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Posts Tagged living through the senses

A Sense of imBalance

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My life has gotten out of balance….literally.  Last week I somehow twisted my knee.  I woke up one day to tightness, mild swelling, and an unstable joint.  When I wanted to walk, I had to hop and stoop to get around.  I am still all bent up.  The pain isn’t bad.  It just doesn’t really work right.  Needless to say, I am jumping into self-care mode to help get my knee what it needs.

This afternoon I am headed to the chiropractor; tomorrow, a massage.  Even with that though, I think the quirk in my knee must be less about something physical and more about something desiring more balance in my life.

That is why during my meditation this weekend I have explored where the imbalance comes from.  You see, I am learning that imbalance is an invitation to a new level of balance.  I don’t think it has to be that something is wrong as much as that there is a new something right trying to make its way into life.

My meditation connected me with a time when I was completely immobilized with severe back pain. Same thing then, no apparent episode to blame it on, just woke with it!  I remember knowing then that if I was ever to have better use of my body that I wanted to dance.  I needed to dance….not for the sake of my body, but for my overall well-being. Dancing celebrates my body.  It is a moving affirmation of a part of me that for much of society doesn’t fit.

Dance

I am a big, curvy girl.  I have been since the third grade.  Something shifted in my existence that year, and I went from a small child to a large child.  I have spent a good portion of my life fighting against the negative spin our society, culture, the media, and even well-meaning loved ones throw out about anyone who doesn’t have the perfect body. Sometimes I am tricked into thinking that only curvy bodies have to contend with this, but I know that there are very few women and even very few men who love their bodies and accept them.  How can that be?

Yesterday my husband made a list of reasons why he thought I should read a book. He said I had a lot in common with the author.  He is so cute. He even made a list.  At the bottom of the list of how I was like her, he wrote that I was an advocate for body acceptance.  I didn’t know he saw me as that.  I am an advocate for many things, but for body acceptance, I think I could up my game.

That is the new balance for me….affirming my body in all its roundness, with all its pudgy places, with its twisted up knee, its little mole on my wrist that grows a single thin hair out of it til it is long enough for me to pluck it away, for the lines that are stretching out along the soft flesh below my eyes, and the small but very present age spots that have found their way to the back of my left hand.

I am celebrating you too.  You, fat…You, thin….You, sagging….You, graying….You, bleeding or not….You, barren or bursting with child….You, tired and goofy or graceful and glowing….You, You, You….in every glory of every realness of You!

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We Now Interrupt this Regularly Scheduled Program

Regularly Scheduled

If you have been hanging out with me since the first of the year, you might be expecting a post for This Sense-sational Life today. Or perhaps some words of wisdom from the Body Wisdom Project.  Well, I have a Sense that I am coming down with a little something, so I am going to listen to my body’s wisdom and tuck in for a bit of self-care.

In the meantime, please enjoy this Full Moon Meditation I was saving for a rainy day….or if you have been anywhere around my neck of the woods, you will know I was saving it for a super windy day!

Be well!

Full Moon Meditation

If you know someone who might enjoy this Full Moon Meditation, please feel free to share the link with them. They just might need it. 

Here is a list of the senses we have explored since the first of the year…

Just a reminder, too, that there are just a few days left to take advantage of the special coaching package I am offering. 

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Saying YES to a program like this is not saying YES to me….it is an invitation for you to say YES to yourself….YES to your dreams…. YES to that part of yourself that wants to ride the edge of growth into a place of newness, a place of discovery.

Want more info about working with me, including a FREE Discovery Session?

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This Sense-ational Life {overwhelm}

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This Sense-ational Life is a blogging series that explores the senses as a way of cultivating a more mindful, connected life.  This week’s post features guest blogger Jessica Brogen of In Search of Dessert ~ A Metaphor for a Transformed Life.  

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Sense of Overwhelm

Greetings fellow creative spirits! I’m so happy to be blogging to you today from my friend Rachél Payne’s fantastic site. Of course, if you’ve been following along, you already know that Rachél has chosen 2013 to be the year of discovering, encouraging and exploring our senses. When I first heard Rachél’s call for blog posts around the “Senses” and a “Sensational Life,” I have to admit, my left brain immediately piped up: “Well then she’ll only be able to run this for 6 weeks!” My left brain was thinking only of the five main senses + the fabled “sixth sense.”

