growth

Well I am having a hard time figuring out if I chose the best or worst time to take this on.  Right now, life is simply lobbing me one stressful event after another.  The timing has definitely not been ideal for extreme weight loss, but it has been primed for personal growth and that sometimes is even more important.

The last several days my son has been very sick and Monday we spent the good part of the day and all evening in the ER.  He is getting better and is going to be just fine, but the stress has been profound.  Believe me, the last thing I want is excuses for why I can’t succeed at this.

This is what I struggle with time and time again.  Life gets in the way, the stress gets to me and then I eat to make myself feel better and then I feel guilty and crappy about myself so I give up.

This cycle, I only lost half a pound.  I have hit my mark in that 163 pounds is this sticking point for me.  I have not been below it since my son was born three years ago.  I try and I try and I get to 163 and it just won’t budge.  Well, here we are again after a stressful and disappointing week and I have to say I am not surprised.  I am trying very hard to look past that number and not feel defeated.

But a couple of really good things have come out of this cycle and right now I am celebrating the littlest of victories.  I am still here.  I haven’t given up, I haven’t blown my diet.   I am sticking to the plan, despite all the obstacles.  I will finish what I started and push past my fears.

I also started exercising again.  There are still many things that I can’t do with my thumb as it is, but I went for a run and biked as well.  I also tried out some of the bodyweight exercise routines, which I totally love.  There were several of the exercises that I couldn’t do as I am unable to put my full weight on that hand, but I either modified, substituted or skipped the moves I couldn’t do and kept going.  Tonight I am going back to swim classes for the first time since the accident.

The biggie though has been gaining some control back over the food.  The fast days have been so pinnacle in this.  Yes, I get hungry but I embrace that and I have control of whether I eat or not.  And that gives me more control over the rest of the days when I have to choose what I will eat, whether I will stick to the plan or give into the little gremlins in my head.

Through all the last few weeks of craziness with family in and out of the house and two major medical events, I have stuck to the plan as much as I could.  There have been moments of weakness and moments of circumstance, but I didn’t let them affect my resolve.  I just kept going.  This may not seem like much to you, but for me it is a pretty big deal.

I have two more cycles to go and I hope that I can get it together enough to lose a little weight in the process.  But even if I don’t, I have gained a lot from this and I will be completing the program again in July before my husband and I take a trip to Sonoma.  So, I will have another chance to make it happen for me.

I have updated the Xtreme Fat Loss page with the latest.  Not much to look at though…

Don’t let my lack of success deter you from this program.  My results have nothing to do with the program.  I have no doubt that it works and that you could achieve significant results.

Learn More at the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet Website

Don’t let your fears or reservations stop you in achieving your goals.  When we fall all there is to do is to get up and keep going.

Let’s get real here.  I feel weak.  I doubt my ability to do this and I am self sabotaging like you would not believe.  Yet one more thing that terrifies me.  I am so tired of being afraid.  I don’t even know what I am so damn scared of.  I just walk around wallowing in my own fear.

If you have been reading this blog for awhile then you know that I am recovering from postpartum depression and have been seeing a therapist for the last six months.  Just yesterday she was telling me how fearless I am in my therapy, how strong I am and how dedicated I am to getting better. It is my disgust with this fear and doubt that drives me to do more and dig deeper in therapy, but it is moments like this that also show me that I have so far to go.  Why is it that I can be so fearless and committed to that, but so weak and afraid when it comes to committing to my own health.

I need to remind myself how far I have come.  I am no longer depressed or having panic attacks.  I have down days, but nothing like it used to be.  That is a long way to come from where I was, which was in a very dark hole, alone and broken.  I took no medication to accomplish this, but faced it head on and worked through it.  This is a huge accomplishment and I am proud of it.

But with that said, there are many more issues to tackle, not the least of which is my inability to fully commit.  This is the issue affecting this particular process for me.   When I choose something, I feel very committed to it and it starts off that way, but as obstacles pop up and it gets a little tougher my resolve dwindles and I slowly lose my willingness to do what it takes. 

One of the main tenants of The Gabriel Method is not to bring cheating into it.  Don’t think of it as taking away, but as adding.  This is all fine and dandy, but when I break down and scarf a jumbo jack in the car on the way home from a particularly tough therapy session or find myself six deep in mini peanut butter cups after a phone call with my mother, I feel like I have failed, like I cheated and then it all goes down hill from there.  Let the closet binge eating begin.

