Tag Archives: Health

Why Teenagers Occasionally Get It Right

 

Do teenagers have it right? Is sinking into your emotions, settling in among the swirling colored vortex surrounding you and whipping around you like a funnel cloud the way to make sense of things, the only real way to move safely through the angst and overwhelm of intense emotions?

I’m beginning to think so.

The universe seems to be speaking to me, and lately, in the precise moment I need something, it shows up.

A recent yoga class ended with an instructor anecdote about her son falling and hurting himself.  Listening, my brain started to tingle as she recounted how she had scooped him up and soothed him, not by simply holding him and allowing him to feel, but by jumping into the silence with words. As she repeated the phrase and advised that perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to jump into the silence of feeling and fill it with words, I felt like a cartoon characters with an idea, the light bulb forming above my head.

My yoga and meditation practices have been expanding of late without much obvious emotional change (except my increased patience!), but a while ago I noticed an uncomfortable pressure in my right lower back, directly to the right of my sacrum.  It felt like nothing so much as my pelvis needing to crack.  

During this particular class, the sequences presented were heavy on twists and hip opening sequences, and as much as I wanted to cry uncle and rest in child’s pose, I fought to focus and breathe through the discomfort.

Then, in the midst of an opening twist sequence, I started to cry.  No dainty, dignified tears for me.  These tears flowed down my cheeks like salt rivers, dripping off my jawbone and soaking my neck and shirt before I’d even worked up much of a sweat.  I wanted to hide, to hang my head and wipe away the wetness, but instead swallowed and kept going, breathing through the certainty that everyone could somehow hear my tears.

I kept crying throughout the class.  It seemed as if every time I opened my mouth that day, I cried more.  Talking it through with my sister, I realized that the uncomfortable pressure in my back had started two days prior upon awakening from a disturbing dream. I couldn’t remember the dream, just the fear I felt upon waking, my heart pounding as if I had just been chased. I had been trying to  decipher what it meant, but I hadn’t allowed myself to settle into the emotions because they were frightening. I felt threatened. 

Towards evening, the pressure began to lessen a bit.  The light bulb switched on and I realized that by trying to deny the fear and sadness I felt after the dream, I had inadvertently caused all the negative energy to gather in a ball in my lower back.  Only when I settled into moving meditation did my unconscious mind take over and allow the energy to ove through my body to release.

So I do think adolscents have this thing right: settling into your emotions, allowing them to swell around you and envelop you, really does seem to be the only way to get through them without being consumed by them. It seems to be the best way to release them so you can move on.  

My back seems to think so, anyway.

Leave a comment

Filed under Just Life, The Beauty of Living, Uncategorized

The Desire Map

71u3SVoD4SL._SL1500_

 

Let’s talk about your life.

Do you feel free? Joyful? Connected?

Most importantly, does your life feel the way you want it to feel?

When I read The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte for the first time, my life was not feeling the way I wanted it to.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Self-Improvement, The Beauty of Living, The Desire Map, The Writing Life

Transformation, Mile Marker 1.2

TheChakrasLearningBlog

Here I begin part two of my exploration of the body’s chakra energy system. As previously mentioned, my review is cursory and greatly abbreviated. Although I’m hoping for some clarity and “self-improvement,” I’m just curious to see what happens as I make my way through all the self-help and life coaching books I’ve got cluttering my bedroom reading area. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Just Life, Path to a New Something, Self-Improvement, The Beauty of Living, Uncategorized

Coffee: My Love

images-15I have given up coffee.  It started out as a summer project, but as the days have unfolded, it’s become something I realize weighs me down, literally and figuratively, so I can’t see it making a grand entrance back into my world anytime soon. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Just Life

I’m sorry; could you repeat that? (July U.B.C. Day 2)

Menopause Graphic

I saw my gynecologist yesterday and learned that at 45, I am more than likely menopausal.  Not peri-menopausal, but through it.  All the way.  Done.  Finished.  I haven’t had time to suss out how that makes me feel yet, but over the past twenty-four hours, it’s been alternating between euphoria and despair. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Just Life, The Beauty of Living, Uncategorized

It’s a Pretty Good Day (U.B.C. – Day 11)

Today was a pretty good day.  The nasty spider bite underneath my left eye has finally turned from purple and red back to my regular complexion color, and the swelling has gone down so that I no longer look like I ran into somebody’s Superbowl ring.  Here’s what it looked like for the past couple of days:

photo (5)

It was warm and relatively sunny today, around 68 degrees, which for these parts is a veritable heatwave.  I had time to take a trek into Boston to get my hair done, which always makes me feel pretty.  I took The Boy to Dairy Queen for the first Blizzard of the season, then we hit a movie, Rio 2. All around a good day.  Happy Friday! MadnessofJoy-monogram

