by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
Recently, while attending a fashion show fundraiser, I came across a wellness poster that really spoke to me and I thought it would fit in easily with my blog. I don’t know who the original artist of the poster is, otherwise I would give her credit. I think the artwork is really cute. The poster has 10 cartoon drawings under the heading, “Today’s Healthy Woman is…” and I thought I’d use them as a spring board to build a metaphor that joins water and wellness. I hope this inspires you to stay healthy.
1. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Balanced
I’m constantly trying to balance my life (career, relationships, time, chequebook, health) and I’ve noticed that when I’m out of balance, I get tired and irritable and I eat more than I would otherwise. Imbalance shows up in a lot of different ways for different people. You can see imbalance manifest as acne on your skin, a bad hair day, insomnia or illness to name just a few on the tip of the iceberg. It has occurred to me that maybe that’s why people indulge in their addictions. I think people drink, smoke, over-eat, shop, gamble, go to tanning salons etc., etc., etc., because they want to correct some sort of imbalance in their system. They want to feel better, or at least different. Unfortunately, as we all know, addictions are counter productive. Here is a quick, easy and free way to feel more balanced any time of day. — Breathe. — That’s right. Focus on your breathing. Take a moment to picture some gentle waves curling along a sandy beach, in and out, in and out, and then follow the rhythm. Add a palm tree and a sunrise or sunset or full moon. I feel better already.
2. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Self-Accepting
Self-acceptance is about being OK with all aspects of who you are and not feeling the need to change anything in your life. Often times people forget about their strengths or talents and at the same time deny or ignore the parts of themselves they don’t like. But seeing the whole picture — sunlight and shadows — will help you live the life of your dreams.
Do you accept yourself as you are, unconditionally, right here and right now? If you were to see a pool of water with a big sign above it saying “Swimming Pool of Self-Acceptance,” would you: 1) dip your big toe in and then run away 2) wade in, ankle deep, in the shallow end 3) stand in water up to your waist or shoulders and occasionally dip your head under water and maybe do a hand stand or two? or 4) artfully dive in off the diving board and do the backstroke and the butterfly in the deep end?
If you are having trouble with this concept of self-acceptance, as many of us do, there are several exercises you can do in your daily life. Start with getting to know yourself on a deeper level and remember to be kind to yourself.
Ironically, positive change comes easier when you’re able to accept what’s already there. Remember the “Serenity Prayer.” God, Grant me the serenity / to accept the things I cannot change; / courage to change the things I can; / and the wisdom to know the difference. / Living one day at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; / Taking, as He did, this sinful world / as it is, not as I would have it; / Trusting that He will make all things right / if I surrender to His Will; / That I may be reasonably happy in this life / and supremely happy with Him / Forever in the next. / Amen. — Reinhold Niebuhr
3. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Humourous
A guy called “Ken” has noticed that his girlfriend, let’s call her “Barbie,” likes to put two glasses on her nightstand each night before she goes to bed. (He’s very observant). One glass is empty and the other one is filled with water. “Why on earth do you do that?” he asked her. And she answered, “Cuz, if I wake up in the middle of the night, I don’t know if I’ll be thirsty or not.”
4. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Fit
On another note, sweating is also an important part of staying fit. I learned recently that the amount of sweat you produce is proportionate to your fitness level, so if you’re sweating during a workout more than you used to, you’re on the right track. Keep up the good work!
Some people don’t like to sweat, but I do. It makes me feel empowered. It’s the body’s way of cooling the system and releasing toxins and as far as I’m concerned, it’s a happy day and a great workout when I feel that first bead of sweat start trickling from my forehead.
5. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Passionate
What activities make your face light up when you talk about them or do them? Do you enjoy painting with water colours? Do you like taking photos of the world’s tallest water falls? How about going whale watching or scuba diving or fly fishing? Hula dancing on the beach after a day of surfing? Or maybe you’re like me and you like writing in your journal with a fountain pen? In any case, having a passion for something is one of life’s great gifts and I urge you to pursue your passions with zeal and fervour.
6. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Self-Nurturing
This one’s my fave because it’s all about the spa. Sprinkling the spa into your life on a regular basis is one of the best ways to improve the quality of your life. The word “spa” splashed onto the world scene after some therapeutic mineral-rich springs were discovered in Belgium in the 14th century.
