Tell Yourself The Truth Instead

You could sit here and beat yourself up about how you’re not good enough, thin enough, fit enough, pretty enough, handsome enough, smart enough, and how you could fail in every possible way at any and everything…

Or…

You could tell yourself the truth instead.

It’s your call.

Ask yourself this: What makes you feel more free, at peace, filled with love, happy and joyful, and overall less stressed? Is it beating yourself up about everything? Probably not.

Whatever does make you feel free, do that thing. Think that thing. Because that’s the thing that will lead you to better health and a more joyful and exciting existence. And that’s the truth.

I caught myself beating myself up about not exercising for four whole days. I was constantly evaluating my stomach by pinching my excess fat and getting carried away in my stinkin’ (untruthful) thinkin’.

My stomach is too fat.

My stomach is so untoned.

Why am I so lazy?

I can’t believe I haven’t exercised in 4 days! (whoopsh-whoopsh goes the whip)

This kind of thinking makes me feel awful. I feel heavy and uncomfortable in my body, angry and upset, and it steals every last morsel of motivation I could possibly have. This kind of thinking paralyzes me – from working out to working on my business to feeling joy.

So why would I think and believe these thoughts that make me feel so horrible? It’s because I’ve forgotten to look for the truth instead.

When I take the time to get still and look within, I see my truth, and fat, untoned, and lazy aren’t anywhere to be found.

What are you thinking that is paralyzing you? Thoughts that make you feel shitty, unworthy, and like a failure do not deserve the time of day that you give them. What if you took the time to get still so you could look within for your own truth? Who are you at your core, belly folds and all? So what if you don’t exercise consistently, can’t concoct a simply roux (seriously, why is that so hard?), or crave Little Debbie cakes at nightfall? Those things are actually what make you so unique, and so lovely in every way. And they compliment who you really are – your true self in all its true beauty.

Make a list of who you really are, your inner goddess, and start loving every inch of you.

Here’s a look at my list so you get the idea.

My Stinkin’ Untruthful List                              My Inner Truth, Who I Really Am

Could lose a few pounds                                                Beautiful

Not very motivated                                                         Motivated

Unproductive                                                                   Productive

Distracted                                                                         Multi-passionate

Semi-interesting                                                              Interesting

Slacker                                                                              Energetic

Unstable                                                                           Lover of Nonconformity

And the list goes on! Have fun by getting even more detailed about your truths, like what is beautiful about you, what makes you so unique and exciting, etc.

So go ahead and make your own truth list, and please share below! I’d LOVE to see who YOU are at your core!

xo

The Dishwashing Meditation

Are you one of those people who know you should be meditating but you still haven’t found the time to do so in the ten or twenty plus years you’ve been meaning to? You know it’s good for you, but yet you don’t do it. You still can’t find the time. Other things are still more important like watering the plants, cleaning out the kitty litter, making your kids’ lunches, washing the dishes, tidying the bedrooms, etc. You know that meditating is worth so much more for your health than all those other things, but yet you still…don’t…do it.

(And I’m talking from experience!)

I’m here to amalgamate the two for you: house chores and meditation. (Choritation?)

You know you’re going to get your house chores done, am I right? So now your meditation will get done no matter what. Your house will be clean, and so will your mind.

But first…

An evening in the life of Meghan:

The dishes were piled high. The scent of burnt beef was still in the air. The frying pan encrusted with over-cooked sausage called my name every time I walked by. The cappuccino machine was still splattered with this morning’s over-frothed milk. The soiled cutting board still held half a head of cauliflower on it because, damnit, I was just too busy to put it back in the fridge!

But I REALLY need to go and unwind, get peaceful in my body, and relax.

But it’s already nine o’clock, I’m getting tired, and those dishes won’t clean themselves…

…ok…insert about five more minutes of mind garble-gook here…and then…

I remember that meditation doesn’t mean having to sit cross-legged on the floor, with your eyes closed and with a softly-scented candle burning in a dark room. Meditation simply means training your mind to “stop” to invoke a more relaxed and peaceful state of consciousness. (Well, that’s MY definition, anyways). There are so many forms of meditation; it really can look a variety of different ways.

