So, Day Four wasn’t so bad

I was expecting today to be gruesome. I’ve read The Four Day Win*, I know that it’s a turning point and I had decided to just accept the hard as part of the process.

Then it wasn’t hard.

That leaves me wondering if it would never have been hard, or if it was the acceptance that made it easy.

I know that a lot of strife comes from not going with the flow, from resisting the things that are and wishing for things to be different. I have trouble drawing the line between things that can and should be resisted and things that must be accepted.

I have always been moved by the Serenity Prayer**, the last line about ‘the wisdom to know the difference’ almost brings me to tears. The wisdom to know the difference. That’s huge. It’s a central question for me, when to try hard and when to stop pushing. How to figure out if my efforts are only making my life harder.

I can remember being 8 or 9 years old, and having a hard time with something. I don’t even remember what it was now, just that I couldn’t understand why it had to be that way. In trying to help, my Dad said to me, ‘Chris, you gotta learn to roll with the punches.’ – why my decidedly non-athletic Dad was working a boxing metaphor, I don’t know – I was just frustrated by the advice. I didn’t really get it.

I’m better at rolling with some punches now, but I still struggle.  When is enough effort, when to put the effort in, what’s too hard, what’s an unfair fight? I rarely know the answers to any of these questions.

Then when you add all of this to one of my favourite quotes:  “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” (George Bernard Shaw), the result is a very confused dame. How can I know when I am being the unreasonable ‘man’ [sic] and hence should continue, or when I am not rolling with the punches and hence should just move with what’s thrown at me? How can I foster the wisdom to know the difference?

I’m trying to trust that if I am still, if I am trying to be mindful, then I will know on some level when I should roll and when I should be unreasonable. I am trying to trust in the process and let go of the result**, to allow things to become clear.

That’s why today was so important. I did let go in some way, and things were good. It was a good lesson for me.

And I am committed to the process of getting up early to do yoga, and then doing some writing, every day for the next month. They are both the sorts of habits I want to continue but I will see if they will stay in this form over time. I don’t know what the results will be, whether either will get me where I would like to go, but I feel like the process is good for me.

I am trying to go with the flow to create the habit, while being an unreasonable woman to make progress in writing and exercise. Maybe that’s where the balance is?

*For the record, I have never been in a diet war. I can no more judge myself for eating than I can judge myself for being short. I was interested in the psychological processes she described.

**I also like the same sentiment expressed in a different way ‘For every ailment under the sun, there is a remedy or there is none. If there be one, seek and find it. If there be none, then never mind it.”


***Thanks, Victoria!




2 thoughts on “So, Day Four wasn’t so bad

  1. Boy did you ever get my gears turning.

    I wonder how much of the helpful vs. unhelpful “unreasonable-ness” comes down to focusing on the process rather than the outcome.

    In other words, maybe it’s good to be unreasonable – but only as long as we can keep from making it about the results. Which is really damned hard.

    Recently I saw Deepak Chopra on Conan and he (Chopra) said that nothing ever goes wrong for him because he never expects things to go one way or another.

    Needless to say I am not there, yet. Not even close.

    I dunno…but I feel like there’s some kind of something percolating that I can’t quite articulate. Thank you for sharing this!


  2. mombie says:

    Victoria, I think you’ve hit on the key there, I think it does have a lot to do with which you are focusing on.

    I’m not close to Chopra’s enlightened approach either, I’m still ‘grasping’ at my desired outcomes. And the snarky side of me thinks it is easier to let go of expectations about outcome when you have a financial cushion that makes many decisions less weighty – not to say his position is not admirable, but that it may not be attainable for many.

    I look forward to whatever other thoughts on this topic your brain percolates. Thank you again for the process vs result insight, it’s been tremendously helpful to me since we had that conversation.

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