Lessons from the Bhagavad Gita

2372EB44-4758-4768-BCCE-86AB68D5D9D6Point form because #7am:

”When you make regular contact with your true self, the soul—the field of infinite consciousness—you experience self-confidence as your ground state. From this state of self-referral, you know intuitively that you can accomplish anything.”

The article re-posted from The Chopra Centre is here:

5 Lessons in Self-Confidence from the Bhagavad Gita

woman smiling with confidence

Self-confidence is a fundamental quality to living an effective, empowered, and fulfilling life. Being conscious of and reliant upon your own powers and abilities is what allows you to think, speak, and act purposefully and believe that you have the inner strength and courage to succeed.

Like everyone, there are times you can lose confidence in yourself and slip into bouts of doubt, insecurity, and uncertainty. Lacking self-confidence, you may fear and suspect that you are weak or incompetent and thereby hesitate to speak or act with assertiveness, missing out on potential opportunities for growth or success. You may sabotage and hold yourself back in your work, relationships, or personal lives. As anyone who has slipped into ruts of self-doubt and insecurity can tell you, this is not a pleasant state to be in. But how do you avoid it? How can you maintain a healthy level of self-confidence in who you are and what you can do? The answers, in part, lie in the Bhagavad Gita (Gita).

The Gita, arguably one of the most revered texts in all the Vedic literature, is a vast storehouse of Yogic knowledge and philosophy. A part of the epic poem, The Mahabharata, it encapsulates the essence of Vedanta in the tale of Arjuna, the finest of warriors who is caught up in an epic battle between the forces of good and evil. Gathered on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, the forces of good (Pandavas) and the forces of evil (Kauravas) are preparing for war. The mighty Pandu warrior, Arjuna, asks his divine charioteer, Krishna, to place his chariot between the two armies so he can see who he has to fight. To his dismay, Arjuna sees in both armies friends, family, teachers, and respected elders, all willing to fight and die. Overcome with sorrow, Arjuna sinks into despair at the thought of the inevitable bloodshed. The resulting dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna expounds on the path of yoga as a means of liberation from suffering.

In the second chapter of the Gita, The Yoga of Knowledge, Krishna instructs Arjuna in the ways of yoga, essentially giving him a wakeup call from his despondency and sadness, saying:

This despair and weakness in a time of crisis are mean and unworthy of you, Arjuna. How have you fallen into a state so far from the path to liberation? It does not become you to yield to this weakness. Arise with a brave heart and destroy the enemy. (C2, v2-3)

The lessons that follow are powerful tools for restoring Arjuna’s self-confidence. Like Arjuna, you can also benefit from these timeless teachings in your quest for self-confidence and self-determination. As you read each of these five principles, allow the profound wisdom of these teachings to resonate within you and feel your confidence grow as a result.

1. Know Your True Self

In Krishna’s first teaching to Arjuna, he explains that the material world you perceive with your five senses is not the true expression of reality. It is an illusion, albeit a convincing one. Your ultimate essence is pure spirit, pure timeless awareness. It is independent of the good or bad opinion of others, feels above no one and beneath no one, and is fearless of all challenges. When you lose sight of this important understanding, you forget your real identity. You take the impermanent roles you play too seriously and feel disconnected from the source of your power. Krishna reminds Arjuna:

The impermanent has no reality; reality lies in the eternal. Those who have seen the boundary between these two have attained the end of all knowledge. Realize that which pervades the universe is indestructible; no power can affect this unchanging, imperishable reality. The body is mortal, but he who dwells in the body is immortal and immeasurable. Therefore, Arjuna, fight in this battle. (C2, v16-18)

When you truly embody this understanding, it becomes impossible to harbor doubt, insecurity, or fear. In living from the level of your soul, your thoughts, speech, and actions embody the essence of pure unbounded spirit—fearless, sure of itself, and courageous in all things.