Leave a comment

Filed under Just Life, The Beauty of Living

Yoga is My Friend

323316-500x225

I love yoga. It is my go-to workout for everything from simply feeling good about my body’s physicality to needing the hour or more of meditation and silence. I am a serious practitioner. By serious I don’t mean that I practice every day or that I have mastered all of the advanced asanas, just that I take my practice seriously and use it for the intended purpose: silence and concentration on the self and the moment. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Just Life, The Beauty of Living, Uncategorized

Saturation Point

I always enjoy getting the mail around this time of the year because of all the catalogues that arrive showcasing the pretty decorations, the glittery clothes designed for that oh-so-special holiday party, and the fabulous foodstuffs.  It makes me want to buy one of everything.  Usually. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Good Citizenship, Just Life

Pay Attention in October

I’m a bit late on my October tasks, but I gave myself a break after burying my father-in-law simply to meditate on life, its wonder and brevity, and focus on helping my husband through this difficult time. Without further ado, here is what my happiness muse tells me I should focus on during the month of October.

a) Meditate on koans.

When I first read this, I admit I thought she was instructing me to meditate on financial issues. However, once I read a bit farther, I realized that I was being instructed to meditate on the big questions. A koan is a story, a question or a statement which, in Zen-practice, is used to provoke the mind, to exhaust the analytic intellect and the egoistic will, readying the mind to entertain an appropriate response on the intuitive level. Two koans that I have encountered often in general nomenclature are: (i) if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? and (ii) the only way out is through.

The statement “the only way out is through” seems particularly relevant to recent events in my world, namely my husband’s father dying, and to a much lesser degree, my anxiety and sadness surrounding The Boy starting kindergarten and beginning to grow his independence in leaps and bounds that I haven’t seen since he first became mobile. So this month I will meditate on “the only way out is through” and in doing so, I hope open my mind to greater possibility and awareness of the ways in which grief and anxiety change me.

I realize I’m probably way over simplifying this whole task of meditating on koans, and I want to delve deeper into it, but my heart needs a little time to heal, so I will start small and meditate more and deeper as I go. Once I fix the cushion on my meditation chair.

b) Examine True Rules.

These are concrete lessons that come out of people’s particular experiences. Again, recent events are going to provide me with lots of these life rules. Perhaps the only True Rule I will find is that life is short and can be taken away at any time, so I should live every day to the fullest. I suppose that’s a cliche, but cliches are that for a reason: generally, they tend to be true, and thus become overused and cliche.

Right now the only True Rules I can come up with are (i) children grown up even when you don’t want them to, and (ii) everything changes.

c) Stimulate the mind in new ways.

This sounds suspiciously like “try new things.”  Of course, I’ve been trying new things all year long, so I’ll bite. I just don’t know what I can fit into my schedule right now ….  I’ll keep you posted.

d) Keep a food diary.

Um, okay. While I admit I’m not in the shape I was in before I had a child and I’m a few pounds over my ideal weight, I’m not sure that keeping a diary in which I record every blessed thing that goes into my mouth will be particularly helpful.  I’m stressed out enough about it already.

I’m a little more nuts about my weight and size than many.  Once you’ve had an eating disorder, even when “cured,” it never really goes away, and I find myself freaking out over my weight and calling my sister to talk me down off the ledge.  Intellectually, I know I’m a healthy weight, but I look in the mirror and see someone I don’t recognize, someone I don’t want to be.  I hate feeling the waistband of my jeans touching my waist – not cutting into it, just touching it.

Despite knowing that tipping the scales at 100 pounds when I’m 5’7″ is scary and unhealthy, I still keep that in the back of my mind as my ideal, and I admit that unless I keep that girl in handcuffs, she will sneak up from the back of the bus and knock me over the head in the name of taking over my eating and obsessive exercise patterns.  I still look longingly at the photos I have in which my collarbone juts out like a shelf under my neck and the my neck looks as if it can barely withstand supporting the weight of my head.  I fight every day, every meal, not to let that girl take over.

I don’t want my child to grow up with food issues.  I don’t want him to believe that eating or not eating will make anyone love him more or less.  So I keep those photos hidden away and hope that someday I will be able to look at them and feel that girl is gone.  I want to know deep in my heart that girl is unhealthy, and never again, even deep in my hidden heart of hearts, want to emulate her.

So, no, I will not be keeping a food diary.  I live a food diary.

monogram_2013-10-10_12-38-58

Leave a comment

Filed under Just Life, The Beauty of Living