Private Healing

When I finally decided to tackle my health issues, I knew I wanted to do so privately. I didn’t share with my friends or family my plan to get the weight off.  Perhaps it was due to fear of failing; but knowing who I am as  a person…it was more so because the process for me was full of healing and reclamation of a life I couldn’t live the way I wanted to.

I yearned to run down a field with my kids without getting winded, go swimming without shame, and speak up passionately for what I believed in.

You see, the excess weight for me was a byproduct of shame and loss after a sexual assault. I won’t blame the assault on turning me into a physically unhealthy person (blood pressure issues/depression/etc.); however, I do recognize it was the catalyst.

It took many years to pack on that weight; and when I decided to shed that extra layer of shame and pain…the weight went along with it. I didn’t know who I was as a woman aside from my roles as a Mom/Wife/Sister/Friend/Daughter.

I didn’t follow a plan or strict calorie intake regimen. I made a daily promise to treat me as I treat those I love. To fuel with nutrition and water. Move a little, sometimes a lot, and some days not at all…sweet rest.

These past few years I have faced equally confusing and down days as my life has transitioned during a divorce. When I feel that pull to eat away the pain or stay in bed, I try my best to spin it back to love and simply move and eat well. To rebuild my family dynamic with my children in a new way; and just love them deeper.

I struggle between lending support to others; yet still honouring my pain and healing process.  I prefer to do so privately and quietly. I struggle to articulate to those I love and pull away from that I need to do this for me.  It’s not personal to them. I can not support anyone else if I don’t support my process too. I have lost friendships along the way as I have not met other’s needs and expectations.

Some find solace in sharing openly and aloud. I envy that in many ways; I would imagine it’s easier to keep up your friendships and support circle that way vs. isolating here and there.  I do also see the irony that I’m sharing this on a public blog 😉  I also find healing within sharing in a way that’s comfortable for me (alone in my office lol)

I hope this post shares some insight into the different yet equally healing ways people process various stages in life.

There is joy within the pain. There is laughter even through some tears. There is residual anger within the forgiveness.  And there is a whole lot of love when you drop the shame and regret. I am so thankful for all that I have; it’s all that I need. I am finding my zen joy a little more every day.

Family. Purpose. Fulfillment. Love. Security. Authenticity. Love. Acceptance.

I appreciate all who are still there for me when I do some private growing and we just pick up where we left off. I have nothing but love for my friends and family.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

The Simplistic Beauty of Giving

My reading this morning was on the spirit of giving.

Simplistically beautiful giving.

As I go into my workday, I will focus on uplifting others who cross my path.  Working at a bank, there’s many in a day.

How can I uplift their spirit within that 5 minute window?

The smallest kind word can create grow in impact; you never know what another is struggling with. But you can feel it within the way they hold themselves, their tone, how they interact.   There’s  nothing more monotonous than standing in line at a bank, I remember that by the time they reach me.

Just give a little kindness and understanding.

That’s literally all I’m going to focus on within every interaction today.

I have 100 some odd chances to brighten another’s day today. That’s how I think about it…how many chances will I get today to spread a little good?

Giving does not have to be grandiose or extravagant. The spirit of giving lives within a welcoming smile, a door held open, a genuine compliment, a listening ear, within the song of laughter.

Have a great day! I hope someone shows a little kindness to you today. You are loved.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

The Summer of Surrender and Acceptance

I’ve taken some time off from the gym.  This summer has been full of working, camping, walking, a few runs thrown in and kayaking.  One of the gym regulars I’ve gotten to know came into the bank the other day.

He asked me: “Where have you been? Are you Ok? Please come  back.”

I told him all was good, I’m on a break. I’ll be back soon!

A couple days later, I went back to the gym to get a workout in since I really “should”.

But you know what? I was tired. My body was tired. My spirit was tired, I did not want to be there.

I kept my head down so I didn’t invite any conversation with the regulars whom I’ve come to respect and really enjoy.

I felt a bit deflated when I got home after. Disappointed I couldn’t lift as heavy as the last time I was there. Feeling bad because I wasn’t my chipper self ready to uplift others.

The truth is, I’ve had my own emotional “stuff” I’ve been working through. Learning to move on from the past.

While I recognize I do not live in the past anymore, it doesn’t change the fact that living within a new life will challenge one to deal with old thought/behaviour patterns.

I do not choose a mediocre life.

