Do YOU Experience Growing Pains? How Do You Know?

How do you know when you are experiencing growing pains? Young children often experience pain in their legs, the cause of which is difficult to pinpoint. Because growing pains is not actually a medical condition, doctors call it a “diagnosis of exclusion”. Excluding other potential maladies or injuries is the first order of business, and by exclusion, many parents find that their child is experiencing the general muscular discomfort referred to as “growing pains”. Consensus in the medical community is that bone growth does not cause pain. However, many children experience more growing pains during the rapid growth stages, into early adolescence. It is understood is that many children experience these pains after a very physically active day, and often for several days and nights in a row. Most doctors agree that the treatment for growing pains is a warm compress, massage and cuddling - a little TLC, if you will (insert winky smile at clever reference to my initials.)

If we piggy-back on a child’s experience of growing pains and the doctor’s diagnosis of exclusion, we may apply this to our own experience as adults. Have you ever gone through a difficult time, and yet all other variables seem to be in place? I certainly have. There have been times when I’ve felt stressed, afraid and overwhelmed, and yet so much good stuff was happening in my life. By process of elimination (or exclusion), I often find that during these times, I am experiencing growing pains - a general discomfort associated with a sustained high level of activity.

Think about it. We grow and stretch, and stretch a little more, and leap and stretch, and duck and dodge bullets, and deftly maneuver around roadblocks every day. When you experience an unexplained sense of discomfort, or possibly pain, which could manifest in the forms of sadness, anger, frustration or apathy (however fleetingly temporary), it is helpful to run through your personal checklist of needs, unmet needs and possible adverse health conditions if you have any. If you turn up empty handed, give a nod to the idea of growing pains. Perhaps you have been so active that your whole being needs to rest and recuperate.

The doctor’s diagnosis of growing pains, and the parent’s remedy is simple: rest, warm compress, massage and cuddling - a little TLC. We often barge ahead in life, rapidly barreling forward, without taking a moment to address some of our basic needs. We all need TLC, love, a massage and the equivalent of a warm compress. Reach out to those who are close to you. Ask for some extra support in the form of kind words, a listening ear, a hug or thoughts/prayer. At the same time, be kind and compassionate with yourself. Make sure you have attended to your needs. Pushing through the pain is sometimes recommended, and sometimes rest and recuperation are just what the doctor ordered. Know yourself well enough to distinguish what you really need.

If you want to learn more about establishing the mindset for growing thru your growing pains and achieving blissful success, schedule your COMPLIMENTARY 30 minute consult.

I am here by your side on your journey, cheering you on, applying the warm compress, and offering a lot of TLC. Know that you are fully supported in your dreams, and you WILL manifest them!

Blessings. Gratitude. Love.

Lessons from the Cosmos (Flower)

 There is a certain beauty in wildflowers that is a little hard to put into words. I first became fascinated with Cosmos (Mexican Aster) when I was in graduate school in New Mexico. The feathery greens, bright punches of color and ability to thrive even under gross neglect seemed so symbolic, and in many ways speaks to stretches of my life experience.

The Cosmos flowers can stand from one to five feet tall and never require support, despite having a relatively thin stem. Cosmos are pest-resistant, and when fertilized, tend to grow more green than flowers. Even after days without water in triple digit summer heat, the flowers remain beautiful, and the green lush.

You may be wondering how in the world I am drawing a connection from neglect-loving, thin stemmed flowers to living an exquisite life. It is simple, and on this lovely Earth Day, it seems fitting to draw some connections from nature.