2. Follow Your Purpose in Life

Krishna then goes on to remind Arjuna to follow his dharma, or his purpose in life. Arjuna’s dharma is that of a warrior, both literally and metaphorically. Arjuna has been a mighty warrior all his life; it is what he was born to do. But Krishna also encourages him to be a warrior for righteousness and the pursuit of knowledge. This knowledge is the understanding of the negative forces that grip the mind and rob you of your sense of purpose in the world. Whenever you lose your sense of purpose, you feel lost, adrift in a world that wouldn’t care if you existed or not. But Krishna reminds Arjuna that performing his dharmic duty is the key to salvation:

Considering your dharma, you should not vacillate. For a warrior, nothing is higher than a war against evil. The warrior confronted with such a war should be pleased, Arjuna, for it comes as an open gate to heaven. But if you do not participate in this battle against evil, you will incur sin, violating your dharma and your honor. (C2, v31-33)

While this passage may sound as if Krishna is advocating violence, the battle described is actually an internal one in which you are called upon to seek out the causes of your own ignorance. When you pursue and fulfill your dharma or purpose in life, you feel driven, deliberate, and purposeful in what you do. An important, valid, and unique piece of a universe that has no spare parts, you can be confident knowing that what you do in the world matters and makes a difference.

3. Take Action

What comes next is a hint at what will be discussed at length in future chapters of the Gita. Krishna reminds Arjuna that he is here in this world to take action. Self-doubt, worry, and anxiety are the results not of action, but of mental turbulence, compulsive over-thinking, and analysis paralysis. When you fail to act, and get caught up in the endless “what if” loop, nothing is accomplished and you only doubt yourself more. If you act, however, you will either accomplish your goals and find fulfillment, or fail, but learn from the experience. This lesson teaches you to not just sit on the sidelines of life and wonder, but to take action and own the consequences. As Krishna teaches:

You have the right to work, but never to the fruits of work. You should never engage in action for the sake of reward, nor should you long for inaction. Perform work in this world, Arjuna, as a man established within himself – without selfish attachments, and alike in success and defeat. For yoga is perfect evenness of mind. (C2, v47-48)

In other words, take action! Make that phone call; apply for that job; ask that special someone out on a date; and write that book. Don’t worry about the outcome; taking action is the important part. The more you act, the more comfortable it will become. If nothing else, your confidence will grow from being able to say, “I did it!”

4. Build Experience

Krishna points out that every action leaves an impression, but only through disciplined practice are you able to improve. When you take action, you build up a surplus of experiences. Your skills grow and you become more capable. You develop the know-how, the understanding to navigate your activities with skill and ease. This is a fundamental key to self-confidence—regular, dedicated practice. As Krishna says:

Arjuna, now listen to the principles of yoga. By practicing these, you can break through the bonds of karma. On this path, effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure. Even a little effort toward spiritual awareness will protect you from the greatest fear. (C2, v39-40)

Put another way, keep going. You will always progress. I’m reminded of the answer one of my martial arts instructors gave me when I asked him the secret to become a confident and effective martial artist. His reply was simply, “Mat time,” which was another way to say, just keep training. Repetition is the mother of all skill, no matter what the endeavor. If you want to get better, and therefore more confident, keep practicing!

5. Meditate

Finally, Krishna teaches Arjuna the profound knowledge for tapping into the wisdom of yoga: meditation. Through the practice of meditation, the voices of doubt, indecision, fear, and worry soften to distant whispers, ultimately fading away entirely. In addition, meditation allows you to have direct experience of your soul—the infinite, immortal, unbounded, pure spirit. Stepping into this field sets you free from the need to seek the approval of others. Krishna describes those established in this wisdom like this:

Neither agitated by grief nor hankering after pleasure, they live free from lust and fear and anger. Established in meditation, they are truly wise. Fettered no more by selfish attachments, they are neither elated by good fortune nor depressed by bad. Such are the seers. (C2, v56-57)

When you make regular contact with your true self, the soul—the field of infinite consciousness—you experience self-confidence as your ground state. From this state of self-referral, you know intuitively that you can accomplish anything.

These five lessons provide you with powerful tools to harness the innate self-confidence that already lives within you. Use Krishna’s teachings as a regular reminder that you don’t serve the world by playing small. Arise with a brave heart and fight for knowledge.

Advertisements

Stress Addiction

This term has been around my body and percolating for the 12 years whereby I have had no period.  Hypothalamic Amenorrhea: a state I’ve talked about in previous posts is when the body perceives external threats to be such that it preserves life by shutting down peripheral processes.

