Thursday, August 18, 2011

Slumber Party

To everything, there is indeed a season.
A time to dance
a time to

I mean really sleep.
There is a time to draw the curtains
shut the door
take a Tylenol PM
(or drink a glass of wine)
Pipe some mellow music into your ears
(or read a book)
slip into your pjs
get under your covers
sink into your pillow
even if it's only 6:30

even if there are dinner dishes in the sink
and your kitchen floor needs to be swept
and there are good things on tv
and you didn't fold the laundry
and there are phone calls you didn't return
and you haven't been to bed before 7pm since you were five....

There is a time
and a place for sleep
and naps
and rest

Your body needs to be fed.
You need to feed yourself.
And sleep is one of those things, you need to be fed.
All of this is coming from
a terrible sleeper.

I am a horrible sleeper.
I cannot shut my brain off at night.
I don't really know how to fall asleep.
(the whole idea of 'falling asleep' has always intrigued me...I mean, how does this happen? what makes my body sleep? how do I naturally go from the state of being awake one second, to asleep the next? See? See...? This is the reason I am a horrible sleeper....I lay awake thinking about sleep all night!)

I am a light sleeper.
I wake at the slightest sound.
I stir if the moon is too bright through my window.
I talk in my sleep.
I even snore...a little (or so I've been told).
I have bad dreams (snakes in my covers)
I have sad dreams (time with my mother and then saying goodbye again)
I have stupid dreams (playing Uno with strangers)

I have a hard time falling asleep
I have a hard time staying asleep

I wake up before my alarm sounds
I wake up early, when I could have slept more...

I would rather stay up all night, than sleep.
I really like being awake.
And night time is my favorite time of the 24hrs I get to live each day.

But, it's sleep I need.
I need to sleep to regain my strength
refill my energy tank
keep my emotions from spilling over
regulate my eating needs
keep my metabolism running smoothly...
sleep gives me the stamina to give my next day all the gusto I've got.

So, I need sleep
and I need rest.

Rest is different than sleep.
is sitting back
and be-ing.
Resting is, I believe
a lost art.

I am very good at resting
I am quite successful just
and I get better at it all the time.
I LOVE to rest.
I LOVE to just BE.
I could rest and BE for hours every day!
Resting is a decision on my part
I determine to rest (and BE) every single day.
I shut my door
I give myself 15 minutes (at least)
to rest (and BE), each day.

I might listen to music
but most of the time,
I am silent.
I am thinking.
I am pondering.
I am NOT dwelling on what I need to do with the remainder of my day.
I am not texting, chatting or talking on the phone.
I am NOT planning ahead
or organizing
or worrying
or thinking about my children or their needs.

I am resting
I am BE-ing
and thinking about me.
I am thinking about who I am
the choices I've made
the growth I see
the happy, fulfilling moments of my day
the goodness of my life
the things I am thankful for
the people I cherish.

When I am resting,
I am focused on goodness
and beauty
and joy
and breathing.
I do a lot of breathing when I am resting...
and BE-ing

And yes,
without fail, one of (maybe even all of)
my children
try to interrupt
But I stop them.
I don't let them into my room.
I send them to their rest
to BE
(with no tv, or video games...
with nothing).
I want to teach them to know and understand the value of rest.
I want to teach them,
silence is important
stopping is critical
being alone with one's thoughts is invaluable
Learning to think, ponder, BE, consider and know
is a skill

and a gift

and something never to be sacrificed.

When the dancing is done,
I need to feed myself sleep
and I need to rest
and I need to BE.

It's not even 3 o'clock on this particular Thursday,
but I'm in my pjs
with my hair in a ponytail
glasses sitting on top of my head
while I am at my laptop
and my bed is unmade.
It called to me to earlier to take a nap.
And I answered.
Today I napped
I needed it.

Now, I'll pick up my children from school.
They will have a snack
we will discuss their day
they will do their homework
then they'll go to their rooms
and I will go to mine
and we will have 30 minutes to ourselves
to rest and be
until it's time for me to start making dinner.

My eight-year old twins
My eleven year-old daughter
My teenage son
will all rest.
And so will I.

It's a required activity in my house.

That's all!
Be your best,
Sweet dreams,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hope Springs...Eternal

I was interviewed for a book a few weeks ago.
Asked some questions about my story,
My past
My present
My future.

