Posts tagged #wellness

How’s that Workin’ for Ya?

When I say “that” I mean my body. This winter I wasn't impressed with myself. My thought patterns over the past few months went something like this:

I didn’t dedicate my life to health and wholeness so I can read about it from my hospital bed. I picture being something more like a Jillian Michaels prototype, but I realize it doesn’t happen overnight...

Apparently, my vision for physical nirvana is not in line with so called reality. A four month string of ass-kicking flus, followed by the onset of pneumonia (I have a whole new respect for breathing now), is worrisome. What am I doing wrong?

I eat vegetables—even the weird ones. I connect with nature regularly. I smile at strangers. I take my vitamins. I eat organic. I never engage in fist fights. I meditate.

What’s the deal? Should I start donating organs?

Any time my confusion scale climbs above 10, I know what I need to do: reflect! Go deep as the fluid in my lungs.

What I discover is an unrealistic ideal that demands perfect functioning all the time. If I do this, you better perform—like the elephant balancing on the circus ball. Who says anyone has to  listen to me anyway? My body is doing what it does in the capacity that it has, under the present circumstances. In other words, what business is it of mine what my body does or doesn't do?

My job is to accept my body with compassion, openness and occasional mockery. Me and my body go way back, it can take a little friendly ribbing. In all seriousness, the key takeaways for me are (and perhaps you can relate):

  1. Sh*t happens.
    We break a bone, fall down the stairs, stub our toes, pull our back hauling groceries, give ourselves an accidental black eye walking into a doorframe (really? you should be more careful!)-the possibilities are endless. It’s nobody’s fault, you’re not being punished and you don’t have to go into a shame spiral because your body isn't working properly.
  2. Sh*t doesn’t happen.
    We try to run a marathon and end up walking then hitching a ride the last 15 miles, we go to the gym but never look like Jillian Michaels or we learn to ski but never get off the bunny hill. So what? Does it help to berate our body for betraying us or would it be more fun to lift a few 2 lbers in the living room and call it a day? The point is we deserve our own support and acceptance more than anyone!
  3. As is.
    We’re like the as is section in Ikea-all our dings, scratches, bent frames and mismatched drawers make us the beautiful beings that we are. If we can get to this point of love and acceptance, you can bet that our body will rise to the occasion. Think of a child learning to read—they’ll never become a super famous orator if you say: “Your grammar sucks! You're a train wreck!” But if you say: “I think you’re amazing. Whatever you do, I’ll love you with all my heart”. Just think what might happen then...

My health is improving and aside from the extra effort to take a deep breath, I’m ok. I told my body the other day to take it’s time with whatever it needs to do. I’ll be along for the ride and I promise no more scathing remarks, only a few brilliantly timed cheap shots to keep us on our toes. I wish you and your body a long and loving relationship!

Emotional Factory Settings

My life is upside down. If upside down means right side up that is.

In other words, my life is traveling speedily down a road I like to call “awesome”! Just flying down the open road with my hair blowing in the breeze…metaphorically for now, but I’m ready for actual windblown hair at any time! All is right with the world. Now let’s go back a couple of weeks.

My life was upside down. Upside down with no opposite talk, just upside down. I was not driving along the road called awesome, I was careening down the highway to hell (yes, I can hear AC/DC too).

The difference between an upside down life and an upside down life that’s really right side up is this: emotional factory settings.

These are your knee-jerk, spastic, unconscious responses to life that we’ve hopefully managed to meditate, downward dog, transmute and clear away—for the most part. Until we find ourselves under extreme pressure. The pressure could be happy experiences like moving to a seaside hut in Costa Rica with your devoted and sensitive poetry—writing warrior/lover or it could mean finding out your new boss is the person who relentlessly bullied you in high school. Pressure is pressure; both bring out our emotional factory settings.

Our body has slipped into such as state of stress that it must operate on factory settings. There is no extra energy or awareness available to act in a conscious way in every moment. You must know me well enough by now…I would never agree with that!

Of course you can turn things around! So, how do you reset back to your calm, conscious, customized Self?

Try these tips:

  1. Prevent emotional explosions. 
    I built up such a powder keg of nervous energy that when someone poked the bear...I was exploding all over the place. And all over the poor unsuspecting person in front of me. The key is to let out the nervous energy. If you feel tense go for a walk, go to the gym, yell into a pillow, hurl rocks into the water, run to a friend’s house or jump up and down. The real point is to release that nervous, pent up energy.
  2. Communicate your feelings. 
    This is a tough one for me so I’m not saying this lightly. If you feel an icky feeling in your gut—someone hurt your feelings or you felt cast aside-acknowledge those feelings. Try to name them and write them down or say it out loud. Then if you want to tell the person directly, do that. Maybe it’s just a matter of relaying the event to a friend. Remember to frame it in a way that the person you’re telling is a sounding board, not a gossiping partner. The key here is to release the emotion once it’s acknowledged.
  3. Relax yourself.
    Take a bath. Put lavender under your nostrils. Take rescue remedy. Go for a massage. Take a nap. Read a lighthearted book. Pet your animal. Gaze at a body of water or fire. Breathe deep cleansing breaths.
  4. Eat regularly. 
    Keep your energy steady in the body so that your blood sugar isn’t all over the place. Going long periods of time without eating only serves to throw your emotions, hormones and general calmness out of whack! Don’t go more than three hours without eating—even if it’s a snack. A handful of nuts, some crackers and humous or a piece of fruit with almond butter will do the trick.

Try these techniques to unplug the emotional factory settings doing you no good whatsoever, so that you can return to your evolved and customized settings—the real YOU!