Tag Archives: well being

The Value of Health and Sickness – Exploring Two Aspects of Being Human


 

 

Health and Wellbeing When They’re Not At Home

Imagine always being in full, blooming, radiant good health, all of the time. Never an ache or a pain, no colds, viruses, cuts, scratches, bruises or discomfort. Ever.

Finished imagining? Good, ‘cos that is the closest any of us are  gonna get to it.  The reality is that we’re all human and along with that particular condition, comes many others. No matter how fit you are, no matter how nutritious your diet or how healthy your habits – chances are every now and again, through no fault of your own, you will suffer from something. If it is still tempting to make the easy conclusion (as I myself might) that if you eat sensibly, exercise often and basically keep your bad habits to a minimum then all will be fine, then you need a reality check (note to self).

The Symptoms

So why am I having this sudden reflection? You guessed it – I’m sick. I have been all week (hence the fewer posts this week). Yes even though my old friends, Enthusiasm and Passion have still been sharing my personal space, it appears that when a couple of other dodgy characters called Headache and Nausea drop by, these old friends go a little quiet.  They went completely silent when Dizziness came in the door and have decided they are happy to lay quietly on the couch until these three new intruders decide they’re ready to leave. That time is almost here. Thankfully.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not about to manufacture my sickness into a larger than it needs to be problem. I am well aware there are multitudes of people worse off than me.

The Silver Lining

So yes I am avoiding the pity party thing altogether. I’ll live. In fact (and I’m not sure if this fact makes me slightly pathological or not) but as the week has gone on, each day with my sickness still apparent, I have decided that I might as well try to enjoy it. As the playwright George Bernard Shaw has written,

”I enjoy convalescence. It is the part that makes the illness worth while.”

Too ill to do much (basically for fear of passing out) I have been laying on the couch and reading. And reading. And reading. And reading. I am now half way through a book that I had put aside to read ‘ when I had the time ‘. And I gotta say, I’ve enjoyed myself.

Maybe the Panadol helped somewhat, but the simple ‘time out’, with no distractions, just the simple indulgence of some reflective reading has actually been enjoyable and in many ways, productive.

Maybe this is what is meant by the Latin proverb which states:-

”In time of sickness, the soul collects itself anew”.

Enjoying Health All Of It

My final conclusion about all this is that perhaps we do need sickness as well as good health in our lives. If only for the reason that it makes us better understand and appreciate the importance of good health, instead of taking it for granted.

And perhaps also, so we do have some time ‘to collect ourselves anew’.

**********

What do you think about these two sides of the human condition – are our worthwhile days only those when health and well-being shine like beacons or do you think there is some value that we are meant to derive from experiencing suffering and sickness too? 

Perhaps you may also have a‘sick day’ story to share? 

Are you are the veritable bear with a sore head when you’re sick or do you not  mind a day or two out of the rat race?

You Can’t Always Get What You Want, But You Can Still Be Happy (A Post Christmas How To Guide)


 With the knowledge (er…suspicion)  that the Christmas holiday weekend perhaps went a little smoother for some, than for others, I thought today, the following reflection may be apt. 

It is a little personal (though not too much ) and I hope, if you need it to be, may also be a little therapeutic…..

Some Preamble

I actually tried ignoring (as much as possible) the pre-Christmas hype (shopping/consumer madness, etc…) but try as I may, it still affected me.  So that being considered, there was a few things I needed to get straight; a few ‘truths’ I needed to remind myself and lessons I needed to (re) learn.

I could sum them up in a few phrases – slow down, don’t sweat the small stuff and live every moment, as if it could be your last.

Oh and here’s one more:- acceptance and love don’t always come gift wrapped.

So here’s how I came to these conclusions……

Want Versus Need

Remember this line from the Rolling Stones hit song, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need……” It’s true and he’s a few personal examples of just that…

The ‘need’ follows the ‘want’ and is written in bold.

1.” For the holidays, I thought I might try something different,” I told my hairdresser.  ‘ I think I’d like my hair to be lighter’ I continued. 

After some consternation over this request, she shared her plan to make me ‘a shade lighter’. It didn’t work. One and half hours later, I left a deep brunette.

Not what I wanted.

Upon returning home, my kids and family complimented me, gave me some love and actually told me they liked my hair and that I looked nice. They offered their kind words, were just glad to see me and I felt good.

2. ‘Don’t interrupt me on the phone, okay? I really need to talk to this person. It’s important,’ I told the kids. Within seconds, I had to excuse myself to answer my kids questions and attend to their activities. Four times, in fact, I excused myself from the phone.

The person I was speaking to, finally said ‘I think I’d better let you go’ and hung up.

Not what I wanted.

After the call, I looked at the kids. They ran to me and hugged me, as if I had been gone for days (instead of a few minutes) and I decided to give them my full attention, suddenly feeling a rush of appreciation for them, for their enthusiasm and their ability to feel excited over the little things in life.

3. Over Christmas, I did receive a few things I simply didn’t want.

These things however were given to me by people whom I really love and it was a gift simply to know that they felt the same. Finding out that they also treasure our friendship as much as I do was something I needed know. It made me happy regardless of the unwanted item.

Therapy for Life

Perhaps, if you’re tempted to moan or groan about anything unwanted in your life, a little tweaking of your mental processes might help and perhaps you can also find, that you actually did get what you need.

A Final Thought

In my humble opinion, our needs are often already being met, but that fact becomes a little clouded by our own preference for getting what we want.

Futhermore, experiencing the joy that fulfillment of our needs brings does require a little less superficiality.

This is just what I think though and maybe…. I’ve got it all wrong? Maybe there’s something else I need to learn…..

What do you think?

I’d love to hear if you yourself have a personal philosophy to live by when things don’t go your way? Does it help to make you appreciate the small things?

Or why not just share your Christmas experiences this year? I myself have enjoyed a very happy and upbeat celebration; one of the best I’ve had in years. I loved it!!

Please feel free to share anything that didn’t go your way though. I’m here and I’m listening…..:) 🙂

Or maybe you have some other nuggets of wisdom to share? Just press comment and fire away….

PS Don’t forget to pop back again in a few days. I am working on a sequel to todays post. It’ll be a similar ”Art of Happiness” study, which you may find interesting………   🙂

 

Move Over Homer Simpson or Finding Happiness Through A Fighting Spirit


Motivational videos, speakers, books, music……it’s all out there! But that’s not where it needs to be, is it?

It needs to be right here, with you now, pushing you along to achieve whatever it is that you’ve set your mind to achieving. Sometimes the afore-mentioned will benefit you, sometimes it’s just not enough.

Sometimes our cynical self who seems to be able to dominate our thinking at will just shuts down our potential.

This sort of thinking, for instance, begins to prevail – “It’s no good, I’ll never change. I’ve tried before and didn’t get anywhere.”  Then we back up those thoughts with ‘evidence’ and memories of past failed attempts.

We convince ourselves. And then it seems like reality and every action (or inaction) that occurs after that is justified. We kind of end up HOMER SIMPSONIZING  ourselves.

But what if we saw those negative thoughts as ‘clever confidence tricksters’ like these guys…..

Bad guys. Con men. Sent to rob you of your goals and ambitions. 

How do you react to them now? Are you going to allow them to ride rough shod over you? Or are you going to fight back?

Okay, so this is all very interesting I hear you say, but how is this little analogy going to help me?  Well, it can bring you a new awareness, for one thing. An awareness that negative thoughts and feelings are just  ‘characters’, part-time ‘players’ in our life script, never to be taken seriously and never to feel threatened by.

Practicing this allows their intensity to fade and lessens their power over you. It changes the mental picture.

If it doesn’t have that effect on you, then maybe just doing this to them will….

The Final Thing

One thing for sure, doing NOTHING won’t change a thing.

It will keep you imprisoned (emotionally) and from that place positive change is very difficult to achieve.

So break down the walls, kick ass and fight back and don’t let that  happy, enthusiastic you wait in the wings any longer!!

He’s getting lonely out there……..

 

So what do you think? Have you ever Homer Simpsonized yourself? Love to have you share your thoughts. 🙂 🙂

P.S. If you liked this post, please tweet it!

The Value of Sickness and Health – Exploring Two Aspects Of Being Human


Health and Wellbeing When They’re Not At Home

Imagine always being in full, blooming, radiant good health, all of the time. Never an ache or a pain, no colds, viruses, cuts, scratches, bruises or discomfort. Ever.

Finished imagining? Good, ‘cos that is the closest any of us are  gonna get to it.  The reality is that we’re all human and along with that particular condition, comes many others. No matter how fit you are, no matter how nutritious your diet or how healthy your habits – chances are every now and again, through no fault of your own, you will suffer from something. If it is still tempting to make the easy conclusion (as I myself might) that if you eat sensibly, exercise often and basically keep your bad habits to a minimum then all will be fine, then you need a reality check (note to self).

The Symptoms

So why am I having this sudden reflection? You guessed it – I’m sick. I have been all week (hence the fewer posts this week). Yes even though my old friends, Enthusiasm and Passion have still been sharing my personal space, it appears that when a couple of other dodgy characters called Headache and Nausea drop by, these old friends go a little quiet.  They went completely silent when Dizziness came in the door and have decided they are happy to lay quietly on the couch until these three new intruders decide they’re ready to leave. That time is almost here. Thankfully.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not about to manufacture my sickness into a larger than it needs to be problem. I am well aware there are multitudes of people worse off than me. Some I even wrote about recently, here.

The Silver Lining

So yes I am avoiding the pity party thing altogether. I’ll live. In fact (and I’m not sure if this fact makes me slightly pathological or not) but as the week has gone on, each day with my sickness still apparent, I have decided that I might as well try to enjoy it. As the playwright George Bernard Shaw has written, ”I enjoy convalescence. It is the part that makes the illness worth while.”

Too ill to do much (basically for fear of passing out) I have been laying on the couch and reading. And reading. And reading. And reading. I am now half way through a book that I had put aside to read ‘ when I had the time ‘. And I gotta say, I’ve enjoyed myself.

Maybe the Panadol helped somewhat, but the simple ‘time out’, with no distractions, just the simple indulgence of some reflective reading has actually been enjoyable and in many ways, productive.

Maybe this is what is meant by the Latin proverb which states ”in time of sickness, the soul collects itself anew”.

Enjoying Health All Of It

My final conclusion about all this is that perhaps we do need sickness as well as good health in our lives. If only for the reason that it makes us better understand and appreciate the importance of good health, instead of taking it for granted.

And perhaps also, so we do have some time ‘to collect ourselves anew’.

**********

What do you think about these two sides of the human condition – are our worthwhile days only those when health and well-being shine like beacons or do you think there is some value that we are meant to derive from experiencing suffering and sickness too? 

Perhaps you may also have a‘sick day’ story to share? Are you are the veritable bear with a sore head when you’re sick or do you not  mind a day or two out of the rat race? Love to read your comments.

I love comments. Adore them, in fact and have met some very insightful and nice people via ‘the comment box’, so please feel free to leave one. I reply to everyone.

Also, if you enjoyed this (or any other) post here, please also share it with your friends on Facebook or Twitter, so that others too can join the conversation. Thanks in advance.

 

Incidental Exercise Habits – Simple Ways To Add More Activity To Your Day


 

 

“Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”

 Mark Twain quote.

Good To Have You Here

Hello and thanks for dropping by. I’m glad you have, but I must tell you that your very act of sitting here and reading (along with my very act of sitting here and writing) is the subject under scrutiny today. I just wanted to warn you in advance, but stay comfortable (I am) and let’s get into it.

Sitting

Yes, we are talking about sitting: that non physical activity, similar to lying down, that involves very little muscle use or movement. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not averse to either of those positions, per se, however, until someone pointed it out to me, I never really took much notice of how much incidental sitting I actually did in a day.. 

A Modern Day Ill

‘Sititis’, as I have come to know it, could even be classified as a widespread, modern-day ill, created perhaps by the increasing use of machines (like computers!), office desks, televisions, cars and countless other ‘labour saving devices’. 

And the trouble with all this sitting (as I see it) is that it removes the natural and incidental activity enjoyed by our predecessors (and I’m only going back a couple of decades here). Remember those people who didn’t have TV remotes and who did not jump in the car for every travel event in their day? Those people whose kids walked to school, who walked to the shops, who used stairs more than elevators and well….I think you get my drift. There was far more activity in their day.

What To Do?

As I myself need to sit for extended periods to write, I decided long ago, that I needed to combat this potential decline in my own physical activity levels, by getting up from my computer and desk at least once every hour.

