Sunday, February 5, 2012

Finding A Balance

You know what I finally did the other day that I haven't in ages? I woke up a little earlier than normal and greeted the day with some yoga poses. It felt so good, that I'm not afraid to show photos that (I feel) are not so flattering. I'm trying to get better at liking my appearance. Hopefully what you're about to see isn't too embarrassing.

While most of us use yoga as a way exercise & increase flexibility, the practice can do something more: it can bring you a little peace of mind. That is if you let it. My spiritual beliefs aside, I have to say there's something about big stretches that gets the blood & endorphin going. And I didn't do anything fancy that morning, just a few sun salutations, half moons & dance poses. It. Felt. Great.
During my little endorphin high, I began to wonder what little things we can do to balance our lives. Balancing on on foot can be so much easier then balancing your mind & soul. As I mentioned last week, it's hard to take the time to think outside our busy day to day lives. But when you can break that cycle, it's something to take advantage of. A little self-realization never hurt, right? While I confess that I don't take a break as much as I should, there are times I stop and think "Oh yeah... I'm Manda... this is my life."

But taking that one moment to take a breath before diving back into life can be so rewarding. I feel it can be either absolute nothingness (which is heavenly during a busy day), or it can be a time to mull over yourself. Kinda like an internal self-diagnosis.

I'm not saying that you have to turn that into anything philosophically deep. And as a PTSD sufferer, I'll be the first to tell you that self-analyzing never turns positive. And since feeling positive energy is one of the best feelings in the world, there's no point in ruining it. But there are times it take a "hiccup" in my routine to realize things. Like at 4:30pm and realizing I never took time to eat lunch.

And how can you be happy unless you know what would make you happy?

So, how do you get a "hiccup" from the rut? One of the easiest ways I've found so far is by doing something outside of the daily routine. Tonight, try enjoying a cup of tea when you get home from work. Or even better, leave the TV off tomorrow and sit for a few minutes. You'll find that those minutes easily turn into hours. Or even try some yoga poses tomorrow morning. I'm currently trying to enforce a habit of taking a break by making it enjoyable. I'm not sure if you can mentally condition yourself, but hopefully I can get Pavlov's results.

Anyway, what I'm trying to get at at least attempt a way to ensure and or promote mental health. By no means am I qualified to tell you what you should or shouldn't do (frankly, in any situation). But as a daughter, wife, and best friend, I can tell you that you deserve a break. It breaks my heart when I see a loved one practically bullying them self. While I do the exact same thing, I'm attempting to see what I can do to change my ways.

It wasn't until we moved to Kentucky that I realized how awesome a positive environment can lead to happiness. And just how amazing that feels. Towards the end of our time in Central Illinois, I was starting to battle depression that I couldn't couldn't shake off. It was such a dark time, I can't even think of all the burdens holding me down. Work was a stressful, horrifying place that gave no rewards beyond a decent paycheck. For some reason, I never left our apartment unless one of my best friends dragged me out into the sunlight. And I never really saw my husband. What was worse, after so many failed attempts to move, I felt trapped.

I can't say this enough. A positive change in your environment will do wonders. By simply moving & working with amazing co-workers that are now friends, going out & about with said friends, and being able to spend time & do great things like cook & garden with my husband... I couldn't be happier. On most days. And I wish everyone to have that feeling. And for it to last forever.

So today, be happy you are alive & try to take some joy in your existence.

By the way, if you're getting tired of this writing genre, so am I. But it will soon be over. I hope to get some more projects going on soon. But winter is also a down time for us before things get crazy. Not to mention, we will soon be buying a home (AHH!) and that will take up a bit of time. But I promise you I have a lot of good things planned ahead including some great projects in the yard while still holding on to some more of these "intellectual" posts. Just stick with me here. Cause things are about to get better.

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