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Strike Three, Game Over

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Windup

With a full count loudly laying the foundation his body extends like an eagle in flight, an arm stretches back, and fingers tighten around the object that materializes from his dusty glove. The air is moist with the heat of summer; beading sweat lines his forehead, and dirt lives beneath his fingernails. Chirping birds and observers fill the air with chatter, the background music for the boys of summer. Fragrance of green grass and seasonal dew emit from the diamond.

Release

The gloveless hand releases the red-stitched, white leather sphere with nine-year-old force while his leg elongates to step forward into the soft sand below. Like one giant step for baseball-kind, he gouges the dirt mound below the tiny hill, seemingly a mountain versus a molehill. He relinquished the throw toward another mitt; the anticipation thickens the air as spectators hush to hold their breath; and the projectile barrels toward home. The white object floats as if in slow motion; it carries the held breath of spectators.

A stick of great length awaits connection for its crack at the orb. Square, padded bases occupy bodies ready to run. A crouched, masked boy awaits his mitt’s retrieval. Seven, focused players ready themselves for the speeding, catchable bullet potentially coming their way. Instead, the long rod of swinging aluminum misses the spinning leather by millimeters for strike three, game over.

Change the View, What I View Changes

670xNxIf-you-change-the-way-you-look-at-things-Wayne-Dyer.jpg.pagespeed.ic.6hUzjDNQ6XChange the view and what I view changes. My attention begins to seek new unexplored avenues. These untapped roads initially lay invisible and road blocked from my vision. Suddenly they appear as clear, open paths, and less traveled roads. They materialize since my recent crusade to discard “things” from my environment. With fewer possessions my happiness level skyrockets, the way I look at things change. Where once stuff existed, clean, clear shelves replace my vision. With new clarity, my sight and insight reach further where limitations existed. I see changed expansion to my surroundings and life’s internal, emotional, heart-centered passageways. My focus and attention initiate deeper vigor toward greater understanding of what appears before me. I see things I never noticed before.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  Wayne Dyer

Writers Transfer Truth

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Writers Transfer Truth

Sometimes I arrive at the keyboard without knowing what will materialize. Ideas transfer from heart to mind to fingertips to keys. I trust the process and my fingers do the walking, allowing words to orient themselves upon the page. There is no foresight, no added clues when I sit daily. I surrender and the words flow through me. I am not actually the writer, yet a conduit for the muse that has chosen me. Writers transfer truth.

Rotating Life

My life flashbacks and rotates along a conveyor belt of visuals. I see myself standing before a classroom, numbers upon a chalkboard, equations solved, and students learning earnestly. Yet life interrupts; the vision changes to myself as a student, laptop propped upon, and a graduation cap with red tassel flung aside, and the letters M, B, and A, displayed on my new resume. A man enters the flowing lifecycle, and a white veil guides me down an aisle. Visions of sending packages to customers, product distribution, and inventory stocked upon my shelves, multiple, profitable transactions per day meld my entrepreneurial existence. Birthing babies fills my life with breastfed infants, diaper changes, and chauffeuring kids to the hustle and bustle. Non-profit boards bring new meaning to charity, volunteering keeps math and teaching alive, and community-based giving occupies next steps.

Writing Arrives

Yet one inspiring day, writing arrives without warning, records the memories, and opens a dormant heart. It relays experience and fosters vulnerability for connecting with others, healing hurt within me. Truth flashes across pages. Readers recognize their own plight; feel emotions my words evoke. Hardwired to connect, the words are conduits to weave the web between us. Writing fosters the senses, utters purpose, and illustrates understanding; healing takes place. The words pave my path for inner analysis and an opening of love and belonging. My keyboard is the cog in a wheel that moves this energy; my fingers acknowledge and act in kind. Words flow with what matters, showering the world with consideration, healing, and love between life’s pages and passages. Through this conduit, my words transfer truth.

Stronger and Happier Without

6c77f2dd01d95651147ca17f3ba26193The You is all that does not nurture my body, mind, and heart. Ingredients that leave me wanting more are my addictive numbing agents. Nostalgia gnaws at me such as the Ice Cream truck passes by; movie theater treats call my name; and pain and loss ache for comfort only food could alleviate in the past. These foods numb my emotions and discomfort, fill a void within that simply needs attention, resolution, and healing. Another day without the numbing agents makes me feel stronger and happier. Clean eating is required.

I AM stronger with real food and self-love. The void within dissipates. Anything less weakens me.

Feeling Good Matters

687474703a2f2f7777772e62726f646172742e636f6d2f6f70656e696e67746865626f6f6b2f6f74625f66696c65732f70737963686f6c6f676963616c2d6665656c696e672d676f6f642e6a7067Feeling good following sleep is my ultimate objective, glowing health meeting me when I wake. My feet touch the cool hardwood, gratitude fills my core, and the slogan, “This is my time; nothing stands in my way,” feeds me emotional strength. I tap into my center, my heart beats with the rhythm of a silent morning, and within, an evoked joy rises. A go-get-it attitude materializes; emotional freedom seizes the day with kindness, compassion, and love. Anything less topples the day downward rather than in an upward flow. Feeling good, it is what matters.

