Well, the Balance Cleanse has been successfully completed. I awoke today to fresh snow, Sam will be home this afternoon and I feel like I have accomplished much in the last week. Some of it was even unexpected and more than I originally planned. I did a day by day little diary in the Living Well blog.
But, overall – WHAT did I learn? What did I end up focusing on more or less than I had planned? What were my successes? What do I need to rethink?
First, my dreams were “off” and I could barely remember them. I am not sure why as I was drinking my favorite dreamy teas and open to them but… Maybe just the change of rooms or the fact that I was meditating every night changed my sleeping habits? I would think it would have been just the opposite and my dreams would only be more vivid and interesting but that ended up not being the case. In any event, dream journaling is a habit for me now so that isn’t going anywhere.
I slept wonderfully though. I don’t think I had fractured sleep any night. I had the dog to contend with – he is a bit of a bed hog. And on the last night the cat decided he wanted to play at 1:00AM. But, for the biggest part of the week I slept like the dead, woke feeling rested and not once did I set an alarm. I woke automatically between 5:30 and 6:00 and felt like it was “time”to start the day. One weekend day I actually slept in. It really is a different feeling to wake when your body wants to. But, I realize THAT hinges on sleeping when your body wants to. Something not many of us are good at.
No TV! Yah! This one was easy. So friggin easy. I did watch TWD on Sunday night but that was it. Gosh it was SO freeing. I almost wonder if the damn thing works anymore. LOL. I guess I’ll find out later today when Sam turns on some loud, annoying basketball game. LOL.
My daily meditation was a success! I totally feel like I could incorporate this into “real” life now. And I believe that I may actually be getting better at it.
Everything more detailed is covered daily in the Living Well blog. What I did not cover there and I find to be MOST important as a reminder to myself and possibly something we all should consider in spending time alone – I was reminded of who I AM.
It is like this – we live with people we love and are surrounded by coworkers and friends almost every single day of our lives. Their energy has an impact on us that we don’t even think about or take into consideration. But it DOES impact us and the way we view and react to the world. I have been told by two professional practitioners at this point that I have a very psychic personality. That personality is very open to the energy of others. It gets bogged down by it. It gets invaded by it. That energy will begin to mute my own energy and change my outlook and actions if I am not careful to manage it. I had never really considered this before being outright told. I knew that I was easily affected by the moods of others AND by crowds and psychic stimulation, lots of noise, etc. I don’t like to be in crowded places or situations where people are running around like ants. It makes me feel drained and overwhelmed. You can see why I am only a fan of cities for brief visits! But, I never considered, daily and then building upon that, the effect of this energy on me and my mental health.
Being alone and experiencing myself for a whole week reminded me that I need to guard my outlook and myself, my moods, my perspective. THIS is the key to contentment and so many other things. If you,
yourself, have your own mental house in order, no one can penetrate that, not even the numbskulls you encounter on a daily basis.
I have an opportunity not often available to me in my line of work and life right now. That is I have a great deal of "down time" coming up, amounting to about a week and thought it would be a glorious time to cap off the inner season with some serious thought, journaling and work. I came up with the idea of a Balance Cleanse because it became apparent to me during a recent astrological consult that my suspicions about where balance is needed in my life are right on. I know myself quite well, despite my specific propensity for hiding truth behind great stories and a somewhat self-deceptive nature LOL. I have learned to manage this trait quite well in my life, sometimes to the point of fault, actually. I also decided to undertake the experience because, frankly, I have not been feeling well for some time now, probably since the holidays. One nagging physical ailment after another that I have kept chalking up to training, tweeking, not stretching enough, just getting old LOL...
This all came to a head this week though when my back continually would become so stiff and tight that after sitting for even a brief time it took me standing in slow motion to be able to straighten my spine and walk correctly. Thankfully I had fashioned that stand-up desk at work so much of my week has been spent there.
But, to digress a bit for purposes of clarification - I rate back pain with a pretty big stick. I've had multiple ruptured discs and a surgery already so when I say my back hurts....well, it probably hurts worse than average. The pain has now radiated elsewhere and beyond that, my muscles seem to be simply spent from the mere act of carrying a laundry basket up the stars. This.Is.Annoying. So, I have a doctor's appointment scheduled but I hold out little hope for our Westernized medical community anyway and figure some self healing can't hurt.
The physical ailments are also a real bother because I actually recently decided that the physical manifestation of me needed a break from the front seat of my waking hours. So, having done that, I get all kinds of physical issues popping up. LOL. But, I have also done some creative self care and exploration this season. A caffeine detox, joining an herbal group, astrological consult. The detox was successful, the herbal group is a blast and the consult revealed loads of useful information.
And in that information is still the need for balance, despite these aches and pains. Balance between mind, body, spirit and self care. Having deemed 2013 the Year of Loving Thyself, LOL, I forge ahead. So, the BC includes:
1. Daily Meditation - doesn't matter how long or short but at some point during the day, the lights go out, a quiet spot is found and I meditate. I sometimes meditate with just music but for this cleanse I decided on guided meds - using a combination of the old Meditation Oasis app stuff as well as a couple of new ones I found recently. My new favorite turns out to be one called - Love Your Body, Love Yourself. It is around 40 minutes long.
2. No TV. This very much pains me for the Walking Dead is to premier! LOL. So, I will allow myself that one guilty pleasure, no, I mean oxygen-like substance, but other than Sunday night I'll suck it up and watch no tube during this time period. I am not one of those people who is against TV. I just want it to be as if I was really somewhere else, at a retreat of sorts...
3. To further foster this - I changed my perspective at home. I took up residence in our guest room. The dog and black cat have taken up residence with me. Actually THEY have taken up the whole bed. But, it is a lovely little cozy room without a TV and a queen sized bed where I can read, write, and have a slumber party with them so long as I secure my space before they sprawl. Again, I wanted to break out of routine and while our bedroom is easily my favorite room in the house, I just needed to change my perspective. Besides, the 3D Smart TV is just too much temptation.
4. I'm taking a whole week off from any sort of structured physical exercise. Instead - muck, walk the dog if the weather allows, yoga & stretching and I may take a trail run if the mood strikes me and it is warm enough, which it actually is supposed to be at some point. I do think my body needs a break and perhaps the current nagging injuries are proof of that.
5. Dream Journal is at hand for writing upon waking.
6. Modified meals and food prep - this is always my struggle as I am SO lazy about fixing food. Like, SO lazy. Unbelievably lazy. Sam fixes a lot of great and good for you food but I feel like my body deserves to depend on me and not the kindness of my mate. LOL. Like, I should take care of her in other ways than strictly training, right? So, since the Farmer's Market is just around the corner I am concentrating on working my way into the season with more fruit, salads, getting my hands dirty so to speak with baking bread and actually prepping, er, real food. Yah JERF. This is a continual struggle for me as it is for many.
This is my Big At-Home Retreat and I am posting the daily diary of sorts in the Wellness Blog so read on! If you are new to the site - go to the Living Well tab and the Blog is in the pulldown menu.