Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Welcome to Wellness Wednesday - Where to Start....

I am the living embodiment of Newton’s first law of motion.  Generally speaking:

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

I commonly find it difficult to get up from my desk at work, even when I know that a 15 second stretch will relieve the stress in my shoulders that comes from sitting hunched over a keyboard all day.  

It is a quick inner battle that takes place, where I weigh the need against the benefit. 

Often I will put off the standing up unless I can tie it to something I consider as having more value---like picking up a print job. Better yet, if I can wrap the standing stretch up into a package with a print job pick up, reheat of my cold coffee and trip to the bathroom.  

A four for one only takes moment to assemble in my mind and sadly is often the impetus I need to propel me to my feet.

I am a sucker for a good deal.

Conversely, if I am in motion I often continue to seek out things to do, somehow believing that I since I worked up the vast amounts of steam required to get moving, I must take advantage of the momentum before it runs out.  

Weekends are complicated breakfasts and laundry and sweeping and dog washing and vacuuming and bed stripping and cooking and groceries and fridge cleaning.  I often abandon projects halfway through, distracted by something new, secretly knowing I will not be able to sit down until I go back and finish the unfinished activity.  

Ok now that I write it down, it sounds completely insane.

Too judgy?  Well let’s compromise on it is an odd way to motivate yourself.

The silver lining is that I can name it now and watch it and sometimes even leave things half done knowing I will complete them another day and be ok with that.  I do not need to check off a list to feel that I have accomplished something---to prove that I contributed to something--that I have value.

Let’s face it, even when I am sitting, I am busy---folding laundry, brushing the dogs, knitting.  

Yesterday on my lunch hour I considered finding a sunny place to sit in the public workspace at my job and enjoy the sunshine while I read.  (A Twofor---Vitamin D and reading).  Then I remembered that I was midway through an audiobook and that I could not only get Vitamin D and enjoy a story, I could also knit while listening!  

*Aside: Listening to audiobooks is new for me...a lesson in SLOW.   I frequently skip ahead reading a physical book..or skim.  Not only did I not enjoy hearing someone else’s voice in my head reading the words...I could never tolerate how SLOWLY they spoke.  Who had time to hear all about the scales on a dragon or shades of grey in the clouds!! GET TO THE GOOD STUFF!)

So as I work through January, seeking my guiding lights, the challenge will be to stop trying to jam so many things into one moment.  The realization that standing to stretch will feel good and be good for me should be reason enough.  Who else is more worthy of feeling good than me?  I don’t need to justify it to anyone.  I am worth it.  

And this is the real crux of January.  I have invested time, (four one hour sessions) and money ($15 an hour booking a room at work) in me (somehow, if I invest money I feel like I have to do through with it...sigh.  That one I am trying to make work for me until I can get to a deeper sense of worthiness….)
So that I don’t lose that connection with myself.

And there it is…..that word.  Connect.  

Here I was thinking that I need to use this time to connect with others---and that might still be the case, but more important is the need to connect with me.

I have 30 minutes left in my “me haven” and so the challenge I will take up is to be here, in this space, right now, with me.

And if this connects to you, I invite you to try this yourself.  When was the last time you just sat--or stood or lay there---and just---did ---nothing?  

Meditation and mindfulness have been a big part of my recovery and it is so easy to get lost in my head thinking about what I have to do later….or where I need to be soon….that I forget where I am now.  And really...now is all we have.

On my drive to work, the warmth of the sun barely penetrated the frosted windows it was so cold out.  But, since there was little wind, I decided to roll down the driver’s side window so I could feel the sun on my face.  It was glorious.  

All around me, cars and trucks flew by on their way somewhere.  People with big plans --already living in the future--but missing out on the present.   

I even turned off my radio, and at stop lights, could hear birds chirping---reminding me of this giant world that I am connected to ---outside my car---outside my head---in the here and now.  

So today, for the rest of my Wellness Wednesday, I invite you to join me, for 10 seconds, for 10 or 15 or 20 minutes.  Just be.  Just listen and feel and smell and see.  

The only way you will be able to find your guiding light is to stop doing and start being.

Who do you want to be has to start with who you are.  So spend some time learning to get comfortable in your own skin.  It might take practice (like everything else you want to get good at!)**

So practice.  And live in the space between doing and not doing.  What does it feel like? What do YOU feel like?  Notice it all. Feel it all.

Until next Wednesday.  

** I know many people who find this type of inner focus work can cause anxiety and may trigger panic attacks.  If this happens, some strategies that others have told me that work is to not close your eyes, do this in a place where you feel safe and comfortable,  start with very small chunks of time until you feel comfortable.

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