TRUE LOVE CHECKLIST: Is It Love Or Something Else?

I wanted to make a follow up post to go along with my last post about the misconception that Love Hurts. We discussed that Love is and always will be Love. We also discussed how if it’s not love that hurts then it must be fear. Mistaking  something else for love is not an uncommon problem.  When we have been betrayed, we think it is love that brings us pain, but really the pain was caused by deceit. “How could she do this to me, I love her.”  When we go through a loss, we think it is Love that brings us pain, but really the pain is caused by our attachment. “But I love him.”  When we go through a conflict we think that it is love that brings us pain, but really it is an unmet need.  “She doesn’t love me like I love her”. It’s misidentification like these that allow us to buy into the  belief that it is Love that is hurting us. That someone else is hurting us. If we never loved in the first place, we would be safe. WRONG! It is not how someone else is being that hurts, it is how you are being that does.

“What hurts is not love itself, but rather our unloving actions or reactions, the conditions we place on love, the fear that we are not loved, our resistance to being loved, and even out lack of faith in love… You experience pain when you are thinking, feeling, or behaving in a way that is not loving.” – Robert Holden

Love is a state of BEING. To BE Loving is a choice we must make. And if we aren’t in our loving, we are in fear. Remember, We can not be in both states at the same time. True love never dies. It is unconditional and everlasting. When there is a change in dynamic or even a loss, TRUE love still remains.  If in examples like the ones above can lead you to misidentify what love is, in what other ways may you be mistaking true love? What fearful reasons are really the root of your pain?

In Robert Holden’s book, Loveability, he has a TRUE LOVE CHECKLIST to help you “be aware of any mistakes you are making , recognize the real cause of pain, learn any unlearned lessons, and most of all, choose a better way”. 

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TRUE LOVE CHECKLIST: (the following has been copied directly from the book)

1. Is this love or fear?
“The basic fear ‘I am unloveable’ is the primary cause to suffering. When you identify with this fear, it causes many tears to fall. The fear is not true, but if you believe it, you will turn away from yourself. Feeling unloveable causes you to reject your internal loveliness…When you believe ‘I am not loveable”, it causes you to contract inside, to defend yourself, and to behave in unloving ways that add to your pain. You also experience pain when fear appears to triumph over love: for example when it looks like love is not present, that love changes, that love is being withheld, that love is not enough, and that love dies. In deep pain, the fear is that love has forsaken you. In other words, love has rejected you, too. The temptation here is to reject love. However, when you stop loving, it hurts you even more. Only by loving can you begin to face fear, heal the pain, and walk out of hell. ”

2. Is this love or dependency?
“Many psychologist view dependency as a major source of pain in love. They counsel you against needing anything from anyone, lest you get hurt. One way to counteract this fear of dependency is to be totally independent of others. Unfortunately this causes just as much pain. Independence looks like freedom, but really it is a dead end. It shuts you off to the whole creation. Imagine if you had no relationships in your life. The truth is, we depend on relationships for our growth and evolution. Relationships are how we learn to love and be loved.

Health dependency allows you to ask for help, to be open to inspiration, to cooperate with others, and not to try to do life by yourself. Unhealthy dependency arises when you feel unloveable and see others as the source of your love. You believe it is their job to make you feel whole, secure, and connected to the world, to heal your wounds, and to validate you. Inevitably, though, when you make someone your source of love, they will also be your source of pain. No one does a very good job making someone feel lovevable, mostly because it’s an impossible task.”

People can encourage you to feel loveable, but they can’t make you feel loveable. Making sure you feel loveable is YOUR job, not someone else’s. 

3. Is this love or attachment?
“Can you feel the difference between feeling connected with and feeling attached to someone? When you love someone, you feel a connection that defies all physical laws. You feel connected from the moment you first recognize each other. Your friendship is timeless. You feel connected even if you live ten thousand miles apart. Your friendship knows no distance. You feel connected even when you haven’t spoken in ages. Your friendship is beyond words. You feel connected even if one of you is in heaven and the other is still here on earth. Your friendship is beyond all form. Your love for each other serves as a memory of your true nature, and somehow you know that your connection will continue long after you have forgotten about your visit to this world.

