Here I Go…part five – Optimal-For-Me. Or You. What’s That?
So, back to health, wellness, and physical capacity and learning what’s optimal for me…
You may have noticed that I use “optimal-for-me” when describing wellness, physical capacity, or health for myself.
- Everyone is different. So, our health and wellness will be too.
- I decide what is optimal for me. So do you.
- What I want or what works for me may not work for you.
- We all have a wide variety in our physical selves and where our interests lie.
Even though I have education, experience, and skills in healthcare, wellness, lifestyle medicine, mindset coaching, and more, I do not hold a singular ideal of health or wellness for everyone. I offer no one size fits all solution.
However, I believe there are foundational practices that we can all benefit from and adapt to our unique needs. But they are not the only things we can do to help ourselves thrive!
After that, I look to our bio-individuality to personalize how I work with others. Over the years, I have found this precision focus produces the most consistently exceptional outcomes and positive results.
I reap the benefits of this in my own life–figuring out what works for me. Over the years, I’ve discovered to my delight and challenge, that my awareness, mindset, and perception are often the biggest tools I have. And, they are always available.
In addition, my word choice is powerful. So, when I say ” optimal-for-me” or “in a way that works for me,” It feels powerful. I feel real about what I am doing and deliberate in my actions.
I also get results and produce outcomes that I want. Especially when I take the time to begin where I am and figure out what matters to me in my life areas. (Remember these? If not, just click here!)
Timing may never be right, ever.
If something is meaningful to me,
I can do it as I can shift and readjust my course along the way.
How did I get to the point of being able to do this?
I asked myself a lot of questions and listened to my answers. I read and read and learned and learned! Then, I applied it to areas of my life. Evaluated, corrected course, or started over as needed. Ultimately, figuring out what works for me.
When I am trying to figure something out, I ask myself questions like this:
- What is possible?
- What do I want to emphasize in my life?
- So, what are the facts?
- What are the thoughts that I am thinking about these facts?
- What am I making this mean?
- How can I solve this problem?
- What is working for me?
- What is not working?
- Can I just try this new idea for a little bit?
- What small steps can I take in this area I’m focusing on figuring out?
I have been asking these questions a lot lately! Why? To help myself figure out what will work best during this next year as my body, spirit, and mind transition from six years of sedentary unwellness to optimal-for-me capacity.
To create this I have also been working with some foundational straightforward practices.
Straightforward practices. Like what?
- Moving a little bit every day
- Taking time for rejuvenating rest and pause
- Eating nourishing-for-me foods with best-for-me timing
- Practicing awareness processes and growth mindset methods
- Supplementing with targeted nutraceuticals and foods for wellness.
- Using tools/equipment that I get results and high returns from
- Sleeping and waking well
- Creating an optimal-for-me bodyweight and capacity
- Engaging in morning and evening times and rituals
I believe that everything in our life matters and impacts our health.
I created a simple yet comprehensive system that is foundational to creating an exceptional life, thriving resilience, and optimal-for-you wellness.
My Seven Pillars of Health, Wellness, and Life are:
- Resilient Wellness and Health
- Mindset, Soul & Envisioned Life
- Breath, Stillness, and Relaxation
- Experience Nature and Wilderness
- Embodied Movement and Activity
- Creative Expression
- Connection & Community (meaningful to you)
Get a taste of how I can help you in my signature FREE program,
Seven Secrets to a Thriving Life.
An example of a straightforward practice that I will continue this year is moving in a whole-body focused way-every day. I might expand this by creating and using a dynamic work area and making sure that I do some sort of helpful movement during my workday or when I am sitting for 90 minutes or more. Click Here for Dynamic sitting ideas.
Along with adding in essential therapeutic practices to help with joint stability, alignment, building whole-body strength, and increasing mobility to address my needs.
Movement and exercise are a gift to my body.
It enhances my life, creates well-being, feeling energized and rejuvenated.
