Everett, my 15 year-old, made delicious pumpkin bread from scratch this weekend. Two pans of yumminess. Monday I overindulged and I felt bloated and logy, dull and heavy; sluggish. Not vital as I prefer.
How we relate to food, exercise, sleep, alcohol and drugs is all within the scope of relational health. My aim to be optimally healthy. Daily, I recommit. I begin again, but not from scratch.
Relational health requires daily upkeep.
Top 5 healthy behaviors
Did you know that only 6% of Americans consistently engage in the top 5 healthy behaviors? These behaviors are no smoking, moderate to no drinking, regular activity/exercise, healthy body weight and adequate sleep.
If you’re feeling healthy, I’m guessing you are following these healthy behaviors consistently.
I’m in the 6% and I’m grateful beyond measure. My heart is healthy and this is foundational for relational health.
My boys are in this category as well, as well as within a smaller percentage (of privilege, gotta name it for what it is) who have 4 adults living in the household with them who love them unconditionally and who all hold degrees in higher education (two have masters and 2 hold doctorates). There is no active abuse or alcoholism, no TV blaring, no pantry full of processed foods, and no toxic chemical overload. What exists in our home:
- recovery from alcoholism (me) and moderate consumption by others (Marc and his parents).
- mindful consumption of media (no devices at table during meal-times) and designated media-free days.
- healthy, fresh food from the farmers market in the fridge (and some organic chips, crackers and dark chocolate in the pantry).
- vinegar mixed with essential oils and water to clean surfaces (no harsh cleansers).
- ants and bugs because we don’t use an exterminator (and we clean dishes after each meal and have Sunday chore day to do deeper clean).
Here’s the thing. I didn’t necessarily grow up in this environment; I created it. Declared my Moonshot (that something extraordinary that wouldn’t otherwise happen) for optimal relational health, including a loving, healthy, uplifted home environment.
My father died of heart dis-ease. Long before the age of 69 (which is when he actually left this physical plane), he left many unmet desires and dreams behind him. Consumed by stress and starved for passion.
Relationship of stress & passion
Stress is when we live in life that we are not in alignment with, we wrestle with on a daily basis, and we feel powerless over it all and give up in defeat. (and perhaps turn to sweets)
Passion is when we are inspired by our own dreams and desires and find our purpose on this planet. (and perhaps turn to sweets to celebrate)
The story I tell myself is that he drowned in his own suffering, the ache of loneliness too much for him to handle, the dampened desires insufficient to fuel his life. I noticed he ate sweets to find sweetness (though he was diabetic) and took heart medicines to cope with heart dis-ease (though he suffered heart-ache in many of his relationships).
Granted, Monday I ate 3 times the amount of homemade pumpkin bread than I “needed.” I still have my slips. I still feel the urge to indulge in sugar cravings. I’m human.
I don’t do it daily. I don’t feel good afterward. And I don’t beat myself up for it. I have the awareness, I have the acceptance, and I take action to do it less frequently.
Heal heart hurt
My passion is to heal heart hurt by cultivating holistic heart health and weaving the lei of aloha around the world. Finding the bigger love, the higher power, the deeper presence that holds me tenderly and sustains me to keep on keeping on when life gets lifey and I have moments of stress. I recommit to my passionate purpose, through resilience, compassion and service.
For the record, my father was also a poet, a lover of birds and sunrise, and the provider for my early childhood. I’m grateful beyond measure for his presence in my life, and I’d be lying to you if I told you his diseased life didn’t hurt my heart. And I’m resilient, I’m compassionate, and I desire to be of service.
And my heart is happy, strong, and bigger than the ocean.