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One of my favorite shows is Absolutely Fabulous. In one episode, Edina, whining about her weight, asks her daughter, Saffron, “Why am I so fat?” To which Saffy replies,“Well, you eat too much, you drink too much and you take no exercise.” Edina’s response? “Oh darling. Please. It’s far more likely to be an allergy to something isn’t it? Also, Sweetie, I’ve got a very heavy aura. Did you know that?”

This dovetails into my theory, that guilt, shame and regret have actual weight to them that lodges in your physical body. I think that negative emotions infuse your very cells and cause inflammation. Actually, that’s true: stress does cause inflammation.

And guilt does lead to weight indirectly. When you deny and deprive yourself because of the dreaded numbers on the scale, eventually you’ll binge. Add to that the fact that shame leads to isolation, which can result in overeating.

Now, we all know that the best way to lose weight is to stop eating altogether. Am I right? High fives all around? Of course not! That’s like doing home improvements with a wrecking ball. Small steps and healthy choices are the way to lose weight – slowly, and over time – and keep it off. Better still, learn to accept yourself as you are. Guilt adds weight to your soul. Let it go and you’ll feel ten pounds lighter.

If you’re a praying person, take it to the source and get real. Help me to do better tomorrow. Help me to see myself as you see me. Help me to be the best version of myself I can be. And do the best I can, right where I am.

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Every so often, someone, somewhere, will be mad at the world and will eventually say these words: I didn’t ask to be born!

Now, this is not to minimize the pain of those going through a hard time, but I wonder.

What if you actually did ask to be born. In fact, what if you even paid to come here. Better still, what if tax dollars were used? Maybe your loved ones in heaven (or wherever souls are stored) are working hard there to support you here. You’d do your best and get to work on meaningful projects then, wouldn’t you?

Maybe they’re spending their afterlife populating your dreams with what seem to be mundane activities (Oh look! There’s my mother, folding towels. What does that mean?) Maybe those are really metaphors and bread crumbs, guiding you as much as they’re allowed by universal decree (maybe the dream’s meaning was: Take care of work first, play later.)  Like the Prime directive from Star Trek. They’re only allowed to gently encourage without revealing too much, allowing for your free will.

But then you’d have to figure out what those meaningful projects are. No pressure! It’s only the peace of mind of your late loved ones, giving it their all so you can have the gift of life!!

Okay. That’s probably not the case. But “projects” is another word for “purpose.”

This fanciful tale was brought to you by all those you’ve loved and lost. I’m no medium (I’d honestly have to admit that I’m more of a “large”), but I don’t think they’d want you to fret as much as you do. They’d only want you to do your best with the days in front of you. And when you look back? To do so with a smile and keep moving.

I’ve wondered on occasion if I’m really just a cat in God’s garden. I mean it. I’m not a go-getter like SueBE, or a sacred poet like Lori, but I feel I contribute in my small way to our little eco-system. If I can add a light note of levity or spin a yarn about my KitKat, I feel that I’m adding leavening to the loaf of bread that we bake together.

When I noticed that I’d started to give myself a hard time one day as I looked at SueBE’s goals for her writing day (her to-do list is chock full of action items) and mine (find the right word for that one poem I might submit to some unspecified market at a distant time in the nebulous future) I had to pause. Hold on. Her point is to share her process, and the goal is to help other writers as they find their own way. Not to say, I can do it all! Why can’t you?!?

Still, I thought it would be nice to have a little of the zhoosh she has to get it all done. I wondered how to go about this, and sure enough, she answered my question without realizing when she started posting her “5 minutes a day” series. That’s how you do it. A piece at a time.

Then I wondered why I stopped writing prayer-poems for our blog, and I realized it was partially due to the fact that it seems to come so easily for our Lori and she does it so well. For me, it takes a whole week of revisions, total re-writes and second-guessing before posting.

Neither one of them had judged me and said, why can’t you be like me? It was my own Negative Naysayer steering me away from what my friends do so well.

So I called in my Yes-you-can Yaysayer (opposite of Naysayer) and she said: We’re not supposed to all be the same. Do what you can, with what you have, right where you are.

As for me, it’s time to stretch, yawn and take a catnap. Later, I’ll find the right word for my poem. It’s a small goal, mind you, but it’s a start!

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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