Updated: Jan 21
I reckon I have what is medically termed as ADD and I'm not just saying that to get your attention either. I'm deadly serious. Other studies suggest it might be a condition which leads people to have more original ideas. I'm not too hung up on labels. The reality is I live with a challenge I need to find a way to manage differently.
I find it incredibly difficult to focus. I have struggled with it for years... & years... & years, way back to early school days. Most of my school report cards read 'difficulty concentrating'. I never did get the support I probably needed with that, but thankfully at 45 yrs of age I am taking control. And, I suspect I'll spend the rest of my days trying to find peace with it.
I'm a creative. I believe anything's possible. I have loads of ideas. I start loads of things. I have difficulty remembering where I've put things. I have multiples of things, assuring myself one here and one there will be more practical, but then I misplace one 🤔. I focus alot on teeny tiny details, like posting this blog post and adding to it about 10x since posting. Theres ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS a bit of this and a bit of that I need to do. I create lists, and lists and more lists. I have about 3 calendars in the go at once to separate home life, from Bodylushious, from study. I have a growing to-do list. I don't seem to find the time to stay in touch with my family as much as I thought I would. I have collected gazillions of 'phenomenal' friends across the globe whom I feel guilty for not being in better contact with. I stopped writing letters to my niece and nephew years ago despite assuring them I would write weekly (partly because my 8 week holiday here has turned into 7 years). I juggle multiple projects. My busy mind and big ideas result in 'analysis paralysis', e.g. I think about all the possible options of how to spend a child free evening and get to the end of it wondering what on earth I filled my time with. I struggle with finishing the things I start. I do & I do & I do.
On top of that I fill myself up with negative chat about how shxt I am for not being on top of stuff. I compare myself to others for not being more this or that. I can and do feel overwhelmed & live life like I'm running from a massive snow ball which is growing in size and speed on the fast track to crushing me.
1. What are the effects of living like a snow ball is going to mow me down?
Its called Cortisol. The stress hormone released from the brain when it detects danger. The hormone that enables us to power through a situation that is unsafe or dangerous....imagine your baby about to touch a hot oven, you see, your brain fires off cortisol, you act so fast you feel super human and then you realise you need to do something to calm down. That's the fight or flight response that sees you being able to deal with dangerous situation. Way back when humans ran from a hungry animal in the wild, cortisol's role was literally to save our lives.
Sadly as a societal norm nowadays, that is the state a lot of us live from. It ain't good. I'm confident that excessive cortisol exertion leads to adrenal fatigue and so on and so on, it just makes sense. There will be differing opinions on this, and I'm no Dr [yet] so please don't take my word for it, I'm merely telling my own story. Here's an interesting read I found on the topic.
I know I'm not alone in often times feeling down and overwhelmed. Throw into that a full and busy life, a global pandemic and whatever else any given day brings and you have a situation worth managing better.
2. What am I doing about it?
I felt quite low for most of the festive season. I spent a lot of time focussing on what I ought to have been doing and marinated in some good old self-pity. But you know what, it served a purpose, and a good one at that. I was able pull myself up from the depths of discomfort and pain and feel in my bones that I want something different for this 45th year of mine, something so different. I also took a chill pill and looked around me to see that where I'm at and what I've created is pretty fecking good, I mean how could I be where I am today if I wasn't at least a bit focussed. I called my own Bullshxt'! I love it when that happens.
I'm pretty good at trusting and am super up for facing my fears and understanding old habit patterns that do me no justice, I am a huge fan of self improvement. Conveniently my gorgeous pal Sarah is a trained Clinical Psychologist & transformational coach https://www.facebook.com/drsarahmadigan. Next week marks the start of her 5 day BS (Bullshxt) to Bliss Challenge, where the focus is on 'improving the relationship with oneself & others and turning the bullshxt stories we tell ourselves into better and more empowering ones'. In preparation for the challenge I had a 1-2-1 coaching session with one of the challenge coaches, and through it I was able to identify that I'd lost sight of my 'why', why I do the things I do, why I take on the things I do and why these things are important ingredients for living a life of meaning.
NB: There's still time to join Sarah's challenge if you are feeling the pull! Here's the line-up. Its gunna kick-ass!
I'm doing another challenge too, it takes about 10-15mins per day. It came about via another of those 'happenstance' situations where the world threw me another gem of a human. I met Eamon of Psychegnosis News on my way to teach outdoor Nia, conversation sparked and Eamon joined us in dancing barefoot on the grass. Eamon's running a 30 day challenge on achieving New Years goals by freeing the mind from its destructive/learned self. Some would call him [and I] crackpots, again I don't care for labels or opinions of chance encounters - I whole-heartedly lap them up and see where the connection takes me. And - I'm proud to say I've just completed day 6! Now that's focussed.
