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“… to let the old ways die.” I can’t think of anything better, than letting the old ways, that do not serve our highest good, go. And die. Forever and ever amen. Especially after the year we’ve had… On a side note, before I go on, watching Bradley Cooper’s performance in “A Star Is Born” where he sings this song, is guaranteed to brighten anyone’s day. If you haven’t already, might I suggest adding it to your new year’s resolutions. Now let’s move on.
I went to my first ever women’s circle 2 nights ago. It was wonderful. It felt wildly familiar and comfortable, like I’d been doing this all my life, or lives. We gathered in a circle around a flame, which would have been a proper fire in the past, sat on the ground, and shared, listened, sang, laughed and cried, in a safe, very “held” space. I loved it of course. My favourite learning came from an exercise where we wrote down on a piece of paper all the hurts, shames, disappointments, pain felt and inflicted, of 2020. I wrote furiously, surprising myself how much poured out of me. It wasn’t about self judgment but rather observation and reflection. By the end my paper was full. Double sided.
We were invited to share something from the list, if we so desired, to metaphorically “throw into the fire”. Eventually I spoke up.
“I am throwing into the fire the shame I feel, from not loving myself as I am. And having 2 daughters I am trying to teach that too, when I can’t even do it myself.”
Tears streamed freely as I completed the next step, tearing the paper mindfully into tiny pieces and placing them into an envelope of sorts to bury and plant with a seed, to remind us of the life and love that grows from pain and mistakes. Or something lovely and symbolic like that. Even without that final stage, it felt very cathartic.
The shame I speak of relates to my journey over the past 3 months to return to a healthy weight by following principles espoused by, among others, Dr Michael Mosley, around intermittent fasting and time restricted eating. It’s been extremely effective. As of today I’ve lost exactly 9kg which slides me right into the top of my healthy BMI for my diminished stature. It’s been fantastic to make healthier food and lifestyle choices, including less alcohol and more salad consumption, a closer watch on protein intake and running or walking 4 or 5 days a week. I’ve struggled, however, with the undeniable realisation that ultimately, my self love and respect is conditional.
I’m giving that shame to the fire. Fuck off shame. Welcome, Deeper Self Acceptance and Uncompromising Compassion.
This is what I wish for us all, in 2021, and beyond. We can do it… if we let the old ways die.