A Mindful Moment: Letting the Light In

10 06 2013
Pete Kadushin

Pete Kadushin

Too often, we lack balance when it comes to seeing the things we’ve accomplished amidst the areas we could improve on.  I was once told, “It’s really hard to see the picture when you’re inside the frame”, and I think that it holds true for many folks and their time in the program.  It can be difficult to see ourselves accurately, but with a clear picture of how things are going, we are able to plan more effectively and save our energy for making change; when the picture starts to get fuzzy, the road forward also becomes less clear.

When you pause to take a look at your time in the program, it might be handy to think of a camera.  In order for a camera to get a good, in focus, photo, the camera lens has to let the right amount light to let in.  Too little, and the picture just looks like a bunch of shadows.  Too much, and the picture gets washed out.  And a lot like a camera, we have the ability to choose how much light we let in when taking a look at ourselves.

blackorwhite

Where do you you fall on this spectrum?

A quick example… on a day where overall you ate healthy, made sure to get some vegetables in during lunch, and got a workout in after work, many people I talk to choose to focus on the one thing that didn’t go well instead of all the healthy behaviors they did that day.  Maybe it was that you skipped breakfast, or had a sweet treat after dinner, but this one behavior tends to darken our self-portrait for the day, making it difficult to truly see how hard we are working and the success we’ve already had.

Don’t let your hard work go unnoticed!  To help let some light in, here is a simple activity you can try:

During your day, keep a record of all of the “little things” you’ve done correctly.  I’m talking about the stuff that usually goes unnoticed and unrewarded!  If you ate breakfast at the McD’s drive thru, but made sure to get apple slices on the side, write it down!  If you parked a little further from the door at the super market and walked an extra 100 yards, write it down!  You can use a paper and pencil, the notes section of your cell phone, or a dry erase marker on your bathroom mirror, it doesn’t matter as long as you keep track.

At the end of the day, look at your list and take a minute or two to reflect on the things you did well.  This works well because it gives us something concrete to look at when trying to brighten up our self-image.  Although the benefits of letting the light in can be apparent after a day, you may find that doing this for a week or longer really helps to build some positive momentum for your healthy lifestyle changes.

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