I took my walk at 5:00 tonight and it was still light!
I can't believe how different I feel. Walking is so much easier. Not just my daily walk, but my daily walking.... from the car to my office, around the office, through the grocery store. It's all just so much easier. I feel lighter.
During my walk tonight I thought about the myriad of other ways I need to take care of my body. I'm walking because I want to be healthy, but walking alone doesn't create health.
I'm only scratching the surface of my disconnect with my body. I've always known that I hide from my body, but I've tucked that understanding away in a dark closet. Now that I'm shedding a little light in there, I feel my body nagging at me to take this all a step further. "Eat better," she whispers. "Take your supplements," she reminds me. "Call the dentist and take care of that tooth," she prods. Before, I would let these words fly by me like a chilly winter wind. Now, I'm starting to listen.
I realize how ingrained and comfortable habits are. How deeply comfortable, even when the behavior isn't good for me. Sugar is a habit I'm loath to give up; it brings such joy and delight. But I'm paying more attention to the aftermath of sugar and the headache I have an hour later. But in the moment, the comfort is worth the denial. My negative self body talk is another habit and one I am only just noticing. God forbid I ever talk about someone else as rudely as I talk to myself about myself. And really, do I even mean it or am I just in the habit of sending these negative, highly critical messages to myself?
And I realize how good I am at fear. I fear the dentist just about as much as I fear being tortured. The last time I had to get a crown I sat in the dentist's chair and cried. I finally left, without getting the crown, I was so anxiety ridden about the procedure. Going back to get that crown made was one of the bravest things I've done. And I fear the dermatologist because every time I go in I have to get more pre-cancerous cells burned off. I used to be more accepting and tolerant of pain; age has made me more vulnerable to pain.
Perhaps, now that I'm feeling lighter, I can lift the burden of habits and fear and ease my load even further. Perhaps saying "No" to the next cookie and picking up the phone to call the dentist will feel as good as my daily walk.