Losing the Fat (in Your Head)

“Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” -Chinese Proverb

602px-I_Wait,_by_Julia_Margaret_CameronI have been fat most of my life. I’m not talking about 10-extra-pounds-whiney-ass fat, or I-really-ought-to-lay-off-the-cookies-before-this-gets-out-of-hand fat (…like now). I’m talking a-couple-weeks-of-bad-choices-away-from-needing-to-shop-in-a-special-store fat. (Not to be disrespectful to folks who do. I was damn close, and the value of who I am CANNOT be measured by my pants size, man. But I wasn’t happy with it, and it was not healthy for me. It was an outward manifestation of the fact I did not look after my own needs lovingly.)

It’s not like I wasn’t aware of it. So the morons who made sure I knew I was fat weren’t performing a public service. (Asshats.)

And it’s not like I didn’t try to lose it. From maybe the age of 12 on, I tried off and on–granted, more off than on. Because within a week or two or any of my grand efforts, I got tired of feeling like shit about myself every single time I put something in my mouth.

Like most fat people, I was an expert at losing weight. I knew more about losing weight than any 12 doctors you’d ever meet. Aside: That’s why fat people want to smack the Hell out of you when you start talking about calories and exercise.

Several years ago, I lost most of that weight. I owned a weight-loss community site for a few years during that time, and I observed a lot of people looking to lose weight. And you know, I got a really good feel for who was going to be successful and who was not. You could peg the winners from the wannabe’s, often from pretty much their first posting.

Those people counting the minutes, the ones that went on and on about how disgusting they were, the people who wanted quick tips on losing 10 pounds by the weekend? Well, this group inevitably faded away. Some may come back for a month or so every January–with the same excuses each time–but by and large, they didn’t do much. Not much that lasted, anyway.

But the ones who wanted wanted better health, more comfort, to set a better example for their loved ones, to be around longer to enjoy their families and their lives? There are the people that I would put my money on. They were the people that did well. While they may or may not have lost the weight they wanted to, they tended to get healthier overall and develop some perspective on the whole enterprise. And maybe, just maybe, they’d begin to define “success” by something more meaningful than numbers on a lying little hunk of metal and gears.

The difference eventually became obvious: I’ve never seen anyone making a significant and lasting change in their lives coming from a place of self-hate. The only real transformations I’ve ever witnessed come from a place of self-love. And I’ve seen a LOT of transformations, man.

Maybe you don’t like your own fat (or wounds, or battered self-esteem, or whatever it is on yourself that you consider broken). Fair enough. Maybe being sick and tired of the current state is what gets you STARTED. It did for me–that, and fear of diabetes.

Rather than berate yourself for having the issue, why not accept yourself anyway? The you can process whatever lessons are there for you and see it all as merely part of your experience as opposed to a self-definition. That allows you the possibility of eventually moving past it.

Self-loathing is not sustainable; a worthless person is not worth the work required to grow beyond challenges.

Self-love is sustainable. Self-love feeds you through the hard times, and gives you the strength and courage to move ahead even when it’s hard. Because honestly, sometimes it is. It just becomes possible when you realize in your heart that you’re worth it.

To those who say it was self-hate that got them started, I hear you and respect your perspective. I would argue, however, than wanting better for yourself and being willing reach for it is inherently an act of self love.

But however you see it, I would say at least this one thing is true.  The real fat always starts (and ends) in your head.

What do you think?

Get balanced starting with your energy…

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Weathering Raw Emotional Weather

Weathering Raw Emotional Weather 1

Photo by Shandi-lee

I noticed yesterday, and it’s spilling over in the comments here and there. It’s very RAW emotionally out there right now. I’m seeing people dealing with things like death, relationship blowups, illness, pets passing, and physical attacks, just to rattle off some examples. Most seem glad to bid 2012 farewell and it feels like a lot of uncertainty is consolidating around 2013.

When I’m dealing with raw emotions, I find it helpful to cut myself some slack. Wrangle extra downtime, get plenty of sleep, eat good food and be kind to myself and my body. I limit exposure to upsetting or demanding people and in general, treat myself as if I’m recovering from an  illness and require extra TLC to maintain my health.

I also don’t make any major decisions in the heat of the moment and stay very, very conscious and careful about what comes out of my mouth. Some things are impossible to take back.