  1. Appearances can be deceiving. People often appear one way on the outside, yet what is inside is very different. I think of Audrey Hepburn as a shining example of a person who appeared very soft on the outside, and yet was possessed with admirable strength and conviction of character (after retiring from acting, she became special ambassador to the United Nations UNICEF fund helping children in developing nations). We also see the opposite: someone who appears very strong on the outside, and yet is suffering on the inside.  In both examples, what we see on the outside is quite different from the real inside story.
  2. You have everything you need, and ample reserves. There are times in life when you may feel depleted, as if you do not have energy or resources to continue. The truth is, however, that we always have everything we need, with plenty of reserves. Think of a time when you did something very physically challenging (for me, running or pushups), and in the moment when you wanted to give up, your body came through for you. You found the extra something you needed to finish, to get where you needed to go, or to feel virtuous about crushing a challenge. Whatever your reasons, my point is simple: often our brains scream at us based on old garbage messages, when in reality we have plenty of energy to keep going.
  3. There is no need to over-protect ourselves or our loved ones; we thrive and grow from our experiences. Sometimes people over-water and over-fertilize their gardens and end up with mushy, squishy mud. The same is true in life. You do not always need to go get more information before taking-on a challenge. You do not always need to gear-up for what lies ahead in order to protect yourself. Sometimes for ourselves and for our loved ones, we really need to learn to let go and trust. Trust ourselves, trust the process, trust our source.
  4. Stand tall, no matter how frail you may feel, no matter how strong the wind. Be flexible and allow yourself to bend, but not break. If you break, you know how to repair yourself already, don’t you? Stand firm in who you are, grounded in that calm knowing, and trust in yourself, the process and your source. You’ve got this.

You see, we are like the Cosmos; delicate yet strong, self-sufficient yet interconnected, vulnerable yet protected, flexible yet firmly planted. Know that you’ve got what it takes to accomplish anything you dream and reach an absolutely exquisite sense of fulfillment and unspeakable joy. You are worth it, and the journey is worth it.

Blessings. Gratitude. Love.

"Love is the only flower that grows and blossoms without the aid of the seasons."                             - Kahlil Gibran

Mind, Body & Spirit

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”  ~ Teilhard de Chardin

In Western culture, we are now beginning to understand the importance of the physical, emotional and spiritual connectedness of overall personal wellness. I believe that in order to be well in one area - for example, physically - all other areas must also be well. How does one achieve this overall wellness?

Let’s break it down by category to give a brief overview of each, and then tie the three parts together to complete the picture.

Physical Wellness - Physical body, appearance, health, mental state: Food, quantity and quality of sleep, exercise, hydration, physical health, stress management, dis-ease prevention and management.

Emotional Wellness - Thoughts, self-love and appreciation, emotional intelligence: Self-reflection, self-perception, perception of others, communication, managing expectations and capacity to love unconditionally, forgive and experience gratitude.

Spiritual Wellness - Religion, faith, belief system: Meditation, prayer, journal writing, positive affirmations, positive thoughts, slowing down, deep breathing and time to oneself.

There are many schools of thought on the origins of dis-ease, but most can be traced to some form of physical tension or stress in the body, which is often caused or exacerbated by emotional distress or discomfort. Whether one believes that specific emotional distress causes specific physical ailments, we all understand that the effects of prolonged stress on the physical body and emotional state can be detrimental to health and wellbeing.

According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can significantly affect your body, mood and behavior. Stress can also contribute to headaches, muscle tension, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, decreased libido, stomach upset, sleep disruptions, irritability, lack of motivation and focus, over- or under-eating, drug or alcohol abuse and anxiety.

Ensuring adequate nutrition, hydration, exercise and sleep is one way to relieve the stress of daily life. While tending to our physical needs, it is also very important to build our tribe of support around us to help us with our emotional needs. Developing a spiritual practice of regular prayer or meditation, deep breathing exercises and yoga or gentle stretching and energy work such as Reike, build the foundation for healing, restoration, and nourishing the body, mind and spirit.**

**As a coach and as a living human being, my approach to all areas of life is holistic in nature. I will only share insights that I believe to be helpful, reminding you to check-in with yourself, your physician or mental health care provider. Sometimes it takes a team of experts to bring us back into balance physically, emotionally and spiritually. When you have the right team in place, you are more likely to reach the level of success you desire. If you have not found answers to your questions, I highly encourage you to keep asking until you find an answer that provides a viable solution that not only meets you where you are, but takes you where you want to be in terms of your physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

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