Friday, February 17, 2012

Signs of Spring

photo of my flowers taken by my dear friend Jennifer Yandle

Michael sent me flours (ha... how a baker thinks!) flowers this week. The rosy pink and crisp white colors made me smile. I feel blessed and happy.

But not just because of the flowers. So much has happened in my life in the past year. I never really wrote a "goals" post for 2012, because honestly life is different. Life is happier. More at ease.

Happier not because of book deals, weight loss (I think overall I only lost around 2 pounds last year... I've gained back much of what I lost), or the lovely pendant my husband bought me for Valentine's Day.

Happier because I'm learning to be comfortable in my own skin. I'm learning to accept my flaws and change what I can in my own way with my own sense of timing.

I didn't write goals not because I don't have them, or want them... but because my goals are more loving and less concrete. I want to continue my journey of health, I want to continue to strengthen my spiritual life and emotional health. Physical health will come, but I've learned that right now focusing on my emotional and mental health has become a primary goal.

And I like who I have become. I'm not ashamed to admit that I like my size 20 khakis or my 2x teal tunic shirt with pleats. They fit me well and they fit my personality. I like that.

I think one of the biggest pieces of becoming healthy has been to start loving the person I already am. Right now. Yes, I want to become healthier physically... but for me, I was so focused on loving and wanting the person that MIGHT become "me" one day, that I had a really hard time accepting the "me" of now.

So here I am. In the midst of an extremely busy time. I have ten days to finish my book and turn it in. Ten days to edit all of my chapters, write a few more, write an introduction. Yet, while this would normally be a time of immense stress and frustration, I feel incredibly at ease. This is truly a sign of growth and change for me. I will finish this book well! I know that. (I'm not sure I could have said that 6 months ago!) Though it may be a few long nights and a more than a few cups of coffee, I will finish this race. And I will have learned to not only love myself more but how to deal with immense stress a little bit better. And that is progress.

A mantra that I wrote from a post earlier last year still rings true for me today: I am breathing, I am blessed, and I am strong!

My dear friend Cheryl sent me a poem earlier this week and I wanted to share it. I can truly relate to the themes in this poem and how for me, while the grip is often tight, change can happen -- slowly, but surely.

Open Hand
by: Gordon Yaswen

When your hand releases
a tool carried long,

you unclench it gradual,
...or it hurts.
Eyes used to dark
need time to take light,
and many-miled feet 
are un-booted slow.
When at length you unshoulder
from your back a burden,
you straighten by degrees;
and for the war-weary,
battles aren't over
when safety is reached.

I see better now
why I stall my growth,
as I heal, each inch;
why steps seen before
I only now take.
to go forward
I must also stop;
I can't depart the darkness
all at once.
To un-stoop, squint, clench;
open heart, hands, eyes;
I can slowly step,
tho seldom leap.

But, after all,
journeys so worth taking
are worth taking slow.
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