What Is Fueling you?-(wk 8)

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What is it that gets you through your day? Is it that extra shot of espresso? The caffeine boosts throughout the day? The natural high of a morning jog, or a cold shower that makes the heart pound for survival? Or just the thought that the sooner you get the drudgery of work out of the way, the sooner you can call it a day?

This week is a deep look at what fuel it is that keeps your feet on a forward path of motion, and if you are out of balance, the things that are fueling you can bring on unpleasant aftereffects such as insomnia, stress, illness and general grouchiness if they are from the wrong sources.

Most of us live our lives in fast forward and the thought of slowing down is akin to packing our belongings and moving far away to go live off the grid, growing your own food and erasing your carbon footprint. Completely unthinkable.

As a lifelong resident of southern California, we only seem to function at an uptight, frenetic pace that makes us always in a hurry to get some place else. We don’t know how to slow down.

We are forever calculating time and distances in our heads before we agree to engage in any extracurricular activities. In our minds, Time=Money=Energy. How much time are we willing to spend, (in traffic), that will translate into money (either earned or spent), that in turn, may waste our precious energy? Will it be worth it? Can I afford to spend it or lose it? Do I really want to do this? Hit a few red lights at the wrong time, and our driving window has significantly diminished, possibly making us late for meetings, work, or appointments. Schedule a lunch date with a friend? Your T/M/E equation has to match up with their T/M/E equation because they are calculating the exact same things.

It is a terrible way to live but this is the nature of the beast that has become our lives. It is very likely this is just our southern state dynamics talking. Hawaii with its laid back island time attitude is a far cry from their mainland counterparts. And I am almost certain, New York is even more stressful than us, their west coast counterparts.

Which leads us back to the original question: What is fueling you and is it a healthy way to continue in the long term?

The author makes a list of suggestions, which I do not wholeheartedly agree on but I will list both our points to make an informed decision.

Her opinion is based on reducing reliance on adrenaline in order to protect health and well being.
To me, that implies we are all residing on adrenaline to make it through the day. Not necessarily true.

Her suggestions:

1 Get Tested to see if there is a reason you can’t slow down and are always on the go.
To me: If you aren’t drinking a slew of sodas chased down with red bulls all day long, and you still find yourself constantly in that fight or flight response, then yes, maybe you should be tested. But if you are like me, just trying to get through one more day because that is what being an adult is all about, chances are, costly medical tests will only add to your stress and deplete more of your monetary resources. Is it worth it? Only you can decide that.

2 Schedule down time: Make it a point to schedule 15 minute breaks or longer throughout your day as a practice to making space for being still.

To me: if you need to schedule a couple of 15 minute breaks during your day that doesn’t come with your job, then there are bigger things you need to be considering than a mini life makeover.

3 Change your work habits: Limit the amount of time you check email, clear your desk and work on one project at a time, turn the telephone ringer off and inform people of your return message policy.
To me: This statement assumes you have a job in which changes such as the number of times you check your emails during the day and turning the telephone ringer off is a possibility. What a snobbish statement to think that everyone reading this has that kind work environment. The author needs a reality check.

4 Breathe deeply: I am all for this and need to have a constant reminder in place to do this.

5 Take a good multivitamin: to support your body’s immune system.
To me: Here again, there is no solid proof that a multivitamin does any good. There is a reason the vitamin industry is a highly unregulated field. While tests have shown that vitamin D and calcium supplements do make a difference, the jury is out on most of the others.
Eat a well balanced diet and your body will get the nourishment it needs.

6 Give up caffeine: It will give you energy in the long run.
To me: No. The author assumes people only drink coffee for the adrenaline. I happen to just like the taste.There are so few pleasures in my life, I will not give up on one I truly enjoy because someone else feels they can say what’s best for me.

7 Get regular exercise: This is in the works, just not completely there yet. Firmly believe it though.

Homework:

List three habits that keep my adrenaline pumping.
1 Google...as a hypochondriac, I can look up the most obscure symptoms and feel my heart race at top speeds.
2 The thought of imminent financial ruin…aside from Google, nothing else can keep me awake at all hours of the night than this.
3 The hope of a better future…Aside from 1 and 2, I really am an optimist at heart. You may say that I’m a dreamer…

One new habit I will practice this week is:
I will devote 15 minutes a night for the next week to meditate, breathe deep and see where I go from here.
If successful, I will make it a part of my nightly routine.

While I always appreciate suggestions from people that seem to know more than I do on certain subjects, in the end, we need to learn to discern what is best for our own individual needs, and stand on our own. That is where we will find our true power.

Update:
Haven’t picked up the paintbrush to finish recent projects from week 2, but I am so close to the finish line on them, I will look to complete it this next week.

During this past week, unless I was completely oblivious to synchronicities in my life, there was only one incident that I noted. Will keep a journal handy for when more happen.

Thanks for being a part of my journey, now I am off to go meditate.