I believe that parts of me survived by fight/flight/freeze in response to past trauma.  Now, their habitual tendencies latch on whenever they perceive outside experiences as outside their realm of coping.

Bring in addiction.  Addiction to this state of stimulation is what I feel.  And as I’m becoming more aware of this state in my life, I am speaking more about it.  I have come across people on the Squamish Chief, in cafe’s around Cumberland and now Squamish, in the therapy room for sure, in the library.  After chatting, they can relate to the feeling of ease and comfort with being “turned on”.

I believe that addiction is a universal term.  I believe that my own path is this:  the more I live out of automation, haste, anxiety, the more I feel the need to detach myself from the actions and ensuing choices that just don’t seem to align with my subconscious virtues.

Do you understand or relate to this?   I know the “that’s not my hand!” feeling when it’s almost as if you’re watching someone that isn’t you, do things?

night eating

 

This is the act of living outside of the present moment and being disconnected from yourself.  I believe that the more I feel threatened, the more I am living numbed.  The more I live numbed, the more I make choices that don’t make me feel aligned and the more I want to numb.

Vicious cycle.

It’s in details like:

  • when an injury/pain arises (I wasn’t listening to my body, I wasn’t in-tune)
  • when I crave an ice-cold shower (repenting, compensating, punishment)
  • when I CRAVE.  Straight up, just crave.  It could be anything, but it is noticeably charged
  • when I get a migraine (probably from undernourishment)
  • when I feel lonely or a sense of “ennui” (I didn’t seek out the support I needed because I was preoccupied with the insanely energy-consuming task of tending to my anxieties, my anxiety experience in general, busying myself and exhausting myself subconsciously as a way to escape and run away from the pain)
  • Bloat, gas, discomfort in digestion, GERD, IBS: food choices as a source of coping vs intuitive nourishment.
  • Excessive and obsessive skin picking in the bathroom mirror. (hot/cold flashes, sometimes self-inflicted, leaving my insides seeking a release)

This is a big realization for me.  That the remedy as the yogis have always said, the very definition of Yo-Ga (oneness, mind-body, connection), is to tune into myself.

I actually want to have a harmonious relationship with myself, my body-mind.

I want to feel my body.

I’m actually fully writing this in the library bathroom right now because I am having some gut-issues (lingering antibiotics “hangover” of diminished gut flora).  I feel that when my digestion is off, I run around in a hurried state because of the utter confusion that ensues and the choices that I make after it: food choices that make me body more confused, energy fluxes, emotional upheaval.

That’s it: confusion.

Confusion from the disconnect from my body, mind and soul.  Uncertainty is a state that can be peaceful if I am present with it, present fully in my body with it.  But the honest and imperative remedy is to be connected with myself.

(Breath is huge in this journey.  HUGE)

Namaste. Or something.

Stress-addiction

When do you experience these?

  • high heart rate
  • thinking about the next thing to do
  • frenzied rushing
  • furrowed brow
  • night sweats
  • “stuck” breathing
  • overwhelm
  • frequent peeing
  • immobilization, feeling like you’re moving through a barricade of peanut butter
  • indigestion
  • picking your nails, skin, scalp, toes, body
  • indecision

I feel these things daily.  I have become normalized to them.  Habituated to the extent that I seek them out, and feel very uncomfortable if I am comfortable.

This brings comfortably numb to a whole new level.

I honestly believe that along the lines of survival coping through trauma, my mind has created and implemented ways to disconnect from presence (from myself) so that I could continue surviving.  Past-trauma-shit.

These states listed above serve to disconnect me further, keep me numb.  When last week my body said “NO” in halting me with an ingrown toenail so painful that I had been taking advil nightly and resorted to antibiotics due to infection after a month of sleepless cold-sweats and throbbing, I was so full of feelings that I didn’t know what to do.  I still don’t know what to do, and so I am still waking up to do a bike ride then a hike after breakfast every single day.

I further it with now for the past 3 Squamish Chief hikes, timing myself from the start of the stairs to the metal staircase before the summit (34mins/ 31:45/ 30:34 <– #hadmelike holy fuck.).  It’s a catch-22 because there’s ying and yang to it; after the yang of the hike, I can exhale at the top of the Chief and cry a little as I observe, just observe the world up there.

orendawellness May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you — beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.
– Edward Abbey

And so, it’s tough because I haven’t had my period due to Hypothalamic Amenorrhea for 12 years.  Because my body is protecting itself for life because my stress and cortisol level allostatically is too high such that it attempts to preserve physiological functions to minimize peripheral energy, and the risk of bringing a child into an unsafe and subjectively perceived, threatening environment.

