Friday, October 5, 2012

Health... the nature walk

Let's go ahead and hash this one out... HEALTH.  It was Firday morning, and we started the morning with a study on HEALTH. It is one of the Daily Dozen that John Maxwell discusses in his book of things that can make an immdiate impact on your life. 
As I read John's books, I am constantly struck by how alike I feel we are.  I am sure there has been a similar feeling you've had, like, "I am just sure we'd be good friends.  If only I could meet her."  Well, that's how I feel about John.  He admits right off the bat that he was never all that concerned about his health.  Every time he went to the doctor, he was healthy as a horse.  "I never get sick", he used to brag, "And I've always had lots of energy."  Sounds like someone else I know! He could maintain a very high pace lifestyle, and never took the time to exercise nor really pay attention to his diet.  Yep.  That's me!
And then it happened, he had a heart attack.  At the age of 51.  And that was his turning point.  He decided to make a daily conscious decision to eat right and exercise 7 days a week at least 35 minutes a day.  When asked, "Have you lost your craving for desserts?"  He replied, "NO.  But my craving for life is greater."  That's powerful stuff!!  

And so, for HEALTH, we took a little walk.  A little walk all around the BAH!
I encouraged everyone to spread out and go in search of foilage that would lay flat and that we could spray paint on a canvas. 
Let me tell you anothe big part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.... reducing stress.  Maintain a pace that is right for you.  If ou take life more slowly than your energy level is capable of, you can become lazy.  (That'd be me... I LIKE TO GO, GO, GO)If you continually run at a pace faster than you are capable of, you can burn out.  Sometimes, I have to watch how much I push my employees, because I expect everyone to have the same energy level as I.  But, that's simply not the case.  We are all different, and it takes different speeds and activity levels to make our engines run. 
I am not so sure why we have these multitudes of photos of around my house, but I was given these pics by Riley, so I'm just sharing them with you!
This is my new porch that I am just starting to "fix up".  It is very relaxing.  I am dragging things from all over my property (the cottage, the attic, junk in closets, etc.) to get it looking and feeling homey.  However, it still needs its screen.  That will be the cherry on top!
Regarding eating right,  John said he decided to "Just try to eat what's best for you in the moment." Well, that's one way to think about changing diet for positive changes, vs. a "diet" per se.  And could actually be quite doable.  Just make the decision IN that MOMENT!!
As for exercise, obviously, it is about consistency.  You won't necessarily see a result each time you exercise.  But, with consistency, the scales will show the change. (i've not personally made this commitment yet, but hey, 11/12 ain't bad!)  And there were a couple in our group who DID make this decision... one last year and one several years ago.  It totally changed their lives, and it was good to have a testimonial in the group!
I actually had an epiphany during this study.  I realized that, as I have known for a long time, I am a stress eater.  But that sounds so much like an excuse.  Being a therapist, and working with parents and teachers to realize the coping/ calming strategies used by the kids to get their engines in the right zone for learning and attending. 
I have realized that when I need to lower my engine (i.e. when I am nervous, anxious, stressed), I put something in my mouth.  And it is typically something that requires "deep work" with my mouth muscles.  Our mouth muscles can do easy work or hard work.  If I am crunching chips, I consider that easy.  And that would actually rev my engine up.  That, or eating ice.  But, to lower my engine, I'd drink a milkshake, eat something with caramels or peanut butter, or chocolate.  And that is precisely what I do.  Thus... stress eater. 
That might have seemed totally random, but to me, it makes perfect sense.  You know we use the practice of sensory integration all the time at MMPT.

Jennifer was studying the plants to get the perfect ones for her canvas.
And then we all trekked it back up to the house for some painting in the art room.
Tonya looking for her plants! And I forgot to mention this too....
One of the ways you can tell you're working in an area of strength (and thus low stress), is that it actually gives you energy.  If you are doing work that you don't think is important, or that you feel adds no value to yourself or to others, can quickly cause stress.   It  is vital to have meaning in your work, and to feel it is an area of strength.
Mistakes that challenge you show your areas of strength. Mistakes that threaten you show your areas of weakness.
When Riley send me her photos, this was on her flash drive. That girl got up every morning before the group got up and went running. On Saturday, she did a circuit workout. Way to go, Riley. Way to be an example!!
This was her canvas for this project.  It was made by a single papyrus plant.  Also sometimes called papyrus plant.
This is the view of the farm across the pond from our house. 
And this is, of course, the awesome cottage that I totally adore.  Look at Todd's pitiful garden to the left there.  He says next time it will be 4 times as big.  We'll see in time!

So once we had our plants chosen, and we had our canvas backgrounds painted.
We took the plants and laid them on the canvses and used actual spraypaint to paint over the stencil of the plants.
Cool, huh?  It was a pinterest project that I've been dying to try!  And because we got up and took a walk, we could focus on HEALTH as we'd just studied.

Here Emery is giving a little instruction as well.  She went through all the projects at my office prior to having the participants try them.
I had to try this one myself.  I found some creeping fig that I am trying to get growing up the side of my garage on the brick. 
Here, Lisa also chose papyrus plant!
There were all kinds of plant projects, but I failed to get some close ups.  Sorry!
Next up is "FAMILY".  Are you reading?  hello?  Helloooo??  I would love to hear from a few of you.  More than the 3 or so who have been commenting.  Although I am VERY happy those 3 are commenting!  But, I am going back through my book and power points to take quotes and hit the highlights of the study, so show me some love, peeps!!  Comment and tell me what you think.  Or give me an example.  Or which art project you particularly like.  Or which work resonates with you.  We'll start on number 4 tomorrow.  There are 12 total.  You ready?!



Cassie12 said...

Mo. Looks like a great retreat as I knew it would be. Probably too much thinking for my poor old brain!!! Riley looks great!!! Keep these posts coming. I read every day. Just don't always post. Posting this from a lounge in Frankfurt Germany waiting for a flight to Bucharest Romania.
Redwood City CA

Zhohn said...

I've been reading every post, just not commenting. Sorry. :(
Looks like the weekend was awesome.

Riley said...

I really like your recap of health. As for the random house pictures, those are Karie's. I think she was getting inspiration for her new house. I also wish I would have taken more up close pictures of everyone's canvases.

Phyllis Lines said...

I too read every day but don't always comment. I'm enjoying the recap of your retreat. Like you, I'm a stress eater - any kind of ice cream is my go-to stress buster. Trying to change that but it's hard.

Mbeaty19 said...

Every day I get up I have been rushing to the computer to see what you've posted. I am loving hearing what word you focused on and how you incorporated it into your project. I think I've reread everyone of your retreat posts a couple of times. Going to Indiana this weekend to visit with my fil and his wife. Thinking I'm going to take this opportunity to let my creative juices flow. (Sometimes I'm not able to do that at home because I become so wrapped up in the other 'things' that I could be doing. Thank you for sharing all this with us and giving me the chance to share in this retreat despite not being able to be at it. I find each day I feel so motivated and looking at my life from so many new directions that I am discovering new understanding of myself (and my husband) By the way we also picked our four words: My husband's words are Integrity, Loyalty, Marriage, and Structure. Mine are Creativity, humor, Devotion, and Family. Keep the post coming because we are reading!!!

Amy K said...

I love the health logic. A few years ago I started focusing on eating healthier and intentional exercise. Balance is where I struggle - healthy focus without going overboard. Again, thanks for sharing.

Susantwilhelm said...

One day, I will do this with you! And cook!

Shannon said...

Totally ready! Loving this - thinking I may purchase this book.
Really really would LOVE to come to a retreat. But that would be stepping out of my box. Eek!
Maybe someday...

Beverly said...

I'd love to try that painting with plants as stencils. Looks like fun and anything creative that I can complete is energizing. I just don't complete as many as I should. I just wish you lived closer and I could come to the retreat!

SamC said...

Fellow stress eater here. I got my lap band June 2010 and have lost about 95 pounds but have been stuck for months now.

