Month of Mindfulness Day 32: My all

Happy Friday and happy last day of month of mindfulness lifers,

Wow,  it’s crazy to be writing this final post of a month of a mindfulness today.

It’s weird because it’s almost the same surreal feeling I felt when one year without a scale came to an end, yet this time, it’s only been a month.

But this month has been by far, one of the most emotional, learning filled and challenging months of my entire journey.

When I first started this month of mindfulness, my goal was to spend an entire month being mindful of what I ate and how I exercised and how to stop emotionally overeating.

I really did think that’s what this whole journey was going to be about, that’s why I started it.

If you guys remember, I wrote my first post of a month of mindfulness to stop myself from going back told Ed ways.

I was so desperate to stop the overeating and to stop feeling uncomfortable in my new body, I was to the point that I was clearly considering both options : one, go back to Ed, or two, give it my all one more time.

And so I did. I gave it my all one more time.

But-this is what I learned.

Where at first I thought my all meant perfectly mindful clean eating and working out, and while a part of me still really wishes I could sit here right now and say that I did do that all month and I’m totally feeling comfortable in my body now (because the truth is ,that’s what I thought would happen), that’s not what this journey has been about.

My all has meant learning to be mindful of each day-and all the emotions that go with those days.

My all has meant realizing that a lot of sadness here doesn’t come from my  new body, but from being so alone and from missing my family and friends back home.

My all has meant yes, eating more mindfully, listening to my body and making better choices. But it’s also meant eating out with friends and letting myself enjoy that too.

It’s meant national donut day at work, it’s meant eating pie’s from the woman who makes pies at the local restaurant here, it’s meant cookies on Friday’s at the office and it’s meant enjoying a smoothie my co-worker bought for me on a late Wednesday night from the kindness of her heart.

My all has meant learning how to enjoy those not so perfectly mindful moments, yet acknowledging that me being able to enjoy them, even if I only enjoyed them in retrospect, is actually being mindful in of itself.

My all has meant crying my way through weekends here alone.

It’s meant forcing myself to stay here in Washington to follow my dream as a journalist even if other parts of my soul are suffering, because I know I worked so hard to be here and I know my writing is and will make a differnce. It’s what I’m meant to be doing right now.

My all has meant giving onto others. It’s meant appreciating the phone calls, emails and text messages from the people who care about me.

My all has meant appreciating with deep gratitude the smaller things like voice messages from my family.

My all has meant taking time, even if its only mere seconds each day, to try to be proud of myself and to try to be kind to myself.

My all has meant standing in front of the mirror after the shower and telling myself out loud “i love you. you are beautiful. you love you Shira.”

Mindfulness is simply the act of being aware. Aware of our surroundings, aware of what we feel and aware of who we are, what we are, and if we like it or don’t like it.

I can’t answer all those questions in a month, but I can say that I am brought back a certain kind of awareness to myself that I seem to have lost when I first moved here.

I am aware now that I am more than the emotional overeating I might do right now.

I am more than my body, I am more than my writing as a reporter and I am more than this new career and new home.

I am merely part of an unknown, windy, twisty, yet grand and rewarding journey that is so much bigger than me.

I started this month seeing day to day vision.

I am ending it seeing from my telescope vision.

We are not the products of our day to day ventures or successes . We are not the products of what we look like or even what we feel.

We are, will be and continue to be parts of a journey that we are somehow all connected through as human beings-the journey to self love.

We somehow all connect through this blog too.

Every one of the 600 people wearing a Hello Life bracelet around the world is connected here.

We are connected. We are bigger than ourselves. We are bigger than our individual struggles and we are more than the tears, pains and heartaches of life.

We are dashing.

We are superstars.

We are fighters.

And together, we fight on side by side, telescope by telescope, tear by tear and triumph by triumph into learning how to love ourselves the way we love others.

Thank you everyone for standing by me during this month of and of course before this month, and thank you for your unconditional love, support and strength.

My journey to learning to love myself is not over. With that being said, I will continue giving my all.

Hello life.

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Month of Mindfulness Day 31: Living and not existing

Hi everyone,

It’s crazy to think that tomorrow is the last day of our one month journey of a month of mindfulness together.

I plan on writing what this whole month has been like and has taught me but I kind of want to save that for my last post tomorrow.

For today:

I woke up and totally forgot I even had that amazing smoothie yesterday.

Which is a pretty incredible place to be.

At a time even a year ago, I would have woken up today only thinking about that smoothie and how to compensate for it. I would wake up still mad at myself for it.

But I wasn’t even mad at myself for it yesterday. I wasn’t mad about it today. I didn’t even think about it today until I saw the women at work who got it for me.

