Posts filed under ‘newsletter article’

Slowing Down

Remember those summer days that seemed to last forever when you were a kid? When you’d forget to eat or had not a care in the world because you were having such a great time doing other things? When you’re living your days with abandon and savoring each delicious detail, recreating this type of flow is easy. You’ll feel and be healthier, more positive, and more resilient against the ups and downs of your life.

After a super hectic year, I’ve been having a slow summer and invite you to craft one for yourself as well. Busy? You don’t need a lot of time. When you see a puppy, pet it. When you feel overwhelmed, remember that you are not THAT important – the world will go on without your deadline being met. Savor your favorite cup of tea by tearing your eyes away from the monitor and closing them for a few seconds as you take a sip. These are the details that make up your life.

As a recovering Type A and perfectionist, I am constantly monitoring and countering my natural tendencies to overthink, overwork, and overdo my workaholism (it’s hard when you love your work so much). I know many of you can relate to these tendencies, as super overachievers yourselves.

The past four weeks have produced some of my most successful counter-strategies to date =). Here are some of the ways I chose to get slow this summer. Do any of these inspire you to find your own busy-life-counter-strategies?

  • Checking email only 1-3 times a week.
  • Listening to crickets and petting puppies.
  • Not watching any TV. Definitely not watching the news.
  • Spending tons of quality time with my family and my love, Andy.
  • Watching over 20 hot air balloons pass by literally over my head, at dawn, in the midst of the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. (photo below courtesy of Andy Wickless)
My Mom and Me in Cappadocia

My Mom and Me in Cappadocia

  • Hiking through a pristinely silent valley, once home to several ancient civilizations, munching on a fresh-off-the-branch wild yellow plum. (See photo – courtesy of Andy – thanks, Andy!)
Wild golden plums. A couple made it into my happy tummy!

Wild golden plums. A couple made it into my happy tummy!

  • Taking a much needed break sitting on my bum in the middle of aforementioned hike. (See photo below. That’s me in the red hat. Also by Andy.)
Taking a break in the shade of a makeshift cafe in the middle of nowhere. Gotta love entrepreneurs.

Taking a break in the shade of a makeshift cafe in the middle of nowhere. Gotta love entrepreneurs.

  • Celebrating my brother’s farewell to bachelordom and welcoming an AWESOME new sister-in-law.
  • Taking long showers (much to the chagrin of my father).
  • Eating beautiful, lovingly and simply prepared food, slowly. (Right now: four lusciously ripe figs, with the skins on.)
  • Reconnecting with old friends over tea, walks, and more great food.
  • Meeting new soul-friends and acknowledging this uplifting connection. (“Wow! We just met but I feel like I’ve known you forever!”)
  • Buying another gorgeous Turkish carpet, after 5 hours of Turkish-style bargaining. (I didn’t say ALL slow pleasures were free!)
  • Sifting through family heirlooms and enjoying the honor of wearing my grandmother’s antique ring and watch to my brother’s wedding.
  • Marinating on new business ideas and the age-old question: What do I want to be when I grow up?
  • Being quiet with myself, by myself, for myself.
  • Getting a massage. After the sauna.
  • Reading trivial and monumental books alike.
  • Appreciating history as well as the blip that is our own lifetime.

I admit, it’s easy to slow down on vacation or during the warmer days of summer that seem to lull your body into a slower state. But how about when you get back to real life? As I mull over what shape I want my work to take this coming year, I need to keep reminding myself that my work is but one part, one slice, of my life (I said I was “recovering,” didn’t I?).

A lot of us seem to define ourselves by our work. We use words like “lazy” and “free time” to define the time that we don’t spend working. Isn’t that awful? What woke me up to this tendency in myself was when I found myself writing to-do lists consisting of the items “Brush teeth” and “Eat” when I was too ill to do much else but sleep 20+ hours a day. I felt guilty because I couldn’t DO anything, because I was “useless” and “not productive” and this was my subconscious trying to make it right. It was many months later when I realized I was doing a lot during this time – my body was working hard to heal years of stress and the self-inflicted abuse that workaholism brings, teaching me how to rest, and teaching me how to just be.

