Wednesday Wellness: Perspective

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.

What’s yours?

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Well, Well, Wednesday

music

Sometimes the best thing I can do for myself is NOT to write a wellness post on Wednesday.

Sometimes I spend my entire lunch period wondering about where I should go for lunch, and then it’s too late to go anywhere. Lunchtime is over.

Wednesdays are like that, too.

I am learning to be more flexible and expect the unexpected. Again.

When I was younger, I was so carefree.
I lived life as an INFP*,
Never knowing or caring where I would be
Improvising, literally

Adulting’s responsibilities
caused me anxiety
stifling my creativity

I’m finally coming back
I’m coming home
To being Me.

See? And here I thought I was going to type a post about my reading list and the virtues of paperbacks. Maybe talk a little about writing my new book of stories and recipes. Instead I wrote a poem.

Welcome to the Key of Dee.

*Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiver according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality theory. Check it out on http://www.onlinepersonalitytests.org/mbti

Wednesday Wellness: Check-in

Hey, Friends!  What happened to Wednesday Wellness?  You may have wondered. Well, I’m still working on it!  How do you manage your own wellness?  Do you have any tips?  Please comment and share!

What have I been doing for wellness?  Well, let me tell you!

The first thing I would like to share is that we took a little family vacation, for an extended weekend.  It takes planning, and a lot of effort getting there, but the time away together was so worth it. (Plus, I got a massage on the cruise!)  Be sure to check back here on the blog for my travelogue!

I completed one online course and started another, even still as I work on yet another.  I really enjoy the calls/presentations/recordings in online courses.  There is a freedom of scheduling when I listen to the course content, and also the private groups/ communities of the other enrolled students is  very supportive.

I guess you could say I am building my wellness toolkit. I like to take a bit from here and there and everywhere. There was a brilliant visualization tool offered in the Wellness Warrior e-course, which reminded me of another visualization tool I’d used before.  In my own “meditation” practice, and I say  “meditation” because I don’t know that that’s necessarily the best name for what I do- I began modifying an earlier relaxation practice from parts of my body to the chakras.  From an e-course about writing, I am learning and applying time management skills.

I am looking for more ways to find fun exercise in my daily life.  I don’t mind “found exercise,” like walking briskly when in a hurry or dancing with my daughter.  I really despise exercise “programs” and generally find exercise personalities to be overly annoying (I am sorry if you are one, this is just me) so this is a particularly challenging aspect for me.  I do enjoy yoga, and found one yoga DVD teacher that I really like, so I ordered another DVD. The kids and I enjoyed a three-mile walk along one of my favorite paths in the San Francisco Bay Area on President’s Day.

SF

San Francisco as seen from San Leandro

And we attended my daughter’s school Family Dance and danced the night away!

 

We have been watching movies on TV, and that is always fun.  My son always wants to watch the special bonus material on the DVDs.  Sometimes we watch movies that my daughter is too young for, so I make sure to check in with her and we do a special activity together, too, like reading.  She is now reading to me, which I greatly enjoy!

reading

I am looking forward to reading the new Star Wars books that my son has just finished, and I also bought another middle-grade novel just this morning at the school book fair.

I am carrying a journal again.  An actual journal.  Journaling was always such a part of my life, before we got all smart-phone’d out.  I used to finish a paper journal once a month.  Now I start one, put it down, and pick it up again a year later. So far it is mostly filled with the workshop exercises from the e-courses, but that is still reflection.  And it is still journaling!

As far as manifesting wealth, I continue to be happily surprised as opportunities come my way. I was asked to play piano for the next two Saturdays, and that is such a special opportunity for me, and they also pay me!  (What?) One of the books I am re-selling on Amazon marketplace has sold– yay!  And I received a refund check finally, from the Tolls service which I had cancelled last month.  All very welcome!

Very important for we creative types: we gotta practice creativity. I continue to develop creative ideas.  I took a break from writing the fairy tale mash-up jukebox musical, but I’ve decided to write my recipes and short stories collection during Camp NaNoWriMo.

Peace,

Denise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Wellness

This morning I’d forgotten to set my alarm.  All three of them.  Fortunately, I awoke naturally, and my children did, as well, in the moments that followed.  Forgetting to set my alarm is my greatest fear.  There is so much to do in the morning, there is no time to deviate from the routine.  I’m glad we were all able to focus.

Somehow I knew this would be a great day.  I made a breakthrough in plotting my mash-up fairy-tale jukebox musical late last night, by using a new tool.  Click Here for Dramatic Music  Use the Force, Luke!

trollquote(I know the meme is a mix-up.  I chose it on purpose.)

I was singing in the car, as you do, so I missed the exit to get my favorite snacks.  So I was early to work, even.

I was on alert all morning at work.  Waiting for department reports so I could organize, print, collate, staple, prepare for digital posting on the secure site.  As you do.  As I waited, I completed a basic template Prezi for work use, ran it by a colleague and then shared with the Boss.  We think it’s good.

Of course, Reports weren’t available until after noon, with the board committee meeting moved up to 1 pm.  No sweat.

Stepped out for lunch at just about one, after having messaged the CIO my contact info, just in case.  Called in my curbside delivery order at one of my favorite restaurants, drove back to enjoy my feast at my desk.   There was even dessert. (There may not be dinner, however. A girl’s gotta watch her calories!)

Somehow after lulls aplenty, I am inspired to write on all three of my blogs today.

I think it’s the inspiration that comes from creation.  I dared use a new tool to help unleash the story I want to tell.  And having conquered that challenge, I am inspired to do more.

Has this happened to you?

Keep Calm and Be Creative