As you may already know, I do like to "get my geek on" about improving health.
However - the study of stress - is over the top geeky! No wonder we all sort of know about it and know it's not healthy, but we don't GET IT enough to realize the crazy-bad impact of it!
It's easy to find a list of negative effects of stress, the reasons why you need to 'fix' it, AND the list of HOW TO get rid of it. But without the full story, no wonder we sort of gloss over it in our minds and in our lives.
So how can I share the BIG PICTURE for you? Hmmm...
Picture a tree. On top the branches split off into more branches, and more branches and then leaves ... at the center, it's one piece- the trunk - and then becomes tens of thousands- maybe millions of other smaller things. And, underground, the same thing with the roots - branching off into millions of tiny tentacles. And ALL of these things do their special part (which effectively are millions of other functional 'branches' - like taking in water, photosynthesis, etc)
So it is with stress.
On the outside, so many things contribute to stress: Physical environment - air and food toxins, demanding bosses or clients, the psychological effects of your childhood - the branches of stressors are huge and diverse.
Then, you look at the way your body responds and the patterns that are created in your body, and you have a whole root system of negative feedback systems and seemingly unrelated disorders. Everything from anxiety and depression to hormonal imbalances resulting in Gut Health issues - like IBS, food sensitivities and obesity, and chronic inflammation with creates everything from muscle soreness, to diabetes, chronic sinusitis, arthritis, and even MS! Crazy tangled roots!
If you're into advanced physiology - definitely look it up! The brain, the endocrine system, internal organs of all sorts are in on this game.
Otherwise, suffice it to say - YOUR STRESS IS NOT OK!
So right now, just take a deep breath - expanding your belly, expanding your rib cage, hold it for a few seconds and then release, slowly, pulling your belly in at the end to get every last drop of stale old air out. And repeat.
I'm one of those people who just can't get into a 'routine'.
It's not that I haven't tried to - like a billion times:
I'll stretch as soon as I get out of bed in the mornings.
I'll take a walk around the lake now that the weather is nice.
I'll make a meal plan for the week and then follow it.
But now, gently, I'm making my way into a few really sweet routines. And I'm trusting the process of how that goes rather than inflicting myself with how it 'should' look.
So far it looks like:
Oh - I have a minute, I'll do just the first part of my breathing exercises.
That felt good, I'll do a few more!
Maybe a quick Salutation to the moon.
I'm doing it, and it wasn't a big deal. EXCEPT that- it was a big deal, because now I feel so much better.
And tomorrow, I suppose, my resistance will come up again.
I won't 'should' myself.
And maybe I'll do just one breath....
)Those are some of the things on my mind and heart lately.
This morning I was pondering clarity, something that I have not always been very good at for myself. Like, knowing what you actually want so that you (I) can receive it. I can work towards it - consciously or subconciously, so that the universe can provide it, so that I can see where my next steps are (baby steps- that's a fabulous topic unto itself!).
One of the things that has held me back from clarity, is that I change my mind. I grow and evolve and what I wanted last year, or 5 years ago is not what I want today.
Part of the struggle for clarity that I see now, is around doing what I 'should' do (really - in my heart - i need to DO this - like the relentless struggle to help pets find homes with People Helping Pets), vs. things that would be more 'fun', and self serving, and which I get that feeling that I'm not qualified 'enough', or that no one really wants or needs this wisdom I have to share. - like whole-human self care - mind, body, and spirit.
On top of that - there the real longing to "do it all'! Because I do LOVE it all! Art, Saving pets, sharing my decades of health and happiness knowledge,...
At least I've gotten over 'doing it all' for everybody else, too! (although sometimes I still want to).
One of my favorite people in the world is Robert Holden - if you're not familiar with him, he is just full of YUM so do yourself a favor and take a peek. There's a great article HERE he wrote about Abundance where he points to clarity as a crucial element.
So here's what I'm choosing for now:
My focus for the next four months (at which time I will reevaluate) is on my Satori yoga program. It's so exciting because it is true yoga- including practices for mind, emotions, and spiritual connection- in addition to the physical stretching and bending that we all think of as yoga. It is an amazing gift!
I can also choose consciously to give some limited but powerful time to other things - like People Helping Pets and working on the house to make it a more wonderful sanctuary in which to rejuvenate and enjoy.
And there are the tools that help me choose my daily actions and refine my precious life.
Things I'm loving at the moment: