Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Emotional Health, living with chronic illness, overcoming adversity

Life is a Series of Adjustments

It would be wonderful if life were predictable. You may have behaviors that are predictable, but only within a given context. We don’t have any notion of what tomorrow will bring and I’m not saying that just to be cliché. We can make assumptions about what’s ahead of us, but until we live it there are no guarantees.

Think about when you drive a car. You start to drive and your goal is to keep the wheels straight. In order to do that you make adjustments with the steering wheel. Throughout your drive you’ll make minor adjustments multiple times or you would have crashed into numerous other vehicles.

It seems to me that life works the same way. Within certain parameters we live our lives with a certain degree of certainty. We go to the same coffee shop, exercise at the same gym, or go to the same movie theater. However, what happens when there’s a long line at your coffee shop and there’s another shop around the corner? What do you do when the aerobics class you want to take at the gym is full? These are minor adjustments, but they direct you to different actions.

When facing a challenge whether it is health or some other form of life interruption, adjustments become more the norm than the exception. We find ourselves making adjustments with our time and resources. We modify (an adjustment) our workout routines depending on our energy level. We begin to ask questions that are deeper in nature because we’re looking for a solution to the interruption life has set at our feet.

We have to be careful not to over-adjust. I’ve met numerous people who think the way to solve their challenge is to do a complete 180 in their behavior. It’s important to remember that more is not always better. Minor adjustments may be just the thing to keep your life’s status quo.

It’s not uncommon for us to over adjust when we feel anxious, uncertain, or scared. We’ve been conditioned for the quick fix. This is most prominent in the diet industry where big results in a short amount of time headlines every commercial. Learning to take care of your body is paramount to good health and keeping off the weight. If you don’t learn how to “eat” without the program are you willing to make the “program” your new lifestyle instead of a quick fix?

I wrote a post earlier in the week about the importance of learning. We must learn healthful ways of reducing stress, alleviating pain, or minimizing distress. There are resources such as meditation, journaling, or moderate exercise that relieve stress and allow you to become better acquainted with your body, mind, and spirit.

Watch for those minor adjustments through the day. Be conscious of these adjustments and make sure you don’t drive out of your lane!

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Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Emotional Health, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness, Spirituality and Health

Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

Our brains are like steel traps.  Once we get an idea trying to release it like trying to take a bone away from a dog.  I listen to people’s stories every day and I’m amazed at what energy we all put into holding on to stories that don’t serve us and in many cases harm us.  I’ll give you a quick example and then an experience I had last week that really helped me understand the importance of release.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, my brother recenty had surgery.  Thankfully the mass was benign, but leading up to the surgery (he had six weeks to ponder) the thought that followed him like a dark cloud was the he would die and leave behind a young son.  He did the equivalent of mental pacing in his head.  His thoughts would return to this place every time he was alone with his son.  Pacing doesn’t do anything except wear a hole in your carpet.  When we mentally pace we’re like a hamster on the wheel, going fast but not gaining any ground.  How can you get out of your head?

The class I attended last week was on healing trauma through nature.  The morning began with something called “body prayer”.  “Body prayer” is awakening the body to the present.  It orients the physical, mental and spiritual so that we can pry ourselves loose from negative energy and recurring thoughts that keep us stuck.  Our leaders for the week used a combination of Qi Gong, Yoga and song. We’d spend a half hour each morning engaging in this practice.

We need ways to move the energy and create opportunities for resolution.  Having the opportunity to strengthen the body, relax the mind and fill the soul invites you to create new roads, roads to resolution.  When facing an illness, having the opportunity to find alternatives, develop creative conversations within your body and with others helps alleviate the stress brought on by an illness diagnosis.

How do you get out of those circular though patterns?  What types of body work do you use to create new thought pathways and detours to lose the negative thought patterns?  Share with us and help expand everyone’s potential.