Saturday, August 27, 2011

Making The Tough Choices

"Did you ever have to make up your mind?
You pick up on one and leave the other one behind?
It's not often easy and not often kind.
Did you ever have to make up your mind?" ~ John B. Sebastian

That quote is one from one of my favorite songs, from my childhood.  I know they are talking about deciding about which girl to date or whatever, but  the words hold a lot of truth for other things as well.
At the beginning of this year, I made some very firm commitments to myself.  Not New Years' resolutions.  Firm commitments.  Meant on changing my life or how I was conducting it.  Stress reduction and it's effects on my health were on the top of the list.  I know a lot of folks make that commitment or desire less harmful stress in their lives, but I wanted to see what would happen if I really worked on stress reduction. Being a person who just loves to do and loves to do for others, I knew going into this that this would be a huge challenge for me.  I knew some elements of my life would have to go or at very least put on the back burner.  I knew that this change would take some real awareness.  I'd have to learn to say, "No."  And be okay with whatever came after that "no". Sounded easy enough, I guess.  I also thought that in the back of my mind, I could always "fudge" just a little here and there- look like I was holding to my commitment, but really not.  With that mind set, I started getting little "tests" of my resolve.  The people who are part of my life support group/system, were not about to let me get away with playing at this commitment.  This commitment, I has challenged me to my core being and on just about every level of my life.  I can honestly say I haven't been playing at it, I've been making the tough choices in order to keep this comittment.   I can say, I'm stronger, happier, more creative and my outlook on life is clear and clean.  Noone that I have had to say no to, so thinking less of me and tossing me out of their lives.  I still do a lot, but it's in a much more thoughtful manner. The things I am doing for others, is like a gift and not a "I have to do this."  I guess this is what setting boundaries is like.  The bigger piece here is that I'm allowing this new part of me the time to take root and grow in, what think, is health soil.
I've said no to things, some things I've really wanted to do, but knew that they also contained high levels of stress and maybe not the best idea for me.   I also struggled with the thought of letting people down and the dreaded thoughts of being a lazy self-centered good for nothing. (how's that for a negative mind set?)
Through these months, I've been thinking that there is nothing wrong or bad with taking care of myself.  It doesn't have to be such a struggle. Yet sometimes it just is.  At least the John B. Sebastian and The Lovin' Spoonful wrote their playful song to help all of us struggling to make the choices that seem right for our lives.
How are you with making and keeping commitments to yourself?  How do you feel when you say no to one thing and leave something behind?

Until next week...create to feel great!
45 projects complete! 7 to go!

This week's project...knit stitch markers.  Sort like jewelry for knitting.  Made with beads and jump rings.  Very cool. Once I got started making these I couldn't stop. 

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