Attraction

I think part of the reason it has taken me so long to write my next post is because I was struggling with the title. My original title was “Fear,” because I wanted to say something about fear and how I can allow it to paralyze me and keep me from taking the next step toward the life I want. It wasn’t quite right though, because I want the titles of my posts to be the goals I’m trying to achieve, not the things that are in the way. 

I’m a big believer in the law of attraction. Not because I read The Secret (which I did), or saw What The Bleep Do We Know? (which I also did), but because I have seen it in practice in my life. After I read The Secret and saw the movie, I decided to try the technique listed in the book. Quite simply, you need to focus your cognitive and emotional attention on what you want. You can think about it, talk about it, put a vision board up in your room with pictures of it, or whatever helps you to keep it in your mind. The important part of it is the emotional focus. You need to get yourself into the space of feeling like you already have it. If you focus on how much it sucks that you don’t have it, that doesn’t count. You need to find a way of evoking the feelings of joy and gratitude that would come from receiving it. Should you be able to manage this and sustain it, you will literally attract what you want into your life. 

I’m a pragmatist who is concrete and literal – to a fault at times. I wasn’t going to believe in that hocus pocus until I saw it for myself. Yeah, they had the woman in The Secret movie who cured herself of breast cancer, but maybe she also walked in the woods in bare feet and got some mysterious bug guts on her skin which worked their way into her system and cured her. There was no control group. So, I decided to try it. I needed a new laptop for nursing school as mine had just died (taking a bunch of important files with it, I might add). I started thinking about the kind of laptop I wanted. I got a picture of it from the web and hung it in my room. I thought about how nice it would be to be able to do my homework at home in my underwear instead of hauling my ass to school on my bicycle and using the library computers. I pictured myself at home, a cup of my friend Vajra’s homemade chai tea next to me, my two cats at my feet, writing a school paper and feeling content. I started doing that around the first of the year. In April I did my tax return. Up until then I had been getting $300 – $400 back each year. When my check arrived, it was over $1000 and was exactly the amount I needed for the laptop I had my eye on. 

Say what you like about coincidences, but that was a pretty powerful one for me. If it was a coincicence, so what? As a medical professional I know that a placebo which someone thinks is a real medication can have a real effect on the body. The laptop experiment jumpstarted my attempts to use positive energy to bring positive things into my life. It took me a while to get out of the habit of being negative. I had started a lot of mornings in a row saying to myself “well, this day will probably suck like yesterday.” My friend Heidi from Kindred Spirits camp starts each day raising her hands into the air and shouting “This is the best day of my life!” at the top of her lungs. When I first met her at camp and saw her doing that, I thought it was silly and a little embarrassing. Heidi was always in a good mood though, and it was contagious. She also shared the story of how she healed herself from Lyme Disease using the law of attraction. She took the music to one of her favorite songs by Deva Premal & Miten, and wrote her own words: “Miracles happen all along/one is happening to me as I sing this song/light shines down from heaven above/and heals my body with the power of love. My life is divinely guided/I am always headed in the right direction/light shines down from heaven above/and heals my body with the power of love.” I don’t know how long her sessions were, but she created a meditation practice that she did every day, sitting quietly and chanting her song over and over. She pictured herself completely healthy. She felt the joyful feeling of being free from Lyme Disease. She felt the gratitude of being healed by the version of divinity that works for her. Today she is free from the disease.
I decided to learn from Heidi’s example. I started making lists of what I was grateful for first thing in the morning. I started making a point of sending positive vibes to people who pissed me off. I made little cards with short sentences about what I wanted and put them up in my apartment. I phrased them as though they had already happened. “I have good friends at school who like me and want to spend time with me.” “I focus well when I study and get good grades.” “I treat my patients at clinical rotation with love and compassion and help them heal.” I can be clumsy, and I was worried about dropping bedpans on the floor, so one that I added at a friend’s suggestion was “I gracefully carry bedpans.” 

That’s the trick of it. You can’t say “I don’t spill bedpans,” because what the universe hears is “spill” and you attract more spillage. Which brings me back to my topic. You can’t say “I want to be less afraid,” or even “I’m not afraid,” because the universe hears “afraid” and sends you more fear. My friend Lisa taught me this during breathwork sessions at camp. You must always phrase your intentions in the positive. “I am peaceful.” “I am courageous.” “I am calm in all situations.” It’s actually not that different from the work I used to do with 2 year olds, who can’t reverse their actions. If you say “don’t touch the outlet!” they hear “outlet” and touch it. You need to say “walk away,” or “go get me that doll please.” When I had my little group of ten 2 year olds at the school where I worked, I taught them to pretend to be trucks backing up. We would all walk backwards and say “beeeeeeep beeeeeeep beeeeeeep.” When we were on the playground and they were going toward something dangerous, like the time we found a wasp’s nest, I would just say “Back up! Beeeeeeep beeeeeeep beeeeeeep!” They’d all start imitating me and back away from the danger. 

