Eat to the Beat

Yesterday’s post on consumerism began a chain of events in my brain that may be worth examining with a larger audience.

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As I have gotten older, the desire to own ‘things’ has rapidly diminished. With the exception of having working communication devices, nothing else really jumps out at me as being needed. That includes clothing, accessories, jewellery, domestic appliances, luxury goods… and the list goes on. This makes me a right pig to buy for and is undoubtedly the reason that this year, nobody at home had a birthday gift for me when the day arrived. My husband bought this replacement computer when my old one died a couple of weeks back, and that was then declared a gift.

Similarly, food and drink are no longer massive draws. Sure, I love a good, well-made meal or a decent trip out, but mindfulness has helped the simple things I have become so much more enjoyable. Before, when there’s be a snack and a cuppa, both would be consumed without thinking. Now, appreciation of each mouthful as important has fairly significantly transformed how everything is ingested, as visual prompts becomes less important. The process of introducing thought to what was previously just action has delivered significant gains.

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In fact, this morning’s cuppa and protein bar have become the metaphor for why even the basic processes of existence are changing into something far more fulfilling. Simplicity is the goal of so many people, but can seem totally impossible to achieve. On the days when other people’s lives are more important than my own, that is very true. However, in the moments between the stresses and strains imposed by the World, my family, and the company I keep… this is pretty much perfect.

There, I said it. There is now a clear distinction between the ‘interaction’ period of life and the ‘alone’ bits. Once upon a time, the latter were the things that destroyed the will to live, not my relationship with others. I didn’t hate the world, simply myself, and the inability to exist successfully anywhere destroyed any form of significant progress. Now, when alone, it’s fulfilling, calm and even happiness evolves via simplicity. Food tastes better. Exercise is tough, but manageable. Interacting with others becomes progressively less fraught.

This really is the happiest I have ever been.

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What can be attributed for this change? Hard work, persistence, and undoubtedly the fact that (yet again) this week I’ll go and do an exercise class that will reduce me to tears… or maybe this week it won’t. There were parts of last week’s Blaze I genuinely enjoyed. I’m planning to run on the treadmill this evening for as long as I’m capable. Every time a new class is completed, it is at a better rate of participation than the one before. There exists a clear and well defined notion of progression. Is the difference that ability to define a journey, or is it something else?

The theatrical elements are largely ignored, need to touch gloves or create a team dynamic not why I signed up. This is not about making friends or comparing difficulty. This is about being able to exist in a world where for a lot of my adult life I felt there was no alternative but to lie, then hide. Now, all that matters is the Thing that must be Beaten. Each week as I do, the significance of this announced to the World. Who chooses to listen and react is of no importance. Why this matters is, on reflection, irrelevant. Being happy beats everything else.

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What makes us happy is vastly different from person to person. The need to continually distract from that using ‘things’ is all well and good, but to a point. Similarly, you can hide from grief or anger using other people, or all manner of displacement activity. For me, having stripped all the padding and packing away, what is now most important undoubtedly is just honestly and simplicity. This is what keeps me alive and vital. Creating my own worlds with pictures and words, observing reality as I perceive it, is no better or worse than anybody else’s outlook.

My key is contentment, general relaxation. It is the difference between amazing and average: today, after a long, couple of  weeks of this new journey, the former’s brilliance begins to really shine through. Nobody else changed my life, they all just offered suggestions along the way. This is my work. This is brain and body, finally existing together and in harmony. I am very proud of what is being forged, and nobody else can claim credit.

The satisfaction is mine alone to own.