Environmental Wellness

Raise your hand if you made your bed this morning!?
Raise your hand if you have space on your desk for your coffee and know what all of those papers are for!?
….raise your hand if neither of those are true but you made it to work in one piece…? =)

I could go on and on quizzing you about the different spaces in our lives…but really the heart of what I want to emphasize is the importance of

ENVIRONMENTAL WELLNESS. 

Last month, we learned about Emotional Wellness. That dimension can often be right up in our faces telling us we’re feeling elated or disappointed and everything in between. Environmental wellness is a bit more subtle - but just as groundbreaking and life changing - to be in control of. Maybe you’re doing so much work to find that balance for your emotional health, but if you’ve hit a plateau, then it’s very likely your space is not set up in a way to support your breakthrough to another level of health. 

So what’s this all about? Perhaps it sounds so obvious, but it’s about making your best effort to set up your environments to work FOR you…not against you.

“Whatever is going on in your life good or bad – mimics or mirrors how you’re living in your space.” Robyn Stevens

When we think about how much time we spend in our homes and offices, and how easily we take on the energy of our environments, it’s a wonder this isn’t more top of mind! Think about when you walk into a stadium for a big game – the energy excites you and gets you pumped for the competition about to begin.  Or why is it that we’re so attracted to luxurious spa experiences? When we are welcomed in to the inviting décor and plush amenities it immediately oozes serenity.   

You have the opportunity to create a space that supports you. This is within your control! Let me say that again…. It is within your control - and it is critical to your balance and wellness – to ensure that your environments support you.

Does it seem far-fetched that by taking responsibility – for instance removing clutter in your bedroom or office – could completely change the trajectory of your life? It’s certainly worth taking a closer look! I know when I first set up my home office a few months back my productivity and mental clarity sky rocketed after I took the time to put everything in its proper place and donate or throw away unnecessary items.  I could go to my desk….and actually work, rather than be mentally pulled in several directions before I even made my first call. If you want more insight and motivation on the practice of simplicity, check out the book Essentialism by Greg Mckeown. Total kick in the pants to design the life that really works, for you.

We all know what the hardest part is…choosing to do it. Taking that first step. Once you start it, it’s energizing!  Recently, a family member of mine spent a couple hours organizing his closet and found things he didn’t know he had; items that are treasures to him but because it was disorganized, he didn’t even know they were there. These touchstones of the past reminded him of wonderful times…for example a card from his wife, or a picture of his children when they were young. If the closet had stayed disorganized, they might as well have not been there. He also discarded broken or outdated items he would never use and were simply taking up room.

When he was done organizing, he experienced the welcome relief of walking into a space that brings joy. Knowing things are where they “should” be – where HE decided where to be placed that would most support his wellness.

The space is being utilized to its maximum, and it’s a beautiful thing.  That one small shift will bring energy day-after-day because it’s a space he goes to day-after-day. 

Imagine your life like a phone battery.  So many things around us deplete our energy. Now, this closet, and the way he’s organized it is FOR him. It supports his day and wellness so a little less energy is depleted, and he has more energy and attention to the other things that fill his day.  Allow your environment to not be an energy drain, but to boost up your clarity, energy, and positivity.

If you need advice on where to start.

Here are the recommendations from Feng Shui expert Robyn Stevens

1)   Remove clutter (leads to mental clutter)

2)   Get rid of or fix broken items (you are whole and well and deserve to be surrounded by items that reflect that)

3)  Remove past items with a negative history (these could be keeping you in the past and a barrier to welcoming opportunities that are more aligned with your wellness)

I love how Robyn describes, “I used to be the messy person… I don’t live there anymore – but visit occasionally.”

Many of us want to tackle our shared spaces first where people see. But actually, tackling spaces in the bedroom that you utilize the most are going to give you the most bang for you buck. Your nightstand, for instance, is a great place to start, today.  Discard, clean, organize, and create the space that works for you. You’ve got this.

