With the second major hurricane bearing down on our country, it really gives us pause to be grateful. Whether we are in the storm or not, it’s a reflection on that fact that all of us need help sometimes. Hopefully it doesn’t involve rushing water and life endangering saves, but none-the-less, we are all human, and I do not believe we were designed to operate as islands.
Power and strength comes with community. People pulling for each other. The energy is contagious. If you’ve ever been on the sidelines of a sporting event or finish line, you know what I mean. The air is so heightened, it’s nearly electric. You can feel the pulse of excitement, a rush through the crowd. You want success! You want it for everyone!! So much so, you’re on the edge of your seat, you’re jumping up and down, clapping your hands, holding your breath.
The crowd wouldn’t be the same if everyone stood around looking depressed. If people just shuffled by with no real interest, the scene becomes muted.
What makes a community? Lots of things, but one key ingredient is people’s willingness to participate. When you think of the word “community,” you can’t help but to define it as a group of people with common interests, working towards something together. It’s a sense of partnership, comradery, helpfulness. Having support is a key element in success.
Giving back is a pillar in life that many of us seem to ignore. Not because we don’t want to help, per se. It’s not because we aren’t good people. It’s because helping takes time. It takes energy. Often, it takes money. In our everyday world, we often lack part, or all, of these things. Helping or volunteering can take us out of our comfort zone. When someone asks for a favor, it may not be what you want to do. You immediately begin to think of how inconvenient it all is to you.
No one is saying you need to help everyone all the time. But everyone should help someone or something some of the time. It’s necessary to evolve as human beings. It helps with personal growth, development, feeling connected to something larger in this world.
Interestingly, the same uncomfortableness happens when you make a lifestyle change. It’s sorta like doing a favor for your body. It takes you out of your comfort zone. It can be pretty inconvenient. And, it can take time, energy, and money. Funny how that all works.
For those of us that volunteer, after a bit of time, it just becomes what we do. It’s part of our lives, our schedule. Same with taking care of yourself. It’s just your lifestyle. Ever look back at a time in your life when it seemed like a million things were happening at once, and you wonder how on earth you fit it all in?? Well, you did. And, importantly, you survived! The same is true when you starting on a lifestyle journey. After some time, it’s just what you do! You don’t have to make special plans. It all just happens.
Just like any community, it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. A lifestyle change is hard! You don’t need to tackle it alone! Find support in friends, family, a gym, a trainer, a support group, a doctor. Anyone who will positively influence you and create that positive din surrounding your life! We all need cheerleaders!
I challenge you to consider what’s important in your life. Give to others and give to yourself. Do your body a favor like you would any person that asks for help. Saying “yes” to someone in need should be an easy decision. Say “yes” to what your body is asking of you as well.
When is the last time you created something?
It might not be your thing to bust out the glue sticks and scissors and get into some arts and crafts but along the lines of wellness it's very important to create and allow yourself time to be creative. I get lost in the store all the time, wandering up and down aisles just daydreaming, it doesn't even matter what store it is I am really not biased. My Pinterest is titled "living life one pin at a time". I have legitimately only accomplished a dozen or so things on my Pinterest boards but I am actively working on them one at a time.
You don't have to be a chef or an interior decorator to actually enjoy creating something...you could seriously put pictures in a book, or clean a section of your house and organize yourself, you might even be digitally inclined to make something along the lines of 3D animation or be a routine blogger, or maybe you like to decorate for the holidays. Whatever it is that makes you get lost wandering for hours is where you will find your passion.
I challenge you this week to purposely spend time saturated in doing something that makes you dream during the day! If you need inspiration and you sincerely don't know where to begin, go take a walk in AC Moore. You will be exposed to so many hobbies there that you are bound to find something that reminds you how to have fun with a project again and get creative. It's so good for your soul to make things.
Homework Assignment: step 1: get creative step 2: post your creative adventures and #aspirewellnessnow
You don't need to workout all the time and be fit to get well. Sometimes the most healthy looking people in the room are struggling for balance and fun in their lives...everyone can feel well through creativity so lets see your examples this week!