Each slice of your life should be defined on its own terms, not by what it isn’t. The way I describe this to my clients is to stop defining your life as “work” and “not-work”, and start identifying distinct slices / buckets / categories of activities that you enjoy doing and want to bring (back?) into your life. Make time for these. Without feeling guilty. Or if you do feel guilty, listen to where this is coming from and see how you can learn from that source. Later, as you wean off of the belief that work defines who you are, your life will flow better and you won’t need such distinct rules to ensure your life is fuller, richer, and deliciously healthier.

As for me, I know I want to learn yoga, take hikes more regularly, take more daytrips around the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area, learn how to prepare more Turkish recipes as an homage to my heritage, host the dinner parties I keep promising to friends, and find that elusive new hobby that Andy has been telling me I need. There’s a joke in Turkish about the man who married his mistress and how that left a vacancy. Well, my current work used to be my hobby, my mistress. Now I’m married to my ex-mistress and I need a new mistress!

Suggestions, anyone?

***

© 2009 Delicious Health, Inc.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE?
You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

“Simla Somturk Wickless, MBA, CHC, CNE, Founder of Delicious Health, Inc., is an integrative health, nutrition, and lifestyle coach and change agent whose mission is to transform Busy Bodies into healthy Balanced Beings (TM). To learn how to increase your energy, tame your stress, and take back control of your health, register for her free monthly eZine at www.enjoydelicioushealth.com.”

August 3, 2009 at 7:50 AM 3 comments

Making Good on My Mission Statement and the Path to Invisible Illness Awareness Week 2009

When I first created this blog, I stated that part of my mission was to share my own story about healing from multiple autoimmune and other health conditions. Recently, I skimmed through my own blog and realized I hadn’t delivered on that promise. I’ve also received several requests from my followers to please get on it.

This also made me wonder why I haven’t started sharing that part of my story yet. Yeah, yeah, I’ve been busy building my practice and the last 18 months have been truly hectic, blah blah blah. The real reasons?

One reason is… I don’t know where to start. Another reason is that my perfectionist tendency to want to do it just so gets in the way of starting. And given that it’s a very complicated story (as life tends to be), I am not sure how I want to organize it in bits and bytes, as I certainly can’t write it in one sitting. (I hear my coach whispering in my ear: “Just take imperfect action!” I’m working on it, Sandy, oh believe me, I’m working on it.)

And, of course, probably the most important reason is that in writing my story, I will need to relive it. Frankly, I don’t want to. I’ve moved on, but I know my story isn’t really just about me. It’s about something much bigger; something that can help many more autoimmune sufferers (I hate that word), perhaps you, live better, live fuller, and not define themselves and their lives by the restrictions, frustrations, hopelessness, and silent agonies dictated by these types of  illness. I say autoimmune, but I’ve survived several non-autoimmune illnesses that were invisible as well, so those too shall be heralded, dissected, and presented for your benefit. Imperfectly.

I recently stumbled across an initiative called the Invisible (Chronic) Illness Awareness Week that will take place from September 14-20, 2009. I immediately jumped on as a volunteer blogger to help bring much needed attention to invisible illnesses such as autoimmune conditions. I don’t believe in coincidences. The mere fact that I had already named my upcoming Fall autoimmune program launch “From Invisible to Invincible TM: How to Take Back Control of Your Health & Live Well With An Autoimmune Condition” seemed like no mere coincidence. [More info coming soon! Email me at hello(at)enjoydelicioushealth.com for more info if you can’t wait.]

So here I go! My intention is to slowly but surely begin sharing more of my story this month, as August is a more contemplative month for me – being summer and getting slow and all. (Read more here on the importance of Slowing Down.)

I look forward to hearing from you. Please join me, post here, and share your story so that we can all learn from each other, promote more awareness about those that suffer in silence, promote compassion for dis-eases that are invisible and yet very real, and give each other support in a positive, upbeat, fun way. Deal?

August 3, 2009 at 5:35 AM Leave a comment

Simla Somturk Wickless Featured as Patient Testimonial on CPMC’s Health & Healing Clinic Website

It’s LIVE!

It’s funny to see my own picture on someone else’s website, but I’m getting used to it. Back in March 2009, I gave a speech at the CPMC Health & Healing Clinic’s annual fundraiser about my healing story. Click here for the related post.  This post has the video recording as well as the text of my speech.

