Have you ever seen the show LOST? If you are a LOSTIE like I am, you are my new BFF. 🙂 I LOVE that show.
For those of you who watched the show, you will remember the episodes where different “survivors” had to continually push a button every 180 minutes because they thought they were “saving the Island” (thus, saving their life). Some thought it was their destiny. Others could care less but did it because they felt obligated. But were they really “living”?
I don’t know about you but in real life, pushing a button every 180 minutes would get old really fast. I”m sure I would fall asleep on the job, although maybe not, if my life depended on it.
How many of us though, when we think about it, are just going through the motions of life? Maybe we are stuck on accomplishing one thing because we feel that our life depends on it? And has this one thing become your identity? For example, do you have a label such as Chauffer Mom , or the Smart Student, or the Fun Loving Geek? (my husband fits this category 😉 Labels are neither good nor bad. They just are. It’s how they effect our life that make a difference.
For example, growing up I felt like I was The Shy One , and I hated it. I later became The Goody Two-Shoes or The Pastors’ Kid. In college I was The Anorexic (and then Bulimic). Before my kids entered school, I was The Half-Asleep Zombie (aka Stay At Home Mom). I am now a Certified Holistic Health Coach and while I love the title, I do not want a label to define who I am.
I realized that I get so caught up in having a certain persona that if I feel like I am not meeting that expectation, that I am a failure. If I have not found the one thing that makes me really feel alive, then I am just going through the motions like a robot. I love how Mark Nepo puts it: (I am paraphrasing) “Don’t be a noun- be a verb. ” In other words, define yourself not by a label but by your passions- and it does not have to be anything earth shattering. Sometimes what makes us come alive is just a peace or stillness in our heart.
Sadly, for many years, I feel like I missed out on LIVING because I was stuck on something I was trying to accomplish or trying to fix.
I have hated my body for as long as I can remember, which resulted in an eating disorder in college. Yet, after having kids, my body image worsened.
I was missing out on life because all I could think about was getting a flat stomach. I was obsessed with exercise (though not as bad as during college). I missed out on social functions for fear that someone would think I was too fat, I missed out on intimate times with my husband because I didn’t feel sexy enough. I missed out on pool parties because I was afraid to wear a swim suit.
All I could think about was how I hated my stomach and how I wanted a Tummy Tuck.
Until one day, I woke up from the “dead”. I found my passion.
But what is interesting to me now looking back, is that if someone asks me what makes me come alive, I”m not sure if simply saying “health coach” is the right answer. Of course, I love my job- but that’s a noun- not a verb, as Mark Nepo puts it.
What makes me come alive is:
seeing a woman’s eyes light up when she has an “aha” moment
encouraging women to love their body even when they are feeling fat
inspiring others to find their passion in life
discovering the creative part in me that I feel like I had lost
trying to dance with my kids, or listening to music, or singing with my family
spending time near the water, or the mountains, or at least gazing at the sunset or the stars
spending time in stillness and finding clarity
Spending my days exercising or eating healthy for the sake of looking a certain way for me, is not really LIVING. Yes, it’s taking care of myself, but to what extent? If all I can think about is how I hate my body, then my life is shrinking instead of growing with passion. If I say to myself, “If only I will be skinnier then I will enjoy my life”, then I am not fully living in the HERE and NOW and enjoying each moment.
I want to wake up to a life full of possibilities and awakenings. I want to be open to change and to grow in my love for other people. I do not want to spend my days fixated on having the figure of a size zero model.
Life slips by sooo fast. I cannot believe that my kids are already in 3rd and 4th grade. I want to spend each waking moment with the attitude that life is a CELEBRATION –we all need to WAKE UP TO THE PARTY and gift ourselves with the best possible gift—-a gift that I know FOR SURE is our duty to open each and every day and that which truly makes us feel alive– that is the gift of SELF-ACCEPTANCE.
What is it that makes YOU feel alive? Share in the comments! 🙂