It symbolized a lot. That symbolized me being able to let go. It meant I was really able to live in the moment yesterday, enjoy the moment and then let it pass.

Being able to let moments, wether they are good or bad, sit with me and then leave me, has been a big part of me being mindful this month.

There have been many moments this month where I’ve cried, many moments where I’ve sat in silence that equates loneliness and many moments that I felt proud of myself and smiled.

There were moments that I fantasized about moving back home to LA. There were moments that I dreamt back on past times there.

There were moments where I imaged I would make it big here in Washington.

But because I had to write every day, I have been forced to be aware of these moments-every single one of them. And I’ve realized, now looking back, that I’ve been able to really let each one go after they’ve passed.

Today symbolized that.

I also wasn’t feeling well at work today. I was stressed (still am very stressed actually), and my body got weak.

It wasn’t a food issue, it was a mental issue. I felt weak the minute the stress hit me.

These are things I’ve learned to be mindful of this month.

On days like today ,I’ve learned I need to tap into my self-care part of my life a little bit extra.

I need some extra rest, some extra love, maybe some extra chocolate and some extra me time, which is exactly what I am going to do tonight.

Smoothie behind me, stress still with me and a big weekend with many social events ahead of me, I can say I kind of feel like I am starting to live life here.

It’s not perfect, and it’s not great, but it’s living rather than existing which is what I was feeling a month ago.

Hello to living and hello life.

Month of Mindfulness Day 30: Amazing

Hi guys,

So it was around 8:30 p.m. at work tonight and there I was so super hungry. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know why. I ate like I normally do.

So by 9 p.m. I already had the two extra snacks I had in my purse and it was really not doing it for me. And I’ve learned over my recovery to trust my body when it’s speaking to me . Today it was saying it needed some extra deliciousness.

So around 9:05, ironically, this amazingly nice lady I work with came and put a smoothie on my desk.

I didn’t ask for it or anything, she just got me one when she went to get herself something.

It was the most pure and caring random act of kindness.

So right away two thoughts went through my head.

One was oh my God, what do I do with this thing? I can’t not eat it because she’ll feel bad, yet what do I do?! It’s totally off my meal plan. It’s from a fast food place. I don’t even know what’s in it.

My second thought was, oh my God, this looks so amazing. So amazing. And I so want this right now. (I actually think this was my first thought,but I don’t remember now). Anyways, so then I took a sip of it.

It was a raspberry smoothie from this fast-food chain here that we only have in Oregon and Washington and this smoothie is seasonal since we are also known in the Pacific Northwest for our amazing berries.

It was the most incredible, delicious, rich, yummy, amazing smoothie I ever had.

It tasted like a milkshake. And for me, a chocolate lover, to talk about a fruity dessert like this, means it was seriously on another level of greatness.

On my third sip I told myself I’d have no more, that it was enough.

And this was also when I went online to check how many calories it had.

Yes, it was a lot.  More of a milkshake type caloric value.

But as that smoothie was sitting there, now all the way out of my hands reach since I moved it there so it wouldn’t tempt me, I just thought, who cares Shira? It’s one smoothie. And, there are number of reasons I told myself I deserve this smoothie.

1. It was my first ever item from this fast-food chain known only here.

2. It was a seasonal thing which we are known for (raspberry smoothie and we are known for our berries) and it won’t be there forever.

3. Someone brought it for me, which is so rare and kind, so why wouldn’t I enjoy it?

4. It really was as delicious as I am saying it was and if something is that damn amazing, enjoy the thing-whatever thing it is.

It was way way out of calorie intake for the day, but really, since when does one smoothie and a few extra snacks ever change my body overnight? It doesn’t. And the healthy person in me knows that.

So, after running those reasons through my head at my desk (which although it maybe took a while for you to read, it only took me about 2 minutes in real life to think it though), I pulled that smoothie back over to me  and enjoyed it.

Every single ounce of it.

It felt so freeing. It even felt freeing to see the calories and not let it stop me.

I am now perfectly full just enough to be comfy, happy and satisfied.

My word of the day is amazing because that’s what this night was-not just the smoothie-but the entire experience.

This took a lot of mental work to get me to this place where I can walk myself through these rational ways of thinking that overpower Ed.

On nights like tonight where I can enjoy the result of my hard work, it really feels amazing. It makes it worth it.

I created this happy-i love smoothies at 9 pm at night because someone gave it to me-place.  I like this place. And I will re-visit it again hopefully sooner than later.

Hello life.

Month of Mindfulness Day 29: Actually Making It

Hi everyone,

Today was busy for me and it was filled with me making a lot of plans for my weekend; plans that are social, and plans that are around food and people.