DSC_0354Image by Jessica Brogen

I appreciate my left brain, I really do, but I have a creative right-brain just like you, and I knew this was one of those situations in which I needed to call upon my creativity. Actually, I asked it to intercede and help me think “outside the box.”

For the next 4 weeks I diligently went about reminding my right-brain to come up with a thought-provoking and entertaining sense-related subject for this blog series. I reminded it…and reminded it…and reminded it.  Meanwhile, the holidays showed up, in all their hustle and bustle. There was a 3,000 mile roadtrip taken, boyfriend’s family met, and not a day spent without numerous people and pets. Upon entering the New Year, we acquired the recent flu bug, which lingered just around a week. Just as it was tapering off, my boyfriend and I walked into an apartment complex and nervously, but of course excitedly, applied for a bigger apartment – one that we would live in together…with both of our children. Since then, there have been boxes to pack, items to purge, a home to scour and oh, a six week old puppy to train.

Just this morning, in between carting oversized Tupperware bins of belongings out into the garage, answering emails about my coaching services and attempting to keep the dog from biting my small boy square on the you-know-what, I happened to ask myself: “Come up with anything for Rachél’s Blog Series yet?”

DSC_0389Image by Jessica Brogen

I laughed out loud.

So  I answered myself (You do this too, right?): “Uhh, no. Who has time to write blog posts? And just what do you think I’m feeling that I could write about?!”

My inner voice replied: “I feel OVERWHELMED, how ‘bout you?”

And my other voice went to snap back something witty about how Overwhelm was no type of sense, and how I wasn’t in the mood for feeling guilty that I still hadn’t written this blog post, when suddenly I stopped in my tracks.

“Hmm”, I thought, “maybe overwhelm is a sense!”

DSC_0924Image by Jessica Brogen

The more I mused on it, the more convinced I became that we actually have a sensory perception geared towards Overwhelm. At least we should. If we didn’t, there’d be nothing to stop us from piling on one thing after another into our lives! Unfortunately, much like how we acclimate to antibiotics, or the taste of salt in our food, we as a culture have also acclimated to our own sense of overwhelm, to the point that some of us are able to continue piling it on, ignoring the warning signs, until we crack (either physically, mentally, or both). We are often carrying out our daily lives dangerously unaware of how overwhelmed we are, while behind the scenes, realized or not, that stress is wreaking havoc on our health.

So if we’re inured to our body’s natural sensory alarms that should tell us we’re overwhelmed, how can we determine if we are in fact seriously overwhelmed?

Aren’t sure how Overwhelmed you really are? Okay, ask the Big Five:

  • Are you tasting the food that you put in your mouth or are you shoveling food in, while simultaneously doing some other activity.
  • Are you hearing what people are really saying to you or are you anticipating their needs, possibly unaware of what they’re really trying to say, and not genuinely communicating?
  • Are you aware of the smells in your environment (or that you may smell like you haven’t taken the time to shower in the last three days!)? What’s the last smell you purposely introduced into your life?
  • Are you being touched by other human beings?
  • Are you seeing the Big Picture, or just trying to jump from one to-do to the next?
  • Bonus Question 1: Are you sleeping well? 
  • Bonus Question 2: Do you know what really matters in life? Are the things on your to-do list that you’re aggressively trying to check off the same things on your “what really matters” list?

DSC_0935Image by Jessica Brogen

Okay, did you answer these questions? Truthfully? Doing so may sting a little. We may discover that we are not even engaging our natural main senses in our daily life anymore. If that is the case, what else are we losing? It’s a scary thought. If you’re like me, the last question really got you! I know that when I’ve been blessed with a moment of serenity (it’s usually unplanned), the happiness rush I feel when I am calm + engaging my senses gives me a wake-up call, and I immediately want to re-evaluate my daily life activities.

The under-use or down-right absence of our main senses is significant and immediately tells us that our life has become overwhelmed, and potentially focused on things that do not necessarily matter nor nourish our souls. It may be scary to realize, but at least we become aware. And of course, awareness is the first step in undoing any problem. In this case, awareness is the first step in reengaging your senses, slowing down and enjoying your daily life. Anytime you begin to feel you might be doing too much, take a quick evaluation of your senses, and they’ll tell you exactly what you need to know!

