“Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can.” ~ Arthur Ashe
The fall 2019 semester has been trying for both my boys. Chase, being a college freshman at a school 20 hours from his hometown, his childhood house sold and not knowing anyone on his campus has had it’s ups and downs for sure. Welcome to freshman year…significantly more homework than ever assigned in high school and living solo (including doing your own laundry🙂) for the first time. Contrary to what’s seen on social media, this transition isn’t easy for many of our kids.
Cole, in his final semester at Colorado State, with a full time job already lined up to begin after graduation, couldn’t me more ready to graduate. His living situation isn’t ideal because he’s only there for one semester and had to make do with the limited choice available for a short term lease. He just wants to move forward with his life and this term feels to him as if it’s dragging on and on. As beautiful as Colorado is, he’s all done with riding his bike to classes in the snow!!
As I do with my own Mom, they call me when things are tough to vent. First of all, I’m so, so glad they do. I’m honored by it every time. Secondly, I really do understand it can be rough. I listen and empathize……but from my vantage point, even though it’s difficult, they have a ton to be grateful for if they just step back and look at the big picture! So, many times after they’ve gone through everything that’s wrong with their situation, I’ll ask them what’s right. Tell me one thing that’s good in your life right now. One thing that is RIGHT rather than wrong.
I’m not sure if I get through to them or not, but I feel like if I keep asking the question, it’s our mind’s natural instinct to search for an answer. This is the case with any question we ask, so it’s important to notice the questions we allow to run through our thoughts. If that’s true, and it is in my experience, they’ll be forced to think of something positive whether they share it (or admit it😃) to me or not. If we can just pry open one little crack, the light will start to shine through they’ll start to feel the tiniest bit better. There is no doubt what we think about is what we bring about.
Are you familiar with the saying “Do as I say, not as I do”? Well, this got me thinking about my own challenges, which are far different than my boys’ but a challenge is a challenge. It’s only harder than anyone else’s if its mine😊, just like they think their’s are harder because it’s real to them. I bet you think yours are the most difficult too! Isn’t the mind a funny thing???
Being in a new city and meeting people for the first time, I find myself very self conscious about how I look. Even more so than before our move. I spend more time than I care to admit worrying about “the outside” (aka my body) even though I know in my heart all that really counts is inside. All these years of managing my weight the best I can, yet now back to not feeling as if it’s good enough. It’s significantly easier to look in the mirror and pick out what we perceive as our flaws than it is to find things we like looking back at us. Healthy can look many different ways on different people, but it’s easy to forget that when it’s ourselves.
Recently, after giving one of my more enthusiastic “Tell me what IS working in your life” speeches to one of the boys, it dawned on me that I never use this on my own negative self talk about my body. I can talk on the phone all day long to my sister or go through the litany to myself about everything that’s not right about how my body looks, but do I ever think about (let alone talk about) what’s RIGHT with my body? Uhhhhh, that’s a giant NO🤦🏻♀️
It’s not an easy thing for me, just like what my boys are going through isn’t easy for them. If we want to find lasting satisfaction, we need to find a way to make peace with our bodies at every stage and every age. Our happiness and feelings of beauty can’t come from the outside if it’s going to be lasting. It has to be something independent of exterior circumstances. Looking for what’s right about a subject or situation, instead of pointing out everything that’s wrong, turns the tide of our thoughts. When we recognize one good thing and focus on it for a few seconds, amazingly, another good thought will pop up to join it. At this point, we’ve started to turn the momentum of our thoughts in a direction that makes us feel so much happier. When we feel good, not only does the quality of our life improve immediately, we also find it easier to make healthy decisions.
I’m not great at it, but I’m working on it. I start with the most true thoughts I can find about myself that are the easiest to feel good about. If I just repeat words I don’t mean, it’s doesn’t work. So for me, it often starts with something like this: I live free of any physical pain. True and a huge blessing. I’m considerably more healthy than I’ve been at other times in my life. True and thank goodness. I can move around easily. Also true and not something I want to take for granted. And I go on from there. Get the idea? It’s definitely becoming easier each day, which is the point of this post. If it’s helping me, maybe it could help you as well? Forcing myself…because sometimes that’s what it takes, to dig deep and name what’s RIGHT with my body has allowed more joy into each day practically automatically! It’s A LOT more joyful to highlight the good in your thought than to dwell on things you don’t feel are ideal. Once you start, the momentum will keep it going and you’ll know it’s working when you start to feel the warm inner glow of being truly grateful. There’s nothing like the feeling of being blessed, so let it in! And when you feel that good, there’s nothing to apologize for or be embarrassed about. Those negative thoughts literally dissolve into the nothingness they are in the warm light of gratitude.
So those darn boys!! Being their Mom, even as they are becoming grown men, is still teaching me incredibly valuable life lessons and I doubt they realize it! Go forward into today and choose joy. Seek out a good thing(s) about yourself and your situation, no matter how difficult. Take a few quiet moments to cling to that good feeling thought. Revel in it. Get all the joy out of it you can. Then watch how more good feeling thoughts follow and how the rest of your day unfolds. All IS well isn’t just something to say. It’s something to feel. Let your light shine!!!
WW Workshop Schedule
Mondays – Fresno, CA WW Studio – 830am
Wednesdays – Madera, CA – 12:30pm
Fridays – Fresno, CA WW Studio –
8am, 10am and 12:15pm