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!
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.
- 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.
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