Each morning, each sunrise, is nature’s way of signaling you to wake up, heed the call to action, to move forward on your path, progress towards your personal goals. Some days the goal is to simply open your eyes and get out of bed. I have had many days like that.
On the first of November I woke up feeling like I needed to do a reset of my life. I had been feeling overwhelmed and my answer to those feelings had been to on several occasions binge eat cocoa puffs or devour my latest favorite Chocolove dark chocolate with salted almond butter bar, or both. Trust me, it is not a pretty sight to see myself standing in the kitchen, oblivious to the handfuls of cereal being mindlessly shoveled into my mouth. My exercise routine had pretty much ground to a halt weeks before. My spiritual practice was non existent.
It is so easy to stay in that mindset – to eat yourself into several or in my case many unwanted pounds… to feel sorry for yourself for any and a multitude of reasons…to ignore the mental notes to meditate or take a walk. Life seems so difficult for so many of us lately and it is precisely at these times that we should not ignore that morning sunrise summons.
It takes a lot to heed the call to action – the one that screams at us to get out of bed, get to the gym, get to work at our job and on our selves.
So I asked myself, what do I need to reset? What would it take for me to actually do a reset? What do I need to do?
The answer: first, taking stock of who we are, what we believe, what we say, how we act. Awareness. Mindfulness. Of the emotional, physical, spiritual, and psychic self.
On the obvious side, I needed to reset my emotional balance – so that I would not continue to out of control power eat. But why was I out of balance? What was it that was pushing me to the state of mind that I was not paying attention to what was important for my self care?
We all, I know, lead very full lives. We have many people and things to tend to – children, partners, spouses, parents, and then of course our selves; houses, jobs, volunteer work, hobbies… We are often pulled in many different directions.
The most important lesson of this chapter of my life is to stop taking on everyone else’s emotional pain. I tend to do that – for my kids expecially. I am the incomparable caregiver in my house – which I will admit often feels like being more of a slave to life’s and everyone’s needs. How to be there for myself is always a challenge. There is a wonderful and very true saying that you are only as happy as your unhappiest child. When one of our children is hurting, we are hurting too. A friend equated being the mother of three to a game of whack a mole – some pesky problem is always rearing its head. So no wonder I was off balance, trying to juggle everything that was going on was proving too much for me.
Restarting my exercise routine was an important component of this reset as it would help relieve the stress that was the cause of the emotional eating. It would also kick start my metabolism and pave the way for a few pounds to melt off.
But the question I have to ask is, “do I have the power?” The will power that is, to actually reset my emotional balance, eating, physical exercise…. and not let the stress of life get to me.
Willpower. The power of our will. Looking up the definition I found “the ability to control your own thoughts and behavior, especially in difficult situations,” “control of one’s impulses and actions; self-control,” “control exerted to do something or restrain impulses,” and my personal favorite, “energetic determination.”
I needed energetic determination now to not go for the cocoa puffs when I am suddenly feeling frustrated by something happening in my house. Energetic determination to make a healthier choice when needing to eat something, anything. Energetic determination to move my body every day towards a healthier lifestyle. Energetic determination to cultivate and maintain a spiritual practice.
The reset is a shift – towards clearer perception and awareness, knowing exactly what you are doing in every moment and why. You are able to exercise your will, use your personal power. The call to action is the call to mindfulness in everything you do. The power of your will must be harnessed for the good of mind, body, and soul.
I believe I do have the willpower to reset my life. And I accept the challenge to heed the call to mindful acton.