Today is a beautiful day at my home. The sun is shining, the weather is warmer than it has been, the breeze is ruffling new leaves on the trees in front of my house. The beautiful pink cherry tree is dropping pink petals all over my car and I just love that! I got to spend some time on the porch with my precious daughter talking about our lives. Time to enjoy.
The pandemic has kept us cooped up and alone for most of the past year, and it is not over yet, we all know. But it is time to look at some of the gifts and joys in our lives. If you have had difficult or painful situations, I am sorry. Parts of this have affected all our lives negatively. But just for five minutes, let us look for the good together.
How did the pandemic change your life for the better?
What do you now cherish that you maybe did not notice before? The sun on my front porch. The bluebirds chirping in a tree. Mr. Squirrel hopping over the lawn chattering.
And next door, a little grandson of my neighbors riding his bright orange truck down the driveway, laughing in delight, then pushing it back up to do it again. And a careful Daddy to catch him and keep him from rolling into the street.
What has become more precious to you in the last year? Relationships with those you love? The hour and a half you get from not commuting? The ability to rest more? The love of your pets? Family connections? Zoom meetings with people far away? Ordering online instead of wandering the mall?
My father always told me, “The purpose of life is not to get to the end of it; the purpose of life is to enjoy the trip!” What we want to be doing here, I think, is to create the kind of life we have always wanted, as best we can, COVID-19 notwithstanding.
What will make you happy?
Habits are funny things. It takes a long time to establish a good habit; and it seems so easy to forget what I intended to do; and it seems easier to maintain a habit that I know does not serve me well. So right now, as we transition from pandemic to post-pandemic is the perfect time to look at our habits, goals, commitments and how to get the most of what we want out of our lives.
First, take a look at your goals. How have they changed in the past year? What new habits have you created that help you reach your goals? What old habits, or ineffective ones, have crept in to keep you from your goals? Write down your goals, only three or four. Write down the habits you need to reach them. Look at the habits you have been forming and ask yourself whether they will help you reach your goals. And what are the new habits you need to create?
Now here is the sneaky Theresasez answer. Write a positive sentence about yourself and each goal or behavior you want to create, reach, improve. Write them on several 4×6 cards and put them where you will see them a hundred times a day. In your calendar, on your computer keyboard, as the bookmark in your new book, in your makeup cabinet or shaving set, on the home screen of your phone.
Do you need help, counseling, information, support, or guidance to maintain your new habit? Do you need a timing change? Do you need to take smaller steps? Rewrite the cards.
And do you need some time alone every day for self-care?
To remember a habit, you need a trigger. Maybe your meditation book needs a new home where you will see it every day. Maybe your walking sneakers need to come out of the closet. Maybe you need your food delivered so you don’t have to shop. Or maybe you need to take a friend and visit a produce stand. What do you need?
Do you want to change your eating habits? Clean out your cabinets. Take the foods you do not want to eat to a food bank. Take the things you do not like to the food bank, or the trash can if that is more appropriate. Change the smells in your kitchen with your cleaning supplies or potpourri. Get rid of candles and lotions and other products with food smells. Plan a better way to shop or reorganize your food purchasing. Redesign your kitchen to make those unwanted habits harder to do.
Your body weight is determined by many factors. Some of them you cannot control. My clients often realize that they have spent YEARS of their lives fighting with their body about food and weight issues. In the meantime, they have lost the opportunity to be, create, and do a thousand other things they would have loved and enjoyed. Please do not let these issues take over control of your life. Let your joy be manifest in what you love. Get help to create a food plan that fits you perfectly, and then let your food plan do its job.
Reinforce the positive. Say cheerful supportive things to yourself. Indulge in music you love, and praise yourself for your efforts.
Our minds are powerful! Look at how many behaviors you have changed in the last year! Now look at which behaviors you want to keep, enhance, delete. And one more thought: the body is given to the mind as a safe place for the mind and spirit to live, and as a servant of the mind. Treat the body well. Give it the rest and nutrients and other help it needs to be able to serve you well.
Blessings to you,
Our next two programs start soon.
Abstinence In Action starts May 11. And we have moved the time to 6 PM to 7:30 PM because of your requests. This will be a great program to help you stay abstinent and enjoy your abstinence.
And Nourish your Body Soothe your Spirit starts May 12 from 4 PM to 5:30 PM. This is about all those practical things like grocery stores you need to deal with to eat abstinently.
Watch your email for more information, and please call with questions.