When you are attached to someone, it is still possible to feel that love connects you, but mostly what you feel is fear, anxiety, and pain. Attachments are contracts based on form. Pain arises when the conditions of attachment are not met…Pain also arises when the form of the relationship changes. Children grow up and leave home. Parent divorce and leave home. Our best friend gets married. We get married and divorced. People we love die. We grieve the loss of form, and understandably so. But, in truth, there is no loss in love, not when you allow yourself to feel your genuine connection to each other. ”

4. Is this love or do I have an agenda?
“What do you expect from your mother? What do you expect from your lover? What do you expect from your child? from the world? Whenever your expectations are not met, you will know it, because you will feel disappointed, let down, angry, and hurt. What is the difference between an expectation and a demand? Nothing much actually. Expectations look innocent enough, but they carry an agenda, a plan, and a demand to get something. Each expectation is set on a timer, and if you don’t get what you want in time, the bomb goes off.

Expectations are fear based. They are an effort to grab what you want instead of letting it come to you. The more afraid you are of not getting what you want, the more expectations you have on your list. Expectations are frustrating because they arise from an attitude of getting that blocks receptivity. They create an agenda that acts like a wall between you and the other person. Love doesn’t have an agenda, because an attitude of love is really based on BEING rather than getting or receiving…Love helps you to BE what you want to give and receive.”

Common Expectations That Cause Hurt in Relationships:
* I expect to be loved by everybody
* I expect people I love to love me, too
* I expect people I love to love me more than others
* I expect others to know how I need to be loved
* I expect others to love me the way I love them
* I expect people I love to know that I love them
* I expect others to love me without making mistakes
* I expect others to love me all the time.

5. Is this love or am I trying to get something?
“You can’t feel hurt unless you are giving to take”, says Chuck Spezzano. When you give love in order to get love, it ends in tears, either right away or eventually. Love is not something to get. You can’t get love from people like you get a bottle of soda from a vending machine. If you did a naked dance in front of them, you could probably get their attention, some approval, and even a wild applause. This might feel pretty good, but it wouldn’t be love. If you give love in order to get love, you will end up feeling disappointed and resentful. “Look what I did for you”, you yell. “I even did a naked dance for you,” you cry. When you give love freely, you feel the love you give and you feel loveable NO MATTER WHAT the return.”

6. Is this love or am I in sacrifice?
“There are two types of sacrifice: unhealthy sacrifice and health sacrifice. One is based on fear and the other on love. Knowing the difference is the key to knowing how to love and be loved. Unhealthy sacrifice may appear to work at first, but love and dishonesty are not good bedfellows. Lovers try to play small in a relationship in order to heal power struggles and avoid rejection. Children get ill in a desperate attempt to heal their parents relationship. Business leaders nearly kill themselves for their cause. Unhealthy sacrifice is often well intentioned, but it doesn’t work, because it’s based on fear not love.

Healthy sacrifice is a different story. To be happy in a relationship, you have to be willing to sacrifice your fear for love, independence for intimacy, resentment for forgiveness, and old wounds for new beginnings. Above all, you have to stop giving yourself away and learn how to give more of yourself. You give yourself away when you are not true to yourself, when you play a role, when you don’t speak up, when you don’t ask for what you want, when you don’t listen to yourself, and when you don’t allow yourself to receive.”

7. Is this love or am I in a role?
“Two people in a relationship will play out a number of roles together. When you are happy, you barely notice these roles exist. However, when things are not okay, the roles are more fixed and rigid. They are your position and your point of view in the relationship. They affect your capacity to give and receive. They can cause you to polarize and to oppose each other. This is painful, as you no longer feel like you are on the same team. The perceived separation can cause a power struggle and more conflict.

Roles that are fixed and rigid cause hurt and pain. These roles usually begin in childhood, born of fear that you are not loveable or that there is not enough love to go around…When there is a problem in the relationship, your homework is to find out what role you are playing and also consider what good things could happen if you stopped playing this role. Here are some good examples of roles that cause polarity:”

* Am I loving this person or am I playing the role of a martyr?
* Am I loving this person or am I playing the independent role or the dependent role?
* Am I loving this person or am I playing the role of the parent or the child?
*Am I loving this person or am I playing the role of the rescuer or the victim?
*Am I loving this person or am I trying to be positive or be contrary?