So here we go. The Dishwashing Meditation for you.

Place your feet on the floor and turn on the water.

Wait!

How do your feet feel on the floor? Are you wearing socks or are you barefoot? It may help to be barefoot to help ground you into the floor better. Take a moment to recognize how your feet feel touching the linoleum, hard wood, carpet (blech, I hope not in the kitchen!) It may help to use progressive relaxation techniques if you’re a newbie at this. This would mean scrunching your toes up, holding them scrunched for a few seconds, and then releasing them. You’ll notice the energy in your feet way easier this way.

Slowly place your hand under the water and feel the temperature of it. It may help to place the top of your hand under the water, as that area is more sensitive to touch than our palms are. Pay attention to how the water feels on the specific area it is hitting. Slowly rock your hand back and forth to feel the water hitting different areas.

Pick up that soiled pot and notice how your hand feels touching the handle. Place all of your attention on the sensation of grabbing the pot (or whatever you are washing) in your hands.

(Minds that are currently in the gutter can now come out. We are talking about a mindful meditation here!!!!!) 🙂

And your mind will want to chime in thousands of times during your dishwashing meditation. I simply say out loud (or in my head if I’m not alone) “Reset” when I notice my mind wanting to contribute its two cents. It helps to re-center and bring me back to my body. (If I were to say this aloud around people they would think there was a hyper-active parrot loose in the house).

And most importantly, pay attention to your breathing during your dishwashing meditation. Let you belly pooch out and let that sucker fill with air. Washing the dishes isn’t a beauty contest. You don’t need to suck in that gut while you loiter in the kitchen wearing rubber gloves! Let it all hang out, and enjoy the feeling of fully breathing. This is breathing for your health at its finest. Try to make your inhalation and exhalation the same length, and allow the air to go in and out through your nose. While you are feeling the touch of water on your hands, the sensation of stainless steel in your palms, try to also pay attention to the feeling of the air passing in and out through your nose.

At this point you’ll probably need to lovingly but firmly say “Reset! Reset! Polly wants to reset?”

Then, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.

You’ll notice (and if you don’t, you’ll just need more practice) a feeling of peace, relaxation, and bliss intermittently whilst scrubbing your Tupperware. Time will seem to pass by slower. Your limbs may feel warm and cozy. Your heart may feel expansive and open. You may even smile for no reason. Until your mind wants to let you know for the four-hundredth time how that woman should have not been so rude over the phone!

So you say “Reset” and bring yourself back to your body, your breath, your sensations. Joy and peace will pop up again within the silence you are creating for yourself.

Then rinse, repeat, and rinse, repeat…

Body Awareness

Body Awareness Audio

Click on the link below to listen to my Body Awareness audio, where I guide you through a quick body scan to help you connect to your body and experience peace and oneness in the present moment. A HUGE pain and stress reliever!

This is a great intro to creating mind-body awareness!

Click this link: Body Awareness

Doing It Quick and Dirty

Mind-body healing is amazing. Mind-body healing has no boundaries. With the selection of skills at your fingertips, you are equipped for anything and everything. You feel as if you could fight crime with these skills.

But…are there so many skills that you don’t even know where to start, and you feel overwhelmed because you want to use all of them every day and then you end up using, well, none of them?

Rest assured, I have been there. People who end up getting a mind-body syndrome tend to share some similar qualities, one of them being perfectionism. How am I going to find time to consistently use all of these mind-body skills, while making sure to still find time to feed myself and show up at work on time? I’ve often found myself putting pressure on myself to approach mind-body healing with this one principle: all or nothing. (I tend to gravitate towards the all or nothing approach with things like exercise and eating healthy, too.) But the truth is the only thing the all or nothing approach will do is stall your entire healing process. If you are putting pressure on yourself to do it perfectly, like using the skills every hour on the hour, using a minimum of five skills per day, trying to use these skills around the clock, etc., you are missing the whole point.

