entrepreneur, Uncategorized

Coconuts on the Beach

 

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In our culture, we are always looking forward – towards our goals, dreams, aspirations. We work each day in the hopes of achieving specific outcomes: climbing the corporate ladder, owning a home, paying off debt, having a family and marriage.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with working for the future, but the problem is that we are so preoccupied that we forget to enjoy the journey.

Consider your path as a timeline; our end goals are just a blip, while the journey to get there stretches out as far as it needs to. We suspend our joy, presence, light and love for 90% of the process. Do we want our joy to be on the straight line, or just a single dot?

Coconuts on the beach

A lot of our culture is fixated on the results of hard work – the instagram photos, highlight reels and coconuts on the beach. But, we forget that life is supposed to be the journey. The process IS life, in itself: growth, change, joy, sorrow, challenges.

Life is not the vacation. Life is every single day before and after it, and also the vacation, each given equal presence and attention.

I have nothing against coconuts on the beach, but it’s not the remedy for life’s challenges. Embrace the journey and remember to enjoy it. After all, that straight line is where you’ll spend most of life anyways

Eating

Finding Food Freedom


The interwebs is already a scary place, but the health/fitness/nutrition interwebs are both confusing and terrifying. On a daily basis, we’re bombarded with conflicting scientific studies championing one lifestyle while demonizing another. We’re affronted with a flurry of self-proclaimed ‘wellness experts’ with zero educational or scientific background, shouting from the social media rooftops that eating 30 bananas a day or all raw food or bone broth or organ meat is the answer to all of your health problems.

Sugar doesn’t cause diabetes; fat does! Sugar causes diabetes and cancer! Cut out carbs to cure that ‘mental fog’! All sugar is evil! Stevia is the sweetener we’ve all been looking for! Stevia is the same as all other sweeteners! 

The reason this industry succeeds in confusing every possible ingredient and/or food group is because Americans are easy prey. Most of us are sick, all of us have a family history of health problems, and nobody wants to bring on cancer because they couldn’t afford the organic spinach.

It’s something that has personally terrified me for as long as I can remember. As a slightly chubby kid and a curvy, muscular woman, the learned desire to not gain weight runs very deep. I want to be healthy, avoid chronic diseases and cancer, and not be crazy-stressed obsessive about food.

But, I am very obsessed with food. I’m terrified that my non-organic apples will fill my fat cells with scary toxins that will shorten my life. I’m concerned about getting enough protein; I’m alarmed by meat and dairy products. And, above all, I am very freakin confused.

A few days a go, I had a major food meltdown – which I didn’t even know was a thing, but it is. I’ve cried on the bathroom floor for many reasons, but so far, confusion over food has not been one of them; this time, though, it was.

I feel frustrated and betrayed by the general chaos and conflicting information thrown in my face every time I turn on the radio or tv, peruse podcasts, or scroll through Instagram or Facebook. More than that, I’m tired of these platforms toying with my deep-seated fears and emotions.

The truth is that I am an adult, and able to make my own choices. I innately know what’s best not only for my physical health, but my mental health as well. (Cuase that’s very important, too!) I don’t need anyone to tell me what’s right and wrong, because I’ve been living in this body my entire life. I know what it likes; what bothers it; what drives it crazy into a food meltdown.

Sorry, health and fitness industry – but I’ve got this.

Bye, Felicia.

 

Running, Thoughts

Health & Happiness: A Beautiful Couple

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Just like peas & carrots or love & loyalty, health and happiness make a solid couple. While you can have one without the other, the two are more powerful when served up together – they strengthen, support, and amplify one another.  Better health boosts our chances at greater happiness; a life of love & joy make it profoundly easier to find the motivation to focus on our health. And when they join forces, they open up a path of light and contentment that, arguably, all of us are searching for.

The thorn of this philosophical rose is that neither of these things – health or happiness – are exclusively in our control. Our health can be wrecked by diseases, genes, accidents and harm. We can get in a car accident, fall of a roof, or contract some crazy virus/illness that makes health in any sense a lofty goal. On the flip side, happiness is inherently elusive. Regardless of how much we chase it, depression, loss, or just general circumstance can allow it to slip out of our grasp at any point in time.

d1a5a591bed6e2e0ea4778ddaeb38206The beauty of this concept, however, is that we can focus on what we’re lacking – or what’s more in our control – and work to change it. If we suffer from injury or disease, we can shift our focus to building a better mental outlook, defining emotional boundaries, and making physical changes in diet and (if possible) exercise that could boost our shot at a happier life. If we have happiness in some areas of our life, we can focus on our physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual health, depending on what we need most. There are those of us that are physically healthy but struggle in other areas.

It’s crucial to remember that health is not only defined in the physical sense. While feeling and looking great physically do contribute to a better mood and confidence, our emotional, mental and spiritual health are equally important to our overall wellbeing. Just like working out and eating right, there are lots of avenues to improve our health to craft a well-rounded sense of jubilance and joy.

Personally, a focus on my physical health has been profoundly effective therapy. As I’ve become leaner, faster, and stronger, I’ve noticed a plethora of positive changes in other areas of my life. I can run farther, but I’m also writing more. I’m doing my poetry and getting into freelance work, which mean the world to me. I’ve built a better relationship with my family, chosen more positive and supportive friends, and worked through a lot of emotional issues I’ve dealt with over the past year. I don’t just look better; I feel better. And the voice in my head has shifted from, oh well, who cares? F*ck it. to things are going so well, I’ve worked so hard, I feel so good – I don’t want to screw this up. I want to keep making positive choices. 

For me, health and happiness are symbiotic. They need and want each other, and build themselves room in my life to do so. For that, I am eternally grateful.