.Seeing Into the Future-2013 and Beyond .[The Health Edit]
♣. Saturday December 29, 2012
So for the second installment of this series we will be reflecting on our health. This may be easier for some then it is for others but nonetheless important in your endeavor to achieve what you’ve outline in the last few days as it relates to your career. If you are seriously questioning the validity of the aforesaid then you have not been sick enough or as severely in your lifetime, or have not known someone that was, to understand the implications and inabilities involved with…being sick. Based on my experiences (including currently) and all of the “I told you so” commentary, living and being unhealthy or ignoring areas of much needed improvement will set you back more than you can imagine. Until you have been placed in a circumstance where something greater than your mind is impeding you from having a clear mind, an energetic body without pain and a positive and optimistic soul, not only can you not, and I repeat—not, understand what it means to be healthy but you also are highly unlikely to prioritize your health. That being said, this is not a roast to all those happy and healthy individuals as well as those that have been surrounded by healthy people. Rather, it is a wake up call to those that are putting aside their health, to those that could be doing a bit more improvement and a reaffirmation to those that are leading happy and healthy lives!
Just a bit for those that are dealing with an illness or having health problems—you’ve been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Through it all, being sick is one of two opportunities to get to know your soul and to get to know who you really are. Quite frankly, from everything I’ve read over the years as it relates to this topic as well as my experiences, you do not know your full potential and your real self until you’re truly sick. Sure, you can push yourself beyond the limits whilst having a healthy body. From the aforesaid premise you can make the argument that you face challenges, learn, grow, break the limits and hit the repeat button over and over again, succeeding each and every time, while all this time still maintaining a healthy body and sound mind. Thereby, you might think to yourselves, by having done so and continuing to do so, you do get to know your full potential. However, after quite a bit of pondering I’ve put my experiences to a comparison test. When I was healthy and accomplished time and time again the “success formula” of facing challenges—hitting the cement flat, growing through learning and surpassing them by succeeding—I can say that I thought I had met my full potential and real self! Alas, the comparison test proved three years worth of that thinking down right wrong! Whilst being sick and getting worse as the days, weeks, months, and year flew by, I found the true measure of my potential, my strength, and got to know the real me. It was not the inspirational stories, the little self-help support quotes or anything—it was, quite simply, me. I never believed in reading or listening to any of them and still I do not. I don’t think that anyone in this world that’s been down-trodden by uncontrollable factors must need some outside factor to assist them in pulling through and succeeding in any endeavor they are currently in, if they are in one. To not sound to repetitive—it is just you that you need a nice sitting down with. You need to get to know yourself, what is it that you really want and what is it and to what measure are you willing to accept from unexpected and uncontrollable factors in life. By doing such and setting the record straight in your mind, through pain and aches and the occasional dizzy-fainting-leaning against the wall nonsense, you can seize control of your mind and soul and let that guide you through the unimaginable and what seems, on the surface, unsurpassable. This may sound romantic, delusive and, to some, apocryphal—but I’ve been placed in exact circumstances as I’ve just enumerated and fought it. So I ask…why can’t you? This isn’t a therapy session, these are not the thoughts and experiences of the faint and lighthearted—trust me.
So, akin to the previous edit in this series here is the breakdown—pen and draft pad in hand make two headers, the first “body” and the second “mind.” The questions to springboard you into a couple hours of reflection and pondering are the following—[Under body] When was the last time you felt healthy? By this I am referring to you not having any queries or concerns about the way you feel. How are you feeling, any pains, aches, soreness, lack of energy, difficulty in sleep, gained weight, weight lost, hair falling, nails brittle, skin color change and the like? Has this been consistent for a few days, weeks, months? Have you had any of these checked out? If so, and general medicine did not seem to have an answer for you as blood results and additional lab work came back negative, you might want to consider seeing an endocrinologist or a naturopath, and discuss your concerns. You may be having food sensitivity, maybe stress has burrowed its way into your life and has made a new home—hence impacting your health. Do you find that you’re still able to do the things you need to do (work, living, personal life)? If yes, then good. If not, you may want to try and see why? (Overbooked schedule or bodily pains impacting your ability to function.) Do you exercise? If yes, great—but do you think there are areas of improvement? Be honest with yourself—if there are, you might want to tackle them. A good workout routine does require a switch-up now and then…and usually in the direction of heavier weights to lift, more challenging cardio and maybe a new form of exercise—PiYo anyone? If you do not exercise, ask yourself why? Laziness, boredom…whatever it is, whatever age you are…exercise is extremely important to maintaining not only a healthy body but also a healthy mind. Are you taking any supplements or medications with or without a doctor’s consultation? If yes, and your having health concerns or problems, you might want to do a bit of reading on those supplements/medications, and inquiring with your physician of those symptoms and conflicting side effects. If not, and you do have health concerns or problems, you might want to consult with your physician what should you take. If you want to go on a more natural path, make an appointment with a well-recommended naturopath. How are you eating habits? Artificial, over-processed foods, and non-organic foods should be done away with! Yes, that includes low grade dairy products, breads and your late night candies, desserts, ice cream, etc… Do you eat anything organic? If yes, wonderful. If not, why? Is it the off-putting cost or a serious opinion of “what is the difference.” Well, this isn’t an article on organic versus non-organic foods, but the greater cost of these foods will save your bank with greater health problems in the future—Seriously. How often do you eat—frequently or infrequently? How about your portions? These are all things to consider. Each person is different in this respect. If you are noticing that you’re eating habits could be improved and you do not know where to start, begin by looking up a well-recommended nutritionist or a few self-help books. I’m not kidding, what you put in that body of yours will result in the product that you are. That is, artificial foods it is…inefficiency is the outcome of your efforts. I’m sure there are more questions that will pop in your mind along the way under this heading, so go ahead and continue on.
