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I Quit the Gym, and No One Cared

This writing is kind of a confessional. I have been paying for a gym membership for years and not using it. I had been a member of this gym for at least 20 years and the 1st 10 years I used it religiously. I went to classes, I had friends there, I was a gym rat. But life changed and my friends dropped out. They gym changed, there were no more classes but I still went, just not as often.

Fast forward to 4-5 years ago. I don’t want to go anymore. I tried, I would make an effort. It would last a couple of months and fall off. I would try again, same thing.  2 years ago, I tried to quit. They offered a sabbatical instead. I could take 3 months off, no charge, and then return. Okay I tried that. I pretty much never went back.

For 2 years I have been paying  $29 a month for nothing. I don’t think I have been a handful of times in the last 2 years.  And I have a lot of excuses, but the truth is I don’t want to go.

So why all the drama about quitting?  I have thought about quitting every month for 2 years. Just pull the plug, right?

Here is the other truth, I need to lose weight. And I have shame around that. How can a fat girl quit the gym? What will people think? How can I just give up?

I am active, I love walking for exercise and am out there on a regular basis.  I have a sit/stand desk at work which I honestly use. I live upstairs so there is constant up and down, up and down. And I live alone, so everything that needs to be done from washing my truck to taking out the garbage is mine to do.

Even now I am explaining to you because I feel I have to justify quitting to my readers. Fat shame goes deep.

So back to quitting.  Every week I think I have to do this. I can’t afford to throw money. (honestly, I can’t).  But then I think how uncomfortable it will be. They will try to get me to stay. I will have to explain. There are so many “fit” people there watching me.  And you have to do this in person, there are papers to sign. I thought about taking a friend for support.  Every month it became bigger.

Until yesterday, when I said “Suck it up buttercup”. You have left jobs, men and homes. You can quit the gym.

I go in there. Yes, there were many “fit” people. No one pays attention to what I am doing. I go up to the desk and there is the Hot Gym guy manning the desk.  And I say “I want to cancel my membership” and he says “Okay” and gets the paperwork.

What???? Where is the judgement? Where is the disapproving looks?  Aren’t there going to be questions? Don’t I need to explain?

Apparently not.

We are having conversation, about the day, the weekend. At some point he asks me what am I going to do?  Oh, here we go, I have to explain.  I stumble on words like, well, umm, walking, not using. And he stops me and says “no I meant what are going to do this afternoon?”

That was it. All that drama. All that money. All that angst. It was all me. No one was judging me but me.  I am my own harshest critic. I beat myself up for my perceived flaws and am met with love and kindness.

Actually, the title should be I quit the gym and no one judged.

We get all caught in what we think the world thinks of us and then we realize they are not thinking at all. As much as that is humbling it is freeing.   If there is something that is not working for you, it is okay to change. It is okay to leave things behind and make room for something new or different in your life.

And all that judgement, just a mirror. It was me, judging me. Sure, there people around who are judgmental but that is more about them than us. That is their mirror.

Friends, if there is something that is calling to you then do it. Don’t worry about what anyone thinks.  Do your own thing, sing your own song, walk your own walk. And the ones who will meet you with love and kindness will find their way to you.

 

 

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Uncategorized

Fall In Love with your Life

Fall in love with your life. At least fall in love with as many pieces and moments of your life you can.  Right now, I am in love with this morning.  Maybe I won’t be in love with this afternoon or this evening, but right now I am in love. And this is the kind of moment that carries me through the difficult or challenging ones.

Fall in love with places: Your favorite coffee shop, bookstore, park, or easy chair. Fall in love with your home, your church, your best friends couch.  Hold these places sacred and speak aloud the love you have for them. These are the places that get us through the uncomfortable spots, the I don’t want to be here ones.

Fall in love with your beliefs, whatever they are. Say to yourself I love that I believe in….. This is what will support you when your ideas and beliefs are challenged. Love helps you stay the course.

Fall in love with people. The list of possibilities is endless; your friends, your family. Fall in love the nice checker at the store or the elderly woman tending her garden that you see all the time. Fall in love with your co worker that makes you feel maybe work isn’t so bad. Fall in love with your children, they are the best of us.  These are the people that help us fall in love with the ones are harder to love.

Fall in Love with your Life.

