July 19, 2020
Good morning friends. I hope you are doing well. I’m praying today is a better day, for you, me and our world. The events of the last several months created stress, anxiety, fear and uncertainty. Each day seems to be a struggle of managing our thoughts, expressions and ourselves. It’s not my intention to offend anyone, but I certainly do not want to hold back expressing my thoughts and views. The lack of self-expression can cause anxiety of its own. More stress isn’t good or wanted. I’ll do my best to be gentle with you today.
The last few months have been frustrating to say the least. Frustration is typically being upset or annoyed due to the inability to change something. I’m sure we have all felt a bit of this in varying degrees. It’s getting to the point where I’ve had enough. I am tired of it all. The craziness continues, which drives me more to get involved and alter this madness. Clueless politicians across the country continue to plague us with their moronic and nonsensical decisions. Governors, mayors and state representatives are at the top of this list. They are playing with our lives and financial welfare. They are controlling our freedom and rights without a worry as to the outcome. It’s time for changes.
Frustration can be an emotional response to disappointment, anger, irritation, fear, control and more. Stress and anxiety increase when you are deprived, held back, confined, pushed around and lied too. Your resilience and energy diminish both mentally and physically. Humans are social creatures. We enjoy contact and interaction with others. Our lives have been disrupted, with businesses, cities and states closed. Our freedom to roam and enjoy life has been removed. Our lives seem to be on hold. Outings, events, gatherings and vacations are cancelled, which means nothing to look forward to. All of this can bring mental and physical anxiety and fatigue.
Some of these events may be the cause of your frustration; the virus, pandemic, protests, news outlets, social media, extremist groups, law enforcement bashing, violence, looting, property destruction and idiots (of all races). Each of these have taken a toll on me for sure. It’s been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. The list seems to continue and the madness doesn’t stop. People, groups, businesses, companies, organizations and many political leaders have lost their minds. Brainwashing and propaganda is apparently taking effect on some people! It makes me wonder, “What the heck is going on in our country?” The manipulative divisive division of our population is real. This is just crazy and scary stuff!
Obviously there are many other factors that can create frustration. So, how do we navigate these raging waters of fear, uncertainty and anxiety, without creating more stress? My best suggestion, be the best possible version of yourself. Don’t bend to the mob mentality or idiotic ideas. My opinions and views of life and the world remain mostly unchanged. Maybe now, due to the current situation, they are a bit more pronounced. I may not have verbally expressed myself quite as much in the past. Now, it’s extremely difficult not to make my thoughts known. I have spent my life and career supporting freedom, equality and justice for all people. That’s what America is built on. Our nation has been a work in progress for many years. Equality is fair and equal treatment for all people. The push is on to get you to believe that isn’t true. Don’t believe extremists. Look at the facts. They don’t lie.
So how do we go about relieving all this frustration and stress? To begin our transformation, we need to bring our mind, body and soul back into balance. Let’s get started by stabilizing ourselves back on positive ground. Our bodies are built to operate like finely tuned machines. When all parts are functioning in harmony, we feel blissful mentally, physically and spiritually. You have to begin by taking better care of you. Wake up grateful and happy every morning. You may ask, “How do I accomplish that when I feel paralyzed and helpless?” It’s definitely an intentional choice. This is when you need to invoke some mental toughness. I make that promise to myself every day as soon as I wake up. “Today is going to be a great day!” I thank God for life and another day on earth. Even when I’m aware the day may bring challenges and uncertainty, I begin each morning the same. Every day brings new opportunities and is filled with possibilities to achieve happiness. If I am not ready or watching, I may miss them and they will be lost. I don’t like “what if’s” or regrets. I feel better knowing I made the most of each day.
Each morning begins as I roll out of bed and complete a series of stretches and exercises. This includes the Five Tibetan Rites. I was introduced to the rites during my yoga instructor training and certification in Bali. We began each day with them. My yoga master, Deep Kumar, shared these ancient teachings with our class. He is wise and extremely knowledgeable; born and raised in India, with a life filled with yoga. His expertise, ability and instruction are beyond compare. I believe and follow his teachings, advice and inspiration. If you do nothing else, begin each morning with the Five Tibetan Rites. They will alter and change your life for the better.
Let me take a moment to explain the Five Tibetan Rites. Simply stated, they are a series of five exercises. Yoga practitioners (ancient and current) claim they build and restore healthful benefits. The rites increase flexibility, strength and energy, reduce stress and create clarity, while calming the mind. They will improve your overall health and wellness; when they are performed daily. To reap these benefits, it is best to begin each day with these simple solutions to better health. They are easily found with an internet search. Please remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Be patient and the results will show. Feel free to reach out if you need assistance or more info.
Next I transition to meditation, taking several minutes to rest and relax. This calms my mind and body. Now I’m ready to jump into my day. For me, that means it’s time for exercise. I enjoy and feel better working out in the morning. It really energizes me and sets the tone for my day. If you aren’t a morning person, determine what works best for you and your schedule. I typically workout five or six days a week, which may include running, lifting weights or biking.