Some of the questions were familiar.
I'm asked them each time I share about the 100 pounds...
How did you do it?
How long did it take?

But then,
I was asked another question.
Asked in a way I hadn't been asked before.
I was asked,
What was your lowest point?
I think I answered with my own question...
What do you mean, lowest point?
Same question, re-worded for clarification:
When did you hit rock bottom?

That was a new one.
When did I hit rock bottom?

I don't know if I paused in the conversation.
Not sure if I really even hesitated with my response.
I guess, most people have a "rock bottom moment."
A moment when they've had enough,
"The straw that breaks the camel's back" kind of moment,
or as Oprah says, "an Ah-ha moment."
(Oh my! Am I actually quoting Oprah in my blog???)

I didn't have that kind of moment.

Yes, I remember walking past windows in stores,
catching my reflection and not realizing I was the
big, big woman staring back.
Yes, I remember looking in the mirror at my bathroom sink
and thinking I was starting to look like an entirely different woman
than I remembered being.
Yes, there were times when I cried and groaned
and dreaded taking a shower
because I knew I'd have to stare at myself
to put on my makeup
and do my hair
and that, though I was trying my best to look good,
I didn't feel inside like it even mattered.

I had those moments.
Plenty of them.
(this may sound confusing)
even though
I had plenty of those moments,
I still had hope for myself.

Deep HOPE for myself and my future.

when I was asked about rock bottom,
lowest moments,
I answered,

I didn't really ever hit rock bottom.
I don't think I had a lowest moment.

I always had hope.

In fact, I knew 
I could
and would...


One day.

At some point.

I just knew it.

when I actually picked the date to begin,
August 13, 2008
I picked it from a place of hope.
I picked it months before.
I chose the date my new life,
the new me,
would begin
with great hope
from a place of hope
establishing my hope on that date.

I chose my 39th birthday.
Not because I was terrified of turning 40
Not because I was trying to find the Fountain of Youth
Not because I was depressed about aging.
I chose my 39th birthday,
because I had great hopes for myself.
I knew it was my time to devote to myself.

I chose to dig into the hope I had for myself...
hope for my future
hope in the possibilities
hope about my strengths and purpose and destiny
and the life I still had ahead of me.

You see,
To me,
hope is not wishing
hope is not a shot in the dark
hope is not a casual thing
For me, hope is not a
take-it-or-leave-it option.
I'm not talking about the "Well, I hope so" kind of thinking
or the "Hope I make it" kind
(to me, these are hopeless, doubtful, skeptical statements).

Hope is, to me (and for me)
a confidence
an assuredness
a beacon
a support to everything else
a stamina-producing
stick-with-it determination
immovable confession
declared mission statement.

My hope
for myself
was that,
I was capable of anything.
And that there was still an entire life ahead of me
and I wanted to get back into it
and do so with strength, vitality, love and energy.

I never lost hope for myself.
I never lost hope in my future.
In my belief about me
my belief IN me.
(not in some raging ego-maniac way)
But I just knew I could do this.
I could change
I could alter where I was...
alter where I was stuck
alter my thoughts about myself
alter my mind
my heart
my emotions
my body
my everything.

I just knew I could do it.
And it wasn't because I had great will power
or strength
or a desperate need
or a great personal trainer
or some other thing I wanted to gain....
It was because I had hope.

I never gave up on myself.
My self.
I never gave up my hope
that I was created to live
and to be alive
and to experience my life with joy
and love
and vitality

(this might be the key to it all)
I deeply believed,
I was designed

I was designed to love
and be loved.

And that it started with knowing I was

And that
love what He had made.
And HE had made
To love
my self
as He loves me.

I have hope for myself
because I love my self
I love me
and I make no apologies for that.

I do
love myself...
I love myself enough
to hope for my future
believe in my strengths
trust in my capabilities
make the absolute most of
my year
my day
my relationships
my life
I love myself enough to make the most of Me.

I have hope for you

I KNOW you can do this.
I know you can
alter, re-invent, jump-start, change, become, return, discover, connect, forgive, release, recover, stop, begin, do-over, accept, uncover, tell the truth about, speak out, redeem, branch-out, dream, accomplish, survive, uproot, conquer, determine, hit head-on, tackle and overcome...

Anything at all.

You really can.

That's all.
Be your best,