Today I am tired of the "do this", "do that" noise we are both bombarded with everyday from the world and we create within our own head. We so often think we have to do more to become more. Sometimes it's simpler than that. Sometimes NOT doing something is what we need to be healthier and happier. Here are a few thoughts:
1. Stop thinking you can't.
Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're probably right. The power of thought is real. Your thinking determines how you feel, your feelings will turn into action and your actions give you your results. Believe that you can do anything you truly want to do and you might surprise yourself with how changing your mind can change your life.
2. Stop competing.
I'm not talking about events where maybe you're trying to beat a time, or you're playing team sports or you're on the British Baking show trying to win. I'm talking about trying to be better than, impress or "one-up" your neighbor, your sister-in-law, your friends, whoever! Let's all just do our own personal best and not care what anyone else thinks. What other people think of you- good or bad is none of your business! I've known people who will allow not being as good at something prevent them from even trying. Case in point: Yoga. I can't tell you how many friends of mine have wanted to "get into yoga" but don't let themselves because they believe they aren't good enough to even try or are worried about how they will look to other people.
3. Stop social pressure eating.
Social eating used to really get me. I didn't want to "hurt feelings" because I wasn't eating a dessert and everyone else was, and I would eat almost everything offered to me just so I didn't have to say no. But I have changed, and it is liberating. Now I can say, "No thank you", without worrying I'm being rude. If people want to think it's rude then that is up to them, but I want to make choices that are best for me. Believe me when I say I still eat in social settings, but it is never because of some social pressure. If I eat in a social setting it is because I want to. So stop eating out of obligation. You're a big kid now and it's time you learned how to say, "No".
4. Stop buying food you don't want to eat.
Here's the hard truth: If you buy it, you will eventually eat it. So stop buying food you know isn't good for you and your family and stop pretending you won't eat it because chances are you will or you already did!
5. Stop making excuses.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day and we all get busy. Stop thinking you don't have time for what's really important and stop blaming other people for your "lack of time". Saying you don't have time is a lie because you have the same 24 hours like everyone else. If you feel time is your enemy eliminate some of the junk from your life.
6. Stop going to bed late.
Being chronically tired can affect every aspect of your life. I know from plenty of experience in the lack of sleep department that when I sleep well I am well.
7. Stop stressing out.
Unnecessary stress will leach into your being and turn you into a cranky, tight and uptight person even raising your blood pressure and affecting your heart health. Realize you can't change the past but you can change how you think about the past. You also can't change the future and worrying about it won't serve you. You also can't change other people. Let. It. Go. and you will be so much happier.
8. Stop trying every fad diet.
We all know that the best diet is balanced, nutritious, moderate and sustainable featuring food from Mother Earth. Why do we keep listening to the hype surrounding the latest fad?
9. Stop taking seconds at every meal.
I love to eat and I know how hard it can be to stop when your stomach is satisfied but your mouth wants more food. Usually for me the second helping doesn't taste as good as the first and I almost never need the extra calories I'm getting from my second plate. Try giving yourself a 20 minute break from food after your first serving. After the break check in with your body. Then decide if you still need a second helping.
10. Stop eating so fast.
I'm always the last person eating at a meal- this is one thing I've got down. I do love to eat slow. It helps me enjoy my food and lets my brain catch up to my stomach or my stomach catch up to my brain, whatever it is. Have you ever eaten in a such a rush that you barely tasted your food? Yuck! I hate that! Slow down and enjoy!
11. Stop overriding important body cues.
Have you learned to hear your body? Can you tell when it's truly hungry or tired or needs a stretch or needs a drink of water or needs a walk? Your body is wise but we can be so unwise in it. Learning to listen and honor what your body is telling you is one of the most life-affirming skills you may ever develop.
Try this: Next time you are hungry be curious about where your hunger is coming from. Is it true stomach hunger? Is it cellular hunger? Or is your body simply tired or thirsty? Does your brain think hunger because you saw, smelled or tasted something yummy? Do you think you're hungry because it's simply "meal time"? Or is it human connection that you crave?
