I believe that my purpose is to not sit on the wisdom that has changed my life. Rather, it’s my job to share it. In this sharing I pay it forward to others.
Every challenge and experience that presents itself in my life is an opportunity to learn and expand. To each I ask, “What are you here to teach me?”
Well, the class of life was certainly in session for me the past few months.
I gained the quarantine ten.
Then, I lost it.
Let me tell you, this process of weight gain and weight loss pushed me to the edges of my mindfulness practice.
As a woman, my body image has very strong conditioning attached to it. This was triggered in a big way for me.
Honestly, the idea of moving through it without my tools gives me a shiver.
Sans tools I may have not moved at all.
One of the beautiful things about mindfulness and conscious living is that it’s a lifestyle. It’s a way of being.
It’s not a compartmentalized part of my life for teaching, coaching or artistry - it’s everywhere. It’s who I be.
So when I gained the quarantine ten, as challenging as it was, my tools were there for me. I have been showing up for my habits for years and they in turn showed up for me.
Because of this, I was able to lean into the structure and practice that continues to change and shape my life for the better. Through this practice, I was able to tap back in to my fullest vitality and thrive.
It was so small feat. Here’s how I did it.
I noticed without judgement.
This first step in the mindfulness path was the hardest for me with the quarantine ten.
I started to notice my energy feeling depleted. My brain was a bit foggy. My jeans were tight - one pair didn’t even zip up.
Initially, I beat myself up a lot.
And then I caught myself.
Are you being your own best friend? Is this a neutral gaze? What would you say to someone else experiencing this?
When shame showed up to the party, I shared with my trusted sister and it dissipated.
After a bit of a rumble with noticing and a lot of self judgement, I was able to shift.
I was able to notice without judgement.
I was able to notice that something was off, that I didn’t feel like me and that I gained weight without any stories about myself attached to it.
I loved and forgave myself.
One of the most challenging parts of the quarantine ten was that its incongruent with my identity. Part of my identity is that I’m a healthy person that takes good care of herself. Gaining weight is out of alignment with this identity and the values I believe in.
I had even doubled down on my health when COVID initially hit. I wanted my body to be in tip top shape to fight the virus if needed.
This is the part where grace lives.
I loved myself unconditionally. I didn’t argue with reality. Instead, I radically accepted it and loved the woman staring back at me as she was.
I loved who I was in that very moment not despite her imperfections, but because of them.
I thanked my body. I thanked it for helping me move through COVID without getting the virus. I thanked it for supporting me as a created my dreams. I thanked it for being the house for my soul.
Finally, I forgave myself. I forgave myself for being out of alignment and for gaining ten pounds. I forgave myself for being human. I forgave myself and released it.
I let any emotions that appeared flow through fully as I loved, cleansed and forgave.
I let myself be fascinated.
Once I had dropped the judgement and slathered myself with love and forgiveness, I was in a place where I could be fascinated.
I started to become fascinated about the thoughts that appeared about this topic. I could even laugh at the ones that weren’t true.
I was no longer being swept out to sea with the thoughts and instead I began to be curious. My self-worth was no longer part of the equation.
I switched to the observer view. I was able to watch my thoughts float by on the stream and choose which ones I believed and welcomed to shore.
I also began asking myself lots of questions.
I looked directly at it.
It is often said that the first step in solving any problem is knowing that a problem exists. I would expand this to say, the first step in doing anything is knowing what’s currently going on.
I bought a scale.
I have never owned a scale in my near thirty years of living. I never needed one. I am an intuitive eater and only knew my weight when I would go to the doctor twice or three times a year.
So, getting a scale was a big deal. It was radical responsibility.
I stepped on the scale and looked directly at it. I got down to the nitty gritty.
I saw the numbers and the truth.
I was exactly ten pounds heavier than what I remembered from my last doctor’s visit.
I reflected with honesty.
Upon gaining the facts, another beautiful support of a neutral gaze, I was in a powerful position to reflect and make conscious choices.
Is this me? Is this where I want to be? Does this feel good? Does this align with my highest self?
The answers to all of these questions were no. I knew these answers the minute I started to notice myself not feeling fully alive and vibrant. I followed the feeling.
The part about reflection that trips many people up is that it involves holding paradox. I can love myself fully and at the very same time expect and desire more from her. I can be both.
One of the most loving things I do is respect myself, my health and embody my potential and fullest expression.
Knowing the number helped me get a pure gauge on the present moment and do an honest reflection about if this was where I wanted to stay.
Another part of the honest reflection was the question, Why?
Embodying the scientific gaze of mindfulness, I excavated why this happened. I did not give my responsibility and power away to the pandemic. I took full responsibility for all of it.
