SFLP: Part 3

In Part 2, we looked at the burden of guilt that many of us carry and that can unconsciously drive many of our actions.  Since writing down your thoughts on what you might want to transform in that area, how have you felt?  Have you thought about what it might feel like to be free to simply BE and not feel motivated by guilt?

Let’s continue letting those thoughts simmer while we move to another topic:  our physical self.

One definition of fitness is “quality of life.”  Another definition includes things like cardiovascular health, muscular strength and endurance, body composition, and flexibility.  Either way, a fit person should be able to move easily and complete daily tasks.

Now, even if you already exercise or compete in sports, you might not be so diligent about stretching.  I know plenty of competitive athletes who even seem to take pride in never stretching.  To be sure, there are probably just as many studies that say stretching is a good thing as there are studies which say it’s useless.  For me, though, I just can’t deny that it feels really good to stretch and be flexible.

For Part 3 of the SFLP, I give you a challenge:  Stretch for just five minutes a day for the next seven days.  Even those of us with the least amount of free time to devote to a workout program can surely find five minutes before bedtime to loosen up.

In case you can’t remember back as far as junior high gym class to come up with some stretches on your own, you might want to consider the Sun Salutation from yoga.  It is a very simple routine that only takes a minute or two.  You can do three sets of the Sun Salutation easily in five minutes.

Here are two good explanations (with pictures) of the Sun Salutation:

http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/asana/sun-salutation.html

http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/yogapractice/sunsalutation.asp

Take the stretching challenge, and prove to yourself that you can do it.  Five minutes a day for seven days is very doable, and you will start the ball rolling on a simply fitter lifestyle.

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SFLP: Part 2

Guilt:  the gift that keeps on giving Erma Bombeck

This part of the journey toward being Simply Fit begins with the end.  Well, really, it begins with a notebook.  So, go get one, now.  You’ll need it.

Now we can begin at the end.  In this instance, the “end” is the last planet:  Pluto.  In astrological terms, Pluto symbolizes transformation, rebirth, destruction, and change.  It can also, according to some astrologers, represent that which we need to let go of in order to be renewed.

Think of “old baggage” that you have been dragging around with you.  (For the purposes of this program, please feel free to consider past lives too, if you so choose.  It’s not a requirement, though.)  Very likely, you’ve got some shame and guilt stuffed into that baggage.  “I shouldn’t have eaten the whole box of cookies; I’m such a loser!”  ” Julie stayed late at work to finish up the Jones file, so I should have too. . . . now everyone will think I’m a slacker.”  “I can’t believe I said that to my child; now I’ve messed her up for life.”

Shame and guilt pack a powerful one-two punch that can take us down for the count.  And with heavy burdens like that, we are not free to be Simply Fit.  So let’s look at an astrological explanation and solution for guilt.

The sign that Pluto was in at your birth describes the specifics of the baggage you need to transform.  Check the list below to see what sign Pluto was in when you were born:

June 15, 1939 – October 19, 1956  (Leo)

October 20, 1956 – January 15, 1957  (Virgo)

January 16, 1957 – August 19, 1957  (Leo)

August 20, 1957 – April 12, 1958  (Virgo)

April 13, 1958 – June 10, 1958  (Leo)

June 11, 1958 – July 30, 1972  (Virgo)

July 31, 1972 – November 5, 1983  (Libra)

November 6, 1983 – May 18, 1984  (Scorpio)

May 19, 1984 – August 28, 1984  (Libra)

August 29, 1984 – January 17, 1995  (Scorpio)

January 18, 1995 – April 21, 1995  (Sagittarius)

April 22, 1995 – November 10, 1995  (Scorpio

November 11, 1995 – January 26, 2008  (Sagittarius)

Now that you know the sign that Pluto was in at the moment of your birth, you can stare into the abyss, as it were, and uncover the deep, scary things that you might need to transform and release.  First, read the explanation for your Pluto placement below.

PLUTO IN LEO KEYWORDS:  youthful, spontaneous, powerful, autocratic, self-indulgent, fear of aging, self-respecting, confident, status conscious, pretentious, dramatic

PLUTO IN VIRGO KEYWORDS:  efficient, modest, perfectionist, logical, hypochondriac, judgmental, obsessive, service oriented, healthy, practical, critical

PLUTO IN LIBRA KEYWORDS:  balanced, refined, compromising, social, charming, indecisive, vacillating, superficial, cooperative, artistic, vain, flattering, fair

PLUTO IN SCORPIO KEYWORDS:  insightful, passionate, vindictive, intense, mysterious, secretive, paranoid, powerful, magnetic

PLUTO IN SAGITTARIUS KEYWORDS:  optimistic, restless, commitment phobic, inspiring, dogmatic, philosophical, procrastinating, ethical, outspoken

Okay, got your notebook?  Then jot down a few of the keywords from your Pluto that resonate with you.  For example, I have Pluto in Virgo.  So in looking at the Pluto in Virgo Keywords, the ones that jump out at me are efficient, perfectionist, judgmental, healthy, and critical.

Now that you have your keywords, write a few sentences using those words which sum up your “old baggage.”  Again, using myself as an example, I might write this:

I feel absolutely horrible when I make a mistake, no matter how big or small, and then I criticize myself harshly.  And when I see others make mistakes, I am judgmental and critical of them too.

You might need to take some time to choose your words and write your summary.  Maybe you might even want to observe yourself for a couple of days to see what things you notice.