Now, they have me and my story up on their website’s home page, pictures and all. The photo shoot was so much fun. There are actually two pictures that made it up, and the one with my health “team” with me in the middle is my favorite. It’s a beautiful representation of the type of protective support I had during my healing journey. CLICK HERE to see the website and read the text of the speech.

August 3, 2009 at 4:43 AM Leave a comment

Simla’s Story: Healing from Multiple Autoimmune Conditions. A Radio Interview with Alice Moore on Energy Talk Radio.

It’s up ! It’s up!

Alice and I had so much fun on this radio interview (you’ll hear a lot of laughing) and now I’m happy to share it with you. We chat about my experience healing from several autoimmune and other health conditions and explore the topic of food as medicine.

Click here to stream or download the MP3 recording of the show. I come on around minute 10.

Let me know if you have questions or suggestions on what you’d like me to share in future radio shows, teleclasses, or in my monthly eZine.

Enjoy!

August 3, 2009 at 4:17 AM Leave a comment

How to Take Charge of Your Health and Your Life

I originally entitled this article “The 5 Secrets to Taking Charge of Your Health and Your Life.” The marketers told me to do it. But you know what? These aren’t secrets. But they might as well be secrets, because TOO FEW OF YOU (probably including you, reading this article) ARE TRULY HEALTHY!

Headaches, low energy, moodiness, gassiness, weight gain around your middle, achy joints… For most people, these are not the “inevitable” side effects of life and aging as you may presume. You can take simple steps to help alleviate these symptoms and others.

So, what are these 5 steps to getting truly healthy? Here they are:

  1. Fabulous food. Refuse to settle for fake food, the very same food that has become a staple in our Standard American Diet (otherwise known as “SAD”). Lay off the Caffeine, the Refined foods, Artificial additives / colorings / flavors and alcohol, and Pesticide / hormone / gas-laden and genetically modified foods. In other words, no more C.R.A.P. The real stuff is unbeatable – in flavor, in nourishment for your body and for your soul’s satiation, and in price as well. Food? Seems pretty straight forward, right? But true health demands that you address the other aspects of your life that can either feed or deplete you…
  2. Real relationships. You Tweet and Facebook all day long, but where’s the real-life love? Family, friends, soul-mates, your community. Get out there, get involved, get real. Also let toxic relationships go and die a natural death. Really, you’re doing yourself – and the other person – a favor.
  3. Mojo & movement. Rev it up. Sweat it out. Our bodies want… crave… live to move and groooove. Let it have some fun. This does not mean you have to become a gym bunny (boringgg). Carry your groceries home. Take a hike. Go jump in a lake. Remember how joyous and alive you can feel when you move. Sorry, I have to say it:  just do it. Even if it’s just standing 15 minutes a day, which is the best I could during my health crisis.
  4. Wonder-ful Work. Work shouldn’t be a four-letter word. If it is, and has to be in the shorter term, find a creative outlet that reminds you who you are and what it means to express yourself fully in this world. Ultimately, however, seek out that less-traveled path and find your true passion. I promise you – there’s nothing quite like it.
  5. Know Your Self, HealThy Self ™. Get to know yourself again. Stop thinking for a minute and let your true, subtle Self emerge from all that chatter in your head. Reconnect your head to your body. You know your body best. It’s always sending you signals. Learn to listen to them. Heed them, before it has got to scream so loud that it’s “too late.”

If any one of these areas is broken, it can severely impact your health to the point where it won’t matter how much broccoli you eat.

So what’s it going to take?

Do you have to have a major, sneak-up-on-you-and-whack-you-in-the-face type of wake up call at the ripe old age of 32, like I did, to pay attention to your life, and your health, at this level? Or are you more in tune with your reality than that?

Ask yourself…

“Do I want to live my life stuck in this so-so, mediocre state (or worse) like I’m doing now, or do I want to be high on life pretty much all the time?”

It’s your choice. What’s it going to be?

***

© 2009 Delicious Health, Inc.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE?
You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

“Simla Somturk Wickless is an integrative health, nutrition, and lifestyle coach whose mission is to transform busy bodies into healthy, balanced beings (TM). To learn how to increase your energy, tame your stress, and take back control of your health, register for her free monthly eZine at www.enjoydelicioushealth.com.”

July 1, 2009 at 6:00 AM Leave a comment


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