For years I have felt a sense of dis-ease within myself. I struggled with weight gain, dissatisfaction with my body image and discomfort with hormonal changes. Keeping up with my peers in yoga class was difficult, so just stopped going. I felt tired or restless most of the time, but couldn’t sleep well at night. There was no energy for creativity or self care with the demands of raising children, working and other responsibilities. I was emotionally exhausted, physically limited and spiritually drained.
I wanted to reboot my body, mind and spirit but wasn’t sure where to start.
I turned to self-help books on wellness, therapy and bodywork. I met with a fitness trainer, a spiritual director and a nutritionist. There were too many experts sharing advice on how to be healthy, but most of those ideas did not seem to work for me on a long term basis. During a six week unplanned sabbatical following surgery, I finally had a chance to slow down and listen to my inner wisdom. I began to trust that I could make wise choices with the tools I collected over the years, but this time, I listened to how my body, mind and spirit responded to the combination of those tools. I made a commitment to self care based on my own inner wisdom. I began the slow healing journey back to optimal health and well-being.
Self Care begins with an awareness of what you need for your own well-being.
Self care is a commitment to YOU first. That is the most important step on your wellness journey. Self care means paying attention to your body, mind and spirit on a regular basis and trusting that you know on some deep level what you need for your own well-being.
Most of us have tried a variety of approaches to wellness. When one area of our life gets in balance, another area seems to fall apart. That’s because we focus only on one area at a time, such as our physical body or our emotional response or a spiritual practice. We forget to look at the whole picture of wellness. Your body, mind and spirit are interconnected and need to be addressed as a whole. You can take charge of your own health and find simple ways to start on the road to better health by addressing all these areas simultaneously. Everything is connected. You have choices. It’s time to bring your whole self back into balance and listen to your inner wisdom.
As I work with clients on their overall wellness, I have found that there are a variety of resources to balance the body, mind and spirit. I want to share some of these self care techniques with you on a regular basis through my wellness newsletter and blog. You get to choose the ones that work best for where you are right now in your quest for wellness. The important thing is to start with the easy things that can help you take those first few steps towards health and wellness.
I recently discovered SoulPancake, thanks to my younger son. Their motto is “We make stuff that matters.” They have a variety of videos on their website which are funny and heart-warming. Talk about spreading optimism! If you haven’t heard of SoulPancake, check out these links!
I was already familiar with Kid President’s delightful videos. That’s the cute kid who dresses up like a president and gives inspiring pep talks. One of his most recent videos is a History of Awesome Girls Rap. Look at all those amazing girls he packs in that song!
SoulPancake does all sorts of fun experiments. Imagine two total strangers becoming new friends in a ball pit in the middle of the sidewalk. Or a bus stop disco surprise! They certainly know how to make people smile!
Why do I like this website so much? Is it just the humor and the way they get total strangers smiling? Or is it the deeper concept of “stuff that matters” like gratitude and compliments and kitten therapy?
I’ve been thinking about the things that matter to me. As I started to make my list, I discovered the things that matter to me had to do with balance. Being balanced is not about finding the middle road and keeping things static. Life is full of change and the tensions of opposites. Things come and go. We experience highs and lows. When we learn to be present in the moment and hold all of it as one big experience, we become more balanced. (Of course, learning when to say YES and NO helps too.) Here are some things that matter to me:
- Balance of body, mind and spirit. This is my biggest passion, because it brings together many parts of my life and training.
- Nature. This is where I get re-charged. I love the seasons and watching the wildlife on our property. I want to do my part by living a sustainable lifestyle when possible. But I am not ready to live a rustic life or go on an extended camping trip. I like the comforts of my bed, a full kitchen for cooking, flush toilets and warm showers.
- Silence and Music. These two things may seem opposites, but both help me to be focused, energized and inspired. Sometimes I need the inner silence in order to “hear” what is going on in the outside world around me. And sometimes I need the outer experience of music to touch me at the inner soul level.
- Solitude and Relationships. I love connecting with others in meaningful conversations or doing fun things together. I also need my alone time to recharge. The best days are when I have a mixture of both.
- Whole brain living. I enjoy my right brain creative moments. I enjoy reading and organizing information in left brain ways. The older I get, the more I learn to integrate these two sides into a whole-brain way of living and experiencing life.
- Purpose. Every phase of life seems to add another layer to my life quest. Having a purpose helps me get out of bed every day and keeps me engaged in many activities. This purpose with a small “p” could be my goals or a To Do list. These things help keep me focused in my daily living. But what I really mean is Purpose with a capital “P”. A reason for being here on this planet. A soul purpose. We’re all trying to figure that out on some level. What difference do I want to make in this world?
