Saturday, February 13, 2016

5 years ago I stood up on two feet

It is hard to believe it has already been five years since my bunion surgery. Facebook reminded me today that 5 years to the day, I finally stood up on my two bare feet for the very first time after nearly 2 months post surgery. I remember this feeling like it was yesterday. The soft carpet under my foot was like a little bit of heaven. The sunlight on my skin was so comforting.  I recall the biggest struggle during the whole thing was the fact that using crutches limited my ability to do anything else. Both hands held the crutches, so using my hands to do LIFE was nearly impossible. I'd have to lean against the kitchen counter to hold myself up if I wanted to use my hands. The freedom of walking on two feet without crutches was so immense!

Even five years later, I catch myself being so thankful for walking. I try to be mindful and notice the sensations as I walk over the soft carpet today in my bare feet, or when I slip on on a new pair of shoes, and when I sink into the soft soil while working around the yard. I find joy in pampering my feet. I refuse to wear high heels. I rub peppermint foot lotion on my feet every night before bed, and I wear bunion regulators so that my left foot doesn't get to the point that my right foot did.

Looking back, I don't reflect on the surgery experience with bad thoughts or negative feelings. In fact, it was kinda fun! I loved the adventure of driving back and forth to LA in the rain (Steve may have a different perspective, as I was cozied up in my "bed" he made for me in the back seat). I loved the pampering and everything Steve and others did for me. I literally HAD to just sit there and enjoy hours of television, movies, books, and meals made for me. I loved having a pink cast. I loved wearing my robot boot. I loved driving the motorized shopping cart at the grocery store. It was a crazy cool experience to have to re-train my body to WALK! There was pain yes, but there was also this renewed appreciation for movement, for Steve, for driving, for shoes, for soft carpet, and for carrying things!! YAY feet!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

2016 Happiness and Love

On January 1, 2016, I wrote the following in my phone:

  • Be less selfish
  • Drink more water
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Stretch every day
  • Be mindful
Each year, when I think of my own resolutions, I ask myself, "what actions can I take to be a better person? What behaviors can I practice to live a more full, healthy, and happy life?" 

At a coaching training I recently attended, we were asked to describe the actions that we wanted to live into in order to be a great leader. I had a list of several items - things I wanted to do more of like listening, spreading positivity, and being approachable. And another list of things I wanted to get better at doing like asking more questions, considering the whole person, giving feedback more often, and so on. After I looked at my lists, I thought that I'd have a better chance of becoming this aspirational leader if I broke it down into a simpler statement. A mantra of sorts that perhaps would be more sticky than a list of 10 things that I am supposed to be doing. Thinking back on my happiness project, I was reminded of the phrase "love out" and it struck me that this was the perfect way to describe all of those things that I want to do. To me, "loving out" means approaching each conversation with a mindful decision to think, behave, respond, and BE in a loving way. If I acted with love, I would automatically listen carefully and ask questions because that's what you do in loving relationships. Loving out means sharing positive thoughts with others, helping them navigate their challenges, and being fully aware that they are human and not just a worker.

I think I am already pretty good at acting in a loving way at work. But this sentiment goes beyond the workplace and I think I can do much better in other areas of my life. For some reason, I have a natural tendency to be more lenient and concerned with the feelings of people I don't know well. And more critical and impatient with those that I am close to. I need to practice not being so critical of others who don't do things the same way that I do them. And I definitely need to work on not being so critical of myself when things don't go perfectly ("Wabi-Sabi" - there's beauty in imperfection). I want to show more patience with family and friends, and learn to let go of the small stuff. 

So, I plan on being less selfish...filling their cup fuller than my own, spending an extra hour of my time, or doing something nice for someone without expectations of a return. I plan to be mindful of how I express my being to others, hopefully loving out as much as I can. And to feel the best that I can each day, I want to stretch each day, drink more water, and enjoy an ice cold bev only when it's really calling on my tastebuds. 

So cheers to another year! And I look forward to sharing more of my thoughts and stories on my blog this year!!


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