Sunday, June 29, 2014
Our visiting pastor this morning said, "In our lives, a noun without a verb is toxic to our souls," like money not invested or people not loved. In other words, things we do not use or enjoy, things that clutter our lives, are better gone than sucking the life out of us. One example he used is exercise equipment we never use, and may not even remember where we last put it. I have seen "Clean House" enough times -- and experienced it in my own life -- to know that he is right. It sure makes it easier to get rid of things that have outlived their usefulness when I realize they have now become toxic to me. Some things we have we need to get back to (or start) using, but other things need to be eliminated.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
I have been sitting here working at my computer for an hour. It amazes me how quickly time goes by behind a screen. Being more cognizant of the clock while behind a screen may help me get up a little more often to move my body occasionally throughout the day. Up, up, up!!!
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
I began to develop my seven-year health plan May 28, 2014. I have heard it said that the body completely regenerates itself in seven years. I figured I should do my part to make that body better than the one I have today. The plan will begin on September 9, 2014 and last through January 8, 2022. Every four months, I will address another of the 21 areas of focus on my list. This gives me one "bonus round" so I can focus on the same area twice if I am struggling with it or need to go back later and revisit an issue where I have backslidden. I have a few that may be harder and others that may be easier. So, for example, say I am focused on building core strength for four months and still feel I need to keep my focus more intense on that area but not so much I want to burn my bonus round, I can focus the next four months on something simple like taking my daily vitamin. By the time I hit my 49th birthday, I should be feeling like a new woman. From 49 to 50, I continue to build on those new and deeply established habits so when I go to Hawai'i for my 50th birthday, I will be feeling pretty darn good and can enjoy the experience to its fullest.
My 21 items, in no particular order and to be taken as deemed appropriate when the time comes, are:
1. daily vitamin
2. strength training
7. appropriate number of good carbs
8. appropriate number of good fats
9. appropriate amount of lean protein
10. sleep (both quality and quantity)
11. brush 2x and floss 1x every day
12. electrolytes (i.e. sodium intake... that will mean lots less processed foods!)
13. posture (should be fairly easy if I do it after other things like core and yoga)
14. probiotics (could reasonably do this one with the daily vitamin, thus giving myself an extra "bonus round")
18. breakfast at home
19. de-stress (intentional downtime, vacation, unplug)
20. fresh air & sunshine (garden?)
21. practice patience (stress hormones are so hard on our poor bodies)
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
I have been named a "Wellness Champion" at work. This is not an award for wellness or anything, but a role designed to encourage staff to take steps to improve their wellness.
I ate a whole can of Pringles tonight because I was frustrated with my computer moving too slowly.
Clearly, I have work to do, starting with myself.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
I am reading a book ("In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom" by Qanta Ahmed) that has had a profound effect on me. There are several parts of the book that have made a significant impression on me, but the one I want to talk about today greatly increased my gratitude for the freedom I have in my life.
I have seen movies, ads, and news that show how bad the world is for some people. These things almost always get to me. I feel sad for the people who suffer, I feel grateful for the good I have, or I try to do something to change things (a Facebook post to bring awareness, a petition to encourage change, or a donation to make a difference). There is something about reading a book, though, that allows me to engage more deeply than through any other medium. As the author told her story, I felt a very real fear. My heart beat faster, and although I knew I was safe, I felt truly afraid.
How it happened:
She was enjoying a lovely evening. She and several international peers were enjoying a relaxed dinner and conversational exchange with her international peers, when suddenly, the religious police came from seemingly nowhere and exploded violent threats toward each one of the participants, even those from other lands. She was afraid of imprisonment or deportation for her, and for even more serious consequences for some others in her group. She was terrified, and I was frightened along with her.
Of course, feeling a piece of this experience in my heart, it made me grateful for my religious freedom. I am not threatened with violence, years of imprisonment, or exile if I do not rigorously adhere to every religious rule the government insists upon (even those I disagree with or despise). I am not mandated to dress a certain way, interact with others according to some strict rules based on our differences (such as class or gender), or spend my life in the same station because of the family or location into which I was born. Comparatively, I have great freedom. It was not just religious freedom for which I became acutely grateful, however. No, it made me see how fortunate I am in many ways, and I became extremely grateful for all the freedoms I have always known.
As I read the chapter and felt relief when everyone was safely home, I recalled a short video, ReMoved, I had recently seen ( vimeo.com/73172036 ). In it, a child and her baby brother are removed from their home when their father (who had been violently abusing their mother) was arrested. She was battered and bruised, frightened and angry, and missed terribly the baby brother who had been ripped away from her and taken to another home. She moved from foster home to foster home, always alone and always carrying her few meager possessions in a black garbage bag. It tore out my heart.
As I thought of that video and the experience the author described in Saudi Arabia, I realized that although I have a soft heart toward those who suffer in this world, I honestly have no idea what it is like. I have no reason for anything but gratitude when I consider my life and how fortunate I have been. A large percentage of the world has never known the safety and freedom I take for granted. I can do nothing but stand in humble gratitude for the great fortune I have been given.
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