I have spent a lot of time waiting for the perfect moment. I would exercise, but only if I had the hour to do the complete work out. In the right clothes. With the right equipment. I would follow the diet plan, but only if I was going to be home to do it perfectly. I would quit drinking, but not until Monday, after the holidays, after my birthday, etc. The stars had to align. Or It was all for naught. I either passed or failed.
Life conspires to get in our way. Things rarely work out exactly as my plan indicated they would. And this caused me A LOT of distress. I was twisted up so tight inside I am surprised I didn’t implode.
Then one day events conspired to give me a life preserver. I grasped it tightly and stopped drinking. I didn’t have a plan of action. The timing was bad, as my birthday was the next week AND it was December. All I did was not drink. And the days passed by and the world didn’t fall apart without my planning and control. As time passed it became apparent that all the plans and diets and structure were not helping me one bit. So I let them all go.
So, in sobriety I try to live in the moments. If I don’t have an hour to get to my yoga class, I stand up at lunch and do a couple of poses. Sometimes I even take off my shoes! It only takes a few deep breaths to bring my awareness back into my body. To let the day fall away. To feel my strength and my inner peace. I still like going to class. The heat of the hot room. The energy of the other students. But that is no longer a REQUIREMENT for me to feel the day was a success.
Instead, Life has become a series of moments. If I choose the grapes instead of the chocolate bar, that’s fine. It doesn’t change what I have planned for dinner. I don’t need to pay for it by running a few miles. There is no tally sheet adding up my “good” and “bad” choices. Letting go of this idea has been so overwhelmingly releasing.
It is not easy to go from being a control freak to allowing things happen. I occasionally start creating a new plan, reading about a new diet, etc. And I feel my anxiety grow inside and I recognize I am not ready for restrictions. Or maybe I just don’t need them. Whatever it is, I listen to that inner voice saying “don’t do it” because that is what keeps me calm, happy and sober.
Perhaps this attempt at non attachment, or unconditional self acceptance, will stop working for me eventually. Earlier this year I worried that letting go of my strict eating rules and exercise requirements would result in instant weight gain and lack of fitness. Neither of these things has happened. I am forever amazed.
Wipe the slate clean. Do what you can, with what you’ve got. Make the next best choice. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Breathe Deeply. When in doubt, chocolate always helps. Some wise words I am trying to live by.
Stillness and Peace