December 2012


I was really jealous of my Mom the other day.  I’ve been dry on the inspiration front.  Not writing in my blog.  Not feeling inspired about anything really.  No juice.  No interesting thoughts, just a head full of the usual mundane workaday stuff.

And then here’s my Mom.  She’s become an Elder at her church and was asked to come up with some material to use around Advent.

She had nothing.  She didn’t feel a huge affinity for the celebration.  She started by looking up  the meaning of the word, it means “coming” and was sure what to do next.

The next morning she wakes up at 5:00 a.m. and all the material is laid out in her head.  It stems from the definition she looked up and she has each of the 4 weeks material organized in her mind, she just needs to write it down.

I was so jealous.  I’ve had those moments of inspiration, out on a run or waking up and they’re awesome.  I think there’s a Paul Simon quote about how when the song writing muse hits it’s absolutely amazing and the rest of the time he spends waiting for it to happen again.  So right.

And here’s me, dry as dust.

So since my conversation with Mom I’ve been working more on trying to nuture it.  Sometimes jealousy is a useful way to understand what you want.  So when my inner cranky judge says sarcastically, “wow now *that’s* really life changing”, I’ve worked on ignoring it and writing down my scraggy little thoughts anyways.

I’ve been making sure i get in my meditation time and trying to spend thinking-energy on things beyond the mundane, whether it’s listening to a podcast or watching a good movie, or reading a thought provoking book.

And it also means looking for inspiration wherever you can get it.

Yesterday I was wondering what to teach in my yoga class.  I was on the way home with Leo who’s three and i said, “Leo what should i teach in yoga tonight?”.  He said, “fire”.

And even though there was a voice in my head going, “you gotta be kidding, you’re going to look for advice from a three year old who’s not even a certified yoga instructor?”.  I thought about it anyways.

I couldn’t think of any poses off the top of my head related to fire.  But then i thought about the poses that help build fire in the belly, in the second chakra.  And i thought about how in the winter time we just want to hibernate and eat heavy rich food (tis the season!).

And i thought about how good it is to do these fire generating poses to not only build some energy when you need it, but also help your digestive system do its work.

So I told my class all about that last night and i said, “this class brought to you by Leo the three year old”.  And we did the building fire poses and threw in some kundalini stuff as well and had a great relaxation at the end of the class and it was all good.   It was a great reminder to look for inspiration from the grand lofty sources, and the little ones too.

I got my son a 6 inch long plastic lizard.  Supposedly if you soak it in water long enough it will grow to four feet.  The other night i was in the bath and Angus suggested that he put the lizard into my bath water when i was finished so that he could super-size him.  The conversation went like this:

Me: so he’ll grow big hey?

Angus: yeah as big as yer butt!

Me: ha!

Angus: no, Mom <chuckle> not *that* big

He’s lucky i love him :-)

I have always been jealous of people who don’t battle their weight. Whether they eat lightly because they just don’t care about food, or whether they can eat what they want without gaining an ounce, I’ve been jealous.  But I’m starting to feel different at about it.

A lot of it is ageing.  It seems that when you hit 40 you can’t hide from your bad habits anymore. Everybody looks pretty good when they’re 20 right?  For some people they hit mid-age and start to gain weight for the first time in their life and have no idea what to do about it.  For me?  I’ve never not had to be conscious of my weight.

Having been at it this long I have a pretty good sense of what works and what doesn’t for me.  I would hate to have to start that long learning curve at this stage of my life.

Here’s what Haruki Murakami says in his running book.

….having the kind of body that easily puts on weight was perhaps a blessing in disguise. In other words if I don’t want to gain weight I have to work out hard every day, watch what I eat and cut down on indulgences. Life can be tough, but as long as you don’t stint on the effort, your metabolism will greatly improve with these habits, and you’ll end up much healthier, not to mention stronger.

I was talking to a woman the other day who was interested in doing yoga. She’s a naturally thin person. And she said, ” you know just because I’m thin doesn’t mean I feel good”.

And I get that now when I never used to.  If I had never struggled with my weight I might never know that working out and doing yoga makes you feel really good.  I might never have been motivated to do it long enough to find that out.

Also, because I’ve detoxed – motivated to drop a few pounds – I never would have discovered that bread gives me brain fog.  The first time I detoxed I looked around on day 2  and went, wow is this what life really looks like?  The fog was gone for the first time in my life and I wouldn’t have experienced it if I wasn’t trying to lose five pounds.

If I’d never messed around with my diet I wouldn’t know which foods make me feel energized and alive and which foods make me feel heavy and sleepy.  I would have just been stuck in a rut of the food routines I’ve had since I was a kid.

And a funny thing has happened.  On both the food and exercise front, my motivation was originally to lose weight and it’s not any more.  My motivation now is to feel good.  Don’t get me wrong, the weight maintenance is a nice benefit. Fitting into my clothes feels good too.

But feeling energized and strong and sharp and healthy are the reasons I do my best to exercise and eat well for my body.  And I’ve found that now I feel even more motivated to avoid the foods that my body doesn’t do well with, even more than i used to.  There are more days now when feeling good feels better than hitting the bread basket or the cookie bin. It feels crazy to say, but I’m grateful that I’ve had to manage my weight.