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Choice, Humanity, Inspiration, Love, Soul, Uncategorized

What We Choose is Who We Become

Ernest Holmes says: “We cannot live a choiceless life. Every day, every moment, every second, there is a choice. If it were not so, we would not be individuals”.

A few weeks ago I went to a lecture by don Miguel Ruiz Jr. What resonated most with me was his words around choice. The idea that “where I am right now and who I am right now, is the result of every choice I have ever made.”

We make hundreds of choices every day.  What to wear, what to eat, yes, no, right, left, up, down.  Those are the simple choices, the daily choices.  They shape our day and consequently our lives. We make them without great thought, and yet they create a pattern of living for us. And then ultimately we end up where we are.

Sometimes it looks like a bad choice, something that we wish would have done differently.  But that choice (among all the others) brought us to this moment.  However it looked, it had value.   By knowing that we are the result of our choices we can move forward in a way that accepts personal responsibility and control of how our lives unfold.

When we connect our choices and our Spiritual selves, we make good choices. We make healthy choices and we make choices that ultimately are for the good of humanity.  When we remember to choose from a place of love, of peace and of wanting better for ourselves, then we spread that throughout the world.

All of us have a life that has been filled with choices and that has brought us here to this moment.  We are not here together by chance, but by the choices we made along the way.

And what we do with those connections is our opportunity to help create a world that works for everyone. That is our moment to help spread love, bring peace, to be God and to see God in others. Individually we co create with others to create our reality. If I am living a life of peace and you are living a life of peace, then we multiply peace. Same with love, same with joy.

When we choose to see the good in the world, the world feels it. When we know that every human is a soul longing to be seen, the Universe responds. When collectively we choose to work for a world of peace, love, equality and abundance, life becomes better. When we choose love, the Universe feels it and sends love back so strong it fills our hearts and the hearts of humanity.

We are part of a greater design. As I live my life and you yours, we mesh and become something bigger, something greater than ourselves. We become a force.  We recognize that all of our individual choices have great meaning. We know that together our choices are creating our world.

As Nelson Mandela said “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears”

Namaste

 

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Blessings, Choice, daily practice, Gratitude, happiness, Inspiration, Uncategorized

My Happy Box

This is my Happiness Box. The plan is to take time on New Years day and remember the things that brought me joy the last year.  It has all kinds of events, moments, thoughts, big things, little things. Basically it is snapshot of the happiness in my life.

2016-09-03-08-07-05My friend is doing this also.  Same plan, filling her box with notes to look at New Years day.  But she has been in a dark place this last couple of months, and the Happiness Box was moved to the side. As dark times do, hers peaked and passed. And she was left to pick up the pieces and move ahead. But the box, still, was moved to the back.

Until one day we were doing something fun and I said “this goes in the Happiness Box. How is yours doing?” And she realized hers was forgotten. So she found it, and wrote a note. One note led to another. She remembered from the summer that brought her happiness. She started filling in the blanks, and life shifted a little bit for her. She started looking for happiness, and found it.

Today we were talking about this and I said “you forgot to be happy”. And that my friends, is the heart of the matter. How often do we forget to be happy?  We get wrapped up in the moment and forget that happiness is a choice too.

There are times in life where happiness is not to found. I have had those times, particularly around deaths. But other losses as well….divorce, foreclosure, job changes, empty nest, lost loves. There is a list of events that happened and I cannot pretend any of that goes in the Happiness Box.

But here is the thing, even within those dark moments there were small glimmers of happiness. Seeing a child laugh, a friends hug, a blue sky, a kind act and on and on. Those glimmers lead us home. Those glimmers are the “don’t you dare give up” support from the Universe. And we have to look for them. We have to court them. And then they come and then they stay.

I can visit the dark but I need to live in the light.  I need balance of seeing both in my life. Having some trouble, sadness or feeling lost teaches me to grow past that.  It teaches me to choose.  It makes me  remember and be grateful for the good in my life.

This is not a lollipop world where everything is wonderful. But having my Happiness Box grounds me to the virtues I want in my life.  It commits to seeking out that which gives me joy.  I physically name my joy and give gratitude.  It is a Spiritual Practice, and it is good.

So whether you make box, write in a journal, post it on social media or sing it to the world, celebrate everything that makes you happy. Because what you call into your life will appear and multiply.  So make that be your joys.

