This Deepak Chopra and Oprah Meditation series “Shedding the Weight – Mind, Body, and Spirit”, takes us on a journey of how to “lighten” our overall being, shedding toxic burdens that harm us, not just physically, but spiritually and mentally as well.
Day 1 has us beginning to focus on what makes us toxic – what is it that weighs us down that we need to shed, in order to be lighter, freer, and happier. Imagine being a hot air balloon, completely tethered and weighted down, waiting to be freed up into the sky. This is how I would describe how most of us feel when we let too much negativity (toxicity) come into our lives and remain there. Many of us know we are meant for bigger and better things, yet we make excuses for why we remain grounded and not letting ourselves explore the possibilities.
I, myself, am an explorer. My parents will tell you I was never one to fully embrace authority, or do anything the “easy” way. Oftentimes, I did the exact opposite of what people told me to do, simply out of spite. Or, I’d plow my way through something, not listening to a soul because I wanted to be different – a disruptor of sorts. For the first 2 1/2 decades of my life, I struggled. How I went about doing things was frowned upon, as society dictated that life was meant to be a series of steps that one took, not a zig-zagged maze of dead ends and scary ogres popping out of the bushes to throw you off course. This constant push and pull with how things “should” be done in one’s life, caused a lot of anxiety and other toxic feelings that carried over into another decade of my life. I went through extreme highs and terribly deep lows. It took me 3 1/2 decades to figure out that I didn’t fit into a common mold (which society has increasingly accepted), and that was okay.
Just as someone who weeds out their closet, making a pile of what no longer suits them, I went through my life and began to weed out what didn’t suit me. This included yo-yo dieting, how I handled stress (see diet), inconsistent gym time (see sluggish diet and stress), who I was spending time with (see stress), and learning to let go of what didn’t concern me/I couldn’t control (see stress). This happened during my time in San Diego from May of 2014 to May of 2015. I took on meditation (learning to relax and focus), getting outside for fresh air more (more routine exercise), changing my diet to healthier habits (portion control, balancing out the types of food I was eating, and cutting out almost all alcohol), and learning to let go of things that I couldn’t control (saying goodbye to those that were not helping me evolve for the better). For this one year, there were times this process took me down a peg or two but overall, by the time I moved back to D.C. towards the beginning of May 2015, I was happier, calmer, and healthier than I had truly ever been.
Those of you who are avid readers of mine, are probably commenting to yourself about how you have read all of this before in other meditation challenge posts I’ve done. You’re right. But I think it’s important for everyone to summarize their past struggles/accomplishments, in order to validate what you are doing today.
The new info on me is that being back in D.C. has made it hard to maintain all of these healthy habits I put into place. As with any large city that goes through seasonal changes, you begin to get sluggish, want to hibernate, and sometimes find yourself developing more of a short fuse during the darker, colder months. I allowed myself to eat things that weren’t healthy (I have an undeniable sweet tooth), I allowed myself to let things get to me again, I allowed myself to take a break from working out, and I allowed myself to not meditate everyday because I was “too busy”. As you might guess, I have some work to do again, and I’ve already started.
I’ve started to take stock of what I’ve allowed myself to do that’s toxic and again, I’m weeding it out. I found that my workout routine in San Diego needed adjustments (since it’s not all sunshine here) and that my diet had plateaued. These two things alone caused my mood to shift, which made me tired all the time. Since it’s getting warmer out (which means swimsuits instead of snow suits), I’ve tweaked my workout routine to include weights, cardio, stretching, and abs on the days I can’t be outside; and finding new hikes and walks to take when I can be out and about. I’ve also started a new nutritional program that balances out fats, proteins, carbs, and veggies everyday, ensuring I’m able to burn each efficiently, making me less tired and more active. This is just the start! I hope that through this meditation challenge, it renews my love for one of the greatest mental/soul health activities of all time, as I can’t think of a better way to start my morning again.
So your homework for today? Start weeding out the toxic stuff in your life, take a look at all of it, see what’s weighing you down, and start to put a checklist together of what you’re gonna do to throw it out or change it into something positive. I’m looking forward to what the meditation practice brings us tomorrow!