I recently witnessed one of my favorite authors experience some professional setbacks and disappointments. After wallowing for awhile, her colleague asked her, “what does this make possible?”
It’s easier said than done. Isn’t it?
There’s a note on my desk that mocks me: Create more. Consume less. I haven’t felt much like writing lately. I don’t feel much like writing today. But what’s that they say about practicing art? Do it, anyway. It is a practice, after all.
I’m constantly questioning what I’m creating and trying to give myself a pass when the answer is merely dinner. Even still, days are adding up enough to the point where I feel I’m not making a significant contribution to anyone – let alone the world. Do you have those days? (I’m simultaneously wishing none of you do, because – yay, you! – and also wishing all of you do so I’ll have friends who get me here.)
During one of my mindless Instagram scrolls, I paused long enough to read a caption that said ‘Artists keep creating as if to show the world, I’m still here.’ I can relate and I think that’s why the thought of creating more, consuming less mocks more than inspires. I don’t feel like I’m doing enough to leave a mark.
This past month has been filled with a lot of keep-your-head-down-and-get-through-it days, mostly watching the calendar leap forward and how is it almost June? I’m finding myself in and out of sterile offices, waiting for my name to be called, only to be poked and prodded by medical professionals. In short, I’ve been feeling off.
My first diagnosis: you’re fine. And when I followed up to be sure? A copy/paste response of the first answer.
[insert my soapbox of being your own health advocate here.]
When I wanted to yell and scream and prove a point, I didn’t. But I did get a second opinion, which led me to this: a diagnosis with the exact same symptoms as psoriatic arthritis – the autoimmune disorder that I’ve been treated for, taking (really expensive) biologic injections for the past eight years. Have I been living mis-diagnosed? I’m still processing.
Food-wise, I’m facing a challenge. This new information can be treated with diet. (The D-word. I said it.) How do you go from a lifetime of disordered eating to shunning diets, only to be told there are now certain foods you can and can’t have? Well… I’ll let you know.
Here’s what I’m telling myself for now: There are no good and bad foods. I can have it all, if I want. But it all comes down to a series of choices. What is going to be a life-giving meal? What snack is going to be best for future Amanda?
Intuitive Eating encourages mindfulness at its core, which is where I consistently struggle. I use enough brain power during the day. Now, I have to be mindful over eating, too?! YEP. It’s essential.
Here we are embarking on a new season – literally and figuratively. If I’m honest, I’ll admit I still waffle on wanting to lose weight, but I’m practicing dismissing the thought as soon as it enters. Ultimately, I just want to feel better.
SO. “What does this make possible?” This question changes everything. Instead of focusing on closed doors (what I can’t do; what I can’t have), it opens my mind to opportunity. It reminds me to look for lovely, to maintain a posture of gratitude in all things, to strengthen my faith, being sure something else is in store. And it keeps me from focusing on scarcity, feeling less than enough.
After writing this, I went ahead and threw that mocking note in the trash. How’s your day going?