I want an authentic life rich in experiences and quality.

I want to surround myself with people I adore and support, and they in turn offer the same support.

I want to feel this life.

I know happiness is a choice.

I also know that to etch my happy; I have to work through the tricky stuff.

Awaken the parts of me I’ve numbed and closed off as a protection.

I had no idea until recently, the degree in which I have guarded myself in order to feel a sense of security and control over my life.

I’m not even entirely sure how to work on that. Except to be a lot more self-aware when it’s happening.

As a trainer, I learned a lot about Programming. How to program a workout for optimal results. Set into cycles. One building off of the next. But there’s also a cycle of rest and recovery that is necessary or you’ll over-train and burn out.

I thought about that the other day when my inner voice told me to please rest.

Recover.

Be OK with the ever evolving challenges presented when you start over and rebuild a life.

Stop trying to help everyone else and work on my own struggles.

The stuff exercise can’t fix.

Nor food.

I am happy, that I know…but it doesn’t mean I have to be happy all the time. I don’t have to spin it back to positive within every experience. I can honour that it’s hard to learn how to live after divorce. It’s hard to open yourself up again.

It’s just hard.

And that’s OK.

I’m going to have the courage to sit in the shit.

Be who I inherently am within.

Give myself permission to grieve, feel anger and hurt.

And then keep on moving forward.

Maybe that’s what life is….A series of cycles of amazing good, and equally amazingly difficult.

All of which mould one’s character and create a depth of beauty within the spirit.

Of loss and renew.

A heart growing in strength because of resistance to stagnancy and complacency.

I’m going to just surrender to it all and keep my faith in my higher power.

Trust my instincts.

Trust others again.

Know my worth; not just as a female, but as a person. (Side note: It’s funny, when I look back to just a couple of years ago and realize the weight I placed on my actually weight. It all seems so insignificant and silly.) 

Understanding that there is a great purpose for my life. For your life. For all of creation.

The summer of surrender and acceptance….

From my heart to yours,

Christine

The Weeds in Life

I was weeding my yard pathway the other day. These weeds are tricky! Resilient and every time I think I’ve taken care of them, they multiply and up pop more. I’ve sprayed them, yanked them out by the root, and willed them to go away. I don’t have much of a green thumb, the pretty stuff I want to grow doesn’t; but I recognize it’s because I haven’t given them the care they need.

As I was weeding, it occurred to me that weeds are much like negative thoughts, low-vibe feelings (anger, jealousy, envy, contempt, apathy, guilt). They easily replicate, and if left unchecked, they can take over.

The beauty plants are the positive thoughts/feelings…high-vibes (gratitude, love, self-awareness, empathy, compassion, confidence, pride, generosity, synchronicity, harmony, happiness) The high-vibe will grow and thrive, but you have to take care and devote time for them to flourish. They are intentional and take conscious awareness. They are planted for purpose.

So what am I feeding every day?

Be aware of my thoughts.

Thoughts turn into actions.

I am a walking, breathing, acting symbol of my internal dialogue.

Life always comes with a little weeds, but it’s my responsibility to plant the good stuff. With care and respect for myself and those within my circle.

Have a great day! Feed the good stuff.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

 

The Trap of Self-Deprecation

I was outside weeding my yard the other day, and I stopped to chat with a neighbour. She told me she was going to a woman friendly gym now. She expressed that she wasn’t comfortable working out in the “muscle head” zone and was happy to find a place to sweat with just women.

And it got me thinking that I was very thankful that I found my comfort in the gym I go to; where both men and women sweat freely.  But it also made me think about the fact so many find the gym atmosphere intimidating; and I was one of those once.  I tried to remember how that view evolved for me. Because it was a slow evolution into confidence.

Again, it comes down to a shift in my perception away from athstetics to training for my health and vitality. Learning to love my body for what it can do vs. how I “look”. These legs can run, these arms can embrace, this core keeps me stable, this back allows me to bend down and pick things up. Functionality to enjoy life better.

With that in mind, I went to my gym. I saw a regular there, and we paused to chat briefly.

She explained to me her challenges within her training, specifically around the body parts she wasn’t happy with. “bat wings” and if she dieted to lose more weight, it would affect how her ass looked. It made me uncomfortable to reduce her body to outward appearance, but more so I was uncomfortable because that’s the trap I have fallen into personally…the self-deprecating trap.

