I was running the other day, which is meditative for me and gives me access to parts of my mind (and body) that I do not have access to when I do not run. I was well into mile three when this thought occurred to me:
To feel good about yourself, you really have to do all the things to help yourself, in all the areas, otherwise you will forever live in this less than life...
Since I have started taking care of myself: body, mind and spirit, I have noticed a swell in satisfaction with my life, with myself, with who and what and how I am in this world.
I am somewhat obsessed with fitness these days and the gym, hiking, running are a few of my favorite things. And these practices have done things to my body, mind and spirit that have allowed me access to places within myself that were previous inaccessible.
I like my body for the first time in my life. I might even go so far to say that I love it. I am not always picking on it for all its failures and less than perfectness. I am genuinely happy to live in this body and am grateful that with the work I have put in, the results give me a feeling of satisfaction and comfort that I have never known prior.
I am quiet a lot more, I mediate, yoga and pray. I attend to my inner life on a daily basis and the results of this are almost more incredible than the end of a lifetime of body shame and hate. The way I feel about myself inside has altered to a place that was previously unimaginable to me.
I write daily and this keeps my mind nimble and flexible. Always thinking about things and then bringing those thoughts to life in written form. I am finding that sometimes to find out what I think I must sit down and write about it, that is how much writing has changed my life. I am no longer able to just think something through, I have to write about it to figure out how I feel, what I think and what should be done.
I feel like for the first time in my life I am Erin balanced. I say Erin balanced because I do not believe that anyone else would find my current living regime balanced. Likely too much of this or not enough of that. But for me, I am happy. I am content. I am at peace with myself.
So going back to my quote, I am doing all the things to take care of myself, to enrich myself, to grow myself, while giving myself good food, time outside, time inside, a good amount of sleep, not too much caffeine, time with books and writing, social events are limited and selective and because I am doing all of these things, I feel pretty content with myself and my life.
Could it really be this simple? Do all the things and get all the results? I didn’t know that my refusal to eat well, exercise, read, sleep or engage was always creating some new situation that I have to recover from! I really didn’t. I didn’t know that doing these simple, sometimes difficult things were the building blocks to a great life. I didn’t know.
I used to be consumed with feeling less than. All the time in most situations. Today, I do not. I don’t feel better than either. I just feel happy to be in the skin I am in and proud of the work I have put in to get here. I am absolutely ok being me.
I will admit there is some pressure building...that pressure of if I stop doing all the things I will lose the somewhat precarious balance I feel and live. And that makes me more than a little nervous. I love feeling good and I tend to always want more of something that makes me feel good and the way I am living today makes me feel amazing! So it is only natural that my fear of getting knocked off my center, losing any of the myriad of things I do in a day to take care of myself, would make me a little worried or perhaps scared.
But I find ease and peace in the knowledge that because I do all the things I feel complete. And I know that if I stop doing some of the things, the only thing I can feel is less complete. Which results in me living this less than life that I am not really interested in living anymore. So the equation is simple: do the things that make me feel complete and do not allow lethargy, others or a too busy schedule to remove from my life the things that make my life worth living. I am the gatekeeper. I am the scheduler. I am the one who gets to decide.
And what I am finding is that there is time for it all: exercise, making good, whole food, hiking, time with my daughter and parents, time with friends, time for work, time for writing, time to lie in a hammock that has been here for years but was barely acquainted with my backside. There is time. It is all about how I choose to spend the time I am allotted in this life. And since I do not know, cannot know, when my time will end, I intend to use every moment I have maintaining this amazing life I have.
I am an all the things girl, and because of that, I have been given access to parts of me that I have never experienced before. And I have to say, it is fucking magical.