Category Archives: self help

Love without Unity

Peace signs in my eyes sometimes get in the way of my vision.  For others, it maybe dollar signs.  We all feel what’s important to us differently.  There are as many ideologies as there are people to uphold them.

Love without Unity?

It’s been done before.

What of the many civil wars, not only in our country, but world-wide?

Brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors, husbands and wives– aligning with different sides.

How is it that humans having so much in common can be so definitely divided?

A test of strength for sure. it’s a wake-up call about the assumptions we make based on what we believe.

Strong belief does not guarantee Truth.  Not even my own.

We all have a Path to walk.

My job is not to judge how you walk yours–my job is to keep putting one foot in front of the other as I determine my own.

Ah… back to baby steps.

Simple but not always easy.

Man, I’m stiff!

As a massage therapist, I relate to ‘feeling stiff” a little differently than most… as an aging boomer, I feel it all too well.

I see it as the body’s way of slowing us down until we become warmed up.   It makes me feel old and creaky, compromising my balance and my confidence as well.

The soreness is inflammation from the waste our muscles have created.  Movement and warmth help to carry it away, allowing freer movement while enabling circulation on many levels (it’s not just about blood–it’s lymphatic and hormonal too.

But when we don’t move much–ie sitting on the couch;  working at the computer; lying in bed; tensing up while driving;, etc,–

-we feel stiff.

What to do?

  • Rub what hurts before you get up and go.
  • Warm up literally–in the shower or with gentle movements–such as pumping your legs back and forth or making circles with yout ankles, etc.
  • Avoid over-stretching until you have moved around a bit
  • Use heat patches from the drug store–or some old fashioned Tiger Balm to warm up joints and tight muscles

Ok, that’s my preachy-massage-therapist-advice for this cold Winter’s day.

Let’s not allow inactivity to keep us down.

A limber body makes good use of a limber mind.

(you can quote me  on that!)

Sometimes I sleep like a baby, Many nights, I don’t…

 

What is it about being older that interrupts our sleep-style?

And is that indeed what it comes from–is it this a “getting older thing” ?

I know that a late-night wine habit can play a part in the mid-night wake-up.

And many evenings, I decide that it’s worth the risk, placing  a glass of water near my bed for the dry-mouth that often follows.  Dehydration is the factor there–so drinking a full glass of water pre-sleep, often seems to help.

But on those nights when I do not indulge, I often find myself eluded by the sandman (sand person?), revved up and ready to–do what?

If I start a project late in the evening or even read something engaging, or play WORD on my app,  I’m doomed to a racing mind and a dozen quick looks at the clock to see how much sleep that I’m missing.

Geesh.

What’s a boomer to do?

Ideas:

  • Relaxing soak in an epsom salts bath before bed-time
  • Yoga and muscle relaxation to soothe my mind
  • T.V.–oft times boring enough to put me to sleep
  • Relaxing herbal tea:   camomile; all mints but peppermint–which is a stimulant;
  • Hot toddy–just 1 :  little whisly, little honey, and lemon in hot water
  • Tell my body that I’m “letting go” and build a habit of progressive relaxation as I talk myself up from toe-to-head (or vise versa)
  • Quit worrying about it and “get up”, taking a nap later to revamp, even having coffee as if I’m starting the day anew

 

What about you?

Something to add?

Another baby-step towards better footing

I just reorganized my kitchen.  ‘Talk about a gush of energy!  I keep returning to look at my straightened cupboards and efficient arrangements for a cheap thrill!

Culinary Christmas presents threw my kitchen into serious critical mass with no place for too many things.

Kitchens are symbolic–and women are particularly conscious of this, I think.   When our kitchens are in order, our nerves are soothed.  It’s where we provide nurturing.  Conversations around the table are like traditional evenings around the fire–it’s where stories are told and feelings are shared.  It’s where laughter erupts and tears spring forth.

It’s often a place to be creative.  I can remember my mother spreading and smoothing material as she cut out a pattern (remember when our mothers made our clothes?) .

It’s often where the outside world intrudes our inner sanctum, as we stack our mail on the counter or clutter the table  with bills.  What a relief when we pay them down and clear them out.  An empty table is like exhaling stale breath.

Crumbs on the counter feel like things left undone.  Who doesn’t feel better when the dishes are washed and put away?

New Year’s Day was a perfect time to be alone to better sort out and deeply organize.  I could feel my emotions becoming more orderly as I allowed my self to re-envison what goes where.

How long should one keep unruly plastic containers, waiting for the mates to show up?  

And those assorted flours and baking supplies– if it’s over 6 months, out it goes,  along with those little flying critters which mysteriously hatch in the bags.

Do I need 3 mixing bowls, all the same size?    If the ceramic is chipped, there’s more where that came from at the thrift store–a place to recycle and change things up a bit,  while letting go of the same ol’, same ol’, especially fitting as we cycle into a brand new year.

Rock and roll made me move and the feeling of accomplishment was my groove.

And guess what?

Now I want to venture Into the  dark recesses under my bed-what’s in those plastic tubs?  Maybe clothes that I’ve long forgotten, a prize to rediscover!

For sure, a box of photos of people whom I love.  Safely storing them is procrastination on my part and avoiding the guilt that I would feel by throwing them away. So maybe it’s time to put those albums together.  My grandkids could help–an opportunity to learn some family history.

See how “ I desire”  is better than the pressure of  “ I should…” ?  If I want to feel a thrill–if the reward is big enough, I am more likely to make it happen!

And voila`,  dreaded Winter becomes the season to whittle down what I keep, by how much it truly means, relative to the space that I have.

What a novel thought– this baby-step thing is working!

Baby Steps to Change

Let’s face it, no matter how positive we are or how well we take care of ourselves, all days are not created equally.

We have ups and we have downs.

Change takes energy.  On our up days, we have enough–we follow our plans–we behave (be have) in a way that supports our intentions.

But when we have low energy, we rely on habit.  And if our habits are not good for us, we know it on some level and judge ourselves harshly.  You know the routine–it’s a downward spiral that leads us in the wrong direction.  Self-punishment is a poor reaction but when you feel bad about your self, you will behave badly–see how it goes?

What I propose is that we allow ourselves to take baby steps, recognizing progress  as the goal and self-reward.

Ask your self this: “Did I do better today than yesterday?”  Let that be your measuring stick, if you need one.

Soon, I’m wagering, you will feel better about your self and so your choices become ones that serve you–they become the new norm, the habit that helps, rather than the one that you have to police your self against.

Baby steps example:

“I want to do more Yoga to become more limber and strong.”

If I stretch in a yoga-like manner, doing only 3 positions during the day, I allow myself to say, “I did yoga today.”  And it hasn’t cost me much to do them–I can whip out 3 positions as I walk between rooms, after all.  It’s not taking my energy like it seems to when I :  1) make a special time, 2) dress for it, 3) play relaxing mood music–all nice things but…they keep me from actually doing yoga!

So–after a few days of doing the 3 positions– I add another one… and get comfortable with how doable 4 exercises are.

Then, I’m feeling good about myself and my consistency, and I’m inclined to sit on the floor and stretch while watching TV, all the while, a part of me knows that I’m becoming even more flexible and strong–“oh what a good girl am I !”  I am accomplishing the goal of being better each day.

You see where this is going?

I lost weight this way too–so I know that it works.  Someday, I’ll blog about that journey.