Just shy of a year ago, I wrote a post entitled Imperfectly Fine about my struggle to find balance in life. I had just had my first session with a health coach and, as I do every summer, I was dreaming of spending more time in the hammock. After nearly 50 sessions with my coach, I'm here to report back. I have a meditation practice now. Taking this course in the city kicked it off and, though I may not sit in meditation every single morning, mostly I do. And it's there for me when I really need it, which is most of the time. I am back to exercising regularly. I ferreted out a gym in my town—it's a fairly ghetto set-up at the local high school, but it's open to residents three mornings a week and it's enabled me to reconnect to weight training. All incipient back issues have totally cleared up. I now see a Chinese acupuncturist every couple of weeks and take herbs twice daily and my herpes outbreaks have nearly vanished.
I'm learning to say no to the things that take me away from what I really want to do. After a couple of publishers expressed interest in a Glutton for Life book, I am finishing up a proposal. (I am elated and terrified in equal measure.) My coach helped me with all of this. She gave me the support, encouragement and love I needed to explore my fears and desires and goals and failures and successes. But the process is not "over." It will never be "over." Just this past week I fell into a giant pit of despair, feeling overwhelmed by my life and everything I still have not managed to accomplish. I am not thinner, richer, more famous or more successful than I was a year ago, and I panicked that I was no happier either. But I am taking deep breaths, sitting in meditation, remembering all the things I have to be grateful for, making plans to do the things I care about most, strategizing for the future and trying to fully inhabit the moment. It's incredibly hard work. But it's also exciting and fun.
I read something by Annie Lamott yesterday that wrenched me to the core and reverberated through my whole being. I am humbled by her ability to write so completely in her own voice. She expresses her wisdom in a way that is so accessible and friendly, yet so profound. I just love how these words give us permission to be equally at home in our own skins. They came to me at a time when I needed them most and reminded me of what is truly important. I hope they fill you with hope and purpose.