Archive for February, 2013

What my mom never told me about ageing!

indego butterfly

Now that I am in my 50’s (52 to be exact) I find interesting dichotomies.  I love the fact that I have evolved enough now to love being in my own skin.  I allow far less, fear, drama and stress in my life and for the most part feel wonderful inside and out.

But there are those days when look at myself in the mirror and I see a mature women looking back at me and for a moment feel sad; sad, only because I feel younger and more vibrant than at any other time in my adult life.  When I see my breasts with my headlights (vernacular for nipples :)) looking for night crawlers instead of looking ahead,  :) I wonder where has the time gone.  When I look at my face and see a mustache and hair growing out of my chin I wonder why mom didn’t tell me these things may happen!  eeeek! :)   Yet inside even on these days I feel a sense of peace; peaceful because I have this deep knowing that I am so much more than a body.

Even more strange I have come to love this body more than ever even with all the extra weight.  I take time with my body now, I eat fairly healthy, (although I love having an organic chocolate bar with a hot cup of tea or bag of chips every now and again) but over all I feel good inside.  I move my body as I have shared in ways that feel wonderful to me such as qigong and yoga!  I love stretching and keeping my body more flexible now than in many years.  Recently I started making my own organic face and body cream and I lavish my whole body after a shower, mmmm this feels so yummy!! This part my mom did not tell me either but I have come to love.  An acceptance to what is. With this acceptance though comes the profound wisdom of the importance of caring for my body, mind and spirit.  This is the gift of ageing that I have given to myself.   This is the GIFT we all need to give to ourselves no matter that age.  This is a wonderful legacy to mirror our granddaughters so that maybe just maybe it will not take them until old age to learn.

Moving (AKA exercise)your body according to your Archetype!

A lesson I learned a long time ago was to reword and reinterpret the word exercise.  Marc David in “Nourishing Wisdom” speaks of “moving” our bodies instead of the common push of “No pain no gain” adage we have come to know as “exercise”.  Recently I have decided to explore this truth a bit deeper in my own journey.  The last book I read reminded me of this wisdom with a topic I have been interested in for years, “archetypes”.

 I read Carolyn Myss’s new book “Archetypes who are you?” and once again I realized how important is it to value our own unique selves in every way.  After I finished I began to reflect on the ways I have tried to move my body on many occasions that left me feeling frustrated and uninspired.  This led me to reflect on how moving our bodies could also be connected to our archetypes.   What is an Archetype? In psychology, an archetype is a model of a person, personality, or behavior.

There are virtually hundreds of Archetypes and according to Carolyn we generally have a few main ones that define who we are.  Although we all have some of all archetypes in us, to truly be healthy and happy Carolyn believes we need to honor specifically the major three that represent who we are to live authentically.   In the first line of the book she says quote

“I have long believed that it is impossible for us to know who we truly are unless we understand archetypes and, more specifically our own personal archetypes, because archetypes are the psychic lenses through which we view ourselves and the world around us” 

Very often society reflects that we all need to be working at the gym, or running marathons and lifting weights and although this may be wonderful for some I have come to believe this is not for me no matter how many times I try.

This spring I felt a huge urge to move more fully into my body and release the extra weight I carry and automatically talked to a couple of women I knew who had created exercising as routine parts of their lives for advice. They kindly shared work out programs using weights, cardio and extra.  I so appreciate their time but very soon after I started pushing myself into this model of exercise,   I felt a disconnect once again with my body and began to feel frustrated.  I remembered Marc David’s beautiful wisdom of listening to our own inner wisdom for guidance on what is best for our bodies.

After discovering my main archetype is a “Spiritual Seeker “ ( no surprise here  :) ) things began to make sense.  I love silence and mediation.  I easily get overwhelmed with a lot of noise and confusion.   I love moving my body with gentle movements that flow easily and concisely.  I do not like jarring or fast movements.   I love feeling the sensations in my body but in soft powerful ways.  This is why for me I am so comfortable with Yoga & Qigong and is why I continue to do these and feel so connected every time I do.  The other thing I love is walking in nature.  I love the sights, smells and sounds that stimulate all my senses and this is when my body feels most alive!! I have tried too many times to fit in to “The Athlete “archetype with of course disastrous results.

The lesson I learned is in honoring our bodies’ in their unique way we will achieve the results we desire with much less frustration.   Carolyn’s Myss’s  new book “Archetypes who are you?” explores 10 archetypes and she also recommends a web site where you can take a quiz and see if you are any of these and its free. www.ArchetypeMe.com.  I believe this is a wonderful subject to explore for all aspects of our lives.  Who are you?

qigong

Storm days; perfect time for self-care!!

Windy cold snow days often gives us permission to stay put!!!  Have you ever thought about why it is that a lot of us love snow days?  I hear things like  “ I am going to curl up by the fire and read a book”  or “ I am going curl up on the couch and watch my favorite movie”.  Sound familiar?  I say these things too!  I think it is a wonderful time to take a second look at why we need to be literally stuck in our homes before we give ourselves permission for some R@R.

If you are in today or stuck home on a storm day any time in the future ask yourself  “ how much calmer and more relaxed am I afterwards”? Then connect with how much smoother the rest of your day or even the week goes.  There is the clue.  When we realize the benefits of taking time for ourselves we then can begin to do it more often.   I don’t know about you but when I do I am less bitchy, much more calm and present to the other things I need to be doing afterwards.  I actually get more things done and I am nicer to be around!!  Our dog Aragon and my dear hubby both appreciate the later!!  :)  So let storm days be your teacher.   Don’t wait until you are stuck in your home to have a self-care day!

book and fire