Searching My Soul

1041661922-f55c16c991b8f1bce36cba5e57433f2dI search my soul for self-love, self-worth, and self-respect. They apparently escaped as if imprisoned; food filled their void. Guards relieved of their duties lay down their defenses and walked off the job. Chaos and mayhem, primed for this resistance, fight the war against returning unhealthy food inhabitants. I search in my heart for the three escapees and reasons for their departure while havoc reigns upon me.

Freedom lived peacefully within me for the past two years. Yet three months ago, disorder, dis-ease, and opposition infiltrated as a peaceful protest. Recently resistance turned fierce, defiant, and hostile, as sugar, gluten, and dairy assailants began staking their claim within clean territory. The disappearance of peace, love, and a sense of belonging in the form of self-love, self-worth, and self-respect must return for lifetime occupation in my heart. Lifelong happiness, emotional balance, and freedom, are up for grabs; stakes are high.

Uncertain why these core freedoms departed, solutions are on the tip of my tongue. Like missing vocabulary to shout comprehension, I know the answers exist within me; resolution feels close. Notable pride once stood where tainted shame now lives. I currently tarnish my insides, spoil my success, and ruin my health. My mistakes cannot hide; they reveal their discourse upon my face, thighs, and emotional distress as an extra physical and mental layer, inflamed by the toxic byproducts of my edible choices.

Soul Search Ends – Return Core ingredients

I am ready to counter this unrest, strengthen my core, and bring love back internally and to the surface. Searching my soul, parts of me seemingly had vanished, yet instead lay buried. Only within the stillness can I feel my genuine self emerge from the shadows. My distractions hid the vital pieces of my existence. Though recently tapped out by numbed emotions, mysteriously buried and ostensibly erased, my heart and soul carry the extraordinary in me. I shine a guiding light upon the buried treasures that never left the premises of my soul, self-love, self-worth, and self-respect. Chains imprisoning me unravel and unwind while the three core ingredients of my heart reemerge from their trove, their existence now awakened. The soul search ends with self-love at my core and happiness ignited.

Blank Page Again

Blank page again. My freedom for expression excites me, yet induces fear. My silenced voice infiltrates dread by potential words escaping composition. Yet my fingers continues clicking keys, my heart inspires threads, and my mind filters curiosity, imagination, and reflection. Each ending fosters new beginnings with foreboding joy, overpowering elation, and emerging freedom. Balance keeps me from full throttle of excitement, the offenes-altes-Buch-mit-leeren-Seitenclimax unreachable at an author’s endpoint. Insight into my hero’s journey lies there. Writing marks the pinnacle of my existence; it is while inscribing my insides onto paper that I thrive, grow, and thrill my inner senses. Within written expression I AM ENOUGH marks the world as my truth unleashes from my heart. I AM ALIVE! Blank page again fills.

Girl in the Mirror

Norman-Rockwell-Girl-at-Mirror-1954I awaken puffy, inflamed, and numb, staring at the girl in the mirror. My throat swallows painfully while bereavement, regret, and disappointment surface from visual vanishing health and recognition that actions went awry again. A thorough sigh releases the struggle of pent up emotions and exhaustion that couples with these repeated mornings after. I gasp as a tear drops to my lap below. Years of acquiring accumulated wisdom and altering my inner message, I still encounter distress that inertia will give way, my ship to shore post apocalyptic eating will capsize without recovery. What if I cannot right the wrong, survive diving into over consumption, and pull myself from trepid waters to start again. I stare at the girl in the mirror until a glimmer of hope sparkles from her eyes reminding me of my strength, determination, and perseverance.

Another Day One

I rise for day one again, a mental Monday when time feels heavy and motivation fosters commitment to clean food and physical strength of heart and muscle. The impetus to kick the cupcake away from heading to my anticipatory mouth contains loose wiring; detached self-care and self-love confronts and surrenders to the encounter. My long-term plan gone awry again, self-respect dangles, and cake crumbs dropping from my lips seems implausible. Yet immediate gratification beckons more sweets, impulsive responses damage me further, and an ache within wants change. Day one starts with a momentary quiver, wavering, teetering until momentum turns the corner near the ledge.

Unaccompanied, lost, and scared, perilously close to the cliff’s edge, a slight breeze has the potential of dumping me to rock bottom, where I began this journey long ago. I know friends nearby support me, would answer the call with the phone-a-friend option. Yet self-accountability beckons me to bridge the gap between dependence upon them and self-action. No longer do my days consist of holding others accountable for my successes and failures. Sustainable lifestyles have days of reckoning when we stand at the crossroad of do or don’t, regardless of social support or not. Disconnected by what others think and do, acting on my own behalf becomes essential.

