Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Minimizing the Conflicts in My Life Minimizes My Pain

Physically staying active is important.  Eating right is important.  Sleeping well is super important.  Speaking of sleeping well, when there is a lot on our minds, we all know sleep is not easily achievable.  Constant stress from underlying concerns, issues, inner-conflicts, external conflicts, etc… also contribute to pain, as stress lowers our serotonin levels, exposing us to higher levels of pain perception (as substance-P takes over weakened serotonin levels in our brains).
Why am I talking about this?  Well, I want to focus on a different aspect of well-being in this post, a small diversion from my usual focus of the physical, only because I do believe our sub consciousness plays a huge role in our physical conditions.  When things aren’t right, there is always an explanation beyond “oh it’s because I have fibro,” which I think is lame, not because I think fibro is lame, but because I believe that every flare-up has a logical explanation.  And that logical explanation leads to prevention or elimination of pain when it re-occurs.
My health has generally been amazing since I started exercising years ago, as I have been saying all along.  However, I have noticed that I have been feeling "less better" quite often starting…hmm, let’s say almost 9 months ago?  I was definitely waking up feeling more tired, less rested, and with more pain in my neck and shoulders than usual.  While it took me a while to identify where it was really coming from, in hindsight it definitely became as clear as day. 
Let’s start backwards.  March 10 was my last day at my last job.  Let’s just say that I defined that as my last day at any kind of a large, structured corporation, where politics rule over productivity and professional growth.  To date, I have spent my career working at very reputable Fortune 100 companies – I am fortunate to have had the experience, but now I am ready for a change.  See, I think that mindset has been brewing inside me for a while, but it took some terrible and very unfair experiences at the workplace for me to finally see that I was no longer to stay there.  Long story short, starting September/October of last year, things got pretty bad at work and although I worked hard, ate fairly healthy and exercised hard as usual, I was just feeling worn down, felt more pain than usual on a daily basis...also my immune system weakened drastically, suffering from a bad flu and several cold symptoms repeatedly, which was something I didn’t have to deal with for years.  My last two months at work were really tough, just feeling like I was being dragged into the office mindlessly, as I was so conflicted within about who I believed I was versus who I was living as.  I knew I no longer belonged, but I kept going because I gave them a commitment – but my heart and mind were already moving on to the vision and hope for the next move, my next career…  man, every day was just a challenge. 
I have to say, the first week after March 10 was one of my best-feeling weeks in recent months.  Then and only then did I realize, oh wow, not having that gut wrenching feeling anymore, not feeling conflicted anymore, despite the risk of just resigning without my next career position lined up, freed me from a lot of the pain I was feeling.  I woke up and I didn’t feel like I was run over by a truck.  I woke up and I could immediately get up.  I woke up ready to start the day.  I was happy.  That weight in my mind, heart and soul were gone – and physically I was better.
Being true to myself and taking the risk was the best decision I have made in a while.  It really helped me realize how important it is for me to let go of any complications in life that are possible for me to get rid of.  Let go and set myself free – that was what I needed to do.  I am focused on building my future now, not focused on getting through the day at a place where I felt completely minimized and overused.  I am looking forward to the future that I am working towards, and that gives me hope, and that hope gives me energy, turning on those serotonins in my brain and charging up my spirit.  I am devoting myself to the future, and not the past.  I am finally one with myself – then my body got better. 
Is there anything that you are holding on to, afraid of letting go because of the risks involved, or just making small decisions that you don’t feel comfortable with but making them anyway because of external pressure?  Do your concerns keep you up at night, make you frown, and weigh you down, both mentally and physically?  Do you feel conflicted between what you want and what you think others want?  Let it all go – do what you feel is right in your heart, and even if there are risks involved, just go with it with hope.  If you are aware of the risks, all you have to do is just be prepared for it and face them as you go.  At least that is what I’m telling myself.  I’m feeling better and just more hopeful.  I am charged, and I am able to renew my determination every day.  And that makes me healthier – which gives me more energy to keep pushing along, to find my next awesome adventure in my career, train for my races and prep for my future with joy. 
There are a lot of external sources of stress.  We can’t control what happens around us, but we can control whatever stress and conflicts that reside within – let’s start from there and eliminate or minimize yet another factor that could cause some of the flare-ups that we hate so much!

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