Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. - Rumi

Monday, May 30, 2011

Achieve Great

Some are born great, some achieve great, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em  - Shakespeare

This is one of my all time favorite quotes. I think of this quote and think of people in my life.  People that have touched me by their actions, their truth, their ability to stay focused, in the process.  People that walk their talk. 
Greatness does not have to be a huge or great act to have significance in the life of another.  It can be simply being consistent.
Everyday.  People have the opportunity everyday to achieve greatness. I think it has to do with kindness on that level.  Helping someone out, smiling, letting someone in on the freeway, opening a door, holding a door, letting someone go first.
Greatness can also have to do with being willing to make sacrifices for the better good.
Civil rights protestors had greatness thrust upon them.  Anyone willing to stand up for, put themself in the line of danger for something they believe in has greatness thrust upon them.
I believe babies are born great.  There is infinite possibility there.  We are each born with a capacity to grow, learn and achieve great. It’s what we do with it when we become cognizant of being adults that frames our life.
I have made bad choices, muddled unclear choices and good choices. We all have.  Yet as humans, we have the capacity to shift, change our thinking if you will.  About anything.
Love, love, love
acrylic on wood
Greatness. To achieve greatness.  It can affect the whole world, meaning our planet or our small world the one we revolve around in with our friends, family and coworkers.
People that I know that do things to help other people less for fortunate – like collecting diapers to help those less fortunate, volunteering to feed homeless people.  these are acts of kindness, but they are also acts of greatness.
While many think this Shakespeare quote is more in line with thinking of leadership and achievers, I am breaking it down to a more day to day basis of how in this day and time, individuals can make a choice about their behavior in the world. Thus be great by example.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

109 days: An Update on some Change

"There is no such thing as a small miracle. A gym is a place of miracles. People do things they once thought impossible--lifting heavier, squeezing out one more rep, finding discipline and willpower they didn't know they had. They're amazed at how good they feel and look, and they carry their new power into the world. This is the miracle I wanted to give to the world."
-   Joe Wieder, excerpt from Brothers of Iron

Today is 109 days of clean eating.  I almost don’t know what dirty eating is anymore.  I am not tempted by cookies, donuts, cupcakes or fried chicken.  Gummy bears no longer hold me hostage, potato chips don't call my name.  I can pass on all that stuff.
Probably because I get up at 6 in the morning and eat some fruit and feel good. 
Finally, I feel like I have accomplished something. A huge something.  I have stuck to the plan for almost 120 days.
My goal to go for 120 days - then evaluate.

And finally, my body is beginning to feel wonderful to me again. I know from how hard I push myself in the gym that I am being successful, but finally I am internalizing the message. 

The jeans fit, but they're not loose (my goal) and everything else is finally getting more comfy and loose.  I am still on my journey to deal with this conundrum of how to be healthy, finding the right amount of exercise and eating right, and can I reintegrate some dessert type treats in to my routine and not go overboard.

I like to call the gym the playground and the machines and weights the toys (for grown-ups).  It makes me happy to be there.  I like challenging myself to build my strength, endurance and confidence in doing so.
Recently I picked up some 15 pound dumbbells and the first words out of my mouth were, “they’re too heavy”, but I kept doing the exercise.
The harder the exercise is, the more I sweat, the happier I am.  Because it has a finite time span in my day and for those few minutes, I am completely absorbed in my task: be it walk outs, burpies, squats or ab work. And I never give up.

The Kiss
acyrlic on panel board
still in progress- working out the details
So that translates into other areas of my life. And things shift and change and move about with more ease as I make room for more ease in my life.
My art work has changed to include another person.  That is a new development for me.  One that I am still pondering and reflecting on. 
Change. Movement. Growth. Life. Being. Strength. Power. Love. Peace. Discipline. Joy. Mindfulness. Grace. Clarity.

This week I was tempted by food.  Late one nite, having worked out hard not eaten since lunch and out past my bedtime: someone tempted me with a protein shake.  Did I want one.  Of course I said yes. I was thirsty, I had not cheated all this time, this was a logical option for having not eaten.  Sadly or happily, I did not get the shake, I was told that it was too much sugar and too late for me to have it.  I did try to cheat.  I was asked what my favorite chocolate was and thought a box(chocolate covered peanuts) was coming my way ---it hasn't.  So it's not like I don't have little temptations around me.  But I am being kept  clean, clean, clean.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sometimes - we need a reminder

Pretty women wonder where
My secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a
Fashion models size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
From “Phenomenal Woman”
by Maya Angelou

Sometimes in the shuffle of the day we forget that we are all magnificent wonderful human beings on this planet having a very human experience.  Sometimes we are overly self conscious of our short comings or areas of development as I like to call them now. 
This poem reminds me to treasure who I am and what I do and can do in the world.  It reminds me that we are all beautiful and beauty is within more than with out. 
Sometimes all we need is a reminder of our beauty. A kind word, gesture or touch. Sometimes, many times, it becomes a reminder to stay true to oneself, trust the process and be present keep us all grounded here on planet earth.
My personal world has been shattered by change and it is beautiful.  I am learning to trust my intution and instincts.  It reminds me to be grateful and loving to everyone who crosses my path.
The Kiss
acrylic on canvas panel
(in a series inspired by Rodin)