Unraveling results find me at Day One, not at ground zero. My past repeating, I peel fat layers again; returned pounds beckon for change. Taking stock, I acknowledge past distance traveled and extensive knowledge accumulated. I return along a shorter route with clearance to run, power to self-engage, and perseverance to go the distance as my best self reaches fruition. Delayed gratification meets my commitment and erases the cookies that had me crumbling. Day one marks the first day of the rest of my life. Embrace rather than resist its return and I alter my results allowing a second day to prosper with strength and momentum.

Living Without Frenzy

Days move fast. Details are plenty. Head feels full. To slow the motion, shake this frenzy, I freeze the memories into picture frames, and still my beating heart with love for each essential second. I jump off this merry-go-round, sit in a field of stillness, and breathe in the glory of being. Time ticks faster, my motherhood role elevates to chauffeur, and I yearn for the smallest of genuine conversations and connections as we speed to the next ballgame, the next year-end activity, the next juncture of their lives exiting and commencing before me without acknowledgment. I no longer connect with others; frenzy stays with me. Yet, she releases herself long enough to let go and free me from captivity.

My son’s passion shines with a hit to left field, a single stretched into a double, and a slide into home plate. The play to first, the line drive caught on the fly, and a short pick-up to tag and close an inning out, are the joys that fill his heart beyond measure. A horse’s canter and jumping the two-footers with my daughter atop sets a glow this ride ignites within her. She rides with bliss, filled with love for this graceful creature, and feels more exhilarated than any other event can foster. As I sit on the sidelines, I feel my breath wave in and out, easing into stillness that recently escaped me. Frenzy is gone and I am one with the moment, grateful for the breath, experience, and elation of beauty within and around me.

When frenzy returns, I filter it out with a breath. There I pause to listen, see, and feel a glimpse of freedom as frenzy fades away into the stillness of an idyllic event. Frenzy files down its edges to smooth contours when the wind whistles, the crack of the bat declares a hit, and the hooves beat the ground with rhythm. I then experience happiness blended with harmony as the moment envelops me. These days as time moves faster and memories collide into a blur, releasing frenzy from my life offers the gift of joy, the thrill of freedom, and the stillness a good life requires. When I feel frenzy beckon, I release its hold, still my heart, and feel life’s bliss.

My Labyrinth

My world is spinning, my body standing still as the room moves around me. Bracing the walls, holding back nausea, I pray for mercy. Feeling physically well escapes me, the earth spinning without my ability to climb aboard. I ask the hard questions that correlate with my impending doom. Have I lived a complete life? Has my life purpose left its mark on the world? Can I elongate my stay, enhance my health, and serve people surrounding me? With a vertigo diagnosis, I remain horizontal letting silence and stillness illuminate hard truths left dangling without direction, a voice, or a space to make a difference.

My reality seems dismal. Yet my unrelenting spirit wants to alter my actions to wellness and prioritize life’s bigger picture into focus. Intend my next move, settle the earth from turning too fast, and live my life with purpose. When I was young, with every gift my grandparents uttered in some variation, “Wear it in good health, use it in good health, enjoy it in good health.” Since then, I feel compelled to live in good health. With a sudden shift of imbalanced bearings, I need a hand, faithfully supporting me. Healing requires belief, actions that support my health, and gratitude for the experience cast upon me.

Fascinating is that my vertigo originated within the inner ear where the body’s balance is maintained, called the labyrinth system. Within this maze, three semicircular canals contain fluid and act like a gyroscope, communicating where the body is in relation to gravity. Tiny crystals called cupuloliths dislodge from their place on top of the nerves, causing irritation to the fluid within the canals, causing vertigo. Researchers also believe particles free-floating within the labyrinth apply force causing vertigo symptoms as well. Imagining my gems free-floating, needing to rest in their origin and find their way home upon my nerves, is an interesting metaphor. Perhaps fear resides where my gifts to the world live. Symbolically my writing needs to exist where my courage lives. Disconnected currently, my gems (crystals) require a return to their rightful home, situated upon my nerves. Without this, I find myself disoriented.

Although connecting these dots an implausible truth, the timing of completing the second draft of my book, further than I have reached toward publishing thus far, is serendipitous. The completion feels dizzying, a disorientation of what comes next leaves an imbalance and uncertainty of my next action step. Yet guidance and intuition can cause this labyrinth to jar the gem within me back into its place of origin upon my nerves. Courage lives within me and fosters this journey to publishing my first book. Perhaps the world will stop spinning, vertigo depleted from its awakening purpose, and my book will find its way to the publisher and your bookshelf.

Rebirth

My body feels renewed as spring has sprung, leading to the end of emotional and physical hibernation. Buried beneath snow, cold, and parkas, sun, warmth, and tank tops reunite to highlight the day. With this new season comes outdoor activity, walking with friends for miles, baseball at big-league parks and little league on sandlots, and natural vitamin D dispensing into my body from rays of sunshine. While spectacular buds birth and grow upon branches, I enter the world a replenished, transformed woman. My goal weight reached, walking where few amble, out of an old version into my new body, proud, and comfortable in my skin, emotionally, physically, and internally reborn, seeing what is impossible when self-love ignites and weight releases.

