This has been a year of intense grief and sorrow, and as my beautiful daughter so elegantly expressed, coexisting with periods of joy.
https://www.facebook.com/existdetroit/videos/2083596808535202/ We started with the one year celebration of our grandson followed two weeks later by the passing of our son in law. I’ve struggled on how to support both my daughter and clients during times of loss. One client who lost her husband after 50 years together and another client in Houston during Hurricane Harvey. What do you do when you are at a loss for words? I read Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Option B but that didn’t resonate with me like Maria Sirois, PsyD book, A Short Course in Happiness After Loss (and other Dark, Difficult Times). Here I am struggling on what to do to help my daughter, and she went and did it herself. Which by the way, is the only way for transformation, growth or change to occur. She took her grief and started the Forced Joy Project to find some joy, meaning and purpose amongst her immense sorrow. As a health coach I’ve learned this very valuable lesson. No one fixes you. You are not broken. You are a perfectly-imperfect, human being, with your own journey on this planet. We can share our experiences, we can be guides through difficult times, but the body, mind, spirit and soul are self-healing and self-repairing. You have the ability to heal from within. The practice of yoga can help release tension, pent up feelings and emotions, as well as help cultivate awareness and focus leading to physical, mental and emotional growth and peace. Dana again, beautifully shows us how.
I’ve written about the pancha maya model of yoga and how the body follows the mind and the mind follows the breath. I’ve had clients overcome anxiety and fear through dedicated breath work practice. The only thing we know for sure is that all of us will die. Some like Bradford Frost,my son in law, far too soon. Others like Simba (who woke me up one morning bouncing up the stairs, took his normal one mile walk, in seemingly perfect shape) without any warning.
As adults, what we do have control over is how we choose to live our lives. One dear client of mine shared this analogy. We are like flower pots. We can decide what soil we put in the pot, what we want to plant, how we feed and nourish ourselves. What can we do to live awesome full lives NOW? What little changes can we make in 2018 to feel our best? According to one of the largest health studies, the Framingham nurses study, the number one factor for overall health and cancer prevention, is diversity in the diet. Yet most of us eat the same 4 foods day in and day out consisting of wheat, corn, soy and dairy. Foods that have been subsidized and adulterated. This monoculture that has led us to the current epidemic in chronic disease. With so much abundance of food, our choices are often lacking in essential phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. To fight fatigue, we resort to caffeine and succumb to sugar cravings that keep us on a mental, physical, and emotional roller coaster. My pledge this year is:
- To expand my Kick-Start recipes to add more diversity. The best way to add diversity is to eat seasonally. Here’s what I had for breakfast at the Detroit Parks & Rec Diner:
Fisherman’s Board of citrus smoked salmon, dill crème fraiche, local radish, soft boiled duck egg, picked vegetables that included garlic scape and cranberries. Delicious!
- Follow my daughter’s lead and find more joy. I’m going to start teaching Carpe Diem Dance (my joyful movement to music incorporating breathwork, meditation and yoga) Wednesday mornings at Rise Wellbeing Center in Reston, Virginia Wednesday mornings in January.
- Continue to grow my business being mindful to include boundaries and schedule in time to celebrate a new Granddaughter, family vacation, and to prioritize self-care.
What are your plans for the New Year? How will you choose to live your best life? I would love to hear from you!
About Lisa Jackson, RN, CHC, RYT-500, FDN-P, AFMC
Lisa is an author, inspirational speaker and coach, with a mission to inspire others to feel and look their best at any age.
Lisa's book, Savvy Secrets: Eat, Think and Thrive outlines her seven step process towards optimal health that is fun and transformational.
Lisa is part of the New Self Health Movement and the Wellness Inspired Network. When she is not coaching, speaking or writing, you can find her practicing yoga and joyfully sharing Carpe Diem Dance.