There’s going to be a lot of unwrapping taking place soon. Growing up I would anticipate hearing a BOOMING “HO HO HO” each Christmas morning. Admittedly, I had a little fear. My sisters and I would race to the living room to see what gifts were left. There’d be one gift we never unwrapped (given by the man in red). As we near the end of a year we’ll never forget (or wish to forget) and the Christmas season, I’ve been doing some unwrapping of my own.
Have you unwrapped yourself? Are you just breathing? Are your dreams and soul slowly dying due to despair or toxic ruminating thoughts that can’t be overcome? Does your life revolve around the screen of a small device~no thinking, no planning, no dreaming…just scrolling, observing, judging, and wondering? I’ve been there.
It’s taken me years to unwrap some of the ties that have bound me (spiritually, mentally, and physically). Physicians have “unwrapped” my physical package of brain injury, mild cognitive impairment, diabetes, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, gene mutation (w/blood disorder), severe osteoporosis, arthritis, and let’s throw in I’ve been blonde most of these years (a gift by choice 😉).
I allowed these diagnosed conclusions to dictate my own healing-even suffering from our own healthcare crisis in this country that wanted to provide me the “gift” of healing-if only I paid. To those that have suffered loss in this pandemic-my prayers and condolences. To those who have lost anyone they love, my heart goes to you. To those who suffer daily with lack of food, shelter, clothing, and love-I see you, I pray for you. I’ve seen miracles, even in my own family, due to the gifts and talents of wonderful and caring doctors that do exist. But I was solely leaning on the filters of each individual expert to guide my existence. I won’t be hard on them. Each doctor has been wonderful. They might fix what is wrong at the moment, but they can’t maintain my own health. I’m going to be harder on myself. Not because I don’t love myself. It’s the exact opposite. I’ve taken my healing into my own hands. And to do this it had to start deep inside me~a soul healing had to occur first. I loosened and dropped the ropes of rejection, religion, rebellion, regret, regurgitation, reaction, resentment, rhetoric, and retaliation. Although, without all the tension I’ve placed on my soul strings, my best music may have never been produced.
Through the unwrapping of solutions (that just make common sense) I’m on a better journey to doing the things I used to do. There will still be pain. But I can manage it for now. Here are the gifts I give myself daily:
- Morning meditation and quiet time with God (now and until the end of time I will start this way). It’s during this time I pray and greet gratitude. Typically my neck and back hurt very badly first thing, so it’s essential I begin the day “gracefully”.
- Stretching -my back, my neck, and my mind (I love learning something new each day). I have a stretching routine that I follow each day-from floor to upright. It feels so good when I’m standing to even reach my hands as far behind my back as possible with thumbs up.
- Exercise-even if minimal. I know that my heart needs to function at it’s best level. And by taking care of myself my heart can help others. My muscles need memory and strength (if you’re suffering from elbow and hand pain I’d suggest you pull back all fingers (no thumb) in a small and loving stretch 3-4 times a day).
- Good nutrition-I’ve fallen off the wagon here lately. Don’t we all feel awful when we’re putting garbage in? My digestive system thanks me (as does my endocrine system) by eating clean and healthy.
- Posture-this has been the number one thing that hindered my healing for a while. Not anymore! If I sit, I have a pillow on my lower back to make me “sit up straight” (remember when our Mom’s said, “sit up straight?” Sitting is a tragic thing for me if done too long. It’s a tricky balance for me. Some positions hurt standing and others sitting. Just mix it up! TIP: when standing put your hands behind your back. It forces the neck back instead of leaning forward. According to my chiropractor the number of “tech neck” issues will continue to skyrocket (and our kids have futures of bad necks if we don’t address it now).
- Limiting my time on social media. I have a timer set for Instagram. By 8:30-9:00 p.m. I will have placed all technology down (or wear my blublockers to read on Kindle sometimes-oops :-). I haven’t been on FB in two and 1/2 years and I don’t miss it. I’m so thankful that those that love me find other ways to keep me in the loop.
- Deep breathing-typically I will practice breathing activities throughout the day (inhale slowly 8 seconds, hold it 8, and release slowly 8 seconds-it can vary based on your own abilities).
- Laughter-they say it’s the best medicine. Winter and the stress of moving out of my R.V. has tried to hinder this exercise. I’ve learned through all my experiences that finding a way to laugh is healing. I’ve even laughed through tears.
My prayer is that you’re giving yourself gifts of good health (in all ways). You deserve it! Do what you know you must to maintain your health and spirit. Christmas season is not joyful for everyone. It can be a season of sadness; which can make physical pain worse. Reach out for support if you need. Put down the burden you’re carrying for others. Set boundaries for yourself to empower YOUR growth and health. If you continue to deplete your emotional, mental, and physical energy on things that don’t align with your values you may regress and worse, stop growing and healing. Be kind to yourself.
Unwrap yourself. Take a peek inside. Oh what a gift you are!
Have faith 💚
I’ve missed writing. Writing is like breathing to me. I’ve missed reading your posts. I’m beginning a new transition that has taken me some time (and patience). As I stand here writing (I found an awesome stand-up desk from Amazon😉) it dawned on me this is my last Saturday in my R.V. Living tiny has taught me many lessons. I don’t need much. Do I desire nice things and comfort? Absolutely. But I have found the less clutter around me, the less clutter in my head and heart. And what’s left after the clutter is gone is what really matters. When I began blogging at the beginning of the year, while approaching 50, I knew this year would be a game changer. It’s turned out to be a game changer for the world. Goals shift. Life changes. Embrace the simplicity you wish to create to fulfill the journey God has for you. There aren’t wheels under this tiny home I’ve dreamt about for two years (that’s ok; my car has wheels and there are planes to visit my kids and grandkids). But there’s a foundation. Although houses come and go, this footing, near family, and my foundation of faith, is stronger than ever.