I, like you, am beautifully human, well intentioned and totally flawed. I have a very busy brain that I often feel I am at battle with, I have a heart that literally feels like it bleeds, and a body that I try to love!
I have suffered with intense anxiety most my life. It has affected the way I have ever done anything. It has disturbed my sleep for decades, affected the way I feed myself and added to my restlessness. I have got to know this side of myself intimately. My monster in the closet that I can choose to feed and agitate or choose to love and help quiet.
When I am loving myself, taking care of all elements of my body, mind and spirit I have had the amazing experience of channeling my anxiety into beautiful things. When I am in the right place and focused on the right things I can somehow use light glimmers of my anxiety, these tingling nerves in my belly, to explore and create. These nerves have pushed me to explore numerous places on our earth and helped me engage in various forms of art and creation.
When I’m taking care of myself and being led by a place from my heart these anxieties are a manageable extension of who I am.
There are times however, seasons of darkness, when the noise of my brain overwhelms the wisdom of my heart. The menaces of fear and ego sit on opposite shoulders taunting me, threatening that I will never be enough, that I will never do enough, that I am behind and that the only way to get ahead is to mimic, compete and compare. These messages are crippling, they are dizzying and although I know in my heart they are false they can become so loud that they completely overshadow and they feed every aspect of my anxious self… my sleep becomes infected, my mornings full of dread, my nourishment a chore and my very drive and purpose heavy with the burden that there is something lacking.
I have not been very good to myself in the months passed. The weight of this seems to sit heavier than it ever has before as I have worked so hard over these passed years to be an advocate of health and love. I’m ashamed by the hypocrisy I feel as I encourage all others around me to feed the best sides of themselves when I am not living my best. As I engage in my work day to day, teaching asana classes and meeting with various holistic health clients, I feel like I have become a complete health hypocrite! I feel I should already be armed with the tools to circumvent this type of struggle, however, i know I am in no was above human struggle.
Isn’t it amazing that when we feel shitty we want to feed that… we feed it with shitty food, shitty entertainment, shitty web surfing, we avoid loving movement of our bodies, we even avoid spending time with people we love.
We all have our own version of this. When I was 20 falling into these spirals looked quite different, fueled by partying, deep fried foods and laying around all day. These days on the surface my “health fall back” still looks okay from the outside because I’m still “eating well” and engaging in a semi regular yoga practice… but the truth is that I have been doing a minimum here for months and it feels awful from the inside. My fear and ego menaces have been at work fulltime and it’s time from them to be on their way.. it’s time to turn back toward the monster in the closet and again choose to love her up and quiet the babbling so I can re-focus on finding balance and health.
I know full well the amazing benefits of pouring myself into my own health, eating, moving and living in line with what makes me my brightest. I know this not only affects my health but the health others who are dearest to me. I’m not saying in any way that focusing on my health has ever made everything in my life perfect, but this focus does allow whatever I am up against to be absolutely manageable.
It has been connecting with this knowledge that has pushed me in the direction of the work I do, because we all need these reminders of love and support… we need permission to ebb and flow through the stages of our life and sometimes the encouragement to drag ourselves back to what we know is best.
When we choose to make the small steps necessary toward full health then momentum builds, the same way that we feed feeling shitty with being shitty to ourselves. There is a propulsion behind healthy living.. healthy eating, healthy movement and mindful action begin to somersault into a calm inner landscape that naturally wants more of whats good. We all need this… some of us don’t even know it exists yet which is what gives purpose to my work. Some of us, like myself, simply fall off track sometimes and need the push to bring ourselves back… this is life.
The truth is that we are in charge. In order to be our most balanced, healthy selves we have to do our work… all the best intentions, books, gadgets, ingredients in the world can not do the work for you. There has to be a drive, a fire that wants to feel good. Right now, mine is knowing that I can either use my anxious side to deepen my life’s experience or let it run wild and cripple me.
I’m done with feeling shitty. And by owning this, and my responsibility within it, I’m taking my life and my health back. Who’s with me!?