I was at a music concert this weekend. Well, I was actually at 2. One on Friday night and one on Sunday night. I really love music. At least the music I like to listen to. J I really enjoy a good beat and I can appreciate the skill it takes to play music. I started playing flute when I was in fourth grade. But beyond the music I listen to, are the lyrics I hear.
There are a great many songs that I could listen to over and over again. And sometimes I’m really struck when a song resonates with me. Or a particular lyric in a song. I do sometimes think it’s funny when I have been singing a song for a while and finally the meaning of the lyric makes sense to me. Perhaps it’s related to the spot in my life I’m currently living and has new meaning to me. This happened the other night at the concert.
Standing on the lawn at the venue, I’m listening to Daughtry sing a great song. “Life After You”. There was a certain part of the song that when I heard it that night, I had that sentimental feeling and I just heard it in a different way. The lyrics were: “All that I’m after is a life full of laughter, as long as I’m laughing with you. And I think that all that still matters is love ever after. After the life we’ve been through.” I’ve heard this song and sang this song a lot of times, but that night, I was meant to hear it differently.
I would say that since I’ve opened up Aspire Wellness, I’ve spent a lot of time at work and getting things ready at work, and developing projects. I haven’t spent as much time at home and therefore, I haven’t spent as much time with my husband. And even though I will see him when I get home at night, I miss spending time with him the way we used to. I think when I heard those lyrics that night, I thought about missing him, as it was just me and my best friend at the concert. But it made me remember what’s important about our relationship too. I like to think I’m funny and I love to hear him laugh. I sometimes get the feeling that we’re “all business”. Talking about the bills and work to be done, what our schedules are like the next day, who is going to let the dog out tomorrow, while we have the time to talk to each other.
We get so caught up in the ins and outs of everyday life and caught up in the chores, that we don’t always leave a bunch of time for fun. At the concert that night, it made me feel…almost sad. Like I had “forgotten” about the things or people in my life that really matter. Honestly, the chores, like washing the dishes, will be there later. But this opportunity to enjoy a life full of laughter might not always be there. Or maybe not with the people I cherish. I’m realizing that my life needs more balance and I need to work harder to achieve that balance.
I’m betting that I’m not the only person who gets caught up in the daily things in life we try to accomplish. It sometimes feels like a race to try to get everything crossed off your list. And then what? You’re free? Or perhaps you add more to your to do list. It’s ok to take the time to inject some love and laughter into your day. It might not take more than a minute to appreciate whatever it is that makes you laugh.
So that’s what I did last night. Took those couple seconds to be silly with my husband to make him chuckle. It’s great to see him smile. We’ve had quite the interesting life together. And there have been a lot of health concerns, so hearing him laugh and him knowing I love him really is priceless.
Balance is a hard thing to keep in check. At least for me. I think it’s easy to become engrossed in work and the daily responsibilities. I don’t want that to be my pattern. So maybe I can let those lyrics run through my head often to remind me of the balance I need.
“All that I’m after is a life full of laughter, as long as I’m laughing with you. And I think that all that still matters is love ever after. After the life we’ve been through.” -- Daughtry
It’s odd how this life works. People come, people go. Some stay longer than others. Some leave a profound impact on your life. Others you’d swat away like a fly on a hot July afternoon. Sometimes the imprint someone leaves on your life is positive, sometimes it’s not.
I’m one to believe that every person comes into your life for one reason or another. Perhaps not to be long lasting or life shattering in their presence, but yet always a reason for your paths to cross. Every meeting is an experience, something to learn from, and something to value.
I found out last night that my first high school coach passed away the other day. I read the facebook post in shock, tearing up at the news. As I mentioned…. It’s interesting how this life works. I lost touch with Coach years ago. In fact, he was only my coach for one softball season. One. In my whole young adult career of playing the game, one season is a blip on the map. But, not this one.
I was a freshman in high school. I was “pretty good” at the game. I mean, who’s really good in middle school anyway?? I knew I loved to play, and that was enough for me to work hard. But, freshman year forever changed more than just my ability to play the game. I was changed forever.
