The Positive Thinker – Resolutions

positiveI wanted to do an update on how I’ve been doing post-op, but I’m going to wait until the official 3 month marker which is on 1/22. I will only say that the wound is healing. I still have to wear a steri-strip on the wound to keep it closed. The body has been rejecting the stitches, so the only thing really keeping the wound closed is the steri-strip…but that’s for a later post. I’ll share photos and stories of the people I’ve encountered along the way since the surgery. I really couldn’t believe how many people I encountered post-op that had a similar surgery and were dealing with what life is like post-op. But that story is for later this month…

Instead today I’d like to talk more about resolutions.  It’s a topic many like to read about this time of year.  People want to know what people have resolved to do and how they’re doing…and how they can accomplish their own goals.

One thing I resolved to do this year was to write in a journal so I can work out what has been going on inside of me.  I could write out my goals in life, my resolutions, keep track of how I’m doing with certain resolutions, and work out how to succeed in basically everything I set out to do for myself…in other words, that journal is my game plan for the new adventure I’m embarking upon.

I was watching a couple of episodes from Oprah’s Lifeclass over the weekend.  One class featured Pastor Joel Osteen.  He was talking about life affirmations and how we should change our way of thinking to a more positive mindset in order to call into our lives more positive things.  His message is very similar to Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret.”

As I listened to the Lifeclass I had to kind of laugh to myself.  When God told me to go back to the beginning, this is just another example of what he was talking about.

Back in 2007, I was standing at a crossroads in life.  My grandfather had told me to get on my path in life.  He told me I was once on that path, but something happened to me and I got off that path.  He said he felt like it had something to do with that boy.

He was talking about Kevin.  In 2007, I wasn’t ready to talk about Kevin.  {Kevin was my best friend that committed suicide 2 weeks before my high school graduation.}  I brushed those words to the side.  So my grandfather asked me what I wanted to do with my life.  I told him I wanted to be a writer, a hockey writer at that.  I wanted to be a writer traveling the world writing about the things I had seen and the people I had met.  He told me to just do that then.

A month later, he died.  Two weeks after that, my new path began.

I was offered my first hockey column writing for a publication in Vancouver, Canada.  Two weeks after that, my friend handed me a copy of Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret” and my whole world changed.  That book led to “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho, and then “Synchronicity” by Carl Jung, and many more books.

I left my job and took 6 months off from working.  I went back to the work force in March 2008.  When I went looking for a new job, I had a list of what I wanted out of a new employer.  I wanted to work less hours, but get paid more.  I wanted better healthcare and amazing people to work with and around.  I wanted better benefits.  I wanted the dream jobs of dream jobs when it came to money and benefits.  I found just that.

The one phrase I had written down on what I wanted: I wanted to have MORE THAN ENOUGH.

I got just that.

A month after starting the new job, I found a Meditation Center that made me feel for once like I had found the answer I was searching for.  After searching for so long, I found out that I wasn’t searching for God.  I always knew God.  I was just looking for others that agreed with me.  If God’s talking to you, and you know he is, it’s hard to be in a society or a church that says God doesn’t speak to us.

I felt like I had been lied to by the church…that’s why I went searching for God.  He was always there…and he led me to the Meditation Center filled with people that knew God the way I knew God.  I finally found a place where I belonged.

Around the same time, I was told that I had been credentialed in by the New Jersey Devils for Inside Hockey (I had joined IH in December 2007, leaving Orato.com just shortly after my editor had left).  To me, it was like telling me hell had frozen over.  NJD is the hardest team in the league to be credentialed into and for some reason they had credentialed me in.  They were creating a new kind of history that day…I was the first 100% web-based media person to ever set foot into a NHL press box.

Of course, I didn’t know about any of that history in the making stuff until someone from the NHL told me about it when I was covering the exhibition games in Prague (Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers).  One of the most memorable moments was hearing Rick Peckham (TBL broadcaster) tell me, “It is an honor to be a part of your history in the making.”

A lot of my journey was completely surreal.

The funny thing about my first complete rookie season in 2008, I started the season off having a surgery in October.  That first time, it was a complete mess.  I was in so much pain.  I had so many problems.  I was at doctor’s offices constantly trying to figure out what had happened to me and why I had problems with my left lung.

In 2008, I wasn’t allowed to workout…I haven’t been cleared to workout since 2008.

While everything was so surreal and amazing when it came to my career, I was suffering in other parts of my life.

Going back to the beginning, I must have lost sight of those positive affirmations on who I was to become.  After I got what I asked for, I just focused on doing those things without creating new dreams or focusing on the dreams I already had and making those dreams come true.  I let that positive aspect of life drop from my every being because I was hit with a negative…my health.

Going back to the beginning, the constant life lesson God keeps sending me to, I see how important “The Secret” and positive life affirmations are.  It’s about creating a positive karmic balance around you.  Remaining positive internally and externally is what brings every single dream you can dream up into your very existence.

This time around, starting over again, I started off this season with a surgery in October, like the first time.  This time, the results were positive.  I made sure to work only with doctors that made me want to live, not a doctor that said shit to me every single time she saw me.  I mean, that doctor from 2008 really made me feel like shit every single time I sat in her office.

This time around I focused on working with doctors who cared about me and wanted to get me through this.  They were all smiling and very positive.  The first person I remember seeing when I woke up was my surgeon smiling, telling me how great everything was.  She was right…everything was great and still continues to be.

