Just read a post about three things you can do to ease the symptoms of menopause (1. stop eating processed foods 2. daily 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and 3. regular de-stressing). I found myself skipping through the article thinking “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it all before.”
Then it hit me. I am bombarded with good advice but I rarely follow it. Only on occasion do I actually take action on a list of personal To Dos like this. I KNOW exercise helps depression and strengthens aging body parts and revs up flagging metabolism. Every day I allow guilt to creep into my brain momentarily because I am not taking care of myself in the way that my body needs, even craves. Heck, it’s easier to tie a concrete block to my guilt, throw it overboard and go on to the next thing in my lineup of To Dos.
Then the second wave of realization hit me (I was a sitting duck for waves of realization today): I am not paying much attention to exercise (or de-stressing and only partially to eating right). If I don’t pay attention, I don’t make it priority. If it’s not a priority, I continue to float along in the same guilty rut.
My good friend Alan Brown from ADD Crusher was my guest on last night’s ADDA webinar and he said (among other things) “I can’t afford to waste time.” He got rid of his clutter, he got rid of sugar in his diet, he narrowed his focus to the things he decided were really important in his life. And his life shifted dramatically.
So that leads me to two more (“duh”) realizations (I told you it was a big day for realizations):
1. It really is true that what I focus on expands.
2. My focus is my choice. Period.
My attention leaves a tell-tale imprint of what I truly think is important. Regardless of the thoughts that stream through my mind or the words I speak out loud, my true focus/priorities are reflected in the action I take. When I pay only lip service to exercise or nutritious eating or stress reduction I am saying that none of them are truly important to me.
To change my life, I must first decide to change my focus. When I stop reading articles about how to improve my life and start looking for a personal trainer or throw out all the Scoops in my pantry or meditate instead of watching re-runs of Hoarders, then my life will change. In other words, when I start paying attention to the things I tell myself are important, then they really will BE important.
How bad do I want it? And am I willing to adjust my focus? I know from experience that I am incredibly powerful when I remember what I want, pay attention and move toward it. I also know that the pool of opportunities expands rapidly with increased attention and focus. What I focus on truly does expand. And what I ignore or continue to push aside get smaller in my life; its importance shrinks.
I had this re-epiphany in the wee hours of the morning and jumped out of bed to write it down before it evaporated. From my office window, I can see only the outline of trees in the pre-dawn light. It’s a new day, a fresh chance to choose my focus. The world is waiting; will I make a different choice today? Will you?
Having just attended my 2nd ADDiva Alumnae Retreat, this post is a gentle, yet pertinent reminder for me concerning “choices”! I CAN choose to do something different. I can CHOOSE to focus on the future, rather than on the past mistakes and regrets. I have felt paralyzed by lamenting about my failures, rather than focusing on future possibilities and opportunities. So, I did 1 thing today, I made an appointment to discuss my circumstances with a professional! I’m kinda scared about it but it’s just 1 step, right? Just 1, for now…….thank you for sharing yourself and your thoughts so intimately, you are a treasure!
Hi Linda, I just read this piece and I was smiling throughout, especially the last two paragraphs 🙂 I’m turning 50 in one month and boy so much is running through my head, on top of what is running anyways. While reading I identified with every word you wrote. I have not been formally diagnosed but this is me to the T. I am so aware and conscious and yet I show no action but to be honest, most of the time I’m ok with my mediocre life that I’ve created. I have come to accept and love myself entirely. I really do like myself now, even if I go sideways. I’m a lot more gentle with myself and more forgiving as far as forgiving myself for being a bitch when I’m irritated and the likes. I am aware that I could do and be so much more then I allow myself to, but just thinking about creating change starts to stress me out. So I don’t and it’s ok ~ for me. I can live with it and if I feel a need for change I found things just come more easily. Guess there is benefit to aging 🙂
Wow, Linda, I just got your email and read this article. Does this ever resonate with me!! Those first paragraphs could have been taken RIGHT out of my brain!! It’s SO true. I’ve lived it. I wrote you an extended response in email, but I had to give you KUDOS here! Thank you for hitting the nail on the head, and inspiring me! 🙂