How You Birth MEANS Something to Your Health

I want women to be ever reminded that how you birth matters, not because cesareans are wrong but because they MEAN something to your health. But I don't just want to stop there. I want to be a part of the solution to the cesarean epidemic and to the path of healing after a difficult birth or before a next birth. 

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20 Ways to Deepen Your Movement Practice

If you are like one of the many people who work with me, connect online or email me expressing your curiosity and confusion and delight at the interplay of your heart/emotions/psyche/narrative/life and the way you use your body, this post is for you. 

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Are You Creating a Handmade Life?

So many of you are laboring away in different ways, owning the life you seek to create, doing the work to support it. You are stretching your calves and sitting on the floor and walking instead of driving. You are going to therapy and feeling the feelings and challenging the beliefs you hold that tell you to just give up.

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You Need You

I know it feels like you can't do it. I really get it. There's no time to exercise, there's no time to walk, there's no time to NOT be stressed.

If we were to get down and deep, I could tell you all about the lows I've faced, the struggles to take care of myself and my family. The money troubles, the family-of-origin troubles, the body troubles. I could talk ad nauseam about the uncertainty, the questions of whether things are going to work out okay in the meta- and micro-senses.

I would also tell you this: I kept moving. I kept finding the sticky parts of my body and worked to unravel them. I logged 2, 3, 10 miles a day. I psoas released, sometimes in a heap of tears. I slept more, stretched more, checked in with my body more.

Your body is the vessel that enables, supports, gives life to everything else that interests you and brings you pleasure and satisfies your curiosity in this beautiful life. It's the container through which you solve your problems and explore your world.

You want a good life? Take care of this beautiful, physical gift.

Take care, even though there are dishes to be done and more work to find. Even though there's facebook. Even though the cat needs to go to the vet and the kid needs her diaper changed. Even though you feel scared of your body, and unsure of its needs and afraid of hurting yourself. Even though every message you receive is telling you to take care of something else, anything else.

Take care anyway. Full stop.

I deeply believe that alignment and natural movement are essential components to whole-self health. This work is foundational to what enables you to reconnect with, restore and reawaken your body.

Upper Limiting

I was talking with my business coach earlier this week about the downside of success, the limiting beliefs I have. 

I'm smack-dab in the middle of launching my 4-week online course and things have been in flow, I've been getting sign-ups and it hasn't felt effortful. 

And then suddenly things started to come to a crawl. Two days went by and no one purchased. A bunch of people unsubscribed from my newsletter list.

My energy tanked and I didn't feel satisfied in my work, even though I was taking action. 

She asked if this had ever happened before. Of course. Of course. 

I shared with her that I've been working on and exploring my belief that tells me that having self-sufficiency/success means that I will lose support and there will be no one there to help me and I won't be able to take care of myself. Connected to that is the belief that if I am successful, I won't be healthy. Whether it's working too hard or to much to allow me to meet my movement needs or see the practitioners I want, I'm not exactly sure. Fears about stress are definitely part of the mix. I KNOW how stress impacts me. And it ain't pretty.

So how could I allow myself to be successful if it means I'm going to stop being healthy? I feel tender even now as I write this.

Today I realized the inverse is also true.

How can I allow myself to be truly healthy if it means I'm going to prevent myself from being successful (which for me has a lot of connection with speaking my truth in the world)?

It's a bit of a double bind. I need to pay the bills, I want to travel and allow my husband to work less. There are so many people I know I can help. I am itching to move across the country. I have a long list of people I like to receive support from whom I PAY. I have stories to tell...

And I also really, deeply desire whole-self health. 

I've seen this with clients, too. Clients who come so far, who make so many commitments, who start to really see improvements. And then who stop. Freeze up. Begin to mysteriously hurt again.

It's like we've run into their upper limit of health. If they get healthier, something "bad" is going to happen. 

Clearly, I get it. 

Has this happened to you? You travel down a path toward health over and over again only to get stopped at about the same place you got stopped last time?

It's hard, isn't it?

I wonder how it would feel to give yourself some empathy for this. To recognize that some part of you is working to keep you safe, to take good care of you. To prevent you from stepping off a seemingly dangerous ledge. It may be an old part and it may not be very useful to you now, but the intentions are good. 

