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A Year About Me: Year Two

I’ve spent a lifetime of working to help others and save the world, often to the detriment of my own health and well-being. So in retrospect, I can’t believe I thought I’d be able to dedicate one full year to myself… and then feel completed.

It seems that this will be year two of the “year about me”!

To be clear, I don’t want to change my dedication to helping others and making a large impact. In fact, if there is one thing I’ve learned in the last year, it’s that taking care of myself makes my work with and for others MORE effective.

2011 The Year About Me: Nurturing and healing my body

I made vast improvements to my health, the result of which is that I am only taking one asthma medication (from a high of seven medications at one point), I am gluten free, I have significantly decreased my waist size, I have fewer migraine headaches, I am regularly exercising and doing breathing exercises (pranayama) to increase lung capacity and decrease stress. I’m also finally learning how to relax. These are among many other improvements.

This quest for bodily awareness, nurturing, and healing is of course not over – but several things are put into motion so that I can focus on the next layer of my own well-being.

2012 The Year About Me: Nurturing and opening my mind

Compasssion

In the beginning of this year, I picked an outgoing word and an incoming word that help describe my vision for 2012. The outgoing word: judgment. The incoming word: compassion. Out with judgment, in with compassion.

As I began thinking and reading more about compassion, I quickly realized that compassion has a solid root and foundation in self-compassion. Without self-compassion, compassion for others falls flat. Without self-empathy, I don’t believe you can feel deep empathy for another being. (There are likely many layers to this equation – for instance, self-knowledge is a large part of self-empathy…. and so on.)

Early Results

Already I’ve noticed that in devoting time to nurturing my mind – namely with meditation and “breath walking” – I have been able to work more efficiently, and I have been able to see the bigger (strategic) picture of my work more readily. I’ve become a better interviewer when I’m creating documentary films. I’ve become a better strategic thinker when I’m working with my startup clients. I’ve become more creatively inspired when working on graphic design or brand storytelling. And I’ve even become a more pleasant person in basic interactions with strangers – like at the grocery store, at a networking event or just walking down the street.

They are little changes: it’s not like I’ve become fundamentally different person! But many things that I do take a little bit less effort to accomplish, and I feel like I’m accomplishing them just a little bit better than I was even a few months ago.

By nurturing my mind, I believe I’m becoming more effective at nurturing the world. This is similar to last year: by nurturing my body, I found I was less focused on pain, pharmaceuticals and just getting through the day.

And the most amazing thing is that my pain has improved even more as I nurture my mind. Half of meditation for me at the moment is exploring the many layers of bodily relaxation. (The other half is exploring mind relaxation.) As a result, there have been a few moments when I’ve realized that I am feeling no pain at all – anywhere in my body. It’s incredible, almost surreal.

How does this impact One Green Generation?

I don’t know what this year has in store, but I will share it with you! One of the ways I’ve found throughout the years to nurture and open my mind, is to write. I am a writer, and the times in my life when I have regularly fed my writing instincts are the times when I have transformed most.

Thank you for your encouragement!

I still receive regular emails asking me questions, thanking me for writing, and hoping I’ll return soon. Without my writing much lately, each day there are still about 2,500-3,000 of you who visit to look through the archives! So this is a community I hope to more actively nurture again.  It would be amazing if we could help one another more along our sustainable journeys.

It will be a process getting back to it: letting myself have the time for writing regularly again. But I believe it will happen. Feel free to prod me via email or comments if you see I’m absent for a while here. :)

And thank you all for your continued emails and comments. They mean a great deal, and I’m glad to have helped some of you along your own journeys.

And how are you?

How is your year going? How are you progressing with your hopes and dreams for the year, and for your life? Are you on a path that nurtures you?

All those of you who have done some of this self-exploration and self-nurturing, please recommend any resources that have helped you! I may benefit from your recommendations, as may other readers here.

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9 comments to A Year About Me: Year Two

  • andrea

    Welcome back! Glad to see that your changes are making a difference in your life. I’m very much in need of making some additional changes here. I see some stresses creeping into my life and my unhealthy choices for dealing with them. I’m signed up for a 30 day vegan workshop in May, so I’m looking forward to that support. Until then, I need to find a simple step or two to take in the right direction. I hope you are able to find the time to write again. I’ll keep checking back!

    • Thanks for your comment, Andrea! I’m glad you are beginning to take the steps you need to nurture yourself. I hope some of what I’ve written over the past year has given you some ideas. :) And thanks for your patience as I get back to writing regularly – it’s good to know you will keep checking back!!

  • On year five for me;) serious vegan here;) last year vegetarian now taking the next step;) no animal products at all. Easier than I thought;)

  • Hi Melinda! Glad to hear you are doing well. Those are some big health changes. I’m almost at a year of having given up drinking milk after trying the elimination diet…I can’t say how much better I feel, such an incredible difference. Your sharing the detox diet really was the nudge I needed to find this out. :)

  • Michele, wow – year five! So I see it is an ongoing process. ;) Thanks for sharing your experience!!

  • defintrely on going:) some of those in my household still eat meat and not so worried about conservation and the like but the rest of us are ever so slowly winning them over:) There is so much info out there now! we went from “green” products to just making our own. No paper products, that one, surprisingly was the hardest. Next we are looking into rain barrels. Our garden needs work as well. I want things to grow now!!! lol but it is coming along:) Love reading your website and it has been a huge help to me in finding other websites and with homemade recipes. Thank you:)

  • How funny! I’ve chosen the same theme for 2012! Compassion – and made the same experiences. I thought it would be an outgoing year… it turned out I’ve spent the first few months more concentrated on myself and accepting myself than ever. I believe it will be a good base for turning the compassion outwards later on.
    best wishes for your progress!
    yaga

  • [...] and well-being. I declared that I would spend a “Year about me.” That turned into Year Two, and then ultimately three total years “about me.” Yes, it took a little longer than I [...]

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