Friday, September 30, 2016

Finding Balance

Beautiful weather and I have no excuse now not to be out walking. That actually makes me happy because even when I don't sleep well (as I didn't last night), even though I occasionally fall asleep in front of the TV at 5:30 AM because I'm trying to make myself stay up until 7:30AM when it's time to walk, even though there are sometimes lots of tasks and chores that need to be done before I feel free to go out and walk......it does not matter because with high temps in the low 70's and humidity down as well, I can walk any time during the day. So, happy, happy and I think it's time to start a new challenge. I'll admit, I haven't been doing well on these 30 day challenges. It takes 21 days to establish a habit and I've only managed to make it to 14 before something interrupts me. I'm not ready to give up because this is too important. As we age, exercise is all the more important for our health. So, I will try again to walk every day for the next 21 and starting tomorrow (since I've already failed miserably on the diet and nutrition front today, I admit defeat and will start new in the morning), I will faithfully track my diet no matter how dismal it may be for the next 21 days.
I recently, started keeping a better eye on our finances and bank statements. I check our bank statement first thing every morning and I keep a ledger so I know that what I have written down agrees with the bank. What has this got to do with being fit and healthy? Well, I realized that tracking our spending has the same affect as tracking my diet, I am becoming more aware and as I become more aware, I'm less likely to spend frivolously....or eat empty calories. Every penny does add up and so does every calorie.
Attitude is so important. I've been going through a lot of changes recently and I've been making a lot of realizations about myself. I call them epiphanies because they usually are quite sudden and can be life changing. But part of me realizes that I knew these facts all along, I just wasn't ready to accept them. Sometimes, especially when we know that long held beliefs about ourselves, others and our relationships were false, it isn't always something that we want to know. But, I can tell you from experience, accepting the truth and letting go of bad situations, people who aren't good for us, preconceived notions we hold about ourselves and others and just plain letting go of the past....forgiving others and ourselves....is extremely freeing and it unties those binds that are holding us from our present and our future and all of our possibilities.
I've also been working on centering myself. I talk a lot about balance. It is so hard to achieve. I've come close in the past when I was active, in great shape, eating healthy, having success in my work......but when I'm honest with myself, there was always something lacking. I once had a therapist tell me that I was born an introvert but had pretended all of my life to be an extravert. I always have and still do feel very uncomfortable in social situations. I've always worried about how the other person is seeing me, how they are judging me and I even second guess myself later about things I did or said. I've recently realized that I've lived my life not only trying to please everyone but putting everyone else's opinions and feelings first. That has to stop now. I'm sixty years old and only a month away from adding another year to that. That's way past half my life gone and it's time that I started respecting myself. The thing about other's opinions, they are always tendered by their own insecurities and biases. They aren't an honest portrayal of you or your life. If you live your life always trying to make everyone else happy, not only will you fail miserably at that impossible task but you will be cheating yourself out of your own ultimate potential. I like to start each day thinking, today is a new day and it is full of possibilities. I could think the same of myself and so can you, today, I am a brand new person, a person I've never been before and I am full of possibilities! That is such an unlimited prospect.
Before I shut up, I want to praise the benefits of meditation. The practice was suggested to me years ago but I had no idea how to do it and I didn't understand it. Basically, it is quieting your mind. You can do this just by setting a timer for ten minutes and spending that time relaxed and concentrating on your breath. As your mind wanders (and it will), you gently pull it back to your breath. You become aware of how the breath feels as it fills up your body on the inhale and as you slowly release it on the exhale. It may sound simple but that is the point. Try it and see if it doesn't make your day start off on a more centered and peaceful note.

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