Emotionally euphoric, full of joy and illuminated light, fog, depression, and darkness of faded energy, disappeared. A roller coaster of sugar highs and lows bringing tears, excess weight, and searches for sustainable solutions became my past, never to return. The beacon of light finally lit itself where initially obscurity loomed. I trusted the clean eating process, a lever raised to show me the way. Hearing hope, direction, and possibility, and feeling love, support, and gratitude, I ventured slowly along the journey. Prior to physical transformation, acceptance, a white flag, and self-love lead my path.

Physically my energy restored, replenished, and recharged. Years of lethargy, ultimate exhaustion by three in the afternoon, and a weakened core caused lower back pain and deteriorating strength. Alleviated ailments, push-ups, planks, and boot camps restored my energy, core, and posture, rehabilitating my physical strength. Walking tall, carrying heavy items with ease, and rejuvenated, my physical prowess is undisputed. Rebirthing atrophied muscles into dense matter alters my mood; I reach for and strengthen all facets of my life. The physical aspects connect with the emotional elements, fueling my body, brightening my core, mind, and heart.

Enhanced by physical power and emotional stamina, rebirthing my spirit has replenished my soul. When writing, words pour out of me like a watering can, enhancing the soil, soaking the seeds, and sprouting the part of me blessed with this gift. As strength rises within me, my essential purpose stirs to send the words from my heart to paper, sharing my journey, enlightening lives though the magic of letters upon a page. This rebirth aligns me with a higher power that had escaped connection when the blues, weakness, and darkness surrounded me. Freed from my own shackles, words sprout daily, flowering thoughts to feed my soul. No longer a void to fill, or an emotion to numb, internally these new beginnings connect me to something greater than myself. Life purpose appears present and set in motion.

To ride the rails of change and personally grow, rebirth is a steady process of patience. An emotional, physical, and mental transformation primes itself for a lifetime. Yet strengthening all avenues, releasing the “old”, and birthing a new body, energy, and heartfelt connection, engage my senses, empowers, and changes my life. Self-worth, the mighty mountain at the core of emotional, physical, and spiritual growth is paramount. Comfortable and confident in my skin and freeing myself from fear, rebirth began. Formerly falling deeper into an abyss, I clawed my way out as rays of hope and lightness of being led me out of misery, darkness, and desperation. Years of turmoil fed hidden emotions, weakened me physically and mentally, then seeds sowed, spring sprung, and self-love created my rebirth, strengthening my mind, body, and spirit.

Letting Go

A shaming, destructive, and painful memory from the past flew into view recently with an immediate surprise; it triggered nothing. I felt nothing, no judgment, no opinion, no emotion wrapped around the memory. Peace suddenly arose and surrounded the thought normally met with anger, resentment, and sadness. Instead of grabbing the nearest Oreo®, I sat peacefully, aware of transition, healing, and a nothingness I thought impossible. This newly occupied space of past hurt, regret, and pain, simply nullified into letting go, transitioning into a “knowing” of surrender, peace, and non-reaction. Relieved from this non-triggered emotional response, unaware of how this would materialize, today a “knowing” of my healing arrived and I let go.

Changing, healing, and mending of the heart happen sometimes silently. Does transformation require consciousness to process healing into being? My current experience concludes healing hovers, infiltrates, and assembles wordlessly, invisibly, and undetected, until thoughts, emotions, and actions accustomed to pulling a lever no longer generate an explosion of pain, worry, or divisiveness. When what would normally be reactive nullifies into silence, a letting go with acceptance occupies the space. Peace, self-respect, and self-love replace the self-loathing, outward hatred, and stored, hoarded anger. Great supply of resentment releases, the heart softens, and healing commences.

With compassion, inward and outward, I let go. Lacking judgment, resentment, and anger, I let go. Without control, tightening, and fear, I let go. Insight, consciousness, and introspection occupy my mind, I let go. Transformation in silence, simply being, and undisturbed, I let go. Releasing the weight, the emotional baggage, and the past, I let go. Cleansing the closet, the old, and the ancient, I let go. Losing shame, yet acquiring resilience, I let go. Allowing, opening, and soothing the heart, I let go. Through peace, healing, and stillness, I let go. The “knowing” is living open heartedly and letting go while feeling a sense of belonging, self-worth, and peace.

A healed and wholehearted existence translates to living authentically. Knowing what others think of me no longer mattering, encompasses my life. Cultivating self‐compassion releases perfection, engages my vulnerability to connect with others, and eliminates numbing of emotions and feelings of powerlessness. I foster gratitude, joy, and peace, enabling this release. Self-love, respect, and acceptance, while letting go, replace uncertainty. By simply being my authentic self, the nothingness suddenly existed, stillness presided, and I let go. Broken pieces of me, the shards of emotional glass that cut deeply, tarnished my past and present, curiously disappeared. The void filled where emptiness resided, a foundation formed, as if already there without me knowing it, and I let go. Time, process, and digging, healed deep wounds, yet “letting go” set me free.

