my emotions. I will take the time to determine if the relationship would be healthy for us both.
So, what other changes come with my new direction? Well, my memory is back to where it was in my 30's. By claiming responsibility for my own health and happiness, I am free of the constant anxiety over what other people think about me. The mental energy that I once used to attend to this fear of rejection, is now free to be used in other ways.
I have no joint pain or clicking noises in my knees when I walk up and down the stairs. This can be attributed to the fact that I am eating better, and drinking more water than any other liquid, but I also think that having a more relaxed body overall helps too.
I sleep more soundly, I wake up feeling refreshed and actually smiling. When I do stay awake too late, stray from my usual routine, or eating habits, I am not affect as dramatically as before. I bounce back faster.
I no longer have the feeling of loss as before. Once I lived with an incredible feeling of loss. I could not identify the source of the loss, but was constantly aware of the feeling. Now, I understand because as I continued to reconnect with my inner guidance the feeling of loss lessened.
I am not afraid that I will lose my confidence, sense of safety, or internal peace. In my gilded cage, I lived with the constant fear that the rug would be pulled out from under my feet. In fact, that was the state of my life back then. Just as I felt I was getting my emotional and mental footing, someone would pull the rug. Now, because I have taken responsibility for my sense of confidence, safety, and peace I do not let fear of the unknown stop me from trying new things like I did before.
From my PowerLife to yours,
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