So I was thinking it was last year, a couple of days after Christmas, I was on a plane headed to Colorado to visit my sister, Kim, and her family. It's December in North Dakota and the weather was acting like, well, like it's December in North Dakota; 30 mph winds, sub zero cold, sleet (that's ice and snow together - a lovely combo), and an unpredictable forecast.
'Nowcast' would be more accurate than forecast because there's very little accuracy in predicting what the weather will be like in 15 minutes, let alone a week or day, on the Midwestern prairie.
I make it sound as if I live in a covered wagon and my kinfolk and I walk uphill, both ways, to get firewood for our long, "Little House on the Prairie" winters. Not quite. Instead, I live in Moorhead, MN, population over 42,000, located midway down Minnesota's west border, next to Fargo, ND, with a population over 241,000. We are both rural and metropolitan, traditional and contemporary, unassuming and progressive. In warm summers and cool falls we enjoy the beautiful colors and bounty of 10,000 lakes (someone counted), woodlands, farmland, parks, and all kinds of activities. In the winter you create your own lifestyle survival kit: some choose to travel, binge Netflix, ice fish, eat lots of tator-tot hotdish, play hockey, follow football, rent a stool at a favorite bar, or simply enjoy life at a slower pace, appreciating the hibernating nature of things.
We don't count on spring, because much like that one unsociable relative at every holiday gathering, you're never sure when or if it will show up.
Back on the plane, we're stuck on the tarmac for 2 hours de-icing and I was pretty sure our flight would be cancelled. I chatted with a nice man in my row (we won the economy traveler lottery by having the only empty seat on the plane be the one between us, so we were feeling pretty lucky). I was also scrolling through my Facebook feed when I came across an ad for a 30 Day Detox.
24 hours before I found myself sharing recycled air with 200 strangers in a tin tube being hosed down with anti-freeze, I was lamenting to a close friend that I had been taking on extra weight (for no apparent reason) and breaking out in hives. I felt pretty sheepish about it because one of my passions and part of my Kay Hilde, The Art of Living work is as a wellness coach teaching people about the benefits of proactive health through quality supplementation and a low glycemic lifestyle.
But there I was scrolling through FB with my water-retaining, chubby fingers, itchy head, bloated tummy, and deflated self-esteem when I saw a FB ad featuring a thin, toned, attractive blonde woman in yoga pants and a sports bra.
With very little thought (and a quick muscle test) I clicked and paid $50 for access to a 30 day detox (no products to purchase) with recipes, short workouts, simple meditations, and access to a private FB group. Then I heard the flight attendant tell us to fasten our seatbelts as we were cleared for takeoff.
My trip with my family included several long, scenic train rides through the Colorado mountains on the way to Glenwood Springs resort. I had plenty of time to read, meditate, and journal inbetween card games, naps, chats, and snacks. My intuition told me my weight gain was both physical and emotional. I feel great when I lead a 90/10 low glycemic, clean, whole food lifestyle (exactly what I coach in my Proactive Wellness programs). But over the past year I realized I had wandered into a 70/30 and it was starting to show. I hadn't been as dedicated to my emotional and spiritual health for some time either, letting feelings get stuck and unprocessed. I knew that any good coach needs to be coachable. To better serve others I needed to take time to learn from others. The 30 day program seemed like the change I needed to refocus, realign, and start detoxing physically and emotionally.
And it was. The detox included a nice collection of recipes to follow using organic, whole, clean foods as well as some Pilates videos and a couple guided meditations. Everything was very similar to the programs I lead, except mine include quality micronutrients and the option of delicious meal replacement shakes (which I appreciate even more now). The structure and new recipes were great.
But the magic was hiding in an unexpected place, as magic often does.
Part of my emotional detox was releasing feelings of disconnect. I dance with a self-defeating (false) belief that I'm not appreciated, heard, really needed, or treasured. Please know: I am blessed to be mom to two amazing children, nanna to two grandsons and 3 granddogs, and I have a loving, attentive family I consider friends, and some amazing friends I consider family.
All the same, those feelings were stuck like a clog in a drain and until I found a way to release them nothing in my life was moving forward.
Well, the Universe is incredibly creative in its benevolance! Somehow it arranged for me to spend 30 days with over 1000 of the best emotional and spiritual plumbers one single, self-employed, deep thinking, sardonic, wandering and wondering, 56 year old woman could ever want - but never imagined.
This global group of women is the reason I started this blog.
In our Facebook group we were encouraged to share our thoughts and experiences daily. I decided the extra accountability would do me good. And it did! Soon my daily updates of one or two sentences became more like journal entries and soon a growing group of participants were following my posts (along with many others who shared their journey) and we began engaging, interacting, and supporting one another. The camaraderie was genuine, authentic, and often very raw. We began to trust one another with vulnerabilities we kept hidden in dark closets along with smaller sized jeans we had little hope of ever fitting in again. As intelligent women of all ages, most of us realized our physical health is directly linked to mental health and our spiritual health. Discovering the nuances of those dynmaic, together, was priceless.
By the time the 30 day program was at day 28 I had promised to compile my journal entries in one PDF and launch a blog where I would continue to share my meandering thoughts, insights, and sometimes quirky perspectives. But mostly, I wanted to continue to provide a forumn for women and men to share their thoughts, insights, and sometimes quirky perspectives . And that's what "So I Was Thinking" is all about.
This is and will always be a safe place to share, support, wonder, and bemuse.
If at anytime an exchange or comment doesn't feel like it serves any of the above, then it won't be published. I'm coming up on my 58th trip around the sun - I happily released the need to find my worth in pleasing or accommodating everyone several revolutions ago. Whew! It makes traveling through life much easier!
Thanks for joining me for my first official blog post! It's my intent to share one post per week with random thoughts, funny insights, and a bit of wisdom regarding health, wellness, creativity, joyful connections, and life in general.