Once you feel comfortable with your summary statement, you can begin to work on your “redemption” and transformation.  In many ways, transformation lies in finding balance, or the other side of the coin.  For balance, then, I like to look at the sign directly opposite mine.  Look at the list below to see the sign and keywords opposite your Pluto placement.

AQUARIUS KEYWORDS TO BALANCE LEO:  open-minded, rational, humanistic, reformer, innovative, holistic, unique

PISCES KEYWORDS TO BALANCE VIRGO:  forgiveness, compassionate, mystical, imaginative, transcendent, dreamer, serene, spiritual

ARIES KEYWORDS TO BALANCE LIBRA:  assertive, courageous, enterprising, initiating, confident, pioneering, energetic, independent

TAURUS KEYWORDS TO BALANCE SCORPIO:  grounded, patient, loyal, dependable, creative, practical, earthy, artistic

GEMINI KEYWORDS TO BALANCE SAGITTARIUS:  adaptable, versatile, communicative, bright, inquisitive, social, witty

Using your notebook again, write down the balance keywords that catch your eye.  In my notebook, keeping my own Pluto in Virgo in mind, I would choose Pisces words such as forgiveness and spiritual.  And once again, as you did above, write a summary using your balance words.  Here’s mine:  When I make mistakes, it’s an opportunity for me to forgive myself and understand the spiritual value of failing and learning and growing; in this way, I can have compassion for myself and others when we make mistakes.

Now the tricky part. . . . It’s one thing to “get it” in theory.  It’s another thing entirely to put that theory into practice.  So here’s your homework!  Keep your notebook with your for the rest of the week.  Now that you’ve got both your summary statements, keep track of all the opportunities you have to put your words into action.  Use your notebook like a diary to record instances where your Pluto stuff comes up.

Please feel free to share your statements, to ask questions, and to pass along your observations from the week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SFLP: Part 1

“Observe all men, thyself most.”  Benjamin Franklin

Who’s up for a road trip?

For the next several posts, you can participate in an internal road trip of self-discovery.  I invite you to cruise all the highways and byways of your physical, mental, and emotional self.  And unlike a vacation, this is one trip where you will unload your baggage rather than pack it.

The Simply Fit Lifestyle Program is a multi-part overhaul of your current habits in which you try new things, learn what works and what doesn’t, and hopefully adopt new patterns which contribute to a healthier and more productive lifestyle.

Previous posts on this blog have emphasized the value of reviewing, reflecting, and re-doing.  So now, it’s time to put all of that into action.  Over the next few weeks, I will present a plan for “knowing thyself.”  There will be guidelines, suggestions, and ideas to ponder.  And as with most things in life, you can get out of it whatever you put into it.

Care to join me, then?  From what I have observed in my own life and in the goings-on around me, it seems like I am not the only one ready for a change.  So, if you, like me, are ready for something new, hop in the driver’s seat, put the top down, throw it into first, and let’s go!

Back to the Friday Fun!

On this date in 1984, car maker John DeLorean was cleared of drug charges.

Now, anyone who saw the movie Back to the Future knows that a DeLorean car is also a time travel machine.  So for today’s writing prompt, describe what time period you would visit and why if you had a DeLorean.

As for me, I’m off to Camelot. . . .   🙂

Dragonflies and Damselflies

One of my favorite things about having a garden (besides being able to step outside my door to pick some omelet fixins) is watching the insects and animals that come around it.  This year, I am especially entranced by the dragonflies and damselflies.  Here are some quick facts about both from my favorite source, Ted Andrews’ Animal-Speak.

  • Dragonflies have broad bodies and large eyes; damselflies have slender bodies.  Dragonflies still hold their wings out even when not flying; damselflies fold their wings back when at rest.
  • Dragonflies and damselflies have been around for at least 180 million years.  They are very adaptable creatures, which has helped it survive for so long.  They can even fly with only one pair of wings if need be.
  • Both inhabit two realms:  water and air.  Therefore, they symbolize both emotion (water) and intellect (air).
  • In Japanese art, dragonflies are used to represent light and joy.  To the Native Americans, they represent the souls of the dead.  For some, they are the mythical relatives of real, ancient dragons.
  • The fantastic iridescent blues and greens of dragonflies are created in much the same way that rainbows are formed.  Structures in the dragonfly’s shell scatter and refract the sunlight.

Ted Andrews writes that dragonflies and damselflies symbolize transformation and the power of light.  As he writes, “Life is never quite the way it appears, but it is always filled with light and color.  Dragonfly can help you to see through your illusions and thus allow your own light to shine forth.  Dragonfly brings the brightness of transformation and the wonder of colorful new vision.

Teasel Root and Lyme Disease

The usual preface about “I’m not a doctor” and “see a qualified practitioner” and ” statements not intended to diagnose or prescribe” blah blah blah.

I live right smack-dab in the middle of the Tick Belt here in the northeastern US.  This time of year, especially, it seems that everyone and his sister has a story about Lyme Disease.

Since I work in a health food store, I have access to a wealth of information about home remedies and herbal treatments.  Lately, my customers have been talking up Teasel Root for Lyme Disease and its co-infections.

Teasel is a prickly plant that once was used to tease or raise the nap on fabrics.

Teasel Plant

Several authors of books on herbal medicine have pointed to teasel as a key remedy in fighting Lyme:  Stephen Harrod Buhner, Wolf D. Storl, Matthew Wood.

Herbs of Light (www.herbsoflight.com) has a couple of products that you might consider if you are looking to treat Lyme naturally, including Teasel Root and Deer Tick Defense.

Be healthy!

🙂