And yes, I have missed the whole point more than a few hundred times. I have put pressure on myself to do it all, and if I don’t do it all, then I am just not doing enough to get to where I want to get in my mind-body journey. But when we are putting pressure on ourselves to be in mind-body healing mode 24/7, that is really what will hold us back from getting to where we want to get, whether it’s pain relief, weight loss, or building a successful business. When we are forcing ourselves to do it all, we are not being kind to ourselves. And being kind to ourselves IS the whole point.

So how can we be kind to ourselves and take all that heavy, uncomfortable pressure off while still ensuring that we are making some time to play with the mind-body tools? Well, you can get still and ask your inner guidance this question and I’m confident it will give you a brilliant answer, or you can learn what I’ve adopted, and if your body feels like the shackles that you have put on yourself have been loosened or released from your wrists, then I think we are on to something. And it is easy peasy.

So what have I done to make mind-body healing feel less overwhelming? I simply use one tool over and over and over and over and…well, you get the point. I ask myself, “what am I feeling emotionally right NOW?” and wait for the answer, and repeat it as much or as little as I want throughout the day. It literally takes five seconds, maybe ten to twenty seconds when you’re first starting. It’s quick and dirty, as Abigail Steidley likes to put it, but it creates loads of awareness on your body and emotions, which is the key to mind-body healing.

I will give you an example of how I use this quick and dirty method. While walking down the stairs one morning to get a cup of tea I asked myself what I was feeling emotionally. I took a full breath, released it, and waited to see what came up. Not even five seconds later I noticed my body felt heavy. I prodded a bit more, and asked if this heavy feeling was because I felt somewhat mad, sad, glad, or scared. Out of the four options, I felt more mad than anything. Ok, cool, I thought, as I poured tea into my mug. Now I knew that I had some anger to feel and get more information about. I stopped there for the time being. Yep, quick and dirty, but it got me to check in with my body, check in with my emotions, and get some valuable information: I had some anger in my body to feel. I told myself I would feel the anger later on in the day when I had some time to do so. Easy peasy. You’re on your way to becoming a mind-body rock star.

If you wanted to take it one step further in that moment, you could have carried on with another mind-body skill. What I love about asking myself what am I feeling emotionally, is that uncovering the emotion generally takes the guessing out of which tool to use. In the moment I felt anger, I could have simply felt the emotion. This could mean getting descriptive with how it feels, where it is, how big it is, and asking it what it would want to say if it could talk. You could stop there, or you could continue on once you uncover what it has to say. Maybe doing some thought-work would apply here, or some mind whispering, or whatever seems perfect in that moment. Letting your emotions lead your mind-body healing process tends to guide you towards the perfect skills in that moment.

The beauty of adopting a quick and dirty What Am I Feeling Emotionally Right Now method is that it is so flexible. You could ask yourself, get an answer and stop there, or you could continue on and use another tool that feels perfect in that situation and then stop there, or you could continue on from there. But it helps knowing where to start. And even if you stop early in this process (which I so often do!), like after you ask yourself what you’re feeling, it doesn’t mean you can’t pick up where you left off later in the day, or even the next day. I love this no-pressure approach because it feels more fun when I decide to go in full throttle with the mind-body skills! And being kind to yourself and having some fun while you carry on with your journey with the mind-body skills will get you to where you want to go, and that’s truly what it’s all about. 🙂

Why You Should NOT Try To Be Perfect

As a recovering perfectionist who still has perfectionist tendencies I noticed myself putting pressure on myself to be, well, perfect (*gasp*) – hah. What a surprise! Not. I once would have never known the destruction that striving to be perfect can do to your body, as I was much more disconnected from my body back in the day. Now, with years of harnessing a better mind-body connection, I can feel things in my body, like little whispers and louder alarm bells, that I would never have felt before. Hearing little whispers and alarm bells are so valuable as they are much less damaging to your body than waiting for Niagra to crash down (chronic pain!!!!). Practice to hear for these quieter signals and you won’t need chronic pain to pop up and tell you what’s up. 🙂

Watch my video below to see how I deal with perfection popping up in my life!

