Structure and Personal Evolution

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I feel like I am in an ever shifting paradigm.  The sand underneath me is shifting, falling away, leaving me without structure to order my life around.  What once was solid is now barely there as an almost invisible outline of what once was.

The song I learned as a child went, “The wise man built his house upon a rock; The foolish man built his house upon the sand.”  When the rain comes down, the house on the sand washes away and the house on the rock stands still.  I thought I had my house built upon a rock, but the rock seems to have been sand after all.

I am seeing that the sand is the little “t” truths I believed in: people, organizations, beliefs.  Then one day, I learn that what I believed in is not what I thought it was and my house crumbles.  In the new state of freedom from structure, I find myself depressed and dysfunctional.  Eating for comfort and watching TV to distract myself from the confusion and betrayal of what I thought to be truth.

I’m not happy in that state, however.  I like to be happy so I expand my awareness to find something to give me structure.  I think of how I learned to keep my balance when walking blindfolded across the log over the water at Trackeschool.  I reached out with my awareness to “imagine” feeling the landscape around me since I couldn’t see with my physical eyes.  That worked on the log, maybe that technique will work for me now.

As I expand my awareness, I pray to know how to overcome my depression.  I pray to understand, and to know how to deal with this unsettling change.  As I was pray, I see in my minds eye the art I made depicting my relationship with one of my sisters.  That piece of art is a series of lines coming together and swirling around each other in great excitement and joy.  Seeing that image delights me.  My mind begins to wander to other art I have been wanting to create.  I feel more joy.

I remember doing an exercise at Tom Brown Jr.’s Trackeschool where we were asking The Creator what our personal vision in life was.  The first answer I received was, “Don’t forget about your art.”  The answer surprised and puzzled me because I thought my personal vision had more to do with learning to survive in the wilderness.   I revisited the importance of art for me.

I find it fascinating how much I depend on structure in my life.  Structure feels like the house I live in.  Or perhaps the house is an interface to my journey in the physical; a way to move through this physical experience with a measure of safety, like a hermit crab carrying around a little shell .  Then the house crumbles, the shell is outgrown, and a new structure is discovered through desperate reaching.  I wonder if one day I will no longer fall into dysfunction and I will exist in joy without the imagined structure . . .

The Shelly-Melly Diet . . . or the Melly-Shelly Diet

My daughter Melanie and I invented a diet challenge and there are only four simple rules:

  1. Eat no gluten or processed sugar
  2. Eat 6 cups veggies daily
  3. Exercise a minimum of 1/2 hour, three times per week
  4. Get enough rest at night and rest when you are tired or stressed instead of eating

By following the rules we earn “stars” or points toward our challenge.

  • Each day we eat no gluten or processed sugar, we earn a star.  The only exception is honey or real maple syrup which are OK.
  • Each day we eat 6 cups veggies we earn a star.
  • Each day we exercise we get a star.  Once we have exercised for the minimum of three days that week, we get an extra 3 stars.
  • Resting is something we decided would not earn stars, but a rule to follow which is very helpful toward weight loss.

There are two ways to earn a reward: either through the earning of stars, or through weight loss.  At the end of each month of the challenge, the one with the most stars is treated to something by the other . . . it could be going out to eat, or to a movie, or to an article of clothing, or what ever we decide; but not very expensive necessarily.  The weight loss prize is a bit bigger . . . the one to lose a certain amount of weight (each person must be aiming for the same amount of weight loss for each challenge) first gets treated by the other to a new outfit to wear, up to a certain amount of money determined by the participants.

When we began this, my sister Cheryl jumped into the challenge to lose a couple pounds and eat a more healthy diet.  We are having fun with this and keeping in close touch with each other to help each other stay on the path of weight loss, because we want to see each other succeed as much as we want to succeed ourselves.

Once we lose the weight we want to lose, we are going to continue on this diet challenge to maintain our ideal weights and continue to have fun competitions for prizes!

Of course there are ways to eat enough high calorie foods to gain weight, even on this diet, but our desire is to lose weight and win the competition so we do not work to find ways around the purpose of the diet, we work toward weight loss and success!

You may know someone who would like to enter into a challenge like this with you, to make your journey more fun and rewarding!  Feel free to copy us if you like what we’re doing, or create something unique just for your needs.  Most of all, have fun with your goals and the prizes you set up, and I believe you will enjoy your process to success a whole lot more.