My new year came in very quietly this year. John, Morgan and I just hung out at home watching movies and eating snacks. I was totally content with this and hope it reflects the coming year. This is the first year that I'm not making a resolution. I've tried them in the past and have never been very successful or very long. I think that part of the reason I'm not making a resolution is that I'm already in the middle of making changes in the direction of my life. Of course this started with my mind and body sending me a huge wake up call. I realized that I wasn't living a life that was healthy for me. So the first major step I took was to quit my job and go back to school. I enrolled at WMU in their Holistic Health masters certificate program. I have really enjoyed the classes and have been given a lot to think about. I also made time for my own art and began selling it, which has been very fun.
One of my assignements last semester was to make a plan to change something in your life. At the end of the semester you wrote a short response paper on how well your plan went. My plan was to increase my physical activity. I took a Tai Chi class through Western and would drop in on a yoga class every once in awhile or I would show up to another Tai Chi class that my instructor taught. My goal was to choose an activity that I was likely to continue. I also wanted something that had a mind, body connection. Both Tai Chi and Yoga meet this extra requirement.
Another class requirement from last semester was a research paper. The topic I chose was Holistic Approaches to Depression and Anxiety. One of the things I discovered was that nutrition plays a big role in combating depression and anxiety. I'm not a doctor or health care professional so I'm just telling you what I'm doing and why. The following is a small excerpt from my paper explaining the connection a little further.
"As stated in by Karren, Smith and Gordon in Mind Body Health, “depression is the richest, most striking example in psychiatry, and possibly in all of medicine, of the relationship between the mind and body.” (2014) Depression is linked with the neurobiology of the body.(Karren, Smith & Gordon, 2014). Poor nutrition has a huge impact on depression and anxiety. Diets that are high in carbohydrates can cause depression. Amino acids, and vitamins such as folate, B6, B12, and serotonin are examples of vitamins and chemicals that are important to mental health among other things. Researchers believe that the lack of adequate amounts of these vitamins and chemicals cause depression. Lack of these due to poor nutrition in turn leads to other events in the bodies balance such as insulin resistance, which then leads to more anxiety and depression leading to more insulin resistance. It’s a vicious circle that can be combated with improving nutrition."
So in order to help with my health I added a complete whole vitamin, fish oil and B-stress tab that contains a variety of vitamin B's including the B6 and B12. I think we too often focus on diet as being a weight control issue instead of an entire heath issue. I added the vitamins because it was an easy way to begin and make sure I was getting the things I need to help me combat my anxiety and depression in a holistic approach. Don't get me wrong I still take a perscription but I'm hoping to actually take myself off of it eventually.
In case you are unfamialiar with the lady above, this is the Venus of Willendorf and you must know who she is to understand the following statement. When I asked for the body of a Goddess I should have been more specific. One of my friends recently said this to me and I found it very funny. Especially since this is my shape too. The funny thing is once I started thinking about my body being the shape of a goddess my perception of how I looked began to change. I do want to tackle the eating thing and get that in order too but not focusing on weight but focusing on health. Matter of fact I'm not worrying about my weight other than trying to accept myself the way that I am and love my body despite it's imperfections.
Of course along with the school thing I'm working on felting and pursuing my craft along with the holistic study. I participated in about 6 craft fairs, selling my felt. I had a great time and sold work. I'm also in the planning process of adding more shows for this year. A group of artist friends and I have created a group to help each other with this and we are meeting for the first time at my house this Friday. I'm very excited about this new step and think it will be great to have others to help with ideas for our businesses. One of the steps I need to take is make sure I'm posting more often on my blog. So I'm going to work at you all hearing from me more often. Thanks for starting this journey with me and I hope that I can encourage you to take steps to reach your goals and enhance your lives.
Happy New Year my friends! May you find peace and balance in your lives.