The Power of Paper

I have so much to do I don’t even know where to start. I need to work out more. I need to eat healthier. I need to clean my bedroom. I need to re-do my website. I need to record my videos! I need to do my interviews. I need to make my bracelets. Omg, my laundry hamper is full! I need to do my laundry! I’m hungry. I don’t feel like cooking. But in order to eat healthy I need to cook something. I should be journaling more. I haven’t been to yoga in so long. I have no time for yoga! I need to make more money…ugh I just want to lay down and go to sleep.

Those thoughts have all crossed my mind in the last hour. And they probably crossed my mind thousands of times before that, too. And they will continue to cross my mind if I don’t transfer them on to paper and take a good look at each one individually. When we depend on our mind to hold our thoughts for us, we are asking it to continue to think the same thing over and over. It’s just doing its job! When you write down your thoughts and your to-dos, you are giving your mind the go-ahead to think about something else, or better yet, to be silent for a little while!

Yes, we have tasks we want to get done. We have goals we want to accomplish. We have dreams we want to make real! But it ain’t gonna work if we don’t separate out our thoughts, pen them to paper, and break them down into workable steps!

When I think of ALL THE THINGS I want to get done all at the same time, I feel as if I’m a balloon that’s been overfilled with air and is close to popping. When we overload our minds like this, we are launching ourselves straight into fight or flight where our bodies start to break down and function less than optimally. You may feel it or you may not, depending on how connected or disconnected you are to your body, but either way, it’s happening. Five years ago I wouldn’t have felt a thing, even though my pelvic floor muscles were probably convulsing in sheer terror of all the pressure I was putting on myself trying to get everything done at once. I remember Abigail Steidley asking me what was on my to-do list during one of our first sessions together. It was 9pm at night and I still had about 5 hours of to-do’s left on my list. She told me I may as well add “cure cancer” to my list.

It’s awesome if there’s a lot you want to accomplish. But take the pressure off of yourself. Write it all down so you can clear that mind of yours, and know that it doesn’t all need to get done today, this week, or this year. Can you feel your body lightening up now?

Try this: Write down all the things you want to accomplish. I have called this list: My Bucket List, implying that I have until I die to get it all done. (Side note: How boring would it be if all of your goals were so easy and attainable that you could cross everything off your list in 1 week, or even 1 year? Think of the satisfaction you will get with a bit more effort.) Then write down what you would love to get started on first. Then break that down into thousands of steps. Yes, thousands of steps. How could you start with that one thing?

I will use myself as an example. I really want to learn how to sew. I would love to be able to design and create my own clothes one day, so what have I done in order to get this goal underway? First, I researched a couple places that offered sewing lessons. That was it for that day! The next day I chose where I wanted to take them. The next week I put myself on a waiting list for July… (Seriously, these are even big baby steps. You could literally just open your internet browser and type in sewing lessons and you’d still be closer to reaching your goal than if you were to simply keep thinking about it.)

When we write things down and take things one baby step at a time, suddenly our big goals and aspirations seem less daunting and more doable, because we are in fact doing them instead of just thinking about them.

And what happens to our bodies when we do this? Our muscles relax. Our bodies feel less tense. We go from fight or flight back into rest and digest (where our bodies function the best). Our minds are less busy. We don’t feel as stressed. We feel more in control of our lives. We are able to laugh and smile easier. We end up getting things done. We have more fun doing it.

We end up attaining our goals and living out our dreams.

The How and Why of Chronic Body Pain

If you’ve been reading my blogs and watching my videos you’re probably still wondering how one ends up with chronic body pain. I don’t think I’ve written specifically about the science behind it, so this week I thought I’d dive in and give you a very basic understanding of the how and why chronic body pain occurs.

