Willpower and discipline have never come easy for me. For some, it’s very natural to set your mind to something and do it. For me, not so much. It took me nine years to finally develop a daily meditation practice…9 YEARS!!!!
After two babies, I was up 20lbs and trying to accept this new version of me. Facebook knew it, just like they know everything in the inner recesses of your mind, and my feed was flooded daily with affirming posts about how post-baby-bodies are beautiful. They really are and those messages helped.
But, I couldn’t seem to let it go. I wanted to know that I COULD take control of my body again. My guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, has a lot to say about becoming a Master of your body, mind and spirit. In his book, How to Achieve Glowing Health and Vitality, he says,”A perfect body, free from disease, presents less resistance to the practices of Self-realization.”
Yogananda gives a wealth of techniques for living a healthy lifestyle, but this life is also about letting go of the identification with the body and identifying with the soul qualities that are universal – joy, calmness, peace, light, love, sound, wisdom and power. So how to balance the ego-desire to feel beautiful, the yogic desire to be healthy and the soul desire to identify with Cosmic Consciousness?
Inspired by my spiritual friends who were successfully dieting around me, I gave it a go. I cut out all sugars and grains. After a few weeks, I went super-crazy and cut out all fats, reduced calories and started a homeopathic detox regime. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I was “hangry” a lot – a term a friend coined for feeling so hungry you’re angry!
But, wow. It didn’t just work – the 20lbs is gone – but more importantly, I feel like I can do anything! Recently, Nayaswami Devi, wrote a beautiful blog about how every achievement is a step along the path to spiritual success…how the discipline of a marathon she ran decades ago can still be felt in her ability to be disciplined today.
I second that Divine lesson. I know with greater certainty today than I did yesterday that I can do whatever I set my mind to do in this life. And thus, the new challenge is meditation. To meditate deeper, more focused and with greater joy every.single.day.
From this experience I realize that setting goals, big and small, and accomplishing them is always a worthwhile endeavor. May we all Be the Change we wish to see in the world by living up to our true potential ever-more perfectly each day!