Its January and the media are all awash with New Year’s Resolutions, coming up with the top lists of things people plan to change this year. Its all so tempting, pictures abound of people taking Art classes, or sitting in some beauty spot or looking lithe in a yoga pose the picture of health and blissfulness.
It got me thinking, the underlying message that bombards me is that clearly I am not good enough, my life needs a transformation and I ‘need’ to change. I should be thinner, healthier, read more, etc…
I read once that although we have far more money and leisure time as a nation than previous generations we are more depressed – the psychiatrist attributed this to one thing, advertising. In order to sell us products a desire or need for that product has to be created so we end up with a life that looks less than perfect and a glimpse of a better brighter future.
Sounds familiar? One article today I read told me that there are 52 Monday’s in each year and every one of them should be exciting, if they weren’t I wasn’t in the right career. Really? It immediately creates a huge magnifying glass on my life and highlights a potential flaw. Not all of my Mondays are exciting, some of my Mondays are actually quite repetitive and boring.
These ‘helpful articles’ create unhappiness, dis-satisfaction with who I am – they encourage me to examine my life – with this belief that every single moment should be filled with a satisfying career, with time for healthy food, a fit beautiful body and inner peace.
However, its all ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ to a glorious point in the future when I finally get my act together, but definitely not in the now. Worse still, at the back of my mind is the knowledge that I have been here before, made announcements to the world about sweeping changes, my transformation, my brilliant new life that somehow has fizzled away to er… well nothing. I have failed, not even able to carry out a few simple changes, no staying power. I simply have no will power…. it all becomes a huge exercise in misery, wrapped up to look like ‘helpful advice’ to guide us to a better life.
The irony of this is that we can have a life that is full of wonder, joy and peace without really changing that much at all, it is within our grasp and it is a simple act of focus.
Take losing weight for example, I can stand in front of a full mirror and examine my body down to the finest detail. Yes, I am a woman in her forties who has had children and my body has wobbly bits, but you know something my body is wonderful and healthy. It does all that I require it to do – things that give me a great deal of pleasure, dancing, walking the dog, reading and writing this blog entry right now. All pain free. I can sit for a moment and feel the fabric brushing my skin, or listen to the most sublime music that makes me feel blissful. I can walk along the beach and feel the cool sand between my toes. I can squelch in muddy puddles wearing my wellies. I can experience the sheer bliss of chocolate as it melts on my tongue. I am so grateful for my body that faithfully serves me every day. Who wouldn’t want to appreciate that and give it the best food available that helps it to function? In this short paragraph I have closed the gap between this future perfection of happiness and brought it into now, this present moment. Where my body becomes the focus of endless pleasure and contentment.
Easy wasn’t it?
You see, over the rainbow, was actually Dorothy’s desire to get back home, to the life she had before the tornado struck and she only missed it once it was gone. The Wizard of Oz was a film made at a time when America was on its knees, and people lacked hope for the future. The message was all about counting your blessings, as twee as it might sound. It is the a wonderful way to create happiness and contentment right now in this very moment, not next week after several gruelling gym sessions.
Change because your heart is telling you, not because you feel you should. Alter your perspective from a place of love, rather than beating yourself up because you fall short. If you really want to lose weight focus on returning the dedication your body gives you, by nurturing it with food that cherishes who you are, helps it to function well.
Last year I took a large jam jar and decorated it with glitter etc, I also took a few blocks of tiny post it notes and every time something nice happened I would write it down and pop it into the jar. I had to empty the jar twice this year, and all the little tickets make quite a pile. Simple things; the fantastic service I had in a clothes shop. The lovely flowers a friend bought me. The restaurant that kept my phone safe when I left it behind and posted it back to me. The kind compliment someone gave me when I was out shopping. All these things contribute to my blessed life.
Back to Mondays.. you know its a wonderful thing to have a job these days that provides all that I need in life..and working from home, is pretty blissful when the rain is splattering against the windows, the heating is quietly chugging away and the radio is full of traffic reports… guess that makes every one of my Mondays wonderful…
wishing you happiness .. right here right now..