As a woman, I can attest that life gets messy. We have conversations and experiences with people (often those who are closest to us: children, spouses, friends, relatives, etc) that leave us frustrated, flat, agitated, and possibly even just plain sad. Life is full of roller coaster-like ups & downs. Those times of crisis and stress highlight the fact that our physical health is often not the cornerstone to our overall health. More often than not, what actually gives us resilience to make it through those tough times, are things like mindfulness, having an ‘inner pilot light’, and embracing spirituality. It’s setting our minds up for success in order to wade through life’s messy tangles so that way our bodies don’t cave to the stress and pressures. This often isn’t spoken about, especially within modern health care. Our society really cares about physical health (working out, eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, etc)…but…the good news is that thank goodness there’s a growing conversation surrounding our mental and emotional health and well-being.
Building resilience to life’s demands includes having other pieces to the puzzle. Other domains of health include sexuality, our relationship with money, our sense of contribution and value within our work lives and society, creativity, the quality of our interpersonal relationships, exercise, and nutrition. When you stop to reflect on your current life circumstances and environment, what do you find?
Take Dr. Lissa Rankin’s Whole Health Cairn for example (pictures can be worth a thousand words!):
What a novel idea right?! Considering other things that may matter more than physical health and appearance?! At the risk of sounding a little woo woo (which I’m totally good with by the way!), I know that personally, until I discovered my sense of spirituality and abilities to be mindful, my life was darker, more flat, and full of fear & anxiety (which, to no surprise, manifested in some crazy physical symptoms – no amount of exercise & healthy eating was going to help me!). I took the plunge. I realized I needed to get my mind straight if my life was ever going to become more joyful and more fun to live. Amen for self growth and work like Dr. Rankin’s to guide us all along… (*side note*: check out her TED talk if you want more information)
Motherhood is messy. Life is messy. We’re all different. Growth is a lifelong commitment. And it’s all a wild ride. But hang in there! You can be the architect to your own Whole Health Cairn. After all, our lives are our own and our health stone cairns all look a little different.
What’s your center stone? How does your cairn stack up?