Fuck.

Also fuck: gut-brain connection is reflected in me being 3-days off the high dose of antibiotics now for my toe, and I’m pooping like 10x a day…this is bullshit.  Literally and figuratively.  I’m taking a high dose of probiotics now, but feel the effects of a sad gut microbiome as it depletedly, defeatedly attempts to digest food.   Maybe my life brought me to this to learn to adapt and listen to what my body is actually craving in terms of nourishment; maybe Ho can’t do all those Brussels sprouts anymore….time for Sattvic dal? But aha, the stress addiction cycles because again, part of me doesn’t want calm-inducing foods – it craves the coffee, the acidic, the olives salsa wasabi Sriracha etc.  Whoa.

Where to go from here?
I feel like I’ve been aware for so long, but theory only takes a body so far.  Then to feel, holy shit, to feel, that’s a whole new kind of Next Level Shit.

Anyone feel me?

Why even Relax, Though?

S’Ho moved to Squamish.  I feel much better here than on the island.  It’s a different vibe here.  It was a really easy transition minus the actual move: I just truly put the intention out there, and a lovely little suite of my own surfaced.  It was right.

I’m in a space of working with compassion. Compassion for parts of me that trauma has led to feel really unsafe.  Somatic Experiencing is the therapy I’m doing which is basically a way for me to slowly reconnect with the parts of myself that I basically unplugged from the umbilical cord of my own prana, my own life force energy.

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 2.11.32 PM

You know when you’re in just like, a haze of feels, and can’t find a release? Man it’s tough; the face of the Human Condition.  Somatic Experiencing is a therapy modality that recognizes that through trauma, the young parts of ourselves that experienced the pain that was too much for our current coping abilities at that time in our lives, those parts learn to cope through fight, freeze or flight, so that they are able to survive.  They cannot handle the stimulation because it feels like a threat to survival, so they build an armour around those parts to shield, to blunt the blow.

I realized that the state of utter terror that I felt growing up, I still feel that during everyday life.  It was a big realization, not one for words.  It’s been a journey with the therapy, to experience a state of functioning that wasn’t the modality of terror; and in that space I could come outside of my habitual state of functioning to see just how frightened and threatened those parts of me still feel.  They still feel very threatened, and haven’t been taught how to feel safe and nurtured in the world.  The somatic, the bodily feeling that I was able to see outside of myself was a feeling like I was going to be beaten, physically, it was terrifying and terribly insightful.  WHOA.

They have begun to relearn how to feel safe in the world, this is what I’m teaching them, teaching parts of myself.  It doesn’t work to “suck it up” and “just do the things” that terrify me, and to name a few;

  • abiding by authority
  • rules
  • restrictions
  • control
  • time constraints

The way my little soldiers fight back when threatened show in the following fight/flight/flee ways;

  • skin picking
  • terrible gut pains and digestion
  • exercise
  • restriction of food
  • restriction of nurturing (in all senses of the world)
  • somatically by thumping heart
  • migraine
  • depression
  • indecision
  • mean self-talk
  • rushing like a chicken without a head

So this therapy is to begin by identifying when these soldiers are mobilizing; basically anytime the above presents itself.  Those are survival-mode soldiers.  The process is slow AF. And it’s supposed to be.  Because the moment I go too fast for my parts to feel safe, they latch onto a coping strategy.  This is where a quote sums this shit up eloquently:

I don’t “let go” of my thoughts.  I meet them with understanding, and then my thoughts “let go” of me. – Byron Katie

Beautiful description.  An explanation of why “ripping the bandaid off” won’t work.

