How to be rich & thin with great hair

 

Self help books

100 Self Help books later

It started, as I guess it often does, with a life crisis.  My mother was diagnosed with cancer “ ‘serious’ cancer, the type with a poor prognosis.  I took three months off work to look after her following her surgery and had plenty of time, as well as the inclination, to consider what I was doing with my own life. 

Mid life crisis

Two things were clear to me: no one lives forever, and I was now playing a role that I had not chosen “ ‘carer’.  Is this who I was, who I wanted to be?  What were MY goals, what did I want out of life?  And I was turning 40 soon.  I had all the ingredients for a mid life crisis, but I was determined to rise to this challenge and I turned to … books.

French connection

It started innocently enough.  Despite my left wing leanings and bohemian inclinations,  I started reading  the Vogue and Harpers Bazaar, magazines I had disdained for clues as to what my next haircut should be, and somehow this led me to the idea that the French had all the answers.  Not just about hair, about EVERYTHING. 

Pandora’s box

I read my way through ‘French Women don’t get Fat’ and countless bios from women writing about how moving to Paris had changed their lives.   One thing leads to another, and soon I was also devouring tales from women from many walks of life on how they had lost weight and changed their lives.  I quickly moved from there to how to change your life through what you eat: Ayurveda, protein diets, food combining, vegetarianism, baking bread, giving up sugar, eating the right fats, eating local, growing your own food. Like the diets themselves, these books soon left me wanting more.  My trips to the library took me to shelves I never even glanced at previously “ where personal development meets spirituality and that is where the trouble really started!

Zen monks to backpacking 

Buddhism, Christianity,  Zen, Quakerism,  Atheism, Humanism.  Meditation, yoga, human evolution. I’ve read Eckhart and Deepak, and ‘old school’ material like ‘7 Habits of Effective People’. From downsizing and voluntary simplicity to career planning and being the perfect employee. Enneagram, Myers Briggs, habit breaking tricks.  Philosophy, Astrology, Romanticism. Even economics, architecture, urban design and global warming  “ to understand the world I live in! I’ve read biographies of people who’ve become Zen monks, lived on remote South Pacific islands, cycled through Japan, backpacked China and cooked their way around India.

New and improved!

So what have I learnt?  Am I richer, thinner, healthier with a better hairstyle?  Am I calm, centred with a great career? Well, yes and no!  I am a little bit thinner, but my health is the same.  My hair –  a boring bob I have to admit!  My career? “ well I’m still in the same job, but I have enrolled in a part time degree and for the first time in my life actually have a career goal.  I will claim to be more centered “ most days!  A regular yoga practice has helped.  I have a better understanding of living in the ‘now’.  I am trying to have less attachment to outcomes and more attachment to my values and principles and I’m starting to appreciate where my ‘circle of influence’ lies. 

Making it happen

The big step of course is to move beyond the reading and into action!  I ran a charity fundraiser at my work for a cause I believe in “ hard work for an introvert!  I’ve enrolled to study, and re-affirmed my commitment to my role as a mum and a carer “ but the good news is, Mum is well.  She had another serious battle with a secondary cancer, but she’s had 12 months of good health.

Most of all, I’ve learnt to count my blessings, one of which is having a great local library!

Holly Humphrey

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Authors Website: http://omigoddess.com.au

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