I’m writing about the woman’s point of view; because I am one. 😉 I’m sure men deal with this in a different manner. There was a moment within our exchange where I  could have validated the self-deprecation by adding in my own insecurities about my body. But at that moment, I made a conscious decision not to.

I said in reply “I think you look amazing. You see yourself differently than I do. And I am happy with my body”.

Because I have learned to be. Happy with who I am at whatever weight or level of fitness I happen to be at. Fitness is my outlet to pour whatever I happen to be going through…stress, anxiety, determination, the urge to push myself and see what I’m capable of, internal conflict…and spin it back to good vibes. I don’t care how I look while I’m doing it.

I have learned my worth is not determined by my frame; or the way my butt looks in a pair of jeans. But that sure is the marketing specifically targeting women “10 tips to get a lifted butt” —-> I’d probably get more traffic to this post if I labelled it that.

OK, let’s get real for a moment here, will the quality of my life be any more fulfilled if in fact my butt was lifted? ha!

And as women, wouldn’t it be better to skip the self-deprecating bullshit we impose, and just love ourselves in all the levels body/mind/soul?

How are we supposed to teach our daughters self-respect and worth if we are picking apart our own bodies in the mirror every day?

So I make a conscious effort to give myself a nod in the mirror. To look at my body in a way of love, and respect for the vehicle it is. A vehicle to take me places, love others deeply, and explore this world.  Going to the gym allows me to build a strong foundation to move more effectively and efficiently in everyday life tasks.

I hope to be able to explore life further when I actually have money saved to do so, and I recognize that’s in my later years.

If you don’t use it you will lose it.

I want to be Betty White old. Full of vitality!

Lift to build muscle. Eat quality to fuel your daily activity. Run/move to feel alive and because I’m able. Read this for further perceptive: https://reclaiminglifeblog.com/2015/03/25/the-face-of-ms/

But I refuse to stand in a gym and talk about all the things I don’t like about my body. It’s a disrespect to myself and devalues the totality of the woman I am, which has little to do with my bat wings or my not-so-lifted-tush.

That’s all I have to say about that!

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

On Conformity: Words to my Daughter

Last night I went to bed before my kids. That’s what happens when you raise teenagers; they outlast you more often than not.

My daughter came into my bedroom to say good night and I could tell there was something on her spirit. I have learned to elicit the truth of her heart, I simply have to ask one question.

“How are you feeling right now?”

In the split second after I ask, I just have to look into her eyes to understand the answer.

With tears in her eyes, she explained to me that she was feeling bad about fitting in and that other kids don’t always “get her”.

You see her heart is deep and pure. She has so much compassion for other’s within. She often befriends the new kid as soon as she sees a hint of uncomfortable. She will turn back to help another if they fall. She will make those around her laugh if they are sad. She reads me too after work, and sometimes even when I tell her my day was ok, she’ll come and give me a long hug within perfect timing.

She’s expressive, creative, loving, and artistic.

I inwardly asked for guidance last night to find the right words to make her feel better.  Not words that will placate or pacify; but rather to give her a long-term perspective. Words I wish I knew as truth when I was a teenager.

These are the words my heart urged me to say to her…

These teenage years; JR. High, High School, are so minute on the scale of life, but also important in that you have many choices.

Work hard, get the grades which will give you many options to build the future of your dreams. If you decide to go to college, you will meet so many people who have the very same interests and drive. It’s a little more specialized.

Do not conform. You know who you are, and you are also learning about yourself. You are growing and evolving in character. Hold your head high. It’s ok to be “weird”. Everyone is a weird, some just wear masks to hide it.

These people who you want acceptance from; they will probably not be in your life after school is over. I promise you’ll look back and wonder why you cared about their opinions. Just do you, and build that future which is so very bright and full of hope.

You are kind, and loyal. Your true friendships will adore and cherish you. I had one main ride or die friend in high school, she is still my best friend today (and we are going to visit her and her kids soon). It’s not quantity, but quality.

But whatever you do, please don’t dim your light for anyone. Walk proud and understand your worth. You are so very worthy of all you want in life.  Study hard, and use your brain. Use your words for love. It’s OK to walk away from anyone who doesn’t show you respect. Because you respect yourself.

The entire time she just held my head and nodded. This morning as she was eating her breakfast I asked her “How are you feeling this morning?”

