On Making an Effort

As time moves through, we must choose to renew – to begin again.

-Jim James

 


Photo(130)
photo: Jana Powers

 

So, obviously I haven’t updated in a while. Somehow I feel like there is both everything and nothing to say about the last couple of months in my life. But: all good things! Even the things that felt not-so-good at the time they were happening.

I’m not certain that there’s a definitive correlation, but starting from when I eliminated gluten a while back, a lot of positive things have happened for me: a renewed love affair with fresh juice and a deepening of my yoga practice (and a sense of playfulness I didn’t have before) being my favorites. Feeling physically good has opened up a sense of focus in other areas: I write for myself more often and it seems like every week I discover a new goal I want to add to my 2013 list. I paid off a huge debt that was lingering from my college years of overspending, and that has felt extraordinarily freeing. I finally “nested” and decorated our house – hung curtains, all that jazz – and it feels really good to just be at home now.

I’ve been kind of obsessed with the idea of our inner saboteur – the voice inside of us that holds us back, tells us we’re not good enough, that encourages us to make the wrong choices or to take the easy way out – and the choices that keep us somehow stuck in a situation or pattern of thinking that’s just wrong for us. This past weekend, I made a minor and somewhat impulsive decision, and I was venting about it to my roommate when she said, “Maybe you’re just trying to sabotage yourself.” Well! She was right, and I felt stupid for not seeing it for what it was.

To some extent, we’re all carrying around self-limiting beliefs: one of my main ones is that the things I want to do, both professionally and personally, are “too much” or “too crazy” or that I’m not “good enough” somehow to do them (this is a big one, universally). Have you ever noticed that when you’re feeling really good, sometimes someone will say something to you right then to bring you down, emotionally? I think we also do this to ourselves in many ways. I’ll have a stretch of really good days and then suddenly feel slammed with regret for something I did or didn’t do years ago. So, I’m practicing recognizing this for what it is (a waste of time!) and letting it go. I think it’s just a matter of realizing that we deserve only good things and then expecting nothing less.

I’ve mentioned I’m studying A Course in Miracles. I’m pretty sure it will take me a year to get through the text, but it’s intense in a really good way, so I’m not complaining. Something that recently stood out to me was this:

The problem is not one of concentration; it is the belief that no one, including yourself, is worth consistent effort.  Side with me consistently against this deception, and do not permit this shabby belief to pull you back.

I see this in my own life all of the time. How many nights do I choose to waste an hour instead of doing something really gratifying and productive? The thing is, though, is that we are all worth the consistent effort. We just have to believe it. And then take just one small step toward making it. xo

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