Being the Best Possible Self

So many of us want to be the best that we can but such things can seem daunting. Being our best self, I view is something that we aspire to rather than necessarily achieve. We can all strive for this. In fact it’s our job to.

It doesn’t have to be impossible though. It’s all about skillful prioritization of goals and then breaking those goals into manageable chunks. I like to think of them as munchable achievements. Instead of quitting smoking, why not find a way to slowly reduce your nicotine levels? Instead of dedication to that diet why not simply focus on eating more healthy food at first, then slowly replacing those foods with your old vices?

I like to set timelines for these things, as an amazing woman reminded me the other day, we have to have timelines to keep us on track. Our timelines have to be compassionate. Immediate jarring changes don’t work for all of us. These are the people, like me that I’m writing to.

How do we prioritize in the first place? It’s all about thinking about your ideal life, and working backwards.

First I want to be healthy happy wealthy and wise. Okay, what does that look like for me? Make a startup, do yoga daily, quit my vices and be present and mindful. What actions achieve this? Working on business, going to yoga class, slowly reducing caffeine and daily meditation.

Now the best part, what’s preventing me from doing these things? This is where it gets deep. It may be something psychological, physiological or environmental. You’re probably not just lazy. There’s something else going on there. It’s your job to figure out what is holding you back. So how?

Well psychologically you might want to journal, find a therapist or just talk to a friend. Physiological things are harder to figure out. Doctors often get these things wrong but pay attention to your body. What makes you feel good is probably all that you have to figure out. You might have a serious condition in which you need professional help. Perhaps you simply lack the skills to organize yourself. That’s fine. You’re not a failure, in fact you’re aspiring to a beautiful life. There are many books on the subject.

What do you do to keep motivated and accountable to these goals and solving these problems? Make yourself accountable to someone else. I just tell everyone in my life what I’m striving towards and how I’m doing them. Then I check in with 3-4 friends a day to keep me on track. Is this overkill? I don’t know but it works. 

So those are my thoughts on self improvement for the day. Do these work for you? Be sure to tell me.

Healing Heartburn Heals Chronic Pain

It wasn’t too long ago that I healed my chronic pain. After that there was still a problem: I had a huge pain in my left shoulder. It constantly felt like I was being stabbed in the heart and back. Nothing worked and I thought that I might die. That is until today when I found the secret to healing the rest of my pain.

I had heartburn! GIRD to be exact. Simple changes in my diet and lifestyle led to me feeling better. The culprits: Coffee, cigarettes and the wrong types of exercise.

First exercise: I’m a card-carrying yogi but I loathe downward dog. It turns out that any bend that places your heart upside down is an open invitation to heartburn.

Diet is obviously all fatty foods but simply eating too much can also cause heartburn. It’s better to eat small meals through the day. I always knew that this worked for me for some reason but now I understand why.

Eating green veggies and lean meats are the way to go. No wonder being vegan made me feel amazing. Time to re-evaluate the diet.

But why was heartburn causing excruciating pain throughout my body? I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia years ago but didn’t really buy it. It turns out that the acid was burning my chest, causing it to contract, pulling my shoulders up, throwing off my back, making it hard to breathe and reducing blood flow, making it impossible to relax.

Stretching had almost no long-lasting effect because my own diet was throwing me off. One great thing is that while coffee is a culprit, green tea is actually good for reducing the body’s acidity. So I’ve been loading up on that. While fatty foods are bad for you, lean meats like white tuna actually have an anti acidic effect on the body.

Finally I’ve found some peace, hours after realizing what was wrong. My body is able to relax and I’m going to take it relatively slow. Instead of cigarettes? Gradually reducing the nicotine levels in my e-cigs will let me still have that smoking sensation while moving towards that wonderful feeling of embodied wholeness.

The point of all of this is that a diagnosis of chronic pain that will never leave doesn’t necessarily have to be a tragic life long illness. It may be for some but there are many causes to “diseases” that doctors simply miss. We are all human afterall.

I’m grateful. I feel the best and most hopeful that I have in my entire life. I hope that there are others with similar stories. I’d love to hear from you!