This repeat in life, something is going right this time.  The surgery turned out perfectly, as well as the post-op.

In a couple of weeks, I will officially be cleared to workout for the first time since 2008.  Everything (especially the blood tests) says I can workout again, but with precautions.

I’m getting ready to join a very expensive club in NYC.  I interviewed several clubs these past few months.  I decided to go with the club where I can golf, swim, rock climb, do ballet, yoga, etc. I can perfect my golf game.  I can workout with the limitations I’ve been given (no feet pounding workouts).  The locker room is so clean, you could probably eat off the floor (not that I would recommend it…but you get my point on the cleanliness).

The most important feature are the clientele.  The people that workout here have said that the experience there has been very positive.  After a class, people are very friendly and nice.  Even the instructors will talk to you after the class.  In other words, the atmosphere is very friendly.  Very rare find in NYC.

This place…this is where the athletes go to perfect their game.  I think being surrounded by athletes will help inspire me to push myself forward, despite my limitations.  There will be no body shaming here.  I’d rather have an amazing body working out in front of me so that it will inspire me to keep on pushing forward.  If they could do it, so can I.

We all start somewhere.  For me, I haven’t been cleared to workout since 2008.  That was 6 years ago.  It was difficult for me to accept what the doctor was telling me back then.  I mean, I put in a lot of work in the gym over the years.  That was a huge thing for me.  Now, I’m just looking forward to how it will be good to return to some normalcy again.

In 2008, that’s when things were beginning. Some things went horribly wrong, other things went amazingly right.

In 2014, I’m a little more cautious with each step I take. I’m not just stumbling through life letting life happen to me.  This time I’m asking myself if each step I take is remaining true to myself and who I am.

I’m not walking into a health club with the goal of losing weight or firming up.  I’m walking in there because I get to return to being ME again.  I’m not self-shaming myself in the mirror.  I quit doing that after the surgery.  I took one look at myself and asked myself what I had done…and then reminded myself that this was just a circumstance of the past.  It was not going to be the present or my future.  When the doctor says it’s okay, I’m going back to being the person I loved about myself…someone who is proud to be healthy.

This time around, I remind myself that the only part about me that needs to be beautiful is my soul.  That was the most important lesson I learned when I was in Morocco.  It’s not about what’s on the outside, it’s what’s in your soul that radiates your beauty.  What’s on the outside will always change.  It will never remain perfect.  It will always change.  One day you have a head full of lustrous hair.  The next day it could be dry, dead, dull or hell…you could even be bald!

Your once perfect skin will draw laugh lines around your eyes and mouth.  Your skin will sag in areas.  Your breasts will stop being as firm as they were in your 20s.  Your body changes, but your soul…that will always be beautiful if you constantly work to improve upon it.  Inner beauty lasts throughout your entire lifetime.  It is better to be judged by the beauty of your soul, not the temporary beauty on the outside.  You want people to love you for your soul, not for what you look like on the outside.  If you’re ugly on the inside, how can you expect others to find you beautiful?  There is a lot of truth to the moniker, ‘It’s what’s on the inside that counts, not what’s on the outside.’

I think the most difficult part about returning to working out is that I have to start from the beginning.  This is 6 years of being told I can’t do more than 20 minutes of leisurely walking.  Now that I get to do more, there’s that initial fear of the ‘what happened before’ to the ‘I know what I used to be.’  To combat that ‘what happened before,’ my progress is being monitored by doctors.  I go in for a blood test next month to make sure I’m still okay.  After that, I’m not due back until July for the overall physical.

For the ‘what I used to be,’ I have to remind myself that I am not what I used to be.  I never will be again.  I was younger then.  It was pre-cancer and pre-surgeries.  It was before my world view changed about my life and the world around us.  Back then, I did it to be thin or athletic…or because I thought it would get some guy to like me.

Now, I just do it because I want to have a healthy life.  I do it because if I don’t, osteoporosis will set in sooner.  I have 8 years before the true test begins.  That tumor took a lot of calcium from my bones.  I can’t imagine still being young with brittle bones on top of everything else.

I think about being old with a broken hip because of osteoporosis.  How am I going to enjoy retirement if I’m laid up in bed the majority of my life?  It’s not the way I envision the adventure ahead, so that means I need to take action now and take each step in the right direction.

Going back to the beginning is about looking at the way I did things before and taking the positive things in the previous journey and applying it to the journey that lies ahead.  I know I’m currently at a crossroads in life.  I could go either direction.  But I acknowledge there’s a foundation I need to work upon…ME.  I need to create my solid foundation…ME…in order to prepare myself for the journey that lies ahead.  There’s a lot of thought that goes into that journey ahead, from being physically ready for it, to being mentally ready for it, and being financially ready for it.  There are a lot of things that are going into this adventure and that’s why I’m working on building up that stronghouse to prepare me for what lies ahead as I embark down whichever path I choose.

If I’m in it for the long haul, I need to truly be ready for it.  One of those tools I’m taking with me on this journey is the power of positive thinking.  You have to live a positive life in order to have amazing things happen in it.  If you think negatively all of the time, you fail.  You call into your universe everything that requires you to fail.  If you change your mindset, you change your life.  It can go either way.  If we want a great life, we have to think great things from here on out.

Think positive.

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