Stand Firm And Be Free In Your Own FUNdation
Who ever said that life had to be blocked off in a series of numbers and squares?
Talking about your schedule, here.
Look around you. Is that what it looks like on stagnant paper or screen?
We think not. And why?
Because those time blocks and alarm clocks are blended together with in-between moments of an emotional existence that fulfills and colors the movement of what’s going on behind the scenes.
Yes, time is of the essence. You only live once..er.. maybe a hundred times, but this one counts.
We all feel emotions that highlight our lives day in and day out, yet balancing them with all else going on can be tricky.
So how do we get our feet wet and ripple or rip tide without getting caught up in the undertow?
Agility. Adaptability. Balance, my friends. Be flexible yet attentive, back at the basics. Establishing such a foundation to add to your self-supportive approach in life will carry you gliding on the next wave of opportunity, with many, many more to come.
“Lean on me, when you’re not strong, and I’ll be your friend – I’ll help you carry on.”
~ “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers
Relationships can be a zesty, reinforcing cushion in life that allow us to feel closer to others, and in turn, closer to ourselves. They’re supportive alright, and even alchemical in a way: we pour a portion of ourselves into them, reflect, refract and project back, creating chemistry and wondrous interactions to paint our lives with live art. It’s art in motion that can’t ever really be captured because it’s always going on, even when watching what’s already happened.
What you put into your life, what and how much of yourself you put into your relationships, determines the quality of the experience.
Keeping those good times rolling can depend on a few things, like perspective, as in hey, even in those hard times, there is still life to be lived; there are people to appreciate when you need someone to trust, to lean on, or just talk an ear off; there is also you, you are one of these people to appreciate, so reach within using a gentle hand too.
You deserve to give yourself some quality attention. After all, the best relationship you can have is with yourself - you can always be there for you - and when you do, you reflect that in your other relationships.
Let’s start with the body.
Happy body makes fertile ground for a happy mind.
Happy mind cultivates an air for high spirits among the entire spectrum of emotions. You can still be vibrant in your worry, graceful in your anger (so you don’t rock yourself too hard), inspired in your grief, grounded in your joy and esteemed in your sorrow.
Basically, you can have your worst moments and find you’re O.K. in them. And that means they get to move on, freeing you up to be fully involved in the next thing coming. Such is that full-hearted ride of life, savored at every unexpected yet wondrous and welcome turn.
Turning the Tables is Elemental
Get ready to break out your self-made building skills!
You’ve already got all the required tools, as basic as the four elements: Earth, Wind, Water and Fire.
Balancing them into your routine will allow that ‘feel good, do great’ approach to grow itself into your life. Focus on these roots and watch the growth of your fruits fall right into your hands.
Earth - Diet
This is very much a personal thing. Our bodies are all different, and what some people require in their diet will change from one to the next. Rather than focus on what ‘you should and shouldn’t’ eat, what you ‘treat yourself to’ or ‘indulge in’, simply eat what you want.
Yeah, you read that right. The key here is just to listen to your body afterwards. If you’re craving a large bowl of pasta with some rich tomato sauce, go for it. If you’re feeling fine afterwards, wow, what a great meal and lots of carbs for energy, right? If you find yourself feeling bloated, gassy, hot or cramped, probably not such a good idea to do again, don’t you think? There’s plenty of other choices out there, find another meal you can love yourself on.
Be mindful of portions and try to eat slowly. You’ll get to know when you’re belly is satisfied without overdoing it. Content is the key word. If after a half hour you’re still hungry and you’re eating hearty, you must be a pretty active person! Have a healthy small snack!
It’s not just about what you eat and how much of it that matters, it’s also when you eat. The body as a natural rhythm to it, synchronized to the time cycles of day and night. You should be hungry and eat something within a half hour of waking up. Your body hasn’t had any nourishment in a while! If you can even prime those digestive organs with a glass of water a half-hour before each time you eat, all the smoother!
