A Makeover For Your Health

Everyday Health

The Blank Page

The Blank Page

By on Nov 17, 2013 in Everyday Health, Expectations, Expression, Healthovers Blog |

Imagine pulling your resume up on the computer—and deleting it. Did your brain say “ouch” at the very thought of electronically crumpling up the piece of paper that claims to know everything you’re good at and that you should be striving for? The resume is a handy tool to get a job, and it’s also a confining piece of paper that can spark feelings of anxiety, inadequacy, and dissatisfaction. Even without the paper itself, you can see “resumes” metaphorically in how they affect life. Each of us has roles that we can pressure ourselves to perform perfectly, and sometimes unrealistically. The roles and tasks performed can become larger than the person. The person can drown in the resume. It can feel like nothing’s ever enough. Again, imagine deleting all the lines on the resume page. The lines that talk about being the perfect business person, parent, daughter or son, teacher, worker, student, athlete, human being, and so on. What’s left? A blank page. It may seem like just an empty page, but it stands for a lot more than that. It’s potential, free and ready for you to use. How would you fill it if you didn’t have to stick with 12-point font, employment history, years worked, qualifications, education, and skills? There are probably things that you imagine doing from time to time, fleeting thoughts in your mind. Maybe after you imagine them, you’re habitually used to scrapping them because there are more important things to do on your resume. Of course the resume is bible…or is it? Maybe you do have space to do the things you’ve imagined doing. As long as you do them your way. The blank page may not come with directions, but it frees you to go where you’ve never been. Just because we use resumes, doesn’t mean we have to become them. Try pulling out a blank page, and see what happens.  ...

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If a Tree Falls and No One Hears It…?

If a Tree Falls and No One Hears It…?

By on Nov 15, 2013 in Everyday Health, Experience, Healthovers Blog, Independence |

The question goes, “If a tree falls and no one hears it, does it still make a sound?” I’ll shake this question up a bit and ask, “If you experience or see something, and no one else responds to it—did it still happen?” At one time or another, each of us faces a situation in which we strongly experience something that no one else responds to. Know the feeling? Without anyone else echoing what you saw or felt, you may wonder whether you imagined it all. Throughout life, it can be challenging to hold onto your true experience when you’re getting the message from others that it’s better or more convenient to dismiss it. You’re like the tree (without the falling part necessarily). The tree still falls even if no one is there to witness it happening. That’s what’s most important. In your own life when you go through something that’s important to you, it bears the same significance regardless of whether other people acknowledge it or not. It can feel frustrating to know your experience and then to doubt it because you feel alone there. The experiences you have that don’t fit a formula or can’t be categorized can feel like that the most. What’s most important, however, is that it really did happen—for you. The tree doesn’t care if anyone heard it fall or not. For humans, it’s more complex than that. Still, we can learn from the tree in keeping the integrity of our experiences even when there isn’t a witness to them. This week, take in those moments that no one else but you responds to. If you make a joke and no one else laughs, you can still enjoy the joke for yourself. If you see or hear something crazy and there’s zero reaction around you, remind yourself that the event still happened for you. If you see a hummingbird zip in front of your face, a lady bug appear on your clothing just when you need a little luck, or an unexplainable occurrence…it’s okay if no one else is there to see it or react to it but you. Sometimes the coolest moments are like that.  ...

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The Turtle, the Rabbit, and You

By on Oct 21, 2013 in Everyday Health, Healthovers Blog, Healthy Practices, Work |

The story goes that the turtle was slow and steady, but he won the race. The rabbit was faster from the start line, but he thought he had a big enough lead to be able to take a nap when tired. While he was napping, the turtle won. The turtle was slow and steady and the rabbit was fast but lazy. This story brings up an interesting dilemma. How do you want to approach things? The fear of being too slow and behind everyone else can rear its head in life. It tells you forcefully that you haven’t reached where you need to be. You should be somewhere else. This somewhere else is in line with where everyone else is. The punch line is always that you’re not good enough. You might feel the opposite and more like the rabbit. You’re so fast that you’ve reached the end, the destination—without actually crossing the finish line. You can just stop where you’re at and nap without looking further. Do either of these feelings sound familiar? The pace you’re at in life is unique to you, but it can be easy to judge where you’re at. Very often the judgement is unfair and not helpful toward where you want to go next. How fast or slow can you go and still reach your goal? Does it matter what other people think about your decisions? Life isn’t a race. Ultimately, you are on your own path. Ideally, you don’t want to be so slow so that you can’t imagine the possibility of reaching your goal. In that case, fears and anxieties are most likely blocking your path. However, the steadiness of the turtle is helpful to emulate so that you don’t give up. You also don’t want to be so fast and hurried that you prematurely run out of energy and feel tired before you near the finish line. In that case, you’re probably running toward goals forcefully and somewhat blindly without a realistic pace. The strong potential of the rabbit, however, is helpful to see in your own life. Most likely, you’re somewhere in between the turtle and the rabbit and going at your own speed. Don’t worry what others say,...

