Thursday, September 27, 2012

Light

My health "issues" have run the gamut the past couple of years. There is one thing in play with every single one of my perceived health "issues": STRESS.

My college swim coach had a good friend/mentor who coached at Texas Tech (I think...) The friend worked very hard to work her way up in athletics at a time when women were almost non-existent in any sports. She was single, never had kids and worked all the time. This was a woman committed to athletics and health. She was very fit; she worked out (a runner maybe?) and ate healthy. It was not like she just worked and never took care of herself. But she lived a life filled with stress in the name of her career. This friend had breast cancer (that she battled and won) TWICE and she was undergoing treatment for a brain tumor at that time.

Now the thing is she might have had all of these health issues with or without the stress but even my coach at the time implied that all of her focused stressful work to climb a latter in a male dominated world probably contributed to her health issues. I am firm believer for good and bad that we hear stories or meet people or go places in our lives for a particular reason. Unless we are open to the story/person/place, we do not learn. I always try to be open and if I am not open at the time I usually find my way back to the reason behind something eventually. My memory is long and deep! This story of severity opened my eyes at a relatively young age to the knowledge that if I do not give myself a chance to deal with my stress/anxiety/depression, if I do not give it a voice it will overpower me in ways I do not want. However, eye opening and being mindful and aware all the time is two entirely different things.

I feel like this newest issue, GERD, and the early tooth decay that is it causing is like a warning call. Like my coach is sitting next to me telling me this woman's story all over again. WAKE UP. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. BE GRATEFUL. Something I have been working on with some regularity is spending a few minutes every morning on writing down/rewriting/considering what I am most grateful for then I visualize "everything I want in my life as if I had it today". It does wonders for me, it is calming, and it is such a transformative way to start the day (at work but also at home.) Here is what I have down for today:

  • I am grateful for this happy amazing life I never imagined I could have that I have worked had to build.
  • I am grateful for health. It is scary to think of the alternatives which I have lately and I know that I need to take this health thing seriously and be good to myself or else I am standing on dangerously steep slope. If my health is poor, then my family will suffer and as you can see I am very grateful for them.
  • I am grateful for my special time with Missy on Mondays. I am working on taking full advantage of that time, being more mindful with my time with her.
  • I am grateful for M Bug – he makes me humble. He reminds me that I need to work on being a better human being every day.
  • I am grateful for my job and the flexibility it allows me to live the life I want.
  • I am grateful for faith and light in my life.
  • I am blessed with a son who is bright, smart as a whip and funny as can be and a daughter who truly just is a light when I am feeling dark, such a happy little soul.
  • I am grateful for K – he is my rock, he is hard working and the light to my dark.
  • I am grateful that I found my way in life.
  • I am grateful for my Dad’s work ethic.
  • I am grateful that I am working today this moment on taking care of myself.
  • I am grateful for summer into fall; my gratitude for nature is deep.
  • I feel lucky to be on this earth, happy and healthy, today.
I know it somewhat cheesy and first few times I tried this I was like OH COME ONNNN hurry it up and get to work. But the days I have focused and been grateful from my heart has been so rewarding. Lighter and happier and, well, grateful. I refuse to succumb to the hand I was dealt. I would rather live and be cheesy and grateful (Ha, cheese, grate...) than to slowly do harm to myself and be so blatantly unaware of it. No job, no moment in life, really there is not much is worth that kind of thing.

I love me some Pinterest and two of my favorite quotes follow:
She stood in the storm & when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails. ~Elizabeth Edwards
Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
WAKE UP. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. BE GRATEFUL.

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