Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Good job, Andrea

I am aware that when I am willing to let go of something it creates the space to have it. For instance over a year ago it really upset me when I couldn't figure out how to continue writing this blog in beautiful colors. I felt like a failure. Also color is very important to me and I was really dissatisfied for a long time with plain black type. Then I let go, accepted what was true and wrote in plain black. After a while, I didn't equate it with feeling like a failure, then gradually it was only mildly annoying and then I didn't even notice anymore. Last week I changed to hotmail and let go of MSN premium and voila, the color is back.
The same is true with my partner and his weight. I want him to be fitter and I nagged and criticized and tried to control what he was eating. He got defensive (people do that when they are being attacked) and rebelled and stuffed himself with sweets. He clearly communicated to me about how offensive my behavior was and the results it was getting. I decided to back off and go against all of my early training about controling another person to create change. I remembered that my mother's nagging created my father being sarcastic or withdrawing and doing what he wanted to behind her back. Backing off and working with myself instead of following my knee jerk impulse to nag was challenging. I decided that what he put into his mouth was his business. After many months of letting go of judgement I hardly noticed what Gary was eating. When I back off of trying to micromanage his life I can focus on mine. I realized I had gained weight from sitting around eating and not exercising as much as I wanted to and took steps to take care of myself better.
After a while I noticed that of his own accord Gary was eating more healthfully and exercising more. I encouraged and supported and praised. It was so much more fun than nagging. We were getting along so much better. Then he began to see results and I encouraged and supported and praised some more. I remembered this old saying that went something like, You can hold more peas on a knife with honey than vinegar. At the time I kind of got it and now it sunk in. So all of this was inspirational to a new level of supporting and encouraging and praising myself. I am not going for big things. When I get out of bed in the morning I say to myself, "Good job, Andrea." When I am done running a short distance after my walk I say "Good job, Andrea". I am shifting noticing what is missing and making myself wrong about it, to validating what is. I can even acknowlege myself for noticing I am focusing on what's missing and making myself wrong and say, "Good job, Andrea. It's so much more fun. I am getting along with myself so much better. I am also feeling a lot of gratitude these days for the opportunity to relax and enjoy my life more.
Experiment with a phrase of encouragement with yourself. Practice it even if it feels fake. Isn't it funny how being unkind to ourselves feels more real? See what happens. So my inner critic is saying that I've written about this all before and people are tired of listening. Good job, Andrea for noticing you are focusing on what's missing and making yourself wrong. A smile comes to my face and I can feel amused about my process and compassionate about automatic pilot. Awwwwww. I am so grateful for loving awareness.
I really appreciate being able to share this all with you. Thanks for listening.