Now onto your mind—let’s have a check-in shall we? Nothing to fear, but a check-in indeed we must as it does have a significant control on your physical function and current physical pains (if any). The first measure of a sound mind, I think, is the following query—do you find that you are not the person that you are today? That is, were you more energetic, active, ambitious, motivated, excited, sound and calm, than previously? Do you find yourself overwhelmed? If so, have you had increased negativity in your life? Are you faced with a challenge in your career or personal life? If you answered “no” to the last two questions, do you find yourself lacking a reason for this unexplained difference in your mindset and the way you perceive things? If so, you may want to consult with a near and dear individual or therapist. Nothing to fear, really, sometimes we’ve been ill with something, especially if it’s in our gut as it has it’s own nervous system, and this does indeed affect the neuroplasticity in our brain. You may need an herbal supplement like Somnolin to get you back on track. Remember, that these “treatments” only really do 30% of the work—the rest is on you dearie. You need to tap into your core and take the lead, no matter the monumental effort involved. Are you participating in any physical or meditative activity? If not, you may want to look into those and try them for a bit. Do you find that you’re eating foods with little to no sugar? If so, you may want to introduce or re-introduce those in your diet again, in well-balanced and moderate amounts…of course—as my eye flutters over to the yet to be devoured box of Ladurée macarons. Having low blood sugar levels may make you feel sluggish as well as quite a bit dreary or under the weather—mentally speaking. And lastly, how are your thoughts? Do you find yourself thinking negatively most of the time? Has this always been the case? Has this just occurred recently, within a few months, or for a few years? If so, can you think of a reason why? Has something not so nice, tragic or just simply sad happened around the time when you began experiencing this type of thinking? If so, you may want to reflect on those and try to make peace with them, or talk to someone near and dear about it or a therapist. Talking is at the core of most healing processes. It’s not necessarily the act of talking. Rather, it’s the act of not allowing yourself to deny something and allowing for that thought or two, to become part of your conscious mind. Some people say that the actual mechanism of talking does prove useful. However, from what I’ve read and from my thoughts on the matter, I find that it’s rather YOUR acceptance and welcoming of that thought into your conscious mind. You do not have to agree with. You do not have to like it. But to move on and attain a clear mind, you do need to accept that thought or thing as part of the fabric of your life. That being said if you are a happy, cheery individual, seizing the days and excited to just live—pat yourself on the back. But remember, you can’t just let your mind go. If you are not involved in any meditative or reflective activities, you might want to consider implementing them, at least minimally, into your schedule because you never know if and when something happens how will your mind + you react. Always be prepared and aware.
Now onto taking those answers, constructing them into goals and prioritizing them. There is no easy answer for this as it relates to your health. This is up to you. I suggest to avoid combining answers from both body and mind categories. Keeping them separate will truly allow you to achieve improvement and balance in both areas of your health. Under body, you may want to group your answers into three groups, one on health concerns/pains, two on maintaining the physical aspects of your body or improving them through exercise, and three, your nutrition. Under health, you may want to group them in two groups, the first relates to your current state and how to improve, and second should be ambitions to maintain that well-balanced, positive, and optimistic mind. As far as turning your responses into goals, I assert that the best way for success is to write in the affirmative, be as specific as possible and provide a deadline. For example, “I workout, beginning Saturday December 29, 2012, every morning of every week, doing 40 minutes of cardio on the elliptical, 20 minutes on the rowing machine, 10 reps of weight machines on legs, arms etc…” I would also recommend that in constructing these goals like the aforesaid, I also highly recommend writing an end goal. For instance, if you have health problems, and you’ve written down that you’ll be seeing a doctor, getting on some regiment, also include something akin to the following, “By June 1, 2013 I am no longer having soreness in back and neck, joint pains, migraines etc…” (Don’t write etc, with this type of goal; be as specific as possible!) An end-goal like the aforesaid will really seal the deal and make clear what your on the path of achieving and your end goal is loud and clear! Like I’ve suggested in the first edit of this series, I would check back in with your goals at the end of every month. With increased frequency of checking in, you are more likely to succeed. Remember, your goals may change, the specificity may change, with that being said I suggest amending your list, adding those changes to your printed and typed version of your vision list. And, one little thing, don’t forget to think ahead, let’s not be proverbial here and stick to a one year vision list; think further down the road, break it down to a one year, five year and ten year increment vision. On that note, I wish you all the best of luck and wishes in completing this task—as I’ve said last time, it is difficult but well worth anyone’s and every one’s time.
I hope you all had and are having a Happy Holiday!
Best wishes, stay warm + healthy and Happy New Year!
General Naps Lulu
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