Monday, September 21, 2009

Lessons from Incense

If you're looking for a way to bring yourself into the moment and stop fretting about the future, burn incense. If incense is too strong for your senses, causes headaches, or makes you sneeze, I suggest getting an aromatherapy "stick" and rolling the liquid essence onto the back of your hand where you can easily lift it to your nose when you are feeling the need to center yourself.

Often, when life seems to have me running to try and keep up with it, or when I'm feeling the need to clear my head, I burn a stick or two of lavender or jasmine incense. The strong scent which fills the room seems to grab me by the shoulders, look me in the eyes and say, "Come back to the here and now. This is the most important moment of you life."

Yesterday, as I was feeling overwhelmed with work and a bit down in the dumps about being almost 27 years old and just now beginning school in a field that I *think* is a good fit for me, despite having already graduated from University, I burned a stick of lavender incense. As the the visible stream of scent filled my nose, I was immediately brought to the present moment and tears came to my eyes. The anxiety that I had been feeling was finally freed and the tears were a mixture of it exiting my system, as well as a sigh of relief at the thought that I do not need to have my life figured out in this very moment. There is no existing timeline with benchmarks against which I must measure myself. Everything is happening at the perfect time, and the only thing I have to do is enjoy the present moment and whatever it may bring. That is my only job and as I realized this, life seems to become tremendously easier. Life is not meant to be a struggle and, funny as it may be, incense has helped me remember this truth.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Life's Ups and Downs... and then Ups again.

Phew! It's been a while, but I'm back on the healthy train! Last night I made gluten free, low sugar brownies to commence (once again) this healthy journey of mine. Wow! During this last week and a half, I was handed many temptations, and I partook (weird word, huh?) in many unhealthy treats which left me with all the more strength and reinforcement in my previous decision to eliminate junk (gluten, excess sugar, unaccounted-for anxiety, etc.) from my life.

While Labor Day weekend was full of happiness, as it was my friend's wedding and it was also the first weekend of cooler, more beautiful weather, it was also memorable in that I was reminded of why I try to treat myself with respect in terms of what I put in my body.

To put it lightly, I ate gluten and sugar. And to emphasize how much of it I ate, I'll tell you I ate A LOT! But this is not a post to focus on my regrets, but rather to focus on what I learned from the experience. I learned how valuable my health and happiness is, I learned how much I want to feed myself whole, natural, and fulfilling foods, and I learned that every day is a new day.

That weekend was also my first official Weight Watchers weigh-in. I have been trying to follow the program for the past few months with the support of my dear friend and roommate, but I now have so much more faith in myself now that I have actually joined WW and have access to meetings and support from many others who are on the same weight loss journey.

I am feeling inspired--again. I fell off the wagon since my last post (although I still managed to lose 1.6 lbs. during my first week of Weight Watchers!!), but I am back. I am studying healthy eating, about to start a 5 Day Vegan Diet which I found on Meghan's website (in order to cleanse my system of all of the toxins I feel bogged down with) and I am preparing to run a half marathon in January. I have a lot to look forward to and I am motivated to put the most into my life so I can reap the most rewards from my life.