Awakening, Coaching, craniosacral therapy, Habit Change, Massage Therapy, Mindset, Trauma

Aging + Butts, Guts, & Breath

How old are you?  How old do you feel?  Did you know that there can be a different between your chronological age and your biological age?
 
I’ve been repeatedly hit over the head with this concept as of late.
 
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been trying to pay attention to my thoughts about getting older, but, dammit, I keep getting sucked back into the Matrix (aka Instagram)!  I start scrolling and see all the ways we gradually crumble as we age, and everyone has a very adamant opinion about what to do or what not to do in order to forestall or minimize this inevitability.
 
All of these messages hit me over the head with the negative aspects of aging, creating an anxious fear – telling me I should do more for my health – take more supplements, squeeze more health optimization into my day, buy more life-enhancing tools (saunas/red lights/crystals/special socks/etc.), give up more tasty things.  Yet I know I don’t have the time, money, nor energy to implement all these things that are MUST Dos, so then the overwhelm strikes, and my forehead puckers, and my breath hangs out in the shallows.  As my body marinates in this self-induced stress state, I notice more wrinkles, more stubborn pudge, more absentmindedness, and think, “Yep – they were right!  This is what happens when you get older.”
 
And then I’m reminded that all off the above is bullshit.
 
We are not the victims of our circumstances.  We have the power of choice over our thoughts.
 
And our thoughts can even influence how we age.  If we view aging as an opportunity to become more authentically US, a time to leverage our wisdom and explore new opportunities, then a new world of possibility opens up.  If we are curious instead of fearful about what the next stage of life can offer to us, we can open up more space to find our way.  We are not condemned.
 
Here are the 3 podcasts that have appeared in my life recently to remind me, “Heather – Watch what spells you are putting on yourself with your thoughts!”
 
Midlife is a Chrysalis, not a Crisis with Rich Roll and Chip Conley
 
Unspell Yourself: Words & Language to Break Free From Mental Slavery w/ Enlifted’s Mark England (Thanks for sending this to me, Lynn!)
 
The Mind-Body Connection, the power of mindfulness, and why age is nothing but a mindset with Rich Roll and Dr.  Ellen Langer (Thanks for sending this to me, Brea!)
 
And you want to hear something hilarious?  I already knew all the stuff they said in these podcasts.  I read about this stuff all the time.  I actually even wrote an article for Tune Up Fitness in 2019 about this topic:  Can Negative Thoughts Make you Sick – The Science of how Thinking Affects the Body.  I read, I believe, and then I forget.  I am assuming this likely happens to you too, which is why I’m talking about this topic YET AGAIN!  Let’s help each other reframe how we see the world, how we see what is possible for us, each other, our communities! 
 
One brief practice that could help you really FEEL how our thoughts and language affect our bodies and how our words change our experience of the world (this comes from the Unspell Yourself podcast) is as follows:

  1. Take a sentence that runs through your brain ad nauseum:
    1. I should start drawing every day.
  2. Replace Should with Could.
    1. I could start drawing every day.
  3. Replace Could with Can.
    1. I can start drawing every day.

 Did you notice how you moved from feeling “put upon” by the Should and moved into a place of empowerment with the Can?

Here’s another reframe, courtesy of Byron Katie’s The Work.  This is a sentence I hear A LOT, both from my clients and repeatedly from myself, “What is wrong with me??” 

  • How about: What is Right with me??
  • Or maybe, What is wrong with the WORLD, such that it causes me to feel there is something wrong with ME?

Interesting stuff!

And on a final note,

I WAS ON A PODCAST

Part of my 2024 mission is to do something every day that makes me non-comfortable.  When I’m comfortable all the time, life is cozy and boring and small.  My business coach invited me to be on her podcast, and I felt the fear and the excitement and said Yes!  Mindy is a consummate professional and made me feel so at ease.  If you are interested in origin stories, thoughts on how to get a handle on your solopreneurship, and how to take baby steps toward possibility, you can give it a listen here:  EP 176: Gaining traction in your bodywork business with Heather Longoria.

I wish you a most excellent week, full of questioning those default mode thoughts that are reinforcing old, outdated versions of you.  What is RIGHT with you?  What CAN you do? How can you choose your own adventure?

With love,

Heather

The Butts, Guts & Breath Tour

A guy goes to a psychiatrist. “Doc, I keep having these alternating recurring dreams. First I’m a teepee; then I’m a wigwam; then I’m a teepee; then I’m a wigwam. It’s driving me crazy. What’s wrong with me?”

The doctor replies: “It’s very simple. You’re two tents.”

