“The ox is slow but the earth is patient.” Dad, via Confucius

Sometimes I stop and realize how much I have evolved over time. How quickly I forget life before the change or the times I fall back into old patterns only to, as my yoga teacher constantly said, “begin again.”

Fifteen years ago I lost a year of my life to depression. I was overweight and in terrible shape from self-medicating with junk food, fast food, cigarettes, TV binges and alcohol. With help from a friend and my mother I was able to find a therapist that prescribed anti-depressants. Once I could get off of the couch and had some energy, I began working with a life coach who helped me address the issues that triggered my shut down and begin to imagine and rebuild the life I wanted. It was not easy. I remember it took me a year to rebuild my life as I had alienated or shut out so many people and quit living while I was in my dark hole. I continue to use what I learned from the life coach to check in with myself and to keep having and chasing new dreams and joys.

This morning as I made my breakfast and lunch to take to work, I caught a glimpse of that version of me. She would not be interested in any of the food I was assembling nor would she have done the movement or meditation I had completed earlier. She could not imagine how good it feels to not smoke. She did not understand the correlation between the amount she drank, the crap she ate, the little she moved and the pain it compounded. She did not understand how the process of introspection and self-love brings healing.

What strikes me is how at the beginning change is a struggle and how, in retrospect, it quickly becomes normal. As I look over the last 15, five and last years, I have to really focus to remember what was happening at that time to remember what and how I have changed. It is like I forgot what brought me here. As time passes it becomes easy to gloss over what was.

I often think of my life as an onion; I peel off an outer layer only to uncover another layer. I like to think that the very last, inner part is enlightenment. I don’t know if I will make it there, but maybe the peeling is more than a process. Maybe it is the purpose.

25 thoughts on “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

  1. Lib Bain says:

    Oh this is incredibly beautiful!! What a wonderful way to being my prayer /meditation time! I love you !!

    Liberty A thick and shapeless tree-trunk would never believe that it could become a statue, admired as a miracle of sculpture, and would never submit itself to the chisel of the sculptor, who sees by her genius what she can make of it. (St. Ignatius).


    Liked by 2 people

  2. shoreacres says:

    It’s interesting. It wasn’t introspection that radically changed my life, but beginning to live in the world rather than inside my head. While making a choice for manual labor over academia and other so-called ‘respectable’ occupations was both dramatic and perplexing when seen from the outside, the inside changes it wrought were even more substantial.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eilene Lyon says:

    So many choose to remain in the grip of all the negative things in life. Kudos to you for getting the help and finding the self-motivation you needed to bring your inner light to life. Very inspirational!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Debbie says:

    Good for you, Sarah!! Change rarely is easy, but sometimes it’s truly necessary. Maybe for our peace of mind, maybe for our health. It takes a strong person to recognize that changes are necessary and then to do the work to bring about those changes. Thanks for sharing your story!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Art of the Beat says:

    Keep on peeling! Cheers to you and all that you have been through and have shared with us.
    By the way, quitting smoking was probably one of the hardest things I have done, it took 30 years to stop. Congrats on quitting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • Art of the Beat says:

        Oh my! That takes some skill to ride and smoke. You are right, though, I had to focus that smoking energy into other things…probably why I got more into photography as my hands were free for other things.


  6. MariaTeresa says:

    Beautifully honest and openly present Sarah. May we all continue to peel the layers of life’s onion to reveal our truth, our authentic voice and Divine essense. I can relate to so much of what you shared here with battles of anxiety and depression and the commitment to change. Feeling into and through each experience, each lesson, we give ourselves the opportunity to be the people we truly are. Much love to you my friend ❤


  7. Robin says:

    This is a beautiful read. I’ve been through similar changes throughout the past 20 years (quit smoking, quit drinking, started peeling those layers and working with those patterns/samskaras). It is quite a journey, isn’t it?


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