I saw a chiropractor for the first time last week. I have to admit, the long series of crunches, cracks and pops that echoed in my ear when he made his first “adjustment” thoroughly unnerved me. However, within seconds after that single, weird twist of my neck, I was flooded with the most amazing feeling of relief–from a pain I hadn’t even realized that I had.
Thinking back, I realize that I’ve been living with this discomfort for months. I’d gotten “used to it.” I’d adjusted and “forgotten” about it. And it felt SO GOOD when it was gone.
The experience got me thinking. So many times, a client struggling with weight and eating will be frustrated by their lack of energy or focus or motivation. When we dig deeper, they’ll realize that something is going on that is putting their life out of balance–some stress or some difficult situation or some added demand. Whatever it is, they don’t quickly identify it because, like the pain in my neck, they too have “adjusted” or learned to tolerate whatever it is. They’ve come to think of it as “normal” and they’ve been trying to “work around it.” For emotional eaters, “working around” or not thinking about things tends to be related to overeating–because food and eating are ways to distract ourselves or “not think about” things.
The other problem is, these annoying, irritating or difficult things that we learn to tolerate or put up with, AREN’T WORKING FOR US. They use up our energy. They wear us out. They disorganize us. They keep us from being in optimal balance and from moving forward in the direction we really want to go. And many of them, with a little direct attention, can be dealt with.
So what are you tolerating, putting up with, “adjusting to” or trying not to think about?
Do you have a pile of anything in your life that you have to walk around anytime you want to get somewhere?
It might be a literal pile like laundry that needs to be folded or the junk in the garage that needs to go away, or it might be a metaphorical pile like a truth that needs to be told or faced or an ache or pain that you need to deal with. What is there in your life, big or small, that is sub-optimal? That gets in your way?
I’ll make you a bet. I bet that if you started a list of all the things you are tolerating that could be better–or ignoring instead of addressing–you could begin to take care of many of them in less than one hour a piece. I know I’m amazed at what I’m starting to cross off my list.
So here’s your Spring Cleaning Challenge:
Make your list. Put it somewhere where you can add to it as you recognize new items. Then commit to spending a minimum of 15 minutes a day clearing things off of it. Making the appointment to get your teeth cleaned only takes five minutes. Cleaning out a drawer takes about fifteen. Most tough phone calls or conversations you’ve been dreading will take less than an hour. You can knock out a round of errands in an amazingly short time if you make an organized plan first.
Take the challenge. I promise you that a little focused Spring Cleaning can make a noticeable difference.
Take good care,