Practice Makes Positive
The last couple of weeks have been tough. Busy, busy, busy - like a hamster on a wheel. Going nowhere - really fast. Working all the time, feeling like I'll never catch up, and it was really getting me down. Last month I got this tremendously great news about my health, but I've been catching myself in the throes of negativity more often than I'd like to admit. I was certainly off-track of my normally positive outlook. How do you practice what you preach, Girlbert? The answer wasn't coming as quickly as I would have liked, so I wrote this little reminder for myself. Maybe it'll be helpful for some of you, too.
Here some of the tricks I use to stay on track in the practice of a happy, healthy life:
- I meditate. Every day - even if it's just for a few minutes. I try to stop and focus on my breathing: Inhale...Exhale. So simple, and does wonders for my stress level!
- I journal. I never know when I'll need to jot something down, so I keep a small notebook with me. I tell people that good or bad, it's better to get it out of your head and on paper than let it take over your mind. Then you can look at it on page and determine if it's worth more of your energy.
- I stop what I'm doing when I'm hungry and make food for myself. I make a point to consciously feed my body healthy food.
- I get outside and enjoy nature. I appreciate all of the earth's creatures and taking the time to admire them renews my sense of wonder and humility.
- Find the humor and laugh! There's something funny in every situation (I promise!), and if you can do that, you'll get through anything.
- I cry if I need to, then pick myself up and move on. But most importantly, don't bottle it up - let it OUT! It's okay to be angry/sad/whatever, as long as you address it and move on.
- I make time for the things I love to do. It's important to have a hobby or creative outlet. I started taking a watercolor class through the Cancer Center this fall, and I'm having a blast learning how to paint! Learning something new is so good for your mind, and being an art student reminds me that we're all students in the lesson that is life! I've also recently begun to take more time for my horse and my horse friends and that's been good for my spirit and to reconnect with the horse girl inside me. Reminds me that I'm still a horse girl, just waiting to get back in the saddle.
- I exercise. Okay, not every day, but I try to do something to get my blood pumping at least every other day. Then I yoga or do some pilates at home on days in between. I admit I'm not a big fan of exercising for exercising's sake, but I've seen the results of with vs. without: My blood counts (taken every week) are more stable, my mood is better, and I definitely have more energy with exercise. (Don't they have some research to prove that, somewhere, too?) Not to mention I look better with a little muscle on, and who doesn't like to look good? A shaman once told me, "if you look good, you feel good."
- I love to read, so I turn to the following authors when I need inspiration and support: I have to give credit to Shirley MacLaine for getting me started on my spiritual journey, so I consider anything of hers worth reading, but probably start with Out on a Limb. Louise Hay has written numerous inspirational books on self-healing and cured her own cancer. Deepak Chopra's Seven Spiritual Laws of Success is simple, yet eye-openingly profound. I go back to Richard Bach's Illusions, Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Running From Safety again and again for inspiration. Not a big reader? I've come across several thought-provoking documentaries over the last couple of years, too: Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Cancer, Temple Grandin, and What The Bleep Do They Know? are a few of the most memorable.
- I keep a record of inspiring or thought-provoking quotations to refer to when I need a quick pick-me-up. When I come across an inspirational phrase, I write it down in a notebook. Here are a few:
"Whether you think you can or you can't; you are right." Henry Ford
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." Emerson
"Make every day the best day of the year." Emerson
"Whether it is life or a horse that throws you, get right back on." Author Unknown
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." Confucius
"Some succeed because they are destined to; others because they are determined to." Author Unknown
"Do unto others because they ARE us." Shirley MacLaine
"The only journey worth taking is the one through oneself." Yeats
"Argue for you limitations, and sure enough, they're yours." Richard Bach
"An uninvestigated life is not worth living." Socrates
I stole some of the quotations above from Gayle Lampe's book, Riding For Success. Gayle was my amazing professor and riding instructor at William Woods University. Lucky for me, she's a dear friend as well.
And I have to give credit to so many healers, friends (animals, too!), shamans, energy workers, family members, doctors, holistic practitioners, and some people I've never even met; for inspiring me to be better, learn more, and HEAL. So put yourself out there - you never know who you'll meet, what you'll learn, or what you'll get back. Know that your energy, love, and support will be returned, times ten!