This is hard for me to say, but last night I was watching the biggest loser and they were talking about the habits that got them to the point where they were when they started the show and I can see those habits in myself.  I am not there yet, still just in the overweight category, but I can see how it gets there.

I weighed myself this morning because I felt I needed to.  I couldn’t control my urge to know the bad news, like I needed to feel guilty about it.  Up three pounds.  Now, I do not blame The Gabriel Method for this, in fact he even says in his book that you might gain a few pounds in the beginning as you break the cycle of shame that goes along with food.   This is my fault, I didn’t dedicate myself to doing what Jon said every day.  I didn’t follow the rules, however simple they were.   I let my life and my fears interfere with my commitment.  Classic me.

There is positive growth to be seen in this first month though.  I have learned quite a bit about eating healthier and think a lot about how to make sure I am getting the main three things in my meals (protein, omega and live food).  I have even been pretty good about breakfast, but not every day.  I have done really all the things he instructs for month one, just not consistently.  Again, lack of true commitment.

I want to commit, I want to give over to the process.  In order for things to truly change you need to commit to the process for the whole month, or 21 days really.  But that doesn’t mean half ass for a month, that means every day.

So where to go from here.  I feel like I should start over, because I am not ready to add on at this point.  I don’t feel like I have made the month one steps second nature, which is the point or breaking it down that way.  I am already overwhelmed, adding more just seems like a good way to self sabotage at this point.

I do know that I need to go back and read the book from cover to cover again.  I also saw on Jon’s website that you can contact Jon directly so I think I might do that.  

Well, sorry that I don’t have fantastic news of miraculous weight loss to share at the end of month 1, but I am not giving up.    I am confident that this is the right program for me, I just need to find a way to truly commit myself.  I will update in the next couple of days as I figure out what my new plan is.

Buy The Gabriel Method book now!

For this reading I will use the first ten swords and the first ten major arcana cards to examine what the best strategy is to deal with a particular situation.  With the recent launch of karinreece.com and starting to build my business, it only makes sense that I ask what my best strategy for success is.

The Layout

This is a celtic cross reading. It will examine the best comprehensive strategy for the asked about situation.

I will be using the I-X Major Arcana Cards and I-X of Swords for this reading.

Shuffle the major arcana cards while focusing on the questions and then deal out the first two positions.

Shuffle the sword cards while focusing on the same question and deal out the top four cards into positions 3 through 6.

Combine the remaining swords and major arcana cards and shuffle them together, again concentrating on the sames question and deal out the top four cards from this pile into positions 7 through 10.

The Question:  What should my strategy be with regard to my new web development business.

The Spread

1. Covers You (current situation) – X Wheel
2. Crosses You (challenges) – IV Emperor
3. Above You (what is possible) – VIII Swords
4. Below You (how you got here) – X Swords
5. Behind You (recent past) – IX Swords
6. Before You (what’s next) – II Swords
7. Who You Are – I Swords
8. Who They Want You to Be – III Swords
9. What You Want – III Empress
10. What You Get – VI Swords

The Answer

This situation requires your full attention and dedication of all your resources, which you should invest wholeheartedly.  Someone wants to assist you in your endeavor.  Be careful of giving over too much power as it may result in a sticky situation.

You experienced utter defeat in the past causing this to be a challenging situation for you.  Just recently your worst fears surfaced, but all will come together in the near future.

You will be successful in the end, but don’t expect the full support of those around you.  You want to be profitable and reap the rewards of success.  This success will come by letting go of those things that haunt you from your past and turning to the unexpected for inspiration.

The Cards

X Wheel

My Take*:  The wheel of time keeps moving.  A feeling that fate has taken over.  Remember you have control over many things.  

The Card:  Change, the feeling that some cosmic machine controls our destiny.  Although there is much we can’t control, there is also a lot that we do.  There are also things that seem out of our control, but which we actually can control.  Things are changing.

Analysis**:  This card covers you, representing the current state of the situation.  You may currently be feeling like the world is passing you by or simply pulling you along.  You must take control of those things within your power and let go of those you are powerless over.  Use creative means, think outside the box because change is certainly coming.

IV Emperor

My Take:  Order, rules, dominant figure, social justice, watches over and rules the situation, caring for and creating structure in society.

The Card:  Fatherhood, authority, laws and regulation.  Government, social justice, tyranny, social structure, power of life.  Examine the role of power over the situation.  Organization and structure.  Find your own power.

