Connecting Mind, Body and Spirit

I’ve been away way too long. Sorry about that guys. Here’ what I’ve been up to:

  • Bellydancing
  • Samba
  • Hand dancing
  • Salsa
  • Yoga
  • Chiropractic
  • Work (too many hours)
  • Trying to fine tune my whole foods lifestyle
  • Trying to adjust to Katrice and Kwesi abandoning me

So let’s take it from the top. After my dad got sick my workout schedule took a nosedive. Instead of going straight to the gym from work, I would go to the hospital to see him. Two weeks off is enough to kill any routine I have established. I am not a creature of habit. It takes time for me to develop a routine. I have to be very intentional about it for it to take hold. If I get off track, it’s hard for me to get back on track. Now, I enjoy weight lifting and jogging when it’s nice outside. I like the way they make me feel but I wouldn’t exactly say that I love it. It feels like work. It feels like something extra that I need to do to be healthy, but not like something I love to do that just happens to be a healthy part of my life. So I decided that I need to find a way to get exercise in a way that is less of something else on my “to do” list and more something on my “I can’t wait to do” list –hence, bellydancing, samba, yoga, salsa and hand dancing. And would you believe that I found a place where I can do them all at the same place? I know!!! Me either!!! So, I’m thrilled about my little home-away-from home studio. It’s a place that teaches a holistic, naturopathic approach to caring for oneself. It teaches the ancient healing benefits of the different dances and disciplines and encourages a healthy, whole foods lifestyle. It’s a place where one can pursue the mind, body, spirit connection with like-minded people who are, by the way, working out and having a good time. Yay!!! I spend lots of time there and get really annoyed when I have to work late and miss my classes. Which brings me to the next thing I’ve been up to.

Work. One morning at about 3am, while sitting on my couch still working, I realized that at some point I lost my boundary concerning home and work. I have notoriously managed this boundary very well. If I need to stay a little later or get in a little earlier to get things done, I’ll do that, but home is supposed to be my sacred space. No work here!! I lost sight of that recently and I need to find my way back to prioritizing my life appropriately. The thing is I enjoy my job and don’t mind doing the things I was working on, I just need to keep it out of my sacred space. I’ll figure it out in the coming weeks…with help. I’ll tell you about that soon.

Chiropractic. I never really thought of my chiropractor and massage therapist as holistic healers until this weekend. I noticed that western medicine isn’t big on referring people to chiropractors or massage therapists. They rather send you to physical therapy. I’ve concluded that taking care of my body is more than considering it in isolation from the rest of me and therefore I choose to exhaust alternative medicine before I turn to my physician. I’ve been having crazy neck and shoulder pain. I know it’s stress and the position of my monitor and spending too much time working and using my laptop on my couch and all this other dumb stuff I’m doing to myself. But I needed it fixed. I had options. I went to my massage therapist first. 90 minutes of pure ecstasy, I tell you. I could have married that woman! I felt like she worked out a lot of the tension, but quickly realized that I was just out of alignment. Off to the chiropractor and when I tell you I almost kissed that man when he hammered my little neck vertebrae back where they belong I am not kidding you. I don’t know how long I was out of alignment, but my weekend was so much better having had things put back where they belong. I still have major neck problems that will take 3 months of aggressive treatment to fix, but I’m good for now. Unfortunately, my freaking commute to work makes it almost impossible for me to take the time I need to go get fixed. My work and chiropractor’s hours are not compatible and my chiropractor is about 20 miles from work (which in DC traffic time means 1 hour away). Even when I tried to schedule appointments this week I had to cancel because of last minute meetings. I’ve got to figure this out. Don’t fuss at me. I’ll get it together.

My whole foods lifestyle. Trader Joe’s has finally moved to my neighborhood!!! My local organic market is as expensive as, if not more expensive than, Whole Foods. I was so glad to see TJ’s open up just up the road. I could stop by the TJ’s close to my old job on the way home from work, but now I don’t come near the place. I bought groceries this weekend and got double the stuff I can get at my local organic spot for half the price. I can’t get everything I need at TJ’s, but I’m saving money so that I can finance my dance habit. Good stuff!! I have had some ups and downs with trying to eat well. I still haven’t touched fast food or meat in 5 months, but football season has had me jonesing hard for chips and dip and beer on Sunday afternoons at 1pm. I’d make a meal of it, I tell you. I’m over it though. I think.