It’s not easy. Changing a habit is difficult, especially one that you started as a kid and which is reinforced by the culture in which you are immersed. People’s natural inclination is to focus on the negative. If something unpleasant happens to you, you have an immediate emotional response: anger, fear, sadness. You think about how unfair it is or how much it sucks. If it involves physical discomfort it’s even harder. The fact remains though that the more you focus your energy on what sucks in your life, the more suckage you invite. Every time you can pull your focus away to something good or something you’re grateful for or something you want more of in your life, it makes a difference. Over time, the emotional response to adversity that you believed was completely out of your control becomes a choice. If you could choose in that moment, what would you want to feel?

Am I there all the time? Nope. The reason I wanted to call this post “fear” at first was because part of me is afraid of being healthy. Food addiction isn’t the only thing that sabotages me when I lose weight. It’s fear. Fear of being attractive to other people. Fear of the responsibility I’d have to take for my life if I couldn’t blame all my problems on being fat. Fear of how people would respond to me if I decided to feel good about myself despite being overweight. My girlfriend Ruth, who continues to be an amazing support to me on this journey, recently told me about the Health At Any Size community. While some of the body positive movement gets a lot of flack from people about promoting unhealthy eating behavior, this particular group believes that one can in fact be healthy despite having a weight that is above the standard norm. That’s something else that was in the movie Fed Up that I mentioned in my first post. Heavy people can in fact be quite healthy, and thin people can be unhealthy on the inside. This blog can’t even be posted on the Health At Any Size website because it mentions weight loss. 

So here is where I slightly shift my focus. I want to attract health into my life. I want to move my body every day. I want to choose healthy foods for myself. I want to choose healthy emotional states for myself. I want to learn to meditate in a way that works for me. I want to chant more. I want to spend time with people I love and show them how grateful I am for their presence in my life. I want to like myself the way I am. If practicing those things every day leads to me losing weight, great. If it leads to me staying the same weight but being healthier physically and emotionally on the inside, that’s gotta be OK too. Last night I went to a Krishna Das kirtan at The Colonial Theater. I chanted with several of my loved ones and many more beloved strangers. The shakti was all around me, and love was flowing freely among us. In those moments, what I look like matters about as little as a small smudge on the window. I can still see through it to the beauty outside – and within.

Advertisements

Stillness

The necessity of stillness is something that appears in the sacred texts of many religions and spiritual practices. In Christianity you hear about God’s “still small voice.” God doesn’t talk to any of us humans in the booming voice of Charlton Heston. If you want to hear it, you have to learn to become quiet and still. My favorite book by Dean Koontz is called “Intensity.” The protagonist in that book is a woman named Chyna Shepherd. She says in the book that God’s voice is so small and so quiet that most folks who manage to hear it mistake it for intuition.

Lemmie tell you, I suck at stillness. Presence, the topic of a previous post, I’m getting pretty good at. When I manage to stay in the present, and my senses are all alive, and I’m not worried or depressed, I can feel the channel between myself and the divine, that sense that all life is one, open up. The second part though, the stillness, which is what’s needed to hear the answers to your prayers, I have more difficulty with. Especially in today’s high-tech instant gratification 21st century world. I’m addicted to my devices, like many Americans. The other day I actually left the house and was riding Henrietta to the food coop, and I realized I’d forgotten my phone. I decided it was a sign that I was supposed to cope without it for an hour, and I actually managed. I rode to the coop, I ordered my lunch and sat at the table and ate it, and I rode home. And it was hard.

One of the things I am doing on the path to becoming an emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy person is Breathwork. It’s something I discovered going to Kindred Spirits Camp. There are different types: Holotropic, Therapeutic, Transformational, Transpersonal. From what I can see, the differences are in the way they are facilitated. The breathing itself is the same. You move the greatest volume of air as quickly as you can. Don’t breathe so quickly that you can’t breathe deeply, and don’t breathe so deeply that you can’t breathe quickly. Eliminate the natural pause that comes between one breath and the next. Make it connected and circular. By hyperoxygenating yourself this way, you achieve all kinds of interesting effects. Hallucinations, spiritual experiences, trips into the past…holding an intention in your mind can sometimes guide your experience, and other times you just go off somewhere unexpected.