If you’re too tense, you likely notice restrictions in your shoulders, your butt, your belly, and your breath.  I’m offering a class at One Strong Woman on 2/28 at 5:30PM.  We’ll be using Tune Up Fitness therapy balls, movement, and meditation to help escort you from feeling too tense to spacious and free.  We only have 10 spots open, so register here to secure your spot!


Space to be Human Lab

  • CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, full-body therapy that is beneficial for improved sleep, decreased pain, and improved resilience.  You can book a session here.
  • Wellbeing coaching helps reconnect to your Self.  We partner together to identify what where you want to go, why you want to go there, and how to get there.  You can book a free consultation here.  For a limited time, I am offering a 6-session coaching package for $240.


QC Health & Wellness Pros Meetup

  • If you are a health & wellness practitioner, and you would like to connect with others in the healing field, you are invited to attend the QC Health & Wellness Professionals Mixer on 2/27 (we’ll have these monthly through April).  You can register here.


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Coaching, craniosacral therapy, Habit Change, Mindset

Maybe we actually CAN’T do it all

And that’s totally OK
 
“You need to learn how to start saying no to things you do want to do, with the recognition that you have only one life.”  Elizabeth Gilbert
 
I’m reading 4000 Weeks – Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman for the second time.  The first time I read it on my eReader, but then I had to buy the physical book because there were just too many passages that I wanted to underline, star, and highlight.  The core teaching of this book is that life is finite.  We have, on average, 4000 weeks to live, which means we have to make tough choices about how to spend our time.  We cannot DO all the things – all the laundry, all the exercise, read all the books, paint all the amazing landscapes, spend time with all our friends, pursue all the potential careers that tickle our fancy, etc.  As Elizabeth Gilbert so aptly said, not only do we need to say NO to those tasks that we don’t really want to do, but we also have to say no to tasks that we DO want to do, that are aligned with our values, and that are important. 
 
The author also notes that maybe the purpose of our lives, is not to be as productive as possible, but to experience more of the wonder of being alive. Hmmm….
 
When we think that by some magic combination of calendaring, To-Do lists, and self-discipline we will be able to get EVERYTHING done (and then we can finally let ourselves relax), we are fighting against reality. And we all know that that is a futile battle. We are setting ourselves up to fail from the get-go.  Here are a few reasons why we will never get everything done: 

  • Hofstadter’s law:  Any task you are planning to tackle will always take longer than you expect.
  • Parkinson’s law:  Work expands to fill the time available for its completion. If we clear the decks, more work will come down the conveyer belt to fill the void. 
  • Eigenzeit – A German word that means the time inherent to a process itself (p. 33).  Things take the amount of time they take.

What can we do about this situation?

  1. Make tough choices.  Ask ourselves – what really matters?  Am I doing the RIGHT things?  “You have to choose a few things, sacrifice everything else, and deal with the inevitable sense of loss that results” (p. 55).
  2. Tune in to gratitude – we have been gifted a life to live, and we get to (not have to) make choices about how we spend this precious, finite time, which is life.  If we could do EVERYTHING, there would be less value in it.  When we CHOOSE to do something, it’s meaningful because we are making a commitment to do THIS vs. THAT (p. 69).
  3. Pay yourself first – Work on the most important project the first hour of every day.
  4. Limit Work in Process – (Heather, Ahem, pay attention!!) – Limit the number of projects you are working on concurrently to 3.  Otherwise, when you get to a difficult part of your current project, you will switch to another project, etc. – never actually getting any project completed.
  5. Ask yourself – might the demands on us be unreasonable?  Will we ever succeed in being efficient and disciplined enough to get everything done that we are asked to do either by ourselves or by others?  If the answer is no, then you know the Ask is impossible, and you don’t need to berate yourself for failing at something that is impossible.
  6. Teach ourselves to stay with the anxiety, discomfort, and guilt of not getting it all done (because it’s impossible to do so).  “Most of us invest a lot of energy, one way or another, in trying to avoid fully experiencing the reality in our which we find ourselves” (p. 29).  If we could just let ourselves BE uncomfortable for a while, instead of frantically wishing that things were different and striving to make them so, what would happen?

There is so much more in this book that is blowing my mind and giving me food for thought about how I live my life.  But for now, I’m going to sign off and go experience a little wonder and magic, or at least try to sit with the uncomfortableness of not getting my house vacuumed this weekend. 😛

With love,

Heather

Space to be Human Lab

Here is how you can work with me:

  • CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, full-body therapy that is beneficial for improved sleep, decreased pain, and improved resilience. Your body loves to be listened to!
    • If you would like to try this modality, you can book a free 30-minute introductory session here, and you can book a full session here.
  • Wellbeing coaching helps You figure out You.  We partner together to identify what where you want to go, why you want to go there, and how to get there.  You can book a free consultation here.  For a limited time, I am offering a 6-session coaching package for $240. 

