Come On Get Healthy

vegetables

I have found that, for me, getting happy started with a healthier body. It’s almost impossible to have a positive state of mind if your body is distracting you from your happiness goals. An unhealthy body that feels achey, sluggish, and doesn’t sleep well is probably not leading you on a journey to a happier place. When you feel healthy, rested and well nourished you are then more free to focus on your state of mind. An important thing to consider is that healthy looks different for every body, so keeping in mind that you only need to be the expert on making yourself happy is essential.

A great place to begin your journey to happiness is in the kitchen. Chances are, if you’re feeling less than happy, there are easy, manageable steps you can take right now in your own home. To make positive change, you have to make changes. The goal should be reinventing your relationship with food. Begin by taking inventory. Every few months I like to pull everything out of my pantry and reassess. Creating healthy habits and maintaining them does not happen with one trip to the grocery store. It can be an ongoing process of learning and adapting.

After you pull out all of your food, it’s time to take a good look at what you have on hand and consider your patterns. Anything that is expired has got to go, that’s easy. Anything that is processed and/or eaten in moments of emotional distress has also got to go. Food is fuel. Using food for comfort is not a step toward getting healthier. This process is about positive change. Replacing your comfort food with exercise, stretching, breathing, meditation, yoga, or a hot bath will serve you better. Consider what will work for you and give it a try.

Now clean out your fridge and freezer using the same process. When you are done with your purge, gather some healthy recipe and snack ideas and make a list of what you need. Grab your cloth grocery bags and head out with your list. Try and stick to what you need and not fall victim to impulse buying. Planning out your menu will serve you well, it saves time and let’s you be prepared in those moments when you want to slip back into old habits.

You have three considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Addressing three meals per day, everyday.
  2. Plan for your need to snack
  3. Consider your nutrient and mineral deficiencies

If your intention is to get healthy and happy, you need to begin to live from a place of intention and not a place of habit. Addressing your eating habits and being open to making positive, lasting change can very well be your first step on a path toward enjoying more happiness. It certainly was for me.

Gratitude to MaxStraeten for the lovely photo above from morgue file.com

Connecting with Butterflies

Minolta DSC

Interpreting animal symbolism is a powerful way to connect with nature, and learn lessons from her creatures. Cultural lore honors the butterfly as a symbol of transformation because of its impressive process of metamorphosis. Imagine your whole life changing to such an extreme you are unrecognizable at the end of the transformation. Herein lies the deepest symbolic lesson of the butterfly as well as the benefits of yoga.

Learning and living yoga means surrendering to both your body’s potential and limitations at the same time. The butterfly asks us to accept the changes in our lives as casually as she does, and in the right time. A butterfly represents a need for change and greater freedom, and at the same time it represents the courage to carry out the changes necessary in the process of growth. The butterfly is a symbol of new life, letting go of old cycles and finding your true inner expression, much like yoga.

The journey from chrysalis to butterfly is a meaningful passage. The ultimate goal of doing yoga is to have a relaxed mind. With a relaxed mind we can begin to enjoy a relaxed body and a heathy balanced life. Often yoga practitioners use inspiration from our friends in nature to share the benefits of yoga with children and their families, but the idea works just as well for adults feeling ready for transformation. We can adapt the symbolism of a butterfly, and other creatures of nature, to understand these changes within ourselves. There is much to be learned when we slow down and look to nature for inspiration. To begin this metamorphosis through yoga as a child is a gift, to begin the journey as an adult is a gift you give yourself.

myhappypromise

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