There comes a time in our lives when we discover, after 46 years, we actually don’t know shit. Who’s 46, by the way? I’m not 46….YOU’RE 46. Anyway…..
Taking a short hiatus to reboot, recharge and re-evaluate one’s self can for sure be a shock to the system in a very good way. I took a break from work to become more mindful of my surroundings, reacquaint myself with all the pretty things in nature and step back to see just how messed up my program of self-care, or lack thereof, has been for years. And, I discovered A LOT.
Here are the things I learned:
1) Not just one, but, ALL four dimensions (Physical/Body, Mental/Mind, Emotional/Heart, and Spiritual/Spirit) of our well-being must be activated for any one of them to benefit ourselves to the fullest. If one quadrant gets out of whack, they all shift out of place. Plain and simple, all of it needs to jive, folks. We need balance.
2) In most instances, there is no right or wrong. Mostly, it is I who makes a judgement. It is I who chooses to believe in what I see as right or wrong. Rather, I need to be more mindful on finding what is helpful and what is not helpful to me. And, any one of you may disagree with this and that is entirely okay.
3) Just 10-20-30 minutes of meditation or a bit of Qigong every morning does wonders to my “I don’t want to” attitude.
4) Getting a wild hair and telling myself “I’m going to hike eight miles today” (even though I haven’t exercised since the seventh grade) and actually fucking doing it, is one of THE best feelings of accomplishment in my life as of yet. Although, I was expecting to see a huge Blue Lagoon-type waterfall or perhaps a Jurassic creature as a reward for my hard work at the turn-around point, I was stoked to have achieved it only falling just once and shitting myself twice.
5) Practicing gratitude can protect me from being envious or jealous, help me sleep better at night, and give me balance to be open and accepting of my life lessons. In the words of Rumi, a 13th-century Persian Sunni Muslim poet – “Where ever I am, whatever my condition is, I need to try to be a lover”….so next time you see me, you better pucker up!
6) I was shown how and why change can be a scary thing and learned more about understanding the process to make it easier to accept. I have had unrealistic expectations to change before and would self-sabotage my attempts. I learned that by taking smaller steps toward change and not be intimidated by the bigger picture, I can commit to that change and maintain my progress. Consistency + Time = Change, bitches. Have a healthy self-esteem. Be optimistic. Have a vision.
7) I REALLY needed to rethink my food environment and exercise program, you guys. Mix a crazy eating (or no eating) pattern with life’s imbalances and little to no time for exercise, I had a stroke with my name on it just waiting to happen. I discovered I was not taking control of what I ate, when I ate, and when I exercised. I have plenty of time to take care of myself! Oh….and a bottle of olive oil is supposed to last me wayyyyyy longer than a week. With the help of some smart individuals (you know who you are), I learned what I have been doing wrong this whole time and have begun taking steps to snuff that shit out!
8) I have been in a dark place before and hurt people I cared about more times than I want to admit. But, I cannot turn back the clock to fix it all or beat myself up about it anymore. I have to just look at those events as lessons learned (for both parties) and walk forward taller with the best intentions and kindness.
Thank you to everyone who enlightened me, held my hand, and told me to just live. Most life-changing hiatus ever…