Healthy Eating

I try to eat healthy. I really do. But it isn’t as easy as it seems. I always seem to get hung up wanting something sweet.

The thing I’ve learned that seems to work best is to moderate what I eat in terms of portion sizes. If I try to eat only healthy foods, I’ll end up craving sweet things, and eventually I’ll completely screw up the plan and just go nuts with cookies or ice cream or something. But if I make those things *part* of the plan, along with things that actually are healthy, it works out a lot better for me.

My Bucket List

There are a lot of things I hope to do in my life. Some of them are not necessarily probable, but I’m hoping for them to happen anyway. Other things are ones that I can make happen, if I believe in myself and keep trying.

I want to resurrect my writing career. For several years, I was a published author, writing two very different types of things under two separate pen names. A few years ago, a combination of poor sales and some personal life things derailed the writing, and now I’m facing the first year since 2009 in which I don’t have anything under contract with, or even being considered by, a publisher. For the time being, I’m taking it easy and writing just because I enjoy it, but I hope to resume writing for publication.

I want to do public speaking presentations on my message of self-acceptance and the power to change. I was trying to build that from nothing other than some Facebook Live videos, but I found myself having difficulty finding venues to contact and, more importantly, believing in myself enough to contact them. (Yes, sometimes I have trouble believing in myself. I am, as I said a few posts ago, still on my journey.) So now I’m focusing on contacting libraries and schools to do presentations there, while I continue working on the other aspect of what I hope will become a career in transformational speaking.

I want to travel. I’ve done a little bit of traveling in my life, but there are so many places I’d like to go!

I want to sing onstage, with live musicians. So far the closest I’ve gotten to that is karaoke, which isn’t exactly the same thing.

Those are the big things on my want-to-do list. What do you have on your bucket list?

My Favorite TV Shows

Just for something different and more light-hearted today, in no particular order, here are seven of my favorite TV shows.

  1. Goblin: The Lonely and Great God. This is a Korean drama that was partly filmed in Quebec. I kind of have a thing for Korean dramas, to the extent that I’m trying to learn Korean so I don’t have to always read the subtitles.
  2. Gotham. Because Batman and other heroes and villains. I have a thing for superheroes too.
  3. Lucifer. The ultimate antihero, except he turns out to be pretty heroic in some ways.
  4. Shut Up Flower Boy Band. Another Korean drama, from 2012, with some kick-butt music.
  5. This Is Us. I like the way they weave in the characters’ pasts and presents.
  6. The Orville. Given who’s behind this show, I was prepared for offensive potty humor, but it actually manages to be a good homage to shows like Star Trek. And some of the plots really make me think, which is always a plus.
  7. Runaways. Because superheroes again, but this time teenagers, some of whom are heroic with no special powers at all.

Being Happy With Yourself

There isn’t anything wrong with wanting to change things about yourself. All of us go through times when we recognize the need to change, and life is an ongoing process of growth and change anyway.

But when you decide you want to make a change, first take a look at what you’re changing and try to accept it, or even be happy with it.

Being happy with who you are doesn’t automatically mean there’s nothing to change. It just means that you’ve chosen to recognize that you are a good person with good qualities, and that you’ve chosen to love and accept all parts of yourself, whether or not you want to hold onto those parts.

The first step to making a positive change is to have a positive reason for wanting to do so. If you’re trying to change something about yourself because you don’t like it and don’t want it, you might not be as successful as if you want to change it because you see something better waiting for you on the other side of the change. “Don’t-wanting” the way you are now puts your energy into staying that way, even if that isn’t what you intend, whereas wanting something different will put your energy into the new thing.

Even the aspects of yourself that you want to change are part of what makes up you as a person. You as a person deserve love and respect, and so do the things you want to change, even if they aren’t going to remain part of who you are.

Accept Your Past

One common piece of advice I’ve heard and seen from many sources is to let go of the past. Stop letting it affect you and define you, and move beyond it.

I completely agree with that, but I believe that before you can let it go, you need to accept that it happened. That doesn’t mean being okay with everything, and it definitely doesn’t mean liking everything that’s happened to you. It means simply saying, for example, “Okay, that did happen. It sucked, and it caused me harm, but it happened.”

Your past doesn’t define you, but things that occurred, and more importantly how you handled them, does contribute to who you are, in both positive and negative ways. We build strength by living through and living beyond certain things. We might have gained compassion for others who are in similar situations. Everything that happens in your life, whether good or bad or somewhere in between, adds to the person you are.

If you try to let go of your past by pretending it didn’t happen, as some people seem to do, you’re not only rejecting the events. You’re rejecting a part of yourself. The part that went through those events and rose from them.