Be Happy

 

 

 

 

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Change, Choice, Courage, friendship, Growth, Relationships, Truth, Uncategorized

Having Hard Conversations

I am with a friend this week and a hard conversation comes up.  If you are in the US you know we having a lot of division regarding the killing of blacks by police. That is a stark statement, but that is what is happening. So people are lining up and taking sides. And we have peacemakers who say #lovematters or #alllivesmatter. But it does seem we called upon to choose a side. That is a problem for me. I know there is good and bad in each segment of the population. I can’t really choose to support one side over another.

But apparently my friend could, as she came down on the side of the police. And she made some racist statements and then ended it by saying “well, I am a bigot” in this offhand manner. I know I was supposed to laugh it off, I know I was supposed to ignore the statement. I know she expected me to support her or at least not call her out. Sigh.

These are the hard conversations, when it is your friend, your family, someone you want to have  a continued relationship with. It is easy online to stand up for what you believe. It is easy when you are in company of like minded people to stand up for what you believe. It is easy when you are disguised behind a keyboard to stand up for what you believe. It is hard when you are one on one with a friend and you have to say “well I am not a bigot, and this is why”

But I did it. If I am going to present myself as a person who does believe that all lives have value and that we have a problem with racism in our country, then I have to stand up and say that. Am I willing to risk being uncomfortable or offending a friend?  Are my beliefs worth that?  Yes. Am I willing to say I feel differently than you, I believe you are wrong? Well I guess I am.

speak the truth

So we had a conversation and I saw some of where she was coming from.  Her experience with a black person (beyond superficial) was not a good one. It was traumatic for her, and the police were her angels. And from that place she built a belief system on who is right and who is wrong. And the police came out on top.

I know what she went through was hard, and she struggles with it to this day. But I have a different experience. I have a close long term relationship with a black man . I have friends who are black. I am able to hear and see some of their struggles first hand. And I shared that with her. Maybe, just maybe, she saw some common humanity in all of our struggles. Maybe.

But this is what I know. My job is to speak my truth, even when it is uncomfortable. My job is to back up my thoughts with my words. Even when I don’t want to . It is not enough to stay quiet anymore. It is not enough to not “rock the boat”. That is how we got in this mess. It is not about being loud or forcing my ideas and beliefs on someone else.  I can speak respectfully, I can listen to the other side and I can learn from a different point of view.

But I will not be quiet anymore just to keep someone comfortable. I will speak my piece and call out racism, homophobia, misogyny or any other belief that keeps people down. If you are uncomfortable with that, I am not even sorry.  Because it is when we are uncomfortable we know we have work to do.

So speak up,  have those hard conversations. That is how we will make the changes we all want and need in our lives. Stand up for what you believe and do it with Love. Be willing to be the one who opens the conversations. Be Brave.

Namaste

check out EdgeofAnAngel on Facebook

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Choice, Daily Life, Growth, Inspiration, Relationships, Uncategorized

Letting Life Unfold

I am getting better at this, letting life unfold. But wow, it is hard.

Just like everyone at any given moment in my life, I have a lot of balls in the air. Most are not even related to each other. They are unsettled and undecided.  Who knows how everything is going to shake out. And it is hard for me to not start grabbing the balls and placing them where I want them.  And why shouldn’t I?

Well, for one thing that takes a lot of energy. Moving those balls around, convincing other people this is where they should be. Watching them in case one starts to roll. Feeling responsible that they are all well cared for and in good shape. This is a lot of work. And I am missing the moment and joys of today with all that rushing around.

And then what if the balls I am taking are not even mine? That is important to know, is this mine?  Just because something is in my field of vision does not make it mine. I have to be conscious of that and not take over what belongs to someone else. Here is a little example I have right now. My beloved friend is going through a break up. It is hers. I can be supportive, I can offer a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen with and a caring heart. But that is it. What they do with it, not my call. The lessons they learn, not mine. So as close as my friend is to me,  I am an observer in this.

Here is another, I am looking for a new position.  I work in an agency that has opportunities within my division and beyond. So I have spread my wings, took the tests and am interviewing in a few different areas. I want to take this ball and move it the way I want it to go. But I cannot see beyond the immediate moment right now, and I need to allow for the bigger picture to unfold. So I just move through it. I take the situations placed before me and do my best. I try to stay in a place of ease and grace. I stay with the knowledge that all of this leads me to my good and I need not rearrange the balls. Let life unfold.