I enjoy going to the gym, spin class and yoga. It’s been frustrating not being able to go to any of these facilities these past months. They provide an avenue for healthy exercise and for socialization too. During the closures, it’s primarily been running and weight lifting. Luckily I had a few weights in the garage to help keep me motivated. I believe it may be time for me to branch out and try some new stuff. Change and modification is always good.
Breakfast follows my morning workout. Food and diet (what we fuel our bodies with) is a very important part of this total equation. I begin with a nutritious protein shake. These are my typical ingredients: one cup of unsweetened coconut milk, one cup water, a scoop of healthy protein powder, a whole or half banana, one half cup fresh or frozen fruit and a generous handful of raw baby spinach. To add a bit of excitement, once or twice a week, I’ll toss in a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter. Depending on my recovery on any particular day, I’ll have a small breakfast shortly after the shake. Lunch is a medium size. A small afternoon snack is nice, maybe a piece of fruit or some nuts. Dinner is a conservative size, with protein and vegetables. Sweet potato, yam, quinoa, lentils or brown rice can be a nice side dish. There are so many variations to healthy meals. The sky is the limit!
I use wonderful affirmations to energize and empower me through the day. Reciting simple phrases of praise boost me mentally. I sought counseling, after I retired, to relieve trauma induced nightmares. My therapist guided me through EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy. The positive affirmations were part of that process. When my mind wanders to sad or traumatic memories, those words brighten my mind. This is all part of the plan to reduce stress and frustration. Don’t forget to pamper and give yourself love. My pampering might mean a walk on the beach with my girlfriend or just snuggling on the couch for TV time. Obviously “pampering” will mean different things to all people. Just be sure it brings relaxation and bliss to your mind and body!
Setting goals is very important to creating and maintaining a harmonious life balance. Select achievable short and long term desires. They can be as simple as eating healthy, exercising or just getting outside in nature. Your plan may be related to business opportunities, personal development or vacation and travel ideas. You are never too young or old to dream new dreams, create passions or achieve life long ambitions. It really is all about setting a time line, from start to finish. Mental stimulation is always important. If adjustments are needed along the way, that’s fine. Just don’t give up and throw in the towel. This is all about strengthening yourself mentally. Planning, learning, solving or reading are all good for your mind. Believe in yourself. Discipline is the key. Motivation is the follow through. It’s always great to have something to look forward too. Something that involves the outdoors is always fun.
Nature is an integral part to relieving the stress and anxiety brought on by frustration. I enjoy incorporating my outside time with exercise or fun whenever possible. My suggestion is to just make time every day for some fresh air and sunshine. If you can do more than that, it’s even better. The beach and walking in the sand or water, hikes in the trees or adventures in the mountains; always relieves stress and anxiety. Do what creates the most joy for you. If nothing else, just get outside for twenty minutes a day. Take a walk and enjoy life. It’s that simple.
Sleep and achieving the proper rest needed to rejuvenate and revitalize your mind and body is a crucial puzzle piece to good health. Some people say they can get by on just a few hours of sleep. This may be true for a limited time period, but our bodies require rest to rebuild and refresh itself. Down time is very important; allowing our mind and body to basically shut off and heal. Please do not deprive your body the opportunity to rest and recover. It will work better the next day if you do.
Last but not least, don’t forget to maintain your spiritual soul. I have my beliefs, prayers and rituals. I’m sure you have your own as well. Whatever that means for you, take the time to nurture and satisfy those needs. They are just as important as all the other pieces of a healthy mind and body puzzle. I know this is a frustrating time for people who regularly attend religious services. The arbitrary rules and restrictions being dictated by many leaders don’t make sense. Why it’s okay to shop at large stores, eat at restaurants, or protest in massive groups; yet not okay to gather to worship? This seems ludicrous. The same can be said for closing hiking trails, parks, camp grounds or the beach. When did being outside in the fresh air and sunshine become a bad thing?
I realize I’ve shared a ton of information. Don’t feel like you need to do everything immediately. I don’t expect you to do anything like me. Our bodies are similar in structure, but we’re all different. Begin slowly and build as you go. Incorporate all of these ingredients for a happy and healthy life; mentally, physically and spiritually. Our bodies are really capable of accomplishing so much. The difficult part of the equation can sometimes be convincing our minds. Seeing you live a healthier lifestyle would make me happy. When you factor in food, exercise, rest, nature; it all adds up to a better mental and physical you.
Don’t allow frustration to paralyze you. Use it to your advantage. Let it motivate and drive you to achieve your successes and live your dreams. Do fun stuff with your friends and family. Do simple things like picnics, hikes or movie night. There are so many options. Go on a date night and enjoy life. Live life and enjoy.
Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more! The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation. Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!
Thanks for your love and support! Embrace Life! Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!