We start out just fine. We can’t wait for our children to say their first words, and to learn how to walk. Then . . . . all we say is, “Be quiet” and “sit still.”
What happens once they ‘learn their lessons’ ?
I learned how to sit still and be quiet . . . and it made me an efficient, obedient fat adult. Now what?
I recently received a motion & movement monitor from the health insurance company and guess what? I rediscovered the spring in my step. I suddenly realized through reminders by this little beeping thing that I was sitting for HOURS at a time at my computer. Right. I was irritated at that little stupid plastic beeping thing – at first. After all, how DARE it interrupt me from my work!? Then I began to understand that the problem wasn’t the little beeping thing; it was my lifestyle. That beep was just highlighting the problem which was, of course, my sitting for too long – too often. I began to dance around the house and around my office, at first just to shut off the beep. And now I dance all throughout the day. Why? “Just because.” Even when I’m not wearing it. This is a description of my transformative learning experience – and it may save my life. I readjusted my old learning (discussed in the next paragraph) to embrace a healthier pattern of behavior. To read the evidence-based theoretical framework behind transformative learning, click here.
Let’s begin at the beginning
When we tell our children to be quite and sit down, eat what’s on your plate, be more efficient, etc., the outcome is potentially devastating. Although we are intending to teach self-control, mindfulness, organizational skills and to impart wisdom, knowledge and life’s tools . . . the messages received may be very different. What if you found out that your children were actually hearing: STOP BEING (1) creative (2) curious (3) interested in truth (4) active (5) sensitive to your body’s clues that say: “I’m full” (6) energetic (7) a leader
Guess what? The baby boomers are a generation of people who learned lessons 1-7 very well and have become the first generation to have children and grandchildren who may suffer the negative impact of those very lessons heard through their tender young ears. Although the BBC news (click here) disagrees with what integrative and functional medical practitioners, nutritionists, and a large body of evidence-based research suggests, (click here), the reality is that health related issues compromise quality (and maybe length) of life. The good news is: to a larger degree than you might believe, YOU have the power to choose your destiny. But first you need to become aware of the choices along the paths and the destinations they lead to.
Begin by asking yourself where you are along the continuum, where you wish to go, and how you’d like to get there.
The current generation of aging adults (if they are lucky enough to live long enough into adulthood – now between the ages of 50 and 85) are, in general – but for a few wonderful exceptions, sedentary, frustrated, “efficient”, confused, lazy, and obedient followers of clever, manipulative people who feed on the ignorant. Read what the CDC has to say about the growing health crisis of American baby boomers.
The written, auditory and visual media bombard viewers listeners (and participants in general), with misinformation regarding diet & nutrition. The Huffington Post discusses how food labels are misleading. Click here for details. Caroline Proderio of Prevention Magazine highlights misinformation on food labels that consumers keep falling for. Click here to read her article. We need to pay more attention to mentors who truly have our best interest at heart. Functional medical , integrative, and holistic providers in nursing and related fields are systems based rather than symptoms based – and take the whole mind/ body/spirit reality into account. The aforementioned are main categories of resources that may be of value throughout your wellness journey. Right now, you can take this moment in time to decide to begin your path back to balance and wellness. It is up to YOU to make the decision to take advantage of the opportunity to accept the invitation . . . its your life.
We need to redefine and re-frame the terminology and concepts. The statement: “Turn your life around” can be daunting. It seems to imply that whatever we did up to this point needs to be ‘undone’ – a concept which seems to represent that time, effort and energy has been wasted. Well this is NOT the message that needs to be understood.
By reviewing and reevaluating lifestyle choices we are simply noting that there are many paths through life. As we travel through each moment of every day – invitations along these paths are available. We make choices. If all choices up to this moment lead to one set of realities for us – regarding finances, relationships, health, you name it, we need to recognize that we have the power to make new, different or similar decisions going forward.
When, for example I chose to literally ‘take steps’ to shut the monitor’s beep up, that was in accordance with one interpretation and attitude on my part. Once I embraced dancing through the day, I made an active decision to see, interpret and behave differently from the way in which I had prior to that moment in time. My new attitude made the healthful behavior FUN.
You can begin to make healthier choices by simply taking lessons from children. Children are interested in running, jumping, balancing, investigating, pretending . . . and they love bright colors. So, stimulate your imagination, move your body, choose naturally colorful foods (click here to learn about how to make healthful choices).
Get outside and become curious. Examine clouds – use your imagination. What shapes do you see? Wonder about butterflies and watch a bee go from flower to flower. Talk out loud to a breeze. Jump up and down in place, three times – just to do it. Plant a seed and watch it grow. Notice the first buds of spring on a bush or tree in your neighborhood. MOVE your body for NO reason at all. Mindfully and purposefully but with only ONE GOAL: TO MOVE. Take extra steps. Did you know that sitting can negatively impact your blood pressure (not to mention your weight)? Click here to read about what the Mayo Clinic has to say.
Be deliberately inefficient. Park TOO far away. Carry less and make more trips. Sounds crazy – right? Do it anyway. Your health and the life of your children may depend on it. Click here to learn how to boost your creativity through mindful meditation.
Running out of ideas? Balance on the curb of a street (if there are no oncoming cars) or pretend the straight line in sidewalk is a tight rope and walk it heel – to – toe. Challenge yourself to hop from the center of one square of a sidewalk to the beginning or middle of the next one. Kick a can or a small pebble . . . as you walk. Take a deep breath.
Bottom line: your mind/body/spirit balance depends on choices within your power to make. Here’s to healthful decisions with empowerment, joy, inner peace and blessings. ~Dr. Iankowitz