The original guy who started the technique, Stan Groff, was looking to simulate the LSD experience without using any substances. Some people do breathwork just for that purpose – to have a natural “high.” He also realized during his early experiences with himself and others, that people could bypass their natural defenses and go places emotionally that traditional therapy hadn’t been able to take them. That was the case with me my first year at camp in 2005. It continues to be the case for me today. I go to group Holotropic Breathwork Weekends, and I do individual Therapeutic Breathwork sessions with a local facilitator as well.

Jeremy is my breathwork facilitator. He is amazing. I could do a whole blog post just on him and our incredible friendship and all the good things that have come out of it for me. I was there the other day, and feeling kind of spiritually stuck. The stuck feeling was manifesting as a physical sensation. My body felt heavy like my skin was made of lead. I could barely lift my arms. Jeremy sat me up and supported me from behind, almost in a Lamaze type position. I’m sure this was deliberate on his part because he frequently sees the breathwork process as a rebirthing – the client is giving birth to herself, and also re-experiencing her own birth. You are both the mother and the baby.

Still feeling heavy and emotionally flat, I started talking about how hard it was connecting with my higher power. “I feel like I’m lost in the woods and flailing around,” I said. “I keep getting off the path and being unable to find it again. I have moments of seeing the light ahead, of having a sense that I am getting closer to God, and then something inside me throws me off the path again. Anxieties, or hangups, or bad self-esteem, or something…and then I’m blundering around in the dark again.” Jeremy was quiet a moment, and then he said, “Become a tree. Put your roots into the soil, and stretch your branches up to the sky and the sun. God will be there.”

Wow. Talk about a powerful statement about stillness! It was a perfect metaphor for the difficulty I have with stillness; how I’m always moving, moving, moving, if not physically than mentally. The simplicity of it was so beautiful it moved me to tears. Become a tree. Be still and listen. God will be there. God was there all the time. I broke through the paralysis and turned around, and Jeremy and I sat in each other’s arms and the tears of gratitude slid silently down my cheeks and between my lips. The music was playing, and I was silent and still. I could feel Jeremy’s heartbeat against my cheek. I could smell the essential oils he uses for aromatherapy. His sweet loving little dog Bindi licked my face.

Bindi

It’s not always easy, but it really is that simple. Divinity’s peaceful loving presence is all around us all the time. Be still and listen. Become a tree.

Success

My first week of riding the High Roller every day was a success.

According to my bathroom scale I lost 1.8 pounds. I love riding, and my body isn’t in pain like it sometimes is with bicycle riding. I’ve been a mobile advertisement for High Roller USA since so many folks have asked where Henrietta came from. I’m having moments like these when I’m rolling along, totally present, and admiring the sunset:

I went to see my massage therapist Friday and she said that my legs were “awake and alive” before I’d even had the chance to tell her I’d been riding a big wheel around.

As I was formulating what to say in this post, I got to thinking about the word “success.” It’s really kind of a loaded word, and not always a positive one for every human who utters it. I definitely don’t want to solely measure my success by the numbers on the scale. I was reading an article about plus size model Tess Holliday yesterday. She is my height, and weighs 70 pounds more than I do. By fat percentage standards alone, I would be considered a greater success than she. However, she has a steadily growing modeling career, a loving fiance, and a son. She is comfortable in her body in a way that I am not, at least not yet.

There is a lot of controversy about the Body Positive movement. Some people feel very strongly that encouraging anyone to feel good about themselves and their body is a good thing. Others think that it’s promoting overweight and unhealthy eating habits. When I stated on Facebook that I admired Tess Holliday, there was backlash from folks who felt like I was making a statement that it was OK to be morbidly obese. As a nurse, I guess I can see both sides of the issue. I don’t want kids and teens to grow up spending every moment feeling like their body isn’t good enough, and being so focused on their weight that they can’t enjoy their lives, but I also don’t want to come across like I’m ignoring the fact that obesity is an epidemic in our country and that kids today are the first generation with a shorter life expectancy than their parents because of it.

