note to self…

affirmationI smiled as I read the email that morning, especially the ending-

“smile and have a good day! You really ARE a rock star! Make a chiropractor appointment tho’, your neck has been hurting in the mornings…but mostly just enjoy your day!

Love you!”

Always makes me smile to get a note like that, especially from someone who knows me so well…

It was from me.

And really, when you come down to it, who knows me best?  its me…i know all my fears, my bad dreams, my hardest moments, my selfishness, and the things that piss me off- and sad to say, but we often know those things about ourselves better than we know our beauty, our creative abilities, our strength or how amazing we appear to others.

I have heard people talk about affirmations for years, and always thought they were hooey. But one day, when i was discouraged with my aging body, I decided to try them. Now the decision was important, but affirmations didn’t appear in my life for several months. I always thought I would artistically create wonderful affirming statements in funky fonts set against breathtaking photos, frame them and hang them artfully around my home. I didn’t. Often I thought about the concept, but that was all, a fleeting thought.

photo(4)Finally, having had the thought travel through my mind so often that it had its own path, I acted. Grabbing a nearby pad of post-its, I scrawled affirmations on them and stuck them all over my house. Affirmations on my mirror, my cupboard doors, my fridge, my hall closet doors… They were and are still everywhere.  They are about my strength, my future, my power, my body, my abilities. 

And here is the cool thing… they work.

The reason they work is that we have an automatic way of thinking about ourselves that we have developed since birth…coded messages and images that we remind ourselves of every time we are faced with a challenge, a decision or even a compliment.  Changing those thoughts takes practice, and repetition. Old dog, new tricks, you get the drift…

I have figured out that I would never let anyone speak to someone I love the way I was talking to myself…so I stopped.

Speak to yourself kindly…it makes a difference.

as i am.

Several years ago, while in a store helping one of the girls shop for a prom dress, i spied a woman with an armload of clothes.  She was about my size, tall and robust (that’s code for a fuller build).  Entering and exiting the dressing room several times, i watched her go from clothes rack to clothes rack, selecting this shirt and those pants.  Clearly she was having a wonderful time, and admiring her figure in the tri-fold mirror every so often.  She was trying on nice clothes, fun clothes in bright colors.  I have thought of her many times, and even now, she is so fresh in my memory.

Like many women, i have always felt ‘too big’.  There are various factors that enter into this feeling, but regardless, its been in me for so long, i considered it a truth.  Looking back at earlier pictures, I realize i have never really been too big…at times, i have been painfully thin.  Yet, if you asked me at that time, i would have told you that obesity was just around the corner.

If I consider reality, just for a moment…and accept myself as I am, I would have to admit that i have worn the some of the same clothes for over 10 years(because i don’t like buying clothes unless i feel ‘thin’)…that tho my weight has fluctuated ten pounds up or down…even 20 here and there, I am still the same.  That the dieting, the weird food combinations, the ‘eating what i want’, the junkfood, the fear of obesity…none of it has changed my weight much…and i have to wonder, if looking back at pictures from this time, will i regret all the time wasted on worrying about being “too big”?

This body, which houses me, my creative spirit, my humor, my energy, my ability to let others shed pain…this body is enough, and perfect for its purpose, which is to love.

And its time to accept, just as I am.

What about you…just as you are?

much love,

Pat

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