This was a contest I entered on Instagram.
I thought it posed an interesting question that lead to simple or complex answers. It made me think beyond the New Year’s detox diets, breaking up with sugar rules, and weight loss desires.
My answer included all aspects of my life, my food & beverages, my exercise habits – do I train too hard? Too light? Not enough? Too much? The things I let into my awareness – news, music, people, TV, photos, etc, and the concept of who I want to be. All these role together to create my concept of clean living.
Here was my response…
One cannot do that without feeling well. For me to feel well and remain open I must be vigilant about my daily movement, my food, my spaces, and my social times.
I must honor myself in each choice doing just what is needed to move me in the direction I want to go. Doing too much will clog me up, doing too little will clog the path.
To remain clean I must focus on the pleasure of treating my mind, my body, my heart, and my soul well. It starts simply with movement and is followed by what I allow in. Will this food item, news report, musical song, person help or hinder me?
Then I must choose wisely, burn away all that is no longer serving me, let go of all I no longer need, and live fully into the moment right in front of me. That is clean living.
Today my life was touched by suicide for the second time this week.
It is time we breakdown the fear of vulnerability and the ridicule we perpetrate when we see it in others. Personal hurts cloud our vision of true connection for fear that our difficulties will been seen as opportunities to be exploited. This clouding blocks the authentic connections we desperately need. Lack of connection creates a society based on judgment, separation, materialism, and the very fear we were hiding from in the first place.
Suicide is complicated … healing the pain of our pasts is tough … and doing the work actually gives more capacity for life’s adventures – good and bad.
The hardest part? We have to be the ones to reach out. For ourselves and for others. We have to be the ones willing to engage in authentic relationships and offer support and presence. We have to be the ones willing to face our own fear, hurt, sadness, shame, and ultimately our own goodness.
Facing this goodness is difficult. Making space for the goodness to shine means we must make space for our authenticity. We must make space for others’ goodnesses, too. We must face our fear of scarcity and of difference. We must honor our connection and sameness rather than highlight our differences and spotlight separation, even when we don’t agree, like, or want those different perspectives in our lives.
To do this we must be willing to be vulnerable. To be vulnerable means we will meet those who see themselves in our vulnerability and hate it because it means they are vulnerable, too.
And we must be kind anyway. We must find it within ourselves to be really kind. We are all fighting similar battles. Battles of insecurity and fear of rejection. Battles of not knowing and confusion. Battles of love and joy.
As you walk through your world today, remember things aren’t always as they seem and all people could use a smile, a kind word, an open door. All of us could use compassion when we are stuck and respect for trying even when our attempts fail.
I intimately know the darkness and desperation that accompanies suicidal thinking. The despair that envelops one’s being and eclipses the soul. I know the thoughts that anchor and make hope a distant memory. These thoughts and feelings are what make doing the things that heal us so hard. They keep us lonely and separate. Which is why it is so important that we all reach out, connect, model authenticity, and build relationships based on vulnerability and real experiences.
Today make an effort to connect, reach out ask for help, practice vulnerability and show up authentically. Notice where it’s easy, where it’s hard. Where it’s welcome, where it’s not safe. Notice how you react to others when they share vulnerability and authentic experience. See what happens in your own life as you experiment with acceptance of self and others, just as they are, where they are, thus creating real connection.
If you are still trying to figure out how to get yourself on track or support another who is struggling. Check out this blog post on the 5 Things Emotionally Stable People Don’t Do, by Marc and Angel:
Marc and Angel are the authors of 1000 Little Things Happy Successful
People Do Differently. Heres their amazing list of 5 Things Emotionally
Stable People…. If you enjoy this, be sure to visit their website for
more inspirational advice and tips for life.
This little visual is so true ( http://www.hplyrikz.com/post/154711428308 ) – only you can do the work of healing what you need healed in your heart.
It might take healthy relationships for practice, groups you feel authentically supported in, effort to really change your behavior, and honest reflection and acceptance of your own role in your own demise. Tough stuff.
Healing psychological wounds is hard work. A lot of people never attempt. They spend life blaming others for their problems, projecting their personal pain through judging, staying safe by creating an “us vs. them” mentality, and never challenge their own thoughts and behaviors.
If you choose to embark on the bigger challenge of becoming whole, those efforts pay off … you no longer have a gaping, bleeding wound, festering with the infection of what was. Instead, you have a scar. One that tells a story of your history, richness of character, and offers insight into why you are the person you are today. In complete fashion … whole.
Do the work… if you want – Look around your life:
Where are you behaving, judging, or thinking that something is wrong with you, another, a situation?
What are your emotions when you think about this situation?
Break them down further- If you weren’t feeling emotion X right now, what other emotion might you be feeling? (Do this until your emotions are individually clear & you have an accurate sense of what information the emotion is giving you about you, the other, the situation). Emotions are intelligence, here to give us guidance, however many use them as fact. Let go of them as fact. Refer back to older posts about emotions for more insight on using emotion effectively.
What are your beliefs about this situation?
Is this a belief that seems to thread through other events in your life?
How can you re-word this belief to create a new version that takes into account your role in the situation (e.g. I’m doing the best I can given my current circumstances).
Now add re-wording around your thoughts (I am good enough just as I am. I am doing my best to make the right choices for my goal in this moment).
Let these new thoughts drive your action. What behaviors best support the person you want to be? Is what you are doing right now moving you closer to your goal? If not, what behavior would? Are you willing to do it? If not, why not?
All these questions are in service of helping refine your vision of who and how you want to be in the world. If they are overwhelming or emotions you aren’t clear and continue to get in your way – that’s a good sign it’s time for some therapy. AND remember – everyone, I mean everyone deserves therapy! Time to talk to someone trained to deeply listen, reflect your authenticity, and non-biased in your life – just writing it makes me want it! Therapy is an amazing way to explore who you are on the path to who you want to become.