Monday, May 25, 2009

#45 My Dash List

During a presentation at a luncheon I recently attended, the guest speaker showed a slide asking this question: "What have you done with your dash?" On the next slide there stood a lone headstone with a person's name. Below the name was the year they were born, a dash, and the year they died. Ah, the "dash". Ok I thought, I'll go home and write down what I've done with my dash. That evening while lying in bed flipping through the channels, I came upon the movie Gladiator just when this line was spoken, "What you do in life echoes in eternity". Oy, I thought. This writing down what I did with my dash isn't going to be as easy as I thought!!!

I'm going to spare you my dash list, but I would like to share with you some lessons I've learned during my dashing.

The All or Nothing Rule

Not long ago, I had [another] wake up call on the "all or nothing" rule. I've used this mumbo jumbo prescription over the years with dieting -- you know, the whole day is blown if you eat one bad thing... it's all or nothing. I can happily say I no longer have this all or nothing mentality when it comes to managing my weight, however, I recently had an experience that made me realize that I still use "all or nothing" in my life. For the past 5 months, 3-4 days a week, I've been taking a 90-minute yoga class. In my mind, I should be as flexible as cooked spaghetti, but I'm not, and am frustrated by my inflexibility. I mean stretching to touch my toes still starts my hamstrings singing. One day before class, I shared this with my instructor. His response was totally not what I expected. He told me that as the months have gone by, my practice has changed. I'm able to go deeper in my poses and have revved up my intensity, albeit, my point of pain or tightness has moved with my newer abilities. I never thought to see it that way. I thought it was all or nothing when it came to [for example] your hamstrings -- either they were loose or they were tight. I'm glad my hamstrings were tight that day so that I could relearn this lesson.

It Takes Time....

You've heard the saying, "Rome wasn't built in a day"? I think we sometimes forget those important ground breaking steps -- especially when it comes to weight loss. We all want to lose those 10, 15, 20 pounds tomorrow. Where weight loss is concerned, this is just wishful thinking. Small attainable weekly goals are much more successful. Dr. John Demartini says in his book The Law of 7's, A Fitness Program for the Mind, "by the inch it's a cinch, by the yard it's hard and by the mile, it's a pile". This lesson was reiterated last week when my 16 year old son received his driver's permit. Although he says he has no interest in driving, I think his non-interest is really due to feeling overwhelmed. So, the other day I told him to get in the car and all he needed to do was just drive up and down the driveway so that he could get the feel of the brake, accelerator and the steering wheel. After 7 minutes the two of us were nauseous and dizzy and had to stop, but more important than our troubled equilibrium, was the fact that he took his driving baby steps and felt more comfortable and confident and less afraid. I think he's ready for his next lesson.... I'm thinking we both may need Dramamine. The point, don't set yourself up for failure - work in stages and allow yourself time.

The Pleasure's in the Doing

Why do I write this babble? I'm sure there are a lot of reasons, but the most meaningful one is because I really enjoy it. I started this babble to inspire the members of my women's group to keep focused and on track with their dieting and exercising. What I learned was that by inspiring them, I was inspired too. I've also learned over the years that doing things for personal joy is sometimes more rewarding then having kudos from an "audience". I believe I truly learned this lesson during the summer when I was eleven. My bunkmates and I were out on the lake in rowboats when a storm came in. The wind became fierce, the water got rough and choppy, and it was, to tell you the truth, very scary. Our counselor jumped out of our boat to help another boat in trouble and picked me to row our boat in. It was very hard and I was chilled and exhausted when we docked, but I felt so proud. At assembly every evening, the head counselors would call out the names of all the campers who did something special that day. I kept waiting for my name to be called, but it never was. Although I was disappointed, I still remember feeling exceptionally happy. I told myself that I didn't need an announcement with my name to recognize my own achievement. I recognized it. Although we all like to be appreciated for the things we do, from that day on I didn't "need it" anymore, I just [of course] enjoy it when it happens.

Think about your dash. For me, it brought back memories and events that I had long forgotten. It also allows you to design a blueprint for how you would like to see and mold the rest of your dash days. Dr. Demartini says, "... that we were not put here on earth to be average, that there is power and greatness within you waiting for the wake up call". Since I'm leaning towards the other side of the dash, I am middle aged you know, what better time than now?

Quote of the Day: "Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts" ~Author Unknown

No comments: