I’ve learned that you can reach a certain level of stress where you don’t even realise just how stressed you are, until you take it down a notch. That stress lives in your body, not just in your head. Like that cousin that asked to crash on your couch for a month, and now you’ve decided it’s easier to save up for a bed, just so you can have your living room back.
Stress for me was like that cousin - I allowed it to stay in my life because I thought it was something all creatives go through on their way to finding their zen. That tightrope mania where your only goal is to stay on top of the rope, but in the back of your mind, you can’t help but wonder if the people who made the net below knew what they were doing. Stress is trying to control both the present and the future. Remember that the future changes depending on how we live today, so doesn’t it make sense to focus on the here and now?
Don’t hate the number
I’ve been curvy since my early twenties, and to be honest, I like it. At the start of the year I reached 70 kg, and at five feet tall, it didn’t feel good to me. How I feel about my body isn’t about my dress size or the number on the scales, but that number, 70, didn’t feel good on my body. That number was not lean muscle - it was full of junk food choices and emotional snacking.
That was in January, and it’s now May - it’s been a long road of exercise and unlearning bad habits. What feels different this time? I saw how much stress and emotional hoarding weighed me down...literally. My jiggle in the middle was fat, and then some. The more I began to relax and enjoy life, the more fun exercise became, and when you’re having fun, you want to do it more often...right?
I get it, if you’re needing to lose a lot of weight, numbers play a big part in that. What I mean is not to make the process your enemy - embrace the journey, use those numbers to motivate you, not deflate you. Listen to your body, and show it love, even if it feels like an insignificant win at the time. People don’t grow stronger by being called stupid, so don’t be so hard on yourself.
When was the last time that you exercised or did a physical activity for fun?
Listening to my own advice
Why is it easier to take advice from someone else, even if it’s the same advice we would have given ourselves? Now and then I get these short dream sequences, where literally, someone I know gives me a piece of advice...then bam! I’m jolted awake by my alarm.
People ask me for advice all the time, as often we look outside of ourselves when we doubt our own ability to figure things out. Or we hope to get a different answer than the one we know (from your gut feeling) is for our highest good. It creates unnecessary confusion, instead of clarity. In quiz nights, if in doubt, go with your first answer, because more often than not, there’s a reason it popped up first.
One morning I was driving to work my heart began to pulsate and a sudden wave of incredible feeling of love soared through my body. My breathing quickened as my logical brain tried to make sense of what I was sensing. In that moment I had a choice to make - accept it, live in that moment and enjoy it until it passed, OR over analyse it and even worse, assume I was about to have a heart attack. Luckily for me, I chose to accept it and I can tell you, it was one of the most intense sensations of...well...feeling of being loved. Like when you’re a kid and something happened at school that made you sad or disappointed, and you go home and your Mum hugs you for the longest time. That feeling.
Being OK with the unknown
People and situations enter our lives and we rush to define them - how they fit into who we are and try to put them into a box. Not knowing used to drive me crazy. I’ve learned that sometimes, it’s better to accept them, let them walk beside you, for everything in our lives has a purpose, even if we don’t know it yet. Today, my heart was pulsating again, like an invisible force was pumping it full of love, reassuring me that everything is as it needed to be.
True healing occurs when you allow yourself to feel those feelings that live below the triggers.
Whoever or whatever it is you feel called to do, to be, own it. Accept it and give it love. Try not to resent it, think of it as a burden, because it’s there for a reason. Weeds are only weeds by name because they’re perceived as undesirable. Flip the script to what you think of or see as a burden - what do you see as the weeds in your life?
There’s a lot I don’t know, but I still go to quiz nights. Sometimes we have answers, sometimes we don’t, being OK with the unknown gives us the space to be curious and most of all, the space to learn.
The school of life is somewhere we’ll never graduate from until we’re six feet under. I’m good with that, for the first time in a long time, I really am.