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No Such Thing as Perfect Health

No Such Thing as Perfect Health

By on Sep 18, 2013 in Everyday Health, Facing Challenges, Healthovers Blog, What is Health |

Is there such a thing as perfect health? Well, is there such a thing as a perfect person? The answer to both questions is:  NO. Human beings go through real life, real challenges, unexpected events, and uncertainty. During this lifetime, there is no such thing as perfect health. The way health is depicted in the medical community and media can sometimes be misleading in this respect. You see perfect specimens of health running down the beach in a commercial or health magazine, and you’re led to believe that every single day unfolds this way for truly healthy people. Commercials depict people who are happily on medications that bypass the need to look deeper into existing health imbalances. A woman eats a container of yogurt and her healthy weight and slim figure are set for eternity. While many of these tactics are marketing strategies, you still have to resist health propaganda out there in the world when the message doesn’t fit you as a person. Do you want to be a perfect person? Or would you rather approach yourself and your health from where you’re at in life? This is a tricky question. It’s undeniable that the shiny tune of the word “perfection” beckons each of us during life. Striving for it can lead to frustration, disappointment, and feeling stuck. Striving for perfect health is no different. Unless you approach your health from a realistic and approachable standpoint, it can always seem so far away, running away from you as you run toward it in its perfect fantasy form. Ever heard of “wabi-sabi”? Wabi-sabi is the Japanese view that accepts imperfection as a form of beauty and balance. To acknowledge wabi-sabi is to see that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. By accepting the wabi-sabi in your health, in your personality, and in your life, you can really appreciate what makes your health and your life tick each day. You can also respect the journey that you take as an individual to feel health in your life amid the very real challenges that come your way. Your health has strengths and it has weaknesses, it has room to grow, and it’s human just like you are. Don’t...

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Catching Currents in Health and Life

Catching Currents in Health and Life

By on Jul 22, 2013 in Everyday Health, Facing Challenges, Healthovers Blog, Learning |

Have you ever watched while a bird catches a current of wind to get where it wants to go? In one swift movement, the bird’s wings can glide from one current to the next, just by naturally following the direction of the wind. The bird will swoop to the left and then way over to the right, without the changes in speed or direction looking forced or unnatural. Even while we as humans do not have wings, we can still catch the metaphoric wind currents in our own lives to help us get where we want to go. Human nature, especially in the form of stuck thoughts, tends to dictate that change needs to be forced and that we have to make it happen. A gung-ho attitude in life is not a bad thing. However, there are places in each of our lives where we can afford to take a step back from deliberate or forceful measures in order to catch an existing current of flow and movement that is already in place. Can you think of situations in your life lately where you have felt stuck trying, waiting, struggling, suffering, banging your head, and begging life to do what you’re asking it to do? You may not feel like you’re taking flight in this area. Take a deep breath, Take a step back in your mind, and Imagine yourself flying like a bird. Your wings have felt locked in place with one fixed idea or thought pattern. Now that you’re free of that, you’re rising, gliding, and dancing on currents of air that you can’t exactly see—but you can feel. Do you feel the buoyancy, as you imagine this scenario? When you want to go left, the wind supports your flight there. When you want to change direction, your wings find nearby currents to help your flight. When you want to hover for a short time in one spot, you can rest there until a new current comes along that you feel like catching. You are still flying on your own, but the existing currents are helping you take the path of least resistance where possible. It’s okay to catch currents once in a while to get where...

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Be “The Best,” or Best at What You Do?

Be “The Best,” or Best at What You Do?

By on Jul 15, 2013 in Everyday Health, Facing Challenges, Healthovers Blog, Independence, Learning |

There comes a time when you’re cultivating a new skill, an art, a business, a talent, or just about anything where you’re standing at a distinct crossroads. One metaphoric road sign reads “Be the Very Best.” The cross street is marked with a sign that bears a resemblance to the first one, but represents something entirely different. That sign says “Be the Best at What You Do.” As you stand there, many conflicted feelings may flow through you. You start to wonder what “The Best” means to you. From a young age, we’re often generically taught to be the very best. Whether you’re learning to play the flute, dancing, playing a sport, going through grad school, or applying for a job (the list goes on), a repetitive message may knock at your brain cells. It says, “Not good enough—strive to be the best!” What was once enthusiasm for going for what you want can turn into confusion and discouragement. “What is the best,” you wonder, “and how can I possibly achieve a status that, by definition, seems reserved for one person?” In reality, the idea of the best always begs an answer of who out there is better than you and who is worse than you. Rather than a focus on your own unique skill and talent set, “the very best” implies that your inherent value is absent without this comparison. It stresses recognition rather than self-satisfaction, perfection over practice, an ideal rather than realistic expectations. It asks you to be things that you are not. The sign that reads “Be the Best at What You Do” is far more meaningful to who you are. What do you do? Naturally, you gravitate toward certain talents and ways of using these talents that are unique to you. When you work toward being the best at what you do, you can actually focus on what you’re really capable of. It doesn’t matter what the person sitting next to you or across from you is doing. They can’t possibly be the best at what you do, because they’re not you. And vice versa. While the message of being the best points everywhere else, the act of being the best at what you...

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