3. How to focus with my 'why' in mind
Personal 'why' words:
Self-Care, Connection, Nutrition, Dance, Expression, Nature
Bodylushious Why/Brand values:
Spirited, Natural, Perfectly Imperfect
I've pledged to myself to carry my 'why words' into as many areas of my life as I possibly can, from the small daily ground-hog tasks to the plethora of projects on the go. I don't really want to drop anything but if I continue running from that snowball I'm going to have to re-access, so here I am trying a different approach.
I am owning my 'why' and committing fully to setting smaller daily tasks which as an act of self respect will do my best to finish knowing that the bliss awaiting me will be sooooo worth the ride.
Sounds easy right.....wish me luck :)
5. Fake it till you make it!
Through studying the Respiratory & Cardio systems with CNM (The College of Natural Medicine) I understand in basic terms that rushing around, stressing and overwhelm release cortisol and cause faster breathing. This results in a narrowing of blood vessels, which makes it difficult to transport blood around the system to support us to calm down. That's basically why folk bang on about the importance of deep breathing. By breathing deeply you supply blood with more oxygen resulting in being more relaxed. And how much easier is ANYTHING if you feel relaxed.
4. 11 of my personal practical tips and tools for staying 'on-track'
Get to grips with myself and see all the areas and ways I AM focussed in the space of a day.
Get support in areas you need it, its so worth it.
Marinade in the joy of the beautiful family I have and connections I've made. Knowing that I don't need to be in touch a set number of times each week or year to 'keep my place'.
Where study and work are concerned, the Clever Fox planner comes in. I'll take another punt at setting smaller more achievable tasks - while keeping my 'Why' in mind. I've also set up a study support group and partnered with a study buddy.
Rosemary; essential oil, in the diffuser, sniff it 'neat', mix with carrier oil and rub on chest, neck and shoulders. And, fresh Rosemary herbal tea (grab a stalk next time you pass a garden ;)
Take and make time to do something that thrills me! I'm a creative, I'm going to make something for fun, just for me - a 'Why' inspired crown/tiara!!!!
Be accountable [I've committed to crafting that crown, I will show it to my BS to Bliss coach in 2 weeks time]. I'm also going to be an accountability partner for my awesome massaging, artist, mum & project juggling pal Amelia and she to me.
Get outside - deep breathe in fresh air (check out diaphragmatic breathing), move the body (omg....Nia/dance outside = heaven!), soak up Vitamin D (outrageously good for every little part of well-being)
I love a bath! I take them as often as I can & I've freed myself from the guilt of all the water used. I love using them to celebrate and unwind. I love making rituals out of them...the whole shebang, epsom salts, no artificial light,candles, oils, rose petals, crystals - yep I'm all for it.
There's some brilliant herbs for supporting focus, like Ashwagandha, Gingko Biloba and more (I can recommend nutritionists & herbalists if you're on the look-out)
Look at your diet, this plays a HUGE part, eating low nutrient dense foods leads to your body having to put energy into breaking down goodness knows what. An easy way to approach this is, 'do you know where your food came from'? I don't mean the co-op, I mean how close to its original form is it? e.g.
A loaf of Warburtons white bread [Wheat Flour [with Calcium, Iron, Niacin (B3) and Thiamin (B1)], Water, Yeast, Salt, Vegetable Oil (Rapeseed, Sustainable Palm), Soya Flour, Preservative: Calcium Propionate; Emulsifiers: E481, E472e; Flour Treatment Agent: Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)]
Apple & Cashew Butter [made from baked or roasted cashews.]
NB: I'm not slagging off Warburtons, I promise, I'm just highlighting a point. Guess what, I too eat Warburtons sometimes, just not very often.
I could share so much more but I'm determined to finish this blog post and feel that surge of excitement for having focussed this far.
And so, I'll leave you with one of the 'swanky' website photos I had taken by the delightful and talented Jen Owens of me looking super focussed in my stripy top, grafting dungas and beautiful studio.....it really is the picture of 'wow, this girl looks like she's totally on top of stuff'.
Now you have a better idea of what really happens 'behind the scenes' :). If you've any pearls of wisdom to share, I'M WELL UP FOR RECEIVING THEM (& that's a promise, I friggen LOVE feedback!)
And if you actually have made it this far YAY 👊 I'd LOVE it if you left a comment with a few words on your thoughts about what I've shared 🙏🏼
Keep on keeping it real folks!
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