Forget Stress, Let’s Have Fun

Have you noticed an increase in your stress levels lately? I feel like everyone I talk to lately (myself included, yes, I talk to myself) has been under extra stress lately. I know, I know, Mercury is in Retrograde, so most of our lives have turned into 3-ring circuses with too many monkeys.

This was supposed to be a post advocating for meditation during stressful times like these. It was just a real slog to write. I absolutely believe in the one two punch of meditation and exercise to beat stress. Good stuff!

But you know what? Sometimes the only cure for high stress is having a little bit of fun. Life’s too short to be serious all the time.

So for my fun for the day, I’m going to sing and dance my heart out to my current favorite song. We’re talking total abandon, good thing nobody’s watching, all in. Take that, Mercury Retrograde!

What about you? How do you want to have a bit of fun today?

 

 

 

 

 

My Disembodied Body

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. -Khalil Gibran Remember last week when I wrote out a conversation between “me” and “my hip”? My hip was hurting on a recent run, and before accepting the pain and modifying my activity I disowned a piece of my own body. I do that […]

Show Some Love

The weather in Chicago has gone bananas today (big shock, right?) and I took a restorative yoga class this morning, so I’m in an introspective mood right now.

Have you seen the news ad campaign Whole Foods Market* put out recently? There’s one that I stop and stare at every time I walk past it:

Treat your body like it belongs to someone you love

That simple phrase gets right to the heart of much of the work I’ve been doing and writing about.

For so many years I asked demanded so much from my body, and gave so little back in return. My self-care routine for my first five years of massage practice was eating “healthy” (lots of convenience food, which was all-natural, but still), getting a massage once a month or so, and riding my bike. I had no creative pursuits outside of my profession, and I spent tons of time sitting on my couch and watching T.V.

I want to be very careful to be clear right now, none of that made me a bad person, and it doesn’t mean I deserved the injury I sustained. For my body, that just wasn’t enough. I wasn’t allowing myself as much self-care as I needed and deserved.

That’s why I love that ad so much. What all of my adventuring the past two years has boiled down to is this: I am showing my body that I love it. Slowly, day by day, I am learning to thrive.


*In the interest of full disclosure, my spouse is an employee of Whole Foods Market. They did not pay me to write this and I’m pretty sure I would love this campaign just as much if my household had no affiliation with the store whatsoever.

 

New Year’s Resolve

Happy 2015, everyone! I hope you all feel as optimistic as I do about the year ahead!

Did you make any resolutions for 2015? I tried to think of some, but I wasn’t able to come up with anything that felt resolution-y enough.* What I ended up with instead was a sense of pride about the strong foundation I put down in 2014.  I really changed the way I prioritized my time and feel like I accomplished a great deal of improvement in my day to day quality of life. My plan for 2015 is to keep refining and building on that.

I’ll leave you with a link to my favorite post of mine from 2014 (actually it’s my all-time favorite so far): Radical Self-Care

Have a great start to the year!


*Okay, I will admit to having a massive weakness for sweets, especially in the past couple of years. I want 2015 to be the year I get the sugar monkey off my back.

 

Discipline and More Discipline

This post could potentially be subtitled, “Don’t do what Margaret did”, or maybe just, “Oops”.

I was talking with a client recently about how regimented we need to be about self-care. Has this ever happened to you? I had started to feel much better recently; I felt stronger, I had more energy, and my sleep had really improved. So I started to get a little bit lazy about my self-care. I would skip my nighttime meditation one day, skip my walk another, and I did a pretty poor job with my diet.

Then came the wrist flare-up. It wasn’t nearly as bad as a couple of them have been, but it didn’t respond to my go-to treatments. For about a week I just had to grit my teeth and live with it. It definitely brought home to me that for all my hard work so far, I’m still in a transitional period- my body still needs to build reserves. So it’s back to being regimented with my efforts. In fact, I’m actually experimenting with a couple of new radical self-care ideas.

There’s a bit of a silver lining to this tale of woe; I find that I’m not discouraged by this. It’s kind of fun to try to think up new ways to treat myself better. Plus, once I got back on track I seem to be recovering pretty quickly. That’s definitely a sign of progress in my book.

To my fellow adventurers, keep up the good work!

New Blog Title

After my last post* I realized that it was time to change the direction of this blog somewhat. I started it originally on the advice of my business mentor with two goals in mind: to improve my written communication skills, and to establish my authority and credentials in the massage profession. Both are worthy goals to be sure, but lately my heart hasn’t been in them and the blog has reflected that.

Instead of trying to present my book- and class-gained knowledge to friends, colleagues, and clients; I’d like to write more about my life credentials. Specifically my life credentials around pain. Because I have a lot of life experience with pain- I’ve been in pain of some sort for as long as I can remember. The wrist is really just the tip of the iceberg (though it is a sharp, pointy tip when it flares up). Rather than trying to mask this challenge from the world, I’d like to be open about it. Pain, especially chronic pain, is disempowering; I’m hoping to take some of that power back by writing honestly about my experiences trying to heal from chronic pain.

“Adventuring Toward Wellness” is the spirit I want to bring to my life, massage practice, and readers. I’m attempting to change own life on a fundamental level, and I’m doing that with as much joie de vivre as I can muster. That’s something that I’d like to share with clients and readers as well.

My compassion and empathy toward pain are well developed, because my strongest knowledge comes from living with it. Why hide that fact from all but a select number of people? I’ll embrace it instead and see where this adventure takes me.


*Yesterday’s practice in radical self-care: instead of going to the store to buy a few things I wanted for my business (note I did not say needed) I chose to go outside with a cup of chamomile & peppermint tea and a book. I spent that hour reading in the shade of a tree on the little grass strip behind my apartment building. I was so refreshed after that, I think I inspired one of my neighbors to do that same.