Every Friday morning I ask myself 25 simple questions about my week’s activities and experiences. It’s an essential ritual that keeps me grounded in reality, my body, Time and the beauty all around me.
Here are few of my favorite answers from the week of September 30…
How did the unexpected show up this week?
Those awful side affects. I firmly believe in self-compassion, nevertheless, this item falls under the I-Am-An-Idiot category. Last weekend, in an unthinking moment of a really bad headache, did I choose one of the two over-the-counter medications in the cupboard? No. I spied the prescription drug leftover from a long-ago surgery and chose that instead. I listened to the devil on my shoulder that said: Yessss, let’s obliterate this thing! - completely forgetting the drug was a narcotic and narcotics and I don’t get along well. They are to be used only when absolutely necessary and under supervision. In the end, I just traded my headache for some pretty awful side affects. Like I said, I am an idiot.
And my response to that reaction. And why don’t narcotics and I get along? Because in addition to the typical nausea and general wooziness, I don’t breathe right. It’s a decidedly unpleasant sensation. And while the wooziness seemed like a good reason to go lay down, the breathing thing seemed like a good reason to stay upright and moving. Not just moving, but hopping on the elliptical on the back patio and really getting my circulation going for nearly half an hour.
Somewhat to my surprise, it worked. Moving was the much better choice. It still took another three days of hydration and movement to flush it all out of my system, but I’m pretty sure that process would have taken longer had I chosen the prone route (not that I’ll be testing that any time soon).
In the end, the real surprise isn’t that moving worked, but that I chose it. A year ago, the option wouldn’t even have occurred to me. As I gradually become less and less of a couch potato in the second half of my life, the more often I find myself choosing motion as a solution.
And that brings me to…
What did you learn? What do you now need to explore or learn more about?
Feelings are feelings. I’ve always thought of emotions as a special type of thought – a thing of the conscious mind. But what if emotion is a special type of sensory, physiological experience? – a thing of the mind as an organ, as a part of the body?
Maybe there’s a reason they call feelings feelings, you know?
It explains why exercise is as or more effective in changing mood than medications. Why I feel mentally refreshed after a massage. Why I can’t talk or journal my way out of a funk.
Now, you may be reading this thinking well, duh, but for me – a gal who pretty much lives in her head – this is a revelatory shift in perspective.
You’ll often hear me say good time management is good energy management – and that there are five types of energy you need to take care of: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and financial.
In working to better care for my emotional energy, I’m curious to find out just how much that’s tied to my physical energy. So I’m conducting an experiment to find out just how far that connection goes by treating them as the same thing.
I’m pausing to notice what’s going on in my body about once an hour.
Shoulders tense? Might be the way I slept or my posture where I’m sitting. Then again, I might be stressed about deadlines. Stomach tight? Maybe I’m hungry or maybe I’m excited about a presentation. Foggy? Maybe I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Then again, maybe I’m sad about a loss.
In this experiment, the reason doesn’t matter. The only thing I need to do in the moment of noticing it is to move in what ever way seems appropriate to the sensation. Emotional or physical, the remedy must stay in the physiological, non-thinky realm. (I wonder how much this will expand my repertoire of what-to-do-when responses?)
But here’s my real hypothesis: Will this approach help me to better travel the middle way between drama and repression, neither ruled by emotion nor buttoned-up, but living in the space in between that fuels my creativity, integrity and satisfaction? Stay tuned for results…
And speaking of motion…
Thanks to Pandora, I also learned She’s a Bad Mama Jama is a great workout song (and everything Brick House is trying to be). She’s poetry in motion, a beautiful sight to see… Just sayin’ in case you want to add something new (okay, old) to your own playlist.
Where did life take you this week?
The farmer’s market. It might be even better in the fall, when all the fair-weather shoppers stay home and there’s more room to explore and savor. Plus: crepes for breakfast. Yum.
What are you thankful for? Who do you need to thank?
Shannon. For setting me on this experiment in the first place. (You didn’t think I’d be doing something so radical alone, did you?)
What moments of awe, wonder or fun did you experience this week?
That extraordinary spider. Despite being disturbed by the mailman every afternoon, a huge glorious spider found shelter from the fall storms and spun an extraordinary web by our front door almost every day this week. Amazing.
Tell me: What were the highlights of your week?
What are you exploring and learning more about right now?
How do find and navigate that sweet spot between emotional drama and repression?
Where did life take you this week?
What are you thankful for?
What moments of delight did you experience this week?
Organized under week-in-review. none