**This blog post is full of resources. Scroll past the context of my journey if you want to immediately access the tools.**
The Mystic Athlete Journey
My beloved readers, here’s another chance to dig into some recent resources which I have enjoyed. They are aiding my 2019 focus on Health and Play. Many of you have read about my Mystic Athlete approach to life, including the manifesto. If you aren’t familiar, check out my new page here.
This approach has assisted in a level of daily happiness and contentment that is completely new to me. To that end, I created a Mystic Athlete Wheel to help manifest the life I want. Every couple of months, I check in with the wheel and color code whether I was able to act upon those intentions and goals. I’m still working on my draft 2019 wheel, but here is last year’s wheel. Almost every single element came into being during 2018.
Core Desired Feelings
A key element of my success has also been to use Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map approach which helps me focus on my Core Desired Feelings on a daily basis. Quite simply, I choose how I want to feel every day and focus on that. Here’s a link to her library of Core Desired Feelings if you are interested and want some inspiration. She also has a free graphic maker here which is a fun way to keep those feelings front a center.
The most pivotal element of the process is to select how you want to feel. You don’t have to be there already. For example, soon after I gave birth to my son, I was tired all of the time. And I was sick and tired of hearing myself say that I was tired. So that year, I selected “energized” and guess what, I ran a half marathon that year.
This year my Core Desired Feelings are:
Vibrant – This speaks to my health focus this year. I have healed many sports injuries and other ailments and I am chomping at the bit to get back to many of the physical activities which I enjoy.
Devoted – I chose this so that I can really zero in on my faith and the millions of things that I want to learn.
Prosperous – I have learned to look at my money containers (bank accounts, bills, loose change) regularly and call in a level of financial and material abundance that supports me and my family in a way that is comfortable and lends itself to the lifestyle that we desire. Often this requires pooling resources – meaning fixing things, getting creative and using what we have to build want we want. I learned this approach from Lindsay Pera.
Joyous – I have developed anxiety more over the past two years than ever before in my life. Part of it is hormonal due to perimenopause, part is environmental (juggling so much on my plate), part runs in my family and part is because I am an empath and have the capacity to feel the emotions of others which at times can be debilitating if I do not block them out. My partial remedy is selecting this feeling to guide my days. See the photo at the top of this post? That is my seventh day of sickness. I spent the previous six days in bed and in the photo I had a headache and severe congestion. Do I look like it? No, I look joyous. It was my first day back to work and I decided to get dressed in that beautiful hand-me-down sweater (see pooling resources above) that my friend gave me from her amazing mom who passed away two years earlier. That day was also the birthday of one of my best friends. I decided to celebrate with joy because he is one of the greatest gifts in my life.
Sovereign – This is simply a more powerful way of stating that I am free. Freedom is a core value for me and I want to appreciate it every day. Sometimes though, my level of responsibility at work and in my family makes me feel hemmed in, like I don’t have choices about how I spend my time. BUT I DO. And when I am orderly, organized and disciplined, I am free. I have more time and even small moments of spaciousness to take the dog on a short walk, to stretch and do my cool new foot exercises or even to sip lemon water. Cherishing and illuminating these moments truly lifts me.
NOTE: I tested these feelings during the last months of the year, like a new pair of shoes. I changed a few and kept the rest. I encourage you to take some words out for a test drive for a week and see how it feels to write them daily and/or post them in your home or have them saved as wallpaper on your phone or computer–thanks to that groovy graphic maker.
- The Healing Power of Naps and Rest
“Gardener” is also a key word for me in 2019. I am planting a real garden and also using the metaphor in other elements of my life. Finally, my word of the year is YIELD. Evacuating four times in four months last year due to natural disaster as well as navigating a large workload and some personal issues including my own anxiety has taught me the power of slowing down. Sometimes the best action to take is inaction. Sometimes a nap, which seems like you are not doing anything, is the best most powerful decision to make because naps and sleep are healing. I have had so much inspiration from The Nap Ministry, particularly their Instagram account. Two of my favorite recent posts are below.
2. Taking Action with Your Genes and Your Hormones
Dr. Sara Gottfried is a Harvard- and MIT-educated physican-scientist and certified yoga instructor. Her book Younger focuses on the area of epigenetics and how you can impact your own gene pool as it relates to Alzheimer’s, longevity, weight and more. Her book The Hormone Cure has been revelatory for me because I was able to learn which supplements (through a simple test) support my heightened cortisol levels as well as a decline in Estrogen. As per my usual, I binged every podcast where she was interviewed and learned a ton in addition to reading the sections of her books that interest me. I encourage you to do the same.
