Have you ever had those days where everything seems to align just right? Then you have a few days or weeks in a row like that, and you are flying high. Suddenly you are on a manifesting trampoline and everything is just bouncing around the universe in your favor. You feel like the self help books, yoga, workouts, and smoothies are finally paying off and all coming together. Then BOOM... you get sick, you feel down and lethargic, you bounce a check, you have drinks a few nights in a row, stay up too late, miss a few workouts, you begin to crave cake and cookies and will plow down anyone who gets in your way because you have become a monster for them. Then, it seems all the work you have been doing of being mindful goes out the window along with your middle finger because suddenly no one has common sense or knows how to drive and your vortex of positivity has become a funnel of despair, no? Just me? Well just in case you relate, here's what I do...
I wish I said I sat in meditation and breathed the negativity out and the positivity in, but that would be a lie in this instance. I feel my feelings. Call my mom or friend and cuss about the situation, and just sit in the anger, sadness, or aggravation for a short while. Then I go do something else. I may take a walk, listen to a podcast, walk the dogs, make food, water the plants, vacuum, or watch a funny show...anything just to be doing something other than beating myself up for not being perfect.
Eff Perfect! No one is perfect. There is not even such a thing. It's called life and if you are not under a rock then you are out living yours and it's going to look messy at times and beautiful at times and that is okay. Offer yourself a little compassion, hell if we're just giving it away, offer yourself a lot of compassion. Life is hard and it certainly looks more like an etch- a -sketch drawing than a straight line.
So as Dory says "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming".
In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert says, " Whatever you do, try not to dwell too long on your failures. You don't need to conduct autopsies on your disasters." Just pick back up and start living your life. Try not to take yourself so seriously, laugh when you can, ask yourself what you can learn from the situation, try not to play the victim, and get on with your life. Just keep swimming...
I used to let things set me back way too far and ask, why is this happening to me, and whine about it. I got tired of hearing myself and decided to feel my feelings, be nice to myself, and move forward. Because stopping and contemplating every little thing does not get you far fast.
What do you do when you have a minor set back?
(Don't forget to offer yourself some compassion. )
The theme of my life lately has become my mental health. It should have been a priority a long time ago, but as author Jen Pastiloff says "should is an asshole" so I'll try not to dwell in the past thus reducing my asshole footprint.;)
I had a thought as I passed by during a specific scene while my husband James was watching a horror movie the other day. The Priest was performing an exorcism on a man while telling the guy that was possessed not to believe the thoughts in his mind, that they were not his because he was possessed by demons.
So because mental health has been at the forefront of my mind lately, I told James that it's as if we have to go through mini exorcisms every day. But that demon we are possessed by is our own thoughts and they can be insidious. They are those thoughts that tell us we are stupid, dumb, not good enough, never will amount to anything, will never be happy, and don't deserve to be happy. Those are the exact thoughts that have to be released because they are not true and not real, yet they are so convincing because they are disguised as our own voice.
We could get in to all the ways those awful thoughts get there in the first place... our past, childhood, toxic relationships, ego, etc but in the moment I know I don't care how it got there, I just know that voice is there and it makes me miserable and I need an entire arsenal of ways to believe what it's saying is not true.
Liz Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, Big Magic, and City of Girls, says that her mind can be a terrible place to walk around alone at night in the dark. I have thought so many times that my mind is this bad neighborhood and some thief steals all the positive, happy, and joyful thoughts and what's left is fear, dread, sorrow and sadness. So I have to get out of that shitty neighborhood and walk down a safer street in the daylight and pull myself together.
At some point, you just get so tired of being scared and tense all the time. It's exhausting and not how I want to live my "...one wild and precious life" as poet Mary Oliver says. It's not until you realize that it isn't the thief in the bad neighborhood holding you up, instead it's YOU. You are the one holding the knife to your own throat.
That's the work, for me at least...managing the darkest shadows of my mind and following the light. Lately that has looked like...reading, yoga, praying, meditating, watching funny movies and shows, walking, being in nature, writing in my journal, and going to therapy. Mental health is so extremely important and taking care of it will look different for everyone. I am just beginning again to make it a priority.
I know that especially in the world we are living in now, we need a bushel of ways to keep us sane and out of the bad neighborhoods of our mind, it can literally save our lives.
What do you do to manage your mental health?
Grab a mug and lets chat.
So, we all want an easy fix right? I know I do, if I could just magically have abs by tomorrow I think I'd be pretty stoked, So in this day and age, when we want things fast and we want them easy and we want self care, nice skin, low cholesterol, good digestion, no illnesses, and we all love animals so we certainly don't want to contribute to their suffering, and the planet is in a mess right now so you definitely want to help that cause...but geez if there were just that one thing we could do that could be the answer to all of that!?! Oh wait there is...Go Vegan! You heard it right, it is as simple as eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, legumes, and cutting out meat, dairy, and eggs,
Everyone tries to complicate it, but it truly is that easy, I like to find a few recipes online or in books that I want to try out for the week and always have my staples of smoothies, avocado toast, oatmeal, fresh fruit, chickpea salad, and any kind of veggie pasta. Then I try to get creative with a few other recipes.
Studies have shown that eating a plant based diet can prevent and reverse heart disease, the number one killer in the United States. It can prevent certain cancers, help manage blood sugar, regulate hormones, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, lower blood pressure, help with infertility and erectile dysfunction, heal digestion and digestive related illnesses, and even prevent Alzheimer's. Do your body and mind a favor and let it heal by eating a plant based diet.
The topic of diet and disease is certainly not a new one, but no one wants to believe that it is as easy of a fix as it is. The evidence based research is there. Now all we have to do is get in the kitchen and start chopping, blending, baking, and sauteing our way to better health.
Change is always a bit difficult at first, but you can do hard things. Especially when those hard things lead to massive gains in so many different areas.
So head to the garden, the farmers market or the produce section, keep it simple or get creative and let Google guide you to some plant based heaven.
If you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.