Girl School for Grownups

Like having a big sister, but better because I can't boss you around!

Absolutes

on March 13, 2015

Life was simpler when I was younger. Harder but simpler. I thought I knew what was right for me and what was probably right for you, and though I tried to keep my opinions to myself, they lived inside of me and made life a lot harder than it needed to be. Now that I’m older and wiser (please oh please let me be wiser!), sometimes I know what’s right for me. That usually comes after trial and error and getting quiet via meditation. I rarely, if ever, know what’s right for someone else.

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Having said that, I do have a few “things I know for sure” (thanks Oprah).

  1. Drink more water. As an ardent Diet Pepsi fan, this one can be tough for me. In my 20s, I filled a pitcher with water, labeled it “beauty juice,”  and put it in my fridge. It worked. Water seemed boring, but I want as much beauty juice as I can get!
  2. Water as therapy. My sister Michelle gave me a poster titled “How to really love a child” and it included these words: When they are unhappy, put them in water. When my sons were small this meant baths or playing with the garden hose with the water on low (not something I would do now with California’s drought situation), or setting them up at the kitchen sink with a colander, some Fisher Price little people, a spoon, and the water on low. This advice works for grownups too. A sea salt bath can change my mood, as can a sweaty yoga practice.
  3. If you have kids, sign them up for gymnastics. As soon as our kids were old enough to do classes solo (age 3) we enrolled them in gymnastics. There’s so much to love about gymnastics. It enhances coordination and proprioception (the ability to know where your body is in space), teaches sequencing, and will infuse whatever sport or activity they do in the future with a foundation of body awareness.
  4. Be intentional with your sexuality. I was raised a Presbyterian, and attended a non-denominational church as an adult. At that time I would have said that God wants you to “save it for marriage” and you should try really hard to do this. Now my beliefs are different with “love is my religion” ringing true to my heart. So religious dogma no longer applies. (pretend I start a new paragraph now, ok? i can’t start a new one because it will mess up the numbered list.) I have deep concern as I see our society cheapening sex. Kids are exposed to too much too soon and it seems to be creating an “if it feels good, do it” mentality. But sexual energy is powerful and oh so easy to misuse. And when it’s misused, it’s you that gets hurt the most. So be intentional with your sexuality. Choose your partners with care. If you’re not sure, don’t do it. You will never regret waiting in this arena.
  5. Practice yoga. I meant to do yoga for decades, but I didn’t have the time or patience for it, and yoga had a big problem for me. It didn’t burn as many calories as running. So it was a no brainer to choose running. Now that I have a regular yoga practice, I see the benefits differently. Here are a few: relieves stress, increases flexibility, creates steadiness of mind, eases cravings, enhances positive mood. Also if you practice hot yoga it makes your skin better, but I have yet to find the science to support this statement.
  6. Meditate. Seems like everywhere you look there’s more information on the benefits of meditation. I first started meditating 6 or 7 years ago. I would meditate for 5 minutes maybe once every month or two. (See “Failing at Meditation” for more information on this.) My resistance to meditation had to do with two misperceptions: 1) meditation consisted of sitting in silence, gritting my teeth and getting through it, and 2) the only way it would work was if I liked it. I now know that I don’t have to like meditation for it to work. In fact, I rarely *want* to meditate and even when I do, I don’t enjoy it much. But guess what? I still get the benefits.

If you have any absolutes that work in your life, I’d love to hear them.

Signing off in a new way. The very best in me sees the very best in you, aka namaste.

Leslie

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One response to “Absolutes

  1. Hi Leslie – I don’t think I have told you that I LOVE reading your posts, especially now that I have moved away. They are interesting, informative and have your unique voice, which I can relate to as if I am right there talking with you.

    I miss you!!
    ~Laurie

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