Monday, 4 January 2010

My 2010 resolution - Living consciously

There was a man back in '95
Whose heart ran out of summers
But before he died, I asked him

Wait, what's the sense in life
Come over me, Come over me

He said,

Son why you got to sing that tune
Catch a Dylan song or some eclipse of the moon
Let an angel swing and make you swoon
Then you will see... You will see

I was waiting for one of my favourite programmes - "Criminal Minds" - to come on. Paul McKenna's "I can make you thin" is on beforehand, so I figured I'd watch it.

I'm hooked.

Now, I'm not in the market for losing TOO much weight - I love my cleavage - but I do need to lose some, and I do want to tone up. I'd like to be able to wear a sari unselfconsciously. It'll take work, but I'm not one for putting a huge amount of work into it.

Paul McKenna had four simple rules:

1. Eat when you're hungry. Physically hungry - and bear in mind that 75% of the time that you think you're hungry, you're probably dehydrated - so try drinking water first.

2. Eat what you want - No argument there :-).

3. Eat consciously. Put your fork down. Eat slowly. Savour what you eat. He did a fascinating experiment where he blindfolded people eating breakfast in a cafe, so they really had to focus on what they were eating - and they ate considerably less. Ditto the people he asked to sit down and eat at a quarter of their usual speed. They don't miss the 'I'm full' signal and go over into 'I'm sick'. And note that your tastes may change...are you really going to want McD's if you're really TASTING it?

4. Stop when you're full. And remember it can take 15 minutes or so to know that.

Love the rules - will definitely be trying them with food this week and will be ditching the 'Must empty plate' rule.

But I'm going to go further. I'm not just going to eat consciously, I'm going to LIVE consciously.

Try, anyway.

And I started with "Criminal Minds" - I've seen the "Fisher King" double episode once (episode 1 at least twice), but this time, I decided to REALLY watch it. Not fb through it, not talk through it, none of it.

And I LOVED it. I saw things I hadn't seen before, caught nuances of character, snatches of dialogue and El's conversation with her father during her near-death experience was more touching, had more depth. I found myself watching with the wonder of a child, at a level I hadn't experienced before.

If I'm honest, the universe has been really nudging me in this direction - my study partner's ability to nudge unexpected answers out of me; Vivian saying, "Don't assume it's the obvious answer,"; discovering the unexpected when I thought I knew the pattern; being told over and over again to sit with raw emotions and events rather than trying to make sense of things too soon.

Not living consciously, imposing patterns too early are ways of avoiding the unknown and life's mystery. It's a way of being certain of things - something I slam religious folk for over and over again. Hmmm, wonder why. Couldn't POSSIBLY be my shadow, could it? Yes, very often I have a right to be angry - but too often, I'm not going deeply enough to find out why I am SO angry. I cast a rather large shadow: I think it's time we got to be best friends.

There are secrets that we still have left to find
There have been mysteries from the beginning of time
There are answers we're not wise enough to see

To find, we must seek - which means being present - emotionally, physically, spiritually.

So this year, I'm going to try to be present, live consciously and not just react: at work, at church (that will be the hardest), with friends, at home. I've been lazy and playing out too many patterns. If a sermon bothers me, I'm going to ask why, what it's really about. If an interaction is bothering me, instead of pulling out my big guns, I'm going to try to stop and listen - to the other and to my heart. If I'm feeling raw emotion, instead of imposing order, I'm going to see what arises from the chaos.

Son for all I've told you
When you get right down to the
Reason for the world...
Who am I?

I'll see where it takes me, but I already know the sense of joy and rightness I get when I am truly present - holding a baby, listening to a friend, on my counselling course, writing, those unexpected moments of beauty the world offers us. Already, one thing that's arising from this resolution and my time in the land of the dark sun is a sense of purpose:

I guess we're big and I guess we're small
If you think about it man you know we got it all
Cause we're all we got on this bouncing ball
And I love you free
I love you freely

Here's a riddle for you
Find the Answer -
There's a reason for the world,
You and I

(song lyrics - The Riddle by Five for the fighting)

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