And last but not least, Katrice and Kwesi have moved to Texas. 😦 I was such a wuss that I left a note on their car to say goodbye. I couldn’t bear doing it face to face. Well, they showed me. They conveniently didn’t leave while I was at work that day. I got home from work just in time to watch them pack the last things in the car and drive away….all the way across the country. I still look for their cars when I come home from work. It sucks. BUT, I’m going to see them December 6-9, for the 1st Annual Corny Convention in Dallas. I can’t wait. I miss them already.

And, since this post isn’t as long as I thought it would be 😉 , I’ll tell you about figuring things out in the coming weeks with help. My new theme for self is, “when I know better, I do better”. I am learning a lot about other cultures, spiritual disciplines and ways of life through my quest to re-evaluate my belief system. In the process I have learned a lot of things that make more sense to me and feel more right for me than the norms of the culture to which I was born. I came across this passage in a book I am reading. It says it best:

We are all subjects–and victims–of our time and our perspective in history. Truth, or our perception of it, is a function of our limited, culture-bound understanding and is often as fluid as a change in custom…The best we can hope to do is rise above our culture as much as possible to see our biases, challenge them, and willingly allow our view of the world to shatter as our biases knuckle under the blows of scrutiny.

This is what this blog has always been about. I am re-thinking everything at once. It is so exciting and fun. I feel free of the guilt that came with shaking off the norms of the Christian community that guided my life for so long and now I feel like I can judge each new idea on it’s own merits. It has taken some time for the “Christian voice” in my heard to quiet so that I can think through some of these new ideas. But I’m far enough away from that voice now that I can evaluate new things for what they are and not what Christians say they are. Does that make sense? It makes perfect sense to me. I may need to rework that sentence when I edit. Anyway, I’ve hired a holistic health consultant to help me articulate my goals for this journey, create a plan to meet those goals and to teach me more about my body and the foods, drinks, etc. that are best for my optimal health (mind, body and spirit). It should be fun. I start on the 13th. I’ll let you know how it goes. I might be writing about all of that more on Fine Tuning, but who knows. The more I see the connections between mind, body and spirit, the less I see a need for 3 blogs. I’m realizing that I can’t separate these things as neatly as I once thought. I’m considering a merge. Who knows? We’ll see. Maybe I’ll just feed content between the blogs when it’s relevant.

So that’s what I’ve been up to. I’ll be catching up with you guys soon.

Any thoughts on any of this stuff? What do you think about that quote?

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17 thoughts on “Connecting Mind, Body and Spirit

  1. I love that quote, since you asked. 🙂

    One of the things I discovered in all of my meandering is that so much of what we believe is a choice. There is a whole great variety of choices available to us. When I adopted Thai culture (the one that saved my life and then enriched it), I knew it would be an intense learning curve.

    It has been.. and my thinking and perceptions are challenged constantly.

    But I’m weird. I love it! I love the challenges of it. 🙂

  2. @ Chani

    …so much of what we believe is a choice

    It sure is. I love feeling free to choose. And if you’re weird I am too. I love this journey.

  3. I’m so impressed that you’ve made such great decision in you spiritual and physical health. I’m also glad that your dad is well enough for you to get back on track. The dance classes sound amazing, and I agree – the chiropractor and masseuse (can’t spell) are wonderful. I’m saving a gift card I recieved for a massage for just the right day.

    I give my chiroprator a hug after a back and neck cracking/alignment session since I feel so much better.

    re: your best friend:
    I know it’s hard for you since she’s gone (the chorus of the song is echoing as I type: “she’s gone…Oh I..Oh I..I’ve got to learn how to face it..”) I wonder who else thinks in terms of music. Thank goodness for the ‘net and unlimited long distance.

    I get so happy thinking about CornyCon and I can’t wait to hang with you again. You’re the sweetest and the coolest!

    This was a great post today. Have a good week.

  4. @ jali

    I am really enjoying my life right now. It feels good to be making choices that are right for me. Dancing is amazing!!! I could dance all day. One would presume that that means I do this well….careful. 😉

    I can’t wait for CornyCon. I get to see you again and K and K. I’m so excited for you guys to finally meet and for us all to meet DD. Good times!!!

  5. It’s like you bottle up while you’re away and then pour it out when you return. Whoo. Hoo.

    What is hand dancing?

    I’m far enough away from that voice now that I can evaluate new things for what they are and not what Christians say they are. Does that make sense? It makes perfect sense to me.
    Me too. The voice in my head was my mother’s, wrought with what I now know was Mom-filtered Catholicism.

