A Happy New Year to all. Ah yes, new years, that time of year that everyone starts thinking about resolutions. You know, those resolutions that rarely pan out. I’m going to lose 20 lbs. I’m going to stop eating Fritos.” And on and on. I don’t want to discourage anyone from working on making changes that are needed. Go for it! What I do want to suggest is that it might be helpful for you to put a slightly different spin on New Years Change.
Why not try something in addition to making resolutions? How about working to be accepting of yourself as you are? I know a man who is 5’11” who always wanted to be 6 feet tall. It bugged him. It niggled at him. He had this small part of himself that he could hear saying, “you are not 6 feet, you are short.” There was nothing this man could do to increase his height. He could wear extended heels but that wouldn’t really help this inner chatter. Then one day he said to himself, “I am what I am. Hell, I am an inch taller than the average male height. I am fine the way I am.” No one really noticed his shift in thinking except the man who became a tidbit more satisfied with his life and less distracted by his inner warden.
Can you think of something about yourself that you were born with that has bugged you like our man and his height? Can you let it go? Can you just smile at it and say, “Yup, that is me and I am fine with that?” Give it a shot and have a Happy New Year!
Yes, Christmas Island was discovered in 1722…on Christmas Eve. We tend to remember things that happen on or around Christmas. Not only Christians do this. I remember my Jewish friends in school looking forward to Christmas vacation for different reasons than their Christian friends. But it was anticipated all the same.
Christmas is likely the one day of the year when the majority of folks, at least in the U.S., raise their awareness a bit. We look forward to Christmas and then when it comes we savor the moments of the day. This locks in both good and bad memories. When our awareness is heightened we are more likely to remember things whether they are good or bad.
This leaves many people with an abundance of great memories. But it also can leave some with an abundance of very difficult Christmas memories. Those who faced abuse as children, the death of a family member, or serious illnesses may have some pretty tough memories of Christmas Day, memories that are locked in. This can create a scenario where the day becomes dreaded rather than adored. This is compounded by the depressing sense of seeing everyone around you celebrating and making merry while you struggle with the old memories. Ugh.
If you are one of those folks who have some tough memories around Christmas here are a couple of ideas for you. 1. Let others know at least a little of your struggles. Sometimes a compassionate ear can quiet things down a bit. 2. Set aside a certain amount of time to remember those old crappy memories in their fullest, let them in and all of the associated memories. Then, 3. Cut them off, tell them that their time is up and you get to spend some time enjoying Christmas. 4. Do something different. Whatever you usually don’t do on Christmas, do it this time. Maybe go out to eat, maybe Chinese! Maybe a movie. Either of those will help you focus on the day and your enjoyment and may give you a bit of a break from the old memories. 5. Exercise! There are very few things that can blot out old crappy thoughts like a good workout. Plus, it makes you physically feel better and shoots off your endorphins.
Feel good! Merry Christmas!
This is a #74 of my weeklty Golden Healing newsletter. It generally focuses on some aspect of healing or ways to feel good. If you want to subscribe, go to the right sidebar signup and enter your first name and email.
Have you ever said to yourself “I can feel it in my gut”? If so, you are ahead of your time. Scientists are now finding that there is an important pathway between the stomach and the brain and it has to do with our stomach bacteria. Even more importantly, they now know that this connection is related to our stress, our anxiety, and our depression.
It seems that our gut bio material doesn’t start to grow until shortly after we are born. Scientists have done experiments on mice at this stage and have introduced stressors to the young mice, mostly separating them from mom for periods of time. This stress was shown to alter the bio material in their gut! There seems to be a relationship between stress, anxiety and depression and our stomach flora. Sure enough, the mice who experienced this stress had their stomach bio matter altered due to the stress and this alteration stayed with them throughout life. Bummer. Then the interesting part. Scientists took a group of these stressed mice and gave them probiotics during the periods of separation from mom and guess what? These mice did not have the alterations in their stomach bio stuff and their bacteria. The probiotics seemed to avert the negative impact of the stress. Wow.
We know that probiotics can help us and that this help may well impact our stress, anxiety, and depression. Much more research needs to be done but in the meantime it seems clear that if we want to feel good we might be wise to be sure our stomachs have the probiotics to make that happen.
There are many sources of probiotics. Some are expensive pills, but other good sources are simply related to the food we eat. Two possibilities include yogurt and sauerkraut. Be careful though since some forms of yogurt and sauerkraut carry considerably less of the good probiotics depending on a number of things including processing, pasteurization and storage.
One way to be sure that your food has ample probiotics is to make it yourself. Sauerkraut is very, very, simple to make and can be done in small quantities that avoid having to throw out an oversupply. Here’s a link to exactly how to make a small amount of sauerkraut at home. Give it a shot!
Have fun and Feel good!