2020: The Year of Health

I may sound cliche to start the new year focused on health and it certainly is not new for me, but it is different this time. Let me tell you why.

In the past my focus was to loose weight. I would make a New Year’s resolution to exercise and get thin but the motivation was really vanity. I didn’t understand how powerful mind, body and spirit wellness was back then. The resolution would last 2, maybe 3 months and then I would fade back into my old patterns of behavior. Today I no longer make resolutions; instead I make a list of new year’s manifestations. These manifestation can be anything I want to come into my life in the new year. I decided 2020 would be a year of health.

My year of health manifestation list has a lofty number of health related items I want to enhance my life. They are mind, body, and spirit related, for one cannot successfully be well without balance in all these areas.

It is day 4 in my year of health and I already feel a shift in my mood. I find myself making healthy decisions and I keep slowly incorporating items to bring about overall wellness.

On Jan 1st, I started the day hungover from a New Year’s Eve party I attended. I find this very embarrassing to admit to. So, my first healthy initiatives were to give up alcohol and sugar. Next I went back to intermittent fasting. This is an eating strategy that limits the time you can eat during the day. It has many health benefits but my primary use of it is weight loss. I have gained about 30 pounds in the last 4 years and it is affecting my energy level and ability to do things. Losing weight is not about vanity for me this time. It is about being comfortable hiking, having the energy to kayak and reclaiming my connection with my body as a divine being.

Then I decided to start tracking what I eat. This is about mindfulness. So now I know what I am putting into my body and why. I am using the “My Fitness Pal” app to do so; although there are so many apps that can help you with it. I have anemia, so it helps me track my iron intake, something that is important for me as a pescatarian. I also find that tracking what I eat, makes me less likely to do the mindless noshing that can occur when I am bored.

Yesterday I decided to start drinking 1/2 my body weight in ounces of water. I feel this is helping purify my body from all the toxic things I have put into her in the past. Also, yesterday I recommitted to moving my body. Getting at least 10,000 steps a day. I even started running a little again. I plan to improve my fitness condition in order to participate in 5K events. I really enjoyed these in the past. My daughter, Liz, and I have also done a couple 1/2 marathons together and we are toying with the idea of committing to do another one of these.

Today I am starting on my commitment of “52 Hikes” during 2020. I have seen others make a commitment to this in the past, but never got on board because of the frozen tundra where I live. I know I feel better when I get outside and be “in” nature, so this is another part of the mind and spirit commitment for me.

My husband and I continue our pursuit towards financial wellness. Yoga and meditation are on my list of items to incorporate. I find that adding (a little) something new daily is helping me stay motivated and not feel overwhelmed. I’m just slowly incorporating, the items I want, into my year of wellness.

I know it is only day 4 but I already feel clearer and  more upbeat. I am more connected with my body and the aches and pains are starting to subside. I have lost 4 pounds and even reclaimed my right to be a runner.

Would you like to join me on my journey into the year of health?

Come along! It won’t always be easy but it will be totally worth it!

I love you! May your year bring you every happiness.

Nibi Walks – what they are and why you may want to participate!

Now and then we are given the opportunity to be a part of something. The chance to be one of the change agents on this planet. I was invited to an event where I got to meet a number of really amazing people who are walking (literally walking) to be change agents, to make a difference on this planet. I participated in a short walk with them and felt inspired (and invited) to join them on a bigger event. Let me share with you a little about these amazing people.

I was invited to a “Water Ceremony” this past Sunday. Upon arriving with my husband and meeting a friend there, we discovered we were in for a real treat. It was a special day and they were having a Nibi Walk as part of this ceremony. I learned that the Nibi Walks started with the the Chief asked the women of the tribe, “What will you do to protect the water?” A woman out of Thunder Bay was moved to walk. Dreamt that she should walk. The first Nibi Walk started with her and she walked around Lake Superior carrying water! WOW! That is dedication!

Our walk that morning was just a short walk, a little more than 15 minutes each way. After making an offering we collected water from the Mississippi. Since I hadn’t brought my own vessel, someone was kind enough to share a vessel with me to carry the water. The women carry the water. The men can walk to support the woman but the responsibility to carry the water lies with the women. It was explained to me that in this indigenous people’s culture, the woman is the creator of life. She is life. The water is life. We cannot live without the water. This is why it is her responsibility to collect the water, to care for the water, to protect the water. This makes sense to me. The woman is the creative life force, the goddess, the bringer of life. We collect the water and walked along while songs were sung in a native language.

I walked with the water, between my friend and my husband.  I was surrounded by a community of people all who I was so proud to be a part of. I felt honored to be welcomed to participate with this dynamic group. August 4th there will be a Nibi Walk along the the Wisconsin River. These amazing women walk about 28 miles a day.  Everyone is welcome to participate, even if they can only walk 1 mile 1 day. The Wisconsin River Nibi Walk concludes on Aug 18th. If I did not already have plans for these weekends I would walk at least one day with them. Next year the walk will be along the Red River. I grew up in the Red River Valley. I feel a kinship to this river. I plan to participate in the Red River Nibi Walk. I already have friend who is planning on joining the cause with me.

Are you available to support either of these walks? I hope you will consider it. If you cannot be there in person perhaps you would like to support them with a donation toward the preservation of clean water. (Click the link if you would like to make a donation) When they asked for donations, they said one of the uses for them would be to get more youth involved in the walks. What a wonderful thing for the children of today, our leaders of tomorrow, to participate in an event like this!

After we walked to the designated spot, we climbed down the bank and returned our water to the river. We then climbed up from the river to walk back and join in the circle for a final part of the ceremony. We came together as a community. We shared our experiences, met new friends and reconnect with those we had met before. I even met a Minnesota House of Representative; Mary Kunesh-Podein. Who was there, not to campaign but to support this important cause. Adventure Sister Emy is also running on a platform that is all about clean water and protecting what we love. Both of these woman need our support in order to be able to make a difference.

I encourage you to do what you can to make a difference, whether it is joining an event, sharing the word about these events, financially supporting an event or a candidate. You have to do what feels right for you.

“To thine own self be true”~ William Shakespeare 

We all need water to survive. Even if all you do is read this blog, share this blog, or learn more about Nibi Walks, you can make a difference.

I love you! Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find and follow your passion, as if by magic.

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