I often forget why I’m changing, though, because this way of life has become so normal and change is fucking hard.  And parodies have showed up to reinforce the need for this shift; the need to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system– the relaxation response (that sweet spot that basically initiates our own knowledge of how to heal ourselves);

(in jot dots because Ho’s tired):

  • in physio for alignment while running; tight hip, tight glute, literally stemming from tension and stress where I am not belly-breathing, such that a rib isn’t aligned in my thoracic/lumbar spine area.  why breathe deep?  whoa this is why…body is so wise.
  • gut health: shits on run, shits all damn day, gut = second brain = depression and incomplete poops. worst. feeling. ever #amirighttho?  Relax, tune into my soul; make different food choices, or at least begin by watching and observing my choices and how they’re affecting my body.  Further than that- when eating in a relaxed state, food can actually digest better.
  • Cramp on run: alltheabove

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 2.12.20 PM

So the body is telling me and I’m actually beginning to watch myself, and am slowly actually becoming open and even able to feel that I want to relax.  This is so new.  Some things I’m doing:

  • child’s pose
  • letting my belly go out to breathe
  • unstructured meditation nightly
  • legs up the wall (did this once, forces body to belly breathe literally because the chest and shoulder muscles aren’t physically able to fire)
  • physio to flex at hip while breathing with full belly breaths, which actually disinhibits the response of my hip flexor firing in place of my glute

Ok, that’s it.

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 2.12.03 PM

5 Reasons Why to see a Holistic Nutritionist

Holistic Nutrition is a way to look at the term “nourishment” and relate it to the way we fuel our bodies. I have been in a place of body dishonour and it sucks.  I’m rekindling through compassion, my relationship with my own nourishment needs.  Here are 5 reasons why you might want to see a Holistic Nutritionist.

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 1.57.56 PM.png

  1. Diets don’t work:. I have tried them, a shitload of them.  They don’t work.  For a myriad of reasons, they mess with your metabolism and your insulin levels, and only draw you further away from finding your inner knowledge of how to eat for your best health.  A Holistic Nutritionist is a great resource to use when you want a lifestyle change that will heal your nutritional disconnect and help you feel healthier.
  2. “Holistic” means more than just food: the “why” around eating is equally as important if not more important that the “what”.  Humans are emotional beings, and food is a coping mechanism.  When we are able to ask ourselves “why” we are eating then we can start to learn about how we cope, and learn what our beings need; because if you use food to satisfy a craving for loneliness, then once the food is gone, we will still be left with loneliness.  Tuning in to this awareness is so empowering.
  3. Stress kills: The way we eat, how we eat, and the way we run our lives all play a direct role with how we honour our own needs.  And when we are stressed, we will digest foods completely differently than when we are calm and relaxed.  Stress puts our bodies out of touch with their abilities to use nutrients properly.  Instead, we are in fight-or-flight mode, because the body thinks it’s mobilizing itself for battle.  We will have gut unrest, poor bowel movements, brain fog, and overall poor state of wellbeing.
  4. The gut is the seat of health:  when we are in harmony with our bodies and our senses of nourishment, we will be calmly in tune with our needs for nutrients.  The thing about supplements, is that while there’s a time and place for them, if we are truly aware of our nutrition needs and how to feed ourselves, we will naturally eat the foods that will help us feel balanced and eat a range of foods that will ensure we get all the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need.  This means we may intuitively know that the McDonald’s burger should be sidelined in favour of a T-bone steak, or that maybe we actually would best be suited with the slice of dark chocolate cherry cake.  The key to life is balance, and being aware of what our body needs.
  5. Eating is an emotional experience:  often, Holistic Nutrition is able to target issues around body image and self-care which are rooted in the way, and what we choose to put into our bodies.  “Holistic” encompasses body image, physical movement, mindfulness and self-care.  This may mean examining hidden beliefs of unworthiness, past habit formation, coping mechanisms, physical activity, meditation and yoga.  Nothing is isolatable in terms of focusing on treating symptoms, we look at the big picture of the root cause and incorporate multifaceted healing prescriptions for a lifestyle change.

A Calorie on Stress

I’ve been doing a lot of research on stress.  I understand my purpose in helping heal through targeting stress, and more deeply; our addiction to it.  I believe that somewhere along the way, a stressor in life caused a coping mechanism to arise out of survival, and this coping mechanism somehow became a crutch.  Maybe the stressor changed, and the dependency on the coping mechanism stuck.  Then, life became this unsafe place where the level of dependency on the coping mechanism necessitated a certain amount of life stress.  And so, the cyclical addiction to the process of coping, and living life in a fight-or-flight state.

