The other day, I mentioned that I had identified several reasons, triggers, or habits that bring me to eating more than what I need. Such information is only interesting at best if you have no plan for changing those behaviors. But, until I can change those behaviors permanently, I have to do something to stop the weight gain before it gets even more unmanageable. So that is where the South Beach Diet comes in. Dr. Arthur Agatston, a heart surgeon, developed a well-rounded healthy diet for his heart patients. Coincidentally, the diet also is perfect for people that are suffering from diabetes. Over a year ago, before Ruth and I started on the diet, my doctor told me that the blood tests indicate that I was pre-diabetic. At the time he told me, I knew I would soon be on the South Beach diet. I did not tell him of the plan, and I am sure he was somewhat disappointed in lack of concern. The last time I visited him, he was absolutely giddy with my test results. I had lost 80 pounds, my cholesterol was well within limits, my blood pressure was down far enough that he cut my medications in half, and I was no longer pre-diabetic.
That’s a lot to be happy about. But, my doctor knows, I know, and Ruth knows, that the job is not complete. As long as we live, we will have to deal with the same issues that brought me to the brink of being diabetic. I had done nothing to identify or make the changes internally that would help make the condition lasting. It would be just a matter of time before my old habits would drag me right back, not to a condition as bad as in the past, but WORSE than in the past. That is the nature of the untethered beast. Fortunately, to see this sixteen pound gain in weight was enough to alarm me. I really, really don’t want to feel as bad as I did over a year ago. So this time I will take advantage of this period of relatively good health and endeavor to break the cycle that I have submitted to in the past.
I have been on a focused spiritual quest for many years, getting increasingly focused in the last six years. Much of the foundational work required for internal change has been done to various degrees. I may be getting down to levels that are going to be the most difficult, the most challenging, and possibly the most dangerous I have ever been before. It may be at this point that I’m going to lose readers, if indeed, anyone is following this. Our sojourn on Earth is spiritual. Some of you have heard it said, and I have read it time and again in many books, we are spirits having a human experience The Tao Te Ching says that all that changes is not real. Only that which persists is real. My body will die and return to the ground. My essence is spirit. My spirit does not change.
In my first post, I mentioned I have a cadre of spirit guides, teachers, and masters, as well as physical teachers and mentors. Some of the discussion from this point on, must include the spiritual components of this journey. I have three things going for me now that will help me succeed at breaking this cycle:
- I have gratitude.
- I have purpose.
- I know absolutely without a doubt that I am loved.
Gratitude. Not long ago, I started reading a book called The Magic by Rhonda Byrne (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/magic-rhonda-byrne/1107727564?ean=9781451673449). I absolutely do not agree with her approach to gaining wealth, but she does lead the reader through exercises that are designed to make one aware of the many things we have for which to be thankful. She insists the results of the exercises are “magic,” but I am convinced, the results are a natural outcome of gratitude. When you know how truly blessed you are, you won’t waste time feeling sorry for yourself. The first thing I do each day is identify ten things for which I am thankful. Each day has to be a new list, with only a few repeated things from prior days. This exercise puts me into a positive mindset with which to confront the rest of the day. (By the way, I haven’t finished the book, though I plan on it, and I would not recommend it because of her emphasis on “magic.”) Knowing how fortunate I am keeps me from despair. Knowing how fortunate I am, gives me strength to stand up and face the trials of the day. Knowing how fortunate I am keeps me from slipping into a “victim” mentality.
Purpose. Believe me, not too many years ago, I began to doubt that I had any reason to remain in this physical plane. I was not contemplating suicide, but I did petition my spirit guides to let me leave this dimension. They made it very clear soon afterward in a very emotionally intense dream that I had purpose, and they let me know precisely what it is. I have accepted that gladly. Knowing I have purpose makes all the difference in the world on how I look at each day. (yeah, I know, now I’m getting too weird for some of you. That’s OK. Maybe this isn’t meant for you. You have to choose your way, and I would be the last to try to convince you to follow my way.)
I am loved. I have struggled with how to explain this. I have finally decided to simply say that I know that I am loved and accepted 100 percent, unconditionally. Don’t forget, I am essentially spirit. That part of me is forever, and the love I receive is, not for the part of me that dies. Knowing this makes all the difference in the world, too. Mahatma Gandhi said it this way: “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” Unconditional love is what gives us that freedom. I am free to experiment and fail, as well as succeed.
Part of being loved, is loving yourself. I honestly have to struggle with this all the time. I know me, and what I see, I don’t always like, much less, love. I remind myself that I am spirit. Even though I may not feel or see the value I have, I know that I am unconditionally loved. It makes that part of me that I don’t like, easier to swallow.
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