What I said on Facebook, and I’ll say it here, is that other people’s weight and health problems are none of my business. If someone comes to me as a nurse and asks for my help in losing weight, I will support her. If someone who is overweight comes to me and says she has decided not to spend her life feeling like crap about herself and trying one crash diet after another which doesn’t work, but rather to do her best to eat healthy and move her body and accept it and love it at whatever size it is, I will support her in that. I don’t want to come down on one “side” or another about the Body Positive movement. I want to firmly state my opinion that none of us has the right to judge another person, especially if we choose to judge one another by making mean public comments.

A lot of people measure success by how much money one has. Nurses can be paid a lot more than what I make if they work in a hospital (I am employed by the county nursing home), if they are willing to travel, or if they work in a big city compared to relatively small Keene NH. I’m definitely not going to deny that I grew up with the privilege that comes with being the child of upper middle class white parents. As long as I was willing to work hard in school, I was pretty much guaranteed financial success from birth. I don’t take that for granted, and I try to help out where I can to balance the inequity in the area of health care as well as other areas. I know a lot of people, both personally and through reading about them, who are wildly financially successful and remain unhappy people.

So if success isn’t being thin, and it isn’t being rich, what is it? My first thought is that it is being happy, but even that word can be kind of loaded and have different meanings for different people. A lot of folks think they’re happy if they get rich or thin, but it’s actually more like being high on drugs, the initial excitement of having achieved something. After that wears off though, if those people haven’t done any inner emotional and spiritual work, they will find that they have brought the inner void that they were trying to fill with external things with them to their swanky Park Ave apartment.

I think true happiness comes more from being present, the topic of another of my posts. How can having a lot of money make anyone truly happy in the present? It’s just paper, or a number on the screen of your bank account webpage. The things that I am learning to derive happiness from are immediate joyful beautiful spiritual experiences. The smell of rain (I rode Henrietta in a thunderstorm today, and it was glorious!). A sunset. Throwing your arms around someone you love and feeling his or her arms around you. My cats snuggled up with me on my ratty old recliner.

G&S

Cats are excellent teachers about being present and finding happiness in the simple things. The ring from a milk jug can make Susan (darker colored kitty) happy for an hour. Squeezing himself against my leg when I’m lying in bed and having me scratch his ears is ecstatic for George (orange kitty). When they get on my lap and I stroke their soft fur, and feel the vibration of their purring under my fingers, I can feel my heart rate slow, my breathing deepen, and my blood pressure drop. My world simultaneously shrinks to just the recliner in my living room, and expands to encompass the whole universe. All is still. My cats and I are one loving being, and as such we are connected to all other beings in the universe.

I think that I will measure my success by those kinds of moments. They happen when I’m riding the big wheel. They happen with my cats. They happen when I’m listening to music or singing. They happen when I’m having a loving moment with a friend or my girlfriend Ruth. They happen when Ruth and I take her dog Lola on an “adventure” and we achieve “helicopter tail.” She also appreciates bagels.

Bagel 2

Every time I become aware that I am present, and feeling connected, and alive, and loving, and peaceful, and not obsessing about my weight, I’ll call it “success.”

Presence

My father, who is a talented teacher, was fond of blowing my mind when I was a kid. My earliest memory of him doing this was when I was young enough to still be drinking from a covered cup. My cup had a rounded bottom, so that if I knocked it over it would just pop back up like a Weeble.

Weebles

The cup was called “Tommee Tippee,” and had a picture of a bear on it. The bear was holding up a Tommee Tippee cup of his own, which had a picture of a bear holding a cup of *his* own. I was sitting in my booster seat contemplating this cup, and I said, “How many bears are there?” My father looked up and said “an infinite number.” “What’s infinite?” I asked. “It never ends,” was his reply.

Tommee

Boom. Suddenly my psyche was overwhelmed with the concept of infinity. I felt the magnitude of it wash over me like one of the giant waves on St. Vincent’s Beach on Martha’s Vineyard. Perhaps my father was aware of what he’d just done, and perhaps he wasn’t. I believe he was. But he nonchalantly took another bite of his “poop cereal” (so named for its ability to make him poop) and said, “if you want to see infinity, aim two mirrors at each other.” I wasted no time going up to my parents’ bedroom, in which one entire wall was dominated by a huge mirror, and aiming my mother’s powder blue hand mirror at the big one. A door into infinity was opened for me and I gaped through it, trying to decide if it was scary or just awesome. I still haven’t made up my mind.

