In 2009 I was given a gift that changed the way I perceived physical health forever. Looking at physical health in this way has motivated me to take more responsibility for my role in achieving excellent health. living with this perspective allows me to appreciate the way things are today- this is so important since we never know what tomorrow might bring, we have to focus on making the most of each day! The perspective I’m referring to is a willingness to consider physical health as a reflection of emotional health. The connection implies that physical health is affected by emotional health. If you are familiar with Louise Hay’s work “You Can Heal Your Life”, you can find affirmations related to how different emotions show up in places in the body.
In learning to love ourselves, our bodies, our strengths, our weaknesses we have to embrace our whole selves. A mantra I created which helps me heal and continue to make good choices for my body is “my body is not an afterthought, it’s the only thing I’ve got.” If you are anything like me, I spent many years disregarding my body and almost viewing it as an inconvenience, even though I have been a competitive athlete for most of my life. Have you ever felt this way? Over the past 10 years I have learned to embrace my body more and incorporate it into my holistic view of myself, no longer neglecting it like I used to and trying to at least give it the amount of attention it deserves, as the vessel I exist here with. Once it is gone, I won’t have anywhere else to live! So let’s learn how to care for our bodies in the best way.
What is physical health?
I believe we have to shift the ways we have viewed physical health from an isolated aspect into an integrated piece of the whole. We can alter our different areas of health through addressing them directly or indirectly. For example, improving our emotional health can increase our self-worth and indirectly improve our body image, leading us to make better decisions for our body.
- My body is not an after thought
- Manifestation of emotional health
- My back injuries
- Healing trauma
- Strength training is the most efficient and beneficial form of training
My body is not an afterthought
It’s the only thing I’ve got. According to John Sarno, author of “Healing Back Pain: The mind body connection” Dr. Sarno maintained that most non-traumatic instances of chronic pain — including back pain, gastrointestinal disorders, headaches and fibromyalgia — are physical manifestations of deep-seated psychological anxieties. I am guilty of discounting the value of my body to justify limiting beliefs. I think we are all guilty of this because it’s a byproduct of the pharmaceutically driven society we live in that promotes external solutions for internal problems. We have to put our body first, which is a very significant adjustment and goes against the mainstream temptations of doing otherwise.
Is largely a manifestation of emotional health
Viewing physical health in this way has supported me in breaking through physical limitations. More self love and acceptance of self is often the answer to much of the discomfort we experience. My approach lies somewhere in the middle of the belief that thoughts create our reality and relying on western medicine at times for support. To learn more about my approach to healing and physical health you can read about my spinal injuries.
My back injuries are largely a manifestation or result of my struggle with self-worth. It’s difficult to admit this but as the saying goes- old habits die hard. What this means to me as it relates to my injuries is that even after I had been working on my beliefs about myself and creating a new reality since 2009, four years later I still had more work to do. I never expected that work to show up in the form of a severe compression fracture in my T11 and T12 vertebrae, but that’s what happened. These beliefs we create and practice repeatedly for years and years can take a long time to break. And similarly with my injury in 2017, I was in the company of a person from my past who was really not a good person to spend time with and this choice resulted in an extremely traumatizing car accident where my L2 vertebrae was fractured. We can make great progress in our lives and then we can count on the reality of our existence continuing to circle back again and again. It can be difficult to view it this way because it invites humility that we still fall victim to our subconscious tendencies, even when we are trying our hardest not to.
Healing requires letting go of blame and it requires forgiveness to truly move on. The more we resist healing, the more we continue to repeat our old habits and patterns. Healing can be difficult though and frightening. We might encounter demons within us that we are afraid of. We worry that if we face them they might gain power over us, but facing them is in fact, exactly what we need to do and this is with a combination of courage and mental health. As long as our demons are within us, they have power over us.. so facing them is exactly what we need to do. If they are within us, we have already lost. So, facing them is the only way and we choose victory through our mindset.
It’s not only a mental process though, and we reach deeper within to find the strength to allow the emotional process to take place. The more we can surrender to the emotional process and let as much as possible move through us, I believe the less power the demons have and the more free we become. This process is an art and sometimes we can do it on our own and sometimes we need help. We can do more than what we give ourselves credit for, unfortunately we haven’t been taught how to do this properly and it should be a part of learning to care for ourselves. I believe it can actually be done in a methodical way, but things have gotten so out of control in regards to mental health that it makes the state of things seem very overwhelming and it might be hard to discern where to begin. Begin within yourself, to start feeling again, to forgive yourself, to forgive others and to live for today. The less we hold onto our resentments and our past, the more we have to be willing to let go of control and live in the present. Control is an illusion, if you must hold onto it, you are probably holding onto the past and that’s not the right way to live, so I think the only choice is to let go of control and hold onto your values and intuition for guidance.
Focus on the 5 Areas of Health
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I track my runs on the Garmin app and I’m raising funds for a Garmin computer to attach to my handlebars that provides live metrics and syncs with my Garmin watch and app! If you would like to help please donate! The cost is between $250-$400 depending on the quality!