Saturday, 7 January 2012

Be Kind: Rewind*

I set off into 2011 with the good intention to be kinder to myself. I resolved to "at least try and let time flow by, and not worry too much about the precious seconds that slip past without any real intensity".


I'm not sure how successful this was one the broader scale. I ran 99 miles worth of races, and cycled 170 miles of sportives. I climbed four mountains - one of which I descended by zip wire, took up fell running and had a rather terrifying few hours mountain biking with my Dad.

A few hundred feet above Honister Pass - spot the road in the top LH corner!!

And when I think back to the highlights of 2011, these things are exactly what I think of. I think of the sweet melon that we ate 80 miles into our 100 mile ride. I think of the evenings when I arrived home eager to get out on my bike in the dusk light and forget the day. I remember the 13 mile run and 70 mile bike ride that I did while unemployed, and that dark evening run right after my Uncle died when I had to stop to choke on my tears. It seems that intensity is how I get by, and as ridiculous as I realize I may appear at times, the intensity and adrenaline of these adventures is what drove me through 2011; I'm not going to let that stop now.

But, on the contrary to all of the above, I do think I learned a little about being kind to myself in 2011, especially towards the end of the year. It still takes a lot of effort, but my general pace has slowed to a steady lilt; I take time to sip a herbal tea before bed, I sit and write whenever I feel the urge, I listen to the radio more and read magazines as well as books. Taking time to simply sit and sip tea (a tip suggested by Rachel, which I highly recommend) has become an integral part of my day, and instead of the short and intense home-yoga sessions that I used to do a few times a week, I now enjoy a full and completely wonderful yoga class once a week (during which I inevitably fall asleep). I always knew that these things were needed in my life; they don't only complement the amount of activity that I do, but they also drive it and help my body and mind to re-charge afterwards.

Along with the physical aspects, of course, nutrition has to also play a large part. This is still very much a work in progress, but I am working hard to eat well and with mindfulness on every occasion. I now drink much more water, and have stopped using nasty squash packed with nasty sweetners to disguise the wonder that is H2O. I cook lentils a few times a week (packed with protein and hugely versatile!) and have started eating eggs much more often - and feel amazing for it! All pasta is now wholemeal, and rice is almost always wholemeal (white basmati rice is my ultimate indulgence - it could be much worse, I reckon!). On top of that, nuts, oils and seeds feature in my diet on a daily basis.

Eating healthily hasn't been a problem for me for a very long time now, but I am conscious of how hard I push my body on a weekly basis, and along with the copious amounts of fruit and veg that I feed it, I know I need to consider the fats and proteins and sugars that were never really an issue before. It's all part of being kind, and in fact it's the part that I take the most pride in!

As for 2012? Well, I'm still a little reluctant to set my intentions in stone for this year. I have some massive goals that I am working towards right now, and I'm quite prepared to let all hell break loose in every other aspect of my life to give myself every chance of getting where I need to be. I suppose that I want more of the same in 2012; I want to continue working on acting mindfully in every aspect of my life, and for it to become a natural part of myself, rather than a concerted effort. I also have a long list of goals, which I may share in an up-coming post.


*Did anyone else see this film with Jack Black? I saw it at the cinema and from what I remember really enjoyed it...anyway, that has nothing to do with this post!

1 comment:

  1. Glad the quiet cups of tea are helping! xx