I had a particularly difficult time writing about April. How could I possibly summarize what is going on in my life right now? In my head? In my heart? And then this little gem landed in my Inbox from the lovely ladies at Reverb10.com.
What is shifting in your life? Have any of the seeds you planted during Reverb10 manifested? Are any of the things you wanted to manifest in 2011 revealing themselves?
Those few lines above have been in my Drafts folder for a long time. Tonight I felt like it was time to finish this post, even if it doesn’t do justice to how I feel about April. First, I’ll share some of the seeds I planted back in December before I explain how their roots are now growing deep and holding me up in ways I never imagined.
In December, I chose one word that I hoped would describe 2011. I chose: ममता (mamataa) or आत्माप्रेमन् (aatma prem). I planted a seed called self-love when I said:
Given the challenges I faced this year and the changes that occurred in my life, I have discovered that I need to focus more on reclaiming my life for myself. [...] I really do have to take better care of myself and put myself first. To take care of myself, I must love myself. I hope I can work towards that in 2011.
When the prompts asked what I learned about myself in 2010 and what I would try in 2011? I said this:
I can do a million things, but it doesn’t mean I should.
I’m going to live my life to the best of my ability and enjoy things that bring me joy – and in the meantime, I am going to try to live a life that is balanced and healthy for my body.
When I wrote a letter to myself, I gave myself the following advice:
You’re going to meet someone. Or a few someones. I’m not going to tell you whether it works out because ultimately, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you will put yourself out there more and take more risks for love in 2011.
You’re going to lose some weight and get stronger – but it will mean so much more now than it would have in the past. It will mean more because you actually love yourself, for the most part, at your current weight than you ever loved yourself when you were 40 pounds lighter. Be grateful. Be thankful for where you are today and where you will be tomorrow. Also, get on your mat more.
Those closest to me will know why all of these previous statements are important and how they truly began to unfold in April. I’m still growing into my choice to keep certain things in my life private. That is, I don’t blog about everything or tweet or post Facebook status updates about some of the more personal things going on in my life.
So the statement about meeting someone? After a few unsuccessful attempts at online dating, I did meet someone. That was a little over a month ago. It’s too soon to know where it’s going, but I do know the Universe got it right this time. It may not last forever or even another month. I have no idea. But it is a good thing right now. The right thing. I’ve come to a number of important realizations over these last five weeks. I won’t ever doubt my ability or need to take a risk for happiness, to trust people again, or to feel this happy with someone. I’ve come so far in that I’ve overcome much of my past in a few years. I’m able to go into this without the baggage I had before grad school. I do want to share my life with another person after all. I can be myself. I’m sure my BFFs are all ready for the giddiness to end. I hope it doesn’t end for a long time.
But even those of you who are mostly online friends have certainly noticed my fitness and health updates. I try not to bombard everyone with tweets about my progress, but it’s a huge part of my life now. I am eating healthier (and more) than I’ve probably ever eaten. Yes, I plan most of my meals, I keep track of what I eat, I eat a ton of raw foods, and I cut out a lot of sugar and carbs. Still, I enjoy my chocolate and beer and wine and I always will. I went off some medications I’d been taking for awhile… some of which I’d taken for half my life. I sleep. I am stronger than I’ve probably ever been in my life, too. I had no idea after only a few months that I would be able to bench 75 pounds five times or do 100 sit ups (or more, I’m sure, if I tried) or run up the stairs to my lab without being out of breath. Those things are worth their weight in gold to me compared to the 25 pounds I’ve dropped in five months. Technically, I’m still “overweight” based on my height, but I could care less. I feel good.
It wasn’t easy. It will never be easy, but I am glad I’m taking care of my body again. It takes hard work, a routine, quite a bit of pain, discipline, and tons of motivation and feedback from family, friends, and trainers. I couldn’t have done it without supportive people in my life. So… hugs all around… to everyone who sent me encouragement the last four months.
I had to say “No” to certain things to make time for my health. I changed my budget and daily routine to make room for myself. I said “Yes” to other things that made me content. I am certainly not an “ideal” grad student. I don’t spend nearly enough time doing things other people think I “should” be doing. I don’t care about perfection or pleasing others like I used to. And I’m a much happier person for it.
The minute I started loving myself, my life started again. I’ve blogged about this before: To know I had to love myself, I had to be still. I had to pay attention and look inside so I would know what needed to be done. And in this moment, and probably many moments tomorrow, I will *know* I am happy because I am not seeking out happiness anymore. This is The Way, The Tao I have been trying to understand for years.
Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness. – Chuang Tzu
I love it.
*big giant grin*
So, now I ask you: What is shifting in your life? Are any of the things you wanted to manifest in 2011 revealing themselves?
This post is part of #Reverb11, an online initiative to reflect and manifest. I participated in #Reverb10 in December 2010, but now read monthly prompts from the Reverb team in an attempt to reflect on the past and present and manifest what is to come in the future. You should check it out.