Far Side of Struggle

Struggle finds me even when my eyes are wide-open awaiting shoes to drop and mountains to crumble. It surprises me, my knees buckle, and the ground suddenly feels closer to my heart than moments before. I grasp at air to stay standing, yet fall to the earth, pushing and pulling, clawing and climbing until I relentlessly release the effort to remain aloft. My energy wanes among the ruins of despair, waiting for a savior, surrendering with my white flag waving desperately, uncertain of how to rise to my feet again. Solutions are distant like a memory trying to retrieve itself, like words on the tip of my tongue. Former knowledge and lessons of yore vanish from my forefront, and I lay tattered, worn out, and empty in the dirt of failure.

Yet when silence and stillness come, a soulful, heartfelt whisper does speak volumes of my strength, past victories, and resilience that live within. Self-compassion weeps itself into existence. I begin to dust myself off, take stock of my current situation, and align goals with actions. Initially I rise to my knees, strength building upon small increments until momentum or a helping hand lifts me higher. Atrophy need not descend past efforts and return me to the distant starting line. I am further along than I initially thought. My ego recaps my incompetence, worthlessness, and failed outcomes, while my heart reiterates my true value with solace and shuts out the cruel, dark, inner self that plagues me with doubt, exhaustion, and failure.

Though the struggle is real, my heart leads me to the other side where healing lays waiting for relief, strength, and confidence to build upon itself. Faced-down-in-the-dirt moments require my courage to smell the tough fragrance that lifts me up through resilience. Pain and struggle influence harmful, edible substances for ingestion with desired yearning for more, believing I am in need of more to soothe the hurt. In these moments I cry the tears of old patterns, need for comfort, and relief of emotional pain, like an old muscle memory that lingers long past its welcome. These symptoms torment for immediate gratification while my heart aches for reaching the other side of struggle. The sweet food-related relief is temporary until I distance myself from the culprits taunting my taste buds; it acts as a dictator to my senses, attracting opium-like relief, the addiction it has become.

The far side of struggle stands where emotional pain lives and requires excavating myself from its ruinous path of failure. I embrace the knowledge it offers. Old patterns repeat while new lessons engage an alternate, successful path to repeal my destructive ways. Struggle waits steadfastly until ready to move to the healing, distant side. Leaning into emotions by feeling my pain, hearing their call for an unhealthy, eating solution marks the turning point of change. Without moving beyond this struggle, I remain in a holding pattern, reacting to pain, comforted by unhealthy, edible replacements. There I reside until I change my reaction. The paved weight loss path is a truth away in the far side of struggle by a shift of awareness bubbling to the surface. When it returns, I preparedly rise strong to take the first step.

Sleep Deprivation Weakens Resolve

Without adequate sleep, losing weight is challenging. Physically exhausted, I feel emotionally sensitive and crave carbohydrates for immediate energy, I search my refrigerator and pantry haphazardly without rational, mindful, and responsible forethought, desperate to relieve the discomfort of needing shut-eye. When healthy, prepared foods are unavailable, a smorgasbord of disastrous choices beckons the weakened consciousness.

During a temporary hiatus from a responsible, alert, and coherent mindset, I visit my pantry. Owned and operated for my children, processed, enticing, sugar-filled goodies are readily accessible to my sleepwalking body nearing these temptations. Foods that foster binges lay within my grasp. When mindful, a closet of characteristically addictive carbohydrates has little effect upon my will power. Yet add a sleep deficit and my acutely sensitive, reactive body craving comfort, relief, and energy, meets easily with unhealthy choices.

Some assemblance of reason chimes into my consciousness to force me to close the pantry door. Yet soon my head is gently knocking against the refrigerator door, I close my eyes, and see myself wanting, falsely needing, and craving sweet carbohydrates. My heart hurts from the conflict between weakness, desperately gathering strength to oppose an unruly sugar addiction versus the obvious yearning for anything filled with instant gratification and sugar. It taunts and begs me to inhale sugar’s appeal and reach for the boxes that contain it, reneging from my commitment to change, health, and self-care.

This tug-a-war between what I want instantly versus what I want long-term are opposing forces. I slide down the refrigerator door, feeling the cold hardwood sink into my sore, over-exercised gluteus maximus. Tears stream steadily down my face. Pain nestles in my chest. An acute emotional, deep hurt conjures a vision I cannot shake away. Aiming to distract it, I cry harder, yet the scene reappears without wavering.

I am walking quickly down the street, jacketless, toward the field house, aiming to retrieve the only large pair of softball pants for the game this afternoon. The vision of the Medium-sized pants cutting into my skin and the discomfort, shame, and embarrassment of seeing judgment cross the faces of my teammates makes me walk faster. Though I know my competition for the pants is only one other girl, I cannot bare to let her have them. I conclude I need them more than her. Compassion for her plight flashes across my mind, my inner turmoil douses the thought.

