Thursday, April 11, 2013

What Gives? Warning Signs and Red Flags

I'm approaching that last stop before reaching the top of my "Mt. Everest" - my college degree. Several years ago I went through a certification program to become a certified holistic health coach, but at 47 and weeks away from the end of my junior year, I'm wondering why in the world I ever thought this  college-thing would be a good idea. A year from now, I tell myself, I'm going to appreciate it... Juggling plans for my son's college graduation celebration, preparing for finals and wrapping up several group projects within the next 2 1/2 weeks are making my head spin. Couple that with the dizziness and congestion from the worst bout of seasonal allergies that I've had in years, and I am ripe for something to give.

Gradually, I've let myself get run down. In addition to increasing my workload for my health coaching practice, my four to five hour study sessions and losing touch with my creative outlets should have been warning signs that things were getting out of balance. Cutting my nights short by waking up earlier and earlier to study "one more thing" before class, skipping meals and stressing about what I should have done weeks ago to be better prepared now was what finally got the best of me.

Red flags? There were some that gently waved "caution" to me over the past few weeks: burning eyes, low energy, irritability, and the recent 36-hours I spent in bed with a fever were some. Dissolving into tears while having an after-class discussion with my foreign language professor about sentence structure was the red flag actually coming up and slapping me in the face.

I get it.

Now, I'm treating myself as if I was a client: Breathe, I say. Embrace "average." In a few weeks this will all be over (for this semester... and then there'll be weeks of summer school... but don't think about that now...[I tend to be more sarcastic with myself than I am with my actual clients...]). Bob Wiley's baby-steps (from the film What About Bob?) can be very helpful.

The second step is feeding myself well: two pans of roasting vegetables are in my oven, smoothie ingredients have been prepared and are stored in my refrigerator.

Also important is realizing what I can't do. My husband is working with the caterer for our son's graduation party (which, thankfully, won't even be at our house) and we've got a great event-coordinator handling the rest.

It is amazing how doing some simple things to relieve, feed and nourish my physical body can bleed over into other areas of my being - mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

From this more nourishing perspective everything else looks way more balanced - less pointless yet less life-and-death important, too.

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