4 Ways to Mindful Living
So, change is happening in my life. It’s a shift in my relationship with food, exercise, my beliefs, my actions, my mindfulness, and so much more. It’s inspiring my life in more ways than I can count and is what I want to share with you this month.
But first, I want to share something personal with you…
It’s about my relationship with food and self, which hasn’t always been a healthy one. I’ve never been overweight, but I’ve definitely made some unhealthy choices about food.
Food restriction started at a young age for me with simple restrictions like removing milk or candy from my diet. I’m not real clear as to why I chose to control food. But I’m guessing that I was feeling pretty uncomfortable about myself and food was the easiest thing I could control at the age of 10.
My restrictions were short lived, and I often moved onto something else that I wanted to change. Sometimes they were unrelated to food like…the way I behaved or who I hung out with. Being satisfied or comfortable with “who I am” never really came to me as a teenager. I think, in looking back, that’s where my eating disorder stemmed from; my dissatisfaction with self.
I come from a place where I care more about what others think of me, than what I think of myself. I always thought it was better to be someone else than to be me. Restricting food and excessive exercise was my way of controlling my life and how I thought people perceived me.
I’ve lived with my eating disorder for a good portion of my life. What started out as anorexia, slowly became bulimia. Later, I knew I needed help. So during my college years, I was hospitalized. That time spent in the hospital was helpful. After my release, I felt I had a plan, a new direction. But over time, my eating disorder would reappear with obsessive behavior over food.
Even today, my eating disorder strikes out and tries to befriend me. With all the talk about food toxins, I’ve become fixated on eating “pure” foods. Spending hours on the internet obsessing over food articles and talking incessantly about food and the toxins found in our food. It became an unhealthy obsession that was not only affecting me but my family as well.
Recovering from an eating disorder isn’t as simple as just starting to eat food again. There’s a lot more to it than that. In my experience, it’s more about limiting beliefs, than it is about the food. My life is always evolving, and I knew it was time for a change. Conscious living and letting go are helping me with my success.
So, what am I doing today?
I’m learning. You probably thought it was some kind of big miracle drug. It’s not. I’m learning to align my mind, body, and spirit. And I’m so happy to be at this point in my blog post. Vulnerability is not something I’m comfortable with and writing about something so personal has actually been really hard for me.
Finally, my inspiration stems from the new role that food is playing in my overall wellbeing. It’s brought so much freedom to my LIFE in a short period of time.
Aligning my thoughts, my words, my actions, and my beliefs is what’s contributing to my lifestyle change. Kimberly Snyder’s The Beauty Detox Power and some other wonderful women are guiding me on my new way of thinking about my health and mindfulness.
It started with being more aware of my body (rethinking how I use food to nourish it) and clearing my mind. Last month I introduced healthy ways to love yourself. This included thinking in terms of being a miracle, which I love, and defining in my own words what health and wellness means to me.
This clarity has introduced new practices to me. And guess what? They’re not focused on food or exercise. They’re focused on mindfulness.
If you’re wondering, I do still exercise and I do still eat healthy. That’s not going away. Today, though, I’m focused more on appreciating what my body does for me. My whole body.
What follows are a few practices I’m using that are contributing to my success of aligning my mind, body, and spirit.
To center my wellness lifestyle, I started a nourishment practice (that’s what I’m calling it). Essentially, I’m living a more conscious lifestyle. I’m viewing my body and mind as living and seeing the beauty in that. I really like thinking this way. My definitions for health & wellness help ground this practice. I see food as nutrients…not as a way to control my body or my image (caring more what other people think of me). I see my body and mind as my own personal miracles. And I want to treat them with respect, kindness, and love…seeing the beauty in my life, my body, my mind. That’s what my nourishment practice means to me, and it’s developing each and everyday.
Last December I gifted a 30-day challenge of meditation to myself after receiving Kris Carr’s new meditation album Self-Care for Busy People by email. It’s the best gift I’ve ever received. The clarity was so gradual it was almost unnoticeable, yet the peacefulness was felt everyday. This became so noticeable when I took a break from my practice. I became a cluttered mess. I couldn’t figure out why, until I started practicing again. So, as often as I can, I include meditation in my daily life.
I’m learning that meditation and yoga go hand in hand. They both focus on centering your breath. I’m at the beginning of my practice. I’m loving the flexibility and strength I’m receiving even from the most simplest poses (asana). And the connection of breath to the body, is beautiful. I’ve practiced yoga before, but have never felt the benefits as I do this time around. I include yoga as part of my workout a few times a week, even if it’s some simple stretches before bed.
Ahh. This practice is one that I’ve enjoyed for years. My new approach, though, is to write about the beauty in my life (and not dwell so much on what’s not going right). I recently heard this quote, “What you focus on, grows.” This quote can apply to just about anything in your life. I love it for my journaling. For the most part, I want my journaling to reflect gratitude and prayer, love for my journey, and be a visionary tool.
Living mindfully is contributing so much to my life. I hope you find these useful in your life as well.
Now I’d love to hear from you: Let me know what you use to be mindful. I’m sure there’s a lot more for me to learn about.
Photo: Dollar Photo Club