I’ve been feeling very “stuck” lately in many ways. In fact, what I call my “s” words seem to echo in my mind all day – stuck, stymied, stalled, stagnated. I'm lacking momentum and drive, I just can't seem to get anything done. One of my biggest issues is reaching a plateau in my weight loss – I succeeded in taking off around forty pounds, but found myself paying less and less attention to my daily calorie count. I knew I was cheating, I just couldn’t seem to stop it. I knew I’d lost my mojo, and felt like Little Bo Peep when she lost her sheep – I didn’t know where to find it!
Then it dawned on me that I’d lately been finding an inordinate amount of pennies. I remembered finding a lot right before I moved here six months ago. Why were they making a new appearance? I needed to revisit the messages that pennies bring us.
You can examine the symbolism of pennies in several ways. From a numerology perspective, the number one represents positive energy, independence, a sense of beginning something new. It also conveys purpose, clarity and focus, and carries the message to take action, in both the physical and mental realms. With this knowledge in mind, I began to see things more clearly. I just needed to get back on the proverbial wagon! I needed to refocus on the plan, begin again, be kind to myself, and hone my focus.
The coin aspect of the penny contains many meanings. The copper component corresponds to the radiant symbolism of the sun, and urges us to look at things with a fresh perspective, to incorporate bright, new ideas into our present paradigm of thinking. Abraham Lincoln orchestrated profound foundational changes in our country. As we look at his profile on the penny we need to ask ourselves about our own basic beliefs and constructs, and determine whether they need to be changed or modified. Are we holding to these beliefs, or do we need to renew our faith and commitment to them? Lincoln was famous for his honesty. Are deceptive actions playing a role in the problem? It’s clear to me that the weight won’t come off unless I refine the way I eat and try to add something to my exercise program. I need to look at the basic facts and stop estimating my caloric input, to quit rounding down total amounts or “forgetting” how many mini Snickers I had.
People tell me that finding a penny heads up signifies good luck, and heads down the opposite. Personally, I don’t put much emphasis on this, because I think both sides have valuable messages. The heads up side includes the phrase “In God We Trust”, and is a friendly reminder to re-examine trust issues. I must believe in my own ability to get the job done, and remind myself of other sources of help available to me. This includes my personal faith in a higher power. Ironically, even my acupuncturist reminded me of this crucial aspect of self-healing. The issue came up when I told him I wanted to recapture a sense of balance and peace that I felt a few months ago, and he wisely advised me that faith and trust in divine aid will help me reach any goal.
And the back of the penny reminds us, with “E Pluribus Unum”, that out of many can come one. I needed to tap into the power of the collective to support my personal efforts. All long-term weight loss studies show that the more support you have, the more likely it is that you'll achieve and sustain your intended result. And wouldn’t you know, I just happened to find an article from The Atlantic magazine, cited on the Daily Beast, dealing with weight loss and behavior modification in the age of the Internet. Bingo! There I found a new website, www.loseit.com, which includes – along with the usual calories in/calories out log – mechanisms for building an outside support structure for the individual subscriber. And membership is free!
So much inspiration from such a little object! I'm glad that pennies are still in circulation, and that I finally processed the significance of their presence. Maybe I can substitute some "p" words for the "s" ones - purpose, proceed, progress, plan. For now, I'm simply not focusing on their seeming insignificance; I'm choosing to acknowledge the power of the penny.