I like being me …

It wasn’t always that way. There have been a hundred thousand times I have felt “I wish I were them” … I remember back in grade school, a photo flashback … Connie Noble is slim built with straight hips … I admire that type of frame in a girl … I am more curvy built even as a pre-teen. Connie Noble can wear Jordache Jeans – you know – the kind with the horse sewn on them. I am jealous. Everyone notices her and she’s popular. I want to wear jeans with a horse sewn on them. I want to look as good as Connie Noble does in her Jordache’s.

I notice some girls just know how to fit in with others … they are articulate and funny. I am jealous. I want to be articulate and funny and fit in too. But I’m naturally introverted and thus I wish I weren’t me, I wish I were extroverted like them.

Ever since I could talk I asked my mom for a horse. I use to fantasize being born into a horse family and not my own family. Instead of showing chickens and rabbits at the fair, I would dream of showing a horse and spending hours in the barn.

I felt so dissatisfied with not having all the things I wanted as a kid and admired in others, I didn’t like being me, sometimes I hated being me. I couldn’t do any of the things that girls could do … I couldn’t sing, I couldn’t dance, I played the piano without rhythm. I wasn’t even that great at sports. How depressing. At least it was for me.

Even though that was my focus growing up, on how inadequate I was, those few paragraphs don’t give a clue as to the blessings I failed to count in my life. I lived where I could walk and bicycle for miles in safety, I came from an intact loving family, I grew up with all necessities and even some extras. I had opportunities to learn arts and crafts and won sewing contests locally and even nationally. My parents supported me in the college education of my choice. We had loads of holiday vacations and a swimming pool in the back yard.

I feel shame and guilt for all the ingratitude I held inside. It’s taken me a while of reframing my life and forgiving myself. And giving myself permission to work on creating those things that are meaningful to me … particularly horses … horses have been the most enriching and grounding experience I have achieved in my life. Horses aren’t for everyone – you may have something else that drives your longings. But horses are my thing.

I have many blessings to be thankful for … I’m happily married to a supportive husband. We live in the country surrounded by horses, land and trees. The natural beauty and solitude is exactly what my spirit craves. My family is proud of what I’ve done in life. My work as a therapist helping others fully live their lives is extremely fulfilling.

I’m glad I’ve come to this point in my life where I can say I like being me. I don’t want to be anyone else. Yes, there are still people I admire who can sing and dance and look good in clothes that I love, but I no longer wish I were them anymore. I simply acknowledge their blessings, am glad they have them (hope they appreciate their natural gifts), and feel gratitude for my own.

Yep, I can honestly say, I Like Being ME!

Shades of Blue

Blue Agate

I rarely argue with my husband. We just don’t need to, we see eye-to-eye on most all things and when we don’t I can just give him a “look.” But the other day was one of those rare days. Currently in my work I’m in the middle of writing two books and creating an online course, sitting endless hours at the computer. My husband believes that sitting is being lazy and sitting at the computer is just playing around.

I’ve felt him “thinking” this before – wives are good at that type of intuition, but he’s never said it before. This time he said it. And I retorted back quickly that yes, his work was outdoor manual labor but my work was creative and required quiet times of sitting and that I resented his assuming that “work” was defined only as doing something you disliked or that made you sweat.

Then it occurred to me that his belief, still active under the surface was one he had grown up with and one that would have kept him at work he hated if it weren’t for me. Because it’s what is called a “false belief.” It’s ok to have passion and love for the work that you do – work does not have to equate to drudgery. It’s old fashioned to think that work is only manual labor, yes, some of it is, but much isn’t either now that we have running water at our fingertips, washers and dryers, stoves that turn on at only a twist of the wrist vs. having to chop wood and light a fire.

My husband is actually in a job he loves. It’s outdoors, he is surrounded by a farm and animals, he sets his own hours for the most part. It’s ideal for his ADHD creative type of personality. When we first met he was steered towards a job at Ford’s. Assembly plant work would have been good money and benefits but would have killed his spirit. I treasure my husbands spirit and supported him in work decisions that made far less money but were more in line with who he was.

