Its likely very evident I’ve been on another hiatus from writing since my last entry (I haven’t published since late November). I had hoped to end this hiatus with the arrival of the New Year, however the past two weeks have seen me struggle to write anything of a personal nature in what typically is has been my favorite time of the year to write.
The signs of breakthrough starting to coming arrived this week, when I actually opened an editor and started capturing words. However (you knew this was coming), that same editor then remained untouched for three days until I returned to the blog after spending the weekend relaxing and doing some ‘seeding’ for my now self identified and defined creative process, and engaging in some self care.
It’s often said the best ideas and processes are designed by the people who are going to be using them, and I finally seem to have accepted that this is a concept I need to apply in my own life, instead of just with the organizations I serve. (Wait, what? It, is this a fourth important message finally acknowledged as received?)
In the time since my last posting I’ve spent a lot of time in reflection, with thanks and gratitude owed to the very much needed downtime that accompanied a few extra vacation days I indulged in to bridge me from Christmas until after the New Year. There can be no doubt, the new Boil 2.0 had firmly established itself into my life in the months before the holidays.
When I first realized I had slipped into the dangerous warmth of routine again, I had recognized that I was once again being pulled along by it’s current on a path I didn’t want to follow. Boil 2.0 felt familiar but was more comfortable and enticing. Fortunately, The Pause has gave me the ability to recognize that this state and direction was not something I wanted, and if followed would undo my progress made on my journey to a healthy state.
The early days of The Pause had allowed me to slow the pace of my life down and remove enough distractions that I had become aware enough to be sensitive of changes to my environment. The alarms had started to sound in my head, ringing out ‘Don’t forget!’ and this allowed me to quickly guide myself back to a place more suited to consideration, evaluation and choice, versus one of passive complacency and the inevitable downward spiral back to where I had discovered myself to be in late June 2020.
There are some messages you simply cannot ignore, and when you receive three such messages within a 36 hour period, you can’t help but recognize you’d be a fool to let them pass unacknowledged and unacted upon. Ignoring the messages could well be wasting an epiphany (or three) that might well have been key to helping you approach that elusive true state of happiness, contentment and health we ultimately wish for and work to achieve. Sometimes you need to take the moment and really listen to what messages have to teach you.
With both my parents now moved on from my life to their rewards (great or otherwise) I have been required to turn inward, not for guidance but feedback, to listen what my heart and brain are telling me in order to determine whether or not they are aligned and ready to take action in embracing new way of thinking and to change perspectives. As the pandemic stretches into its twenty third month, I’ve learned and accepted that the alignment of heart and brain (soul?) has become a vital requirement for me to be able to move on from my current state to one that is preferred, and ultimately is more supportive of helping me achieve where and how I want to go forward with my life, consciously and actively.
My mother would have been proud that I seem to be open and willing to explore more eastern methods of medicine and health; my father would have been relieved to know that I’m not abandoning the western style of intervention in order to make room for the new thinking (there will be no crystals to help me ward off COVID-19, or any other ill humors, at least not yet, but even then, as you’ll read, I’m going to need some proof).
I’m thinking these learnings, and the very recently received messages will help me to find balance, and get me out of my funk (not just of the last nearly three weeks, but of what has been plaguing me really for decades).
‘What were those messages?’ You ask? Please, bear with me, I’m getting there, but there’s a journey I need to unpack a little bit to help you appreciate how difficult it was to actually find myself at the point I’m at now.
You might have already picked up on the fact that I can be a bit thick headed, and sometimes close-minded (fortunately this seems to have been changing thanks to The Pause), therefore I’ve always been a ‘show me’, or ‘prove it’ kind of guy; simply telling me me about something isn’t going to be enough to convince me to adopt it. The best example of this thinking is found in the fact that up until December of 2020, I’d been passively letting the health of my back decline. It wasn’t until I hit bottom with its health, when the numbness and pain was nearly constant (thanks to poor sitting ergonomics and a full time desk job), that I finally took action and saw that acupuncturist, who referred my case down the chiropractic path. While I’d heard of both these forms of eastern medicine, I knew little of them, and thought them a bit hokey, so I hadn’t bothered to explore them previously, and therefore my mind was nearly closed completely to even considering them being of potential benefit until I felt out of options.
