There are many ways to achieve the things we want in life and when you look at how different people approach their goals and the things they want out of life, they could typically be placed into two compartments: pushing or nurturing. What is interesting is how these two approaches can affect us on an emotional and physical level and how they might affect our level of happiness with the very things we are trying to achieve. We might achieve the same outcome but it is how we feel along that journey that is really the key point here and I believe particularly relevant when we consider our health as being the main goal.
The Pushing Approach
You tackle things with vigour and with a “to do” list. You feel that as long as you achieve everything on that “to do” list, then things will work out well. You are adamant about doing things right and following a process 100%. You believe that you have to push yourself through to get things done. Now, if we have to demonstrate this example within your health journey, you might believe that there are a list of foods you should eat and that you should eat only those foods, that there are specific supplements you need to take and a set protocol you need to follow. Your “to do” list is about working through everything on a daily basis and believing that if you just do these things, everything will be okay.
You push yourself to do them. There is little pleasure within the process or within your journey. Secretly you believe that it is a type of penance for having endometriosis, that you have to do them. Because you really don’t want to do them at all.
The downside of this approach is that you will generally resent what you are doing. You will feel a type of stress around doing it as you are resisting that you have to do it. The likelihood is also that you will feel tired about the thought of doing any of it. It will feel overwhelming and believe that it is all too hard.
The Nurturing Approach
This approach is about tuning inward and feeling into what you want to do. It is about really embracing where your body is at and what it needs from you right now. It is about taking your time, about reviewing information and viewing your experiences as a test, an exploration and something new to try. If you were to use this as an example within your health journey, you would see everything as something fun to try, a new adventure of things to explore. The test would be around figuring out what works for your body and feeling into what your body needs right now – no matter what someone says or suggests.
It is about really nurturing your body and what you are trying to achieve for your health, based on how you feel physically and emotionally. There is no pushing and there is no deadline. There most certainly is no “to do” list. It is about layering up on ideas and suggestions and feeling into what you personally want to try next and what feels good within your body.
It is about asking yourself what you need right now, today and in this moment and recollecting what made you feel good in the past and simply doing that. Whether it is something as simple as deep breathing, sitting still with the birds or drinking a smoothie. It is really about asking what it is your body needs right now.
This is, of course, a much calmer, better place to come from as it doesn’t involve stress or force. We appreciate what is available to us and simply incorporate what feels good as we need it. We use information as we want and filter out what we don’t. We experiment and try and keep doing what makes sense in our mind and body.
It is gentle, intuitive and yes, far better for your health and approach.
The Challenge with this concept
It takes time to find that sweet spot of knowing what your body needs and being able to tune inward is a remarkably hard thing to learn. We are often too busy to sit with that simple thought of “what does my body need?”. The other challenge is knowing what information to try and what to let go. There is so much information and often it is overhyped and overemphasised when it is often not even required or relevant. Articles and content on the internet often has an element of fear within it, which is why we feel we must do it. Sifting through all of the information can be a stress within itself.
When I created my REACH beyond Endo program, I incorporated all the things that I had layered-up on within my own journey. Everything is in there – from the food choices that truly helped me to the cleanses that really shifted my endo. I did all that sifting through for you, so you don’t have to. From an information source, it is sound and researched.
What I wish I could incorporate more of is a mindset that comes with wanting to heal the body. It is never about pushing or forcing or doing all the “right things”. It is never about “having to do all these things for my health”. It is about looking at the information and deciding if it feels right for your body, based on what is within it and then deciding if you want to experiment and try it.
I invite you to try this experiment with me:
Next morning, when you wake up, ask yourself: what would make me feel good, vibrant and alive right now?
Now, experiment with what that might be for you. From my experience, it could be doing some Yoga, some stretches, deep breathing exercises, eating a fresh bowl of fruit with some freshly made juice, a bowl of hot porridge, listening to happy music, calling a good friend, connecting with others and feeling like you belong to something, walking the dog, cuddling the dog, tending to my herbs, reading a fun book, going outside in the sunshine….
You get the idea. Just find the things that make you feel good and do more of those. They might include all of the above or just some but it is for you to experiment with and test for YOU. What makes YOU feel good? If you feel any sense of overwhelm, slow down and do less. Tune in and keep asking “what feels good to me right now?”.
Report back in the comments below…
This Post Has 4 Comments
I think it is hard to shift our mindset on this when often we are told things are “our fault” over many years. We want to take responsibility for everything and sometimes it is not within our power or anything we have done or could have done differently. Taking a breathing and letting things go is often more healing than overly focusing on what we “did wrong”. I found it so powerful to come up with a plan, stick to it with a deadline and then decide if it is was working or not, rather than doubting myself and my body and my healing journey every single day when the pain would return. We can influence so much with our simple thoughts. Believing we have done “wrong” and that the pain is our fault is worse than just accepting it sometimes and listening to the voice that just wants a breather, a time out and a way to feel more empowered on what we can do, rather than what we haven’t or can’t do.
This is exactly what I’ve been dealing with the last couple of days. My brain keeps asking, “What did I not eat right or what wrong exercise did I do this month to cause this pain?” My body is asking me to “Do what I really want to do.” The world will not fall apart and things will actually get done by listening to that voice in our body.
This is a great post. It’s something I experienced and still experience from time to time. I’d never thought of it as described above. I love structure and planning however sometimes it was all too much and I felt I needed to break free. I can’t say what changed my attitude towards all the changes I was making. I did find that hot tea, yoga, and meditation were great tools which helped me focus and de stress. Overall my health has improved greatly since I’ve made changes both physically and mentally. Realizing that helps me to continue making good decisions for my body and soul.
Hi, for me “to do lists” are Littke monsters. They wake me up at nights and I keep overthinking them, again and again. Meditation and breathing techniques help me, when I ám stressed out or anxious about something.