I reminded him of that and named the false belief for what it was. I expect to be supported in the choice of work that nurture’s my spirit too. And if not supported, then absolutely not undermined. He’s a good listener and I hope I was able to slay that belief dragon for him. There’s nothing worse than living in congruence with your spirit while another part of your brain tries to sabotage that by saying you’re not good enough or you’re not worthwhile or you’re not “really working” if you don’t sweat or hate your work.

I have my own false beliefs, the dragon’s I’m working on slaying. A couple that come to mind have to do with eating and body image. Since I’m overweight right now, they are rearing their ugly heads – maybe just to give me the vantage point to cut them off?! ¬†What false beliefs am I struggling with? One is that fat people aren’t beautiful and the other is you have to eat everything on your plate or you’re bad.

I’m fat right now and yet I feel beautiful and I can dress beautifully too. Sometimes I feel down or frumpy, but that really has nothing to do with my weight as I do recall those exact same feelings when I was thinner. The harder one is not wasting food. That one is damning. It feels like a sin to not have planned ahead so that all food is used and nothing goes to waste. I recall growing up with relatives who lived through the Great Depression and at dinner, if the bread was moldy, you just cut off the mold and ate the bread. There was pride in being frugal and making good use of EVERYTHING.

Looking at false beliefs is really like getting to the heart of the matter. I love the image of the blue agate and all it’s layers of colors, finally getting to the pure crystals on the inside. The soul. I’m ready to take a critical look at those shades of blue.

Wellness, Why Weight

scale

Lose weight and cure your diabetes and heart disease.

Weight is a risk factor.

And there are so many other things I’ve heard, and I do believe there must be some association but I’m wondering what role it’s playing in my life.

I’m at an “obese” BMI and wearing size 14 and 16’s … I can’t keep my legs crossed comfortably. I feel fat … 5 years ago I was a size 6.

But … and that’s a big BUT (vs. butt)…

I’m healthier than I have been for years. My mood is good, I feel self-confident, my chronic pain levels are holding at a 1 or 2, my blood pressure has come down, and my cholesterol is good. And I’m not on any over the counter or prescription medications. After a lifetime of allergies and asthma, I’ve had a year and a half of clear breathing and being allergy free. I haven’t been sick with a cold or the flu for the past 2 years (and I have never gotten a flu vaccine).

I have a good wellness routine of detoxing. I avoid plastics, phthalates and endocrine disruptors found in synthetic scents and personal care products. I proactively use essential oils as natures medicine and get healthy fiber and probiotics by drinking kefir in a green drink daily.

I can joke with myself and say I’m as healthy as a horse … and am an easy keeper too. Which would be fine if we were in a state of famine but we’re not, we are in a state of plenty. Thanks to epigenetics and a thrifty ancestor, my body can thrive on 1000 calories a day but my stomach and mouth cannot – they want 2000 calories a day.

Does it matter if I’m healthy? Absolutely. Does it matter that I’m healthy and obese? I guess that’s a matter of mindset. And maybe willpower or won’t power. You can tell I’m struggling with weight and the connection or rather disconnection with wellness. I’m physically and mentally experiencing the highest level of wellness I’ve had in my life but emotionally I’d love to shed excess pounds. Is that just a vanity factor? Should it matter? Any suggestions?

Observing

One of the hardest things for me is to ground myself in the here and now. I have to work at being “present.” I easily go into my head to think and plan and dream. But the most peace I experience comes from observing and appreciating nature around me.

Nature photography is one way I use to “capture the moment.” One of the hardest things for a photographer is similar to women and makeup. Women believe they are more beautiful with makeup, and many times they are. But there is a beauty and freedom in being natural too. These pictures are “real” … like a woman without makeup … they are untouched, uncropped, and fresh out of the camera. And this is what I observed this week …

The leaves on the ground.

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Sassafras

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Maple

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Oak

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The winding road as a metaphor of life.

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The play of light in trees and on weeds.

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The sun in the east and the moon in the west sharing the same sky.

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The beautiful oranges of Bittersweet and a Painted Lady butterfly.

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Observing nature is a type of meditation. A time to unplug from the computer, take a break from my thoughts and simply breathe in the simple miracles around me. A feeling of awesomeness and gratitude seem to suffuse the air and that’s worth sharing.