I don’t feel well.
I haven’t felt well in over a year. Since my uterus collapsed, I have taken extremely poor care of myself. I’ve been depressed and avoidant. I’ve had long bouts where I didn’t care enough to make positive changes. I’ve had long bouts of active hatred of my body – I felt betrayed by my body, and it’s hard to take good care of someone you hate.
But it’s catching up with me.
I’ve been living in my grief since the start of this year. I’ve made space for my heart to hurt, made space for the music from the pain in my heart to flow. I started talking to myself again some time back. I stopped wearing the clothes that made me feel hidden and shittastic, and started dressing like a rock star (a very comfortable, hippie rock star).
I’ve stopped avoiding my own face in the mirror.
In fact, I’ve started looking myself in the eyes again.
That was the turning point. Once I met my own gaze, it was game over. I can’t hate myself if I look at myself.
I took a long look at my face. I wound up standing in front of the mirror, naked, taking a long look at my body. My scars; five little red welts scattered across my belly, the last remnants of a life left behind, a path lost to me.
I realized that I’m not healthy. I’ve developed bad habits and lost all my good ones. I’ve lost my connection to myself, to my body, to my heart, and to Spirit – mine and the Big Oneness one.
So, I met my gaze in the mirror and decided to do something about it. It’s time to get back into those good habits, to let go of the bad ones and get reconnected and rehealthy!
Hello? Go? No.
I felt perched on the brink – and then frozen.
See, I’ve also developed intense resistance to connection. I’m fine where I am! I think, knowing full well I’m not. I’m happy the way I am! I protest, feeling all the way to my bones how untrue that is.
I know myself, disconnected or not. I know these landmines. I know how hard it is for me to form good habits – even if they’re habits I used to have. But I have a trick up my sleeve – the 30-day trial.
When I stopped drinking soda (way back in February of 2006), I decided to go a full month without it and see how it made me feel. It went spectacularly well – and a precedent was set: I learned that I could do things for a full month without triggering my resistance landmines.
Through further trials, I learned that I could even make myself crave good habits: if I set a date for a 30-day trial and then continued relishing my bad habits – and sometimes even going over the top with them – I found that by the time the first of the month came along, I was jumping at the bit to get started.
Funny, how we work sometimes.
I bet you can see where this is going, eh? On my birthday, (two weeks ago), I decided to run the mother of all 30-day trials: the 30-Day Optimal Health and Reconnection Experiment.
Starting April 1st (no fooling), I’m doing all the things I know make me feel healthier and more connected.
- exercise 6 days per week
- eat a simple, healthy breakfast every morning
- no eating after 9pm
- limit my soy intake to soymilk
- limit my soymilk intake to only tea and coffee (and drink more tea, less coffee)
- meditate for at least 15 minutes a day
- write for at least 20 minutes a day
- have one internet-free day per week
Having a 30-day trial bolsters my confidence. It eases my fears. It’s just 30 days – that’s all I’m committing to. I’m not making lifestyle changes. I’m not dedicating to major changes for any length of time. I can do most things – even challenging things – for a month, especially when I know that, come the first of the next month, I can ditch it if it’s too hard or isn’t working.
It’s headology. I’m making major changes in my life by telling myself – and really meaning it – that I’m not making major changes.
I bypass my triggers and landmines. It eases me into things. And one month is all I need to start feeling the positive effects that I’m desperately longing (and just as desperately avoiding). At the end of the month, I’ll evaluate myself.
I’ll sit in front of the mirror, meet my own eyes, and check in.
Chances are, I’ll feel pretty awesome. And chances are, I’ll stick to the changes for another month. And then another. And another.
Major change comes in little steps. If we hit landmines when we’re walking toward it, we get blown off course. The important thing is not to force yourself to proceed regardless; the important thing is to figure out where your landmines are, and create a plan to avoid triggering them in the first place. The important thing is to find a way that helps you make major changes in your life when you want to make them!
What major changes do you want to make that you can take little steps toward – and how can you avoid your landmines?