So many of us are used to having dinner around 6 - 7 pm. According to some world-class medical theories such as TCM, 7pm and later is the worst time for the body to receive food. It’s getting dark, the body (pineal gland) is getting ready to shut down for the night, so give it the rest it needs. It will give you the reward of a good sleep and feeling refreshed in the morning. Eat supper a bit earlier, like 5pm and maybe a small healthy snack around 7pm if you’re still hungry. Water after that will help keep the belly sated and happy.
Wind - Breathing
We’ve all been doing it since birth, it pretty much functions on it’s own, and what, I’m still alive, right?
So what’s the big deal about this one?
Did you know that the predominant breathing habits in people of the United States lean on the shallow side?
Not getting enough oxygen in the blood can feel like fatigue, foggy brain, less energy, stagnation, organ sluggishness, moodiness, stress, anxiety. And it’s as simple a change as going for a 10 - 20 min walk everyday. Because the majority of us spend most of our time sitting or driving instead of getting even that simple exercise, we tend not to engage the diaphragm, just below the ribs, which is the primary muscle for breathing. We tend to breathe from the chest or throat instead, depriving ourselves of all that fresh oxygen that stimulates the body and mind on every level.
Find a breathing exercise among the myriad of them out there that gets you to focus on breathing deeply from your diaphragm for a period of time. Do it every day, fill your waiting time with them, when you go on breaks from work or school, whenever.
You’re always breathing anyways, right? After spending some time doing these exercises consistently, your body will reprogram to this default and you will feel so much more alive, so much more energetic. Feel Good, Do Great. Stay at it and check in with yourself every once in a while. Did you just catch yourself holding your breath? Take a deep one in and release a relaxing sigh. Doesn’t that feel good?
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Drink plenty of water. Average 8 or 9 cups and you should be good, but be mindful of these hot months and how much you sweat. Know that simple carb foods, sodas, caffeinated drinks and sugars will dehydrate you without even feeling it until long after they’ve already drained your body of the productive lubrication it needs to function well.
So if you’re into any of those things, just be mindful of taking in a little more water than the standard to balance you and keep your organs, vessels, muscles, brain and mind lubed to groove when you’re ready to go. People will be calling you slick, you fluid life rider you.
Our bodies are comprised of more than three-quarters water, so that’s where the emphasis comes in. Staying hydrated keeps you springy, spontaneous, ready and willing. Strong will. Strong, cool mind, clear thinking.
Fire - Exercise
Gotta keep that body movin’! Just like money in starting a business, you’ve gotta spend energy to make energy. The kind your body naturally makes on its own (without stimulants) is the best kind and hey, we’re getting into the self-made business here, so give yourself a fun kick in the butt and appreciative pat on the back for giving your body what it loves most - movement!
Healthy moving from the outside, along with the other three elements of healthy living, makes for healthy moving on the inside.
What does that equate to? Oh my goodness - calm nerves - the capability to handle what life throws at you in a relatively comfortable way so you can say like a pro, “It’s all in the reflexes.”
Choose your exercise program. Choose wisely. It doesn’t have to be and endurance trial if you don’t want it to be. It just means activity, constant, 20 minutes a day. Get outside, go for a walk. Do some jumping jacks in the house. Play with your neighbor’s dog (maybe you want to check with your neighbor first). Dance a personal party for yourself a little bit everyday. Celebrate how much you’re loving yourself.
It can be fun. It should be fun, so choose an activity you really enjoy. RIGHT!?! Why engage a moving relationship with your body you don’t like? By finding whatever exercise you enjoy, it’ll keep you coming back for more.
Exercise goes a lot the same way that diet does for the body - it’s not just what you do and how much, but when you exercise too that determines the qualitative effect it has for you and your body.
Those times in the day where you feel like you’re “catching your wind” are just about great windows for a filler exercise. High knees and a little jog in place for a few minutes around that 2 - 3 pm sleepy hour in the day! Stretch and arm circles for 10 - 15 minutes in the morning before getting into your day. Anything.
You’ve got this. Your body holds your mind steady to step into your creative spirit. Treat it well. Feel Good. Do Great. Have Fun.
Blend your life to your own beat, adding your art and style to the big picture. See you out there
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