Do you have any experience with any of these points? I'd love to hear about it. And try to be kind to yourself as you navigate what is best for you and your body.
Spring is springing and I've been able to practice a bit on my back lawn in the sunshine. In times past I was pretty reluctant to practice out in the open where neighbors might see me. I didn't want anyone watching me enjoy my moment, or thinking I was weird, or heaven forbid, trying to be cool! Now, in this rental house I can be seen by more people than ever before (the street behind my house is set up much higher than my street- easy to look down on our house), but now I don't give what my neighbors think of my yoga and Pilates on the lawn because people are going to think what they want and all I want to do is enjoy the sunshine and move. Do you let what other people might think of you stop you from doing what you really want? Why do we do that? It's dumb!
The truth is, most people don't think about us as much as we think they do, and most people are generous in their thoughts when they do think of us. Do something wonderful this week free from cares of other people's cares, would 'ya? Have a wonderful weekend. XO
I feel like much of the first 2/3 of my life was spent with some sort of underlying dissatisfaction with myself or my situation. Nothing debilitating or depressing but a sometimes irritation with my life that made it hard for me to find happiness in my present.
Now I'm pretty positive we will ALL struggle with this on and off again probably our whole lives because it is in our very nature to want to become better and to better our surroundings, but when it is motivated and approached from an angle of pride (either from the top looking down or the bottom looking up) it always leaves you feeling empty and unsatisfied. And that was much of my story.
I think it stemmed from a slight inferiority complex- mainly growing up in an area with lots of money when my family did not have it. I'm annoyed at myself when I think of how I let this affect me, because I absolutely had an ideal childhood and upbringing in a loving, Christ-centered home with lots of space to roam. But some kind of paradigm shift happened to me at some point that was rooted in me "not having enough" or "being enough" despite what my parents had taught me. My parents really did have it right though. They knew and taught that we are infinite beings with infinite beauty, potential and worth.
But whatever my "reason" for feeling like an underdog, I knew it was something I needed to rid my soul of.
It's been a good 13 years of practice and soul searching, and honestly I can't layout some magical program to bring inner peace, but this I know- that true peace of mind and soul come only through Jesus Christ and keeping his commandments.
So, not long ago I had an incredible experience in yoga. During savasana, or lifeless body, where we lie still for several minutes at the end of class the instructor said, "At some point you have to let go. At some point you have to let go of the expectations and the way you thought it was suppose to be and live in your now. Live in what is."
I suddenly felt unexpected tears rolling from the corners of my eyes, and as I laid there trying to figure out my feelings I came to know it was tears of happiness. Tears of peace, of knowing that I had overcome so much of my struggle and that I had come to a point of mostly satisfaction, versus dissatisfaction with my life. I knew I had come to a point in my life where I wanted God to lead me- really lead me without me kicking and screaming. I had slowly along the way let go of who I "used to be", and who "I should be". And now I loved me. I loved my story and though imperfect, I loved my life. I was full of gratitude that day. Grateful for a loving, gracious God and for that moment on my yoga mat.
Two days ago a first-timer to my Pilates class at the gym seemed anxious before class.
She introduced herself to me and asked if I thought she would be okay in class, "I mean look", she said, "most of these ladies look really fit and skinnier than me". I was saddened by her "skinnier" comment and it got me thinking that probably far too many people (especially women) feel that way about not just Pilates and yoga, but really, any endeavor at the gym. I assured her there were all levels in my class and that she should give it a whirl without caring how she thought she looked compared to other people.
I then read an article the same day titled: That Fit Person Who's Got it all Together.....Doesn't. Take it From Us. Everyone Else is Struggling Too. By Krista Scott-Dixon. You can find it here, but here's a bit I really liked:
"Sometimes It seems like Everyone Else can handle their lives.
I agree with this 100%. Don't be fooled! We ALL struggle with something.
And that first-timer in my class? She lasted the whole hour and I even caught her smiling.
I love movement and habits that promote health and lifetime wellness. I also like stretchy pants, being outside and good-for-you food! Follow me on Instagram @DawnBrownCoaching for more frequent updates.