You can definitely learn how to stop being affected and defined by your past. It’s desirable to do so, because you are the person you are today, not the one you were then. But there’s a difference between not being affected and defined by your past, or denying it altogether. Part of accepting yourself, even when it’s painful, is accepting the negatives of your life.

Listen to Yourself

Most of us get advice from one time or another, whether we ask for it or not. Sometimes we find information online that’s meant to help us. Well-meaning people make suggestions about how to improve our lives. There’s a wealth of beliefs and thoughts and statements about who we can be, who we should be, and how to get there.

When you’re bombarded with all these messages, it can be difficult to figure out who and what to listen to. Everything sounds reasonable. Some of it sounds like things you could do, or want to do. But there are just so many things to pay attention to, and they can’t all be right.

At times like that, listen to yourself first. Just because something is right for someone else, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. No one knows you better than you know yourself, and that means if you take the time to think about it, to really listen to your inner self, you do know what will and won’t work. So give yourself credit for knowing these things, and listen to yourself above anyone else.

On a Journey

People often talk about being on a journey in their lives. I refer to my own life as a journey fairly often.

The thing that people sometimes forget is that the journey isn’t over until your life is. There’s no such thing as reaching a final destination as long as you are still alive. You’ll get where you want to go and then realize there’s another place, and another, and so on.

Too many times online, I’ve seen coaches and others talk about how they’ve taken a journey in their lives, and they imply or outright state that they’ve completed that journey. Now, they very well may have completed *a* journey in their lives, and I don’t intend to minimize that in the least. Every bit of progress someone makes is something to be celebrated.

The problem, in my opinion, comes when people talk about their journey as though it’s finished. As though they no longer struggle with anything at all. For some of them, that might be true, but we are humans. To say one no longer has any difficulties in one’s life, and that one has created a perfect life, does a disservice to those of us who still struggle sometimes. Who are still on our journeys. Who wonder why we can’t finish our journeys the way the people online say they have. And that’s why I consider it a disservice, because it’s setting a bar so high some people might be too discouraged to even start to try to reach it.

My journey has been going on for years now, and I’m not at the end of it. I have accomplished things. I’ve made a lot of positive changes in my life and have been able to let go of some things from my past, and some of the story I tell myself about who I am and what that means. But there’s still more work to do, and that will always be the case. I will always be on a journey.

And I like it that way.

Polyamory

I’ve blogged before about polyamory. It’s something that a lot of people don’t understand, so for the Ultimate Blog Challenge I thought it was worth bringing up again.

Polyamory, at the most basic, means having the capacity for more than one romantic relationship at a time. Someone who’s polyamorous is able to love more than one person. That’s essentially it.

It gets more complicated than that, of course. People don’t necessarily understand the difference between polyamory and cheating. The biggest difference is that in polyamory, everyone who’s involved knows about and has given their agreement to what’s going on. No one’s doing anything behind anyone’s back, unless that’s part of the agreement. (Some people who are polyamorous go by the idea of “don’t ask don’t tell,” where it’s mutually understood that they’re seeing other people but they don’t talk about it or share any information about their other partners.)

In polyamory, each relationship is its own separate entity, but the relationships can affect and impact each other. Some people practice what’s often called “kitchen table poly,” where everyone involved is friends with each other, even if they aren’t romantically involved with each other. The idea is that everyone involved would be comfortable sitting around the kitchen table for a meal together.

Polyamory takes a huge amount of communication to make sure everyone’s on the same page about agreements, schedules, and so on. Although a common misconception is that people who are polyamorous just don’t want to commit to anyone, the truth is that polyamory in some ways takes more commitment than monogamy. You aren’t choosing not to commit to anyone; you’re committing to multiple people.

There are pluses and minuses to polyamory, and this blog post isn’t going to be long enough to explore all of them. But there are a lot of books and other resources available if you’re interested in finding out more.

Why Meditation Isn’t For Everyone

Meditation is probably one of the most recommended ways to relax and clear one’s mind. There are a number of different techniques and methods, and a number of different reasons for using them.

But meditation doesn’t work for everyone. For me, sometimes it backfires completely. Instead of feeling calm and relaxed, it leaves me feeling angry and anxious. I know other people, most of whom have PTSD or a mental illness, who experience the same reaction.

That doesn’t mean meditation is a bad thing. It definitely is beneficial for some people. Even for me, there are times when it does serve to calm me down and help me focus better. And different forms of meditation might work better for some people than others. For example, some people refer to yoga as “moving meditation,” and yoga is something that might work for those who have difficulty with other forms of meditation.

It’s easy to tell people to meditate on certain questions or problems, or to make daily meditation part of their self-care routine. But sometimes the easy advice isn’t the best. Meditation can be more harmful than beneficial to some people depending on their needs and conditions. If it works for you, that’s great, but please remember not everyone will gain benefit from it.