Learning to Relax

Hello friends!

I’m sitting here wrapped in a blanket in the middle of June, watching the sun rise over Sleeping Giant (can you make it out in the picture?  It’s the mountain ridge on the right that looks like a guy sleeping on his back…) and drinking in the sweetly fresh morning air that’s wafting through the open screen door of my living room in our new condo.  This is our 5th morning here in Steamboat Springs, and the 5th day in a row I’ve slept 7+ hours.  Woo hoo!  This is amazing for me… for the past several weeks I’ve survived on 4-5 hours max.

I have sleeping issues… anxiety no doubt… whenever I have a lot on my mind, my body kicks into high gear and I tend to not eat well or sleep well.  It’s the classic fight or flight response… survival at all costs… but all productivity goes by the wayside because my body’s whole focus is on survival (hence the scanty blog posts of late!! Sorry!!)  We can function like this for a short time, but we’re not meant to live this way.

I’m sure I’m not alone… in today’s world, we’re expected to do more and more in less and less time. 24 hours is just not enough anymore.  How many of us take on too much, both in terms of “to-do’s”… projects, committees, etc, as well as expecting ourselves to have the “perfect” diet, never miss a workout, etc.? I know I do. And to not only do more, but actually be more… more fit, funnier, a better mom/wife/friend, more brilliant at work, etc. And on top of all that, we also need to document our perfect lives on Instagram. Phew… it’s just too much!

There’s nothing wrong with having goals, desiring the best for ourselves, or wanting to accomplish.  It’s just when, insidiously, our self-worth is bound to these things, or that checking things off our list contributes to our wholeness as a person, that the trouble begins.

Being away has helped me slow down and step back a bit.  I took a good look at the tag line of this blog: inspiring healthy living when home is across the globe…  Healthy living doesn’t equate to “perfect living,” (because there is no such thing!), and I want to be really clear that I’m not advocating that we all eat only plant-based, high-fiber meals and work our a___es off every day in pursuit of a “perfect” body (again, because there is no such thing!) Healthy living encompasses sooo much more…

Good sleep…

Ability to relax…

Eating nourishing food that makes you feel joyful (and not guilty)…

Movement that makes you feel energized (and not exhausted)…

Laughter…

Time with friends and family…

Saying “no” when it’s appropriate…

And I realised that I won’t inspire truly healthy living by only writing breezy posts about my macro-calculated eating and intense workouts.  Yes, I am on a training program with a structured nutrition and workout routine, but it’s just what I’m doing for now.  Home is across the globe for me too… and I worry about ageing parents on the other side of the world, kids at driving age when they can’t practice in our host country, and the other issues that come with being an ex-pat.

I want to make sure that you all get the message from me that healthy living includes crushing Fritos over chocolate ice cream just because you love it, laughing til you almost pee your pants at an inappropriate inside joke you share with your teenage daughter, or having a glass of wine too many while watching the sun set over the mountains with your family.  Let’s not limit ourselves to a rigid set of “rules” about “healthy living,” my friends.

A collage of flower pix that Sara took while visiting the Steamboat Botanical Gardens

And at the heart of it, I know that I’m not the one ultimately in control.  As C.S. Lewis says, “I pray because I can’t help myself.  I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It does not change God- it changes me.”

And this is what helps me relax.  I do not have the big picture.  But God does.

Cheers, friends!

Yummy recipes coming soon!

 

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