You can read about it and have an understanding of it, but until you actually do it for yourself, you can't truly comprehend the healing power it holds - accepting all the parts of who we are, the good and the bad or the light and the shadow.
We are made up of all of these things and if we reject any part, we cannot be whole. The things we fear that we are - not good enough, not smart enough, not worthy, not lovable, not courageous, not strong, not tough, not likable - the list goes on - it is these very things that we must embrace and accept about ourselves, because they are part of us.
Where there is a strong emotional charge, it is what we fear in ourselves. Others may say it but we react because we believe it. And it may be true, there may be a part of us that feels that we 'aren't good enough', and that is precisely why we need to embrace it, to accept it, because it is our own judgement on ourselves.
By accepting that part of ourselves, we heal ourself, and the power it had over us disappears. If we can accept that in ourself, what is there to fear?
Week 13 day 5 of Winter Wellness - it's the last day of Winter, how will you take time out for yourself today?
It's hard to find enough hours in the day sometimes to take some time out for ourselves. So how do you find time out when you are really busy?
First you have to acknowledge that it is important to you and you need to make time. Next, you need to get creative on how you can do that.
Now that I have started studying full time I have to find ways to take time out for myself. Time out for helps me de-stress, relax and live a more happy and balanced life.
Now I don't get to walk every morning, but I make sure I give myself plenty of time to catch the train - no rushing = no stress, then I get out at lunchtime and go for a walk, that way I'm taking care of myself so that I don't get stressed.
When I'm studying at home, I set the number of hours I need to work, my start and finish time, and within that time frame I just work. I don't do the dishes or the washing or check my emails, I just work and I don't stress about the dishes on the sink, they will get done. I still allow myself an hour for lunch and I spend that anyway I want depending on what I need. If I need to walk on the beach, sit quietly and read a book, have a nap or catch up with the girls - I allow myself to do that knowing it will recharge my batteries and keep me going.
Life always brings change, but that doesn't mean we have to forgo the things that are important to us. Give yourself the time out that you need so you can continue to live your best life.
Week 13 day 4 of Winter Wellness - living a satisfying life.
I believe there are many different ways to live a more satisfying life and it can be different for each of us.
But I believe there are a few basics that we all need.
We need connection with others - family, friends or acquaintances, we need to feel we are part of something greater.
We need to have a passion or interest, wether it be reading, gardening or wrestling.
And I think we need to be able to appreciate where we are and what we have at this moment. It's not to say we don't try and change, more that we accept it for what it is and not use it as an excuse for why we can't live the life we want.
Our life experiences bring us satisfaction, bringing meaning to our daily activity and growing and developing as a person.
Sometimes to live a satisfying life we need to let go of the past and the relationships that no longer support us but instead are destructive. It can be hard but you will be happier in the long run.
If you do what you love, connect with others and have a supportive network then it is possible to live a more satisfying life.
day 3 of Winter Wellness
- eat well.
Have you made any changes to how or what you eat?
We know there are so many different theories out there about what's good for us and what's not, and it changes every week.
A good way is to eat as close to nature as possible - fresh, whole grain, and the less processed the better.To eat well,
we need to be aware of how much we need to eat
and how much we are actually eating.
You need to be aware of your triggers - why you eat when you aren't hungry. Do you find yourself eating mindlessly when you are stressed or bored? You can practice mindful eating
and change your habits.
I find when I am mentally challenged and fatigued, the last thing I care about is what I'm eating. But when I am taking care of myself, taking the necessary time I need to relax and de-stress, food doesn't play such an important role. I eat what I need to satisfy my hunger and stop when I am full.Eating well
is just one part of our overall wellness. You need to balance all areas of your life. Find what works for you - eat well and live your best life.
day 2 of Winter Wellness
- how did you get active
Over the past 3 months we have looked at lots of different ways to get active and at some of the many benefits that being active
We looked at activities like dancing
, group fitness and even yoga.
We found ways to get active outdoors
, ways to get active at work
and getting active with others.
Being active can bring a great sense of achievement,
being able to do something that just a few weeks or months earlier, you wouldn't have been able to do.
Being active is a great way to bring people together and it gives people a sense of connection and keeps them motivated.
The health benefits of being active
are huge - from releasing feel good endorphins to increasing the size of your brain, it can help fight heart disease and help people suffering with chronic illness.
If you do what you enjoy it's much easier to get active and stay active.
The warmer weather is just around the corner, so get out there and get active.
Week 13 day 1 of Winter Wellness. Winter is nearly over, just one week to go. How have you made changes so you can live your best life?
Were you here at the beginning, 3 long months ago? Did you think about some changes that you would like to make, did you write any goals for what you would like to achieve?
Well - how did you go? Did you start getting active or eating better? Do you take time out for yourself now? How are you living a more satisfying life?
