How to maximize progress amidst a sea of swirling successes.
For the past 10 years I have been completely enthused by the idea of progress and inspiration. What is it that makes one create change in their life? What is it that makes one feel fulfilled amongst the created change? And what is it that continually inspires one to take another step forward?
Progress seems to be marked by so many different variables. Finances, body measurements, social accomplishments, lessons learned, new behaviors, fitness capacities, etc.
I have seen so many people make marked progress in their lives in a myriad of ways. I become completely curious as to how and why these people make progress, myself included, as well as how and why others don’t make progress, myself included.
Now, we could go back to the age old adage, ‘Two steps forward and one step back,’ and I can very easily relate this type of action and experience in my life.
I lost 150 pounds. I gained 30 pounds back.
I courageously spoke my mind. Then I found myself quietly meddling in the corner.
I stepped out of one job into a supposedly freer environment, only to lead me right back to the very same job.
But is it the same job? Is it the same quiet meddling? Is it the same 30 pounds?
I would argue to say that none of it is the same. For amidst the steps of moving forward, I have learned other ways to operate and hold space so that as I travel through familiar places, the vibe has completely changed and shifted. Why? Because I am different.
I do not approach the 30 lbs I needed to lose with the same amounts of disgust and anger. I am calmer. I know what to do.
I do not meddle in the corner wondering if I will ever speak my mind again. I am patient and knowing that the words will come when they are ready.
I do not walk through a new job, that could look like the same job, with the same patterns and habits. I am freer, I have grown, and the shape of the space around me feels and acknowledges this presence.
And so, The One Step Life, to me looks like a paradoxical angle of progress. It is the question I have been asking all of these years. How do I be at peace AND simultaneously feel/know when to move forward?
In the past I was either doing one or the other. Peace looked like comfort, stability, security, and ultimately blended itself into stagnancy. Moving forward looked like jumping into the unknown, reaching beyond the sense of self (and getting lost), constantly hammering my weaknesses (until I felt like I was only drowning in a pool of my own blood) and never ever feeling successful, finished, or fulfilled.
The changes of life have provided some very unique opportunities my direction and I have taken it upon myself to refine the level of observation and awareness that I can amongst these experiences so that I may have something to share, or so that I may in one way or another add value to this world and for others.
Writing has provided an avenue and outlet for me. I write to understand. And I write to feel understood. Who is providing that connecting feeling in between? God? Life? Angels? Flow? The Universe? Quantum Physics?
I have called it by many names. And I suppose I would say at this point that the name we choose to describe this feeling or connection is less important than the actual experience of feeling it, receiving it, and continually evolving with it.
Yes, Yes, Yes.
These are the spaces that I move to with one step when I am feeling less than enthused, less than grateful, and ultimately rather limited.
And So, where does the One Step Life come in for you? I suppose I would say, it always, always, always begins with where you are. What is your activity level now? What are your relationships like now? What is your communication ability now? What is your connectedness interaction like now?
Be grateful for what you can do and are doing. Feel the accomplishment of where you are now…
And then, take One Step, just one step, forward through any of those avenues that have been acknowledged. See if that step can be held, learned, maintained, and ultimately integrated.
To me, integration looks like this. Whatever you’ve done, learned, or adopted becomes a part of who you are and how you operate now.
There are a few things that we have control of in this life. Attention. Where we put our attention and shifting how it moves is entirely up to us. Some of us are mindful with our attention. Some of us are completely reactive with our attention. And most of us fall somewhere in between constantly shifting back and forth.
Practicing the ability to pay attention to whatever it is that you choose to focus on is a completely relative skill to the fullness and wholeness of your capacity as a human being directly related to the fast paced environment of our times.
My favorite activities of enhancing my own skill of attention are:
-listening to music
-mindful breath practices
Here’s a quick link to a google search of ‘how to enhance attention’ with some great in depth articles that may inspire your own journey.
Every time I seem to veer off the path of actually paying attention to what is occurring in my life and what I actually can do, I try to come back home to where I am.
It has been a very long and arduous process to even come to the level and depth of being able to acknowledge how important it is to ‘know thyself’. But all the years of progress or success I was striving for, because it looked like it was right in the world, never ever hit home with who I am and what I really needed or wanted. And so after striving for a while I’d find myself back at square one again. Who am I? And Where am I?
Taking a look at my life as a reflection of Who I am and Where I am has really helped me come to terms with what I actually need to do to either make things better or feel more at peace.
Ultimately it was this acknowledgment and full raw look of the reality of my life 15 years ago when I saw myself, really truly saw myself to the depths that I could see and feel, at 350lbs… It was painful to look at the truth of how much I harmed myself. It was painful to look at how broken and torn I felt on the inside. And it was painful to admit that it was no one else’s fault or problem but my own.
But through this sheer look in the mirror, at all the levels of truth that I could acknowledge and admit came a sweet silent breath of fresh air.
I can change it.
I can change this.
One step at a time…
This was the first step 15 years ago.
And this is the very same first step today.
Who am I? Where am I? And What can I do?
Then… I smile, take the step and go OK! Let’s see what happens!
Acknowledge. Embrace. And move on.
To see the ride I’m on now check out my Instagram @LalasLifeGarden.