I’ve had a few times now of a message coming into my life that was delivered in three different formats, but had the same premise: when you come from a place of living in the now, the shift you make can be permanent.
Maybe if I explain the three format scenarios, you’ll have a better idea of what I’m talking about.
“I just stopped.”
I went to a weeklong marketing conference in Las Vegas with a bunch of my colleagues. I really enjoy seeing them every year at this conference and this year was no exception. We shared many dinners and long conversations and it was a great, stressful, amazing week (aren’t those the best?).
Anyway, one lunch conversation in particular has stuck with me, even more so now that I’ve been exposed to two other situations with the same message.
My colleague Brent was talking about how he quit smoking (this, after we had been discussing weight loss and healthy eating). He said after many decades of smoking multiple cigarettes every day, he just stopped cold turkey.
Of course, I was the one to volunteer the typical question he probably gets every time he tells his story: “But wasn’t it hard?”
His response floored me and has stayed with me: “It doesn’t matter if it was hard or not. I wanted to quit, I knew I needed to quit, so I quit.”
It doesn’t matter if it was hard to not.
I repeated those words over and over in my head. After taking some time to process it, I realized I had personified the resistance I hated– automatically coming up for excuses for doing something so difficult.
For Brent, he had made a choice to stop smoking. So he stopped.
And when you think about it, it really is as simple as that. When you want to change something, you change it. Yes, there may be little steps in between, but it’s more about a shift in your life. You used to be someone who smoked. Now, you are not.
That line of thinking floored me.
“I was saying ‘yes’ to being fat.”
Another revolutionary moment for me came while I was reading A Year of Yes by Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy creator, Shonda Rhimes. The book itself is fantastic and I picked it up after hearing good things and watching her on Super Soul Sunday with Oprah (which, if I’m being honest, is kind of my version of church). As part of the interview, they talked about Shonda’s amazing weight loss, which is now over 100 pounds, over the course of the year the book covers. One point Shonda made that was memorable to me was that she said to herself, “I work so hard in every aspect of my life, except for taking care of myself. Why don’t I work hard at that too?”
That really struck a chord with me because I work hard and have accomplished a lot (yes, I know I’m not an award-winning writer that owns an entire night of television, but bear with me here). I work my ass off in all aspects of my life. Why not myself?
Anyway, I bought the book that day on my Kindle (bless ebooks) and started reading. I was excited for the weight loss chapter, as just like most Americans, reading about weight loss strategies is one of my hobbies, usually while eating frozen yogurt or a carb of some sort.
When I got to that magical chapter, Shonda said something that floored me (paraphrasing): “By being so obese, I wasn’t saying Yes to being healthy. Instead, I was saying yes to being fat.”
I had to re-read that entire page, over and over, the very thought of saying yes to being miserable or not your best self almost unbelievable to me.
“I was saying yes to being fat.”
Isn’t that so true of all of us who have something to change? If you are in a bad marriage, you are saying yes to being in that relationship. If you hate your job, you are saying yes to continuing to work at that job.
For me, I was saying yes to being unhealthy, even though I knew from experience that it made my eczema worse, gave me headaches, made me nauseous, and lowered my energy to almost nil. Every time I ate those types of chips that made my stomach churn or drank another diet soda that was part of a line of soda, the only liquids I’ve had that day, I was choosing to not honor myself, my best self.
“I came from a place of love.”
The last situation and message just happened today. I thought after three instances of the same message, different medium, that maybe the universe was trying to sell me something, and that I should get my head out of my ass and listen.
I practiced along with a Yin yoga routine on YouTube and an excerpt from a Wayne Dyer interview autoplayed next. This was a welcome surprise, as I love Dr. Dyer and have read many of his books. I was heartbroken when he passed away this year, but I know his teachings will continue to change many lives.
Anyway, the autoplay video let me down that familiar YouTube rabbit hole, where you click on more and more related videos. I ended up with one called ‘Choosing Your Own Greatness’ which, even though I didn’t think about it at the time, lines up perfectly with what Brent and Shonda were trying to tell me.
Wayne starts by explaining that he lost weight and started jogging every day, just out of the blue (which of course, immediately reminded me of Brent and his cold turkey powers). He began eating cleaner and walking every where instead of driving. He said this was a choice, a switch is basically flipped, and this is his life now: he is someone who runs 5-8 miles per day then walks about 4 more. He said something specifically about Love that will likely stick with me:
“I came from a place of Love, and everything else fell into place.“
He said this shift came from a place loving himself and respecting his body, which is the vessel for his soul. Shonda basically said the same thing: for years, she had said her body was just something to carry her brain around in, thus making it unimportant.
However, what Brent, Shonda, and Wayne all realized was that your brain is exactly why taking care of yourself is so important. Even if it’s “just your body” the pain you feel from the effects of a bad diet, little movement, or smoking affects your brain as well.
Because whenever I get headaches or have a nauseous stomach, it affects my mindset. I may get grumpier. I may snap at my husband or yell at our dogs or do a half-ass job on an assignment because all I can think about it taking Tylenol or Tums and laying down, waiting for sleep to make me unconscious so I don’t have to deal with being uncomfortable.
That is pretty brutal to type out, to acknowledge “verbally” that I medicate myself regularly (1-3 times per week) with painkillers or sleep to help me ignore that my body is out of whack. The headaches, the nausea? That is my body saying, “What the fuck, Kelsey! Cut it out!” Yet, I attempt to muffle it with Tums or sleep, or hell, sometimes more food.
So I guess I’m writing all this down to tell you two things:
One: I am not a person who takes care of their body. I am not someone who “tries to do their best.” I used to be someone who treated my body like shit and now I don’t. Just. like. that.
Two: Who are you going to transform into?
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