And what a win it was! Thank you Paleo Comfort Foods for the awesome recipe that I used to make a wonderfully comforting soup last night!
I know, I’m only on day 3 of my Whole30, but I feel amazing already. Here’s the key: I’ve been supplementing my good eating with other happy-making habits like sleeping, relaxing, and listening to my body. My neck is still tight, but it’s improving. And I’ve got some clarity on what I needed to learn from the stiffness and pain. I’m not approaching this 30 day challenge as a quick fix solution to all my problems. I know it’s going to be work and I know there’s much more work to be done than just eating in order to “wake up every morning feeling like a rockstar”, as is my ultimate goal. I’m trying to make some big, lasting lifestyle changes, things that will take time and dedication. So waking up on the first day of April with something that debilitates me just enough to stop me from keeping up with my usual routine? Perfect. I needed to be stopped, to take time to reflect, and to be fully present and intentional as I return to the hustle that is life and work and the quest for my dreams. At first, I was so frustrated, feeling like I was being held back from what I’ve been striving for. Now I understand how taking that time (these past few days and any others in the future) is essential to my ability to continue on my path. The brain fog that has plagued me consistently for months has lifted. All my problems have not been solved, but right now, in this moment, I feel incredibly clear-headed.
I picked up “After the Ecstasy, the Laundry” by Jack Kornfield, and was inspired to return to the meditation practice I’ve taken great solace from in the past. I walked down to the beach, sat on a bench, closed my eyes, and breathed deep to the sound of the waves. Ten minutes: That was my gift to myself today.
This is what I repeated to myself as I walked down the hill: When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. And as I walked, I heard the birdsong and the dog’s bark in the off-leash park. And as I walked, I noticed the standout spring blossoms amid the dark evergreens and ivy. And as I walked, I listened to my heart beat and my foot-crunch on the beach pebbles.
When Death Comes
by Mary Oliver
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.