Changing the Norms

Have you ever had those moments where you're just casually driving down the interstate, or boiling the water for your coffee in the morning, and suddenly tears well up in your eyes and you feel like crying? That happened to me a couple of times last week but instead of sadness, they were moments of pure gratitude.


We took some time last weekend to clean the house and lightly rearrange a few things. I woke up feeling alert and motivated on Sunday (no drinking the night before does that!), and got the day started early. After my afternoon yoga session with GetOutBeFit, I sat in the living room alone, in silence for thirty minutes, feeling at ease and present. It was an intense, but light feeling and in that moment I was appreciative for absolutely everything in sight. The rug on the ground, the furniture, the decorations on the walls, the plants, our cat, Penny. Everything in that moment felt absolutely right.


I truly believe that this moment happened because of the habits that I have been practicing. Meditation once a day, following the PowerUp yoga and diet plan from GetOutBeFit, consciously avoiding screen time - each of these practices has allowed me to reflect on myself while freeing up time to do more things.


Physical Strength

Last week I began a yoga and meal prep routine with my sister. She is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer, and has been in her field for almost twenty years. The PowerUp program is three weeks of intentionally focused yoga, and guided crystal and chakra explanations. My eyes welled up after one of the sequences the energy release was so strong!


Outside of yoga, I have been ramping up my running (still following the 12-Week Triathlon Training) and continuing with different HIIT workouts depending on the day and exercise. I've been avoiding the gym with Covid on the rise and our family Christmas's lasting until late January, but excited to get back in after the month is through!


10 Minute Ab Exercise by Chloe Ting

It could be that I am more out of shape than normal, but this ab exercise had my stomach burning! I have followed other workouts from Chloe Ting, especially the ab ones, and am never disappointed.


Nutrition

As mentioned, the PowerUp program comes with great suggestions for the weekly meal prep. And last week my meals were every color of the rainbow, and delicious. I secretly love beets, and that purple cabbage slaw was SO good. Highly recommend each of the ideas below.

I mean, just look at these colors! How could you not feel good eating this.



Mental Strength: Quit Like a Woman

Quit like a woman, written by Holly Whitaker, is about her experience battling the urge to drink, smoke, and turning to other numbing habits throughout her life. There are two different topics she brings up about alcohol in this portion of the book that really resonated with me, and provoked a lot of thought.


The first is the categories that one who drinks alcohol is placed in. Either you are a "normal" drinker if you are someone who rarely regrets anything after alcohol consumption, or often the opposite is an "alcoholic". Many people classify themselves a an "alcoholic" when they decide to quit drinking because of previous experiences. And calling oneself an alcoholic can be a large and very difficult pill to swallow. This title is frequently associated with lack of control, a disease, or at the extreme, a life threatening issue. Society has put the issue of alcohol on the human being, rather than the substance itself. "Normal" drinking is still consuming a substance for an effect. This book discusses the option of, instead of associating those who choose not to drink with "alcoholic", but just non-drinkers instead.


There are multiple ideas of what causes addiction, or how it is portrayed. Holly brings up five different models/theories:

  • Choice theory: making the choice whether or not to face our addiction.

  • Self-medicating theory: giving into something for temporary relief.

  • Disease model: the idea that one is diseased in the brain or biologically, concluding that once an addict, always an addict.

  • Learning model: the idea that addiction is not pathological, but instead adaptive and normal - one can unlearn something.

  • Dislocation model: needing addictive chemicals because society is becoming disconnected from the lives around them.

Understanding that there are different ways to look at addiction, or rather substance use, helped me process that there is not one simple answer for everyone. If a night out didn't go as planned, the question shouldn't always have to be, "am I an alcoholic?", but rather "what lead me to this choice?", or "why did I feel the need to drink?".


Every person has their own path of working through lack of control with different coping mechanisms, and the most important thing is to do research and find what works best for you.


Spirituality: 21 Days of Abundance

Many of this week's meditation activities focused on the reflection of different relationships in our lives, and the ways we make decisions for ourselves. Relationships play an enormous role in our lives, and can impact what our perspective looks like in certain situations. Think about an event from your childhood that impacted the way you deal with emotions. What type of relationship do you have with that person now? Think of someone who makes you feel uncomfortable - why do you think that feeling exists? Reflecting on oneself, helps us understand who we are and why we react in the ways that we do. The more we practice understanding, the easier it is to accept situations as is, and to be grateful for everything we have been through.


I'm a bit late with my post this week, so my next one will be coming soon. Today, I am thankful for all that I have been practicing because joy and fulfillment have been emotionally and physically present, and anxiety feels much smaller than it was before. Even being a hermit and not leaving the house often, I have been so completely content - and if anyone knows me this is quite abnormal. It feels great to be present.