Emotional Wellness

Welcome 2019! It’s wonderful to meet you! You with your fading holiday music, dimming twinkle lights, (typically) slick roads, and (typically) brutally cold temperatures. (What’s up 55 & sunshine KC?!) It’s a delight… truly!  If we didn’t have winter to chill our bones, we may not embrace and appreciate the blessed warmth of summer. But this month’s topic isn’t the weather… It’s your heart. It’s your mind. It’s your feelings – it’s the combination of all of it. 

EMOTIONAL WELLNESS. 

I’m just going to toss it out there like it ain’t no big thing.  The very first Lumina Newsletter; we’re starting out with a doozy….

Emotional Wellness = Coping effectively with life and
creating satisfying relationships.
SAMHSA

I’m going to take you through a brief exercise of awareness I’ve learned and am borrowing from my friends over at Vision Pursue (Check them out! )

Take a second to check-in with yourself about what you’re experiencing emotionally right. Now.  What are you feeling?  Maybe you have a big meeting later today that’s producing some anxiety? Or you are beside-yourself-giddy about a new client you just landed? Simply notice your current experience. Close your eyes if you need to; bring awareness to your body.  Next, we will SEE.

SEE = Separate. Embrace. Evaluate.

The first step is to Separate from the emotion. You’ve brought awareness to the surface and you’re noticing an emotion.  Now what exactly are you feeling? Could one emotion be stealing the show or is there a combination of several? If you’re at a loss, here’s a bank that may help:

Elated, frustrated, grouchy, giddy, pleased, anxious, hurt, disappointed, content,
peaceful, ashamed, overwhelmed, hopeful, lonely, aggressive, interested….

When you experience something your mind automatically gives it meaning or an emotion – our minds are so powerful! But, “…you are not your emotions any more than you are the pain you feel from a cut on your hand.” (JM)

Label, observe, and describe the emotion.

Can you notice where it’s located in your body? Does it feel like anything, physically?  Calling out and separating from the emotion in this way gives you space to question and embrace.  You’re acknowledging the reality of this present moment as it is. And getting honest with yourself about how you really feel.

…I hope I haven’t lost you yet because the next step is SUPER important.

Embrace

If you’re resisting the reality of this emotion, then you’re not going to be able to do anything about it or choose the next right step. Because…well...you’re resisting.  Your energy is aimed towards trying to prevent something that is already happening, which attaches you to the emotion rather than letting it move through you. This may not seem like a big deal for emotions typically deemed as “positive” such as the high you feel when your workday is complete on a Friday. But that can influence your reaction on Sunday evening when you know you’re headed back to work soon. You’ve attached to that high, so the low may feel lower.

Emotional awareness and wellness has so much to do with living in the present. Now that you’ve named the emotion – open your heart, take a deep breath and FULLY welcome the emotion. I’m not kidding here – even if you’ve deemed it as “negative” take that baby in.

It can help to physically shape your body in an open-hearted posture. Roll your shoulders back, spread your arms like wings, raise your eyes to the sky, and take deep breaths while you welcome and ACCEPT this emotion…this space…this very moment.  BEAUTIFUL.

So, you’re clear on what you’re experiencing.  You’ve honored the space. You’ve embraced the moment.  What’s next?

Evaluate

What can I control? Is there something I need to let go of? Someone to apologize to? Someone to reach out to for clarification? Perhaps no response is needed other than getting back to the present moment. Ask yourself , “What will honor me in this situation?”

Check-in with your integrity.  Check-in with your boundaries.

So many of us are not taught how to decipher, understand, embrace, and live out our emotions.  We get stuck in them. We stuff things down – sometimes waaaayyy down because it feels way too scary, way too vulnerable, we’re way too busy so we tell ourselves we’ll “deal with it later”, or we’re so focused on getting to that daggum pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that we distract ourselves from experiencing this moment, right here. All we ever have anyway.

GET CURIOUS about what you feel in a day.  Then really feel it.
Then do what you need to, to protect, honor and live your absolutely amazing life.

Awareness Review and SEE concepts borrowed and reprinted with permission from Vision Pursue, Jon McGraw.