I knew nothing about high school ball. The season began, and all players of all levels practiced together for the first week of the season. I went to a very small school, and assumed, like all freshman, I’d make JV, play for a year or two, then eventually earn a seat on the Varsity bench. I showed up every day and I practiced.
I learned a lot in that first week. Techniques I never knew. Skills that started to click. It was fun! But, I was one in the crowd, taking it all in. I will never forget the last practice of that week. Coach pulled me aside before announcing line ups. He told me there was a spot open on the Varity team. Short stop. And the job was all mine.
I was blown away. For those of you that don’t follow baseball, short stop is a big deal in the infield. On our team, the short stop “ran” the game. Always had to know the ball count, always had to announce where the next plays were to be made, had to cover second and third, was the one that had to have a loud mouth and communicate encouragement, feedback, moves. The job was all mine. As a freshman.
To say I felt intimidated was an understatement. I was one of two freshman to make the cut. The other was my best bud, a very talented pitcher. I felt I brought much less to the plate than she did (no pun intended). I just worked the infield!
I loved every second of my freshman year softball season. I learned so much about the game… but, more so, I learned so much about myself. You see, Coach just had a way of getting it out of you. He would push and push and shove and get emotional and push some more. People used to say he was crazy, and he probably was. Throwing his arms around, yelling at third base, lecturing the team about getting it together. But, in hindsight, the criticizers are always the people afraid of working hard to see what could come out the other end if they did.
He forced me out of my comfort zone, I think for the first time in my life. He expected more from me. Always more. And he wasn’t afraid to demand it. He coached with passion, with enthusiasm, with such a love for his players and the game. He had goals – State Championship. Keep your eye on the prize. Work, hard, earn your spot, then work harder to keep your spot.
Somedays I hated him. Really hated him. Who was this crazy guy and why was I jumping through hoops for him?? To this day, I’m honestly not sure. I honestly don’t know what separated him from any other coach or teacher, but he got to “me.” Down to the core, he lit me up, drove me to the edge just to show me that it wasn’t the edge at all. Showed me that hard work does, in fact, lead to results. I learned I could dig deep, and just when I felt like I was tapped out, there was more to uncover.
I owe a lot to you, Coach. As a freshman in high school, you unleashed a beast inside of me that has yet to be stopped. You were the one that told me I could do anything. Anything. Just do it. Right now. If you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk. Play the part. Do the work. Results will follow. And they do.
I only got to play for Coach for one season, then I moved and changed schools. But, it was one hell of a year. We made States. I played every game. I was named a top all-state shortstop in New Jersey. I was the MVP of the year.
I was humbled by the experience. If only all young people got to experience the likes of Coach, I imagine the world would be a very different place. In just one short season, just a few months out of my whole life, changed how I approach the world.
Rest in peace, my friend. I hope you know just how many lives you’ve touched, and how yours seemed to end too soon. Till I see you on the other side, I’m going to keep crashing through walls, just like you taught me. You made me a better person – a person that lives passionately. Thank you for showing me who I really am.
Raise your hand if you are new to a vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free lifestyle...
I am sure that you've noticed a lot of restaurants do not accommodate such a lifestyle. As I find myself on a quick weekend away realizing that along with my husband and I two of our three kids are gluten free and one is also an aspiring vegan the question is often "Where do we eat?". Well we finally hit gold in that department and I feel inspired to share with you the delight of eating in a Greek restaurant...literally any Greek restaurant, we have never been disappointed!
Being a chef I have a lot of food memories, but I will never forget the very first time I had a lamb gyro. I was just 9 years old, and my cousins were here visiting from Germany for part of the summer. We were downtown in Philadelphia and my aunt gave my cousin Phillip (10 years old at the time) and I money and told us to meet her back at that spot at 1PM (we were late). Phillip brought me right to this place with fluorescent flashing lights and a man standing behind the counter with the hairiest arms I had ever seen. I was so nervous, my mom wasn't nearly as daring as my aunt. My mom would have lost it if she knew my aunt let us loose in the gallery and somehow we ended up in reading terminal market with no adult supervision.