8. Is this love or am  I trying to change the person I love?
“Have you tried to change your partner recently? How did it go? Were they suitably appreciative? I imagine you didn’t get a thank you note for your efforts. Have you tried to change your children? Were they receptive? Did it work this time? Children are willing learners, except when they don’t feel loved. Have you tried to change your parents? After all, they’re getting older now and so they should be weaker and less able to resist your campaign. Has anyone tried to change you recently? How did you feel about that? Did you feel more loved? Are you feeling even more love for that person who wants to change you?

A common mistake in relationships is the belief that your love will change a person, eventually. You can’t love someone and want him or her to change. For a start, when you try to change people, they do not feel loved by you. If anything, they feel judged and rejected. Love does not seek to change people, because love does not find any fault in a person’s true essence. Love can help a person grow and to bring out the best in him or her; but you will not see any of this of you do not love the person unconditionally in the first place. The paradox for love is that when you stop wanting each other to change, you are changed, and this change enables you to love each other more. “Ask yourself:

* Am I loving this person or am I trying t o fix him?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to improve her?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to save him?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to heal her?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to get him enlightened?

9. Is this love or am I trying to control this person?
“Every relationship experiences what is commonly called a power struggle. This is not just in marriage, but also in relationships between parents and children, between in-laws, and between siblings. In a power struggle, both people have to learn to give up trying to control each other so as to experience true friendship and love. When a power struggle is healed, it helps both people feel more equal, more connected, and more loved.

Control is a form of fear. When you are tempted to control the relationship, it’s because you are afraid that you are unloveable and that you might lose someone’s love. Unfortunately, the more you try to control a relationship, the less loving it feels. Too much control makes the other person passive or passive aggressive. The more you control someone, the less attractive and interesting the person is to you. Control stunts growth, it kills aliveness. Here are some points to consider:

* Am I loving this person or am I playing it safe?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to protect him?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to protect myself?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to keep the peace?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to hold on to her?

10. Is this love or am I trying not to get hurt?
If you believe that love hurts, you will be afraid to love and be loved. This fear of love makes you want to protect yourself against love. Your ego creates an arsenal of defenses that stop you, for instance, from loving too much or loving too easily. You employ these defenses to feel safe, in control, and emotionally insured against any injury. And still you get hurt. And hurt again. Eventually, by some act of grace, you consider the possibility that these defenses are the cause of your hurt. And so it is, because defenses are made of fear and fear keeps you stuck in the experience you are trying to escape.

Until you realize that love doesn’t hurt, love will always seem to hurt you. That will be your story anyway. If you are willing to let go of your story, even for just a moment, you can start to have a different experience of love. As you begin to  dismantle some of your old defenses, you notice the love course runs more smoothly. Eventually, your defenselessness opens you up to experience pure love.”

 

If you are feeling pain or loss of love in any moment, stop and ask ask yourself, is this true love or is this something else?  It isn’t until you discover what it REALLY is, that you can start to heal and return to loving.

What are some ways you mistake pain for love? In what ways can you think, feel, and BE more loving? Leave your answers in the comment section below.

xoxo,

barista

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How To Free Up Your Energy and Enjoy The Present.

Do you sometimes find yourself wondering where all your energy has gone? A couple of months ago I found myself in that place and had no idea why I had been so tired and drained. I thought maybe something was wrong with my health, so I went to the doctors and they took a bunch of blood test, (when I say a bunch, think about 20 viles worth) and like I feared, besides being a bit low on vitamin D, everything seemed fine. I say feared because it’s like I wanted to see if there was SOMETHING wrong so I could then have an answer as to why I was feeling the way I did. When everything came back fine, then I was back at square one not knowing the answer or how to reach a solution.

I know there are many things that could affect our energy, such as our diet, or simply maybe we’re just doing too much. Sometimes it can even be more obvious than that though. What about just the things we SAID we would do but never get around to. How does that take a toll on our energy levels? Do you have those books you bought that you keep meaning to read but don’t seem to find the time? What about cleaning the garage like you said you would a few months ago? Maybe just buying that plant for your living room that you keep forgetting about?