Analysis:  This card crosses you, representing the obstacles faced in the current situation.  Your obstacle is to create structure for yourself or others.  Hold true to your values, find your inner power and get organized.

VIII Swords

My Take:  A prison of your own making, it looks fragile like any sudden move may send those swords plunging in.  But the pattern on the sphere suggests strength and integrity.  The woman is naked, showing vulnerability.

The Card:  Restricted by your own assumptions you have created an inflexible mental map and are now trapped by it.  The bubble is strong, only to disappear when new perspective is gained.

Analysis:  This card is above you, showing what is possible if the circumstances remain as they are.  Reaching your potential will require stepping outside your comfort zone. Look at things from a different direction to gain perspective.

X Swords

My Take:  The man is bent over shielding himself from the descending swords.  The tattoo on his back is protection, but defeat has already occurred.  There is nothing left but to give in to it and move on.

The Card:  Anguish and pain, but relief as well.  The situation is not manageable.  Although things are dire, it is a positive card.  You are at the end and are ready for new opportunities and ready to see the potential.  The extremes of the conscious mind.

Analysis:  This card is below you and speaks to how you got to this point.  Sometime long ago you were utterly defeated and it is affecting this situation.  There is nothing you can do now, it’s over.  Let it go and get ready for new opportunities to emerge.

IX Swords

My Take:  The fears we create in our heads, mostly unfounded, but real enough in our minds.

Card:  Stress, tension, anxiety caused by your own mental dealings.  Your mind is wreaking havoc on your emotions.  How we think directly effects our perceptions.  Think negative things and negative things will find you.

Analysis:  This card is behind you and represents the recent past.  You’ve been letting your fears get the best of you.  Recently your mind has you riddled with stress and anxiety.  Remember we manifest what our mind tells us we are.  Cut out the negative talk.

II Swords

My Take*:  I’m not really sure about this one.  Twos are about couplings, pairs and dichotomies.  Swords are about strategies, struggles, power and strength.  She is blind folded and the sky is stormy with the sun shining through an opening.

The Card:  Comparing, analyzing, contrasting an idea.  Beware of over-analyzing to death, causing the new idea to wither and die.  The blindfold allows the woman to focus without distractions.  You are at a turning point.  It can still go either way.  Don’t over-think it.

Analysis:  You may not be able to see it but soon light will break through the darkness.  Soon you will face a Y in the road.  Analyze the choice, but don’t wait too long to make up your mind.

I Swords

My Take:  Strength, ready to take flight yet grounded with a good foundation.  New opportunities will bring success.

The Card:  A new idea or aha moment.  New opportunities, freedom of thought even when the rest of us feels constrained.  Opportunity for change and growth.

Analysis:  You are strong and grounded, ready to take off on a new adventure.  You are the one with the big idea.  This is your adventure.

III Swords

My Take: Grief.  She’s crying and holding her heart.  The three swords all point toward her heart, like they are piercing it.

The Card:  Heartbreak and disappointment caused by your experience with the situation being quite different thatn you expected.  These problems are mental rather than emotional.

Analysis:  Someone related to this situation is not going to live up to your expectations.  Beware not to set them too high.

III Empress

My Take:  Mother earth, abundance, reaping the benefits of the harvest.  Connecting with nature.  Being a caregiver.

The Card:  Mothering, nurturing, protecting, raising, growing.  Giving birth to and nurturing something. Landscaping.  The project must be carefully taken care of and protected.  Take better care of yourself.

Analysis:  You want to enjoy success and abundance.  You want this to be your baby, something you grow and care for.  You also want it to provide something just for you.

VI Swords

My Take*:  This card is a little spooky.  There is definitely a journey taking place.  Passing through an arch, a transition.  the boat is well protected and the man carries a lamp, lighting the way.  His mask may show that the purpose or end result of the trip may not be clear.

The Card:  Quiet, steady, cautious forward motion.  Proceed slowly and discretely.  No need to declare yourself openly.  You are even and solid and well positioned to access and influence your subconscious.  Think a little outside the box to accomplish the goal.

Analysis:  This card position represents that final outcome or what you will get if you remain on the same path. You are embarking on a journey into the unknown.  This may be scary, but you are well prepared.  Proceed cautiously and quietly.  It may be outside your normal thinking, but put your head down and proceed without announcing your intentions. You are on a journey to wholeness.