One of the most powerful acts for me when I’m feeling hit hard, is doing a gratitude list. YES, I know this sounds insanely simplistic, but it really does raise your vibration and offers near-immediate relief. The trick is that you have to work on it long enough and get yourself out of the stingy mental place long enough to really FEEL the gratefulness, the appreciation for what is going right in your life. You can always find something that is. If you can generate positive emotions by focusing your attention very specifically on the good, it does help. It lifts you up and makes you stronger.

I don’t have any magic make-it-not-hard words for you here. I just wanted to acknowledge this, and point out it appears to be part of the overall energetic weather and not personal to the individual. I wanted to remind you to be kind to yourself and be kind to those you come in contact with. There is a lot of pain out there and we need as much kindness and love as we can to help heal it.

What helps you get past raw moments?

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How can you make somebody change?

How can you make somebody change? 2I work with  a LOT of people who are unhappy in interpersonal relationships. Be it mate, child, parent, friend, coworker, whome/dixiblog/domains/afoolsjourney.com/public_htmlver, there are issues. People want to know how make somebody change, although it’s not necessarily verbalized as such. The wish is still there.

Here’s the thing: you don’t make somebody change. You can’t. It’s IMPOSSIBLE. You can pitch, persuade, threaten, manipulate, cajole, shame, pray, encourage, reward, ignore, deny, or do whatever else comes to mind. Your efforts may or may not have an impact, but even if they do, it’s often temporary and it’s never YOU making the changes happen. It’s always, always, always a choice. We call it “free will,” baby! Everybody’s got it, damn it.

But it’s NOT impossible to change a problematic relationship. In fact, it’s remarkably easy. There’s only one sure-fire way to do it, though.

Change yourself.

Now, hear me out.

It doesn’t matter who’s “right.” It doesn’t matter if you “get it” or not, although understanding can sometimes aid in the search for compassion and patience. (Be careful what you ask for. Compassion and patience sound great on paper, but they are advanced life courses!)

Here’s the thing: the stuff that makes you unbelievably angry, or hurt, or crazy, or confused…all those things are inescapably a byproduct of your thoughts, your beliefs and your choices. The feelings always come directly from YOUR energy. The behavior of others is not your choice, but your response to that behavior is exclusively under your control. So your subjective experience of a relationship is also firmly within your own control, like it or not.

I’m not saying it’s easy! I’m not saying it’s your job to stick to the bitter end in any situation. Sometimes, bailing is the best scenario. I’m saying no matter what actions you decide upon, take responsibility for yourself completely. It’s an incredibly empowering act.

Because the followup lesson here is vital: the stuff that makes you the craziest? It does for a reason! That crazy-making stuff one way or another reflects your own shadow self. And those relationships that constellate around us? They also do so for a reason. You can dump the relationship (and the next sixteen after), but you still have to wake up with yourself and your own state. That doesn’t just go away.

That Five of Wands from the Legacy of the Divine always reminds me of this particular lesson, because all the conflict stems from the same tree. Every time you want to go ballistic, look in the mirror and ask yourself, “How do I see myself in these triggers?” I can promise you, you’ll almost always be able to locate a self-reflection.

We attract people and situations who match our own energy, our vibration.  In a physical-world sense, we attract teachers of our own needed education. You can ditch the messenger but you cannot ditch the message. You can only do the home/dixiblog/domains/afoolsjourney.com/public_htmlwork or skip out, only to repeat the class until you graduate it.

This is how to break patterns. Once you shift your own energy, the relationship itself changes as a result. You’re always part of the energetic mix of any relationship involving you, eh? So when your energy shifts, so does the whole. It may shift to suit you, or it may fall away if it’s no longer required for your evolution. Maybe your shift causes improvements. Or maybe you don’t care any more, having dealt with your own stuff that brought you there. However it shakes out, though, you’re leaving stronger and wiser than how you started. At that point, it’s served it’s purpose and no longer has to be endured as-is.

The thing that keeps you chained to the pain is the lesson that’s lurking there.

Have you found this to be true?

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What are you worth, anyway?

What are you worth, anyway? 3Anytime I find myself saying the same thing several times in readings within a brief time span, I take notice. Because that always means there’s something there I need to pay attention to there, y’know? My 3-times rule gets triggered.

So it was: If you want others to value you more, value YOURSELF more. It never works the other way around.

I consider myself generous with my energy. I write the Everyday Tarot plus assorted other sundries, I correspond with site visitors and clients, I offer support on various online forums, I give advice to my web folks, I do educational videos, I maintain a Low Carb support community on Facebook, and sometimes even try to show up for family and friends. I work 7 days a week and very, very hard. Virgo tends to, you know.

