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Listen To Your Body!

Dear Reader,

Did you know we are hard-wired for WANTING TO BE HAPPY? This may seem obvious but how many truly HAPPY people do you know? Turns out, we make our decisions on an emotional level with intention of wanting to be fulfilled and happy but we are surprisingly not tuned in with what will actually bring us ultimate joy. Even little decisions can be confusing. For example, let’s say we are hungry. We have the option of a green drink in one hand and a piece of chocolate cake in the other. Which one will make us happy? Are we talking delicious or healthy? Are we talking short-term satisfaction or long term fit into our jeans? I like to cover all my bases so I eat the cake and wash it down with the green drink!

Sometimes we do need to go a little “backwards” to get moving forward. Consider the mechanics of a bow and arrow. The bow has to be pulled backwards for the “potential energy” (i.e. MOTIVATION) to be propelled forward by the released arrow. For example, until the jeans don't fit comfortably, we may not realize we opted for the cake too many times. And it’s all okay! Turns out, moderation and flexibility are the trademarks for genuine happiness. Our bodies are speaking to us all of the time if we dare to listen! The scale, our lipid levels, our heart rates, our stiffness or flexibility levels, our mental fog or clarity…. these are all indicators of how well we are making choices that support our higher intention of wanting to be happy and healthy! Those with rigid views (think TYPE A) also tend to have rigid arteries that can lead to heart attacks.

Funny how we can think of ourselves one way but get indisputable evidence of the contrary that forces us to once again examine the truth of our evolution (or stay in denial – an option for some! I have always subscribed to Socrate’s belief “that a life unexamined is not worth living”). As I write this, I have cheeks the size of chipmunks, the natural swelling caused by a recent “minor” dental procedure. Although I like to think of myself as a calm meditating yogi, I recently learned my gum recession was caused by my clenching my teeth while I sleep, perhaps grinding out whatever stress I had not addressed during my wakeful hours. Over decades, this pattern of coping did not serve me well as untreated recession can lead to pain and even losing teeth! I remember my grandma’s teeth (dentures!) soaking in a cup on her bedside table and as a little girl I swore I would always brush to avoid a toothless life! Yet in my young 50’s, I got the news that it was a matter of urgency to tend to my receding gums. Thankfully, a new revolutionary alternative to painful grafting is now available, but the swelling still takes days to subside and if you happen to be somewhat vain or private (guilty on both counts!) you may wish to take a “time out” of your usual lifetime routine for complete healing and to ponder what the heck got you gritting your teeth in the first place! Having a few days to ice and rest is giving me time to reflect… what the heck is worth losing my teeth over?

I fully subscribe to the Law of Attraction, that states whatever we focus on tends to grow, so it is of paramount importance that we focus on what’s going right in our lives versus what is undesirable! I like to think of it with a simple dining out metaphor. When we have finished our meal at a restaurant and the waiter asks if we would like to box up our leftovers, we generally do not say, “oh yes please box up the creamed okra! I hated it and would like to take it home to try again!” We obviously only ask to package up what we loved! But when it comes to the emotional tastings of our lives, we often inadvertently Doggie Bag our worst emotional screenplays so we can take them home, not for the dog, but to dump our emotional pain on our spouses, friends, or simply torture ourselves with leftover pain and suffering. The late American Poet, Maya Angelou, once said, “Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional”.

Let’s choose to be conscious of what we hold onto and what we let go of. Let’s be clear HAPPY CHOICES LOOK DIFFERENT ON DIFFERENT DAYS! Some days that green drink will get us on track and other days ONLY the chocolate cake will do! Some days we need to get into the gym and other days we need to climb back into bed! Author Caroline Myss has said, “Our bodies complete our biographies”. Listen to your body and lovingly respond. Be gentle with yourself, Diana

Diana Stone, M.A., is a Wellness Consultant and inspirational writer and speaker. Connect with her at

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