As Phillip ordered he told assured me I would love it. He told me I was eating chicken with cucumber salad and mayo in a wrap...he was close but I knew something was up! When we were finished he says with the biggest grin "did you like it?", my answer was obviously yes, I loved it! He then filled me in that I had just eaten lamb for the first time and tzatziki sauce. I was truly in love! No surprise that to this day we both still have a deep a passion for good food!
While my love for Greek was born such a long time ago, like any true love it has grown deeper over time. In every Greek restaurant they label the menu so you can clearly see vegan, dairy free and gluten free options. Their love of food shines in every dish and it's always based on fresh whole ingredients. So as you can imagine the first thing we do is look for Greek restaurants to eat in whenever we travel. I promise you won't be disappointed if you try it for yourself. Shout out to www.zorbascafe.com/ for dinner tonight and thanks in advance for lunch tomorrow!
This month, I have had the opportunity to get back out on the hiking trail. More specifically, the Appalachian Trail. Before this month, we hadn’t been hiking since September. Wow, almost a year! While it generally seems like time flies, in this case, it felt every bit of 10 months since I had hiked. My body surely felt it and I was glad we had decided to “ease” back in with a 6.8 mile hike. If you can call that easing….
So, as you likely know, I opened a new business this past year with 2 other ladies and the amount of work has been, at times, overwhelming. I have spent a lot of time creating and designing and working with Clients that I started to kinda forget what it was like to do something for me. To take time to think, to relax, and not be working. The trail is a place that can do that for me.
There was a day that we decided to just take the time to pull out the calendar and pick a couple days to schedule in some day hikes and a couple of weekend hikes as well. I’m a pretty task oriented person, so when I schedule something, I rarely cancel it or schedule over it. If hiking is on the calendar for July 2, then I’m hiking that day. So I knew that if we took the time to schedule out some hikes, we would make that our plan.
I think there are a couple things that happen during the time that I’m hiking. I feel a bit more free than usual. I love being outdoors. There is a peace I feel with nature, and the trees, and the sun (when it’s out). Being able to see the sky, and the clouds, and the twigs, and leaves, I feel contentment. I love having my best friend to hike with and the 2 puppies that come along as well. They might love hiking even more than I do! It’s a time to re-balance for me. I’m doing something good for myself, not just my body but my soul as well.
Hiking is also one of the times I choose not to see any wildlife and they don’t see me. That is one of the mantras I spend a portion of the hike repeating. Sometimes silently, just in my head, and sometimes out loud, especially when I hear the groundcover rustle. It has served me well, as I haven’t had a wildlife experience to date. Happy to report that.
We could easily go to a local trail to go hiking. But now that we have set foot upon the Appalachian Trail, I really have that desire to see how much of the trail we can do. It’s like a challenge. I like challenges! The Appalachian Trail from beginning to end has about 2178.3 miles. Our first 3.5 day overnight backpacking hike was a total of 40.6 miles. That was a rough 1st outing. Fast forwarding to this month, we have done 2 separate day hikes for a total of 15.3 miles so far this month! Not like our first hike but still a good amount, and the day hiking with a lighter day pack is more enticing these days. ;) I think it has become less about the amount of miles we can cover in a day or a trip. The experience and the way I feel has become more important. Doesn’t mean I’m not keeping track of the amount of miles completed….cause I am. All 109.9 miles.
In comparison to how much of the trail there if left to do, it might seem like a small about completed. But I like to look at it as a victory. I’ve done something that huge populations of people have not done. But besides that, I have enjoyed my time spent hiking. Well, most of the time. Maybe not when we have a 2000 foot incline in a distance of a half mile. ;) Those climbs are tough. These are personal accomplishments for me and I’m grateful that I have the ability to go hiking and to experience nature the way that I do. I can’t wait to hit the trail again!