And now my story; I’m watching my body as I get stronger.  The fascinating thing to me is that as I let go of stress, my body is getting stronger from my really low weight, and I believe that my digestion is better absorbing food. When under stress, the body under fight-or-flight doesn’t allocate energy to digestion- instead preparing the body for battle.  This being said, there’s merit to the idea of malabsorption regarding nutrients.

Point blank: I’m not eating much differently from what I feel, yet I’m gaining strength, weight, whatever.

It’s an amazing thing to experience…ok it’s also scary.  But I’m trusting my body, and I’m enjoying the capability to do more things like swim in a pool that isn’t 91 degrees (I still get very cold, but I can actually do it without getting hypothermia…).

The other thing I’m learning about is how the body works under stress and how physiologically we actually lessen the blood flow and so, nutrients and oxygen carried to areas of our bodies.  The main culprits are tension-migraine headache, stomach, eczema, heartburn, hiatus hernia, spastic colon, ulcer, colitis, IBS, hay fever asthma, and there’s been incredible research about the causes of these being mainly emotionally-based.  This talk was profound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjG-8GE2Wf4https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjG-8GE2Wf4

Tension myositis syndrome (TMS), also known as tension myoneural syndrome or mindbody syndrome is a name given by John E. Sarno to a condition he describes as characterized by psychogenic musculoskeletal and nerve symptoms, most notably back pain.[1][2][3] Sarno, a Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University School of Medicine and Attending Physician at The Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University Medical Center, has described TMS in four books,[4][5][6][7] and has stated that the condition may be involved in other pain disorders as well.[2] The treatment protocol for TMS includes education, writing about emotional issues, resumption of a normal lifestyle and, for some patients, support meetings and/or psychotherapy.[1][8] In 2007, David Schechter (a medical doctor and former student and research assistant of Sarno’s) published a peer-reviewed study of TMS treatment showing a 54% success rate for chronic back pain. In terms of statistical significance and success rate, the study outperformed similar studies of other psychological interventions for chronic back pain.[1]

Another resource on this if you’d like to read more is here: http://www.mindbodymedicine.com

I’m also reading a book called Mind over Medicine, by Dr. Lissa Rankin.  The concept of the book is how the mind’s subjective perception of events is what leads us to our current state of health.  Basically, as humans, we have different realms of our beings that we need to nourish and nurture, and these are the predicates of our mind states.  These factors, listed below, are the single most important aspects that shape how we view the world, the lens through which our lives are painted.  A warm and positive lens, brought on by things like;

  • a healthy sex life
  • a meaningful relationship with a partner
  • a good relationship with a health care practitioner, and so being, social support
  • community involvement and feeling of belonging
  • being of purpose in our careers

These factors are critical for our beings to feel at peace.  A peaceful human environment will let our bodies function in a relaxed state, where we can know how to heal ourselves, allow rest and repair of our tissues, and decrease overall inflammation.  We thrive here.

It’s fascinating to me to learn about how physiologically we tend to manifest body and mind factors.  Check this out; the metaphysical manifestation of disease.

I find this so interesting, and the initial talk I posted about the concept Dr. John Sarno talks about how different body areas are shut down from emotional stressors.  So, I believe that based on the stress, and the link above from the Spiritual Causes of Disease, there’s a correlation with the stress source and the area of the body in which it manifests.  For example, I’ve had some ankle pains, and ankles are said to be:

Ankle: Inflexibility and  guilt. Ankles represent the ability to receive pleasure.

And so it is.

Another article from a wicked trail runner, Dakota Jones, talks about how he solves some unresolved injuries from healing spiritually;

I decided that my body was rebelling against me spending all my time and energy on self-aggrandizement. And this was a decision, because I never had some kind of epiphany about it. There was no moment of enlightenment. I simply decided I didn’t want to be unhappy any more and I needed to change something. To that end I have lately taken steps to become more involved with my community, to create projects for kids, and to repeatedly berate iRunFar readers about environmental stewardship. This doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice being a competitive runner. In fact, quite the opposite: I find that I can have a unique impact as a runner that isn’t available to everyone. The more I have reached out in these ways, the more I’ve realized how much I don’t know. I spend a lot of time trying to learn things lately.

