Friday, May 26, 2017

Refresh

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

Spring is the time to energize your life. Today is your chance for a new start. Seize it …

It doesn’t take research or a special study performed to tell us what we already know. Spring motivates growth. Take advantage of nature’s cues. Return to reaching your goals, with sunshine and fresh air guiding the way.

With the final clump of discolored snow finally melted, it is time to get back to business.  Break free from the guilt of falling short, which may be strapping you to the couch this very minute. Your alarm has sounded in the chorus of landscaping equipment. Charge forward.

Abandon the Past

Stop obsessing over unmet goals from earlier this year. Resolve to forget stale new year’s resolutions. Most of the year still lies ahead. Make new plans. Live in the moment. Mindful living is not only a present-day trend, it is a better way of life. Being present in the moment helps prevent fixation on the past and anxiety about the future. It allows you to experience where you are today, so you can better plan tomorrow.

Set goals that bloom from the heart.
Set goals that bloom from the heart.

In the mindful present can we determine our needs and, therefore, discover how best to meet them. Perhaps you didn’t achieve previous goals because they were not truly born from your heart. Take time to discover which steps in life will make you happier. Plan goals accordingly. The past does not define your present. That includes attempts on better health. You may have quit exercising 100 times. That fact has no bearing on the success of attempt 101.

Leave Your Comfort Zone

Get out of a post-winter funk by attempting something new. Redeem yourself from goals gone astray, like the 10 pounds you haven’t dropped yet or the caffeine you still sip. A new venture is a great way to increase confidence. Keep it realistic and small. You don’t need to skydive to leave your comfort zone. (Although for most people, that’ll do it!)

Try a new class. The Group Fitness program continuously evolves classes with new moves and music throughout the year. The latest workouts are always being incorporated. If you like the supportive environment of a class and want to strength train, try Small Group Training. Small groups of four or five members work out under the guidance of a personal trainer. Some Small Group Training sessions are themed to target certain areas or use specific modalities. Form a group with friends or make new workout buddies.

Learn something new.
Learn something new.
Evolve your workout with fitness tools.
Evolve your workout with fitness tools.

Pick an unfamiliar exercise tool or piece of equipment and get to know it. Spend 10 minutes at the start of your workout using this. After a month, pick another. This is a great way to become familiar with all the Center’s tools and how they can benefit you personally. You will discover favorites and those most effective for reaching your goals. Hopefully, they will be the same thing! Keeping your workouts fresh and productive is essential. Expand your selection so choices for an exciting workout are unlimited.

Detox

Detox is often associated with green smoothies and cleansing teas, in other words, a liquid diet that leaves us hungry, possibly shaky, and probably grouchy. Sure, a healthy gut is a happy gut. Do what you must to eat clean and remain regular. Be sure to consume a balanced diet filled with healthy fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains. Put it all in the blender, if inclined!

For spring, redefine detoxification. Let this action, the doing of detox, represent a new way of thinking. As this season inspires you to clean up the home, diet, and fitness routine, allow it to reach the really challenging corners of your life. Go where the dust bunnies and cobwebs are thickest. Clear your mind for better health.

Emotional clutter can damage other attempts at wellness. A negative thought, a stale grudge, a severed relationship– these sabotage us. Moving forward takes courage and emotional fortitude. It is the only way to control our own happiness and health.

Too relevant not to quote is Buddha’s thought on anger, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” It is said forgiveness is an act of self-love, one that heals and propels us forward. Do not deprive yourself of this ability to live free of heaviness.

Cleanse.
Cleanse.

In the name of spring cleaning, envision yourself washing away these negativities. Disinfect these thoughts with counter thoughts of the lessons learned. You cannot change others and their perceptions. You cannot un-hear a hurtful message. You cannot undo a past wrong. You can have a better understanding now of your world and those with whom you share it. Live and love accordingly.

Spend Appropriately

Time, money, feelings, calories. These are top commodities, each being spent habitually every day. Without thought, we spend money on a coffee, calories on a semi-stale donut, emotions on an unworthy TV show, time on rumination. Stop wasting your resources. Focus on using them wisely to create a happier, healthier existence.

Be generous of yourself and time, but on things worthy of your attention. Let go of outgrown obligations. Make time for what truly matters to you. Be sure it is worthy of your precious resources.  Here are ideas for spending appropriately:

  • If you’re going to use up your daily allotment of sugar, make sure the sweet treat is worthy.
  • Spend emotional energy on relationships that matter.
  • Invest in what brings you happiness. Invest in the happiness of others. If done correctly, both have the same outcome.
  • Talk about topics of substance.  Don’t binge on gossip, which leads to emotional indigestion.
  • Spend time problem-solving not on negative, repetitive thought patterns.
  • Give freely and experience gratitude from the recipient and yourself as you acknowledge all you have.

Create

Get in the spirit of spring and do some creating of your own. It can be as simple as developing a new workout or as involved as redecorating a room. If the latter, consider creating a quiet space for meditation, a great stress-reliever. Collect your favorite things there, but keep it simple. Perhaps a few stones from a memorable hike, dried flowers, or a photo book. Allow enough space for stretches. Who knows, it might lead to yoga.

Consider cultivating a small garden or tending to a potted plant. Nurturing does not come easy to some people. Once learned, it can be a rewarding experience with blossoms and new growth to affirm your dedication.

With plants, you also manage some indirect spring cleaning. Plants are known air purifiers. The top-rated indoor purifying plants include: Areca palm tree, Lady palm, Bamboo palm, rubber plant, Dracaena, and English ivy. English ivy is considered ideal for those with asthma or allergies because of its ability to eliminate airborne mold.

Get creative in the kitchen. Local farmers’ markets are opening. Get to know them and their produce. Buying fresh from neighborhood farms is the best way to guarantee quality nutrients in your food. With no travel time, there is little time between field to table. Try some new choices, along with old favorites. And, discover new ways to cook old favorites. Keep meals exciting to assure adherence to a healthy diet.

Be Empowered

bamboo, picStep outside, touch the ground and be grounded, breathe in the changing tides of air. Do you smell the heavy dew or rain of spring? Fresh grass? Are sprouts growing from the soil? Connect with spring’s shifting tapestry and be empowered. Be part of the changing world with your own personal growth.

Try gentle stretches or a light warm-up in your backyard before heading to the Center. Increase your physical activity. Research proves a strong connection between increased exercise and greater feelings of enthusiasm. Associate the newness of the season with peace, happy thoughts, and flexibility. Be excited about today.

Sources

“10 Air Purifying Plants for Homes & Offices,” at www.webecoist.com.

Image Credits

Raindrop leaf (introductory photo): www.flickr.com/photos/13661433@N00/43946478/

Heart blooms: www.flickr.com/photos/aussiegall/465898486/

Cleanse: www.flickr.com/photos/hotel-goldener-adler/6331507796/

Bamboo: www.flickr.com/photos/85549619@N00/1654529352/

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