Monday, January 23, 2017

Resting is the Hardest Work!

I'm a perfectionist...and an overachiever...and an INTJ.  The combination of all these things makes me a competitive, productive, high-achieving person, but it also makes me an anxious, OCD, stressball.  After years and years of a high stress life working full-time, homeschooling, managing a blended household with 6 children and all the other day to day things (moving, financial stressors, family issues, etc.) that everyone faces, I crashed, and I mean crashed hard.  Autoimmune issues likely related to adrenal fatigue caused a health crisis a couple of years ago that brought me to a screeching halt.  I've slowly been working towards restoring all aspects of my life and health since then. 

One thing I've learned about myself is that I have a very unhealthy perspective about rest that seems to be very deeply ingrained and difficult to untangle.  I feel like I have to do a herculean amount of work before I have "earned" rest, and the amount of rest I earn is not anywhere close to the amount of work that's been done.  If I feel like I'm resting "too much" then I start unhealthy self talk about being lazy which results in pushing myself harder and resting less.  My head understands on some level that rest isn't "earned" it's freely given and necessary to be better for myself and my family, but unfortunately, I have trouble accepting this at my very core. 

I have spent lots of time talking to myself, talking to others, praying, and trying to "unlearn" decades of bad habits and "stinkin' thinkin'."  Some days I do better than others, but I continue to improve.  One of the biggest moments of clarity I had was talking to a dear friend who gets how hard "resting" can be for me.  She shared a new perspective that made me laugh, but also gave me a new goal to shoot for. She said that since I am competitive by nature and love setting goals and working toward them, that I should become the "best rester of all!"  Don't you love it?!

That became my new mantra.  When I found myself starting to  to lapse into old habits, I'd remind myself that it was important work...the hardest work...and I'm not afraid of work, so I shift and begin thinking about how to become the "Best Rester!"  I celebrate days where I listen to my body and slow down, sleep more, and choose to rest body, mind, and spirit.  There's still a lot of work to do, but I'm a hard worker, so I know I'll get there!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Something is Better than Nothing...Every. Day.

Something is Better than Nothing...Every. Day.

I am a perfectionist.  This sometimes makes forward movement paralyzing for me.  If I can't do it perfectly, I end up not doing it at all.  So part of restoring my health means moving more.  Not just any movement, Healthy Movement.  I've learned over the past 2 years from Jen over at Healthy Moving, that I can make minor adjustments to the way I sit, stand, walk, and move that can have huge impacts on my overall health and mobility.  But I also realized I needed to incorporate cardio movement if I wanted to lose weight and continue to become more healthy.  I have great intentions to hike, and explore, and move more, but I always find an excuse.  

I recently discovered Leslie Sansone's Walk at Home program.  It's not outdoors which isn't ideal, and I don't believe "tightening my tummy" is the way to go (see Healthy Moving again for research and more information), because focusing on core strengthening is preferable, however, I actually DO this. My daughter and I have fun doing the walking, and that movement is far better than not doing anything because I can't do it "perfectly." 

If you purchase their mobile app subscription, you get access to the entire dvd library which you can access from your phone or computer, so if you have the capability to stream (we use chromecast), I can pick and choose which one we do each day.  This is a great bargain for $4.99 a month!

We've actually done it twice in the past 4 days which is more than anything else in the past few months, so it's progress.  I'll take it, give myself some kudos for not getting stuck in the quagmire of doing it perfectly, and be grateful for the time spent with my daughter, the time spent moving, opportunities to try new things and apply previous lessons learned and continue to work on moving more and restoring my health. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Intentional Restoration

We are damaged.  Our world is damaged.  Relationships, food sources, finances, health…we are surrounded by people and things in desperate need of healing and restoration in a world too fast paced to allow time for the important work to be done.  Damaged through neglect, misuse, and tragedy.  Sometimes, it's a slow degradation, other times, it's an unexpected event that catapults us into a pit of discouragement and despair. 

In a culture that expects and even demands instant gratification and constant entertainment, restoration is a concept that is difficult to understand and even more difficult to embrace.  Restoration is a slow, painstaking, gentle, loving process…progress is often difficult to see for long periods of time. 

It's time to pause. 

It's time to begin to make some deliberate choices that will begin to reverse the short and long term damage that surrounds us.  Sometimes done to us, sometimes done to ourselves, but the damage is done nonetheless. 

We must learn to look ever so closely at every detail of our lives and begin slowly, lovingly, to restore our hearts, souls, spirits, bodies, relationships, and homes. There is no quick fix, no magic potion, no overnight solution that can undo all that has been done; but we can begin the healing; we can through small, intentional choices, effect dramatic restoration.

It's time to weave into the fabric of our daily lives things like rest and grace for ourselves which will increase our capacity to extend these generous gifts to others.  We make a million micro-choices every day. 

Begin small…celebrate every healthy choice, extend grace to ourselves when we inevitably fall, and we will begin to see a glorious masterpiece emerge, unique, flawed, ever in need of further restoration, but every intentional choice we make, not only heals deep wounds, but prevents further damage from taking hold and is a step in the right direction. 

We can't do it all in one day, but we can do one thing.  Make one choice differently today.

He is the one thing that matters...if we work to do just one thing of our "get all the things done list",  we are working towards our goal.  Together, we can move from best intentions to intentional.