Last week I decided I needed to conduct an experiment… on myself. I struggle a lot with my weight. I also have pretty extensive body image issues. It’s not anything I particularly care to talk about, mostly because I just get upset. I do a lot of self-blaming, shaming, negative talk. None of it gets me anywhere, and I know this.
Truthfully, in more recent times, I’ve gotten better about not beating myself up constantly for being where I am. I understand there is a life lesson tucked in here, and I also understand that I will continue to repeat the same “mistakes” until I’ve mastered what it is I should be learning. Ahhh, always the student…
Not long ago, I would have written off that last paragraph as total hogwash. I’m happy to say that I’ve evolved as a spiritual begin, and, while I can be content with this Zen line of thought most of the time, I still have frustration. Lots of frustration.
Something is not quite right in my body. I know it. I can feel it. I really wish that the chemical disconnect would jump right out at me and pronounce itself “broken” or in need of maintenance [CM1] or something to clue me in as to where to focus and what to fix. I wait, but still no. It’s still a mystery waiting to be solved.
I feel like there are lots of reasons I can attest my frustrations to: I have PCOS, Epstein Barr, Lymes Disease. I seem to have sensitivity to all kinds of foods, packaging, chemicals, and medications. I have autoimmune conditions. Candida, parasites, whatever other gross stuff you can think of, I’ve had it. I’m a new mom. I own a business. The list goes on and on.
But, when I sit back and think about it, I’ve managed my PCOS for years, keeping my weight under control. I know plenty of thin people with Epstein Barr and Lymes disease. I eat well most of the time. I watch portions. I cook at home. I only drink water and coffee. I rarely drink alcohol, I don’t smoke, I don’t eat fast food, I do not drink soda or juices, I mostly avoid bread and grains, I eat balanced meals, I order salads at restaurant, and I often pass on dessert. I’m far from perfect, but in the realm of eaters, I’m pretty darn good. I also exercise. I challenge myself. I put in the time.
So what’s the deal?? I’ve long ago concluded, it’s more than just what you eat. It cannot be calories in, calories out. No way. I’ve tried modifying and changing what goes into my body for a long time, and no combo really seems to lend me lasting success.
I take solace in what I consider a consolation prize – I do the work. I make the right choices. Success will surely follow. I’m on the right path. Obviously, I could be on the very wrong path and moving backwards into negative health rapidly.
So, what’s my deal?? What am I missing? Ahhhh….the light bulb moment. That one thing that gets me every single time.
Stress. I don’t ever deal with the stress. I am a very high stress individual. I run on high octane all the time. Push to the max, don’t take many breaks, days off are for slackers, see how much I can squeeze into every moment just to be disappointed that more appears on my “to do” list. I wake up with anxiety. My brain is always spinning. (PS – don’t be like me. This is not an endorsement or role model behavior!)
I try all kinds of stuff: massage, yoga, meditation, sauna, walking. And, I’m fairly consistent. Once a week, once a month. So that should be fixing it right??
Wrong. I’m not sure why I decided that 1 hour once a week or once a month was sufficient enough to manage my high stress life. Who made up that rule?? I did. It’s a dumb rule. I always hear, you need a few minutes every day. Yeah, ok. Where am I finding a few minutes? Where am creating a few minutes? Get up earlier (this can actually cause more stress), go to bed later (now I’m just giving up sleep), eliminate something from my day (what??).
So, last week I had the epiphany that once a week to manage my stress was not enough. It just isn’t. So, I decided to conduct an experiment. See, normally, I poo – poo the idea of stress. Whatever. You just have to deal with it! That’s life! Stop complaining and just get on with it! Less talking, more action.
But… what if the message I’m missing is to slow down? What if I will never get my health under control without fixing the stress? What if I don’t, in fact, have to work HARDER and strategize more… what if I have to work LESS?
What can I do to manage my stress? Well, a huge portion of my business revolves around the float pod. What’s a float pod? It’s a super cool tank that looks like a pea pod, filled with 800 pounds of Epsom salt and water. It’s warmed to 94 degrees. It has fun meditation music and LED lights. It’s simply amazing. Amazing. It has so many positive health benefits. People drive a good distance just to try it! The best part about the pod, is that once inside, you’re in there for 45 minutes to an hour. No cell phone, no distractions. You’re just floating.