Chronic body pain, like Interstitial Cystitis, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue, Migraines, general neck and back pain, just to name a few, is pain that we create in our own bodies without even knowing it. And the process begins with not feeling our emotions.

When you were younger, do you remember people saying these things to you:

“Stop being a cry baby”
“Toughen up”
“Just pretend it didn’t happen/just ignore it”

or another variation of those remarks? These comments teach us that there is something wrong with us if we feel a so-called “negative emotion”, and we end up pushing the emotion down so we appear strong and tough just like everyone wants us to be. We learn that expressing our emotions shows weakness, so every time we feel anger, hurt, or fear we stuff it down so we aren’t labelled a cry baby, or we appear as if “everything is ok” when in fact it is not. We get really good at doing this at a young age, so as we grow older we are able to continue to suppress our emotions without even knowing we are doing it.

Here is the catch. We actually have to tighten/clench a muscle in our body in order to avoid feeling an emotion. This muscle clenching takes our awareness off of the emotion because, instead, we are focused on muscle clenching. This is a defense mechanism to divert our attention away from feeling our emotions. Most people are not even aware that this is happening because they are so disconnected from their bodies. (I was included in that category, too!)

So if we are continually suppressing emotions that means we are constantly clenching a muscle in our body. Consistent clenching of a muscle will create chronic tension because we are restricting blood flow to that area. When we restrict blood flow to an area it gets less oxygen, which means it can’t function optimally as it isn’t getting all the nutrients it needs.

Everybody clenches different muscles when avoiding an emotion, which is why chronic pain can occur anywhere in the body. For example, people who tighten their pelvic floor muscles instead of feeling an emotion may end up with Interstitial Cystitis, and people who clench one or more muscles in their back may end up with chronic back pain. There are studies and theories that try to explain why people clench the muscles that they do, but nevertheless, SOME muscle in your body will clench/tighten every time you avoid an emotion. This is a survival habit to keep emotions at bay until it is a safe time to feel them. If you don’t take the time to feel them later on, you will have to keep re-clenching that muscle to keep stuffing it down, which can result in that muscle being clenched almost constantly, all day, every day, which means a huge reduction of blood flow and oxygen to that area. Of course the nerves in that area are going to end up frazzled and in pain! Just imagine, if you were to flex your biceps all day, how tired that muscle would get and how it couldn’t perform optimally anymore. Even lifting a light object would seem like a grueling task for that fatigued muscle!

If you are currently experiencing chronic body pain, I don’t want you to beat yourself up about how you could let this happen to yourself. How could you have known? We weren’t taught this in school. There was Math, Science, English, Gym, etc. but no Emotions 101 or Mind/Body Health class. Of course we are going to clench our muscles and not feel our emotions! We thought that was the easiest and safest thing to do up until now. We didn’t know that recognizing and feeling our emotions had so much to do with our health and the way our bodies would function!

When I found out that I was tightening my pelvic floor muscles almost constantly, I didn’t start scolding myself, I felt empowered by it, because now I knew exactly what was going on in my body when I was suppressing an emotion. I was now on to my own tricks! I invite you to embrace this the same way. Embrace this by getting curious about your body pain, whether it’s chronic or not in nature. Does that area feel tense? Is there any area in your body that feels tense? Could it be tense because there is something you are trying not to feel at this moment? Was there an emotion a week ago you think you may have avoided? Could you set an alarm on your phone every hour or so to remind you to check for tension in your body? If you feel tension, could you imagine and feel that tension melting away? Ask yourself lots of questions and try to investigate and get curious about what you are feeling without getting into the “story” about your pain (the “story” is something I will talk about in a few weeks).

Please Note: When you are consciously feeling tension and relaxing a tense area you will be allowing an emotion to release. It may take a while, but you will soon open the conduit for emotions to start flowing again if this is practiced regularly. I highly recommend working with a Mind-Body Coach or Therapist as you begin this journey, as it may feel overwhelming at first. Receiving support and guidance will increase your success in your healing journey.

E-mail me at meghan@meghancurrie.com for a 20 minute consult or to book a full session with me.