If you’re at a BBQ in August, alcohol and buffalo sauce put you in danger of road rage.
I mentioned this last week and said it was a lesson in mindfulness. Too often, we bumble through the seasons, paying little or no mind to them. OK, we jump on snowmobiles, eat soups, and switch to winter tires from December-March. We love pumpkin lattes, apple festivals, and pullover sweaters in the fall. We increase our intake of greens and outside activities in the spring. We socialize more in the summer and enjoy outdoor activities. But why?
In late December, I shared some of my winter goals with you:
- An updated online version of my Transformation 101 course with added features,
- A NEW online course called Elements of Ayurveda,
- A WEALTH of NEW live classes at local Adult Ed locations,
- Creating a healthy eating guide for you,
- Writing a book on the metaphors found in Nature
… and even more. I asked about your #1 struggle—the most common answers were focusing on nutrition and being more mindful.
I have those same desires and struggles. Your top 2 ways to succeed are
- being mindful and
- being flexible
So far this winter, I’ve launched nada of the above projects. The dates keep getting moved back, despite spending December planning them and reviewing them weekly. Some things are out of my control and I’ve learned to accept it and push forward, regardless. I’m 3-weeks behind schedule.
- My online Transformation 101 course is on hold because of computer problems,
- My Elements of Ayurveda is on hold because of a website issue,
- I haven’t started the final edit of my upcoming courses with local RSU’s,
- I’m still perfecting the best format for a healthy eating guide,
- My book on the metaphors in nature hasn’t begun.
But I’m mindful and flexible. I know living in unison with my environment keeps me healthy, both mentally and physically.
3 ways I find the balance:
- Balance my senses. Because I’m prone to anxiety, I meditate daily. I have breathing practices to combat unwelcome emotions. I keep my skin nourished daily with organic salves and massage oils. I adjust eating/tasting to keep that “winter weight” at bay. I burn incense frequently and use my massage oils in a diffuser. I listen to classical or ambient music, especially when driving on our wet, slippery roads in the winter (last year seemed so much easier despite having 10x the amount of snow!). I take time daily to watch obsess over the red and gray squirrels, the birds, and the 2 family of deer.This all leads to peace of mind and pushing ahead with my goals, despite setbacks. Unify mind, body, & spirit. I won’t find balance rushing through projects just to check them off my goal list. I’ve adjusted every aspect of my sensory input to make sure I’m serving my higher purpose.
- Being congruent with my core beliefs. I know what’s best for me and I know my tendencies. I’m not always good at finishing projects—I get bored after a few weeks and miss the initial challenge new projects bring. I also know this tendency makes me feel I should “do what it takes” to finish a project, even if it means it not being perfect. Sometimes this is OK, but not always. I know when to opt for progress not perfection.I know I can work on the next scheduled project. I know I’m creative and can find a work-around to system issues… I’ve had a lifetime of practice making do with what I had. Though I never appreciated it until recently, this has been one of the greatest gifts the Universe gave me.I know my passion is to serve and give others the most current, accurate research I can find. Compromising my integrity for the sake of finishing a project isn’t in the realm of possibility. There’s a whole year ahead and if I have to move things around a bit, I’ll delay as needed.
- How we move in this world. I drive slower this winter because of the slick environment. It doesn’t matter if someone in a large truck gets upset—I’m in my comfort zone, listening to music that keeps me relaxed.
I eat slowly and only when hungry. I’ve learned fasting in the northern winters doesn’t feel natural. The process of eating heats your body and being cool from a fast isn’t a wise option in 10-degree weather. I know what foods and drinks keep me in or out of balance. Be it excess coffee or more highly processed foods, none of us are immune to the power these substances hold.Some days I fall asleep by 8, reading a Nancy Drew mystery. (It’s dated and not the best writing… it is fiction, fun, and allows my mind to rest. I’d love to read books that would enhance my knowledge 24/7, but that’s not ideal for sleep).
I’ve learned I need to be out more, despite a deep longing to spend an entire winter indoors writing and researching. “The Shining” and “Secret Window” have an allure to many of us, especially us introverts. I also know how those stories end and understand the psychological aspect of not being in public. Humans are a nomadic, social animal. We need a community so I force myself out of the house several times a week.
I stretch every 50 minutes and walk, regardless of the weather or if someone is joining me. I have a very physical job that relieved a great deal of stress—we’re off for the winter months and not being active has surprisingly increased my stress level. I don’t get “the rush” many people get from exercise, so I never understood the need for physical exertion until this year. I balance my “cabin fever” by constantly stretching or dancing around the house, especially when I’m cooking.
Balance creates health. The human body constantly strives for homeostasis. Pain of any kind is not a part of growing old. It’s a signal your body sends so you make changes.
The older I get, the healthier I get. It’s a goal I set in my late 20s, after losing both of my parents and grandfather.
P.S. Stay tuned for an explanation on how that BBQ creates road rage! I didn’t forget to explain HOW…