Three topics keep popping up all over the place for me these days. I turn on the radio. I read the paper. I ask someone what’s new. I pick up my next book club reading assignment. These seem to be consistently swirling around the same three areas. Rather like the freeways suddenly being filled with the very car you are considering buying, that you might not have noticed before. Suddenly they are everywhere. Only this time, I’m not consciously seeking these out.
So what are they? Meditation. Long pilgrimage hikes. Limiting alcohol consumption.
I’m not seeking these out, but they are indisputably seeking me. Chasing me down is what it feels like. I decided to sit up and pay attention.
When meditation or reducing alcohol (this does sound bad!) comes up, I frequently come up with elaborate schemes to kinda, sorta do a little of this and stop doing a little of that. Alternately I might negotiate some deal with myself to rationalize things like reading or journaling counting as meditation, or following Andrew Weil’s advice or the traditional American Cancer Association recommendations on alcohol intake is good enough (these have been pretty easy and very liberal!). I’ve recently been confronted with some stand-up-and-take-notice medical information about both of these, that has given me cause for pause. There are more and more studies confirming that “The use of alcohol is clearly linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer.” In fact, some are saying that more than 1/2 a glass per day increases your risk.
This grabbed my by the throat! When was the last time you ordered 1/2 glass of wine with dinner at a restaurant? Exactly. If you think it’s hard getting your husband to split a meal with you, I’m sure we’ll find out what’s impossible, if we ask them to split a glass of wine. This measuring and portioning is tricky stuff to manage.
Then I had an epiphany (very apropo given the timing coincidence this weekend). Whenever I have made any important changes in my life, I have never negotiated some partial deal. I just DO IT! Dive in with my whole body and commit. It’s amazing how much easier that is. The boundaries are clear. There is no negotiating and bargaining to be done. Phewww. The pressure is off.
My commitment to myself is to abstain from any alcohol for 3 months, and then re-evaluate. That is taking de-toxing seriously. I’m excited and energized!
More on meditation and pilgrimage hikes at a later date. One day at a time.