State of My Self week 3: 2017
This week is about looking back over the last calendar year, specifically as it pertained to our health. What is health? Well, you can read my opinion of that here and here, and I like Katy Bowman’s take from her blog (where these questions come from) post in Alignment Matters. She says, “Define health as that state of feeling happy in all aspects of yourself - in the body, in the mind, and in the soul, and being pain, disease, and medication free.” Whatever definition speaks to you can be used for this exercise. So let’s begin!
Completing and Remembering Your Health in 2017
1. What was the biggest health triumph in 2017?
Completing the Nutritious Movement Restorative Exercise training! It was a life changing 2-year process for me, and I intend to be ‘in training’ forever, but I officially graduated the program this year and I’m really proud of that.
2. What was the smartest health decision you made in 2017?
I don’t know if this breaks the rules, but I’d say same answer as above. (I guess I’m in charge here, so I’m going to say it’s okay) For a different reason, though! The RES training broke my mind wide open, but it’s the decision to commit my mind and my body to the physical process has been equally as life changing.
3. What one word best sums up and describes your 2017 health experience?
4. What was the greatest lesson about health you learned in 2017?
Ugh, hard! I literally have binders (multiple) and notebooks (multiple) of important stuff I’ve learned this year that I pore over like a miser with his gold (insert image of Marcia by candlelight thumbing through her binders whispering ‘excellent’ and steepling her fingers like Mr. Burns from the Simpsons) But since I have to pick just one I’m going to say stay curious and open minded. The best things we learn are what comes after we think we know it all. You know your body best, but be open minded and curious. Explore! There’s always more!
5. What was the most loving service that you performed in 2017?
Committing 2017 to the idea of learning to be my greatest ally instead of my own greatest stumbling block / frenemy. You know, the friend that actually sort of hates you? Yeah, I decided to see if me and my body/mind could be besties instead of frenemies. I wouldn’t call it a complete conversion, but we’ve come a long way this year, me, myself, and I. Big love.
6. What is your biggest piece of ‘unfinished health business’ in 2017?
These abdominal scars are some sneaky business. They have quietly (over the course of 20 years) become the secret shadow government of many of my muscle patterns, and I’m slowly trying to get them to play nice with others. I’m so thankful to have so many tools to help me with that after so many years of struggling and frustration. It took a long time to develop, and so patience is required in this process. But we’re trending upward!
7. What about your health are you most happy about completing in 2017?
I completed something? Lol. For sure what I’ve learned this year is that you’re never done learning, and you’re never done doing. It’s not a one and done. But, in the spirit of the question, I guess I would say I completed feeling pressured to make my success look like everyone else’s. I’m allowing myself to follow my gut, not the ‘supposed to’s’ and ‘should’s’. Now, am I really complete with that? Not really. But we’ve begun the goodbye.
8. Who were the three people with the greatest impact on your health life in 2017?
Katy Bowman (duh), Kjetil Larsen for his generosity with his work blowing my mind in awesome ways (hail Norway!), and Shawn Kitzman – collaboration and comradery keeps me feeling excited and curious, and motivated to keep finding more and be better. Thank you.
9. What is the biggest health risk you took in 2017?
It’s going to sound not risky, but it felt like it! LETTING MY BELLY OUT. We have a lot of emotion and misguided intention around keeping the belly sucked in and armored up. But I can’t tell you how much it’s helped my digestion, my breathing, my spinal movement, and my core strength (weird, right?). I think it’s even affecting my emotions in a positive way. Calmer, more in touch. Feels risky, but WORTH IT.
10. What was your biggest health surprise in 2017?
How clearly my body speaks to me if I’m listening respectfully. I realized I was listening before, but only so I could tell it (my body) that it was wrong for feeling that way. Or feeling, period. When I made the effort to listen without judgment, I discovered my body really knows what it’s talking about. And following its advice is usually the shortest path to feeling good. Thanks, body!
11. What important health relationship improved most in 2017?
There is a BIG difference between being flexible and being hypermobile. And I’m hypermobile in a lot of important places. Oops. I meant well, but I thought slamming into maximum end range movement was going to get me … more. And it did – more ligament laxity and joint destabilization! And that’s not what I meant to do. And so I’m learning where my boundaries are. And I’m liking it.
12. What compliment would you have liked to receive but didn’t?
“Hey, way to honor and mind those boundaries!” (referring to above answer)
13. What compliment would you have liked to have given but didn’t?
“You are brave for being willing to look outside of the established norms and take a fresh look at your relationship with yourself and responsibility for your health. You are a warrior!”
14. What else do you need to do or say to be complete with 2017?
I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions, but I like to set a theme for the year. 2017 was all about learning to have a greater love and respect for myself, and noticing the ways that relationship can be sabotaged or strengthened by my thoughts and actions. Again, I wouldn’t call this task complete by any stretch, but I do feel much clearer about how my thoughts affect my health, and how my actions can align better to my intentions. Awareness is the first step, and I feel more aware!
Next week is the 4th and final week for the State of My Self inquiry and assessment, and it deals with goal setting for 2018. I hope you can join in!