Later on, it will evolve into something different or be absorbed into my everyday movement or workouts. Right now, it’s treated as focused rehab so that my body continues to move in a functional direction.
Even though you may not need what I need in this area–much of this can still be helpful for you. Especially if you have chronic pain, restriction of movement, tight or uncomfortable body areas, or decreased range of motion or function.
In the meantime, click for some whole-body mobility suggestions, body-weight workouts, and more. or even try out a free Yin Yoga audio class. (Just listen and do it). Then, watch out for helpful upcoming articles all about Movement.
I need to avoid overdoing it in single-planer movement activities like cycling this year. So, I will eventually build up to going out and just do regular-for-me bike rides again.
I had an exceptionally glorious yet very, very short period where I was able to get out and do some bike rides! That ground to a halt when a few more outcomes and needs from the recent six years popped up.
If you know me, you know that I love cycling and will bicycle life-long. But throughout this year, cycling will fit in as one of a variety of physical activities that I’ll do so my body rebuilds in a more harmonized way.
By how I am writing to you, it may seem as if I spend my entire day focused on physical capacity and therapeutic needs. That is not the case! Depending on my days, I take time in the earlier part of my morning and late-late afternoon or early evening. I prioritize it in this way.
As time goes on, I will add in more time; but for now, less is much more.
Build resilience by strengthening the body, mindset, and the body’s own defenses and repair mechanisms.
Trust in its wisdom to find the path back to thriving health and wellness.
Movement, being outside, and taking care in this way are not only a personal love but an aspect of my professional life. So, I feel grateful to know whatever I explore during this time to help myself; I will also be able to apply to helping others.
I had some foresight to know a bit of body tinkering would be needed as my body figured out how to move beyond healing into just being my normal body. What I didn’t know was how much work it would take and a few serious issues that would arise for me to address!
Six Years is very different than six months! A time long enough to have substantial impacts on health, wellness, and physicality. I began realizing that right now, much of this is personally unchartered territory for me–building capacity and wellness after a significant time.
Also, I eventually decided to want the feedback of a skillful, more-therapeutic focused professional to offer some guidance as needed, feedback, and help if anything popped up. I was looking for someone with a wide lens and found her.
But I did not do this at first! I wanted to be done with appointments and therapeutic “Do this and that’s” related to my recent six years! Also, I needed to make a few mistakes before biting the bullet on that idea. I sure did that!
Thankfully, we indeed find what we are seeking. And what we focus on, we create more of.
What do I emphasize?
The trick is in what one emphasizes.
We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
Before my recent six years, I was pretty active and also still each day.
For years I invested in, studied, and practiced whole-body natural movement. I even used MovNat basics and similar methods as rehab while I healed up! Click Here for some natural movements you can do.
I loved yin style and restorative yoga, embodied meditation, deep relaxation, and Yoga Nidra and practiced daily. I also have studied, taught, and practiced for more than 30 years, integrating embodied practices into my professional offerings. Learn More Here.
At times (mostly cold weather times!) I’ve enjoyed hotter yoga classes at times because I enjoyed the steamy sweatiness. I enjoy using heat as a health and wellness too and am a huge advocate of Full-Spectrum Infrared Saunas and Red-light Therapy. I used these tools as well as PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic frequency) to help me heal well from multiple surgeries and procedures.
Over the years, I’ve created dynamic workspaces inside and outside my home space. I liked remastering nooks and small spaces, creating areas for sitting, writing, relaxing, and silence. So, I even integrated wooden monkey bars across my living room ceiling!
I spent much time outside and was working towards some bigger-for-me mountainous objectives. With that, I was expanding my professional realm into the areas of wilderness and forest bathing.
I’d been one of those barefoot running off into the forest kind of children who grew up into a running off into wilderness kind of adult.
So it was an abrupt change suddenly without warning catapulted into my recent six years. Where I mostly viewed outside from inside.
That was then. Now, things are just a bit different!
Everything moves onward.
