We ‘plug in’ to recharge ourselves in numerous ways. We eat food to give our bodies nutrients to serve a variety of critical functions and give us energy to operate as optimally as possible. We sleep at night to release hormones in the body that repair cells, which in turn restores intellectual and physical function. We plug our phones into their chargers to restore power. But what do we do for our social selves to recharge?
Sometimes, despite the best of our efforts, life can leave us feeling overwhelmed, out of centre or just off balance, and when that happens we often hear the word detox being thrown around. We’re not just talking about a detox in relation to nourishment, whilst of course, that can be part of it. But what about all the other factors in your life that make up you?
Before we dive into the specifics, what does the word detox mean to you? By definition to detox is to rid ourselves of unspecified toxins or substances which have accumulated in the body which may have both short and long term consequences on our health and wellbeing.
Art and science approach and explain emotions differently. Scientists don’t ask the ‘why’ we feel the way that we do, but rather focus on ‘what’ or ‘how’, proceeding with scientific method. When it comes to emotions, a scientist will look at what is going on in the brain, valuing measurable and logical patterns within the brain and behaviour. Artists are more interested in emotional expression, more willing to trust personal experience. Considering this, some may be led to think that emotions have no place in the realm of science. However, I have a difficult time accepting that emotions can ever responsibly be discussed while neglecting some scientific analysis.
“Inspiration is for amateurs - the rest of us just get to work.” - Chuck Close
We talk about ‘motivation’ as if it were the force that makes the world turn. As if the spark of inspiration is what it takes to switch us into gear, and hesitating when the spark begins to dwindle. It becomes easy to attribute our successes to our feelings of motivation, and justify our lack of productivity to our deficiency in motivation. It’s as if we wait for our feelings to match our desire to do something rather than to just act.
Emotions, interpreted for their purest intentions, are messages. They are a complex conversation between your mind and body, seeking to influence behaviour as they inform you of how you feel/ think about a situation.
They’re the group chat between your physiology and psychology, as your body physically responds to your mental state and vice versa. An effective message sent with honest intentions, which I would like to believe is what our bodies are trying to do for our minds, would not send a message without any content. You would never purposefully send someone an empty email or blank text message. Similarly, our emotions should not be interpreted as ‘just feelings’.
The first thing that needs to be understood about your decisions is that it is a valuable resource. One of the greatest favours we can do for ourselves is to take time to understand that our time, effort and personal experience is valuable. For this reason, the choices we are faced with can weigh heavily on us. As their importance becomes emphasised, proportionately so does our stress surrounding those decisions.
We all know and experience fear first hand, and for many, it’s a daily occurrence. In Chinese medicine, fear is located in the kidneys. Nervous pee anyone? 👀 The science here is probably more to do with the nerves that run up the spine or the muscles tensing, but sure, let’s start with a toilet reference, why not. 😬
Fear can have a detrimental effect not only on our emotional and mental wellbeing but also our physical wellbeing. It puts us on high alert and preps us for ‘battle’.
Fear is a feeling and byproduct of an emotion. So what’s the difference between a feeling and an emotion?
Let's talk mindset for a moment.
It's taken me years to know what makes me healthy, both physically, mentally, emotionally balanced, not running around like a loon on loonie pills (I.e A LOT), allowing the right amounts of stress in my life, removing the wrong types of energy be it from people or environments and generally being able to feel content in my skin.
For most of us we are lucky enough to have a choice. We can learn about which foods are the best foods for us, to find exercise that we enjoy and to surround ourselves with our 'peeps' or tribe.
For me, being active, having 'me' time, being in and around nature, with fluffy friends, traveling, not taking life too seriously and having fun, trying new things to keep me excited and inspired, being with positive, like-minded people who nurture a zest for life, the occasional gin & tonic, chocolate biscuit and time to just 'be' helps me to wake up each morning and say that today, right here and now I am in control and I love the way I am.
Ah the old word 'balance' but what even does it mean? It's become so overused these days especially when it comes to wellbeing and fitness.
According to the Oxford Dictionary 'balance' is:
An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
A situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
At no point in the definition does it say that you have to do 500 burpees a day, that abs are made in the kitchen or that counting every single piece of food is the only way to achieve hashtag balance.
Just a reminder that your version of #balance is very different to anyone else's and that's exactly the way it should be.
You do you, as the saying goes.
Would love to know how do you maintain your mindset and all the things that you do in order to make you feel like the best version of you.
Sometimes, (okay a lot of the time) life is overwhelming, it leaves us feeling stressed out, burnt out and frankly, in need of an escape. More often than not, it’s not always possible or practical to just hop on a plane (she says, finding herself in Sydney after just spending the best part of 30 hours on a plane).
Sure, Frou. Sure.
Human form, the house in which we walk this plane. Our life’s journey is context for understanding our relationship with nutrition, fitness, movement, thoughts, and our wellbeing as a whole. The body whispers messages to us each and every day. Slow down. Don't rush. There's no need to push. Don't hold onto this. Let go of that. There are subtle cues and prompts taking place within and around you all the time.
But what exactly does that mean? Everything in life is intricately pieced together to weave a web of narrative unfolding a story; your story. And the most important thing in your life, is your life story.
“Do you ever feel that way?"
I search for the words. "Restless. As if you haven't really met yourself yet. As if you'd passed yourself once in the fog, and your heart leapt - 'Ah! There I Am! I've been missing that piece!' But it happens too fast, and then that part of you disappears into the fog again."
It's Sunday morning and as I sip my coffee, this week the universe has brought many thoughts and lessons around searching and feelings of being lost. It occurred to me, that perhaps we need not focus on what happens when we find that missing piece or indeed those pieces but instead focus on the journey or the process of the exploration in those pieces. Perhaps that's where the sweet spot lies, in getting lost. If you think about it, getting lost is just another way of saying 'I'm going exploring.” And wow, such beautiful paths can't be discovered without first getting lost.
Today I'm feeling curious about the 500 year old art of kintsugi, or “golden joinery" a philosophy not of replacement, but in awe, reverence, and restoration. The emphasis in kintsugi is not actually on physical appearance, it is…the beauty and the importance that stays in the one who is left looking. Cryptic message I hear you cry?
Well, let's take a look at general Western consensus on broken objects, things and to an extent in our culture, 'people' (think a never ending conveyor belt of swipe left, swipe right dating apps), how these objects and people might have lost their value, tossed aside and paved way for the new but there's something quite charming and refreshing about the concept of kintsugi and believing that never ending consumerism is not actually a spiritually rewarding experience. Karmically speaking, we stink.