The Power of Awareness

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I’ve heard it said, (with a little Southern drawl), “You can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s broke.”

And so it is with awareness.

Often, it’s not until you have the contrast that you become aware. For example, imagine for a moment that it’s Friday and you’ve had a high-stress week, with appointments back-to-back, very full days, and each night you’ve collapsed into bed, exhausted.

Now, fast forward and imagine it’s Saturday and you’ve just emerged from a luxurious full-body massage, complete with hot stones and aromatic essential oils.

How are you feeling now? What do your shoulders, head and neck feel like as compared to before the massage?

Different, huh?!

I can remember years ago my massage therapist would coach me during our sessions. He’d say “Relax your shoulders, Debra.”

“I am” I’d reply.

“No, you’re not. They’re up around your ears!”

An hour later I’d saunter into the lobby, like a wet noodle. “Ohhhhhh, now I get it! So that’s how my shoulders are supposed to feel!”

Sometimes you don’t realize how far off track you’ve gotten.

My own awareness was raised when earlier this month I decided to try a new way of eating – the “Eat for Your Blood Type Diet”.

I didn’t do it primarily to lose weight (although that would be a nice side benefit!) but more to see if I’d notice a difference in the way I felt, especially in my energy level and afternoon “brain fog”. I was also curious to see if my “belly bloat” would diminish.

I have noticed a shift lately and have attributed it to getting older. “What would happen” I thought “if I changed what I ate? I’m a fairly healthy eater, but what’s possible?”

I decided to give it a try for the month of April. In order to have a valid test, I decided I wouldn’t change anything else, not my level of exercise or anything.

What I noticed was that within a couple of days my energy level spiked and my afternoon fog — gone! I was still rearing to go at 9 o’clock at night. That never happens for me!

I tell you this not as a sales pitch for the diet, but because I didn’t realize how low my energy was until I experienced a shift. I also didn’t realize how bad some of the food I was eating made me feel until I quit eating it (and then tried to eat it again). “Oh whoa! Have I always felt that way after eating and didn’t realize it?”

Like me, you may sense that something in your life needs an adjustment or fine tuning.

“Wisdom means listening to the still, small voice, the whisper that can be easily lost in the whirlwind of busyness, expectations, and conventions of the world.” Jean M. Blomquist

Pay attention to the signals your body and mind give you. The “random” thoughts that cross your mind that are so easy to pass off or ignore.

Don’t fall into the trap that says “it’s just a part of aging” or feel like you can’t shift it because of the circumstances in your life. You and only you have the power to change. No one can do it for you.

I can’t begin to tell you how often a client, after only a couple of sessions with me, has said to me “I can’t believe how much more at peace I am now with my life!” or “I just don’t get triggered by stuff now like I used to; it just seems to roll off me” or “Two weeks ago if what happened yesterday had happened I would have done X, but yesterday I just found myself observing it and thinking ‘Isn’t that interesting?’

It’s been a month now since I started this new way of eating. Has it been an adjustment? Yes! Does it take some effort? Yes, for both my husband (the main cook in our house) and me. It requires a new way of shopping and more meal planning.

But it’s also been fun. I’m cooking more. It’s been an adventure discovering new and different ways of eating and cooking and trying new foods that we don’t normally eat.

But the best part is how I’m feeling. I’ve noticed an improvement in all areas I was hoping for, including the belly bloat (and I’ve even lost three pounds and am holding steady). My body feels lighter and my core is slimmer.

So for now, I’m keeping it. Now for phase two: more exercise!

Here’s to your health: mind, body & spirit!