And she replied with a smile  “I’m good” and her eyes spoke that truth. I lifted my chin up with my finger, pulled my shoulders back, and said “Head high my girl”

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

A Post of Uplifting if you Need it

Life has ebbs and flows. High highs and low lows.

Often, I didn’t even recognize one of life’s Highs until after I passed it. Like when I’m driving to work, and I see a group of Moms huddled together with their coffee’s after dropping the older kids off at school. The younger kids are chillin’ in wagons drinking juice boxes while the Mom’s talk about life. I recognize now, that stage was one of my highs in life. Simplistic and beautiful.

However, when I am in a low…oh man, do I know it.

The times of adversity in life are easy to spot. Where it’s hard to lift the head off that pillow every morning and darkness settles in. THEN you miss those light times and wonder why you didn’t recognize that light.

So, if you find yourself in a low, here’s what I want you to know (because I’ve been there).

While it may not feel this way, you have been handed the gift of expedited growth of Mind, Body, and Spirit if you choose that. It’s easy to feel confident, strong, prideful and loving to others when you are in a high time; however, when life’s rug is pulled out from under you…that’s the true test.

You will learn so much about yourself and others. Who your true friends are. The tricky part if letting go and moving forward without holding onto anger and resentment. Let go, for nothing is personal to you. You never know what others are going through too. And sometimes our tricky times in life is simply like holding up a mirror to another.

The only person you can change is you. So now that you are in this place..

Who are you?

Who do you want to be?

What life do you want to create?

The answers to those questions are found within the lows. I realized my lows were a gift to my spirit and my character. They were and are a time of awakening. The phase I can actively choose love over fear. To rise up and meet the challenge to be extraordinary within ordinary pain. Because pain is ordinary. We all have it in some form or fashion.

We are actually not separate at all, we are one in suffering.

Be intentional with your time. Find these elements in life which make you feel alive! If the true joy in life is feeling fulfillment, purpose, and meaning…then where do you find that? Seek purpose. Identity what is meaningful to you.

For me, I find fulfillment and purpose within true giving. I expect nothing in return. It’s not “what can I get?” but rather “What can I give?”.

Develop your intuition to listen to your body/mind/spirit. Rest when you need to and then use that energy for purpose YOU believe as fulfilling.

Rebuild with quality.

Quality relationships built on respect, acceptance, and genuine care.

Quality career where you just do your best. Actions + Words = Integrity

Quality down time. In the lows there is hermit time…that’s OK! No guilt there! Rebuilding is tricky business, but recognize that you will feel recharged to go out into the world again and do the things that make you feel empowered.

Find the fun in life.

Try new things.

Explore.

Find the fun within movement: kayak, hike, go paint-balling, throw a dodge ball at  a trampoline park, swim, waterslide…find that inner kid again. Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait to create and play every. single. day?

I want to encourage you to frame the lows with this truth: All the experiences in your life have brought you to this place. There are no mistakes. You are faced with forks in the road, and choices to make. Choose Love over Fear. If you choose love, you’ll mould yourself stronger than you’ve ever been. That love has to start with yourself. Treat YOU as well, or hell…even better than you treat those you love most.

You will become an elevated version of yourself.

You 2.0

The lows breed compassion and empathy.

All that pain and discomfort will transform into peace, understanding, and happiness. Anxiety and fear of the unknown is replaced with inner calm and assurance. But you have to choose that. 

Remember, you always have a choice.

Choose to stay within the discomfort and not run from it or numb it with external factors. You won’t find purpose within food, alcohol, material possessions, insert numbing facet here. Numbing just forces you deeper into the pit of self-loathing and you deserve better than that.

You deserve to feel accepted, loved, and appreciated.

Choose for yourself exactly what you hope for your children.

Choose love my friends.

Rebuild with quality.

And then one day you’ll be minding your business, and you’ll recognize the familiarity of a low within another. Some strangers. Some friends you’ve grown with for years. Some you let go of. But you’ve now been gifted and equipped with tools to uplift another because you are one within that low.

It’s also within those moments you’ll realize how far you’ve come. How much you’ve grown. How beautiful this life is and how wildly unpredictable.

One life.

Create whatever you wish it to be.

Fulfilled.

Purposeful.

Full of meaning.

All within your power.

Lift your head, it will all be OK. Better than OK!

Extraordinary. Exceptional. Top Shelf.

You got this!

From my heart to yours,

Christine.