Ballast April, 2013. California
What if I put aside all my ideas about fashion and popularity, sexuality and attractiveness? Why would I want to lose weight then?
The Bird: “Why do you need to carry all those excess chunks of meat? Throw off the ballast, dear!”
Oh, yeah! The world is changing fast and I want to be able to live up to speed. I’m thinking of my Moscow driver, Sergey. He gets to destination fast, not because he speeds, but because of his quickness and his skill to change lanes on the highway. It is important for me to travel, to be energetic, lean. I started thinking if there was anything else that was unnecessary in my life that takes away my energy. Burdens me.
Ohohoh! There are so many unnecessary things in my life. How could I not notice them before? For example, my clothes and shoes. Why would I need a wardrobe like a clothes store? And Houses! We have beautiful houses in different countries. And a stylish, luxury dacha -log cabin in the forest. They take up so much time and money to maintain. In our family we have 10 people taking care of our realty. How awful! Those include monthly payments, meetings, everyday management. I remember how light it was when I was younger, when I didn’t have in mind so many things that I constantly had to take care of. I see myself now like a maintenance mechanism of this acquired wealth. No wonder I have absolutely no time, nor strength for creativity.
I have discussed with my husband what we could sell. What drains our strength away from new projects? We shall sell everything that we do not need. I feel a great relief just thinking of a great, big sell out of everything. Uphhh. There is something very young in this. As if it’s spring — snow melting, big heavy snowdrifts turning into streams and trickling down from shooting young grass.
I talked with my friends and we have decided to make a flea market sale of all my dresses. And we’ll donate the money a children’s home for training courses for children or personnel.
Losing weight, losing weight everywhere! Not only from my hips or bottom. No! Losing weight means to remove all the unnecessary accumulations.
I wonder, what if I take into account not only the material and measurable world? How else could I lose weight? What is still burdening me? What is too heavy for me to carry? What suppresses and loads me? Which relationships, responsibilities, roles?
This is a good, but complicated question for me. I go for a walk.
One by one, I start identifying which people/relationships take me a lot of energy; those relationships which rather burden me, than make me free. How can I change those relationships? How to rearrange them? Who will I be without this role of a teacher, or head of my wellness center, psychologist? If I remove those relationships, what will happen to me? What do I leave to myself after dropping off this ballast?
I get up and make several steps in my room, imagining that I am leaving those roles on the sofa. That I am walking towards that imaginary place that symbolizes my future. I walk slowly, keeping an eye on my feelings and any slight changes in my perception of space. My look becomes attentive as if it’s viewing a great perspective. I see the door and windows, the flowers in the pots, details of the foliage. I stop. This is a very open and attentive state. I am waiting. As if something has to enter my life by itself. I am simply waiting.
That’s it! I take with me my attentiveness and awareness. My knowledge of what is good for me and what I need at exactly that moment. Having thrown down the ballast of social roles that have had their day and have lost their nutritiousness, I take with me only what is mine. My skills of awareness, attentiveness and observation. This is the “bank account” that no one will take away from me and which is not affected by any economic crisis.
“This is mine!” -I say this out loud. “And this is all I need to keep. The rest may come and go.” I have tears in my eyes. It feels very deep and strong now.