Sheila Viers on how she changed her life by changing her mind.
Once upon a time there was a girl whose hobby was weight loss. For the most part, her thoughts were consumed by it. She thought about food, calories, and macros all the time. Her weight and her body was constantly on her mind.
Her favorite pastime was looking in the mirror, meticulously scrutinizing areas of her body that could be a little bit tighter.
This was a shell of a girl. She was empty inside. She was consumed by her obsession, and for why?
What was driving this addiction to perfecting her body? In a world where there is so much to be thankful for, so much to see and do and have and be, why was she wasting away her life so focused on something so disheartening?
Maybe somewhere along the way she learned that perfection equals reward. That the only thing better than an A was an A+.
Maybe she learned that the level of “perfection” you see in magazines leads to incredible abundance and success, which just fed even more into her need to succeed to feel valued.
Maybe she felt out of control or unfulfilled in other areas of her life and her body was the one area that she felt she had 100% control over.
Whatever it was, that driver was strong. And that makes me sad. Because I look at her and I see the incredible beauty inside that was bursting to shine.
You see, she had this incredible fire, this light. A light that people sometimes got a glimpse of but mostly only for a second or two until she had a chance to stuff it away and hide it again.
She was afraid to let it shine for fear of being judged. For fear of being seen, like really seen. For fear of letting someone see her true self and then being rejected.
Few people saw the real version of her. It was easy for her to hide it behind shyness.
Over time and through many experiences of challenge that lead to a deeper realization of what she really wanted out of life, she started to peel away the layers of armor, like a flower blooming, opening her heart.
As she learned more about herself she began accepting herself and even loving the perfectly imperfect parts. She started to see the parts of herself that were amazing that had nothing to do with the way she looked. Those parts that made her who she was — the parts that the people closest to her saw and loved most about her.
She realized that life is too short to spend it obsessing over things that suck the energy out of her and keep her stuck cycling in icky feelings.
More than anything, she knew that life is meant to be JOY-filled. She, like many, had just gotten caught up in worries, fear, and all of the other emotions that block the joy.
She then committed to herself — a promise — that even though she knows she’s not going to be perfect at it, even though she knows that she’ll never get it done and there will always be more to do… she was going to set her sights on a life of love and ease and fun. Because those emotions, those feelings, light her up from the inside out.
Even today she has to sometimes recommit to this promise to herself. Sometimes she forgets that she always has the choice to feel how she chooses to feel in any circumstances.
Even today she sometimes forgets that she promised herself she would get back into scuba diving, take those salsa lessons, and travel the world.
But the beauty is that she can always reset, refocus, and get back on the path. She’s seen firsthand the rewards of this commitment, and they are far greater than any reward she ever received from her old way of thinking, forcing, and obsessing.
Those moments of heart-burstingly overwhelming love… for no reason other than that it just feels so good to love.
The aha’s when she feels a huge shift in emotion and mindset that allows her to settle into a new level of peace and trust.
The forever treasured moments with friends and family that can only come from a level of connection that rises out of being completely present, free of fear or worry.
Author, Marilyn Ferguson, says:
“The greatest revolution in our generation is that of human beings, who by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”
We change our lives not by changing our diet or our fitness plan, but by changing the inner attitude of our mind.
This is exactly how this girl — how I — changed mine.