Sometimes I just stretch a little, take a short (or long) walk, practice some yoga moves (which is kind of the same as stretching)…as long as I  do something to break up an otherwise long stretch of physical inactivity.  And I always return to my writing, a little more refreshed.

As I began to think about this subject more, I also came up with a few other simple ways to get more movement into your day that I thought I’d share. Of course, I am not advocating that this type of activity replaces any structured or group activities you may already enjoy. No, it’s just a few extra ways to get your body moving.

The Ideas

1. Park your car a longer than normal distance away from where your work, office, school, the shopping centre or whatever your destination is and walk the remaining distance. Simple.  Easy.  No need to change your routine much for that one.

2. Take the stairs, instead of the lift or elevator, wherever and whenever you can.  This can add many steps to your day and over the next several days and weeks you will burn many more calories than you would have done otherwise.

3. Take the kids to the park.  It’s fun….walk, chase, climb, play ball with them or run after them….just be that little bit more active and have some fun too!

4. I wasn’t going to add ‘chasing Bush Turkeys out of the garden’ on the list, but I just did, as it looks as though it is something that I will be doing at regular intervals today.

I have gotten up three times as I have been writing this to ‘encourage’ my noisy (and destructive) bush visitors away from our garden. Darn things!

Anyhow, do you have any ideas for something fun and different that adds activity to your day? Do you prefer incidental type exercise or a more structured approach to activity such as classes, routines or group training?

Perhaps at some time in your life, extended sitting (at a computer or desk) has caused you to suffer a sore back, neck or shoulders? Did you find that movement or exercise helped the situation? 

 

Eating, Weight Loss, Cravings and Addictions – A Self Determined Way Out


 

The Yo Yo Lifestyle Syndrome

Do you struggle with cravings, emotional eating, or dieting ups and downs?

Many of us have or will in our lifetimes. Which is okay, ‘cos it means that we have been presented with a challenge and  (apparently) learning to overcome difficulties is what leads to positive growth in our lives. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.

And, these days, it is what I have come to believe. Some spiritual followers even ask for such challenges to be thrown their way – so that they may learn and reach a higher level of functioning and living.

Self Limits

To us mere mortals, talk like this, can sometimes sound like complete claptrap.  Airy, fairy – pie in the sky kind of stuff.

But for me, I think there is some wisdom in there. I mean, basically if we leave the spiritual aspect out of it, why wouldn’t we want to learn new skills, achieve better habits and behaviours that can transport us out of the continual cycle of overeating  and the pain and regret the follows that behaviour. Who really wants to live in self-imposed misery? Of course, the answer is none of us do.  And each of us must search for our own ‘way out’.

The BIG GOAL Effect

I know there are many ‘paths’ we can take to overcome these challenges and each can be effective and motivational in their own way. But today I just wanted to share with you the one main reason that I follow a ‘good health plan’ (for want of a better description and I’m sure there is one).

Basically (and I can’t believe that I am actually going to write this thought down, but anyway, here it is)…. I want to live forever.

Huh? Okay, so I do know that the ‘forever’ bit is probably stretching it a bit, but I figure why not go for the BIG GOAL to keep me motivated and adhering to a life of good habits.

Old Age or New Awareness

The reason I have chosen this as my BIG GOAL is that I have observed so many people in older age that seem to live unhappy and restricted lives, that I know beyond a doubt, that I don’t want that. Whilst I have the deepest compassion for these friends who do suffer frailty and disease (I worked for several years in a rehabilitation ward), I know that some (maybe more than we realise) of the fragility we  habitually associate with aging, is actually avoidable. 

The Plan

So this is what I’ve decided:

1) When I am 80 I still want to be active – maybe not in the ‘let’s go for a 5km run’ active, but who knows?

2) I also know that when I am old, I don’t want to be under constant medical supervision, because of a ‘lifestyle disease’ that was totally preventable had I taken the appropriate lifestyle interventions decades before (bear in mind, I am talking about ‘lifestyle diseases’ here, not something that is totally out of an individuals control).

3) Lastly, I also want to be intellectually stimulated and still contributing to the world in a positive and meaningful way, when I am old, rather than sentenced to an existence of ill-health and struggle.

In short, I want a full life. An abundant life. An interesting life. And I want it to go on for a very long time.