How often do I use it? Once a week. Maybe, if that. Why? Because I’m busy.
This is ridiculous. My business invested in this awesome piece of equipment and I barely use it for myself?? People get out of the pod claiming it’s the most relaxed they have ever felt in their whole LIFE! Why am I not the most relaxed I’ve ever felt after a session? Probably because I’m more messed up, more intense, and more anxious than the average person. Simply put, perhaps I just need MORE of it.
Last week I decided I needed to conduct an experiment. Float pod every day for a week and record the results. Maybe it will do nothing at all and I will finish the week as stressed as I began, but it doesn’t hurt to test out my theory, so here goes:
Day 1 – Sunday. I was going to start my experiment 2 days ago, but every day I can’t find time to get started. I’m starting today! I don’t work on Sunday, so it’s the perfect time to get into a new routine. I floated for 45 min. Feeling pretty good, much like I do after any float session I’ve tried. Although, I’m stressing (of course) on figuring out how to schedule this damn experiment into the rest of my week. I sat down with the calendar and wrote it in for every single day. Let’s see if I can stick to it!
Day 2 – Monday. I made it into the pod again today! 45 minutes. I think I fell asleep. First time I’ve been in there and made it the entire 45 minutes without stressing about the time or wondering anxiously what time it is and how long I’ve in there for. I feel pretty darn good after today session. Noticeably more relaxed than yesterday.
Day 3 – Tuesday. I love Tuesday’s. I don’t have any clients and my day is much more “relaxed” in my schedule. It doesn’t affect my never ending “to do” list, but still…I woke up today feeling much more rested than I have in a pretty long time. But my back was pretty sore. Did I tell you about my back? Two Sunday’s ago, I hurt my back. I really don’t know what happened but it’s been pretty painful ever since. Had two chiro adjustments last week, and one planned for today. After today’s session, I was SORE and very uncomfortable. Wow. Standing, sitting. It all hurt. I couldn’t wait to get to the Pod. I pretty much crawled in. After 45 minutes, my back is significantly improved. Whew.
Day 4 – Wednesday. Back is still hurting. Still sleeping better. I think I feel less frantic, but sometimes I’m not sure. I’m realizing that I fall asleep during my float, and I now enjoy nap time. It feels sneaky because no one knows I’m actually sleeping. :)
Day 5 – Thursday. I only got in 30 minutes of floating today. Figured that was okay, and better than not getting it in at all. I floated before my chiro adjustment, and I think it helped! I am noticing bubbles coming from my neck while floating. It’s a weird feeling, like I’m a carbonated drink, releasing fizz. It’s not my ears – I’ve been focusing on it intently to see the origination point. I think they are from behind my head, back of my neck. I hopeful it’s my lymph system opening up.
Well, in all honestly, my weight hasn’t changed much in this experiment so far. But, I feel like I am finally reaching a deeper level of muscle relaxation. Recalling there are several layers of tension, it has to be peeled back, like an onion. It’s going to take 5 days to get a little deeper and peel back years of tense muscles! How long till I’m actually relaxed??
Perhaps I had too high an expectation of one week of floats, but it was an eye opening (not while in the salt water J) experience. On one hand, I’m actually feeling just how tight I really am. I’m also recognizing that reducing stress takes effort and planning; it’s not just going to magically work its way into my life unless I put it in purposefully. This experiment also got my mind going on other strategies on when to incorporate floating into my life. Stay tuned…
This is something I hear a lot. It’s probably something I SAY a lot, too. It’s clearly an expression of our frustration with the hand we’ve most recently been dealt. Bigger, better, more pressing things are on our plate. No time for “this!”
There’s lots of things I don’t have time for. Traffic. Lines. Waiting on hold. Verizon’s customer service (My own personal pet peeve. Hey, it’s my blog! I can say that!). But, these mundane examples aside, I feel like I hear it and say it often when it applies to health related topics – my health, to be more specific.
