The sun has finally come out this week- it has been rainy and about 50 degrees all week here in the Greater Boston Area. I am thankful for this afternoon sun as I have Seasonal Affective Disorder and my mental state is greatly affected by the weather conditions. A transformative shift in energy has taken place between this morning and this afternoon simply because of the weather. This is something I am working on overcoming. With each passing winter, my seasonal depression seems to lessen more and more and I become more stable across seasons in general. Of course, it is not something I have complete control over as it is a mental disorder. In any case, I do not want this article to be about my mental health- I’ll save that for a day when I’m feeling bolder. The point here is just that I am impatiently awaiting the arrival of the overdue summer weather.
My intention for this website is an effort to consolidate my many thoughts, ideas, dreams, and experience into logical posts that may be of benefit to other individuals on a wellness or spiritual journey. It is also a way for me to stick my neck out and claim accountability for my life.
“Shubhecha” means “good desire; the initial impulse that starts us on a spiritual search” (Dictionary of Sanskrit spiritual words). I am inspired by my loved ones to practice coaching so that I can help them. I am inspired by the state of the world and my desire to protest the Western scientific paradigm. I am inspired by Maslow and Scovel Shinn to open myself up to the highest power and allow myself to be the best I can be. I am inspired by the daily chats with my Uncle about conspiracy theories and by the state of our feudal political system. I am inspired by the Buddha as I always have been to rid myself of ego and be of service to others. I am inspired by the Sun. I am inspired by the nature around me that demonstrates the true interconnectedness of all things. I am inspired by the commonalities I see between all of these things and my passion for spreading the truth.
This semester, I began playing with ideas for my dissertation. I wrote a lit review on the effect of a daily self-directed loving-kindness meditation on health and wellness goals. Not surprisingly, research shows it may be extremely beneficial. I also began my Integrative Health and Wellness Coaching Certificate which I will be completing in November. Through my first coaching class, I have learned the importance of leading a wellness lifestyle not only for myself but for those around me, especially my clients. Thus I joined a local Buddhist meditation group and have been attempting to practice meditation daily. I have begun the journey toward self-love. Something I never realized was so essential. This self-love is teaching me to finally accept myself and my body for the first time. I have begun to look at both yoga and meditation as an act of love. I recognize the importance of treating my body with respect by feeding it nutritious foods and taking part in some form of daily exercise. Self-love means recognizing when I am full and not binging. It means taking a beach day when needed and learning when to say “no” to others. It also means being compassionate and understanding on days that I do not treat myself with as much love as I should. It means learning how to balance all aspects of life and accept whatever comes my way without comparing myself negatively to others. I should note- self-love is not synonymous with being indiscriminately “kind” to oneself. Self-love does not mean indulging in harmful pleasures such as binging on ice cream or Netflix. Although we may tell ourselves that we are giving ourselves a break, we recognize that in the long run, these are indeed self-destructive behaviors. We are allowing ourselves to be mindless. In the absence of mindfulness, nasty habits can form. The key is awareness. Being aware of the disconnect between what we do and what we know is right. This awareness will eventually transform negative habits and patterns into new positive ones.
Instead, when we get I get a hankering for ice cream, I choose the smallest cup in the cabinet and fill it half way with ice cream. I express my gratitude for the treat and savor each bite mindfully. When I do this, I never have to go back for seconds. If I do feel like I need more, I try to ask myself what it is that I really need. Maybe I am hungry and could use some protein. Maybe I am bored and could go for a walk. Maybe I am overwhelmed and need to do a load of dishes. Maybe I am tired and need sleep. Try asking your body what it really needs. You might be surprised by the answers it gives.
I can proudly say that I feel like I have a much better relationship with food. Considering my life-long disordered eating patterns and battle against my body, I am proud. This is a very hard journey, but the hardest part is beginning. Since I realized what it feels like to treat myself right, I will never forget, and will continually strive to give myself the love I deserve. I’m not perfect, some days it is harder than others- but the important thing is to keep on trying.
On that note, time to go soak up some much-needed sun before the dreary, winter-like weather returns!