That is a beginning list of some things that matter to me. What is the “stuff that matters” to you?
The Liebster Award is an award by bloggers, for bloggers. The word “Liebster” has German origins and could be defined as: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, or welcome. While this award has some aspects of a chain letter, it is intended to encourage newer bloggers and “pay it forward” by introducing favorite bloggers to a wider audience. If the recipient chooses to accept the award, we all benefit from learning about their favorite blogs plus a few fun facts about them.
I have been nominated for this award by a new friend whom I met through an online blogging group. I hope you will check out her fascinating blog and ask for some book recommendations from the Book-Dr(dot)com. Thank you Caroline!
As an award winner I answer questions asked by Caroline, then nominate 10 bloggers I admire for an award. If they choose to accept the award, they then answer my questions and nominate 10 of their favorite bloggers. Remember, it is a way to introduce you to my favorite bloggers, so I hope you will check out their links below.
Here are the rules for my nominees:
- Link back and recognize the blogger who nominated me (thanks Caroline!).
- Answer 10 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
- Nominate 10 inspirational bloggers for the award.
- Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
- Notify your nominees
Caroline asked me these questions. How would you answer these same questions?
- What are you reading now? (Of course The Book-Dr would ask that question!) As usual, I am reading multiple books. I am almost finished with The Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault. I also started The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible by Charles Eisenstein and am re-reading Soul Return: Integrating Body, Psyche & Spirit by Aminah Raheem for an Acupressure course I took last weekend.
- Who is the author that has had the biggest impact on your life? My initial choices for this question were between Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way), Sue Monk Kidd (When the Heart Waits), Brené Brown (Daring Greatly), Paula D’arcy and Richard Rohr. However, I would have to say Dr. Fritz Smith (the founder of Zero Balancing) and his book Alchemy of Touch: Moving Towards Mastery Through the Lens of Zero Balancing has has the most profound impact on my life.
- Do you ever re-read books? Occasionally. What’s one that you loved just as much the second time? Etiology: How to Detect Disease in Your Energy Field Before It Manifests in Your Body by Christina L. Ross has been one I returned to multiple times these past two years. I also loved The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred by Phil Cousineau. I recommend it for anyone going on a journey to a destination you have longed to visit.
- What’s your favorite afternoon snack? Roasted Walnuts, Pecans and Almonds (Roast a variety of nuts or seeds at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, cool and store in airtight containers.)
- What is your favorite pen (or pencil)? I am loving my Zebra Sarasa Gel pens in various colors!
- If you could take any vacation in the next year, all expenses paid, where would you go and with whom? I would take my husband and join some ZB friends for 10 days at a Zero Balancing course called “ZB by the Sea” at Mar de Jade near Chacala, Mexico. Ten days of bodywork in sunny Mexico in the middle of January sounds like a very lovely vacation. Ok, Caroline, how can make this “all expenses paid” vacation become a reality for this coming January?
- What has surprised or delighted you this year? It has been a delight getting to know our two sons as young adults. We enjoyed time together this year traveling, playing games and savoring the various late night talks. (I enjoyed the conversation part, not the late night part.) I look forward to more good times as a family!
- If someone wanted to give you a gift that was exactly what you needed right now, what would it be? That “all expenses paid vacation” in question #6 would be nice. A close second would be receiving the resources to remodel our sun-room into a larger four season room/studio. Probably the gift I most need right now would be a paid 6 month sabbatical to rest, write a book and study energy medicine.
- What’s the best movie/show/documentary you’ve seen lately? The documentary “e-motion” or the movie “Inside Out”, which are both about how our emotions influence us in positive and negative ways.
- What are you looking forward to this fall? Some advanced bodywork training and retreats, including the personal growth that comes with those types of experiences.
Here are my nominations for the Liebster Award. Even if these bloggers choose not to accept the award, I hope you will check out their blogs, as I like each blog for it’s uniqueness and personal sharing. (Please comment, as bloggers usually like feedback.)
If these nominees choose to accept this award, here are ten questions I would like them to answer:
- What is your passion/vocation in life?
- Which authors/books have been the most influential to you?
- What emerging theme are you noticing at this stage of life?
- What practices do you recommend for self care and well-being?
- Where do you find sanctuary when life gets overwhelming?
- What project are you working on at the moment?
- What is your growth edge for the coming year?
- How balanced is your life, and what could you do to keep it balanced as the holidays approach?
- What would you do if you had a 6 – 12 month paid sabbatical next year?
- What impact do you want to make in the world?
I’d love to hear which blogger you found the most interesting from my list by commenting below. Happy reading!