Opening to a New Reality – Part 3

Awakening to a New Reality - Part 3

Meditation first thing in the morning. Twenty minutes of silence and mantra. I had learned Transcendental Meditation last summer and it was easy to get back into the groove. It felt good!

After just a few days of meditating, I felt better and was able to get more distance between my thoughts and begin to see things more clearly. Sleep was still an issue though. I had trouble falling asleep and my mind was whirling with all these thoughts I was trying to examine. One night I just couldn’t sleep, so I got out of bed and went into the living room and turned on the TV and grabbed my laptop.  I had gotten a message on my laptop that my disk space was getting full, I had to remove some old files or pictures. Since I was up with nothing to do, I started deleting stuff from my hard drive.  About 2 am I clicked open a filed called “Writing Projects” and there were several folders with the names of books I had started and not finished. I sat there and looked at it for a minute. There were several creative projects I had started and stopped. It hit me hard. How long had I been doing this? It was a familiar feeling. I felt guilt and shame, remorse and beneath it a twinkle of enthusiasm. It felt like how I felt about diets. I cringed. I began to feel that panicky feeling and had the urge to delete all the files to erase them from my life like they didn’t exist! But, there was too much of me in them, too much effort and heart. I couldn’t do it. So I opened each one. I sat there for the next hour just looking through the files. These were like un-birthed babies. This weight and body image was opening up into something bigger. This was about more, much more.

“Procrastination is like a credit card: It’s okay until you get the bill.”     – Christopher Parker

I opened the Body Belief book folder and inside I saw files for each chapter, other files with images and outlines. I had completed 9 chapters, over 40,000 words. Each chapter had images, graphics, and annotations. It was seriously organized.  I was impressed with myself! The date: 2012. Here it was 2017 and I was back here again.  Looking at this issue. TRYING to look at this issue again. I knew that I was on to something. What I couldn’t figure out – what was stopping me.  I had to uncover it!

The idea of being the watcher seemed the way to go.  I had to look into these thoughts and discover what was going on. Why was I repeating this behavior in so many areas of my life? I decided to print out all the chapters of Body Belief and also the original book written in 2008 (which was more of a workbook) and see what I could learn from all the work I had done.  The next day I copied the files onto a thumb drive and took it to Staples and had printed it all printed. I brought it home and started reading.  I was blown away with how good it was! Everything I read was right on, exactly what I needed to hear, the truth about the diet industry, the truth of our own innate body wisdom, the FOS and the VOS and how we need to re-wire our brains from the old fat mentality to a new belief system that owns own innate wisdom, and vibrancy from our true source. It was good!! I was taken back that I had all this knowledge, yet just a few years later I was entirely back in the FOS and fighting to find my way out again. I was excited that I had this wisdom and devastated that I couldn’t use it in my own life.  It was a difficult day. Again, I had to sit with it and decide what to do next.

What I did next was slip back into an old habit – DOING. Somehow during that discover I slipped away from my watcher/observer self and back into my old Modus Operandi. I decided I would finish this book and it would become my next project! I would use this book to be the next thing that I could loopback to Becoming Zia and loop forward to Body Belief. I moved into my hyper-organized doer self and began making lists and coming up with ideas how to present it to the world. I created a timeline and a launch date. I bought a domain name and set up a WordPress website. One of the files I had found was an informational videoI’d created that explained Body Belief (although I hadn’t finished it, of course!). I went to work on the video and bought a microphone to do the voice over. I learned how to use the microphone and then decided I would do a podcast too! Oh yes, I had this all figured out!  First I’d finish the video (watch it below)  and then I’d start on the next thing – the process of Body Belief. Yes, that’s it!

Ha!

Who was I kidding?

How could I work on that when I didn’t know how to do it for myself! Was I crazy? So I had to pause again. I stepped back from this all and thankfully was able to get a little space to become the watcher for a minute.  I could see that I didn’t have the answer for other people, the person I needed make this work for was me! But I had no idea if I could!

I pulled back for a couple of days. Then I did a very out of behavior thing – I went to the cannabis store. Yep, that’s right I decided to get high. Strictly medicinal, I thought I could break through whatever this block was and that marijuana might help. Seriously. I had been reading a lot about it because I had been considering investing in marijuana stock since it was becoming legalized in California, I had heard that it was a good investment. The uses were so varied and treated so many illnesses, one being anxiety. I called the doctor and talked to her about the use of cannabis for anxiety and creativity. We had a long talk and she recommended I go to a website called leafly.com. Which I did. After some more research, I went to the dispensary with my medical marijuana card in hand. I learned about CBD and decided to try a combo THC/CBD drop. Just a few drops under the tongue. The people at the dispensary were helpful and knew their stuff. It was quite an interesting adventure.

It took me a few days to get up the nerve to use it, but I did.  I took three droppers full, the recommended dose. Then I went into my cottage and meditated for 20 minutes. I wasn’t feeling anything, but I decided to start writing. Before long I was writing about the chakras and how that could be included in Body Belief and that each chakra was connected to a life area. If the area was disconnected or blocked then it could be an issue.  If the chakras were balanced then an opening might occur which would let a person see their own divinity and could connect them with their wisdom body.  It seemed very profound. I immediately started working on it. I got out my book and the section on creating a new VOS (Vibrant Operating System) and connected the seven chakras to the seven life areas I discussed in the book. It was all making sense and I liked it!

Part 4 coming next week.

Know Yourself • Be Yourself • Live it Like Crazy!

Observing the Awakening – Part 2

Observing the Awakening - Part 2

Becoming the Observer.

I began my experiment on August 14. Just a day before the launch of Becoming Zia. The timing wasn’t that great, but now upon reflection, it was perfect timing! I began with watching my thoughts about giving up a food plan and taking away any restrictions. Anxiety. Yes, that was the first thought and feeling that arose. If I didn’t have consciousness about it than I feared I would weight 350 pounds in a matter of months. If I didn’t weigh myself than I feared that I could gain weight so quickly I would be shocked the next time I weighed. The thoughts and feeling that arose were terrifying and majorly stress inducing. There was a war going on in my brain.

I realized that any separation I had between diets don’t work and my own belief system was gone.  I had fully meshed with the Fat Operating System again! I had slipped back into the total and complete belief that I was powerless over food and eating and that I could not be trusted to listen to my body or to make responsible choices.

Knowing I had slipped back into this FOS mentality even made me more panicked! And being a person who was under treatment for an anxiety disorder this was not a good feeling at all. But, I did know that I had to step back and watch these thoughts and see where it lead me. The first big urge I had to eat when I wasn’t hungry became an opportunity. Instead of reacting to it, I looked at it. I wrote about it and investigated it. In this one inquiry, I discovered something big, huge actually. When I followed the urge to eat two things came up in my head. First, the thought “fuck it, I can eat what I want it doesn’t matter. I want it!” and the second, “If I eat it now, I’ll just have to stop eating it in the future sometime, because that is the only way I am going to lose weight.”

“Every explicit duality is an implicit unity.” -Alan Watts

Then, what happened next is what changed everything. Right behind those two thoughts was a feeling so powerful that it knocked everything else out of the way. The feeling was sheer, life or death panic so intense that it nearly forced me out of the chair and to the refrigerator. The desire to eat was nearly impossible to stop.

I realized that it wasn’t one thought that I had to look at – it was a cluster of thoughts that were connected. There were the first two, which seemed like my rational mind arguing the process and cons of eating. Then, there was the fear of having to give up this habit that had obviously served me well through out my life. And just the very thought of it sent my flight or flight response into overdrive and I was acting out of a survival level need. I could feel it all over my body. Thankfully I was still in the observer mode and I allowed myself to experience this, telling myself I was safe and it was okay to watch this unfold.

It was an awakening. At that moment I had made the connection with this deep seated anxiety that I had lived under most of my life. First, in my family, then my first marriage, and then recreated by me. It had become a state of being – protecting myself from this anxiety. A feeling of life or death.  It was big.

