Monthly Archives: January 2014

I’m still trying to save the world…

Newsflash – the world doesn’t need saving. I know this. I really do know this. I believe it firmly. And yet…

And yet I guess old habits die hard because I’m still trying to save the world. I’m still driven to make a difference. Deep down I want to make a splash, a splash that makes life better for people. A lot of people.

The other day someone asked me why I was so compelled to get my book published. My answer was instantaneous and visceral, and almost as if out of nowhere. “I’m still trying to save the world.”

They say “awareness is the first step.” (And yes, that saying is from AA. I can hear my daughter yelling at me that I forgot to tell her that it was from AA.) Well, I’m aware. I’m aware that my drive, at times, comes from Sun Myung Moon standing in front of me, shouting in Korean that we had to change the world. We had to ease God’s suffering. I had to be the one that made it happen, that changed the course of mankind.

I think there are things in the world that could be better. I support causes I believe in, and people who support causes I believe in. I’m proud of my daughter as she becomes more of an activist and a feminist in her freshman year of college. I thank the environmental and political canvassers who knock on my door for the work they do, especially in cold or rainy weather. But there’s a difference between working for a cause you believe in, and believing you have to shake the foundations of the world to make it better. Believing that every moment has to be something big, something that accomplishes something that will make God proud.

I’m still trying to save the world. Maybe that is why I’m keeping at this book and this blog. Well, that and I love to write. And that my daughter (a lot about her today, huh?) has told me that she won’t read my book until it’s a real book. But really, I want to make a difference with my book. I want people to read it and feel hope. I want them to read it and know that it’s all okay in the long run. I want them to read it and realize that they too can be happy. And I love to write.

Maybe I’m so grateful for my happiness that I want to give it to everyone I can. I want to feed it forward. I want the domino effect – that my choice of joy causes your choice of joy, which then causes the choice of joy in others. And I suppose those are all good things to want. But I don’t have to want to save the world. Because it doesn’t need saving.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Anorexic thinking gets in the way

I’ve started reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I know I’m late to the party, but I’m glad I’m here now (pun intended). All I can say is “wow!”

I’m sure I’ll be referring to it over and over again throughout my life. And in many posts. It’s the kind of reading that sits with you in a deep way. At least it sits with me in a deep way. I’ve been, bit by bit, remembering to be even more present and more aware of the now (or the Now, as Tolle refers to it). It seems to ring true how all the rest of time – the past and the future – are made up in ways. Because all we have, all I have, is right now. And when I stop and give Now my full attention it puts things in perspective. I’ve been mindful of mindfulness for a while. I’ve been trying to practice mindfulness and definitely preaching mindfulness. The Power of Now takes it to a whole new level for me. Well, me and the other 3 million people who have bought the book!

However, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with anorexic thinking. In fact, you’re probably wondering what anorexic thinking is. Fair points.

Anorexic thinking is my term for the rigidity with which my mind can work. My anorexia, many many many years ago, may have been a reaction to my leaving the Church. It may have been my attempt to control whatever I could. It may have been a self-punishment for all that I had done, and might ever do, wrong. It doesn’t really matter why I became anorexic. What matters is the scars in my thought processes – the strict adherence to rules (even made up rules), the need for control and the false sense of control, the need to have everything in its exact place and myself in an exact way. I notice this anorexic thinking in places in my life that have nothing to do with food. That have nothing to do with anything. It’s a black or white, all or nothing, good or bad approach to the world. And to everything I do. Especially when I’m faced with a challenge or a “problem” and I’m trying to figure my way out.

And big surprise, anorexic thinking gets in the way. It doesn’t work. It catches me in its grips and throws me to forgone conclusions, like a slalom speeding down the hill in its preset course. Anorexic thinking nearly always convinces me that I’m wrong and that I can’t get it right – or that there is a right to get to. It gets in the way because it puts me in rigidity and fear. It closes my awareness to other options. It, as Eckhart Tolle would suggest I think, keeps me stuck in my mind and away from the Now.

The Now is observing, without judgment or analysis. What a foreign concept, but an alluring one. It’s even observing my anorexic thinking, without judgment or analysis. Just being able to recognize my anorexic thinking – to call it out – stops it, or at least slows it, in its tracks.

I think the Now is abundant thinking instead of anorexic thinking. Or maybe it’s even no thinking at all, just feeling and being. What I do know is that anorexic thinking gets in the way.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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The delight of decadence

I’m enjoying decadence right now. It might not be decadence that others see as decadence, but it’s working for me. And I’m actively enjoying it.

Years ago someone shared with me that if I felt guilty when I did something, then I should probably do it. I apparently had a habit of feeling guilty whenever I did something just for myself, so they advised that I seek out the guilt, and aim for the guilty pleasures. That this be my North Star, my guiding force.

I followed that path for years and advised others to join me. “If you feel guilty about it, do it,” I shared. “Do the things that are just for you. Do them and enjoy them.”

Guilt can also be a guiding post for when you’ve gone too far. There is guilt that I feel when I’ve done something really out of tune with how I view myself and who I want to be. That guilt is a lesson. A lesson to not do that thing again.

The guilt that I aim for is the guilt of putting myself first and of taking care of Lisa. I aim for stopping for a moment to get really clear on what I want and what I want to do, and then if at all possible, doing it. Because I have a hardwired impulse to not do those things. I’m hardwired to not slow down and smell the roses, and to be constantly pushing to do more and prove more. I can forget to breathe. It’s a hardwired impulse that I’m slowly de-wiring.

So my decadence today? It’s a snow storm outside. It’s a snow day in fact – school was cancelled at 6am this morning. And I’m inside, with the heat turned up a bit (I’ve been told I keep the house too cold), sitting on my couch with my feet up and an afghan tucked around me, sipping a cup of Chamomile Citrus tea. I’ve allowed myself time to try and nap, time to meditate, and time to read a book just for fun. I’ve allowed myself to do only the work that needed to get done or that I felt like doing. I’ve allowed myself the space to not achieve.

And speaking of decadence, this past weekend I went to a movie…in the afternoon…with a best girlfriend. Completely decadent. I could have been running errands. I could feel guilty about seeing a movie that my husband wanted to see without him.

I’ve watched Dr. Who – sometimes with my son and sometimes by myself. I’ve turned off the pressure to find an agent (for today) and have decided to enjoy, and be proud of the consistency of, my blogging. I’m watching the snow plows and the snow blowing out my window. I’m snuggling under my blanket and sipping my tea. I’m decadent.

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