Sometimes it’s about finding time to workout. Or cook a healthy dinner. Or about getting sick. Or getting hurt. Definitely no time for any of this!
I often feel like this when it comes to being chronically ill. It’s exhausting some days. My body feels crappy, my joints hurt, my head feels like it’s in a fog machine. I really, really don’t have time for this.
But, when I back up a second… what do I have time for? Work. Cleaning my house. Commuting. Chores. Paying bills. Playing on facebook. Watching Netflix… None of that includes time for my body to heal.
When you break it down, when you’re sick/injured/feeling less than your normal self, it’s a clear message your body needs time to recoup. It is, in fact, exactly what you should have time for. It’s a time to put a lot of the other stuff aside and focus on getting well. It should be where you are funneling most of your energy, not diverting the depleted resources you have by pushing yourself to keep the same (or as close to it as possible), pace you have when you are well.
I wonder why we feel so much pressure to just keep pushing through and plodding along? Perhaps it’s the idea that so much work will pile up while we rest that we would just rather tackle it all while sick than deal with the mountain that has grown in the meantime. Maybe it’s that we don’t want to disappoint other people and we feel like we need to keep meeting their expectations. Maybe it’s the idea that we don’t meet our own expectations. Or we enjoy the challenge of pushing through, as if it’s a victory to get to the other side without appearing to miss a beat. Or we feel like others will perceive us as weak, lazy, replaceable. Or is it our fear of being weak, lazy, or replaceable and we are then motivated to keep going to outrun that idea. What it comes down to is that we make the “stuff we do” more important than it really is; we make the “stuff we do” more important than ourselves.
Our health is really all we have in this whole world. It’s a cliché phrase tossed around a lot, but seriously – if you were stripped of all material goods, what’s left? You, your body, your soul. Nothing more, nothing less. Exactly as you entered this world. All the rest of the “stuff” we busy ourselves with is just that – stuff. Work, career, money, material objects. None of it really means anything at all without your body.
It’s crazy how we’ve prioritized all these other things in our lives rather than put the focus the one thing that really runs the ship. So, I challenge you to change your thinking. You DO have time for this! If you’re battling something large it may be ALL you have time for. Give your body a chance to be a player. The team is only as strong as the weakest link. If all the stuff you juggle is your team, it’s not a good plan to have your body as the weakest link. Not getting too far without a good coach.
You must figure out how to make YOU important! You have to have time to fit into your own life, with your health being the foundation upon which everything else is built.
Lots of words get thrown around when you think of wellness…healthy, holistic, youthful, exercise, diet…etc. I often get hung up on the idea of wellness being physical…but it’s so much more than how you look!
It’s easy to catch yourself in a mirror and begin to pick yourself apart for physical appearances alone. Why is it that we don’t look in the mirror and say to ourselves that we are amazing? Why aren’t we concerned about our emotional health? Why is it alright for us to tear ourselves down? Imagine you have a daughter and she comes home from school and says to you that someone told her “those jeans make you look like a real fat ass!”. What would you say to her? Would you encourage her and tell her she’s beautiful and strong and not to worry about what other people think? Would you secretly think to yourself, “Well that kid is no prize, why are you worrying about what they think?”. So why are you the one looking in the mirror saying those things to yourself and how did you get into that habit anyway?
Wellness despite popular opinion does not just mean healthy and free of disease, it’s multi-dimensional! It refers to a well state being in all facets of your life, emotionally, physically, spiritually, occupationally socially, and intellectually! There’s no cookie cutter to being well because what works for one will certainly not work for all! What have you done for your overall wellness lately? Do you have any habits you want to kick? Do you find yourself wishing that your life felt more care free?
My rules for wellness are pretty general because you will have to tweak certain things to fit your scenario…start following these and guarantee you will feel a shift in your life!
