When I have written in the past it felt like I was trying to prove myself by rehashing my life’s traumas. My life has been filled with extremes and as much as I would like to rewind and rewrite it there is no changing it. I’m not interested in woundology, and by that, I mean sharing my wounds so much that I am perpetuating victimhood in myself or in anyone else. This space doesn’t feed me. I am interested in overcoming challenges and encouraging my fellow humans to walk in their own harmony regardless of what life has handed them. Because of the extreme nature of my past I have had to take a life or death approach to mental, physical and spiritual wellness.
Before I talk about my daily practice and what I have found that works for me I would like to share something I have recently become aware of. No one needs to know what I’ve been through. This recently hit me like a strong cleansing wave. Let me explain. I realize now that part of my process has been to try and make sense of my trauma by sharing it with others in an attempt to show I was a legitimate survivor with a powerful story to tell. In fact, I believed that I couldn’t effectively help another person unless I first revealed what I had overcome. I no longer believe I need to do this. What qualifies me to share and encourage others is where I am now, how effective my daily life choices are and what I do to stay mentally, physically and spiritually fit. Further still, I believe by telling others the details my personal trauma I may actually be minimizing their experience. We do this as humans…we compare ourselves and try to reason away what may be a legitimate health concern because the guy next to us is so much worse-off than we are. Having said this I understand there are appropriate exceptions when sharing our life experience is necessary and helpful.
So, let’s say we all have challenges in our daily lives we contend with in order to live happy and balanced lives. We all have stress, fears, doubts and regrets. These can and will eat away at the harmony and well being we could otherwise be enjoying. What happens to us is life and how we cope is living. Here is how I do it.
Each morning I wake up to see the beauty around me. My dreams are still floating in my head. A sense of well being surrounds me some days and other days not so much. Always, I am grateful for another day. My bedroom is something of a sanctuary for me. Everything in this room is a reflection of wellness. My Beloved has left coffee on my nightstand. I smile. I make my bed. The clothes I decide to wear each morning are an expression of how I feel or what I’m doing that day. I listen to myself and try not to make decisions based on what anyone else thinks. My body is my vessel, so I give it the best start I can to each day.
The foods I eat are intended to nurture me and act as fuel for my body. My breakfast usually includes fresh organic vegetables and fruits and to the best of my ability I keep this theme going throughout the day, drinking lots of water. I use Dr. Mercola as a health source on-line. I find his information and supplements dependable for the most part.
I love listening to bio-hackers and motivational speakers, so this is where I plug in while I am engaging my workday. I have the good fortune to listen as I work so this is a boost for me. MindValley on YouTube is a fabulous source for keeping one’s thoughts uplifted and I use it often. I also use a meditation app called Omvana. There are several meditations on this app and the download is free. My physical routine is to get outside as often as I can, walk and engage with our pets. I also see a body worker twice a month and I keep up with all of my blood work and physicals annually. I have taken Ben Greenfield’s advice about weight training and I would encourage you to check it out. It takes eight minutes to do this once a week workout and I am enjoying it.
As we all know our close relationships should feed us. My family and my furry children are the loves of my life. All of these are integral to balancing life and yet without any of them I still need to stand. This is why a spiritual practice is vital to me. My spiritual practice is key to my well-being. Prayer is the breath and water that sustains me.
On the notepad for mental wellness I have written down everything I want to be true for myself. I love reading it because even if it isn’t true today it may be true tomorrow. My mind thinks I am telling the truth, so I keep telling myself what I want to be true. There is a strange phenomenon that we all experience and this is we see what we focus upon. One step further…we get what we focus on. This is the difference between living well and scrambling to be okay.
We all live in our own way. We all seek balance. We have our own levels of resilience and elasticity when it comes to our inner lives that we must nurture, feed and protect. More and more I am learning just how important and sacred is the arena of my mind. It is the control center for my life, and from it all experiences are born. This spectrum of mental wellness is unique to each one of us. Think on things that are lovely and life giving. Be kind to your mind. I am. Your mind is the lens through which you perceive the world. It is perhaps the most valuable treasure you possess. Your mind is who you are. It is who I am.
I hold no other standard for myself other than to do my best. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz comes to mind.
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.
Each day I smile at the reality of being the one who lived. The one who was touched by the hand of destruction and yet was raised up from the proverbial ashes to live again. I believe this is true for you as well, no matter what your life circumstances are. The desire and the willingness to weave our lives into a fabric of something beautiful is how to begin. I urge you to do this. You are unique and beautiful and so worth it!