|Photo by Jonatan Pie on Unsplash|
I believe that everyone has a story. This is mine. It is not great, it is not big or fancy, but it is tale of how I overcome the little things that get me down over the years and days. It is not about the highs or lows per say but about the quest to find balance and stay there.
I spent most of my life overweight. This is important because it affected a lot of the perspective I had about myself, who I was and what I could do. I never really enjoyed physical activity, but I did greatly enjoy sugar cookies and potato chips. This is not entirely a fitness story, do not fret. However, again, this mentality plays a big part in my turning point.
It is also important to note that I grew up in rural South Carolina and was perfectly happy staying right where I was. I have always had great anxiety about change, little or big, it didn’t matter. In fact, I didn’t like to try anything new. If you haven’t guessed yet, that is not so much the case anymore.
What happened you ask? Well, this simple girl from Boiling Springs, SC grew up and moved to Seattle, WA and everything changed.
It didn’t change all at once, of course. However, three years after our move, I barely know who that shy, anxious girl was. And I have no idea why I let her stay so scared for so long.
I spent my entire life trying to blend into the background. Finally, I am not so afraid to stand out and be heard. I finally feel like I have something to say. No one may want to hear it, but I can still shout it out. In fact, I need to.
Because I have realized that the difference between fear and confidence is not one thing or one choice. Instead it is a million little decisions, it is a mindset to learn and grow and a lifestyle to expect change and keep going. By changing small habits in your daily routine and intentionally making those small adjustments between too much and not enough, you can change your whole world. It changed mine.
Since this is my story, I suppose I should tell you a few more details. I met the love of my life when I was nineteen. We got married when I was twenty-two and had our daughter when I was twenty-four. Let me just say right now, that I was living the perfect life. I still am, but it wasn’t without a few bumps along the way.
After our daughter, Zoey, was born, we tried for more kids. However, three miscarriages later, I was depressed, heartbroken and bitter. My husband, Stephen, was amazing through all of this, both understanding and a solid rock to continue building our lives on. In the end, it was writing that saved me. I started a blog called Tales from a Mother. It was about Zoey, being a mom and daily devotionals based on my Christian living.
I feel it is important now to pause and say that I related to Christianity for many years. In a lot of ways the church saved me by allowing a social outlet again and giving me something to believe in. Ironically, in the end it was also the same thing social group that sent me over the edge and caused me seriously question everything. I needed that identity to get past my losses and to build myself up again. It helped. It got me going again, more importantly, writing again.
I participated in a mom group that was great, until it wasn’t. The support I once felt unexpectedly turned to despondency. During this moment of confusion, my husband got a job three thousand miles away in Seattle, Washington. And I could not wait to go.
Zoey was about to turn five and we moved our entire world. We were an entire country way from our family and friends and yet I had never felt so alive before in my life. Whatever had happened to that point, I was ready for this complete change. I think we all were.
We quickly made friends in Seattle and Zoey started school giving us instant connections and routine. It could not have been a more perfect transition for us. It was at this point I began asking myself, who do I want to be?
Who knew such a simple question could impact me so much. It turns out that I wanted to be very different from who I was before. I wanted confidence. I wanted to try new things and go new places. I wanted to open myself to people in a way I could not have before. I wanted more. And I found it.
It took me about a year before I found yoga. I went to a free event at the Seattle Center that showcased yoga from Corepower, a local studio. I was hooked and I still am. Yoga satisfied me spiritually, but also physically. I had begun looking for simple ways to move more, and in time I would crave that exercise. It began a very important shift in my identity, to enjoy physical activity.
I learned how yoga helps me to align my body and my spirit. By learning how to breath with my body, I discovered how to stay calm in chaos and how to have confidence to continue trying new positions and ideas. I have found balance and confidence on my mat that has transformed my entire life.
I don’t question who I am or what I want anymore, now I know. I’m still not a strong decision maker, but now I know I can. I still get frustrated and depressed, but now I can identify the feeling and find ways to balance it by slowing down or becoming more active depending on the situation. Now, I realize the wisdom of living in the moment as well as the understanding that I am constantly learning and growing as a person.
Since we moved to Seattle a little over three years ago, I have lost over fifty pounds and I am more healthy, body and mind, than I have been in my entire life. I dedicate this change to a mindset I call “Positive Practice,” which is how I came up with this name, “Positive Practice Living.”
I am not perfect, I will not pretend to be. I am sporadic and can name as many faults as I can successes. I don’t make sense most of time, even to myself. And yet, here I am with a story and a purpose before you today.
I love to surround myself with positive ideas and inspirational art and motivating quotes. I find joy in learning new information about things that interest me. I am discovering a fulfillment in trying new practices, even if I fall on my face. I want to share these things. I figure, if they help me, they may help you too. We all need a little more Positive Practice in our lives.