These prior life experiences helped me enter into my accident time period without much of any physical dysfunction or chronic body issues of any sort. That was priceless, of course, even though I came through it with more to deal with than I would ever want!
My life and body are a continuum.
Always moving onward.
I cannot go back to the past; I can only be where I am now. And move onward.
Activities, movements, and practices will evolve and be different from before.
Anyway, why would I want myself or life to be the same as before? I have always approached my life this way, but right now, embracing this idea is vital.
What worked before does not work for me now. During the past six- years, sitting and staying home healing, recovering, and resting was the best thing for me.
I often was not making a voluntary decision to do that; life demanded it at that time. The essentials, nothing more.
Yet, it served me so well, and my outcome was healing fully functional in all ways. An added benefit that I realized later was how much I learned, investigated, and tried out; which helps me serve and help you in better ways!
Healing is a verb.
Our body and self are constantly repairing, rebuilding and remaking itself.
I also had outcomes from lying down resting while healing, sitting and being still while healing, from being primarily sedentary for the past five to six years. Anyone would have outcomes from being sedentary for six years regardless of the previous lifestyle.
My physical capacity and health level carried me for a year or so into my accident and medical needs time, but then there I was.
There are hints at global body weakness from not being mobilized or used. It took a short bit for my brain to catch up to the knowingness in my body about this.
As I’ve shared, I have a few quirks to work with, but that’s okay.
The other challenges are simply related to physical capacity and working with how I am now, ensuring that I do not create more injury by doing too much too soon! I will share specific tips for you to try related to body issues.
And that is also okay-it’s what was needed during that time. I can impact and shift that from now onward.
But first, I needed to make a few mistakes.
Before early summer rolled around, I had already made plans and created expectations of what I might be doing for the rest of the year in a very expansive way.
Giant Leaps, here I come! I was ready.
I had not narrowed my awareness to my actual reality and being where I am. So, I had jumped right past that into instant gratification.
Entitlement. Doing it Now. Grasping.
I committed to a mid-fall higher mountain expedition with a group I have always wanted to participate with. I planned solo, higher mountain treks along the continental divide trail. So, I planned to increase mountaineering, rock-climbing, and ice-climbing skills. Not to mention my basic physical capacity.
I could not wait to ride my bike everywhere! I had figured I would ride my bicycle from my house to the top of our mountain at about 11,000 feet by mid-summer. Before, riding outside was uncomfortable and jarring to my recovering body.
Not to mention all the everyday-going-ons I was getting into, professional work, family, and home needs in which I would be participating! Gardening and growing my own food again? A dream! come true!
I was so excited that I loaded my head with expectations of what I thought I should be or do. At first, no alarm bells went off in my head when I said, “I should do____” or I should__.”
It all just rolled into my enthusiasm-like a horse starting a race. But not for long. I slowly came to. I had a few blips and bumps pop up.
My internal alarm bells finally started going off when I thought of any “I should_.” Or set expectations of where “I should” be. Or had thoughts of being behind after six years of not doing all that stuff!
My strong desires had completely overridden my natural awareness. Typically, I avoid ” should.” I had over-reached and ultimately opted out of the higher mountain trip and riding my bike all the way to the top of the mountain. But, I did a little bit here and there.
Little by little, I accepted where I was at that moment with compassion and gratitude. I began to know that where I was is okay. I am not behind; So, I am where I am at!
Commitment is a statement of what is.
I began to invest in knowing that now is the time to go beyond expectations and thoughts of should and authentically create and build my new normal.
The new normal that I desire. My optimal-for-me-normal.
My new normal melds with and exists among all my mistakes, mundane-feeling tasks, and real life.
I now do therapeutic self-care to support continued positive outcomes. Things that I did not do before, but that’s okay. I fit them into my days.
It’s part of my life now and benefits me immensely. I may resist it at times, and that’s okay too.
I’ve been learning and practicing how to notice and accept resistance that arises, then release it.