Living in the world we live in now, where we have so much stimuli going on around us and busy seems to mean we’re important, we get into the habit of over committing or putting too much on our plate. Doing too much at the same time or in each day. Since when did busy mean better?

SpinningPlates

Some people juggle getting kids ready for school, working a full shift, running a few errands, making time for the gym, taking kids to practice, making dinner for the family, catching up on a side business when everyone is asleep, and finally getting to bed, all in one days work just to wake up and do it all over again tomorrow. Then the weekend comes where it would seem to be rest time, and here comes birthday parties, and taking kids to sports or activities, tending to the backyard and cleaning the house, doing laundry, etc. and before you know it, it’s back to Monday. Oh Monday! If this is you, I could imagine how you are tired and where your energy is going. Look at all those areas where your energy is being expended.

Now add on top of that, remembering all those unread books, or that dirty garage, or that corner of the room with the missing the plant. All those internal commitments use energy too and although is seems like it can’t be taking too much energy, it may be taking more energy then some of the things you are actually doing. So even those of you that don’t have a “busy” day like the one I played through above, you still could find yourself lacking energy because it’s geared towards all the unfulfilled commitments you have yet to do. Every time we say we are going to do something and we do not get around to it, that is good energy that we are just mortgaging, unable to use elsewhere.

To get a clear picture of this, I want you to make two lists. One of your current scene, that lists all the things/activites you have going on in which you are physically extending energy to. You can get detailed or just straight forward

example of some things on my list (very straight forward)
*Relationship
*Child
*Job
*Photography
*School
*Son’s Sports
*Reading books for school
*Homework
*Blog
*Planning a party
*Hanging out with friends
*An argument with a family member

you get the point. Any and everything that your energy is currently going to.

Now, make a second list of all those things you said you would do but never seem to get around to it. When I say you never get around to it, I mean not even a little bit. Meaning you can put the gym down if you really never get to the gym, but don’t put it on the list if you only go 2 times a week instead of the 4 times that you want. That’s something that can go on the above list. Make sense? So stuff like, cleaning out your closet, throwing away old papers, etc.

Examples of stuff on my list:
*Books I’ve been meaning to read
*Organizing stuff in the garage
*Cleaning out old toys and giving them away
*Taking the toys from Tyson’s birthday (back in April) to Children’s Hospital
*Juicing again in the morning
*Buy new plants for the backyard
*Buy new bedsheets/comforter for my bed
*Editing pictures from a free photoshoot I did for a family member.
*Helping my son practice how to ride his bike without training wheels.
*Cleaning the trunk of my car

That’s already a lot of stuff and I had way more on the list. But do you get the point? There’s all this energy that is physically being used day to day and then a bunch of energy being used just thinking about all the things you committed to doing but haven’t done yet. NO WONDER WE’RE SO TIRED!!! We’re spinning 100 plates on sticks all while only being able to give each one a fraction of our attention at a time. Not only is that energy drained, but half ass work getting done. Plates will eventually start to fall and now you’ve just added mess to clean up to your To-Do list.  

So how do we clean this up? How do we get our energy back? Well for starters, let’s work on actually completing some of the things on list #2. How about we just remove some plates. Maybe seems a little crazy to basically add on to list #1 BUT most likely the things on list #2 are things that once complete, it’s complete. It’s not ongoing like a relationship or job would be. So why not make all that mortgaged energy useful and then available for your everyday life. All those things you need to do in the future, let em go. You just took some plates off, relax! Remember the goal is to stay present and not drain ourselves by the shoulda/woulda/couldas. Then we can work on completing some of the stuff on our first list leaving us not only more energy but more time to just enjoy what is.

To start this process right now, I want you to write one more list. Make a list of things you know you can ABSOLUTELY without a doubt complete this month. We want to take baby steps here to avoid not over committing again. Not only will fulfilling these commitments free up your energy but it will always make you FEEL good for following through with what you said you were going to do. If it’s only one or two things that is totally fine. I want you to win!! If it’s reading a book you haven’t gotten to, something as simple as skimming through the entire book in a few minutes can be helpful. If going to the gym is on your list, just getting there, swiping your card and leaving could make a difference.

