Personal Note

My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From your thoughts, you can create greatness.

This is what I need to remind myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create. Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgemental, love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are love.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sundays With Buddha

Week 6

A Jug Fills Drop By Drop

When I was first thumbing through this journal and saw this quote, I thought it was so simple yet encompassed so much. This lesson can be focused upon for almost any aspect of your life. I take it to mean that each task you take part of in your life, it must be done one step at a time for, as “a jug fills drop by drop,” so our tasks in life will be completed.

I’m going to use this lesson as my motivator for getting back into shape. I feel I have fallen so far from what I used to be in this aspect. Health and wellness had been a big part of my life before my mother passed away. I had made the decision to better myself and I started right off the bat and it became such an easy daily habit for me to eat well and exercise. I had my routine down and enjoyed waking up every day.

Working the night shift is hard on the body, as well as the mind. I used to feel terrible almost every day. I didn’t get enough sleep, as sleeping during the daylight hours was not the best scenario. I was not eating enough or at the right times to keep myself healthy or energized. I eventually got tired of being tired and feeling ill all of the time. (I knew the way I was feeling was from lack of sleep and being up all night and from poor nutrition and lack of movement. I am not suggesting that you simply start an exercise regimen if you begin having symptoms that are new and unusual for you. Always check with your doctor first, as I did.)
I decided I was not going to go on feeling this way, let alone go on for all the years I planned on living on this earth feeling this way. I made the commitment to start eating better, to write everything I did eat down in a journal, to watch what I ate, to eat mindfully and to start exercising. And I did precisely that. It was easy, right from the start, even though it seemed a great feat. I just made the decision to be conscious of what I was doing. I even weighed and measured my food. It seemed like it would be such a great hassle, but in truth, it was not at all as inconvenient as it sounds. I focused on the fact that I was doing something for myself to better my quality of life and that, in turn, would make me a better person to be around.

I then started a healthy exercise regimen after seeing my doctor. Since I worked the night shift, I got into the habit of waking up and putting on my workout clothes right away. I would leave and pick up my son from school, come back to the house and get my water, a banana, my nook and my iPod and we would head to the gym. I had worked my way from only being able to endure 5 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill to running for over an hour straight. It became the love of my life. I loved to run. I was excited to wake up every day just because I was going to run. I had trained with my son in the early spring of 2011 and we ran our first 5k race in May of that year. I just kept it up after that.

I was just shy of my ultimate weight goal and was going to wake up Friday March 30th 2012 to start my first day of my 2nd six week training for my next 5k race in May, as I wanted to beat my time from the year before. Instead, I was awoke at noon to frantic attempts to reach me by several family members to tell me of my mother’s passing.
Life as I knew it came to an abrupt halt. Everything I was prepared for fell away, landing on its head. In the days and weeks that followed, I tried to keep up with everything. I was still trying to journal what I was eating, but it was becoming difficult, as was watching what I was eating.  I was keeping so busy with taking care of all that you must take care of after an unexpected death: my father’s well-being, his and my mom’s finances, moving dad closer (dads disabled and could not remain in the house they had shared or take full care of himself so many miles away), keeping up with dad's appointments, plus all of the funeral arrangements…you can only imagine.

Then, just three months later, my husband’s mother was taken from us, as well. It was like fighting against waves in the sea that are intent on keeping you from the shore.
The first 8 months or so, I only gained (and lost) the same 4 lbs. I was constantly in motion in those early months, with everything I was keeping myself busy with. I was doing a good job keeping my mind off of our unbearable losses. But, after I got most things in order, and was able to get my dad mostly settled into a routine, the holidays arrived (our first holidays without our mother's was a whole new chapter to deal with) and the weight started to creep on. It really does catch up with you when you are not being mindful of what you are doing. I had never changed my eating habits from when I was so busy. Now that I wasn’t as busy, and I was starting to have more time to think about my mom and to grieve more, food was turning into a comfort. This was exactly what I always feared and never wanted to happen. Even my husband and son gained weight because I had stopped cooking at home and we were relying on take-out to fit our schedules or our moods.

We kept telling ourselves and each other “we’ve got to get a hold on this. We’re active people! What are we doing?!” I know we’ve been through unimaginable difficulties, but it’s time we take back control of ourselves and our lives. We’ve been planning on being more active and eating healthier for months now, but can’t seem to put it into motion. It was so easy for me before, it truly was. But now, my motivation is sorely lacking. I’m trying to set goals to motivate myself. My birthday is towards the end of July, so I’d like to get as much of this re-gained weight off by then. My anniversary is at the end of October, so I would really love to be at goal by then, as well.
And that is what brings me back to the concept of this quote and the lesson it conveys to me.

A jug fills drop by drop

I must remember this to know that all things take time. It’s so funny how I can speak about these things so easily from my heart of hearts to help other people to realize that they are worthy and to be gentle with themselves and not to judge themselves or others, but it is so easy for me to forget when it comes to myself. But that's why I'm working through these lessons, to help remind myself to care for me, as well. 

So that’s what this lesson means to me. That everything takes some time to come into fruition. That patience really is a virtue, and you will save yourself from a lot of suffering and heartache when you come to realize this. You can accomplish your goals when you set your mind to it whether it is fitness and weight loss, becoming a better person, breaking a bad habit or building a new one, or getting back to life after a great loss. 

That’s why I feel blessed to have turned to this quote at this time. It is a reminder to me that everything happens in its time, with each step, just like a jug filling up with water. Drop by drop. 

Now it's just  up to you to turn the water on.



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