Can you identify your limiting belief(s)? Name them? 

I find that pulling things out of the darkness is most of the work.

And then when you've seen them, taken a look at them, can you come up with examples of how that might not be true? Times when you've been healthy and x, y, or z hasn't happened? Times when you've pursued your health goals fully and were also able to have the other things that matter to you?

If you can't find examples in your own life, what about in the life of someone else?

This May be Your Biggest Obstacle to Health

A few days ago, I shared with you my Getting Better Guide (if you didn't get this free resource yet, hop on over here and get your download!). In it, I outline my go-to practices for when things aren't going quite right and I want to really bring some focus to getting better. 

Because it is central to what's in my guide, I want to riff today on the culture you've probably been raised in, because accepting the messages our culture gives around health and wellness may be your biggest obstacle to actually getting better.

In short, I want to say this: you've been had. I've been had. We've all been had. 

Sometimes I find it hard to admit that, to accept it, to allow that no matter how hard I've worked, no matter how counter-cultural my parents may have been, no matter how much research I've done, I'm still buying into messages that don't serve me.

Messages that tell me:

  • My appearance trumps everything, including whether or not my body functions well
  • I shouldn't need help
  • My body is something to punish and reward
  • If there is no pain, there will be no gain
  • Health is about being fit, not about being functional
  • I should stuff my anger, sadness, grief
  • I can control everything
  • I can take care of myself in 15 minutes per day
  • There's a pill for that
  • I don't need to change anything about my lifestyle/psychological state/environment and I can still have true health
  • There's nothing to be done

You can probably see how some of these messages are contradictory, evasive or simplistic. I hope you can see that all of them are problematic in some way or another.

When it comes to getting well and staying well, one of the biggest tasks before you is to be willing to change your mind. To question what you believe, what you've been told to believe and to explore other ways of being.

I realize I'm writing this like it's something you can just will: "Now, I'll be open-minded." (If you can will yourself into belief, let me know. I spent much of my life trying to do that and couldn't make much progress!) I find that change comes gradually, often, and seemingly out of nowhere at other times. You are trudging along with one paradigm and without realizing it, you've been opening yourself up to another and then suddenly! (or so it seems) you are in a new place with a new way of seeing and being.

This keeps happening to me. My body keeps inviting me into new places, new ways of being. It has proven itself to be a most trustworthy guide. I can sometimes sense in my body when a belief about what I need to be healthy is no longer serving me. Sometimes it shows up as pain, sometimes as parts not working well. Always, it is inviting movement, gently calling me toward flow. And whenever I am willing to step into that flow, I find a new place of ease, a new place of possibility, a new place of wellness.

I have just one suggestion to you today on that front, if you want to cultivate this environment in yourself: be curious.

For real.

When you decide you can't/shouldn't/won't, stay with yourself and be curious about that. What is the cost? Who told you that? How is this way of being serving you? How does it FEEL in your body? Is there even a tiny possibility that another truth is available to you?

Truthfully, I'm not always the most open-minded person. I like to get entrenched in my beliefs and regurgitate them to myself, just like the rest of us. ;) Choosing to be curious, even though I'm not consistent, creates just enough of a foothold to allow new ideas and ways of being to float on in.

And often enough, enables me to tell the broader culture to just go ahead and stuff it!

Here's to YOU being open to new ideas about health and wellness! 

Health is a Verb

I spend a LOT of life reflecting on and exploring in my body what it means to be resilient. What it means to move more and better. What it means to get out of pain, to increase function and strength and health.

It wakes me up at night, it finds me in the morning, it greets me on my afternoon walk and during my psoas releases and lateral hip exercises. It climbs its way into my belly with dinner and rests on me after I make love to my partner.

These are questions of physics and chemistry and evolution. And they are questions of energy and psychology and spirituality.

Health is a verb. A moving. A flowing.

My 4 year old son took the above picture of me on a day when I mostly wanted to stay inside and read books or clean the kitchen, but I wanted even more to support my (and his) body in it's own journey of health.

Out we went.