Some things on my list I will complete in the next month:
*Go outside with Tyson at least once so he can ride his bike
*Buy new plants for the backyard
*Workout at least 5 times
*Sign up for Oprah and Deepak meditation series.
*Make a blog post at least two times a week

Now go down that list and  enthusiastically talk about and imagine you doing it RIGHT NOW!!! The mind can’t tell the difference between you just thinking something and actually doing it and studies show that if you get in the habit of visualizing, it is more likely that you WILL actually do that thing you are imagining yourself doing. Get excited, get detailed. Go over with a friend your vision, Picture the room, the people involved, the sounds, the smells. Most importantly picture it and feel it. Just witness how much energy you free up this next week or month and only commit to things you can complete. Be truthful. It’s better to not make any commitments then to leave commitments unfulfilled. Not only will you lessen the number of spinning plates but you’ll be able to gear more love into each one, producing amazing results. Keep me updated!!!

the higher your energy level the more efficient your body the more efficient your body the better you feel copy

xoxo,

 barista

I Got In, I Got In!

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SoOoOoOooo I Got In!!! Found out on Tuesday (yes, it’s taken me this long to share) that my application to the University Of Santa Monica application was accepted. I am on my way towards getting my Masters in Spiritual Psychology. Woooohoooo! Well guess what… as happy as I am, I still feel scared.

“I haven’t been to school for so long”, “Am I sure I’m gonna be able to pay for this?”, “Will I really be able to finish the two, maybe three, years?”, “How will I make it through the long weekends?”, “Maybe I’m putting too much on my plate?”, “School starts NEXT WEEK….am I ready?”

Ya know what, I DUNNO!! some of those questions, I’m just not sure of the answer. The thing I have come to discover over the last few days though is I have a choice. I can choose to let the fear of the unknown deter me away from my path (like I have done many a time in the past) OR I can use the fear of unknown to give me the strength and faith needed to continue forward. It’s like that saying that I love (that I might butcher), “Imagine driving in a car somewhere at night…with your headlights, as long as you continue to move forward, you only need to see a little in front of you at a time to eventually reach your destination”. That’s how this feels. With only little light leading my way, little by little I’m continuing to move forward along this path of my dreams.

The journey of USM started with me checking it out online and noticing there was an informational meeting that very same week. Being that, to get to this meeting meant I had to travel down the 405 (traffic nightmare) right after work at 6pm AND find a babysitter from 6-10pm on a Wednesday so my fiance could come with me, some people may have skipped the meeting. Not having a clue what to expect, I took a step forward. After the meeting I was excited but nervous about the financial aspect as that’s the thing that worries most people about situations like these. Wondering if I was moving too fast, what if I wasn’t looking at all my options. It took 3 months, but I did what I needed to do to apply. Scared about if I could handle it, yet another step forward. Now here I am filling out my enrollment forms after being accepted, still scared “what the hell is going on?” but STILL another step forward. I expect many more moments to come along like this, that leave me with the choice to stop or take another step forward and I’m coming to slowly learn that as long as I KEEP MOVING FORWARD, my goals will be met.

I’m finally coming to know what FEEL THE FEAR, AND DO IT ANYWAYS is all about. I posted this quote on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago when I was finishing up my application, and it’s the thing I now start to think about when I get scared. It’s slowly becoming my motto for creating an exceptional life. I have felt the fear in other ways and areas of my life and continued along with stuff, this isn’t my first shebang, but I always felt like when it came to my career goals/dreams, when I got too scared I would give up. Whenever I felt a tad discouraged I would run away. SO this just feel like a BIG step for me to actually get something big started that I know I will follow through with, coming out a new and improved version of myself.

I have a lot of fears but I know once my first day comes, they will start to subside. Underneath it all I feel really good about everything going on in my life and the lives around me. I have learned a lot of things over the years, read a lot of books, given a lot of advice, had plenty of conversations and motivational talks with others to help them get through their fears, but through all that I’ve always been scared to trust my OWN heart. I knew there was a big part of me that hasn’t been walking my talk. And now I feel like I’m getting a taste of what that feels like.

Literally two seconds ago, I just text my friend with “Your head is just a bunch of mumbo jumbo filling your thoughts with fear, your heart knows the truth and just wishes you would trust it”. Stuff like that comes out of my mouth constantly to other people ALLLL the time but its a whole other story to feel and trust that myself. That’s all our soul wants from us, is to trust OURSELVES over the fears that are constantly being strung through our brain at lightening speed a million times all day. You get an intuition about something and almost immediately following are the thousand of fears challenging that intuition. The key is to listen to that intuitive thought.

