“Fitting in is not belonging. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.  When we don’t have that, we shape-shift and turn into chameleons; we hustle for the worthiness we already possess.” ~ Brene Brown

It’s always this time of year that my favorite pair of jeans seems to start feeling “tight”, I am tired and trying to stay warm most of the time.  The few days of warmth and sunshine scattered about are like precious drops of an elusive elixir of life that never seems to be enough.  There is an abundance of high calorie, sugary, and fatty food around everywhere because of the holidays.  I’ve heard that we have this primal need to put on weight before the dark nights of winter are upon us.  Some type of primitive brain tells our bodies that “hey the food is going to be scarce soon so you’d better eat up and pack it on”  – but that primitive brain didn’t know about McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, buffets, and such.

Also due to the darkness being longer and less daylight I feel less inclined to exercise. I don’t like cold and don’t prefer to be out in it walking, even though I know its good for me.  I also seem to find excuses to not go to the gym or fitness classes.  Tiredness, fullness, and sluggishness set in – it’s winter!

Fitting into my jeans and staying fit has become a priority of late.  I am determined to make conscious choices rather than follow the herd and graze on the cookies, pies, breads and stuffing.   Similarly, I don’t have to follow the herd to “fit in” to any groups or with specific people.  I (and you) have the freedom to be yourself and be loved just as you are by friends, family, and coworkers.  Trying to fit into my tight jeans can be a struggle and uncomfortable.  The same is true for trying to fit myself into a group or with a specific person – it will make me uncomfortable.  The fitting in also squashes the real you and sometimes if you pack it down enough you lose yourself, and it is a long journey back.  It is in realizing that you deserve to be and will be loved and/or liked based on who you really are that is quite freeing.

F – Friends/Food – choose well your friends and what you will put into your body for nourishment.  Don’t think of it as denying yourself some precious commodity, but rather taking good care of you.

I – Intention – pay attention (thought) and make it your intention (action) to love people anyway, and love yourself.  Those who are meant to be in your life will stay and love you.  Also you can be sure that what you eat will accumulate in your cells, and either feed you or weigh you down.

T – Take – Take only what you need to nourish your body and soul.  Food is for us to live, so eat to live don’t live to eat.  Friends and family are there for us to help us grow, trust, and love – don’t take them for granted or misuse them.

So in the end it’s not about trying to fit into my jeans, it’s about feeling like I belong in them.  Sending all of you the love and light that is needed for today – Namaste’

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