You Are Healthier Than You Think
If you don’t exercise and can’t remember when you last drank water or ate a vegetable, then this article probably isn’t for you. Everyone else: read on.
I first noticed it when I was working at a health food website at 24 years old.
Everyone was obsessed with health and wellness.
Everyone was sick.
As I spent my days researching sleep, digestion, hormonal disruption and sugar addiction, I myself started to wonder – am I sick too?
I wasn’t – but had I stayed in that job, I could easily have convinced myself I simply wasn’t healthy enough, that my occasionally sub-optimal functioning as a human being could be ‘fixed’ by doing more, trying harder, being better at hacking my own system.
I’m sure you can already see what is wrong with this picture.
Of course I can’t blame the job – if I walked into an office now in which it was unacceptable to have soy milk in my morning coffee, and hacking up a cow carcass on the kitchen bench was considered ‘staff development’ I would walk straight back out the door (and as an aside I didn’t develop that healthy strength by cutting out sugar) but instead I pretended to fit in, I wanted so desperately to have a job that mattered, so I stayed.
While I no longer have my choice of coffee monitored, I still carry with me a certain type of self-directed harshness when it comes to health.
It comes in a less obvious form than feeling guilty for eating something ‘unhealthy’ (sourdough and coffee are two of my most sacred and revered moments of the day, and vegan almond magnums and pizza are a non-negotiable part of my week) but more in the form of not allowing or accepting myself when I don’t feel 1000% #WELL.
Tiny breakouts or a virus will automatically have me wondering – what did I do wrong?! As if it was something I could have avoided if only I tried harder.
The two days before my period rolls around I am v e r y s l o w l y learning not to fight endlessly with myself (from the rest specialist, I know) and the emotional wave, tiredness and headache that can come with it. I am slowly learning that this is not because I am sick, unwell or inbalanced, but mostly, that this workaholic’s 20 minutes of daily rest does not cut it at that time of the month, and what is needed is total and complete surrender from the daily do-ing (that I so deeply love).
The thing is – the more we read about health, the more we take in on Instagram, from over simplified pintrest graphics, whatever, the less allowing we become of our bodies natural communication.
While ongoing, chronic health issues that affect the quality of your life long term, or with regularity should of course always, always be addressed, explored and worked on, it is natural that our bodies experience natural ups and downs, coming up in whatever form it is most naturally expressed for you.
When we begin to transition from one way of being into another, say from eating meat to vegetarianism, from not resting to resting, to starting a yoga practice, we need to exercise a certain amount of discipline to set the habit in place.
The hardest part is perhaps knowing when to soften the discipline. Once you’ve set the foundation, learning how to stop pushing and start allowing more.
What is it your body truly craves to eat?
How much rest do you really need right now?
What does your physical practice actually need to look like today?
As someone who is so lit up by and in love with learning, particularly in the realm of health, yoga and spirituality, one of the wisest choices I continue to make is to allow small period of each day (and longer on others) in silence, in total softness, with no demands on my body or my intellect. A time of listening only within.
So next time you feel as though you want to spend the whole day in bed, come down with a sore throat or break out in pimples instead of trying to “fix” yourself or find the answer for WHY, how about you try just letting it be? Let yourself stop. Let it come up, feel it, and let it pass and most often, it naturally will.
And if you need help with Rest, please be sure to join us in the Club Rest membership for online classes, practices and so much more.