3. Physical Alignment starts with your FEET
I have been on a pretty intense health journey with my feet from bone spur surgery for an old running (and wearing the wrong shoes) injury to daily painful plantar fasciitis. In less than two weeks of doing the foot exercises recommended by Katy Bowman of Nutritious Movement, my mobility is back and my pain has almost completely vanished. If you have back pain, shoulder or neck pain — anything mechanical, I urge you to check out her book Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief: The New Science of Healthy Feet or check out her other books about movement. Her podcast Move Your DNA can be found her on Stitcher or here on iTunes. She is FUNNY too! Episodes 98 and 99 – “It’s all about the Base” parts 1 and 2 were game changers for me. A huge shout-out for this resource goes to my Cranio-Sacral therapist, Caitlin Lyon. She has transformed my life. She does long-distance work too!
3. Spiritual Alignment through your Closet
“Wait, what? Are you going to tell me that my spirit will be aligned if I dress better?” Actually, I’m here to share a powerful TED talk thanks to a friend and colleague who saw it live. It used to be titled, “Change Your Pants, Change Your Life.” But now it seems to be renamed “Dressing for Confidence and Joy,” by Stasia Savasuk which focuses on inside out congruence. I have had a post-it on my fridge with the word “congruence” for nine months. Trust me, this video is worth your time:
4. The Power of Play
I had the pleasure of meeting Gary Ware of Breakthrough Play last year at The World Domination Summit. Gary is an expert on play and how it can help you experience the life you want at home and at work and to solve problems differently. I had a virtual play break with him over video about six months ago and it has positively impacted my work and personal life. I truly enjoyed this interview on The Power and Potential Podcast. You can also listen on Spotify and iTunes – it is episode #8. One of the most powerful takeaways from the interview was the idea of creating a PLAY LIST – not music, but things that you play. I realized while helping my son with a Mesopotamian weaving project (yarn and cardboard) that I loved touching the yarn and seeing a project completed. So I picked up a loom and started making a hat. I don’t know what I am doing and I love doing it. I also began brainstorming a play list with one of my best friends and it includes dancing, singing, gardening, boogie boarding, basketball and more. [Shameless plug: My greatest play role model is South the Chihuahua – follow him on IG here.] What might be on your list? You may also enjoy this 7-minute Play meditation which I created to get you in the frame of mind to remember what you enjoy playing if you don’t have a list that springs to mind immediately.
5. Order is Opulent
This year as I began drafting my Mystic Athlete Wheel, the following phrase came forth and felt really good: ORDER IS OPULENT. So many people feel like material wealth is out of their reach, and for now, it may be. But order in your life, is within your reach. You read about the links that I made between order and discipline creating spaciousness for freedom. I have made a concerted effort over the last year to get my home in order, thanks in large part to my husband who is naturally wired this way. (Read 90% of the credit goes to him.) I have found is that I can learn from the way he keeps things in their place. I know this may sound elementary to a portion of my readers, however, I also know that there’s a huge population of people with junk drawers, messy closets, overflowing mail and papers and stacks of books they no longer want or need. With a focus on my health and play, I need order in my life — and that includes digital order of my files and photos. So my intention is to schedule time to address my closet, my drawers and so on. Many folks know about Marie Kondo and I just started watching her new show on Netflix last night. There is a lot for any of us to learn in that department. The two planners which I am currently using to help me prioritize and move forward this year are The Desire Map Weekly Planner and the High Performance Planner.
Bottom line: When I have order in my life, I don’t squander time and energy. Time is a precious resource. When I have increased free time, I feel rich, affluent, opulent!
I may keep you posted on how this kind of order is supporting my daily life and my dreams. And speaking of dreams, I have made a big decision related to the sequel to The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderon: A Globetrotting Magical Mystery of Courage, Food and Friendship. I am publishing the book in 2020. My original intention was to have it ready for you this calendar year. However in deep reflection and with the help of one of my best friends, I was able to narrow my focus to Health and Play. (I really enjoy capitalizing those two words!) I have granted my hard-driving action-oriented self permission to continue transcribing my notebooks, writing the missing sections and editing my book this year delivering the final product in your hands during the following year. This is all part of my SOVEREIGNTY which I outlined above.
If you are digging these resources and my approach to life and you are looking for support in the form of two 90-minute sessions – meaning no long-term commitment, check out my WORK WITH ME page.
With that I bid you, phew and adieu! I am sending you love as you continue your journey into the year.