I generally talk about people, places, and things on this blog but . . .
This post is about ME.
I have spent my entire life trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to please everyone in my life. So many times that behaviour has backfired on me in bad relationships and bad decisions. I knew I had to make some changes but had no idea how.
And then a friend suggested we form a group to discuss The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. The first attempt sputtered out quickly but one year later we were able to put together a group of women who were also searching for change. Every month we read a chapter, discussed what we'd read, and made goals to reach for. We were committed to holding each other up and small changes began to happen in our worlds. So much so that we determined to repeat the project for a second year. Some of us derived more or less than others depending on the timing of our lives. What I learned was that Rubin's book was a great start but I needed more.
I read several other books including The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. More changes and yet still wanting more. My health has been a huge issue for many years and I knew I could improve my health just by being more focused and reducing stress. These were not easy goals.
At the same time as I was doing all this research and trying to make changes to my life I gradually noticed that I was isolating myself. The difference from previous times I'd done this was that my walls weren't made of "bricks" but rather more of a nest -- a safe place where I could think, read, nurture myself , and be creative. The great thing about a nest is that I could come out when I wished and people could come in if they wished. Some people didn't wish to come in and that told me a lot about them. The best people gave me the space I have needed but kept tabs on me and even dragged me out of my nest once in a while.
A serious health problem a few months ago made it clear I still had a lot of work to do.
I have joined a couple of real life organizations that are supportive of some of my interests.
I have learned to say No more often while still saying Yes when I can.
I have become more vigilant about my diet and medical care.
I have started going to a chiropractor to help with my physical pain.
I have started reading The Artists Way by Julia Cameron with a couple of friends. It has been slow going but we haven't given up. Chapter 3 has rather kicked my butt. I am working through the challenges and goals to be able to move on to the next chapter.
My health is improving every day. I am feeling better everyday. I am more motivated everyday. I know I have to be vigilant in my self-care so that I can continue to grow and so that I can be available as a whole person to others.
I am finding JOY In My World . . . and I never want to go back to the person who was always running on empty.
I am looking forward to continuing my journey of self-care and I thank those special people in my life who have allowed me to take this journey and been supportive along the way.