These people I made plans with don’t know about Ed, or about my blog, or anything other than what they’ve seen with their eyes in Washington (which is not anything too interpersonal or deep). Oddly enough, it takes me a long time to open up in person.

One of my friends even invited me to go out to dinner tonight but I just felt I was not ready for that big change right now.

I am used to going out to dinner on the weekends, but the week days are usually something I do on my own and it’s almost like I got so used to it that now that I have a chance to change it, I’m not ready–I’m not ready to give up the food control portion and I’m not ready to totally be socially emerged in that yet.

These people don’t know all this. The friend who invited me to dinner tonight doesn’t know I didn’t go because I am not ready to eat out tonight. And part of me is kind of enjoying that part of them not knowing.

Part of me feels like I am playing pretend and acting like all these big social/food events don’t bother me at all, yet at the same token, what if its not pretend?

What if I really am excited about these events (which I am), what if I really am excited about the food (which I am?), what if it’s worth letting lose a little bit? (Which I think it is ).

Maybe this is how living in recovery really is? Maybe it’s not always pretend?

I am not even sure yet if I am still playing the part of that “normal” girl I think these people want to see, or if some part of me is actually a little bit more “normalized” or less “Ed controlled” than  I thought.

It didn’t feel good to not go to dinner because of Ed reasons, but that’s ok. No one said I have to take a 10 huge steps every single day.

And no one said I have to even really know if I am playing a roll or if this really is me-all I have to know is that I am excited and enjoying it.

I guess I don’t have a word today-just a regular post where I need to write out my thoughts.

I think when I moved here, and even many times even before that, I really used the tool “fake it till you make it.” It worked for me. It helped me get out of Ed’s world when he so badly wanted me to stay there.

It helped me pretend I was living in a world of freedom even on the days that I wasn’t, and it gave me hope for them to be real. At first I had one real day, and then two, and then more.

Maybe now those real days have just become more frequent? Maybe they’ve really become my new reality?

Maybe this is the part of fake it till you make it where I am actually making it.

Hello life.

 

Month of Mindfulness Day 28: Chance

Happy Monday everyone,

Today I was really productive. And I don’t mean productive with work, but productive with settling in my new life here.

I started the process of changing my California license plate to a Washington one, I found  a place to get oil changes (and got on) and even saw that I am part of this team challenge thing going on at my gym.

You’re probably wondering why this is important: so let me explain.

Right now, in my totally completely new life, as you all know, things are hard. Every part of my being as a whole is suffering except for my career. My heart is hurting for my family and my body is hurting for their hugs.

I don’t mean to say I haven’t had great times here because I really have (hence yesterday and a few other times) and I don’t mean to say I haven’t made friends here because I have, really amazing ones too.

But no matter how many new great things come our way, it takes time for us to heal from the old things that once brought us comfort-for me, its my family, friends, old favorite hiking trails, or old favorite restaurants and so many small things that I only realized once I didn’t have anymore.

So to spend a day like today doing things to make my new life more stable and productive here is a big deal. Changing my license plate, doing things for my car, being part of something at my gym that’s a team effort for the entire summer–it shows I am committing myself here.

The same mentality can be applied to those of us in recovery or especially starting recovery.

When we first start recovery or when recovery is hard, it’s so easy to just throw our hands up and go back to old ways.

It’s so hard to continue to go to our nutritionists, therapists and treatment centers.

But we go-we go even though in that moment every single part of it sucks.

We go anyways. And we go because doing those things are setting up our future-our future for freedom from Ed.

By me going and setting up these more permanent things here, I am fighting every urge in me to give up hope. I pushed on today . I used my telescope vision.

It wasn’t easy. But it was a step in giving this new place and new life here another chance.

So today’s word is chance: how all of us fighters continue to give recovery and life after hardship a chance is something only we will understand.

Giving anything a chance after it has let you down is scary and challenging and unknown.

Recovery sometimes lets us down when it’s not what we think it will be or if it doesn’t pan out how we thought, and  Washington has kind of let me down too. Yet I have decided to give it another chance.

Just how we continue on with recovery even when we don’t understand how we can ever live life without Ed, I will continue trying to find the factors and building blocks that will make my experience whole here.

For all of us who didn’t give up today and  for all of us who did give up yet are ready to give it another chance again tomorrow, hello life.

Month of Mindfulness Day 27: Surroundings

Happy Sunday everyone,

Well guys, I went to a BBQ today. With really, caring and genuinely kind people who have shown me so much love since I’ve been here.

Linking back to what I said yesterday about physical connection, today was a big part of that.

