If your first response is, "NO IDEA" - you're not alone. So many of us have no idea WHAT our bodies are inviting us to do! We haven't created a habit of listening to our bodies. Why is that?
Perhaps because we don't see them as invitations at all. Somewhere along the line - in our culture, our family, our busy lives - we've learned to think of communications from our body as pesky, inconvenient , even coercive .
What if we shifted our perspective for just one day? What if we allowed ourselves to see our bodies as wise - with our best interest at heart? What if we viewed the messages our bodies were sending us as beautiful invitations?
What was the best invitation you've ever received?
A good friend's original artwork - perhaps a banner or homemade card?
A song composed just for you?
A special meal that showed...
For most of my clients, A LOT has to happen BEFORE they consider spending money to help themselves.
It might be that they’ve run out of energy, like an energizer bunny (remember the commercial?) that finally runs out of juice.
Or they’re feeling the sadness and lack of hope that comes from putting themselves on hold and others first ALL the time.
It could even be a health condition or diagnosis like prediabetes or high blood pressure that surprises their conscious mind, but is completely unsurprising to that unconscious self that’s been feeling neglected and ignored for many years…
Why is it that women who routinely step up for others, solving everyone else's problems and lending a hand without hesitation, are willing to spend years, even decades, in personal limbo? They want energy and vibrant health but settle for not having either... they are dying a little inside about their weight or their uncontrollable snacking or eating habits but do nothing to...
I bet you haven't really thought much lately about what lies beneath many of your decisions and daily routines. What if you (and almost everyone else on the planet) have been unconsciously going for what is comfortable INSTEAD OF what enlivens you and matters to you?
I'm thinking about this now because I just finished a workshop about confidence. We were challenged to accept that getting out of our comfort zone was key. The challenge we were given (over the lunch break) was to step into the shower and take a freezing cold shower for 30 seconds.
Getting your body acclimated to the cold has proven health benefits (and a few risks for those not in great shape, so read up first.) I know this.
This was also a showpiece activity for the first part of the workshop.
Did I do it?
No way. There are lots of excuses I could make, such as we only had 20 minutes in which to do this AND grab lunch, I've done this practice before etc... but the cold (no...
I knew setting a 30 day walking challenge in the midst of an unusually blustery winter in Denver would be a challenge. Day 1 was exhilarating, walking in the park, seeing the geese and the cross-country skiers, enjoying the sun and the blinding whiteness of the snow.
Day 6 - not so much. I'd struggled a bit in the subsequent gray, bone-chilling days. I'd shortened my walks, and I'd even considered substituting time on the treadmill at the gym for the time outdoors my heart really wanted.
I'm not sure what happened on Day 6. I didn't walk. I could write a paragraph of explanations and excuses - but as a health coach I know that arguing FOR your limitations just reinforces them, so I won't.
The critical piece for me (as I know it is for you too when you don't follow through on a planned healthier action) is what I do THE NEXT day. What I say to myself. How I manage and generate my energy.
It is snowing a little bit right now. But I really don't care. I can already see that...
It's February. It's cold. The news is dire. Even the cat has been sleeping more than usual. And I'd been off-task and out of sorts for over a week.
So I decided to go for a walk.
NOT the obvious choice. We'd had 3 days of snow in the past week in Denver - over 14 inches. I'd talked myself out of going to the gym all week. "The roads are icy!" "The flu is everywhere!" my disaster-mongering brain whispered to me.
The day before was the icing on the cake as far as losing all self-respect went.
I'd eaten roughly my own weight that day (ok, really a lot less than that), culminating in a pizza delivery (thank goodness somebody was driving in the snow. Relax! I tipped prodigiously, ok?) I'd watched A LOT of Amazon Prime. And I'd had a vague uneasy feeling all day, that feeling of not being very happy with myself and my choices.
So I woke this morning wanting to avoid that feeling of anxiousness about not doing better - but not sure I'd pull it off. And then I went for a walk. I started out...