Last Week I started a 30 Day Challenge inspired by this video clip. I decided to journey my 30 Days in meditation. So, it’s Day 7 of the 30 Day Challenge and so far I have to admit it has been just that, a challenge. So here is where I admit how I have been spending my last 7 days in meditation. It goes something like this:
Day 1 and 2 I did the meditations lying down, which honestly was a bad idea for the meditation, but a great idea for my sleep deprivation because it resulted in two of the most marvelous naps I have had in a long time. So I ponder as to whether or not I failed my first 2 days, but I deserve and ‘A’ for effort therefore I am just going with it. Day 3-6 I spent my meditation in my studio space after class sitting upright, cross legged, forefinger to thumb, tall & lengthened spine, with my eyes shut for 5 minutes. Yesterday I really got down with myself and threw an “Om, Shanti, Shanti” in there. And yes it felt amazing, silly at first, but amazing. I think any practice of discipline humbles us. It reminds us that we are not the only existence and that we must remember we cultivate our knowledge through our learning experiences- in other words, we don’t just know everything; the things we know only exist because we have experienced them.
The discipline is where I am getting tripped up. Of course I can make every excuse as to why I shouldn’t or can’t do it. Excuses could go on for days, not enough time, it’s too hard, my lower back twinges with slight pain from the seated position, too many thoughts dance around in my head and so on and so forth. Of course, this self talk has been going on for the past 6 days, everyday. It reminds me of studying for an exam when I was in school- if I don’t study I am sure to fail. Now supposedly, there is a reward in all this. Just like the trade off for studying, Easy ‘A’.
I’ve been stumbling on thoughts during my meditation. Thoughts of so many things, to do lists, financial worries, my book, how I will build my business, things I want, future thoughts, and before I know it I’m already dreaming of when I’m 50 and which career I will dabble at a distinguished age. The monkey mind attacks. So, I do just what I tell everyone else during the end of each barre class at Mind Body Barre, I acknowledge each thought and then try to let it go.
The next part is my breathing, which I feel like I am getting a handle on. When I teach in class I emphasize breath so much that my clients probably hear me telling them to breathe in my sleep, as well as a few other catch phrases like, “Shaking and Trembling is GOOD” or “Really Stretch!” or “Get Lower!” …. (sorry!)
What I am finding is that I am learning a lot about myself, and what I believe is probably true for most people. The problem with starting something (or eliminating it from your life) is not finding the time, the motivation or even the desire/need to do it. It’s discipline. Discipline brings about a change, a shift, a mechanism we can innately tap into and pull from when we need to survive. I know this is true of any circumstance. You can apply it anywhere in your life, finances, relationships, eating habits, sleeping habits or even your greatest dreams and desires, it’s the discipline that allows us to create what we see for ourselves.
When we decide what it is we want, we must create it. I think we often want things to change overnight- we want to get out of debt fast, or find the man of our dreams and marry him tomorrow. And before I was Miss Independent, I was Miss Impatient. I am learning that everything is a process, everything starts with a seed and everything grows from nurturing that seed, loving it, watering it and giving it the warmth and energy to grow.
Onward with my meditations….
I recently read the most interesting article in MORE Magazine about nutrition and how each of our bodies are different. According to Lyn Genet (America's Next Top Nutrition Guru) Foods that are coined "healthy" such as oatmeal, or salmon might be okay for one person, while another person's body might have a high reactivity rate (which could be a root cause to weight gain & chronic health issues)
Naturally I did what any former zany psychology research student would do- I decided I had to get to the bottom of this! Using my creepin’ skills, I quickly found Director of Nutrition at Neighborhood Holistic in Central Harlem, Lyn Genet and contacted her via email.
(definition of creepin’: a word used to describe when you decide to find more information on a person and use your social networking skills, googlemania, and pure internet research ability to obtain their contact information, pictures and background)
While I’m no expert in nutrition (clearly an expert in creepin’ however…) I have always believed that body chemistry varies from person to person, some have higher metabolisms, and others have a higher body fat percentage, and so on and so forth. Lyn Genet has developed something called The Plan. The Plan was developed to show which foods in our diets are reactive within the body. These reactive foods cause inflammation.
Here’s the skinny on inflammation:
“Chronic inflammation exacerbates and hastens the aging process because it floods tissues with free radicals and promotes the destruction of normal cells. Chronic low grade inflammation contributes to the aging process, and research shows that is a major contributor to the aging of the cardiovascular and nervous system. Inflammation is now recognized as one of the key risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and stroke and cognitive and neurological disorders.” (Neighborhoodholistic.com)
Not only does Lyn Genet provide her expertise in holistic nutrition, she also offers these services to everyone. Yes, everyone. Admirably, she works with clients on a sliding scale so that everyone may be able to take advantage of the holistic services offered in her practice. Even more cool than her savvy knowledge and ability to help our bodies become more vital, healthy and maintain optimal weight is her willingness to help. Lyn responded to my email within a day, very humbly and eager to answer my questions. She even provided me with two documents to understand her “Plan” better.
My eager interest in learning about the body never ceases to exist, instead it grows more rapidly. From the food chain, sleeping patterns, seasons changing, meiosis & mitosis, a woman’s menstrual cycle to menopause, there are cycles all around us. Our bodies are constantly changing and adapting to new environments. By learning as much as we can about our own bodies we begin to learn more about ourselves from the inside out, mind, body & spirit.
If you are interested in reading the documents Lyn sent me, you can email me here and I will gladly pass along. Or for more information on enlightening your approach to nutrition and Lyn Genet’s Plan you can find her at the sites listed below.
Neighborhood Holistic ~ www.neighborhoodholistic.org
lyngenet's blog ~ lyn-genet.blogspot.com
lyngenet on twitter ~ twitter.com/lyngenet
Lynn Genet (Below) Director of Nutrition at Neighborhood Holisitc
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