When you start to trust  your heart and notice that it knows its shit, it can get addicting. You realize that it was right all along, even if at first it can be the scariest decision you make, and you’ll want to keep doing it. It takes many times of choosing your fears first and learning the lessons that go with them, but with practice you become stronger and less afraid. The goal is to eventually listen to ONLY my heart and tell my fearful thoughts to “suck it” (in the kindest way possible of course).

It’s funny because the one thing that got me to actually turn in my application was listening to one of my friends talk about how she had just registered for a certification class she was interested in so she could get her dream job. It motivated me because I remember her discovering what it was she wanted to do and within a few weeks she was making moves and putting down money. She was scared too but she was doing it anyways. I was just sitting there thinking “Here I am taking three months, scaring myself further away from my dream while she is just going for it”. The next day I started completing my application. I told her this the other day when I got accepted that her moves had motivated me and the ironic thing is, she told me I was the one that motivated HER. I told her if she moved forward and did it, MAGIC would happen. Well who knew, that magic would be for both of us.

Listen to your heart and MAGIC does happen. I believe that and now is time to start following through. Has there been a time where you have decided to listen to your heart over your head? I would love to know how that worked out for you. Share below!

Vulnerability leads to connection. Connections allows us to see we aren’t alone. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and share your thoughts or story in the comments section below so that you can open the opportunity for a connection with someone else

xoxo,

barista

PS: People have been asking me “What is Spiritual Psychology?”. Below is a video from the EXACT informational meeting I attended explaining what Spiritual Psychology is and what USM is all about. You’ll see why I am so excited to go. PPS: This school isn’t for those only interested in Psychology, as Im not trying to become a Psychologist, many different people attend that have many different backgrounds and careers, 1/3 of the students even travel from all over to attend the one weekend a month. So you may be interested and maybe I’ll even see you there next year 🙂 xoxo

May Cause Miracles: Week 2 Part 2

After I had my lovely miracle on the evening of Day 10, I feel like they haven’t stopped since. I noticed myself all throughout the rest of the week and weekend creating miracles. The book does say that once you start witnessing miracles, it’s when you don’t that there’s something wrong.

Day 11 was self-gratitude day. Again always one of my favorite days because there’s such a great shift when you can fully recognize all in your life AND be thankful for it all. It brings you into the PRESENT. “I Am Grateful For This Moment”.

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This week I had to show SELF-gratitude.

I AM GRATEFUL:
1. That I get to see my son grow up
2. That I am a good friend
3. That I continue to work on my relationship
4. For my soul, my faith, my God, my Light, My Source, My Universe
5. That I help people when I can
6. For ALL my books, blogs, seminars, etc.
7. For my mind and it’s ability to think beyond
8. When I love, it’s forever
9. That I keep in touch with people close to me
10. That my family and friends value me.
11. My Life and my PURPOSE!
…and many more!!!!

This weekend I went away to Monterey/Carmel with some family and my fiance to check out wedding venues. The first day, which was Day 12, my fiance wanted to take our son whale watching so he could have some fun while we were there. We were going to do it Sunday morning before we head back to Los Angeles but we had some time on Friday when we got into town so we decided to go. I thought it might be cutting it too close because of an appt we had but he said it was only 2 hours so we would actually finish in time before we had to check out a wedding venue that evening at 4pm.

Well within the first hour of the trip, my soon-to-be mother in law got really sick and started throwing up on the backside of the boat. She was having the worst experience ever from being sea-sick. All of a sudden it was 3pm and we had JUST gotten out to where the whales were. There was NO WAY we were going to be back by 3:30pm.

My fiance asked the worker on the boat and he said no way the boat isn’t due back until 4:30pm. This meant we were going to miss our very first appt. I immediately got really upset. I went to call the venue and in my head was cursing my fiance for even deciding to set up this trip before our appt. I told him it was cutting it too close but he assured me it would be fine. Well it wasn’t. “Why did I listen to him?” “This was such a bad idea” “I KNEW this wouldn’t work out” “I can’t believe we are stuck on this boat and it’s all [my fiance’s] fault.” While that was running through my head I remembered the affirmation of the day which was “I Forgive Myself For Having This Thought. I Choose Love Instead”.