Reading analysis

I think this is a pretty insightful reading and a really positive sign for the work on my freelance business being a positive experience.  I always like it when a reading rings especially true and this one did just that.  It picked up on my recent anxiety.  A few weeks ago, I even have a full blown anxiety attack while working on a design project.  I have been curious why I have been so afraid to put myself out there and obviously something happened long ago that is setting that up.  Wish I knew what it was.

I think it is interesting that thinking in new ways, outside the box, outside your comfort zone, came up consistently throughout this reading.  This could mean several things, but really I think it is just speaking to the cocoon I have built around myself and that I am going to have to put myself out there in order to make this succeed and that can be a little uncomfortable for me.

It is just generally good to hear that things in my life are stabilizing and that I am finally in a place where I am ready to take on new challenges and embark on new journeys.  Very encouraging.

 


 

 *Please remember that the my take sections are my first impressions and feelings about a card.  Since I am exploring a new deck, this is the first time I have taken a good look at some of these cards.  They may or may not be reliable or true to the meaning of the card.  I like to take my feelings from a card and the cards intended meaning and combine them for a cohesive analysis.  In this way I am consistently improving on my knowledge and abilities.

** I have added a new section to my card analysis.  In this section I will combine my thoughts and the intended card meaning and apply them to the position within the reading.  This is a way to expand on the meaning of each individual card in the reading.

For this reading I will use the first ten sword cards and the first ten major arcana cards to examine how I am as a risk taker.   Swords generally deal with struggles, power and strategy and I hope to see how I might best manage the risk and anxieties in my life.  

The Layout

This reading uses a triple cover and cross layout.  I will use three basic cover and cross pairs using the I-X of Swords and the first ten major arcana cards, shuffled separately.

The basic cover and cross layout consists of one card upright (covers you) and one laying across that one (crosses you).  Just like a cross.  The cover card represents the current situation and the cross card represents the challenges you face.

Shuffle the sword cards while asking your question and deal up the first three cards in the covers position.  Then shuffle the major arcana cards while asking your question and deal up the first three cards in the cross position.

Tarot Reading

The Question: How can I ensure I take the right risks?

The Spread

Covers:  X Swords
Cross:  X Wheel

Covers:  IX Swords
Cross: IX Hermit

Covers: I Swords
Cross: VI Lovers

Interesting or coincidental that the first two are both nines and then both tens.  Hmmm.

The Answer

You are very capable of making a comeback.  Look to trusted friends for advice, but when the decisions need to me made, take some time to yourself and trust your own gut.  You will have the most success working with a partner.

The Cards

X Swords

My Take*:  A Man cowers under a ring of swords.  He is currently repelling the swords but that situation could change at any time.  He is naked and hides his head. Vulnerable is the word that comes to mind.

The Card:  You have completely lost yourself in the ruminations of your conscious mind.  The chattering monkey mind has obscured your perspective and the ability to see clearly and you are no longer able to manage things productively.  The good news is that there is nowhere to go but out of this situation now.  This is the end of the road and now you are able to see new opportunities and the potential for growth.

X World

My Take:  This card always reminds me of the Wheel of Time.  How no matter what happens time keeps moving on, with or without us.  It represents all the possibilities of the Universe and it is all up to us whether we seize those opportunities or let them pass us by.

The Card:  This card represents the feeling that our fate is determined by some mechanical or cosmic machine.  But no matter how many things are out of our control, there are many many things that we can control.  We just have to look at these things in new and creative ways.  It can represent feeling helpless to your circumstances and most definitely means that change is coming, usually for the better.  We must remember the control that we do have in our lives and not let ourselves believe too strongly in the power of those things outside ourselves.  

IX Swords

My Take:  Afraid of the things that go bump in the night.  A woman lays, afraid.  The swords are all gathered in a point right above her head.  A tree reaches out like a claw.  These are the scary thoughts that run around in our heads.  Being afraid of everything whether it is real or not or should be scary or not.  Letting our thoughts cripple us.

The Card:  Anxiety caused by the trappings of the mind.  How we think about things effects our perception of the world around us.  If we expect bad things to happen then they usually will.

IX Hermit

My Take:  This card is about looking deep within ourselves for the answers to our questions.   It’s about removing ourselves from out surroundings in order to gain perspective on a situation.  

