Since my surgery, I've had a new interest in all things "wellness." I've always explored it in various ways, I've been practicing yoga for 10 years, I eat mindfully, I take time to care for myself, I drink lots of different wellness teas, etc. Now, however, I feel that my efforts are renewed and I've been exploring different avenues that I walked away from in the past. Things like essential oils, meditation, mindfulness and feng shui used to intimidate me because I didn't want to be duped. Now, I feel like I just want to hone my life, and have the most productive and abundant life ever, and I'll try anything once, especially if it helps me get there.
VULNERABILITY AND PSEUDOSCIENCE
The biggest step I took on this journey was to be brave enough to try things that others might think are "stupid," because their thoughts haven't served me in my life and won't serve me now. It can take a lot of bravery to try something that hasn't been proven to work, because if it doesn't work, people might realize you were duped.
This was really scary for me, so scary that I almost didn't explore it at all.
I realized though, that there is value in sharing your life as you explore new things. Not everything has to be in final form, not everything has to be written in pen. A lot of my writing on this blog will be "written in pencil", meaning that I'm exploring and sharing as I go. I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I'll share my experiences and current knowledge in the hopes that in encourages someone to explore their interests without being afraid of looking like an idiot.
I've been exploring the fact that I want my home to not only be beautiful, but to be a space where both my partner and I can recharge. When I moved into this house with my partner, it was clear to both of us that the house didn't feel like "home" and we couldn't quite put our finger on why. I have a very defined "aesthetic", as does he, but despite living in a beautiful house in the middle of the forest our home often felt foreign, cold and uninviting (even with a fire roaring in the fireplace).
This problem hasn't completely solved itself as of yet, but in the days after my surgery, I Pinterested HARD. I was on medication that not only kept me up all night but the adrenaline from surviving surgery turned my already hard-to-control enthusiasm into a little bout of mini mania. I could not be stopped.
I found a huge resource on feng shui and how to optimize the energy flow in your home and I jumped on board. I learned that Feng Shui is just about using colours and thoughtful arrangement of your environment to make your house feel like it has the best vibes possible. And who doesn't want better vibes?????
In the interest of "writing in pencil," I've gotta tell you that my house is FAR from Feng Shui perfection, but I did notice that minimizing clutter, adding house plants and softening my big windows with some window treatments have made a huge improvement on the flow and overall energy of our home.
Meditation is not new to me. I've had a yoga practice for most of my life, and meditation has always kind of fallen to the side. A lot of things have to be in line for me to meditate: totally clean environment, comfy seat (sitting cross legged is NOT something I enjoy), mood lighting, nice smells, total silence, etc. When all of these things align and I have a good meditation practice, I feel great, but that maybe happens once every two weeks at this point, which in my opinion isn't really enough to make a noticeable impact on my day to day life.
I’m in the process of converting one of my closets into a calming meditation space, but as that likely won't be done for a while I've been searching for stillness elsewhere. Knitting has really served that purpose for me, especially quick, easy projects like dishcloths. They make great gifts so I can practice generosity (I like to keep a stash to add on to birthday and Christmas gifts) and it’s a great way to either shut my brain off or keep my hands busy while I listen to a podcast or watch TV. This practice of finding stillness everyday feels like I'm giving my thoughts room to breathe, and its been incredibly important as I find my new identity after this surgery: Slightly differently abled, but at peace with what I can and cannot change.
MINDFULNESS + SELF-DEVELOPMENT
After my surgery, it became very clear to me that many of my biggest struggles were self-inflicted. Negative thought patterns, low feelings of self-worth and the self-pity that felt familiar were holding me back. I realized that by focusing my efforts on embodying good energy and nurturing more positive thought patterns, I would be opening myself up to success that would be otherwise out of my reach. So I began my journey on self-enlightenment and self-development.
I've always classified myself as very self-aware, but I have little control over my emotions and my moods swing heavily from one day to the next. Journaling out my thoughts and feelings has helped me a lot, especially in realizing that my negative thought patterns stem mainly from fear of the unknown. When I push myself into new areas of life, my brain falls right back into the thought pattern that says "I'm so overhwhelmed," "I'm so anxious" or "I can't do this". My brain just wants what's familiar, but I'll never reach my potential and I'll never help anyone if I keep my feet firmly planted in my own back yard. Now, when I reflect on my self-awareness, I see myself as not just a person frozen in a moment of time, but as someone who is capable of guiding herself through new experiences without shutting down, knowing that what's around the corner may be scary and uncomfortable, but its also completely manageable.
I'll be posting more on this topic as I learn more (as I sincerely don't want anyone to be mislead by my uneducated ramblings), but in the meantime, some podcasts I've been loving are
- The Life Coach School Podcast
- The Lively Show
- Being Boss
- The Jordyn and Scott Show
- The Good Life Project
These are all podcasts centered around realizing how you limit yourself and what tools you can use to attract peace and abundance into your life. I have noticed personally that I've been able to let go of situations that previously would have sent me spiralling into anxiety and self-loathing a lot easier since working on myself in this specific and deliberate way.
I've saved my fave for last. I got a two ounce bottle of lavender essential oil from a dear friend while I was in the hospital, and I think its safe to say that I'm now obsessed (OBSESSED)with essential oils. I had a couple of lovely blends from <Saje Wellness> but it was kind of just a hobby. As I type this, I have 16 bottles of essential oils on their way to my house from Amazon, and it makes me so happy.
I use them mostly for the aromatherapy, but they also lend themselves really well to natural beauty, natural cleaning and since I diffuse them using an ultrasonic diffuser, it also purifies the air I breathe. Some oils are great for specific purposes and others have a wider range of uses. I like to diffuse orange oil in the morning to give me a little boost, as I find the scent very energizing, but you can also catch me diffusing it throughout the day because it just smells so fresh. Some oils are great for unwinding and finding stillness, and when I need that I put my patchouli and lavender to work. I've noticed my allergies are a lot more manageable since diffusing essential oils and I generally feel better energy flowing in my space, but that could also be based on the other efforts I've made.
I hope that you got something out of this post. My goal here isn't to convert all of you to my wellness train, but instead to inspire you to show up. Be brave. Write in pencil and make changes as you go. I don't have any of this figured out, but I see the value in sharing experience and learning as you go, even if its uncomfortable sometimes. But if this gave you the courage to try something new and be a little more vulnerable, I think that's what life's about and I'd love it if you shared your experience down in the comments.