September is flying by. The fall equinox occurs on September 22 at 4:02 p.m. What does this mean for you? Are you in flux in some way in your life? Change of seasons can be a great catalyst for new beginnings, reinventing or making subtle tweaks to a part of your life. Maybe you want to simply hit the delete key in your brain and make something disappear.
September is also Self-Care Awareness month, and as this month continues two words simultaneously come to mind: self-awareness and insight. Combined together with self-care, these words harmoniously feed each other. They are integrally connected to the physical, mental and emotional health of mind and body.
Consider how self-care, self-awareness and insight can work together for you.
For a simple example, I am aware that I gained a few extra pounds from last winter that I never lost in the spring or summer. Second servings at the time served me well (no pun intended). Now it is fall, with winter close behind. I ask myself, “Do I want to gain another five or so pounds?”
On cue for self-awareness, that wise inner voice said, “Why don’t you start a 10 day cleanse this month?” Good idea. I carefully carved out a window of time to exclude any eating-out engagements and stocked up on all the necessary ingredients for this cleanse. Some mental preparation was in order too.
Ten days later, I am feeling clearer mentally, my energy is higher, and my body is several pounds lighter. My brain and body are reset to be content with a one serving portion with a limit on a few other indulgences. The lightness I feel in my clothes is a reward. I’ve become more self-aware of what enters my mouth, and hold an appreciation for eating as well as I do.
In this spirit of self-care, I did the cleanse for ME! Sometimes we have to give extra energy towards figuring out how we are going to get something done for ourselves. I feel so much better now. This feeling of well-being resonates with so much of my daily input (my thoughts) and output (my body language and actions). There is a lot of self-care mileage to be gained.
Insight follows, “See what you gained from this experience. You paid attention to your inner voice. You are doing more of that too. Good for you! You knew that if you did not do a cleanse now, you would not do it in October because your schedule is too full. You were not feeling comfortable in your clothes, and that was another trigger that it was time to do a reset with your mind and body. You made it a priority to not socialize over meals, and you felt less obligated (deleted the self-guilt!) to make sure Chuck (husband) was being properly nourished. The Hunger Mountain Coop has a nice hot bar and I did not feel guilty sending Chuck to it a few times during this cleanse period.
Insight raises the question: What’s Happening? It allows us to learn and grow from our experiences. I summarized the big stuff as to what had happened from my cleanse but had I asked myself on a daily basis, there would have been more insights to report.
Think about how you can strengthen your self-awareness and insight. My “go to” is meditation but people use other practices such as Tai Chi, Qigong or simply taking a walk. Listen to your inner voice. It is full of self-awareness and insight.
Notice the signs and symptoms your body and mind are sending. This is a calling for an act of self-care. Remember, there is no time like the present to begin.
Announcement - In honor of the Great American Smokeout on November 16th, I am offering a special rate for my Quit Smoking program. Please contact me through my quit smoking website page and share this notice with loved ones who would like to stop smoking.