Sunday, May 17, 2009

What Am I Putting in My Tank?

My husband and I had a fabulous time going twice around the Reservoir yesterday. He was amazed that I could keep up with his 12 minute/mile pace the first time around but I felt that I was running out of fuel and rather than quit, I opted to ask him if we could power walk the second time around. We would still get the benefits of exercise, but I would not totally deplete myself in the process.My average heart rate was 133 and the peak heart rate (trying to keep up with his pace) was 175. We exercised for over 40 minutes.

With every step I took I gave thanks to God remembering that just a short while ago, every step that I took was a major effort and fatigue would overtake me without notice. I remember a little over a year ago when we went for a walk on Wollaston Beach, after twenty minutes, I could not take another step and had to honor my body's limit. I had to learn to love myself when I couldn't walk more than twenty minutes; I had to learn to love my body which I felt had betrayed me so many times with polio and post polio syndrome and having to go through so many surgeries. I had to learn to love all of the scars and to embrace all the challenges which I needed to overcome to achieve integration and wholeness of mind, body and spirit. The love fuels the healing process.

When I feed on doubts, fears, feelings of unworthiness, competition, scarcity,anxiety and worrying about the future, I am depleting my mind and Spirit of what it needs to Thrive! It's as though I am 'eating' junk food for the mind and spirit. And like junk food, it is deceptively tasty but empty of the nutrients which I need to grow. So what am I putting in my tank? Well, I am fueling myself with love - I am fueling myself with self-love, with God's unconditional love and with love from others. This is a new experience for me - and I suspect a new experience for many. Growing up in the 1950's I was told that self praise stinks, that children should be seen and not heard and I fed on those messages (along with a lot of junk food I might add-twinkies anyone?). Eventually, my body just quit but when it did, I was able to finally unearth the true me and you know what? I loved myself in a leg brace, wearing 'polio shoes', using a cane and at times a wheelchair for mobility. I discovered that self worth and self love is an inside out job.
As Victor Frank, concentration camp survivor teaches, the only thing we have control over is our perceptions and our reactions to external circumstances. So I choose to fuel myself with love and forgiveness and gratitude.

Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you love you - just as you are -- yes, just like Mr. Rogers neighborhood. Find a baby picture of yourself - who could not adore that precious little baby - remind yourself of your beauty, your innocence and feel the urge to just hug yourself. Celebrate who you are - know that you are a priceless, precious treasure and be grateful for all of the life experiences that have been woven into the rich tapestry of life that is uniquely you. And whatever you are not pleased with in your life, ask for help - I go to God to fill up my tank and try to keep a full tank connected to God's Love. It's easy to allow the gauge to move toward empty but just as I knew I needed to power walk that second time around the reservoir, I know when I need to stop and ask God for love, for wisdom, for strength, for guidance and for help. I also fill up my tank with gratitude giving thanks to God for the blessings which overflow in my life. I reach out to others for love and support and I am amazed to discover how many people are there for me as together we live, laugh, love, celebrate, cry, vent and experience all that life has to offer. It's all about what I choose to focus on....

Love Yourself
Self-praise stinks a favorite phrase of parents from days gone by
Half-hearted compliments given, 'well okay at least you can try.”

And children should be seen not heard
keep your voice silent, don't say a word.

No opinions should you share, but do each thing by rote
No room to create, you'll play someone else's note.

For years your voice was silenced – it's now your time – breathe free
It's time for you to hug yourself, “I really do love me.”

Replace the constant nagging – find your joy and bliss
And live your dreams, your passions – for life was meant for this.
From “New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World”

So what are you putting in your tank? I hope the answer is love!

It's a new day, a new starting line - here's to a great run

To order a copy of the book which inspired me to heal mind, body and spirit and to connect to God's overflowing love, go to and purchase "New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World" I donate 20% to Spaulding's Polio Fund.

To explore a new world of greeting cards, listen to: For a unique, personal gift that you can't find anywhere else, let New World Greeting Cards create a customized poem for that special someone.

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