My Health has Nothing to do with a Resolution
I crave busyness. I can’t help it. I tried slowing down and I got bored, so I filled up my schedule again. Filling empty slots is a talent of mine, according to my husband :-). A friend calls me the “hustler” among my group of omies. (you know, like homies, but we are all yoga instructors) It may be partly because I have been so used to being over-booked for the last ten-ish years, that I still struggle with any form of a new normal. Mind you, I’ve been working on this “new normal” for about a year now, when I decided to significantly downsize my company and start to incorporate a wellness career. Besides, this busy state doesn’t feel nearly as intense as when my business was at its peak. That said, I started noticing something a few weeks ago. I wasn’t feeling as good physically as when I had that free time. Symptoms included feeling nausea some mornings, constantly feeling cold, achy joints and then I double-booked myself a couple times.
I get frustrated when my body doesn’t keep up with my schedule and I’m reminded of the question former Aetna DEO, Mark Bertolin, asked in an interview: “What about your health is preventing you from living the life you want to lead?”
It’s especially frustrating lately because my renewed hustle is the result of my excitement for what I’m doing lately, like when I started my company 17.5 years ago. I find great joy in teaching – there is such a feeling of worth when you play a role in someone else feeling better. I have enjoyed the 550 hours of education in yoga, Ayurveda, and the many subtle aspects of both that I’ve taken over the last two years. I love what I’ve been doing and don’t wish to stop. So when I start to notice that my health is holding me up, I seek ways to fix it, before the quality of my work suffers.
I give myself credit for paying attention to my body and taking the time to sit with someone much more qualified to discuss how I can improve. We met last week to review lifestyle and food choices, outlining my “regular” schedule for the week and challenges for staying centered. My plan revolves around what I’m eating, how I’m eating, and incorporating three self-care practices into my week. No doubt, some will be easier to accomplish than others. But I can’t encourage others to practice self-care if I don’t do it myself!
There are many theories/strategies around eating, and what is right and what is wrong. As I’ve become more serious about my yoga practice, I’ve started using Ayurveda as my guide. Ayurveda is the “sister science” to yoga that involves foods and daily lifestyle practices based on your dosha and the seasons. It is a more wholistic approach to wellness, which I personally appreciate. I’ll write more about it in a future post. For those familiar with the doshas, let’s just say that I have a predominance of pitta, and high percentage of vata too. Throw in my normal acts of filling my schedule and the vata swings out of balance. That scenario was the basis of our plan. The result of my meeting was to focus on that vata imbalance. He asked me to commit to it for 40 days and then we’ll see how I feel, so I’m starting this week. I’ll be happy to keep you posted along the way.
It takes respect for yourself and a desire to improve your well-being to take the time and attention needed for doing what it takes to make healthier choices. Especially during the holiday season. (Have you heard the song Sugar and Booz - LOL) Packed schedules, extra holiday events and to-do lists only add to already hectic schedules. You really have to focus on your health through all the distractions and challenges. I told my advisor that one of my goals is to avoid a stop to the CVS, which is conveniently located just across the street from my office. Every time I go, I leave with things that seem good at the time, but then my body tells me I made a poor choice, despite my love for Red Vines.
In order to live out your purpose, you must take care of the body (and mind) that carries it through. When we don’t fuel appropriately and with foods that nourish us, our body won’t be able to keep up. The answer to Mr. Bertolin’s question should be Nothing – Absolutely nothing.
Wishing you peace, body awareness and the confidence to take actions that will serve your purpose.