Another time, he pointed at a green easy chair we had in the living room and said “do you think everyone sees that green chair as the same green?” I said, “sure, ask anyone and they’d tell you it is green.” “Ah,” my father said, lifting one finger in his “I’m about to make an important point” gesture, “but you were taught that that color is green. What if, should you become able to look through my eyes, it would be blue to you?” Wow. Again, my brain awoke, and I could feel new connections happening in it. The idea that everyone could be actually physically perceiving the world in totally different ways and be unaware of it suddenly hit me, complete with all kinds of ramifications. My dad chuckled. He *knows* when he does that to me.

I think the most mind-blowing time he ever pulled that on me was when he told me that most of the stars we saw in the sky every night were no longer there. It takes light so long to get from where the star is to where we are, that by the time our eyes perceive it, the star has already gone supernova and died. Reality could never stay reality for long in the Goodenough household, and that was a good thing, because it taught my brain to be elastic both in perception and interpretation.

I have a vivid memory of walking out of Star Market in Brookline, MA with my dad. I must have been 5 or 6. I was holding his hand, and I asked him what meditation was. I don’t remember now where I’d heard the word. He answered “It’s thinking about nothing.” I spent the next several minutes trying to think about nothing, and had absolutely no success. I decided it was impossible, and that meditation must be something similar to the tricks that a visiting magician had done at my last birthday party. A slight of mind instead of a slight of hand.

I have a very different understanding of meditation now. I don’t think it’s so much thinking about nothing, as a state of being completely present. A few years back I read “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. It really made me think about how much time we waste living in another moment besides the one we actually happen to be in. Someone in a meeting said once that people who dwell in the past are depressed, and people who dwell in the future are anxious. True peace and happiness lie in being totally present.

I’ve never had much luck with meditation. My brain is really busy. Every time I try to sit and meditate I start thinking about the past or the future. I start making shopping lists in my head, or rehashing stupid things I said or did. In 2006 when I discovered Kirtan I was totally psyched, because this was a way that I could be present while giving my busy mind something to do. Music has always been spiritual for me (as I mentioned in an earlier post), and also a way to enjoy the moment and not get sucked into the future or the past. I have enjoyed every Kirtan experience I’ve had since, whether I was responding for the leader or just in the audience blissing out.

Many people have suggested body awareness as a vehicle to being totally in the present and/or meditating. Some people say to focus on your breath. Others recommend focusing awareness on one body part after another, slowly relaxing each one. In the past week I have learned that exercise is another way of doing that. It isn’t as though no one has said that to me before. I’ve had many friends who have claimed that jogging relaxes them, or is meditative. I always thought they were nuts. But find the right way of moving your body, the one that really works for you, and damned if it isn’t the truth. Looking back, I’ve had moments of feeling that way while swimming. I get totally focused on the feel on the water on my skin, and how my body becomes almost weightless.

Riding my High Roller for the last week, I have been surprisingly and delightfully present. First of all, I’m having both a tactile and an auditory happy memory. My body remembers the feel of being on the black and green big wheel of my childhood, even 35+ years later. My ears remember that particular sound of plastic wheels on pavement. The combination makes me feel a burst of joy. Henrietta (I’ve decided to name the High Roller Henrietta) has only one speed, so she can’t move as fast as a bicycle. I’m probably moving forward at jogging speed at the fastest, except when coasting down a hill of course. It’s perfect though. I’m enjoying the feel and the sound of it. I’m looking around at the leaves, and the flowers, and the houses, and the faces of the people I pass (which are an eclectic mix of amused, surprised, embarrassed, and joyful). Last night when I was riding I saw a beautiful full moon and stopped to take a picture.

Moon

I know that riding Henrietta gets my heart rate up and is an aerobic workout. I’m realizing now that it’s also turning out to be an exercise in meditation, being present, and truly experiencing the beauty of the world around me. If I get a few strange looks from people when I’m out and about, it’s a small price to pay for such a peaceful joyous feeling.

Release

I have a friend who has also struggled with her weight, and she said to me once that she has decided to call weight loss “release.” Because the words “losing weight” didn’t work for her. She didn’t like to think of it as something lost. Rather something that no longer served her being released. That made sense to me.

My friend Lisa is a therapeutic breathworker, and before a session she asks us to share an intention. The intention must be phrased as a positive statement. So, you can’t say “I don’t want to be afraid anymore.” You say “I want to be brave,” or “I want to face each situation with courage.” If you use the first one, all the universe hears is “afraid,” and you end up manifesting more fear. It just now occurred to me that my whole journey toward health might have been hindered in the past by this same principle. If I’m always concentrating on “losing weight,” and all the universe hears is “weight,” then maybe the divine has actually been answering my prayers with weight gain.

