Happy Spring! Spring has sprung! Hooray, hooray. The light is longer; the snow melts faster; and I see teeny buds on some trees. Bring it on!
Today is the final confession in my 3-part blog series ?3 Confessions of a Vibrant Living Advocate.?
If you?missed one or both of those two, you can click on these links to check out Confession #1 and Confession #2.
And now on to the final confession, and an inside look as to WHY I chose to write this series.
Confession #3: I have health issues, too.
I have found it interesting, over the years, when folks show surprise?shock, even?when I mention a health challenge that I?ve had, or am having. I can assure you that I?ve had my share of health issues, just like everyone else. I had a long journey with ?IBS? that turned out to be simple gluten sensitivity. I?ve had muscular-skeletal issues most of my adult life. I?ve had blood labs that came back funky, requiring me to pivot, shift, and re-invent my self-care. And, I just had pneumonia last month, which knocked me down for 2 weeks. It would be boring for you to read all the specifics and details, so I won?t write this in a way that you end up using it to cure your insomnia.
So here?s the point: Health is not linear. The human organism, BodyMindSpirit, is not an equation. It CAN be cause and effect, like ?eat more veggies, and notice more energy,? but it also sometimes isn?t. What works for one person, doesn?t work for another. What works for one person, may not work for that same person at another time in their life! And, we can feel like we?re doing ?everything right? and then realize that we weren?t.
When I was working with the LIVESTRONG Program, creating and delivering lecture events for cancer survivors, I always gave this analogy:
When I drive a car, I can protect myself. I can wear a seatbelt, follow the road rules (well, mostly?I have a terrible lead foot on an open road?in my mind, I?m in a Camaro and not a mom-car), drive defensively, keep my phone in my handbag, not drink & drive, and all of that good stuff, as much as possible. And, a drunk, texting driver could still jump the meridian and take me out. Taking precautions and caring deeply about being a good driver doesn?t give me any guarantees. But I still do it. I want to do what I can to limit the potential for a car accident, and to enjoy happy road experiences.
When I ride around in a body, I can protect myself. I can follow a Food Sass? Lifestyle, exercise, manage my stress, drink plenty of water, limit my alcohol consumption, get fresh air, get plenty of restful sleep, and all of that good stuff, as much as possible. And, I can still end up with a health problem. Taking precautions and caring deeply about my health doesn?t give me any guarantees. But I still do it. I want to do what I can to limit the potential for illness, and to enjoy a vibrant life.
And, the truth of the matter is, I don?t do either one perfectly. I?m not always an A+ driver, and I?m not always doing everything I can, all at the same time, to create vibrant health.
Further, ALL aspects of us?our body, our mind, and the expression of our spirit?are constantly morphing, shifting and affecting each other, which is why I refer to body, mind, and spirit as one word, BodyMindSpirit. As we start to understand how each affects the other, it becomes increasingly hard to talk about them separately. And it becomes truly mind-blowing how complex we are.
Here?s what I know, without a shadow of a doubt: We know extraordinarily little about the human organism. After decades of being engaged in this work, I?m still blown away by being surprised when a health journey goes differently than I thought it would. I?m humbled, over and over and over, by all that we don?t know. By all that we have no answer for. We?ve barely scratched the surface. Barely.
?Well, Miss Humbled & Surprised, what the heck does all this mean?!? You?re kinda freakin? me out.?
The fantabulous human organism is mysterious. I invite you to be engaged in your health journey, and to care about it deeply, and to look at it as just that?an important journey; a worthwhile process. I suggest, for your own mental health, that you sit with the idea that ?the health equation? isn?t an equation at all. It?s a lot more like raising kids than like solving 3x = 7x – 2. The best we can do is to do the best we can. There?s no owner?s manual. And when the sh*t hits the fan, the best first step is to locate and pinpoint the best questions. And to know that there?s rarely one right answer. And to try this thing over here, and if this doesn?t work, to try that thing over there. And to be gentle, kind, and open with ourselves, and with our process, every step of the way. And to know that there is no completion. No ?definitive answer.? ?There. I eat well and now I?ll be healthy forever? isn?t how it works.
Again, two of the most important things we can be with ourselves are honest, and gentle.
Have you had surprises on your health journey? Do you love Camaros too?
Share your insights below! I always love to hear from you.
Create Vibrant Health: BodyMindSpirit?
Wow, Laurie all three confessions certainly resonate with my health journey. #3 is especially insightful. We do what we can, be who we are and hope for the best :-)! We do not have total control (and I do love control). Loved reading your 3 Confessions. Paula
PS At a yoga conference last fall I came upon a quote I love which I think is also applicable here: “Come as you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Sort of like what you are saying in your last paragraph without the words be honest and gentle with yourself.
Thank you, Paula, for this open and insightful comment. Yes, I too have been a lifelong fan of control (for me, aka: “control freak”), and in the last decade have been softening into how much of an illusion that all is. Which is an especially big drag when I’d really like to help people “control” their health. I can have influence; and each of us has influence over our own health, and that’s kinda it.
Thank you for brining that up, and for the wonderful yoga quote. It reminds me of a quote from Mike Dooley: “Do what you can, with what you have, from where you are.” Love that.