Good Afternoon Journal & Friends,
Have you ever lazily floated down the river in an old inner tube? Drifting, letting the current carry you along... enjoying the warm summer air above and the cool water below? I can remember doing that... it was sooo enjoyable.
But drifting along in this journey to health... that's another story. And I'm sorry to say, that I've been guilty of drifting lately. I didn't even recognize it until a couple of days ago when, for the 3rd time in a week, I read the same message, all from different sources.
First, I read Helen Keller's thoughts about her time at Radcliffe College... how she missed her quiet times of reflection and contemplation. She was so busy with studies and activities, that she said she had no time to "think".
Next, I read a blog entry by Ruby Gettinger, from the tv show Ruby. The show follows her weight loss journey, and in her blog she talked about the behaviors of addicts of all kinds... such as drugs, food, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. What struck me was how she said addicts use all kinds of distractions to avoid having to face their issues. And not just their "substance", but also things like keeping so busy and overcommitted, or always having a tv on, or always listening to music... anything distracting to avoid getting quiet, honest with oneself, and looking inward. Here is an excerpt:
"I understand why an alcoholic wants to drink, how someone becomes a drug addict, why someone listens to music or watches TV 24/7. Some people go through life so fast making sure they can't feel or think too much. Others medicate to numb the mind, body and soul so they can't think or feel." (The whole post is here)
And lastly, I've been enjoying following the blog of a Scottish artist named Ralph Taylor. The name of his blog is "The day to day life and thoughts of an artist, thinker and barstool philosopher."
Recently, he wrote a post called "The Desire for Silence." And in it, this sentence caught my attention:
"I fear we live in the age of communication where the one thing we seldom, if ever, communicate with ourselves."
That is when I realized that I had been reading the same message over and over...
I was drifting back into my old habits of avoiding my feelings, and along with that I noticed I was getting sloppy with my exercise, sloppy with calorie counting, sloppy with my nutritional choices. I felt the sloppy choices were spreading, because I was not paying attention, but rather drifting along.
In Dr Phil's book "The Ultimate Weight Solution", he talks about a principle called Instinctual Drift.
He explains that Instinctual Drift is the tendency, under stress, to revert back to our natural tendencies, our learned behaviors... behaviors that were so over-learned in fact, that they have become second nature... habits to which we instinctually drift when under stress or pressure.
I've been sick so many weeks, and it's sapped my energy so long, that I was not putting the effort or focus in that I needed in order to NOT drift along.
Dr Phil goes on to say that whenever we are not actively managing our weight and health with a high degree of awareness, this is when we will drift back to our old behaviors.
Yikes... that was me! Now that I am feeling better and getting my energy back, I notice that I am more willing to DO the work, to focus and think. I must admit, it's kind of scary how easy it is to lose that focus, to find yourself drifting away.
Of one thing I am convinced... no one is going to hand this to me. It will not just happen.
It takes me paying attention...making conscious choices... living DELIBERATELY. It takes work! And I am willing to do that work.
I am thankful to have been shown that I was drifting off course, and to have caught it before it became a disaster.
Back to paddling upstream to my destination!
From Dr Phil's book: "If you don't require much of yourself in this area of self-monitoring, your ability to maintain your goal weight will be weakened considerably."
My verse for today: "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
My quote for today: "Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think." --Martin Luther King, Jr