|The cover of my PaPaYa! “Voyage” journal
The past month had felt funky with a capital “F.” One daughter came down with a really bad flu that had her down for a week. Then her twin sister came down with the same flu and was also sick for a week. I ran out of sick time and had to start chipping away at vacation time which is near and dear to my heart. Wah! My hubby had a short out of town trip camping with his students. My 6 year old daughters had their 6th birthday and there was the party to plan for and a house and yard to prepare for guests. The day after their successful party was Mother’s Day, but my hubby pinched a nerve in his back and a build up of stress found my own neck tweaked with strain and pain and a severe lack of energy. My day job that I have been with for 8 years has grown more boring and unfulfilling, and while I still love the purpose of the work, I am weary of working in a cavernous lobby with no windows. In the midst of all of this I had bone weary days. Days where I felt so completely physically exhausted. I also found myself not interested in writing or painting and when I arrived home all I wanted to do was veg out. Then there were the old photos of myself and friends through the years I found myself flipping through the evening before the solar solstice, and I became sad and wistful when I viewed them because they seemed like they were from another lifetime. I have been blessed in this life with an inordinate amount of vitality and energy, so it was the feeling so tired though that truly led me to realize that something had to change. It all began by writing these words in my journal:
Changes need to take place.
Out of shape.
Not often happy.
43 years old.
Looked through old photos last night and saw a version of myself that was smiling a lot more. Saw a happier version of me.
Brainstorm – what do I really want? What do I want to do?
Three Columns for Dreams and Goals
Health/Vitality: Food cleanse, Yoga/Pilates, Walking, Swimming (when pool reopens), Sleep/Rest, Hiking, Lighter, Greater Mobility/Flexibility, Less Screen Time
Life Plan: Writing, Art, Family, Community, Friendship
Happiness: Quality Family Time, Quality Hubby Time, Quality Me Time, Gardening, Creating, Painting, Writing, Reading, Community, Friendship, Women circle time, Swimming, Relaxation, Peaceful, Photography, More Outdoor/Nature Time
On the day of the eclipse I kicked started a shift. I have been eating a plant based (vegan) diet already for 4 years, yet it is easy to slip into patterns of eating too many bread and cracker type food products. I also live with a thin vegan hubby, who can eat anything he wants, including nightly treats and maintain his same weight, and my 6 year old twin daughters, who also seem to be able to eat the way he does and are doing just great. I have suspected that my body was needing more nutrition, more real and hearty food, and much less of the empty fillers like crackers and bread that have infiltrated my regular diet. I searched for some new vegan salad and smoothie recipes, adding detox to some of the searches and went shopping. I also cleaned out the pantry and labeled anything not already labeled. The extra treat was to lay down some new contact paper too.
The goal is more positive physical energy. Basically more “get up and go!” This piece of the puzzle became more clear as I wrote these words about my new goals:
Focus on feeding yourself. Focus on giving your body every good thing. Focus on knowing that you deserve it.
When we approach eating with a mentality of deprivation it not only feels punitive, it actually becomes a form of punishment. It sets you up for a situation where if you eat something you have deemed forbidden you feel bad and guilty. We focus on what we shouldn’t be eating. We may also be focusing on how we aren’t exercising. If you are instead coming from a mind set that you want your body, mind and spirit to feel good and you know feeding it healthy and nutrition packed meals is what makes it feel good, then it comes from a positive place.
What else can you do to make your mind, body and spirit feel good? Consider all the pleasure possibilities. How about giving yourself pedicures? What about lying in the sun and stretching? What about listening to your favorite music and moving your body to the rhythms?
This is about feeling good. It is about how you feel, not how you look. There is an important distinction, because I am here to tell you that it is too easy to be dissatisfied with appearance. We have to find the other ways to love ourselves.
For over a week now I have been feeding myself nutritious packed meals called The Detox Salad, The Lightened Up Protein Goddess Bowl, The Back On Track Wheat Berry and Bean Salad, The High Protein Quinoa Almond Berry Salad, The Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Warm Salad, The Spring Detox Smoothie and a few other smoothie concoctions that utilize frozen fruit, soy vanilla protein powder and kale or spinach. We have an amazing library of vegan cookbooks yet I did find many of these new and fabulous recipes on a web site called Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon.
As my lists for increased vitality included kicking up the physical movement up a few notches I have successfully been doing more stretching and have added in simple weight lifting and then some pilates videos. I’ll also be adding in some “turbo jam” workouts for fun. For a number of years I was a serious gym rat and worked out six to seven days a week with my daily workouts sometimes lasting two to three hours doing a combo cardio/weight lifting regime. I remember everything I learned from the various trainers who coached me over years. I just haven’t been putting my knowledge into practice for a great while.
After a week of increased activity and eating nutritionally packed meals I am feeling less tired. I am feeling less anxiety and less stress. My screen time has been cut back some as well. My goal is to spend more time in nature and also more time enjoying in person connections. Here is a sweet little slide show of our family enjoying a picnic outdoors and the creatures we met on our walk afterwards.
This food cleanse has somehow also inspired me to do a sweep through the house to get rid of other unnecessary fluff, so to speak. Some closets have been purged and the give-away pile is growing. Kitchen items like food processors, blenders and juicers have been moved to more easily accessible locations. Things just seem to be getting more organized over all. Think it might also have to do with some increased energy.
Is there anything in your life that you would like to kick start?
Is there anything you would like to change right now?
What in your life might need you to just look at it with new eyes?