After decades of trying to fit into that square hole, I am finally letting go of the idea that I have a sleep disorder. Even though I read Walker’s book over a year ago, I am just now deciding to try finding my natural sleep rhythm.
We are all at risk for disease (cancer, diabetes, infection, dementia, etc.) so why not focus on prevention before we have symptoms? Why would we wait until we are in a disease state? What holds us back from doing that? Perhaps it is the same reason many of us don't start saving for retirement in our 20's: we cannot imagine ourselves at 70 years old and often make an assumption that all will be fine because we are fine now.
My comrades taught me that I am not alone. I had forgotten this too. I did not want to show fear because I did not want to show weakness but their reaction to it was to prop me up, to help me through it. As Joe so beautifully said, “I got you.” I felt got.
I’m going to be in Sedona this week for the third summit this year of Aubrey Marcus’s brainchild, the Fit for Service Mastermind.
My mother and step-father are in their 80’s and regardless of their conditions (when they have conditions!), they still wake early, move as much as possible, read, eat well, socialize, go to the Hollywood Bowl and Disney Hall, to dinners with friends, laugh heartily and have deep discussions about the complexities of life. They represent to me what health means.
Wholeness and the journey toward it is going to force us to encounter struggle, or the dark side of things. Without the darkness we cannot get to the light. I believe there must be a juxtaposition in order for us to see the path at all. We need the contrast and we need to learn to rise, to get back up after a fall.
All I had to do was make the best decisions at each moment; not for tomorrow, not for next year, and not for 10 years from now. It was about staying the course step by step. Sometimes that is all we can do and that is okay.
I stepped out of the shower a few days ago at the gym after my third hard workout of the week when I suddenly realized how good I felt. I’ve been a bit off my game the last few months when it comes to getting in my three weekly gym workouts so this was the first time in a while that I felt that familiar pride, joy and mofoness (I know this is not a real word) that regular exercise brings. Feeling that again caused me to think about the reasons we sometimes do not do what we know makes us feel our best.
I lost all of my hormones when I was 40. Gone. Nada. Kaput. It felt like I lost them overnight. I was at my doctor for my regular physical when she walked in and said, “Carrie, you’re in menopause. According to your test results you blew right past peri-menopause into full-blown menopause. It’s time to get on hormone replacement therapy. I’ll leave it at the front desk for you.”
Something I encounter often with clients is shame; shame over not eating the right foods, not exercising enough, sleeping too much or not enough, drinking too often or too much, anger, use of sleep medication, not managing time well, and the list goes on. With so many opportunities to feel shame, by the end of a day a person can shame themselves into feeling quite worthless.
This past weekend in Tulum I experienced my first Temazcal, a Mayan sweat lodge ritual meant to symbolize death and rebirth, among other things. As a seasoned sauna user, I imagined (hoped?) that my ability to withstand 200-degree heat for 30 minutes would somehow transfer over to the Temazcal ceremony. It did not.
I just returned from the Institute of Functional Medicine's Annual International Conference where this year's topic was Pain, Stress, and Addiction. I feel infinitely inspired.