Then it happens. At first, it was simply the sound of a bus from behind, growing louder as its engine roared closer. Suddenly my radar via a piercing shout and cackle from the school bus sends shock waves vibrating through my veins, shaking the blood in my heart to travel faster. An unmistakable, gnawing ache courses through my insides, painful enough to paralyze me and plant me in my heavy feet that hold me up. I stop, hit from behind, stabbed with the words that reverberate in my ears. “Fat Ass!” echoed with chirps of laughter long after the bus flickered in the distance. My shoulders hunch deeply forward, the softball game already lost to me, the pants retrieval shame validated by the menacing, laughing voice from the bus confirms my fatness of being, not thin enough for the mediums, and not worthy of feeling loved or that I belong.

Water full of my anguish drenches my shirt, the firmness of the refrigerator door holding me up finds a gap to release me to the floor, and fetal position is all I can muster. I lie aware that I deserve better. I am better. As the agony releases with my tears, the cold floor awakens my senses. Relief seems to distract the cravings, their importance suddenly a foreign entity. My memory surges energy into my legs, disempowering the addiction, luring me away from the kitchen entirely. I cringe that my mind and will power went asunder easily.

When my body is frail and vulnerable from sleep deprivation unhealthy food infiltration has tremendous susceptibility and potential for disaster. Sleep deprivation weakens me physically and mentally, creating dysfunction and craving. Sugar addiction is empowered when sleep lacks. The disturbance disrupts mindful, disciplined, and purposeful behavior. My success relies on these elements for change. The more I snooze, the more I lose … weight, that is, and my resolve of worthiness grows stronger.

Sugar Addicts Need Not Apply

Keeping sugar at bay, denying it consumption, feels like holding my breath. Its intensity is like remaining afloat without a life preserver, treading water, and hoping that willpower and strength sustains its absence. Additionally simple sugar weakens me physically and psychologically by its addictive nature. The first physical step along the weight loss journey is simple sugar removal. Highly addictive, long-term weight loss requires its disappearance, enhancing health benefits.

For many, like a drug, sugar has the same numbing effect as heroin. Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, commented that heroin use feels “as if everything will be okay, and reduces emotional and physical pain. Any worries become alright.” Sugar alleviates emotions depth into dormancy. Making everything okay, all concerns slip away, and pain ceases to exist. Like an addictive drug, ceasing to utilize this substance, an aching, wanting, or need continues.

It is 1988. I am living at Boston’s 728 Commonwealth Avenue in apartment 4E. A CVS pharmacy sits adjacent to my building; I eye it with yearning knowing it occupies my need. The drivers in traffic, ignorant of my predicament, manufacture screeches with slipping tires, wrestle with rushing engines, and blast their horns with anxiety that plague them. Yet inside my dwelling, I sit alone, in emotional distress, depressed, and fearful of the emotions that need expression. Lying in a fetal position, my body launches without much consciousness into action to alleviate the pain. The familiar candy isle finds my hands grabbing two one-pound chocolate Hershey Bars. Soon my bed in 4E occupies a drug-induced woman, emotionally numb, her pain dissipating as the sugar settles into her veins. I am she.

This scene repeats itself often, numbing my pain of loneliness, feelings of unworthiness, shame, and aching from the void that lives within me. The cycling of this experience continues as weight mounts, lethargy surfaces instead of productive energy, and numbing prevents feeling anything. Sugar, my drug of choice, alleviates my emotional pain, yet destroys me simultaneously.

Substance abuse and addiction, its destructive element destroys physically, emotionally, and acts as an escape from reality. With my sugar addiction, it increases my waistline, enhances toxicity, and slows my body’s ability to digest and function properly. Psychological need eventually affects my quality of life. Cycling with centrifugal force, fearful of deprivation associated with eliminating sugar, consumption increases. My body continues to crave sugar until I alleviate the blocked emotions and distress that occupy my internal life.

“It’s not jumping out of a plane that will kill you; it’s the landing.” Landing gear for sugar detoxification simulates removal of an addictive substance. It challenges physically with headaches, exhaustion, and a mental pull to return to the additive indulgence. Bodies across America utilize sugar and food as a numbing agent visibly. The addictive substance aids and abets us from feeling emotions, stress, and pain. Without “using,” acknowledging, feeling, and expressing emotions, alters the need to numb. Addressing the purpose for emotional and physical escape via an addictive substance supports my recovery.

Although “everything in moderation” seems my solution, this need not apply to me, a sugar addict. Moderation leads to greater ingested amounts infiltrating my body through loss of control. Small amounts trigger my physical need to reach the same initial high or numbing effect. Like alcoholics, the addictive nature warrants self-control, an elimination of the substance, and a diligent path to recovery. Although socially acceptable and legal, sugar remains a destructive, health problem. Struggling with this affliction, elimination is the ultimate solution. If asked to work in a bakery or candy store, sugar addicts need not apply. This is a recipe for disaster.