It wasn’t my family or my brothers or sister or something like that, but it was a different kind of connection-it was a new and blossoming connection.

It’s different from the old and already built strong connections I have back home, but I am starting to really see that different might not be bad.

This is a chance to build something new from the ground up-just like my life here. While hard, something inside me continues to say it will be worth it.

SoI knew there would be food there and cake there (you guys know how much I love cake)and I knew no one would pressure me into anything.

When we fight for recovery every day, social gathering and social events are still always hard, no matter how long we’ve been in recovery for.

It’s still a major conscious decision we make to go to them. It’s a recovery choice we make day in and day out-event in and event out.

I made that choice today to go. And by doing so, yes, it put me around food, but it also put me around people-real people-not just me alone.

I am reminded today of the power that isolation and Ed have over us when we get to comfortable in it and the beauty and freedom we receive when we push ourselves to break the rules and go to these events where we are not isolated and alone with our own Ed thoughts.

It’s so scary to do, and so unknown of what we are walking into, but yet somehow someway, when we walk in, Ed is no longer the only person with us, and I think that can be a relief a lot of times.

And no one made me or even asked me about the birthday cake—that was all me, and it was all me because I simply love cake.

I always have loved cake. And it’s a birthday cake so it’s almost like I feel even more deserving of eating it because I really love birthdays.

So my word of the day is surroundings.

My surroundings today were so drastically different from yesterdays.

Yesterday I was alone and today I was not.

It reminds me that while our temporary day-to-day situations like loneliness can feel so permeant in the moment, they are not.

They change just like our surroundings change.

One day we are surrounded by one group of friends, the next we are not.

Some days we are surrounded with fun food and cake and others we’re not.

Surroundings come and go like our feelings, struggles, cries, tears and moments of happiness.

But if we happen to be able to enjoy a piece of cake while enjoying our surroundings, then I think it’s safe to call it a a pretty decent day.

Hello life.

Month of Mindfulness Day 26: Connection

Hi everyone,

So I started today by watching this documentary called Happy, and it basically just explored why the happiest people in the world are happy.

The one thing all the happy people around the world had in common was that they had a strong connection with family and friends. They were bonded.

At first, this made me really sad, because it made me feel like without my family and best friend here with me in Washington, how could I ever truly be happy?

I even turned my phone on silent for an hour and just sat on my couch and felt bad for myself.

But then something inside me told me to go get my phone, stop running from everything and be proactive. I was going to text someone or get on Facebook.

Right then, a close friend from the Hello Life Fighter support group texted me.

My brother who is in Israel called me.

My best friend called me and we talked for  3 hours (we usually never talk on the phone).

My sister called me.

My mom texted me.

Another Hello Life fighter messaged me on Facebook.

What was I thinking feeling bad for myself that I don’t have connections here? Yes, I might not have them right here beside me, but they are in my life-so much in my life.

I could continue to sit here sad since I am yet again alone on a Saturday night, or I can sit here and appreciate of  what I do have and wow-do I have a lot.

I was surrounded with so much love and connection today that I’m so blessed and feel so lucky.

I don’t care that I ate ice cream today or that I didn’t go to the gym today, because that’s not what is really important.

If I let Ed win today, today would be a loss because of the food and non-working out. But if I let recovery win, which I am, today is beautiful.

Today is connection. It was family. It was love. Those things…those make up so much a bigger part of me than what I ate or what clothes look good on me do.

In times like this when I am struggling with my faith in why I am going through such a hard journey, days like these are crucial to celebrate and appreciate.

We are all connected. We are connected here through this blog. We are connected through our struggles. We are connected through our support.

I am have deep gratitude for whatever higher power blessed me with those connections today-with those phone calls, texts and messages.

So my word of the day is connection: While there’s nothing like physical human to human connection, and the warmth of hugs and kisses, maybe our spiritual and heartfelt connections only strengthen when we are away from those we love.

Also, the more I reach out and connect with others, the more I heal myself.

But most importantly, I think connection is kind of like faith. It’s not something we can see. And not always something we can feel or even believe to be true all the time.

Often times, even though I know I have these connections, I still feel alone.

But today, it was there. And I’m so grateful for it. It’s one of those things, like faith, when it does present itself, we just need to grab on and hold onto it for as long as we can.

We are deserving of connection. Regardless of what our Ed’s are telling us today-we are all deserving of someone loving us. And telling us they love us. And most of all, we all deserve to love ourselves.

I know how good it felt for people to connect with me today, and it makes me want to reach out and do the same for others. Maybe every day I can try to reach out to one person.Just an idea.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everyone here being a part of what makes me feel so connected.

Together, we have, can and will continue conquer our way to self love.

Hello life.