I immediately started thinking about how he just wanted to do this so our son would have fun. So we could all have a good time. He really didn’t know that the trip was this long since the guy that sold us tickets told us it was only 2 hours, not 3.5 hours. I began to feel grateful for his efforts. By the time I got off the phone with the venue, instead of being angry and cursing my fiance out I actually told him THANK YOU!!!

Today-I-Choose-Love

Fo me this was a big step because I will admit, I am very used to arguing and placing blame. This time I went up to him and said “Thank you baby for your efforts in trying to put this idea together”. After that I started getting sea-sick and had to sit with my head in between my legs the whole way back. My son even got sea-sick and threw up. Although the trip was NOT very eventful, we DID get to see some whales though so I can’t say it was completely a bust. In the end we all got laugh about it and we didn’t end the trip being mad at each other. A MIRACLE!!!! And to imagine, things could have ended quite differently if it weren’t for that simple shift in perception I actively chose.

Although I am entering Day 15 today, I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much in one post so I will add yet another part to week 2 for days 13 & 14 tomorrow and then we can go over part 1 of week 3 in a few days.

Until then, xoxo

barista

Creating “Miracles” from Juicing

After 93 hours of juice fasting, I had my first full meal on Friday night. I went into the fast with the “I’ll TRY” attitude and never really intended to make it through 7 days. Hell I never though I’d make it far past 1 day but I did a whole heck of a lot better than I imagined. I also feel like I learned so much in the time period I did it.

1

The first two days for me were soooooo incredibly hard. You already read how the first day went, well day 2 went pretty similar. I had the same typical obsessive thoughts about food and relating the WANT to taste and chew something to the thought of starvation. More headache and a little light-headedness. I started the morning sipping a juice and had another smoothie at lunchtime which held me over the rest of the work day. I then came home and got ready for the gym. This time I was able to get into a Zumba class so I didn’t have to worry so much about doing boring cardio and thinking about food the whole time.

My son had come to the gym with me and afterwards he wanted some food from Chick-Fil-A. They do have some of the best chicken nuggets I’ve tasted so I knew this was going to be hard. While in the line I was thinking “Maybe I’ll just get the three-piece chicken tenders”. I ordered his food and the attendant ask the closing question, “Would you like anything else?”. As much as I wanted to order me some tenders, I replied “No, that’s it”. I was proud of myself for not giving in. Or as I like to say, telling my “fuck it” brain to fuck off!

He was eating in the back seat and by the time he got home he said he was done. I put him to bed and went back downstairs to check out the left over food. There was one chicken nugget and some french fries. I wanted to throw it all away but my mind got the best of me and I ate the chicken nugget. Knowing that I was going against what I had wanted, I took the french fries and fed them to the dogs. I then went upstairs and went to bed. The funniest thing happened next

I was asking my boyfriend how he was doing with the fast, he said he was fine. I asked him if he had any food at all. He said no at first and then I was telling him how someone had eaten the nuts that were in the pantry. He then broke down and said “Ok, I ate some”. I laughed and said “Oh, so you lied to me”. He answered saying that he was lying to himself. Isnt that something familiar? I’m pretty sure we all try to lie to ourselves about certain things. We act as if we can believe the lie then maybe whatever it is didn’t really happen or exist. We try to make ourselves feel better, not by accepting the truth, but trying to believe a lie.

It was funny because the next thing I said was “OK FINE, I had one of the chicken nuggets”. It was like we both wanted to lie, but honestly it felt so good to tell the truth. It was so funny at the same time because here we are both admitting to eating very small portions of food as if it were bad and we didn’t want to go to hell. There was no judging, we laughed about it and went to sleep.

After I made it past day 1 and 2, I was figuring day 3 was my goal. I wanted to make it through 3 days and see how I felt. Day 3 was a breeze. I hadn’t really thought much about eating at all. I felt like I had the most energy I’ve had in the earlier 2 days and my “starvation” had gone away. I heard usually  after 2-3 days the hunger goes away and I wanted to know if that was true and how not being “hungry” after 3 days of not really eating anything felt.  I felt awesome I and I felt like I had reached my point of satisfaction.