Now a year into chiropractic care, my back is undeniably better, but I’ve plateaued. No further progress has been made since the summer (when I stopped the movement classes that didn’t appear to be doing much for me or at least not at the pace I’d hoped) in restoring its strength to allow me to gain better flexibility and health. This managed to reiterate for me that taking a passive approach achieving and maintaining the health I’d taken for granted was something I would need to let go of having reached a point in middle life and now travelled far enough down the road to realize I’d need to leave that zone of passive existence behind in order to achieve a more healthy one; I would have to become proactive in seeking ways to enhance my health and to discover and sustain the balance necessary to maintain it.
Message One – Yoga
This brings us to this past Saturday (and the first message’s arrival). I must have been in the right place when Bae issued the directive, as I did not experience a thought or moment of resistance to it. The lack of resistance or push back is likely owed to my now recognizing and accepting that the way I was going about daily routine wasn’t working for me any longer, so I embraced the opportunity of Bae’s directive, knowing that I had been spinning my wheels, and had been left with insufficient energy from the holiday break’s recharge let alone restore the strength (mentally) to allow me to pull myself out of the funk and put myself right again.
Bae, being the beautiful and intelligent woman she is, had recognized the members of the household had yet to emerge from the doldrums of Christmas and the New Year break and decided that we (including Mouse) all needed a change. Taking advantage a relatively free schedule on a recent Saturday morning, she decided it was time to use the matts she’d purchased for us as gifts for Christmas and to get us started on an absolute beginner’s yoga session (video and link below, with absolute thanks to Adriene Mishler via Youtube).
My first yoga lesson:
It wasn’t difficult, yet. I expect that it will be, but I know that it will be well worth the time I’ve cut from my sleep routine (really just salvaged from my former commute to the office turned additional rest time) and added to my new personal care routine for early mornings. I’m all for a slow, progressive exploration and development of a yoga practice; just like running, I expect it will become easier and more routine in time. This will be a new subject area to be visited by hCmmh (oh and yes, I did this again this morning as part of my new weekday routine, so yay me for committing to developing this new practice).
Message Two – Lymphatic Drainage
The next message, and it’s truth, came the same day: at Bae’s suggestion, we used a learning from her work, lymphatic drainage, and tried a beginner’s routine for ourselves, together. Thankfully, once again, I experienced no resistance to the suggestion, therefore heard, received and accepted this message. This reminded me that you really won’t know if a lesson will work for you until you at least tried it. Having taken the leap, I was rewarded with proof (at least in a matter that satisfied my conscienceness) that what I felt afterward was likely addressing a newly recognized need of my preferred healthy state.
In the past week, I’d discovered I had slightly swollen and sensitive glands under my chin. I wasn’t worried that this was a result of a decline of health (I thought passingly that it might be COVID, but that felt very unlikely given my isolation and distancing habits even despite Omicron now being dominate strain in my neck of the woods), but thought perhaps this was a warning that I was out of balance and action was needed to correct this state, instead of passively leaving it to become something more dangerous if left unaddressed (the c-word passed through my brain, and departed quickly, leaving the hook dangled by paranoia untouched).
Drawing upon Bae’s learnings, we practiced massaging, rubbing, slapping, thumping of the lymphatic system. The spots that she warned would be sensitive, indeed were, the energy she said would be felt afterward, arrived as predicted, along with the warning of a need for lots of water and bathroom breaks afterwards, all ringing true. This was enough ‘proof’ for me; the benefits were so evident right away in change to my levels of energy and feeling of wellbeing that lymphatic drainage has also earned a place on hCmmh to be revisited and explored in future posts.
Message Three – ???
The third message, well, it arrived somewhat unexpectedly on Sunday and I’m still having to process it, so I won’t detail it for the moment. For now, I will share only having received the message and acknowledged its power for me: it has me as excited as much as my discovery of THC, my reemerging artistry, the restoration of a healthy back to my life, and my new explorations of yoga and lymphatic drainage.
Having recieved and accepted these messages had left me feeling like I’m headed in the right direction of health, physically and mentally.
The dam didn’t burst, but its not blocked anymore
With thanks to those messages arriving within a 36 hour window, I’m inspired to embrace them and to explore them further. The accompanying clarity of mind that emerged after the receipt of the messages seems to indicate I’ve found some additional tools that will help me along my pathway to my health and happiness.
While I may not have children to leave this legacy to, perhaps there are a few folks out there that if they were to stumble across hCmmh, might just find a few answers they’ve been looking for, and in turn aid in their journey to find health, happiness and balance, and help them in creating their own legacy of health and happiness.