Call me crazy, but I kinda like it here on the Big Blue Ball.

Longevity and Well Being

So that in brief, is my main motivation for wanting to learn, explore, develop and live a life that is centred around healthy eating, an active lifestyle and a conscious awareness of all that I can be and do.

Some people call it ‘living out your potential’, others call it ‘discipline’, others may even call it ‘obsession’. Whatever….labes aren’t important. Loving and living life to the full is all that really matters to me.

***********

Do you have ONE BIG GOAL that keeps you motivated and achieving your goals? Do you think ‘a healthy lifestyle’ is all it is cracked up to be? Maybe the adage ‘we’re here for a good time, not a long time’ is more apt to the way you think and live? I would love to hear your thoughts.

You certainly don’t have to agree with my musings to share a comment or thought. We’re all different (and what a boring world it would be if we weren’t) so please feel free to share whatever thoughts you have on this topic. Love to hear them 🙂

From The Blogosphere To The Beach or Why I’m Not Blogging This Week


 

I am not sure I should publish today’s post.  I mean, some one might read it. And someone might ridicule a blog post on the topic of er….not blogging. As well they may, because there certainly is a distinct irony in writing a post about why you’re not writing a post.  But never mind, here it goes anyhow….

A Badge of Blogging Silence

Call me weird ( I heard that !) but sometimes I just like a little silence in my life. A little solitude and reflection. A little time to just be. I know I’m not alone in this desire. It’s the reason that we all enjoy, every now and again, an escape to somewhere where routine just doesn’t exist. To a place where it doesn’t matter if  you’re late for a meeting (‘cos there are none) or you get the kids to school late (‘cos there is none) or if any of the other expectations or activities (basically called life) are not met or carried out…..

It is that deep longing for silence and peace that beckons us and leads us to somewhere ‘quiet’. It is why young surfers sit on their boards after sunset, long after the best waves are gone. Why mothers of young children hide away in the smallest room in their house.  And it is why I am not blogging, this week.

Finding ‘somewhere quiet’ is Australia usually means a trip to the beach. Which is where I am right now. Waves crashing and rolling only metres in front of me. A view of the beach and the ocean my only vision, apart from the screen in front of me, which I will soon close.

Eat, Pray, Love

So that, in  brief, is why I’m not blogging this week.  That and because I have my head buried in a little book called EAT, PRAY, LOVE (subtitled, One Woman’s Search For Everything). 

You may have heard of it.

I was going to say that I am totally absorbed by this book, but that would probably not even hit the mark. Totally sucked into a ‘reading vortex’ is probably a more accurate description. I love this book. It has totally absorbed me.  I won’t turn this post into a review of it, but I will share with you one excerpt that stood out for me, as I pondered what or whether I would blog today.

Several ideas had crept into my mind as I thought of writing today. Quite a few actually. As they usually do before I write, these ideas swirled around my head. Yeah, that sounds okay, I reply to a few of the ideas that stand out the most. I could research this ….and then, I could write about A,B or C…. Yes, that could be good.

Yet somehow, I just didn’t want to disturb my new-found peace that much to really flesh out my ideas into the form of a blog post. I just wanted to be still. And quiet. Yet my mind still nagged me to write a post.

So, to distract myself, I picked up my latest absorption and two paragraphs into the book, I read this:-

“Learning how to discipline your speech is a way of preventing your energies from spilling out of you through the rupture of your mouth, exhausting you and filling the world with words, words, words instead of serenity, peace and bliss.”

So that was it. I was not writing a blog post today. Not one word.

But I will next week . No doubt by then my words will be spilling out of me, through the rupture of my mouth (or this keyboard) , but for now….I am on retreat. In blogging silence. I don’t know that this will necessarily fill the world with serenity, peace or bliss, but from this end of the blogosphere, things will be okay.

I may be on a temporary blogging hiatus, however I would still love to hear your comments. How do you find a ‘quiet space’ in your life? Do you need it? Long for it? Does having ‘a little time out’ restore your energies or creativity? Or maybe you get too much silence? Maybe connection and people are what you long for most? Or maybe, you’d just like to share how your day has been. I would love to hear about it.

I will be back blogging again, next week. I think I will miss the blogosphere too much if I take any more time off. It’s a pity cool place 🙂