I am going to make it to a retreat one day. I read your blog daily, but don't comment very often. I will try to do better. Maybe when I feel the need to eat, I can come here and comment. :o)

Lisa said...

I love reading every blog entry, but especially the retreat ones, and like others hardly ever comment. Your entries are like a gift every morning. Wish i was lucky enough to attend. Hope to some time in the future esp since my daughter wants to attend too and is in college in Arkansas and just a drive away (though i'm up here in NJ but would happily come down).

melanie, aka Mo said...

Lisa, ironically, I've been thinking my next retreat will be a mother-daughter one. Tell me dates good for you and your daughter. Commit!! And then I will!

Thanks for your comments. Whats fun for me about blogging is connection. If you don't comment, I miss the "buzz" of connection!!


Karen said...

Mo, first I just love reading your blog. My dream one day is to attend one of your retreats. Your house is beautiful!

Sending Love and Hugs, Karen

Lori Curran said...

I read every day and I am SO THANKFUL for your positive and uplifting take on life. We ALL have the stuff that weighs us down - what I appreciate most about your blog is that you don't candy coat life, but instead just choose to focus on the things that bring joy and happiness. If left to my own devices, I can quickly zero in on all the yuck - I need a little help lifting my head up and you ALWAYS provide that! Even when things go awry in your world, you still have a spirit of joy and it shines through. I want to be like that!!! LOVING the posts on your retreat - I look forward to hearing more!

KK said...

I love this. You are very inspiring!

Sandy P said...

okay Mo, if you are doing mother/daughter retreat, I want to be there. We need a good bit of notice on the date to get there. You are a long way from Atlanta!

Lisa said...

Hi Mo,
i was so excited to see your response. Sami, my 19 yr old daughter, is flying to a conference in Chicago right now but she said when she gets back Sunday night she will look at her schedule and call me. She was so excited when i just called her to tell her, she was probably making a scene in Little Rock airport :). One important question - Would you do a shorter retreat? Just checked and she is 4 hours from you (you're in Monroe right? She's in Conway) so in general on any weekend we couldn't arrive til 8pm ish on a Friday and would need to drive back Sunday afternoon. Is that possible or too short?? One early thought (not a committal) was the weekend before Thanksgiving but we know that might be a busy time for you. Plus she hasn't even checked her sched yet. I'll actually be in Arkansas that entire week through the following weekend. Or, mid-January and beyond would be next time we personally could consider - i'll have to see what weekend in January she flies back to school after break. But we definitely want to come to a retreat!!! I'll write more on Monday. Have a great weekend - i'll be reading and yes, i will comment more!!! I was a math major so writing (and artsy stuff)is not my thing, but I know no excuses so i'll try harder. And when i read your posts, I want to be artsy (which Sami says is a breakthrough, as she loves artsy stuff tho she is theatre/music and writing artsy but wants to make jewelry, paint, .. do everything you do.)
Thanks so much, Lisa

Kathryn said...

I love this. I am recovering from a HEART ATTACK! I can NOT believe this, nor can anyone else. But, changes are in order, and so changes there will be.

Finally got an okay from my cardiologist to start cardio rehab next week! I am so excited to begin this new journey. As you know, I am not one to sit, and the past month of doing just that has been challenging. Could not even sew! Not one stitch, and me with my lovely new machine and a serger that is actually behaving itself waiting for me.

So, I have been reading your blog, and loving you as always. I have been having trouble justifying this heart attack. Big case of the "why me's" going on. You know I have a quiet time every morning before the house is up. For too long after this happened, I was very angry and my quiet times were not! Couldn't have a heart attack right now, too busy. Directing a musical, relandscaping our front and side yard, finishing up decorating our new deck, taking care of my mother, being there for husband family and friends, traveling, cooking, preserving for winter, sewing, crafting, you name it. Whammo. Reset. New life. So, here I am. I am reading, but not posting a lot these days. Well, except for this! Love you and miss you. And, so very, very proud of you!