Relationships…..this is where I really want to push. And it is the one area that I need to use the most restraint. Because really, a job, housing, a purchase, a decision on education or travel, that is all about me. And if I screw it up, I am the one who gets the lessons. But relationships, I am not in control here. I do not get to decide how someone reacts, what they want, and how they show up in my life. But if I can let life unfold the relationship, in whatever form it takes, it will be authentic. And that is what I truly want.

“As someone who has faced as much disappointment as most people, I’ve come to trust not that events will always unfold exactly as I want, but that I will be fine either way.”

Marianne Williamson

I do have to be responsible and accountable. I can’t just do nothing. I have to be an active participant in my life .I set the context for what I want in my life and I let it unfold.  I have keep my eyes and my heart open and act accordingly. But I don’t need to be stressed or worried. I can remember this is not all on me, it is me with God.

So I am going to sit back and let life lead the way. I am going to stay in a place of trust that all good comes my way and I need not push it. Life is to be enjoyed and there are wonders around every corner.  This is a wonderful amazing journey and I want to be open to where ever it leads. By following my intuition and my heart, and having trust in the Divine,  I can enjoy the ride.

Namaste

 

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attachment, Change, Freedom, Growth, Inspiration, Lessons, Uncategorized

Don’t Settle for Less Than What Loves Me and Grows Me

It feels like I am ready to let go of some things: some people, some dreams, some ideas, some hopes, just let go. I know I cannot move forward while hanging on to what does not work. Whether a relationship, a friendship, a job, it is time to let go.

I can honor the past and the lessons without living in them. I can appreciate the times with people and not try to drag them into the present. The lesson I get every day is you must move forward. In some form or another that comes up every single day.

Quit trying to make outgrown ideas fit.  Quit trying to mold relationships into something they are not. Let go of the dream that is not working for me. Let go of the idea if I don’t hold onto to what I have now I will have nothing.  Be brave, step forward. Not just in a place where I am loved, but in places I am not.  When people show me where they stand, believe them and move on. Don’t settle for less than what loves me and grows me.

And it seems some things in my life lately have a new lesson around them.  Telling me loud and clear it is time to make a change.  I have started with baby steps. I have started saying no when I need to. I am trying to speak the truth in a friendship of long standing that has been unbalanced and unhealthy for me. I have let go of strings that kept me attached to a past romance when I was still longing for more.  Honestly, this scares me, what if I end up without my friends, without romance?

Sometimes I feel like I am called to walk alone and I really really don’t want to do that. I really want connection beyond the surface.  But the more life goes on and more I lay my head down alone every night, the dream dies a little. Still, I cannot settle. My heart, my soul calls out for something real, something beyond what I have known. I keep thinking if I clear the path that love, that experience will find its way to me. If I keep the path cluttered up with diversions and things outgrown how will the new come in?

And so I let go, a little more all the time. I watch myself become peeled down, stripped away, with less connection and a little adrift.  But I also feel free and ready.  I am trying to not push the river, but to let it flow. I am trying to let life find me and not have an agenda around that. I am trying to lean in and breathe. I am trying to be okay with not knowing, not designing, not manipulating the path, but just walking it.

Attachment is so hard. If I were to choose what my lesson in this life is, it has been letting go of attachments.  It has taken the deaths of my parents, my grandparents, loss of a home, pets, friendships, divorce to push me down this path. And those are the big ones.  When I struggle with letting go, I remember all these that I have survived. If I could survive the death of my dad and leaving a 20 year marriage, I can change jobs.  If I can watch my mom pass away and hand over the keys to my home, I can let go of a guy who doesn’t want me. If I can release my child into the world as a adult, if I can stand there and watch my dog pass away, I make another home if that is what is needed.  If I can sing my grandmother onto the other side, I can fucking do anything. Let me remember how strong I am, Let me only accept my greater good.  When the lesson appears, learn it, and let it go.

So here is to moving forward (again). I am more than sure I am not done with clinging to what has past but each time I let go I get stronger. Here is to living for today and welcoming the future.

Namaste

check out my Facebook page: EdgeofAnAngel

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