I found this art several years ago. I don’t know where. Probably some craft or art show.
I loved it when I saw it and I still do.
Most of you probably don’t know that I really am from “Up North”. Two and a half hours north of Minnesota for all of the Americans. For the Canadians, it is the middle of Canada about 4 hours east of Winnipeg, 8 months of winter, and one of the most beautiful places in the world if you can stand the mosquitoes and blackflies in the summer and the long winters.
In this place, it is easy to feel the cares of the world begin to slip away. To breathe a little easier. To notice the sky is a little bluer and the people do smile a lot more.
Of course, this place would have more Centenarians per capita than any other place in Canada. They understand “Up North”.
Even though I have experienced this, my life has gotten very far from being “Up North”.
And I forgot. I forgot to look at this to remind myself of what I know to be the important part of just being here.
The most important part of your life isn’t in the job you do, or where you live, or what you drive. Or even how much you have in the bank.
Because so much of your life is driving, pushing for more, or sometimes even just surviving, it is easy to forget what your body needs. You no longer stop to really breathe. Or to just look around and soak in the beauty and the sounds. To give our bodies more of what it needs to keep you healthy.
I haven’t done it well either.
I work to teach my clients to listen to the whispers of their bodies because they do speak to us. And as I said in the last blog, mine recently started screaming at me. Why, because it wants me to feel the cares of the world slip away. It wants me to breathe a little easier. And it wants me to take the time to notice the blue skies and to smile more.
Since then, I have been on a mission to find my “Up North” again.
I have slowed it down. My day is at a pace that is more tolerable. I am meditating in the mornings to give myself an opportunity to start the day from this place. And very soon will begin to pick up an evening meditation as well so I can end the day with the reminder to move back into that place.
I have noticed myself taking life as it comes rather than trying to manage it so much.
I have begun to ask whether I’m truly loving myself with choices of food and it is getting easier to fight the urges of the comfort foods that don’t serve me.
I am softening my energy.
I have felt my body ease into feeling better with less pain and more energy.
Slowly, I am finding my “Up North” and it feels more and more like home every day.
And here is what I think.
Your health is hiding in your “Up North”.
I think your ability to exist in this space is very much tied to where you are right now in the struggle with your illness.
You can, as I have, spend years testing, shifting, taking more supplements, fighting for your quality of life. But I don’t think you have too so much. I don’t think it has to be a fight.
I’m not saying that the initial work to help your body heal can be bypassed or that maintenance won’t be required.
I just think that your ability to really find your balance with your illness and the way you live, is found somewhere in your “Up North” which is really the way you are supposed to be existing anyway. I’m certainly finding mine in there.
And I think, the sooner you can do it, the better.