Updated: Mar 23, 2019
Well, I'm new to this... and as I sit here, wondering what I really want to say to the world, I am overwhelmed by a sense of urgency. Urgency to tell you all that you are perfect just the way you are. Urgency to say that no matter where you are in life, it is never too late to reach out to your potential. To introduce my view of health and wellness, I want to start by talking about the somatic connection of mind, body, and spirit.
This may not be a typical massage post, but I believe that all health begins in the mind. If you think of your life with hope and positivity, you will have the foundation necessary to create a strong body and overall well-being. When our mental state is one of harmony, loving thoughts, and acceptance of ourselves, we begin to change other aspects of our lives with ease.
So, I'd like to begin with an exploration of why we may become dissatisfied and unhappy, and how we can shift the lens of our perspective to appreciate our lives more fully. We should never cast aside our traumas or past experiences, but neither can we allow them to control and apprehend our futures. We must embrace our own paths in life and find the most positive way of perceiving where we've been, where we are, and where we go from here.
There are many reasons we may hold a negative view toward ourselves, our lives, or even the world around us. For one, we may be simply unhappy with where we are in our lives- maybe you passed up an opportunity years ago, and have never forgiven yourself. Maybe you were taught things as a child or adolescent that have made you bitter, callous, and dissatisfied. Maybe you easily get caught up with the chaos of the world, and have become disillusioned. Maybe you are in constant physical or emotional pain and distress. Maybe work sucks. Maybe your family doesn't appreciate you. Maybe you've been abused. Maybe you have a mental illness. Maybe your pain is a conglomeration of so many traumas and disappointments that you no longer even have hope of sorting through it all.
I have been there.
There is no cut and dry solution to overcoming our traumas. They are as varied as we are, and our perspective on them and our past experiences are uniquely and solely our own. But we must allow ourselves grace. We are all broken, like little shells washed up by an unmerciful sea.
We must learn to forgive ourselves for those missed opportunities, and seek new ones. Maybe they were missed for a reason, and we were meant to go onward toward a different path. Perhaps you have grown and learned more as a result. Maybe it's made you into a harder worker or a stronger individual. Maybe your life has benefited from that missed opportunity in ways that you have never acknowledged before. Sometimes we must shift our focus onto what has gone right, rather than what's wrong.
We must look past what we were taught as children. Question the world, see what aligns with our own unique inner truth. Love the world, listen to the stories of others, open ourselves to a beauty beyond what we have created in our own minds. Accept that we as individuals are only part of a complex and never-ceasing story. We alone have the power to change our minds. If a certain held belief brings you strife and discomfort, it is perfectly okay to assess why you feel the need to hold on to it. Let it go, reevaluate, change. It is all a part of growth. Find what makes sense to you, despite what anyone else may think. The truth of others does not define you.
We must be keenly aware of what is going on in the world, but not consumed by it. Watch the news, but watch your neighborhood closer. I see such beauty, love, and caring in my community every day. Small things, like people of all different walks of life smiling and laughing, holding doors for each other, and finding common ground in the most insignificant ways. It affirms the beautiful truth that we are all capable and deserving of love and goodness. I guarantee that if you shift your gaze upon your immediate surroundings, the small good deeds you will see in your community will far outweigh the disheartening and overwhelming drama of the media.
We must love ourselves enough to try to break the cycles of pain. Exercise, do yoga. Get regular massage, acupuncture, or chiropractic care. Visit an herbalist, see a doctor. Talk to a psychiatrist, find a support network. Connect to someone who can relate to you. Go outside. Breathe deeply. Allow yourself to heal. Don't become complacent with the pain. Don't accept it as a part of you, and certainly do not let your ailments define you. You are a magnificent creature, made with an innate ability to heal. Sometimes, we just need to access the proper treatment that will enable the body to work its own wonderful magic.
Value yourself, set boundaries. Do not allow your worth to be determined by others. Give yourself high standards because you deserve them. Yes, you. No one else in the world is going to advocate for your own well-being like you can. No one else can heal you. You must be willing to do it, because you are wonderful. But, it is hard work.
Working on your mental well-being is like tending to a garden. You toil, day after day, planting seeds of beautiful things, hoping they will sprout. Pulling weeds of doubt, pain, and other peoples' beliefs about you and your potential. Clearing plots for new dreams.. You barely get up some days, because it's hard and you hurt. But one day, you look out, and there is beauty and wonder everywhere. And you think, "I did this. I created this, and look how miraculous it is." It is your life.
With every new journey in life, there is never really an end, just ongoing improvement. Some days we fail, fall short, even take a step backwards. That's okay. Even with our downfalls, we continue to grow and learn, to teach and give. But we cannot give to others until we love ourselves enough to respect that we are only human. We make mistakes and need forgiveness. We need grace. We need second, and third, and tenth chances sometimes. So forgive yourself, love yourself, give yourself another chance. Sometimes we need the mistakes in life, the traumas, the pain to realize how strong, how beautiful, how wonderfully human we are. It teaches us how to value ourselves, how to overcome, how to connect to all the other broken, imperfect, lovely people in the world. In this process called living, we find who we truly are, and sometimes it's a surprise to find out that we are much more than we ever thought we could be. Be open to surprising yourself. Don't place your being in a box. Dare to live a life outside your wildest dreams, because you can. All it takes is a little belief, some positivity, and a lot of hard work.
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