To your peace,
Jessica Brogan

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Jessica is a writer, painter, and coach to women with creative drive who are seeking help with overwhelm. She is currently running the third round of the Inspirational Card Deck Swap – a popular International Artist’s Swap.  Click here to get your card deck of 52 unique pieces of art from women artists around the world.

And would love to connect with you at: http://www.facebook.com/jessicaleighbrogan
Feeling inspired by Jessica’s post about a Sense of Overwhelm?  Join the conversation!  Write your own post in response to this one, include a link to this post in it, and drop the link in the linky widget below. Let’s connect!

 

This Sense-ational Life {playfulness}

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This Sense-ational Life is a blogging series that explores the senses as a way of cultivating a more mindful, connected way of life.  

Sense of Playfulness

When I was in 8th grade, I started taking theatre and never wanted to stop.  I realized it was a way to play and still get credit in school. What a no-brainer!  As I got older, I found ways to keep that connection to play.  I took jobs that allowed me to play and get paid for it.  And eventually became a kind of play leader for other adults.

Here is a list of a few playful jobs I have had….

ImageChef Word Mosaic - ImageChef.com

 

 

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A Way of Life

Playfulness has become a way of life for me.  It is how I socialize, how I practice self-love, a medicine when I am down or sick, an outlet for what wishes to be expressed in me, and even a way for me to embody my spirituality. Bringing it so fully into my life has taken work. Yah, that’s right. I had to work at remembering to play. As kids, it comes with the territory. But over time we lose our sense of playfulness and replace it with the roles and responsibilities of adulthood.  I would like to invite you to connect with your sense of playfulness this week, include both subtle and overt play.  Try an old favorite like blowing bubbles or something new like a 30 second dance party. Do it by yourself or with others by inciting random, unexpected playfulness. Create a playfulness on the go kit that includes some art supplies, a joke book, a few toys, or some kind of novelty item.

Cultivate your Relationship with Play

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Try one or more of these journaling prompts to boost your play-ability.

  • Ask Play, “In what ways do I discourage you in my life?”
  • List 10 or more ways you can incorporate play into your home life.
  • Brainstorm with your family how you could all enjoy more play.
  • Write a letter to yourself that gives you permission to play more.

I would love to hear about your Sense of Playfulness. I invite you to write a post about playfulness and paste the address in the linky below. Make sure to link to this post in yours so others can discover their own path to playfulness.

 



All is Well

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One day several years ago as I was sitting in one of those over-stuffed chairs that used to be scattered through out the local Barnes & Noble, I began a light conversation with a man…a stranger.  I don’t remember much of what we talked about, but I do remember how he ended the conversation. He simply said, “All is well.”  And walked away.

All is well.

It echoed in the space where he had been sitting, lingered there for a long while until it found its way into my journal.

All is well.

I carried the words around for me for quite awhile, pondering them.  What if….All is Well?

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I have needed All is Well lately.  A series of mishaps has left me feeling off balanced the last month.  Scattered around me is the evidence that All is Well, but in my core, in my gut, All does not feel Well. All feels, well, off!

I could list the mishaps and give you plenty of good stories to elaborate on what has me feeling this way, but I really don’t want to do that. Not because I don’t want to share, but more because I want All to be Well. I want balance and peace.  Some of my mishaps have not been settled yet though.  There are some very personal happenings that are in limbo, that will only find resolution in time and which I can do absolutely nothing to truly help.  I both love and hate this predicament. I hate it for its discomfort and love it because it is one of the characteristics that makes life what it is.

This ambiguity is life.  This turning of my stomach in the middle of the night is life. This preoccupation with the past to make sense of the present in spite of a possible future is life. I feel it because I care about for others and for myself. I feel it because what was once lost is now found….again.  I feel it because I am alive.

Even in the pain…..All is Well.

Even in the not knowing…..All is Well.

Even when there is no end in sight….All is Well.

All is Well. All is Well.

 

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All is Well.

 

Thank you to Rosemary of Reflections of My World for inspiring this response as part of This Sensa-ational Life.  Please have a peek at Rosemary’s post and discover what a Sense of Well Being is for you.  The linky is open through the end of this week.  

 

 

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