Saturday, October 15, 2011

Allow Yourself To Be Where You Are

My hubby and I just got home from a church, shopping and a late dinner and took a long walk around our neighborhood. We had been talking throughout dinner, just about life in general, and the conversation turned to what I have learned in therapy role-plays and some of the concepts from my courses. We talked about the concept behind CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and how the basic principle is that we are in control of how much we let things affect us. Events in our lives can only affect us as much as we give them permission to. I told him how much I need to apply this concept to my own life; I give external things so much power over me. As we were walking, James (hubby) asked me what kind of changes I would like to see in my life and I told him that I want to be more present,  a "live in the moment kind of thing." He told me that he would like to be more loving towards other people and I asked him what that might look like to get him thinking about more tangible ways that he could apply this. Well, he used the same technique back on me and asked me what it would look like for me to be more present.

Here goes:
  • When I complain and rumble about my homework and papers and say I "have" to write this, I need to remember that I do not have to, but I have chosen to. I was so excited to start this program and I am so passionate about the subject matter. Why do I act as if someone is holding a gun to my head telling me to write this paper? Sure, there are consequences if I don't, but do I have to? No. I choose to. From now on when I am working on an assignment I want to be fully invested in it, to choose to do it and be content that I have made this choice, excited even.
  • Same thing goes for working out. Have you ever found yourself dreading a workout and counting down the minutes until it was over? WHY?? We aren't forced to work out, we choose to! We like how it makes us feel and look so let's allow ourselves to be there and to enjoy it, not to think about any of our other responsibilities or what we should be doing instead.
  • Free time. If I am going to spend the entire time I am out with a loved one thinking of the work that I am sacrificing by being there, then I should not go. If I am going to do something I need to DO it and not mourn the loss of what I am not doing instead. 
  • This can also be applied to healthy eating. Why do I want to eat this way, what is it doing for me? Nobody is forcing me to eat anything, there are major benefits to choosing a healthier lifestyle. 
All this to say, allow yourself to be where you are. Try to be present at all moments, to live life for today instead of for a tomorrow that will never come. How much could we increase our happiness and life satisfaction if we gave ourselves fully to our choices. This of course means that we should choose wisely, and if we are choosing wisely than there is no harm in being invested in those choices. This is my advice to myself and I will probably need to be reminded of it quite frequently.

I love walking and talking with my husband. What a nice night!

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