This week has been Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Week. I’ve seen a lot of excitement about it online – there has never been a time in history where so much emphasis has been put on our health. That said, a Google search of “health” provides an overwhelming amount of information on nutrition, disease, fitness, weight loss, and anti- aging. What doesn’t come up is mental health. Mental health is so critical to living a good, healthy life – and it needs to take its important place in conversations around health.
To breathe, is the most natural thing in the world – or so they say. Years ago, watching my baby boy sleeping, I would watch him breathe in what seemed like a whole body activity. His belly expanded like a balloon when he breathed in and his belly pushed downward completely emptying itself as he exhaled. When I watched him breathe in this way, I felt my whole body relax. There was nothing as beautiful as watching him sleep.
I exercise almost every day. It kind of comes with the territory of being an Olympian who’s married into the world of fitness, but I pretty sure that’s not why I do it. I exercise every day because it makes me happy. Like, I actually mostly enjoy exercise in the moment. People will tell me, “ah, exercise is so hard, it takes so much willpower.” But once you make it a solid habit of it in your life, once you create some positive structure around exercise, you don’t even have to think about it.
What is a question that summons you to be fearless? This is a question I was asked to ponder this past weekend, while at the Connecting for Change conference. The question itself reads a wee bit cryptic, “What is the question that summons you to be fearless?” I stayed with it for a moment and this is what I wrote.
I want to be kind, I really do. Kindness matters, I know this, I coach this, I speak about the power of kindness, and yet – yes there is a yet. In my primary relationship with my husband, being kind seems to be in a wrestling match with being right. Being right just feels so good. It is a lustful emotion, an instinctual one, a need that can be an addictive one. It goes a little bit like this. My husband is opening every kitchen drawer in search of the cheese slicer and as he opens the bottom drawer and finds the slicer, he jumps up and bangs his head on the top drawer.
As we race breathlessly through January, energized by our resolutions, we may find ourselves sliding rather rapidly into February. Where did the month go? More importantly where are we in relation to all those resolutions? You know, the fitness programme, the commitment to eat no sugar, the giant wall of sticky notes promising more productivity.
Last night I was putting my stepdaughter to bed, when she ran downstairs and frantically opened every cupboard in the front entrance looking for two flashlights.
Once she found the two flashlights, she moved them to another drawer, aligning them meticulously. When she was satisfied they were aligned perfectly, she closed the drawer and went happily to bed.
As a champion of change and personal development, I love the New Year. As the calendar turns, I am filled with excitement of all the new things I want to accomplish and some of the things I am ready to let go of. I keep a list. This is very unlike me. I am not a list person, but when it comes to my dreams and goals I definitely am. I have a list of goals for every year since I can remember, what I accomplished in 2016 and what I will accomplish in 2017.
Guest Titan: Silken Laumann, Four-time Olympic rower.
My interview with Ron MacLean about the difference between being an Olympian and watching the Olympics as a fan and the importance of having a connection with nature and the outdoors. Click Here.