I close my eyes, breath in and out, and ask myself, “how are you?” Beginning with the top of my head, then slowly making my way down to my face, my heart, gut, to my toes— “how do you feel?” I pause at my glands, shoulders, organs, hips and knees, taking in full breaths and exhaling even greater, asking “how are you doing?” I send oxygen and blood rushing to any areas of concern. “I love you, I am aware of you, and I will always take care of you.”
It is generally agreed upon that one should live a healthier lifestyle when growing a human being. People usually quit smoking, drinking, and will try to eat better because they are developing something so precious and magical-- a life. Just take a look at “The Miracle of Human Creation.” It is an insane, amazing process that one sperm reaches that egg and the mind-blowing creation that follows. I must warn, this video’s music is INTENSE. Like a couple times, I had to remind myself that I was not watching 300. Either way, we take better care of ourselves during this time for the baby and that connection we have to it.
It wasn’t until six months ago when I began to consistently take ten minutes to close my eyes, breath, and check in. It is one of my best habits, and central to my development, confidence, and understanding. It is harder to hurt something you love, and everyday our bodies endure it all. Physical and mental stresses, environmental and nutritional toxins, and all the other bags we may carry.
It’s Monday and I worked all day, and it is my responsibility to clean up the apartment, and make dinner, and maybe do some homework, and exercise, and shower, but I really want to watch Aziz Ansari’s new show, and be in bed by 10:30, and— I need to take ten before I do any of that. Calm my mind, not think about everything I have to do, and connect.
Early on at Bauman one of my instructors said something like, “all our bodies want to do is keep us healthy.” I thought that was just adorable. Working so hard, fighting it all, all the time, to keep us going. Weird, but I felt so loved, yet ashamed. This incredible system was working so hard for me, and I kept trying to keep a homie down :) I drink alcohol, I eat out, I will very very occasionally gluten dabble, I live in a polluted downtown, etc. I could at least help a homie out. I like having fun, eating, and living in downtown, so I must recognize and mitigate the damage.
I eat the way I eat because I was sick and hurting and realized that food was causing those symptoms. I love food and nutrition because of my disease. I was opened to another world that means so much to me because of my disease. My immune system was attacking my skin and joints and I needed to learn how to nourish myself. It was much later when I began to ask, “Why is my immune system attacking itself? What else is going on?”
Day in and day out we are stressed. So so stressed. Worrying greatly and unaware of the calmness and intuition within. Believe me, I get plenty stressed. In fact, I’ve wanted to rip my head off getting through hw these last few weeks, but checking in, leaving it all behind, and focusing only on me for ten short minutes balances my scales. I am not allowed to think about work, hw, messes, you, or my responsibilities. It is my time.
My alarm gently chimes that my time is up. I touch my phone with my eyes still closed to quiet the noise, then take three additional breaths. I softly open my eyes with a new awareness. “I can do this. I will do this. I got this.”
Like anything, it takes practice. I used Headspace for ten days (not all consecutively, like recommended) and found that through his gentle guidance I could now lead myself through the breathing and focus.
"You are safe. You are loved. You are healthy. You are happy. You are strong. You are motivated. You are intelligent. You are loved. You are safe."