    It was such a huge deal when I learned religion is a choice, and that some people are spared it. Learning new things makes me feel isolated, as in your question above, or like I’m new to something other people have had down for ages, perhaps all their lucky nonreligious lives.

  6. I like that your burgeoning connectedness makes you want to combine your blogs. Separation can be good for sifting and sorting so you’re not overwhelmed, but it’s divisiveness that’s the root of most problems.

    Western medicine is like religion: they’re out of a lot of money when people realize how much they can do for themselves and thus for each other.

  7. @ ~m~

    Hand dancing is how I grew up dancing with my Daddy:

    Hand dancing, also known as “D.C. hand dancing”, is a form of swing dancing that can be traced as far back as the 1920’s, when Harlem gave birth to the Lindy Hop. From the Lindy Hop emerged the Jitterbug in the 30’s and during the 50’s D.C. developed its own version and named it Hand Dance. From the early 50’s to mid 60’s, Hand Dance was the hub of the Washingtonian dancing experience. It is characterized by gliding footwork and continuous hand contact between the partners, hence its name. In the 80’s, following an extended hiatus, Hand Dance resurfaced and has gradually moved to reclaim its place in the Washington dance community.

    It’s such a huge deal to live beyond the voices in our heads. I’m learning how much everything is life is a choice.

    You are spot on about western medicine and money. It’s sickening.

  8. Yoga has been slowing changing my life. I’ve been reading the Yoga texts and the spirituality that inspired it. I’m floored. I’m starting to realize something spectacular…that the god or the goddess or whatever you want to call it may actually be living inside of me.

    You know that I’ve been eating organic for years and if it wasn’t for Trader Joe’s, I’d be absolutely broke. My local supermarket has also started an organic revolution and offering store brand generic products that are certified organic.

    Keep going with this journey. It’s wonderful to read about.

  9. @ Debbie

    I am amazed by the clarity of the ancient writings I’ve been reading. We are so limited in our scope if we just buy what is popular in our culture, and lazy because we have all of this information readily accessible to us.

    TJ’s rocks socks!! Viva Organic!!

    I’m enjoying reading about your journey as well…even the birds!!

  10. Gawd – you made me tired just reading what was on your list…let alone my thinking about doing ANY of it! I have been reading up a lot on religion lately though…seems the spiritual side of Judaism has taken hold of me and I feel compelled to learn more about it.

    Strange the twists and turns we take in life…

    CP.

  11. @ CP

    You know, as I was reading your post about Esther hoping you hadn’t gone holy roller it made me think, wow, christians have really gone in a totally different direction than judiasm although the claim is to be an extension thereof. The whole heaven and hell thing is striking.

    It’s all fascinating to me.

  12. Lex, this is such a wonderfully positive post that it almost feels like it’s dancing.

    You are on the journey of your life, and I totally agree with your perceptions about Western medicine and religion. They are increasingly profit-motivated, which seems obscenely inconsistent with their stated purpose.

    We are so much more than disconnected functions of body, mind and spirit. There are many ways to integrate them, which is absolutely necessary if we are to be truly healthy.

    No fast food for five months? That’s amazing! I have never liked it myself, but since most people do, it must be very difficult to retrain your mind in the concept that many things that pass for food are not really nourishing, but just fill the stomach.

    Around here, we call Whole Foods “Whole Pay Check.” But what can be more important than taking care of our bodies which house our souls?

    Good luck with your new program. You sound happier, healthier and more in tune with yourself than ever, despite the huge sorrow of losing Katrice and Kwesi as neighbors. It’s wonderful that they were there during the tumult of your last few years and helped you to become as strong as you are now. Good friends are always with us in one way or another.

    I’m glad your dad is improving, too. Sorry this is so long, but I always have so much to say to you.

  13. It seems like the key is to focus on life, to make choices, not merely accept the easiest or most popular path. It sounds like you are really focusing on all the choices that are open to you, and are seriously contemplating the impact of all your decisions. That is incredibly awesome!

  14. YOU are making the choices and taking control of the path. Thus, you will never go wrong, even if you rethink the choices now and then. I am there with you, hoping to hang on to your positive thoughts.

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  16. Try leaving a note on MY window again!

    Ha ha ha!!

    I know it’s not the same, but I think we’ll see each other about once every two months at least. You think?

    Yes, I really am commenting on old news! You know me. I must read every post I have missed!

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