Dear Wandering Wakefield readers.
I offer you 12 themes to ponder on, one for each month of the new Year.
Please accept this tongue in cheek at times armchair advice from a gal just making observations. If any of it helps you, makes you think, laugh or act, then great! Written with the best of intentions, and without a disclaimer, and a rather reluctant nod to Oprah.
Hoping you all have a healthier and happier New Year.
Accept what is, what was, and what will be. Adopt a wabi sabi world view and embrace the imperfect, impermanent and unfinished. The fastest way to serenity is to accept that we are all flawed and have many imperfections – hug them. Change the things you have control over if you must; but try to take a bow to things you don’t have any control over.
Keep your promises. Especially to yourself, if you break a promise to yourself, it is not good for you! Commitment to oneself or others creates alliances, allegiance and loyalty. It also fosters your sense of responsibility.
Explore and expand your creative side. It is soul satisfying to make a fabulous chowder, a needlepoint wall hanging, or write a new song. Sharing your creations is also fun and inspires others. Take up photography. If you have always wanted to try making origami, there is no time like the present. Start now and you can make all your Christmas gifts for next year. Singing is recommended for its many health benefits, can regulate the heart rate, and add to your social capital, as well as increases your life expectancy! Unabashed plug here for our local Castenchel Choir, always recruiting new folks. http://www.castenchel.com
There are so many ways to eat healthier, January brings out new diets and fads. Stick to something that is sustainable if you want better whole food in your one precious body. Fuel well.
If you smoke, there are many methods of quitting. Find one that works and keep trying until it works. From the countdown program and the Lung Association here are some tips to break the three-pronged addiction which is physiological, psychological and habitual.
- Break the circuit between smoking and coffee, smoking and looking at your phone. Smoking with conversations. Break the circuit and ritual about where you smoke and make your car, or your back deck off limits. Break the ritual circuits about how you light up and use your opposite hand to light and butt out. Slowly count down until you are down to one a day. When the last one in the pack gets butted out, that is the last one for your life.
- Write a letter to your smokes as if they were a friend you must break up with. Talk about when you met, why you were attracted to them, and when you first discovered they were toxic. When people let you down that little soother you put in your mouth was always there for you, at parties and funerals. It is time to break up. This sounds corny, but this exercise sheds powerful insights.
- Make a butt jar and collect all your cig buts in a glass jar, use it as an ashtray that goes with you. Seal and unseal the lid. This stinky disgusting mess will remind you of what is inside your lungs. Fill with water and drain to make a very effective pesticide for slugs in the spring around your hostas. Don’t drink it though because, that would be instantly fatal, as opposed to a slow demise.
If you drink, quit or cut down. Alcohol is a group one carcinogen, is cardiotoxic and at its base ethanol. It is slightly more sophisticated than drinking windshield wiper fluid. We have all been duped and unwittingly have propped up an industry for years that’s harmful effects are widespread including a very strong link with breast cancer, and all the cancers, heart disease, domestic violence, and fatal car accidents. (It’s wine o’clock somewhere). Rethink your relationship with “mommy’s little helper.” Shout out to the new AA group right here in beautiful downtown Wakefield. Tuesdays 7 PM 889 Riverside Drive.
Been holding back? Step up and speak your truth. You are more likely to gain the respect of family and friends than lose them if you speak up. The use of I statements help you own your emotions. Rather “than you are frustrating” which serves to put the other persons back up say “I feel frustrated. “
Alexithymia is a condition in which an individual is unable to fully feel and express their emotions. Social training in submission and ignoring them turns them inward and is simply not healthy! Understand your feelings and those of others. Express yourself, admit and face fear, sadness, anger, and then you can deal with it. These emotions unexamined, or supressed, simply stunt your growth.
Everyone has a bad day, all of us suffer, we all need love, and we all are vulnerable. If you can see the inner vulnerability of each human being, it is easier to forgive. Look for less than perfect folks, they are everywhere. Understand their struggle and forgive them the thoughtless act, or offhand remark. Most people have good intensions and screw up now and then. Don’t hold on to resentment, it is a poison you drink expecting the other guy to get sick. Let go of resentments, drop the rocks that are making you sink. Let them drop one by one out of your pockets and feel lighter.
Forgiveness is good for you.
It is so good to dream and work towards fulfilling that dream. Save enough $ to take a holiday, buy that longed for item, train towards an event that will give you a sense of accomplishment. Set a goal, work towards it , realize and live your dream and bask in the glory of a vision made true. The “universe” does not always drop things in your lap. Go get it.
It is such good practise to develop an attitude of gratitude. Look around, daily, and count your blessings. The hills produce rich gifts each season to be thankful for. Give some of the riches away, share them. You can’t get poor from giving things away, a wise friend told me recently. Sharing what you are grateful for elicits gratitude in the receiver, a grand grateful circle. Enough said.
Life can be a struggle; we feel as though we must get the better of it, or somehow win at it. Imagine life as a river. Do not swim against the tide every day. Let the current take you, drifting downstream. Allow your life to unfold. Plans and goals are healthy, yet so is spontaneity. If you are always busy looking for things to fill your day, the opportunity to catch the sunshine outside your door could be missed. Don’t let the immediate ways to contribute to your health pass you by because you made so many plans you miss what is right in front of you. Let go of managing all the details.
Make things better
Lighten up. Keep positive. Misery loves company. Misery can be compounded when both parties add to the story. If one person is upset, don’t make it worse. Just listen and understand and then lighten them up. Don’t dismiss what they are saying but find the metaphoric ray of hope and show it to them. Phrases like “It’s going to be ok, or Don’t worry at least you are gorgeous”, and use of humor can comfort and make things better. Always offer a joyful perspective. People will like having you around, if they feel heard and then cheered up.
Sit the heck down. Breath. Be alone. Get off the treadmill. There are many good reasons to spend some time sitting with your life. You can’t solve or accomplish things by racing from one activity to another. Enjoy where you are and do not overschedule, it just makes you tired and grumpy. Be kind and unwind. Get a book. Stop talking. Unplug your phone. Chill. Pray. Meditate.
Moderate your temperament
Stop being a drama queen. Stop getting worked up. Put pesky people (alliteration!) in an imaginary blue bubble and have them float away to happy land. That way, your heart rate stays within a normal range.
There you have it. Tips for living a happier healthier New Year. Best wishes. Amen.
Remember, you can’t save the planet, solve world peace, and bring back diverse species if you are unhealthy and unhappy. Love,