Change doesn't have to be huge, it's the little changes that we make that build into big change. Little changes are more sustainable, more likely to last. So think back to where you were 3 months ago and I bet you can see some changes. Sometimes change happens and we are not even aware of it.
When I started writing this blog 3 months ago, I had no idea my life would change so much. Just 2 weeks ago I started studying for an Advanced Diploma of Art Therapy and Couselling, something I wasn't even thinking about 3 months ago. I have now reorganized my life and my work so that I can do this for the next 12 months - talk about change!
Writing the blog has helped me to learn about myself, about what's important to me, my core values. I learnt the value of taking time out for myself - walking on the beach, doing yoga, connecting with friends. And I have found ways to bring more satisfaction into my own life.
I hope in some small way I have been able to help you too, to make the changes in your life, so that you can live your best life.
Week 12 day 5 of Winter Wellness - how do you like to spend your time out?
Do you pamper yourself, have a relaxing massage, treat yourself to an ice-cream or something you enjoy but rarely have?
Do you like to spend your time catching up with friends or do you like the solitude of being alone? How about getting active - a walk on the beach or go for a run?
Ideally we'd probably like a little of each. It depends on how much time you have and what your needs are.
I've just started studying 3 days a week and I have to say I am struggling to fit it all in. For me, time out is not a luxury, it's a priority. If I don't have time out, my wellness will suffer.
I need my time out - to de-stress, to relax and to reconnect - with myself and my family and my friends.
We all need time out so we can live our best life, make it a priority today.
Week 12 day 4 of Winter Wellness - how can you live a more satisfying life?
I know that I get a lot of satisfaction in my life from the things I do and from the people I do things with. Sounds simple, doesn’t it.
But I think it also has a lot to do with the choices I make and the mindset I have. Let me explain.
I am living a much more satisfying life now because of the choices I make.
I have made a choice to walk on the beach in the morning, I make a cup of chai tea and I take my dog Leo, because he loves it and I am happy to be with him. I have the mindset that this is an enjoyable thing to do, not that it’s something I must do, get it over and done with.
And because I have this mindset it allows me to enjoy the experience, whatever it brings, I am there in the moment, ready to take whatever is offered.
Now, for the people (and dogs) whom I share my experiences with, I don’t always have a choice who they will be, but the choice of mindset is mine to make.
Sharing experiences with chosen family and friends can be really special. Sharing experiences with others you meet in your day, whether known to you or strangers might not always be so rewarding.
This is where mindset comes in. If you choose to go out into the world with an attitude of openness, curiosity and non-judgment, your experience with others may be very different. Even if you might have never chosen a particular person to share an experience with, if you have the mindset of being present, taking from the experience whatever is offered, then this can also be a satisfying experience.
You can choose to have a more satisfying life - it all depends on how you look at it.
Week 12 day 3 of Winter Wellness - how do you eat well at work?
When we are home in our own environment it is easier to control what we eat and how much we eat. But when we are at work it's not always that easy, there are lots of temptations out there...
For starters there's morning tea and maybe even someones birthday to celebrate. It's a good way to break the morning, whether you are hungry or not, plus it's social, a chance to hang out and have a chat.
Then comes lunch, a chance to get out of the office and wander down to the food court where lots of yummy smells abound.
Afternoon tea usually isn't such an event as people have staggered lunches, but there is usually sugar involved to help ward off the afternoon slump.
Then if you travel, there's the commute before you finally get home for dinner.
So how can we avoid some of this overload when we are at work? The best thing you can do is have a plan. Whenever possible take your own food. Take a piece of fruit, some yoghurt or a home-made mini muffin for morning or afternoon tea.
Lunch from home will always win against anything you can buy in the food court. Try a salad, wholemeal sandwich or even leftovers. Less processed, wholegrain foods will keep your blood sugars level so you shouldn't get that afternoon slump.
Always have something in your bag to snack on if you get hungry, nuts are great as they fill you up. That way you aren't forced into grabbing something you wouldn't normally eat.
Plan ahead and eat well.
Week 12 day 2 of Winter Wellness - how to do get active?
Over the past weeks we have looked at lots of different ways to stay active. By now you should know one of the best ways is to do something you love.
So how about dancing? Dancing is great for our cardio fitness but it can give us so much more. It's a great way to express yourself. The combination of movement and music is exhilarating. You can feel joyous, free, connected to yourself and to others.
It doesn't matter where you dance or how you dance. You can do ballet, or tap, ballroom, modern, salsa, hip hop, belly dance or zumba. You can dance at home on your own, in a class, as a group, on a stage or at a night club - it really doesn't matter where you do it, as long as you enjoy it.
There are other benefits too. It brings people together, helps people feel connected and less isolated. It can relieve depression and elevate your mood. It's good for increasing bone density, helps improve your balance and speeds up your metabolism.
Dancing can even make you smarter. It can help delay the effects of dementia and learning complex movements can help to create new pathways in the brain.
So what are you waiting for, get out there and shake your bootie - get active.