The mind is a powerful thing

I'm going to be very honest and tell you that I didn't have a strong initial emotional or mental response to this week's pod-club pick so I'm finding it a little difficult to find a jumping off point. So, I'm just going to start typing and hope that along the way I find the things I want to say. Maybe I was hoping to hear in the podcast exactly how I could go about creating an environment that would promote healing and well-being but how would that be possible? That has to be different for everyone right? I'm sure there are probably overlaps, like I've never met anyone who says they feel stressed out when they're standing outside in the sunshine listening to the birds chirp, but there are also a lot of variables. What would an environment that feels peaceful and healing look like to you?
I like being in places that feel comfortable - big couches, blankets (yes even in the summer.)
I like natural light in the daytime and I like candle light at night. I don't like overhead lights at all and avoid turning them on at all costs.
I like the smells of fresh cut grass, fresh brewed coffee, clean laundry (even though doing the laundry is definitely not on the list of what brings me wellness), red current.
I like when my cats curl up on or near me, I will stop whatever I'm doing to relish their attention and tiny little purrs.
I like being in the mountains, by the ocean, on a river, near a campfire, walking in the snow...it all brings me peace and makes me remember there is more to beauty than words can say or pictures can capture.
I think I've done a good job in my own personal space creating an environment that brings me peace, I am surrounded by my books, pictures of my family and lots of cozy places to sit with pillows and blankets.

I don't find myself stressed out too often but when I am I turn to music and deep breathing, with the mantra "it'll all be okay in the end" running on a loop in my head. This works for me. I think I've mentioned before that music has a hold on me and my emotions and in this case it's a good thing because I know exactly what will work to get calmed back down.

If our surroundings: what we see, what we hear, what we smell can have such a positive affect on our mental well-being then it seems only logical that places where people go to be healed are taking more care in creating healing environments. Rooms that have views, nice smells, a less clinical feeling environment makes sense in terms of the well being of a patient.
The power of our minds is outstanding and if we deprive our senses of what they need to feel stimulated and active then it's no wonder that bodies would follow suite. People who stay too long in the office, are constantly running around from one place to another with no time to pause, those who feel like sitting down and taking some time off is lazy - don't those people wind up looking worn down, haggard, depleted? In my life, anytime I have been in situations where my only option is to plow full speed ahead for weeks on end I know that at the end of it I am going to be sick. Like clockwork at the end of a crazy, hectic time in my life (I'm talking more than just a few days in a row) my body shuts down. It's as if it's telling me Ok, that's enough you need to stop for a minute and take care of me. Sit on the couch and do the things you love. Read, write, listen to music. I am forced to recharge my batteries when I don't take the time to do it myself. It's one of the reasons I never ever feel guilty for doing the things I do or taking all the time to myself I feel I need.

I don't do yoga, I don't meditate, and I'm not religious. But over the years I've found ways that I believe have the same affects on me and my mental well-being. Dance is one of those things. Writing is another. I've tried meditating a few times and I haven't given up on the idea for myself, I'm going to keep trying to find the healing benefits that I believe are hidden in the act because I want to. I give myself permission to do it, or not do, without any pressure on being "good" at it right away.
One thing I realized I want to do sometime in my life is walk a labyrinth. When that word was first mentioned in the podcast my first image was, of course, David Bowie. And you can not tell me that it's
not at least a little terrifying and causes you to feel some anxiety. I have not seen that movie in a very long time, I remembered really liking it but also that it stressed me out and maybe caused me to hide under a blanket or behind a pillow a couple of times. Which, believe it or not - is the exact opposite feeling one is supposed to experience when entering a labyrinth. All these years I've been associating that word with the wrong sorts of ideas and feelings. I was more than happy to discover that in the real world it should be a peaceful experience, sort of like a walking
meditation. I think I could possibly succeed at that sort of meditating since I do walking all the time. Especially if I was walking in a place as beautiful as this:

I want to go to there. Or somewhere like there. And I would even leave my music at home. I've just realized, right now this very minute, that I should take myself on walks without music here in my real life. I shouldn't wait for a future someday when I visit a labyrinth, I should find some time to leave my music at home and just walk. I'm going to try to do so in the next week and I'll report back about my success (hopefully.)
My dear friend Rachael, and fellow pod-club member is an avid meditation and yoga doer so I can't wait to hear what she thought about this week's pick. Find her thoughts over at her blog Just Me Actually, where reading about her being just her will inspire you to be more you. 

1 comment:

Rachael said...

I admit I thought of David Bowie first too! Love that movie even though it does give a bad name to the idea of a Labyrinth.
It's strange to walk without earbuds, but when I do it I feel more awake to the world around me. I can't wait to hear how that goes for you.

I am NOT an avid yoga/meditation doer I just do yoga stretches that feel good to me and sit with my eyes closed for a few minutes almost every day... seriously I'm not very bendy or quiet:)