Today, I went to a workshop where we focused on what we want to bring into our lives over the next year, then we created vision boards. I’ve done this sort of thing before, but this time it was different. For one, we didn’t just focus on what we wanted and chant our desires to ourselves for the next hour. While I think repeating what we want to ourselves is helpful, action has to back our desires as well. And that’s where I think a lot of people fall short of achieving their goals.
Thinking about what we want rarely leads us into action. I suspect that’s because we’re not always sure what steps to take. Some steps are obvious for me… leave the job that has no growth opportunity and is damaging my health and put that energy into the other job. Seems simple enough…
Yet with things like my health and fitness, that’s hard. I don’t know the steps to take. Partly because I’ve tried so many things, but they haven’t been the right things for my body. So they’ve not stayed successful. I’m also aware of the autoimmune issue now, so I want to take that into account as I move forward with a plan. Thinking about my steps is crucial, but so is knowing where to go for help since I don’t know if my steps are the best steps for my body. The problem with help is that it often involved money.
Part of what I wrote about in my last post was that I mattered. This is the hardest part for me. I’ve been making decisions lately that are for my betterment and I’m struggling with feeling selfish over this. Making my needs a priority is the right choice, but the execution isn’t so easy. While I was at the workshop today, my youngest was home puking. My husband was home with him and taking care of him, but it was hard to leave today. I felt like I should be home, taking care of him. But even he thought I should go, and I have to listen to those that love me. Because they are the ones showing me that my needs do matter. That I’m worthy of having health and joy. Part of me taking steps and getting help is me accepting that I do matter and am worthy of health even when it costs me money.
This brings me to soul food.
One of the aspects of creating our vision boards was to think about the emotions we’d like to feel in the future, then to look at what makes us feel those things now. What things bring us happiness? Excitement? Joy? Then look at doing more of those in the future. The things that brought me these wonderful feelings were things like; spending time with my family, teaching/leading workshops, writing, working with the community, socializing with intelligent people, publishing, vacationing deep in subspace (no matter what all that includes), yoga and deep breathing… stuff like that. These things that bring me all the positive emotions are my soul food. They are vital for me to do–and do more of–in order to feel good and happy.
But what about the things that don’t make me happy? Like exercise? This isn’t including yoga, btw. That I enjoy. But the types of exercise that hurt aren’t pleasant. Yet I need to do them because, in order for the autoimmune stuff to get better, I have to drop weight. This means changing diet and exercise. Things I knew needed to happen and I’m no stranger to shifting eating habits, but it wasn’t until today that I realized I actually hate working out due to the pain it causes me. Not the burn of muscles being worked, but the pain that shoots through my body like I’m being stabbed repeatedly.
That realization brought me to other things I don’t enjoy, like homework. But I have to do it in order to achieve my goal of becoming a therapist. I also loathe paperwork. Yet I have to do that too for the companies I run. There are many things I don’t enjoy doing, but I need to do them anyway to be able to achieve the things that do bring me joy.
This got me thinking… are these unpleasant steps really that awful if they bring me the things that also bring joy? Is some of my difficulty that I need to shift how I’m seeing the unpleasant things? Maybe they aren’t unpleasant at all but just steps in the process. Maybe they too are soul food.
It’s strange to think about this and look at these things from a different standpoint. I’ve separated out the aspects of running a company so I can find pleasure in only the parts that make me smile. But all of the things I do for the company add up to the smile. They aren’t really separate, but more different steps on the same staircase–the smile being at the top.
This applies to everything I do. Working through the pain of a workout will eventually bring me a healthier body that won’t hurt so much. Just as working through trauma has brought me an amazing amount of love, sexual healing, and fucking hot encounters. It’s all just steps…
I’m going forward with this understanding in mind.
Today’s workshop brought me a new way of seeing things. It also offered me the opportunity to let go of things I’d been holding onto that weren’t serving me in any healthy sort of way. One of the activities was to list out all the things we wanted to let go of and then we went outside and burned them. To mine, I added that I wanted to let go of fear, shame, guilt, distorted body image, saying yes to too many things, and then I added the hardest thing… let go of the things ‘rapist asshole’ made me believe about myself.
This last part might seem strange as this particular rapist was from a long time ago, but he said things to me–made me believe things about myself–that were harmful and untrue. I’ve carried these things a good portion of my life. While I knew he was a bad person, it’s been difficult to allow myself to ‘hear’ the things he’d said to me so often because I’d not been ready to see how I continued his voice in my head. Telling myself the same things he’d said so long ago. He caused me to lose faith in myself. To not trust myself. And today, I let go his words and his hatred.
I let go of him completely.
I’ve come away with a lot of good stuff. I’m grateful for the people I got to meet, for my understandings, and for Leyna for gifting the workshop to me. ❤ I feel good about my positive takeaway from today’s experience. Today, was a great day…