Happy Wellness Wednesday, Friends! I started writing about wellness topics on Wednesdays, as I noticed so many of my writer friends and creatives struggle with balance, as do I. Join me on my wellness journey and let’s chat!
My superpower is anxiety. I’ve only recently decided to claim it as my superpower, and just doing so has already changed me. More on this in a minute.
Recently, I shared a story at a family dinner. The story included my oldest child, when he was but a baby. My daughter asked me to tell her more stories about when she was a baby. So I started rereading my personal blog posts from eight years ago. Of course I discovered and remembered many delightful stories that I could share with her and my family. But there was more.
As I reviewed my own writings of the past eight years, themes and patterns became obvious. Some of them painfully so. Sure, some posts chronicled my agonizing year of regular gall bladder attacks and subsequent surgery to remove the darn thing, and then my “recovery.” This was during the year of my husband’s job search, so there was anxiety and depression, as well. Earlier our oldest child had received a diagnosis, actually both children have undergone surgical procedures as well as been hospitalized for days for illnesses. I know after sleeping in the chairs in hospital rooms so often, I have learned to pack my travel neck-pillow. The only reason I can come up with for all the suffering in the world is because somewhere, somebody learns something from it. Somebody somewhere is going to find the cure for cancer.
As my friends and readers know, I am a writer and a reader. I love patterns in fiction and in music. I am a believer in the hero’s journey and a sucker for the sonata form. I can’t even take a personality quiz anymore, because I find the pattern and skew the results to what I want. (Does anybody else do this?) Even still, I was kind of surprised to see patterns before me in black and white.
In my never-ending pseudo-dieting, it sure seemed that once I did a cleanse, I was on my way to that weight loss. I’d find prompt results and relish in my “success” for a little while. Eventually, I’d cheat and then stop altogether. Many times this cycle repeated. Wow. It was almost kind of depressing reading this.
But also it was enlightening, seeing what worked. Here’s what worked for me.
Cleansing as a jump-start to eating well. Doing a cleanse is a supercommittment and opportunity to focus. It’s not easy, but it works.
Tracking calories using an app on my phone. Pretty much when I stop tracking, is when I start cheating.
Practicing Gratefulness. When I journal and write and speak of my gratefulness, it is underscored.
Practicing Yoga. Reading about how good it made me feel, made me wonder why I’d stopped. Even if I don’t do a DVD, just taking the time to remember my favorite positions is wonderful.
Visualizing. Envisioning positive results from whatever my struggle du jour may be. Also, breathing loving energy directly to parts of my body helps the aches and pains.
Creating Art. After my first essay was published, I got the bug. Writing and self-publishing my poetry collection A Maze in Grace was a journey in itself. But also, taking the time to collage journal and color with my children. Singing in the car. I recorded a Christmas album and shared it with my friends and family. (Would you like an mp3? Send me your email addy!)
Writing. Personal journal entries and blog posts. Poems and lists. Ideas for my breakout novel. And jukebox musical. Hey- it could happen!
Perhaps it is my writer/ reader connection with the hero’s journey that allowed me to finally accept my anxiety for what it is. Years ago I attended a Marianne Williamson lecture in San Francisco, and she stated plainly that AIDS was a call to compassion. I get it now. Anxiety is the Catalyst. In the Hero’s Journey, something happens to the main character which changes everything. It is the Call to Adventure: when Luke goes with Obi-wan to Mos Eisley, when Harry Potter gets on the Hogwarts Express.
And so I have changed my perspective on my anxiety. How lucky am I that I have a prompt to get me back on track. It’s like my secret superpower.