Time will always feel like a luxury, but that doesn’t mean that it is impossible to get ahead of the game. Preparation has been my best tool of surviving what some might deem the social awkwardness that comes along with a Celiac Disease diagnosis. With the onset of Wheat Belly fame, I have had a few people in my social circle come out and say that wheat doesn’t treat them so sweetly either. Their second confession is that they find it very difficult to eat wheat and gluten free, when a pastry and a traditional sandwich is always readily accessible. And to that I must say that preparation and planning goes a hell of a long way. Building up an arsenal of good clean eats, start small, it is a surefire way to keep your belly and body happy.
As the holiday season starts to ramp up and our to-do lists reach frightening lengths, it seems appropriate to set out a reminder to stop, drop and play.
Capturing a little wonder in our hearts and exploring something familiar or new is a great way to shed the shackles of stress and find some perspective. A reoccurring best practices theme in The Self-Love Book Club is naming and discovering the avenues to happiness. Letting go by getting a little silly is a great way to nourish your inner-child. Indulging in tradition or making new ones is something you can carry through the year to bring you that extra joy that seems to creep into everyone’s hearts around the holidays
At the beginning of the month I deemed to steep myself in a bit of the arts and culture. My budget left a little to be desired, but I still managed to pick two sure-fire feel good experiences and incorporate them into my scattered schedule. David Bowie brought me back to being a child and reminded me that it isn’t the worst thing to dance in the most stoic places. Born Ruffians was a chance to shake it out on the dance floor with my life-long partner-in-crime, my brother. The band decided to open with fan teenage karaoke – there are no words for how much I laughed.
Go ahead, have fun and play, your grown-up life wont suffer from a little self-indulgent excitement now and again!
This morning we had our first sighting of snowflakes here in the big smoke. I greeted the day with a squeal and a little dance but I know that many of my neighbours had one extra reason to stay bundled away in their cozy homes this morning. Working off a full belly of spicy Trinidadian style food and some Calypso music I was well on my way to stifling a bad case of wanderlust.
Even the best laid plans run into roadblocks. I started my celebration early this month and got quite smug with myself after a barrefit class. Of all things I threw my hip and lower back out trying to wrangle a sick cat into a carrier for a vet visit. It’s funny how delicate and fleeting the body is even when you are admist feeling on top of your game. Four days of committed movement is a huge feat for me considering walking around the block or a casual half hour on a stationery bike was a big deal just a month and a half ago. Last week I hit up three out of my allotted four movement classes in the face of a silly yet painful injury. I spent hours beating myself up this week thinking I should have pushed myself more, feeling even a bit of shame knowing that I didn’t meet my goal. There are so many colloquial phrases to draw from here, for me “you are your own worst enemy” flashed to the fore. To say the least, I lost sight of being gentle and realistic with myself. Even with all of the planning in the world, life will still throw you a curveball.
Thankfully I had a very wise man at my side when I tried to awkwardly step into my athletic gear and hobble out the door. His words quickly silenced my frantic thoughts – “sometimes you need to let yourself win”.
Returning to dedicated movement has it ups and downs, but most definitely it has brought into focus the importance of taking the time to slow down. As with most things in life it is easier said than done.
For me this week has been about reconciling excuses with self-care. I for one am frequently haunted by my obligations to people, activities, jobs – the usual suspects. But, what trumps it all is my obligation to myself to be busy. As much as I love peace and quiet, I often sneak in a solitary activity in to soothe my restless nerves during my down time.
This week I have been trying to strike a balance between cardio, strength training and relaxation. For me getting to work on turning goals into reality is very much a ‘hurry up and wait’ scenario. Accordingly, my month of movement is also very much about rest and relaxation. Bringing in mindfulness and meditation as much as I can into my yoga sessions, means leaving with a light heart and a smile on my face. Honestly, my busy mind does get in the way with each practice. This doesn’t mean I have skipped and sang my way to each class, taking on something new is at roller-coaster love and hate relationship. But, mindfulness, movement and meditation, are all practices, there is no place for perfection. Cooking a stock, much like yoga is a process to be practiced with patience.
I think we are all starting to feel it here in the Northern Hemisphere; darkness at 5pm softly nudges us indoors to blankets and comfort foods. My roommate noted this past weekend that with winter on the horizon she is more likely to stay at home during weeknight evenings. It just feels natural, doesn’t it? I’ve been slowly changing my daily routine by grabbing warm drinks rather than cold smoothies. Even with my goals of movement this month, I am going to allow myself to indulge in rolling myself up with a duvet and a good book. Comfort is key for acclimatizing to the colder, darker seasons.