The Art of Life Balance: It’s An Every Day Intention…by Matthew Carlson

It’s not enough to just say one day and one time, “I want balance in my life”… It’s all about this word: INTENTION. And every day, all the time.

For the last New Year’s,  I had decided thanks to reading some things from Marianne Cantwell and her friend Sophie (great on line coaches) that instead of making resolutions that you might not keep up with perhaps exaggerated ideas (*I’m going to go to the gym 3 times a week or ” I’m going on a new diet” etc…), well instead of that (and feeling guilty about it when you aren’t able to maintain your resolutions) is to have the INTENTION of eating better and the INTENTION of getting into better shape.

Change or the desire to change must be a CONSTANT INTENTION.

So let’s say that you have decided on that particular one, to eat better and to get into better physical shape. So you start running a bit, maybe once a week, plus tennis once a week, and you stop buying processed food and so start eating fruits and vegetables (and you’re feeling good about that)… Then one day, you break down and buy a big candy bar and eat it all while sitting in a private space completly enjoying it. Ok and so what? Are you going to hit yourself over the head about that? Well hell no! Did you enjoy it? Yes. Are you going to eat another one? Probably not right now…

The thing is that if at this moment you decide/accept to feel guilty  about that candy bar, you are actually doing yourself no good whatsoever! Just accept that that candy bar was more important at that moment. Now it’s over. Then try to consider how your body feels after eating that candy bar. I mean the physical effects on you. Did it get into your teeth? Did you brush them afterwards? How about your stomach? Can you feel it sitting down there in your belly? OBSERVE. And what about later…after the  sugar rush? Did you feel the after sugar downs?….Again, this is not about judgement, this about how does your body physically feel in relation to the candy bar or the cigarette if that is your crutch? And then mentally, maybe you will think, “Hmm well it wasn’t that good. Maybe next time I’ll try and drink a glass of water”….Because very often in our advanced societies, we have learned to give ourselves an “emotional cuddle” and often it’s with food/or a cigarette and/or maybe: you were just thirsty for WATER! Did you know that more often than not, we strangely confuse the “I’m hungry” carving with the actual “I’m thirsty” craving?? And the cigarette too is replacing something in your life. What do you think it is?….

I stopped smoking and I also eat healthy. I stay away from eating processed foods, but occasionally will eat Pringles and chocolate! I do not bash myself for it. But I do a quick FEELY kind of physical observation and realize that that food finally did or did not make me truly feel any better. That the Haggendaz was good while I was eating it, but afterwards the flatulance and the uncomfortable stomach wasn’t worth it. Still conditioning runs deep and the emotional aspect of eating it made me happy…at least for a few minutes. Still, no guilt. Just an observation.

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