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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mindful Monday ~ Where to Begin

Now is the time to become aware of what is working in your life and what is not working.  What needs to work differently?  It is important to take the time to look at what is going on inside of you and what you want going on inside of you.

 How healthy are you?

We are always moving on this journey, either towards optimal health, towards life, or away from optimal health, towards death.

Which direction are you moving in?  

So what is your prompt to change your pattern of habits? Or to just review your habits? Do you want to live your best life? Do you want to feel better? Is there something that is interfering with the way you get through your day? Do you have a definable illness? Do you feel different than you did a few years ago?

Well, whatever the reason, now is the time to change it. If you are thinking about it, the time has come to act on it. Make a list of the things that need to change, an inventory of your symptoms ~ the things that are bothering you about yourself ~ things that are bothering you in general......body odor, lack of sleep, irritability, itching, easy bruising, feeling despondent, 30 extra pounds, allergies, etc.

Then make a list of what you would like to see.....the changes in your life that you would like to actualize ~ achieving your ideal weight, feeling happier, being more peaceful, having better relationships, handling difficult situations easier, waking up refreshed rather than tired, eliminating bloating, gas or heartburn.....whatever your issues are. Take stock of what is right and what is wrong ~ this will help you determine whether you are moving in the right direction as you make changes.

Why two separate lists?  Well, the vision of what life could be like is a great driving force to make the necessary changes and stick with them.  When things are not going as you wish they would or it gets difficult to actually make the changes, this vision will help you to keep your "eyes on the prize" ~ the prize of optimal health.

So then, why list all the negative things?  Well, as things get better (and they will if you make the changes and the effort), you can start crossing things off your list.  And what a good feeling that is!  And it helps to remind you of what your "issues" were in case they should reappear in the future.  If you have been feeling optimally for a while and then slowly slip back into old habits, those old symptoms will sneak up on you again.  A list helps to remind you that you conquered this before and can do it again!

As you begin this journey to greater wellness, periodically check in to see how your are doing. Check your symptom list.  Has anything gotten better? Worse? Been eliminated?  It is important to remember that in the beginning, things may actually worsen.  Certain symptoms may be made worse by "cleaning" your system out.  Your body has to work to get rid of the junk that was cleaned out and that takes energy.  It also clogs the normal detoxification pathways, so things may back up a little, worsening symptoms.  This is normal.  There's even a medical term for it......Herxheimer reaction.  And the degree of reaction depends on the severity of the problem, as well as your body's ability to manage it.  And sometimes we underestimate the severity of the problem because it snuck up on us so insidiously.

And remember, health is multidimensional.  It is not just physical well being, it is also emotional, spiritual, social, financial and mental well being.  All of these interact with each other.  Each can act as a stressor and cause a response in your body and each response affects your overall health, positive or negative.  So don't forget to include those in your inventory.

So grab a notebook (or a pretty journal) and start your jounal for optimal health.  Start by listing these two things, your symptoms and your vision of the health you would like to have.  Tomorrow we will talk about where to start on this road to health.  And best wishes on your Journey to Optimal Health!  Buon Viaggio!