I’m not trying to toot my own horn or anything. But the point is, I give freely and from the heart.  And I find those times when someone complains about how I don’t meet their expectations with what I give, how I don’t give enough or the right way, I can start to feel pulled under. Firstly, because I literally don’t know HOW to give more than I do, but even more, because I LISTEN and take that criticism in. I may feel I have to prove myself one way or a dozen; I may question myself or doubt myself or just feel not up to the job anymore.

Receiving a certain degree of complaints is a function of the number of people I interact with, I realize. There is always going to be a squeaky, maybe even wobbly wheel! But I cannot take the squeaking wheels to heart, no matter who it is. I have to realize that many of the people who may be touched by what I put out there I may never even know exist, let alone meet. That doesn’t change a damn thing.

The moral here isn’t to give more or better. The moral is to place a high enough value on your own energy, be convinced enough of the quality of what you do put out there, that you can utterly disregard those who don’t value it. They become non-relevant. It ceases being my problem or your problem and becomes their problem–one they can solve or ignore on their own.

If you go through your life not quite sure if you’re good enough, you will ALWAYS find someone to confirm that fear. On the other hand, if you go through your life knowing that you’re contributing something of worth, you’ll also ALWAYS get your confirmation of that conviction as well. We attract what vibrates within us.

The more you value yourself, the more others value you. That’s on my radar right now.

How do you perceive your own value?

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Sharing Gratitude

Sharing Gratitude 4

From New Orleans, grotto of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, from patrons who’ve had prayers and miracles delivered.

I’ve been a little surprised, so far my favorite part of the Secret Garden. It wasn’t what I expected at all.

It’s been the Gratitude threads.

I mean, it’s an old idea. So old it’s almost pedestrian. Everybody and their crystal-toting mama tells you, “Keep a Gratitude Journal!”

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yada, yada, yada, right? “And say affirmations and Tarot journal and meditate and send out love vibes to everybody.” All that advice people give but 99% don’t practice.

Reading what the other “gardeners” found to be grateful for that day, it’s an instant pick-me-up. Sometimes it’s big or sometimes it’s very small. But it’s all representative of what has made a difference. And the appreciation carries over as you read the words. Gratitude is a very powerful vibration, you know?

And if I’m having a rough day, I pop in there and spend a few minutes listing out some of what I appreciate. It’s like an instant lift, it soothes the soul, you know?

Today, I’m grateful for the Secret Garden. I’m grateful for the community of this blog, for the people who read here and who send me kind comments and emails. I’m grateful for my Tarot people, who entrust me to keep their secrets and share their journeys. I’m grateful for my friends who love me, my family who supports me (even if they don’t claim to understand me), and my cats who nuzzle up on my lap when I’m trying to read. I’m grateful for the wisdom of the cards and grateful I have the opportunity to explore it together with you.

What are you grateful for today?

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Shipping your Dirty Clothes?

Shipping your Dirty Clothes? 5I was chatting with a friend. She and her family are coming back from a long vacation; because of the airline’s high fees for extra baggage, they are shipping their dirty laundry back UPS. I found this amusing.

I joked about shipping my emotional dirty laundry via UPS. Except, of course, it would end up back home/dixiblog/domains/afoolsjourney.com/public_html.

“That’s funny,” she says. “Nothing like getting excited when the UPS guy delivers a big box, forgetting you shipped home/dixiblog/domains/afoolsjourney.com/public_html dirty clothes.” I wondered just a second if she were speaking from experience.

It got me thinking. Most of the time, we don’t want to deal with our own “dirty laundry.” We may box it up and ignore it or better yet, ship it off someplace else. The parents, the ex, the boss, society are all candidates! Whome/dixiblog/domains/afoolsjourney.com/public_htmlver, whatever we blame for what we don’t like about ourselves, that’s who we may try to push it off on.

We want to forget all about it!

But you know what? It always comes back home/dixiblog/domains/afoolsjourney.com/public_html. It’s not a nice surprise if you have managed to forget. And if you have sent it halfway around the world a few times before accepting the package, I’m thinking it may be a little mildewy. Better to address it more directly. Less nastiness that way.

I’ll ‘fess up. I’ve tried to offload my own dirty laundry on occasion. I am as human as anybody else. But it always, always comes home/dixiblog/domains/afoolsjourney.com/public_html. And I do find the quicker I accept the mess as my own and deal, the easier it is to get clean. Smells better, too.

Do you find this to be true?

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