You Only Live Once

I have a sugar addiction problem, as well as sedentary problem. The combination of the two is proving to be very unhealthy and my body is paying the toll. I treat myself rather poorly. This is not new information for me, but the longer my unhealthy lifestyle goes on the more I feel the effects of it.

My joints and muscles have been causing me a lot of discomfort; my neck, shoulders, elbows, upper back, lower back, hips, and knees have been the worst.

For other reasons I had been doing a little research on the causes of cancer and whether stress is a contributor or not. While I have a lot more research to do on the stress/cancer topic, I did discover that chronic inflammation, lack of activity, and unhealthy diet are all contributors to cancer.

It wasn’t until later that day, when I was talking with my therapist, that it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was telling her about the research I was doing and we also talked about how sore my body is. I don’t recall if the conversations were directly connected, but they were had in conjunction of one another. She told me that sugar is a cause of inflammation, and that eating healthier would help to reduce my inflammation and the pain I’ve been having. It was then that it all came together in my head, and I said, “I’m killing myself”, as my eyes welled up with tears. My therapist asked what was coming up for me and, possibly for the first time, I realized that I have a real love for myself.

I am not afraid of death, but I’m also not in any hurry to get there. There are so many things in life that are out of my control; I need to be mindful of the power that’s been given to me over the things I actually can control. How I treat the body I’ve been given is entirely under my control.

I could go on feeling like shit on a regular basis or I can change my lifestyle and begin to feel better on a regular basis. The choice obvious, but I’m certainly not going to blow sunshine up my own ass by telling myself it’s the easier choice.

Making a lifestyle change isn’t easy for anyone, but adding the process of recovering from severe developmental trauma, brings a whole other level of challenge to it. I know I will stumble. I know there will be hard days. I know there will be days that I won’t give a shit. I know that these will be the days that I will need to learn to forgive myself for.

I’ve talked to people about giving up sugary treats, and often times I’m met with comments like, “you only live once, eat the sugar”. The reality of this statement is, in itself, life changing; we only live once (at least in this life and body). With this one life I have here, I would rather feel good than live in pain and discomfort.

It’s merely coincidental that all of this comes about on the 1st day of the new year, but I am not considering it a New Year Resolution, I’m considering it a start to a new lifestyle. I’m considering it an attempt to save my life or rather to extend the length of my life.

There are countless ways for death to find me, I refuse to consciously be one of them.

-Dani

Woman Warrior

Woman Warrior

Some of this will sound familiar to people who follow me on Facebook, my apologies for that; however, I will go a little deeper and be more vulnerable here.

I attended the first, of hopefully many, Women Warrior speaking events at Spirit of the Lake Yoga & Wellness Center in Excelsior last night. While I was completely out of my comfort zone (which is part of why I went, to push myself), I am so happy I went. Such an amazing group of women. The vibe was one of strength, truth, openness, vulnerability, raw emotion, joy, laughter, inspiration, and empowerment. I couldn’t be happier to be part of such a beautiful tribe.

Women Warriors

One of the biggest things I took away from the Women Warriors event is that I don’t have to have all of my shit together to be the woman I want to be. I just have to be courageous enough to be that woman.

While I know the importance of self-care and I advise the importance of self-care, very seldom do I engage in the practice of my own self-care. This needs to change. I need to take care of myself, I need to participate in things that feed my soul, I need to learn to love and accept myself, I need to remind myself as often as necessary that I am not what has happened to me but rather I am the warrior who survived it all. I have a story, a story that I believe with all of my heart can help others. I believe I can help others because I lived my story. In order to do that though, I need to practice self-care.

My first phase of self-care is to:

  • Meditate at a minimum of 20 minutes a day, beginning with a 5 minute practice in the morning and the other 15 minutes to be used however I please throughout the day.
  • Spending time outdoors, in nature at least 3 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes each time and it must be time spent for me, doing things I enjoy. As the temps get colder this could change but I will still aim for at least 1 day a week outdoors (I’ve always wanted to snowshoes…).
  • Continue to actively seek out my tribe. Take part in social events, of interest, a minimum of twice a month. Make an attempt to connect with current members of my tribe a minimum of twice a month.
  • Allow myself space to feel what I feel without judgement or shame.
  • Incorporate healthy food choices daily.
  • Weekly mantra’s that will keep me focused on my self-care and continue to empower me to be the woman warrior that I am.

My second phase will be some of the same but with increased frequency as well as new ways to practice self-care. First I have to get the above basics down.

So, who is the woman I want to be?

  • I want to be a woman who lives her life fearlessly or in spite of fear.
  • I want to fearlessly believe my beliefs.
  • I want to lean into fear and finish my degree in Psychology with a focus on mindfulness.
  • I want to lean into fear and get my Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and become licensed.
  • I want to lean into fear and become a Life Coach.
  • I want to fearlessly start my own wellness center to include a variety of alternative medicines and practices.
  • If the right person comes along, I want to fearlessly fall in love and enjoy the rest of life’s journey with that person; knowing that I do not “need” them and they do not “need” me.

This woman already exists within me, I just need to fearlessly be the woman warrior I know I am!