Thursday, September 19, 2013

Playfulness and Health

What is playfulness? If you're reaching for the dictionary on this word, toss it aside! Playfulness can't be described with words. It's a feeling, and it's one that can easily be neglected in this world and in health. How is playfulness good for your health?

When you're playful, you're appreciating the lightness that can be experienced in your life. This lightness naturally supports a balanced body and mind, gets you looking forward to new experiences, and helps you enjoy interacting with yourself and the world around you.

Naturally when stressful times arise it's not always possible to bring out your playful side. On the other hand, how many days or weeks go by for people in today's current lifestyle that aren't riddled with stress in some way? Let's be realistic and say that playfulness can sometimes appear on the endangered feelings list.

Don't forget to enjoy your personality along the way in life. Playfulness isn't all about how you appear to the outside world. It's more about the lightheartedness you allow in your own life, even when life presents you with a regular reel of challenges and missteps. It's a secret joke exchanged without words. It's that laugh you share with yourself or someone else. It's watching yourself, someone else, or your pet do something unexpected and memorable. Playful moments aren't frivolous, they last for a long time.

Handle the daily routines, responsibilities, work, duties, and bills. Just don't forget to play sometimes too.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

No Such Thing as Perfect Health

Is there such a thing as perfect health?

Well, is there such a thing as a perfect person? The answer to both questions is:  NO. Human beings go through real life, real challenges, unexpected events, and uncertainty. During this lifetime, there is no such thing as perfect health.

The way health is depicted in the medical community and media can sometimes be misleading in this respect. You see perfect specimens of health running down the beach in a commercial or health magazine, and you're led to believe that every single day unfolds this way for truly healthy people. Commercials depict people who are happily on medications that bypass the need to look deeper into existing health imbalances. A woman eats a container of yogurt and her healthy weight and slim figure are set for eternity. While many of these tactics are marketing strategies, you still have to resist health propaganda out there in the world when the message doesn't fit you as a person.

Do you want to be a perfect person? Or would you rather approach yourself and your health from where you're at in life? This is a tricky question. It's undeniable that the shiny tune of the word "perfection" beckons each of us during life. Striving for it can lead to frustration, disappointment, and feeling stuck. Striving for perfect health is no different. Unless you approach your health from a realistic and approachable standpoint, it can always seem so far away, running away from you as you run toward it in its perfect fantasy form.

Ever heard of "wabi-sabi"? Wabi-sabi is the Japanese view that accepts imperfection as a form of beauty and balance. To acknowledge wabi-sabi is to see that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. By accepting the wabi-sabi in your health, in your personality, and in your life, you can really appreciate what makes your health and your life tick each day. You can also respect the journey that you take as an individual to feel health in your life amid the very real challenges that come your way. Your health has strengths and it has weaknesses, it has room to grow, and it's human just like you are.

Don't strive to put yourself and your health in a picture perfect bubble. In a bubble, you can't move around and you can't learn. When you take care of yourself outside of the bubble and still work toward health in an imperfect world and body, you're getting somewhere real. Here's to your wabi-sabi, and here's to your health!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Only You Can Do It

There are certain things in life that only you can do. Want to turn your health around? Only you can do it. Have a desire to reduce stress? It's up to you. Have you been thinking about improving your sleep, losing weight, clearing up your skin, or eating healthier? Again, all signs point to you. While you may find resources out there to help you along the way, the first step to getting what you want in health or any other area is the realization:
Only I can do this for myself. No one else can do it for me.
Life can offer openings for you to get what you want, but until you take ownership of what you want, these openings may be hard to find. The temptation is often to seek answers outside of you. What book will help, which video has useful information, what did your friend say the other day that her doctor told her to do? Education is important when it comes to health, but the first steps toward getting healthy are often simple and within your control. These simplest measures can be the most difficult to start even though they are completely within your hands.

We're taught to seek solutions elsewhere and doubt our own instincts when it comes to self care and healthy living. Your body, however, offers the most powerful clues on what to do to take care of yourself. When you ask yourself what you're uniquely aiming for, even when no one around you is on the same boat, you're taking care of your health. When you turn to yourself during stressful times and support yourself through it, you're clearer on how to get healthy.

Only you can do it. No one else can. Taking accountability for what you want helps you to own it and to take real steps to get there---no matter what. When you frame your goals outside of yourself and look outward for the answers, the challenging times can feel stuck rather than opportunities to learn and grow. This mindset can lead to a cycle of disappointment and discouragement.

Look at your health goals square on, and ask yourself what you can do. Don't turn to him, her, them, or it. Just you. Are you doing what is in your power to perform, or are you relying on flimsy suggestions from the outside? When you build your own foundation for your goals, then you can use others' advice with more discretion and make it work for you. This approach can apply to any goal in your life.

This week, remember that only you can do it. And then ask yourself what real steps you're prepared to take to make it happen.