I would add "physical" affliction to "mental" affliction as raw material. To address both mental and physical, I have been actively making changes in my life. It feels good to actually be doing something about something I have been unhappy about! I am not taking the clay of my life and fashioning it into the opportunity to create a new sculpture of my life.
This approach to turning problems into possibilities also means turning around your thinking. If you wake up with a painful hip, notice it and turn it into I am working on treating my body in a way that makes my hip feel healthy and whole. It means being thankful for a positive outcome as though it has already manifested, and even better knowing that it has begun!
Previously, I believe, I wrote about some of the pangs of growing older, this post is a review for myself of the changes I have made to live the positive aspects of growing older.
My painful hips, knees, rotator cuffs, neck, lower back, etc. cause me to limit my activity. On waking, my hips and lower back are so painful as to make me feel "crippled." I sit in front of my computer for too long of a time and raise stiff and sometimes in pain. Stairs have become more difficult for me to climb: up and down!
Began with a Pulmonary Doctor who thought I had COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, involving constriction of the airways and difficulty or discomfort in breathing) but all my tests came back "normal." Yet I seem more easily out of breath. Carrying groceries in from the car, to the condo, and putting them away has become a more difficult task.
My sleeping habits have become erratic again and I nap for up to an hour almost every day. My weight is stable at "TOO MUCH!" Yet I have not been enjoying my meals. Sweets, pastries, etc have always been a downfall and Christmas Treats were no different.
I will not even go into changes and minor difficulties with bathroom activities!
But enough for the NEGATIVE side of me. There is also a VERY POSITIVE aspect to my life on which I am actively working and maybe it is just in time for the New Year, 2019, although I do not believe in New Year Resolutions. Those usually fail by January 15th!
I decided that I will grow older gracefully in those areas over which I have no control but will take in hand those over which I do. So I have begun to work harder on physical limitations that do not need to be so limiting. It feels good not only to have made this decision but to have been working on it now for over one month!
1) I am now working with a personal trainer. Our sessions have been so helpful to my overall body awareness and I engage in the stretching and movement even on days when she is not here. Yesterday, we decided to have her come to the condo twice a week if only because we are making so much progress. Once we get a routine in place in the condo, she will come with me to LA Fitness (downstairs of the condo) to see what I might do there to continue the good work we do (upstairs in the condo.)
2) My Guru, Corrine, introduced me to the trainer and Corrine will be working with me to develop some Yoga and Buddhist Meditations and Practices to compliment the work of the trainer.
Here is a "Heartfelt Desires" page I developed on Corrine's recommention:
PART ONE: December 15, 2018 (Gray Font)
Working with Jessica Dare (Physical Trainer) and Corinne Peterson (Yoga Teacher/Guru,) I am setting down preliminary Heartfelt Desires for my Body Awareness, Movement, and Care Practice.
These desires are made in positive statements, with gratitude and thankfulness for their already being a chosen focus of my daily life, already being part of my experience, and already seeing progress accomplished.
PART TWO: December 21, 2018 (Black Font)
The next part of the process is to take each one and imagine it were already true, right now, in this moment. How would each feel in the body of it were true?
• • • • •
I am comfortable in my body and as a 73 year old, I look and feel good in my clothing.
Feeling better about myself, enjoying shopping for exciting new clothing, am proud of how I look, look forward to “dressing up” in sport coat etc. Confident in my presence with others.
My breathing is full and deep.
Energetic, doing more, getting out on every day activities as well as special ones in nature. Fairing well in all I attempt Not avoiding activities due to fear.
My energy is high and easily available.
My health is strong and free from illness and injury.
Facing each day knowing I am OK. Not working unnecessarily about “old age.” Looking forward to spending each day productively and positively.
My body movement and stretching, walking and exercise add to my all around good health and happiness.
Exercising regularly and daily. Looking forward to the day’s movement activities. Knowing that what I do adds to my overall health and therefore the ability to do what I want and to enjoy myself and my life. Doing things now that I have not been able to do in the recent past.
My eating habits are thoughtful and I am aware of how my choices affect my Heartfelt Desires.
Feeling good about what I eat and the decisions I make. Not feeling guilty about the decisions I make and or over the ones I know I should make but do not. Feeling comfortable not bloated or stomach sick.
I allow my eating choices to be at the “comfort food” level now and then, but keep these choices as the exception and not the rule.
Giving myself permission to eat for pleasure, but now and then, not all the time. Feeling the power of being able to make good eating decisions for myself. Feeling powerful in being part of the “solution” for myself, not the problem.
My strength, cardio, and flexibility health continue to improve as I continue to pay attention to these Heartfelt Desires.
Besides living well day to day, I am making my future potential life better. I am giving my body the chance to take care of me and allowing me to live longer and better. I am more active day to day as well as over time. I am able to do things I have not been able to do. I look forward to travel: in the U.S., in Europe, and in more challenging places like Asia.
• • • • •
I get a massage every other week, again very beneficial to my overall good health feeling and am thinking of increasing it to every week. Sarah, my massage therapist of 5+ years uses Thai Massage rather than table massage.
Traditional Thai massage uses no oils or lotions. The recipient remains clothed during treatment. There is constant body contact between the giver and receiver, but rather than rubbing on muscles, the body is compressed, pulled, stretched and rocked.
The recipient wears loose, comfortable clothing and lies on a mat or firm mattress on the floor. The receiver will be positioned in a variety of yoga-like positions during the course of the massage, that is also combined with deep static and rhythmic pressures.
The massage generally follows designated lines in the body. The legs and feet of the giver can be used to position the body or limbs of the recipient. In other positions, hands fix the body, while the feet do the massaging. There is a standard procedure and rhythm to the massage, which the giver will adjust to fit the receiver.
3) I joined Weight Watchers and have begun to be more careful in what I choose to eat.
4) I will begin a series of acupuncture sessions, with Marc, to work on my lower back and hip problems. A number of years ago, Marc helped me work through some fairly severe Rotator Cuff problems.
5) I have been meditating every day, sometimes for a short period of time and sometimes for longer periods of time. I use my own techniques (learned from Corrine) and also use the online "headspace.com."
6) I also have been reading and continuing my studies in Buddhism. Next step will be to find someone or someplace where I can participate in discussions of what I read about and about newly learned ideas.
• • • • •
So all in all, I feel pretty good about who I am today and where I am going tomorrow. I didn't even talk about my continuing writing, working on my memoirs, continuing the push to create ALZHEIMER'S: The Musical, and making presentations to various groups on living well with Alzheimer's Dementia. I also didn't talk about how much I continue to love my condo, my kitties, my friends, and my family.
So all in all, it looks like the beginning of a beautiful 2 0 1 9 !