The QCHWP Mixer is Back!

  • If you are a health & wellness practitioner, and you would like to connect with others in the healing field, you are invited to attend the QC Health & Wellness Professionals Mixer on 1/30 (and we’ll have these monthly through April).  You can register here

P.S.  Thanks for reading all the way to the end!  As a thank you, the first 5 people who respond to this email with their mailing address will get a “Recipe for Calm” card mailed to them.
 
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Coaching, craniosacral therapy, Habit Change, Health & Fitness, Meditation, Mindset

Push Off From Here

Well, it’s the last day of 2023.  That means I should be writing about goals, resolutions, last year’s reflections.    But my inbox is full of those, and I’m sure yours it too.  Instead I decided to share an exercise from the lovely book, Push Off From Here – Nine Essential Truths To Get You Through Sobriety (And Everything Else).
 
This book walks us through hard questions that guide us towards more closely examining (with empathy and gentleness), our shadow self – the parts of us that we try to hide away and pretend don’t exist, but which exert a tremendous influence on our actions.  One such powerful question is:
 
How am I choosing, creating, or attracting this situation?
 
Ooh boy. When I sat down and answered this question about where I am professionally and personally, I encountered some hard, enlightening truths.  These insights were informed by a book I just finished, Deep Work, which is about the need for deep, intense, undistracted work to create something of value. I realized that in so many ways, I am choosing the easy, shallow option when it comes to my career and to my personal health.  Let’s take the latter, for example.
 
I am 46 years old and entering that stage where one’s body goes all wonky due to tetonic shifts in hormones.  Or, at least that’s the story I have been telling myself.  I see the wrinkles becoming more obvious, the frotzy greys popping up, the pants that are feeling a little too tight, and I say, “Well, this is just what happens when a woman is almost 50.” 
 
And wow, what a disempowering thought to have. 
 
Which brings me to another essential truth from Push Off From Here – “It’s not my fault, and it’s my responsibility.” 
 
It’s not my fault that humans get older, but it’s my responsibility to nurture this body and to take care of it to the best of my ability.  Which is NOT what I’ve been doing.  Instead, I’ve been blaming age for what I’m experiencing in my body.  When I ask myself, “How am I choosing to age more quickly (biologically)?”, I realize the following: 

  • I am choosing inflammation by eating too much sugar, too much ranch dressing (so damn tasty), by drinking alcohol too regularly, by tidying up/doing dishes/checking Facebook instead of going for a walk or stretching.
  • I am choosing to spend my precious morning hours consuming more information instead of creating something new.
  • I am choosing to lounge in bed a few extra minutes instead of meditating.
  • I am choosing to believe that weight gain is inevitable as I age, even though I have evidence this is not true for everyone.  (There are some SUPER fit older women at my gym that are such a great example of what is possible).
  • I am choosing to believe that I am too old to be sexy and vibrant.
  • I am choosing mindless eating by watching TV while I eat.
  • I am choosing to reinforce bad habits by rewarding them with a dopamine rush (e.g. when I get an urge for a snack (usually due to boredom or because I am facing a challenging task), I reward that urge with a snack, and thus reinforce that pattern). 

I also do a lot of things to promote my health and wellbeing, but this exercise helped me shine a light on how many of my behaviors and beliefs are not serving me well.  And I am taking this information to heart and using it to form my intentions for 2024.

I guess I did end up talking about year-end reflections and goals for the next year, but that is where the Universe led me, and I am trusting the flow. 😛

I wish you a very happy, vibrant, engaging 2024!  Thanks for sharing your eyes with me, reading these letters, and sending me notes over this past year.  Writing is one of my most truest loves, and it means so much to be able to share it with you. If you have any topics you would like to hear about next year, please respond to this email.  I love your feedback!

<3

– Hlo

Space to be Human Lab
As you reflect on 2023 and determine what you would like to invite in for 2024, perhaps you’re realizing that you want more ease, health, and self-compassion.  Bodywork and coaching are two roads toward that destination.  Here is how you can work with me:

  • CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, full-body therapy that is so beneficial for improved sleep, decreased pain, and improved resilience.
    • If you would like to sample this modality, you can book a free 30-minute introductory session here, and you can book a full session here.
  • It can be surprisingly difficult to know ourselves and to know what we want!  In coaching, we partner together to identify what where you want to go, why you want to go there, and how to get there.  You can book a free consultation here.  For a limited time, I am offering a 6-session coaching package for $240.

Newsletter signup
If you would like to get these posts sent to you directly, please click here.