I sat with this for a few days and things began to unfold. I kept thinking about the Big Lessons I had learned Becoming Zia. The most important being, I am perfect just as I am. What if I started at that point. Accepting myself exactly as I was? That wasn’t entirely easy. I had begun to accept myself as perfect in many areas of my life, but this stuff with my weight and body just seemed hard to accept. I was willing to try.  I talked to my daughter about it and she was a little skeptical. She asked if I was just giving up, or looking for a way to just eat what ever I wanted. I heard her and I understood her concern. After all, she had lived with the same messed up kind of mother I had had, body and weight obsessed.  She had seen me through dozens of diets, weight loss programs, non-diet diets, and all sorts of metaphysical and new-age sorts of programs. She had joined the one I was doing now! So hearing me question yet again, another program really got her going. It did stop me, and make me question my decision to stop the “protocol”. Was I just looking for another escape route, like I had many times before? Was I being just like my mom who started counting calories, then switched over to counting carbs when she wanted to eat sugar or flour? It gave me pause and I had to look into that thought.

So that’s what I did. I sat with it and I observed my thoughts. I realized that it takes an effort to really get that space between your thoughts and awareness. To become the observer, or the watcher. It is a gift of our humanness, but sometimes hard to do. That is what makes most people uncomfortable with meditation, all the thoughts that come up and interrupt the silence. I had been encouraged to start a meditation practice after my anxiety breakdown last year.  I was religiously doing it for months and months, but it had slipped away. So, I decided that would be my first line of action – beginning my meditation practice again. That would help me step back and observe my thoughts and see if I could uncover what was going on.

Part 3 next week.

Know Yourself • Be Yourself • Live it Like Crazy!

A Story of Awakening – Part 1

A Story About An Awakening - Part 1

After all, I am a Storyteller!

It has been an interesting few weeks. I’ve had an awakening that was very unexpected and still unfolding. I will tell you the story of how it happened.

After publishing Becoming Zia and the Becoming You! Workbook I wasn’t sure what to do next. All the writing coaches and classes I had taken learning the publishing process all agreed that the next step after publishing your first book was to start on your second. Since I am a goal orientated person, that seemed like a good idea. The concept makes sense. Write another book and loop it back to your first book and loop you first book to your second and that begins the energy of promotion. Because, honestly, what’s the point of writing a book if no one is going to read it!

It sounded like a good plan.

Since I already had another book almost written I thought I would re-visit it. However, since I was more enlightened now then I was when I wrote it, I thought I would start anew and begin by using myself as an experiment. I had done this in the past, without much success, but I was willing to try again with a new approach.

The book is Body Belief: A New Paradigm for Weight Loss. My belief is that the disconnection from our innate body wisdom and our source of life is what has created the problem. That, along with a diet, exercise, and beauty industry that has created a consciousness that supports that disconnection. I call it the Fat Operating System. A system, like a computer operating system that keeps recreating the very thing that is unwanted. My thinking is that we need to reprogram ourselves, reconnect with our higher self and our innate body wisdom and create a new Vibrant Operating System (VOS). Something that is more naturally aligned with our authentic self.

Weight and body image has been something that has been front and center in my life as long as I can remember. My mother was obsessed with her weight and body image. She lived from one diet to the next.  She was on the Paleo diet when she died. Just a week before her death she was so happy she had lost enough weight to wear a size 10. She wanted her picture taken with her new smaller size clothes, so I took some with my iPhone.  When I showed them to her, she looked confused, angry and sad, all at the same time. I asked her what was wrong. She responded, “I still look fat!” The next week she died.