I noticed that I had been eating more and exercising less. I noticed that my “fun thing” during COVID winter was many times takeout in the evening.
I noticed that sometimes I had eaten when I wasn’t hungry. Sometimes I ate when I was bored or the most fruitful discovery - when I wanted to avoid the emotion of loneliness.
All of these reflections I was able to do detached, honestly and with love because of mindfulness.
I walked away from my honest reflection with two big pieces of information: How I got where I was and where I wanted to go.
“Success leaves clues.” Tony Robbins
Some of what Tony Robbins says I love and other stuff, not so much. This one I love - it’s spot on. Success leaves clues.
So many times people reflect only what’s not working and forget to look at what is.
I looked at times in my life when I was successful with my health and weight. When did I feel amazing? I found the sweet spot of the feeling and results I was after.
What was she doing? What was she eating? How was she exercising? What was her water intake? What was she believing? What media was she consuming? Who was she hanging with?
All of these answers were part of the ecosystem I had created in the past for myself that allowed me to thrive. My success was leaving clues.
I gathered information on what had worked for me in the past.
If you’re thinking, well, what if I’m doing something I’ve never done? Great! Other people’s success leaves clues too. It’s a matter of learning and experimenting to discover your special sauce for your unique version of success.
I copied and pasted.
This part was the easiest. If you’ve been a part of my community for a while, you know that I love a good system!
All I did was follow through with consistency on the copying and pasting of exactly what I had done in the past. I followed my clues of success.
I ate that food, in that amount. I exercised based in those clues creatively with no gym. I drank that amount of water. I matched everything I was doing and being to what had worked for me in the past.
This was sustained and consistent action. It was not one week. It was not two weeks. It was a lasting shift in lifestyle and identity back to that person. I am now fully in alignment with my identity as someone who is healthy and takes good care of her body.
This ecosystem is now my habitual normal again and I’ve got to say, it feels fantastic.
I manifested the results I desired.
The last part of my mindfulness journey with the quarantine ten was manifesting the results I desired - losing the weight.
I lost the ten pounds in eight weeks. And most importantly, I feel free, vibrant and fully me again!
This was the natural by-product of me embodying my values, my mindfulness practice and conscious choice toward what I wanted.
The biggest part is that the results I manifested have lasted.
Here’s why: Lasting change and success comes from love and desire, not self-loathing or self-abuse.
This was the key to me moving through my practice with the quarantine ten. This was the first time in my life that I’ve ever needed or wanted to lose weight. Even in the dicey moments I was devoted to using my tools and maintaining self-love throughout. Even when I went off course a bit, I was able to welcome myself home again.
Through this whole process I was able to lean on mindfulness as I was pushed to my edges in almost every way imaginable.
I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the quarantine ten. It showed me another layer, it gave me more evidence of all that’s possible from this practice and it leveled up my self-love too. It showed me my power.
Whether you call it the quarantine ten or the COVID nineteen, so many people are struggling with this exact experience: weight gain during the pandemic.
And if you’re not struggling with this specific experience, I imagine there is something in your life you’d like to change. Perhaps there is an area of your life that you’d like to level up, a dream you’d love to chase, or part of your identity you want to live more in alignment with.
What is it in your life?
Whatever comes to your heart, I invite you to take the road less traveled. Take the road of mindfulness!
Rather than the painful rut most of us have with thoughts and judgement on repeat, what would it be like to step into and create a new loving rut instead?
If you knew there was a different way that felt good and reaped the rewards you seek, would you do it?
What would it be like to create change and love yourself at the very same time?
Notice without judgement.
Slather yourself with love and forgiveness.
Look directly at it.
Reflect with honesty.
Gather the clues of success.
Manifest the results you desire.
This road is not just available to me, it’s available to you! It’s my deepest intention in all I do as a teacher and coach to support those I serve in shifting their lives toward the better with amazing tools and ways of being.
If you’d like to work with me as you move through your version of the quarantine ten, I would love to support you on your journey! I am accepting 1:1 clients into my coaching practice. If it’s a yes for you, please book a free resonance call with me here. Let’s connect!
And if you’d like your kid to learn these paths of mindfulness while also learning the piano, this is what I do in Mindful Music! I currently have one space available for a new student and family. Is it you? Reach out to me here and let’s get you booked!
The road less traveled is available to you every day and every way.
It’s always “on your person”. It’s your superpower.
When your edge presents itself, curl around it with mindfulness path.
Inhale to nourish.
Exhale to cleanse.
Inhale to love.
Exhale to forgive.
See you on the road less traveled! I must say, it’s a lot cooler than the other one.
In love, expansion and pursuit of a better world,