Physical Wellness

This past year and a half (2020-present) has taught me SO many important lessons.  Chief among them is how precious life truly is; how delicate it is and how miraculous our bodies are.  Incredible!

Just a few weeks ago, I was fortunate to be able to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 - the infection that claimed countless lives and impacted us all.  

I've been personally interested in health and wellbeing for a bit over a decade now, having begun my own path of a plant-based life in 2010.  This year though, I kicked it up into high gear and really evaluated how I was setting my body and mind up for success.  

Think about it.  Our bodies and minds do so much for us every moment of every day.  For example, our precious heart muscle is there nestled in our bodies, relentlessly pumping away.  It asks very little of us when you think about it.  How can I not do everything in my power to help it along?  There are thousands of examples of...

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A mindset of exploration

If we all were able to be inquisitive first; conclusive second, the world would be a much different place.  If we could catch ourselves before we presume, we could better navigate communication.  

The idea of exploration can be applied countless ways in our daily lives, but today I'd like to offer a few thoughts on how we can apply it to our relationships with others, and with ourselves.

Especially in a world culture that places a great deal of "value" on the external and appearance, it's no wonder that people go about their lives judging books by their covers.  

But what if we practiced another way of interacting?  What if, we could catch ourselves making judgements and instead, be inquisitive without judgement.  Further, could we apply additional curiosity to that moment and even ask ourselves how we might add value and be of service, instead of flatly detracting?  

I offer that if we could approach our interactions with others from a mindset that is...

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There's a first time for everything

I wasn't always "into" wellness.  For the majority of my life so far I actually didn't even really know what "wellness" was.  As it happens, I was forced into considering wellness.

I say I was forced, because at the time I wasn't readily willing to explore a wellness mindset or the corresponding behaviors.  I actively looked everywhere else for it actually - searched for every other possible option before I considered altering my mindset and behavior.  It was going to be unknown and uncomfortable, so at the time I only wanted to go down that road if it was an absolute last resort.  And so it was. 

For me, this all started with a necessary curiosity around how I could help my body become healthier.  I started eating more plants and considered where my energy was coming from.  I decided to start shifting its source.  Not long after this change, I noticed that I started to physically feel lighter and freer - more full of love.  Not too...

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Let's get real

Self care - taking care of yourself - is often the last thing that care-giving, busy, ambitious, overworked, stressed people will take the time to do.  Today though, I needed to just encourage myself to put myself back at the top of my own list...and so, too, will I encourage you to do the same.  

Here's what I'm thinking:

 

Realistic, helpful caring of ones self is as individual as each of us are.  What works for me may not work for you.  And that's A-OK.  All that really matters is that you take the time to figure it out for yourself, and then implement the plan that'll bake it into your life.  It's the difference between a topping on an ice cream sundae, and getting the topping already mixed IN the sundae.  If you don't make sure you get oreo ice cream in the first place, you could run the risk of an oreo falling off the top.  Too risky.  Mix it in.

 

If it's at all helpful though to you, I'll share what I've discovered is a...

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Coping with a "set back"

Along any path or journey, there are bound to be twists, turns and detours.  Expect them.

What really matters is not so much that they occur, but more than that, how you receive and respond to them.  

When something unexpected comes across your path, take a moment to notice it and name it.  Take the time to really see clearly what it is that's in front of you.  If the thing in front of you elicits an emotional response of some kind - feel that.  Take the time to really feel your feelings and allow them to happen, for however long you need to.  

While you are going through this, lean hard on your self-care habits and the people in your life who lift you up.  Then, grant yourself grace and time to deal with whatever it is that's presenting itself.

When you are ready, and only when you are ready, evaluate your perspective around the thing.  Be aware of what your perspective currently is, and if it isn't a positive one, do what you can do reframe...

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This Changes Everything

If there's one thing that I think opens up every other door, it's this one shift in perspective. 

You've heard it said a million different ways, but no matter how you say it, the message is the old "glass is half full" outlook.  I call it, coming from a place of love.  At the end of the day it doesn't matter what you call it, as long as you are able to apply it to your life.  

What I know is that when you are able to figure out for yourself what it looks and feels like to achieve a default perspective that is love-based, it is a shift that is powerful enough to change everything in your life.  When you change your starting place, you change the path and inevitably, the outcome.  It all starts with a simple, yet profound choice at some point.

This choice of perception could start at the beginning of something - OR - you may get halfway down the line and realize that you need a change.  Well - shift then!  The beauty is that there is no "right...

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Ready...set...

Many say that it takes about three months to set a new habit.  I think that's why the idea of resolutions in the new year can present challenges for so many, and why we typically see so many give an all-out effort for the first few weeks, only to see that dwindle as time moves on.  

My approach is around setting intentions instead...and then re-setting them.  

Before we go about setting them, though, we should first orient to why they are so important!  Simply put, intentions are critical because they put in place a map with guideposts to help us navigate life.  If you are not able to see where you are going, it's going to be tougher to get there.  

When it comes time for you to approach setting intentions, make sure to set yourself up for success here.  That means quiet, phones on silent and uninterrupted time.  

Then, really start to think things through.  Allow yourself to dream big sky dreams!  Put yourself in the destination...

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The In-between

It was Tuesday, March 16, 2020 at around 7:30PM that I left my home here in NYC.  I packed enough clothing to get me through 10 days, my computer, and my house plants.  

There's no need to reiterate that it's been quite a year - unlike any other.  Brimming with pain and struggle for so many; but also presenting important moments of joy and new discoveries brightening the edges.  

Today as I sit here, there is real reason to have hope, and the light at the end of this tunnel is shining brighter every moment.  All of us, collectively, walking toward it.  It's an incredible time to live through, and I'm overwhelmingly grateful to have lived through it.  

As we approach this light and run back to our lives, the instinct will be to just get out of this time and place; move on and put it all behind us.  I hear that.  But.  It is in this very moment in time that we would all benefit from pausing and evaluating before moving forward, and so...

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"I have decided to stick with love"

There are so many great, inspiring leaders.  

The more I learn about their choices and lives, the more I realize that they didn't all set out to lead, and many of them didn't know they were leading when they were.  They were just making the next, best choice they could for what was in front of them at the time.

They were driven by a deep and burning desire to do something; to help; to serve.  I think that we all are here to figure out how we can uniquely serve, and then go about the business of doing that.  

Always, but especially lately, I've been impressed once again by the leaders of the Civil Rights movement in the United States.  The non-violent approach is especially impressive at this particular moment in time - their choices to easily juxtaposed with the choices that we currently see all around us.  

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said many profound things during his time here with us, which was cut far too short.  One quote that is sticking...

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Resolution

Lately I've been thinking and feeling really deeply.  

 

I think it's a mix of worldly circumstances, goals achieved and just a function of where I am in my life.  I find myself in thought way more than I ever have been.  Less time being reactive; less time spent outward.  

In many ways, I have been feeling a sense of resolve.  

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As we draw a calendar year to a close, it's only natural to begin to think about our own resolutions and what we may aspire to in the coming year.  It's a time to reflect and look back at all we accomplished...and didn't.  Most importantly, it's a time to understand why. (It's worth noting, too, that you don't have to wait until the end of the year to do any of this).

 

This year as I think about the end of December and the time I carve out for myself to think and feel, to evaluate, the idea of intention keeps popping up in my mind.  I wonder, is there an opportunity here to view resolutions...

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