“Losing weight does not cure a negative body image!” -Anonymous

I didn’t want to follow in her footsteps. But here I was 61 years old and I was still dealing with it. It had to stop! I was clear that dieting and the yo yo cycle of losing and gaining must stop – for good. As long as I was trapped in that mentality I could never see clear to change. Interesting enough, I had joined a year long Life Coaching program that was specifically for weight loss. The process involved following a “protocol”, not a diet. You developed your own “protocol” but it had to include intermittent fasting, and no sugar, flour, wheat, processed foods, or snacking. Two meals a day with nothing in between. No, this wasn’t a diet. Right. Then, once you were following protocol, the theory is that thoughts would begin to arise that would help discover the root cause of overeating and the urges that created it!

At the beginning of the year (I started in January) I did great. I lost 45 pounds and was feeling fantastic. The thought work was really helping and I could see much more clearly.  I think doing that work helped me create the Becoming You! Workbook and the philosophy interwoven into it – Know Yourself • Be Yourself • Life It Like Crazy! It also helped me see some of the Big Lessons I wrote about in my book.

What other people think of you is none of your business.
You are in charge of your own happiness.
You are perfect just as you are!

However, the “protocol” had stopped working and I was fighting it every day. Eating “good” one day and then “bad” the next. Beating myself up and promising myself I would go back on the protocol 100% the next day. It all felt very familiar.

Yes, you’re right – it was a DIET, not a protocol. It was a more intellectual approach to dieting, but it was still dieting. I felt forlorn and angry at myself for being back in this same space yet again.

But, all was not lost!

What I had learned from the months on the program was how to really step back and look at my thoughts. I knew from my Body Belief research (dating back to 2008) that 95% of all diets fail and that was the first thing I had written about – giving up dieting. So I decided to give up all food rules and restrictions and start looking only at the thoughts that came up.

Wow! What I began to discover!

PART 2 next week!

Know Yourself • Be Yourself • Live it Like Crazy!

I Am Enough!

I am ENOUGH! My life is ENOUGH!

You know what writing a book taught me?

1 – It feels great to accomplish a goal!

2 – I need a new goal.

Funny thing about dreams and goals. As long as they out there in front of you, there is a focus, a drive. A reminder that you need to keep working. It is the inspiration.

I had the goal of publishing my book out in front of me for years. Actually, the goal of publishing “a book”, any book was the goal. Before Becoming Zia I was working on another book called Body Belief. It is nearly complete. I got it out a couple of weeks ago and realized I had written over 40,000 words, 9 chapters complete, only one chapter to go.

That’s when it dawned on me. I published Becoming Zia and the Becoming You! Workbook and it felt fantastic.  I was so proud of myself. It was so awesome looking on Amazon and seeing it there. Then, I started getting reviews, which was thrilling! But, I realized I was goal-less. I didn’t know what to do with myself.

All the books and classes I’ve taken on publishing say that the first thing you need to do after you finish your first book is to start working on your second. Wow. I had to sit with that a while.

There was a lesson in this for me. I gave it some thought and realized that there was another option.

I am ENOUGH. My Life is ENOUGH. Having a goal or achieving a goal doesn’t make me whole or complete.  Being me, just as I am makes me complete. One of the Big Lessons I learned in Becoming Zia was recognizing my own perfection. If I am perfect, whole and complete as I am, that is a much better starting place.

If I want to write another book, I can. But, it is not a measure of my worth or value. It’s a creative activity I want to pursue to feed my soul.

That feels much better and takes away all the anxiousness and pressure. It is a shift in perception, but a major one. It is life affirming and encourages my creative spirit.

We live in a society that gives setting goals and achieving so much value that we forget to remember we are here on earth to experience life and to express our own unique gifts. In order to do that, you have to relax into it and find passion first. Allow it to be nurtured and put a stop to all the expectations and pressure.

“To be released from the unconsciousness that separates you from the Ture Self, you must step back from the filters imposed by the self-image.”
– Amrit Desai

What I realize today. I am thrilled to have a published a book! I am proud of myself and honored by the outpouring of support and praise. It feels great! However, I don’t need a new goal. I am enough, my life is enough. Actually, it is perfect!

From this point on, I answer to my creative process. That is where my higher self resides. The rest is just noise.

Know Yourself • Be Yourself • Live it Like Crazy!