http://www.irunfar.com/2018/01/recovery-2.html

The concept isn’t new.  But it’s fascinating. I’m self experimenting with exploring other aspects of my life and seeing how my body responds. The aspects listed here, from that book I mentioned:

Take The Whole Health Quiz

  1. Do you feel well supported with loving community and intimate relationships with friends and family who allow you to express your authentic self?
  2. Do you feel in touch with your life’s purpose?
  3. Are you able to stay in alignment with your integrity in your professional life?
  4. Do you feel financially secure?
  5. Are you in a nurturing relationship with a romantic partner who allows you to express your authentic self?
  6. Do you feel satisfied sexually, either with or without a partner?
  7. Are you able to set healthy boundaries with the people who stress you out?
  8. Are you comfortable saying no?
  9. Do you feel spiritually connected to a Higher Power that you trust has your best interests at heart?
  10. Do you have a healthy way to address negative emotions, such as anger, resentment, grief, anxiety, and depressed mood?
  11. Are you an optimist?
  12. Do you practice gratitude?
  13. Do you engage in generous activities that serve others?
  14. Is your life enriched with scientifically-proven relaxation response activators, such as meditation, prayer, laughter, hugs, playing with animals, orgasms, yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, massage, EFT (tapping), and alternative healing methodologies, such as acupuncture and energy medicine?
  15. Do you live in an environment that is conducive to relaxation responses?
  16. Do you feel well equipped and appropriately supported to manage the details of day-to-day life?
  17. Do you express yourself creatively in ways you enjoy?
  18. Do you let yourself nap if you need to?
  19. Are you mindful of the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and activities that trigger avoidable stress responses in your body?
  20. Are you committed to doing whatever it takes to reduce stress responses and activate relaxation responses in your body?

And I look forward to being my own success story.

Namasthe xo

Rib Fractures Suck

It’s been 12 days since I’ve done any physical activity apart from (slowly) walking, and I just started doing some squattings.

This is HARD.  I’ve taken training breaks before from injury, but never been THIS incapacitated.  In the past, I’ve been able to do some strength work, but this is HARD.

Yesterday, I met with a strong group of my close friends as a goodbye before I leave on Thursday to live my life out in British Columbia.  It was absolutely incredible.

The sweetest part of viewing the blessings of the family you choose, aka, your friends, is that with whom we surround ourselves, are a direct reflection of us.

So maybs I’m self-horn-tooting, but like, that means we’re all just really damn cool people!

I took a second while we were all sitting together cozy like in a cafe, to look and observe at the scene:Steve-Carell-Smile-Crying.gif

And thought how grateful I was to have all these phenomenal human beings in my life.  I don’t usually do gatherings like this, I don’t often celebrate my birthday with friends.  But I really wanted to have a goodbye to the close people who are always with me wherever I go.

It was incredible.  Thank you all.

We talked the beauty of nature, and they were so supportive and loving of how they felt I belonged in the woods #wherenoonehearsmyfartsbutthetrees

Screen shot 2017-11-26 at 8.31.10 AM

I cannot wait to be in nature.  I forgot how much I’ve missed and needed it.  It’s been so long since I’ve been humbled by rugged trail and peace.  Toronto is loud and busy.

My rib is healing slow.  In this time, my mental strength is being tested, as well as my intuition.  I’m learning to hear my body, and live presently so that I can honour my needs.  As I’ve not trained in so long, it is a tricky time often to hear the restrictive voice of my mind with my old coping, and tell it to STFU.  Honestly, fuck the weight, fuck the struggle.  I don’t have energy enough to care for restriction and a half ass-life.

Nature, being out there, really puts the present moment in focus.  It takes away the mindgames we play, and puts real life right here and now.  There’s no time or space for restriction.  The body is totally our conduit for the experience, and is must be honoured or else, no experience.  Simple as that!

I’m eating and fuck it, I am getting healthy, in rest, and my body has done this for a reason.  The body always communicates with us.  Right now, it’s telling me to chill.  I’ve actually started watching Netflix for the first time (thank you Corinne).

I miss feeling physically strong, truly.  I feel at loss.  I won’t jeopardize my healing before I leave on Thursday (Nov 30th) to my new life out west.  The mountains are waiting for me, and I’ll climb em soon enough.  But right now, I chill, heal, rest.