More than half way through!

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Hi friends!

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Well, here we are, 19 days into Mindfulness Month. I have been struggling a bit with what exactly I wanted to share of my adventure so far, and to be honest I am still not quite sure. This has been a bit more emotionally challenging for me than I anticipated. I’ve realized that despite the positive intentions, February is a really difficult time for me, in Portland, to take away vices and comforts. It’s been an incredible learning experience and opportunity to examine myself on a level that has only become apparent to me when all of the crutches (sugar, coffee, busyness, alcohol, epic multi-tasking, mindless computer/tablet/netflix time etc) are let go.

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Kelly and I have managed to start our mornings every day (except one) with a half lemon squeezed into a pint-glass of water each. I feel really good with this practice! It helps me feel rehydrated after a nights sleep, kicks up the liver’s ability to filter out toxins and gets digestion moving. We have also effectively cut out coffee. I went cold turkey on coffee but have been having a mug of black tea or Yerba Mate in the morning to keep myself motivated and moving despite the grey skies. This has been working pretty well for me and I haven’t been jittery or had any coffee withdrawal headaches, so I’m pretty impressed with my body for that. I have to admit though, I have actually been missing coffee so much that I have been having dreams about sipping the perfect cup! I really didn’t realize how attached I was to that one morning cup, but now that I do, I am even happier with my decision to give my body and brain a break.

The other thing that has felt really successful is making cleaner and more conscious food choices. We’ve been carving out the time every weekend to meal-plan, shop and cook for the week ahead. We both get home fairly late in the evening, so having a fresh, wholesome meal all prepared that can just get tossed in the oven makes a world of difference. I’ve found that I have more time to decompress after work, to connect with my partner about our days and to just enjoy my down-time before it’s time to think about sleep. We’ve been eating a little earlier too because of the lack of last-minute food prep that has to be done. This helps me stay out of the low blood-sugar Red Zone. Too often, I used to find myself coasting into the house on fumes and feeling really terrible at the mercy of a blood sugar crash. That, thankfully, has been entirely avoided with this routine. I think the lack of coffee in my system has also helped me to avoid the dreaded crash too. weekly-meal-planning-700_0

Stretching and exercise have been a little hit or miss, but I am making an effort and each day do my best to squeeze in what I can. I can definitely do better here, but I feel good about the gradual changes that are being made and this is where the compassion for self and awareness come in. I am simply observing myself struggle to incorporate this into my day without judgement and each day I am trying new ways to make it an easier fit. I’ll figure it out eventually.

It’s funny, I intended to update much more frequently on the blog, but I suppose that is where the limitation (and power) of mindfulness lies- in an awareness of having done too much and in the decision to let some things fall to tomorrow. Ordinarily I would power through whatever I have to do by squeezing it in at the end of the night and sacrificing time or quality of sleep, but in the spirit of mindfulness and mental health, that is something I have chosen not to do this time. I think this lack of “productivity” could also be a result of the lack of coffee and excessive grey skies, which is also

a good thing to recognize. I think that it is important to take a break from our daily habits sometimes to find out where our bodies are at in their natural state. I’ve learned that I am more fatigued and Kidney/adrenal deficient than I realized, and that I have been masking this state with my morning jump-start of coffee. In a future post I’ll go into Kidney/adrenal deficiency from a Chinese Medicine perspective because it is something that I know we have all experienced to a certain extent in this “go go go” culture. Sometimes it takes a little mindfulness to really give us the opportunity to get to the root of our health challenges, and I am grateful for what I am learning as I move through February.

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We’ve got 10 days to keep up the healthful habits and to hold our attention on the parts of life that need it. As the days get longer, the breeze gets warmer and we start to really feel spring’s influence, let’s remember what we set out to do for ourselves this month and bring that intention with us into the coming season!

What have you learned about your mind and/or body this month? What challenges have you encountered, what are your successes?

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Rain and Shine Holistic Healthcare is located in Southwest Portland, in the beautiful Lair Hill neighborhood. We are just south of downtown and right off of I-5 in a quiet area with plenty off-street parking. We share our building with our upstairs neighbors at Gudmestad Yoga and Physical Therapy.

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Portland OR 97239

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