That title about sums it up. Yep, it’s been a bad week. I mean a knock-down, take the wind out of my sails, kind of week. I really have no words to describe the trauma of the past seven days. Life changing events that you wish you never lived through, and you hope you never have to again. Plus, I had the flu.
I’m not going to dive into the terribleness that was this week. Reliving it is defeating. Talking about it isn’t ‘therapy,’ and hanging onto the vivid memories of it just makes me feel bad. While I know it’s in our human nature to oddly want to know the depressing details about the lives of others, I’m going to take the higher road and explore this week from a helicopter perspective.
When it rains, it pours. Sure does. Life sometimes just seems to slam you from all directions, all at once. One blow after another. “C’mon!! Pick on someone else for a while!” are the words screaming in my head. I also then go through periods of stomping my feet, like a child having a tantrum. “Why? Why me! Why! I don’t deserve this!” Then comes the sad, “feeling sorry for myself” stage. And, WHY so often does the sky come falling down just as soon as you begin a “new”, positive routine or habit?? Happens all the time! I feel like the Universe is mocking me at times!
You know. You’ve been there. Where the constant string of crap just never seems to end. Where you hesitate to pick up the phone, check your email, or look outside because surely the next crazy thing is waiting to pop out from around the next corner and trip you up. Where you’d much rather just build a blanket fort and crawl inside.
What’s amazing to me is that the healthy routine I’ve worked so hard to build often seems to go down the tubes during these times. It’s amazing to me because, why does something I value, do every day, and feel so invested in, just slip away in any moment of chaos or crisis. That, in and of itself, seems deflating. Because once the clouds clear, there I am, starting “all over” again.
Well, “all over” is quite dramatic. It’s really just restarting the same good habits and routine I had prior to the s*&t show that seemed to recently overcome my life. But, why does it seem to take some much effort? And, why do I so easily let my normal routine fall apart? How does negativity so easily breed more negativity? It takes so much power to build yourself up, and one little tiny pin prick to have it all crash down sometimes.
I suppose that’s the journey of life we are all on. Ups and down, rollercoaster. My good habits aren’t far away. They are just at arm’s reach right now. But, as the clouds clear, it is up to me to pull those habits in closer and to get back to business.
We call that relapse. It’s actually even part of the curriculum I teach in my community college personal trainer course. What we teach is so true – relapse isn’t a “bad” word. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just means you’re off course for the moment. As a Trainer, I wouldn’t think to judge a client that relapses. It’s actually pretty common. So, while it’s no one’s job to judge another, in the same respect, I have to stop beating myself up for relapsing as well.
No one is perfect. In this type of job (well, I guess in a lot of professions), we try hard to be positive role models, live clean lives, and appear to have it all figured out. We don’t. We are people, too. Relapse happens. But, it’s hard to live in that bubble of having it all figured out because it’s not reality. I think it’s more genuine and real to be honest with people, show your true self, and let people see transparently that life is not perfect. No one has it all figured out, we all fall off the wagon, take breaks… relapse.
The secret to relapse is ending it. The sooner the better. Stay in touch with yourself. Check in with how you are feeling, and acknowledge that today may not be the day you’re pulling up your bootstraps, but that you’re going to have to do it soon. Very soon. As in tomorrow. Even if tomorrow doesn’t pan out to be a complete relapse reversal, it’s a start of getting back to your true self. Congratulate yourself on everything you’re doing RIGHT, even if seems silly (btw: it’s not silly at all, and even if it was, being silly is fun and we all need a bit more fun in our lives :).
Let’s be honest, that positive routine you had before the s$%t show struck is the “real” you. It’s okay to lose touch now and again. Just check in with yourself, have the hard conversations, and I’m betting you’ll be back on track pretty soon. It’s when we let the s$%t show spiral, that we – as in our health – also spirals. Then it’s a hell of a mess to clean up.
So, I had the conversation with myself today. Tomorrow is the beginning of a new week. The bad week is behind me. Back to the normal me. Life goes on. I, once again, remember why I chose the healthy track. It’s a daily reminder, but personally, I hate cleaning up s%^t, so the sooner I’m back on track, the better!