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Be as You Are: Come as You Are and Mindful Living

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Through the years, in January, I have typically written articles on how to make resolutions into reality and how to set and achieve goals. While I have often couched those in terms of self-care, healthy living and loving kindness, the focus has been that of going somewhere.  This year, I am blending a variety of themes into a few simple concepts that I am advocating for the upcoming new year. They are “Be as you are; Come as you are; Live Mindfully.”
 

BE AS YOU ARE

Most of us have struggles with anger or depression or food or a craziness of some sort.  While I anticipate that I will likely always favor continued efforts toward personal growth, it is my thought that the most important fundamental of loving kindness is acceptance of who we are and where we are at a given moment in our life. We may have spent years working on anger management or sorting through the issues causing our depression only to find ourselves confronted once again with our old anger or depression. After all our work, we may be sad or mad or confused or jealous or find ourselves feeling insecure. We may end up in an unhealthy situation or relationship that we thought we had long left in the past or we may avoid healthy situations and relationships because of our insecurity about being good enough or being ready. Loving kindness toward ourselves is not about constantly pushing ourselves to change and be something and someone other than who we are. Rather, the great challenge is to be as we are and to be okay with that and to love and accept ourselves where we are at a given moment despite all of our struggles with humanness. We often think “If I take up yoga, I’ll be a better person; if I were married to the right person, things would be okay; if I could just get this one thing in my life, all would be good.” It isn’t about that. It is all about looking in the mirror and going inside and being able to say “I love you as you are.”
 

COME AS YOU ARE

Recently, a friend told me that she had avoided going on a trip with me because she is less fit than I am and was worried that I would be annoyed if she couldn’t keep up.  I would have happily slowed my pace on the boardwalk, if necessary, in favor of time with my friend. In the past two years, I lost a 39 year old friend and a 49 year old friend. A friend of mine lost her daughter in a car accident. Life is short. Come as you are.  Don’t wait.  Apply for the job. Pick up the phone. Write a letter. Blog. Tell you child you love her. Get past childhood wounds even if you can’t get over them. Your presence is a gift to others even if you need to lose five pounds, improve your writing skills, get your hair cut, or get your health in order. Come as you are.
 

PRACTICE MINDFULNESS

Rather than setting specific detailed goals this year, I aim to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is being actively open to the present moment and includes being very aware. If am mindful about my eating, I will eat well.  If I am mindful about my health, I will exercise. If I am mindful of my friends, I will keep in touch. If I am mindful about my finances, I will make conscious purchase decisions. If I am mindful, I am likely to choose well.
 

Mary E. Vandenack, while a lawyer by profession, has studied extensively in mind/body areas of fitness and wellness. She is Yoga Alliance RYT-200, Power Pilates certified, ACE certified and has completed her Stott Pilates comprehensive studies, as well as a variety of work in nutriition.
 

-end- metroMAGAZINE

 

 

 

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