Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Accentuating the Positive

I was fully intending to write about icicles today. Last night when I went to bed I was thinking about some pretty pictures I had of the killer icicles that my house produced after the last snow we had here. I'm sure I will post about them sometime because my house really does have the most killer icicles in the neighborhood, but not today.
I want to share a bit about my morning but please, bear with me for just a sec...I'm well aware that no one likes to go to a pity party--no matter how good the refreshments are.
So, I woke up today to find some people had some negative things to say about this attempt at a small online shop I'm trying out and then right after that I got dressed and my jeans wouldn't zip. I can't even begin to tell you how it feels to have your jeans not zip after you've experienced losing seventy pounds. It's been three years since having a morning where my jeans don't zip.
So my art sucks and I'm fat was my morning.
Before my morning could become my entire day, I took Rafiki's advice,"put your behind in your past".
It was time for a mental health walk.
I love the mental health walk. When I quit smoking I followed my friend Moe's advice. He told me about a woman who had quit smoking. Every time she wanted a cigarette, she would take a walk instead. Eventually she lost a ton of weight and hiked the Appalachian Trail.
I did not set my heart on a goal quite as high as that, but the losing a ton of weight part sounded good, so I started walking every time I wanted a smoke. The first few days I noticed two things. One was that I was way more out of shape then I thought and the other was that I had deprived myself of oxygen without realizing it.
Oxygen became the anti-drug. It was the all purpose motivator, mood improver, mind clearing polar opposite of what I'd been doing before. I didn't realize how much I needed it until I started getting it.
This is where the mental health walk comes in. I live right on the Ohio River, which is cool because in 15 minutes I can go from being in Kentucky to being in Ohio. Maybe I'm easily entertained, but this tickles me. What I like to do when I'm feeling down is walk through my neighborhood, turning my issue over in my mind, trying to accept or sort or whatever I need to do. Then I walk over the bridge. I like to pretend that on the other side of the bridge is not just a new state, but a new state of mind. When I get there, I stop and take a deep breath. I turn around and take my new state of mind home with me.
So that's what I did today.
I walked. I accepted that two people didn't like my stuff. I thought about what changes in my routine may have contributed to my jeans not zipping. I remembered that other people wrote nicer things in their critiques, naming an item they liked, or if they had an idea that they thought would better serve my little shop, they gave me a specific, constructive suggestion. I comforted myself with the fact that here and now I was walking, and that would serve my body. I remembered the woman who took a painting out of my hands as I was unpacking it and bought it before the show even began. I remembered that I can't teach my stepdaughters that it's ok to be yourself if I can't be myself.
Oh, how I love the lovely oxygen. I came home with a plan of action and a better state of mind. I'm feeling kinder towards myself and my work and the people who did not like it.
(and what the's an icicle picture for the road)

Breathe. Have a super day!

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