Yeah, I said divine. I use the word God, too. So if that miffs you, you might as well be aware of it now. I used to identify as agnostic, as my parents did when I was growing up. My parents have now decided to identify as atheist. Me, I have had too many moments of touching and feeling divinity to call myself an atheist. When someone says that they know there’s no God, it makes just as little sense to me as those who say that they know there is only one God and his son is Jesus Christ, and that anyone who has different beliefs is going to hell. God, and what happens after death, is something that none of us knows. We all have to come to our own beliefs. If someone says they don’t believe there’s a God, who are the rest of us to argue?

I’m a 12-stepper. I have participated in several 12-step recovery programs over the years, and they are all different. The commonality is that they are all spiritual programs, and they ask each participant to define their higher power. I struggled with this for years, especially having been raised not to believe. My parents never discouraged me from exploring. They never forbade me to go to church or anything. So I did explore, starting at 10 years old, way before I realized I was an addict. I went to an Episcopal church for years, which was kind of a paradoxical experience, because on the one hand I didn’t believe a word of all the Jesus stuff we were taught there. On the other hand though, I could feel divinity there. Especially through music, which is what drew me to that church in the first place.

Anyway, the last thing I’ll say about God is that I believe that divinity wants to connect with each and every human being. Therefore, it would be pretty dumb of God to insist on people coming to him or her through one avenue such as Jesus Christ. I believe God, as something beyond human understanding, will manifest and connect through whatever images human beings can some up with. For some people it’s Jesus Christ. For others it’s Krishna. Or Allah. Or the Great Spirit. Or Gaia. Or Aslan the Lion from the C.S. Lewis books (the image I chose to use for several years in 12-step groups). If you want God to be a purple-skinned green-eyed giant toad, God will oblige as long as your request is sincere.

The thing about having a higher power that’s effective is that you can get out of your own way. As long as us addicts think we can control things, whether it’s our use of this or that substance, or whether the traffic lights all stay green on our way home from work, things fall apart. Many people have a “God Jar;” a receptacle in which they can put pieces of paper with worries on them. It’s symbolic for letting God handle things. That’s where we get back to the topic of “release.” “Let Go and Let God” is cliche, but there’s wisdom in it. If you’re having insomnia freaking out about something, and there’s nothing you can do about it at that moment, doesn’t it make sense to let it go? At least for the time being? Speaking for myself anyway, once I was willing to believe in a higher power, it sort of naturally led to my belief that not only am I powerless over my use of substances, I’m powerless over everything. The more I stop trying to control things, the more they work out. “Fake it ’til you make it” is another 12-step slogan. It sounds dumb. And it works. If you act as if you believe for a while, if you ask for divine help every morning and say thank you at night, you begin to see all kinds of evidence to support your belief.

My friend Cheryl calls these moments “God Shots.” Let me give you an example. Last night I went to a 12-step meeting and someone there said something that I reacted to with anger. It pissed me right off. My interpretation of what he said was that he was being an insensitive jerk. I stood up and stormed out of the meeting. When I got outside the church I saw two regular members coming in late. A 98 year old alcoholic woman whom I adore and call “Grandma” (with her loving permission), and her daughter. They were kind of struggling to get out of the car because of Grandma’s mobility issues, so I helped her into the church and into her seat. Then I sat down next to the daughter just in time to hear that the topic for that meeting was “anger.” Do I believe that God made Grandma and her daughter come to the meeting late so that they’d snag me into going back in and hearing the topic (and all the subsequent awesome things that people had to say about the topic)? You bet. Because since I’ve gotten serious about the 12 steps and my recovery, that kind of thing happens to me (and to those around me) all the time. I’m not asking you to believe what I believe. Just to accept me as one who believes. None of the rest of this blog is going to be me trying to persuade anyone to believe in God. It was just important to define my own beliefs.

So, I find myself ready for release. Of adipose cells that I don’t need. Of anger that I don’t need. Of the belief that I can control things I can’t. Of negative self-esteem. Of fear. Of the illusion that I’m alone. Someone commented on my last post saying basically that self-acceptance was more important to her than the number on the scale, and I wholeheartedly agree. Here and now I’m going to stop saying that I’m trying to lose weight. I’m going to keep track of my weight, because it motivates me and I know that I will feel better at a lower weight. My intention though, will be health. Eating things that are good for my body and not addictive substances for me. Exercising regularly. Engaging in the forms of prayer and meditation that work for me. Being kind to my fellow human beings. Compassion. Forgiveness. Everything that hinders my ability to achieve those things can be released.