A New Season

I struggle to see as if the light burnt out. I struggle to rise as if weighted down. I struggle to live fully as if hibernation beckons. Daylight dims sooner, temperatures drop colder, and adapting is harder than I recall. I glided along smoothly as the leaves transformed from green to glory. Yet now the fall foliage feels like me, vanishing. The grand gray suddenly illuminates the atmosphere, painting itself across the landscape, and gloom replaces my existence. With that final leaf, I fall and struggle to rise. Autumn silences itself as the colors dim, my energy diminishes, and a new season commences.

As the leaves bloom, brown, and fall, my body balloons with sugar, toxins, and processed foods, bloated, exhausted, and weakened physically and emotionally. Yet within this fall cleanup and changing climate, I resist the cravings that attempt to freeze my efforts. With a tool belt of experience, motivation, and knowledge, I am rising again. With consistent change and awakening from my slumber, I include social support, a phone-a-friend option, and self-accountability. Although I had initially been falling with the changing season, a refresh button is pressed and a renewed spirit returns.

Steady I plan, prep, and prod myself back to normalcy of “clean” food, exercise, and newfound energy. Clarity of mind returns, and momentum builds upon each day’s success. Time is the elixir that sets the pace for longevity with mindfulness at the forefront of action. Although small steps drive me forward, the consistency and perseverance of repeating the process creates the turning point toward cumulative results. My incentive to feel comfortable in my skin, emotionally balanced, invokes instant inspiration to rise from dormancy and rejuvenate my senses.

Strength returns and I welcome the holidays, shortened hours of sun, and air of winter. A new season needs not thwart my health efforts into submission. It serves as an inspired reminder and cleared space, away from the old and preparing for the new. Sometimes transition takes time, beauty needs transformation, and growth requires a change of season. When the inner urge beckons, I recognize the awaiting opportunity to alter and stir my slumber. I awaken to the change of season, embrace the possibilities that beckon and inspire action, and let the winds alter my path to wellness.

Have you embraced the new season, altered your path with new perspective and action steps, and risen from a dreary to driven life? Are you clearing away the leaves of your life that have fallen? Have the piles surrounded or buried you? When is your fall cleanup?

Journey of a Thousand Piles

Sometimes as if just holding on, I am barely able to conjure the courage to stay above the mounting heaps of tasks. I start to let life pile up, while incapacitating fear stalls me from taking action to stay atop everyday existence. Paper piles up as plowing through it exhausts my senses, dirty laundry calls my name from a distance as I steer clear from witnessing the piles forming, and the loads of heavy responsibilities pile a mile high awaiting completion. Desperate to attack and alleviate the bundles building themselves before me, I cower in my corner, escaping the pain associated with taking any action.

This pain is the fear of failure. It seems I would rather lie down and surrender within the mess than feel the possibility of failure. Hence, laying in the fetal position, eating sugar-filled comfort, and sleeping through life seem best courses of action to numb the debilitating pain. Yet eventually I stir from this slumber and alleviate this hurtful woe by taking one small action step toward removing the stack standing between a flowing life and me. By clearing my space, opportunity for personal growth, creativity, and possibility connect clarity, flow, and intuition to my heart that pleads for connection and purpose within the present moment.

To change my reality, I take one moment, one small step, one task toward removing the heavy piles holding me back. My energy shifts instantly, transforming the dormant life into one flowing with intention, mindfulness, and motivation. Unknowingly as this energetic change occurs, I move onto solid ground where recently quick sand had me sinking. I find the strength to pick up my shovel to dig through the piles, throwing out the unnecessary, washing the dirt from my protective layer, and removing the heavy weight of responsibility from my shoulders that had been restraining me from successful outcomes.

When I feel as if I am just holding on for dear life, I now recognize debilitating fear that leads this piling process. I may be unaware of the stealth emotion piling up within my existence, yet my immediate response to numb away the piles hoping they will vanish on their own is my telltale sign. Most importantly, I alleviate fear by taking action, feeling the emotion and power of change, and letting one task lead to the next. Piles begin to dissipate and clarity returns within cleared space for a flowing life. A journey of a thousand piles begins with one small step.

Any piles laying around your world? Can taking just one step lead to the next? Liberation lives there, in the action step that clears our environment, alleviates fears, and rejuvenates strength. Take one small step along the journey of a thousand piles.

Sleepwalking

To sleepwalk through life, living with limited awareness is sometimes the most I can muster. Disconnected from those around me, I putter and feel fragmented; only one cylinder is spinning. Drawn to my bed, to live within another dimension or universe of dreams and circumstances, sleep alleviates the excessive desire for peace, tranquility, and silence. Yet responsibilities beckon, I have not the luxury of slumber for significant lengths of time. Like an automaton, my limbs make the necessary movements to complete tasks, leaving Keats’ rosebuds where ye may. Life happens without my alert consciousness. I continue to talk and walk, sleepwalking through life until I awaken with wonder and stillness to notice the deafening silence I heard not before.

