Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My second pass on tidying up a la Marie Kondo

As the spring comes into full bloom, I'm in lighten-up mode even more. I've been going through closets and drawers and boxes and baskets and shedding more stuff. Ostensibly I'm in Marie Kondo's second phase of Tidying Up, which is finding a home for everything so that everything is always put away and therefore tidy. I noted that Kondo empties her purse every night and puts the contents away. I'm not going to those extremes but I do find a lot of sanity in having clear spaces around me. Another reason I like staying in hotels.

But here's something interesting I've discovered in my second look at the things I kept. Many of them don't bring me joy. If you've read Kondo's book, you know that's her standard. You live with what brings you joy. But as a good descendent of the Puritans, I have a rather wobbly relationship with joy. It's a bit suspect in my book and I don't recognize it easily or trust it when I suspect it's present. So I kept a lot of things that I liked okay, and even liked pretty much. But I didn't love them or feel fabulous when I wore them or used them.

So I'm using a pleasure index this time through. Do I get real pleasure from wearing this, using this, looking at this? I've let go of a lot more stuff and my home is feeling lovely and light and spacious.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A quote I love

A deeply worthwhile life 
is a series 
of deeply worthwhile experiences. 

--Lama Surya Das

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Good grief!

A good friend has been doing Bright Line Eating for a while now and having great luck with weight loss and some changes in behavior that had been troubling for her. Recently, though, she has found her coffee consumption increasing even though it has some very negative affects on her health. She is angry and frustrated that here is yet another food that she cannot consume in moderation. One cup leads to two and then to three. She can't just drink one a day.

We call these trigger foods. They trigger old, addictive behaviors, and for many of us they are a start down the old path of eating or drinking or drugging or acting out in whatever ways we do.

I feel for her. I've been there so many times, hoping that this time it will be different, lulled into thinking I'm cured when "moderation" goes on for a few days. Then since I'm cured, another won't hurt. But of course, I'm not cured. There is no cure for addiction, only recovery and abstinence from the triggering foods.

My friend is grieving the loss of yet another food friend. Those stages of grief are real: disbelief, anger, bargaining, with the prospect of getting to acceptance. But this can be good grief, feelings she can move beyond as she reinforces the new recovery pathways in her brain. It's good to remember that grief is part of healing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Last chance to do the amazing Money Course with Dave Ellis, Lynne Twist, and Tammy White

If you've followed my blog the last couple of years, you know I took a wonderful course in transforming your relationship with money. This 9-month course is being offered one final time and it starts tomorrow.

In addition to the full 9 months (which I did twice, it was that powerful), you can attend only the first three-day weekend in San Francisco in mid-April for a reduced fee of $300 (recommended by me). If you'd like more information, email me at sobertruths@gmail.com 

Monday, March 14, 2016

My Bright Line Eating results so far

I'm finding this a really amazing way of eating for me. Here are my results so far, in no particular order:

  • I've lost 58.5 pounds since October 12. 
  • I've broken a long-standing habit of eating after dinner while watching TV. I still watch but I don't eat.
  • My debilitating hip and low-back pain are gone. 
  • I can walk considerable distances with good energy.
  • I'm not winded after a flight of stairs.
  • I need new, smaller clothes. 
  • I don't crave demon foods. 
  • I am off cholesterol medications.

Another Bright Line Eating bootcamp starts next week. I have obtained more coupons if any of you are interested in giving this a try. It's sure working for me. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

What I want vs. what I don't want

Most of us make change because there something we don't want or like that's happening to us. I had a long talk with a friend last night who's been sober about 8 months and she's finding her sugar consumption sky-rocketing. When she was drinking, sweets didn't interest her (of course not--she was getting all the sugar she needed from the alcohol). She'd had an emotional upset the day before  and eaten a whole bag of cookies in response. She called to ask about Bright Line Eating. So I told her about my experience.

It got me thinking about what propels us into recovery. While generally the pull of what we desire is stronger than our aversion to what we have, it's the aversion that helps us take the first step. Usually we are terrified or disgusted or so depressed by our addictive behaviors that we get the courage to find help.

As I continue on my path of recovery from demon foods (sugar and flour), I am pulled forward by what I want: the possibility of being right size again, of more energy, of more flexibility. But I am also pushed forward by what I don't want back: difficulty tying my shoes, shortness of breath when I climb a flight of stairs, hip and low back pain, cholesterol issues, self-loathing, fears about my health. If I keep that misery in mind, it's a lot easier not to be tempted to stray from the Bright Line path.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Poem #2

While my friends travel the world
I choose a different expedition
My departure not one
requiring a ticket
or arrival an hour early
Just a willingness to sit still
to let my senses expand
into the bottomless lobes
of my heart
where a well of tenderness
waits to dissolve the walls
that childhood built so carefully