All spas have some sort of water element in them, especially the ones that focus on Thalassotherapy or “sea therapy,” a school of thought that was named after Thalassa, the Greek goddess of the sea. Thalassotherapy uses the mineral-rich supplies from Poseidon’s playground — salt, seaweed, mud and, of course, water — to create healing treatments that help relieve stress, smooth skin, stimulate circulation and eliminate toxins from the body.
You don’t have to go far to enjoy some spa time, unless you want to. I think taking a bubble bath at home, with some candles and some music for added ambiance, is one of the nicest things you can do for yourself. If you take time to take care of yourself, like getting your hair done or polishing your nails or giving yourself a facial every now and then, you’ll manage the rest of your life that much better. Remember to put some “me time” into your life. That’s what Homespunspa is all about.
7. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Spiritual
Spirituality is hard to define in a quick paragraph but in my mind, being spiritual is having a belief in an invisible energy that surrounds and permeates through every living thing in the entire universe. (I call that energy “God,” but you don’t have to). A spiritual person tries to connect with that energy through prayer, meditation and contemplation etc., to enrich their life and find deeper meaning in their existence.
I believe in the power of prayer. Praying can have an influence on people’s health and wellbeing. Did you see the 2004 movie, “What the Bleep do We Know?” At one point they talked about the work of a Japanese author, Masaru Emoto, who claims that if positive human thoughts like prayer and music are directed at droplets of water before they are frozen, the resulting water crystals will be beautiful, suggesting that invisible thoughts and their energy have an influence on the material world. It’s fascinating.
8. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Optimistic
I don’t know about you, but I immediately think of the “glass is half empty; glass is half full” saying for this one. Just out of curiosity, what’s in your glass? Water? Milk? O.J.? Pop? Beer? I always picture water with blue food colouring in it. Anyway, some people are naturally optimistic and positive in life. Others prefer to view things more “realistically” and feel they would be lying if they were to put a positive spin on things. Others tend to see things negatively, thinking that if they get their hopes up, the bubble will burst and things won’t work out and they will be left feeling worse than they would have otherwise. My thoughts? You may not have control over everything that happens in your life, but you do have the power to choose your attitude in every given moment. Here’s a quote that might help: “It’s the same up and down roller-coaster but it’s up to you whether or not you enjoy the ride.” Why not choose to be more optimistic? It’s more fun that way.
9. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Loving
Do you remember the song, “Shower the People” by James Taylor? Here are the lyrics to the last half of the song. I don’t remember that last bit at all but it fits with my water theme, so I’m keeping it.
Better to shower the people you love with love / Show them the way that you feel / Things are gonna be just fine if you only will / Shower the people you love with love / Show them the way that you feel / Things are gonna be much better if you only will / Shower the people you love with love / Show them the way that you feel / You’ll feel better right away / Don’t take much to do / Sell your pride / They say in every life / They say the rain must fall / Just like pouring rain / Make it rain / Make it rain / Love, love, love is sunshine / Oh yes, / Make it rain / Love, love, love is sunshine / Yeah, all right / Everybody, everybody / Shower the people you love with love…
10. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Confident
Confidence has always eluded me. Searching for it is like trying to fish an eggshell chip out of egg whites. What does having confidence mean anyway? I’ve given this topic considerable thought over the years and I’ve finally figured out that having confidence starts with positivity — being able to find something good in everyone you meet and in every situation you face. If you can see a positive outcome from the beginning, than you’re already halfway there in my book.
How does this tie in with water you ask? Well, when Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, do you think he had a clue about where he was headed and what he was up against and how long it would take him to see land again? I think not. But I do think he had confidence and a vision and a faith that everything would work out for the best. If he and his crew approached that voyage with fear, doubt and negativity, they wouldn’t have gotten very far and I wouldn’t be blogging from Victoria, BC today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they had their moments, but they didn’t let that stop them from exploring the high seas.
Having that sense of adventure, taking calculated risks, stepping out of your comfort zone, facing challenges head on, braving stormy weather and reaching out into the great unknown, build confidence. And having confidence will make life more interesting.
I hope you found this post “good to the last drop.” As always, if you have any comments to add, feel free to write them.