The creative spirit wants to unite craft with its maker, laying words to paper, paint to canvass, and invention to blueprint. An everlasting flow of love wants to feel the bloom of passion, the joy of ecstatic excitement, and the invisible, energetic wave of affection. My natural, human instinct for relationships, lost in a sea of ephemeral mist, awaits and wants vulnerable connection between souls to inspire my heart to open. I engage in the world surrounding me only by conscious choice, a splattering of interactions I choose by active participation. My merging with the world requires alertness that sleepwalking deprives and shrinks into a cocoon of hidden abandonment.

Yet sleepwalking happens inconspicuously. The lights dim and the fog spreads, blanketing my spirit for rest. I lay hibernating until the warmth of change awakens me. I rest within, my limbs moving with the day unaware of the potential consciousness. Cognitive abilities strengthen appearances of normalcy to the external world while my emotional, dormant heart remains numb eliminating the light beyond its surface. Physical energy revs when necessary while the inability to feel emotional connection, a catharsis that engages the spirit, seems lost in a cavern of emptiness. Periodically I awaken in this dream to notice the disparity within my life, yet hunker down to salvage energy, return to peace within, and drown in the calm dream of safety, ease, and familiarity.

Sleepwalking through life limits our potential for a life with meaning. Awakening from the dreamlike state requires conscious connection between our hearts and the peripheral world. We must jar our souls, no longer hit the snooze button, but awaken when the alarm sounds. Awareness compels us to demand change for ourselves. To allow the human spirit to creatively blossom, love unconditionally, and connect with others on a deep, heartfelt level, engages the soul for a full and meaningful life. Sleeping through life eliminates risk, yet enforces lack of purpose and living fully. Slumber as the forefront of our existence fulfills responsibilities, but reduces inspiration that feeds the spirit. Eventually our light goes out and asleep we remain. To see the light, we must energetically motivate ourselves to arise, stretch to engage with our Source, and enter the realm of insight with creative and emotional expression. Opportunity, possibility, and inspiration live at this open window. Peek out, jump through, and engage life with purpose. Awaken!

Numbing the Pain

Consumption is my go-to reaction to alleviate pain promptly. Eating, shopping, and talking, top the charts for numbing my discomfort. Whether I chomp on pretzels, purchase clothes online, or entertain the gift of gab, each act as refrains, helpful distractions from pain. Today I reached day’s end suddenly aware of the ache that existed during its duration. I leaned into the discomfort, surrendering to it as the sun set; it bowled me over into the fetal position. Crouched upon my bedroom floor, I recognized and reviewed the no-good, very bad day, and the weakness in me that neglected awareness sooner. Like a reel-to-reel, I relive the past day, as if observing it for the first time.

With subpar awareness, my fingers befriend Ben and Jerry, type the credit card number for purchase, click the Submit Order Button, and dial a friend’s phone number. Numbing discomfort by sugar cookies, sweet red grapes, and the taste of a tootsie roll banishes my distress for the short moments while the sugar rolls down my throat. Although I savor the taste, my immediate pain returns in short order searching for additional relief; alternative numbing agents do not deny my request. Finding the perfect, comfortable jeans and top alleviate my pain, as does a conversation with a friend. A spoonful of sugar is the medicine that goes down, churning out endorphins in mass quantities, that is, until a different feeling replaces the last morsel of food, spending, or word. Shame retaliates with feelings of not being strong enough to keep the pain at bay.

Consciousness arises, aware that self-destructive behavior overtook my senses, and negative consequences result for payment. My body desired equilibrium, escaping pain through modes that transfer pain to manageable acceptance. Throughout the day my arms flailed in the direction of the pantry, outstretched for foolish, unhealthy choices, an online clothing sale met my euphoric senses, and sharing in a friend’s drama removed my aches long enough for surviving awakened hours.

Unfortunately, desensitized moments of escape hardly constitute mindful, awakened moments. Instead, negative, numbing agents acted on my behalf as survivable mechanisms. Within this darkness, these old habits reduce discomfort, feel especially strong, comfortable, and friendly sorts aiding and abetting in mass consumption, band aiding, and icing a bruised body part. Aches suddenly pale in comparison and their strength accentuates the weakness in me. Yet are they so strong and I so weak? Altering our senses to awaken in the pain long before destructive behavior infiltrates and devours mindfulness is possible.

The pause between breaths enables me to feel the discomfort and make a new choice. Should the arm outstretched with a cookie in hand have clued me into my destructive descent? Might the clicking of the keyboard of my credit card number have jarred my awareness of alleviating pain? As I dialed a friend to escape my woes, did an animated bubble of my psyche appear in the ether stating, “Pain is the reason for this conversation. Feel it, breathe it, you are escaping your present reality.” Bringing awareness to the senses requires a pause long enough to analyze our actions to alter them. Without mindfulness, we cycle our way to the madness of escape, numbing the pain while our actions tear at our self-respect, our self-love, and eventual outcome.

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