How? Through years of becoming aware of beliefs or thoughts or what I wasn’t aware of before. Then, decide if it’s working for me or not. If not, I work at shifting them through deliberate practices that I commit to. Here are a few simple tips: Click here.
We can focus on what we learn from our challenges
and how we use them to add value to our lives and others.
We can turn adversity into an advantage.
Part of creating optimal-for-me-normal is doing the work of truly being happy with how I am now.
Knowing that and noticing gains instead of focusing on gaps or thinking about some external goal of better-ness bring happiness. Here’s some help for you with that: click here.
I am real right now. Not after some “more” thing happens or after I do this or that.
It’s a harmony, really. I am making changes, helping myself feel well. While also knowing my state of being and my body’s state of being is okay now.
I’m making changes from a place of abundance instead of lack or scarcity or gaps. I have to work at it; but it’s worth it!
This is where true mindset and perception work come in. It doesn’t always need to be about the next best hack for your life–it can also be about really being in your life fully, even when it feels a bit messy.
Through this, I can say that I do love my life despite its obstacles, challenges, and unforeseen circumstances that pop in.
Even though I might wallow a bit, get frustrated, or feel sad about happenings. It’s okay; life has a lot of contrast in it–it always will.
I can say that I love my life because even though I have rough times or need to work quite hard at doing something, it has meaning to me.
It is not easy, nor have I had an easy life overall, but I made a conscious choice to commit to my now and envisioned life. It’s mine.
Make sure to try out some of the DIY simple steps links in the resource section below the article. Remember, simple is not always easy, but it works.
Simplicity changes everything!
Some of the most significant shifts and challenges are the ones that come up daily.
They are also the most unexpected and overlooked: The thoughts that I am thinking and what I believe to be true for myself right now.
Or speculating or worrying about outcomes that have not yet happened.
Or feeling afraid about an uncertain aspect of my healing or what is to come in that area. Also, or letting myself worry that a small body or health obstacle will turn into years of struggle like my recent six-year period
So, I am doing a lot of thought work, shifting my perspective, and coaching myself, which I’ve shared in some past writings.
I find that spending some early morning time doing this is most helpful for creating a growth mindset for the day. It is something that I can do for myself for short periods each day. You can do this in a little as 3 to 5 minutes per day. Here’s how: Click Here.
By doing this, you give yourself some pause and space so that there is less overwhelm, stress, and feelings of busyness.
When I pair thought work and being deliberate about my intentions and commitments with some simple embodied practice like walking or breathwork, my outcomes are more solid and real.
Why? We need to give our brains a bit of rest! Our thoughts and mind need space and movement. I believe we have so much wisdom in our bodies; we just need to listen to it.
I love doing this through walking while noticing sounds or smells or the nature or area around me. It doesn’t need to be a park or the wilderness; it can be an urban area. I have had some of my best walks through the area where I live. Read more about and do an aware, mindful walking practice here.
The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves, too.
I am working as knowing this year as a time of investigation, almost approaching my body like a scientist discovering as I tinker and go along.
Noticing. Deciding deliberately what works for me. What is my optimal-for-me new normal?
I can also guide you along this path via my programs and step-by-step methods!
As this process continues, I will share all the goodies, tools, methods that I am using. Here’s a link to a health and wellness resource guide that lists many of the tools and more that I use and recommend.
Plus, being a healthcare and wellness practitioner and more, I offer ideas and suggestions for you that I’ve found most often to work out from not only study; but from application and trying it out on myself! I will let you know what works and doesn’t work.
Those who know me will giggle as they know I am quite an investigator and try-it-outer to see if it works. So, trust me, I will have some exciting and effective things for you to try out.
To be continued…
Resources linked in article above:
- Guiding tips for creating shifts, Here
- Your Life Areas Here
- Dynamic Sitting Tips, Click Here
- Whole-body mobility suggestions
- Body-weight workout
- Free Yin Yoga audio class
- Natural movements to try, Click Here
- Turn thoughts of lack and gaps into gains, click here
- Morning Time, Click Here
- Health and wellness resource guide link