Since we are telling the truth here, ONE of the main reasons I was interested in starting the fast was to lose weight. I had gained weight and was 10 lbs heavier than normal. After spending the last couple months binge eating and eating horribly, the calories had got me. So I was excited to lose a few pounds, especially before leaving for Bali in a few days. The other reason was still true though, I wanted to challenge my discipline and get my control  back. After these last few days, became just an added bonus to what I really got out of it.

I knew that food had a hold on me. During that time period I was gaining ten pounds, I knew so many times when I had eaten stuff I knew inside I didn’t really want to eat but had given in to what I played off as a “weakness”. Its amusing when you actually notice those moments in which you have to make a decision either go towards what your inner self is aligned to or go against it. One of the most important steps in making any type of change is being able to recognize those moments. Do I continue down the path of which I am used to, or do I choose something different? Choosing the path you are used to is usually the easy choice. Usually when it’s easy, you aren’t learning. That moment you decide to choose something different then what you are used to, you have created, what Gabrielle Bernstein would call a “miracle” and you have opened the door to learn something new.

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Throughout this process I’ve had  a few of those moments. The first 20 minutes I was in work I had this moment while staring at chocolate. In 9/10 cases I would have chosen to eat the chocolate. I debated over it in my head and I chose to do something different. I chose to stay on the path in which I wanted to follow. And guess how I knew that was the right path? Because it felt good! I didn’t regret my decision and I didn’t feel bad about it. One of the sure-fire ways to know you are aligned is…YOU FEEL GOOD! A few times I gave in and did what I would normally do. When I ate the pineapple on day 1, I was in that moment and decided to go against myself. I knew the moment right before I chose to eat it that I was eating it because I was making a “fuck it” choice. Something inside of me KNEW that I didn’t need it, that I didn’t want it, that eating it wasn’t aligned to my true choice but that part of me that is used to giving in, gave in.

During the time that I was fasting, especially after making it through day 1 and 2, I realized that I have so much more control over my choices then I give myself credit for. Even through the moments I gave in, there is something to be said about taking responsibility over those choices as well. Realizing that every moment I have a choice and taking full responsibility for my choices, even if they are against my inner self, gives me a sense of freedom. Cutting the excuses and releasing the blame can be very empowering.

Being able  to get through these few days showed me that all the excuses and blame I placed on why my eating habits were the way they were, didn’t really exist. There was no truth behind the excuses or the blame. All the excuses or blame did was made me feel powerless to the choices I was previously making. “I have a sweet tooth”, “I’ll start eating better tomorrow”, “I already fucked up so why stop”. Being able to hold a steady ground pushed those statements out the door.

The best part is, when I did decide to eat on Friday, I was at ESPNZone and there were so many bad things I could have gotten. But again, I had that moment in which I had to make a decision. Trust me, I wanted nothing more than to have some hot wings or some artichoke and spinach dip but in that moment I knew that those things weren’t aligned to my goals so I chose a chicken salad with the dressing on the side.

Now that I have tested myself and I have proof that I can stay on the path in which I want to follow, there is absolutely no excuse or blame for going the other way. If in moments I choose to go the other way, all I have to do is take  responsibility and learn from it. I believe those moments in which I “gave in” were necessary to further that lesson.

I know that I don’t have to eat a chocolate every time I see it. I know that I’m not  gonna die just because I’m not “chewing” something. I know that I don’t have to pick the most unhealthy meal just because it’s an option. I know that if I can  handle a few days of not eating food, that when I do eat it, I don’t have to go overboard. I know that  I have become more mindful to the thoughts that play out in my head and the control I was letting them have on me. I am more mindful of my actions. In that I can be more mindful to my habits and turn them into intentions.

Even though I had a meal on Friday and a meal on Saturday.  I don’t think I am done with the lessons quite yet. I am going to continue on this “juicing” journey. I will place no restrictions on myself but I will continue to pay attention to my mind and my body and listen to what it is teaching me.

My challenge to you is, try to become aware of those moments in which you have a choice…. and choose differently. Even if its something small. Those small “miracles” will lead to great change!

xoxo,

barista