The Card:  Seclusion, meditation and removing of oneself to gain perspective.  Self imposed isolation and contemplation.   The lantern brings light into the farthest reaches of the mind.  Make sure that the isolation is for reflection and not simply to escape.

I Swords

My Take*:  An armored and winged woman is the hilt of this single sword.  Light radiates from behind the sword through a dappled cloud sky.  The tip of the sword runs through a golden triangle.  Ones are generally about new opportunities.   This card speaks to me of a renewal in strength.  The woman is ready to take flight like a regal bird, yet grounded by the golden triangle.

The Card:   A new idea or “Aha” moment.  A new  and clearer understanding of the world around us and our personal path.  Great opportunity for growth and change.

VI Lovers

My Take:   Intimate relationships.   Obtaining the ultimate closeness while still retaining your own identity.   

The Card:  Relationships, sharing of self, vulnerability, attraction of opposites.  All types of relationships are represented, not only love relationships.    Sharing of oneself can be frightening, but closeness and a breaking down of barriers can be achieved by being honest and up front.  Communication and understanding prevail. 

Reading Analysis

These three set reading tend to deal with past present and future and the first set seems to hold true with this.  I feel like the last year has been all about giving in and resigning to the situation so that I can finally see past all the anger and pain and fear and move on with my life in a more productive and genuine way.  It is time for me to break myself down and pick through all the pieces to determine who it is I really want to be.  This required getting rid of the negative influences in my life, renegotiating my boundaries and interactions with those closest to me and learning enough about myself to redefine who I am.  With this comes the ability to move forward in a new way that is very exciting and more than a bit scary.  

It is funny that they talked about the chattering monkeys.  My therapist referred to my constant ruminating as chattering monkeys as well.  A big part of this journey for me has been to differentiate between when the monkeys are working on something productive and when they are just being distracting and destructive.  I am working on this and also telling them that this isn’t productive and diverting them onto more productive paths.  It seems to be working quite well.  Really dealing with depression, anxiety, fear, chattering monkeys or whatever else is all the same.  You have to look it straight in the eye, accept it and recognize it for what it is, then simply move on with your day.  There is little you can do about your physical reactions or mental wanderings, but you can identify it correctly and chose to live your life anyway.  And eventually the thoughts and physical sensations begin to subside, at least that has been my experience.

For a while now, I have felt really out of control, like the world was spinning out of control around me.  The Wheel card represents that.  But now, I am taking back the control that I do have, by choosing the people who influence my life, facing my fears and slaying the dragons, as I like to say, as well as trying to reconcile, resolve and/or let go of the things that haunt me from my past.

The nine of swords and Hermit pairing make perfect sense for the present with anxiety brought on by the workings of my mind and my resulting self imposed isolation.  I have been going through a lot and have closed rank as a way to cope and work through everything.  Only recently have I really started to reach out again and am beginning to attempt to clear away some of the rubble.  

This is where the risk this reading addresses really comes into play.  In the future set we have the one of swords about new inspirations and opportunities paired with the lovers which deals with open and honest communication and relationships.  To me this means that new opportunities lie in my relationships with others and with open and honest communications, being comfortable with my vulnerability and recreating the important relationships in my life in an honest and meaningful way.   It also may mean that a new relationship in my life will be a rewarding risk.  

Overall an honest and encouraging reading.

 

* Please keep in mind that I am learning and this is a new deck of cards for me.  The “My Take” statements are my first impression based on just looking at the card.  It is very likely that the first time the card comes up they won’t be even remotely close.  Please don’t hold it against me.  “The Card” statements are more accurate and based on the meanings that are presented with the card.

Over the last few weeks I have been finding it hard to write.  It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, it is just that I have been in a pretty negative space and I wasn’t sure how comfortable I was sharing that, nor how much anyone would want to hear about it.  

Writing a personal blog like this gets a little tricky sometimes.   When you write about such personal things, you can’t help but feel a little vulnerable knowing that someone else is actually reading it let alone that people you know may be reading it as well.  I don’t want to limit my voice because I feel that being honest about the joys and struggles of my situation may help someone out there not to feel so isolated, and that means a lot to me.  But at the same time, I can’t help but worry about how my thoughts and statements might affect how others think of me.

I have been struggling with this, but when it comes down to it, this is my voice and my blog and mostly for my own personal use and growth anyway, so I need to get over that and if someone doesn’t like what they are reading then they can stop reading.

With that said, I’m moving on and continue reading at your own risk.