Jun 11, 2013

Kayaking Up Stream

I have just returned from a three day weekend in Las Vegas where I was teaching an art and writing workshop at Selah - an art salon in the Fremont district. I had a marvelous time with the six participants who joined the class and loved working with the women who own and operate Selah. If you're ever in the Las Vegas area looking for something creative and uplifting, please check out their workshop calendar!  Here are some photos from our class, where everyone created a self portrait:

This is my last full week in Utah before heading home to Dallas! The time has flown. I've been thrilled with the quiet, the open space and the time to be with my little family. It's such a boon to run away every summer, peel off the daily appointments, medical meetings and hassles and live each day for itself.

After my last post, where I was feeling defeated and generally lost at sea, I received a few poignant emails from friends and readers. One in particular offered a beautiful message. I don't think she'll mind if I post it here, because it will benefit you just as much as it benefited me.

"I'm thinking more about the general struggle of it all (weight loss, health, etc). Here's what I think: its like swimming upstream. You can do it for a while, but it is exhausting and overwhelming and never ending. And eventually you tire and get pushed back downstream. But I think there is another way. When I was a kid my dad taught me how to cross a river in a kayak. You don't paddle straight there, you aim your boat in a diagonal so that the current helps propel you across. I'm sure there's a term for it. This is sticking in my head as a good metaphor for what I am trying to do."

I love this idea of allowing the river to help propel you in the direction of your goal rather than risking a full capsize by steering directly in the direction of you goal. My life right now is such that I cannot give 100 percent of my attention to weight loss. This, however, doesn't mean that I can't make healthy choices as I move towards my goal.

I am juicing. I am walking. I am resting well. I am creating art. I am writing. I am working. I am mothering my children. I am cooking at home. I am traveling. And I am following three or four other dreams as well. Through all of this, my weight is holding steady. I am going to let the river help propel me forward. Like my brilliant friend wrote above - "there is another way" than steadfast focus on weight loss.

The "I Did It" List

taught an art and writing workshop 
painted a self portrait
sold some artwork
visited with dear friends who I haven't seen in years
went on a date with my mother and shared a bottle of wine
drank green juice most mornings
cut down on my coffee intake
ate some lovely fresh food
drank lots of water
took a long walk
took my son to swim lessons
had a casting meeting with an artistic director of a theater
answered some important emails
got a raise with one of my freelance writing jobs
helped someone else's baby fall asleep
hugged a bunch of people


Kristine Mitchell said...

Thank you so much for sharing the email. The message hits home here too. Love your list this week!

Karen Schlesinger said...

Sarah, You are such an inspiration! My husband has stage 4 cancer and is in hospice care right now. He would tell you, as I will, to be grateful for the life you have! Following your dreams, doing things that enrich your soul, moving toward a healthier lifestyle...there is nothing you have to be apologetic about. Your body may not be perfect, but you are certainly happy! That is worth everything!Keep up the great work!

morganmcclure said...

thank you for the kayak metaphor--lovely! proud of you for trusting your body and doing the work. xo

Loretta Fontaine (EcoHappy Blog) said...

Sarah- Congrats - that's a very, very long and wonderful I-DID-IT list!