Sunday, June 14, 2009

Revisiting Inspiration.

On the wall of my home office where I both work and play, I've started a collection of inspiring pieces that remind me what I am working towards. In fitness, in work, in love and in life as a whole - as these are all elements within.

I've mentioned before that I have a special relationship with paper. I feel as though most people associate with certain elements. Maybe you love to garden and feel the earth move between your fingers, or you enjoy wearing jewelry and the natural sparkle of gems. For some reason, I've always enjoyed paper. The smooth or rough texture, the way it bends, the way it warps, the way it is a vessel to communicate the written word. I enjoy physically picking up the paper to receive my news and I love reveling in the shiny gloss of magazines.

But most of all, I love greeting cards.

I'm completely aware that they are a product of a billion dollar industry laying guilt trips on society to remind people of holidays, and if you don't send them - you must not care. That's bullshit, of course, but man do I love them. There is so much freedom and creativity with cards. They can be for anything, they can say anything, they can hold any picture, any words you need to say.

On my wall, I have a few of my favorite cards taped up. Most of them are "Quotable Quotes" cards, a company I have come to love very much over the years. I use their calendars, coffee mugs and journals. I wanted to share with you some of the more powerful quotes that help to keep me going.

For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life, but there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. [souza]

Courage is only an accumulation of small steps. [konrad]

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble of hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. [unknown]

You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. [wilson]

Each of these quotes drives me. The Souza quote especially, which has been a favorite for many years. I wish I could say that it is a motto I live by, but it certainly acts as a compass when I being to lose my way. I think many of us feel as if "real life" will start when we lose weight, as if the world will magically change for you in ways it never has. And in a sense, that's true, but only because you make it so through your hard work and new found confidence to make things happen.

Konrad helps me to remember that each small choice I make ultimately decides the outcome of the bigger goal. Each time I am able to say "no" to that bowl of ice cream or drink invitation, I am making a small step towards the things I truly want, and he's right - that not only takes courage, it is courageous.

The unknown quote about peace was something I gave for Christmas cards this year. I felt it fitting as I feel exceptionally stressed during the holidays. This relates to often to my weight loss journey when I am in a slump. Let's say, after an exceptionally hard day at work or a fight with a friend, I want to drown my sorrows in _______ (insert incredibly fattening food here), but someday, if I keep working at it, I will make peace with my emotions and turn to a nurturing activity such as a walk or a bath. Looking at this card reminds me that those things, those trying times, will always exist but that there are better ways to deal with them.

And lastly, good ol' Woodrow Wilson. Each of us is here on this Earth for a reason. I believe that reason is self-determined, that we can be who we want to be, make what we want to make, see what we want to see. Each of us has the opportunity to enrich the world, and in order to do that, we must succeed at being healthy for ourselves in order to enable the world to live more amply. This quote reminds me why I want to finish this journey - to be a Weight Watchers meeting leader.

Not only are these quotes a source of inspiration, but the cards they came on all signify a time in my life that someone was expressing to me that they care about me, and I want to be happy and healthy for myself - and those who love me.

What quotes really inspire you to keep at it?

1 comment:

kristen said...

I love going to Hallmark or Target with my mom or friend Nicole to read the funny cards...we can easily spend an hour laughing our asses off. I have a whole bunch in a box just waiting to be used for the right moment.

One quote I keep on my back burner I actually got from WW. "Never give up what you want the most for what you want at the moment." It's meant to be applied to when you're going for that unhealthy snack when you're ultimately trying to lose weight, but I also like to use it for other areas of my life.

And although it's not a quote, I try to remind myself that life isn't linear. If I'm not making progress toward the healthiest life possible, it doesn't always mean I'm taking a step backwards. We're allowed to take a step to the side and re-evaluate. There's a different between "relapsing" and "slipping up." Every slip up doesn't have to be catastrophic.